Jalen lifted his face into the shower spray, letting the cool water soothe the growing heat within him. This heat wasn't like the fever of sickness. Or even like the feeling of sitting in the sun. It was as if there was a warm glow beneath his skin, but it didn't drain or exhaust him like a fever did. This heat energized him in a sensuous way. He wanted to feel soft materials against his sensitive skin, and he constantly thought of Shane's big hands moving over him, delicately shivering when he pictured his small body tucked beneath Shane's much larger frame.
There was no escaping the fact that he was about to experience something completely alien to him. Two days after the meeting with Director Nelson and the rest of the team, all Jalen wanted to do was hole up in his room, in his bed, with his chosen alpha. With Shane. Unfortunately, he hadn't been able to do that; the recruitment process was still underway and he had to attend the classes and examinations. They'd both been called in for a physical yesterday, to officially document the changes from the Zareen injection.
While there, they'd been given a politely worded order not to share the details discussed in the conference room with anyone else in the program and received notice that he and Shane would be excused during his heat. They simply needed to inform a member of the Beals staff once it began, and the training coordinators would be notified. Of course, they'd have to make up the assessments they missed once it was over. With that in mind, Jalen worked extra hard to make sure his stats didn't fall off too much while he was... incapacitated. He suspected Shane was doing the same.
Over the past two days he and Shane had spent a lot of time together. They were drawn into each other's orbit, standing close when they were in the same class, finding each other immediately after when they weren't. By unspoken mutual agreement they didn't spend time together alone in their rooms. Attraction and arousal still sizzled between them, but for his part, Jalen didn't want to give in to it before they had to. If their new alien DNA was forcing them to be intimate that was one thing and he'd go along with it for the mission. But anything beyond that felt inappropriately out of place to the terms of the friendship he had with Shane. No matter how desperate he was for Shane's touch.
With the water still running and cooling his heated skin, Jalen braced a hand on the shower wall, fingers softly curling against the tile. He brought his other hand up to brush the fingertips over his nipples. They'd become increasingly sensitive during the last twenty-four hours. Now, they were tight and aching. He pinched one, gasping at the powerful surge of arousal that streaked straight to his cock. His bottom lip caught between his teeth, he followed the path with his hand, down his water slick torso until he reached his erection.
An aroused moan echoed in the shower stall as he thumbed the head of his cock, then lightly stroked it. He didn't touch with any real intent, he merely wanted to tease himself while he imagined Shane's muscled chest rubbing against his nipples, setting off even more of those amazing sparks of pleasure. Jalen grew even hotter, the cooling effect of the water losing its potency as his temperature rose. Sensing that he was about to be fully in heat, he realized he needed to go and find Shane.
Taking his hand away from his cock, he twisted the knob to turn off the shower and stepped out to dry off. The habit of a lifetime had him dressing in his uniform, making sure he was neat and presentable before leaving his room.
Not knowing what was going to happen next was unnerving, Jalen thought as he took the elevator down to the skybridge. Tevoris had said they'd want to fuck each other a lot and Jalen was desperate to know exactly what that entailed. Would he be mindless and out of control? STDs had been all but eradicated from humans a few centuries ago, but did Zareenians have them? Would he want to fuck anything that moved, or just Shane?
He had one of his questions answered when he hit the center of the bridge. A male recruit going in the opposite direction stopped in his tracks as Jalen passed, eyeing him with clear sexual interest. He was a beta, so his scent wasn't aggressive enough to make Jalen recoil as he had that day on the track. Regardless, Jalen froze the man with a look of icy rejection and kept walking. He didn't want anyone but Shane and he wanted him now.
Once he reached the end of the skybridge, Jalen went straight to the elevator, taking it down to the third floor. Shane had told him earlier he'd be in the main gym working out this afternoon. Jalen passed a few more people on the way. A female alpha who smiled at him in admiration. Another beta who didn't show any interest. Charlie, the enby omega he'd met in flight sims. And two recruits who had no scent at all.
Jalen briefly wondered what it meant that they didn't have scents. He was also curious if the people who did have them knew their bodies had changed, or if they were still clueless while Jalen was able to read them. Regardless, he ignored them all. He pushed open the door to the big gym and was immediately assaulted by so many smells he couldn't decipher classifications. Not that he cared.
He scanned the room, looking for Shane. When he found him, he stood there for a moment and watched him work out. Muscles bugled in Shane's thighs and biceps as he did squats with a heavy barbell over his shoulders. After a full set of twenty reps, Shane put the weight back on its rack. He lifted the hem of his tank to wipe his forehead, revealing hard abs, and a chest damp with sweat. A bolt of electric lust shot through Jalen and he actually whined. A soft little noise that he'd never made before in his life.
At that exact moment, Shane glanced up and looked directly at him. The breath caught in Jalen's throat as their eyes met and held across the huge room. In the next heartbeat, Shane lowered the hem of his shirt and started purposely striding toward him.
Jalen took a step back. Then another, before he spun on his heel to go back the way he'd come. On his way out, he paused to briefly speak with the clerk manning the desk, letting her know what was happening. It was embarrassing as hell that he had to inform the staff he was about to disappear for however long so that he could have sex with a fellow recruit, but it had to be done. Thankfully the clerk didn't give him a salacious leer or do anything else of that nature. She simply nodded and started typing on her touch screen computer.
Jalen didn't wait for her to finish. Turning away from the desk, he grabbed the door handle and pulled, almost smacking himself in the face with the door in his haste to get it open. He wanted to run, so that Shane could give chase and pursue him, then catch him and claim him for his own.
Shaking his head, Jalen continued down the hallway to the elevator bank, where to his luck one had just returned. He stepped inside and pressed the button to take him up to the skybridge, catching a glimpse of Shane coming after him before the doors closed. This was all so bizarre, he thought as rode up to the connecting walkway. He should stop and wait for Shane to catch up to him so they could walk to his room together. But he didn't. He set off across the skybridge on his own. And when Shane's elevator arrived, Jalen quickened his pace. He didn't look behind him, but he heard Shane moving quickly as well.
He made it to the residence tower's elevators and again dodged riding with Shane, the door easing closed just as the alpha following him reached it. The ride to his floor was quick, and Jalen hopped out before the doors were all the way open. A passing recruit looked at him with curiosity as Jalen hustled to his room. Too agitated to think of the entry code, Jalen yanked off his badge, flashing it at the security pad. The door beeped before smoothly sliding open. His heart pounding, Jalen went in and let the door shut behind him. Shane was just down the hall, so he wouldn't have long to wait.
Not even half a minute later, a chime sounded, announcing he had a visitor. Shane was there.
For one crazy second, Jalen considered refusing to open the door. But if nothing else, they at least needed to talk about what was happening between them. Besides, Shane had the guest code. He could come in if he wanted to. Jalen pressed the glowing red button to open the door and retreated to the center of the room as Shane stepped inside. Jalen didn't know what he expected. Maybe for Shane to be crazed and wild and immediately take him down to the floor like an animal. Instead his friend appeared slightly concerned, forehead creased with a frown.
"Are you okay?" Shane asked.
"Yeah. Just nervous." And horny he thought.
Shane approached slowly. "It's okay. We don't have to do anything you don't want to do. You know that. We're going to get through this together. And if it helps, we can talk about what's happening first."
"Okay." Jalen ran a hand over his hair. "They weren't kidding about the heat part. I've taken about three cold showers today, but I'm still burning up. And I feel like I'm about to crawl out of my skin." Or crawl all over you, Jalen added to himself.
"I've got a lot going on too. It's as if I can feel you in here, in my blood." Shane pressed a hand to his chest. "And I can smell you. Your heat, your arousal." His voice lowered, growing husky. "Is it the same for you?"
Jalen bit his lip and drew in a breath. As he inhaled, he pulled Shane's scent into his lungs, and somehow, he knew it was alpha, and this alpha was in rut for him. And that made every molecule in his body, human and Zareenian, want to rub up against Shane, covering himself in his alpha's scent. Jalen nodded in answer to Shane's question, but hesitated before speaking again. They were supposed to talk, but he trembled with the need to feel Shane's hands on him. He looked at his friend and hoped like hell what he was about to say wouldn't destroy their relationship.
"I changed my mind. I don't want to talk. I need you." He whispered the last sentence, but Shane didn't hesitate. He came forward and gently gripped Jalen's chin, raising his face up.
"I'm here for you," Shane said as he leaned down.
The delicious scent rolling off Shane intensified as their lips met in a soft kiss. Jalen tried to keep it impersonal, but how did one impersonally kiss? Especially when he needed so badly. Still, he did what he could, remaining as quiet and still as possible.
Shane lifted his head. "Is this okay?"
"Yes. It's for the mission, right?"
Shane hesitated a moment before answering. "Yes. For the mission."
"Then it's okay," Jalen said with a determined nod. Shane kissed him again and this time Jalen caved and gave in to one of his urges. He pressed his body close, fingers curling against Shane's broad chest. To his surprise, strong arms went around him as Shane picked him up and carried him over to the bed. Shane set him down gently then kneeled on the floor at his feet.
"What are you doing?" Jalen asked.
"Taking off your shoes for you."
"Oh." He watched as Shane untied his boots and pulled them off one by one. "Thank you." Shane looked up and caught his stunned expression. Shane's changed to one of chagrin.
"I hope that was okay."
"Yes, I just didn't expect it."
"I don't think I did either," Shane said with a soft laugh. "I know this sounds odd. But I just want to take care of you."
Jalen's stomach lifted lightly with joy at Shane's declaration, until he reminded himself this wasn't real, that it was all manufactured by Beals. But he couldn't help but gasp as Shane rose, his broad shoulders looming over Jalen as he guided him to lay back on the bed. Shane kicked off his own shoes off before joining him on the mattress. Without consciously planning to, Jalen parted his legs to allow Shane to settle between them. They kissed again, this time with Shane's tongue teasing at Jalen's lips until he opened them and let Shane slip inside.
He couldn't hold back his moans any longer, not with Shane kissing him so passionately. Shane was obviously embracing the heat, so Jalen did too. He tentatively let go of some of his control, letting his head fall back into the pillows. Shane buried his face in his throat, tongue coming out again to lick at a spot that was suddenly exquisitely sensitive. Jalen shivered in response. He was hard, nearly unbearably so, the heat within him rising and rising.
How was this happening? The sensations flooding through him were stronger than any arousal he'd ever experienced. It was lust, pure and needy, his body begging him to throw away all inhibitions and just revel in getting fucked. It felt as though he was losing himself, and that scared him. He clenched his fists in the sheets, trying to keep his head above water and not drown in the animalistic lust.
Shane immediately stopped and lifted his head. "Yes?"
"From the way things are going, the way I feel, I think we'll have to have some kind of release. But I don't -. I'm not ready for..." He stumbled to a halt, uncharacteristically at a loss for words. How did he say I'm not ready for my friend of nineteen years to fuck me? Thankfully, Shane understood what he was trying to say.
"It's okay. Just tell me what you need. I'll only do what's necessary."
Jalen closed his eyes for a moment, focusing on his body and what it wanted most. His nipples demanded attention. They were so achy and tight Jalen was seconds away from squeezing and tugging at them right in front of Shane. "Touch me, here," he said as he trailed his fingertips over throbbing, pebbled flesh.
Shane nodded. He pushed Jalen's shirt up, palms smoothing over his torso as he did so. Jalen's nipples were so sensitive a moan slipped from his throat as soon as Shane brushed a thumb across one of them.
"Does this help?"
Jalen hesitated before shakily nodding. It helped... but he needed more. And Shane, watching him so attentively, noticed his hesitation.
"Tell me what you need, Jalen."
The commanding tone to Shane's voice made Jalen shiver with a delight he didn't know how to process. "Your mouth. I- I need your mouth on me," he answered with complete honesty.
"I can do that."
Shane shifted lower on the bed and brought his head down to Jalen's chest, tongue coming out to lick across one swollen nipple. When he sucked it into his mouth, Jalen sighed with relief. Having Shane's mouth on him soothed his body, cooling him from the flames of his heat. Jalen arched his back, raising his chest high against Shane's mouth, demanding more without saying a word. Shane responded by sucking hard and bringing his hand up to squeeze and play with Jalen's other nipple.
"Ah!" Jalen cried out, sliding his fingers into Shane's hair to keep him close. He'd always enjoyed nipple play, but this was amazing, each suck and lick and squeeze made his cock throb. He thought he might come from this alone and that they wouldn't have to do much else. But all too soon the feeling of satisfaction started to fade, and his arousal kicked up even higher. He needed more. He moaned, his body on fire, hips rolling with increasing frustration. He felt empty, like he desperately needed to be filled with a thick alpha cock.
At that odd thought, Jalen suddenly felt wet in a place he'd never been wet before, and a sweet smell drifted onto the air. A millisecond later, Shane released his nipple with a soft pop and jerked his head up. Nostrils flaring, he drew in a deep breath. When Shane exhaled, a low growl rumbled from his chest.
They both froze. Jalen stared at his friend with wide eyes. That sound wasn't something that came out of humans. Shane had growled, an actual real life fucking growl.
"I'm sorry," Shane quickly apologized as he sat back on his heels. "I hope that didn't freak you out."
Jalen shook his head. "Not too much. But there's something... different going on with me." He shifted uneasily, wondering why he felt like he'd been generously lubed.
Shane lifted a hand and let it hover over the closure of Jalen's pants. "Should I check?"
Slowly, Jalen nodded. Ignoring this new development wouldn't make it go away. Shane unbuttoned his pants and tugged the zipper down. Tucking his fingers into both pants and briefs, he pulled them down and off, Jalen lifting his hips to help. Once the clothes were removed, Shane tossed them over the side of the bed to the floor. Jalen lay there naked and exposed, his cock hard and straining, leaking pre-cum onto his belly. Embarrassed, he held a hand over it, hiding from Shane's hot gaze. Shane rested a warm palm on his thigh.
"Let me see," he said hoarsely.
Hand still protectively cupping his cock, Jalen hesitantly spread his legs wider. He didn't protest when Shane gripped his ankles, pushing his feet up the bed and raising his knees. Shane softly trailed his fingers down Jalen's thighs before cupping his ass and spreading him open. Then he sucked in a breath, a ruddy flush covering his cheeks. He breathed in deeply again, and when he spoke his voice was soft, as though he were in awe at what he saw between Jalen's legs.
"You're slick. Like you've been prepared for m-."
He stopped, but the unfinished me hung in the air between them. Jalen wasn't sure how to read that. Did Shane cut himself off because he knew that all of this wasn't real, but simply the side effect of hormones manufactured in a lab? Or was there another reason? Jalen didn't know. He didn't even know how he felt about this himself. And right now, with lust clouding his brain, he was unlikely to figure it out.
Shane brushed a thumb over his entrance and Jalen had to bite his lip to keep from moaning at the touch. But he couldn't stop his body from becoming even wetter. That sound rolled out of Shane again in response. Softer. Yet still causing a shiver to run down Jalen's spine. Shane raised his head to look at Jalen.
Jalen's lips parted in surprise when their gazes met. "Your eyes."
"They're silver. And glowing."
Shane blinked but his irises didn't change. They remained silver and luminous, as though they were lit from within. Another change to their bodies as a result of the Zareen injection.
"It's kind of pretty," Jalen shyly offered the compliment.
A small smile curled Shane's lips. "Thank you." He looked back down at Jalen's ass, softly stroking a thumb over his entrance again. With his head still canted low, he looked up at Jalen and licked his tongue over his lower lip.
It was obvious what he wanted. But Jalen couldn't - the thought of Shane tasting him there... Jalen gripped the sheets again. He wouldn't be able to maintain any sense of decorum, any pretense this was only for the mission if Shane were to do... that. It would be far too intimate. To his relief the demands of his body came to his rescue.
"I need something inside me," he said as he clenched down on nothing. He hadn't brought any of his toys with him. This was work, not vacation, and he'd figured for the couple of months he was here he'd be okay with his own hand. He hadn't planned on this.
Shane shifted on his knees. The movement drew Jalen's gaze, where it was caught by the thick erection tenting Shane's shorts.
"Don't worry about that. Unless you tell me you changed your mind like you did earlier, my dick is staying right where it's at." He pressed down on his cock, but it popped back up like it was trying to escape the confines of its cotton prison.
Jalen had to close his eyes for a second. The sight of Shane kneeling between his naked thighs, with a massive erection that he desperately wanted inside him - even though he wasn't ready to admit it - was too much. He tried to keep still, but the heat licking flames of desire all over his flesh wouldn't let him. He moved restlessly on the bed, his hips rising and seeking against his will, his cock sliding on his belly with the movement. Embarrassed, he threw an arm across his eyes to hide away from his friend.
"I'm so sorry! I can't help it."
Shane soothed him, stroking a palm down his calf. "Ssssh. It's okay. Maybe my fingers will help."
Jalen peeked from beneath his arm and watched as Shane raised a hand to his mouth. He started to lick his fingers, but after a glance between Jalen's legs, he changed direction and lowered his hand. Jalen gasped as he slipped a finger inside. It went in smooth and easy, aided by the slick substance. It wasn't enough. He needed to feel full. That same soft whine he'd made in the gym rose in his throat again.
"I need more."
Shane immediately obliged the desperately greedy plea, adding another finger to join the first. He stopped once to pull his shirt off then immediately resumed fingering Jalen, watching him carefully as he pushed in a third finger. Jalen moaned. It wasn't exactly what he wanted, but he still loved the fullness. Shane kept at it, finger fucking him until Jalen was shaking and moaning. He stared up at his... friend, taking note of the heavy-lidded glowing eyes, chest heaving with deep breaths, and flushed skin damp with sweat. And god, Shane was so hard. His cock strained against the shorts, occasionally jumping slightly. Shane clenched his jaw each time it happened.
It reminded Jalen that he wasn't the only one caught up in this. Shane was experiencing a Zareenian rut for the first time but was selflessly focusing all his energy on taking care of Jalen. That made him want to go up on his knees and offer himself to his alpha, let Shane take him from behind with hard, pounding thrusts that would satisfy them both. Then his alpha would claim him and everyone would know that he was Shane's omega.
A tiny portion of his brain still worried that this wasn't natural or human or him but that thought flew out of his head when Shane pressed on a spot that sent sparkles of pleasure racing over his skin. He cried out, hips thrusting up, swamped by the orgasm that rushed through him. On the next wave, he bit down on his lip so hard he tasted the coppery tang of blood in order to stop himself from calling out his friend's name. To stop himself from begging Shane to fuck him until he came again. Shane suddenly came down on top of him, kissing him through it and unintentionally helping him stay silent.
As they kissed, Shane roughly rutted against him, rubbing his still covered cock over Jalen's body and it felt real, as if Shane truly desired him, and he wanted to sob at the unfairness of it. Jalen had just found the courage to touch Shane again, lightly pressing his fingertips to the warm, sweat-slick muscles of his back, when he went stiff and came with another of those spine-tingling growls. Disappointed, Jalen quickly pulled his hands away.
They rested together for a moment to catch their breath before Shane rolled off him. He reached out, gently stroking a hand down Jalen's bare arm.
"Are you okay?"
Jalen closed his eyes, wanting to curl up against Shane's chest and nuzzle into his warmth. But his friend had been so kind and helpful and Jalen didn't want to take advantage of him anymore than necessary. He resisted the urge to cuddle in close by digging his nails into his palms. As he lay there, he realized he couldn't go through that again. Holding himself back, only allowing what was necessary so he didn't embarrass himself. He hadn't been prepared for the shocking intensity of being in heat and he needed to come to grips with it before he went any further with Shane. "I think that's enough."
"What?" Shane asked with a frown on his brow.
Before answering, Jalen haphazardly scooted off the bed.
Shane sat up on the side of the bed, feet planted on the floor, knees slightly spread. There was a sizeable wet spot on the crotch of his gray shorts. And he was still hard. But even with an erection, he looked calm, his eyes back to their usual green. While Jalen was so flustered he repeatedly tripped trying to step into his pants. Giving up, he left them where they lay.
"I thought I could do this for the mission like we agreed. But I can't. So, I'm calling it off."
"What about the negative effects of withdrawing from each other?"
"I... we'll just have to suffer them. I'm sorry, Shane. But I can't do this again."
"It's okay. There's no need to apologize," Shane said softly. He stood, quickly pulling on his shirt and grabbing up his shoes from the floor. "Please let me know if you need anything. And I don't mean sexually. If something happens I want to help you. Okay?"
Jalen nodded without looking at his friend. He was afraid if he did, he'd beg him to stay. He stayed silent while Shane left, the door sliding shut behind him. Jalen was left alone in a room filled with the delicious scent of their sex, his body already heating up and demanding more of his alpha's touch.
* * *
Shane rested his head against the shower tile, letting the cool water fall down his body, trying to ease the arousal pulsing in his blood. It didn't help. His cock still stood up hard and throbbing, completely ignoring the effect cold water was supposed to have on it. Nothing helped. No matter how many times he took his cock in hand, he couldn't find relief.
Most of the time he didn't even manage an orgasm. When he did, it was weak and unsatisfying. His erection and arousal came back even stronger, as though they were furious they'd been denied the real thing. His body simply refused to give him a true release without Jalen. Jalen, who was in his room, in the same boat. Shane knew, because he could feel Jalen under his skin.
Because he's your mate, his mind whispered.
Groaning in frustration, he shut off the water and climbed out of the shower. He dried off but didn't bother putting on underwear or pajamas. Since he'd been excused from all training and tests while Jalen was in heat, he didn't expect to be pulled from the bed in the middle of the night.
Shane flopped down on top of the covers, determined to ignore his throbbing cock. Eventually he fell into a restless sleep. As he drifted off, he hoped he would have some peace from constant thoughts of Jalen and this never-ending urge to fuck his mate...
When Shane blinked to awareness, he knew right off what was happening. "Heat dreams. I forgot about the heat dreams," he said with a defeated sigh. He turned and tried to go back into the darkness. But an invisible, formless barrier blocked the way. Unable to make any progress in that direction, Shane sighed again. There was nothing for it. He would have to go forward until he woke up. It was odd, knowing that he was about to be in Jalen's head.
The first time they'd shared a dream, he'd had to walk forward a few steps before he reached his destination. This time, the second his foot came down he was in Jalen's room. Jalen lay on his back, knees raised and spread wide, one hand on his cock, the other raised to his mouth with a finger between his teeth. Just like before, Shane announced his presence. "Jalen."
Jalen snapped his head to the side. "Shane!" He raised both hands, reaching out. "Please, I need you."
Shane immediately went over to kneel on the bed, that now familiar growl rolling out of his chest. Frantic hands tugged him down until he lay on top of his omega. Once he was settled, he slipped a hand between them and pushed two fingers inside Jalen, shuddering at the feel of that silky, slick liquid. He wondered what it tasted like. Shane went still when Jalen shook his head and whispered.
"That's not enough, Shane. I need you inside me."
He didn't question the fact that in their dream, Jalen wanted to go all the way. He simply removed his fingers and replaced them with the head of his cock. Unfortunately, the second he did, Jalen started to melt into nothing, just like before.
Jalen cried out and Shane tried to hold on to him, but it was no use. He disappeared, leaving Shane kneeling on an empty bed. Frustrated, he pounded a fist on his bare thigh. "God damn-"
Shane jerked awake. Every muscle was tense, his body was screaming with the urge to come. And Jalen was suffering too. Determined to help him, Shane picked up his data pad to place a video call. He would take a chance and at least ask if Jalen had changed his mind on going about this alone. When Jalen answered the call, Shane saw that his face was flushed, sweat dotting his hairline, lips red and swollen.
"Shane." He paused to draw in a breath. "Is everything okay?" he asked in a shaky voice.
"I'm fine. I was just checking on you."
He clearly wasn't but neither was Shane so he didn't call him on the lie. However, Jalen's arm started to move, his eyes drifting closed. His hand was out of the camera's view, but Shane knew without a doubt what he was doing. Jalen had to be pretty far gone to do this in front of him. As the wet noise of his hand sliding on his cock came over the line, he realized Jalen had to be drenched with pre-cum for that gorgeous sound to reach his ears.
"Baby, I can be to your room in thirty seconds. Just say the word."
Jalen's eyes popped open and his arm stopped moving. They stared at each other through the screens for a long moment. Shane realized he'd called Jalen baby, but he didn't apologize for it or take it back. Jalen was his and he should be there taking care of him. But Jalen determinedly shook his head.
"No. I can get through this on my own."
Before Shane could say anything else his screen went black and the call ended. Shane slapped the data pad down on the bed with another frustrated curse. "Fuck."
Poor Jalen. That must suck trying to play it cool while in the middle of your heat. Ba-dum-chish! (Thanks, I'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waiter.) Seriously tho, these boys are going to have to talk some things out, yeah? Figure out what they really want and where they truly stand. But that's for next week...
Thanks for reading!
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