1. Three Day Record (Unbroken)
2. Christmas Present to Self, December 25th 2010
3. At the Barn Door
4. The Day We Never Met
5. (Happy Ever After) Until the Next Time
#1 Three Day Record (Unbroken)
It had not been easy to find a living blood relative of Nathan Wuornos.
It had, however, been a lot easier to activate Harold Hanson's Trouble once Jordan had him in her hands and it had been pretty damn easy for Wade to kill him, because Wade loved that shit, the weird, twisted fuck.
They'd let Nathan walk around town grinning for a few days. Let him build up a false sense of security and stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let him enjoy. He'd find out the flipside of no longer being afflicted soon enough. Nathan's distraction, after that, made it ridiculously easy, even though Duke Crocker was still looking for Wade and Nathan and Dwight were supposedly still looking for her. They snatched him off the street in broad, sunny daylight and bundled him into the back of a van, where they bound and gagged him. Jordan already had her gloves off for the snatch, so he finally got to feel a little of what he'd been missing, all those times he caressed her skin.
She regretted that a little as they headed home to the background music of thumping and muffled shouting from the rear of the van, because it would have been better to introduce that experience to him under more controlled circumstances. Wade's grin was wide, next to her, though she didn't know why. Did he actually think she was going to let him have this one? Even if Nathan had still been Troubled... Oh, no. This one was hers. He knew that. A couple of love taps on the chin later would ensure that he didn't forget it.
They'd established an effective method of communication. She let him know when he crossed the line. In return, if he hadn't killed anyone in a few days and started getting restless, she'd draw him a little of her blood. She even thought he kind of liked the pain, though, which was a first. She'd tried masochists, before, years ago when her Trouble first kicked in: they'd all run away fast.
So she wasn't too worried about not having the desired effect on Nathan, once they got him back to the cellar of the isolated shack they were using as a hideout. All right, he'd not felt pain in at least three years, but even if that had rewired him screwy, she was pretty sure she was potent enough to cut through any unusual bullshit. There couldn't be too many Wade Crockers in the world, after all.
He screamed unreservedly through the first session, when she only used his and her hands and face.
Wade came by as she was drinking wine and smiling softly to herself afterwards. "Enjoying yourself?"
"Mm," she said. "Very much so."
He pouted and said, "But you wouldn't let me join in."
"He's not bleeding, Wade," she pointed out. "And it wouldn't interest you any more if he was. I'm not bleeding. You'd be -- bored. Very, very bored."
He stroked her face with a gloved hand but his own face stayed like stone. "Only right now, I'm feeling very, very jealous."
"Oh?" She felt her smile spread wide. "So you think he's enjoying my affections?"
"I don't know who couldn't," he said, tilting his head, and she felt warmth flood through her.
"You're sweet," she told Wade. "And Nathan's still mine."
The second session took place a few glasses later. Jordan stripped both of them of clothing, article by article. With her naked hands, she peeled garments from Nathan, who already shivered, hanging from his tied hands, and she finally told him their secret: "Do you know why your Trouble went away? We did that for you, Wade and I."
She trailed a hand down his naked body, letting her fingertips linger over his sex, and he jolted and trembled, but typical Nathan, when she took her hand away, he managed to spit raggedly, "You killed someone?"
Priorities. Oh, Nathan.
"That's what we do." She kissed him gently on the cheek with the reminder. "Didn't you notice?"
She wondered if he'd last as long as Scotty, who'd done three days but still never actually recovered from it yet, so really, that wasn't much for a record. Nathan wasn't used to feeling anything, least of all pain. She didn't think Nathan was going to last three days. Part of her was disappointed.
The third session, the second day -- Wade brought her a bribe of breakfast in bed, croissants which he must have risked a trip into town to buy, the frivolous idiot, and no, he still wasn't getting in on this -- she cut Nathan down and laid him out on the floor, where she fucked him. As best she could, anyway, with his body trying to shrink from her at the same time as it responded. He was all nerve endings, and it was a delight. Although perhaps she should have covered him up again, last night, because his cold, clammy skin chilled hers and made the process annoyingly uncomfortable for her, which was very much not the point.
Also, possibly, she should feed him something. At least if they were going to try for a four-day record.
"You can do that, can't you?" she asked him, as she fed him a leftover croissant. One bite at a time, being careful not to touch his skin with her fingers as she delivered each morsel into his mouth, though he flinched every time, all the same. "Four days. It's not so hard. Two down already. I suppose that's technically one and a half, though, since today isn't over yet."
He flinched again at the promise of more to come, but what he hoarsely asked was, "Who did you kill?"
"Max Hanson's little brother. Pay attention, Nathan." She slapped his face and he coughed up the last piece of croissant in agonised reflex. "We started halfway through yesterday, so really, I suppose that's only one day. You have a long way to go."
"I didn't even know I had an uncle still alive."
"Well, you don't," she reminded helpfully. "But he gave you this wonderful gift. Now you can feel the sunshine and the daisies and all the wonderful things that make life worth living."
He heaved a disgusted breath. "Even if you hadn't done it just so you could do this... I still wouldn't choose feeling over a man's life. You're sick, Jordan. You need help."
Jordan put a blanket over him and went to play with Wade. Even in agony, Nathan was hair-trigger enough to leave her unsatisfied, and Wade needed some placating and reassurance. That might get to be a problem if Nathan did last as long as four days.
"Why do you even need him?" Wade complained, his fingers moving in her as she straddled his fully-clothed knee. Her gloved fingers stroked him in return through his agape zipper. "You've got me now."
"Baby, I don't need him," Jordan said, her voice hitching as electric sensation pulsed through her with each fierce push. Wade was never gentle. She arched over him and tried to remember to keep her hand working. "I... need him suffering."
"You mean you don't need me suffering?" he asked in his jealous voice.
She leaned over and licked his face. "No, Wade, I just enjoy it."
He came all over her glove.
Later that day -- they'd had some other business in town, which satisfied Wade and got him off her back -- she returned to Nathan with a heavily sugared coffee and a box of donuts. "Cop-food," she said brightly. "In case you miss it."
He'd somehow unfixed himself from the iron ring in the floor and got his hands in front of him, but they were still securely bound, so she let him feed himself. Because she was tired of doing it anyway, and really, she'd taken her clothes off at the door and already dodged his one attempt to cover her with the blanket and jump her as she walked in, so he wasn't getting away.
"How's Wade?" Nathan asked, legs bent up to his chest, shivering. She'd put the blanket outside.
"Super," Jordan told him. "He killed lots of people this afternoon, so he's having an extra-special good day."
"And you're all right with that." It was still the tiniest bit of a question, but not much. Only a little bit of something in him was still asking if there was anything left in her to save. There wasn't. She had given herself over to being a monster, faced with the choice between that or running, when she realised what she'd created in Wade. "I get why you're mad at me, but Jordan -- the rest of them, why?"
She poked him in the armpit and was ready to catch his half-finished coffee and set it on the floor as he convulsed. "Simple. What did any of them ever do for me? You. Vince. I tried to help, and what did it get me? Nothing. No -- used. It got me used. So now I'm with Wade, and what makes Wade happy, makes me happy."
"This isn't you," he tried. "You wanted to help Troubled people."
"You destroyed the Barn," she pointed out, annoyed. "You ensured the Troubles can't be helped any other way. So now we're ending them. Together. One Trouble at a time."
"You know who comes last on that list."
She shook her head. "No, no. I'm his emergency store of the good stuff. Kill me, and... no more super-powered rush on tap. I won't be last, Nathan. I'm the keeper." She pressed her finger over his lips. His hand dropped what was left of the last donut, spasming, and she kicked it out of the way as she straddled him. Her boots combated the cold of the floor, this time, and she'd figured she could countenance the loss of that much skin contact between them for a bit more comfort. "Come on, Nathan. We're not here to talk. Time to saddle up and ride again."
She pushed him back to the floor, uncurling him with her smaller body weight but, mostly, with his reflex to move away from wherever she touched. She caught his tied hands and pulled them to her, rubbing them between her breasts. She lowered herself onto him, wet and waiting, marvelling that excess of sensation kept him hard despite the fact that the greater part of it was pain. She watched the slits she could see of his eyes turn white as his head rolled back. She curled her hand down between their bodies. "Show me you can do better than last time, Nathan."
He choked and came in less than two minutes anyway.
Just in case he was doing it on purpose, getting off early to get off early, as it were, she lingered, stretching further caresses over his skin, leaning forward to seal her lips over his mouth and kiss him thoroughly around his protests.
She tasted vomit and tore back, spitting. Grabbed for his abandoned coffee and rinsed her mouth out with it.
All right, she wasn't going to do that again.
"Asshole." She stuck her fingers in his mouth and didn't move them until she was pretty sure he would suffocate around them if she didn't.
Nathan was still alive and coherent on day three. Jordan had decided she could be generous and call it day three, between the intensity of the last session and the fact that Scotty hadn't started bright and early on his designated day one, either.
"Why don't you just kill me?" he asked dully. He'd retrieved the blanket she shoved back through the door the night before and the way he'd wrapped it around himself, she couldn't see his hands, which made her wary despite the hopelessness of his tone.
"Because I want two more days out of you." She feinted one way and went another, and so managed to elude this morning's trick with the blanket, too. She grabbed onto his wrist and held it until his knees buckled. She manoeuvred him onto his back by waving the threat of her fingers before his skin. "If you can't put things to their proper uses, I'll take them away from you again." She wadded up the blanket in her hands and considered lobbing it into a corner, but pushed it under his head instead. If she let him keep his tricks, he might last longer. Hope was a fine spur.
"When they find you, you're both finished."
No need to ask who they were.
"They won't find us in time for you."
Silence. Nathan knew that.
Jordan sighed dramatically. "I'm tired of sex," she said. "Let's just cuddle today." And she curled up on his chest, ear flush to the feverish heat of the skin above his heart, listening to its pounding, to its rhythm as it raced and broke and laboured, struggling to keep up with pain no-one's body could surmount. After a while, she wrested the circle of his arms over her head and shoulders and felt them, shivering, curled tightly around her.
"Jordan..." His protest was faint, thready, breaking up in a final exhale.
His heart pounded one last time underneath her. And then nothing.
So Nathan didn't last four days, or even three, and Jordan was still standing over him, toeing his chilling corpse and sighing in unaccountable depression, when Wade finally plucked up the daring to come down and disturb her, however many hours that was later.
"He's dead," she said, her voice thick and slow. "Heart attack, I think." She felt like she'd become stone. "I guess he really wasn't used to all that sensation." She hadn't expected him to just die.
"So it's done," Wade concluded impatiently. "Come on, I've other things I want to do today, and there are always more where he came from."