Notes: Hmm…stuff. Stuff going on. Some sex, some stuff, some confessions, some…strangeness. Oh, Garrett. What is wrong with you?
Part Twelve: It’s Complicated
The bright spot was, Cody would be okay. That was the one glowing, sparkling, shiny fucking bright spot in Jonah’s life right now. His kid would be okay.
Jonah didn’t want to think about the rest of it. Decisions had to be made, he had to…he had to…fuck, he had to tell Garrett what was going on. He had to tell him about Jack, about Kilroy, even though something deep in his soul quailed at the thought of betraying his people. Except Drifters weren’t his people anymore, Garrett was his people, Garrett and his family, but…
Jonah knew it would just take more time. He had to acclimate to a new way of living, but he couldn’t look around this place without thinking about how beyond his scope it was. Even on Paradise, where they had their own house, it was still modest. Three bedrooms, communal living spaces, a decent size kitchen and bathrooms and storage built into most of the walls, and it felt cozy. It felt right. This place, it was just too big. Too opulent. God knows he appreciated the private infirmary, the doctors, all the toys for Cody, everything that Miles’ position and prominence could do for his child. There were no permanent treatments for being a natural, but apparently there were a lot of private therapies that could help boost immune efficiency and even do a little to prolong life. All of that was great.
What wasn’t so great was the waste. There was so much space here, too much for so few people. The mansion was a status symbol, Jonah got that, but it was the kind of symbol he had learned to dislike and distrust from an early age. He could sympathize with Kilroy, despite all of his crudeness and backhanded ways, because he knew how terrible it could be on a ship when your potential ports were drying up, the supercilious authorities jerked them around and denied them access to medical facilities, to credit, to the chance to set up shop. It was a terrible thing to be so isolated and alone, especially when you were in need. And it was hard to reconcile those early experiences with what he was living now.
Garrett stirred against his chest, slowly coming out of a fitful sleep. Jonah bent his head and inhaled deeply, filling his lungs with the scent of his lover as he took a long look at his face. Garrett looked tired, and he still felt cold, despite their close embrace. His skin was strangely waxy, and sweat dotted his forehead and the dark circles just beneath his eyes. Jonah had seen Garrett exhausted, he’d seen him stressed and he’d seen him in a state of drugged up post-operative fugue, but he’d never seen him look quite this bad.
Guilt assailed Jonah, and he pulled Garrett a little closer just as his fiancé’s pale eyes opened. This was his fault; Garrett was worried sick and there was no reason for him to be. Or, well, actually there was plenty of reason, but not for what Garrett was probably thinking about. “Hey darlin’,” Jonah said, speaking softly so he wouldn’t wake Cody, who was stretched out against his leg. The infirmary bed was surprisingly big, and could accommodate all three of them without too much trouble.
“Hey,” Garrett replied, his voice a little hoarse. “Sorry, did I wake you?”
“Wasn’t sleepin’,” Jonah confessed.
“My brain’s too busy.”
“Oh dear,” Garrett drawled, soft and smiling. The smile transformed his face back into the one that Jonah loved best, tender and teasing and private, something that was just for him. “You know, putting brains to sleep is something of a specialty of mine.”
“Is that right?”
“It is,” Garrett said, slowly drawing away from the bed and standing up. “And I have the perfect place for such a thing. It’s kind of a delicate operation, requires a lot of space.” Jonah glanced down at Cody, but Garrett drew his eyes back with a gentle touch to his shoulder. “He’s fine,” he said softly. “He’s sleeping. You need sleep too, and you won’t get it unless we can turn off your brain. Come on, sweetheart. Come to bed. You’ll be back before he wakes up.”
Garrett never had to work hard to convince Jonah to go to bed with him. He stood up, let his fingers linger for a moment on his boy’s head, then followed Garrett out of the infirmary. Their suite wasn’t too far away, and as soon as they entered it Jonah expected to get jumped, but apparently something else was on offer tonight.
The lights stayed low, and Garrett’s arms wound sensuously around his neck as he pressed his lips to Jonah’s chin, to the line of his cheek, his temple and the side of his nose. Jonah strained forward with his mouth, seeking out a kiss, but Garrett evaded him. “No pushing,” he murmured, “no straining. Just relax. Come on.” He backed off and led Jonah over to their bed, nudged and tugged and pressed until Jonah was lying back against the blankets, his head cushioned by pillows, and his body laid bare to Garrett’s ministrations.
“You’re beautiful,” Garrett told him seriously, brushing a kiss against the base of his neck before sliding down his body. Jonah wanted to protest, or maybe confess, but then Garrett took him into his mouth and all of his thoughts vanished. He was still soft and it should have been too much attention too soon, Jonah normally needed something firmer to get himself going, but for some reason Garrett was the exception to the rule. His mouth enveloped Jonah, all of him, hot and smooth and just holding him while Garrett’s hands went everywhere, climbing across his chest and down his sides and across the firm flesh of his ass. Jonah hissed and lifted his hips, making more room for his fiancé’s wandering hands.
He hardened slow and easy, pushing deeper into Garrett’s throat, just the very base of his cock exposed to the air. Garrett didn’t pull back and didn’t stop moving; it was incredible, Jonah didn’t even know how he was breathing, but it felt amazing. Garrett rolled his balls in one hand, tugging gently, while he circled Jonah’s hole with one cool finger.
“Garrett,” Jonah moaned. “Darlin’, come up here, let me—” There was a barely perceptible head shake, an increase in pressure around his cock, and then Garrett slowly pushed his finger, dry, a little ways inside.
“Oh,” Jonah breathed, “oh, fuck, Garrett…” He got deep enough to brush against Jonah’s prostate and that was it, too much, and Jonah tipped slowly and inevitably over into orgasm, thoughtless, peaceful and so right. He drifted for a while, barely noticing when Garrett moved away and cleaned up before coming back to bed. When Jonah reached down to start to return the favor, though, he found Garrett soft. It was strange; he was never soft after giving a blow job. “Darlin’?”
“I’m just tired,” Garrett assured him, pulling the blankets over both of them and curling in close. “Later, sweetheart. Get some sleep.”
“No,” Jonah sighed. “I need to talk to you. I’ve made you wait long enough.”
Garrett froze absolutely still for a second, then relaxed against Jonah’s body. “Tell me.”
Jonah sighed deeply. This was it. Moment of truth. “When I went to meet Kilroy, there was someone else there. It was Jack.”
“Wait, Jack Jack?” Garrett lifted his head a little, real surprise in his eyes. “Your ex Jack?”
“That’s the one.”
“What the hell did he want?”
“To…” Jonah tried to sit up, to make some space, but Garrett held him down. “It’s complicated.”
“Just tell me in the simplest way you can,” Garrett urged him. “Is Jack working with Kilroy?”
“After a fashion. Kilroy wants…he wants information. He want me to,” fuck fuck fuck, “to put skimmers in the mansion. He wants ship names and numbers, for false identities.”
“Okay,” Garrett said soothingly. “Okay, we can deal with that. You haven’t done anything yet, you’re fine, and there’s no reason for you to do anything. What else? What’s the connection with Jack?”
“Jack is Kilroy’s ace in the hole. He wants rights to Cody.”
Garrett lifted his head in shock. “What?”
“I know.” Jonah covered his face with both hands. “I never thought it would happen. He was so against the whole idea of it when I brought Cody home, he was so adamant, I just…I didn’t tie up loose ends. I just took Cody and ran away and tried to leave that all behind, but Jack’s got a lawyer now and…shit.” Jonah took a deep breath, then pulled his hands away and looked straight at Garrett. “The deal is, if I help Kilroy, Jack will work somethin’ out with me. If I don’t, then he sics his lawyer on me and I could get forced into an arrangement that’s not…good. He might be able to take Cody away from me.”
Garrett’s expression was absolutely cold. Jonah lay still, frozen with fear until his fiancé spoke. “First things first, it’s not just you. It’s us. And no matter how good your ex’s lawyer is, I can find one that’s better.”
“You can’t know that,” Jonah insisted. “Law as it applies to Drifters is complicated, and we didn’t exactly get our boy on the up and up. That’s what Kilroy’s banking on, to get me to deal with him.”
“He’s coercing you, he can be arrested for that.”
“He can just deny it all, there’s no record of the conversation.”
Garrett squeezed his eyes shut for a moment. It almost looked like he was fighting himself, but when he opened them again they were clear and calm. “It’s going to be okay. We can handle this. No one is going to take Cody away.”
“No, sweetheart. That’s not going to happen. It simply isn’t an option. Even if the impossible happens and Jack’s got a leg to stand on, I’d be willing to pick up everything and fly our family somewhere not even a Drifter could find us.”
Jonah’s heart lurched a little. “What, leave Pandora? And Paradise?”
“If it means keeping us all together.”
“How could you just—baby, you’ve got so much here, your whole family, your career—”
“It doesn’t matter. You two are more important.” He leaned in and kissed Jonah, long and hard enough to take his breath away. “But it’s not going to be necessary. I promise.” He kissed him again, then settled in against Jonah’s side. “Go to sleep, sweetheart. Go to sleep.” He rubbed his hand rhythmically against Jonah’s chest, and despite himself, Jonah drifted into unconsciousness.
Garrett slowly extricated himself from Jonah’s embrace and out from under the blankets. Jonah stirred but didn’t wake, and Garrett was relieved. His heart was stabbing in time with the burning coal of shame in his stomach. He hadn’t told him. It was his chance, and he hadn’t said anything.
But it wasn’t necessary! Yes, Garrett had a recording of Jonah and Kilroy’s conversation, his ship’s com automatically recorded and saved calls coming through it for two standard months, and yes that could help in the long run, but it wasn’t going to be necessary. And, all right, yes, he had promised to tell Robbie if Kilroy had proposed spying on them, but he knew that Jonah had a soft spot for the Drifter no matter what he said, and he didn’t want to damage that relationship any more than it already was.
A distant part of Garrett’s brain tried to point out to him that he was behaving irrationally, and that it was something to be concerned about. He ignored it. He had other things to do, better things to do. He could handle everything. He got out of bed and straightened his clothes, and left his lover sleeping as he slipped away.