After a series of flashing lights and beeps came from the computer, the words “Welcome to Elorah” flashed on the screen.
Jakobe checked the ship’s heading and when he was sure he was headed to the landing area, he looked out the viewport of his ship. The planet was small and rocky on one side while the other side was covered in green flora. Excitement danced through him as he considered the new planet that would be his home for the foreseeable future. Light Corp sent workers throughout the inhabited worlds to contribute to their operations.
Jakobe was a newly minted eco technician. His job was to help maintain the planet’s growing ecosystem and keep it healthy for the people who would live on it.
The Light Corp headquarters grew closer on the screen and Jakobe took a deep, steadying breath.
“And this is where you will work,” Jakobe’s guide said as she led him into a massive greenhouse.
He looked around at all of the equipment and felt slightly overwhelmed. He was used to working in smaller labs with a full team so there was not as much pressure.
“Oh, Verihyis, good. This is Jakobe, your new partner.”
Jakobe turned from gazing over the room and was startled to see a utottny coming over to meet them.
“It’s nice to meet you, Jakobe,” Verihyis said. He was slightly taller than Jakobe and had light indigo skin. The tiny petals that fanned out along his cheeks were a delicate pink.
“Yes, nice to meet you too,” Jakobe forced out of his mouth so he didn’t stand there and stare at the man like a fool.
The utottny graced him with a kind smile and asked the guide, “Shall I take over from here?”
“Please,” she turned to Jakobe, “We’re glad to have you here. Maintaining the new flora is of utmost importance to our prospects here.” Then she left Jakobe and Verihyis alone in the greenhouse.
“I can show you where everything is located. I’ve only been here a few days but I’ve been familiarizing myself with everything.”
He led Jakobe around the various stations and Jakobe felt his nervousness ease. He knew his job and he knew what to do. It would all go well.
During their first break of the day, Jakobe tried to surreptitiously study Verihyis. Utottny usually stayed on their home planet, Paluuferum. It was rare to see them on any of the habited planets.
“You’re wondering why I’m here,” Verihyis said and Jakobe felt like he had been caught.
“I wanted to travel and contribute to more than just my planet. Light Corp had a good opportunity for me to use my skills here.”
It was commonly known that Paluuterum was a garden world of exceptional beauty. The utottny maintained it well and were secretive and protective of both their home and themselves.
They stood from the table and began to walk back to the greenhouse. “What about you, Jakobe? What made you join Light Corp?”
“I’m from Tiron. There isn’t much to life there except mining. I wanted to learn more and I wanted to see the galaxy too.” He looked up at Verihyis as he said it and that was when the ground began to rumble.
He hadn’t been expecting a quake to happen and he stumbled to the side. Verihyis reached out and steadied him with a firm grip on his shoulders. As soon as it started it ended.
“Thanks,” Jakobe said while looking into the other man’s golden eyes.
“Of course,” Verihyis replied.
They looked at each other for a moment before they both realized Verihyis still held onto Jakobe. Verihyis released his shoulders.
“Does that happen often?” Jakobe asked to fill the silence.
“That’s the second quake I’ve felt since getting here. They don’t seem to be to be too bad.”
“Reminds me of home,” Jakobe said and they went back to work.
Verihyis’ house was beside Jakobe’s house in the new neighborhood. He had shown Jakobe to his new house and Jakobe had collapsed into bed and slept heavy. They pedaled to work on their cycles. They passed rows of empty houses and Jakobe wondered about the people who would be moving into them. Only people who had the right skills for an energy mining operation would live there. Scientists had already created an atmosphere, it would be their job to create and maintain an ecosystem for the benefit of the people who would live there.
Verihyis was cycling ahead of him a bit and stopped. Jakobe stopped beside him and looked out at what he was gesturing to. The vista was beautiful. The gently rolling hills of the planet spread out in front of them before ending on the horizon.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?"
“It really is,” he agreed. They would spend the next months shaping and growing that landscape together. He noticed that the red starlight made Verihyis’ skin glow a beautiful color and he smelled sweet like a flower.
The first month of work went by quickly. Jakobe fell into an easy pattern with Verihyis and their work was progressing nicely. They were placing trees and shrubs in the neighborhood. The quakes were still happening and Jakobe had been assigned to report on any effects they had on the ecosystem.
Jakobe walked by the door of one of the scientist’s offices and heard, “The mass is becoming increasingly agitated. We have to find a way to calm it.”
He slowed his walk to hear more but someone shut the door. He continued on to the greenhouse and wondered what that was about.
After a couple of hours, the curiosity was still eating at him so he asked Verihyis, “Have you heard of ‘the mass’?”
Verihyis looked up from his work, “I think I heard one of the scientists mention it. I don’t know what it is though.”
“It sounded important but I get the feeling I’m not supposed to know about it.”
“They do like their secrets.” “Would you like to come over after work and listen to some music?”
“Yeah, I’d like that.”
They sat in easy chairs and sipped the drinks Verihyis had made while they looked at the new trees in his yard. “It’s a good mix of foliage,” Jakobe said.
Verihyis agreed. “The shades definitely work well together. You have a great eye for color.”
The compliment made Jakobe feel proud.
“Care to dance?” Verihyis asked.
Jakobe felt his heart skip a beat. He probably looked scared. Dancing wasn’t one of his skills. But, Verihyis stood and held out a hand and Jakobe automatically took the hand and stood. Verihyis lightly placed his hands on Jakobe’s hips and led him in a dance.
It was nice and Jakobe settled into the rhythm, guided by Verihyis. The song changed and they slowly drew closer together until Jakobe realized he was pressed to the other man. He smelled his sweet scent again. He laid his cheek against his chest and breathed deeply. He felt something wet against his stomach.
Verihyis pulled away and blushed. “I’m sorry about that,” he said and covered himself with both hands.
"What?” Jakobe murmured. He felt dazed and aroused and didn’t know what he was apologizing for. There was a musky bite to the smell now and Jakobe wanted to breathe the other man in completely.
“You should go,” Verihyis said and ushered him toward the door.
Jakobe wandered over to his house and stood outside for a few confused minutes. Finally some sense returned to him and he went into his own house. So, Verihyis was attracted to him too. He didn’t know why the other man was embarrassed by it. Jakobe wasn’t bothered by his different anatomy. He thought about the petals on Verihyis’ cheeks and shoulders and imagined what other parts of him they framed.
He leaned against his closed door and lifted his shirt to smell the wet spot Verihyis had left. His cock twitched in his pants and he hurriedly took it out and stroked it to the smell of Verihyis.
“Please don’t be embarrassed,” he said. Before he could stop himself he added, “I liked it.” Verihyis’ head snapped up and Jakobe blushed. “I mean, I like you,” he said.
“You do?” Verihyis asked as though that were hard to believe.
“I do,” Jakobe smiled at him.
A quake struck. It started off as small one. But it continued for longer than any had before. Suddenly alarms began to blare from the building and scientists and other workers ran by the door of the greenhouse. Jakobe and Verihyis went out to see what was happening. It was chaos. The tremors seemed to be increasing and fear lanced through Jakobe. The sound of crashing objects was overwhelming and there was an ominous shift of the building.
He sought Verihyis’ eyes and saw he was concerned too. A man ran by them and Jakobe yelled, “What’s going on?” at him.
The man barely stopped and yelled, “Get out, the mass is going to kill us all!”
Jakobe and Verihyis shared another look and together ran for the nearest exit. Verihyis pulled ahead a little. He had reached the door and Jakobe was almost there when a large machine toppled over. Time seemed to slow down just so Jakobe could see it falling and know that it would land on him.
But then, Verihyis was there and knocked him out of the way. All of the noise seemed to stop and Verihyis looked down at Jakobe where he lay stunned. Then Verihyis leaned down and kissed him. It was fast and powered by adrenaline and good.
Verihyis pulled away and scooped him up. He jogged out of the shaking building and took him to his ship where he gently laid him on a bed before taking off from the planet.
Verihyis had flown his ship a short distance from Elorah and stopped to check on Jakobe. Jakobe was sitting up on the bed trying to understand what had happened.
“I think the planet is alive.”
“Are you going to stay with Light Corp?”
“I’m not sure. If this is the kind of thing they do, I don’t think I want to be part of it.”
“I agree,” Verihyis said. “We’ll find something else to do.”
Jakobe reached out and pulled him forward to sit on the bed. He leaned in and kissed him.
Verihyis broke the kiss to ask, “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine, you saved me,” Jakobe said. “Now kiss me again.”
Verihyis obliged. His tongue darted out to lick Jakobe’s lips. The scent of him made Jakobe feel dizzy with need once again. He brushed the petals on his cheeks and pushed him down on the bed. He let his hands roam across the other’s lithe body. Verihyis panted as Jakobe mouthed at his neck. One hand encountered the wet spot again and they both moaned. There was a messy stripping of clothes then bliss when skin met skin.
Jakobe wanted to taste every part of him. He kissed his chest and found there were more petals. He traced them with shaking fingers. The petals deepened to a dark red and dipped down in a V from his hips. Embraced by the petals, at the point of the V, was a slit.
Jakobe felt his own cock throb and leak at the sight. He rubbed along the edges of the slit with his thumbs and Verihyis released a moan. He pressed kisses along it and felt it swell. Verihyis writhed underneath him and his cock slowly unfurled. A deeper color than the rest of his body, it was beautiful, and resembled nothing if not a stamen. A drop of sweet nectar formed at the tip and Jakobe tasted it with his tongue. He was gone after that.
He kissed and licked and took Verihyis in his mouth. The sweet cock throbbed and more nectar emerged from it. Jakobe kissed Verihyis and guided his cock inside himself. The nectar eased the way and he groaned at how well the other man fit inside him. Verihyis was incoherent with pleasure and his hands scrabbled at Jakobe’s back, urging him to move. Jakobe rose and fell on the cock.
Lying in bed, naked and loose-limbed, Jakobe watched Verihyis set a course. He came back to the bed and draped himself across Jakobe’s chest. They watched Elorah in the viewport as it grew smaller and smaller, until they could no longer see it. “Where are we going?” Jakobe asked.
“I was thinking I would take you home,” Verihyis said.
Jakobe felt his stomach drop at the words. He had thought they were going to be together.
As though Verihyis knew the panic Jakobe felt, he added, “To Paluuferum.”
Jakobe felt his stomach drop again but in a much more pleasant manner. The adventure was just beginning.