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Scattered Silver at Your Feet

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Hux lounged against the bar, ignoring the way Mitaka grabbed his arm every time he laughed, clutching Hux’s slim bicep and guffawing with mirth. Hux smiled now and again but he was only half-listening to his friend’s drunken prattle.

Hux was here for a different reason.

He did not plan to get drunk. In fact, he was pacing himself carefully, watching the door as it opened, eyeing each man that entered.

Gwen had set him up with a blind date. Hux had classes with the blonde amazon, and they had developed a sort of icy respect bordering on friendship during their graduate studies at the university. So when she had fixed her blue eyes on Hux in class that Friday morning and said she had someone in mind for him, he had listened.

Hux wasn’t the type to hang out in bars looking for a hook-up. While he would have liked the anonymity of it -- an easy, no-strings attached fuck -- the other aspects of the idea were less desirable. Namely, the cleanliness issue of letting a stranger go down on him in a public bathroom (not to mention the cleanliness of the person involved), and then all the pesky social demands of picking up a suitable partner in the first place.

He agreed when Gwen had mentioned meeting at a local watering hole. It wasn’t fancy, but it had a sort of well-run and cared-for vibe to it. Plus, for a bar, it was reasonably clean. Hux still didn’t fancy a blow job in a men’s room stall, however.

He was just considering ordering Mitaka some food to help soak up the alcohol in his stomach, the small man shaking his arm in merriment yet again, when Gwen came striding through the door, turning nearly every head in the place. She was absolutely magnetic, with her height and sheer presence of being, like some demigod of old.

Just like always, upon seeing her powerful stride into the room, Hux wished he was at least two inches taller and straight. She would have made one hell of a good trophy, draped on his arm as he showed her off. Hux sighed. Fate could be cruel.

His eyes drifted to a second tall figure trailing in behind her. The young man’s presence didn’t command the room the same as Gwen’s did, but he certainly stood out. For one thing, he was the most awkward looking kid Hux had ever seen. And for another, there was no way he could be old enough to be in a bar. He looked 18 at the oldest.

“Hux,” Gwen said, giving him a peck on the cheek, classy, the way Europeans did. Damn, why hadn’t he been born heterosexual? He glanced over at Mitaka and saw his already pink face go scarlet as his soft brown eyes roamed over the woman that loomed over him by nearly a foot. “Mitaka,” Gwen said flatly, her nose turning up and her hand fluttering in a dismissive wave in lieu of the kiss she had just given Hux.

“G-Gwen,” Mitaka managed before swiveling around on his stool and hunching over his drink.

The tall blonde turned to the gangly kid behind her and said, “Hux, this is Ben. Ben this is Hux.” Neither of them said anything. They just looked at each other.

The kid named Ben was a walking contradiction of the laws of physics. He was too tall, shoulders too broad for his skinny frame, mouth too luscious for the small pointed chin, hair too thick for such a short, bowl-like haircut. And the ears. Oh, the ears.

Hux tried not to laugh. He glanced at Gwen, thinking he might see a spark of mischief there, as though this had been all some sort of practical joke, and his real date would come in any moment and tell this kid to beat it. But Gwen’s eyes were nothing if not sincere.

“Ben goes to the community college right now, but he’ll be transferring to our school next year,” Gwen said as way of introduction. “He’s taking photography and philosophy.”

Hux couldn’t contain his chuckle. “Really?” he asked looking from Gwen over to the kid, Ben, who was standing next to her and just slightly behind, like he was using Gwen’s body as a shield against the ginger on the bar stool. He seemed to be attempting a smile, but it was getting lost before it could spread across his face. “Come on, Gwen,” Hux said, taking a swig of beer. “Where’s my real date?”

The kid’s face fell, and Gwen stared at him with ice in her eyes.

“Excuse me?” Gwen said.

Oh shit. This was no joke. This really was the guy she had wanted to set him up with. Didn’t she know this kid was not his type?

“I just mean there’s no way he’s old enough to be in here,” Hux said defensively. Afterall, Gwen was the one bringing a minor into a bar. He assumed he was at least 18, or else Gwen really had no business introducing them, as this was meant to be a hook-up and nothing more. Hux suddenly wondered if he and Gwen were on the same page about what a blind date meant. He was not looking for any commitment. He just needed some quick fun and a bit of stress relief.

He looked back at the kid. His deep brown eyes seemed hurt, but also resilient somehow, as if he had already heard everything the world had to say about him and his looks, and he wasn’t that impressed anymore. Hux caught the beginning of a sneer, and the kid suddenly didn’t look quite as young as a moment before. With the look of eagerness gone, he could have passed for 21…

“Ben is 23 years old, Hux.” Gwen said, obviously disgusted with him. "He’s only a few years younger than you. Plus he’s brilliant.” The blonde was going from disapproving to protective. This wasn’t good. Hux switched tactics.

“I was just trying to be funny,” he said, though it was completely untrue. “I meant no offense,” he said to Ben, which was partially true. The kid had walked through the door with such a sweet look, and now it was soured. Hux was a bit sorry for that, he supposed. No need to ruin the kid’s evening.  “What are you both having to drink? Mitaka,” he said, turning to his friend,  “I’ll even get you one more, if you swear to me you will eat something too.” Mitaka bashfully nodded, still sneaking looks at Gwen, and Hux ordered the next round from the bartender.

Gwen sipped her drink and talked to Hux for a few minutes as Mitaka obediently wolfed down some loaded cheese fries. She had taken up a position between Hux and his friend, leaving Ben on his own next to Hux.

Once Mitaka was done with his food and Hux had ordered the promised drink for him, Gwen rolled her eyes at Hux in a fashion that spoke largely of martyrdom, grabbed Mitaka by the elbow, and steered him to a small table. If it were possible to get any redder, Hux thought his friend managed it, his soft brown eyes riveted up at the Valkyrie holding his arm.

Hux turned back to Ben and was slightly annoyed to find a woman chatting him up. Ben may not have been his type, and Hux had no intentions of having sex with the kid, but he was there for him and therefore off limits to others.

The woman was looking at Ben with a very dopey smile, as though smitten with the kid. Ben was chuckling and saying something about photography while the woman, who looked to be about Hux’s age, nodded and gazed at him with besotted eyes.

She was attractive, Hux thought, if you liked that sort of thing. If she had been male (and therefore had stood a chance with Hux) she still would have been too artsy for his tastes.

Still, Hux was slightly fascinated. What could have possibly attracted her to the kid? Had Hux missed something? He shook his head. Impossible. The ears alone would scare anyone off. Still…

Hux ordered two more drinks for them, loudly, and then turned a scowl on the woman talking to his date. She looked at him, startled, and when he looked meaningfully between her and Ben and deepened the sneer, she deflated. She gave Ben a wistful look as though she knew it was too good to last, and then politely excused herself.

Ben turned back to Hux and calmly thanked him for the second drink without seeming the smallest bit put out that Hux had ruined his chance at a real hook-up. Hux watched him out of the corner of his eye while he pretended to look at his phone, and Kylo sipped his drink and stared absently into space. Nope, he still couldn’t figure it out.

When a man who looked to be about thirty leaned into the space the woman had recently vacated and started casting longer and longer looks at Ben, Hux bristled. No one was paying him any attention at all, and here this gangly kid already had two admirers in the span of ten minutes.

“Let’s go find a table,” Hux said, exasperated. Ben gave him a small look, almost a smirk, Hux thought, but then he picked up his drink and followed Hux to a small table away from the crowd gathered around the bar.

They sat down opposite each other and Ben gave him a small nervous smile. Neither of them said anything, and Ben picked up the glass in front of him and took a sip of beer.

Hux found himself wondering what Ben would look like with longer hair. Or even a better haircut. His hair was thick and glossy. It really wasn’t bad hair. Even though Hux usually preferred his hook-ups to have lighter hair and tan skin, he supposed he could see the appeal in Ben’s coloring. Just not for him.

He really didn’t feel like talking to the kid, especially about photography or philosophy. What idiotic choices for college. Maybe that’s what he should tell him. Then at least one of them would be getting something out of this night.

“Why philosophy?” Hux asked. He sipped his own drink, a craft whisky, and waited for some bullshit answer about truth.

“To learn how to talk circles around anybody about anything,” Ben replied with a shrug. He had a deep, pleasant voice, with a slightly off-sounding cadence. He carefully pronounced each word, making sure both the consonants and the vowels landed properly.

Ben drank about half of his beer in one go, and Hux watched his adam’s apple bob along his throat as he swallowed.

“And you think philosophy is going to teach you that?” Hux scoffed, dragging his eyes away from the pale neck. His gaze landed on Ben’s mouth, his lips shining where he licked the beer from them. It was an exaggeratedly sensual mouth. Something about it irritated Hux. He frowned at the full lips and looked up at Ben’s eyes.

“It’s what lawyers study so they know how to rip apart arguments in court.”

“You want to be a lawyer.” Hux said it deadpan, not really a question, more of an uninterested statement.

“Nope,” Ben said, with a slow grin. “I just want to be able to outsmart them.” He tilted back the rest of his drink, and Hux could see that the dark flecks of moles and freckles on his face continued down his throat. He lost sight of the trail of beauty marks where the boy’s sweater blocked his line of sight. Hux scowled at the sweater.

“So… career criminal then?”

“Something like that,” Ben grinned. He looked almost passable when he smiled.

“And if that doesn’t work out, you can fall back on photography?”

“That’s more or less the plan.” Ben was smiling full watt now, his eyes scrunched up and his slightly uneven teeth showing. Shame about the ears. Truly. Otherwise, though he wasn’t his type, under the right circumstances and with a better haircut, Hux would consider a pity fuck with him.

“Let me get you another,” Hux said motioning to the now empty glass. This would be Ben’s third beer in less than half an hour. Hux hoped he wasn’t making a mistake getting him another one. It would be super embarrassing if there was any drunken begging. If Ben got embarrassing, however, Hux could always foist him back on Gwen and make his escape.

He went back up to the bar for Ben’s beer, not needing a refill on the whiskey he was nursing. No need to get drunk. He would still have time to make it to a different bar and start the agonizing process of picking up a stranger. Or there was always porn on the internet. Or he could just review some papers for class and go to sleep unfulfilled. Again.

It only took him a few minutes to get Ben’s beer, but by the time he turned back to their table, he nearly let out a cry of indignation.

There was a group of two young women and a young man standing next to the table. Everyone was laughing, and Ben had his face turned up towards them from his seat, that radiant smile turned on whomever was talking. One of the girls was gesturing at the young man, a good looking kid who may have had some Italian or Spanish in his bloodline from the look of him.

When Hux got close enough he could hear the girl saying that her friend (the cute guy) was too shy to talk to Ben by himself, but would it be alright if he wanted to get to know Ben better. Hux was about to intervene, as rudely as possible, when Ben spoke up.

“That’s such a sweet offer, but I’m actually here with someone tonight.” He didn’t lose the warmth in his eyes or look the smallest bit annoyed or put out. Then he gestured at Hux, who was standing behind the group awkwardly, drink in hand. Hux scowled at them.

It was really too bad the Spanish boy was unavailable to him right now, Hux thought. Thanks to his obligation to Ben, he wouldn’t be able to hit on him, though he was definitely more in line with Hux’s type.

The boy looked him over with something akin to nervous panic. He was obviously shy and feeling the strain of the situation. The two girls, however, didn’t look very impressed. The one that was speaking to Ben a moment ago took in Hux’s scowling face and told Ben that if he changed his mind, they would be around for awhile. Ben just smiled and told them it had been nice meeting them. Their little party wandered off, the girls putting consoling arms around the young man.

Hux dropped into his seat across from Ben. He stared at him. What in hell was he missing here? Huge ears, goofy haircut, long nose, lips too luscious for such a small jaw… He had nice, intense dark eyes and pretty skin despite, or maybe because of, the beauty marks. He was tall. But otherwise? Hux sipped his drink, perplexed.

“Does that happen to you often?” Hux asked, jerking his head over at the trio across the bar.

“Girls introducing me to their shy gay friends?” Ben asked, eyebrows raised. He was going slower with this drink. Except for being slightly loosened up, the beer hadn’t seemed to affect him much. “I guess I have to admit it’s already happened twice tonight.”

“Twice?” Hux asked, flabbergasted. “It happened before you got here too?”

“No, right after I arrived.”

Hux opened his mouth to say that the only person Ben had talked to after arriving was…


Hux felt stupid.

“I’m not shy,” he responded. “Did Gwen tell you I was shy?”

Ben shrugged his shoulders. They really were amazingly broad.

“She didn’t say much, to be perfectly honest,” Kylo said, slowly twisting his glass on the coaster. “She told me you’re in several of her classes, that you’re smart, and that you’re a redhead.” Ben’s eyes flicked up to Hux’s carefully groomed hair and then back to his face, grinning boyishly.

Hux told himself that nothing funny happened to his stomach when Ben did that. The ears, Hux reminded himself, don’t forget about the crazy ears.

Ben was so not his type. Not at all.

Hux scanned the bar for Gwen. He was beginning to seriously doubt that she understood him or his tastes. This was leading nowhere. He would have to decline any future offers of help in his love life if this was the sort of kid she deemed appropriate.

His eyes landed on the blonde across the room. She was talking animatedly at Mitaka, who just sat there, chin in his hands, gazing adoringly and nodding at everything she said. Sighing, he turned back to Ben.

“Are you from England?” Ben asked. Hux rolled his eyes.

“London. But I’ve lived here since I was a teenager.”

“That would explain it then,” Ben answered. He had pulled the round coaster out from under his drink and was trying to spin it by flicking the edge.

“Explain what?” Hux asked, eyes narrowed at Ben’s fingers as he flicked at the cardboard edge of the coaster.

“Your accent. It’s sort of posh Londoner meets New York businessman.” Ben watched the disc whirl around the tabletop for a few seconds before it hit Hux’s glass and fell over. “With a bit of diva thrown in,” he added, glancing up at Hux and smirking.

Hux flushed with irritation and whiskey. This was not how he’d envisioned his night going. At this point, he didn’t feel up to going to another bar, even if it did mean sacrificing real sex. Again. He would just try and make it through this awkward date long enough to leave without upsetting Gwen.

“So what did she tell you about me? ” Ben asked.

“Not enough, obviously,” Hux replied sourly. Ben just shook his head and spun the coaster again.

“Did you like, owe her a favor or something? Why agree to meet at all?’

“I was under the mistaken opinion that she had good taste in men,” Hux replied.

“Ouch,” Ben laughed, seemingly not much affected by Hux’s lack of interest or manners. He took another sip of beer. The glass was still mostly full. “What would make me acceptable in your book?”

Hux looked him over. Though he had already cataloged the main issues with the kid, he didn’t want to come across like he’d already been thinking about it.

“Are you sure you want an honest answer?”

“Oh, trust me, I can take it,” he responded with another small smile. “There isn’t much I haven’t heard about my looks, or lack thereof.”

“Okay, you asked for it,” Hux sighed. “For starters, you should grow your hair out. You have decent hair, but the shape is all wrong. Plus it would cover up those ears. Which you consider getting pinned back. No, not just consider. Definitely get them pinned back.”

Hux scanned over Ben’s body before continuing.

“You should try and gain some more muscle mass. You have decent proportions, but you’re too lanky. So, yeah, gym membership for sure.”

“Anything else?” Ben asked looking over the rim of his glass as he took a sip.

“I would say get your teeth straightened, but they really aren’t that bad, all considered, and braces are a real turn off.”

“Seriously, that’s it?” Ben asked. “Wow, I kinda feel like I got off light. You don’t want to say anything about my moles or my big schnoz?”

“Not really,” Hux shrugged.

“So all I really need to do is work out and grow my hair?” He laughed as he raised his glass to his full lips. “So in about a year, you’ll go out with me again?”

Hux rolled his eyes. He should not be charmed by this. Not at all. He normally liked to talk about art or current events, relevant things. Not about what hairstyle some weird kid should adopt.

“Look me up and we’ll see,” Hux responded.

“So, are we done for tonight then?” Ben drank the rest of his beer in one go and made to stand up.

“What?” Hux asked, taken off guard. With how slow Ben had been drinking his third beer, he thought that he would have to put up with him for another ten minutes at least. If he had bought him a fourth, then perhaps half an hour. That’s what he had mentally budgeted, and to have the plan change was jarring.

“Well, I’m not your type. Not until next year, anyway,” Ben said with a ghost of a smile. “I guess Gwen is not as good of a matchmaker as she claims.”

“That is certainly true,” Hux responded. “But she doesn’t need to know that right? I mean, I wouldn’t mind another drink, if you don’t.”

Ben looked at him for a moment, appraising. He settled back down into his seat.

“I guess that would be okay,” he said. “I’ll take one more of the same.”

Up at the bar, Hux mentally kicked himself. The kid had almost left, with no hard feelings, no drama. And Hux had stopped him. Why had he done that? He looked over where the group of two girls and the shy kid were sitting, giggling together. Had Ben wanted to go join them? Well, that was enough of a reason to have stopped him. Ben was his date, whether or not he wanted him.

Plus it would be rude to Gwen, not to mention that Mitaka was on cloud nine at the moment, eye-level with nice breasts and animated hands. He looked like a worshiper at the feet of his idol.

Hux finally got Ben’s beer and another whiskey for himself. Last one, he decided. He’d still be able to drive the short distance home. He was barely feeling his first one. He headed back to the table.

“Oh for fucks sake,” he said when he saw the thirty-year-old guy from early at the bar in his seat. “He’s my goddamned date, ” he told the guy. “Show some respect.”

The guy looked at Ben for a second, pouted his bottom lip out at him, which made Ben laugh, and then slipped out of the seat.

“Sorry, man,” the guy said. “I woulda kicked myself later if I hadn’t at least tried. You are a lucky son of a bitch.” He thumped Hux on the back hard enough to jostle him and slosh the beer down the side of the glass.

“Seriously,” Hux said, sitting down and arranging their drinks, grabbing some napkins for his hand and the table where the beer was pooling. “What is with you? Are you expelling pheromones I don’t detect, or something?”

Ben lifted his arm and sniffed. Hux wrinkled his nose.

“Not that I’m aware of.”

“Is this normal for you?” Hux persisted.

“Is what normal for me?” Ben asked, a cute puzzled look on his face.

“Being swarmed by admirers everywhere you go.”

“Um, people like to talk to me sometimes, I guess,” Ben said. “I dunno. Maybe they feel sorry for me because of the ears,” he laughed. “Or they lost a bet with their friends.” He grinned into the fresh beer.

Hux looked at him with a jaw that had gone a little slack.

“Are you telling me you think all the people you've talked to tonight have lost bets with friends?”

“Oh tonight?” Ben asked, looking surprised. “No one’s hit on me tonight.”

Hux felt like he was losing his mind.

“Ben, the woman at the bar, the three friends, plus the guy that was just sitting here. They all were hitting on you.”

Ben’s brown eyes got wide.

“No,” he insisted, “they were just being friendly. Lot’s of people are friendly with me.”

Hux dropped his head in his hands, trying not to mess up his hair. He took a calming sip of whiskey.

“Um, okay,” Hux continued, “so how often do these friendly people give you their phone number?”

“Oh, all the time. But that’s not weird. People like making connections and meeting new friends.”

“Ben, for the love of… please tell me you are just messing with me right now.”

A slow smile spread over Ben’s face. Something in it was unsettling, not the sweet kid from before, but something predatory in the depths of his eyes, in the edges of his smile.

“Maybe just a bit,” he answered, and winked.

Just as Hux’s was going to ask a few more questions and try to figure the kid out, Gwen stepped up to their table with Mitaka in tow.

“I think Mitaka has had a bit too much to drink,” Gwen said. Hux looked at his friend who had both arms wrapped around one of Gwen’s, his head barely reaching up to her shoulder. He seemed to be swaying slightly and had the most beautiful serene expression on his face. Hux gave a chuckle.

“I only bought him one more drink,” Hux said. “It wasn’t even a strong one.”

“I may have bought him one or two more,” Gwen admitted. Mitaka thought that was hilarious and couldn’t stop giggling. He turned his round face into Gwen’s arm and hiccuped and laughed at the same time.

“Hmm,” Hux said. “I really don’t need him throwing up in my car.”

Gwen sighed.

“I’ll take him,” she said, looking down at Mitaka who was nodding his assent vigorously. “Do you mind dropping Ben off? He’s not too far from you.”

Hux flashed his eyes over at Ben, who just sipped his beer and didn’t offer his opinion either way.

“Yeah, sure,” Hux said after a minute. “If he’s okay with that.”

“Sure,” Ben said, giving a quick smile.

“Alright, let’s get you to bed, little man,” Gwen said to the the adoring idiot wrapped around her arm. “See you later, Hux.”

Hux nodded. Gwen turned to Ben and look passed between them. Ben nodded as Gwen held his eyes for a beat too long. She patted his shoulder and then the blonde beauty strolled out with her new devotee clinging like a barnacle.

“I’m not sure if I’m going to want to hear that story tomorrow,” Hux said, inclining his head toward the closing door.

“Me either,” Ben agreed. “That is, if the little guy even makes it out alive.”

Their eyes met and Hux snorted.

“Maybe I should have defended his honor better,” Hux said. “Though he’s had a thing for her for ages, so even if she maimes him, he’ll probably consider it worth it.”

“Oh god, stop,” Ben said, covering his ears and laughing. Hux smiled back before his grin melted away. Ben’s face looked strange without the ears visible. He looked older.

They each finished their drinks in silence. The music and the chatter around them seemed to be getting louder, though that was probably just his imagination. Hux took his last sip and then checked in with his body. He felt a slight buzz off to the edges of his brain, but nothing strong enough to prevent him from driving.

“Ready?” Hux asked. Ben nodded and slid out of his seat.

They walked out into autumn weather that was still pleasant, though there was a chill in the air.  Hux was relieved at the relative silence as they walked to his car. It always took him a few minutes to decompress from environments that called for him to be around a bunch of people.

By the time they were climbing into his sleek car, Hux felt like he could tolerate some more conversation with Ben. He asked for his address first, and was surprised at just how close it was to his apartment. Ben asked where he lived and they talked about their neighborhoods for a bit.

“Do you ever go to Finney’s Bakery?” Ben asked, his eyes shining. “They have the best baklava in the city.”

“I know the place you’re talking about,” Hux said, thinking of the small shop a few blocks over from him. “I’ve gotten french bread there before. It was decent.”

“Well, you haven’t lived until you’ve had some of their sweets. Those are their specialty.”

“I suppose I could try them sometime. I don’t buy a lot of sweets, though.”

“I don’t either, but that’s just because I’d eat them all immediately,” Ben said. “No self control.”

Hux let his eye wander over Ben just for a moment as he turned a corner. That was not sexy, Hux told himself. He did not say that to be sexy. That is just something people say. It’s an expression. It doesn’t mean he would be open to wild, intense sex…

He had to stop that line of thought, because his dick had taken notice and was getting involved in negotiations. Not good, Hux’s brain reminded him. Not your type.

“Oh, there’s a wine and beer shop right on that corner too, right? Next to Finney’s?” Ben asked.

“Yeah, that one I go to all the time,” Hux said. “P. Dameron’s. They have a decent craft spirits selection. And beers, too, I think. Though that’s not really my thing.”

“Do you know if they have Imperial Dark Ale?” Ben asked, his face lighting up. “I’ve never thought to look there. Gwen got me addicted to it last month.”

“I don’t know,” Hux admitted. “We could take a look. I need to pick up a new bottle of whiskey anyhow.”

“Awesome!” Ben replied, looking out the window for the shop like an excited puppy.

Hux parked the car carefully, and they clambered out. The inside of the shop smelled like paint and old wood. The dim light pooled over orange walls and gleaming racks of bottles. Ben started going through the beer section, which was sizable, and Hux wandered over to the craft spirits display.

Hux found his brand and pulled a bottle off the shelf. He wandered back to where Ben was looking through various brown bottles. Hux looked at a few of the labels, interested by some of the odd flavor pairings.

There was a delighted cry next to him, and Ben fished out a six pack of black bottles.

“They do have it,” he said excitedly. “I need to come here more often.”

Hux set his whisky on the counter and waited for Ben. He motioned for him to put the beer on the counter too.

“Are you sure?” Ben asked.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” Hux answered.

The owner came out of the back and smiled at Hux pleasantly. Then he noticed Ben.

“Oh, hey man, how are you?” Poe, the shop’s charismatic owner asked Ben, a smile lighting up his face.

“Hey, Poe,” Ben said, smiling back. “Sorry I haven’t been in for awhile. Now that I know you have Imperial Dark, I’ll be here all the time.”

“Gwen finally got to you, did she?” Poe laughed. Ben smiled. “Well, you know you are welcome here anytime.” Poe dropped his voice lower for a moment, glancing at Hux and then back at Ben. “Thursdays are my day off, you know, in case you ever wanted to take me up on my offer for dinner.”

Hux gaped at him as he ran Hux’s card through the machine without checking either of their IDs. He bagged up the whiskey in paper as Ben just laughed.

“Maybe some other week, Poe. Midterms are coming.”

Poe sighed.

“Okay, sure kid. Just know the offer stands, alright?”

“Right. See ya, Poe,” Ben smiled. Hux followed him out of the shop and unlocked the car. Once they were both inside, Hux just stared at Ben for a second. The kid looked back. They sized each other up for a few moments.

“My place?” Hux asked.

“Sounds good,” Ben answered. Hux put the car in gear and pulled out into the street. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he saw a look of triumph flash in Ben’s dark eyes before he turned to look out the window.

They were barely inside the door before Hux attacked Ben. He shoved him up against the entrance wall and went straight for the throat that he hadn’t been able to stop thinking about since watching him drink at the bar. His lips and teeth devoured the spot just below Ben’s adam apple. He could feel it bob as Ben swallowed at the suddenness of the attack.

Hux had just managed to get the whiskey and beer safely to the floor before he jumped the kid, and now their hands were free to grab at clothing. Hux tugged Ben’s sweater off over his head, revealing a faded black t-shirt beneath it. He pulled back to admire the new look. It looked good. Much better than the sweater. His arms were nice. Bigger than Hux had expected. And while he still felt that Ben ought to gain a little more muscle, he was more solid than his stooped-height had initially hinted.

While he was admiring the view, Ben worked open the buttons of Hux’s shirt and was peeling it back. Hux quickly undid the cuffs and Ben pulled it the rest of the way off. Ben’s huge warm hands wandered all over Hux’s chest and back, pawing him through his white cotton undershirt.

Hux went back to sucking and biting that glorious long neck, following the trail of beauty marks down. This time, when fabric got in his way, he simply pulled it off over Ben’s head. He pushed Ben back against the wall once the shirt was gone and made an appreciative sound as he looked at the newly exposed flesh.

He didn’t think he’d ever been with someone as pale as himself. Normally Hux liked the contrast of his own alabaster skin against darker, richer-colored men. But there was something thrilling about pushing Ben back, his hand spread wide on the boy’s chest, pale skin melding together like two marble statues locked in battle.

His hands trailed down Ben’s beautiful chest, absorbing the warmth and taking note of the different angles and planes of his torso. His mouth soon followed, and he couldn’t help but leave small love bits across the broad shoulders and over the sharp collarbones.

Ben pulled Hux’s undershirt off of him, and he only noticed because it obscured his access to Ben’s skin for a moment as it slipped over his head. Hux was instantly back at Ben’s throat, his hands roaming over the skin of his sides and lower back as he pressed his own naked torso forward.

Ben was so warm and all encompassing, folding over Hux and enveloping him. For a moment Hux’s brain skipped out on him and all he could think of was feeling safe. Feeling loved. He clung to Ben’s shoulders for a moment, his mouth pressed into the fold of Ben’s neck and shoulder. Why would he feel that way? Hux never felt safe. He never felt loved. He had only just met this kid.

Dangerous, his mind flashed in urgent warning. This is new, unexpected, and therefore not good. Get rid of him before this goes any farther.

Hux felt the tension loosen around his waist and then the discordant jingle of his belt buckle hanging open as Ben undid his button and fly. The trousers fell over his legs and then Ben was working on his own jeans. The kid slid down the wall and made short work of Hux’s shoes and then his own. They each stepped out of their trousers and shoes, yanking off their socks, leaving their forlorn piles of clothes by the door as Hux pushed Ben back towards the bedroom, not letting up the attack on his throat.

Hux liked the feeling of steering the larger man backwards through the dark space. He liked the feeling of Ben taking small cautious steps behind himself on his long bare feet, checking his footing before he leaned his weight back.

They finally made it to the bedroom, and by then Hux had made an impressive collar of marks around Ben’s smooth throat. He turned on the bedside lamp and admired his work before grabbing condoms and lube out of the bedside table. He tossed them on the bed and then moved to tug at the edge of Ben’s briefs. This time he paused and looked at Ben for permission. Ben nodded and Hux pulled the briefs down to his impressively thick thighs before gravity took over and they fell to the floor.

Hux made quick work of his own underwear and then took a moment to admire the impressive sight in front of him. Ben looked very good naked. Very good. Hux took a moment to appreciate his strange face in connection with his revealed body and realized something.

Ben was beautiful.

It was a rather shocking discovery, but it jolted him into action.

He grabbed Ben’s hard biceps and guided him back onto the bed. They shifted up a few times until Ben’s long legs were all the way on the mattress. Hux changed his grip so he was holding the undersides of Ben’s arms next to his head while he bit and sucked at his jaw.

Hux wasn’t sure how it happened, but he was suddenly kissing right behind one of the silly ears, and the kid was moaning beneath him, and damn if that wasn’t the sexiest thing ever. Then Hux’s mouth was sucking on the earlobe and he was swirling his tongue in the looping grooves of Ben’s ear and the moans he was getting in return were truly obscene.

The whiskey may not have affected him earlier, but it felt like it hit full force now. This kid was making him drunk.

Hux was usually precise and controlled in his sexual encounters. He took time choosing his partners carefully to make sure they met all of his specific standards before he approached them. There were rarely any surprises. Most of them even looked alike. It was stress relief with a bit of ego stroking thrown in. Nothing more.

With Ben, he knew nothing for certain. He was a wild card. Hux would have never targeted him as a potential sexual conquest. He looked nothing like the carefully proportioned model-types Hux usually went for. He was unusual. He was a rare and welcome find.

Hux pulled away and had Ben turn onto his stomach. He was wonderfully pliant beneath him, responding quickly to the small directions Hux gave with his hands and eyes. Once the long naked back was exposed to him, Hux began giving it the same attention. He completed the collar of love bites he’d started around his throat, carrying the dark ring around the back of his neck, over the vertebrae, and connecting it to the other side.

Hux sat back to admire his handiwork and in the process felt the gloriously rounded ass beneath his own. He slipped down the man’s back, trailing fingers, teeth and tongue as he went, at last leaning over his lower back. Hux wrapped his arms under Ben’s stomach and could feel the head of his cock pressing against his forearm. Hux kissed the divots in his lower back, worshiped them with his tongue.

Time meant nothing. Only the soft sounds of pleasure in Ben’s low voice, the taste of smooth, perfect skin...

Hux turned his attention to the flesh of Ben’s ass cheeks, kissing and gently biting, but not leaving any marks. When he could feel himself growing impatient with own his teasing, Hux moved his mouth over the mound of Ben’s left glute and sucked a perfect mouth-shaped bruise onto the skin.

Pulling back, he rubbed a thumb over it, loving the dark shape against all that creamy skin.

“Can I have you, Ben?” Hux asked. They hadn’t had the usual talk he liked to get out of the way with partners before any clothes were off. This was already feeling so alien to him, so uncontrolled, that he was glad he remembered to ask at all, and that thought brought him up short. But Ben was already hiking himself up on his knees, offering himself for prep.

“Yes,” was the breathless verbal answer. Hux smoothed long trailing strokes down Ben’s back, soothing him and getting him to relax before even opening the lube. Ben was hanging heavy between his legs, so Hux knew he was aroused, but his posture was extremely rigid.

“Are you okay? You seem tense,” Hux murmured gently, still soothing him with his hands, running the flats up and down on either side of his spine.

“Should I do the prep myself?” Ben asked.

“Is that what you usually prefer?”


“What do you normally do?” Hux asked, rather hoping he would let Hux touch him. He rubbed one thumb over Ben’s tailbone, waiting, wanting.

No sound from the other man. Instead Hux felt him tense up even more and hold his breath.

Oh god.

Holy fuck.

“Ben, is this your first time?”

Ben sunk back down to his belly and looked over his shoulder with wide eyes. He gave a small nod. Hux knew his own face must have registered shock and Ben turned away and dropped his head into one of the pillows, hiding there.

There was an odd spasm in Hux’s stomach then. Something primitive and urgent. His green eyes raked over Ben’s beautiful back.

Mine, something in him whispered. Mine. This belongs to me. Hux shuddered.

He recovered himself enough to climb over Ben’s thigh and lie down next to him. He began stroking his hand through Ben’s soft hair, willing him to show his face.

Hux tried not to be selfish, though it was difficult. He wanted him more then ever now, and that thought alone freaked him out a little bit. Sex and never been about possession for him before. Now, suddenly, it was. He wanted to be this boy’s first. He knew he could do it well, make it an experience he may want to repeat. Maybe even with him. His heart gave an odd throb.

This is not good, his brain warned. This is something way more intimate than stress relief.

Hux continued to card through that mass of thick hair and stroke down Ben’s smooth back, over the collar of bruises. Hux’s stomach twisted in an uncomfortable mix of shame and delight at the marks. The collar was not a first time type of activity. Hux decided he had completely lost his mind.

“We don’t have to do anything,” Hux said softly. We can just go sit in the living room for a bit until you feel better. You can have some of your beer if you feel like it. I promise to take you home whenever you wa--”

“Do you still want me?” Ben’s head tilted back and his burning face appeared over the edge of the pillow. God, he was beautiful. Why hadn’t Hux noticed before?

“Fuck yes,” Hux responded, and then swallowed. Get a grip, Hux. “But I won’t be mad if you want to stop. I mean, we only just met tonight and if you need more time to decide--”

“No I want to,” Ben said, interrupting him a second time. “I just might need you to, um, give me some guidance.” Ben’s face was burning with his blush. Hux fought to breathe, to remember to ask questions.

“Do you know the basic mechanics?”

“Oh yeah, I know all the steps, I’ve just never gotten this far before.”

Why was this kid so endearing?

Hux was surprised at how much he just wanted to bundle Ben up in his arms and kiss him gently, caress his face as he whispered sweet nothings into his adorable ear.  

He took a shuddering breath. Then he took Ben’s hip and rolled him until he was on his side facing Hux. He reached between their bodies and took Ben’s flagging erection in his hand. After just a few strokes he was hard again and moaning softly.

Hux licked his lips because they suddenly felt dry.

How was he ever going to last long enough for this? It had been quite awhile since he’d set aside any time for stress relief activities of any sort, involving others or or just his hand. He had been too busy. Which meant now he was going to have to try extra extra hard not to lose it the moment he was inside Ben.

The man moaned again and thrust into Hux’s fist, his mouth parted and his body straining to push forward. Hell, Hux thought he might even come from the sight of Ben like this and not even make it to the part where his was inside him. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to center himself.

Ben was panting when he rolled back onto his knees and lifted his hips again. Hux slicked his right hand.

“Tell me at any point to stop, and I will,” Hux said. Dammit, he really should have slowed down earlier and had the proper pre-sex talk with him. Why was he so out of control with him? Thank god he had realized this was his first time before he had done anything too serious. His eyes flashed to the necklace of bites and then away.

Hux took a deep breath to steady himself and refocus on Ben. His dark head was dropped down on the triangle of his forearms and he was trembling slightly. He still seemed tense, but it wasn’t as bad as before.

He rubbed his left hand over Ben’s back in smooth circles as he softly dragged his lubed fingers up Ben’s crack and found his tight entrance. Hux didn’t breech him, but rubbed at the ring of muscle carefully with the pad of his finger, the motion in time with the circles he was making on Ben’s lower back.

He felt Ben relaxing under him and let his finger press a little more eagerly against his opening until it slipped in with no resistance. Hux stilled his finger inside him but let the palm of his left hand slide over Ben’s flank, brush across his stomach, and take light hold of his cock.

Ben gave a small cry and moved only a fraction before stilling again. Hux swallowed hard and stroked him gently, keeping the touch just on the right side of ticklish. He paused to add more lube to the finger working inside Ben, and then went back to his careful administrations, getting deeper and deeper within Ben’s body. He gave him plenty of time to adjust before adding a second finger. Ben tensed at the additional intrusion, only for a moment, before opening up for him.

Several more minutes of careful prep and gentle stroking followed before Hux curled his fingers down and stroked smooth fingertips along Ben’s prostate. The dark head flung up off his arms and he let out a primal moan. Hux was instantaneously overwhelmed by the sight and sound of him and found himself moaning in return.

His brain tried one more feeble attempt at reason. This is dangerous, it said. This is too much. You are going to get addicted, you witless fuck, and you will never be able to have normal, stress relief, easy sex ever again.

Hux looked at the mouth shaped mark on Ben’s ass cheek and moaned again.

“Jesus, Ben, you’re so beautiful.” Well shit, his brain said. You’re on your own then.

Ben gave a little huffing laugh into his arms, only to push back and moan like an animal as Hux pressed his fingers repeatedly against the sensitive gland buried deep in his body

“Oh god,” Ben breathed, “I can feel it everywhere. That is, it’s, oh fuck .”

Hux wasn’t even inside him yet and he could already feel the pressure of words in his throat, against his tongue, wanting to spill out and bathe Ben in praise for everything from his looks to his voice to his wicked sense of humor. His brain didn’t even bother to come online to inform Hux that he was lost. He already knew.

A third finger and then Hux was twisting his wrist, his fingers feeling all around inside of Ben, the smooth walls tensing and releasing. He was still stroking Ben’s length slowly and gently with his other hand, and Ben was sucking in sobbing breaths, lifting his head only to let it fall back on his arms again.

“Can I?” Hux asked, voice wrecked. “Are you ready?”

Ben rubbed his face on his forearms, nodding as he sucked in another breath.

“Yes,” he said, the word dry and light, barely a whisper.

Hux let go of Ben’s cock and ripped a condom packet open with his teeth. He tried to keep his fingers moving steadily inside Ben while he rolled the condom up his length and added extra lube to his covered shaft.  

He nudged the inside of Ben’s legs to get him to spread a little wider and get into a better position for Hux to enter him. Hux pulled his slick fingers out and slipped the head of his cock into the ring of stretched muscle. Ben froze up up for a moment, breathing hard. Hux rubbed gently over his back again.

“Relax your muscles, Ben,” Hux murmured. “You’re doing so good.” He stroked his back a bit more and felt the tension draining away. Hux slid forward an inch and stopped. “How is that? Too much?”

“It sort of burns?” Ben shifted his weight slightly. “But it’s also good?” He pushed back a little more against Hux. “It’s starting to feel better, you’re just, uh, big.

Hux felt his face get hot. He felt the ridiculous urge to thank him for the comment. Instead he huffed and then reached for Ben’s cock again. Ben gasped, and after a few moments, he was pushing his weight back against Hux.

Hux could do nothing but curl his body in such a way that he could still stroke Ben and watch him impale himself back onto Hux at the same time. He moaned as the rest of his length slowly got swallowed up by Ben’s body.

Once he was seated and Ben had adjusted, Hux started rocking his hips. He switched his left hand on Ben’s shaft to his lubed right hand, and fell forward to brace himself on the bed, curled over Ben’s wide back.

Hux concentrated on angling for Ben’s prostate. He knew that as long as he gave himself a task, another step in the ‘give this kid a great first time’ program he was trying to run, he would be able to detach himself partially from the delicious sounds Ben was making beneath him. His main goal at the moment was to not come before Ben, and it was the loftiest goal he had ever set for himself. It rated far above his thesis in terms of lofty aspirations.

An undeniably heady moan reverberated into the mattress. Prostate located.

Ben was coming apart under him, maintaining just enough height with his hips to be able to thrust back to meet Hux. Otherwise, he had melted into a moaning puddle, his voice so obviously out of his control, every breath filled with sound.

Hux set a smooth pace a few notches below frantic rutting, and concentrated on twisting his slick hand around Ben’s shaft, pulling down to the head on every-other thrust. He could feel Ben tensing around him, gathering up his muscles like he was getting ready to leap. The beautiful noise from his throat faltered for just a moment, as his head and body arched back, breathless, suspended in midair before the drop. Hux bit his own lip hard, and then Ben was coming, thick stripes of white spurting over Hux’s hand and the duvet cover below.

Hux snapped his hips a few more times and came harder than he ever had in his life.

That Saturday morning would forever stand out in Hux’s memory as being the worst Saturday of his entire existence. In fact, it put him off Saturday mornings for months afterwards.

He made sure, for about nine solid weeks, that he always planned some event or meeting that started as early as possible. He made breakfast and coffee dates with friends, arranged early morning weekend study groups that were not well attended, and started going to workout classes, just so that when he woke up, alone in bed, he knew he was expected somewhere else and had to roll out immediately and get ready.

In theory, this meant he had less time to stare at the empty spot next to him, or to roll over and try and smell a scent that no longer lingered on the spare pillow. In reality, he just had busier weekends that made the apartment feel all the more vacant when he returned.

It had jarred him much more than he wanted to ever admit, waking up alone after the best sex of his life. He had sat staring at the indent in the feather pillow, incredulous and stunned, for far too long.

Even though it had been dead quiet in the apartment, he had still gone looking for Ben. His clothes were gone from the hallway and he had left a somewhat neat stack of Hux’s clothes on a chair. The whiskey was on the kitchen island alongside one bottle of Imperial Dark Ale.

He didn’t leave a note. Or his phone number.

Hux waited until after lunch to text Gwen. Hux thanked her for introducing him to Ben.

Did you two hit it off after all?

Hux looked at Gwen’s text and bit his lip while replying.

Yeah. Turns out you have ok taste in men.

Hmm. Jury is still out on that. I did end up driving a drunken hobbit home last night.

Please just tell me he survived. I have gotten used to him. It would be annoying to replace him on such short notice.

Last I checked he was still breathing.

Gwen, is Mitaka still there?! Wait! I don’t want to know. Hey, can I get Ben’s number?

He didn’t give it to you?


Well, let me check with him. Is it ok if I give him yours?

Of course.

Will do. See you Monday in class.

See you.

Hux checked his phone every ten minutes for the next eight hours. After that, he was able to cut it back to every half an hour, and then every hour. It took two weeks to sink in that Ben wasn’t ever going to call.

After that, he stopped begging Gwen for his number.

Three years into his career, Hux got a huge promotion. He was the youngest vice president in the history of the company. He had proved himself worthy of the honor by working tirelessly, putting in long hours and giving up his private life completely. Many of the initiatives that saw their stocks increase in value were due solely to Hux’s efforts.

Hux told himself this is what he always wanted.

He moved to a new apartment and replaced all his furniture, including his bed. He wasn’t at home when the movers hauled it away.

He kept one pillowcase from his old sheet set, slipped away at the back of the linen closet in his new place. He never touched it, but he didn’t throw it away, either.

His promotion coincided with the conclusion of an immensely successful campaign, one that his company was going to celebrate in style. Hundreds of people were coming. There were going to be speeches.

Hux loved giving speeches.

What he wasn’t looking forward to was everything else about the party. Everyone at the office was talking about what date they were bringing, or how their significant other was spending way too much money on a new outfit (but who could blame them, this party was going to be bigger than Christmas).

A question he heard almost every day leading up to the celebration was: Who’s the lucky man you’re inviting, Hux?

He hadn’t planned on asking anyone. He had been adamant about it until he discovered that two of his employees had designs on him, and were determined to out-maneuver each other to get him alone and bring him home after the party.

In the end, he called Gwen.

She had given him her business card at a New Year’s party last year. He had run into her on accident, and they caught up while sipping expensive gin and tonics.

“An escort service?” he had asked, dumbfounded.

“Yes, believe it or not,” Gwen had responded, her golden hair slicked back in a careful helmet of pomade. She looked sleek and dangerous. “Turns out I have a knack for keeping men in line.”

Hux snorted.

“I have no doubt about that.”

“Hux,” she said, laying her hand over his for a brief second before pulling away her icy fingers. “Call me sometime. I’ll set you up with someone good. The rates aren’t cheap, but you can afford them.”

His eyes sought her’s out. So many thoughts and wordless emotions flooded up into his mind suddenly, she must have been able to read it on his face.

“Just call me,” Gwen had said. Then she was standing up with her drink in hand and wandering off to another section of the party.

Hux tapped the card on his desk, thinking about the upcoming event.

He paced the marble floor and tried not to fidget with his bow tie. Hux was early, as usual. He had arranged to meet the escort in the smaller lobby of the hotel, away from the throng of arriving guests. That way, if it didn’t seem like he and the escort were going to hit it off, Hux would pay the retainer fee plus a handsome tip, and cancel for the night. He would just have to avoid the two idiots from the office and hope they didn’t slip anything into his drink in an attempt to win their stupid bet.

The lobby was very private. He hadn’t seen anyone walk through the entire time he had been waiting. It felt forlorn somehow, and not a little bit pathetic. Here he was, waiting in an abandoned lobby for an escort to accompany him to his own party for what was supposed to be a highlight of his life.

He felt empty, like there were footsteps reverberating inside his abandoned shell of a body, headed nowhere. He shrugged. Enough of this.

He had accepted he would never be happy. It just wasn’t in the cards for him. But he could be successful. And rich. So that’s what he would be. And, when necessary, he would pass off expensive escorts as his boyfriend.

The door at the end of the hall opened, letting in a cool gust of air. Hux took his hands out of his pockets and straightened his jacket before looking up to introduce himself to the person headed straight for him.

The tall man, dressed in a tux, stopped short several feet away. Hux was in the middle of forming a smile and asking if his name was Kylo -- the man Gwen assured him was the right fit for him -- when he stopped like he’d hit a brick wall.

Before he started trembling, Hux had just enough brainpower left to think truly violent thoughts about Gwen. Then he was sitting down in one of the overly padded lobby chairs with his head in his hands, trying not to hyperventilate.

Ben, Kylo, whatever, was kneeling on the plush carpet next to him, telling him to breathe.

“What are you doing here?” Hux finally managed, his throat still trying to figure out breathing, let alone talking.

No no no no. If Ben was one of Gwen escorts, then that means that… that when they met the first time… oh god. No no no no no.

Kylo was reaching out to him, trying to soothe him. His deep brown eyes were huge and worried. Hux couldn’t help but notice the tremor in the large hands that were attempting to touch him. Hux knocked the hands away, suddenly blind with rage.

“You were a fucking escort? ” Hux nearly screamed, just barely able to keep his voice from carrying down the hotel hallway. He looked at Ben, Kylo, with betrayal clear in his eyes. Hux was horrified to discover that the room was beginning to blur and swim, the lights casting out long streamers of gold as tears welled up in his eyes.

Hux never cried. Not ever. How dare this man make him cry.

“It wasn’t like that!” Kylo pleaded. He was still kneeling in front of Hux’s chair. His long fingers were gripping the armrests, caging Hux in.

“Who paid you to seduce me? Oh my god, I’m such a fool,” Hux covered his face with his hands. He wanted to gouge his own eyes out rather than look at Ben. Kylo.

“No one paid me, Hux. It really wasn’t like that.” Kylo tired to pull his hands away from his face. “Look at me. Please. Hux…”

Hux fought him off, flinging the warm hands away.

“So, what, did you and Gwen get together the next day and laugh at me?” Hux asked, glancing at him but not looking at him full on. He looked fucking beautiful too, with his hair shoulder length. “I bet you shared a good chuckle when she told you how many times I begged her for your goddamned number.”

Kylo’s face did something funny then. Hux looked a bit closer to try and make out what it was.

“You asked her for my number?” He seemed genuinely surprised. Something about it had also apparently made him uncomfortable, because now he was having a hard time meeting Hux’s eyes.

“Like you didn’t know,” Hux said in as ugly a voice as he could muster. God, to think he had spent years trying to get over that one perfect night with Ben, only to find out it was all fucking fake.

“I really didn’t, Hux, you gotta believe me,” Kylo was looking into his eyes again. He looked almost scared. “When I asked about you, Gwen told me you weren’t interested.”

Hux’s jaw dropped. He lost it again.

“Not interested?” He was yelling. He was most definitely yelling. “Do you know how many times I went to Finney’s and P. Dameron’s bloody shops just hoping to run into you, like a creepy stalker? And I didn’t even know your last fucking name, so I had no way to find you. There are thousands of Bens in this city, did you know that? I think I looked at every goddamn one of their social media pages. And you don’t even go by Ben, do you? That’s probably not even your real fucking name.

“No, it is,” he said, eyes still wide, still kneeling before Hux, keeping him in the chair. “Ben, Ben Solo. I go by Kylo Ren though, for Gwen’s business.”

Hux felt destroyed. He felt melted; a chocolate bar left on a car dash in summer. His muscles didn’t want to cooperate, the adrenaline betraying him, making him weak instead of strong.

“Why?” Hux asked, helpless and delicate. “Why did you do this to me?”

Kylo was wiping his own face with the back of one massive hand. When he looked back at Hux, he was composed, though his eyes were still too wide, his face too earnest.

“I will tell you everything, but we need to get you to the party. Gwen didn’t say it was you I was meeting, but she explained that this is your big night, and you’re, what, giving a speech?” As Kylo talked he grabbed Hux by the arms and hoisted him to his feet like he weighed nothing. He had apparently been working out. He was solid with muscle. Hux would have laughed if he wasn’t a burned-out hollow core of nothingness.

“My speech,” Hux sighed. “Yes.” He checked his watch. “I’m supposed to go on in half an hour. Then there’s a dinner…” He trailed off, watching Kylo as he quickly straightened out both their tuxes. “So,” he said to the man he had been dreaming of for nearly four years, “do I get my money's worth tonight?” Kylo looked at him warily as he fixed Hux’s tie. “Or since I got a freebie last time, should I consider your body off-limits?”

“We’ll talk about it later, Hux. Let’s get you ready to go on stage okay?” Kylo took his arm, and Hux jerked away. Kylo sighed. “You don’t want it to look like you and your boyfriend just had a fight before your event, do you? Come on, speech now, screaming at me later.”

Hux stared at him, a muscle in his jaw twitching. “I can’t tell people you’re my boyfriend,” Hux hissed. Kylo sighed again.

“I can wait for you until after the party if you prefer to go alone, and we can talk then.”

“Oh, and I bet I have to pay your entire fee regardless,” Hux snapped. He knew he was being petty, but he could barely think, his mind fuzzing and popping. This can’t be happening.

“I’m not going to take your money,” Kylo said, trying to grab his arm again. Hux let him but only because he was startled by what he had said.

“Won’t your pimp be mad?”

Kylo huffed and rolled his eyes.

“Gwen’s not a pimp. I’m not a prostitute.” Kylo was pulling him along the hallway towards the ballroom. He paused in front of a mirror mounted on the wall over a decorative table to let Hux get his hair in order. “So you could sort of look at it like this is an actual date,” Kylo said. “We know each other through a mutual friend and no one is paying anyone for anything.” His brown eyes darted to the corner to peep at Hux. Hux scowled.

“This is shitty.”

“I know,” Kylo said.

“We will talk after?”

“I swear.”

It was Hux’s turn to roll his eyes.

“Okay, fine. But I’m still pissed.”

They stopped in front of the door to the party and looked at each other for a moment. Kylo gave him a small smile and gently chucked him under the chin.

“I am going to kill Gwen,” Kylo said.

“Not if I get to her first,” Hux muttered as he threw open the door to his illustrious celebration.

They only had to mingle for about fifteen minutes before Hux went backstage to get prepared for his speech. They talked to a few people during that time, and if Hux hadn’t been frantically trying to recall every detail of his first meeting with Ben and mentally sputtering over how beautiful he was, he really would have been very impressed with how sweet and natural Kylo was with everyone. He kept to the real story close enough, that they had been introduced through friends back in their college days, and had just recently rekindled their relationship.

The way Kylo smiled at him when he told their story to one of the firm’s main investors made Hux’s heart squeeze in a very uncomfortable way.

He really was going to murder Gwen.

“I need a room for the night,” Hux told the front desk person.

After the speeches and the dinner, Hux stayed only long enough to be considered polite, talking to the people he absolutely could not leave without speaking to. Then he darted a look at Kylo and walked steadily to the main lobby, a tall, tux-clad shadow following him silently.

Keycard in hand, he stormed over to the elevators and aggressively stabbed his finger at the button. Kylo stood next to him not saying a word, just looking at him with something like concern on his face.

The elevator arrived and they stepped inside. Hux hit the button for their floor and then slumped against the opposite wall. He finally allowed his gaze to travel over the other man. Kylo looked back at him with his soulful eyes and Hux felt his inner machinery grind to a halt, all his inner parts fused into a pile of useless junk. Four fucking years of just trying to get by, all because of a… a whore.

He felt his breathing turn ragged as he stared at the other man, the phantom that had haunted his dreams and made all other hook-ups feel like water after wine.

Hux escaped the elevator as soon as the doors opened and searched for the correct room number without registering anything else around him. He didn’t take note of the color of the carpet or the pictures on the walls, or even the smell of the cleaning products that hung in the air.

He found the correct number and ran the card through the slot with a trembling hand. The handle clicked and he twisted it forcefully, flinging the door open and snapping on the light. He didn’t see the room, didn’t take any note of the one large bed along the wall or the sweep of the city outside. He turned when he heard the door click closed, and all he could see was Kylo. In perfect 20/20 focus.

It took less than three seconds to get his hand locked at the back of Kylo’s head, right at the base of his skull, all that smooth soft hair grasped between his knuckles. His hand pulled as his body pushed and then he was smashed up against that long, muscular torso, pressing him into the wall.

His mind flitted back to the last time -- the only time -- Hux had this body pressed to the plaster in his entryway. Hux looked over Kylo’s face up close, expecting to see a transformed person looking back, not a sweet, eccentric boy, but a devious, cunning man. Instead, Ben was looking back at him. The same Ben that had made Hux’s will run like melted butter nearly four years ago. The same skin, same beauty marks. The eyes just as rich and full of personality as he remembered.

Hux couldn’t look in those eyes. He couldn’t. So he ducked his head and began devouring Kylo’s throat. Even the taste was the same. I’m lost, I’m lost, kept running through his mind, keeping an even pace with his sprinting rage.

He only stopped when large hands were pushing him back, gently, forcing his lips away from the soft warm skin that he wanted to ruin. Hux saw the eyes again so full of… what exactly? If it was pity… Oh god, don’t let it be pity.


“What? Do you need more money?” Hux fumbled out his wallet and grabbed all the cash inside, flinging it at Kylo’s feet. Hundred dollar bills fluttered through the air like confetti, settling over Kylo’s polished black shoes and the hotel carpet. Kylo didn’t even look at the money. His eyes were flashing dangerously, latched onto Hux.

“I am not a prostitute.” His hands were clenching into fists. Hux thought he saw him begin to tremble with rage. Great, that made two of them.

“Is that your act?” Hux asked, trying to tamp down his embarrassment with more bile. “The whole blushing virgin routine?” Hux wanted to push him against the wall, slam him back into the striped wallpaper, shake him and yell Why did you do this to me?

“There’s no act, Hux,” Kylo said, looking equally interested in shaking Hux like a rag doll. “You were my first.”

“How do you expect me to believe anything you say?”

Kylo held up his hands. He seemed tired all of a sudden.

“I guess I don’t,” Kylo said. “I know how this looks. Though you’re wrong.”

Hux sighed and rubbed his hands over his face. He needed a drink. Wandering over to the minibar, he discovered a small bottle of vodka. Good enough. He unscrewed the cap and took a swig. Then he sat down heavily in the hotel desk chair and turned back to Kylo. The raven-haired man carefully stepped over the scattered bills and came to perch on the edge of the bed, facing Hux.

They looked at each other, both their bodies slumping with exhaustion, the anger burning out and leaving them both unstable structures of human beings. Hux gestured with the bottle, and Kylo nodded tiredly, accepting it and taking a mouthful before handing it back.

“Talk,” Hux said, making a show of getting comfortable in the chair. This is a nightmare. Someone please wake me up.

“Gwen said you would treat me right, for my first time.” Kylo stole the bottle back and took more than his fair share, leaving only a swallow for Hux. Hux downed it. He wondered idly if they were on a high enough floor for a leap off the balcony to kill him instantly.

“I was handpicked by Gwen to pop your cherry?” Hux asked.

Kylo actually grinned at that.

“More or less, yeah,” he admitted. “Though it was all conditional on whether or not I liked you. It wasn’t a command or anything. She had mentioned a few people I already knew. Poe, for example.” Hux choked on air. “But she seemed to think you were the best candidate, so I agreed to meet you, and, well, she was right.”

“Oh, and you were so sure I’d like you enough to take you back to my place? What if I wasn’t interested?”

Kylo shrugged. “You were, though.”

Hux ran an exasperated hand through his hair.

“Okay, fine,” Hux said. “So tell me why all the first time geisha shit. Why not just get a boyfriend like a normal person?”

Kylo flopped back on the bed, long arms sprawled over his head, his long feet still on the floor, one tucked over the other in the black dress shoes. He rubbed his head back and forth on the polyester comforter and puffed at the ceiling.

“This is going to sound so weird,” he said in a small voice.

“Tell me.”

“Okay,” Kylo said, sitting back up, the dark curtain of hair falling into his face. “Gwen and I have known each other for a long time. Our families were friends, and we hit it off. She’s been a sort of older sister to me since I was in middle school.”

Hux snorted. “Some older sister, pimping you out.” Kylo glared at him.

“Just the opposite, actually,” Kylo replied with a frown. “She used to keep the creeps away from me, taught me how to act in tense situations so that I wouldn’t get into trouble. I have a naturally quick temper, and she’s helped me learn how to control it.” He shrugged, eyeing the empty vodka bottle with regret. “Anything else in the minibar?”

Hux dragged himself to his feet to check. Why not? He came back with a couple cans of Coke and a tiny bottle of rum. Unwrapping two hotel glasses from their sanitary plastic, he made them each a rum and Coke before settling back on his desk-chair-throne-of-torture.

Kylo took the cold glass and drank for a moment before continuing on with his story.

“By the time I was a senior in college, it was becoming obvious that people, um, gravitated toward me,” he said, looking sheepish. “And while a lot of them were just normal people, I seemed to also attract a certain class of older men. Rich older men.” He shrugged. “Gwen already had a small business running a few escorts, and we had talked about me joining the business for awhile, but she’s so protective of me. She worried that I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Kylo continued, “Gwen is a great manager, and you know from the contract you had to sign than her escorts are not whores. We don’t have sex with clients. We are strictly for show only, and you would be surprised how many people are looking for that exact service- to feel special and have a good time with a charismatic person who makes them look good at parties.”

Kylo paused to take another sip of his drink.

“But, you went home with me. You had sex with me,” Hux was staring at Kylo, unable to piece what he was telling him together with what had happened four years ago. “I mean, why? If you weren’t going to have sex with clients, why go through all that with a handpicked stranger?”

Kylo ran a hand through his hair, and for a split second, Hux could see one of his ridiculous ears. He hadn’t had them pinned back. A little riptide of gratitude raced through him.

“Gwen said that even though the clients were aware that I was off-limits sexually, that once in a awhile there would be someone who would try.” Kylo drained the cup and set it on the nightstand.

“She wanted me to be aware of, um, what I should expect if I decided to give in, and um… She wanted my first time to be done right. So that I would know the difference and stop anyone who was doing it wrong.”

Hux tried not to drop his glass. He watched the flush creep up Kylo’s neck and spread to his face, his smooth cheeks radiating warm embarrassment. His eyes flashed up to Hux’s perplexed face and then back down, hovering someplace around the vicinity of Hux’s knees.

“She texted me early the next morning,” Kylo continued, his voice hushed. “She told me to sneak out before you woke up, because you wouldn’t like it if I was still there.”

Hux gave an indignant noise that sounded far too much like an angry squeak for his liking.

“Then when I talked to her later,” Kylo continued, “she said that she would get your number for me if you were interested. After a few days she told me that while you had a good time, you didn’t want to meet up again.”

Hux’s jaw succumbed to gravity and he openly gaped at the man in front of him.

“Well, shit,” Hux said, eloquently. Kylo nodded in agreement. They finished their drinks in silence. Kylo fished out his phone and tapped a message. Then he looked back up at Hux.

“Let’s see what she has to say for herself,” Kylo said, looking at his empty glass sadly.

“You texted her?”


Hux let out a long sigh and then called room service for more drinks. He ordered two for each of them. Doubles. By the time he turned back to the man on the bed, he had keeled over backwards again and was texting holding his phone over his face.

Kylo groaned.

“Seems she felt really bad about lying to us,” he announced. “Thought that if you called her for an escort, she’d know you ‘really were a sad loser’ -- her words -- who couldn’t get over me and that she’d give us a second chance.”

“Real sweet of her,” Hux sneered.

“So, um,” Kylo sat back up, tossing the phone next to him on the bed. “I know this is awkward as fuck, but I really did want to see you again. And I, uh, wouldn’t have left that morning if Gwen hadn’t told me to.”

Hux just looked at him. What was he supposed to say to that? You completely broke me and I haven’t been the same since? Please be a part of my life? Get the hell out and never talk to me again?

“Let me see your phone,” Hux said instead. Kylo handed it over with a look. Hux opened contacts, entered his name and number, saved it, and handed the phone back. “There,” he said.

They stared at each other for a long moment. Kylo took a breath to talk but was interrupted by a knock. Hux hauled himself to his feet and walked to the door, bills crunching under his shoes in the small hallway.

He opened the door and took a small tray with the drinks. Setting it down on a dresser , he rummaged around on the floor until he found a twenty and handed it to the shocked server who was staring agape at all the money lying on the floor. Hux firmly shut the door in his face and then brought a drink over to Kylo who was still perched on the bed.

“Cheers,” Hux said holding up his own glass.

Kylo smiled.

“Cheers,” he said, and drank.

I never did get my ears pinned back. Is that going to be a deal breaker?

Hux looked at the text from ‘unknown’ number and smiled in spite of himself. He saved the contact as Ben. He wanted to forget that Kylo Ren even existed.

He typed out a text in reply, ignoring the fact that he was still grinning way too much for a lunch meeting in the boardroom.

I’m willing to overlook your vast imperfections if you will go out with me this weekend.

A moment later, his phone buzzed with Ben’s response.

If you suggest a bar, this is over. Officially this time.

No bar. I am still worn out from fighting people off with a stick four years ago.

I could just bring a movie and beers over to your place…

Is that extra?

Shut up Hux.

Friday at 8?

Text me your new address.

Hux opened the door and Ben stood there in a black v-neck shirt and jeans holding a grocery bag. Hux took the bag from him, hearing the sound of bottles clanging inside, and set it on the entryway table. He turned back to Ben and let his eyes wander over him hungrily before reaching out for his broad shoulders and leaning his nose into the dip of his shirt.

“I’m never going to make it past the hallway with you, am I?” Ben asked.

“Doubtful,” Hux responded, breathing in Ben’s cologne and sighing. “And it’s a shame, because this place really is jaw-dropping.”

Ben laughed and then he was cupping Hux’s face and kissing him and Hux realized that this was actually their first kiss, and he sighed again, opening his mouth and pushing Ben to the wall while his hands slipped under his t-shirt.

“You really have been working out,” Hux gasped, breaking the kiss so his eyes could follow his hands. He felt Ben’s abs flex as he chuckled.

“It was on the list of improvements, as I recall,” Ben said, smiling at the look on Hux’s face. Hux let his eyes drop.

“I was such an asshole to you.”

“Well, you did call me beautiful not long after that, so it sort of cancelled out,” Ben laughed, holding Hux’s cheek and rubbing his pale skin with a thick thumb. Hux remembered that night so clearly, his complete change of heart over Ben in the span of a few hours.

“You have quite an effect on people, don’t you?” Hux asked quietly. Ben shrugged.

“They don’t often have such an effect on me, though,” Ben answered, moving his other hand to the small of Hux’s back, pulling him in snuggly. Hux luxuriated in the warmth of him for a moment, feeling like he could finally breathe again with Ben pinned between his body and the wall.

A thought crossed his mind, spoiling the elation growing in his chest, choking off the easy breath he had enjoyed a moment before.

“When you’re Kylo Ren, you have to pretend, don’t you?” Hux asked, a sneer making its way to his mouth. “You pretend to be infatuated with your clients.”

Ben frowned, pushing Hux back and holding him by the shoulders, studying his angry face. He gave Hux’s shoulders a little shake.

“Hey, it’s just a job,” Ben said. “Both parties know going in that it’s not real. You saw the contract, you know what’s expected from both sides.”

“How often?” Hux felt the words ripped from him against his will. Ben gave him a puzzled look. “How often do your clients think it’s real?” Hux knew he was barely making sense, that he should just shut up and kiss this beautiful man before he disappeared again.

“I don’t understand--”

“How many hearts have you broken?” Hux was shaking now. Where was this even coming from? He shouldn’t be wasting their time like this. He felt the minutes ticking on, the precious seconds counting down to zero, to an empty bed in the morning. He was wasting this opportunity by being hurt, by having feelings, hit with the loss before it even occurred. Hux was already driving Ben away, after just one perfect kiss. Stupid, stupid.

Ben looked shocked. His eyes went wide, clearly pained.

“I never meant to hurt you,” he said softly. Hux let out a derisive laugh that got choked along the way, coming out more like a pained whimper. He tried to wave it away. His embarrassment mounting steadily. This was headed for a bad place, one that involved possible tears and nonsensical babbling. He needed to pull up now.

“I’m acting like an idiot,” Hux declared, straightening his spine, and pulling Ben along with him as he turned toward the awaiting shopping bag. “Let’s open some of these. What movie did you bring?”

Ten minutes later they were settled on the couch watching an action movie and drinking beers. Ben had been surprised when Hux had accepted the offer of one of the black bottles, but the redhead had only shrugged and said that he had gotten used to them. Hux didn’t tell him that for about two months he’d kept the fridge stocked with Imperial Dark, just in case Ben showed up again. That was too pathetic to admit out loud. He could barely believe it himself, thinking back to those desperately lonely nights, realizing that no one but himself would ever be drinking those sad bottles in the back of his fridge. It should have left him hating the beer, but he had grown strangely fond of it, as though the bitter taste could smooth out the jagged edges of silence in his apartment.

Ben had shed his shoes at the apartment door, and his bare feet were tucked under Hux’s thigh on the couch. He had several cushions shoved behind his back against the arm of the sofa, and was slouched down into them, turned just enough to see the movie, laughing at all the dumb jokes and cheering for the fight scenes. Every few minutes he propped himself up just enough to take a swig of beer or grab a handful of chips, which he ate one at a time from his cupped palm, licking the salt off his lips, eyes engaged with the the TV screen.

Hux watched out of the corner of his eye and wrapped his slender hand around Ben’s ankle while he held his second beer in his other hand. He couldn’t even remember the name of the movie they were watching. But years from today he would be able to recall the exact shade of Ben’s hair and eyes in that moment, and what his laugh sounded like over the noise of movie explosions.

When the credits were finally rolling, Ben turned to Hux from his nest of pillows and reached out for him, pulling him up his body to lie between him and the back of the couch. Hux squirmed until he fit perfectly along the other man’s side, his elbow jammed not too uncomfortably between the cushions, and his other arm flung across a broad chest.

Hux nuzzled into Ben’s neck and just soaked him up for several minutes. The movie returned to the annoying menu music, and Hux grabbed the remote and hit mute before resettling against Ben. This time, he hovered above him, stroking Ben’s dark hair away from his face.

“I was right,” Hux said. “About your hair. It looks good long.” Ben preened a bit for show, his face crumpling in a soul-rending smile a moment later.

“I managed the entire list of ‘Two Things Hux Needs Changed,’ minus the ears of course.”

Hux flushed. He tucked some of the smooth hair behind Ben’s ear, tracing the edge with his fingertip.

“You could tell I didn’t really mean that one,” Hux mumbled, not looking in Ben’s eyes. Ben laughed, eyes crinkling, his lips exposing the still not-quite-straight teeth. He was perfect.

“Something about you sucking and moaning into them made me think you were less than sincere, yes,” Ben replied. Hux rolled his eyes. “But you were right about the hair, at least. The hair has been a big hit.”

Hux pushed back to study him. Ben hadn’t said that like he was rubbing it in his face, but still… something about it stung.

“I bet your clients love it,” Hux said, ice slipping into his voice. How many compliments did Ben receive on his hair, his eyes, his mouth, as rich men and women slipped an envelope of cash into his hands at the end of the night?

“Hux,” Ben said, a warning note in his voice. He was ruining a great moment again. He knew he was, he just couldn’t help it. Ben was supposed to be his, would have been his if not for Gwen… but then he never would have met him if it wasn’t for that terrible blonde giant either. Hux set his feelings for Gwen aside for the moment. He would need to sort them out later. For now he was more concerned about making sure no one but him complimented Ben ever again.

I am completely losing it.

“How much do you make a year doing the escort thing?”


“No really, I want to know. I need to know how much I will need to fork over for exclusive rights. I like to plan, financially--”

Ben was pushing him off and standing up. He turned to face Hux where he sat crumpled on the couch, looking up at him with large green eyes.

“Tell me,” Hux demanded. They glared at one another. Ben’s eyes flashed with pain and anger. He spun away from Hux and made for the door. Hux bolted after him and caught up before Ben could even get his first shoe on. He grabbed Ben by the shoulders. “I need to know. I can pay it,” he gasped.

“Why are you doing this?” Ben asked, the hurt on his face making Hux wince in shame. Still, this was more important even than Hux’s pride. He tightened his grip on Ben’s shoulders.

“I can’t let you pretend to like other people,” Hux said, holding firm when Ben tried to shrug out of his hands. “I can’t let other people think they can have you.”

Ben tried to pull away again, but Hux clung to his shirt.

“Let go,” Ben growled.


Hux gasped as Ben grabbed his wrists and easily pried each hand away from the fabric of his shirt.

“I don’t belong to you,” Ben said, his voice like stone. “I don’t belong to anyone, understand?” Ben dropped Hux’s slim wrists and then went for his shoes again. Hux embraced him around the waist and clung on for dear life. “Hux, stop!” Ben said, prying his arms off easily. This time he kept a tight hold on his wrists, pinning Hux’s smaller frame against the wall. “Why are you acting like this?”

“I know, I know I’m acting crazy,” Hux babbled, helpless now in his panic. “Please don’t leave. This whole thing, Ben, I’m sorry… I just can’t have you disappear again. I can’t, I can’t…”

Oh god, I’m losing it. I’m completely losing it.

Any second now the tears would start. He could already feel them prickling behind his eyes. Ben seemed to sense the impending breakdown and slid his hands to Hux’s shoulders. He smoothed over his collarbones with his thumbs, trying to calm him.

“It’s alright,” Ben said softly. “Calm down.”

Hux was burning up with shame. He was being utterly ridiculous. He feared being vulnerable more than death, and here he was, acting like a fool and two seconds away from crying over a guy he barely knew.

That was the problem though. He felt like he did know him, could know him. That Ben could learn to understand Hux in return. That Ben would stay. No one ever stayed.

He took calm slow breaths, Ben’s hands loosely draped around his throat, holding him down, grounding him. Hux leaned forward into the strong hands, pushing against them as he reached forward to kiss Ben’s soft mouth. Ben’s lips met his in a warm rush. The feeling of his tongue licking into Hux made his mind reel, all his desperation of a moment before translated into a hot rush of blood and lust under his skin.

Hux pushed his hands up over Ben’s broad arms, following the solid line of him up into the mass of dark tangles, pulling him in tighter. Ben swayed and moved forward. Hux pressed his throat tighter into Ben’s hands and moaned. The fingers tightened around his windpipe as Ben kissed him deeper. The vice of his marble white hands continued to constrict as Hux moaned and strained his entire being against Ben’s body as the larger man sank against him, pinning him against the wall from mouth to thighs.

Hux could feel his blood pounding through his veins, insistent and demanding. His pulse thundered in his ears The shock of Ben’s mouth and tongue moving against him shot down through his body and radiated along his erection. He moaned through the tightening passage of his throat. He felt drunk, electric.

More more more.

Then a moment came when he tried to gasp for air and couldn’t. He arched forward, pushing and pulling his straining length along Ben’s thigh.

Fire. It was pure engulfing flame.

Hux pushed into Ben as much as he could, with his hips, his hands, his tongue. Spots floated through the gathering blackness of his vision. Ben was breathing hard against his mouth, pushing against Hux in a rolling desperation.

He noticed Hux’s silence and looked at him. With a moan he let go of his throat and stepped back, only to grab Hux’s shoulders has Hux gasped for breath and coughed, doubling over for a moment to keep from blacking out.

“Hux, I’m so sorry,” Ben was saying, stroking over Hux’s red hair, down the side of his neck, trying to see his face.

“Don’t be,” Hux croaked, gesturing to his obviously hard cock.

“Oh,” Ben said, eyes widening. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Better than okay,” Hux rasped.

Ben still looked much too contrite, so Hux pulled him in for another kiss, wrapping one long leg around the back of Ben’s massive thigh. Ben grabbed him and lifted him easily, hiking Hux up against the wall as he wrapped his legs around Ben’s waist. Hux crossed his ankles to better grip the large torso, his slim feet dangling in the air as Ben leaned tight into him, kissing almost brutally as his large hands dug into Hux’s thighs, keeping him fixed against the wall.

Ben rutted against Hux’s pinned body, rolling his hips against his pliant captive. Hux had no control over the movement. He no longer had control over the kiss. It was all Ben, taking and giving, using his trapped body as he wanted. Hux let his head fall against the wall with a lost moan as Ben followed him with his mouth, kissing and sucking at the skin on his throat that he had worried into hypersensitivity with his rough hands.

Too soon he was being set down, Ben pulling back as Hux’s feet slipped to the floor. Hux was about to protest, but then he was being walked backwards, Ben’s hands firm on his waist, not letting him turn around.

“Bedroom?” Ben asked.

“Hallway, last door on the right.”

Ben nodded and kissed him, slowly backing him up, letting Hux feel behind him with his bare feet.

“No one owns me,” Ben said. Hux nodded again, though he still knew that he did, he owned Ben. “No one can buy me. They pay for my time, not my love, and not my body.” Hux nodded again, kissing and being undone by the softest lips he’d ever felt on his own. “If,” Ben continued, breaking from the kiss as he maneuvered Hux down the hallway, “ can promise to understand that,” he kissed him again, “...then I will gladly try being with you. No weird stuff, though, Hux. No offering me money or asking about clients, alright?”

“Alright,” Hux agreed. Anything, he would have agreed to anything. Ben was his, that’s all that mattered.

Ben was taking both their clothes off, Hux trying to kiss and touch as much of him as he could as Ben maneuvered them into nudity, and then crawled with Hux onto the bed. Hux slithered on his back over the covers, Ben staying above him on his hands and knees as Hux tried to see him and touch him all at once, marveling at the strong body.

Hux circled Ben’s ribs with his arms and pulled the larger man down on top of him, feeling the delicious weight and heat of him, every square inch of skin that touched felt like home. They kissed, Ben careful not to crush Hux, and Hux not letting him pull away.

“I want you,” Ben sighed into Hux’s neck, his breath warm and humid over the bruised skin.

“Yes,” Hux nodded. “Nightstand.” He was left momentarily cold as Ben grabbed supplies from the drawer.

Hux’s brain reeled. Ben was going to take him, and he was going to let him. He actually wanted to let him. He swallowed hard, the feeling of giving up control not coming naturally. Then those warm chocolate eyes were on his again, and Hux knew he would be alright. Ben wasn’t going to hurt him.

Ben prepped him slowly, carefully, taking the same pains with Hux as he had with Ben their one other time together.

“You don’t normally let anyone do this for you, do you?” Ben asked as he slowly slipped another finger inside Hux and gently stretched him open. Hux shook his head for his answer, thrashing a bit as Ben’s wet fingers rubbed sensitive tissue. “Have you ever let anyone do this to you before?” Hux moaned at the fingers reaching deeper inside, looking for his sweet spot.

“Just you,” Hux responded, pushing down with growing need on Ben’s fingers. He didn’t miss the fond smile Ben gave him, caressing his ribs and stomach tenderly as he worked him open.

“Just me,” he repeated, kissing Hux’s inner thighs, rubbing his stubble on the pale flesh until it flushed with the rough treatment. Ben kissed the skin again, soothing it, before nuzzling in again. When he pulled back, Hux’s inner thighs were on fire, and three fingers were slipping in and out of him easily.

The feeling of being breached was both heaven and hell. Ben slid into him, sheathed in a condom, though Hux realized that if it had been left up to him alone, he would have been stupid and let him proceed without one. Dangerous, his mind nagged at him. Thank god Ben was being responsible. Hux clearly was done with rational thought.

Having limited control was strange. Ben was kissing him and driving into him and all Hux had to do was shift his hips and match the larger man’s rhythm. They found the best way to move for Ben to hit Hux’s prostate and Ben held him that way, one hand under his hip and thigh, angling and lifting as he drove into the sweet spot. Hux lay limply on the bed, his head thrown back, vaguely aware of the texture of the sheets under him, the soft scratch on his back. His vision wove in and out as blood and energy swirled through his brain and body. He could see his pulse, the flood of static erupting over his vision with each heartbeat.

“Ben,” he heard himself saying. “Ben. Ben. Ben.”

It built in him like a slow wave, not tight and hot like when he was buried in someone else, but a deep burning, a slow rolling inferno in his organs, creeping out along his dick to the head, furling back down through his balls and inside his body. Everything connected and roiling in heat, letting him know far in advance that the climax was coming, it was coming,  coming.

Hux called out, keening and straining in his own body, still held fast by a smoothly thrusting Ben, not able to do anything about the pace of his own orgasm, but made to wait on what Ben’s body would give him. When the slow burn finally peaked, Hux was sobbing and moaning so desperately it was on the edge of a scream. His body spasmed over and over, come finally pulsing from him to cover his stomach and chest.

Ben was coming then, his face against Hux’s neck. He could feel the near silent yell, Ben’s mouth open against the join of shoulder and throat, not breathing. Coming too hard to breathe. When the breath in finally came, it was with a whoosh followed by a low whining moan.

Ben grabbed Hux and hauled them both to their sides, still connected between their legs.

“You’re mine now, Hux,” Ben was whispering, still out of breath. Hux just nodded. Yes. Absolutely. Please.

Hux woke up that Saturday safe and warm in a pair of strong arms, gentle breath stirring his hair. He enjoyed the blissed-out feeling of being wrapped up in Ben’s body, skin on skin, until he felt the other man shift as he started to wake.

Hux maneuvered to face him, taking in his sleep-rumbled appearance, like a well tousled panther in his bed.  Nuzzling into the crook of his neck, Hux huffed a contented sigh. One huge arm wrapped around him, pulling him in close.

“Mmm,” was Ben’s comment as he stroked Hux’s hair and naked back.

“Do you want to go out for coffee this morning?” Hux mumbled into his soft skin, not imagining he would ever really want to move from this spot, but knowing it was inevitable at some point and deciding to put on a brave face by planning for it. “Do you even like coffee?”

Ben chuckled. The sound was both light and deep. Hux could feel it in his own body with how tightly he was fused to Ben.

“I do,” he responded. “I also like breakfast. Large, crazy excessive breakfast, with waffles and bacon and eggs and hash browns…”

Hux was tempted to check for drool in his hair by the time Ben was finished with his list.

“I suppose potato chips followed by vigorous sex made you a bit hungry, huh?”

“You could say that,” Ben said, starting to kiss across Hux’s forehead, pushing Hux’s head back a little with the force of each soft impact.

“Okay, okay, let’s feed you before you try and eat me,” Hux said with a smile. Ben’s returning smile was more than a little predatory.

They had showered and gotten dressed, Ben not seeming to mind wearing his clothes from the day before, and were finally tucking into their huge order of food and coffee at the diner on the corner, when Ben looked up with a content smile.

“We should do this every Saturday,” Ben said, popping a forkful of waffles and whipped cream in his mouth.

“I think that could be arranged,” Hux answered nonchalantly, sipping his coffee.

Hux decided he would never need to actually tell Ben that he was his. He would just let him think that he possessed Hux, and it would work out well enough. The hard part would be transitioning Ben from working as an escort to being a photographer… perhaps he would be interested in law school, Hux mused, remembering their conversation from years ago.

One way or another, with patience, Ben would be completely his, and Hux would never have to worry about waking up alone ever again. He smiled at his plan. Ben caught him and gave a hesitant smile back around a mouthful of hash browns.

“What?” Ben asked.

Hux shrugged.

“Just thinking about my new Saturday morning plans from here to eternity.”

Ben smiled larger and shook his head fondly at him. Hux tightened his grip on his coffee mug and took a sip.