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Fear and Hunger

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Freya sipped her coffee as Brendan glanced around the cafeteria of the infamous Area 51 with something akin to disappointment, reading his surface thoughts. Somehow he had expected it to be different with tables made out of high tech polymers and strange alien artifacts like the inside of the headquarters for Men in Black. Instead, his coffee was in the kind of bland white mug that graced Greasy Joe cafeterias all over the world and the furnishings were almost substandard like a 1950s retro-look. She smiled as his thoughts continued. All the place needed was booths with reddish-brown, fake leather seats and an old fashioned juke box and he would believe he had fallen through a time warp.

The people were normal too apart from the plethora of white lab coats and the animated conversations where only one in every five words was meaningful to Brendan, or her. He glanced back across the table at Freya, lips twitching with mild irritation as he read the mirth in her eyes.

"Men in Black?" She stated.

"Okay, so I thought it'd be cool here...not nerd city."

She grinned at the thoughts he projected loud and clear, intending them for her to pick up, of stylized conversations in nonsensical topics where he had absorbed every word and detail but none of the meaning. Of course, what he missed was the undercurrents of thoughts as the 'nerds and geeks' observed the two strangers in their midst, speculating on their presence and in one case on Brendan's flexibility in bed. *That* excited thought came from a little, gray-haired doctor with thick lenses and an obviously overactive libido if the rest of his thoughts were anything to go by. The man seemed to have a perverted sexual fantasy for every person in the room including...

"Eeeww!" She glared at him as she read the explicit thoughts centered on her doing the nasty with him, seeing his eyes go round in shock as he realized that, yes, she could read his thoughts. He shoved the last half of a plain cheese sandwich into his mouth and turned his thoughts to a new arrival entering the cafeteria. The one great thing about Area 51 was that the people here truly believed in the impossible and inconceivable, aware that anything was possible; mind powers, alien viruses...70 foot snakes?

When she looked back, Brendan had both eyebrows raised in curiosity.

"You don't want to know. Believe me."

He smirked but at least the disappointment was missing from his eyes and thoughts now. He had been so excited when Freya asked him to accompany her because this place was the biggest open secret ever. The whole world had heard of Area 51 but proof of its existence was known only to a scant few in comparison. Dr. Welles had brought her here during her training, wanting to expose her to a series of psychic tests being carried out on those who had proved to have extra-sensory skills like her. She had never mentioned those tests to Brendan, or mentioned the others with different skills; the ones who could move objects with a mere thought, the ones who could start fires without needing a flame, and those who could read the auras surrounding others – telekinesis, fire starters and empaths - and the worse of the bunch, the ones called Scanners. She was a scanner, a weak one admittedly, one who had retreated from the world as she was slowly driven mad by all the voices rather than one who had raged against it, trying to destroy the origin of the madness - the people around them. Scanners were few in number, perhaps only about twenty of them in the whole world now. Their existence had been carefully manipulated in the press to make them the realms of paranoid conspiracy theories and charlatans, with any incidences explained away with careful precision. The few scanners like her who could actually live in society- now at least - were happy enough to remain out of the public eye.

Usually, the ones brought here to be tested were not allowed free access to the base, not even the more public areas such as the cafeteria but she had graduated from test subject to NSA consultant and that had granted her certain privileges. Freya smiled, wondering if even Dr. Welles realized that her partner was equally intriguing as a potential test subject. He had a photographic memory, able to see a scene once and recall it in fine detail, or hear a conversation and remember every word spoken verbatim. Brendan had managed to hide that skill all his life rather than flaunt it like most others with the same ability but she had no intention of revealing his secret because he did not need help understanding it. Unlike her, he had learned to cope with his ability all by himself and turn it into a useful skill.

As the cafeteria began to empty, she opened her mind a little and gathered in a few more of the thoughts surrounding her, listening in on their internal debates even as they spoke with passion on their experiments and results. She shuddered as the snake was mentioned again by Mr. Pervert's colleague, smiling when those thoughts were interspersed with ones of Brendan. It seemed Brendan had gained more than just the single admirer, though this person's thoughts were more vanilla than his colleague's, wondering what Brendan's mouth would taste like in a passionate kiss rather than creating a dirty inner monologue for how he would rip off Brendan's clothes, forcefully bend him over the cafeteria table and fuck him raw in front of everyone. No, these thoughts were so gentle and sweet that she risked a glance across at Mr. Pervert's table just to see who had been thinking of Brendan that way.

Beautiful deep blue eyes met hers, startled wider before he looked away, pretending that he had not just been caught looking in Brendan's direction. His cheeks flushed faintly and even Freya had to admit that the guy was cute in a quirky sort of way. When she looked back at Brendan, with a smile hovering on her lips, she saw him looking at her with bemusement.

"Gained an admirer?"

Freya hid a wicked smile behind the rim of her coffee mug. "I'm not his type."

What surprised her, though, was Brendan's reaction after the initial shock subsided. He had a better view of Mr. Pervert's companion, sliding his eyes in the other man's direction and moving his mobile eyebrows in an almost 'come hither' gesture while still trying to look a little coy.

"Oh my god!" she whispered. "You're flirting with him!"

He looked a little taken aback. "No, I'm not," he insisted but he could not prevent a single thought slipping through that almost mirrored the sweet ones that had been directed at Brendan earlier, focusing on the man's wide but crooked mouth and imaging what it would fell like wrapped around...

"You so are." She laughed softly. "He's cute though. A little rough around the edges but...cute. Apart from the snakes and someone called Betty."


"Believe me... I'm not talking about the one in his pants."

Brendan coughed, spluttering as the coffee threatened to go down the wrong way. "You did that on purpose," he hissed, and Freya bit back a laugh because, yes, she had waited that beat of a second longer for him to take a sip. Brendan's cheeks had flamed, partly in embarrassment and partly from the coffee but it only made him look more gorgeous. 'Blue eyes' at the other table agreed with her, his thoughts heading south along with most of his blood supply and, out of the corner of her eye, she caught him adjusting himself covertly.

Definitely interested, she thought, and it was a shame that nothing more would come of it because her break was over; Dr. Welles would be waiting for her in the research lab. Except, Brendan did not need to be there. He could stay here and get to know... With a certain amount of reluctance, she pulled the name from the guy debating with 'blue eyes'... Emmett?

"I've gotta go. Why don't you stay here and have another coffee? Or see how far that NSA pass will take you," she added slyly, aware that he was intrigued by all that could be happening behind the closed laboratory and office doors. He frowned but she read his interest correctly and waved goodbye, taking one final glance over her shoulder as she left the cafeteria, and smiling as she saw his eyes fall on Emmett.


Emmett shook his head and sighed deeply as Dr. Fremont stormed away, wishing he had not been saddled with working for the guy. Okay, so the man knew a lot about snakes but knowing about them and handling them were two different things, especially when one of them was a 70 foot long, bioengineered, scarlet boa constrictor. What Fremont wanted to do with Betty would be far too dangerous without the proper procedures and equipment put in place. Plus, Betty had taken a dislike to Fremont for some reason, barely tolerating him in her specially adapted habitat even when Emmett was in there with him, which Emmett could understand as he had the same low opinion of Fremont after the man made several lewd suggestions that left Emmett with a decidedly uneasy feeling.

Betty had not made any particular moves against the head herpetologist so Fremont was convinced it was all in Emmett's mind but it was a gut feeling that persisted whenever Fremont was near by. Of course, he could be attributing his own bad feelings for hers. The man was a creep and very unsubtle in his innuendos that promised Emmett better treatment and more luxuries if he let the man fuck him.

Not gonna happen, he thought viciously, even though he was still little more than a prisoner in Area 51 with no direct link to the outside world. It was a perfect cage in other ways though, filled with all the equipment and research facilities he needed to continue with his life's work - and it had Betty too. Emmett was convinced that the only reason why he did not have more personal luxuries was down to Fremont. A favor for a favor, he called it; Emmett called it blackmail.

"Hi. Can I join you?"

Emmett looked up in confusion, eyes widening when the amazingly hot guy from a few tables away quirked an inquisitive eyebrow at him. Flustered, Emmett smiled back shyly and indicated towards the seat that his boss had just vacated. "Sure."

The man sat down opposite and his lips twitched in a tentative smile. "I'm just visiting for the day, maybe two days depending on..." He waved towards the exit.

"Is she...?"

"Partner. Work colleague partner," he elaborated. "Brendan Dean." He stated abruptly, holding out his hand.


He took the hand in a firm grip, feeling the slight calluses no doubt formed by the use of the sidearm holstered beneath the man's jacket. Dean was most likely one of those shadowy agents from some 3-letter acronym, secret government department. He had met a few of them in the months since his unexpected arrival at Area 51. Mostly, they wandered around checking up on various highly classified projects but, occasionally, they came into his office to check up on him and Betty. He figured they were still feeling uncomfortable at the way one of their number had murdered Monica and dumped him in Betty's transportation cage, expecting him to be crushed and eaten during the long trip from Philadelphia to this secret base in Nevada.

"So... Snakes?" Emmett blinked at the question, slightly disappointed that this was another agent checking up on him rather than pure interest in him as a person but Brendan continued. "My partner overheard you talking with that other guy."

"Oh!" Emmett huffed in relief. "Yes. I'm researching a universal antivenin." Emmett leaned forward. "Did you know that most snake bite victims die purely because they can't describe the snake that bit them?"

"And a universal anti...venom would make that identification unnecessary."

"Yeah." Emmett swallowed hard, recalling the frantic race to save his sister that had ended in tragedy. He rarely talked about it except to justify his reason for spending his life on this one quest and, like Monica, Brendan listened patiently. After a while, he realized that he'd been talking nonstop for at least ten minutes, attributing some of that to nervousness because, really, this guy was seriously hot.

"So, what do you do?"

"NSA... National Security Agency." He tilted his head slightly. "We go after the bad guys."

"I'm not a bad guy."

"No, you're not. Not bad at all."

Emmett felt the heat rush to his face because there it was, the look that said, 'I want you the same way you want me'. In the past six months, the closest he had come to having sex was the kiss of life from Monica, who had shared the oxygen in her lungs to save him from surfacing too soon and getting eaten by a giant python. Hardly a lover's kiss but he had hoped it might lead to something more. A few days later she was dead - he shied away from that memory - and he was under surveillance in Area 51 with Fremont making his life a sheer misery.

"Would you like to see Betty?"

"And Betty is...?"

"My scarlet boa."

"Is she big?"

"Oh, I would say so."

Ten minutes later, Emmett could only stand back and grin as Betty slithered beneath Brendan's hand, showing no animosity against him whatsoever; a complete contrast to how she was with Fremont. Brendan was stunned but showed no undue terror at being faced by such a massive snake, trusting in Emmett to keep him safe. Betty slithered all the way around and reared up in front of Brendan, eyeing him carefully, her forked tongue tasting the air between them before tickling against his cheek. She backed away, slithering off to laze around as usual. Brendan turned to Emmett, a stunned expression still on his face.


"She likes you." Emmett's grin broadened.

"As long as she's not interested in eating me then... I like her too." His expression softened. "And I like you."

He reached out and touched Emmett's cheek, hand slowly slipping to cup the back of Emmett's head, drawing him in and kissing him softly. The kiss deepened, lips parting and tongues flicking out tentatively to savor and taste each other, scenting the growing arousal. Hands slipped beneath his t-shirt while his own snaked around Brendan's waist beneath the dark jacket, hands smoothing over soft cotton, feeling the ridge of vertebrae as he pulled Brendan tight against him. A leg insinuated itself between Emmett's and he felt the physical manifestation of Brendan's arousal pressing hard against his own, separated by too many layers of clothing. Fingers fumbling at the fastening to his pants left him moaning into the kiss and then Brendan was slipping from his arms, dropping down to his knees, his hands dragging down Emmett's cargo pants and boxers. Emmett threaded his fingers through the strands of dark hair, throwing back his head and gasping out his pleasure as that incredibly sexy mouth wrapped around his cock. He whimpered, rocking his hips in counterpoint to the exquisite licks and sucks, the pleasure rippling through him as he came down Brendan's throat. Emmett leaned heavily upon the bowed shoulders as Brendan gave him one final long lick before tucking him back inside his pants.

"Let me..." Emmett dropped to his knees in front of Brendan, wanting to give his lover the same incredible pleasure.

"Next time."


The tiny flush of embarrassment made Emmett look down, and he felt a rush of pleasure that heightened the afterglow on seeing Brendan's spent cock hanging through the gap in his pants, his semen splattered on the ground where Emmett was kneeling.

"You've probably got some of that on your pants." Brendan stated by way of apology and all Emmett could do was chuckle and lean in for another soul-searing kiss.

The all-too familiar hiss of a snake followed by a distinctive rattle made Emmett freeze. He knew it wasn't Betty. His thoughts went hurtling back to the earlier argument with Fremont and his insistence that they should not release venomous snakes into Betty's enclosure for her to hunt and kill. Once released, they had no way to account for the snakes, making it dangerous for them to enter the enclosure and take samples from Betty. Once again, Fremont had ignored him.

How many other rattlesnakes had Fremont released into here? One? Two? A dozen?

"Don't move a muscle. It's an eastern diamondback rattler." And it was one of the largest specimens he had seen in years and had probably been bioengineered here at Area 51 by Fremont.

From the corner of his eye he caught the distinctive patterns of an eastern diamondback and knew it would only attack when either afraid or hungry. Except that made it incredibly dangerous because it had to be scenting Betty's presence all around it so would have loaded up with venom. If he and Brendan had not been on their knees then they might have been able to back away but any attempt to rise would merely frighten it more. It rattled again and reared up, only seconds away from striking.

"Stay calm," he whispered to Brendan through gritted teeth, aware that this was going to hurt like crazy but it would be better if the rattler struck him rather than Brendan. He could angle his body and make sure it struck at a less dangerous part of his anatomy. Then all he had to do was get them both out of there and over to the fridge in the office next door where he held a stock of antivenin for just this sort of emergency.

Taking a deep breath, Emmett prepared to move. He twisted swiftly, raising his arm up and forward to present a target, and quietly hoping the rattler would back off after the first strike rather than rear back up and attack again. The expected pain never happened and Emmett fell back onto his ass in shock, his back hitting Brendan's chest, as Betty snatched the striking rattler barely two feet from his arm. He watched her eat with morbid fascination and then she slithered onwards in search of another small meal, having flicked out her tongue and tasted his scent in the air around him.

"Okay, let's get out of here slowly."

He and Brendan moved carefully through the vegetation, sharp eyes watchful for any more venomous snakes hidden in the shadows as the rattlers sought to escape detection from a greater predator. Brendan's hand grabbed his arm suddenly, indicating towards the edge of the large pool that Betty liked to soak in. Emmett swallowed hard as he caught the white of a lab coat. Carefully, he picked his way over and pressed two fingers against the carotid artery but found no pulse. Fremont was dead.

For a moment he felt torn. If he left Fremont in here then Betty would eat him within the next few minutes as the body was still warm but trying to carry him out would place both Brendan at risk from more frightened rattlers.

"Leave him," Brendan stated. "We can't carry him through this."

Emmett nodded and they moved slowly towards the enclosure's only exit, freezing when they spotted another large specimen between them and the sealed hatchway. Going back would put them into denser undergrowth and greater danger but Emmett could see no choice until Betty slithered past him, brushing against his leg as she headed straight for her next meal unerringly. With a quick shove, Emmett pushed Brendan towards the exit and they slipped into the security lock between the enclosure and the outside laboratory, scanning the area quickly before securing the enclosure. The outer door opened before Emmett could press the switch and he blinked rapidly at the sight of several soldiers dressed in heavy armor, and one almost fragile looking woman.

"Freya!" Brendan exclaimed softly and Emmett stepped back as she wrapped her arms around her partner.

"I came down to find you, and saw on the monitors..."

Emmett looked between the two of them in confusion.

"Sir, should we retrieve the body?"

Emmett stared at the major. "No. No. Too dangerous. I don't know how many rattlers Fremont released in there. We'll have to wait until Betty..." has eaten the rattlers... and Fremont, he added silently.

His felt a roiling in his stomach as memories of Philadelphia played back, reliving the death of Broddrick as the man was snatched up between the jaws of the giant python and Betty, his body torn apart in a gruesome tug of war and consumed. He saw other deaths too, saw Monica hanging in the water in front of him but, this time, her eyes were open in death. The horror was finally crashing through the barriers he had erected in his mind and he leaned hard into the strong body wrapped around him, holding him tight as wave after wave of horror rushed over him.


Brendan sat beside the bed in the small infirmary and watched Emmett sleep, knowing there was nothing physically wrong with him except for shock. Freya had read it all from Emmett's mind and the head of Area 51 security, Assistant Director Alvarez, had explained the rest. He replayed the meeting held an hour earlier...

Alvarez rubbed his chin thoughtfully, seemingly unconcerned that Freya could have so much information about the events that had transpired.

"They were arguing at the table in the cafeteria. Dr. Perv..." Freya wrinkled her nose at the name slip and Brendan knew he'd have to ask her about that one. "...Fremont wanted to release some snakes and Emmett disagreed. Fremont left abruptly but he was not swayed by Emmett's arguments."

Another man leaned in, frowning heavily. "How can you know all this?"

"The same way I know you're wondering what color underwear I'm wearing, Dr. Pavane."

The man's face flamed in embarrassment and if the situation had not been so serious, Brendan might have laughed aloud. It was Brendan's turn to speak out.

"I struck up a conversation with Emmett, and we chatted for about twenty minutes before he offered to show me Betty."

Pavane clasped his hands on the table. "Dr. Fremont had me ready the rattlers earlier today despite Emmett's objections. All Fremont had to do was slide open the container. He didn't even need to be inside Betty's enclosure for that but I guess he wanted to make a point to Emmett who said it was too dangerous."

"Have you accounted for all the rattlers?" Alvarez asked and Pavane shrugged, shaking his head.

"Dr. Fremont released around fifteen rattlers, most of them full grown adults, up to 14 feet in length. It's impossible to know how many have been killed and eaten by Betty, and how many are still hiding in there, safe until Betty gets hungry again." He paled slightly. "And that won't be for a while as it'll take Betty the best part of a week to digest Dr. Fremont."

Everyone in the room grimaced at the thought and Pavane moved on quickly.

"Emmett wanted each rattler tagged at the very least but Dr. Fremont didn't want to waste money on snake tags that would be destroyed within days."

"How do you think Dr. Fremont died?"

"Well, there's no way to tell but most likely some of those rattlers turned on him the moment he released them. Betty's a big snake and a powerful predator. They would have scented her presence and loaded up with venom out of fear. Doesn't take much more than that to get them striking out." He shook his head sagely. "Fear and hunger."

"What about Emmett," Brendan asked, trying to sound casual.

"We've kind of been waiting for this reaction for months. After the Philadelphia incident, some idiot thought keeping him and Dr. Barnes quiet meant shutting them up permanently. By the time we realized what was happening, it was too late for Dr. Barnes." He gave a disgusted look. "She met with a fatal diving accident... and we thought it too late for him as well. He'd been locked inside the transport truck with that giant snake and expected to meet with his own fatal accident." Alvarez sighed, shaking his head. "It was dark by the time We learned he was in there but after the previous incident with the python escaping, the driver was under strict orders not to stop. I was there when we opened the truck and found him still alive. Seems the damn snake had already fed and as it didn't register him as a threat, it left him alone."

Alvarez looked even more grim for a moment. "He wandered around a little shell shocked for the first few days and has never talked about it except in scientific terms. Like a bad experiment gone wrong, a few test tubes busted."

Brendan nodded, having seen enough death and destruction in his life to understand, perhaps more so because the average person did not see everything in precise detail, locked inside his head like a miniature movie. It was part of the curse of having a photographic memory.

"Of course, putting him with Dr. Fremont didn't help any. Not to speak ill of the dead but the man was slimier than his snakes."

Brendan noticed the way Freya tensed her lips as if holding back from saying something. She had slipped earlier and almost called Fremont 'Dr. Pervert', and that made Brendan wonder what else she was withholding.

Brendan stepped in. "If there's nothing more to add then I'd like to be there when he wakes up."

Alvarez nodded and Brendan knew the man would make it happen. He sighed as Alvarez indicated that the meeting was over and gave a token smile to Freya when she dropped a small hand upon his forearm. She held him back as the room cleared, waiting until the last person had left before speaking.

"He was thinking only of you inside that enclosure. He was going to let a rattler bite him to protect you, placing his body between you and the snake." Her expression softened. "He left Fremont behind because getting you out alive was more important."

Brendan stared at her, seeing the compassion in her eyes. She wrinkled her nose, a tiny smile curving her lips.

"I think he's already halfway in love with you." Her amusement faded. "And I think you're more than halfway in love with him."

"We've only just met." Weakly, Brendan tried to deny her words but something about Emmett had captured him from the moment their eyes met in that old-fashioned cafeteria.

"Michael wants me to..."


She flushed. "Dr. Welles wants me to stay on for some more research. Another week or two, maybe more if I'm interested."

"Which you are if that 'Michael' is anything to go by."

She whacked his arm and then grew serious once more. "You could stay too."

He thought about it for only a second before realizing that he wanted to stay, and not just for Freya. Brendan smiled. "Okay."



Brendan sank deep into the beautifully curved ass, moaning at the incredible tightness that gripped the length of his cock. He leaned in, kissed Emmett and pulled back again, savoring the gasp from his lover as the movement forced Emmett's knees further back against his chest and him further inside. So good. So perfect; the way Emmett lay beneath him, impaling himself deeper, harder, taking everything Brendan had to offer and still begging for more. Sweat glistened on their straining bodies, a droplet sliding down to the tip of Brendan's nose before falling, splattering upon the lightly furred chest with its peaked nipples.

He was beautiful like this, open and vulnerable and oh so needy, demanding to be filled and owned and Brendan had no choice but to do as he wished, no, as he demanded. He rocked in again, lips grazing Emmett's, wondering if there was ever a time when he did not have this, did not have this amazing man lying beneath him.

Pressed down by Brendan's body weight, he could not even writhe, could only take and take and the thought of Emmett so completely his was enough to overload both body and mind and he came hard, vision whiting out in pleasure as he gave all that he had into his lover.

It took a moment longer before he registered the weak struggle beneath his heavy limbs and Brendan shifted, his cock slipping out the well used body as he rolled off Emmett onto his back. They lay side by side for several long minutes, rapid breaths slowing and heated bodies cooling. As one, they turned their heads to each other, with scarily similar sated, goofy grins plastered across sweaty faces. His eyes flicked down and watched the lazy movement of Emmett's agile fingers trailing through the semen splattered across his belly, having felt Emmett's hand working himself as Brendan thrust deep into his body.

Four months ago, he had never heard of Emmett and would have put the story of giant snakes dueling to the death beneath the city of Philadelphia firmly into the realms of science fiction or someone's drug-induced nightmare. He knew differently now and, once more, Freya's intrusion into his life had changed its direction radically, though definitely for the better.

Rays of sunshine from a new day were already striping the foot of the bed, the heat slowly rising with the sun and Brendan knew the air con would kick in soon to moderate the increasing temperature in this so-called secret facility deep in the Nevada desert. He did not want to move but rolled onto one side anyway, mirroring Emmett's movement and rising to his elbow, face to face while he reached out to run his hand along the generous flank, almost cupping one perfect cheek of the heart-shaped ass that he had filled only minutes earlier. He smacked the asscheek playfully.

"Come on. Time to get up."

"Not gonna happen." Emmett sighed. "Not a randy teen anymore."

Brendan laughed softly at the deliberate misunderstanding. He knew Emmett could choose his own working hours now he was head of Herpetology at Area 51 but Brendan had a more structured working life as part of Assistant Director Alvarez's security forces. He and Freya still worked as partners, often going away for a few days at a time to investigate some new phenomena thrown up in the UFO and strange happenings press but, while here, he was expected to be on duty by a certain time.

As exciting as it was to follow up on some strange event in nowheresville, Brendan knew he would rather be here, drinking in the sight of his well sated lover, memorizing every line and curve, every flicker of a smile and stutter of breath as they moved together in perfect harmony.

"Come on. We can have breakfast together down it the cafeteria."

And that is where he found himself an hour later, all washed, shaved and dressed, sitting at a table in the 1950s throwback cafeteria with Emmett seated opposite, just like on the day they first met, except now the blue eyes held his with more than lust. Now there was love too.