Trilogy 8: Tricks & Treats
Part 2 of 2
Summary: Jalen’s visit to Earth brings surprises, and fun is to
be had before, during and after the Annual Halloween Masque.
“Man is least himself when he’s in his own person.
Give him a mask and he’ll tell you the truth.”
~ Oscar Wilde
Jalen had stayed overnight at Jack’s, sleeping on the couch, and he was still dozing when Jason padded into the kitchen to find Jack pouring himself a cup of coffee. Kissing the back of his neck, he looked over his shoulder at the entryway from the hall, checking to see if Daniel had finished in the bathroom.
“What?” Jack asked, keeping his voice low. He didn’t really care if Jalen woke up. What he wanted was more alone time with Jason and Daniel.
Jason took a deep breath as he took a mug from the cupboard and set it on the counter. He stared into it, then looked up at Jack. “I fucked up.”
Jack frowned. “How?”
“Daniel’s unhappy,” Jason answered, combing a hand through his hair.
Jack eyed him and was prepared to disagree, but he remembered Daniel’s slightly-off behavior the last few months. He’d thought it had simply been due to something else, perhaps dissatisfaction in his job, but no, Jason was right. “Doesn’t mean it’s your fault,” he argued, but as soon as he said the words, he knew they sounded hollow. Jason was right about that, too.
Jason didn’t argue with him, but he gave Jack a look that said he was full of shit. “I know it’s my fault. And the only way to fix it, Jack, is not to leave him again.”
“You never left him,” Jack admonished.
“No, not exactly, but fucking Alex? I think that qualifies.”
“He was fine with it, Jason. So was I.”
Jason shook his head slowly. “No, you weren’t. Neither of you were. But you wanted me happy, and I know Daniel convinced you to let me be.”
“Jack, I know him, so don’t tell me he didn’t have to twist your arm.”
Jack ground his jaw. “I told him you’d get it out of your system, that it was simply a case of your being curious, nothing more.”
Jason nodded. “But it was more than that because I really do love Alex. The difference is, I’m not in love with him. The love is not the same. I can give him up. I can’t do that with you and Daniel. And, now, because of me, he’s unhappy, and I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to make him happy again.” He paused, swallowing as he looked at Jack and lowered his voice. “What if he doesn’t love me anymore?”
“First, that’s bullshit because it’s not true, and you know that.” He tapped on Jason’s forehead, reminding him of his gift. “You know that.” He waited, and when Jason only shrugged his answer, Jack took his chin and lifted it in a firm, angry hold. “Don’t. It’s self-destructive thinking, Jason. And a self-fulfilling prophecy if you dwell on it.”
“I don’t want it to be true,” Jason said, scowling back. “But I think his fear of abandonment is biting him on the ass, and I put it there.”
“He hasn’t had a problem with it for a long time, Jack, but over the last year, I think it’s come roaring back and all because I can’t keep my dick in my–“
Jack grabbed Jason round the waist and clapped his other hand over his mouth, silencing him. “There’s one huge flaw in that logic, Jason. Adriann.”
“That’s different. Adriann isn’t around, or in his bed night after night. Alex was.”
“Was, Jason. Was. Daniel and I both knew that Alex was temporary.”
“Doesn’t mean he doesn’t feel like he’s losing me. Yes, I sense he loves me, but I also sense he’s unhappy. I can’t help but feel responsible.”
“Do you feel slighted by Adriann then?” Jack asked.
“No, but Adriann is different, dammit. He’s… an extension. Alex, on the other hand, was never meant to be a permanent part of us.” He cringed with the inevitable guilt of it.
“Now who’s feeling insecure?” Jack asked, raising an eyebrow.
Jason didn’t answer him as he looked away and began to fix his own coffee, but Jack interrupted him, turning him to face him. Just behind Jason, in the open doorway, Daniel appeared. And the look on his face said he’d either heard the entire exchange or a good part of it. Jack purposely didn’t look at him, but into Jason’s eyes instead.
“Listen to me. We’re supposed to talk about this, out in the open, not wallow in self-pity.”
“Yes, Jason, you are.”
Jason pulled away from him, scowling. “Fuck off, Jack.”
“Will you tell me to fuck off, too?” Daniel asked.
Jason turned around, eyes wide. Guilt and embarrassment filled him and he had no words. He spun around, a swift spurt of anger filling him as he suddenly felt hard anger at him. Reason told him that Jack didn’t plan for Daniel to appear, but he said what he said with Daniel standing there behind him.
“Fuck it, think what you want,” he said, walking past Jack and through the back door before he could tell them both what else he was thinking. He knew anger clouded his judgment, and rather than risk saying something he couldn’t take back, he needed distance and space. He turned right and walked to the end of the deck and sat down on the steps, angry that he hadn’t fixed his coffee and brought it with him, but there was no fucking way he was going back inside.
Inside the house, Jack and Daniel exchanged looks of anger and concern, but had no chance to say anything when Jalen came walking into the kitchen, wearing Daniel’s borrowed tank top and sweats. He moved over toward the coffee pot, aware of their eyes on him, acknowledging that he was intruding, and quickly finished Jason’s coffee. Giving them both a look as he cleared his throat and went for the back door, he gave them a nod then faced the door, sighed heavily, and walked outside, closing the door softly behind him.
“That was interesting,” Jack said sarcastically.
“He was right,” Daniel said as he took his mug from the cupboard.
Jack stared at him, surprised. “Excuse me?”
“Jason was right, Jack.”
“About which part?” he asked, wishing away the unhappy part but he suddenly knew better.
“About me, Jack. Not about him. He shouldn’t worry, shouldn’t feel sorry for himself. It’s not his fault and he’s dwelling again, as he does every now and then. But he is right. I haven’t been feeling all that secure lately and I don’t really know why. I mean, because of Adriann, I have no right to feel jealous or unloved if Jason wants to be with someone else. But I am and there it is.”
“Why didn’t you say something?” Jack asked angrily.
Daniel pointed at him. “Because of that.”
“What?” Jack asked, confused.
“Daniel, I don’t like being kept out of the loop,” Jack shot back with exasperation. “And I’m not the one who’s mad.” While he didn’t have the empathy Daniel had, he still knew when his lover was mad. And he also knew that something else was off and it wasn’t about Jason. “Wanna tell me what’s got you so insecure then? Why you’re acting defensive?”
“Neither of us accused you of anything so what the hell are you wound up about?”
“I’m just upset with Jason, that’s all,” Daniel said, trying to deflect and wishing he hadn’t let his guilty anger show.
Jack didn’t answer. When Daniel prevaricated, all he had to do was wait. Sooner or later, Daniel would talk.
“Not now,” Jason warned when he heard the door open and close behind him.
“It’s me,” Jalen said as he walked down the deck and sat down next to Jason, handing him his coffee. “Here.”
Surprised, Jason took the mug. “Thanks. And sorry.”
“You didn’t. I’ve been dozing off and on all morning, wishing I could just lie around for the rest of the day.”
“You can, you know.”
“Maybe, just not here,” Jalen said, and they both knew that was true.
“If you’re going to tell me the same thing Jack did, don’t.”
“I’m not,” Jalen reassured.
Jalen looked around, liking the peacefulness of the backyard. In the distance, a dog barked, then another one joined in. Normalcy, he thought. “Nice place he has here.”
“Yeah, it’s nice,” Jason said as he sipped his coffee.
“Daniel’s place, too.”
“Yeah, it’s nice.”
“Your place, however…”
Jason frowned. “I thought you liked my loft.”
Jalen waited a few moments, then said, “It’s further away, Jason. Have you noticed that?”
“It’s closest to the base, Jalen.”
“But Jack and Daniel live closer to each other than you do to them. You might live closer to the base, but you also live the furthest from them.”
Jason didn’t like the track this was taking. “Get to the point.”
“Did you even look for a house or apartment nearby?”
Jason scowled at him. “Of course I did!”
Jalen shook his head. “You’re like my own Jason. Hard-headed. And you avoid shit right in front of you.”
“Get to the fucking point, Jalen.”
“You chose that loft after you were reunited with Jack and Daniel, right?”
“So, maybe you’re still waiting for them to leave you.”
“That’s stupid,” Jason said, leaving his coffee and walking out into the yard. He crossed his arms defensively and stared down at the grass.
“Yes. If they asked me to move in with them, I wouldn’t hesitate.”
“I’m certain of that, Jason,” Jalen said empathetically as he came up to him and took one of Jason’s hands, making him uncross his arms. “But listen to me. Maybe Daniel thinks your distance is on purpose, even if he’s never acknowledged it.”
Jason blinked a few times, then stared hard into that twin face. “He can’t think that!”
“He might, Jace.”
“But I didn’t do it to hurt him! I just…”
“Needed the space?” Jalen offered.
Jason squeezed his eyes shut, realizing the implication. Yes, he’d needed his space, but he never once thought that Daniel, or Jack, would take it the wrong way. Then came the thing with Alex.
Jalen put an arm around him, squeezing him, then he let him go. “Just keep it in mind, and when you talk this out with him, bring it up and offer to move, see what he says.”
Jason rolled his eyes. “I know exactly what he’ll say, Jalen.” Shaking his head, he gave his brother another hard look. “Did you think of this or did Camulus?”
“We both did.” He returned the long look Jason gave him, adding, “He loves you, too, by the way. He can’t not.”
Jason stared at him, stunned immobile, and feeling rather weird as a blush colored his cheeks. Love. He wondered if Jalen had always felt it toward his ‘replacement’ twin, and suddenly felt guilty for resisting the feeling. “You love me,” he said.
Jalen shrugged, looking down. “You’re my brother, no matter the universe.”
“Is it possible that it could just be transference?”
Jalen shot him an angry look. “Don’t dismiss my feelings, Jason.”
Jason shot him an annoyed but apologetic look. “I didn’t mean to, sorry.”
Jalen nodded back. “No problem.” He let a few silent moments pass, then dismissed the subject since Jason looked uncomfortable. “Anyway.”
“Thanks,” Jason said suddenly.
“For what?” Jalen frowned.
“Just,” Jason shrugged, “you know. Saying it.”
Jalen gave him another nod. “I never say what I don’t mean.”
Feeling a perverse need to tease, Jason said, “Although strictly speaking, you didn’t say it.”
Returning the perversity, Jalen narrowed his eyes. “I won’t say it again until you’re comfortable in saying it back.”
A gauntlet had just been thrown down, though Jason didn’t feel threatened or pressured by it. “Okay.”
Jalen cleared his throat. “Anyway.”
Hearing that word repeated, Jason’s attention was caught. “Something else on your mind?”
“Yeah,” Jalen drawled, taking a deep breath. “And you’re probably not gonna like it.” Every flight instinct told him to shut up but Camulus had been pushing at him to tell Jason in person and not leave it to Daniel. “It’s not honorable, Jalen. You tell him, face to face.”
Jason assumed what Jalen would say and sighed wearily. “Jalen, save the rest of the psych 101. I appreciate it, but let me fix this present problem.”
“There’s nothing to fix. Just let Daniel work it out while you show him how much you love him. That’s all. But that’s not what I wanted to say. It’s not about you. It’s about me.”
Jason turned to him, his instinct picking up on fear. Fear? “What’s happened, what’s wrong?” and his imagination gated to the wrong conclusion. “Something bad happen last night?”
“Not bad, no,” Jalen said, raising his hand, palm out. “Not exactly. It’s something I did.” Jason relaxed, and it only made Jalen feel guiltier. “When Daniel came to the dressing room.”
All expression left Jason’s face and he visibly paled. He didn’t dare jump to conclusions, didn’t want to think badly of Jalen, but some residual distrust was still there. And he hated it. “What happened?” he asked tightly.
Jalen cleared his throat. “I was really excited by the dance and… never mind,” he said, shaking his head. “Doesn’t matter.” He waited a few long, excruciating seconds, and annoyed Jason in the process.
“I kissed him,” Jalen said quickly.
Jason blinked at him, not sure he’d heard right. Kissed him? Strange relief flooded him, then guilt replaced it as he cursed himself for thinking Jalen had done something that the old brainwashed personality might have done. It was irrational and Jason rubbed his face, trying to shed his own fear. No wonder he couldn’t tell Jalen he loved him. Shit.
“Jason?” Jalen asked worriedly.
Jason shook his head. “It’s okay. I just…” He looked at his confused brother and took him in his arms, hugging him. “I thought… I’m sorry, I thought…” Letting him go, he shook his head again. “I don’t know what I thought. I only expected you to say something bad, given the look on your face.”
Jalen realized the implication and swallowed. “Guess we still have some work to do ourselves.”
Jason shook his head in fervent disagreement. “It’s all on me, Jalen. Something I need to do, not you.” Taking a deep breath, he tried to shake it off. Focus, he told himself. So… okay, he kissed him, and all Jason could think was, “So what?” Except when he looked at Jalen, he picked up something other than guilt. Protection? When Jason remembered Daniel’s insecurity, an idea occurred to him and he had to restrain an inappropriate urge to laugh. “He kissed you back?”
Jalen swallowed convulsively. “Don’t be mad at him. It was my fault. It was the mood, the alcohol, and I… it was my fault.”
Jealousy combined with the earlier guilt and Jason turned away, covering his eyes. Breathe, he told himself. Get some perspective. He suddenly bent over, hands on knees, and that restrained laugh escaped. It was aimed mostly at himself as a small bit of understanding tried to edge around the corners of his emotions.
“What’s funny?” Jalen asked, getting irritated.
“He was curious, wasn’t he?” Jason asked, turning to him.
“I don’t know. Maybe,” Jalen answered warily. “But he never would have kissed me first. I’m certain of that.”
Jason stared at him, letting the words sink in. His anger started to fade, but only a little. “Why’d you kiss him?”
“It wasn’t planned, Jason. I was just so keyed up, riding that high from being out there on the stage. I was happy and I hugged him. Then the next thing I knew…” He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, Jason. Please don’t be mad. There was nothing meant by it. Seriously. I’m not trying to undermine you. And I was the one who was curious.”
Jason suddenly threw Jalen a sarcastic, dark smile. “Aroused, more like.”
Jalen grimaced. “Maybe, but it wasn’t a conscious thought.”
Another perverse thought entered Jason’s brain, and maybe it was an adaptation of his insecurity but he couldn’t help the thought. “Did it go further than a kiss?”
Jalen shook his head. There was no way in hell he was telling Jason that he’d been reaching for Daniel’s cock when they’d broken apart. “The moment we realized what we were doing, we stopped.”
Jason tried to be mad, felt he probably should be, but he kept returning to Alex, and how Daniel had felt about his feelings for his 2IC. And as a result, all the anger drained away, leaving only the guilt and fear to deal with. Was it Daniel’s turn to find a… dalliance? Maybe. Jason didn’t like it, but like Daniel, he couldn’t stop him from finding his way, from being with whomever he wished. After all, who the hell was he to say no?
“Are you okay?” Jalen asked. “Want to hit me or something?”
“Don’t be an ass.” Then Jason eyed his brother, suddenly hit with the need to make him uncomfortable. And satisfy some curiosity as well as his own ego. “So… how was he?”
Jalen stared at him like Jason had grown another head. “Excuse me?”
Jason couldn’t keep the smirk off his face. “Daniel can get me hard just by kissing me.” When Jalen blushed and turned away, he added, “He does this thing with his tongue–“
Jalen spun around. “Shh! Shut up!”
Jason smiled widely, knowing that was exactly what had happened. “Ah huh. Thought so.”
“Asshole,” Jalen said, trying not to grin as Jason turned back to the deck and retrieved his coffee mug, draining it in three gulps.
“Time to go back in,” Jason said, climbing the steps.
“Wait,” Jalen said, following.
“What?” Jason asked, stopping halfway down the deck.
“What will Jack do when he finds out?”
Jason pursed his lips, thinking it over. Something told him that Jack would probably dismiss the anger quickly–knowing it would only piss Daniel off anyway–and then he’d say something to Jalen designed to completely unnerve him. “Pay you back.”
Jalen’s eyes widened. “Pay me back how?”
Jason bit his lip, chuckling. “Scare you.”
Jalen shook his head. “Not possible. After Baal, nothing scares me.”
“Not what I meant,” Jason grinned, feeling a little better that he could joke. And get his own back, too.
“What then?” Jalen asked as Jason turned away and headed for the door.
Jason gave him an innocent look that was quite obviously fake. “C’mon, let’s find out.”
Scowling, Jalen stubbornly stayed outside, wishing he could read Jason’s mind. Inside his own, Camulus was laughing.
Daniel turned away and walked back down the hall to the laundry room to toss his clothes in the dryer. Jack stared after him, wondering what the hell was going on in Daniel’s mind. Whatever it was, Daniel wasn’t talking and Jack didn’t want to wait. He hated waiting. Going after him, he entered the laundry room and leaned against the frame of the door.
“So, gonna talk to me?”
Daniel pulled his clothes from the washer, not looking at him. “I’m not unhappy, Jack.”
Annoyed, Jack snapped his fingers. “You said that before. I wondered where I’d heard that.”
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Stop it.”
Jack gave him a look that blatantly said no. “I don’t like guessing games.”
“I’m not playing a game,” Daniel said as he turned on the dryer and leaned against it, crossing his arms.
“Then what’s this you’re doing?”
“Um, not telling you what you want to know.”
“Talk to me, dammit.”
“Jack…” Daniel said tiredly. “I’m not in the mood to talk. Just accept it.”
“Nope, not gonna happen as long as you’re acting like this.”
Daniel ground his jaw and looked away. “Why do you do this?”
Jack waited a moment, thinking, then decided to feed Daniel his own ethical advice on relationships. “Secrets harm,” he said, watching Daniel wince. “You said that. You also said that when we have problems, we need to talk about them. I’ve tried to do that, but now here you are–“
“I don’t think you wanna hear it!” Daniel shot back loudly.
“Sonofabitch,” Jack hissed angrily, turning to leave.
Not wanting him to go, Daniel blurted out, “I kissed Jalen.”
Jack stopped and turned slowly back to him. “‘Scuse me?”
Arms still folded, Daniel lifted his chin, preparing to withstand the anger. “Last night. When I went to tell him about the plan. He was excited about the dance and happy about everything, which surprised me, so when he hugged me, I guess I was shocked. But… then he kissed me. And… I kissed him back.”
Jack frowned with confusion, wondering why the hell Daniel hadn’t wanted to tell him, but a second later, he knew why. Daniel figured that he’d be mad. Maybe he should be, but Jack couldn’t muster up the emotion. All he could feel instead was guilt. What had he been thinking about just last night, about Jalen? Taking a deep breath, he sat down on the stool he’d placed next to the laundry bin and crossed his arms.
“Is this why you’re feeling guilty?”
Daniel stared at him, stunned. “Why aren’t you mad?”
“It makes sense that you’d be curious. Jalen looks like Jason, and he’s turned out to be a pretty decent guy, all things considered. You’d have to be pretty dead not to be attracted to him.”
Daniel frowned, completely confused. “I thought you’d be mad.”
“For cryin’ out loud,” Jack said, rolling his eyes. “Would you stop with that already? I’m not mad. In fact, I understand. Hell, you’re not the only one who’s curious.”
Daniel knew he should stop questioning it, but he couldn’t help it. “I don’t get it.”
“There’s nothing to get,” Jack said, scowling. “And if you don’t quit it, I *will* get mad. Is that what you really want? Do you want the old Jack back? Want the possessive asshole?”
“What do you think?” Daniel asked sarcastically.
Smug, Jack sighed, letting that pass for a few long seconds. “So, you kissed him. Now, considering where we were and who Jalen looks like, I can’t blame you. But you were feeling bad before last night, Daniel, so is it Jason?”
“Daniel, so help me, if you don’t tell me what’s wrong…”
As Jack waited for him, Daniel knew the man wouldn’t leave it alone. Once upon a time, he would have. With a deep breath, he gave in. “I’m not angry with him, Jack. I just thought I was fine with his wanting to be with other people.”
“It wasn’t other people, Daniel. It was just Alex.”
“I know, but in my head, it felt like others. If he loves Alex, who else is waiting in the wings?”
“No one, Daniel. And he doesn’t love anyone else. I think you’re getting ‘love’ mixed up with ‘want.'”
“There’s no difference,” Daniel said stubbornly.
“That’s bullshit and you know it is.”
Daniel ground his jaw, knowing he had to meet Jack halfway or the argument would quickly veer out of control. “I know,” he said, staring at the floor. “Maybe I’ve just been missing him. We haven’t been together much over the last month, except last night.”
“I know how you feel,” Jack replied calmly as he got up and went to him. “But you should have seen this coming, Daniel. Your own words are coming back and biting you on the ass.”
“Oh fuck you–“
“Don’t get pissed off at me, Daniel.”
“Stop insulting me, then.”
“I’m not, you’re getting defensive again. I don’t mince words and you know that.”
“Yes, I know that,” Daniel answered as he rubbed his eyes.
“Listen,” Jack said more softly as he placed his hands on Daniel’s shoulders. “You said you were fine with it, but you weren’t. And you still aren’t.”
“Doesn’t it bother you, too?”
Jack shrugged. “Yes, but I agreed with you when you said you can’t hold on to someone who doesn’t want to stay.”
Jason appeared in the doorway, feeling enormous guilt. “Except I do. And I don’t want to be anywhere else.” As his lovers turned to look at him, Jason cleared his throat. “I thought I made that clear, but apparently not.”
He hesitated, not going to them, and Jack raised his brows. “You gonna stand there or get your ass over here?” and seeing Jason’s further hesitation, he lost his patience. “For cryin’ out loud,” and he took a few steps and grabbed Jason’s arm, bringing him over. Jason flushed with further guilt and Daniel couldn’t help but feel it.
“No, stop that,” he said, palming Jason’s cheek, caressing his face. “You did nothing wrong, Jace. This is just another kink we have to work out, that’s all.” Jack snorted and Daniel reached up behind him and gently smacked the back of his head. “Jack, be serious.”
Jason smiled, giving Jack a look that said he’d thought the same thing. “Daniel, don’t be hard on him.” Then a second later, both he and Jack started snickering, finding that comment funny, too.
“Goddammit,” Daniel swore, making his lovers snicker even more. “You two,” he said, worlds of meaning in those two words. He reached up and grabbed them by the side of their necks, pulling them in. “What am I gonna do with you?”
“Better question is, what are we going to do with you?” Jack returned, lifting his head to give Daniel a challenging look.
Daniel gave in and grudgingly showed a smile. “Many things.”
“One of them is this,” Jason said as he leaned in for a kiss that turned hungry. Parting, he grabbed Jack by his collar and kissed him much the same way. “I love you, you know.”
“I hate to break the mood,” Daniel said, flinching, “but given what you were talking about earlier–“
“No, let me say it, Jason. There’s something you need to know.”
Jason shook his head. “No, there isn’t. Jalen told me.”
“Told you what?” Daniel started, not quite sure what Jalen could have said.
Jason stared at Daniel’s lips, then ran his forefinger over them. “About that hot little kiss last night.” Daniel’s eyes widened to saucers and Jason couldn’t help but feel just a bit too smug. “And he tried to take the blame for it, too.”
“Did he now?” Jack said.
Alerted to the sarcastic tone in Jack’s voice, Jason narrowed his eyes at him. “Okay, Daniel told you… and for some reason, you’re not mad. What’re you up to?” Jack’s response was a mischievous grin. “Ah huh. Thought so. I warned Jalen you’d try for payback instead of getting mad.”
“Hot?” Daniel asked suddenly and when his lovers laughed in surprise, he frowned at them. “Yeah, yeah, that’s what I focused on. Shut up.”
Sniggering, Jason looped an arm around Daniel’s neck and nuzzled his face. “Yeah, hot.”
“He did not say that,” Daniel said hopefully, clearing his throat as his hand did a little exploring of Jason’s chest.
“No, but it was obvious after I goaded him.”
“What did you say?” Jack asked, perversely finding the whole thing funny.
“Just asked him if Daniel did that thing with his tongue.”
“Oh god,” Daniel groaned as embarrassment flooded him. He tried to dislodge himself from his lovers but they refused to let him go, and letting out a sigh of frustration, he glanced at Jack, then did a double-take when he caught the man grinning like a smug cat. “What the hell are you grinning about?”
Jack couldn’t help the urge to make light of the situation. Maybe it was wrong, maybe not, but he didn’t really care. All he wanted at that moment was to divert Daniel’s guilt. Grabbing Daniel’s hand, he slowly placed it over his groin and said cheekily, “Kiss me and find out.”
Daniel’s mouth dropped open in shock. “What the… you’re aroused by this?”
“Given who Jalen looks like,” Jack said as he brought Daniel’s hand up to his chest and held it there. “Don’t you think you can be excused?”
“Fine,” Daniel said, growing further annoyed, “but answer my question.” When Jack hesitated, Daniel grimaced and rubbed at his eyes again. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“I’m not exactly going to that twin place,” Jack said, holding up a hand to mollify him. “But seeing you out of sorts is a little…” He looked at Jason for back-up and found it.
“What?” Jason asked when Daniel glared at him. “It is sexy.” When Daniel rolled his eyes at him, Jason cupped his jaw, moving his fingers in a caressing, sensual way. “Don’t tell me that you don’t find it sexy when it’s one of us that’s squirming.”
Daniel couldn’t, and he hated the analogy. “I’m not squirming.”
Jack chuckled, giving up his pretense and earning a dark look from Daniel in the process. “I find it arousing, Daniel, but not because of Jalen. Because of you.” When Daniel’s brow unwrinkled, he added, “And I’m sorry if I had you going, but seriously, if you bought it, making Jalen believe it will be a breeze.” Squeezing between his lovers, he went to the door. “Stay out of sight.”
“Don’t you go too far,” Jason warned, “or it’ll backfire.”
“Oh he’ll be fine,” Jack dismissed.
Jason raised a brow of amusement. “I wasn’t talking about Jalen.”
With a cocky grin, Jack disappeared from the doorway and Daniel shook his head as he and Jason started to follow. “It’ll serve him right if Jalen calls his bluff.”
“And make you feel a little better?” Jason asked.
Daniel stopped and looked at Jason, realizing they’d be alone. “Maybe that’s not it,” he said, pushing him against the wall.
“Um, what’s up?” Jason asked with a surprised smile.
“We’re alone,” he said, staring provocatively at Jason’s lips, then into his eyes. “Wanna know what I discovered about that kiss?”
“What?” Jason asked, tilting his head slightly. Waiting.
“He doesn’t kiss like you.”
“Is that good or bad?” Jason teased.
“Neither, just stating a fact,” Daniel goaded back as he placed his hands on Jason’s hips and leaned forward to kiss him.
When Daniel did that thing with his tongue, Jason’s cock swelled right on cue and he moaned into Daniel’s mouth. Daniel smiled around the kiss and moved his hand down. “What’s this?” he asked, firming his touch.
Intense lust filled Jason and he grabbed Daniel’s ass, pulling him in for a grind. “Just a guess, but I think you’ve got the same problem.”
“So how do we solve it?” Daniel asked as he steered Jason back into the laundry room.
“Guess,” Jason said, closing the door with a familiar look in his eyes.
Daniel opened his jeans with a partly feral smile. “And Jack?”
“I don’t think he needs or wants our help,” Jason answered as he wrapped his fingers around his lover’s warm, stiffening shaft.
A swift rush of pleasure flooded Daniel’s senses, making him shudder. “You have a point,” he said, falling back against the door. A second later, he slid his fingers through Jason’s hair as his lover dropped to his knees and swallowed him whole.
Standing in the threshold of the kitchen, Jack chewed at his lip, torn between joining his lovers or going through with the tease. But as he looked through the dining room and saw Jalen outside, the desire to mess with him was just a bit more inviting. Just this once. He’d have his turn with Jason later, anyway, and he liked prolonging the event. It was like a strange sort of foreplay. Besides, this opportunity with Jalen wasn’t going to present itself again, and with Jason and Daniel occupied, he could do… whatever the hell he wanted.
Fixing two mugs of coffee, Jack carefully considered the setting for his tease and decided on the living room. He set the mugs on the coffee table and went to the back door. “Do you like freezing your balls off?” Jack asked, hating the blast of cold air. “Get your ass in here.”
With wary surprise, Jalen came in and looked around. “Where’s Jason and Daniel?”
“In the laundry room,” was all Jack said, leaving Jalen’s imagination to run riot. “C’mon in the living room, have some coffee, take a load off.”
Still wary, Jalen stepped down into the cozy room as Jack sat down at one end of the couch. He thought about sitting in the chair by the window, but his coffee mug was right next to Jack’s and Jack wasn’t picking it up and offering it to him. He wanted him on the couch?
Jalen knew that he could take Jack in a fight, but there was really no need. If Jack wanted to throttle him, he deserved it. Swallowing, he sat down a few feet away and picked up his mug.
Jack was eyeing him and it made Jalen decidedly uncomfortable. “I’m assuming Daniel told you?”
“Told me what?” Jack asked, sipping his coffee and looking at Jalen over the rim.
Jalen stared at his coffee and suddenly didn’t want it. He set it down and cleared his throat. “About last night.”
“Oh, you mean the kiss,” Jack said, then sighed at the taste of his coffee. “Good stuff, this.” Out of the corner of his eye, he could tell how nervous Jalen was and loved it. Turning and bringing his folded leg onto the couch, he purposely swept his gaze over Jalen’s body and up to his face. “Yeah, he told me.”
Jalen widened his eyes just a little, wondering what the hell that look was about. “And?”
Jack placed his hand on the back of the couch and scooted closer. “I’m thinking I need to find out what I missed.”
Jalen’s eyes widened a lot more. “What?”
“Definitely need to find out,” Jack said, leaning over and forcing Jalen to turn defensively toward him, but he did it so fast that he lost his balance and fell back.
“Are you mad?” Jalen barked in stunned amazement.
Jack moved forward, looming over him. “Why does everyone assume I should be mad?”
“Jack,” Jalen said, laughing nervously. Jack had to be playing with him. Had to be. He couldn’t possibly be serious. “Okay, okay, you’ve had your fun, ha ha, very good,” and he pushed on the couch cushions with one hand, trying to get away, but Jack suddenly grabbed his wrist and pulled, forcing Jalen to yank back. And in doing so, he yanked Jack right on top of him. “Shit!” he said, and rolled out from under him and onto the floor, hitting the coffee table and spilling a bit of coffee in the process as it sloshed out of the mugs. “Okay, that was good, Jack, nicely done. I stand properly punished.”
Jack grinned evilly and shook his head, then quickly pushed off the couch and landed on top of Jalen, straddling his legs while he sought to pin down his hands. “I’m quite serious.”
Stunned by the shock of Jack’s actions, all Jalen could do was lie there, staring, noting how Jack had a good grip of his wrists. “No, you’re not serious, you can’t be.”
Jack smiled, getting a better idea, and abruptly pushed Jalen’s hands over his head, trapping them to the floor. “I am.”
“Jack! Let go,” Jalen demanded, hating the blush of arousal heating up his face and throat.
“You like this,” Jack teased.
“How do you figure that?” Jalen asked.
Jack stared down at him, an inkling of truth coming through as he realized that his teasing words weren’t just a bluff. The feel of the man’s body underneath him was erotically charging and he was suddenly attacked by the same curiosity that Daniel had had. He could definitely understand why Daniel had kissed him back. Still, the urge to mess with the man’s mind was greater than his desire to indulge that curiosity. For the moment, anyway.
Rubbing his crotch against Jalen’s, he said, “You’re fully capable of throwing me off, but you’re not. Why is that?”
Jalen swallowed convulsively and tried to ignore the demanding whispers of want from Camulus. “I don’t want to injure you. Jason would never forgive me.”
“Jason would blame me, not you.”
“No, he wouldn’t,” Jalen replied.
“Did you want this with Daniel?” Jack asked as he leaned down and rubbed just a bit harder.
An electrical shock of desire flooded Jalen as he stared up into those dark eyes and handsome face and all he wanted to do at that moment was spread his legs and raise his knees. The thought made him swallow wrong and he started coughing.
It made Jack smile. “Answer the question.”
“Yes, now let me go,” Jalen answered as he contemplated how likely it was that Jack was serious. If he wasn’t, he was damn good, and Jalen suddenly wondered whether or not to turn the tables.
“Why?” Jack asked, seeing interest in familiar eyes. “We’re just getting started.”
“No, we’re not,” Jalen said as he lifted up and inadvertently rubbed his erection against Jack’s groin. When Jack narrowed his eyes, Jalen groaned, knowing that Jack might have just taken that for an invitation. “I didn’t mean–“
“What did you mean?” Jack asked, noting how Jalen’s pupils had enlarged, along with his cock. He had no intention of letting this go too far, but right now, it was… interesting. “Tell me.”
Jalen still wasn’t willing to turn the tables. Not yet. Jack would give up. He would, soon. Maybe. He stared up at him, hoping that Jack was pushing this game as far as he could and Jalen couldn’t help but ask, how far was far? “What do you want me to say?”
“That you’re turned on,” Jack said, looking up at his grip of Jalen’s hands, then down where their groins were pressed together. “What do you think?”
Jalen started to respond with a smart-assed answer, but then he caught the slight enlargement of Jack’s pupils and a second later felt an obvious stiffening. Whatever Jack had intended, he was being affected by his actions whether he wanted to be or not. Jalen abruptly smiled and relaxed under Jack’s hold, and in doing so, felt a surge of desire run through his body. “I think you’re right.”
Jack stared at the man below him, wondering when he’d fucked up. He was about to push off and end this game when Jalen suddenly freed his hands and grabbed Jack by the side of his head.
“I was thinking,” Jalen whispered, “about how I’d love to feel your cock inside me.” Jack’s eyes widened, making him smile, and Jalen added, “By the way, I’m not playing anymore.” Then he kissed him.
It was hard and passionate and Jack indulged in it, telling himself that it was okay, it was just a kiss, but Jalen’s words sank in and he was beginning to want the same thing. A moment later, they could hear rhythmic thumping against the door of the laundry room accompanied by loud groans. Turned on by it, Jack kissed him harder. But it didn’t last long as his guilt alarm told him enough was enough.
Breaking away and pushing off, Jack licked his lips and kept his eyes averted as he blindly reached for Jalen’s hand. The man grabbed it and Jack hauled him to his feet. As they straightened their clothes, Jalen whispered from behind him.
“A quick, hard fuck sounds good right about now.”
Jack swallowed, accepting his desire for Jalen, but he also knew the source of it. “Yes, it would,” he answered, hearing nothing but silence now from the laundry room.
“Care to drop me off downtown?” Jalen half-joked.
“I got a better idea,” Jack said, and quickly moved to the foyer.
Shaking, Jalen turned away, wishing he hadn’t given in. “Sorry, Jack.”
“Don’t worry about it. Jason warned me and I didn’t listen.”
“Jason did?” Jalen asked with surprise.
Jack smirked as he reached for his jacket and lifted out his cell phone. “Yeah, Jason. Were you expecting Daniel?”
Jack shook his head as he waited for Alex to pick up the phone. “I think he knew you’d call my bluff.”
“Wasn’t much of a bluff in the end,” Jalen noted.
“Just backfired,” Jack said with a deep breath.
“Hey, it’s O’Neill. You busy?”
Alex hesitated. “No, Sir.”
“Relax, it’s off duty.”
“Okay then. What’s going on, Jack?”
“I’ve someone here who would love to see you. Right now. Interested?”
“Is Jalen okay?”
“Fine, Alex, there’s nothing wrong, just needs to be elsewhere right now,” Jack answered, finally looking at Jalen–but from a safer distance. It was easy to see he was on pins and needles but at that moment, Jack didn’t know if it was from what they’d just done or Jalen’s hope that Alex would say yes. Thinking of Jason, and of Janet, Jack suddenly decided that his and Daniel’s little set-up was a bad idea. “Do you have a date or anything later tonight?”
“No,” Alex said slowly. “Jalen and I made a promise not to use each other, Jack.”
“This isn’t the same thing, Alex, trust me. Besides, I think the two of you deserve the distraction, don’t you?”
Alex was quiet, then he sighed and asked, “Where are you? Jason’s?”
“I’ll be there in ten.”
When he hung up, Jalen asked, “Why did you do that?”
“You need him, and if I’m right, he needs you.”
“Maybe,” Jalen said, suddenly annoyed. “Why’d you change your mind?”
“‘Scuse me?” Jack asked, shocked.
“About Janet,” Jalen clarified.
“Oh,” Jack said, clearing his throat. “I thought about how weird it would be between Jason and Fraiser after you left.”
Jalen grimaced as he walked up the short steps and onto the foyer. “Yeah, that would be weird.”
Telling himself he wasn’t avoiding him, Jack walked into the kitchen, wincing as he stepped. “Damn it.”
“Sorry,” Jalen said immediately.
Jack waved off the apology. “Don’t be. I’m flattered, to tell you the truth.” Looking down the hall, he said, “Wait inside till he shows up.”
“Jason will probably want to meet up with you at his place. Call him, so Alex will know he’s there when he drops you off.”
“I will,” Jalen answered, puzzled. He found it a little odd that Jack would just assume that Alex would drop him off, and another time, he might have asked Jack what he meant, but right now? Jalen was in no mood to discuss anything. In fact, the only thing on his mind was wishing Jack would hurry up and leave him alone. “Thanks,” he prompted.
“Right.” More than a bit uncomfortable, Jack turned and headed down the hall as quickly as he could. Opening the door to the laundry room, he found Daniel and Jason buttoning up and closed the door. “Damn, too late,” he said with a strained smile.
“What’s that?” Jason asked as he saw the redness on Jack’s face.
“What do you think?”
“I knew it,” Daniel said. Smug as hell, he moved over and wrapped his arms around Jack’s neck. “Backfired, didn’t it?”
“Daniel,” Jack started to reply, then hissed when Daniel reached down and palmed his cock. “Dammit,” he growled, grabbing Daniel’s hand.
Daniel moved his hand a little, watching Jack’s eyes darken. “Jason, somebody here needs relief.”
Biting his cheek, Jason walked over and grabbed Jack by the belt loop. “Get behind him, Daniel.”
“Um,” Jack started, wondering if he was actually planning on refusing and came to the conclusion that his brain wasn’t working properly. As they worked his jeans and briefs off, he said, “I called Alex.”
On his knees, Jason looked up, right brow arched with surprise. “And?”
“He’s on his way over to pick him up.”
Hands on Jack’s hips, Daniel bent down and licked under Jack’s left ass cheek, working his way toward the center. “Good. Tonight too? He’d work out better than Janet, actually.”
“Yeah, tonight too,” Jack said, flinching when Jason took his cock in hand and began to stroke.
“Spread your legs,” Jason said as he placed one hand on Jack’s inner thigh and gently pressed.
Obeying, Jack inhaled sharply when Daniel reached underneath and took hold of his balls. “Need to call her later.”
“Need to focus now,” Daniel said, stiffening his tongue between Jack’s cheeks to tease the wrinkled hole.
“Agreed,” Jason said, taking the head of Jack’s cock in his mouth.
Jack closed his eyes for a moment, relishing the dual assault on his senses. “Tell me that pounding against the laundry door meant your ass, Daniel, not his?”
“Yeah, it was mine,” Daniel answered as a pleasant shiver ran down his spine. “Why?”
Jack grinned evilly down at Jason. “‘Cause tonight, a certain criminal is going to be the one getting a good pounding.”
“Interrogation is so much fun,” Daniel said, biting his lip as ideas came to him.
Jason pulled back, grinning when Jack tightened his fingers in his hair. “You’ll have to catch me first,” he said before giving Jack exactly what he needed.
Janet put the finishing touches on her make-up, and upon hearing Cassie complaining in her bedroom, rolled her eyes. “What’s wrong now?” she called out.
“Mom, are you sure this doesn’t look stupid?”
“Stop fussing, Cassie, you look better than me,” Janet answered as she tugged on her wig to test its security. With a satisfied smile, she left the bathroom and approached her daughter’s bedroom, feeling a touch wistful. The room was little used now with Cassie off at College. She smiled indulgently, letting her pride fill her. MIT was the perfect place. No other College could have challenged her daughter’s genius.
Cassie stood before her free-standing mirror, pulling at the vest of her costume. Upon seeing Janet, she spun round in surprise. “Holy shit, Mom, you look awesome!” With a sarcastic grin, she added, “It suits you.”
“You’re not too old for a slap,” Janet said with a mock-scowl.
“These are awesome,” she said, taking Janet’s hand to inspect the long, black nails.
“I told you,” Janet teased. “This is what I was getting done at the salon.”
Cassie groaned. “Shoot me next time I say no.”
“Done,” Janet said, then primped her wig, trying not to catch her nails in it. “How’s this look?”
“Better than that dead poodle,” Cassie said, sniggering. “But I liked the Cleo costume. How come you switched again?”
“Even with that black wig, I was reminded way too much of Hathor.”
Cassie made a face. “Fucking Goa’uld bitch just ruined the Goddess for everyone.”
“Cassandra, colorful language is best when used sparingly,” Janet admonished.
“You know I’m right, Mom.”
Janet smiled at her indulgently. “You sound like me. Can’t have that, can we?”
Cassie looked at her admiringly. “I wish I looked as good.”
“Don’t be silly, you look better.”
“That’s a load, Mom,” Cassie said, staring down at herself, then once more in the mirror.
Janet walked around her, returning the admiration. “There’s nothing wrong with it.”
“I dunno, maybe it’s too much.”
“Oh it is not,” Janet corrected firmly. “You look gorgeous.” She then put on an evil, teasing grin. “He’ll like it, that’s for sure.”
Cassie blushed and pretended ignorance. “Who?”
“Who,” Janet snorted and swished out of the room, wishing her fishnet stockings didn’t make that damn noise. “The only reason you’re sticking around and not off with your friends is so that you can show off your navel to Jason and his twin.”
“Mom!” Cassie called back, horror in her voice. “That’s not… I’m getting picked up in half an hour.”
“So it’s a coincidence that you’ll be here when Colonel Coburn and his brother show up?”
Cassie grumbled an answer that made Janet grin in victory. A few seconds later, there was a knock on the door and Janet called out, “Your dates are here!”
“Ha, ha, I’m laughing so much.”
Grinning, Janet smoothed down the sides of her black dress, cupped her breasts once, and went to the door. Opening it, she intended to make a flourishing gesture to invite them in, but froze. Before her were twin outlaws. Jason wore a bowler hat, and on anyone else, it would have looked silly, but not with his costume. He looked more dapper than Jalen, dressed in an 1880s’ suit and long coat, but the black cowboy boots, gun belt, and the shotgun propped on his shoulder destroyed the gentleman.
Jalen, by contrast, looked like an outlaw out of Texas. All dusty brown leather and suede, with a regular cowboy hat and a double gun belt. And then there was the fake bushy mustache placed over his own, though it did look realistic. The more remarkable to Janet, however, was Jason’s fake facial hair, with his full black mustache and the ‘imperial’ on his chin. It made him even more like Jalen than he had been before.
Jason stared back. “I think you stole my line.”
“Howdy, ma’am,” Jalen tweaked the front of his hat as he stared at Janet’s all-black costume. “May I say you look as beautiful as ever?”
“Backatcha, fellas,” Janet said as she recovered quickly–or at least, talking and movement would be preferable to standing there gawking. “C’mon in.”
Jason walked in after his brother, giving Janet a sweeping look. “You really look gorgeous in that,” he said, kissing her cheek.
“Thanks, so do you two,” she said, rubbing her cheek, “and god, that feels real.”
“I stole it off a corpse,” Jason grinned.
“Ew,” Janet grimaced, “you’re disgusting.”
“But you look good. Wait till you see Cassie. Coincidence doesn’t begin to cover it.”
“Yeah? Thought she’d be off already.”
Janet winked. “Had to meet the twin.”
Jalen shot his brother a nasty look. “I’ll bet.”
“Quit it,” Jason replied, still looking Janet over. “Thought you were gonna be Cleo?”
“One word. Hathor.”
Jason cringed. “Point.” Then with another look, he politely bowed. “Elvira suits you much better, Mistress.”
“That’s Mistress of the Dark to you,” Janet grinned, looking both men up and down. “And you are?”
Jason gave her a half-smile. “Dangerous.”
“I know that already,” she leered.
Jason took off his hat and bowed. “Black Bart, at your service, Madam.” Pointing at Jalen, he added, “And this rough-looking prairie whore is Johnny Ringo.”
Jalen swiftly pulled out his pistol and planted it in Jason’s ribs. “Who you calling ‘whore’?”
“Cocksucker?” Jason asked with an evil smirk.
Jalen couldn’t keep the grin off his face as he holstered his gun. “That’ll work.”
“Can the naughty talk, boys,” Janet grinned. “Wait till Cassie leaves.”
“I hear it every day, Mom!” Cassie called from the bedroom.
“Pretend otherwise,” Janet called back.
“So, wanna hit the saloon, pretty lady?” Jalen said, his eyes flicking to Janet’s pushed-up cleavage.
Janet gave him a very threatening look. “I have poison.”
As Jalen started laughing, holding up his hands in surrender, Cassie called out, “Okay, I’m coming out. Anyone who laughs–“
“Cassie, no one will laugh, trust me!” Janet replied, winking at both men.
Cassie walked out of her room and down the hall, coming toward them, but from the looks on Jason’s face, and that of his… holy-shit-amazing-looking twin… she suddenly forgot why they were staring as she stared right back. “Ohmygod. You look just like him.” Then she cringed and shook her head. “Sorry, that was obvious. You two look… wow.”
“That’s what Janet said, and you know,” Jason said, waving a hand at her costume.
Cassie scowled and stopped several feet away, feeling ridiculously insecure. “What?”
She was dressed in black, like Jason, but looked more like a western gunslinger with a few sexy modifications. Her ankle-length coat and three-inch boot heels gave her height, but what added to the effect was the fact that she wore no shirt underneath her black vest and the leather pants were low-cut, showing off her pierced navel. Around her neck was the only piece of clothing that wasn’t black: a wide, frilly choker in the imitation of a white tuxedo shirt with a thin ribbon-tie around the center. Making up the rest of her outfit was a low-slung gun holster, complete with revolver.
“Wow is the word, alright,” Jason breathed. “You look stunning.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” Cassie beamed, then turned around to show herself off. “It’s not too much is it?”
“Hell, no,” Jason replied.
Jalen diplomatically winked at Janet. “Like mother, like daughter.”
“Suck-up,” Janet snickered.
“Cassie,” Jason said, remembering the manners finally. “This is my brother, Jalen, and his symbiote Camulus.”
“Howdy, Ma’am,” Jalen said as he removed his hat and bowed. “From both of us. Tell me you’re not the law.”
“I might be,” Cassie said, opening the lapel of her coat to reveal a badge that said US Marshal. “Johnny Ringo, is it?” she asked, and with lightning-fast reflexes, she withdrew the pistol from her holster and pushed the muzzle under his chin, forcing him to put up his hands and slowly straighten up. “Be thankful I’m out of my jurisdiction, partner,” she said.
“I’m not so sure, ma’am,” Jalen said with a flirtatious smile.
“You want me to take you in?”
“Cassie,” Janet said, covering her eyes. “This is what happens when she hangs around a certain Colonel.”
Jason chuckled and took her hand from her face. “Give her some room,” he whispered and Janet’s reaction was a rude snort.
“I think that’s enough, Cass,” she said impatiently.
“I’m just having a bit of fun,” Cassie replied defensively as she put her gun away.
Janet sighed. “Tell me that gun isn’t real.”
“Felt real to me,” Jalen said, rubbing the underside of his chin.
“Let me see,” Jason asked, smirking at Jalen. As Cassie held it up and opened the revolver, showing that the cartridge chambers were empty, he nodded. “Yeah, it’s real.”
“Don’t you dare–“
“Janet, it’s fine,” Jason said quickly. “I recognize the gun. And Jack wouldn’t have lent it to her if there were bullets available for it.”
“Jack?” Janet asked, eyes wide.
He grinned. “That’s his antique Colt.” And with a respectful look at Cassie, added, “He must really trust you.”
Cassie nodded with a touch of smugness. “Unlike some people.”
“Cassie,” Janet warned.
“I’m just sayin’,” Cassie replied, sounding even more like Jack.
“God help me,” Janet mumbled and turned on her heel, heading for the kitchen. “I’ll pay him back.”
“Mom, there’re no bullets,” Cassie said, following.
“It’s a gun, Cassie.”
“Janet,” Jason said, intervening. “It’s a special model. She’d have to go to a special gunsmith to get the bullets made. Trust me, it’s safe.”
“Swear?” Janet asked, pausing as she took out an ice tray from the freezer.
“I just did.”
With another grumble, she pointed at Cassie. “Be careful with it. Someone could see it and decide to steal it.”
“Not with my skills, Mom.”
“Okay, okay, I promise.”
Janet sighed, and gestured at her guests. “You guys have time for a mild drink or are we heading out right away?”
Jason checked his watch. “It’s almost 7. We have time yet.” Turning to Cassie, he gave her a very dangerous smile. “When’s your date picking you up?”
“My friends are picking me up, Jason, and don’t you even think about it.” Laughing, Jason sat down at the end of the kitchen table as Cassie walked over to Jalen, peering intently at his face. “That real?” she asked, pointing at his mustache.
“Not exactly,” he said, petting it. “It’s sitting over a real one though,” and he stroked his goatee. “My mustache wasn’t thick enough for the costume, so I got another one.”
“It doesn’t match,” she said, shaking her head.
“What?” he asked in surprise. “How? The color’s the same.”
“Your goatee is thin but your mustache looks like you wrestled a walrus for it.”
“Cassie,” Janet said as she and Jason burst out laughing.
“Mom, I can’t believe you didn’t tell him that.”
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me that, either,” Jalen said, scowling at Jason.
“What? I thought that was the look you were going for.”
Cassie rolled her eyes. “Men.”
Janet giggled and tried to cover it up. “Okay, seriously. Cassie’s right. Your real mustache is good enough. The costume takes care of the rest.”
“Okay, fine,” Jalen said, “so may I use the bathroom?”
“No, stay there, let me,” Janet said, wetting a tea towel under the tap. “Unless you’ve stupidly glued the damn thing on with something other than make-up glue?”
Jalen laughed. “Not that stupid, Mistress.”
“He knows his place,” Cassie snickered.
“What exactly are those people teaching you at MIT?” Janet asked as she reached up and carefully pried loose the false mustache.
“Brainy stuff, Mom, I swear.”
“Ah huh,” Janet repeated. After wiping down Jalen’s real mustache, she made a face. “You’re gonna have to wash your face.”
“But this was more fun,” Jalen said, staring down at her.
“Scoundrel indeed,” Janet glared back.
When she snickered, Cassie jumped on the chance to tease her Mom. “You’re flirting, Mom. Chris would never forgive you.”
“Chris?” Jason asked conspiratorially. “Who’s Chris?”
“No one you know,” Janet evaded, “and this kind of flirting is harmless, Cassie. Remember that. First boy to tell you otherwise? Dump his ass.”
“Check,” Cassie said, looking as if she’d heard that particular mantra for the thousandth time.
“She’s right,” Jason put in.
“Oh brother,” Cassie sighed. “I already know this stuff.”
“Except you’re nearly twenty, Cassie,” Jason said soberly, “which, no offense, makes you a novice where life experience is concerned. Listen to us old folk.”
Cassie was about to retort with something nasty, but the honk from a car interrupted her. Turning around in a sudden burst of energy, Cassie yelled, “Gotta go!” She kissed Janet on the cheek and grabbed her purse off the table. “Bye, Mom. Bye, old man. See ya later.”
“Be safe, honey,” Janet called after her.
“Promise!” she yelled, and the door slammed behind her.
Jalen appeared in the kitchen entrance, wiping his face dry. “Done,” he said, and tossed Jason the towel.
“Cassie and Jan are right, Jalen. It’s looks better without the walrus.”
Jalen smirked at them. “Yeah, I know. So,” and with a look at the front door, he asked, “Shall we follow her lead and get the hell out of Dodge?”
On their way out to their cars, Jason lowered his voice and asked, “Mad or grateful about the change in plans?”
Janet glanced in Jalen’s direction as she reached her car, a strange smile on her face that neither man could interpret, or would want to. Jason smirked at his brother and unlocked the doors to the truck. “Guess that answers that question.”
“I’m not sure,” Jalen said, getting into the truck, “but I think I’ve just been insulted.”
“Alex will make you forget all about it, I’m sure,” Jason snickered.
Pressed up against the front door, Daniel tightened his fists in Jack’s suede shirt, remembering with reluctance where they were supposed to be going. “Jack.”
“Screw ’em, let’s stay home,” Jack murmured.
“And Jason?” Daniel asked.
Jack growled and pushed himself away. “Next year, he’s staying with us. Just in case.”
Daniel smiled as he touched his mouth and chin, the skin just a bit warm from Jack’s stubble. He hadn’t shaved either, so he hoped Jack’s face felt just as roughened. “Should’ve shaved. Being in costume has its limits.”
Jack rubbed at his own stubble. “What, you don’t like this against soft, sensitive thighs?”
Daniel pointed a finger at him. “You want my stubble against your thighs?”
Jack threw him one of those grins. “It hurts so good though.”
Daniel groaned and yanked open the door to get outside before Jack could tease him again. Behind him, Jack tossed his keys in the air, a smug smile on his face.
“We’re gonna have fun,” Jack said, rounding the truck, “but we’d have even more fun if you let us get in a quickie before the party.”
Daniel looked over his shoulder as he reached the passenger door of the truck. “A few hours of foreplay is better.”
“Yeah, right,” Jack replied disbelievingly as he pressed his remote and unlocked the truck doors.
Getting in, Daniel quickly thought up a comeback as Jack started up the truck. “I’ll make you a promise,” he said, buckling up.
Jack put the truck in gear as he tried to head off whatever comment Daniel had in mind to derail him. “No need. I already know what’ll happen later.”
“But not how,” Daniel replied.
“I know that, too.”
Daniel grinned. “No you don’t.”
“Yes, I do.”
“Well, what if, on the way home, you pulled into some dark secluded spot, yanked my trousers down, and made me bite a hole in the upholstery?”
Just the thought had Jack silent, and planning, till they arrived at the club. Pulling into the parking lot across the street, he shot Daniel a dirty look. “You realize you’re doomed, don’t you?”
Daniel grinned as he got out of the truck. “I’m not the only one.” As they walked across the street, he couldn’t help but wonder what Jason would look like. “I hope he wore leather tonight.”
“Me too,” Jack said as he looked around, liking this site much better than last year. No stuffy ballroom shit. This time, they had a perfect place for a Halloween bash. The club building was shrouded in fir trees, apart from its roof and the heavy, wooden doors, and inside held a single-story restaurant above ground. Below ground, however, was where the nightclub was, a place large enough to cater to a few hundred people but decorated so that it made you feel comfortable and safe. Providing the patrons behaved themselves.
Supposedly scary cats, ghosts and bats decorated the orange awning as they walked underneath, but Jack and Daniel had a much bigger smile for the woman standing behind a podium just inside the foyer. Dressed in a leopard suit, complete with cat ears and tail, Nurse Anders gave them a welcome smile as they entered.
“Evening, sirs,” she said warmly.
“Evenin’ ma’am,” Jack said, pinching the brim of his hat before pointing at her furry outfit. “That keeping you warm?”
“Close the doors then, Lieutenant. You may have gotten stuck with the sign-in duty, but that doesn’t mean you need to freeze your tail off.”
“I’ll be fine, sir, thanks,” she sniggered, checking off their names on her clipboard. “Colonel Coburn asked me to tell you that he and his brother are already here.”
“Great, thank you,” Jack replied. “What’s the downstairs look like?”
“My girlfriend says it looks smashing, sir.”
“You haven’t seen it?” Daniel asked.
“Just that entrance, Doctor Jackson, but I’ll be relieved at ten o’clock, so I’ll find out then. Have a good time.”
“Thanks, see you later,” Daniel said as Jack touched his hat again.
Thirty feet to their right was a dark doorway and just inside sat a large, glowing jack o’lantern. Beside it, propped against the wall, was a sign with yellow glow-in-the-dark lettering that read, “Private Dungeon” and an arrow pointing to the lower left. Smoke or fog seeped around it and along the floor.
“Guess this is the place,” Daniel said as they walked in. A broad, winding staircase sat to the left of the door and they followed it down, impressed by the round recessed lights that illuminated the way. Popular music filtered up from below and became louder the moment they turned a bend and the staircase opened up into the club.
At the bottom of the stairs and directly to the left was the club’s bar. It stretched half the length of the room and in front of the bar were dozens of decorated tables, half of which were empty. Ahead of the tables was a space for the dance floor and beyond that, the stage. Normally used by the House Band, they had a Disc Jockey instead, and from what Jack could see, the DJ had a sense of humor. The entire stage was a make-shift cage. Jack grinned, nudging Daniel to have a look. Inside the cage, the DJ was dressed in an old-fashioned prison uniform, including the hat.
“That our DJ?” Daniel asked.
Daniel squinted, having purposely left his glasses and contacts at home. “I can’t make out who it is.”
Jack shook his head. “Lighting’s pretty subdued in here. Let’s go have a look, make sure he’s one of ours.”
They walked between the sea of tables and halfway through the room, movement to their left caught Daniel’s attention and he looked over and caught sight of two familiar forms standing at the right end of the bar. “Oh my god.”
Jack had been looking at a particularly fetching devil costume to his right when Daniel’s voice caught his attention. “What?” he asked as Daniel brought them to a stop. Looking where Daniel pointed, he felt a familiar warmth crawl around base of his cock as he looked at Jason–and the hair on his face. He swallowed and tried to think of something clever. “Well, that’s um…”
Daniel cleared his throat and muttered, “Tell my dick to stand down, will you?”
“You’re on your own, pal,” Jack said, chewing at his lip. “Mine’s too busy.”
“Picturing someone tied to a rack in the backseat of a certain truck?”
Jack clenched his jaw. “You’re cruising, Jackson.”
“Yeah, yeah, make me suffer later,” Daniel said, not taking his eyes off Jason.
“C’mon, bondage boy, let’s go say hi and make a few arrests.”
“Can’t arrest them now,” Daniel said as they strode toward the bar. On the way, they were held up by saying hello to everyone else in their path and Daniel started to feel both annoyed and guilty. He didn’t want to talk to them, he wanted to get to Jason. Several yards away, his handsome quarry still hadn’t spotted him and Daniel motioned to Jack as he took a step in his direction, but a firm hand grabbed their arms and stopped them both.
Jack turned to face whoever it was, and ended up smiling in surprise. “Hot damn,” he said, gawking.
Janet placed a hand on one hip and pointed a long-nailed finger at him. “Well, howdy, Marshal.”
“Ma’am,” Jack answered, taking her hand and kissing it as he grinned as charmingly as he could.
Janet pulled her hand away and looked at Daniel. “Always the smoothie.”
“One of them, anyway,” Daniel said drily as he bent to kiss her on the cheek. “You look stunning.”
“Thank you, sir,” Janet answered. She thought about starting an argument about the gun but she’d already reminded herself that Jack would not have put Cassie at risk, not in a million years. But sooner or later, she’d pay Jack back for giving her the scare. Just because. Focusing on what they were wearing, with their brown leather and suede and long tan coats, she gestured at the bar. “You two look as nice as your matching outlaws. Do y’all come as a set?”
“Funny,” Jack smirked. “We were just on our way over, debating whether or not to make an arrest.”
“They’ll put up a fight,” Janet warned.
“Probably,” Jack said, grinning evilly. “How long have you been here?”
“Since 7:30 or so. Not long.” Then she leaned in and whispered, “Have you seen Major Wagner yet?”
“No,” Jack drawled as Daniel started looking around.
“I think Johnny Ringo will have his hands full,” she replied, abruptly giggling.
“What have you been drinking?” Daniel grinned.
“A Piña Colada that would get half the people in Mexico hammered. The bartenders are going above and beyond.”
Daniel lifted his brows as Jack said, “Atta boys.”
Janet lifted an eyebrow. “What? Did you instruct them to do that?”
Jack nodded. “In the request, last week, when Hammond and I were going over the staffing for the party.”
“Atta boy,” Janet said, patting his arm, then added with a quick afterthought, “Sir.”
“Ranks are off tonight, Doc.”
“Then so’s the title, Jack.”
“Janet,” Jack obliged.
“So, what’s Alex dressed as?” Daniel asked, still looking around.
Janet smiled. “I’ll give you a hint. He’s wearing a mask.”
“That’s not a hint,” Daniel said, pointing at others wearing all sorts of masks.
She paused, thinking about it, then looked over at the bar and saw one face frozen, staring in their direction. “Don’t look now, but I think you’ve been spotted.” She turned away and spotted a few people herself. “Excuse me, gentlemen.”
“Janet, the hint?” Daniel called after her.
“Last letter of the alphabet,” she said, waving.
“Z,” Daniel mused, then forgot all about ‘Z’ as he and Jack resumed their hunt. “Jalen looks nice,” he commented, earning himself a dirty look. “What?”
“Two can play that game,” Jack warned.
Daniel pursed his lips, trying not to laugh. “But which game?” he said as they neared their quarry.
Jason watched them approach, taking deep, slow breaths.
“What’re you doing?” Jalen whispered.
“Trying very much not to lose what little mammalian brain I have left.”
Jalen started laughing, ending it with a pig snort. “Now why would you want that?” he asked as he looked around the room. “I thought the whole point of…” he started to add, but he caught a man in black looking directly at him from the middle of the room. He could just see the wisps of blond hair under the black bandana. “I was wondering what he’d be wearing.”
Jason looked away from his lovers and spotted the man Jalen was staring at. Alex. Smiling, he nudged his brother. “Go get him, Johnny.”
As Jalen started toward Alex, Jack and Daniel arrived and reached out in time to grab Jason’s brother and keep him from going anywhere. Yet.
“Where’s the fire?” Jack asked.
Jalen smiled dangerously, matching the one on Jack’s face. “I have a date with a blade,” he said, “and you’ll let me go, Marshal.”
Jack let out a laugh. “Why would I want to do that?”
Jalen removed his hat and threaded a hand through his hair before taking a step to close the distance between them. “If you don’t, I may just lose my composure,” he said, looking everywhere but at Jack.
“Go ahead,” Jack answered, looking nowhere except at Jalen.
Jalen finally looked Jack in the eye and added, “You have no idea what I mean, Marshal.”
“Gonna draw on me?”
“No drawing,” Jalen replied.
“Sketch, doodle, play tic tac toe on my forehead?” Jack asked, grinning impishly.
Jalen stared back at him, tempted to close the distance even more. “I’ll slide my hand around your waist, and make you back off so no one would know that’s something you wouldn’t mind.”
“Behave,” Jason warned.
“He’s not,” Jalen answered without taking his eyes from Jack’s.
“Now who’s bluffing?” Jack asked, calculating just how likely it was Jalen would dare do such a thing.
“I’m not. I’m a gay cowboy,” Jalen offered, smiling fiendishly.
“I thought you were Johnny Ringo,” Jack countered.
Jalen’s smile widened. “Who’s to say he wasn’t gay?”
Jack considered the odds of Jalen’s threat and decided that two could play at that game. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Oh no you don’t,” Jason snickered, pulling Jalen away and shoving him in Alex’s direction. “Go, play with Zorro.”
“If he changes his mind,” Jalen said, twirling his hat, “he knows where to find me. At least for a little while.”
Jack watched Jalen walk away, then turned to Jason. “He wouldn’t have. Would he?”
Jason shook his head. “I wasn’t taking any chances.”
“I’m impressed though,” Jack said, looking at Jalen again as he met up with Alex. Staring at Alex, he looking away, chuckling.
“What’s funny?” Daniel asked, trying to look for whatever made Jack laugh.
“Zorro, the gay blade,” Jack said, still sniggering.
Jason tried not to laugh but he found it impossible. It really was funny, in a dark sort of way. He cleared his throat to stop laughing and downed the shot of whiskey sitting next to his beer. “Cheers.”
Daniel grinned and leaned against the bar next to him. “So, Bart, you gay too or just your side-kick?”
Jason sniffed. “I believe that’s none of your business, Marshal.”
“Oh, we’ll make it our business, eventually,” Jack said as he moved to Jason’s other side. “You know, we should arrest you right here for all those jobs you pulled, but I don’t want to make a scene.”
“Not in front of all the ladies,” Jason answered. “Tell you what. I’ll buy you gentlemen a few beers, then we can take this outside.”
“Deal,” Jack agreed. Turning round, he signaled to the bartender and was wondering how long they’d be able to make a few beers last when he was tapped on the shoulder. “What?”
“Oh my fucking god,” Jason whispered.
“I second that,” Daniel said.
Jack turned to find out what they were talking about, and expected to find someone wearing something hideous. He smiled widely as he found Sergeant Cari Caruthers instead, standing before them in a blue and pink 17th century silk gown, her hair elegantly styled and ribboned.
“Well, howdy, ma’am,” he said, tweaking his hat.
“Excuse me, Monsieur,” she said to Jack in an attempt at a French accent. “Have we been introduced?”
She held out her hand. “Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Monsieur.”
“Charmed,” Jack said, taking her hand and kissing it. “Madame De Pompadour?”
“Oui. You have heard of me?” she asked.
“Everyone has,” Jack said.
“How kind of you. But I’ve never met an American lawman before.”
“And I’ve never met a fine lady such as yourself.”
“Would you care to escort me to the dance floor?”
At the moment, the music was slow and Jack grinned at her, extending an elbow for her to take. “Why ma’am, I believe they’re playing our song.” He grinned and tweaked his hat at Daniel and Jason. “Gentlemen.” He led her up the side of the room, away from the bustle of the increasingly busy room, and out on to the dance floor.
Jason stared after them, dumbstruck. “That’s some dress.”
“Oh yeah,” Daniel said, watching them.
“I wonder if Alex has seen her yet. He’ll fall over himself.”
Daniel snorted. “Maybe that’s what Cari’s hoping for?”
“No, Daniel, I don’t think so,” Jason said with a shake of his head. “She never said anything about getting back together with Alex, although Jalen’s suggested that they do.”
“No, to me.”
Daniel looked around the room, trying to find Zorro, and saw him sitting down with his back to the dance floor. “Doesn’t look as if he’s seen her yet. Think maybe she’s rubbing his nose in it?”
“Not on purpose. Cari doesn’t operate that way. Besides, those two never had a break-up, Daniel. They just parted ways.”
“Sort of. She let him go.”
Jason nodded as he watched her dance with Jack. “Don’t they make a handsome pair,” he remarked, and inevitably, some insecure thoughts surfaced, bringing with them a question he’d never considered asking till now. “Can I ask you a question, Daniel?”
“Jason, you don’t need to ask,” Daniel chided.
“Sorry, it’s just…” He took a breath, frowning as he stared at Jack, then turned back to Daniel. “Do you… do you miss being with a woman? Does Jack?”
Daniel blinked, staring at him. “What brought this on?”
“Watching them,” he said, gesturing at Jack and Cari. “Makes me wonder sometimes. I’ve only ever been drawn to one gender, so I don’t get bisexuality. I can appreciate women but I’ll never feel desire for them.” He paused, watching Daniel’s expression carefully. When Daniel didn’t interrupt him, Jason wasn’t sure if that was good or bad.
“Do you ever miss them? I mean, do you ever look at a woman and want her, but don’t pursue them because you’re in a relationship with me and Jack? There’s Adriann, of course, and then we have our odd trysts now and then with other people, but they’ve always been with men. Do you ever think about being with a woman again? Or do you–“
Daniel held up his hand, stopping Jason’s questioning. He’d been waiting for the day when Jason would question his bisexual needs and wished now that Jason had never thought to ask. “Is this about you thinking I’m unhappy?”
“Maybe,” Jason said, embarrassed.
“Well, first of all, I’m not unhappy. I get worried that you are, that maybe Alex means you are.”
Jason shook his head resolutely. “No, Daniel. I’m happy with you, happy with Jack, and I love you both more than my life. I can’t bear the thought of losing you again and…” He swallowed and stared into his beer glass.
“You never lost us,” Daniel told him. “But I can see why you think you did. Your feelings for Alex, however, worried me for a while. I mean, it’s one thing to have an affair. I get that. The need to change things, spice things up. It only makes you appreciate what you have already. Adriann does that for me.” Daniel took a deep breath, shaking his head when Jason started to respond. “I’m not worried about your feelings, Jason, but I was. I know you love me. It’s just that every once in a while, I’ll need to be reminded that you’re happy with me, okay?”
“Okay,” Jason replied, blowing out a breath.
“Second, answering your question, yeah, I’m still turned on by women.” He frowned in concentration then, remembering his past. “But the thing is, I don’t have any plans to be with a woman again. I don’t really have a good track record where they’re concerned. Makes me think I’m bad luck.”
“You are not bad luck.”
“Well, whatever it is, all I know is that I have a bad history where they’re concerned. My relationships with women never seem to…”
“But you loved Shau’re,” Jason said, trying to understand what Daniel was saying.
“Yes, I did, still do, but that’s different and I don’t think it’s the issue here. I’ve never actually gone after a woman I wanted, Jason. They’ve always hunted me down instead. You know how oblivious I can be when working?”
Jason grinned at him knowingly. “A little.”
Daniel bit at his lip and smirked. “No sarcasm, Jason.” Jason held up both hands, shaking his head. “Anyway, the point is that I’m not really comfortable with women because of my track record. I don’t know if I ever will be, but more to the point, you don’t need to worry.”
Jason shook his head. “I’m not. I was just wondering how happy you’d be if you were never with a woman again.” When Daniel frowned at him, he added, “I’m not pushing you and I’m not even suggesting it.” He made a face that made Daniel laugh and Jason returned the slap on the knee. “Stop it. I was thinking about making you happy is all. And Jack.”
Daniel’s grin turned into a full-blown smile. “And you wonder if I love you?”
“That, Jason,” Daniel pointed, “is one of the reasons.”
“What?” Jason asked, knowing full well what Daniel meant. He looked away so he wouldn’t get caught gazing like a love-struck idiot.
Daniel leaned in and whispered, “Jack loves you, too, you know. And it won’t ever change. As for him wanting to be with a woman, you’ll have to ask, but I don’t think you have anything to worry about.”
“Haven’t you ever wondered?”
“Nope,” Daniel said, shaking his head. “I know his feelings. He still cares about Sara, but you know him. He lives for the present and future, not the past. And that means us.”
“I hope so.”
Daniel sighed, resisting the urge to smack him. “Do you feel a little better?”
Jason nodded. “Still don’t get why you’d want to be with a woman, but that’s not what I asked.”
“And I’m very glad,” Daniel answered with a secretive smile. “Now, about Alex.”
Jason lifted a brow. “What about Alex?”
“He’s not your problem to solve.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Just that I think you feel guilty about his splitting up with Cari. You’re not to blame, and you need to let him handle it.”
“I wasn’t planning on interfering, Daniel,” Jason said irritably.
“I know you, Jason,” Daniel sing-songed. “You can’t help yourself sometimes.” At the annoyed look on Jason’s face, Daniel chuckled. “And it’s another reason I love you. But I’m just saying.”
Wanting to agree, Jason suddenly grimaced instead.
“What?” Daniel asked.
“I just realized that this really isn’t the best place to talk. Sorry about that.”
“Don’t be silly.”
“Think I’ll blame it on my lizard brain taking over my higher brain functions.”
Daniel smiled indulgently, loving how Jason could actually forget that they couldn’t act normally. He leaned in to whisper in his ear. “I love you, you know.”
Jason started to smile, then covered it up for anyone who might be watching. “Me, too.”
“And I have a question for you.”
Jason gave him a puzzled look. “Go ahead.”
“It’s serious, Jason,” Daniel said, his expression turning solemn.
Jason’s eyes widened. “What? What’s the matter?”
Pressing his lips together, Daniel took a deep breath, then asked, “Do you really have higher brain functions?”
Jason sat back, staring at him as nothing registered. Till Daniel smiled. Without thinking, Jason struck out and hit him in the shoulder. “Asshole.” Daniel started laughing and Jason hit him again. “Bastard, had me going!”
“You are so easy,” Daniel grinned, easing off from his laughter. He noted that Jack was now milling around the room with his famous courtesan and decided to do the same with his bandit. Standing, he took Jason’s arm. “C’mon, prisoner, let’s go mill about.”
“Prisoner?” Jason argued. “You haven’t arrested me.”
“I’ll get to that.”
“I know my rights.”
“Sure, you have the right to get into trouble and I have the right to nail you for it.”
Jason gave Daniel a nasty grin. “In that case, I’m getting into as much trouble as I can.”
“Yeah? Like what?” Daniel asked as he started to veer toward Al and Connor who were dressed as officers from the Civil War. Al was in grey; Connor, dressed in blue.
Jason waited till Daniel raised his hand to take a drink from his glass, then leaned in and whispered, “Trouble lies between your legs.”
Daniel choked, letting go of Jason’s arm, and glared at him as Jason grinned in victory. “Keep it coming, wise-ass.”
Jason grinned around his glass as he took a drink and turned his attention to his teammates as they reached their table. “Look, Marshal, a pair of idiots.”
Al and Connor stood up as they took in Daniel and Jason’s costumes. “Howdy, Marshal,” Al said, hooking a thumb into his sword belt.
“Marshal,” Connor echoed, giving Jason a dirty look.
“Evening, boys,” Daniel replied. “How’re you two faring with the war being over?”
“The lad here’s a trifle confused, but we’re managing,” Al replied in a pretty good southern accent.
“Boy’s had a head wound that’s never healed. Pay no attention,” Connor replied.
“Speak for yourself,” Al snapped back.
“So who’s this?” Connor asked, looking Jason up and down.
“Watch where those eyes go, mister,” Jason said with a dangerous smile. “One might think you’re interested.”
When Al and Connor looked around to see who’d overheard, Jason started laughing. “You two are so easy.”
“Don’t let him bother you, gentlemen,” Daniel said, slapping Jason in the chest. “It’s a tactic.”
“What kind of tactic?” Connor asked.
“Diversionary, young sir,” Jason answered pompously.
“He your prisoner?” Connor asked Daniel.
“Not yet,” Jason sniffed. “And he wouldn’t dare arrest me in a room filled with… possible casualties.”
“Gentlemen, meet Black Bart,” Daniel said with an affectation of boredom. “Been on his trail for years, but trust me when I say he’s not getting away this time.”
Al and Connor tried not to grin at the innuendo but gave in. Both of them had an idea of what kind of night it was going to be for Daniel and Jason, and Connor coughed into his hand as images came to him.
“You eat something not to your liking?” Jason asked, brow arching.
Al plopped down in his chair, laughing at Connor’s open-mouthed response and Connor kicked his boot, which only made Al laugh even more. “Not anything you’d even have a passing familiarity with,” Connor answered, sitting down next to his laughing teammate.
“My, my, all this testosterone,” Cari said, placing her hands on Daniel and Jason’s arms as she parted them aside to give her room. She kept her hands on their arms, sliding them up and down, and smiled luxuriantly. “Positively intoxicating,” she purred.
“Ma’am,” Connor said, taking off his hat and rising, with Al doing the same.
“Gentlemen,” she said with a smile.
“Where’s…” Daniel started as he looked around, then saw Jack walking toward them with a beer in one hand and a martini glass in the other, filled with a red liquid. “I see she’s got you fetching already,” he smirked.
Reaching over Cari’s shoulder, Jack ignored Daniel as he handed her the drink. “Your beverage, Madam.”
Cari took it as she slid her hand around Jason’s arm. “Thank you, kind sir.”
“So,” she said, giving Jason a sultry look as she sipped her drink. “Marshal O’Neill says you’re a criminal.”
Jason crooked his arm and placed his free hand over hers. “I’m a lot of things, pretty lady.” Beside him, Jack and Daniel rolled their eyes and moved to the table to sit down, leaving a chair empty between them.
“Would you care to tell me?” Cari asked, then looked around the table before giving Jason her attention again.
“I think it is you who could tell me a thing or two.”
“Or two,” she answered, sipping again.
Jason smiled at her, loving how she’d done her simple make-up and hair to match the period dress. “I’m afraid I’m scandalously close to kissing you, right here in front of everyone.”
“Oh brother,” Daniel said, still with the air of boredom, but inside, part of him was having fun watching Jason flirt. But after their talk, another part of him ached at Jason’s behavior. He was playing it straight for the crowd yet again.
“Have you ever kissed a woman before?” she asked.
Al and Connor started laughing and Jason ignored them, glancing at Daniel and Jack instead, finding expectant looks on their faces. “A few,” he answered, getting Cari to giggle.
“Among other things, I’m sure,” she said, withdrawing her hand to reach up and gently pinch his chin and the tiny goatee there. “Is that what this is for?”
Jason took her hand and kissed her wrist, keeping his eyes on hers. “I can show you, if you like.”
“How bold you are,” Cari blushed, taking her hand back. Her eyes shifted suddenly as she caught sight of Alex and Jalen talking to Janet. “Excuse me, gentlemen.”
The men sitting down craned their necks to watch her as she left and Jason shook his head as he sat down between Jack and Daniel, feeling strangely unsettled. Sometimes, he knew he went too far but he couldn’t help it where Cari was concerned. She always goaded him way too easily.
“What’s the matter, Bart?” Jack asked, gearing up for a major tease. “Too much woman for you?”
Jason took a sip from his beer as he gave Jack a long, measuring look. His teammates tried to hide their smiles behind their beer glasses but Jason ignored them, keeping his attention on Jack and Daniel. “Nope. I’m too much man for her.”
Knowing Jason as he did, Al couldn’t miss how uncomfortable the man suddenly was and decided to change the subject. “So, Bart, are you aware that you’re sitting between two federal marshals?”
Jason looked at his lovers and decided that now was the time to start their little game for real. “So I am.” Relaxing back in his chair, he drank his beer, pretending to be bored. Though he had a feeling that the guys were just waiting for him to run. They weren’t about to stop him, either. Downing the last bit of beer, he looked over and found that neither Jack nor Daniel were watching him. On purpose? Probably, he thought. Without further thought, he smoothly got up and moved several steps past the table. “But not anymore.”
Daniel and Jack moved as one as they stood up slowly, one hand on their gun belts, and the pouch containing the handcuffs. “Don’t even think about it,” Jack told him.
“It would only cause more trouble for you,” Daniel added. “See you guys later,” he said to Al and Connor as both he and Jack took a step toward Jason.
“Good luck,” Al said, getting a guffaw from Connor.
Ignoring them, Jason stepped back again and took his eyes off his lovers for a second as he maneuvered between two nearby tables. With a quick escape route planned, he returned his attention to Jack and Daniel.
“I live for trouble,” he said, and when Cari started to walk past him, giving him a quick look of surprise, Jason decided it was time to improvise. Otherwise, they’d be too close and the chase too damn easy. This needed to be a little challenging. Grabbing Cari around the waist, he pulled his gun and pushed the muzzle against the side of her breast, all the while moving them backward. “Everyone out of the way,” he yelled behind him. “I’ve got a hostage!”
“What do you think you’re doing, sir?” she said in character, trying to remove his arm.
“Go with it,” he whispered in her ear, keeping his eye on Jack and Daniel.
“You’re a bad boy, Jason,” she whispered back. “No wonder I love you.”
Jason grinned. “My kind of woman.”
“Don’t I wish,” she snorted, then raised her voice. “This is no way for a gentleman to act.”
“I’m not a gentleman,” he said, glad that there weren’t many people behind them as he drew closer to the stairs.
“You hurt the lady, and you’ll die slowly,” Daniel said as he and Jack aimed their guns at him.
“Let her go,” Jack ordered. From the corner of his eye, he could see people staring and smiling as they watched the impromptu play before them. They probably thought the whole thing was staged. If they only knew the real reason for it.
“Stop coming after me and I will,” Jason shot back.
“Let her go and we’ll talk about it,” Daniel commanded.
“I do not think so, sir. You are no more an honest man than I am.”
“But I’m a better shot,” Jack said, narrowing his eyes as he aimed his pistol.
Jason took his cue. “Time to go, my lady,” he said before stealing a hard kiss from Cari, taking her and everyone else by surprise, including his lovers. Then he let her go and dashed between tables. Jack and Daniel ran after him and around them came whistles and cheers as people encouraged them for more.
Obliging them, Jason turned over empty chairs, leaving them in his wake, making Daniel and Jack either jump over them or move around, which effectively slowed them down. He bolted up the stairs, yelling, “Excuse me, please!”
Out into the lobby, he ran past Nurse Anders, who grinned at him. “Someone on your tail?”
Jason only smiled, but the moment he left the building, he came to a halt, mumbling, “I hope so,” as he looked behind him. Jack and Daniel quickly appeared and he took off again, sprinting across the street. He wondered just where he should go and looked to his right. A plotted section of woods, left as landscaping decoration. It contained a small cluster of trees, interspersed with turf and bushes–and the ground was currently carpeted with yellow and red leaves.
In other words, soft landing material. Jason took off, and as he ran, part of him wanted to get away, to make them work for it, but a bigger part wanted to be caught, and quickly. Anticipation was building inside him and his dick was starting to take notice. It forced him to restrict his speed and by the time he reached the small woods, Jack and Daniel were only a few yards behind.
“See where he’s going?” Jack asked.
“I see,” Daniel replied. “Nice.”
“Oh yeah,” Jack agreed and increased his speed as he entered the woods, Daniel right behind.
Dodging between a few trees and jumping over a bush, Jason saw a vacant space, free of growth and filled with the carpet of leaves. He paused, looking around, then started to run, but was tackled from behind and brought down to the ground.
“Oomph, watch the kidneys, fuckhead,” he grunted as Jack knelt on his back and yanked his arms behind him.
Kneeling next to Jason and behind Jack, Daniel looked around, then snuck his hand between Jason’s legs and quickly groped his balls and the base of his cock. “You’re ours now.”
Jason groaned through the damp leaves as Daniel’s brief touch sent more blood south. When the cuffs went on, the only thought in his head was wishing they could just rip his pants off and fuck him right there. But he was pulled up by his arms and turned round to face his captors.
“You may have caught me, but I’ll get away.”
“No, you won’t,” Jack promised.
Daniel reached down and picked up Jason’s hat and twirled it round his fingers. “And we’ll make sure.”
“Promises, promises,” Jason replied, taking a deep breath as Daniel took hold of one arm and Jack the other.
The walk to the truck was an exercise in heady expectation, especially for Daniel as he let his mind open to his lovers. By the time they reached the truck, he was already wincing as he walked. With a perverse need to punish, he shoved Jason face first against the truck while Jack opened the backseat door then moved around the truck to open the other side. Getting in, he scooted over as took hold of Jason’s arm as Daniel helped him onto the seat.
Though ‘help’ wasn’t exactly the word Jason would have used. “Careful,” he said, nearly losing his balance.
“Not tonight,” both Daniel and Jack answered, then snickered at each other as they left the backseat, shut the doors, and got into the front.
“Y’all are amusing,” Jason grumbled as he leaned back in the seat.
Starting up the truck, Jack backed out just a little too fast, forcing Jason to fall sideways.
“Goddammit,” Jason complained as he righted himself.
“Get situated back there,” Jack ordered.
“Stop it, you’re making me feel all warm inside,” Jason smirked.
Taking off down the road, Daniel glanced over his shoulder. “Should’ve taken off his coat.”
“We’ll get there,” Jack replied, focusing on the plan he’d thought about earlier.
When he took a turn other than the one toward home, Daniel looked over at him, finding a devilish grin on his face. “Where’re we going?”
Jack reached down, unbuckling his belt and opening the buttons to his trousers, trying to ease the pressure against his cock. “Remember that little deal you made before we drove to the club?”
Daniel swallowed, eyes widening. “Oh fuck,” he whispered.
“This outlaw isn’t my only prisoner. Have to pay you back for a few things.”
“Like what?” Daniel asked, mind whirling with the possible places Jack could be taking them.
Jack didn’t answer as he focused on the road, watching in the rearview mirror, making sure they weren’t followed. He took another turn that led toward the mountain but onto a road that would take them toward the hunting side. Since hunting season was currently over and it was too cold for camping or fishing, there would be no one to discover them. The place he had in mind would be perfect and neither Daniel nor Jason had ever seen it, so it would be even better.
“So Marshal, where are we going?” Jason asked as he sat on the edge of the seat, feet spread for balance. He didn’t dare lean back anymore, not with the way his cock was acting. Or his bladder. “The jail’s back the other way.”
“There are all kinds of jails,” Jack answered with a smirk.
“Well, I hate to ruin your plans but I need to take a piss.”
Daniel turned to look at him and Jason raised his brows in apology. Daniel nodded and pointed at the side of the forested road they were on. “Pull over.”
Smirking, Jack obliged, easing the truck to a halt. There was no way he was risking Jason any unwelcome bit of pain. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t give Jason a slightly embarrassing piece of teasing. “Don’t uncuff him,” he ordered as Daniel opened his door.
“Are you insane?” Jason said as he slid over and off the backseat, bringing his boots firmly to the ground. Daniel stepped in front of him to undo his belt and trousers, then reached inside to take out his cock. Jason hissed, baring his teeth. “Don’t you dare do anything,” he warned as Daniel moved aside and aimed.
“Relieve yourself. It’ll be the only time you get to.”
With a sigh, Jason let go of his bladder, spraying the ground with a steady stream, and Daniel found himself suddenly aroused by the pulsing movement beneath his fingers. When he moved them slightly, Jason growled another warning.
“Don’t you dare.”
Grinning from an unexpected victory, he leaned in and nuzzled Jason’s ear. “Don’t worry, I need you relatively pain-free.” Jason groaned again but for obviously different reasons, and noting that he was finished, Daniel tucked his cock back inside his briefs. He started to button him up, but paused, debating the matter as he looked Jason over. “Jack? Help me with his coat.”
Jack came around the truck and jiggled his key ring for the key to the cuffs. “Don’t try to run,” he warned, and as soon as he uncuffed Jason’s wrists, Daniel turned him around and once more pushed him face-first against the truck.
Jason didn’t bother to tell them that he had no intention of running. They knew he wouldn’t. It pleased him far too much to be in this position though and pleased him even more when they roughly took his coat, then his suit jacket.
“Oops,” Daniel said, removing the gun belt.
“It’s not like I could get to it,” Jason remarked.
“No, but still a stupid error,” Daniel said.
“Easy to make, given the circumstances,” Jack allowed as he turned Jason round and looked him over. “He doesn’t need this either,” he said, unbuttoning the vest.
“Or this,” Daniel grinned as he unbuttoned his shirt.
“Leave the shirt on though,” Jack suggested as he took off Jason’s vest.
“Very sexy,” Daniel said, swallowing, as he looked at the tempting skin revealed when Jason’s shirt fell open.
Jason made another growling sound. “I’m thinking that you two are dead meat the second I get a chance.”
“Oh, I think you’ll change your mind,” Jack said as he put the handcuffs back on him–though a little more loosely this time.
“Back in the truck,” Daniel said as he got in first and helped Jason inside. After Jack shut the door, Daniel started to let go, but in looking at the disheveled appearance of his lover, he found he couldn’t help himself. He needed to touch skin and placed his hand between Jason’s pecs. The feel of his heartbeat thumping against two of his fingers was more than he could stand and he lunged, claiming Jason’s mouth. Kissing him deeply and loving the feel of the silky facial hair against his skin, Daniel didn’t want to stop.
Jason moaned and kissed him back with all the hunger he possessed. He desperately wanted more and though he knew that this was probably just a warm-up, Daniel wasn’t acting as if he planned to stop.
“Okay, stop playing with the prisoner,” Jack grinned as he opened the driver’s door and shed his coat and gun belt, dropping them behind his seat.
Parting with a growl of reluctance, Daniel opened the door on his side and got out. Taking off his own coat and gun belt, he dropped them on top of Jack’s and went around the truck to climb back into the passenger seat. He glanced back at Jason in time to see him lick his lips and Daniel looked away quickly, letting out a slow breath.
“Something wrong?” Jack asked with a hint of a smile.
“Nope,” Daniel replied as he began to unbutton his suede shirt with one hand while he removed his trouser belt with the other. “Let’s go.”
With an understanding nod, Jack started up the truck and resumed his destination. “Not all of it, Daniel,” he said, watching him out of the corner of his eye.
Turned on by Jason, and by the way Jack looked in that leather with his trousers undone, Daniel thought up a nasty idea and turned so that half his back was against the door. Covering his groin with the palm of his hand, he began to rub slowly, smiling wickedly when Jack looked over and did a double-take. “What was that you were saying about paying me back? I don’t believe I’ve done anything to earn payback.”
“That suggestion was enough, Daniel,” Jack said, trying to focus on the road as he saw the turn-off coming up.
“No, it wasn’t, but this should be,” Daniel warned and very quickly unbuttoned his trousers and reached in to grab his cock. Biting his lip, he stroked himself, then looked to his left when he heard Jason groan. “What’s the matter?” he asked, stretching out his left hand. Jason leaned forward and laid his face in Daniel’s palm, nuzzling it before taking his thumb in his mouth. Desire flooded Daniel’s body, making him stroke more firmly as he watched Jason go down on his thumb.
“This is what you had in mind?” Jason asked, pulling back and nuzzling Daniel’s hand again.
“Did you think we would bring you out here to hurt you?”
“I didn’t have a clue what you intended,” Jason answered, struggling to keep himself upright as Jack drove down a rough, narrow dirt road.
“You will,” Jack said as he steered carefully into a small, long-abandoned campsite. Throwing the truck into park and quickly turning off the engine, he shot Daniel a darkly promising look before he grabbed Jason by the back of the neck and yanked him forward to capture his mouth. Reaching down Jason’s chest with his free hand, he massaged his right pec before firmly grabbing the nipple and pinching it. When Jason moaned in response, Jack broke the kiss and licked over his chin and down his throat, biting his Adam’s apple.
Jason closed his eyes, panting already. “Please.”
“This is just a wind-up,” Jack warned as he let him go completely. “Serious foreplay. And if you come from watching, I will have to hurt you.”
“Watching what exactly?” Jason asked, playing his part and trying not to show that he knew exactly what was going to happen. He twisted his wrists carefully, getting the handcuffs to slide down just a little more. If he was careful, he could get one hand free. Was that what Jack had intended?
Heart hammering in his chest, Daniel swallowed as Jack turned his dark-eyed focus back to him. He was a little confused when Jack felt behind him, opened his door, and got out of the truck–all without ever taking his eyes off him–till Jack ordered him out of the truck.
“Get over here,” Jack ordered, reaching out to grab one of Daniel’s pant legs, pulling at him impatiently. He moved back, allowing Daniel room to follow, all the while keeping their eyes locked. He wanted to feast his eyes on the rest of him but Jack knew that keeping his eyes on Daniel’s was something that turned Daniel on, so he planned to take advantage of that fact until Daniel was no longer able to look at him.
The moment Daniel’s boots touched the ground, Jack slid his hands under the waistbands of Daniel’s trousers and briefs and shoved them down, exposing his ass and groin. Daniel swallowed again, finally looking away, looking down. Jack smiled and opened his pants with rough, mock-angry jerks, loving the look on Daniel’s face when his hard cock sprung free.
“Does this mean what I think?” Daniel asked, his breathing shallow.
“Even more,” Jack said, and reached past him to feel for the latch. Looking past the seat and finding Jason watching him, he said, “Aren’t you loose yet?”
Jason slowly held up his right hand, showing the handcuffs with one empty ring.
Jack smirked back at him. “Get your legs out of the way and unlock the other latch.”
As Jason lifted the lever and the back of the seat dropped down, becoming flush with his own, he wondered if that had been the reason for the loosening of the handcuffs, but experience told him that it was simply convenience, that Jack was most likely winging it. Which meant there was no telling what would come next. Not that he’d know even if Jack did have a plan. Settling back in the middle of his seat, knees bent and legs spread, he tugged off the other cuff and tossed them aside.
“Now what?” he asked.
Turning Daniel roughly around, Jack said, “Get in, face him.”
Daniel looked over his shoulder, then awkwardly climbed in, thighs encumbered by his loose pants. Facing Jason, he was suddenly hit with the desire to attack him, but remembering his idea, Daniel thought perhaps it was better to do nothing. To wait, which was a good enough tease all by itself.
Jack removed his shirt and boots, then climbed in after him, closing the door. Kneeling directly behind Daniel, he reached for the glove compartment and pulled out the baggie holding the lube he’d stashed. “Take off your shirt, Daniel. Tie his hands.”
As Daniel took off his shirt, he watched Jason lift his ass and quickly shove his pants and briefs down, freeing his straining cock. The urge to attack came back and he damn near did, till he remembered what he was supposed to do with his shirt. Coiling it up, he gestured at Jason’s hands. “Give them over.”
“If I don’t?” Jason asked.
“I’ll force you,” Daniel replied. Jason smirked at him and held out his arms, wrists together, and Daniel grinned at him as he tied his wrists with the bulky suede material. Finished, he started to ask what was next when Jack grabbed hold of his trousers and pushed them down his thighs.
Daniel was about to say something sarcastic when the pop of the lube cap interrupted his thoughts and Jack placed a hand on his back. Next thing he knew, Daniel was shoved forward, nearly hitting Jason’s hands before he got them out of the way. Propping himself on his forearms, he asked, “Jack, what the hell are you–” but was interrupted again when the cool touch of lube hit the top of his crack and slid down over his asshole. At that point, he didn’t need an answer but he got one anyway.
“Payback,” Jack said as he shoved his own pants down and drizzled more lube over his cock.
“This is payback?” Daniel asked.
Stroking himself and loving the slick sound it made, Jack shoved him down with sudden, almost-brutal force, pressing him into the seat as he leaned forward. “No, this is,” he said, and without any preparation other than the lube itself, he nosed his cock between Daniel’s cheeks and thrust inside.
“Oh shit!” Daniel yelled, biting into the upholstery as his eyes rolled up into his head. He blindly sought out something to hold onto and ended up grabbing Jason’s ankles, moaning when Jason threaded his fingers through his hair. The sudden burn mixed with the pleasure of having Jack thrusting inside him and his pre-come spurted beneath him, wetting the seat. “Jesus, yes,” he gasped.
“God, tell me about it,” Jack replied, squeezing his eyes shut as Daniel clutched around his cock. Not stopping, he quickly established a short, rough rhythm and finally opened his eyes. There was Daniel’s back in front of him, his shoulders, his arms, hands around Jason’s ankles, and the profile of his face. Beautiful. Looking up, just a little at a time, he focused on Jason’s crotch, then his chest, and eventually, he looked into that handsome face. Which was looking into his. Jason swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down, and Jack let a tiny smile grow at the corners of his mouth. “Like this?”
Jason didn’t answer, didn’t need to. His eyes said it all, along with his erection. Needing attention, he looked away from Jack’s gaze and down at Daniel, lifting his head in his restrained hands. Daniel’s eyes were closed and Jason nearly came from the flushed pleasure on his face. His need grew stronger and he scooted forward, bringing his cock within reach. “Daniel,” he breathed. “Suck m–“
Finding Jason’s cock in front of him, Daniel cut him off by grabbing the top of his thighs, pushing them apart. “Jack, lube,” he breathed.
Searching, Jack found the lube he’d dropped and placed it into Daniel’s waiting hand. “Give it to him good,” he said, loving the look of agreement on Jason’s face.
Pushing up on his forearms, Daniel looked up into Jason’s eyes, then squeezed his own shut and groaned, dropping his head down when Jack angled his thrusts, finding his gland. “Grab the top of the seat, Jason,” he managed to say as he blindly opened the lube and squirted some onto his fingers.
Jason obeyed, feeling for the edge of the top of the back seat, and just as he tightened his grip, Daniel took his cock into his mouth and thrust two fingers inside his hole. A loud moan escaped him and he desperately wanted to widen his legs, but his trousers were in the way. Confining him, restricting his movements. Another time and he would have been frustrated, but with his hands tied and Daniel’s fingers busily fucking him, it only added to the excitement.
Jack’s eyelids closed halfway from the enormous turn-on of watching them both and he could feel the shudders of pleasure increasing, lowering, tightening down to the one hot spike of pleasure that signaled his orgasm. Five minutes, he guessed, no more, and he knew he’d explode, but there was no way he was stopping. And the only way to make this better was to go faster, harder, to use short, brutal strokes. He’d ride the edge of brutality that he knew Daniel would like, the one that would make him come… so… good.
Daniel gasped from the abrupt increase from Jack, and Jason’s cock slid from his mouth. His balls swung wildly, slapping against the base of his cock and the pleasure was so exquisite, he had to make Jason feel it too. Trying to match Jack’s intensity, he added a finger and thrust harder, deeper, twisting to find the right angle, to get hold of Jason’s prostate for one hell of a massage.
“God!” Jason cried out, shutting his eyes against the rush that overwhelmed him. “I’m… oh shit, Daniel, suck me.”
Pre-come flowed from him and Daniel knew Jason was close. Swooping down, he hungrily sucked the head of his cock inside his mouth, bobbing quickly, using every tactic he knew. Jason thrust upward, restraint spiraling out of control as Daniel twisted and thrust his fingers.
“C’mon, Jason,” Jack urged, panting hoarsely. “Come down his throat. Lose it for me. Let go.”
“No,” Jason said, eyes shut tightly now as he focused only on what Daniel did to him. “Don’t want to, not yet.”
“Let go, Jason,” Jack prodded, a command coloring his tone.
“No,” Jason repeated, shaking his head.
“Come for us,” Jack said more loudly, voice juddering from his own impending climax.
Daniel hummed with agreement, encouraging Jason to let go, and loved it when Jason kept trying to refuse, knowing damn well that it would result in orgasm.
“No… no…” Jason tried again, shaking his head back and forth… back and forth. Then he arched, yelling, “Fuck!” as his ass came off the seat, cheeks squeezing Daniel’s rapidly moving fingers.
Daniel sucked harder, throat moving convulsively as Jason’s come shot against the roof of his mouth in quick, thick pulses.
“That’s it,” Jack growled and dropped down, partly lying on top of Daniel as he moved his hips frantically.
“Shit,” Daniel whispered as he let go of Jason’s cock and concentrated on reaching for his own.
“Your turn,” Jack whispered back, biting over his shoulder muscle as he ground against Daniel’s ass, using that special twist of his hips that he knew his lover liked.
Daniel’s balls drew up sharply and he gasped in surprise and pushed himself up to feel Jack’s chest hair against his back. In doing so, Jack grabbed him about the waist and hauled him to his knees, holding him tightly against him. Jason saw an opportunity and ripped free from his shirt bonds to wrap his hand around Daniel’s cock.
“Come for us, baby.”
“Shit!” Daniel shouted, blindly reaching for his lovers as he squeezed his eyes shut one more time and came, hard. He’d have shouted something else, was thinking of it, but Jason was now pressed against his front and kissing him deeply.
Jack took in the smell of their sweat and come, the sounds Daniel and Jason made, and combined with the exquisite way Daniel clutched and trembled around his cock, he let loose. Thrusting rapidly, Jack came with such a blinding force that he bit down over the curve of Daniel’s neck. It took a few long moments to realize it and he let go slowly as his orgasm began to subside.
“Jesus,” he whispered, licking the lightly bruising marks he’d made. “Sorry.”
Daniel reached behind him to grab Jack’s neck and twisted so he could see his handsome, sweaty face. “Don’t be,” he said, and pulled him down for long kiss.
“God, that was amazing,” Jason murmured against Daniel’s neck as the three of them stayed motionless, almost stuck together from sweat and come.
And a minute later, Jack realized that the cold had begun to seep inside the truck and he abruptly shivered. In doing so, his soft cock eased out of Daniel’s body, making him groan.
“Cold,” Daniel said, also starting to shiver.
“Well,” Jason drawled as he separated from Daniel and buttoned himself up. “Let’s get dressed and get home so we can get properly clean and warmed up.”
“Oh yeah,” Jack agreed.
As he pulled up his pants, cringing from the feel of cold lube, Daniel said, “Next time we do this, I vote it be in June.”
Jason gave him an apologetic grin as he handed Daniel his slightly torn shirt. “If we can wait that long, I vote for clothes that can be easily replaced.”
“Deal,” Daniel said as he sighed at the torn suede. “I don’t regret this though. Not one damn bit.”
Pulling on his trousers, Jack gave him a crooked grin.
“What’re you grinning at?” Daniel asked.
“Nothin’,” Jack answered, feeling enormously satisfied with himself for coming up with a far better plan than the one he’d been thinking of last week.
“Look at that smug-assed grin,” Jason said, tapping Daniel on the leg.
Daniel looked over his shoulder and let Jason see that the same expression was on his own face. “Jason?”
“Look in the mirror.”
Jason opened his eyes and sucked in a breath, the unusually vivid dream making his heart race with fear and anxiety. He looked to his right and found Daniel facing away from him, breathing deeply. Sitting up cautiously, he peered over him and felt relief that Jack was just as asleep.
Taking a deep breath, he slid soundlessly out of bed and grabbed his sweat pants, slipping them on as he made his way into the kitchen. Getting a beer from the fridge, he padded into the living room and opened the blinds to the back yard. It wasn’t even dawn yet, and the snow was still falling. An inch had already accumulated on the deck and the lawn and by noon, there would probably be about six inches, if the forecast was correct.
Opening the back door, he shivered as the cold hit him, but he needed the shock of it to wake up his mind and dispel the uneasiness. It had been a while since he’d had a dream that scared the shit out of him. Not even the dreams he’d had about that damn killer had bothered him this much. As he tried to figure out what the hell the dream meant, if it was a warning or a vision of the future, he drank down the beer, and rather quickly. By the time he’d started to feel an actual chill, his beer was empty.
Deciding he wanted another, Jason turned to get one and sucked in a sharp breath of fear as he was faced with a shadowy form coming toward him. It was Jack, of course, but for a moment, Jason had no idea who the hell it was. “Jesus, don’t do that,” he scolded. “Make a fucking noise or something.”
Jack cringed. “Sorry.”
Jason took a deep breath and rubbed at his forehead. “No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have jumped on you.”
“You could have turned on the light, Jace,” Jack said, though he made no move to do so, either. He watched Jason go to the kitchen, but didn’t follow, figuring he’d return.
“It would just keep me up longer,” Jason answered.
“So I figured I’d watch the snow, have a few beers, go back to sleep.” He paused, uncapping his beer. “You want one?”
Jack grinned. “No, I’ll just have a sip off yours.”
Jason came back into the living room, grinning. “How economic of you.” Jack gave him a smile, but it wasn’t a full one and Jason didn’t know what the hell to make of that. Was Jack mad about something? He returned to the door and stared through its glass panes instead of opening it. Jack probably wasn’t in the mood to freeze his ass off. “If I woke you, I’m sorry.”
Jack shook his head and moved in behind Jason, encircling him in his arms. Leaning his chin on Jason’s shoulder, he said, “Don’t be sorry. I’m concerned about why you’re up.”
Jason shrugged. “Couldn’t sleep,” he said, though he now knew why Jack hadn’t given him a full smile. The man was worried. Which also meant that Jason was going to get nagged into discussing his dream and he wasn’t sure that Jack would want to know this one.
“Jason, the only time you get up at this idiot hour when we’re at home is because a dream or nightmare has woken you. Which is it this time?”
Grimacing, Jason turned his head slightly toward Jack’s. “You’re not gonna leave this alone, are you?”
“No, probably not,” Jack answered, nuzzling him.
Jason gently untangled himself from Jack and wrapped his own arms around himself as he took a step away and stared back out at the snow.
Jack frowned and reached out, rubbing Jason’s back. “You having visions of another killer?”
“No,” Jason answered, but suddenly, he wasn’t so sure. “Um, I don’t know.”
“Tell me the dream then.”
Jason sighed deeply and came up with as close an analogy as he could. “Remember the movie An American Werewolf in London?”
“Yeah,” Jack grinned. “We saw it a couple months back, too. Wicked movie.” He suddenly wondered… “You don’t mean you–“
“No,” Jason grinned, holding up a hand. “No dreams about werewolves.” His smile faded as he added, “I wish it had been about werewolves.”
“That bad?” Jack asked, surprised.
Jason let out a nervous laugh. “Jack, this dream scared the shit out of me.”
Jack stared back at him, not quite grasping what Jason was saying. What could have scared him so much? “Okay, so this has to do with that movie how?”
“The dream was like one scene in that film.” Taking another breath, he said, “Remember when David was in the hospital before he turned into a werewolf, and he was having those dreams?”
“In one of those dreams, he’s running through the woods and he comes across a bed?”
“Yeah, and he sees himself in the bed, and then there’s that flash of him as a werewolf.”
“Right,” Jason swallowed and stopped staring at the snow. Instead, his eyes unfocused as he recalled the dream. “I was running across an open landscape, grass under my feet. The ground was constantly dipping and rising as I ran over tiny hills. I kept running until I reached flat ground and I stopped to look behind me. But the hills weren’t exactly hills but large mounds, kinda like those ones you find in Ireland. Anyway, I turned back around and maybe a hundred yards in the distance, I saw a black shape.
“It kinda looked like someone kneeling down and I thought that maybe someone was hurt so I started running toward them. It was weird, the way I ran, faster and faster, like a blur, then suddenly I was about five or six yards away and I came to a stop, nearly falling over. The man kneeling on the ground was Jalen. I couldn’t see the front of him but I knew who he was. He was dressed in Tok’ra leather and bent over someone else. I asked, “What’s happened, Jalen? Do you need help?”
Jason paused, swallowing again, wishing he could get rid of the image that came next. Jack walked over and placed a hand on his shoulder and Jason briefly leaned into his touch. “Then came the bad part. He turned his head to look at me and… his eyes were yellow and he had fangs. There was blood. He stared at me and I knew he didn’t know who I was. A second later, I was sure when he snarled at me.”
It was Jack’s turn to swallow, mostly out of alarm. “Then what?”
Jason cringed. “He’d moved enough for me to see who it was on the ground. It was himself, Jack, and the symbiote, Camulus, had burst through Jalen’s throat. It was hissing and screaming and…” Jason shuddered and Jack immediately rubbed his back, trying to soothe him. “That’s when I woke up.”
Jack took a deep breath and didn’t say anything as he took Jason in his arms and continued to stroke his back. “This sounds bad.”
“It’s a warning, I think. Doesn’t feel like a premonition, but I can’t be sure.”
There was a throat clearing and they both turned to see Daniel standing at the top of the short flight of stairs that led down into the living room. “Shit,” Jason grimaced. “I woke you.”
Daniel shook his head as he came over. “You didn’t. I felt something was wrong and it woke me up.” Jack grinned at him and Daniel shot him a warning look. “Don’t tease.”
“I wasn’t going to. I just think it’s…” He didn’t need to finish, going by the roll of Daniel’s eyes.
“Yeah, yeah, sweet, sappy, romantic, whatever,” Daniel waved away, then reached out to cup Jason’s face. “I heard the dream.” When Jason winced, he shook his head. “Don’t feel bad. I would have heard it anyway, right?”
Jason conceded that. “Yeah.”
“So, now you won’t have to repeat yourself.”
Jason let out a breath. “Um, on Tuesday, when we go with Jalen to Bel’alat? We need to keep an eye on him, and we need to tell Adriann about the dream.”
“Why?” Jack asked, getting a bad feeling.
“I don’t know,” Jason answered, taking a breath. “But I’m pretty certain my dream took place on Adriann’s home planet.”
“The beasts,” Daniel said softly, thinking of the Bor’cha, and how much he thought they resembled the werewolf from the film.
Jason nodded. “Exactly.”
“Then I guess we’re going to be keeping an eye on the twin,” Jack said, backing up Jason’s suggestion. “Are you sure it was Adriann’s planet?”
“I’m certain of it.”
Daniel suddenly yawned, then shook his head. “Sorry,” he said, gripping Jason’s shoulder gently. “Come back to bed, Jace. Freezing your ass off out here will only force you to dwell. Think about the vision, or whatever it was, tomorrow.”
“He’s right,” Jack said with an encouraging squeeze of his arms.
Reluctantly, Jason had to admit that Daniel was right, but when they returned to the bedroom and he lay down, not even the warmth of Daniel’s body could slow his mind down enough to let him sleep. With a soft growl of frustration, he sat up and ran a hand through his hair. “I need a stiff drink.”
Daniel reached over and rubbed at his lover’s back. “That won’t do any good, Jace.”
Jack knew that the only thing Jason needed was a distraction, and alcohol certainly wouldn’t do it, but he knew what would. Sitting up, he nudged Daniel on the hip. “Do me a favor?”
With a tiny grin, Daniel nodded once and slowly rolled to his right as Jack climbed over him, taking his spot.
“Moving around will do the trick instead?” Jason asked sarcastically.
“Nope,” Jack answered as he pulled Jason back down, spooning him against him. Reaching between them, he firmly massaged an ass cheek and leaned over to whisper against Jason’s neck. “I seem to recall a threat about your ass being the one getting pounded tonight, and I’m pretty sure, but nothing like that has happened yet.”
Looking over his shoulder, Jason reached back and took Jack’s hand off his ass and guided it to his cock instead. “I could’ve sworn you were tired.”
“Does this feel like I’m tired?” Jack asked, rubbing his cock against him.
“Not really,” Jason answered slowly, loving Jack even more for what he was offering to do. “But I can’t be sure. Maybe you’d better remind me.” He pulled Jack down for a kiss and when Jack’s hand got down to business, Jason’s body began to wake up.
Feeling his own desire rising to the occasion, Daniel made a growling sound as he got out of bed.
“Where’re you going?” Jack asked, parting from the kiss.
“Nowhere,” Daniel replied as he walked around the bed. With pleased grins, his lovers shifted over to make room and as Daniel climbed back in, he reached inside the bedside table. “I just figured that since I can’t very well lie here and listen to you two…”
“If I’m that much trouble…” Jason goaded back.
“You’re about to find out what trouble means,” Daniel smiled as he handed Jack the lube.