Tempting Auzed: Chapter 22

Just as Alex had predicted, she and Auzed lounged in the golden light of the setting sun until faint stars twinkled in the lavender sky. He took his time learning her body, his hands roaming brazenly over her skin. Though she’d been pulsing with need for a while now, he hadn’t pushed her any further.

She could tell he wanted her again. If his swollen erection didn’t express it, then the blazing heat warming his pale-green eyes did. But he only stroked her body, occasionally focusing on one thing or another. A beauty mark here. The red imprint of his fingers on her hips there.

It was as if he were attempting to record every detail in his mind. Because we’ll be going our separate ways so soon? Her heart fractured at the idea.

He was the sexiest man she’d ever met, but as she lay in the twilight examining her own reactions to him, she understood this clawing need was more than just lust. More than a need to have sex with the drop-dead gorgeous alien who made her see stars.

She wanted to bare herself to him and have him bare himself in return. No humor and lightness hiding the depth of her emotion. No thick armor hiding his. She wanted to make love to Auzed. She’d never craved that intimacy before and couldn’t imagine ever wanting it with anyone else.

But she couldn’t ask him to give up his life for her. It wouldn’t be fair to him. Especially since she didn’t know what she wanted for her future anyway. Last night, when she couldn’t sleep through Meg’s snoring, she’d called Lily.

They’d talked about so many things, including the fact that Lily had fallen head over heels for an alien of her own. Her mate, Verakko.

Lily, so closed off and impenetrable when they’d first met, radiated with warmth through the communicator. No doubts. No reservations about staying here forever with one man, who’d die before letting her go.

But Lily also didn’t want to return to Earth. She had no one there worrying about her and wondering where she’d gone.

Alex’s family, on the other hand, were probably putting up posters and searching for her even now. Which would be futile. Alex could just picture her tiny abuelita cursing out the police when the leads inevitably dried up.

And what if they ended up blaming some innocent person for her disappearance? What if they blamed Ray, her boyfriend—ex-boyfriend now. He was no catch, but Ray wouldn’t lay a finger on her. He didn’t deserve the scrutiny he was likely getting.

How could she just leave them all to suffer without at least trying to get back? She wished she could live two lives. One back on Earth surrounded by familiarity and family, and one here with Auzed.

She glanced down at his fingers, now lovingly circling the freckle on her ribcage near her breast. No marks lined those hands. He wasn’t her mate. With her gaze, she traced the hard line of his jaw and the steady pulse thrumming along his corded neck. His eyes, pale green and framed by golden lashes, were so soft in comparison to the rest of him.

But no matter how alluring he was, they weren’t spiritually bound for all time. A part of her was relieved about that. If his marks had appeared, she’d be trapped here. From what he’d told her, the consequences of abandoning a mate were dire. She could never…would never put him through that.

No. She couldn’t ask him to give up everything he held dear just to watch her fight to return home. To leave him. She had to let him go.

The tenuous cord keeping her heart bound in her chest would surely snap when they finally separated, and he’d end up taking more of her along with him than he knew.

But it wasn’t that time yet. And since her heart would be broken either way, there was no sense in holding back. His eyes widened when she drew up and planted a long kiss on his lips. His mouth split into a lopsided grin before he folded his heavy arms around her and turned their kiss into something scalding.


After a few more lazy hours basking in each other’s company, the chill of the night air finally pushed them to return the lounger and venture back to the nest. So unlike their first few days here, Auzed remained glued to Alex’s side, always touching her.

Any reservations he’d had before had dissolved in the wake of their intense day in the sun. When he wanted to smell her hair, he leaned down and buried his face in her waves. When the mere inch that separated them felt too distant, he’d pull her into his body, rejoicing in the immediate sigh she always released before leaning back against his chest.

Clecanian couples never did this, and he now truly understood why. It was addictive. Being able to reach out and feel your female in your arms whenever you wanted was like a drug. How would he manage going back to being alone?

“I’m exhausted.” She yawned while halfheartedly covering her mouth with the back of her hand.

Auzed grinned, something he was having trouble not doing today. He bent his head to her ear, taking one hand off the bar of their travel platform to brush her hair away from her neck. “I’m not done with you yet, female.”

The shiver that ran through her at his words sent a rush of blood to his cock. He rumbled a laugh and squeezed her against him more firmly, showing her what he was referencing. When they floated alongside the deck of the nest, Wilson was waiting for them.

She tooted her trunk as they approached, but the sound was different than the normal trumpets of annoyance she made. They stepped into the nest and Wilson followed, wrapping her body around Alex’s neck in an embrace. Then before he knew it, Wilson was scrambling toward him.

She pounced at his leg, and Auzed tensed for the attack. Alex would never forgive him if he hurt the creature, even if it had struck first. All he could do was brace for the sting of teeth and claws. But when he looked down, he saw the tuey had wrapped her little body around his ankle and was giving him a tight squeeze of greeting as well.

He remained frozen with his leg planted forward awkwardly. Looking up, he found Alex had pulled her lips between her teeth to keep the broad, teasing smile from her face.

His own mouth twitched. “Stop it. I thought she was going to claw me or something for taking you away all day.”

“Oh, Auzzy. Were you afraid of little Wilson Phillips here?”

Wilson finished her affectionate assault and scampered out of sight.

“She’s bonded to me, right?” Alex crooned, the tone drawing his focus in a snap. She stepped forward and gripped his hand, pulling him toward the lift. “Well, she can probably sense how happy you made me today.”

Her bright smile was radiant, lighting him inside and out in her glow. She didn’t belong here in the dark underbelly of Sauven. She belonged in the sun, where the world shone as brightly as she did.

His purr built in his chest, and he waggled his brows. “Give me some more time, and I bet I could become her new favorite person.”

Alex burst out in melodic laughter. It rang through his chest, bolstering the intensity of his purr. He pulled her against him and took her mouth in a fierce kiss as they rode to the second floor and shuffled clumsily into her room. 

She gasped when he gripped her around the waist and tossed her onto the bed, tearing off his shirt before she hit the mattress. She giggled as she bounced and tugged her dress overhead. He’d just spent hours admiring her naked body, but he still couldn’t get enough.

He worked on the fastenings of his pants and internally thanked the Goddess for every square inch of her he beheld. Sliding off her underwear, she laid back, grinning and completely bared to him. That damn tightness squeezed around his chest again. Heat prickled down from his scalp to his shoulders at the sight of her wantonly parting her knees. A challenge glinted in her eyes.

Kicking off his pants, he braced his legs apart at the foot of the bed and took himself in hand, enjoying the view and the quick dilation of her pupils as she watched him stroke himself. Her small breasts, tipped with dark-brown nipples, jiggled as she took in a shaky breath. “Come here,” she demanded.

His foot twitched to obey despite himself, but he stayed his feet.

She frowned, letting out a huff to show her frustration.

Four thin tree trunks rose to the ceiling at each corner of her bed, acting as bedposts. Reaching for the two at the foot of her bed, he wrapped his palms around them and waited, an unspoken challenge.

Never could he do this with a Clecanian female. If he was asked to give pleasure and refused, demanding his own instead? Well, it wouldn’t turn out well for him. But Alex was not Clecanian. A fact he couldn’t imagine ever despairing over.

She smirked at him, and her mind behind her lovely brown eyes worked, deciding whether or not to submit. Then finally, she lifted onto her knees and crawled toward him, holding eye contact as her body swayed side to side in time with her progress. He watched her inch closer with rapt focus. His heart bashed against his chest, and blood pulsed through his raised arms and his shaft.

Lifting onto her knees on the bed before him, she gazed up. “You think you’re real slick, don’t you?”

He rumbled a chuckle and bent his head until their breaths mingled. “Not slick yet, gorgeous.”

She tried to smother it, but the grin that broke out over her face at the innuendo was too powerful. He loved that he could bring it out.

From his standing position, her eyes only reached his chest. She scooted a bit closer, purposefully brushing the head of his stiff cock over her low belly and causing him to hiss in a breath.

A hint of his precum glistened on her skin, and his grip tightened on the trunks. The posts had been great for showing off his cocky, relaxed stance, but now they were the only things holding him back from forgetting their game and pouncing on her.

Lifting her palms, she ran them over his chest, brushing his nipple with her pinky finger. He sucked in a breath and exhaled, his purr mixing with a growl. Her lips quirked. She let her palms wrap around his back and pulled herself closer to him, trailing soft kisses along his pecs and down his stomach.

She gave a short groan of appreciation when she reached his abs, kissing each one in turn and spreading her knees wide to get lower. By the time she licked the blackened portion of his markings on his thigh, he was all but gasping for air. Maybe this had been a bad idea; he was going to explode as soon as she breathed on his cock at this rate.

As if she knew exactly what she was doing to him, she paused and caught his gaze. With a small grin, she took him into her mouth. The buck of his hips was unexpected, as was the string of curses he let out at the feel of her tongue swirling around his head.

His arms began to shake with the effort not to crush the trees under his hands into pulp, but he couldn’t look away. Her dark brown hair fell in waves over her back, and her lashes were lowered, her cheeks hollowing as she sucked him deeper into her mouth. His fingers itched to bury themselves in her hair and feel the rocking of her head back and forth, but he didn’t trust himself not to squeeze too tightly.

When her hands reached farther around his back and her nails sank into each side of his ass, he knew she had to stop. Like lightning, his hand shot down and speared into her hair just like he’d imagined, but instead of feeling her move on him, he tugged her away.

She released him with a pop, breathing hard. Color burnished her cheeks and chest all the way down to her nipples. Gripping her hair a little tighter at her skull, he angled her gaze to meet his. She flashed him a grin. “You taste like sunshine.”

A harsh groan exploded out of him, and his mouth descended on hers with enough force to push them both into the soft mattress. He needed to be inside her, now. Snaking his hand between their bodies, he swirled his fingers around her core and moaned to find her already dripping and ready for him.

He sat up and grasped her hips, ready to flip her over, but she stilled him with a hand to his wrist. “No. Let’s stay this way.”

Confusion wracked his lust-dazed mind for a moment. “Really?”

She propped herself up on her arm and ran a thumb along his jaw, seeming entranced by it. Her brows drew together. “Yeah. Why? Don’t want to look at my face while we do it?” She played it off like a joke, but he could see the flash of insecurity behind the question.

Gripping her face with both his hands, he caught her gaze. “If I could only look at one thing as I lay dying, it’d be your face.” She rolled her eyes and grinned, clearly taking his heartfelt and very serious comment as an exaggeration. It was probably better if she thought of it that way, so he didn’t correct her. “I’ve just never had sex this way before.”

Her hand stilled while tracing the shell of his ear, and her eyes widened in shock. “Never?”

Heat raced up his neck, and the urge to explain away his inexperience flared. “Clecanian females have pleasure centers deep inside, not outside. The easiest way to reach it is from behind.”

Understanding relaxed her expression back into serene arousal. “Oh. Well then…” She laid back, crossing her arms above her head and stretching. Lifting one leg and then the other, she draped them over his thighs, then scooched forward until he was poised at her entrance. “It’s about time I blew your mind.”

He barked out a laugh. She preened at the sound. His mind had been blown by her since that first day in the forest when she’d kissed him.

Rather than pushing into her right away, he remained on his haunches, admiring the view. He let his palms slide along her thighs and then higher, watching as her nipples pebbled into hard points and the flush returned to her chest. Covering one breast with his palm, he dipped his head to the other one. The small freckle on her ribcage called to him, so he bent and kissed it, nuzzling the underside of her breast along the way.

With patience he didn’t know he had, he pressed into her core, tight and wet for him. She let out a moan of pleasure and buried her hand in his hair. Her grip tightened when he suckled her nipple into his mouth and swirled his tongue. She arched her back up to him so sweetly, rocking her hips to help bury him deeper.

When he was seated fully, he grazed his teeth over the side of her breast, nipping gently before moving to the other side. To keep her from writhing on his shaft any harder, he settled his weight on her, trapping her hips under his. But it didn’t have the intended effect. Her cry only intensified, and he realized with a wide grin that in this position, the small pleasure center at her opening had direct contact with his body. No wonder she liked it.

He pulled away and then thrust back into her, curling his hips until she shuddered. He was propped on his elbows, her face below him. She beamed at him, and something shifted in his chest. The smile playing at his lips faded, and he stilled.

Alex’s gaze grew concerned. Lowering to his forearms on either side of her shoulders, he framed her head with his hands and ran his gaze over her face, needing to look at her. Needing her to look at him. A wave of some astonishing emotion rocked him, but it took a moment to identify. It was love.

The feeling had always been there, just under the surface, yet something about this moment had caused it to roar to the forefront, no longer content to be ignored.

She must’ve seen it in his eyes because her grin faded too. They gazed at each other. Warmth and passion and tenderness sparking between them and turning the joining of their bodies into something…more.

He kissed her, a deep, slow kiss that had his throat tightening. Clutching at his neck, she kissed him back and wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him closer. At length, he drew out of her and began rocking into her with slow thrusts, angling his hips so the pressure never left her pleasure center.

The purr that broke from his chest was deep and resonate. She whimpered into his mouth and shuddered underneath him, her orgasm already so close. Her body stilled, and her lips parted against his on an inhaled breath. The rocking motion of his hips became rougher as he felt her muscles clench around him. He gazed down at her, not daring to blink. Her eyes were squeezed shut, and her brows were drawn together in an expression that almost looked like pain.

Then her lids flashed open, and she cried out, holding onto his back, her nails scoring a path down his spine. His shaft swelled inside her, the convulsions of her core too much for him to take. Slamming into her with his head buried against her cheek, he quickly found his own release. He roared against her hair as he came, pulsing inside her.

His chest heaved against her breasts, and he kissed each of her closed eyes. Then her cheeks, her temples, the lines around her mouth. And finally, her lips.

After a while, when their breathing settled, he rose from the bed and retrieved a cloth. She grinned at him with sleep already glazing her eyes as he cleaned them both up, like she’d never seen anything sweeter. Climbing into bed, he pulled her against his chest and extinguished the overhead light.

He wasn’t sure if this was how humans slept when they shared beds, but it was what he wanted. Her skin on his. The thrum of her pulse on his fingers circling her wrist.

He breathed in her scent and stared into the dark room. Whatever had just happened to him was indelible.

His career, his reputation. Did any of it matter to him as much as Alex did? The answer was clear. Her breathing deepened, and a surge of pride melted his bones, knowing she felt safe enough to fall asleep in his arms. That she wanted to fall asleep in his arms.

Movement was out of the question at the moment, but tomorrow he’d call his Queen. If sacrificing his job was what it took to be with Alex, he’d do it.

Deeper introspection gave him pause. He’d do it, sacrifice the life he’d grown used to…but only if it meant forever. He’d need to convince her to become a demskiv. To be shunned and sneered at by most of the Clecanian population for the rest of their lives.

He’d be treated even worse. Not only would he be considered a male who’d stolen a female away but one who’d stolen a human, someone else’s potential mate. Unless she turned out to be his. But that was unlikely. Some sign of recognition should’ve shown up already. Still…it wasn’t impossible.

The rush of emotion he’d experienced a few minutes ago felt like the mating pull—at least he assumed it did, but no marks covered his hands and his eyes hadn’t changed. Alex would’ve told him if they had. She knew the importance.

What if he quit and she agreed to be with him, and then someone else recognized her? His arms, wrapped around her body, squeezed too tightly, and she squeaked. He loosened his grip, but the dread boiling in his gut didn’t abate. Doubt rolled in.

He couldn’t do this with her. Not if it wasn’t forever. He could already see it now. What would the Traxian half of him do if another male came along, attempting to steal her away after they’d been together for months, years, decades? She could be recognized at any time.

And even if it never happened, if no one ever recognized her, he’d always be looking over his shoulder. Hiding her from view and urging her to stay inside, out of sight and scent of everyone else. What kind of life would that be for either of them?

Alex, so full of life and adventure, would grow to despise him if he cloistered her away. But what else could he do?

Let her go?


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