Hydro Homo pt. 4

A kiss Bennett almost regrets paves the way for something beautiful. As his feelings for Ewan intensify, one thing leads to another in the Bio Chemistry lab.

Bennett knew, the moment their lips met, he’d fucked up. For a single, infinitesimal moment, a torrent of self-loathing and terror threatened to overwhelm him.

And then, every single negative thought in Bennett’s head seemed to evaporate. They scattered like ashes in the wind, gone as if they had never been there in the first place.

When Bennett finally felt the warmth of Ewan’s lips against his he couldn’t help but moan into the kiss. His being trembled. His whole body flushed. Fireworks were going off in his head like it was the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve combined and it felt amazing.

The distinctions of gay and straight seemed to fade away. The walls Bennett had built around himself cracked and crumbled to nothing.

The strange and terrifying world that had always felt so incongruous and menacing suddenly felt right for the first time in twenty years. A single tear rolled down the side of Bennett’s face as a small part of him, buried under the bitterness of the years, prayed fervently that the moment never end.

Bennett felt safe. He liked it. He wanted it. Craved it, even. He never wanted the moment to pass but he was so used to a much crueler world that the alienness of the sensation quickly shattered the illusion.

As right as it might have felt in the moment, Bennett felt a pang of terrible guilt as he pulled away from Ewan for air.

"E-Ewan, I-I—" Bennett stammered.

The words caught in Bennett’s throat. He didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know what there was to say. He only knew that he’d done something wrong. He’d crossed a line he wasn’t supposed to.

"You what?" said Ewan, through lidded eyes and parted lips. "You didn’t mean it?"

Yes. Bennett wanted to say he hadn’t meant to do it but the words died bitterly on his tongue. It was a lie, however much he wanted to deny the truth of what he’d done.

Ewan chuckled. He tightened his arms around the back of Bennett’s neck and pressed his body against his. "Ben, please," he murmured, in a low voice that made Bennett’s skin break out in goosebumps.

Bennett could feel Ewan’s arousal, rubbing against his leg. Their clothes were the only thing in the way.

"Just this once, Ben. Stop thinking everyone’s out to get you."

Bennett shivered as Ewan’s lips pressed against the base of his neck. He should have pulled away. He wasn’t gay. This wasn’t him.

This was wrong, Bennett wanted to tell himself, but that, too, would have been a lie. The truth was that nothing in his life had ever felt more right.

Even the conviction Bennett had felt, coming here to uncover the truth of a vast conspiracy that threatened to upend the lives of so many people, seemed paltry in the face of this. This was right. This was where he belonged. He could deny it over and over and over again but he would always, always come back to it.

Ewan cupped the side of Bennett’s face. "I’m not out to get you," he said. "You can feel safe with me."

Fuck it, Bennett thought. There was no use fighting it. He wasn’t only hurting himself, he was hurting Ewan, and that was the last thing he wanted.

Cupping Ewan’s face in his hands, Bennett kissed him again. It felt good. So good. Even better when he made a conscious effort to dispel the fear and paranoia roiling in his mind.

Bennett’s cheeks were wet when he pulled away. He hadn’t even realized he’d been crying. "I’m sorry," he mumbled, as he held Ewan against him.

The gentle touch of Ewan’s fingers on his cheeks, wiping away his tears, made him flinch. "What for?" said the younger man.

"I’m sorry you fell for me," Bennett sniffled.

A small, sad smile curled the corners of Ewan’s mouth. "Never be sorry for that," he said.

Bennett shook his head. The words and feelings spilled out of him before he could restrain himself. He had never felt so vulnerable before but at the same time, there was a strange catharsis to letting his anxieties out into the world. "But you could have done so much better," he said.

Ewan’s hands cupped the back of Bennett’s neck. "I think I should be the judge of what’s ‘better’ for me," said Ewan.

Bennett opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted before he could get the chance.

"Well, I chose you, didn’t I?" said Ewan, lightly tapping Bennett’s cheek. "I don’t want fame, or fortune, though I’m sure you can have both if you put your mind to it. What I want is an earnest man, one who is good at his core even when the world has been pretty shit to him."

Bennett’s eyes widened in disbelief. It was news to him that Ewan thought so highly of him. He felt he didn’t deserve the praise. He certainly didn’t think he was a good man.

"I’m not—" Bennett started.

"Not what?" said Ewan, the corner of his mouth twitching into a small smirk. "Not a good man?" he said.

Bennett nodded. "I’m not," he repeated when it seemed like Ewan didn’t believe him one whit.

"You’re here, aren’t you?" said Ewan. "You’re trying to uncover what you believe to be the truth about a harmful conspiracy that affects everyone in this country."

There was something odd about the way Ewan phrased his statement but Bennett didn’t have the time to process it. "I mean, yeah, I guess… But it’s not like I’m doing it purely out of the goodness of my heart," said Bennett.

"Is that so? What ulterior motive do you have, then, Ben?" said Ewan.

Bennett paused for a moment. Then, slowly, he said, "I mean, yeah, I want people to know about what’s going on here but at the same time I want to be the one to find the truth so I can throw it all back in the faces of the people who said I was crazy for believing in these things!"

Ewan laughed. It was a beautiful sound but it still made Bennett bristle.

"I don’t blame you," said Ewan, with a gentle smile. "Besides, it’s not like anyone does things purely out of the goodness of their hearts."

Bennett nodded. He looked into Ewan’s eyes and found himself getting lost in the depths of them. He took a deep breath, body flushing with heat as he inhaled a lungful of Ewan’s distinctive scent.

A thought occurred to Bennett. It managed to bypass his filter, blurting out of him before he could stop himself. "Wait," he said. "Then the whole helping me thing?"

Ewan laughed again. Bennett’s skin tingled at the sound. "Oh yeah," said Ewan. "That was me trying to get into your pants."

Part of Bennett was glad for Ewan’s bluntness but at the same time, it was a bit much. He’d already spent so much of his life wasting his opportunities. He could scarcely bear the thought that he’d wasted so much time denying that things could ever work out between him and Ewan when all along there had been a chance.

The turmoil inside Bennett must have shown on his face because the next thing he knew, Ewan’s hand was on his forearm. "Is everything alright, Ben?" he said.

"Y-yeah," Bennett stammered. He couldn’t bring himself to look into Ewan’s eyes. He still couldn’t quite believe this was happening, and to him of all people.

The universe had never been kind to Bennett, and he’d never had occasion to believe it ever would be. It was just all a bit much. He felt happy, that didn’t mean he found it easy to be happy.

"I get it," said Ewan, with a chuckle. "It’s a bit much, isn’t it? We barely even know each other."

Strictly speaking, it was true. Bennett didn’t feel that way, though. He felt comfortable around Ewan—like they’d been friends for years and years already.

"We don’t have to hurry this along, you know," said Ewan. He was so considerate. It made Bennett feel warm inside. "We can take it at whatever pace you’re comfortable with. I’ve waited this long to find you—I can wait however long you need me to."

Again, something struck Bennett as odd about the way Ewan phrased his words. He couldn’t put a finger on it, though, so he just set it aside, for now.

"I-I don’t want you to feel like I don’t want this—" Bennett started.

"But this is all new to you," said Ewan, finishing the thought before Bennett could get it out.

Bennett nodded.

"Yeah, I understand," said Ewan. "It must be terrifying, in a way… Living your life thinking you’re one thing, only to find out you’re something else entirely. Yeah, I get that better than most."

Bennett’s eyes widened in realization. It had never even crossed his mind that what he felt right now was what some gay men felt when they first realized they were different. "Thanks," he mumbled.

"You’re welcome," said Ewan. "I’m only too happy to be with you every step of the way."

Bennett sniffled as he ambled toward the living room. He was sick. It was bad.

The sight that normally would have excited him first thing in the morning—Ewan doing yoga in his briefs in front of the TV—did little for Bennett today. "Hey," he said, hoarsely.

The response was immediate. Bennett had never seen anyone whip a TV remote out faster than Ewan did in that moment.

Maybe it was the delirium from feeling like his nose was packed over-full with snot but the next thing Bennett knew, Ewan was fussing all over him. He hadn’t even noticed the younger man move.

"Are you alright?" said Ewan, pressing his palm to Bennett’s forehead.

Bennett shook his head. He didn’t like lying on a good day, and with how bad he looked it probably would have been futile, anyway. "I don’t think I can make it to the lab today," he croaked.

"Yeah, no. I wouldn’t have let it happen even if you tried," said Ewan, shaking his head.

Bennett had figured as much. Under normal circumstances, he might have just grit his teeth and toughed it out. He had the sneaking suspicion, however, that Ewan would have yelled at him if he did.

"Thanks," said Bennett, somewhat sheepishly. It seemed Ewan understood his tendencies well enough. He was glad he had someone looking out for him, for once.

Ewan patted the side of Bennett’s face. "No kisses today, though," he said.

Tragedy. Bennett playfully whined but it was a reasonable enough rule since he was sick.

"Don’t complain," said Ewan, chuckling. "Who would take care of you if you got me sick, too?"

Bennett flushed. Over the past week or so, he and Ewan had settled into a cozy domestic routine. It was nice. It was good. Even so, Bennett still didn’t quite know how to deal with the affection that Ewan freely displayed toward him.

"Anyway," said Ewan, interrupting Bennett’s train of thought. "You better get your butt back in bed and resting before I take you there, myself."

"Yes, sir," Bennett said, managing to crack a grin despite his pounding headache.

Just as he was about to pull away from Ewan, Bennett smacked himself on the forehead. He’d almost forgotten what he’d come all the way out to the living room to do.

Part of Bennett still felt bad about asking but it wasn’t like he could drive safely in the state he was in. "Could you, uh, get me something for this?" he said.

"Oh yeah," Ewan nodded. "No problem. I’ll get you settled and I’ll drop by the pharmacy when I go out for stuff to make hot soup with."

Bennett must have made a face because Ewan frowned.

"Did I say something?" said Ewan.

"No, no," said Bennett, perhaps a bit too hastily. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Ewan. He just didn’t trust Big Pharma. "It’s just… I…"

"You don’t have to explain," said Ewan. "Just tell me what you need."

Somehow, Bennett felt he’d said something wrong. He wasn’t sure, though. His brain wasn’t working too well with how stuffed his nose was.

Paper crinkled as Bennett pressed a small note into Ewan’s hand. "Just go to this place and ask them if they have anything for a bad cold," he muttered.

Ewan took a step back and looked at the note. "This is…" Ewan trailed off, frowning.

Bennett felt an uncomfortable pang in his chest. He didn’t know, exactly, what it was but he felt compelled to explain, even if Ewan had told him he didn’t have to. "I just… I don’t trust all those big companies with my health…"

Ewan smiled at Bennett, though it looked forced. "I understand," he said. His expression said otherwise, though, and Bennett got the sense that he was just being humored. "I’ll go and get this for you, I promise."

Bennett didn’t know what to do or what to say. Everything had been going so well and all of a sudden he felt as if a massive gulf had opened up between him and Ewan.

All his life, Bennett had excelled at putting distance between himself and other people. He wasn’t so good at bridging such gaps. He wanted to say something, anything to get things back to what they were before but he couldn’t find the words.

"T-thanks," was the best Bennett could manage past the lump in his throat.

Luckily for Bennett, Ewan knew how to reach out. The warmth of the younger man’s touch, fingers lightly grazing the back of his hand, pulled Bennett back from the precipice.

"I won’t criticize the things you believe," said Ewan. He spoke slowly and deliberately. His tone left little space for misinterpretation. It was clear as day he didn’t approve of Bennett’s healthcare choices.

That Ewan didn’t disparage Bennett’s differing beliefs was a breath of fresh air in and of itself. Bennett was honestly relieved. Part of the reason he withdrew from people was that they mocked him relentlessly whenever he talked about what he believed to be perfectly legitimate concerns.

"If you think this will help you—" said Ewan, shaking the note that Bennett had given him, "—then I’ll get it for you even if I don’t agree."

"Thank—" Bennett started.

Ewan cut Bennett off before he could finish. "But I at least want to say this: I’ve been watching the way you work on this Hierarch Industries project of yours.

"We saw something odd in the water a hundred different times. You never picked them up and ran with them as your ‘smoking gun.’

"No, you always wanted to see if you could find more evidence to support your suspicion. You were never afraid of discarding ideas if the data didn’t support them.

"That tells me you’re not just looking to confirm what you already believe to be true. You’re genuinely searching for the truth.

"I just wish you would apply that same rigorous standard of evidence to some of the things you believe."

Yet again, Ewan managed to strike Bennett speechless. Had it been anyone else, he might have scoffed and refused to listen but it was Ewan, and he had hit on some truths.

Some of the beliefs Bennett held now were beliefs he’d formed shortly after his career was torpedoed by that politician. He’d been vulnerable at the time, searching for reasons to believe the world was against him, that his misery was all part of a grand conspiracy to ruin his life.

Bennett’s attitude had mellowed, since. He wasn’t taken in by every new conspiracy theory that crossed his plate. It took something with really convincing evidence for him to bite, and even then he liked to look into things on his own.

There were some things, though, that Bennett just never went back to re-examine. This was one of those things. Alternative medicine. Homeopathy. He had been convinced that it worked and swore by it but he’d never bothered to look into it, himself.

Ewan had a point. It was like he’d flipped a switch in Bennett’s brain. For decades Bennett had been walking around with bits and pieces of "proof" about the efficacy of homeopathy. Now that he thought about it, though, every last "fact" was something he’d read from a blog that claimed there were studies that showed one thing or another but conveniently never provided the studies in question.

Bennett’s mind was reeling. He had to lean against the nearby wall for support. He felt like the foundations of the past 20 years of his life were crumbling under his feet but it was far preferable to living in a lie.

"Come on, Ben," Ewan murmured. "Let’s get you to bed."

"God, I’m so dumb," Bennett lamented.

"Yes, dear," Ewan said absentmindedly. He seemed not to realize what he’d just said for a moment before he followed up with, "Wait. I didn’t mean it like that."

Bennett chuckled. "It’s fine," he said. He couldn’t really blame Ewan for it, anyway. They were at the lab and had been making small talk for the last couple of hours while they did their work.

Ewan looked up from what he was doing and said, "Where did that come from, anyway?"

Truthfully, it had just been an intrusive thought. After he recovered from the bad cold he had a few days ago, he’d gone back to reflect on every baseless conspiracy theory and piece of pseudoscientific woo he believed and ended up abandoning quite a few of them.

"I was just thinking about how I spent the last 20 years believing water had a memory," said Bennett. He felt like a different man entirely. He didn’t feel so weighed down, and it was like his eyes were clearer than ever before.

"I’d honestly feel pretty bad for water if homeopathy were somehow real," said Ewan, cracking a small smirk as he turned his attention back to his work.

Bennett made a face. He didn’t even want to think about it. In retrospect, and without the blinders of confirmation bias, the implications of water memory were outright disgusting.

"Honestly, the point where it hit me, I think, is when I read a comment somewhere along the lines of ‘medicine is what you call alternative medicine that actually works,’" said Bennett.

"Oh yeah," said Ewan. "Sounds about right. A bit glib but it gets the point across."

"Yeah…" said Bennett, turning his attention back to his work as a comfortable silence descended between the two of them.

"Have any idea what you might want for dinner?" Ewan piped up, after a few minutes.

Bennett didn’t answer right away, giving the question some thought. He couldn’t think of anywhere specific he wanted to go so he said, "Anywhere’s fine. Do you have any ideas?"

Ewan shook his head. Bennett saw out of the corner of his eye. "Nope," he said. "I was hoping you might be craving something in particular."

"Nope," said Bennett. "Apparently, today’s one of those ‘anything goes’ days."

There was a light knock on the door that interrupted the conversation before Ewan could respond. The two of them looked up just in time as a handsome older gentleman entered the lab.

Bennett had seen the guy before but couldn’t quite put a finger on it. "Hope I am not interrupting anything important," said the not-quite-stranger.

"Oh, not at all, Robin," said Ewan.

Ewan made to get out of his seat but Robin shook his head and waved his hand. "Please don’t disrupt your work on my account, Ewan," said Robin, his storm-gray eyes seeming to twinkle as he turned his attention to Bennett.

"I do not believe we’ve met," said Robin, extending a hand to Bennett. "You must be the illustrious Bennett. Ewan talks about you in the highest of terms."

Bennett cast a sidelong glance at Ewan. "Oh yes, sorry, I forgot to introduce you," said Ewan. "Bennett, this is Dr. Robin Nielsen, my doctoral adviser. Dr. Nielsen, this is my partner, Bennett."

"N-Nice to see you," Bennett stammered, having been blindsided by Ewan’s introduction. He hadn’t really given it much thought until now but he supposed they were partners.

"It is a pleasure to finally meet you as well," said Robin, shaking Bennett’s hand. His grip was firm and demonstrated a strength that his slim frame belied. "I hope you do not mind my barging in like this," he said.

Bennett barely even heard what Robin had said. He was still reeling from what Ewan had said. Partners. They were partners—and Ewan had said so without so much as missing a beat.

Does that mean the same thing as boyfriends? Bennett asked himself. He didn’t know. They hadn’t had sex yet. Nor had they asked each other if they could be boyfriends yet.

God. Is that even still in style? Bennett had been away from the dating scene for so long and times had changed so much in the 20 years since he was last in a committed relationship he barely knew what was up and what was down anymore.

Then again, if they weren’t boyfriends just by definition, Bennett had no idea what they were. Other than partners, he guessed, but he didn’t even know what, exactly, that meant. It occurred to him this was a discussion he and Ewan needed to have—but probably not in front of the professor.

Out of the corner of his eye, Bennett watched Robin and Ewan talk. It was mostly small talk—inoffensive, really—and yet, for some reason, he bristled at how familiar Robin was acting with Ewan.

It was a rare surge of possessiveness that spurred Bennett out of his seat and over to Ewan’s side of the table. There was a strange scent in the air and while he didn’t particularly mind its presence, he did not appreciate it lingering near Ewan.

Bennett stood behind Ewan and placed his hands on the younger man’s shoulders. He leaned down and kissed the top of Ewan’s head before casting a challenging glare at Robin.

Ewan seemed startled by the kiss. He looked over his shoulder at Bennett, eyes wide and eyebrows raised. "Ben, what—" he started. His mouth clamped shut as a look of realization dawned on him.

Bennett wasn’t sure what to make of the chortle that followed. He didn’t think he appreciated it because there was a very amused look in Robin’s eyes as well. He did not like feeling left out of the joke.

Rather more testily than he intended, Bennett said, "To what do we owe the pleasure, Dr. Nielsen?" He was trying not to glare at someone Ewan clearly liked but he couldn’t help it.

Bennett was well aware that he didn’t own Ewan and couldn’t control who he associated with. However, it didn’t stop him from feeling, on an instinctual level, that Robin was trespassing where he didn’t belong.

Robin looked at Bennett and laughed. It wasn’t a disparaging laugh, as far as Bennett could tell, but he couldn’t figure out what was suddenly so amusing.

"Don’t let this one go, Ewan. He’s a keeper," said Robin. He reached out and patted the top of Ewan’s head. From where he was standing, Bennett could see the tips of Ewan’s ears flush pink.

The gesture was fond and, really, rather innocuous. Not to Bennett, though. In his eyes, it was overly familiar and intimate. It made his blood boil. The only reason he didn’t react violently was that he didn’t want to show Ewan that side of him.

The strange, oppressive pressure that had been putting Bennett on edge seemed to disappear into thin air. At the same time, Robin looked at him, with storm gray eyes twinkling.

"I’m afraid I owe you an apology, Bennett. Perhaps I was out of line to test your mating bond so," said Robin.

Mating bond? Bennett thought to himself. Weird. It was just strange enough a turn of phrase to raise some flags but Bennett figured it was just a quirk of Robin’s formal manner of speaking.

"That said, to think it yet unconsummated and so strong already," said Robin, with a thoughtful look on his face. He was silent for a moment before he shook his head and said, "Forgive me for rambling. In any case, I simply dropped by to deliver some news for my erstwhile advisee."

Ewan sat up straight, suddenly serious. His anxiety was palpable and Bennett found himself inadvertently tensing up in response. "What is it?" said Ewan, in a tone of voice Bennett had never heard him use before.

"Nothing quite so serious," Robin laughed. "Your thesis has been approved and we’re in the process of booking a date for your defense."

Bennett was concerned when he felt Ewan trembling. It didn’t seem he had any reason to be, however, as a few moments later, the younger man pumped his fist in the air and exclaimed, "Fuck, yeah!"

Robin patted Ewan on the head again. It was strange, as this time Bennett didn’t feel particularly threatened by the gesture—unlike the first time.

"I don’t know why you were so concerned. It was a remarkable paper with practical applications. There was hardly a chance it could be rejected, in my professional opinion," said Robin.

Bennett had not had the privilege of reading Ewan’s thesis but he figured he probably wouldn’t have understood it even if he had. In any case, he agreed wholeheartedly with Robin’s assessment.

Maybe Bennett was a bit biased but it was Ewan. He excelled in everything he did. There was no reason to think this thesis would be any different.

"Look, Robin," said Ewan, with no small amount of snark. "Anxiety doesn’t need to be rational."

Robin chuckled. "Fair enough," he said. "In any case, I should be on my way. I would not want to interfere in whatever… celebration the two of you might engage in."

"Robin!" said Ewan. He’d been blushing the whole time but now he seemed particularly flustered.

"Farewell!" said Robin, waving behind his back as he headed out the door. "And Bennett, it was lovely meeting you. We should have some drinks sometime."

Robin was already gone by the time Bennett managed to get out, "Y-yeah, we should…"

It was weird. Bennett wasn’t attracted to Robin in the least, even though he could tell the professor was rather handsome. However, he did notice that the room felt suddenly more empty now that Robin had departed.

Bennett hadn’t even noticed the weight of Robin’s mere presence. For someone who was supposedly just a professor at a university, Robin exuded the aura of a powerful man. His presence filled the room and demanded respect and attention.

"Wow," Bennett muttered absentmindedly. "He was definitely something."

The sharp peal of laughter from Ewan distracted Bennett from his thoughts. "Did someone get a crush on my adviser?" said Ewan.

"Gross. No," said Bennett. "I admire his confidence but God, no."

"That’s a crush, Ben," said Ewan, turning around in his seat to face him with a mischievous grin. "But did you hear that? They approved my thesis! I have my defense in a month or so!"

Bennett smiled. "Congrats!" he said.

"I’m very happy for you…" Bennett trailed off. He sniffed the air. It was filled with a sweet, delicate scent that went straight to his cock. "Fuck," he muttered, under his breath.

Bennett looked at Ewan, about to ask if he smelled that, but he was surprised to find the younger man looking at him with lidded eyes and sultrily parted lips. It was him. That scent was Ewan’s. His arousal, to be precise.

"Ewan, you…"

Bennett had no idea how he knew where the scent came from and what it represented. He just did, like an instinct deep inside he hadn’t known was there the whole time.

"You smell so good," Bennett murmured, practically purring as he leaned down to get a better whiff of Ewan’s delectable aroma.

"Fuck," Ewan mumbled. "You smell amazing, too, Ben."

Bennett licked his lips. He could feel his cock thicken against his leg. No doubt its outline would be pressing up against the fabric of his pants, an obscene lump throbbing against his thigh.

Ewan’s lips were parted. His chest rose and fell with hot, shallow breaths. "Fuck," he said, again. "I was trying… not to get too excited… because I wanted us to… take this at your pace, Ben, but…"

Whatever else Ewan was going to say was smothered by Bennett’s lips pushing insistently against his. Bennett pulled the ball cap off Ewan’s head and threaded his fingers through the silky red locks.

They kissed for what felt like an eternity before they broke apart for breath. "Oh that bastard," Ewan growled, as he wrapped his arms around the back of Bennett’s shoulders. "He knew exactly what he was doing coming here to give the news in person like that."

"What?" said Bennett. He was asking purely out of courtesy. He was too goddamn horny to care.

This whole time, Bennett hadn’t even gone near the topic of sex with Ewan because he was afraid he wouldn’t be the best partner. Ewan smelled so good, though, and he was so horny those anxieties went straight out the window.

Taking care not to knock anything too far out of place, Bennett cleared some space on the desktop. He grabbed Ewan by the waist and hoisted him onto the table.

"Robin," Ewan said breathlessly after yet another sizzling kiss. "He knew this was going to happen."

That was interesting. It seemed Ewan knew something Bennett didn’t. In fact, it seemed Ewan expected something like this to happen.

How Ewan knew this, Bennett didn’t know. It wasn’t like he particularly cared, at the moment, anyway. His body was ready to rut and all he wanted was to have Ewan spread out under him and breathlessly begging for more.

"Do you want me to stop?" Bennet groaned. As turned on as he was, he didn’t want to do anything Ewan wouldn’t want him to.

"God, no," Ewan gasped, as Bennett grabbed him by the hips and tugged him toward the edge of the table. "I want you to take me," he breathed.

Bennett groaned. He nuzzled into the crook of Ewan’s neck. The younger man smelled so good and his flushed skin was so warm to the touch.

"I want to make you mine," Bennett growled. He rubbed his cheek into Ewan’s skin. He wanted to get Ewan’s scent all over him—and his own all over Ewan.

Ewan grabbed the back of Bennett’s neck. Their eyes met. The air between them seemed to heat up by a few degrees. "Then do it," Ewan hissed. "Fuck me," he demanded.

Bennett could hardly decline. He leaned in and nibbled on the sensitive skin just over Ewan’s collarbone. Ewan tossed his head back and moaned.

Ewan’s shirt landed in a crumpled heap on the floor by the table. His pants and underwear followed close behind.

Bennett took a moment to lay his eyes on Ewan’s naked form, prone on top of the lab table in front of him. It was beautiful. He wanted to worship every inch of it with his fingers and his tongue—that twitching pink hole between his legs, especially.

Two decades of insecurity crashed unceremoniously into Bennett like a sack of bricks when he grabbed the hem of his shirt to pull it off. He hesitated, but only briefly.

A strange new confidence surged inside Bennett. Ewan had chosen him. Him. Ewan didn’t seem like the kind to fall for and tolerate a washed-up old loser so clearly he saw potential in Bennett. If there was one thing Bennett didn’t want to do, it was disappointing Ewan.

Taking a deep breath, Bennett whipped the shirt off his back. His skin broke out in goosebumps in the cold lab air but he didn’t care. It didn’t matter that he’d put on some flab in the last 20 years. He wasn’t going to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. Not tonight. Not right now.

There wasn’t a trace of the slightest hint of disdain in Ewan’s eyes as Bennett felt the younger man’s gaze upon him. If anything, they smoldered with an even more intense desire than before.

"It’s the first time I’ve seen you shirtless," Ewan whispered.

Despite still feeling a bit unsteady and uncertain with his newfound self-confidence, Bennett cracked a grin and said, "You hoping it won’t be the last?"

Ewan chuckled. He traced his fingers over Bennett’s chest and said, "I know it won’t be the last."

Bennett’s cock throbbed. He couldn’t get his pants off fast enough. He stepped out of them and kicked them away so they wouldn’t get in the way, only to send them careening halfway across the room. Oh, well.

A fragment of Bennett’s old insecurity remained. He could scarcely remember the last time he was naked in front of another human, let alone someone he dearly admired. "I hope you’re not disappointed," he murmured.

"Hardly," said Ewan. He grabbed his hard cock by the base and waved it in front of Bennett. "Does this say I’m disappointed?"

Bennett chuckled. "Guess not," he said.

"No," said Ewan, lips pulling into a small smirk. "It says ‘you turn me on.’"

Bennett grinned. He kissed Ewan briefly before gently pushing him down on his back. He pushed Ewan’s legs into the air and leaned down, watching the latter’s tight hole twitch as he got closer.

"Shit," Bennett muttered, having realized something important was missing from this equation. "We don’t have lube," he said.

Ewan propped himself up by the elbows. He grinned down at Bennett and said, "It won’t be a problem."

Weird, but Bennett wasn’t about to complain. He figured Ewan must have prepared in advance, or something, since apparently, he knew something like this was bound to happen. In any case, he trusted Ewan enough to know that he would say something if he was in any pain.

Bennett was tentative as he leaned in and slid his tongue up along the crack of Ewan’s ass. He was new to this whole gay sex thing and while he’d read up on it a bit, he didn’t think he was prepared for the real thing.

The moment Bennett got a taste of Ewan’s clean, slightly musky asshole, he could scarcely get enough. Instinct took over as he lapped at it, rubbing his tongue all over the quivering pucker until it was wet enough to push into.

A long, low moan rumbled through Bennett’s chest as he stabbed his tongue into Ewan’s warm, velvety depths. He’d never tasted anything so good, and the little noises Ewan made as he fluttered around his tongue made Bennett’s whole body tingle.

And then, the strangest thing happened. Ewan’s hole dilated. His insides trembled. A heartbeat later, Bennett’s eyes widened. Something wet and slick and salty-sweet had flooded onto his tongue.

As he struggled to process what had just happened, Bennett noticed another thing: the scent of Ewan’s arousal had sharpened considerably. The air was thick with it. Every breath filled him with more and more intoxicating desire until he could scarcely think straight.

A peculiar hunger gnawed at Bennett. He grabbed Ewan’s ass cheeks, prying them apart with his thumbs as he shoved his face as far between them as he could. He tongued at his younger lover’s asshole, lapping and slobbering at it like a starving man as more and more of that heavenly slick leaked out.

Bennett barely noticed as Ewan’s fingers tangled in his hair. It tasted so good. He couldn’t get enough. He didn’t even care when Ewan’s hips bucked, and the fingers in his hair tightened. He was only too happy to mash his face into Ewan’s ass if it meant he could feast on that tight, delectable hole.

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