Time stops when you're on stage.
Adrenaline pumps through your veins, reaching your core, but there's not a drop of nervousness. No. You always feel at home like this, holding your guitar, fingers gliding trough the strings, each note forming a melody that sets you at ease. The crowd is watching as you cover Mazzy Star's rendition of 'Blue Flower', setting the intro while staring down at your own fingers hitting the chords; D and G and D and G.
You look up then, eyes scanning the place, all those faces waiting on you, analyzing your every move but it all fades to a blur when you start to sing, each word leaving your mouth with graceful abandon, and it's only when you hit the chorus that you see him there, right there in the corner leaning against the wall, left hand tucked inside the pocket of his trenchcoat, a smirk on his lips but you don't miss a single beat, not one word or note out of sync.
Skin feels warmer and you close your eyes for a second, one tiny second just to block him out and get your mind back on track. It fails, of course it does, it fails because all you can think about is the way you fit under him, the things he whispered in your ear as he moved with you, making you writhe and beg for more and more and more. His voice echoes in your head, interloping with the song only to turn into white noise, always there in the back of your mind, an endless lullaby-
Don't know how long I've been waiting for this, love.
The crowd cheers and applauds you and your band, forcing you to snap back to reality. You've reached the end of the song. Saying a quick thank you, your gaze is set on the corner of the room and John Constantine is nowhere to be found. Backstage, with your hands shaking, you understand just how much you actually miss him.
It's been three weeks since you last saw him and the guilt for ignoring him has been brewing inside you for just as long.
A light tap on your shoulder is enough to draw a small gasp out of you, get you out of your daydream, and you spin around to find June, your drummer, smiling at you. Her green eyes are sparkling, red hair framing her face. She looks like a painting; it's hard not to be blown away by her.
"We're all heading to Joe's place, wanna tag along?" she knows the answer, knows you'll say no but chooses to ask anyway. You look at Joe holding his equipament by the door, waiting, body hunched over slightly, probably tired and sore. Apart from practice meetings, you don't spend much time with them. They're good people, fun and loyal, but you can't afford getting too close to them, can't let them walk right into the mess that is your life.
Shaking your head, you thank June and she shrugs, "Maybe next time then," she says and walks away with Joe, who looks at you and nods as if to let you know he's not surprised but you're always free to stop by.
You're left on your own then. It's quiet and cold enough to make you shiver. Looking down at your own equipament, you finish closing your guitar case and notice three cockroaches scattering near your feet. In disgust, you move your right foot to the side to scare them away, not up to the task of stomping on them and risk seeing the disgusting mess that would ensue stuck on the sole of your shoe.
The light in the room suddenly flickers and the smell of dried blood invades your nostrils, runs straight to your brain, bothers the headache you've been trying to keep at bay.
You feel it, feel that THING standing right behind you, its putrid breath hitting the back of your neck, daring you to turn and face it. Hands clenching into fists, fingernails digging into your palms, you use the sting to ground yourself. This has been happening since that day you got injuried while helping John out with a job, ever since that demon broke out of your binding spell, taunting you as if it knew everything you were thinking of. It has taken a liking to you, apparently, for it won't leave you alone.
Plagued by nightmares, the creature steals your sleep but it's not enough it seems, it demands attention during the day as well, manifests itself whenever it pleases and you're not sure if it's truly there or if it's your tired mind playing tricks on you.
Inhale, count to four, exhale.
You turn around and find yourself alone once more.
Deciding you need to unwind you pick up your things and head to the bar. The place is full, people talking loudly over each other, and as you pass them by someone shouts that you were great on stage. You force yourself to smile at them before taking a seat on the bar stool, placing your guitar case neatly on the floor. You order your drink; Ian is the bartender for the night and you're thankful for that. He's tall and broody and not at all prone to drunk chatter.
"You're not driving, are you?" Ian asks you.
Sighing, you grab your glass, hold it firmly in your hands. "Nope."
Ian moves to the other side of the counter to focus on the other customers while you bring your glass to your lips, taking a small, contemplative sip, and as you do so, John Constantine sits next to you.
You don't look at him, not right away at least; you refuse to make the first move here. A smile tugs at the corner of your lips though and relief settles in. Of course he's still here, of course he's been watching you. You feel a mixture of anticipation, euphoria and fear, some kind of happiness in between. Staying away from him has been torture and there's no denying it, no covering it up with pretty lies.
"Avoiding people you like is bad for your health," John says, his voice cutting through the tension in you, making you break into a smile and shake your head.
"So many assumptions in just one sentence," you say, facing him. One eyebrow is raised in amusement, lips forming a lopsided smirk, eyes scanning you. His shirt is wrinkled under the trenchcoat, the knot on his tie a little loose. You reach to fix it, fingers touching the dark red fabric while he lifts his chin up, waiting for you to straighten it. "Who says I like you?"
His large hand wraps around your wrist gently, that grin still stuck on his lips. "Denial is also bad for your health, sweetheart."
There's no point playing this game, not when you know you'll lose. You've never been apart for more than a week in the three years you've known each other. Even when meeting in person wasn't an option, phonecalls and text messages were. Job related or not, you two couldn't stay away from each other. Being able to be yourself around him, to talk about your powers, to be understood without judgment was more than essential and you made that obvious.
How exactly are you supposed to explain such a long absence, explain the radio silence without bringing out the truth?
He's still holding your wrist, his thumb swiping across your skin in a delicate caress. "I'm not avoiding you," you say and he tilts his head to the side in mocking disbelief. "Not for the reason you're thinking anyway." The words leave your mouth before you can think about them and you kick yourself mentally for that.
That's even harder to explain, isn't it?
"Not the reason I'm thinking?" he starts, entertained. "Oh, right, s'pose you're talkin' about us shaggin' and then you disappearing for, what, three weeks now?"
Ian steals a glance at you and you shake your head to assure him everything is fine before glaring at John. "It wasn't like that."
"It sure looked like it."
"You're one to talk."
"Why?" he asks, conceited, pissing you off in the process.
"Please, like you've never slept with someone and then disappeared," you throw back at him, knocking his hand away, aware of how petty, defensive and childish you sound right now.
"But I thought it wasn't like that, love."
"And it wasn't."
"Fine, I'm a bastard," he says, tone low and calm. "But this is different."
"I'm not the one who disappeared this time, am I?"
"So that's why you're here?" you ask. "Wounded ego?"
"I'm here 'cos last time I saw you, you were hurt," he says, staring right into your eyes and then looking away.
You stare at him in silence, feeling like a selfish idiot. Everything floods back to you; the job that almost went wrong, the creature, the injuries you sustained, the way John took care of you without even needing to.
Only for you to walk away.
"You were worried."
He doesn't acknowledge your statement, taking a while to look back at you. "Still having nightmares?" he asks instead.
It's overwhelming, actually, the need to tell him everything. Yes, you're still having nightmares and they're only getting worse, you don't know what is real anymore, that hideous thing follows you around, trying to cling to you and drag you into something you're not sure you can escape from. You haven't been sleeping properly and your body feels sore and your mind is tired and all you want to do is to rest a bit but you can't let your guard down.
You want to tell John every little thing, every minor detail, but the words in your head are scrambled, out of order, and you don't know how to rearrange them, how to translate your feelings to the outside world. You're screaming for help with no voice, falling into an endless void, completely and utterly alone.
"No," you lie, almost choking on the word. "I'm sorry, by the way."
"Nah, don't mind it, love," he says with a shrug and a wink. "You said it yourself, it's not like I don't understand."
You lean closer, squinting your eyes at him. "What are you up to, Constantine?"
"Well, that depends."
And so you can't contain yourself from making one simple request:
"Walk me home."
The distance from the bar to your house is less than ten minutes away but it feels like you're both trapped in forever, walking side by side, your hand sometimes brushing slightly against his, the smell of the cigarette he's smoking mixing with the night air while you try to act nonchalant during small talk, as if his very presence doesn't mess with your psyche. Looking down you realize your steps have synched up with his while he compliments you on your perfomance back at the bar, says you were indeed great. You smile, clutching the guitar case you're carrying, ready to thank him when suddenly you hear a voice calling your name, your real name, making your blood run cold.
You turn to look behind you, eyebrows close together in confusion, eyes scanning the street, searching for the source of the voice you've just heard. There are cars parked by the sidewalk, a group of friends talking and going the opposite direction, a man standing by a closed bakery cursing at his phone, a couple of girls walking hand in hand, laughing at something and a stray cat seeking refuge on the hood of a parked car.
None of these people have ever been part of your life and there is no logical explanation for them to call you by your birth name, no reason for any of them to even know about it-
"Oi!" John's voice snaps you out of your thoughts and you turn to him, taking notice of his hand on your shoulder, his face scrunched up in concern.
"Sorry," you say before he can get another word in. "I thought I heard something, it's nothing."
"Sure 'bout that?" he asks, taking a step back. "You went a little pale there."
You nod and his hand slides down your arm, stopping at your wrist for one second before you both start walking again. "So, you were complimenting me," you say hurridly, doing your best to lighten up, blaming the incident from just a moment ago on the alcohol.
"That I was," he says, suspicion present in each word but he seems to have taken the hint.
The rest of the way is punctuated by small chatter; he makes you laugh, unaware of how grateful you are for that, and by the time you reach your doorstep the tension from before fades to nothing.
It gives room to the thoughts in your head, the plan you so carefully designed throughout this time apart. Either avoid him forever or get him in front of you again and talk, explain, tell him about the nightmares, the creature, the lack of sleep, the exhaustion in your bones. Trust him with the truth, ask for help, let him in.
No more candy-coated avoidence, no more hiding.
After closing and locking the front door you turn around and walk over to him, determined. You place the guitar case on the floor, all the words you need to say on the tip of your tongue. But then he's looking at you, waiting for your next move, and you kiss him because that's the only thing that makes sense right now, the only thing you want. A greedy, siren-like kiss. One that catches him by surprise, stealing the air from his lungs, but he responds quickly, hands already on your hips, pressing you against the wall, deepening the kiss, robbing you of any coherent thought.
It doesn't matter.
Who knows, maybe this storm will give you peace.
You moan in protest when you break apart even though you can barely breathe.
"And here I thought you didn't like me," he says, laughing.
Biting your bottom lip, you find it hard not to feel giddy and smile. "Don't be smug," you say. "It's just a kiss."
But you're in his arms before you can respond, his tongue back on yours, his hand up on the back of your head, fingers tangling in your hair. Both of you start to walk and you manage to get him out of his trenchcoat as you two stumble from room to room, never leting go of each other, no one daring to break the kiss, not until you reach the living room.
John sits on the couch, grabs your hands to pull you right onto his lap. You waste no time taking off your shirt, revealing your breasts to him. He smiles, holds the back of your neck, his other hand on your hip going up, cupping your right breast, pinching your nipple carefully and lightly, just enough to make you gasp, enough to make you move your hips, trying desperately to get some friction.
Alternating between kissing and touching, you feel his cock stiffen under you, and you close your eyes, throw your head back as he uses his tongue to circle your nipple before sucking on it. It's different, you think, different from that first night with him. There's no tension, no fear.
He's been so good to you, so great, he's making you feel all of these things, your stress dissipating under his touch, all of your worries wasting away for the time being.
"I thought about us," you confess, breathless. "About that night."
Gaze focused on you, he trails a line of small kisses from the valley of your breasts all the way up to your neck and then bites down on your flesh, making sure to leave a mark.
"Did you now?" he asks, smiling.
"Every day," you say, unable to stop, loving the way his eyes glisten with pride, the way he looks at you, completely mesmerized. "Had to touch myself so many times, couldn't stop thinking about you."
"Then show me," his voice is hoarse, demanding, and you feel his cock twitching with need.
Taking his right hand, you place it between your legs and he's quick to press it against you, making you moan. "Right here," you say, voice barely above a whisper. "Just like this," the fabric of your jeans is rough but it only helps to cause more friction when you roll your hips. "And I only wanted more," you lean down, mouth an inch away from his. "Wanted your tongue all over me."
The way he's staring at you-eyes wide, lips parted slightly-is worth every word that leaves your mouth, every little secret you're choosing to share. And you only get to appreciate this view for a couple of seconds before he groans, hands on both sides of your face, pulling you into a bruising kiss and then grabbing you by the waist and flipping you over so you're the one sitting on the couch. You watch quietly as he kneels on the floor in front of you, fingers working on the button of your jeans, pulling them down along with your panties.
He hooks his arms under your knees and your legs find their place on his shoulders. He's teasing, torturing you with light kisses along your inner thigh, his hot breath on your skin making the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Your chest is rising and falling rapidly as his lips hover just above the small bundle of nerves so that when you finally feel his tongue, you're forced to bite the inside of your cheek to keep from screaming.
John starts slow, long licks from your entrance to your clit, exploring every inch, every fold, every part of you, getting you right on edge, paying attention to your movements, the way you squirm under him, trying to figure out what you like most. You don't believe you'll ever get enough of this, of him, and he slides two fingers inside of you, pumping them in and out in rapid but sweet strokes while he presses his tongue on your clit, swirling around it one, two, three times before lapping at it, seeking your taste.
You arch your back, crying out his name, one hand grabbing a fistful of his hair, your hips rocking against his mouth, following the rhythm. He's occupying all of your thoughts-there's nothing else but him, the irony of his hunger feeding your want, and it's almost too much, you're getting too sensitive, you're way too close already but he doesn't let up, uses his free hand to press down on your thigh, keeping you in place.
You beg him please please please until you're a shivering mess, coming undone on his tongue. You're still in a haze when he stands up,making a point of licking his fingers clean right before tossing away his tie, taking off his shirt, and working on his belt. And then he's leaning down, wrapping a hand around your neck and kissing you, making you taste yourself on him.
"Kept thinkin' 'bout that night too, love," he says, jaw clenched. "Had you coming twice 'round my cock, beggin', screamin' my name," kissing you once more, he drags his lips across your cheek to whisper in your ear: "Drove me bloody insane."
He lets go of you, straightening back up and before he can act on whatever he's got planned, you reach out for him, finish unbuckling his belt, your eyes locked on his for a moment. He brushes a strand of hair out of your face as you unzip his pants slowly, curling your fingers around the waistline, mimicking his own actions on you and sliding them down, pulling his boxers as well. They fall to his feet and he steps out of them, not a word coming out of his mouth yet, his hungry gaze fixated on you.
His cock is hard, begging for attention, and you lean forward a bit, wrapping your right hand around the shaft, stroking him. He humms in appreciation but you know he's waiting for something else, so you cut to the chase. Holding his cock, you press your tongue flat against it, licking a hard stripe from base to head, repeating the motion a few times, moving to the sides, coating it in saliva only to stroke him again.
His hand is on the back of your head now, and while looking up at him, you swirl your tongue around the tip before letting him into your mouth, slowly. He grunts, closes his eyes and throws his head back. You begin moving your head back and forth, hollowing your cheeks, sucking him off, feeling his weight on your tongue. He swears and moans, rocking his hips foward and you do your best to accomodate him, follow his small thrusts with your mouth.
Needing to catch your breath, you lean back, and he slips out of you with a pop. He smiles down at you, probably thinking this is all you can take, but you smirk, tease him with kisses and small licks and once you're ready, you swallow him whole, push your head forward until you feel his cock hitting the back of your throat.
"Fuck!" he exclaims, and then you stop moving, holding him right there in your mouth, lips wrapped tightly around his shaft, eyes watering as you fight back your own gag reflex. He's hot and throbbing, thick and long, and your jaw is aching but you couldn't be more in love with this if you tried. He starts to draw back and you let him escape your mouth once more, taking in a much needed breath.
Grabbing you by the arms, he gets you on your feet, caressing your cheek, both of you chuckling as you try to regain your composure.
"Such a tough girl," he teases, kissing you with no hesitation. "Took all of it," his tone is low, voice almost lost in a staggering breath. "Now, turn around, love, get on your knees."
You do as you're told and get back on the couch, hands and knees sinking onto the seat while John moves to position himself behind you. Lifting your hips a bit, you look over your shoulder, see him licking his palm and then holding his cock, sliding his length between your folds. You hold your breath, apprehension seeping into your skin, melting like sugar in your bloodstream. He guides himself inside of you with a slow thrust, burying himself to the hilt, making you feel every inch of him.
You drop your head, mouth hanging open in a silent cry and his left hand find its place on your hip while his right one runs up your back, stopping at the base of your neck. He starts moving at a frustratingly steady pace, and you rock back against him, trying to set your own rhythm but he doesn't let you, no, keeps playing with you, backing away enough to almost slip out and then thrusting into you again.
This is payback, you know it is, payback for leaving him high and dry for three whole weeks. He's going to play this out until you're shaking, until you admit you're a needy little thing whenever you're under him. You don't mind, not anymore; this is it, you want this, you want him and it all feels so real this time, tangible-this feeling cursing through your body, igniting you.
Closing your eyes, you try to block all that is not him, focusing only on his actions, his cock sliding in and out of you, the way he's finally picking up the pace, pumping into you a little faster. Then his right hand, the one resting at the base of your neck moves so he can grab some of your hair and bring you to him so your back is flush agaisnt his chest.
His other hand snakes down your body, and when he rubs your clit you moan his name. "I want you screamin'," he says, panting. "Want everyone to hear you."
And true to his word he starts pounding into you hard and fast and you scream just like he wants you to, you scream because you like being such a good girl for him, you like being at his mercy even if relinquishing control is not something you know how do to, not that well at least. Then he's hitting that spot inside of you and it's just perfect, just right, so right, and you warn him that you're close, and he urges you on, tells you to come, come hard for him, only for him. It's all that it takes and you clench around his cock, coming and trembling all over, trying desperately to hold on to something, but he's got you. Both his arms are now wrapped around your body and he slows down, hissing, chest heaving.
You know he's almost there too, that he's holding back. "Let me taste you," you say. "Please."
"You want my load in your mouth?" he asks, nipping the tip of your ear. "'S' that it, love?"
All you can do is nod, and turn to face him when he slips out of you. He's lying on his back, right leg bent while the other hangs from the couch, foot planted on the floor, his body covered in sweat, brows furrowed as he holds his cock and waits for you to get your mouth near it. But you knock his hand out of the way and get his length inside your mouth again. He growls like an animal, fingers in your hair, hips thrusting into your mouth while you bob your head up and down in utter devotion.
He comes with your name leaving his mouth through gritted teeth, his body going still for a moment, his thick cock pulsating inside your mouth, the bittersweet taste of his release on your tongue and you swallow every drop, lost in your greed.
When it's over, you lean back, wiping your mouth with the back of your hand, your eyes on him. He's still a little out of breath and you think he's ready to collapse but he sits up instead, cups your face with both hands and drags you into a quick, sweet kiss. When he does give in to exhaustion and lies back on the couch, he pulls you with him.
Nestling yourself on top of him, legs intertwined, your head on his chest, you let the sound of his heartbeat calm your own.
"I missed you," is your last confession of the night, and at his lack of response you glance up, finding him staring at you with raised eyebrows and that lopsided grin of his. You roll your eyes. "Disappearing act aside, of course."
"Of course," he chuckles, caressing the back of your head. "Missed you, too, sweetheart."
This isn't meant to be salvation; you run when they tell you not to but you can't run much longer. It's out there, that thing, waiting for you. It knows your name.
But right now, surrounded by all this quietness, you close your eyes, listening to John's breathing and for the first time in weeks there is nothing lurking beneath the darkness.
Let it last.