Chapter Two

Part Two
of Two

Later he couldn't remember what he did but the next thing he knew Steve was on the ground with his wrist caught in in an immobilizing grip, staring up at Jarod with a stunned look.

"Where the hell did you learn that?!" He said sharply.

"I. . .I don't know." He released Steve's wrist hastily. "It just seemed like the right move."

"It was." He stared at Jarod with thoughtful eyes.

Jarod offered Steve a hand up. "I'm sorry, Steve. Very sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I was just upset."

Steve hesitated then sighed. "I understand. Apology accepted." He took Jarod's hand and let him pull him up, wincing as he regained his feet. "Dammit! I think I wrenched something."

"Lean on me." Jarod commanded. Steve obeyed and Jarod helped him into the sitting room. With a flip of his hand, he leveled the futon. "Lay down. Where does it hurt?"

"My lower back."

"Ahhhh." Moving gently, Jarod straddled Steve's thighs and began to massage his back, working his fingers into the spasming muscle.

Steve grunted suddenly. "Ungh! Oh, there." He sighed, his body relaxing. "That's excellent, Jarod."

Jarod smiled slightly, working his hands up and down Steve's back. After a long moment, Steve spoke again.

"Talk to me, Jarod."

"Talk to you? Well, let's see. I'm having serious problems with two things at the moment. For beginners, I find out that someone I am seriously beginning to care about has been lying to me. . ."

"Nonono. Just not telling you the whole truth is all. Ungh!"

Jarod's fingers dug overly hard into the muscles of Steve's back and Steve glared at him over his shoulder.

"Lying by omission. It's just as bad."

Steve flushed deeply. "Yes. Yes, it is. I'm sorry."

"Why didn't you just tell me?"

Steve hesitated. "This isn't an easy situation, Jarod. We have the picture of a woman who supposedly died almost forty years ago in the possession of a man claiming to be her son. What are we supposed to think?"

"Good point." Jarod said after a long pause, his eyes thoughtful before hazarding a guess. "There's an inheritance?"

"Oh, boy is there! Can you say major? So Aunt Hennah is a tad overly cautious with long-lost heirs showing up on the doorstep."

"It's happened before?"

"A couple times." Steve sighed. "And the other problem is. . ?"

Jarod leaned closer, until he was speaking softly in Steve's ear. "Part of me is raging mad at you but the other part wants to make love to you in the worst way."

Steve turned his head to look at Jarod. "I guess that does explain the hard-on digging into my back, doesn't it?"

Jarod didn't answer, just moved to press his erection harder against Steve, his breathing quickening. "Anger and lust are kindred emotions." He thrust his hands under Steve's shirt, stroking bare skin and leaned forward to kiss the back of his neck. It wasn't what he really wanted to do. What he really wanted to do was tear off Steve's shorts and take him but he knew what that would do to the man, still recovering from that vicious assault years ago. Instead he suddenly raised himself up far enough from Steve to move. "Roll over." He commanded and Steve obeyed.

Jarod dropped back down to straddle Steve, staring into his wide, uncertain eyes. Despite his anger, Jarod knew he couldn't hurt Steve. He leaned forward to kiss him, rubbing against him hard. He could feel the bulge between Steve's legs grow even larger and he pressed his own against it, panting as he humped the other man with increasing desperation. Steve whimpered, matching him thrust for thrust. His hands moved to Jarod's hips, holding him close.

Just short of coming, Jarod raised himself off Steve, moving to stand next to the futon, taking deep breaths to calm himself. Steve looked at him with confusion in his eyes.

"Jarod, what. . ?"

"I know. . .I know you don't want me to. . .to take you, to be on top but, please Steve. I want you inside me. I want. . .I want to know what it's really like. Not just in dreams."

Steve reached up to draw a trembling hand through his short silvery hair. "We've no lubricant. Or condoms."

Jarod hesitated then turned to run from the room. He was back within moments. Steve took one look at what he held and sat up.

"You're kidding!"

Jarod stopped dead, flushing. "I read a X-File story on the Internet. They used. . ." He glanced at the butter he held.

Steve collapsed into laughter. When he could finally talk again, he gasped out his next question. "What about condoms?"

Jarod held out his other hand, clenching a half-dozen condoms. "I forgot I had them." He admitted sheepishly. "After Nia, I thought I'd kept some on-hand. Just in case."

Steve laughed harder and Jarod stared at him, flustered.

"It's okay, Jarod. I'm just. . .just. . ." He studied Jarod intently. "You really want to do this, don't you?"

"Yes. Please yes." Jarod placed what he held on the table next to the futon. The anger he'd felt earlier was gone, replaced completely by lust and need. He stripped off his shirt and shorts. Without rising from the futon, Steve did the same, tossing his clothes to one side. Once naked, they both stared at each other, eyes wandering down the other's body.

Jarod was so hard it hurt but now, at the moment of truth, uncertainty crashed in. Did he really want Steve or was he just curious? Was anger and lust making him reckless? When he had come close to this point with Nia, he had called Sydney to talk with him about women and Sydney had turned it into a lab exercise. What would Sydney think if he knew that his favorite lab project was about to let himself get fucked by a man?

Probably want all the clinical details.

A hand caressed his erection and he returned his attention to the man on the futon. Steve's expression was somber.

"Your choice, Jarod."

My choice." He whispered before rejoining Steve on the futon. "My choice." He reached for Steve and drew him into a deep kiss, hand slipping downward to fondle him eagerly. After a long moment, Steve broke the kiss, making his way slowly down Jarod's body, exploring him with hands and mouth. He stroked Jarod's erection almost roughly before leaning close, hesitating before slowly extending his tongue, drawing it lightly around the head. He smiled at Jarod's groan then leaned forward to engulf as much as he could, sucking hard. The fingers of his free hand slipped lower, between Jarod's cheeks to probe him gently.

Jarod whimpered, thrusting into the warmth of Steve's mouth but Steve was already pulling away. "Roll over." He said hoarsely.

Jarod obeyed, trembling slightly as Steve's fingers explored him. A finger, now slick with butter, slipped through the tight ring of muscle and into him.

"Does it hurt?" Steve asked in concern.

"No. No, it doesn't." A second finger joined the first and Jarod grunted. "Ungh! That. . .that does. A little. Don't stop!"

Steve hesitated. The last thing he wanted to do was hurt Jarod and he knew what Jarod was asking for would hurt. But, from what he read, it could feel good too. If Jarod was willing to put up with the pain. . .

Apparently he was. He was pushing back against Steve's questing fingers, encouraging him to probe further. Steve slowly obeyed, working his fingers in deeper, trying to remember what he had read. He moved his fingers gently.

Jarod suddenly grunted, muscles tightening around Steve's fingers. Steve looked at him in alarm.

"Jarod. . .!"

"No, no. It's all right. That. . .that felt good. Do it again."

Steve did and Jarod sighed deeply.

"Now, Steve." He whispered. "Please."

Steve withdrew his fingers and moved to kneel between Jarod's legs. He was almost painfully hard but still hesitant, uncertain of what to do. He took his time pulling on a condom and coating it with even more butter before moving to cover Jarod's body with his own. Resting on one hand, Steve used his free hand to guide the head of his erection to Jarod's opening then hesitated, abruptly moving to one side.

Jarod looked at him, almost in desperation. "Steve!"

"I'm afraid I'm going to hurt you, Jarod. I want you to have more control over this." He stretched out on his back. "Get above me."

Jarod saw what he wanted immediately and moved to straddle Steve, a knee on either side of his hips. Steve reached up to hold his hips as Jarod gripped Steve's erection at the base and lowered himself until the head rested against his anus. Taking a deep breath and releasing it slowly, Jarod worked the thick head into himself then paused, letting his body adjust the unusual feeling of being entered.

"Slowly, Jarod." Steve said hoarsely. "No hurry."

Jarod looked down at him with a shaky smile. It did hurt, more then he would have liked but he wanted this. More than anything. He relaxed his thigh muscles, just beginning to tremble with the strain, and slowly impaled himself on Steve, gritting his teeth against the pain. It seemed to take forever but finally he had taken all of him. Jarod paused, feeling the hot smoothness of Steve's sac against him, his own nestled in curly pubic hair. He took a deep breath and looked at his lover's concerned face.

"How badly is this hurting you?" Steve asked quietly.

Jarod blinked. "A bit." He admitted then amended that. "Quite a bit. But it's easing."

And it was. Steve filled him totally and it felt odd, stretching him more then he'd ever thought possible. But the pain was easing. Jarod slowly raised himself, not far, perhaps a bare two inches then dropped back down, trying to find the best angle. At first the pain increased then the head of Steve's erection hit something that made Jarod want to scream with pleasure. He bit his lip and tried to repeat the motion. He succeeded and he kept that angle, feeling pleasure cover the pain, pushing what little was left into the background.

"Jarod! Wait, stop!" He heard Steve yell and he paused, looking down at Steve, blinking the sweat from his eyes, half-afraid that Steve would demand they stop. But he didn't. Instead, Steve slowly sat up, his hands on Jarod's hips and urged him to roll over onto his back. Once there, Steve pushed Jarod's legs back and apart, looking down to where their bodies were still joined. His breathing quickened and he looked at Jarod with lust-brightened eyes.

"You're tight." He said hoarsely. "So damn tight!" Moving so his knees were under Jarod, Steve drew back then thrust forward. Jarod groaned at the feeling, resting his legs on Steve's shoulders and reaching down to stroke himself in time with Steve's thrusts, only half-aware of Steve bracing himself on his arms and leaning close enough to kiss him hard. Jarod opened his mouth, his tongue meeting and caressing Steve's.

"Hot." Steve murmured against Jarod's lips. "So hot and tight and it feels so good. . ." Whatever else he may have wanted to say were lost in his moans of pleasure as he moved in an age-old rhythm.

"Steve." Jarod whispered hoarsely. "Steve." He found himself repeating the other man's name over and over again, a mantra of pure pleasure. Pain came rarely now, totally overwhelmed by pleasure. He felt a tightening in his groin and cried out, stroking himself harder then he was coming, semen spilling over his hand and splattering on Steve's chest and belly.

Steve gasped at the feeling of Jarod's muscles tightening around him. He thrust even deeper, moving with short, rapid strokes as he came, whispering Jarod's name. Bracing himself on his hands, he thrust one last time, sighing at the feeling of release then looked down at the man beneath him.

"How did it feel?" Steve asked hoarsely and Jarod looked up at him with bright eyes.

"Wonderful." He said softly. "Just wonderful." Then he added. "After the initial pain, that is. Good thing you weren't any bigger or I might not have been able to handle it."

"Hmmmm. Hang tight. I'm going to slip out now." Steve drew free of Jarod's body then worked the condom loose, tying it closed and rising to drop it into a nearby waste can. He collapsed back onto the futon. "Deities." He whispered fervently then caught the question in Jarod's eyes. "Yes, it was wonderful for me too."

"Good." Jarod rested his hand on Steve's chest before speaking hesitantly. "Do you think, some day. . .?"

His voice faltered but Steve knew what he was asking. He flinched, remembering that night years ago, the cruel invasion of his body by something inhuman, used by a very sick man to hurt and humiliate him, the horrible pain that eased only when there was enough blood to act as lubricant. But he could also remember the look of intense pleasure on Jarod's face just moments before, how much he had enjoyed having Steve inside of him.

"Perhaps." He smiled faintly. "Not today but. . .someday."

"That's enough for me." Jarod rose onto his elbow and leaned over to kiss Steve gently.

The phone rang.

"Oh, god." Steve muttered. "Jim, get a life."

"You think it's your brother?"

Steve threw him a look and rose, walking over to the phone, answering it with a weary, "Hello, Jim."

Jarod, of course, could only hear one side of the conversation. He rested his head on his hand and listened.

"At least you waited until we were done. Actually I'm surprised you didn't call after the first time. Oh, you tried. Well, I didn't tell you about meeting a woman because I haven't. I told you about Jarod. Stop freaking out on me, Jim. Jim. Jim! I'm going to hang up and disconnect the phone if you don't listen, dammit!" The last bit came out as a yell.

Jim must have calmed down since Steve didn't hang up the phone. He walked over to sit on the futon next to Jarod.

"That's better. No, actually, I had no intention of actually having sex with him but it's happened and I loved every minute of it. It was my choice, Jim." Steve was silent for a long moment, obviously listening then looked at Jarod. "You know better then that." He listened a moment longer. "Yes, we were careful. Condoms and. . ." He exchanged a wry look with Jarod. "Lubricant. No, I'm not planning on being on bottom for awhile. Not until I'm ready. Jarod agrees. You coming to visit soon? Yes, that's a change of subject. Is it working? All right, all right. I'll talk to you later. Bye, Jim."

Steve turned the phone off and set it down before rejoining Jarod on the futon.

"I take it Jim felt what was happening?"

"Yeah." Steve stretched out next to him.

"Do you always feel each other's sexual encounters?"

"Hmmmmmm. Not always. We're pretty good at blocking each other out." He hesitated. "Jim. . .he tends to be over protective of me since the attack. Did I tell you he almost killed the man? If Quint hadn't pulled him off and convinced him that I needed him, he just may have. He wanted me to move out to Portland when I recovered but I figured that wouldn't be very fair to his wife and son." He laughed softly. "Now, with the demise of his marriage, I was hoping he'd move out here but his son is still living in Portland."

"What happened to the guy who. . .?"

"Dead. Knifed in prison."

"Oh." Jarod fell silent, idly stroking Steve's chest. "Steve, tell me about Miranda Moore."

Steve stiffened and Jarod could have bitten his tongue as he realized what Steve was thinking. He sat up and glared down at the man.

"No, I did not make love to you to get information! I did it because I wanted to!"

Steve stared at him for a long moment, uncertainty on his face then he abruptly relaxed.

"I'm sorry, Jarod. We both seem to be jumping to conclusions today."

"Yeah." Jarod crossed his legs, shifting uncomfortably.


"Stretched." Jarod corrected with a grin. He saw the worried look in Steve's eyes and sighed. "I'm fine. There was no bleeding, was there? And the pain's faded." He reached out to take Steve's hand gently. "It was great, Steve. And you know I am telling the truth."

Steve blinked then laughed. "Yes, I know." He sat up to sit cross-legged in front of Jarod. "Actually, I don't know much about Miranda other then her disappearance. That was almost forty years ago." He frowned thoughtfully.

Jarod was having some thoughts of his own and he didn't like them at all. "Maybe that isn't a picture of my mother." He said reluctantly. "Maybe they just randomly picked a picture of a woman and said it was."

"Maybe. But why Miranda? And. . ." Steve paused thoughtfully. "And even so it raises new questions. In that picture you have, Miranda must be in her early to mid twenties. She vanished when she was sixteen."

Jarod thought back on what Steve had said earlier. "She graduated when she was sixteen?"

"She graduated when she was fourteen." Steve corrected. "The village doesn't like to call attention to their gifted youngsters so they gave her a two-year sabbatical before considering college."

"Oh." Jarod blinked and Steve laughed.

"Come on. A quick shower and we'll get dressed. I want to show you something."

He wouldn't say what as the two men showered together, despite Jarod's questions. Ten minutes later, they were dressed in fresh clothing and Steve was tugging Jarod into his bedroom.

"If we were coming here, we could have just stayed naked." Jarod commented and Steve threw him a nasty look.

"That you've already seen. This is what I want to show you." He walked over to the fireplace and did something Jarod couldn't see. There was a very faint rumbling noise and the back of the fireplace swung backward.

Jarod blinked, leaning forward to rest his hands on his knees, peering into the darkness. "Cool." He said with a note of awe.

"This entire place is riddled with secret passageways. The original owner, the man who built this place and help found the town, was a pirate. Among other things. If, and that's a big if, if the Centre or anyone for that matter shows up looking for you, you can just duck into one of the hidden doors. I'll show you the others later."

"Where do they lead?"

"Depends which tunnel you take." Steve reached for a battery-operated lantern just inside the opening and turned it on. "Most of them go toward the village or out to the cove but one goes to Moore Manor. Come on."

They slipped into the tunnel, Steve pausing to close the door behind them. "There's lanterns scattered through the tunnels. And if you ever end up in here without me. . .look." Steve raised the lantern as high as he could. Carved in the wood over a foot higher then either of their heads was a very small arrow. If you didn't know what you were looking for, it would have seemed to be just another odd crack in the wood. "Follow the arrows and they'll eventually take you to the village."

Steve lead Jarod downward through the house, showing him the door tucked into the fireplace in the kitchen then leading him to the beach via the hidden tunnels. Jarod marveled out loud at the simplicity of the tunnel design and Steve laughed.

"You should see the tunnels under Moore Manor." He shook his head. "Over the centuries, the entire village has been on-and-off involved in smuggling and the Manor was the centerpiece of the entire operation. According to village legend, there's even a dungeon down there, complete with forgotten prisoners." Turning off the lantern, Steve set it at the mouth of the tunnel and closed the door securely. Once closed, Jarod couldn't distinguish it from the cliff wall. "Come on."

Steve lead him to the Manor's side of the cove and up the weather-worn stairs that had been carved directly from the cliff face. At the up-close sight of the Manor, Jarod stopped dead, blinking.

"Steve. . ."

"Yes, it is the same design. They were built at roughly the same time. The Roberts and the Moores came here at about the same time but the Roberts House has been empty for decades." He grinned at Jarod. "It's suppose to be haunted."

"Haunted? How haunted?"

But Steve was already walking away, toward the house. He paused suddenly at a rose bush, smiling slightly. Snapping off a blossom, he pinched off the thorns before turning to offer it to Jarod.

"For you." He said quietly. "Thank you. For everything."

Jarod smiled, reaching out to take the rose, entwining his fingers with Steve's. He leaned forward, meaning to kiss the man when a movement caught his eyes. He pausing, blinking.

"Steve," he said, his lips just barely touching the other man's. "Would your Aunt Hennah happen to be a rather tall woman with gray hair done in a bun given to black dresses and a cameo pin?"

Steve blinked. "No, that would be Emily." He looked over his shoulder then ducked as a broom whistled past where his head had been. He scrambled behind Jarod, wrapping his arms around the other's waist and using him as a shield. "You're supposed to be visiting your daughter!" He said accusingly.

"I was. I just got home." She looked at Jarod, eyes finally resting on the rose he held.

Jarod looked down at the flower and flushed slightly. "I take it we shouldn't pick the flowers?"

"Hmmmmm. From this side of the house there won't be much fuss. Just stay away from the gardens on the other side or Heinrich will have your hide." She turned, gathering her skirts in one hand. "Come inside, I'll make tea."

"Heinrich?" Jarod muttered as they followed the woman into the house.

"The handyman. Chauffer. Bodyguard. Whatever. Someone you definitely would not like to meet in a dark alley. Or a well-lit one for that matter. He's roughly six-foot-nine, built like Conan and looks like the Aryan ideal. Hitler would have loved him." Once inside a kitchen much like the one they had been earlier, Steve spoke up louder. "Emily, this is Jarod. As you probably already know." He hesitated then added in a somewhat defiant voice. "I told him about Miranda."

"Did you now? Why?" She didn't sound at all surprised.

Steve didn't answer, just flushed deeply. Emily turned at his silence and saw his expression.

"Hmmmm." Was all she said before turning back to what she was doing. "Go into the library. I'll bring the tea there. Have you eaten this morning?"

Steve blinked. "Now that you mention it, no. We made eggs but. . ." His flush deepened.

"That's the fun about fair-skinned men." Emily said to Jarod. "They blush so easily and it shows up so nicely. I picked up some danish in the village. I'll bring that as well."

"All right." Steve said in a small voice and lead Jarod from the room. Jarod wasn't surprised to see that the library was in the same place as the one in Steve's house though the layout was different. While there were as many books, there were also a number of display cases, including a floor-to-ceiling display of tarot cards.

Once there, Steve stopped with a frown. "I think she was expecting me to tell you." He said in a puzzled voice.

"I was." Emily swept in, making Steve jump. "You are a dear boy, Steve but you're as honest as the day is long. That's one reason your mother kept you out of the family business. Hennah figured that if a relationship between you two actually did develop, you would tell him the truth. But she thought to be back before then." She set the tray on a low table in front of a well-stuffed sofa.

"Family business?" Jarod asked Steve softly.

"I'll explain that later." Steve muttered back.

"So she asked me to get a few things together in preparation. Just in case." She gestured toward the sofa. "Just keep everything tidy." She started for the door.

"Where are you going?" Steve asked.

"Back to the village. This is between you two and I can't aid either of you. Yet." And she was gone.

Jarod walked over to the sofa, staring at the book resting there. Hesitantly, he picked it up.

It was leather-bound and scrapbook size with the name C. Miranda Moore emblazoned in silver on the front and spine. Above the name on the front was an oval black-and-white photo of the woman he was told was his mother. She was, he thought, a lovely young woman.

"A Legacy book." Steve murmured then, seeing Jarod's questioning look, elaborated. "Everyone has one. It's sort of a large brag book. Here." He took the book from Jarod and sat on the sofa. Jarod sat next to him. "As you can see, it has the name on the front and a picture as well, normally replaced every year. Open it up. . ." And he did. "Birth certificate on the front page, then a yearly update complete with a picture maybe every five years. And newspaper clippings when they apply."

"You have one?" Jarod asked.

"Hmmmm. My mother has it. Normally the parents do this. So this is Miranda's."

"I see." Jarod took the book back and opened it, slowly going from page to page.

Steve poured two mugs of tea and stretched out on the sofa, resting his legs on Jarod's lap. Jarod didn't even seem to notice, just raised the book out of harm's way then used Steve's legs to rest the book on. He took the mug absently, his eyes locked on the book.

Steve sighed and reached for a danish, careful not to get crumbs on the sofa. He knew what was in Miranda's Legacy book, he had read it earlier while Jarod lay in a deep sleep shortly after his arrival. It wasn't very long, covering only sixteen years, but it was busy.

"She was brilliant, wasn't she?" Jarod said softly.

"Yes, she was. My guess is that, if she hadn't disappeared, she'd be a leading scientist right now."

"Engineer." Jarod corrected absently. "These looks like she was interested in engineering." He looked at Steve then at the legs on his lap. "When did this happen?"

Steve chuckled and reached for a danish, offering it to Jarod. "Here. They're excellent."

Jarod took it, nibbling absently. "There's a book for every person in the village?"

"Hmmmmmm." Mouth full of danish, Steve nodded then swallowed. "For every person since the village was founded."

"Where are they?"

Steve hesitated. "I don't think I should. I mean, we're not sure that you're actually Miranda's son."

Jarod rested his fingers lightly on the picture of Miranda.

"What do you think?" He asked quietly.

Steve stared at him then swung his legs off Jarod's lap and stood, walking over to a bookcase. Carefully he pulled out three books in three separate locations then twisted a bookend. A bookcase across the room swung outward. Walking over, he swung it open even further, revealing another bookcase hidden behind it, filled with books just like the one Jarod held.

"There's a book here for every person born in the village since it was founded. Well, not all here here. These books pertain mainly to the Moores starting with..." He reached up and pulled the first book from the top shelf. "Zebadiah Moore. The founder of Mooreland."

Jarod took it, studying the cover. No photo, of course but the name Zebadiah Moore was worked into the leather in gold.

"You're going to read all of these, aren't you?" Steve asked.

Jarod looked at the rows of books. "If I can."

Steve sighed, running a hand through his hair. "Then I'm going to leave you here and go take care of some things. Lloyd's probably had the groceries delivered so I better get them put away." He stepped closer to Jarod, kissing him gently. "I'll be back later, okay?"

Jarod slipped a hand into Steve's hair and deepened the kiss. "I'll be waiting."

Jarod watched as Steve walked out the door then poured himself a mug of tea before settling in a chair nearest to the hidden books. Gingerly he opened the first book and began to read.

Steve walked back to the house, taking the more direct shortcut that started in the Manor's kitchen and ended in the Robert's House kitchen. A look onto the front porch confirmed his suspicions. The groceries were there, packed in boxes. He carried them one by one into the kitchen and unpacked them, putting everything where it belonged. He hesitated at the last items, blushing involuntarily. Apparently Lloyd hadn't known what kind of condoms to send and had settled for a variety of kinds, including glow-in-the-dark, textured and even flavored.

"I'll get you for that, Lloyd." He muttered, putting the condoms and lubricant on the stairs to go upstairs.

Walking into the library, he turned on his computer, resolving to get the outline of his next book done and off to the publisher before said publisher started screaming. And, boy, did he have an idea for a story.

What if a secret organization stole away a genius child and trained him to do simulations. . . ?

He set to work.

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