August 17, 2015 by Lyn
Part of me is fighting this, but part of me is gone.
Jamian took in Nikita’s words without really understanding them at first. “It hits you hard, the first couple times she pulls the leash,” the boy had said, and Jamian wasted a moment wondering why Niki was telling him about Shiva, and another moment wondering how fucked up the kid was, anyway, to find it comforting to – and then he wasted a third long moment trying to figure out exactly what they were talking about.
Pull the leash. And, with a click, he realized what Niki meant: Ty, Tya, bossing him around, tugging at him like a good dog who did what he was told. And him, being that good dog, whether he wanted to or not. It was disturbing, but he wondered how far it went. And why Niki seemed to sound like he missed it, when Shiva and Ty seemed to think the relationship had ended badly.
Shiva looked over at the two of them, and frowned, the thoughtful frown quickly turning into a glower as Nikita nodded at her. “Fuck,” she swore softly. Mad at him? Jamian wondered briefly, and found he was unconcerned. “Ty, we’re done,” she said, with such rough abruptness that the leash image popped back into his head. “We’re heading back to the suite.” She hugged Phelen, not seeming to mind the black shadows still pooled around his ankles, and kissed him briefly on the lips. “Good hunting, brother,” she murmured softly.
“Thank you, sister,” he said, petting her behind one ear affectionately. Shiva tolerated that for a minute, before turning back to a poleaxed-looking Ty, a smug-looking Niki, and a confused Jamian. “Now. Suite. Done,” she snapped.
If he could have talked, Jamian might have pointed out that he didn’t know where said suite was (nor had he known until now that there were even suites). Since his vocal chords still weren’t cooperating, he shrugged at Niki, who seemed to have appointed himself his shadow.
“This way,” Nikita pointed. “Tya and Magnolia got the only suite in the complex with private entrances, so just go like you’re going to Tya’s bedroom.” He smirked playfully up at him, and for once, he found he didn’t mind; he smirked back down like they were two buddies sharing a joke.
The halls were still dark, and full of screams and catcalls that didn’t sound as innocent as they had this morning, but no-one bothered them, and they reached the suite quickly at the brisk pace Shiva was setting.
“Welcome to our home,” she said formally to Jamian, and, it seemed, to Niki as well. “Please come in.” They did so, Ty bringing up the rear, shutting the door behind them.
Jamian had a moment to look around the suite – a cozy living room, with soft, fluffy-looking furniture and dozens of throw cushions, a messy eat-in kitchen on the right, a door directly ahead, halfway closed, and another one to the left, open to reveal a narrow hallway – before Shiva rounded on him with a fierce glare, her catlike ears flat against her head.
“Ty,” she snarled, and he realized she was looking over his shoulder, not at him, and prudently got out of the way, “at some point, you are going to learn to stop making the same gods-damned mistakes with every single one of your Kept. Because until you do, I am going to follow you around with a stick and beat your skinny sorry ass every time you make the same stupid mistake again!”
Ty made a small whimper of protest, not quite words, and Jamian, feeling protective despite his confusion and irritation, stepped back in between the two of them, setting his shoulders firmly in lieu of telling Shiva off.
She frowned at him, one ear twitching. “Stay out of this, kiddo, I’m trying to help.”
He shook his head no adamantly, glaring at her. She sighed, sounding much put-upon, and settled for glaring over his shoulder at Ty.
“I’m serious, Ty cy’VanderLinden,” she said, sounding for all the world like Jamian’s mother on a rampage. “Either you explain what’s going on to him, and get him straightened around, or I will. And trust me, love, you won’t like the way I explain it.” She glared for another moment, until Ty murmured,
“Yes, Shiva,” in a little-boy voice, playful and silly.
Shiva nodded curtly, her ears beginning to return to their normal position. “Good. Now stop tugging the poor kid around like a puppet on strings – not everyone likes that, you know! – and explain things.” She pointed authoritatively at the couch, and Ty, with a soft little sigh, took Jamian’s hand.
“Come on, Jame’,” he said, sounding hangdog, “let’s get this straightened out.”
Jamian let himself be led to the couch, noticing from the corner of his eye that Shiva was shooing Niki into the kitchen, where they could, he assumed, pretend not to be listening while still hearing everything.
That made him more nervous than anything; whatever it was that Shiva thought Ty needed to talk over with him, she wanted done in her hearing and on her terms. Was their entire relationship going to be on display now? He wasn’t sure he could handle that, no matter how understanding this place was.
Then Ty sat down, and patted the couch next to him, and Jamian found he had no room left for worries about Shiva.
“You don’t have to be so quiet,” he said, smiling gently; “I’m sure you have questions.”
Jamian opened his mouth, intending to show her that he had no voice, and was startled as he heard himself say “I don’t…” He shook his head, and tried again, “Yeah.”
Ty smiled sympathetically, and patted his shoulder. “Hell Night can hit people in some strange ways, especially new students. Feeling a little better, now that we’re out of the halls?”
He nodded, and tried his voice again. “Ye- yeah.”
“Good. I guess I owe you some explanations.”
“Yeah,” he repeated, still feeling a little strange.
“Well, where do you want me to start?”
He blinked, startled. Where to start? “I…” he stuttered. He shoved his hands in his pockets, glancing against the water gun. “Trenchcoat. I mean, Phelen,” he said impulsively. “What’s up with that?” He tried not to sound accusatory, but it was hard, as he remembered the blank expression Kendra had worn.
“Phelen,” Ty sighed. “I could talk about what was up with Phelen for a month and still not be done.” He smirked a little at Jamian. “He’s quite a character.”
“He seems like it,” Jamian agreed grudgingly.
“He is,” Ty agreed, before dropping the smile for a somber expression. “Jame’, I can say with all confidence that Phel is not a rapist, a thug, or a kidnapper. You don’t think Mags and Shiva and I would put up with him if he was, do you?”
“No, but,” he frowned, “he sure looked like he was going to drag her off to his room.”
“He’s a bit of a creep,” Ty conceded. “He likes to scare them, to make them think the same things you were thinking.”
“That’s so much better,” he snarked.
“Compared to actually dragging them off by their hair, yeah,” Ty countered. “But it’s not always a lot of fun to watch, I know.” He leaned forward to kiss the center of Jamian’s forehead, and, startled, Jamian let him. “I’m sorry, I should have thought about that before we went out for Hell Night.”
“It’s all right,” he muttered, a little mollified. “It’s not your fault.”
In the kitchen, someone cleared their throat. Ty, who had been leaning forward again, sat back with an abashed look, the kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “Any other questions?” He seemed to squeak a little on the last word.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be grilling you like this.” But he really did want to know what was going on. “I – Shiva’s right, Ty. I’m not some puppet on strings.” He tried to sound more defiant than he really felt. The uncertain look on Ty’s face suggested he might have succeeded. “You can’t…” he stumbled on his words. “I mean, don’t treat me like your dog, okay?”
A giggle from the kitchen; he ignored it. Let Niki be a little bitch if it made him feel better.
Ty’s lips quirked a little, almost a smile. “I’m sorry, Jame-m’love. Shiva’s right, I do keep making the same mistakes over and over again.”
After a while, you stop noticing. You just know which way you’re going. He smirked gently at her, feeling truly confident around her for the first time. “I’m not Niki,” he teased her lightly. “But I’ll forgive you for the mistake.”
She giggled back at him, and leaned forward until her nose was nearly brushing his. She rested one hand on the back of his neck, cool and dry and oddly soothing, the other falling to his hip, her thumb hooking inside the waistband of his jeans, brushing against his skin.
She scooted closer, although closer should not have been possible, one leg hooking around his waist, until she was right up against him. Her nipples brushed against his again, sending a ripple of sensation through his body while her erection pressed against the front of her shorts…
He gulped, his eyes travelling down Ty’s slender body, but there was no turning back now. She urged him closer, tugging gently at him with both hands. Her lips looked soft and decidedly female, so he focused on those.
He’d never kissed someone for real before, not like this, with his whole body shuddering in need, his nipples tightening as a warmth grew in the parts of his body he tried to ignore. Her hands kept spurring him on, even as she pulled herself closer, in his lap now, pressed against his chest, her hand slinking up from his hip to his breast, to cup it lightly through the layers of T-shirt..
“Ty, Tya,” he pulled back, panicked, flushed both with embarrassment and a quickly-waning need. “Ty, not…” He gulped softly. “Please?” he pleaded, trying not to see the sudden shift in her expression –
-which shifted again, just as quickly, and the Ty he knew and loved was grinning at him. “Backrub,” he offered, “in my room. As an apology.”
Jamian gulped softly, but… “A backrub sounds great,” he answered, trying to match his smile. “In your room.”