Title: Out of Hiding
Companion to: Hiding
Ken saw Jess waiting for him as he pulled into the driveway. And God did he look a sight. Decked out in dark brown leather pants, a harness across his chest, and a wild look in his eyes that Ken could see from a distance. Instantly the image of Jess on his knees giving him pleasure, surged through Ken.
The thought of running his hands through Jess’s hair as he pulled him closer. Using Jess’s mouth to bring him to the point of no return. Jess’s hands bound behind him with a strip of leather that matched the pants and harness. Ken felt himself harden with desire.
No! He slammed the truck into park. They’d been to the club twice this week. They’d played hard and rough. Ken knew his boy. While they had met at the club and enjoyed rough sex, Ken suspected that Jess was using the club and their sex life to hide. And that ended tonight.
He reached over and grabbed the small cooler that he packed his lunch in and opened the truck door. Ken gave the door a light nudge, letting it slam shut. He smiled at Jess, walked around him, and went inside. He knew Jess would follow him. Once in the kitchen, he took the ice pack out of the cooler and put it in the freezer for tomorrow. In a casual voice, he said, “You’re dressed awfully fancy for a night home.”
“I thought we’d go to the club.”
Ken heard the tension in Jess’s voice. He ignored it for the moment. “No. We went last night. And I’ve an early morning tomorrow. We’ll stay home.”
“No? Just no? I don’t get a say?”
Ken could feel his need to help his sub start to creep into his soul. He wanted to spank him until the mask that Jess was wearing fell off. And when Jess fell into a million pieces, he wanted to put the pieces back together. He wanted to wrap his arms around him. Moments later, that need surged through his veins when Jess swung away from him.
Stomping off, Jess didn’t get far. Suddenly he cried out, “Ow!”
“You okay?” Ken had no clue what had hurt his boy, he just knew he needed to protect him.
“No! I banged my fucking knee on the chair!”
It took Ken two long strides to be standing in front of his injured husband.
Jess tried to back away but found he was trapped by the table behind him and Ken in front.
Ken raised his hand and gave Jess’s un-injured thigh a sharp swat. “Let me see.” He wrestled the tight leather up Jess’s leg. Finally, it was high enough that Ken could see the red mark that the chair had left. He gently prodded the area. “It’ll bruise, but you’ll be alright.”
“Of course, I’ll be fucking alright! I’m not going to lose my fucking leg because I banged it on a chair! I’m not some delicate flo-flower!”
Standing up, Ken took one more step closer. Barely an inch separated the two men. “What is going on? What is that awful voice inside your head telling you?”
“You’re trying to turn me into a...a....um.”
Ken didn’t let Jess stumble looking for the right word, he provided it for him. “Floof? You think I’m trying to change you into a floof?”
Jess looked ready to snarl. But stop himself at the precipice of danger. Then he looked defeated. “I don’t know.”
“Really? You don’t know?” Ken pushed down his own anger. Jess should know that he loved him exactly the way he was. But a lifetime of doubt and insecurity didn’t disappear in a few years. “I am not trying to change you in any way at all. I like you. I like the snarling, grumpy, foul-mouthed man you are. I. Do. Not. Want. To. Change. You.”
“Then why are we going to parties? Not our kind of parties. Those that Lane puts on. We’ve never had friends like that before.”
Ken knew he had to tread lightly at this point. Anything to do with feelings or family would spook Jess more than he already was. “Jess. We have few friends. And no family. I thought we’d build a family together. A family of friends. But. If you hate Joux, then we’ll not go to anything that Lane and Bill put on.”
“I don’t hate Joux.”
Stopping just short of reaching out and strangling Jess, Ken gritted out, “Then what is this all about?”
The expression on Jess’s face was angry frustration. “I don’t know!”
Ken pulled out a chair. “Sit.” As soon, as Jess had sat in the chair, Ken pulled one out for himself and sat down. “Ok. Let’s figure it out. You seemed fine at begin with. You ate the dinner even though didn’t know what it was.”
A smile tried to appear on Jess’s face. “Or even know how to say it. Was it French?”
“How the hell would I know? It could have been Cuban for all I know.” Ok, Ken thought. It wasn’t the food. “You seemed to be having a good time talking with Joux.”
Resisting the urge to bang his head on the table, Ken asked, “What were you guys talking about?”
“Bill told him that we did construction. Joux is doing some theater stuff, like setting up the background shit. He was asking about wood and hinges.”
“And?” Ken knew there was more to it. Talking about construction wouldn’t have had Jess so spooked.
“Then he asked me to dance!” Jess spat out the last word like it tasted bad on his tongue.
Reaching out, Ken took Jess’s hand. “You could have just said no.”
His boy looked truly baffled at his remark. Ken bit his lip to keep from laughing. God, could he love this man any more than he did right now. Before he could say anything, Jess’s phone started to ring.
Jess leaned back to grab his phone off the kitchen counter. “Not a number I know. I gotta take it. Could be any one of the guys on the project. I don’t know them all yet.”
Ken nodded his consent and leaned back in his chair.
“Hello, this is Jess. Oh. Joux. Um.” Jess looked up with panic in his eyes. “Wait. What? No. Not brackets. Hinges. They should fold back and forth.....Where are you? The hardware store on Commercial Street? Ok.”
“Go on. Go help him,” Ken said when Jess looked at him. They could continue their conversation later.
“Ok. Just stay where you’re at. I’ll be there in...” Jess looked up at the clock. “Give me twenty minutes.” After he disconnected the call, Jess looked at him. “He’s going to screw this up royally if I don’t help him. I don’t think he knows the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer.”
“Then you probably should help him out. Why don’t you run through KFC and get a bucket of chicken on the way for dinner? I’ll grab a quick shower, wash all this saw dust off me.”
“Yeah. Can do.”
Ken knew that Jess’s mind was already at the store with Joux. He wondered what Joux would think when he saw Jess in his leathers. Before Jess could get out the door, he suggested, “Maybe take the harness off and put on a shirt.”
Looking down at himself, Jess seemed surprised to see the leather harness still across his chest. “Um. Yeah. Let me do that.”
Soon, Ken was shutting the front door as his husband dashed off to help Joux. They may not become best friends. Or they might. But one thing that Ken knew was he was going to enjoy watching his boy come out of hiding.