The rest of the conference goes by as smoothly as you'd expected.
Your talk is a bit fumbled, but Hell - who isn't just slurring out words to pass the time? It's all just bland pie charts and questions that drag well beyond your scope of reference. There's a mush in your mind whenever you're seated and pretending to listen: thoughts tangling around dark hair and brown eyes...
...Thoughts of his gorgeous cock.
You can still picture the delicate flavour of his slick if you close your eyes. Salty, but with this undertone of marshmallow and sugar that made your whole body throb with pleasure and wanting. Christ: was anyone ever made to be more perfect for you?
More gorgeous, in every way?
You don't see him at any of the talks you're slipping in and out of: though it's not really all too surprising. You tend to avoid the legal department where you can, and often just gravitate towards the free endless coffee and egg sandwiches. Eventually (and thankfully), evening draws in, and you stuff your last pile of clothes into your wheeled suitcase and pull the lock on your hotel room door shut.
It'll be good to get out of here.
The end of the hall sees Hux leaning up against the white paint wall; a conference pamphlet fisted in his hand. He's always got this...this blantant arrogance about him that permeates every tiny damned detail of his expression, and this is no exception.
You nearly stop dead in your tracks when you realise who he's talking to.
He's wearing this stunning suit that hugs every inch of muscle on him: buttons on the white undershirt looking like they're faltering under strain, tie disheveled as he tugs on it, laughing at some stupid joke. Ben's hair is immaculate, and God, holy fuck, you could just--
"Bailing out early?"
Hux's grey eyes examine you with this bored expression; barely taking you in as he shifts to lean his weight against a doorframe. Ben glances your way for the briefest moment before dropping his eyes, nervously shoving his huge hands into his pockets.
You stop right beside them, letting the wheels of your case squeak behind you. Here, in the narrow hallway, you can smell the clean fragrance of Hux's cologne, but God, it does nothing to dull the way your body floods with warmth at Ben's incredible scent.
Trying to keep up the bored facade, you shrug.
"Not really needed for day two, so I figured I'd get home tonight instead. Papers to write."
Hux's scowl deepens.
"Meanwhile, we're stuck in this sorry city for another night. Solo was just lamenting the shitty company."
Ben's scoff is high in his throat, and he sucks his cheek as he looks your way.
"Dameron's wearing on me."
"No kidding," you add, leaning on your case. "He's an idiot."
"Think he's taken a shine to you," Hux sneers.
"Yeah," you sniff, "the feeling's not exactly mutual. I've got other prospects in the crosshairs."
You don't miss the way Ben's cheeks flush a darker shade of pink, making him swallow thickly and shuffle on the spot. He's trying so hard to fill a space he's learned to carve out - trying so hard to act as though he never touched your skin, never kissed your lips. Trying, for the sake of his safety and sanity, to pretend you don't move him.
But every time he takes a breath around you: you sense the depth of the lie.
See, in micro-movements, the way he's under this spell.
Hux just sighs to himself, waving a nonchalant goodbye to Ben as he slinks back into his hotel room and lets the doorhandle click behind him. There's no semblance of acknowledgement for your sake; but then again, Hux never did like anyone he couldn't later use for his personal gain.
Ben's hand comes up to straighten his tie in the deserted hallway, now suddenly feeling much more barren than you first thought. There seems to be an endless walk around Ben to get to the elevator, and your suitcase just...
Before you know it, Ben's lifting the handle from your fingertips and slowly wheeling it down the corridor. You take his wordless invitation to follow, feeling half-drunk on the slight spice of his scent that fills your lungs so beautifully.
He wheels it into the elevator, and you follow in silence as the metal doors close behind you.
Ben takes a shaky breath.
"Cameras?" you ask, staring forwards at the closing doors beside Ben. Your hand snakes around the handle, just lightly brushing his pinky finger as you both stare at the silver walls.
"Yeah," he swallows, "no microphones, though. Privacy laws."
His fingers twitch at your touch, and electricity shoots right up through your body. Heaven help you: the scent of him coils in your stomach, and you're just...so desperate to kiss him. Needing it beyond your own understanding - fuck it, you could just press him up against the wall. Press him there, palm his cock and kiss him senseless...
Ben says your name, and it's punched from his lungs like a request.
"Being alone with you is..." he starts, and his knuckles whiten on the handle.
He rolls his lip between his teeth.
"You don't. You honestly don't."
You hazard a look at him, and God - he's flushed. Flushed with desire, eyes dark and hungry; cock hardening with every second you spend slowly descending in this damned elevator.
"Promise me," you say with resolve, "promise me, Ben, that you'll stay safe tonight. That you'll let me know that you're safe."
And Ben - stupid, wonderful Ben - leans in close enough that his lips are level with your ear. His breath swirls on the shell of it, and his back just softly bends to lean down towards you as he whispers, quiet as anything:
It takes every cell in your body to walk out of that elevator. Every fiber of your being to put one foot in front of the other: every piece of your resolve to tug that handle from his grip and leave him behind, without looking back, as you walk into the lobby without him.
If you were anywhere else in the world...
...You wonder if you'd ever have the willpower.
But you walk to your cab, Ben's scent burning through your blood - and head to the airport.
Leaving him here, amidst all of this uncertainty.
And try, as hard as you can, to accept it.
Being at home helps, even if it's only a little.
The flight is less weird going home than it was flying in: they actually let you have access to caffienated drinks, which is the academic's bread and butter. And once you touch down; the metal band is unclipped from your wrist, and Dear God, does it feel good.
The moment you're free of it, you gulp in a deep, deep breath.
It feels like heaven when you finally collapse on your bed: plugging in your phone for charge and stretching out in the crisp sheets. Most of your clothes are still hanging limply out of your half-opened suitcase, which you know is a dumb move you'll have to deal with tomorrow, but...
Whatever. The flight was long enough that you can't think of anything less appealing than dealing with that now.
You resolve to just grab your pyjamas from last night for now. Throw them on as opposed to rifling through your drawers, looking for something that should actually fucking match. What's with pyjama bottoms always getting lost down the back of a drawer? T-shirts running in the wash?
Is the Lord trying to get you to be naked? That it?
You fold open the plastic top of the case and fumble through the pile, assaulted by the scent of stale hotel on the fabric. Ugh...
...but something in there...
Your threadbare pyjamas from last night are there. Limp and not quite clean, but so strongly scented that your brain short circuits for a moment. Your cunt clenches, and fuck, oh fuck--
Ben's scent is everywhere. On every thread and seam, on every crease and strap. That gorgeous subtle cinnamon and sugary chai smell that brings the shirt up to your face, forcing you to huff on the fabric and scramble back onto your bed. You've not even torn off your clothes yet - so obsessed with the pure essence of this incredible Omega that you can't think of anything else.
You can smell the whole story of the night, and it's like nothing you've ever experienced.
Smell the way he clung to you, when he woke from restless dreams. Smell the way his cock ached with need all through the night; the way he lay awake in the morning, nauseas and aching, shivering and holding you close to try to combat the anxiety that burned right through him.
You can smell the way he craves you.
The way if he let himself go - truly, genuinely let himself go - he'd writhe for days. Hard, dripping, begging you: please, Alpha, knot me.
It's such a beautiful thought, and you just...you could get lost in it. Get lost in this, as you pull off your shirt and work at the zip on your skirt. Needy as you gasp into the fabric of your sleeping clothes and snake your hand down, down, following the curves of your body--
Your phone vibrates once. Enough to make you freeze, but not quite enough to--
Annoyed, you lean across with a grunt and unlock your phone with the pad of your thumb. Two texts flash up on your phone, and when you see the name: your body flushes with warmth.
Ben (Uni): Alpha
Ben (Uni): Fuck
Your eyes widen, and you immediately flip over and start typing.
You: What's wrong?
Oh shit. Oh no.
Your heart is up in your throat, and fuck - didn't you tell him to be safe? Didn't you tell him to be cautious?
How will you ever forgive yourself, if anything happens to him?
Images flicker in your brain: burned on brands, and Ben's huge hands reaching for yours.
Why didn't you protect me, Alpha? You could've protected me--
Your eyes snap open.
Ben (Uni): Your scent
Ben (Uni): is on everything
Ben (Uni): all over the sheets
Ben (Uni): all over my skin
Ben (Uni): on my cock
You: is that good?
Your cunt feels so hot in your underwear; buzzing at the thought of Ben smelling your scent on his cock. The way that's such a symbolic thing for you both - the way that means, in some fucked up, primal way: that he's yours.
You sucked his cock, and now it's all for you.
Every drop of cum he makes is yours to drink up.
A few moments pass, and you wonder if you've been too cold with him. Too distant, when he needed you to show him, without any doubt, that you're craving him as much as he's craving you.
But then: you get a call incoming.
It makes it to the second ring before you answer, jamming it to your ear.
The line crackles, and Ben's breathing is sharp when it reaches your ears.
You lick your lips, falling back on the sheets as you stare at the ceiling.
"I can smell you, too. All over my pyjamas."
"You're everywhere," he says breathily, so quiet down the line as though this is a sacred place. "You're in my blood, Alpha."
Your cunt aches at the admission: burns in your veins as you reach your spare hand down towards your underwear. The needy Alpha in you squirms for something to pin and bite; squirms for his skin on yours.
Touch me, Omega.
"Right where I want to be."
Ben cusses under his breath.
"Can't stop thinking of you...you sucking my cock. I tried not to call--"
"--Omega, I'm laying on my bed with my fingers in my pussy and your scent on my lips," you shiver, curling your fingers into your cunt, "and I'm gonna knot my toy tonight thinking of fucking you raw."
And in response, he makes this...this sound.
It goes straight through blood and bone and space - goes through every cell in your body and pulls you, desperate and keening, into this deep, dark place.
It takes a few seconds for you to realise what the sound is, and when you do...
...you bite down on your fist to stifle the whimper that escapes you.
It's a chirp; real as you've ever expected and nothing like you'd imagined it. The most incredible sound only a male Omega makes, when they're in frustrated need too strong to resist. It's a soul-deep call to an Alpha that rips from their lungs and begs, through the line, for you to touch him. Just touch him, and hold him, and make him feel seen.
There is no word for how sacred it is, to hear him fall apart like this.
"Ben," you gasp, working circles in your clit, "Omega, tell me what you want to do to me."
The sound of skin on skin is unmistakable through the phone line, and Ben's ragged breaths tear right through your resolve.
"Alpha, I...fuck, I want to...want to feel you...feel your knot, milking me dry..." he chokes, and a smaller, more urgent chirp breaks his lips, "...fuck me through my heat...use...use me. Fuck, Alpha, promise me you'll wring me dry."
"Yes," you groan, and shocks go right through your cunt. "I'll knot you for days. I won't sleep. I'll just--"
You're cut off as you feel your body shudder and peak: feel stars dance over your vision while your cunt spasms, not quite able to find anything thick enough to knot around. Pain lances through your legs as your body cramps from the failed attempt your pussy makes to knot, and fuck, it's not enough to dampen the flame that licks through your spine.
Not enough to stop you wanting to fuck him, as you pant and twist, toes curling and hands shaking.
"Ben, fuck - my body just tried to knot for you."
Your laugh is breathless in disbelief, even as you hear Ben swear down the line. You can just picture him now: dark hair plastered to his forehead, lips barely parted as he pumps his cock in his huge fingers. The way his head would loll to the side and he'd groan into the pillow, trying to slow down to keep this knifepoint of pleasure balanced just right.
"Alpha," he chirps, and you can hear the hoarseness in his voice, "holy shit, Alpha--"
The line cracks when he groans; muffled by something you imagine must be his fist as you hear him try to keep down the sound of a powerful orgasm. Ben's breathing is eratic and pained as you both lay there, states apart, cracking with the same electricity holding you both hostage.
"Christ," he half-whispers, laughing to himself, "that was..."
The cramping in your abdomen slowly falls into a slight thrumming, and with it, the tension in your body dissipates into a different sort of longing.
Remembering his body twined with yours; face inches away in the dead of night.
Ben starts to fall quieter, and you can tell that textbook anxiety of his is filtering in. Silence, when not filled, makes his brain tick away.
"I'm sorry," he says quietly.
Your eyes flutter shut, revelling in the post-orgasm haze that rolls over you.
"I know I'm being...eager..."
Oh, your sweet, insecure Omega.
"You say that like I want you to stop."
Ben chuckles, and the sound is just so lovely.
"You don't?" he asks, as you hear the sound of sheets rustling.
You'd roll your eyes if he were in sight right now.
"This isn't a story," you tell him, "where we chase back-and-forward with miscommunications to further the plot. I like you, Ben. I don't intend to stop here."
"I think I was just...scared. Scared when you left today, and it felt so finite. I keep thinking I'll scare you off. I'm just..."
I'm not enough for you.
He doesn't say it, but fuck: he may as well have.
You can feel it.
You feel that same uncertainty, and it's beautiful and tenuous.
"When you get back: let's catch up. Grab dinner, or see a movie or something. Let's just be us, without worrying about any of them."
Ben's smile is evident as he speaks:
"That sounds perfect."
When you both say your goodnights and curl up into bed; you fall asleep with butterflies in your chest and a joy in your heart.
He's safe. He wants you.
And you dream of his hand in your hand,
And your teeth imprinted on his neck,
And your heart being safer with him than anywhere else in the world.