In the year 2152 the last of humanity lives on a series of generational spaceships. Twice a year, on the ship known as Alpha One, five scouts are chosen to head out into deep space and find places where Alpha One can re-stock its supplies.
Tobias Hark, newly qualified pilot, is one of those scouts but Tobias isn’t being sent on his mission alone. He has been paired with his commanding officer, Javier De Santos. Javier also happens to be the one man that Tobias has been crushing on ever since he joined the pilot unit. But there are rules on Alpha One and those rules mean that Tobias can never let his superior officer know how he feels.
Javier has been following those rules too, despite the fact that he has lusted after Tobias from the day they met. But when their ship lands on a strange planet, and they have to make some drastic decisions in order to survive, Javier soon realizes that if there is ever a time to break those rules it is now. Because protecting Tobias has just become his priority and the only way that Javier can do that is by crossing the line.
If Javier DeSantos heard the word ‘sir’ come out of Tobias Hark’s mouth just one more time he swore it would be his undoing. It wasn’t even the word itself, though that was bad enough. It was the way the young pilot said the damn thing. The way his green eyes seemed to widen. The way his lips parted softly as he spoke. And the way his skin flushed...that soft fucking skin of his...
It was constantly flushed around Javier, and Javier knew why, of course he did, it was fucking obvious. The young pilot had a crush on him. He’d had that crush since his very first day of pilot training.
Javier could remember well the moment he had picked up on it. It had been midday and after the usual briefings that all new pilots were given, Javier had decided to launch them straight into a virtual reality scenario. He often did things like that, springing scenarios and tests on his recruits, it gave him an idea of who was confident, who would need a bit more attention and so on.
The VR was for a planetary landing. Javier had been strapping the pilots into their test modules. Tobias had been the last on his list of new recruits. Javier had eleven in all. Slightly less than the other officers but unlike the other officers Javier didn’t just train new recruits, he was still on active pilot duty himself.
He’d moved across the room to Tobias’ module. The young man was already trying to strap himself in. He was eager. That thought made Javier sigh inwardly. He’d read over Tobias’ record when Tobias had been assigned to him. The young man had only just turned twenty-five—the age of entry to the pilot unit—and he’d come all the way from module zero one, the module at the very front of the ship, one that Javier hadn’t visited in years. The people there tended to end up in the engineering or medical units. Tobias was the first of them to apply for the pilot unit in more than a decade.
And of course, Javier had noticed the other man during their briefing, realized how good looking he was, but he certainly wasn’t the only attractive male to enter the unit, and Javier had thought no more of it.
“Let me show you how to do that properly, Tobias,” Javier had said as he approached Tobias’ module.
The younger man had smiled at those words, looked up, and that was when it happened. That was when Tobias’ crush started...and when Javier’s raging lust did too. In those first few moments together, as Javier looked down at Tobias, as Tobias looked up at him, something clicked between them.
It was just a moment, just a heartbeat, but it happened.
And then Tobias’ skin had flushed a deep, deep pink, his green eyes had widened, and he’d whispered just two words, “Yes, sir.”
Those two words had featured in pretty much every wet dream that Javier had experienced since. And there had been plenty of those dreams because try as he might, Javier couldn’t help the fact that Tobias’ crush was not unrequited. Javier felt it too, and no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t stop himself from wanting Tobias.
And what the hell was that going to mean for the mission ahead?
“Sir, I’m confused...” Tobias began.
Javier sucked in a deep breath. It was the voice he decided then. The voice did not help matters at all. It was too soft, too easy to imagine it in his ears as he slid his body over the other man’s...
“There’s no need for confusion, pilot, it’s quite simple,” Javier said quickly. “I will be flying the primary scout ship and you will be my co-pilot.”
“You’re coming on the mission too, sir?” Tobias asked and his voice, that damn voice, was filled with confusion.
Javier turned to him and shot him a look. Tobias did not return it. He simply flushed and lowered his gaze. It took quite a bit of Javier’s willpower to stop his body from reacting to the sight of that in the way that it wanted to. “Do you have a problem with me coming on the mission?” he asked.
“No,” Tobias said quickly. “Of course not, I...just...”
“You just what?” Javier demanded.
“I thought scouts went out alone, sir,” Tobias said.
And he was right about that, of course he was, because apart from being the most attractive male that Javier had ever met, Tobias was also the only pilot in over twenty years who had scored one hundred percent on every single exam that he had ever taken. The test flights, the written exams, the oral exams, he never put a foot wrong. That was the reason he had been chosen for this mission, the most important mission of this entire scouting campaign. And that was the reason that Javier could not pick someone else, someone who did not make his body clench with desire, someone who did not make him wake up in the middle of the night with an erection that just wouldn’t quit, someone who didn’t make Javier feel like he might explode every time they were close to one another...
Tobias was the best person for this job.
Whether Javier liked it or not.