Alex was always told he had pretty eyes. Granted, he did not have much of a social life, but growing up he had had more than a few compliments from strangers thrown his way. His grandfather had been the worst for it, regularly telling his grandson that his eyes ‘twinkled like sapphires’. It was a gift, the elderly Williams would explain, that he inherited from his grandmother. Apparently he had always been a tad disappointed that his only son, Alex’s father, had been given the same ‘dull shade’ as his own. Alex had no idea why. He thought the rusty colour of falling autumn leaves was no less lovely.
Currently staring at himself in a mirror, Alex came to the conclusion that his eyes did not look pretty at all. They looked tired. Bags were beginning to appear below his eyelashes and his normally rosy skin was looking a little pale. His wispy auburn hair, although never able to be tamed by Alex’s hair brush, was even more unruly than usual and curling up a storm. The short, soft locks framed his heart-shaped face and highlighted his small nose, gentle features and full, dusty pink lips.
His bottom lip was seized by pearly teeth when, finally, Alex pulled his gaze away from the reflective glass. His gaze instead began to wander around a modest bedroom. Wooden floorboards that creaked with every third step laid beneath his bare feet. A simple, single pine bed was pressed against the right wall and a plain wardrobe laid opposite it. On the left wall was a small desk with a single draw, its walnut wood mismatching heavily with his lighter furniture. A comfy but worn chair was pulled up to it, and beside that a four-shelved bookcase stood filled to the brim with books. The soft green of his bedsheets matched the rug on his floor and the two potted herbs on his windowsill. He didn't have a green thumb, or a chef's hat for that matter, but he enjoyed the fresh scent of mint and lemon balm whenever he walked into his room.
Alex walked away from the standing, thinly-framed mirror in the corner and instead made his way to the bed. He cascaded down with a ‘thump’, the bedsheet briefly billowing with the carelessness of his landing.
Just what was he still doing here?
The self-asked question made Alex audibly groan and rub a hand down his face. Truth was, he had absolutely no idea why he was still living in this old, derelict farmhouse situated hours away from the nearest city. The cattle that grazed here had long since been sold, as had the tractors, hay baler, plough and all manner of other farming equipment. There was nothing and no one left for him here, not since-
Alex’s thoughts ran short, the memory of last year still a raw and painful one.
Alex was not a farmer. His grandfather, on the other hand, had been a magnificent one. He had been forced to slow down once the arthritis had got bad, however. When his memory began to slip, life on the farm had stopped altogether.
No, Alex was not a gardener, a cook or a farmer, but he had muddled through all three of those roles at some point in his life for his grandfather, for what Alex lacked in those skills he made up for by being an excellent grandson.
A grandson, and a Carer towards the end…
Alex abruptly sat up, hastily scrubbing away the sting in his eyes.
He had to move out. He could not live off his savings for much longer, but living this far out in the countryside made it near impossible to find a job. The nearest village was miles away, and it was far from bustling with career opportunities. Once in a blue moon, when an advertisement for a job did come up, the wage never so much as covered the cost of petrol he needed to get there everyday.
He was out of options. He had to sell the farm. The statement was not news to him. He had known it for a while, had told himself the same thing everyday for weeks. So why hadn't he done it already? Just what exactly was stopping him? Was it sentimentality? Alex had certainly loved living here with his grandfather. The farm held many happy memories for him, and a few sad ones too. Indeed Alex had lived here for the majority of his life. How could he not feel sad at having to say goodbye to the home he had shared with his grandfather?
Even so, Alex couldn't believe that sentimentality alone had stopped him from moving on. The elderly Williams would not have wanted Alex to mope around in a big, empty house. A house that was in poor repair and very cold, now that Alex was struggling to pay the oil supplier. Not being connected to the gas grid was just one of the many perks that came with living in deep countryside.
No, if his grandfather had been here, he would have already had strict words with Alex. ‘Stop being so daft, lad’, he would have said. ‘Don’t be a plonker and take care of yourself.’ Alex could practically hear his grandfather’s voice echoing inside his head.
He wasn't here though. Alex was completely alone. He had no reason to stay here. There was nothing and no one-
As though in answer to his depressing thoughts, a furry canine threw itself on top of the unwitting Alex. It’s long, ebony and ivory coat smoothed the young man's frame, quickly bringing a welcomed warmth on what Alex was certain was going to be a chilly night. It's paws sank uncomfortably into Alex’s chest and stomach.
Nevertheless, Alex smiled. “You're ready for bed too, huh Susy?”
That's right, how could he forget? Alex wasn't completely alone. He still had Susy. The border collie was his best friend, and had once been his grandfather's most beloved companion and most hard working farm dog. She was getting older now, too old to be jumping onto people really, but you wouldn't know it from the way she dashed about, seemingly as healthy and active as a young pup. Alex honestly didn't know how she did it. There was a time, very soon after his grandfather's passing, that Alex thought he might lose Susy too. She had acted just as lifeless as Alex had, the death of her master seemingly too much for the aging collie.
They had both been failing, suffering. Alex hadn't known what to do. He hadn't know if he could do anything.
Then, all of a sudden, Susy had become… rejuvenated. It was a strange thing to explain, but it was like the light had returned to Susy’s eyes. Her movements, once weighed down with age and sadness, had suddenly become lighter and energetic. Her mood had gradually picked up, and the young Williams had been greatly relieved. Alex didn't know what had changed, but he had been hugely thankful nonetheless.
Deep down Alex liked to think that, maybe, just maybe, Susy had decided to hold on for him. That the two of them had decided to be there for each other during a time that devastated them both. Their bond had grown even deeper after the elderly William’s passing. Susy had given Alex a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to leave the house and not fall into his own depressive pit of misery. Simple tasks, like going to the store to buy Susy her Woofers Complete dog food, reminded Alex that the cupboards were empty and he needed to feed himself too. Pulling on his boots every afternoon and stepping out onto countryside trails because Susy demanded her walk every day, never mind the state of the weather, forced Alex to see that life did continue on, even if it didn't feel like it should. The sun kept rising. The birds kept chirping. The seasons carried on changing.
The months that followed had been a strain for both of them, but Alex honestly couldn't have imagined going through it alone. Susy wasn't just his best friend. She was family.
She was the last of his family.
Alex visibly flinched, tired of the thoughts that looped back on him like a broken record. With a heavy sigh, he forcibly pushed the musings out of his head by ruffling the top of Susy’s head instead. His canine companion responded with a happy wag that sent a chilly breeze down Alex’s airy pajama bottoms.
The young man shivered. “Alright. Bed time. Fancy moving over a bit, Suse, or are you using me as your mattress again?”
Alex didn't know if he was relieved or disappointed as he watched Susy hop off the bed and bury herself in the soft, fluffy bedding that made up her own bed on the floor. Figures she’d choose the option that had more blankets. Susy certainly wasn't silly.
With a rueful smile, Alex began wrapping himself in his thin duvet. He was definitely going to miss not having a dog-sized hot water bottle tonight. “Must be nice having all that fur,” he commented. Susy didn't even bat an eye. In fact, she closed them completely.
The young William's decided to follow suit. The days could be difficult, but the nights always granted him wonderful dreams. It was a small mercy, considering the struggles that would torment him during his waking hours, that his sleep wouldn't plague him with nightmares. On the contrary, sleep gifted him with the escapism, the break from his worries that he so desperately sought.
Every night, Alex dreamed of him. He was a stranger Alex hadn't thought his imagination was capable of conjuring. Long raven locks. Fierce green eyes that were so dark, they were almost black, a mere shimmer of colour that almost seamlessly blended in with his pupils. His skin was a golden bronze, his physic muscular but lean like an Olympic swimmer. He towered over Alex’s five foot seven inch height, but he was never domineering.
Alex let out a wistful sigh as he snuggled deeper into his mattress.
Yes, his sandman was stunning, otherworldly so, but it wasn't his looks that made Alex’s smile stretch to the point of pain, his heart fill to the brim with warmth and joy to spark from the tips of his fingers to the ends of his toes.
It was his uncanny ability to make Alex feel complete. Alex’s heart had been broken into such tiny pieces that it shouldn't have been so shockingly easy for one man, even if he was simply a figment of Alex’s imagination, to fit them back together again like it was a child’s puzzle. This man made him feel needed, cherished. Like Alex was the centre of his universe. Like...
Like he would never be alone again. Like he would forever be surrounded by love.
No sooner did the name leave his lips than Alex’s lids fall, his breathing even and his body go lax.
A deep, gravelly voice called to him from the darkness. The cold that had chilled his bones from inside the old farmhouse had disappeared, replaced instead by a comfortable warmth that instantly made him feel calm and safe. He let out an appreciative groan. The young Williams imagined this would be what a curled up cat felt like when dozing in summer sunshine; utterly content and carefree.
A large hand gently placed itself on top of Alex’s head. The sensation of deft fingers threading themselves through his auburn curls and softly massaging his scalp had Alex's eyelids fluttering open.
Immediately, Alex was greeted by a beaming smile full of perfect white teeth. Deep green eyes, the colour of a midnight ocean, threatened to drown him. A slim nose, chiseled jaw, strong brow and sun-kissed skin all equated to some kind of Amazonian deity that should be ruling over a harsh jungle and leading a pack of deadly panthers. He was so fantastical, Alex wouldn't be surprised if a pair of sharp fangs suddenly appeared in that dazzling smile.
He was too handsome to be real. He was, very literally, the man of Alex’s dreams.
“My sweet impid,” the man of the Amazon whispered as he brushed Alex’s curls from his eyes. “How are you feeling?”
As always, Zagra’s pet name for the him sent a jolt of electricity to spark from his heart and travel straight to his groin. Zagra had quite a few of them, although not all of them had the same effect as ‘impid’ did. ‘My heart’ and ‘nectar’ were two that he understood, although he thought ‘nectar’ was a tad odd. Zagra had often called him ‘Queen’ before an uncomfortable Alex had meekly asked him to stop. Alex's sexuality was very clear, both to him and his subconscious. Calling him a ‘Queen’ was just too much.
‘Impid’, however, was very acceptable to Alex. It hadn't been a word Alex had ever come across before, and so when Zagra had first called him it, the blue-eyed boy had asked him what it meant.
It was an extremely rare flower, Zagra had explained. Pure white with a speckled blue centre, the impid had short, triangular petals with long stems that were rich with nectar. It was a hardy plant, one of the few to survive in the harshest of climates. Zagra said that there were so few specimens left in the wild, some botanists were now attempting to grow the flower in artificial environments. An impid was a hugely expensive delicacy. According to Zagra, only the very rich could afford it.
Alex had never heard of an impid flower and he had no idea why it was considered a delicacy. Then again, Alex was no flower expert. Even if he was, it really didn't matter. Dreams weren't exactly known for their real life accuracy. So what if the flower was make believe?
It was still the sweetest, most romantic compliment he had ever received in his entire life. Even if it was given within the land of nod, Alex would take what he could get.
Ah, that's right. His dark-eyed dreamboat had asked him a question. What was it again? He really needed to work on this active dreaming thing. His head felt far too fuzzy.
Zagra’s thick eyebrows lowered in concern, a strange buzz-like noise vibrating from his chest. “My poor Xeplo.” Another word Alex didn't understand. He would have to remember to ask Zagra what it meant later. “The transport beam is always so hard on you.” The hand that had been stroking his hair moved to brush a thumb below his left eye. The action had Zagra frowning. Alex was beginning to feel guilty for making the man worry, even if he had no idea what he was doing to cause it. “I've been taking up too much of your time. You're not getting enough rest. Forgive me, my nectar.”
Alex blinked. The comment stirring something in his fog-filled mind. That's right… This was how the dreams always started. Zagra would be standing over him, a mixture of joy and concern always on his face, as he fussed over Alex’s health. Alex would be lying flat on his back, drowsily staring up at Zagra while wondering if he was a god he was supposed to be worshiping.
Almost right on cue, the heavy smell of disinfection and sterilization hit his nose. Alex regrettably teared his eyes away from Zagra’s handsome face and instead took in his surroundings. White walls, a bright light on a high ceiling, a monitor with unrecognizable lines and symbols and several large, frightening machines standing all around him. They reminded him of those huge, hulking robots used to build cars on a factory assembly line. They were all sharp edges and had a scary, silver gleam to them that was not unlike the gleam of a knife.
They should terrify him. The first time Alex had this dream, they undoubtedly had, but that first time felt so long ago now. The auburn-haired youth had had this same dream almost every night for months. Eventually the fear had just… worn away.
It had got a lot easier once Alex had realised there was nothing to be afraid of, although he thought others would forgive him for not coming to that conclusion straight away. Still, Zagra never hurt him. He listened to every word Alex said and every word he didn't. That was the thing about his tall, dark and handsome; he was an expert on body language. Alex didn't even have to wince before Zagra would stop what he was doing and resume his fussing over Alex’s wellbeing.
He had no idea what his subconscious was trying to tell him by having the same dream over and over again. Well, other than the fact he clearly had some kind of futuristic medical kink. This whole situation screamed doctor and patient roleplay, and the dream was definitely about kinks. That was because, although there were some slight differences when it came to conversation topics and… uh… physical examinations, the two things that always stayed the same no matter what?
Alex was always naked and the dreams always had a ‘happy ending’.
“I'm fine,” the patient eventually managed to croak out.
“You're exhausted,” the doctor countered back, pulling his hand away and turning to look at the large screen full of squiggly lines and unusual shapes. Alex guessed it was something like a medical monitor used to measure vitals, although how it was monitoring him Alex didn't have a clue. There were no wires attached to his body. Maybe the contraption he was lying on was somehow doing it? It was as soft as a cloud and supported him in all the right places. He didn't think even a foam mattress would be on par with this. Who knew what other magical things it was capable of? In fact, maybe that was why Alex was always naked. Perhaps it needed contact with his skin to get accurate readings on the monitor?
Oh, but yet again Alex was thinking too deeply into things. It was a dream. Dreams didn't have to make sense.
“You need to get more sleep, and from now on, you will,” his sci-fi doctor ordered, seemingly satisfied with whatever the monitor told him as he turned back to gaze down at the patient he clearly obsessed over. “This has gone on much longer than I anticipated, but it was vital that I got this right. My heart, I need you happy and well. Your immune system fought me every step of the way, but finally, finally, it's cooperating. My newest treatment has finally solved the issue so now I can…”
Alex began to zone out a little. Zagra was speaking quickly about some sort of epiphany and his still dizzy mind was struggling to keep up with it. What Alex did understand was that Zagra was going on a tangent about his health again. This happened a lot. What Zagra needed in these moments was Alex’s reassurance that he was fine. He felt great. As fit as a horse. Honestly, he would say anything to take the worry out of that man’s voice. Alex hated seeing him upset, especially since he seemed to be working so hard on… Well, whatever this thing was that involved Alex.
He moved to sit up. “Zagra, I promise I'm we-”
Oh… GOD. Was that? Did he feel a…? He did! There was something up his… Inside there!
These dreams were one hundred percent about kinks.
Immediately, Zagra halted his rapid speech and shot out a hand to steady him. The look on his face was apologetic as he gently encouraged Alex to lie on his back again.
His doctor was undoubtedly a sweet worrier.
His doctor was also undoubtedly a pervert.
Alex couldn't judge. The doctor came from his own imagination, after all.
Which meant the real pervert was Alex.
“I'm sorry. I know this is uncomfortable for you, but as this is the last time I felt it important to do a thorough examination.” Zagra’s face followed Alex down as he was once again laid flat on his back. “Do you hurt anywhere? If it's too uncomfortable I'll remove it.”
The dreamer was thrown in a loop. Uncomfortable? Oh, Alex was definitely feeling uncomfortable, though probably not in the way Zagra meant. He could feel the goosebumps spreading down his naked body, the fevered blush blooming on his checks and down his neck. His cock had started stirring the second Zagra had called him impid.
And now the man was asking if the dildo he had slicked up and slid into Alex’s body was pushing things a bit too far?
Had… Had Zagra really not noticed what kind of state he was in? What he was doing to him?
A silence began to stretch between them. The bronze medic stared into his patient's blue eyes so intensely, Alex dared not blink.
Suddenly, the tip of Zagra's tongue darted out and swept over his bottom lip. The movement triggered Alex into action.
Zagra had noticed.