Using Fejo: Chapter 13

Vanessa had made up her mind. She was going to tell Fejo everything. After his outburst in the cafeteria, she’d been terrified—and rightly so. She’d never seen anybody react with such cool, controlled aggression before, and she’d both witnessed and been in her own share of fights. What he’d done had been calculated and efficient. But when he’d come to see her, she’d realized how torn he was.

He hadn’t felt guilty about hurting that man. That much had been clear from the hard set of his jaw when he’d talked about the horned guy. But that didn’t mean he’d enjoyed it either. And when he’d explained the reasons for his actions and vowed never to hurt her, she’d heard the honesty in his words.

He was playing a part. One, she now realized, he didn’t necessarily enjoy playing. He was the feared captain. The man everyone followed and respected because he’d built up his unforgiving alter ego.

Did that mean he wouldn’t be angry when she explained why she’d married him? No. But she couldn’t stomach lying to him anymore, and she truly believed he’d understand where she was coming from when she explained herself. Maybe he’d even help her contact Vitash after the sting wore off.

There was something vulnerable about Fejo. Something damaged that she empathized with. At every turn, he’d tried to be truthful with her, and it was becoming harder and harder not to like him. She couldn’t stand the idea of continuing to contribute to the harm that had forged him into what he now was.

Vanessa rose from her seat, glancing out the windows into deep space, and only felt a fleeting rush of fear in her gut. Fejo had done that. Underneath the bravado, he was caring and gentle. A good man.

Rising from her seat, she made her way to their room. Tomorrow they’d arrive at their first port stop, and at that time, she and Fejo would be on even footing. She stood outside their door and clutched the gem from the necklace he’d given her as trepidation set in. This was still a risk.

Trust was not something Vanessa gave easily, yet she found she wanted to trust Fejo. It’d only been a few days, but he’d worked himself under her skin. The longer she stayed here, lying, the harder for him it would be when she ran away. Telling him was the right thing to do.

When she walked through the door of their room, she didn’t immediately spot him.

She heard noise from her sleeping loft and called up to him. “Fejo?”

A tight “Up here” was all he said.

Fear coiled in her stomach. Walking up the stairs to the sleeping loft, she psyched herself up. She could do this. He might be mad at first, but she was sure he’d get over it eventually. Ninety percent sure. Maybe seventy-five percent. At least fifty. Yeah, she definitely had a fifty-fifty shot.

Halfway through climbing the last step, she spotted him. What she found had her head spinning and her palms sweating. He was seated on her bed, letters spread out before him, a translator glass clutched in his hand.

Fejo was staring a hole in the floor. An angry red flush colored his neck and face. She scanned his body and saw he’d removed his jacket but hadn’t yet removed the knives strapped to his torso. Her hand shook as she placed it on the railing, heart fluttering in her chest like a rabbit.

“I can explain those,” she said, her voice trembling.

She flinched as his fist clenched and he cracked the reading glass he was holding. That seemed to snap him out of it, though, because he opened his fist, letting the glass fall to the floor, and stood up, spinning toward her.

Her knees went wobbly, but he didn’t advance, so she was able to keep herself upright. A muscle ticked in his jaw and his brows cut downward, shuttering his eyes and his icy stare. Some of his hair had come loose from the bun at his nape as though he’d been running his fingers through it.

“Then explain,” he growled while glaring at her, knowing full well there was no better explanation than what he must’ve already worked out.

She mouthed at him, trying to find better words, but came up blank. Inching along the railing, she kept the bed between them. “I was coming to tell you right now. And…” A flare of indignation built her confidence. “And you shouldn’t have been snooping through my things anyway.”

He let out a humorless bark of laughter, put his hands on his hips, and spun, staring hard at the ceiling as though trying to rein in his temper. With slow, controlled steps, he turned back to her. “What were you going to tell me?” he asked, his voice rough.

She peered down at the letters and then back at him. He knew what they said, and he was smart enough to put two and two together. He crossed his arms over his chest, and she noticed he somehow looked bigger again.

“I want to hear you say it,” he barked when she didn’t answer.

She swallowed. “Those are from the humans in Tremanta. They’re letters to their families. I told them I’d…that I’d give them to their families when I…”

Before she could blink, he’d leapt and cleared the bed, landing in front of her. She backed up until her spine hit the railing and looked up at him. He crowded her, placing his hands on either side of her on the railing and boxing her in, then leaned down until they were a foot apart. “When you got back to Earth,” he finished for her. “And how were you planning on doing that?”

“I…uh…” Vanessa couldn’t think. All she saw was the anger flaring in his eyes. Her fears were confirmed. He was looking at her like she was the worst person in the world. Her chest constricted.

She deserved his anger, but he wouldn’t hurt her—would he? No. He wouldn’t. When he inched closer, though, his shoulders bunching and muscles tensing in the silence, doubt crept in.

“You were using me? Hitching a ride and seeing if I’d take you there? Or were you planning on running away?” His cold stare cut into her and the heat coming off his body made goose bumps race over her arms. His lip curled as if he saw the answer written on her face. “Is that why you were so interested in our schedule earlier? Which stop is it? How long? A few weeks? Days?”

“The Lentri Port,” she whispered.

His body stiffened, the muscles of his arms bulging as he gripped the railing. “Three days?” he shouted. “If I hadn’t canceled that stop, you would’ve left me three days after marrying me?”

Her heart rammed against her ribcage, about to explode out of her chest. He wouldn’t hurt her, would he? She angled her head over her shoulder and eyed the drop to the bottom of the room. When she turned back to him, the flash of his knives caught her eye and, without thinking, she grabbed one and held it to his stomach. She immediately regretted it.

His features hardened, his body growing rigid and still. He tilted his head to look down at where she held the knife point under his rib cage. Slowly, he raised his gaze back to meet hers and the corner of his mouth lifted in a bitter grin. “How long have you been planning this for? Since that day in the market?” he asked, not even bothering to acknowledge the blade.

Vanessa’s hand shook around the knife. He didn’t think she’d do it. “Move back,” she demanded in a voice that wasn’t as strong as she’d hoped. With a bit of pressure, she pushed the point of the blade into his shirt, so he knew she was serious.

His hand flew to her wrist, and he twisted her arm until she had no choice but to drop the knife with a yelp. Then he trapped both of her hands under each of his and placed them back on either side of her body at the railing.

“How long?” he asked again.

“A…a week,” Vanessa pushed out before the words stuck in her throat. She couldn’t seem to think of anything else to say.

“And what now that your plan is ruined? Is that why you were coming to tell me the truth? Because you had no other choice? Were you going to ask me to help you abandon your husband?”

What could she say? He wasn’t wrong, but those facts weren’t the whole truth. His bitter words made her sound so heartless and selfish. Her throat clogged.

She focused on the blank, stony expression, so out of place on Fejo’s face. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking, and it was driving her crazy. The air was thick with tension while they stared at each other in heated silence.

After a few more moments passed, his body seemed to relax, his grip on her hands loosening, though he didn’t let her go. He stood up a little straighter and raised a brow at her. “Ask, then,” he demanded. His tone didn’t hold as much bite as it had before. This time, it was challenging.

Ask what? She thought for a moment. Then she realized what he must’ve meant. “Fejo,” she began, “would you consider helping me? I really need to get back to my sister. She’s—”

He held up a hand, interrupting her. He straightened to his full height and leveled her with a hard gaze. “What do I get?”

He looked her up and down, his eyes growing heated. Her heart beat faster and the last dregs of fear running through her veins were replaced with a sudden heat. She shouldn’t be excited to make this kind of deal with him, but her body hadn’t gotten that memo.

The relief of having Fejo look at her with something other than anger or hurt drove all reason away. She wanted to give him whatever he needed in this moment. Her hands itched to reach out, pull him close, and tell him how sorry she was. That she’d hated lying to him.

She echoed the words she’d spoken earlier in the space-viewing room when he’d been sweet and supportive and earnest. “What do you want?”

He frowned as though he was disappointed with her. It was odd to see Fejo frowning, but the expression made him no less gorgeous than before. He closed the distance between them and crouched, running his hands over the backs of her thighs. Her breaths came in short pants and she gripped the railing. His gaze remained locked on her, then he lifted her until she was perched on the railing and clutching his neck to keep from falling backward.

Distantly, she registered his arm wrapped around her waist, but the adrenaline rushing through her veins spiked all her senses into overdrive. Both her fear and arousal doubled and fed off each other.

He inhaled deeply and let out a soft growl. “I want you to kiss me, Vanessa,” he murmured, staring down at her.

Despite herself, she licked her lips and her eyes flew to his mouth. She could do this. She wanted to do this. Arching her back, she leaned up toward him as far as she could go, then wrapped her hand around his neck and pulled his lips down to meet hers.

He groaned and opened to her, tightening the arm around her waist and deepening the kiss. His hands roamed over her body boldly, in a way they hadn’t before. Vanessa’s breasts grew heavy, and she pressed into him to relieve the pressure.

The sheathed knives strapped to his torso were hard against her chest. So potentially dangerous, yet safe at the moment, holstered. Kind of like Fejo. She dug her fingers into his shoulder and ran her hand down his other arm.

With a ragged hiss, he pulled back, and she recalled the lines on the sides of his arms were sensitive. He studied her for only a second longer, then lifted and spun her around, setting her on her feet, her back to the bed.

“Take off your clothes,” he ordered, leaning back against the railing, his eyes riveted to her body. Her fingers twitched.

This was more than just a kiss. How far was he going to take this? It occurred to her she should care, but she didn’t. Since the testing, she’d been holding back from him, knowing it was wrong to sleep with him while lying to him. But now he knew.

She’d never undressed for someone like this. It’d always just happened in the heat of the moment. But something about Fejo watching with such intensity made heat curl in her belly. She moved to remove her necklace first but stopped when he gave a small shake of his head. Instead, she clutched the hem of her shirt.

His eyes fixed on her breasts as she lifted her shirt away. He licked his lips, and a bolt of electricity shot to her clit. She shimmied off her maroon pants along with the three sets of underwear she’d been wearing and straightened, completely bare in front of him. His lids slid closed, and he inhaled deeply. A rumble of satisfaction sounded from his chest as if she were the best-smelling thing in the world.

He opened his eyes again and nodded behind her. “Lie back.”

A gut reaction told her to argue. Vanessa didn’t like being bossed around. She hated it, in fact. So why did she find herself falling back on the bed a millisecond after he stopped speaking?

From this height, she had a clear view of the hard outline of his shaft straining beneath the fabric of his pants. Flashing images of what he’d looked like without any clothes on ran through her mind, and her hands itched to undress him. He took a few steps closer. Fluttering erupted in her belly at the sight of him prowling toward her.

Bending over her, he took hold of her ankles and pulled her forward until her knees hung over the edge of the bed. His chest was rising and falling with great big inhales now.

“Spread your legs,” he said, voice gone raspy. She inched her knees apart. “Wider,” he growled. She spread her legs fully and felt heat crawling up her skin. How could she be so embarrassed and so turned on at the same time?

Probably because of the hunger in his eyes as his narrowed gaze slithered over every exposed inch of her body. Any self-doubt she might’ve had was snuffed out under Fejo’s adoring scrutiny.

He crouched down on the floor and placed both of his palms on her waist, applying firm pressure and making it clear she couldn’t rise. His focus on her core was unwavering. She almost felt as if he were heating her skin with just his eyes. Her pussy clenched, her nipples gone so hard they ached. She balled her hands at her sides, not knowing if he wanted her to touch him or not.

His hand drifted lower, and he ran a finger along her core. She squirmed and let out a moan at the sensation. She was throbbing now, and as he lowered his face to her entrance, she wondered if he could see her pulsing with need. She fisted the covers, not caring about the low moans of anticipation she let out with each breath.

His fingers curled and tightened on her waist a moment before his mouth descended on her. She let out a gasp. With one smooth lick, he traced the seam of her sex with his hot tongue until he reached her clit, where he pressed a firm, wet kiss.

Vanessa threw her head back and let out a whimper but darted her gaze back down to him when the pressure didn’t continue. She found him sitting back and staring at her with an inscrutable expression. He stood, angling his body over hers, and kissed her. A hard, open-mouthed kiss that made her toes curl. She could taste herself on his tongue. Her flavor mingled with his own warm, sweet taste, and she arched her back to get closer.

But then he stood.

She sat upright, head buzzing with confusion. “Where are you going?”

“Out,” he threw over his shoulder as he swiped his coat from the railing and descended the steps. He turned to look up at her from the floor below. She was still sitting on the bed, but she’d closed her legs and was fighting not to cover the rest of her exposed body.

The heat that scorched her cheeks spread down her chest and neck. “But I thought we—”

“You thought you could trade your body for a trip back to Earth,” he finished, a muscle ticking in his jaw. “You thought I was the type of male to make such a deal. I don’t like to be used, Vanessa,” he growled while crossing to the exit. He typed something into the panel at the door. Before her brain could catch up with her ears, he was gone.

Realization set in, and Vanessa’s flush turned into an angry fire burning under her skin. He’d embarrassed her on purpose. With a short hiss, she snatched her clothing from the ground and dressed. She was mortified and livid and fucking horny, and if Fejo thought he could get away with that, he had another thing coming.

She stormed to the door, ready to sprint after him screaming like a banshee if that was what it took, but the door remained closed. She pressed her palm to the hidden lock again. Nothing.

Fingers curling into fists at her sides, she aimed a deadly glare at the door. He. Didn’t. Fucking. Dare.

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