Sometimes, having instincts can be a pain. Especially when they included knowing when somebody was staring at her. Maybe it was paranoia as Dakota couldn’t remember being stared at by her students while she was in front of them. Yet here she sat, her shoulders stiffening and shivers crawling up her spine as she tried to figure out who in the mass of people was so interested in her buying a cheap necklace they had stopped and poked their stares in her.
She set the necklace back and thanked the woman with a nod before non-gallantly taking a quick look around as if searching for the next shop to wonder to. Instead she scanned the people around them and soon she found the culprit.
A tall alien in green Tudor jacket with puffed up sleeves and fully decorated collar had clasped his hands on his back and stared quite openly at her. She could not stop the smile curling her lips upwards. She recognized his bright, deep red stripes running all the way from his lips’ edges down his thick neck, closing towards his collarbones. He wasn’t much taller than a lot of humans walking around without sparing them a glance, but he only had eyes for her.
Her smile widened seeing his defiant looking frown and without second thought she grabbed her short frilly skirt and pulled it higher in slow smooth move before demonstratively pulling it back lower, effectively revealing strip of her hip with it. That stare was so asking for it!
The frown deepened and Dakota crumbled, her eyes widening, when her deprived brain caught up with the question in her mind – where had she seen him before? Her eyes followed the small man, who had bumped into him.Belyer’s right hand, not dressed in their usual uniform. Shit.
Dakota knew she was in trouble the moment her eyes met with Tige’s again. She had expected there to be a problems, but differently from Belyer, she knew instinctively that Tige wouldn’t keep to protocol. Her first thought was she could coach up something and get him off her case by getting him discriminated by something innocent, but painful enough, he could easily get in trouble if she went and told Belyer or Meredith, but even then all he’d get would be firm pat on the bottom.
She flinched, backing out and into a nearby corridor. All the corridors ran in circles around the main atrium and she guessed that if she was lucky, she could easily sneak away and come out in the other end of the atrium with many, many people between them.
Only the moment she thought that and followed her plan, she saw Tige do the quick step aside too and follow her in the corridor.
The chase was short, there wasn’t space for it on – she nearly laughed – space station. She touched her chest, sensing her heartbeat through the thin shirt. She had hardly any fat on her and it was now loud and clear beating like hell. Out of fear or excitement, she couldn’t tell, but it was making her ears ring and after the next turn she realized she had lost track of his steps before the knudhy suddenly showed up right behind her.
“That was very rude, miss!” He hissed in her ear so close it sent shivers through her and she had to bit down her lower lip to keep her from shouting. She swirled around and jerked away, straight into the corner behind her to get away from the warmth he emitted.
There was an odd sound echoing around the empty hall and for a moment she feared it had been her. Her eyes flew up, past his neck still resonating and up to his shock wide eyes. His hand rose to touch his neck, but it fell quickly after he recognized he was the one, who made the sound.
She was impressed. Wow, she wanted to say, that was, uh, really impressive. She felt her heart flutter and realized she was grinningly presenting herself like no properly afraid lady should ever do, but she couldn’t help it. She’d never had such an effect on a man before, even if an alien one, and her brain momentarily shut down. But the moment she realized she was pushing out her hips and wigging her knees ever so slightly to rub herself closer to the knudhy, she slammed them back.
Tige turned his eyes down on his short dress and before she could find any way to stop him, to put distance between them – hard, considering how close he stood and the recess pressing into her back.
“You want me to touch you?” He asked suddenly and swiftly grabbed his knee and pulled his scratchy hand upwards, dead serious. “Is that why you are playing me up like that, huh? Like a pleasure robot.”
She couldn’t let him that close, kept hammering in her head, but he knew if she tried to stop him, it would only urge him further.
His hand kept dragging her skirt up.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?” he whispered to his ear gently before his voice turned to steel. “Playing victim?”
Dakota slammed Tige’s hand away and nearly blew her cover with a shout, ashamed, but kept her tongue on the last moment.
“You can’t be a victim if you are the one playing others like that! I know our chief is sweet on you, but hell! Love is blind, isn’t it? So tell me! Are you one of those biologically engineered dollies that ooze the scent and talk as you please? Or, no, you have no voice – so you claim – so something went wrong with you, right?”
He slid closer so she was pressed hard between his chest and the wall. She made sure her hands, even if they got stuck, were placed over her breasts so if he did grab around, he’d miss the padding. But instead his hand slipped closer to her buttocks and squeezed it, hard.
The hell was he playing at? She jolted back, pressing his hips away so quick he had to remove his hand in order to keep her still. He jammed her hips back against the wall. Yet his hand landed back on her bottom and although it didn’t grip it hard anymore, the sudden sensation of his fingers caressing her lower back made her react with a sob that had nothing to do with pain.
Fuck, she couldn’t hit him. He was standing with his legs slightly apart and hers wouldn’t reach him even if she tried.
“Are you coded to react to anyone?” He asked, humming sweetly.
She nearly choked, when she realized he’d picked up her unwanted arousal. Shit. Shit! Shit! Shit!
“Can you be reprogrammed?” His nose suddenly fell closer to his hair, freezing her on spot.
What? She mouthed against the wall.
He inhaled hard, grimaced suddenly as if he’d smelled something rotten and pushed away. “Your scent is so messed up! Can’t believe you are still in the society!”
If only she hadn’t started the mute game, she winched, feeling the irritation run down his spine like ice cold water, meeting the lava in her stomach. She’d give him such an earful.
But she knew he wouldn’t keep it to himself. He’d go running straight to Tyton and Token and then the mighty trio of T’s would show up and tear her out of her hole before rampaging through their bar.
She wondered now if mute can make sounds of pain, when they are hurt. ‘Cause this was really hurting her chest and she had no way to tell him to back off.
It was some patrol calling him from the atrium entrance.
He sprang off, staring at her with confusion, like to say this conversation was not over, then glanced her over with unhidden worry and went, quickly straightening his jacket.
“Who is she?” he asked the patrol, who was trying to see her behind the pillar shadow.
“Dakota Warren, I believe. Did you just try talking to her? Belyer will be furious if he found out!”
“He is hunting her.”
Dakota saw Tige turn around, shocked. His eyes flew back where she was standing, assessing her in a complete different light than before. The long pause that followed that statement told Dakota clearly that he hadn’t known.
“Anyway, you’d need a translator!” the patrol snorted.
“She’s a mute!”
Somehow she hadn’t really expected it to be not known among aliens. She doubted their program really accepted anyone, who couldn’t converse with them. Why did Tige sound so amused?
Half an hour later she was heading for work, when she found herself suddenly shadowed by Tige again.
“I wonder,” he started casually, walking next to her for a minute, “if you are a mute, how come I remember you laughing, when I first saw you with your sister?”
Oh crap! And explain him that he must have heard wrong, when you are supposedly not be able to speak. She blushed beet red and avoided his glare. Wait, he remembered that?
She fumbled through the small bag she had around her neck now, suddenly well aware how much she needed to keep the notebook by her side if she wanted to come out of it alive.
“I can’t remember seeing you.” she wrote quickly and showed the paper to Tige.
“Doesn’t matter. I saw you.” He pointed out, nudging her shoulder.
She really wanted to point out now that what she’d heard they kept their hands off females, but she didn’t, thinking it might bring more trouble than it was worth.
“Your point being?” she wrote.
He read it, but didn’t say more for a while, continuing walking in the same direction with her. He didn’t talk, but she could see him thinking, his eyes turning darker by each time they flashed from one passing object to another.
Finally he said “I don’t know,” took the notebook from her, pulled the piece of paper out and changed his direction into the corridor that came up next, crumbling the paper into a thick little ball. She expected to toss it away, but he kept playing with it between his fingers until he disappeared from site.
“What an odd fellow,” she mumbled half loud and gasped, realizing she had to learn not to do that without thinking, too.