Since he was a little boy Jared Padalecki had loved fairy tales, tales of knights rescuing the princess and finding their true love. It made him more of an outcast than he already was and the little boy was the perfect target for bullies who loved taunting and beating up the shy boy who loved reading fairy tales. The only comfort Jared found was in his books and his drawing.
Soon drawing became Jared’s passion. He lost himself in worlds where he was waiting for his own knight in shining armor to come and save him from those who took enjoyment in making his life miserable.
That all changed the moment Jared laid eyes on Jensen Ackles, the man who was to model for his art class. He had always believed in love at first sight. He wasn’t sure if that’s what happened when he met Jensen but he knew the other man made his heart skip a beat. There were no words to describe how beautiful Jensen was in Jared's eyes. His grumpy smile made him all the more handsome in Jared’s opinion.
It was no wonder that Jensen became a model; in Jared’s eyes he could be a movie star. Jared could feel his hand shaking as he moved his pencil across his paper. No matter how hard he tried his eyes kept glancing back at the other man. His breath caught when he found those green eyes staring back at him; they seemed to see into his very soul and he couldn’t look away.
Jensen Ackles had never gotten used to the looks he received from both men and women alike. It was funny since he made his living as a model but it helped him to pay for schooling. He dreamed of being a psychotherapist and it wasn’t cheap. But he had learned quickly that he needed to defend himself from those who didn’t take no for an answer and wanted him sexually in exchange for a job offer. His best friend Chris made sure that he knew how to defend himself and the first asshole who didn’t take no for an answer, well he wouldn’t be trying that with anyone again.
Still that didn’t stop Jensen from picking up a date or two from these gigs. None of them lasted beyond a night in the sheets and he didn’t really care. He wasn’t one who believed in love at first sight. He found himself staring into a pair of eyes that seemed to be a whirl of colour one moment, then hazel and the next they were a new colour and Jensen found himself mesmerised by them. He needed to know more about this man.
Jensen could hardly take his eyes off of the artist and he was pleased when the other man snuck looks at him. Making sure that the art teacher was busy with another student he flashed the man a quick smile and took note of the way the man’s cheeks flushed as he ducked his head. He needed to know who this man was.
The end of the class couldn’t come soon enough for Jensen as he counted down the minutes to the end so he could talk to the man who had captured his attention at the same time he found himself practicing what he would say to him.
“Alright class that is it for today, let’s give Mr. Ackles a thank you for coming today and remember he will be back tomorrow.” Kim Rhodes reminded her class as they began to pack away their art supplies.
“It was my pleasure,” Jensen assured her as most of the student rushed for the door. One or two gave him a few glances as they passed but he was pleased to note that the object of his desire hadn’t left yet. In fact to Jensen it looked like he was taking his time.
Jared could feel Jensen’s eyes on him and tried to ignore that burning gaze he felt on his back. He found himself shaking as he packed his art supplies away. A soft curse escaped his lips as his art pencils fell out of his hands.
Two hands met as they both reached from the fallen pencils and neither man could deny the spark they felt when their fingers brushed.
“I’m Jensen Ackles and you are?” Jensen asked as he found himself staring into those wondrous eyes.
“Jared Padalecki,” Jared whispered.
“Hi, Jared it’s nice to meet you.” Jensen offered the other man a small but genuine smile, not the usual kind he gave to someone he just met. He was rewarded with a small but blinding smile and he knew in that moment nothing would be the same again and he couldn’t wait to see what was to come.
Ten Years Later
The sun peeking through the curtains stirred Jared from his sleep just before the music from the radio turned on as his alarm went off. Letting out a small yawn Jared's eyes fluttered open as a smile appeared on his face.
"Turn that blasted thing off!" The lump behind Jared growled out as the arm wrapped around his waist tightened keeping him pinned against the strong body that Jared knew every inch of.
Jensen Ackles would never be a morning person and that only made Jared love him more. "Yes, your majesty. Anything else you wish this morning?" Jared teased as he reached out and did as Jensen grumbled behind him.
"I can think of a few things." Jensen purred as his hands drifted down Jared's body, a smirk curled at his lips as he felt the other man shiver at his touch. "It's the least you can do since you set that blasted thing to go off so early."
Turning in the other man arms Jared came face to face with a sleepy but smirking Jensen. “Why do you think I set it so early?” Jared teased like he did every morning.
“Then I think you need to be punished baby boy,” Jensen growled out licking his lower lips as he manoeuvred them so Jared was beneath him; he loved the smile that appeared on his boy’s face.
“I await whatever punishment you have in store for me.” Wrapping his arms around Jensen’s neck he pulled his partner in closer.
“Oh, I know that you are going to enjoy this just like you do every morning,” Jensen promised before claiming Jared’s mouth in breathtaking kisses, letting him know how thankful he was that his boy once again set the alarm clock early. He needed his morning taste of Jared.
It was a typical morning in the Ackles - Padalecki household.
Humming a soft tune under his breath Jared enjoyed the hot water caressing his body as he ran the soap over his body. He wasn’t surprised when a pair of arms wrapped around his waist.
“You look good enough to eat,” Jensen whispered in Jared’s ear as he took the soap out of Jared’s hands and began trailing his hands over Jared’s body earning a soft moan from the other man.
“Didn’t you have enough of me in bed?” Having complete trust in Jensen Jared relaxed into his partner’s hold and rested his head on Jensen’s shoulder.
“I could never have enough of you baby boy,” Jensen spoke the truth Jared was too much a part of his life for him to ever get enough of him. “Besides we need to do our part in conserving water for the good of the environment.”
Shaking his head, this wasn't the first time that Jensen had used that excuse on him. He said it every time he joined him in the shower, not that Jared minded. "Just don't make me late for work Jeffrey needed to talk to me this morning." Jared was nervous it was rare for his boss to call him in to meet with him. He had been on edge since he had been informed that his boss wanted to see him in his office first thing that morning. Jared was a designer, not a very well known one but still, he loved his job and the last thing he wanted to do was have to look for a new job.
"Hey, stop worrying. Jeff adores you and he knows he's damn lucky to have snagged a designer of your talent." Jensen felt the tension running through Jared and he hated how low his boy thought of his talents. "You know I believe in you. And Jeffrey Dean Morgan wouldn't have hired you if he didn't see something in you as well." Jensen whispered before pressing a kiss on Jared's wet cheek.
Jensen's belief in him what was what Jared relied on sometimes when he began doubting himself. "You're right. What would I do without you?"
"That is one thing you will never have to worry about, you're stuck with me," Jensen reassured Jared. He wasn't going anywhere and he couldn't picture his life without Jared in it, he made it all the brighter. When he was having a bad day one smile from Jared was all it took to chase the darkness away. "Now how about I show you how much I love and adore you?"
A soft hitch escaped Jared's parted lips as Jensen's hands drifted down lower. "As long as you don't make me late for work I think we have time for what you have planned."
"Good, because I wouldn't let you leave this house without getting my second taste of you. That would be like me without coffee and you know how grumpy I can be without it." Jensen reminded Jared.
"And that’s the last thing that we would want. We don't want you to be grumpy to your clients and I don't want Adrianne coming after me if I deprive you of your morning delights, once was more than enough." Jared shuddered as he remembered how the normally cool and calm woman all but dragged him out of his office down to where Jensen worked. Where she all but threw him at Jensen and told him that under no uncertain terms would he be allowed out until Jensen was in a better mood. Before he could ask if she had Jeff's full permission for this he realized Jeff couldn't stand seeing Jared's sad puppy dog eyes any longer.
"Oh yeah, that was a good time." The grin on Jensen's face was pure naughtiness as he recalled how they broke into his office and he had never forgotten what Jared looked like spread out over his desk begging for him. "We will need to do a repeat again and very soon."
Jared wasn't surprised Jensen would want a repeat. He was just surprised that it took his lover this long to mention it. "We'll see."
"Oh I can convince you if I have to sugar and I can be very pervasive." Waggling his eyebrows he loved the laugh that escaped Jared.
"Plan for that later I believe that we are running out of time for our shared shower unless you plan on just showering today?" Jared knew the answer and he wasn't surprised when a deep growl escaped Jensen.
"Oh I plan on having my treat and nothing will stop me." Jensen murmured as he set out to enjoy the Jared treat before him.
Jared did his best to remain calm as he tugged the dark red shirt down over his stomach. Jensen had offered to make them breakfast, of course but Jared didn't know how much he would be able to eat. He knew he had to eat; Jensen wouldn't let him leave if he didn't at least have something to eat.
A smile spread across Jared's face as he looked down to see Sadie looking up at him and he couldn't resist bending down and rubbing her head. "Hey girl did Jensen send you to get me?"
Sadie wagged her tail as she enjoyed the attention she was getting from one of her masters.
"Alright, girl let's go see if Jensen has a treat for you." The moment Jared said the magic word ‘treat’ Sadie turned and ran out of the room. "Of course I’m no match for a treat." Knowing that he could no longer put it off Jared headed downstairs.
Reaching the kitchen Jared was greeted to the sight of Sadie happily munching away on a treat and Jensen moving about the stove.
"It's not fair how you can rock khakis." Jared commented as he admired the view Jensen presented him.
Looking over his shoulder Jensen sent Jared a wink followed up by a come-hither smile that had Jared hungering for a different kind of breakfast but he sadly didn't have the time.
"Later baby boy. I hope you don't have plans for lunch I might just stop by for a bite and then we'll get lunch." Jensen promised, with a sly smile on his face. He could see that Jared was still worried about his meeting with Jeff this morning and he would do everything in his power to ease his fears. Moving to Jared's side Jensen cupped his lover's cheek as he reminded him, "Remember what I told you Jeff is lucky to have such a talented and amazing artist working for him."
"What would I do without you?" Jared asked as he looked into those green eyes he loves so much.
"Luckily you will never have to find out just like I will never have to go back to a life without you. You and me? We are forever." Jensen had never believed in the concept of soulmates until he met Jared and he knew that Jared was the other half of his soul. "Now eat breakfast and get your cute ass to work." Jensen slapped said ass for empathize and gave his boy a wink before he led Jared to the table. Jensen was going to make sure his boy ate.
Under the careful and watchful eyes of both Jensen and Sadie - well Sadie was more than hoping that Jared would drop something from his plate like he did from time to time - Jared ate his breakfast thankful that he had such a loving and caring partner.
All too soon breakfast was done and Jared no longer had a reason to linger, sensing Jared’s looming fear Jensen pulled Jared into his arms and pressed a quick kiss against Jared’s lips, “It’s going to be alright baby boy.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan smiled widely as he spotted his favorite designer; he knew that Jared was talented and gifted even if he did underestimate his own skills and how valuable he was. “Jared, come on in.” Jeff waved Jared in.
Nervously Jared took a seat. “You wanted to see me, Mr. Morgan?” Jared was proud of himself when his voice didn’t waver.
“I did Jared. I wanted to tell you that you did a wonderful job on the last advertisement project Mr. Sheppard was greatly impressed and he is not a man that is easy to impress so that is high praise that you deserve.” Jeff didn’t add that Mark joked – at least Jeff thinks he was joking – about snagging Jared away to come work for him. ‘I better just to be on the safe side keep a close eye on Jared at least for a little while. I would be a shame to lose someone so talented.’
“Thank you, sir.” Jared was a little shocked to hear that Mr. Sheppard was impressed with his designs. “I just try to do my best.”
“And it is outstanding work.” While Jeff had a soft spot for Jared, he was forever grateful that Jensen had introduced him to the younger man when he had been working as one of Jeff’s models. It was a shame that he hadn’t been able to snag Jensen when he snagged Jared but he wouldn’t stand in the way of the other man’s dreams. “Which is why I would like you to head our next account,” At Jared’s confused look Jeff elaborated, “Word of mouth has spread that Mark Sheppard was impressed and we managed to land Sky Queens and they made it very clear they want the one who Sheppard had.”
Jared could only stare at his boss in shock; Sky Queens owned by partners Danneel Harris and Genevieve Cortes was a premier clothing line. “Me sir?”
Jeff smiled at Jared. “Yes you, it would seem that they not only have a new men’s line but also plan on launching a costume line as well and they want a new campaign highlighting them. They want the best and that’s you, Jared. I know that you can do this Jared, I believe in you. You are far more talented than you give yourself credit for.”
Something lightened in Jared at his boss’ praise, knowing Jeff was a fair but tough boss. “Thank you, sir.”Jared didn’t know what else he could say.
“So can I count on you to do this? And Jared just do your best that is all you can do, do not put undue pressure on yourself trying to impress me, Danneel and Genevieve.” Jeff advised Jared.
“I will try and I will do my best.” Jared was grateful for such an understanding boss.
“That is all I ask of you, Jared. Now you better go call that protective man of yours and tell him the good news the last thing I need is an angry Jensen Ackles storming my office.” Jeff teased but he wouldn’t put it past Jensen to do such a thing if he thought Jared was in trouble or upset.
A faint blush appeared on Jared’s cheeks. “I will. Again thank you, sir, for this chance.” Climbing to his feet Jared shook Jeff’s hand before leaving Jeff’s office eager to call Jensen.
Jeff could only shake his head as he watched Jared leave. “If they were any cuter together they would cause cavities,” Jeff muttered under his breath as he watched Jared pull out his cell phone to no doubt call Jensen.
“How did it go, baby?”
A soft smile appeared on Jared’s face as Jensen’s voice came over the line. “You were right like always."
"This is why you need to stop doubting yourself. Jeff is a lot of things but he isn't a fool."
"Jensen! That is my boss you are talking about." Jared hissed into his phone.
"I know that baby boy. I was just teasing you. Now I better let you get back to work unless you want to engage in some phone sex."
Jared could hear the leer in Jensen's voice and he found himself purring back, "Maybe next time."
"Well, then I will just have to make sure to get my Jared treat at lunch. See you then babe."
"See you then Jensen. I love you."
"I love you too Jay, now go and wow them."
Talking to Jensen always filled him with a sense of peace. The idea of Jensen coming to find him at lunch made him smile and he wouldn’t be surprised that he didn’t float to his desk, something that was noticed by his co-workers.
“Lunch plans with Jensen?” Rachel Minner called as she spotted the dopey grin Jared always wore whenever he had talked to Jensen. It was cute in a way.
A faint blush appeared on Jared’s cheeks. “Maybe.”
“Are you sure that Jensen doesn’t have any single siblings or cousins?” Emily Swallow asked from her desk.
“Nope, sorry.” This wasn’t the first time that Emily asked and Jared gave her the same answer every time.
“Damn it.” Emily pretended to sulk.
“Alright if we are all done teasing Jared about his perfect love life, we do have work that needs to be done.” Mark Pellegrino head of the art department called out. “Jared, I heard from Mr. Morgan, that you have been assigned to the Sky Queens and you have earned it. If you hadn’t I would have put you in charge anyway.”
“Thank you, sir.” Jared knew that once he told Jensen this his partner would be smug about how right he was. Oh well he would just have to make sure that Jensen had other things to keep his mind occupied with.
"Alright people back to work, these ads won't create themselves and let's face it without us they have nothing." Mark boasted just a little but; there was some truth in his words without the art team they wouldn't have ads to show off.
Lunch couldn't come soon enough for Jared. He had to admit for the last ten minutes he had been bouncing in his seat earning amused looks from his co-workers.
Jared saved his work before grabbing his jacket and practical bouncing out of the art room.
“Say hi to Jensen for us.” Emily's voice echoed after him.
Jensen was waiting for him with a grin on his face and looking too damn good that Jared suddenly had a different kind of hunger. From the look in Jensen's eyes he wasn't the only one.
Jared was in Jensen's arms before he knew it. “You look good enough to eat,” Jensen growled in Jared’s ear.
Jared knew that look in Jensen's eyes well. “Food first then you can satisfy your other hunger.” Giving Jensen a playful wink he pulled himself out of his lover’s arms and walked away.
“Tease,” Jensen growled under his breath; he watched Jared’s ass as he walked away. Licking his lips he knew he needed to figure out a way to get a quickie from Jared. He didn’t think he could wait until they were home to get his taste of his boy.
Jared felt like he was flying and he had been on a personal high for the past few days. But today he was a mixture of nerves and panic. Today was the day he was meeting the owners of Sky Queens and their model that he was to base his designs off of and Jared was doing his best to remain calm.
“They are going to be blown away by what you have come up with.” Jensen murmured as he pressed a kiss on Jared’s bare shoulder.
Twisting in Jensen’s arms Jared pressed his lips against the other man’s lips. “Thank you for believing in me. I love you, Jensen Ackles.”
The smile that appeared on Jensen’s face was the one that was reserved for Jared only. “I love you too Jared Padalecki.”
“Jared my boy!” Jeff waved at Jared when he spotted the younger man. He was standing with two beautiful women who Jared had a pretty good idea where the owners of Sky Queens. “Danneel Harris, Genevieve Cortes I would like you to meet the young man in charge of coming up with your art design, Jared Padalecki.” Jeff proudly introduced Jared. “We are very lucky to have him working with us.”
Jared smiled, touched that his boss thought so highly of him. “Hi, it’s nice to meet you both.” Jared shook both women’s hands.
“You managed to impress Mark Sheppard that is a rare feat so we knew we were getting a talented artist. He just didn’t mention what a real cutie you are as well.” Danneel winked at Jared enjoying the blush that appeared on his cheeks.
Jeff let out a chuckle. “Sorry, ladies he is very much taken.”
A playful pout appeared on Danneel and Genevieve’s faces. “Well, I think we can forgive him since we are sure to get a kick-ass ad campaign from him.” Genevieve grinned up at Jared.
Jared knew they were teasing but his nervousness increased and he did his best not to fumble with his bag. “Um, would you like to see what I have come up with or do you want to wait for your model to show up?” Jared blurted out part of him wanting his meeting over so he could go see Jensen on his lunch break.
Danneel and Genevieve exchanged looks. “We can go ahead. Stephen warned us he was going to be a little late. He had a sudden re-shoot come up this morning; he tried to schedule it after our meeting but the photographer only had now free. But he’ll join us as soon as he can,” Danneel explained looking a little worried as she glanced at Jeff and Jared.
“This way, if there are any changes you wish for Jared to make he can and then we can always schedule another meeting,” Jeff reassured them.
“Wonderful!” Genevieve clapped her hands together. “Well, Mr. Padalecki let us see what you have come up with for us.”
Jared was a nervous wreck as he laid out his sketches of what he had come up with and watched as the two women looked at them. “These are just rough sketches but those are my ideas. Different settings showing off some of the men’s costumes you will have available as well as your casual men’s line.” Jared explained.
“These look great. I’m sure that you will add more detail once you meet Stephen? The photographer must love you Jeff showed us some of your finished designs and they could pass for photos.” Genevieve was impressed with what Jared had come up with so far and she could tell that Danneel was just as impressed.
“These are outstanding I cannot wait to see your finished project.” Danneel voiced her agreement with her partner.
“Thank you. I’m glad you like them.” Jared could already see the smug look in Jensen’s eyes as his partner told him that he had nothing to worry about.
“I am so sorry that I am late.” A new voice interrupted them.
A smile lit up Danneel’s face. “Stephen we are so glad that you could make it. Mr. Morgan, Mr. Padalecki I would like you to meet Stephen Amell our model.”
Jared couldn’t breathe as he came face to face with the grown-up version of the boy who used to bully him when they were children Stephen Amell.
“Jared it’s so good to see you again. It’s been a long time.” Stephen smiled at Jared holding out his hand and for a moment Jared froze unable to stop himself from remembering those hands beating him up, shoving him into the ground.
“Jared are you alright?” Jeff asked, concern in his voice.
Jared couldn’t let Stephen get to him, he wasn’t that scared little boy anymore. “I’m alright sir, I’m just surprised to see Stephen again. We used to go to school together.”
Jeff was good at reading people and he hadn’t missed the scared look that appeared in Jared’s eyes. Jared was shy and reserved until he got to know a person, this was different Jared had been afraid. ‘I will be keeping my eyes on you, Mr. Amell.’ Jeff vowed silently.
“Stephen come check out these amazing designs that Jared created for us.” Genevieve waved him over.
Jared found he could breathe a little easier when Stephen moved towards the two women.
“Are you going to be okay working with him?” Jeff’s question caught him completely off guard Jared hadn’t even seen his boss moved.
“I will be.” The last thing Jared wanted was for Jeff to lose out on this account; he would grin and bear it.
“Alright just let me know if you have any issues.” Jeff would be keeping his eyes on Jared and Stephen.
Jared did his best to pay attention to the rest of the meeting but it was hard when his childhood bully was sitting across from him.
“These look amazing. I can’t wait to see the finished product.” Stephen flashed Jared a smile fully impressed with the sketches Jared had created and impressed with how the wimp of a kid he used to pick on had grown up. ‘I certainly wouldn’t mind having him in my bed.’ This job just got a lot more interesting but he could see the weariness in Jared’s eyes and knew that he would have a lot of sweet talking to do. ‘This will almost be too easy.’
It wasn’t until the end of the meeting did Stephen have a chance to talk to Jared without anyone overhearing them.
“Jared, wait,” Stephen called out stopping the other man from leaving. “I’m not that guy anymore who gets enjoyment out of picking on those to make himself feel better. I have changed Jared and I hope that I can prove that to you.”
Jared wasn’t sure what he should do about that, he wanted to believe the other man when he said he had changed. Jared liked to believe that was true, that people could change for the better. But he couldn’t help recall the nights he spent curled up in his bed clinging to his stuffed bear as he cried over the words Stephen called him or the days he came home with bruises on him because he hadn’t been fast enough to escape Stephen or his little group of friends. Jared could only nod. They would be working together he knew from experience that he would only have to be around Stephen a little bit. He could handle this.
“Hey, baby welcome home.” Jensen murmured as he kissed Jared. He had been surprised to see that he had beaten his lover home and he was a little worried. “Did something happen at work? You’re so tense." Jensen murmured as he massaged Jared's tense shoulders. He had seen Jared stressed before but never like this.
Jared wanted to tell Jensen but part of him wondered if he was just overreacting, after all Stephen hadn’t done anything and he had even apologized to him. Still, he didn’t like keeping secrets from Jensen. “Do you believe that people can change?”
Jensen was a little surprised to hear such a question coming from Jared. “I do. If those changes are good or bad that’s up to the person themselves and sometimes people pretend to change to manipulate people around them. Why do you ask baby?” Jensen asked stroking Jared’s cheek.
Letting out a deep breath. “I met the model I will be working with and it’s Stephen Amell the man who used to bully me when we are children.” Jared could never keep a secret from Jensen and he knew that this would be eating at him until he told Jensen.
Jensen’s arm tightened around Jared, his lover had told him how he had been bullied and beaten up as a child. It had taken time for Jared to open up to Jensen and tell him how he had been bullied when he was younger and how he had turned to art to find an escape. “Are you going to be okay working with him?” All that mattered to Jensen was Jared’s safety and comfort. He knew how important this was to Jared but he also wanted his boy safe as well.
“He apologized and claims that he’s changed. I want to believe him but all I could think of when I was face to face with him was him beating me up, the names he used to call me and how many nights I went to bed crying because of him,” Jared admitted in a soft voice. “He seemed sincere and he seems to have changed; he’s a little stuck up but he doesn’t seem to be a bully.”
“No one would expect you to trust him right away. I know you, Jared, you want to give him a chance because you see the good in people and that is one of the things I love about you. All I can say is give him a chance but if at any time he does anything to make you feel uncomfortable you go to Jeff.” Jared’s safety was all that matter to Jensen at this moment. Jensen pressed a kiss on Jared's shoulder. "But promise me if he does anything to make you uncomfortable you will speak up about it."
"I will," Jared promised loving the protective look in Jensen’s eyes. "Sometimes I wonder why you are here with me. I mean you could have your choice of anyone yet you picked me." Jared couldn't understand why Jensen had chosen him of all people when there were so many others out there. Especially as he looked into those green eyes he loved so much, it truly baffled him.
"I didn't pick you baby boy, I fell in love with you. With your kind heart, your caring soul, your smile that brightens up my world when the days seem so dark, you make me feel warm, Jaybird. I was the damn lucky one that I was the one you fell in love with. I was the lucky one to have won your heart. Do you know how blessed I am to know that such an amazing man could and does love me back?" Shifting a little bit Jensen reached out and stroked Jared's cheek, loving the feel of his lover's skin beneath his fingers. Jensen hated it when Jared started thinking lowly of himself, how he couldn't see the amazing man he was made Jensen vow to show him he would never have to doubt his love for him.
“I love you.” Jared murmured.
“I love you too,” Jensen whispered back. “Do you think supper can wait while I show you how much?” Jensen asked with a sexy smirk on his face.
To his delight, Jared blushed deeply. “I think it can wait.” Jared agreed, a bubbling laugh escaped his lips as Jensen dragged him up the stairs to their bedroom.
Jared kept Jensen’s advice close to his heart and he could tell that Jeff sensed his unease around Stephen. To his utter delight Jensen would stop by on his breaks, especially when he knew that Stephen was going to be around. It still brought a smile to Jared’s face as he recalled their first meeting.
“Jensen! This is a welcome surprise. It’s good to see you.” Jeff greeted Jensen with a smile as the other man entered the building. “I take it you are here to see Jared?”
“Would I have any other reason to visit? I thought I would surprise Jared with lunch.” Jensen grinned holding up a bag with Jared’s favourite take out in it.
“If you two were any sweeter you would be giving me cavities.” Jeff teased.
“A guy like Jared deserves to be wooed.” A soft loving smile appeared on Jensen’s face it.
“Jensen!” The way Jared’s face lit up upon spotting him made Jensen’s heart skip a beat and he couldn’t help but return Jared’s blinding smile.
“Hi, baby boy. I missed you.” Jensen murmured as Jared came bouncing over to him and Jensen couldn’t stop himself from kissing that perfect mouth. He loved it when Jared melted into his arms.
To Jensen’s dismay the kiss didn’t last as long as he wished it did. But when they did end their embrace, Jensen noticed the blond man who was glaring daggers at him and he figured that had to be Amell and he wasn’t impressed. “So you must be Steven? I’m Jensen Ackles, Jared’s partner.” Jensen smiled at the other man but made no effort to offer him his hand. After all he had his hands full; one hold Jared and his lunch and the other was wrapped snugly around Jared’s waist where it belonged.
“It’s Stephen and it’s nice to meet you as well.” Stephen corrected with a forced smile on his face.
Shrugging Jensen didn’t look the least bit apologetic for getting Stephen’s name wrong. “Are you free to eat? I brought you your favourite.” Jensen informed Jared.
“I think you can take a break,” Jeff spoke up before anyone else could say anything. “Jared you have been working pretty hard. Go on, you can pick up after you’ve eaten.” Jeff reassured him.
“Where’s your guard dog? I’m surprised that he let you out of his sight.” Stephen was surprised that Jensen hadn’t shown up yet, every time that he hoped to get Jared alone there was Ackles arriving like a White Knight to protect Jared’s virtue.
A frown appeared on Jared’s face not liking Stephen’s tone when he talked about Jensen. “Jensen had a full day he couldn’t join me for lunch,” Jared explained his eyes narrowing as he looked at the designs and realized that he had once again designed them with Jensen in Stephen’s place. No matter how hard he tried he couldn’t create the finished products with Stephen. Danneel and Genevieve had liked Jared’s art designs so much that they had asked if they could do an ad with both Jared’s artwork and the photograph. Jared couldn’t find a way to say no. To his utter dismay Stephen had stayed around a little longer than normal.
“So that means we are alone. What do you say the two of us go for a late lunch?” The look in Stephen’s eyes made it clear that he was hungry for something other than food and it made Jared very uncomfortable.
“I don’t think so. I have a lot of work to do.” Jared did his best to let Stephen down gently.
Stephen couldn’t believe it; this nobody had just rejected him! Didn’t he know how lucky he was that Stephen had shown any interest in him? “Come on Jared no one needs to know. It’s just lunch between work colleagues unless you want it to be something more.” Stephen purred as he reached out and stroked Jared’s lower lip.
Taking a step back Jared let out a deep breath. “Stephen, I don’t know what you think is going on here but we are just co-workers. I’ve been happily involved with the same man for the last ten years, we’re considering getting married.” Jared informed Stephen.
“Are you sure about that Jared?” Stephen had never been one to be denied and he had wanted Jared for so long. “No one would have to know.”
Jared couldn’t breathe when his back hit the wall and Stephen’s arms trapped him as they rested on each side of him keeping him pinned between the wall and Stephen’s body. “I would and I could and would never cheat on Jensen.”
"I’ve seen the way you were looking at me, Jared." Stephen purred as he took a step closer to Jared. "You couldn't keep your eyes off of me and the way you blushed when I caught you looking was adorable and it made me wonder how far that blush went."
Jared was getting uncomfortable as he found himself trapped between Stephen's body and the wall. "Stephen, I don't know what you think you saw but none of that is true. Like I’ve said, repeatedly, I have a partner that I am loyal to and would never dream of cheating on. All that’s between us is a working relationship and nothing more." Jared pressed his hands against Stephen's chest trying to force the man to back up.
"Come on Jared no one would need to know." Stephen was getting a little angry. He wasn't used to being denied what he wanted.
For the first time since they started working together, Jared was truly afraid. “I said no Stephen and I think you need to back off or I’m going to Jeff.”
“You really think that Morgan would dare risk losing a multi-million dollar ad campaign for some low-level artist? It would be your word against mine.” Stephen said as his anger began to rise at the idea of Jared not giving in to him. He had tried playing nice but it looked like it was time for force.
Stephen’s words stunned Jared. He couldn’t help but feel a pike of fear that Stephen’s words had some truth to them. Jeff was a businessman and this could cost him a big time or worse, Jeff might not believe him. Lost in his thoughts Jared never noticed Stephen move until it was too late and he found himself pinned to the wall with Stephen holding him there as Stephen pressed his body against him. His fear began to grow and he looked around, wide eyed for help.
“Jensen! This is a surprise Jared told us that you were booked today and wouldn’t be able to stop by for lunch he looked like a sad puppy.” Jeff greeted Jensen when he saw the other man; he had been so tempted to drag Jensen down here if only to wipe that look off of Jared’s face.
A sheepish look appeared on Jensen’s face. “Adrianne all but kicked me out, she said she was tired of dealing with my bear side and all but ordered me not to come back until I saw Jared.” The blond woman was scary when she wanted to be and Jensen knew better than to cross her.
“That is one scary woman,” Jeff said as he remembered his own meeting with her when she had come storming into the offices and made it clear that she was borrowing Jared for a moment and would return him as soon as his partner stopped acting like an ass. “She would fit perfectly in here.”
“Adrianne would never leave her clients.” Jensen knew that the woman was loyal and there was no way that she would up and leave those who counted on her.
The two women who had been accompanying Jeff watched with amusement and gave Jensen a few lingering looks. “So you’re the man that Jared talks so much about. I’m Danneel, this is Genevieve and it’s a damn shame that you and Jared are taken. But I’ll forgive you for being one of the loveliest couples I have ever seen.”
Jensen knew right then and there he and Danneel could become good friends so he winked at the woman and informed her, “I’d offer to let you watch but I’m a possessive bastard when it comes to my boy and I never learned to share.”
“Ain’t that the truth?” Jeff grumbled under his breath. He could understand Jensen’s possessiveness over Jared. From what he's seen the kid wasn't all that confident in himself sometimes and that was when Jensen stepped in to remind Jared to have faith in himself and his talents. "Come on Jared's due for a break anyways. He's determined to get this project finished and to knock all our socks off."
A fond smile appeared on Jensen's lips. "That is my boy."
"Jared is really talented if he wasn't loyal to Morgan here we would be snatching him up," Genevieve added tossing a smirk at Jeff.
"Then you would have a fight on your hands because there is no way that I am letting such a talented guy like Jared go." Jeff mocked growl back at her.
Jensen beamed with pride at hearing the praise Jared was getting. He knew that his boy could do it. "Jared surprise...."
It took a lot to get Jensen Ackles pissed off but the sight that greeted him had him well past that point. He was well onto the desire to murder someone. His partner was struggling against the man that had him pinned to the wall and Jensen could see the fear in Jared's eyes and that was enough to push him over the edge. Letting out a roar of rage Jensen rushed forward before anyone could stop him as he ripped Stephen off of Jared.
"You son of a bitch! You had no right to touch him like that!" Jensen snarled as he gripped Stephen's shirt in his hands. He was thrilled to see the fear flash in Stephen’s eyes as his fist collided with the man’s jaw. He felt hands tugging at him trying to get him to let go of Stephen and he shrugged them off it wasn't until a soft touch on his arm and a gentle call of, "Jensen," did Jensen finally let go of Stephen. Jensen turned to pull Jared into his arms
Jared sank into Jensen's embrace clinging to his lover.
"It's okay sweetheart, you’re okay." Jensen murmured pressing kisses on Jared's head as his lover clung to him. He could feel Jared shaking and it only made him that much more angry that his lover came so close to being assaulted.
Rubbing his jaw Stephen was beyond pissed. "I want that man charged with assault!" He roared only to take a step back as an enraged Jeff took a step closer to him.
"Yeah, I don't think that will be happening. If you try it I will make sure that your name is blacklisted and you will be lucky enough to find a cleaning job." Jeff snarled as he clenched his fists together wanting nothing more than to punch him in the mouth.
"You need me! And are you really going to choose some lowly level artist over me? Do you know who I am?" Stephen growled back.
Danneel was shaking with rage as she stalked towards Stephen. "Yes, we know who you are. You are an egotistical jerk who uses his status as a star to think this is okay, well it's not. You were going to force that young man to do something he didn't want." She shoved Stephen backward. "I will make sure that you never work in this industry again."
"You can't threaten me! You have no proof that he didn't say no? He could just like it a little rough." Stephen sneered at them.
It was only because Jared was in his arms did Jensen hold himself back from ripping Stephen apart. "He was terrified of you! And I know Jared he would never cheat on me!"
"Well, why don't we just ask Jared? I'm sure he can clear this up." Stephen purred out.
When Stephen's eyes landed on Jared he shrunk deeper into Jensen's hold clinging to his lover. But he wasn't the scared kid that Stephen picked on and pushed around. "I said no."
"He's lying! You can't believe him! He would do anything to destroy my career as payback for when we were children." Stephen snarled taking a step forward only to be held back by a fuming Jeff.
"Mark, would you please escort Mr. Amell from the property? And if he gives you any trouble call security." Jeff asked as he yanked Stephen over to where Mark was standing by the door. It was clear that the man had been drawn by the fighting and yelling.
One look at the trembling Jared and the beyond pissed off Jensen and a clearly very angry Danneel and Genevieve not to mention his boss' rage, Mark dreaded that Stephen had attempted to take his flirting to the next level. "With pleasure boss." Mark's grin was anything but pleasant. "Move or I will make you move," Mark growled, getting into Stephen's face there was a reason he was known as the devil in some circles
Stephen must have seen something in Mark's eyes because while he paled he did as ordered.
Once Jeff was certain that Mark had Stephen well in hand he turned to make sure that Jared was okay. One look at the other man showed that he was still shaken up and that was very understandable. “Jensen, why don’t you take Jared home? We can figure out what to do later.” Jeff suggested.
“Shouldn’t we call the cops? We can’t just let him get away with this?” Genevieve asked looking pretty pissed off.
“No cops. They barely believe women when they come to report sexual assault or rape and I don’t they would believe me. Look at me. They’ll wonder why I didn’t fight back and even if I do have people who believes me, Stephen will claim I wanted it and you know how some people feel about gays. No cops.” Jared spoke up and no one could deny that he had a point.
“Okay but I will make sure that all those I work with won’t use Amell, I will make sure he never finds another modeling gig,” Jeff vowed.
“Tell Sheppard, he seems fond of Jared and I’m sure he has even more connections,” Jensen added as he helped Jared to his feet his arm wrapped tightly around Jared’s trembling form. He nodded his thanks when Danneel handed him the bag of take away he had dropped in his haste to protect Jared and get that scum bag off of Jared.
“Can we go home now?” Jared asked, just wanted to curl up in bed with Jensen bedside him. He needed to feel his partner’s arms wrapped around him reminding him that he was safe and sound.
Pressing a kiss onto Jared’s forehead Jensen smile at him, “Of course we can.” He was sure that Adrianne would be willing to cover for him or reschedule his appointments. Most of his clients had meet Jared and adored him. He hoped they would understand that this was an emergency and Jared needed him because he needed to be with Jared.
“I’m going to run you a bubble bath and while you are relaxing I will call Adrianne and ask her to cover for me,” Jensen informed Jared once they were home. It had scared him how quiet Jared had been on the drive home. His lover enjoyed a soothing bubble bath after a stressful day, hoping that would help calm him.
“Will you join me once you’ve finished your call to Adrianne?”Jared asked in a soft voice.
“Of course I will baby boy then we will spend the night cuddling and watching your favourite movies and shows. Even the cheesy ones.” Jensen would pamper his boy and do his best to make sure that Jared knew how much he was loved. He would be there to comfort Jared when the nightmares began.
When Jared’s face lit up with a soft smile Jensen felt something ease off of his chest. “Come on baby boy.” Taking Jared’s hand in his, Jensen lead him upstairs to their master bedroom and once Jared was seated on the bed Jensen headed into their ensuite bathroom to get Jared’s bath ready.
Once he was alone Jared took a deep breath and he could feel his hands shaking. he didn’t understand why this was affecting him so badly. “It’s not like he actually did anything to me? So why am I so scared?” Jared asked himself.
“It’s only natural to feel afraid.” Jared gave a start, he had been so lost in his thoughts that he hadn’t even heard Jensen return. Kneeling before Jared Jensen took his hands in his. “Jared you were assaulted and you had your trust violated it’s okay to be afraid after that and it would be okay to be mad. Just know that I will be right there beside you through it all. Just trust me.”
“I do trust you and I can never thank you enough. You saved me today. I am going to need you and your strength, Jen.” Jared had always seen Jensen as a hero and today he had proven it.
“And I will be right there for you,” Jensen promised. “Now your bath is waiting and I will join you as soon as I can.”
“I’ll be waiting for you,” Jared whispered before kissing Jensen quickly on the lips and climbing to his feet.
Jensen smiled as he watched him go. “Time to call Adrianne.”
“Ackles when I told you to go have lunch with Jared I didn’t mean for you to take this long.” Adrianne wasn’t pleased.
“Adrianne, I need to call out for the rest of the day and possibly the rest of the week.”
Something in his voice must have given him away because the anger in Adrianne’s voice was gone. “Is Jared okay? And do I need to kill anyone?”
“Adrianne, I need to call off for the rest of the day and possibly the rest of the week.”
“Jared will be okay with time but I can’t leave him right now Adrianne. He needs me and I need to be near him.” Jensen admitted in a soft voice.
“You’re lucky I like you and adore Jared. I’ll make sure you have the week off. Look after Jared and yourself.”
“I will and thank you, Adrianne.” Jensen knew that he and Jared would need their friend's support.
Jared was enjoying his bath; it gave him a chance to wipe his skin clean of Stephen’s touch. One of the reasons he and Jensen had falling in love with this house was the bathroom. It had a tub big enough for both him and Jensen to share.
“Enjoying yourself baby boy?” Jensen drank in the sight of Jared, wet and naked.
“It would be better if I had some company.” Jared smiled at Jensen watching as his lover began to undress. He always enjoyed the sight. When his heart began pounding he reminded himself that this is Jensen and he wouldn’t do anything to hurt him.
“Are you okay?” Jensen asked as he let his shirt join his pile of clothing that was off to the side.
“I will be,” Jared promised as he shifted forward so that Jensen could join him.
Once Jensen was in the tub Jared sank into Jensen’s hold closing his eyes as he felt Jensen’s fingers running through his hair and he began to sing softly.
Brother let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
It took a week before Jared felt confident enough to return to work. He called Jeff the night before and he had been thrilled to hear that they hadn’t lost the Sky Queens account. Danneel and Genevieve not only wanted to use his artwork but they wanted him to still head the project. They had a meeting scheduled in the morning.
“I’m coming with you.” Jensen promptly informed Jared. He wasn’t ready to let Jared out of his sight. The first night Jared had nightmares and Jensen had spent the night soothing and caring for Jared. They both knew that there would be no magical fix. Jensen hadn’t realized how affected he had been by everything until Jared was the one waking him up from a nightmare where he had been too late to save Jared.
“Please, I need to be there to make sure that you are okay.” Jensen found himself pleading.
Jared had seen how much of a toll this had taken on Jensen and he wanted Jensen there with him. “Jeff is expecting the both of us, that is if you aren’t needed at work?” Jared knew that Jensen was supposed to be returning to work as well.
An almost sheepish look appeared on Jensen's face. “Adrianne told me I’m not allowed to come into work because as she put it ‘I would be a sulking kitty who wouldn’t be able to focus on work until I knew you were okay’.”
When Jared let out a laugh something eased in Jensen’s chest. It was the first time in a week that he had heard Jared laugh and he missed that sound.
“Jared! My boy, it’s so good to see you again.” Jeff had been afraid that he might lose Jared over this. He was pleased when Jared called and told him he was ready to come back to work. But of course he was going to gently ease Jared back into work; only a few days a week until he was sure that Jared would be okay.
Jeff wasn’t surprised to see Jensen hovering at Jared’s side, a glare on his face promising anyone pain if they dared to come to close to Jared.
“Hi, Mr. Morgan.” Jared gave a small wave. He still wasn’t all that comfortable with getting close to people other than Jensen.
“Come on in Danneel and Genevieve are waiting for us.” Jeff made sure to keep his distance between himself and the couple before him.
“You got this baby boy,” Jensen whispered reassuringly in Jared’s ear as he felt his boy taking a deep breath. Jared flashed him a smile before following after Jeff. He was thrilled that he could feel Jensen’s protective hand on the small of his back.
Danneel and Genevieve flashed Jared and Jensen a smile but made no move to get any closer to him.
“We want to keep using your art designs but we can’t use Stephen as our model. We know it would be asking a lot if we got a new model and made sure he was never alone with you. But can you remake them?” Danneel asked. She and Genevieve had thought about this long and hard and they didn’t want to lose Jared as their art designer.
“Actually we might not need to do that.” Jared looked a little embarrassed as he placed his art portfolio on the table.
Now Jensen wasn’t going to lie he was a little curious as to why Jared had brought that along with him. It didn’t take Jensen long to realize why. He watched Jared take out the artwork and saw his face in all the storyboards.
"I kinda based the designs using Jensen as my model," Jared admitted in low voice, a faint blush appearing on his cheeks. "He's my inspiration. My muse." Jared added smiling up at his partner.
Jensen didn’t think he could love Jared anymore and today he fell a little more in love with him. Jensen felt touched and couldn't resist pulling Jared into a kiss. "I love you, you inspire me every day," Jensen whispered against Jared’s lips. "I've done some modeling in the past, that’s actually how we met. I was a model for one of Jared’s classes.” Jensen explained once he and Jared broke their kiss.
"Aww, that is so sweet." Danneel cooed as she looked at the couple.
"Well, he is hot." Genevieve flashed Jensen a quick wink. "I can see why you would use him as your inspiration. If it wouldn't be a problem I don't have an issue with him being the face of our company, do you Danneel?"
"Nope, in fact I believe that we have gotten an upgrade." Genevieve was thrilled that they hadn’t lost Jared.
“You know Adrianne is going to tease you for months once she hears about this,” Jared whispered lowly to his lover.
Jensen wanted to curse. “You will owe me big time baby boy,” Jensen informed Jared.
“Don’t worry I have something special for you,” Jared promised.
Jared had been right; Adrianne had teased Jensen for weeks even going as far as to ask him for his autograph.
But the final project had turned out beyond expectations and Jensen couldn’t be prouder of his boy. But Jared still seemed to be on edge, nervous about something and Jensen had no idea what that could be.
“Alright, Jared what is going on?” Jensen asked.
“I made you something. I hope you like it.” Never before had Jared made something so important to him.
Jensen was used to Jared bringing his artwork home so he didn’t bat an eye at the storyboard had laid out on their table, knowing that Jared would have it all cleaned up before dinner time. When he looked at the artwork, his breath was stolen from his lungs. The storyboard was of him and Jared dressed in tuxes with a wedding cake. At the bottom of one of the panels was a written message, ‘Jensen will you marry me?’
Whirling around Jensen couldn’t believe Jared was kneeling on one knee holding out a ring box.
"You've been my inspiration Jensen for so long. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. So, Jensen Ackles, will you marry me?” Jared had practiced this for the past week and it still didn’t stop his voice from trembling.
“You jerk; I was going to propose this weekend during our getaway. I had it all planned.” Jensen grumbled he couldn’t believe that Jared had beaten it to him.
“Is that a yes?”Jared asked, his hands shaking, unable to believe that Jensen had planned something this weekend for them.
Stroking Jared’s cheek Jensen gave him the smile that was solely for him. “Of course that’s a yes. I love you Jared Padalecki and I want to spend the rest of our lives showing you just how much. But I still plan on proposing this weekend. You ain’t stealing all my thunder.” Jensen warned.
“I look forward to seeing what you have; I expected to be swept off my feet.” Jared teased.
And of course, he was.