Hiya 🥰 Here’s Phin’s part with a bit of Jack ‘n’ Jake beneath it…
The Beast of Bodmin Moor 11
Phin nibbled on the end of his pen, staring at the spidery scrawl strewn across the page. Fractured phrases scattered without forethought and far less sense… Plush-lipped, lush-hipped grace…his incomparable face, a toffee tumble of hair, lusty-lidded stare… Paraiba tourmaline…aquamarine dream…topaz azure…nonpareil allure…Too Much at stake… JackJa/keJake.
Wasted wafflings of what might-have-been, had Phin not wanted too much. Or—at leastest of all leasts—not admitted it aloud. Lips like a leaky portaloo. It had felt as if the scratchy might flay the flesh off his bones when Jack fled. How Phin wished it would finally be done with him…but knew he was more likely to be suffocated by the solitude that kept him safe. If only there was a way to syphon off some too muchness, without turning him into the walking dead. Before Phin wound up too dead to be classified a corpse: Immodice mortem.
When he’d woken, bleary and beleaguered after his fitful nap, Phin felt as if Jake’s touch was imprinted on his flesh and he was an over-tuned string instrument. Strung too tight, sticky with sweat. Smeared in dried blood, his shrink-wrapped skin feverish with sense memory. Phin had even pressed wondering fingertips to his lips, where the imprint of Jake’s mouth still lingered. A sensation that whisked away the floodgates and unleashed a torrent of stuff Phin had nowhere safe to stash; no tried and tested ‘coping strategies’ in place. And even if he had any, there was just too much to sort and Phin felt too messy to make sense of himself. Let alone the tangle of tongues, trickling across skin…the moist heat of Jake’s magical mouth, engulfed in unimaginable bliss…and oh, the taste of him. The husky musk of Jake’s scent, his lush tumble of hair when he’d thrown his head back. The gravel-strewn growl of Phin’s very own name, thrilling through his veins.
Jake had gone. For good. It felt as far from good as Phin could imagine.
Left…without a word. Left Phin with? The echo of his own worth ringing in his ears. So whywhywhy come here?
Here, where it began? It was all a tad twisted, like staring into a murky puddle that mirrored his shame back at him. That was one way of looking at it, Phin supposed, but he hadn’t come to stare at himself. He just…couldn’t help but hope to see his foxy friend. Even if he had hallucinated those eyes of jet blue flame; a flicker of light in the darkness Phin loved. Warming him through as he sat there, shivering his nuts off.
The memory of Foxy’s face emerging from the shadows was so vivid, Phin actually heard the same soft whimper from the night before. A sound so true it had triggered the fall he hadn’t forgotten to remember, Phin just couldn’t. At all. The only recallable moment was the briefest blaze of blue. None of that mattered when he could recollect every scintillating second of the consequences that ensued, after waking in his van.
His only remembrance of the fall itself was hearing a whine so unexpected, it had distracted him too much to do concentrating. As clumsy as ever, he’d lost his footing on the tumble of rocks and smacked his head on a stone. He must have conked out for a bit—that much Phin knew—because he’d briefly come around and seen his foxy friend. But then, nothing, until he’d woken in his van. He must have scraped himself up, at some point, then staggered about ’til Jack found him and brought him back. That was the only chain of events made any sense; Jake’s only option other than leaving Phin where he found him. Phin hadn’t got his phone and Jake hadn’t even got pockets; neither of them could’ve called a cab that couldn’t collect them from the middle of the moors.
“Foxy…?” It was a bit daft calling him that, Phin had to confess. ‘Fox’ meant nothing to him—even if he was one—which he wasn’t. The image of Foxy in his mind’s eye was not a jot orange enough. Phin sure as carrot sick colours hadn’t misremembered that. He’d been shades of creamy caramel and grey, with black flecky bits. P’raps Phin should whistle and say something warm and welcoming instead, that might work.
“Here, boy…” He kept his voice as low, soft, unthreatening as he could, but heard nary a whimper—nor even a low growl of warning—in response. Typical…he’d now segued from rustling up hallucinations to imagining noises to torment himself with, too. Phin huffed a sigh so heartfelt it ruffled the pages of his journal. Abruptly done with suffering the consequences of his hapless hopes for the second time in swift succession, Phin— snapped his head up when a scrabbly scuffle shattered the silence. Foxy?
A furry flurry came hurtling from the shadows and took a flying leap over the rocky rubble. A sight too spectacular to wonder if he was about to find himself with a faceful of teeth and claws. As it turned out, that would have been a waste of wondering, so Phin was glad he hadn’t bothered when Foxy skittered to a stone ‘n’ spittle spraying halt, a few feet away. Phin almost split his kiss-chapped lips, so wide was his grin—but it wasn’t a patch on Foxy’s—which came complete with a dangling tongue so long, he won, paws down. He stood, panting puffy clouds of breath, his eyes so blue and glinty-bright they seemed spotlit from within.
Phin should consider telling Mr. Neil that he might need his meds upping. Unless he forgot. The urge to stroke Foxy was so strong, it would have been wise to sit on his hands, which was perhaps why Phin didn’t bother.
Maybe if he just held out his hand, then Foxy could choose? He might not want a stinky human to touch him and Phin could scarce blame him for that. Fearful of frightening him away, Phin raised his arm until his fingers hovered a few inches beneath the tip of Foxy’s tongue. Much to his inner happy dance of delight, Foxy started snuffing them, making small huffy noises when his cool, wet nose smudged Phin’s skin.
“Good boy…hello…” he crooned, hoping it sounded friendly to Foxy, who snuffled a smidge more, then flicked Phin a little lick that skimmed his fingertips.
Perhaps it had been to test Phin’s reaction, because that first, tentative touch of tongue was succeeded by a full-on slosh of Foxy slobber across the back of his hand. It was warm and wet and meant the world to Phin, who was honoured that Foxy even trusted him enough to come close, let alone gift him with a lick. A nudge of nose seemed to suggest that his newfound friend wanted access to Phin’s palm, so he turned the hand over. It was the left one, not his mangled right, so Foxy wouldn’t have to suffer the scabs, which would feel disgusting. After slurping a swipe across his upturned palm, Foxy abruptly lost interest in it and shoved his nose into the cuff of Phin’s trench coat instead. It was barely a huff of hot breath later that Foxy yanked his head back to (this bit may have been a hallucination) narrow his eyes at Phin. It sure looked that way when the space between his tufty eyebrows scrunched up while peering down his snoot. After a staring Phin out ’til he seemed satisfied, Foxy shoved his nose back into the cuff and…pushed, as if he wanted to bare the wrist. There didn’t seem any reason to disoblige him, so Phin hitched the sleeve up a tad. One sniff later, he found himself levelled with an expression so considering it was akin to his mum’s when weighing up whether he’d had a proper mishap or been up to mischief.
The sleeve was a direct tunnel to Phin’s armpit, which possibly didn’t smell very fresh in a week-old sweaty sock sort of way, so he didn’t blame Foxy one bit. His sense of smell possibly thought it had been clobbered by a niff more noxious than the carcasses he might just litter the moors with. Someone sure did, Phin had seen one for himself. The stinky pits theory stopped making sense when Foxy stalked behind Phin and snagged the elbow of his coat with sharp teeth and started tugging on the sleeve.
“What is it, Foxy?” he wondered, a bit bemused. In response, Foxy shot him a knowing look, then returned to Phin’s cuff and crammed his nose into it again. One snuff later, off he went, to repeat his tug-o-war with the elbow of the trench.
Phin had no idea why he had such a bee in his bonnet—that was an idiom, Foxy was not wearing one of those—which did suggest that Phin’s sanity was still salvageable. An excellent thing indeed when the very existence of the bonnet might be deemed a tad too much…even before Phin started wondering whether Foxy had come as Granny from Little Red Riding Hood.
The upshot of all this was that Foxy seemed to want access to Phin’s arm, which was the part that mattered, his reasons were his own business. Oouch…Phin had forgotten about the gash his jumper promptly grazed with wire wool aplomb when he shoved the sleeve to the crook of his elbow.
Uh oh. Foxy snorted a sound uncannily akin to a horse’s harrumph. Had this not been accompanied by an imperious squint, Phin might have suspected the wound was a stench too far after suffering the stinky armpit. Said squint ‘n’ stare made Foxy’s next move all the more oddsome. Rather than back off in disgust, he swiped a stinging sluice across the ugly slash. Moonlight was not its best look, it must be admitted; blood blackened and scabby on blanched to bone skin.
The sting was fleeting, it had no sooner sparked to life than faded to a silken warmth when Foxy swept it another lingering lick. It was the strangest sensation; as soothing as the stroke of velvet, as comforting as fleece (the only two fabrics Phin could wear without being besieged by scratchy). He watched, fascinated, as Foxy kept lapping, as if convinced it could be erased…or washed away with saliva.
When he seemed satisfied with a job well done, Foxy snuffed a huff, then switched his focus to Phin’s face. A gaze every bit as amazing as it was beautiful; Phin had remembered right. It was a bright, blazing blue—deeper, darker than they’d seemed yesterday—pupils blown so huge they engulfed most of his iris. Phin scrunched his eyes tight shut in a bid to blot out another blue; every bit as crystal clear as Foxy’s, dark with a desire it was hard to believe he’d inspired, even for a second in a man so…unsurpassable.
Foxy—quite why Phin was still calling him this when he was clearly not a fox—was a mystery. It seemed that everyone he met required at least two names, which was playing havoc with his head. He’d lost his thread of thought again now…it was all going to hell in a hurricane jet. Ah, Foxy…that was it. He was too wolfish to be a fox. Too lean, slinky-looking for a wolf. He was honey-hued, dappled with grey that darkened to black along his back. His face was not rusty-coloured at all, it was creamy gold, white and speckled silver. Some sort of wild dog? Coyote? Jackal? No matter which of those his foxy friend might be, he now seemed…sad. Staring up at Phin with sorrow laden pools of baleful blue.
“Don’t be upset…” Phin told him, pulling his sleeve back down over the wound, which had started to tingle strangely in the wind. “I’m okay…”
With a snuff that would have sounded like a snort of disbelief, had Foxy been human, he rested the underside of his jaw on Phin’s bent knee. The warm weight was comforting in itself, even more so if it meant Foxy was not…miffed. Okay…that did sound nuts, bolts and barking bonkers. It still felt that way though.
“May I stroke you?” Phin dared to ask.
His foxy friend’s lids drifted down, shrouding the blue…in a sinking into a bubble bath sort of way. Or… The flash of memory was brilliance itself—blinding—of Jack’s eyelids; gliding shut when Phin first trailed tentative fingertips down his chest. It hadn’t meant no, then.
Phin raised his right hand to Foxy’s head and started a smooth stroke. He didn’t seem to mind and it was impossible to resist, so Phin started to fondle his tufty ears. A deep rumble sounded in Foxy’s throat; like a cat’s purr but much, much darker.
One moment he seemed serenity itself, the next, in a too-swift-to-stop-him dart forwards, Foxy shoved his nose into Phin’s crotch. Then snuffed out a scalding breath that scorched straight through his pants. Strewth.
“Foxy!” he gasped. Crikey, um…that was a bit embarrassing. And most unseemly in the extreme. Phin’s cock had been coshed by way too many surprises of late. He should p’raps ask Mr. Neil for some bromide before matters got out of hand.
For twenty-two years, not a soul had shown the slightest interest in the contents of Phin’s undercrackers, and now, all of a sudden, everyman-and-his-dog were shoving their snoots down there. Foxy just lolled-a-laugh—at Phin—he was sure of it. Utterly unrepentant, as the unseemly scoundrel returned his chin to Phin’s knee.
“Bad boy. No snuffing, it’s rude, you have to mind your manners in company,” Phin told him. A maxim he’d been told he mustn’t forget too many times to remember.
“D’you have a lady friend, Foxy?” he wondered aloud, running his palm down the silky fur of his neck. “To cuddle up with, and keep you warm at night? That was a daft question, wasn’t it…you probably wouldn’t be here, if you did. I’m not very good at minding my manners either, so don’t worry, that makes two of us.”
Foxy huffed, hunkering down to lie beside him. Then fidgeted a bit closer when Phin straightened his legs to continue stroking. He’d scarce started when Foxy raised his head to rest it across Phin’s lap. It felt comforting, cosy. Perhaps he should get a dog. He would far rather have Foxy, but he was wild and free and living his own life. Putting a collar on him would be unconscionable, even if he’d permit such a travesty.
Phin would never dream of trying to steal his freedom away. It would be cruel, selfish, even if—when—Foxy felt far too much like the best friend he’d never had.
Jack & Jake
Jake was dumbfounded. What the fuck?
The last two years had been spent locked in brutal, bloody battle with Jack. In the most futile effort to keep some sort of grip on the jackal, and his own sanity. This had felt much like a dog owner’s attempts to cling to the collar of a runaway rottweiler as it took off after a cat.
Now here was the mangy miscreant: lying serenely beside the jackal whisperer, sighing happy huffs of contentment. This, while being petted by Phin and having his ears…fondled, for chrissakes.
Jake now found himself in the discomfiting position of pacing like a caged animal as Jack (quite literally) pleased himself. How the hell can I be jealous of him, when he is me?
Finally caught up, have you? Or just admitted what was as obvious as the nose on my face?
Speaking of which…What. The. Effing. Fuck?
Oh, c’mon…you’re not fooling yourself for a minute. Y’know you wanted to…
I...am a Gent. Not a crotch-pouncing pervert.
That first bit sounds familiar, oddly enough. You’re right, though, you should stick to being a sleep-stalking perv…it’s much more your three cups of tea. Stop nagging. You’re just jealous, you admitted as much yourself. Besides which, I don’t recall cutting your nose off to spite your face. Just sayin’. Now shurrup, I’m busy. Luxuriating.
So…? What if he had scaled new levels of ludicrous? He couldn’t help it—Jake just was—jealous. A bit. Being forced to sit back as Jack basked in Phin’s attention was infuriating. Yes, Jake was here too. Yes, he could see, taste, hear, see…and bloody smell. Feel Phin’s fingers in his fur. But. It was still driving Jake demented. It was also adding a whole new set of worries to his far-too lengthy list of Phin fears:
- He was still freaking out about the fact Jack might have infected Phin yesterday.
- Jack had just topped up his saliva donation. This might tip the balance if Phin hadn’t received a sufficient dose of jackal-juice last night.
- Jake had committed the unforgivable sin of giving Phin the brush off, immediately in the aftermath of his first sexual encounter. Despite the fact he’d never wanted someone so much in his goddamn life. Ever.
- He’d done this because he was terrified he might maim Phin in a very real sense.
- Jack had just shoved his nose precisely where Jake had vowed it could never venture again.
- Jake gone without for two years because Jack had made it quite clear that blood lust took priority over minor matters such as murder.
- The very same Jack that had now lapped lavishly at the most delectable blood on earth. Twice. Without so much as a nip. Bastard.
This, was the seven circles of shapeshifter hell. Dante had no fucking idea. Worst of all, Jake was suffering all this because he had tried to Do The Honorable Thing. And achieved bugger all. Unassailable truth that never a good deed goes unpunished.
Phin was a liability more lethal than the jackal. What the hell had he done to himself? He could have hit a sodding artery with whatever he’d used to butcher that arm. It sure as shit hadn’t been inflicted by a blade. It wasn’t a clean enough cut; too ragged, too wide, too naive.
Jake could distinctly recall thinking that he couldn’t let Phin out on his own, then chided himself for over-reacting. Pfft. He’d clearly underestimated Phin, who couldn’t be left alone full stop without endangering himself. He was patently every bit as efficient at ‘accidents’ as ‘forgetting’.
Back to tonight…how the hell was Jake supposed to handle this? There wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it; the consequences of trying to prise Jack from Phin were too horrifying to contemplate. Do I truly want to?
He was undeniably jealous, but Jake was still here with Phin, by proxy. Jack might claim that he’d brought them back together, but that wasn’t much consolation when Jake had abandoned Phin because of said mangy mutt.
Some might be inclined to argue that Jake would never have met Phin in the first place, had they not fancied a run on the moors. Jake was steadfastly ignoring said smart-arse opinion.
The next hour was the most exquisite torture Jake had ever endured. Lying beside Phin, aching for all he could never have, yearning for that tender touch on skin, not fur. This, while knowing damn well that safe sex and the jackal couldn’t coexist on the same planet, let alone in the same bed.
Have you considered for one moment that Phin is not a rabbit? Nor some random woman or bloke you picked up in the pub?
You say that now…but how the hell can I trust you? One whiff of rabbit and there’s sod all I can do to stop you feasting your fill. I cannot risk him. I will not.
Was your mouth too full to claim that earlier? Just asking for a friend…
That ball’s in your court, and well you know it. Or would, if you weren’t dead set on being a self-loathing wanker, o’course…
No. Hell no. Jake should never have allowed earlier to happen. And yet…he hadn’t felt as if he might lose it for even one moment. But what about the bloody table legs? What if they’d been Phin’s? Or his arms…neck? Jake hadn’t been able to control his grip mid-blow job, how the hell was he supposed to trust himself while buried in Phin’s body? Oh gawd.
You could at least try trusting yourself. Coward. Is that what this is really about? You’re terrified, admit it. Scaredy cat. You’re just worried he’ll work out what a tosspot you are and dump your ass.
It’s you I don’t trust, dogbreath. What if I started fearing for Phin’s safety? Felt I was losing it—couldn’t rein it in—and needed to slam the brakes on? For his sake. Would that even be possible? Or would you snatch the decision out of my hands? Erupt in a fury of fur; as you have a hundred times before, when I wouldn’t fall in with your latest whim?
Whims? Those were missions of vital import, I’ll have you know. Jackal business. I can’t sit and watch you fingering your strings, and Sherlock-on-a-loop, forever. He makes my mouth water, for starters. And main course, please. Phin is not a whim, you pillock. He is…everything. So, suck that up. You may as well, we haven’t got any choice in the matter. One whiff and it was all over. He owns your ass.
Oh, so, it’s mine now? Make up your mind.
Mine-yours-ours-whatever. ‘Yours’ had a certain…ring to it. Too sassy to resist.
You are ev-il. Monstrous, you know that, right?
I’m sex starved and sausage deprived. That’s not good for my constitution.
Neither are sausages.
If you cannot deduce the compromise in said state of malnourishment—particularly after all that staring at the Cumberbutt—then I give up on you, quite frankly…
Now shurrup, and let me luxuriate in peace. Then I’ll sit through season two of Sherlock, later, if you like. Unless…there’s something else you’d rather do, o’course…