Jensen didn’t think twice about the call, not really. Though in the end, he should have. He drove insanely through the night, coffee and adrenaline mixing in his blood, making him tremble, his breath fast and shallow, his body aching. He stopped at the crossroads, eyeing the tall, dark building. He thought it was perfect crime scene – it seemed like no one had been there for a very long time, nor would be there any time soon; if someone was to kill someone there, no one would know about. Maybe even ever.
Jensen stepped out of the car and slowly walked to the old door, entering through the old fence. He looked around, shuddering at the dark emptiness around him, and breathed in before opening the door.
It was dark and felt wet under his feet. For a second, Jensen was frightened that there was blood under his boots, but told himself that was ridiculous, that his imagination was really out of hand. He took a few more steps into the darkness.
“Hello?” he said to no one in particular, and he shuddered when his own voice echoed through the whole building. Jensen sighed, smelling the nasty bite of something old and rotting, and he closed his eyes for a second, trying to calm the nausea building up inside of him.
He walked farther in the darkness, seeing a little light in the back. He looked up – all the windows were broken, with boards nailed to the frames, so it was dark.
“You came.” A calm voice returned Jensen to Earth and he sharply turned his head to see Jeremy standing with his hands behind his back. “Hello to you too,” he said, smiling slightly, and Jensen swallowed hard.
He looked at him, trying to calm his racing heart. He had so many questions, and yet he couldn’t even begin to ask them. It felt like if he started with the wrong one, Jeremy would disappear.
“Sorry for all the enigma, just needed you to come here.” Jeremy stood still, not even moving except a tilt of his head. Jensen looked him up and down, trying to see the knife, but it was probably in his hands, hidden by his back.
“Like when you do that,” Jeremy said in barely a whisper, and Jensen frowned. “When you look at me like that,” Jeremy explained, seeing confusion on Jensen’s face. You probably want to know why you’re here,” he said, in a suddenly loud voice, and Jensen thought that the old walls of the building would crash in at the very next moment. “Or, more specifically, why I called you. I’m sure you already figured it out, why you came here, didn’t you?” Jeremy asked, licking his lips. His eyes were dark, and maybe it was because of the lighting, but Jensen would swear that something was so wrong in this entire picture.
“Why did you think that I’d come alone? You didn’t exactly clarify that.” Jensen found his voice and he was surprised at himself with the first question he asked. He wasn’t even sure he’d wanted to ask that. “I could call the police. I know who you are,” Jensen said, threatening no one in particular. Not like Jeremy could be frightened by that.
“Jensen, you knew who I was for how long exactly? Weeks. And have you gone to the police yet?” he asked, smiling, and Jensen almost moaned seeing those friendly dimples on his face. He just shrugged, not knowing what to answer. “I guess we all know the answer to that one,” he sing-songed, lowering his head. His damp hair fell on his face, hiding his eyes from Jensen, making him take one step closer to the murderer. He desperately needed to see his face; he felt like he was already starting to forget what he looked like. Only his smile and dimples, as if Jeremy was some kind of a Cheshire cat.
“You know, I read them,” he started suddenly, his voice dream-like, and Jensen frowned. “I read them all,” said Jeremy, looking straight into Jensen’s eyes. Letters, he thought. He was so stupid. He had totally forgotten about them. He had written dozens of them, laying everything open to the whole world, which, at that time had been Jeremy, the killer, the cold-blooded murderer. Jensen shivered. “It was kind of romantic.” He snorted, but then he smiled and this smile felt real, and Jensen almost wanted to cry, because of the wrongness of this situation, of the so many “what ifs” and “maybes,” and he could stop wondering since he met Jeremy what it would be like if he was normal. “Stop it,” he growled, making Jensen shudder. For a second, that friendly smile of his slipped away, and there was nothing but the face of a psychotic killer ready to get his work done. Jensen just stood there, numb, trying to understand what he had done.
“You’re thinking too loud. Stop it,” finished Jeremy, this time quieter. He was still in the same position, as if he didn’t even need to breathe. Or, maybe, it was Jensen, so lost in his own mind that he didn’t even notice it.
“What do you want from me?” Jensen asked in barely a whisper, feeling his eyes start to sting.
“Wrong question, Jensen. What do you want from me?” he asked, biting his lip. He looked like a little kid right then, and Jensen though that Jeremy could easily play with pretty much anyone in the entire world and make them believe in what he wanted them to believe – everything showed on his face, and he knew how to use it.
“I… n–nothing–” stammering, Jensen told him, feeling the weakness in his legs. He already started to think of how stupid he was that he had gone to the warehouse; he just wanted to see Jeremy, just once, and he didn’t want any of the consequences.
“I have something for you,” the killer said suddenly, and Jensen looked at him, feeling the wetness in his eyes. Jeremy just smiled. “You and I. Together. Always. It’s your choice.” Jensen didn’t understand what he meant until he moved to the side, showing Jensen what was behind him.
In the span of a few moments Jensen felt like his whole world was crashing down on him, like everything he knew was a lie, and all he wanted right now was to run – run without even looking back, pretend that everything was just a dream, a very bad dream, horrible and sick – but he knew that if he did that, he couldn’t live with it.
Daneel looked at him, her eyes red with tears and face dirty with make up. She was wearing the same clothes that he remembered from when she left. The realization hit Jensen hard and unexpectedly; he wanted to throw up but he couldn’t even move. It seemed like he couldn’t even breathe.
Daneel sat on the small stool, tied to it, hair a mess, clothes ripped and dirty, and it seemed like she tried to escape. Jensen swallowed, imagining what it would be like – trying to escape from this guy. And it was only then that he looked at her face.
He knew something was wrong with it, but he didn’t register it right away; he was too confused by the whole situation. Jensen gasped, barely stopping himself from putting his hand on his mouth; he didn’t want to scare the girl even more. They looked at each other and Jensen felt sick. He couldn’t even look at this smiling face, dirty with blood and tears – but he just couldn’t look away. Daneel didn’t say a word, and Jensen figured it was too painful for her to move her lips. She just sobbed, breathing through her nose, looking Jensen right in the eyes.
He felt warm hands on his shoulders, and Jeremy turned his face, holding him by his chin. He was too close, his breathing too hot, and Jensen felt like he was falling down that rabbit hole without an exit. Jeremy traced Jensen’s lips with his finger and Jensen felt something wet on Jeremy’s fingers. He looked down, gasping, barely holding back a scream, taking two steps back.
He wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand, watching the traces of blood that were left on his skin.
“You’re sick,” he whispered, looking at Jeremy’s bloodied hands. “I... you–”
“You’re exactly like me, Jensen.” The guy just smiled, playing with the knife in his hand. Jensen was looking at Jeremy, moving his eyes to Daneel and back again.
“I am nothing like you,” he said with gritted teeth, more to himself, a reminder that he was human. Jeremy just snorted.
“Don’t tell me you didn’t think of me or that girl that you saw that night. I know you were thinking about us all the fucking time, Jensen, and don’t you fucking dare to tell me that you weren’t!” he screamed, losing his calm just for a moment, but it was enough to frighten Jensen even more.
He had always thought that psychos like Jeremy were the composed, collected kind of people. They killed people, but thought that they had their own reasons. It was this passive kind of aggression that moved them. Right then, Jensen thought that Jeremy was something else.
There was silence for a few moments, just the sound of breathing in the darkness. Jensen just looked at Daneel, losing the battle with unconsciousness, her eyes opening and closing, shoulders low and head tilted to the side.
“Let her go,” Jensen said suddenly, not knowing where his strength came from. Jeremy just looked at him, frowning, gripping the knife tighter in his right hand. “Just let her go, take me, just let–”
“Don’t you get it?” Jeremy snipped, and he was there, right before Jensen, a few inches taller and a lot stronger, and his eyes were so dark Jensen could swear they were black.
“Get what?” he whispered, licking his lips. Suddenly, they were too dry. “That you want to kill an innocent girl? She isn’t even blond.” Jensen found the excuse lame, but it was the only thing that he could make as an argument.
“So what?” Jeremy snorted. “She’s all yours and it’s my present to you. I told you, it’s your choice,” he said quietly, taking Jensen’s hand in his, and it took all of Jensen’s strength not to jump away right that second.
“I made my choice, let her go,” he said in the steadiest voice he could manage. The tall guy just looked at him for a second, and then, turned around and made his way to Daneel. The girl shuddered violently and shook her head and Jensen, for a second, thought that he had made the wrong choice.
“Then you won’t see me again. Ever,” Jeremy said, falling to his knees right next to Daneel. She closed her eyes as more tears slipped down her cheeks, but Jeremy just traced her cheek with his fingers, careful not to touch the cuts, and then he kissed Daneel on the temple.
“What?” Jensen asked, confused. “What do you mean?”
“It’s your choice, Jensen. It’s me, or it’s her.” The guy tilted his head the girl’s side. “You can save her. I won’t touch her, I’ll walk through that door, out of this town, and no one else will get hurt. Well, I mean, here, of course,” he grinned. “But you won’t see me again, Jensen. Never. You can say your goodbye here,” he finished, standing and wiping his knife on his dirty jeans.
Jensen stood there, opening and closing his mouth like a fish. His vision began to blur and his mind was screaming at him, though he couldn’t for the love of God understand a word. Suddenly Jeremy was there, breathing the same air as Jensen, his whole body pressed to Jensen’s.
“You can say that this is my goodbye,” Jeremy said quietly, pressing their lips together, so soft but strong, demanding, and Jensen felt weakness in his knees, and then Jeremy’s tongue was in Jensen’s mouth, observing, licking. Jensen hissed when the guy bit his lower lip, but he never stopped kissing back. Jeremy’s hand was on Jensen’s face, caressing, holding him in place, possessing, and Jensen didn’t even care about the blood – Daneel’s blood for Christ’s sake – so lost he was in this goodbye kiss.
“No,” he managed, his voice weak and pathetic, and he couldn’t care less.
“What?” Jeremy asked, as if he didn’t hear him the first time.
“D–don’t… don’t go–” Jensen said, this time a little louder, putting his hands on Jeremy’s face, looking at his swollen pink lips because he couldn’t stand to look him in the eyes.
“You already made your choice, Jensen. I’m sorry, but you chose her,” he bit out, as if he was talking about something nasty, “over me.” He looked at Jensen, tilting his head, holding his chin.
“No, please, just… I’ll do whatever you want… I–” Jeremy just smiled, loosing his fingers in Jensen’s short hair, looking into his huge green eyes, so frightened as if it was Jensen who was being killed.
Jensen felt Jeremy’s hand on his, and he felt something solid and cold pressing into his hand. He couldn’t turn away from those eyes; he couldn’t identify what it was in his hand –but somewhere, in the back of his mind, he already knew. He already made his choice. He already knew how this would end.
“You and I. Together. Forever,” Jeremy said, lightly kissing Jensen once again, and then he stepped away, looking at Daneel as the realization slowly came to her. She just squeezed her eyes shut, new tears streaming down her red cheeks, and Jensen breathed in, taking one, two steps to the girl, to his friend.
He lowered himself to his knees, so close that he could smell the blood on her face, see the cuts, the smile. Jeremy made her smile, as if this whole nightmare was the happiest thing in her whole life.
Jensen pulled her hair away from her face, wiped the tears with the back of his hand, and smiled, his own tears starting to fall. He couldn’t do it, he knew he couldn’t, and yet he was doing it. He felt like he was possessed, like he wasn’t there and someone evil was moving his body, his hands, determining the path of the knife in his hand.
“I love you,” he whispered, afraid that Jeremy would hear. He was a few steps back, watching all of Jensen’s moves like a hawk, ready to help him. Jensen closed his eyes for a second, gripping the knife tighter. Daneel just looked at him, and Jensen couldn’t decide what she would say, if she could.
“I’m so–” he breathed, trying to make his voice steady; it was trembling too much. “I’m so sorry Dan.” He hugged her carefully, trying not to cause any more pain, and then he plunged the knife into her chest, feeling like the blade cut through skin and muscles as they were butter. Daneel just held her breath, not able to scream or breathe, and then her body was limp in Jensen’s hands, dead long before he finished her off.
Jensen thought, absentmindedly, that he finally knew how it felt. He didn’t like it. Not at all.
He could sense the tears on his cheeks, the shudders in his body as he cried, holding Daneel in his arms, the realization slowly becoming real to his fogged mind.
Then there were hands, strong and warm, and someone pulled him to his feet, took the knife from him, and then he was been kissed – wet kisses on his lips, his cheeks, all over his face – and all Jensen could feel was the warm blood on his hands and Daneel’s tears mixed with his own on his cheeks. And Jeremy.
He felt like he’d been drugged, like Jeremy was holding him tightly as Jensen’s knees finally gave out and he almost fell a few times. He was saying something, but Jensen was too out of it to understand the words.
When they got outside, Jensen fell to his knees and finally threw up. Jeremy stood there, patiently waiting, then dragged Jensen to the car, pressing him against the cold metal.
“Get yourself together, the first time is always hard,” he said, looking at Jensen as if he was hungry for something.
“The… the first time? Are you fucking kidding me? She was my friend! My fucking friend! And I killed her because of fucking you!” Jensen screamed as loud as he possibly could, feeling the fire in his lungs and the burn at the back of his throat.
“And I appreciate it,” Jeremy said simply, opening the back door of the car and taking out a bottle of water.
“App… you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” Jensen screamed, as if his pain would go away with the noise. He held his head in his hands, trying to calm his breathing and think straight, and he felt strong hands on his wrists, the grip so tight it was painful, and then Jeremy splashed the water on his face, making Jensen gasp.
“Fucking calm yourself down,” he said, calmly but firmly, and Jensen quieted. Jeremy gave him the bottle and Jensen drank a little, then spat it out on the dirty ground near the car. “It’s not the end of the world.”
Jensen thought that it’d better be, because he didn’t know how to live after this. Not yet, anyway.
“We… we should–” he started, looking at the tall guy, but the suggestion died on his tongue.
“What? Tell me, you don’t need to be afraid of me anymore. I told you, it’s you and I, together, remember?” and Jensen wanted to cry, because right now it seemed like Jeremy was the best thing in the world, so kind and strong, always there to help, to share, and Jensen knew that he wasn’t like this, not like any of this, and he was frightened because he didn’t want to be any of this.
“We should bury the body. It’s Daneel–” Jensen started, but Jeremy looked at him and Jensen knew what it meant. No bodies. No traces. No going back.
After that it was all a blur. A red blur of pain and blood – all Jensen could see was Daneel, and all Jensen could feel was Jeremy.
They left that town. Jeremy had given Jensen time to get his laptop and the bare minimum of his clothes, standing there as if he didn’t trust Jensen completely. Jensen’s hands were shaking badly the whole time. He locked the door to his apartment, putting the key under the carpet in front of his door, and Jeremy took one of his bags and they got in the car. And Jensen could swear that it felt like they were a happy couple moving in together, taking Jensen’s clothes. Except for the fact that there was blood on their clothes and Jensen’s hands were still pink even after he had washed them a few times – and on the back seat of Jeremy’s car there was a sharp knife, used no more than an hour ago.
They stayed in a motel that night, and Jensen was silent all the whole way there, too lost in his own mind to know that Jeremy got a room, put their bags in there, and walked Jensen in the room.
He came back to himself only when he felt hot water on his skin, standing in the dirty shower of the motel, watching as light-pink water dripped from his hands. He stood there for hours, though maybe it just felt like that. He didn’t notice the tears on his cheeks mixing with the water, and he shuddered when Jeremy turned the water off, putting a towel across Jensen’s shoulders and wiping away the water. His face was concentrated, his moves strong and fast, and Jensen wondered if it would always be like this. Would he always be so broken that he couldn’t see straight and Jeremy… would he always be like a machine?
“I’m not–” Jensen started and Jeremy looked at him sharply, no emotions on his face, just those hazel eyes looking down at him, right into his soul.
“But you are,” he said quietly, walking Jensen to the bed.
That night they fucked so hard that Jensen couldn’t hear his own scream.
He didn’t see the blood on his hands or feel the wetness on his cheeks, and he didn’t hear Daneel’s soft sobs. All that was there was Jeremy, his hands, his lips, his body, so deep into his own that it was pure pain that Jensen was sure he deserved. He was thankful for those moments of oblivion, and he fell back on the sheets, exhausted, feeling the hot body right on top of him, the lips covering his own, and Jeremy’s soft “youandI” all over again.
They were driving further and further away from the town Jensen had begun to consider his new home. They were running. And he couldn’t shake the feeling that Jeremy did it because of him, because he didn’t trust Jensen, because he thought that he could blow up any minute and go to the police. The thought hurt, Jensen was surprised to find, but each time he looked at his partner on the driver’s seat he saw only a soft smile pointed back at him, and each time he pretend that everything was fine. There wasn’t that line of blood they left after them, there weren’t dead bodies and articles in the newspapers, there weren’t any lost friends. They were driving, for so many days now, and Jensen preferred to pretend that these weren’t the last few months of his life at all.
Each night he woke up with a scream on his lips and each time he couldn’t voice it. He was suffocating, he was trembling, and he couldn’t close his eyes so he wouldn’t see the blood – it didn’t work like that.
And each time he felt a strong hand on his waist, a warm breath on his neck, and someone’s legs tangled with his. Who would have thought that one of the most dangerous serial killers liked to snuggle..?
Jensen snorted, holding tightly to the hand on his chest, right above his heart, and he felt the light kiss on his neck, just below his hairline.
Each time he woke up, Jeremy was there, and each time it was him who lulled Jensen back to sleep.
Sometimes there were days when Jensen was afraid to even breathe.
It was almost two months after they left, thousands of miles away from the town, and a whole lot of something between them during days like this.
Jeremy was nervous. He couldn’t sit straight, he drank a lot of coffee, he could snap at practically everything, and Jensen was afraid to even say anything. He knew Jeremy wouldn’t do anything to him. Surprisingly, in those few weeks he had learned that if Jeremy had something that was important to him, it was Jensen. In his own way of showing it, that Jensen sometimes didn’t want to remember, Jeremy let Jensen know that he was important to him.
Jensen was just scared to see what Jeremy was really capable of.
So he just sat there, reading or staring at the ceiling in another trashy motel room, listening to Jeremy pace, and he just waited. And the waiting was always worth it. At the end of one of these days, Jeremy would lie next to him, in the bed so small they had to snuggle even closer than usual, and he would tell Jensen how sorry he is, how thankful he is that Jensen is still there, and Jensen would just lie there in Jeremy’s arms, listening to him, frightened to even try to ask – what if he left?
Sometimes Jeremy would surprise and frighten Jensen at the same time. It’s like Jeremy is the most unexpected thing that Jensen has ever seen. Jeremy would come to him, and he would say that Jensen is the only one.
He would say that there’s no place like home, even though they were in a fifth-rate motel in the country, and Jeremy would still be bright as a child, his dimples showing and his body too close to Jensen’s. He said, then, that with Jensen was the only place he felt at home, because Jensen was like him. And that was the first time Jensen wondered if he had made the right choice. He didn’t want to be like Jeremy, he wanted to be with him. His bloody dream didn’t leave him until that day.
And sometimes Jeremy had bad days and good days, and sometimes Jensen was frightened to talk to him at all. They could sit in the same room, each doing their own thing like they were alone in the room, and sometimes they could fuck like horny teenagers, not leaving the room for days, but not saying a word to each other either.
And sometimes Jensen wanted to ask Jeremy when he would kill again.
The question always died on his lips when he saw Jeremy’s facial expression, as if he knew what Jensen wanted to ask.
In one of those small towns they drove through, Jensen met a guy.
He was in a crappy bar, drinking beer, and really – was there another place to be? Jeremy was out and Jensen didn’t want to think where that knife of Jeremy’s went when he left for a walk.
So, sitting right next to the drunk guy who was on his fifth, or maybe seventh, beer, Jensen listened to the sad story of this man’s life, and in his mind he was laughing, because it was exactly what he had dreamt of.
The guy said that he was tired of his life, a big part of which was making fake IDs, and this was where Jensen started to think. And for the first time in a very long time it wasn’t about Daneel’s blood or tears.
It was autumn and they were somewhere on the west coast, in a town Jensen didn’t really remember the name of, when he finished his book.
He couldn’t believe it, because it felt like a lifetime had gone by since he had started it, like he was an absolutely different person then.
He looked at the blinking cursor on the screen and at pages and pages of work, of his memories, and he wondered if anyone would ever think that this really happened. Of course, that was if this novel would see the light of day. He never told Jeremy about it, he only wrote at nights when Jeremy was so drunk and out of it that he slept through Jensen’s clattering on the keyboard.
Jeremy wouldn’t understand, though he lived his life like this. In fact, he lived exactly the same one. But sometimes Jensen wondered if Jeremy understood himself, what he was doing, because some nights he would wake up, frightened, holding on to Jensen for dear life, and at these times Jensen would swear that it was another person. Someone who was locked inside Jeremy’s head, the real Jeremy, not the cold-hearted, sick, freak.
That’s why he never said a word about it. That’s why he just lay there at night, holding him, sliding his hand up and down Jeremy’s back, whispering soft nothings, listening to the quiet sobs, just trying to calm him down and lull him back to sleep.
In the morning the Jeremy Jensen knew was back and it was another day of being afraid to talk. Usually, that was a bad day.
It was a week after that Jensen made his decision. He just hoped that this time he made the right choice.
That night they drank a little more that they should, left a little earlier than they could, and that night they fucked like it was the last time, the end of the world, no morning after, and no more “youanditogetherforever” if they slipped apart.
Jensen screamed and this time he could hear himself. This time his mind was clear; his thoughts weren’t in chaos like they had been for the last few months. And this time he could feel Jeremy, all of him, inside of him and out, his hands and tongue on his body, his cock inside of him, ripping him apart, slowly and painfully, and Jensen wasn’t sure if he could feel any better than this.
He came with another scream on his lips and tears in his eyes, and Jeremy was there, kissing his tears away, stealing his breath once again, and Jensen smiled, knowing for the first time how exactly Jeremy could make people smile.
And after that Jensen slept tight, holding Jeremy in his hands, dreaming of nothing but dark emptiness, for the first time not so cold and frightening.
It was cold, one of the last days of autumn before the winter, and Jensen knew he needed to do it before everything died.
He stood right next to Jeremy’s car, the beautiful black Impala, and he touched the cold black metal, remembering fading memories of that night, when Jeremy had pressed him against it and told him to calm the fuck down.
And maybe Jensen finally did it – accepted the part of him that he never knew was there, inside of him.
He took his bag from the back seat, waiting for Jeremy to come back from the receptionist’s office. They were ready to leave another town, and Jensen was ready to leave his old life and finally stop running from whatever he was running from in the first place. Jeremy stood in front of him, looking at his bag and then into Jensen’s eyes, as if he got it right then. He was always smart, much smarter than any sick psycho should be. And maybe, somewhere in the back of his mind, Jensen thought it was because Jeremy wasn’t really a cold-blooded murderer.
Jensen looked at him, licking his lips as he thought about what to ask, though he had known the question for a long time.
“You’re like me,” Jeremy told him, taking a step forward, but Jensen just took a step back.
“No, I’m not. I made a huge mistake that I’m gonna have to live with now, but I’m not like you,” Jensen said, surprised by how firm and steady his voice was.
“You know,” Jeremy said, thinking about something, as if he couldn’t find the right words to explain it to Jensen, “it’s like a tattoo,” he said after a moment’s silence, and Jensen snorted.
“What? You wanna say it’s forever?” Jensen asked, a little bit louder because he wanted to scream – it seemed as if the taller man was laughing at him.
“No. After the first one you always come back for a second,” Jeremy answered, his eyes dark with a glimpse of something that Jensen didn’t want to think about. After all that time, he had started to understand this man too well for his own good.
Jensen swallowed hard, biting his tongue.
“I know you, Jensen, and I know what you are. I’m the same. It won’t be long before you’ll start to want.” Jeremy shifted from foot to foot, feeling the desire in him building up in his blood.
“I’ll think about it then.”
“I won’t be around,” Jeremy tried to convince him, and it was the first time that Jensen thought that they had changed places. Now Jeremy was the pathetic and frightened one and Jensen had the power.
“I’ll deal with it.”
“You sure?” Jeremy asked, a smirk on his lips. “It didn’t seem like you were dealing before,” he said, narrowing his eyes, and Jensen felt his strength slowly slipping away.
“I was weak. Now I’m stronger,” Jensen answered, trying to calm himself.
“Oh, why? Because you killed someone?”
“No, because I know how to not kill again. Do you know how, Jeremy?” At these words the tall man just smirked, lowering his head, and for a moment Jensen felt bad. The old Jeremy had slowly come back again, and the familiar smirk and quirk of a brow was back.
“And in the end it’s me, who actually keeps his promise, huh?” Jeremy laughed bitterly, and Jensen could swear that for a moment he saw wetness in his eyes. He frowned, trying to understand what Jeremy meant. “You and I, Jen, together, forever, you won’t change it.”
Jensen knew that Jeremy showed his feeling in his own way – this threat was his way of saying “I love you,” and Jensen felt slightly lightheaded because it was the first time that someone had actually told him those words.
“I love you like I won’t love anyone in the entire world, Jeremy,” Jensen said, quieting for a moment, looking Jeremy in the eyes, like he was searching for his soul. For what was left of it, anyway. “But I can’t live like that. And I won’t.”
“So what? You’re gonna be a nice writer? You’re going back to your family?” he said, the darkness in his eyes rising, and for a moment Jensen thought that he lost it, and now he would lose his whole family.
“You won’t,” he said, moving closer to Jeremy, glad that his voice wasn’t trembling.
“I know, just wanted to see the look on your face,” he said, grinning, but then his face became serious.
Jensen stepped even closer, barely an inch from Jeremy’s face, and he looked him in the eyes.
“There’s something dark inside of me, and I’ll never get rid of it. It’ll always be there, Jeremy.”
“I guess, then, I’ll see you in hell anyway?” he shrugged as if it all was just a joke for him.
“I just want to know the name of this darkness,” Jensen finished, tracing Jeremy’s bottom lip with his fingers.
In his other hand he held his bag, the minimum of everything he owned. He left his laptop back in the motel room with a little sticker on it, saying that he wanted him to read his novel. That he wrote it just for him. He had been writing it for him from the very beginning. He left his book in one copy, on that laptop, so it was Jeremy’s decision what to do with it. Jensen was never the one who made the decisions in their story. He just followed. Sometimes in the wrong ways.
“Then just ask,” the tall man said quietly, feeling Jensen’s breath on his lips.
“What’s your name, stranger?” Jensen asked, stepping away, making the space between them even bigger. He was taking slow steps away from the guy, from the cold-blooded killer, from his lover, from his enemy, and the only thing Jensen was afraid of: that he wouldn’t be able to live with this space between them.
He turned away.
“Jared,” he said, and Jensen just smiled, tasting the name on his lips, knowing that Jared wouldn’t see this smile, that this one wasn’t for him.
Notes and acknowledgments