Jared's almost finished going over his lieutenants' reports when Chad bursts through the door to his office. He has a thin manila envelope in his right hand and a more muleish than usual expression on his face.
Jared raises an eyebrow. As not only Jared’s right hand, but also his best friend, Chad has more leeway than most in his organization, but there's still certain protocol that should be observed.
"Ever heard of knocking, Murray?" he says.
"Jay..." There's nothing light or mocking in Chad's tone. In fact, Jared hasn't seen the smaller man look so serious since the last time Ventimiglia and his new crew tried to horn in on their 'exporting' business.
Jared feels acid start to churn in his stomach. If Chad looks like that then his news can only be bad. Very, very bad. Jared sighs, imagining his anticipated afternoon activity - watching his boyfriend lounge and preen by the pool - go up in smoke.
"What's wrong?" Jared asks, steeling himself.
Chad shakes his head and seems to look truly remorseful about the news he’s delivering. "I just... I never liked the guy, but I didn't think he'd squeal. I'm sorry, Jared."
Well, crap. Jared's jaw clenches. It’s worse than a possible takeover; Chad had found a traitor in their midst. Now Jared was going to have to get dirty.
There's a sound of footsteps in the hallway, and Jared watches as Jeff Morgan, his head of security, and Short and Evans, two of Jeff's men, walk in. It's the man they're flanking that garners most of his attention though.
Jensen pads into the room on bare feet. He's wearing a practically indecent forest green speedo, a breezy, open-buttoned white shirt, and a look of adorable confusion on his pretty face. He cocks his head to one side and says. "Jay?"
Jared resists the urge to shrug. He doesn't know what's going on yet, but he’s pretty sure that the end result is going to be interesting.
Chad sneers at Jensen before slamming the envelope he’s been holding down on Jared's desk. "This fucker's been meeting with the Feds."
Make that very interesting. And possibly messy. Jared quickly takes in the temperament of these men that, just a short while ago, seemed to get along so well. Chad is, of course, livid. Morgan is still and cold, but Jared can see the fingers on his right hand twitch. Short and Evans are stoic, but clearly uncomfortable. Jensen seems perplexed by the matter.
"I'm not sure what-" Jensen's head rocks to one side as Chad backhands him.
"Chad!" Jared's up from his seat and around the corner of his desk before he even realizes it.
"Dirty traitors don't get to speak," Chad says. "It's all on your desk, Jared. Dates, times, pictures. Seems your boy's been having a pretty regular lunch date over the last few weeks with one Special Agent Collins."
Jared's eyes flit to the envelope. The evidence within sounds damning all right. He focuses on Jensen again. There's a red mark already coming up on his cheek, and he's dropped the clueless act. He's not angry, or scared though. He's just sort of... blank.
Jared knows he needs to quickly diffuse the situation, but how? "Chad-"
"Oh, and that's not the worst part," Chad sneers, interrupting him. "No, the worst part is that after the last two meetings they booked some time in a hotel." Chad moves close to Jensen. "I don't get it. You haven't wanted for anything since you came into this house. Did you fuck the guy just 'cause you wanted to add a little extra twist to the knife you were gonna stick in Jared's back? Or have I been right about you all along, and deep down you're nothing but a whore."
That was a mistake.
Jensen moves faster than Jared's eyes can track. In the time it takes Jared to blink, formulate a sentence, and open his mouth to speak, Short and Evans are on the ground, and Morgan is hunched over, still on his feet but in obvious pain. Jensen is standing up straight, feet planted, shoulders back. Jeff’s gun is in his right hand and its pointed between Chad's very surprised eyes.
"What the," Chad sputters. "Someone shoot him!"
"Little hard to do," Jeff says with a wheeze, "since that's my gun he's holding."
Jared leans back against his desk. "Jen, darlin'?"
Jared winces. "I suppose it's too much to ask for you to not make a mess in my office?"
"He had me followed, Jared," Jensen says. "He had me followed, and he was going to have Jeff kill me, and then have Chris and Columbus cut me up into tiny little pieces and dump all my bits into the ocean." Jensen's eyes and aim never falter, regardless of the irritation that's slipped into his voice. "I'll buy you new carpet."
"Chad's my second."
"He's a moron."
"He's my friend."
"You're a moron."
"He's loyal," Jared presses. "Yeah, okay, he went about things in a dickish way, but his endgame was to protect me and my interests." Jared can tell that Jensen's wavering, so it's time to pull out the big guns. "Jen, please."
Jensen snorts and lowers his weapon. "Jesus Christ. When the fuck did I get so whipped?"
"Probably around the time you decided to retire instead of killing me," Jared says with a smirk.
"Yeah, yeah." Jensen frowns as he takes in the carnage he's wrought. Jeff's standing mostly upright now, though it's obviously a struggle. Evans and Short are just starting to come around, their faces are bloody and already swelling. Chad is still looking almost comically shocked about the turn of events.
"Chad," Jensen says with a sigh, "I've never liked you. But Jared does, and, so far, that's kept me from carving you up like a fucking turkey and leaving what's left of your corpse rotting in the desert."
"Yeah, I'd still rather you didn't do that." Jared cringes as he gets hit with the full weight of Jensen's scowl. "Or, you know, whatever."
Jensen once again faces Chad. "Let me make something perfectly clear to you. If I wanted to bring down this organization, I wouldn't go to the FBI, I'd kill all of you in your sleep. And if I wanted to 'twist a knife in Jared's back', then I would have done it when I first met him. And I would have used a real knife. And I would have gotten paid a lot of money for it." Jensen peers closely into Chad's face. "Do you understand?"
Chad swallows hard. "What about Collins?"
"Jesus, Murray," Jeff says, "it might be time for you to shut up now."
"Actually, I'm a little interested in that too," Jared says. He shrugs apologetically at Jensen.
"You having trust issues, Jay?" Jensen's tone is light, teasing, but there's a warning underneath it.
"'Course not. But I would like to know just what's floating around that devious mind of yours."
Jensen grins, and Jared releases tension he didn't know he was holding.
"Collins approached me a few weeks ago wanting me to roll. I drew him in, drew him out, and discovered a few things."
"Well, he's batshit crazy, for one," Jensen says with a smile. "He's also gotten kind of... disenchanted with the establishment."
Jared knows there's a pleased expression on his face. "You think you can turn him?"
"Pretty sure," Jensen says. "And, if not, well, you know I clean up my messes."
"And the hotel?" Chad asks, eliciting groans from everyone else in the room. "What? Fine, I get it, you're some kind of ex-assassin guy, and you could kill me with your pinkie, but if you're stepping out on my boy we're still gonna have words."
"Fuck," Evans mutters. "No way I'm jumping in front of him to stop a bullet."
"See," Jared says, pointing at Chad and ignoring his security team's discontent, "loyal. You can't kill him he's like..."
"A Pit Bull," Chad says.
"Pomeranian," Jensen corrects, grinning as Chad tries to puff himself up. "As for the hotel, it's got a world class spa, and Misha loves seaweed wraps. I've actually gotten kind of partial to them myself." Jensen glances at Jared. "I've been putting all that on your AmEx, by the way."
"I figured," Jared says. "You are being careful, right?"
Jensen flat out laughs at that. "Oh Jared, you are adorable." He practically slinks over to his boyfriend and wraps himself around Jared's sturdy body. They kiss, deep and wet and hard, and before Jared's ready to let him go, Jensen's pulling back with a sharp little nip to Jared's lower lip. There's heat and temptation sparking in those green eyes, and Jared feels anticipation thrill through him.
"Get out," he says, his voice rough as his hands firmly grab onto Jensen's ass. "Now."
Chad's sputtering is abruptly cut off by Jeff's arm around his windpipe.
"You got it, boss," Jeff says. "And I'll, uh, make sure you're not disturbed." He gives a last lingering look at Jared and Jensen, then follows Short and Evans out the door, dragging Chad with him.
When the door closes Jared lets out a long huff of breath. "Think he's gonna be trouble?"
"Jeff?" Jensen thinks for a moment. "I'll have a talk with him. Make sure he knows I don't want his job.” Jensen grins. “‘Course, he might just be realizing that every time he flirted with me he was basically taking his life into his hands."
"He thought he was teasing a kitten when he was pretty much baiting a tiger." Jared takes in the wicked light in Jensen's eyes. "You're gonna play with him, aren't you?"
"Little bit," Jensen admits. "Gonna play with you first, though."
As Jared's pushed back onto his desk, and Jensen clambers on top of him, he thinks about how his momma used to tell him nothing good could ever come from a life of crime. Shows what she knew.