Free short story set after the events of SHATTER featuring Snow, Jude, Lucas and Andrei!
No Walls are Sacred
The sharp crackle of thunder and sudden downpour roared through the car, startling Snow in the backseat and knocking Jude closer into his side. He expected the man to wake up, but all he did was sort of nuzzle into Snow’s shoulder, making him smile.
“Shit!” Lucas swerved when the car in front of them hit its brakes. He veered onto the shoulder, gravel pinging against the undercarriage until Lucas put them back on the road to inch forward as the rain picked up. The deluge pounded the roof, the noise so loud it hurt Snow’s ears.
Lucas leaned forward. “I can’t see enough to drive in this. We have to find a safe place to pull over and wait it out.”
In the passenger seat, a soft glow from his phone lit Andrei’s face. “My weather app says the storm is going to last for hours.” He held the phone up, probably trying to see the keyboard in the minimal light as he typed. “There’s a motel about a mile ahead. We could crash there for the night.”
Snow glanced down at the man passed out on his shoulder, wishing he could see him in the darkness of the backseat. Instead, he lifted his free hand and touched Jude’s hair before he turned enough to bury his nose in it. He smelled like the shampoo they’d picked up on the road because they’d forgotten theirs. Snow had really wanted to be home tonight in their bed. Smell the shampoo they normally used. But it was already after ten and they were still two hours from Cincinnati. They weren’t making it tonight. He’d enjoyed the hell out of their three-day weekend though.
Andrei turned to hold his phone up so he could see Snow. “Sound good to you?” He cursed and dropped the phone when Lucas had to hit the brakes again.
“Yeah, we shouldn’t be driving in this.” Snow tightened his hand on Jude’s head to keep him steady, chuckling when he didn’t wake.
“I’m surprised Jude can sleep through this noise,” Andrei said.
Jude made a smacking sound and dropped his hand on Snow’s thigh. Snow grinned. “He can sleep through most anything.” Plus, he was exhausted from skiing. He’d never been before and he hadn’t quite got the hang of it. Tried his ass off, though.
One of Lucas’s business associates had offered his place so they could all take a vacation, though Lucas had spent most of it checking out properties in the area. He was thinking of purchasing a weekend place big enough for them all. Had even dragged Snow to look at one ridiculous house with six bedrooms and two kitchens. Who the hell needed two kitchens? Of course, Ian would have been in heaven. Snow had really liked the indoor pool, though. Any time he could get Jude into water was a good thing. It was like an aphrodisiac to the man.
Truthfully, skiing wasn’t Snow’s preference for a getaway and he’d only agreed to this weekend because he’d thought Rowe and Ian could make it. But at the last minute, both had work commitments. Though, in Rowe’s case, he knew it was bullshit. His heart ached for his friend. He was starting to hang out more, but he wasn’t himself and he hardly ever smiled. They should have known he wouldn’t be ready for a vacation.
Jude’s cell rang and Snow glanced into the cup holder to see Anna’s smiling face so he answered it. He knew exactly why she was calling. “We’re okay.”
“I just wanted to check in because the news is staying the storm is really bad and I know you two aren’t home yet.”
“I see the motel,” Andrei said, pointing at some garish neon lights half blurred through the thick sheets of rain.
Snow smiled when Jude turned his mouth into his neck and kissed him. “Don’t worry. We’re getting off the road now. We won’t be home tonight after all.”
“Okay. I put a casserole in the refrigerator at the apartment so you boys would have something ready when you got home. It’ll still be good tomorrow.”
“Thanks. Your son is pretty tired from falling on his ass all weekend so he’ll appreciate it.”
Jude, obviously awake now, opened his mouth and bit down.
Chuckling, Snow tightened his hand on Jude’s head, held his open mouth to his skin and worked to hold back a shudder when Jude’s tongue came out to play. “I mean I’ll appreciate it, too.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re stopping for the night,” she said. “I won’t worry. Good night.”
She hung up just as Lucas stopped the car in front of motel’s office. A lot of people milled near the door right inside. Before Snow had time to say anything, Lucas got out and dashed into the office.
Snow set the phone back in the holder. Anna Torres was nosy at times and she had hellacious bad timing, but like her son, her heart was big and roomy—a welcome place for anyone she considered family. And she didn’t show up unannounced often, which was good because they still spent a lot of the free time they got naked.
Jude leaned back in the seat to grin at him. “My mana loves you. Says you didn’t get proper mothering as a child and she needs to catch you up.”
Snow just shook his head. He’d never admit it, but he kind of liked her fussing.
“I take it we’re getting rooms to wait out the storm?” Jude put his hand on the door handle. “Want me to run in and get us one?”
“Don’t bother,” Andrei said from the front seat. “Lucas will get two.” He stretched his arms over his head as much as he could while pushing back against the seat. Snow couldn’t blame him. They’d been cooped up in the car for four hours and he was looking forward to getting out and stretching his legs.
“He already has, I’m sure,” Snow agreed, pulling Jude back against his body. “You’ll learn. Just let him mother—like Anna. It makes him happy. He’s already on his way back.”
Lucas was scowling when he slid back into the car. The scent of wet wool from his coat filled the small space. “We almost had to share, but I managed to talk two other couples into doing it, so we got connecting rooms. Seems this is the only motel on this stretch of road for at least another twenty miles.” He twisted in the seat to face the back. “If we’d had to share, they have double beds at least.” He started to grin and quickly covered his mouth, but his eyes glittered with suppressed mirth as he met Snow’s gaze.
Snow knew exactly where his mind had gone and rolled his eyes. They’d drunkenly shared a hotel right before they’d both left for the Army. They’d picked up a couple of guys who didn’t care that there was another couple getting it on in the next bed. The room had been dark enough. The next morning the other men were hitting it off so well, Lucas and Snow ended up sneaking out.
Yeah, that wasn’t happening this time. He wasn’t about to have sex with Jude with anyone else in the room and he knew for sure that Lucas would never share any of Andrei. The man may be slow to profess his undying love, but his urge to wrap Andrei up and hide him from anything dangerous made for some amusing conversations.
They’d changed a lot from those overly randy teens with their first taste of freedom. He ran his hand down Jude’s thigh, digging his fingers into the jeans, and got a flash of teeth in a smiling reply. Okay…maybe not that much.
Andrei sighed. “Talked them into it or paid them, Lucas? Were the other two couples friends at least?”
“No, strangers, why?” Lucas started the car and began to back up. Rain nearly obliterated their view as he searched for a parking spot for the night.
Turning in his seat, Andrei held the phone to his face, probably so Snow and Jude could see his wry expression.
Yeah, his friend could be one-sided at times. To Snow, it was just a part of his charm.
Jude stretched out across the bed on his back. He frowned at a brown stain on the ceiling. “I’m pretty sure I saw this room in a horror movie. Bad, scary things happened in this room.”
“You and your hatred of horror movies,” Snow muttered. Something bumped Jude’s head right before Snow’s tousled gray-streaked hair then upside-down face filled his vision. “We can make lots of bad things happen in this room.”
“Love the sound of that,” he murmured, giving Snow a tired smile. “You’re gorgeous from any angle.”
He got a smile in return as Snow stared at him, touched his jaw.
“I need to shave again, eh?”
“No,” Snow said as he leaned down and slowly kissed him. Jude opened his mouth, loving the slow slide of Snow’s tongue against his before Snow sucked on his bottom lip, then pulled away. He surprised Jude with a soft kiss on his nose first.
“Do that again,” he whispered.
Snow kissed his nose again and Jude grinned as Snow turned his head slightly, came back, and the long, drugging kiss that followed made all Jude’s blood go south. Snow reached for the hem of his sweater and pulled away from his mouth only long enough to tug it over his head. When he came back, he ran his hands down Jude’s shoulders, stroked the hair on his chest. The man was a pure hedonist who could sometimes spend hours worshiping every part of Jude’s body.
Jude fucking loved it.
He fucking loved his general.
He rose up and captured Snow’s lush lower lip, groaning as Snow scratched a fingernail over one of his nipples. He kissed, nipped the mouth that drove him crazy and thrust his fingers into Snow’s hair. Snow left his mouth and gently bit his chin before nuzzling against the whiskers that inevitably grew by this time of night. He moved down to his neck, his collarbone and opened his mouth over Jude’s skin.
The moan that escaped Jude’s throat was loud enough to alert the men in the next room what they were up to. Not that he cared. He was pretty sure they’d learned a lot about his relationship with Snow the past weekend, and he and Snow had been fairly good at keeping sex to private areas. Except for that one time in the hot tub when they’d thought Lucas and Andrei had left for dinner already. Resisting Doctor Ashton Frost in a hot tub was something Jude couldn’t even fathom. Andrei’s face had turned red off and on the rest of that night. Snow had laughed every time. Goaded him a couple of times, too.
Jude watched him come around to stand by his dangling feet. He kept his gaze locked with Jude’s as he pulled off Jude’s boots. Jude undid his belt buckle, his jeans, then let out a sudden, surprised “Oomph!” when Snow tugged off his jeans. Once again, he didn’t bother with Jude’s socks before he was tugging Jude up off the bed with one of his lust-inducing wicked grins. He jerked off his own black sweater as he backed toward the suitcase they’d left on the rickety table by the door and was naked when he came back to Jude with condoms and lube.
Grinning, Snow pointed to the wall.
Snow was still smiling as they walked into the diner attached to the motel the next morning. His eyes watered at the grease and smoke thickening the air, but his stomach rumbled at the smell of bacon and coffee. Jude, who’d spotted Lucas in one of the booths by the big windows, tugged on his hand to pull him that direction.
Lucas shook his head as Jude scooted into the seat across from him. Snow sat next to Jude and waited for whatever crap his friend was about to lay on him.
“Couldn’t you have chosen the other side of the room?” Lucas picked up his orange juice. He looked well rested, but there was an obvious red mark on the right side of his neck. He pointed to the extra toast in the middle of the table.
“That side didn’t have enough wall space.” Jude smirked and grabbed one of the small packets of grape jelly. He handed it to Snow and dug through the stack for strawberry.
Snow didn’t miss Lucas’s attempt to hide his pleased smile at Jude’s knowledge of his favorite flavor. Jude paid attention. To everything. He cared and he never hesitated to show it, affection coming to him like breathing came to everyone else. Fuck, he was nuts about the man. Snow slipped his hand under the table and squeezed Jude’s thigh. Jude immediately put his hand on top of Snow’s, but didn’t press. He hovered until Snow turned his palm up. Warm, thick fingers slid between his. Of course, neither of them could spread their jelly one-handed, but it could wait.
Andrei slipped into the free spot across from Snow and gave them the same shake of the head. He hadn’t tied back his hair and it fell in a spill of black curls down to his shoulders. “I learned too much about you two this past weekend. More than I wanted to ever know.”
“Too noisy for you?” Snow taunted.
“You guys have no shame.”
Jude merely shrugged. Snow lifted their linked hands, kissed Jude’s knuckles before letting him go and grabbing a slice of toast and a knife. “I heard a few noises from your room, so you two have no room to talk. Plus, the laundry room at the weekend place? Think we didn’t hear that? What is up with you two and laundry rooms?”
Lucas chuckled as he stole a slice of bacon from Andrei’s plate. “At least we narrowed it down to a room. With you two, no walls are sacred.”