Resisting Maxu: Chapter 24

Meg had never realized the quiet could be so loud. She didn’t feel restricted or bored by the fact that she couldn’t speak. The lack of words was almost liberating. There was no expectation to say the right thing or act any specific way. All around her the Alacerans oozed calm. After the downpour this morning, the world seemed less heavy. The lack of waterfalls made the once-misty air clear and bright. The paths were dry and warm under her bare feet. And the hot sun baked the exposed flowers, filling the city with a sensual fragrance. 

The humans, their guards, and Maxu spent the day roaming the city and enjoying all the sensory areas erected for the holiday. A winding pathway had been filled with a sound art installation. The shaded arched treetops were strung with glass ornaments that clinked together. Water collected on the spire ornaments and dripped onto thousands of floating crystal plates below. The only way Meg could describe it in her mind was to imagine that the tinkling echoes all sparking together were the sound version of fairy lights.

She and Maxu hid in dark areas, stealing kisses as they strolled through other sound gardens,  one of which was formed from thousands of reeds sliced in such a way that when the air flowed over them, their hollow centers whistled and they all knocked together as if they were a natural orchestra being conducted by the wind.

The group ate incredible food and used wide, expressive eyes to communicate how delightful it was. They touched and hugged without restraint as they felt the soft fur of casican cubs and dipped their feet into the cold velvety water of a bubbling stream.

They spent the late hours of the afternoon helping the famous Alacera perfumers gather dried, fallen petals and sorting them into steel bins where they’d be boiled and condensed to create gorgeous scents. Meg practically salivated over the sultry fragrance of a cluster of warm yellow blossoms as she dumped them into a pot. For the rest of the day, Maxu would chuckle at her every time she lifted her fingers to her face and inhaled the slowly fading scent.

After dinner, citizens of the city migrated to enormous fire pits set amid circles of padded seating. They laid down together as a group and stared up at the twinkling sky, listening to the pops and cracks of the fire while the heat licked their skin. Maxu’s body radiated warmth next to her, and though they hadn’t spoken all day, he captured every ounce of her attention without even trying. His mere presence made her pulse with awareness. A zing shot up her thigh every time their legs brushed, and after the fifth time, she could’ve sworn he was doing it on purpose. 

A few people, Sophia and Rita included, took part in a sensory-heightening drug that was being passed around. Meg was surprised to find she had no interest. More and more often, she found herself happy just as she was. The experience of taking drugs like that had always intrigued her, but she wondered if that might have been because she used to be so uncomfortable merely existing in her skin.

The world was beautiful now. She was beautiful now. Real and vibrant. It felt as though she was a part of the universe. Functioning in it. Changing it. Having an impact instead of being dragged along as an afterthought.

Now that words weren’t in the way, it seemed other barriers had been broken down as well. As she and Maxu had ambled back to their rooms, she’d looked over her shoulder to find Gamso, not Daunet, trailing them. When she’d raised a concerned brow toward Gamso, he’d nodded over to a small fire blazing under a stone archway heavy with dark green vines. Beneath it sat Daunet and Tara, silently holding hands.

Maxu paused at Meg’s door but didn’t let her hand drop from his. He stared down at her. His dark lashes and deep-set eyes made his sea-green irises even more breathtaking in the dim hallway light. The lines around his mouth were back. His gaze flicked to her door, his brows drawn in a look of indecision. His grip on her hand firmed infinitesimally.

Heat slipped over her scalp and neck when she understood he was waiting to see whether she wanted to retreat into her room alone. She checked over her shoulder to make sure Gamso had gone. In a move that would’ve gotten her called some foul name by Jeremy, she dipped one hand to the impressive bulge between Maxu’s thighs. He hissed at the contact, and the sound had her inflating with confidence.

He stole her breath when he swept her into his arms and sprinted up the stairs two at a time until they emerged in his room. Once inside, he took his time unlacing her dress, keeping his eyes locked on hers, and succeeding in scorching her from the inside.

The waterfall splashing into the pool on his balcony had disappeared when the dams were drained. The round tub of water was calm, reflecting the silvery-blue moons on its glassy surface.

Her dress pooled around her ankles, and he let out a long sigh. Hooking his thumbs into her underwear, he slowly crouched, dragging the material down her thighs. Then he rose, his rough palms skimming the backs of her calves, knees, thighs, ass, until he straightened to his full height, a foot taller than her at least. She shivered at his largeness, his heavily muscled frame looming over her.

Biting her lip, she backed away from him with slow deliberate steps. Though she was completely naked and he was fully clothed, she felt no vulnerability. If anything, she felt ruthless, wicked. How provocative must’ve her backlit figure appeared to make his cock strain against his pants like that?

The soft earth sinking under her feet told her she’d hit her target. She turned and lowered into the pool, then beckoned him forward with a crooked finger. He remained still, rubbing the center of his chest with the heel of his hand as his gaze devoured her. He took one step toward her before halting and dragging a collection of clinking bottles out of his pocket.

Maxu stooped before the pool and placed each small bottle on the ledge, eyeing her to see her reaction. She couldn’t hold back her goofy grin. Somehow he’d gotten his hands on a selection of perfumes. But how? Shops weren’t open today.

She sent him an admonishing look, with her brow furrowed, complete with fists on hips. She pointed to the bottles, then tipped her head to the side, obviously asking about how they’d been acquired. Maxu used one hand planted on the ground to leap over the arranged bottles and splashed fully clothed into the water before her.

One hand glided to her lower back and hauled her lower body flush to his; the other slithered into the hair at her nape. Any reprimand she’d had in mind slipped away as she stared up into his sly, grinning face. He held her wide gaze for a moment, his fingers scratching against her scalp, then shrugged. If there was a more unapologetic movement, she couldn’t imagine what it was.

Meg couldn’t help the exasperated smile pulling at her mouth. She’d need to speak to him about his kleptomaniacal tendencies when they could actually talk again. He tugged her head to the side and kissed the bared curve of her neck, sending sparks skittering down her spine all the way to the top of her ass.

When he moved away to undress from his wet clothes, she studied the delicate glimmering bottles. Picking up the first one, she uncorked it, tipped it on her finger, and dabbed some on her wrist. It smelled heavenly, like roses and honey. She turned with her wrist held out so Maxu could smell, and she had to keep from swallowing her tongue. He was naked and wet, the pale markings covering his body glowing in the moonlight.

How could a man be so beautiful yet look at her with such unhinged hunger, like he wanted to devour her whole, then spit her out and fuck her senseless? His long, strong fingers gripped her palm as he pulled her wrist toward his nose for inspection.

Meg held back a chuckle when his lip curled. He dunked her arm underwater, washing away the perfume. She pursed her lips and tried a different bottle. This one was sweet, like a warm sugary baked good, but he plunged her arm under again, unimpressed. Three more perfumes, three more thumbs down.

She picked up the last citrine-yellow glass bottle and started to uncork it, but he stopped her. He tugged the perfume out of her hands, setting it back on the stone ledge of the pool, then closed in, crowding her until her back was pressed against the edge.

He ran his fiery gaze over her body, following the progress of his stare with his fingertips. Meg sucked in a deep shaking breath as his thumb just barely brushed over her nipple, making it pebble instantly. Chirping insects and the swish of water as his wet hand ran up her spine were the only sounds in the room.

The hard length of his shaft rested against her belly, the head reaching her ribcage in a crude domineering display that had her pussy throbbing with heat. His gaze darkened, his fingers clenching her ass harder than the gentle pressure he’d been applying before.

The water swirled as he hoisted her out of the pool, propping her on the edge. Her mind raced, wondering what he’d do. Simply adjust himself and pound into her right there? Flip her over his shoulder and carry her to the sunken sleeping area?

She shivered, the air chilling her damp body. But her sex was hot and the liquid arousal leaking from her core warmed her inner thighs. Maxu wedged himself between her knees, their faces at the same height from her elevated position, and without warning or preamble, he dipped two fingers into her slick channel.

She whimpered, head falling back and chest arching toward him. But his fingers were gone as quickly as they’d delved into her, and she snapped her head up to face him. A devilish grin spreading over his face, he eased her wrist toward him, rotated it upward, and slid the two fingers that had just been inside her over her pulse point. He lifted her newly perfumed wrist to his nose and inhaled a long rumbling breath, lids slipping closed in bliss.

Meg could’ve come right then and there. So strange, so unlikely, so fucking hot.

She pounced, flying off the ledge to wrap herself around his body like a damn monkey. He caught her with a deep chuckle. Meg was burning up from the inside, impatient to feel Maxu’s cock buried in her aching, empty core.

When she rotated her hips, aligning their slippery bodies so she could sink onto him, his humor vanished. He peeled her away, flipped her onto her belly, and locked one hand around her nape, forcing her upper body flat against stone, dirt, and fluffy flowering bushes. In one smooth stroke, he entered her from behind. She cried out, her toes slipping along the slick floor of the pool as she tried to find purchase. A purr and growl mixed and echoed through the room, creating a sound that was so perfectly Maxu, equal parts soft and hard.

The indelicate sound of water sloshing over the edge of the pool and splashing over her back was buried under her moans. His clutching palm was almost painful on the back of her neck, his hold allowing him to use her shoulders for leverage as he thrust inside her. It wouldn’t take long for the tight ball of flame in her belly to explode. She was primed for him, turned on by every scowl, every snarl, every smile he granted to no one but her.

He tugged her toward him enough to make a gap for his hand and reached over her hip, fiddling with her clit as he rammed against her ass. She wanted to scream out his name, spur him on, something, but they weren’t supposed to speak, and the sinful slap that vibrated through her body whenever his skin met hers was music in its own right.

She came, her back bowing off the ledge even as her upper body remained pinned in place. It took all her effort not to scream, though from this height any noise she made would be carried away on the wind.

His driving hips pistoned faster now, welding her thighs flush against the wall of the pool. She’d have bruises on the front of her hips where they were being shoved against the ledge, but she didn’t care. She turned her face in the dirt, delighting in the gruff rasps and groans he breathed out with each upward thrust. Maxu’s hand moved to wrench her face up and to the side, and just as he slammed into her and tensed, his mouth landed on hers. She gladly swallowed the strangled moans that accompanied the pulsing of his shaft as he came. He shuddered above her, collapsing onto his elbows.

His hands slid over her forearms until they found her fingers clenched around handfuls of dirt. He forced them open, then laced his fingers over hers, squeezing and making his blue mating marks almost glow in the dark room.

Maxu lifted her, pulling her back until she was submerged to her shoulders in the water, his half-hard shaft still deep inside of her. Without a word, he produced a bottle of foam and ran the slick hydrating liquid through her hair, washed her shoulders, massaging the knots away unhurriedly. Meg’s lids slipped closed as she let him take charge. With sure guiding hands, he maneuvered her around the pool, cleaning and massaging every inch of her body until she was half-asleep, pleasantly sore in all the right places, and pliant everywhere else.

After quickly cleaning himself off as well, he swept her out of the water and carried her to the bedding. They collapsed, wet and sated. This time, he didn’t hesitate to pull her in close. She laid on her stomach while he threw a thigh over her back and a heavy bicep over her shoulders.

They drifted to sleep listening to the soothing chirps and croaks of Alacera. Though it was terrifying to acknowledge, Meg knew her heart had already run away from her. Maxu might hurt her or betray her, but he had a piece of her now, and there was no getting it back.


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