Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 17

Hiya… I was asked to make a moodboard for  LGBTQIA+ Historical Romance’s 2019 Moodboard Project. I’d never made one before, but I had a bash:

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A free-for-5-days copy of said trilogy seemed a splendid match for my fancy pants efforts:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Um…moodboardery is a bit addictive… 😳

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Without further ado…

 

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor 

 

Jake

 

 

 

He would recognize those footsteps entering the Albion on a busy Friday night, Jake realised, listening to Phin make his way to the alcove. Nevertheless, it was not the tufty top of his head that appeared at the edge of the bed, it was a hand wafting a wet white cloth.

A flag of surrender; grimly ironic, when only one occupant of this van was succumbing to the wishes of the other two…and his own, of course. Jake still found himself chuckling as he plucked the cloth from Phin’s fingers to swipe across his chest. Deducing that one scent was distinguishable from the other elicited a ‘no shit, Sherlock’ from the subs bench

You’ll find yourself substituted as sharpish as your cutting ‘wit’, if you don’t watch it. You’re on borrowed time, as it is. Mine. 

You seriously expect me to believe you’d prefer to be out prowling the moors?

I’d need your head looking at, if I did. I’m not dogged in denial.

Why the hell were you so insistent on staying? It makes no bloody sense. None whatsoever. You’re prepared to risk his life? Really?

No…which should suffice as answer to the rest of your rantings.

I don’t trust you.

You never did.

That, makes less sense than sausages for supper.

*

Nothing wreaked upon Jake in the last two years suggested that Jack could, or would, put Phin’s safety before his instincts. A fact that left Jake tightrope walking between the jackal and his whisperer—with Phin’s life on the line—rather than his own. About all Jake could do, was hope. Vehemently. Hope for what though? Neither one would give in, Jack had made that quite clear…and Phin was as dogmatic as the jackal. Worse still, their unholy trio all wanted exactly the same thing. Jake was buggered if he did and buggered if he didn’t…despite neither miscreant being dead-set on that particular outcome.

Two tumblers of brandy were next to appear at the alcove opening.

“Thanks,” Jake retrieved them and retreated deeper into their nook so that Phin could climb in without upending the lot with an unwieldy limb.

“Hiya…” The top of Phin’s head and eyes peered over the edge of the mattress like an anime-style Chad, no doubt emblazoned with the legend: “Wot no Fuck?” 

Much to Jake’s amusement, Phin did succeed in wrangling his excessive self into the alcove without knocking their drinks flying. Fortuitous in itself, when it didn’t seem likely that Jake might lie back and allow them to wind up lying in a lake of brandy. Snatching two glasses out of mid air—before they spilled—might strike even Phin as somewhat extraordinary. Once settled safely on his side, Jake handed Phin his tumbler and mirrored his position, which left them facing one another, heads propped on bent elbows.

“Will you still be here when I wake up?” Phin asked, in a voice as soft as it was hesitant.

“I hadn’t intended to leave. Why d’you ask?”

“I wasn’t being greedy, I promise. I just…like to know stuff…so I don’t get scratchy.” Phin cast his eyes downwards, stealing his gaze away.

“Asking someone if they’re about to bugger off while you’re asleep doesn’t count as gluttony,” Jake assured him.

“I’m glad. I just didn’t want you to think I was doing hinting…” Phin was staring into his brandy as if all the secrets of the universe swirled in its depths. Was he avoiding Jake’s gaze, for fear of seeing censure there? Or safeguarding his own?

“Most people are greedy…they just don’t admit it aloud. Quite the contrary, they do their damnedest to conceal their avarice…” Jake murmured, “Self-restraint is the toughest subterfuge…more folk cheat than you’re crediting them with, Phin. Almost everyone lives a lie, in one form or another.”

“Why?” Phin’s nose wrinkle suggested an assault by a malodorous stench.

“Either to fit in…or play the role they aspire to, I guess.”

“That’s a bit daft…like borrowing uncomfy clothes, or swanning about in a swanky suit. I would feel scratchy enough to tear my skin off.”

“Or hack away at it…” Jake sighed, glancing at the gash that might never have been. All that lingered was a score line, now pillow-crease pink.

“That doesn’t work…only if I’m miffy with myself.” Phin corrected him, with an honesty few were prepared to turn upon themselves. 

I doubt he has a choice, dipshit. Do keep up.

“But you’re not greedy…except p’raps for bacon and brandy. So… you either fibbed when said you wanted me. You’re cheating…or you have superhuman self-restraint.” 

Superhuman. Strewth…excuse me while I fall off my legs laughing. 

Ha.Ha. I can’t even argue, you snarky git.

If it makes you feel better, we do ship super/human. I am super…and you’re sort of h—

YesThank you for the breakdown. Not. I am familiar with the lingo.

Colour me stunned…I never noticed the thirty-seven Johnlock fics you inhaled last month. By the way, if you ship our names…you get Ja/ke or Ja/ck. Odd that.

*

“Even if you fibbed, I still wish you were greedy enough to do forgetting hyper-restraint. That works out about as well as starving t’death…or sticking a cork up your bum.” Phin managed to opine this with an expression so sage, it made prequel Yoda appear foolish. The corker? Was added after a nanoseconds pause for reflection. “Not in a fun way.”

“Oh, I am, that’s what worries me…”  Jake muttered, half to himself.

“I don’t believe you…no, that’s not quite right. My guts seem to believe you…but my head doesn’t.”

“Wanting something and taking it aren’t mutually exclusive,” Jake sighed. “I want a lot of things I can’t have.”

“But you can have me, so I’m not one of them,” Phin shrugged.

“If only. It’s not that easy…” 

”Why? I clearly am. You said you’re not married…and you are not-a-jot impotent. I-I just…” Phin trailed off, rolling his eyes roofwards, as if an alternate reason might be spray-painted up there. “I’ve already done choosing, so it doesn’t matter what you say. I can’t do unchoosing afterwards. And that’s that. I’ve gone giddy now, shall we go to sleep?”

“Sure…beats slamming my head against a brick wall.”

“I think that’s supposed to sound like a metaphor…but…it isn’t. D’you do that very often?”

“Only when I’m pissed off with myself,” Jake admitted. He couldn’t bring himself to tell him any more lies tonight.

“I think you’re more dangerous to yourself than you are to me…” Twin pools of molten brown all-but bore holes in Jake’s soul. 

“I just…really don’t want to prove you wrong.” He dipped his head and his hair fell forwards obligingly. Concealing the treacherous sting of Jake’s eyes.

“I wasn’t wrong about Foxy. You were worried he would hurt me, too…but then, animals like me better than people, so…” An impish grin brought all such observations to an abrupt close. For which, Jake thanked his unlucky stars. Profusely.  “I’ll go and turn the lamp off, ‘kay?”

“‘Kay,” he croaked.

*

I hope you’re bloody satisfied.

Jack just regarded him with an unblinking stare…and the blatant belief that only one occupant of the bed was making a fuck awful mess of everything.

The light flicked off, then Jake watched Phin clamber up to join him; a lavish streak of ivory gleaming in darkness that wasn’t dark at all…unless Jake closed his eyes. Phin crawled beneath the duvet and lay on his side, facing inwards; arms bent, hands tucked beneath his chin. He didn’t reach out, nor brush Jake accidentally—or otherwise—which felt more bruising than being jabbed with a lethal joint. It was unbearable. Those lustrous eyes were scrunched so tight, it seemed that keeping them shut took more effort than holding them open at five a.m.

Jake found himself reaching out…to brush aside a few tufty strands of fringe. Apparently. Phin’s lids popped apart, revealing big brown orbs that defied their own darkness. As glossy as liquid glass. The apple-strudel scent of hope that flooded Jake’s senses was impossible to defy. He leaned in…until his nose nudged Phin’s, then paused, waiting. It had to be his choice after being rebuffed. A whisper of brandy-warm breath bathed Jake’s face as Phin lifted his chin, just a touch. Enough, to grant Jake access to cherry-ripe lips. Their mouths melted together and for an endless moment neither moved, nor spoke. Even the air seemed to still.

The jackal sat silent sentry.

Despite knowing damn well how ludicrous it was, Jake still felt as if his entire life had led to this… sultry shimmer of quietude as dawn hovered on the horizon. He could neither describe nor define it, just knew that it was. Nothing whatsoever happened. Yet everything did. Only the dual thud of their heartbeats bore witness to Jake’s epiphany.

The jackal just sniffed, a snort of sound which bore a startling resemblance to… do keep up, shit for brains.

*

“Jake..?” Phin whispered, their lips but a breath apart. “Can we do spooning? I think I’d like that. A lot.”

“Sure,” he chuckled. “Are you turning over, or me?”

“You, please. Um, that will fit better.”

“The real reason, please?”

“What makes you think I fibbed!?” Phin gasped. Innocence personified.

“Instinct. What mischief are you up to?”

“I’m not! Hmph. I just…if you were pressed back there my brain would explode. Oh…and your bum is luscious.”

“Luscious. Oh gawd,” Jake groaned.

“Yup…it’s a lush tush. I don’t have any more reasons, so stop fishing and turn over. I have no nefarious plans afoot…” The latter was intoned with lofty aplomb. Utterly incorrigible.

“That, I suspect, would be a first. Okaaay,” Jake huffed.  After dropping a kiss on the end of Phin’s nose, he turned to face the wall, grinning to himself when an arm was curved across his waist. After shuffling closer ’til their skin fused, Phin curled around Jake’s back, tucking bony knees into the crook of his own. The hip wriggle that followed almost finished him off. Jake froze—with an entirety that suggested lock down—as if the cock nestled in his butt crack had triggered a security system. A rumble Jake was not responsible for vibrated in his throat.

“Hmm…I love that noise,” Phin murmured into his hair. “G’night Jack, I’m glad you stayed. Too much methinks.”

“As am I…g’night.” Jake conked out almost the moment he closed his eyes.

For all the world as if someone, somewhere, finally thought he’d suffered enough.

 

***

 

 

Phin

 

Phin sighed, snuggling deeper into his pillow, listening to Jack’s snuffly breaths as he slept.  He had gone out like a light, so he must have been pooped.

While his own head was all whizzy, it wasn’t in a tired way, despite taking his tablets. There was just too much stuff stomping about in there. Not least the fact that snoozing through the spooning, rather than savouring it, was too sacrilegious to contemplate.

Jack seemed softened by sleep, stripped of his insistence on being mad, bad, ‘n’ dangerous to Phinkind. Yet sometimes—Phin had been doing concentrating—he saw glints of something sharp buried beneath his hypercontrol…biting into soft flesh with wince-worthy cruelty.  Perhaps that explained why he was so careful, controlled; guarding every movement, lest it gouged deeper and betrayed his pain. As silver-sharp as a blade, it felt a lot like loathing to Phin. A smidge akin to his own scratchy…but different. Harsher, meaner, spiteful…but not in the outward way Jake claimed. It was self-directed. He was as dangerous as he feared. To himself.

Of course, Jake could hurt him, Phin wasn’t that daft. If he lashed out in rage, then Jake could probably finish him off with naught but a blaze of blue, but Phin wasn’t scared of Jake, who could only kill him. Phin had to live with himself. 

It had forever felt as if he saw stuff he wasn’t supposed to…staring at it inside out. Or Phin was. One or the other, maybe both. Feelings sat on the surface, rather than hidden safely away. He didn’t mind, mostly, but it was tricky to focus on stuff people wanted him to. If he couldn’t, it made them miffy—they thought he wouldn’t—and got affronted.

Well…that was a lot of thoughts thunked…and Phin was still none the wiser. This is why he didn’t like going to bed. If his brain wasn’t busy it got bored and embarked on a bit of merry mayhem. Before Phin knew it, it had scarpered with the scraps of sensibility he could call his own; about the only thing he didn’t have too much of to start with. 

It was very hard keeping his mitts to himself too. He did have an arm wrapped around Jack, but its hand couldn’t go a-wandering as it wanted to. A temptation akin to chewing tin foil with fillings. It was getting lighter outside. Dawn was coming to steal away the darkness.

It was with a serendipitous sigh that Phin let his eyes flutter shut.

*

“Mmmm…” This, was The Best Dream Ever. Phin would go to bed more often if this lay in wait for him, rather than a snake-pit of too much stuff he’d rather not be ambushed by. Warm wet wondrous...a slip slide of lustrous…slurping.

Phin’s eyelids flared wide. Jack. Was here. There. He blinked. Twice.  Nope, Jack was still…down there.

“Jaack…” He didn’t answer, which wasn’t surprising, all things considered. Phin seemed to be half-lying on his back, with one arm stretched across the bed, the other resting on the sheet, beside his bum. His torso was twisted, with the top leg flung akimbo…like a dog having his tummy tickled. Most unseemly…and more than a mite flagrant. The whereabouts of Jack being every bit as blatant. Plush lips were sending shivery quivers of bliss here, there ‘n’ everywhere; a lush glide of hot, moist, heaven.

Phin was never going to manage making-it-last, after such a rude awakening. He’d barely got his breath back, then lost it again before the ball-bubbling bliss shot sparks up his spine and blitzed his brain with a dizzying rush of rhapsody (he’d always wanted to think that word, so he did, no one was listening). Bismillah! And Good Gawd, oh blimey… Jack swallowed him down with great greedy gulps, as if feasting on breakfast fit for a king.

“Hmmmm…”  A happy hum sounded in Phin’s throat as he patted about for a silky tumble of hair.

“Morning…” Gleaming lips twerked up in a rakish grin. The second sexiest view Phin had ever been treated to upon waking.

“G’morning. Thank you…” That p’raps drizzled from his lips like dribble.

“Oh, I’m not done yet…” The blue blazed topaz fire when Jake clasped Phin’s wrist and  gave it a sharp tug. His breath left the building—again—when he found himself flipped onto his front, face down in the pillows, before he could blink. When Phin craned his head around, it was just in time to see Jack snap his ankles apart…and crawl into the space he’d made in the middle.

“Wha—” That was as far as Phin got, cos the snaffler grasped the corner of his pillow and snatched it away. “Ooof.” That was a mite muffled on accounts of having a faceful of sheet.

An arm burrowed under his belly and up it went, before landing on the purloined pillow. All o’this took less time to gasp than what the bejeezus, so it was tricky to keep his bearings. Phin hadn’t recovered from his rackety start to the day yet. That had been too boggling to do concentrating on top of.  Phin may well have tried a tad harder if he’d realised that doing concentrating ever again might prove pointless.

So there Phin was, sunny-side up, with nary a breakfast in sight. Just sheet. A thought obliterated by the very next deed of Mr. mad bad ‘n’ dangerous to Phin’s last marble. Jack bent low…and swiped his tongue betwixt his butt cheeks.

“Fuuuuuck!”

“Guess again,” Jack chuckled, then swooped to swirl his tongue at the dip of Phin’s coccyx; the most ticklesome spine-tingling torture he’d ever endured.

“Jaackk!” Phin was left grappling at fistfuls of sheet, cheeks clenched tight, as Jack set siege to his senses with an excess of excruciating. Bliss. “Stooop! Pleeaaaaah!”

“Oh, okay then…” Jack raised his head, then clasped Phin’s hips and tugged them up. This, before butting the backs of his thighs to prop him onto his knees. Nothing in Phin’s whole life had ever prepared him for the next part. Not even slurpy rackets.

Jack trailed lazy fingertips along his thighs…curving around to clasp their tops, then swooped to sluice a long, luxurious lick…in the valley of Phin’s darkest dreams. His head nearly blew off. He perhaps shrieked so loud it was a wonder the windows didn’t shatter, which might have been unseemly. Had he not already been lying face down on the bed with his butt waving in the air. Being slurped from behind. Or possibly having his behind slurped.

Jack, had barely begun.

The next few minutes and forever felt as if he had a firework fizzing in his head…and bum.  A megalodon one—like the ones let off over the Thames—not a piddly one that fizzles a bit in your back garden. A huge fuck-off firework of brain blitzing hyper-too-muchness.

The way it felt physically, was a surface shriek of exquisite sensation…but the tsunami tongue swirling beneath? Was the darkness itself, secret, sacred, sublime.

*

Phin had known what an orgasm felt like before he met Jack, so he’d sort of been prepared…but only a bit. It had felt a helluva lot different with Jake doing the deedy. Phin had tried to imagine how it might feel to have sex and…sort of fiddled about a bit. But he’d never ever dreamed this might happen, let alone wondered what it felt like. Phin didn’t live in bum bliss paradiso. He lived in a camper van in Cornwall.

Thus, he had never envisioned waking up one morn to find himself served a tongue where the sun don’t shine. It sure left a morning cuppa in the shade. That noted… Phin had never met a robe snaffler on the moors, dead-set on stealing his sanity, either. He was starting to have a sneaky suspicion that Jake had looted a very lot more…

 

 

***

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 16

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

Phin

 

“G’night.” Phin sighed, hoping it didn’t sound as…bereft as he felt.

He was a bit miffed with himself, because Jack was Here. In Phin’s bed, beside him. Almost naked. Wanting more was being greedy. Too Needy. Needy was not sexy at all, he knew this…which was very prob’ly why Jack didn’t want him. Despite his gallant attempts to be kind about it.

So kind, that he’d even claimed to want, no need, Phin Too Much…and not in the too-much-too-soon sort of way deemed so unseemly. That was too befuddling to fathom. If Phin wanted something too much, he couldn’t do concentrating on anything else. At all. That tended to make folk huffy so he did try to pretend otherwise. Peace o’mind was precious…and big fat fibs called white lies don’t count. Those are being considerate.

Jack had snaffled Phin’s robe when he’d needed something to wear, so why hadn’t he taken what was being offered so freely, if he wanted Phin? Too freely, was p’raps the problem. Phin was supposed to do ‘playing hard to get’ to tickle someone’s fancy, wasn’t he? It was a bit bloomin’ late to start now, even if he knew how the bejeezus to go about it. Lying-starkers-in-bed-with-a-stiffy didn’t seem the most subtle of starts, on the whole. Even with all the will in the world (and Phin possibly had a smidge too much, according to…most), he couldn’t sheer-force-of-will Jack to want him.

He was still pondering this when Jake surged forwards all-of-a-sudden. Snatching Phin’s breath away in a literal and metaphorical manner so excessive it would have been swoon-worthy, had Phin been standing up. Rather than flat on his back starkers beneath a nearly naked and surely needy Jack. Unless he was smuggling a substantial cosh about his person, perchance Phin got too frisky—despite having ensured that he could scarce move. This, on accounts of being squished by the wondrous weight of Jake’s body and boggled by the alacrity of his ambush. Blitzed by a sheet lightning bolt of bliss that obliterated all-but-him. This...was all Phin had ever craved; a passion so intense it could silence the white noise shriek of his senses…sweep aside the itchy insistence on more with a lust that scorned its very existence. 

Jake’s breath fluttered across Phin’s neck, followed by lips that locked there. Shivers sparked along his spine, scorching through his system, leaving him buttery boned and breathless and certain that there was no more than this. Than him. The heady suction tugged far lower down, even as it dragged the blood to the surface. Phin could feel the bruise blossoming and thrilled to it; a bit as a keepsake…but mostly because it seemed Jake was intent on marking him. This was somehow sexier than tasting himself in the kiss…that he wanted to. Had Jake told the truth, after all? If he had, then why was a lie lurking in its shadows? 

Did it matter, when he was here and hard and oh, so heavenly heavy? All Phin had ever wanted was splayed across his naked self, seeping sex from every pore. A man strong enough to sweep the scratchy aside….with an appetite to match its too muchness. Phin had waited a very long time for Jake. Sooo, it was a tad likely that he might crave sex stuff as excessively as his favourite food. In a too full for anything else sort of fashion. 

Phin’s spine was hell-bent on arching off the bed but that tilted his bum backaway—the wrong way. When he tried shoving his hips Jackwards, he made a sound so rumbly it vibrated against Phin’s chest. He couldn’t help but suspect that splaying his palm a smidge lower might help matters, so he slid it down to the small of Jake’s back, and pressed…yesss. But blimey. The base of Jake’s spine was so concave that the convex curve beneath was mind-boggling.

A swift flick through his freeze-frame stash coshed Phin with the fact he’d never actually seen Jack from behind. Or even in profile, sans snaffled bathrobe. He’d caught glimpses here ‘n’ there as Jack moved around, but you can’t ask someone to stand still so’s you can stare at their tush. That wasn’t po-lite at all.

Jack’s waistband was very in the way. Phin was starting to really hate Jake’s pants. That was a bit of a fib, in time-scale terms—and severity of dislike ones—but loathed them with every fibre of his being possibly counted as a smidge excessive.

P’raps…Phin edged his little finger under the elastic and stilled, breath abated, but Jake was intent on the tantalizing trickle of his tongue across Phin’s collarbone and didn’t seem to mind…so… Afore Phin knew it, his palm was splayed across the most magnificent mound of muscle imaginable. As taut ‘n’ tight as its skin was silken. Crikey...Phin’s throat may have made a racket that suggested it was smuggling a strangled cat. 

“Jake…please…”  The craving felt as if it was going to choke him; Phin could scarce catch his breath. The next bit was so brain blitzing it felt a helluva lot like Jake’s pants vamooshed. Or combusted. Phin was too bedazzled to tell the difference. One second there they were; the next, his cock was crushed to a scorch of rigid flesh as hot, heavy, as the breath at his ear. 

“Phinngh…sstop me…hurtchoo—”  Grit-strewn gibberish that cut off on a raspy gasp, but Phin had forgotten to do listening so he didn’t miss much. “Promise…” Jake groaned, dragging in a jagged breath while bracing his forearms on the bed. 

“’Kay…” That was a teeny fib. Jake let his head fall forwards in a tickle of hair and gave his hips a quick twitch.  “Ahh!” Phin bit down on his bottom lip, screwing his eyes tight shut, willing his cock not to have a hyperreaction that was farrrr too much, too soon. Another twitch that felt…a lot like a testing testing tap on a microphone. Phin held his breath, hoping Jake didn’t stop, never stopped. 

He did not. Phin’s lungs offloaded themselves in one helluva rush when Jake unleashed a snap of hips so sublime it cocked a snook to circumspection and all such stuff ‘n’ nonsense. Making a racket was marvellous but Phins entire self hadn’t been squished beneath Jake’s in a cock sandwich of brain-moggling too-much-never-enoughness. The rolling, winding, glide of Jake’s hips was the most mellifluous melody on Earth; a symphony of sensation that scoffed at the very existence of excess. Chewed it up and spat it out with nary a care for seemly, nor the scales themselves. 

Every note pitch-perfect—as if Jack had hot-wired himself to Phin’s system—hypertuned to the witterings of his lips, the tiniest twitch of hips. Making a mockery of the fears that held Jake so hostage. Fears proved foundless—unfathomable—by the intensity of his focus and sheer poetry of his spine. These airy-fairy-thoughts wafted along in the wake of those as visceral as the need gnawing Phin’s guts…as guttural as the groans clawing the walls and the blood boiling through his veins. The world behind his eyelids was a kaleidoscope of white hot sensation that scoffed at the spectrum itself. Awash with light-shot scarlet bright, blinding in its brilliance. 

“Y’okay?” Jake gasp sounded as if it was tugged too tight. Okay? If Phin had ever felt better, he sure hadn’t forgotten to remember it.  

“Yessss. Jake…I-I…”  The rest melted away when Jack let rip a fulsome snap that shredded the last sliver of restraint Phin was clutching tighter than the sheets snarled in his fists.  “Jaaakke!” scored the walls when a cascade of bliss shattered his brain while battering its way through his body .  Jake must’ve been holding on by the skin of his teeth, ‘cos Phin had scarce snatched a breath when he shuddered and stilled, trembling as a second hot rush of sticky spilled across Phin’s skin. This, as his name resounded around his head…the most exquisite echo he’d ever heard. A sumptuous sigh caressed his chest when Jake’s lush weight slumped onto it. His hair was stuck to his face, slick with sweat, so Phin lifted a tentative hand to smooth the tangled tendrils aside. 

“Phin, are y—” 

“No…” he interrupted, which was rude, but Phin done lots that was rude of late and Jake hadn’t seemed to mind. “I’m not hurt…” he murmured, still stroking. Ditto.

“Y’wouldn’t fess up if you were…” Jake chuntered.

“You’d know.” Phin shrugged. “I know you would. You just wanted to hear it out loud, as if that made it more true. It’s as true as the fact I would be just as glad it had happened if it cost me my last breath. So there.”

“Don’t say that…” Jack groaned. 

“So there, or popping my clogs? They were facts so I ‘fessed up…you have a bit of a bee in your bonnet about admitting stuff.”

“Don’t tempt…fate. ”

“Why? D’you think I’ll get smited?” Phin did his best not to grin. It was quite dark in the nook, though.

“I think you’d dare the devil himself.”

“Only if it was worth it,” Phin owned, while he was on a roll, an’ all. “…Or p’raps, if I was bored.”

“Phin…” Jake growled. A despairing one. Not at himself.

“It’s very sexy when your voice goes all growly.” Oops…the snowball situation was getting out of hand. Ah well, at least the question burning a hole in Phin’s head hadn’t made a bid for freedom.

“Oh fuck…” 

“Can we do that next?” Oh. Dear.

“Christ…” Jake let his forehead crash onto Phin’s chest. With a groan like the clang of a dungeon door. 

“Oops…should I not have said that?”

“I need a drink. And a gun.”

“My mum always said I’d get myself shot.” Phin sighed. It sounded regretful.

“I didn’t intend to shoot you.” Jake humphed. 

“Well, I’m glad I haven’t got a gun then. I don’t want to die a virgin.”

WHAT!?” A whiplash reaction as swift as it was fulsome. 

“I haven’t ever—”

“I know that...but why the hell would you die a virgin? You are the most ench—”

“I knew you’d know…” Phin butted in, too abashed to wait for the worst. “I’m sorry…was it very dread—”

“God No!” Jake snapped, the blue ablaze in the semi-darkness. “Don’t ever think that. Phin, you drive me demented.”

“I am very irritating.” Phin acknowledged, stifling a sigh that would sound ‘sad’, when he was simply telling the truth.

“No! I meant…oh, shit.” Jake’s fingers snagged in his hair when he tried to rake them through it. “I meant…demented in the desperate sense. I’ve never craved—”  Jake broke off a bit abruptly to prompt; “You didn’t answer my question. What did you mean about dying a virgin?”

“If you shot yourself.” Phin didn’t beat about the bush, in hopes of hearing what Jake had never craved, all the sooner.

“Y’what?!” he gaped, agog. Heavenknows why, that was a fact, pure and simple. Jack sure couldn’t wind his hips like that if he was dead.  “You’d meet someone else—someone far better than me—you can’t say that!” 

“I won’t—I don’t want them—I just did,” Phin rattled off, with a shrug. This was the most pointless chat on the planet. His mind was not a pair of pants or a jumper.

“Phin, listen to me. I don’t want you to feel—”

“And I don’t want to be a virgin, but you won’t listen…”

“Grrr…”

“Grr…y’self. I thought you wanted a drink?”

“I do,” Jake huffed.

“Then stop huffing ‘n’ puffing so I can go and fetch it.”

“You’re impossible.” Jack snuffed out a fringe fluttering sigh and hefted himself off Phin’s body. The cold cosh of loss was more than a mite abated by the liberal smears of sticky adorning Phin’s skin. Theirs. Not his. He was p’raps grinning like a loon when he lowered himself to the floor.

After grabbing a couple of cloths, Phin dipped them in the bowl and squeezed one out for Jack, then stood under the nook and held it aloft, waving it like a peace flag. Jake was  chuckling when he whipped it from Phin’s fingers, which stretched the grin to ear-licking levels. After pouring a two tumblers of brandy Phin raised them above his head and waited for Jake to retrieve them before clambering back up.

The fact it was tricky to recall the last time he’d crawled into bed not wearing half his nightcap was a cherry on top, it must be admitted. On that particular topic…it might be best not to confess the scoundrelly shimmer of hope in his heart… 

 

 

***

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 15

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

Jake

 

 

 

Jake crawled the length of Phin’s body and hovered above him on all fours, gazing down into pools of liquid midnight. When berry lips smudged in a smile, Jake dipped his head to trickle his tongue across the lower one, then tugged on it with tender teeth. A miracle as ineffable as Phin himself. 

Everlasting arms wound around Jake’s neck and tightened, so he steeled himself and unlocked his elbows, allowing his weight to be…welded to acres of naked flesh. A soldering of feverish skin to silken ivory that crushed the crippled contents of his pants to Phin’s far more satisfied cock. Jake was clinging to his undercrackers like the last sliver of sanity they were. 

“It’s odd to taste myself on your mouth,” Phin told him, when Jake risked cranking his eyelids open. They had slammed shut on impact, alongside a rifle-shot gasp.

“Odd in a good way or bad?” he rasped, in a voice like ground glass.

“Oh, goood. It’s sort of…sexy, on your lips.” Phin decided, after pausing to ponder the most erotic taste on the planet. Jake was still grinning when he rested his head on Phin’s chest, and lay, listening to the steady thrum of his heart.

Their favourite sound in the world—by far—apparently. A thought that should have been enough to wipe the smirk off Jake’s face. It failed. Dismally. 

“‘Sexy…’” Jake repeated, too charmed to resist…chasing the stick. Clearly. “So…what else feels sexy?” 

 “Your skin squished to mine…making a racket…when your lips do the twerky thing despite yourself…watching you walk…”

‘When your lips do the twerky thing despite’…who you’re fooling no one except. 

“Watching me walk…?” Jake asked, ignoring snarky asides from the backseat.

Ouch. Bitch.

“Hmm…walking’s not really the right word. You prowl…like a panther.”

“I…” Jake didn’t have the foggiest idea what to say to that gem. It was an irony too …beastly for banter. Is Jack evident in my body language now? He had no idea, having assumed that he’d skulked around scowling for the last two years. That seemed far more feasible than the notion that Phin observed the same things as the rest of the word. Even if he did, that bewitching brain saw whatever the hell it wished. How Jake wished he could see himself through those enchanting eyes. 

Remaining still was no longer an option. If he didn’t shift himself, then he might shift full stop. The worst of this was a feat too astounding to fathom; Jack was uncannily calm. So why the fuck do I feel fit to bust?

Your guess is as good as mine?

No. It’s not.

You’re right. It is yours.

What’s mine?

Your guess. 

What are you on about? My guess is as good as mine?

Not quite. Not ‘as good as yours’… IS. Yours.

You. Are doing my head in.

Why change the habits of a lifetime? Just sayin…

Goddamn dog. Too smug to make sense…there’d be no living with him after this. It was with a sigh of resignation that Jake slid a knee between Phin’s thighs in order to lever himself up.

“Hmm, will you do that again…the fidgety thing?” His smile was pornoseraphic. If that wasn’t a word, a lexicographer had never met Phin. Jake’s hips twitched, entirely of their own volition. “Mmmore…” 

Oh god…they’d drill him through the bottom of the campervan. It was all wrong…he couldn’t just…rut against him on the bloody floor, like the mangy mutt he was. Jake could not. Could he not might be the more pertinent question. His hips were in league with the devil dog.

Better a devil dog than a dogged dullard. 

Jake had a horrible feeling that Phin might agree. Jack was far more…congenial company. Far better for Phin than Jake could ever be. 

I think my brain just burped, y’might want to get it looked at.

I might be a bastard, but I’m not deluded. Worse than that; I believe it. Phin would choose you, and I know it.

Aside from the part where I can’t recall ‘choice’ being an option? Phin doesn’t do choosing. He said so. He wants, or he doesn’t. He wants you…and me. Simple.

Are you trying to drive me demented? 

You’re managing that all on your own. Moove, you tetchy tosspot.

“Phin…”

Please…?

God, those eyes. They were more deadly than Jack. Jake screwed his own tight shut, dipped his head and took a deep, calming breath..which promptly proved the most Baldrick worthy of all cunning plans. Inhaling poppers would have been wiser than the concentrated hit of skin/sex/sweat that assaulted their senses. 

Jake’s hips juddered, nudging his cock against the rapidly stiffening one beside it; a friction too far for temptation. He swallowed, a thick, meaty squelch of sound, as lurid as the lust lashing his system.

You thought ‘loins’ first. ’Fess up. 

Bastard.

Odd that. 

*

Jake…girded his loins and gave his hips an experimental twitch. Pure, primal need shimmered down his spine, boiling through his blood, seeping from his pores, as necessary as their next breath.  “Fuck…”  

Really?” How the hell had Phin crammed so much hope into two syllables?

“No!” Jake damn near barked.

“Oh. You don’t want me…that way?” Words as steeped in sorrow as the scent that stabbed Jake in the guts. Higher. 

“Yes! I mean, no…I just…can’t.”

“I-I don’t understand…I’m too muddled.” The dark wings of Phin’s brows crumpled, those eyes huge, imploring. 

“Phin…I don’t just…want. I need you. Too Much,” he groaned through gritted teeth, seizing on the one phrase Phin would recognize as…significant. A Trojan horse secreting so much more. Definitive. 

“‘Too much, too soon’?”

Damn. He’d trotted out a phrase he must’ve had drilled into his head too often to ‘forget’. He’d filtered ‘too much’ to mean far less than it did in Phin-speak, because Jake had been referring to himself. 

“No…in your terms. Too much. To be safe.”

“Oh. Well, I’ve survived m’self. See, I’m not made of china.” Oh, but he’d break just as easily. Phin pinned on an expression best described as ta-dah, sorted. It didn’t quite reach those eyes. 

Slow? He saw more than most. Perhaps in a less…pedestrian way, he was pure instinct. Stripped of artifice. Emotion flayed back to bone. Jack had recognized as much long before Jake caught up. 

Too much crap in the way, that’s why.

So what if I trip then, smart arse? Shatter his hips, crush his ribs, puncture a lung, snap his neck…

Ye of little faith…

In myself? Merited. How the hell do I explain the inexplicable? 

Tell him the truth.

Fuck no.

“I know you’re not made of china…but I-I can’t—whatever I say will sound—”

“If you tell me the truth, that’s how it will sound. Fibs tie knots. That’s why peeps make my head hurt…I have to stare too hard. Picking at knots.”

“Some truths are…impossible to air.”

“Air…or share? With me?” Phin sighed. For the wrong reasons. Crap.

“Impossible, literally.”

“You should forget to do listening to ‘impossible’. How can it be, if it’s your truth?” Phin frowned, lifting a forefinger to brush the space between Jake’s brows. “Jack…why are you so sad?” Words as silken as the stroke. 

“Sad? Because I’m fucked up…and I’ve fucked this up too.” 

“You haven’t fucked anything. I’d better not say ‘Sadly’, it wouldn’t be seemly. You’re a bit befuddling…but it’s very hard to do concentrating.” An illustrative twitch of hips was followed by a question from so far left-field, Jake wouldn’t have seen it coming with a wide-angle lens. Rather than blinded by extreme close up.  “Are you going home now?” 

“D’you want me to?” Jake wondered. That mattered more than ‘why’.

“Not a jot…unless I’m making you sad.”

“No…you’re not. That’s all on me…” Jake sighed, bowing to the inevitable. “I don’t want to leave. But I’m not taking your bed.”

“Will you take half of it?” Phin’s beam was the burst of winter sunlight breaking through clouds. Jake had no choice. Other than four legs or two.

“Yeah…”

“I’m very glad…Jack? Um…” Another twitch. “That can’t be comfy…” 

Jack? Seemed prepared to be patient, for the moment. As long as they were staying put. 

Happy now? 

I’d be a helluva lot happier if you were ‘comfy’. 

Y’such a gent. 

“…And my bum has gone numb,” Phin added, with a wriggle. “It is very late…I should take my tablets. Can we go to bed now?” Big brown orbs blinked up at Jake, innocence personified. Lethal.

“Sure…” Jake planted his palms on the floor to push himself up. Froze. Roll off, or spring up?

Horizontal to vertical in the blink of an eye? You might as well just shift and be done with it, numb nuts.

I hate it when you start making sense. Roll, it is…

*

The moment Phin had clambered up and pottered off to the loo, Jake bounded to his feet and stood for a moment, staring up at the alcove.

You’d rather be dead than deny yourself this, admit it.

If only that was the deal on the table, I’d take it. Rather than risk the exact opposite. 

Jake bent his knees a little, then sprang lightly onto the bed to land in a crouch. There wasn’t much head room, to say the least.

Good job we’ve sorted that, then.

What the fuck? Forget it. Not happening.

Is, too.

I’m not budging. No condoms. No lube.

Aside from the fact you haven’t had sex in forever…use your pea-brain. It might not be as flexible as my spine, but still… 

Christ. Was that visual really necessary?

Some of us don’t have hands, just sayin. But I’m feeling benevolent…I’ll spare you a truth you cannot deny. For fear of being smited, if nowt else.

Thanks.

Did I detect a smidge of sarcasm? Stop overthinking everything, you tedious tosspot…you’re driving me demented. I never once mentioned mating. You’ll find yourself rutting rocks on the way home if you keep this up. Literally. 

What theMating!?

A snigger from the backseat was his only response. From whence I’m supposed to accept counsel? It was all going to hell in a hurricane jet. Next stop, a therapy session with Dr. Lecter.

Still, it was with an inner and outer huff of contentment that Jake crawled beneath the covers. Strewth. Cocooned in purgatory. The scent wafting from the duvet had all-but clobbered him with a breeze block on landing. Now he was swaddled in it. And a sheen of sweat. Jake lay, flat on his back, staring sightlessly at the roof. Every sense aflame with awareness, anticipation coiled hot, heavy in his gut. Ravenous.

“Hiya.” A tufty head poked into the alcove, followed by far too much of the rest of Phin. Still starkers.

“Hiya y’self,” Jake grinned, turning onto his side and backing up a bit while Phin manoeuvred his extravagant self into bed. A feat accomplished with sharp elbows and (too) much wriggling. 

“Oops, sorry…” Phin whispered, once settled to his satisfaction. There was barely a breath of air between their bodies. Heat shimmered in the sliver of space like a force-field. It was akin to being microwaved with a banquet-batch of cinnamon cookies. Drizzled with sex, marinated in naked need. Laden with longing. Longing? That was the least of it. Jake’s veins were ablaze with liquid lust.

He was afraid to speak, for fear of shattering the silence. As if that would be an act of violence…like plunging his fist through a stained-glass window. Instead, he lay, listening to Phin’s heartbeat tattoo his own.

“Jack..?” 

“Hmm?”

“G’night.”

The hollow loss of hope assaulted Jake’s senses. He could taste it. His entire involuntary nervous system spasmed in response, thrusting him forwards in a breath-snatching slam of skin that rolled Phin onto his back. A whimper of want caressed the curve of the neck Jake buried his nose into and inhaled; long, slow, deep, drinking him in. Heavenscent. 

The rush of relief was the spark that scarfed the trail of dynamite.

 

***

 

 

***

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 14

❤️Wishing you a wonderful thanksgiving…I hopes you have lots to feel thankful for❤️

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

Phin

 

 

 

 

It scarce seemed possible that the magnificent man in Phin’s very own van was meant for him. The Beast of Bodmin popping by for a cuppa and snackeroo would be less bewildering than the impossibility that Jack might want Phin.

Yet somehow, he was not only standing there half-starkers, sculpted from gold, gleaming in the lamplight, he was hard. Shrinktastic jeans struggling to constrain a stonking erection hard. There was no one else present. Just Phin. A singular fact as deranging as watching Jack prowl his way, muscles gliding in a melody of movement. That was exactly how it appeared, Phin wasn’t gilding any lilies he didn’t have. They were too glary, he preferred lily-of-the-valley. Or jasmine, gypsophila, snowdrops…they were his favourites. A sprinkle of little flowers, always white, like titchy stars tumbled to Earth. 

The flora had filled the space separating Jake and Phin, who was forcing himself to wait while Jake whipped his kit off. That was never his best thing…but this was the first time that ‘worth the wait’ had ever seemed a dead cert. So, Phin was gritting his teeth against the scratchy insistence that now was the only surety and doing his damnedest to stay still. This, after enduring the loss of heavy heat and silken skin—bearable as a precursor to the unveiling of more—and thus a quid pro quo, par excellence.

He had never imagined that being squished beneath another body could make him feel so full—nourished—when being trapped should have screamed suffocating. Instead, Phin had felt somehow less…fragmentary, scrappy inside. Less like a piecemeal person, wired all wrong.

Phin lay, fingers laced behind his head to hold it up, mesmerized by the shucking of shoes and the peeling of spray-painted jeans. The latter snaffled his socks when Jake yanked his feet out, which was exceedingly fortunate on the fit of the fidgets front. Finally, there Jake stood…oh, so nearly naked. In Phin’s camper van. Two pairs o’pants away from paradise.

“Hmmm…” Oops…that had aired itself while Phin wasn’t watching. The least surprising snippet of news in the whole world ever. He was too riveted to do concentrating on aught but the lustre of honeyed skin over lean lines of muscletendons taut, standing proudshrieking tightly tethered strength. Caramel waves cascading to sinewy shoulders, streaked with umber, bronze…eyes of topaz blue flame, ablaze with desire. Desire. For Phin. Unless Jake was thinking very hard of someone not splayed across the table wearing just Phin’s pants. That was possible…despite the halleloo hypershriek louder than Jack’s twanging tendons. 

Phin propped himself up on his elbows, too twitchy to stay still, too flat for best seat aboard privileges. He’d no sooner done so, than Jake glanced down at himself with an expression Phin might’ve called ‘doubtful’—except that would be daft—Jake was, most definitely, there. Here. In Phin’s camper van. In naught but his pants, which ensured that there was lots of evidence on view. A fact he’d deduced with utmost diligence.

When Jake lifted his head, his gaze was blue zicron; starlite bright, ablaze with a world of dark wonder while slinking to stand before Phin, still perched atop the table. 

“I was so certain Foxy was real…but can’t seem to believe in you,” he heard himself sigh, from far, far, away. Too dazzled to blink, too dazed to break eye contact.

“You’re barmy…” Jake’s smile didn’t seem to mind overmuch.

As this had e’er been the common consensus, far from a novel notion, Phin told the truth, which was inviolate, being his own. “But not barmy enough to know what’s ‘good for me’,” he pointed out…p’raps with the tip of his tongue.

“I’ll bite that off in a minute,” Jake snorted. “Were you not taught that sticking it out at people is not ‘po-lite’?” That smirk was more dangerous than the rest of Jake, if only he could see it. It was devilish, divine.

“Yup…but you’re not people,” Phin noted instead, which was less unseemly.

“I’m not…people?” Jack sounded a smidge alarmed, as if he’d just been declared a Dark Lord of the Sith. Rather than not informed that his smirk was deadly. 

“Well, you’re Jack,” Phin shrugged. “That’s more than just ‘people’.”

The blue flared as if the gas had been turned up to full throttle. It was almost too luminous to stare into. It was…too close to care. Too…hmmm…a shimmer of pleasure thrilled down his spine when Jack leaned in to brush featherlight lips across Phin’s. Once, twice, while winding strong arms around his waist to tug him in tight. The scintillating press of chests, skin-to-skin sent his senses into a fizzy frenzy. It was the strangest double-whammy of wondrous; leaving him fit to swoon and sprint up the side of a skyscraper, all at the same time. 

The whizziness won out when Jake melded their mouths to lay waste to Phin’s lips in the kind of kiss that inspired madness or murder in Kings and coves alike. That was the last snippet of nonsense to flit through Phin’s head, which was startling in itself, but nowhere near as staggering as the reason why…

It was a surge of movement so swift he had to piece it together afterwards; Jack nudged Phin’s knees apart, cupped his butt cheeks and tugged him in tight, then hoisted him up off the table. He had to cling on quick like a koala when Jack swung them around and splayed a palm between Phin’s shoulder blades to lower him to the floor. All this happened a tad too fast to do concentrating, so he might have made a muddle—there was a lot of Phin and lots less of Jack—which made it seem a smidge unlikely. He didn’t even try to unravel it; all that mattered was, he was exactly where he wanted to be. Flat on his back beneath Jack, who hovered above him on all fours and kissed away all likelihood that Phin might do focussing on anything, anytime soon.

He was far too busy luxuriating in the slow, sensual drag of Jack’s lips, the tangle of tongues, their shared breath as Jack lowered himself to his elbows in a lush smudge of skin. This kiss was slower, gentler than before, more…tender. Sound only seemed to exist as a denseness in Phin’s ears…and yet, the space between them was as light, airy as a candyfloss cloud. There were fingers entwined in his hair, a tongue in his mouth, a palm clamped to his thigh. Jack was everywhere, all at once; the heady weight of his body, the trailing tendrils of hair caressing Phin’s face. Between his thighs, hard heat crushed close through filmy cotton, for the very first time. Oh, so close to his darkest dreams. Did Jack even want Phin...that way? It felt as if he did, and yet, he kept claiming it was too dangerous. How? Why? Or just a white lie, to let him down in a decorous way? How Phin wished he knew…there was no way of telling what he might ask for.

Jack hadn’t seemed to think that making a racket put Phin in jeopardy, so why did more?  He didn’t even know if Jack would permit a repeat of…yesterday? Earlier? It still seemed to be the same day, despite the dark; he hadn’t been to bed and had breakfast yet. Phin had to steel himself to stillness when Jake lifted his head. Every instinct was clamouring to cling on like a limpet, when a sliver of space was a mile of separation. Farther, while fearing that every kiss would be the last. Much to Phin’s relief, the heady press of Jake’s weight didn’t diminish, it shifted. He began to slide backwards, scattering a blazing trail of kisses down Phin’s front. He held his breath, watching with wide, wider, eyes as Jack wriggled lower, lower still; too scared to breathe, perchance he stopped. 

Phin’s lungs cared not and promptly staged a mutiny, sucking in a week’s worth of oxygen when Jake’s chest brushed Phin’s fit to bust pants. “Aaaahh!”  His brain was too busy melting to mush and blowing up to be bothered who won Air Wars. The friction alone was mind boggling, but Jake’s head was heading toward torrid territory. Wherin a third head resided. Matters were getting a mite Fluffy from Harry Potter. A thought eclipsed by the squeaky gate sound that escaped when Jake trickled his tongue down the trail of hair vanishing into Phin’s waistband. Next thing he knew, that had gone. Alongside his missing pants and a scorch of moist heat that clobbered Phin with a bolt of bliss. 

A fact that poured such a vat of oil on the squeaky racket it melted into maple syrup and drizzled from his lips as an “ooooooh….”  Last time, Phin had been too dazzled to relish the ricochet of sensations, too staggered by their all-consuming shriek to do concentrating on how it felt. A symphony of sound too overwhelming to hear the melody itself. Impossible to assimilate…like the taste of cymbals clashing.

The racket within was too loud to listen to that without, as Phin lay, plastered to floor like roadkill trammeled by a tractor. It was too much to feel all at once so he let his eyelids flutter shut and did some concentrating on savouring every second of slurpy serendipity. 

Jack’s tongue was indecent, Phin decided. His mouth, a den of iniquity. Oh…if only life membership was on the table…or the floor…or in the bed nook…on the moors, under a blanket of stars…bathed in moonlight.

Jake must have dipped lower, somehow, because Phin’s cock crashed against the back of his throat—which tightened—as if the scoundrel was hellbent on swallowing it down. Phin was done for…he couldn’t have held out if his membership card depended upon it… 

“Jaacckk!” The only word in the world. It clawed the walls when the need gnawing his nuts detonated in a dizzying rush and a strobe-lit blitz of bliss that blazed through Phin’s body in a white-hot torrent of too much and more.

When it was done with him, he was fit for nothing and everything; anything Jake wanted ever again, for the rest of forever. Aside from that, Phin felt very lovely. In a tongue lolling out sort o’way.

Somewhere, on a planet far, far away, Jake dragged his mouth back oh, so slow. The shock of cool air that accosted Phin’s cock was obliterated by slick warmth when Jake sluiced the sticky away…with a thoroughness that was the epitome of unseemly. Sublime.

Adj: extreme or unparalleled excellence. 

As inimitable as Phin’s foxy friend.

 

***

25395792_1312984798806791_7767767145407370890_n - Edited.jpg

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 10

Happy Weekend 🥰 Thank you so much for your support for their story ❤️ Phin’s chapter is a mite maudlin so I’ve included Jake’s chapter too.

 

Trigger warning: 

Phin’s part contains self-harm which doesn’t endanger him, but I should hate it to trouble you. It can be ignored entirely (or read down to the stars *** and skip to Jake’s) without losing the plot. Suffice to say, Phin returns to the moors that evening. 

 

 

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

Phin

 

 

Phin tugged his jeans on and ruffled his flattened hair, then stooped to peer at his face in the cloudy mirror. Not that it mattered…Jack had seen more than enough of it already. How he must wish he hadn’t lost his clothes, then he p’raps wouldn’t have happened upon Phin in the first place. Let alone stuck around ’til he woke up and it was too light for a starkers strollabout. It still wasn’t dark enough, so Jack was stuck with him until Phin drove him home. If only, he hadn’t admitted that he wouldn’t mind Jake ‘in anywhere’. That had been unseemly, extremely. And presumptive.

I-I…don’t think…I can’t, it’s not sa—”  

Phin wasn’t sure what any of that meant…but knew it meant nothing he wanted to hear. It was just a clatter of words that screamed; ‘back off, it was just a bloody blow job.’ Phin had a sneaky suspicion that Jake’s word salad sentence boiled down to: ‘I’m just not that into you‘. That’s what people really meant when they used a lot of words to dump your ass without suffering uncomfy consequences, wasn’t it?

Phin had attempted the pretend-it-doesn’t-matter-a-bit thing. That’s how you acted considerate about being dumped: No probs. I’m fine, it’s all fine. Fine, fine fine. 

Fine (adj): Fuck awful.

Adding a c’est la vie shrug ‘n’ smile so people didn’t feel bad for making you feel bad was the icing on the considerate cake. Phin had tried. It was tricky to say how it had turned out when he hadn’t been able to focus past the fact he’d needed Jake to go. Leave Phin alone so he could do concentrating on clawing back a bit of comfiness.

His whole self had felt like a silent shriek. So Phin had shut down, to hold it inside. He hadn’t wanted Jake to see. He’d seen far too much already. Much too much too-muchness. But Phin had somehow forgot himself in the face of Jake. All the things that made it extremely important to ward the world away and its dagger-shooting-glare-of-shame with it.

Jake didn’t respond to the offer of a lift home, which made Phin even more scratchy. He just sort of wavered about instead, as if wondering whether to pat Phin’s head or flee before the fallout. The latter would have been Jake’s best bet. Phin had to hold it all in, until he’d gone. It was doable, Phin had done it a trillion times before. It was p’raps akin to being eaten alive by maggots… far preferable to the Glare. 

The bathroom mirror wasn’t about to offer up any words of wisdom any time soon, so Phin checked that it was sporting the correct-expression-for-the-occasion: his feeling fine face.  A last glance at his cuffs assured him that his jumper seams were not on the outside, safely away from Phin’s skin (screaming loon-on-the-loose). That was a daft thing to do, it must be admitted, but he was too scratchy to tell without looking.

After doing a deep breath, which was supposed to help somehow—it did not—Phin pushed the loo door open. The utter silence that greeted him should have been blissful. It was not. The empty van was a void into which Phin’s stupid, hopeful heart plummeted. Jake had gone. Phin had never felt so alone, which was weird, when that should have been a wonderful thing. ‘Alone’ wasn’t like this, though. Alone was pottering about, as cosy as can be, but thiscoshed him with an emotion so strange, he wasn’t sure what it was. Only ‘loss’ seemed similar, but that was a different sort of sadness. This sort was sucking the air out of his lungs. Suffocating him.

Phin shoved the loo door shut with his back and slumped against it, scrunching his eyes tight shut. Then slid downwards, until he was curled as small as he could make himself and pressed his forehead to his bent knees. He never knew how long he stayed put, listening to what loneliness felt like. Long enough that his bum went numb.

How Phin wished his mind would follow suit, but not even his bedtime tablets could perform that miracle. Maybe take those and try to go to sleep? He’d forgotten about them last night, so it wouldn’t count as snaffling an extra dose. Phin wasn’t tired, but he rarely was. Hence the need for the knockout drops, because staying awake for a week was ‘bad for him’.  Going to bed was the bane of his life. Boring beyond belief (that might be a catchy turn of phrase but Phin sure as strewth-I’m-bloody-bored, believed it). He hated being still and doing nothing to dispel the scratchy. But this nothingness was much worse; he’d rather claw his own skin off than feel it.

Phin knew he was being daft. He hadn’t lost Jack, who hadn’t been his to lose. Not even a friend, let alone a…lover? Boyfriend? Jake couldn’t even be classed as a one night stand; that would be an upgrade in the ranks of brief encounters. Theirs had been thong-sized. Aptly enough, when it was as vividly scored into Phin’s memory as cheese-wire through Cheddar. 

It had been too good to be true. Full stop. Dreams never had a real life Phin to sabotage them. The sudden slash of self-loathing that scythed through his system blitzed Phin’s brain with scarlet bile. Sosooostupid. Their tea cups sat, as serene as can be, on the counter top, mocking him. A surge to his feet and swift sweep of an arm sent them crashing to the floor in a spatter of tea spray like dirty rain. Every bit as grubbynot good enoughas he’d always known himself to be. Wired all wrong, for all to see, as if Not Like You was tattooed on Phin’s forehead in fancy font. The gnawing need to smash everything in sight was scalding; a scorch so intense that a bit of spontaneous combustion should have saved Phin the satisfaction. 

* * *

All the hopes Phin should never have permitted shelf space, shattered. For the briefest, brightest of moments, there they’d glistened, unfathomably within reach. Destroyed in one hapless instant, as surely as the porcelain shards scattered underfoot. A glint of light glanced off a fragment shaped like a shark’s tooth, ensnaring Phin’s gaze. He bent to pluck it off the floor, a jagged remnant of its former self. He would keep it, he knew; a single treasure salvaged from the day his foxy friend came to stay, for a while, at least. ‘A while’ worth all the teacups in China. 

Phin closed his hand around it and held tight, lest he lose it, then slid back down the door. Until he unfurled his fingers to examine his prize, he hadn’t felt the icy burn that promptly blazed a trail up his arm. His fingers were too numb to take any notice. He couldn’t feel them, just the searing sting scored across all four, where their ‘bend here’ line used to be.

Bummer, the ivory shark’s tooth was now smeared scarlet, t’boot. Phin’s palm felt squelchy with stickiness.  Nowhere else hurt, though. He didn’t even feel scratchy. His head was a bit whizzy, which felt preferable to having a hatchet buried in it.  The burn itself felt…cleansing, which made sense in the funeral pyre scheme of things. The blood was dripping down Phin’s forearm now, decorating it like ruby trickles of melted candle wax down a wine bottle. The screeching soreness was wearing off, which was a bit rubbish; it had helped to have that single pulse of pain to focus on.

The scratchy was coming back too, clawing at Phin’s arms and legs. A fire-ants-scurrying- under-his-skin sensation so intense he should be able to see them. It was driving him demented. One swift slash across his inner forearm, where the creepy-crawling was worst, might expunge a few. Thousand. Oops, that turned out a tad wider than expected. The shark’s tooth was p’raps thicker than a blade. Ah well. Its scorch seemed to warm him through as it radiated from the gash, gathering force, rather than subsiding. His brain felt as numb as his bum and fingers now, which was a plus, but he felt a bit squiffy, which was not. Phin hadn’t had a jot to drink. He definitely didn’t want to wake up two days running with a hangover after nary a hot toddy to make it seem worthwhile. P’raps he should take his tablets, then go and have a lie down. He was a bit dizzy, as if he’d been spinning on the spot to make the world go whizzy.

Phin swallowed his pills with a slurp of water from the tap, then held his upturned arm under the flow. Drying blood felt as if your skin was shrinking, which was never a fun thought to trigger. Particularly before bed…which was where Phin should comport himself, before his nook took on the look of a…rook’s nest. Or was it a crow’s?  The lookout bucket at the top of a ship’s mast to scan the horizon for scurvy dogs. That would do—it didn’t rhyme though—so the rook would just have to snaffle it. Like a cuckoo. Oops…he had an aviary already.  

His head was getting a bit out of hand. Flopping down before he fell over would be a cunning plan indeed, Phin decided. He felt almost euphoric with relief  when he snuggled under the duvet and dragged it over his head. Phin loved the dark—far more than any particular season—night was his favourite time of day. It made him feel safe. Even the bittersweet tang of tears felt comforting in his cosy cave under the covers…

*

Urgh… When Phin peered above the duvet he really wished he hadn’t. Ouch. His head hurt…and his eyes were sore. And his arm. Fingers. His toes seemed okay, which was not to be sniffed at when they tended to bear the brunt of mishaps. Phin needed a pee something chronic, so he’d have to drag his arse out of bed. Dammit. He also needed to buy loo roll, he remembered—which he had not—yesterday. That meant people. Double dammit. He didn’t want to see anyone at all, beset as he was by a stroppy ‘if I can’t see Jack, I don’t want to see anyone ever again, so there’, sort of mood.

Phin squinted down at the angry slash on his arm, which was a bit puffy ‘n’ purple. It wasn’t bleeding any more, but the duvet looked as if it had been tie-dyed in rusty water. After blowing out a huge huff, Phin threw back the covers and scrambled around to lower himself to the floor. Pee ‘n’ tea. Then what? Quite why he asked himself this, when he knew damn well that he’d be off to the moors later, Phin knew not. It wasn’t as if he had the luxury of choice. That was fruitloop delusion more excessive than conjuring up furry friends with eyes that gleamed aquamarine.

 

 

***

Jake & Jack

 

 

It was with utmost gratitude that Jake grabbed his jacket off it’s hook. His shift had seemed endless. He’d twitched his way through it, antsy and distracted by an internal pacing too relentless to ignore. The slivers of patience Jake could lay claim to had been whittled away to naught and his now nerves were frazzled to fuck.

After fleeing from the camper van Jake had let Jack have his head—literally—it had been a relief to hand the reins over. Take a back seat, become a mere passenger to his instincts; let Jack indulge in pure and simple pleasures, guilt-free and glad to be alive. Gone was the gut-wrenching grief of what-might-have-been, the gnawing knowledge that Jake had hurt the least-deserving lover he never had. 

Flinging himself into the wind, Jack flew with the fur ruffling breeze, without a care in the world. Except for catching a whiff of rabbit before the heavens opened. Nevertheless, Jake was glad when it started hammering down a few hours later, which lessened their chances of being spotted on the way home. The winding lanes were either flanked by trees or bordered by high hedgerows, safe from streetlights and random passers by. His cottage backed onto woods, which made the risk of being observed minimal. There was a spare door key secreted in the rockery and Jake kept an emergency stash of clothes in the shed, for such unforeseen incidents. One naked stroll was quite enough for the foreseeable.

Jake had not spent the time before his shift sulking. No, not at all. He’d been practicing his guitar, having a shower and tidying up. Useful things. Keeping himself busy until he went to work.

He had managed four hours without biting anyone’s head off, just about, and now… freedom beckoned. It was nearing half-eleven and the moon was high in the sky, casting it’s ghostly glow over their labyrinth lanes home. The night was young and the jackal was eager to be unleashed upon it. Much to the mutts chagrin, Jake had laid down the law. No midnight excursions, we can’t risk heading to the moors. Not tonight.

Jake found himself flat out a few seconds later, clutching his guts, wracked with pain. Clawed by phantom paws with a glee so rabid he should be quarantined.

You and whose army this time?

They appeared to be moorward bound whether Jake liked it or not…and unless he fancied spending the rest of his life four-footed and furry, he had no choice whatsoever. Thus, Jake headed home and had a quick cuppa before stripping down to his boxers and heading to the shed. After stashing some clean sweatpants and t-shirts in there, he leaped barefoot over the garden fence and sprinted off into the night. Once safely in the woods, Jake let go, indulging the jackal in some pant-shredding humanity-shedding en route. The night air was calm; clear after the early evening downpour. It was a bit chilly, but not too cold to while away an hour or so amidst the ruins of a tumbledown engine house…

Would Phin even be there, or was the camper van long gone? He may have packed up his shattered pride and fled the memory of the bastard who’d stolen his innocence. Jack was convinced this was cobblers. Jake just knew that’s exactly what he would have done, had their roles been reversed.

Jack’s instincts were, as ever, faultless. The camper van sat serenely on the verge, the soft glow of a nightlight seeping through its drawn curtains. Not a sound came from within, so Jake allowed himself to hope that Phin had, indeed, headed off to his favoured spot.

If Jack could grin with glee? There was no doubt he’d be doing just that. His tongue was lolling from his open mouth, looking dafter than seemed feasible, as he stood scenting the air with eager anticipation. Off he set at a sudden run, skimming sure-footed over stone, rock and clumps of scrubby grass. Phin’s scent, a sparkling thread of promise, luring them with magnetic force. Stronger, richer, now; more mulled wine than cinnamon sugar. More…insistent.

When Jack reached his spying spot behind a crumble-down wall, he hunkered down on the moss with a happy huff of contentment. Phin was sitting exactly where he belonged, facing the engine house ruins with a notebook on his lap. They watched as he scribbled a few words, sometimes a few lines, between bouts of chewing the end of his pen and gazing around as if he were waiting for a tardy friend.

This made them both a bit fretful; no-one had joined Phin before, nor had it seemed they might. Jack craned his head around, scanning the horizon in every direction, but there wasn’t a soul to be seen or scented. The skittish twitches of his skin and ears refused to relent; there was too much at stake. Jack would not, could not, share Phin. He was theirs.

With an unhappy huff of unease, he let his head flop onto his front paws. The small whine that sounded in his throat was involuntary; impossible to quash even if he’d known it was was about to exhibit itself. Phin snapped his head up with an alertness that suggested he’d heard a rifle crack. The pen fell unheeded from his fingers.

“Foxy…?” was a soft expulsion of breath.

Foxy?

Did Phin mean Jake, or the friendly ‘fox’ he’d ‘dreamed’ last night? Rosebud lips pursed around a low whistle and then—in warm, coaxing tones—called out:

“Here, boy…”

‘Here, boy?’ Well fuck. Now there was an invitation Jake had never thought to hear this lifetime.  Jack’s butt was twitching, his fur quivering in anticipation. Nooooo!

How the jackal managed to suppress a spring so imminent, Jake knew not, but sure as hell knew they were fucked, seconds later. This, when Phin’s shoulders drooped with a disappointment almost as dreadful as the wilted scent of sorrow that spoiled his own.

Jack was off like a shot, bounding over the rubble.

As bidden… he pointed out before Jake could muster a limp protest. He summoned us; he wants us, we want him, simple. 

Summoned?  F’fucksakes. Does he have a death wish, or is Phin so certain you mean him no harm?

There was no trace of uncertainty on Phin’s face, nor fearful souring of his scent. He didn’t even flinch when a furry missile came flying through the air, aimed his way. Instead? A huge beam of joy put the starlight to shame when Jack skittered to a stop a few feet from Phin’s right thigh. Tongue lolling out in a goofy grin. 

A most undignified one. Indecent, in fact.

Jack didn’t give a stuff. Particularly when Phin extend his fingers towards him, stilling them several inches from his nose. When Jack stretched forwards to snuffle them, Phin’s chuckle was so charming, he could scarce restrain from swiping the hand a lick. 

“Good boy…hello…” His endearment was a melted chocolate murmur…Jack wanted to lick that too.

Good boy!? For chrissakes. He’ll be off to buy you a collar and lead tomorrow.

Soft limit, or hard? Suit yourself, I’m in.

Jack couldn’t resist tasting those fingertips for a second longer. They were being wafted under his nose like the tastiest of treats. It would be rude to rebuff them. Very rude. And Jack was a gent. 

A whaaat-the-fuck? 

Oh, do pipe down at the back. 

Which is exactly how it feels, dogbreath. Stuck in the backseat of a car, watching a mate cop off with your not-so secret crush.

Mate, huh? I’m touched. Well, buckle up and sit tight, buddy, it’s my turn. You had yours. Then—if I recall rightly—gave him the brush off and buggered off without so much as a word of farewell. Thus, it seems a leetle bit likely that you’re in the dog house, remember? You’ll find it located at one of the Poles, or thereabouts, I reckon. Laters… 

 

 

 

***

 

 

 

 

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 6

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

Phin

 

 

“Shall I cook some bacon while I make our cuppas…?” Phin asked, remembering that he hadn’t remembered to do either. “Or do you want me to drive you home now?” 

“Are you hinting that you’d like me to go?” Jack’s lips twitched with one of his twinkly smirks.

“No. I don’t think I’m very good at doing hinting. If I wanted you to leave, I would have said: ‘You’ve been here a long time, do you want to go home now?’”

“Good to know…” Jack’s grin was every bit as glinty as light glancing off glass. “I doubt that could be considered a hint in anyone’s book. I don’t need to go, put it that way, but I don’t want to overstay my welcome, which can’t really be called a welcome, when I wasn’t invited. At all.”

“I’m glad you came anyway,” Phin told him. At which point, Jack’s throat made the strangest sound, like a rusty gate hinge. “Oh, you must be starving, sorry…and I still haven’t put my pants on.” At the mention of the missing bacon, those blues blazed with the sort of hunger that could ‘eat a horse’. Phin would rather drop dead but that was beside the point,  which was; putting some pants on and feeding Jack. It was impossible to do concentrating in his presence; Phin’s marbles were too scattered to count, let alone sort. Pants. “D’you mind having it microwaved, it will be quicker?”

“I don’t mind how it’s cooked, I could eat it raw, to be honest.” Jack…did not fibWeirdo.

“Eww, that’s just wrong. Like orange. Sadly, raw sausage is far too right…that’s just fiendish. I shouldn’t scoff it or I’ll get tapeworms.”  

“Tapeworms…oh gawd” Jack spluttered a snort that segued into a coughing fit o’the chuckles.

“You’re a very noisy guest…it’s going to seem very quiet when you’ve gone,” Phin noted. Aloud. Oops. “I don’t mind the racket, though,” he added, quick as a fox jumping over a lazy log—not a brown one—honeyed grey, he decided. Which meant he forgot to do concentrating on seemliness. “I like your snorts ‘n’ splutters and slurpy sounds. Even your grumbly guts.” A snippet of info that prompted yet more yukking it up. Jack really was oddsome—but in a good way—not a Jaws music sort of way.

“I don’t slurp!” Snorted he.

“You did!” Phin insisted. As fact. 

“I haven’t had so much as a sip of tea, let alone a slurp.” After indulging in a sniff of affront, Jack added, “That was hinting, by the way.”

“Sorry, I keep meaning to make it, and put my pants onum, that’s when you slur—” Oh nooo. Phin’s face felt as if it had burst into flames, burning scarlet bright. And his ears.

Oh… I, er…occupational hazard?” The flushing thing seemed to be infectious, but Jack still managed to rustle up a (rather rosy) quip. Unless he hadn’t…and Phin just had jobs on the brain. 

“You were very thoro-ooh I shouldn’t have said that, should I?” Phin wasn’t sure if his ‘eek’ emoji expression—or the least welcome compliment ever—set Jack off again, but he was still hooting away when Phin asked: “Was it shocking unseemly?”

“Unseemly? Oh fuck…I think it’s safe to say it’s far less seemly to invite yourself to someone’s campervan and embark on an obscene racket, ten minutes after saying hello.”

“You didn’t…you said ‘Are you okay’?” Phin informed him.

“How remiss of me,” Jack attempted a solemn expression. It was rubbish, his lips kept twitching. Nooo, still no pants. “It’s probably a good job I don’t go visiting—” Jack forgot to finish his sentence when Phin shot off to the sink as if his (no) pants were on fire. The van would be next if matters progressed apace.  

“Was that hinting?” he tossed over his shoulder while busying himself with cups and teabags and sugar and not facing Jack at all.

“Pardon?”

“Were you doing hinting? Telling me that you won’t be visiting again, in a kind way?”

“No. It was self-deprecation. Like an eye-roll at myself.” Jack explained, sending the blue skywards in illustration. A shade every bit as gorgeous as the gleam of sunlight through stained glass.

“Oh, okay. I’m glad.” Phin was beaming to himself as he (finally) poured the boiled water onto their tea bags and Jack’s sugar mountain. “Um…could you pass me some pants from the second shelf in the cupboard?” he asked, rather than turn around. At all. 

“Sure…sorry, about the last pair. It was barely a breath later that Jack’s blowtorched Phin’s nape. Oh gawd, I’ll be stuck facing the sink forever. “Do you want me to visit again? Despite the din?” Jack’s velvet voice shivered across Phin’s skin in a crackle of static. “Turn around…” His murmur was as soft as the lips ghosting the curve of Phin’s neckup, up, towards his ear. Every single hair on his body went as quivery as his knees. 

“I…can’t…” 

“Phin… I’d be disappointed if you weren’t.” Was a wicked whisper of breath. Scorching his earlobe.

Hard. Jack meant hard. A flicker of tongue almost sent Phin’s head shooting through the roof. 

“You would?” he sort of gulped. 

“Yes…” Jack enclosed the back of Phin’s hand (clutching the counter top) with his own, and slowly, so slowly, drew it downwards…behind. A pause. Was Jack giving him time to tug free? Phin was frozen in flames. That’s how it felt. Then. His palm docked on a stonking ridge of hard heat. Granite encased in soft fleece. “That. Has been like that since…you opened your eyes.”

All that time?” Phin gasped, agog. Crikey, he would have combusted by now.  “Jack, can I ask you a question?” he managed, despite the fact his very own hand was still there.

“Should I be worried?” His voice sounded like sexy velcro. It might be best not to mention that. 

“I’m not sure…” Phin frowned, he was too fizzy to think. “I don’t know what makes you worried. It’s not a tricky one,” he assured Jack. Who really didn’t feel worried. Strewth. “Just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.” 

“’Kay…”

“Might you let me make some racket, maybe?” Phin wondered. Oops. Jack’s breath snatched off, alongside his strangest sound yet. “S’okay, I don’t mind if…I mean, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—”

“No…you didn’t—” Jack broke off when a new noise made a bid for freedom; the grind of gears after being stuck in the garage all winter. “I…Yes.”

“Yes I can?” 

“Yeess. You can.”

Yes!?  Phin was so chuffed he almost clenched his fists…but it would have been very hard to have that mishap. Yesss. It was too-good-to-be-true. Too anything was not good. He musn’t get too wound up. Yet.

“Now!? Or is that too soon? Waiting isn’t my best thing,” It was best to mention that, Phin decided. In a before-being-banned-from-the-zoo sort of way. He fretted that things wouldn’t happen if they didn’t happen now.

“Yes…I mean, no, it’s not too soon.” Jack slammed his eyes shut and…gargled some more grit. 

Where? How? Kneeling? Sitting down, standing up? Phin’s system let rip a hyperdrive adrenaline rush of anxious. An excessive one. Too much. Can you do this too much? Too fast? Frantic? Lavish? Loud?

“Jack?”

“I don’t know why I used ‘Jack’ earlier,” he groaned, rolling his eyes at himself again. “I rarely do…I’ve been called Jake for as long as I can remember…”

“You were a tad…distracted. I like both, Jake suits you too, it’s more…rakish. Less solid, not as safe as Jack.” Ja…ke looked a smidge staggered. Why? Ahh. “‘Til you add Sparrow, o’course.” Phin grinned, having solved that and finally happened upon an exception that proves the rule and made some sort of sense. “At least they sound similar, I’m glad you didn’t tell me it was Herbert all of a sudden. I’ll try to do remembering and not make a muddle, but ‘Jack’ might be stubborn. I did manage earlier though, or you’d still be Foxy.”

Foxy?!” Ja—ck let rip another splutter.

“Oops, sorry. It came from a dream I had last night, about a fox. Well, sort of…his colouring was amiss and his eyes were as blue as yours. Which is weird, because only huskies have blue eyes. Anyhoo, when I woke up and I saw yours, I thought they were his for a mo.”

“I…was it a nice dream or a…nightmare?” Jack looked fretful, which was daft, when Phin was fine. Far finer than fine.

“Oh, it was brilliant. Most of mine are…dreadful. Full of dread, chilling. They make me want to claw my skin off rather than suffer it but I don’t want to talk about that anymore,” Phin said-all-in-a-rush; which still made him sound like a loon, but for less long. “Last night I wasn’t scared at all. I thought Foxy was…a friend.”

“A friend.” Jack smiled, sort of sadly. It wasn’t upside down though, it just felt that way. 

“I wanted to ask… I’m worried that I’ll do it too much.” Phin swivelled his eyes downwards so that Jack—Jake—might get his drift, as it were. 

“I don’t think that’s possible, unless…you bit down.”

“I’m not going to bite, I promise. No raw sausage scoffing mishaps.”

“I…There’s really no answer to that.” Jack clamped his lips shut, shoulders quaking as he tried to stifle his latest fit of the splutters.

Ja—ke laughed as if it was the last thing he might ever do. With his entire selfand yet, he never seemed to be laughing at Phin. Or picking him apart to find fault. Jake had never sneered, nor even shot Phin that look; the gut curdling, steel jaw trap one. The dagger-shooting glare of shame. That’s why Phin preferred being on his own; he was safe from eyes. It was a relief. A huge, whole self sigh of relief.

So why wasn’t his skin all scratchy yet, or his head screeching for silence? It was all most odd. Phin was starting to suspect that his own ‘Jack’ might just be too many exceptions that prove the rule to count… 

 

***