Jared wakes up slowly. He shifts, presses back into the warm body curled around him. Behind him, Jeff makes a sleepy noise, his mouth skimming over the back of Jared's neck. His beard scratches against Jared's skin and Jared shudders, while Jeff curves his hand lower on Jared's stomach.
Jared blinks, his blurry vision clearing and yawns loudly.
The other side of the bed is empty. It has been for three weeks now; it's a strange, unfamiliar feeling. Unsettling.
Over the last few months, he's gotten used to sleeping pressed between two bodies, legs tangled and arms curled around each other. With three guys their size, it's impossible to have a lot of personal space no matter how big the bed is, but none of them have ever minded sleeping in a big pile. Caught between Jeff and Jensen's warm, solid bodies, Jared feels the most loved and protected he ever has.
Having Jensen not there with them isn't the same. It doesn't feel right to share the bed with just Jeff, to have the other side of the bed empty. Jared misses being sandwiched between the two of them, having them pressed close against him from both sides. He misses Jensen.
Jared sighs and turns around in Jeff's arms.
"Morning, sweetheart," Jeff says, voice scratchy. He cups Jared's face with one hand, looking at him through slitted eyes and shifts closer as he draws Jared in for a kiss. It's slow in that just- woken-up-and-not-quite-awake-yet way, all morning breath and bed-hair and traces of dried sweat they didn't bother to shower off the night before.
Jared smiles against Jeff's mouth, opens his lips for Jeff and slides his foot against Jeff's calf as Jeff swipes his tongue over Jared's. Jared lazily rubs his half-hard cock against Jeff's sleep-warm body, enjoying the slow burn of friction without feeling the need to really do anything about it.
"Morning," he murmurs when they part.
Jeff runs a big hand down Jared's back, lets it rest on Jared's hip and smoothes his thumb over Jared's hipbone. "Need to get up and get going soon?" he asks.
Jared lifts his head enough to glance at the alarm clock on the nightstand behind Jeff and then flops back down. "In a little bit. Think we can catch Jensen before he has to go in?"
Jeff gives him a soft smile. "Let's give it a try," he suggests. He turns onto his back and grabs his phone from the nightstand. Jared snuggles in close, kisses Jeff's scruffy jaw, and then rests his head on Jeff's shoulder.
He listens to the ringing sound, looks at the picture of a smiling Jensen on the screen of Jeff's phone as Jeff tries to facetime him. Jensen picks up after just a few seconds, the picture replaced by the video feed. It's shaky, Jensen moving around a bit before his face comes into view. He's dressed, hair styled already and Jared can see the shoulders of a dark gray suit and crisp white shirt.
He looks good and Jared misses him with an ache so fierce it makes his chest hurt. Jensen has been in California for nearly a month. There's a big campaign he flew out there for, and an old friend from college is setting up his own business in graphic design there, too; Jensen offered to help him out a little since he's already there meeting with clients anyway.
"Good morning," Jensen says. "You two still lazing around in bed?"
"It's early," Jeff grumbles and scratches the fingers of his free hand through Jared's hair languidly.
Jensen grins. "It's even earlier here, you know that, right? And us normal, working people have to be up at this hour every day. We can't all be artists and students."
"As if you wouldn't rather be here with us," Jared says and turns his face a little so Jensen can see more of him.
"Hell yes, I would," Jensen replies, sounding a little wistful. "Jay, when's your exam?"
"I'm leaving in about an hour," Jared says. Jensen smiles, soft and kind, and Jared's stomach flips in the way that's become all too familiar. It's been months and he's still not quite used to this, having people care for him this much. Being loved this much.
"You'll do great, baby. You'll ace it like you've aced everything so far," Jensen says.
"Of course he will," Jeff agrees and kisses the top of Jared's head. Jared flushes, pride blooming in his chest.
"I haven't gotten the results back from any of my finals," he tries, but both Jeff and Jensen huff in response.
"You'll do amazing," Jensen reiterates. "Listen, I hate to cut this short, but I have to get going. Good luck, Jay. And Jeff—make sure you reward our boy properly when he comes home."
"Will do," Jeff says.
"Okay. Bye. I love you both," Jensen says.
"We love you too," Jared replies and blows Jensen a kiss before the connection is cut off. He sighs and turns his face back into Jeff's neck, mouth skimming over the jut of his collarbone. "How much longer?"
"Not much," Jeff assures him and cards his fingers through Jared's hair, the soft tugging at the strands making Jared want to squirm and sigh with pleasure. "Or I'll fly out to California and drag his pretty ass back here myself."
Sandy, who is already sitting on the steps, laughs.
Jared met her the first week of class, when she sat next to him during English Lit. She's sweet and bubbly, and completely unbothered by Jared's unconventional lifestyle. The first time he mentioned he was in a relationship with two guys, Sandy simply grinned and asked if he had pictures. She's one of the very few friends Jared has made at college, and the only one he really trusts. It's hard to connect to people his age when he prefers spending all of his free time at home.
"That wasn't too bad, though, right? I thought the questions would be a lot harder than that," she says, tucking a strand of dark hair behind her ear.
"The essay question though…" Jared trails off and makes a face. Sandy grins and nudges him in the side.
"As if you didn't ace that one," she says. "All your assignments for this class were perfect. I actually kinda hate you for it a little."
"Doesn't mean I did well this time," Jared points out and rummages around his backpack for his phone. "I mean, I think I did okay. But the question was tricky."
"Yeah," Sandy agrees. "But now it's over and done with and we don't have to worry about classes for a while. You got any big plans for the summer?"
Jared takes a quick glance at his phone, sees he doesn't have any new messages, before answering Sandy.
"I don't know. I haven't even figured out a plan for the rest of the day yet, other than taking a nap."
"Oh my God, me too," Sandy groans and leans back on the stairs. "You should joins us tonight. A few people from my dorm are going out to this bar, having a few drinks."
"I don't know," Jared says and wrinkles his nose. "I'm not much of a partier."
"Please?" Sandy asks. "It's not a party, just hanging out and chatting. I want you to come—I'm not super close to most of the people, other than my roommate, and I need a buddy with me. You can even bring your boyfriends, if you want to."
Jared rolls his lower lip between his teeth, thinking about it.
"Jensen is away on business. And I doubt Jeff would want to hang out with a bunch of college kids… no offense," he says, but he's not totally opposed to the idea of going out for a drink, hanging with Sandy. The last few weeks have been tough, cramming for finals and finishing up final assignments, and he feels like he needs to unwind a little. At the same time, he's been looking forward to spending the evening with Jeff.
"You're a college kid and he likes you," Sandy points out with a smirk.
Jared rolls his eyes at her. "Yeah, that's a bit different."
"Fine, so no Jeff. But come on. Promise me you'll come with us. Just for a few hours," Sandy wheedles.
"I'll think about it, okay?" Jared says and Sandy grins, throwing her arms around him and pressing a kiss to his cheek. Jared makes a face at the feeling of sticky lipgloss clinging to his skin, and Sandy laughs at him, wiping it away with her forefinger.
"Can't have you go home and have your boyfriend think you're getting kissed."
"I don't think he really worries about girls kissing me," Jared admits and sticks out his tongue.
Jeff won't be back for a couple of hours, so Jared makes himself a quick sandwich, wolfing it down at the kitchen counter, and then goes to take a nap. It's too warm for the comforter, so Jared simply strips down to his boxer-briefs and tugs the sheet over his body. He scoots to Jeff's side of the bed, burying his face in the pillow and inhaling the smell of the minty shampoo Jeff has been using lately.
He sleeps a lot better with Jeff and Jensen there. The last few months have helped him regain his footing, build up his confidence again and reassured him that he is loved, that he has somewhere where he belongs. He's come a long way. But he needs the comfort of Jeff and Jensen, and he wouldn't tell either of them, but not having Jensen around for so long has made him feel a little unstable. Off.
He loves Jeff, more than he can possibly put into words, but Jensen anchors them in ways he never realized until now. And Jared misses him.
Maybe going out tonight will do him some good, distract him a little. And spend some time with Sandy now, because Jared is pretty sure once Jensen is back home he's going to lock the front door and hide the key for a few weeks. He has no plans to leave the house for as long as humanly possible for anything other than grocery shopping once all three of them are back in the same city.
Jared drifts off thinking about that, about having Jensen back home, curling up with him and Jeff in bed again.
He wakes up to Jeff nuzzling the back of his neck, placing kisses along his naked skin. He's kneeling over Jared, knees trapping Jared's hips.
"Hey there, baby," Jeff murmurs and Jared hums with pleasure when Jeff runs a hand down his side. He hooks his fingers under the waistband of Jared's boxer-briefs and tugs them down a little.
"Wanna keep napping or…" Jeff trails off, rubs his fingers over the place where Jared's back curves into his ass, and Jared arches into it.
"'m good," he mumbles. "How was work?"
Jeff chuckles and ducks down, kissing the side of Jared's neck, then his cheek. "Fine. Worked with a model today and it was kinda frustrating. I didn't get quite the results I was hoping for."
"Sorry," Jared says and twists his head back to look at Jeff.
"It's okay. She didn't have a lot of experience with posing for the camera, at least not for the kind of shots I needed. Pretty face, but that's not what I wanted," Jeff says. He noses Jared's jaw and Jared can't help the wave of relief he feels about Jeff working with a girl.
He always feels a little uneasy when Jeff works with male models. He's not really proud of it, doesn't like the fact that he gets jealous, but sometimes his imagination runs wild and gets the best of him. He's seen Jeff's work and he's worked with some really gorgeous guys. Guys that Jared can't even begin to keep up with. Jensen, sure – Jensen looks better than any model Jeff could ever work with, but Jared can't help but think about all the ways in which he's lacking, all the ways in which the guys in the pictures are more attractive then him when he sees the photos Jeff takes.
But Jeff and Jensen still chose him. They come home to him every day. And right now, he's the one who is in bed with Jeff, getting kissed and touched by him.
"I think Jensen mentioned something about me rewarding you for finishing all your finals," Jeff murmurs into his ear.
"Yeah," Jared agrees, his voice catching a little. Jeff laughs softly, a deep small snicker that has Jared squirming and biting down on his bottom lip.
"Relax," he says. "I'll take good care of you, sweetheart."
Jared has absolutely no doubt about that and he nods. He tilts his face back, and Jeff cups his hip with one hand while he leans in and meets Jared's mouth in a slow, sensual kiss. The angle is awkward for Jared, but he doesn't care, loves the way Jeff kisses him, the scratch of his beard on his skin and the taste of gum on Jeff's tongue.
He makes a move to turn around, but Jeff stops him. "Stay like this, sweetheart," he says and starts tugging at Jared's underwear.
Jared makes a small noise, knowing exactly what that means. He lifts his hips eagerly, making it easier for Jeff to pull the article of clothing down, and it leaves him entirely naked, exposed to Jeff's gaze.
Jared buries his face in his arm, anticipation building inside him. He knows Jeff is staring at him, kneeling between his splayed legs, and it makes his stomach tingle with warmth. He jumps a little when Jeff's hands settle on the back of his knees.
"You're so gorgeous, doll," Jeff murmurs and runs his hands up Jared's thighs, thumbs skimming over the insides of them. Jared squirms, the warmth quickly turning into a fire inside of him. Jeff's hands stop over the swell of his ass, and he palms Jared's cheeks roughly, giving the flesh a squeeze that has Jared pushing back into his hands.
"So, so pretty," Jeff says, and he spreads Jared's cheeks apart. The sensation of air against his skin makes Jared bite down on his bottom lip, clenching his ass involuntarily before relaxing again, and he cries out when he feels the wet, hot drag of Jeff's tongue over his hole.
Jeff hums, sounding pleased, and licks over Jared's entrance a few more times. Pleasure spikes through Jared, his nerves tingling with it, and he rocks his hips back against Jeff's face. Jeff's beard grazes against the sensitive skin of his butt, the insides of his cheeks, and it drives him crazy, makes him push back harder, wanting more.
Jeff chuckles, the vibration making Jared shudder, and then the tip of his tongue circles his hole, pressure increasing, building, before Jeff pushes in. Jared moans, low and broken, and melts into the mattress.
The room is filled with the wet sound of Jeff licking and sucking, and Jared's helpless moans and gasps, needy little cries. It feels so good, so dirty, and Jared loves it. Loves when Jeff goes down on him, works him open with his tongue, gets him all relaxed and slick with spit. And he can't help how loud he gets when Jeff does this to him; it's like his brain just short-circuits and he loses all control.
It gets even better when Jeff presses a finger in alongside his tongue. He slides it in deep, curls it against Jared's prostate and Jared almost shoots off the bed, back arching as he pushes his ass into the touch.
"Please. Please," he mumbles and starts grinding his cock into the mattress. He's so hard, aching all over.
Jeff squeezes his cheek with his free hand, uses his shoulders to nudge Jared's legs further apart. The second finger burns a little with just spit as lube, but Jared takes it easily, loves the way it feels. Jeff's fingers are long and thick, opening him up so perfectly, and Jared has to bite down onto the pillow when Jeff scissors his fingers inside of him, stretching him.
Jeff gets the lube out before he pushes a third finger into Jared, tongue licking around Jared's rim. He rubs his beard over Jared's crack, bites into one of his cheeks hard enough to sting and make Jared cry out, the sound muffled. Soothingly, he kisses the same spot while pulling his fingers out.
"Come here," Jeff says, his voice rough. The crinkle of a condom wrapper being ripped open sounds in the room, and then Jeff grabs Jared by the hips with both hands. He pulls him up onto his knees and back against him. Jared feels the head of his cock, slick with lube, press against his hole and then Jeff sinks into him. He doesn't stop until he's buried deep, all the way inside of Jared, and Jared fists his hands into the pillows and pants harshly, wetly. It feels amazing and like too much, the burn and pleasure of it making his head spin.
"Fuck, baby," Jeff spits and starts fucking him. It's hard and fast. Jeff's deep thrusts into Jared make the bed shake and thud against the wall, pushing Jared forward onto the mattress each time, and Jared moans through the bursts of pleasure.
He comes first, Jeff's name falling from his lips. Jeff's hands are the only thing that keep holding him up and Jeff's movements get sloppier as he grinds his cock into Jared until he comes with a deep groan.
Jared makes a small, exhausted noise and buries deeper against Jeff's warm body. "What?" he slurs.
"I really need to get a couple of hours of work in tonight. The shooting was such a mess and I need to see if I got anything I can work with or if I need to hire someone new asap," Jeff says, kissing Jared's temple. "I'm sorry, sweetheart."
"Okay," Jared says, curling his hand a little more tightly around Jeff's waist.
"I can take some time off for you for dinner, but that's probably it," Jeff murmurs.
"Well, Sandy invited me to go out with them tonight. Celebrate," Jared says around a small yawn. "So, I could do that."
Jared shrugs. "I don't know," he says, because the thought of leaving the bed really doesn't sound all that appealing. He knows he'll probably have a good time once he's there, because he enjoys hanging out with Sandy and her roommate is nice, too, but he's not jumping with excitement over it.
"Jay, you're young. You're in college. You should go out and have fun," Jeff says. "I'll get some work done and we can do something some other time. I'll take you out to dinner tomorrow, how about that?"
"Are you sure?"
"Positive," Jeff says and strokes his hand down Jared's side. "And we still have a couple of hours before you're leaving, right?"
"Hmm, yeah. And we'll have dinner first," Jared says and smiles. "I'll need a shower too, but maybe you can help me with that."
Jeff laughs. "I can definitely do that, sweetheart."
The pub they go to is crowded with students, all out to celebrate, drinking and laughing and generally making a ruckus. The security guard didn't even blink at his fake ID and Jared had no trouble buying himself a drink.
They hang out by the bar at first, waiting for a table to hopefully clear up somewhere. One of Sandy's roommate's friends suggests having shots, and Jared doesn't have hard liquor a lot – he'll take a few sips of whiskey from Jensen or Jeff's glasses sometimes, but that's it – but he figures he might as well if he's actually out partying for once.
He's pretty tipsy by the time they manage to grab a table and their group, which has grown since they got there, relocates. It's a tight fit, but Jared ends up being squished against Sandy's side, so that's okay.
They order more beer and another round of shots and some snacks, talking about exams and the classes they're finally done with and their plans for the summer.
"Are you going somewhere?" Sandy asks Jared, sliding a shot glass across the table to him when the waitress drops off a whole tray of them.
"I don't know. We don't have any plans yet, but Jeff mentioned maybe renting a cabin somewhere for a week or so. Depends on how busy Jensen will be, I guess."
"A cabin. That sounds so romantic," Sandy says with a sigh. "I wish I had boyfriends like yours. Or even one."
She giggles and Jared grins widely.
"Boyfriends?" a guy next to Sandy chimes in.
Jared is vaguely familiar with him, knows he was in his American Lit class. Jim or Jimmy or maybe Johnny.
"Jared has two," Sandy says with a smirk and kicks Jared under the table. "Right?"
"Yeah," Jared says, blushing a little.
"One not enough for you, huh?" Jim or Johnny says, smirking.
Jared frowns, not really liking the guy's tone. It's teasing, but Jared gets the impression that he's not really kidding. He gets comments like that sometimes, when people find out he's in a relationship with not one but two guys, and he gets that it's unconventional, that it's something not everyone approves of or deems normal, but it has nothing to do with greed. And yet, a small part of Jared sometimes does worry maybe he's greedy, maybe he wants too much.
"It's not about that," he mumbles and picks up his beer.
"Sure," the guy says, laughing. "Hey, I'm not judging you. I guess some guys need more than one dick to be satisfied, huh?"
"Don't be gross, Jimmy," Sandy says, rolling her eyes. She meets Jared's eyes, giving him an almost apologetic look, and Jared smiles and shrugs, trying not to let the guy get to him.
This is why he doesn't go out, he thinks. Because people are dicks and Jared doesn't feel comfortable around most of them. He feels safe at home with Jeff and Jensen, at ease with himself and his life. It's harder for him with others, especially strangers, and it always leaves him feeling awkward, like he doesn't quite fit in with his peers.
He has to worm his way through the packed bar and by the time he finally reaches the bathroom, the need to pee is making him feel a little antsy.
He takes a piss, and then goes to wash his hands and splash cold water onto his face. It feels nice, cooling his heated skin and clearing his head a little.
The door to the restroom opens and Jared groans inwardly when he sees Jimmy walk in. Jared gives him a polite smile through the mirror when their eyes meet and grabs a couple of paper towels, patting his hands dry.
"Hey," Jimmy says, and then steps close and presses up against Jared's back suddenly, trapping him against the sinks. He's clearly drunk, stumbling a little, and the bulk of his body takes Jared by surprise.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Jared asks, pushing back.
"Just thought we could have some fun, baby," Jimmy says, kissing his neck, wet and sucking. His arms wind around Jared, holding him tight as he sloppily bites at Jared's neck, and Jared struggles against him.
"Get off me, asshole," he says, but his movements are uncoordinated from all the shots he's had. He's taller, but also slimmer, Jimmy being a little heavyset, his weight pressing heavily against Jared. Jared can feel his dick, too, pressing up against his ass, hard, hips grinding into him.
"Oh come on, don't be that way. I know you want this, little cockslut like you can probably never get enough." Jimmy's speech is slurred, his hot, damp breath hitting Jared's neck.
The words make Jared feel sick, and he shakes his head. "No. Fuck you. Stop," he grinds out, anger bubbling up at the insinuation, the fact that this guy, this random stranger, thinks he can do this, take this without asking.
He starts struggling a little harder, wiggling around as much as he can. One of Jimmy's arms loosens its hold on him, sliding lower, dangerously close to Jared's crotch. Jared uses the moment to ram his elbow back into Jimmy as hard as he can.
Jimmy stumbles back, cursing. "What the fuck. You little bitch," he exclaims.
He tries to grab for Jared, but Jared shakes him off, and squirms past him in the small space of the restroom. He knocks his hip into the wall painfully, ripping the door open. Jimmy makes another lunge for him, grabbing his wrist, but Jared wrenches himself free, his throat closed up, unable to form any words.
The noise of the pub crashes over him like a wave, and he numbly pushes through the crowd to get back to their table.
"Jared?" Sandy asks when she sees him, looking worried. "Are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost."
"I'm going home," Jared says, voice thick. Sandy looks like she wants to argue, but then she nods and grabs her purse.
"Okay, let's go pay for our drinks and go find a cab," she agrees, ignoring the odd looks they're getting from everyone else.
"No, you can stay," Jared says, quietly, not wanting to make a scene. He feels off kilter, like maybe he might burst into tears or scream.
"We said we'd share a cab home. Come on," she says, taking him by the arm. Her touch is gentle, but firm, her hands so much smaller than the ones that were gripping him moments earlier. Jared rubs his neck, can almost still feel Jimmy's lips there, feel the damp kisses. His stomach turns, his anger fading with the adrenaline rush, replaced by cold fear.
He nods, lets Sandy lead the way to the bar, and feels oddly reassured by her presence next to him, tiny as she is.
Jared quietly sneaks upstairs and then heads straight for the bathroom, closing the door behind him before turning the light on inside. He turns the water on hot and then strips quickly, stuffing the shirt in the trash can because he's not going to want to wear it ever again.
Under the spray, the water just a smidgen too hot, he starts shaking and lets a few tears fall before he rubs at his eyes furiously. Nothing happened, he tells himself. The guy didn't get to do anything to him, not really. Jared's worked as a waiter and he's gotten touched inappropriately a few times. But as much as he hated that, he never felt this threatened before, never worried.
The thought of what could have happened, of what was about to happen, makes him want to throw up. Knowing that some guy thought he had the right to touch him, that Jared would welcome it because... because what, he has two boyfriends? Like it makes him easy, like that means he can't be completely committed to those two men, like he's in it for sex and not because he loves Jeff and Jensen, wants to spend his life with them and only them. Like having two boyfriends means anyone else has a right to his body, too, that he'll just spread his legs for them and welcome it.
And if he wasn't as tall, as strong, if he'd had a little more to drink, if Jimmy hadn't let go of him a little… Jared squeezes his eyes closed and tries to breathe.
When he's calmed down a little, he starts scrubbing himself down with soap. He rubs at his neck until the skin hurts, washes his back and ass three times, even though there'd been layers of clothes between them. There's a bruise around his wrist, and another at his hips and Jared tries hard not to look at them. He dries himself off and quickly brushes his teeth. When he leaves the bathroom, he hears a soft rustling from the bed. Turning off the light in the bathroom, Jared blindly feels his way through the room and to the bed.
"Jay?" Jeff mumbles sleepily.
"Sorry. Go back to sleep," Jared whispers and climbs under the covers. Jeff curls his arms around him, tugging him in close.
"Had a good night, baby?" he asks around a yawn.
Jared stiffens, not sure how to reply to that. How to lie.
Jared scoots closer, shifts so he can tuck his head under Jeff's chin, bury his face in his neck. He breathes in the familiar scent, wishes he could get even closer, could hide in Jeff.
Fingers card through his hair gently. "Did something happen? Talk to me, sweetheart," Jeff's voice is soft, worried, and Jared hates himself when his eyes start burning with tears again. He sniffles, rubbing his face into Jeff's neck as he shakes his head.
"Jared," Jeff says, and Jared can hear he's getting more worried, alarmed.
"Some guy--" Jared starts, voice choked. "Nothing happened. He tried. But it's fine. It was nothing."
"Jay," Jeff repeats, trying to pull away a little. Jared shakes his head against his neck again, clings to Jeff, and Jeff stops, holds him close instead. He hates that Jensen isn't there, isn't pressed against him, trapping him between him and Jeff. Shielding him.
"I don't want to talk. Can we just sleep?" Jared pleads. "Please, Jeff?"
"Okay, doll. Okay," Jeff soothes, patting his hair. "I'm here. You can sleep if that's what you want."
Jared nods, drained and shaken. He falls asleep with Jeff patting his back, whispering to him that it's okay, that he's there.
"Aspirin?" Jeff asks softly.
Jared nods and Jeff gets up. He gets Jared the pills and a glass of water, handing both to him when Jared sits up. He stands by the bed and watches Jared swallow the meds, downing the glass of water, and then takes it back, putting it down on the nightstand.
"You need anything else?"
Jared shakes his head. "Can you lie down with me again?" he asks, feeling shaken, vulnerable in a way he hasn't in a long time.
Jeff nods and gets back into bed, holding his arms out so Jared can cuddle up against him.
"You want to talk about it?" he asks gently.
Jared tenses and shrugs.
"It was nothing. Just some drunk dude who thought I was fair game because I'm sleeping with two guys at once," Jared says and huffs. "He surprised me, is all. But I pushed him away. It's fine."
"Sweetheart, there are bruises on you. Around your wrist," Jeff says. "And on your neck."
Neck, Jared thinks confused, and then it dawns on him. Bruises. That's not a bruise, that's from the kisses Jimmy sucked onto his neck. That's a hickey. Jared's hand flies to his neck, and his chest feels too tight, like he can't breathe. He hears him make a small noise, quiet and broken.
"Hey. Hey," Jeff murmurs, and gathers Jared closer. "Breathe, calm down."
Jared exhales, but it comes out wet, ragged. He hates that someone else's lips were on him, that someone other than Jeff or Jensen kissed any part of his body. "Jeff," he says.
"I'm right here, baby," Jeff says and strokes his hair. "Do you want to go to the cops?"
"No," Jared quickly says. "Oh god, no. Please."
"Okay, okay. You don't have to," Jeff says and drops a couple of kisses against his hairline. "You don't have to."
"He didn't even really get to do anything," Jared tries again.
"I think he did plenty, doll," Jeff murmurs.
"Can you just," Jared starts and takes a shaky breath, "Can you make me forget? Please?"
"Oh baby," Jeff says and places a finger under Jared's chin. He tips his head back and brings their lips together in a kiss. It's slow, almost innocent, but Jared pushes into it insistently, tugging at Jeff until he's on his back and Jeff is on top of him.
"You sure?" Jeff asks, pulling back and stroking Jared's hair out of his face.
Jeff gives him a small smile and nods, kissing Jared again before moving lower. He brushes his lips over the hickey, and Jared bites back his tears when Jeff opens his mouth over it, bites at the spot and then sucks on the flesh. It stings a little, but Jared likes it, likes the thought of Jeff's mark covering up the one Jimmy left on him.
Jeff continues dropping kisses down his chest, his sternum, pushing the sheets further down as he goes. When he reaches Jared's belly, he suddenly stops and draws back. He's staring down at Jared and Jared follows his gaze to his hip, where a big, purple and angry looking bruise is discoloring his skin.
"I knocked into the wall when I tried to get out of the bathroom. 's when he grabbed me and bruised my wrist, but I shook him off," he says quietly.
"In the bathroom," Jeff echoes. "Goddamn, that damn piece of shit. Jared, did you know the guy? Do you know his name?"
Jared rolls his lip between his teeth. "I'm not telling you," he says, shaking his head.
"No. You'd do something. Beat him up," Jared says and grabs Jeff's wrist. He's sweetest person Jared knows. He's kinder than Jared thought a person could be; he helps old people cross the street, holds doors open and always says please and thank you and if Jeff could, he'd probably rescue every stray animal. He's that kind of person. But he's absolutely sure this is Jeff's breaking point.
"Damn right I would," Jeff huffs. "He hurt you. He tried to…fuck, Jared."
"I know. But you getting arrested isn't going to make me feel better," Jared says, trying to sound calm. "Please. I just want to forget last night. I want to forget and I want… I want Jensen to come home."
The tears suddenly filling his eyes make him feel pathetic, but he can't help it. His chest aches and his emotions feel all over the place.
Jeff's expression crumbles a little. "Of course, baby. He will. I'll call him and tell him to come home."
"No. Don't. He's busy," Jared interjects quickly, already regretting his words. "And it's not that you're not enough. God, Jeff, I'm sorry. Forget I said anything, okay?"
"No, sweetheart, I know. But it's about time he came home," Jeff says and crawls up Jared's body. He cups Jared's face and kisses him, thumb stroking his cheeks.
Jared sighs into it, feeling himself relax again as the familiar weight of Jeff's body covers him.
"He'll be home soon," Jeff says, speaking the words against his cheek as he drops a kiss there. Jared nods and feels something loosen in his chest.
He finds himself on the porch outside, a mug of coffee in his hand and the phone pressed against his ear. "When's the earliest you can be here?" he asks just as Jared steps out. Jeff gives him a soft smile and holds out his mug. Jared takes it and sips the coffee that's not quite hot anymore.
"It's fine," Jeff says and curls his arm around Jared's waist, stepping in close and nuzzling his cheek. "We can manage on our own for a few more hours."
"Jen," Jared murmurs. Jeff kisses his cheek and nods, then laughs softly at something Jensen must have said.
"Yes, I'm sure, babe," he says. He hums, then says goodbye before passing the phone on to Jared.
"Jensen wants to talk to you, too," he says. When Jared takes the phone, Jeff kisses his forehead. "I'll go make some breakfast for us."
"You'll set the kitchen on fire."
"I'm not totally incapable."
Jared raises an eyebrow.
Jeff sighs. "I'll beat some eggs and then wait for you to come do the rest."
Jared nods and finally brings the phone to his ear. "Jensen?"
"Hey, babe," Jensen says, his voice all smooth and soft. "How're you doing?"
"Jeff told you?" Jared asks quietly, looking down into the mug and the last few sips of milky coffee.
Jensen is silent for a moment, then he sighs. "Some, yeah. He didn't tell me any details, but…"
"There isn't that much to tell. Really. The guy didn't do much before I managed to push him away, so," Jared says and licks his lips. "You don't need to come home because of me."
"I'm booking my flight right now," Jensen says.
"No, Jensen. Seriously, I'm fine. You have work to do," Jared tries.
"I've finalized the campaign and I helped Matty as best as I can, but I have my own company to get back to," Jensen says. "And I miss you. I'm sick of sleeping in a bed without you and Jeff. I'm sick of living in a hotel room."
"Okay," Jared sighs, resigned, even though he knows last night's events probably influenced Jensen's decision heavily. He feels guilty about it, but at the same time he wants Jensen home.
"Okay? So I'm allowed to come back?" Jensen teases.
"Yeah," Jared says, smiling. "When are you going to be here?"
"Tonight," Jensen says. "I can't wait to have you in my arms again, babe."
"Yeah," Jared agrees and closes his eyes for a moment, trying not to start crying all over again like he did with Jeff.
"I spent most of the time picking eggshells out of the bowl," Jeff admits. Jared laughs softly.
"Guess you're lucky to have me then, huh?"
Jeff twists around and pulls Jared closer against him, one arm around his waist and the fingers of his free hand twisting in Jared's hair. He kisses the side of Jared's face as Jared leans down and buries his face into the crook of Jeff's neck. "There are a million reasons why I'm lucky to have you, sweetheart," he says. "You know I love you more than anything in the world, right?"
Jared smiles. "More than Jensen?" he mumbles.
Jeff snorts. "Well, usually I'd say I love you two equally, but he abandoned us for over three weeks of Californian sunshine," he jokes. "And you can cook."
"Hmm," Jared hums. "I can't wait for him to come back home."
"Me neither," Jeff says. "Let's not tell him how pathetic we've been without him though, okay?"
Jared pulls back. "No idea what you're talking about. We were fine. Great. We just had lots of hot sex and we didn't miss him at all," he says and Jeff gives him a crooked grin. "Nobody to complain about wet towels on the floor or get grumpy when we don't toss condoms into the trash right away. Kills the afterglow, man."
Jeff grimaces at that. "We need to clean up the bedroom before he gets back home."
"Yeah, we better," Jared agrees. "And to be fair, I stepped on a used condom last week and it was kinda gross."
"How about I go get dressed and straighten up a little, and you finish making breakfast?" Jeff suggests and cups Jared's face in his hand.
"Deal," Jared says and turns his head to kiss the palm of Jeff's hand.
What he wants is to forget about it altogether.
Jeff stays home that day, and Jared doesn't dare ask if he got everything done last night and got enough decent shots to work with, or if he's changing his plans for Jared. He doesn't want to feel guilty if that's the case, but he's not sure he could handle being alone now either.
They only leave home for a quick grocery run and then they clean the house a little, straightening up the place for Jensen's return. Neither of them are slobs, but Jensen is definitely the neatest of them and doesn't like clutter. Without him, the house has definitely been looking a little less organized. Some clothes are strewn about, the bathroom needs to be cleaned, and there are DVDs and books and papers scattered over the coffee table in the living-room.
Other than that, they don't do a lot. Jeff works from home a little, answering emails on his laptop while Jared curls up against his side with a book.
Some of Jeff's photos were in an exhibit in New York that spring that resulted in a huge write-up on his work and it garnered him even more attention. Jared knows he's been doing really well for a few years now, but the demand has grown over the last few months and he prefers to handle some of it himself instead of letting his agent take care of anything. He's currently also planning another big solo exhibit for fall in Genevieve's gallery and it's been taking up most of his time.
Jared stays quiet while Jeff works, feeling bereft of words anyway. His mind keeps wandering back to the night before and the book he's reading isn't interesting enough to fully distract him. Jeff keeps drawing him back with soft touches, brief kisses, a gentle smile that's on the edge of pained, like he can tell what Jared is thinking about.
"I'm okay," Jared murmurs more than once, and Jeff doesn't push.
When the cab pulls into the driveway, Jared is up on his feet and hurrying for the door, swingin it open.
He waits for Jensen to get out, for the driver to get his luggage and get back in the car before he goes to meet Jensen. Jeff hangs back on the porch, as Jensen pulls Jared into a tight hug.
"Fuck, I missed you, babe," Jensen murmurs.
Jared nods and buries his face in Jensen's neck, sighing when Jensen scratches his fingers through his hair. He drops a few little kisses to Jared's cheek and temple and Jared feels better, safer. It's never quite right when Jeff and Jensen aren't both home.
"Let's get inside, okay?" Jensen suggests after a few moments, and Jared reluctantly lets go.
Jeff comes out to meet them then, hugging Jensen before picking up one of his bags while Jensen takes the other.
"How are you doing?" Jensen asks when they settle into the kitchen, once the bags are upstairs in their bedroom and Jensen has changed into jeans and a black t-shirt.
Jared gives him a quick look and shrugs. "I'm okay."
Jensen doesn't look convinced and Jeff's expression is a little drawn too, so Jared gives them his best smile. "Really," he insists. "I'm just glad you're back home now."
But that night, Jared ends up between Jeff and Jensen. Jensen is curled up behind him, rocking into him slowly, almost carefully, while Jeff kisses and touches him, seeking out all the spots he knows will drive Jared crazy.
"Feel so good," Jensen whispers into his ear, his breathing harsh. "So tight for me, baby. So good for me."
Jared moans into Jeff's mouth, grinding back into Jensen as best as he can, but there's barely any room for him to move. Jeff and Jensen are both plastered close against him, trapping him in a way that makes Jared feel like there's not an inch of him they aren't covering, aren't owning. Instead of smothering it feels freeing, makes Jared relax and let go, focus on nothing but the pleasure and the two bodies surrounding him.
Jared cooks dinner while Jeff is busy, making honey glazed salmon with roasted vegetables and potatoes. He makes dessert too, just to kill the time, and tells himself it's a homecoming dinner for Jensen and not a way to keep himself busy.
He wakes up with a start. Jensen is gently shushing him, murmuring his name while Jeff is whispering he's safe, he's okay.
"Sorry," Jared pants. His throat feels too tight, his voice thin. "Sorry."
"Shh, it's okay," Jensen says. "You're safe, baby."
Jared nods. "Yeah. Sorry," he repeats once more. "It's nothing. Just a dream."
"Sweetheart," Jeff whispers.
"No, really," Jared insists.
Jensen sighs and Jeff brushes Jared's hair back. "Tell us what you need," he says. "Do you want some space?"
"No!" Jared says, his voice too loud in the quiet of the night. But the thought of Jensen or Jeff moving away, putting distance between them and him makes his stomach drop.
He grabs Jeff's arm, holds on to him, Jeff curled around him, and Jensen tangles their legs, kisses Jared softly. He shifts so Jared is tucked under his chin, hums softly after a while; Jared feels like a bit of a kid, but it's nice, steady, the melody soothing.
The other side of the bed is empty.
"Shouldn't you be at work?" Jared asks around a yawn.
"Nah, I called in and told Danneel I'm working from home today." Jensen reaches down and cards his fingers through Jared's hair.
"Jensen," Jared says with a sigh. "You don't have to stay in. You were gone for a few weeks, there's probably tons of stuff you need to do."
"Nah, turns out things were fine without me there," Jensen says and smiles. "And just because I wasn't physically there doesn't mean I didn't keep track of things and work on campaigns. Without you and Jeff around I had a lot of time on my hands in the evening. That's a solid five hours I spent working."
Jared frowns and turns back onto his side, resting one hand on Jensen's knee. "Every day? You went in and helped your friend with his company, had meetings with your own clients and then went home and worked even more? That's kinda sad."
Jensen grins, "Which is why I like to think I deserve a day off to spend with you."
Jared decides to not argue with him over it, knowing he'd lose anyway. "Where's Jeff?" he asks instead.
"Work. He wanted to stay, but the guy he booked to model for him is only available this week. College guy, I think."
"Guy, huh?" Jared says.
Jensen gives him a small smirk. "Jealous?"
"No," Jared scoffs. "Why would I be?"
"Hmmm." Jensen gives him a disbelieving look and closes his laptop.
"I don't care," Jared insists.
"Sure you don't."
"I bet it's a hot college guy though. And he'll be naked around Jeff all day," Jared says petulantly. Jeff's exhibition is all about the human form and Jared won't admit it, but he kind of hates the theme.
"He's working with people with all kinds if bodies, babe, not just hot, young ones. And the guy might be totally straight," Jensen reminds him. He taps his finger against Jared's nose and Jared scrunches it up.
"I bet a lot of straight guys would be willing to make an exception for someone like Jeff."
Jensen grins, "Well, I guess we gotta remind him that he already has two partners when he comes home."
"It really doesn't bother you, does it?" Jared asks, a bit more somber.
"He loves us. And Jeff really isn't the cheating type."
"I know that. I don't think he'd cheat. But I still feel weird about him hanging out with naked guys," Jared says and sighs. "It's stupid, I know."
"No. I think a healthy dose of jealousy can be alright. But I know nothing would ever happen, so I'm not too bothered by it," Jensen says and then grins. "He can barely keep up with the two of us as it is."
Jared laughs softly at that. "Yeah," he says.
They take a long shower after eating and then Jensen suggests enjoying the sun outside.
"You'd think I got enough sun in California, but I was stuck inside all damn day," he complains. "I could use a little tanning."
Luckily, the house is private enough that they don't have to bother with clothes. They just take a couple of towels outside and spread out on the lounge chairs by the pool.
The sunscreen and heat combined make Jared's skin feel oily, sweat starting to seep into every crook and cranny of his body as he naps in the sun. Jensen looks unbothered by the heat, sprawled out on the deckchair, his skin golden tan, despite his claims, and freckled.
His eyes are closed, and Jared takes a moment to watch him, take in his way too gorgeous boyfriend. When his gaze settles on Jensen's dick, long and thick, bigger than both his and Jeff's, he squirms.
For a while, he stays put. He keeps looking at Jensen, enjoying the slow burn of arousal that's warming his stomach, as he takes in all the naked skin, the familiar curves and planes of Jensen's body. He waits until he starts to feel the itch under his skin growing, getting too much, and then gets up.
Jensen cracks open his eyes. "Where are you going?" he asks.
"Be right back," Jared just says and hurries inside. He feels sweaty, not at all sexy, but he hopes Jensen won't mind. He gets lube and condoms and then joins Jensen back outside again.
Jared drops both next to Jensen's deck chair, and Jensen watches him with a small grin, his cock half hard and lying against his stomach.
"Something you want, sweetheart?" he drawls out. Jared straddles him with a smile, rolling his lower lip between his teeth.
"Yeah," he says and shifts until Jensen's cock is aligned with his ass, pressing up against him. He rubs himself against Jensen, feeling heat rising in his cheeks.
"Come here," Jensen says and tugs him down, pulling him into a kiss. They grind together, almost lazily at first, and then Jensen gets the lube from the floor, slicking up his fingers.
He pulls Jared up higher, gets a better angle, and slides his fingers down Jared's crack. "That what you want?"
"Hmm, yeah," Jared murmurs. "Please."
"Anything, baby," Jensen says and starts pushing in with one finger. He buries his free hand in Jared's hair, pulling him back in for another kiss, and starts working Jared open with slick fingers until Jared is panting into his mouth, writhing on top of him. It's a little rushed, but Jared doesn't mind.
"Turn around," Jensen says, and Jared whines low in his throat and, a little clumsily, turns so his back is facing Jensen.
"Fuck, you should see yourself," Jensen says, and Jared feels himself flush all over. He hears the condom being ripped open, and then Jensen pulls him into position and starts pressing in.
This is one of Jared's favorite things about sex, that moment when Jensen first breaches him, that pressure that builds before he slides in, that feeling of almost too much, too big, the way he feels himself being stretched wide, muscles contracting against the intrusion.
"So pretty, babe. So wet and open for me," Jensen murmurs as he slowly guides Jared further down his dick. It burns, Jensen's cock stretching him wide, pressing in deeper and deeper.
"Jensen," Jared stutters out, breathless, and Jensen gives a small, choked off laugh.
"You like it when I talk?" he asks, voice rougher. As if he doesn't know what it does to Jared. "Like it when I tell you how pretty you look, taking me? Stretched so wide around me, sweetheart, but you love it, don't you?"
"Yeah," Jared moans, sinking down the last couple of inches. He stops, giving himself a few moments to adjust to Jensen's girth, to the feeling of having him buried so damn deep.
"Nothing more beautiful than watching you take me," Jensen says, fingers tightening their grip on Jared. Jared moans, visualizing it. Jensen lets go with one hand and runs a finger down Jared's crack. Jared can feel the mess of lube there, and he cries out when Jensen touches his rim, rubbing over the place where they're connected, the added pressure sending sparks up Jared's spine.
Jensen rubs his thighs, and Jared's breath hitches when he grinds up into him. "Ready?"
"Hmmm," he says and braces himself on Jensen's legs. He lifts up, let's Jensen's hands guide him up and down, set the rhythm before letting Jared take over. He fucks himself on Jensen, muscles straining as he works himself up and down, Jensen's hands steady on his hips. He is rocking up into him, meeting his thrusts perfectly, the deck chair shaking a little under them.
They take it slow this time, and Jared loves the feeling of Jensen in him, the drag of his cock against his insides as he moves, the moans he draws from Jensen, mixing with his own. He's sweaty and too hot and it's too damn good. Jensen feels so big, and he's so full, the pleasure so sharp he feels like he's slowly spinning out of control. Each thrust makes it spark, pleasure rising, peaking, until Jared tumbles over the edge with a loud cry.
He slumps down into Jensen's lap, his legs and arms trembling, muscles burning.
"Fuck," he hisses and winces a little.
Jensen is still rock hard inside of him, panting. Jared clenches around him, muscles fluttering and it's too much now. Jensen feels too big now, Jared too sensitive and he whimpers quietly.
Shaky, Jared lifts himself off Jensen, ignoring the protests. "Baby," Jensen groans and Jared shushes him.
In front of the deck chair, he sinks down onto his knees, and tugs at Jensen's ankles to get him to scoot lower. Jensen does, splaying his legs once his cock is at the perfect height. Jared takes the condom off, tosses it aside carelessly, and sucks Jensen down. It doesn't take long. Jared bobs his head up and down a few times, Jensen's fingers sliding into his hair, curling and twisting strands around them, tugging.
Jared relaxes his throat and lets Jensen slide in deeper, lungs burning and eyes getting wet, his throat fluttering around Jensen's girth. He knows Jensen is about to come when he tenses, body going taunt, and Jared pulls back enough so he can catch the hot, salty come on his tongue, as he wraps his hand around Jensen's base and works him through the orgasm.
It's too hot and they're too sweaty, but Jared still curls up on the chair with Jensen and Jensen wraps him up in his arms without a word of protest.
"Should have prepped you a bit more," he murmurs, and Jared shakes his head.
"Was good," he says and yawns. "Perfect."
"Okay," Jensen says with a quiet laugh and kisses his temple.
They napped for a while before it got too hot and Jared moved back over to his own chair. Eventually, Jensen made them rinse off the worst of the mess under their outside shower, laughing when the cold water hit Jared's overheated skin and made him yelp. They had some lunch in the kitchen before they moved back out, armed with a couple of bottles of water, and after gulping that down they decided to go for a dip in the pool.
Jared swims over to the side and rests his arms on the edge, smiling up at Jeff. "Have fun with your hot naked model?" he asks.
Jeff raises an eyebrow at him. "Probably not nearly as much fun as you two had."
"We did have fun," Jared agrees and smirks. "I rode Jensen on one of the deck chairs. Reverse cowboy. And then I sucked him off."
Jensen laughs behind him, while Jeff mutters a "Fucking Christ, sweetheart."
He starts stripping and Jared watches him, feels his body reacting just to the sight of Jeff getting undressed. He's tanner than him and Jensen, skin naturally a little darker than theirs, body toned, the tattoos on his chest and arms deep black. Jared has never been with a guy with tattoos before Jeff and he never thought he'd be really into that, but he loves Jeff's. Loves licking the pirate skull (and god, Jeff hates it when Jared calls it that) on his pecks, tracing the outline of the cross on his arm, or rubbing his thumb over the small star at his ankle.
"Like what you see?" Jeff teases and Jared grins lazily.
"Yeah," he says.
Jensen swims up behind him, curling his arms around Jared's waist and kisses his shoulder. Jeff watches them with a smile, kicking off his underwear before taking a step back and jumping into the pool with a running start. Water splashes high and Jared laughs while Jensen mutters that Jeff is a child into his shoulder.
Jared turns in his arms, kicking his legs to stay afloat, and watches Jeff come up with a grin, slicking his hair back. He swims closer to them, and Jensen shifts aside, one arm on the edge of the pool, the other around Jared's stomach. When Jeff is close enough, he kisses first Jensen then Jared, quick and soft, before pulling back. He lifts his hand and runs a thumb over Jared's brow before sliding his fingers into his wet hair.
"You doing okay?" he asks in a murmur.
"It was just a stupid dream," Jared assures him. "And I was excellently taken care of all day, even though I really don't need a babysitter."
"I really don't think what we did today can be described as me babysitting you," Jensen teases and Jeff grins.
"I hope not," he says. "And if that's what happens, we'll have to stay home with you this summer more often."
"Yeah? Sounds better than naked models?" Jared asks.
"You're really hung up on this," Jeff says and kisses Jared again.
"You know," Jared mumbles against his lips. "'m pretty sure I'm still loose from earlier. You could fuck me right here in the pool."
Jeff moans softly into the kiss, coaxing Jared's lips apart to slide his tongue in. Jared smiles into it, intent on making Jeff forget all about any guys other than him and Jensen. And make Jared forget about anyone but his two boyfriends, too.
Still, she's a good friend, one of the few real friends he's made since he started going back to college and he doesn't want to lose her. They meet up at a café downtown, one Sandy swears by. She gives him a big hug when they meet up outside and then insists she's paying for things, hooking her arm with Jared's as they walk up to the counter.
"I've been worried about you," she says once they're seated with coffee and a cookie for both of them.
Jared chews on his bottom lip and looks down at his mug. "I'm fine."
"But something happened," she says and then tentatively adds, "Was it Jimmy? He went to the bathroom right after you did. Did he say something? He can be a bit of a jerk."
Jared sighs, but part of him is glad Sandy already seems to guess something happened with Jimmy and him. It's easier to talk about it that way.
"He came onto me. Pretty hard," he admits. "I, uh, said no, but he didn't really listen."
He looks up and finds Sandy looking stricken.
"It wasn't that bad," he lies quickly and he's getting really sick of saying those words. "Just, you know, one of those things. He just took me by surprise, is all, but nothing happened."
"Yeah," Jared says, trying not to feel bad because it's not a complete lie. He had a few bruises, but he got away.
"What a douchebag," Sandy says and Jared gives her a smile.
"Yeah," he agrees. "I know you're friends."
"Not really. Not like that, not like us," Sandy says. "And definitely not anymore. I thought he was a bit of an ass, but I assumed it was harmless. You know how guys can be."
"Yeah," Jared says with a shrug. "I just… don't think he's the kind of person you want to be friends with, Sandy."
It's the most he dares to say, and Sandy meets his eyes and nods.
"I'll unfriend him on facebook and delete his number," she says.
Sandy smiles. "Nobody messes with one of my best friends, Jared," she says and kicks him gently under the table. "So, will you start talking to me again? Really talking, I mean?"
"Of course," Jared says and makes a face. "Sorry."
"You're forgiven," she says. "Now, since we're here and we have coffee and cookies, this seems like the perfect opportunity to ask you for dating advice. Cause I need some and god knows I don't understand men and you have seriously good taste in them."
Jared laughs and nods. "Shoot," he says.
"Don't be a stranger," she says.
"Of course not," Jared replies.
Sandy gives him an amused look. "Actually, we both know better," she finally says with a sigh. "But I can't blame you. If I had two hot boyfriends, I'd never leave the house either. And I know you guys had plans for the summer."
"Yeah, we do," Jared says, even though he totally forgot about the trip they'd talked about over the last few weeks.
With everything that has been going on, his mind has been on overload lately. And god, he could use a break. A few days of just him and Jeff and Jensen, to forget about the real world and all its problems.
To just be with Jensen and Jeff for a few days. To be happy.
"Well, call me. Let's go to a movie or just hang when you're not busy being stupidly in love and having lots of amazing sex," Sandy says and then winks, "Or call me and tell me all about that, too."
Jared snorts out a laugh. "You wish."
"I do," Sandy confirms and grins. "Hey, maybe you can take me along on your trip. I swear I'm low-maintenance. You wouldn't even know I'm there."
Jared shakes his head. "Go," he says and pushes her gently down the sidewalk.
Sandy laughs and quickly dances back. "Bye, Jared," she says. "And remember. A video works too, I'd be quite happy with that. Whatever you three feel comfortable with."
"Bye, Sandy," Jared says loudly, flushing, and taking a quick glance around, but nobody is paying attention.
Whoever Jeff was working with that day has already left, and Jared hangs around as Jeff puts things away. He doesn't offer to help, because he knows Jeff has a system that he'd just mess up.
"How's Sandy?" Jeff asks, handing Jared a bottle of water.
"I'm glad you met up with her," Jeff says, giving him a pointed look.
"Yeah," Jared says and sighs.
"You told her?"
"Kinda. Not all of it. The guy, uh, he isn't really friends with her but they have some common friends and hang out sometimes. I didn't want this to become a huge thing," Jared explains, hopping up onto the table that's pushed up against the wall by one of the windows.
"I wish you'd tell us his name," Jeff grumbles.
"No," Jared says, shaking his head. "Jeff, I just want to put this behind me, okay? I don't want everyone to know and talk about it and... I've been through enough shit. I just want to go to my classes and be with you and Jensen and live a really boring, normal life where nothing happens."
"Sweetheart," Jeff sighs.
"I know it's naïve. But I'm sick of all this drama in my life," Jared says, slumping.
Jeff comes over and cups Jared's face in his hands, pressing a soft kiss to his forehead. "Okay."
"Thank you," Jared murmurs.
Jeff gives him a small smile and brushes their lips together. "I'll finish up and then we can go home and have a completely boring night together. You drink that water while I get done here," he says. "I read this article a few days ago about how a lot of people don't drink enough water and the long-term effects that can have."
Jared rolls his eyes, but he opens the bottle of water and takes a few big sips, looking at Jeff pointedly.
Jeff grins and kisses his cheek, "That's my good boy," he says.
"I'm not a dog."
"Could have fooled me with those puppy eyes," Jeff teases and flicks Jared's hair. He goes back to putting things away, asking over his shoulder, "So, what are we making for dinner today?"
"We?" Jared echoes, his tone mocking.
"I like to think I've become a master of dicing things and stirring stuff since I met you," Jeff says and Jared laughs.
"Alright, chef," he teases. "I was thinking pasta with homemade pesto and shrimp."
"God, this is why Jensen and I worship the ground you walk on."
"Just because of that?" Jared asks, swinging his legs lazily.
Jeff grins at him, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. "I can think of a few other reasons."
Jeff is stirring the pasta when Jensen comes in, dropping his briefcase onto the table with a sigh. "Fuck, it's nice to be home," he says.
Jared drops the last of the ingredients for the pesto in the blender and smiles at Jensen. "Want some wine?"
"Please," Jensen says and rolls his shoulders. "You guys need help?"
Jeff snorts and Jared shoots Jensen a glare. "Don't touch anything."
"Hey, Jeff is allowed to help."
"Jeff may be horrible in the kitchen, but you're a freaking disaster," Jared replies.
"Fine," Jensen says and then snags Jared by the belt loops when he walks past him, pulling him against him. He presses a kiss to Jared's lips.
"Stop. You're distracting me," Jared mumbles into the kiss and he feels Jensen smirk against his mouth. He kisses Jared a little more firmly, and for a few moments Jared lets himself sink into it before he pushes Jensen away by the shoulders.
"Sit, behave. I'll get you some wine," he says, ignoring Jeff's snickers. Jared rolls his eyes at them and then gets three glasses out of the cabinet and the white wine that's chilling in the fridge.
"I actually wanted to ask you guys about something," he says as he hands first Jensen, then Jeff a glass. "Uh, remember how you said we could go away to a cabin or something? Are we still gonna do that? Because I think I really want to."
Jared ducks his head, hating asking Jensen and Jeff for something. He tries to avoid it, because Jensen and Jeff already do enough for him, pay for enough. But Jared really wants to get away for a few days, now that Sandy reminded him. He wants to get out of the city and away from the mess of the last few days. Exams were stressful and Jensen being gone sucked and the incident at the pub, as much as he hates to admit it, has really left him feeling off-kilter.
He picks up the pot of pasta and goes to drain it.
"Of course we can do that," Jeff says and Jared glances at him.
"Yeah?" he asks.
"I'm the one who suggested it," Jeff reminds him and Jared gives him a small smile. He looks at Jensen, and finds him typing away on his phone, wine glass in one hand.
Jared looks at Jeff, a little unsure.
"Give him five minutes and he'll have found the perfect place," Jeff says.
"It doesn't have to be right away," Jared insists, shaking his head a little. "But I thought we could start looking into it."
"Shhh. I'm not allowed to cook, you're not allowed to interfere with my vacation planning," Jensen says, looking up with a small grin. "How does next week sound?"
"Jeff," Jared says. "You have your exhibit to plan. I really didn't mean we have to leave right away."
Jeff shrugs. "I can do next week. I'm wrapping up all the shootings this weekend anyway," he says. "I think getting out of here for a few days sounds perfect."
"Yeah?" Jared asks, hopeful.
"Absolutely," Jeff says and leans in, kissing Jared. "I think we need a vacation, the three of us together."
Jared gives a small nod, because now that the idea has formed in his head, he's suddenly itching to get away. And the fact that Jensen and Jeff will do this for him, are willing to basically pack their bags and take him away right now, is making his chest tighten with happiness and his eyes burn with sudden tears.
The pasta is sitting in the strainer, steaming, and Jared knows it'll turn mushy if he leaves it like that for too long. But all he can do is stare down at it.
"Hey," Jeff murmurs and touches Jared's cheek. "Baby, it's okay. This is a good thing, right?"
"Yeah. Yeah, of course," Jared agrees.
"We would do anything for you, Jay. Anything," Jeff continues. "We love you."
"We really do," Jensen echoes and Jared didn't realize he got up from his place at the table, but he's suddenly right there behind him, warms sliding around Jared's waist.
"I feel like I keep throwing your life for a loop," Jared admits.
Jensen hums. "I like my life a little loopy," he says. "I just wish you weren't hurting because of some asshole who thought he had a right to you."
"I'll be okay," Jared says and turns in Jensen's arms. He gives a small, cracked smile that feels more honest than any of his smiles have in a few days. "I got you guys, right?"
"You do," Jensen says, and Jeff rests a hand on the back of Jared's neck.
"For as long as you want us, baby," he adds.
Jared's smile gets a little wider.
He can't imagine not wanting this, wanting Jeff and Jensen, and he thinks that sounds pretty good. And he can only hope Jensen and Jeff feel the same way.