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devil, won't you bargain with me?

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Alex Manes learned at a depressingly young age how to use this good looks as a weapon.

He had 10 years of his life that were relatively normal before he was sent to a boarding school. Only, it wasn’t your average boarding school. It was where children of people who knew things were sent so they could grow up to know things. It was where he was taught to spot an alien from simply the look of their eyes or the way to air moved wrong around them. It was where he was learned how to kill in effective ways. It was where he learned to gain the aliens trust so he could kill them and call a clean up crew to obtain anything extraterrestrial before the small town police got there. It was where he learned that seduction was his most successful tactic.

His father didn’t exactly approve of the fact that that was how Alex got around, but even he couldn’t deny how easily Alex climbed the ranks. He was well known for how good he was at not only charming aliens, but killing them. The killing had nothing to do with seduction. He was a skilled fighter and that was undeniable as well. Hell, even at just 23, he was teaching a class on combat.

Most aliens were the same, truthfully. There were a handful of different species, all wearing skin suits and dangerous. They preyed on humans and infiltrated on their space and lives. Alex was just one of the hundreds of people who were trained to fix that.

On this particular night, however, Alex hadn’t intended to be the alien assassin hunting the enemy. Instead, he was looking for a little bit of casual human interaction and heavy petting before he had to go back to his job. But he had been trained and no matter how much he wanted to relax at the bar with free drinks from strangers who wanted to take him home, he couldn’t unsee the way the air around a man who made his way to the bar moved. 

He seemed to be going in slow motion and the air around him made way for his body. The alien had probably one of the most gorgeous skin-suits Alex had ever seen with horrifically attractive features and gorgeous hair and kind eyes and tanned skin. Alex almost regretted the fact that he’d seen the way the way the air around him rejected him. He would’ve been a nice face to look at for the nice.

But then Alex realized nothing was actually stopping him from doing both.

Alex turned to the man as he stepped up to the bar, giving him the most seductive look he could manage and asked his name. The guy seemed to almost instantly get a little flustered from the attention and Alex was more than a little thankful that this would be easy. He hated having to try when he wasn’t technically on the job.

The alien said his name was Michael and he let Alex buy him a drink under the condition that he could buy Alex a drink. It seemed like a fair trade.

They sat close on the bar and Alex slowly started touching him on his hands and his hair. When he was sure he was comfortable with that, he moved his hands to other places. His back, his thigh, his neck. He seemed to fold into each touch and he stared at Alex like he was mesmerized by his existence.

One of the things Alex was taught was that some species have a very particular draw. It works on some, doesn’t work on others. Alex had never experienced it before, but he knew himself well enough to spot it when he felt it. Staring at this alien felt... It felt like he was meant to be there, like the stars aligned for them.

All the books and all his superiors said that, in cases like that, the human should exit the situation and call a different assassin to take care of it. That was the best way to go about it for everyone’s safety. But Alex wasn’t stupid. His mind wasn’t clouded by this little fact, it just meant the sex would be a lot more interesting before the kill.

“How do you feel about taking me home?” Alex asked, tilting his head just a little as he dragged his fingertips down the side of his neck and over his collarbone. Michael gulped.

“Like it would be a fucking sin to say no.”

Alex smiled and grabbed the back of his neck, pulling him in for a kiss just to make sure he’d actually be getting something out of it. It was soft and slow and breathtaking and for the first time in his entire life, Alex felt his guard slipping. That was a red flag and he should’ve stopped, he should’ve called someone else to take care of this, he should’ve politely stepped away to collect himself.

But he didn’t want to collect himself and he didn’t want someone else to take his place.

He pulled away and looked at this alien who he would have to kill before sunrise and almost felt sad. The alien, Michael, looked a little dazed and blissfully ignorant as he smiled at him. He had a pretty smile. His eyes were half-lidded and his cheeks were red and he was so cute. It almost didn’t even look like a human suit. It looked so real, like it was his own face. Were their aliens who looked human naturally? Was he even an alien at all? 

Alex slid his fingers into his hair and pulled him in for another kiss just to make sure the first one wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t. His heart felt like it was going to slam out of his chest. Kissing him, this alien, after only knowing him for less than an hour somehow felt like coming home. He was comfortable against his lips and welcome in his hands.

That was not mentioned in any of his textbooks.

“C’mon,” Michael said, grabbing his hand and tugging him off the bar stool. Alex found himself smiling as he was tugged outside and to a motorcycle that was parked in a line of motorcycles. Michael gave him a sweet little smile as he put the extra helmet on his head carefully, his hands sliding over Alex’s biceps once it was on securely. Then he put on his own.

Alex climbed on the back of his bike, wrapping his arms around his body. Logically, he shouldn’t trust some strange alien on a motorcycle just so he could get laid, but something about him made him feel particularly reckless. He kept forgetting what he was meant to be doing; he enjoyed his presence so much.

And it only got better.

They got to an apartment complex and Alex was nearly overwhelmed with happiness as they both pulled off their helmets. He couldn’t stop smiling and it was hurting his cheeks. He wasn’t used to smiling this much. Or at all.

Michael quickly pocketed his key and grabbed Alex’s hand, leading him up the set of stairs of one of the buildings. Alex had already made so many mistakes. He didn’t know the address, he didn’t know the last name the alien lived under, he didn’t even pay attention to which apartment he lived in. He was so stupid and reckless and would get in so much trouble when he called the clean up crew, but it was all worth it when Michael tossed both the helmets onto the couch of the small little studio and pulled him by the hand for a kiss.

It was just as nice as it was in the bar, maybe even nicer. There were no extra eyes. Michael held his hands for a moment before letting them go to hold onto his waist, smiling through each and every kiss even as he deepened it. The whole thing felt like Alex was a teenager and this was his first time with a boy he really, really liked. Which obviously wasn’t true.

But the more he thought about it, he couldn’t remember his actual first time. He’d started using it all as a kill tactic when he was so young and first learning about his sexuality that it all seemed to blur. His one night stands with men in the back of a club were just as meaningless as the aliens he let take him home before he killed them with their own possessions. Hell, he was sure he’d kissed more aliens than humans at this point. It was all nothing; he was just going through the motions.

Except for right now.

“Take this off,” Michael whispered, grinning wildly as he broke the kiss just to help Alex take his shirt off. Michael’s had already been discarded and he looked more real than Alex knew what to do with. He was all chest hair and soft skin and toned muscles. 

Michael came back in for another kiss after the barrier of shirts were out of the way, pressing their chests together. He held Alex’s face in his hands and breathed him in as he kissed him. Alex felt precious and fragile for the first time all at once. All because of the way this man decided to hold him. Did he hold everyone like that? Was Alex special?

God, he wanted to be special.

Michael gently backed him against the wall for leverage more than anything. He pulled away and flashed the sweetest smile that had ever existed and then pressed a kiss to his shoulder. He slowly started kissing down his chest, crouching in the most awkward way to do so. Alex laughed when he almost fell just so he could try to get a good angle to kiss over his nipple. He just smiled all wide and charming as he settled on his knees.

Alex couldn’t help but stare at down him while his hands roamed over his chest and his back. It was all slow and methodical. Michael’s eyes fell closed as he kissed beneath his belly button and his eyelashes tickles Alex’s stomach, his hands sliding from his back over his hips and down to unbutton his jeans. Alex was being worshiped. He couldn’t laugh anymore. In fact, part of him wanted to cry.

Was that how this was supposed to feel? Was he supposed to feel so connected and so important to the person he was with? Was this just an alien thing? And, if it was an alien thing, why was it bad? What was so wrong about feeling so right?

Alex tilted his head against the wall, letting himself get lost in the feeling as Michael went down on him. He was really good at it. That being said, Alex rarely let himself ever enjoy things so maybe he was average. It didn’t matter. For once, Alex wasn’t taking in his surroundings to find what would be the most efficient murder weapon. He was just having fucking fun.

Michael pulled away from him before he could finish and kissed the side of his thigh. He looked up at Alex, waiting for directions on what he wanted next. Alex didn’t have to even think, surging down to kiss him again. Michael smiled against his lips and wrapped his arms around him to guide him onto the floor without hurting either of them. 

“We could go to my bed?” Michael suggested in the midst of Alex shoving his hand down his jeans. 

“We could,” Alex said, leaning for a kiss, “Or you could let me touch you here and I’ll fuck you there.”

Michael didn’t need much time to agree.

Alex let himself get lost in this man. No matter how much touching and kissing and fucking they did, Michael felt human. Typically, most species of aliens that wore human suits had something about them that was obviously not human. Not this one. He was all man. Alex didn’t know how to handle himself.

They got each other off with nothing but their hands and mouths on the floor and laid there for awhile before going to the bed. Typically, Alex would want to clean off afterwards because he always felt a bit gross. Not tonight. Tonight, they kissed lazily in bed for awhile until they felt back to normal and things heated up again. Michael only seemed to smile wide when Alex’s hands went to his ass and he quickly reached for a condom and lube.

The night seemed endless in the best way. This was the first night in Alex’s life that he’d felt so eager for it to last forever. Michael had blackout curtains and it protected him from seeing the state of the sun. He was thankful. He was pretty convinced that, if he saw his time dwindling, he would’ve gotten more upset than made rational sense.

After they finished for a second time that night and cleaned themselves off haphazardly, Michael pulled him into his arms and just... held him. Again, all new. Alex didn’t get held. Even as a child, he was raised to be a soldier who doubled as a cold-blooded assassin. He went to school to master that. He never let any regular fuck be in a place where cuddling was possible and he never went far enough with any other alien to make that an option before he killed them. And then this pretty alien decided to just hold him.

And it was awkward at first. He wasn’t quite sure what to do with his body. Michael didn’t say anything or even laugh, he just helped maneuver him in a way that made sense. Alex’s head on his chest, Michael’s hand resting on his side, Alex’s leg draped over his hips, Michael’s head leaning against his. Yeah, it was a little awkward. But then it wasn’t awkward. Then it just became impossible to think of moving.

So he didn’t.

“Is it weird if I say I feel like I know you?” Michael asked, his fingertips drawing circles on his hip, “Like... I know I don’t. I barely know anything about you. But...”

“I know what you mean,” Alex said and he meant it. He hated that he meant it, but he did. Soon, though, his blissed out mind would have to take a backseat to the part of him that knew Michael couldn’t leave this room alive. He was dangerous. Even if he felt like the safest place Alex had ever been, he was dangerous. So Alex just had to soak up this feeling like while could.

Michael relaxed at the confirmation that he wasn’t alone in feeling this weird connection. It didn’t make sense how two strangers from two planets just... fit. But they did.

“What’s your favorite color?” Michael asked. A smile slowly spread on Alex’s face.


“What’s your favorite color?” Michael repeated, “C’mon, I wanna know the guy who I feel like I already know.”

Alex’s heart felt full and he turned his head a little to press a kiss to his chest. His skin was warm, much warmer than any other skin suit he’d touched. Maybe that’s why he felt so comforting. If Alex hadn’t been painfully aware of how wrong the air around him acted all night, he would’ve thought maybe he’d gotten it wrong and this was just a guy. But it wasn’t. He was an alien.

“I don’t have a favorite color,” Alex admitted.

“What do you mean?” Michael asked, voice light and playful as he gave Alex a little squeeze, “Everyone has a favorite color.”

“Not me,” Alex said, tilting his head up to look at him. Still gorgeous. “I went to a really strict military boarding school my whole life. I wasn’t really allowed to have favorite colors.”

Michael took a deep breath and looked at him, pressing the softest kiss to Alex’s nose. If he didn’t know any better, he’d say he had butterflies in his stomach.

“I think you would look really good in blue,” Michael said, “Or, like, black and white. Basic colors so nothing’s taking away from how beautiful you are, just complimenting it.”

“You think I’m beautiful?”

“Oh, God, yeah, have you looked in a mirror? I could fill a whole gallery of pictures of you,” Michael told him, his hand reaching up to glide over Alex’s nose and his cheekbone. Alex couldn’t stop staring at him. “Stick around and maybe I could?”

“What, are you an amateur photographer?” Alex joked, hoping to make it feel less like a weight was crushing his chest.

“Wouldn’t say amateur,” Michael said, “Been published a few times, run a pretty successful blog, teach a class on it at the community center.”

Alex was now staring at him for a whole new reason.

This man was definitely an alien, he knew it. But most aliens flew under the radar. They worked seedy jobs and only associated with people who would keep quiet when they went missing or were killed unexpectedly. Never had he encountered one who was not only trying to make a name for himself, but had. When he killed him, people might ask questions. People might ask him questions.

Alex was trained and skilled at combat and lying and seduction. He’d been interrogated and tortured and he never broke. He could out-lie a polygraph and he was make anyone believe whatever he wanted. But could he keep up the facade when it was a guy he liked so much?

Alex couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to get it over with. He moved up to kiss him again, moving them until Michael was on his back and Alex was sitting on his stomach. He was holding himself up to keep from putting too much weight, to keep up his unassuming act.

He broke the kiss and started touching him everywhere. Through his hair, behind his ears, under his chin, his armpits. Michael squirmed, giggling softly. Why was he so cute? Why did he have to make this so hard?

"What are you doing?"

"Looking for the human suit zipper."

Michael froze, his laughter ceasing and his eyes going a little wide. He quickly tried to cover it up by forcing himself to relax, but he was clearly still on edge and Alex held eye contact.

“What are you talking about?” Michael asked, trying to keep his voice light. But it made it impossibly easy for Alex to grab his hands and pin them down with force.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about. What species are you? Where do you come from?” Alex asked, putting his full weight on him. Fear slowly bled into Michael’s eyes and he hated it. “I mean, it’s fine if you don’t tell me, but it makes my paperwork a lot harder.”

Paperwork?” Michael asked, voice squeaking. He was utterly helpless, Alex noticed, he didn’t even try to fight against him or look for something to use as a weapon to protect himself.

“You still didn’t tell me where the zipper was.”

“There’s no zipper, Alex,” he said, quickly following it up with the world’s softest, “Hey.” He chased Alex’s line of sight, giving him that sweet smile despite the complete and utter terror in his eyes. “What happened? We were good, right? We were having fun.”

His voice was so kind, but it barely even sounded like manipulation. Despite the fact that he was trying to keep himself safe by saying it, he wasn’t lying. They were good. They’d been so good. Too good.

“You’re an alien,” Alex said blatantly, ignoring him, “So tell me where the zipper is.” They were harder to kill when they were in the suit and the bodies were much harder to replace with dummies when they refused to leave.

“Okay, I’m an alien, you’re not wrong,” Michael agreed, nodding softly. He gently tried to push against Alex’s hold on him, but Alex didn’t budge and he didn’t fight it. “But I’m not wearing a suit. This is my body, I promise. You literally just spent the last three hours touching me everywhere, you know that this is my body.”

“What?” Alex asked, raising an eyebrow, “I don’t believe that. I’ve never seen an alien that looks like us.”

“Well just ‘cause you’ve never seen it doesn’t mean it’s not real,” Michael explained, again forcing that sweet smile, “My mother sent me here because she thought it was safe because we look like you. I promise. The reason you’ve probably never seen it is because there’s less than five of my people still alive in the entire galaxy. A-and two of them are half-human.”

Alex’s grip let up. “Less than five?”

“My planet got destroyed due to a civil war and I was sent here for safety with my siblings when we were babies. I was raised by humans, I only know humans. I swear to you, I’m not a threat. So, please. Please, Alex,” Michael said, “I’m not a threat.”

“I’m supposed to kill you,” Alex said, “I was trained to kill you.” So why didn’t he want to?

“I know,” Michael said, nodding, “But I swear I’m not a threat.”

Against his better judgment, Alex released his hands, but he stayed sitting on him just in case. Michael rubbed his wrists and gave him a smile.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me, I’m still not sure I believe you,” he said, “I was taught you were all bad.”

“Well, let me prove to you that we’re not,” Michael suggested. Alex eyed him suspiciously. 

“I just tried to kill you and you want to prove to me that you’re good?” Alex clarified. It sounded like a trap. Michael shrugged slightly.

“You didn’t try to kill me yet, you just got a little rough,” he said. Alex shook his head. Then he felt some outside force on him, gently making him get off Michael. Alex stared at him with wild eyes. “I know you’re all big and scary, but I think you can be cuddly too.”

“What the fuck,” Alex breathed, still mesmerized by the force that still seemed to be around him. It was like it was caressing him, holding him, keeping swaddled like a child. It was confusing. It had Alex questioning everything he knew about aliens. Did the air around them move like that because they wanted it to?

“Alex,” Michael said, giving him a smile as the force slowly faded and left Alex wanting something to replace the warmth around him, “I could teach you so much. You don’t have to be all closed off and angry and, like, murder-y. I promise.”

“Why the hell would I listen to you over my entire school and everyone I’ve ever known?” Alex asked. But he was already listening.

Michael flashed a big, warm smile and carefully reached out to place his hand on his jaw. Alex’s instinct was to move away from the touch, but he couldn’t help but fight against it and stay put. He didn’t want to move away. He wanted more.

“‘Cause the way I feel about you is once in a lifetime,” Michael said softly, “And you can’t scare me away that easily.”

And suddenly Alex was very glad he hadn’t warned his superior about planning a kill tonight.