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Shady Hill

Chapter Three

Sander’s room was the last on the hall, tucked in the corner facing a dingy alleyway on one side, and the overgrown backyard on the other. It was the furthest from any of the other rooms, which made it the best place for a tryst. No one would hear the noises Jasper couldn’t quiet, or the sounds they made as furniture became more a hindrance than a help.

Jasper let Sander drag him inside, and let the pyrokinetic peel away his clothes so that they puddled on the floor in disordered messes. He ignored bumping into an end table and all but bouncing off the footboard of the bed as Sander kissed him, tongue diving into Jasper’s mouth and bringing with it the taste of mentholated tobacco. Hands, smooth from tapping away at computer keys for most of the day, roamed over Jasper’s body.

“We could stand to get cleaned up,” Sander said against Jasper’s throat, nipping at the column of flesh but careful not to leave any marks.

“You just want me wet and naked,” Jasper retorted, but it lacked any heat as he stepped out of his boxers and jeans and kicked both of them away. This left him nude, pressing his bare body against Sander’s equally undressed form.

Sander was taller, a bit broader in the shoulders, but Jasper never felt overwhelmed by him. He had maybe twenty pounds on Jasper, but Jasper had another growth spurt left in him. At some point, he might even pass Sander. A moment he looked forward to with glee.

Sander's cock pressed against Jasper’s abdomen, hot and heavy with need, smearing precome across his belly. “You’ve caught onto my nefarious plan,” Sander said, voice thick and sultry. “Join me in the shower?”

As if it was something Jasper was going to deny. He followed Sander into his private bathroom, and the bathtub-shower combination that wasn’t meant for two people. They always made it work.

Jasper adjusted the temperature since heat wasn’t a problem for Sander, and felt hands settle on his hips, sliding up his sides and then down again. Sander pressed against him from behind, cock nestling in the crease of Jasper’s buttocks.

“Have I ever told you how sexy you are when you're bent over for me?”

Jasper straightened, and jerked the shower curtain back, some of the spray from the shower drizzling over his skin. “Only every time you get me on my knees.”

“Mmm. I should do it more often then,” Sander said with a chuckle. His hands settled on Jasper’s hips, pulling Jasper against him as his mouth landed on the back of Jasper’s shoulders, teeth applying a faint, dizzying pressure.

A moan built in Jasper’s throat as his hand tightened on the shower curtain and he pressed against Sander’s heat. “Do what? Compliment me?”

“No. Get you on your knees.” Sander's mouth slid to the back of Jasper’s neck, where he used his teeth to pull out the tie binding Jasper’s hair.

The dark strands fell free, sliding over his shoulder and hanging in his face. Sander turned his head, dropping the tie to the floor, and nosed into Jasper’s hair where he inhaled deeply.

“Yum. Smoke and blood. Just the way I like it.” One hand curled around Jasper, fingers cupping his thickening length.

Jasper sucked air through his teeth, pushing against the warmth of Sander’s palm. “You’re wasting water,” he said, voice echoing in the bathroom as the water continued to pound against the polished lacquer of the bathtub.

He heard the sound of Sander removing his glasses, folding and setting them on a washcloth on the sink. “We can’t have that, can we?” He bumped Jasper with his hips. “Into the shower with you.”

Jasper obeyed, stepping under the harsh, warm spray. The battle today hadn’t been long or difficult, but it still felt good to have the water sluicing over his body. Sander joined him in the tub, sliding the curtain shut to keep the floor dry, and wasted no time in vying with Jasper for room under the spray.

“I thought pyrokinetics didn’t like water?” Jasper teased as the water soaked his hair, making it cling to his neck and shoulders.

“I like being clean.” Sander adjusted the direction of the shower head, nearly spraying Jasper in the face. “There’s a difference. It has nothing to do with the fact I can’t swim.”

Jasper’s brows lifted. “You can’t swim?”

“Never had a chance to learn.” Sander shrugged and grabbed a washcloth and bar of soap. “Turn around. Let me soap you up.”

Jasper complied, and bit back a moan as the soapy washcloth started with his back, Sander applying just enough pressure to make it feel like a massage. It helped that Sander’s hands were pyro-warm and roamed, pressing in all the spots sure to make Jasper tingle. He had a feeling this was less about getting clean and more about Sander’s lust.

“You should learn,” Jasper said, albeit belatedly.

Sander chuckled. “What for?” Soapy hands sliding down Jasper’s sides, covering him in a sudsy film that smelled of Zest.

He supposed Sander had a point. The last public pool had closed two years ago, and the ocean was a four-hour drive away. Lakes and rivers were in short supply around here. Where would Sander have need to swim?

Jasper leaned forward and braced his palms against the opposite wall. He let his head hang as skilled fingers worked into the muscles of his back.

“I don’t know. It just seems like one of those skills everyone should know. Like how to ride a bike or do a cartwheel.”

“Can’t do that either.”

“What? A cartwheel?”

“No, ride a bike.” Sander dug into Jasper’s lower back, working out a knot that forced a moan from Jasper’s lips before he could stop it.

Sander chuckled. “Is that the spot?” He pressed tight to Jasper's back, his voice a sultry whisper at Jasper’s ears.

“Close enough to it.” Jasper arched back against Sander, fingers flexing against the shower wall. There was a chill, creeping around the edge of the curtain, but it was chased away by the warmth of Sander’s skin.

Hands slid from his back, up his shoulders, traveling the length of his arms until they covered Jasper’s hands, pinning him in place. Sander pressed against him, bodies aligned, cock nestled against Jasper’s buttocks.

“I think you like me pinning you down,” Sander murmured, nibbling at Jasper’s ear with teeth and tongue, tugging on the gold rings hanging from Jasper’s right lobe. “I think you like me taking control.” His hips swiveled, pressing rhythmically against Jasper’s ass, taunting him with promises of sex.

Suds slipped down Jasper’s body like a delicate caress. He shivered. “I think you’re just a sadist,” he said, heart picking up in rhythm as his cock filled with blood once more.

“Is that so?” Sander drew back, but only long enough for him to spin Jasper around so that they could face each other. “If I’m a sadist, then you’re a tease.”

He pinned Jasper with his lips, closing his mouth over Jasper’s and tongue thrusting past Jasper’s lips. He returned the kiss, tongue dueling with Sander’s for dominance as Jasper gripped Sander’s hips and pulled their bodies together. Their groins met with a chorus of groans, two erections sliding together, slick thanks to the soap.

One of Sander’s hands buried fingers in Jasper’s hair, tilting his head back for Sander to plunder his lips. The other gripped Jasper’s hip, curving around his thigh and pulling upward. Jasper complied, sliding a leg around Sander’s waist and putting them at perfect height for a slick, satisfying grind. Jasper moaned into the kiss as their cocks rubbed together, Sander rocking against him with enough pressure to send sparks shooting up Jasper’s spine.

“Guh,” Jasper gasped against Sander’s lips as he thrust against Sander, seeking more stimulation.

Steam rose in the shower, making everything slippery, the air heavy with damp heat. The ends of Sander’s hair started to curl from being wet, clinging to his darker skin. Droplets beaded up, droplets that Jasper wanted to lick.

“I’ve made you speechless, is that it?” Sander purred as Jasper’s arm wrapped around him, fingers digging into his lower back.

“And yet so modest,” Jasper muttered, arching against Sander, the action mimicking a thrust. His body hummed with desire, the Potential vibrating around them. Jasper resisted the urge to grab Sander and take what he wanted.

Sander snickered, pulling Jasper’s hair and tilting his head back. Sander’s mouth latched on Jasper’s throat, teeth and tongue exploring. Touching all of the places that made Jasper shudder with need, fingers digging bruises into Sander’s back.

“I should fuck you.” Sander's breath came in short pants as the water streamed against his back, highlighting the heat between them. “Here and now. Up against the wall. You know you’d like that.”

Jasper groaned. “Promises, promises.”

“Hah.” Sander mouthed Jasper’s shoulder, teeth leaving impressions and marks where no one could see.

The sharp nips were like shocks sent straight to Jasper’s cock and the sound he made could best be described as a whine. He gripped Sander’s arm with his free hand and shoved their bodies together. He was so close. He could already feel it, twisting and churning inside of him. His pulse was a heavy, loud thrum through his veins.

Jasper rolled his hips, feeling their cocks slide together. It was maddening and delicious, and the heat of Sander’s tongue on his throat sent chills down his spine. Damn pyrokinetics and their higher body heat that always managed to chase away the inherent chill of a telekinetic.

The fingers in his hair tightened, pulling at the scalp, a slight sting that only highlighted the pleasure racing through Jasper’s body. He gritted his teeth, their breaths echoing in the bathroom, and chased after the release that swelled inside of him. It made his body writhe, trapped between Sander and the coolness of the wall. The heat rose, and for a moment, Jasper was suspended in a blinding arch of need, want, more. Then he crashed back to Earth, gasping as he spilled between their bodies.

Sander made a sound, a mix of a laugh and a gasp of approval, his fingers pressing tight against Jasper’s thigh. Tight enough to leave bruises later, heat searing Jasper’s flesh. He wouldn’t burn, couldn’t burn, but the threat of it lingered, made the arousal throbbing through Jasper all the more heady.

A few sharp thrusts from Sander, already on edge from their activities earlier, and he followed Jasper over, adding to the mess growing sticky between them. He dragged his mouth upward and nipped at Jasper’s chin before sealing their lips together.

The kiss was languid, more breathing onto each other’s lips as they fought to get their bodies under control. Their breathing and the spray of the water was the only sound to fill the shower stall until Sander smirked, unable to stay serious for long.

“Take your breath away, do I?”

Jasper rolled his eyes, and wormed his way out of Sander’s arms. He tried to edge around him toward the lukewarm spray. “Yes, you’re a god in bed. Is that what you want to hear?”

Hands skirted down his sides, helping to wash away the suds, and teasing him with casual brushes across Jasper’s softening organ. “I’m a modest fellow. I’ll settle for demi-god.”

“Modest is probably the last word I’d use to describe you.” Jasper rinsed off the rest of his body and turned around to finish wetting his hair properly. Half-damp it was a nuisance, all-dry or all-wet, however, it was easier to manage.

Sander took that opportunity to snag another kiss, never one to miss a chance for touching or groping or any number of inappropriate things considering the situation. He was the most hands-on person Jasper knew. Mik rarely touched anyone, not even casually, and Sophia might as well have a wall built around her. Sander however, wasn’t satisfied unless he was hugging someone, or patting them on the head or back, or nudging people with his shoulder, any matter of physical contact really.

Jasper broke off the kiss, dragging his tongue over his lips. “You take any longer and you’ll end up with a cold shower,” he said, avoiding Sander’s next grab and throwing back the curtain, stepping out onto the bathmat and dripping everywhere.

“You’re not going to help me wash?” Sander called after him, a fake pout on his face.

Jasper snatched a towel from the rack and wrapped it around his hips. “At this point, you should be good enough with your hands on your own.”

He grinned at Sander's gasp of outrage and left his lover in the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

It was cold in the bedroom. Jasper shivered, quickly toweling himself off and running the towel over his hair. He sat on the end of the bed, letting the towel drape over his shoulders as he toed open the mini-fridge with his foot and helped himself to a canned soda.

He guzzled half of it and wiped the back of his hand over his mouth as Sander emerged from the bathroom less than a minute later. He was dry and abandoned his towel on the bathmat, emerging with his glasses dangling between his fingers. These were set on the dresser as he brushed past Jasper, grabbing his can and downing the other half.

“Helping yourself?” Jasper brushed a hand through his damp hair.

Sander crushed the empty can with his fingers and tossed it toward the wastebasket. “Why not? It was mine in the first place.” He snatched the towel from Jasper’s shoulders, tossing it to the side. One hand carded through Jasper’s hair. “You should keep growing it.”

“No thanks,” Jasper said, scooting back so he could recline on the bed. Warm water tended to make him drowsy. “It's enough of a pain in the ass as it is.”

Sander crawled onto the mattress after him. “A few more inches won't hurt.”

“Says who?” Jasper tilted his head to the side as Sander propped his head on his palm, elbow sinking into the mattress. “Are you going to take care of it for me?”

“Every night. I'll braid it for you and everything.” His jaw cracked as he yawned.

“Old man,” Jasper teased, though he was tired himself. It was late, or early depending on your point of view, on an already long day. He could do with a nap, or full-on sleep.

“What did Mik say anyway? After I left?” Jasper asked, intending to get comfortable but the curiosity nagging at him. “What does he think Utara's planning?”

Sander groaned, rolling over to pin Jasper beneath him, hands planted on either side of Jasper’s head. “Ah-ah. No business in bed.” He cut off Jasper's protest with a kiss.

If it were up to Sander, they’d spend all night in the bed, dirtying the sheets and getting nothing done. Regardless of the fact that they both had other duties that needed attending and sunrise would come all too soon.

The sound of a grumbling stomach broke the heated quiet in the room, prompting Jasper to break off the kiss with an amused lift of his eyebrows. “You pyrokinetics and your stomachs.”

“You say that like you know more than one this intimately,” Sander said with a teasing grin, eyes brighter without the shield of his glasses to hide behind. “Besides, a man’s got to keep up his strength.”

Jasper rolled his eyes and sat up, prompting Sander to sit back and let Jasper out from beneath him. “You’re just a hedonist.” He ran a hand through his tangled hair and stood. “I should probably check on Mik.”

A palm landed squarely against his left ass cheek. Jasper startled. “Hey!” He whirled toward Sander, a snarl on his lips.

“What did I say about shop talk?” Sander leaned back against the bed, stretching out across the rumpled comforter.

Jasper scowled at him. “I’m not in bed.”

“Jasper, this is my room.” Sander said with a broad gesture before the hand returned, scratching at his goatee. “Anything in here can be used as a bed.”

“Pervert.”

Sander grinned, tucking one arm beneath his head. “Of course,” he said, and his arm re-emerged with a bag of cookies. One that had, apparently, been hidden between his headboard and his mattress. “Mik’s a grown man, Cole. I think he can watch over himself.”

Sander didn’t know the half of it.

“You just want me to stay here so you have a warm body to molest all night.”

“I’m wounded,” Sander said with a mock gasp, crunching on a chocolate chip cookie. “You know the only warm body I want is yours.”

Actually, this was news to Jasper. Then again, he could never tell when Sander was being serious or just saying things in jest. Sander could be difficult to read and it didn’t help that they hadn’t decided to form an agreement as much as they’d just fallen into bed and let things go from there. It was convenient, it was comfortable, but most of all, it was a way to forget, if briefly, about the darkness nipping at their heels and death waiting in the wings.

Jasper sighed. “He was talking about Jeremiah again.”

“Shit.” The mattress squeaked as Sander sat up, leaning against the headboard. One knee drew up as he got comfortable. “We’ll have to watch him then.”

“I know.” Jasper crossed the floor, rooting around the piles of clothes until he found his boxers and could slip back into them. “Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, but he’ll find someway to sneak out and--”

“--and then it’ll be up to us to drag his shit-faced ass back here,” Sander muttered, throwing another cookie into his mouth before rolling up the top of the bag and tucking it away again. “I wonder if Utara’s underlings have this much trouble,” he added, swiping his hand over his mouth to get the crumbs.

Jasper glared.

“I’m just saying…” Sander shrugged and then leaned forward, hooking a finger in Jasper’s boxers, pulling him back toward the bed. “Come on. You know what to do if you really want to shut me up.” And just like that, Sander was back in seduction mode.

For Jasper, however, it wasn’t so easy. The seed was already planted. He was worried. Mik had been acting strangely and with the news of Utara’s hidden plots, the stress was probably getting to him again. Mik’s idea of stress relief was neither safe nor approved by his subordinates.

Jasper resisted the pull. “I should go check on him.”

There was a pop as Sander let go and the elastic of the waistband snapped back into place against Jasper’s skin. “If you must.” He flopped back on the bed, dragging a pillow under his arm. “I’m going to sleep.”

“Thought you weren’t tired?” Jasper hunted for the rest of his clothes. The last thing he wanted was to wander around base in his underthings. The rumors would really get started then.

Sander didn’t answer. He was sulking. For a man seven years Jasper’s senior, he could certainly act like a child .

Jasper ignored him in turn, and dressed quickly. In the bathroom, he found his tie and pulled his tangled hair back out of his face. He’d worry about brushing it and tending to it after checking on Mik. Hopefully, the boss was either still in meeting with Sophia or in bed asleep.

As ordered as he was going to get with rumpled clothing and tangled hair, Jasper headed for the door. He spared one last glance to Sander, but the pyrokinetic had his back to the door and was doing a good job at pretending he was asleep. Fake snores rose from the mattress and Jasper knew for a fact that Sander didn’t snore. Talk in his sleep, yes, but snore? No.

Che. Children.

Jasper slipped out of the bedroom, closing the door behind him. He stepped into the chilly silence of the hall. Downstairs, snippets of conversation and laughter floated up from the common room, but it wasn’t as raucous as it had been earlier.

The carpeting muffled his footsteps as Jasper padded down the hallway, toward the room Mik had remodeled as a conference room. Decades ago, before Rhapsody was born, this place had once been a hotel, built in a historic district with gleaming chandeliers, shiny banisters, and patrons from half the world over. Of course, that was long before the advent of the kinetics, and before Blacksburg had been one of many ground zeroes for the Kinetic-Norm war.

Now, the once-famous hotel housed Rhapsody and its collection of thieves, murderers, alters, and exiled. To be fair, they only killed their enemies when no other option presented itself, but in the eyes of Blacksburg's Norm population, they were only proving their true colors. Kinetics were monsters, unnatural beings, cursed by god and doomed to suffer.

Jasper snorted. Norms knew nothing. They feared what they didn’t understand. And that fear led to jealousy, led to hate, led to this… exile.

Led to Jasper being abandoned on the streets the moment his parents learned the reason why their adolescent son had the ability to stand in the middle of a minor gang skirmish and come out unscathed. He’d been twelve at the time, but he’d never forget the looks on their faces. The fear and the horror, the disgust as they walked away and didn’t look back.

Lip curling with disdain, Jasper shook away the memories. The past, it didn’t matter. He had Rhapsody now. He had Mik and Sander and Sophia. He didn’t need the Norms and he certainly didn't need his asshole parents.

Jasper paused at the door to the conference room, listening for the sound of voices. He didn’t hear any, but Jasper opened it cautiously anyway. No one was inside. Not even Sophia at her computer. She must have closed up her laptop and taken it with her.

It was almost sunrise. Lance, her significant other, was probably worried about her. Then again, he had to be used to her coming in and out at all times of the day or night.

Lance was an Outsider, a terrakinetic unaffiliated with any gang, living on the fringes of Rhapsody territory and somehow integrated with Norm society. He’d had no desires to join Rhapsody and Sophia didn’t press him to, nor did he try to sway her from her own decision. Mik was always warning Sophia that Lance would someday be a target, but Lance insisted he could take care of himself.

She had probably gone home to their shared apartment.

Jasper flicked the light off and left the conference room. There were five other doors on this floor belonging to various ranking members of Rhapsody, including Zayn, Sander’s assistant, and Florian. Jasper’s room was here, too, at the head of the stairs and the first to be bothered by noise. Mik, as the boss, had prime accommodations, the penthouse suite.

It was there Jasper headed next.

The small stairwell was tucked between Sander’s room, labeled as an emergency exit, and Florian’s, who despite his cheerful exterior was the picture of discretion. More steps did head downstairs, but they exited directly into the alley between Rhapsody’s base and the abandoned Chinese restaurant next door. Usually, this exterior door was locked and barred, a huge dumpster concealing its existence.

The concrete stairwell echoed with Jasper’s footsteps as he climbed upward, pushing through the heavy door into the narrow hallway that held a single door and an exit on the far end, in the form of an elevator that had broken years ago. No one bothered to fix it. Besides, Mik claimed he liked it better that way. He didn’t need prime access to his quarters and there was less of a chance of someone sneaking up on him.

The silence up here was unnerving. Jasper approached Mik’s door, not surprised that he found it wide open. For all of his moniker of “red demon” that many lower ranked members of Nocturne called him, Mik had a lot of uninspiring paranoias. He slept with the light on, hated seeing mirrors or glass in the dark, and refused to sleep with doors closed.

Jasper paused in the doorway, his eyes sweeping the room. The large bed looked untouched, not even a wrinkle on the bedspread. The TV was off, the curtains shut, and the bathroom door was open, the lights off. There was a balcony, but even Jasper knew that Mik never used it. Too dangerous, he’d claimed. Anyone could snipe him from there.

Of the boss, however, Jasper saw nothing.

Mik was gone.

Jasper slammed a fist against the frame of the door and whirled on his heel. Mik had at least an hour’s head start on him and Jasper wasn’t going to search on his own. This was Sander’s fault, too. And he was going to drag the lazy pyrokinetic out of bed.

Damn it.

Date of Last Edit: November 18th, 2015

Cassandra Smith writing as Nicole Wilkinson
Copyright 2006-2016
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