Thalia dreams of being rescued and claimed by handsome Alphan warriors. But her Xyran captor sets terrible traps for her potential saviors. When she takes matters into her own hands by stowing away on an Alphan ship, Thalia doesn't expect her welcome on Alpha to be contested by anti-human Purists or come with a deadline. Despite the help of her new friends, if she can't secure a bond in one week's time she'll be sent back to a dying Earth.
Be Warned: menage sex (MMF), double penetration, m/m play
"Lox," Summer said in a sing-song tone. "Say something before my new friend finds you rude."
"A pleasure," he forced out, his voice a low rumble from deep in his chest as he fought to contain the swell of desire for the woman he'd just met. It reminded him of the way he felt about Korsik. Not at all like what he'd felt for Summer, who he could now see his heart and mind understood to be his family—exactly as Vall had expressed.
They stood there for a moment, touching, scarcely breathing, staring into one another's eyes. Lox wanted to pull her into his arms, pin her to the side of the house, and—
"Did you see the sweater she's wearing is made from that fabric Korsik wove during the winter?" Summer once again grabbed his attention.
He let Thalia's hand slip from his grasp and took a difficult step back, away from her. She deserved better, and he was man enough to admit that fact to himself.
At the invitation, he took in the simple sweater in the familiar fabric, gaze lingering on the tantalizing shape of her full, round breasts. He nodded, looking up at Summer again and forcing a small smile. There was no need to act like he'd never seen a woman before, no matter how captivating Thalia's body. She was clever enough to have stowed away on an Alphan ship, which meant she was indeed deserving of great warriors who would bring her pride and more gems than she could count. Not some coward who could only gawk at her.
"Did you make it, Summer?" Lox cleared his gravelly throat and ignored Vall and Glyn mumbling to one another in the shade of the porch's roof, voices so low he couldn't catch what they were discussing.
"Yes! I'm still not that great at sewing, but it's fun. Like a puzzle." Summer nodded, then tucked a strand of loose hair behind her gem-studded ear. She moved closer to Thalia and linked their arms together, startling her guest. "Let's go inside and sit. I want to hear my men's story, don't you?"
"I should—" Lox began.
"We'll be very offended if you don't get your ass in the house and stop acting like we've brought home a plague," Glyn said. He arched his brows at Lox, then turned and tugged Vall through the front door.
"Do you have a problem with unclaimed women?" Thalia's dark brows scrunched together in clear agitation, her shapely lips drawn tightly together.
"No, it's not that," Lox said with a shake of his head. He opened his mouth, trying to think of something else to say to calm her, to prove his honesty on the matter. His body thrummed with the threat of a fight and the hidden potential for sex that he didn't want to believe was one sided. He'd heard the stories from his friends. Humans were as capable as Alphans of feeling the pull of desire to bond. He squared his shoulders and fixed her with the same hard look she'd trained on him. "I helped drive away those Purists. That should speak for my character."
"It speaks for your loyalty to your friends." Thalia took a half step closer, encroaching again on Lox's space, her neck craned upward gracefully in contrast to her wicked scowl. "Maybe that's all."
Summer tugged at her arm. "Thalia, don't…"
"Listen to your friend," Lox growled through his teeth and moved so close he could feel Thalia's warmth independent of early spring air. His skin tingled with anticipation that their bodies might crash together in passion—be it anger or lust—and his tesak threatened him painfully again, making his cheek flinch.
Her eyes searched his, her lips parted as she sucked in a sharp breath. Summer tugged at her arm again, and when she turned her head to look at her hostess, the spell was broken.