Hiya, this is the last part…thank you so much for reading.🥰
The Beast of Bodmin Moor
Phin. Part 2
Phin snapped his head around, heart rat-tatting like a drum roll to herald Jake’s arrival; the surface of his skin singing like a snare in response, as if ghostly fingers had skittered across it, shimmering in their wake.
There was a ripple of claps when his bashful face came into view, half-veiled by hair as he twerked his lips and lifted his guitar a little, as if to acknowledge the true recipient of the applause. Daftie. Half the room was filled with regulars Phin recognised—this being his third trip to the pub—so he did nodding ’n’ smiling. The rest seemed a smidge younger, closer to his own age. His first visit would be forever scored in his memory and the second had been a trial run a few days ago when Jake deemed him safe to be unleashed on the public.
Even Mr Fuss-a-lot was forced to concede that nary a soul had done piquing Phin’s interest. In fact, the only tempting scent that did wafting his way (from elsewhere) was a sudden whiff of smoky bacon when a crisp packet had been cracked open. Phin’s nostrils had no sooner done flaring than his own burgundy bag landed beside his brandy, accompanied by a rakish wink from the foxy as fuck bartender with the tautest tush on Earth. The bending and stretching antics of Jake’s slinky spine had, in truth, played much more havoc with Phin’s appetite, but beggars can’t be choosers and all good comes to those who wait... So, Phin had scoffed his snackeroo and done practising his least practised virtue…
Despite the fact he’d watched Jake do getting dressed, the scoundrel had been gone for seven minutes. Plenty long enough for his reappearance to do snatching Phin’s breath away. The overhead spotlights behind the bar gave his hair a halo of amber bronze with glints of gold. It also made his collarless white shirt look luminous; so stark in contrast to his honeyed skin he looked more lickable than ever. Too much so for comfort in Phin’s best jeans. Jake’s were, as ever, so cripple-cock tight that, by the time his lower half rounded the bar, Phin could scarce do sitting.
The rest of the room was, at least, lit more subtly; pubs (and posh restaurants) were oft cast in cosier colours than most public places. The low ceiling in the Albion made this intimacy all the more marked, so Phin couldn’t have been more comfy, all things considered.
The next hour was the most perfect Phin could have passed (dressed) and made all pesky discomforts pale into insignificance. Jake looked as devilish—divine—as kissed by candlelight; illuminating his lethal allure and deepening his skin to a swarthy hue. Phin had to force himself to do concentrating on the red bandana wrapped around Jake’s wrist; a scarlet flag that felt far safer than staring into those bewitching blues. To Phin’s gaze they looked almost azure; ablaze with adrenaline and agleam with the passion Jake poured into every damn thing he set his mind…fingers…spine…hips, to. Remaining riveted to the seat was an (unparalleled in the last fortnight) feat after that. Staying in Phin’s skin was more than a tad tricky.
The first notes that shimmered off the strings of Jake’s guitar made Phin’s eardrums do humming with a pleasure so pure he felt like a dog wind-bathing from a car window. By the time Jake did crooning the first line of the lyrics, Phin was too buttery-boned to do standing, let alone shifting.
How he loved that velvet voice. It’s purple was so deep it made every tiny hair do tingling to attention and the knot of anticipation tighten in Phin’s guts. It was molten molasses, as rich as ruby wine and so resonant it did tugging on the dark need coiled, waiting… And yet, it’s effect on his jim-jam self was hypnotic. So entranced was he, that Phin might’ve done forgetting the rest of Jake’s audience, if not for their appreciative racket. He had expected the claps Jake deserved, but the whoops that did greeting the strum of some tunes made him feel a bit…brittle. As if he might do shattering despite…well, duh.
It was easier to do getting used to the calls of ‘Jake! Play…’ this song or that; Phin couldn’t do caring as long as Jake was breathing life into its words. Nevertheless, he did remember all the melodies Jake had played for him at home…that would never do getting old. It was too precious, too improbable (homes don’t have barbed wire). Far too much for Phin to believe he’d ever done a thing to deserve it. Jake seemed to think he merited far more, which was demented, but mattered most all the same…and meant the world to him, with a cherry on top. And whipped cream. And sprinkles. Phin was starving. Jimjams was too punch drunk to even do insisting it was supper time.
All too soon and forever after Phin went light-headed with hunger, a subtle shift in Jake’s stance made an expectant hush do shrieking into sudden silence.
“Thank you…as ever, for being here…and being so bloody brilliant,” he grinned, inclining his head with an innate grace that suggested he’d done stopping by from centuries past. Or another species entirely. “And Alex, for inviting me back…again. It’s been a pleasure, as always. I’ve never sung this before…so I hope I don’t slaughter it.” Jake dipped his head, allowing his lush tumble of hair to fall forwards obligingly. His bashful flush still sent a rush of reciprocal heat tingling to Phin’s toes, even though it was hidden from view.
Jake did focussing on his fingers as he picked out the first few chords…of a melody so mellifluous it did stroking Phin’s heart strings like a harp. A song so enchanting, he’d remembered every word after one listen, and the shiver of every note down his spine.
“You…” Jake lifted his head and Phin found himself ensnared by blowtorch blue as a violet voice did imploring; “‘…with the sad eyes…don’t be discouraged...’”
Phin scarce knew what to do with himself, he wanted to do leaping up and jumping Jake and melting in a buttery-boned puddle all at once. His blood was boiling through his veins like lava, his skin so skittery with static he might shock someone if they did so much as brushing him with a wayward finger. By the time Jake had bade him to show his True Colours, as beautiful as a bloomin’ rainbow, Phin was done for. He was too spellbound to even do blinking. So, he sort of sat, shell-shocked, which was p’raps for the best when he felt fit to burst with a joy as staggering as he was stunned.
He couldn’t do remembering much after that. His brain did blanking. All Phin could recall was stumbling about a bit and being enfolded in arms so strong he forgot to do worrying about falling apart. Unless p’raps he knew they’d hold him together, somehow…
There were people and back claps that vibrated from Jake through Phin. Warm words and brighter light. Smiles and smells and faces that seemed familiar, or didn’t. The heady scent of Jake, tethering Phin to himself. Holding him close, ushering him…somewhere.
Then, at last, a caress of cool air did filtering through the fog, blowing the cobwebs away. Phin did lifting his face into the wind and let his eyelids flutter shut.
“Breathe…” That voice. Phin would do anything it asked, whatever it took…he could do breathing. The secret scents of night did filling his lungs, as soothing as the sultry scent of his mate. “Better…?”
“Hmm…thank you. Sorry.”
“You’ve nothing to be sorry for…I don’t know how you did it.”
“Did what?” Phin wondered, because it sounded like a good thing, so he couldn’t have done spouting unfortunate stuff in front of folk. Or sprouting whiskers.
“I don’t quite know…but you didn’t shift, when it was so close I could taste it…” Jake sighed, tightening his arms. It felt unconscious, like a sense memory.
“I didn’t do it, you did…” Phin told him. “I just did…blanking. Shutting down, that sometimes works when the scratchy gets too much. You did holding me together.”
“You give me way too much credit….” Jake murmured, pressing a kiss to the underside of Phin’s jaw.
“No, I don’t…which is dreadful when I haven’t even done thanking you for my song, let alone telling you how brilliant you were and everyone thought so and I was so proud but then you did singing my song and I almost did bursting from too muchness and I haven’t said ’nuff thank yous cos I never could—”
Phin was cut off (way past his prime) by the lips Jake crushed to his own, stealing his very breath (a cunning plan indeed, it must be owned). He tasted of whiskey and want and far more than Phin could ever do finding words for, because there were no words in the world to colour Jake’s kisses. They were sorcery itself, sublime. Kaleidoscopic, too exquisite to capture. All he could do was pour every fibre of his being into his own and hope Jake might fathom them, somehow…with instincts as sharp as jackal teeth and a tongue like liquid flame.
Just as he had Phin.
Even when their mouths did melting to stillness, they stood, pressed as close as clothes would allow, behind the Albion where Phin had first done meeting his fate. Mate. Jake’s sharp breath did scything through the silence, about an answering blaze of blue before he did grabbing Phin’s hand and gifted him the glinty grin he loved best.
They ran, fingers linked, laughing into the wind that did tugging them onward, as impatient as the self fit to burst from Phin’s body the moment we’re out of town. Promise. Running had fast become one of his favourite things to do (dressed) while human; even his legs seemed chuffed by the chance to do something well. Other than tripping him up.
As if Jake had done hearing all of that (which he hadn’t but p’raps caught scent of its gist) he tossed another grin Phin’s way and sped up the second that houses gave way to hedgerows, and there was no whiff of human on the wind.
The night was lush with promise, the starlight as bright as the breeze was playful. Teasing Jake’s hair and whipping it around his face, radiant with the lure of freedom thrilling through his veins… Even if he’d fought that truth until he saw it for himself, mirrored in Phin’s gaze.
“I love you…” Jake did flexing his fingers, tightening his clasp for the heartbeat it took for Phin to return it.
“I love you too…” Phin affirmed. In every way. It was always the last thing they said, in human. Like a starting pistol, or a prayer before lift off. Jackals Are Go.
Oops, tragic that…They tended to do stripping off before shifting back at home, but they’d done dashing here from the pub so whoops-a-daisy. Jimjams thought it a better treat than dog chocs; so did Jack, much to Jake’s dismay. Black skinny jeans didn’t grow on trees. Nor in Cornish farm shops, for that matter.
Phin was still snickering to himself when his own (not that skinny, scratchy balls would do driving him demented and relishing their nightly airing sure hadn’t helped) were but tatters on the breeze that rifled PJ’s fur when he did shaking it out. The bit in between never did differing; it was a bone-grinding, tendon-twanging, muscle-wrenching agony of ecstasy. Pain and pleasure both…a lot like loving someone.
If you p’raps did revelling in all things gloriously gothic…and a smidge gruesome.
The vision that did now standing before Jimjams was worlds away from that. Jack. Mine. From the tip of his tail to his noble nose. All PJ’s. As PJ was his.
And Phin was Jake’s And Jake was Phin’s…if you were as daft as squirrel’s brush. Jack did slanting him a wry side-eye that suggested he’d been eavesdropping. Or Phin had p’raps done thinking too loud. Oops. Jake just did a wink, not a jot miffed, then shot off ‘as if a hell-hound was hot on his heels’. Scoundrel.
Jimjams lolled a laugh and gave chase, his heart fit t’bursting with a too much consequence of being the luckiest jackal on Earth. Fact.
Ooh, Mr Last Word as ever. And ever…Jimjam’s hoped as he did loping along to catch Jake up.
Loping? Damn cheek. Ludicrous, those things are, that’s why…
Big fat fibber.
PJ drew level and did swiping Jack a lick, content to remain at his stride until they reached their happy place. They didn’t quite do scampering off into the sunset…
It was better—the night belonged to them—to their furry time. Together.
Forever? Spoke for itself. Jackals mate for life…