“Alpha,” Amanda said. She looked up at Brighton through the haze of passion currently claiming her. “I need it,” she added, on a breathy sigh. “I need your knot.”
Brighton looked down at Amanda — at his omega — reclining back against the pillows of his king-sized bed. God, she was beautiful. The most beautiful and arousing thing he had ever seen. His cock was hot and heavy in his pants, and the longer he looked at her, the closer he was getting to being thrust into a full-on rut.
He’d fought going into rut every minute of every day of his life. But here, now —
Nothing had ever felt more right.
Ben Solo, junior associate at Snoke & Associates, looks up from his computer screen and wonders exactly how the fuck this is now his life.
He’d done everything right every step of the way. Went to Harvard Law School right after undergrad. Worked his ass off, got on law review. Landed a job at a top firm in New York City right after graduation. And now here he is, reading terrible garbage online porn as part of discovery for the most ridiculous lawsuit ever filed in the history of the American legal system.
Maybe his mother and uncle were right. Maybe he shouldn’t have sold out after law school, and instead followed his heart and gone into public interest law.
But there isn’t time for soul-searching now. He needs to have read through all forty-nine thousand, six hundred and thirteen stories on this… web-site, dealing with weird, nonsense, animalistic sex. And he needs to read them by the end of the weekend.
Sighing, he runs a hand through his hair, and clicks through to the next story. The fifteenth one he’s skimmed through this afternoon. Because in order to disprove the plaintiff’s claims of copyright infringement his firm needs to show that the concept of “Alpha Beta Omega Dynamics” (god, what a fucking mouthful) isn’t something the plaintiff developed from whole cloth. No—Snoke & Associates needs to show that this is a “trope” (a concept he remembers vaguely from undergrad English class) and that pervs have been writing about it since the dawn of fucking time.
This web site calls itself a fanfiction archive. Whatever that means. And it looks like it doesn’t have anything posted here before 2011. It’s a small problem, but there’s enough here anyway that he has plenty to work with.
Just as he’s about to starting reading story number fifteen on his list—something involving several male characters in a television show called “Supernatural” that he watched once before when he was trying to impress some girl—his phone buzzes with a new text.
Glad for the distraction, he glances at it.
And his pulse picks up a little when he sees who it’s from.
“Rey,” he murmurs under his breath, a smile breaking out across his face.
I’ve just been put on the most ridiculous case
Are you free for lunch?
He isn’t free for lunch, of course. He’s never free for lunch. Their firm’s annual billable target is 2400 per year. If he eats anything at all during the day it has to be fast and at his desk.
Unless, of course, it’s Rey asking him. Because he doesn’t have it in him to say no to the girl he’s been infatuated with since the first day they both started at this fucking firm.
He never has. And he never will.
Sure , he writes back.
His smile grows. He’s a loner with few friends and even fewer social skills, but he and Rey have a usual place for lunch.
It’s a good feeling.
See you in ten.
Rey is already there when he arrives at Chandrila, the coffee shop-slash-sandwich shop located on the street level of their building. She’s at a table in the back, her regular hoagie and french fries on one side of the laptop she’s got propped up in front of her. Whatever she’s reading has her very focused, and she’s pursing up her lips in such an adorable way it takes all of Ben’s formidable willpower not to go over there right now and kiss her breathless.
He closes his eyes. Counts to ten. And then makes his way over to Rey’s table.
“Hey,” he says. He’s got a Fiji water bottle in one hand and a large black coffee in the other. His usual lunchtime fare. He sets both of them down and drops into the chair across from Rey’s.
“Hey,” she says back at him, not looking up from her laptop. She narrows her eyes a little and leans closer to her screen, lips moving a little as she reads to herself.
Ben clears his throat. “So,” he says. He untwists the cap from his water bottle. Takes a large swig. “What’s this crazy new case? I’m dying to hear about it, because I’m in pretty desperate need of a few minutes’ distraction from the crazy new case I’m working on.”
Rey half-closes her laptop and laughs. “You’re never gonna believe it.”
“Okay, so.” She picks up her sandwich. Opens her mouth wide and takes a giant bite. A dribble of mayonnaise leaks out from it and onto her bottom lip. Ben watches, transfixed, as she swipes her tongue across that bottom lip and brings it back into her mouth. His cock twitches once, insistently in his pants, and—
God, he is a pathetic human being.
If Rey notices Ben’s inner turmoil, though, she shows no sign of it. Instead, she asks: “Have you heard of knotting ?”
“Knot… Knotting?” He can’t have heard her right.
“Yeah,” she says. She grabs her sandwich again and takes another lusty bite. “Knotting.”
Ben clears his throat. “Knotting. In… in what context, exactly?”
“In the sex context.” Rey turns her laptop around and shows him what she’s reading. The same web site he spent his entire morning on. Oh, fuck. Oh, fuck. “In the pornographic story context.”
Ben closes his eyes. Takes several very deep breaths in through his nose and out through his mouth.
He doesn’t answer her question.
“Are you working on the Quill lawsuit, too?” he asks instead. “The lawsuit where...” He trails off. He can’t finish the sentence. Not in front of Rey.
Fortunately, he doesn’t have to. “The lawsuit where that idiot is suing our client for copyright infringement? Yes.” Rey eyes him for a moment. “You’re on it too?”
“Why is Snoke having both of us work on this stupid case at the same time?” she asks him “It’s a pro bono matter. The firm won’t see a dime from this.”
“I have no idea.” He really doesn’t. Given their billable rates and the firm’s usual aversion to pro bono he doesn’t even know why they’re wasting one associate’s time on this case. Let alone two.
“Hm.” Rey says. “Well, what piece of it are you working on?”
“Discovery? At this stage?”
“I mean. Sort of.” Ben takes a sip of his coffee. He grimaces. He told those idiots no cream, goddamnit. “I’m preparing for what discovery will likely look like, anyway. I’m reading through the stories on that web site you’ve pulled up—” he nods towards her laptop—” and trying to find passages that show that the ideas in the plaintiff’s work aren’t novel and that the works our clients are being sued over aren’t copyright infringement because there are a million other fucking examples of the same stupid ideas all over the internet.”
“Ah.” Rey takes another bite of her sandwich. Chews thoughtfully.
“What part are you handling?” he asks.
She doesn’t answer him right away. She looks down at her lap.
Is she… blushing?
“I’m creating a glossary of terms.” Rey looks up at him, very quickly, before looking back down at her lap.
Ben frowns. “Why?”
“For the summary judgment motion. For the judge.” She bites the inside of her cheek. “For terms like knotting , and slick , and heat. You know.”
If a human being could burst into flames Ben is pretty certain he’d be doing it right about now.
“Oh,” he says. “Right.”
“Right,” Rey says. She nods at her laptop. “The judge will be caught completely fucking blind if we don’t. And you can’t exactly define these terms through dictionary.com.
“No,” Ben agrees. “Right.”
“So, I need to read as many of these stories as I can to get a good a handle on the terms as early in the litigation as possible.”
Neither of one of them says anything else for what feels like about ten hours. Rey methodically munches her way through her sandwich, as Ben takes sip after sip from his water bottle, his insides starting to feel like churned jelly.
And then, he does something so stupid even he can’t quite believe it.
“Do you want to…. work on this together?”
It makes a certain amount of sense in the abstract, of course. They’re working on the same case. Between her research skills and his ability to see patterns they should be able to get the work done much faster than if they do this on their own.
And yet it makes zero sense whatsoever, and is in fact the worst idea Ben has ever had in his entire miserable life. Because their assignments will require them to read and research and write about really bizarre porn and just thinking about the words “porn” and “Rey” in close succession are enough to make him hard as a fucking rock.
But before he can take the offer back, Rey is smiling at him. Nodding her head.
“Sure,” she says. Her smile grows, and—oh fuck, he is so screwed. “I’ll… meet you in the library at 4?”
He feels himself nodding in agreement before he can stop himself.
“Good,” he says, his voice breaking awkwardly on the word. “I’ll… I guess I’ll see you at 4.”