The Ackles house was abuzz with excitement. Jensen was five today, which meant there was going to be a big party with a cake and balloons and presents, all just for him. He was so excited he could hardly sit still, kept running to the door to see if anyone had arrived yet, then into the kitchen to see if the cake was ready or if he could have just one more cookie while he waited. Eventually, Nina had shooed him out to the living room to watch TV, telling him that she'd feed the cake to the puppy he wanted so badly if he didn't stay out of her kitchen. Jensen hoped that meant he really was getting a puppy; he'd been begging for one for months, and every time he asked, his mommy just smiled and reminded him that his birthday was coming up, and if he was good...
He'd been so good for the last six months that it hurt.
"Jensen!" Mommy called from the backyard, and he could tell from her voice that she was smiling. "Come here, please! There's someone who wants to meet you!"
Oh, boy, a puppy! Jumping to his feet, he ran out into the yard, but there was no puppy. Just a boy in a dark brown tunic sitting on the ground. "Where's my puppy?"
Daddy laughed. "No puppy, sport. We got you something better." Jensen wondered what could possibly be better than a puppy, but then his daddy gave the boy's head a pat. "This is Jared. He's gonna be your companion."
He knew about companions. Jefferson Jackson Jigsaw Jones on TV had one, and he said he was his best friend. Jensen eyed the boy - Jared - then looked back at Daddy. "So... I'm not getting a puppy?"
"Nope. But I think you'll like Jared a lot more than a puppy." Daddy gave the boy a nudge and he got up and walked over to Jensen, then sat down in front of him.
"Do you like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?" Jensen asked him.
Jared stared up at him. "I'm not allowed to watch TV," he finally said, and Jensen scowled.
"He's dumb," he declared. "Take him back."
Daddy looked over at Mommy, who shrugged. Jensen was just about to tell them that he'd wanted a puppy, not a stupid companion, when he heard Jared sniffle. He looked down at him again, and there were big eyes looking up at him, almost like a puppy's, except they were a prettier color. "I don't wanna go back," Jared whimpered, and okay, that sounded a little like a puppy, too.
"Why not?" he asked, wondering if Bad Things happened wherever he came from. He wasn't supposed to know about that yet, but he'd heard one of the girls at preschool say that Bad Things happened to slaves if they weren't wanted. And Jared might not be as cool as a puppy, but that didn't mean Jensen wanted Bad Things to happen to him.
Jared didn't answer, just hung his head and sniffled again. And then he was really crying - soft, broken little sobs like Jensen had when his nana had gone to Heaven last year. He'd missed her a lot, and having her gone had left him feeling empty and sore, like his tummy hurt. Jared was crying like that, like his tummy was hurting and that made Jensen's tummy hurt, too. He didn't like that - nobody should cry or be sad, especially on his birthday.
Crouching down, he reached out to lay a hand on Jared's shoulder. "Don't cry," he told him. "You can stay here and be my companion, and I'll teach you all about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They're really cool."
Jared wiped his nose with the back of his hand as he looked at him. "Really?"
"I'm not sure that's such a good idea," Daddy started to say, but then paused when Mommy laid a hand on his arm.
"It's fine," she told him, then smiled at Jensen. "Why don't you take Jared inside and see if he'd like a cookie? Then you two can watch TV until everyone gets here for the party."
The prospect of another cookie was enough to make him grin. He grabbed Jared's hand and tugged him to his feet. "C'mon," he told him. "We'll go tell Nina we get cookies - she's our house slave and she makes the best cookies!"
Jared sniffled again, but he wasn't crying anymore as he started to follow him into the house. "What kind of cookies?"
"My favorite's chocolate chip, but she made lemon cheesy ones, too, and they're pretty good." He felt Jared squeeze his hand and looked over to see him smile, and that made the ache in his tummy go away.
Okay, so maybe a companion was a pretty good birthday present after all. And there was always next year for the puppy. Jared could even help him work on his parents to get them to say yes...
“Jensen Ross Ackles! Get down here this instant!”
Jensen glanced over at Jared when he heard Nina yell from the kitchen. “Uh-oh,” he muttered. “Looks like we’re busted.”
Jared quickly crammed a cookie in his mouth. “Told you she’d know it was us,” he said, crumbs falling out onto his shirt.
He shook his head and reached out to brush Jared’s shirt off. “We’re allowed to have a snack after school, so she can’t get too mad.” Although ‘a snack’ wasn’t really supposed to be a whole tray of freshly-baked cookies, and they both knew that.
Jared just gave him a look that said he knew better than to try offering that kind of excuse. But he didn’t back away when Jensen held his hand out; instead, he took it and they started downstairs together, although Jared’s steps were lagging a little behind Jensen’s.
Nina was waiting for them in the kitchen. “What do you two have to say for yourselves?” she demanded, glancing from one to the other. “Those were for the bake sale tomorrow!”
Uh-oh. Jensen had forgotten all about that, and from the way Jared was fidgeting and staring at the floor, he was pretty sure Jared had, too. “We’re sorry,” he offered. “We were just hungry when we got home and -”
“And you decided to help yourselves to as many cookies as you could hold,” Nina said, giving him a hard look that let him know she wasn’t going to accept anything except a full apology. “Then you’re going to want sympathy and peppermint when you’re both sick in a bit.”
“We won’t get sick!” Jared declared almost indignantly. But Jensen knew better, especially after what had happened at the fair, when he’d insisted on getting extra cotton candy and elephant ears to share with Jared.
Nina gave Jared a sympathetic smile. “Honey, I hope you won’t. But you two just ate almost six dozen cookies.”
As if on cue, Jensen’s stomach gave an unhappy little gurgle, but he tried not to show any discomfort. “I’ll take care of Jared,” he promised. It was his job, just like it was Jared’s job to make him laugh when he got too serious. That was just what they did. “Are you gonna tell Mom and Dad on us?”
“I should,” she told them, and Jensen felt a faint flutter of hope. “But I think you’re both going to be sick enough that you won’t need any more punishing.”
“I could help you make more cookies,” Jared offered, even though he already looked a little green just mentioning cookies.
Apparently Nina could see it too, because she shook her head. “You two get upstairs before your parents get home. I’ll bring you up some tea and crackers later.”
The mention of food must’ve been too much for Jared, because he clapped a hand over his mouth, whirled around, and took off running. Jensen’s stomach rolled again, tightening into a knot, although this wasn’t the aftermath of all the cookies. He hated it when Jared was sick, even if it was just something temporary like this. “If I promise to wash dishes all week, can I take some peppermint up for Jared?”
“You don’t have to wash dishes for that, sweetie.” Nina reached out to smooth a hand over his hair. “You go get him laid down in your room and I’ll be up in a little bit, all right?”
Jensen nodded and swallowed back a faint sick feeling of his own as he went to retrieve Jared. He was pale and sweaty, but he’d made it to the bathroom, so that was a good thing. And Jensen was glad he was done getting sick by the time he caught up to him - he didn’t think he could’ve stood watching or listening without getting sick right along with him. As it was, he barely managed to get Jared settled in bed with his teddy bear before he had to run for the bathroom himself.
All in all, it was a very long, very yucky night, and by the end of it, both boys agreed that they didn’t want to even look at another cookie again for as long as they lived.
“It’s not fair! Why can’t he go?!?”
Jared glanced nervously at the door when he heard Jensen’s angry voice drifting up from downstairs. He sighed and hugged his teddy, edging a little farther back on the bed. Jensen would probably tell him he was too old be to be clinging to the battered bear like that, but then Jensen said a lot of things these days that Jared didn’t always understand. He often snapped at him when he tried to cuddle up to him or climbed in bed with him, but his bad moods didn’t last long, and he was always extra nice when he realized he’d hurt Jared. He just wished he could make it so Jensen didn’t have to be angry anymore.
It wasn’t just Jared he got angry with, though. He yelled at Dad a lot, usually when they got reminded of a rule that Jared had broken, like being on the bed without permission or forgetting to put his collar on when they went downstairs for dinner. Dad said rules were important, but Jensen didn’t like them, so they argued a lot. Jared didn’t like it when they argued - not that either one of them would’ve listened if he’d tried to tell them that. He’d asked Jensen not to fight so much, and for a little while he hadn’t, but last week Dad said Jared should start eating in the kitchen with Nina, and Jensen had been mad ever since. And now it sounded like there was something else he was upset about.
Things were changing, and they were going to change even more in a few years. Jared knew that, even if nobody had said anything directly. He’d seen the college brochures in Jensen’s desk, and he guessed he was going to have to learn to be a better companion if he was going to college with him. That probably started with being a good boy instead of just doing what he wanted. He was trying to remember his collar more often, even if he hated the way it rubbed over his neck whenever he turned his head, and he’d been sneaking little glances at some of the shows Jensen watched to see if there was something there he could learn. But there weren’t many slaves on those shows, and the few he saw were mostly pleasure slaves. That, at least, he didn’t have to worry about.
His thoughts were interrupted with a literal bang as Jensen stalked into the room and slammed the door behind him. “It’s not right!” he said when he caught sight of Jared. “You’re my companion - you should get to go to Wally World with me!”
Wally World. So that’s what all the yelling was about. Jensen’s whole class was going to the amusement park next week as an end of the year treat, and although Jared had figured he wouldn’t be going along since he hadn’t gone to school with him for at least two years, it seemed Jensen had other expectations. “It’s okay,” he offered. “I don’t mind. We always go to Wally World during the summer anyway.”
“Yeah, but this is different.” Jensen slumped down on the bed. “It’s not like going with Mom and Dad,” he said. “All my friends are going and I just - I wanted you there too, y’know?”
Jared laid his teddy bear aside and scooted a little closer, reaching out to lay a hand on his shoulder. “You can tell me all about it when you get home.”
Jensen snorted. “Fuck that.” Before Jared could ask what he meant, Jensen twisted and reached out to hook a hand around his neck, tugging him in close against him. “If you’re not going, I’m not going.”
“Jensen!” He wasn’t sure if he was more shocked at Jensen giving up a trip to Wally World or if it was because he didn’t want to go without Jared. Deep down, he felt a secret thrill at being that important to Jensen that he’d miss out on going to one of his favorite places just because Jared wasn’t allowed to go. “You love Wally World,” he pointed out, just in case he’d somehow forgotten that in all the uproar.
The arm wrapped around him tightened briefly. “Yeah, but it won’t be as much fun without you.” Jensen sighed. “I just don’t get why Dad doesn’t get that.”
Jared thought about the way Dad looked at him sometimes, all cold steel and ice. “What did he say when you asked him?”
For a long minute, Jensen didn’t say anything. Then he finally said, “He says you’re a slave and I have to start thinking about what that means.” His voice was low, the words little more than a sullen mutter.
Jared thought about that, although he wasn’t sure why Dad would say it or why Jensen would get so mad about it. “Well, he’s right - I am a slave,” he pointed out. “I’ve always been one.”
“Yeah, but you’re my slave,” Jensen shot back. “And that means you should be able to go with me whenever I want you to.”
“I don’t go to school,” Jared offered, wishing Jensen didn’t sound quite so mad. “And this is a school trip, so maybe that’s why -”
Jensen pulled away and scowled at him. “Whose side are you on, here? I want you to go and that’s all that should matter!”
“I’m on your side, you know that.” Jared wondered why Jensen seemed to be getting mad at him now. “I’m always on your side.” Although he wasn’t sure what good that would really do. If Dad said he couldn’t go, then he couldn’t go.
All the fight seemed to go out of Jensen in an instant. “I know,” he said, reaching out to draw Jared in again. “Sorry, buddy. I’m just upset, that’s all. It’s nothing you’ve done.”
Well, that definitely made him feel better. Jared leaned against Jensen for a minute before he said, “You should go. I know you’ve been looking forward to it.”
“Nah. Wally World’s for kids, anyway. We’ll have a good time hanging out here - maybe we can even get Nina to make us cookies.”
As always, the promise of something sweet perked Jared right up and made him forget whatever was troubling him. “Double chocolate chip?”
Jensen’s laugh rumbled through him. “Yeah, double chocolate chip. And the lemon cheese, too. Bet she’d make ‘em both if you asked her.”
Jared scrambled off the bed and was nearly at the door before he remembered to turn around and check on Jensen. He was relieved to see him laughing, and when he shooed him away, he bounced down to the kitchen to turn his best puppy eyes on Nina so she’d make them cookies. And if that didn’t work, maybe telling her about Jensen giving up Wally World would.
One way or another, he intended to get some cookies out of her. Jensen needed them, and Jared needed Jensen to be happy. Or at least not upset anymore.
Jensen was leaving in two days. He was going to college, and the whole household was buzzing with activity, everyone swept up in his excitement as they helped him get ready to go. The brand new suitcases he'd gotten for his high school graduation were crammed full of clothes, while his laptop was tucked securely in his battered black backpack along with the books he'd decided he just couldn't leave behind. Other things were either boxed up or shoved in wherever he could make room, and even though his mother pointed out that his room wasn't being stripped the second he left, he still wanted to make sure he found a place for everything important.
Everything, that was, except Jared.
Jared wasn't going with him. He had to stay behind, and Jensen still hadn't figured out how to tell him yet. He didn't know how he was supposed to look at those bright eyes and tell him that he couldn't go to college with him, especially after he'd gone just about everywhere else with him since Jensen had gotten him for his fifth birthday. It had been hard enough when he'd started junior high and Jared didn't; he didn't even want to think what going away to college alone was going to be like.
It was a scary thought. No Jared in the bed beside him at night, giggling and grinning every time he left his pallet to join Jensen, both of them complicit in breaking a rule that had never been more than a formality to begin with. No long, warm body pressed up against him to keep out the chill, no feet to cover his when they were cold, no nose nuzzling into the back of his neck while he drifted off to sleep. Jensen hadn't slept alone, gotten dressed alone, or eaten any meal without Jared within touching distance in years. He wasn't entirely sure that he hadn't forgotten how.
But he was going to have to remember, or else figure out how to do without Jared. His father had made that clear - college was no place for a companion, and Jensen really couldn't argue with that. Jared was used to having his own space, as well as free roam of the house, and even if Jensen managed to convince Dad to let him go, dorm living wouldn't allow that kind of freedom. Not to mention that Jared would have to wear his collar all the time, and he hated having it on. He always said it was too tight or too itchy or, Jensen's personal favorite, too shiny. (The last time he’d heard that, he’d had to bite his tongue to keep from pointing out that it wouldn’t be so shiny if it were worn more than two or three times a year.)
Yes, it was definitely best for everyone if Jared stayed home. Besides, it wasn't like Jensen was going to the ends of the earth. It was just college, and he'd be home for break before either of them knew it, and then they could go right back to being how they'd always been.
Squaring his shoulders, Jensen headed upstairs. He had to tell Jared now if he didn't want Dad to do it for him. And while that was tempting, he wasn't a kid who could leave the hard stuff to his parents. He was a man now; that was what going to college was all about, and if he was going to call himself a man, then he had to face a man's responsibilities. He wasn't at all surprised to find Jared sprawled out on his bed, paging through his favorite book.
Jensen watched him for a minute, feeling oddly nostalgic when he thought about the round-faced, big-eyed boy he'd found waiting for him downstairs on his birthday. And now he was almost eighteen, nearly as old as Jensen, and not so little or round anymore. He'd shot up over the past few years, growing taller than anybody else in the household, and it seemed like he'd spent the last couple of years being all arms and legs and floppy hair. Nina was constantly complaining about having to let out his tunics so they were a decent length, although both boys knew her grousing hid her pride in how tall and strong Jared was getting. Through it all, though, Jared was still just Jared, and that was never going to change.
He looked up when Jensen walked in and closed the door, his face lighting up at the sight of him. "Hey! I was gonna come find you." Setting his book aside, he sat up on the bed. "You think Nina would make her lemon ricotta cookies for us tonight? I was hoping we could have some before we have to leave."
"Yeah, I bet she will." And if she wouldn't, then Jensen would do it himself. Anything to make up for what he was about to do to Jared. "Listen, about college…"
Jared grinned, bright and happy. "I can't wait to see it! I bet it's going to be so much fun - we can stay up as late as we want and have ice cream for breakfast!" He laughed. "But I'll make sure you study, even help you just like I did with Algebra."
He wouldn't have passed that class without Jared's help. "I, uh, I know you would. But that's the thing." Jensen took a deep breath. "You can't come to college with me, Jared."
"Why not?" He looked stricken, as though Jensen had reached out and slapped him. "Did I - did I do something wrong? Because I can -"
"No, buddy, that's not it. You haven't done anything wrong. It's just that college… well, it's really not a place for companions."
Jared's whole face crumpled and Jensen fought the urge to take it all back and promise to smuggle him in, just like he'd always snuck him an extra dessert on the nights they had company and Jared had to eat in the kitchen. But somehow he didn't think Dad would understand the way he always had before. He sighed. "I'm sorry, man."
Jared just shook his head and looked away, obviously struggling not to just burst into tears. Jensen's chest tightened, making breathing a lot harder than it should be. "It's not the end of the world," he said, wondering just who he was trying to reassure, Jared or himself. "I'll come back for breaks. Before you know it, I'll be right back here bugging you, just like always."
He reached out to lay a hand on Jared's shoulder, but Jared jerked away, his back tense. "It won't be like it was before," he said, and there was something new and different in his voice, a sort of brittle hardness that Jensen didn't like at all. He pushed himself off the bed and walked over to the closet that was stripped of just about everything in it. "I - I need to unpack."
Jensen felt like he'd been sucker punched. He hadn't realized Jared had actually packed, although he guessed he should've, seeing as how Jared's clothes weren't in their usual spaces. "Yeah," he forced out. "Okay."
He pushed himself up and trudged over to the door. "I can ask Nina about those cookies," he offered, as though that could somehow make everything all right.
Jared didn't even look over at him. "I don't think I'm all that hungry."
It was the first time he'd ever heard Jared say that that he wasn't sick. Jensen opened his mouth, then closed it again when he realized he didn't know what to say. He settled on offering a soft, "I'm sorry," before he turned around and left, like the gutless worm he was turning out to be.
Dinner that night was a quiet, strained affair. Jensen's parents glanced at Jared's empty chair, then at him, and he knew they were aware that he'd told Jared he wasn't going with him. He waited for either one of them to say something, but thankfully, they both seemed to understand that he didn't want to talk about it, so they all talked about trivial things instead. When he went up to bed, Jared was already curled up on the pallet he hardly ever slept on, although Jensen could tell he wasn't asleep. He tried to talk to him, but one look at the way Jared stiffened at the sound of his voice was enough to make him give it up and go to bed instead. Not that he really expected either of them to get much sleep.
The next two days were pretty much the same. Jared came down to meals after Mom went up to check on him when he missed breakfast, but he didn't really eat, just stared down at his plate and pushed the food around. He didn't talk, either, except for quiet yes's and no's when he was asked a question, and for Jensen, who'd grown up with Jared's chatter as a constant, that was the most jarring thing of all. A quiet Jared was a bad thing, but he didn't know how to make him happy, since the only thing it seemed Jared wanted, he couldn't give him. He settled on coaxing Nina to make all of Jared's favorites instead of his own for his last dinner at home and resigned himself to feeling like scum.
Jensen knew his parents were worried about both of them, but when his mother tried to ask, he just shook his head and muttered that he didn't want to talk about it. What else could he say? It wasn't like they were going to change their minds and let Jared go with him. Dad had been clear on that; like it not, Jared was staying and Jensen was leaving.
Jensen fully expected Jared to hate him, so it was a surprise when he slipped into his bed on his last night home. "I don't want you to leave," he whispered, his voice so soft and unsteady that it broke Jensen's heart.
"I know," he whispered back, swallowing around the golf ball-sized lump in his throat. He wanted to say that he didn't want to go, but that wasn't entirely true. He wanted to go to college, he really did, he just... didn't want to go without Jared. "I'm sorry."
Jared didn't say anything, but it wasn't long before Jensen felt something hot and wet hit his neck. He wrapped his arms around Jared and held him while he cried, and if there were a few tears of his own that got lost in Jared's hair, he knew Jared wouldn't ever tell.
He woke up in the early morning to find Jared sound asleep next to him. Jensen looked at him, at the tearstains and lines on his face, and decided to let him sleep. He definitely looked like he needed it. Easing out his octopus-like grip (something only possible thanks to years of practice), Jensen grabbed his clothes and bag, then headed for the bathroom to wash up and get dressed. He told himself this was better for both of them - a quick, clean break that would save them the pain of actually having to say good-bye. Besides, he'd be back for a visit before they knew it, and everything would be just like it always was.
Jensen pulled into the driveway of his parents' house, put the car in park, and turned off the engine. For a minute, he just stared at the house, trying to work up the courage to actually get out and go inside. "He'll understand," he said softly, repeating the same words he'd told himself when he hadn't gone home at the end of his first month, or his second, or for Thanksgiving.
And just like then, he didn't believe it, not for one minute.
He hadn't meant to stay away for so long. It was just that there always seemed to be a paper to work on or a party to hit up or a band to see, and before he realized it, three months had slipped by in the blink of an eye. And it wasn't that he hadn't called, but every time he checked in, it seemed that Jared couldn't come to the phone for some reason. Which meant that he was in the doghouse, big time. He just had to figure out what he'd have to do to get out. That, or turn the car around and pray he could make it to Chris' before his parents or Jared realized he wasn't coming inside.
His roommate had offered him a place to stay for Christmas when he'd seen how nervous he got about going home, but Jensen hadn't really wanted to go. Now he was wondering if he'd made a mistake in turning him down. "He'll understand," he repeated and forced himself to get out and actually walk up the drive to the door.
Nobody came running to meet him when he pushed it open, no feet clattering on the stairs or call of his name. "Hello?" he called out. "It's me - I'm home!" Even if it didn't feel like it at the moment. When there was still no response, he went looking for someone - anyone - to welcome him home. His bedroom was empty, as was the exercise room and library, but he finally found Nina in the kitchen. "Hey."
She turned around and smiled, then hurried over to pull him into a hug. "Hey there! How's college life treating you?"
"The food's not nearly as good as yours," he teased, and she laughed and shook her head.
"Couldn't tell that, what with you not coming home for Thanksgiving." But she started pulling sandwich stuff out of the fridge all the same. "You planning on staying a while?"
He went to sit down at the bar so he could watch her work. "Yeah, for a little while. I've got three weeks before classes start up again." She nodded, but didn't say anything, so he decided to just ask. "Where is everyone, anyway?"
"It's Tuesday," she pointed out. "That means work for those of us who aren't college students."
Doing his best to ignore the way his stomach tightened, he asked, "What about Jared?"
She didn't answer him right away, but then she looked right at him and said quietly, "He's at the Academy."
Jensen shot off his chair so fast it clattered to the floor behind him. He hurried to right it, swallowing hard as he tried not to start yelling. It wasn't Nina's fault Jared was at the Academy, just like it wasn't her fault that Jensen hadn't known about it. No, that was all his doing. Maybe if he'd called home a little more often, tried a little harder to talk to him - a sudden terrible suspicion set in and he turned around to see Nina watching him warily. "When?" he asked hoarsely. "When did he start there?"
"About a week after you left." When he didn't say anything, she added, "He seems like he's doing well, heard he's top in his class."
Of course he was. Jared was the best at just about everything he did, usually without hardly even trying. But that still didn't explain why he was at the Academy - that was for basic training or serious correction and Jensen couldn't see how Jared could possibly need either. "I, uh, I need to call Dad, let him know I'm home," he muttered. "I'll be back for the sandwich, okay?"
Nina gave him a sympathetic look as she nodded. "It'll be right here for you."
Jensen managed to make it out of the kitchen before he dug his phone out of his pocket and dialed his father's office. "Why is Jared at the Academy?" he demanded as soon as he picked up.
"Hello, Jensen," his father said. "It's nice to hear from you, too."
He gritted his teeth. "Sorry. I just - Nina said he's been there for months now. When were you going to tell me about this, huh?"
"You haven't exactly been calling home all that much," he pointed out. "And we were going to talk to you on your first break, but you had that paper due, so we didn't want to worry you."
Didn't want to worry him, when they were sending Jared off to Hell?!? "When's he coming home?" Jensen asked tersely, and when his father didn't answer immediately, he added, "He is coming home, right?"
"Of course." But there seemed to be something there he wasn't saying. "Just... not this Christmas. First year students stay at the Academy for a full year before they go on home visits."
Jensen shook his head. A year?!? No. That was absolutely not acceptable. But his father didn't seem to see anything wrong with it, because he was still talking. " - helps to acclimate them to their new situation."
"I still don't get why he's there," he argued. "Did he do something wrong?"
"No, it's nothing like that." There was the sound of a voice on the other end, and his father cleared his throat. "Look, I've got a meeting to take care of. Can we talk about this tonight?"
"Yeah, sure." He hung up and went back into the kitchen, where Nina was cleaning up. Sinking down into a chair, he stared at the counter until she put his sandwich in front of him. "Why didn't you tell me?" he finally asked. "When I called home last time, you said -"
"I said Jared was busy," she said firmly. "And I'm sure he was. Your parents told me they wanted to talk to you about it first, that they didn't want you hearing about it over the phone."
He thought about the opportunities he'd had to come home, whether for a weekend or longer, about how many times he'd put it off because he didn't want to face Jared after leaving, and felt a sharp pang of guilt. It was his fault that Jared was at the Academy, he was sure of it. Whatever he'd done to land himself there, it was no doubt done because of Jensen, and it was definitely his fault that he'd been there for almost three months. "I'm gonna take care of this," he assured Nina, doing his best not to notice the skeptical look she gave him in return. "I'll get him back."
The rest of the day was spent dragging his bags back in and enduring some good-natured chiding from Nina when she discovered just how much dirty laundry he'd brought home to be washed, checking in with Chris to let him know he'd made it home okay and actually managed to go inside without too much procrastinating, and reviewing next semester's course list. Anything to keep busy and not have to think about how deathly quiet the house seemed with just him and Nina in it. He wondered if it was weird for her too, before he remembered that she'd had several months to get used to it.
Thankfully, neither of his parents believed in long hours at the office if they could help it, so both of them were home in time for an early dinner. Jensen managed to wait until they were sitting down to dinner before he asked, "So why is Jared at the Academy?"
He saw his mother glance at his father before she replied, "He's in training."
"For what?!? He already knows everything he needs to." Jensen scowled at the thought of anybody, even his mother, thinking Jared was less than he should be.
"Jensen, honey, Jared can't be your companion forever," his mother pointed out. "You know that - we talked about it when you were getting ready to leave, remember?"
"You didn't say he was going to be sent to the Academy!" Although he wasn't sure just what he could've done differently. Companions really didn't belong at college; there were slaves there, but they were all pleasure slaves, and he knew just what Jared thought of them.
His mother looked over at his father, who took a drink of his wine. "He isn't being trained for companionship," he finally said.
That same sense of dread that had crept up on him earlier came back, and this time it brought reinforcements. "What's he being trained for?" he asked flatly, although he was pretty sure he already knew. And didn't like it, not one little bit.
"He's moving on to the next part of his life." When Jensen just stared at him, his father sighed. "Where do you think pleasure slaves come from, Jensen? They don't just grow on trees, you know."
"So you're going to whore him out."
"It's not like that! They -"
"What, they like it?" He shoved his chair back and flung his napkin on the table. "That's bullshit, Dad, and you know it. Jared's not like that - he doesn't want to -"
"Yes, he does!" His mother's outburst shocked him into silence. "He's doing very well in his classes and he's enjoying it, quite a bit. And I'm not going to let you make him feel bad about that when he comes back for a visit." She gave him a hard look. "You will not call him that name or any other, do you understand me?"
He swallowed hard but nodded, then mumbled an excuse and hurried back to his room as fast as he could without actually running, not stopping until he was stretched out on his bed with his face buried in one of Jared's old shirts. They'd started trading clothes the first day he had to leave Jared here while he went to school, and somehow, they'd just never stopped, but he guessed that wasn't going to happen anymore. Not with Jared being trained to be a pleasure slave. They hardly ever wore more than the most basic coverings, and while he could admit that he kind of liked that, he didn't want that for Jared. He deserved better than to have everyone staring at him like that.
Jensen spent most of the next several days in his room. He emailed Chris, telling him about Jared being shipped off to the Academy to become a freaking pleasure slave, watched some of his old movies and DVDs, played video games, and generally ignored everyone else as much as he could. Overall, he was more successful than he might've expected - at least, he was until he woke up on Christmas morning and there was no Jared bouncing on his bed at the crack of dawn, eagerly urging him to get up so they could go open presents and have pancakes.
He'd never thought about Jared not being there for Christmas, but now it seemed like he'd have to get used to it. Because Jared wasn't here, just like he wouldn't be here for his next birthday or spring break or... Jensen rolled over onto his stomach, buried his face in his pillow, and cried.
Jared peeked up at the door in front of him, then quickly bowed his head before anybody could catch him staring. He wasn’t sure if that was against the rules, but it seemed like it might be. And he was dreading the lesson ahead of him enough without adding a punishment onto it as well.
To be fair, the Academy wasn’t the horrible place he’d always pictured it at. They were taken good care of, with plenty of healthy food and exercise, and while the attendants couldn’t be called friendly, they weren’t abusive, either. If anything, they tended to treat all of them like they were - well, things instead of people, but things of great value that weren’t to be mishandled. It was disconcerting, but he knew it could be much, much worse.
He’d been incredibly homesick for the first few months, had cried himself to sleep more than once as he thought about how much he missed Jensen and Nina and home. He still missed them, but he’d learned not to dwell on it. This was his home now, and he had to adjust to that, no matter how much he didn’t want to. Besides, he didn’t want to shame the family that had taken him in for so many years - they deserved better than that. It was the last thing Dad - no, Alan - had told him when he’d brought him here - he might not be an Ackles by name, but he was one by raising, and he had to show everyone that that meant something.
So far, Jared thought he’d done a pretty good job of upholding the family name. He’d gone through the basic lessons in position and deportment quickly, but that had always come easy, even if he’d never had to worry about sticking to it when he wasn’t in public. Service was coming a little slower, if only because he often lost his concentration when he thought about Jensen cracking up once he saw his new skills. But overall, he was doing well - at least, he had been until today.
Today he was having his first sex lesson. He’d been brought down to one of the private rooms that some of the second and third year students had told them about and put into a kneel outside the door, then left alone to try not to panic. He wasn’t doing a very good job of that when the door opened and someone cleared their throat. “Look up, please.”
Jared raised his head to see a man looking at him. He was dark-haired, with the bluest eyes he’d ever seen, and he had a sinking feeling they could see right through him. Something of his fear must’ve shown on his face, because the man nodded and closed the folder he’d been studying, then turned his full attention to him. “Hi, Jared,” he greeted him. “I’m Misha, and I’ll be your individual trainer and handler. Why don’t you come on in and we can get started?”
Jared nodded, got to his feet, and stepped into the room, glancing around nervously. The whole place looked kind of like a doctor’s office, despite the large bed in the middle of the room. It had that same kind of sterile feeling, cold and impersonal, and he couldn’t imagine a less sexy surrounding.
“Go ahead and strip, then lay down on the bed,” Misha told him. “On your back, knees up, legs a little apart.” Jared obeyed, moving almost on autopilot. Once he was settled, Misha smiled at him. “Very good. I can warm it up in here if you’re cold.”
“I’m fine,” he mumbled. If being naked in front of a stranger and about to be violated against his will counted as fine, that was.
“Okay.” Misha walked over to the bed and picked up a velcro band that had a small silver thing attached to this. “Put this around the base of your cock for me, please.” When he caught sight of Jared’s suspicious look, he smiled. “It won’t hurt you, I promise.”
It wasn’t like he had much of a choice. Jared took the strap and fastened it in place, blushing as his cock twitched and then started to fill at the touch of his hands. But Misha didn’t seem at all concerned about it - if anything, he was pleased.
“Okay, so I need to know - have you had any experience with rectal insertion?” At the confused shake of his head, he nodded. “I thought as much. We’ll start small, then.” He picked up a slim black wand that was about the size of Jared’s index finger and handed it to him. “Now, I want you to open your legs and rub the tip of that over your hole. Don’t push in just yet.”
Jared stared at him in open surprise. “You - you mean you’re not gonna -”
“Of course not!” Misha looked horrified at the thought. “Jared, you’re going to be a pleasure slave. Don’t you know what that means?”
Of course he did. He was going to be some rich man or woman’s private whore, but he knew better than to say that out loud. That was one sure way to get his ass beat. He shook his head instead.
Misha laid the wand back down on the stand. “It means that you belong to your Master, even before you know who he is. And only your Master has the right to touch you. That’s why we teach you how to give and receive pleasure with the toys - this way, you’ll have the knowledge you need, but your Master will still be the only one you’ve ever truly been with.”
That actually made a kind of freaky sense. “So my lessons with you... it’s just going to be the toys and stuff?”
Misha nodded. And okay, so he still wasn’t crazy about the idea, but it beat what he’d gone in there expecting to put up with. “Any more questions?”
He had a lot more, but now really wasn’t the time to ask. Jared shook his head and Misha handed him the wand. “Open your legs and rub it over your hole,” he repeated. “No pushing it in until I tell you to.”
Jared really doubted he’d be eager to hurry on to that particular step. He opened his legs and reached down to rub the tip of the wand over his hole, just like he’d been instructed, then sucked in a sharp breath when a little shock of pleasure shot up his spine. The wand was smooth and silky, and it actually felt kind of good. He did it again, and Misha nodded.
“Very good. Now, I’m going to turn the ring on low, and I want you to press the wand against your hole a little harder. If it starts to go in, that’s okay, but you don’t need to force it.”
Before Jared could ask what he meant by ‘turn the ring on’, he pressed a button and the band around the base of his cock started buzzing. Jared had about two seconds to wonder what the hell it was before the vibration really hit his cock. He moaned, then immediately bit his lip to try to keep the sounds that wanted to get out in.
“Don’t try to keep quiet,” Misha advised him. “We’ll work on that later. For the first lessons, it’s a good idea to vocalize - just make whatever sounds you want. Now, do you think you can push the wand in, just a little?”
He nodded, then pressed the wand against his hole and pushed forward. It eased in, slow and not nearly as painful as he’d feared - in fact, it felt kind of good. He pushed it in a little deeper, moaning again as his cock, now fully hard, jerked in response.
“Very good,” was Misha’s response. “Okay, now I want you to pull it nearly all the way out, then push it back in, a little further, and I want you to try to angle it towards you. Can you do that for me, Jared?”
Angle it forward. “Yeah,” he panted. “I can do that.” He pulled it back, then adjusted the angle and pushed it in, then let out a loud moan as the toy pressed against something inside that felt like nothing he’d ever known before. “Oh my God!!”
A soft chuckle answered him. “That’s it, right there. Just keep it there, all right?”
Jared wasn’t sure he could move, so he was glad he didn’t have to. The band around his cock was still buzzing, making him so hard it almost hurt, but there was no way he wanted to stop. Not now, and maybe not ever. He moaned and reached down to wrap a hand around his cock, but Misha was faster.
A leather-wrapped rod came down on his knuckles with a sharp crack. “No touching,” Misha said firmly. “Only your Master can touch you, remember? Any pleasure you get comes from the toys alone.”
He was ready to beg for his Master to just come claim him already, if it meant he’d get touched, but he knew it wouldn’t do any good. Instead, he whimpered as the buzz around his cock intensified. “God...”
“It’s okay,” Misha assured him. “You can come anytime you want. Just let go.”
Jared wasn’t sure where they were supposed to go or what he was supposed to let go of. But the longer he lay there, the harder it was getting to stay still. He squirmed, just a little, trying to get a little relief from the almost overwhelming sensations, and the buzz got even more intense. “I’m -” he managed to get out before his cock pulsed and the pressure that had been building in a tight knot dissolved in a wave of hot pleasure that made his entire body seize up. It seemed to go on and on before the buzzing stopped and he slumped bonelessly back against the bed.
Misha smiled at him. “Very good,” he said, handing him a cloth. “Go ahead and take the wand out, and clean up. We’ll talk a little and then you can get dressed and go back to your room for a while before dinner.”
It was only when Misha mentioned cleaning up that he realized what a mess he was. He was covered with sticky white streaks, just like when Jensen would have one of his special dreams, except that this hadn’t been a dream. It had been all too real. He pulled the wand out and sat up, picking up the cloth that had appeared next to him so he could wipe himself off.
Once he was done, he heard Misha clear his throat and look pointedly at the floor. Jared scrambled onto his knees, getting into the usual position, although his legs felt weak and shaky, like they didn’t want to hold him. Maybe this was why pleasure slaves knelt, so they didn’t have to worry about standing when they felt like this. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Misha told him. “But you’ll need to be able to get into a kneel as soon as possible, so we’ll work on that. Just like we’ll work on your stamina, and we’ll go over other ways you can please your Master. For the first few lessons, though, I just want you to enjoy it - this is about learning your body and how to read its signals.”
He nodded, although he wasn’t sure he understood. “Good. Go ahead and put your tunic on, and you can go up to your room for a while before dinner. From now on, I expect you to take your tunic off as soon as you come in and kneel right here unless I give you any other instruction. We need to get you comfortable being naked and looked at.”
Jared bowed his head and mumbled, “Thank you, Sir.” He’d made the mistake of calling one of the instructors Master on his first day and they’d been quick to correct him. Master was reserved for the man that would buy him, and he wasn’t to call anybody else that until he had one. Sometimes it seemed like he was the only one that thought it was weird that everyone talked about him as having one without knowing who he was. But he wasn’t supposed to think about it, or at least that’s what his instructors kept telling him.
Getting to his feet, Jared took the yellow slip Misha handed him and let himself out into the hallway. It had taken him a while to learn that he had to either have a slip or escort if he were outside the dorms. Thankfully, he wasn’t stopped on his way back today, although that may have been due to the fact that he walked as fast as he could without actually running than anything else. He kept his eyes down and didn’t look up until he was safely in the room he was sharing with another first year.
More than anything else, Jared wanted a shower. Well, no, that wasn’t true, actually. What he really wanted was to go home - or better yet, go to college with Jensen. But neither of those things were an option, so he knew he’d settle for a hot shower, but he wasn’t sure if he had time before dinner. He sat on the edge of his bed for a few minutes, clutching the bedspread as he started to shake. When he heard his teeth start to chatter even though he wasn’t cold, he decided to risk the punishment he’d earn for being late. He grabbed his shower kit and a fresh tunic, then hurried down the hall to the large shower room, which seemed much bigger and scarier without the group of chattering, laughing boys that he usually shared it with.
After a long, hot shower where he scrubbed himself until his skin was pink, he dried off and pulled the fresh tunic on, then went back to his room to drop the discarded tunic and towel into the laundry box - and he had to admit, one good thing about the Academy was not having to do his own laundry or wash dishes or any of the other chores Jensen and he used to get saddled with because Nina thought they should both learn to help out around the house - and sat down with his teddy bear and Body Language textbook to try and go over some of the subtleties that he was still having trouble with. They’d memorized the seven basic signals last month, and now they were working on silent commands, with a focus on those given through eye movements. Jared studied some of the diagrams and told himself that he hoped his Master wouldn’t have some kind of facial paralysis or worse, a nervous tic - imagine how disastrous that could be!
He snickered softly at the thought of trying to obey a Master that couldn’t control his face, but the laughter didn’t last long. Jensen would’ve liked hearing that - he’d have laughed with him and spent the next week making weird faces at him every chance he got - but he couldn’t tell him about it. He couldn’t tell him anything, not about the Academy or his classes or the other slaves or - He blushed when he thought about telling him about his lesson today. Okay, so maybe he wouldn’t want to share everything with him, but it would be nice to talk to him. He understood why it wasn’t allowed, but that didn’t make it any easier to deal with. With a sigh, Jared hugged his bear tighter and tried to focus on his studies instead of wondering what Jensen was doing right now.
Jensen took a drink of his soda, then glanced down at the menu in his hands as though he hadn’t already figured out what he was going to order about fifteen minutes ago.
“You know, I don’t bite,” his lunch date told him. He looked up to see her giving him a sly smile. “Well, not unless you ask me really nice.”
He forced a smile and nodded, then closed the menu and set it aside. This was his third lunch date with Danneel Harris and he kept waiting to feel that spark that all the movies and TV shows talked about, but so far, he’d only felt uncomfortable. “Yeah. I’ll, uh, I’ll keep that in mind.” He cleared his throat and took another drink. “So how are your classes going?”
“Good,” she said, just like she had when he’d asked her last week. He waited for her to ask about his, but she just studied him for a minute instead. Finally, she said, “Look, don’t get me wrong, here. You’re a nice guy, and it’s been nice having lunch somewhere that isn’t the dining hall, but -”
“But this isn’t working.” He let out a relieved sigh and smiled at her, the first non-forced smile he’d given anyone besides Chris is at least a month.
Danneel shook her head. “No, it really isn’t.” She picked up her drink and leaned back in her chair. “We can skip lunch if you want. I’m fine with it.”
“No, I’d like to go ahead with it,” Jensen heard himself say, and to his surprise, he meant it. He felt a lot better with things out in the open. “If you still want to, that is. And I’m still paying.”
A low, throaty chuckle answered him. “Only if you let me get the next one.” When he nodded, she smiled. “Good.” She signaled the waiter over and handed him her menu. “I’ll have a double order of ribs with coleslaw and fries, and we’ll have onion rings to start.”
Jensen barely managed to close his mouth. He could hardly imagine Danneel, whose perfectly styled red hair and flawless makeup just screamed of icy beauty, delving into a rib platter like that. When the waiter turned to him, he blurted out, “Bacon cheeseburger with fries, thanks,” and barely managed to wait until they were alone before he asked, “So how come you never ordered anything like that before?”
She gave him a distinctly feline smile. “Because we were on a date. And ribs aren’t date food.”
That made no sense at all. “Date food?” he asked blankly.
“Oh, honey, you have been sheltered, haven’t you?” She sighed. “What about when you used to take someone out in high school? What’d they order?”
He chuckled as he remembered Jared’s usual order. “A double bacon cheeseburger with the works, curly fries, a chocolate milkshake, and a piece of pie as big as his head.”
She raised one eyebrow and murmured, “I see,” then added, “Sounds like a pretty big order.”
“Well, he was a growing boy,” Jensen attempted to explain. “Jared’s probably gonna end up being taller than me.”
“Jared?” He nodded and she took another sip of her drink. “He sounds interesting. Why don’t you tell me about him?”
He hadn’t mentioned Jared on their previous dates. Not that he was ashamed of him or anything, but it just seemed... wrong, talking about him when he was supposed to be concentrating on somebody else. But now Danneel was asking, so Jensen started telling her all about Jared - his klutziness, his big smile and loud laugh, his sugar dependance, his love of all things Disney, how he’d introduced him to the Ninja Turtles when they were five only to have Jared claim three years later that Batman could take them all on and win and how Jensen had bloodied his nose for it and they’d both gotten in trouble but then Jared had given him a TMNT picture for Valentine’s that year while Jensen convinced his parents to buy them Batman and Superman pajamas for his birthday and - Belatedly, he realized Danneel was almost done with her ribs and he’d been talking about Jared the whole time. “Sorry. I guess I got a little carried away.”
She wiped some of the barbecue sauce off her face with a napkin and started licking her fingers clean. “It’s okay,” she told him as she let one finger slide free once it was clean. “He sounds like a pretty great guy. Where is he now?”
At the Academy, being made into a pleasure slave. Jensen’s good mood vanished when he thought about why Jared wasn’t with him laughing and eating all of his food and most of Jensen’s like he should be. “He’s going to school somewhere else.” It wasn’t a lie, not really. It just wasn’t the entire truth, but he didn’t feel like admitting it just yet.
Something about the whole situation must’ve shown in his face, because Danneel laid one still-sticky hand on his own. “I’m sorry,” she said quietly. “You must miss him.”
He nodded and somehow managed to get a quiet, “Yeah,” out of his throat as it closed up.
They sat there for a few minutes while Jensen told himself he had to get the fuck over this, man up and forget about Jared the way he knew his father wanted him to. But it wasn’t easy, especially after he’d spent a good forty-five minutes telling stories about him, making him remember everything he missed about him. He swallowed hard and picked up his drink, finishing it off and setting it back down. “So I guess we should probably be getting back,” he suggested, more because he wanted to get out of there before he completely embarrassed himself by ending up in tears than because he really wanted to leave. “I’ve got an Econ paper to write and you’ve probably got... something.”
Danneel squeezed his hand and gave him a smile. “I really should study for my Art History class,” she agreed, and Jensen wanted to hug her.
He paid up and let Danneel wrap his uneaten burger up, even though he knew Chris was the one who’d end up eating it, not him. They walked back to the dorms, chatting about classes and comparing dorm food, and when they ended up in front of her door, Jensen was surprised to realize that he really did want to see her again. Just... not on a date. She was a lot more fun when she wasn’t dating. “Maybe we could go out to lunch again next week?”
She leaned in and hugged him. “It’s a date. We’ll make it a weekly thing, okay? You can tell me more about Jared and I’ll tell you about some of the losers I’ve dated.”
Jensen grinned and nodded, giving her a careful squeeze before he released her. He glanced down at the box in his hand as he walked back downstairs to go to his dorm. Maybe he’d go ahead and eat it, after all. And while the date might not have gone that well, he thought he’d made a friend. His first, aside from Chris, and the first girl he’d ever felt anywhere close to comfortable around.
He thought back to the way she’d licked her fingers clean after demolishing a huge plate of ribs and grinned a little wider. If this was what Danneel was like with her friends, Jensen thought he’d much rather be her friend than her boyfriend.
Jared was in trouble. Big trouble. More trouble than he’d gotten in when he’d snuck out to go skinny dipping with Jensen at the high school at the end of freshman year. And it was worse this time because he was alone. There was no Jensen there to remind him that he was going to be okay, no Jensen to smuggle a treat up to him to help him feel better, no Jensen to take part of the punishment or blame away. This was all on him.
He stared down at the floor in front of him as he waited in the spot Misha had pointed to, fighting the tremors that threatened to leave him shaking and crying like he was five all over again. It seemed like a long time before he heard the soft click of Misha’s shoes on the floor and heard him ask, “Do you know why you’re here?”
Jared nodded miserably. “I didn’t tell you not to speak,” Misha said, his voice sharp. “I want to hear you tell me why you’re here, Jared.” And something about the way he said his name made him feel small and terrified.
“I was talking about my owner.” They’d all been told to put their former lives behind them when they started training and he’d tried, really he had, but he couldn’t just forget about him that easily. When Chad mentioned his Master going to school, Jared had automatically told him that his owner was at college, too - maybe even the same school, and wouldn’t that be cool?
He’d never thought about the other boys in the room or expected any of them to turn him in for breaking a rule.
Silence answered him and he wondered if he’d made it worse by admitting it. Then Misha asked, “What did you just call him?”
“No.” The cold, whip-like crack of his voice actually made Jared flinch. “He was your owner. You belong to the Academy now, and soon you’ll belong to your Master, but you don’t belong to him anymore.”
Every fiber in his being screamed out in denial at that statement. He was Jensen’s, had been Jensen’s ever since he was five years old, had expected that he’d always be Jensen’s. Not some stranger’s, even though logically he knew that was the way it would have to be. But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t still be Jensen’s, no matter who had the legal rights to him. He knew better than to say any of that, though, so he just swallowed hard and nodded, hoping his punishment wasn’t going to be too bad. After all, he was more valuable to them unmarked - wasn’t he?
Misha suddenly shook his head. “You look terrified. Just what do you think I’m going to do to you?”
“I don’t know,” Jared said miserably. “Maybe... maybe whip me?” That was what Mike said was going to happen. He’d practically purred it when Jared had received the red punishment slip. Come to think of it, it had probably been Mike who turned him in.
He was slightly reassured by his trainer’s laughter. “We don’t whip slaves here at the Academy,” Misha told him. “Not unless their Master wants them trained to like it.”
Jared licked dry lips. “But what if - what if a slave does something really, really bad?”
Misha looked serious, and more than a little sad, and Jared wondered who he knew that had done something really bad. “Then we know they wouldn’t be a good pleasure slave and they’re sold to be something else.”
Something like Nina? He thought he could do that. Of course, he didn’t know how to cook, but if he could learn to deep throat in his sessions with Misha, then surely he could learn that. And he was a good student - Misha said so. He could already take the long toy halfway down, and that was more than most of the other first years could manage. Something of his thoughts must’ve shown on his face, because Misha frowned. “They’re sold to the brothels and stress management centers, Jared. Turned into common toys, used and discarded by anyone with the cash to afford them for an hour. Their training is wasted, and they become just a body. They will never have a Master, which means they will never know what it means to be someone’s treasured belonging. They won’t have a home or anyone to love them and pet them the way pleasure slaves.” Misha looked down, holding Jared’s stare intently. “Do you understand, Jared?”
No Master, not Jensen or some nameless, faceless stranger, not ever. He’d be alone, completely and totally alone, without anyone to answer to beyond whatever kind of overseer brothels used. Somehow he doubted they’d be as nice as Misha or follow the rules the way he did. Jared shuddered at the thought and nodded. He understood what could happen to him, and he intended to make very, very sure he didn’t break any more rules.
“Good.” Misha rested a hand on his head. “But the fact remains that you broke a rule, and a very important one, so you’re still going to have to be punished.”
Jared bowed his head and told himself that whatever his punishment was, he’d bear it without complaining or begging for mercy. Misha was right; he’d broken a rule and he deserved whatever was going to happen to him. So he was more than a little surprised when, after a moment of silence, Misha said, “Strip and lay down on the bed on your back.”
They were going to have a session? Now? Jared peeked up at him, then nodded and hurried to do as he was told, his dick already filling as he tugged his tunic over his head. His body knew better than his mind - Misha had told him that before, and it seemed he was right, because as soon as he was told to get naked, Jared was halfway hard. He hung his tunic up on the hook on the wall and crawled up onto the bed, settling down on his back, his legs slightly spread. It was the first bed position every student at the Academy learned, the one that meant that good things were going to happen, and any thought of punishment slipped away as he waited for Misha to walk over to the bed.
“No ring today,” his trainer commented. “But you won’t come until I tell you to. If you do, you’ll spend the next week alone in one of the quiet rooms. Do you understand?”
Jared swallowed hard. The quiet rooms were where they were sent if they had an outburst. He’d had to go there a few times when he was still adjusting to life at the Academy, once for arguing with Alona and telling her he should be able to eat anytime he felt like it, and once for having what could only be described as a tantrum when he found out that he wouldn’t get to go home to see Jensen for Christmas. Both times it hadn’t taken more than an hour in the quiet room before he was on the floor in his very best formal kneel, offering up apology and promise to do better. He hated the quiet rooms, hated the white, sterile walls that absorbed all sound and left only an eerie silence that rang in his ears. Like most of the other pleasure slaves at the Academy, Jared was a social creature. He craved contact with his fellow slaves and trainers, and losing that contact had left him empty and aching inside.
It was definitely an experience he didn’t want to repeat.
“Yes, Sir,” he whispered, and had to bite back a whimper when Misha reached down to pull the drawer open and withdrew the purple toy, the one with the bumps on it that had made Jared come three times the last time he’d used it. But he didn’t argue, just held his hand out for the lube so he could open himself up for it.
After two of the longest hours of his life, he made his way upstairs, sticky and aching in ways he hadn’t known were possible. He knew he should shower, should clean up and get ready for dinner, but right now he hurt too badly to even think of it. Instead, he crawled up onto his bed and curled onto his side, clutching Teddy tightly to his chest. Hopefully, he could just lay there and not have to move for a week or two - maybe by then he’d feel like himself again.
He didn’t hear the knock, but he did hear the low whistle from the doorway. “Damn, man. What the hell did they do to you down there?”
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” he mumbled into the teddy bear’s fur. A belated shudder ran through him and he barely managed not to moan as his exhausted, overstimulated body tried to respond.
Chad didn’t bother to ask if he could come in, but then, he never did. He just strolled in and sat down on the foot of Jared’s bed. “You look like hell,” he commented, and in spite of the throbbing echoes of pleasure and pain that still echoed through him, Jared managed to smile. Something about Chad’s absolute frankness just did that.
“I feel like hell,” he agreed, drawing in an unsteady breath.
“Seriously, did they, like, beat you or something?”
“No, nothing like that.” Jared was starting to think he’d have preferred a beating, actually. Misha had made him fuck himself with the toy but refused to let him come. He’d begged and pleaded, even cried, but it wasn’t until he’d sobbed out over and over again that he belonged to his Master that Misha had allowed him to come. And come. And come twice more until he was dizzy and shaking, and then he’d demanded yet another orgasm, refusing to allow him to stop until Jared had wrested a fifth climax from his exhausted body. Only then had he been given the quiet order he’d been waiting for.
If he’d hoped Chad would accept that, he was very, very wrong. “So what happened? And don’t give me that shit about not wanting to talk about. You and I both know I’m gonna end up there sooner or later, so I wanna know what to expect.”
It was a miracle Chad hadn’t ended up there at least once a month, actually. Jared chalked that up to him being extra sneaky, more than usually charming when he got caught, and already owned. That was the big different between Chad and the rest of them, the thing most of them didn’t talk about, although he wasn’t sure if it was jealousy or pity that kept them from mentioning it. Chad already had a Master - not the future kind like Jared and the others but a real, flesh and blood Master. He’d been a private sale before he was ever sent to the Academy, and all he had to do was learn his lessons so he could please his Master once he came to collect him. And either his Master liked loud, impudent slaves or he had no idea what Chad was actually like, because he pretty much did as he pleased outside of training sessions.
Still, Jared didn’t want to see Chad get punished, at least not without knowing what might happened. He was the closest thing he had to a friend here, even if he was nothing at all like Jensen. “They reminded me who I belong to,” he said dully.
“What, your Master?” Chad snorted. “Talk about a ‘duh’ announcement.” Then he must have caught sight of Jared’s face, because his voice softened. “Dude, you weren’t - you didn’t -”
He just shook his head and burrowed into his teddy. He was a slave, he knew that, and by definition a slave belonged to someone, but for Jared, that had always been Jensen. And somehow, despite college and the Academy and everything else, he’d always expected it to be Jensen. But he knew better now. Misha had shown him the truth, and even though he wanted to hate him for it, Jared couldn’t. Because it wasn’t Misha’s fault anymore than it was his or Chad’s or anyone else’s but Jensen.
Jensen was the only one that could have saved him from this, but he’d gone to college instead. He wasn’t coming for him, wasn’t going to miraculously show up and take him out of there. Jared would be sold on the auction block in a year or two, and Jensen wouldn’t know about it. He’d go to a new Master’s house and he’d never see Jensen again. As he lay on the bed, his balls throbbing and his body shivering as it tried to find its equilibrium, he remembered what Misha had said when he lay on the bed, gasping and sobbing while his body betrayed him:
This is the way things are. You can fight it all you want, but you’re one person and this is how things have been for hundreds of years. I suggest you accept it - you won’t find any happiness until you do.
Jared was tired of fighting for something that he was never going to get to have anyway. He whispered a grateful thank you as Chad pulled a blanket up over him, snuggled in closer to his teddy, and went to sleep. And for the first time in over a year, when he closed his eyes and thought of his Master, he didn’t see Jensen’s face.
It took Jensen a few minutes to realize he’d just been asked a question. Or at least, he thought he had. Dani was staring at him with that expectant look that said he’d better have a damn good reason for spacing out on her or she was going to teach him a thing or two about pain. “Sorry,” he muttered. “Guess I was thinking about... something else.”
“I’d ask if it was Jared again, but that would probably be an improvement,” she sighed, shaking her head. “Seriously, Jensen, you have got to relax a little bit. Or if you can’t do that, at least pretend to listen when I’m trying to tell you about the hot guy I picked up last weekend instead of going over your Econ notes in your head.”
“Early American History, actually,” he admitted with a shrug. “And I’d pay attention if all your ‘hot guy’ stories didn’t end with you kicking the poor asshole out at six-thirty in the morning after you’ve made him go get you coffee and fix you breakfast.” He shook his head. “Most guys expect to actually be able to eat what they cook, you know.”
“Keep it up,” she shot back. “Sarcasm doesn’t get people laid, Jensen.”
Like he really cared about that. But he knew Dani did, and from the steady stream of men (and the occasional woman) that he saw coming out of her room on Saturday and Sunday mornings, he should probably take her advice. And he would, he definitely would. Just not now. Right now he was too busy studying for finals to worry about getting laid. “Getting laid doesn’t help you pass your finals,” he pointed out.
Dani just sighed and shook her head. “Sometimes you are so hopeless, sweetie. Chris and I really are your only hope of ever being cool, aren’t we?”
He didn’t really care about that. He never had. Jared and their video games and movie marathons had always been more important, but he didn’t have any of that anymore. “I’ll go to some parties next week,” he promised. “Will that get you off my back?”
It always had before, but from the look on Dani’s face, it might not this time. “I’m holding you to that,” she threatened. “Three parties the week after finals, and you go home with someone at least once.”
“Fine.” He pushed away from the table. “I’m going to the library.” Grabbing his backpack, he hurried off. Behind him, Dani called his name, but Jensen didn’t turn around. She’d been nagging him for the past few weeks, complaining about how he wasn’t eating right or sleeping enough, saying over and over again that his current schedule of class, study, sleep, repeat, just wasn’t healthy for him and he didn’t really want to hear it anymore. He’d have a salad and sleep for a whole day once finals were over. Besides, they’d all be going home soon, where Nina could spoil him to her heart’s content.
Jensen tried not to think about lemon cookies or soft beds or hours with nothing to do and no Jared to help fill them. He’d gotten pretty good at ignoring all that - he’d had to, if he didn’t want to end up hammering on the door of the Academy demanding that they give Jared back. Not that he wouldn’t do it if he thought it would do any good, but he knew better. Dad was right; Jared was gone, off to his new life and his new position, and Jensen just had to get used to it and move on himself. And he would, he really would. Right after finals.
It wasn’t until he woke up two days after finals, sweat-soaked sheets sticking to his cold, clammy skin, whole body aching like he’d taken a series of spectacular beatings, that he realized just how right Dani had been. His stomach churned, then clenched tight, and he scrambled to get out of bed and get into the bathroom before he threw up all over himself. By some miracle he made it, half-crawling, half-leaping forward until he was hanging over the toilet bowl, retching weakly for what seemed like hours before he reached a shaky hand up to flush. He didn’t bother to try to get to his feet - that was too far to stand, and the bed was miles away. He ended up curling up on his side on the floor, sighing gratefully at how cool and supportive the tile was.
A loud, “What the fuck, dude?” woke him up at some point and he blinked dazedly up at Chris, who was scowling down at him. “Seriously, man, if you’re gonna go get wasted without even calling someone to join you, you could at least sleep it off in your own damn room.”
Jensen opened his mouth to point out that he hadn’t gotten wasted, but the words just wouldn’t come out. His tongue was far too big to make them properly, for one thing. And his head was pounding too hard to figure out what he wanted to say, for another. A faint moan slipped out, and Chris sighed. “Jesus, this is what I get for rooming with a fucking freshie,” he muttered, then bent down to pull Jensen up with a rough jerk. The movement sent the room spinning around him, and he just barely heard Chris’ surprised yelp of “Holy shit!” before the spinning gave way to darkness.
The next thing he remembered was waking up to find Dani sitting by his bed. The nightstand was littered with pill bottles, cough syrup, empty and half-finished bowls of soup and remnants of toast, and scads of used kleenex. He found out much later, once Dani had taken his temperature and forced both water and soup down him, that he’d spent almost two weeks out of his head with fever. Flu, she said, made worse by exhaustion and poor nutrition. The campus nurse had come by more than once, and Dani and Chris had planned on taking him to the hospital and calling his parents if he hadn’t come out of it when he did. They’d taken care of him for those two weeks, fed him and sponged him down and guided him into the bathroom, and Jensen must have done something right at some point, because that was way beyond what roommates and casual friends did for each other.
Jensen spent the next week and a half in bed, doing little more than sleeping and staring listlessly at the TV, eating whatever Dani or Chris put in front of him, taking the medicine whenever it was handed to him, and little by little, he got better. He still felt shaky and weak when he finally got up and started moving around the apartment, but he could see the relief in his friends’ eyes, the silent proof that he’d been a lot sicker than they’d told him at first. When Dani punched him in the shoulder and said, “You know, I know you didn’t want to party, but you didn’t have to go that far to get out of it,” he knew he was actually getting well, and the rueful grin and shrug he gave her said as much.
Chris came into his room a few days later, pushed the door open and walked in without knocking, but they were basically brothers now, so all Jensen did was pause his Tetris game. “So, I’m headin’ home on Friday,” he said bluntly. “And I think you should come with me.”
Well, that was an offer out of the blue. “Why?”
“Because you don’t need to go home right now.” When Jensen scowled at him, Chris held a hand up. “Hear me out, here, man. You need to get away from your place, cause if you go home, you’re gonna sit there in your room and miss that boy of yours and you’ll be lucky if you don’t end up getting sick again.”
That was basically what he’d done over Christmas, so Jensen couldn’t exactly say it wouldn’t happen. “So I’m supposed to just call my parents and tell them I can’t go home because they sent my companion to the Academy?”
Chris snorted. “Hardly. Just tell ‘em you’re coming home with me for a while and then you can call ‘em later and say you’re gonna stay longer.” He smacked him on the shoulder. “You’ll like it, trust me. I’ll show you around the ranch, teach you to be a real cowboy, and who knows - we just might make an actual man of you by next year!”
It did sound more appealing than playing video games and trying to ignore that empty feeling inside. “Okay, I’ll call them,” he agreed, then hesitated when a thought occurred to him. “They don’t, like, let Academy students out for the summer or anything, do they?”
His friend shrugged. “Hell if I know. But I’d be willing to bet they don’t.”
Jensen swallowed and nodded. “Then yeah, okay.” He turned to reach for his phone. “Let me just call and see if I can get a ticket...”
A piece of paper was shoved into his face. He looked from it to Chris, who smirked at him and wiggled it a little. “Had a feeling you’d see things my way,” Chris informed him, although there was a hint of something behind his casual words that said that he’d have ended up kidnapping him if he hadn’t.
He chuckled and took the ticket, staring down at it. “Thanks,” he said softly. “For everything.”
Another smack on the shoulders answered him. “That’s what friends do,” was the the gruff remind. “Now get packed, and no sissy button downs or anything like that. Jeans and T-shirts - we’re gonna be working soon as we get there.”
“So you basically just want a free ranch hand,” he teased, but he turned off Tetris and got up to go look through his clothes just the same. Hopefully he had what he needed, but if he didn’t, there was always the emergency Visa he kept in the back of his wallet.
Chris laughed. “Son, you’re not even close to a ranch hand yet,” he retorted, turning to head back to his room. “But that’s okay. We’ll work you ‘til you are.”
Once he left, Jensen pulled several pairs of jeans out of his dresser and put them on his bed, then started rifling through his shirts. He was smiling, really smiling, for the first time in a long time, and as he dug his suitcase out, he realized that he was actually looking forward to the summer, to seeing where Chris’ family lived and learning how to ride a horse and help out on the ranch. He planned on calling home tomorrow, just the same, to make sure Jared wasn’t coming home, but if he wasn’t, then a summer away from his empty room and too-big bed was probably just what Jensen needed.
The door down the hall closed and Jared silently counted to twenty before he set his book aside and headed over to Chad’s room, knocking three times quickly to let him know it was him before he pushed the door open and walked in. Chad was sprawled on his bed, looking up at the ceiling with a wide, satisfied grin on his face, just like he was every time he got back from a training session.
Jared took the glass from the top of his dresser and went into the bathroom to fill it with cold water, then brought it back to Chad. He set it on the nightstand and sat down on the edge of the bed. “You okay?”
“More than okay,” Chad told him, still staring up at the ceiling with wide, dazed eyes. After a minute or two, he rolled his head on the pillow to look at Jared, and if he didn’t know better, Jared would’ve assumed he’d been drugged. But he’d been there himself, riding the high of a great session and the knowledge he’d done well, although he was usually allowed to stay in the training rooms until it wore off. Misha used that time to talk to him about his Master, about ways to ensure that he pleased Him, and Jared had learned that that was when it was easiest to hear, when his body was worn out and his mind was empty. That was when it was easier to think of belonging to some strange Master he hadn’t met instead of Jensen.
“You want me to get you anything from the cafeteria?” They had more freedom this year than before, and that included the kitchens, something Jared had been known to take shameless advantage of. But Chad just shook his head and raised one hand, then let it drop back down onto his stomach.
“Not hungry.” Although he probably would be in half an hour. Almost all of them were after a session like Chad had clearly had.
“Good session? It was a question with a very clear answer, but they asked it, anyway
Chad gave him another loopy smile. “Ohhhh yeah,” he drawled, shifting a little on the bed, obviously savoring the aftereffects. “Man, if having a Master is anything like that...”
“Misha says it’s better,” Jared said, repeating the words he was told all the time. Although he wasn’t exactly sure how he knew, seeing as he was a trainer and not a pleasure slave. “He says -”
“That the training sessions are just a little bit of what await us when we get to our Masters, to prepare us so we’re ready to give and receive pleasure, yadda, yadda, yadda.” Chad flapped his hand again. “Seriously, man, there’s falling in line with the program and there’s being a robot. You oughta try loosening up a little sometimes.”
“I’m loose!” he protested. “I’m plenty loose!”
A snort answered him. “You’re practically a walking textbook, dude. Seriously, ever since you went to two-a-day’s on your training days, you’re no fun at all.”
It was a familiar complaint, and Jared shook his head before giving his usual answer. “So why do you hang out with me, then?”
“Somebody’s got to show you how to live. And it sure as hell isn’t gonna be your Master,” Chad pointed out. “With your luck and perfect record, you’re gonna get bought by someone who’s just as stick up the ass and by the book as you.”
There it was again, Chad’s insane theory about Masters and their slaves. He had this idea that Masters bought the slaves that were like them, and proceeded to mold them into mirrors so they could basically create a living sex toy that was perfect for them. Jared had pointed out numerous flaws in the plan, the most basic being that it assumed all Masters saw themselves as the epitome of sexual appeal and performance, but Chad held fast to it. Jared just hoped it wasn’t true, because if it was, he couldn’t even imagine what kind of Master would see Chad as the ideal mirror. And he was pretty sure neither he nor society at large ever wanted to find out.
Deciding not to get into the same debate they’d had over and over again, he pushed to his feet. “I’ve got a session over lunch, so I’m gonna go get ready. You coming by after?”
Chad nodded and shooed him away, so Jared headed back to his room to shower and change his tunic. Misha had started combining sessions and meals about once a month, working with him on public behavior, both the proper kind that involved allowing himself to be handfed and the improper kind that meant learning to perform sexually with others around. He still wasn’t all that comfortable with it, but as Misha frequently pointed out, his Master could demand his services anytime and anywhere, so he needed to be ready to comply.
He found a note under his door when he came out of the shower, instructing him to prep and put in the red plug, the one with the three knobs on it. That had become part of his lessons recently, the notes that told him how ready he was supposed to be by the time the lesson started. And the red plug always meant ready to start immediately.
It didn’t take long to open himself up and slick the plug up and work it in. He tried to keep it impersonal like he knew he was supposed to, but he was still hard and aching by the time he slid it home and reached for his tunic. There would be no hiding it, either - not with the way his dick was pressing against the tunic, pushing it out so everyone could see. But Misha said that was part of the lessons, learning to put himself on display if that’s what his Master wanted. Jared just hoped he might get a Master that didn’t feel like sharing him that often.
He went down to the dining hall, heat creeping uncomfortably up the back of his neck when he noticed some of the first-years staring openly at him. It grew into a full-fledged blush by the time he knelt down by the table beside Misha’s chair, but he forced himself to hold himself tall and keep his back straight, just like he’d been taught. When Misha tapped the table in front of him twice, Jared glanced up at him through his lashes, looking without making direct eye contact, and he saw his trainer smile.
“I see you’ve decided to get bashful on me today,” Misha teased. “You know the rules, Jared - how do you dress for a session?”
He swallowed. “No clothes are allowed,” he mumbled, pulling his tunic over his head and letting it drop on the floor.
“Very good. I’ll let that slide this once, but do it again and you’ll earn a punishment. Are we clear?”
Jared nodded and crossed his wrists behind his back to keep the temptation to cover himself at bay. He hated punishments and did everything he could to avoid them, but even so, there was the occasional slip up and then he’d end up on the bed in the training room, begging first to come and then to stop, swearing to be good, to listen, to obey. “I’m sorry, Sir. It won’t happen again.”
Misha picked up a piece of cheese from his plate. “I think you’ll be doing without a tunic for the next few days, just to make sure of that.” Jared could feel his cheeks burn as he realized he’d be walking around naked until he earned his tunic back. But he didn’t argue, just opened his mouth for the cheese when Misha offered it to him.
Behind him, he could hear the buzz of conversation, and he was sure that a decent amount of it was about him. He did his best to block it out, concentrating instead on each bite of chicken, cheese, bread, and fruit as it was given to him. Having something to focus on besides the eyes he could feel on him or the ache throbbing between his legs helped, but it wasn’t long before Misha pushed his chair back and turned it to look at him. He patted his thigh and Jared turned to mirror him, spreading his legs open as he moved from a formal kneel to the one they always used in training. He could feel his dick twitch in anticipation, and while he might be flushed with embarrassment at being naked and hard in front of the entire dining hall, his dick didn’t seem to share that.
“Reach down and press three fingers against the plug,” Misha told him, staring down at him with the same kind, yet unreadable expression he always had. “I want you to ride the plug using just those three fingers and your hip movement.”
He felt like groaning, since there was no way he was going to be able to come quickly and get this over with, not with just three fingers pressing against the plug, but he nodded and did as he was told, biting his lip with the first wiggle of the plug inside as his fingers found it and pressed down. When Misha nodded, he rocked back against his fingers, then forward and back again. The plug shifted, one of the bumps pressing right against his prostate, and he let out a soft, closed-mouth moan. Misha nodded and Jared moved into it again, working himself on it to get even more of the pleasure that was starting to build.
“Very nice,” one of the other trainers commented, and Jared became aware of the whole table’s eyes on him. He hadn’t been told to stop, though, so he just panted and rocked against the plug, heat crawling over his whole body with every moment.
“A little more,” Misha told him. “It doesn’t look like you really want it.” But he did, he really, really did.
Jared nodded and pushed harder against the plug, hips jerking in response. He knew what he must look like, writhing around and humping the plug like a slut who didn’t care about anything except coming, but he was starting to feel just like that. His face burned with the shame of putting on this kind of performance, but his dick was rock hard and dripping with precome. Whimpers and moans were slipping free, more and louder with every thrust, and it wouldn’t be long until he was begging for it, just like he always did. He turned a pleading look on his trainer, silently praying he wouldn’t have to do that, not here with everyone watching.
Thankfully, Misha seemed to understand, because he nodded. “Work it harder,” he instructed. “And you can come whenever you’re ready.”
He managed to get out a, “Thank you, Sir,” before he moaned again. He wished this was a vibrating plug, since he’d probably have come already, but since it wasn’t, he just pressed and wiggled, humping back against it until he came with several loud grunts and moans. He was going to be utterly humiliated once he got back to his room, just like he always was. For now, though, with the endorphins riding him, he just felt sated and happy, and Misha’s quiet, “Good job, Jared,” only made it better.
Misha passed him a napkin with the order to clean himself up and he obeyed, then waited for his dismissal. Instead, MIsha asked, “Would you like to see your foster family again?”
Jared’s head jerked up in surprise. See the Ackles? See Jensen? YesyesyesyesyesyesYES! “Are they - can they visit me?” He’d never heard of anybody getting visitors, but that didn’t necessarily mean it was impossible, right?
“No, but I thought you might like to go see them over Christmas.” The look on his face must’ve answered for him, because Misha smiled. “I’ll call them today and set it up. But Jared, you need to remember, this is a time for you to say your good-byes and enjoy one last Christmas with them. It isn’t going to change things for you. Do you understand that?”
He nodded. “Yes, Sir.” For the chance to spend another Christmas at home, he’d follow every last rule to the letter, even better than he did at the Academy. “I’ll be good, I promise.”
Misha smiled. “I know you will. Now go on back to your room and you can have free time until our afternoon training session. You can leave your tunic and I’ll send it up when you’re allowed to wear it again.”
“Thank you, Sir.” Jared got to his feet and walked back to his room, still flushed from his climax and filled with excitement at the thought of one more Christmas with Jensen.
As soon as the doorbell rang three days before Christmas, Jensen was on the move. "I'll get it!" he yelled, flying down the stairs, already looking forward to having Jared back home again. He might not know just what he was going to do about the whole Academy thing yet, but at least with Jared home, they could enjoy themselves and do their best to forget about it for a little while.
He yanked the door open and promptly forgot everything his mother had ever taught him about good manners. Jared was standing there, but it wasn't a Jared he'd ever seen before. This Jared seemed taller, more confident than Jensen remembered him. He wasn't bouncing around like an overeager puppy, wasn't throwing himself at Jensen or trying to climb him like a tree, wasn't talking a mile a minute about nothing in particular, wasn't doing any of the things that Jensen always associated with Jared. No, he just stood there and smiled almost shyly at him.
"Sir?" A question made him realize that Jared wasn't alone, and he looked over at the man that had accompanied him. "We need a signature for the temporary transfer."
Jensen nodded dumbly and scrawled his name on the clipboard he was offered, then looked at Jared again. He was dressed like a pleasure slave in training, in one of the fine white linen tunics that were reserved for the Academy trainees and consecrated virgins, but Jensen didn't think it was supposed to make him look like this, like he'd basically been born to be a pleasure slave. When Jared asked, "Can I come in?" he realized he was blocking the doorway, but it still took a minute or two before he managed to nod and step back.
Jared ducked his head, his smile growing as he stepped inside and closed the door behind him. He didn't say anything right away, just stood there like he was waiting for something, so Jensen took a few extra minutes to look at him some more. It looked like he'd grown some more, maybe another couple inches, but more than that, he'd filled out, making it so he wasn't all skinny arms and lanky legs anymore. "You, uh, you look good," he finally said, inwardly cringing at how lame he had to sound.
"Thanks," Jared replied. "You too." He shifted the knapsack on his back. "I don't mean to be rude, but I kinda need to put this down…"
Jensen nodded and led him up to their room, only to discover that Jared hadn't followed him. He frowned when he turned around to see nobody there. Jared had wanted to put his stuff away, he knew that, so why wouldn't he come with him? He hadn't seemed mad at him - maybe a little uncomfortable, but not mad, and Jared really didn't have a clue how to hide what he was feeling, so he knew it couldn't be something like that.
Frowning, he went in search of Jared. He found him in the kitchen, being fussed over and fed lemon cookies by Nina. She smiled at Jensen and got him a glass of milk when he sat down across from Jared. "So how come you didn't bring your stuff up?" he asked, helping himself to two cookies.
Jared hesitated for a minute, then said, "I put it in my room."
"Your room?" Jensen wasn't sure what to make of that. Jared didn't have a room of his own. He never had; he'd just always slept in Jensen's room with him. His parents had tried to get him in a separate room once, back when they were both about thirteen, but Jared had begged to be allowed to stay with Jensen. He said he didn't want his own room, that it would be too big and empty and lonely, but apparently he'd changed his mind now.
A look passed between Jared and Nina, one of those unspoken conversations that Jensen was hardly ever in on. "Yeah. I, uh, I kinda have to have my own room," Jared explained. "Academy rules."
He wanted to scream that the Academy could go fuck themselves with their rules, but if Jared really was liking it as much as Mom said he was, he might upset him. So instead, he just nodded and said, "Okay. You wanna play Madden once you're unpacked?"
Jared grinned, sudden and unexpected, but it was the same wide open and happy grin that used to greet him when he got home from school every day and it made Jensen finally feel like he was home. "Sure."
And just like that, he had his best friend and companion back.
Or at least, that was what he'd expected to happen. But then Jared asked if they could play in the living room instead of his room where they always used to spend all their time together. Jensen was too glad to have him back to argue, so he agreed and they set up there, then played until his parents came home. There hadn't really been much of a chance to ask Jared about the Academy, but he could do that later. Right now, he just wanted to enjoy being around his family again.
It took him a day or two to realize that things weren't entirely right. Mom didn't hug Jared, for one thing. But what was even weirder, Jared didn't try to hug Jensen or tackle him or wrestle with him or touch him in any way, really. He'd always been a tactile person, sometimes to the point that Jensen thought he was part monkey or something, but now he kept his hands (and all the rest of his body parts) to himself. He wore his thick black collar constantly now and didn't complain about it, didn't run his finger under it or make choking noises or anything like that. He was quieter, too - he still laughed and talked, but it wasn't nearly as often or as unrestrained as it used to be. All in all, it was like someone had taken Jared and somehow turned the volume down on everything about him.
Jensen didn't like it. He wanted his Jared back, the one that never hesitated to jump on him or nose up under his jaw and let out a puppy whine when he wanted attention. This Jared didn't seem to need him - he didn't seem to need anyone, really - and there was something almost intimidating about that. There was something lonely about it, too. It brought back memories of that first week at college, when Jensen had had trouble sleeping without Jared there with him, but it was worse now, since he was right there in the house and still wasn't there. Stupid Academy and their stupid rules.
He didn't say anything about it until they left to go shopping for Christmas gifts. Jared didn't bound out to the car or drag Jensen out to get him to hurry up. Instead, he waited for Jensen to leave, then followed two paces behind, keeping slightly to his left. It was a slave's position - behind and nearby without being obtrusive, and Jared didn't belong in it. He didn't belong in the back seat, either - he belonged up front with Jensen, changing radio stations and complaining about Jensen's atrocious taste in music - but that was where he sat, and Jensen couldn't take it anymore.
"Dude, what the hell are you doing?" he demanded, twisting around in his seat to face him. "Since when do you sit back there, huh?"
"It's one of the rules," Jared said with that same infuriating calm he'd been showing ever since he got back.
Jensen glared at him. "We don't care about that shit - we never did. Now get your ass up here so we can leave."
Jared stayed put. "I need to be back here," he insisted.
Jensen slammed a hand against the steering wheel. "I told you, I don't give a shit about that!"
"You can afford to say you don't care about the rules," Jared pointed out quietly. "I don't have that luxury."
The words were like a slap in the face. Jensen opened his mouth, then closed it and nodded as he turned back around and started the car. For a few minutes, he just drove, occasionally glancing in the rear view mirror to look at Jared. Finally, he asked, "Is it really bad? I mean, if it is, you can just tell me. Or nod or... do something. I'll get you out of there, you know I will."
"I know. But it's not really that bad. We don't get beaten or anything like that." Of course not, Jensen thought. They were all too valuable to hurt. But he managed to refrain from pointing that out as Jared continued. "The first few weeks were hard, but that was because I'd had a lot more freedom than I probably should have. Now it's just..." He shrugged. "Routine, really."
Jensen couldn't imagine how being taught to be somebody's personal whore could ever be routine. He almost asked about it, would have if Jared had been anything like his old self, but he didn't know if this new Jared would share the way the old one would have. "So you're... okay with all this? Really?"
A small smile appeared, one he'd never seen before. "Yeah, I am. Really. It's not like you probably think it is, you know."
"What is it like, then?" The words slipped out before he could help it.
"It's pretty neat. I mean, I'm being taught a lot of new things, and I've made some new friends. So it's kind of like college, I guess." He chuckled, but Jensen shook his head.
"That's not what I meant and you know it."
"Yeah, I know." Jared thought for a minute. "They talk to us a lot about having a purpose and how that makes us lucky, since we don’t have to struggle to figure it out. I hadn't really thought about it before, but they're right. I know what I'm going to do with my life, what I'm - what I'm meant for, and it makes me feel... complete."
It was the last thing he would ever have expected to hear Jared say, but he couldn't argue with the sense of contentment that seemed to emanate from him as he talked about it. "Still say you having to be in your own room is stupid," he groused, trying to ignore the small voice in the back of his mind that pointed out that he didn't know what he was going to do with his life yet, not the way Jared did.
Jared laughed. "It's part of the whole training thing," he explained. "We aren't supposed to be alone with anyone, not even our families." He hesitated. "Kind of like how you really shouldn't keep touching me the way you do."
"Why not?" As soon as he said it, he realized how that had to sound. "I mean, we've always -"
"But we can't now." Jared glanced away from the mirror like he didn't want to look at Jensen as he said, "Nobody but my Master is supposed to touch me. It's kind of Rule One, you know?"
The car swerved sharply to the right before Jensen managed to get it under control enough to pull over. As soon as he did, he threw it in park and whirled around to look at Jared. "Your… Master?"
He was met with a blank stare. "Yeah. Pleasure slaves have Masters," he said slowly, as though speaking to a particularly dense five-year-old. "I'm going to be a pleasure slave, so I'll have a Master."
"You don't have one yet?" Jensen refused to think about why he felt almost weak with relief when Jared shook his head.
"I'm still in training," he reminded him, as though the white tunic that screamed Academy wasn't enough of one.
Jensen licked his lips. "So how come you have to worry about the whole touching thing, then? If you don't have a Master, then -"
"We have to think of ourselves as pleasure slaves," Jared tried to explain. "And we have Masters, even if we don't know who they are yet."
Jared had a Master. One that he didn't know. One that wasn't Jensen. He stared at him for a long time as it all sank in. "You're thinking of yourself as theirs already," he said slowly, and even though it wasn't a question, Jared nodded.
"I'm sorry," he said softly.
"It's fine," Jensen snapped, turning back around to put the car in drive again. He tried not to think about Jared belonging to someone else, being a part of someone else's household, bugging someone else for lemon cookies and video games, nosing up against someone else's neck when he wanted attention.
Behind him, Jared made a soft, unhappy sound. "Jen, you had to know this was coming. I mean, I'm -"
"I said it was fine." And just to prove it, he reached out to turn the music on, making sure it was loud enough to discourage conversation.
Neither of them said anything else until well after they'd gotten to the mall and headed inside, and even then, it was just surface talk about which stores to check and what they were looking for. Jensen thought about the DVDs he'd bought Jared that were tucked away in his bag, the ones he'd intended to spend Christmas break watching with him, and decided he should probably find something else. The Jared that used to crawl in bed with him would've been ecstatic at the sight of Lilo & Stitch, Wall-E, and Prince of Egypt, all of them favorites they'd watched again and again, but this Jared might think it was something he should share with his Master. And Jensen didn't want to get something for Jared's Master, even if he didn't know who the bastard was yet.
Of course, he couldn't exactly pick out a gift with Jared right there with him. He'd have to do that later, come back and find something decent that didn't have too many memories or anything like that attached to it. Scowling at the thought of still more shopping, Jensen shouldered his way through the crowds, leading the way back to the car. He didn't check to see if Jared was following him, but then he hardly ever did. Jared had always followed him. Up until 45 minutes ago, Jensen would've said that he always would, but now he knew better.
Although he really, really wished he didn't.
They drove home in the same strained silence that they'd done their shopping in, heading to their separate rooms as soon as they were in the house by unspoken mutual agreement. Once he was back in his room, Jensen stretched out on his bed, frowning up at the ceiling as he thought about Jared as a pleasure slave, Jared being sold to some asshole that wouldn't deserve him. He tried not to dwell on it, but he couldn't seem to stop picturing Jared in his new Master's bed, and he didn't like it. What if the jerk was mean to him? Or what if he wanted to do all sorts of sick, twisted things to him? Jared wouldn't be able to call him a pathetic psycho and kick him in the balls the way Dani had when she'd wound up with a weirdo last month - he'd be stuck with whatever happened, forced to take it without complaint. What if he got seriously hurt? Would he be taken care of, or would he just be tossed in a room somewhere to either heal or die?
Jensen's stomach turned over at the thought of Jared being beaten or starved or mistreated like he knew some of the pleasure slaves were. Not many, since most of them were just too expensive to do that to, but there were rumors. Stories about guys who got off on their slaves' pain and misery. What if Jared ended up with someone like that? He thought about Jared, about how sweet and trusting and amazing he was, and knew he couldn't stand to see that happen to him.
But he wouldn't see it, would he? He'd never know about it. Jared would be taken off somewhere and sold to his new Master, handed off to them and Jensen would never see him again. He guessed he was supposed to just shrug and accept that, but he wasn't so sure he could. The thought of never seeing Jared, never talking to him again… it hurt. A lot.
Jensen ran a hand through his hair, then pushed himself to his feet. He needed to talk to Jared. Now.
"You seriously need to get over this, man. You've been moping around here ever since you got back, and it's getting old."
Jensen didn't even look over at his roommate. The complaint was a familiar one, and he supposed he deserved it, but he couldn't help it. "Look, I'm just not in the party mood, okay?"
Chris snorted. "Like you ever really were." He shook his head and set a beer down in front of Jensen. "Seriously, though, you can't keep this up. You'll go even crazier than you already are."
He might not be in a mood to party, but a beer was a beer. Jensen shrugged and picked at the label. "I'm not crazy."
"Just lovesick." Jensen's head snapped up and Chris laughed. "Did you honestly think I didn't know? C'mon, son, anybody who meets you figures it out in, like, ten minutes."
"They do?" He'd never thought he was that transparent. But then, there were lots of things he'd never thought about that he'd recently learned were very important indeed.
His roommate chuckled. "Yeah, but it's no big deal." Then he reconsidered. "Okay, so the whole slave thing might make things kinda complicated. Cause honestly, the way you talk about him, I thought he was your boyfriend for a good month or so."
Jensen picked up his beer and took a drink. It wasn't the first time he'd heard someone say something like that, especially since he knew he'd talked about Jared a lot when he first got to college. It was just that he'd missed him and he'd been trying to take it all in so he could share it with him and… okay, so maybe he was a little in love with him. But that happened, people sometimes getting crushes on their companions, right? It didn't necessarily mean anything.
He never should have gone down to Jared's room that night. Maybe if he hadn’t, he could’ve gone back to school and let Jared go back to the Academy and accepted that things were changing between them. But now, after seeing what he’d seen... he couldn’t stop thinking about it, couldn’t stop remembering the way Jared’s body had twisted and arched on his bed as he’d worked a slender black vibrator (at least, Jensen thought it had been a vibrator - he hadn’t been close enough to find out, more’s the pity, but he didn’t think Jared would’ve made the sounds he made for something that wasn’t as epically awesome as Dani said vibrators were) inside himself. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw it all over again, and in his dreams, he walked into the room and made Jared make even better noises instead of leaving to jerk off in his bedroom like the chickenshit he’d been in real life.
Jensen was getting pretty damn tired of waking up hard and aching. He was getting even more tired of waking up to wet sheets - he wasn’t fourteen anymore, dammit! It was starting to be embarrassing, and even though Chris hadn’t said anything about it so far, the smirk he’d given Jensen last Thursday when he’d had to wash everything for the third time in a week had still been enough to make his ears burn for almost an hour. “I need to forget the whole thing,” he mumbled before he took another, longer drink.
Chris shook his head. “That ain’t gonna help.” When Jensen opened his mouth to point out that he should know what would make him feel better, Chris just kept right on talking. “What you need is to get laid. Spend a night rolling around in those freshly-washed sheets of yours with something besides your right hand and I bet that’ll straighten you right up.”
Get laid? Jensen hadn’t even thought of that. He’d been too busy trying to figure out how it was he’d never realized that the boy he’d grown up with had turned into some kind of sex god practically overnight. But now that Chris mentioned it... “You really think it would help?”
“Trust me,” he assured him with a knowing grin. “Everything looks a helluva lot better after you’ve gotten off a few times.” Clapping him on the shoulder, he leaned over to steal his beer and took a drink. “So, now that we’ve established the solution, there’s just one question: who’s it gonna be?”
Jared. But that wasn’t an option. Jensen shrugged and Chris sighed. “Okay, let’s start with the basics. Guy or girl?”
“I don’t -”
Chris sucked in a sharp breath. “You have had sex, right?”
No, he really hadn’t, but he couldn’t exactly admit that. “Yeah, of course.” He thought about it for a minute, then said, “Guy.” Maybe that was why he was making this all about Jared. Maybe it wasn’t Jared at all, but guys, and Jared just happened to be the closest one. With that in mind, Jensen glanced around the room, taking a closer look at the other guys there than he had before.
There was a blond guy with a smile that seemed pretty inviting, but he was a little on the short side. There was a pretty hot dark-haired guy, but he wasn’t really filled out. Jensen thought about Jared, about the tall, broad body that had taken up so many of his thoughts and fantasies lately, and decided that he’d need someone that was at least a little like that. He was just about to tell Chris that when he saw him.
He was tall, maybe even as tall as Jared, with dark hair that was just long enough to brush his collar. Built, too, broad-shouldered and long-legged, but what settled it for Jensen was the way he smiled when he caught sight of his friends, wide open and happy. Just like - no, he couldn’t do that. He had to move on, find someone else to be interested in. Jared was going to have his Master soon, so Jensen could have a one-night stand, right?
Everything went well to start with. Jensen caught the guy looking at him, and when he went up to get another round, he wasn’t too surprised to find that he’d been followed. The guy introduced himself - his name was Tom, he was a senior majoring in psychology and minoring in ancient history, he liked football and beer and pool, and would Jensen be interested in joining him for a game and a drink? He smiled and agreed, and pretended not to see Chris giving him a thumbs up as they headed over to the pool table. They played several games, and somewhere around the second one, things started to get a little... close. Tom’s smiles grew more heated and he found a surprising number of reasons to touch Jensen, whether it was letting his fingers trail over Jensen’s as he handed the cue over or brushing against him while he walked around the table. Jensen found himself leaning into the contact, trying to prolong it, enjoying the little sparks of warmth that were slowly growing in the pit of his stomach. He hadn’t realized just how starved he was for touch, how cold and alone he felt without someone pressed up against him, treating him like their own personal teddy bear whenever they felt like it, and this wasn’t nearly enough, but he’d take it.
Somewhere in the middle of the fifth game (and the sixth - or was it the seventh? - round of drinks), Tom gave up any pretense at playing pool and moved up behind Jensen as he leaned over to take his shot. “Why don’t we take this back to my place?” he asked, mouthing hot and wet up his neck.
Jensen shivered at how good that felt. He opened his mouth to agree when he caught sight of a flash of white. Without even thinking about it, he twisted away from Tom, unsure why he felt like he’d just been spotted doing something he shouldn’t. He looked around the bar, but there was no tall boy with floppy hair, just a dark-haired girl with her head demurely bowed as she sank down to her knees beside her Master’s chair. She was a pretty girl, the very picture of sweet allurement in her white virgin’s tunic, but she wasn’t what Jensen wanted.
And neither was Tom. He turned around and gave him a sheepish smile. “Sorry. I, uh - maybe some other time,” he offered, already knowing he had absolutely no intention of following through with it. And from the way Tom raised an eyebrow, he was pretty sure he knew it.
“Yeah, sure.” He scribbled his number on a napkin and tucked it into Jensen’s front jeans pocket, fingers dipping in deeper than strictly necessary and lingering longer than they had to. Jensen watched him head back to his friends and grabbed his beer, then trudged back to Chris, who was hitting on a slender blonde, and from the way she was smiling, getting very close to closing the deal. Jensen drained his beer and set it down. “I’m gonna head back,” he told his friend, doing his best to ignore the way he shook his head at his roommate’s complete lack of game.
Thankfully, the blonde was taking up too much of Chris’ attention for him to do more than nod and say, “Don’t wait up.”
Jensen hurried back to his dorm, hands shoved deep in his pockets, head bent and shoulders hunched against the cold air. Not that he really noticed all that much, though - his thoughts were back there at the bar, with the girl in the white tunic that could have been a twin to Jared’s and the Master whose feet she knelt beside. Did she resent him for taking her out like that, letting everyone who saw her tunic know such a personal thing? Or did she do it because she liked him and wanted to please him? Or because she liked seeing people watch her when she knew that her Master was the only one who could have her?
He remembered the way Jared had talked about his Master, so matter-of-factly declaring that he already belonged to someone he didn’t even know. Would his Master take him out the way that girl’s had? Would Jared like it or would he turn shy the way he used to, when he’d blush and bury his face in Jensen’s shoulderblade? It was wrong - Jared didn’t belong at some stranger’s feet.
He belonged at Jensen’s.
It took three days, six showers of varying length, four supreme pizzas, and too many pots of coffee to count for Jensen to finally admit that he hadn’t just been drunk that night. He wanted to be Jared’s Master. He wanted Jared for his own, wanted to feel him writhing under him, wanted to watch him beg for him, wanted to fall asleep wrapped around him, sticky and sated and safe. Of course, the real problem was still ahead of him - he had to admit it first to his father and then to Jared himself
Yeah, that was going to go over well. Somehow Jensen didn’t think he could call his dad and tell him he wanted Jared as his pleasure slave and his dad would fall all over himself to get Jared for him. His mom might, but then she’d always doted on Jared, treated him just like another kid - and that might make some problems of its own. What if she thought Jensen was sick for wanting to have sex with someone he’d grown up with? What if his parents said he had to choose, them or Jared? What would he do then?
And then there was Jared. Jared, who was at the Academy being prepared for some mysterious Master, learning more about sex than Jensen would probably ever know. He was thinking of himself as belonging to someone else - what would he say if he knew Jensen wanted him? Would he be put off by it, maybe even pissed enough to hit him? He’d done that once before, when Jensen had teased him about not having wet dreams the way he did, thanks to the daily vitamins he took as his companion. Too bad he hadn’t known then what he knew now - he’d have done something else entirely. Would Jared be disgusted knowing that? Or worse, laugh at him because he was a stupid kid virgin who could never hope to satisfy a pleasure slave, especially one like Jared?
Jensen stared at the phone in his hand, wondering how one small black plastic square could manage to look so intimidating. He’d been sitting there for a good two hours, ever since Chris had thrown the phone at his head as he left for class that morning and barked at him to ‘Man up and fucking do something instead of laying around here like a waste of fucking life’. And he thought he’d made some pretty good progree - he’d pulled his father’s name up on the display screen. He just hadn’t managed to press Call yet.
It was tempting to declare that he’d done enough for the day, but he doubted he’d be able to convince Chris of that. And if Chris thought he was being a chickenshit, he was likely to call his dad himself. His dad wasn’t likely to take any of this well; he’d take it even worse if it came from someone else. Jensen took a deep breath and hit the button, then waited for what seemed like hours while it rang.
He tried to sound as casual as possible as he said, “Hey, Dad,” when the line was answered, but somehow he didn’t think he succeeded.
“How are you and Mom?”
“We’re fine.” His dad sounded almost amused, but Jensen didn’t think that was going to last too long. “How about you?”
“I’m good,” he lied.
“Is everything okay? You don’t usually call in the middle of the week.”
Jensen swallowed against the way his stomach was churning, wishing he hadn’t had the last of that pizza this morning. “I, uh, I wanted to talk to you. About Jared.”
His father sighed. “Do we have to do this again? Jensen, this is the way the world works. Jared understands that and so should you.”
“Yeah, I know, but -”
“It’s not going to be a problem for very much longer.” Cold dread shot through him at that. What did he mean by not very much longer? “Just put up with it for another month or so, all right?”
“What’s happening in a month?” he managed to ask, his voice sounding like he’d just swallowed a shit ton of ground glass. When only silence answered him, he knew his father was probably trying to decide whether or not to tell him. “Dad?”
“The Valentine’s list came out this morning,” he finally replied. “Jared’s name is on it.”
The Valentine’s list. Jensen could hear a hollow sound in his ears and he hoped to God he wasn’t about to pass out. Everyone knew about the list, but to know that Jared was on it... “I want him,” he blurted out.
His father didn’t say anything for a very long time, long enough that Jensen actually checked to make sure he hadn’t hung up on him. “Jensen, you know I like Jared,” he said. “But he was your companion, and -”
“I don’t care,” he argued. “I want him. You and Mom were gonna get me a pleasure slave anyway, right?” They hadn’t exactly talked about it, but he’d always kind of figured they would. He’d just never asked about it because Jared had always been there, and he’d been enough. More than enough; he’d been perfect.
“Companions aren’t pleasure slaves,” his father pointed out.
“Maybe not, but they’re turned into them, right?” And okay, he knew he was kind of being an ass, but dammit, this was Jared they were talking about! Jensen couldn’t give him up without a fight. “Please, Dad?”
He sighed. “I can’t get him off the list, Jensen.”
Okay, he could understand that. The Valentine’s list was one of those things nobody fucked with, no matter how much money or power they had. And even if Jared could be taken off it, Jensen’s family didn’t have anywhere near the status or money for that. They were pretty well-off, but nothing like that. “How much do you think they’ll want for him?” he asked, and hoped he wouldn’t have to pull off a bank job to come up with it.
“He’s likely to be pretty expensive,” his father warned him. “Your mother and I have been saving for a pleasure slave for you for a while, but most of the Valentine’s list is going to be out of that price range.”
“We can still go, though, right?”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea.” Which was Dad-speak for yes when he didn’t agree with the question being asked.
Jensen grinned, glad that he’d at least have the chance to see Jared again. “I know, but I have to be there.”
He had the best dad in the universe, because he didn’t argue any more than that. “I know. I’ll have Bonnie get the tickets, but I think it’s best that we don’t tell your mother about this, okay?”
Don’t tell Mom. Yeah, he could definitely agree with that. “Okay.” He said good-bye and hung up, then set the phone down, running one hand over his face as he tried to figure out what he was going to do now.
The Valentine’s list. Why, out of all the slaves in the Academy, did they have to pick Jared for the list?!? Yeah, it was supposed to be an honor, best of the best and all that shit, the Valentine’s slaves were about as far out of his reach as they could get. He was basically going to go to watch Jared be sold to someone else.
God, he was pathetic. He should just give up on the whole idea. Resign himself to knowing that Jared would go to his new Master, put his foolish dreams aside, and pick a different pleasure slave for himself. That would be the smart thing to do. Of course, nobody had ever accused Jensen of being smart, especially when it came to Jared.
“Hey, there. Big day tomorrow - you ready for it, wonder boy?”
Jared looked over at the blond lounging in the doorway. “I guess,” he said, although he wasn’t entirely sure. It was kind of scary, knowing that tomorrow he’d go up for auction. After tomorrow he wouldn’t be Jensen’s anymore.
But then he hadn’t been Jensen’s since he left him behind to go to college, had he?
Chad strolled into his room and flopped down on the bed. “Gotta say, I’m kinda jealous,” he commented. “I mean, you’re gonna have Masters fighting over you when they get a look at you, man!”
“Easy for you to say,” he told him, shaking his head. “You’re not the one who’s going up there.”
“C’mon, look on the bright side. At least you’ll know you’re wanted.” Chad shrugged. “I’m just a Christmas gift. Be my luck for my Master to be into girls, you know?”
Jared had to admit that that would suck. There were whispers around the Academy about what happened when a pleasure slave failed to please their Master, whether because they couldn’t cater to their taste, because they weren’t up to the task, or simply because they weren’t what their Master wanted. Wrong gender, wrong hair color, wrong eye color, wrong body type... all of it could add up to disaster.
And a second-hand sale at some third-rate auction.
Where you were sold was a big deal. Jared still didn’t quite understand it, but everyone talked about the Valentine and Academy auctions like they were the Holy Grail. And just about everyone had been treating him differently since he’d been chosen for the Valentine’s auction. Everyone, that was, except for Chad. His friend was just as obnoxious, loud-mouthed, and crude as ever, and Jared appreciated that more than he could say. He knew a lot of the other students wondered why he was friends with Chad, seeing as how they were almost polar opposites, but there was something real about him. Real in a way that almost nothing was here.
Pleasure slaves weren’t supposed to be real - they had to be perfect instead. Perfect and pleasing, and okay,when he looked at it like that, maybe Jensen had a point in not wanting him to be here. He’d never had to worry about how he knelt or the angle he kept his head bowed at or how loud he laughed when he was with Jensen. He’d always just been himself, loud and bouncy and ungraceful, and that had been just fine. But here... here he’d been taught to be someone else, and Jared was still trying to figure out if he liked this new side of himself or not.
He was definitely more coordinated, for which he was thankful. No more flailing around and worrying about knocking things over and breaking them when he got excited. He’d learned other things, too, things that would’ve made him blush bright red to his hairline (and had, the first time he’d been told about them) when he'd first arrived at the Academy. His trainers said he’d been a natural, that all they’d had to do was take his rough edges off, and he guessed they were right. Under the Academy’s guidance, he’d gone from awkward, unwanted companion to a pleasure slave they’d decided was worthy of a place on the Valentine’s list. He knew he was being sold early - most pleasure slaves spent two or three years training at the Academy, and Jared had only been there about a year and a half - and he was sure that was going to be mentioned tomorrow when he was up for auction. Jared just hoped he wasn’t accidentally setting himself up for some kind of spectacular failure.
“You got all quiet,” Chad observed, and for all of his loud crudity, he really was a decent person. “What’s up, man?”
He shrugged. “I dunno. I guess I’m just nervous. You know, with the auction and getting a Master and... you know.” Jared could feel his cheeks getting hot as he mentioned it, but he knew that everyone was thinking about it. This time tomorrow, he’d have a Master and a new home, and he wouldn’t be a virgin much longer - if he even left the auction as one. “Mike said he heard there are rooms right there, in case they don’t want to wait.”
Chad snorted. “Mike’s a jealous dickweed cause he didn’t get chosen and he's been here four freaking years already,” he retorted. “So he’s gonna do whatever he can to piss all over everybody else’s moment.”
“But what if he’s right? What if everything they’ve told us about Masters caring for us and cherishing us isn’t true?” And there it was, the question none of them spoke aloud, their secret fears put into words. “What if -”
“What if your balls shrivel up and fall off tomorrow?” Chad laughed. “Cause, seriously, that’s probably more likely than you getting a shit Master. They don’t let the assholes into the Valentine auction, you know.”
He turned to look at Chad. “Even if the assholes have money?” Because it seemed likely that the kind of people who’d have the money to afford a Valentine’s slave wouldn’t exactly be known for their humanitarian efforts.
Chad sobered, then shook his head. “I dunno, man. But then, I belong to some preppy college kid that probably doesn’t even know I exist yet, so what do I know about it? Just go out there and have fun and they’ll all fall head over heels in love with you.”
He hoped Chad was right, that it would be that simple. Thankfully, Chad seemed to take his nod as agreement, because he started complaining about the lack of any good food in the cafeteria. With the auction tomorrow, the kitchens were busy making food for the potential Masters, which meant sandwiches, cold cuts, crackers, cheese, and raw vegetables for dinner. The same thing had happened a few weeks ago, right before the inspectors came to put together the Valentine’s list, but then everyone had been too nervous to eat, anyway, so the only ones complaining had been those like Chad, who already had Masters. Now, everyone was more relaxed - it was just Jared and his fellow Valentines who had anything to worry about.
Jared made it through dinner somehow, mostly by virtue of staring at his plate and listening to Chad complain. He didn’t really eat more than a few crackers, too nervous to stomach anything else, and it was a relief when they were all dismissed to their rooms. Not that he really thought he’d get any sleep, although he knew he should. Dark circles would make him less appealing tomorrow, and he was expected to look as good as possible, to show off what kind of pleasure slaves the Academy produced. There was also the question of tomorrow night. He’d belong to his Master then, and he doubted a night spent worrying about the auction would convince him to wait to bed him. Closing his eyes, Jared tried to concentrate on breathing evenly in and out, doing his best to ignore thoughts of his new Master and what would happen once he arrived at his home.
He must have drifted off at some point, because he was woken up by one of the trainers well before his usual breakfast time. She smiled at him and lay a fond hand on his cheek. “Good morning, Jared. Are you ready to meet your Master today?”
To his surprise, a tingle of excitement shot through him. They’d talked about Masters ever since he came here, but now it was real. He was going to meet his Master. By the end of the day,he’d be a full pleasure slave. “Yeah,” he answered, his voice low and sleep-roughened.
“Good,” she said, patting him softly. “How about we get you ready for him, huh?”
He nodded and rolled out of bed, padding behind her to the bathroom, where she drew a bath while he pissed. The total lack of privacy had been the hardest thing to get used to when he’d first gotten here, but once he realized that none of the trainers were looking at him in a sexual way, he’d slowly relaxed, and now it seemed natural to have someone tending to him, even in the most intimate ways. When he was done, he flushed and headed over to start the long grooming process. He’d only had to do this twice before, both times when inspectors were coming, but it had been enough to let him know what to expect.
They started with a hot oil treatment for his hair and a depilatory cream that stank to high heaven. It was spread absolutely everywhere - chest, underarms, legs, crotch, and ass, and he had to stand there for several minutes, the smell tingling in his nose as it worked to remove his hair. When his handler decided it had been on long enough, she wiped him down with a warm wet cloth,removing hair and cream in long sweeps until he was as bare as the day he’d been born. That done, he was urged into the tub, where he was scrubbed from head to foot with a dizzying array of products. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, exfoliating scrub, and finally, his favorite - a honey almond lotion that left his skin soft and smooth. The hair removal had left him a little sensitive, something his handler must have known, since she rubbed him carefully dry and let him eat his breakfast of fruit and granola without making him put clothes on first.
While he ate, his handler laid out his clothes for the auction - a sleek white loincloth, bright red sandals, and a white silk tunic with a red band at the neckline and hem. “They weren’t kidding when they said I’d be a Valentine, were they?” he asked, grinning at his handler, who laughed and shook her head.
“You’ll be the best one some lucky Master or Mistress gets,” she assured him.
Once he was done with breakfast, he stood still while the loincloth was wrapped around his hips until it was just right. The tunic and sandals went on easier, and he slid to his knees and put his hands behind his back, tilting his head back to bare his neck for the collar that would provide the finishing touch. But instead of the leather he was used to, his handler wrapped a red satin ribbon around his neck. “Gotta make sure your Master knows just what a gift they’re getting,” she teased with a smile.
Jared rolled his eyes at the over the top corniness of it all, but didn’t argue, just waited until she was done before he got to his feet. “Okay, guess I’m ready,” he muttered, swallowing as his stomach tightened with the words.
“You’ll be fine,” his handler told him. “Just be yourself and they’ll be wrapped around your little finger within a week.”
He wasn’t supposed to touch anyone, just like nobody was supposed to touch him, but he couldn’t resist. Jared caught her up in a hug. “Thanks,” he whispered against her hair. She’d been more than just a handler; she’d become a friend, and he was going to miss her. Before she could reprimand him, he released her and took a step back, sinking to his knees while he waited for them to come for him.
It wasn’t long before there was a knock on the door. Jared took a deep breath and nodded, and his handler opened the door. Two men in crisp black uniforms waited on the other side, just like when he’d gone back ho - to Jensen’s at Christmas. He got to his feet and walked over to them, then followed them down the hall and out to the waiting car.
He could almost pretend, on the silent ride to the auction hall, that this had all been a dream, that Christmas had yet to happen, that Jensen hadn’t acted like he was betraying him somehow, without telling him just what he’d done to make him so mad. Would things be different if he could go back and do it again, or would he still say the wrong thing? He knew it had to be his fault; he just wished he knew what it was he’d done so he could at least have apologized before he left.
They pulled up to the back of the hall and Jared was led inside, where a bustle of activity greeted him. Everywhere he looked, he saw slaves and handlers, along with strangers in loose pants and tunics that he assumed were working for the auction house. He was taken to a room with other Academy slaves, older boys and girls that he vaguely recognized. They didn’t really talk to him, so he just sat down and did his best not to scream while he waited for everything to start.
After what could have been hours or just minutes, he heard a voice echoing through a microphone, urging people to sit down. There was a number read off, then a moment’s pause, and it began. Descriptions followed by amounts, a volley that seemed hypnotic until there was the sharp crack of wood meeting wood and the cry of ‘Sold!’ He heard a murmur of voices, then another number was called out and the whole thing started all over again.
Jared stared down at the floor until there was a snap right in front of him. He looked up to see one of the auction handlers staring down at him. “Come with me,” he told him. “You’ll be up soon.”
He nodded and followed him towards the stage, the voice from the microphone growing louder as they drew closer. The handler fussed over him, checking his hair, straightening the ribbon around his neck, making sure his tunic was just right, and then it was his turn. Jared managed not to stumble as he walked out onto the stage, keeping his head bowed at the proper angle as he knelt on the podium near the auctioneer’s stand. “Number 3365-17,” the auctioneer announced. “I’m sure some of you have heard about the second-year virgin the Academy has decided to offer for your delectation and delight. It’s with great pleasure that I present him to you. He’s been an adept student and shown quite a bit of promise, particularly in the oral arts, so much so that the Academy has decided that he’s ready for a Master. Given such an unusual circumstance, I think we should start the bidding at, shall we say, twenty-five?”
Out of the corner of his eye, Jared thought he saw some movement. “Very good, twenty-five from the gentleman on my right. Do I hear thirty?” The rolling pattern he’d heard before started up again, numbers being called, going ever higher, rising in a dizzying crescendo that ended with the gavel coming down on the stand and the auctioneer’s call, “Sold! To Mr Morgan, for $275,000. Thank you, sir - if you’ll see the handlers, you can arrange payment and delivery.”
And just like that, Jared had a Master.
p>Jensen glanced at his watch, then glared at the back of the driver’s head. “I don’t see why we have to take a towncar,” he complained. “I could’ve gotten us there half an hour ago.”
“Because it’s the Valentine’s auction,” his father reminded him, for probably the tenth time since he’d picked him up at school an hour and a half ago. “There’s a certain image that’s expected, and this is part of it.”
“Yeah, but it’s taking so long!” He checked his watch again. “The auction’s gonna start in, like, ten minutes.”
His father didn’t seem too worried about the time, but then it wasn’t his possible future on the line. “Jensen, relax. Even if we miss the start, we should be fine. The Academy slaves don’t go up right away, and Jared’s likely to be one of the last. They’ll want to build the anticipation for him.”
Which also meant building the price. Jensen thought about the hundred thousand he had to spend and knew it wasn’t likely to be anywhere close to enough to buy Jared. “You think they’ll let us see him?” he asked roughly. “I mean, we should get to say good-bye, right?”
“I don’t know.” That was what the Christmas visit was supposed to have been, but nobody had told him that. Not until it was too late. Jensen thought again about those couple of weeks, the time he’d wasted over the stupid quarrel, and wanted to kick himself. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
“Yeah.” Wait and see. He was starting to think it was the story of his life.
Fifteen minutes later, they were still stuck in traffic, still a good five miles from the auction house, and Jensen was struggling not to just jump out and run. “Jensen. Breathe, son.” His father’s low voice broke into his increasing anxiety and he nodded.
“I just - I need him, Dad,” he choked out. And that was it, really. This thing with Jared, this feeling he had when he thought about him... it wasn’t just want. It was need. Jensen really couldn’t imagine his life without him - going to college had been hard enough, and he’d expected to have him there when he came back. Never having him again was unthinkable.
“I know. And we’ll do what we can,” his dad told him. “Just... you might have to start preparing yourself.”
Prepare himself. To see Jared sold to someone else, kneel at someone else’s feet, walk out with someone else. He wasn’t sure just how to go about doing that, but he nodded jerkily anyway. “Yeah, I know.”
It was another twenty minutes before they finally pulled up in front of the center. Jensen barely managed to wait for the car to stop, too eager to get out and get inside to do more than shove the door open and scramble out. He was vaguely aware of his father making a much more dignified exit behind him, but he was too busy hurrying towards the door to stop. Fumbling for the card he’d been given, he handed it over and forced himself to wait for his dad to catch up so they could go inside.
“My son’s first auction,” he told the doorman as he produced his own invitation.
The doorman chuckled and handed their invitations back. “Go on in,” he told them, winking at Jensen. “Enjoy the experience.”
Jensen could feel his ears burning, but he just nodded and looked over at his father, who gestured towards one of the hallways. He’d been so eager to get there, but now that they were so close, he found himself getting nervous, unsure of just what to do. It was easier to let his father take the lead and follow him down the hall to a large conference room, where a number of people were milling about, talking and laughing. Behind him, he heard his dad curse in a low voice.
Jensen looked over at him. “What’s wrong?” He couldn’t see how what seemed like a party was a bad thing, but from the frown on his dad’s face, he knew it wasn’t good.
“It’s the afterparty,” he told him. “The auction’s over.”
Over. Blood roared in Jensen’s ears, almost like when he’d been told Jared was on the list. Now they’d gotten here too late to even see him, let alone try to buy him. He was sole, and he and his new Master might well be on their way back to his new home even now. Jensen knew he wouldn’t want to stay at a party if he had Jared waiting on him.
A hand settled on his shoulder, squeezing gently, and he had to fight the urge to turn and cling to his father, wanting nothing more in that moment than to bury his face in his shirt and cry like he was five years old again. “I’m sorry,” his dad said quietly.
Jensen bit his lip and nodded. “Do you - can we find out who won him?” he asked, although he wasn’t really sure what good that would do, aside from just torture him even further.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Which probably meant no. He guessed his dad thought he’d cause some kind of scene, or else fall apart entirely if he wasn’t humored at least a little bit. “Why don’t you go get a drink and find a place to sit down?”
He nodded numbly, stumbling a little as he turned and walked blindly away. There was a glass on a tray that he picked up and drank without really being aware of what it was. Something alcoholic, and stronger than the beer he was used to, because after his second glass, he was happy to sit down while the world spun around him. Maybe if he were lucky, he could drink enough of those to forget that Jared had already been sold and Jensen wasn’t the one who’d bought him.
He was contemplating dropping out and pursuing a career as a professional beer drinker when he heard his father’s voice saying something, but he wasn’t really paying attention. “- waiting forever for you two to get here. I was starting to think you weren’t going to show up!”
“I know, but there was traffic. Anyway, I thought we could talk and - Jensen?”
“Yeah,” he said, trying to smile although he was pretty sure it ended up looking a lot more goofy than he intended. “Thas’ me.”
“Great. He’s drunk. Jensen, I said have a drink, not two or three.” There was laughter from someone else, and Jensen recognized the exasperation in his father’s voice. It was just like when he’d snuck his first beer at his father’s office Christmas party when he was fourteen - although to be fair, it had been Jared’s idea, and he’d gotten way drunker than Jensen.
He tilted his head back to see not just his father but his godfather looking down at him. Great. Double busted. And this time there was no Jared to help take any of the heat off. “Sorry.”
His dad just sighed and reached out to draw him to his feet. “We’d better get you home before you fall over.”
Jensen didn’t argue, just let his father steer him out of the room and take him back to the car. “Don’ wanna go home,” he slurred once they were underway again. He didn’t want to go back to the room he used to share with Jared, where there were probably still traces of him - clothes, video games, books. He didn’t want to see any of it, not yet.
“You can go back to the dorm, then,” his father agreed, his voice warm with amusement that was undoubtedly at Jensen’s expense, but he didn’t care. “Maybe your roommate can make sure you don’t choke on your own vomit.”
He didn’t bother to reply to that, just stared out the window, letting his mind go blank while they headed back to his dorm. Things were getting fuzzy around the edges, a welcome relief after the sharp-edged tension he’d been living with for the last few days, and Jensen welcomed the fog that set in as he made his clumsy way upstairs with his father’s help. From there, his memories descended into vagueness, but he thought that at some point, he was hugged and tucked into bed before blackness swallowed him whole and he passed out.
The phone and his pounding head woke him up, the latter made way, way worse by the former. Jensen groaned and reached out to fumble for the phone before he realized it was still in his jeans and he was still wearing them. He said a mental ‘fuck it’ since the call would go to voicemail before he could answer it and was going back to sleep when the damn thing went off again. Rolling to one side, he dug into his pocket to get his phone, groaning again when moving made his head hurt even more. “Yeah?”
“Hey, kiddo, how’s it going?” his godfather’s voice boomed in his ear.
Jensen winced and reminded himself that hanging up on his godfather wasn’t a good idea. “Fine,” he croaked, offering up the blatant and obvious lie that everyone expected from a hungover person.
The answering chuckle made his temples pound. “Yeah, you sound fine.” Jensen barely refrained from snapping at him and demanding to know why he called, and thankfully, his godfather seemed to understand, because he continued. “Listen, I got you a little something, might help with the hangover. Think you’re up to a present?”
“Stupid question,” he muttered, although he had yet to pry his eyes open. “‘m always up to presents.” Especially his godfather’s. He gave some really rocking presents - like the time he’d sent Jensen and Jared on a weekend trip to Disneyland to celebrate Jensen starting to shave.
His godfather laughed again. “I’ll send it over in a little bit,” he promised. “I’d bring it myself, but I have a flight to catch in a couple hours. Meanwhile, why don’t you shower and try to eat something, huh?”
Eating was the last thing he wanted to do, but Jensen agreed to give it a shot. He forced himself out of bed and trudged into the bathroom, where he climbed into the shower and turned the water on as hot as he could stand it. He stood under the spray for a long time, just letting the stinging spray pelt him until he felt halfway human again. Grabbing the shampoo, he started washing up, and by the time he turned the water off and stepped out, he felt about a million percent better. Still hungover, but now it was a bearable sort of hungover.
Wrapping a towel around his waist, he walked out of the bathroom, chuckling a little at the billowing cloud of steam that accompanied him. Chris was going to have a shit fit if the mirrors were still fogged by the time he got back, but hopefully that wouldn’t be for a while. If it was, Jensen would just have to play the ‘poor, hungover me’ card and if all else failed, pay for pizza and beer once he was up to going out again. He rubbed a hand over his jaw, decided a shave could wait, then started back to his room, already looking forward to the comfy sweats and hoody that were his go-to hangover clothes.
A knock on the door stopped him before he could get there. “Yeah, just a second!” he called out, scowling when he realized it would take more than a second to pull his clothes out and get dressed. Well, whoever was there would just have to understand this was a college dorm. Besides, it wasn’t like he had anything to be ashamed of. Checking to make sure his towel was securely fastened and nothing important was showing, he walked over to pull the door open, then nearly fell over when he saw what was waiting for him. No, no what - who.
He was kneeling in front of the door, head bent so he stared at the floor, and Jensen couldn’t take his eyes off him. God, he was gorgeous. Jensen’s fingers itched to reach out for him, and it wasn’t until a clipboard and pen was shoved at him that he realized there was anybody else there. He scribbled his signature on the line by the printed X, and said, “Jared.”
Jared looked up at the sound of his name, eyes widening when he caught sight of familiar green eyes. “Jensen?!?”
He’d been surprised not to end up in his Master’s bed last night. Instead, he’d been taken to a hotel and shown up to a small room that was part of a suite. He’d waited for hours before an older man came up to look at him, but instead of taking him to his room, he’d just said, “You may as well get some sleep. No sense in taking you over until morning.” Jared had been confused, but done as he’d said, only to be woken and loaded into a car, then driven over to a college campus. That was when he’d understood - like Chad, he was a gift, and he felt a sudden spike of fear as he hoped he would be a wanted gift.
The driver that had brought him over pushed him down in front of a door, and he folded to the floor, holding position as he waited for his new Master to open the door. It wasn’t until he heard his name and looked up to see Jensen standing in front of him in just a towel that he managed to get himself under control. Even so, it took another few minutes for him to realize what was going on. He was a gift, delivered right to his new Master’s door... and Jensen had answered it, so that meant... “You’re my new Master!” he blurted out, then cringed at just how awkward that had sounded. “I mean, are you -”
“Yeah,” Jensen interrupted, his voice sounding rough. “I guess I am.”
Jared wondered why he’d been bought as a gift for Jensen, when he knew Jensen didn’t like pleasure slaves. Or was it just him being a pleasure slave Jensen didn’t like? He hadn’t actually said the last time they’d talked, and Jared hadn’t bothered to ask. In either case, he couldn’t imagine Jensen being happy to get him for a gift. A lot like when he was five, actually. But at least he hadn’t tried to refuse the delivery, so that was good, right?
He could always send him back, though. Jared swallowed hard at the thought of being returned, and especially being returned by Jensen. Maybe if he proved he could be good, though... He bowed his head, shifting his stance a little, laying his hands palm up on his thighs. For a minute, Jensen didn’t say anything and Jared started to worry that he’d done the wrong thing, but when he peeked up at him, he didn’t look angry, just... confused. Licking his lips, Jared tried to remember everything he’d ever been taught about making a request. “Master, perhaps I could better be of service to you inside?” he suggested, careful to use the formal language like he knew he was supposed to.
Jensen’s body jerked like he’d been shot, but he didn’t tell him to knock it off like he might have a few years ago. Instead, he nodded and stepped back, and Jared thought he saw him adjust the towel that was wrapped around his waist. He got to his feet and walked inside, closing the door behind him, then knelt in front of him again. “How may I please you best, Master?”
It was a pleasure slave’s well-known request, so he wasn’t that surprised to see Jensen’s towel start tenting in response, but he was more than surprised when Jensen’s hand settled on top of his head and stroked along his hair, then tilted his head back. “You want this?” Jensen asked in a low voice.
Jared nodded, but that didn’t seem to satisfy Jensen, because he just stared down at him. “Really, Jared? Not just because I’m your Master now?”
He licked his lips again. “It doesn’t really matter what I want,” he tried to explain, hoping that this time he could find the right words, that Jensen would listen instead of just getting angry like he had before. “I’m a pleasure slave.” Jensen’s pleasure slave. “This is what I’m for, to please my Master - to please you.”
“What about you?” Jensen asked, his voice going rough again. “Shouldn’t you get something out of this?”
Well, at least he wasn’t yelling. “I do,” he insisted. “I get to make you happy. And I - I like that.” Or at least, he thought he did. He knew he liked the way his trainers smiled when he’d mastered a lesson, but so far everything had been theoretical or practice. This was his first chance to really try it out, to use the techniques he’d been taught on a real person, and he was eager to get started.
Jensen smiled, fingers drifting up to stroke over his cheek, and Jared leaned into the touch. He’d gotten so used to nobody touching him, knowing that this was reserved for his Master, that he’d forgotten how good it could feel, especially being touched by Jensen. “Like a freaking cat,” he commented, and Jared smiled as he remembered how he used to tease him about that.
“Your cat,” he reminded him, just like he used to, then offered up his best imitation of a purr. It used to make Jensen giggle, but he wasn’t giggling now.
“My cat,” he repeated in that rough voice that made Jared’s stomach tighten with a swoop of arousal. His fingers slid down to scratch lightly under his chin. “You gonna lick me, kitty cat?”
Jared glanced over at where the towel was now very visibly straining away from his body, then looked up along the length of Jensen’s body. “If you want me to, Master.”
“Yeah,” Jensen muttered, one hand fumbling to get his towel open. “Yeah, okay.”
The towel fell to the floor with a soft thud, and Jared took a minute just to look at him. He’d seen Jensen naked before, even seen him naked and hard (they’d gone through puberty together, after all) but he’d never thought about touching him or anything like that. Even before he’d discovered that he was to be trained as a pleasure slave, the idea really hadn’t occurred to him for more than a fleeting second here or there. Now he was wondering if he’d been an idiot or just blind, because just looking at Jensen’s cock was enough to make his mouth water.
He reached out, stroking his fingers lightly up the length. It felt different than the toys he’d been taught on, hot and at once harder and softer than they’d been. As soon as he thought that, he wanted to laugh - it was a dick, and it wasn’t like he didn’t have one. He just hadn’t touched one that wasn’t his own, and it seemed strange to be eye level with it. Jensen groaned above him, but Jared barely noticed, too wrapped up in the way his dick twitched, precome welling up almost immediately. That was definitely different than either his training toys or his own dick, and he didn’t even think as he leaned in to lap it up.
The taste burst on his tongue, a mixture of salty and sweet and something strange that he couldn’t quite name. “God, Jared,” he heard Jensen moan, sounding pretty completely wrecked already, and okay, he really liked that. Jared gave the tip another lick, then dropped down to the base of his cock, dragging his tongue slowly up his length, then doing it again when he heard Jensen gasp as the air hit his wet skin. He nuzzled against him, drawing in a deep breath, enjoying the heady, musky scent that was quickly replacing the crisper smell of soap.
He could feel fingers slide into his hair as he tilted his head and mouthed wetly along Jensen’s shaft, keeping his lips soft, his teeth carefully sheathed. That was critical, everyone knew that. Light, kittenish licks were next, carried out with playful flicks of his tongue as he traced the prominent vein there right up to the tip, where more precome shone on Jensen’s skin. Jared didn’t hesitate - he opened his mouth and fit it over the sensitive tip, swirling his tongue carefully around it. Jensen gasped, the fingers in his hair drawing tight when he suckled on the head, earning himself more precome, sliding slickly over his tongue.
Jared sucked one more time, then started moving down, taking more of him into his mouth until he felt the rounded tip nudging against the back of his throat. He drew in a deep breath through his nose and swallowed, pressing forward with the motion, fighting against his gag reflex until he’d taken him all the way down. This part was never as easy for him as it was for some of the others - Chad had boasted about taking the largest trainer without coming close to gagging - but Jared was discovering he wanted to push himself, to be the very best he could for Jensen. He was rewarded with a loud moan and Jensen’s voice begging him for more.
That was new, too. He’d been taught to please his Master, but nobody had told him about how it felt to do this, to know that his Master was shivering and gasping with need and that he was the reason for that. He’d done this to Jensen, just him with his mouth and tongue on Jensen’s dick. Jared moaned around him, then eased back, letting almost all of it slip free before he started pressing forward again. He'd expected to like pleasing his Master, but he hadn't expected to find it so enjoyable for himself, and Jared was already looking forward to doing this again.
Closing his eyes, he lost himself in the rhythm, the slow slide, the feel of Jensen in his mouth, hot and thick, filling him up, the scent and taste, the way he could hear him cursing and moaning. It was like his whole world had been taken over and there was nothing but Jensen there, nothing else he needed as long as he kept doing this. He pulled off and licked at the tip again, tracing his tongue around the slit there, loving how Jensen's skin seemed even softer now that it was wet and sleek from both the precome and his mouth. Jensen's fingers in his hair tugged, sending a shiver down his spine.
"Please, Jay, please, need your mouth," he babbled, hips jerking before he got himself under control again. "God, so fucking close, wanna - can I come in your mouth? Please? God, so good, need it, fucking need it so bad..."
Jared hadn't thought that Masters begged, and the revelation left him breathless, with his own arousal stronger than he'd expected it to be. He opened for him, going halfway down with the first plunge, then started moving, faster than before, sucking hard enough to hollow his cheeks. Jensen started shaking and he could hear a frantic note in his voice as he gasped, "God, yeah. Gonna - fuck, Jay, that's it. Christ! Gonna come, can't wait, gotta - nngghh!"
The cock in his mouth jerked against his tongue a split second before there was a thick, bitter pulse and a flood of liquid that he had to swallow to keep from choking. Coming. Jensen was coming. Jared had made him come, with only his mouth on his cock. He'd been told about this, practiced it over and over again, but there was nothing that compared to the act itself. He swallowed until there was no more to take, then slid his mouth down along the twitching shaft as it started to soften, taking it all in.
Jensen groaned and pushed him away. "Stop," he panted. "God, Jared... gotta give me a minute. Gonna kill me, here."
Jared tilted his head back once Jensen's cock had slipped out of his mouth, smiling up at his Master. "Thank you."
Jensen laughed, the sound almost shaky. He leaned back against the wall and looked down at him. "I think I'm the one who should be thanking you." And that wasn't the case, not when Jared was only doing what he was supposed to, but it was nice to hear all the same. "C'mere."
He rose to his feet, then let out a squawk when Jensen hooked a hand around his neck and pulled him down for a kiss. It wasn't at all graceful, not at first; their noses smushed together and teeth clacked against each other behind their lips, but when Jared didn't pull away, Jensen gentled his hold and coaxed his mouth open so his tongue could dip inside to rub against Jared's. Kissing was something they hadn't been taught much about - Jared felt clumsier trying to imitate Jensen's movement than he had with his mouth on his cock - but it was nice, and he thought he might like to learn to do it better so Jensen would want to do it more.
"God, you're gorgeous," Jensen whispered when they had to break apart to breathe. He ran a hand down his side, moving around to squeeze his ass. "I saw you at Christmas, you know."
Jared shook his head, although he felt himself blushing as he thought about what Jensen might have seen. "I was gonna talk to you," Jensen told him, fingers slipping up under his tunic so they could trace up and down his cleft, petting him as he talked. "After our fight. But when I went downstairs, you were in your room... fuck, so hot." He kissed him again. "Think that's when I realized I wanted you."
He tried very hard to stay still as Jensen's fingers slid down to rub over his hole, although he really wanted to press back against them. The thought of something besides a toy inside him, opening him up for something better still... he wasn't sure if he could wait. "Jen... Master, please..."
Jensen sucked in a sharp breath. "Say it again."
"Master," he repeated obediently, only to have Jensen nip his bottom lip, his teeth closing on the sensitive skin to mingle pain with pleasure.
"Not that." When Jared only stared at him in confusion, he kissed him again. "My name. You called me Jen. You haven't done that in... God, I don't know how long."
He blushed. "Sorry. I didn't mean to. I forgot -" He broke off on a moan when Jensen pressed his finger against his hole.
"Don't be sorry. I liked it, wanna hear it again." Another rub, and Jared's head was swimming with how bad he wanted more. "C'mon, Jay, say it."
"Jen," he whimpered, trembling with the effort it was taking to keep still. "Please, Jen..."
"Yeah," was the low response. "Yeah, like that." He was rewarded with a longer, deeper kiss. "What do you want, baby, hmm?"
That was an easy one. "I want you inside me." And from the way Jensen groaned when he answered, it sounded like he wanted it, too. Jared knew he should wait, should be patient, but when Jensen licked his lips, he leaned in to kiss him.
Jensen was panting by the time he drew back. "Fuck. Okay, but not here." He rubbed one more time over his hole, then pushed him away. "My room - the one on the left. Go on inside and wait for me, okay? I just - I gotta make a call first."
A faint bubble of panic welled up at the thought of Jensen making a call, maybe making arrangements to send him back, but Jared did his best to tamp down on it. He nodded and turned to go into the bedroom, already looking forward to whatever was coming next.
Jensen watched Jared walk into his room, unable to tear his eyes away from that absolutely perfect tight ass. God, how the hell had he lucked into this?!? Jared was supposed to be with some asshole stranger, not him! Not that he was protesting, of course. It was just a shock, one that he suspected was going to take a while to wear off, if it ever did.
Jared was his. Like, really his. His mind was whirling, trying to deal with a thousand different things at once. He had to call his parents and let them know, had to call Jeff and thank him, had to call the college and register Jared as his pleasure slave, had to spend the next several days finding out just what every inch of Jared tasted like, had to call Chris and -
Call Chris. Yeah, that one was definitely first on the list, especially since Jensen wasn't quite sure how he'd managed to keep from just fucking Jared right here by the front door. He looked around the room for his phone for several minutes before he remembered it was still in his room. Along with Jared. And if he went in there, he didn't think he'd be able to get to the phone before he had to touch Jared. Swearing under his breath, he headed for the land line phone, the one the college insisted they all have that they all hated.
It took three tries to get Chris' number right, but eventually his roommate picked up with a gruff, "Yeah?"
"Hey. Listen, can you do me a favor? Well, two favors, actually?"
"No way, man. You can get your own damn alcohol."
Jensen guessed that meant the vague memory he had of Chris bringing him coffee and him asking for vodka instead wasn't just a dream. "No, not that. I need you to get my notes for me."
Chris chuckled. "Not up to class, huh? Told you you were gonna feel that later."
"Yeah. Um, you think you could find somewhere else to sleep tonight? Or maybe just -"
"Seriously? You actually gonna get laid, man?"
It was tempting to just say yes and hang up, but Jared wasn't exactly easy to hide. Besides, if he did something like that, Chris might just decide to come back here and cockblock him. "I, uh, Jared's here."
There was quiet for a minute. "Did he run away?" he asked in a low voice.
"What?!? No! My, uh, my godfather got him for me." And God, could he sound any more like some spoiled socialite brat?
"Nice godfather," Chris commented, and Jensen could practically see the smirk on his face. "Wish I had someone buying me a pretty piece of tail."
"Shut up." Ordinarily he'd have just rolled his eyes, but now he was finding out that he really didn't like hearing Jared referred to like that. "Look, are you gonna do it or not?"
"Yeah, I can probably sleep over at Beth's or something." And that was why Chris was his friend as well as his roommate.
Jensen smiled. "Thanks." He wondered just how to get off the phone without being incredibly rude, but a chuckle from Chris took care of that.
"Go on, go have fun with your boy."
Jensen didn't have to be told twice. He said good-bye and hung the phone up, then all but ran for his room. "Okay, I called my roommate and he's gonna stay somewhere else tonight, so we've got plenty of -" The sight of Jared kneeling naked on his bed short-circuited his brain. Jared. Naked. And fuck, hard.
Jared gave him a shy smile, one that made him look anything but innocent. "Thank you, Master."
God, that word. Jensen groaned and stumbled over to the bed, wondering if Jared was planning on killing him with hotness or if it was just going to be an accidental side effect. He wasn't sure he really cared either way. Not as long as he got to learn what it was like to make Jared come first. "Still want me inside you?" he asked, turning around to fish the bottle of lube out of his bedside table.
Jared let out a broken moan that went straight to his cock. "Yeah... please, Jen."
"Kneel down for me?" He slicked up two fingers as he watched Jared shift, then rubbed them over his hole. God, it was so tight... hard to believe it could open up to take his fingers or that toy he'd seen Jared fuck himself with. Or his cock. "Tell me if it hurts, okay?"
He waited until he saw Jared nod before he pushed one finger in. And Jesus, he was tight, hot and sleek and Jensen never wanted to do anything else. Jared let out a mewling sound and pressed back against his finger, taking it all the way in. Jensen gave him a minute, then carefully started to pull back and push in again, loving how Jared whimpered. "Want another?"
Hopefully it wasn't too soon to ask, but Jared was nodding frantically before the words were even out of his mouth, so Jensen added a second fingers and tried fucking him a little faster. "God, you're so tight... you like this, baby?" he asked, hardly aware of the words that were coming out of his mouth, too wrapped up in Jared to really think about anything else.
"Yeah," Jared moaned. "Please..."
"What do you need?" He twisted his fingers a little as he worked them in and out, easing the burgeoning cramp in his wrist.
Jared licked his lips and Jensen took that opportunity to lean forward and steal a kiss. "C'mon, tell me," he whispered. "What do you want, Jay?"
Another moan answered him, and he wondered if the old nickname sounded as good to Jared as it did to him. "Your fingers... there's a spot..."
Shit, how could he have forgotten that?!? They'd spent three weeks on intimate anatomy in Health class - some student he was turning out to be! Jensen swore under his breath as he tried to remember the position, then angled his fingers a little different with the next push in. "How's that?"
Jared didn't say anything, but he didn't have to. The sudden arch of his back and buck back against Jensen's hand said it all for him. Jensen grinned and did it again, a little faster and harder. "Yeah, God, look at you," he murmured, watching Jared shove back at him. "So fucking hot, seeing you need it like that..."
Immediately, Jared stopped. "Sorry," he panted. "I'm - I - sorry."
"For what?!?" Jensen wondered if he'd done something wrong, said something he shouldn't. What the fuck had he said, anyway?
"I shouldn't - I'm not supposed to move unless you give me -” His breath caught and Jensen was hard put not to moan as he watched Jared shudder. “P-permission." And from the way his hips were twitching, it seemed like that was damn near impossible.
Jensen took a second to mentally curse out whoever had told Jared that he was supposed to be nothing more than a fucking sex doll. "I want you to move," he told him. "Just like I want you to moan if you like what I'm doing. If it feels good, I wanna see it."
He looked back over his shoulder, his eyes dark and hot in a way Jensen had only seen at a distance. "Really?"
"Yeah." He pulled almost all the way out and pushed in at (he hoped) the right angle to hit the spot dead on. "C'mon, Jared, show me you like it."
His reward was another of those mewling cries and a ripple of muscle as Jared started rocking on all fours, fucking himself on Jensen's fingers like they were a million times better than the sex toy he'd been using at Christmas. God only knew, it was a billion times hotter, not only watching, but knowing that he was the cause of all of it.
Jensen had just meant to give Jared what he wanted, see if he could get him off like the toy had, but now that he had his fingers inside him, now that he was watching him , he knew he couldn't hold back. He had to have him. Now. Right fucking now, actually, or he was likely to come all over himself just watching. Pulling his fingers free, he grabbed the lube and started slicking himself up. "Shhh, it's okay," he said when Jared whimpered at the sudden loss. "Just gonna - God, Jay, I gotta - I need to - please," he babbled, and hoped Jared would be able to make sense of his lust-drunk sentence fragments.
Thankfully, Jared seemed to be fluent in needy, horny Jensen, because he groaned and nodded, shifting to widen his stance. "Yeah, please. Want you to fuck me." He looked back at him again as he moved to kneel behind him. "Please fuck me, Master."
Shit, how the hell had he managed to develop a kink he hadn't even known about in the space of a single morning? Jensen's cock jerked and he felt precome spill out at the sound of his new title. "God, yeah." He reached down to position himself and started to push in, letting out a loud moan as hot silk wrapped around his cock. Fuck, this was so much better than his hand!
Dimly, he realized he should be careful, should try to go slow since this was the first time for both of them, but Jared pushed back against him, and slow was nothing more than a distant memory. Jensen shoved in, not stopping until he was pressed up tight against Jared, balls deep in his perfect ass. "Fuck," he panted. "Shit, Jay, you're -"
"Yeah," Jared moaned, squirming against him. "Please, Jen... need it."
Well, there was no way Jensen was going to say no to that. He leaned down to kiss the back of his neck, then took hold of his hips and started to fuck him. It wasn't going to last long, he could already tell that; Jared was just too hot, too tight, too amazing for him to hold back. Luckily, Jared didn't seem to care, because he was moving with him, groaning and panting, calling him Master and Jen in that breathless voice that said he was loving this every bit as much as Jensen was.
Jensen could feel his balls drawing tight and knew he was about two seconds from shooting. He fucked in hard and fast, then fumbled around to try to get a hand around Jared's cock. "C'mon, Jay," he chanted. "Fuck, gonna come, want you with me, wanna feel it... fuck, so fucking hot, gonna - nngghh - shit!" He managed a few clumsy strokes before he was gone, shuddering and coming deep inside Jared, lost in the best goddamn orgasm of his entire life. The hot pulse of come around him just made it all the better, reminding him that this wasn't his hand; this was Jared and he could do this all the time now if he wanted to.
And he definitely wanted to.
When he was finally done, he collapsed down against Jared's back, the momentum driving them both down onto the bed with a muffled 'oooff'. Jensen nuzzled against the back of Jared's sweaty neck, and it was a sign of how gone for him he was that he wasn't even really thinking of how sticky and disgusting they both were. "Mine," he said softly. "All mine. Fuck, Jared..."
"Yes, Master," was the low reply, and he groaned as his dick twitched in response. That could well become a Pavlovian thing if he wasn't careful, although he really wasn't sure he cared as long as there was a private place somewhere nearby when Jared said it. Or even a semi-public one.
"Gonna kill me," he muttered, kissing him again before he remembered something. "Shit, you didn't - I'm sorry, Jay. I wanted -"
"I did," Jared assured him, rocking back against him just a little. And dammit, he'd missed it. Jared had come and he'd been too busy coming his own brains out to watch it. Well, that just meant he'd have to get him going all over again, because Jared coming was too hot to not get to see over and over again.
"Next time I'm gonna finger you," he promised. "Wanna watch you when you get all hot for it." He yawned and rolled onto his back, then reached out to drag Jared close. "Get you in the shower and make you come on my fingers..."
Jared nosed up under his jaw just like he used to, and some part of Jensen he hadn't even realized was missing slid into place. "I will," he promised.
"Yeah," he murmured, rubbing Jared's back in long strokes. "Gonna do it right, make you beg for it. In a little bit, just gotta rest my eyes first..." His eyelids were getting too heavy to hold open, and he slid into sleep with Jared laying heavily against him, bare skin under his hand and the scent of sex hanging in the air, mingling with the absolute contentment inside him.
This was how it was supposed to be: Jared in his bed, acting like a living heater, both of them sticky and sleepy in the aftermath of some incredibly awesome sex. This was how it should have been all along. Jensen's last conscious thought was that he'd have to call for pizza because they weren't leaving for several days, at least. He had quite a few years to make up; luckily, he didn't think Jared would mind. He probably had some making of his own to do, too.