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Chapter 09

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      Tristan stood before the couch, watching Alex sleep. This wasn't going as he had planned. He'd been staying at Alex's apartment for four days now, and still the human was sleeping on the couch. Tristan had never expected him to have such willpower, especially since he could smell the effect he was having on the human, even without the help of the pheromones he used on their first meeting to ensure he would be interested in him.

      He had expected the human to offer him the bed, and sleep separately, to maintain the illusion of propriety, but he'd also expected Alex to force himself on him that first night. He didn't. That morning Tristan didn't react when he woke up, hearing the human breathing in the doorway. He thought that his might be it, but instead Alex moved quietly about the room. When Tristan opened his eyes and yawned, making a show of waking up the human simply apologized for waking him, took a change of clothing out of the closet and left the room. A moment later he heard the shower running.

      The humans Tristan was used to deal with were always quick to take advantage of any situation they could. This one had surprisingly high morals. If Tristan wanted his plan to work without arousing suspicion he couldn't afford to let him sleep on the couch for much longer.

      Alex stirred and opened an eye and closed it again, pulling the covers up. He frowned and opened both eyes looking up at him. "Is everything ok?" he asked stifling a yawn.

      "I, well," Jack stammered, "I haven't been sleeping well."

      Alex sat up, "is there something wrong with the bed?"

      "No, no, the bed's fine. It's just that . . ." Jack trailed off for a moment, not sure how to bring up the subject without offending his host. He took a deep breath, "I take it humans always sleep alone?"

      "Well, not always, but usually, yes, why?"

      Jack nodded, "my people are pretty gregarious, we normally sleep with others. I didn't realize sleeping alone would affect me this much, and tomorrow I have the interview with Glacomel. Would you, could you sleep with me tonight?" he finally asked in a weak voice.

      Alex swallowed hard and his hands tightened over the covers covering his groin. The smells of desire wafted from him as he shook his head. "I, I don't think I should, it wouldn't. I'm sorry, I really don't think I should."

      Jack nodded, looking crestfallen. "It's ok, I understand," and walked back to the bedroom, not closing the door. He crawled into bed and pulled the covers up, lying on his side, back to the door.

      Tristan listened to Alex's breathing and rustling on the couch, and smiled as he heard him stand and walk to the bedroom's doorway.

      "Jack?" Alex said softly.

      Tristan waited a moment and then he turned around. Jack looked up at Alex standing there, holding his bed sheet wrapped around his hips. "Yes?" the alien answered, moisture around his eyes.

      "You need to understand why it wouldn't be a good idea. I . . .," Alex swallowed and closed his eyes. Tristan could smell how badly he wanted to lie down next to him, but Jack didn't show any indication of it. "Do you know what a xenophile is?"

      Jack frowned as he worked out the word. "it's someone who's attracted to someone outside his specie, right?"

      Alex nodded, "attracted sexually," he clarified.

      "Ok," Jack said, not understanding.

      Alex exhaled, "I'm a xenophile Jack, I'm a gay xenophile."

      Jack sat up cross legged, facing Alex and tilted his head quizzically, "is that wrong?"

      "You don't understand," said Alex exasperated, "If I sleep in the same bed as you I don't know that I'll be able to control myself."

      Jack bunched up the covers over his midsection to hide his body's reaction as the implications sank in. "I think I do. You're saying that you're attracted to me." Alex nodded. "Do humans consider that wrong?" Jack asked, trying to understand Alex's position.

      Alex rested against the frame, the question taking most of the air out of his lungs. "Don't you?" he eventually managed to ask.

      Jack thought about it for a moment. "My people believe that if you're attracted to someone you should explore where that attraction leads. The only time we consider that to be wrong is if it's forced upon someone after it was rejected."

      "Then you get my position," Alex said with a sigh of relief.

      Jack couldn't maintain eye contact with him. He looked at the sheets, trying to flatten the wrinkles as he worked up the courage to say what he wanted to say. "I wouldn't reject you," he said quietly.

      "What? Why?" Alex asked in surprise.

      Jack looked at him, trying to form the words. "You've been nice to me, nicer than anyone I've met since coming here. You look nice, different, but nice. I'd, I'd like to find out what it's like being with you."

      "You can't mean that," Alex said, looking at him in disbelief. He was holding on to the doorframe as if it was the only think stopping him from running across the room and jumping on the bed.

      "I don't think I understand humans, you do things very differently than we do, but I think I understand you. You've invited me to stay here and you never asked for anything in return. You could have forced yourself on me as a form of repayment, but you didn't." Jack extended a hand toward the human, "I trust you Alex."

      Alex looked at the hand and hesitantly walked across the floor to take it, climbing on the bed. Jack licked his cheek softly, careful of his abrasive tongue, and then Alex kissed him. Working out how to kiss a muzzle left them both giggling and feeling much better about exploring each other's body.

      * * * * *

      Tristan looked at the ceiling, he'd been awake for an hour now, with Alex half draped over his chest. He fought the impulse to push him away since it wasn't what Jack would do. Getting Alex comfortable about sleeping with him was the last thing he needed to do before moving on to the next part of his plan. He had used the time he'd been here to write programs within Alex's computer to monitor how he accessed his company system. Today would be the perfect opportunity to get him to do that.

      As if on cue Alex stirred and looked up at him.

      "Good morning," Jack said with a wide grin.

      Alex yawned, "'morning" he replied, "how are you feeling?"

      "I feel wonderful."

      "Any soreness?" Alex asked with a bit of worry.

      "Only a little," Jack answered, "not as much as I thought there'd be. What about you?"

      Alex chuckled "more than a little." He lifted the covers and took a look at Jack's midsection. "You were much bigger than I expected."

      Jack's ears went flat in embarrassment. "I'm sorry. After you did it to me I just wanted to show you how good it felt."

      "It's a good soreness, I'm not complaining. In fact I'm hoping we get to do it again."

      Jack smiled and pulled him into a kiss, they had figured out how to make that work around midnight. "Me too, in fact," he said, nodding to the growing tent in the sheet, "maybe we should do it now."

      Alex placed a hand over it and rubbed up and down, making Jack purrs. "Don't you have an appointment today?"

      "That's not 'till this afternoon. So we have plenty of time," Jack said between moan.

      "Well, in that case." Alex disappeared under the covers, the bubble caused by his head moving until it was over the alien's groin.

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