The Tale of Jack

Chapter 8


After several ecstatic minutes of celebration, everyone had brushed dust off themselves and settled in the living room while Miss Buford phoned her office. Fortunately, one of her colleagues was working late and was able to get things in motion to make their claim and to let her know exactly how much money they’d won.


Jack felt more on edge than he had all evening. She’d said before that they’d won a ‘significant amount’. How much was that? A few weeks ago Mama had worked out that a little over twenty thousand dollars would set them in the black, or at least get them to a point where paying off their debts was realistic. Would their winnings be enough to cover that?


He glanced over at his Mama. She was sitting in her armchair, smiling but tense. Dr Atieno was perched on the chair arm, his hands on her shoulders, talking to her softly. He was a good man, Jack acknowledged. All that mess yesterday hadn’t been his fault.


Over on the window seat, Mr and Mrs McElgar were holding hands, leaning their heads together, so comfortable with each other after all the years they’d been married. Jack felt a little pang of jealousy, but pushed it away. He couldn’t cope with it right now.


Out in the hallway, Miss Buford said goodbye to her colleague and snapped her cell phone shut, then opened the door to the living room, a big smile on her face. In her hand was a reporter’s notebook, which she handed to Jack’s Mama before taking a seat.


“My friend got the sum from the system. That right there is the amount you’ll receive from your ticket,” she told them, pointing at the notebook page.


Jack leaned over his Mama’s shoulder as she fumbled her glasses on and looked at the page. In amongst a load of scribbles was a number, underlined several times.




“It’s pretty exact. Our accounting department is a little too serious sometimes,” Miss Buford said brightly.


They’d gone through all that for less than two hundred dollars? All of a sudden Jack wanted to scream and cry and throw himself on the floor...but his Mama? She was smiling. Really smiling.


He looked again, wondered why Miss Buford had put three digits for the cents rather than two.


Then he realised; that wasn’t a decimal point, it was a comma.


He had to say it aloud, couldn’t keep it in. “O-one hundred and ninety six...”


“Thousand dollars,” his Mama concluded.


Miss Buford leaned forward in her seat. “Will that help?” she asked.




Three days later, the money was in their bank account.


Two hours after that, Jack and his Mama shook hands with the bank manager, having made arrangements to pay off the last of their debts, and set off to take the McElgar’s out for dinner.


The day after that, Dr Atieno took Jack’s Mama into the city to talk to a specialist who was going to be in charge of her surgery. While they were away, Jack called the adult education centre in Green Meadow to talk about getting his GED.


And the day after that, he and Mr McElgar went out in the McElgar’s truck to buy lumber, and then they built Goldie the best damn coop a goose could wish for. While they were out in the yard, Jack’s Mama was being taken to a cafe in town by a reporter from the Green Meadow Gazette to talk about her win, an appointment from which she returned ebullient and giggling.


Life was good, everything was going so well it almost felt impossible. Their problems were solved, their fears dissipated, their hopes realised.


Except that Jack was...pining may not have been too strong a word. He really, truly was pleased, to keep his home, to ensure his Mama’s health, to have a real future in front of him.


But every now and then, over the course of the days that followed their win, his thoughts would drift away, his breathing would become shallow, as his mind turned to Finn. He’d come back to himself with his Mama or somebody waving their hand in front of his face, looking worried. It was getting weird.


But Finn was hard to even think, but Finn was the only man person he’d ever felt so strongly about, and he couldn’t see him. Okay, so Finn hadn’t told him to never go up the tree again, but he’d more or less said that...that caring about Jack and not being able to...well, it hurt him.


Jack didn’t ever want to hurt Finn.


So that meant he probably shouldn’t go back. Nobody had said ‘not ever’, but...


He didn’t know what to do.




About three weeks after their win, Jack’s Mama went into hospital for an overnight stay, to monitor her breathing while she slept and to do a few tests in preparation for the surgery that, hopefully, would fix the problems with her lungs.


It wasn’t a scary thing, they were both hopeful and happy. But it was the first night that Jack had been alone in the house since his Dad had been alive and he and Mama used to go out on dates. And though he could do a pretty good job of poaching a goose egg, he couldn’t really do meals. He got the Cookery Course down from the shelf and began flipping through the pages, looking for something he could manage.


An hour later he got to the back cover and swore.


Then he realised he was an idiot. They had money now. And yeah, they were being careful with it, but there was careful and then there was dumb. And hungry!


So, having checked that Goldie was safe and sound, he went out for take-out. It had been too long since he’d tasted mono-sodium glutamate.




Finn was lonely.


No idea how many years he’d been up here alone, never lonely, just getting along with farming and eating and living. But it wasn’t until Jack had gone that he felt lonely.


Maybe once every day or so, sometimes less, he would pinch up a little grain and go out of his door to call for Goldie, then feel like a fool for forgetting she was gone, but...


It was once, perhaps more, an hour that he thought of something he wanted to say to Jack, some little thing to share with him, and those times he didn’t feel foolish. Oh no, those times he was too busy feeling bereft.


Of course, he hadn’t told Jack to never come to visit him, but after their last meeting he wondered if he would see him again. He wondered if it would be too terrible if he never saw Jack again, if he could just keep hold of him as a lovely memory and continue living out his life on his little farm.


But if he never saw Jack again, he’d always wonder: was he happy? Was he still working the way he did or did he figure out some way to make a living? Was he...had he maybe met somebody? Someone to be content with?


And with those thoughts came ones from the other end of the scale. What if he was hurt? What if he was still being stalked by that asshole who tried to attack him? What if he was trapped in his miserable life, slowly dying inside as each chance for escape passed him by or evaded him, that sweet man fading away until nothing was left but a shell...


What if he died?


These nightmarish thoughts plagued him until his head spun, left him standing in his field, staring into space. For days this had been happening, he felt like a wreck.


Eventually he gave up on his day’s work and went back into his house.


The door closed behind him with a hollow sounding click, the familiar noise of the stupid little letter slot snapping shut. He hated that damned thing, was sure that that man had just added it to the door to torment him.


He stopped and looked around the small space. Something didn’t feel...


“Where’s the goose?”




Finn felt his legs go weak with shock, but he managed to turn around, and there he was. The man in green. Just...standing there, near the door frowning, with his arms folded. He was as small as Jack.


Finn had often wondered what he’d do to the man if he ever saw him again, whether he’d shout or threaten or trap him, or even just stamp on him...He didn’t do anything. Just stared.


“I asked you a question, didn’t I,” he said in that unpleasantly familiar, condescending tone. “Where is the goose that I brought you?”


Finn bristled “I gave her to a friend. I could hardly let her live out her life in this miserable place could I.”


The man raised his eyebrows, but didn’t look like he was really surprised. Cagey bastard. Hands behind his back, he began to pace back and forth in front of the door. “When I brought that animal here, I told you something about her, do you remember what that was Finn?”


“You told me that her eggs were...I don’t remember what you said exactly. Something about them being lucky.”


“Hmm. I told you that they were worth their weight in gold. But yes, you were right. They bring good fortune to people. Had you eaten one, your crops would have grown extravagantly, the weather around you would have been perfect. Perhaps you would have even found your way back to the rest of the world. But you never did. You never even tried to. Can you tell me why?”


Finn pursed his lips and looked away. He couldn’t answer a question like that.


“I’ll tell you, shall I?” the man continued. “It’s because you knew you didn’t deserve that good fortune. You understood why you were here, and you accepted your fate. Am I right Finn? Is that why you ignored all of the goose’s eggs?”


Finn could only stare at him. He couldn’t speak, there was a lump blocking his throat.

The man watched his face fixedly.


“I wasn’t sure what would happen when I sent that young man up here,” he mused. “But it looks like it turned out for the best. You gave him the goose.”


Finn nodded stiffly, waiting for the other shoe to drop.


“You gave that young man the only chance you had to leave. You...felt sorry for him?”


The lump in Finn’s throat dissolved, and he managed to choke out the words; “I l-love him.”


“Hm. And so you put his needs before your own. An act of generosity. Not something you’re accustomed to, so I suppose it’s no wonder you sound nervous.”


Finn flinched. He was right, he was right about everything. He didn’t deserve good fortune or a chance to escape, he didn’t even deserve Jack. But Jack had given him such happiness, so he gave back the only thing he could.


“It paid off, you know? She laid some of those wonderful eggs that led Jack to better fortunes.” He paused and gazed around the shack thoughtfully. “I’ve been waiting for this, you realise that Finn? I’ve been waiting for proof. Proof that you’ve learned. Proof that you’ve changed. Proof that, were you put back in the greater world, you wouldn’t be one of these creatures that exists only for strife.”


Finn felt dazed and shook his head to try and bring his vision back into focus. And when he had...he was staring straight into the man’s eyes. Straight into them. He was naked, his clothing lay around him on the floor. He was too small for them now. He hadn’t even felt it happen, but it was undeniable. He was back to normal.


“I have my proof,” the man said, with an air of finality, of ceremony. “Now, you may return.”




Jack strolled easily through the muggy dusk, listening to the sounds of the town as it would down for the night, the strains of music from restaurants and bars he passed as they got ready for the evening ahead.


Already he felt different here. Not like the town whore, the town’s shame, not anymore. It wasn’t like he’d announced that he was stopping working like that or anything, but it seemed like people knew. The glances he got in the street were no longer accusing or disgusted, nobody deliberately turned their faces from him as they passed for fear of being associated with him.


He felt like he was walking through his home town, rather than running a gauntlet. Of course, it could have been his mindset...which he wouldn’t have minded. He felt better about almost everything these past few days.


He walked by one of his usual (no longer) haunts, which already had a small but noisy crowd inside, and wondered briefly what would happen if he were to go in. Would the bartender kick him out? Would somebody proposition him? Or would he just buy a drink, talk a while with some guys or some girls and go on his way? A nice thought, but tonight wasn’t the night to try it out.


The scents of Chinese food drifted towards him as he approached the take-away place he was heading for. Night after night he’d walked past there and been almost driven crazy by the smell of the food; dinner tonight was going to be like a religious experience.


Just a hundred yards away from the doors when a car pulled up behind him, and this time he noticed it and turned before the driver got out. This time, he felt a shock of cold apprehension before he’d even fully turned.


Same driver as the last time it happened, only now he was carrying something, a shiny slice of metal in his right hand.


“Jack,” Mr Golightly said softly, “There’s some things I need to talk to you about.”






“Yes,” the man in green replied, and turned back towards the door. He pushed open the letter slot and leaned out, and Finn realised with a flash of disappointment in his own reasoning, that that was what it had been for all along. It was his door. The man came back in holding a small suitcase which he set on the floor and opened.


“Clothes,” he said simply, rising to his feet long enough to hand Finn a pile of folded fabric. Pants made of blue denim, the same kind that Jack wore, an undershirt and a shirt, socks, underwear. Still dumbstruck, he started to dress.


The man took a pair of shoes from the case and set them on the floor for him, then removed a cardboard folder and a folded piece of thick paper from the case, clipped it shut, and stood.


He waited for Finn to finish putting the clothes and shoes on, then opened the folder and removed a small booklet.


“Passport,” he said simply, handing it over. Finn looked inside and saw a small colour photograph of himself, along with a few details of faked but plausible information.


“Social security number, birth certificate,” he glanced dubiously at the last item, “driving license, more for show than use, at least at this point. The roads are busier than you’d remember.” He handed Finn these items in a little pile and watched as he tucked them into the pockets of his pants. That left the paper, which the man unfolded and stared at for a moment before turning it so that Finn could see the image on it. It was a map; roads and a pond, or maybe a lake, fields...bits of it seemed familiar, but he couldn’t place it. There was an expanse of woodland on the map, in the centre of which stood a strange looking tree, mostly a huge trunk, a little trail of dashes spiralling around it. A few leaf-bedecked branches stuck out from its top, ugly looking.


The man took a pen from the pocket of his ornate jacket and circled a small building. “Your lover’s house,” he stated simply. He then closed his eyes briefly and seemed to concentrate for half a minute or more, until Finn was feeling uneasy, so much so that he nearly jumped out of his skin when the eyes opened again. The man applied his pen to the map once more, marking a cross on a street that was nearly off the edge of the map, placing it roughly in the centre of the town.


“That’s where he is now, I expect you’ll want to go and find him,” he finished, handing the map over. Finn nodded weakly, still reeling. He wanted to ask so much, but he couldn’t find the words. He opened his mouth, still unsure of what would come out of it, when the man in green suddenly gasped, his eyes going wide.


“Something’s wrong,” he said softly. “Go to him.”


Finn clenched his hands into fists and felt his own breath hitch. “What-”


“Go!” the man in green snapped, and Finn went. Out the letter slot, along the path, feet pounding into the deep ridges of soil that he vaguely realised were his own footprints. The tree loomed ahead of him, terrifyingly tall after being a knee high stump for so long, but he didn’t slow his pace. He remembered what Jack had told him about the stairs, and before he could think twice about what he was heading into, he was hurtling down them, through opaque clouds, down towards the world at large.




No time to run this time, no time to even turn away. Because this time, Mr Golightly wasn’t drunk. This time he...Jack didn’t even know, but this time he seemed crazy.


He was on Jack before he could do anything, gripping the back of his shirt and shaking him hard, snarling out half formed words, spittle hitting the back of Jack’s ear as he struggled to get free. The knife was out of his frame of vision with Mr Golightly behind him, every muscle in his back taught as he waited to feel the blade break his skin.


“Help me!” the words tore out of his throat painfully, then a second later pain struck again as Mr Golightly hit him across the back of the head, and for a moment Jack wasn’t sure if it had been the blade or just his fist.


Movement at the edge of his awareness, but nobody was coming close.


“Hey man, you okay?” called a wary voice, a second before a foot struck the back of his legs and his knees hit the asphalt.


“Help me! He has a-”


Cut off by another blow to the head. People were running towards them now, hope flared in Jack’s chest, but then Golightly swung away from him, flinging out the arm with the knife.


“Get away!” he spat.


“Whoa!” cried the man behind them, and Jack heard somebody across the street yell something about the police...but there was a nick of metal against his throat, stopping his struggles dead, and he knew it would be too late.


And then, more running footsteps, these ones different, purposeful and distinct, a rush of movement and a grunt of effort above his head and Golightly’s weight was gone from his back and Jack was looking up at...




“Jackie, are you okay?” asked his worried voice, and Jack was being lifted to his feet by big warm hands under his arms.


“Oh God...” he breathed, head spinning. “You...”


“I know, I’ll explain it later. Are you hurt?” Finn asked, gently touching the bruised patch on the back of Jack’s head. He was...there! Just as he had been but regular sized. Well. No, he was still really tall, Jack’s head only came up to his chin, but...


He was here!


A crowd was gathering now, keeping their distance but calling out enquiries as to Jack’s wellbeing. Jack ignored them in favour of sliding his arms around Finn’s chest, hanging onto him desperately, as he felt Finn’s arms hold him in return.


A police car roared down the street and Jack heard their little crowd yelling to whoever had climbed out of it, telling them about how ‘that guy on the floor’ had been about to stab ‘that blond guy’. Jack peeled himself far enough away from Finn to look back and see Mr Golightly, out cold on the floor, his nose crushed over to one side. He vaguely remembered a daydream about watching giant Finn squish the bastard underfoot. This was just as satisfying, and probably a lot tidier.


Police though...he wasn’t their favourite person.


“You okay sir?” an approaching officer asked, then he recoiled as he caught sight of Jack’s face. Crap, it was the guy he’d sucked off a couple of weeks back, the one who kept yelling his ex girlfriend’s name.


“I-I’m okay,” he stammered, turning in the circle of Finn’s arms. “He just, he had a-”


“That same guy went for that kid once before, pushed him down. I saw it!” somebody else yelled, and Jack saw that it was one of the two men who’d come out of the bar the last time Mr Golightly had attacked him.


“Well, I-” the police officer was cut off by another person calling out:


“What are you looking at him like that for? Aren’t you listening? He’s the victim!”


Jack’s heart jumped in his chest. These people, they weren’t his enemy. They weren’t out to get him. All this time it had felt like it, but he was just under their radar, they didn’t have the time to hate him, they were He felt like a fool for his paranoia all this time, and pressed himself back against Finn’s chest, so damn grateful for his presence. Suddenly, all he wanted was to be alone with him, to go somewhere quiet and just hold him, tell him about everything that had been happening, hear what had happened to him.


The police officers had calmed the crowd and one of them, not the one Jack had been with but the other one, turned to him with a sympathetic expression.


“I understand you’ve had quite a shock. Do you need to go to hospital?”


Jack took stock for a moment, then shook his head. “I think I need an ice pack and some aspirin, but I’m okay,” he offered worriedly.


“Alright then. We’re going to arrest the man who attacked you and take him to the hospital. We’ll need to take statements from you and your friend here. We can do that tomorrow.”


He looked up at Finn and that was when Jack realised that the slight pressure he felt on the top of his head was Finn’s chin. His hands were warm on Jack’s shoulders. “I believe you were the one who struck the attacker sir?”


“Yes,” Finn replied, his voice sounding wary. “Don’t tell me you’re going to arrest me for protecting Jack here from being stabbed?”


“No, no,” the police officer blurted, having seen something in Finn’s face fit to alarm him. “I need to know your details too sir. That’s all.”


From a pocket, Finn pulled out a driver’s license and handed it over. As the officer was jotting down the details from it, the ambulance pulled up and two paramedics got out to lift Mr Golightly into it, the other police officer hovering nearby in case he awoke. There was quite a crowd in the street now, it was probably the most interesting thing that had happened in Eastgate in years.


Finally, finally, they were told they could go. The police officer would come by Jack’s house the next day (which it seemed was given as the address on Finn’s license) but until then they were to see to Jack’s wounds and stay put.


Absolutely fine by Jack. He couldn’t wait to get Finn home and grill him. And learn where the hell he’d got a driver’s license from!


Grabbing Finn’s hand, he led him past the crowd at a run, then cut through the streets as fast as his feet would carry him, Finn keeping pace easily right behind him. At last, his feet touched the narrow path that led back towards home, and Jack slowed and stopped.


“Are you okay?” they both said at the same time. Jack felt his lips tighten with shock and relief, and could only nod silently. Finn stroked a hand over Jack’s hair and shivered, his fingertips barely touching the sore spot on the back of Jack’s head.


“The man in green came back, Jackie. All this time, he’s been waiting for me to pass some kind of test, and when I gave you Goldie, it seems...well, I’ll explain it another time. We should get you home, right? That bastard hit you a couple of times, didn’t he.”


There was a brief flash of anger in his eyes and he clenched his right fist, the one he’d punched Mr Golightly with.


“I’ll be alright,” Jack replied. “I just...” he didn’t know what else to say. There was just too much and he couldn’t find the words. Instead, he took Finn’s right hand in his own and turned it to look at the red knuckles, the little bloody spot on the middle one. He raised it to his mouth and put a little kiss there.


With a gasp, Finn tightened his fingers around Jack’s, using the grasp to draw him closer. Carefully, nervously, they craned their faces towards each other, until their lips met. Brief and worried, but very sweet. Jack looked at their clasped hands, then up at Finn’s troubled face and couldn’t help but smile. He shook his hands free and reached up to stretch them around Finn’s shoulders.


“Come here,” he said softly, and Finn obediently leaned down towards him, wrapping his arms around Jack as their mouths met properly.


The few times Jack had been kissed, it had been a choice between brief and perfunctory or slobbery and proprietary. This however...


Finn’s lips were firm and warm and just a little chapped, mobile and tender against his own. At the barest hinting touch of Jack’s tongue, he opened his mouth and let him in, lapping gently at the inside of Jack’s lower lip, tilting his head to allow Jack deeper access to his mouth. Jack felt sublime, like he was floating, like his feet had left the ground. Nothing had ever been so wonderful as this, nothing so perfect. Having Finn in his arms felt like the realisation of every lonely dream, every half-formed longing.


After long minutes they drew back from one another, staring into one another’s eyes. A moment of silly shyness, until Finn smiled broadly, and Jack found himself grinning at him.


“I felt like I was flying,” he told him, feeling his cheeks redden.


“Really?” Finn replied impishly. An instant later, Jack’s feet were off the ground as Finn hefted him up into his arms.

“Let’s fly you home then, Jackie,” he said cheerfully, and set off along the path at a jog, keeping a firm grip on Jack as he laughed in his arms.




The house always felt strange without Mama there. Even stranger was the fact that Finn was seeing it for the first time, wandering through the door after Jack and following him as he made his way through the house to the kitchen, turning on lights as he went. Finn seemed to be studying everything, every piece of furniture and item of decor he passed, with intense interest. Of course, Jack should have expected that, the man had never seen the inside of a modern house.


“Are you hungry?” he asked, his mind turning to wonder what they had in. Surely there was at least enough to make sandwiches.


But Finn shook his head. “No, I’m just happy to be here. I can’t even tell you-” His voice had become tight with the last few words, and he abruptly reached out and drew Jack into his arms, squeezing him tightly. Jack held onto Finn’s firm torso and felt the hitches of emotion rattling in his chest. After some minutes, he came to a decision and slipped out of Finn’s embrace.


“Come with me,” he told him softly, taking Finn’s hand and leading him out of the kitchen, down the hallway to his own little bedroom.


He spared a moment to feel embarrassed about the pictures stuck on the walls, about the little glass mobile hanging from the ceiling, catching the thin shaft of moonlight that was shining in through the window. But Finn just looked around the room and smiled broadly, reached out to smooth his palm over the soft bedclothes. Jack reached out for him again, drew him close and kissed him, putting all the heat, all the passion he could into it, so that when they broke apart this time, there was no doubt between them about what he wanted.


“That’s not...uh...” Finn began, looking over at the bed. Jack followed his gaze and realised that he had a point: it was far too small for Finn, let alone both of them, at least for them to do anything energetic on it. The box spring was too high, they’d brain themselves on the floor if they fell off.


“Hang on,” Jack told him. He lifted the sheets and grabbed the edge of the mattress, tugged on it hard. Finn got the picture and helped him to pull it onto the floor, then shook up and spread out the pillows while Jack laid out the bedclothes.


“At least if we fall off the edge, we won’t hurt ourselves,” he said.


“Clever, Jackie,” Finn replied and pulled him in for another kiss. This time, he slid his hands up inside Jack’s shirt, rubbing is warm, rough palms up and down his back, lifting Jack’s shirt up higher with every stroke. Jack shivered, feeling weak with arousal from even that simple touch. He could feel Finn’s shoulders shaking slightly and was suddenly profoundly glad that he wasn’t alone in feeling so turned on, so nervous. This was as important to Finn as it was to him.


Finn finally swept Jack’s shirt up and off, breaking their kiss to lift it over his head, then stood still while Jack unbuttoned his shirt before slipping it and the undershirt off.


“You look good in the jeans,” Jack told him shyly, reaching up to pet at his chest hair.


“You just look...good,” Finn told him in return, running his hands up Jack’s long slim arms, onto his sturdy shoulders. Jack smiled brilliantly at him, then with what he felt must be a visible effort of will, he pulled himself away and sat down in the middle of the mattress. He took off his shoes and socks, tossing them through the dimness in the direction of his desk, then unbuttoned his own jeans and lifted his hips to pull them down around his thighs.


As he was wriggling his legs out of them, Finn thumped down to sit at his side, plucking hurriedly at his shoelaces. By the time Jack was naked, he was still struggling with them.


“How long since you’ve worn shoes?” Jack asked, trying and failing to hide the laughter in his voice.


Finn gave him a mock-pitiful look. “I don’t even know!” he whined, and Jack reached over to help him, cooing sympathy. Once divested of the shoes, Finn gleefully flung off the rest of his clothes, managing to land his underwear dangling off the lamp. Jack broke up laughing at that, so much so that he ended up curled up on a ball, Finn’s laughter mingling with his own as he tipped Jack over onto his side and flopped on top of him.


This was so much fun! Who knew?


Squirming out from underneath him, Jack knelt to pull open the drawer of his nightstand and took out a couple of the little packets of lubricant he kept there, and a roll of condoms. Finn peered curiously over his shoulder at the items.


“Have you ever had a V.D.?” Jack asked.


Finn shook his head. Jack looked at the condoms thoughtfully; he’d never done it without them, he’d said that he never would. But so much had just changed, and right now he didn’t want even that much to come between them. He tossed the condoms into the drawer and crawled back onto the mattress with Finn, then looped his arms around Finn’s chest and tipped sideways so they both ended up lying on their sides. They lay like that for a while, kissing, the lube packets prickling the palm of Jack’s hand as he gripped them.


They opened their eyes and lay there, staring at each other. The moonlight hit Finn’s face perfectly, the handsome shape of his jaw, the dark, shaggy mass of his hair.


“What exactly do you want to do?” he asked.


Jack felt his face grow warm. Unaccustomed to being able for ask for what he wanted, he found the words wouldn’t come, not until his hid his face against Finn’s throat.


“Make love to me?” he asked.


For a second, he thought it had been too quiet for Finn to hear, he was so still. But then he was rolled onto his back, his face and his hair tenderly stroked, as Finn whispered his name over and over.


Shaken, Jack managed to coordinate his hands well enough to get a packet of lube open. Finn noticed his movements and watched, apparently fascinated, as Jack squeezed the glistening gel out onto his fingers. He made room on the mattress, keeping his hands on Jack’s torso as Jack rolled onto his side, pulled up one leg and reached behind himself, easing his fingers into his ass to open himself up.


An excited little huff of breath from Finn, and he slid his own hand down to join Jack’s, caressing his buttocks before pulling Jack’s fingers out of the way so he could slip his own into place. Jack moaned and grabbed at his cock, convinced for an instant that he would come. He held on though, gasping as Finn’s fingers spread gently inside him.


He wrenched the other packet of lube open, clumsily splattering the gel over his hands, and reached out to spread it on Finn. Finn twitched as Jack touched the hot skin of his cock, and it was clear to Jack why: he was as hard as iron, he must feel desperate.


That made two of them.


Reaching back to grab Finn’s wrist, Jack shifted to lie back, using his grip to draw Finn over on top of him, raising his legs to wrap them around his lover’s waist. A passionate kiss as they pressed their bodies close, then Finn was sliding his hand up the back of Jack’s thigh, pushing his leg up and raising himself on his elbow.


“Ready?” he asked softly.


Jack smiled up at him. “Never readier,” he replied.


All the other times were a million miles away, like they’d all happened to somebody else. Finn slid inside him so easily, so perfectly, it was like they were made to fit together, like they’d been created as one and cut apart, only to make their way back to one another.


Jack cried out and had to shut his eyes, taken aback by the shocking intimacy of the feel of skin inside of him. Finn’s strong body moved like rippling water above him, his breath bathing Jack’s face, his gleaming eyes boring into Jack’s.


It was like heaven.


He knew from the start that neither of them was going to last long, and once Finn’s hand slipped between them and carefully grasped Jack’s erection, he knew it was more or less over. He wrapped himself as tightly as he could around his lover and cried out as his orgasm welled through and out of him, leaving him weak and gasping.


Finn followed him quickly, whimpering harshly in his throat, and Jack once again felt the uncanny thrill of new sensation as Finn’s warm come flooded into him.


They clung to each other as they shivered their way back down, sweaty and shaking in the dark. Long minutes passed, before Jack realised that the liquid dribbling down his neck, where Finn had his face tucked, was not sweat.


“Are you alright?” he asked, his voice raw, lifting Finn’s head so he could see his face. His red, tear streaked face.


“I-I love you,” Finn gasped out. “I love you Jackie.”


“It’s okay, don’t cry.” Jack soothed, petting Finn’s hair. “I love you too.”  



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