Thank you so much for still being here.🥰 we’re about 80% done now…there should be around 50 chapters.
The Beast of Bodmin Moor
Jake…have you ever done thinking that, p’raps you were meant to? Do this to me, I mean. You told me she said ‘I’ve found you…’”
It was Phin’s instincts that suggested Jake was supposed to do finding him and turn him foxy. She started it. Phin just…followed the paw prints. He’d always done trusting his gut feelings, they seemed to tell truths that doing concentrating never did. How could it, when people didn’t do making sense? Focusing couldn’t make the unfathomable fathomable. It didn’t make a jot o’difference how hard you stared in the dark, did it? Love made the least sense of all. Or the most, when it bamboozled you. It had superpowers so potent it could conjure logic from lunacy.
It was a pity Phin hadn’t done changing before Jake had time to get himself in such a flap. If it didn’t happen soon he would be doing hyperventilating and having a heart attack. Could jackal-folk have strokes? It was pointless asking his very own jackal, who’d somehow managed to stay doggedly in the dark.
Ah, well…if Jake hadn’t been so determined to remain so, chances were he wouldn’t have done touching Phin with a bargepole, let alone agreed to a spot of cherry popping. It had been difficult ’nuff persuading the wasps to do buzzing off on the dangerous front, it would have been impossible had Jake been certain it would do jackal triggering.
Had Phin’s own jackal always been there, somewhere inside, waiting for Jack to do finding him, as Phin had started to suspect? It made lots of sense if he had. In fact, it did making more sense if Phin’s jackal had always been lurking about, lying in wait, as he sure seemed to have enough stuff in his head for two. Too much everything, according to all who’d done delving in it…until Jake came along, o’course.
Why had ‘she’ done leaving Jake, after finding him though? Why bother, if she was just going to bugger off afterwards? That didn’t do adding up at all. The why wasn’t half as bewildering as the how, though. Phin would rather do dropping dead than leave Jake. It felt as if he might die inside, if Jake did deciding that he was done with Phin.
Jake hadn’t sounded as if he was fibbing when he’d insisted he hadn’t been upset she’d left. Then again, he’d been too stoned to even ask her name, let alone feel a very lot of anything much. Except horny. It was most odd. Unless, she was the anomaly, rather than Phin? Now that, would be weirder still. And yet…Jackals did mating for life. They were monogamous and did living in pairs (plus pups) rather than ‘packs’. That much Phin knew, from watching wildlife shows…the rest? He was going to have to do finding out…somehow. It was there to be found, it had to be, if Phin did digging. His dog with a bone disposition must be useful for something, surely? Other than discovering if his sister’s suitors had suspect hobbies, such as pyromania, kleptomania, pervy proclivities, or did practising blood sports…like fox hunting or serial killing.
“I’m parched…would you like a drink?” Jake asked, planting his palms on the bed to do peeling them apart and pushing himself up. “We should get some breakfast down you, too…”
“D’you have a laptop?” Phin wondered.
“Wouldn’t you rather have bacon?” Jake grinned, reaching out to snag his bathrobe off the floor. “Yeah. For music and shopping mostly, I’d never find anything I was prepared to wear otherwise, unless I started sporting most unseemly clobber.”
“You’d look very fetching in a barbour coat and green wellies…” Phin noted.
“I’d rather wear fur than don that get up,” Jake snorted as he did shrugging the robe on, stealing the sight of himself away. Scoundrel.
“I can scarce do waiting to wear mine.” Phin sighed, luxuriating in a stretch. Hmm…the sensation of skin skimming cool cotton felt luscious.
“I need the loo…before that proves impossible,” Jake groaned, slamming his eyes shut. “I’ll go and make a cuppa, too…”
“‘Kay.” Phin watched his fleecey tush vanish through the doorway and then sat, gazing around the room he’d feared he would never even see, let alone be gifted the guest of honour spot in its bed. The furniture was a rich rosewood—or mahogany—carved from a deep reddish wood, not fixed together from flat-pack planks. The floor was varnished to match and scattered with sheepskin rugs that made Phin’s toes do curling with scrumptious familiarity. The walls were Phin’s very favourite shade of clotted cream, akin to Callestick Farm vanilla. Hmm…that was worth staying in Cornwall for, all on its own, let alone…
He could hear Jake doing pottering in the kitchen, Phin realised. The clink of a teaspoon in a cup, the soft sigh of a canister being opened, the rush of air from the fridge door. Crikey…Phin did dragging in a deep breath, perchance he’d conjured the smell as a scent association. Nope, he hadn’t. He could do whiffing bacon and sausage. Phin had shot out of bed and skittered down the stairs before he’d told himself to do shifting his butt.
“Hungry?” Jake greeted him with a chuckle.
“Aside from the fact that I heard your belly rumble when I opened the fridge, I can smell it. Here you go…tea’s up. Mind your grip, okay?” Jake cautioned, when he proffered the cup Phin’s way. “Unless you fancy wearing it, as opposed to drinking it.”
“You heard my belly do rumbling? Blimey…I hopes there’s a radio in the bathroom. Thank you,” Phin did feel a bit beset by grabby hands, so he focused on his fingers, too thirsty to waste his tea or do waiting for another. When he lifted it to his lips for a tentative sip, it tasted sort of wrong. All weird. Or p’raps he just wanted a sausage instead.
“From the fridge,” Jake grinned. “I doubt you fancy a bowl of cereal.”
“It’s like living with a—” The ‘sniffer dog’ part did dying in Phin’s throat. Oh.
“I’ve stuff in m’fridge if y’want me t’do going?” Phin’s words clattered together in their rush to scramble out, so he made himself do breathing a bit before adding, “I just did turning up uninvited and you’re still stuck wi—”
“No I don’t…nor anytime soon. I’m not letting you far from sight till I’m sure you’ll be safe out there. Come to think of it, I wasn’t convinced that was true two days ago. Let alone now,” Jake smirked.
“That’s not fair on you, I don’t want you to feel obliged to do looking after me.” Phin wanted to have a huff and do stomping about a bit, but that was a too much thing, so he had to content himself with a frowny face instead.
“Phin. I want you to stay.” Jake’s voice did the vibrating thing as his eyes blazed lightsaber blue. Phin couldn’t even do protesting; the words were there, on the tip on his tongue, but they seemed stuck to it. “For as long as you will. Forever, if I had my way…” he clarified, when Phin’s silence spoke louder than words. In a much more literal way than ‘a turn of phrase’.
Not as loud as one of Jake’s words though… which was still resounding around Phin’s head, rather than fading, until it felt as if his entire self was full of forevereverever.
“But…what if you can’t stand me, when I do changing?” Phin asked, blinking himself back to focus before he floated off, while busy sound bathing.
“It won’t change a damn thing.” Jake was welded to Phin’s body in an instant; wiry arms wrapped around his waist, ensnaring him in a steel embrace. Phin’s mug must have gone missing first but the jack-in-the-box antics made it tricky to do concentrating on where. The lust licking along his veins made it impossible, but there was one fact far too important to do forgetting:
“But you don’t even seem to want J—”
“Jack?” he interrupted. “That’s different. Having one me in my head was unbearable. How the fuck d’you think it felt being stuck with two?” Jake tacked on a rueful chuckle, but he still smelled a smidge like a chip supper.
“Two yous is twice as scrumptious. Two too much to seem true. That was way too many twos to make sense,” Phin noted. “I feel very fuzzy and fizzy…”
“Close your eyes.” Jake instructed as his lips did twerking up in a ‘humour me’ manner, so Phin did as he was told without asking any daft questions. “Just feel, don’t think,” he murmured. “Now…d’you really think it’s possible that we could feel otherwise?”
We. A word Jake never did using to describe…himselves. His husky summer scent seemed stronger when Phin did closing them, but there was more…Phin could smell, taste, a longing far darker, deeper; sunshine shaded with shadow, seeping from Jake’s pores.
“Why the question mark?” Jake skimmed his nose along the length of Phin’s neck, as if to snuffle the reason for himself.
“The too muchness is more…intense, but I can’t do fathoming if it’s mine…or…” Phin let the rest trail away, rather than reel off the dafter sounding possibilities that did presenting themselves.
“I wonder if that’s significant in itself. Maybe…maybe not,” Jake shrugged. “I’ve only ever been saddled with an excess of…black doggedness, for want of a better expression. Whereas you feel everything ‘too much’. For the record, I don’t agree with that assessment.” The blue flared to full beam bright, as if to do emblazoning his belief on Phin’s eyeballs.
“Again?” Jake chuckled, but his gaze still did drilling Phin to the spot. That was below the belt. Precisely where Phin had been…heading. “Food, first…”
Dammit. The gong-bonging thing had done getting very old, very very fast.