Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 23

I’m sorry I’m a smidge slow, Christmas stuffs scoff a very lot of time. 😳

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

Phin

 

 

 

 

Phin could tell that Jake was more than a mite merry from the moment his face lit up with a daftly grin. It was the most unguarded, open expression he’d ever seen on it, unless, of course, there was a spot of slurping in progress, but that was ‘cause and effect’. Consequences.

Jake’s big ol’ beam when he turned around and saw Phin was more excessive than said sight could account for, unless tipple-time was added into the equation. It wasn’t just the radiance of his smile; his hair was a smidge mussed and he seemed to have mopped all spillages with his t-shirt. It looked a very lot as if he’d been ridden hard and put away wet. Mmm… Being greeted by such a giddy grin suggested Jake had possibly drunk more than he’d earned; which he denied, then confirmed in the very next breath.

“I’ve only had…well, a few glasses. I was…I um, thought you weren’t coming.”

Jake really did seem oddsome. Phin had spent the last two hours tootling around, willing away time, to stop himself turning up too early. He didn’t want to make Jake uncomfy by being a barnacle stuck to his bar, when he’d been worried Phin would get bored while he did working. The daftie had then gone and got more worried about his absence than Jake would have been if Phin was fed up.

Squiffy Jake was as cute as a button, but also a bit baffling…and even more confounding than self-contained Jake. Phin was still trying to shoehorn the two into the same bag o’marbles when Jake was besieged by a barmy army of punters, most of whom would die of thirst if they weren’t served yesterday.

Jake slinked off to attend to them, so Phin settled himself into a cosy corner to watch the bountiful bum wiggle as it worked. Bored? It was tricky to say which was more splendid; the sumptuous swell of the shrink-wrapped tush when Jake reached up to the drinks optic, which made his t-shirt rise to reveal a strip of honeyed skin and two twinkling dimples. Or that very view from another vantage point when he bent to grab a packet of crisps from beneath the bar. Both resulted in spine-swishing efficiency as Jake shimmied back and forth to the till, so it was a win-win, either way. Whatever he was paid, it wasn’t half ‘nuff for such sterling service.

Phin’s wiggle watching was sadly cut short all-too soon by a very friendly miss who plonked her person beside him at the bar. She seemed to take up hyperspace for one so slender and short, which was unseemly enough, before she was beset by ants in her pants t’boot. Phin did focusing on the pointy fingernails she rested on her cheek after propping her elbow on the bar to cup her chin, then rustled up a few hues for the shade they were painted: Purple Passionpants…Violently Violet…Indigo Eye-ache…

She seemed to want to chatalot while she waited, so Phin was forced to do concentrating and small talking, rather than wait with breath abated for someone to buy a bag of crisps. The small talking was…bearable, but she was so flippin’ fidgety that bits of her kept brushing Phin, which was not. He had to do gritting his teeth and shrinking against the wall and focusing very hard on not doing hyperventilating. He didn’t like her one bit; she seemed to be starring in her own movie, except she was acting as if she was on stage. Those were very different types of pretending. One being big with expansive gestures, to reach the back of the theatre, and the other, all subtle shades of emotion, laden with nuance for the all-seeing eye of a camera. 

Hypersenses felt akin to sitting in a sound booth with far-too efficient headphones blaring full-blast, even at the best of times, which this was not. He was so scratchy he could scarce sit still, but couldn’t do so much as flinch when she was in his space and face and everywhere else. He was suffocating…even before she did the thing. Phin saw it coming from the corner of his eye but there was nowhere else to put his hands, other than on his head, which was already the highest one in the room. He would look like a helicopter about to take off. If only… 

It would have been horrid, even if she hadn’t just been sucking her finger, which was still slithery with spit when her hand landed on his. Phin almost, oh so nearly did slapping it off like a pesky mosquito. It was perched on his hand, spitted on. No one should have to sit still and let someone splat them with slobber, surely? He had done his damnedest to be considerate, but blimey… He would rather lie across a puddle and let her use him as a stepping stone, than suffer snail trails of slimy touch that would need scrubbing with a scouring pad. 

Jack was finally free to ride to Phin’s rescue when all-of-a-sudden he stopped dead. His features froze and the gold drained away—blanched to a worrying shade of waxen white—nostrils flaring as if he’d whiffed a nasty niff. He was trembling so visibly it looked as if a thousand volts were surging through his system, even before his body sort of spasmed in on itself. One second he was all cramped up, crippled with pain, the next, he’d shot off as if the hounds of hell were after him.

Phin didn’t think once; just threw a leg across the bar, almost taking out Miss Slobberchops with a flailing foot, mid-scramble, before setting off in hot pursuit. Jack would need—at the very least—someone to do stopping his hair from getting sick splattered. This, was not a ‘least’ case scenario. Jack had not seemed green about the gills in a wee dram too many sort o’way; he’d been wracked with appendix-exploding agony.  

By the time Phin had dodged stacks of unpacked boxes and emerged into the hallway beyond, it was bereft of Jack. His co-worker stood, blinking, in his slipstream, more than a mite bewildered by his abrupt departure.

“This way?” Phin pointed, nipping past her. There were only two doors leading off the hall, both left ajar; the first opened onto  a staff/storage room, the second—at the far end—seemed to lead outside. 

“Yeah…he gasped ‘sorry, sick’ and bolted out back. I hope he’s okay, it’s almost time for last orders, can you take him home if I close up?” 

“Will do…” Phin called over his shoulder as he stepped out onto a deserted patch of pitted concrete. It was p’raps a parking bay for deliveries, with access to the cellar steps and space for a few staff cars.

The watery moonlight was too dim to see beyond the darker shades of shadow that were big bins huddled in the far corner. Jack had looked in too much pain to do running anywhere fast, so those seemed to be Phin’s best bet. Closer up, he could see that there were three; brown, black, green…but far more important was the gut-wrenching groan—like shackles dragged across cobblestones—coming from behind them. The sound of agonized despair, hollow with anguish.

“Jack?” 

“Gnnhh…g’way…”  It was too deep, too raspy, to sound like Jack, but it still was. 

“I’m not leaving you alone in the dustbins, you daftie.” Phin informed him, coming to a stop about five feet away, taking care not to crowd him. 

“Fck. Off.” Jack growled, “Go!”

Phin wasn’t doing listening. He was done with being considerate of aught but the fact Jake was hurting. He could be as miffy as he wished, Phin wasn’t doing as he was told, and that was that. The devil himself—let alone six burly care assistants—couldn’t shift Phin if he was dead set on staying, so Jack would have to lump it. The brown bin was skewed at an angle, making room for the dark shape crouched behind it. Jack was hunched on his elbows and knees, curled tight, forehead pressed to the ground, groaning.

“Jack…”  He was shuddering as if he was chilled to the bone, but when Phin hunkered down to reach out tentative fingers, they encountered a wave of heat as fiery as a furnace. Phin had barely brushed Jack’s back when he snapped his head up; jaw set rigid, teeth clenched in a tortured grimace. His beautiful eyes were ablaze with blue, as if backlit by Bunsen flame. 

“Leave me.” Jack’s snarl was the clang of a portcullis, cleaving Phin’s heart in two.

“I…I can’t…leave you. On your own,” he managed to force through tears thick in his throat.

“Y’can. Just. Go. I don’t want yonnagggh!” The latter was a blood curdling cry. Phin was less likely to walk away from it than sit down and do reading.

“Let me help…” He placed a hesitant palm on Jack’s back, trying to offer the comfort he didn’t want. From Phin. But you were supposed to do stroking when someone you loved was upset; slow, smooth sweeps, soothing.

Jack flinched from it as if Phin’s hand hurt, shrinking from the touch. A low sound of warning rattled in his throat when he tried to do clambering onto his hands and knees. He’d only struggled a little way up before his elbows buckled and Jack slumped down in a seething heap of frustration.

“Phin! Go!” he snarled, about a choked-off breath before his spine spasmed and he threw his head back with a howl of pain.

“Jack…has this happened before? Should I phone an ambulance?”

“Yesss t’asss…” he hissed through clenched teeth. “No phone. Just Leave!”

“No!”

“Have to. I can’t…hold…” Jack spat, raising his head once more to glare at Phin with unworldly blue. Then he clamped his lids tight shut, stealing them away, alongside a noise a very lot like a whimper.

“I …Hold?” Phin wondered, possibly for the last time. Ever. Jack moved so fast it sort of froze Phin to the spot. A whoosh of air hit his face when Jack sprang forwards, knocking Phin off the balls of his feet and bowling him over onto his back with Jake atop him.

Instead of the steel trap grip on his throat Phin expected, his wrists were snatched up and pinned to the ground. He sensed, rather than saw, the shift in Jack’s focus when that stained-glass gaze flicked to Phin’s lips. His tongue flicked across his own, as if in anticipation of something tasty, then melded their mouths in a hot, hungry, hyper-plunder of lips, tongue and blowtorch breath.

Kisses that made tumbleweed of greed. They were feast after famine, fuelled by a need that knew Too Much was never, ever enough. A knowledge that had no sooner seeped bone deep than Jack snatched himself free with a sharp gasp and began to slither backwards, down Phin’s body.

“Jack?”

“Phin. I need…you. I—” A frantic tug on the button of Phin’s jeans was followed by the wrenching rasp of their zipper and a clutch of chill air. A brief flicker of relief followed the brush of his bare bum on fabric, then Phin did forgetting to care about trench coats and all such fripperies as gravel rash.

Jack buried his nose into his down-there hair; inhaling as if he’d been starved o’breath. Phin’s head thunked against concrete, snatching his own away when he was engulfed in the molten heat of heady heaven.

“Jaack!” A rolling rumble of sound greeted his name as Jack slid his palms beneath Phin’s butt to scoop him up, taking him in still further, until he’d all-but swallowed Phin’s cock. “Aahhh….” The slurps had morphed into a noise like a noshing dog, possibly the most unseemly sound Phin had ever heard. It sounded every bit as luscious as it felt. A kaleidoscopic onslaught of sensation that shattered the spectrum; a light shot blitz of unfathomable bliss. “Ah-I…have t’come…” Phin gasped, all-too soon in the face of much-too-much.

Jack just flexed his fingers—and his throat—a spasm of muscle that made Phin’s entire system follow suit and his balls unleash themselves with nary a care for decorum. The shivershocks that sandblasted Phin’s brain sizzled through his body in a dazzling blitz of white hot intensity.  A low rumble of satisfaction vibrated his very bones when Jack gulped down every last drop before lapping Phin clean with lavish care.

The sky was a blur of black smudged with starlight, the air a cool caress on damp skin, about a sublime sigh before Phin blinked the world back into focus. Only to find himself staring into luminous pools of horror.

“Nooooo!” Jack’s shout scythed through the night, shattering its silken darkness. “No. Had…a-deal. No. NO!” He was gulping air when he scrambled to his feet, clutching his guts, his face contorted in agony.

“Jack!” 

“No! Phin. Run!”

“I-No! I..won’t!” Phin clambered to his feet, a mite creakily, but preferable to trying to stand firm when lying on your back with your bits bared. His heart was hammering away, yet his bones felt as liquid as the rest of him was languid. He wasn’t sure he could do running if his life depended upon it. He might find out in a mo.

The blue was aglow with aquamarine fire, ablaze with…feral intensity. Strangely familiar…sort of Jack’s eyes…but brighter, more brilliant still. But more, much more than this, was a sort of coiled energy rolling in waves as resonant as sound. A shimmering… power that enveloped Jack like wreathes of mist, even as it emanated from him. For an eternal second, they stood, locked in silent battle. A shriek of warring wills.

Jack’s very stance was that of a panther poised to pounce; dark, sleek, deadly. A thrill of fear skittered through Phin’s veins, fuelling the flames afresh; as lethal as Jack was alluring. Hypnotic breath clustered in ghostly clouds around his head, bathing him in a haze of light. Lazuli pupils, spearing Phin to the spot.

He was magnificent; somehow more than he’d ever seemed before. Majestic. 

 

***

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 22

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

 

Phin

 

 

 

“More…? Then why?” How could Jack be more dangerous to Phin than anyone else, if that was true? It was all back-to-front, surely Jack was less likely to hurt Phin if he meant more than they did?

“Because you mean Too Much.”

Too Much? It sounded as if Jack had pronounced it with capital letters, like his own Too Much. That couldn’t be right—Phin must have heard it the way he was accustomed to hearing it—rather than the way it had been said. It didn’t have the same relevance for Jack…and yet, if he was aware of its significance, then the ‘more’ thing did sort of make sense. Too Much was a not-good thing; something to guard against. It meant Too Extreme for seemliness sake. It was Phin’s baseline. The way he had to do things to try and feel comfy, but it made other people uncomfy, which was inconsiderate

This meant Phin had to try to moderate himself, because he was the one at odds. It was a tad like being left-handed, there were more righties, so lefties had to bust their knuckles wrangling doorknobs and loo flushers with their right (wrong) hand. It was The Way Things Were, and that was that. Even its name proclaimed itself correct. They might as well go the whole hog and ask:  ‘Are you wrong or right handed?’ 

“Yes. In a Phin way,” Jack confirmed, even though Phin had not voiced any of that aloud. 

“I…” He ran out of words, but forgot to do remembering to shut his mouth. A fact that became obvious when plush lips smushed against Phin’s freeze-frame gape of amazement. One that thawed a smidge sharpish when he found himself with an extra tongue, one intent on turning him into a puddle of buttery-boned befuddlement. By far his favourite state o’mind, of late…and forever and ever, amen. Or thereabouts.

Jack clasped the back of his head, fingertips pressing into Phin’s scalp to deepen the kiss as he slipped his tongue beneath Phin’s top lip and slid it across his gumline. A sensation so strange, so intensely intimate, it thrilled through his veins as if Jake had dipped it in something decadentdivinefirst. When a knee nudged between his own to glide up his thighs in a soft scritch of hair, sparks sizzled up Phin’s spine, propelling his hips Jackwards. He had p’raps forgot the tray, complete with half-full cups ‘n’ saucers that clattered in a clinkling racket of tea slops and china. 

“Fuck…sorry.” Jack had pounced and whisked the wreckage away before Phin could blink, let alone flap about in a bid to avert dripping and duvet disasters. “I’ll just dump this,” he muttered, vanishing over the edge of the bed, tray and all. Strewth, Jack had Jedi reflexes to match his bad feeling about this. Instead of a far less fun damp patch, there was barely a splash on—what the…?

One of the pillows looked as if it had been chewed up and spat out. Phin was forever scratching and shredding stuff without noticing, but strewth, that was a meeny mite excessive, he had to admit. Unless…

“Jack? Are you a secret member of the Sith?” Phin called over the clatter of crockery coming from the ‘kitchen’.

The tousled top of Jack’s head appeared, swiftly followed by sinewy shoulders and sharply defined biceps that hoisted him aloft as if he weighed less than his scraps of pillow. 

“What would you do if I said ‘yes’?” Jake chuckled. 

“That’s easy, I’d ask you to teach me the ways of the dark side,” Phin grinned.

“Why did I even ask?”  A rueful smirk was accompanied by one of his wry head-shakes. 

“You wanted to know? That’s why folk do asking.”

“Good point.” Jake noted.

“I thought so. Thanks for saving my bed, I’m ‘an accident waiting to happen’.”

“How many times have you been told that?”

“This year?” Phin winced…then found himself admitting; “Sometimes they’re not exactly accidents…they sort of happen when something ominous makes me scratchy. Not this time, though, I didn’t want to stop doing kissing.”

“Nor did I, so I’m glad it didn’t ‘happen’ accidentally on purpose. It was prob’ly for the best, though…” Jake blew out a hair ruffling breath. “I should get my arse into gear and head home.”

“I answered your question, but you didn’t answer mine, by the way…” Phin pointed out.

“Which one?” Jake frowned.

“About the Sith. It was daft, I know…but a straight-up ‘yes’ would have been way less dodgy than your deflection. ‘What would you do if I said yes?’ That’s not a reply. It’s another question.”

“I didn’t think you were being serious!” Jake protested. Too much. “I didn’t flinch from ‘are you a mad-axe murderer’, so why deflect an even more far-fetched query? No, I am not Darth Psychokiller. What made you ask in the first place?”

“I was still pondering your Jedi reflexes when I copped sight of your pillow. Look at it! I don’t think it was me…so I figured it must have self-destructed or you’d unleashed the dark force on it.”

“A reasonable supposition.” Jack acknowledged, with utmost gravitas and a sage nod. “If only I were…that sounds much more fun than the truth. I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think the Sith exist, in real life.”

“Pft. Next you’ll be telling me there’s no Santa,” Phin sniffed.

“I wouldn’t be so cruel.” Jake did one of his regretful sighs. This one was self-directed. 

“Well that’s blown your Sith credentials good ‘n’ proper,” Phin tutted. “I doubt you need worry about blood tests disclosing your dodgy midichlorian count if you won’t even tell a twenty-two year old man there’s no Santa.”

“Well, some things are just unforgivable. I do have some morals left,” Jake smirked.

“You have far too many for my comfort…and you’re way too willing to share ’em around.”

“Well, my monstrous morals are insisting that sloth is a deadly sin…so I’d better go home and get ready for work.” 

“Okay, O principled one. Can I still come and watch, next time you play?”

“Of course you can, if you want to…just don’t expect much.” Jake warned. 

“Oh parp, that’s piffle. I don’t expect anything, except you, which you can’t help but pull off with aplomb…will I have to do waiting for very long?”

“A couple of weeks, but there’s live music every weekend.” Jake’s smile was too…warm to suggest he was the least bit bothered by the thought of Phin invading his proper life. “I’ve forgotten who’s on tonight, but you’re welcome to pop in if you want to.” The blue was too serene to suggest otherwise, but Phin wasn’t sure he could trust instincts insisting far too good to be truisms.

“Are you sure you don’t mind?” Phin narrowed his eyes in a ‘fess up’ sort of fashion, perchance Jake had just invited him to be po-lite.

“Not at all, but bear in mind that I will be rudely expected to serve people. Will you be okay, if it’s busy?”

“Yes. I’m always comfy left to myself. I’d rather be on my own than have to do small talking, so don’t worry about me.” Phin grimaced. “You have to do your job and I will have lots to watch.”  

“Okay, I’ll see you in the Albion later, then…I’d better get dressed…”

*

Having Jake seated beside him was brilliant on the short drive to his cottage. Lands End would have been better yet, but only because they’d run out of road after that. Nevertheless, Phin contented himself with a drive down to the village, where Jake pointed out a lovely little white-washed house, haphazardly Cornish, nestling beside the woods as if sheltering from the sou’wester winds.

There were three windows at the front; two large ones and a smaller one above the weather-beaten porch framing the front door. A cobbled path weaved its way through a tangle of ivy, wildflowers and weeds, tumbling in happy abandon with nary a whiff of butchery to shear them into submission.

Phin parked up, but left the engine running, rather than risk ‘obliging’ Jake to offer him a cuppa. He’d been far too greedy already…and Phin sort of needed to be on his own for a bit. He would see Jake later, which was more than he’d hoped, on top of more than he’d ever dared dream, which was too much to take in without time out. 

So, Phin did concentrating on shutting out any suggestion that he might want to go inside way Too Much. He understood himself far too well for his own comfort…far better than anyone should have to suffer. The moment he stepped foot in Jake’s cottage, chances were he would be seized by an urgent desire for the loo. In which case, it seemed a smidge possible that Phin would do forgetting the way and perhaps happen upon the wrong door. Gazing at the bed in which he would forever yearn to learn the dark side of the force might just blow his gaskets for good…

 

 

***

 

 

Jake

 

Jake glanced up when the door swung open for the umpteenth time, then sighed and returned his attention to the Guinness dribbling into the pint glass at its own sweet pace. He was accustomed to clock-watching, counting down the minutes until they could head off into the night, rather than guard-dogging the door…but then, he’d never expected the man he feared falling the fuck in love with, to walk through it.

It was nigh on nine…where was Phin? Had he fallen asleep? Got lost? Crashed the campervan? Fuck no…No. Or…had he just done forgetting. In a Phin sort of way.

This was the worst option; the only one done on purpose, proving that Phin didn’t want to come. If he’d crashed the van, he could be healed. A helluva lot faster than was credible, but that was the least of his worries. Jake refused point-blank to contemplate a fatal injury. Surely Jack would know? Somehow? Feel a disturbance in the fucking force, or something such. But. If Phin had ‘done forgetting’? Then, he was pretty much done with Jake. 

Much to his relief, it was busy enough to keep him occupied while gnawing the options to bone…and the music was inoffensive, which spared his musical sensibilities from the assault afflicting his nervous system.

Jake was just grabbing two packets of salt ‘n’ vinegar and some dry roasted nuts when he heard—felt—a soft rush of cool air brush the back of his neck. Jake huffed a self-despairing sigh; he hadn’t needed to do as much as glance at the bloody door all night. He was facing the opposite direction, but he still knew damn well that Phin had just walked through it. A fact as indisputable as the scent wafting Jake’s way. It felt very much as if he turned in slooow motion; aware of each and every hair that brushed his cheek when he whisked his head around…the ripple of goosebumps rising to greet him. Phin.

Jake watched his willowy frame weave through the cluster of punters, winding his way to the bar, the tufty top of his head always visible. He could feel the blood pulsing through his arteries, the adrenaline flooding his system. His heart sounded like an industrial sized sewing machine.

This was ridiculous. He was ridiculous. Phin had just walked into the pub, f’chrissakes. He hadn’t come to beg Jake to elope in a clapped out campervan. What? Back up a bit McCain. He’d not what? Matters were not helped by the fact that the mangy mutt was busy perfecting his Mutley impression.

Elope? What the—? He’d only met Phin two days ago, in person, at least. Furthermore, he’d quite clearly lost his bloody marbles, because the very notion supposed far Too Much. Can you please stop the fuck with the sniggering?

Beg your pardon, y’lordship. I’ll leave you in peace to ponder your nuptials, shall I?

Nuptials!? ‘Sorry darling, I had to…work late tonight. After-hours lock in, and all that. How the devil do I get through so many pants? Socks? Beats me. Where’s the raw steak gone, did you say? Oh, it isn’t in the fridge? I’ve no idea, I’m sure…’

You’ve gone bloody bonkers. On what planet might Phin care a toss about your lack of undercrackers?

Jake really didn’t need telling…but the underlying truth was…any sort of life with Phin would be founded on a web of lies. Maintained by many, many, more. Truth-twisting was about the highest low he could hope to sink to. All of this rioted around Jake’s head at shapeshifter-speed in the lifetime it took Phin to meander to the bar. 

“Hiya,” he beamed. Like a wrecker’s lantern luring Jake to his doom. He should possibly not have drunk that last double. Or the three before it.

“Hey…” he smiled. Although Jake had a sneaking suspicion it might look more akin to the expression donned by a dog after sticking his head out of a speeding car window.

“Have you been on the fizzy pop?” Phin chuckled.

Was it that obvious? How? Jake had served people and counted out (the correct) change, without tripping over his own feet and landing on his arse in a lake of lager. Nor had he,  inadvertently (or otherwise), spilled someone’s drink over them…and, most impressively of all, hadn’t punched any customers. See. Practically sober.

“I might have had a couple, but I’m sober as a ja…judge. A judge. Indeed.”

“You seem a teeny tad tipsy…and look all rumpled and cute.” Phin declared, with an ear-licking grin.

“Cute!? I am not bloody cute, nor am I tipsy, thank you very much. I’ve only had…well, a few glasses. I was…I um, thought you weren’t coming.” What the hell did I say that for?

You’re a jackass?

Opined he, from the back end. 

I will relish that particular snippet of snark when its biting your ass, shit for brains. Just sayin…

“Of course I was coming, I told you I was. I just…made myself do waiting” Phin bit his lip and dipped his head to bore holes into the bar-top. “I didn’t want to…overstay my welcome.” .

“It doesn’t have an…expiry date..” Oh Christ.

That’s the first thing you’ve said worth the airspace it inhabited. Frankly.

“Yes, but you’re doing working and I was worried about being greedy…perchance you didn’t ask me again.” Phin shifted his focus from the beer mat he’d been picking apart to dazzle Jake with an impish grin. “Speaking of which, are you going to do serving, at all? I think I’m supposed to have a drink to do proper bar hanging.”

“Oh, er yeah. Sorry…”, Christ, why did he feel so fuck awkward? The bar separating them felt like a gaping chasm, a shark-filled moat of uncertainty. “What would please Sir’s palette, this evening?” Jake hammed, masking his discomfort with am-dram theatrics.

Classy. Not. I had hoped there was Method in your madness, at least.

Ha. Ha. Cut me some slack, I’ve already nailed ‘jackass’. Joaquin should be quaking in his clown shoes, by rights.

“Gin please…I should have some orange juice in it, to make it last. One of us should p’raps do standing up straight…if only to hold the other one up.”

“Coming up.”

“Oh, I wish…” Phin sighed, limpid-eyed and lethal. 

“You are deadly.” Jake informed him, adding ice and a slice to the gin.

“Deadly? Me? I’m on my bestest behaviour. You’re the big bad beastie, remember.”

“If only I could do forgetting… but that doesn’t lessen your liabiliti-liness.” Jake managed to mumble. Eventually.

“You should try red lorry, yellow lorry next.” Phin grinned, fishing for the lemon slice in his glass. When he lifted it aloft in triumph, a globule of liquid trickled down his finger, glinting in the light as he brought it to his mouth. Ripe lips gleamed with juice when he popped the glistening fruit between them, then began to pull it back. When the pulp slowly emerged, sucked dry, a silvery strand of errant lemon straggled over his plump lower lip. Tantalizing. Taunting Jake from the other side of the gorge. Two more hours to endure. This, had been a very bad idea.

Phin’s tongue had just flickered out to catch the stragglers when a clutch of punters crowded the bar, trying to catch Jake’s eye. All armed with (not that I’m dying of thirst or anything, despite standing here for a nanosecond…but now would be a good time to acknowledge me. If it’s not too much trouble) laser gazes. A typical shift lurched from interminable periods spent twiddling his thumbs, to flurries of four-at-a-time to serve after a sudden stampede to Jake’s section.

It was a good fifteen minutes before he was done, in which he’d barely had time to glance Phin’s way while providing a gaggle of students with another round of snakebites and black. This, as one of their regulars launched into a lengthy soliloquy on Plymouth Argyle’s less than sterling season. Quite why imparting this particular opinion never got old Jake had yet to fathom; it was repeated ad infinitum every shift without fail. 

When Jake was finally free, he found that Phin had tucked himself into the corner closest to the wall. Possibly in a futile bid to be less conspicuous, when he stood, as lofty as a lone poppy on scrubby moorland. Too tall, too bright, too beautiful, to blend in. Anywhere. Far too Phin for comfort…while wearing skinny jeans and forced to snag bags of crisps from the bottom shelf with excruciating regularity. Is the chip shot shut, f’chrissakes?

Last time Jake had glanced Phin’s way, he’d been gazing around the room, people watching; head tilted to one side with an abstracted interest, much as a guest from another planet might regard some very curious creatures indeed.

On this occasion, Phin had a companion. A very attractive and convivial companion. Her elbow was propped on the bar, chin supported on the heel of her hand as she gazed up at him with adoring eyes. Rocking her hips from side to side as she listened with rapt attention and coquettish lashes. Jake couldn’t focus on Phin’s words, being far too busy glaring a hole through her head. Possibly wiser—far less preferable—to tearing it off with their teeth, which might not go down too well with the other patrons of the pub. 

Party pooper.

Phin’s smile was soft, those huge orbs lustrous, as he spoke. His focus total, unwavering, as if she were the only person in the room. The sane, rational part of Jake’s brain pointed out that Phin did everything that intently. Logic argued that he was trying to do concentrating in order to be po-lite.

But Jake could not ‘do concentrating’ on anything except the teeth-shattering tinkle of her girlish laughter as she ran a coy fingertip around the rim of her glass. Before raising the finger to her mouth. Jake’s top lip began to quiver as she lapped at the liquid with a kittenish tongue…then lowered her hand. Jake knew exactly where it was heading. Jack was computing the trajectory of her arm. But their instincts sensed it with unerring accuracy, even before it sullied Phin’s wrist.

Fuck. He could smell her. Jake was going to vomit.

His guts were writhing with toxic rage, phantom claws scrabbling with frustrated fury. Sweat was beading on his brow, prickling down his spine in a cloying shiver of heat. A trillion tiny stings like the snap of rubber bands skittered across his skin as Jake’s shoulders heaved with the force of the breath bludgeoning his lungs.

He had to get out, get the hell out, as far from Phin as possible. Fast.

 

 

 

***

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 21

Hi…🥰

Phin will be driving Jake home next chapter, so I’ll post this last snippet of them alone in the van before their story ventures into the wider world. Thank you, truly,  for your support, it means so much.❤️ 

 

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

Ja/ke 

 

 

 

“I can’t do choosing about it. I just do think that. I’d do choosing if I could, cos I…don’t want to lose you. Which is doolally daft, when I never had you in the first place.”

 

The jackal raised his head, glaring at Jake as a threatening rumble of sound vibrated in Jake’s inner ear. What the hell did Jack expect him to do? Or say?

It was bad enough being chewed up with guilt, Jake could sure as shit do without being chewed out by Jack too. The mangy mutt’s muzzle started an ominous quiver that suggested he ‘might at least try, shit-for-brains’. Okay! Strewth, keep your fur on…

“Oh…you do,” Jake found himself sighing, bowing to the inevitable.

I hope you’re fucking happy now. We’ve made everything worse, not better. How can I keep him safe if you keep sticking your oar in? 

Have not. Who pulled the plug when you couldn’t keep it together? Who kept him safe? He’s hurting because you’re afraid of hurting him. That makes even less sense than your habitual twaddle. 

Hasn’t it crossed your tiny mind that slaughtering him is one hell of an extreme way to ensure I don’t hurt him more? Putting him out of his misery—literally—isn’t the best idea you’ve ever had, you must admit.

Of course it has, plumsack, and you know it…which is why I proved it isn’t a problem. You lost it. I fixed it. Remember? Not a hair on Phin’s head disturbed. If you haven’t got the balls now, that’s your problemliterallynot mine.

“H…How..?” Phin looked bewildered. 

How odd. Not. Pillock. Tell him.

Tell him what!? You do it, if you’re so sure I’ll fuck it up. Go on, have at it. 

Jake lifted his head and began to speak in a voice so calm, so controlled, he barely recognised it’s ring of clarity. He heard himself insist that Phin knew he had Ja/ke. A knowledge he must—apparently—be aware of, at some instinctive level, otherwise he would have left, rather than endure feeling unwanted.

Then, to put the tin hat on it, Jake parroted Phin’s no-so subtle hint to unwanted guests, and topped off the most asinine soliloquy on Earth with this ‘gem’: 

“Those hypersenses know damn well what I want—need. You.”

Phin blinked, lips parting on a soft ‘o’. Then, he scrunched his eyes tight shut, as if in hope the world might make sense when he reopened them. A forlorn wish, when bugger-all in the van could pull that off, let alone in the wider sense…but still, Jake watched, waiting. He’d begun to feel like a passenger strapped into a car driven by a dipshit dog with a bonkers back-seat driver.

“I did buy the campervan to potter off wherever I wanted and just…Be. But also because I made trouble for my mum and didn’t want her to be upset, nor my big sister, so I took myself off. But now I’m a problem for you too, so it is me. I’m a jinx.” Phin’s sigh was steeped in sorrow, echoed by his scent, amplified by those eyes, which could hold a world of pain with plenty of space left to drive a man demented. He scratched at his head, then cheek, jaw, thigh; as if his skin was one vast crawling itch.

“You are the least of my problems,” Jake promised him. “I’m the problem, not you. There’s nothing wrong with you, Phin…you’re perfect. Too perfect for me. I’ll…sully you.”

Sully?” Phin wrapped his tongue around the word with curiosity, as if he were tasting it before deciding whether or not to spit it out. “That’s spoiling the purity of something, isn’t it…making it dirty?”

“Yes.” Jake just confirmed, not wanting to interrupt Phin’s train of thought. To Tipperary or Tumbuktu, or wherever the hell he might go with this.

“But Jack, I want to be sullied. I want to be so sullied that I stink. Reek of you. It’s you I want. No one else would—could—be enough. I…” Phin dipped his head, staring at the sheet he’d switched to scratching. When he continued, his voice was so soft, it was hard to tell if he was aware of speaking aloud. “I want…I want my dream, Jack. I can’t change my mind or ‘make do’ and don’t want to learn. I’ve tried, but it makes me so uncomfy, I have to do Too Much stuff to…try and make the scratchy go away. I’d already done deciding before I met you. I was just waiting ’til…”

I found you.

“…you turned up. That’s how it felt—as if I was waiting for you—whoever you might be. I never expected to find you sitting in my van wearing my snaffled robe…but that made it more right. Too Much right…I didn’t even have to do looking. I just opened my eyes and there you were. So, it’s pointless saying: ‘Phin…please don’t think that‘. It’s too late. I never did choosing in the first place. Nor the second. Neither when I woke up, nor when you came back. I’d already told myself that I’d never see you again. You did the choosing Jack, not me.”

Jake was all-but swallowed by the whites of Phin’s eyes when he rolled them off top right, as if listening to a new proclamation from Planet Phin. One that would, without doubt, cut as close to the bone as those preceding it.

“When you said— you know you have me—that might’ve been a smidge true, but if I did, it wasn’t a conscious realization. I didn’t know that I knew,” Phin’s irises skittered off to the left, as if in hot pursuit of a thought. Jake could barely see the brown, he was in grave danger of getting lost in the whiteout. As lethal as they were inimitable; those eyes should come complete with a compass.

“But… even if a part of me does believe that, a bit, I still don’t think I do, which makes perfect nonsense. I’m trying so hard to do understanding you, but you’re even more tricky than everyone else. They always insist on one thing that makes me scratchy…but you seem…torn in two. Sometimes I think you’ve done deciding we can be together…and that a miracle might just happen if I hope hard ’nuff. But then you snap back into saying ‘no it’s too dangerous’. That’s very befuddling.”

“Phin, I’m sorry…so sorry. I hate hurting you, hate myself for it—” Torn in two. Fuck.

“I…”

“Let me finish, please Phin. Don’t try and ‘do white lies’ to make me feel better. The last thing I’ve ever wanted to do is hurt you. I do want you, but don’t deserve you. I want you more than I’ve ever wanted anyone, which makes this so much worse…and so much harder. If I didn’t want you so much—too much—I could walk away and leave you in peace…but I can’t force myself to do that. I’ve tried, you know I have. I did it. I left…but here I am. Again. I didn’t do choosing to come. I couldn’t stop myself. Can you understand that part, at least?” Jake pleaded.

“Your eyes are begging me to understand…and I do, a bit.” Phin reached out, to brush his fingertips across the back of Jake’s hand, a whisper of touch that made his skin scream.

“I understand not choosing and having to do things. I think you’re saying you want too much and that’s a bad thing. Like having to do things such as cutting.”

“Yes,” Jake confirmed, holding his gaze, willing Phin to understand more than he’d been told. “I need you…and that scares me.”

“You’re scared? As if I’m a hospital? That’s daft, I won’t do hurting you. I’m not dangerous.” When cherub lips twisted with a wry twerk, Phin amended; “Well, not to you, at least, so that’s alright.”

“I’m not afraid of you. Although you are frankly frightening, sometimes. It scares me that I can’t walk away. The fact that I have no control over Me terrifies me. Worst of all, when I’m with you, it matters more than ever that I keep myself…on a short leash. When, in truth, I’ve never felt less in control. That’s why I keep saying no…because I’m more dangerous to you than I am to anyone else…”

“Why?” Phin sounded dazed.

Odd that. You’ve said a helluva lot while somehow saying sod all. If Phin can fathom sense from it, he’s a bloody genius. You are batting waaay out of your league, y’know. Just sayin.

Tell me something I don’t know.

That’s less logical than anything you’ve uttered aloud, which is staggering. Frankly.

“Because…you mean more to me.” Jake owned.

“‘More’..? Then, why..?”

“Because you mean Too Much.” A flicker of hope flared in those midnight orbs. Jake couldn’t bear to banish it. “Yes. In a Phin way.”

Jake wasn’t sure that made sense whichever planet you resided on, but the brown blazed with warm wonder and Jack huffed a thank fuck for that snuff, so Jake figured it might be best to quit while he was ahead. Or behind. Clinging on for dear life.

 

***

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 20

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

Jake

 

Jake turned over and clambered onto his hands and knees, hoping to hell that clutching this particular straw wouldn’t break the jackal’s back. Cool fingertips slalomed down his spine in a shiver of flame, igniting sensations so intense that singeing fur might have seemed a far-too fitting scent. For sanity’s sake, at least.

“Hmm…I have the finest view in all of Kernow…” Phin murmured, sandblasting Jake’s skin with blowtorch breath. He wasn’t sure if Phin was thinking aloud or talking to him, but Jake was wound way too tight to rustle up a coherent metaphor, let alone fathom Phin. He could scarce focus on holding them together, his entire self was snarled with anticipation; muscles bunched, tendons tugged so taut he was quivering like a snare drum.

The tongue that started to dapple Jake’s coccyx was a swirl of torture too incendiary to endure. Somehow, they did. Somehow, they remained riveted to the spot and survived Phin’s brain-battering, body blitzing assault on their senses. Intact.

“Gnnnnhhh…”

“Ha…your turn for tickle-torture, d’you surrender?” The glee in Phin’s tone was utterly unseemly. Jake must remember to point that out…later.

“Never,” he growled.

“Really?” Phin blew a stream of cool air across damp skin and Jake almost shot through the roof. The one thing tethering him to the planet was his lock-jawed death grip on the pillow when Phin began to meander his tongue in a mind-boggling trickle down the tightly clenched crack of his arse. If Jake so much as relaxed one muscle, he was convinced the rest would unravel with uncontainable consequences.

“Fuck…” he groaned, bowing his spine, arching his hips towards the fiery flickering dead-set on skewering his self control. “Phin…please…” he groaned, despite having no idea what he was pleading for. Christ, he might combust if this didn’t move on sharpish, or stop. Something…anything. Soon. Maddening slithers of moist bliss… coaxing his cheeks apart. Teeth clenched tight. Fists clenched tighter still. “Phin! F’fucksakes… Please!”

A brief flicker of teasing tongue was swiftly followed by a blistering spear that almost blew his mind. It really didn’t help that this first time for everything plunge into new territory went both ways. It definitely didn’t help that his cock was encompassed in a firm grip about a snatched off breath later. The former he’d steeled himself against…the latter was such a shock to his system, Jake damn near passed out.

“Phiiiin!” His head snapped back, every muscle trembling, teetering on the edge of endurance. Phin stabbed deeper still, fluttering the confounded thing while sweeping his goddamn wrist. “Gnnnngggh…” Jake tasted the bittersweet tang of his own blood when his guts convulsed, cramping in spasms too intense to—Fuck no…Jack…help me. The jackal whimpered but hunkered down, the scruff of his neck tremouring to attention, coat twitching as if a thousand fire-ants were scurrying across his skin.

Jake dragged in a jagged breath, then dipped his head to bite down on the pillow; teeth tearing into fabric as if it were rice paper. The blood boiling in his brain was so loud he could scarce hear the inhuman noises crawling up his throat. The back end of his body wasn’t faring any better, his hips were straining toward the tongue still swirling as Phin picked up the pace up front. He couldn’t hold—Jackplease—Jake threw his head back with a hideous howl when the heat crouched in the pit of his guts erupted like lava and scorched his system with an incandescent blitz of bliss. Then the world went black.

*

Jake hadn’t blacked out since the first year the jackal had entered his life in a frenzy of fur, teeth and claws. Even then, he hadn’t been engulfed in darkness without warning. That had only happened once before.

The night of the sex; the night he met the woman that changed his life…but not in the way Jake had ever expected. The earth had not ‘moved’. His whole existence had…shifted. A place of shadows, darkness, and loneliness so desperate, he’d never dragged himself from the pit of despair into which he’d plunged. Jake had felt safer huddled in his dank cave of depression; the too bright, too loud, too terrible truth dulled. Diluted still further by the drink that deadened his senses—but fuelled the flames of fury—rather than drowned them.

He wasn’t even angry with Her…his rage had only one enemy. Himself. Jake specifically. The jackal was just…being a jackal. Jake would rather he wasn’t one from his own body, but couldn’t blame Jack for that. It was clear they’d become something of a package deal, so it seemed ludicrous to apportion blame, but Jake didn’t initially think of Jack as an…extension of himself. He was just a squatter who didn’t have any more choice in the matter than Jake. That much was obvious; no one with the will to live would have moved in with Jake and his moribund wretchedness. Unless he was a masochist with a death wish.

*

Glastonbury Festival: 2 years ago.

Jake and a bunch of mates had sallied forth to Glastonbury for a (hopefully) hedonistic weekend immersed in music, mud, drink, drugs, and dreadful toilet facilities.

The weather had been the only thing that failed to deliver. It was actually rather mild and not-at-all muddy. He couldn’t remember a great deal about the Friday night. Suffice to say, Jake didn’t wake up next to anyone he could ever recall meeting before, let alone remember their names. He was fairly sure he’d only copped off with one of the tent’s inhabitants…which may have been wishful thinking; not being a fan of goatee beards, in general.

Saturday had dawned far too early at around midday. It was…bright. And loud. Jake felt a bit better after downing a plastic cup of flat lager and eating something inedible. The best that could be said of that was, it didn’t promptly reappear…at either end.

After a few hours of stumbling around greeting long lost strangers, Jake happened upon his tent rather by chance and was warmly welcomed back into the fold, as if he were a soldier returning from the trenches. The rest of the day passed in a blur of bodies, bands, dope and drink. Jake had a bloody good time. Probably.

Darkness had descended on their last night of revelry by the time he returned from his evening pilgrimage to the portaloo. Jake had been weaving his way through a sparsely sprinkled part of the crowd when he saw Her. She was standing in the shadows; the cool night breeze tugging at her rippling raven hair and the filmy fabric of her dress. She was alone—yet didn’t seem the slightest lonely—just utterly self-contained, absorbed in thoughts infinitely more interesting than anything happening around her.

Jake stood transfixed. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her lithe form, which hinted at supple grace, even in stillness. Then she turned her head…and stared straight at him, through him. He couldn’t even be sure she was looking at him…except, he was certain of it. This being highly unlikely, nonetheless, he tore his gaze away and glanced over each shoulder to see if someone far more desirable was standing behind him. Apart from a few stragglers meandering in aimless circles, he was the only soul encompassed by her amber gaze. Jake could feel it burning through him like dark flame…as if in beckoning. He had smoked way too much.

Jake had definitely drank far too much, having not been entirely sober since Friday, but summoning ethereal temptresses with come-hither eyes still seemed excessive, as aspirations went.  Ah well, at least he was too wasted to be mortally wounded when she (rightfully) knocked him back. So Jake came-hither…

He’d like to believe he glided over and seduced her with a dash of debonair charm and charismatic allure. Jake did not. He stumbled, mumbled something incomprehensible (even to his own ears) and then stood blinking, struck dumb by her beauty and the fiery intensity of her gaze. It was like staring into goblet of whisky back lit by flickering flame. 

Jake couldn’t have torn his eyes from her face if his life had depended on it. It did. Or at least, his life as he knew it. Should he have fled? Beyond all shadow of doubt. But never once since that night had Jake believed there’d been a damn thing he could have done to avert the events that unfolded. His fate had been sealed from the moment she…found him.

Those being the words she’d whispered at his lips: ‘I found you’.

Her kiss unleashed a need so desperate it felt as if it would rip Jake to shreds if he didn’t act upon it. Deep, drugging, insistent, impossible to deny, even if he’d wanted to. There was nothing further from his thoughts—he had none—there was only the deluge of desire that encompassed them both. Jake knew she felt it too, he could sense it…smell it…which surely should have seemed strange, but didn’t.

He found himself tugged deeper into darkness and an onslaught of sensation; the scent of her skin, the sound of sighs, gasps and low, rolling groans. There was only lust; lips, teeth, tongues and nails clawing at flesh. They were just two creatures of the night, satiating a need too gnawing to resist.  Her arms clutched as if she were intent on imprinting herself on his very bones as she sank her teeth into his neck, and he tangled fingers into her hair to hold her there. More…was the only word Jake could remember, resounding ’round his head, drowning all else. He didn’t think to wonder who she was, why she wanted him, nor what she’d meant. Jake didn’t even ask her name.

The sounds drifting on the night air seemed as fitting as the lush grass he laid her upon. Burying himself in the body beneath his own felt necessary. Yet, even as he took her, Jake knew he’d been claimed too. She rolled him onto his back, eyes nailing him to the ground as her hands grasped his wrists like steel cuffs. Her hips were as hypnotic as the gaze ensnaring his own when she writhed above him—beneath him—when he flipped her over to take her from behind.

This was the sex he’d always craved but feared he might never find. He’d loathed himself for wanting it and coveting something darker, more…real. Basic? No…Primal. Feral. The sort of sex he wouldn’t dream of unleashing on a woman, for fear of being uncouth… cruel. Ignoble.

A need that had propelled Jake into new territory. He’d always found both sexes attractive, so he sought encounters with men, convinced he must have got it all wrong and must crave something other…rather than more. It was certainly more honest—far more fleeting—because they were shags with like-minded men, rather than lovers. It was more satisfying; Jake found that he preferred lean, hard bodies, but it still didn’t salve a soul thirsting for so much more…

His guttural growl alongside that final thrust had been unearthly; echoed in the cries that clawed the air alongside the scoring of nails across skin. The shuddering of his body had wracked his bones when the darkness exploded in a white hot rush that obliterated… Everything.

*

Jake woke, surrounded by scents of dawn; dew, moss, bark, grass, the ground itself. Scuffling critters scuttled in the undergrowth beneath the rustle of leaves. When he opened his eyes, Jake had to slam them shut, against a light so bright and colours so intense they seemed alive. Something was very wrong…and yet, very right.

There was no trace of the hangover he undoubtedly deserved. Jake felt…new. Renewed. Which was ludicrous, when he should have felt as sick as a dog with a banging head to boot. Instead, he felt…invigorated.

Jake lay there, pondering this for a while, luxuriating in the lush tickle of grass beneath him and the whisper of wind caressing his skin. Before abruptly springing to his feet when it occurred to him that he was stark, bollock naked. Outdoors. On the outskirts of a field. At Glastonbury.

Jake was more concerned about his lack of attire than the fact he’d just moved faster than he had ever done in his life. It customarily took him ten minutes to crank so much as a reluctant eyelid open…which was bloody weird in itself. Nevertheless, a flash of white alerted him a far more immediate concern; the presence of pants strewn artfully across a bush, not far from Jake’s jacket, crumpled jeans and the remnants of his t-shirt. Thank fuck for that; there was only so much coverage to be gained from two bandanas. Claiming festival chic would somewhat stretch credulity as a fashion statement.

Jake donned his pants and jeans and…arranged his tattered t-shirt around himself. Best of all—at least for the next five minutes—was the discovery of a slightly squashed packet of cigarettes and a lighter in the pocket of his leather. Jake parked his arse on a mound of grass and lit up, inhaling deeply. Better…

The strange intensity of the world he’d woken to and the fact he’d been starkers had been rather distracting, but as Jake smoked, memories of the night before finally began flickering to the fore. Quite where they’d been hiding for the last five minutes, he knew not, but once the floodgates opened, Jake was engulfed in the most vivid reel of images ever conjured by his mind’s eye. They were not hazy flickers of memory; it was akin to watching a blue(ray) movie inside his head.

Despite the fact he’d patently had the best sex of his life, he felt no pang of disappointment upon waking alone. There was no instant need to find her, no desire to hunt her down and make her his own. Make her his own? What the hell? He’d woken as Jurassic Jake. Well-weird turns of phrase aside, Jake knew—with bone deep certainty—that last night had been something other. Something that wouldn’t work, couldn’t work, if the world impinged upon it. He’d just doom himself to disappointment if he tried to track her down, but more than that…Jake neither hoped, nor craved, to see her again. That should have seemed strange in itself. It didn’t. It had just been…a moment.  A snatch of time out of time; one that could never be replicated nor confined to everyday life. She had left him, after all…she’d clearly felt the same. Best to let sleeping dogs lie…

 

***

 

Jake’s eyes flickered open and he found himself staring into drowning pools of beautiful, bewildered brown.  Phin. Cool fingers swept soothing strokes through his hair, smoothing it away from his face.

“Jack…” His angel face lit up with a beam of relief.

“Hi…um, sorry…” he mumbled.

“You don’t say sorry, you daftie. Does that happen lots?” 

“No…sometimes. Not for a while. My blood sugar must be shot t’shit…” Jake groaned, hoping the latter didn’t sound too blatant a lie. 

“D’you want a cup with a drop of tea in it?”

“Please…” Jake chuckled. Phin grinned and shuffled to the edge of the bed before slithering to the floor. 

“D’you need to eat?  Bacon, cereal, toast, fruit…” he called.

“Perhaps some bacon later if you’re making some, but a banana will do fine for now.”

“Yup..hang on.”  The scent of banana grew stronger, then a couple flew through the air to land on the bed. “Is two enough?”

“Great. Thanks.”

“S’kay, won’t be a mo…tea’s on its way.” Jake polished off the fruit while waiting for Phin’s return, which was preceded by the tray at the alcove opening. Once Jake had retrieved it from him, the sight of an excessive leg landing on the mattress damn near upended their drinks. Watching the rest of him wriggle onto the bed left Jake in no fit state to focus on whatever Phin uttered while doing so.

“Huh…sorry?” 

“D’you feel okay now?” Phin supplied, settling beside him.

“Yeah, I’m fine…thanks for the tea…I’m sorry I made you anxious.” He could smell the sharp scent of fear, riddled with worry, staining Phin’s own.

“You couldn’t help it. I’m just glad you came round. I…didn’t know what to do, whether I should take you to casualty or

“Fuck no!” Jake gasped when a surge of panic flooded his system.

“What…why…are you scared of hospitals?” Phin’s brow knitted with confusion, puzzled by the vehemence of Jake’s response.

“Um, yeah…that’s it. I don’t like the…smell.”

“Jack, you’re a bit of a puddleduck. You worry about hurting me as if you’re a mad-axe murderer and then have a panic about pottering along to casualty. That’s a smidge bonkers.”

“I’ve obviously come to the right place then.” Jake retorted, tongue in cheek.

“Ah! How rude! I was scared though…I thought…well, I was worried it was my fault. That I’d done it Too Much.”

“Phin…nothing is your fault. This is all on me.” The brown muddied with doubt. “Truly.” Jake stated, cupping Phin’s jaw to trap his troubled gaze with eyes thatfor onceheld only truth.

“Perhaps you need a Neil.”

“I need to kneel? Aren’t you supposed to shove your head between your knees when you feel faint?” Jake grinned. He wouldn’t have been the slightest surprised if informed that sporting a teapot on his head might help matters.

“Noo! Not kneeling down; a Mr. Neil. That’s not right really, I just call him that, it sounds po-lite. He’s Mr. Neil. Kelly. He’s my…I dunno what he is really, they sent me for cognitive behavioural wotsit, but that didn’t work out too well. I think he’s just supposed to keep me out of mischief.”

“…And does that work out well?”

“Er…sometimes?  I suspect he just spies on me for my mum, like an NHS minder,” Phin admitted.

“Doesn’t that piss you off?”

“Not really…the fact I go makes her worry less…and it’s better than anything else they’ve rustled up. At least I’m comfy with Mr. Neil…I like him, and I know the right words to say.”

“To keep him off your back?” Jake guessed.

“Yup. I do some listening, say some stuff that befuddles him a bit and then promise to do better concentrating. It’s easy. Jack, why are you laughing?” Phin asked, innocence personified. Guilty as sin.

“You’re priceless…Christ, I almost feel sorry for him,” Jake chuckled.

“Parp. He gets paid to put up with me. It could be worse, he could have wound up with a mad-axe murdering hospitalophobic.”

“True.” Jake fought to keep a straight face, then surrendered to the force of that incorrigible grin. “What am I going to do with you?” he spluttered.

“You could fuck me…but sadly, I think you did a rhetorical question.” Unleashing a sorrowful sigh, Phin turning huge, tragic eyes on Jake.

“Ph” 

“I know, I know…it’s too dangerous. P’raps we could do it in a cubicle at Casualty. That would solve matters a treat.”

“How d’you work that out?” Jake snorted.

“Well…you’ll be too spooked to do mad-axing…and if you do go beserker, I’ll be in the right place. Sorted.”

Wolverine? Oh fuck…they were all doomed. This really wasn’t going to end well. Jake had stopped suspecting that Phin was far more lethal than his foxy friend. He was certain of it.

 

***

 

Phin

 

 

“Well…you’ll be too spooked to do mad-axing…and if you do go beserker, I’ll be in the right place. Sorted,” Phin grinned, triumphant.

“I’m not listening.” Jack indulged himself in a theatrical groan, rolling his eyes as he raked a hand through his tumble of hair. “I have to go to work later, so I’ll need to make a move in an hour or so,” he sighed. It wasn’t one of his ‘despairing’ ones, it sounded regretful? That was wishful thinking too far, Phin decided.

“Okay, d’you want me to drive you home? Or somewhere else, if you’d prefer?”

“Y’sure? I can walk, it isn’t far.”

“I don’t mind. Unless you don’t want me to know where you live?”

“Why on earth would that bother me?” Jake (Phin seemed to be even more rubbish at remembering than usual. It was most odd, he could reel off reams of stuff he’d read just once, but could never recall a thing he was supposed to) asked. As if telling Phin his address was of no consequence whatsoever.

“I dunno…in case I climbed in your bedroom window, hoping you were too drunk to do worrying about being dangerous. Not that I would. At all. Ever. O’course.” Phin blinked, a bit, and aimed for an angelic smile.

You wouldn’t…”

Jaaack, I can’t help but notice you said: ‘you wouldn’t?’ rather than ‘I’m never that drunk’. Does that mean you’re oft too sozzled to insist on safe not-sex?”

“No! It does not. It was an instinctive response!”

“But your instincts would have said ‘fat chance o’that’ or ‘you’d be so lucky. I’m never that legless’. They did not though. You said ‘you wouldn’t…’ So it sounds a lot likely that I might well happen upon you in such a soused state.”

“I think I should walk home,” Jake groaned.

“Oh no, you don’t…you’ve already booked your man-wiv-a-van. It’s too late to do cancelling now.”

“No, it isn’t. I could scarper while you’re in the loo, or leap out whilst you’re driving.”

“That’s a smidge excessive. Are you sure you don’t need a Mr. Neil?”

Me!? Excessive? You’re the one having your wicked way with a helpless drunk.”

“Helpless? Then you won’t be able to do mad-axing.”

Hopeless. And yes. I would.” Jack glowered, which was way too sexy to be scary. 

“I could tie you up, that would work,” Phin mused.

“F’fucksakes. Phin, justit would not work.”

“Jack, I can’t help but notice that even though your voice and eyes are cross…not all of you appears thus afflicted.” Phin cast a glance towards the guilty party, making its presence more than a mite obvious in a most pointed sort o’way.

“Oh shit.” Jake snatched at the duvet, nearly upending the tray while trying to tug it over his lower half.

Why wouldn’t that work? I’m beginning to think you’re fibbing…about all of it. Please be honest…I can’t do working you out. If you tell me you don’t want me, that’s fine. I can understand that, I wouldn’t want me, but…” Phin flicked his gaze towards the fist clutching the covers across Jake’s crotch. “You keep giving me reasons, so I solve them…and then you make up more. It’s like the Krypton Factor. Except, I can’t win…I’ve no sooner popped the last segment into place, than you toss another piece into the pot.

“It isn’t solvable, that’s why…” Jake grunted.

“I don’t believe you. You think I’m a nut job, don’t you? So even though you might want me, you won’t, cos I’m…Too Much. There. That’s what I think. I don’t want to do beating around the bush.” Phin told him, too fed up of faffing about to pretend to be considerate. “Just tell me the truth and I’ll shut up and won’t do anymore asking. I can be just friends…or even go away, if you want me to. It’s just hard to do understanding, when you came here tonight. Then you kissed me…and did the…other things too. Even though I’d been so sure I’d never see you again. It’s…I’m just confuddled. What have I done wrong?”

“No. Phin…please don’t think that

“I can’t do choosing about it. I just do think that. I’d do choosing if I could, cos I…don’t want to lose you. Which is doolally daft, when I never had you in the first place.”

Jack flinched, sucking in a sharp breath. Then fixed him with a blue that burned like gas flame.

“Oh…you do.”

“Pardon…?” was but a waft of breath, barely audible even to Phin.

“Have me.” Jake clarified, so he must have heard, somehow.

“H-How..?” Phin was more befuddled than ever, because he didn’t have Jake. If he did, then Jake would want him, wouldn’t he? More than that, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself. Phin could not, if the decision was his to make.

“Phin…I…” Jake began, then narrowed his eyes and regarded him a smidge suspiciously. For all the world as if he’d just noticed Phin had a ferret secreted about his person, which might get up to mischief.

Then Jake nodded, almost to himself, and lifted his chin with granite resolve (which was hellish sexy). When he continued, his voice was a rich rumble that resonated with surety.

“You know you do. Have me. Otherwise you would have told me to fuck off, or just upped and offed to pastures new. You wouldn’t want to stay if you so much as suspected that wasn’t true.” Jake insisted. Scoundrel. “Why live in a camper van, if not to go wherever you want and leave whenever you wish? Never having to worry that you’ve outstayed your welcome? I refuse to believe you wouldn’t have informed me that: you’ve been here a long time, don’t you want to go home now? Those hypersenses know damn well what I wantneed. You.” Jake finished, with a flourish. If he’d had a cape to swirl, he couldn’t have been more magnificent.

“I….” Was he right? He was right about the camper van, of course he was. Phin had bought it so he could potter off as peaceful as can be and follow whatever fancy flitted through his head. But alsoyes he’d wanted to clear off and not cause any more friction for his family.

Phin didn’t believe Jake was his though, did he? If he did, then surely he’d be happy inside, rather than have twisty guts and scratchy skin? And spooks whispering stuff in his mind, which always made Phin have to do Too Much to shut them up.

If he was so sure Jack wanted him, then why did he feel so uneasy? Part of the problem was…he had no idea how such stuff worked; what was what, and what wasn’t, or what he was supposed to do. People were tricky at the best of times, even when Phin was in full possession of his faculties. He had no chance now; he hadn’t even been able to think with his top head since meeting Jake…let alone fathom a man as dumbfounding as he was drop-dead gorgeous.

 

***

 

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin 18 & 19

Happy New Week to you… Chapter 18 was a smidge short so I’ve reposted it alongside Ch. 19 to make it flow a mite better. The new partPhin’sis beneath Jake’s. 

 

 

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor 18

 

 

 

 

Jake

 

 

 

Jake’s eyelids flicked open. From deep sleep to awake and alert in an instant, he hadn’t luxuriated in a lie in since…the morning after the night before he found himself shackled to a jackal. The fact he’d also woken to no trace of a hangover wasn’t quite the consolation it might have been…had Jake not spent them drowning himself in whisky, in hopes of dousing his less edifying…thirsts. 

This state of instant alertness was promptly proved a laggardly start to the day by his very own cock, which had clearly been up and bursting with impatience for some time. A boner so insistent it was impossible to ignore—even if he’d wanted to—Jake did not. He was bloody ravenous.

After slithering from under the arm curved over his waist, Jake stilled when Phin mumbled something incomprehensible and threw his now free arm behind him. This tilted his weight rather more onto his back, which was a shift too tantalizing to resist. Slithering down the bed to slip his fingers beneath Phin’s sleepier cock elicited a soft sigh, but he didn’t stir to consciousness. Jake had no sooner angled it towards his hovering mouth than wrapped his lips around it to slide oh, so slowly down; savouring every second with a tongue on a mission to make them count. By the time he reached Phin’s hilt, he was fully erect…and wide awake.

“Hmm…Jack…” His name was succeeded by the most superlative sigh to ever rifle Jake’s eardrums. 

Jake couldn’t exactly respond, but the jackal sure as shit could; with a goofy ‘grin’ complete with lolling tongue. Smug bastard.

Their battle of wills had taken on a competitive edge, it seemed. Could you actually win a civil war over (sort of) yourself? Not least when to win was to lose? To lose, win?

Did it matter a toss when victory and loss amounted to much the same sublime outcome? Fruits of his labours that didn’t seem too far in the future when Phin flexed upwards, straining off the bed with white-knuckled fistfuls of sheet clutched tight. Rolling purrs and writhing hips accompanied the trawling of Jake’s flattened tongue as he dragged his head back. An abandonment to pleasure every inch as lavish as everlasting legs… 

Jake picked up the pace, craving the moment that would soon be his to savour. Very soon, but it had been an unprecedented start to Phin’s day. When lean hips spasmed, the shudders that rippled along Phin’s spine vibrated Jake’s very bones…the shriek of his name almost as sweet as the cinnamon salt that spilled into his mouth. Jake drank him down with a thirst he’d started to suspect was insatiable.

“Hmm…” A smudgy smile smeared itself across Phin’s face when questing fingers sought, found, Jake’s hair.

“Morning…” His voice sounded as if he’d gargled with gravel.

“G’morning…thank you…”

Phin patently thought it was po-lite to add the latter to his own greeting…but the jackal was far from finished with him. He wanted more

Be fucking reasonable.

When the jackal huffed with disgruntlement, Jake steeled himself against the scything agony of claws. It did not come, instead? Jack’s eyes just gleamed greed.

That’s a compromise!? On which planet…Phin’s? Okay... I’ll take your compromise and raise you an ultimatum: if you so much as sniff a sheep’s arse after this, we’re going skydiving. Off a cliff.

*

“Oh, I’m not done yet…” Apparently. 

Jake clasped Phin’s wrist and gave it a swift tug that flipped him onto his front. Jake had settled himself between excessive legs and whipped away Phin’s pillow before he so much as got his bearings, let alone wondered what the fuck? Aloud, at least. The pillow would raise him a little, but not enough to grant them an access he as sure as (wot no) fuck wasn’t about to let go horribly awry. And dry.

The promise of paradiselostwas too alluring to risk…when this would suffice—for now—it seemed. According to compromise and promise alike. With perhaps a threat…thrown in as caveat. 

Phin possibly wasn’t expecting the consequences of said accord. 

“Fuuuuuuuck!”

“Guess again…” 

Thus, it was that, under the terms of their settlement and nary a sniff of sheep’s arse; Jake’s tongue embarked on its maiden voyage into uncharted territory. Even on his extensive map of misadventures. But so was Phin. Jake had never felt this way before. Was that all down to Jack? Could this all-consuming craving be attributed solely to him? It was incomprehensible, incalculable. Jake knew, beyond all shadow of doubt, that he’d want Phin with, or without, the jackal’s influence…but it was impossible to fathom how deep that desire would’ve dredged. A subterranean, bone-deep hankering to make Phin his own…or a quick shag after a pint or three down the pub? 

The jackal whimpered. Want. Jake bent trickle his tongue along the tender seam of skin  behind Phin’s balls before sweeping a luxurious sluice to the centre of their darkest designs. The shriek that ensued damn near shattered their ear drums. How they yearned to earn themselves many, many more. Too much more.

Phin gasped, gulping at air as Jake continued his mesmerizing ministrations. Nothing he had ever experienced—even in the last two years—had prepared Jake for the profound intensity of his own emotions. Or the ineffable intimacy of the moment. 

On what plane of consciousness might Jake ever have pondered such a likelihood? He’d sure as hell never sat on his sofa musing the metaphysical consequences of shoving his tongue where the sun don’t shine. Not even while blind drunk; a claim established as fact after exhaustive research.

A diligence Jake now applied to the matter at…tongue. An organ he now found himself—inconceivably—wishing he could trade with the jackal. Jack was…to the astonishment of no one ever? In complete agreement on this. Again. 

No shit, Sherlock. You have an uncanny knack for stating the bloody obvious, y’know. An unassailable fact proved by the current location of your tongue.

With the most fuck awful of all puns…just sayin.

This newfound simpatico was well on the way to disturbing…

 

***

Chapter 19

 

 

Phin

 

Phin’s knees gave way, or maybe his arms. He wasn’t sure which went first, he’d only been able to do concentrating on one part of himself for a wee while…oddly enough. Was that even legal? Phin couldn’t care a toot either way…but surely something that sumptuous must’ve been outlawed? Or—at very least—coshed by a Tongue Tax.

“Y’okay?” Jack asked, sounding a smidge worried. He was most odd at times. What the bejeezus could be wrong with Phin? Unless he’d dropped dead of delight.

“I am…too bamboozled to do talking?”

Jack was still chuckling when he catapulted off the bed, landing with light-footed aplomb a world away from Phin’s galumping thud to the floor. After wrangling himself around to flop onto his back, Phin lay staring at the roof, blinking a bit. Stone the bloomin crows…and some ravens too. And jackdaws.

He was too dizzy ‘n’ dazed to see straight. Even the images scrolling through his mind’s eye looked like one of those old crickle-crackle cine-film reels. Starring an excessively foxy friend and his very own bum. Foxy might only be a turn of phrase, but it was still very fitting for a certain sultry scoundrel with a Canidae slink to his lithe grace.

Lines from one of Phin’s favourite poems— ‘Thought Fox’—kept wafting through his head, so well-suited did they seem. He must have a mooch for The Hawk in the Rain later, when Jake left. Phin preferred reading the words even though he knew them by heart; it felt more intimate, immersing himself in a book. He revelled in the rustle of pages, their satin smoothness, the very smell of much-loved hardbacks. In truth, many poems penned by Ted Hughes seemed to encapsulate Jake’s essence; both steeped in raw, brutal beauty. Perhaps the hypersenses had recognized this all along…even though Phin had only got around to thinking it now. He had never felt as comfy with someone as a beloved book before. Jake was the living embodiment of their inherent conflict; oozing tender violence.

Even the tale that gave life to ‘Thought Fox’ was fabulous: Ted had been trying to write for hours, staring at a blank page until two a.m. before giving up and going to bed. He’d dreamed of a fox—a big one, as large as a wolf—who walked into the room on its hind legs. Charred; as if he’d stepped straight from a fire, with agonized eyes. The fox approached Ted’s desk, placed his bleeding hand (not paw) on the empty page and said: ‘Stop this, you are destroying us…’

In the background of these musings came the clink of cups and merry bubble of the kettle. Hmm…tea for two. It was perhaps daft, but the thought of Jack pottering about in Phin’s ‘kitchen’ was luscious. The scoundrel was so sexy, he made tea bags seem erotic.

“Teas up…” Jake announced, lifting the tray aloft. Balanced on bridged fingers too, like a fancy waiter in a swanky restaurant. Perhaps a French or Italian one, he didn’t look English.

“Jack? What is your surname?”

“McCain…” He answered while hefting himself into the nook, much as a gymnast mounted a high horse. Phin would never have managed it, but Jack hoisted himself up without any huffing and puffing. Watching the taut ripple of sinewy muscle was worth tossing the tray overboard for, in hopes of a replay. Chances were, Phin would have to fetch it himself, though. His own cock-a-leg-up and grasp-the-mattress-scramble couldn’t be considered the least bit saucy.

“That’s a Gaelic name isn’t it—Irish—not Scottish?”

“You…are astounding. How on Earth did you know that?”

“Easy peasy. Celtic mythology is my favourite…I learned some Gaelic along the way. That’s one of the reasons I came to Cornwall, it being a Celtic land. I knew my mum would have a heart attack if I got on a boat, which ruled out Brittany, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. That left Cornwall, Scotland, and Wales…I liked Dorset and I love Arthurian legend, so…Kernow it was. I drove to Tintagel first, it was even more magical than I’d hoped.”

“It is fantastical…” Jake agreed. “Was it the distance…or the boat itself that worried her?” His smirk suggested that he might be in cahoots with certain mum’s who found the thought of Phin aboard a boat cause for coronary.

“She didn’t do choosing between them…and still had plenty of space left for bicycle clips, clean hankies and losing my phone. And my van.” 

“Have you…?” The scoundrel asked, with a glint that implied the answer was a bit of a no brainer. How rude…

“You are, I believe, sitting in my van…” Phin sniffed, “…and the phone is…” Bummer. He paused to ponder the whereabouts of the pesky article, having put it “…in a safe place.”

“Would I be correct in assuming you’ve since found the van and the phone is…as good as lost?”

“It’s safely lost? I just haven’t found it yet, that’s all. It’s a smidge smaller than the van.”

“So…a yes on both counts.” Jake nodded—to himself, it seemed—like a pup on a parcel shelf.

“That wasn’t a question, so I don’t have to answer.” Phin noted. “Mine is Finley, derived from the Old Irish Gaelic ‘Findláech’. So there you go…two Celts aboard a campervan in Kernow. Perfect,” Phin grinned.

Sláinte…” Jack inclined his teacup at Phin before having a slurp.

Sláinte agatsa,” he responded, a mite absentmindedly, afore adding…Jack?

“Oh gawd. Why do I have a bad feeling about this… Yeeees, Phin?

“You’re a Jedi?” seemed as good a guess as any. “It’s not bad, I promise…it’s just that, you…um, haven’t had your turn.”  This caused such a splutter, his foxy friend promptly sprayed tea like a sprinkler. “Jack, you mucky pup!” Sinewy shoulders started quaking as he clamped his lips shut, eyes bulging as if they were about to plop onto the tea tray. “What!?”

Fuck—and before you ask—No. Oh hell….” That did it, Jack threw his head back and started yukking it up with gusto. It seemed a very un-Jacklike laugh—sort of unshackled somehow—which was most oddsome.

“Spoilsport. Can I do some slurping then…or…p’raps what you just did? When you’ve finished spraying your tea?” 

“There’s really no need to reciprocate…” Jack sobered in an instant. “I don’t—”

“Okay, but I still want to. I’d do it every ten minutes, if you’d let me. Then you’d have time for a cuppa in between…” Phin assured him.

“Why do I believe you?” Jake groaned, but his honeyed skin had flushed a fetching rosy hue. He really did ask daft questions sometimes, only he knew the answer, surely?

“Because it’s true?” That was Phin’s best shot. 

“I asked for that…” Jake snorted.

“You did…were you doing hinting?”

“Hinting?”

“For confirmation that I wanted to? Cos I do. Whenever you wish, I’m easy…but then we’ve already covered that. I’m telling far too many truths, I seem to be on a roll. That never ends well…” Phin admitted.

“Which is exactly what worries me most.” 

“Pardon?” Phin had no idea what that meant, but he’d sounded sort of…sad.

“That this won’t end well,” Jake clarified.

“It won’t. It can’t end well. Not even if you wanted to stay with me forever, y’daftie. One of us would die first, I’d hope it was me. Unless you shot us both, now that would be a plan.”

“Phin. Please hush up.”

“Was that happy hinting?”

“Yes.” Jake’s grin was devilish when he pounced to snaffle Phin’s very breath with oh, so greedy lips…

 

***

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:

Screenshot 2019-12-03 at 7.13.01 PM - Edited

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… 😳

Screenshot 2019-12-03 at 10.34.38 PM - Edited.png

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 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 13

Hiya, we’re at 33,000 words or thereabouts now, so I’ve added a #beast tag to each post, perchance that’s helpful along the way. Thank you, as always, for reading🥰

 

 

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

 

The Beast of Bodmin Moor

 

 

 

Phin

 

 

“Jake…”  flitted free, filling the chasm when their mouths smushed apart.

Jake hmm’ed a rumble of acknowledgment that shimmered down Phin’s spine in a shiver of heat. Chased by a scatter of kisses, smudged across his jaw, towards his ear…neck…where Jake fastened to drag the blood to the surface and Phin’s knees floorwards. They could scarce hold him up. The only part left utterly unbuttery with bliss was twitching fit to bust in his pants, aching for the fiery friction of Jake’s touch.

“Phin, I shouldn’t be here…” Jake’s groan ghosted across Phin’s skin, but he didn’t move a muscle, even to raise his head.

Why shouldn’t he be here? Is he married? Is that why he’d left in such a hurry? Had he remembered his wife would be cross if he stayed out too late? He doesn’t wear a ring, though…but then, lots of men don’t…

“I’m glad you are.” Phin told him, rather than clobber Jake with questions. Somehow sure he wouldn’t want to hear them and, even if he did, it seemed a lot likely that Phin would hate the answers. He didn’t want to spoil it. Even if this was all he could have, all he could ever hope for, he wanted it. A bit of Jack was better than lots of someone else.

Phin didn’t want anyone else. It was too late.

He was already besieged by the skittery thrill that blinkered him when spellbound by a new passion. He’d be minding his own business, absorbed in his trove of treasures, content as can be. Then slam, Phin found himself coshed by an all consuming kaleidoscope of colour that carried him off on a rainbow ride of discovery.  A hypermission to secure all he could find to nourish his need to know more. To drench every sense with its essence and fill his happy place with more of its magic. It had happened forever, Phin recognised it as readily as his own reflection.

This, was more than that. Much more…p’raps too much more, having met Jack just yesterday. Quite how that could be made to matter a jot, Phin knew not. He loved things or hated them, instantly. If he didn’t care a toot about something, then he never would. He couldn’t make himself be interested, nor could he force himself enjoy a boring book or love a sour-as-a-sucked-lemon relative. That was just daft. Like asking Phin to try and wear orange. 

It would be best not to tell Mr. Neil about this new and (too) much improved fixation, or Phin would find himself forgetting a refresher course of Cognitive Behavioral fix-its pronto. It was supposed to teach him how to Not Do Stuff Too Much. Phin was living proof of its towering powers of persuasion.

He was pondering all this while watching Jack have a fight with his leather jacket. It seemed to want to remain shrink-wrapped to his body despite his best efforts to yank it off. Phin had never expected to find himself sympathizing with the wishes of a coat, but couldn’t help hoping it didn’t win its battle. The scuffle had started about a snatched off breath after Jake wrenched himself free with a grit-strewn groan.

“Sorry…” his heroic victor muttered (eventually), tossing it aside. 

“Are you sorry about the kissing, or sorry the kissing stopped?” Phin wondered. Out loud.

“Um, both probably.”

“I’m sorry you’re sorry about the kissing,” Phin stifled a sad sigh while cramming his host hat on (inside) his head. “Would you like a drink, instead?”

“Please…” Jake nodded, shoving his thumbs into the front pockets of his jeans. If only they came off next…or his t-shirt. Preferably both. Phin poured another tumbler of brandy and handed it to him. “Thank you,” Jake remembered to say after draining the glass with one Adam’s apple-bobbing glug.

“I thought I’d never see you again,” Phin admitted. “Was I wrong, or did you change your mind?”

“No, you were right. I-I’m no good…for you,” Jake insisted.

“Pfft…I’m very fed up of the fact that not-good-for-me things are always the fun stuffs. The ones I want most,” Phin grumbled.

“You’re a liability waiting to happen to yourself, you know that, right?” Jack sighed a chuckle about a sharp-shooting eyebrow before ambushing Phin with a query he sure hadn’t seen coming. “Speaking of…what did you do to your arm?” 

Phin glanced at his wound, then blinked. Twice. The crusty gash was…well, it wasn’t a crusty gash. It was…a ragged purple slash across his forearm.

“Oh. I…um, did an accident. S’okay though…it looks lots better already.”

“Hmm…” Jake sniffed, regarding him with squinty eyes.

“Oh, Jake!” Phin piped up, hoping to distract him. “I saw Foxy on the moors tonight, so I didn’t dream him up. I don’t think he is a fox, I didn’t last time really, but he’s not a wolf either…maybe a coyote, or a jackal?”

“In Cornwall?” Jake’s left eyebrow shot skywards again.

“We already have a black panther, so why not?”

“Why not indeed,” Jake grinned, shaking his head a smidge. “Weren’t you afraid he might hurt you?”

“Pah…no. Not at all, I told you, he’s friendly,” Phin shrugged, with a smile. “He sat down beside me and let me stroke him. It was cosy.”

“See? You’re a walking liability. D’you plan on swimming with sharks next?”

“That’s dolphins, you daftie. I’d love to do that. Jack…? Why are you no good?” Phin paused, then added, “For me? That’s how it sounded, as if you meant I’m no good full stop. Are you married, or a murderer?”

“If I’d got married, I would probably have both covered by now,” Jack snorted. “But no, not yet.”

“Not yet married or not yet a murderer?” 

“Either. Both.” Jake’s shrug suggested that Phin had asked if he wanted chunky monkey or chocolate ice cream. 

“D’you plan to?” he couldn’t resist asking.

“Which one?” Jake’s lips twitched with a smirk.

“Either, both.” Phin parried.

“I-I…can’t rule either out.”

“I know…” Phin sighed, barely above a breath. And promptly found himself bludgeoned by a blaze of blue. Blimey. 

“D’you have a death wish?” Jake’s voice was a low, lethal lash of sound. A ‘fearsome’ one.  It sure made Phin’s toes curl, but they weren’t scared.

“Nope, not really…although I think I could have an accident,” he had to admit.

“Phin. Your dissembling is an art form.” Jake informed him with another squinty stare.

“Thank you,” he beamed.

Jake just did the head shaking thing again. People often did that, funnily ’nuff, just before sighing, ‘Oh, Phin…’  Never with such a finger-tingling tumble of hair, though. “I should probably go…let you get to bed.” 

“Oh.” Phin couldn’t keep the disappointment from his voice. It landed with a dull thud on the rug.

“I just thought… well, it’s late and I turned up unannounced. Again.” 

“I don’t mind. I won’t go to sleep unless I take my tablets, and I haven’t had them yet.” Then, quicksmart, before Phin could think worse of it, he added; “You can stay here, if you like, I’ll kip on the sofa seat.” 

“I…Phin, I really should g—” Jack broke off with a sharp breath that made his eyes scrunch up as he doubled over, clutching his stomach. “FUCK!”

“What is it…? Jack!?” Phin was afraid now. Afraid and fretting, scratchy and scared. “What’s wrong?” 

His golden skin had gone ashen grey, agony etched upon his face. “S…sss’kay,” Jake ground out through gritted teeth. An outright lie. “I’m ok—shiiit, okay…okay! F’fucksakes!” he snarled. It didn’t seem to be at Phin, but there was no one else to snarl at.

“What can I do? D’you want…water, brandy, a lie down?”

“I-it’s just cramp. I’ll be fine in a minute. No doubt,” he growled. Then: “Phin, is the offer still open…?”

“To stay here?” he asked, unable to think of another offer he might have made. He tried not to sound too hopeful, eager, despite the happy dance antics of his heart. Jake was suffering. Despite his insistence on being ‘fine’ in a mo.

“Yeah. I’m not going to throw you out of your bed though.” Jack declared, making a manful attempt to straighten up. There were beads of sweat glistening on his brow. Phin longed to lick them off.

“I’m not listening. You do look a little better, is it easing off now?”

“Yeah…” he sighed. “I’m sorry.”

“You don’t have to be sorry, you haven’t done anything. Sadly. Bummer…sorry, I meant to say the last part inside my head, but it…escaped.”

“Phin, please don’t think, it’s not that I don’t…want. I do. Too much.” Jake did his most heartfelt groan yet as he raked a hand through his hair. Phin’s fingers started itching. Not with scratchiness. In the sort of way that had ‘who scoffed all the cookies’ consequences.

“I’m…terrified I might hurt you.”

“Knowing you don’t want me hurts more, methinks,” Phin asserted, despite the dearth of comparative data. Barely a blink later, his back crashed against the door, a wall of hard heat pinning him to it in a body slam of bliss. As far from pain as it was possible to imagine when his lips were assaulted with kisses too lethal to survive unscathed.

 

***

 

Jake

 

When he arrived, Jake had felt somewhat sure of one thing: it would be, if not easier— then less impossible—to hold it together. Having already proved that he could while holding Phin hostage in his arms. Hell, he’d even survived a blowjob without exploding in a frenzy of fur. A miracle that made it seem safe to assume he could handle the merest brush of lips without combusting.

Jake was wrong. Very. Deadly wrong.

The devastating need was worse now. Worse still? Jack was doing a damn fine impression of a domestic cat curled on a hearth rug, as calm as can be. Content (for now) that he’d got his own way and was still here, within hearing distance of his jackal whisperer’s dulcet tones.

How was Jake supposed to suppress his own excesses in the presence of Phin? It was a challenge on a par with staying sober in a Speakeasy. In nineteen-twenties New York.

He’d launched himself through Phin’s doorway like a man possessed; unprepared for the extravagance of ivory that greeted him. A sight so incendiary that Jake neglected to steel himself against the impact of the most immoderate of all gazes, wide(r) with surprise. He had a better chance of surviving the stare of a double-barrelled shotgun with his faculties intact.

Jake had barely begun when he was forced to stop. Before he could not. He had but buried his nose in the curve of Phin’s neck to breathe him in. The resulting surge of bloodlust suggested Jake might find himself feasting on it before recalling exactly whose quivering pulse his teeth had sunk into. The heat boiling his blood was so intense, he felt about an inhalation away from bursting into flames. So, he dragged himself free and attempted to disentangle himself from a jacket dead-set on being welded to his body. He couldn’t even get the bloody zip down, beset as he was with about fifty fingers and fumbling thumbs.

Jake had never had a hope in hell. He was outnumbered. Everything he said to try and warn Phin off, or at least make him wary, was brushed aside by the most disarming airiness on Earth. A disregard for danger so intrinsic, Jake feared that shifting on the spot might leave his inimitable Phin unruffled. In much the way he’d mused the fact he might be hosting a homicidal maniac. 

If Jake didn’t shift himself sharpish, Phin damn well would be. No one else present (in person or proxy) would do bugger all to ensure he stayed safe. 

Jake had scarce stammered so much as “I…Phin, I really should—” before his guts spasmed so violently he had no idea how he remained on his feet, albeit doubled-over in pain. Far more severe than having Jack burst from his body (strangely akin to the agony and ecstasy of being topped for the first time, many moons ago). Only an extreme masochist—one capable of considering limb amputation a form of foreplay—could have gleaned a glimmer of pleasure from the torture enacted on Jake’s entrails. Being gutted with a medieval flail may have felt similar. Or gored by a wild boar. Jack was not budging. Apparently. Furthermore, he didn’t give a flying fuck in which form he curled up with Phin tonight. They were staying, whether they moulted on the bed or not.

Thus it was, that Phin procured an overwrought overnight guest.

“I’m…terrified I might hurt you,” Jake owned. A last ditch attempt to reiterate the truth without telling it.

“Knowing you don’t want me hurts more, methinks.”

If there was a response that could have defused the dropping of that bomb, Jake sure as semtex had no recourse to it. Phin’s words were the verbal equivalent of a detonation device.

*

He found himself plastered to Phin before he could blink. Long arms trapped him tighter as lips stole the breath from his body. That was how it felt, despite all facts to the contrary. Plump lips parted on a cinnamon sugar sigh that went straight to Jake’s head. Opium kisses…headier than heroin. A tangle of tongues that fed, fuelled, an addiction Jack could neither control nor conquer. 

When Phin slid his hands up the back of Jake’s t-shirt and starfished them across his skin, it was all he could do to drag his lips away for long enough to yank it over his head. The clash of chests was incendiary, too intoxicating to care that he was a layer of cloth closer to losing his mind. The groan that grated in Jake’s throat scarce qualified as human when Phin’s mouth crashed down on his own. 

Need so pure, potent, it was a speedball of scent, taste, touch. Seeping from Phin’s pores; stronger, richer than the brandy on his breath. Infinite in the drowning depths of those eyes, black with desire, lids lust heavy. The scorch of skin on skin all-but obliterated the tension tethering Phin’s…customary instincts. Jake’s incorrigible innocent, so tentative at first, flared to full steam ahead with rocket-fuel finesse more flammable than kerosene. Thus emboldened, Phin clamped one hand to the curve of Jake’s arse and unleashed the fingertips of the other as if he were speed reading braille. 

“Phin…” Jake groaned, allowing his head to fall back, baring his throat in a way that made Jack tenser than his hackles could take lying down.

Jake’s lids flared wide with shock. It was the first time his own desire had over-ridden Jack’s since they’d scented Phin on the wind. To the jackal, it signified submission. A low growl crawled the arc of Jake’s throat about a snatched-off breath before he found himself straddling a saucer-eyed Phin, now splayed upon the tabletop.

Midnight eyes sought, conquered his own, as a slow, secret smile spread across Phin’s angel face. The satisfied twitch of those lips was hot-wired to Jake’s crippled cock—a lure too tempting to withstand—even if he’d wanted to, and of course, he did not. Damn good job too; Jake would’ve been done for when wiry arms ensnared his neck. Tugging him into a kiss that was darker, deeper now, loaded with deny us if you dare.  

Jack. F’fucksakes. I need your insertions like a hole in my bloody head.

Where, oh where, to start on that sentence…

When Jake mustered the will to tear free, it was to trail his tongue down the ivory column of Phin’s neck. Aching to taste, touch, every excessive inch of skin, share every beat of his heart, keep it safe always. It was an agony too cruel, the guilt of endangering it most.

“Jack, please…” 

“Tell me…what you want…” 

“More…” Phin pleaded, eyes huge, imploring. Impossible to resist.

“More…?” Jake couldn’t help himself, he had to hear the pearl of perfect nonsense it prompted. 

“I…everything, I want you. All of you.”

Oh hell…

You asked for it. Just sayin…

***

Wafflish

Beast of Bodmin Moor 12

The Beast of Bodmin Moor 

 

 

 

 

 

Jake

 

 

Now shurrup, and let me luxuriate in peace. Then I’ll sit through season two of Sherlock, later, if you like. Unless…there’s something else you’d rather do, o’course. Like say…apologise most profusely for being such an utter—

Okay! Christ…you’re relentless. What makes you think Phin will even open the door? Let alone allow me to apologise?

He’s not you?

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Aside from the fact Phin is not a fuck-wit? If he wants to see you he’ll open the door, if he does not, he will not. Simple. No point scoring…playing it cool…making you suffer because you deserve to. He’ll just follow his instincts, so y’won’t be judged and found wantingwhich is fortunateseeing as you’re a tosspot an’ all…

Let’s suppose you’re right for a mo. On which planet is apologising a perfectly good reason for popping ’round someone’s campervan at two a.m.?

I dunno, perhaps, say…a planet where the fact someone’s borrowed your bathrobe is a matter of more immediate import than the fact you’ve never clapped eyes on them in your life? The very same stranger you’ve woken to find squatting in your van, watching you sleep like a stalker perv?

Good point.

I thought so. You’ll owe me for this, just so y’know… I’m really quite comfy and Phin doesn’t seem in any rush to leave. So. Sausages. For breakfast. 

What happened to the compromise on malnourishment matters?

I’m prepared to renegotiate later. But, the minute I leave this moor, the sausages are on the table. It’s not my fault if you mess it up, so I’m not starving and suffering your consequences. Fair’s fair.

Oookay…you win. 

I haven’t won anything worth anything yet…so. In the words of the divine Dame Ru: Don’t. Fuck. It. Up…  

Thanks.

Thank me later if we get our don’t-deserves. Right…time we were off, I reckon.

The jackal lifted his head, cocking it slightly, as if listening to whispers on the wind.

“What is it, Foxy?”  Phin asked, instantly alert, hyper-present, despite all appearances to the contrary seconds before. Jack huffed a heartfelt sigh in response, then clambered to his feet and swiped a lick along a moon pale cheek. 

“You’re off, now? Oh, okay then,” With a brave attempt at a ‘considerate’ smile, Phin lifted a hand to scratch at Jack’s ear. His scent was tinged with sadness, but those starry eyes were serene with understanding. “See ya, Foxy…”

With a second slurp goodbye, Jack turned tail and shot off into the night.

*

Less than five minutes later, Jake leapt over the garden fence, grabbed a pair of pants from the shed and pulled them on before letting himself into his cottage. He could get dressed, have a swift drink and arrive at the campervan in fifteen minutes flat, which should be about perfect. Time enough for Phin to get back and make a cuppa before so much as thinking about bed. 

Was this wise? Of course not.

It was inevitable.

Jake dragged on a pair of black jeans and a white t-shirt, then fiddled with his hair, which looked not-at-all-artfully windswept. It would look a helluva lot more so on arrival, so quite why he bothered, he knew not.

The whisky was a necessity; Jake’s nerve-endings were all but shot-to-shit. Thus, in a much better state than the rest of him. His lust levels were radioactive. The scotch took the edge off the tension fizzing through his veins, but didn’t do a damn thing to crank Jake’s brain into gear. What the hell should he say? If Phin deigned to open the door, of course. It was pointless to ponder what might happen, when that was dependent on Phin. 

What Jake should allow himself to do (or not) after darkening Phin’s doorway was more to the point…but having less than a one-third stake in subsequent matters meant it was a moot one at best.

He just wanted to be near Phin. An ache so visceral it felt as if it was devouring Jake from the inside out. Hold him close…luxuriate in the extravagant expanse of his skin. Feel Phin’s fingertips skimming flesh, not fur. Touch him in return.

They had not hurt Phin earlier, which was a miracle too terrifying to contemplate. Miracles being extraordinary, inexplicable, beyond the bounds of expectation. By definition. A lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice probability of recurrence. 

It was doomed to disaster. Destined. To it? Or destined, full stop?  The word had inserted itself into Jake’s consciousness with the same involuntary clarity as Jack’s ‘voice’. The jackal hadn’t put it there; Jake hadn’t thought it into fruition. It had just…presented itself. Right…well, that sounded rational. Not. Jake had, quite possibly, gone quietly insane. He had hoped that might feel a bit more…

Melodramatic? Shakespearean? Magnificent? Gothic? Glorious? 

F’fucksakes, must you be so bloody—

Right? Honest? Stop moaning and save your vainglorious aspirations for Phin. Do something dashing; arrive with a rose clenched between your butt cheeks, sweep him off his feet, prostate yourself at them…do something, anything. Just quit cussing and fix it, fuckwit.   

*

Ten minutes later, Jake was pacing on the verge, listening to Phin’s movements within the van, trying to gauge whether he was about to turn in, make a meal, maybe watch something…read…  He’d just poured a most pungent glass of brandy and was now rustling around in the mini fridge.

What am I waiting for? Jake was never going to be ready. He could pace about until next Christmas and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to his state of readiness. Jake might combust but he sure as hell wouldn’t feel less uncertainnor any more sureof having any right to be here.

A two a.m. visitor was worrying in itself, even if you knew who the fuck had deemed it a cunning plan in the first place. He couldn’t rely on the element of surprise, nor hope that simple curiosity might persuade Phin to respond. It wouldn’t be fair.

Jake tapped, twice. Rat-tat. “Phin?”  There…at least he knew who’d knocked. Whether that would make Phin more, or less, likely to answer was impossible to predict. 

Phin’s “Jack?” sounded as if he believed he’d heard a non-existent noise in the night.

“Yeah…um… I’ve come visiting?” Jake quite possibly unleashed a rising inflection.

“Oh, okay. I thought I’d…I” 

“It’s customary to open the door ’round about now, if you’re going to…” Jake noted, unable to stand still for a second longer without seeing Phin’s face. Breathing him in.

“Oh, sorry, I forgot.”

“Did you…‘forget to remember’ or really forget?” 

“Ja…ke, don’t be daft.” Phin chuckled, as if Jake had mooted the most demented notion that had ever rifled his eardrums.

The door swung open. Fuck. Jake sucked in a sharp breath. He had not prepared for the possibility that Phin might be clad in naught but tight, black pants. If  Jake had stood there for a whole heartbeat, he may have noticed their red waistband. He did not. He’d sprung forwards before registering that he intended to, let alone pondered the wisdom of it. Jake was pure instinct; just a blur of leather and legs that launched himself at Phin. The heady scent of cinnamon spice was a sledgehammer of heaven when he buried his nose in the curve of Phin’s neck after clasping his nape. Jake inhaled; long, slow, deep, as if suffocation had been but one breath without him away. 

“Phin…I…” His arms were wrapped around Phin’s waist, lips fastened at this throat and Jake hadn’t decided to do either.

If the cinnamon had soured, or Phin frozen, en route? Jake would have stopped dead, that much he knew.  Neither had happened…Phin’s willowy frame all-but sighed against him, engulfing Jake in the warmth of apple strudel and brandy butter; the scent of all his Christmasses come at once.

“Jack…you’re here. I thought…” Halting words, breathless with wonder.So much more than Jake deserved. As was Phin. Who, for some inconceivable reason, seemed to want Jake. Here, now, at least. ‘Now’ was all that could be allowed to matter in the world.

“I’m sorry, so sorry” Jake’s apology was garroted by a groan when the tip of Phin’s tongue slipped out to moisten lips too incendiary to resist. Too irresistible to renounce. Ever. Their mouths melded in a cherry brandy kiss as potent as absinthe. Infinitely more lethal. 

 

***

 

 

Phin

 

 

 

“Phin?”

“Jack?”

Jack was here? Really here…? Had he forgotten something yesterday? Surely not—he hadn’t brought anything with him to forget—having not had so much as a pocket about his person. He hadn’t even snaffled the robe to return, Jake had abandoned that as summarily as Phin. It had been left on the bonnet for him to find. Rain had rendered it as soggy as the dishrag Phin felt far too much like, when he woke up and saw it there.

“Yeah…um… I’ve come visiting?”

Phin had been so certain he would never see Jack again. He’d been so eager to go, he hadn’t even said goodbye, which was the po-lite thing to do when taking your leave at the end of a visit.

“It’s customary to open the door ’round about now.” Oops.

Phin had zoned out, again. Jack, the cheeky devil, had the brass neck to ask if he’d done forgetting on purpose. How rude. He would never do such a thing, that would be inconsiderate. There may have been a teeny white lie in there, somewhere.

When Phin did tug the door open, he sure as strewth hadn’t been prepared for the sight that greeted him. Jake had already been in the van when he’d woken that morn, so Phin had nary a wild ‘n’ windswept, lust ‘n’ leather clad Jake in his mental stash of images. Would that have made a jot of difference? It didn’t seem possible that a sight so breath- snatching could be diminished by familiarity. Phin had been eating the same food every day for a decade and his taste buds still tingled as if they’d been treated to a rare delicacy for the very first time. 

Most folk thought that was weird. He was supposed to get ‘sick’ of his favourite foodstuffs along the way. Most of them had children. And pets. Nope. Phin had not. He was too po-lite. Unlike certain variety is the spice of life types and their promiscuous proclivities. 

 Phin had been a bit befuddled and bleary-eyed when he woke to discover himself being visited. Jack may have been the most beautiful man Phin had ever seen butby the time he could see straight enough to absorb that factJake had been sitting there for a wee while, sporting Phin’s snaffled robe.

That was a helluva lot different to finding Jack standing in his doorway wearing jeans so tight it looked as if he’d painted his legs black. Glinting in the light that glanced off the silversharp zips ‘n’ studs of his gleaming leather jacket. Phin may have stood there for quite some time, too bedazzled to blink. Much to his relief, he promptly found himself encompassed by arms so strong, tight, they snatched away the air he’d sucked in. Phin  felt about fit to swoon, but couldn’t tell if that was down to the squishing itself, or the fact he was being squished by the most luscious man alive. 

Tendrils of toffee ‘n’ honey hair were tickling Phin’s skin, plush lips scorching his neck; Jack was a hurricane of heady heat and smelled like fresh air and danger. His breath tasted of whisky and want. 

The strangest thing of all was that he made Phin feel…safe, and yet, he oozed raw power and scarcely constrained strength. Jake oozed a lot of things. They all banjaxed Phin’s brain and boiled the blood in his veins.

“Jake…you’re here…I thought…”

“I’m sorry, so sorry—” Jake forgot finish his sentence. Then Phin’s brain turned to mush and his bones to butter. It was some time after being kissed senseless that Phin remembered he should have worried about doing it wrong or too much. Or doing anything at all, ever again, except kissing Jake.

All he could think was Mmmore. A word that summed matters up with a literal and onomatopoeic economy that left the rest of Phin’s faculties free to feel. A fact they celebrated more excessively than ever before. It seemed hyperpossible that Phin was about to be sexed to death. He couldn’t have felt more chuffed about that if he’d tried. Mmmore...much more. Phin wasn’t sure what he wanted, he just knew he wanted it. Very much. Too much. Jack didn’t seem to mind, so Phin forgot to fret about that too.

Jake only had two hands when he’d arrived, but he seemed to have far more than that now. It felt as if they were everywhere, all at once. Inside and out. Jake was all heavy heat, but not heavy enough…Phin needed more. Need not want. A need as necessary as his next breath. There was a knot in the pit of Phin’s belly that needed tugging tighter. None of that made any sense whatsoever, but that’s how it felt.

The cool contrast of leather and feverish flesh was as lush as ice cream served with hot fudge sauce. The deranging drizzle of Jake’s fingers sizzled across his skin, setting Phin’s senses aflame…a too-much intensity of touch that was nowhere near enough. Never, ever enough…

 

***