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“While I can’t say this for sure until the end of the day, I can confidently express that it will be a pleasure to work with you. Expect a call tomorrow.”

Something tight in Rey’s chest loosens, her anxiety over this meeting ebbing away with the interviewer’s kind smile as he extends a hand across his desk. She shakes it firmly, allowing herself to smile back at him.

“Thank you so much, sir. You won’t regret it.”

“No, no, I don’t think I will.”

She leaves him then, only allowing herself a moment of minor victory dance outside his office— much to his secretary’s amusement— before straightening to make for the elevators. She pulls out her phone as she walks, dialing her brother’s number quickly as her hands shake with excitement.

Poe answers on the second ring. “Well? How did it go?”

“He all but offered me the job.”

“Fucking right he did. Did he say when you can start?”

“No, but he told me I can expect a call tomorrow.”

She stands just outside the elevators, shifting between the balls of her feet giddily as the rush of euphoria at having all but landed her first job courses through her.

“That’s great, sis. I told Ben you’d get it.”

She stills, sucking in a breath sharply as her limbs grow cold. “Ben?”

“Hm? Oh, did I not mention that? My friend from college, Ben— you remember Ben, don’t you?”

She nods dumbly; she knows Poe can’t see it so she adds, “I remember.”

“He’s actually an editor there. He’s the one I called to put in a good word for you.”

“Is that so.” Her voice is quiet, devoid of all her earlier excitement, but Poe doesn’t seem to pick up on this.

“Yeah, you haven’t seen him in, fuck— what’s it been?”

“Six years,” she all but whispers.

The elevator doors open with a ping , and she shuffles inside in a hurry, now more than eager to get out of this building lest she bump into him.

“That’s right, I remember now. I was happy you’ll be working with someone you sort of know. He’ll take good care of you.”

Take good care of you.

The words send a shiver down her spine, sparking memories that flood her with embarrassment. She shakes her head, clearing her noisy thoughts and focusing on what her brother is saying.

“...I told him he should take you to lunch when you start. You know, help you get settled.”

“I don’t want to bother him.”

“Nonsense, he’s my best friend. You’re my sister. You used to worship the ground he walked on, anyway.”

Poe chuckles as he says this, but Rey isn’t laughing. She is too lost in her own thoughts to do so. She feels a strange itch just below her ear, her gland giving a phantom pulse as if her body remembers the incident even still.

Suddenly her triumph fades into dread, the idea of working here leaving a hollow pit in her stomach. Poe is still talking, babbling on about how great she will fit in there and how well she will do, but she doesn’t hear most of it. Her mind is firmly trapped in the vivid memories of six years ago— in a moment she wishes she could forget.

By the time she hangs up the phone— she isn’t sure anymore if she can do this.


It turns out by some miracle that she can do this, the evidence being that it is exactly six days later on a Monday morning, and she is currently in the building heading for her new job. The nerves that wrack through her are overwhelming as she rides up the elevator for the second time in a week.

The last week in question has been a nightmare— flipping between resolve and uncertainty, and more than once she has considered calling to back out. To turn them down.

The only thing that’s held her back is the knowledge that Poe has done her a big favor here.

She knows that people don’t normally get opportunities like this, fresh out of college at twenty-two. She knows that the chance to work at Rebel Media Publishing at such a young age is an incredible opportunity and she should be grateful for it. She is, she really is — but the thought of being near him again, seeing him after all this time— she isn’t sure how she’ll handle it.

She’d spent much of her teen years following after him, thinking of herself as some sort of friend, some sort of sister even— but she hadn’t been. Not really. That had been made apparent to her in the worst way possible.

Please, please— can’t you just—

No. She refuses to think about it right now. She pushed the memory from her mind. The air in the elevator is thick and heavy, making it hard to draw in a steady breath.

You can do this, she reminds herself. He probably hasn’t even thought about it again.

When the doors slide open, she finds her heart still beating wildly, even as she is able to calm her breathing. She steps out with determination, clicking across the tile floor as she makes her way to the main cluster of offices. She has been informed that she will be working on the main floor, and it calms her to know that a bullpen of sorts will separate her from him. His office will surely be attached to the main area, but at least she will have a slight buffer.

A petite woman greets her as she rounds the corner that leads into the main area, her inky curls framing her face as she offers Rey a warm smile. “Are you Rey?”

“Yes, I was told to report here at eight.”

The woman glances at the clock. “You’re early. That’s good! The boss likes punctuality.”

The boss.

She has to swallow back the ball of anxiety that threatens to suffocate her. “Figure it’s best to make a good first impression.” She almost laughs at first impression— knowing it is their last that actually worries her more.

“I’m Rose,” the woman offers, sticking out her hand. Rey shakes it, catching for the first time the distinct scent of Omega that is tinged with… something inherently Alpha.

“Are you mated?” Rey blurts out, immediately horrified to have done so. “Oh God, I’m sorry. That was incredibly rude. I’m so nervous. I wasn’t even thinking.”

Rose just laughs, waving her off. “It’s okay. I am. My husband and I just married about six months ago.”

“Oh, congratulations!”

Rose grins a little wider. “Thank you. My husband, Armitage, works in accounting. You’ll probably meet him at one point or another.”

“Can’t wait.”

Rose directs her to a series of desks in neat rows, and she notices two others seated at their desks in various states of work. Rose points towards an empty desk that is far less decorated than the others.

“This is where you’ll be working,” Rose explains. “Ben doesn’t really like for us to make a lot of personal calls on the company phone, but he doesn’t seem to monitor the internet usage too much— so as long as you’re not surfing porn or anything you’re good in that aspect.”

Rey isn’t sure if she’s blushing harder at porn or Ben. Rose just laughs, placing a reassuring hand on her elbow. “I’m just teasing. Or rather, I’m not— but you get my meaning.”

Rey nods, glancing around at the others in the office. Rose tugs at her elbow, clearly intending to introduce her to everyone. She stops first at the desk of another petite woman— this one blonde— who looks up at them from where’s she’s currently talking on the phone, holding up a finger in gesture that they give her a moment.

When she’s finished, Rose points to Rey, informing the woman of her name. “Rey, this is Kaydel Connix. She’ll probably be showing you the ropes around here.”

“Not you?”

Rose shakes her head. “I’m just the office manager. These guys are the copy editors. Don’t worry, no one will bite.”

Kaydel grins up at her. “I heard we had someone new. You’re so young! You don’t look a day over eighteen.”

Rey feels herself blush. “I just graduated in the spring actually.”

“That’s amazing, that you’re starting so young here. You’ll learn so much.”

Rose waves over an impossibly tall woman who has just entered the space, her pointed heels only adding to her imposing stature as she looks up from the stack of papers she’s shuffling through. She raises a perfectly groomed eyebrow of pale blonde that matches her short, sleek hair, regarding them curiously. “What’s this?”

Rose points to Rey. “This is our new copy editor, Rey. She just started today. Rey, this is Gwen Phasma.”

“Ah, the young one.”

Rey frowns. Is it really so odd that she is so young? What do people normally do after graduating?

Gwen continues, “You must feel fortunate to have landed a job like this right out of school.”

The way she says it… it isn’t a compliment. Rey realizes this much. Still, she isn’t looking to make an enemy on her first day, even if this one is shaping up to be a bit of an asshole. She sticks out her hand anyway, Phasma eyeing it for only a moment before shaking it briefly.

“I feel incredibly lucky to work here,” Rey offers. “It’s a dream really.”

Gwen hmphs softly, releasing Rey’s hand and clicking away as she moves to her own desk. Rose leans in conspiratorially, shaking her head. “Ignore her. Most of us do.”

Rey grins despite herself, especially when she notices Kaydel nodding in agreement. Rose looks around, her eyes landing on the last of the people in the room and pulling Rey along. “And this is Finn Storm, our most recent hire— besides you of course. Finn, this is Rey.”

He looks up at her with kind eyes of dark brown, extending a hand as he beams up at her. “Hey, Rey. It’s good to have you here.”

“Thanks,” she grins. “It’s good to be here.”

“Truthfully, I’m just happy to not be the newbie anymore. Phasma seems to enjoy picking on them.” He grimaces for good measure, and Rey can’t help but giggle.

“I’ve dealt with worse.”

“You say that now,” he mutters.

Rey can’t help but pick up on the aroma that is distinctly Alpha tickling her nostrils. She has learned her lesson once on commenting on one’s designation, but she is grateful for her suppressants at a time like this. It is hard enough being a woman in this industry— much less an Omega. Although upon first glance, Finn doesn’t seem the type to bully her for it. Gwen on the other hand… Rey wonders if perhaps she is an Alpha herself. Rey makes a mental note to try and find out.

“That’s just about everyone,” Rose nods. “Except Ben of course. He’s out today though. I suppose it will have to wait until tomorrow.”

Rey has to suppress the urge to sigh in relief, all too happy to belay their reunion. “That’s completely fine. Where should I start?”

Rose walks her back to Kaydel’s desk. “I’ll leave you in Kaydel’s capable hands. I have some filing to do. If you need me, my desk is just around the corner in the front entry. Find me at lunch, I’ll show you around the break room!”

“That sounds amazing, Rose,” Rey sighs gratefully. “Thank you.”

“Don’t worry girl, you’ll be fine.”

When she is gone, Kaydel nods towards Rey’s desk chair, and Rey drags it across the floor to sit beside her at her. “I have some calls to make to authors, but it might be a good idea for you to listen in? Get a feel for how we should handle them. After I’ll show you how to set up your email with the IT department. Sound good?”

Rey nods. “Perfect, actually.”

“I’m sure Mr. Solo will want you to do something more extensive tomorrow— but we’ll take advantage of his absence today and make sure your first day is an easy one.”

She winks as she says this, and Rey decides she likes her already. “Is he gone a lot?”

“Who, Mr. Solo?”

Rey nods.

“Not really,” Kaydel remarks. “The occasional business trip— but mostly he’s just there in his office.” Kaydel nods towards a closed door at the end of the floor, a meager two-hundred feet from where’s she’s sitting and not far enough for her liking.

“What’s he like?” Rey tries her best to sound nonchalant.

Kaydel thinks on this for a moment. “He’s nice enough I guess. A little stiff. Total perfectionist. Bit of a control freak really, but I guess that’s an Alpha’s for you—” Kaydel must notice the slightly anxious look Rey is sporting, and she quickly backtracks. “But don’t worry! I’m sure you two will get along just fine.”

Rey has to swallow the choked laugh that threatens to escape her. If she only knew. “I’m sure it will be fine.” She says the words, but she isn’t sure if she believes them.  

“Right then,” Kaydel continues. “Let’s get started, shall we?”


All in all, Rey has had a very pleasant first day. She spent lunch with Rose, Kaydel and Finn, getting to know them a little better and deciding she is definitely fortunate in the coworkers department. She briefly thinks of Gwen— or as most seem to refer to her— Phasma. Well, mostly.

She is just approaching her car in the parking garage, sorting through her purse for her keys and swearing when she can’t find them. She knows she had them at lunch, because she’d run downstairs to grab her forgotten suppressants, and she’d left them right— shit.

She’d left them near her computer.

She sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose and deciding her day could have went a lot worse, all things considered. She makes her way back to the elevators as quickly as she can, apologizing to the doorman for having to let her back inside after hours. She stayed to the last minute, walking out with Rose as most of the people had already left for the day.

The halls are fairly empty now, some of the overhead lights having been switched off, and the ride in the elevator is almost eerie as it climbs back up the expanse of floors between the lobby and her own.

When the doors slide open, she finds the entryway dark as well, a solitary emergency light bleeding around the corner as it softly lights the area where their desks are. She hurries to her own desk, finding her keys just under the monitor where she’d left them and gripping them tight.

She is just turning to leave when she hears the door at the end of the way click open, the door to the office that should be empty swinging open as a figure steps out, filling the entirety of the frame as he shuts it behind him.

She’d thought perhaps she’d imagined it all these years. Thought maybe he couldn’t be as her adolescent mind had chosen to render him in the years since she’d last seen him.

He isn’t really. As she remembered him.

He is more.

His dark hair is longer now, brushing against his collared shirt and curling slightly. He is broader than the young man she remembers, his shoulders wide— so impossibly wide— bleeding into a chest so broad that it strains against the buttons of his dress shirt. Said shirt is rolled at the sleeves, exposing the thickness of his forearms as they move to cross over his chest. He peers at her from across the space, his dark eyes barely readable in the dimmed lighting of the space.

She’d told herself she would be prepared, when she saw him again. She’d grown comfortable today, telling herself that it would not be as bad as she’d imagined. That she would not be a mess. She supposes in some ways she was right— however, in others— she was wrong. So wrong.

She is not sixteen anymore. Not the confused girl he’d left behind. She understands now. Understands just how the wall of scent that assaults her is designed to call her in, to draw her to him.

Draw her it does. She has taken a step before she’s even realized what she’s done, pulled by the scent of mint and spring rain just as she had been all those years ago.

He’s just… staring at her. His eyes wide, even in the faded light, and boring into hers. Does he feel it too? This pull between them? The one that threatens to bring her to her knees even after all these years?

Be good for Alpha. Please Alpha. Make him feel good.

Urges pulse through her that she hasn’t felt in years, ones she’s desperately fought against since she’d first presented. They are naked— raw here. Coursing through her veins as she struggles with the need to remain where she is, to run to him, to flee.

She opens her mouth with the intent to speak, but she sees his lips part, and she knows he will beat her to it.

“You’re not supposed to be here.”

What? This isn’t what she’d expected him to say at all. “I’m sorry?” Even to her, her voice sounds throaty. Rasping even. As if the words are pulled from her forcefully.

He crosses his arms a little tighter, his brow furrowing as he frowns. “Who are you?”

She feels something break inside her, like a rubber band drawn too tight as it snaps into nothing. After everything— for all her worrying — she could have never expected this.

Ben Solo doesn’t even remember her.

It should be a relief. It should be a blessing. This is what she’d wanted— wasn’t it? Instead, it feels like a punch to the gut. Like a breath she’s been holding that is suddenly stolen away, leaving her lungs a useless thing without purpose.

“You— you don’t know who I am?”

He purses his lips, annoyed. “Are you in maintenance?”

Is she in maintenance. She feels her mouth fall open. “Excuse me?”

“It’s a simple question.”

“No, I’m not in maintenance.”

“Then I see no reason for you to be here. This is a private office.”

Excuse me?”

“Do you always have problems understanding simple statements?”

The fucking nerve— “ I work here.”

“If that is true, you know it is well past business hours. You should leave.”

“I just forgot something.” She doesn’t mean to sound petulant, but she’s gone from anxious to turned on to furious in the span of four minutes and it’s fucking with her emotions.  

“Well, if you’ve finished snooping around, I suggest you leave. I’d hate to call security.”

“Call securi— there’s— security let me in here.” She’s floundering now, riled to a point beyond her own recognition.

“Then I’ll need to speak to them. If you’re finished, I’ll need to ask you again to leave.” He extends an arm towards the exit, as if dismissing her.

She snarls her nose in indignance. What an asshole. “You can’t just —”

Leave, Rey.”

Her nostrils flare as she inhales sharply— a mistake really, as this only pulls in a deep rush of his scent that cuts the edge off her ire. Gritting her teeth, she nods curtly, turning on her heel. The nerve. She’s almost happy he doesn’t remember her.

She isn’t sure who that man was, but he is not the Ben Solo she remembers. She doesn’t know this Ben at all. This conversation only drives that home for her.

She manages to offer a kind goodbye to the doorman as she leaves, even as her mind whirrs with anger at the tense encounter with her boss.

Just thinking about it sours her stomach. How will she face him tomorrow when he finds out who she is? She can’t seem to stop thinking about it though. Their conversation plagues her the entirety of her ride home, as she stomps inside her apartment— even as she brushes her teeth with a little more force than necessary.

It is only when she is tucked into her bed much later, several minutes after she’s punched her pillow into a more pliant state, that a thought strikes her.

If Ben Solo didn’t remember her— then why had he called her Rey?

Chapter Text

She’s chewing her nails.

She hasn’t done this since she was ten. It’s just that— he’d said her name last night. Once it had occurred to her, she hadn’t been able to let it go. Why would he lie? Why pretend not to know her?

The most obvious answer is the most worrisome.

Perhaps he is embarrassed. If he remembers her— he most certainly remembers what happened. She taps her foot nervously. She is torn between confronting him with her realization, or going along with the ruse. How much easier would it be to maintain this distant aloofness? To pretend it never happened?

Clearly that is what Ben wants.

How incredibly awkward it is now. More so than yesterday even. Yesterday she had come to work knowing she would have to see him again. Today she comes knowing just how much he hasn’t wanted to see her.

It is not exactly ideal.

None of these things stop the elevator doors from sliding open. She smooths her skirt as she steps out with the tiny crowd of people she’d ridden up with, straightening her spine as she crosses the entryway towards the front desk.

Rose greets her cheerfully, waving at her from behind the granite counter over her desk before gesturing her over.

“Here’s the temporary password for your new email account.” Rose slips her a piece of paper. “IT sent it to me this morning. You’ll need to create your own once you login for the first time.”

“Thanks, Rose. I’ll do that first thing.”

“So how was your first day you think?”

Despite meeting my boss, I’d say it was okay. She doesn’t say this of course. “Fairly well, I’d say. Kaydel and Finn are really nice.”

Rose sighs. “Gwen really isn’t so bad. She’s just a little coarse. Don’t let her get to you. She’ll warm up eventually.”

Rey was beginning to see that Rose saw the best in everyone. “Maybe. I’m not worried. I can handle her.”

“Of course you can. Ben is back today, so you might pop into his office and introduce yourself. He knows you’re here of course— but just to be cordial.”

Does he now…

“I’ll do that. Thanks.”

She nods, turning back to her computer, and Rey takes a deep breath. Of course he knows she’s here. He would just rather pretend he doesn’t. It would anger her, if it didn’t make her a little bit sad.

They’d been friends once, hadn’t they? Maybe it had only ever been her.

She turns the corner onto the work floor, seeing that Finn is the only one who’s arrived so far. Apparently she isn’t the only one with a penchant for arriving early. Perhaps it is a newbie thing.

“Good morning, Finn.”

He turns in his chair, grinning at her as he spins a pen between his fingers. “Morning. Glad to see Phasma didn’t scare you off.”

Rey rolls her eyes. “I’ve met worse.”

He shudders. “Remind me not to hang out with your friends.”

“Won’t be hard exactly,” she snorts. “I have exactly one friend— and he’s my brother.”

“That’s mildly depressing.”

“You’re telling me.”

She drops her purse on her desk, sitting at her chair to settle her work email account before moving on to anything else. She knows she’s stalling really, not quite ready to face him just yet. The fact that he’s just beyond those walls, separated only by a short expanse of space and a solid door that at the moment seems to be screaming at her from its place at the end of the room.

He’s behind that door.

Is he worrying about her being on this side of it? Dreading it even? She tries not to think about it.

She goes about setting up her work email, setting a new password and opening the welcome message from IT. Nothing too embellished— just a short hello with well wishes and instructions on who to contact should she have questions— the first of which being none other than the person she reports to directly— Ben Solo.

Of fucking course.

She exits the program, huffing out a breath as Kaydel walks in. “Good morning, Rey!”

“Morning,” Rey grins back.

Kaydel holds a carrier filled with paper cups, setting it on her desk and pulling one out to offer it to Rey. “I didn’t know what you liked— so I just got it black. I brought plenty of cream and sugar though.”

“Oh, that’s perfect. Thank you,” Rey gushes. She eyes the remaining three cups. “One for Phasma too?”

Kaydel rolls her eyes. “Yes. She always says she prefers no sugar— so I always make sure to get her extra. That woman could use a little more sweet in her life. She gripes, but I’ve never seen her not drink it.”

Rey can’t help but giggle, thinking perhaps Phasma isn’t as tough as she looks. Finn glances towards the door to Ben’s office as he grabs a cup of his own. “Has anyone talked to him since the meeting yesterday?”

Kaydel shakes her head, taking a sip. “Nope. Think he snagged Wexley?”

Finn snorts, blowing at the steaming liquid through the tiny hole in the lid. “Doesn’t he always?”

“I heard Snap never leaves his house. Some sort of a paranoid shut in.”

Finn raises an eyebrow. “Yet, he writes romance novels?”

“Hey,” Kaydel laughs, holding up her hands. “ Science fiction romance at that. Tentacles, I bet.”

Rey wrinkles her nose. “Really?”

Finn is laughing out right now. “Isn’t that fantastic? Can you imagine— Ben Solo, hounding a man for representation who writes tentacle porn.”

Kaydel covers her mouth with her hand to hide her laughter.  “Shh. Are you trying to elicit mass murder?” She shoots a sympathetic look towards Rey. “Don’t let Finn scare you off. He’s not that bad. Let’s just say… Ben Solo is not the type to be after a romance author.”

Rey cocks an eyebrow. “Why is he then?”

Kaydel takes a sip. “Higher ups. Apparently even if he’s a weirdo— Snap Wexley is a popular weirdo. He was on GoodReads top ten last year, and on Amazon’s Top 100 list. It’s almost unheard of for someone who’s self-published.”

Rey nods appreciatively. “Wow. That’s impressive though.”

“It is impressive,” a new voice chimes in. Rey hadn’t even seen Phasma come in. “Which is why the three of you should probably be checking in with him to see what you can do to help.”

“Good morning to you too, Gwen,” Finn grumbles.

Phasma takes her cup from Kaydel’s carrier without even confirming its for her, taking a sip. She grimaces, raising an eyebrow in Kaydel’s direction. “It’s too sweet. Again.”

Kaydel pouts slightly. “Oh shoot. I tried to tell them. They’re always mixing it up.”

Phasma narrows her eyes, taking a tentative sip despite her protests and stalking away to her own desk. Finn gestures that Rey cross to his desk, leaning in a little closer, his eyes on Phasma. “She probably prefers the blood of the innocent.”

Rey almost snorts coffee through her nose. “Stop.”

“I’m just saying,” Finn laughs, turning back to his desk.

Rey glances back to Ben’s door, her fingers tapping against her cup as she takes another long sip. She’s still stalling. She’ll have to get this over with eventually, if she really wants to work here, and she does. She likes these people, and she thinks she will like this job— she just isn’t sure about her boss just yet.

Taking a deep breath, she moves to set the cup down on her own desk, heaving out a sigh. Kaydel gives her a curious look, and she just nods towards the door. “Rose said I should introduce myself.”

“Ah,” Kaydel nods. “Don’t worry. He won’t bite.”

Rey has to suppress a shiver at the mental image those words conjure up— stepping away from her desk and moving towards his door with slower steps than normal. She pauses outside the door, smoothing her skirt for good measure and raising her hand to knock. She lets her fist hover for only a second, not wanting the others to pick up on the depths of her nerves, and sounds a series of sharp raps against the wood.

“Come in.”

His voice is the same as the night before, with none of the edge that he’d reserved to berate and chide her. She wonders if that will last when he sees who’s come.

She pushes open the door, stepping inside his office. He isn’t looking at her yet, his head trained towards the desk in front of him as he signs some paperwork. She sees his hand still around the pen he’s holding, gripping it just a little tighter as the door clicks shut behind her.

“Just a moment.”

She stands quietly, waiting for him to finish whatever he’s working on. She takes the moment to study him, noticing the way his hair frames his face as he works. His nose has always been just a tad long for his face, but it just… somehow works for him. It isn’t overpowering on him, it just makes his face more interesting.

There is a tiny cluster of beauty marks against the skin just above his brow, just a few of many that are scattered across his face. It surprises her that after all these years she can pinpoint every single one. She knows the location of each mark across his face— simply because she’s spent so much time in the past studying them.

The worst of it all is his scent— permeating the tiny space and filling her up. She is left confused as to why it seems so strong to her. She’s been around Alphas before. Hard to avoid them really. Hell, she works with one now just outside. Finn’s scent hadn’t made her dizzy. Ben’s however… it is almost uncomfortable to be in this room with him.

When he finally lays his pen against the wood, she notices his jaw tense as he looks up at her. “Yes?”

So we’re really going to pretend last night didn’t even happen now?

She can’t tell if she wants to laugh or scream. “Yes, Rose mentioned I should introduce myself.”

“You’re the girl from last night.”

“I am,” she nods.

“The one who doesn’t work in maintenance.”

Cute, she thinks. Keep pretending you don’t know my name.

“Okay… well, I’m Rey. The new copy editor.”

“Ah,” he frowns. She realizes she’s never seen him do anything more than frown in the time since they’ve become… reacquainted. “The girl I’ve heard so much about.”

“Yes. Poe’s sister.”

A slight twitch of his jaw is the only thing that gives her any clue as to what he might be thinking, and admittedly it isn’t much to go on.

“I see. How are you adjusting?”

How is she adjusting. It’s almost mesmerizing— the way he’s circumventing the issue of him actually knowing her.

“I’d say I’m adjusting fairly well. Considering.”

“Considering?”

“Considering my boss is pretending he doesn’t know who I am.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s a simple statement.” She’s pushing him, which is dangerous, but it infuriates her the way he’s pretending. “Do you always have this much trouble with simple statements?”

Another twitch of his jaw. “You’ll have to forgive me. I just had a hard time placing you. It’s been quite a long time after all.”

“I’m aware, Mr. Solo,” she grates. “Six years in fact. Plenty of time to misplace me I suppose… however, you said my name last night.”

His brow knits. “Did I?”

“You did.”

“You mentioned it.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Of course you did, Rey.”

“I did not mention my name.”

She’s taken a step towards his desk, she realizes, something hot and pulsing in her chest as anger floods her. He is not playing this game.

He has other plans, apparently. “You certainly did. I find it disturbing that you seem to be unable to remember your own conversations.”

“You—” She has to bite her tongue. She wants to tell him exactly what he can do with his I find it disturbing— but she remembers abruptly that no matter how much of an ass he’s being— he’s still her boss. So she bites her tongue. She takes a deep breath.

Mistake— this just allows more of his scent to assault her, and she momentarily forgets what she was angry about.

She closes her eyes and counts to three before attempting to respond again. “Look, Be— Mr. Solo, I understand that this might be awkward for you. I understand that it probably isn’t ideal, and quite frankly I am surprised you agreed to put in a word for me in the first place. I’m sure this was strictly a favor to Poe, and I assure you I had no idea you even worked here when I interviewed. Poe conveniently forgot to mention it. I promise that I can be professional if you can, and that whatever happened in our past will remain there— in the past. Deal?”

He leans back in his chair, tenting his fingers to rest against his mouth as he studies her. “A valid proposition.”

“One that I am perfectly capable of carrying out.”

He studies her for a moment, his dark eyes passing over her face slowly as he considers. “I can do that as well.”

“Good then.” She nods emphatically. “I’m glad we understand each other.”

“Do we? Understand each other.” He’s still staring at her, his finger beginning to trace the shape of his mouth. It’s... distracting. To say the least.

“I—” She swallows around the lump in her throat, transfixed by the way his finger is moving across his lips with purpose. She wonders briefly what it might feel like— tracing her skin, her mouth, her gland— even now it pulses slightly beneath the curtain of her hair. She blows out a breath. “We do.”

“Then I guess that will be all, Ms. Dameron.”

Oh, so it’s Ms. Dameron now, is it?

She turns to leave, and his voice halts her just as she’s reaching for the handle. “One more thing.”

She turns, just enough that she can see him over her shoulder, regarding her sternly. “Yes?”

“If you’re going to work here, I require you to be on suppressants.”

She stills, something like embarrassment and… something else washing over her. Talking about this is not proper at all. Does he worry? That history will repeat itself?

“I am on suppressants,” she all but whispers.

She notices the way his Adam’s apple bobs, his chest rising heavily, the only indications that he might be affected by their conversation. “Get better ones.”

Her eyes widen, at a loss for words for what to say to such an inappropriate demand. She turns on her heel, quickly exiting his office and trying to remain calm as she makes her way to her desk. She sits at her chair, her knees still slightly weak and her fingers trembling as she opens her email to distract herself.

Is he so worried? Does he think she’s some sort of animal? Surely he realizes— surely he knows just how much she couldn’t help— how much she hadn’t meant to—

She grits her teeth. Apparently not.

She sets about her work, pulling up the list Kaydel has sent her while she was in there with him— deciding that she will push Ben Solo far from her mind.

It’s the only way she will get anything done, really.

It is only later, in the safety of the break room, that she dwells on what happened in Ben’s office. It’s eating at her, his demand, and she is unsure of how to deal with it.

She and Finn are the only ones still lingering in the break room, and she decides on a direct approach. “Can I… ask you a favor?”

Finn pauses mid- bite, giving her a curious look. “Sure. What is it?”

“You’re an Alpha… right?” It’s a rhetorical question really, his scent like cinnamon and something sweet like baked apples readily apparent— even if it doesn’t rob her of her senses in the way Ben’s does.

Finn nods. “Yes.”

Rey takes a deep breath, lowering her voice. “Can you— can you smell me?”

Finn’s eyes widen a little, looking uncomfortable. “I don’t know if—”

Rey cuts him off with an apologetic look. “I know. I’m sorry. I know that’s an incredibly uncomfortable thing for ask. It’s just— someone said— or rather, someone implied that maybe—”  She huffs out a sigh. “I just want to make sure my suppressants are working correctly.”

He still looks slightly uncomfortable if she’s being honest, but he’s nodding at least, checking the door to the break room to make sure they are in fact, alone. He leans in, inhaling deeply near her shoulder and pulling away with a bemused expression. “You smell practically like a Beta to me, if I’m being honest.”

Rey nods. “My suppressants are not cheap.”

“Who implied that they weren’t working?”

Rey bites her lip, shaking her head. “No one. Just some asshole in the lobby this morning.”

“Seriously? If you see him again, be sure to point him out. That shit isn’t cool.”

Rey smiles, happy that Finn seems to be genuinely displeased by her answer. He’s a good guy, Finn. “I’m sure it was nothing. I just needed to be sure they’re working correctly.”

“Seem to be working just fine. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.”

Rey is nodding as Finn returns his attention to the rest of his sandwich, even as she stares down at her own food, her mind racing. She takes a bite of her salad, chewing thoughtfully as she considers all the events of that morning. Had Ben only been making such a demand as a precaution to protect himself? Or was it something more? Was it... was it possible she affected him in the way he seemed to affect her?

At this point— she isn’t sure if she wants to find out or not.

Chapter Text

The rest of her week goes by without seeing much of Ben. She’s fairly certain he’s actively avoiding her actually— although she can’t find it in herself to complain. She supposes it is easier on the both of them.

She’s already lied to Poe about this, telling him how great it had been catching up with Ben. As if.

She had been sent her first file on Friday morning, finally allowed to begin what she’d come here to do. The manuscript hadn’t been anything special really, but it had thrilled her all the same, being her first one. She’d probably spent far more time than she’d needed to on it. In fact— she’d skipped lunch just to finish.

She is still at her desk, her pen behind her ear and her fingers tapping away at her keyboard, not even noticing really when he steps out of his office. She doesn’t even acknowledge his presence until she feels him standing over her shoulder, glancing down at her screen as if studying her work.

Goddamn the way his scent makes her dizzy. She bristles as it wraps around her, resisting the urge to breathe it in. She refuses to look at him, continuing to tap away at her keys. “Yes?”

“You haven’t eaten.”

“I’m aware.”

“You should eat.”

“I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

“Yet you’re refusing to indulge in the most basic of necessities.”

She turns in her chair then, willing herself not to glare. “Did I miss the part where it’s your job to ensure I am taken care of?”

He clears his throat. “I am your boss. It’s my job to—”

“To ensure that I get my work done. Which I am. Or, I was until you interrupted.”

His mouth quirks. “Are you always so stubborn?”

“Yes.”

He takes a deep breath, shaking his head. “Alright then.”

He turns on his heel, practically stomping as he leaves the bullpen and turns the corner in the direction of the elevators. She’s not even sure why he cares really— maybe it’s just Alpha bullshit. Silly, really. He isn’t her Alpha.

Her skin prickles at the unbidden thought, her mind drifting to what it might be like if he was.

No. She shakes her head. Dangerous. Stupid. Her stomach growls softly as she turns back to her desk, and she scowls. She is hungry. As if she’ll admit that to him. Turning back to her work, she decides to finish up and then grab something quick from the vending machine.

Not that she’ll ever let Ben find out.


She’s rubbing her shoulders as she leaves the bathroom, her neck stiff from being stooped over her computer for so long. She raises her arms over her head, stretching slightly as she walks back to her desk. She still hasn’t grabbed herself anything to eat, but at this point she’s just decided to wait until dinner.

She rounds the corner to where the desks are located, halting when she sees a brown paper bag at hers. Everyone is still at lunch, the hour almost up but no one returning yet. She glances to Ben’s door, seeing it shut tight and she wonders if he’s inside it. Had he done this?

She steps over to the bag, opening it up to find a wrapped sandwich inside. Peeling it open, she finds a turkey and swiss with just a little bit of mayo… her favorite. Has always been her favorite— ever since…

Her eyes fly again to his door. He remembers this? Something so trivial? She feels her heart begin to race. Over a sandwich. She takes a step towards his door, having every intention to ask him about it.

“Did you work through your whole lunch hour?”

Rey stills, attempting to calm her expression before facing Kaydel who has just returned to the office. She offers her a forced smile, her mind still firmly seated on the other side of Ben’s office door. “Yeah. Just wanted to finish.”

“Dedication,” Kaydel laughs. “I like it.”

Rey’s grin comes a little easier then. “It was just my first one. I guess I got a little carried away.”

“I get it. It’s always exciting the first time. Give it a while, then all the edits start to bleed together and you’ll be dreaming in yellow highlights.”

Rey laughs. “Oh God. Does it make me a nerd to say that I already sort of do that?”

“Oh, shit. You’re one of those. You dream about coming to work, don’t you?”

“Guilty.”

“I feel so betrayed. I thought we could be comrades in apathy.” Rey grimaces, and Kaydel just laughs as she takes a seat at her desk. “I’m totally kidding. Secretly, I love it too. Just can’t let them know how eager I am, they might actually start making me do more things.”

“Heaven forbid that.” Oh, so Phasma is back. She clicks across the floor, giving them a disgruntled look as she passes.

Kaydel only smiles sweetly, leaning with her chin on her fist. “Always happy to disappoint you, Gwen.”

Phasma gives Kaydel an even expression, settling into her chair and giving them her back. Kaydel looks over at Rey, winking, and Rey just shakes her head as she bites back a grin. Kaydel seems to be the only one who knows how to handle Phasma. It’s impressive, really.

With nothing left to distract her, she returns her focus to her lunch and the one who left it. Did he really think she wouldn’t have something to say about this? Why bring it to her in the first place? Is this really just Alpha nonsense?

Huffing out a sigh, she pulls up her email client, drafting a new message.

 

To: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

From: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

Subject: Still capable but grateful

 Mr. Solo,

While it is a bit curious that you felt the need to take it upon yourself that I am properly fed, I suppose I owe you a thank you. I have to ask though, how did you remember what I like?

Sincerely,

Always stubborn

 

She hits send before she can change her mind, turning to the brown paper bag and pulling out his offering. She really is grateful, despite how much the gesture confuses her. She is hungry, after all.

She is just taking a bite when she hears the ping of her email, alerting her of a new message. That was fast.

 

To: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

From: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

Subject: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves

Ms. Dameron,

As your employer, it is my duty to ensure you are properly fed so as to ensure productivity. As for the content... a coincidence, I assure you.

Sincerely,

Ben Solo

 

She scowls at the screen. He’s really going to to pretend it was just a coincidence? He’s such a stubborn ass. She takes another bite with a little more force, immediately moving to tap out a reply.

 

To: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

From: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

Subject: Is this really what we’re doing?


Mr. Solo,

It astounds me the lengths you will go to just to skirt around the issue that we do in fact, know each other. For example, I know that you don’t like mornings, have a secret love of Brontë, and prefer tea to coffee. Knowing something about each other does not have to mean anything more than that, I assure you. Thanks all the same for the food.

Sincerely,

Rey Dameron

 

She finishes her food without ever receiving another reply— not that she’d expected him to really. He seems firmly set in this game he’s playing. It’s all the same to her, she just isn’t going to tiptoe around him for the sake of… whatever it is that keeps him on this nonsense.

Finn leans back at his desk sometime near quitting time, directing his attention on Rey. “Hey, so I think we’re all going out for drinks after we leave. You in?”

“Really?” She’s never been invited out to a casual night with friends.

Finn nods. “It’ll be fun. We can celebrate your first week.”

“That’s sounds perfect actually.” It really does. “Oh, shoot. I was supposed to meet my brother tonight.”

Finn shrugs. “Invite him along. Rose and her husband are coming, and Kaydel of course— I think even Gwen might show.”

“The jury is still out,” Phasma shoots over her shoulder.

“Oh,” Kaydel cuts in. “Because you have grander plans for the evening?”

Phasma turns to look at her, her jaw working. “How do you know I don’t?”

Kaydel gives her a level stare. “Do you?”

Gwen’s eyes move over Kaydel’s face for a brief moment, shrugging finally as she turns back to her desk. “Fine.”

Kaydel grins in victory. Rey isn’t sure why she even wants her to come. What a strange dynamic they all are. Her eye’s flick briefly to the door of Ben’s office. “Did you invite…?”

Finn follows the path of her eyes, understanding. “Ah. I thought I might mention it to him, but he usually turns it down.”

Rey doesn’t know if she’s disappointed or relieved. She just nods. “Alright. I’ll call Poe and see if he’s okay with that, but I’m sure he will be.”

“Great!” Finn claps his hands enthusiastically. “You deserve a night out. You had a great first week.”

Rey beams. “Thanks. I can’t wait.”

They all return to what they were doing, but Rey finds herself looking at Ben’s closed door far more often than she should. She isn’t nervous per se, as she gets the sense that even if they invite Ben he will promptly turn down the invitation once he learns she’s coming as well. It’s just that… knowing that, she is a bit disappointed.

There are moments when she would give anything to gain back what she’d lost that day. To be the same Ben and Rey they had been for years. It is clear to her now that this will never happen, but it doesn’t stop her from mourning what could have been.

Determined to finish her first week without some sort of cloud of gloom looming over her, she dives into her work, pushing Ben Solo far from her mind.

Well, as far as her mind will allow that is.


It turns out that drinks with her coworkers is exactly what she’d thought it would be.

It’s fun.

Rey has never really had a close group of friends— in college she’d always been too busy, too quiet really, and that had resulted to several casual acquaintances but no one really to confide in. No one to call on the weekends to just come hang out in her dorm. She realizes now what she’s been missing.

They’ve been at the bar for almost an hour and are well into their third round. Poe showed up about twenty minutes ago and is currently chatting with Finn about the wonders of the stock market.

Rey isn’t exactly surprised that Poe immediately started talking about his job— she is definitely surprised that Finn seems so interested, however. Perhaps he wants to get in on the market.

Rose moves to take a seat next to her by the bar, abandoning her husband who is deep in conversation with Kaydel about an accounting error that came through his office that day. “So, are you enjoying Rebel?”

“I am, really. It’s been a great first week.”

“That’s amazing! You seem to really be fitting in with everyone. Ben said you’ve been picking it all up so quickly.”

Rey nearly chokes on her drink. “He did?”

Rose nods. “He and my husband are close friends, so he comes to dinner fairly often. We had him over last night and he was telling us how well you’re doing.”

How interesting.

“I see. I was beginning to think he didn’t like me.”

“Nonsense. Ben is just a little gruff. He recognizes talent when he sees it though. He just has to warm up to you is all.”

Ha. Warm up to me. Pretty sure that’s the exact opposite of what he wants to happen.

“There he is!”

Poe’s voice distracts her, and she turns her head towards where he is grinning at someone. Her eyes widen to see Ben cutting through the press of bodies in the tiny bar, his large frame pushing through crowd easily seeing as he is at least a head taller than half the people here.

Surprised doesn’t really cover how she feels to see him here, outside of the confines of work. It is disconcerting. It is… more real somehow.

She sees when he notices where she’s sitting, his eyes colliding with hers for only a moment before he tears them away and approaches Poe.

“Hey, man,” Poe grins. “I’m glad you came.”

“Well with Finn asking and then you hounding me over the phone…”

Poe laughs. “It will do you some good to get out.”

“If you say so.”

Poe turns to Rey then, waving her over, and she feels cold dread settle in her stomach. She picks up her drink, carrying it to where they’re standing and waiting expectantly as she allows Poe to direct the conversation. She doesn’t trust herself to do otherwise.

“So how has my little Rey done this week?”

Poe is still smiling at Ben, and Ben just looks… uncomfortable. He doesn’t even look at Rey when he replies. “Exceptional. She’s picking it up rather quickly.”

Oh, is she now? Rey wonders if he would have ever told her this if not for Poe asking.

“That’s good to hear,” Poe nods, taking a sip of his beer. “How funny is it that you both went into the same business? You both always loved books so much. Do you remember you would always bring a new book home for Rey when you came to visit with me, Ben?”

Rey freezes, the air seeming to have been sucked out of the room. By the look on Ben’s face, it is clear he hadn’t thought this through very well at all. He looks at a loss for words, and against all reason Rey decides to save him.

“Oh God, Poe. That was such a long time ago. I barely even remember it. I’m sure Ben doesn’t either.”

Ben looks at her passively for a moment, his expression devoid of emotion before he nods slowly.

“Man, I do. I remember this one time, Ben couldn’t make it for spring break— you were what, Rey, thirteen? Moped like a baby all week.”

The memories shouldn’t hurt. They really shouldn’t. Yet there is something hollow in her chest, because she does remember. She remembers it all.

Of course this is the moment that Finn stumbles over, just a little more tipsy than the rest of them and slinging an arm around Rey’s shoulder. “Wait, so you two know each other? Like before work?”

Rey looks at Ben expectantly, but Ben’s gaze seems to be fixed on the length of Finn’s arm as it rests over her shoulders. She sighs. “It was years ago. He and my brother went to school together. He was always at our house.”

“Oh wow,” Finn laughs. “That’s crazy! You should have told me. Am I going to have to watch what I say about your friend here, Rey?” He grins playfully at Ben. “No offense, boss.”

Ben shrugs, and Rey is still looking at his face as he seems intent to avoid her gaze. “No, it’s fine. I mean, we’re not really friends, are we? Ben’s just my boss.”

She doesn’t mean to sound bitter, and thankfully due to one too many drinks Poe and Finn don’t even seem to catch it. Ben does though. She knows because she sees the way his eyes finally connect with hers. There’s some emotion there she can’t place, almost like he’s… sad. Disappointed, maybe. She tells herself she’s imagining it.

“I think I should go,” he says quietly. “I have some work to do tomorrow. I just wanted to say hi.”

“But it’s Saturday!” Poe argues.

Ben shrugs. “There’s always something.”

“You work too hard, man.”

“You’re probably right. I’ll catch up with you later.”

He’s gone then, moving back through the crowd as quickly as he’d come, and Rey wonders why he even came in the first place. She can’t seem to figure out this new Ben Solo that she isn’t sure if she knows anymore.

Finn releases his hold on her, leaning over the bar instead to speak once again with Poe. He leans into his ear to say something over the music, and Poe laughs loudly. Rey realizes they’re in their own little world. Everyone seems to be come to think of it. After the disappointing encounter with Ben… she realizes she just wants to be home.

She tugs on Poe’s sleeve. “I’m going to call it a night too. Get a cab.”

“I can drive you…?”

She shakes her head. “No, no. Enjoy your night. I’ll call you tomorrow?”

Poe nods, leaning to press a kiss to her cheek. “Be safe. Text me when you’re home.”

“I will.”

She offers her goodbyes to the rest of their party, thanking them for the night out before moving through the bar towards the exit. She can only breathe again when she is in the night air, taking a deep breath and stilling when she is assaulted by mint and rain. She doesn’t need to turn to know he’s still there, but she does anyway, finding him leaning against the wall outside the bar, fingers still in his hair as if he’d just been running them through it.

She is too tired to deal with him tonight, so she turns and holds out an arm for a cab.

“What are you doing, Rey?”

Oh, so it’s Rey again? “What does it look like?”

“You’re not getting into a car with a strange man.”

She shoots him an incredulous look over her shoulder. “It’s a cab. I’ve lived in this city for six months now. How do you think I’ve been getting around?”

“It’s irresponsible to come to a bar knowing you’ll be drinking and then leaving on your own. What if someone took advantage of you?”

She laughs sardonically. “Maybe I want someone to take advantage of me.”

She sees his nostrils flare, and even from several steps away she can practically taste the way this angers him. It tinges his scent like some sort of metallic coating, and for a moment she regrets her barb.

He pushes off the wall, stalking towards her. A cab has pulled up to the curb, and she is considering hopping in and locking the door but Ben just leans over the passenger window. “Actually she doesn’t need a ride. You can go.”

Rey is still gaping as the car speeds off, only coming to her senses when she realizes Ben is tugging at her elbow.

Excuse me?” She jerks her arm from his hold. “This is some Alpha bullshit. I can take care of myself.”

“Need I remind you, Omega.” She will not shiver at the term falling from his mouth. She will not . “You are young, vulnerable, and slightly intoxicated— and that you chose to walk out of a bar alone.”

“‘Need I remind you, Alpha.” She pokes a finger into his chest, not missing the way he tenses, from her addressing him by his designation or her finger at his chest she isn’t sure. “I am not your Omega.”

His jaw works, his eyes going impossibly dark even in the dull light of the street lamp and she feels that same itch across her throat, hidden by her hair even as it throbs in response. He leans in, his face dangerously close and she holds her breath to staunch the overwhelming cloud of his scent that hits her with full force.

“I’m well aware. If you were mine— you wouldn’t be at this bar in the first place. My Omega would be at home. In my bed. Where she belongs.”

Her mouth opens, closing just as fast as words fail her. She has no response. Her mind is actually nothing more than white noise in this moment.

He tugs on her arm again, and this time, she doesn’t do anything to stop him. “I’m driving you home.”

“Yes, Alpha.” She whispers this, not even entirely certain where the words come from. The only indication that Ben even hears her is the slight stiffening of his spine.

She doesn’t argue with him for the rest of the night. Not when he seats her in the passenger side of his very sleek car that looks like it would cost her a year’s worth of salary, not when he asks for her address, not even when he pulls up outside of the apartment building that Poe helped her find.

She is still, in the seat of his car, her fingers twisting the hem of her skirt as she tries to make sense of everything that happened tonight. She doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t want to know her— but he wants to keep her safe. He doesn’t want to remember her— but he wants to ensure she’s taken care of.

Just what in the fuck does Ben Solo want from her?

In a fit of bravery, she wonders if maybe he would want to— maybe he would— “Ben, do you want to—”

His fingers tighten at the steering wheel. “I’ll see you Monday, Ms. Dameron.”

She doesn’t even try and hide the way her face falls. Her answer then. If you can even call it an answer. She steps out of the car, and he watches as she walks down the entry, only pulling away when she is moving through the front door. She watches him go, more confused than ever and frankly— a little hurt as well.

Her emotions make no sense— even to her.

She’d known Ben once, she’d even cared for him. Maybe even in a way she hadn’t been able to fully understand then. This Ben though… she doesn’t know him.

She’s starting to think she never will.

Chapter Text

It is Monday again.

She didn’t spend the entire weekend thinking about the strange encounter with her boss. She didn’t lie awake at night, thinking of his hands on her or his face too close. She absolutely didn’t linger on the way his eyes had darkened when he’d explained exactly what would happen if she were his Omega.

If she continues to tell herself these things— she can almost believe that she actually didn’t do them.

It’s a useless effort, really. Even now, as she taps her pen against a blank notepad, unable to think of a single note she wants to jot down from the file she’s poring over on her computer screen.

“Rey?”

She looks up to find Finn standing over her desk. “Yeah?”

“You want to grab lunch? You look stressed today. There’s a neat little bistro just around the corner from the building.”

She considers, her eyes only flashing briefly to Ben’s door for what has to be the hundredth time that day. She nods slowly, thinking that maybe getting out of this office is exactly what she needs.

“That sounds perfect actually.” She drops her pen, smiling gratefully as she pushes away from her desk. “You don’t want to invite the others?”

He shakes his head. “No, I actually wanted to talk to you. If that’s okay.”

She frowns. “That sounds ominous.”

He laughs. “Nothing like what you’re thinking I bet.”

“Well okay,” she grins. “But I’m sending my location to Kaydel in case this is a clever kidnapping plot.”

Finn snorts. “A kidnapper would bring you back pronto.”

“I resent that.”

“Still true.”

“Whatever, Storm. Come on. I’m hungry.”


“You were right. This is amazing.”

She’d chosen the soup— thinking that it was perfect for such a cool day, and she doesn’t regret the decision in the slightest.

“I told you,” he hums around his club. “It’s the best.”

“So what did you want to talk about?”

He shifts nervously. “It’s a little uncomfortable.”

“What is it?”

“It’s about… Poe.”

“My brother?”

“Yes. I— how do I put this.” He scrubs a hand down his face. “Fuck it, I’m just going to say it. Poe is an Omega. Isn’t he.”

Rey tenses. Poe has gone to great lengths to hide that fact. He is on the highest level of suppressants he can find, going through life trying to pass as a Beta to avoid the stigmas that come from being a male Omega. It is sad to say that the alternative would be Poe going through life never being able to go as far as someone who is not like him.

“How did you—”

“I could… tell. When I was around him.”

“How on earth could you tell?”

Finn clenches his lips, then blowing out a breath. “I can’t stop thinking about him. I could— I could scent him. Even with that medical tang of his suppressants. Underneath I could— I can’t get it out of my head. All weekend.”

“Wow. That’s… a lot.”

“I’m sorry. I know this is creepy as fuck. I just don’t know what to do. It’s driving me crazy.”

“Maybe you should just call him? I mean. I have his number, obviously.”

“What if he’s— what if he’s not into—”

“Ah. Hm. Honestly I don’t know. Not really a common topic of discussion between me and my brother.” She laughs as she says this, and Finn gives her an appreciative grin.

“I’m sorry, Rey. I just didn’t know what else to do. I’m being a crazy person right now.”

“Hey, don’t apologize. I get it. I think you should call him. He likes you at least, I can tell that much. I don’t see my brother as someone who is into labels.”

“You really think so?”

“I do. I’ll text you his number.”

“You’re amazing. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you listening.”

“Don’t worry about it.” She's wrestling with a dilemma of her own, completely sparked by Finn’s plight. “Say… you said you can scent Poe? Even through the suppressants?”

Finn nods. “It’s the craziest thing.”

“Is that… common?”

“Not that I’m aware of.”

“What do you think it means?”

“Maybe I’m… I don’t know. Maybe it means we’re compatible. Maybe it’s fucking destiny. Who knows? It’s driving me crazy either way.”

She contemplates this, thinking back to the conversation with Ben in his office.

“If you’re going to work here, I require you to be on suppressants.”

“I am on suppressants.”

“Get better ones.”

A shiver passes through her, and she wonders if inside Ben feels like Finn. If it’s at all possible that somewhere inside him... he’s thinking about her in this way. That thought alone… it makes her mouth go a little dry. A deep sense of satisfaction runs through her. Something primal that she isn’t used to.

Alpha wants her.

Reality crashes over her like a bucket of ice water. If that were true, he wouldn’t be so composed. Surely she would see it. Look at Finn. He’s barely keeping it together right now.

It is more likely that this is some sort of random occurrence. Hell, maybe Poe just needs to up his dosage. She’ll probably need to speak to him about it the next time she sees him.

“Are you okay?”

Her inner conflict must be written all over her face. Finn looks at be with concern, and she just shakes her head. “I’m fine. Just thinking I guess.”

“Anything you want to talk about?”

She shakes her head. “It’s nothing.”

“Is it… something to do with Ben?”

She tries not to let her surprise register. “How did you...?”

“It’s a little strange that you didn’t mention you knew him. It sounds like you knew him for a long time.”

She takes a deep breath. “Years.”

“You were close?”

“I… thought we were. Now I’m not so sure.”

“He doesn’t act like he knows you.”

The laugh that escapes her lacks humor. “Exactly.”

“Wow. That’s definitely awkward.”

“You’re telling me.”

Finn thinks for a moment, realization passing over his features. “Wait. Last week. When you said someone mentioned your suppressants not working…”

Rey nods. “Yep.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah. It’s been… interesting.”

“Have you two…?”

“No. God, no. He would never.” Her mind unwittingly dives into her memories, dredging up flashbacks that she can’t shake. “ Trust me.”

“I don’t know about that.”

Rey’s spoon hovers in the air as she looks at him curiously. “What do you mean?”

Finn shrugs. “Listen. If you affect Ben anything like the way Poe affected me… guy has to have some crazy fucking restraint.”

“You think so?”

Finn snorts. “All I’ll say is, there were several times this weekend where I got the crazy urge to track Poe down. It was all I could think about.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, I’m just saying. You never know.”

He returns to his food, and Rey looks down at her soup, lost in thought. “Yeah,” she murmurs, taking a bite. “You never know.”


She hugs Finn after they’ve stepped off the elevator, grateful for his reprieve from the stress that has plagued her. Grateful for him in general, really. It feels good to have a friend. His arms tighten around her, and he pats her back in comfort.

“Thanks for this,” he murmurs into her hair.

She shakes her head. “Don’t mention it. Call Poe. I know my brother, and if anything he will at least hear you out.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“I normally am.”

Finn laughs as he pulls away, rolling his eyes. “Sure.”

A throat clearing startles her, and when she turns to look she is met with the sight of a very imposing, very angry looking Ben. His jaw is tight, his brow furrowed as his nostrils flare slightly.

“Can the two of you try not to grope each other in the office?”

Rey reels. “We’re not groping.”

Ben snarls his nose. “It’s very unprofessional.” He shoots a look of disdain in Finn’s direction. “I expect better.”

Finn tried to cut in. “With all due respect—”

“With all due respect,” Ben growls. “I would appreciate that you keep your hands to yourself during business hours.”

He storms off, leaving a shocked Finn and a thunderous Rey in his wake. “The fucking nerve of him.”

“Rey. I don’t think I’m as far off as we thought. That man… has definitely got some issues he’s working through.”

“I don’t care what the fuck he’s got, he has no right to talk to us that way.”

“He is our boss.”

“No. Fuck that. I’m going to talk to him. This nonsense has got to stop.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Yes. I’m giving him a piece of my mind.”

“You’re a lot braver than me. Better do it now before everyone else gets back.”

She nods with resolve. “Right. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Godspeed, Rey.” He laughs a little as he says this, but his expression is nervous.

She isn’t nervous though. She’s pissed. How dare he act like that. Embarrass her like that. As if she’d done something wrong. As if she’d slighted him somehow by hugging her friend. He has no claim on her. He’s made sure of that.

She stomps across the floor, following after him to his closed office door and not even bothering to knock as she barges in.

He’s standing in front of his desk, leaned over it as his hands clutch the ledge. His knuckles are white with the force of his grip.

“Not now, Rey.”

“Oh. So I’m Rey today?”

“I said not now, Omega.”

“You don’t get to talk to me like you just did and then start making demands. Who do you think you are? I did nothing wrong out there. Finn is my friend. Even if he wasn’t—I don’t belong to you. You can’t treat me like I do.”

He turns then, his eyes wild and hungry, the pupils blown so wide that his eyes appear almost black. “I’m begging you to leave.”

“I’m not going anywhere. Not until you—”

She was speaking. She was mid sentence— and then she is against a wall. He lifts her as if she is nothing, pressing her to the drywall with a force that briefly makes her worry might break it. His hands are so large as they wrap around her waist— gripping and kneading as his lips cover hers. She is surprised at first. So surprised. She didn’t know what she should expect coming in here, but never this.

“Open your mouth,” he grits out, and then just a little softer, “Open for me, Omega.”

She sighs as she does so, his tongue slipping inside and moving over hers with a force that steals her breath. It is seeking. It is consuming. It is as if he’s thought of nothing else but this.

She feels his hands sliding over her waist, moving up her ribs just to retrace the same path as if memorizing her shape. He breaks away gasping, nipping at her jaw, moving down her throat as he growls against her skin.

“I can smell him. All over you. I fucking hate it.” She has to bite her lip to keep from crying out when she feels his tongue flatten over the gland just below her ear. “You shouldn’t smell like another Alpha. You should only smell like—”

The words die on his lips, instead repeating the motion of his tongue against her gland as she shivers in his hold. She feels his hips pin against hers, something very hard pressing into her thigh, and she whimpers softly when he grinds against her.

She lets her head fall back against the wall as he continues to devote his attention to her gland, licking and sucking in way that robs her of her senses. Her fingers curl behind him to grip his hair— just as thick and soft as she’s imagined, and she tugs roughly for good measure.

He groans, his teeth scraping against her skin, and she shudders as his name tears from her throat.

Ben.”

She feels the way he goes rigid, ceasing everything he’s doing to her as if suddenly coming to his senses. His hands are shaking as he releases her, stepping away quickly to put distance between them. She can see the distinct bulge beneath his slacks, his eyes still wild and very unlike him and his hair disheveled from the attention of her fingers.

His mouth opens and closes, staring at her in shock as if he cannot believe what he’s just done. She reaches out, taking a tentative step towards him, holding out her hands as if approaching a wild animal— and in this moment she supposes he is.

“Ben— it’s okay— it’s—”

He pushes past her, storming out of his office and letting the door slam behind him as it shakes the frame. She stands shellshocked for several moments, only returning to her senses when Finn bursts into the office.

“Rey? Are you okay?”

She looks at him in confusion, still in a daze as to what’s just happened. Still aching and needy for her Alpha.

No. Not hers. He is not hers.

What… what had that been then?

Her thoughts clash together like waves on a shore, cresting and falling just to wash away. She continues to stare at Finn, trying to gather them enough to answer. “What?”

“Ben just— flew out of here. He looked… crazy, really. If I’m being honest.”

Rey swallows, collecting herself. “Did anyone else see him?”

Finn shakes his head. “No one else is back from lunch yet.”

Rey sighs in relief. “Good.”

Finn’s eyes are roving over her states of dishevelment, looking concerned. “He didn’t— did he attack you?”

Rey closes her eyes, shaking her head. “He didn’t do anything I didn’t want him to.”

Finn scoffs. “Talk about hypocritical. Told me off for a fucking hug.”

Rey shakes her head aimlessly. “I don’t know. It was so sudden.”

“Then he just…”

“Left. Almost as if I’d burned him. He just… stopped.”

“Jesus. What a mess.”

Rey stares at the spot where Ben had just been, remembering the panicked look on his face when he’d pulled away from her. Had she done something wrong? Was it just… her?

“Please don’t tell anyone, Finn.”

He frowns, scratching his neck. “If you say so. Girl… you need to figure this shit out.”

Rey chokes out a laugh, nodding her head. “Yeah. You’re telling me.”


She has every intention of confronting him.

It’s their way after all— a pattern at this point. Like a sick game of cat and mouse. Only… most days, she isn’t sure if she’s the cat or the mouse.

So when she walks into work the next morning, her wits about her and having halfway regained her senses after her encounter with Ben, she is surprised to find that he isn’t there. He just… never shows up. She thinks maybe it is a fluke somehow. Thinks maybe he just has a meeting somewhere else today, but that idea is quickly discredited by Kaydel.

“Sick day apparently,” she offers.

“Which is completely ridiculous,” Gwen chimes in. “He never gets sick.”

Finn gives her a sympathetic expression from his desk across the way. She knows what he’s thinking. It’s the same thing that she is thinking. She finds it hard to believe that he is actually sick.

It is much more likely that he is avoiding her, unfortunately. It would make her angry… if it didn’t make her so sad.

When he doesn’t show again on Wednesday, Rey finds her herself wanting to take matters into her own hands. She approaches Rose’s desk warily, her nerves surely apparent all over her face.

“He’s not coming again today?”

Rose frowns. “Afraid not. Still sick.”

“There was actually something I needed to speak to him about. It’s a little urgent actually. Is there any chance you might have his address?”

Rose bites her lip, looking sheepish. “I… actually can’t give you that.”

“Because of policy?”

“Ah, well… actually… Ben instructed I was not to give it out.” Rose’s cheeks flush, her eyes darting away. “To anyone. He was very specific.”

“Oh.” Rey’s voice is quiet, every bit of the hurt reflected back in it against her will. She is unable to stop it. “I see.”

“I’m sorry, Rey. Did something happen?”

Rey shakes her head. “No. It’s nothing to worry about.”

“I’ve gathered from… others… that you two knew each other. Before?”

Rey nods. “A long time ago.”

“I’m sure whatever it is between you can be fixed. I’m sure it’s just a misunderstanding.”

Rey thinks of his hands on her waist. His tongue at her gland as his breath washed over her skin. She has to stamp down the urge to shudder. “Maybe. I hope you’re right.”

Rose gives her an encouraging smile. “Try not to stress about it. Ben thinks very highly of you here.”

Rey doesn’t know what to say to this, so she just nods before moving away in search of her own desk. She tries not to look to downtrodden, knowing it will only invite questions she isn’t ready to answer.

She stares at her monitor for a long time, deciding that if this is the only thing she can do, then it will have to be enough for now. She can only hope he checks his work email from home.

 

To: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

From: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

Subject: We need to talk


Ben,

Is it something I did? I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t even know what it is. Just… tell me how. Please.
Rey

 

There is so much more that she would like to say, but she can’t bring herself to over an email. She wants to see him. To demand that he explain this hot and cold bullshit that is slowly driving her insane. She just wants to know what he wants from her.

Most importantly... she wants to know if it’s something she can give.

Chapter Text

To: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

From: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

Subject: We need to talk


Ben,

Is it something I did? I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t even know what it is. Just… tell me how. Please.

Rey

 

It’s the fourth time in the last hour that he’s read this email. He can imagine what her face must have looked like while she’d written it.

Then again, he can imagine every facet of expression that she’s capable of making. He can’t seem to think of anything else but her face.

Especially now.

His skin is tight— his body heated and flushed as his glands pulse and itch with coursing need. He can’t believe that he’s fallen into his current state. Can’t understand how this happened. Or rather— he has an idea— but he can’t allow himself to dwell on the implications that she could do this to him despite all his precautions to avoid it.

He’s not been in a rut for almost a year— keeping them at bay with the best deterrents money can buy. He doesn’t have time for them. No use for them.

They’re unbearable without an Omega anyway, and that is an indulgence he’s never allowed himself. There are heat apps— channels he could go through for relief, but just as he always does, he finds himself alone, bearing through it all on his own.

It is excruciating.

He tosses his laptop aside, running his fingers through his hair and groaning as his cock strains against his briefs. Clothes are too much. Everything is too much.

He runs a hand over the front of his underwear, hissing through his teeth and closing his eyes as his cock twitches under his hand. He squeezes lightly at the base, moving to tug softly on his balls before stroking up his length.

When he closes his eyes— it is her voice in his ear. He can’t seem to block out the breathy little sighs she’d made, his name leaving her mouth in a hushed whisper that pleaded for more. More of what he could give her.

He could give her so much.

She’s such a tiny thing. She’s always been so tiny.

He wonders if he is sick— the way he remembers her. The way he’s always remembered her.

He wrenches away his underwear, freeing his aching cock and fisting it as he smears pre-cum over the thick head to glide it over the rest of him.

In his mind it is not his hand, but her. He imagines the tight warmth of her cunt— stroking into her roughly as she takes everything he gives her. She would take him so well. She is made to.

He wonders if she would be quiet, if her breath would catch as he stretches her cunt around his cock. He imagines that same sigh she’d made brushing against his ear as her slick makes a mess between them. He wants to feel it, feel it coating his cock and his pelvis and running over his thighs until his sheets are ruined and every thrust echoes with the sound of her.

She would never speak to him. Never even look at him again if she knew just how much he thinks of her.

His hands flail out, grabbing for the shirt he’d been wearing when he last saw her. He hates the way he’s kept it nearby. How he can’t seem to be without it. It smells of her. He presses it to his nostrils, chasing her fading scent and letting his tongue flick out try and taste a bit of her.

He fucks his own hand without shame, knowing that part will come after, when he’s sticky with his own cum. Now there is only the building pleasure, promising relief from the aching beneath his skin. He presses his shirt just a little tighter against his face.

So close. So fucking close.  

Just a little further and he’ll—

Ben.

Fuck.”

It’s his name on her lips that sparks his climax, hearing it in his memory as if she is right there, whispering it against his ear. He feels the warmth of his spend coat his stomach, covering his skin in a tacky mess as his cock pulses in his still tightly closed fist. There is a tingling at the base, the phantom stretch of a knot that begs for an omega to take it.

He lies there after, a mess of his own fluids, warring with the shame of his own thoughts and the need to make them reality.


“Are you staying hydrated?”

“Yes, mom.” Ben takes a swig from the bottle of water he’s clutching for good measure.

“I hear that’s important.”

“Remind me why I answered the phone?”

Poe laughs. “Lonely maybe?”

“Cute.”

“You know they have those heat apps…”

Ben grimaces. “I’m aware. They aren’t really my thing.”

“Yeah, mine either.”

“Have you ever…?”

“God, no. I don’t exactly want to advertise my situation.”

Ben frowns. Poe has always been so self conscious about his designation— with good reason. Ben doesn’t like dwelling on the why of the matter, it only fills him with a rage that is no longer useful. Makes him want to hurt the one who hurt Poe all over again.

“Not all Alphas are bad,” Ben murmurs. His guilt is palpable considering the catalytic event that landed him in this situation.

Poe is quiet when he responds. “I’m beginning to see that I think.”

“Oh?”

“I… met someone.”

“Fuck, really?”

“Don’t sound so surprised.”

“It’s just… You’ve never been you interested in anyone. Not after...” He doesn’t finish. Poe knows exactly what he’s referring to.

“I didn’t think I could be.”

“Wow. Well. That’s good… right?”

“Yeah,” Poe laughs. “I guess it is.”

Ben groans, heat flaring in his insides, the only precursor that another wave is coming. “I should go.”

“Sorry, man. That rut shit doesn’t sound fun.”

“I can’t imagine heats are any better.”

Poe blows out a breath. “Definitely not. Especially alone. At least I had Rey to vent to all these years. She understands.”

Ben’s grip tightens on the bottle he’s holding, the plastic crinkling violently in his grip as images crop up unbidden in his mind. Memories he wishes more than anything he could forget— for his sanity's sake if nothing else.

Please, please— can’t you just—

He grips the phone too tightly, swearing he hears the plastic of his case cracking. “I should go.”

“Of course,” Poe assures him. “I just wanted to check in.”

“I appreciate that. I should be fine in another day or so.”

“Okay, man. Stay hydrated.”

Ben rolls his eyes. “Will do.”

He hangs up the phone, holding it for a moment and letting his thumb slide over the screen as he considers what Poe mentioned. Maybe he could just— would it really hurt if he just—

It makes him nauseous just thinking about it. Touching someone else. Someone else’s scent clinging to his skin. Someone other than her.

Why does it have to be her?

Why has it always had to be her?

He’s pulling up the website before he can stop himself. Maybe it’s desperation. Maybe it’s just a fit of madness at this point. His skin is so tight. The heat inside him is flaring to an unbearable temperature, threatening to consume him from the inside out.

He flicks through their pictures, finding something lacking in everyone. Something that keeps him from delving further. He settles over a photo— a petite woman with long brown hair. It’s not quite the same shade as Rey’s— just thinking her name makes him a bit of a mess, really— but something about her face sparks recognition. It’s like if he squints his eyes he can almost pretend she is someone else. That she is her.

He hovers for exactly six seconds before he hurls his phone at the wall, hearing it crack to a point that is probably irreparable. Even for him this is a bit dramatic. He scrubs his hands down his face, his muscles wound tight and his skin on fire.

He hears a ping at his laptop, and for a moment he considers ignoring it. He knows the only emails he gets are from work though, and the person in him that craves control will not allow him to let it go. He stumbles over to the device, opening it up and clicking on the mail client that is linked to the work server.

His nostrils flare when he sees it is another email from her.

 

To: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

From: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

Subject: please


Ben,

I can’t stop thinking about what happened. Please talk to me.

Rey

 

He covers his mouth, tempted to throw this at the wall too. He can almost see the way her brow is creased as she typed this— probably convincing herself that he doesn’t want her.

He shoves the laptop away, his knuckles white as he grips his knees. The current wave of his rut is reaching its peak, and his mind spins with the heat of it. He needs relief.

He needs an omega— but he will have to make do.

The trip to his bedroom is a lot harder than it should be. His steps are heavy— weighted down by the fire in his limbs that blooms outwards from his insides. He braces himself on the bed as he shuffles to his nightstand, digging around in the lower drawer for his secret shame.

It’s wrapped in a silk drawstring bag— as if that somehow makes it less sad. It rolls out of the silk easily, a large plastic tube that he knows is filled with some sort of pliant silicone that is supposed to resemble the real thing.

He already hates himself— but his need is too great to be satisfied by his hand now, his thoughts filled with her face and his ears ringing with the sound of her voice. Even with his shirt in the other room he can smell her— her scent clinging to his nostrils as if she is lying on his bed waiting for him.

He can almost imagine she is.

His fingers fumble around the sleek bottle of clear liquid, inserting it into the open end of the plastic monstrosity he’s desperately trying not to dwell on and squirting a generous amount inside. He collapses over his bed, his face burrowing in his pillow and his back arching as he rests on his knees, his cock brushing against his mattress.

When he lets the head of his dick press against the entrance of the toy, he closes his eyes, trying to take his mind anywhere but here. Anywhere but the shameful act he’s currently indulging in.

Of course his traitorous brain goes straight to her— and suddenly she is there with him, the ghost of her memory spread out across his bed as her arms open to invite him closer. She would be so warm, so inviting.

She’s so beautiful now. She’s always been lovely— but she isn’t a girl anymore. The Rey who’s been thrust back into his life is all woman. She’s strong-willed and confident and her eyes make him weak. This Rey... she is hard to say no to. Even if for the right reasons.

He can still see her when he closes his eyes. Her legs would open and the shine of her slick would coat her thighs, a signal that she would be so ready for him. He thrusts into the toy, the giving insides squelching around his cock as he twists it around his length.

He imagines it’s her cunt he’s driving into, as he withdraws from the toy— imagines her nails at his back as he pounds into her tight heat.

“Such a good little Omega,” he groans in the darkness. He plunges into the toy again, twisting it roughly with each upstroke to intensify the tightness around his cock. “You like that, don’t you?”

He would ruin her. He would make sure she was useless for all others. She would crave him. Only him.

Every inch of her body, every flush of her skin, every soft sound that escaped her— it would all belong to him. He wants it. Needs it even. He wants to take every hole. Every opening of her body. Wants to claim them all so they too are ruined for anyone else.

He wants to own her.

It is primal— this desire. It’s terrifying. It’s consuming. It’s plagued him for years. Ever since—

It’s too much. Those memories. They’ve haunted him all this time. Her face is there, searching, pleading even.

Please, please— can’t you just—

He comes so hard it causes his entire body to shake, spurting into the filthy little toy even as his mind allows him to pretend that it is Rey’s warm and pliant body that he’s filling. He has to jerk the toy away as he feels his knot threatening to swell, tossing it aside as his cum paints his sheets.

There is so much of it, it floods out of him to make a mess of his bed coverings in a way that he knows will have him stripping his bed when he is able to leave it again.

He doesn’t want to be here like this, making a mess of his sheets as his knot throbs uselessly in the chilled air. He wants to be inside her. Wants to feel her walls flutter around the warmth of his knot as he plugs her to fill her of himself. Wants to fill her until it’s threatening to overflow. Until he can see it leaking out of her.

Yes, he wants to ruin her… if only because she’s already ruined him.


He’d told himself that the shower would help.

He’d thought that the water would take away some of the edge of the stinging in his skin. Instead, only a few seconds under the spray he’d found himself imagining her here, his hand on his cock as he fucks his fist for the dozenth time this week.

How he would lift her by the waist— she weighs almost nothing after all— and press her to the tiles. Her legs would wrap around him and he would slide into her sweet cunt easily.

He can almost see the way the water would slide over her skin, and he imagines licking at every drop to collect it on his tongue. Follow its path after he’s emptied himself inside her to lick at the slick that lingers between her thighs and blends with his cum.

He wonders what she would taste like. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the sweet flavor that he’d sampled in his office, unable to stop himself from lapping at her gland like a wild animal. So sweet.

She’d tasted like a honeyed wine and left him just as intoxicated.

It is the image of his mouth on her, his tongue sliding through her slick-drenched folds as he sucks her to what would surely be at least her second orgasm, that does him in. He comes all over the tile, one hand gripping his dick while the other braces against the heated porcelain, water cascading down his back to swirl at the drain with his spend that drips below.

He watches it disappear as he attempts to catch his breath, gritting his teeth in shame as the floor becomes clear again.

He just wants for this to be over.


It is Friday before he feels himself again.

He considers skipping this day as well— giving himself the weekend to really come to terms with the fact that yes, he’d practically assaulted her in his office and thrown himself into a rut as a byproduct.

In the end, he can’t seem to make himself stay home when he has no reason to. He decides to just go in early enough that he can beat her there and hole up in his office like a fucking coward. It’s worked well enough so far, after all.

His skin is still just a little more sensitive than usual, but he knows that will pass. The worst of it is over. He’ll need to buy new sheets, and for fuck’s sake he’d had to pick up a new phone— but it’s over at least. Maybe he should look into stronger deterrents. This is something he’d like to avoid happening again for as long as he can.

It’s an agonizing ride up the elevator to his floor, knowing that she will likely demand that he speak to her. That he explain himself . How in the fuck is he supposed to do that? How can he explain six years of repression?

The floor is blessedly empty when he steps off the elevator— not even Rose has made it in yet. He moves toward his office like the coward he is, only able to breathe again when the door is locked firmly behind him.

He lets out a sigh as he moves to his desk, opening up his mail client to check and see if there is anything he should be catching up on before he starts his day.

A particular one from his boss catches his eye— and after a quick scan of the contents, dread creeps up his spine.

 

To: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

From: amilynholdo@rebelmedia.com

Subject: Snap Wexley


Ben,

We’ll need to formulate a proper contract for Snap Wexley by the end of the week— as well as commission some mock covers that we can agree on to create a finished manuscript to present him with in the meeting next week. Please get with design today. I’ll also need the manuscript copy edited fully before Monday.

I would also like you to mentor our newest hire, Rey Dameron, in this project so that she can get a feel for this part of the job.

If you have any questions, feel free to send them here or call up to my office.

Sincerely,

Amilyn

 

Ben feels as if he is caught in the middle of some sort of sick joke. Surely the universe isn’t this cruel. He wants to email her back and tell her that no, that certainly won’t work, but on what grounds? He has no valid reason not to do what she asks.

Only terribly sick personal ones.

He scrubs a hand over his face, leaning back in his desk chair and sighing roughly. His eyes are on the ceiling, his mind far away. Every plan he’d made to hide himself is now crumbling around him to nothing. There will be no avoiding her now, and he knows her. She’ll want to talk. She’ll want him to explain.

This won’t end well.

Chapter Text

Two emails await Rey when she arrives at work Friday morning, and both are equally as nerve-wracking.

 

To: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

From: amilynholdo@rebelmedia.com

Subject: Snap Wexley


Rey,

I’ve emailed Ben and informed him that I would like you to shadow on the remainder of the Wexley acquisition.

It will be good for you to learn how we acquire new authors. Please get with him as soon as you get in, he will have instructions for how you should proceed.

Should you have any questions, feel free to email me or call up to my office.

Sincerely,

Amilyn Holdo

 

This is the first time she’s had direct contact with Ben’s boss— or rather her boss— her boss’s boss? Either way. She’s never spoken to Amilyn Holdo directly. She actually hopes there will be no need to reply— it sort of makes her nervous. Which brings her to the other email sitting in her inbox, causing her quite a bit more distress.

 

To: reydameron@rebelmedia.com

From: bensolo@rebelmedia.com

Subject: When you have a moment


Ms. Dameron, 

Mrs. Holdo would like that you shadow me on the Wexley acquisition. If you could see me in my office when you’re free I would appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Ben Solo

 

She wants to strangle him.

How can he keep referring to her as Ms. Dameron when the last time they’d seen each other he’d had his tongue on her gland and his cock grinding into her thigh?

A shiver travels down her spine involuntarily at the memory, but she quickly brushes it away, deciding that her anger takes precedence. She stands stiffly from her desk chair, trying to look nonchalant as she moves towards his office.

Finn shoots her a look, and she gives a tiny shake of her head to assure him that she’s okay. Or maybe to assure him that she isn’t going into this office to murder Ben Solo. Although the jury is still out on that.

She stops by his desk for a moment. “Apparently I’m to shadow Mr. Solo on the Wexley account as a learning experience.”

Finn tries to hold back his grimace and fails. “Ah. Well. Good luck.”

“What does she need luck for? She’s only shadowing.” Phasma doesn’t even look up from her computer as she snipes this.

“It’s her first big project,” Kaydel chides from behind them. “Don’t be so negative.”

Phasma peers over her shoulder, giving Kaydel a look that Kaydel meets evenly, her eyebrows raised in challenge before Phasma shakes her head and returns to what she’s doing. One day, Rey will ask just what the hell is with the two of them, but as it is now, she has other pressing matters to attend to.

She knocks at his door, hearing the deep murmur of his voice through the wood before she presses inside. He’s not looking at her, his attention devoted to his computer instead and allowing her the rare opportunity to study his profile without fear of someone reading too much into it.

She hates the way looking at his mouth makes her feel. Hates the way it sparks memories both old and new. It’s too full— always has been. For a man. The way his bottom lip curves away from the top one— it instills a desire to pull at it with her teeth. To test its pliancy. To taste it.

She knows exactly what it will taste like, and that’s the problem isn’t it? It’s what keeps her up at night.

She watches his Adam’s apple bob as his fingers finally still at his keyboard, pulling away to face her finally.

“I’m assuming Amilyn emailed you.”

“She did.”

He nods. “Good. I think we should start—”

“No.”

He blanches. “No?”

“That’s right. No.” She watches as his lips form a tight line, and she blazes on before he can try and start again. “We’re going to talk about Monday, first.”

“Monday?”

It might be adorable, how desperately he’s trying to avoid this, if it weren’t so fucking frustrating. “Yes. Monday. Right here. In this office. You pushed me against that wall.” She points to the wall in question for emphasis. “Then you dry humped me for about two minutes before running away.”

He isn’t looking at her now, instead focusing on his hands that grip the edge of his desk. “Ah. That.”

“Yes.” She nods her head impatiently. “That.”

“You’ll have to forgive me,” he starts. “I wasn’t myself.”

“Clearly.”

His eyes narrow at her tone. “Yes. You see, I was forced into rut by someone who clearly lacks the dedication to to stick to the schedule of her suppressants.”

Her mouth falls open. “I’m sorry?”

“Yes. You should be.”

“You— you are not going to just blame me for— how dare you.”

He shrugs. “I’m only offering blame where blame is due. My deterrents are the highest grade available. It isn’t possible that they are to blame here. As I can still fucking scent you the minute you enter the goddamned floor— I am led to believe that it is you to blame.”

His voice has taken on a distinctly lower pitch as he pushes through this speech of his, his cheeks flushing slightly in his agitation. He is clearly riled by this topic. Had he really just said he could scent her when she arrives on the floor?

“Ben…” She isn’t entirely sure what to say. She’s actually a little stunned. In his anger she thinks he’s revealed more than he intended to. He meets her eyes, and there is something there she hasn’t seen before. Something he tries to hide. Her voice is much softer when she continues. “Ben. My suppressants are high quality. Poe ensures it. I take them religiously. I’m not doing this to you. You have to believe me.”

She sees his jaw clench as his eyes bore into hers, considering her words. He gives a curt nod finally, tearing his eyes away and back to his computer. “Fine. Nevertheless, it was a mistake. It wouldn’t have happened had I been myself. I assure you. If you feel the need to report it, I completely understand.”

“Report… Ben. I wouldn’t do that.”

He glances over at her. “I practically assaulted you. You would be completely within grounds to do so.”

She bites her lip, trying not to let words like mistake and wouldn’t have happened eat at her. She’s failing. She gives a tiny shake of her head, finally casting her eyes to the floor. “You didn’t do anything I didn’t want.”

She hears the sharp intake of breath— deafening in the tiny space. She waits for him to say something. Say anything— but in the end he remains silent, offering nothing else for this line of conversation. When he finally does speak again, his voice is devoid of emotion—  carefully controlled to hide away anything that she could use to determine his thoughts.

“Alright then.”

She’s catching it now— the lingering scent of his rut as it clings to his skin. His flustered state only amplifies it, and it brushes under her nose, threatening to make her knees weak. It is intoxicating. It forces images of him into her mind— ones of him with someone else to see him through it. It tears through her like a knife, leaving her a mess of emotions that she isn’t sure how to deal with.

“Did you—” She swallows, knowing it is completely inappropriate to ask but knowing she won’t be able to sleep if she doesn’t. “Did you have someone? To see you through it?”

She sees the way his teeth grind inside his mouth, his brow furrowed as he stares after her. When he answers, he looks away, his eyes flicking to the surface of his desk instead. “That’s none of your concern.”

The way his words cut at her— it is unreal. It feels raw and bleeding, and she unconsciously presses a hand to her chest thinking that perhaps there is a wound there. The pain she feels suggests there might be.

She has no right to feel this way. She knows this. He doesn’t belong to her. He never has. “I understand.”

For a moment his face softens, and she thinks perhaps he will say something. Something that will make it hurt a little less. Then that same curtain of stone passes over his features, and he diverts his attention back to his computer. “If you don’t mind, I’d like you to run to the graphics department and grab the mockups I ordered. Ask for Dopheld. Bring them back here when you have them. Understand?”

She can only nod, still unable to look at him. She knows he is dismissing her. Pushing her away. She feels the distance between them widen.

“I understand.”

“Thank you.”

He is typing again, and she recognizes that he is through with her for the moment. She leaves quietly, resisting the urge to look back at him as she closes his door behind her.

It is only in the elevator, blessedly alone as she rides down to the appropriate floor, that she wipes away the traitorous liquid that gathers at her eyes.


She is much less of a mess when she returns to her floor, having taken a moment in the restroom to collect herself. She can’t blame Ben for the way he’s acting— knowing that she has absolutely no claim over him and that he isn’t beholden to her for anything. She supposes she might be angry too if she were forced into a state like that against her will.

Still, the thought of him— with someone else. It hurts her. Even if she doesn’t want it to. Even if she wants not to care.

She desperately wants not to care.

When she returns to his office with the design boards, she finds him much where she left him, albeit a little more put together. His eyes flick to her as she enters, and he takes the boards from her with a thanks as he spreads them out over his desk.

“What else can I do?”

He doesn’t look up at her. “I’ve forwarded you the manuscript, and I’d like for you to edit as much as you can before the end of the day. Whatever you don’t finish I will stay and complete tonight.”

“Stay?”

He nods. “Amilyn wants the edited draft to printing before ten, so that she can rush a printed copy tomorrow to ensure it’s ready for Monday. We’re a little unprepared.”

“I can stay and help.”

“No, that won’t be necessary. Just finish what you can in,” he glances at the clock, “the next two hours and I will stay tonight to finish the rest.”

“That’s bullshit. I can help.”

He sighs. “Need I remind you that I am your boss. The frequent use of your crass language isn’t exactly tolerable.”

“Then stop giving me a reason to.”

“Excuse me?”

“Amilyn wants me to shadow. That means seeing it to completion. You’re letting our personal issues get in the way of our professional relationship. That isn’t exactly tolerable either.”

He purses his lips. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“I assure you I will be perfectly fine. Need I remind you that it was not me that pushed you against a wall and mouthed at your gland.”

He swallows heavily, shifting in his seat. “Fair enough.”

“Now. I will start on this and I will stay here until we are finished so that you aren’t here for all hours of the night. I’ll even stay out there at my own desk. Far away from you. You don’t have to worry.”

She almost thinks she sees his face fall just slightly, but it’s gone before she can make note and he’s nodding. “Fine. At your desk. I think we can manage that.”

“Perfect. Then you know where to find me.” She turns to leave.

His voice is soft when he answers, and she forces herself to continue through his door as if she hasn’t heard him. “Yes, Rey. I do.”


“You sure you’ll be okay?”

Rey waves him off. “I’ll be fine. Trust me. Anyway, you have a date tonight. Remember?”

Finn’s grin is wide. “I do. I still can’t believe he agreed. I’m a little nervous.”

“Don’t be,” Rey assures him. “It’s going to go great.”

“Thanks, Rey. I mean it.”

“Yeah, yeah, just make sure you invite me to the wedding.”

Finn bites his lip, shrugging sheepishly. “We’ll see. Call me. If you need anything.”

“I will. I promise. It’s going to be fine, though.”

Finn casts a nervous glance towards Ben’s closed door. “If you say so.”

“I do. Now, go on.”

He nods before he leaves her to herself, Kaydel and Gwen having already left with Rose, leaving her alone at her desk. The only other person on their floor is Ben, and he’s holed up tight in his office. She wouldn’t be surprised if the door is locked for good measure.

She spends the next hour or so working through the pages of the manuscript, poring over the documents until her eyes blur and she sees nothing but yellow highlighter. She rubs at them— leaning back in her chair and peering up at the clock. She has at least another hour of work ahead of her, and surely Ben has the same or more to do.

She decides surely he won’t be upset if she offers to grab food, and she pushes away from her desk to make for his door. She smooths her skirt, moving to stretch a little before clicking across the floor to stand in front of his office.

She raises her fist to the wood, having every intention of knocking, but it swings open before she gets the chance— revealing a very large, very near Ben Solo. He attempts to step through the door without seeing her at first, causing him to collide with her still form and almost knocking her over. His hands reach out to grasp her shoulders, and suddenly she forgets why she’d come to his door in the first place.

His fingers at her shoulders are tight, his chest flush with hers and his mouth parted in surprise. He stands there in shock for a moment, and in his nearness she is struck with the rush of his scent, still tinged with the lingering aftermath of his rut.

It’s heady— swirling in her space, and she breathes it in deep instinctively as she leans into him.

He pushes at her shoulders, his nostrils flaring as he takes a step back. “What are you doing?”

“I— I was just going to—” She licks her lips, teetering towards him as she chases that scent that robs her of thought. She feels heat bloom low in her belly, and she unconsciously rubs her thighs together as the warmth spreads lower.

“You should go.” His voice is low— grating even— as if the words are ripped from him by force.

She doesn’t think she can. She certainly doesn’t want to. She’s never experienced anything like what she is experiencing right now. Or rather, she has, but that was another time. Another Ben and Rey. He is gravity— and she is caught in his pull. Whatever rational thoughts she’d had a moment ago are lost to the potent aroma that is his scent as it assaults her from every side.

Her glands prickle and itch, pulsing softly beneath her skin, and she has to press her thighs together just a little tighter even as he takes another step back.

She doesn’t mean to follow after him— she really doesn’t— but her feet move on their own now. Her steps have a singular purpose— to bring her closer to him. To breathe him in.

He’s still backing away, even as she steps inside his office. Even as she shuts the door behind them. It is only when he hears the lock click, her hands at the mechanism to trap them inside, that he starts to panic. “Rey—”

Alpha.”

She’s not even entirely sure where the word comes from. Some place deep inside, bursting from her completely on instinct and feeling right somehow. The effect it has on him is immediate— his eyes darkening and his lips pressing together as his body goes rigid.

She can’t help but take advantage of his lack of retreat, pressing closer to him and letting her hands move over the front of his shirt as his chest heaves beneath her touch. When her palms glide over the hard planes of his chest, moving to let her fingers brush against the hair that falls against his collar— he shudders visibly, and something inside her preens to have done this to him.

Alpha is pleased.

She watches his throat bob, and she is suddenly struck with the urge to lick at the prominence of his Adam’s apple. To feel it move under her tongue. She licks her lips at the thought, and his eyes dart to the flash of pink that glides over the soft flesh of her lower lip.

“Rey.”

Her fingers are trailing over the thick expanse of his neck, her fingernails grazing the heated flesh of his glands and scratching lightly as he sucks in a breath.

“Rey, I—” His breath is heavy and labored as he struggles for words, his eyes fluttering closed when her fingers brush against his earlobes. “We can’t—”

His words fall on deaf ears, Rey finding nothing important outside of the nearness of his skin or the heady cloud of his scent. She leans in to inhale deeply against his shirt, her nose nuzzling up his sternum as he practically vibrates against her.

“Please,” she whispers hoarsely. “Alpha, please.”

His hands are at her shoulders, wrenching her away even as she whimpers, already pushing against his hold to regain the nearness she’s lost. He takes a step back, holding her at an arm's length and staring down at her.

His eyes almost seem pained somehow, the way they hold her gaze. His hands shake where they grip her, and she feels the way he holds himself back. The way he is at war with himself. “What do you want, Rey?”

You,” she breathes. “Just you.”

He releases a shaky breath, his jaw working furiously as he comes to a decision. He releases his hold on her after several moments, and holds out a hand to halt her when she immediately takes a step towards him. He continues to hold his palms out in front of him as he backs away, and for a moment she is confused.

Then he slowly sinks into his desk chair, turning it away from the wooden structure to face the open air as he gives her a heated look. He places one large hand over his thigh, patting it softly.

“Come here.”

Her steps are slow— timid even— unsure as to how she’ll be received, but she continues on shaking legs until she stands between his legs. She feels his fingers curl behind her thighs, tugging softly.

“On my lap, Omega.”

She sucks in a breath, feeling some slick liquid pooling in her underwear, and she sees the way his nostrils flare when he catches scent of it. He gives another tug to the backs of her thighs, his fingers digging into the fabric of her skirt as it bunches beneath his hands. When he speaks again, it is deeper, demanding even — it is impossible to resist.

Now, Omega.”

As if she even wants to, anyway.

Chapter Text

He shouldn’t be doing this.

He should make her leave. Make her leave his office and go straight home. He definitely should.

The problem is— that look she’s giving him. As if he has everything she needs. As if she wants him to give it to her. He knows this look. It’s the same one she’d—

He loses his train of thought when she begins to move, having every intention of obeying his command. He almost purrs in content.

He halts her, and she looks at him in confusion. He wets his lips with his tongue, just a little more of his shame slipping away. “Take off your underwear.”

His voice is hungry in his own ears, desperate even— reflecting all the need he’s kept locked away all these years. He thinks for a moment she’ll come to her senses. That she’ll turn from his office and leave the building and never come back. Exactly what she should do.

She doesn’t do that.

His girl— his good girl— she’s already reaching beneath her skirt, and he holds his breath as she pushes a scrap of pink lace down her thighs, letting it fall to the floor.

It takes every ounce of restraint he possesses not to lay her over his desk. Not to bury his face between her legs and lick her until she’s begging for him to stop. Until it’s too much for the both of them.

He doesn’t do that.

Instead, he pats at his thigh once more, and she moves to straddle him obediently. Eagerly, even. He should stop this. He really should— but her legs come to rest over his, parting as her skirt crumples upwards and she straddles him over his chair. His hands rest on her thighs, a hint of wet curls at her center and he grips her soft flesh just a little tighter.

Alpha.”

Fuck. That word. The way she says it. The way it ends in a sigh. It’s enough to drive him mad. It calls to something deep inside him that’s never been used. Something he’s been saving, if he’s being honest.

He pushes her skirt higher, allowing it to bunch at her waist and the slick center that is her cunt comes into better view. Her scent. It’s potent enough that he can almost taste it. She’s dripping for him, and all he can think about is gathering it up with his tongue.

Please, Alpha.”

He exhales slowly. “Do you want me to touch you, Omega?” She nods, biting her lip but not responding. He shakes his head. “Answer me, Rey.”

“Yes. I do. I want you to touch me.”

He stares down between her thighs, breathing in the scent of her hair and her slick and just her as it threatens to consume him.

“Well. I’m not going to.”

Shock registers on her face. “W-What?”

“I’m not going to touch you, Rey.”

“Ben— Alpha— please—”

He grips her thighs a little tighter in warning, and she whimpers softly, shifting over his lap. “If I touch you. I’m going to want to bend you over that desk and knot you so hard you can’t ever leave.”

Fuck, her mouth. It’s so pretty in the way that it parts in surprise. The way she sucks in a breath so small that it’s almost meaningless. The way her eyes darken after as if she’s imagining him doing just that. He wants to. Fuck, does he want to.

“I’m not going to fuck you,” he asserts, and she whimpers. Actually whimpers as she hangs her head. As if the idea of him not being inside her is painful. He hates himself a little more. He reaches up, tilting her chin to force her gaze to his. “But I am going to help you.”

She perks up curiously, eyeing him with interest as his thumb strokes at the soft skin of her upper thigh. He leans back, holding her gaze for a moment before letting his eyes flick to her wet center that leaks fluid over his slacks. He doesn’t care in the slightest. He’ll buy new ones.

“I want you to touch yourself.”

“What?”

“You heard me.”

“Can’t you just—”

“No. I want you to do exactly as I say.”

She breathes deep through her nostrils, blowing it out slowly through her lips, and again he wonders if this is the moment she’ll come to her senses.

Again she surprises him. Her hand settles over the bundled fabric of her skirt that sits at her waist, brushing over it lightly before pushing lower. Her fingers hover just over where he wants them, her eyes searching his face as if unsure of how to proceed.

He sucks in a breath, reveling in the way she waits for him. The way she trusts him. He’s not sure if he deserves that, but it doesn’t stop him from taking advantage. “Show me. Show me everything.”

He can see the way she swallows nervously, but her slim fingers part the lips of her cunt all the same, and he can’t tear his eyes away from the slick pink she reveals there.

His voice is strained when he speaks again, revealing every bit of effort he’s having to utilize just to keep his hands off her. “Show me how wet you are.”

Her brow furrows, and for a moment she looks embarrassed. “Can’t you see?”

He nods. “I can. I want to see those little fingers coated in your own slick. Show me.”

He doesn’t miss the way her hands shake as she presses two fingers lower to her entrance, pushing inward before dragging them upwards to smear her fluids over the inner crease of her cunt. A sound escapes him that he doesn’t recognize— doesn’t even know if it’s human really.

He speaks through gritted teeth now. “Again.” She repeats the motion, her tiny fingers sinking into her warmth before moving to withdraw again. “Stop.”

She stills, looking at him as if worried she’s done something wrong. He lets his hands slide to her waist to hold her, swiveling the chair to face his desk and then urging her to lean back against it. At this angle he can see everything— the way her fingers slide inside, the way her slick dribbles out of her to coat them, the way her tight little hole grips the slim digits.

“You can move, Omega.”

He isn’t looking at her as he says this, too entranced by the way her fingers begin to pump in and out of her, his mind flooded with images of what it might look like if it were his cock sinking inside her. The way her muscles would cling to him. How much he would stretch her. She’s so tiny. Such a tiny little thing. Could she even take his knot?

Her breath comes out in sharp gasps, a frustrated cry falling from her lips as she tries to grind her fingers inside her. “ Ben— please, I— I need more.”

It’s hard, shaking his head. Denying her. The front of his slacks can barely contain the rabid beast that is his cock as it strains against his zipper. How easy it would be to just give her what she wants. What they both want.

“No.”

Why?”

“I’m your boss.”

“Don’t you think we’re a little past that?”

He swallows, eyes still fixed on her fingers still buried inside her. “If we— if I— they’ll know. Everyone will know. My scent will be all over you. For days. I can’t risk it. Can’t risk ruining this opportunity for you.”

He watches her face fall, and he feels the guilt creeping in. It seeps through the foggy aftermath of his rut, forcing some sense into him. What is he doing? He’s overstepping. Taking more than he should. Again. He is no better than some mindless animal. Rey deserves better. Better than him.

“We should stop this.” His body screams at him even as he says it, pleading for him to take. All he ever does is take. “Before it gets out of hand.”

Her hand slips away from between her legs, and he holds his breath as she lets it rest against his cheek. He can feel the slippery coating of her against the side of his mouth as she leans in— and when she actually brushes the pad of her finger against his lip, he thinks he might lose a bit of his mind.

He can’t stop the way his tongue darts out, tasting the shiny liquid that drenches her fingers and his eyes roll back in his head as her flavor explodes over his tongue. The taste of her is like heroin in the way it burns through his blood. He turns his head like a fucking addict— pulling her fingers into his mouth as his good intentions burn to ash.

He can feel her leaning in to skirt her lips along his jaw, even as she slides her fingers over his tongue, feeding him the lingering remnants of her slick as she nips at his skin. He moans around her fingers, and he can feel the wet heat of her cunt as she presses closer to him

“I can smell it,” she hums. “Your rut. It’s still so strong . I haven’t been able get it out of my head all day.” She hesitates a moment before continuing. “Did you have someone, Ben? Someone to see you through it?”

She’s asking again, and he can hear the slight hitch in her voice— betraying the way it eats at her, the thought of him with someone else. His hands grip her a little tighter. He lets her fingers slide from his mouth, releasing a shaking breath. “No. I was alone.”

She lets out a soft sigh of relief. “I would have helped you,” she breathes against his cheek. “If you’d asked.” He closes his eyes as he feels her tongue trace the line of his jaw.  “I would have been there. You shut me out.”

“You don’t understand,” he whispers.

“Because you won’t let me. Help me understand.”

“Rey. We can’t.”

She shifts in his lap, her core rolling over the clothed expanse of his cock and grinding against it. “Are you sure?”

He’s going to bruise her— the way his fingers are wrapped around her waist. It’s punishing. Rey.”

She undulates against him somewhat clumsily, and he’s losing his train of thought. “Are you sure, Alpha?”

He grits his teeth as he begins to aid her movements, pulling her back and forth over his straining cock even as he feels her slick seeping through the fabric. Everything is so hot, so wet— and still she rocks against him, her breath leaving her in needy little pants that puff against his cheek.

He forces her to increase her pace, intensifying the friction between them and positioning her so that every roll of her hips brings the head of his cock against her center. Her breath catches— a tiny whimper tearing from her and he focuses on catching that same spot with every thrust.

Her hands fall to his chest to steady herself, her hips moving on their own as if on instinct. He feels his cock swell in his slacks, still so sensitive this close to the end of his rut and only making it all too easy to lose his head. She’s soaked his front now— her slick practically coating his cock through his clothes and he can almost imagine that he is inside her. If he closes his eyes— he can almost feel the way her cunt would contract, how it would stretch to fit him. How she would overflow with him.

Ben,” she sighs. “I think I’m— I think I’m going to—”

“Wait,” he grits out. “You wait for me, Omega”

She mewls against him, trying to slow her hips as her thighs shake around him but he presses her harder against his cock. He gasps for breath as he feels that liquid heat begin to pool at his spine, a tingling at the base of his cock where his knot would swell were it buried inside her. Where it should be.

“Fuck. Fuck.” It’s right there— he can feel the way it floods his cock, and he knows he has seconds at best. “Come. Come, Rey.”

He hears a strangled cry tear from her, her body tensing as she trembles in his hold and he feels cum coating the front of his underwear— mingling with the seepage of her slick and it satisfies something in him to think of them pooling together. He’s just come in his pants like a fucking teenager, but with the sated Omega now slumped against him, he can’t find it in him to care.

She’s nuzzling at his throat, pressing her nose to the point just above his collar and he shudders when he feels her tongue follow to swipe over his skin. He forces himself to push her away, holding her by the arms as her forehead comes to rest against his instead. Their breath mingles together in the short space— the scent of her and him and them too much. Far too much.

“Your pants,” she whispers.

“I have a spare set of clothes here.”

“Good.”

“I need to take you home.”

“The work…”

He shakes his head. “I’ll come back. There isn’t much left.”

Her voice is quiet when she replies. Sad, even. “I don’t want you to disappear again.”

“This can’t happen, Rey. Not again. It’s too risky.”

“But—”

“It can’t, Rey. I’m sorry.”

She nods slowly. “Okay.”

“So I’ll take you home, and that will be that.”

“Okay.”

“I mean it.”

She tilts her face, her lips brushing against his. “Okay.”

“Just—” Fuck. Her lips are so warm. So soft. “Just take you home. That’s all.”

He isn’t sure who he’s trying to convince anymore.


He doesn’t even know how he fucking got here.

He’d been doing so well. Hadn’t touched her again. Kept his distance. The entire drive. When they’d pulled up outside her building. Even when he’d been stupid enough to walk her to her door.

He’d done so well.

She’d said something. Something innocent— something that shouldn’t have had any affect on him. It shouldn’t have.

Then his hands were in her hair and they’d been stumbling inside and she’s against a wall again— molded to him as he sucks at her bottom lip in the way he’s been imagining since she first stepped into his office.

“We can’t— I’m not going to—”

“I know,” she hums. “I know.”

“I just— you feel so—”

“I know.”

He lifts her against him, barely able to take in his surroundings. “Bedroom.”

“Down the hall.”

“I’m not going to.”

“I know.”

“I just want to— just a little.”

“Anything, Ben. You can have anything.”

He finds her room in a daze, the sight of her bed a welcome relief as he throws her against it. She lays across the bedspread, her arms open and extended toward him in invitation. Inviting him. Because she wants him .

His guilt is only outweighed by his need for her.

“Your skirt. Take it off.”

She doesn’t even hesitate. It astounds him. How much she seems to want this. Has she thought about this as much as he has? He doesn’t know if that’s possible. Her fingers move for the zipper of her skirt and she pushes it over her hips quickly before kicking it away. Her cunt is bare beneath it, her underwear selfishly tucked away in his pocket after he’d collected them from the floor of his office and refused to return them.

He isn’t that strong. Obviously. Given where he is right now.

“Spread your legs.”

It affects him just as much as the first time— seeing her naked cunt like this. So small, and pink, and perfect— he decides if anything he can at least take what he’s been thinking about for days. Give something in return.

He falls to his knees, grabbing her by the hips and pulling her to the edge of the bed. God. Her scent. It’s enough to make him question everything. To throw away every reservation he has left.

When he pulls her legs over his shoulders, letting them drape as he runs his nose up the seam of her— she gasps softly, her thighs tensing under his hands.

He should leave.

He doesn’t leave.

He nuzzles at the soft curls there— breathing her in. He has imagined what this would be like so many times, and the reality of it is more. So much more.

“This is the last time,” he murmurs against her.

She releases a sharp breath. “I know.”

He lets his tongue part her then, and she bucks against his face. So responsive. He does it again just to feel her roll against his mouth once more. Seeking his tongue. Her body silently begging him to give her more.

He flattens his tongue to drag up the entire length of her slit, lingering at the apex to flick at her clit. “Has anyone else done this to you?” She makes a sound— soft, needy, pleading even— but it isn’t an answer. He places an open-mouthed kiss at her center, sucking softly at her clit before pulling away. “Answer me, Omega.”

“No,” she mewls. “Just you.”

It touches something inside him, something raw and satisfying and a low growl sounds in his chest as he teases her entrance with his tongue, pushing inside for only a moment before returning up the seam of her to circle her clit. He feels how tense the muscles of her legs are, how her body seems to be wound up in need of what he can give her.

He wraps his lips around the swollen bud, sucking and pulling with just a bit more force as he reaches between them to press a finger to her entrance. When it slips inside— Ben feels just a little more of his control slipping away. She’s so tight, so warm, so wet— everything he’d ever dreamed she’d be and it only makes him want more.

He strokes at her inner walls slowly, her slick coating his finger and the tight channel of her cunt gripping at him. He wonders briefly if she’s ever— if anyone else has—

The possibility fills him with a rage that threatens to ruin everything so he quickly pushes it away, focusing on her. On the sounds she’s making. The way she quietly asks for more.

He slips a second finger inside her, the action almost too much for how tight she is, and she tenses for a moment, causing him to still.

“It’s okay,” she breathes then. “Please don’t stop.”

He withdraws his fingers slowly, pushing back inside just as cautiously and this time there is more give as her body begins to acclimate to the intrusion. He wants to ask. Wants to ask if someone else has been inside her. If anyone has ever been inside her. He finds either answer terrifies him. To be her first makes him feel like a villain. To not be threatens to tear him apart.

So he doesn’t ask.

He loses himself in the scent and taste and feel of her, sucking at her clit and pumping his fingers into her again and again— imaging it is his cock that slips inside instead. He can feel how close she is. Hear it in her sharp gasps. Taste it in the increase of slick that coats his tongue. He wants to feel it happen.

He wants to swallow it whole.

When she comes apart— it isn’t with a shout or a mess of garbled sounds. It is soft, quiet, beautiful— just like her. Her fingers find purchase in his hair, warring between tugging him closer and pushing him away.

He is afraid to look at her. Afraid the expression on her face after he’s done this to her will destroy him. Will take everything he has left.

This is the last time, he tells himself.

It has to be the last time.

Chapter Text

He’s looking at her like he can’t stop.

She doesn’t know how long they’ve lain like this— side by side on her bed, saying nothing in the dark, turned to face each other while being as close as they can be without touching. After, well, just after— he’d pressed his lips to her thigh— lingering as his fingers clutched her skin.

When he’d crawled up the bed, she’d thought he’d kiss her. That he’d take her in his arms. That he’d give her more.

Instead, he’d stretched out beside her, falling silent as he studied her face. It’s where they remain now, and she wishes she could see him better in the dark. She wants to know what he is thinking. She wants to know more about him.

She wants everything he has to give.

She hears his deep inhale, feeling the ghost of his fingers brushing along her fist that lays on the bed between them. “I should go.”

“Please don’t.”

“Rey…”

She can’t keep away from him then, pushing closer into him and she feels him tense as she buries into his chest. “Stay. Stay, Ben. Please.”

He is still. So still— she fears for a moment that it is useless. That his mind is made up. Then his fingers brush against her shoulders, creeping over to wrap around her as he pulls her just a little closer. She feels his lips brush against her hair, and she hears a murmur of agreement as he cradles her to his chest.

“It’s the last time,” he whispers hoarsely.

“I know.”

She clings to him as if he might disappear, and she knows that there is no guarantee that he won’t. She tells herself to enjoy this moment, to enjoy what she has, but uncertainty takes hold of her— wraps around her like a wall of ice, seeping inward to cling to her insides.

She isn’t sure at what point she finally drifts off to sleep, but when the sun shines the next morning, her fingers brush against empty bed and cold sheets and she knows she’s lost him again.


How she got through the weekend she’ll never know.

There’s hasn’t been a moment— not a single moment that she hasn’t thought about what happened Friday night.

How he’d given her an orgasm that she will remember for the rest of her life. How he’d seemed so conflicted after. How he’d tried to leave. How she’d asked him to stay. How he’d held her until she fell asleep.

...how he’d been gone the next morning.

Even now she can almost feel the ghost of his lips against her hair, whispered words in the dark— and she is unsure if they are reality or some fevered dream she’s conjured up as a comfort for his absence. She wants to be angry. She really does. Only… she can’t muster up the strength for it. She’s just tired, really. Tired and frustrated.

He is so mercurial. So confusing. He wants her. That much is clear— but he doesn’t want to want her.

Is it guilt that holds him back? Some ingrained set of principles he’s still clinging to? She wants to tell him that she isn’t a girl anymore. She knows what she wants and she has every right to take it. That he has every right to accept it.

She hadn’t even had his phone number. No way to contact him. To beg him to come back. That is how little she knows of the current Ben Solo, and yet she’d let him do whatever he wanted to her. Welcomed it, even. She knows even now if he asked— she would give him whatever he wanted.

She doesn’t know if it’s their history, or if it’s some cruel twist of fate, or even if it’s some fluke in their biology— but the simple fact of the matter is Rey knows what she wants. What she’s always wanted, if she’s being honest with herself. She wants Ben Solo.

It’s only a matter of making him face just how much he wants her too.

Truth be told she’d considered calling in today. If only to get her head on straight. In the end— she’d decided that hiding away in her apartment would only give the impression that she’d done something wrong. That they’d done something wrong— and despite whatever reservations Ben may have about their work relationship, Rey doesn’t believe that to be true.

So she’d dragged herself from her bed this morning. She’d showered and dressed with minimal moping, and she’d walked into work with her head held high. She is tired of being the one to chase after him. Tired of being the only one who seems to want this as she does.

Let him stew. Let him wonder what she’s thinking. Let him come to her.

With that in mind, she steps through the entry of their floor with confidence, offering a wave to Rose who holds a phone to her ear as she passes, only to have Rose wave her over.

Rey waits for Rose to finish, standing on the other side of her desk patiently before Rose finally ends the call and hands Rey a packet.

Rey looks down at it curiously. “What’s this?”

“It’s a copy of the finished manuscript for Snap’s book. There’s a meeting happening in—” She glances at the clock. “Well, now, actually. They want you in there to observe. Since you helped Ben this weekend.”

Rey hopes she isn’t blushing as she recalls all the ways she helped Ben this weekend. How he’d helped her in turn. She nods back at Rose stonily. “Where is it happening?”

Rose points to a door that stands off beyond the elevators. “Conference room B. They’re already in there. They asked that I send you that way when you arrived. Snap hasn’t made it in yet.”

“Ah, okay. Well I’d better join them then.”

“You’re going to do great. Amilyn said she doesn’t expect you to do much more than listen and watch— so don’t be nervous.”

“Thank you. I’ll be fine.” She tries to look nonchalant. “I take it Ben is already in there?”

Rose frowns. “Are things still strained?”

It takes everything she has not to bark out a laugh. “You could say that.”

Rose sighs. “I’m sorry. I hope he’s not being too hard on you.”

She can’t help it. She snorts. “Nothing I can’t handle.”

“Good, then. I’d better finish up these expense reports to send them over to my husband. Good luck in there!”

“Thanks, Rose. I’ll see you later.”

She clutches the packet to her chest, taking a deep breath as she makes her way to the conference room. She knows he’s just on the other side, along with his boss (and by extension— hers), and the thought of this being her first time to see him since he’d buried his head between her thighs is daunting to say the least.

You can do this.

She knocks lightly, hearing a woman’s voice beckoning her and she pushes open the door to step inside. A lithe woman sits at the end of the table, turning to look at Rey as she enters and offering her a kind smile.

“Ms. Dameron, good morning.”

Rey’s eyes are trained on this woman, refusing to look across the table where he sits. “Mrs. Holdo?”

She nods. “So glad we can finally meet. I’ve been so busy since you started. How are you settling in?”

“Everything has been great. Everyone’s been so welcoming.” She still refuses to look at him, even as she feels his eyes boring a hole in the side of her face.

“That’s good to hear. I trust Ben has been taking care of you? He speaks highly of you.” Mrs. Holdo grins across the table, and Rey is left with no other option but to acknowledge his existence.

He doesn’t look like he’s slept. That’s the first thing she notices. There are dark circles under his eyes, and a shadow at his jaw that says he hasn’t shaved in days.

He looks… well, a bit of a mess really. Selfishly, she feels a little satisfaction that she isn’t the only one who’s been torn up by this thing between them. That he feels it too.

She wills her expression into a casual one, meeting his eyes evenly and stamping down the emotion that bubbles in her chest. Something inside her urges her to go to him, to soothe him, but he’s made himself clear on the arm’s length in which he wants to keep her. She flicks her eyes away from his passively, smiling warmly at Mrs. Holdo.

“He’s been very helpful as I’ve been settling in. Everyone has.”

“I’m glad to hear it. I really appreciate you helping with the rush on this project. Admittedly with Ben’s absence we got behind schedule, so I’m very grateful for your assistance.”

“I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”

Mrs. Holdo smiles, nodding softly as she gestures to the seat beside her. The seat directly across from him. She sits slowly, laying the packet out on the table in front of her and pointedly not looking in his direction.

If Mrs. Holdo notices the thick air of tension between them, she doesn’t comment on it. “Have you seen the final product?”

“No, ma’am. Rose handed it to me as I walked in.”

“None of this ma’am business,” she chuckles. “Feel free to call me Amilyn.”

“Only if you’ll call me Rey.”

Amilyn grins. “Perfectly agreeable to me. Go ahead and open the packet! I’d love to hear what you think.”

Rey opens the packet, pulling out the hardback inside and studying the cover. She can’t help the chuckle that escapes her. “ Love On The Kessel Run?”

Amilyn shrugs. “I didn’t name it. I hear it’s quite good.”

“You haven’t read it?”

“Not… yet. Admittedly it isn’t my cup of tea. Ben gave me excellent notes on it.”

Rey’s eyebrows shoot up, and she can’t help but look at him now. “You read this?”

His jaw tenses, and she can tell he isn’t thrilled about speaking with her like this. So casually. So soon.

He nods. “Yes.”

Rey’s face splits into a grin, imagining him working his way through a book like this. She bets he frowned the entire time. “How was it?”

“Well-written at least.”

“I’ll have to binge it this week. You have me intrigued.”

He doesn’t respond, merely purses his lips and turns back to Amilyn. “He’s a little late, isn’t he?”

Amilyn checks be clock. “Be patient. It was hard enough as it is to get him to agree to meet with us.”

“Because patience is my most shining quality,” Ben grumbles.

“My, you’re in a sour mood this morning,” Amilyn laughs. “Rough weekend?”

Rey doesn’t miss the way his face hardens, or the way he shifts in his seat. “Didn’t sleep well.”

“You know it’s funny,” Rey cuts in. “Neither did I. Must be going around.”

“Must be,” he grates out.

There is a knock at the door then, Amilyn standing eagerly and actually greeting the man who enters herself. Snap Wexley is almost as tall as Ben, albeit much softer looking. His face is kind— his smile anxious and fleeting as his eyes dart around the room. 

“Ah, Snap. So glad you could make it. We were just talking about your book,” Amilyn informs him, and Rey takes advantage of her distraction to let her gaze fall on Ben.

She finds he’s already looking at her, his eyes fixed on hers and seeking as if trying to discern her thoughts. She keeps her features schooled, not allowing any of her confusion or hurt to show. Let him wonder. Let him worry.

She returns her attention back to Amilyn, still chatting away at Snap while he looks back at her nervously. She refuses to look at Ben, even as she feels his eyes on her. Even as something inside her begs her to take him into her arms and take away his obvious dejection. She breathes deep through her nostrils, steadying her will.

You can do this, she reminds herself.


The meeting went fairly well, considering. She was able to observe as intended, chiming in only when prompted and for the most part— just trying her best to absorb the conversation without dwelling too much on the furtive glances Ben kept sneaking in her direction.

All in all, Rey was fairly confident by the end of it all that Snap was becoming comfortable with the idea of signing with them. Amilyn seemed pleased when he left, to say the least. Rey had quickly excused herself after, ensuring that there was no chance that she would end up alone in the conference room with Ben.

She navigated the rest of the morning with little difficulty, Ben taking up his favorite pastime of holing up in his fucking office— ensuring she didn’t see hide or hair of him after parting ways in the conference room.

She is in the breakroom now, sipping at a cup of tea she’s just made in the Keurig and leaning against the counter. She smells him before she sees him, his scent overpowering even the potent aroma of her tea that is pressed against her lips.

She doesn’t greet him, continuing her stubborn resolve of sticking to her guns. He’s quiet for a moment— lingering on the other side of the room and remaining still until she finally decides to look at him.

“Yes?”

“Rey. We need to talk.”

“No.”

“No?”

“No. I don’t think we do. The time for talking was Friday. We’re past talking now.”

“If you would let me explain—”

She sets her cup on the counter, crossing her arms. “Explain what, exactly?”

“It’s just not a good idea. You and me.”

“Oh? Come up with that all on your own?”

He frowns, running a hand through his hair. “I think you’re forgetting—”

She takes a step, letting her arms fall to her side as her hands ball into fists. “No. I think you’re forgetting . I’m an adult now, Ben. I can make my own decisions. You’re the one being a child here.”

“I’m just trying to do what’s best for you.”

“What’s best for me would have been you staying with me after you got me off twice.”

His eyes dart around the room nervously, his brow furrowing. “Watch it, Rey.”

She rolls her eyes. “You don’t get to tell me what to do. You’re not my Alpha, remember? That isn’t what you want. You’ve made that unbearably clear.”

He’s rigid, fists of his own clenching at his side and the air between them seems to crackle with some unseen electricity. “Is that what you think?”

“What am I supposed to think?”

He’s quiet, his jaw working in thought as he studies her face. She would give anything to know what he’s thinking— just a glimpse into his mind to try and  understand why he resists her when he obviously wants her.

He opens his mouth, and she finds herself leaning in expectation of whatever he’s going to say. She finds she needs his next words.

He never gets the chance.

“I’m just saying, the least they could do is warn us before they decide to cut our deadline in half.”

Kaydel rounds the corner with Finn in tow, stilling when she catches sight of Ben and Rey at odds with each other from across the room. Her brow knits, looking between them curiously.

Ben clears his throat. “As I was saying, Ms. Dameron— if you could have the final draft of Mr. Wexley’s contract on my desk before you leave I would appreciate it.”

He looks so different than a moment ago. He’s composed now, his mask firmly in place without a trace of the vulnerability that had shown on his face mere seconds ago.

She nods, because what else can she do? “I’ll do that.”

“Thank you.” He turns to leave, nodding at her coworkers before leaving the room.

Kaydel offers Rey a grimace. “He seems like he’s in a bad mood today. Did the meeting not go well?”

Rey shakes her head. “It went fine. I think he’s just having a bad day.”

“Yikes. I’ll make sure to steer clear.” She perks up then. “Oh, hey! We’re going out tonight. Want to come?”

Rey wrinkles her nose. “On a Monday?”

Kaydel laughs. “What are you, eighty? Yes, on a Monday. It will be fun.”

Rey glances at Finn, who raises his hands in relent. “Don’t look at me. Wasn’t my idea.”

Rey laughs.. “You know— after the weekend I had, I could use a drink.”

Kaydel fist pumps. “That’s my girl.”

“You didn’t tell her you invited Phasma,” Finn grumbles.

Kaydel shrugs. “I’m not worried about Gwen.”

“Yeah,” Finn mutters. “That makes one of us.”


She holds the printed contract draft in her hand, staring at Ben’s door and knowing he actually does need it before she leaves. Part of her just wants to slide it under his door and retreat. She won’t though— because she is strong. Because she has done nothing wrong. Because she can do this.

The others are waiting for her downstairs, and she clings to that as her reason to get this over with quickly. She crosses the floor to his office, knocking quickly and not even waiting for his permission before stepping inside.

If he is startled by her sudden presence, he doesn’t let it show. She hands the folder to him, and he takes it with a nod. She tries to turn and leave, but his voice halts her.

“Rey.”

She stills, God help her, she stills— unable to do anything but turn in search of that voice that haunts her dreams. She’s heard that voice between her thighs, and every syllable from his mouth elicits memories of said event.

“What?”

“We should talk.”

“We’ve been over this. There’s nothing to talk about.”

“I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Which time, Ben?”

He flinches as if she’s struck him, and his eyes flick to his desk as a pained expression seeps into his features. “Ever. I’ve never meant to.”

“Well,” she sighs. “You did. You left.”

“I just— I don’t know what I’m doing.”

She blows out an exasperated breath. “You know what might have been a good solution for that? Talking to me. We could have figured it out together. You didn’t though. You ran away. I’m tired of this game, Ben. I want you. I think we both know that, but I won’t be pulled back and forth like this. I’m worth more than that. I won’t be strung along for whenever it’s convenient— only for you to toss me aside after based on some bullshit principles. If you don’t want me— I guarantee there’s an Alpha out there who does.”

He looks stunned, and honestly her own feelings mirror his perfectly. She can’t believe she’s spoken to him like this. It rings true though— and as much as she cares about him, as much as she wants him— she won’t be anyone’s for a good time call. She is worth more.

He swallows heavily. “Rey, I—”

“If that will be all, Mr. Solo, I’m going out tonight, and they’re waiting for me.”

“Where are you going?”

She narrows her eyes. “That’s none of your concern.”

He pulls his lip between his teeth, working at the soft flesh roughly and she is momentarily distracted by the need to take over. To do that to him herself. She shakes it away, clinging to her resolve.

“Goodnight, then.” Her voice is a little softer now, and she turns on her heel before her emotions can catch up with her.

She doesn’t know what she’d expected— for him to argue maybe, for him to tell her he did want her— anything, really. As it is, she leaves him behind, never slowing until she’s safely tucked away in the elevators and riding down to meet her coworkers. She sighs as she lets her head fall back against the sleek inner walls of the enclosed space.

Fuck, she really could use that drink.

Chapter Text

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Rey shakes her head, taking another sip. “Not really.”

Finn leans in a little closer. “Did something else happen?”

She blows a puff of air between her lips, taking a larger sip instead of answering. She feels his hand at her back, rubbing a reassuring circle.

“I’m sorry, Rey. Maybe it’s for the best? He is your boss. There would have been some problems there.”

“I know that,” she sighs. “I know. Its just… it’s hard. You know? This thing between us… it’s terrifying but… it feels like it could have been big.”

Finn nods. “I understand. I really do.”

She tries not to feel bitter towards his newfound happiness. Poe has called to gush on three separate occasions about how wonderful Finn is, and she is happy for them. They deserve each other. She just wishes she were closer to where they are, instead of perched at this bar, drinking her sorrows away on a Monday night.

“Maybe I should leave Rebel.”

“What? You’re doing so well. You’re not going to find a better opportunity.”

“I know that, but how I can I stay? How can I see him every day knowing nothing will ever happen?” Her voice lowers then, nothing more than a choked whisper. “How can I stay knowing he doesn’t want me?”

She feels his arms come around her, nearly lifting her off the stool as he crushes her to his chest. His scent is wrong, reminding her of how far away Ben is, but his embrace is warm and comforting and she allows herself to be wrapped up in it.

“I’m really sorry, Rey. I could kick his ass for you? I doubt he’d report it. He seems to be kicking his own ass over this enough as it is, judging by his awful attitude lately.”

A laugh escapes her, shaking her head into his shirt. “It’s fine. Best to let sleeping dogs lie. I’ll figure this out. I think I just needed a second to mope and drink my feelings.”

He leans back, grinning at her. “Plenty of room for that here.” His eyes fall across the room then, his mouth falling open. “Um, more importantly— what the fuck is going on over there?”

Rey furrows her brow as she follows his line of sight, landing on Kaydel tucked away in the opposite corner of the bar, grinning up at a very amused looking Gwen. Rey watches in shock as Phasma reaches to run one perfectly tailored fingernail up the length of Kaydel’s chin, tilting it upwards before leaning in to kiss her.

She gapes back at Finn, shaking his arm lightly as he just mutters, “I know. I know.” She feels like a creep for watching them, Gwen stepping in to pull Kaydel against her as she deepens the kiss. Rey drags her eyes back to Finn then, snapping her fingers in front of his dazed expression and pulling his attention back to her.

“We shouldn’t spy. It’s rude.”

His mouth is still hanging open. “It’s not spying — this is a bar! They’re just— making out in plain sight!”

She can tell Finn is thoroughly bewildered by this turn of events. She finds she isn’t as taken aback by it. “So much makes sense to me now.”

He looks over at her incredulously. “You’re kidding.”

“No, no, think about it. Kaydel always seems to be the only one able to handle Phasma.”

“Okay, that’s fair, but, I didn’t think that meant she was, you know… handling her.”

Rey wrinkles her nose. “You’re ridiculous.”

“How long do you think that’s been going on?”

“Honestly? No idea. This could be the tipping point— or maybe we’ve just not been observant enough.”

Finn blows out a breath. “God. Gwen is more of an Alpha than I am.”

“I knew it.” Finn frowns at her, and she shakes her head to clarify. “Not that she’s more— just that she was one.”

“Yeah. Hard to miss it with her. Is Kaydel… do you think she’s…?”

Rey shrugs. “With suppressants it’s hard to tell. Kind of rude to ask. I’m so curious, though.”

“I think making out in a crowded bar is grounds to ask for gossip and I for one will be hounding her about this thoroughly tomorrow.”

Rey raises her glass, and Finn clinks his against it in solidarity. “I’ll drink to that.”


She most definitely does drink to that. She also drinks to the memory of Ben leaving her alone. To his closed off expression and his it’s not a good idea. She drinks to what was and what could have been and by the time another hour has passed— she’s a lot more tipsy than she should be for a Monday night.

Kaydel and Gwen have disappeared— Rey trying her hardest yet again not to be bitter that everyone around her seems to have found love while she is stuck caring for what has to be the most obstinate Alpha to ever walk the earth. Finn has mentioned twice now that he should get her home, but she’s too busy with her current mission to hear him.

Poe had offered up Ben’s number easily when she’d texted under the guise of having a question about work— and she’s typing it into her phone now with every intention to call him.

Finn looks worried. “Please tell me you aren’t doing what I think you’re doing.”

She shrugs, hiccuping a little. “Why not? I just wanna tell him I don’t think we’re a good idea either.” Finn tries to take her phone away, but she slaps at his hand. “Listen here, you’re not my Alpha. Ben’s not my Alpha. This is my phone. I’m my own Alpha. Okay?”

“Rey…”

She raises a finger to her lips as she presses the now ringing phone to her ear. “Shh. It’s fine. Just a quick hello.”

His voice is such a comfort, even now. When he sounds through her speaker, she is momentarily struck with a flood of relief just for having heard it.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Mr. Solo.”

“Rey.”

“Mhm. I just wanted to tell you—” She has to pause to close her eyes for a second, what she had been wanting to tell him escaping her. “Ah, right. I wanted to tell you that I don’t think we’re a good idea either.”

He is quiet for a moment, and she thinks for a second he is angry. Then his voice rings across the airwaves again, and it is much softer than when he’d answered. “Is that so.”

“Yes. See. You’re so confusing.”

“I know.”

“I think you really want me.”

“I do.”

“You do?” She hadn't quite been prepared for that. “Then you should—”

“It’s not a good idea, remember?”

“Fuck. So confusing.”

“Are you drunk?”

“That’s none of your concern.” She says this like a child might mock a parent, and even as it leaves her mouth in this tone she knows how ridiculous she sounds.

“Is someone with you at least?” There’s an edge to his tone now, as if he might be angry if she tells him otherwise. Or maybe if she agrees. She can’t be sure.

“Finn is here.” Finn is slicing his hand across his throat, silently begging that his name be kept out of this but she waves him off with her hand. “He’s taking good care of me. Unlike someone.” Finn smacks a hand to his forehead, but she prattles on. “There are a lot of Alphas here tonight.”

Ben’s voice is definitely harder now. “Rey.”

She loves when he says her name like that. Like a warning. Like it’s difficult. It makes something inside her preen. “Yes?”

“Where are you right now?”

“Where am I right now?” Finn’s eyes widen, and he is outright waving his hands back and forth in protest. She giggles a little, the sound bubbling up and spilling out before she can stop it. “Well… that’s just none of your concern either. Is it.”

He’s growling as she hangs up the phone, and she beams at Finn with triumph as he gives her a weary expression. He huffs out a sigh, scrubbing a hand down the length of his face.

“You’re going to get me killed, Rey. You know that?”


Ben is  immensely surprised he still has a working phone right now.

Surprised because, when she hung up on him, he had the fleeting urge to hurl it at the wall. Again. Rey makes him feel a whole slew of emotions he’s kept locked up tight these last few years. It’s maddening.

He should have known she was at the exact same bar they’d been to last week— his employees seem to have a penchant for it. It had only taken a quick text to confirm it.

He’s scanning the room now, wondering how on earth it could be so goddamn crowded. It’s a fucking Monday night. The room stinks of stale beer and too many Alphas and Ben’s skin prickles with distaste as he seeks her out.

He shouldn’t even fucking be here in the first place. That seems to be the theme of he and Rey’s relationship. If you can even call it a relationship. He doesn’t know what he’s doing anymore.

He spots her at the bar, her back to him as she leans in to speak to Finn who sits directly across from her. Ben is only slightly embarrassed by his inquisition via text, but judging by the way Finn immediately began to try and reject the idea that he has any attachment to Rey— it is clear he knows more about what is going on than Ben would like.

Finn notices him first, his eyes widening slightly as he straightens on his stool. Ben hones in on the two of them, pushing through the press of bodies to make his way to where they are sitting.

For a moment he just stands behind her, listening to her laughter that isn’t for him. Not that he deserves it. He sees the exact moment she scents him behind her, her body tensing slightly as her glass that had been moving to her lips hovers in the air. She turns slowly, her mouth parted in shock and her eyes wide as she peers up at him.

Already he can tell that she has had far too many for a Monday, and he is wrought with the urge to chain her to his bed. Although for punishment or pleasure he can’t be sure. Perhaps both— but he is getting distracted.

She pouts then, her bottom lip protruding just enough that he could capture it with his teeth. If he wanted to. He does— but that’s beside the point. She offers this look to Finn instead, something inside Ben’s chest roaring as she devotes her attention to him.

“You told on me,” she accuses.

Finn looks sheepish. “I couldn’t lie.”

“You could have.”

“Yeah… but he would have found out.”

She huffs out a breath, narrowing her eyes as she turns back to Ben. “What are you even doing here?”

“Taking you home.”

“No. I don’t think so.” She crosses her arms stubbornly. “I’m fine right here.”

“Rey.”

Ben.”

Finn looks incredibly uncomfortable, and Ben notices him sliding off his stool. “I think I’d better go.”

“You can’t just leave me here,” Rey whines.

“She’s in good hands,” Ben informs him, not even sparing him a glance. “You can go.” Finn hesitates for a moment, and Ben turns to look at him then, needing to clarify. “I would appreciate it if you didn’t—”

Finn raises his hands. “I won’t say a word.”

“There’s nothing going on.”

Finn smiles, patting Ben’s arm as he passes. “Sure, guy.” He leans in a little closer before he steps away, lowering his voice. “Boss aside— you really need to figure your shit out. She’s a good one, Rey. You’re not going to see another one like her.”

Ben is still looking at her, even as she looks completely put out. His answering murmur is so low he isn’t sure Finn hears it. “I know.”

“I’ll see you in the morning Rey,” Finn offers as he moves to leave. “Be careful, okay?”

She’s nodding in response, and Ben has to resist the urge to scowl over Finn’s worry. It’s not necessary. Ben will see that she’s taken care of. Of course he will.

When Finn is gone, Ben returns his attention wholly on the vexing Omega currently frowning up at him. “It’s time to go, Rey.”

She purses her lips. “Can’t you just make up your mind? You don’t get to be my Alpha without being my Alpha. Stubborn ass.”

He’s floored for a moment. “What did you call me?”

She juts out her chin. “Stubborn. Ass.”

He wants to get her out of here. He wants to bend her over his knee. He wants to knot her right here at the bar so no one would even think of looking at her.

Even to him, his thoughts are a mess.

He sighs instead. “You’re not making things easy.”

“Good,” she huffs. “Nothing ever seems to be easy with you. Maybe now you’ll know how it feels.”

“Rey.”

She rolls her eyes. “ Fine. Take me home.” He doesn’t miss the way she mutters Alpha bullshit under her breath. “Keep your orgasms to yourself this time.”

He shouldn’t want to laugh in this moment, but for whatever reason he’s finding it incredibly hard not to. He reaches out a hand, and she takes it reluctantly as she stumbles from the barstool. He tells himself that his arm around her waist is for her benefit, that he’s just ensuring she doesn’t fall, but it sounds weak even in his head.

He can only breathe again when he has her out of that crowded bar, away from the overpowering scents of other Alphas and out in the night air. He helps her to his car, and she only grumbles slightly when he places her in the passenger seat. This is the second time he will have to endure being shut away in the confines of such a cramped space with her— surrounded by her scent that makes him want to lock her away all for himself.

He climbs into the driver’s seat, shutting the door behind him and ignoring her soft hmphs of indignance. Partly because he knows they’re justified, but more largely in part because they’re fucking adorable and do terrible things to his insides. She is quiet as she pulls away, leaning her head against the window and staring out into the street.

If he weren’t so attuned to every detail that is Rey, he might have missed the softness of her voice when she finally speaks. “Why did you come, Ben.”

He takes several moments to consider before answering, “I just want you safe.”

She falls silent once more, and several minutes pass between them without anything being said. Ben is pensive as he drives, at war with the need to both tell her everything he’s feeling and keep it locked up tight as he’s done all these years.

He knows he shouldn’t have even come. Finn was perfectly capable of seeing her home safely, and for everything Ben knows of Finn— he would have surely done so.

You don’t get to be my Alpha without being my Alpha.

He lets out a sigh. Wanting is not the problem at all. What he wants and what he deserves are two very different things. If only he could tell her that.

“Rey, I…” He trails off as he tries to gather his thoughts, and she is quiet as she allows him to do so. He looks straight ahead, afraid that looking at her will leave him a flustered mess. He takes a calming breath before he continues. “You can’t possibly think that I don’t want you. That’s the problem, Rey— I’ve always wanted you. Even when I shouldn’t have. There are things you don’t know. Things about… Poe. It’s not my place to tell you them, but because of what happened— both with him and with us— it feels like you deserve better. How could I ever face Poe if he knew what happened between us? How can I tell myself I deserve you knowing I’m no better than the ones who—” He blows out a breath. “I just need to stay in control, but you make it so goddamn hard. You make me feel so out of control. When I’m with you I—”

He chances a glance at her then, and he is met with the sight of a slumped-over Omega, her head resting against the car window and soft sighs of sleep escaping her. Of course. Of course she hadn’t heard a word he’d said. That is just how things seem to be going for him. He shakes his head ruefully, gripping the steering wheel just a little tighter in frustration.

He knows her apartment keys will surely be in her purse, and that carrying her to bed will be no problem whatsoever. Only… something in him is vehemently protesting leaving her alone in this state. Something inside tells him that is unacceptable.

He knows already he will regret the decision he’s come to, but those urges in him hum with a need to protect her. To keep her safe. To keep her with him. It’s selfish— these urges he has, but they’re getting harder and harder to fight.

When he pulls up outside his own house instead, he leans back against the headrest, running his hands down his face before turning to look at a still-sleeping Rey. For a moment he is content to just watch her sleep, leaning to tuck her hair behind her ear, his thumb lingering against her cheek. She’s so fucking beautiful it almost breaks his heart.

Of course he wants her. He’s never wanted anything more in his entire life. Would it really be so bad if… perhaps if he just explained why he felt this way. Maybe they could come to some sort of understanding. Maybe they could make it work.

He lets out a sigh, exiting the car even as he is still berating himself for bringing her here in the first place.

It’s necessary, he tells himself as he carries her inside his house.

No other choice, he lies as he tucks her into his bed.

It’s the last time, he tries to convince himself as he stands in the doorway, watching her nuzzle into his pillow.

Everything in him wants him to crawl in next to her. To pull her against him and cover her with his body until he can’t remember what it had been like to have space between them.

Tearing himself away to take the couch proves to be the hardest thing he’s ever done.

Chapter Text

She wakes up slowly— consciousness returning to her in pieces that are even more fragmented by her inability to determine where she is. Sunlight pours in through dark blinds, washing over even darker sheets that aren’t her own. She runs a hand over the expensive-feeling fabric, her face burying into it as she breathes in a scent she recognizes all too well.

Ben.

She opens her eyes, sitting up in bed to glance around what must be his bedroom. She thinks to herself she could most likely place it even without the wall of scent that makes her dizzy— the tidied space screaming Ben Solo down to the last muted grey throw pillow. She falls back to the bed, burrowing into his pillow and inhaling deeply while she is free to do so.

Even through the murky state of what will surely prove to be an impressive hangover, it affects her in ways she hadn’t thought possible. Her skin tingles as she nuzzles into his sheets, sparking electricity in her veins that travels to her core which surprisingly is already wet with slick. She feels it sticky between her thighs, assuming that a night spent amongst his scent is to blame for her flustered state upon waking.

The other side of the bed is still half-made, and she feels it is safe to assume he didn’t sleep here with her. Of course he didn’t. Why would he? The thought still disheartens her somehow.

She was beyond stunned when he’d shown up at the bar— she knew that her little stunt was less than logical but she could have never predicted he’d actually come looking for her. Alcohol had left her wide open to the onslaught of emotions he made her feel, leaving her a mess of regret and anger and blinding want that even now she still feels the lingering effects of.

Because she does want him.

She thinks he wants her too. Hazily she thinks she remembers him saying as much. So what is stopping him? Surely nothing that makes sense— because what could make more sense than two people who want each other being together?

His scent. It’s everywhere. She rubs her thighs together— her slick spreading as it seeps out of her beyond her control. There’s a throbbing there now, made worse with every inhale and she finds her hand sliding down her body before she can stop it. Her skirt is missing— had he taken it off so she could sleep? What had that been like for him? Had he been affected?

She is surely affected. Her fingers slip beneath her underwear, sliding between her folds to apply pressure to the swollen bud of her clit that begs for attention. She wonders if he’ll know, later in his bed, that she’d touched herself here. The thought of him knowing, scenting her amidst his things— it only heats her further.

She wishes it were his hands. She wants to seek him out. She wants him to find her like this. She’s rubbing at herself shamelessly now, her nose buried in his pillow as she rolls her hips into the ministrations of her hand. What would he do, if he found her like this? She imagines his expression— the way it would go from even to wild in a span of seconds. The way he might cross the room to join her. The way he would bat her hand away so he could touch her himself.

His hands are so much larger than hers— she can still feel the way her body stretched around just his finger. What would it be like if he settled between her thighs, his large body covering hers as he pressed into her? She wonders what his cock looks like. She’s felt it against her, but she realizes she wants to see it, to feel it as it sinks into her— feel him in a way she’s never felt anyone else.

Her breath leaves her in desperate pants as her skin flushes, feeling an orgasm building as she continues to work at her clit while greedily drawing in lungfuls of mint and rain as it leaves her dizzy.

So close, so close—

The sound of a shower starting pulls her from her frenzy. She gasps for breath as she sits up, staring at a closed door that must be an attached bath. He’s in there, she realizes. He’s in there wet. Naked. She can practically see the water as it travels down his body, and she is struck with an urge to capture each drop with her tongue. She is so needy — frenzied by his scent and the lingering haze of too much alcohol and she is stumbling from his bed before she can stop herself.

She lingers just outside the door for a moment, her fingers brushing over the doorknob as she wonders what he will do if she pushes inside. She’s never done anything like this— never even considered it— but she feels brave in this moment. Perhaps it is the rush of his scent that fuels her— but her fingers gingerly turn the doorknob and she’s stepping inside before she can reconsider.

The steam from the shower coats the mirror, clinging to the sleek black tiles of the floor that travel halfway up the walls. His shower sits in the center of the back wall, and the shape of him is just visible behind the opaque glass structure that is made even cloudier by the torrents of steam rising up.

He’s leaning against the wall just under the showerhead, the water pouring down his back in a rush as he braces himself on one hand. He is almost too large for the shower, and that knowledge alone has her pressing her thighs together.

There is another moment of indecision, but then the muscles of his back roll as he reaches to wipe the water from his face, and her feet move on their own. She pulls her blouse over her head, her bra and underwear adding to the pile before she loses her nerve.

When he hears the shower door push open, he turns to face her, his mouth falling open as she steps inside to join him.

“Rey, what are you—”

She moves under the spray, pressing against him quietly and feeling his body slide against hers. His expression is open, unguarded for once in his surprise and in this moment he looks utterly wrecked. As if he can’t decide what to do with her. As if he can’t decide what is the right course of action.

She decides to take the choice from him.

She leans up on her toes, her hands sliding over his chest— so wet and hard and wide— molding herself against him as she pulls his face to hers. His lips are warmer than the water, resting against hers in shock for a moment as she quietly coaxes him to respond. 

“Open your mouth,” she urges much more gently than he had. “Open for me, Alpha.”

There is a soft moan— from him or her she isn’t sure— and then his tongue slides against hers and his hands are at her waist. He’s pulling— pulling her so tightly  against him she wonders if he might leave an imprint against her skin. If it’s possible they might mesh into one being by the force of his grip alone.

His hands move to tangle in the drenched tresses of her hair, angling her neck to deepen the kiss. His hands slide down her ribs, smoothing over the wet expanse of her ass as he kneads the rounded flesh there. He pulls her closer, and she feels the hardened length of his cock between them as it settles against her belly, his hips thrusting lightly of their own accord.

He slots against her center, her slick sliding against his erection and he growls low in his chest as she feels his grip on her skin tighten to a point that is almost painful.

“Rey,” he rasps as he breaks away. “I don’t want to fuck you in my shower.”

She is breathless now, and her hands on his chest that lay trapped between them smooth downwards to his abdomen. “But you do want to fuck me?”

His expression becomes pained, and he tilts his hips forward as his cock slides through her slick-drenched folds easily. “I think that’s obvious.”

“I don’t know,” she chuckles. “You’re very confusing.”

“You’re very persistent.”

“Only when I know you’re being stubborn for no reason.”

“It’s not that there’s no reason. It’s complicated.”

He licks his lips then, and a drop of water falls from the tip of his nose, landing on his chest and falling as she watches its descent. She remembers her urge to chase the droplets with her tongue, and she leans in, licking at the expanse of his chest and indulging in her fantasy.

He shudders, his eyes shutting tight as he sucks in a sharp rush of air. When he opens his them, he looks down at her with blown pupils, his eyes appearing black as they bore into hers.

She grins up at him. “Let’s make it uncomplicated.”

When she begins to slide down his body, falling to her knees— she thinks he might just swallow his own tongue. She looks up at him from the floor of his shower, grinning shyly as she tentatively lets her fingers brush against his straining length, fascinated when it twitches against her touch.

It’s so much larger than it had felt through his clothes, long and thick and so hard against her fingers. Her body thrums with anticipation, the thought of showing him the same pleasure he’d given her causing her heart to race. She bites her lip when she peers back up at him through her lashes, swallowing lightly. “I’ve never done this. You’ll have to tell me what you like.”

He looks as if he’s about to protest, but she doesn’t want to give him the chance. When she leans in to flatten her tongue along the underside of him, she finds that for once— she enjoys his silence.


Surely he must be dreaming, because this— Rey, down her knees and looking up at him as she mouths at his cock, is something he’s only seen during sleep. Her actions aren’t skilled, there’s even an innocence to them— but when she presses an open-mouthed kiss to the head of his cock, he swears he’s never seen anything so obscene.

Her tongue moves in a way that seems more intent to study his shape than to actually get him off, but he’s never been more aroused in his entire life. He feels her licking just under the curve of his head, tracing a pattern against the lip there and he clenches his fists at his side to resist threading them through her hair.

She flattens her tongue again along the underside of his length, cresting over the head as she peeks up at him. “ Alpha. Tell me what to do.”

“Rey,” he chokes out. “You don’t have to—”

“Please, Alpha?” She places a trail of chaste kisses along his shaft. “ Please?”

He groans, allowing himself to reach for her face, his thumbs brushing along her jaw. He’s desperately trying to be gentle with her, so afraid to frighten her with the enormity of how much he wants her. All he can think about is driving into the warmth of her mouth, watching his cock sink past her lips so deep that she’s gasping for breath.

“Give me your tongue, Omega.”

Her eyes are so trusting as she complies, peering up at him sweetly as she opens wide. He brushes the head of his cock against her tongue, pushing inside just a little. Her lips close over him instinctively, and he tilts his hips to press deeper into her mouth as her eyes flutter closed.

“Good girl. Such a good girl.” His head falls back against the tiles as she hums around his cock, and he lets his palms rest against her temples as he guides himself as deep into her mouth as she can stand. He feels her tense when it’s too far, and he moves to pull away only to have her push further down his length stubbornly. Always so stubborn, his Omega. “ Fuck. Look at you. Lips stretched around my cock. Do you like that, Rey?”

Another soft hum as her eyes drift open, looking up from beneath her lashes and he feels her nails raking over his thighs as she moves to grip his hips. How many times has he imagined her— just like this? Her eyes watering and her mouth stretched wide, kneeling down before him like an offering— like a gift. Because she is. Something to treasure, something to keep, something to make his— and he wants to. He wants everything.

He feels the tip of her tongue brush along the sensitive skin where his knot lays dormant, and he is struck with the image of being buried inside her in another way. Of her legs wrapped around him as he drives into her. Of his knot swelling to a point that binds her to him. Filling her so deep that he’s always with her. So she never forgets where he’s been.

He can’t help the way he pitches forward, and the way she gags softly, it’s like music, calling to something deep inside him that pushes him into a bit of a frenzy. She’s still taking him as best she can, determined to please him without seeming to realize that everything she does pleases him.

“So good, little one. So good for your Alpha. You take me so well. Would you take my knot just as well, I wonder?” She moans around him, and he pushes deep before withdrawing, her lips wrapped firmly around his cock as if she’s reluctant to let him leave the warmth of her mouth. He sees her squirming on the floor, and he knows his girl is in need of relief. “Touch yourself, Rey. I want you to touch yourself. Use those little fingers for me.”

He watches as her hand disappears below, and he wishes he could see her slim digits working at her clit. He feels his cock swell against her tongue, and the thought of pouring down her throat has him gripping her hair.

“Can you take what I’m going to give you? I want you to take everything. Can you do that, Omega?” She gives as much of a nod as she can manage, and he thrusts into her mouth just a little harder. “So sweet, Rey. How are you so sweet with your mouth full of me? That’s it. Just a little more. Just a little— fuck.”

Seeing her beginning to tremble does him in, her hand that is pressed between her legs stilling as she shakes with orgasm. She does take everything. Even as he pulses against her tongue. Even as his cum pours down her throat. She swallows around him, taking every drop as if she is made to. Because she is, she realizes. Made for this. For him.

For a moment he can’t even remember why he’s been fighting this. Nothing makes sense but this moment. Nothing makes sense but her.

He doesn’t know how long they remain like that, her lips around his cock as she sucks down gush after gush of his spend. When he finally slides from her mouth, his fingers remain wrapped in her hair, staring down at her as he struggles to catch his breath.

He doesn’t understand it— how after everything that just happened she’s looking up at him like he’s the one who’s done something for her. Like she’s grateful. He feels just a little more of his resolve crumble away. How can he continue to say no to this woman? Why would he even want to?

She rises from the floor slowly, sliding up his body to let her hands curl over his shoulders, her lips brushing against his. She is perfect. Everything he’s ever wanted. She belongs to him.

“Rey, I—”

She presses her lips more firmly against his, silencing him before she pulls away. “We’re going to be late.” Another heavy kiss followed by a much softer one. “And you still have to take me home for more clothes.”

He is still scrambling to find the right words. “Rey— that was—”

“The last time?”

He swallows heavily, shaking his head slowly. “No. No, I don’t think it was.”

She hums contently, kissing him slowly as his arms curl around her to pull her close. He feels her lips curve into a smile, and he clutches her a little tighter.

It’s not the last time, he tells himself.

It doesn’t have to be the last time.

Chapter Text

The water is growing tepid around them, but Rey can only focus on the way Ben’s mouth moves over her jaw. The way his lips trail over her throat. The way his teeth graze at the soft bend of her shoulder. She cries out when his tongue passes softly over the sensitive flesh of her mating gland, and for a moment her vision clouds with the fantasy that he might sink his teeth into the pivotal point there. That he might claim her.

She knows it is far too soon to be entertaining this idea.

He is still so heavy against her thigh, still so thick as he slots against her center, and she curls her leg around his hip to get closer. She tilts her hips into him, and the weight of his cock brushes against her still slick folds, causing both of them to shudder.

“Rey,” he warns. “There’s no time for that.”

“Can’t we just—”

He nips lightly at her gland, not enough to break the skin but just enough to cause her to cry out in surprise. He soothes the shock with a swipe of his tongue, his lips following to suck softly. The sensation he pulls from the sensitive point causes her skin to prickle and grow tight, something inside her crying out with a need she only half understands.

“The first time I fuck you won’t be in my shower,” he hums against her skin, “and it won’t be quick.”

“But you want to?” She hates how needy her voice sounds, so afraid of his rejection that the mere possibility of it keeps a firm grip on her senses.

He leans back to look at her, eyes dark and thoughtful before he nears to press his lips to hers. His kiss is soft, so soft— and in it she feels every bit of longing and want she’s felt reflected back at her. “Yes, Rey,” he assures quietly. “I want to.”

Her lips curve into a grin, and she reaches to loop her arms around his neck as she deepens the kiss. She is just so overjoyed to be able to do so. To find him here without him feeling the need to push her away. To fight this. It’s everything.

Tell me you won’t shut me out again,” she whispers.

He is quiet for a moment, his arms going just a little tighter around her as he buries his face against her neck, inhaling deeply. “I think it’s safe to say by now that I can’t escape you. I don’t think I ever wanted to.”

They fall silent, letting his words linger in the air as the cooling water cascades around them, neither quite ready to let the other go. She isn’t sure what this means for them, or what will happen tomorrow. For the first time since Ben was thrust back into her life, however… she finds herself hopeful.


It is the first time she’s walked into work without a ball of dread in her belly. She steps off the elevator not with worry, but with excitement. Her mind is still firmly seated in the events of the morning, the way Ben had watched her give him pleasure, looking at her as if she were some sort of ethereal creature worthy of his awe.

She already can’t wait to do it again.

Admittedly it had been a little disappointing when she’d suggested they take it further, but his answer had been more than enough to placate her.

The first time I fuck you won’t be in my shower, and it won’t be quick.

A shiver passes through her, something inside her still sated by the knowledge that Alpha wants her. That she pleases him. She’s never fully understood the workings of her biology up to this point, never been able to grasp at this pull between two people so drawn to each other by forces beyond their control. A small part of her is terrified by just how out of control it makes her feel, this thing between them, but it is far surpassed by the overwhelming sense of rightness.

His kiss that morning as he dropped her by her apartment had been lacking the level of desperation of the ones they’d shared prior, his lips instead holding something like anticipation, something like a promise.

Neither of them had made solid plans to see each other again outside of work, but the implication had been there. For once, when she’d left him, she didn’t have the lingering feeling that it might be the last time. That he might somehow disappear. That alone leaves her lighter than she’s felt in weeks.

Rose greets her as she passes through the entryway, waving from her desk cheerfully as Rey rounds the corner to the main part of the office. Finn is currently perched on the other side of Kaydel’s desk, looking flustered as Kaydel smiles up at him sweetly. Rey realizes Finn apparently was not able to wait until their lunch hour to get to the bottom of recent events made aware to them. She wonders idly just how long he laid awake last night thinking about it.

“I’m just saying,” Finn is huffing vehemently. “You could have told me.”

“Told you what, exactly?”

Finn scoffs. “Oh come on, I saw you.”

Kaydel cocks her head. “Saw what?”

Finn purses his lips, sputtering a little before huffing out a breath. “Are you really going to pretend you weren’t making out with Phasma in the bar?”

“I think maybe you should mind your own business, Storm,” Gwen warns as she rounds the corner, giving Finn a look that is almost predatory as she eyes him perched so close to Kaydel.

He glances over at her, narrowing his eyes before turning back to Kaydel as he tosses a reply over his shoulder. “I was talking to Kay.”

Phasma stills, crossing her arms over her chest and taking a step towards them. “I’m talking to you.”

Gwen,” Kaydel sighs.

Phasma lets her gaze fall to Kaydel, her jaw working tensely. “Fine,” she relents. “But watch it, Storm.”

Gwen stalks off then in a huff, and Finn is left flabbergasted as to what has just happened. Kaydel shrugs, leaning in to both he and Rey and looking apologetic. “You’ll have to excuse her. She might be a bit… testy for awhile. Considering.”

Finn wrinkles his nose. “Considering…?”

Kaydel grins, turning her head to stretch her neck, allowing them to see the fresh bite at the bend of her shoulder. Finn’s jaw practically hits the floor, and Rey finds herself a little stunned as well.

“You—” Finn is scrambling. “Did you—”

Kaydel winks at the pair of them, shooing them away from her desk. “Just give Gwen a wide berth for a few days, okay?”

Rey offers a quiet congratulations before returning to her desk, Kaydel grinning sheepishly as she gives her thanks in return. Finn is still very much at a loss as he ambles after Rey to her desk, leaning over the top as he lowers his voice. “Okay, but just how long have they been a thing? I feel like I’m losing my mind.”

Rey laughs. “Apparently a lot longer than they’ve let on.”

Finn shakes his head aimlessly. “What else don’t I know?”

“Who knows?” Rey chuckles. “Maybe there’s—”

She trails off as Ben’s office door opens, his eyes immediately zeroing in on Rey just before hardening as he spots Finn leaning nearby. Rey watches the way disapproval passes over his features, and as much as she would like to kick his ass for this fresh wave of Alpha bullshit, she finds that now— after the events of this morning, his spark of jealousy does something wicked to her insides.

He strides across the office floor, coming to stand just beside them as he gives Finn a level stare. “Don’t you have something you could be doing?”

Rey bites her lip to keep from laughing outright at his petulant tone, and Finn just backs away from Rey’s desk slowly as he mutters an agreement. Ben’s eyes flick to Rey, and he gives her a curt nod just as his expression softens a fraction, lingering for a moment before he moves to leave the office.

Finn shakes his head as Ben disappears around the corner, grimacing at a now laughing Rey. He blows out a breath, throwing up his hands in exasperation.

“Too many fucking hormones in this office.”

Rey is still laughing as he stomps back to his own desk, thinking that he’s not wrong.


Rey receives the news of Snap’s accepted contract exactly a half-hour before lunch, Finn alerting the rest of the office to check their emails and sure enough, each account seems to have received the same announcement.

 

To: Editing;  Accounting;  Graphics;  HR;  Legal

From: amilynholdo@ rebelmedia.com

Subject: Snap  Wexley

 

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Wexley has signed with Rebel Media Publishing as of ten this morning.

We are all very excited about moving forward with publishing his novel, as well as working with him from here on out.

There will be a signing event on Friday evening, at six o’clock pm, and I will need all hands on deck to ensure that everything is ready by then. All departments save for Accounting and Legal will be closed Friday, but I will expect all affected departments to attend the event.

Dress is semi-formal. Should you have any questions, feel free to email me or call up to my office.

Sincerely,

Amilyn Holdo

 

Rey tries not to grimace as she meets Kaydel’s excited expression, wrinkling her nose. “Semi-formal?”

Kaydel cocks her head. “You aren’t excited? I have a dress I bought months ago— I’ve been dying for a chance to wear it.”

Rey averts her eyes in embarrassment. “I don’t really own a dress for this type of party. I’ve never had a need for one.”

“We can fix that. I could take you downtown on lunch? I would love to help you find one!”

“I don’t know…”

“Hey. You have to find something anyway, right?”

Rey nods heavily, still unsure. She’s never been the semi-formal type. She supposes though that she is left with little choice, so she accepts Kaydel’s offer readily, grateful that she will at least have someone to help.

She spares a glance towards Ben’s door as she gathers her things, something inside her leaving her with an urge to check in with him. She doesn’t know where it comes from, and she isn’t even sure she’s okay with it, but she’s pulling out her phone all the same. She’s happy at least to have his number now.

Rey: I’m going out for lunch. Just in case you come looking for me.

She almost feels embarrassed to have sent it. What if he doesn’t actually care to know? Maybe she’s overstepping. Still, he—

A text comes through before she can spiral into self-doubt.

Ben: With Finn?

She almost wants to laugh. She can practically see the way his eyes narrow, almost able hear the derision in his tone. One day she will tell Ben about Finn and Poe. One day.

Rey: With Kaydel. More Alpha bullshit?

Ben: Something like that. Where are you eating?

Rey slings her purse over her shoulder, following Kaydel out of the office as she types out a reply.

Rey: Actually we’re shopping for a dress. Apparently I need something semi-formal for this signing party. Bleh.

Ben: You need to eat too.

Rey: If we have time. There’s always the vending machine.

Ben: There’s absolutely nothing in there of nutritional value.

She actually laughs as she and Kaydel step onto the elevator, shaking her head and waving Kaydel off who gives her a curious look.

Rey: I think that’s the point.

Ben: Do you enjoy testing me?

Rey: Maybe just a little.

Ben: Just remember, turnabout is fair play, Ms. Dameron.

She has to bite her lip to keep from grinning, heat coiling in her belly. She stows her phone away in her purse, not trusting herself to continue this line of conversation with Kaydel nearby. Kaydel raises an eyebrow at her, her head turned to the side.

“Who’s got you so giddy?”

Rey shrugs as nonchalantly as she can manage. “Just someone I met.”

“Alpha?”

Rey’s skin pebbles with goosebumps, her body assaulted with memories. “Yes.”

Kaydel laughs softly. “They’re a different breed.”

“Can I ask how long you and Gwen…?”

“A year.”

Rey reels a bit. “You never told anyone?”

Kaydel shrugs. “Gwen is very private. She’s about as Alpha as they come.”

“I’m sorry if this is offensive but, how did this even happen?”

Kaydel outright laughs. “No, I get it. Trust me. I didn’t even like her when I met her. I don’t know… it just sort of happened. You know?”

Rey considers the tangled mess that is her current situation and nods thoughtfully. “I get that.”

“Everyone’s got a side they don’t show. I just happen to really like Gwen’s.”

That she definitely understands. “That makes perfect sense. I’m sorry for questioning. I’m happy if you’re happy.”

Kaydel beams contently. “I really am.”

By the color in her cheeks and the slight gleam in her eye, Rey can definitely tell that she is. It almost makes her slightly jealous, the way she is so settled and happy. She knows this is ridiculous, and that Kaydel and Gwen’s happiness didn’t happen overnight.

All she can hope is that maybe she is headed in a similar direction.


When they return to work just a little over an hour later, Rey is content with the dress she’s found. It’s still a little more than she’s used to, but she’s confident that she at least won’t look silly. She hangs the dress bag on the lip around the window, sitting her purse on her desk and noticing the brown bag there.

A slow smile curves on her face, and she knows before she opens it what will be inside. Her eyes flick to his closed door, and she pulls out her phone as she settles into her seat.

Rey: What if I’ve already ate?

Ben: You haven’t.

Rey: How do you know?

Ben: Because you’re the most stubborn person I’ve ever met.

Rey: The same could be said about you.

Ben: Fair. Did you find a dress at least?

Rey: I did.

Ben: At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot... I can’t wait to see you in it.

She hesitates for a moment, her fingers hovering over the keys as she contemplates her intended reply. Something has definitely changed for them, but it is still so new, and she isn’t sure how far she should push it.

She decides fortune favors the brave.

Rey: Wouldn’t you rather see me out of it?

It is almost an entire minute before he replies, and Rey has begun to get uneasy before she reads his next text.

Ben: You have no idea.

Rey: I want that too. When?

There’s the question that’s been eating at her since won’t be in my shower and won’t be quick, and she feels her heart race just a little as she watches the dots dance across his screen.

Ben: I will most likely be working fairly late for the rest of the week with this stupid party.

Rey: I could help.

Ben: I think we both know what would happen if you did, and as much as the idea of pushing up your skirt over my desk appeals to me, I actually do have things to do.

She has to compose herself just a little as she considers that mental picture, pressing her thighs together as she taps out a reply with slightly trembling fingers.

Rey: When?

Ben: Come home with me after the party. Stay with me this weekend.

Rey: The whole weekend?

Ben: It might be enough time. To do all of the things I want to do to you.

Heat pools low in her belly, and she can feel the way her skin flushes as she reads his text several times. She is still trying to formulate a response when another text comes through.

Ben: Besides that, I would say we have a lot to talk about.

Eloquent responses fail her, and it takes everything she has just to offer up the meager reply that she does.

Rey: Okay.

Ben: Good. Now eat your lunch, Ms. Dameron.

So bossy. She thinks she might actually be starting to like it. She drops her phone back into her purse, opening the paper sack and pulling out the wrapped sandwich. She really ought to tell him a few more things she likes, if he’s going to insist on making it his personal mission to keep her well-fed. Still, as she takes a bite of her food, she can’t help the warm feeling in her chest that blooms with the knowledge he’d thought of her at all.

Chapter Text

Rey’s apartment is a welcome relief Wednesday evening, her day long and exhausting and seeming as if it would never end. She’d ended up staying late with the rest of the office, trying to get ahead on the workload for the next day, knowing they had even more to do on Thursday.

She’s stepping out of her shower now, wrapping her thickest towel around her body with every intention of falling into bed as quickly as possible. She’s rifling through her drawers when she hears the buzz of her cellphone. She snatches it from the end table, grinning when she finds his name lighting up her screen.

Ben: You didn’t say goodbye before you left.

Rey: You were in a meeting.

Ben: Irrelevant.

She bites her lip, hearing his bossy tone even through text.

Rey: If you want your goodbye so bad… you know where I live.

Ben: Don’t tempt me.

Rey: What if I told you I just got out of the shower?

Ben: Oh?

Rey: Mhm. I’m actually only in a towel right now.

Ben: You wouldn’t be. If I were there.

She settles back against her pillows, squirming a little.

Rey: Oh?

Ben: I don’t exactly plan for you to wear anything this weekend.

Rey: At all?

Ben: Not even for a second.

She has to press her thighs together, suddenly struck with the memory of him between them. If she closes her eyes, she can still feel the weight of his tongue there. Still feel the thickness of his finger as it pumps into her. She has thought of little else since then. She wonders what it will be like when he pushes into her. When her legs wrap around his waist as his body settles over her.

Her gland prickles with heat as she imagines his attention there, feeling the ghost of his fingers and lips and tongue as they nip and suck and touch her. Like he’s starved for her. Every moment she’s shared with Ben thus far has been so frantic. Wild, even. She wonders how long he’s thought about it. About her. Has he wanted her all these years? Has he wanted her like she’s wanted him? Just the thought of her… filling his thoughts. Consuming him.

It’s enough to make her breathless.

It’s enough to make her brave.

She stretches her neck, pushing the damp tresses away to let them brush just behind her shoulder. She holds her phone high, the camera screen coming into view to show the expanse of her neck and shoulders. Even in the reflected image she can see how swollen her gland is just at the thought of him. How needy she is.

She snaps a photo before she can change her mind, studying it for only a second to save her from losing her nerve and sending it to him with a note of how much she’s thinking of him. She feels a blush creeping up her neck, surprised she could be so bold, and she lets her phone drop to the comforter beside her as she covers her face with her hands.

It takes approximately twenty seconds for her phone to begin to buzz steadily beside her, and a quick glance down at his name flashing across the screen in rapid succession causes her heart to race. She picks it up with trembling fingers, swiping across the screen to answer and bringing it to her ear.

“Hello?”

“I want that towel off.”

“W-What?”

“You heard me. Towel. Off.”

She sucks in a breath. “Where are you?”

“In my car. Don’t make me tell you again, Omega.”

She reaches for the knot in her towel with shaking hands, pulling it apart to let it fall to the side. The cool air touches her flushed skin, and she feels her nipples pebble in response. Already she can feel slick gathering between her thighs, his demanding tone traveling straight to her core.

She hears a low growl. “Well?”

“Okay. No towel.”

“Good girl. I want you to do exactly as I say.”

“Ben, I—”

Exactly as I say.”

His tone takes on an edge, calling to something in her that makes her shiver with need. “Yes, Alpha.”

“I want you to use those little fingers for me. I want you to reach between your thighs and tell me how wet you are.”

She can’t help the whimper that escapes her, his voice is so low and so close in her ear— if she closes her eyes she can imagine he is right there with her. She lets her fingers trail down her belly, lingering between her hips.

“Tell me,” he urges in her ear. “ Tell me, Rey.”

She presses lower, her fingers brushing past her curls as slick coats them thoroughly. She drags them through her folds, gathering her own slick as a soft moan escapes her.

“Are you wet for me, Omega?”

“Yes,” she answers breathlessly.

“Tell me how much.”

So much.”

“I remember what it tastes like. What you taste like. I haven’t stopped thinking about it.”

“You haven’t?”

“Not for a second,” he grits out. “Now push those little fingers inside. I want to make a mess of you.”

She gasps as she pushes two fingers inside, still not quite full enough or deep enough to reach where she knows he can. Slick dribbles out of her steadily, soaking her hand and seeping onto the bedspread as she tries to push deeper.

“It’s not quite there, is it,” he breathes. “Not quite what I could give you.”

No, Alpha,” she whines, her needy tone surprising her. “I need more.”

“I know you do. Not yet, little Omega. I need you to get those fingers good and wet. Can you do that?”

“They’re so wet already.” She can hear the obscene sounds she’s making as her fingers slide in and out of her. “ So wet.”

“Such a good girl. Obeying for me. So good. Pull them out. Tell me how wet they are.”

She lets her fingers slip from inside her, bringing them higher to take account. They are shiny with her own slick, lewd little strings clinging between them, evidence of how very aroused she is only from the sound of his voice.

“Dripping,” she tells him honestly.

“That’s my girl. Now touch yourself. Exactly as I say.”

“Where?”

“Up your sternum first. Slowly.”

She lets her fingers trail between her breasts, dragging an obscene line of liquid over her skin. Her breath leaves her in a gasp, and Ben hums contently.

“Now I want you to paint those pretty little tits. Can you do that? I want your nipples slick and begging for my mouth.”

Ben.”

Now, Omega.”

His voice is so tight— every syllable comes out sharp and strained. She does as he says, dragging over the swell of her breasts to pull at her nipple. She moans into the phone, and Ben’s answering growl surges through her already heated skin as her thighs become stickier than before.

Fuck.” A rush of air escapes him, washing through the speaker and Rey can almost feel it against her skin. “Do you know why you’re so slick, Rey? Do you know why you’re gushing for me?”

She’s going to fall apart. Come apart at the seams from just his words with no one around to put her back together. “Alpha.”

It’s because your body knows. It knows what I will do to it. How I’ll give that tight little cunt my knot. How I’ll fill you up till you overflow with me. It wants to get you ready.”

She clenches at nothing, her insides quivering as a whimper falls from her mouth. “ Ben.”

“But I want more than that. I want every inch of you. Slick. Needy. Desperate. Do you feel desperate, Omega?”

“Yes,” she mewls. “Yes, Alpha.”

“Good,” he grates. “That’s how I want you. Desperate— because that’s how you make me feel.”

Ben, please.”

“I’m not done with you. Not even close. There are still things we need to do.”

“Where?”

“Higher. I want you to coat that that hot little gland with your own slick.” She hesitates for a moment, unsure. Already this is the filthiest act she’s ever been involved in, and he isn’t even touching her. “Rey.”

“Alright.”

Her fingers trail over her throat, trembling as they skirt along the swollen flesh that pulses with a heat that begs for attention. When the wet warmth of her own fluids slides across the heated gland just at the bend of her shoulder, she actually cries out in surprise. She has never touched herself this way. Never even thought to. Sparks of electricity course under her skin, and she grits her teeth as she rubs tight little circles there.

“You’re so good— so good for me. The things I want to do to you. The things I’ve thought about. You have no idea, Rey.”

“Tell me,” she begs softly.

“No. No, I don’t think I will,” he rasps. “But I’m going to show you. Over and over and over again. Until you can’t take it anymore. But you will. You will. For as long as I need you to. Longer, even.”

She holds her phone between her ear and her shoulder, reaching between her legs to press at her clit that throbs with an urgency that begs for relief. She hisses as she rubs a deep pattern, her breath leaving her in heavy pants as she feels her body tensing with impending release.

She hears Ben grunt into the phone. “Are you touching yourself?”

Yes.”

“Good. If I were there— you’d have my hands. My tongue. My cock. You’d have it all. You will. Fuck. You will.”

“I need you,” she sighs.

“I know, little one. I know. Soon. I promise.”

She comes against her fingers in a blaze of flashing lights, her vision blurring as her entire body quakes and slick gushes her hand in a mess of fluids. She is gasping at the end of it, the phone nearly falling away and she turns her head to rest her ear against it as it sits between her face and the pillow.

Ben is talking— soothing words that are so soft compared to before. How good she is. How sweet. How lovely. She closes her eyes, soaking them up and letting them wash over her.

“I want you to do one last thing for me, Rey.”

“Yes?”

“Your fingers. I want you to taste them.”

“I—”

“Now, Omega.” His tone is just as demanding, but the edge is dimmed somewhat by the softness there.

She places her fingers to her lips, letting her tongue dart out to taste the coating of her own slick as she pushed them into her mouth to suck softly. It is nothing like what she expected, but also not unpleasant.

She hums softly, and Ben all but purrs in response. “Do you taste that?”

“Mhm.”

“That’s mine. Do you understand?” She thinks she makes a sound of agreement, her body boneless and heavy, and Ben huffs in protest. “Answer me.”

“Yes, Alpha,” she whispers. “Yours.”

“Such a good girl. I want you to sleep now.”

“Are you going home?”

“Yes,” he assures her. “I am.”

“Try not to think of me too much,” she teases softly.

His answering reply is so quiet— she barely catches it, and her heart gives a heavy beat beneath her breast as her breath catches. “I’m always thinking of you, Rey. Always.”

He ends the call then, offering nothing but a brief goodnight before the line goes dead and she is left still breathless and in need of her Alpha. It is strange— thinking of him as hers, but the thought comes unbidden and settles deep in a way she can’t shake.

She wants him to be, she realizes.

She thinks perhaps she always has.


“You okay?”

Rey shrugs. “I think I might be getting sick.”

“Ew,” Finn laughs from across the break room, empty save for the two of them. “Keep away.”

She rolls her eyes before taking another swig from her bottle, gulping down a large portion. She places the chilled bottle to her head, trying to cool the heated skin there. “Probably just a bug.”

“Maybe you’re just tired,” Finn suggests, pulling another chip from the bag he’s holding. “I know I am. These long ass days are killing me.”

She crosses her arms over the break room table, letting her chin rest against them as she sighs heavily. “Tell me about it. I’ve been working through the list of client invites all morning. I’ve never been on the phone so much in my entire life.”

“I had to order a rush of a hundred copies of Snap’s book as promo material,” Finn informs her, crossing the room to take a chair on the opposite side of the table. “I promise you that you’d rather be on the phone than deal with the printing department.”

“Maybe,” she laughs. “At least it’s Thursday. Day off tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah, that’s something at least.”

“Then the party,” she points out. “That sounds fun.”

Finn rolls his eyes. “Maybe if I wasn’t coming alone.”

“You aren’t bringing Poe?”

“He’s leaving for a conference tomorrow morning. He won’t be back until Sunday night.”

“What? He didn’t even tell me.”

Finn shrugs. “Maybe he was going to call you today?”

Rey laughs. “Or maybe he’s found a new go-to person.” Finn bites back a grin, and Rey can’t help but return it. “I take it things are going well?”

“Very well,” Finn sighs happily.

“That’s really good to hear. I’m so happy he’s found someone. He’s always been so resistant to date.”

Finn blows out a breath, looking slightly angry. “I don’t blame him.”

Rey cocks her head. “What does that mean?”

Finn gives her a curious expression, something like realization dawning over his features that he quickly masks as he averts his eyes. “Oh, nothing. I just meant… he’s a busy guy.”

Rey narrows her eyes. “Do you know something I don’t?”

Finn looks innocent, shaking his head. “No! Not at all.”

“Finn.”

“Look. I didn’t know you two hadn’t… fuck. I think maybe you should just ask Poe about it.”

She feels a strange jealousy that her brother obviously shared something very personal with Finn that he hadn’t felt comfortable sharing with her— but she tells herself he didn’t mean anything by it. She and Poe have always been close, and if he’s kept something from her, he had a good reason. She reaches to run her hands over her shoulders as she considers, grimacing at the tension there and trying to rub some relief into them.

He eyes her with concern. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

She shrugs. “I think so? I can’t decide if I’m getting sick or I slept wrong. I just feel weird. I’m sure I’ll be better by tomorrow.”

“I hope so. If you don’t show up to this thing I’ll have to socialize with Kaydel and apparently now she and Gwen are a package deal.”

“I think it’s kind of sweet,” Rey grins. “They sort of balance each other out.”

He snorts. “The only thing that could balance out Gwen is a full summoning circle filled with the souls of young children offered up as appeasement.”

“Okay,” Rey full-on laughs. “Now you’re being dramatic.”

“Easy for you to say— you haven’t been on a project with her yet.”

“I’m sure she’s not that bad.”

“Maybe,” Finn grumbles. “Maybe she just hates me.”

“Well, you are the only other Alpha on the floor. Save for Ben. Maybe she’s just territorial. It actually kind of makes sense now.”

“Still,” Finn sighs. “You’d think now that they’ve disclosed their relationship to HR she’d calm down a bit.”

“Disclosed?”

Finn looks up at her confused expression. “Yes. Interoffice relationships just have to be disclosed to HR to avoid any repercussions. I think there’s a form you have to fill out.”

“That sounds easy enough.”

“Yeah,” Finn prattles on. “It’s not a big deal, really. I mean it’s not like Gwen is her boss or anything.” He stills for a moment, realizing what he’s said, and immediately begins to backpedal. “Oh, shit. I didn’t mean anything—”

Rey raises a hand to halt him. “It’s okay. Seriously.” She sighs heavily, letting her face rest against the table and muttering against the wood. “I knew what I was getting into.”

She hears Finn crumple his empty chip bag into a ball, and when she looks up again he tossing it into the trash before giving her a concerned look. “On that note— what about you?”

“What about me?”

“Any… developments?”

Rey tries to look nonchalant. “Maybe.”

“That’s not an answer,” Finn huffs.

“Sure it is.”

“Why is everyone set on keeping all the good dirt from me?”

“Maybe because you’re so obviously addicted to gossip?”

“I am not addicted… I just… like knowing things.”

“Mhm,” Rey laughs. “Sure.”

“He’s been a little scarce these last couple of days.”

Rey frowns. “He’s been busier than all of us I think. I barely even saw him yesterday.” But I did hear him— she does her best not to blush as she recalls the night prior.

“Whatever. Have you at least told him about me and Poe yet? Or do I still need to protect my dick when I’m close to you?”

“I haven’t told him yet.”

Finn sighs. “You’re enjoying this. Aren’t you.”

She bites back a grin. “Maybe a little.”

“I think you might be evil.”

“Me? Never.”

“Uh huh. Sure. I bet you— you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

Finn says the last part of this sentence in a much lower tone, muttered under his breath in disbelief as the pair of them spot Ben entering the room. It’s the first time Rey has seen him since yesterday, and she can feel the slight shift in the air, as if her body wants to cross the room all on its own. Just to close the distance. Just to be closer to him.

He stills in the doorframe when he spots her, the air suddenly thick and crackling as if electrified, and by the heated look in his eyes— she knows he feels it too. She watches his throat bob as he swallows, and she notices the way he struggles to maintain his composure when he spots Finn across the table.

“Rey,” he murmurs. “Could I see you in my office when you have a moment?”

She nods dumbly, still held captive by the urge to rise from the table. To cross the room. To pull him closer. To surround herself with him. “Yes,” she answers quietly. “I can do that.”

He returns her nod, his gaze passing over her face to linger on her mouth for just a moment before he turns and leaves the room. She hears a rush of air across from her, Finn blowing out a breath, and when she turns she finds him shaking his head.

“Girl. That is a fucking development.”

Her lips curl upwards in a grin, and she takes a slow sip of her water before she shrugs back at him. “I think so too.”


She’s only just closed his office door when he’s on her. His body collides with hers, as if he’s been standing just on the other side waiting for her. As if it’s been painful — not touching her. His hands move over her clothes roughly, his lips at her throat as he nibbles at her skin.

“I needed to touch you,” he grates. “I know what you taste like. I know how you sound— you’re under my fucking skin.”

“I missed you too,” she croons, and his fingers tighten a little at her waist, his lips still trailing over her throat aimlessly as if trying to map its shape.

“I’ve been thinking about what you looked like last night. Your skin painted with your own slick. Needing my knot. Did you need it, Rey?”

“Yes,” she sighs. She feels his hips press into hers, his cock jutting into her thigh— already so hard for her. He thrusts lightly against her, even as his nose brushes along her gland.

“You smell so good,” he sighs. “So fucking good. Even better than before.”

“You think so?”

“Mhm.” She feels his nose brush down the curve of her shoulder, inhaling deeply. “I wonder why that is.”

“Maybe you bring out the best in me.”

A rumble sounds in his chest, seemingly pleased with this answer. “‘Maybe you didn’t wash it away properly.”

She blushes as she remembers what she’d done last night, her gland pulsing softly as if it too remembers.

Ben is still moving over her skin, seemingly unable to help himself. “Been too long since I’ve touched you.”

“It’s been forty-eight hours,” she laughs quietly, the sound morphing into a soft moan as he sucks lightly at the gland just below her ear.

“No,” he murmurs. “It’s been six years.”

She sucks in a breath, her fingers tangling in his hair to pull him away, forcing him to look at her. “You thought about me?”

“Almost every day,” he admits lowly. His expression hardens then, and his eyes avert from hers as he frowns. “How could I not? After…”

“Ben.” She cups his jaw, forcing his gaze back to hers. “It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t anyone’s fault.”

“You don’t understand, Rey.”

“You’ve said that before.”

“I promised myself I would be better. Better than them. Then the moment I was tested I just— I went and— fuck.” He leans in, his forehead resting against hers as he pulls her close.

“What does that mean, Ben? Better than who?” He doesn’t answer, and she sees his eyes shut tight as his mouth turns downward in a grimace. She sees now the way this has caused him pain. For reasons she doesn’t quite understand, Ben has let what happened between them grow into some sort of burden that he’s carried with him all these years.  “There’s more than just… what happened between us. Isn’t there.”

He glances up at her, dark eyes locked with hers as his lips purse in thought. They part slightly then, the smallest of breaths escaping him in a sigh. “Rey, I—”

“Ben, you have a call on line two.”

Rose’s voice through the intercom on his phone jolts them apart. They hear Rose click off, but he remains several steps away from Rey as if collecting himself. He nods, although for her benefit or his she isn’t sure, and then reaches for her hand to raise it to his mouth. He brushes a kiss along her knuckles, offering her an even expression.

“This weekend. We’ll talk about it this weekend.”

She nods slowly, pulling her hand from his grip and crossing the distance between them to pull him close, her lips finding his in a searing kiss. His arms wrap around her briefly, squeezing her for a moment before releasing her and stepping away. His eyes are much darker than a moment ago, and she knows that he would rather lock his office door and do so much more than answer his calls.

She offers him a reassuring smile, her hand reaching to let her thumb stroke his cheek. “Okay.”

She leaves him then, straightening her hair and skirt before walking out the door and willing herself to look as if nothing had just happened. She knows that despite all the things she wants to do with Ben this weekend, hearing all of the reasons why he’d tried so hard to push her away is at the top of her list.

She tells herself to be patient with him, because she can sense that he needs it. Because she knows he is worth it.

Because if she’s being honest, she’s waited six years to know, and in the face of that— what’s a couple more days?

Chapter Text

“Woah. Look at you, fancy,” Finn comments. Rey grins, doing a little twirl. The flared skirt of the short black dress flutters around her legs, and Finn gives her a little appreciative clap before offering his arm. “Thank God you came, I tried to hang out with Kaydel and Gwen basically growled at me.”

“She didn’t growl at you,” Rey laughs.

“She didn’t not growl at me.”

“They’re freshly mated. It’s expected.”

“She doesn’t growl at Ben.”

“Ben doesn’t really spend a lot of one-on-one time with Kaydel.”

Finn snorts. “Only because his attention seems to be singularly occupied elsewhere.” He scans the room he’s just led her into, chuckling softly. “Speaking of…”

She follows his line of sight, spotting Ben across the room with Amilyn and Snap nearby. Amilyn is deep in conversation with the pair of them, but Ben is no longer listening. He seems to have been able to sense her entry, and he’s staring at her as if she’s the only one in the room with him.

A shiver runs through her, and Finn blows out a breath. “That man has it bad.”

“I notice he isn’t glaring at you.”

“Yeah,” Finn laughs. “Funny thing. I ran into him before you got here. He was really surprised when I mentioned my boyfriend couldn’t make it. Actually, the look on his face makes me glad it was me that got to tell him. Although… I imagine he’ll have things to say about it when you two are alone again.”

Again she feels that tremor creep down her spine, anticipation for being along with Ben flooding through her. She’s thought about little else today as she readied for this party, and as a result she has been unsettled all day. Too hot, skin too tight, blood rushing just a little too quickly— it’s been a strange day to be sure.

She tells herself it is just excitement.

Finn leads her into the crowded room they’ve reserved for the party, pressing through the various employees to lead her to one of the tables scattered throughout the space. Kaydel is slung in one of the wooden chairs there, turned in close towards Gwen’s own chair as Gwen’s arm is wrapped around her shoulders.

Gwen tenses only a fraction when Finn appears, softening after a moment when Kaydel’s fingers brush along her knee in a soothing motion. Rey’s accompaniment seems to put her further at ease, and she relaxes back into her chair as Rey and Finn take seats across from them.

Kaydel reaches to pat Rey’s forearm. “Your dress came together great! You look amazing.”

“Thank you,” Rey grins. “I love yours, too. That color looks fantastic on you. Worth waiting six months to wear it?”

Kaydel shrugs. “I do look amazing in it.”

Gwen leans then, speaking directly into Kaydel’s ear, and Kaydel blushes slightly. Rey can probably guess what Gwen’s said, and she turns away from the private moment to scan the room instead.

Her eyes of course immediately hone in on Ben again, finding him in the same spot across the room, this time actually engaging in the conversation around him. Her eyes travel over his dark sport jacket, draped fittingly over a pressed white shirt and dark jeans that hug him in a way that has her squirming slightly.

Concentrating on the way he’s dressed has become increasingly more difficult now that she knows exactly what he looks like undressed. She forces her eyes away, knowing how telling it is to be openly gawking at him— even if it’s all she wants to do.

Soon, she reminds herself. Only a couple more hours.


The night progresses smoothly for the most part, Rey meeting several people that she hasn’t yet from various departments of the company. Rey’s state of being however, seems to be devolving into something unbearable as whatever illness that’s been plaguing her since the day before seems to return with full force. Her throat is so dry that she can hardly swallow, and her skin so flushed it feels like she might break out into a sweat at any moment.

More than once her friends have asked if she’s okay, and she’s tried to keep her smile plastered on as she assures them that she is. Even if inside she most certainly isn’t. She has so many plans this weekend with Ben and she refuses to let her traitorous body get in the way of that.

Speaking of, she has yet to run into him, keeping close to Finn and their newly-mated friends as he sticks to the other higher-ups on a different side of the room. It is torture— being so far from him, but she is almost glad for it. She doesn’t trust herself to be calm when he is near. Doesn’t trust herself not to give everything she’s feeling away to his (or rather their) superiors.

That stroke of luck seems to be ending, Amilyn spotting her from a few feet away and giving a little wave as she crosses the space with Ben in tow. Rey tenses visibly when she is struck with his scent, feeling it wash over her heated skin and settling in her belly as warmth blooms there. His eyes rake over her dress, taking into account the thin black sheer panels over her waist and collarbones that show just as much as they cover. His nostrils flare slightly, and his fists clench at his sides as he comes to stand just behind Amilyn.

“Rey! How are you? Are you enjoying the party?”

It takes everything Rey has to nod, to force a smile on her face when there seems to be a fire in her chest. What is wrong with her? “Yes. It came together perfectly. I’m having a great time.”

“That’s good to hear,” Amilyn preens. “I was just telling Ben how well you’re doing. Isn’t she, Ben?”

Ben nods curtly, his expression even. “Exceptional.”

Heat rises up her neck under his watchful eyes. She feels her chest rise and fall with just a little more effort, her voice softening beyond her control as she answers. “Ben has really taught me a lot.”

His eyes widen a fraction, and she doesn’t miss the way his throat bobs as he swallows. Amilyn is somehow oblivious to the tension between them, which Rey finds impossible as she feels it like a second skin. It’s so thick it threatens to suffocate her. Her skin is so tight. It’s almost unbearable.

She lets out an unsteady breath, taking in new lungfuls of Ben’s scent on the following inhale, and it’s enough to make her dizzy. She takes a faltering step backwards, reaching out to clutch Finn’s arm to steady herself.

Finn gives her a strange look. “Are you okay?”

She gives a short nod. “I’m okay. I think maybe it was the champagne. I’ll… be right back.”

She leaves them, turning in search of a bathroom as her blood rushes in her ears, and her curls cling to her nape as sweat breaks out there. She pushes through the crowd, finally finding the empty hallway that leads to the restrooms. She is almost halfway down it when she feels a sharp cramp tear through her midsection, so forceful it almost makes her double over in surprise.

When it passes, and she is able to stand again, cold dread seeps through the flaring heat that is building with every second. Suddenly she knows exactly what’s happening. But that’s impossible. Her suppressants… it shouldn’t be possible.

No.

No. No. No.

Not here. Not now.

It hadn’t even occurred to her— she hadn’t even thought

She stumbles the rest of the way down the hall, her head spinning a little as she ducks inside the bathroom to quickly close the door behind her. She rests her head against it, taking deep gulps of air as warmth flares wildly inside her, her heat seeming to break through all at once.

It is so different this time. So sudden. Never has she had a heat occur while she is faithfully taking her suppressants. She goes off once a year per her doctor’s recommendation, but it is always scheduled. Planned.

This is nothing of the sort.

It is also vastly more potent than any she’s ever experienced before. A heat alone is always an unpleasant experience, but this— this is a new level of torture. Pain wracks through her insides unlike anything she’s ever felt, a fire building deep inside that is so brilliant she fears it might burn her alive.

She fumbles with the clasp of her clutch purse that hangs from a strap at her wrist, working her phone from the inside and tapping out a message with shaking fingers to the only person she knows to call for help. The only person who comes to mind in this moment.

When it’s sent, she rushes to the sink, splashing cool water from the tap onto her neck in an attempt to staunch the heat there. It is like a drop in a bucket, for what good it does. She hisses through her teeth as another sharp cramp tears through her, gripping the edge of the sink as a low moan falls from her lips.

Her knees threaten to buckle with the force of the convulsions currently wreaking havoc on her system. She can’t understand how this could have happened without her having caught on sooner. She has always had time to prepare. To ensure she is somewhere safe and appropriate. Nothing like this.

Something nags at the back of her mind, a wriggling thought whispering that of course she knows what’s caused this. She doesn’t know how, she certainly can’t fathom why— but she knows that Ben has something to do with it. It is not so different than all those years ago. Being close to him. Breathing him in for so long—

Had she really not seen this coming?

As if summoned by her thoughts, there is a series of sharp knocks at the bathroom door, and she can hear his concerned voice through the wood through the haze of her heat that is already impeding her senses. She moves to the door on shaky legs, feeling slick coating her thighs with every step and only worsening with each movement. She unlocks the door with trembling fingers, and Ben is pushing inside only a second after he’s able to.

“What’s wrong? You only said that—” He stills, his hands on her shoulders as his nostrils flare and his eyes widen and she knows he knows. She can see it all over his face, the way his expression turns from concern to predatory. He inhales deeply, some low sound reverberating in his chest. “Omega.”

“Alpha,” she whimpers, the timbre of his voice washing over her like a weighted blanket that immediately soothes the torrent of emotion churning inside her somewhat.

“How did this happen? How did you— fuck.” He can’t seem to formulate a complete thought, pushing her backwards into the counter as his hands move over her dress. His breathing is erratic, his hips pressing into hers as his mouth finds the bend at her shoulder, his tongue passing over her gland hungrily. “You smell— you’re— fucking mouth-watering. How is it possible for you to— fuck, Rey. I want to— fuck.”

“Please, Alpha. It hurts. It hurts so much.”

He fingers at her waist tighten, his grip almost painful as he forces himself to step away from her. His expression can only be described as one of agony— screwed impossibly tight as he stares back at her with wild eyes.

Goddamnit, Rey. This isn’t how I wanted— I didn’t want to— goddamnit.”

She’s trying her best to close the distance between them, but his strong arms hold her at bay. She can’t fight them, she can only struggle helplessly as pitiful mewls escape her that on a day of clearer judgement would embarrass her.

“I need you,” she whines. “I need you.”

He’s shrugging out of his jacket, wrapping it around her shoulders and pulling her under his arm. She immediately buries her nose in the fabric, breathing in deep lungfuls of his scent and allowing it to appease the fire burning inside her, even if only a little.

“We have to get you out of here,” he’s saying, his words barely registering. “People can’t see you like this. People can’t see me with you like this. I have to—” He pauses when he feels her hands moving over his abdomen, tensing in her hold as a groan escapes him. Then he’s pulling her tighter against his side, one strong arm wrapping around her to hold her still. “Come on, I’m getting you out of here.”

He makes a quick glance down the hall, pulling her along when he finds it empty and leading her to the end of it to duck around a corner towards the back entrance. Every step is painful, difficult, messy even— for with each step there is a fresh trickle of slick that escapes her, and she can feel it sliding against her thighs lewdly.

“Fuck,” Ben grates. “I can smell you. I can smell everything.”

The outside air is a blessing, a cool breeze blowing that kisses her skin pleasantly and offers momentary relief. She shivers at the sudden temperature change, burrowing into Ben’s side. A man approaches, and Rey hears something about Ben’s car. She only catches a bit of Ben’s answering growl before he pushes her behind him, tossing the man his keys.  

He turns to crush her to his chest, and she nuzzles into his shirt as his hand cups the back of her neck to try and shield as much of her from the outside as he can with only his body. When she moans softly, his grip tightens a fraction.

“Shh,” he whispers into her hair. “I’ve got you. Hold on. Hold on for me, Omega. I’ll— I’ll figure this out. I promise.”

Figure this out.

Something about his words makes her uneasy, and she clings to him a little tighter. He sounds so hesitant. So vacillating. As if he is completely uncertain of what he will do with her. As if he is still fighting. Himself. Her. Them.

It feels too familiar.

When she is safely tucked away in his car, he slides into the driver’s side easily as he tears off into the street. His grip on the steering wheel is so tight there isn’t an ounce of color in his knuckles. Her underwear are soaked through at this point, and she can feel her fluids leaking out onto the seat of his car.

Her hands move over her skin aimlessly, futilely trying to ease the tightness there that has become unbearably uncomfortable. Every so often she sees him glance to where she sits, his jaw tense as he visibly breathes her in.

She would beg him, if she thought it would help, to stop the car. To take her over the front of it. To do anything to ease this burning. A cramp resonates deep inside, much stronger than the ones prior, and she moans loudly as she doubles over in the seat.

Ben.”

I know. I know. Just… just hold on. I will… I’ll do something.”

Something.

Again she feels a wave of uncertainty, there is only one thing she needs right now— and he sounds unsure if he is willing to give it. The idea that he— that he would reject her… again. Now. It’s too much. It’s far too much.

She is beyond relieved to see his house come into view, and she tells herself that this is a good sign. That it means he doesn’t plan to turn her away. That he wants her. When he carries her inside, she clings to his body like it is her lifeline. Like it is the only thing that anchors her— because in this moment, it feels like it is.

She is already fumbling with the zipper at the side of her dress when he places her at the edge of his bed, but his hands grasp hers to still them, and his expression is pained.

“Rey,” he chokes out. “This isn’t what I wanted. For our first time. I wanted to explain everything. I wanted to— I needed to— I don’t know if I can do this. Not this way. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what the right thing is.”

“Ben… don’t do this. Not again. Please . Please, don’t go this way.”

“Rey.” He sounds so terrified. Tormented, even. “I don’t know if we should do this.”

His words cut through her like a knife, and she is suddenly thrust out of this moment. Out of this period of her life and into another. In a flash she is not in Ben’s bedroom but hers— six years prior and just as confused and frenzied as she is today.

When everything had ended.


 Hot.

She is so hot.

She flings the blanket from her, sweating dripping from her brow as her hair clings to her temples in clustered heaps. Her clothes feel strange against her skin, too tight, too close. She can hardly stand it.

She thinks perhaps she is sick. She hasn’t been sick often in her sixteen years— but perhaps she is simply due for a bad bout with the flu. Her stomach churns violently, sharp pains tearing through her insides. When she attempts to stand from her bed, the room spins slightly, and she has to reach out to grasp her bedpost just to keep from falling over.

She stumbles from her bedroom, trying to make it to her door with every intent of finding the bathroom. She thinks maybe water will help. She just needs to cool the burning in her skin. She just needs some type of relief.

Her steps down the dark hall are heavy and fumbled, having to mentally tell herself to keep placing one foot in front of the other just to keep from vaulting face-first into the carpet. She isn’t sure what time it is, but the entire house is dark, and she assumes everyone else is asleep.

She finds the bathroom with great difficulty, and there is a light just under the door that bleeds softly out into the hallway. She taps on the door helplessly, not even sure who’s on the other side. Only knowing she needs someone. Someone to help.

When the door opens, and Ben steps out— for a moment she is taken off guard. In her frenzied state she’d almost forgotten he was even here. Then it all comes rushing back. Winter break. He’s staying with them. With Poe.

Something about him is different. He’s always been… important. Always been someone she wants to see. In this moment however, he is… oxygen. He is water in the desert. Has he always smelled so incredible? She leans into him without thinking, her hands smoothing over his old t-shirt. He watches this happen with wide eyes, seemingly at a loss.

He looks at her in— in a way he’s never looked at her before. Hungrily . As if perhaps he is burning too. Does he feel it? This heat that lives inside her? Does he know?

“Rey, you’re— we need to—”

Ben.” She’s nuzzling against his shirt, his scent taking the edge off the pain that has settled in her belly. Filling her with some deep urge she doesn’t understand. “I hurt, Ben.”

“I know,” he grates, his voice tense and strained. “I think you’re— I think you’re going into—”

She leans on her tiptoes, looking up into his dark eyes that she’s known for years, seeing them in a different way. Seeing them see her in a different way. She knows then what she needs. What will make her better. It’s him.

“Ben,” she whispers, her voice unlike any sound she’s ever made. “Help me, Ben. I— I need you.”

His hands are at her shoulders, gripping them as his jaw clenched tight and his eyes roving over her face as he struggles with what to do. She needs him. Needs him more than anything she’s ever needed before. She steps closer, her body flush with his and she watches as his chest rises and falls heavily with labored breath. She needs him.

Please, Ben.”

Chapter Text

She smells… she smells fucking incredible. Her scent wafts around him like a cloud that he can’t escape. He’s trying to formulate thought, speech, anything really— but it is nearly impossible to focus on anything save for the fragrance that threatens to suffocate him.

In this moment he almost believes he would let it. Is there really any other way he could hope to go? There’s almost something… floral about it. In its sweetness. It’s heady— intoxicating— it makes all other thought irrelevant.

“Help me, Ben. I— I need you.”

Has her voice always sounded like that? It’s so soft, needy even— it stirs something inside him. Something that’s roaring. She moves closer, her hands moving over his t-shirt and God help him, he is helpless to stop it. He can’t do this. He knows that. He can’t even entertain it— Poe… Poe would be disgusted if he knew. He is better than this. He swore he would be better. He is—

Please, Ben.”

He can’t stop looking at her mouth— it looks so fucking soft. Fucking hell, how is he supposed to think when she’s so close? He needs to— he has to—

She presses up on her toes as her lips find his pulse point, and he is frozen, unable to stop it. Unable to do anything, really . When he feels a featherlight kiss at his gland— he loses it completely.

He doesn’t even know how she ends up against the wall, how his hands find their way under the hem of her shirt, gripping at her waist and pulling her against him. His mouth moves over her throat like it is meant to— as if everything in his life has led to this point. The taste of her skin is just as sweet as everything else, exploding over his tongue and setting fire to his blood.

He’s never experienced anything like what he’s feeling. He wants to keep her, consume her, own her— he wants to make a mess of her just to put her back together. He wants so much. He wants Rey.

A sigh escapes her, and it is sweet. So sweet. Just like her. “Ben.”

So sweet. So fucking sweet. She’s so—

All at once he remembers where he is. He is hyper-aware if his hands on the bare skin of her skin waist. His lips on her fucking gland. Rey. Poe’s little sister. She’s his friend. Someone he’s cared for. Someone who’s trusted him.

He shoves her away, holding her at an arm’s length and struggling to catch his breath. She looks… wrecked. Her hair is a mess from where his fingers had tangled just before they’d crept under her shirt. Even in the thin light from the bathroom he can see the red marks along her throat. Ones he’d left. Like an animal.

Disgust floods him. How could he have done this? He should protect her— care for her. She is too young for this. Too young for anything he could ever want to give her. He should have been better.

He releases her, backing away with one hand pressed to his nose to try and block out her scent. It’s futile. He can still scent her. Still feel her.

She tries to close the distance, her hands outstretched, reaching, needing him. He takes another step back, and she follows as if in sync with him. As if they are two halves.

“Please,” she begs. “Please— can’t you just—”

He runs.

From the hallway. From the house. From her.

He never looks back.


How can he be here again?

His Omega— because he knows now she has always been his— wet and ready and begging for him. He can see her slick as it coats her thighs, and there is so much of it— he wants to taste it, drink it in, bathe in it.

Except... he’s held back.

By his fucking guilt. By his uncertainty for the right course of action. He wants her. He’s always wanted her— but can he really take her like this? Without having the chance to explain his actions? It feels like cheating.

Only, she’s not a girl anymore. She’s all willing, wanting Omega— and she’s looking at him as if she needs him. She needs him.

“Alpha.” Her voice is like a sob— a plea.

“Rey, I don’t—”

Please.” Her breath catches as her expression becomes pained, her arms winding around her middle and he knows she hurts. He knows he can take that from her.

Take care of her.

Protect her.

Ruin her.

“Please,” she repeats a little softer. “Can’t you just—”

She is unable to finish as a sob escapes her, and he knows he has nothing left. He’ll do whatever she needs. Be whatever she needs. Anything she wants.

She’s in his arms in a second, and he’s holding her to his chest as she nuzzles into him. Her scent is everywhere— seeping into his clothes, his skin, his senses— there is nothing but her. She whimpers in his hold, and his hands move over her back soothingly.

“Shh. I’ve got you. I’m going to take care of you. I’m going to make it stop hurting. I’m here, Omega.”

“Alpha,” she sighs.

“Such a good girl.” Something is shifting inside him, the rational side of him shutting away to give the reins over to something primal. Something that knows exactly what she needs. “I’m going to ruin you, Rey. Do you know that?” She shakes her head against his chest, but he only continues, his voice dangerously soft. “I’m going to take everything. Do you know why?”

Another shake of her head, and he reaches beneath her chin to tilt it upwards, taking into account her blown pupils and her parted lips as she stares up at him. “Because it belongs to me. All of it. Everything you are. It’s mine.”

“Yes,” she breathes. “Yours, Alpha.”

He gently pries her from his front, and she whispers softly, immediately trying to close the distance between them. “Shh,” he soothes. “I need to get this dress off you.”

“Yes.” She nods vehemently, holding up her arms in offering.

He reaches for the half-undone zipper, fumbling with the tiny instrument. It seems to be caught, and he growls in frustration as she begins to squirm. He finally murmurs an apology, gripping both sides in his hands and tugging hard— hearing the fabric rip in his grip and fall away to free her. She sighs in relief when cool air touches her skin, and even from here he can see how flushed and pink she is beneath her dress.

He grabs at the hem, sliding it up upward. He’s glad to be rid of it, really. It’s been tormenting him all fucking night. Seeing a hint of skin through those sheer panels. Not being able to touch her. With every pass of fabric over her skin she is mewling, rubbing her thighs together. He can scent how slick she is— how much more slick she is becoming with every second.

When he tosses it aside, her chest heaves, the skin so flushed pink that she looks like some sort of treat. He wants to taste every inch of her. He places a hand over her sternum, urging her backwards until she lies on the bed, and his fingers hook into her underwear to tug, needing her bare.

Her naked cunt is still the prettiest thing he’s ever seen, but like this, swollen, slick, ripe— waiting for him. Needing him. She is so small. So fucking small. He knows when he pushes inside… how she’ll stretch. She’ll have to, to take him. It makes every nerve ending he possesses preen with satisfaction.

“Look at you,” he croons. “Ruining your underwear. Making a mess of my sheets. So messy.”

She bites her lip. “I’m sorry, I—”

He shakes his head, silencing her. “I want more. I want you to make a mess of me .”

He tears out of his clothes so fast he’s sure he’s ruined something, but it barely registers. He needs to be naked. Needs to feel her against him. Needs to be lost in her.

He’s never been so hard. His cock seems to know. Know what’s coming. It is painful— how hard he is for her. That voice inside him that’s currently running the show screams for him to take her. To bury himself inside her, because oh, how she’ll stretch around his knot— but he forces down the urge. He suspects— is almost certain that she is— he knows he must take care of her.

He reaches to let his arms curl under hers, pulling her up to his chest as he carries her to the head of the bed. He falls to his back, settling against his pillows as he drapes her over his abdomen. She is moving— tiny shifts of her hips as her slick drenches his skin and fuck, he needs more of that.

He presses two fingers to his lips, looking up at her. “This is where I want you. Come here.”

She pouts, squirming. “Please. I need—”

“I know what you need. Come here, Omega.”

She is hesitant, as she moves up his chest, a trail of slick left in her wake and Ben is content to let it cover his entire body. When her thighs are around his head, he pulls her close, his hands gripping at the rounded curves of her ass until the wet center of her cunt is just where he wants it.

Fuck.

He could live like this. Survive on her alone. Breathing her in. Tasting her. He can see everything from this angle, the way her slick trails out of her at a steady pace, the way her cunt clenches at nothing.

Soon. Soon, he will give her more than enough to fill it.

He prods at her entrance with a finger, looking up at her and enjoying the way she watches him. The way her eyes flutter when he pushes his finger inside.

“Grab the headboard.”

Her eyes snap open, and she flicks her gaze to the wood in question as she reaches out with tentative hands to grasp it. He rewards her with a full thrust of his finger, twisting and curling to reach deeper as a low moan escapes her.

“That’s my girl. I want you to hold on tight. Don’t let go.”

Ben.”

“I know, little one. I know. I’m going to take care of you. Just take the edge off a little.” He lets his fingers settle over her hips, gripping the soft flesh there and pulling her even closer as he licks a long stripe up the center of her. He hums against her slick core, loving the way she gasps softly when he repeats the motion. “You made such a mess after all.” He lets his tongue linger at her opening, teasing her there. “All over the seat of my car. So wet for your Alpha.”

“Ben, please.”

He feels her falter just a little, and he turns his head to nip at her inner thigh with his teeth. “I said— hold on tight, Omega. If you stop, I stop. Understand?”

He looks up to see her gripping the headboard a little tighter. “Yes, Alpha.”

Fuck, he loves the edge in her voice. Breathy. Soft. Desperate. He said he wanted her desperate. He does.

He wants her out of her mind.

His chest is so slick now that she slides against him, and he has to physically hold her against his mouth to keep her from falling away. He loves it. Loves being so coated in her that he isn’t sure if it will even wash away. He imagines still being able to scent her on his skin tomorrow, keeping her with him. It won’t matter. He’ll take her again tomorrow, and the next day. He wants to knot her for days.

But first things first.

She rolls her hips against his face when his tongue meets her cunt again, and he pulls her even closer until the only thing he can breathe in is her. He licks through her drenched folds, pulling her clit between his lips to suck as he lets his tongue swirl around it. Her fluids continue to seep out, coating his chin and more even as he moves to drink it in from the source.

Her cunt clenches around his tongue as he tries to force it inside, and if he could, he thinks he might crawl inside her fully. Her flavor is enough to drive him mad— he doesn’t think he’s ever had anything so sweet. Nothing is as sweet as Rey.

Her thighs shake as she struggles to contain herself against his mouth, even as he paints a circle around her clit. Even as he grazes it with his teeth. Even when she bucks against his face so hard that he has to force her still with his hands. He laps at her like he is starved for her, and for all intents and purposes— he is. Has been for years. Has thought of little else.

When he feels her begin to tremble, a soft cry escaping her as her head lolls forward in pleasure— the flare of contentment in his chest is overwhelming. He did this to her. He knows what she needs.

It is only when she is still that he allows her to release the headboard, shifting so that she settles over his stomach as she struggles to catch her breath. He is left a mess of fluids in her wake, and he lets his fingers trail lazily to gather it up. She watches with wide eyes as he brings them to his mouth, sucking them clean without looking away.

When he moves to do it all over again, he instead lets his fingers hover, holding her gaze before offering the slicked digits to her instead.

“Open.” She obliges, letting her lips part as he pushes his fingers inside. “Taste.”

She sucks softly, pupils blown wide to the point that her eyes appear black. Her lashes flutter somewhat as she tastes herself on his fingers, and it only heats his blood further.

She’s still letting her tongue move slowly over his fingers when he speaks again. “I thought of you doing this. Last night. I thought of your slick on your tongue, knowing it was for me. Is it for me, Rey?” She nods softly, and he hums in content. He knows what comes next, and a thought grips him. One he knows must be addressed. “I need to know. Has there been anyone else?”

She stills, pulling away only a fraction, licking at the pads of his fingers one last time before letting them fall from her mouth completely. “No one. Just you.”

It takes all he has, not to roll her into the mattress like an animal. Not to push into her with every bit of force he possesses. Not to take her so deep that she feels him for days.

She would take him, he knows this. She is made to.

But if he is to be her first, he will do it right. He will give her everything, because she deserves it. He will be better.

He wraps his arms around her, lifting her slightly as he carefully rolls her to her back. He spreads her across his bed like an offering, her hair around her like a halo as she looks up at him. Her eyes are so… trusting. He realizes she’s always looked at him this way. It used to mean something else to him.

He thought once that he would do anything for this girl, because there was a time that he loved her in a different way. He doesn’t know what it makes him for it all to have changed as it did— but he knows he would still do anything for her. That she’s always held him. Owned him even. He doesn’t know if he deserves her, but he wants her.

She winces slightly as he sees her body tense, and he reaches to let his thumb brush across her lip. “Does it hurt?”

She nods, her eyes glassy as his hand cups her cheek and she turns to nuzzle into his palm. “Please, Alpha.”

She squirms, her legs falling apart to welcome him and stirring up her scent that robs him of rational thought. He can hear his pulse in his ears, his instincts chanting to take take take— but he doesn’t have to. There is nothing to take because she is giving it to him.

He lowers over her, his lips finding her throat to let his tongue trace the swollen flesh of the scent gland just below her ear. He presses his lips to it, sucking softly as a rush of her scent floods into his mouth. His cock slots against her core, and he thrusts lightly against her as he drinks in the scent and taste of her. As it clouds his mind.

“Such a tiny thing,” he murmurs. “I’m going to fill you up, Omega. I want to feel you take everything I give you.” She whimpers, and he lets his cock slide heavily along her slick center. “Want to feel you stretch around me.”

Yes,” she breathes. “Yes, Alpha.”

He lets a hand slide down the length of her, wrapping around her hip to steady her squirming body as he dips into her. The first press of his cock against her entrance actually takes his breath away. He’s thought about it for so long— even when he shouldn’t, even when he couldn’t stop.

He leans up on his hands when he begins to press into her, needing to see her face. Needing to watch every expression when she takes him inside. To commit them to memory. She is so tight, so small— he feels every inch, every ridge of her— gripping him, holding him.

Her mouth parts in a silent cry, and she watches his face as he pushes deeper. She tenses, and he reaches to hold her face as his thumbs stroke her cheeks. “Relax, sweetheart. You have to relax. You can take me. You were made for me. For this.”

She blows out a breath, and he feels the tightness of her cunt relax just a fraction as she tries to obey. He presses his lips to hers, gripping her tight as he sinks further. He feels that thin point of resistance, and he deepens the kiss to let his tongue slip inside.

There’s no going back now. He couldn’t even if he wanted to. His body acts on its own— taking what she’s offering— claiming. When he surges through, the quietest of sounds escape her, and he covers her face with kisses over and over as he seats inside her fully.

It is torture.

It is bliss.

It takes everything he has not to move.

“Rey,” he hisses. “Tell me what you feel.”

“It— it doesn’t hurt much. You’re just so big.”

His chest is tight with some primal satisfaction at these words, and the sounds that escape him can only be described as a purr. “You take me so well, Omega. So good for me. Such a good girl. You feel incredible, do you know that? So wet, so warm— I don’t ever want to do anything else but this.”

Alpha.”

“Tell me how you feel.”

“Full. So full.” She shifts her hips, pressing closer as his hisses out a breath. “I think you can move. Please, move. Please, Alpha.”

Pulling out of her is sweet torture. Every inch of her tight channel grips him as he withdraws, his cock slick with her fluids and yet still so snug inside her. “You’re so perfect,” he growls into her skin. “Made for me. This cunt was made for me.”

Ben.”

He loves the way even his name sounds as if she’s begging for him. “I’m going to knot you, Rey. Do you understand?”

Yes.”

He thrusts back into her a little harder. “I’m going to knot you because you need it. Because I need it. I’m going to knot you because you belong to me.”

“Yes, Alpha.”

“Say it, Rey,” he grates. “Who do you belong to?”

You,” she whines. “You, Ben.”

He’s driving into her now, abandoning his feeble attempt at gentle. She doesn’t protest— only wraps her legs around his waist as she clings to his shoulders, taking everything he gives her. Her breathy sounds wash along his throat, her face burrowed in his hair. He feels her lips find his skin, the light flick of her tongue along his gland and he is lost, utterly lost in her.

“That’s it,” he huffs. “That’s it, Rey. Do you feel that? The way your body accepts me? Welcomes me, even?” He rolls his hips to bottom out, feeling that flood of heat building at the base of his spine as his balls draw up tight and his cock hardens further. “Because it’s mine. Your body, your mouth, your cunt— every inch, every curve, every fucking piece of you is mine. Do you understand?”

She’s nodding into his skin, her little tongue at his gland until his vision is nothing more than a blur of colors and his world a haze of sounds and there is nothing— nothing but her and this moment.

His breath comes out in labored pants, surging into her with such a force that her entire body jolts with every thrust. She’s clinging to him by the shoulders, holding him as tight as she’s able as he fills her again and again and again. He’s so close— so fucking close— he needs to feel her come. Needs to feel her quiver and shake around his cock knowing he did that; he made her fall apart.

He can feel it— how close she is— feel it in the way her body is tense beneath him, in the way her fingers grip his skin, even from the quiet gasps that stream continuously from her mouth.

“Want to feel you come, Omega. Come for me. Come.”

She does, after seconds, minutes, hours— he can’t be sure. Time is irrelevant when his Omega is beneath him. It’s beautiful when she falls apart, her back arching to bring her closer and her eyes shut tight as she trembles around him. It’s enough to push him over the edge, and he is far less quiet when he pushes inside her that final time.

There is a distant roaring, and vaguely he recognizes it is him that makes the sound. He pulls her so tight he wonders if he might crush her, wanting to imprint her shape into his skin so that a piece of her is always with him.

When his knot begins to swell, it is almost a holy experience. He has nothing to compare it to, this completeness he feels rooted deep inside her— but he knows without a doubt there is nothing on earth that can compare to it. Every shift of her body pulls another gush of his spend from him, and he almost wishes he could see the way he fills her up, the way he blends with her slick to flood her insides.

He doesn’t know how long they’ll be like this, locked together with no hope to escape— but he doesn’t mind. He would stay like this forever if given the choice. He rolls to his side, tucking her into his chest as she nestles closer. She fits so perfectly here, nuzzled against him.

It's everything he ever thought it could be. It’s more.

They are quiet for a time, slotted against each other as they draw from each other’s warmth. Ben is the first to break the silence, his fingers twirling in her hair as his lips brush across her forehead. “You should sleep. You’ll need your rest.”

“Don’t wanna,” she mumbles.

He grins. “I’ll be here when you wake up.”

She looks up at him, eyes wide and shining and so fucking sweet. “Promise?”

He tilts his head, pressing his lips to hers and letting them linger for several moments. When he pulls away, he knows she’s taken everything he has left. Not that it matters— he gives it freely.

“I’m not going anywhere, Rey. I’m here. I promise.”

Chapter Text

Alpha.”

“Shh, little one.” He swipes the cloth between her breasts, pressing down into the water to skirt over her belly. “We’ve got to cool you down a little.”

“It burns,” she moans. “Everything burns.”

“I know it does,” he coos. “This will help.”

“Can’t you just—”

“After.” He runs the cloth over her breasts, and she arches into his touch. He must admit he’s enjoying this part a little more than he should. “Be patient.”

Her skin is flushed from toes to hairline, a scattered blush spread across her freckled body that begs for his tongue. It darkens across her chest, painting a pretty pink between her breasts that he currently devotes his attention to. Every swipe of the cloth has a rush of air hissing between her lips, and she pulls the plump flesh between her teeth as her eyes flutter closed.

He moves higher, sliding the cloth over the expanse of her throat and slowly wiping away the sweat there. Her mouth falls open when he brushes against the scent gland just below her ear, lingering there to rub the cloth softly into the swollen flesh. Every gland on her body is flushed red, each sensitive to the touch and oh— how he’s touched then. With his fingers, with his tongue, with his cock— he has left no part of her uncovered.

He knows them all.

She moans, and it takes all of his restraint to keep his place just outside his tub. He’s never been so grateful for the massive jacuzzi tub he rarely uses, getting his money’s worth now. The cool water laps around her writhing body, and he’s never seen a lovelier sight than his Omega— wet and needy in his tub.

She’d been asleep when his knot had softened that first time, and he’d been struck with the realization that in the frenzy of all that had happened neither of them had talked about protection. He’d assumed she had an implant, but for a moment panic had flooded him. How could he have been so irresponsible?

He’d been unable to sleep until she’d woken again, and it was only after her breathy assurances that she was completely protected had he been able to breathe again. She’d begun to beg then, and honestly, after that there hadn’t been a lot of room for rational thought.

Still, seeing her now, needing him as she does, every inch of her wet and ready for him— he has to admit the thought does strange things to his insides. Imagining a part of him taking root inside her. Creating something new. He knows he has no business even entertaining the idea.

He’s lost track of how many times he’s been inside her at this point, and it has barely been a day. It astounds him how unsatisfied he still is— as if he cannot get enough of her. He doesn’t know if he will ever get enough of her.

Some desperate little sound escapes her as he returns his attention to her breasts, running the cloth over her nipples languidly. “Do you like that?”

She bites her lip as she nods. “Yes.”

He makes a slow pass around her nipple, drawing lazy circles. “I like you like this. So needy for your Alpha.”

“I do need you.”

“I know you do. Tell me what it is you need, Rey. Tell me exactly what it is you need.”

“Your knot. Please, ” she whines, and it makes him shiver, hearing her ask so sweetly.

He pushes the cloth down her belly again, moving lower to linger between her thighs. He rubs the fabric over the seam of her cunt— even in the water able to feel the slick there. So wet. Always so wet for him.

He lets a finger press through the cloth, rubbing against the swollen bud of her clit and circling it slowly. She arches her back, pushing the searing warmth of her center further into his hand as he rubs a little harder. Her mouth parts, a breathy sigh escaping her.

“Does it feel good?”

Yes. Everything you do feels good.”

“I’ll never get tired of this,” he murmurs, making slow swipes of the cloth through the lips of her cunt. “So ready for me. Always so ready .”

He drops the cloth, letting his hand cup her in the water and dipping two fingers lower to press inside her entrance. Even in the bath she’s an absolute mess, and he slides inside easily as he pumps into her slowly. She squirms in the water, her pretty little tits rising and falling against the surface as little droplets collect at her nipples.

He licks his lips, struck with an urge to suck them off but not willing to withdraw his fingers long enough to move from his place. Later , he thinks. He pushes further into her, his fingers sinking deeper as he brushes against that spongy patch just inside that leaves her gasping for breath.

Ben.”

“Hm?” He doesn’t look at her, too transfixed by the sight of his fingers buried in her cunt as he strokes that place inside.

“Ben, please.”

He feels his cock hard and insistent at his thigh, already knowing how she’ll feel when he buries inside her. How she’ll stretch. How she’ll fucking  take him.

“You want my knot, Omega?”

Yes.

He senses she is at her limit, and he knows the time for teasing is over. He withdraws his hand, holding out his arms in invitation. “Come here.”

She pushes up from the water, gripping the edge as she leans into his waiting arms. She is still so warm— even with the cool water clinging to her skin. He crushes her to his chest, lifting her out of the tub. He cradles her against him, his lips moving over her face as she squirms in his hold.

“Be still, little one.”

He carries her into his bedroom, placing her on his ruined sheets as she writhes against them. It takes him nothing to rid himself of the minor bit of clothes he wears. He needs her against him. Wants to soak up the heat of her body that burns through the tepid bath she’s just endured.

She reaches for him— so inviting, his Omega.

Alpha,” she breathes softly, and it is the sweetest sound he’s ever heard.

He covers her with his body, licking at the seam of her mouth in quiet encouragement that she open for him. She does so eagerly, wanting everything he has to give her. Taking everything he offers.

“On your stomach,” he murmurs against her mouth.

She whimpers softly, but already she is shifting, turning her body to give him her back. She draws up her knees, her ass hovering in the air and baring her slick cunt to him. Slick coats the swollen pink there, seeping out of her to trickle down her thighs and he doesn’t resist the urge to lean in and lap at the beading of liquid as she moans low in her throat.

Fuck,” he groans, pulling away. “Look at you. Dripping for me.” He pushes two fingers inside her, her juices seeping out around the thick digit as her cunt contracts around him. “Are you thinking about my knot?”

Yes, Alpha.”

“Are you thinking about the way I fit inside you?” He grinds deeper inside her, her tight channel swallowing his fingers easily now as her body seems to ask for more. “How this little hole stretches around my cock?”

Please.”

He is a bastard, for enjoying the way she begs. Enjoying the way she pleads for him. He can’t help it. He’s never felt so possessive of a person. He wants every ounce of her pleasure. Every emotion she’s capable of, he wants them all.

Wants them because he knows they belong to him.

He withdraws his fingers, slicking them higher as he circles the furled opening above. “I’ll have this too, someday.” He presses at the tight ring just a fraction, and the whimper that escapes her travels straight to his cock. “But that’s not what you need right now. Is it.”

Her answering moan is like a symphony, and he reminds himself that his girl is at her breaking point. She needs him. Needs what only he can give her.

He crawls over the bed to settle behind her, nudging her knees further apart with his own. He smooths a hand down her spine, enjoying the way she arches under his touch. As if every action from him sparks a reaction. As if she is nothing but an extension of him.

Dragging his length through her folds, he slides back-and-forth through her slicked center, holding off on slipping inside as her fluids drench his cock. His fingers dig into the soft flesh of her hips, gripping her there and enjoying the way it gives to his touch. A small part of him hopes there might be marks there tomorrow, some reminder that he’s been there.

He settles at her entrance, the head of his cock resting right there as he begins to push inside slowly. It’s the best part— that moment when her body first accepts him. The knowledge that no one has ever been here. That she fits only to him.

It’s so warm inside her— always so fucking warm— and he dips into her with long strokes, pulling her onto his cock as she sighs sweetly beneath him.

“Such a good little Omega,” he huffs. “You take me so well. Is this what you needed, Rey?”

Yes,” she mewls.

He drives into her with a little more force, her tiny body pressing deeper into the mattress with every thrust. It is a mess of fluids between them, her slick covering his pelvis to run down his thighs and every slap of his hips is met with a lewd wet sound that only heats him further.

He grits his teeth as he feels his cock swell, so close to the edge that it is almost painful. Her breathy sounds tell him she is right there with him— the way she pushes back onto his cock to meet him thrust for thrust letting him know he’s giving her just what she needs.

But he isn’t done.

He needs this. Almost as much as she does. Needs to feel her contract around his knot as it binds her to him. Feel his cum flood her until she is full of him. Until there is nothing left to give.

He feels the moment she comes, her cunt contracting around him in a series of spasms as her body goes taut. He pounds into her quivering warmth, making a mess of the both of them as her slick covers her and him and the sheets until all three are left ruined.

When his knot swells— pushing into her that final time as they lock together, it is just as breathtaking as the first time. He wants to stay this way. Until time stops and nothing remains but the two of them. It’s all he could ever need.


He thinks he has had her on every surface of his home at this point.

Meals turn into frantic couplings on his counter. The ridiculous task of changing his sheets leads to him licking the slick from her cunt as she writhes on the carpet. A spare moment of reprieve and just holding her on his couch morphs into fucking her into the cushions while she whines for more— always wanting more, his Omega.

He’s had her fast, hard, slow , teasing, torturous, even— and each time is somehow better than the last. Each time he gives her what she needs, he loses a little bit more of himself. Loses another piece of everything he’s been holding onto all these years.

She’s beneath him now, hands tugging, heart pounding, breath shallow— her lips moving over his cheeks and his jaw and everything else she can reach as he pounds into her again and again. Her legs wrap around his waist, pulling him deeper, begging him for harder.

This is his favorite way to have her. Right beneath him, her body arching into his as he is able to watch her experience what’s happening. Able to drink in everything she feels.

She cranes her neck, arching as he thrusts deep and his lips find her throat to trail down the slim column. Her skin is hot and tight at the bend of her shoulder, the swollen flesh of her mating gland fevered and red and begging for his teeth.

He’s imagined it.

He’s imagined it more times than he can count.

He’s dreamt of the way her skin would give when— if —he allowed himself to claim her there. How she would cry out. How she would claim him in return, because fuck how he longs for her teeth as well. How everyone in the fucking world would know exactly who she belonged to.

Him. She belongs to him.

He can’t stop imagining it.

He knows this is something he can’t do. He knows she would welcome it. In her current state she would welcome his bite and everything that came with it— but he would never take her. Not like this. Not when she is out of her mind with heat.

There is still so much to say.

He has to apologize— for then, for now, for everything. He’s made so many mistakes over these years, done so much he should have done differently. Denied them of so much. Wasted so much time.

He lets his tongue pass over the swollen flesh as she whimpers beneath him, and he tells himself they have time. That it is inevitable, she and him. There is no one else.

There never has been.

He can feel how close she is. Feel the way her cunt flutters around him and her muscles tighten. Hear her breathy sighs and quiet moans and he revels in the way she falls apart. So soft and sweet and beautiful.

She trembles around him, her mouth parted and her eyes shut tight and she’s so goddamn beautiful that it hurts. He doesn’t know how many times this makes it— his knot swelling inside her, but it’s everything. It’s not enough.

It’s never enough.

It is only when they are still that he paints her face with kisses. That he whispers how good she is. How sweet. How perfect she is for him— because she is. She is all those things and more. He’s wanted to tell her for so long that they burst from him now. Unable to hold back any longer.

He falls to his side to pull her close after, her tiny form fitting perfectly against him as he presses light kisses to the gland just below her ear.

“How do you feel?” he murmurs against her skin.

“Mm. Good.”

He lets his tongue flick out over the gland just under her ear, and she shivers against him, inadvertently pulling at his knot. “ Fuck .” He nips at the skin with his teeth instead. “I love that.”

She wiggles a little, pulling at his knot deep inside her, and he groans as he grips her hip to still her. “Careful, Rey.”

She laughs softly as she nestles closer against him, and he lets his arm cage her in to nuzzle into her hair. She is sated for now, and it is these small moments of lucidity that allow him to really be with her.

“I still can’t believe it,” she whispers, and he knows exactly what she means. They’ve spoken of it. Briefly— not near enough as they should— but briefly. About that day. About how he disappeared. About the time that’s been wasted.

“I know.”

“All those years…”

“I kept tabs, you know.”

“You did?”

He nods into her hair. “Just enough to know how you were.”

She chuckles. “Alpha bullshit.”

“Maybe a little,” he grins.

“I thought about you too,” she whispers.

He lets his lips linger at her bare shoulder, mouthing there softly. “Did you?”

“Mhm. A lot actually. I thought… I thought I ruined things”

He stills, guilt tearing through him. Thinking of her alone and confused and knowing he hadn’t been there. Knowing he’d let her down. “You didn’t do anything wrong, Rey. Nothing was your fault.”

She is quiet for several moments, then she curls further into him, her answer so soft he almost misses it. “It wasn’t your fault either.”  

She hasn’t asked. About his reasons. About what’s held him back. She hasn’t asked— and he hasn’t offered. He knows it’s wrong, and he senses she is afraid. Afraid to ask him why he would deny them of this. Why he hadn’t come looking for her sooner.

It doesn’t feel like his story to tell, and he feels almost like he is being torn apart. So, selfishly— he is happy she hasn’t asked, because right now… he doesn’t even know what to tell her.

He knows he should just broach the subject— that it would be the good thing for him to do— but he also knows it is only a short matter of time before she is lost to her heat again. Knows there is no real time right now to tell her all the things he’s kept bottled up for so long and he is reminded again that this isn’t what he had planned for this weekend.

He’d wanted to be gentle with her. He’d wanted to show her every bit of the emotion he’s had locked away since that day— that he’s been saving. Instead, they are a mess of tangled limbs and frantic fucking and there has been so little time for much else.

She shifts in his arms, and he tightens them around her. Still, despite how awry things went, he cannot find it in himself to feel any regret. Not with her lying in his arms like this, warm and pliant and his.

They feel almost as if they’re in their own little bubble right now, neither of them quite ready to allow the outside world to creep in.

This time seems to be no different, Rey quickly changing the subject. “It feels like it’s ending.”

He’s noticed too, how these periods of sanity seemed to be getting just a little longer each time. He isn’t ready to let her go. Isn’t ready to go back to reality. He hugs her a little tighter. “I feel it too.”

“How long do you think it will last?”

“I can’t be sure… but my gut says not much longer,” he sighs. “I’ve been reading. While you sleep. I don’t think it’s… a true heat.”

“Then what?”

“Apparently, it’s more of a… breakthrough heat.”

“Is it… because of us?”

“Something like that.”

“What does it mean?”

He is quiet, not answering. He thinks both of them might know what it means, and the way she doesn’t press the matter after his silence only affirms that. It feels too big. Too sudden— especially after so many years of fighting all he’s felt for her.

He lays awake long after she drifts off in his arms, not knowing what will happen when this is over. Unsure of what is to come.

Knowing he can’t let her go.

Chapter Text

It is strange— experiencing a heat with another person.

At the height of things, she is nothing but a creature of sensation, chasing that next drop of relief, pleading for that fullness only Alpha can give her. She burns from the inside out, her skin feeling as if it were on fire. When he touches her— she can feel the press of his fingers long after.

She wakes at all hours in a daze— day, night, some hazy time in between— time has become a broken thing that no longer holds meaning. In these moments there is only him, and her, and all the space between them. All the things he can show her.

Then there are the moments in between— fragmented lapses of lucidity where she is almost herself. Where she can hear his whispered words, his soft praises, and allow herself to bathe in them. Every word from her Alpha’s lips makes something inside her preen, pulling some person from deep inside that she hadn’t known existed.

Something she’s been saving for him, she thinks.

Sometimes he cards his fingers through her hair, in those tender moments in between. His mouth finds her ear and he tells her how sweet she is, how good she is for her Alpha— fills her with all of the tenderness that their frantic couplings can’t help but lack.

This is not one of those moments.

She isn’t sure where it began. She remembers waking— pulled from her sleep as her skin had stretched and burned. Her blood seemed to boil— her body crying out for something on instinct and in the darkness she had found him.

Alpha is here. Alpha will take care of everything.

“Ben.” Her voice is barely more than a whine in these moments, begging for him. Pleading, even.

There is no need like this one.

His arms are around her, pulling her to him, molding her— until they are one person. Until she can’t discern where he ends and she begins.

His scent is everywhere. Everywhere. Filling her nostrils and her throat and settling in her chest until it is a part of her.

When he fills her— he actually fills her.

She hisses through her teeth when that first press of his cock nudges at her entrance, promising to take the pain away, promising to give her everything she needs.

The thick length of him stretches her in a way that is almost painful, even with the easy glide of her slick, and there is so much of it. There isn’t a single moment she doesn’t feel it gushing from her, and Ben… Ben can’t seem to get enough.

There are moments when he lingers between her thighs for what feels like hours— licking and sucking until she is begging— for what, she isn’t sure. To stop. To keep going. To stay there forever. She never knows what it is she’s begging for.

But she does.

She begs. She begs constantly. She can’t seem to get enough of him. Even now, with his cock seated so deep inside her she can feel the press of him at her womb— it is not enough. She wants more .

She feels his mouth, his tongue, his teeth — against her skin, over her, inside her. There is no part of her where he isn’t.

His weight over her is a welcome one, his mass not crushing her, but grounding her— reminding her that she is still here.

Because there are moments when she is afraid she isn’t. Here. There are moments when she almost feels she is somewhere far away. That she will wake one morning to find this has been nothing but a dream. In her fevered state she can almost convince herself that none of this is real.

Then Ben moves inside her, and she is reminded that yes, she is here. That Ben is here with her. Ben . The only one she would ever want to share this with and how can he actually be here.

He’d been so adamant. So wary of her. Of them. He hadn’t wanted this. For so long it had been as if he’d disappeared from her life, but he is here.

Alpha wants her.

He’s moving. Heavy drags of his cock deep inside and every stretch as he fills her is perfect. So perfect. She imagines an ocean and Ben— Ben is the island. He is her home.

She knows that now. Even on the edge of coherency where consciousness is fleeting— she knows this is what her life has lead to.

Ah.” The slap of his hips against hers is heaven— the jolt of her body is bliss, because this— this is what she needs. Just this. Just Ben.

His voice touches her ears, a blend of broken words and deep moans and each one courses through her to set her on fire in a new way.

Such a good girl.”

“So good for your Alpha.”

“You belong to me, Rey.”

She does— every part of her is his. And if she is his… is he not hers also? Something inside her begs to make it so. Begs her to take him, to claim him— and hasn’t she done so much begging of her own? Could she not heed this?

It is right there— swollen, red, saturated with him. She can taste it. Her tongue passes over it now as she drinks him in and wouldn’t it be wonderful to let her teeth find him there? To break through the skin as her scent mingles with his to create something new. She can practically taste it— it makes her jaw hurt with a need for it.

She scrapes her teeth against the angry red of his gland and how he moans with it. So easy, so very easy— she just has to—

No, Rey.”

He’s pushing her away, he’s holding her far away as he shakes his head and no, Alpha is not pleased.

Alpha doesn’t want her.

He kisses her mouth as they come together, his knot swelling to take all of her pain with it and it’s everything— it’s too much.

But when the haze dissipates, and the the cloud lifts— all she can think of is the look in his eyes as he’d halted her. As he’d kept her from taking him.

There is doubt now— as she drifts to sleep like she’s done so many times before in these few days, there is a cold edge now to the fire that lives inside her.

She knows she belongs to him, feels it in every cell in her body, but maybe… maybe he doesn’t belong to her.


She feels the end of her heat like the slow dither of a spring rain.

It comes in pieces— moments of clarity become longer, the fire inside burns just a little less, her memories become clearer.

There has been talking, but so little of it.

She thinks perhaps she is afraid. Indecision has been like a low-hanging cloud above them. She worries that if Ben divulges all the reasons why he’d stayed away so long— he might just be reminded of them. Might decide they are a worthy cause after all. She could have lived with that three days ago.

Now it will ruin her.

Hadn’t he said he wanted to ruin her?

It is Monday, now. It is the first time in days she’s been able to think clearly without Ben taking her. Without him giving her what her body has craved.

Now her thoughts are too loud.

Over and over she replays the frenzied moment when she’d lost her senses. When for a handful of seconds she’d thought claiming him was something they’d both wanted. Had it really only been hours ago?

He didn’t offer any reason as to why he’d stopped her— and she didn’t ask. Because she is afraid. Afraid of what he might say. It’s enough to keep her quiet.

She doesn’t want this to end.

He finds her amidst his sheets and his scent, his hair damp from the shower and nothing but a stark-white towel around his hips, and even now he’s looking at her like she carries a piece of him with her. She wonders if she does.

He certainly carries a large piece of her, one she’d given up freely.

She knows he can scent the end of all this— even she can catch the fading urgency, the dying frenzy in the air. But he’s crawling over her, pulling her to him, just as he has so many times— but she is so much more aware now.

She can hear the way his breath catches when her fingers are in his hair. Feel the way his body goes taut when her hands grip his waist. When his body is against hers— she doesn’t miss the pounding of his heart, the heavy rise and fall of his chest.

She wants to ask— why did you wait? What were you afraid of?

But he’s so warm against her, and his touch is gentler now, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted and just a little bit longer— just like this.

His lips are at her throat, tasting her there, and the press of his tongue is heaven. Will he still want this, when her heat ends? He mouths lower, a graze of teeth across her mating gland and then he is still— so still .

It only lasts a moment— his hesitation. Then his lips move elsewhere and he is pressing inside and yes, this is what she needs. He sinks into her again and again and again— filling her up. She is so full of him.

And his mouth.

The things that fall from it.

“This cunt knows no one else but me, Rey,” he grates against her ear. “It’s fits only me.”

His cock is right there, nudging, insistent as he slips inside and yes— her body knows only him. She could never imagine this with anyone else. Could never want to feel anyone else as they filled her up to the point of overflowing.

Only Ben.

With the dizzied curtain of her heat slowly lifting, she can enjoy the way his hips surge forward, his cock threatening to split her open. Her mouth falls open, her eyes shutting as her body jolts with every thrust. The slide of his cock against her inner walls is enough to leave her gasping, but Ben is relentless, pounding into her without an ounce of restraint.

“You’re so beautiful, Rey,” he groans. “You’ve always been so beautiful.”

Then keep me— make me yours.

But she doesn’t say it.

And he doesn’t do it.

He gives her an orgasm that makes her see stars, and he holds her close while his knot binds her to him. His lips brush along her temple and they are so soft— she can almost imagine that they tell her he wants more. That he wants to stay with her forever.

But in the darkness, when his breathing has slowed and soft sighs of sleep escape him, she is struck with the reality that her heat is ending.

She only hopes it doesn’t bring the end of them as well.


“Rey.”

She stirs, a warm hand tracing her spine as she curls further under his sheets. “Hm.”

“Rey, wake up.”

She turns slowly, peering over her shoulder to find Ben fully dressed at the edge of his bed. “Where are you going?”

“I have to go to work, Rey. Holdo called and asked if I would come in. It is suspicious enough that we both missed yesterday.”

“What will you tell them?”

“I’m… not sure yet. I am hoping to maybe lie low in my office today. Maybe even tomorrow. If I am able, I will even take on a client meeting. Get me out of the building altogether.”

“...and if that doesn’t work? If they scent me on you?”

“Then I will deal with it.”

I will deal with it.

She wonders what he means by that. Just what would he do?

He leans in close, pulling her against him and crushing his mouth to hers. She feels so much in his kiss— so many things to hope for. Perhaps she’s imagined the doubt and uncertainty. Perhaps he wants more just as much as she does.

“I want to go too.”

He pulls back. “You’re barely out of your heat. You’re in no shape to go anywhere.”

“I’ll be fine, Ben. I feel fine.”

His hands cradle her hair, his forehead resting lightly against hers as he shakes his head. “Take the day. I can still smell your heat all over you and so will they. Don’t do that to yourself.”

She frowns, closing her eyes and just allowing herself to breathe him in for a moment. “When will you be back?”

“As soon as I can,” he murmurs. “We still have… so much to talk about.”

“Tell me this meant as much to you as it did me.”

He doesn’t answer, but his lips find hers and she feels it there. The way he kisses her… it can’t be fabricated. She knows he feels it too. He has to.

“Tonight, then?”

He smoothes a lock of hair from her brow, studying her face. She feels his thumb brush across her jaw, and then he is nodding before he steals another kiss.

“Tonight,” he murmurs against her lips. “I promise.”

“Okay.”

She watches him go, wanting to ask him not to. Wanting to ask him to stay. She is still so vulnerable— so fragile in the aftermath of her heat and everything feels too raw. Too heavy.

She clings to his promise that they will work everything out.

Tonight, he had said.

A handful of hours and yet it feels so far away.


Wandering around Ben’s house with her wits about her is an interesting experience. There is so much of him she’s missed over the years. 

She learns what type of music he likes, what foods he eats— even finds herself interested in the types of soaps he keeps in his shower.

It is strange, she supposes, learning so much this way, but she clings to each scrap of knowledge. Every little piece of him she’s missed after so much time.

She finds herself in his study after lunch, having not heard from him since he’d left and finding herself missing him. She sits in the plush chair by his shelf, her hand passing over a row of books and settling on a particular spine that catches her eye.

She plucks it from the shelf, running her hands over the cover of Wuthering Heights. It had been a Christmas gift. She remembers giving it to him only days before—

She is pleasantly surprised to find he’s kept it all these years.

He said he’d kept tabs. She wonders just how many. She wonders how different things would be if he’d found her sooner— but something held him back.

Maybe tonight he will finally tell her why.

She gingerly replaces the book, smiling to herself and telling herself that everything is going to work out. She hadn’t imagined the way Ben had looked at her, the way he’d sounded.

She is not alone in this.

Back in his bedroom, she finds her phone on his dresser, pulling up her email client to see if Rose has responded about logging a sick day. She had decided against filing for heat leave— this particular heat so short-lived it had seemed a waste to do so.

Besides, it couldn’t hurt to leave as little a trail as possible for the weekend she and Ben shared.

She is surprised to find not a reply from Rose, but an incoming message from Amilyn Holdo instead— and for a moment her heart flutters. She thinks of Ben at the office without her, and dread settles in her belly.

She opens the message with shaking fingers.

 

To: reydameron@rebelmedia.com
From: amilynholdo@rebelmedia.com
Subject: Request A Meeting

Ms. Dameron,


If it is at all possible for you to return to work tomorrow, I would like to request a meeting in my office first thing in the morning. If this is doable, please respond before this evening.

Sincerely,

Amilyn Holdo

 

Rey’s heart hammers in her chest now, fear flooding her as she wonders what Amilyn could possibly want. Had she found out? If she’d run into Ben before he could tuck away in his office…

Surely she would have been able to tell immediately.

She reads the email again, finding that it offers no clues as to what could be in store for her, and her mind races with possibilities. There is absolutely no way she will be able to wait until tomorrow to find out.

Everything is so heightened in the aftermath of her heat, and this is no different. She feels this fear like a tangible thing, and it tears up her insides as she considers the possibility that she might get Ben into trouble. That she might ruin all he’s worked for.

She has to settle this today— and she taps out a reply quickly.

 

To: amilynholdo@rebelmedia.com 
From: reydameron@rebelmedia.com
Subject: How is today?

Mrs. Holdo,

I can be there by 3 today, if that is okay?

Sincerely,

Rey Dameron

 

It doesn’t take long for Amilyn to mail back her agreement, and Rey quickly finds something of Ben’s she can make work just to take an Uber home. If she hurries— she can be dressed and in the office with plenty of time.

She hopes that if Amilyn has somehow discovered what’s happened between them, that Rey can convince her that it was not his fault. That she can save his job even if it costs hers.

She actually feels somewhat lighthearted at the prospect— knowing that would leave them free to pursue this thing between them openly. That it would leave no more roadblocks for them. She smiles, telling herself that no matter what happens, everything will be alright.

There are plenty of jobs— but there is only one Ben.

Chapter Text

Her skin is still so tight.

It’s making it very hard to concentrate, as she rides up the elevator to Amilyn’s floor. Her fingers itch to scratch, to fidget, to touch— anything to relieve the odd sensitivity that still lingers in the aftermath of her heat.

She wonders what Amilyn will say, and she wonders more just how much Amilyn knows. She glances at her phone again— still silent in her hand. It worries her that Ben did not answer her call. For a moment she wonders if coming had been a mistake.

It’s so hard to concentrate.

When she’d sent the email it had felt like the correct course of action, but now… now there is only the tightness of her skin and the dread in her belly.

It will be fine.

Whatever happens, Ben will be at the end of it. As long as that is true, she can live with anything else.

When the elevator pings open, she is surprised to see Finn’s startled figure just on the other side. His brow wrinkles, taking a step to meet her as she steps out, and then his eyes go wide with shock.

“Rey, are you—” He covers his nose with his hand. “You shouldn’t be here.”

She grimaces, putting a few steps between them. “I’m sorry, I know— I had to come.” Finn takes another step, and she rubs her arm idly in embarrassment. “Is it awful?”

He wrinkles his nose. “It’s fading, and it’s tinged with something that I assume is your suppressants… but it’s there.”

Rey blows out a breath. “Hopefully I’ll be in and out quickly. I have to see Amilyn.”

Finn’s eyes avert to the floor, rubbing at the back of his neck. “Yeah… I guess I figured that.”

Rey cocks an eyebrow. “What?”

“Well…”

She takes a step towards him, and he instinctively takes a step back. “Tell me, Finn. Please.”

“Amilyn called me into her office yesterday.”

Rey feels her heart drop into her stomach. “About?”

“I think you could probably guess.”

Rey imagines every bit of her nerves can be read on her face. “How did she know?

Finn shakes his head. “No idea. I’m not even sure how much she knows. She was asking me all sorts of questions about you and Ben and your relationship here at work.”

Rey’s brow knits, her mind whirring with possibilities. “What did you—” She meets his gaze then. “What did you tell her?”

“I only told her what I saw myself.” His eyes soften, his expression remorseful. “Which isn’t much— but I couldn’t lie.”

“No, of course not.” She shakes her head vehemently. “I wouldn’t want you to do that. I’m so sorry I put you in this position.”

“Hey.” He takes a step towards her even though it seems to pain him. “Don’t. It’s okay. I get it, I really do.”

“I guess nothing to do now but face the music… have you seen Ben?”

“Only a glimpse of him as he went into his office. He hasn’t come out since then.”

“Alright then.”

“Have you… have you mentioned any of this to Poe?”

“No.” She panics for a moment. “You haven’t—?”

“No, no, of course not.” He shakes his head. “But you probably should.”

“Yes,” she nods. “You’re probably right.”

“Are you going to be okay?”

“Yes.” She straightens her spine. “Yes, I think so.”

“Well, good luck in there.”

“Thanks, Finn. I’m sorry again.”

“Don’t be. I’m rooting for you.”

She wipes at her eye, everything still so heightened and it is nearly overwhelming. “I’d hug you but…”

He gives another grimace. “Probably not a good idea.”

“Right,” she laughs. “Next time.”

“It’ll work out, Rey. Everything will be okay.”

She nods her agreement, watching him board the elevator before the doors close behind him. She turns in the direction of Amilyn’s office then, taking a deep breath.

It’s going to be alright, Rey.

She hopes he’s right.


She lingers a moment outside Amilyn’s door, still rubbing her arms lightly as the urge to soothe the tightness there overwhelms her. The air seems thick somehow— and she is now fully regretting her choices. Part of her wonders if she should just turn around and go home. She could say that she felt sick again— she could say anything really— surely it would be better than this.

But it is then that the door opens, and Amilyn’s towering figure fills the frame, looking surprised to find her there.

“Oh, Rey!” Amilyn gives a bright smile, moving to gesture Rey inside. “I was just coming to check with my secretary to see if you’d called. Come in, come in.”

Rey takes it as a good sign, that Amilyn seems to be in such high spirits. She hopes, anyway.

Amilyn takes her desk chair, extending a hand in gesture to the chair on the other side. “Please, have a seat.”

Rey sits, crossing and then uncrossing her legs as she fights the urge to fidget. Don’t make it anymore obvious than it is.

Amilyn sighs then, leaning to let her chin rest in her hand as she gives Rey what can only be described as a cautious look. “I suppose you know why I asked to see you.”

Rey wills herself not to look nervous. “I can hazard a guess.”

Amilyn nods thoughtfully. “I must admit, I was surprised at first— when I saw the two of you leave together.”

Rey’s stomach turns. “You… saw?”

“Nothing malicious, I assure you,” Amilyn asserts, waving a hand. “I just happened to be heading for the restrooms and the two of you ducked out the back door— I wanted to tell myself it was coincidence.”

Rey keeps her gaze level, even as her skin is crawling with anxious energy that only worsens with every passing second in this office. “I see.”

Amilyn nods. “And then when neither of you showed up Monday— paired with the… ah, comprising state Ben arrived in today…”

Rey can only duck her head, knowing he must have reeked of her. “Please,” she begs softly. “ Please don’t let this reflect on Ben. It isn’t— it isn’t his fault.”

“Oh, I know,” Amilyn offers.

Rey perks up. “You do?”

“I’ve already had an in-depth discussion with Ben this morning.”

Rey breathes a sigh of relief— maybe Ben’s job is safe after all. Even if hers is still under fire, she can live with it, knowing Ben won’t be held responsible. “Good. I assure you, Amilyn, none of this was planned.

“Yes,” Amilyn nods. “I am aware of that too. I must admit, I expressed my concerns to Ben at length— it is something I have seen once or twice in my day— a young, hungry copy editor using their designation to climb the ladder—”

Rey cannot help but cut in, feeling a roiling in her stomach even at the suggestion. “I would never—”

Amilyn holds up a hand. “I believe you.”

“You do?”

“Ben assured me the same thing.”

Rey breathes out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize his job.”

“That’s very admirable of you, coming in here to defend him.”

Rey nods. “I understand if I will need to be let go, or even moved departments—”

“Ah, well,” Amilyn starts. “I must admit I am reluctant to let you go, you’ve shown such promise, and seeing as this was a circumstantial incident…” She clears her throat. “Anyway. I think if you could just sign a waiver on the matter we could possibly just put this whole thing behind us.”

Rey feels rush of relief, amazed that it could be so easy. The knots inside her begin to loosen, and for the first time since she’s arrived she almost feels as if she can breathe again. Everything is fine.

They are fine.

But Amilyn isn’t done.

“I had thought perhaps a department change might be in order at the very least,” she continues on, “but when Ben assured me this was nothing more than a one-time thing that had no chance of developing into an actual relationship —”

She can no longer breathe at all.

The air leaves the room, and Rey feels as if her chest might collapse. Her vision darkens at the corners, and she can’t help the way she begins to sway a little in her seat. If she weren’t sitting— she might actually be on the floor right now.

“What?”

Amilyn tilts her head to the side, trailing off mid-sentence and studying Rey intently. “I just— he implied that… well, that this was a product of the two of you succumbing to your designations. Nothing more. He assured me that neither of you had any desire to pursue anything outside of this isolated incident. Was I misinformed?”

She might laugh, if she were able to. As she is now— she isn’t sure if she will ever be able to again. She’d thought she knew pain when she had been left to wonder how Ben felt. Now that it’s being spelled out for her… it is gutting.

It is brutal.

She realizes Amilyn is waiting for an answer.

Was I misinformed?

It takes everything Rey has not to let all of the broken pieces currently splintering inside her read on her face.

“No,” she all but whispers, the sound choked and forced even to her own ears. “No. That’s correct.”

I’m the one who was misinformed.

Amilyn’s expression softens, and Rey is begging back her tears. Pleading with her body to just hold on. To get out of this room. Then she can allow herself to feel this.

If she’s able to feel anything at all.

Amilyn is still frowning. “Perhaps you might want to change departments? If it’s too much for you—”

“No, I—” For the life of her Rey can’t seem to find the correct words. Does she want to change departments? Does she even want to work here at all? She takes a breath to steady herself. “I’ll need to think about it. If that’s okay.”

“Rey…” Amilyn looks at her as if she understands her pain, but how can she? Rey isn’t sure she understands it herself. “I was young once. I know how it feels to… well.” Amilyn reaches across the desk to pat Rey’s hand which is gripping at the edge of the desk, giving her a reassuring squeeze. She breathes deep through her nostrils, giving a heavy nod. “The company offers five days paid heat leave. I think you should take it.”

“But I’m not—”

Amilyn shakes her head. “Take it. Decide what you’d like to do. I very much hope you can work this out… but I completely understand if you’d prefer to leave.”

Rey nods, because what else can she do? This morning had been happy and hopeful and good and now…

Now Rey wonders if she will ever recover.

Amilyn says more, things like options and misunderstandings but Rey barely registers them through the hollow emptiness that is clawing in her chest.

Rey thinks she says goodbye before she leaves, but she can’t be entirely sure. She feels so lost. Her skin is still tight. Her senses sharp and raw and her blood cries for Alpha.

Only Alpha doesn’t want her, does he?

The two of you succumbing to your designations.

Nothing more.

Neither of you had any desire to pursue anything outside of this isolated incident.

Isolated.

Incident.

The words are like weighted stones inside her chest, and she feels them drop into her stomach one by one, lost to the emptiness inside her that is growing by the second. She can’t focus, she can hardly breathe— and her body is at war with itself.

She wants to march into his office and demand an explanation.

She wants to leave this building and never come back.

She wants to never see him again.

She wants to cling to him so that he can never let her go.

She feels the tears then, prickling at the corners of her eyes and she knows she must get out of this building. She is in no state to be around people right now.

She thinks back to the morning, of Ben and his promise that tonight he would tell her everything and tonight they would work things out.

Had this been what he’d had planned?

Would he have let her down easy? Told her that he still wanted to be friends? Is this somehow better?

She imagines Ben telling her the things he’d offered up to Amilyn. She imagines his soft mouth and his dark eyes as he told her has no interest in anything outside of her body. Outside of what they’d shared this weekend. That he wants nothing from her.

The things he’d done.

The things he’d said.

Had it all been nothing more than instinct and desire and empty words?

She feels bile threatening to crawl up her throat. She can smell him. She can still feel him. Over her, around her, inside her — she cannot escape him.

She wonders if she ever will.

She isn’t sure how she manages to find her phone, with her cold, shaking fingers— is barely aware that it’s ringing as she absently places it to her ear. She is hardly more than a shell in this moment. An empty husk of whoever she’d been this morning.

Poe’s voice isn’t the one she wants right now, isn't the one her Omega is begging for— but still the sound of it eases something inside her. Something tiny and broken and so cold.

“Rey?”

Poe.”

He hears it. She knows he does. The pain seeps through all of her now. There isn’t a part of her it doesn’t touch. Her voice is brittle and broken and even it is cold.

“Rey? What’s wrong?”

“I need you,” she whispers. “Please.” Some strangled cry escapes her, so low he may not even catch it. “Please, Poe.”

“Where are you?”

“Rebel. I’ll be in the lobby in a minute. Can you just— can you come get me? I need you.”

“Tell me what’s wrong.”

“I can’t,” she rasps. “Not here. Not now. Just— please, Poe.”

There is only a beat of silence before she hears him sigh, hearing the worry there. “Okay. Okay. I can be there in ten. Wait for me in the lobby.”

“Yes.”

“Are you okay, Rey?”

“No,” she breathes. “No, I’m not.”

“Should I call Finn?”

“No. Just get here.”

“Okay. I’ll be right there. I promise.”

She manages to tell him goodbye, shuffling across the tile and trying her best to avoid the eyes of Amilyn’s secretary as she passes by her desk. She imagines she must be a mess right now— eyes stinging, smelling like an Alpha who doesn’t want her— and she just needs to get out of here.

She still feels the warm wet against her cheeks when she reaches the double set of elevators, pressing the button absently and staring at the sleek doors, silently begging them to open. To take her out of here.

She can feel him here.

He is surely floors away and yet he might as well be right here. She presses the heels of her hands to her eyes, trying to staunch the flow of tears and seeing him when she shuts them tight.

His breath at her nape. His body as it covers hers. His voice, low and promising in her ear. His cock moving inside her, filling her— over and over and over again.

Tell me this meant as much to you as it did me.

He hadn’t answered her then. She supposes that now she knows why.

The doors open to her left, and she breathes a sigh of relief as she presses inside. She reaches for the button to the lobby, settling against the wall beside and allowing herself to wallow in the anguish that threatens to tear her apart.

She has no idea what she will tell Poe.

The truth?

What will he even say? Ben is one of his oldest friends, and she’s more than likely created a wedge she can’t fix. Everything is a mess. Everything.

She hears a ding somewhere outside, the doors to the opposite elevator seemingly opening and she pushes the button to close her own doors in hopes to not let anyone else see her in this ragged state. She presses it furiously, willing them to close, willing this damned box to move—

But he’s there.

She doesn’t know how, or why— isn’t even sure what she feels when she sees him. But Ben is standing just outside the doors and the way he’s looking at her—  seeing her so wrecked and broken— she knows he knows what Amilyn’s told her.

He looks so… remorseful. Does he regret what he’d said? Or just how she’d found out? She doesn’t think it really matters much. Knowing won’t put her back together.

He takes a step, but the doors are closing, locking her away behind them as he disappears from view.

Rey.”

She hears it drift through just as the doors close— strained and desperate— almost like a plea. This morning it had been a promise.

Now it feels empty and dark.

Just like her.