We are taking book requests on our companion website. You can request books here. Make sure, you are following the rules.

Using Fejo: Chapter 22

Vanessa’s breathing finally evened out, and she turned to Fejo. His eyes had slid closed and, though his breathing was as heavy as hers, a contented smile curled on his face. His lids slowly rose, and he focused on her.

He didn’t say anything, just pulled her against his chest and trailed his fingers over her back. They laid there like that for a long time, basking in the glowing bubble of contentment they both floated in. A small ping from the communicator on the ground echoed through the tranquil room.

Fejo let out a small groan but rolled, taking Vanessa with him, and retrieved the device.

“Problems?” she asked.

He sighed and tossed the communicator onto the bed beside him. “We’ll be approaching Vulstrata Port in a few hours. We’ve already requested the items we need, so it should be a stop-and-go visit.”

The nagging voice in Vanessa’s head that kept reminding her of all the things she had to do rather than all the things she wanted to do emerged out of its temporary coma. This was a port stop, and she didn’t know when the next would be. She hated to have to bring it up in this perfect moment, but she had no choice.

“Is there a pilot down there who might be willing to travel to Earth? Or maybe I could call Alice and arrange for Vitash to come pick me up here?” she asked, not knowing what she wanted his answer to be. She didn’t want to leave Fejo. Not yet. Not when they were just starting to be real with each other.

A small growl rumbled in Fejo’s throat, and his arm around her shoulders tightened. He rolled onto his back, eyes closed. “No. You’ll be staying here.”

Determination tempered the relief sparking in her. “Fejo…we talked about this—”

“I’m taking you to Earth,” he rumbled in a resigned tone.

Vanessa popped up onto her elbow and peered down at Fejo’s gorgeous face. It was the best possible option. One she’d forced herself to not count on or hope for in order to guard herself from disappointment. “Really?”

He opened one eye and studied her before closing it again. She saw a flicker of a smile. “We were already on our way there when our maps malfunctioned.”

Her jaw dropped. At length, the weight of what he was saying registered. He’d decided to take her back before any of this. Before she’d almost drowned in the pool. Before his marks had appeared. And before she’d agreed to stay with him. Warmth seeped into her chest and made her heart ache with happiness.

Something in Vanessa shifted. A part of her had broken away and was now irretrievably imbedded in Fejo. They belonged to each other, and Vanessa knew then and there that despite the ridiculousness of it, she was falling for him. Hard and fast.

A tight ball formed in her throat. Her instincts screamed at her to run. She pushed them down. Not this time. Instead, she leaned over, letting her eyes well, and pressed a long, lingering kiss to his lips. Fejo groaned underneath her and cupped her cheek. His eyes opened when she pulled away.

“Thank you,” she whispered despite her clogged throat.

“You’re my mate. You don’t have to thank me,” he whispered back, gently running his thumb over her cheek.

Vanessa grinned and sank her head onto his chest, stupidly happy at the small reminder they were mates. “Bad idea to tell me that. I don’t hand out thank-yous often as it is.” She grinned, trying to break up some of the heavy emotion flaring in her with humor. Fejo’s chest rumbled with his chuckle. “Besides, you decided before we were mates.”

“True,” he sighed out. “I will accept both verbal and nonverbal thanks in that case.”

Vanessa gave his side a small pinch, making sure not to touch his sensitive marks. She trailed her finger down the side of the brown mark and noticed his skin was different there. Bumpier almost, as if he had three times as many pores in those lines. “Why are these so sensitive?” she asked, voracious for information about him.

A small purr rattled through his chest as she continued to run her fingers over his body, tracing the dips and swells of his muscles. “They help me navigate in the water. They pick up vibrations, temperature shifts, things like that.”

She recalled what both he and Uja had told her. “Did those scientists explain all that to you?”

The vibration of his purr stopped. “No.” His hollow tone made her teeth clench.

Fejo was the only one of his kind. What must it have been like to have lines like these but not know what they were or why they felt so different from the rest of his body? Vanessa kept her head on Fejo’s chest, knowing she always had an easier time talking about painful things when she wasn’t being stared at. “Uja mentioned you ran away from them at some point.”

The muscles under her cheek stiffened. “Oh, he did, did he?”

Vanessa licked her lips. “You don’t have to tell me.”

His chest expanded, and he let out a deep exhale. His fingers wrapped around her wrist, now resting on his chest. “Keep touching me, and I’ll tell you.”

She grinned and continued to brush her fingers over his skin. The tightness in his body lessened.

“The geneticists who made me were very interested in testing me. They wanted to learn everything they could about how my body worked, and they weren’t exactly…gentle. When I was eleven, I overheard them talking about the kind of testing they wanted to try once I hit puberty. I escaped the next day.”

Vanessa’s fingers paused and her jaw clenched. She could just imagine the testing those motherfuckers had been planning. He squirmed underneath her, and she moved her hand again. “What happened after?” Vanessa tried to keep the curiosity out of her voice, but Uja had implied Fejo’s life after leaving the lab hadn’t been much better.

“I’m from a city in the middle of the sea made up of thousands of islands. The people there are Huvuitian, like Uja. Many have private homes on islands and fly to the community islands when they need to. I swam away from the island I was born on, but I got lost. Eventually, I washed up on a private residence on the outskirts of Huvuita. The male who lived there found me and took me in.”

Vanessa couldn’t help herself. She raised her head and peered at Fejo. It was clear to her that he was revealing far less than he was saying. His voice was heavy with all those unsaid things.

He met her expectant gaze, his expression tight. “You don’t need to hear the rest. It’s not a happy story.”

She reached up and ran her fingers through the hair at his temple. “I don’t want to hear it, but I also do. Like you said, you’re my mate now. I want to know everything about you. I also want to know who I need to add to my mental kill list.”

A grin spread over Fejo’s face. “Are you going to kill them for me, little mate?”

Her chin dropped onto his chest and she pursed her lips. “I will eviscerate them in my imagination.”

Fejo’s grin widened, then he sighed and stared up at the ceiling. “Dawten. That was the name of the male who found me. He lived on that island in a large compound with many others who worked for him. They were in the smuggling business. At first, he was kind. He gave me food and a place to sleep. He treated me like family.”

Fejo’s brows drew together as he continued. “I started to work for him, hiding the most valuable of the stolen goods in small caves in the ocean around the islands. Places no one else could get to.” His jaw worked, tensing and untensing. “There was a school of Hitha that started to track me in the water. They attacked a few times. I told Dawten I didn’t want to do it anymore, that I was too scared. That’s when he changed.”

“He forced you to keep going down there?” Vanessa all but hissed.

Her tone caught Fejo’s attention, and he peered at her with a half grin, pleased by the venom in her voice.

“He did. I was confused at first. He’d made me believe I was family. I went from eating at his table with him and his daughter every night to eating alone in a small room on the other side of the compound. I realized later that when he’d found me, he’d only seen potential uses. His kindness stopped the day I refused to do what he wanted.”

“What happened to him?” In her mind, she was slicing off a faceless man’s wings at that moment.

Fejo gulped. “I killed him.”


He lifted a brow at her.

She rolled her eyes and in an admonishing voice said, “Oh no. That’s terrible. Killing is bad. Et cetera, et cetera.” Her heart lifted at the light chuckle he let out. “What made you kill him rather than run away again?”

Just like that, Fejo’s face fell, his dark eyes growing cold and his mouth pulling into a grimace. “His daughter, Klinara.”

The woman Uja had told her about. The one who was apparently controlling her mate.

“She was always around in the compound, but I wasn’t supposed to talk to her much. Even during dinner, she was always so quiet. But when Dawten would go on trips, she’d come find me. She’d bring me special foods I used to like and talk with me. After a while, she started to confide in me. Tell me about how horrible her father was to her. How he wouldn’t let her leave to go to the city school and how he hurt her.” Fejo let out a derisive snort. “I don’t rightly know if any of it was true, but at the time, I believed her.

“We started seeing each other in secret. We’d have sex, and she’d talk about our future. How one day when her father was finally gone, we’d run his business and have a child and reveal our relationship to everyone. I don’t know how it happened, but she somehow convinced me to kill him. And I did. She snuck me into his room one night, and I slit his throat.”

Fejo shook his head, his whole body rigid and ringing with anger. “After he was dead, she told everyone he’d attacked her and she’d killed him. For a very long time, I thought she’d said it to protect me, but it was to keep me under her thumb. Her visits to my room stopped, as did her talk of a relationship. She took over her father’s business. Whenever I got close to leaving for good, she’d use my lingering affection against me. When that didn’t work, she’d threaten to tell authorities what I’d done. Her excuse was always that she couldn’t live without me. I believed that for far too long.”

“Why are you still working for her?” Vanessa’s fingers balled into fists. Her body thrummed with white-hot rage.


His mate looked like she was about to burst into flames. Her eyes were narrowed and livid, and her pulse pounded through her so hard he could feel it thrumming against his skin. Though his past was hard to talk about, it wasn’t as painful as it used to be. It was more embarrassing than anything. The way he’d so easily trusted everyone who’d shown him an ounce of kindness was humiliating when he thought back on it. But any old wounds he had were rapidly scarring over at Vanessa’s murderous expression.

He rolled to his side and propped his head on his hand. “Mentally eviscerating her for me, lovely?”

She pursed her lips and sat up, crossing her arms. “Is she still threatening you? Because you give me five minutes alone—”

Lifting himself up, he silenced her with a kiss. “No need. I’ll be free of her soon enough.”

He’d already decided to explain the current state of his life to Vanessa, and now seemed like as good a time as any. As he described his agreement with the Queen and the current job Klinara had him running, Vanessa’s jaw slackened.

When he was done, her eyes grew unfocused, as if she was thinking hard on something. “Do you think the two men she hired had something to do with the maps being messed with?”

Fejo shrugged, eyeing the exposed parts of Vanessa he could see through the blanket she was covering herself with. “I’m not disregarding the idea, but I can’t think of any reason they’d want to. If they’re working for her, their goal will be to ensure the package is delivered safely and quickly. Why would they stall us?”

Vanessa chewed her lip in thought, and he took the opportunity to tug the blanket from her hands.

“Hey!” A surprised smile came to life on her face as he dragged her against him. “We’re talking about something serious.”

He dipped his head into the curve of her neck and inhaled. Injecting his voice with a fake despair, he sighed. “Yes, and it’s been harrowing. This makes me feel better.” She giggled as he flipped her onto her back and pressed kisses along her collarbones.

“With acting like that, I don’t know how you managed to remain a spy.”

When he nipped at her breast, then gave her hard nipple a solid lick, she gasped and buried her hands in his hair. To his dismay, she used that grip to pull his head up.

“Shouldn’t we be getting ready for the port?”

Fejo grinned. He could already smell her arousal building. He moved farther up her body and snaked a hand between them until his fingers found her tight core. She let out a moan when he dipped a finger inside. “You won’t take long.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


not work with dark mode