When he stepped into the café, Daneel wasn’t alone. This wouldn’t be so surprising – it was a public place – but Jensen couldn’t remember the last time he saw anyone in this place this early. He didn’t even know why Daneel was up everyday to open this place – it wasn’t like anyone cared about their morning cup of coffee when things were happening in this town. He coughed and went to approach the two of them, when he heard Daneel laugh. It was her real laugh, sincere, and Jensen’s brows rose immediately in surprise.
“Jensen, hi,” Daneel greeted, noticing him. Jensen nodded and sat next to the guy she was talking to. “This is Jeremy, the other crazy person who likes to drink coffee this early,” she introduced the tall, well built man smiling at Jensen so brightly, like there wasn’t anything wrong in the world. Or, more like, he could care less about it. “Jeremy, this is Jensen,” Daneel said, trying to catch Jensen’s eyes to remind him that he was being rude just staring at the guy.
“Nice to meet you,” Jeremy said finally, and Jensen shook his hand, not feeling his own fingers. His voice was soft and deep, and there were dimples that made this guy look so incredibly young.
“Right back at you,” Jensen managed, smiling a little. He was a social person, after all, or at least so he tried to remind himself frequently.
“Jeremy works at the pizzeria down the street. He’s new there,” Daneel said, wiping the plate.
“Huh,” Jensen snorted, receiving a fresh cup of hot black coffee from Daneel’s hands.
“What’s so funny?” the guy asked, sipping his own coffee. He had been there for awhile now, Jensen figured; he already finished his breakfast.
“Aren’t you scared?” Jensen asked, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Well, I’m not the blonde one here,” Jeremy pointed out, taking another gulp of coffee, which made Daneel smile.
“And obviously, not the girl,” Daneel supported, giving him five.
Jensen wondered how long those two had known each other, because it seemed like forever – though Daneel had said “he’s new there.”
“You were always the smart one, Dan,” Jensen teased, smiling. “So, which one?” Jensen asked, turning to the new guy.
“Which one what?” he asked back, narrowing his eyes.
“Which pizzeria? I gotta know where to order my meals when Dan’ll be away,” Jensen said, drinking his coffee.
“Away? You never said anything about leaving,” Jeremy turned to Daneel, pouting, and Jensen thought it was so childishly stupid, though it apparently worked for the girls.
“Well, you know, with everything that happened lately, I just–“ she stumbled, suddenly shy and silent, wiping the plates and looking everywhere but the two of them.
“Yeah, I guess I get that,” Jeremy sighed, quieting for a moment. “It’s Joe’s, right down the street, pretty much the only pizzeria here.” He snorted and continued, “I started a few weeks ago. Money’s not big, but, you know, it’s enough,” said Jeremy and Jensen needed a few more moments to catch what he was saying, stuck with Daneel’s suddenly sad and serious face.
“Well, then, I know who to call.” Jensen smiled, finishing his coffee. Jeremy gave him their card with the number and all, and though Jensen really didn’t need it, he accepted the card, turning it upside down and reading the different numbers written in pen before putting it in his pocket.
He was secretly watching this new guy – Jeremy, or whatever – look at Daneel, those grey-hazel eyes that were hidden underneath the long hair, curled at the tips; those lips that were almost smiling, but not quite there yet; his strong hands and their beaten knuckles, as though he just got out of a fight. Jensen thought, that for a guy that well built, a job as a pizzeria’s guy was almost hilarious. Not that he told him that out loud.
The more he thought about what he witnessed, the more words were counted in his ‘book file’ on his laptop and the more pieces of paper got spread all over his bedroom. More and more, Jensen found himself writing something or just uselessly working his pen on the paper. He could be lost in his mind for hours, and the only dark corner of his mind he could go was the one with the memory of a murder.
Jensen never thought about anything that way before. He was never a fan of thrillers, or horror movies; he never read some dark crap where someone described the murder in all the details. And yet he found himself doing exactly the same thing.
He really needed to get out for a while, and though that was exactly what he was doing in this town, he needed something else. At least so he could forget for a moment what he saw.
He took the phone and dialed the number on the card that the guy, Jeremy, had given him the day before. He wasn’t that hungry, but he needed someone to talk to, someone alive and who could say something back. He needed an escape from his own mind, because right now all he could feel were walls getting closer and closer, trying to shut him off.
He ordered one pepperoni pizza, and put the phone back on the desk. Jeremy was, as always, in a good mood and up for talking. Not that Jensen knew him all that well, or, in that case, long, but he was glad there was at least one sane person in this town.
He really needed to find someone with whom he could hang out from time to time. Daneel would leave in a few days, and Chris… well, Chris was Chris. Jensen didn’t think Chris was the right person to spend time with; he really thought that Chris had his own skeletons hidden in the closet.
The ring of the doorbell returned him to Earth, in his apartment, and Jensen stared at the bouquet of flowers that was still there – he hadn’t even realized he had been staring at the flowers for the last… well, he didn’t really know for how long.
He went to the door and opened it, smiling at Jeremy and saying a ‘hello.’
“Dude, if you’re gonna eat pizza that much, you’ll be fat faster than you think.” He smirked, eyeing Jensen from head to toe. Now that Jensen could see him standing in his full height, he could tell that Jeremy really was well built, and well aware of it – tall, with wide shoulders and strong hands. He really couldn’t imagine this guy working in a pizzeria. “16.95,” he said, looking at Jensen as if he were trying to get something out of his mouth.
“Uh, yeah, sure, just a second,” he said, taking the box from Jeremy’s hands. It was still warm, the bottom of the box slightly damp, and he felt his stomach growl. He already forgot when the last time he had eaten anything that was more ‘food’ than a cup of coffee. He felt the saliva filling up his mouth and he couldn’t resist the temptation to open the box and grab a piece of pizza right then.
“What the–” his words died on his tongue. All his hunger was forgotten immediately, and now he felt sick as he looked at the slices of what he figured was skin lying in the box, mixed with meat and greased with something red that looked a lot like blood.
He felt weakness in his knees, and nausea building up in his throat, and somewhere back in his mind a voice was screaming at him to get the hell out of there, to run as fast as he could, to never look back and save his worthless life. And yet Jensen couldn’t even move, the realization slowly creeping into his train of thoughts. The box dropped to the counter and Jensen felt the wetness on his trembling hands, realizing now why the box was damp.
Before he could do anything or even think properly, he felt strong hands chaining him, wrapping around his waist and his neck and head, and before he knew it, his nose was filled a sweet, even luscious aroma, which made his eyelids so heavy he couldn’t keep his eyes open for another second.
He thought, absentmindedly, that this was how it was going to happen. He had thought about it a few times – how he would end – but never did he imagine that some pizza guy (who obviously wasn’t who he was pretending to be) would knock him out with chloroform and split his guts open while he was unconscious.
He thought, at least, that he would see the guy’s smirk and feel the blade in his heart. And the last thought before he passed out was, is his name really Jeremy?
He woke up slowly without opening his eyes, feeling weakness in his whole body. He felt like he was suffering from a hangover – his head hurt, his pulse was beating fast, and he could feel his blood in his veins. His mouth was dry with the sordid taste of something, like something had died in his mouth. He would do anything for a glass of water right then.
He tried to remember what the night before was, because if he had drank that much, there must have been an occasion. He didn’t come up with anything though, just felt his head hurt even more and his stomach growl in anticipation. He was hungry, and he would kill for a pizza.
Jensen sat up straight on the bed when the memory hit him. He immediately regretted it, because the world was spinning, and he felt like he was drowning. Everything was dark, and he figured it must have been night already. So he had slept the whole day, while this…
“What’s this?” Jensen heard the soft voice, and he turned his head to his desk where the man stood, holding his papers and looking at him incredulously. Jensen swallowed hard, feeling his rough throat, and he turned away. He wasn’t tied up, and he was on his own bed, in his own clothes, and he couldn’t feel any injuries. This was a good sign – at least he wanted to believe.
“What are these?” the man asked, now louder, his voice deep and calm. Jensen tried to get the words out of his mouth, but failed miserably, coughing. The man – Jeremy – was there in a second, putting a glass of cold water to his lips, letting him drink.
“Thanks,” Jensen managed, though he couldn’t understand why he was so polite with someone like this guy. “I–” he started but fell silent instantly, looking at the man beside him. It was like there were two different people altogether – the guy who delivered pizza; and the serial killer, the man who cut women’s faces and stabbed them in the chest. Jensen thought that he should feel fear – hell, he should be frightened to look the murderer in the eyes. But all he could feel was heat, burning inside of him, though the fear was there, somewhere; and Jensen realized his hands were shaking and he was glad he was sitting on the bed – there was no way he could be standing right now.
“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you,” the guy smiled his soft smile, dimples showing on his face. Jensen couldn’t even believe that this guy, this nice man, could kill all these women. “Yet,” he added quietly, lowering his gaze back to the papers. “I asked you, what are these?” He showed them to Jensen, and that was when Jensen felt his fear in its entirety. He was terrified; he could feel everything inside him trembling, and he could swear his own voice would tremble with fear, too, if he were to speak. Jeremy, or, whoever he was, could kill him right now, cut him, rip him open, smile at him and then end him with the knife in his chest.
“Shhh.” Jeremy sat on the bed, right next to Jensen, and he could feel the soft, warm breathing of a murderer, could feel the heat of his body right next to his, and he could feel how his eyes were looking at him, at his face, his neck and chest, as if he was choosing the right spot.
“What are you going to do with me?” Jensen asked, his voice barely a whisper, lowering his eyes to the man’s hands, where he held Jensen’s papers. He only now remembered that the killer’d read all of this, all of his letters, his thoughts. He knew Jensen; he knew what he thought about. And he knew Jensen thought he would never know.
“You didn’t answer my question,” he said, his voice still that mix of soft and calm, and Jensen’s mind raced sharply, as if he forgot the question. He looked at the man’s face, frightened – his eyes were black with intimidation and the iris was almost filled with that blackness. “You’re so unfocused,” the guy said, lifting a hand to Jensen’s neck, stroking it lightly, the touches barely whispers of his fingertips. And yet – they sent shivers down through Jensen’s whole body, making him tremble. “I asked: what are these?” Jeremy pointed out each word, and only then Jensen did notice a big sharp knife in his other hand, resting on the bed’s sheets, waiting its turn.
“It’s–” he started, but fell silent again. He couldn’t really explain what the letters were for, or where they came from. It was a moment’s impulse; he wasn’t even there when he wrote them.
“What, Jensen?” the guy asked, and Jensen shivered visibly because he sounded so out of it, so unnatural; he was practically radiating control and dominance.
“I was writing,” Jensen started, choking on the words. He didn’t know what was more humiliating – him, stuttering out each word because of his fear, or the fact that the killer he’d been writing to finally read them.
“I can see that. Struggling author, always in his thoughts, thinking about the new plot…” Jeremy said, whispering almost into Jensen’s ear, so he could feel the murderer’s hot breathing. Jensen sighed, trying to calm down his racing heart at least for a little bit. He looked at the guy, his face so close they were practically sharing the same air, and Jeremy was looking at him like Jensen was the only thing left in the world to look at. It was frightening, terrifying even, but he felt special.
“I’ve been writing to you,” Jensen finally said, quietly, fearing the reaction he could get. He didn’t even remember what was in the most of the letters, didn’t even want to know. He wished all of this was just a nightmare, he wished he would wake up in his own bed and find all of this had been just another filthy dream of his that he never talked about or even acknowledged.
But he couldn’t say ‘no’ to the vividness of this nightmare, to the reality of the feeling, the heat inside of him, and the weakness of his body. And the reason for all of this was Jeremy, this smiling murderer that was sitting in his own bed, looking at him, almost as if he was… adoring him?
“I wanted–” Jensen started but he immediately lost his thought when Jeremy moved closer to his ear and sighed, burning the skin with his hot breathing. Jensen couldn’t help it – this man made him shiver, merely the thought made him so.
“Don’t stop,” the guy said, licking at the earlobe, and Jensen took a deep breath, trying to calm his nerves. He tried to convince himself it was just a test, some sort of a sick, stupid test. This guy was a psycho with his own way of thinking – who knew what he wanted to do? Who knew what he wanted to do with those who he planned to kill anyway?
“I wanted to ask you,” Jensen said sharply, not letting the thought go any further out his lips, which made the killer sit straight and look at him in question. “I–” Jensen tried to get his head around what exactly he wanted to ask, but he failed. It was like meeting Elvis, except that experience would be totally different.
“I’m here now,” he smiled, narrowing his eyes, as if Jensen was really interesting to him, and not in the which-way-is-more-interesting-to-kill-th
“I know,” Jensen said, more to calm his voice and try to find his balance, his confidence. “I just wanted to talk to you.”
“You were there in the alley,” the guy smiled again, remembering. “How could I forget, huh? So frightened, you couldn’t even move,” Jeremy said, leaving Jensen defenseless. He was right, Jensen couldn’t deny any of it. “You were wondering why I didn’t finish you off right then, weren’t you?” he asked, almost in a sing-song tone, and Jensen felt his breath catch in his throat. That was the question he had wondered about the most, and the way this guy could read thoughts – Jensen couldn’t decide what was more terrifying.
“I’m not your type,” he said, the last thing he could catch a hold of. Jensen wasn’t some nice girl with long blonde hair and a nice little body. He was a guy, for Christ’s sake, he absolutely wasn’t the type this freak would go for.
“Oh, believe me, you’re so my type you can’t even imagine,” he said, coming so close that Jensen was afraid to breathe, because then he would be stealing the air out of the guy’s mouth. He was so close, Jensen could feel how the room was closing in fast, until all he could feel was the two of them sitting on the bed, sharing the same air, and suddenly it was too hot for a cold night like this, and his own body felt too small for everything that was happening.
“I know what you want,” Jeremy said out of nowhere, shortening the distance between them, and suddenly all Jensen could feel was the guy’s mouth on his, so hot and wet and his lips on his and his tongue trying to get into his mouth, and Jensen couldn’t do anything, frozen from the unexpected move. He moaned, feeling like he was burning up, and suddenly his jeans were too tight for him, and Jeremy was still there, kissing him hard, biting his bottom lip, like he couldn’t get enough of him. He didn’t let go, and Jensen felt his mind start to slip – it was too much and there was too little air; he couldn’t breath feeling those lips and that tongue and the guy’s hands wandering over his body, and Jensen shuddered when his hand found the bare skin under his t-shirt.
“Stop,” he managed, out of breath, and looked at the guy, waiting for the worst, but he was just staring back at him, lips red and eyes wide, and Jensen swallowed down the hard lump in his throat, trying to shut off the voice in his mind that was screaming at him how wrong all of this was. “What are you doing?” he whispered, not trusting his voice.
“I could ask you the same question.” The guy quirked an eyebrow, licking his lips. Jensen didn’t know what to say to that. The serial killer that the whole town was looking for was in his bed, kissing him, fucking around with him, and all Jensen could think of was how hot his fucking mouth was. “I know how you looked at that girl in the alley,” Jeremy breathed into his neck, sitting even closer, shortening the distance between them. “I know you couldn’t turn away.” He licked his neck, feeling the blood pounding in the vein. “I know why you didn’t turn away.” He nuzzled Jensen’s jaw line, closing his eyes, his voice now barely a whisper. “You want to feel it,” he said suddenly, taking Jensen’s hand in his, binding their fingers together and lowering their hands to the mattress. “You want to feel the power, the advantage – you want to take control.” He laughed in Jensen’s ear, the puff of air making him tremble. “I can give you what you want.” Jensen didn’t even realize when the knife was put in his hand. Jeremy held on to Jensen’s hand, which was holding the knife, and the murderer looked at Jensen as if he was looking right into his soul.
He slowly unbuttoned his shirt with his free hand, and Jensen could only watch him, paralyzed, as the smooth tanned skin started to appear under the soft fabric. He licked his lips, unconscious to the action, and his other hand slowly, carefully touched the hard muscles.
“Try it,” Jeremy said, and Jensen shivered – the sound of his voice was unexpected in the dead silence of the room. Jensen looked him in the eyes, feeling how the murderer was lifting their hands, the knife, and Jensen wanted to scream when he realized that he was cutting his chest. He was holding the knife, the sharp blade of which was ripping the stretched skin, leaving a thin line of dark-red blood after it. Jensen breathed, unable to turn his gaze, or his hands, watching as the blood trickled down the man’s body. “So easy, isn’t it?” the guy whispered, pulling Jensen closer, licking his lips. Jensen couldn’t look him in the eyes right now, paralyzed by the blood on the guy’s chest and the blade of the knife.
Jeremy laughed softly, seeing how out of it Jensen was.
“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” he said, running his finger across the blade. “It’s fascinating, isn’t it?” he asked, as if he finally found someone to talk to about all these things.
Jensen started, looking at him in surprise, but the murderer just smiled even wider.
“If you try it once, there’s no going back,” he said, lifting his finger to Jensen’s lips, leaving a small trace of blood on his lower lip. “Lick,” he said softly but sharply, and Jensen couldn’t say ‘no’ to this. He licked at his bottom lip, tasting the saltiness of a stranger’s blood, and closed his eyes.
It was wrong in so many ways that he couldn’t even begin to think of. He couldn’t understand why his mind was so out of it that he couldn’t even think about calling the police, let alone to try it.
“Like it?” The voice interrupted his thoughts and Jensen opened his eyes. He still was there, and it wasn’t a bad dream. It was so real and so vivid Jensen couldn’t imagine anything that could be more real right then.
“No,” he said, feeling and hearing his own voice tremble with fear. Jeremy smiled and looked at him.
“You sure?” he asked, the smile as wide as it was a minute ago, and Jensen swallowed, not understanding what the question was about. Of course he wasn’t sure. He wasn’t sure about a million things right now. But this..?
“I’m sure,” he breathed, feeling like he finally made his choice. “You wanna kill me now? Fine,” he said, grinding his teeth, trying not to let his voice tremble even more. He managed to look the bastard in the eyes, and he was proud of this.
“No, I won’t kill you,” Jeremy said, thinking, as if he was planning something. “See, Jen,” he tilted his head to the side, studying Jensen’s face changing at the nickname, “you will want more, and when it happens? I won’t be around.” He shrugged, then moved closer to Jensen, making him bump into the wall. Jensen’s breathing now became faster and deeper, like there wasn’t enough air. Jeremy smirked and moved closer still, leaving a ghost of his lips and breath on Jensen’s lips. “I’m sure you’ll miss me,” he said, gripping the bulge in Jensen’s pants, and grinned, licking his lips.
And then, just like that, he stood, taking the letters and fastening his shirt.
“Jeremy,” Jensen breathed out, finally finding the words in his throat.
“Oh, and by the way?” the guy asked, like he missed Jensen’s last words, “did you really think my name was Jeremy?” he asked, tilting his whole body, so close to Jensen’s he could feel the heat again, so tempting, so attractive. He tried to reach out and touch the hot flesh, but the murderer straightened up the next second, and left, grinning, closing the door behind him and leaving Jensen alone in his bed.
Jensen couldn’t wait until the next morning. He was practically bouncing with adrenaline and the whole mix of the feelings inside of him. He had barely slept that night, Jeremy’s words repeating over and over again in his head. He was a little frightened by what Jeremy had said to him, but he was more frightened by the chance that his words could be true.
It wasn’t even 9 o’clock when Jensen closed his front door, checking it twice, and headed to the café. Somewhere in the back of his mind he thought that he should change the locks. On the other hand – why should he even bother? Not like he had reason to be afraid of the killer anymore, he had already told Jensen that if he had wanted to, he would have already killed him.
The unexpected “yet” that appeared in his mind struck him like lightning as he opened the door of the café.
“Hey, Jen,” said Daneel, wiping the table closest to the exit. Jensen shivered and looked at the girl like she wasn’t real. “You ok?” she asked, going to the kitchen.
“I–” Jensen stammered, slightly shaking his head, trying to get out of his thoughts and memories. “Didn’t have enough sleep last night, I guess,” he said, sitting on the stool.
“You should pay more attention to your health. I swear, since you’ve started writing this damned book it’s like something’s been drinking the life out of you,” she said, making air-quotes with her fingers. Jensen thought that she could write. And then he thought that she could finish his book, once Jeremy, or whatever his name was, killed him.
“It’s ok, no one’s drinking anything out of anyone,” Jensen mumbled, grateful for a fresh cup of coffee.
“Just sayin’.” Daneel disappeared on the kitchen only to return a minute later. Jensen was still looking in his cup, in the blackness of the coffee, remembering the guy’s eyes. “Ok, spit it out.” Daneel put the tissue on the table and stared at Jensen. He sharply lifted his head as if he had been caught doing something wrong and shifted on the stool.
“Nothing to talk about. I told you, don’t worry.” Jensen tried to change the subject. “Do you have a newspaper?”
“Like hell it’s nothing,” mumbled Daneel, giving Jensen the new paper. “You know, even when I’m gone, you can always call me to talk,” she said, more serious now, and suddenly Jensen felt something in his chest – he would really miss the girl.
“I know,” he answered quietly, and looked through the paper.
He was almost hoping to find some article about the new murder; he didn’t really know why, but he just wanted to know something, to hear from his killer, to know he was still there, that he wasn’t gone yet. When Jensen didn’t find anything, he sighed and closed the newspaper, giving it back to Daneel.
“Are you sure you’re ok?” she asked again, trying to catch Jensen’s eyes.
“Why are you always asking?”
“You didn’t drink your coffee.” Daneel eyed the almost full cup and Jensen cursed quietly.
“Just woke up from the wrong foot.”
“You said you didn’t sleep–”
“I said I didn’t get enough sleep!” Jensen exploded, quieting immediately. He lowered his head, trying to calm down, to breathe slowly. He was on edge and he didn’t even understand why. He just needed to do something.
“Jeez, sorry for asking,” Daneel lifted her hands as if she was trying to defend herself and then went back to the kitchen without saying a word. Jensen sighed and stood, looking at the unfinished coffee. He couldn’t make his thoughts clear, but he could try to work, could try to escape this reality, and maybe he would find the answers to half of his questions.
The next few days felt like a dream. He did the same things every day – wake up (after a not so sleepy night), shower, coffee, small talk with Daneel, newspaper, home, book, a few hours of disturbed sleep.
It felt like Jensen finally found something to catch on, only he felt like he was walking in the fog. He did all those things without fully registering them. Most of the time he didn’t even remember what Daneel and he talked about or what was in the newspapers. The one thing he did remember was that there were no new murders. And Jensen was somehow slightly worried by that.
His father always told him that the gun that was on the wall in the beginning would always shoot in the end. He tried to remember that when he was working on the plot for his books, but this was real life, not some fictional world, and Jensen was starting to feel this strange feeling at the bottom of his stomach, like he was afraid of something and he couldn’t figure out what it was.
Sure, the answer would be simple. This guy, Jeremy: Jensen had dreamt about him a few times in the last week, and each time when he woke up he was painfully hard, so much so that he ended up taking a shower. And even there he felt like the reality from his dream wouldn’t let him go. Not immediately. He remembered the murderer’s words that Jensen would want it, and when he did, Jeremy wouldn’t be there. And then Jensen just gripped his cock harder, feeling the hot water pounding down on his skin, so hot that it was almost painful, and he moved his hand even faster, coming with the killer’s name on his lips.
Jensen felt like he was caught in some kind of loop, and there was no exit, no way out. Jeremy was the only one who knew how to get away from a life like this, and he was gone. And Jensen, only then, started to believe his words.
It felt like this for weeks. Daneel almost wanted to stay in town, but Jensen told her to just go see her parents. He didn’t even understand that he wanted to get away from her, too. The girl just sighed, saying something about Jensen being right, and gave him another cup of coffee. It was a slow morning, like most mornings there, and Jensen looked out the big window, hoping he would see that familiar face.
“Have you heard from Jeremy?” Daneel asked suddenly, and Jensen stiffed.
“What?” he asked almost scared that Daneel knew something that he didn’t. It felt a lot like jealousy, and Jensen didn’t like it, not one bit.
“You know, he gave you the number–” the girl started, a strange look on her face.
“Dan, what are you talking about?” Jensen asked, amused.
“Well, you know, it’s just… I’ve never seen you with anyone, and you’ve lived her for almost–”
“What?” Jensen exclaimed, not believing his own ears. “Dan, he’s–” Jensen caught himself just before he said something bad, so bad that he almost felt nauseous.
“What is he?”
“He’s–” Jensen thought for a moment, and in the end decided to play with Daneel. It was better for her own good – the less you know, the better you sleep. “He’s not my type,” Jensen finished lamely, because Jeremy was so his type Jensen couldn’t even begin to explain. Funny, they could be a perfect couple if one of them wasn’t a psycho serial killer and the other his biggest fan.
“I knew it!” Daneel squeaked, and Jensen shuddered. Girl’s excitement wasn’t something he could understand. “I mean, I guess I should offer you some ice cream?” she said, more calmly and quietly.
“Why’s that?” Jensen asked, narrowing his eyes.
“Well, you know… I tried to call that pizzeria where he worked. I haven’t seen him for a few weeks now, and I got kinda worried and he wasn’t there, and they told me he wasn’t working there anymore, and that he just took off,” Daneel started rambling, barely catching her breath.
“I really don’t know where he is, he didn’t say goodbye, he didn’t come in here anymore.” Daneel shrugged, looking up as if she was trying to remember something. “Ice cream?” she offered again but Jensen just shook his head, already lost in his thoughts. He didn’t exactly think about calling that number Jeremy had given him, and he surely hadn’t thought to call the pizzeria. It felt like everyone around him knew that Jensen was hiding something, and calling there would be his biggest mistake.
That evening Daneel left. She said goodbye, hugged Jensen, kissed him on his check, whispering “take care” to him, and closed the door of her car. She said she would call once she got home, and Jensen just waved his hand.
It was minus one thing in his daily list of things to do, and Jensen didn’t really notice it. He didn’t even notice that Daneel didn’t call him, though it had already been a few days since she had left. He told himself that she needed time to catch up on things with her family, and that was why she didn’t call. It was like the perfect explanation for Jensen, and right after telling himself that, he gladly forgot that he had even thought about it.
It was some time after three in the morning, and Jensen sat before his computer, staring at the page. He was glad there were no new blank documents, only pages now. He had made a lot of progress since he last saw Jeremy and he was secretly grateful to him because he had sort of helped him start. Not that Jensen would tell anyone things like that.
Everyday he wrote and wrote, ‘til his fingers were numb and his back was aching hard, but with all the exhaustion he still couldn’t sleep at night. It was like he was afraid to close his eyes, like he would be lost in the darkness once he did. He faced the sunrise almost everyday, and only when it was daytime could he fall into his bed, finally releasing into much-desired sleep.
That was how he found himself, at almost four in the morning, with a cup of already cold coffee in his hands and his laptop before his eyes. His biological clock was completely fucked up, just as many other things in his life. Jensen sighed and rubbed at his eyes, trying to gather his thoughts.
He started when the phone rang and he slowly put the cup on the table, standing and taking the phone in his hands. Jensen glanced out of the window, just to make sure it was night, not day, that he hadn’t gone completely crazy for mixing everything up completely.
“’llo?” he asked, voice rough from not talking for so long. He coughed, listening to the silence on the other end. “Hello?” he said again, beginning to imagine a thousand different and horrible things at a time, his breath catching somewhere in his throat.
“Come to the old building outside of town, on the crossroads of 5th and John’s Street,” the voice said, and Jensen could swear that for a moment it was like he lost consciousness. He knew this voice, deep and rough: it was him.