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Nowhere I'd Rather Be

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Pretend It's Just Us 
Open Road – Timestamp

“Who are these two? Norah didn’t tell me we got newbies this week.”

“That’s because Norah didn’t know they were coming. Nobody did.”

James paged through the portfolio from the photo shoot listlessly at first, then with a hint of impatience, like he usually did when he didn’t particularly like what he saw.

The first few shots between the two men were a little awkward, their bodies too far apart, their faces angled away from the camera. But then they seemed to have gotten the hang of it and on page five, James’ jaw dropped a little.

The two guys couldn’t have been more different if they tried; one was tall-dark-and-handsome; tattooed and brooding with a long curtain of unruly hair framing his sharp features.

His body was sculpted like a Greek god and James guessed that, looking the way he did, he could have easily worked in the porn industry.

Guy number two was well-defined but not exactly muscle-packed.

His lips were downright pornographic and James would have bet good fucking money that he could have easily led a straight guy to temptation if he wanted to.

He was the stereotypical sunny surfer boy with bright eyes and a wide smile and to see him paired with a tattooed bad-boy type was something they rarely got to see in their line of business.

James couldn’t really describe it, but every once in awhile, two models created what was called an ambiance .

Like the push-and-pull of two opposing sides of a magnet, a combination like that could often translate beautifully in photographs; could create a spark of fire, a sense of curiosity.

And these two guys, whoever the hell they were, certainly had sparked James’ curiosity.

The way they touched and looked at each other was both playfulness and shameless desire all at once and it was hard to find models who could capture that kind of emotion in a single shot.

“You know them personally? How come we’ve never worked with them before?”

James flicked onto the next page and nearly swallowed his own tongue when he spotted a picture of the two men kissing.

It was a fantastic shot, their mouths aligned so that you could only see a hint of the taller guy’s tongue delving into the shorter guy’s mouth, his thumb resting intimately against the corner of his lips.

“Because they’re not professionals. Their names are Jared and Jensen. One of them is a mechanic, the other one a Yale student. This was their first gig in front of a camera.”

“Okay, let me get this straight. You’re telling me that this is the work of two rookies?”

“Yeah.”

“And they are a couple in real life?”

“Incredible, huh?”

James slammed the portfolio shut and took off his glasses.

“Incredible?” he repeated in a huff. “Do you have the slightest idea how much money we could make with them?”

James thought that inadvertently, they had stumbled across a gold mine, here.

These two were gorgeous and they obviously had some of the best chemistry James had ever seen in his twenty years as a photographer.

And from the looks of it, they were utterly, hopelessly in love with each other.

People would eat this shit right up.

"I want their last names and phone numbers." 

 

 

“So he was full-on filming you while you were getting your dirty on?” Sophia asked and bounced Kelly on her hip from where she was trying to spoon-feed him. “What a creeper.”

“Yeah, no kidding,” Jensen snorted and licked a glob of baby food from Kelly’s pudgy fingers, causing the little boy to bubble out a chortled laugh.

Kelly’s laughter filled the room, the gentle sound of his giggles making the lamplight brighter and the air warmer. It felt like being dipped in sunlight.

Jensen’s own smile grew at the way Kelly clapped his hands excitedly, bouncing up and down Sophia’s hip with sparkling eyes and his mouth wide agape.

It was never hard to feed Kelly.

The kid inhaled food like he thought he wasn’t going to see more for a few weeks.

If there had ever been any doubt about whether or not Jay was Kelly’s father, this would have been a clear indication that yeah, Kelly was pretty much a miniature version of Jared, from his crazy food cravings, down to his dark curls and the cute button nose.

Which was totally unfair, because Jensen had done all the work.

Jensen gently wiped the smudged baby food from Kelly’s chubby little cheek and then blew a raspberry kiss to the rosy skin there, before he refocused his attention on Sophia.

“I was sitting in Jared’s lap,” he continued. “About to take my shirt off… and then we just kinda heard the ‘click’ of the camera going off.”

“What did you do with the body?” Sophia dead-panned. “I mean, someone taking creepy pictures of you when you are half-naked and about to give Jared a ride? Yeah, I can’t see that going over well.”

Jensen’s eyes flickered to the side.

“Jay uh… he broke the guy’s camera in half,” he explained with a shy little dip of his head. “Slammed him up against a wall. It was kinda hot.”

“Yeah, you two are weird. You need to see a doctor,” Sophia shook her head.

“I am a doctor,” Jensen shot back automatically before gently prying Kelly from her arms. “So, anyway, turns out the guy’s one of New York’s most well-known photographers.”

“You didn’t actually believe him when he told you that?”

“Not at first. But then he handed us his business card and said some shit about how he’s running a new fashion line and how he’s still on the lookout for some extras for the job.”

“Oh my god. Don’t tell me you actually fell for that.”

“It sounded legit,” Jensen reasoned with a loose shrug.

Then he huffed out a laugh, shaking his head at the strange take their trip to New York had taken.

“You had no idea what you were in for, did you?” Sophia asked, barely able to suppress a smirk.

Jensen just smiled at her, letting the silence speak for itself.

Some adventures were best had in private, after all.

 

 

They came to New York for a night, which, if it hadn’t been for Jensen’s very convincing ways, Jared would have never fucking agreed to in the first place.

Manhattan greeted them with its cracked sidewalks like the jagged gap-toothed grin of an old junkie.

The only splash of color in the grime-smeared mass of concrete around them came from the lurid graffiti on the sidewalks and the dull shine of distant traffic lights.

Out of the corner of his eyes, Jared felt the empty stares of homeless men and women from their cardboard covers in nearby alleyways.

Hookers stalked the streets in their skimpy outfits and stood out of the crowd of coffee-drinking business monkeys like a sore thumb.

Jared barely suppressed a shudder.

Born and raised in Texas, he had never gotten the hype that revolved around the Big fucking Apple and he would have lied if he said that he was looking forward to going there for some boring-ass art exhibition.

But the guy who had invited them just so happened to be a friend of Jensen and had rented an entire art studio in Manhattan to show off a couple of photographs.

And apparently, that was reason enough for them to drop their one-year-old off at Sophia’s place and take their bike all the way to New York.

The thing was, Jared knew Jensen well enough to recognize the true intention between their spontaneous trip to the city.

In between art school and taking care of Kelly, neither of them had had a real chance to get out and do stuff together anymore, like going for a three-o'clock bike ride or visiting their friends in Boston.

Things were complicated if you had a child that relied on you for everything.

Being a parent was a full-time job and it took a lot more out of them than they were ready to admit.

Their nights were often short-lived and riddled by nightmares and when they actually got a few hours of decent sleep in, Kelly often woke them with his cries, demanding attention.

From time to time, they asked Sophia to babysit Kelly for a few hours when things became too much.

But this trip was more than just the usual search for stress-relief.

This was a chance to have a whole day to themselves, an entire day in New York, just the two of them like it used to be before they both found nine-to-five jobs and were too busy paying bills and changing diapers to spend some god-honest alone time with each other.

So when Jensen had casually suggested going on this trip, Jared hadn’t argued.

He hadn’t complained or asked questions or told Jensen how fucking much he hated New York.

He had simply lifted a shoulder in a half-shrug and said okay, let’s fucking do it.

The smile that Jensen had given him was worth more than the money their spontaneous little trip had cost them.

The blowjob that had followed would have been worth a whole damn year in New York, but Jared wasn’t actually going to tell Jensen that.

They took the metro to Manhattan in silence, staring at each other over the heads of the other passengers with an intensity that sent chills down Jared’s spine and made his fingers itch with the need to touch.

Jensen’s leather jacket was open, revealing the thin tee he wore beneath, the tip of his new tattoo peeking out from beneath the threadbare fabric.

Jared was addicted to Jensen’s tat.

He had spent hours tracing it with his tongue, kissing the delicate artwork that was now permanently displayed on Jensen’s body. He had traced the ink with his fingers, over and over again.

Had made Jensen come with only that, just his mouth against Jensen’s sweat-slick skin.

“Wipe that smug smile off your lips,” Jared rolled his eyes with mild affection in his tone.

“Me?” Jensen dug his teeth into his plush bottom lip as he toyed with the hem of his shirt. “Smug?

The moment was broken when they got off at their stop and jogged up the stairs into the heavily-trafficked streets.

Jared fished a wrinkled pack of smokes from his jacket pocket and wrapped his lips around the end of a cigarette before lighting it up.

“It’s not even real fucking art,” he said, blowing a cloud of smoke out into the cool city air, feeling the numbing buzz of the nicotine as it took control of his body. “It’s just a couple of pictures.”

Jared had never been a big fan of photography.

He didn’t believe in the whole ‘a picture says a thousand words’ crap because nothing spoke as loudly as actions and there wasn’t a camera in the world that was able to capture as much meaning as a simple look or gesture could.

“You don’t think it takes much to do what he does,” Jensen stated, sending him a sideways glance.

Jared lifted a shoulder in a half-shrug. “Guy takes a few random shots with his fucking cell phone, rents some fancy-ass loft in Manhattan with his daddy’s money and he calls himself an artist .”

They stopped at a red light and Jensen reached up to wrap his arm around Jared’s neck.

“Some people say it takes a lot to capture the perfection of one moment for eternity.”

Jared stared down into Jensen’s startling green eyes and reached up to cradle his face with his palm.

As the street light turned green and the other pedestrians started moving around them, Jared was still staring down into those emerald pools.

“They’re fucking wrong.”

 

 

“You think he’s okay?”

Jensen was checking his phone for the one-millionth time to see if there were any missed calls.

“He’s fine,” Jared responded calmly.

“I should probably call them, see if everything’s alright.”

“You’ve called them twice already,” Jared reminded him patiently, drowning the rest of his glass of champagne and swapping his empty glass for a new one.

“Yeah, but—“

“Jensen!” a cheerful voice greeted and they both whirled around in time to see a tall guy with gelled hair and a wide smile approach them.

He was wearing an Armani suit and what looked like a Rolex and Jared barely suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. “I’m so glad you made it!”

“Michael, it’s good to see you,” Jensen shook the guy’s hand. “Thanks for inviting us.”

“This must be your boyfriend, then. Jayden, is it?”

“Close enough,” Jared responded with a small smile and shook the guy’s hand.

Nobody could say that Jared didn’t have manners if he needed to.

“Michael, this is Jared,” Jensen introduced politely and entangled his fingers with Jared’s.

“Oh, I’m sorry, man. You’d think I’d remember your name after all those stories I heard,” Michael laughed and clapped Jared’s shoulder. “He never shuts up about you.”

“That right?” Jared gave Jensen a fleeting sideways look and Jensen covered up his blush by throwing a hasty glance around the room and changing the topic. “Your work is fantastic, Michael.”

“Yeah? You like it?” Michael’s grin widened.

To tell the truth, Jensen wasn’t particularly into photography, either.

The art displayed on the white walls around them was too incomprehensible, too sterile for his liking.

Jensen liked to show things as they were; he liked to draw tears and laughter; crowded markets or streets, where life was captured at its most vivid.

He couldn’t get excited about cubes and geometry.

If a picture took actual brainpower to figure out what they were all about, Jensen couldn’t be bothered.

Art had to come from the soul, not from the mind.

End of fucking story.

“Yeah, yeah it’s- it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Jensen said and it wasn’t a lie. “Listen, Michael, as much as we love the exhibition, would you mind if we stepped outside for a minute to make a call? Our one-year-old is staying over at our friend’s place tonight and—“

“Sure thing,” Michael said and pulled a set of keys from his suit pocket. “Second door on your left will lead you to an elevator. Take it to the top floor and get out on the rooftop. It’s a bit windy up there but you should have a decent reception.”

“Thanks, man,” Jensen gave Michael a warm smile before he tugged on Jared’s hand and dragged him across the room towards the exit.

 

 

Beyond the rim of the sixtieth floor of the rooftop, the bright city likes of New York twinkled dauntingly all around them.  

Moonlight spilled onto the marble floor and a majestic view of the city’s skyline appeared in startling beauty behind the banister’s glass insets.

Rows of towering skyscrapers stretched high above them, some still alight from within and some reflecting the flashy neon colors of Time Square’s myriad of colorful billboards.

Jared was standing with his chest pressed to Jensen’s back, his strong arms slung protectively around the younger man’s middle as they stared at the ant-like creatures that crowded the streets below.

They had been out here long enough for Jared’s body warmth had started to seep out of him.

Jensen was shivering against him, too, but neither of them was quite ready to move.

“Do you think we are assholes for waking him just to hear his voice?”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Jared snorted out a soft laugh.

Trust Jensen to feel the need to travel all the way to New York on some impulsive whim, only to end up spending half-the-night on the phone with their son because he couldn’t bear to be separated from Kelly for longer than ten minutes at a time.

“Overbearing, maybe,” Jared said and turned Jensen around in his arms so that they were facing each other.

He grabbed Jensen’s wrist and tugged on it as he made his way to a small couch in the corner of the rooftop, sinking down into the cushions and watching as Jensen sank down into his lap.

The city was ablaze with lights and noise around them, drowning out the sound of their rapidly beating hearts as Jared’s hands settled low on Jensen’s hips and pulled him close.

Jared slammed his lips against Jensen’s and knocked all the wind from his lungs in the process.

Jensen hardly had a moment to react, before Jared pressed his tongue against the seam of his lips and with a grant of access, delved inside.

It was a hard kiss with the strong scent of champagne exchanged in the intermingling of billowing, hot breaths.

Jensen’s arms reached up and tangled around Jared’s strong neck, arching up into the taller man’s broad chest and letting out a soft moan.

He could feel the burn of alcohol and cigarette as it rolled off their tongues and seeped down his throat with every bite off teeth and push of Jared’s tongue against his own and then, just when they were about to lose themselves completely in the moment, they heard it.

It was barely audible over the sound of honking and police cars that was New York’s nightlife, but they both still froze at the sound.

Jensen’s heart kicked up so fast, it knocked the breath from his lungs.

His fingers dug hard into Jared’s skin and Jared’s hold tightened impossibly around his waist.

A gun.

That was Jensen’s first thought; that someone had snuck up on them while they had been too distracted to notice.

That someone had finally found them, after all these years.

That someone had come to kill them.

His second thought was of Kelly and of how fucking glad he was that they had chosen to call him, to hear his voice one last time before—

“Get off me,” Jared bit out under his breath, his muscles coiled tight beneath Jensen’s fingers, pulse beating wildly under the skin of his neck.

He didn’t wait for Jensen’s reaction before he flipped them around, changing positions so that Jensen was safely hidden behind Jared’s muscled frame.

Jared made to get up and Jensen’s arms shot up, fingers tangling in his shirt. “No, wait —“

Stay ,” Jared growled out and then stalked off to where a person stood barely hidden in the shadows behind them.

He didn’t have anything on him for protection, no gun, no knife, no nothing and Jensen’s heart was in his throat when he saw the person move out of the shadows holding… a camera in his hands.

Jensen closed his eyes as a wave of rippling relief crashed down over him, so hard and overwhelming that he couldn’t brief for a second or two.

Then the reality of what was happening dawned on him.

Someone had been watching them- taking pictures of them kissing and holding each other.

A shiver coursed down Jensen’s spine and his relief was short-lived when Jared walked up to the guy and slammed him up against the nearby wall with enough force to shake him to the bones.

“Shit,” Jensen’s body unfolded on its own accord and he was at Jared’s side in a flash.

“Dude, I’m sorry, I-I just came up here to have a smoke and—“

“And you thought that stalking us with your fucking camera was a good idea? You take photos like that a lot when nobody’s looking? You jerk off to them at home, you fucking perv ?”

Jared was livid and Jensen couldn’t really calm him down, because the shock of hearing that noise- of thinking that it was a cocked gun instead of something as innocent- as harmless - as a fucking camera, had settled deep in his bones.

He knew that Jared had thought it too.

He had seen it in Jared’s eyes, had felt it in the twitch of his muscles, in the way his whole body had stilled against him; tense and rigid with mind-numbing panic.

For a moment, they had been back on the streets of South Boston, back at that warehouse with Lucian and for that reason alone, Jensen would have done nothing to stop Jared from bashing the guy’s face in, not even taking the fact that he was a creepy pervert into consideration.

“Answer me, you motherfucker!

“I’m a professional,” the guy hurried to explain, stumbling over the words in his haste to get them out. “I swear I didn’t try to- I couldn’t help it, alright? I’m doing this for a living and—”

That’s when Jared punched him.

Hard.

Jensen flinched when Jared’s fist impacted with the guy’s right cheek.

It had been so long since Jensen had seen this side of Jared, the impulsive hot-headed side.

The violent side.

Jared hadn’t hit the guy nearly as hard as he was capable of, but the punch he landed still looked powerful enough to force his facial bones into the rest of his head.

The guy flew back into the wall of the elevator, the back of his head hitting the door with a ‘thud’.

“You’re a professional what? A professional creeper?” Jared pulled the guy back to his feet with no apparent ill effects, no broken nose, no blood, just swaying lightly.

“I’m a- a photographer. Shit, man, that really fucking hurt .”

Jared snorted, spitting a glob of spittle to the ground.

“Yeah? Well, I used to kick ass for a living.”

“Looks like you’re not the only professional around here,” Jensen snarked.

“Listen, I’m sorry,” the guy said. “I shouldn’t have taken that shot without asking you and—”

“Give me your camera,” Jared demanded, not justifying the guy’s apology with an answer.

His dark gaze flicked down to an expensive SLR camera hanging from around the guy’s neck.

“Look, I’m going to delete the pictures I took right in front of you if that’s what you want.”

“What I want,” Jared repeated slowly, in a low growl. “Is for you to give me that camera.”

“Alright, alright,” Reluctantly, the guy lifted the camera from around his neck and switched it on. “It was just two shots, alright? I barely even got you on it. It’s mostly him and the way the light caught on his face when you kissed him—”

And wow, the guy must have been dense to say that.

Jared grabbed his two-thousand-dollar camera and smashed it against the wall beside the guy’s unsuspecting face like a fucking piñata.

The screen cracked and the lens broke, a few chunks of plastic, metal, and glass falling to the ground in an irreparable heap of shards.

Jared stomped down on the SD card for good measure, crunching it beneath his boots.

“Hey! What the fuck? Do you have any idea what that thing cost me?!”

Whatever little patience Jared might have still had, snapped at the words.

He grabbed the guy by the collar of his expensive polo shirt and yanked him close until they were nose to nose.

“Listen up you spineless piece of shit cause I ain’t repeating myself,” he growled out, his eyes near black with anger. “You seriously think you can come up here, snap pictures of my boyfriend and walk away with them?”

Jensen watched the scene unfold in mild awe, stunned at the realization that the mountain of a man who used to cage-fight and shoot guns and get into fucking brawls on a daily basis because he let no one walk over him, was the same guy who tenderly rocked Kelly to sleep at night.

“You pull a fucking stunt like that again and I’ll make you wish you had never been born, got it?”

“Y-yeah, I got it,” the guy nodded his head hastily and Jared released him with a jostle.

Jensen would have expected for him to tug tail and run.

But the guy surprised them both when he merely straightened out his rucked-up shirt and brushed some invisible dust from his jacket.

“Let’s go back inside,” Jensen sighed, and tugged on Jared’s arm, but the guy wasn’t quite finished with them, yet.

“You could make a lot of money, you know?”

Jared turned around slowly, his hackles rising again in obvious anger, but the guy just pulled a couple of business cards from his jacket pocket and handed them over, one palm extended in a placating manner as if to soothe an enraged animal.

“I’m just saying, I’ve been in the business for long enough to know that you guys, you could get real big if you wanted.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Jared bit out, scrunching the guy’s business card up into a ball and dropping it to the ground. “You seriously trying to recruit us?”

The guy shrugged. “I get paid to find potential in people and tonight I found it without even looking.”

“Yeah, well, thanks but we’re not fucking interested,” Jared rubbed a hand over his mouth and then stalked off, Jensen standing there for just a moment longer before he followed Jared back inside.

 

 

It wasn’t until much later, when they were back at the hotel and lying in bed, sweaty and exhausted and tangled together, that the events of the night fully caught up with them.

“It’s weird,” Jensen said softly, drawing random patterns against Jared’s skin with his fingertips.

“What is?”

“I thought he had a gun; that someone had finally found us."

Jared was silent, but Jensen could tell that he was listening from the way his neck muscles shifted.

“You thought so, too,” Jensen said. “I could see it in your eyes.”

Jared said nothing, opting to let the silence speak for him, instead.

For a long moment, the only sound in the hotel room was their uneven breathing.

“I thought about Kel,” Jared started and then paused again, licking his cracked lips. “About how fucking glad I was that he wasn’t with us. That he was safe .”

And yeah, Jensen could relate to that because their son had been his first thought too, before any concern for his own life- or hell, even Jared’s life, had crossed his mind.

“To think that it was just a fucking camera guy… to think that this- this fucking idiot had been standing there in the shadows for god know’s how long and taking pictures of you—”

“Pretty sure he took pictures of both of us,” Jensen threw in, but Jared wasn’t listening, his hands already curled into fists as anger welled up inside of him.

“I should have punched his fucking lights out.”

“You did,” Jensen snorted. “Broke his fancy-ass cam, too.”

“Served him right,” Jared huffed out a lungful of air and they both fell back into a comfortable silence.

After a minute or two, Jensen finally eased off of Jared’s furnace-like body, untangling himself from the other man’s sweaty limbs and sliding his legs off the edge of the mattress.

Jared sat up in bed as well, propping himself up on his elbow, but not making a move to follow Jensen; giving him the space he needed.

“I feel so stupid,” Jensen admitted in a soft whisper, eyes fixated on an undefined blank spot at the wall.

He shivered lightly and wrapped the sheets a little tighter around himself.

Jared was quiet, not prodding for information because Jensen was going to open up all by himself by the time he was ready and Jared knew it.

“I thought we needed this,” he continued in a ragged voice, running his palm across his mouth. “I thought maybe if we went on this trip and spent some alone-time together, that it would get better.”

“That what would get better?” Jared prodded.

“The nightmares, the panic attacks. The tension. Everything .” Jensen swallowed. “But we can’t even hear a camera flash going off without thinking that we’re about to get killed.”

Jared was quiet for a long moment, just letting the words sink in.

He was quiet for so long that Jensen had almost thought he wasn’t going to get a response at all.

Then he let out a heavy sigh and pulled on Jensen’s arm, gently twisting him around until their eyes met in a captivating hold.

“Look at me,” he ordered softly, even though their gazes were already locked in a clash of colors.

“I wish I could tell you that it’s all gonna get easier, but I can’t. I can’t do that because you and I- what we have- the shit we’ve been through together, it’s not fucking normal, Jensen.”

“But—”

“Look, I know it’s been hard lately,” Jared cut him off gently, swiping a thumb underneath Jensen’s eye as if to brush away invisible tears. “And I know Kel can be a handful.”

“He’s perfect,” Jensen countered immediately, his voice thick with emotion.

Jared smiled and leaned in to press a tender kiss to the corner of Jensen’s lips.

“Yeah, he is,” he breathed out against Jensen’s cheek. “But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to take a break from him every once in awhile.”

Jensen’s mouth opened and closed in protest, but no words made it past his lips.

“Next time you need some time to clear your head, just say the word,” Jared urged in a whisper.

He slid his hand up to tangle in Jensen’s hair and gently tugged him down into a slow kiss. When the younger man was properly lightheaded, Jared took a step back, eyes flicking down to Jensen’s lips.

“Wanna go for a walk?”

Jensen cocked an eyebrow at him, lips caught between his teeth. “It’s three in the fucking morning.”

Jared’s mouth curled into a lazy grin. “I thought New York was the city that never sleeps.”

Jensen blinked at him in surprise.

They had one fucking day, one night left to do whatever they fucking wanted, to pretend that things were easy and leave all their responsibilities in the rearview mirror for a couple of hours.

And maybe, just maybe, that was exactly what they both needed.

 

 

Jared bought weed on the street corner of some shady alleyway in Brooklyn and they started passing a joint back and forth between them as they walked down the relatively empty streets.

Somehow, and neither of them would later remember how exactly it happened, they ended up on Time Square and it was every bit the meddling, light-flooded monster it was on TV.

“You ever been here before?” Jensen asked and Jared marveled at the multitude of colors that reflected on his face from the flashing neon lights and billboards all around them.

“Couple of times,” Jared shrugged as they flopped down on a graffiti-smeared park bench. “You?”

“Yeah,” Jensen answered in a small voice. “I have an aunt who lives here. We used to…” Jensen’s voice trailed off, swallowed by the traffic. “ Before .”

It was as close as Jensen ever came to opening up about his family.

Jared knew that this wasn’t the time or place, but one day they would have to deal with that particular can of worms and Jared had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be pretty.

The moment was broken when a soft giggling sound had them both look up and spot a couple of girls on the sidewalk of the street.

They had their arms slung around each other and from the intimate way they were leaning against each other, it was easy to tell the nature of their relationship.

“They’re about to kiss,” Jensen commented in a raspy voice. “Maybe we should call our friend the photographer and tell him to break out the camera.”

“Don’t think he’s gonna be taking photos anytime soon,” Jared reminded him with a soft chuckle and then turning back to Jensen, pulling his legs up and across his own lap, like they were lying on their fucking couch at home and not on some dirty-ass park bench in the middle of the Time Square.

“Maybe you should take a picture for yourself, then,” Jensen suggested and wrinkled his nose, obviously feeling the effects of the weed and going with the flow. “I mean, I personally don’t get the appeal, but you’d probably think it’s hot with you being into girls and all.”

Jared snorted. “There’s only one girl I’m into.”

Jensen looked adorably confused for a second and if Jared couldn’t help but laugh at the flicker of god-honest jealousy crossing Jensen’s features as the words fully sank in.

“I’m talking about you, you idiot,” Jared snorted and slid his hand up Jensen’s thighs to his hip.

“You’re the idiot… idiot ,” Jensen responded and then frowned at his own words.

“Right,” Jared agreed slowly, fishing a half-emptied flask filled whiskeyhisky from his jacket pocket and taking a sip of his drink while Jensen’s blown pupils stared intently down at him. “Remind me to help you work on your comebacks, cause they fucking suck.”

“Those girls…” Jensen shot another glance back over the shoulder to where they were making out, now; endless legs, skimpy-looking outfits and shiny, long hair. “You really don’t find that hot?”

Jared saw the ruse for what it was.

“You wanna know what I find hot?” he asked, sliding his wandering fingers beneath the fabric of Jensen’s black shirt and causing him to shudder at the touch.

“What?” Jensen asked, taking a hold of Jared’s silver flask and sitting it down on the bench beside them, so that he could loop an arm around Jared’s neck.

They were staring at each other with a liquid gaze and Jared’s heart sped up impossibly at the intensity of the moment, the loud beat of his heart as it pounded away in his chest.

The sound of blood rushing to his ears, drowning out all else.

You.

“Yeah?” Jensen drawled out the word, a hint of Texas shining through.

He smiled and Jared’s hands tightened around him, enjoying the way Jensen’s muscles flexed beneath his fingertips, the skin radiating warmth, despite the cool breeze of the night.

“Yeah,” Jared replied slowly, their breaths intermingling. “You- in your slacks, brushing your teeth or spilling coffee all over your tie in the morning.”

Jensen rolled his eye; blushing lightly at the words.

Jared leaned in to whisper against Jensen’s ear, feeling the other man’s breath hitch against him. “You all flushed and sweaty and writhing against our silk sheets.”

“Shut up,” Jensen dipped his head and shoved at Jared’s chest as his cheeks heated up even further, coloring a deep shade of red.  

Jared caught Jensen’s wrists and pulled his hands close.

“The way you look when you fall asleep at night, with your reading glasses still on and drooling all over your smart-ass college books.”

Jensen groaned and rested his forehead against Jared’s shoulder, breathing in the scent of pine and firewood that was Jared’s aftershave. “Shut up, Jay, I mean it.”

“It’s true,” Jared replied. “My whole fucking definition of hot is you .”

He reached up to lift Jensen’s chin with his fingers.

The world around them was fast and bright and distracting, but they only had eyes for each other.

Jared was slightly drunk on alcohol and he was definitely high on weed and Jensen and he never wanted for any of it to fucking stop.

“Sun’ll be up, soon,” Jensen sighed softly, words slightly slurred as he leaned into Jared’s touch.

“We don’t have to leave until five,” Jared reminded him and then yawned, because even if they were both used to little to no sleep, it would probably still do them good to catch a couple of zees back at the hotel before they settled in for a long ride on the Harley. “Wanna go back to the hotel?”

“I think we should call him.”

Jared frowned. “Call who? Kel’s probably still asleep-”

“No, the guy… the guy from the rooftop.”

Jared snorted and shook a few strands of loose hair from his head. “Why the hell would we call him?”

“He said we could earn a lot of money,” Jensen scrunched his eyes up as if he was thinking real hard.

Jared chuckled and steadied Jensen's swaying body by tightening his arms around him.

"This shit's hitting you way harder than I thought."

"I'm serious,” Jensen insisted stubbornly. “We could make some easy money."

Jared's throat tightened at that, because hell yeah, they could use a little extra cash on the side, but easy money was usually dirty money and Jared didn't want to even think about Jensen lowering himself to the kind of work that would be required in order to get it.

"We don't fucking need that kind of money."

"Yeah we do," Jensen sighed, sobering up a bit. "What if Kel wants to go to college? He won't always live on baby food and diapers."

Jared shook his head and stared off into the distance.

"I'll have my own garage by then. You'll be working. We'll deal with it, earn that money another way.”

Without blood or drugs or fucking perverts, who are lusting after them from behind a fucking lens.

Jensen blinked and his frown deepened.

He said nothing though, so Jared let out a sigh and lowered Jensen’s legs to the ground before getting up from the bench and pulling Jensen along with him. “C’mon, you hungry?”

Jensen bit his bottom lip in contemplation and Jared brushed his fingers through the younger man’s brunette hair, just to feel if it was as soft to the touch as it looked.

They had about another hour or two before the sun would go up and Jared intended on making the most of it.

Maybe they could stop for a couple of burgers at Shake Shack’s and watch the sun going up over the tree crowns at Central Park.

“Sure,” Jensen yawned and gave him a dopey look, pupils blown and reflecting the colors of the huge Levis Billboard behind them. “I could eat.”

 

 

In the end, somewhere between Central Park and chasing the taste of caffeine off each other’s tongues, Jensen managed to punch the guy’s number into his phone and call him.

Jared damn near made him drop his cell phone in an effort to wrestle it out of his hands.

But by then it had been too late and Jensen was already confirming times for the photo shoot.

Jared wasn’t pleased, muttering and grumbling all the way to the guy’s studio, despite Jensen’s attempts to convince him that this was a good idea.

Eventually, though, when they stepped off the elevator into a light-flooded loft that was surrounded by glass windows and giving a beautiful view over the city, Jared was starting to think that maybe the guy hadn’t been lying about doing this shit for a living.

Lining the white walls, were photographs in all sizes, most of them black and white, and yet stunningly beautiful.

It was mostly close-ups of people or studies of certain body parts, like a flexing back muscle or chapped lips curled up into a smile.

It should have been simple, boring even, but it was nothing short of breath-taking.

“Are you here to see Mr. Vargas?” a young woman with a neat bun and framed glasses piped up from behind a reception desk.

Jensen was the first to rip himself out of his rigor. “Yeah, uh, we have an appointment.”

The girl didn’t ask for their names.

She just typed something into her computer and then grabbed a set of keys from her desk before leading them back to the elevator.

“He’s expecting you.”

 

 

The guy’s name was André and turns out he hadn’t lied to them about being a professional.

Jensen eyed himself skeptically in the full-length mirror of the dressing room, running critical eyes over the pair of black boxer briefs he was wearing.

Beside the skin tight pair of skinnies and the plain black silk robe he’d been handed, his body was more or less exposed to the public eye, lithe muscle beneath pale, freckled skin.

Some messy haired intern with nervous eyes and coffee breath came to tell him that the photographer was ready for him and it wasn’t until then that the situation fully sank in on Jensen.

With the effects of the weed slowly waning off and the full exhaustion of having stayed up all night slowly making itself known, Jensen tightened the silk robe around his middle and tried to swallow past the feeling of insecurity and panic that had started growing in his chest.

The make-up artist had been a bit overzealous with the foundation and Jensen barely recognized himself in that damn mirror, with his hair gelled and styled into a natural tousle and his cheekbones highlighted.

Although he had been the one to insist on doing this, he couldn’t help but feel slightly panicked at the prospect of having a balding photographer yelling ‘Give me more sex appeal, baby’ at them.

The briefs were a little too snug and if their special buddy ‘André’ was planning on shooting him straight on, there might be some fucking issues with that because there definitely was nothing left to the imagination.

A sharp knock on his door caused Jensen to startle and blink awake.

He ambled forward and opened it just far enough to see who had come for him.

“You just about done in there, princess?” Jared leaned in the doorway with a casual look in his eyes and Jensen tried not to roll his eyes at the way Jared’s eyes immediately dropped to his crotch, despite it being hidden behind the silk robe.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Jensen said, surprised to see Jared not only fully dressed- but also wearing what looked like a very expensive, well-cut suit that looked like it was fucking tailored right onto his body. “That’s what you’re wearing?”

Jensen had expected for them both to get dressed in high ends men’s fashion.

He had foolishly assumed that whatever style the photographer would go for, it would apply to both of them, meaning Jared would be dressed in nothing but scraps of black silk, too.

Now he felt decidedly underdressed, which, come to think of it, was probably the point.

Just imagining how those photos were going to look, Jared totally dressed – from head to toe- in his expensive suit and the leather shoes and Jensen in nothing but a pair of boxers, barely covering his fucking crotch.

“I think I’m not getting the artistic vision here,” Jared frowned and Jensen snorted in agreement.

Jared wasn’t even that much taller than him, but between the two of them, he was the decidedly alpha male, while Jensen was slender and slightly less masculine- what, with the long lashes and the pouty lips.

Jensen was starting to understand that that was probably the reason why the guy had been so fascinated with them in the first place because it was a pairing that was going to be great on film.

“Jen?” Jared asked, giving Jensen a slightly impatient look. “I asked if you were ready.”

“Sorry, blanked out for a second,” Jensen nodded and bit his bottom lip before following Jared out of the changing room.

They went outside into the studio and Jensen took in the white screen and tripod with weary eyes, still teetering on the edge of admitting that they’d both been high and slightly drunk when they’d agreed to do this.

But Jared would probably punch him if he ran off now, especially after they’d both gone through the process of getting make-up applied and getting dressed in ridiculously expensive clothes.

With yet another yawn (they really shouldn’t have stayed up all night), Jared wandered towards the professional looking equipment and crouched down in front of a complicated looking piece of the camera set-up before pressing a random button.

“Jay, don’t ,” Jensen protested but by then it was already too late and the flashlight went off just as Jared contorted his features into a ridiculously unattractive grimace. “You’re an idiot.”

Jensen lightly shoved Jared’s shoulder and crouched down beside him, pulling his lips apart with his fingers and rolling his eyes back in his head while Jared laughed and pressed the button again, capturing the dorky expression on film.

They both snickered, possibly still feeling the after-effects of their high when the photographer stepped through the doorway of the studio with a blond woman in tow.

“Having fun?” the guy called them out with amusement in his voice and Jensen got up with a start, hastily smoothing his palms down his robe and stuttering out an apology. “Sorry, we were just—“

“It’s alright,” André said and walked over to them.  He was wearing a black overall and he had the matching bruises on his swollen jaw to fit his outfit.

Jared smiled a little at the sight of it, smug bastard that he was.

“I’d rather have you two warmed up, anyway. Guys, this is my assistant, Norah. Norah, these are the boys who smashed my two-thousand dollar camera.”

“Pleased to meet you,” the assistant bit out from behind a gleeful smirk and Jensen blushed a little at the odd tension between them all.

Jared didn’t seem to have the same inhibitions.

“So what’s with the dress-up game? Did you forget his suit or do you want him half-naked for a fucking reason?” Jared asked with a cocked eyebrow, never one to beat around the bush.

The photographer grinned a little at them before shooting Norah a glance.

“See? I told you they’d be perfect.”

He turned back around towards Jared and nodded at the blue chaise lounge that was set-up in front of the white screen. “I want you both exactly the way you are, buddy. Preferably on that lounger.”

“Yeah, listen up, buddy ,“ Jared growled out the word, taking an intimidating step forward and stabbing a finger at the guy’s chest like he meant to point a loaded gun at him. “You’re already on my fucking shit list and the only reason why we’re here is because he wanted to come. So if you want us to play dress-up and pose for your fucking camera? You’re gonna have to play by my terms.”

André just looked at them both, his gaze flickering from Jared to Jensen and then back again.

“What are the terms, then?” he asked, probably realizing that Jared wasn’t fucking around.

“I sure as fuck won’t take orders from you or your little Barbie PA there, so we’ll find our own poses and you can either take it or leave it,” Jared explained in his best no-nonsense voice, ignoring the look of shock and indignation on ‘Norah’s’ face. “It’s just me and him. You try to pair us with any other models and all bets are off.”

“Anything else?” André asked with a hint of impatience in his voice.

“No touching,” Jared declared in a voice that was pure threat  like he was seriously going to kill someone if they so much as thought about getting too close to them.

Jensen rolled his eyes. “Alright, now that that’s out of the way, can we get started?”

“Gladly,” the photographer smirked and gestured towards the chaise lounge. “Why don’t you sit down and make yourselves comfortable before we start? I’d tell you what position to get in, but apparently, my advice isn’t needed.”

They would have had to be deaf not to notice the snark and sarcasm in his voice, but they chose to ignore it as Jensen fumbled with the knot of his robe and failed to open it, his fingers shaking so hard.

“Let me,” Jared insisted in a gentle voice and pushed Jensen’s hands out of the way, before opening the robe for him.

A flash went off and they both started a little, heads snapping up and blinking against the brightness of the lamps directed at them.

They weren’t even fucking undressed, yet.

What the hell was the guy’s deal?

“Just pretend I’m not there,” André instructed and Jensen’s eyes narrowed a little because it was hard to pretend that they were alone with half a dozen of cameras pointed at them from all angles.

He shuddered when Jared slid the silk robe off of his shoulders and drew in a hasty breath when the flash went off again, wincing a little when Jared’s palm came to rest on his shoulder.

“Relax,” Jared whispered and Jensen took a steadying breath as he stared up into Jared’s eyes.

It was just a couple of pictures, after all.

And the sum they’d been offered was bordering on ridiculously high, for the fact that they were total rookies at this and didn’t have any fucking experience at all.

They could do this.

For Kelly, they could do this…

That was what Jensen kept telling himself as they were splayed against that fucking chaise lounge, Jensen with an arched back and Jared leaning over him, their faces mere inches apart as the photographer hovered three feet away from them, fingers snapping on the button.

The whole thing was a lot more erotic than it probably should have been and Jensen was in serious need of a bucket of ice water in his crotch because it was taking all his brain power not to pop a raging hard-on and frighten the photographer and his assistant half to death.

“Yeah, that’s good, just try to arch your back a little more,” came the photographer’s instructions and Jensen’s thigh muscles tensed and quivered as he tried to do as he was being told.

It brought their faces even closer together and Jared’s heartbeat faltered for a second beneath Jensen’s fingertips as he took in a breath of hair. Jensen smirked and it became a little easier to ignore the ache in his thighs and back as he knew this whole setup was having as much of an effect on Jared as it had on Jensen.

“Spread your legs a little further. Jared if you could move up your knee, just a little— right, just like that.”

Jensen obliged, willing his dick to cooperate as Jared’s knee pushed up higher against his thigh, holding him open. Without being instructed to do so, Jared grabbed Jensen’s hands and moved them up above his head, in a familiar position.

Jensen blinked up at Jared with hooded eyes, licking his lips and Jared lost control for a moment, delving down to crash their lips together in a brief but intense kiss that stole both of their breaths and left them winded.

The flash went off a couple of them, but they’d learned to ignore it.

“Guys… guys, that’s enough. Get back in position, c’mon,” the photographer sighed and Jared broke away with a cocky little wink that totally did not make Jensen’s heart skip a beat.

“Jared, take off your jacket and open a few buttons of your shirt,” André said and Jared, for once compliant, did what he was told, smoldering in the way he slid the suit jacket off and opened one button after another without taking his eyes off of Jensen.

Jensen just lay back, propped up on his elbows and enjoyed the show.

He tried to focus on the job instead of messing with Jared.

After all, he could be smoldering too, if he wanted to. And judging from the way Jared was staring at his mouth, he was doing a pretty damn good job at it, too.

“Jensen move your knee a little, to the right. Stop. Yeah, that’s perfect,” the guy kept up a string of randomly muttered instructions, but neither of them was really listening.

“You good,” Jared asked as he pulled Jensen up from the chaise lounge and against him.

The new position showed off Jensen’s back muscles, while also displaying Jared’s tattooed chest.

This whole shoot was about selling high-end men’s clothes, but Jensen was pretty damn sure that nobody would pay the fucking clothes any attention if this campaign was ever published.

“Yeah, you?” Jensen whispered as Jared’s palms slid down to the waistband of his boxers in an intimate touch.

Jared’s cologne smelled so good that he was having a hard time resisting the urge to lean in and sniff his neck.

Instead, he leaned in to ghost his mouth along Jared’s jaw and hovered over his racing pulse point, shivering at the soft scratch of stubble against his cheek.

They were both fully aware of the photographs being taken, having gotten the hang and changing positions every few seconds without having to be told so.

“You’re gorgeous,” Jared’s eyes had taken on a dark glimmer that usually meant he was about two seconds away from losing control.

His hands were moving down Jensen’s back, fingertips just barely sliding beneath the elastic band of Jensen’s black briefs. The sexual tension in the room was thick enough to suffocate them all and Jensen stared at Jared’s mouth like he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to kiss it or fuck it.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” Jensen whispered before moving his hands up to grip Jared’s tie, wrapping it around his hand and tugging Jared down hard, so that their mouths were hovering mere inches apart from each other.

Jared’s breath turned a little ragged as he dragged his tongue over his chapped lips in a definite invitation for a kiss… or a blow job.

Either way, it sent currents of electricity right down to Jensen’s crotch.

“Alright, guys, that was great. Time for a new position,” André ruined the moment with an ill-placed interruption and Jared’s eyes flickered to the side as he swallowed, Adam’s apple bobbing visibly beneath the inked skin on his neck. “Jared, lie back down on that chair. Jensen, I want you to straddle him. You could grip the sides of his dress shirt like you’re about to rip it off…”

Jared arched a brow at the guy. “You do know the difference between provocative and fucking pornographic , right?”

André chuckled a little at that. “There’s nothing pornographic about these as long as you keep it in your pants and do as I tell you. James is going to gloat forever about you two… these shots are amazing.”

Jensen grinned slightly as he started unfastening Jared’s tie, leaving it to hang loosely around Jared’s tattooed neck instead of taking it off entirely. “How much is that shirt worth?”

André frowned at the question. “Why are you—“

Jensen didn’t just pretend to rip the shirt open, but he actually did, buttons flying to the ground around them as he yanked the smooth fabric apart with a sharp outward twist of his elbows.

Jared’s chest was rising and falling with every panted breath, his tattoos dark and alluring and right fucking there in the bright gleam of the lights around them.

Never having been really good at resisting temptation, Jensen leaned in to brush his knuckles against the hair before moving his fingers up to Jared’s throat and letting the digits curl around his strong neck.

Jensen was straddling Jared, pupils blown as he stared down at his boyfriend from behind thick lashes and fuck, yeah, Jared was definitely into this.

Jared reached back to grip his ass with enough force to make Jensen gasp.

“Move your hands, Jared… you’re blocking the view,” André said, continuing to move around them and snap one photo after another while Jensen’s mouth hovered over Jared’s neck.

The words got under Jared’s skin, though, probably reminding him of the fact that his boyfriend was currently displayed to two complete strangers in a position that was usually reserved for Jared only .

“You’re not supposed to take shots of his ass,” Jared snarled, body coiled tight as he narrowed his eyes at the photographer. “And you sure as fuck won’t be publishing that shit.”

“Alright, have it your way,” André sighed like Jared was some bratty model diva, who needed to have his way. “Then move your left hand over his thigh like you did before… yeah, that’s it."

Jared’s fingers lightly moved up Jensen’s thigh, warm hands sliding over Jensen’s goose-bumps in a way that was sensual and teasing all at once.

It was definitely what they were going for, but it did nothing to quench the rising desire in Jensen’s chest. Slowly but surely, the building tension was driving Jensen out of his mind.

They changed positions a few more times, getting a bit bolder as the shoot continued and teasing each other mercilessly as one hour turned into two.

By the end they were kissing so much that André and Norah had to stop the shoot a couple of times and get their makeup reapplied because their lips were all kiss-swollen and their hair was a mess and the Jared had somehow lost all of his clothes but his suit pants, which Jensen was absolutely not to blame for… okay, maybe he was , but it was Jared’s fault for being so fucking hot.

After two and a half hours of non-stop modeling, André called a cut.

“We’re good, guys. I’ve got some amazing shots,” he said and fiddled around with a computer while Jensen pulled his robe back on.

“Look at this,” the photographer waved them closer and they ambled over to where their photos were now displayed on a high-tech set-up of about four computer screens.

The shot he picked was one of their very first ones, with Jensen still in his silk robe and Jared smiling down at him with a softness in his gaze as he opened the robe.

Jensen’s throat constricted a little when André showed them another take with them on the lounger, lips curled up into matching grins as they cracked up over something one of them had said.

Jensen was pretty sure they hadn’t actually been posing when the picture of them was taken.

They’d just been goofing off in between shots.

“This one’s pretty amazing,” André commented as he showed them a picture of Jensen straddling Jared’s waist, Jared’s fingers splayed possessively against the sensual curve of his back while their lips hovered mere inches apart.

He clicked his mouse and the next picture robbed Jensen off his breath.

It was the one with Jensen’s fingers curled around Jared’s throat and Jared’s chest on full display, tattoos gleaming dauntingly on his torso.

Jared tensed beside Jensen and they exchanged a look in silence, realization hitting them both at the same time as they came to a wordless agreement.

“Alright, I’ll let you guys off the hook,” the photographer sighed and rubbed his neck. “Norah will write you a cheque and—“

“Yeah, I don’t think so.”

“What?” the guy paled a little and the smile slowly slipped from his features. “What are you saying?”

“You’re not taking using those for your campaign.”

“Excuse me?” André sputtered, his gaze flickering from Jared to Jensen as if Jensen could somehow change Jared’s opinion. “You can’t be serious.”

“Look, we’re sorry, but… this is,” Jensen swallowed and took another glance at the photographs. “It’s too private.”

The pictures were doubtlessly the work of a professional.

They were fucking perfect, from the way he had captured the little moments in between, where they’d made each other smile and laugh, to the way they’d kissed and looked each other once their inhibitions had given way to love and desire.

But this was too private, too intimate.

This wasn’t just a couple of aesthetic photographs.

This was their whole fucking relationship in a nutshell, from the way they looked at each other, to the little wrinkles around their eyes when they laughed at something the other had said or done, to the intimate, private way they touched each other- like their bodies were made to fit together, like their souls were made to complete each other.

It wasn’t just about showing off their bodies, even though that played a part, too.

Jensen had fewer problems showing off his ass on a fucking billboard than he had with people seeing the look of pure adoration in his eyes when he looked at Jared.

But modeling was usually done between strangers who barely even exchanged a couple of words before they started getting real close and personal with each other in front of a cam.

It was about superficial attraction and fake emotion.

And there was absolutely nothing fake or superficial about what he and Jared shared.

There was so much more going on behind the surface that most people didn’t know about and they liked it that way; didn’t feel the urge to share their life story with the rest of the fucking world.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” André huffed out an incredulous laugh. "You're seriously backing out on me now?"

“Look, how much do you fucking charge for an hour?” Jared asked snappily, not in the mood to have a discussion. “We’ll pay you for your time. But you aren’t getting the rights to those pictures.”

Jensen felt his heart swell a little at the words.

They had come here to earn money and yet, here Jared was, offering up to pay a photographer they sure as fuck couldn’t afford just to keep those damn pictures to themselves.

Jensen reached down to take a hold of Jared’s hand, silently tangling their fingers together.

He felt like there was an important life lesson in there, somewhere, but he couldn’t be bothered to figure it out.

Money had never been all that important to them.

It sure as hell wasn’t important enough to share this- what they had - with the world.

 

 

They were in the parking lot, leaning against Jared’s Harley and about to leave New York behind.

Jensen was staring down at one of the photographs they had shot- Norah had been nice enough to actually print it out for them before they left.

He was brushing his fingers over the pic almost lovingly, tracing Jared’s exposed back with his thumb.

“So there goes Kel’s golden ticket to Princeton,” he joked and took a last drag from his cigarette.

Jared snatched the photo from Jensen’s fingers and stared at it for a second before he pulled out his golden zippo and flicked it open.

Jensen didn’t protest when Jared held the photograph up between them and set it on fire, watching as the flames licked and bit away at the black and white picture of them.

Jared dropped the burning film to the ground and stomped out the burning embers with his boots, crushing the last remnants of their photo shoot beneath his soles, after they had made André delete it all.

Jensen had the secret suspicion that Norah might have printed a few copies for herself, but he didn’t care as long as their work didn’t get displayed publically.

“He could still become a mechanic,” Jared suggested, a slow smirk growing on his lips and Jensen snickered before he pulled Jared closer by his leather jacket and slid their mouths together in a lazy kiss.

“Knowing how much he worships the ground you walk on, he probably will,” Jensen sighed, his heart aching with how much he already missed Kelly, after just a day apart.

“He could become a photographer,” Jensen dead-panned.

“Or a model,” Jared suggested.

“Hell, no,” Jensen snorted and shoved Jared’s chest.

They traded knowing smiles and then Jared stomped their cigarette out on the ground.

“Let’s get going…” he said and swung himself onto his bike, waiting until Jensen fell in place behind him.

Jensen tightened his hold and settled his chin down on Jared’s shoulder, sending a last, lingering look towards the towering skyscrapers and crowded streets all around them.

He hid his smile in Jared’s neck when the Harley came alive with a roar, thinking about everything they'd seen and done in the past 24 hours.

Maybe New York wasn’t so bad after all.