Title:A Strange Journey Begins With A Single Step (To The Right)
Author:Rose
Pairing:Jared/Jensen; (Brief)Jensen/Justin Hartley; Jared/Tom Welling
Rating:NC-17
Words:11,000-ish
warnings/Enticements:cross-dressing of the Drag variety
Summary:In which Jensen's life is turned upside down in only 24 hours after an encounter with Jared.
Author's Notes: Inspired by the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but by no means a strict retelling.

***Special thank yous have to go out to [livejournal.com profile] candygramme for her beta skills. And to [livejournal.com profile] kinkajou for her spectacular art. Thank you, ladies. You are stars!***






Jensen waved as the car carrying his newly married best friend away. Beside him his boyfriend of nearly six years, Justin, waved as well, a smile on his face. It seemed all his friends were married these days. Jensen wasn’t sure if he wanted to get married or not. He hoped Stephen and Katie’s wedding hadn’t given Justin any ideas. Marriage was the next logical step, but it terrified Jensen. He didn’t want to examine why too closely. There was warmth and affection between them but rarely passion. Justin said passion was fleeting and a steady relationship with a dependable partner was what was important. Jensen found that hard to disagree with. Their lives were well-ordered and settled but different than he thought they'd be. He imagined love as being this powerful all-encompassing feeling, and although Jensen knew Justin loved him, he wasn’t the most demonstrative of men.

They had something of a storybook relationship. They met as juniors in high school after having been paired up as lab partners for AP Chemistry, and lasted through college. Now, they had a nice new place together in Austin and were settling into their life as an adult couple, both with entry level positions for the Results Consulting Group, though in different departments, ready to work their way up the corporate ladder.

Justin sighed and draped an arm across Jensen’s shoulders as the limo drove away. “That’s all of them isn’t it?” he asked. “All our friends hitched.”

“Yep,” Jensen affirmed with a slight nod.

“We better head home if we want to have any hope of getting there at a decent hour.”

Jensen was a little disappointed. The reception was still going on, and would continue to go on into the wee hours, and Jensen wanted to stay for awhile longer. Dusk was deepening towards dark, and both of them had to be at work early tomorrow. They reached Justin’s non-descript sedan. Jensen thought the left rear tire looked a little soft but didn’t think anything of it. He was on tenterhooks waiting for his boyfriend to broach the subject of marriage for them.

Justin started the engine. The radio came on, tuned to some talk show, and some redneck talking about how Obama was selling the country to the terrorists, the Chinese, or some other crackpot theory.
Jensen rolled his eyes. The backasswards politicians made him ashamed of his state. He was glad when Justin turned it off.

They drove in silence, Jensen relaxing more with every mile between them and the reception. They had a long drive ahead of them from Denton back to Austin. They had been up at the crack of dawn and on the road to get to the ceremony, and Jensen was not what anyone would call an early riser. He settled down into the seat, rested against the door, and closed his eyes. He felt Justin’s warm hand on his thigh give a squeeze before returning to the wheel. The hum of the wheels on pavement, and the motion of the car lulled him to sleep.

A crack of thunder woke him from his doze, looking around, startled and confused. “What the fuck?” He exclaimed.

Justin was driving slowly and carefully down a rutted road, but it was so dark. No other cars seemed to be around, and no houses or businesses either; the car’s powerful headlights did little to cut through the blackness. The rain came down in sheets, making it sound as if they were inside a kettledrum. The wipers were doing their best, but it was a losing battle. Myriad lightening flashes lit up the sky bright as day for an instant before being followed by peals of thunder loud enough to wake the dead.

“It blew up a few minutes ago. Just a sprinkle at first, then this.” He motioned through the windshield at the gale going on around them.

“Well, pull over until it lets up,” Jensen said. A summer storm in Texas would burn itself out before too long. He just hoped it wouldn’t spin up a twister, not while they were in a car and vulnerable.

Lightning flashed a little too close by for Jensen’s liking, blinding him for an instant, accompanied by a crack of thunder and a fiery flash. The sound of splintering wood was lost in the boom of thunder, and a massive tree limb crashed down across the road immediately ahead of them.

“Holy shit!” Justin shouted, swerving hard to the right, missing the falling branch by inches.

There was another bang, only this one Jensen recognized as a tire blow out. Justin struggled to maintain control of the car as it began to hydroplane. His knuckles were white on the wheel, but, to his credit, he appeared calm. Only his wide eyes and how frequently he was swallowing betrayed that image. Jensen’s heart pounded blocking out the sound of the storm raging around them. He reached over and knotted a fist into Justin’s blazer. His other hand flung out blindly against the dashboard, as if bracing for impact.

Almost as fast as it happened, it was over. Justin regained control of the car and brought it to a stop.
“Holy, shit! Holy, Holy shit.” He turned to Jensen, eyes wide. “Are you all right?”

Jensen nodded, adrenaline making his mouth taste like he had sucked on a roll of pennies. “Yeah,” his voice was low, but steady. “Tire blew out.”

“Aw, damn it, and the spare is flat. I knew I should have gotten it fixed. Fuck.”

“Call Triple A.”

Already the storm was dying down, moving away, the thunder not as loud, and the lightning not quite as frequent. The rain had slacked off considerably to a soft gentle patter against the roof and windows.

Justin took out his cell, the bright screen lighting up the interior of the car. “Damn. No reception. Are you getting service?”

Jensen took out his own phone and saw no bars. “No. Maybe the storm took out a cell tower.”

Justin nodded. “Probably right.”

Jensen looked around. They were no longer on the interstate, nor any sort of highway. Instead they seemed to be on an empty country road. “I don’t remember this from our drive up here. Are we lost?”

“Jensen, it is impossible to get lost this day and age.”

“Then where are we?”

“We are,” Justin consulted his phone. “Oh, GPS isn’t working. That doesn’t mean we’re lost.”

“Well, we can’t just sit here.” Jensen opened his car door and moved to get out.

“We can’t walk in this either.”

“The storm isn’t so bad now. Maybe there’s a convenience store nearby, we can call a tow truck and find out where we are.”

Jensen couldn’t help but feel a little excited, like embarking on an adventure. Maybe they would meet a quirky old country family who would take them in, wrap them in blankets, and give them hot cocoa. The husband would give them a lift back to their disabled car in his older model Ford pickup and help them get back on the road. Of course it could end up like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre too, but Jensen preferred to be optimistic. Texas was full of good people willing to lend a helping hand.

“You’re probably right. Lock up, though.” Justin turned off the car, locked the doors and rolled up the windows. The alarm chirped as he engaged it.

They hadn’t been walking for more than a few minutes and were already soaked to the skin, their suits most likely ruined, and shoes sloshing and squishing with each step. As they walked at least four cars passed them but none stopped when Justin and Jensen tried to flag them down. Confident the drivers were going somewhere up ahead they kept on. It was kind of nice, though with the sound of the rain and the soft distant rolls of thunder. Jensen took Justin’s hand.

“I am sorry this happened, Jensen. I got an alert there was a bad pileup on the interstate and wanted to avoid it. I found a route around it, but apparently Apple maps was wrong, and now I’ve gotten us lost.”

“It’s okay.” He gave Justin’s hand a squeeze. “We’ll find some help and be home soon enough.”

After nearly a couple of miles the road branched off into a long graveled driveway. At the head was a big rambling farmhouse—Texas Chainsaw, Jensen’s mind supplied. But it wasn’t. Lights blazed from every window, the house seemed to be in good repair, and the soft lavender and pink trim paintjob was visible by the light of the sickle-shaped moon. Jensen wasn’t sure what to think of whoever lived here other than they certainly had personality. The two of them turned down the drive, their strides speeding up. The closer they got they could hear music pumping; closer still and happy screams and shouts of revelers could be heard. There were a couple of dozen vehicles parked helter-skelter in and around the front yard. It looked as if it had been a ranch once, but no more. The paddocks were empty, and the barn and stables off in the distance had an unused quality to them.

As climbed the steps onto the porch, the deep thump of bass could be felt as well as heard. It sure sounded like one hell of a party. Jensen hoped the host or hostess wouldn’t mind he and Justin crashing it.

Justin paused in their approach. “I don’t know, Jensen. Maybe this is one of those underground rave parties. I doubt we’d be welcome. Maybe we should get back to the road.”

Jensen rolled his eyes. Underground rave party or not, there were people a stone’s throw away, and those people would have cell phones or maybe a landline phone in the house. Only a fool would turn back. “We are lost, and our car is disabled. You want to walk for who knows how long until we get to another place?”

Looking resigned, Justin pressed the doorbell; Jensen doubted anyone inside heard it over the tumult.

“Maybe we should just go in,” Jensen suggested. One hell of a party was going on, so it stood to reason the door would be unlocked so guests could come and go.

Ever polite and proper, Justin lifted a fist and knocked. “Hello? We need some help, please!”

The storm had brought some cooler air with it, and Jensen began to shiver in his wet clothes. Losing patience, he reached out for the doorknob and twisted it.

The door opened onto a wide foyer, and a blast of sound, nearly bowling them over, greeted them. The bass beat in Jensen’s chest like a second heart. Jensen tugged Justin inside, their wet clothes dripping all over the hardwood floor. Beyond the entryway was huge room crowded with people dancing and grinding. Jensen rarely attended parties during college or frequented gay clubs and bars but this party seemed to be a combination of both. There were three men grinding together in a sensual dance. The man in the middle was naked to the waist being kissed, and licked by his partners as their hands roamed each other’s bodies. Jensen gaped, stunned but intrigued, wondering what must it be like to be so free and open. The more he looked the more he saw. His eyes widened when he saw a man on his knees sucking another man’s cock right there for all to see. In the corner was a woman, Jensen assumed it was a woman by the high breathy cries and slender ankles and legs, wrapped around a man’s waist being fucked hard and fast.

“My sweet Lord,” Justin exclaimed. “We gotta get out of here. This is some sort of orgy! ”

Their arrival had gone unnoticed until Justin’s outburst. Like dominos, heads turned toward them, and in a matter of seconds the gyrating, grinding, hedonistic mass had ceased its activities and now stared at them, some people appeared curious, others puzzled, but those close enough to hear Justin’s remark were pissed.

“Well, well, well, who have we here?” A deep drawling voice said.

The crowd parted for an impossibly tall man, made even more so by the four inch heels he was sashaying—there was no other word for it—around in. His long legs were wrapped in fishnets. A garter belt encircled his slim hips holding up his stockings. His tiny panties only emphasized the bulge of an impressive cock. His muscled chest tapered down to a trim waist, accentuated by the deep purple corseted bustier he wore and a pink and purple feather boa was draped across broad shoulders.

Part of Jensen was repelled by the man, but a larger part was intrigued, and maybe even a little turned on. He radiated confidence and sexual energy and it was obvious he was completely comfortable in his own skin, and his outrageous attire. Jensen wasn’t sure what pronouns would be acceptable. The man’s cock proclaimed him as biologically a male, but he presented as a woman dressed in women’s clothing with heavy makeup, though fabulously applied to highlight his sharp vulpine features and sardonically smiling mouth. His fingernails were the same deep red as his lips. His long brown hair was full and fell in layers around his angular face. A thick diamond choker glittered around his neck and his long fingered hands sported several large-stoned rings.

If Jensen knew the person’s name he would know what pronouns to use. He wouldn’t want to offend their host anymore than their unwanted and uninvited presence already had. Jensen didn’t think he was in the presence of a transgendered person. A drag queen, Jensen decided.

“Hi, sorry to bust in on your party,” Jensen began with a smile. “We just came from a wedding and got a little lost in the storm. To make matters worse, our tire blew out, and we don’t have a spare.”

The drag queen’s eyes zeroed in on Jensen, locked with his. Jensen’s breath caught in his throat to be the target of such intensity. “Caught with a flat. How ‘bout that?” The man raised an artfully penciled on brow. Jensen couldn’t tell if they were being mocked or not.

“Good evening,” Justin greeted, sounding stiff and overly polite. “I’m Justin Hartley, and this is my…friend, Jensen Ackles.” He extended his hand.

The party host took Justin’s offered hand and shook, making a face. “Pleasure to meet the both of you.”

“Do you have a phone we might use?” Justin asked charging ahead with their reason for being here.

Jensen couldn’t help but scowl. He wanted to mix and mingle. He looked around at the party attendees; there were more drag queens, a few drag kings, some guests in regular clothes, and some near naked. This seemed like a lively and fun atmosphere, and they were unwelcome and intruding. Most of the party guests had gone back to their drinking, dancing, or fucking, but some still watched them curiously, like they didn’t know what to make of them.

“What’s your name?” He asked the tall drag queen.

The man—Jensen would amend pronouns if corrected—gave an arrogant head toss, and his eyes sparkled with humor and sexual mischief. “Ima, darling. Ima Sogai.”

Jensen paused, rolling the name around in his mind. Ima. Ima So…gai… I’m’a so gay.

“Oh, for the love of heaven,” Justin muttered. Jensen chuckled but Justin shot him a glare. Jensen dropped his eyes and smothered his smile with a hand.

“You’re wet,” Ima observed.

“It’s raining, or didn’t you just hear Jensen tell you there was a storm,” Justin said.

Ima, for all the world, didn’t seem to give one shit about Justin standing there. Her eyes devoured Jensen as a starving man would a thick juicy steak. Heat rushed to his cheeks, and a little farther south. In their years together he didn’t think Justin had ever looked at him like that. It was heady and thrilling.

“We really should get you out of those wet things. Crystal! Oliver!” She called. Moments later another drag queen with longish blond hair and blue eyes, and dressed in a flirty maid’s uniform along with a drag king in a glittery tuxedo and tails with a top hat tipped at an insouciant angle, who had long dark hair spilling over his small shoulders, appeared from the crowd.

“These are my very dear friends Miss Crystal Balls and Oliver Klozoff. These poor darlings got a flat tire and walked here in the rain. Help them out of their wet clothes, would you, my sweets?”

“Get your hands off me!” Justin snapped at the drag king attempting to help him undress. He realized then that Justin was uncomfortable. Though he might be gay, for the most part Justin spurned the more outrageous parts of the community. “Jensen, we’re leaving!” He reached for Jensen, but Jensen moved away.

“No!” Jensen took off his soaked suit jacket and loosened his tie as Crystal took to unbuttoning Jensen’s shirt with obvious relish. “What‘s the point of going back to the car anyway? The road back is blocked, and we don’t even know where we are.”

“Have you lost your mind?”

“I’m wet and cold. I’m getting out of these clothes. You should, too, before you get sick.” He stripped off his undershirt. His nipples peaked in the cool air. Ima’s eyes took on a predatory gleam.

Justin goggled at him. Oliver made another attempt to divest Justin of his own wet clothes. Justin squawked like a scalded duck but slipped out of his blazer. “Well if this…woman would let us use the phone—a reasonable request—.” Justin cut hateful eyes to Ima, venom in each word. “We could be on our way!”

Ima just gazed at Justin, head tilted to the side a little, seeming a trifle bored with him. Jensen wanted to giggle. He continued to undress, unbuttoning and unzipping his slacks, so they slid down his legs. He kicked out of them and toed off his sodden shoes. Ima’s eyes made a slow, hungry trek down Jensen’s nearly naked body. She licked her deep red lips. Crystal handed Jensen a towel. He smiled. “Thanks.” Jensen said, toweling off his hair.

“You’re welcome, gorgeous,” Crystal said.

Justin made an indignant sound as a lithe well-muscled man dressed only in a shiny gold Speedo and matching boots came to stand next to Ima. He had platinum blond hair with dark roots starting to show and pretty blue eyes. The newcomer was tall, but Ima in her heels towered over everyone.

“Oh, Tommy!” Ima said, rapturously flinging her arms around the blond stud, kissing him soundly on the cheek. Jensen felt a pang of jealousy, but he was also mildly curious as to what kind of lipstick Ima was wearing that wouldn’t leave a print on Tommy’s cheek after receiving such an enthusiastic smooch. “There you are, my gorgeous specimen of manhood.” Ima ran a long-fingered hand through Tommy’s bleached locks. “You’re going to need a touch-up soon.”

He flashed Jensen and Justin a tight smile. Jensen couldn’t decide if he was uncomfortable with Jensen and Justin’s presence, or if he might be uncomfortable in his skimpy attire. If Jensen looked like that he’d strut around in a Speedo too. Flaunt it, he thought, doing a mental finger snap, and had to stifle a bubble of laughter.

Ima turned her attention back to Jensen and Justin. “Darlings, this is Tommy, something of a pet project of mine. I’m trying to bring him out of that dreary closet, but at times he seems determined to go right back in.” Ima rolled her pretty eyes, but found Jensen once more and winked. Jensen winked back. “Honey, this is…. I’m sorry what were your names again?”

“Jensen Ackles,” Jensen said. “And that’s Justin Hartley.”

“Tom Welling,” the blond man said, shaking each of their hands in turn.

“I have a fabulous idea! Jenny and Justy will stay here tonight night, and in the morning we can call the mechanic and see about getting your car fixed and on your way back home!” She clapped, approving her own plan.

“No! I’m not staying another second in this funhouse!” Justin ejaculated, shoving Crystal away. For a second Jensen thought he saw Ima’s bubbly exterior cloud with anger, but it was gone in a blink, and that droll, unimpressed expression returned. “Jensen are you coming with me or not?”

Jensen wrapped the towel around his hips. “No, Ima and her friends have extended us hospitality, and I am taking her up on it. Thank you, Ima.”

Ima grinned a slow wolfish grin, dimples appearing in her cheeks. “You’re more than welcome, sugar.”

“Look, it’s well past dark,” Tom said. “You’ll not find a motel near here, and no tow truck is going to be able to get to you before the morning, because of the storm. The house is plenty big enough for you both to stay. I’m sure it’s not an ideal plan, but you can’t mean to sleep in a car all night.”

Justin looked at Tom, eyes lingering over his muscled chest, tight shimmering Speedo and long legs with a certain interest, maybe even hunger. Jensen supposed he should be jealous, even angry, that his partner would look at another man that way. But all Jensen really felt was a mild shock coupled with a distant amusement; he hadn’t thought Justin capable of such heat. He was more interested in the attention Ima was giving him. If Ima noticed her boytoy was eyefucking Justin she didn’t seem to care. But then Ima herself was busy eyefucking Jensen.

When Justin spoke it was lower than usual. He tried to maintain his bluster, but it was clear his distaste had left him. “Perhaps you’re right, Tom.” He seemed to steel himself as if going into battle against a dragon, and turned to Ima. “Miss Sogai, Jensen and I thank you for your hospitality.” His smile was so fake and forced it was a wonder he managed it at all.

“Marvelous. Crystal, show our charming guests to a room upstairs.” Ima turned her attention back to Tommy, nuzzling his neck and tweaking a nipple. Arousal pooled in Jensen’s stomach imagining those hands on him, or that garnet-red mouth.

Crystal Balls crooked a finger and led them to the wide staircase. The crowd had swallowed up Ima and Tommy, but Jensen caught a glimpse of her on her knees, kissing below Tommy’s navel. Tommy, on the other hand was following them with his gaze as they climbed the stairs. They made their way down a hallway, moans and cries of pleasure seeped through the closed doors they passed.

“Are Tommy and Ima married?” Justin inquired of their escort.

“Ima’s not married, and I doubt she ever will be. She likes her fun.”

“What about you?” Jensen asked.

“I am indeed. To Oliver, known as Sophia when not in drag.”

“And what’s your name, when not in drag, Crystal?” Jensen asked even as Justin heaved a put upon sigh, like he couldn’t understand why Jensen would be interested in a bunch of hedonistic drag queens. Maybe he didn’t. “If you don’t mind me asking.”

“Nope. I don’t mind. I’m Chad Murray. Nice to meet ya.”

“Does Ima have these parties often?” Jensen asked as they climbed a shorter stairway.

“God, no. This is just her way of blowing off some steam.” Crystal turned on the landing and stopped in front of a closed door. She gave a sharp rap of her knuckles. “This room occupied?” When no one answered she opened the door and flipped on the light. It was a modest-sized room with handsome oak furniture, the focal point being the bed with a blue down comforter and piled with pillows. There was a squat little window in the west wall, with a bookcase under it and a wingback chair beside it.

“You can crash here.” Crystal smiled. “And if you don’t want anyone coming in and joining you for the evening, lock your door. People tend to go and come…and come and go during these little soirees. If you know what I mean.” She winked.

A moment later a man dressed only in a pair of smiley face boxer shorts sauntered in. He gave Jensen and Justin a friendly wave before grabbing Crystal and giving her a passionate kiss. Crystal clutched the man and kissed back just as ardently. Jensen watched them unabashed, while Justin looked everywhere but at the kissing pair. Jensen didn’t know why any display of affection seemed to make Justin uncomfortable.

“I’ll find you later,” the bald man panted, his mouth still pressed close to Crystal’s.

“Mmm, can’t wait,” Crystal said with a smack to the man’s ass. Just as quickly as he'd appeared, he was gone.

“A friend of yours?” Justin asked accusation evident in his hard tone.

“That’s Mike. Also known as Kitty Catt when he’s in drag. We fuck from time to time.”

“But you are married! Have you no respect for your vows? What about your wife?”

Jensen cringed in embarrassment. It wasn’t Justin’s place, nor his own, to judge how others lived their lives, especially their intimate lives. He did hope they used condoms though.

Crystal’s blue eyes which had been warm and affable before were now chips of ice, but when she spoke her voice betrayed nothing. “Oh, I’m sure Oliver is around with one of her fuck buddies, too. You really need get the stick out of your ass and your boyfriend’s dick in it.” Justin gaped like a fish. Crystal shot a grin at Jensen, and Jensen flashed one in return.

“Freshen up, come down to the party if you want,” Crystal continued, addressing Jensen more so than Justin now. “There’s food and booze, and it’s free. You don’t have to be in drag to come just have to wanna cut loose and have fun.” She glanced briefly at Justin. “If you just wanna chill up here, that’s okay, too.”

“Thanks,” Jensen said. He nudged Justin.

“Thank you, Miss…Balls.”

Crystal left with a little shake of her ass, her short poofy skirt swishing around her thighs.

When the door clicked shut behind her, Justin huffed a laugh and raked a hand through his short blond hair. “This is a damned madhouse, and the inmates are runnin’ the asylum.” He strode over to the door and locked it.

The music and shouts of the party-goers downstairs drifted up, somewhat muted by the two floors between them. The groans of ecstasy from surrounding rooms were louder. Jensen was curious what could be going on in those other rooms to wring those sounds from the occupants. He didn’t think he’d ever made any sounds like than during his and Justin’s lovemaking.

All of a sudden Jensen was hit with such a wave of discontent so strong he had to sit down. Most of the party attendees were of an age with Jensen, and yet they were carefree, expressing who they were, loving who they desired, even if it was only for one debauched night. They were having more fun than Jensen ever had.

“Can you believe these people?” Justin shuddered.

“What?” Jensen asked. “They are at a party. They are having fun. Do you even remember fun?”

“Oh, for God’s sake, Jensen, bed hopping is not fun, nor is it neither socially nor morally responsible.”

“And what is your idea of fun, Just? A cocktail party with your stuffed shirt friends, talking about how to improve your golf score or the price of gold per ounce. Oh yeah, so much fun.”

“Jensen, what has gotten into you? You hear what you’re saying? You want to fall into bed with a stranger? Catch some disease?”

“I’ll tell you what hasn’t gotten in to me. You. When was the last time we fucked?”

Justin looked as if Jensen had slapped him with the vulgar word. Maybe he had in a way. “We are busy men.”

“So I need to make an appointment with you to get fucked.”

“Stop using that word. I don’t understand where any of this is coming from. These…freaks have infected you in some way.”

“Oh, fuck you, Justin. No one has “infected” me. More like woke me up. And they are not freaks, because they live differently than you.”

“Have you gone mad, Jensen?” Justin’s normally careful, modulated voice was rising in pitch, almost hysterical. “Boys dressed as girls, girls dressed as boys. Fucking like animals in the wild! They don’t know what they are! And that…Crystal desecrating his marriage vows with that other man.”

“That is not for you to judge! You don’t even know these people, or who or what they might be in their everyday life. So what if they are dressed up as girls or boys. They are exploring their sexuality or challenging gender stereotypes, and I think it’s awesome.”

“I cannot believe I’m hearing this! You have lost your mind. You want to prance around in a dress and stockings? Paint your face like a clown or a whore?”

Jensen pushed himself out of the wingback chair and crossed to Justin. “You know what I think? I think deep down you’re ashamed of yourself and your sexuality.”

That is patently ridiculous,” Justin sneered and turned away from Jensen.

Jensen grabbed Justin by the shoulder and made the other man face him. “Really? Is it? How come you won’t kiss me in public or hold my hand? How can you claim to be proud when you seem so embarrassed and ashamed of drag queens or men who act effeminate, or less “manly”? I wonder if you like me so much, because I’m so “butch”. Look at me. I’m over six feet tall, I’m broad and muscular, exactly what a “man” should be. What if I wanted to try drag?”

Justin’s mouth twisted but he remained silent.

“Thought so.”

“I am not going to argue with you, Jensen. I’m going to see if there is another free room in this place. You cool down. I’ll see you in the morning.”

The door shut behind Justin, and Jensen felt as if something fundamental had changed between them. He sighed, ran a hand through his hair. All the excitement from the storm and meeting Ima and her band of followers was starting to wear off. He turned to the bed, big, inviting and cozy-warm looking, but he didn’t get up and climb in. He returned to the wingback chair, sat down, and collected his thoughts.

Only a few hours ago he had been…content if not entirely happy with his life. He had a nice home with a guy he loved, a steady income; he was comfortable. This whole ordeal had him rethinking everything he had been sure of. One lusty look from Ima had made Jensen feel more alive and desired than Justin had in six years.

Six years. How was it he was still with a person he met when he was sixteen? A lot had changed since then. Or maybe it hadn’t but should’ve. After high school Jensen had wanted to take a year off and go on road trip, but Justin had implied that he wouldn’t be there for Jensen when he came back, and Jensen was so in love he hadn’t wanted to risk it.

Then there was college. Humble though it might be, he had been accepted at UT, but followed Justin to Stanford because Justin said UT wasn’t a good school, and they couldn’t be open here in Texas, not that they ever were open out in California. He decided to major in Marketing, because it was adjacent to Justin’s Finance major, and they could work together, but it wasn’t because it was what he had wanted and wanted to do. His job was so damn mind-numbingly boring, it gave him no satisfaction. Every single life decision was made because of Justin. Now, sitting here in Ima Sogai’s house, he was finally forced to face the fact that he wasn’t sure if Justin would have done the same for him. Jensen had the strong suspicion that he wouldn’t. That wasn’t the way a relationship was supposed to be, was it? A relationship was supposed to be give and take, but Jensen did all the giving and Justin all the taking.

He was twenty-three and already in a rut and bored. Even their sex life was boring. Justin had been the only guy he’d ever had sex with—not that they’d been having much of that lately, and when they did it left a lot to be desired as far as Jensen was concerned. He wanted passion, excitement, to experiment, get a little rough and dirty.

Was this it then? Was this his life? Just keeping things status quo, because it was easy, comfortable, and familiar? He would probably end up marrying Justin, because it was the right next step, and it was easier to go with the inertia of his life than break free. He had been with Justin so long he had gotten dependant on him. The thought had his breath hitching in a kind of claustrophobia. He wasn’t too old to make a change, but it was scary. It was hard wanting something else but just going with the inertia of his life. He wasn’t sure he’d know how to go it alone, but another part of him was excited by the possibility.

Jensen lost track of time, letting his thoughts drift, so many vistas could open up for him. He stood and gazed out the window. All the stars visible out here in the country with no light pollution like in Austin. It was beautiful, and peaceful and almost as overwhelming as Jensen’s thoughts. He turned from the window and crossed to the bed. Yawning he turned down the covers and climbed in. The mattress was firm but cradled him, and he wondered if this was one of those memory foam mattresses. Two floors below the party was still going on, but it was a distant clangor and easily tuned out, as was the occasional moan or cry from his neighbors.

Part 2



 
 
At : Abilene TX
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