After he checks in, Juice shoves his cell in his pocket and washes his face at the sink. It doesn’t make him feel any cleaner. He grips the edge of the counter and stares at his reflection in the mirror. He’s unable to read the expression on his own face. He can feel a shit-storm of emotion blowing through him, can see it in his eyes and around his mouth but he can’t decipher it, not inside or out. He’s glassy-eyed and pale, with drops of water running down his face. He looks rabbity, ready to bolt at the slightest provocation. He wants to turn around and hide from himself for a while but he can’t, not anymore. Not now, when it’s too late to take back what’s been done. Not when he finally realizes he was safe all along.
He’s out of time even though he has four hours before he has to check in again. He should have talked to someone -- anyone -- the first time Roosevelt approached him. He should have come clean to Chibs that day he’d pussed out, back before he’d signed those fucking papers. It was too late now. Juice lights a cigarette and watches himself as he smokes it. His hands are steady. All of his movements are smooth and even.
He’s not falling apart.
He’s a motherfucking rock.
If he’d had any idea that getting out of this mess would be as easy as Chibs said it is -- he would never have signed that shit. It’s fucking crystal clear to him now, how easy it would have been. He would have put Roosevelt in his place at their first confrontation -- spit on him and walked away. But now there’s Potter and he’s turned this into Juice’s personal Armageddon. Not unlike the fucking “Call of Duty” scene they’d played out this morning. Juice is the one who should have been blown up in the landmines. He closes his eyes against the memory of Kozic’s hand landing beside him. He should have picked it up and brought it back to his brothers. They didn’t have anything else left of him to bury.
He takes a drag from his cigarette -- it’s pointless like all the other shit he’s doing -- there’s not enough nicotine in the world to steady him now. He’s been trying to figure out his angles, how to play it to keep everyone from suspecting him. If there was any way possible to get in with Jax, he would have. Clay may hold the gavel for the moment but all the power and momentum in the club is with Jax. As it is, he’s positioned himself the best he can, with the brother he trusts and likes more than the rest. Juice finishes his smoke and flicks the butt into the toilet.
Jax will put Opie on his left hand and Chibs on his right. It’s best to be behind the right hand. It helps that Chibs really is his favorite and was the one who stood up for him and patched him in. Chibs is the one whose wife and daughter are across the goddamn planet. No way they’ll get hurt by the fallout.
His reflection stares back at him, the rabbity look is fading. The line of his mouth is harder. He’s almost got his game face on, like a fighter getting ready to get in the ring. He breathes in slow and steady, contemplates another smoke but decides against it. He didn’t suddenly decide in the middle of all this shit to whore himself out to a brother. It happened completely by accident. Fuck, it was even sort of Chibs’ idea; he’s the one who reached out first. Juice happened -- sort of on purpose -- to take that second step. That doesn’t make the weight of the guilt he’s carrying around any lighter.
Juice had no idea going into this half-cocked plan how vulnerable it could make him. Would make him. He’d thought it wouldn’t be any different than being in prison. He’d thought it was something he would get through unscathed. He’d pretend to like it, smile while he turned the trick, and be completely unaffected when it was over. He’d thought wrong, hadn’t realized how entangled he would get, hadn’t taken the human factor into consideration. Had no idea that he would have feelings -- beyond guilt.
Fuck. He hadn’t taken Chibs into account. Juice had never considered that Chibs would turn him inside out, make him want it, ask for it even, and then put him back together.
He’d forgotten that after all the crow-eaters quit circling Jax, they circled Chibs. They fought over who got to be in his bed each night. Juice had never wondered why, had never had a reason to. He’d always just gotten his dick sucked by one and moved on to the next.
The doorknob rattles, followed by a knock and an all too familiar voice. “You fall in boy?”
He’s got to solidify his position, bring Chibs in as close as he can. Juice tears his gaze away from the mirror and looks at the door. The knob rattles again. He crosses the bathroom before he has time to think about it. Unlocks the door, opens it, catching Chibs hand before he tries to knock again.
Juice jerks him into the bathroom, pulling him flush against his body. He can feel Chibs’ breath on his face as he walks him backward against the door until it slams shut.
“What’re you--” Juice presses a finger against Chibs’ mouth to interrupt him then lets it drift to the corner of his lip to trace the edge of his scar. He watches Chibs’ mouth as it comes closer and closer. Their bodies are pressed together so tightly he can smell the gunpowder and nicotine clinging to both of them; can feel the leather of their cuts rubbing together. When Juice finally drags his eyes away from Chibs’ mouth and meets his eyes he leans forward that final bit and their lips touch.
He’s had Chibs’ tongue in his ass and his cock down his throat, but this is the first time they’ve kissed. The first time he’s ever kissed a man. He doesn’t want to rush it, isn’t sure what to do next. Does he push in his tongue, open his mouth, or should he just give up and stop the kiss? Where does he put his hands? Is he the kisser or the kissee? Juice tilts his head up just a bit and then suddenly everything slots into place. His hand stays on Chibs’ face, thumb tracing the edge of his scar. Both of their mouths open and Juice nips Chibs’ bottom lip. There’s a tickle of beard against his chin and then Chibs’ tongue slides inside his mouth and back out, leading Juice into his own exploration.
Chibs makes a sound Juice can’t classify and he’s instantly hard. Hard and rubbing against Chibs like a cat in heat. Juice grabs hold of Chibs’ belt for some leverage. He slides one leg between Chibs’ and there is the long, hard length of the man against his belly. Teeth sink into his lip and he pulls back from the kiss and looks up at Chibs. His eyes are closed and he’s breathing just as hard as Juice.
He lets go of Chibs’ belt, reaching for his face, sliding both thumbs along the silky smooth scars, he tilts Chibs’ head down just a bit and kisses him. Juice pours everything he has into the kiss. He’s been holding back so much for way too fucking long. Chibs lets him have his way, opens up and follows where Juice takes him. He feels like he’s been gutted, ripped open and left to bleed out.
Jesus Christ. No wonder whores don’t kiss their johns.
He can’t keep it up, doesn’t want to leave himself this open and exposed, so he slows down and backs off. Chibs leans in for more but Juice pulls out of reach. His hands drop down and he’s patting his pockets and pulling out his pack of smokes. He lights up and steps away from Chibs so that the smoke won’t get in his eyes.
“So, uh…” He glances up at Chibs who looks confused and turned-on. Which is pretty much exactly how Juice feels, so they’re in the same boat at least. “Thanks. For earlier.”
“About my dad.”
“It was nothing.” Chibs stares at him and Juice looks away. “Give me a smoke.”
Juice hands him the pack. “We’re two guys in a bathroom again.”
Chibs grins at him as he lights his cigarette. “Let’s get out of here, drink some beer. Maybe wind up at your place.”
“Yeah,” Juice says as he follows Chibs out. “Sounds great.”