Rae tried to think of the best way to answer Kat without freaking her out, but before she could say anything, Ferrix stood and made his way around the kitchen island to greet her friend. He walked like a panther on the prowl, smooth and silent, a killer.
Ferrix leaned in and sniffed the air. “I’m Ferrix, and this is Nin and Xavi. We’re from Erion, and it is my pleasure to meet you.”
“I’m Kat.” She extended her hand for a handshake.
Ferrix gently took her hand and kissed its back as if he were a chivalrous knight rather than an alien. His cheekbones were high, and his chin squared. His eyes were the color of cold steel, a gray-blue, like the gun barrel of a deadly rifle.
Kat’s smile was wide. “Well, that’s certainly a first. Where did you guys say you were from?”
“They’re from Finland,” Rae blurted out, but Nin responded simultaneously, “We’re from the fourth planet in a solar system that is twenty light-years from Earth.”
Kat laughed. “You’re punking me, right?”
“Punking you?” Ferrix’s voice was quizzical.
“I mean, you’re joking. You’re kidding around.” Kat glanced from Ferrix to Nin to Rae and back to Ferrix again.
Rae shook her head and took a sip of her coffee. “I’m afraid they’re not. Take a look at the backyard.”
Kat clutched her towel as if it were a life preserver and moved past them to the sliding glass door leading onto the patio next to the pool. Her mouth dropped open. “Holy shit!”
“Yeah. Wait until you hear about their mission.” Rae rolled her eyes.
Kat spun around, staring at Ferrix. “You’re on a mission?”
Nin answered instead. “We crashed during landing. We’re on a mission to save our planet, and our species is on the verge of extinction if we fail.”
“Yes, we need to find mates to bear our offspring.” Xavi’s face was deadpan.
Rae shook her head. “They expect me to drop everything and mate with a stranger. Isn’t that the craziest thing you’ve ever heard?”
Kat was silent for a moment, seeming to consider it. Then she regarded Ferrix evenly. “Crazy? It’s not crazy. They’re fighting to save their planet and species and doing what they need to fix a problem. That’s very brave.”
Rae’s mouth dropped open. Kat had been a party girl in college, but she was usually the sensible one in their friend group. Shock rippled through Rae when Kat agreed with the aliens and didn’t think their mission was weird. “Kat, you can’t be serious!”
Kat winked and stepped around the kitchen island, her eyes focused on Ferrix. She walked forward as if on a mission of her own. His gaze followed her hips as Kat closed the distance between them with a few strides. Her finger traced a curvy line over Ferrix’s bicep. The tip of her pink-painted fingernail stopped at his shoulder, and Kat looked deep into his eyes. His nostrils flared in response. “So, tell me, what are we doing today? How can I help you with your mission?”
“Kat! Really?” Rae didn’t want Kat to become one of their prospective mates. Kat was one of the kindest, most selfless women she knew. She also had a boyfriend who was in sales but spent a lot of time on business trips.
Kat tilted her head, narrowed her eyes slightly, and looked at Ferrix with a smile. “You know, you’re cute for an alien.”
Ferrix groaned, leaning forward and inhaling Kat’s scent. “You do not know what you do to me.”
Her smile was sultry as she traced her finger down his shoulder and over his upper arm. “Oh, I think I do.”
Rae’s cell phone made a variety of beeps and vibrated with an incoming text message. She glanced down at the screen and sighed. There would be no way to get out of the client meeting, considering the text Basil sent her. Rae didn’t want to leave Kat alone with three sexy aliens, but from how Kat was eyeing Ferrix, maybe she should be more concerned for him. “Shit. I’m late, and I’ve gotta go to work. Are you going to be okay if I leave you with them?”
Kat laughed. “Yeah, I’ll be fine. They seem to be harmless.”
“We will watch over and protect her. You have our word,” Ferrix promised.
Rae sighed. “I was planning on picking up some clothes from the mall on my way home, and I’m going to take them out for dinner later. I want to show them around and help them meet people.” Rae wanted to distract Nin from his original proposition.
Kat’s mouth curled upward into a grin. “I can take them shopping. Besides, if you need to meet some local women, I’m just the gal for the job. We’ll go out later when Rae gets home from work.”
“I would be most appreciative.” Ferrix’s voice was deep, carrying the sound of sliding gravel, crackling twigs, and dry leaves coming to life.
“Why don’t I show you where the shower is, and you can get cleaned up?” Kat motioned for Ferrix to follow her.
Ferrix appeared flustered but followed Kat out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Kat wasn’t the type to jump into something with a guy immediately, but she had an adventurous streak.
Rae glanced at Nin. “Promise me that she’ll be okay with him.”
“I can assure you my brother is a gentleman, especially compared to the rest of us.” Nin’s gaze dropped to her neckline again. “But I make no promises about what Ferrix will do if she keeps tempting him.”
“Okay, fair enough.” A flush of heat rushed to her cheeks. Rae glanced out to the backyard where the spaceship sat next to the pool. Her neighbors left for work before she did, but they would be home later. The flying vehicle would not go unnoticed. “You have to do something about that.” She pointed to the ship.
Nin tapped the touch screen on the digital screen on his wrist. “F.U.C.K.D.E.E.P, cloak the ship.”
The light around the ship flickered, and the spaceship completely disappeared.
“Thank you. I’ll be back later.” Rae hesitated. Giggling echoed down the stairs on Rae’s way out the front door, and she wasn’t so sure about leaving, but the other option ended with her getting fired.
* * *
Kat was always attracted to guys who didn’t fit the machismo stereotype. She’d never been into bros. Something about the artsy ones, the weirdos, the sensitive, or in this case, alien, appealed to her. Ferrix was beyond sexy, but she was dating Rick. A pang of loneliness hit her unexpectedly. Kat ran a successful online Etsy business making earthy-looking jewelry that kept her busy. She went out with friends regularly, but it’d been two months since she and Rick had even been on a date.
Kat smiled over her shoulder. “You can use the bathroom in my bedroom. We’ll do something about your wardrobe before we go out for dinner. I can’t have you going out looking like a warrior.”
A shiver of excitement raced through her body as Ferrix followed her into the bedroom. His eyes darkened. Kat felt a bond with him that she couldn’t explain. Yet what that connection meant, she couldn’t comprehend. There was a canyon of space between her mind and heart, and in that gap lay an undiscovered continent so mysterious and vast she wanted to explore every inch.
Ferrix grinned. “I am a warrior. This attire suits me perfectly.”
She grinned back at him. “Yes, but a more casual look might be better for a dinner date. Don’t you think?”
“Agreed.” Ferrix paused, and then his voice turned somber. “We are here to save our planet, and you’re helping us in more ways than you can imagine.”
“I’m helping you?”
“Yes. We need to find mates, and you’re the first woman we’ve met since coming to your world. You accepted us without fear. You are a strong woman who is resourceful and selfless...”
Her lips parted, and her tongue darted out as she wet her lips. “How can you say that about me? We’ve only just met.”
“I can sense things in your mind. I cannot influence you or control the situation, but we are cerebral and sensitive to thoughts and can put you at ease,” Ferrix explained.
Kat swallowed. “Is that why you’re so easy to be around? Why do I feel safe around you...”
“I would never hurt you.” His voice was deep and low.
Kat approached the alien slowly, her hand extended as they stood in her bedroom. She reached out and touched the skin of his forearm. His skin was smoother than she imagined, like a statue of a god. “You’re not what I imagined.”
Ferrix took her hand in his, and again, he kissed its back. “I’m so glad to meet you, Kat. Thank you for your hospitality and for allowing us to join you for dinner tonight.”
A slow smile curved her mouth. She placed her hand on Ferrix’s chest. Kat pushed against his chest until he sat on the edge of the bed. She licked her lips; her tongue darted out and moistened the pink flesh. Kat dropped the towel, and it slid to the floor. Her bare flesh glistened with moisture. Her nipples puckered and peaked, points of pink and brown. She climbed into Ferrix’s lap, wrapping her generous hips around him.
“I’ll be your mate.” Kat flashed a seductive smile as she wrapped her arms around his neck.