|Primary Characters:||Ed, Tom|
|Warning:||m/m sex, violence|
|Description:||Sloan leaves Tom and Ed alone together. The guys end up fighting, and that causes an unexpected effect.|
“I’ll just run over to the lab with these tissue samples. Will you guys go on looking in the meantime? Or maybe you’re tired and hungry? Why don’t you take a break? I’ll be back soon.”
Without waiting for a reply, Sloan swept by them and they found themselves facing the door.
The sound of the door slamming shut felt like a stinging slap to his face, at least Ed thought so. What Tom was feeling was unfortunately not at all clear. Not to Ed. Remembering what Sloan had told him about Tom’s heightened awareness, it struck him that Tom most likely knew exactly how he, Ed, was feeling. That only added to the sense of defeat in Ed’s mind.
As always when he and Tom were left alone together, there was a strained silence, and neither one of them would even look each other in the face, if they could help it. But this time, it appeared that Tom was actually going to make an effort to be companionable.
“I’m not hungry. But if you want to take a break, we will. You look tired.”
“And I’ll bet you don’t just think so. You know, don’t you? From looking into my mind, or whatever it is your kind does.”
“I can’t read your mind, Ed. I’m no telepath. But you’re right in that I can sense your emotions, rather than your thoughts.”
“Good. Then you’ll know that this charming small talk is wasted on me. Save that for Sloan. She buys it.”
“I’m sorry you feel that way, Ed, because I don’t feel that way about you at all. Can’t you just accept that I’m not your enemy? When someone turns his back on his own kind, and starts cooperating with the other side, isn’t that proof enough of his good will? You tell me. I haven’t had much experience of normal human emotions.”
“Human? How dare you use that expression? Do you even know the meaning of it? To you it must just be something degrading, like we’d say vermin, or scum.”
Tom didn’t answer at first, but Ed could have sworn he saw some hints of emotions touching the otherwise so impassive features. Had he struck a nerve there? Ed felt a pang of guilt, and if it hadn’t been for his feelings for Sloan, he would have left Tom alone.
The dominant was right. Tom had turned his back on his own people, and decided to join forces with what had been his enemies only a few months ago. That was what he had been taught, by the woman who was his mother, but who didn’t appear to have given him any affection at all.
If it hadn’t been for Sloan, Ed wouldn’t have kept lashing out against Tom, but now Sloan was the issue. Her safety, her love, all of her. So, even though he knew he was putting his life in danger, he had to keep doing it.
“You won’t believe me, but I never felt that way about you. I didn’t really think much about what I did, or why. All I know about being human, is what Sloan has taught me. And you.”
“Leave her alone. Why can’t you stay away from her? Before you showed up -“
“I would agree with you, if it weren’t for one thing. Her life is in danger all the time, and with me around at least she has a chance. Can you protect her? Or yourself?”
“So we need you, is that it?”
“Think about it. You know I’m right.”
“You seem to have all the answers.”
“Please, Ed. Why can’t we try to get along? I care about you too. And Sloan – I -“
“Don’t you dare mention her name. Everything was fine between us before you showed up.”
“Ed, I think I love her.”
That was simply too much. Throwing all caution aside, Ed charged into Tom, heedless of the consequences. At first Tom didn’t react at all. Even at full strength, an attack from a human was to him like a play fight with a child or puppy would have been to a human. But Ed really meant business, and in his anger and desperation, he struck out in a very determined way. Tom found he had to defend himself.
Normally, all it would take was to get his arms around Ed’s neck and twist just a little. He could still feel the motion in his wrists. But that was unthinkable, even if he hadn’t been in love with Sloan. He had been telling the truth. Ed too, was beginning to matter a great deal to him, and the other man’s lack of affection for him caused him more distress than he thought possible. Now he had to worry about holding someone off, without causing any serious injury, and that gave him some trouble.
How would he go about it? If he could get on top of Ed on the floor, pinning him down with his weight, maybe that would stop the blows raining on him. And thus immobilized, Ed might actually come to his senses. Tom intended to try and speak to him, attempting to reason with the man he hoped would become his friend. Ed, on the other hand, had no intention of letting himself be pinned down.
Though his strength was no match for the dominant, he nevertheless tried his best to land as many punches as possible on the hated man’s body and face. Tom was stunned to find that those blows, inefficient as they were, actually caused him pain. Real, physical pain, as he had only previously experienced during his training. But to be hurt by a human was entirely new to him.
And now he had another concern. He could feel his body’s natural defence against attack from another dominant begin to act. It had never been explained to him in any detail, but when flustered, agitated, or excited in any way, his body, and any other dominant’s would begin secreting a strong, pungent pheromone. Normally, that would never have been a risk in an encounter with a human.
Though he suspected that if he and Sloan ever – mated was the word that sprang to mind, but he corrected himself: made love, that was the word humans used – the pheromone would take effect.
Why now, though? He felt confused, and though he knew never to let his thoughts wander during a fight, he was helpless to stop Ed from crashing down on top of him. This was the exact opposite of the scenario he had envisioned earlier, and the furious human on top of him showed no restraint at all. The blows that landed on Tom’s face, shoulders and chest really hurt. All his instincts told him to finish the fight any way he could.
But he controlled himself, with an effort that took much more than he ever would have believed possible. Unexpectedly some of the fight seemed to have gone out of Ed. The blows raining on Tom’s body slowed and eventually stopped.
Ed remained straddled over the dominant’s body, with a puzzled look on his face. And now Tom was beginning to understand what had happened. His own reaction took him by surprise, and again, he felt he needed all his wits about him, to stop the new impulses from surfacing.
Suddenly Ed’s face didn’t look threatening at all. In fact, the lines of that face appeared far more appealing than they ever had. The sound of the other man’s breaths being torn out of his chest fell like music into Tom’s ears. There was a thin trail of moisture running down the side of Ed’s face, tracing a line from his temple to his neck. It disappeared down into the t-shirt.
Tom became aware of the distinctive scent of man wisping through his nostrils and involuntarily he breathed in the fragrance. He felt completely content to lie here underneath the other man. What would the human be making of all this? It wasn’t long before he had his answer.
Puzzled no longer, Ed let go of Tom’s arms and slumped down, face so close to Tom’s that the sweat on their skin mingled. Ed felt strangely at peace lying like this, his body pressed against the dominant’s. For some reason, Ed felt an overpowering wish to touch Tom’s face, his neck, his shoulders.
Apparently, he wasn’t alone in that. He was almost startled out of the spell he was under, when he felt a hand brushing his own, and moving up his lower arm. The tingle that ran through his entire body was familiar, yet distinctly alien.
Now he couldn’t resist any longer. Ed let the tip of his index finger trace the outline of Tom’s face. Why had he never noticed the elegant, yet delicate curve of that cheek? When he reached the mouth, his finger lingered over the luscious lips. Startled by the intensity of emotions washing over him, Ed withdrew his finger, and almost without thinking, he stuck it into his own mouth, letting his tongue explore the taste of Tom.
If he had stopped to let himself think at all, he would have marveled at the insanity of what he did next. But for some reason his mind wasn’t functioning normally. Instead it felt perfectly natural to dip his face down to Tom’s and let his nose explore the scent of his skin. Ed trailed down Tom’s cheek, moved over his chin, and followed the line of his neck. Then he moved back up again, and let the earlobe disappear into his mouth.
Nibbling, and sucking lightly, he now let his hands continue the exploration of the dominant’s hard, smooth body. Any bare skin in particular drew his interest. The soft skin on the inside of Tom’s arm was especially enticing. Ed let his nails lightly scratch and at that, he could feel a low moan escape Tom’s lips.
That was all it took. Ed covered the open mouth with his, and began this new exploration, using his lips, tongue, even teeth. Again, Tom moaned, and Ed could feel the dominant’s body arching up against him. For a second he felt a hardness pressing at the corresponding part of his own body, triggering a similar response.
But that was only for a fraction of a second. Now the lithe pack of muscles underneath him exploded into sudden action. With a low growl, Tom pulled himself out from under Ed’s body, and Ed had time to feel an aching sense of loss, but only for a second. Now it was Ed’s turn to be pinned down. This time it was unmistakable. Their bodies were experiencing the same condition. But some remains of caution prevented them from acting on that shared impulse.
Being an empath, the reaction in the human only excited Tom more. It was amazing how strong emotions a human male was capable of. To Tom’s knowledge, the dominant males were always subdued and subservient to the female’s needs. In his encounters with the opposite sex among his own kind, his mother included, he had always had to take his cue from them. Therefore he had expected it to be the same in the human world. But Ed’s strong response to the attraction between them stunned him. Not unpleasantly so, however.
Tom found that it was the easiest thing in the world to lose himself in those dark eyes, whose sadness mirrored his own. But he wasn’t really thinking anymore, he just clamped down his mouth over Ed’s and began penetrating it with his tongue. It seemed to him that the more they touched, the more they craved that touch. The contact became fuel for the fires that consumed them, appetite growing as they went along.
Still some traces of coherent thought remained in Tom’s mind. He knew humans were normally heterosexual. In fact, he thought his own kind were too, but he couldn’t be sure. All the training he had received, from male or female, had been accompanied by sex. To reward or to punish, they had all taken from him. There had never been any place for his own needs to be satisfied. It struck him that this was what was so enticing about this encounter.
Ed wasn’t trying to impose his will on him, anymore than he was attempting to subdue Ed. This was purely for pleasure. Could it be so wrong? Tom didn’t know.
Not for the first time in his life since he had abandoned his own people to join Sloan and Ed, he remarked on how much he didn’t know, on what his mother and everyone else had omitted from his education. But he was sure that Ed would hate him afterwards if he let anything more happen between them, and apart from that he had a notion that humans treasured loyalty and fidelity in their relationships. He couldn’t betray Sloan like this either.
On the other hand, Ed was now moving against his body in such a suggestive and irresistible way, Tom couldn’t bring himself to end this – this moment of sheer pleasure. Instead he concentrated on forcing down the impulse to remove his clothes, to tear off Ed’s, and to finish this the way every other sexual encounter had ended for him. By the joining of two bodies into one. Although Tom had always been the one giving, the one being taken from, he couldn’t deny to himself that it had brought him some pleasure in the past.
Ed’s mind wasn’t even working that coherently. All he could do was thrust against the dominant’s body covering his. And now he could feel Tom bucking and thrusting back down against him. Mouths locked together, fingers entwined, they writhed together. If Ed had been capable of any deeper reflections, he would have remarked how different this was from his earlier lovemaking with women. So much fiercer and more directly sexual than anything else he had ever experienced.
Again, he let go of Tom’s mouth and began licking the cheek, chin and neck. His lips encircled the earlobe again, and sucking on that, he felt himself come, hard, violently, and at the same time, Tom’s body released its builtup tension. Everything else drowned in that ecstasy. When it was over they collapsed together, bodies still closely pressed against each other. It was a while before they began to take in their surroundings, and their dazed minds started to function again.
But in the aftermath of their passion, the effects of the pheromone wore off, and startled and shocked, they pulled apart. They stared at each other in horror. Had they really been capable of what had just occurred? In both their minds the image of Sloan appeared. Her eyes were dark with reproach, and her full lower lip was trembling. She seemed to be saying: how could you betray me so? And they didn’t have an answer for her.
Tom winced at the hurt he saw reflected in Ed’s eyes. Now that it was over, Tom took all of the blame on himself. He was the one who had, inadvertently, released that pheromone. He was the one who should have been able to exercise restraint, yet he hadn’t. It was as if – As if he had raped Ed. Betraying that trust hurt. The feeling of desolation cut deeply into him, and knowing it would be useless, he still couldn’t keep himself from trying to explain.
The other man wouldn’t face him, wouldn’t even acknowledge his presence. Tom got up off the floor as well, and even reached out a hand to touch Ed’s shoulder. The violence of Ed’s reaction startled and saddened him, even though it was expected. Ed whirled around, and without thinking, blurted out the question that had been on his mind, ever since he regained the power of thought.
“What did you do to me? How could you -“
“It’s a pheromone. We secrete it in times of stress, and excitement, but it shouldn’t have happened like this. Mostly – Most of the time it only surfaces when we fight among ourselves. I think it must exist to protect us from killing each other. And I was trying really hard not to hurt you.”
“So you’re saying this was my fault? For attacking you?”
Partly it was, but Tom wouldn’t dream of voicing that accusation to Ed’s face, not after what had happened.
“No. But I had no idea this would happen either. If I had – I don’t know what I would have done.”
“I’ve never done anything like it before. Never. I’m not gay. I’ve never been with a man in my life. Not even in college or high school.”
“I believe you. This had nothing to do with being homosexual. I don’t think I am, anyway. But I don’t really know anything. We aren’t encouraged to express ourselves. It’s just a matter of what’s best for the entire group.”
“What about you?”
“No, this wasn’t the first time. Well, not the first time I’ve had sex with another male. But it was the first time I wanted it.”
“What do you mean?”
“Come on, let’s sit down. Sloan will be here any minute now, and I don’t want her to find us standing like this, as if we are about to start another fight, do you?”
Looking down on himself, Ed found that his clothes were dishevelled, and when he approached the mirror, he saw that his hair was in the same state. Turning back to look at Tom, he saw the same signs of what they had just experienced together. Worst of all, there were bruises and small cuts all over his face. Tom’s too. Apparently he had landed a few good punches himself. Not bad for a puny human.
But the thought didn’t give him any satisfaction. His lips felt sore and swollen, but he was hoping it was just his imagination that it actually showed. They took a few seconds to do something about their respective appearances. But Ed found that he really wanted to know what Tom had meant with his cryptic remark about his previous sexual encounters.
“You were saying -?”
Tom’s face was again an expressionless mask. He appeared deep in thought.
“That is if you want to talk about it?”
To his surprise Ed noticed that all the hostility he had felt towards the dominant was gone. The fight, and what had followed seemed to have taken care of that.
“Yes. I don’t mind telling you about it. Maybe it will make you understand something about – this thing that happened.”
“Ok. Because I could really use some kind of explanation, if you have one. Everything that I ever believed about myself is turned upside down.”
“No. I don’t think you need to change your views about yourself. This pheromone works on anyone. I think we proved that tonight. It wasn’t your fault.”
“And not yours either, I suppose. Sorry for that outburst. From what I can remember, you didn’t actually have to force me to do anything.”
Ed’s cheeks were suspiciously red at the memory of what he and the other man had just done.
“It’s different for us. Ever since I was a teenager, I have been in training to become – You know what my function in the group was. But even before that, I didn’t have what can be described as a normal childhood. Not like I think you humans have. My mother was never loving and nurturing to me. From as far back as I can remember I was told what I was supposed to do, what I would become. There was no playing or having fun.”
“Never. When I was a teenager I was taken away to complete my training. In that training was included both violence, I mean against me, and sex. It was used as a reward and as a punishment, depending on the circumstances.”
“So that man, the one you say was responsible for most of your training -?”
“And that woman we found with him?”
“No. She came to work with him after my training was finished. But everyone else involved in my training.”
“Men and women?”
“Yes. Including my mother.”
“Not to impregnate her. Just as a means of insuring my loyalty. I couldn’t tell her that it wouldn’t have been necessary. Most of the time I was too afraid of her, to even dream of disobeying.”
“Your own mother? I can’t believe it.”
“Perhaps now you can believe that I have no fond memories of my own people. Every trace of loyalty I had to them had been beaten into me, physically or mentally. But when I met Sloan, and you, I learned for the first time in my life that there is such a thing as affection, and loyalty freely given, not forced out of you.”
“I had no idea. Tom, I’m sorry. I guess in the grand scheme of things, this – This thing that happened between us, isn’t the end of the world. As long as it doesn’t happen again.”
“Oh, I’ll take great care not to let it happen again. But I’m glad you don’t hate me for it.”
“I have a feeling you were holding back quite a lot, so I guess the damage could have been far worse. Thank you for that.”
For the first time that night, Tom was smiling. It was a brief, barely detectable smile, rather like when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds for a second on a grey and rainy day, but Ed found himself responding to it. There was nothing left of the powerful sexual attraction he had felt from the dominant earlier that night, but still, he wasn’t suprised anymore at the feelings Sloan had for Tom. How could he blame her? Even if Tom most likely had never secreted the pheromone with her.
“You’re right. I had to use all my willpower not to rip your clothes off, and mine too. But I knew that things are different with you. Besides, even with us, I would have appreciated having a choice for once. So I knew I couldn’t do that to you.”
“Or let me do it to you. Besides, it was my fault, all of this. If I hadn’t been so damned jealous, none of this would have happened. I couldn’t leave it alone, so I guess I can blame myself for this.”
“No. It was no one’s fault. And anyway, Sloan is worth fighting for. Figuratively speaking at least.”
“I know. But no hard feelings, ok? Whoever she picks, goes, ok?”
“Ok. I’m glad we settled this. But what are we going to say to her? About the bruises, I mean?”
“I guess we have to level with her about that. We got into a minor fight. But we worked things out, ok?”
“Yes. But what if she asks about why we fought?”
“I don’t know. Shit. This is so complicated. Thank goodness only our faces will be visible. I have a bruise or two in other places, but I doubt she’ll see them.”
“There’s nothing we can do about it. Let’s just hope she accepts it, without worrying too much. And wouldn’t you have worried, if you were her?”
“You mean about little, helpless me, getting in a fight with a big, strong dominant? Yes, what else could she do? But she’s a scientist, she won’t go into hysterics. That’s rather my department, wouldn’t you say?”
Tom stared at Ed for so long, Ed was beginning to think the dominant wasn’t going to get his feeble joke, but then again, the solemn face was broken by a warm smile. For a second Ed felt that smile pin him down, holding him in his place. This wasn’t good.
There couldn’t be any lingering effects of that damned pheromone, surely? He just couldn’t be genuinely attracted to another male. But maybe he was mistaking his own reaction for something it was not. After resolving their differences, why shouldn’t he be able to be friends with Tom? There was nothing wrong with that.
When Sloan returned, hours late, she found Tom and Ed studiously working on the samples she had left them with, but when they looked up at her, her breath caught in her throat. What had they been doing?
“What have you been up to? My god, are you hurt?”
“No. It’s nothing. We just -“
Ed glanced inquiringly at Tom for help, but apparently Tom didn’t trust in his sketchy knowledge of human psychology enough to attempt to calm Sloans concern.
“Don’t worry about it. We worked things out. This won’t happen again.”
“Like Ed said, there’s nothing to worry about. You know I wouldn’t hurt him.”
“But why? What did you get into an argument about?”
“Sloan, just leave it, ok. We worked things out, and this is the end of it. Please.”
“No. Don’t you dare hide anything from me. We’re all in this together, and I deserve to know.”
Sloan didn’t know where she got that idea, but she had a distinct feeling that there was, or had been quite recently some kind of sexual tension between Ed and Tom. What could have given her that idea? Maybe the looks on their faces. The way they seemed to be determined not to give anything away, but that still couldn’t explain why she thought whatever secret lay between them was sexual in nature.
Could it be that there was a faint whiff of sex in the air? She scanned the two men’s appearances closely. Wasn’t there just a hint of some telltale stains in the places you’d expect? Yes, she really believed there was. But getting them to admit as much would most likely be impossible. Should she startle them by throwing a question at them? That might be the only way of shocking them into leveling with her.
“Come on, guys, you know you can’t keep anything from me.”
Ed looked so deeply unhappy, Sloan was sure she was right. Something had happened that had left her old friend this distressed. Had she been so wrong about Tom’s feelings for her, and come to think of it, Ed’s too? It had never occurred to her that they could be gay.
Ed disliked Tom so much that she doubted he would have considered the possibility, and Tom – Well, she had to admit she didn’t know all that much about the dominant and what made him tick. Had she only been deluding herself about their attraction for each other? Was she the only one to feel that way? She had to know.
And Ed – Without giving it much thought, she had taken it for granted that he had feelings for her. Maybe she shouldn’t have been so sure of that, and it now seemed to her that she had been unfair to Ed, in disregarding his feelings for her. Now that she might have lost him, she suddenly found that far from being gone, her own feelings for Ed had just been lying dormant, while she explored her new and unfamiliar feelings for Tom.
To her utter astonishment, Tom was the one to speak up first.
“Don’t blame Ed for this. It was my fault.”
And even more stunning in its unexpectedness, Ed was flying to Tom’s defence. Sloan was severely shaken by these new developments. This was more serious than she could have imagined. Would she lose both of them tonight? That didn’t bear thinking about. Now she knew she needed both of them. Without them her world would be empty.
“No, it wasn’t Tom’s fault. I attacked him. We were arguing. Your name came up, and I was – Anyway, I attacked Tom, without thinking. You don’t need to tell me. It was stupid of me. But what happened was something we couldn’t have bargained on.”
Ed’s voice trailed off uncertainly. Sloan could tell just how embarrassed he was. Shame and remorse cloaked her old friend where he stood, only half daring to face her. Tom came to his aid. The newfound loyalty between them would have warmed her heart, if she hadn’t felt felt so threatened by it. Not until now had she realized how much she had enjoyed being the cause of the jealousy between them.
“When we fight among ourselves – males, I mean – we would most likely kill each other. So we have this pheromone that is secreted and when it does, it’s kind of hard to keep fighting.”
Tom seemed to be embarrassed too. That must be a first. Normally he wouldn’t give away anything of his emotions. It seemed he would have given anything not to have to go on. But he felt compelled to tell it all. His voice was different than normally, not as deep and firm as it used to. He sounded more like a teenager, forced to defend himself from some unjust or not so unjust accusation. Rather like Sloan herself in the principal’s office, the one and only time she had ended up in trouble in high school.
“It shouldn’t have happened now. I don’t know why it did. Maybe – Maybe it was trying to keep from hurting Ed, while fending him off. He fights well for a human.”
“So I see. You have a big bruise on your right cheekbone.”
Sloan had to force herself not to reach out and touch the spot she was indicating.
“So do you, come to think of it, Sloan.”
“Thanks, I guess. But go on. I need to know everything.”
“There isn’t that much to say. It causes the two parties involved in the fight to feel strongly attracted to each other.”
“And – ?”
“And we kissed.”
“Is that all?”
“Sloan, please. Do you really need to know all the humiliating details?”
Ed’s voice, when he cut in, sounded pleading, almost to the point of begging.
“I have to know how far this went, and what it’s going to mean to – To all of us.”
“That’s all. We didn’t – I mean, we didn’t take off our clothes or anything like that.”
Now Tom cut in again. Eager to reassure Sloan, it seemed, and surely that boded well for her relations with them?
“I knew that Ed wouldn’t want anything more to happen, and I made sure nothing did.”
“What about you then, Tom? I thought – I thought it was me you wanted.”
After the words were out, Sloan felt her heart pounding almost painfully within her chest. She had never intended to ask that question out loud. What if Tom didn’t feel the way she was hoping? How would she deal with that?
“It is. This isn’t anything to do with what you really want. It’s just automatic. Like running when you’re afraid for your life, or eating when you’re hungry.”
“Then why did you say that you knew Ed wouldn’t want this?”
Again there was an awkward pause. What was Tom hiding? Sloan looked from Tom to Ed and back again. Did Ed know where this was leading? They couldn’t be allowed to keep anything from her. She simply wouldn’t accept it.
“Because I don’t know much about my own feelings. I’ve never – never dated. But I’m sure I’m attracted to females. It’s just that I never had a choice myself.”
“You mean you’ve had sexual relationships in the past? With women? Or men?”
“No. No relationships. It was just part of my training.”
“Sloan, Tom’s mother had sex with him. They don’t see sex as we do. It isn’t connected with love at all. They used it as a punishment, or as an incentive in his training.”
It was difficult to get used to, this newfound loyalty between the two men. Ed’s coming to Tom’s defence like this took some getting used to. As the impact of what she had just been told began to sink in, Sloan again felt her heart constrict inside her chest. Tom’s mother?
“And who else? Your father?”
“I never knew my father. Maybe my mother didn’t know who it was. The females mate with many males. As many as it takes to achieve conception. And as many as they want to. Females are the dominant sex among us.”
“I see. That man who you told me was handling most of your training?”
Tom’s face was closed and tense again. This was apparently painful to bring into the open. She hadn’t had any idea how grim Tom’s upbringing had been. No wonder he felt drawn to humans. Human behavior must hold everything he had lacked during his deprived childhood. Sloan wanted to reach out and hold him, and why shouldn’t she? He had told her he wanted her, not Ed. So she allowed herself to pull Tom into her arms, holding him for a moment.
Not passionately, just the way his mother should have, but hadn’t. That particular piece of information, especially, stuck in her throat. The dominants really were a vile species. Poor, poor Tom. No wonder this encounter with Ed had attracted him. For the first time he must have been involved in consensual sex of a kind. Even if it was with another male. Why did she have to be this narrowminded? If she fought down her feelings of jealousy, she could see how much it must have meant to Tom. She would not let her selfishness ruin this for him.
But there was Ed to consider as well. He was a victim of this pheromone. Caught up in something he couldn’t understand, naturally he must feel lost and ashamed. Without thinking, Sloan held out one arm, to invite Ed into the embrace. And without hesitation, Ed came to them.
Now she could finally have both the men she wanted as close to her as she had always dreamed of. It felt wonderful. No one spoke for the longest time. Somehow it didn’t feel at all strange to be locked in this threeway embrace. The sensation had nothing to do with sex. They just relished the closeness. Neither one of them wanted to let go.
Whatever happened in the future, they would always be able to share this special bond between them. All thoughts about their struggle, every recollection of their work vanished in the warm, exquisite feeling of being needed, and wanted, and needing and wanting in return. It felt so right.
There would be no regrets. Not in the morning, and not any other time. This pheromone sounded interesting, and Sloan couldn’t wait to sample its effects. And the thought of Ed there with them only excited her more. Yes, this definitely held possibilites. But for now, they would only hold each other. Time enough for more later.