Nin followed her. Rae’s home was decorated as he would expect a human habitat, or at least from the photos F.U.C.K.D.E.E.P pulled up when Nin was researching potential mating grounds. He was anxious to learn more about her. It was imperative to his mission and their species that he find a mate, and Rae was an attractive woman. His gaze followed her generous swaying hips as she walked into a large open kitchen with an island in the middle. Nin had never visited a human home before, but he was a quick study.
“So, you’re from Erion?” Rae poured a cup of coffee for each of them.
“Yes.” Nin couldn’t take his eyes off her as she moved about the kitchen. Her curvy hips swiveled and swayed with each step like waves in an ocean, her bottom a perfect round bulge. The slight curve of her waist led to soft mounds of flesh threatening to overflow from her shirt.
Rae studied his face. “I’ve never heard of that. Where is it?”
“We’re from the fourth planet in a solar system that is twenty light-years from Earth. It gets sweltering back home.” Ferrix gave her a slight smile meant to be reassuring.
Rae laughed. “It gets hot here, too.”
Xavi wrinkled his nose. “I find your planet very wet, and the air is too moist, but I expected as much from the data during my research.”
“Oh? Research? Were you studying at a university on Erion? Wait. Does your planet have universities?”
Nin shook his head. “We don’t. Universities and book learning are not necessary for us. Our brains are hardwired to acquire new information, and we have updated knowledge and skills uploaded into our brains via a neural interface called MIT (Mind Integration Technology).”
“That’s... interesting. So, are you a scientist?”
“Yes, in a way. Our training prepared us for this mission.” Nin evaded her question. He was more of a geneticist, but his work was complex, and even though he didn’t understand their customs, he was sure that Earth girls wouldn’t be interested in the details. The only thing that Erion women cared about was that he was a prince who would rule their planet one day. He preferred working to help save Erion and would happily pass the kingship along to his brother Ferrix if only that were possible.
Rae’s cheeks flushed. Her scent had a sweet, tart, and musky combination. Nin couldn’t place the fragrance but found it enthralling. It stirred a primal need to claim her. Nin pushed down the mating energy building inside of him.
She cleared her throat. “Yes, you mentioned your mission.”
“Do all Earth women wear leg coverings.” Ferrix gestured to Rae’s pantsuit.
Rae laughed. “Yes, I prefer pants to dresses, but usually I’m not this formal. I have clients coming in this afternoon, and I’m debating whether I should reschedule. I have no idea what to do with the three of you, and it’s not like I was expecting visitors from another planet as part of my plan for the day.”
Xavi frowned, his gaze dropping to her pants. “I’m not sure I like leg coverings.”
“I’m not going to apologize for that anymore.” Rae’s voice hardened.
Nin focused on her thoughts, shooting Xavi a look. “We didn’t mean to offend you.”
Her eyes narrowed when she thought of her ex-husband. Nin focused harder on her thoughts. The man had been controlling with money, and his mother was always gifting hand-me-downs that never fit or looked right on Rae. Nin sensed her pain, like a dull ache that settled around her heart. He felt a deep need to pair bond with her and erase the memory that brought her so much pain.
“I spent too much time trying to be what other people or society thinks I should be.” Rae raised her shoulders; indifference and annoyance marred her face.
Nin could relate. So many expectations and demands came with being a crowned prince of Erion.
Xavi’s eyebrows rose. “What do you mean?”
Nin sighed. Xavi could be so incredibly dense sometimes. He was as clueless with Erion women as Earth women, and Xavi had never been nearly as skilled at scanning their minds.
Rae paused as if weighing her words and held back her thoughts about her ex-husband, but Nin had seen the damage inside her mind. “I’m not sorry if I offend your delicate sensibilities. But I’ll have you know that what I’m wearing is considered quite fashionable, and it might be vintage, but Chanel is classic.”
Nin smiled at her. She looked like she could slay all day and appeared as formidable as any Erion woman in her ‘Chanel.’ He couldn’t help but like her, especially how she put Xavi in his place. Rae moved around the kitchen with confidence he admired. It was refreshing. She had no idea he was a prince and didn’t fall all over herself or act like a vapid woman who worshiped the ground he walked on.
“I have never been offended by a woman’s skin or body. I find Earth females very attractive, or at least the ones I’ve met so far.” Nin smiled, flirting with her, wanting to see her reaction.
Rae cleared her throat. “So, how do you plan to accomplish your mission to find a mate?”
Both of the other males turned to stare at her.
Ferrix nodded. “Well, we hope to see all of you naked, access your fertility, and engage in pair bonding. Find a true bond, a mate for life.”
Rae’s eyes widened, and her lips parted.
“I believe I have found my mate,” Nin added, looking straight at her. He’d known Rae was his mate from the moment he smelled her pheromones. The markings on his chest had illuminated, stinging his skin. Mating energy shot through every part of his body, creating an embarrassing flush on his cheeks. Rae was his fated mate, the only woman in the universe who could satisfy him.
Her mouth dropped into a small O, perfect white teeth gleaming up at him. But her scent filled his senses, her arousal drawing him to her curves like a beacon.
* * *
“How can you possibly know that?” Parts of Rae that had gone without attention for quite some time tingled and contradicted the words coming out of her mouth.
“I can sense it. You’re my mate.” Nin’s eyes gleamed. “We are fated for each other.”
Rae heard her own muffled breathing, excited, aroused, and sexually frustrated. “And what if I’m not? Do you kidnap Earth women, take them to Erion, and mate with them? Is that what you’re going to do to me?”
“The thought has crossed my mind.” Nin’s voice tightened.
“We only take willing mates for pair bonding,” Ferrix explained, but it didn’t give Rae good vibes.
“Well, that’s certainly a relief. I’m flattered, but I’m not interested in a relationship.”
“I don’t understand.” Nin stood in front of her, his broad shoulders square, his biceps bulging under his arms, and his heavy thighs straining his pants.
Rae laughed. “What’s not to understand? I’m not interested in getting involved with anyone right now, and I’ve been through a nasty divorce, so I’m not interested in getting romantically involved again.”
Xavi wrinkled his face. “Divorce? What does divorce mean?”
Rae sighed. “It means when two people split up because of irreconcilable differences.”
Nin was silent for a moment. “How could you not be interested in a relationship? Do you have any children?”
“No. I have my career, friends, and family, and I’m not interested in anything else.” Rae took another sip of her coffee.
Disbelief darkened Nin’s face. “I hate to say this, but that statement is something I find difficult to comprehend and contrary to my research and our mission.”
“What do you mean?”
Nin touched the digital display on his wristband. “F.U.C.K.D.E.E.P, pull up the research I integrated seven days ago.” He reached across the kitchen island, showing her the display. A copy of Good Housekeeping titled “The Best of the 1950s” appeared on the screen.
Rae almost spewed her coffee across the counter. Everything about them was so bizarre, and she burst out laughing. The other two males were staring at her again, and power emanated from them. The air around the aliens crackled with raw energy trapped in her kitchen, which felt small with the muscular men gazing at her with such intensity. If their ideas about Earth women weren’t so archaic, she would’ve found it intimidating instead of laugh-out-loud funny.
“I think your research is a little outdated,” Rae said when she finally managed to stop laughing.
Nin’s voice hardened. “Our species is running out of time, and we need to find mates and pair bond. Our society is dying out. If we fail in our mission, there will be no planet for us to return to and no one to pass on our knowledge. Our species will become extinct.”
“So, I’m supposed to be flattered because you want to mate with me, and you expect me to go along with it. Just because your species is dying out?”
Ferrix narrowed his eyes at her. His mouth formed a thin, straight line. “No, we’re not expecting you to go along with anything. The choice is yours. I’m telling you that if you mate with my brother, you will survive, and your children will, too. Our species mates for life and form a most loyal allegiance. It will be a great contribution to ensuring the survival of our world. Breeding is crucial to our mission. I’m very serious about this matter, which is nothing to laugh about.”
“I’m sure you are.” Rae tried to keep her voice firm, not wanting them to understand how crazy they sounded.
“Do you wish to deny our charge? There are other fertile women on the planet,” Xavi shrugged.
Rae laughed. “Yes, I think I will deny your charge. I’m sure you’ll find someone else.”
“There is no other.” Nin’s insistence was alarming.
Rae’s mind was racing. “What do you mean? There must be another woman.”
Ferrix shook his head. “No, there are fewer fertile women than fertile males. And of course, our mission is to find a fertile mate.”
Rae needed to persuade them that she was the last woman on Earth suited for their “mission.” Maybe she could help them find someone else, someone who would be open to bearing an alien baby. She ran through the shortlist of girlfriends and came up empty.
“Listen, I’ve got to get to work, and I need to meet with clients this afternoon. I could take you out and help you meet women, but you’ll need to change clothes because I’m not taking you out looking like that.” Rae waved toward what they were wearing, which looked militant. “And you’ve got to do something about your ship in my yard because it will attract attention you don’t need.”
“That’s acceptable. We will change and take care of the ship,” Nin promised.
Rae glanced at the yard again. Their ship had wrecked her landscaping, and the HOA wouldn’t be happy about it. “I’m going to need your sizes so I can grab a few things from the mall while I’m out.”
Suddenly, Kat, short for Katherine, her best friend who’d moved in to help her pay the mortgage, walked into the kitchen. She clutched the bath towel wrapped around her, and another wound around her wet hair piled on her head.
Kat stared at the men seated around the island. Her gaze swept over Ferrix as if he were a t-bone steak. Her lips pursed, and her head tilted to one side. She licked her lips, frowned, and turned toward Rae. “What’s the Michigan Militia doing in our kitchen?”