Hiya, we’re at 33,000 words or thereabouts now, so I’ve added a #beast tag to each post, perchance that’s helpful along the way. Thank you, as always, for reading🥰
The Beast of Bodmin Moor
“Jake…” flitted free, filling the chasm when their mouths smushed apart.
Jake hmm’ed a rumble of acknowledgment that shimmered down Phin’s spine in a shiver of heat. Chased by a scatter of kisses, smudged across his jaw, towards his ear…neck…where Jake fastened to drag the blood to the surface and Phin’s knees floorwards. They could scarce hold him up. The only part left utterly unbuttery with bliss was twitching fit to bust in his pants, aching for the fiery friction of Jake’s touch.
“Phin, I shouldn’t be here…” Jake’s groan ghosted across Phin’s skin, but he didn’t move a muscle, even to raise his head.
Why shouldn’t he be here? Is he married? Is that why he’d left in such a hurry? Had he remembered his wife would be cross if he stayed out too late? He doesn’t wear a ring, though…but then, lots of men don’t…
“I’m glad you are.” Phin told him, rather than clobber Jake with questions. Somehow sure he wouldn’t want to hear them and, even if he did, it seemed a lot likely that Phin would hate the answers. He didn’t want to spoil it. Even if this was all he could have, all he could ever hope for, he wanted it. A bit of Jack was better than lots of someone else.
Phin didn’t want anyone else. It was too late.
He was already besieged by the skittery thrill that blinkered him when spellbound by a new passion. He’d be minding his own business, absorbed in his trove of treasures, content as can be. Then slam, Phin found himself coshed by an all consuming kaleidoscope of colour that carried him off on a rainbow ride of discovery. A hypermission to secure all he could find to nourish his need to know more. To drench every sense with its essence and fill his happy place with more of its magic. It had happened forever, Phin recognised it as readily as his own reflection.
This, was more than that. Much more…p’raps too much more, having met Jack just yesterday. Quite how that could be made to matter a jot, Phin knew not. He loved things or hated them, instantly. If he didn’t care a toot about something, then he never would. He couldn’t make himself be interested, nor could he force himself enjoy a boring book or love a sour-as-a-sucked-lemon relative. That was just daft. Like asking Phin to try and wear orange.
It would be best not to tell Mr. Neil about this new and (too) much improved fixation, or Phin would find himself forgetting a refresher course of Cognitive Behavioral fix-its pronto. It was supposed to teach him how to Not Do Stuff Too Much. Phin was living proof of its towering powers of persuasion.
He was pondering all this while watching Jack have a fight with his leather jacket. It seemed to want to remain shrink-wrapped to his body despite his best efforts to yank it off. Phin had never expected to find himself sympathizing with the wishes of a coat, but couldn’t help hoping it didn’t win its battle. The scuffle had started about a snatched off breath after Jake wrenched himself free with a grit-strewn groan.
“Sorry…” his heroic victor muttered (eventually), tossing it aside.
“Are you sorry about the kissing, or sorry the kissing stopped?” Phin wondered. Out loud.
“Um, both probably.”
“I’m sorry you’re sorry about the kissing,” Phin stifled a sad sigh while cramming his host hat on (inside) his head. “Would you like a drink, instead?”
“Please…” Jake nodded, shoving his thumbs into the front pockets of his jeans. If only they came off next…or his t-shirt. Preferably both. Phin poured another tumbler of brandy and handed it to him. “Thank you,” Jake remembered to say after draining the glass with one Adam’s apple-bobbing glug.
“I thought I’d never see you again,” Phin admitted. “Was I wrong, or did you change your mind?”
“No, you were right. I-I’m no good…for you,” Jake insisted.
“Pfft…I’m very fed up of the fact that not-good-for-me things are always the fun stuffs. The ones I want most,” Phin grumbled.
“You’re a liability waiting to happen to yourself, you know that, right?” Jack sighed a chuckle about a sharp-shooting eyebrow before ambushing Phin with a query he sure hadn’t seen coming. “Speaking of…what did you do to your arm?”
Phin glanced at his wound, then blinked. Twice. The crusty gash was…well, it wasn’t a crusty gash. It was…a ragged purple slash across his forearm.
“Oh. I…um, did an accident. S’okay though…it looks lots better already.”
“Hmm…” Jake sniffed, regarding him with squinty eyes.
“Oh, Jake!” Phin piped up, hoping to distract him. “I saw Foxy on the moors tonight, so I didn’t dream him up. I don’t think he is a fox, I didn’t last time really, but he’s not a wolf either…maybe a coyote, or a jackal?”
“In Cornwall?” Jake’s left eyebrow shot skywards again.
“We already have a black panther, so why not?”
“Why not indeed,” Jake grinned, shaking his head a smidge. “Weren’t you afraid he might hurt you?”
“Pah…no. Not at all, I told you, he’s friendly,” Phin shrugged, with a smile. “He sat down beside me and let me stroke him. It was cosy.”
“See? You’re a walking liability. D’you plan on swimming with sharks next?”
“That’s dolphins, you daftie. I’d love to do that. Jack…? Why are you no good?” Phin paused, then added, “For me? That’s how it sounded, as if you meant I’m no good full stop. Are you married, or a murderer?”
“If I’d got married, I would probably have both covered by now,” Jack snorted. “But no, not yet.”
“Not yet married or not yet a murderer?”
“Either. Both.” Jake’s shrug suggested that Phin had asked if he wanted chunky monkey or chocolate ice cream.
“D’you plan to?” he couldn’t resist asking.
“Which one?” Jake’s lips twitched with a smirk.
“Either, both.” Phin parried.
“I-I…can’t rule either out.”
“I know…” Phin sighed, barely above a breath. And promptly found himself bludgeoned by a blaze of blue. Blimey.
“D’you have a death wish?” Jake’s voice was a low, lethal lash of sound. A ‘fearsome’ one. It sure made Phin’s toes curl, but they weren’t scared.
“Nope, not really…although I think I could have an accident,” he had to admit.
“Phin. Your dissembling is an art form.” Jake informed him with another squinty stare.
“Thank you,” he beamed.
Jake just did the head shaking thing again. People often did that, funnily ’nuff, just before sighing, ‘Oh, Phin…’ Never with such a finger-tingling tumble of hair, though. “I should probably go…let you get to bed.”
“Oh.” Phin couldn’t keep the disappointment from his voice. It landed with a dull thud on the rug.
“I just thought… well, it’s late and I turned up unannounced. Again.”
“I don’t mind. I won’t go to sleep unless I take my tablets, and I haven’t had them yet.” Then, quicksmart, before Phin could think worse of it, he added; “You can stay here, if you like, I’ll kip on the sofa seat.”
“I…Phin, I really should g—” Jack broke off with a sharp breath that made his eyes scrunch up as he doubled over, clutching his stomach. “FUCK!”
“What is it…? Jack!?” Phin was afraid now. Afraid and fretting, scratchy and scared. “What’s wrong?”
His golden skin had gone ashen grey, agony etched upon his face. “S…sss’kay,” Jake ground out through gritted teeth. An outright lie. “I’m ok—shiiit, okay…okay! F’fucksakes!” he snarled. It didn’t seem to be at Phin, but there was no one else to snarl at.
“What can I do? D’you want…water, brandy, a lie down?”
“I-it’s just cramp. I’ll be fine in a minute. No doubt,” he growled. Then: “Phin, is the offer still open…?”
“To stay here?” he asked, unable to think of another offer he might have made. He tried not to sound too hopeful, eager, despite the happy dance antics of his heart. Jake was suffering. Despite his insistence on being ‘fine’ in a mo.
“Yeah. I’m not going to throw you out of your bed though.” Jack declared, making a manful attempt to straighten up. There were beads of sweat glistening on his brow. Phin longed to lick them off.
“I’m not listening. You do look a little better, is it easing off now?”
“Yeah…” he sighed. “I’m sorry.”
“You don’t have to be sorry, you haven’t done anything. Sadly. Bummer…sorry, I meant to say the last part inside my head, but it…escaped.”
“Phin, please don’t think, it’s not that I don’t…want. I do. Too much.” Jake did his most heartfelt groan yet as he raked a hand through his hair. Phin’s fingers started itching. Not with scratchiness. In the sort of way that had ‘who scoffed all the cookies’ consequences.
“I’m…terrified I might hurt you.”
“Knowing you don’t want me hurts more, methinks,” Phin asserted, despite the dearth of comparative data. Barely a blink later, his back crashed against the door, a wall of hard heat pinning him to it in a body slam of bliss. As far from pain as it was possible to imagine when his lips were assaulted with kisses too lethal to survive unscathed.
When he arrived, Jake had felt somewhat sure of one thing: it would be, if not easier— then less impossible—to hold it together. Having already proved that he could while holding Phin hostage in his arms. Hell, he’d even survived a blowjob without exploding in a frenzy of fur. A miracle that made it seem safe to assume he could handle the merest brush of lips without combusting.
Jake was wrong. Very. Deadly wrong.
The devastating need was worse now. Worse still? Jack was doing a damn fine impression of a domestic cat curled on a hearth rug, as calm as can be. Content (for now) that he’d got his own way and was still here, within hearing distance of his jackal whisperer’s dulcet tones.
How was Jake supposed to suppress his own excesses in the presence of Phin? It was a challenge on a par with staying sober in a Speakeasy. In nineteen-twenties New York.
He’d launched himself through Phin’s doorway like a man possessed; unprepared for the extravagance of ivory that greeted him. A sight so incendiary that Jake neglected to steel himself against the impact of the most immoderate of all gazes, wide(r) with surprise. He had a better chance of surviving the stare of a double-barrelled shotgun with his faculties intact.
Jake had barely begun when he was forced to stop. Before he could not. He had but buried his nose in the curve of Phin’s neck to breathe him in. The resulting surge of bloodlust suggested Jake might find himself feasting on it before recalling exactly whose quivering pulse his teeth had sunk into. The heat boiling his blood was so intense, he felt about an inhalation away from bursting into flames. So, he dragged himself free and attempted to disentangle himself from a jacket dead-set on being welded to his body. He couldn’t even get the bloody zip down, beset as he was with about fifty fingers and fumbling thumbs.
Jake had never had a hope in hell. He was outnumbered. Everything he said to try and warn Phin off, or at least make him wary, was brushed aside by the most disarming airiness on Earth. A disregard for danger so intrinsic, Jake feared that shifting on the spot might leave his inimitable Phin unruffled. In much the way he’d mused the fact he might be hosting a homicidal maniac.
If Jake didn’t shift himself sharpish, Phin damn well would be. No one else present (in person or proxy) would do bugger all to ensure he stayed safe.
Jake had scarce stammered so much as “I…Phin, I really should—” before his guts spasmed so violently he had no idea how he remained on his feet, albeit doubled-over in pain. Far more severe than having Jack burst from his body (strangely akin to the agony and ecstasy of being topped for the first time, many moons ago). Only an extreme masochist—one capable of considering limb amputation a form of foreplay—could have gleaned a glimmer of pleasure from the torture enacted on Jake’s entrails. Being gutted with a medieval flail may have felt similar. Or gored by a wild boar. Jack was not budging. Apparently. Furthermore, he didn’t give a flying fuck in which form he curled up with Phin tonight. They were staying, whether they moulted on the bed or not.
Thus it was, that Phin procured an overwrought overnight guest.
“I’m…terrified I might hurt you,” Jake owned. A last ditch attempt to reiterate the truth without telling it.
“Knowing you don’t want me hurts more, methinks.”
If there was a response that could have defused the dropping of that bomb, Jake sure as semtex had no recourse to it. Phin’s words were the verbal equivalent of a detonation device.
He found himself plastered to Phin before he could blink. Long arms trapped him tighter as lips stole the breath from his body. That was how it felt, despite all facts to the contrary. Plump lips parted on a cinnamon sugar sigh that went straight to Jake’s head. Opium kisses…headier than heroin. A tangle of tongues that fed, fuelled, an addiction Jack could neither control nor conquer.
When Phin slid his hands up the back of Jake’s t-shirt and starfished them across his skin, it was all he could do to drag his lips away for long enough to yank it over his head. The clash of chests was incendiary, too intoxicating to care that he was a layer of cloth closer to losing his mind. The groan that grated in Jake’s throat scarce qualified as human when Phin’s mouth crashed down on his own.
Need so pure, potent, it was a speedball of scent, taste, touch. Seeping from Phin’s pores; stronger, richer than the brandy on his breath. Infinite in the drowning depths of those eyes, black with desire, lids lust heavy. The scorch of skin on skin all-but obliterated the tension tethering Phin’s…customary instincts. Jake’s incorrigible innocent, so tentative at first, flared to full steam ahead with rocket-fuel finesse more flammable than kerosene. Thus emboldened, Phin clamped one hand to the curve of Jake’s arse and unleashed the fingertips of the other as if he were speed reading braille.
“Phin…” Jake groaned, allowing his head to fall back, baring his throat in a way that made Jack tenser than his hackles could take lying down.
Jake’s lids flared wide with shock. It was the first time his own desire had over-ridden Jack’s since they’d scented Phin on the wind. To the jackal, it signified submission. A low growl crawled the arc of Jake’s throat about a snatched-off breath before he found himself straddling a saucer-eyed Phin, now splayed upon the tabletop.
Midnight eyes sought, conquered his own, as a slow, secret smile spread across Phin’s angel face. The satisfied twitch of those lips was hot-wired to Jake’s crippled cock—a lure too tempting to withstand—even if he’d wanted to, and of course, he did not. Damn good job too; Jake would’ve been done for when wiry arms ensnared his neck. Tugging him into a kiss that was darker, deeper now, loaded with deny us if you dare.
Jack. F’fucksakes. I need your insertions like a hole in my bloody head.
Where, oh where, to start on that sentence…
When Jake mustered the will to tear free, it was to trail his tongue down the ivory column of Phin’s neck. Aching to taste, touch, every excessive inch of skin, share every beat of his heart, keep it safe always. It was an agony too cruel, the guilt of endangering it most.
“Tell me…what you want…”
“More…” Phin pleaded, eyes huge, imploring. Impossible to resist.
“More…?” Jake couldn’t help himself, he had to hear the pearl of perfect nonsense it prompted.
“I…everything, I want you. All of you.”
You asked for it. Just sayin…