Chapter 1: First Snow
“IT’S SNOWING OUT!”
Jack’s shout announcing his arrival home sends Pitch jumping out of his chair and very nearly through the ceiling. The door slams shut, shaking the entire house, and footsteps thunder up the stairs. Jack hurls himself into Pitch’s study, “excited” not even beginning to describe the look on his cold-reddened face.
“Pitch! Guess what?!”
Pitch glares. He was in the middle of a huge breakthrough on his latest novel and Jack just shattered his concentration.
“You’re melting snow onto the carpet,” he grinds out.
“Noooooo. Well, that’s true, but more importantly . . . it’s snowing!”
“Who shoved a stick up your ass? Koz? Oooh, where is he!? He’ll be excited!”
Jack tore off, trailing slushy footprints behind him. Pitch sighed and decided to ignore that for now. Koz cares more about that kind of stuff anyway.
He tries to go back to writing, but his motivation is shot. Especially when Jack drags Koz back to his doorway and then . . . starts stripping?
“What are you doing?” he and Koz ask at the same time. Koz looks more confused than Pitch feels, since Jack probably just grabbed him without offering an explanation.
“Well, it’s my family’s tradition to roll around in the first snow in shorts and a T-shirt every year,” Jack explains as he pulls his shirt over his head. “But since two certain people didn’t approve of my clothes and threw them all away, I don’t have any shorts or T-shirts.”
Jack finally shucks off his pants, leaving him standing in his ratty cotton boxers, which are among the last articles of clothing that Pitch and Koz have not managed to dispose of. Yet.
“Sooooooo I guess I’m going to have to go out in this.”
After his declaration is met with silence and blank stares, Jack turns on his heel and struts down the stairs. Pitch looks at Koz and blinks.
“What just happened?” Koz asks dumbly.
Pitch mulls the situation over. Jack was excited about the snow. Jack wanted to go out in the snow. So he stripped. And then he went out in the snow.
It seems like a logical progression until he realizes it means Jack is outside right now in his boxers and anyone walking by or looking out their window could see him, see him in all his nearly naked glory and that’s only for Koz and him to see, that is theirs and this is unacceptable.
“Jack, you get back here this instant!” Pitch shouts, chasing after Jack. He hears Koz’s gasp of understanding from behind him and then his following footsteps. Good, the two of them can punish Jack . . .
Chapter 2: Ugly Sweaters
“Jack, I thought we agreed not to exchange gifts until Christmas Day,” Pitch says, staring at the box Jack is holding out to him, an identical one being offered to Koz.
“I know, but I just couldn’t wait to give you guys these ones,” Jack says. “Besides, this is only one part of the presents I got for you.”
“Sound good to me!” Koz says, eagerly snatching his box out of Jack’s hand. Pitch swears his twin turns back into a five-year-old around Christmas time with his enthusiasm for gift giving and receiving. He’s the complete opposite, since he never had a close enough relationship with anybody other than Koz to know what to get as a present. That now also includes Jack, so Pitch takes his box, though with a lot more reluctance.
By the time he’s picking at the tape securing the wrapping paper—he was always very particular about unwrapping things—Koz has already torn the paper on his off and is working on the top to the box. When he doesn’t hear any kind of reaction from Koz when the lid is finally removed, Pitch glances up, only to blanch at the look of horror on Koz’s face. What can possibly be in the box that can make Koz, who is very good at faking pleased reactions to presents, look like that?
Pitch isn’t exactly eager to find out, but his curiosity is too strong to resist. He makes quick work of the rest of the paper and throws the lid aside. He suddenly understands Koz’s reaction.
In the box is a horrifying mass of green yard and red stitching. Geometric patterns stand out brightly enough amid the clashing colors to hurt his eyes. Glancing over at Koz, he sees his twin was holding up the same sweater with reversed colors, looking just as repulsed as he feels.
There’s a snort from Jack’s direction and Pitch whips his head around to glare at him. Jack is attempting to stifle his laughter while wearing the biggest shit-eating grin.
“I figured that since you replaced my clothes I could at least return the favor. You can wear them to Tooth’s party tonight!” At that, Jack can no longer hold it back and nearly falls to the floor with the force of his laughter.
Pitch simply stares for several more moments before deadpanning, “I would strangle you with this sweater, but you would probably get off on it.”
Jack only howls harder, now actually collapsing. Seconds later he’s attempting to crawl away, still laughing, from Pitch, who is determined to at least gag him with the knit monstrosity.
Chapter 3: Snow Angels and Dark Devils
“Awwww, please, Pitch! Come outside with us!”
“C’mon, we haven’t played in the snow since we were kids.”
“You wanna know why? Because we’re adults now.”
“You’re no fun! You know what I think the problem is?”
“I don’t care, Jack.”
“I think you’re just grumpy because your deadline is in a couple days and you haven’t started anything yet.”
“Yes, I have! In fact, I already met my word quota for today, so—”
“I’m going to call your bluff there. You were with me all morning—”
“—and me all afternoon.”
“Hey! Only I’m allowed to finish Koz’s sentences.”
“Oh my God, Pitch, just put your coat on. If you finished your word count, then you have no excuse not to come outside with me and Jack.”
“I don’t need an excuse. I simply don’t want to!”
“And we don’t care! Pleeeeeaaaaseeeee. Just throw one snowball and make one snow angel and then you can go back inside and procrastinate.”
“I’m not procrastinating. And I’m certainly not going to make a snow angel.”
“Look we can do this the easy way or the hard way.”
“The easy way is putting on your coat before you willingly come outside, but the hard way . . .”
“Is we drag you outside before you get the chance to put your coat on!”
“What did I say about finishing his sentences?!”
“I don’t see you putting a coat on. Jack, you know what that means?”
“Oh, I know what it means, Koz.”
“What are you doin—unhand me at once! Koz, put me down this instant! Gaaaah!”
Chapter 4: Building a Gingerbread House
Jack sighs in frustration. This cheap plastic decorating tip just isn’t doing the job. He’s no expert baker or cake decorator, but he is an artist and he knows poorly made materials when he uses them
He stares woefully down at the gingerbread man he is decorating. The lines of frosting he was carefully laying down are far too thick to be strands of hair and the eyes look creepy as just two dots of blue. He knows nothing would be as precise as his own drawing style, but it still makes him feel inadequate.
Jack glances up to see Koz looking at him with amused concern on his face.
“This is a lot harder than working with colored pencils,” Jack mumbles, glaring when Koz laughs at him.
“It was your idea to decorate a gingerbread house.”
A far more sinister chuckle than Koz’s laugh sounds from the other side of the table. “Giving up already, Jack?”
“You can’t even talk, Pitch! You gave into us asking you to do this after, like, a minute,” Jack counters, gesturing at the gingerbread house that sits between them.
“That may be so, but for someone who wanted to do this you’re stopping so early.”
Jack just sticks out his tongue and turns back to his gingerbread man, determined not to give up now, though it’s just as hopeless as ever. Perhaps he just needs to look at it more abstractly than he previously imagined . . .
Chapter 5: Breaking out the Winter Clothes
“What are all those boxes in the hallway up there?” Jack asks, jogging down the stairs and pointing a thumb over his shoulder to indicate said hallway.
“It’s a bunch of winter stuff,” Koz answers from the stove, “like clothes and decorations, but Pitch tries to get rid of the decorations every year, so I have to hide them in the attic.”
Jack laughs as he wraps his arms around Koz from behind and lea s against his back. “Why is he such a grump anyway? I mean, he’s usually a grump but even more than usual now.”
“He’s just not a fan of the holiday season. You know him, he’s not very sociable and this time of year means a lot of parties and gatherings. He detested them and the people attending, but it was the gifts that did it for him. He didn’t exactly give much of our family an opportunity to get to know him, so they never knew what to get him. He got a lot of socks, if I remember correctly.”
“That’s his reason? Sock trauma? Clearly, I should have gotten you guys matching socks to go with those sweaters.”
Koz stops stirring the pot of sauce to turn around in Jack’s arms. “Absolutely not,” he says, brandishing a marinara covered spoon at Jack, who just laughs again.
“But can you imagine his face!’
“Yes, and that’s why I forbid you to do it.”
“Oh, you forbid me,” Jack says, sidling closer to Koz. “And just how do you intend to ensure that?”
Jack smirks in satisfaction as Koz reaches behind him to turn the burner down.
Chapter 6: Winter at Night
“Want to take a walk with me?”
Pitch looks up from his computer screen to see Jack standing in the doorway of his office. “It’s dark and snowing.”
“That’s the point! It’s gonna be so pretty out there.”
Jack’s smile is so eager and honest that Pitch almost feels bad saying, “No. Why don’t you go bother Koz?”
“Because he’s actually busy, grading some term papers, and you’re not doing anything.”
“Hey! I’m writing—”
“No, you’re not,” Jack scoffs. “Don’t give me that ‘writing process’ crap because I know all about staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration and you passed that point several days ago.”
Pitch shuts his mouth and holds off making an indignant rely. He really doesn’t have one because that’s exactly what he’s been doing. “Fine, but no snowballs.”
Jack’s laugh doesn’t give him much hope in that department. Regardless, he follows Jack down the stairs and to the front door, where he stops to pull on boots and a coat, ignoring Jack when he complains that he’s taking too long. Jack may be able to trudge around in the snow in Converse and a hoodie, but Pitch isn’t about to take the chance of catching his death out there.
“Are your socks warm enough?” Jack asks.
“What?” Pitch peers at Jack curiously, not understanding where that comment or the small smirk came from.
“Never mind,” Jack says with a laugh. “Are you ready yet?! You’ll be sweating with all those layers.”
Winding his scarf around his neck, Pitch says, “I’ll be frozen without them.”
“Okay, okay, but do you really need your gloves? Let’s go!” Jack swipes Pitch’s gloves right out of his hands and runs outside, leaving Pitch in the dust.
“HEY! You little brat!” Pitch gives chase, careful not to slip on the icy steps that Jack just jumped over. He knows he looks ridiculous, running down the street after a scrawny figure, but damn it his hands are cold.
Jack stops near a streetlight at the corner and holds up the gloves teasingly, sticking his tongue out. Pitch strides up to him and snatches the gloves back.
“You better put your tongue back in your mouth before I shove your face against that pole.”
“Why don’t I put it in your mouth instead?” Jack asks, leaning up for a kiss.
Pitch rolls his eyes, but still meets Jack for the kiss. He puts one hand on the side of Jack’s neck and slides the other up under Jack’s hoodie to splay across his lower back, deriving great amusement from the way Jack inhales sharply through his nose and makes a sound of annoyance.
“That’s what you get,” Pitch says, pulling away, though not removing his hands.
Jack can’t keep up his mock glare for long and quickly bursts into laughter, squirming away from Pitch’s cold hands. Moving back closer, Jack takes Pitch’s hands in his own, though they are just as freezing and it does nothing toward warming them up.
“Look up,” Jack says.
Pitch thinks about refusing to do so, simply because Jack asked, but he came all this way, so he might as well. Tilting his head back and blinking snowflakes out of his eyes, Pitch finds himself looking at a light pink sky, still bright despite it being the middle of the night. He had never really taken time to appreciate the way the snow reflects even the barest amount of light and turns it into a glow that illuminates everything, tricking the vision to thinking it is day.
He means to only glance down at Jack, to see his expression as he looks up at the sky, but a quick glance isn’t nearly enough to appreciate the sight. Jack is so ethereally beautiful, with the wonder and awe on his face and the snowflakes falling around him, landing gently in his hair and on his eyelashes. He by far overshadows the beauty of the sky.
“Pretty isn’t it?”
Pitch’s eyes flick back upwards and he hums in agreement, but quickly turns his attention back to Jack. More specifically, back to pulling him closer and brining their lips together once again.
Chapter 7: Peppermint Candy
Pitch eyes the shopping bags in Jack’s hand suspiciously. They’re from the grocery store, but Jack never goes food shopping. Jack isn’t allowed to go food shopping, not after Koz sent him out that one time and he came home with only instant ramen, just-add-water pancake mix, and claims that he lost the list.
“What do you have there?” he asks, trying to sound casual.
“Candy canes!” Jack proudly proclaims, opening up a bag so Pitch can see.
Jack certainly isn’t lying. The bag is filled with boxes of candy canes, and only candy canes, leading Pitch to believe that’s all the other bags contain as well.
“I’m not even going to ask you why.”
“I just really like candy canes! My family used to hang them on our tree when we decorated it and they would have to keep adding more so it didn’t look bare because I ate so many of them.” As if to prove his words, Jack opens one of the boxes and begins unwrapping a candy cane.
Pitch turns back to his laptop. He was actually being productive, doing some research for an idea he got while on the walk with Jack last night. It turns out that hadn’t been useless beyond convincing Koz to take a break of his own to warm them up.
“Do you want one?” Jack asks. Pitch glances up and then freezes. Jack is holding a candy cane out to him, but is also slowly dragging his tongue up the length of his own candy cane. Now, normally, Pitch wouldn’t have a reaction to that, as candy canes (while vaguely phallic looking) don’t resemble a dick nearly enough. But this is Jack. And Jack knows full well what he’s doing, right down to the fact that Pitch is only being affected by his actions because it’s him doing them.
Pitch think about resisting just to spite Jack, but decides that wouldn’t do anything for him in the long run (besides maybe give him a case of blue balls). He shifts his computer off his lap to pull Jack onto it, smothering his giggle with a kiss.
Chapter 8: Mistletoe
“I’ve never actually had mistletoe before,” Jack says, watching Koz secure a sprig of the stuff to the top of the doorway between the living room and the hall. “Never been kissed under it either.”
Koz glances at him from his position on the stepstool and Jack winks. If there are two things he likes they are holiday traditions and older men, and the combination is driving him crazy, has been all month.
“Well then,” Koz begins, “I’m going to have to rectify that.”
Jack smiles, barely able to wait for Koz to step down from the stool to yank him under the doorway. Koz laughs and pulls him close, cupping a hand around his face as he leans down—
“Excuse me!” Both of their heads whip around to see Pitch standing at the bottom of the stairs. “I heard some talk of taking one of Jack’s firsts and I demand to be a part of this.”
“Oh my God, do you have some kind of super sense for this or something,” Jack says incredulously. It’s just so very Pitch to pick up on the fact that Jack hasn’t tried something yet—even something as tame as kissing under the mistletoe. “If so I would have expected it to be overridden by the fact that we’re talking about something holiday related.”
“It’s not about the stupid mistletoe,” Pitch bites out. “It’s about you not experiencing a form of kissing and me not being a part of it.”
“The mistletoe is still a factor in all this,” Koz points out, watching the exchange with a bemused expression on his face.
“That’s not what’s important!”
Jack can just picture Pitch stamping his foot like a petulant toddler as he said those words. He can’t resist some further teasing. “Careful, Pitch, people might start thinking you like the holidays.”
“By ‘people’ you must mean just the two of you, since you are the only witnesses, and I’ve made my position on that very much clear, so there shouldn’t be any doubt.” Pitch stalks over to them and grabs Jack’s face, tilting it up.
The topic of Pitch’s enjoyment of the holidays is completely dropped as soon as Jack makes a small sound in the back of his throat. Now this is what he likes: rough handling, dangerous smirks, two pairs of arms around his waist holding him still and close, and the glance the twins exchange as they do their nonverbal communication thing. They lower their heads in tandem and three pairs of lips meet at the same time.
Some people will say that three-way kissing is terribly awkward because no one can figure out how to maneuver three noses so they aren’t constantly bumping together or how to make their lips go in two directions at once and kiss both their partners at the same time.
Jack will say they are 100 fucking percent right, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Chapter 9: Late Night Cup of Tea
Jack pulls the chair over to the window, wincing every time it squeaks from catching against the grout between the tiles of the kitchen floor. Once the front edge of the seat is firmly against the wall, he retrieves his mug of peppermint tea from counter and kneels on the chair. He folds his forearms on the windowsill and rests his head on them, cradling the mug between his hands as he stares out at the slowly falling snow.
This is one of the rare nights that his insomnia isn’t helped by an orgasm or two and he isn’t able to fall right asleep. He managed to squirm out from between Koz and Pitch to escape downstairs. Typically, his remedy involves heading straight outside for a long walk, but he just isn’t feeling the wanderlust as he usually does. It’s strange, especially so because it is snowing. He supposes he should be worried, but he knows what it is: homesickness.
Or, at least, some twisted form of it that’s the only brand he’s capable of feeling anymore. It manifests itself in weird ways. He does miss home, but he can never return there, so at the moment it means not wanting to leave the place he currently calls home out of fear of never being allowed back.
So he settles for just watching the snow and drinking some tea. The peppermint reminds him a bit too much of all the candy canes from Christmas at home, but its warmth is soothing all the same.
He is thoroughly relaxed and quite sleepy when he feels a hand on his shoulder. It startles him so badly that he jumps and spills the last bit of his now-cold tea. Pitch’s rather dark chuckle in his ear makes Jack roll his eyes; he should’ve expected that.
Pitch slips his arms fully around Jack’s waist and rests his head on Jack’s shoulder. “Couldn’t sleep?”
“No.” Jack doesn’t offer a reason as to why.
“I couldn’t sleep either, not without you there.” Pitch turns his face into Jack’s neck, not biting or kissing or marking, but simply breathing in his scent.
Jack is grateful for the touch and intimacy. It reassures him that he’s wanted here, if not anywhere else. “Really? I think you’re going to give me diabetes.”
Pitch’s breath of laughter is a warm puff against his skin. “No, you’re going to give yourself that, with all the candy canes you eat.”
“I should stop eating so many. Tooth lectures me about how bad it is for my teeth every year. Maybe I’ll start listening to her.”
“You never have before.”
“Maybe this year is the year to start changing things.”
“Such as not spending Christmas alone.”
Jack stiffens. He knows it’s common knowledge that he’s a bit of a loner, but that was too specific and Pitch sounded too sure of himself.
“You know what you should do, Jack? Call your parents.”
“I can’t,” Jack whispers hoarsely. Pitch is perceptive, but there’s no way he can know everything. He doesn’t understand what he’s asking of Jack.
“I may not know exactly what happened, but there’s something there. They’re still alive—I’ve seen ‘Mom’ listed as a contact in your phone—but you’ve never mentioned visiting or calling or anything.”
“I can’t,” Jack repeats.
“Just . . . consider it.”
Jack doesn’t bother saying anything this time, simply letting Pitch hold him. They remain in silence, just watching the snow.
“Neither of you could sleep?”
They don’t bother turning to look at Koz as he walks over to them, going to the other side of Jack and mimicking Pitch’s position.
“I’m guessing you weren’t so enthusiastic about Pitch’s suggestion.”
“I should have guessed you were in on it.”
Jack sighs heavily. “I’ll think about it.”
Chapter 10: Accidentally Getting into the Hard Cider
That stretch of time between lunch and dinner is always the hardest. Jack is soooo hungry, but Koz will have his head if he spoils dinner. Despite that, Jack decides it’s worth the risk. After staying up most of last night, he slept through breakfast, so he only has lunch to tide him over, which isn’t working out so well. Besides, Koz is taking advantage of a one day break from finals to nap on the couch, probably induced by his own lack of sleep last night. He never has to know.
Cracking open the fridge, Jack peers around inside. Leftovers from Tooth’s party, raw veggies, cold pizza, but nothing that catches his attention, until he notices the jug in the back. Pulling it out, Jack is delighted to find it is exactly what he was hoping for: some apple cider left over from the fall season. This is perfect, heavy enough to give him some sustenance, but still avoid ruining his appetite.
Pouring a glass, he notices it smells a bit fermented, but it’s still safe to drink. Jack downs the first glass and then eagerly pours another. It isn’t until halfway through the third rapidly drank glass that something seems off. The cider has a distinct burn going down and the aftertaste has the flavor of something more than just apple. Jack squints suspiciously at the jug, but it’s very clearly labeled at just apple cider, no mention of alcohol content. Yet there’s definitely alcohol in this.
“What the hell is in your apple cider?” he asks loudly, walking into the living room. At least he can still manage a straight line, but the full effects are bound to hit him soon, especially on a more-empty-than-usual stomach. He heads straight for the couch and drapes himself over the back of it so he’s hanging down right in Koz’s face. Koz’s eyes flutter open and then immediately widen at seeing Jack so close.
“The cider?” he asks, sitting up and stretching. He pauses as he seems to realize something. “You drank it?”
“Only a little! And only because I was hungry.” Koz shakes his head in exasperation and Jack pouts at him, sliding over the back of the couch to flop onto Koz’s lap. “What’s with iiiiit?”
“Well, Pitch likes hard cider, but would prefer it to have a higher alcohol content, so he mixes his own using apple cider and vodka.”
“I didn’t want to get drunk,” Jack moans, but Koz just chuckles and lay back down, pulling Jack on top of him.
“And I’m sure Pitch didn’t want you to drink it.”
“Well then he should label the shit he does his crazy little science experiments on.”
“He does it every year. We’re just not used to having to warn other people.”
Jack just hums. With any luck, he’ll be able to sleep through it. Alcohol and moods like the one he was in last night don’t mix well and he has no desire to experience it.
“But it’s nice having someone else here.”
“It’s nice being here,” Jack mumbles.
Chapter 11: Christmas Lights
“It looks great.”
“Yeah, it does.” It was a well-spent first day of vacation, in Koz’s opinion.
Yesterday, Pitch finally noticed the boxes of decorations in the hallways and demanded they be removed or he would remove them. Jack suggested they put up the lights so that Pitch wouldn’t complain anymore. Well, he would still complain, but about the lights and that wasn’t his main complaint.
Standing out in the front yard in the cold, admiring the lights outlining the eaves of the house, Koz isn’t worried about that at all.
“Thanks for doing this with me,” Jack says. “I know you probably wanted to sleep or relax all day today.”
Koz smiles and holds out his arm, inviting Jack to snuggle up to his side, which he eagerly does. Koz kisses the top of his head. “If it’s a choice between anything and spending time with you, I would always choose the latter.”
“You’re starting to sound like Pitch,” Jack snorts.
Koz pauses to think about what he just said. Perhaps it does seem like something his brother would say. They’re similar enough in so many other aspects that Koz would rather not add “methods of communicating with other humans” to that list.
“Okay, in an effort to not sound like him, I’ll say I love the lights and can’t wait for it to get dark enough to turn them on.”
“Me neither! I can’t tell if I’m looking forward to that or Pitch’s face more.”
“If he sees beforehand he’s going to scramble to take them down. It’s a struggle I face every year.”
“Maybe we should, uh, go distract Scrooge in there for a bit.” Jack looks up at him and waggles his eyebrows.
“I can’t believe I’ve never thought of that before!” Koz exclaims. How has something like that never crossed his mind!
“And two people means he will be distracted twice as long . . .”
Koz doesn’t need Jack pulling on his hand as motivation to run inside and up the stairs to Pitch’s office.
Chapter 12: Sharing a Scarf
“Aren’t you cold?” Pitch asks, staring suspiciously at Jack.
“Nope!” Jack answers cheerfully. He practically skips over to the nearest evergreen and fluffs up its branches. “It’s hard to tell if this will be a good one when it’s all smooshed like this . . .”
Pitch rolls his eyes at the absurdity of this entire situation. Jack and Koz managed to drag him out to get a Christmas tree, despite his protests that none of them are Christian and it’s probably incredibly hypocritical and blasphemous to even have a Christmas tree in their house considering their activities under that same roof every morning, afternoon, and night.
“It’s the principle of the thing,” Jack argued, but Pitch still wants no part of it. Yet, here he is. At the fucking Christmas tree farm.
He supposes the way Jack bounds around from tree to tree is endearing and almost makes it worth it. Almost.
“What do you think about this one, Pitch?” Jack asks.
Pitch looks over at the tree Jack is running his hands over and shrugs, sighing. “I don’t know. I don’t care.”
“Aw, c’mon. It’s like pulling teeth to get you to enjoy anything about the holiday season.”
“Oh, believe me, I would much rather get a few teeth pulled than do this.”
Jack suddenly pauses in the midst of bouncing to the next tree. “Is it really that horrible . . .” he begins softly.
Pitch stiffens, alarm ringing through him.
“. . . spending time with me?” Jack finishes, looking up at him with big blue eyes that shine with unshed tears. Dammit.
“No no no, don’t give me that look, that’s not what I meant,” Pitch rushes to explain. Jack is most likely playing him, but he isn’t taking any chances, especially with the mood Jack was in the other night. Pitch didn’t like seeing Jack like that. “Fine, if you want a Christmas tree I’ll help you pick out a Christmas tree.”
Jack’s expression changes so quickly that Pitch gets whiplash. Now with a bright smile and eyes lit up with excitement, Jack says, “Really? You would do that just for me!?”
He was definitely faking it. And Pitch fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Oh well, as long as that mopey look is off Jack’s face. Pitch hates seeing him anything but the happy, smiley Jack he usually is.
“Just shut up and find a tree.”
Jack positively cackles and makes to run off, but spins back in Pitch’s direction at the last moment to pull him in for a quick kiss. “Thank you,” he whispers.
Before Jack can escape, Pitch wraps his arms around him and pulls him closer. “You most definitely are cold. Your lips felt like ice.”
“No, you’re not. You’re going to freeze to death. Here, at least take my scarf.”
“Then you’ll complain.”
“I won’t, knowing you’re not going to die.”
“I’ll end up dying from your complaining.”
“I just said I wouldn’t complain.”
“Oh my god, this is pointless.” Jack throws his hands up in the air. “How about you give me half your scarf, that way you won’t complain about me or you being cold.”
“How is that even going to work?” Pitch questions. It sounds a lot like being tethered to Jack and with all the scurrying around he’s been doing Pitch doesn’t quite fancy being choked as he’s dragged along.
Jack just rolls his eyes and reaches up unwind Pitch’s scarf from his neck. Pitch doesn’t bother trying to stop him because when Jack sets his mind to something it will inevitably happen.
Jack smiles serenely up at him as he wraps the free end of the scarf around his own neck. Pitch’s lips thin and he stretches out an arm to snag Jack around the waist. At least if Pitch keeps him close—
“What about that one over there!” Jack exclaims and darts away, jerking Pitch forward as well and wringing a strangled sound from his throat. It quickly morphs into a warning growl that is just as abruptly ignored.
Chapter 13: Baking Goodies
“Are they done yet?” Jack asks impatiently.
Koz laughs as he opens the oven. “No, I’m just turning them so that they’ll cook faster and more evenly.”
“It’s still not fast enough. Why can’t we just eat the dough?”
“Because there are raw eggs in it.” Koz takes the oven mitt off and places it next to the stovetop for easy access the next time he checks the cookies. He moves over to the island counter and picks up a cookie cutter, getting to work on preparing the next batch of cookies.
“Raw eggs aren’t entirely bad for you,” Jack whines, though he takes up his place beside Koz with a different shape cutter. “Only if you eat a lot of them.”
“Well, we have a lot of dough. And I know you would eat most of it if I let you.” Koz glances over at Jack just in time to see him sneak a bit of the dough into his mouth. “Hey!”
Jack laughs and smiles innocently. “What?”
“You know perfectly well ‘what.’”
“Oh my God, I just want to eat some cookies! You’re so mean.”
“If I was really mean I wouldn’t let you help me at all.” Koz slides the now tree- and stocking-shaped cookies onto a sheet, placing it away from Jack. “I know how you are in the kitchen. There’s a reason I literally sent Pitch out of the house for this and you’re only slightly better than him.”
“Oh, so we’re not really almost out of milk?”
“Not at all.”
Jack stifles his laughter into a flour-covered palm. “But he won’t be gone that long, only getting one thing.”
“Are you kidding me? Pitch doesn’t know his way around the grocery store at all, and he’s far too proud to ask for help.”
“Very true,” Jack says as he tries to pick some more dough of the scraps left from the cookie cutters. Koz slaps Jack’s hand away, not that it does much good as Jack still makes away like a bandit.
Koz sighs and focuses on rolling the dough flat again. Pitch has already been gone a little over a half hour and they still have another batch of cookies, though with the amount of dough Jack has been eating it will be half a batch by the time it gets to the oven.
But he’s still glad to have company. Occasionally, Seraphina will help if she comes to visit near the holidays, but he usually does this alone, convinced Pitch’s mere presence will cause the oven to explode or something. While he certainly doesn’t trust Jack with the oven, just having him in the kitchen is nice. And if he gets distracted by a make-out session that causes the first batch of cookies to burn then so be it.
Chapter 14: Winter Wonderland
There be angst in this chapter.
Jack is warm and comfortable in the back seat. The holiday party at Koz’s work was fun, but exhausting, and being just on the far side of tipsy makes him even drowsier. Leaning against the window with his feet stretched out across the seats, he drifts in and out of sleep.
The faint buzzing of Christmas songs on the radio and Koz and Pitch talking surround him with soothing white noise. Smiling softly, Jack decides that he could totally make one of them carry him up to bed, so he begins to slip into a deeper sleep.
Sleigh bells ri~ing,
are you listening?
Jack’s head shoots up. He isn’t drunk or sleepy anymore.
In the la~ane,
snow is glistening.
This is the song that was playing that night, that moment when he was going too fast and took that corner wrong and the car was skidding, flipping over itself and oh god oh god no no no . . .
A beautiful sight,
we’re happy toni—
“Jack, what’s wrong?”
—in a winter wonderland~
“Pull over, pull over, I need to get out, out, I need . . .” He doesn’t have enough breath in his lungs to continue talking; he keeps panting it out in harsh huffs and his throat is closing up so he can’t take a proper breath in and why is it so hot in the car?
The tires roll to a stop with a crunch and Jack fumbles with his seatbelt, finally whipping it off. He goes to reach for the door handle, but his fingers just scrabble at hard plastic and the cool glass of the window. Koz will have to get out of the passenger seat and pull the seat forward for him to get out, but that will take too long so Jack scrambles over the middle console and practically dives across Koz to open the door. He stumbles into the cold winter air before Koz has a chance to grab onto him.
They’re at the side of the road in an area he doesn’t recognize, but that does nothing to calm him. He knows that road, that corner and he still messed up so badly. It was the ice, it was the ice’s fault everyone told him, but no no no, he was the one driving, he should have known better.
Hyperventilating, Jack drops to his knees. He digs his fingers into the grit of the salt and sand and drags his hands across the pavement to feel its friction, its grip. It anchors him, calmed him slightly. There isn’t any black ice.
The dry skin on the pads of his fingers catches on the bumps in the asphalt and split open easily, leaving behind streaks of red. He tries not to look at it because that will make it worse, so much worse, because her blood was on the road in more than just streaks, it seemed to cover everything—
Jack makes a small, broken sound in the back of his throat. He closes his eyes so he won’t have to see anything, leaning forward until his forehead is pressed into the cold ground.
He shakes his head jerkily back and forth, scraping his skin against the uneven pavement. There’s no “later on,” she will never get a “later on” and it’s all his fault, all his fault. Jack screams to block out the song, but he has no breath and it doesn’t last long.
To face unafraid,
the plans that we—
“Turn it off, turn it off!”
All he can hear was that falsely cheery tune sounding the background, haunting him. He hears deep-voices shouting and latches onto them; they’re different, they’re not that song, they can help him.
“Just turn it off!”
“Turn what off?”
There is suddenly silence. No voices, no music, no hum of the engine. It’s the most beautiful thing Jack doesn’t hear.
He collapses onto his side, letting the cold seep through his hoodie, and tries to control his breathing with little success. The song may not be playing anymore, but the memory of it still lingers and pressing his hands over his ears can’t block that out. He curls into himself, wrapping his arms around the back of his head so he can tuck farther into his knees. He sobs and hates himself even more.
“Jack?” a soft voice calls.
He knows that voice, but it isn’t the one he wants to hear. He will never be able to hear her voice ever again and that’s all his fault.
“Jack, you’re scaring us.”
A different voice this time, still one he knows, but again not hers.
Despite that, those voices belong to people he cares about and he’s making them distressed. He whines.
“Hey, it’s okay.” The first voice again. “Just don’t block us out, Jack. We want to help you.”
They care about him. He knows that, but it’s so shocking to him in that moment. He doesn’t have to be alone this time.
He lifts his head slightly and opens his eyes.
Koz and Pitch are kneeling on the road several feet away from him, patches on the legs of their dress pants stained a chalky white from the salt. They’re ruining their pants, but it’s for him. It makes him feel a bit guilty, but a small, selfish side of his mind is happy that they are willing to do that for him.
He unclenches one of his hands from his head and stretches his arm out in front of him, slowly sliding it along the rough pavement, an invitation to touch. Koz and Pitch sidle forward until their out-reached hands can grasp his, though Koz has to use his other arm to restrain Pitch from moving closer.
Jack smiles at them. His twins, his crazy, possessive, ridiculous twins. They’ll take care of him. He can fall apart and they will take care of him and everything will be all right. He doesn’t feel guilty doing that to them like he did to his parents.
“Home?” he whispers hoarsely.
They smile gratefully and finally sweep in. Koz scoops him up in his arms and Jack curls gratefully into his warmth, gripping onto the front of his shirt. Pitch hovers and fusses the entire way back to the car and Jack leans into his hand as he pets his hair.
Koz slides into the passenger seat and his hold loosens, causing Jack to panic. He doesn’t want Koz to let go, he can’t handle this by himself.
“Shh, it’s okay,” Koz reassures, moving his arm from under Jack’s knees to around his waist so Jack is seated securely in his lap. Jack relaxes and turns more into Koz, burying his face in his chest.
Pitch starts the car and the radio plays a few notes of a thankfully different song before Pitch shuts it off. He pulls away and Jack tenses at the acceleration, but Koz tightens his grip and shushes him again.
Jack focuses on the beating of Koz’s heart and tries not to react to the sharp turns and the sudden bursts of speed. He feels safe and comforted and loved, but perhaps it’s that very combination that makes him finally break down. He wraps his arms around himself and sobs.
Pitch pulls slowly into the driveway, trying not to take the turn too sharply in fear of waking Jack up. He fell asleep not too long after Koz bundled him in his arms. Pitch is glad of that because Jack was hurting and he couldn’t do anything about it. He felt so helpless. He still feels helpless.
He turns the car off and looks over at Koz, who is staring at Jack, but glances up to meet Pitch’s gaze.
They don’t say anything. There isn’t a need to.
*Is he okay?*
*I don’t know. He cried before he fell asleep, so it must have exhausted him.*
*I think it has something to do with why he won’t talk to his parents.*
*That’s . . . pretty perceptive of you, actually.*
*I have my moments. But I suppose there’s not much we can do about it now.*
*No, let’s just take him to bed.*
Pitch gets out of the car and goes around to the other side to open the door for Koz, going ahead to unlock the front door as well, holding it open for Koz.
Once upstairs, they both undress Jack and put him in a pair of their own pajamas, Koz’s shirt and Pitch’s pants. They tuck him into bed, watching sadly as he curls into a ball once again. It makes him look so small, especially in the over-large pajamas and on the king-size bed.
At a loss, they climb into bed on either side of him and simply hold him, though much fiercer than they usually do.
Jack wakes first in the morning. The twins are closer and holding him harder than usual, but he doesn’t mind the heat for once. He lays there, soaking up the warmth and comfort.
It isn’t long before he feels the urge to move. Staying still for long (or even short) periods of time just isn’t within his capacity. He manages to wriggle out from between Koz and Pitch without waking them, smiling as they simply latch onto each other instead.
He finds his hoodie on the floor and retrieves his cell phone from the pocket before creeping downstairs. He heads straight for the armchair in the living room, the one Koz always sits it. It smells like his aftershave and faintly of Pitch’s cologne. It means comfort and strength and he needs both for what he’s about to do.
Sitting with his legs tucked under him, Jack flips open his cell phone and goes into his contacts. He scrolls about halfway down and selects a name. He blocked this number so long ago, but he knows the person on the other end would never do the same.
His finger hovers over the green call button as he bites his lip, but he can’t allow himself second thoughts. He firmly presses down, finally dialing the number under “Mom” for the first time in years.
It rings twice before a breathless voices answers, “Jack? Is it really you?”
“ . . . hi, Mom.”
Chapter 15: Slipping on Ice
Some cute and funny to offset the angst from last chapter.
“You didn’t say we were going to an ice skating rink.”
“You didn’t ask!”
“You threatened me with no sex for the rest of the month if I didn’t come with you. All you said is that we were going ‘out’ and if I knew that meant ice skating I wouldn’t not have come.”
“But . . . but that means no sex with me.”
“That’s how much I desire not to ice skate. Besides I have Koz.”
“Aaww, but no one can replace me! What’s with the extreme aversion to ice skating anyway?”
Pitch stares at Jack and debates answering him. He knows he can tell Jack anything, but this is embarrassing. Just watching the people circling in the rink is giving him flashbacks.
Jack has already given up with his pleading look and turns back to lacing up his ice skates. His hands move quickly and with practiced ease, lending weight to Pitch’s theory that Jack can skate very well and leading him to believe he is going to very much regret getting on the ice. If he gets on the ice, that is, which he has no intention of doing.
“Are you sure you’re up to this, after what happened last night?” Pitch asks, changing the subject. Focusing on Jack’s past instead of his own is much better.
Jack pauses, his fingers fumbling with a knot. For a moment, Pitch is worried if he hit too deep too soon, but Jack quickly beams up at him. It’s genuine. “Skating will help me clear my mind! Pleeeease, Pitch. It would mean a lot to me.”
Pitch wants to help Jack, he really does, but if he can get out of this and put it on someone else . . . “Why didn’t you ask Koz?”
“Oh, I did. I figured he would be more receptive, but he told me you would be more entertaining and that it would cheer me up more.”
“Remind me to punch him in the face later,” Pitch mumbles as he sits down and begins taking off his shoes. He chooses to ignore Jack’s victorious shout and the way Jack has to help him lace up the rental skates.
He stands and takes shaky steps to the side of the rink. The thick, rubber padding on the floor makes it possible to walk with skates on, but it’s still difficult.
Pitch stares up at the people whizzing by on the rink. “Well, it doesn’t seem like there’s a break in this wall, so I suppose—”
“You just have to go for it!” Jack exclaims as he grabs his arm. With an almighty tug, Pitch lurches forward, onto the ice. He gives a shout of surprise and windmills his free arm in an attempt to find balance, but Jack’s grip is tight and he’s stable on his skates. He hauls Pitch upright before he can fall over.
Pitch glances around to see the strange looks from some of the skaters surrounding them. His upper lip curls in preparation to actually, physically growl at them, but Jack suddenly gives his arm a tug, jerking him forward. His glare snaps to Jack and intensifies as soon as he notices that Jack is skating backwards and pulling him along.
“None of that now,” Jack says. “We came here to have fun.”
“This. Is not. Fun,” Pitch grinds out. Being stared at as he flails around isn’t even near his definition of fun.
“That’s because you’re so uptight. You just have to relax, keep your feet under you, and . . . let go!” Jack does just as his last word implies, but not before giving Pitch’s arm one last tug and moving out of the way with a flick of his skates.
Luckily, they are right at the edge of the rink. Pitch has never been so thankful to slam into a fucking wall.
Chapter 16: In Front of the Fireplace
On days like this, when snow comes down so hard that footsteps are filled in before one can return to the house after getting the mail, Jack wants to do nothing more than just sit in front of the window with a cup of hot chocolate and watch as snow slowly blankets the world. Apparently, Pitch and Koz have a different tradition and Jack doesn’t mind straying from his to participate in it.
When Koz lights the fireplace, Jack abandons his place by the window to squeeze between him and Pitch on the couch. He wraps his hands around his mug as Koz and Pitch wrap their arms around him.
As much as Jack enjoys being active and loud, quiet moments like this are some of his favorites. He can appreciate that the contrasting moments make both times even more of what they are. This time is even more special because this is something Pitch and Koz do together and now they’re opening it up to Jack. The inclusion is more warming than the cuddling and the fire combined.
He’s nearly falling asleep when Koz shifts, leaning over him to kiss Pitch and whisper, “It’s about time isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is.”
Jack doesn’t have any time to contemplate the meaning of that before he tumbles onto the floor from the sudden force of both Koz and Pitch standing up. His sleep dazed mind can’t process the situation beyond being grateful he finished his drink, so he just pushes himself into a sitting position and looks around in confusion. Koz and Pitch are nowhere to be seen, but he heard footsteps pounding up the stairs. Did they leave him to go have sex? How incredibly rude!
He stands up, prepared to go demand the reason he wasn’t invited, but hears the returning thunder of footsteps down the stairs.
“What the hell, guys?” he asks, frowning at the way Pitch shoos him out of the way so he can lay down a large, thick blanket in front of the fire place.
“Just a little something we like to do when it snows out,” Pitch says.
“It’s very cold out so we like to light a fire to keep warm,” Koz continues.
“And then move onto other activities that also keep us warm . . .” Pitch finishes as Koz tosses a bottle of previously unnoticed lube onto the blanket.
Jack’s eyes widen in understanding and he eagerly crawls forward to the center of the blanket. “Yes, okay, sounds good to me.”
“Perfect,” Pitch breathes, staring down at Jack for several moments before kneeling in front of him to pull him into a kiss. Jack opens his mouth in reciprocation and allows Pitch to take full control. He hums gratefully at the touch of Koz’s hands on his waist, slipping around to drag up his chest. In contrast, Pitch’s hands slide over his shoulders to rake nails down his back.
Jack gasps, breaking out of the kiss. He loves when the twins do similar things to opposite sides of his body. Like the way Koz is now raising his arms over his head and Pitch is spreading his legs.
Koz’s hips press against his ass, pushing him into Pitch so they can both grind against him. They grip the hem of his shirt and pull it over his head, tossing it over the couch. Their hands drag down either side of his torso until Pitch’s cup the sides of his ass and Koz’s grip his hips to guide them into a slow, rolling motion. Trapped between their bodies as he is, Jack can only move with Koz’s hands to get as much friction as possible, but he needs more and they won’t give it unless he begged.
“Koz, please,” he breathes. It isn’t enough, but it’s all he could manage between the heat of the fireplace and the heat of the twins.
Jack apparently fails more than he realized because Koz backs away, but then he suddenly uses his grip on Jack’s hips to jerk them upward, sending him face-first into Pitch’s crotch, not that either of them minded very much. As Pitch’s hands slip from his ass down the backs of his thighs, coaxing them apart, Koz’s finally move around to touch him. He unzips Jack’s pants, pulling them down to his knees to trap his legs in their current position, and wraps his fingers around Jack’s length.
Jack moans into Pitch’s pants, sending vibrations directly to his cock, if Pitch’s echoing moan indicate anything. One of Pitch’s hands curls over the back of his head, preventing him from moving too far away, while the other undoes his pants and pulls his cock out.
Jack eagerly licks around the head, working his way down the shaft. Once he deems it wet enough, he moves back up to the tip and begins to take Pitch into his mouth. He moans as Koz’s hand grips his cock firmly and slowly strokes down at the same rate his mouth descends on Pitch’s cock. It makes it hard to concentrate, but Pitch’s hand on the back of his head steadily applies pressure, directing him down and not letting up until his cock hit the back of Jack’s throat.
Jack pulls back slightly to take a breath before continuing. He opens his mouth wider and relaxes his throat, pressing back down until his lips are around the very base of Pitch’s cock, which is fully down his throat.
In the midst of deep-throating, Jack feels something warm and wet tracing around his hole and it can’t be Koz’s fingers because they’re still wrapped around his cock. Jack can do nothing but moan around Pitch’s cock as Koz’s tongue circles his entrance. Jack scrabbles for purchase against the blanket on either side of Pitch. The sensations on both ends of his body are overwhelming.
Koz’s hands release his cock to spread his cheeks. Jack feels him push his face between them and flatten his tongue as he continues to move it around.
Suddenly very aware of his lack of air, Jack begins to bob his head on Pitch’s cock, taking a breath with every upstroke. Pitch’s fingers tangle in his hair, just resting as he moans from Jack’s ministrations. Koz hums in response to his brother’s vocal arousal, which causes Jack to whimper at the vibrations it sends directly through his ass.
Pitch suddenly pulls Jack’s head off his cock; Koz leans away just after. Jack makes a disappointed sound and looks up at Pitch questioningly, pleadingly.
“Not yet,” is all Pitch offers by way of explanation. He hurriedly unbuttons his shirt and tosses it to the side. Jack glances back at Koz, who is also undressing.
“Your pants,” Koz says, indicating Jack should remove them.
Jack kneels up and has them off in seconds, since they’re already around his knees. By the time he looks back up, both twins are naked in front of him, Koz holding the bottle of lube.
“Here’s how this is going to go,” Koz begins.
“You pick one of us to fuck you,” Pitch continues.
“And the other one of us will fuck them.”
“So, Jack . . .”
“Who’s it going to be?” they finish together.
Jack looks between Koz and Pitch, debating which one to choose. Though they’re both so similar in so many ways, sex is the one area they differ most noticeably. Pitch is all hands and teeth and frantic movements, as if they’ll all die if they don’t have sex right this moment. Koz is slower, both by nature and because he likes to tease. His touches are still everywhere, but they’re dragging, gradual, making their victim beg for more. It’s undeniable that Jack loves both, but which is he in the mood for right now?
It doesn’t take that long to decide, but he draws out the suspense just to tease the twins while he still can. Tapping his chin with exaggerated motions, Jack pretends to think.
“I want Koz to fuck me,” he says finally.
“What!? Are you kidding me!” Pitch immediately explodes. Koz just smiles smugly.
Jack shakes his head at Pitch’s reaction, though he’s smiling as well. The heat from the fire is making him lethargic, so Jack doesn’t think he can handle how overwhelming Pitch can be. But, now that he thinks about it, Pitch will be controlling the pace anyway, being on top of both of them. At least Koz will act as a buffer. Hopefully. Jack isn’t too sure, seeing as Pitch is getting over the fact that Jack didn’t choose him and realizing the power Jack—accidentally—granted him instead.
“Very well then,” Pitch says, pushing Koz over so he’s behind Jack. “Get in him.”
“Oh my god,” Jack says with a roll of his eyes. Honestly, Pitch sometimes.
“So impatient,” Koz says.
“Yes, yes,” Pitch agrees, “and the sooner you do that the sooner I can get in you.”
Koz lets out a long-suffering sigh, but the speed at which he stripped shows he is far from exasperated.
“Jack, bend over like you were before,” Pitch orders.
Jack eagerly complies, his anticipation spiking as he hears the cap of the lube popping open. He feels fingers—Koz’s—at his hole and pushes his ass up more. They slip in smoothly with the aid the lube and Jack whimpers in need. It feels so good, being stretched open like that. Koz’s fingers, though thicker, are shorter than Pitch’s, but they still reach deep, searching for his prostate as they open him up.
Their angle shifts and Koz’s heavy breathing is in his ear. His arm braces on the floor next to Jack, pressing against his. It occurs to Jack that Pitch must be doing the same to Koz and the thought turns him on more than he thought imaginable. As aroused and relaxed as he is, it doesn’t take long for him to feel fully prepared.
“C’mon, Koz,” Jack says. “Now, please.”
“Are you ready, Koz?” Pitch asks and Koz grunts in response. Jack moans softly as he thinks about Pitch preparing Koz again.
Koz’s fingers withdraw, leaving him feeling empty, but his cock is soon nudging at Jack’s entrance.
“Remember, now,” Pitch says, “I control the pace, so you can only go as fast and as far as I allow.”
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” Koz says. Jack laughs in agreement. They can always count on Pitch’s impatience and lack of restraint when it comes to sex.
He gasps sharply when the head of Koz’s cock pushes inside him. That and Koz’s growl are good indications that Pitch has thrust forward rather roughly into him.
“That’s what you both get for laughing at me.” Self-satisfaction is clear in Pitch’s voice. “And there’s more where that came from if you don’t listen to me.”
“Do you really think you can handle both of us?” Jack challenges, throwing a bratty smile over his shoulder. “I mean, you can barely subdue me and that’s with Koz’s help.”
Pitch glares and pushes forward, pressing Koz farther into Jack. Jack’s limbs feel weak and his arms collapse, sending him crashing down onto his chest. Koz’s forehead falls against his shoulder with a low groan.
“That’s better, but not quite good enough.”
Pitch’s hand wraps around his ankle and pulls back, sliding his leg down. Taking the hint, Jack slowly lowers himself down until he is flat on the blanket. Koz’s arms bracket either side of his head as his weight settles on top of him. In this position, the angle and depth of penetration is just right and Jack sighs in pleasure.
Pitch only allows a brief pause before moving, pulling out of Koz slow enough to pull him out and up off Jack. It’s a longer wait than usual before Koz sinks into him again, Pitch’s movements delayed by traveling through another person.
Even with different pacing than he is used to, Jack finds the rhythm, each thrust preceded by a quickening in Koz’s breath and a tensing of his muscles. At those signs, Jack lifts his hips up to meet Koz, gasping as it pushes Koz deeper than before.
Pitch grunts in approval and speeds up the pace. Each thrust presses Jack against the blanket, creating some delicious friction, though not enough to give him any real satisfaction. He starts to move him arm down, aiming to touch himself, but Pitch’s hand shoots out to cage his wrist.
“None of that now,” Pitch chastens. “Koz, hold his arms down.”
Koz nips at his ear as his hands slide down Jack’s forearms to trap Jack’s wrists as Pitch just had. Jack whimpers at the unfairness of the situation. Pitch is in control and Koz is getting satisfaction from both ends, while he’s left to their mercy—which is nonexistent.
“I decide when you’re ready,” Pitch says. “Or, rather, if you’re ready.”
Jack groans. Koz gives his wrists a reassuring squeeze and then attaches his mouth to Jack’s neck. Kisses trail to his jawline and Jack turns his head for the kiss Koz seems to be searching for, but he breaks away. Jack’s whine of disappointment is cut off and becomes an entirely different kind of sound as Koz turns his head in the other direction to kiss Pitch. Jack felt a twincest kink coming on the moment he saw Koz and Pitch in the same room and never really got over it, especially since he actually gets to indulge in this kink. Jack clutches the blanket beneath him, pulling the fabric in from the edges.
Koz opens one eye and glances down, somehow smirking through the kiss at Jack’s reaction. He slides Jack’s arms up to hold both his wrists in one hand while he slips the other under Jack’s chest, fingers finding his nipple and twisting over it. As if sensing his twin’s actions, Pitch’s hand is suddenly on his other side, mimicking Koz’s fingers in the opposite direction. Jack lets his mouth fall open and a moan to escape. Koz likes watching and Pitch prefers touching, but they both greatly appreciate hearing. This time is no exception, as Pitch’s thrusts—steady and unrelenting this entire time—finally stutter.
Jack feels it through Koz a few seconds later and gives the twins a smirk of his own, as well as another moan. It isn’t as if he has to take that, seeing as Pitch wrested control of himself and leveled out the rhythm and speed of his thrusts. Wanting now more than ever to touch himself and bring some relief, Jack jerks him arm in a vain attempt to escape Koz’s hold, but he only tightens his grip.
“Please,” Jack sobs, laying it on a bit thick in his desperation.
“Not yet,” Pitch says without even a moment of consideration.
Jack’s distressed whine goes ignored, other than Koz’s low chuckle in his ear. Holding out as best he can Jack tries to focus on any other sensation than the painful hardness between his legs: the fire crackling in the heart, the slice of falling snow he can see through the gap in the curtains, the golden embroidery contrasting with the black fabric of the blanket. A particularly loud groan from Pitch brings his thoughts right back to his problem, though with any luck it won’t be a problem any longer.
Pitch’s hand covers Koz’s, which is still on top of Jack’s, and squeezes. His breathing becomes heavier and his thrusts unsteadier. He stills suddenly and, with a low groan, thrusts deeply into Koz, shoving him deeper into Jack in turn. Koz growls in his ear as he releases inside him moments later.
They lie there like that for a while, both Pitch and Koz’s body weight on top of Jack, until Pitch sees fit to get off. Koz also pulls out and moves away.
Jack, left unsatisfied, whimpers, but makes no move to finish himself off. It’s not like the twins will let him. Defeated, Jack complains, “You guys are the worst!”
Four hands suddenly turn him over and hold him down.
“Are we really?” Koz asks before licking a stripe up Jack’s cock.
“Why wouldn’t we take care of you?” Pitch asks, mirroring Koz on the other side of Jack’s cock.
Two tongues slide up his cock, reaching the head at the same time and twining around it and each other. Jack throws his head back and gasps. There’s no way he’s going to last long. Just a blow job by one of them is amazing, but this is a blow job by two both of them after being fucked quite thoroughly. The twins continue to practically make out around his cock and Jack squirms in their grips, which hold fast on his forearms and hips.
Jack manages to lift his head enough to catch a glimpse of Koz and Pitch’s slightly bobbing heads, so close to each other and converging on him. With a strangled cry, he comes. Some of his come makes it into Koz and Pitch’s mouths, but most of it splatters over their faces. Panting hard and overwhelmed by the pleasant feeling seeping through his body, Jack lets himself go boneless. The twins flop on either side of him.
“Clean me off?” Koz asks and Jack swallows. That’s something he very much wants to do.
He pushes himself up to lean over Koz and lick his face clean. There’s something about tasting himself that he finds incredibly arousing. He tried his come once when he was younger, his curiosity stronger than his fear of breaking an unspoken taboo. The fact that it’s forbidden makes it all the better.
That definitely isn’t the only area of my sex life that was made better by being forbidden, Jack can’t help but think as he switches to Pitch’s face.
Once he’s finished, Jack lies back on the blanket and sighs in contentment. Koz throws his leg over Jack’s and Pitch hooks his over Koz’s. With their arms draped over his chest, Jack basks in the warmth of the embrace and the still-roaring fire.
Chapter 17: The Winter Fair
“There’s an entire fair for this godforsaken season?” Pitch grumbles as he reluctantly follows Jack and Koz through the parking lot. Again, he has been tricked into going to some ridiculous holiday-related thing he doesn’t want to go to.
“You’re just grumpy because you lost the coin toss to have me as your boyfriend,” Jack calls over his shoulder as he sticks his tongue out and latches tighter onto Koz’s arm.
Pitch’s frown only deepens with Koz’s laughter. He hates that they have to do this. Why can’t they all just act like they’re together when they’re in public? Well, he knows why, but it doesn’t make him less irritated.
Some overly-friendly volunteer greets them at the entrance and hands them programs. Pitch is distraught to realize that some events go on well into the night, including fireworks. Who wants to stand out in the cold and dark to watch fireworks!
“Oh my god, look, that’s cool! They have fireworks. We should totally stay for those.”
Of course Jack wants to. Pitch is about to say something about how they are absolutely not staying that late when Jack continues talking.
“When we went to the fair back home, they were always too late for me and my sister to stay up for, so we never went. I’ve always wanted to though!”
Pitch immediately shuts his mouth. It reminds him of when Jack guilted him into going along with things when they were looking for a tree, but now Pitch wonders how much of it was simply manipulation. Jack enjoys all the things his family did around the holidays, but he hasn’t done them in several years it seems. Now, he has the chance to celebrate things with people again.
Jack always hides behind sarcasm and a cheery attitude if something bothers him, so who’s to say Pitch’s comments aren’t causing him to do that. What if Pitch is ruining Jack’s holiday? He doesn’t want that—
Pitch stops walking completely. He knows he can be a dick about the holidays, but he simply isn’t willing to change his attitude to accommodate anyone else. Koz is a small exception, but even then Pitch only refrains from taking down the decorations. He doesn’t put in any additional effort into going along with things or pretending to enjoy them.
Pitch completely recognizes that he is incredibly selfish. He doesn’t like to admit it, but he is and he knows it. He was selfish when he was a teenager and trying to make Koz see that they belonged together, but was too impatient to wait for him to realize it on his own time. He was selfish when he first met Jack and was willing to ignore Koz’s trepidations about the situation because he wanted to bring him into their relationship.
The instances he isn’t selfish are few and far between, but this whole holiday season has been one of them. He helped with the tree, agreed to the ice skating, and even kept quiet just now for Jack’s sake. He’s been changing his behavior during the holidays for Jack. He isn’t even willing to put an effort in for Koz!
He has always known that Jack belongs with them, belongs to them. And, of course, Pitch cares for him and “love” doesn’t even begin to describe his feelings for Jack. But to be willing to do something so drastically against his usual behavior adds another layer to that. It isn’t frightening so much as it is realizing something that he has always known. It mostly surprises him that he didn’t realize sooner.
Speaking of which . . .
“I swear, you’re like one of those kids that has to be kept on a leash so we don’t lose you.”
It takes all of Pitch’s willpower not to snatch Jack up and kiss him right them. Telling himself there will be plenty of time for that later, he settles for ruffling his hair as he sweeps past him and Koz, who came back for him.
“I was thinking,” he says over his shoulder, “we should stay for the fireworks.”
He holds back his smirk at Jack and Koz’s shocked expressions until he turns around, continuing to walk ahead of them.
Chapter 18: North's Workshop
There's a little bit more of Jack's angst in this one.
One of Jack’s favorite parts of the Christmas season is watching excited children run around North’s workshop, wonder lighting up their eyes as they bound from toy to toy, fingers clasped in awe over their mouths. He will never pass up the opportunity to stop by, especially during the holidays when the shop is at its busiest. This visit is made all the better when North says he can stay and help out for a while.
“Really?! Are you sure? Phil doesn’t like me to work on, well, anything. He says I’m too slow, pay too much attention to detail, but—”
“Is Phil boss, Jack?!” North cuts him off, his laugh booming through the shop from the second-floor balcony they’re standing on.
Jack joins in with his comparatively smaller laugh. “No, he’s not.”
“Exactly! Things go as I say, no? And it is your attention to detail that I have need of . . .” North pulls him close with an arm around his shoulder and continues in a conspiratorial whisper. “We are having some custom orders I think you would enjoy painting.”
Jack’s already cheerful mood brightens even more at that. Custom orders are usually ridiculously detailed, meaning Jack can take as long as he needs and Phil can’t say a thing about it. “Oh, yes, I’m so down for that.”
North guides him to the workshop in the back and Jack is just as excited as the kids around him. Once there, he eagerly pores over the specifications and, as he gets to work on a set of toy soldiers painted in the likeness of someone’s two sons, he remembers that he should probably let Pitch and Koz know where he is. A brief texting conversation later and they will pick him up at five, giving him plenty of time to get some orders done.
Absorbed in his work, time passes by quickly and Jack is startled when North comes in to let him know Pitch and Koz are there. He finishes the final touches on a train set and then heads out to the main part of the shop, where the twins are waiting. He sees them standing at the bottom of the stairs and waves, but looks around for North to say goodbye before leaving. Jack catches him as he’s just turning away from taking care of some customers.
“Thanks for letting me help out,” he says. “That was awesome. It feels like it’s been such a long time since I worked with paints.”
“It is me who should be thanking you!” North insists. “You do great work.”
North winks and shoves a check into his hand. Jack doesn’t even need to look at the amount to know that he can’t accept it.
“No, I can’t, really, I like doing this—” he says, trying to give it back, but North cuts him off.
“Is liking something reason to not get money for it, hmm? If so, no one in this shop will get paid!” Laughing, North pushes Jack toward the stairs, effectively ending the conversation. Jack smiles gratefully at him and pockets the check as he makes his way down the stairs.
In the moment of silence that follows, Jack finally becomes aware of the music playing softly in the background.
We’ll frolic and play the Eskimo way,
walking in a winter wonderland~
Fuck, fuck, it just has to be this song doesn’t it. Jack pays no heed to his surroundings as he leaps down the last couple steps and heads straight for the door. Hands grasp at his arms, but he wrenches away from them, bringing his hands up to his ears to block out the music and the calling of his name.
“No, stop, leave me alone,” he murmurs, pushing his way into the crowd of customers. That turns out to be a bad idea, as the tight press of bodies keeps forcing him back, away from the door instead of towards it. Struggling to control his breathing, he finally starts shoving people out of the way and they quickly realize something is wrong, parting somewhat to clear a path to the door. He is still jostled around and his hands keep slipping away from his head, the snippets of music and lyrics sending him into further panic.
When he throws himself against the door, he’s grateful for the tinkling of the bell covering up the last few chords. Out on the sidewalk, the only sounds are cars driving through slush and footsteps crunching through salt. Focusing on those sounds and matching his breathing to the countdown of a walk signal, Jack paces away from the entrance to sit down on a bench. As the counter hits zero, he drops his head down between his knees and tries to keep the rhythm.
Two pairs of those crunching footsteps come a lot closer than the others. Jack doesn’t bother looking up, even as two warm and familiar bodies sit down on either side of him. Or perhaps especially as they do.
“Go away,” he says.
“No,” Pitch answers simply. A hand, presumably Pitch’s, begins to rub up and down his back, gentle enough to be comforting, but also with enough pressure to let Jack know he won’t be able to get away.
“We just want you to talk to us, Jack.” Koz, this time. A hand runs through his hair, reaching down far enough to lift his bangs out of his vision. “There’s something about you and that song and it’s obviously very painful for you. It would help to talk about it.”
Jack squeezes his eyes shut and takes a deep breath. It’s shaky and trembling and there’s no doubt Pitch and Koz feel it through their points of contact. He doesn’t care, though, since he’s been less than subtle about his difficulties involving a certain holiday song. He supposes he should tell the twins at this point, all things considered.
He slowly sits up until he’s leaning against the back of the bench. Pitch and Koz are still leaning forward slightly from paying attention to his hunched-over form, so he has a clear view of them, both so concerned and attentive. He smiles and slumps until he’s resting his head on Pitch’s shoulder.
With another sigh, Jack begins. “Five years ago, I was driving home. And my sister was in the car with me.”
He feels Pitch stiffen against him and can imagine the look he probably exchanges with Koz. He never mentioned having a sister before.
“It wasn’t quite night yet, but it was dark. My family was at a Christmas party and my sister was getting tired, so I offered to drive her home, since I had come in my own car. I had just gotten my license and like a typical teenager I thought I was invincible, that nothing bad could happen while driving. I was speeding on this road near my house, thinking it didn’t matter that it was dark or that my parents warned me the roads were icy.”
Jack’s lower lip twitches from the strength of his efforts to not show emotion. It’s painful enough thinking about it. Talking about it is much more difficult than he ever imagined. Perhaps it’s the years he let it fester in the back of his mind, refusing to address it in fear of it destroying him when there was no one to pick up the pieces. Now, there are people he can rely on, who won’t break apart as he did.
“There’s this corner. And it’s tricky enough during the day when there’s been good weather. I thought I could handle it, but obviously I was stupid and I should have listened to my parents and—”
Jack lets himself be pulled in to Pitch’s chest. He wraps his own arms around Pitch as he chokes back sobs. He’s almost done. He just has to finish and then he can cry all he wants.
“We were listening to Christmas music and singing along, so I was distracted and took the corner too fast. Then the car was skidding off the road and flipping over in this ditch. I can’t remember much of what happened, but I remember seeing flashing lights reflecting off something on the road and I couldn’t tell if it was ice or blood or what and—”
He simply can’t continue, but that’s okay because he told them. Pitch and Koz can surely fill in the blanks.
“Oh, Jack,” Koz says. “It’s not your fault.”
Jack just shakes his head. How could it not be? He was the one who was speeding, who wasn’t paying attention, who should have known better.
He spends several minutes attempting not to cry. That can wait until they get home. When he feels like he’s able, Jack finally pulls away from Pitch and looks between the twins. They wear identical expressions of sympathy and concern, but there isn’t a glimmer of accusation like he always saw in his parents’ eyes, no matter how hard they tried to hide it.
“Well, I’m sure you can guess what song was playing,” Jack says with a half-laugh that comes out sounding more like a sob than anything else.
Thankfully the twins seem to get that this isn’t time to “convince Jack to let out all of his emotions” and both give a half-hearted laugh of their own before pulling Jack to his feet and leading him to the car. Luckily, they had a parking spot near the door, so it isn’t long before they’re speeding off for home.
Jack stretches out across the backseat, glad he refused Pitch’s offer to sit in the back with him. If he was there, Jack would have started crying right then, but he wants to wait until he’s somewhere he can comfortably break down and stay for a while, like bundled between the twins in bed. Yeah, that sounds good . . .
Chapter 19: Christmas Part 1
There are three parts of Christmas. This first part is the day before Christmas Eve. The second will be Christmas Eve and the third is Christmas Day and the day after. I'm not showing everything that's happening, just some snippets of stuff I wanted to write basically.
For once, Jack is perfectly content to be still. Sandwiched between the twins, he is safe and warm, something he very much appreciates after last night. He hardly ever cries and doing so until he fell asleep wore him out, as well as leaving him feeling incredibly vulnerable.
He has no desire to even attempt to wriggle out of his cocoon. He can stay here forever—well, at least until Christmas Eve when they will be . . . in . . . England.
Jack shoots straight up in bed, breaking through the tangle of arms draped over and around him. “What day is it?”
“Sunday,” Koz murmurs.
“No, no. What’s the date?”
“I don’t kn—oof!”
All the air is forcibly expelled from Koz’s lungs as Jack climbs over him to reach his cell phone on the bedside table. Clicking a button to light up the screen, Jack looks at the banner displaying the date: December 22. Two days before Christmas Eve. One day before their flight to England.
“Fuck. We haven’t even started packing yet!”
Koz looks at him with confusion for several moments before he jumps out of bed in a similar manner that Jack just did. “That’s tomorrow.”
“Uh . . . yeah!” Jack says incredulously.
“Like you’re one to talk in that tone!” Koz says as he dashes over to the wardrobe and throws it open. “You only remembered just now, too.”
“And what would have happened if I didn’t?!”
“Koz would have remembered,” Pitch says, voice thick with sleep. He’s still lying in bed, unmoved by the sudden commotion.
“Get out of bed and help us pack!” Koz demands. Pitch only mumbles something incoherent and rolls over. Koz shakes his head, dismissing him as a lost cause while he starts throwing clothes on the bed, on top of Pitch.
Jack digs through the trunk at the bottom of the bed, where the majority of his clothes are. He tosses two pairs of jeans and a couple shirts onto the bed as well, letting them mix with Koz’s.
“Where’s your passport?” Koz asks.
“Right here,” Jack said, pulling it out from among the folds of some boxers. He ignored Koz’s look at his method of storage as he handed it to him.
“I’ll just put these with the tickets . . . which I still have to print out,” Koz says with a groan of frustration.
“It’s okay,” Jack says. “We still have all day today to do that and to pack. We’re only going to be there for three days so it really can’t be a lot. Just take a deep breath.”
“But I have to worry! If I don’t worry about something then it will never get done because god knows Pitch won’t remember or—or care and—”
“Then let me help you! Look, I already started: I reminded you that we leave tomorrow! Now calm down.”
Koz freezes and looks at him with wild eyes, like a deer that just heard a twig snap in the silence of the woods. He lets the shirt he’s holding slip through his fingers and crumple to the floor.
“Um, okay. I guess that’s a start. Go print out the tickets and I’ll get Sleeping Beauty here to help me finish packing. Everything’s going in the big blue suitcase right?”
“Yes,” Koz says, somehow completely monotone with only a single syllable.
Jack rolls his eyes and walks over to Koz, putting a hand to his face to tilt it down for a kiss. “Seriously, just loosen up. Everything will work out in the end. Even if you pack perfectly, they could lose our luggage and we would have to wear the same clothes or go around naked for a few days.”
“Pitch wouldn’t like either one of those. He hates wearing dirty clothes and he wouldn’t like anyone else seeing us naked.” At least Koz manages to put actual emotions into his words this time.
“Exactly, so he should get up!” Jack raises his voice slightly so Pitch will be able to clearly hear them, “and help pack.”
Pitch grumbles from the bed and shifts so he’s propped up on an elbow. It’s only to glare sleepily at Jack, but, hey, it’s progress.
“Okay, how about this. Just think, we could join the mile-high club.” Jack smirks and winks at Pitch, stepping closer to Koz and humming happily when his arms wrap around him to pull him closer.
“Yeah, like I could fit in an airplane bathroom alone . . .” Pitch drops back down.
Jack just smirks again. “Fine then. If you don’t help pack I’ll only have sex with Koz from now until the time we leave, and you’ll only be able to watch.”
That gets Pitch’s attention. He sits completely upright now, a look of horror on his face. Between the two of them, Koz is the voyeur, able to get off on just watching Jack and Pitch going at it. Pitch, however, needs to touch and touch everything, incapable of simply looking.
“I will,” Jack says with conviction.
“But—but we can’t have sex at our parents’ house,” Pitch says, looking to Koz for help.
Koz just shrugs. “That’s what you get for slacking.”
Jack’s laughter is cut off as Koz kisses him and he willingly opens his mouth, letting Koz slip his tongue inside. Distantly, he hears Pitch’s cry of distress and one of Koz’s hands leaves his waist. Glancing out of the corner of his eye, Jack sees that Koz has planted his hand firmly on Pitch’s face, holding him at bay. Pitch makes a muffled sound of discontent, which Jack and Koz simply ignore in favor of concentrating on their current activity.
Once their flight is in the air, Koz finally lets out the breath he was holding since they got up this morning. He is so ready for a glass of complementary wine and a nap for their six-hour flight.
Jack’s laughter sounds beside him and Koz glances in his direction. Jack’s looking up at him with amusement.
“You know, I used to fly a lot to go visit my grandparents, when I was, like, ten, and it was nowhere near as stressful then—and now—as you act like it is.”
“It wasn’t stressful because you were ten. Other people took care of everything for you.”
“I handled things myself this time and it was fiiiine. This is supposed to be a vacation, right? So relax!”
“We’re going to visit our parents. It’s hardly a relaxing vacation.”
“How so?” Jack looks genuinely confused and Koz can’t blame him. Most people who live far away from their family, especially on separate continents, would be ecstatic to be going home for the holidays. After hearing the story about his sister, Koz gets the impression that Jack’s family was close. The only reason Jack isn’t going home this year is because he simply isn’t ready to see them at all yet, much less during the holidays.
“It’s kind of complicated,” Koz says.
“Did you kill a sibling?”
Koz’s eyes widen at that and he stares at Jack in mild horror. The tilt of Jack’s lips and brows say that he’s joking and Koz knows that, but he will always be surprised—and, to be honest, shocked—at Jack’s capacity turn terrible events in his own life into things he jokes about so carelessly, especially an event that he just had a breakdown about several days earlier.
“N-no,” Koz sputters, not knowing how to answer.
Jack just laughs and somehow looks a tiny bit more at peace with himself. If joking about it makes Jack feel better then Koz will make dead sibling jokes all day; Pitch will be pissed, but he’ll get over it once he realizes how much it helps.
“I’m just saying that it can’t be that bad. They’re your parents! Wait, do they know about . . . “ Jack trails off as he glances at Pitch, who’s already asleep on his other side, and back to Koz.
“No,” Koz says quickly, “which is why it’s not relaxing. We moved to the States so we wouldn’t have to worry about that, essentially.”
Jack is silent for a couple of minutes, his brow furrowed and lips twisted in though. “But how did they . . . not notice . . . or-or allow it?”
Koz understands the difficulty of phrasing that question. Sometimes, the three of them get so caught up in their own world, a place where it isn’t strange that two brothers are sexually involved and regularly have threesomes with a twink who is more than ten years their junior. It’s easy to let societal standards and norms melt away, but they can’t just forget about them. As much as they think there’s nothing wrong with their involvement—in any direction among the three of them—they recognize that a lot of other people will see everything as wrong. Koz understands why Jack’s basically asking, “How did your parents let this happen?” and doesn’t blame him for that.
“Well, our parents were hardly around to notice anything. They went on a lot of business trips and it wasn’t unusual for them to be gone for weeks at a time, with only the maid and the cook at the house when we were teenagers . . . so our involvement had no outside interference.”
“You had a maid and a cook!”
Koz waves his hand. “That’s not important. Our parents weren’t home often and when they were it would only be to pack bags for another trip to a different part of the world, not enough time for them to really notice anything. When it came time for college, our parents were finally starting to settle down—well if talking about visiting us at school every weekend to take us away for impromptu trips all over England and Europe counts as ‘settling down.’ Pitch and I decided it was too risky to stay close to them so we headed off to the States for school. We managed to convince them the time changes would be too wearing for frequent visits and persuaded them not to drop in unannounced. Though I can’t say we’ve been totally subtle, I mean we’ve been living together ever since we came here with absolutely no mention of outside relationships . . .”
“But that’s where I come in! So, tell me, whose heart have I stolen this time.” Jack props his chin in his hand and smiles innocently.
“Our parents will be the happiest with Pitch,” Koz says, thinking back to the discussion he had with his brother several weeks ago, when they were first planning this trip. “They worried about him never having friends, even when they were never around.”
“Wouldn’t that make it a bit unbelievable?” Jack asks with a laugh. “He suddenly has a boyfriend out of nowhere? And what will the think about the ‘boy’ part of that?”
“Pitch is making connections outside of me and displaying signs of normal behavior. He could bring home a horse and they would be happy. They’re not picky—they can’t be.”
“Being normal is boring,” Pitch mumbles, apparently not asleep.
“It’s how we keep jobs and a house,” Koz counters.
“No, that’s by appearing normal,” Pitch says. He scowls and slumps down against the window.
“Okay then,” Jack says, “tell me how I should go about appearing normal to your parents.”
“Onyx is going to pick us up and drive us to our parents’ house, where everyone is staying,” Koz explains, gathering their passports and putting them in his bag. They all made it through customs without any trouble and Jack is more than happy to hand his over, since he will probably just end up losing it as he lives out of a suitcase for the next few days.
“She’s your cousin and Seraphina’s mother, right?” Jack asks. Before leaving, he studied up on the twins’ ridiculously large family out of fear of forgetting someone’s name. Thankfully, not everyone is coming for Christmas, but it’s still overwhelming, completely different from spending Christmas alone the past couple years.
“Exactly,” Koz says as they exit the doors at the end of customs. He and Pitch scan the crowd of people waiting for international arrivals.
Jack feels rather useless, not knowing who to look for, so he continues to list what he knows, confirming the information. “And she’s going through a divorce right now so don’t mention anything about marriage or court unless you want to be strangled.”
“Perfect,” Koz says, glancing at him with a smile.
“There she is,” Pitch says.
Jack follows the line of his pointing finger to a woman who is unmistakably related to the twins, with the same dark skin, proud features, and ridiculous height. One hand is raised in a wave while the other reaches down, as if holding onto a shorter something, or someone.
Meeting them halfway with a huge smile, Onyx greets the twins with warm hugs. Then she turns to Jack.
“You must be the plus one,” she says and even something about the way she looks at him reminded him of the twins. It’s an almost-hungry eager anticipation that examines every inch of his being.
“Yes, this is Jack,” Pitch says, putting a hand on the small of Jack’s back, guiding him forward to shake Onyx’s hand. Her grip is firm, unsurprisingly, but it’s also welcoming.
“You have no idea how happy and excited their parents, especially their mother, were when these two said they were bringing another person,” Onyx says. “You’ve been the topic of a lot of conversation.”
“Really?” Jack asks, genuinely surprised. He didn’t know he would be this big of a deal.
“I already know Jack, Mom.”
Jack is expecting that voice, though that doesn’t make hearing it any easier. Seraphina smiles innocently from her mother’s side, but Jack knows better. For a twelve year old, she is a far more sinister form of devious than she should be.
“Oh, you do?”
“Yup. He was there the last time I went to visit.”
“That was over the summer. How long have you been hiding him?” Onyx teases as she begins to lead the way out of the airport, looking pointedly at Koz.
Koz puts his hands up. “He’s not mine to hide.”
Onyx actually stops and turns to look at them fully. Pitch’s hand, still on Jack’s back, twitches.
“No way,” she says with complete disbelief, looking between Jack and Pitch and finally seeming to notice the hand’s position.
“Is it really that shocking?” Pitch asks smugly.
“Yes, actually,” Onyx says, laughing at Pitch’s slightly offended expression, which morphs to one of betrayal as Jack joins in on her laughter.
As they continue walking, Koz and Pitch step into line to talk with Onyx and Seraphina drops back with Jack.
“Isn’t it a bit of a stretch,” she says, “that you’re Pitch’s boyfriend this time?”
“Shhh,” Jack frantically shushes her, glancing ahead to make sure Onyx hasn’t overheard. Seraphina smiles serenely. “It’s what we’re going with, so you better play along.”
“Oh don’t worry. I have far too much fun messing with you guys when I come to visit. I can’t ruin all that!”
“Of course not,” Jack dead pans. He isn’t too worried about Seraphina outing them, but her words leave no doubt she’ll still mess with them here, which could result in some awkward and difficult to explain situations. He supposes he should be grateful that she didn’t tell anyone as soon as she figured it out, but it’s hard when she constantly threatens to. Well, “threatens” is perhaps too strong a word. She would never actually tell, but the thought of it is anxiety inducing enough.
Jack’s starting to see what Koz meant by this not being a relaxing vacation.
The neighborhood they’re driving through is impressive. The huge houses have long, winding driveways and rolling front lawns, and, while Jack prefers a quieter, more subtle setting, he has to appreciate the majesty. He just wishes he had a window seat. Onyx insisted that he sits next to Pitch in the back and there’s no way Pitch would fit in the middle. So Jack sits there instead, his feet up on the hump, occasionally leaning over Pitch or Seraphina and ignoring their grumbles to get a better look at the houses.
When Onyx turns into one of the gated—fucking gated!—drives, Jack literally gasps in shock. He assumed this was just a street they were cutting through to get to the house the twins’ grew up in. “You live on this street!?”
“Lived. And you make it sound like this is some famous street or something. It’s just like any other street,” Pitch says.
“Not every street in England has houses that look like this,” Jack says, practically throwing himself over Pitch to press his face against the window, trying to get a good look at the house. When he does, his mouth drops open.
The house is of simple design, whitewashed and steepled, but doesn’t go to lengths to display the wealth that must be available to afford something of its make. Aside from the Christmas trimming, it has no fancy decoration on the outside, letting the sheer size of the building itself and sprawling lawns speak for themselves, making its worth known in more subtle ways, if any of that can be considered subtle. Judging by the rest of the houses, Jack supposes it is.
He stares the entire way up the drive, entranced by the size and grandeur of the house and not caring what anyone else in the car would think, though he distantly hears Pitch chuckle and feels him lay a hand on his shoulder.
“You grew up here?!” Jack asks.
“Yes,” Pitch answers smugly.
Catching onto the tone, Jack says, “I though this is ‘just like any other street?’”
“Any other street people of our class lived on.”
Onyx and Koz scoff from the front seat, bringing an amused smile to Jack’s face, though he doesn’t comment.
They stop by the front door and Jack is surprised a butler or someone doesn’t come out to greet them, with Koz’s previous mention of a maid and a cook.
“Just unload your bags and I’ll go park the car,” Onyx says, shifting the gear to park.
Doors open on all sides of Jack and he sticks his tongue out at Seraphina as she closes hers right after she exits. He’s tempted to smack Pitch’s offered hand aside, but thinks better of it. Might as well go the whole nine yards with the boyfriend thing.
Once he’s out of the car, Jack looks down the expanse of the driveway, marveling at how far it extends to connect to the street. A bag is thrust at him and he grasps for it blindly, still taking in the light layer of snow that gives the sculpted hedges a frosted look.
He feels a hand on his back, steering him around the car and toward the front steps. He turns his gaze from the yard to the entryway, which is just several stairs leading to a plain door.
“I’ll meet you guys inside in a minute,” Onyx says as she pulls away.
Seraphina skips past them, jumping up the steps and opening the front door without so much as a knock.
“We’re ba~ack!” she calls as she disappears inside.
“Okay,” Koz breathes. “This is it.”
They all take a deep breath and follow her through the door, into the entrance hall. Jack barely has time to absorb the high ceiling, tasteful décor, and what seems like fifty pairs of shoes by the door when he hears a female voice answer Seraphina’s call.
“I’ll be right there! Please remember to take your shoes off. Just because you live in the States now doesn’t mean you can forget your manners when you come home. I don’t like dirt tracked all over my house!”
Jack can only assume that’s the twins’ mother. He glances behind him at Pitch and Koz, who give him smiles of encouragement.
“You’ll do fine,” Koz says, “but it is best you do take your shoes off. It’ll be a good first impression.”
Jack quickly falls to one knee and hurriedly sets to unlacing his sneakers. He’s nervous enough as it is; he doesn’t need Mrs. Black thinking he’s some kind of uncivilized American.
Jack startles as the same female voice sounds again, this time much closer. He looks up to see a short woman with delicate features in the doorway. Mrs. Black only has eyes for Koz and Pitch as she steps forward, holding her arms open. They meet her for a hug, bending down so they can reciprocate properly.
She finally releases them, though not without a kiss on the cheek for both of them. Jack smirks in amusement as Pitch wiped his face off with his sleeve and tries to work up the courage to introduce himself.
“Christopher!” she hollers suddenly, causing everyone else in the room to flinch. “Get in here and greet your sons!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming. Can’t give an old man five minutes . . .”
Jack is surprised by how similar Mr. Black’s voice is to the twins’ voices, just as deep, though slightly more gravely. Once he enters the room, it’s obvious that the twins got their physical features from their father as well, if their mother’s contrasting appearance isn’t enough of an indication. It’s a bit surreal, seeing someone who is basically a more wrinkled and grayed version of Pitch and Koz.
“Bah, they look the same as they did last year,” he says, though Jack, even from his kneeling position, can see the affection on his face as he hugs the twins.
“So,” Mrs. Black begins once her husband is by her side, “where’s this ‘Jack’ we’ve heard so much about? Well, we actually haven’t heard anything about him other than he’s coming for Christmas, but we’ve all talked about him so much it feels as if I already know him.”
Jack steels himself and stands up. He toes off his untied shoes and steps up between the twins. Putting on his brightest smile and sticking out his hand, he says, “H-hi, Mr. and Mrs. Black. It’s really nice to meet you and thank you so much for letting me come to your house for Christmas.”
“Oh, of course, my dear,” Mrs. Black says warmly, returning his handshake. “And, please, call me Patricia.”
“Yes, ‘Chris’ is fine,” Mr. Black—Chris says. “If you’re coming here for Christmas you might as well act like family.”
“Wow, I-I just, thank you so much,” Jack says, genuinely touched by their kindness. He doesn’t quite know how to react or express his gratitude, but he does appreciate the warm gesture.
“I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many family members at once, so let’s just take your bags upstairs. We have a couple different places you could sleep,” Patricia says as she leads the way through a different doorway than the one she entered. It’s more an extension of the entry hall than its own room, and contains a staircase at the far end, which they all make their way up. “Pitch and Koz, you’ll be in your old room of course—the one you used to share when you were really young—but we could shuffle around some people to free up a guest room for you, Jack.”
“I’ll sleep wherever, honestly. Anywhere’s fine.” Jack really doesn’t want to inconvenience anybody. He’s used to crashing on friend’s couches, so he’s all set with anything, though preferably somewhere indoors.
“I’ll figure something out,” Patricia says, pausing at the top of the staircase and glancing down both ends of the hall. “So, how do you know the twins, Jack?”
They exchange a nervous, three-way glance. It’s now or never.
“Mom, Dad,” Pitch says, putting his hands on Jack’s shoulders and pulling him closer. “Jack is my boyfriend.”
Patricia stiffens before turning around. “Your boyfriend? Your boyfriend?”
“Yes,” Pitch responds calmly, though Jack can feel his fingers tighten. “Is that okay?”
Patricia reaches behind her for Chris, who puts an arm around her shoulders, a serious look on his face. Patricia places her hand over his and seems to draw strength from his presence. Jack is starting to think that this is going to go very, very badly.
“Okay?” she says incredulously, before a smile lights up her face. “It’s more than okay—this is great, this is—I mean, we always thought . . .” She trails off as her eyes flick between the twins and Jack nearly explodes with the effort it takes to hold in his laughter. “But clearly not—oh, this is wonderful!”
Jack finds himself yanked into a hug and then held at arms-length so quickly he swears he now has whiplash. Patricia stares up at him and Pitch with such a fond look that Jack can’t do anything but smile back.
“We’ll definitely have to clear out a guest room now,” she says, winking.
“Hmmm, yes, that would be a good idea,” Pitch agrees, placing a hand on Jack’s lower back.
Jack’s so incredibly glad that Chris and Patricia have already turned their backs on them and are heading down the hall so they don’t have to see him fighting off Pitch’s roaming hands.
Jack collapses facedown onto the bed. “That was the most stressful experience of my life.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” Pitch says, sitting down beside him and rubbing his back. “They accepted us and now we have our own room. I’d say that worked out very well.”
Jack turns his head to the side to glare at Pitch, letting his silence speak for itself, but Pitch only laughs. He should’ve known it wouldn’t work, so he buries his face in the mattress once again.
“If we have this room all to ourselves we might as well make use of it, hmmm?”
Jack feels Pitch’s lips on the back of his neck, gentle kisses at first, followed by the prick of teeth. He moans involuntarily. It feels so nice and he could can use some relaxation after what just happened, but there are more important things they need to take care of first.
Jack rolls away from Pitch, standing up when he reaches the end of the bed. “Not right now. I have to meet your family.”
“You have all of Christmas to meet our family,” Pitch whines.
“And we have all the time after that to fuck,” Jack says, heading for the door, which he is very suddenly pressed against.
“That sounds a lot like forever,” Pitch whispers hotly into his ear, gripping his hips tightly.
All breath is stolen from Jack’s body. He should have known Pitch would pick up and focus on something like that. Jack didn’t even realize he phrased his words like that; it just came out naturally, which only tells how true they are.
“What if I do mean forever?” he breathes.
Pitch’s arms slip around his waist and squeeze as he drops his head to rest on Jack’s shoulder. He hums deeply, sending vibrations through Jack’s body. Jack turns and presses his face into Pitch’s hair.
“That’s good,” Pitch says, “because I intend to keep you forever.”
Jack swallows. Pitch’s possessiveness is often a turn on, especially in the middle of sex, but sometimes it scares him a little. Not in a way that makes him fear for his well-being, because he really does mean it when he says he isn’t going anywhere, but in a way that leaves him shaking from its intensity and sincerity, awed by the fact that someone wants him this much. And it isn’t even just one someone; Koz feels the same way.
Pitch takes a step back, toward the bed, pulling Jack with him. Realizing what he’s doing, Jack throws himself backward to break through Pitch’s arms.
“No way,” he says. “We really do have to go downstairs. Everyone is probably wondering where we are.”
“It’ll only make them happy if we’re gone for an extended period of time,” Pitch says.
“Oh my god, your family is so messed up. In so many ways.”
“Yet you’re the one who voluntarily chose to be with us . . .”
“Shut up,” Jack says, pushing up onto his tiptoes to steal a kiss before fleeing from the room.
The next couple of hours are filled with meeting family members: aunts, uncles, cousins, children of cousins. Jack is completely overwhelmed by the number of sisters Patricia has. Both of his parents are only children, so he can’t imagine having three aunts just on one side of the family.
Of those three aunts, only Clarice and Francis are married. Clarice, married to Henry, has two sons and one daughter. Francis is married to Duncan, and has three daughters and one son. Most of the cousins have at least one child themselves and Jack gave up trying to remember all of their names as well as whose child they are. He figures he has some leeway there, seeing as Koz and Pitch seem unsure at times.
The third aunt is Beatrice, who was married to her cats, a self-proclamation as well as a warning from other family members. Though everyone loves her dearly, she’s known as the crazy aunt and people generally avoid having serious conversation with her, as well as regular conversation if at all possible.
Their father’s side of the family is a little more manageable, with only a brother and a sister, though neither of them could make it. Their children are mostly in attendance: Onyx and three boys who looked so much alike that it was impossible for Jack to tell who are siblings and who are just cousins. With a daughter each whose names all start with “S” and look alike as well, Jack decides he had a free pass there as well.
Dinner is one of the loudest and most exhilarating experiences of Jack’s life. He didn’t know there was a table in existence that could seat what must have been more than thirty people, but there apparently is. Servers—servers!—bring food, that Jack assumes was cooked by a chef, to the table.
The noise and food and drink all leave him sleepy and satiated. On top of the jet lag, he’s so exhausted that he barely remembers Pitch leading him upstairs to go to bed.
Chapter 20: Christmas Part 2
“You’re the first one up in this house, too—oo—oo,” Jack says as he pads into the kitchen, drawing out the long “o” with a yawn. Upon hearing the familiar tinging of pans and shuffling of footsteps from the kitchen upon waking up, Jack decided to join Koz downstairs. It might be one of the few chances they get to spend some private time together.
“The jet lag has messed up my sleeping schedule,” Koz says, poking at the scrambled eggs. “Woke up at five and couldn’t go back to sleep so I figured I might as well make breakfast.”
They glances around to confirm that no one else is awake yet before sharing a good morning kiss.
“Oh my god!” a voice squawks from the doorway and they spin around.
Pitch chuckles darkly as he steps into the kitchen.
“You bastard,” Koz exclaims, whacking Pitch with the spatula when he gets close enough. “Your impression of Mom is too good to do shit like that.”
Pitch just laughs again and wraps an arm around Jack’s waist, snatching him away from Koz. “You don’t get to do that anymore. He’s only mine now.”
Jack rolls his eyes and lets Pitch haul him away. It’s easier to let him have his way.
“Fine with me,” Koz says. “I can always watch.”
“Well then . . .” Pitch leans back on the nearest counter and pulls Jack flush against him. Jack smirks and relaxes into him in anticipation of what’s coming next.
Pitch’s mouth slants over his and one hand moves up to cup the back of his neck while the other slides down to his ass. As he squeezes and kneads, Pitch slips his tongue into Jack’s mouth and drags it against his. Jack’s whimper turns into a moan when Pitch pushes a knee between his legs and uses his hands on his ass to make him grind against it.
Though lost in the kiss, Jack is aware enough to recognize that Koz’s sharp gasp isn’t one of arousal. He pulls away from the kiss with a rather lewd pop to see the twins’ mother standing in the doorway. His quickly rising horror suddenly evaporates, leaving behind only a dazed feeling as he realizes Patricia isn’t gaping in shock, but smiling happily.
“Oh, don’t let me stop you!” she says, taking quick steps to the doorway on the opposite wall. “Just going out for a smoke.”
She gives Jack and Pitch one last fond look before slipping out of the room.
Jack slowly looks over at Koz, who is staring wide-eyed at the eggs as he prods them with his spatula, a position he most likely immediately assumed to avoid being caught watching. Jack then turns his gaze to Pitch, who looks rather indifferent about the whole thing. Usually, he wouldn’t be surprised—Pitch doesn’t care who sees him making out or even something more heated—but this time . . .
“You don’t even care if your own mother saw that, oh my god!” Jack exclaims, slapping Pitch on the arm.
“She didn’t seem to mind.” Pitch shrugs.
“Pitch!” Koz and Jack exclaim at the same time.
Jack loves talking to people, he really does, but answering the same questions about his relationship with Pitch—most often “how?” followed by “why?”—got old pretty quickly. He’s grateful for the opportunity to escape to the quiet of the guest room, even if it’ll only be for a few minutes.
He flops onto the bed, sighing in relief. It isn’t often that he needs stillness, so he decides to revel in the unusual moment.
A knock on the doorframe disturbs him and Jack only sits up long enough to see that it’s Koz before collapsing back down.
“Needed a break?” Koz asks gently, sitting down on the bed next to Jack.
“So badly,” Jack whines. “Your family is huge and asks too many questions.”
“Pitch hardly talked to anyone besides me growing up. They’re just fascinated by you.”
“It would have been easier to be your boyfriend.”
“But you’ve given everybody so much hope.”
Jack just glares up at him.
“Besides,” Koz continues, disregarding Jack’s look, “how well do you think this would go if Pitch had to keep his hands off you for hours at a time? I’m barely holding back and my self-control is much better than Pitch’s.”
Jack watches in fascination as Koz’s playfully teasing look transforms into a predatory gaze that conveys his hunger. Jack, all too eager to sate that hunger, slowly pushes himself up and sidles closer to Koz, crawling across the bed.
“Do you have any idea how hard it is to contain my desire for you as I watch Pitch get to do whatever he likes? I’m used to hiding my feelings for Pitch, but you’re someone I don’t—I shouldn’t have to do that for.”
As Koz talks, Jack straddles his lap and grinds his hips forward, drawing out moans from their mouths.
“Yours and Pitch’s touches are so different . . . and they’re both nice . . . but I can only take so much possessive grabbing at once. Just touch me like—” Jack sighs in contentment as Koz’s hand wraps gently around his waist, so large his fingers brush the ridges of his spine. He arches as the hand smoothed up his side, wringing another moan from his mouth. “J-just like that.”
He feels a bit embarrassed, being this affected by contact that isn’t purely sexual, but he really does miss Koz’s touch. Koz certainly misses touching him as well, if the movement of his hands is any indication. Both hands are touching him now, trailing upwards, thumbs flicking over his nipples, causing Jack to gasp. Koz then drags his hands down and Jack exhales with a shuddering breath, bowing his head to rest his forehead against Koz’s.
They kiss, the first real kiss they’ve shared in days and Jack presses harder against Koz, even though they’re already impossibly close. Koz’s mouth wanders away from his, continuing to lay hot, wet kisses down his jaw and to his throat. He isn’t biting or sucking, to avoid leaving hickeys, but neck-kissing always turns Jack on. He grabs the back of Koz’s head as his back arches, holding him there and anchoring himself.
“Jack, Pitch?—oh, I’m sorry!”
Koz freezes in the process of mouthing over an already existing mark—left by Pitch the other day—on the crook of Jack’s neck. Jack whips his head around to gape at Patricia. She’s standing in the doorway, smiling serenely, seeming completely at ease with the current situation.
“I just came up to check on you and make sure everything is okay, but you seem to be a bit busy so I’ll just leave you two alone . . .” She couldn’t have sounded more pleased as she shuts the door behind her.
Koz sighs in relief against Jack’s neck, where he kept his face pressed the entire time. He finally pulls his head away and weakly asks, “Why didn’t I close the door?”
Jack laughs nervously.
“You need creakier stairs,” he squeaks, thinking of just now as well as what happened in the kitchen that morning.
“This is why we moved so far away!”
Jack laughs more freely this time, feeling more at ease with the door closed. It’s a very good thing their parents only see Pitch and Koz once a year, otherwise their mother wouldn’t have mistaken Koz for Pitch. Though they’re technically identical twins, there are some subtle differences in physical features—such as Pitch’s slighter build compared to Koz’s more muscular form—that become noticeable after spending even a short amount of time with them.
Jack snorts as he thinks of something Koz said earlier. “So much for your self-control, huh?”
The shove that lands him right on his ass on the floor is definitely worth it.
There’s another dinner that night that’s just as overwhelming. It’s a bit rowdier because all the kids are excited about it being Christmas Eve. There’s more desserts and a Christmas cake big enough for everyone to have two slices.
After, everyone lounges around, too full to do much else besides talk and drink eggnog. Jack decides to work on his Christmas present for Chris and Patricia. The twins helped him pick out something to buy for them, but he also wants to give them something a bit more personal. They are so welcoming. Family is a big focus for them and they just invited him right into it.
He grabs his sketchbook and picks a random family member. With everyone just sitting, he draws a good portion of the family that evening.
He ends up giving in to Pitch. He supposes there’s no reason to waste the guest room they have all to themselves. Since they didn’t expect it, they’re unprepared and have to stick to blow jobs, but Jack’s more than okay with that. And trying to keep quiet makes for a fun game.
When Pitch cuddles up next to him to go to sleep, a thought occurs to him.
“Didn’t you and Koz share a room when you were younger? Your house is huge.”
“We technically had our own rooms, but at night one of us would always go into the other’s room because we didn’t want to be apart for the whole night. Eventually our beds were just moved into the same room. Our nannies got tired of thinking one of us had gone missing every morning.”
Pitch smirks. “We were . . . difficult to handle.”
Jack rolls his eyes.
Chapter 21: Christmas Part 3
This one is probably the shortest of the Christmas parts, but it's fine.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!
Christmas morning is a blur. There’s wrapping paper and ribbons everywhere, a delicious breakfast, and loud children. Jack can do without the last one, but this is probably the most exciting day of the year for them. He won’t be like Pitch, who grimaces and covers his ears whenever they run by with new toys.
Some people get ready to go to church, but Jack opts out. His family used to go to church and that’s hitting a bit too close to home. The fact that this family is so big makes it different enough from the small family gathering his Christmases used to be. He can compartmentalize, but he doesn’t want to push that too far. He’s fine with staying and cuddling with Pitch on the couch, letting things happen around him.
Evening finds everyone relaxing in the main living room, the adults spread out over couches and chairs and the kids scattered across the floor, playing with their new toys. A Christmas movie is playing on the TV, but Pitch finds his attention caught by Jack, tucked against his side, drawing in a sketchbook. Long, loose lines and short, quick strokes slowly take form in the image of his parents, sitting together as they are on the other side of the room. Jack has been drawing in this particular sketchbook during spare moments since they arrived but this is the first time Pitch has seen what he’s drawing.
Seraphina distracts him from his observation as she suddenly stands up from her seat on the floor in front of them and heads upstairs. She comes down moments later with a book in her hands.
“Is that something you got for Christmas, dear?” asks one of the aunts.
“No, this is a book I’ve been working on finishing for a while now,” Seraphina says, sitting back down.
“What’s it about?”
Seraphina sighs dramatically and dreamily. “It’s a love story.”
“Ooooh,” several of the aunts chorus, looking at each other knowingly.
“What’s it called?” the first aunt asks.
“Three is Better Than Two.”
Pitch nearly chokes on nothing at hearing that title. Jack stiffens and Koz’s head jerks up a bit, though they all have the sense not to react too strongly. That’s the title of Pitch’s latest erotica novel—written under a pseudonym, of course—and one of his raunchiest, most explicit to date (released just in time for the holidays, making a perfect gift for that sexual frustrated friend—as long as they were over 18 of course, which Seraphina most certainly was not!).
Jack slowly lowers his sketchpad until it rests on the top of Seraphina’s head. Pitch can see the way she freezes, similar to the way the three of them just did moments ago. Good.
“What’s it about?” Jack asks carefully.
“It’s about two twins—” everyone chuckles and glances at Koz and Pitch, who force laughs and, oh, isn’t just everything about this situation incredibly ironic? “—who find out that they’re both in love with the same person, a mysterious stranger who they see in the coffee shop every morning. They compete against each other for this person’s heart and it’s so beautiful because their love for each other keeps getting in the way of their courting. They’re both the other’s best friend and they don’t want to hurt their twin, but they both also really love this stranger and it’s heartbreaking. I don’t know who wins yet and I just have to finish to find out!”
Pitch cringes as all the adults “awwww”, clearly not knowing what kind of love the twins in the story hold for each other (or the twins in real life for that matter). He would spoil the book right now for the little brat—the twins come to a compromise and decide to share, which the “mysterious stranger” is all too happy about—if not for obvious reasons. She’s underage and he really needs to ask her just how she got her hands on that book. It belongs far away from children her age, related to him or not—actually, especially related him to him, seeing as some plot points (okay most of them) are based on real life events.
Jack picks his sketchbook back up and glances at Pitch out of the corner of his eye. Pitch can’t do much about it at the moment, so he isn’t sure what Jack expects him to do. Jack shrugs, flicks his gaze to Seraphina, and jerks his head to the side. Pitch gathers that Jack wants him to talk to Seraphina later, which he’s most certainly planning on doing. He smiles and leans down to peck Jack on the lips to let him know he doesn’t have to worry.
“Oh! You two are just so precious!” his mother says, drawing everyone’s eyes to them. Pitch resists curling his lip at attention.
“You remind me of that book Seraphina is reading,” the first aunt says, “with the twins and the third person. It’s so similar.”
Forcing a smile and a laugh, Pitch inwardly wishes horrible things upon his aunt.
Koz resists the urge to crawl under the couch. Of all of Pitch’s dirty books she could have gotten her hands on, why did it have to be this one? They’re all pretty bad, but this one is ridiculous. He has a feeling she hasn’t actually read it and is just trying to rile them up—but she’s succeeding! It’s a bit much, especially with the close call he had with Jack yesterday.
Jack and Pitch look as horrified as he feels. Luckily, it’s not super obvious to their family members who can’t read their expressions as well. Though they did have a small nonverbal exchange which seemed to indicate Pitch will talk to Sera later. Good.
The next morning, they repack their bags, trying to make new presents fit around their clothes. Jack was always horrible at Tetris, so he leaves Koz to figure it out. He goes to get a few quick sketches of family members saying goodbye before driving off. Most people are close enough to drive and those that aren’t, like themselves, will be dropped off at the airport by someone going in that direction.
The twins come down when Onyx and Sera are getting ready to depart. Sera gives them all the expected hugs and goodbyes, but glares viciously when no one else is looking.
“Hope your car ride home isn’t too boring with nothing to read,” Jack whispers to her when he bends down to hug her. She squeezes him with surprising strength for someone her size, and most definitely not in an affectionate way.
A random assortment of family members stands just outside the door to wave as they drive away. Sera smiles sweetly and waves back, but as soon as everyone but Jack, Koz, and Pitch has turned away, she flips them off. Jack needs some time to compose himself from laughing so hard before he can go back inside.
Pitch puts the last suitcase in the car. Aunt Beatrice would be taking them to the airport before continuing her journey home to her cats, which is all she will be talking about the entire drive.
He and Koz already said goodbye to their parents and he’s completely ready to go, but Jack is still saying goodbye. He keep an eye on their exchange, curious about what’s keeping them.
Jack is holding the sketchbook he’s been carrying around the entire holiday. He holds it out to them and Pitch watches carefully as his mother takes it in careful hands. She opens it gingerly and gasps in surprise. Jack looks a bit embarrassed as he explains what it is, but Pitch can see his parents both have tears in their eyes. He turns away when they both engulf him in another hug.
He feels Koz come up behind him and put a hand on his shoulder.
“We did good, didn’t we?”
He’s obviously not talking about this holiday trip and Pitch can only nod.
Once they’re sitting just outside the boarding gate a half hour early, Koz can finally relax. He pulls Jack closer to his side. As soon as Aunt Beatrice was out of sight he forcibly took the title of Jack’s-boyfriend-in-public from Pitch. Having to spend the entire vacation without physical affection was awful.
Pitch sits only a little bit farther away from Jack, rummaging around in his bag. He finally pulls out a book, the one he took from Sera.
“Really?” Koz asks.
Pitch opens the book somewhere in the middle and turns a few pages to find a particular scene. As he does, he explains, “Of course. We still need to give each other our presents. I need some inspiration before I decide what to ask for this year. And who better to get inspiration from than myself?”
Jack sighs and rolls his eyes and it takes Koz great self-control not to do the same. He himself tried to read this book, but he could barely make it through the first page. Sure, he’s read Pitch other more adult books, but this one was about him. He did let Pitch describe one of the smut scenes—that just happened to take place near the middle of the book—and he honestly wouldn’t mind that happening in real life . . .