Characters/Pairings: Jensen/Jared, Chad, Brief mentions of Alona and Adrianne
Word Count: 6,073
Warnings: Alpha/Omega dynamics
Summary: Jared and Jensen are mates, but things are not going smoothly.
Written for my June entry in smpc. This is part two of the Unexpected Series. The first part is here. You don’t need to read it but it would help in understanding this story.
Jared’s day was not going well. Harley had managed to dig his way under their fence again, escaping to run rampant throughout the neighborhood. Jared had found him rolling in the mud puddles in the vacant lot around the corner. Dragging him back and hosing him off had meant another shower and a change of clothes, which had caused Jared to be late for work.
His car coasted into the parking lot on fumes, because in the morning’s rush he’d left his wallet on the bathroom counter. Hopefully Chad would float him some cash for lunch and gas. He owed Jared anyway from the night Murray’d lost all his money at the pool table and couldn’t pay his bar bill.
Because Jared didn’t have his wallet, he needed to get a security key fob from the front desk. Which meant having to deal with Clarissa, the receptionist who had a massive crush on him and always tried to flirt, even though he’d told her repeatedly that he wasn’t interested, especially now that he had a mate….
Which brought him all the way back around to Jensen. Who, after their week of some of the best sex he’d ever had, had maybe said two words to him.
Jared sighed. He had no idea what to do about Jensen. Biologically, they were mates. The A/O tests came back at 99% - higher than most results, but Jensen refused to accept them. And since it was the Omega’s choice whether to complete the Bond, Jared was basically screwed.
Which was why he was standing in the break room, latte in hand, mooning over his roommate.
“Hey, J-man!” Chad thumped him on the back, sloshing Jared’s coffee over his fingers.
“Fuck!” he hissed, quickly setting the cup down on the counter. Jared turned on the water at the sink and stuck his hand under the cool flow. Grabbing a dishtowel, he leaned over to the refrigerator and nudged open the freezer door. One-handed, he scooped up some ice in the towel and flipped the ends over. Pulling his hand out from under the water, he placed the ice on the burned area.
He glared at his technical director. “What the hell did you do that for?”
“What?” Chad squinted at him. “I just said hi.”
“And burned my fingers, dude.” Jared shut off the tap with his elbow and took the towel off to look at his hand. It was red and it stung, but he didn’t think there was any serious damage. “You need to be more careful.”
“Sorry, dude.” Chad’s tone was not sorry at all. “Listen, Sheppard’s looking for you. He’s got some more changes to the set list for tomorrow’s show.”
Jared sighed again. Mark Sheppard was the current Director of Austin City Limits and was looking to make his mark on the iconic music program. It made Jared’s job as Floor Director difficult when Sheppard decided to make last minute changes. Tomorrow’s recording of ‘Nine Inch Nails’ had been a continuous headache with Sheppard constantly switching up the set list.
“He wants to move All Time Low to the beginning and end the set with Hurt.” Chad dug out some change and fed the soda machine. Choosing a Mountain Dew, he flopped down onto a chair at the single table.
Jared sat down with his coffee. “Did he run it past Reznor?”
“Says he did.” Chad popped the tab and took a long drink, then belched.
“Has anyone ever told you how disgusting you are?” Jared made a face.
“Every day of my life, bro.” He grinned at Jared. “So tell me, what is going on in that noggin of yours? You haven’t flashed the Padapuppy dimples all day.”
“Nothing. Just a bad day is all.” Jared really didn’t want to get started and bring his already crappy day down even further.
“Jensen.” Chad took another sip and eyeballed him. “I’m right. It’s Jenny boy, isn’t it? Still not talking to you?”
“No.” Jared knew it was useless. Chad with an idea was like a dog with a bone, only marginally less intelligent. He might as well talk about it. “We live together, for God’s sake! Not only is he not talking to me, but I haven’t seen him in three days!”
“How the hell can that happen?” Chad honestly looked confused.
“Easy. He stays in his room until I leave, and then goes back in before I get home.” Jared ran a hand through his hair. “The only reason I know he’s still alive is that there are used coffee cups in the sink.”
He looked at Chad, sadness and desperation making his chest tight. “He’s my mate, Chad. And this is killing me.”
“If it were me, I’d use that Alpha strength, break down his door, and bend him over the bed.” Chad grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl on the table and bit down. “Show him who’s boss.”
“You know I can’t do that. I’d never treat Jensen that way.” And that was part of the problem. For whatever reason, Jensen was distancing himself from Jared and until he could find out why, he was going to respect Jensen’s boundaries.
“I don’t know why this is such a big deal for you.” Chad finished his apple and tossed the core in the trash. “It’s just a mating. Go on vacation and it’ll be gone.”
Jared just shook his head. Chad was a Beta – he really didn’t understand the intensity of Alpha/Omega bonding. Betas mated easier, and it wasn’t as strong as an A/O bond. Beta bonds could be broken simply by staying away from each other. Alphas and Omegas on the other hand – the bond was deeper and needed assistance to be broken. And when it was, it was painful; physically, emotionally, and mentally.
“You know it’s not like that. If Jensen seriously wants our bond, broken he’s going to have to register for the shot.” Jared shuddered. He’d heard horror stories of the shot that had been by the government to break the Alpha/Omega bond. Reactions to the shot had ranged from hospitalization to death.
“He won’t.” Chad’s tone was certain. “Because if he does, I’m gonna beat the crap out of him. No one’s gonna hurt my friend like that.”
Jared’s smile was small. “Thanks, Chad.” He stood up and put his mug in the sink. “I know you’re trying to help, but I really don’t want to talk about it anymore, okay?”
“No worries, man.” Chad clapped him on the shoulder as they headed out to the studio. “I’m here for you.”
“I know.” Jared knew his friend was just supporting him, but it was Jensen’s decision.
He just didn’t know what Jensen would choose.
A week later, nothing had changed.
Jared still had not seen Jensen – the used coffee mugs in the sink still being the only evidence that the other man was even in the house. Several times he’d knocked on Jensen’s door and jiggled the handle, but there never was an answer. He could hear Jensen moving about inside, obviously ignoring him.
Jared tried to do the same, going so far as to take Chad up on his offer to go clubbing. The results were disastrous. Chad would point out an attractive man and Jared would immediately compare them to Jensen.
Drinks would arrive at their table, accompanied by their purchaser. Jared would make small talk for about five minutes, then the conversation would flounder like a party balloon leaking air. The hopeful individual would leave, disappointed, to try someone else.
Chad finally told him he was being cock-blocked simply by being in Jared’s presence and walked off to hit on the blonde at the bar.
Jared went home and spent the evening sitting in front of Jensen’s door.
Something was going to have to give, sooner or later.
Unable to sleep one night, Jared decided on a midnight snack. He got up and went to the kitchen, pulling out a pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream from the freezer. Grabbing a spoon, he sat in the shadowed kitchenette, spooning up ice cream and trying to figure out what his next options were. Looking up ‘A/O Bonds’ on his phone, he found a multitude of sites talking about the joys of bonding, the horrors of separation, but nothing about being trapped in this nightmare of in-between. Sighing, he tossed the phone on the table and rested his head in his hands.
“Jared.” Jensen’s voice sounded like wood over sandpaper. Jared’s head flew up as his roommate spoke. “I need to talk to you.”
Jensen stood in the doorway, his form in shadow. He was bundled up in flannel sleep pants and an oversized ‘Keep Austin Weird’ hoodie that Jared remembered loaning to him ages ago.
He looked awful.
Jensen’s hair, normally gelled into the perfect style, looked greasy and unwashed. One side lay flat against his head, the other was pushed up like he’d been sleeping on it.
Jared could see that his skin was grey and pallid, even in the shadows of the streetlamps. He hadn’t shaved and the scruff was uneven, as though he’d been plucking at the hairs on his chin.
But it was his eyes that struck Jared the most. Underscored by dark circles, they looked bruised and beaten; their moss green hue turned muddy with what was obviously exhaustion and stress.
“Jen…” Jared began to stand, stilled when Jensen quickly shook his head, holding up a hand.
“No…please. Just stay there.”
Jared watched in silence as Jensen took a shuddering breath.
“I need to talk to you,” he said again. “A-about the bond.”
“Okay.” Jared kept his voice level, even though his every being wanted to shout Please, Jensen, I need you!.
“I – I don’t think it’s going to work.” Jensen ducked his head, avoiding Jared’s gaze.
Jared was frozen. Not going to work. Jensen was refusing the bond. “Jen, no!” Ignoring his friend’s frantic gestures to stay away, Jared stood up and crossed the room, stopping just outside of reach. “Please, can’t we talk about this?”
“No,” Jensen backed up into the hallway. “There’s nothing to talk about. It’s not going to work,” he repeated.
“How do you know that?” Jared followed him, keeping the same distance between them.
“I just do.” Jensen whirled around and headed towards his bedroom. Jared was quick on his heels. There was no way he was going to let Jensen lock himself away again before they’d had a chance to talk this through.
“Jen, stop!” Jared grabbed Jensen’s arm. “STOP!”
“Let go of me!” Jensen twisted out of his grip. “I don’t want to be bonded to you, okay?”
His words punched Jared in the gut. “No, it’s NOT okay!” he growled, flushed with anger. ‘Not until you tell me why.”
“It doesn’t matter why. It’s my decision.” Jensen glared at him, his look a mixture of sadness and…fear?
Jensen was afraid. Of what, Jared didn’t know, but at least it was a start. He could work with that.
“Jensen, please…just talk to me,” Jared pleaded. “Look, whatever you’re afraid of -”
“I’m not afraid,” Jensen hissed, stalking into his room. “I don’t want to be bonded, and I especially don’t want to be bonded to YOU.” He tried to shut his door, but Jared shoved it open, causing Jensen to stagger back. “I already know it won’t work!”
“You have no earthly idea whether it will work because you have stayed locked up in your room ever since your heat ended!” Jared let his anger spill out. “You haven’t even given it a chance. Given us a chance!”
“And I’m not going to! I’ve got an appointment for the shot tomorrow morning.”
“Jen, no!” All the horror stories of shots gone wrong slammed into Jared’s brain. “You can’t get the shot.” He grabbed Jensen again as though holding on to him would keep him from going through with it.
“Let go!” Jensen pushed him away, sliding down the wall, wrapping his arms around his legs, making himself smaller.
“We can try, Jen.” Jared knew he was babbling, his anger turning to panic. “Please at least give it a chance.”
“No, Jared, we can’t.” Jensen’s voice was hoarse, muffled in the sleeves of the hoodie.
“We can come up with something else then. There’s got to be something…” Jared was desperate, grasping at something, anything. “We can stay the way we are. You don’t have to get the shot. I won’t bother you. We can pretend that it never happened.”
“I can’t do that to you, Jared. Please understand.” Jensen looked up at Jared, a tear sliding down his cheek. “I have to do this. It’s the only choice.” A second tear found a trail, then a third, joining the first until Jensen’s face was wet with sorrow.
It was Jensen’s tears that broke him. Jared realized that he was trying to push his friend – his best friend - towards a decision he obviously didn’t want.
Steeling his heart and calming his voice, Jared said, “Okay.”
Jensen looked up at him, shocked. “Okay?”
“Yeah, okay.” Jared sat down next to him. “If it’s what you want, then I won’t stop you. Just…just promise me that…when it’s over, I’ll still have my friend.”
Jensen wiped his nose on the sleeve of the hoodie. “You…still want to be my friend?” he asked haltingly.
“Of course.” Jared managed to say the words without giving away his pain. “Who else is gonna bail me out of jail when Chad gets us arrested?”
Jensen chuckled softly. “You still owe me.”
“No, Chad owes you.” Jared bumped Jensen’s shoulder and smiled back.
They fell silent, the only sounds were the swoosh of the passing cars outside the window. Jared felt a weight on his arm and looked over to see that Jensen had drifted off and fallen asleep against him.
He allowed himself to look his fill, knowing that it would probably be the last time he’d be able to stare without hiding his feelings.
“Love you so much, Jen,” he whispered, blinking away the tears that threatened to spill over.
He must have moved because Jensen lifted his head. “Sorry.”
“No worries. But we probably should get up off the floor, and you -,” Jared sniffed and wrinkled his nose, “- are in dire need of a shower.”
He stood and helped Jensen up. “Go sanitize. I’ll try to straighten up in here.” He waved at the rumpled sheets and clothes strewn around the room.
Jensen headed slowly to the door. Turning, he looked at Jared. “Thank you.”
“Welcome. Now go.”
Once Jensen left, Jared stripped the sheets and bundled up the dirty clothes, tossing them out in the hallway. He grabbed a pair of Jensen’s underwear and a t-shirt and slipped into the bathroom, putting them on the counter. A new set of sheets and a quick round-up with a trash bag had the room fairly straightened up.
By then Jared could hear the shower stop. Jensen came back into his bedroom looking better, but still exhausted.
Jared flipped the comforter. “Hop in. Sheets are clean. Want me to get you some water?”
“Yeah, please.” Jared watched as Jensen eased himself under the covers, before heading to the kitchen for a bottle from the fridge. He brought it back, cracked the top and set it on the nightstand.
“Night, Jen.” He turned to leave but was stopped by Jensen’s hand on his wrist.
“What?” Jared looked down at Jensen. He looked small, scared. Nothing like the confidant Omega that Jared knew he was.
“Stay. Please?” Jensen’s voice broke. “I know…” he stopped then started again. “I know what I said, but…I…don’t want to be by myself tonight. Please?”
“Sure.” Jared circled the bed and climbed in behind Jensen. He wrapped his arms around his friend, the sensation familiar but new at the same time. Taking a risk, he placed a soft kiss on the side of Jensen’s head. “This good?”
Jensen was quiet. Jared felt him shift, moving until they were face to face. Looking down at Jensen’s face, he saw that the other man had tears in his eyes again. “Jen, what’s wrong.”
Jensen squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head. Leaning up, he placed his lips gently on Jared’s.
Jared didn’t move – hell, he practically didn’t breathe. He had no idea why Jensen was kissing him, especially after their argument. He felt Jensen shudder, a quiet sob barely escaping from their joined mouths.
Jared began to pull away, but Jensen’s whispered, “Stay…” and the anguish in his voice stopped him. “Just…stay…please?”
And as before, Jared simply said, “Okay.”
Jensen’s kisses mingled with his tears as his hands cupped Jared’s cheeks.
Jared let himself be kissed. There was no way he was going to move and stop Jensen from continuing whatever was happening between them. He heard Jensen whispering between kisses, and at first he couldn’t make out what he was saying. Listening closer, he realized Jensen was saying ‘I’m sorry’ over and over again.
“Shh…it’s okay.” He pressed his lips softly against Jensen’s eyelids, tasting the salt. Slowly he moved his mouth across Jensen’s face, placing kisses on his cheeks. “You don’t need to be sorry.”
They stayed like that for a while; Jared kissing his cheeks, his forehead, then letting Jensen claim his lips again. He didn’t push, didn’t guide; he just allowed Jensen to do as he chose and move at his own pace.
Jensen began to run his hands lightly over Jared’s chest, gliding over his t-shirt. It didn’t feel sexual at first; more like Jensen was centering himself. But to Jared it felt like fire; each caress branding him through the soft cotton.
Jensen’s hands stroked up and down Jared’s body, slipping under Jared’s t-shirt. Jared fought back a moan as he felt Jensen circle his nipple, once, twice, then rub the pad of his finger over it, teasing it to a nub. He hissed as Jensen pinched it, the pleasure/pain sending jolts of arousal straight to his cock.
“Jared?” Jensen’s voice was a hoarse whisper. Jared looked down at him. Jensen’s eyes were dark, unknown emotions swirling in their depths. “Jared…can I?”
He didn’t know what Jensen meant, and frankly he didn’t care. Right now, he would give Jensen anything. “Yeah…”
Jensen sat up and pulled off his t-shirt, exposing the freckled skin that Jared had been itching to touch since Jensen’s heat. Jensen tucked his hands under Jared’s shirt and pushed it up, revealing his stomach. Jared quickly complied, tossing the shirt on the floor and lying back on the bed.
Jensen placed his hand lightly on Jared’s body, making him twitch from the heat. A moan slipped out of him as Jensen caressed his nipple again, swiping it with his tongue before bending down to capture it in his mouth.
Jensen bit down on the stiff nub, then laved the sting away. Jared’s cock filled and he arched up, wanting to feel Jensen against him. Jensen pulled away, fitting their bodies next to each other. He leaned up and began kissing Jared again, his tongue seeking entrance to Jared’s mouth with his tongue. Jared eagerly let him in, sucking and then nibbling on Jensen’s lips.
He took a risk and snaked an arm around Jensen, pulling him in closer. The combined heat of their skin touching was scalding; it triggered his Alpha hormones, and they flooded his body. He fought back the urge to just flip Jensen over and knot him right that minute.
Instead, he ran his hands over Jensen’s back and shoulders, reveling in the fact that Jensen was allowing this. His cock pressed against Jensen’s thigh and he leaned in, increasing the pressure. Jensen pressed back, tilting his head, his scent overwhelming. Jared broke away, breathing heavily, grasping for some amount of control. This was Jensen’s moment and he wasn’t going to ruin it.
Sitting up, Jensen slithered out of his grasp and straddled him, leaving their erections separated by only their boxers briefs. Locking eyes with Jared, Jensen began to rock, rubbing their cocks together. Jared groaned at the sensation, his dick leaking and dampening the fabric.
Jensen leaned down and stole Jared’s lips, kissing, then biting them before sliding down Jared’s body. He sucked points on Jared’s chest and stomach, spots that Jared knew would show bruises tomorrow.
Jared thought he was going to lose his mind when Jensen swirled his tongue around Jared’s belly button, but that was before Jensen licked down the cut of Jared’s hip. He never knew that area was so sensitive until Jensen pressed his lips against it.
“God!” he whimpered, gripping the sheets to keep from bucking Jensen off the bed. Jensen bit gently at his skin, nuzzling where Jared’s waistband met his body. “Please…” He imagined Jensen’s mouth on his cock and almost came right there.
Jensen’s fingers scraped against Jared’s hips and thighs when he pulled off Jared’s underwear. Jared’s cock bounced against his stomach, hard and aching. He watched Jensen look at him and moisten his lips with his tongue. It was the most erotic thing Jared had ever seen.
Jensen leaned down and breathed on Jared’s cock. Jared arched up, eyes shut, moaning, needing Jensen’s mouth on his dick. As though he could read Jared’s mind, Jensen opened his lips and slowly captured Jared’s cock between them.
“Oh God, oh God, oh God…” Jared whined as Jensen slid down then up again; sucking the head, scraping his teeth against the shaft, one hand caressing his balls. Jensen’s other hand wrapped around Jared’s cock, adding delicious pressure to the hot, wet sensations of Jensen’s mouth.
Want and need spiraled throughout Jared and all he could think of was Jensen. Panting harshly, he opened his eyes so he could watch Jensen suck him.
Jensen was beautiful, his eyes closed, dark lashes against his freckled skin, his reddened lips stretched around Jared’s cock.
Jared lost track of time watching Jensen, feeling his mouth sliding slowly over Jared’s dick, tonguing his slit, his hands rolling Jared’s balls, teasing his pucker.
He was close to coming when Jensen stopped, Jared’s cock slipping out of his mouth. Jared almost whined at the loss until he realized that Jensen was off the bed and stepping out of his boxer briefs.
His mouth dried up as Jensen knelt back on the bed next to him, gorgeous, his cock standing at attention. The addicting scent of his arousal made Jared’s head spin.
He reached for Jensen, intending to roll him onto his back so Jared could lick his cock, but Jensen took his hand, using it to help him straddle Jared again.
This time Jared’s dick was nestled between Jensen’s ass cheeks. Jared could feel Jensen’s slick coating his cock as Jensen rolled his hips. With every move, Jensen’s hole twitched, a blatant invitation for Jared to thrust inside. His knot began to swell in anticipation.
But it was wrong. This was wrong. “Jensen, I don’t -”
Jensen kissed him, effectively stopping Jared’s words. He nipped and sucked and licked into Jared’s mouth, his scent overpowering Jared’s brain cells.
His head spinning, Jared barely registered Jensen sitting up and reaching behind himself. With a deft hand, he guided Jared to his hole, lining himself up and pushing down.
“Fuck.” Jared felt the pressure, then the release when his cock breached Jensen. Warmth wrapped around him as Jensen slid down slowly.
Jared tried not to thrust, but the instinct was too strong. He pushed, loving the tightness, even knowing that Jensen wasn’t completely ready despite the slick that had been dripping down his thighs. He couldn’t help it - it felt too good.
Jensen rocked back and forth, eyes closed, sweat beading on his forehead. Up and down, milking Jared, edging closer to his knot.
“Oh God.” Jared planted his feet flat on the bed and lunged up, catching Jensen’s rim on his knot. He pulled back, and thrust up again, this time shoving past Jensen’s entrance, locking them together.
Jared ground his hips, hitting Jensen’s prostate. He spit in his hand and captured Jensen’s cock, jacking him off in tempo to his thrusts.
Jared felt the electrical prickles at the base of his spine, his balls drawing up, and he knew he was right at the edge. He sped up his hand and his hips and felt Jensen stiffen, then hot ropes of come covered Jared’s chest.
Jensen’s muscles tightened around Jared’s cock, sending him over the edge. His cock pulsed, filling Jensen and turning the world white.
As he fell into unconsciousness, Jared realized that through it all, Jensen had not made a sound.
Jared rolled over and almost fell out of the bed. He cracked an eye open and realized the reason why was that it wasn’t his bed.
It was Jensen’s bed – and he was alone in it.
He sat up quickly, last night’s memories flooding his brain. Fumbling, he scrambled out from under the covers and scooped up his sleep pants. Hopping on one leg, then the other, he pulled them on and dashed to the kitchen. A single coffee cup sat in the sink, half full.
“Jensen!” Jared frantically searched the house. Nothing. “Jensen!” Tearing out the front door, he saw that Jensen’s parking spot was empty.
Jared rushed back into the house and grabbed his phone. Dialing quickly, he paced as the call connected. “Come on, come on, pick up!”
“Round Rock Omega Center, this is Alona.” His friend’s voice was cheerful.
“Alona! Thank God. I need your help!” Jared hurried to his room and started pulling clothes out of his drawers. Putting the phone on speaker, he began getting dressed.
“Jared? What’s going on?”
“I need for you to log into the system and tell me which Center Jensen scheduled an appointment!” He dug out one of his Chuck Taylors from under the bed, located the other one in his laundry basket.
“You know I can’t, Jared. It’s against the law.” Alona sounded apologetic.
“Please, Alona! Jensen going in to get the shot. I need to know!” So I can beg him not to. “Please, Al. I need to get to him before he does it.”
“Oh, Jared…” She paused, then Jared heard her curse softly and the clicking of a keyboard. “Okay, he’s at the Austin Center. Ten AM appointment. But you didn’t get that from me.”
“Thanks!” Jared looked at his watch – 9:35. He snatched his keys off the entrance table and ran out the door. Hopefully he could get there in time to tell Jensen he loved him and convince him not to go through with it.
How he made it to the Center in one piece was anybody’s guess. Skidding into a parking spot, he threw the car into park, lunged out of the driver’s seat and raced to the entrance.
Flinging open the doors, he ran to the reception area. He scanned the waiting room but he didn’t see Jensen amongst the clients. Thankfully, Adrianne was manning the desk.
“Hey, Jared.” She greeted him with a warm smile, which faded as she saw his desperation. “What’s wrong?”
“Jensen Ackles. He has an appointment for the shot at ten AM. Has he been here?”
“Jared…you know I can’t -,”
He smacked his hand down on the counter, interrupting her. “He’s my roommate, Adrianne and it’s an emergency. Please!”
“Okay…let me see.” She typed in Jensen’s name and clicked her mouse. “Oh…we were running early and it looks like…” She looked up at Jared. “Sorry, Jared. He’s already left.”
Already left. Jared felt sick. It was done. Jensen had gotten the shot. They weren’t mates anymore. “Thank you,” he whispered brokenly, turning to walk slowly through the door.
Jared didn’t remember the drive home, only that at some point he became aware that his car was idling in the driveway. Turning it off, he stumbled out of the vehicle and into the house.
Harley was waiting for him, unusually quiet. Jared knelt down to pet him and the dog whined and licked his face. Digging his hands into Harley’s scruff, he let his tears fall unchecked.
Some time later, Jared got up off the floor. Walking woodenly into the kitchen, he poured a glass of water, drinking deeply to soothe his raw throat. When he placed the glass in the sink, he saw Jensen’s coffee cup.
It was the one Jared had gotten him as a joke. White porcelain, it had the phrase “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel.” Jared dumped the cup out, reading the words, remembering Jensen’s laugh the day he gave it to him.
That brought on another onslaught of memories – sports events, clubbing, movies, just hanging out and being with each other. They would still do those things, but they would never be the same.
“God damn it!” Jared hurled the mug against the wall, shattering it into thousands of pieces.
“I liked that mug.” The sound of Jensen’s voice had Jared whirling around.
Jensen was leaning against the counter. He looked tired but peaceful. It broke Jared’s heart.
“Hey.” Jensen’s smile was small.
Jared stepped towards him Jensen stopping just short of touching him. He had no idea what to do, how to act. “Hey.”
“So, wanna tell me why you broke my mug?”
“Oh gee, Jen. Let me see…” Jared’s voice cracked. “The person that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with - my mate - told me that he didn’t want to be with me; that he’d rather get a damn shot that might kill him, than be with me.” Jared paced the kitchen. “I wanted to talk to you; to tell you that I love you, but you wouldn’t even listen.”
“Jay, I -.” Jensen began but Jared held up a hand.
“No, don’t. I don’t need to hear a half-assed explanation about why you had to do it, okay? I’m done fighting, Jen.” Jared knew he was about to cry again, but he really didn’t care anymore. He just needed to get away. Away from Jensen.
And that hurt more than anything.
Jared brushed past Jensen, shrugging off his outstretched hand, and made his way to the back porch. He sat on the steps, elbows on his knees and stared out into space.
He felt Jensen come up behind him, heard his feet on the wood slats of the porch.
“Jared, I -,”
“I SAID I didn’t -,” he began, but Jensen overrode his protest.
“I didn’t get the shot, Jared,” he blurted out.
“What?” It took a moment for the words to sink in.
“I said I didn’t get the shot.” Jensen moved closer, his shadow falling over Jared’s feet. “Um…if I sit down, will you promise not to hit me or anything?”
“Yeah.” Jared scooted over to make room. Jensen sat next to him and Jared could feel the warmth of his body. It calmed him. Looking over at Jensen, he asked, “Are you going to tell me why you changed your mind?”
“You did.” Jensen’s voice was low. “When I got to the Center, I was certain that I was going to get the shot. I even made it back into the exam room.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “Then I overheard someone mention your name. They said they’d heard you’d found your mate and they were so happy for you. That you were one of the good guys and deserved it.”
He was silent. Jared waited. He knew there was more, and he knew he had to let Jensen tell it at his own pace.
“I realized they were right. You do deserve to be happy. To have the perfect mate. But you wound up with me instead.” Jared began to protest, but Jensen stopped him with two fingers on his lips. “I know you don’t think that’s a bad thing, but you need to know why I do.”
He paused and Jared could see the stiffness in his shoulders. He said lightly, “We’re gonna need beer for this, aren’t we?”
Jensen huffed out a laugh and Jared felt the tension break. “Yeah, that probably would be a good idea.”
“Okay.” He stood and headed towards the kitchen. Pausing, he said, “You’re not gonna run on me again, are you?”
“No.” He heard Jensen mutter ‘bitch’ under his breath and called out “Jerk” on his way to the refrigerator. He quickly grabbed two bottles and returned to the porch steps and handed one to Jensen.
He sat down and cracked open the top. Holding the bottle out for Jensen to knock, Jared took a deep swallow and braced himself for whatever Jensen was going to say.
“Okay. You’re gonna have to let me get through this all at once because if I don’t I never will.” He watched as Jensen took a deep breath and pursed his mouth. “I was mated once before.”
That was not what Jared expected to hear. It took all he had not to burst out with questions, but the look on Jensen’s face helped him keep silent.
Jensen looked scared and ashamed.
Jared put his hand on Jensen’s wrist, squeezed gently and nodded for him to go on.
“You know I come from a small town outside of Dallas. Well, all the stories you hear about small towns with rich people with attitude had to get their start somewhere. My town was the perfect example.” Jensen paused, and Jared could tell that he was gathering his thoughts. “I was in high school. Typical small town guy - on the football team, dated the cheerleader.”
“The first time we had sex, it was obvious we were mates. Trouble was, she was from the rich family that owned everything and I was just middle-class. I couldn’t have written a better outline for a B-class romance novel if I’d tried.” Jensen took a drink of his beer and stared out into the back yard. “I was ready to settle down and be a mate, Jared, have a family, but she didn’t want that. I was just her high school fling until she got to college and could find someone ‘of her same class’.”
Jared winced at the bitterness in Jensen’s voice, but he understood why it was there. He’d run into those types of people – those who thought they were better than others, whether it be because of money, fame, or sexual status.
“Her family forced me to get the shot.” Jensen spoke in a low voice. “They threatened my dad’s job; told him and my mom they both would be fired. My parents had no other options. Her family owned the town and we couldn’t afford to move. Her family took me to a private clinic, just in case something went wrong.”
“Then, after it was done, she went through town, calling me a knot slut and a liar, that I’d made up the mating just to get their money. I left after high school and haven’t been back.”
Jensen set his bottle down and turned to face Jared.
“I decided to get the shot because we mated due to my heat. It wasn’t planned, and I didn’t want you to be forced into something you didn’t want to do, like she was. I know it wasn’t logical but it’s what I was thinking.”
“Then when I heard the Center staff talking this morning, I realized I was putting you in the exact same position I had been in – I was making this decision without any input from you. And that wasn’t fair. So I left and came home.”
Jensen looked at Jared, pain written across his face. “We need to talk; about a lot of things. And I’m not sure how to begin.” Jensen glanced down at Jared’s hand that was still on his wrist. He turned his hand, interlocking their fingers.
“You deserve someone wonderful, Jared. Someone who’s not screwed up and has no idea what they are doing. But you’ve got me. I hope that’s enough.”
Jared raised their intertwined hands and pressed his lips to them. He knew that there was a lot more that they would need to figure out. But for now, this was a start.
He leaned in, kissed Jensen softly and whispered, “More than enough.”