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Emmett had never gotten into the habit of sleeping in late. The animals he studied were mostly crepuscular, hunting during the twilight period of dusk and dawn. If he wanted to study the habits of boas like Betty, and their natural prey, then he had to awaken before the dawn and move into their twilight world. So rising before the sun had become familiar to him over the years, getting dressed in the darkness of his room and then waiting inside Betty's enclosure for her to stir from her slumber and begin to slither around the enclosure looking for the prey he had dropped in there earlier. Never once had he felt afraid, concerned that she might see him as an easier meal because she seemed different to any other snake he'd known. She seemed to recognize him, showing signs of pleasure whenever he approached and accepting anyone who seemed non-threatening to either of them.

In any other snake, Emmett might have dismissed his feelings as snakes, in general, did not have the brain capacity to exhibit emotions other than the most primitive even though some handlers swore that their snakes were calmer with them rather than with a stranger.

Betty was different though. She had a larger brain capacity and scans had indicated that she was using more of that brain than the normal boa constrictor or python. She had the ability to learn too, knowing which food slot to check first by the color coded card he placed behind the glass. Today was no exception as she glided straight to where she would find the second meal of her day, having already hunted down the first unerringly as part of a ritual to make her work for some of her food.

He reached out and let her slide beneath his fingertips, coiling around him as he offered her a third and final morsel to complete her dawn meal. She reared up before him and snatched the large adult Corn Snake almost delicately from his hands. Her flickering tongue sampled the air around him before she slid away towards a favorite basking place, waiting for the artificial sun to rise fully and heat her skin.

In the past weeks, since meeting and falling for a handsome NSA agent who had sought his advice on a snake problem, Emmett had formed a new habit. He left the laboratory straight away, heading back towards the set of rooms he kept private on the next level up and at the back of the institute. He stopped on the threshold of his bedroom and smiled as the first rays of the new day filtered through the join in the curtains to stripe over his lover's still sleeping form. Quickly, he tugged off his sweatpants and t-shirt and climbed back into the bed, smiling as Brendan stretched with cat-like grace before his beautiful green-hazel eyes opened and he grinned back. Strong fingers wrapped round the back of Emmett's neck and dragged him down into a good morning kiss that tasted a little stale at first -- but then he became too involved to care less.

He moaned into the kiss as a hand wrapped around his cock, his own fingers having already delved beneath the sheets to rub along the hardened length of Brendan's morning erection. He curled his fingers around Brendan's hot flesh and jacked him slowly, enjoying the way Brendan thrust up into his hand even as he was slowly taken apart by the incredible feel of his lover's hand around his own hard cock. Their fists bumped together as they found the perfect rhythm and, all too soon the pleasure spiraled out of control. Emmett gasped, swallowing Brendan's soft cries as hot semen splattered over his hand, joining his lover in mutual ecstasy only moments later.

Their kiss became soft and sloppy, mouths sliding wetly as their erratic breathing gradually slowed, until finally they slipped apart, resting forehead to forehead.

Eventually, Emmett flopped back onto the bed, lying side-by-side with his lover, warm flesh touching from shoulder to hip. He turned his head at the movement on the bed beside him and smiled softly as Brendan leaned up on one elbow, one finger running across Emmett's sensitive, kiss-swollen lips.

"Good morning," Brendan stated quietly, replacing the finger with his lips as he kissed Emmett light and tenderly.

Emmett sighed and let his eyes close as Brendan snuggled down beside him, with his dark, messy bed-hair tickling Emmett's chin. Emmett had about an hour to laze in his lover's embrace before he really needed to prepare for the rest of his working day. He had experiments to monitor and research notes to complete, knowing he would work without interruption until dusk, when Betty would start searching for fresh food.

As fingers toyed gently with his sparse chest hairs, Emmett grinned. Betty wasn't the only crepuscular creature in his life these days. Come dusk, he had a feeling Brendan would be hunting him down too.