Chapter 1: Chapter One
Jared's breaths were panting out of him as he raced toward the payphone just a few feet away from his car. His cell phone didn't have service out here, and it was almost dead, anyway. But he knew that he needed help. If he was going to get out of this alive, he needed to let someone know where he was – let someone know what had happened.
When he reached the booth, Jared pried the doors open, quickly closing them behind himself. His hands were shaking as he picked up the phone. The rain had been beating down on him, his clothing soaking wet. However, when he couldn't hear a dial tone, Jared's heart sank. So much for that plan.
Headlights blinded him suddenly, letting him know that he was no longer alone. Quickly, Jared wiggled his way through the sticking doors and took off toward the rest stop bathrooms. Once inside, Jared hid in one of the stalls, pulling his legs up so that he was crouching on the toilet. After all, he didn't want anyone to see his feet and figure out where he was.
Much to his horror, almost as soon as the man who was chasing him entered the room, he started kicking in the doors. Jared slapped his hand over his mouth to stifle the cry that wanted to escape him as his brain started working in overdrive. He had to get out of here if he wanted to live.
Before the man could kick in the stall beside him, Jared shoved past the door and booked it outside once again. He managed to make it to his car before the man was even out of the building. Unfortunately, the door was locked, and Jared couldn't find his keys. One look inside the car however told Jared that he'd been locked out of the vehicle, causing the young man's heart to sink once more.
His attention was drawn to the building once more as lightning cracked off in the distance. Again, his heart started racing when he saw the silhouette of the man who was chasing him in the doorway. On a whim, Jared bent his arm, striking the window with his elbow. But it didn't break, so Jared tried again. Still, the window didn't break. Thinking fast, Jared moved a few feet away from the car, grabbing a large rock before he slammed it into the window. This time, the glass shattered, Jared wasting no time popping the lock and letting himself into the car.
Once he was inside the car, Jared tried to start it. Much to his horror, the engine wouldn't turn over. “No, come on, please!” Jared cried, trying to start the car once more. “Come on!” Again, Jared's attention was drawn to the building. He felt his heart leap into his throat when he realized that the man was no longer in the doorway of the building. Jared had lost sight of him again – he had no idea where he was.
Fueled now by another bought of panic, Jared cranked the keys in the ignition once more, letting out a victory cry when the engine finally turned over. Quickly, Jared put the car into Drive and slammed on the gas pedal. However, instead of the car accelerating away from the rest stop, Jared's tires did nothing but spin in the mud. In fact, Jared's car was being pulled in the opposite direction.
Again, head lights blinded Jared as he glanced in the rear view mirror. The giant white truck that had been following him since he fled his home was right behind him. “No!” he yelled once more, trying to force the car to accelerate once more. But it was no use. Jared's tiny little car was no match for the Diesel truck pulling him.
Without much thought, Jared shouldered his car door open, falling out of the car and onto the muddy ground beneath him. Not missing a beat, Jared pushed himself to his feet, racing toward the highway. There was another set of headlights off in the distance, so Jared started waving his arms, trying to capture the driver's attention. “Help! Please!” Jared begged, moving further into the road. “Stop! Help me, please?!”
The sound of tires screeching sounded through the air moments before Jared felt blinding pain throughout his body. The warm sensation of blood trickling from his forehead down the side of his face let Jared know that he was in bad shape. It was getting harder and harder to stay awake as the minutes passed. Jared could hear someone calling out – someone was yelling to call 911. He felt hands on his shoulder and back, gently pressing against his skin.
He wanted to answer the man who was asking him if he was alright, but his beaten body just wouldn't allow it. Every time Jared tried to speak, nothing came out. But he wanted to tell this man about the person who had attacked him and his family in their home. He wanted this man to know why he was out here. But his vision was getting darker, his body feeling heavy. The last thing he remembered was a pair of dirty boots running toward him before his whole world went black.
Jared was drifting in and out of consciousness as he was wheeled into the emergency room. He could hear doctors barking orders all around him; talking about his condition and what they wanted to do to proceed with his treatment. His head hurt so badly that he could barely even register that the rest of his body wasn't in much better shape.
He was having trouble remembering what had happened. Flashes of earlier that night kept coming into his mind, but he couldn't piece it all together. He knew that he'd been followed. Someone came into his house and attacked them – his family, and his husband. He remembered that he'd gotten out and ran to his car. He'd driven until he found a pay phone. After that, everything was fuzzy – it was just a blank.
But he needed to tell the doctors what happened. Someone had been chasing him. Someone had broken into his home and hurt not only him, but possibly his family as well. However, when he tried to open his mouth to speak, nothing came out. And he was so weak. His eyes rolled back into his head as he lost consciousness once more.
Jensen shoved through the automatic doors as they were still opening, pushing his way past crowds of people as he made his way to the reception desk. “Excuse me,” he blurted to the blonde woman sitting behind the desk. “I'm looking for my husband.” He was anxious, rubbing his hands together. “Uh, Jensen Ackles. I got a call. He was just in a car accident. Jared.”
Moving away from the filing that had been occupying her attention, the receptionist sat behind the computer, checking her logs. “Um...Jared is in surgery,” the woman explained, flipping through the data that was on her computer. However, when she looked back up at Jensen, he was on the move. “Wait! You can't go back there!” she called, grabbing her phone when the man didn't listen. “Someone get me security!”
Not worried about what he was and wasn't allowed to do, Jensen raced down the hallway, looking for Jared. He called his husband's name, praying to whoever was listening that he got a response. But he was met with nothing but silence. Panic had his heart racing as he pushed past a couple nurses, calling for Jared once more.
Finally, he saw him. Jensen's heart dropped seeing his lover lying on the gurney, bloodied and broken. Two men exited the room before Jensen could get closer, keeping him from Jared. He could hear them explaining that he wasn't allowed to be there, but Jensen didn't care. “No, that's my husband!” he exclaimed, trying to fight the men. “Is he going to be okay? Jared! Is he going to make it?!”
After putting up quite a fight, Jensen finally allowed the men to escort him to the waiting area. It was going to be a long night from what the nurse had told him. Jared had suffered a brain injury, and there was some hemorrhaging – they would know more once they were able to get in there and assess the situation. It all sounded so scary. All Jensen wanted right now was to be able to curl up around Jared and just hold him.
Sighing, Jensen ran his hands over his face, sliding down the wall until he was seated on the cool tile floor. He had his cup of coffee in hand, and he was settling in for the long wait. As soon as that doctor came through those double doors, Jensen was going to be there to get his update.
About three hours later, the same woman who had been at the reception desk touched Jensen's arm, stirring him from his nap. “Mr. Ackles,” she mumbled, smiling at him when he blinked his eyes open. “It's going to be a while,” she explained. “Maybe you should head to the lounge. It'll be a little more comfortable for you. I'll come get you as soon as your husband is out of surgery.”
The last thing Jensen was thinking about right now was sleep. He didn't want to leave this spot. They wouldn't let him in surgery with Jared, but he sure as hell wasn't going to be told he couldn't sit outside the swinging doors to the surgery area. But, he had to admit that the floor was pretty hard under his tailbone, and he was starting to get stiff. The waiting area was only a few yards away, and if this nurse was going to tell him when Jared was out of surgery, there was really no need to sit here.
With another sigh, Jensen pushed himself to his feet and headed into the lounge. There were hardly any other patrons in the area, so Jensen had his pick of where to sit. He chose to sit in the corner where there was a table he could prop his feet up on. After all, it was going to be a long night, and there was no reason he couldn't be comfortable. Propping his feet up on the table, Jensen rested his head against his knuckles and closed his eyes, the dirt on the bottom of his boots dusting off onto the table they were against.
A few hours later, Jensen was woken by someone nudging his shoulder. Slowly, he blinked his eyes open, frowning in confusion when the nurse's face came into his blurry vision. “Mr. Ackles?” Jensen heard the woman say, continuing to blink the sleep from his eyes. “Your husband is out of surgery.”
Before Jensen could even really process everything that was going on, he was on his feet and moving toward the door. He smiled softly as he walked into the room Jared had been set up in. The kid looked awful. He was still unconscious, and his body was littered with bruises. His arm was in a sling, and there was a bandage around his head. “Hey Jay,” Jensen whispered, leaning over the bed as his index finger lightly stroked over the bandage across Jared's forehead. “It's me. I'm here. I just want you to know that I'm here, and I'm not leaving.”
His eyes studied Jared, watching the non-moving younger man. “Do you hear me?” he asked, only to be met with no response still. “I'm here. And I'm not leaving you. Not ever.” There was still no movement from Jared; Jensen had no idea if he'd even heard him, but he was pleased that he'd at least gotten the words out. Leaning in, Jensen pressed his lips to Jared's forehead, eyes closing as he did so.
About three hours later, Jensen was in the lobby getting himself a much needed cup of Joe. Just as he took his first sip, the nurse who had been at the reception desk the night he came running in showed up a few feet away from him. “Mr. Ackles,” she greeted, a small smile on her lips. “Your husband is awake.”
Jensen met the doctor in the hallway before he headed to Jared's room. He listened carefully as the doctor went over all of Jared's injuries. The younger man was already doing exceptionally well according to the doctor, considering his injuries. Of course, there was a long road ahead of Jared for recovery, but Jensen would help him get there. Apparently, Jared had suffered a broken collarbone, a dislocated shoulder, and a severely sprained ankle. But that wasn't the worst of it – there had been some massive head trauma as well.
A deep frown came to Jensen's lips when the doctor explained that there had been a traumatic injury to Jared's hippocampus. According to the doctor, Jared's long term memory was intact, so he would remember his childhood and his family, and his name. However, his more episodic memory was less reliable. “So, you're telling me that Jared doesn't remember me?” Jensen asked. He became angry when the doctor started telling him it was possible, Jensen shaking his head. “No, don't give me possible,” Jensen argued. “Does my husband know who I am?”
“No,” the doctor answered, obviously feeling pity for Jensen. He went on to tell Jensen that they would get Jared back there, but Jensen wasn't listening. Jared didn't know who he was. Everything about their lives was a mystery to Jared. And Jensen wasn't quite sure how he felt about that.
Jeffrey frowned as he dug into his pocket for his phone. “Morgan,” he answered gruffly as he shoved his keys into the ignition. He listened intently as the deputy on the other line explained that there had been an accident and a young man had been injured. “Yeah, I can be there in forty five,” he assured his colleague as he backed out of his parking space. “E-mail me the details of the case.”
Once he received his e-mail, Jeffrey made himself familiar with his new case. According to the file, last night, a young man was hit by a car. There was evidence of foul play at the scene, and it was now Jeffrey's job to get to the bottom of it. As he drove, Jeffrey worked up a game plan to accomplish his task. He e-mailed his right hand man with instructions to contact everyone who had been involved in the accident so they would be there for questioning by the time he arrived at the station.
It looked like he was going to have a long day ahead of him. The report also had the victim's hospital records attached. The young man – Jared Padalecki-Ackles – had gone through major surgery, and he was in recovery now. His husband had checked into the hospital to see Jared just a few moments after he'd been brought in, so Jeffrey made a mental note to stop at the hospital later that day to question him as well.
When Jeffrey pulled into the parking lot of the station, he sighed, cutting the ignition. He took one last look over the e-mail he'd gotten, noting that Jared had suffered some brain damage. That was going to make the case more complicated. But Jeffrey Dean Morgan was never one to back away from a challenge.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
Jensen took a deep breath as he walked through the door that led to Jared's room. Jared was sitting up, his eyes darting around the room, taking everything in. He looked scared. Jensen hated it. “Hey Jay,” Jensen greeted, keeping his movements slow so he didn't spook him any more than he already was. “Do you know who I am?” When Jared shook his head, Jensen smiled softly at him. He then extended his hand for Jared to take. “I'm Jensen. It's nice to meet you.”
When Jared took Jensen's hand, he felt electricity sparking through him. He felt like it had been so long since he'd been able to touch Jared – it felt amazing. “Can I sit down?” Jensen asked, glancing around the room before his attention fell on a chair by the window. “Right over there?”
Another wide smile came to his lips when Jared nodded. Still, Jensen kept his movements slow as he walked toward the chair, taking a seat. “How are you feeling?” he asked, moss green eyes locked on Jared. “The doctor said you're doing really well after surgery. He's impressed.”
A small smirk came to Jared's lips when Jensen explained the doctor was impressed with his progress. “He said that I had trauma to my brain,” Jared explained. “And...that's why I can't remember you. But...he said you're my husband. And...he said that you were here all night waiting for me to wake up?” When Jensen nodded, Jared smiled shyly. He, um, he also said that he's hopeful that I can regain my memories.”
Now, it was Jensen's turn to smile. Scooting his chair just a little closer, still continuing to be cautious, Jensen reached for Jared, his hand covering the younger man's. “I'm going to be here every step of the way, Jay,” he promised. “I'll help you with whatever you need, okay?” Again, Jensen smiled when Jared nodded. They had a long road ahead of them – Jensen knew that – but they were going to get past this.
Three long weeks passed before Jared was finally released from the hospital. It had been a hard journey – Jared had been ready to give up more than once – but he'd made it. The memory exercises he'd been doing were really starting to pay off, and he felt more like himself. Jensen had been there every step of the way, just as he'd promised. And honestly, Jared was eager to get out of here and go home with his husband. He could practically feel the connection between the two of them, and he wanted to get back to normal. He needed some normalcy in his life right now.
Jensen was beaming when he got the news that he was allowed to take Jared home. He couldn't wait to get back to their cabin and pick up their lives where they'd been forced to leave off. Jensen watched intently as Jared signed his name on the discharge papers, pausing just a moment before he wrote his last name. The nurse assured Jared that things were going to get easier with time – his muscle memory would start to come back.
After assuring the nurse that he would keep up with his memory exercises, Jared was being wheeled out of the hospital. The sun felt warm and nice on his skin as Jensen pushed the wheelchair toward their Jeep. Because his ankle wasn't completely healed, Jensen helped Jared get into the car, making sure the younger man was settled comfortably before he moved to the driver's side and slid in. “Are you ready?” Jensen asked, firing up the engine when Jared nodded.
As Jensen was pulling out of his parking space, Jared glanced into the rear view mirror. Day turned to night as an image flashed through Jared's mind. He was staring through a rear view mirror, scared eyes looking back at him. His head was bleeding, and he could hear rain pounding off of the car. Quickly, Jared squeezed his eyes closed, willing the image away.
“Hey, are you okay?” Jensen asked, hand pressing against Jared's leg as concerned, moss green eyes locked on scared champagne hazels.
“Y-Yeah, I'm fine,” Jared assured Jensen, smiling widely. He wasn't sure how convincing he sounded, but he hoped it was enough. “I just wanna get home,” Jared continued. “Take me home, Jen, please?” That seemed to do the trick, Jared releasing the breath he didn't realize he'd been holding as Jensen put the car in reverse once more and led them out of the hospital parking lot.
The rest of the car ride was done in silence for the most part, Jared staring out the window as he watched the scenery go by. It seemed like they were driving forever before Jensen finally pulled up to a gated driveway. Jared's eyes widened when Jensen punched in a code and the gate opened wide, revealing a long driveway that led to a large log cabin with property stretching on all sides of it. “We live here?” Jared asked, unable to keep his eyes off the beautiful home.
A wide smile came to Jensen's lips when he realized how in awe Jared was of their home. “Yes,” he answered. “For the last 2 years. We bought it right after the wedding. You wanted to live in the country, and I wanted to give you everything you could ever dream of.” Pulling into the spacious garage, Jensen cut the engine, closing the garage doors with his automatic control on the visor. “Do you want to see inside?”
Without hesitation, Jared nodded, dimples denting his cheeks as he smiled widely at Jensen. He swung the door open quickly, allowing Jensen to help him out of the Jeep. His ankle was still a little swollen, but it was healing. The doctor wanted him to put a little bit of weight on it, but not a lot. So he'd sent Jared home with a cane to help him get around. And Jared was determined to get back on his feet in a couple of weeks. The doctor had told him it would take six to eight weeks for his ankle to heal completely, but Jared had already exceeded the doctor's expectations. There was no reason this couldn't be the same. Besides, he didn't want to have to have Jensen helping him with things all of the time. The last thing he wanted was to be a burden to Jensen.
He was in awe as Jensen gave him the grand tour, Jared looking at photos of the two of them splayed out on practically every piece of furniture. They looked so happy – Jared wished that he could remember. Sure, the doctor had told him that his memory would come back in time – at least he was hopeful that it would – but Jared wanted to remember now. “I'm sorry,” Jared whispered, biting into his bottom lip as he and Jensen stood on the back patio, staring off into the distance at their property.
Frowning, Jensen gave his head a small shake. Jared's apology had come out of left field. As far as Jensen was concerned, there was nothing Jared had to be sorry for. The younger man hadn't done anything wrong. What happened to him hadn't been his fault. “For what?” Jensen asked.
Unable to hold the eye contact Jensen held with him, Jared broke it, looking down at the ground. He felt like such a terrible husband. “For not being able to remember. To remember us...or our lives together.” Biting into his bottom lip, Jared fought off the tears of frustration that were threatening to spill from his eyes. “I'm just sorry.”
Gently, Jensen cupped Jared's chin, forcing the younger man to look at him. “It's going to be okay,” Jensen assured the younger man. “I promise. Everything is going to be okay. I know you can't remember anything that happened between us. And I'm not going to pretend that I can even imagine what you're going through, but it's not the end of the world, baby.” Leaning in, Jensen captured Jared's lips with his own. When Jared seemed hesitant to respond, Jensen pulled away, quickly hiding the flash of hurt on his face. “We can make new memories, baby. C'mon, there's one last room I wanna show you.”
Jared allowed Jensen to lead him back into the house, keeping a strong hold on Jensen's hands as he walked into the living room. His ankle was really starting to hurt, but holding onto Jensen for support helped. It took all he had in him to keep his jaw from dropping when he saw the living room. It was spacious, with a large fireplace against the far wall. Jared chuckled when Jensen mentioned there was no shortage of firewood around here. He could only imagine how beautiful this room was in the dead of night with nothing but the fire to light the space. “It's beautiful,” Jared smiled, eyes darting around the room, taking everything in.
Another wide smile came to Jensen's lips as he watched Jared take in his surroundings. “I wish you could remember our wedding night,” Jensen mused, eyes raking over Jared. “We never even left this room.” The heat that rose to Jared's cheeks had another smirk coming to Jensen's lips. He could hardly wait to remind Jared of that night.
Now that Jared had seen the whole lower floor, Jensen wanted to discuss sleeping arrangements. As much as he wanted Jared in his bed, he didn't want the younger man to over exert himself. “So, I was thinking that I'd start you out in the guest bedroom down here,” Jensen explained, walking slowly so Jared could keep up now that he'd opted to use his cane for a little while. “It's closer to the kitchen—”
“No special treatment,” Jared argued, cutting Jensen off. He'd made it very clear that he wanted to get back to his normal routine. If he was ever going to remember anything, he needed to be able to get back on the horse. He needed to be able to get back into his life and just pick up where he'd left off. And while he could understand that Jensen didn't want him to push too hard, he needed this. “I want us to get back into our old routine,” Jared argued, ignoring Jensen when he said he didn't want him to over do it. “So, where is our bedroom?”
It figured that their room would be on the second floor. But Jared was determined. And with a lot of help from Jensen, Jared managed to make it up the two flights of stairs and into their room. It was just as beautiful as the rest of the house, with a master bathroom attached that was the size of Jared's hospital room. Once Jared was settled, Jensen explained that he was going to get the rest of his stuff, leaving Jared alone in their bedroom. Sighing, Jared headed to the window, looking outside at the yard he and Jensen had. Again, he wished that he could remember his life before that night. But nothing came back to him. Not yet, anyway.
Jeffrey had to fight back the urge to roll his eyes when the man in front of him seemed to get agitated that he had to repeat his story. “I don't care about them,” Jeffrey assured the man when he said that he'd already told the other guys this part. “You're talking to me now.”
Realizing that he wasn't going to get out of this, the man sighed, trying to remember everything about that night. For the last few weeks, he'd been trying to do everything in his power to forget, and now he was being forced to relive it. “I don't know. It was dark. It was raining,” he recalled. When Jeffrey asked if he'd been speeding, the man sadly nodded. “Yeah. I just wanted to get home. I didn't even—I didn't see him until it was too late. It was an accident.”
Quickly, Jeffrey nodded, realizing that the man was becoming defensive. “I know,” he assured him. “That's not why I brought you in.” There were some discrepancies in the story he'd gotten, and Jeffrey needed to verify a few things. “I wanna know if you saw anyone else there.” When the man immediately answered no, Jeffrey continued, “How about other cars in the parking lot? Did you see any?”
Realization dawned on the man as he slowly nodded. “Yeah,” he answered. “Now that you mention it, there was...this white pick up. I think it was pulling a car.” Again, he nodded when Jeffrey repeated the words back to him. “Yeah, with a hauling winch, a cable. I remember thinking it was kind of strange.”
Now they were getting somewhere. “Did you see where the truck went?” Jeffrey asked. And just like that, the lead he thought he had was gone when the man answered no. Apparently the truck was already gone when the ambulance arrived. And now it was Jeffrey's mission to find out where it had gone.
After thanking the man and releasing him, Jeffrey was feeling pretty damn good about himself. At least he was until he went to talk to his Sargent. “He didn't say anything about a pick up before,” the man argued with Jeffrey, not sure why he was dragging this out. They'd gone back to the crime scene a few nights after it happened and ruled out any signs of foul play. But apparently Jeffrey wasn't willing to let it go.
It suddenly dawned on the man why Jeffrey was so eager to make this into something it wasn't. Ten years ago almost to the day, Jeffrey's wife had been in an accident. She'd passed away on her way to the hospital. And every year since then, Jeffrey tried to bury himself in work. “All I'm saying is, maybe there wasn't a truck.”
Anger bubbled up inside of Jeffrey when the Sargent tried to make this case seem like it was nothing. They may have all believed no foul play was involved, but Jeffrey had a bad feeling. “He either drove himself there and someone stole his car, or he was dropped off,” Jeffrey assured the other man. “Either way, someone else was there.”
“I know what week this is for you, Jeffrey,” the Sargent explained sadly. He didn't go into too much detail when Jeffrey pleaded with him not to. “Whatever you do, won't make up for what happened.” And Jeffrey knew that – the Sargent was sure he did. But he also couldn't afford to have his guys wasting time with jobs that weren't necessary.
Angrily, Jeffrey argued, “Scratches and bruises on his wrists! They were defensive wounds!” He'd read through the file over and over again when he couldn't sleep at night. There was something he was missing. Jared Padalecki shouldn't have been at that rest stop that late at night. And he sure as hell shouldn't have been running out into the middle of the road.
When one of the deputies interrupted his thoughts to let him know that one of the witnesses from the scene was there, Jeffrey asked him to bring him back. “Sorry, Sarg, you're not going to get rid of me that easily,” he smirked, backing away toward his cubicle. “This was no accident.” Heading toward the witness waiting for him, Jeffrey took a seat, ready to find out what this guy knew that he'd been holding back.
Jensen excused himself when his phone rang, stepping outside in an attempt to get better reception. “Detective?” Jensen asked, obviously shocked to be speaking with someone from the police station. “Yeah, uh, I have a few minutes to answer some questions.”
”Excellent,” Jeffrey answered on the other line. This should only take a few minutes. They said they found Jared at a rest stop. Off 33, near Brubaker Canyon. When was the last time you saw him?”
Scratching his head, Jensen tried to remember the details of that day. “Uh, that night,” he answered. “He'd gone out to get some groceries. He wanted to make dinner. I waited about an hour...and I tried to call his cell phone. But he didn't answer. And then I called the store, and they said they hadn't seen him.”
Jensen's eyes widened when Jeffrey asked if he and Jared had been having problems at home. Quickly, Jensen asked what he meant, listening intently to Jeffrey as he explained that he was trying to piece together the events of the night that Jared had been in his accident. Why he showed up at a rest stop with no I.D. “And I'd love to know the same thing,” Jensen assured the detective. “But we were just married. And we'd just moved to the mountains. So, no...there were no problems.”
That didn't really fit the profile as far as Jeffrey was concerned. But he had nothing else to go on other than Jensen's word right now. “Just one more thing,” Jeffrey continued. “When your husband went to the store, did he take his car?” When Jensen answered that he had, Jeffrey felt like he'd won the lottery. “It's missing. I've put a report out on the car just as a precaution, but now that I know he did have it, I'm glad I took those measures.”
Although Jensen still couldn't understand why the police were involved, he wanted to know what they knew. “Well, how's that going?” he asked, eager to gain any kind of knowledge he could. “Have you had any luck finding the car?” He could feel anger boiling inside him when the detective told him that he hadn't found anything yet, but he'd spoken to a few witnesses. “Really? Did they see anything?”
Now Jeffrey was going to test the waters. Usually in cases like these, it was someone the victim knew. And nine times out of ten, it was the spouse. “Well, two of them thought they saw a white pick up truck leaving the scene of the accident. One of them thought that it might be pulling your husband's car.” When he didn't receive the reaction he wanted from Jensen, Jeffrey continued, “Well, the other thought he may have seen plates from his vintage Cadillac convertible.”
Still, Jeffrey didn't get the reaction he wanted. Figuring that it was pointless to keep pushing this, he suggested, “But, in the meantime, I'd really love it if your husband could come down to the station tomorrow. Maybe he remembers something.”
The last thing Jensen wanted to do was go down to the station. And he sure as hell didn't want to drag Jared down there while he was healing. “Look, we literally just got home,” Jensen argued, trying to make it clear he didn't want to bring Jared there without flat out telling the detective no. “The last thing I want to do is overwhelm him.” But the detective was persistent. “Yeah, tomorrow at 11:00,” Jensen finally agreed, rolling his eyes. “We'll see you then.” With that, Jensen hung up.
Sighing, Jensen headed back into the house, jumping slightly when Jared asked him what was happening tomorrow at 11:00. “Huh?” Jensen asked, trying to play it off as though he didn't know what Jared was talking about.
Unfortunately, Jared wasn't willing to let his go. “I overheard you outside on the phone,” Jared explained, feeling heat coming to his cheeks once more. It wasn't like he'd been spying – Jensen just talked loud.
“Oh, yeah, that was work calling,” Jensen lied. “Just wondering when I'm coming back. But I told them that we just got home, and there's no way I'm rushing your recovery.” Leaning in, Jensen pressed a kiss to Jared's forehead before he took a seat at the table across from the younger man.
Jared was really getting used to the gentle kisses and touches from Jensen. It felt nice, actually. “Are they okay with me taking time off?” Jared asked. He honestly hadn't even thought about work since he'd woken up. It wasn't exactly high on his list of priorities, after all.
Again, Jensen frowned at Jared, pity clear in his eyes. “Baby, you actually quit your job when we moved out here,” he reminded gently. “Yeah, we'd decided that we wanted to start a family, and this was the best way to do it. We came out here for the fresh air, and no stress.”
For the second time since he'd woken up, Jared felt dread tighten in his stomach. He'd felt it before in the hospital when Jensen had to remind him that his parents were no longer alive – they'd died in a fire a few years back, and Jared hadn't been able to remember that. “No job, no family,” Jared mused, feeling quite alone. “What about friends?” he asked, feeling a little hopeful. “I gotta have friends, right?”
Chuckling, Jensen nodded. “You have plenty of friends,” he assured Jared. “Since the move, we don't see them as much as we used to, but it's not like we don't talk to them.”
The fact that he did have friends made Jared feel a little less alone. “Do they know what happened?” Jared asked, knowing that he hadn't spoken to anyone since he'd woken up other than Jensen. And for some reason, Jared couldn't find his phone. He had absolutely no idea where it was. Apparently, it hadn't been on him when he'd been brought to the hospital.
Jared was just full of questions this morning. Jensen felt like he was getting the third degree. “Yeah,” he answered with another nod. “I spoke to Sandy when we were leaving the hospital. I asked her if she could tell everyone. She and Chad will visit when they come back from Hawaii.”
Now that he knew his friends were coming to visit, Jared felt a little giddy. “Maybe I should reach out to them, too,” he suggested. “Maybe it'll help bring back some memories.” And Jared wanted that more than anything. He wanted so desperately to be able to remember everything about his life. His smile only widened when Jensen assured him that he thought that was a great idea. “I, um, I still can't find my phone.”
“Next time I'm out, I'll just pick you up a new one,” Jensen promised. It wasn't like the two of them were hurting for money. And Jared's phone had been an old piece of shit anyway. Jensen was more than happy to get him a new one.
Another smile came to Jared's lips when Jensen offered to get him a new phone. Biting into his bottom lip, Jared studied Jensen's face. He was a beautiful man. Jared was surprised he'd gotten so lucky. “We were happy, right?” Jared asked, studying Jensen's face and body language.
This new line of questioning shocked Jensen, the older man's brows knitting together in confusion. “Baby, we're still happy,” he assured the younger man. Taking a chance, Jensen leaned in and pressed a gentle kiss to Jared's lips. “Okay?” He smiled widely when Jared repeated him, feeling closer to the younger man already.
Jensen watched as a Cadillac convertible sped down the road, parking along the street in front of a one-story home. He exited his own car as the man put the convertible into park. “Excuse me,” he called after the man before he could enter his home. “Sir!” When the man turned to face him, Jensen stepped closer. “Why are you asking about Jared Padalecki?” he demanded, not taking his eyes off the man in front of him.
The man quickly became defensive as he stood to his full height, asking Jensen why he cared. “Actually, I care a lot,” Jensen assured him, angry that the man wasn't answering his questions. He didn't come here to play 20 questions – he wanted answers. Again, he got frustrated when the man asked him who he was – as if that actually mattered. “His husband,” Jensen answered, allowing the tire iron he'd been hiding to fall into view.
Without another word, Jensen slammed the tire iron into the back of the man's head, forcing him to the ground with the blow. Angrily, Jensen struck again, hitting the man between the shoulder blades. “Stay away from my husband!” Jensen shouted as he landed another blow. He was about to hit him again when the sound of the convertible's alarm went off. Quickly, Jensen looked around, panic rising in him as the alarm blared loudly for the whole neighborhood to hear.
Roughly, Jensen grabbed the man, dragging him out of the view of the nosy neighbor who'd come onto her porch to investigate the sound of the car alarm. He put the man in a choke hold, grunting softly as the man tried to claw his way out of Jensen's hold. Just as the neighbor walked back into her home, Jensen felt the man's neck snap beneath his arms, the man's body going limp in his grasp.
The car alarm was still going off, so Jensen quickly shoved the man off his lap and searched for the keys. Once he had them, Jensen cut the noise before he got back to work. He quickly loaded the man into the back of his Jeep before he sped off in the direction of his and Jared's home.
Once he was back home, Jensen headed to the back yard where all of the plants and the garden was. He dug the man a shallow grave there, tossing him into the dirt and burying him. Sighing, he wiped the sweat from his brow before he headed back toward their house, completely unaware that Jared had seen him in the back yard from their bedroom window.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Jared stared out the window in the kitchen, playing with the spoon in his coffee Jensen had made for him. He couldn't get the image of Jensen outside digging in the back yard out of his mind. He wanted to know what he was doing out there, but he didn't know how to ask. Honestly, he was a little scared of the answer. “You were up late,” he muttered instead, hoping that Jensen would open up and give him the answers he was seeking on his own.
“Yeah,” Jensen answered, keeping a close eye on the food he was preparing for Jared. “I couldn't sleep. How about you?” Jensen wasn't about to tell Jared that he'd had to take care of a man who may have been dangerous to the two of them. It was better that Jared didn't have to know about these things. Jensen had taken it upon himself to keep Jared safe, and he wasn't going to let anyone jeopardize that.
A small smile came to Jared's lips when Jensen asked how he'd slept. “I slept okay,” he answered with a nod. He'd only woken up once and that was because he'd heard something outside. Turned out that it was just Jensen. And it didn't seem like the older man was too keen on giving up any information about what he was doing.
Now, it was Jensen's turn to smile. “Yeah?” he asked, happy to hear that Jared was adjusting well to their new home. “All right, eggs, scrambled soft, just like you like them.” Jensen smiled when Jared thanked him for his breakfast, heading over to the counter once more. “I'm going to the store this afternoon. I'm going to pick up that phone for you. Is there anything else you need, baby?”
It was a nice gesture, and Jared appreciated it. “Nope, I'm good,” he assured Jensen with a smile. When Jensen asked if he was sure, Jared smiled again. “I'll be fine,” he assured the older man. “I feel like I need to take a look around. Maybe something will jog my memory.”
Although Jensen wanted Jared's memories to come back, he didn't want him to push himself too hard, too fast. “Okay, well, don't over do it, baby,” he warned. “Your memories will come back on their own. Just keep doing your exercises and your memory games, and you'll get there, baby.” Grabbing an orange, Jensen asked, “Do you want orange juice?”
Orange juice – that sparked a memory. “Fresh squeezed?” Jared asked, smirking at Jensen when he didn't answer. “I'm right, aren't I?” Jared asked, his smile widening when Jensen nodded. Jared turned his attention back to the window as Jensen praised him, noticing that there were oranges growing in the back yard where Jensen had been last evening. And just like that, Jared felt better about Jensen being out so late.
Jeffrey sighed as he rocked back in his chair, running his hands over his face. “Mark,” he started, staring at his favorite deputy. “Do you know how many white pickup trucks there are in this county?” He chuckled when Mark told him he couldn't guess. “Too damn many.” Sighing once more, Jeffrey looked up at the clock, realizing that it was well after 11:00. “Do I have anyone waiting up front for me?”
Chuckling, Mark glanced over at Jeffrey. “Do you have a date?” he asked, not having missed the way Jeffrey had been staring at the clock every few minutes for the last hour. His friend was really immersing himself into this case. And much like the Sargent, Mark had an idea why. But he sure as hell wasn't going to mention it.
“I think I've been stood up,” Jeffrey answered his friend, grabbing his jacket off the back of his chair as he stood. If Jensen wasn't going to bring Jared here, Jeffrey was going to see if he could go to him. After all, if he couldn't speak with the victim, there was a high likelihood that he wasn't going to be able to close this case.
Quickly, Jeffrey dialed the number he had for Jensen, sighing once more when he got the machine. Not bothering to leave a message, Jeffrey looked back to Mark. “Do me a favor. Run a trace on this number. I'm going out.”
About twenty minutes later, Mark called Jeffrey's cell phone to relay the information he'd learned. “I ran a search on our database for Jensen Ackles, but nothing came up,” Mark explained. It was really beginning to look like this guy wasn't who he claimed to be. “I can run on a search on the address he gave us, and I'll let you know what I find.”
After thanking Mark, Jeffrey ended the call just as he was pulling into the parking lot of the hospital. He stepped through the sliding doors, catching the attention of the receptionist. “Good afternoon,” he greeted, a wide smile on his lips. “My name is Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I'm investigating the case of Jared Padalecki. I've been trying to get a hold of Jared to interview him, but I seem to be coming up blank. Could you do me a favor and look up the contact information you were given for the couple?”
Alona smiled gently at the detective, quickly typing in Jared's information. Once she had what she was looking for, she scribbled it down on a slip of paper and handed it to Jeffrey. “This is the address his husband gave us.” Again, she smiled when Jeffrey thanked her. “Um, can you do me a favor? When you speak to him, can you have him call us and schedule a follow-up appointment? I've been trying to call him, but it just goes to voicemail every time.”
That was curious. “Will do,” Jeffrey assured the young woman. “Just one more thing. Did Mr. Padalecki ever mention a white pickup truck?” There had to be something to that truck. There was no way it was a coincidence that it was in that parking lot dragging a car on the same night Jared was injured. Something had been going on. And Jeffrey was going to get to the bottom of it.
“No,” Alona answered, shaking her head in confusion. “I don't think so. I mean, he didn't really talk about what happened that night a lot when he was here. Because of the nature of his injury, he doesn't remember much. The doctor is hopeful that his episodic memory will return, but it could take time. A lot of time.”
And unfortunately, time was something Jeffrey didn't really have a lot of. “Thank you for all of your help,” Jeffrey smiled, heading out of the hospital with the address he'd been given in hand. It was the same address that he'd given Mark just an hour ago, but it was worth a shot heading out there. After all, it wasn't that far from the hospital, and it wasn't like Jeffrey had anything else going on this afternoon. Until he could get a hold of Jared or Jensen, he was kind of at a standstill.
A wide smile came to Jared's lips as he flipped through the photo album Jensen had given him while he was in the hospital. He'd looked through these pictures so many times since the accident that he could probably describe them in his sleep. But it made him feel good looking at them – like he was there all over again. Like he was reliving the experience.
When he flipped the page to look at their wedding photo, Jared's smile widened. They looked so happy together. A good-looking couple as far as Jared was concerned. Visions of the day flashed through Jared's mind like a video. “I'll love you forever and a day,” Jensen smiled, placing the ring on Jared's finger.
Suddenly, the image changed to the two of them in front of the fireplace in their living room. Jensen's lips crushed against Jared's, tongues tangling in a frantic dance. When Jensen pulled away, he smirked up at Jared, slowly sliding down the younger man's body.
Before Jared could let his mind wander too far, he snapped himself out of it. After all, he didn't want to get himself too excited while he was sitting in their bedroom alone. Flipping the page, Jared saw a picture of the two of them at what looked like a work party. But there was something strange about it. His brows knit in confusion as he looked closer, seeing the image in the mirror didn't match up with the picture of Jensen and Jared. The hair was too dark – almost the dark, chestnut color of Jared's rather than the lighter, verging on blonde hair that Jensen had. “What is that?” Jared asked himself, pulling the album closer to himself. “That's weird.”
A little creeped out now, Jared set the album aside. Maybe his mind was playing tricks on him. As quickly as he could, Jared pushed himself to a standing position, biting into his bottom lip when his ankle protested the initial weight. He was definitely feeling a lot better, but he wasn't completely healed yet. But he wasn't going to let that stop him from doing the things that he would normally do. Like walk down the stairs on his own.
It took a lot longer than he would have liked, but he finally made it down the two flights of stairs and into the main entrance of the house. Once he was down the stairs, Jared grabbed the photo that was framed sitting on the end table and looked very closely at it. Something was off – it just didn't seem right. Almost like Jensen had taken a photo of Jared and someone else and just slapped his face over the other person's. But that was insane. Wasn't it?
He needed to get to the bottom of this. Jared needed to put his mind at ease. Moving into Jensen's study, Jared rummaged through the desk drawers and the bills and other papers on the desk. Nothing was helpful – there was nothing out of the ordinary, and Jared thought he was probably just being paranoid. But there was one more thing he wanted to check out. Quickly, he opened Jensen's laptop. Of course, it was password protected, though.
But Jared needed on this computer. He needed to know if there was something Jensen wasn't telling him. Quickly, Jared typed in his name, figuring maybe that was the password. But he got an error saying that it was incorrect. Taking a moment to think, Jared attempted to put his full name into the box, feeling discouraged when he was given that same error message. He was about to try again when he heard the door opening, letting him know that Jensen was back from the store.
As quickly as he could, Jared slammed the computer closed, pushing himself to his feet and turning toward the bookcase on the opposite wall. He smiled widely when Jensen greeted him, slowly starting to make his way toward his husband. “Hey!”
“Look at you!” Jensen exclaimed, closing the distance between himself and Jared. His hands automatically moved to wrap around Jared's waist, helping the younger man hold up his own weight. “You made it down the steps. All on your own, baby. You're getting stronger every day.”
For a moment, Jared wondered why he'd even be leery of Jensen. Clearly, this man loved him. And wasn't that enough for Jared to believe what he'd been told? But there was that nagging voice in the back of his mind that was telling him something was off about their relationship. “I was just exploring,” Jared explained, gasping in shock when Jensen pressed their lips together. He smiled sheepishly at the older man when the kiss broke, gently sliding past him and walking toward the end table. “Just seeing if anything felt familiar.”
Although Jensen hated it when Jared pulled away from him, he knew the younger man probably just needed a little more time. But Jensen was getting tired of waiting. He wanted Jared – he'd been here for him since the beginning and he didn't understand Jared's hesitation with him now. “Got it,” he smiled, allowing Jared his space for the time being. “Well, as promised,” he started, pulling out a brand new cell phone for Jared. “This is for you. I had them set it up for you there, so it should be all ready for you to use it.” He nodded when Jared thanked him and took the phone. “So, how was it?”
Confused, Jared cocked his head to the side. “How was what?” he asked, not sure he knew what Jensen was referring to. Surely, Jensen didn't know that Jared had been trying to snoop through his things. Or maybe he did, and he was seeing if Jared was going to incriminate himself. Now, Jared was really acting paranoid.
Jensen placed the bags on the ground before he moved to stand next to Jared once more. “While you were wandering around,” he explained. “Did anything come back to you?” Jared seemed like he was being distant. It was actually starting to worry Jensen a little bit.
Of course Jensen was curious about Jared's memory. Why wouldn't he be? He was Jared's husband, after all. And as far as Jared could tell, he only wanted what was best for him. “No,” he answered sadly, glancing down at his cell phone. “No signal,” he read off the screen, glancing up at Jensen in confusion once more.
Shrugging, Jensen answered, “Yeah, well...welcome to the mountains. Our cell phone service is kind of hit or miss out here. That's why we have that old boy.” He chuckled when Jared turned his attention to the land line just off to the side of Jensen's laptop. “Alright, how about you and I get some dinner? I'm sure you're starving. I know I am.”
Another wide smile came to Jared's lips when Jensen suggested they get some dinner. “Yeah, I could eat,” he assured his husband, taking the arm Jensen offered him for support as they made their way to the kitchen. Maybe Jared was just being ridiculous about Jensen. The older man hadn't given him any reason to believe that he was being dishonest about anything. And here Jared was second guessing everything Jensen did. He felt like a real asshole all of a sudden.
Jeffrey straightened his tie as he walked up the stairs to the small, one story home at the address Jensen had given the hospital. He rapped on the door three times before it opened, revealing a fragile older woman. He smiled at her when she asked if she could help him. “I'm looking for Jared Padalecki,” he explained, frowning almost immediately at the look of pure confusion on the woman's face.
“Who?” the woman asked, frowning deeply at the detective. She nodded when Jeffrey rattled off her address. “Yes, this is the place. But someone must've given you the wrong information. It's just me and my husband here. And we've been here for the last fifty years.”
Again, Jeffrey frowned, figuring that he had been played once again. “And you've never heard of a Jared Padalecki or Jensen Ackles?” he asked, just to be sure. It was no surprise when he was told the woman had no idea who they were. “Thank you for your time. I'm sorry to have bothered you.”
As he walked back to his car, Jeffrey called the department. “Hey, it's me,” he explained when Mark answered the phone. “Looks like Jensen Ackles gave the hospital the wrong address.” If Jeffrey hadn't thought before there was something fishy about that man, he was definitely on high alert now.
Mark explained that maybe Jensen had just filled out the forms wrong, but Jeffrey wasn't buying it. There were too many discrepancies in this story. Something was going on. And Jeffrey was going to get to the bottom of it. “Let me ask you something,” Jeffrey started, wanting to run the facts by Mark just in case he was being too critical. “Did anyone actually run the victim's prints?”
“Well, we didn't have to,” Mark answered on the other line. ”The husband identified him.”
Of course he had. Still, there was something else that was bothering Jeffrey. “How did they find him to let him know he was hurt?”
Well, that actually raised a good question. At the time, no one had questioned it because there was so much going on. But now that Jeffrey was asking, that was a little strange. Leaning against the wall, Mark explained, “That's the thing – I asked, but...nobody could remember calling anybody.”
And there it was. If no one called Jensen about Jared, then how did he know? Jeffrey had a good idea, but he needed to do a little more research before he just accused him of something. “I don't suppose you got anything on that number I gave you?” He rolled his eyes when Mark explained that it was a burner. And of course, there was no signal, so he couldn't even trace it using GPS. “Keep me posted,” Jeffrey ordered, ending the call. It was time he headed back to the hospital to see if he could get the answers he was looking for.
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
“Nurse Tal said, as memories come back, wires can probably get crossed,” Jensen reminded Jared as he plugged his phone into the charger. He knew that Jared was having a hard time coping with the memory loss, and he was going to be with him every step of the way – just as he had been from the beginning. “You're healing. That's good news, baby. That's all that matters right now.”
Deep down, Jared knew that Jensen was right. At least he was only suffering from memory loss. Given his injuries when he got to the hospital, it could have been so much worse. “I know,” Jared assured Jensen, tossing the covers back on his side of the bed and climbing under them. “I'm just so confused. I hate feeling like this.”
Joining Jared in the bed, Jensen cupped his lover's cheek, thumb brushing against Jared's smooth skin. “Oh baby, I know,” he sympathized. “Are you alright?” he asked, seeing that Jared seemed to be struggling to get comfortable. His ankle was probably bothering him from the exertion of the day. Jensen was going to try to keep the younger man off of it tomorrow. He smiled softly when Jared assured him that he was fine. “Your memories are going to come back,” Jensen promised. “I promise you. And we've got every day from now, for the rest of our lives to make new ones.”
There was just something about Jensen that made Jared feel safe. Like everything was going to be okay, regardless of his brain injury. It wasn't like it was hindering Jared from anything, after all. So what if he couldn't remember everything about their lives before the accident? Jensen didn't seem to mind. “I know,” Jared answered, smiling softly at Jensen. “You're right.”
Slowly, Jensen's hand slid from Jared's cheek down his arm, rubbing circles against the younger man's wrist. Leaning in, Jensen pressed a kiss to Jared's forehead. “I'm glad you're home,” he whispered, eyes raking over his husband's body. He hadn't seen enough of it since Jared got back, but now, it was like Jared was on display for him. His shirt was off, and he was wearing loose sweatpants, much like Jensen.
It was so hard to resist Jared. He spent practically every minute with the younger man, and every minute he wanted nothing more than to hold him – to kiss him, and just claim him as his. Because Jared was his – he'd made sure of that. Taking a chance, Jensen leaned in and pressed his lips to Jared's. When the younger man didn't pull away, instead returning Jensen's kiss, Jensen became bolder. His tongue slipped past Jared's lips and teeth to tangle with Jared's own as his hand slid up Jared's arm once more to cup the back of his head, fingers carding through Jared's shaggy brown hair.
A soft moan escaped Jared's lips as Jensen kissed him, the younger man allowing Jensen to roll him onto his back and blanket Jared's body with his own. Jensen's hand slid from Jared's hair down his side before he gripped Jared's thigh, coaxing the younger man to wrap his leg around his waist.
However, when Jensen's hand landed on his leg, it sparked another memory. Jared was in front of a fireplace, bound to a chair. A man's gloved hand slapped against his jean-clad thigh. He felt fear engulf his whole body in an icy cold blanket as his breathing picked up and his heart slammed against his chest so hard that he was sure Jensen could hear it beating.
He pulled away like he had been burned, panic causing his breaths to pant out of him. He could hear Jensen asking him what was wrong, but he couldn't answer. Reaching for the lamp on the bedside table that he'd turned off just before climbing into bed, Jared turned it on. “I'm sorry,” he apologized, trying to get his breathing under control. “I'm sorry, I can't.”
Now, Jensen was getting frustrated. Jared was just teasing him, and that was unacceptable. “You can't?” Jensen repeated, unable to get his anger under control. Rolling his eyes, he leaned back against the headboard, trying to will his body to calm down.
Jared's breaths were still panting out of him. He felt awful about not being able to follow through, but there was absolutely nothing he could do about it. There was no way he could just forget that memory. He needed to know what it meant. “Maybe...I just need more time,” Jared breathed, his eyes pleading with Jensen to understand.
“Oh, for God's sakes, Jay,” Jensen complained, reaching for Jared once more. His knuckles brushed against Jared's side, sliding upward. He ignored the fact that Jared jumped at his touch, not willing to let this go. “I am your husband.”
Not understanding why Jensen was being so aggressive about this, Jared quickly slid away from him, making sure there were no part of their bodies touching. “Please?” Jared whispered, continuing to try to get his breathing under control.
But Jensen didn't back off. Instead, he grabbed Jared's arm roughly, pulling him closer once more. “Listen to me,” Jensen ordered. “I sat in that damn waiting room every night because I couldn't stand the thought of not being there when you woke up.” When Jared struggled to get free, Jensen tightened his grip. “I was there through every step of your recovery, and this is what I get? A husband who won't even let me touch him?”
This was a side of Jensen that Jared had never seen before. Usually, Jensen was so loving and gentle with him. But now, he was angry and harsh. “You're hurting me,” Jared whimpered, pleading with Jensen with his eyes to just let him go. He couldn't do this right now – it wasn't that he didn't want to, but he just couldn't.
Just as roughly as Jensen had grabbed him, he released Jared. Quickly, Jared pressed his hand against the pain where Jensen had been holding him, his whole body shaking as he tried to understand what had just gotten into his husband.
It took Jensen a few more moments to get his breathing back under control. He was just so angry that Jared had turned him down after giving him hope, and he'd lashed out. “Look, I'm sorry,” Jensen apologized, knowing that he'd been out of line. “Okay? I didn't mean it. I'm just stressed out, baby.” He watched as Jared turned the lamp back off and slid under the blankets, pulling them up to his chin as he rolled onto his side away from Jensen. “Come on, Jay,” Jensen pleaded, sighing when Jared ignored him. “Right,” he muttered, pushing himself out of the bed. He wasn't about to sleep in here when he knew that he was in the dog house.
He gently closed the door behind himself, padding to the stairs as quietly as he could. When he reached the main entrance, Jensen headed to his study and turned on his laptop. The events that had just transpired a few minutes ago rolled through his head like a bad home movie. As he remembered grabbing Jared, he slowly shook his head. Before he knew what was happening, Jensen started hitting himself over and over again, reprimanding himself for being such a damn idiot. Quickly, he pulled up the screen he'd been after, watching the live feed of Jared in the bed. He looked so scared as he fluffed up the blankets and tried to get comfortable once more. “Goodnight,” Jensen whispered to the video of his lover, watching as Jared finally laid down and seemed to get comfortable.
Detective Morgan sighed as he leaned back in his chair, flipping through the photos of Jared that had been taken at the hospital upon his arrival. He picked up his phone when he reached the last photo, dialing the number of the hospital. Alona Tal answered, bringing a smile to Jeffrey's lips. “Nurse Tal, Detective Morgan,” he greeted.
“Hi Detective,” Alona smiled. “Have you had any luck finding Jared?” Honestly, she was really worried about him. When they'd released him, she had been very clear about keeping his appointments for optimal healing time. And so far, he hadn't contacted them once. It was very odd.
At the mention of Jared's name, Jeffrey frowned. He wanted to give her good news, but he just didn't have any. “Unfortunately, no,” he answered. “I was wondering though, could you pull surveillance footage from the night that he came in?” When Alona asked what he was looking for, Jeffrey answered, “A white pickup truck with a winch.”
He held the line as Alona asked security for the footage, smiling when Mark handed him the real estate records he'd asked for. Sure enough, the house he'd gone to belonged to the woman he'd met when he knocked on the door. And she hadn't been lying about them living there for practically their whole lives. “Thanks Mark,” he smiled. “Now go home. Before Samantha blames me.” He smiled once more when Mark told him that he'd tell her Jeffrey said hello. “Please do.”
A moment later, Alona was on the line once more. “I'm still here,” Jeffrey assured her, eager to know what she had found. Alona assured him that security had pulled the video file and they'd e-mailed it over to him. “Just one more thing,” he answered when she asked if there was anything else he needed. “Since Jared had no ID, how did Jensen prove he was his husband?”
Quickly, Alona searched through Jared's file. “Um...it says here in the doctor's notes that he showed some family photos of the two of them.” She smiled sadly when Jeffrey thanked her for her time. “I'm sorry I couldn't be more help, Detective. If there's anything else you need, feel free to give me a call.”
When he hung up the phone, Jeffrey pulled up his e-mail. He was practically shaking when he opened the video surveillance feed. His eyes focused on a white pickup truck that had backed into a parking space. The door swung open and a man stepped out – Jensen Ackles. Leaning back in his chair, Jeffrey ran his hands through his hair. “Son of a bitch.”
Jared stared out the window of his bedroom, looking at the back yard with longing. He was still reeling from the night before. He hadn't spoken to Jensen since. Actually, he had no idea where Jensen even was. And he hadn't slept very well the night before either. A part of him thought that was because Jensen wasn't there with him, but he didn't know for sure.
All of those thoughts from the other day came rolling back into Jared's mind. Maybe there was something off about their relationship. He really needed to get into Jensen's computer. It held all of the answers he was looking for – Jared was sure of it.
In the window, Jared saw Jensen walking into the room. “Good morning,” Jensen greeted, a wide smile on his lips. “I brought you something.” Still Jared ignored Jensen. But Jensen pulled a large bag of gummy worms out of his pocket anyway, shaking them at Jared. “They're your favorite. You remember, right? Every time you and I would go on a long trip, we'd pick you up a bag at every gas station we stopped at. And you'd never get tired of eating these little buggers.”
The only recognition Jensen got from Jared was a small head turn before the younger man looked back out the window. “Look...um...” Jensen started, turning his attention to the window as well. “I owe you an apology. What I said last night was not fair. And it just...it got away from me. And I'm sorry.” Now, Jared turned his attention to Jensen, his eyes searching the older man's face. “If you want to take it slow, we will take it slow. Absolutely. I just...I want you to be comfortable.”
A wide smile came to Jared's lips when Jensen apologized, dimples denting his cheeks. “Thank you,” he smiled, turning on the bed so that he was facing Jensen. “And I'm sorry that I couldn't...you know...last night. I wanted to. I just...I got scared.”
Taking a chance, Jensen sat on the edge of the bed next to Jared. He was happy to see that the younger man didn't flinch when he reached for him this time. “Don't be sorry,” Jensen shushed, taking Jared's hand in his own. “You don't have to explain anything to me, baby. I just...I want you so badly. And last night when you rejected me, it hurt. But I understand that you're going through a lot, okay? And when you're ready, we can get back to where we used to be. And I can wait as long as you need me to, baby.”
Another smile came to Jared's lips when Jensen told him that he could wait for him. That's all he wanted. He just needed Jensen's support – and he knew he had it. But last night had scared him. Though, it meant a lot to him that Jensen had apologized. Taking the gummy worms from Jensen's hand, Jared tore open the bag. “Do you want some?” he offered, chuckling happily when Jensen pulled a worm from the bag and popped it between his luscious lips.
Jeffrey took the few stairs leading to the front door of Gerald and Sharon Padalecki's home. Taking a chance, he knocked on the door, waiting for someone to answer. When no one did, he called out, “This is the police!” Again, he knocked, but there was no answer. “I'm coming in!” he called out, trying the door. He was shocked when it opened right up – most people kept their doors locked at night.
Once he was inside the house, he tried to turn on the lights. However, when he flipped the switch, nothing happened. “Hello?” he called out again, grabbing his flashlight and turning it on. At the table, he found rotting fruit, and what looked to be plates with half-eaten meals on them. Something was definitely off about this. “Is there anyone here?” Still, no answer. Slowly, Jeffrey reached for his gun, not sure what he was walking into.
As he moved further into the house, the smell of rot and decay hit him like a brick, almost sending the contents of his stomach back up. “Hello? Jared Padalecki?” he called, hoping that Jared wasn't the source of the smell. A few more feet down the hallway, there was a door that was ajar. The smell grew stronger as Jeffrey made his way into the room.
On the bed, the sheet was pulled up to the headboard, covering two figures. Although it was the last thing Jeffrey wanted to do, he pulled the sheet back, gasping in a mixture of shock and horror at what he'd revealed. There were two corpses, one male and one female – Jared's parents if Jeffrey had to guess. Judging by the pattern of decomposition, Jeffrey would have guessed they'd been there for almost two months, but he'd know more once the medical examiner took a look.
The time line fit, though. Jared had been taken to the hospital about two months ago. Jeffrey could only imagine what had transpired here. Jared was probably lucky he didn't have his memories from the looks of this place. Quickly, Jeffrey checked the rest of the house, taking note that it appeared a struggle had taken place in the living room by the fireplace. Once he was finished, Jeffrey exited the home, calling his findings into the police station right away.
Jared dared a glance behind himself as he ran through his house, his attacker quick on his heels. He'd been spending the night with his parents and his husband when someone had broken into their home and attacked them. He didn't know where his parents were right now, nor did he know where his husband was. All he knew was that his husband had told him to run, and he'd done what he was told.
He grabbed the wall as he made a quick right turn, getting out of his attacker's view. Once he felt that he was safe, Jared pushed himself into the closet, closing the door almost completely as he watched the scene outside unfold in front of him. He could see just a little sliver of the man through the crack in the door as he walked past, knife held tightly in his gloved hand.
In an attempt to keep quiet, Jared slapped his hand over his mouth, fighting the urge to cry. He was so scared – he just wanted to know that his husband and his parents were okay. Before he had a chance to even think, the door to the closet burst open and Jared was face-to-face with his attacker.
Jared gasped as he woke up, sitting straight up in the bed. The events of his dream were still fresh in his mind, causing Jared to be jumpy and on edge. He reached across the bed, groping for Jensen, only to be met with the mattress. His eyes searched the room, seeing no signs of his husband. However, as he started to calm down more, Jared heard the shower running, letting him know exactly where Jensen was.
Slowly, Jared pushed himself out of the bed, limping toward the bathroom door. “Morning,” he greeted, smiling softly when Jensen answered him. “So...any plans for today?” he asked, moving toward the bed once more. There, he found Jensen's coat, the younger man rifling through it until he found Jensen's wallet. He wasn't really listening to what Jensen was saying as he flipped through bank cards and gift cards that Jensen had in his wallet.
It was just sheer luck that Jared heard Jensen ask if he had plans, Jared quickly thinking of something to say. “How about, uh, we do a romantic dinner tonight?” he suggested, hiding Jensen's wallet under the comforter when the older man came out of the bathroom. “Yeah...how about I cook for us? What's your favorite again?”
A wide grin came to Jensen's lips as he wrapped his towel loosely around his hips. “Italian,” he answered. “You make a killer lasagna.” Moving to the closet, Jensen started sifting through his clothes, trying to find something decent to wear for their date tonight.
“Do you mind going out and grabbing us a few things?” Jared asked, knowing that he needed to have Jensen out of the house if he was going to do some snooping. He smiled when Jensen assured him that he didn't mind. “And some wine, too?” White or red? Hmmm...good question. “Better get red if we're having Italian.”
A few moments later, Jensen emerged from the closet, dressed in loose-fitting jeans and a Henley. “Red it is,” he smiled, leaning in to press a kiss to Jared's lips. “I'll be right back.” He smiled once more when Jared told him to drive safe, grabbing his jacket before he headed out the door. Jensen wasn't about to take any chances today though – he knew Jared had been snooping around in his things, and he wasn't going to give Jared the opportunity to mess with his computer today. So, he locked the bedroom door before he headed out of the house.
When Jensen left, Jared heard the snick of a lock, bringing the younger man's attention to the door. As fast as he could manage, Jared hobbled over to the door, frowning when he tried to open it and it wouldn't budge. “Did he just lock it?” Jared asked himself, trying the door once more. “Jensen?” he called, continuing to pull on the door. “Jensen, the door is stuck! Jensen?!”
The sound of a car pulling out of the driveway pulled Jared's attention to the window. If Jensen had locked him in this room, Jared was even more determined to get out now. Again, Jared grabbed Jensen's wallet, going through each compartment until he found a driver's license – his driver's license. When he'd been taken to the hospital, he hadn't had his ID on him. Apparently because Jensen had it for some reason.
Not wasting another minute, Jared pulled on a pair of jeans and a hoodie, moving toward the door once more. Using one of Jensen's credit cards, Jared managed to get the door unlocked. He almost fell down the stairs because he was going too fast, but he managed to keep his footing by holding onto the banister. He couldn't afford to make any mistakes here. After all, it was only a matter of time before Jensen realized that he'd forgotten his wallet.
Once Jared made it down the stairs, he immediately went to Jensen's study. Flipping the laptop open, Jared tried the password one more time – JaredPadalecki-Ackles. And just like that, he was in. Pulling open folders, Jared found photos of Jensen against what looked like a green screen. There were dozens of them. Jared could only imagine what those had been for.
Finally, opening one last folder, Jared felt his heart sink into his stomach. There were dozens of photos that he recognized – only there was one small detail that had been changed. Jared didn't recognize the other man in the photos, but he knew these ones hadn't been tampered with. The man in these photos was Jared's husband. And Jared had absolutely no idea who Jensen was.
The scenes from Jared's nightmares flashed through his mind once more. Only this time, Jared remembered the face of the man who had attacked his childhood home – it was Jensen. He'd come there that night looking for him. He'd killed Jared's parents, and his husband, and then he'd followed Jared to that rest stop.
Panic flared through Jared's entire body as he tried to get on the internet. Unfortunately, there was no internet connection. Picking up the phone, Jared tried to get a dial tone, but was met with nothing. Panic quickly turned to frustration as Jared searched for the modem, hoping he could get things back up and running. However, when he realized that the wires had been cut, and they weren't attached to anything, he needed to figure out a different plan.
Quickly, Jared grabbed his cell phone, slamming the laptop closed once more. He hobbled his way out of the house and into the back yard, holding his cell phone up high above his head in an attempt to get a signal. After a few moments of no success, Jared flipped the phone over, popping off the back. Again, his heart dropped when he realized the phone had been tampered with. The battery was in place, but it looked like it had been burned up.
Now the only hope of escape was to run. But with his injured ankle, it was hard to do more than limp. And that was slow going. Pocketing his broken phone, Jared headed toward the woods, only to trip and fall into a hole when he reached the orange bush. As he pushed himself to his hands and knees, Jared saw the decaying hand of a corpse.
Before Jared could even scream, something hit him from behind, knocking the younger man unconscious.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Jeffrey studied the photos on the wall of the office Jared had worked out of up until about two months ago. The younger man looked very happy at what seemed to be an office party. He was hanging off the arm of an equally attractive man, smiling widely. “Who is that in the photo?” Jeffrey asked the manager who had been helping him, pointing to the man beside Jared.
“Oh that?” the manager asked. “That's Joe Manganiello.” Glancing at the detective, the manager asked, “Is there something wrong? Did-Did something happen to Jared? Or Joe?” Sighing, the manager reminisced about when Joe and Jared had been working there. “They were always so happy. They were the big office couple. HR usually frowns on that kind of thing, but they were cute together, so what're you gonna do? They left the company right before the wedding and moved out to the country.”
Interesting. “So, Joe Manganiello?” Jeffrey muttered to the manager. “That's Jared's husband?” His frown deepened when the manager confirmed his statement. Taking a closer look at the picture, Jeffrey noticed a familiar face in the background looking at Jared. “Who is this man right here?” he asked, pointing to the photo once more.
The manager leaned closer to the photo so he could get a good look at who the detective was referring to. “Jensen Ackles?” he asked, frowning at Jeffrey once more. He rocked back on his heels when Jeffrey asked if Jensen still worked there. “Not for the last couple of months,” he answered. “He and his supervisor had a little disagreement. Jensen, uh, broke his nose in three places. I mean, Jensen's a smart guy, but he has a hell of a temper.”
Jeffrey had heard enough. He needed to find Jared as soon as possible. It was obvious some foul play had taken place, and now Jeffrey was going to make it his personal mission to find Joe Manganiello as well as Jared. He had a bad feeling that Joe wasn't as lucky as Jared was, though, and he had probably met the same fate as Jared's parents. But his body hadn't been found with the parents, so Jeffrey had to wonder where the hell they were. “I'm going to need all of the contact information you have for Jensen Ackles.”
As the manager headed off toward the back room, Jeffrey stared at the picture once more. This whole situation was so messed up. And to think his Sargent had wanted to shut down this whole investigation. If Jeffrey hadn't pushed for this, Jared could have been stuck with his captor forever. Jeffrey needed to get to the bottom of this. He needed to find Jared, find his husband, and possibly put Jensen behind bars.
Consciousness slowly started to grip hold of Jared, his vision blurry as he blinked a few times. “Jared?” he heard someone calling his name. He was being moved – carried up the stairs. Damn, it was Jensen – he must be heavy. “Jared?” he heard the voice again. “You okay? You took one hell of a fall.” Jared's head hurt like crazy. But he couldn't remember what he'd done to make it hurt so badly. Gently, he was placed on the bed in their room, Jared trying to get away from Jensen. “Oh, baby,” he heard Jensen say, the older man's hand cupping Jared's cheek and turning his head so he could see the damage that had been done. “That doesn't look good at all.”
Still loopy from losing consciousness, Jared tried to push Jensen's hands away from him. He needed a minute to think. “What happened?” Jared asked, blinking slowly as he tried to get focused again. What the hell had he been doing? And why did his head hurt so badly?
Roughly, Jensen unzipped Jared's hoodie, pulling it off his right arm first, then his left. “What did you think was going to happen?” he asked, shaking his head. “Roaming around in the yard in your condition. What were you doing out there?”
As Jensen continued to strip Jared down, moving to his shoes now, Jared started to remember what he'd been doing out in the yard. “What's going on?” he asked, pulling his feet away from Jensen. “Wait, what did you do to my phone?” he demanded. “And the internet? Why don't we have any internet?”
Not listening to Jared, Jensen shushed the younger man once more. “Don't get so worked up,” he instructed, moving to the night stand and grabbing Jared's medication from the drawer. “Here, take your medicine, okay?”
“No,” Jared argued, trying to push Jensen's hands away from him. “I don't want to take medication!” He fought against Jensen once more when the older man told him to rest, Jared trying with everything he had in him to refuse the medication, though he ultimately failed. “I don't want to rest.”
Still, Jensen didn't listen to Jared as he tipped the younger man's head back and made him wash down the pills with some water. “You need to,” he assured his husband, frowning at Jared's attempts to push him away. “It'll be good for you.” A small smile came to his lips when Jared swallowed. “Okay, now give that about twenty minutes or so, and there won't be anymore pain, I promise.”
Taking a seat on the bed next to Jared, Jensen dunked a cloth into the glass of water and started to clean up the wound on Jared's head. The younger man looked so scared – Jensen hated seeing him like this. He wanted to just wrap his arms around Jared and make him feel better, but the younger man just seemed to want to fight him at every turn.
Everything was falling apart. Jared didn't even know which way was up anymore. Jensen seemed like he wanted to help him, but Jared knew that he'd been sabotaging him since he got here. They were cut off from the rest of the world, and Jared didn't understand why. “Who the hell are you?” Jared asked, eyes locked on Jensen's as he knit his brows in confusion.
A mixture of hurt and anger flashed across Jensen's features at Jared's question. “What do you mean?” he asked, obviously offended as he pulled away just a bit from Jared.
Jared wasn't sure what he was doing. All he knew was that there was something going on here and he wanted answers. Those pictures on Jensen's computer had been fishy and Jared needed to know. Pushing at Jensen's arms, Jared demanded, “What did you do with my husband?!”
As soon as the words left his mouth, Jared knew he was in trouble. Jensen's features changed into someone unrecognizable as he pulled Jared to the foot of the bed. “What are you doing?” Jared asked, watching as Jensen forced his sprained ankle over the foot of the bed. “Jensen, wait,” he pleaded. When he saw the chain link come out of Jensen's pocket, Jared started to struggle. “No.” However, his movements didn't deter Jensen from his task, the older man securely locking Jared to the bed.
With each wrap of the chain, Jensen complained, “After everything that I have done for you, I'd hoped that by now, you'd give me a little more gratitude.” He shushed Jared as he locked the chain around his ankle. He then reached for Jared, cupping his head between his hands. “Shhh...just stay right here. I'm going to get some work done. Everything's gonna be fine, I promise.
When Jensen left, Jared felt his heart rate kick up a notch. “Wait!” he pleaded, though Jensen didn't turn around. “No! Wait! Please?!” He was trapped here. Roughly, he pulled at his restraints, only stopping when his already injured ankle screamed in pain. “Jensen!”
By the time Jared woke up, he had absolutely no idea how long the medication had knocked him out for. Sitting up, he looked around the room, wiggling his foot once more. “Jensen?!” he called out, waiting for an answer. Calling the older man's name twice more, Jared finally deduced that his husband was still out of the cabin. Quickly, Jared went to work on getting out of his restraints.
Laying back on the mattress, Jared grabbed the headboard and pulled, using all of the upper body strength he could muster. The pain was almost unbearable as Jared wrenched his injured ankle into an awkward position, feeling the tendons and muscles pulling agonizingly.
But it was all worth it when Jared finally got free. Almost immediately, Jared moved to the door, using the same credit card he had stashed to pick the lock. He managed to make it down the stairs without incident, hugging the banister with his good arm as he limped down each stair one by one. When he finally made it to the landing, Jared took a small break to steady himself before he limped into the kitchen.
After rifling through each drawer, he finally found what he was looking for – duct tape. Quickly, he sank to the floor with his bad ankle out in front of him. He made quick work of making a make-shift cast with the duct tape before he pushed himself to his feet once more. At least now when he was limping around, it didn't hurt as badly.
Quickly, Jared limped into the garage, his eyes widening when he saw a car – his car. Moving around to the driver's side as quickly as he could, Jared managed to climb inside. Of course, the keys were missing, but he wasn't going to let that deter him from his plan. He yanked down the visor to see if Jensen had hidden the keys there, but he found nothing. Searching through the center console, Jared found his phone.
His hands were shaking as he stared at the home screen of the phone. It was him and his husband on their wedding day. His actual husband – Joe. The pictures from earlier he'd found on Jensen's computer had sparked a memory.
Before Jared had time to think, the garage door started opening, forcing the younger man to move quickly. Hiding in the back seat, Jared watched as Jensen walked into the room with a bag of lye tossed over his shoulder. Jensen then moved to the back of the car, opening the trunk for a minute before he made a disgusted noise. Jared could only imagine what the noise was about – he'd gotten the scent of decay as soon as he'd walked into the room.
Just as quickly as Jensen had entered the room, he walked out then, closing the automatic door behind himself. Thinking fast, Jared climbed out of the car and headed back into the house. Luckily, he managed to make it to the bedroom before Jensen, Jared quickly tossing a blanket over his lower half so Jensen wouldn't realize that he'd gotten out of his restraints. He then tossed his phone under a pillow and laid down, pretending to still be asleep.
When the door opened, Jared slowly blinked his eyes open, smiling at Jensen. “You're back,” he greeted, trying to be as calm as possible. If he just pretended that everything was okay, there was a chance he could stall Jensen long enough to come up with a plan on how he was going to get out of there.
Jensen watched Jared with suspicious eyes. “I ran into Nurse Tal while I was out,” he explained, eyes searching Jared's face. “She asked how you are doing.” Taking a step closer to Jared, Jensen leaned over reached for the blanket covering Jared's legs. “How are we doing, by the way?”
Just as Jensen was about to pull the blanket up, there was a buzzing noise coming from downstairs. It just kept buzzing, causing Jared to look around with fear. “What is that?” he asked, his frown only deepening when Jensen pressed a finger to his own lips as if telling Jared to be quiet. Without a word, Jensen then headed out of the room and down the stairs to the main living area.
Irritation thrummed through Jensen as he pressed the button on the intercom. “Hey, we're actually busy right now,” Jensen explained, trying his best not to sound as annoyed as he was. “It'd be great if you could come back another time.” His insides curled around on themselves when Detective Jeffrey Dean Morgan answered that he just wanted to talk. Jensen wasn't in the mood right now. But if he said no, he knew that it would look suspicious. “Sure, yeah,” he answered. “Come on in.”
As soon as the gate started to open, Jeffrey drove through, parking in the driveway behind Jensen's Jeep. As he stepped out of the car, Jeffrey took notice of everything around him. This place was very secluded. And he realized quite quickly that he didn't have cell service here. Walking around back, Jeffrey called for Jensen, but was met with no answer. Instead of calling out again, Jeffrey decided that he was going to explore the grounds. Technically, Jensen had invited him in.
Around back, there was a large object covered by a tarp. Leaning over, Jeffrey grabbed the edge of the tarp and pulled it up just a bit, revealing the white truck with the hauling winch he'd been looking for practically since he'd started this case. Bingo. Letting the tarp fall from his fingers, Jeffrey pulled to his full height, a smug smirk on his lips. He'd been right.
Hearing knocking from behind him, Jeffrey turned, his eyes widening when he saw Jared. “Help!” Jared mouthed, smiling at Jeffrey when the detective realized that he was there. “There's a door, in the back,” Jared mouthed, pointing toward the back of the cabin. Jeffrey didn't wait for more instructions, heading around the house to the door Jared had informed him of.
Before Jeffrey could open the back door Jared had led him to, Jensen jumped him from behind. The crowbar he was holding landed against Jeffrey's skull with a sickening crack, knocking the detective unconscious. Jensen then caught a quick glance of Jared before the younger man started limping off. But Jensen knew this place better than Jared did and he wasn't injured, so he managed to make it around to the front of the house and inside before Jared even made it to the main living area.
Jared gasped in horror when he almost ran into Jensen. The older man grabbed Jared so hard that he could feel the bruises forming under Jensen's fingers. “No,” Jared protested, wincing in pain as Jensen forced him backward to the couch. “No, ow! Get away!” His injured arm slammed against the back of the couch when Jensen shoved him onto the cushions, causing him to cry out in pain.
“We are really starting to have some trust issues, aren't we?” Jensen growled, shoving Jared against the couch harder, not caring when the younger man cried out in pain.
Pain flared through every inch of Jared as Jensen held him down against the couch. He felt tears pricking at the edge of his eyes, but he refused to let them fall. “Please...just tell me who you are,” Jared begged.
For a second, Jared thought he saw hurt flash in Jensen's eyes. But it was quickly replaced with anger. “I'm your husband,” Jensen answered. “The sooner you realize that, the better things will be, I promise.”
Because he wasn't prepared for a fight, Jared was able to roll onto his good arm and kick his leg out, forcing Jensen off of him. Unfortunately, Jensen didn't go very far, sitting almost gracefully on the end table beside the couch as he caught Jared's bad ankle in his hand. “No,” Jared whimpered, watching as Jensen studied his ankle. “No, please, no.”
Jensen had to admit, he was pretty impressed with the makeshift cast Jared created for his ankle. “Did you do this?” he asked, turning Jared's ankle in his hands. “Not bad.” Again, he ignored Jared's protests as he ripped the duct tape off his ankle and tossed it aside. His hand rested on the bottom of Jared's foot as he explained, “Now, the only way this is ever going to get better is if you stay off of it, Jay.” Wrenching Jared's foot, Jensen ordered, “Promise me you'll stay off of it.” When Jared just sputtered and cried, Jensen pressed against his foot harder. “Say it. Say it, Jared.”
“I-I-I p-promise I'll stay off of it,” Jared managed to cry out. His eyes slid closed when Jensen pressed a kiss to the large bruise on his ankle. Once Jensen released him, Jared tried to stand on his own, only to have Jensen help him. He leaned against Jensen as they made their way up the steps once more, Jared feeling slightly defeated. “What did you do to Detective Morgan?” Jared asked, wincing in pain when Jensen moved to shove him onto the bed.
Anger was radiating off Jensen – he just didn't understand why Jared was acting like this. “Do you have any idea what I've done for you?” Jensen demanded, shoving Jared onto his back when he tried to get up. Moving over to the nightstand, Jensen swiped his arm across the top, sending pictures of him and Jared flying across the room. Without another word, Jensen left the room, closing the door behind himself.
Once Jensen was out of the room, Jared reached for his cell phone and limped out onto the balcony. “Come on,” he begged, shoving his phone high into the air. “Come on, please?” Still, there was no signal. “Damn it.” Hearing noise from the other side of the house, Jared quickly moved back to the bed, hiding his phone once more.
The rope in Jensen's hand was the first thing Jared saw when the older man walked into the room. “Jensen...” Jared started, eyes wide with horror. “What are you doing?” As Jensen came closer, Jared tried to scoot further away from him, but his ankle was killing him, and it was hard to get a good grip on the sheets. “No, don't,” Jared pleaded as Jensen gripped his wrists and started tying him to the headboard. “Jensen, please, stop it. Please don't do this.”
Although he could process that Jared was speaking, Jensen wasn't really paying any attention to what he was saying. Roughly, Jensen ripped the sling off Jared's arm, not caring when the younger man cried out in pain. Jared had done this to himself. If he would have just stopped digging into their lives and believed him, they would be fine right now. But no, Jared had to go and ruin everything by playing detective.
Securing Jared to the headboard, Jensen complained, “I don't know why I try anymore. All I have ever wanted was for you to love me. And for you to see how much I love you. I would have given up my entire world just to be a part of yours.” Anger slowly bled into sadness as Jensen started to realize there was a chance he was never going to have that with Jared.
Tears continued to track down Jared's cheeks as Jensen tied him tightly against the bed. “Please?” Jared begged. “Whatever you want me to do, I'll do it.” That was the only way Jared was getting out of this alive, and he knew it. “Jensen, please...just tell me what you want. We-We don't have to pretend anymore. Or lie. I promise.”
When Jared said he'd do anything he wanted him to, Jensen couldn't help but scoff. There was no doubt in his mind that Jared was going to do as he was told – he had no choice. “I know it's not your fault,” Jensen assured the younger man. Because you can't remember. Do you know how many years I spent working with you in that office? Years getting to know you? Only to have the great Joe Manganiello to swoop in and steal you right out from under me?”
Gently, Jensen cupped Jared's face, fingers brushing the younger man's long bangs from his eyes. “I know you better than anyone else. I'm the one you should be with. Not him.” Jensen's hand snaked behind Jared's head, fingers carding through the younger man's sweat damp hair. “So, I fixed it. I got rid of anyone who was a threat to us. I came for you that night, thinking I was going to have to convince you that we were better off together, but then the funniest thing happened. Fate gave us a second chance. Now, with a clean slate, I could give you the life that you always deserved. We could start a new chapter, just you and me. Together – like it should be.”
Without thinking, Jensen leaned in, crushing his lips against Jared's. Surely, after he explained everything that happened, the younger man would have to see they were right for each other. Unfortunately, Jared was still being difficult.
Almost as soon as Jensen kissed him, Jared bit down on Jensen's plush bottom lip. “Don't touch me!” he ordered when Jensen pulled back. Immediately, Jared regret his decision. Jensen gripped Jared's hip hard enough to bruise, roughly flipping Jared onto his stomach. Jared cried out in pain when his injured arm was cranked into an awkward position. “Ow! Jensen, don't! Please, you're hurting me! Stop!”
“I'm really starting to feel unappreciated,” Jensen hissed in Jared's ear. Without skipping a beat, Jensen gripped the hem of Jared's T-shirt, shoving the fabric up the younger man's body to bunch at his shoulders. He then turned his attention to Jared's sweatpants, yanking that fabric off Jared's body as well. He grabbed Jared's injured ankle and twisted when the younger man tried to roll onto his back once more to keep Jared from kicking him. “Don't fight me on this, Jay. It's happening. The only thing you have control over is how much you're going to let yourself enjoy it.”
Once Jared was naked for the most part in front of him, Jensen moaned appreciatively. Slowly, Jensen allowed his hands to slide over his lover's legs, starting with Jared’s muscular calves, then moving upwards to his thighs before sliding over the firm globes of Jared’s ass. Jensen wasted no time stripping out of his own clothes before he straddled Jared's thighs. “You look so beautiful right now…all spread out for me like a good little lover.”
“What are you doing?” Jared asked, frowning as he felt Jensen’s fingers kneading into the muscles of his ass. “Stop it. Why are you doing this to me?” Honestly, Jared didn’t expect an answer – at least not a sane one, anyway. This had obviously been the plan all along. Jensen wanted him, and he was learning very quickly that he would do whatever it took to get what he wanted. And now that the perfect lie Jensen had worked up had been broken, there was no telling what he had in store for him.
Jensen quietly shushed Jared, his thumbs dipping into the crack of Jared’s ass and pulling his cheeks apart, revealing the quivering, tight little pink hole Jensen was after. God, his lover was going to feel so damn good around him. “Don’t fight this, Jared,” he warned, scooting down the bed so that he was level with Jared. “You’ll only make it more uncomfortable for yourself.”
That was all the warning Jared got before Jensen’s hot, wet tongue was pressing against his entrance, causing the younger man to yelp in surprise. Jared tried to close his thighs as much as he could, but Jensen shouldered them apart again, letting out an almost inhuman growl against his flesh. He cried out softly when Jensen’s tongue slipped past the first ring of muscle and Jensen started wiggling his tongue inside him. It just felt so awkward, and the fact that it was Jensen only made it so much worse. “Jensen, please stop,” he whispered, pressing his forehead against the pillow as a tear slipped down his cheek.
Little by little, Jensen started to add his fingers, pressing into Jared with the help of his saliva, opening the younger man up for what was to come. He was ignoring Jared’s soft pleas for him to just leave him alone, Jensen figuring that Jared didn’t really mean it. When he was finally finished, Jared would understand why he had to do this, and everything would be fine. Jared would forgive him, and they would be fine. Better than fine, actually; hell, maybe they'd even make this fake marriage a reality. They’d have that unbreakable bond between married couples, and everything would be right in their world again.
Once Jensen could easily slide three fingers into Jared, he pulled back, spitting into his hand and stroking his hard, leaking dick a few times to get it wet. He then slowly pushed into Jared’s body, making sure he took his time so he didn’t hurt the younger man. As soon as he was buried to the hilt inside Jared, Jensen covered Jared’s body with his own, his front pressed flush against Jared’s back as one hand came up to stroke through Jared’s sweat-damp hair. “Shh…baby, just relax,” he cooed in the younger man’s ear, pressing a soft kiss to his neck. “I’m gonna make you feel so good.”
After a few minutes, Jensen pulled back experimentally, smiling when he realized that Jared must have adjusted to the invasion. He kept his movements slow at first, gradually building up to a faster, rougher pace, his hands gripping Jared’s hips as he moved to sit on his knees, maneuvering Jared’s body so that they were in the most comfortable position. Well, he got Jared as comfortable as he could possibly be with his wrists bound to the headboard. “Oh fuck, Jay, so good,” Jensen moaned softly, one hand sliding down around Jared’s hips to stroke his lover's semi-hard dick.
A small moan of protest broke out of Jared's throat, Jensen taking that as a sign that the younger man was enjoying himself. He then picked up his thrusts, angling his hips so that each time he pushed into Jared, his cock hit his lover's sweet spot, making Jared moan in pleasure. “God Jay, you’re being so good for me, baby,” he moaned, his thumb flicking over the tip of Jared’s cock, gathering the precum that was resting there and using it to lube his way along his lover's hard length.
“Jensen, please?” Jared begged softly, his head hanging between his shoulders as he panted out his breaths. He didn’t want this, but his body wasn’t listening to his brain. For some reason, he was responding to Jensen's touches, and it made him sick. His shoulder was screaming from the awkward angle Jensen had it at, so Jared just tried to focus on the pain instead of the pleasure Jensen was making him feel. The last thing he wanted to do was enjoy his assault. “God, Jensen, please, don’t…ungh.”
It only took a few more strokes before Jared’s back was bowing, pressing his hips against Jensen’s more roughly as his orgasm was ripped out of him. Jensen stroked his lover the whole way through it, pressing soothing kisses along Jared’s shoulders and against his neck as his own body went rigid, balls tightening close to his body as he spilled his seed into Jared's body.
He barely remembered to roll off Jared so he didn't crush him, Jensen feeling completely sated after his orgasm. But he knew he couldn't let this last. He'd killed a federal agent on top of 4 civilians – they needed to get the hell out of dodge. Rolling onto his side, Jensen undid the ropes binding Jared to the bed, rubbing the younger man's shoulders to help him get his circulation back. “I'm sorry, baby,” he whispered, pressing a kiss to Jared's injured shoulder. “Is your shoulder okay?”
Jared felt like he was going to puke. Jensen had just raped him, and now he was acting like it was just another fucking Tuesday. But Jared was a smart guy – he knew if he didn't play along, he'd end up like everyone he'd loved. “It hurts,” Jared mumbled, rolling onto his side so that his back was facing Jensen.
It was obvious that Jared was mad at him. But Jensen knew that he would get over it. “I know, baby,” he mumbled. Slowly, he rolled onto his side, grabbing Jared's sling and handing it to the younger man. “Put this back on, Jay. We've gotta go.”
At the mention of them needing to leave, Jared turned to look at Jensen. “Go?” he asked, brows knitting in confusion. “Go where?” Jensen was already out of bed and dressing once more, though Jared made no attempt to move. He wanted answers, dammit.
“We can't stay here, baby,” Jensen explained, grabbing a duffel bag and tossing some of both his and Jared's clothes into it. As of right now, no one knew that he was responsible for any of these deaths, but he was sure that it wouldn't last. “We're gonna get out of here. Start a new life somewhere – just the two of us.” He realized that Jared wasn't making any attempts to move still, his face falling. Quickly, he grabbed Jared's pants, tossing them at the younger man. “Get dressed, Jared. Now. We're leaving.”
Although the last thing Jared wanted to do was get dressed and go somewhere else with this lunatic, he knew he had no choice. Without a word, Jared pushed his aching body off the bed, quickly pulling his pants back on. He then placed the sling on his arm once more, adjusting it so that it was holding his shoulder in the most comfortable position. Jensen had probably just set back his healing a few weeks with his attack, but there was nothing Jared could do about it now.
Once Jared was dressed, Jensen tossed the last few items they would need into the duffel bag and ushered him out of the room. He made sure to help the younger man down the stairs since his ankle was still injured before he helped Jared into the car. He then climbed behind the wheel, smiling over at the younger man in the passenger seat.
Without thinking, Jensen leaned over, crushing his lips against Jared's. Slowly, he slid his lips across Jared's cheek, pressing a kiss to his temple. “I love you,” Jensen breathed into Jared's hair. He then leaned further, pressing a kiss to the juncture under Jared's jaw where his head met his neck. “Forever and a day, baby.”
Jensen was completely oblivious to the tear that slid down the right side of Jared's cheek as he pulled out of the garage and hopped on the main highway.