Jensen stood at the side of the window and parted the curtains a fraction. A cab was pulling away from the curb, dirty yellow and splashing salty slush onto the side of his car. The knock on his door came a second later.
It was a little tough to stand a guy up on a date when the guy knew where you lived.
Jensen considered not answering it. There was no hard and fast rule stating that he had to. He could chalk the last several days up as an exercise in repeatedly awful decision making. Good fodder for his next novel, perhaps. Jared had played him as easy as a game of checkers, and he’d let it happen, an oblivious, fool smile plastered on his face the entire time.
A rattle of the handle accompanied another knock on the door, and Jensen walked over to it, bare feet slapping on the floor. As much as he didn’t want to see Jared, there was a note of inevitability to the situation. Besides, if he didn’t answer, the felonious bastard would probably find a way to break in using nothing more than a loose nail from Jensen’s porch and maybe a credit card.
Jared was all wide smiles and fast-talking when Jensen let him in. “It’s okay,” Jared said, pausing to kiss Jensen on his temple before moving past him into the house. “No big deal. I’m not mad, I swear. I know how it can get when you’re working. It’s easy to get wrapped up, and I’m sorry if I interrupted something good. I tried to call, but I think your phone might be dead?” He shrugged out of his coat, dumped it and his backpack on the couch and cut a path toward the kitchen. “Go back to work, forget I’m here. I can make us something to eat if you’re hungry. Are you hungry?”
Jensen’s heart clenched at the sight of him. Jared was dressed for an honest to god date: jeans that actually fit him, riding low and hugging the curve of his ass in a way that made Jensen want to touch him, Texas belt buckle gleaming in the overhead stove light, a button down shirt with some black on black paisley pattern open at his neck. He’d tamed his mop of hair. It curled behind his ears, stray strands falling into his face. And Jesus, he smelled good. Aftershave. Expensive.
Jensen tucked himself into the corner of the kitchen and faced Jared, knuckles white as he gripped the counter.
Jared opened the fridge and bent to look inside, giving Jensen a view that was just this side of pornographic. He grabbed a pitcher of tea and poured himself a glass, just like he owned the joint. “Or we can still go out,” Jared continued. “I’m on board for anything, really.”
Wincing, Jared said, “I’m doing it again, aren’t I? That thing where I talk too fast and too much and come off like a complete creep.”
“Just stop,” Jensen repeated.
Jared leaned against the opposite counter, crossing one foot over the other, his body one graceful, continual line from head to toe. His posture made him look like he belonged on a dry, southern ranch somewhere, leaning against a weathered fence rail. He didn’t belong here, in a small New England town in the heart of winter, in some two-bit author’s kitchen, sucking all the air out of the room without any awareness that he was doing it. The only thing the guy needed was a cowboy hat. The image made Jensen want to squirm. All this, and now a cowboy kink sitting just as pretty as a cherry on top. How very stereotypical of him.
“Come clean with me,” Jensen said.
Jared did a hell of a job looking confused. He could probably add actor extraordinaire to his list of talents on his resume, right after author, liar, and deceiving son of a bitch. “I’d be glad to,” Jared said slowly, “but I think I need a little more information first.”
“I talked to Misha,” Jensen said.
It was obvious that Jared either failed to connect the dots, or else he was being purposefully hard-headed and obtuse. “Only natural, since he’s sorta living with you right now.”
Jensen went on, anger heating his words. “I get it. Everyone always says that they come to this place because they want to perfect their craft, whatever the fuck that means, or learn from other authors, but we all know that’s bullshit. There’s only one reason you guys show up here for this week, and it’s because agents and editors flock to this place. It’s the only way a lot of you can get face time with the folks who usually hide behind answering machines and emails, or fucking rejection post-it notes. Or you get to meet with people like Reedy, or maybe even me. People who can shove doors open for you.”
“That’s not necessarily true,” Jared cut in.
“Yes it is,” Jensen countered him. “I know it. I’ve done it myself. And I still let you back me into a corner.”
“Are we talking literally or figuratively here? Because I’m man enough to admit that I’m a little bit lost right now.”
“Don’t think I’m stupid,” Jensen snapped. “I might be a pushover, and the absolute worst kind of fool, but I’m not dumb.”
“Scratch that. I’m a lot lost right now,” Jared said.
“You found out that Misha was my editor the first day we met. It wouldn’t take a lot of digging to find out that he’s a pretty big name at HarperCollins. Cue the hook-up, the theft and vandalism, a somewhat public sexual adventure, and mix that all together with the fact that you haven’t gotten a deal yet. You’re desperate. So of course you’d try to get something going with Misha. It’s the next logical step and makes perfect sense. Not only does he have a lot riding on me, he’s also my best friend. You knew he’d do whatever he could to pull me out of a jam. He’s been doing it for almost a decade.” Jensen had his hands wrapped so tight against the counter that he was surprised the granite hadn’t cracked. He felt deflated. Used and used up. “The bitch of the thing is that you could have done it on your own, without all the bullshit. You’re fucking good, Jared. You remind me of Ali Smith, minus all the manic depression.”
Jared was staring at his feet, nodding slowly. He looked at Jensen from beneath his brow, and when he laughed there wasn’t a lick of humor in it. “If you can cook up a plot like that, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to pump out a bestseller every two months.”
He’d expected Jared to start in on a series of backpedaling excuses. Jensen crossed his arms and waited for them to hit, thought about perhaps taking notes.
“You’re right on a couple of accounts,” Jared went on. “I’m desperate, and maybe I’ve tried to call in a favor to Misha, but not for the reasons you’re thinking. I asked him to read some of my stuff, sure, but I never even suggested that he take me on. I wanted to know if it was time for me to cut my losses, give up on my romantic idea of becoming a writer of stuff that mattered. I wanted to know if I had a chance in hell, and Misha is a straight shooter if ever I’ve met one. If he offered me a contract, I wouldn’t take it. Mainly because he’s yours, and also because I wouldn’t think that I’ve earned it.”
A sliver of doubt wormed its way into Jensen’s wall of logic, started to splinter it like a rock to a windshield.
“And maybe I did all those things—the stealing and the sneaking around—to remind you that there are still signs of life outside of your four walls. To give you something to write about, because the next time I see something new with your name on the cover on a bookstore shelf, my world will instantly turn into a much better place.” Jared gave him a sad smile. “And I guess I came on too strong, showing up at your workshop and turning up on your doorstep whenever I could spare a minute. But I met you less than a week ago, and I haven’t been able to get you out of my head since them. I can’t even find it in myself to actually try.”
Jensen struggled to swallow past the sudden block in his throat.
Jared wasn’t done. Not yet. “The way I see it, there are two possible ways for this story to end. Either you believe me or you don’t.” Jared shrugged. “So maybe you’ll believe me more sooner than later, and there will be some ridiculous scene straight out of a romantic comedy, you chasing me down at the airport or something. Or maybe twenty years from now, you’ll find a story I’ve published in the back of some stupid Playboy magazine, and have your very own little Bridges of Madison County moment.”
“Not a big fan of romantic comedies,” Jensen said. “But I do like Meryl Streep. I never read the book though.”
Jared crossed the room with a couple of long strides. He hooked his hands around Jensen’s hips, and goddamnit, but Jensen let him. “It’s up to you, Jensen. But the one thing I do know is that I don’t write those kinds of stories. And I’m pretty sure that you don’t either.”
“I fucked up, didn’t I?” Jensen asked, covering Jared’s hands with his own. His face felt hot, and he wanted to find the nearest appropriately large rock, crawl underneath it and hibernate until sometime next spring.
Jared scrunched his nose and shook his head. “Not really. It’s your overactive imagination. Comes with the territory. Sort of an occupational hazard.” Jared pressed his lips to Jensen’s forehead. “Besides, I kinda like that you cast me in the part of a tall, dark, and mysterious stranger, who may or may not have some sort of hidden agenda.”
“You have to understand my reasoning.”
“Sure thing, Sherlock,” Jared said. “Hold on. Back up. You think I write like Ali Smith?”
“Talk about a left-hand turn,” Jensen laughed. “But, yeah.”
“I’ve only ever read Hotel World. That stream of consciousness chapter hits like a one-two punch to the gut. Huge shoes to fill.”
“Good thing you’ve got big feet.” Jensen slid up onto the counter and slung his arms loosely around Jared’s neck. He hooked an ankle around Jared’s thigh and pulled him in close. “Tomorrow.” Jensen left the thought unfinished.
“We’re still not thinking about that,” Jared said, and kissed him, spreading his hands huge and warm on the small of Jensen’s back and digging in. Jensen squeezed his thighs along Jared’s hips and deepened the kiss, licking into Jared’s mouth, swallowing down the taste of him.
Jared broke away. “Were you working?”
“Actually, I was standing you up,” Jensen admitted, swiping the pad of his thumb along Jared’s bottom lip.
“I blew that plan out of the water, didn’t I?”
“Don’t think I mind so much anymore,” Jensen said, kissing him again.
A wave of cold air told Jensen that Misha was home. He heard the skid of Misha’s footsteps coming to a stop right inside the kitchen door and pressed his lips to the corner of Jared mouth, then once again for good measure. “We just can’t catch a break these last few days,” he whispered, and then looked pointedly over Jared’s shoulder.
The startled look on Misha’s face might have been comical if Jensen wasn’t incredibly turned on and hell bent on getting Jared in his bed as soon as possible.
Misha gaped at them for a few seconds, and with some effort visibly recovered. “Oh for god’s sake,” he said. “I’m not gonna ask.”
“Discretion is the better part of valor,” Jensen said.
“Damned if I didn’t think that was most of the problem,” Misha shot back.
Jared looked confused, but kept his mouth shut.
Misha laid his briefcase on the table, thumbed the latches and produced a stack of papers with colored tabs sticking out all over. “Jared, I just need your signature in a few spots, and then you gentlemen can get back to…whatever it is you need to get back to.”
Jared flipped through the papers, a slow realization dawning on his face and his mouth pressing into a tight, thin line. “Nope. No way. I mean, thank you. So much. But no.” Jared tried to pass them back to Misha, only Misha refused, stuck his hands up, palms forward like he was surrendering.
“I just spent the last hour of my life selling a novel that I’ve never set eyes on, in the strictest sense of the word. I couldn’t even give my boss a title, much less a synopsis. It took a lot of fast-talking on my part, which granted, I’m sort of known for, but it still wasn’t easy.”
“But that’s the problem,” Jared said. “You haven’t even seen it. I might suck. Actually, I’m pretty sure I can’t write my way out of a paper bag.”
Misha turned his gaze to Jensen, boring into him. “Heaven help me, but I have two of you to deal with now.”
“Not my fault,” Jensen said.
“In reality it probably is all your fault. Alright, perhaps a little mine, but primarily yours.”
Jensen tried on what he hoped was his most disarming smile.
“Doesn’t work on me, brother. I’m immune,” Misha told him. He turned to Jared. “Please, tell me you have a novel. Tell me I haven’t just sold something that doesn’t actually exist.”
“I have four,” Jared said. “And two more that need re-writes. They could probably be ready within a few weeks.”
Jensen whistled low. “You wouldn’t mind me taking one of those off your hands? What’s a little plagiarism between friends?”
Misha ignored him. “Thank god. I’m going to press my luck and ask you if you have any of them with you.”
Jared disappeared from the room and returned less than a minute later, his backpack slung backward over his shoulder as he dug through it. He produced three thick manuscripts, several hundred pages each. They landed on the table with a heavy thud.
Misha sighed. “Looks like my night just took a nosedive.”
“You’re in heaven right now, and you know it,” Jensen chided.
Misha gave him an impish smile. “You’re right. I am.” He tucked the novels into the crook of his arm. “This calls for some decent gin. Can I use your car?”
Jensen dug the keys out of his pocket and tossed them over. “It pulls to the left nowadays.”
“I’m not gonna ask.”
“Please don’t,” Jensen said.
Jared was spread out on the center of the bed, his back set in a gorgeous arch, arms above his head gripping the headboard so tightly his fingers were white with it. He was fighting the urge to drive his hips upward, shoving them deeper down into the mess of blankets and sheets instead, his body twisting and turning in small bursts.
Jensen sucked a bruise on the smooth skin of Jared’s stomach, his hand loosely circling Jared’s dick, jerking him off, deliberately slow and teasing. Because of Jared, Jensen had wasted the day pacing the rooms of his house, pissed off and distracted. It wasn’t the guy’s fault, but Jensen felt the need to exact a little revenge. Besides, it bought him some time to enjoy the view.
“C’mon, please,” Jared begged, and Jensen bit down on the mark he’d made, worrying the skin between his teeth.
“Patience,” Jensen murmured, letting his lips drag and catch on Jared’s skin.
Jared hissed, his head tossed back, beads of precome slicking the head of his dick. Jensen moved lower, pressed his tongue to Jared’s slit and hummed at the taste. A shock of want zipped through his body from his toes to the tips of his fingers.
Jensen crawled up, blanketing Jared’s body with his own, his cock a heavy weight between his legs, so hard it almost hurt. He sealed their lips together, tongue tracing the shape of Jared’s teeth and the roof of his mouth, just holding on as Jared writhed beneath him.
Need and want was building into a slow burn that lit up every cell in his body, and Jensen broke the kiss, blindly digging through his nightstand. He sat up to straddle Jared’s hips and pressed a condom and lube to Jared’s chest.
Jared’s eyes became impossibly darker, and his hips rolled up at the sight. “Yeah,” Jared said and licked his lips. “Fuck yeah.” He pushed himself up and buried his face into the crook of Jensen’s neck.
“’Fuck yeah’?” Jensen teased, smiling and angling his head to make room for Jared’s mouth. “You’ve written six books and all you can come up with is ‘fuck yeah’?”
Jared let out a breathy laugh. “I wasn’t having sex while I was writing them,” he said, and manhandled Jensen, flipping them over. He popped the cap on the lube and slicked his fingers. “What?” he said in response to Jensen’s grin. “You want me to write you a sonnet?” He kneeled between Jensen’s legs, urging his thighs wider, jacking Jensen off slow with one hand and pressing a fingertip to Jensen’s hole with the other.
“Form and function in poetry,” Jensen said through his gritted teeth. He was so turned on, wanting, anxious and apprehensive all at once.
“You really know how to sweet talk a guy. Although I have to say that I’ve always preferred free form poetry to the more concrete conventions.”
Jared pressed a finger inside, sending a jolt through Jensen’s body. He worked it in and out, eyes fixed on the spot where they were joined.
“Don’t tell me you want to discuss poetic form right now,” Jared said as he raked his nails lightly along Jensen’s inner thigh. “I mean. I could, if you want. But…” Jared trailed off, urging Jensen’s legs even further apart. He added a second finger to the first, and twisted his wrist in a way that made Jensen forget how to breathe. “Holy fuck, you feel so good,” Jared said, diving forward and mouthing at Jensen’s dick. He sucked Jensen down quickly, straight to the root as his fingers continued to open him up.
It was too much, the tickle of Jared’s hair on his stomach, the feeling of Jared’s throat working around him and the slip slide of Jared’s fingers inside of him, a third now added to the other two. Pinpricks of light started dotting Jensen’s vision, and his orgasm slammed into him fast. His hips shot off the bed and he was coming down Jared’s throat, his hands tangled in Jared’s hair.
Jared kept swallowing around him, finally pulling off, his lips dark and swollen, wet with spit and come. He wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand. “I wish,” Jared started, sliding his body along Jensen’s. He scratched his fingernails along Jensen’s sweaty scalp, kissed along Jensen’s throat, his mouth hot and slick. Centering a searching, dark gaze on Jensen’s face, he said, “God, Jensen. Look at you. I want—“
Jensen shushed him with a kiss, trying to ignore this swooping, twisted up feeling deep in his stomach. He dug his heels into the backs of Jared’s thighs and slotted their hips together. Finding the condom in the wrecked tangle of blankets, Jensen ripped it open with his teeth, and pushed Jared back with one hand square in the center of his chest. “Please,” Jensen said, rolling the condom down Jared’s shaft, feeling the hot pulse of Jared’s flesh in his fist as he slicked him up. “C’mon.”
Jensen bit on his bottom lip, squeezed his eyes shut and fought the need to squirm at the burning stretch of his body around Jared’s cock. Jared sunk into him, inch by inch, bottoming out with an explosive rush of air from his lungs.
“Fuck,” Jensen hissed, experimenting with a small shift of his hips. The dull ache of being so full melted into a warmth that spiraled through his body. “Holy,” he panted, rolling his hips a little more forcefully. “Fuck.”
Jared laughed, soft and low. He bit down on Jensen’s earlobe, teasing the skin between his teeth. “Who’s the poetic one, now?”
Jensen set his nails into Jared’s back and his teeth into Jared’s shoulder as payback. Jared’s response was immediate; his whole body snapped forward, fucking into Jensen with a force that pushed them both along the bed, the headboard rattling against the wall. Jared pulled out, just the crown of his cock catching on Jensen’s rim, only to slam into him again.
Jensen reeled with it, a crazy, non-sequitur part of his mind wondering if Jared was going to break his house or at least his bed. It didn’t matter. Not much mattered outside the sensation of Jared buried inside of him so deeply, and the slick slide of their skin as they moved together, the feeling of Jared’s mouth hot on his own. Not really kissing, more like breathing into each other.
A high flush painted Jared’s cheekbones, sweat trailed down his temples and along his jaw. Jensen licked at Jared’s skin, tasted salt and the bitter traces of aftershave. He wrapped his arms tight around Jared’s neck and kept pace with Jared’s thrusts as they grew quicker and started to lose their rhythm. The muscles of Jared’s back tightened when he came, his head tossed back and his body slapping hard against Jensen’s ass. With his hips still working through the aftershocks of his orgasm, Jared licked into Jensen’s mouth. A breathless kiss that made Jensen feel like he might drown.
Jared panted, rolled to his side and made quick work of the condom. He laughed. “Jensen Ackles,” he said, shaking his head. “I never would have thought that I’d end up here.” He turned toward Jensen, tucked his hands beneath his cheek and blinked slowly. “The craziest thing is that I can’t even tell anyone about it. No one would believe me.”
“Yeah, right. I’m a myth,” Jensen said, his mouth twisting with sarcasm.
“If you asked my last post modern lit class, they’d say that you are.”
“Then I’m a hungry myth. Does the offer still stand?” Jensen asked.
Jared snaked an arm under Jensen’s neck, absently stroking his shoulder. “In a few minutes,” he mumbled with a sated, tired smile. “I’ll make us pancakes.”
Jensen watched Jared settle into sleep. Sweat was drying on their bodies and gluing them together, and Jensen was surprised to discover that he didn’t mind. Not at all. Within minutes, Jared’s eyes began to flicker beneath his closed eyelids, and his mouth started moving. The guy never kept quiet, not even in his sleep.
Jensen rubbed their ankles together and whispered his name, getting no response. Jared was leaving tomorrow, and every fiber in Jensen’s body screamed at him to not waste a second of the few hours they had left.
He closed his eyes, letting his mind wander into white picket fence thinking. Jensen knew that he could be impossible to get along with. He rankled easily, quickly lost patience with people and tended to open his mouth without thinking. Jensen was frequently solitary, often moody, and mulishly set in his ways.
Jared understood him; he smiled in the face of Jensen’s sarcasm, ran unapologetically roughshod over Jensen’s stubborn streak. He knew when Jensen needed to be left alone. More importantly, he knew when he shouldn’t be.
Jensen wasn’t going to let himself love Jared. It was impossible. Too late and too much. He could love parts of him, though. He’d allow for that.
He loved Jared’s hands and all the tricks they played. The way they made him feel strung up and inside out. He loved that Jared knew all the words to every Allman Brothers song ever written, and that he liked his liquor sweet and his coffee even sweeter, but didn’t care much for chocolate. He loved the way his palms fit just right on the jut of Jared’s hipbones, and the shape of Jared’s mouth, the way he gritted his teeth and tossed his head back when Jensen touched him in a certain way. He loved Jared’s wicked smile, his biting humor, and the bright, infectious sound of his laugh. Jensen loved how he smelled, the way he tasted, and the sound of his own name in Jared’s mouth.
Jensen splayed a hand on Jared’s chest, felt his heartbeat and the slow rise and fall of his breath. Jared hugged him a little tighter in his sleep when Jensen kissed his temple. He tucked a stray lock of hair behind Jared’s ear and felt girly as hell doing it. “Fuck it,” Jensen whispered, mostly to himself. “Don’t go. I don’t want you to go.”
Jensen rolled over, stretched out his arm and cracked open an eye when the other half of the bed came up empty. The clock across the room told him it was hours before dawn and too early to be awake. There was an indistinct thudding noise coming from the ceiling, then the sound of chair legs scudding across the floor. He got up, found his jeans half kicked under the bed and stiffly pulled them on.
An empty bottle of wine was sitting on the end table in the living room, red dregs in the bottom of the glass next to it. Misha was propped upright, legs folded beneath him in the chair. His face held a pensive expression as he flipped past another page in a manuscript, let it fall to join a pile of pages on the floor.
Misha blinked at Jensen, refocusing, and then gave him a tired smile. He crossed his lips with a finger and pointed toward the ceiling.
About half way up the stairs Jensen began to hear the scratchy sound of New Orleans jazz piping from his record player. The one and only King Oliver playing dixieland, and Jensen smiled at Jared’s taste in music, wondered how many more surprises Jared had tucked away.
There was a sliver of light coming from the cracked door to Jensen’s study, and Jensen inched it open a little further, leaned against the wall and watched.
Jared was bent over Jensen’s typewriter, the low electric hum of the thing complimenting the hiss of the vinyl record. He was shirtless, his jeans riding low and loose, bare feet sticking out of the frayed cuffs at the end. His messy hair teased at his neck and his spine, falling into his face when Jared leaned forward. The low, yellow colored light worked miracles on the muscles of Jared’s back and shoulders as he typed.
He’d spent a lot of time with Jared over the last week, had spent much of that time studying him, truth be told. He could gauge Jared’s reaction to a dozen situations, and could tell when Jared’s smile was real, and when he was faking it. But right now he hardly recognized the guy. There was this level of concentration and composure that he didn’t think Jared had in him, some nearly tangible air of authority over whatever he was putting down on paper.
Jensen wondered what he looked like when he wrote, figured he’d never find out. Writing for him had always been a fairly solitary thing. He liked his quiet, preferred complete void from outside influence. Even a sunny day could sometimes be too much of a diversion.
Jared ripped the page out of the typewriter, inserted a new one without a second glance and kept on going. He filled up about half of it and flicked the curling page backward to look it over, his tongue sneaking out to tease at his slightly crooked tooth as he read. He grabbed a pencil from the desk, started to make a correction only to sit back, twirling the pencil between his fingers and muttering something low and unintelligible. A few more lines hit the page before Jared leaned back, tipped the front legs of the wooden chair off of the floor and worked out the kinks in his spine. “I know you’re there,” Jared said, startling Jensen and making him feel like he’d been caught. Jared waved an invitation.
Jensen crossed the room, tucking himself into Jared’s outstretched arm. The number twelve was stamped on the top of the paper in the typewriter, and Jensen felt a short-lived flash of irrational jealousy. It would probably take him three weeks to write twelve typed pages at this point, and Jared had probably done it in a couple of hours. He avoided looking any further down the page. It was a matter of professional courtesy, after all.
Jared’s fingers were cold when they curled around Jensen’s hip. Jensen leaned in, kissed the bridge of Jared’s nose, warmth infusing his body at the sight of Jared’s slow, soft smile. “I didn’t want to interrupt,” Jensen said. “Sounded like you had a good thing going.”
“I don’t mind. It’s easy enough to come back to.” Jared pulled Jensen down to straddle his lap, hummed low as Jensen shifted and got comfortable. His hands wandered along the seams on the thighs of Jensen’s jeans. “I hope it doesn’t bother you that I used your typewriter.”
Jensen shrugged. “Not really. It’s good to see someone knocking the dust off the old gal.”
“You need to change the tape. I rewound it, but the letters are starting to fade.” Jared kissed the corner of Jensen’s mouth.
“I know.” Jared dodged away when Jensen tried to kiss him back.
“The ‘w’ kinda sticks.”
“So does the semi-colon.”
“Really? I hardly ever use it,” Jensen said. “Compound sentences. Impressive.”
“Complex-compound sentences. Look ‘em up.”
Jensen tangled his hands in Jared’s hair, holding him steady as he ran his mouth along the length of Jared’s neck. Jared squirmed beneath him, brought their hips closer together. “I might have to. You’ve seen how I write,” Jensen continued, “it’s all grit and no grammar.”
Jared laughed, a sound that skittered down Jensen’s spine and right back up again. “Hell, if it works.”
Jensen made a slow circle of his hips, scratched his nails lightly down Jared’s chest. Jared was getting hard again, pressing into Jensen’s crotch, the head of his cock peeking out of the unhooked waistband of his jeans. It made Jensen’s mouth water.
Jensen slid backward, off of Jared’s lap and pushed the chair away from the desk. He fell to his knees in front of Jared, yanking at his pants until they were a puddle on the floor.
Jared’s hands were tight on his thighs when Jensen wrapped his mouth around him. He still tasted like lube and latex, mixed in with lingering traces of come. Jensen let his teeth gently graze the head of Jared’s cock, pressed his tongue right beneath the crown and sucked. He pulled with a soft pop, gathered spit and precome on his thumb and licked at it. Jared moaned, canted his hips a little and pushed a hand through Jensen’s hair.
He dragged his lips down the length of Jared’s cock and back up, Jared’s flesh hot and heavy when he sucked him down again. Jared’s balls were pulled tight to his body, and Jensen rolled them between his fingers.
“Holy fuck,” Jared said, looking down at him, his mouth slack and his bangs spilling across his face. He touched Jensen’s cheek, felt the shape of his own cock in Jensen’s mouth and let his eyes slip closed.
Jensen hummed. The vibration made Jared’s toes curl and his hand tighten in Jensen’s hair. He suckled at the tip of Jared’s dick, and rubbed it over his lips before taking him back in as far as he could, nudging at the back of his throat.
Jared was panting, flushed, the muscles in his stomach pulled tight. “Your fucking mouth,” he gasped.
Jensen pulled off and gave Jared an evil smile, “You can move, you know. I don’t mind.”
Jared bucked up into Jensen’s mouth immediately. Jensen opened wider, relaxed his aching jaw and let Jared slide in deep. A few thrusts later, and Jared was coming with a shout, come painting the back of Jensen’s throat and splashing bitter on his tongue.
Jared slid further down in the chair, legs wide open and his head falling to his shoulder. Like this, he was the absolute picture of debauchery, the gleam of sweat accentuating his muscles while he tried to steady his breath. He rubbed his eyes. “I was loud, huh?”
Stifling a laugh, Jensen gathered Jared’s jeans and handed them over. “A little,” he said with a half shrug. He staggered to his feet, his legs tingling and somewhat numb.
“You wanna?” Jared asked, still fuzzy. He tipped forward and rested his head on Jensen’s bare stomach, fingers fumbling with the waistband of Jensen’s pants.
Tangling their fingers together for a brief second, Jensen shook his head. “I’m not done with you for the night. But not right now. Get dressed,” he ordered. “I’m hungry.”
Jared followed him down the stairs.
“What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on that wall,” Misha said, still seated, as Jared and Jensen padded across the living room. He spoke in hushed tones, appropriate for the early hour. Turning a serious look at Jared he said, “Thank you.”
“For what?” Jared asked.
“For helping me remain a man of my word.” Misha nodded at the stack of manuscripts sitting on the floor. “The one in the middle. Reservation. It needs some edits, but I’m publishing it. Sign the contract and leave me your address. You’ll have a check within a couple of weeks.” He pushed himself off of the chair and started toward the guest room, only to turn in the doorway and point at Jensen. “You might even be able to afford to take my boy here out to dinner after I take my cut.”
“You’re saying it’s good?” Jared called out after him.
Misha answered through the closed door. “I’m saying it’s not bad.”
Jared turned toward Jensen, a tentative smile on his face.
“You’ll get used to him,” Jensen said, dragging Jared into the kitchen.
From his seat at the table, Jensen watched Jared move confidently around his kitchen. "Pancakes at two in the morning," Jensen mused. "You don't think that's weird, do you?"
Jared cracked a couple of eggs into a bowl. "It's not weird if you're hungry. We're not nine-to-five people."
"Makes us impossible to live with, though. It's not normal."
"We just have to find the right people to live with," Jared said absently. "Besides, there's no such thing as normal. Normal is relative."
Jared was uncharacteristically quiet on the ride to the airport. He putzed around with the radio, stared out the window for a while and kept compulsively checking through the pockets of his backpack. He paged through his book deal, reading clauses aloud and asking Jensen a handful of questions. “Do you think I should have gotten a lawyer first?”
“Nah,” Jensen said. “Misha cut the deal. I’d say you’re fairly safe.”
“Misha’s the only man in the business you trust, right?” Jared said, smiling. “He wouldn’t screw me over.”
Jensen cast a sidelong glance at him. “No, he’d screw you over alright, but he’d never do it behind your back. He’d tell you he was screwing you over, and then give you a thirty-second head start.”
They pulled up to the departure ramp, and Jensen jumped out of the car, nearly fleeing in the direction of the trunk. He lifted Jared’s suitcase out of the back and closed the trunk, concentrating on the shiny red surface and the feeling of cold metal under his hands. The air was heavy with exhaust, and the concrete beneath his feet vibrated with the movement of cars across it. He concentrated on those things too.
Jared came up behind him and kissed the back of his neck. “Jensen, I—“
Jensen quickly faced him. “No,” he commanded, more harshly than he’d intended. “We’re not gonna do this.”
He felt like he was about to do something impossible, huge and as terrifying as a tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon. His eyes stung and the air in his lungs burned, and he wished that Jared would stop looking at him that way, hopeful and sad all at the same time. Jensen forced himself to talk past the block in his throat. He took a deep breath; let it out slow and shaky. “Fun week.”
“Yeah, it was.” Jared’s voice was reed thin, stretched too tight.
“I think the snow’s gonna hold off.” Jensen glanced up at the grey sky.
“How can you start talking about the weather right now?”
"Listen,” Jensen said, licking his lips. “You said so yourself. We don't write those kinds of stories. We never have, and I don't think we should start now."
In the end he couldn't help himself. He slipped a hand on Jared’s neck, smoothing his thumb along his jaw. He kissed him, chaste and fast, three small kisses like punctuation marks. Jared tilted their foreheads together, his wool gloves scratching Jensen's neck. "I don't want to go," he said. He sounded so young.
Turned out that it was a quiet thing—the sound of a heart breaking. "Nothing says you have to." Jensen hated himself more and more with each outspoken word.
"Actually there's a lot that says so. And it all seems a lot less important than it did a couple of days ago."
"Then go. Just. Dedicate your next book to me, or something. Sound good?"
"Sounds good." Jared grabbed his suitcase, resolutely turned his back on Jensen and walked across the sidewalk, his feet dragging and the frayed cuffs of his jeans scuffing on the concrete.
Jensen rounded his car, spotting the corner of a wooden frame mostly shoved under his passenger seat. "Fuck," he muttered, tearing open the door and yanking it out. He yelled Jared's name, and Jared turned around fast, relief painting his face. He dropped his bags and started jogging toward Jensen.
They met each other half way.
"Here," he said, shoving his framed rejection letter in Jared's direction. "It might be worth something one day. You can pawn it if the writing gig doesn't pan out."
Jared's fingers slipped in between Jensen's when he gripped the frame, and then Jared was kissing him, hard and deep, desperate and perfect and Jensen didn’t want to stop. He never wanted to stop. Jared pressed the frame to Jensen's chest as they parted, and when he spoke he was breathless. "You keep it. Give it to me the next time I see you."
"Fucker," Jensen said.
Jared flashed him a grin. "I know. I'm crazy about you too."
Jared grabbed him in a rib-crunching hug, his mouth moving on Jensen’s skin when he whispered. “Thank you, Jensen. For everything. For things you don’t even know. Thank you.”