Combustion, Book 1
by Kate Hill
eBook ISBN: 06602-02124
Wyatt not only desires Zoey, he needs her to survive, but he fears that the scent induced by his cycle is luring her into his arms. Though desperate to survive, he wants a willing partner. When passion finally overtakes them, he knows he must tell her the truth, but will she accept an alien lover?
The last thing Zoey expected to see when she stepped out of her friend Justin’s apartment was a hunk.
But there he was. Tall. Lean. Sexy. He wore a black T-shirt and snug jeans that hugged the muscular length of his legs and did little to disguise his sizeable package. His hair was dark red, as was his trimmed beard.
Unfortunately, he was also quite battered.
One of his big green eyes was bruised and swollen half-closed. Scratches crisscrossed his angular face. His wrist was bandaged.
Standing outside the door of the apartment across the hall, he fumbled with the key. He dropped it and slowly bent to pick it up, as if moving hurt.
“Hey,” Zoey said and his gaze riveted to her. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, thank you,” he replied in a deep, smooth voice. She detected a slight accent. Maybe English.
“Just a little clumsy at the moment,” he said and straightened.
Zoey wasn’t short — about five feet nine inches — but she had to tilt her head a bit to meet his gaze. A strange feeling came over her. Maybe it was because even injured he was so damn hot.
She was surprised that Justin hadn’t mentioned his neighbor, though this guy wasn’t Justin’s type. He was far too masculine. Justin preferred twinks. Still there was no way he could have missed his handsome neighbor.
They stared at each other for a moment, and Zoey got the feeling he wanted to say something. She wished he would. Though she wasn’t the kind of woman who tried to hook up with a guy she’d just laid eyes on, especially not when he lived directly across the hall, she couldn’t deny he turned her on.
He nodded at her, then unlocked his door and stepped inside, closing it behind him.
Zoey continued down the corridor to the stairs and finally out of the building. She and Justin had decided to meet for dinner at a restaurant not far from the hospital where they worked. Zoey was in research and Justin was a medical social worker. Friends since high school, they had gone their separate ways after, but kept in touch. Though Zoey had spent the past few years out of state, her new job at the hospital had brought her back home. She’d only been in town for a few days and Justin had graciously offered to let her stay with him while she searched for a place to live.
Instead of thinking about work or houses, on her way to the restaurant she couldn’t keep her mind off the hunk in the apartment across the hall. What was his story? Had he been in a fight? An accident?
When she finally arrived, Justin was already seated. He waved to her and she walked over to the corner booth to join him.
Tall and athletic with dark hair and brown eyes, Justin was really good looking. He had no shortage of interested women and men, though he preferred the latter. Still, he wasn’t ready to settle down. Right now his job took up most of his time. He wasn’t the kind of guy to leave his work at the office, but often got emotionally attached. While this was lucky for the patients he worked with, it wasn’t always good for him. Zoey understood, which was part of the reason she’d decided to switch to research. While she enjoyed her career and loved helping people, she found it difficult to distance herself from her patients.
“Hey, what’s up?” Justin asked as they settled down to look at their menus.
“Why didn’t you tell me about that fine-looking man living across the hall?” Zoey asked, a faint smile on her lips. She lifted her gaze to study Justin over her menu.
He blinked. “Pardon?”
“I saw him just before I got here. Lean, mean and mysterious. Looked like he was in a fight or something though. Probably got drunk and started trouble. Most guys who look like him are only trouble anyway.”
Still, he hadn’t seemed like that kind of guy, but what did she know about him after meeting him for thirty seconds?
“As far as I know the place across the hall is empty. He must have just moved in. I’ll have to check him out.”
“Get in line,” she teased.
“Is he that hot?”
Justin’s smile broadened.
“Down, boy,” she said. “I don’t think he’s your type.”
“Oh really? He’s gorgeous and sizzling, but he’s not my type? Convenient.”
Zoey laughed. “Let’s forget about him. Like I said, he’s probably nothing but trouble and we have enough of that working at the hospital.”
“Too right, but today was very good.” Justin looked genuinely happy. “I got Mrs. Miller connected to an assisted living facility that I think will be perfect for her.”
“Great. I know you’ve been worried about her.”
At that moment the waitress came to take their order. Throughout the rest of the meal they talked about work and possibly going to the movies at the end of the week, if they had time. Neither mentioned their new neighbor, though to her annoyance, Zoey couldn’t stop thinking about him.
* * *
Having spent the past fifteen years in the military, Wyatt believed he could handle just about anything, but lately his situation had gone from bad to worse to downright desperate.
Of course he had to take the blame for some of this recent disaster. He’d always been a strong believer in gut instinct, but he’d allowed his overconfidence to lead him into a situation that had ended with —
Well he wasn’t sure how it was going to end yet. He hadn’t lost all hope. He was still alive and searching and he believed that his crew was doing the same. If his communicator hadn’t been damaged when he’d crashed, finding them would be easy. With plans to repair his communicator, he’d returned to this apartment building where he had stayed during previous undercover visits to Earth. At least the landlord knew him, so he’d already gone through the background check and identification process. The landlord knew he was always on time with the rent, so he hadn’t hesitated in letting Wyatt move in right away on a short-term lease.
At the moment Wyatt had several priorities to shuffle. He needed to find his ship, locate his missing crew and handle the most immediate problem of either controlling the needs of his body or satisfying them. The latter meant he would need a partner — a willing partner by his standards.
He hadn’t expected her to walk out of the apartment across the hall, but when he’d set eyes on his incredibly sexy neighbor, he’d had to stop himself from jumping on her then and there. No matter how desperate his physical state, to Wyatt rape was not an option. On this planet even consensual sex wasn’t something he would have willingly chosen. Unlike his home planet Pixie, here on Earth sexually transmitted diseases were rampant. The last thing he wanted was to copulate with an infected alien.
Luckily the medical testing mode on his communicator still worked, among other things. It seemed only the communication and tracking functions were damaged. He’d been able to scan the few humans he’d considered mating with to evaluate their health and he hadn’t been pleased with what he’d found. On this planet, it seemed that sex was a sport and the natives frequently switched teams.
Where he came from, people usually took the same relief partner for life, changing only if they had been matched with a seriously incompatible partner.
Wyatt would have preferred using meds to control his monthly urge, but the meds were aboard the ship and he had yet to locate it. The emergency dose in his gear had been spilled during the crash. After the cowardly way his relief partner had waited until he was in deep space to tell him she was severing their arrangement, he wanted some time alone.
Unfortunately his body wanted — no, it needed — a relief partner.
The gorgeous woman he’d just met fanned the proverbial flames of his desire.
Just seeing her made his body temperature spike to a harmful level. If he didn’t cool down, he was in danger of dying right then and there.
Inside his apartment, he undressed quickly and stepped into the shower. Cold water streamed onto his overheated body and he shivered, his teeth chattering. Still the cold did nothing to calm the sexual desire raging inside him. Self-stimulation would only make his situation worse, but seeing that woman from across the hall aroused him so much that he couldn’t resist…
His hand curled around his swollen cock and he gasped, his heart pounding as he stroked it. He pumped faster, the foreskin teasing his ultrasensitive cock head.
He imagined his gorgeous neighbor’s hand on his cock, or even better her mouth on it. She had the sexiest lips he’d ever seen. Full and pouting, they had glistened with lavender gloss. He could almost feel them sliding over his cock head, her warm tongue flicking the underside.
By now Wyatt was shaking from more than just the cold water on his feverish skin. His chest heaved and his heartbeat pounded in his ears. His entire body seemed to throb as his hand stroked faster and harder.
With a guttural cry, he came hard, his come spurting on the tile. He leaned heavily against the wall, his legs trembling and his spent cock resting in his hand.
He released it slowly, but remained there with his eyes closed, the cold water drenching him. Despite his strong orgasm, the mating call still burned inside him. It couldn’t be satisfied through simple masturbation. To survive this cycle, he needed a partner. Without one, sexual fire would consume him.