As a native Texan, there was something about Maine weather that always struck Jensen Ackles as unnatural. It was always cool, even in the dead of summer where degrees of fifty were cause for the locals to strip down to short-shorts and tank tops, parading around as if it were a day in Miami. Jensen watched the people of Brewster milling about town with a heart full of jealousy, the thick fleece of his green pullover warming him against the chill of early June. With another baleful glare outside, Jensen turned towards the twin bed that dominated the small attic room he was currently staying in, moving delicately to avoid jostling his distended stomach and waking the eight and a half month old twins that had just stopped using his ribcage as a punching bag.
He'd found out he was pregnant with twins the morning he went to testify against their pater, a decision he was still struggling with almost a year later. It was hard sending Jared Padalecki to prison, not to mention extremely terrifying. You don't cross the Padalecki's, not if you wanted to breathe tomorrow. They were a family of the most ruthless killers and swindlers that Texas had ever seen, especially when Jared's grandfather Arpad Padalecki bought himself respectability and a senator's seat in the early Seventies. Since then the Padalecki family were pillars of the Carson community, until Jared Tristan Padalecki entered the picture.
Jensen stretched on the rickety bed and tried to clear his mind, the itchy wool of the comforter tickling his neck where the pullover didn't protect. He lazily stroked his stomach, slipping a hand underneath the fleece to gently run his fingers across the stretch marks that framed his children. Against his better judgment thoughts of Jared filled his mind, thoughts that Jensen didn't dare say in open court. Jared's smile was the first thing Jensen noticed all those years ago, when Jensen was still a nervous fourth grader standing in the front of a class of rich kids and Jared was sitting in the front row, a spoiled Winchester boy with the devil in his eyes. It still surprised Jensen that Jared even spent more than two minutes on him, a bank teller's son who was only at Winchester Academy because his mother was widowed and Mr. Singer thought he had a chance if he greased the admission wheels for her son. It didn't work, but at least Jensen had a stellar education to show for it. Not to mention two heavy masses that made Jensen turn on his side in order to take deeper breaths.
They were inseparable, the prince and the pauper, which was one of the kinder names Jensen had heard about his relationship with Jared. The rest of elementary school through middle school and the first half of high school were some of the happiest years of Jensen's life, time he spent thinking the sun and moon set by Jared's eyes. He didn't notice the fear in the eyes of the fellow students when they correctly answered questions Jared got wrong, or the bruises that showed up on their faces a day later. For the longest time Jensen believed what Jared told him that the others were jealous of him, a tall handsome boy with dimples and laughing hazel eyes that had more money and power than some small countries. It wasn't until that summer when Jensen finally opened his eyes to just what the type of person Jared was.
"Oh god, I can smell him from here," Jared mock-whispered, sending his friends into harder laughter. For the past ten minutes Jared had mercilessly teased Stephen Amell, a recent scholarship student of Winchester who had short light blonde hair and sky blue eyes. Stephen had the misfortune of being the smartest person in their class, which used to be Jared's position, as well as being the son of poor ranchers instead of oil barons. "I wonder if he smells so much like shit because he washes with it in order to save money on soap."
"I dunno Jare," sniggered his best friend Chad Michael Murray. "I hear cowpies are delicious, especially with piss sauce."
"That's mean you guys," Jensen whispered, shooting a downwards glance at Stephen, who was steadily working on the calculus assignment as if they weren't there, which given with his four point five GPA must be true. "Stop or at least have the decency to trash him when he leaves the room."
"Aw Amy here can handle it," Jared loped an arm around Jensen, pulling him closer along the top circular pulpit bench that filled the room. "I'm sure he's heard worse from his daddy-sorry-step daddy." At that Stephen stilled, which Jared took notice of.
"Oh I must struck a nerve," Jared crowed. "He must not want everybody to know that ol' man Olsson was at Pad-Oil a few days, talking about how he wanted to sell us that useless piece of land he screwed some skank to get. I won-"
"-Shut. Up." Stephen's pencil stopped moving, the long thin piece of wood now in danger of snapping in two. It was no secret around Winchester Academy the history of Stephen's mother. Nina Amell was a noted Texas Socialite, whose father used to preside at Winchester as headmaster. It was a huge scandal in Winchester when Nina at fifteen ran off with the Head Boy of her father's school, a beautiful boy named Ian with pale skin and ice blue eyes. Almost a year later it was an even bigger scandal when Ian was killed in a car crash and seven months pregnant Nina came back to Carson, broken and defeated.
"So sorry Amy," Jared's voice was a perfect rendition of poisonous empathy. "I really didn't think about my words here. Obviously the thought of Ty Olsson selling off the only lifeline you have isn't something you want to think about. I mean I would be just dev-"
In a flash Stephen was over Jared's desk, his fists flying as he tried to hit every part of Jared he could reach. Jensen tried to leap left and avoid the fray, but he was thwarted by Chad, who shoved him to the side in order to get at Stephen. After seeing the violence beginning to escalate to horrible levels, Jensen screamed at them to stop, and tried to intervene by grabbing Jared's arm. It proved to be an error in judgment when Jared jerked out of his grip and backhanded him, sending him tumbling to the ground. Jensen was about to get to his feet when Jared grabbed Stephen and threw him, sending him straight on Jensen's head, which connected on the corner of the heavy maple bench. As Jensen lost consciousness, all he heard was Jared's enraged bellows.
The sound of nothing is what made Jensen startle awake. He gasped and blinked his eyes rapidly, heart pounding as he tried to gain awareness of his surroundings. Ever since Jensen arrived in Brewster five months ago he was placed in the care of Leighton and Ed Westwick, two retired FBI agents who posed as his doting grandparents until he gave birth and entered witness protection. They were a lovely couple, who showed their baby boomer age by always playing their television at ear-splitting decibels and listened to Elvis. After a few headaches inducing episodes of NCIS where Mark Harmon boomed in his skull, Jensen had come to rely on the Westwicks, whose sweetly sarcastic banter and loving kisses to each other never failed to fill Jensen with a sweetly envious nostalgia.
Jared used to be like that with him, teasing and open with his affections, kissing him whenever he wanted in front of whoever he wanted. He was funny, the slightly unfunny kind with bad puns and jokes that made you laugh anyway because he was laughing at himself and his laughter was infectious. Jared was bold and unpredictable, a lifetime of never hearing the words no or too expensive made him into the type of person who'd fly his boyfriend overnight to New York City in order to see The Foo Fighters for his birthday even though his birthday fell on a school night, or call home and make his mother believe he was still in Carson sleeping over at his friend's house instead of in South Beach having sex in a beachfront cabana. Jensen didn't know when the fun and carefree Jared disappeared and this dark demented person appeared, plus Jensen also didn't want to know if the dark Jared was really him all along and he just didn't realize it.
"H-Hello?" Jensen called out, gingerly swinging his legs off the bed and shoving himself up, placing his left hand to stabilize his back, which had started to ache more over the past couple of days. For a life currently fraught deep in drama, Jensen's pregnancy was almost extraordinarily smooth. As a Materman and a young one at twenty-two, luckily Jensen had managed to avoid most of the pratfalls that came with being a pregnant male, the high rate of miscarriage and the flatulence. So far the most trouble Jensen had experienced was a few cramps, a couple weeks of morning sickness, and an intense craving for hotdogs dipped in hummus.
"Leigh? Eddie? Is anyone there?" Jensen exited his room and used the handrail that led the short series of steps from the attic to the second floor. As he walked down the white halls of the Tudor inspired home, the sense of dread that he managed to shove into the corner of his mind for the last few months sprang back into the forefront of his mind. He knew the moment he'd agreed to commute to San Antonio and speak to a grand jury that he was living on borrowed time, that when he entered the courthouse and walked into the courtroom, he was signing his own death sentence. He'd only hoped that he'd live long enough to give birth to his children, a hope that was diminishing in his heart with every step.
Jensen walked down the hall and made his way down the stairs to the first floors, the twins now awake and kicking. When Jensen walked into the living room he saw it. The living room was strewn in a multitude of candles. Glade cups, long tapered candles, and even some thick emergency candles competed with the rose petals scattered around the old timey plastic wrapped furniture. Jensen's stomach rumbled as the smell of frying pork=chops filled his nose, the aroma of his favorite food making him hungry against his will. He stood in the center of the living room, staring at the closed door that led to the kitchen, massively afraid to see what was beyond it. Jensen was about to search for a phone and call for help when the door to the kitchen swung open.
"The chops will be done in a few minutes," Jared placed down the bottle of champagne he was holding, Leighton' pink gingham apron wrapped around his dark jeans and white wife-beater. "And the mashed potatoes are cooling on the counter."
"W-What are you d-doing here Jared?" Jensen asked faintly, dizzy from the blood rushing to his head. His heart thundered in his chest as Jared uncorked the bottle and took a swig before pouring some champagne into two coffee mugs.
"I couldn't find any champagne flutes—or any real alcohol glasses basically—which doesn't really matter because this is just sparkling cider," Jared continued, handing Jensen a matching bright pink mug. "But I wanted to find some, for the ambience you know?"
"I-I don't care about the cups Jared," Jensen took the mug when Jared kept thrusting it at him and let it fall from his nerveless fingers, the cold liquid splashing his bare feet. "I want to know where Leighton and Ed are, Jared, what have you done to them?"
"I also brought some of cook's famous devil's food cake; I know it's your favorite. At first Cook didn't want to bake it, until I told her who it was for, then she jumped at the chance. I may ha—"
"I DON'T CARE ABOUT SOME STUPID FUCKING CAKE JARED! WHY ARE YOU HERE IN MAINE INSTEAD OF SOME PRISONCELL IN TEXAS!" Jensen screamed, about to pass out from the mounting panic. He started to sway on his feet, nostrils flared as desperately he tried to get air into his starved brain in order to think.
"Calm down now Jen," Jared soothed, taking his elbow and guiding him to a plastic festooned floral couch, gently him shoving onto the cushions. "Stress like this can't be good for the boys."
"How d-do you know the twins are boys?" Jensen looked up at Jared, his legs starting to shake with excess adrenaline. "Who told you that? Who would tell you that?"
"I know everything about these babies Jensen." Jared responded to the question lightly, but Jensen saw it then, the cold glaze in his eyes and tensed muscles in his jaw that belied all his carefree words. Jared followed him down on the couch, decimating Jensen's personal space by corralling him into ther arm of the chair. Deliberately Jared pushed a large hand under Jensen's pullover, softly stroking Jensen's belly, the unborn babies kicking his palm with each rub. "Why wouldn't I know things, I mean they are my babies Jensen? Because if they're not then I'd be devastated, beyond devastated. And then I'd-"
"-What would you do to me if they weren't yours Jared?" Jensen whispered, staring wide at Jared with fear filled green eyes. He tried not to panic further, his mind racing with the various possibilities and scenarios of what Jared will do to him. "Would you beat me until I was paralyzed like you did Chad? Or have someone break my legs like you done to Chace Crawford? Or would you try to have me killed, like you did to-"
"-I wouldn't dare do any of that to you," Jared's hand stilled on Jensen's belly, an uncompromising weight that made Jensen nauseous, and bile to start to rise up his throat. "I love you Jensen, with all of my heart. I'd be heartbroken, that those kids aren't mine. It wouldn't be for long though, my heart being broken."
"Why on earth would you say that?"
"Because after we'd cried together and I'd let you convince me that it didn't mean anything, that Stephen Amell was just a onetime fling who wasn't man enough to truly satisfy you, we were going for a little trip," Jared said with a small smile that sent chills down Jensen's spine. "And when we got back, we'll be just like what we were before, happy and in love. We'd just be free of two little problems that would've plagued us for about eighteen years."
"My babies aren't plagues and they sure as hell aren't Stephen Amell's!" Jensen snapped before he could stop himself. He had a feeling it was a mistake to say that to him the moment Jared's face lit up, a feeling that was confirmed when Jared's dimples appeared. Jensen learned the hard way that nothing good happened when Jared showed his dimples.
"You don't know what a relief it is for you to say that Jen," Jared breathed, his eyes glittering like amber in the candlelight. "I've had my doubts which I'm sure you could understand, given the circumstances."
"No, I don't understand," Jensen once again couldn't stop himself from straying from the main event, which was continuing on not being a cold case. "I still don't understand how you could believe Chad Murray of all people—believed him and his lies over me. I don't understand Jared how you could've done what you've done and not feel a thing, not even a shred of guilt or remorse. You almost killed two people. Chad will never get to walk again, let alone speak without using a pad and paper. I-"
"-You know, since we're on the subject of believability Jensen," Jared smoothly interrupted, the first signs he was beginning to get irritated appearing with his flared nostrils and swift inhale of breath through his nose. Jared took a couple rapid breaths before continuing, his tone now more clipped and deliberate. "What I can't believe about you is that you that you betrayed me Jensen. After everything we've been to each other everything we've promised to each other, you still were thought nothing of sending me to prison, of ending what we have because I made a few little mistakes."
"What you did was so beyond a simple mistake Jared," Jensen tried to remove Jared's hand from his stomach, and stopped when he realized after a brief two minute struggle it was futile. "You ruined lives; took something from people that they can never recover from or try to get back. I did what I did because I couldn't do it anymore, I couldn't watch you destroy any more people's lives while I did nothing."
"So all of this wasn't because of Amy?" Jared asked lightly, but Jensen could feel the gravity behind the question. "It wasn't because if you got rid of me then you and Amy would've ridden off into the sunset and lived happy little lives raising my kids away from me? It wasn't because Amy got to you, managed to fuck you, and then asked you to send me away because he needed my kid's trust fund to save his piece of shit ranch? It was-"
"-It was because of what I just said," Jensen stared at Jared incredulously, mouth agape with dumbfounded horror. "Y-You tried to murder three people. Y-"
"-One," Jared reached for his mug of cider on the glass topped coffee table, calmly taking a sip as he regarded Jensen over the rim of the hot pink coffee mug. "I've only tried to kill one person Jensen."
"What in the hell do you mean Jared!?" Jensen's voice was raised two octaves before he could control himself. He took a moment to compose himself before continuing, lowering his voice into a pleasant non-antagonizing tone. "You beat Chad with a baseball bat, which was after you used a cattle prod on him while he was soaking wet. Not to mention you left him to die in the desert. And not to mention what you done to Stephen Amell, or Cha-"
"-I don't really want to talk about Chad or Chace or Amy," Jared scooped a few petals that lay on the arm of the chair and sprinkled them into a Glade cup, the smell of burning flowers now competing with the stench of vanilla. "I wanna talk about us now, and where we go from here."
"No, not until you tell me, what do you mean you only tried to kill one person?" Jensen insisted, a stronger sense of foreboding starting to overtake him.
"Of the three people accusing me of attempted murder Jensen," Jared explained patiently, like he was talking about the latest episode of Homeland. "Only one of them is still breathing, which means I've only tried to kill one person."
Based on the way Jared phrased the last sentence, Jensen knew it was a small test for him. If he asked Jared if Stephen was the one who was dead, Jensen was well aware it could be the last question he'd ask on earth. So in order to keep the conversation nonviolent and himself uninjured, Jensen settled on the path of least resistance, "How d-did Chad die?"
"Oh, it was so sad Jensen," Jared lifted his hand from Jensen's belly and used his arm to wrap it underneath Jensen's shoulders, pressing him into the crook of his muscular shoulder as the thick fingers of his left hand carded through Jensen's hair. A faraway smile blossomed on Jared's face as he continued, like he was reliving a cherished memory. "There was a fire at the residential treatment facility Chad was staying in; they said it was a freak electrical fire and that he didn't even suffer for too long. Which was so unsatisfying to hear Jensen, I at least wanted that bastard to smell some of him cooking before he roasted."
"I…I" Never had Jensen felt these type of emotions together before, abject terror warring with the beginning tendrils of arousal. It had been awhile since Jensen experienced anything other than a handshake from another person and Jared for all his faults knew what buttons to push. Jared moved in closer, sending an electric thrill throughout Jensen's body when his lips brushed against Jensen's ears.
"I don't wanna talk about Chad anymore Jensen," murmured Jared, his breath tickling the spot underneath Jensen's ear, which was just the way Jensen liked it. Jensen tried to control himself as Jared's touch turned from confining into teasing, tried desperately not to react as both of Jared's hands slipped underneath Jensen's pullover and went exploring. "I want to talk about us now."
Jared reacquainted himself with Jensen's body, nuzzling on Jensen's ear while his hands went exploring, the calluses on his hand rasping deliciously along his nipples, transforming them into taunt little peaks. Jensen couldn't help but feel caged in by Jared, the enormous weight of his body pressing him into the plastic fabric of the sofa cushions. Jared brushed light kisses along Jensen's Jaw until he was at Jensen's lips. Jared cupped Jensen's face with his hand, his thumb stroking Jensen's cheek he gave him his first true kiss in almost two years.
Just like every time Jared kissed him Jensen felt a sweet fire sweep through him from the touch of Jared's lips on his. He couldn't stop himself from moaning when Jared deepened the kiss, shuddering hard when Jared's hands ventured lower and he slipped them into Jensen's grey sweatpants, taking hold of Jensen and stroking the head of him. Jensen writhed into as he moaned into Jared's kiss. Jensen grabbed the straps of Jared's wife-beater and pulled him in closer, the heat of Jared's muscular body on his warming him more than his pullover ever could. Jensen couldn't think, couldn't focus when Jared was kissing him, couldn't focus when Jared's lips parted his with his own and slipped his tongue inside.
Jared tasted just like Jensen remembered, like sugar and cinnamon because Jared only chewed Big Red gum. Jensen couldn't stop himself from meeting Jared and responding, his lips kissing just like Jared's were, his tongue seeking out his ex's mouth just like Jared was doing. He was lost in Jared, in the smell of his Dior cologne that Jensen bought for Jared's birthday, in the feel of Jared's chestnut strands curtaining his face as they kissed.
"Wanted this for so long Jen," Jared rasped as his hands cupped the rounded swell of Jensen's belly, the twins kicking against his touch. "I've dreamed of this for so long, touching you and kissing…I love you Jensen, so much."
It was rote at this point, maybe even a little automatic and passionless. Jensen had truly lost count of how many times he'd said I love you to Jared. He'd it said to him when they were having sex, when he was talking to him on the phone, when Jared had brought him slightly burnt homemade cookies during the time he'd had appendicitis and needed surgery. He loved Jared he knew he did, he just wasn't…in love with Jared. He hadn't felt that way about Jared in a long time, even before all the horribleness with Stephen Amell had started. Jared was cruel and vicious; any love on Jensen's part was withered and rotted now. But all of this didn't mean Jensen was a fool.
"I love you too Jared," Jensen said with as much terror disguised sincerity as he could muster, reaching out and tracing Jared's lips with his fingers. "So much." At that Jared reared back, all trace of love gone from his face.
"STOP. LYING. JENSEN!" Jared roared as he gripped Jensen's chin, his fingers iron spears pressing into Jensen's terrified face. "You're lying to me. I can always tell when you lying to me Jensen, you start opening your eyes like you're in a fucking anime cartoon. Why? Why are you lying to me Jensen? What is it, don't you love me anymore, is that it Jensen? You don't…love me…anymore? Answer ME!"
"I have nothing more to say to you Jared!" Jensen smacked Jared's hand and grunted as he stood up, grabbing the underside of his stomach as he did so. He waddle-ran away from Jared as fast as he could, pulling up his sweatpants hurriedly as he did so. He stopped by the fireplace and turned around to face Jared, whose face was flushed with blood and rage as he straightened his own clothes. "Everything I've felt, every warm and loving feeling I've ever felt about you and us, it is dead Jared. You've killed everything we've ever had between us. I can't…I can't see myself loving you the way you want anymore."
Jared's face had completely shut down with each word Jensen said. With preternatural calm Jared stood from the couch and made his way to Jensen, his face a blank mask. "I really couldn't give more of a shit if you don't love me anymore Jensen," Jared said tonelessly. "All I really cared about was if you were planning on raising my kids with that piece of shit Amell. You still loving me would've made the next part of this so much simpler and sweeter."
"What next part?" Jensen asked.
"The part where we get married Jensen," Jared smiled, a hard smile that was a little more than Jared baring his teeth. "And live happily ever after with our boys."
"I'm n-not marrying you Jared," Jensen gasped. "I'd never marry you, not now, not anymore."
"Yes, you will Jen," Jared said as he reached out and touched Jensen's stomach, a heavy pressing brand. Jared stared at Jensen's belly avidly, watching the kicks and punches that distorted his skin. "You'd do it; you'd marry me because it's the right thing to do, for you and for our boys. We'd be a family who supported each other, in their best times and even more pressing ones."
"What are you saying Jared?"
"I'm saying that marrying me would be the final piece of the puzzle. Chad is dead, and so is Chace. Plus Amy is long gone, and he can't really explain what I'd done to him, only you know what I really did to him." Jared looked up from staring with a smile. "When you marry me Jensen your testimony about this mess with Chad and Chace will be null and void, due to spousal privilege. All of this nonsense will finally be put to bed Jensen when you accept it, accept me."
"Why would you do this Jared, marry me?" Jensen stared at Jared, shocked that this was Jared's true reason for proposing to him. "You could just kill me and save yourself all the trouble and paperwork, no spousal privilege necessary."
"I'm marrying you because you've always been mine and you're giving me my sons," Jared smiled at Jensen, a true dimpled smile. "The rest is just icing."
"I don't love you anymore Jared," Jensen said thickly, from the bottom of his soul. "Why would you do this?"
Without warning Jared struck, his meaty fist colliding with Jensen's nose. Jensen collapsed hard on the ground as his nose streamed bright red blood, the cartilage in his nose crushed flat. Jensen struggled to get to his feet but Jared attacked again, this time using one of his sized fourteen feet to kick Jensen squarely in the stomach. Jensen screamed with enraged horror as he felt a soft pop and a warm liquid begin to cascade down his legs. He grabbed his rapidly hardening stomach, moaning as sharp contractions started to blend in with the pain from the kick and broken nose.
"Don't worry about it Jensen," Jared said cheerfully as he watched Jensen fall, pushing Jensen on his back as he laid down beside him. "I'll love you enough for both of us."
"Jensen! JENSEN! Wake up! Get the fuck up!"
Nestled deep under his warm Egyptian cotton sheets with the sweet comforts of Jim Beam and Percocet in his system, it took a few moments for Jared's angered shouts to reach Jensen's ears. Blearily Jensen stopped hugging his pillow and turned on his back, just in time for Jared to rip the navy blue comforter and sheets off of him and expose his pajama clad body to the cold air.
"What the hell Jared, I was sleeping." Jensen said as he tried not to yawn, using the sleeve of his red plaid pajama top to wipe the cold out of his eyes.
"I see you're sleeping, what I don't see is you getting the hell up and helping the boys get dressed for later on tonight."
"Jared one of the perks being married to you entails, as few and far between as they truly are, is that we can afford something called nannies." Jensen said as he reached down to pull the covers back over his head. Jensen continued as he resettled into the bed, his voice muffled by the covers. "Go get Magdalena or Yvette to help you with the demons."
"If I wanted the help to help me I'd go ask them," Jared said tightly. "But since I wanted the lazy son of a bitch who'd given birth to them to get them ready for tonight's event, I'm asking you."
"While I'm grateful you've thought of me in your time of need Jared, I'm afraid I must d-decline," Jensen didn't even try to conceal his yawn this time as he rolled onto his side. "I'm a little under the weather right now, so I hope you understand why I'm declining this…outing or getting mauled by those beasts."
"Oh, I can see that Jensen." Jared said snidely as he reached for the covers, this time yanking them down to the floor. "Drunkarhea and Percopox are such difficult things to overcome. Luckily four you Jensen being stricken with these horrible diseases mean that you'll have a quick and fast recovery, just in time for you to peel your sorry ass out of this bed and get dressed for the twins'party!"
"-What part of this makes you think this is negotiable Jensen?" Jared asked silkily as he grabbed his pusband's neck, his wide palm covering Jensen's entire throat and cutting off his oxygen. "Now I'm going to go to Tyler and Greg's room and get them dressed, when I get back you'd better have already peeled yourself out of this bed washed off the stench of booze off of you or I'd be forced to help you get presentable. And Jensen if you value sitting down tonight without a deep throb in your ass I suggest you don't wait around for my help."
With that Jared released his grip on Jensen and left the bedroom, leaving Jensen's desperate gasps to fill the air. Jensen coughed hard as he tried to regain breath back in his lungs, which were currently red-hot and inflamed. He got to his feet with a groan and coughed his way towards the French double doors, the mahogany floors chilling his bare feet with each step. Jensen walked in his closet that was the size of most people's master bedroom and sat down on the stuffed dove grey couch that was in the center of the room. Jensen stared at his wing of the closet with blind eyes, taking in the vast array of suits and trousers draped on the wood hangers and wondered how much he had to drink tonight in order to survive the party.
Even though it's been six years Jensen could remember that night with crystal clear clarity, of the excruciating pain of the birth, of the feel of Jared's rough hands rubbing his belly while he labored to bring his children into the world. Jensen could still feel the whispers of Jared's words along his neck as he held him close on the carpeted ground, telling him that with each contraction he was bringing his shackles into the world, that once the twins started to cry he'd might as well closed the cell door on himself, because he was never leaving Jared.
Jensen shook himself hard and walked to an array of clothes, mentally shoving his feelings and thoughts back into the pit of his mind where they belonged. He grabbed the first outfit he saw, a thin slate cashmere sweater with charcoal slacks and matching blazer that luckily were presorted on one rack. Jensen got dressed on autopilot, not even glancing at the mirror as he reached into the drawers under the hangers and pulled out a pair of alligator Ferragamo loafers with fresh silk socks stuffed into the both of them. Before he exited the closet Jensen gathered his pajamas and dropped in the pile by the door, where they'd be picked up by the maids.
With a longing glance at the half empty orange bottle of Percocet lying on his bedside table, Jensen left his bedroom and made his way downstairs, already dreading tonight. The master wing was on the fourth floor of the nineteen room mansion so Jensen had to leave his two sitting rooms in order to enter the hallway. Jensen walked to the end of hall where the elevator was, using the priceless art that dotted as handholds just because it gave him a perverse pleasure to see his fingerprints on paintings that were made by artists Jensen couldn't recognize on his best day.
Mercifully the elevator ride was short and Jensen was long used to prescription drugs and booze by now, so he was reasonably sober when the elevator stopped on the second floor, where the twins' suite was. The sound of high pitched laughter and thunder of small feet on hardwood greeted Jensen's ears and ate through his haze as he walked down the hall towards the playroom, making his already reluctant footsteps all the more slower. When he was outside the bright red door of the playroom, Jensen took a deep breath and went inside, already dreading his time here.
"Maddy!" Greg and Tyler stopped the game of ninja warrior they were currently playing in their playroom and ran towards Jensen, their long chestnut curls trailing behind them as they streaked across the floor. Jensen could feel a smile blossom start to blossom on his face and ruthlessly quelled it. Jared for all his professed love of his own children hated the fact that Jensen loved the twins more than him, that Jensen wouldn't shed a tear if he'd dropped dead in front of him but would be inconsolable if either Greg or Tyler even had a cough. This was the reason why the twins had spent their kindergarten year at an exclusive boarding school in Vancouver Canada.
"Why aren't the two of you dressed for the party?" Jensen snapped, eyeing the two dressed in their morning clothes of navy polo's and jeans in feigned distaste.
"We were waitin' for you," Greg and Tyler said in complete unison, their identical forest-green eyes filling with hurt. "You used to help when we live here."
"Well, you don't live here anymore," Jensen said, already apologizing to them in his mind. He promised himself that when the time was right he'd spend all his waking hours apologizing and kissing his twins, to atone for acting like an uncaring monster towards them. "And I expected at the Merlyn Academy they'd at least taught you how to dress yourselves by now. Go and change into your good clothes for tonight now please."
Tears and bewilderment were now added to the hurt so without another word the pair of them ran out of their playroom to get dressed. Jensen could only close his eyes and hope that in time they would see how much he loved them and wanted only to protect them. He'd learned the hard way that being too affectionate towards them meant that his love was otherwise occupied, something Jared hated and tried to rectify with inappropriate comments and sending his own children halfway across the country.
To distract himself Jensen gazed around the playroom while he waited for his twins to get dresses, taking care not to focus on any of the photos on the walls or any of the drawings of circus animals that were painted in between them. It all mocked Jensen, taunting him of the life he could've had with the man he loved ever since he a little boy. But that wasn't meant to be, the charmed life whose glimmering images still plagued him when he lay beside the psychopath he married at night. This was reality, and reality was a waking nightmare.
"Boys, are you ready?"
"First off, I want to thank you all for coming," Jared said after his clinked his glass. He looked over the board of directors and local office workers for Pad-Oil assembled in the private dining room of Caroline's, Carson's finest steakhouse. He took another sip of his scotch before he addressed his cabinet of sorts that help him smoothly run a sixty billion dollar conglomerate. "Jensen and I can't say how pleased we are that you've all taken time out of working for me to help celebrate Gregory and Tyler's sixth birthday."
Jensen made a barely perceptible moue as he shoved a small roasted potato in his mouth; deep into ignoring the sycophantic assholes Jared surrounded himself with for the past forty minutes. Jensen snuck another glance at Tyler and Gregory, who were seated quietly a table away with six other children whose parents worked for Jared. This wasn't his first choice for a sixth birthday party location, or even his ninetieth choice, an old-fashioned restaurant that looked like the death scene of any mob movie. This was all Jared and Jensen had long made peace with being a passenger in his own life.
"It brings me great pleasure to also announce on an already fantastic night that the first quarter reports from Pad-Oil Euro have arrived today and I can say our European division is a success!" Jared continued, looking irritatingly handsome in his grey pinstriped suit Jensen thought with an eye roll and more potato. "Pad-Oil is now operational in all six continents."
"Congratulations Mr. Padalecki." Chimed in Misha Collins, a Director of Pada-Oil Canada and frequent ass kisser.
"Thank you Mr. Collins but really, this was a team effort taken in part by you all," Jared said magnanimously. "You should all get all the credit, working all those long hours reviewing spreadsheets and accounts."
The crowd twittered and clinked their glasses in toast while Jensen wished he was smart enough to bring a few Percocet's with him to this business dinner of a party. He unhappily took another deep sip of wine and tried not to think too hard about how much this must suck for the twins. Jensen stole another glance at Tyler and Gregory, who were each currently nibbling on a kids plate and being ignored by the other kids who actually lived in Carson and knew each other. Jensen was debating how large of a brownie and chocolate chip platter to send to the boys when they got home when Jared said something that caught his attention.
"It's also fortunate that you all are here together tonight because it spares both myself and you the unnecessary phone calls and e-mails that sure would've erupted otherwise. At the end of the summer Jensen and I leaving Carson, I've decided to oversee the productions of the European divisions."
"W-What?! We're going where Jared?" Jensen choked out, the sip of wine in his mouth going down the wrong tube. "W-What did you just say?"
"I said," Jared paused with a hard glance in Jensen's direction. "We're moving to St. Petersburg in the autumn."
"R-Russia? We're moving to Russia?" Jensen stared at Jared in abject shack and horror. "Why on earth would we move hundreds of miles away Jared, and to St. Petersburg Russia of all places?"
"We'll be moving there Jensen because the European Division, while a success, is still in its infancy." Jared said with feigned patience. "They need my experience and know-how to steer them to an even brighter future. I don't know why you're acting so surprised Jensen, it's not like I haven't done this before."
"Jared, when you went overseas the farthest you actually traveled was our library because you Skyped for seven months." Jensen argued. "This is packing up everything we own and leaving the only town we've ever known, leaving the only country we've ever known. I've never even left Texas let alone the country."
"Really Jensen, you haven't left Texas?" Jared asked quietly, sending the already quiet crowd into dead silence.
"No…I haven't," Jensen said calmly as he took a fortifying sip of wine. He was well aware that Jared valued presentation and united fronts over shows of violence in front of subordinates and would save his attacks for when they were alone. It was why he was on his second bottle of Merlot, to lubricate himself from the sexual assault that was sure to happen later on tonight. "So tell me Jared, what exactly spurred this decision to uproot our entire lives to a place that regularly has civil wars?"
"Because Jensen it'll be a fresh start, away from all the misery that this piece of shit town," Jared explained with continued false sweetness. "Surely you of all people would recognize why the prospect of a fresh start in a place where no one knows anything about me would be appealing."
"I do Jared, I know perfectly well why the thought is appealing," Jensen said with a false smile of his own. "But I also do know that living in Boise or Helena would be equally appealing, you know Jared, a place where people speak English and who've never heard of Jared Padalecki."
"Jensen I really don't want to argue in front of my colleagues and workers." Jared said tightly as he took a healthy swig of scotch.
"Then why did you drop a bomb like this in front of your colleagues and workers without informing me of it beforehand?" Jensen countered. "And what about the twins Jared? They've just started to get to attending Merlyn; I don't want to ruin all of their hard work by uprooting them to another foreign country just because you have a whim to go drink borscht."
"We won't uproot the twins from Merlyn Jen," Jared soothed. "They'll continue on with their studies while we get our home and lives established in Russia."
"I am not leaving my children on the other side of the globe Jared!" gasped Jensen.
"You know Jensen, why don't we discuss more when we get home huh?" Jared said with a dimpled smile that made Jensen shiver in his leather seat despite the warming courage of wine. "Later, after the twins have gone to sleep and we're alone."
Jensen only stabbed a huge hunk of steak and shoved it into his mouth, mind racing with the possibility of living alone in Russia of all places, without his children.
"Why so quiet Jen?" Jared asked from the driver's seat of his silver Maybach. Jensen turned from his passenger side window and leveled a glare in Jared's direction.
"I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we're moving to fucking Russia Jared." Jensen said shortly.
"Don't be like that Jensen, it'll be great," Jared cajoled. "You hate being hot and you always wanted to see a white Christmas, St. Petersburg-"
"-Can continue being a frozen wasteland because I'm not going," Jensen interrupted. "I'm going to Vancouver with the twins and you can have all the Christmases you want in Russia."
"That's not hap-" Jared paused as blue and red lights filled the car. "What the hell?"
With a muffled curse Jared pulled the car to the side of McCourt Road, where the expensive car was flanked by no less than five police cars. Jensen watched with mild interest as heavily armored policemen swarmed the car. He was trying not to let the wine lull him to sleep when one of the officers tapped oh his door. With an internal sigh Jensen rolled down his windows, the humid Texas air doing nothing for his sleepiness.
"Well isn't this a sight for sore eyes," the policeman said.
Jensen paused in mid-yawn, face numb with shock as the officer crouched beside the car.
"Please Jared," Jensen begged again through his bloody mass of a nose. He never experienced agony like this, his lower half felt like it was under an immense boulder as pain radiated throughout Jensen, his lower body struggling hard to give birth to his children. "C-Call an ambulance. Jared, please."
"Now why would I do that Jensen?" Jared idly asked. He ran his hands over Jensen's belly, the roughness of his calluses scraping across the delicate expanse of his stretched skin. "We have everything we need here, to have our beautiful kids."
"No we don't Jared, no we don't!" Jensen screamed. He struggled to get to his feet but was pushed back down by Jared.
"I need to go to the hospital Jared; I need doctors and an epidural. I can't have the t-twins," Jensen paused, grunting as another contraction ripped through him. "Here. I need you to listen to me Jared, you have to do something, have to call someone. I can't do it like this, have the babies here by myself."
"I don't have to do anything Jen except stay white and die," Jared laughed at his own little joke as he gave Jensen's laboring belly a hard slap, causing Jensen to stifle a scream as a wave of pain echoed throughout his body. "And what's this alone business? Their Pater is here to help you through this amazing time, Jensen I'm here and I love you."
"How in the hell is this love J-Jared?" Jensen gritted as he started to feel pressure begin to move between his legs. Jensen realized with mounting horror this was it, he was going to give birth alone with Jared, a man diagnosed by no less than seven people as sociopathic. Jensen propped himself on his elbows, looking left at Jared who was staring back like he was watching the best TV show ever. "If you loved me you'd call the paramedics, someone who could really help me instead of doing this."
"It is because I love you that I'm doing it this way," Jared said like he talking to an especially stupid child. "If I take us to a hospital now you might have an urge to speak about us and our history in the moment, which is understandable given the circumstances, I've certainly watched enough movies to know the deal. So instead Jensen the birth of our boys will be small and intimate with just the two of us, away from inquiring eyes and ears."
"So because you love me I can't talk to anyone else?" Jensen said with a gasp. He felt himself reaching the point of no return, the pouring of blood from his legs stemming as one of the twins prepared to make his entrance. "What type of possessive Ike Turner shit is that?"
"No Jensen," Jared rolled over between Jensen's legs and pulled them apart, stripping him of the blood stained sweatpants that were haphazardly around them. "I love you enough to never allow anyone to take you or the boys away from me, and that includes you Jensen."
Jensen startled awake, the half empty spoon of frosting that was resting on his shoulder tumbling on the bed. He blinked owlishly as the room came into focus and with it his exasperated husband. Jensen snuck a glance down at the empty container of chocolate fudge frosting that lay beside him on the bed and guiltily wondered how much trouble he was in.
A lot. "What did Dr. Q say about sugar Jensen?" Stephen growled as he stomped onto the master closet, tossing his Glock and shield onto his bedside table as he made his way, his polished loafers thudding to the ground as he kicked them off.
"She said to eat I can eat sugar as long as it's in moderation," Jensen said mulishly as he picked up the spoon and stuck it in his mouth, stifling a moan as the taste of rich chocolate filled his mouth. "I'm following what she says, this is my first sweet thing all day, I really don't know what the big deal is Stevie."
"I know you know downing an entire tub of frosting isn't moderation Jensen," Stephen said as he came out of the closet dressed in a worn FBI shirt and sweatpants. He turned on the dimmer as he walked towards the California King sized bed Jensen was laying on, sending the violet painted room into deeper shadows.
"Usually it's not but this was only the corner Stevie," Jensen defended himself with a small pout. "It was the leftover frosting from when I made the twins their cake yesterday, and since I didn't have any of the cake or ice cream I thought it was okay. Plus I thought I deserved it because I spent the better part of today trying to stop your daughter from ripping open the presents she found in the garage, great hiding place by the way."
"I knew I shouldn't have shown her that false wall," Stephen said ruefully before continuing. "How was their birthday party Jensen, I so sorry-"
"-Don't worry about it, it's not every day a plane full of criminals falls from the sky," Jensen waved offStephen's words. "The boys understood and so do I, one of us has to work and put food on the table. Any-"
"-Hey, you have a job," Stephen interjected as he perched on the edge of Jensen's side of the bed. He placed his hand on Jensen's stomach, his silver wedding ring a cool spot on Jensen's nine month stretched belly. "You're growing Greg, Tyler and Livvie's little brothers inside of you Jensen and that's the most important job."
"Well that's sweet Stevie but I look forward to the day I'm fired from this particular job," Jensen groused. "I'm getting a little tired of not being able to see my feet and needing to pee like I don't have a working bladder. Anyway Stevie the party went off without a hitch, they ate cake, they opened the presents Livvie didn't already get to and they played on their new Wii with their friends."
"So it was a good birthday party?"
"It was a good birthday party, small and calm." Jensen nodded as he traced Stephen's wedding ring with one of his fingers. It never ceased to amaze Jensen that he was married to Stephen, a walking FBI recruitment poster who loved him despite everything that loving or even knowing him entailed. "The boys knew I wasn't up for a rowdy party like last year so they kept the destruction to the playroom and at a dull roar."
"I can't believe they're thirteen now," Stephen said with a rueful smile. "It seems like just yesterday that they were two little city boys who couldn't even walk two feet without falling over a twig."
"Hey, not everyone was raised to skin a cow at three or know how to field dress a wound using leaves and spit." Jensen said with a laugh.
"It's not spit its mud." Stephen laughed back as he leaned and brushed a light kiss on Jensen's lips. It turned deeper when Jensen loped an arm around his neck and pulled him closer.
Jensen moaned into the kiss as Stephen stretched himself on top of him, the taste of coffee and spearmint filled his mouth as Stephen lightly stretched his heavily muscled frame on top of his, Stephen's body provided a delicious weight that heated Jensen through his thin white tee and boxers. Jensen ran his hands through Stephen's thick dark blond hair as Stephen reacquainted himself with Jensen's mouth, his tongue and lips making Jensen shudder as they worked their magic on him. Jensen was about to suggest Stephen lose the sweatpants when he heard it.
"No," Stephen groaned as he pulled back, pressing his forehead on Jensen's as the sound of a crying three year old little girl filled the room. "And it was going so well."
"I know," Jensen agreed as he tilted Stephen's head back to give him a hard slightly sloppy kiss that made his lips and toes tingle. "But someone's on partial bed rest and is already rested on said bed. The sooner you go tell Olivia that there's no rotten zombies under the bed like the twins had told her is the sooner you can get back here and we finish what we started."
"Sounds like a plan I can get behind," Stephen leapt from Jensen with a small jump and speared him with a heated glare. "I'm gonna go and put Livvie back down and then we are gonna get naked with each other for about ten minutes because a rerun of Mad Max comes on in twenty and I wanna make popcorn."
"That was so classy Stevie," Jensen said back with a smile. Stephen fumbled for his Nike flip flops in the low lit bedroom and padded for the door, grumbling under his breath about cockblocking little girls.
Jensen pulled up the covers and snuggled in deep, the arrival of his husband just the thing to shake off the specter of his ex. Thoughts of Jared always seemed to find their way inside Jensen's mind during this time of the year, thoughts that were better served shoved in the deep hidden recesses of his psyche. It never was good for Jensen to think too hard about his life with Jared, who was currently serving life in prison for insider trading and his penchant of having the heads of his competitors killed and then raiding the leaderless companies.
There was a silver lining to all of the sleepless nights and living in the tropical hell of Guam while the trial commenced though, Jensen had regained his ability to sleep unaided like the dead after a lifetime of catnaps and relying on the help of pharmaceuticals to not make him aware of the sex he was having against his will. Jensen had almost found himself indulging in this particular luxury when Stephen didn't return after a solid quarter of an hour away, the thick cotton covers a siren's song to Jensen's tired body. He was about to let sleep carry him away when he heard something strange, Jensen startled awake when he heard a muffled pop and a thud coming from the upstairs rooms.
With a grunt Jensen used his bedside table as a handhold as he swung himself from the bed and padded out of the room, his swollen belly making him stagger instead of waddle as he went for the door. He passed the kitchen as he walked out of the master bedroom that was in the lower half of the split-level ranch; the lights of the kitchen were all out, which gave Jensen pause. Usually when Olivia was crying Jensen would find Stephen and their daughter at the dinner table, sharing a bowl of chocolate ice-cream as Stephen explained patiently to her that what her brothers said to her were mean jokes and that she shouldn't take what they say to her to heart.
"Stevie?" Jensen called out from the bottom of the stairs. "Livvie, where are you guys?"
"We're all up here Jensen, in little Livvie's room."
It was luck that Jensen was holding onto the stair railing because otherwise he would've collapsed hard on the ground at the sound of Jared's voice. He swallowed hard as he stared up the stairs in terrified disbelief, Jared's voice making his knees weak with dread and bile to rush into his mouth. Jensen glanced behind him at the knife block perched behind him on the kitchen island and cursed himself for not wearing sweatpants or a robe, something he could comfortably conceal a knife in.
The walk up the beige carpeted stairs towards Olivia's room was one of the longest trips Jensen had ever experienced; he'd waited in line for driver's licenses that seemed shorter. Jensen passed the twins' room with blind eyes, unfathomably glad that the twins had wanted to spend tonight at their best friend's house, the Donovan's. It gave Jensen a kind of cold comfort to know that Tyler and Gregory weren't around to see what kind of monster their father had become.
Olivia's bedroom light was on, a soft pink and white freckled light that did nothing to ease his trepidation and gut-wrenching fear. He took a breath and walked into the light, and prayed with everything in his being that he and his family would somehow survive this.
"Hello Jen, you're looking…chubby." It was like time had stood still, Jensen thought with an inner shudder. Jared was just tall, just as handsome, and just as massive as he always was. He dwarfed the room, his orange jumpsuit ripped and falling off his body , exposing his massive chest and toned six pack to the world as he cradled a sleeping Olivia in his tree trunk sized arms and held a gun on Stephen, who had Livvie's smoldering pillow in a death grip as he lay crumpled on the ground bleeding from the gunshot wound in his shoulder.
"Oh my god, Stephen!" Jensen cried out in frightened horror once he saw his husband on the ground and his daughter being held hostage.
"Oh, don't worry about him Jensen," Jared said with a flash of teeth that could accurately be called a feral bearing of orthodontia. "I'd really worry about yourself if I were you."
"Why are you here!?" Jensen screamed as he ran towards Stephen's side, who lay motionless on the floor, his tanned skin quickly turning alabaster with each pump of his heart. He grabbed Stephen, who moaned weakly when he shook him. "Why in the hell would you shoot him!"
"Why wouldn't I shoot him Jensen?" Jared asked with acid sweetness as he trained his gun on Jensen. "Isn't Amy here the reason why I've spent the last six years in federal prison? Isn't he the reason why Jensen I've lost everything, my mansions, my cars, my money! Isn't he the reason why my life has turned to shit although granted, it wasn't all blow and blowjobs, even though prison certainly was that for me."
"No…you're the reason you don't have anything Jared," Jensen said after he withstood the flood of crazy that poured out of Jared's mouth, fear making him incredibly truth. "It's because of you and what you are, that's the reason you don't have anything, why you've spent the better part of a decade locked away, you're a fucking complete and utter psycho."
"You've never learned how to shut the fuck up when you're scared Jen," Jared observed with a tight smile. He moved in closer towards Jensen and Stephen, Livvie was starting to twist and turn in his arms Jensen noticed with an agonizing jolt. "Or when to shut up and beg for mercy when said gunman has your daughter in his arms and has put a bullet in your Aryan Super Race boyfriend."
"Jared please, leave Olivia out of this," Jensen said as tears started to fall from his eyes. He tried to stand but was hampered by his belly so he settled on perching on his knees and feet. He stared up at Jared, who was grinning like he'd won the lottery. "She's a little girl and she doesn't d-"
"-Oh calm down Jen," Jared said as he transferred the gun to the hand cradling Olivia as he used the other to run a hand through Olivia's thick blond curls, soothing . "I'm not a complete monster. No, I'd never harm a single hair on her beautiful little head. What I will do though is offer is a deal."
"What are you talking about, what deal?" Jensen's eyes never strayed from Jared's gun.
"Look Jensen," Jared paused magnanimously. "I forgive you."
"Forgive me for what?!" Jensen gasped.
"For being a whore, for allowing that piece of shit to breed you," Jared continued in that same faux pleasant tone. "I'd go on but I think you get the gist of why I'm forgiving you. Anyway, in return for my forgiveness and for allowing the piece of shit that fills your ass to live, I only want one thing from you, well two things."
"What?" Jensen asked. "What in the hell could you want from me?"
"I want you to give me the account numbers to Gregory and Tyler's trust funds." Jared replied.
"Jared, I don't have access or control over the twin's trust funds, your father's lawyers made sure of that." Jensen said slowly. "And even if I did, how could I give you eight hundred million dollars at ten at night in Jolene Texas, a town with a population of less than ten thousand? We're not in Dallas or Carson Jared."
"I know you don't have control of the money Jen," Jared said. "I was just making sure. The real deal is this though, I'll let you and your beautiful little girl leave alive and intact in you can make sure you leave this pretty bedroom a widower."
"What in the hell do you mean?" Jensen said with a panicked sob.
"I mean," Jensen stopped petting Olivia like a pony to reach into his jumpsuit pocket and retrieve a comb that had the handle sharpened into a shiv. He tossed it to Jensen, who let the comb fall to the ground. "If you want to live and for Livvie and the brats you're currently breeding to live, you're going to take that shiv and jam it quick like into Amy's temple."
"No, he's not." Two adolescent boys said in unison. Jensen turned with his mouth open as Gregory and Tyler stood in the doorway, looking eerily like Jared did as a tall lanky teenager dressed similarly in jeans and a blue polo as they trained identical nine millimeters in Jared's direction.
"Boys," Jensen smiled. "No time-"
"Put our sister down." Gregory said.
"Now, before we have to use these, which honestly wouldn't be the worst thing." Tyler added.
"Really?" Jared smirked. "You think you two can take me-"
Pop! Pop! The twins each shot out Jared's kneecaps, who crashed hard to the floor with a bellow of shocked pain. Jen ran forward to a screaming Jared, he kicked Jared's gun to the far end of the bedroom and scooped up a crying Olivia, then ran to Stephen, who was still motionless.
"Why!?" roared Jared as blood poured out of wounds that had shards of gristle and bone exposed in the air. "I'm your father, you're my sons, why the fucking hell would you shoot me?!"
"You're not our father, you're the worst thing that's ever happened to us," Gregory said. "And now it's all over."
"What? N-No, No!"