Mal nudged the door of the storage closet closed with his heel, careful not to make a sound, and fumbled in his inner suit jacket pocket for the heat blockers he’d secured in plastic wrap. He found a vibrator instead. It was discreet—shaped like a USB stick, and indistinguishable from one upon first glance. Mal didn’t need to look at it to know what he’d found. Over the last few months, his fingers had become accustomed to the touch of its silicone and the intensity of its vibrations.
The stimulation phase may have several side effects, Mr. Collins, especially the third time around, Dr. Kanna, his IVF specialist, had told him as she handed him his prescription. Short, unpredictable, and frequent bouts of heat are to be anticipated. You’ll want to make sure you carry your blockers with you at all times. If you so much as suspect that you are coming into season, I’d advise you take them. There are no risks to your general health should you over-medicate as long as you’ve already started your fertility treatment.
No risks, sure, but a heat was still a heat. Blockers would prevent an omega from losing his mind to lust during his fertile period, but they did nothing to prevent that lust from manifesting in other ways.
Trembling and horny beyond belief, Mal was more aware than ever of what those ways were. It had never been so bad before.
Mal squeezed his eyes shut, trying to do away with the aching need inside, but it would not be ignored. Playing dumb wouldn’t help his case—he knew why this time was different than it had been before. Dr. Kanna had warned him against stacking treatments so closely together, but time was running out. The unpredictable waves of heat were worth it if he could have just one more shot…
Would the vibrator be enough to tide him over until his blockers took effect and his whirlwind heat subsided?
He couldn’t tell.
A steady breath in, a steady breath out. Mal opened his eyes and shook out his shoulders, doing his best to calm himself down.
Whether the vibrator was enough or not didn’t matter. It would have to be.
His fingers curled around the silicone in his palm, clutching it tight, before his fingers explored deeper into his pocket. An audible breath rushed from his nose, labored and desperate. Below the vibrator was the ball of plastic he’d wrapped his pills in. He snagged it, removing it alongside the vibrator. Hands trembling, he tore the plastic film apart and plucked the pills from inside.
They left a bitter, chemical taste on his tongue. He had no water to wash it down. In the banquet hall beyond the doors of the storage closet, waiters in black tuxedos circled with silver trays on which were placed crystal flutes of champagne… but to get to those flutes, Mal would have to make his way through the crowds. Hundreds of people he didn’t know, and even worse, a few he did.
Omegas. Betas. Alphas.
He couldn’t risk it.
When his blockers took effect and dampened his heat, he’d think about coming out of hiding. Until then, he would keep to himself and do his best to calm himself down. As much as he wanted to be present at the reception, he didn’t want every guest in attendance to know that he was ready to be bred.
There was no garbage can in the storage room, so Mal dropped the torn ball of plastic wrap into a yellow mop bucket near his foot. Then, panicked over his situation, he slumped against the wall and closed his eyes. Even that small amount of movement was too much—his cock twitched, titillated by the way his boxer-briefs brushed against his skin.
“I’m screwed,” Mal whispered to the room. He ran his trembling hand through his hair, pushing back his curls. Despite his best efforts to straighten them, they were coming back in full force, leaving him with a mess of wavy, rebellious locks. “So totally screwed…”
Mal opened his eyes and focused on a point across the room—a shelf on which cleaning products were stored. He read the labels and scrutinized their designs in an attempt to redirect his thoughts. Paranoia often accompanied the early stages of heat, and, logically, he knew that it was what was blowing his situation out of proportion—but convincing his mind and heart of the same was a difficult, if not impossible, task.
There was one way out of this mess.
Mal’s fingers tightened.
Arousal drifted through him like sand across the ocean floor—silent, spanning, and at the whims of his body’s currents. His thumb traced along the base of the vibrator until it found one of its tiny switches. There were two on the device—one side slid the USB stick from its protective barrier inside the silicone, and the other activated the vibrations.
Mal slid the switch nearest his thumb to the opposite side. The vibrator hummed to life.
In such a small room, the buzz of the tiny motor was startlingly loud. Mal squeezed his eyes closed, hoping he wouldn’t be heard, and tugged his belt open. His arousal stirred, then broadened itself, sweeping through him to make its demands known.
Mal pinched his lips together and tugged his fly down.
There was no relief when he introduced the vibrator to his shaft. He dipped it downward, letting it follow the seam of his fly, until it met his balls. A cry burst from his lips before he could help himself, and he clamped his hand over his mouth to try to muffle any other sounds that would betray his position.
He’d found pleasure, and his body wasn’t afraid to let him know it.
Whimpering into his hand as tingling need shot through his groin, Mal held the vibrator more tightly against the place that had made him feel so wonderful. His boxer-briefs separated the silicone in his hand from his bare skin, dampening the buzz. Soon, even the slight deprivation would be unbearable—the onset of his heat was already begging him to take things further. It wanted more.
Shoulders slumping, he pressed the vibrator closer to his body. The shiny dress shoes he’d been so proud to wear scuffed against the floor. Once upon a time, he’d been forced to attend events like this barefoot. Those days were no more. He’d found his freedom—if only his heat would let him enjoy it.
Mal pushed himself into a new position against the wall and slipped the vibrator down a little farther, chasing release. New pleasure raced through him, and he threw back his head and panted as his balls tightened and drew upward. Orgasm was on its way. If it arrived, it’d clear his mind, calm his thoughts, and let him rejoin the party. Just a little more, and—
The doorknob twisted, the door opened, and a young man stumbled in. Mal gasped and jerked his hand out of his pants, holding the vibrator at arm’s length with trepidation, like it was a cobra ready to strike.
It continued to buzz.
Alarmed, Mal fumbled with the switch, but it wouldn’t turn off—he realized far too late that he was using the wrong one. By the time he corrected his mistake, the man had already spotted him.
They stared each other down, the stranger’s dark eyes meeting his own pale blues.
“I’m so sorry,” Mal whispered. His heart pounded against his ribs, and his breath stuck in his throat. “I’m so sorry. I… I’m just…”
His gaze dipped, following the cut of the stranger’s suit over his firm body. He was handsome. If Mal had been ten years younger…
No. Bad thoughts. Bad thoughts.
Mal redirected his focus north, looking the stranger in the eyes. It wasn’t just his body that was handsome—his features were subtle, but powerfully proportioned in relation to each other. His hair was long at the top, but kept short at the sides, rich and brown and full. A neatly trimmed boxed beard slimmed his face and hinted at maturity. He was younger than Mal, certainly, but not so young that he was juvenile. Mal considered himself bad with telling a person’s age, but he assumed the stranger was in his mid-to-late thirties.
The door to the storage closet swung shut.
“Are you going into heat?” the stranger asked. The scent of it was on the air—just enough to give Mal away.
Mal nodded. Butterflies took flight in his stomach. He realized he’d never closed his fly, but he couldn’t bring himself to correct that embarrassment now.
Not with those dark eyes staring him down, peering through him, seeing everything.
“Did you manage to find blockers in time?”
Mal nodded again. He wanted to speak, but he knew if he did, anything he said would come out jumbled.
The stranger’s gaze traveled to the vibrator in Mal’s hand, lingering there for a tense moment. Electricity hummed in the air between them, and Mal’s cock twitched. The blockers had his heat under control, even if it didn’t feel like it—he was perfectly able to consent, and knew as much—but a new kind of need had taken root inside of him. It throbbed in his balls and demanded he address it.
Whoever the stranger was, Mal wanted him.
He wanted him badly.
For a short while, all they could do was stare each other down. Mal’s cock throbbed in time with his heart. Now that he’d been interrupted, he’d never find satisfaction with a vibrator alone. His needs had evolved as the air thickened, and his body demanded more.
It wanted—needed—him to be careless.
There was an alpha in the room, and Mal needed to fuck him.
He needed to conceive.
When the stranger spoke again, his words were carefully selected and full-bodied from intent. There was a dark, but cautious note to his voice that Mal recognized immediately. It carried the same burning yearning that he felt inside himself. “Do you need some help?”
Without hesitation, Mal whispered, “Yes.”
The vibrator tumbled from his fingers. Before it hit the floor, the stranger had him pinned to the wall. Their lips met, and Mal gave himself over to the kiss.
Yes, he needed help.
He needed it very, very badly.