Either Jensen had a different idea of what a “massage” was than Katinka or this was a brand new technique. He was currently locked in a room that smelled vaguely of flowers with no massage table and no masseuse—just two bean bag chairs and a small table holding a small vial. Speaking of the vial, it seemed to be where the scent was coming from so maybe it was one of those relaxing oil scents. Possibly from Peru. Jensen thought that this was quite possibly a waiting room only he wasn’t used to being held in waiting rooms—he was used to being led right in to THE room—and he was, indeed, locked in. He’d tried the door. Several times.
Deciding just to wait it out, Jensen flopped down onto one of the bean bag chairs and started counting the individual squares of blue tile that surrounding him, getting all the way to thirty-six before losing count and just settling for labeling it as “a lot of squares.”
He wondered briefly how the shoot was going before brushing it off entirely. They were missing him, so it was most definitely not going. They couldn’t push ahead without their star. …Could they? He spent a few more moments pondering before the door finally opened.
Expecting to be led to another room or, at the very least, a masseuse, Jensen stood. What he got was very, very different. None other than Jared Padalecki—minus his usual, village-like following—was being shoved through the door as a man who sounded suspiciously like Misha hissed at him to get inside. A ferret bounded into the room, circling around Jared’s feet, before it was yanked back out, the door slamming shut.
Jensen blinked. This wasn’t happening. “What are you doing here?” he snapped. This was supposed to be HIS place of relaxation. Having to spend time with Jared Padalecki was most definitely not relaxing.
Jared bristled. “What are you doing here?” he shot back.
“I was here first.” That had to count for something.
“Yeah? Well, like in everything else, you’re being pushed aside to make room,” Jared said, hunching his shoulders.
Jensen’s mouth dropped open as he struggled to find a comeback for that. “You…”
“You know what, Freckles?” Jared cut-in, “How about you just don’t talk anymore?” He flopped himself down onto the green bean bag chair—the one that Jensen had been sitting in just a few minutes ago—and efficiently shut Jensen out.
Minutes ticked by as Jensen tried to think of a particularly cutting comeback but, like everything having to do with Jared, he failed rather miserably. Instead, he leaned against the far wall and pretended that he was doing anything but focusing on in Jared (he could hear the man BREATHE—was he an OX?).
Jensen’s attention span lasted all of twenty minutes. “What’s your problem, anyway?” he asked bluntly.
“My problem?” Jared repeated, looking at Jensen for the first time since he’d dismissed him. “You acted completely whack around me since I first met you. What’s your problem?”
There was no way Jared was blaming this on Jensen. Jensen clearly remembered Jared being quite rude the first time he’d ever met him. “I don’t have a problem. You’re obviously the one with the problem.”
“No, I don’t have a problem,” Jared said, glaring. “I’m just fine. You’re the one who’s always attacking me!”
“I do not attack you!”
“Yes you do! Every time I see you, you look down on me.”
“You look down on me!” At least, Jensen thought that he did. It sounded good anyway. “The first time we met--”
“The first time we met, you ignored me,” Jared accused.
Jensen’s jaw dropped. He didn’t... “No, when I met you at the Fashion Awards at--”
“We didn’t first meet in LA, Jensen,” Jared interrupted a hint of bitterness and hurt sharpening his tone. The only problem was, it just didn’t make any sense. Jensen clearly remembered meeting the “up and coming” model Jared Padalecki backstage in Los Angeles where Jared had just stared at Jensen’s outstretched hand and kept on walking. “We met in Vancouver.”
“Vancouver?” Jensen said, racking his brain trying to think of what Jared could possibly be talking about. He was pretty sure that he would have remembered having met Jared.
“During the Nigel Barker photoshoot. You don’t remember? You were supposed to have a couple of frames with me but you didn’t show up.”
“I...” Jensen had to take a minute to ponder. He honestly didn’t remember anything like that. Though there was that one time that he’d been supposed to go to Canada but his plane had been delayed... “I was in Paris.” That didn’t make any sense! How was he supposed to meet Jared in Vancouver if he’d been in Paris? “I videoconferenced.”
“Yeah,” Jared said bitterly. “Where you said that there wasn’t anything urgent waiting for you so you were just going to stay in Paris.” Jared sighed, his face falling. “See? This is what I mean. You’re Jensen Ackles—do you know what it’s like trying to become a model in your shadow? And no one knows you’re such a douche because they look at your perfect bone structure and your adorable freckles and think that you must just be some kind of angel.”
“I…” Jensen didn’t know where to start first; he was so confused. “I’m not a douche—did you just say ‘adorable freckles’?” Jensen must have heard that wrong. Of all the things to pick out about him as being attractive, his freckles weren’t one of them. He’d considered having them surgically removed at one point but Jim had talked him out of it (at the time, Jensen had been doing quite a few ‘schoolboy ads’ and Jim had called the freckles ‘pedo-bait’ whatever that meant).
Jared crossed his arms and didn’t answer. “Anyway,” Jensen continued. “You’re the angel. Perfect abs and your perfect hair…”
“You like my hair?” Jared asked.
“Well…” Sometimes, Jensen really needed to watch his tongue. It tended to run away with him. “I mean, obviously mine is…” Jared stood up and started moving towards Jensen. Jensen was once again incredibly aware of just how damn tall Jared was. Huge. Monstrous. Gargan-u-tan. “…better…”
Jared really needed to learn to respect the rules to personal space, Jensen decided, because it was awfully hard to think when he was around. Maybe it had to do with the amount of oxygen Jared’s large body obviously required. He was probably sucking in more than his fair share. Yeah. That was it. Jared’s hand slapped against the wall beside Jensen’s head, pining Jensen down with presence alone. Jensen’s head felt like it was spinning, floating on the scent of Jared and the unknown flowers. It was…trippy.
The consummate professional, Jensen kept his chin lifted, just in case somebody needed a profile shot. They’d probably get a killer one right now. Campaign-worthy. Jensen could feel it.
“I think…” Jared said softly, his eyes burning into Jensen’s but still not touching him. “…that we should have sex.”
Jensen…didn’t disagree. He grabbed Jared’s head and hauled him down for a kiss. Jared met him halfway, shoving him up against the wall with his ridiculously big hands, and Jensen groaned, letting himself move easily with Jared, not bothering to think twice. Just like modeling, Jensen was born for this.
So, apparently, was Jared. Jared’s breath hissed out harshly as he jerked Jensen away from the wall. “Floor,” he said. Jensen blinked at him, confused, and glanced down at the tile that they were standing on. Yes, there was a floor. Jared shoved him downward. “Floor, Jensen.”
Oh. Oh. Jensen dropped to his knees and dragged Jared down with him, his hands pulling on Jared’s arms. Jared kept kissing him, his tongue licking at Jensen’s, as he moved. He fell the last few inches, the Clydesdale in him coming out again, but Jensen didn’t complain because he rather liked being buried under the weight and it gave him a chance to touch Jared’s nicely maintained body without having to worry about holding himself up.
Jared was already fumbling with the fly of Jensen’s pants and Jensen decided to help as not only was this particular pair supremely tight, but he also knew that the button, zipper, cross-over combo was a bit complicated if you weren’t a professional. He had no idea how much experience Jared had with such matters. Jared smacked him away, his fingers easily working through the fastenings. “I got it,” he said and Jensen smiled, reaching out to work on Jared’s pants—leather with a dark purple tiger stripe.
“I like your pants,” Jensen said, pulling at the zipper.
“Thanks,” Jared replied, breathlessly. “They’re—” Jensen cut him off with a kiss as he shoved a hand into Jared’s pants. For once, he was a bit more interested in what was in the clothes than who had made them. He could always find that out later.
And those little bikini briefs hadn’t been lying, either. Jensen ran his fingers over the length of Jared’s cock and shivered. Big all over. Jensen didn’t know how Jared managed to pull his pants on in the morning with how big it was. He peeled Jared’s pants down and pulled away, gasping, to look at it, feeling his eyes growing big. “No wonder you always want to talk about your cock,” Jensen whispered, gently touching the cock in question. Jensen was no slouch, but if he had one that big, he’d probably name a bird after it, too—just so he could slip the reminder into every day conversation (“Oh, have you seen my Cock-a-moodle? It’s very big”).
“What?” Jared asked breathlessly, his eyebrows downward in confusion. Deciding that he liked that look on Jared—any photographer would be begging to snap a few—Jensen kissed Jared again—and promptly forgot everything that he’d been thinking when Jared wrapped his fingers around Jensen’s dick. It wasn’t Jensen’s fault. He just wasn’t a very good multi-tasker.
It was impossible to concentrate anyway with Jared rolling his hips like he was, rubbing up against Jensen as he pushed him down to the floor. They’d wasted too much time fighting and Jared seemed to want to make up for lost time with the way his hands were everywhere, sliding down Jensen’s body and pushing his clothes aside. Jensen arched upward, biting his bottom lip as he felt himself getting closer and closer to coming. Jared was good.
Jared bent over him, nipping at Jensen’s throat, and Jensen orgasmed with a moan, rocking into Jared’s grip. He felt as if he were in the ocean, riding out waves during a storm in Jared the lifeboat.
Or something. Jensen thought that he’d climb onto Jared’s boat any time. He blinked complacently at Jared and Jared smiled back as he closed a hand over the one that Jensen had on Jared’s still hard dick. “Just like that…” Jared breathed, moving Jensen’s hand hard and fast over himself. “Oh, God, Jensen, you don’t even…” He dropped his head against Jensen’s shoulder and came, shuddering.
Jensen was touched by how Jared had thoughtfully moved his clothes out of the way first. Now that was a professional model. Jensen sighed happily as Jared rolled off of him, panting, and closed his eyes. Well. It certainly hadn’t been a massage, but Jensen was feeling pretty relaxed anyway. He drifted away, dreaming of flower-strewn runways.
He’d never had a better nap.
Jensen awoke to a general feeling of contentment except for the fact that he seemed to be laying on something quite hard. And breathing. He lifted his head and peered blearily at the person he was using as a pillow and nearly felt his heart stop because Jared was staring back at him and, now that he was aware, the room smelled vaguely of sex. “Did we…?”
Jared nodded again, harder this time. Jensen squinted his eyes, staring at Jared until Jared began to squirm a little under him but then, like most things in his life, Jensen decided that it just didn’t bear thinking about. He sighed and laid his head back down on Jared’s chest. “Okay.”
These things had a way of sorting themselves out.
In the meantime, weren’t they supposed to be at a day spa? Yeah, sex was relaxing and all but Jensen was going to be sorely disappointed if he never received a massage. What kind of spa was this anyway? It was a good thing that he hadn’t paid for it, because he’d be demanding his money back.
Jensen started when the door opened again and was swiftly dumped to the floor when Jared shoved him off. Jensen glared a little but rose to his feet. Perhaps it was just a reaction to the sex, but he didn’t feel the urge to complain about Jared at the moment. Not when the man was shirtless and quickly stuffing his impressively sized manhood back into his pants. Yeah. It had to be the sex. Jensen chalked it all up to en-dolphins and turned to the door.
A white rabbit bounded inside, followed quickly by Misha who was glancing around wildly. Misha stared at the both of them. “Oh, good,” he said. “She didn’t get to you. You’re still here.”
“Why wouldn’t we be?” Jensen asked before switching the topic to more important matters. “And where is the masseuse? I thought this was supposed to be a day spa? You know. D-a-i-y-e? Day? At this rate, you might as well title it a, a, a…week spa. …Week as in lots of days and not, you know, ‘weak’ like you can’t pick anything up. Though, it could be that, too.”
Strangely enough, Misha dropped his head into his hands. Maybe he was feeling contrite for having left them here for so long. “You have no idea, do you?”
“Idea about what?” Jared asked, finally speaking up. Jensen had almost forgotten that he was in the room.
“Never mind,” Misha said shortly. “Just…come on! I finally managed to lose her and we don’t have much time!” He leaned forward and grabbed Jensen’s arm, dragging him from the room. Jensen grabbed Jared in self-defense and they all slipped out of the room like a crazy conga line, leaving just the white rabbit bouncing around in the room.
“Whoa!” Jared stumbled. “Where are we going, anyway?”
“I’ll fill you in later!” Misha snapped, turning a corner. “I wasn’t able to stop—” He glanced over at Jared and cut himself off sharply with a hissed curse. “Don’t listen to any music for, oh, the rest of your life and just keep your mouth shut—consider that good advice, m’kay?” Jared frowned unhappily and Jensen felt a strange urge rise inside of him—sort of like indigestion if that indigestion came with the compulsion to defend Jared. He must have eaten something really weird.
“That’s not a very nice thing to say,” Jensen said, though he had no idea why really. It wasn’t as if Misha was talking to him… And Misha was still his employer.
Misha sighed and kept walking, turning them around so many different corners, Jensen was starting to get dizzy. He didn’t know how Misha was able to keep track of so many different turns. He must have been part mouse or something to be able to run so freely in the maze that they were in. Jensen often thought that mice were smarter than they let on. They lived their lives doing mazes and eating cheese—there were worse things in life.
Choral singing suddenly exploded through the narrow hallway that they were in and Jensen jumped as Jared tentatively called, “Heshin?” When Jensen frowned at him, he shrugged. “Heshin’s always singing.”
Misha dropped Jensen’s arm and fumbled for his pockets. “No. It’s my phone.” He quickly pulled out a small black dot—the newest model from Nokia—Jensen was so jealous; he was on the waiting list—and answered it. “Yeah. Yeah, we’re almost there. Just a—”
“And vhere do you tink you are going?” Jensen shivered at the disembodied voice that was ringing through the hall—there was just something about it that made him think of certain doom. Well. That and polyester socks but those equaled about the same thing.
Misha slowly turned around to face the way that they’d come, his shoulders hunched and Jensen and Jared followed his lead. Standing behind them, blocking the hall, Katinka snapped a whip and cocked out a hip. Jensen spared a quick moment to appreciate her catsuit—it was perfected tailored to her body—before remembering that he was supposed to be afraid. He cowered. “Sneaking off, MiSHA?” she asked, her voice hissing on the S. “After all we have done for you. And you know that you are too late—”
“Of course I wasn’t sneaking off!” Misha said loudly, smiling and fluttering his hands like a demented hummingbird. “Why would I ever be sneaking anywhere much less off? You know how much I truly enjoy your—oh my God, look over there!” He pointed to a spot just beyond Katinka’s head, causing the woman to whip around and see what had distracted him. Jensen squinted, trying to see what Misha was pointing at as well, but it was awfully hard when he had Misha tugging on his arm and hissing for him to “Run already!” Run what? A second set of hands joined Misha’s and tugged Jensen along until he finally understand that he was supposed to run. Oh.
It took Jensen a minute to realize that the other person who was tugging at his shirt was none other than the unfortunate fashion victim he’d been meeting on and off all day. Christian was running beside them, one hand on Jensen’s shirt and the other on Jared’s, panting something about how he “had it! Gonna bring ‘em all down!” Jensen wanted to ask what Christian was going to bring—maybe cookies? Jensen liked cookies—but he didn’t dare cross the crazy look that Christian had in his eyes. That was the kind of look that got people outfitted in Birkenstocks and thrown in fishtanks. …Or something involving ugly, clunky shoes and fishes. Jensen wasn’t quite sure. It did sound scary, though. Nothing was worse than having on the wrong pair of footwear, fishes or no fishes.
With Misha leading, and Jensen, Jared and Christian following, they bolted down hallway after hallway until Jensen was convinced that they must have surely reached Hong Kong by now. Jensen didn’t know how far away Hong Kong really was, but he did know that it was time enough for three in-flight movies, two small dinners, a long nap and a quick runway show, so it must be in outer space somewhere—which is where they seemed to be running to. Christian and Misha were starting to wheeze beside him, but Jared was still going strong. Peak physical condition—like a true model.
As sudden as a flash from a camera, though, they emerged into a large, dark open area with hundreds of people milling around, dressed in the latest fashions and holding colorful drinks with little umbrellas. Misha stopped so quickly that Jensen slammed into the back of him and Jared into the both of them. If it wasn’t for Misha’s elbow in his ribcage, Jensen thought that he might have been able to enjoy his new position. “Where are we?” Jared whispered in Jensen’s ear and Jensen shrugged. How was he supposed to know? Obviously Hong Kong or outer space.
Two of the men that Jensen had seen earlier emerged from the hallway behind them and Christian grumbled. “Not this again…”
Music was pumping from unseen speakers and Jensen frowned as he recognized the refrain of a Lady Gaga song. Beside him, Jared stiffened and Jensen patted his hand absently. It was okay. There were worse things than to be trapped in a room with a bunch of people and Lady Gaga. After all, lower the lights and throw in a lot more people and you had a rave. It was nothing that a model couldn’t handle.
And wasn’t that Danneel Harris? Jensen had worked with the designer lots of times. He loved wearing her clothes. And that was Chad Michael Murray… They’d done a couple of shoots together. And over there was Sophia Bush… And was that Billy Zane?
Just where were they? David Bowie waved at Jensen from the corner and Jensen waved cautiously back, still glancing around warily.
“Damn,” Misha muttered. “I was afraid this would happen…”
“What?” Christian asked, sounding panicked. Perhaps he was ca-lause-trop-hobic. His knuckles were turning white where he was gripping Jensen’s shirt. Jensen fought back the impulse to pull the easily wrinkled fabric from his hand.
“We entered White Corner.” White Corner? Wasn’t that the cool and happening club that had just opened up in Hawaii? Well no wonder they were seeing all the familiar faces then. This was the exact kind of place that Jensen would have been if he hadn’t been on the job. …Or, rather, contemplating being on the job.
“What’s wrong with White Corner?” Jensen asked. He’d heard only good things about it. He was suddenly glad that he’d dressed in Louis Vuitton today. If he’d been see out in public in less, he’d be as panicked as Christian looked. Suddenly, it all made perfect sense.
“Hey, Jensen!” Danneel called from across the room, setting her drink down at the bar. Jensen waved at her but Misha slapped his hand down.
“Don’t wave!” he snapped.
Jensen pouted, not understanding. “But why?”
“It gives away our position! The only thing to do now is to try and use this crowd to sneak away!” Misha glanced both ways suspiciously and tried to sink down lower without actually getting onto his knees or bending over.
“…But I thought we weren’t sneaking?” Jensen was so confused. Misha just really needed to make up his mind. Life would be so much easier.
“Shut up and move!” Jensen did as ordered despite how much he wanted to dig in his heels because there was a reason why he was a top model. He was good at following directions. They almost made it to the other side of the room before Jensen realized that something was seriously wrong: Jared wasn’t with them.
He balked, hauling Misha backwards, startling an “Eeep!” out of the man.
“Where’s Jared?” Jensen asked, looking around at the surrounding room. He saw lots of people all around him in the low light of the room, but he didn’t see a hair of Jared’s perfect head.
“Who?” Misha snapped, pulling on his arm.
“Jared!” Jensen wasn’t going anywhere without him.
…That was odd, wasn’t it? Jared was supposed to be his number one rival. …Right?
“Oh no…” Christian whispered, pointing back towards the center of the room. Jensen followed the finger and his jaw dropped. Jared was wading through the crowd, managing to stand out despite the overwhelming beauty of the room—definitely a good model—and seemingly making a beeline for Danneel. Maybe he wanted to say hi, Jensen thought.
“Jared!” Jensen called, darting back into the crowd. Just where was Jared going? Behind him, he heard Misha swearing and Christian yelling about the music but Jensen just wanted to reach Jared.
Before he could, sharp claws dug into his arm and pulled him backwards as someone used him to propel themselves forward. He caught sight of a severe face and perfectly straight black hair before he was shoved into a group of people. “No, you fool! The other designer!” Jensen caught himself on Elle Macpherson and apologized profusely before going back after Jared.
Lady Gaga was still going strong, singing about her bad romance. “Jared!” he called, but Jared must not have heard him, because he was heading back the other way, towards a wide-eyed Misha. When Misha squeaked and ran, Jared followed after him, charging through the crowd.
“Jared!” What was he doing?
The music stuttered and cut out. Most of the dance floor stopped, though a few didn’t seem to notice and kept dancing through the silence. Jensen didn’t care, though, because Jared had stopped too, looking around in confusion. “Jared!” Off to the side of the dance floor, Jensen saw Christian wrestling with a large, dreadlocked man. Now, really. This was hardly the time to be fooling around.
Jensen threw himself at Jared, catching a hold of him. “What are you doing?”
“I don’t know,” Jared admitted, looking lost. “I’m just…” Christian flew across the room, propelled by the large, dreadlocked man, and Lady Gaga whirled back to life. Jared’s face snapped around to stare hard at Misha who was doing his best to blend in behind the potted fern. “…doing as instructed.”
“What does that even mean?” Jensen demanded. But Jared was roughly yanking Misha out of his hiding spot and raising a fist.
The music cut out again, this time sounding like a dying cat as sparks flew off to Jensen’s right. Christian was there, standing over the controls with what looked to be an axe like he was some kind of crazy person. …That might explain the lumberjack plaid, actually, Jensen thought. “It’s the music!” Christian shouted, just before he was tackled by Katinka.
“You’re dead!” she screamed, knocking him to the floor and wrapping her arms around him.
Jared dropped Misha, staring at him in horror as he wiped his hands against his shirt. “I don’t…What am I…?”
Vinyl squeaked across the floor as Christian managed to shove Katinka off of him. She lunged again, but was caught by the people that she had crashed into. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” Christian shouted. “I have proof of a top secret conspiracy that this woman is a part of!”
“I vill have your head, Sears and Roebuck!” Katinka spat. “Don’t listen to ‘im! ‘E lies! Just look at those clothes!”
A few people tentatively nodded in understanding. To be fair, Jensen thought that part of it might have to do with the axe.
Until Misha stepped forward. “It’s true! It’s all true!” Jensen had no idea what was going on anymore. It seemed as if the world were turning without him. He considered sitting down. Maybe that would help. “I was a part of this conspiracy until just a few months ago when I couldn’t take it anymore.”
“Traitor!” Katinka shouted.
“I just couldn’t take it anymore!” Misha cried. “I mean, no matter what I did, everyone loved it! I was beginning to think that I was the crazy one! I put models in trash bags and everyone thought it was the latest fashion!” There was a collective gasp from the crowd—some looking down at their one-of-a-kind Misha Garbagé outfits in horror—and Jensen felt a surge of shock. What was he saying? “This year, I put models into bikinis and scarves and everyone thought I was a genius!”
“You mean…?” Jensen started, feeling like the entire world was tipping like one of those way cool snow globes.
“It was a desperate commentary and no one got it!” Misha looked ready to have a breakdown. His hands clutched at his hair. “But the final straw came when I was asked to recruit someone to kill Danneel Harris. Danneel! Kill! I just couldn’t do it. So they’re trying to kill me!” He squeaked. “They wanted Danneel dead…”
Jensen’s jaw dropped again as the entire room swiveled to look at the designer in question. He… Wait, what?
“…Because she sold some of her exclusive designs to Kmart.”
There was an even bigger gasp than the last time as Danneel dropped her head in shame. “It’s true,” she whispered, covering her face and trying to hide from the eyes that were staring at her. Jensen felt betrayed. Why would anyone do such a thing? What a horrible accusation! “It’s all true. I just wanted…”
“To ruin everything!” Katinka screamed, breaking free of the hold that the crowd had on her. She darted toward Danneel, her arms outstretched, ready to kill, and Jensen just reacted.
“No!” Jensen shouted. He ran forward, stepping in between her and Danneel and he felt some kind of unknowable power swelling inside of him. Some kind of surety. He didn’t even think twice. He didn’t have to. His features automatically schooled themselves and he turned and faced Katinka just knowing that something was happening. Something new and different and awesome and it felt as if all the air was being sucked out of the room.
Katinka’s charge slowed and halted as Jensen stared her down. It was if time were frozen. This, Jensen thought, this must be what it feels like to be on the top of the world. Years of being the world’s top model and he’d never felt like this before. But then again, he’d never had Magnum before.
The crowd around him was staring in shock and awe—some were openly weeping—and Jared had fallen to his knees, staring in wonderment. Jensen felt unbeatable. He felt like he was a god. He felt…
Katinka was slammed into by club security and dragged to the floor as Christian held aloft a little black stick, loudly proclaiming that it was the evidence needed to finally catch the villains—the ones that had escaped justice the last time. Jensen didn’t know what any of it met. He just knew that Jared was still staring at him in amazement with a little bit of helpless lust thrown in even without Magnum and Jensen thought he liked that.
“Jensen!” Danneel said, grabbing his shoulder and dragging him in for a hug. “Are you okay? You saved me!” Jensen grinned, wrapping his arms around her. He had! He had saved the day! He was, like, some kind of fashion superhero! Except without the tacky tights. He might, though, want a cape. He’d have to look into that.
“Jensen,” Jared quietly said, having stood up and moved next to him. Jensen abandoned Danneel to pull Jared in close, soundly kissing him on the lips as Jared kissed him back, throwing his big arms around Jensen and holding him like he never meant to let him go.
Life, Jensen thought, could sometimes be alright. Even better. Sometimes, it could be perfect. Especially for the really, really, ridiculously good-looking.
Jared’s cock-a-doodle-poodle-toodle flew across the room, screeching as it flapped its wings and landed on its perch. Jensen wasn’t dumb. He knew that it was a “cockatoo” (well, okay, now he did), but it made him happy to still keep thinking up new names for it. Plus, he liked the way that Jared playfully rolled his eyes and smiled when he shared his latest one. Jared kind of thought that Jensen was a genius for coming up with so many.
Speaking of Jared, he was over by the stone oven, pulling out a large loaf of bread and placing it on a rack to cool—one of the many awesome things that Jared routinely did in his house. Henshin, the monk, smiled happily and sipped at his tea while Janine, the spiritual advisor, kneaded another loaf. Kevin, the midget, was standing on a stool next to her, trying to make sure that she got this one right.
Leaving the bread, Jared came over to stand behind Jensen, wrapping his arms around him and clasping them in front while he kissed Jensen’s head. “What are you smiling about?” he asked.
“Oh, nothing,” Jensen said because, at this point, what wasn’t he smiling about? He had a great career, great boyfriend, a great life… Okay, sure, the llama and him were still on some iffy terms but, for the most part, Jensen had adjusted into Jared’s cluttered lifestyle and felt better for it. He had to admit, it was rather fun to travel around with the eclectic bunch that Jared liked to collect. He even got along with the bird.
After uncovering the evil plot that had been afoot—or even ahand—Jared and Jensen had, much to Misha’s dismay, finished up an award-winning shoot that cemented not only their celebrity status but also their tie for “Model of the Year.” Misha’s designs had been in high demand, people demanding more, and his stock had risen sharply.
Of course, shortly after, Misha had retired from the fashion industry to become a political activist but he was still the most well-dressed political activist on the scene. He frequently complained, however, that he was with even crazier people now. Jensen didn’t quite get it—even though he laughed politely at Misha’s jokes—but he did know that Misha was stopping by more and more frequently and that was a good thing as far as Jensen was concerned.
Jim Beaver had been, to put it mildly, over the moon. “That’s the ticket, kiddo! We’re going to make millions!” He hadn’t been too thrilled with Jensen’s decision to retire from the world of modeling this year but, Jensen figured that Jim would get over it. Eventually.
It had just seemed like the right move. Jensen knew that he was never going to be able to top his performance from that campaign—and it didn’t feel right to even try. He didn’t want to “cheapen” the experience like a poorly gilded necklace that turns your neck green so it’s not even worth wearing. Instead, feeling like he had a lot to share with the world, Jensen had opened a modeling school, helping to teach a new generation how to follow in his footsteps. He was also involved in a project to write his life story. Well. Christian—minus the horrendous plaid that Jensen had finally managed to convince him to give up—was the one actually writing it but, seeing as how Jensen was the one living it, he thought that it should count.
Jared, after successfully being de-Tivoed (Jensen thought that the doctors had used the word “program” but they’d compared it to a VCR which just went to show how horribly out of date they were), still had a bit of leeriness about Lady Gaga songs but wasn’t attempting to kill any fashion designers, so Jensen considered that a plus. He’d joined Jensen at the modeling school, teaching such important classes as “Extended Surfing Study” and “Football 101.” Sometimes, he even joined Misha’s sessions, as Misha often guest-taught when he happened to be in town. Mostly, though, he was completely devoted to making Jensen’s life as perfect as possible.
Jensen dropped his head against Jared’s well-defined chest—they were retired, not slackers—and pondered for a bit as his hands gripped Jared’s arms. He glanced over at where the snowboarders that Jared had picked up over in the Swiss Alps were cleaning their boards next to the two dogs that Jared and he had adopted together and then turned to smile back up at Jared. Jared smiled back.
Yeah, Jensen, thought, his life was pretty much perfect. Not only was he was really, really, ridiculously good-looking but he was also really, really, ridiculously happy.