[identity profile] stormymood.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] arashi_exchange
A piece of rainbow for  [livejournal.com profile] gurajiorasu Part 6


Jun cooks because it helps him think. It’s comforting to hear the sizzle of the ingredients he sautees in the pan. The inviting aroma soon arrives, mixes with Jun’s thoughts and adds flavor to them.

He can’t forget the sight, feel, and smell of Sho earlier. He cooks in order to think of something else, but his contact memory is sharper than he took it for. His head is full of primary colors in faded shades, scattered across smooth, tanned skin that he had power over.

It’s been too long since Jun felt that.

He focuses on preparing dinner, not hearing Sho anywhere near him. Jun prefers it that way for now; he has plans not to starve. Plans that he stuck with to the point of holding himself back, pulling away from Sho despite the temptation.

Jun licks his lips, remembering Sho’s taste. It won’t leave him; like a brand that sticks and stays and haunts, taunts the craving inside him. His hands remember how Sho’s body quaked, the sensation of him willing and wanting in Jun’s hold.

“Fuck,” Jun curses under his breath, a drop of sauce smearing the counter. He lost his grip on the ladle for a moment. He exhales and shuts his eyes, extending his neck upwards to get his bearings once more.

He grows increasingly uncomfortable as the heat of the kitchen begins to smother him, his clothes sticking to him in the way he hates. He didn’t dry off properly from the pool earlier, and he set to cook as soon as he went back inside the house. He didn’t give Sho the chance to touch him in return, and his mind is littered with questions because of it.

When he’s done preparing the linguine that he set his eyes on for dinner, he carries the plates to the dining room. There’s a set of sliding doors that lead to a part of the garden, and outside, Jun can make out Sho speaking to someone on his phone.

Jun slides the door open and leans against it, arms crossed over his chest. Sho turns to him, and Jun doesn’t miss how Sho’s eyes scanned his form before moving back up to his face.

“I made dinner,” he says.

“That will be all, Satoshi-kun,” Sho says on the corner of his mouth before putting the phone down. He’s only wearing a plush bathrobe, his hair still wet from earlier.

Jun stares at him, waits for him to say something.

“I’ll tell you after dinner,” Sho says, moving past him towards the bar to grab a bottle of wine.

Jun follows and stops by the table and sits while Sho procures two glasses and pours wine for them both.

“1983,” Sho says as he takes a seat. Jun can’t keep his eyes off the leftover droplets of water adorning Sho’s neck and parts of his chest that’s exposed in the slightly opened bathrobe. “Your birth year.”

He’s talking about the wine, Jun realizes. “Is that so?” He holds the glass close to his face and inhales. Sweet and rich, its dark color reminding Jun of Sho’s yukata from last night. He samples it and licks his lips to savor the flavor.

“Good?” Sho asks, already picking up his fork.

More than that, but Jun doesn’t want to make things easy for him. “It would suffice.”

Sho smiles before saying his graces, and Jun watches as his eyes grow wide after he puts the fork in his mouth.

“You’re good,” Sho says, cheeks protruding, eyes dancing. “This is really, really good.”

Jun picks up his fork and doesn’t say anything, but he does permit himself a tiny smile at Sho’s sincere praise. Seeing Sho stuff his face is enough proof of his truthfulness, and they spend the rest of the dinner in silence, only interrupted by Sho’s intermittent praises.

When dinner’s done, Sho offers to clear the table and take care of the dishes.

Jun accepts, but only because he knows Sho’s prolonging in telling him whatever Ohno called him about. It has to be important. Either Sho is biding his time and rehearsing how to open the topic or he’s just enjoying depriving Jun as much as Jun enjoyed the distraught look on Sho’s face earlier when he withdrew himself.

Jun was planning to have a bath after dinner, but instead he plops himself up the kitchen counter and observes how Sho washes off the leftover bits of sauce sticking to the porcelain.

When Sho starts to twitch at being stared at, Jun resists the urge to smile.

“Ninomiya-san’s primary suspect,” Sho begins, but Jun cuts him off.

“Is you.”

Sho chuckles at that. “Well then. His secondary suspect.”

Now they’re talking. “Reizei,” Jun replies.

“I thought so,” Sho says, nodding. “Nothing like your number one competitor in arms dealership to want you gone.”

“What about him?”

Sho’s hands still in rinsing off the last plate. “He’s missing.”

Jun’s eyes widen, his breath hitches. “Since when?”

“Satoshi-kun told me he’s supposedly in a trip to Nara. For business. He was expected to arrive back in the city via his private jet, but word has gone out that they’re looking for him.” Sho finishes tidying up and wipes his hands with a dishcloth. He turns, leaning against the sink. “If they don’t find him, they’re going to suspect you.”

“I’m not trying to kill anyone,” Jun says immediately.

Sho nods. “I know that. But they don’t. There are those who will simply find another supplier in the event that he doesn’t turn up. That means more money for you. But still, there will be some who will try to look for him and think you killed him.”

Jun scoffs. “Let them think what they want. I didn’t kill him. I haven’t even seen his face in person.”

“But no one knows that,” Sho says, patient in a way Jun doesn’t understand. “And technically, you’re missing too.”

“So you think some of them will interpret my absence as me killing him?”

“Some might go for that. The idiotic ones. But the smarter ones might wonder if someone’s beginning to target us all.”

Jun’s brows knit together, finally catching on. “You’re hoping that with his disappearance, along with ours, we can snuff out the mastermind if ever he’s one of the leaders?”

Sho grins, tilts his head. “Yes. Something like that. Whoever’s trying to kill us both has probably realized we’re not in the city anymore. Maybe he’s moving on to the others on his list. Maybe he’s planning to use them to draw us out. Either way, I believe we should wait it out, and I asked Satoshi-kun to do the same.”

“While still continuing the search, yes?”

“Of course.”

Jun leans back by resting his palms behind him. “Does Nino know this?”

“I think he was informed of it before I was,” Sho says. “He and Satoshi-kun seem awfully close lately.”

Well, so are we, Jun thinks, giving Sho a pointed look.

“That’s all Ohno-san’s got for you?” Jun says instead.

“The rest of the message is concerning my personal affairs,” Sho replies. Jun can’t tell if that is the truth, but he has no choice but to take Sho’s word for it. “Nothing for you to worry over.”

Jun takes a deep breath before getting off the kitchen counter and walking away. “Thank you for informing me.”

He struts to the living room and powers his laptop back on, finding a series of unaddressed messages from Nino. Things he postponed for what he thought would be a quick garden stroll. His phone only contains three messages, one of which is from Aiba, thanking him for the flowers along with a selfie of his attempt at winking. The other two are from Nino, consisting of the same information as Sho gave him.

Jun replies accordingly to both and deletes Nino’s messages after. He snaps his laptop shut and carries only his phone with him, shutting off all the lights before making his way up the stairs. The house is dark and silent, and he has a feeling Sho’s in his own room. Sho has taken the master’s bedroom for himself, and upon reaching the second floor, Jun sees said room’s door ajar, lights on.

Sho’s nowhere to be found, but he might be using the bathroom for all Jun knows.

Jun enters his own room and charges his phone before opting for a shower, his thoughts running as soon as the water touches his skin.

If his top competitor ends up dead (and Jun is starting to believe he might be), it can be a cause for panic once everyone realizes that Sho has also vanished from the city. The speculations will pile up, and Jun’s certain some of those will be about Sho knowing about the murder plot ahead of everybody else.

As far as Jun is aware, not even his closest allies know how many attempts there had been on his life lately. Nino worked tirelessly to keep it secret, and since Sho has the means and resources that they don’t, it’s safe to assume that no one knows about the attempts made on Sho either.

They will panic, Jun thinks, thoroughly convinced. They will think I’m dead, even. Some might rejoice, but they will panic once they realize whoever’s after me is not stopping with me.

It’s a satisfying thought, in a way, that his killer is instilling terror with his help, helping to boost Jun’s reputation. If he survives this, he’ll get all the respect and fear he deserves.

I have to live, he decides, scrubbing his body harder in hopes of cleansing himself off the negative thoughts he once had regarding his life. He vows never to entertain them again.

I can’t let them take me down.

--

The succeeding days pass with Jun focusing on work. Nino informs him that his most recent delivery happened without any incidents, and Jun thanks him for overseeing things on his behalf. Aiba has recovered but since Jun is somewhere in Minakami, he sends Aiba to his family’s restaurant to help out (and also to act as a bodyguard since he’s trained for it).

When Jun is not working, he trains his body.

There’s a gym at the first floor of the house, just after the spacious living room. It has exercise bikes, treadmills, and all kinds of weights Jun can consider using, and in his spare time, he makes use of the room.

Sometimes Sho joins him, dressed in a shirt and training shorts that showed off the curve of his ass. He used to think that Sho wears the things to attract his attention, but upon observation, he realizes that Sho simply has a pert bottom.

Whenever they train together, Jun would feel Sho staring at him. He stares in equal measure, but only when Sho’s bending over that he can’t catch Jun doing it. They talk, but mostly about the developments in the ongoing search for their killer.

Sho’s eyes would stray sometimes, but when Jun waits, he does nothing. They’ve fallen to a routine of sorts: work, occasional training, occasional flirting, meals together that are filled with serious topics and actual concerns over each other’s businesses.

One time, when Sho shows up in the gym in his usual training outfit, Jun makes him an offer while sitting on a balance ball. This quiet life in the mountains is beginning to bore him, and sometimes, he feels as if the silence will drive him mad.

“Spar with me,” he says, eyes serious.

Sho quirks an eyebrow. “There’s no shortage of punching bags for you to beat up.”

It’s true; Jun has mastered taping his hands and landing a few good hits on the punching bags once in a while. But a punching bag doesn’t fight back and does nothing except for enhancing his endurance.

Jun requires interaction. “Spar with me,” he says again. His hands are taped already, and he’s done with his stretches and worked up a good sweat. His testosterone levels must be rising, because all he can think of is how to use this unspent energy threatening to break out from within.

“What’s in it for me?” Sho asks, but his tone makes it seem like he’s leaning towards yes already.

Jun thought this offer through. “Whoever wins gets to ask the loser to do what he wants.”

That successfully captures Sho’s attention, eyes narrowing at him. “Anything he wants?”

“Anything.” Jun gets off the balance ball and kicks it to the corner, bare feet padding against the mats. “I’ll do your laundry if you win.”

Sho laughs, and Jun sees him pulling out boxing wraps. He begins taping his hands, doing it so slow that leaves Jun watching him impatiently. “If I win, there’s no way I’ll settle for something as shallow as the laundry.”

If you win,” Jun says challengingly, beckoning Sho to come at him once Sho approaches the mat. Sho does a couple of stretches first, but he pays particular attention to his legs, undoubtedly showing off his assets to Jun.

When Sho begins to size him up, Jun braces himself.

Jun manages to evade the first jab aimed for his solar plexus, sidestepping and deflecting the punch at the same time. He grins when he feels the momentum; Sho’s all in and not holding back.

Jun sinks to one knee when Sho aims for his head, spinning on his heel in an attempt to hit Sho with his elbow. Sho ducks and successfully lands a good hit on Jun’s side, and Jun retaliates with delivering a strong punch to Sho’s stomach.

Sho stumbles back, breathing heavily, eyes wild. “Spar, you said.”

“I didn’t say it was friendly,” Jun retorts, grinning.

Sho lunges, and Jun holds his ground with his arms raised, shielding himself from Sho’s blows. But it’s apparently a ploy, because soon Jun is knocked off-balance with a sudden swing of Sho’s leg under him.

“One-zero,” Sho says, smirking at him.

Instead of pulling himself back on his feet, Jun uses his current position for leverage and lands a swift kick to Sho’s legs, sending him to his knees. Then Jun wraps his legs around Sho’s hips, flipping them.

Sho lands on the mat with a groan, and Jun smirks down at him. “One-one.”

Jun allows Sho some slack, getting off him and keeping his distance while he clenched and unclenched his hands. Adrenaline is spiking in him, combining with his competitiveness.

As soon as Sho is on his feet, Jun tries to land a hit on Sho’s chest, but Sho blocks it, hand wrapping around Jun’s fist.

“Where did you learn to fight like this?” Sho asks, reaching down to stop Jun’s other hand from landing another punch.

Jun smiles. “Training grounds.”

“What?”

Jun uses Sho’s confusion to free himself from Sho’s grip, and he manages to hit Sho square in the jaw. Sho recoils, stepping back and thumbing at the corner of his mouth.

“Two-one,” Jun smugly declares. Remembering Sho’s question, he repeats, “Training grounds. I didn’t grow up in the city. Far from it, and when I was young, I was home-schooled, and spent the rest of my days training.”

“Have you ever lost a fight?” Sho asks, cracking his neck joints. They’ve both worked up a good sweat, panting and flushed. Jun sees Sho darting out his tongue to lick his bleeding lip.

Jun smiles. “In my first years.”

They’re circling each other now, and Jun braces himself for any attack. He doesn’t have to wait long; Sho takes a step and is able to punch Jun in the ribs. It’s probably not as strong as Sho would do in another situation, but it’s enough to make Jun gasp.

“Two-two,” Sho states.

Teeth bared, Jun bends his leg at the knee and tries to hit Sho in the stomach, but Sho evades, maneuvering his trunk so he can jam his shoulder right to Jun’s chest, sending Jun back on the ground with a gasp.

Wind knocked out of him, Jun groans when Sho straddles him, hands grabbing his wrist to pin him down.

Leaning down, Sho says, “Three-two,” mouth hovering over Jun’s cheek. “Does that mean I win?”

Jun uses every bit of his strength to break free from Sho’s hold, and he manages to flip them over. He does a repeat of what Sho did to him earlier, but he keeps his knees locked so Sho can’t pull the same trick.

With one hand, he pins Sho’s wrists above his head. “This means it’s a tie.”

Sho’s breathing hard, no different from Jun, but when Sho shifts under him, Jun feels it. Pressing against the cleft of his ass, insistent. Jun situates himself comfortably on top of Sho, brushing his ass over Sho’s growing erection.

Their eyes meet, and Jun can see no embarrassment there, only lust.

Jun’s hard too, has been from the moment he saw Sho thumb at his bleeding lip.

“So who gets to do what who wants?” Sho asks, voice gravelly, and it reminds Jun of their tryst in the pool days ago.

“Well,” Jun huffs, bending his trunk so his mouth is right in Sho’s breathing space, “what do you want me to do?”

Sho looks up momentarily before locking gazes with him again. “Let me go.”

Jun licks his lips, seeing Sho’s eyes follow his tongue. He shifts, feeling his erection press into the fabric of his shorts uncomfortably. “And then what?”

Sho’s eyes travel down his form, or at least as far as his eyes can go. “Let me touch you.”

The deep rumble of Sho’s voice combined with the desperation in his eyes makes blood rush straight to Jun’s cock, and Jun loosens his grip on Sho’s wrists before he leans down to claim Sho’s mouth.

It’s hotter this time, all wild fire that licks his skin, makes him flush all the more. He parts his lips for Sho’s tongue, writhes when he feels Sho’s hands mapping his back.

He breaks off the kiss noisily. “Get those tapes off.”

Sho laughs, right against his mouth. “I can say the same for you.”

Jun moves off Sho in an irritated huff, offering Sho his hand. “Shower,” he says, lifting his wrist to his mouth to remove the tape clasps and spit the metal in the corner.

Sho accepts and steals another kiss, stepping back when Jun tries to respond. He’s already removing the tapes, eyes glinting with competitiveness.

“I’ll race you there.”

--

Sho ends up reaching the nearest shower first, the water already running by the time Jun has stripped himself off his sweaty gym clothes. He leaves them in a messy pile along with Sho’s, sliding the shower door open and finding Sho under the warm water.

“Guess that makes it my win, huh?” Sho asks, but Jun only smiles before stepping in Sho’s space. He braces himself on the wall behind Sho, keeping Sho trapped between him and the shower tiles.

“I’ll let you win this one,” Jun acquiesces, smiling when Sho moves to kiss him. Sho peppers kisses all over his face, his mouth still warm despite all the running water. When Sho reaches his neck, Jun tilts his head back to give him more access, turning his face to the side so he doesn’t get water in places he doesn’t want.

He feels Sho’s hands grabbing his hips, pulling him closer. Jun allows the attention, writhing involuntarily when Sho’s fingers roam, touching his sides and moving to his back, down, down, until they reach his ass.

Jun has his eyes shut so the water won’t hit him, but he’s able to find Sho’s mouth and exchange a few more heated kisses as Sho leaves one hand grabbing his ass while the other reaches for his neglected, growing cock.

Sho jerks him off fast, tongue fucking his mouth at the same time, and Jun moans. He doesn’t dare hold back, instead thrusting to meet Sho’s fist, and it doesn’t take long for him to finish, his toes curling.

Jun descends from his high as Sho rains kisses on his neck and shoulders, hands stroking his sides. He can feel Sho’s erection against his thigh and tilts Sho’s head up so he can kiss him.

“Now,” Sho says in between kisses, half-muffled by the sounds of the shower still running, “what do you want me to do?”

Jun leans to whisper what’s on his mind, and he smiles when he feels Sho’s cock twitch against his hip. Just for the fun of it, he licks Sho’s earlobe and whispers slowly this time, “When we’re done showering, I want you to fuck me.”

Sho makes this pained groan, obviously trapped between the pleasures of making out with Jun and the promise of later. Jun laughs against his cheek, hands sliding down his smooth back to cup his ass. They fill his palms and he can’t help his grin, liking every part of Sho’s body so far.

“We can’t get clean like this,” Sho says, but he doesn’t move away.

Jun feels himself getting pushed back, out of the shower spray.

“Let me shower,” Sho says, a finger pointed threateningly. It makes Jun laugh again. “Don’t get in my way.”

Jun slides the door open. “Fine.” He can go to another bathroom, use the tub there, and leave Sho waiting for a long time while nursing an erection. “I’ll go get cleaned up in the tub, soak my aching joints for a while.”

He cackles when he hears Sho’s disgruntled “Matsumoto!” and heads off.

--

Jun makes Sho wait, but since he’s not so cruel, after he’s thoroughly clean, he works himself open with a slick finger in his hole. He is yet to leave the tub, kneeling inside it with his legs spread, his trunk bent and supported by one arm leaning on the edge. He has his forehead resting on his forearm as he fingers himself, slowly since it’s been a while since he did this.

It takes some time, but Jun is eventually able to take more and more, thighs jerking as it’s becoming easier to plunge his fingers inside him. He imagines Sho, perhaps waiting impatiently for him somewhere, lazily stroking his erection. It sends a thrill down his spine and he shudders, pretending his fingers are a suitable substitute for Sho’s cock. He indulges himself for a few moments, and when he’s loose enough, he leaves the tub and starts drying himself off.

He pads towards Sho’s bedroom without wearing anything, and he smiles when he finds Sho in the middle of the bed, doing exactly what he imagined earlier.

“Was your bath fun?” Sho asks, not without a hint of irritation.

Jun climbs on the bed and situates himself astride Sho, legs on either side. He grabs one of Sho’s hands, guiding it to his ass.

“It was,” he says against Sho’s jaw, hearing Sho moan quietly when he feels how ready Jun is for him. “I made it worth your wait.”

Sho curses, then he nudges Jun with his shoulder. “On your hands and knees, now.”

Jun hasn’t heard Sho use that commanding voice on him before, and he scrambles to get in place. There’s something incredibly hot about Sho ordering him around, using that baritone that makes Jun anticipate and want.

He hears Sho grab a few things from his nightstand, hears him tear open a packet. Soon enough, there are the sounds of Sho slicking his cock and he feels Sho’s hands grab his hips.

The tip brushes against his hole and Jun pushes back, gritting his teeth at the sound of Sho’s laugh.

“Ready?” Sho asks, just to be annoying.

Whatever reply Jun has gets lost in a moan because Sho pushes all the way in. Jun’s thighs are quivering, but Sho presses a hand to the small of his back, rubs in soothing circles as he waits for Jun to adjust.

Jun breathes in lungfuls when he finally manages to relax, and he bucks back. Sho wraps one hand on his arm, pulling him up. Jun straightens his back, groans out loud when it sends Sho deeper into him. He’s bracing himself on the tips of his fingers, and Sho begins moving.

Sho doesn’t go slow, instead fast and hard as if he knows exactly how Jun prefers it. He growls in Jun’s ear and Jun feels one of Sho’s hand close around his neck. Sho doesn’t squeeze, instead using his hold on Jun for leverage, and Jun can only take it, each smack of Sho’s hips against his ass echoing in the room along with his moans.

Sho tangles his fingers in Jun’s necklace and pulls, the thin chain biting into Jun’s skin. Jun hisses out of pain and pleasure, his heartbeat drumming against his ears. Sho fucks him with the same relentless pace, but Jun lets out a breathy whimper of Sho’s name when Sho gets his hand around Jun’s cock.

With Sho stroking Jun in time with his thrusts, Jun fists his hands on the sheets in a desperate attempt to have something to hold onto. His coherency is rapidly disappearing, and all he can think of are strings of filth that his mouth somehow utters without his knowledge.

The hand pumping him grows unforgiving, and Jun nearly sobs as he comes, hissing through his teeth at how good it is. His mind whites out as he collapses on the bed, cheek resting against the cool sheets. He can feel Sho fucking him through his high, dragging his hips back again and again, but since Sho’s repeatedly spewing out profanities now, Jun knows it won’t be long.

Sho finishes with one sharp thrust and a drawn out moan of Jun’s name that Jun wants to hear sometime again. When Sho pulls out, Jun can only lay panting on the mattress, breath still uneven and rushed.

He opens his eyes to Sho’s equally flushed but satisfied face. He rolls over to his back, groaning when his legs feel like they’re rebelling against him as he stretches them.

He hears the click of a lighter and finds Sho lighting a cigarette in jerky, slightly uncoordinated movements. Sho takes a long drag and lets out a thick puff before offering the cigarette to Jun.

Jun takes it, presses it between his lips and welcomes the rush of nicotine.

“Will you stay the night?” Sho asks, breathless and drowsy.

Jun can’t move his limbs, can only lie there sated.

He brings the cigarette to Sho’s lips once more, mesmerized by the way the tip burns bright orange as Sho inhales. “Of course.”

--

Sometime in the middle of the night, after Jun has known the feel and taste of Sho’s cock in his mouth for the first time, he asks, “Who’s your primary suspect?”

Sho’s mind is still hazy and floating pleasantly somewhere else, and Jun grins against his hip when he blinks dazedly.

“Take your time,” Jun says, crawling back up beside him.

When Sho’s brain rewires itself at last, he doesn’t look at Jun. “You’re not going to like my answer.”

Jun has a feeling who it is. “It can’t be Nino.”

“Can it?”

Jun clicks his tongue. “It’s not him.” This conversation reminds him of the one he had with Nino, on the morning of the incident in Aiba’s family restaurant. “It can’t be him.”

“Why not?” Sho turns to his side to face him, eyes all serious now. “What if he wanted to put us here so he’d get us out of the picture first before he kills the others? He knows where we are so it’s easier to kill us since he’s got us right where he wants us.”

“It’s not him.” Jun shakes his head fiercely. “It can’t be him.”

“I know how important he is to you—”

“Do you?!” Jun snaps. “If you really know, you’re not going to say such a thing to my face. It’s not Nino. I’m absolutely certain about that.”

Sho sighs. “Just because you picked him up on the streets and gave him a new life doesn’t mean he can’t stab you in the back.”

Jun sits up, anger rearing its ugly head. “What do you know?! You think you know everything, do you?! You think you know all there is about me?! About Nino?!”

Sho moves to sit up too, frowning at Jun now. “Well tell me what is to know then! I don’t know if you’re fucking your secretary or you’re just overly protective when it comes to him!” Sho exhales, shoulders slumping. He runs a hand through his hair, his locks a tangled mess. “I don’t know what to think. Who to suspect, who to trust.”

Jun’s eyes are still in slits, but some of his anger dissipate when he hears Sho’s confusion. It’s oddly comforting to hear that there’s someone who shares his doubt and worries, not just the existence of these conflicting emotions but the gravity of bearing them. “It’s not Nino.” He maintains eye contact, and for a moment he thinks Sho might actually be jealous. “Not when he had to kill his own family member to protect me.”

That seems to astonish Sho, eyes widening. Jun only nods. “No amount of digging and researching is going to give you this piece of history, because it’s not tied to my father. But before this whole thing started, before someone aimed that dart to my neck, someone tried another way first.”

The memories come back now, flood gates opening. “He has a sister, Nino. She married some greedy, power-hungry bastard who took me for ransom. I was nineteen, drugged, and couldn’t fight back. Nino is the only one who knew where to find me; I think he has always known what greed does to people. He found me, and without thinking twice, he shot his brother-in-law right between the eyes.”

Jun looks at Sho now. “I was nothing back then. I was the heir, yes, but with my death, my father could simply declare another heir by marrying one of his mistresses and getting her pregnant. If one of them bore him a son, my loss would have been covered immediately. But Nino saved me, killed off one of his own for me, and remained by my side since.”

He smiles now, small and soft. “It can’t be him.”

Tension seems to leave Sho, who sighs and swings his legs to the side of the bed, giving Jun a view of his back. Jun is still not accustomed to the inked skin, still in awe of its beauty that’s often hidden under thick fabric. He can’t stop himself from reaching out and running his fingertips over Ohno’s design, somehow thinking there ought to be raised skin somewhere and not this flat expanse of smoothness, despite knowing how tattoos work. He runs his fingers over the knobs formed by Sho’s spine, over the legs of the god he had Ohno etch on his back.

“I’m sorry for earlier,” Sho murmurs, too soft that Jun almost didn’t hear it.

Jun shuffles closer, hooking his chin on Sho’s shoulder. He remembers the white hot rage that nearly swallowed him whole.

Jun can’t bring himself to apologize, so he simply drops a kiss to Sho’s neck.

“Any other suspects?” he asks.

A beat. “Everyone else.”

It’s like hearing himself speak in another voice, and Jun closes his eyes, huddles closer for warmth.

--

There’s one quote from a short story that stuck with Jun. He has read hundreds of stories—they remained as his favored pastime when traveling abroad to see musicals became impossible to do. Naturally, there are also hundreds of quotes that left a great impression on him, but the only one that had him thinking even after years of reading it was from a novella that served as a collection.

He was nineteen when he first read it, fresh from being taken captive and rescued. He couldn’t find sleep that night; betrayal would leave him with scars and a skewed perception of familiar faces. He’d known Nino’s brother-in-law and trusted him at one point.

After he gave up on sleep, he perused his shelf and picked a book he mostly skimmed through, until he read the title of one and kept thinking about it till dawn broke.

It was from Stephen King, and it said that all that you love will be carried away.

It comes back to Jun when Sho’s sound asleep on his stomach, the sheets only rising up to his hips. Jun trails his fingers across Sho’s back, treading lightly so as not to wake him, and he’s following the outline of Raijin’s half-human, half-demon body.

What if it’s true? He has never truly loved anything to be able to tell. He loved his books, his musical records, his suits, his accessories, even that Fuji sakura bonsai Sho sent him. Jun knows how to love things, knows how to care for them and be passionate about them at the same time.

But things are replaceable.

With people, he doesn’t know because he doesn’t understand. There is the knowledge on what Nino and Aiba mean to him, that it would be impossible to be without them. What Jun has no idea about is if that feeling can mean something like love.

Because if it’s true, he thinks as he runs his fingers on smooth, tanned flesh, if it’s true then is he bound to lose them all? His touch is as selfish as he is, mapping skin over and over in hopes of remembering them with clarity. There is a god in its demon form on Sho’s back, like his body is a vessel that houses something equally monstrous and magnificent.

Each touch that Jun allows himself feels like tapping into some forbidden power source that he has ensnared and has ensnared him. He shuffles closer so he can slot his face in the junction of Sho’s neck and shoulder and breathes, counts.

One up to three has him mulling the words over and over. All that he loves will soon disappear. Will be taken from him.

Four to nine has him thinking of the first time he bled, the first time someone split his lip open with a knuckle. He was training vigorously (or as vigorous as a young boy of ten could manage), but it wasn’t enough. Get up, they told him, when he’d fallen down and had known the feel of polished oak against his cheek. Get up and fight back.

Ten onwards has him recalling the face of the first man he killed. He took that life. It wasn’t the only one he ended; there were many since then. But that marked the start: his acceptance, the first step to the change he’s still hoping to invoke. He remembers the splatter of blood, how he had to train himself not to blink or flinch at the sound of a gunshot.

Eighteen has his thoughts moving to his dreams, wondering if they’re oracles that only need to be deciphered to make sense. The blood, the faces waiting for him, the soundless words they utter as they pursue him in never-ending corridors and labyrinths constructed by his own mind.

Twenty-three has him thinking of the faces he saw in his dreams. Sho was one of those, that one time, suffocating him and depriving him. Will it end the same way, now that he has Sho so close and under his palms? For how long will this last?

At thirty, sleep is sprouting and taking hold, and Jun shuts his eyes and focuses on breathing steadily, Sho’s now-familiar scent flooding his senses. His fingers continue to skim over skin up to the strands of hair on Sho’s nape. He plays with them, gradually getting drowsier with each brush of soft strands against his fingertips.

If it’s inevitable and will be carried away like what that story said, Jun thinks, then I’ll be safe if I name no one as someone I love.

Let it happen.

If he has no one, they can take no one from him.

--

The days pass and continue to contribute to the growing boredom in Jun. His business is going well despite his absence, and to him it’s like a slap that he’s not as important in running it as he deemed himself to be. Nino carries on his orders like always, never failing to give him updates. But other than approve and reject operation proposals, there’s not much for Jun to do.

His only consolation is that it’s the same for Sho. He can feel it since he abandoned the guest room in favor of spending his nights on Sho’s bed. The tension, frustration, and rage unreleased—it’s all there whenever Sho’s hands are on him. Jun mirrors it, gives twofold even. He leaves marks, scatters purple all over. Sho, he discovers, bruises easily. There are traces of Jun’s teeth and hands around his wrist, on some parts of his neck and shoulder.

Jun’s only remaining mark rests at the angle of his jaw, red and angry like the god drawn on Sho’s back. He also has some scratches on his back and arms, but they usually fade come morning.

Sho carries Jun’s brand like they’re badges of honor; Jun carries his like they’re the only ones he had.

Now that Jun’s had more than just a taste, he finds it impossible to keep away. Sho’s presence brings forth a myriad of emotions in him—doubt over the depth of Sho’s truthfulness regarding the things he discloses with Jun, the hints of fury at the thought of them hiding in the mountains like cowards, serenity in the early hours of the morning because he is yet to dream in Sho’s bed.

“Jun,” Sho chokes, voice betraying him. Jun likes hearing him that way, relishes at the idea of Sho under his mercy and begging for it.

He has Sho bent over the living room couch and taking it when he settles his hands on Sho’s hips and squeezes, hard enough that he’s sure there will be dark ovals of uneven sizes later. Each push he makes is met with desperation and want that’s almost savage in origin. He hasn’t allowed the use of Sho’s hands, and it’s starting to break Sho’s concentration.

His name is all he can hear, and he lowers his trunk so his necklace can tickle Sho’s nape as they move together. Sho hisses through clenched teeth, shaking and burning with need and lust. He’s as sublime as the tattoo on his back, a thrall to the sensations Jun provides, but just not enough.

“Jun,” Sho says again and again, like it’s a litany that can absolve him from all of his wrongdoings. Some people have their prayers with them, phrases they utter in time of great need. In times like this, all Sho seems to have is Jun’s name, a plea that threatens Jun to abandon the last vestiges of control that he’s holding on to.

He noses Sho’s hair and inhales, smells him and Sho and sex and all the promises of relief that are within reach. He grants what Sho’s asking for and reaches down, finds Sho’s cock and strokes in time with each snap of his hips, and Sho lets out this broken whimper that makes Jun’s grip on him tighten.

Like he has no plans of letting Sho go.

The thought terrifies him, but it’s too late: Sho takes Jun with him as he climaxes, and before Jun’s mind completely blanks out, all he can think of is the price of attachment and how much is he willing to pay.

Does he even have enough?

When Jun gets his bearings back, he blinks at the ceiling and stays quiet. When he feels Sho move to grab something to clean themselves with, he doesn’t utter a word. His heart is thundering, like it took the form of the storm god on Sho’s back and vows mayhem on anything it touches. He watches Sho as Sho lazily wipes away the traces of their coupling, keeps watching even when Sho collapses and curls beside him.

“You’re thinking again,” Sho says against his clavicle, and Jun wishes he can deny it. But it’s there, realer than he thought it would be: his selfishness littering Sho’s flesh all over. His arm automatically wraps around Sho’s shoulders, pulling his body closer despite Jun’s mind becoming a minefield of potentially damning revelations.

A finger tips his chin to the side, and Sho’s looking at him with curious eyes. “Tell me,” Sho requests, now tracing the outline of his mouth with fleeting touches.

I’m sinking, Jun wants to say.

I’m sinking and you’re the one dragging me down.

Instead he says, “We can’t just stay here. We can’t hide forever.”

“It’s not forever.” Sho’s trimmed nails lightly scratch at the mark under his lip. “You’re just impatient as always.” He sounds almost fond.

“It’s been almost a month,” Jun says, looking away. “How much longer do we have to stay here?”

Sho’s touch moves under his chin, stroking the growing stubble there. “Do you want to leave that much?”

“I want to know what’s going on.” Jun brings a hand down his cheek and sighs. “I don’t want to be kept in the dark. This silence—” he waves his hand, “—one of these days it’s going to drive me crazy. I don’t know how long am I supposed to last hearing nothing, knowing nothing, doing nothing.”

Sho moves away, and Jun has to make a fist to prevent himself from reaching for him. It’s alarming that his instinct is to immediately chase after the warmth that Sho has in abundance. It terrifies him so much that he can’t voice it out loud; that might make it even more true.

“Did it ever cross your mind that whoever’s trying to kill us might be spending his time looking for us?” Sho asks, his back to Jun as he examines the new bruises he’s sporting. “That coming back to Tokyo will only make his job easier in case that’s what he’s currently doing?”

Jun doesn’t reply to that, instead hides half of his face behind the back of his hand. He had plans on what would happen after his ascension. This wasn’t part of it—Sho wasn’t part of any of it. But now all that he has in mind seems to revolve on Sho and it’s unwanted and frightening; it makes Jun want to take it all back if he could. He’d go back to the time he received the family heirloom around his neck and re-evaluate his decisions. He wouldn’t run, but he’d also be more careful.

Sentiment, his father’s voice echoes in his head. Jun was accused to be full of it and he got better at hiding it from everyone but himself. No amount of denial is going to erase it from him. It’s there and it has grown, taken hold. His eyes flit to Sho’s hipbones and sees patterns that will match his fingers, like puzzle pieces that fit together.

“Jun,” Sho says over his shoulder, and Jun’s gaze moves to his face. Jun hates how he’s gotten used to seeing, touching, kissing that face. “Do you want to leave?”

“Yes,” Jun responds. Maybe it comes with this villa tucked away in the mountains. Perhaps if he leaves this place, all incriminating evidences of his growing weaknesses can be forgotten, can remain hidden like this house.

Sho smiles, small and yet full of things Jun doesn’t understand. Sho scoots closer to him, thumbing at the diamonds sitting at the dip between his collarbones. “Five more days. Give it five more days, then we’ll see.”

Jun shuts his eyes but opens his arms in invitation, allows Sho to drape himself over him.

He’s definitely sinking, embracing the weight so he’ll reach the depths faster. That’s not the scariest thing that comes to mind now.

It’s the fact that he seems to have lost the intention of fighting back.

--

They don’t last five days.

Just three days later, the mysterious disappearance of Jun’s biggest competitor, Reizei, ends with the man’s dead body turning up in some back alley under the man’s territory. It gave birth to fear and chaos, a grim news delivered to Jun by Nino. Sho’s currently firing orders on the phone, hand waving in the air like he’s in a conference meeting.

Jun does the same, giving orders to Nino on what their next step should be. With everyone in power in a state of panic, Jun must be firm and calm. Despite his disappearance (which is undoubtedly noticed by now), his men must act like they know exactly what they’re doing.

After the phone calls, Jun proposes that they take the car in the garage and leave, go back to the city, to their lives.

“There’s nothing left for us here,” Jun says, eyes narrowing at Sho’s immediate refusal. Sho is still shaking his head. “He’s dead; whoever’s after you and me killed him. He’s dead and everyone thinks they’re next, because some of them think we are dead.”

“Better for us to remain dead in their knowledge,” Sho tells him. “It helps our case.”

“In what way?!” Jun slams his palm down the table, rattling the arrangement of scented candles on top of it. “I don’t have whatever protection and hold you enjoy. If they think I’m gone, they’ll try to take what’s mine. I can’t let that happen.”

“Your men are not that unequipped and inefficient,” Sho snaps. “Unless you left an incompetent man in charge.”

Jun clenches his jaw. “You’re not going to insult my choices in front of me. You’ve insulted me on my nameday and I let that pass. You’re not going to insult me again. How can I lead my men if I’m here hiding with you? Will I become someone they can believe in if all I do here is take calls, answer emails, and fuck you when there’s nothing else to do?” He laughs, sarcastic and biting. “I’ve had enough of this unprecedented vacation. Whatever’s bound to blow is going to go off any moment, and it’s going to happen in the city. I can’t be up here when that happens.”

“Do you want to die that much?!” Sho asks, matching his rage with his own. “If I had known you’d be so hell-bent on suicide, I wouldn’t have offered you a fighting chance.”

Jun scoffs. “A fighting chance? Is that what you call this?” He spreads his arms, gestures around them. “Hiding like cowards is a fighting chance to you? A vacation in the mountains gives us a better chance at survival? Just how idealistic and deluded are you?”

Sho is in his space now, eyes turned to slits. “I’m trying to keep us alive! Because it appears you haven’t noticed, Jun, but there’s someone out there who wants to kill us! Kill you, then me, or the other way around! I’m doing all I can to prevent that!”

“Well maybe you don’t have to!” Jun shouts, anger taking over. “Did it ever occur to you to inform me of what you’re doing? No, because you like keeping things to yourself! Do you think I never noticed?! I’m not as stupid as you think I am!”

“But you want to go back to where you’ll surely die?” Sho sneers, and Jun resists the urge to punch him. “Sounds pretty fucking stupid to me, Matsumoto.”

Jun is seeing red, and he grabs the edges of Sho’s yukata in his fury. “Don’t fucking talk like you know everything about me. You don’t. Just because I let you do things to me doesn’t mean you know all there is about me. You know nothing.”

“I know you’ve gone insane out of boredom, that’s what I know.” Sho shoves him back, points at him with an accusatory finger. “Don’t fuck up what I’m trying to do. Or is that all that you’re capable of doing? Screwing things up and asking others to do the patching for you? Leaving them to deal with the mess you created because you’re too stubborn to actually sit down and think? Is that all you’re good at, making things worse?”

Jun has heard enough. He lunges, swings his arm and feels immense gratification when his knuckles connect with Sho’s jaw. His skin splits, but the pain is worth it when Sho staggers back, lip bleeding. “You think you know everything?” he snarls, seethes. Everything is red. “You think you can control everything?! That’s what you’re used to! Everything going your way, everything the way you imagined it. I’m not going to be your puppet. I’m not going to be your pawn. I’m not your lackey.”

When Sho meets his eyes, Jun shakes his head fiercely, nostrils flaring. “I don’t belong to you.”

Sho wipes the blood trickling down his chin with the back of his hand. He spits and blood stains the floor, a stark contrast to the otherwise unmarred surface.

“Not even once,” Sho says, features resigned, “did I think of it that way.”

Sho spins on his heel and marches away, and Jun screams for his name.

“We’re not done!” Jun hollers, all white hot rage coursing through him. He hates this. He lets out a cry of frustration and kicks the table, sending the candles toppling, their containers shattering when they hit the floor. Shards of glass frame Sho’s blood, creating a firm reminder of Jun losing control.

When Jun hears the garage doors opening and the sounds of tires scraping across the pavement, he runs, wrenching the door open to find the only car in the house speeding away. In a moment of petulance, he grabs the nearest pebble he can reach and hurls it in Sho’s direction along with a curse that echoes past the thick trees.

Fuck him, Jun thinks, kicking the ground. The pain doesn’t register. He’s all alone now, with no means of leaving this dreadful place. It was a poor decision to agree to Nino’s request, let alone take Sho with him.

Sho, who took the car and left for who knows where. The mere thought of it angers Jun so much that once he gets back inside the house, he slams the door so hard before punching the surface of it with the same fist that got acquainted with Sho’s jaw.

The pain that flares makes him crave for more, and Jun continues hitting unforgiving wood until he has no strength left to do so.

--

It’s perhaps the middle of the night when Jun’s phone rings.

In the height of his fury, he threw things and overturned furniture. Some of the drive left him sometime in the past hour, because now he’s lying on the couch and eyeing his ringing device as it vibrates on the floor.

He didn’t know he’d thrown it there.

He ignores it, but it doesn’t stop ringing. Usually, Nino knows when to give up. Everyone who has his number knows that if he doesn’t answer on three rings, it’s best to leave a message and let him be.

Jun allows it to ring for a few more minutes before he gets off the couch and picks it up. It’s Nino, and Jun takes a deep breath before tapping on the green button to answer.

“Jun-kun?!” comes Nino’s panic-stricken voice. “Jun-kun, are you there?”

“Yes,” Jun says, pressing the phone closer to his ear. “What’s going on? Did something happen?”

“Are you okay?! Please tell me you’re okay.”

“I’m in the house,” Jun answers, looking at the mess he created in the past few hours.

Nino breathes a sigh of relief, palpable despite not seeing his face.

Jun catches sight of Sho’s caking blood on the floor, and it makes his heart stop. “What happened?” he asks, already fearing the answer. Nino won’t ask if he’s all right unless something unexpected occurred just now.

What Nino says next makes Jun feel like he’s lost the ability to think and speak, but not to feel.

“Sakurai-san’s been shot.”

It’s as if there are a thousand tiny blades slicing through his ribcage to reveal his heart, exposing his core and leaving him vulnerable. He feels cold and his knees give out, pieces of glass digging into his skin and cutting him open.

The jarring truth rings in his ears, deafening as it creates a mocking cacophony along with his pounding heart.

All that you love will be carried away.



Follow the link for part 7

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