Even quietly spoken, Jeff's voice snaps Jensen out of some kind of paperwork-induced trance. He bites back a gasp, inhaling sharply—but silently—Instead. Fuck. Has Jeff been standing there long?
Against the uptempo of his heart, the litany of possible responses run through Jensen's mind and are, mainly, rejected. He's already screwed up enough today, and when he comes back with things like What can I do for you?, Jeff tends to make that frowny uncomfortable face.
"Sir?" Jensen comes up with, finally. He thinks Jeff would like it better if he imitated Kane, with an irritated and barely civil, What?, but Jensen can't quite get there, much as he'd like to for Jeff's pleasure.
"Get up, please." Jeff closes the office door behind him, leaning against the heavy panels with his hands tucked behind his butt.
Jensen didn't eat much at dinner, but what little he did eat churns and compacts in his belly like a stone. Today was horrible; crises big and small at work and home and communication failing between him and Jeff in ways it hasn't in weeks, if not months. The failure of it all still sits bitter on Jensen's tongue and in the headache stewing sullenly in his temples, but he hadn't thought quite as far as Jeff punishing him.
Rising from the desk, Jensen mentally lashes himself; stupid, stupid slave, to get so complacent, so lazy as to think his bad behavior would just slide by.
As if it should.
If he was really on top of things, Jensen should've been presenting Jeff with the whip himself. What kind of slack-ass layabout is he turning into? What the hell is wrong with him, lately?
"Good," Jeff says, crossing his legs. "Good boy. Now, take off your clothes. All of them. Fold them and leave them on the chair."
Before Jeff's even finished saying the words, Jensen is unbuttoning his shirt with tingly, clumsy fingers. He wonders if this is punishment, after all, or whether Jeff wants sex. They haven't had sex much, lately…which also should probably be laid at Jensen's door. Jeff's been busy and tired, but Jensen hasn't exerted himself nearly as much as he could—should have—to entice Jeff into it.
It's not that he doesn't want to have sex with Jeff. Jensen folds his shirt with neat economy that doesn't require him to look as he regards Jeff instead. Jeff's face is the same inscrutable blank it's been since he came in the room, but if his gaze doesn't seem particularly hungry or lustful, it doesn't stray, either.
Hell, maybe Jensen's just lost his entire grip on how to interpret Jeff. It seems as reasonable as anything else.
The cool settles over Jensen's shoulders like a blanket when he strips off his undershirt, peels out of his slacks and underwear. He doesn't linger or pose, unclear what the ultimate purpose of this all is. Jeff doesn't correct him otherwise, so it takes Jensen almost no time to get naked, shoulders level, hands open at his sides.
Though his apprehension hasn't faded, the simple fact of his nudity helps clear the muddiness from it, leaving a calm and waiting clarity in its place. Punishment, sex, something else…it's all at Jeff's instigation and discretion and there's nothing for Jensen to do but wait for the instructions.
"Yeah," Jeff drawls, just that little flick of his voice bringing Jensen out of passive waiting and into a more spring-loaded awareness. Finally, there's a hint of a smile curving Jeff's lips beneath the fringe of his mustache, a sparkle in his eyes. "That's what I thought." He untucks his hand from behind him and gestures with both hands. "C'mere."
When Jensen crosses to him, Jeff cups Jensen's throat between his hands, his thumbs stroking hard on either side of Jensen's neck. Jensen doesn't mean to, but he lets out a soft noise.
"Feel good?" Jeff's eyes crinkle, his smile widening.
Jeff stops petting and his eyebrows arch. Bemused, slightly disbelieving, Jensen amends, "Yes, Sir."
"Good boy," Jeff says, resuming the press of his thumbs along Jensen's skin. Then his thumbs slide up to frame Jensen's face between them. "You had a rough day, today."
Slight vertigo; Jensen's breath hitches in his chest. "Yes, Sir," he agrees. Then, venturing, "You did, too."
Jeff hums. "Yeah, today, sucked."
"I'm sorry." With Jeff's hands on him, Jensen can't bow his head; instead it prickles hotly in his eyes, tightens his throat.
"Not your fault."
"It was," Jensen objects. "Not all of it, no, but I didn't help. I made things harder, worse. That shouldn't happen."
"So, next time we'll do better." Jeff pulls Jensen in for a hug, pressing a warm, nuzzling kiss to his temple that just makes Jensen's throat close up tighter. But before Jensen can sink deeper into the embrace, Jeff pushes him back a step. "But here's what we're going to do tonight."
He guides Jensen backwards and Jensen lets his body go to Jeff's command, allowing Jeff to move him how and as he wants, cued by the pressure of Jeff's hands on his skin, the shifts in Jeff's gaze. Jeff says he's a bad dancer, but he leads well. When Jeff has Jensen where he likes, he exerts gentle pressure on Jensen's shoulders. "Kneel, sweetheart."
Jensen folds. Gratefully, still watching Jeff's face, the hazel of his eyes.
Jeff hunkers down next to him, fingers clasped between his knees. "I know I ask a lot of you, Jensen. I see how hard you work, to be everything I ask of you, everything I need."
Jensen blinks, opens his mouth to say…something, he doesn't even know what, but Jeff just raises his eyebrows again, and Jensen hushes.
"This is something you need." Jeff's gaze flickers down, to look him over, and Jensen straightens that last little bit.
"I get that you need this. And…it's okay you need it, Jensen." Jeff reaches out and ruffles Jensen's hair, transmutes it to a caress down the side of his face, across his cheek. "I don't mind giving this to you—to us."
Then he straightens up, slightly uneven as he favors his bad knee. He's positioned Jensen next to one of the big, deep armchairs; from the table beside it, Jeff picks up his much-hated reading glasses and his Kindle. Huh. Not sex ,or punishment, then.
Jeff settles himself comfortably into the chair, then gestures Jensen to sidle a little closer, close enough so Jeff's hand can brush that same gentle path through Jensen's hair, across his face, down his shoulder, flirting occasionally with the links of Jensen's collar.
"Sam's watching over the kiddo and everyone else knows we're not to be disturbed, short of the house catching on fire," Jeff murmurs conversationally, in the same tone of voice as if he were reading a passage aloud. Lord Hutton used to read to Jensen, in situations much like this. "Everything is taken care of. There's nothing else you need to be doing right now, other than this. This is all I want from you.
"Just kneel for me."
Jeff wasn't wrong. As Jensen breathes, his chest opens up like a slow blooming flower, breath from deep in his diaphragm, clearing his lungs. Spine straight, shoulders squarely over his hips, tension unsnarls from both as his body aligns to his right, natural posture.
The contrast between the soft sough of the cooled air and the warmth of Jeff's fingers as they trail over Jensen's naked flesh is intense, delicious. The quiet of the office deepens, punctuated only by their respective breaths and the almost sub-audible click of the Kindle's buttons. Jensen could stay like this for hours, days. For as long as Jeff wants or needs him to.
Jeff isn't really a marathon reader; he reads in short, distracted bursts, and he's already tired. Before fifteen minutes pass, he's starting to nod, glasses slipping down to the tip of his nose. By twenty minutes, he's snoring quietly. Jensen slips the plastic frames from Jeff's face, places them and the Kindle on the table. Then, Jensen resumes position.
Soon enough, Jensen will wake Jeff. Will prod him, disgruntled and clingy, all the way up to bed.
But not yet.