Empty Bargains [Jason McCann]

"I have nothing else to offer you," Markus barked through gritted teeth, his fists clenched hard at his sides.

Jason shook his head, chuckling. "I only want one thing, and it's in this room," he sneered.

My brother took a step closer to me, trying to push me toward the door. Jason's eyes flashed over and caught mine, a glint in his eye while a shiver went down my spine.

"What do you want?" Markus asked, impatient.

Jason's head nodded in my direction. I froze and the room fell deafeningly silent.

"I want her."


15. ~9.20~


    Jason’s lips immediately responded to mine, molding to my mouth and flushing the intense feeling I got whenever we kissed through my body.  My wrists twisted out of his hands and I tugged roughly at the hair gracing the nape of his neck.  Jason’s touch wandered to my waist, pushing up my sweatshirt to reveal my sides.  The pads of his fingers pressed into my skin as we shared the kiss.


    I leaned further into him, causing our bodies to fall back against his mattress and my legs to straddle his waist.  Deepening our kiss, I bit down lightly on his lower lip.  He responded by slipping his tongue against mine and pulling me downward to flush my chest against his.  My left hand trailed down his clothed torso to tease the hem of his shirt, then drew it up and pressed my palm against his tensing abdominal muscles.


    I was overwhelmed by whatever feeling Jason gave me.  Briefly, my mind flashed to explosions creating a buzz throughout my entire body.  I could think of nothing but where Jason and I were touching — my right hand running through his hair, two weeks past due for a trim; my left compressed against stomach and mashed between our bodies; the insides of my thighs squeezing against his sides.  Our lips, most of all, moving in almost flawless patterns against one another.


    Jason’s hands moved further up my body, bare underneath with the exception of a sports bra.  His fingers slipped underneath the stretching material, splaying his palms to the soft skin of my back.  As I tugged his shirt up toward his pecks, Jason’s lips left a trail across my jaw and came to reside at the base of my neck, sucking softly.  It took all I had within me to suppress the moans he was enticing from my throat.  He couldn’t know he had that much power over me already.


    But just as I thought this, he moved from underneath me and pinned me on my back, causing me to let a gasp escape from my mouth.  Jason continued to press slow, elaborate kisses to my neck, moving to just below my jaw and sucking harshly.  I felt the blood under my skin flush to the surface, unable to hide a low moan that slid from my lips.  Jason’s small smirk was evident against the heated area as he raised his head for only a second before pressing his mouth against mine again.


    Jason’s shirt had somehow managed to slip off in the next few seconds, and I could feel in the movements of his hands that mine was sure to follow.  The thought suddenly made me nervous, my already speeding heart beating faster.  I was being rash with Jason, but not that rash.  Sex was still a significant move, whether I was ready or not.


    I began to slow the movements of my lips against Jason’s, and he — though I could tell reluctantly — did the same.  His hands still lingered under my sweatshirt, which had become impossibly smothering in a short amount of time.  The feel of his bare chest against my exposed stomach did nothing to help suppress the buzzing in my body, nor did I wish it to stop.


    The movements of our mouths became less urgent and more savoring, hot breath brushing over my cheeks.  I could feel where Jason had drawn blood to the surface of my skin pulsing subtly, and heat flushed to my cheeks and stirred in my abdomen.  It would still be there when I woke up tomorrow, and most likely throughout the day.  As our lips continued to brush I wondered what jeers I’d get from the rest of Jason’s group in the morning, and I wondered how the hell I ended up like this.



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    I was slow to waking, knowing that if I did I would have to leave the warm encasing of sheets around me.  My eyes drifted open, landing on slits of light cast on the far wall by the window at my back.  Judging by the brightness and angle, I could guess I’d already missed half of the day to sleep.  A growl in my stomach caused me to rub a hand against my torso, only to be met by another.


    Suddenly, all of last night came rushing back at me.  Kissing Jason, wanting him badly and stopping just short of being undressed by him — along with everything going through my head, leading up to the decisions I’d made.


    I cursed myself for feeling comfort in our position, my back flush against Jason’s bare chest, one of his arms draped around my middle and holding me to him.  I shouldn’t be like this, not with Jason.


    But I couldn’t find it within myself to separate from him out of revulsion, like I could have not even a few nights ago.  The feeling I had whenever we kissed, or touched like we were then, stood in the way of me running from him.


    A thought of Tyler drifted across my mind but I shoved it away quickly, stifling it’s ability to make me feel any guilt.  I didn’t want to face the fact that I had basically basically cheated on him, let alone with whom.  I also couldn’t bear to think about what it would mean if he found out, or even if I were in his position — I’d never want to see his face again.  Going further down this path meant throwing away two years with a boy who would go great lengths for me, and likewise.  Something like what Tyler and I had didn’t just die off, but I kept finding myself trying to reason against him.


    Another growl of my stomach brought me out of my train of thought destined for nowhere good.  My fingers pried at Jason’s, trying to persuade them to let me go.  To my surprise they held some resistance, but with the stir of the still-sleeping body behind me I was able to slide out from underneath him.


    After a short trip to the toilet I washed my face off in front of the mirror.  When I dropped my hand to rinse underneath my jaw, I winced at the sore spot blooming a dark shade of purple.  My eyes closed and I breathed deeply, trying to gather a sliver of patience.  I was definitely not in the mood to get crap from Jason’s guys, but that was exactly what I’d get if they saw it.


    I slipped out the bathroom door and into the hallway without checking if Jason was awake or not, wanting to delay the inevitable discussion for as long as possible.  Or maybe there wouldn’t be any discussion at all, given that last night had shown how talking was, for neither of us, a forte.  Either way, more of me than not wanted to delay seeing Jason as long as possible.


    As I made my way down the stairs I brushed my hair over part of my neck to hide the mark Jason had left.  My toes curled a little at the cold of the staircase, granted a little relief at the bottom when my feet hit carpet.  Sooner than I was ready for, they were again chilled by the tile of the kitchen floor.


    Leo was sat at the table, typing quickly on his phone as I strutted into the room.  A glance over my shoulder read the clock against the opposite wall as just past one, then brushed over Leo again.  He was a little hunched, a line of concentration forming on his forehead.  I could tell something was bothering him, but decided to wait until I’d jerked the refrigerator’s door open.


    “What’s got you in a knot?” I asked around the metal barrier holding more than a few new condiments.


    I heard a breath pushed from his nose as I pulled out everything needed to make french toast — it was a little late for breakfast food, but my stomach told me I’d chosen right.  The door swung closed behind me and I stooped to pull out a pan.


    After receiving no reply from Leo, I opted for the sustenance approach.  “Want some french toast?”


    “A little,” he said hurriedly, and I caught the drift that he was brushing me off.  Instead of calling him out, I decided to just continue with my food.


    I sat a plate in front of him ten minutes later, followed by a carton of syrup.  Leo was still staring intently at his phone, so I snapped my fingers to make sure he could still see the real world.  His eyes widened slightly, then glanced at the food I’d set in front of him.  Leo mumbled a thanks before setting down his phone for only a second while he poured syrup over his french toast.


    “You look a little flustered,” I said aloud, I realized more to myself than anyone.  I simply shrugged and went back to cooking.


    A few moments later Leo shot up, making me jump the slightest bit.  Without finishing his food or acknowledging my presence further, he left in a hurry with mutterings of the stupidity of Carter under his breath.  The door downstairs slammed and I was left in silence.  I shrugged to myself and turned back to the stove.  Not ten seconds later I heard someone treading down the stairs and through the living room.  I didn’t look up from what I was making, but from the way the fluttering in my chest hit me I knew it was Jason.


    He didn’t say anything, just stood in the doorway for a long time before heading for the refrigerator.  Jason took the path across the island from me, I assumed so as to not run into each other.  I bit my lip as he pulled out a carton of orange juice and set it on the counter, then moved to right beside me to get a glass.  One of his hands brushed the small of my back while the other reached into the cabinet above my head.


    Biting my lip, I said, “I made food.”


    “I can see that,” Jason nodded, squeezing my waist before walking back to the carton he’d pulled out.  I turned off the stove and shoveled the last of the french toast onto a plate, then slid it across the island.  Jason caught it, the hint of a smile playing on his lips as he looked up at me.


    Of all things, I blushed.  Not wishing him to see the reddening of my face, I turned and walked to collect Leo’s half-eaten plate.  His sudden departure crossed my mind again, and I almost opened my mouth to say something to Jason, but thought better of it.  Leo could solve his own problems — even if they did involve Carter’s stupidity.


    I made my way to the trashcan, finding Jason standing over it at the end of the island.  My eyebrows raised when he didn’t move.  He shrugged at me, implying that he wasn’t going to move.  I frowned, then jutted out my hip to move him.  I quickly slid the remains of food into the can before Jason had a chance to bump me back.  Both laughing quietly, I moved away to slide the plate into the sink.


    Something about our exchanges felt a little awkward.  Sure, we’d kissed — a lot — but I didn’t playful banter should’ve been part of our interactions just yet.  After all, I’d gone from hating him to making out with him within a span of three days.  It shouldn’t have sat right with me, but it felt like so long ago.  Maybe it would get better with more time; then again, how much time did we really have?  And along with so many other things complicating this, I began to wonder if something like this could really work.


    I was drawn out of my thoughts by the sound of plates hitting together.  Jason stood at the sink, washing his hands before drying them and heading my direction.  I leaned against the counter, watching him walk the whole way.  He slowed to a stop in front of me and my heart fluttered a little.


    “Good morning,” he said, his voice uncharacteristically deep.


    I gave him a small smile.  “Good afternoon,” I corrected.  A grin spread across his features.


    We shared a long look, just silence between us.  I couldn’t quite read his expression, couldn’t tell what he thought of this situation.  Was I supposed to tell him I felt guilty about a lot of things?  Not only did I feel guilty about being difficult in the beginning, but I felt incredibly guilty about everything that’d happened since the party?  It wasn’t his fault, of course, but it was so like me not to want the full blame.  I would hurt a lot of people I loved if they knew what’d happened with Jason and I here.


    Another thought peaked my interest.  No one from Jason’s group talked to anyone from my group anymore, as far as I knew.  They couldn’t know what had happened inside this house if only Jason and I knew.  And if no one had any clue as to what was going on between him and I, then who was getting hurt?  Me, really, as the only one.  Guilt would tear me apart, but only if I let it.  I loved Tyler, but I felt something with Jason that I never had with him.  And seeing as I was still within the walls of Jason’s house, did I really have any proof that Tyler had gone out of his way to get me out?


    I was probably the worst girlfriend ever.


    “Tell me what you’re thinking,” Jason brought me out my thoughts.


    I blinked, my eyes trailing up to his brown ones.  He was unreadable as well, arms crossed and feet either side of my extended legs.  He wore a fitted baby blue tee and baggy sweatpants much like the ones I had on.  Jason didn’t hold the same level of intimidation anymore, but maybe that’s because I knew he wasn’t going to hurt me anymore.  Another thought hit me; as long as I kept this up with Jason, I was untouchable here.


    “Only if you tell me what you’re thinking,” I said.  I rose an eyebrow, but he just laughed.


    A door opened downstairs and my head turned to find Grant stomping up the stairs.  He held a handgun in his left palm, and another was protruding from his waistband.  I was used to seeing them by now, but the abundance of weapons in this house still seemed to shock me.


    “I don’t know how long I’ve been standing watch out there,” Grant grumbled, tossing the handgun not so carefully onto the table.  “But it’s boring as hell every time I do it.”  Jason and I stood watching him until he looked up at us.  I questioning look crossed his face at our stance, but it seemed as if he thought better of saying anything.  “Leo’s out there now.”


    Jason nodded, and Grant left the room a few seconds later, leaving the gun.  Jason saw this too, because I caught his glance at me in my peripheral before he moved to pick up the weapon.  Without looking back at me, he walked around the corner and out of sight.  Curious, I waited a few seconds before tiptoeing to the edge of the kitchen.  Peering around the corner, I tried to put eyes on him, but he was gone.


    I noticed the third door along the far wall open, and Jason’s silhouette soon appeared from it.  My eyes widened and I jolted back into the kitchen, not wanting him to catch me looking.  Heart thundering in my chest, I leaned against the island.  That’s where they were hiding their weapons — probably mine, too!  The realization hit me harder than I would’ve liked.  It had been right under my nose, all this time.  If I’d just explored a little more pointedly, I’d have found them in no time.  My gun was most likely in that storage room, along with my phone.  I just had to get in there.


    I suppressed a jump as Jason reappeared in the kitchen.  Knowing he’d see the excitement on my face, I brushed past him quickly.


    “I’m going to shower,” I muttered before stalking through the living room and shooting up the stairs.


    I had to calm down.  They’d know something was up if I walked around, super charged with energy all day.  Sure, their guns — an my ticket out of here — were in that one room, but I had to get there first.  I remembered poking a head in their my first day here; Jason hadn’t been the slightest bit weary of what I would discover, so they had to have been hidden well.  But I’d find them.


    I just needed time.



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    Jason had been out for hours when I heard someone come in from downstairs.  He left while I was showering, and I almost screamed in happiness.  I’d made it to the main level without being heard,  but just as I’d reached for the door where Jason had put the gun, Xander had clambered in and had been home ever since.  Angry and flustered, I had collapsed into my usual bean bag and brooded silently since then.


    I was sat there when the two voices carried up from the stairs.  They were hushed, hissing back and forth in disagreement.  Whatever they were talking about, they didn’t want to be heard.  My eyebrow rose and I sat up, attempting to be as quiet as possible.  I could faintly tell it was Carter and Grant by the small bits of spoken conversation.  Leo had been messaging Carter this morning, at least I thought, and had been pretty bothered by it.  Curiosity took me over, and I stood abruptly and darted over behind the wall, away from their view.


    “You need to get your shit together, Carter,” Grant told him.  “Jason’s going to dump you on your ass if he hears what you’re doing.  You have a problem.”


    “I could say the same for you,” Carter bit back.  “How do you come off so great without going on our runs?  What’s got you in such a good position?”


    “I’m not talking about that,” Grant hissed, his once even voice wavering with anger.  “Not here, not when someone could listen.”


    I heard footsteps leading out of the kitchen and tensed.  If they found me pressed up against the wall and trying to listen…  I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen.  My fists clenched and I squeezed my eyes shut, willing him to go away.  And suddenly, I heard Carter stop and meet Grant back in the kitchen.


    “There’s no one in here.  We’re alone,” he confirmed, though wrong.  “We’re talking about this now, because I need help.”


    “How the hell is it my fault you gambled your car away?” Grant snapped at him.  “You’re just lucky I actually picked you up!  Otherwise, you’d still be walking — probably through to next week, for how far that pool hall was.  What, did every one around here kick your ass out for wracking up too much debt?”


    “Kiss my ass, Grant!  My girl is in trouble, and I gotta help her out.  You can’t tell me if you were in my position that you wouldn’t do the same thing.”


    “What did she do to get in so far over her head that she’s got you just as deep?  You’ve got to know when to stop.  Is your girl doing anything to help herself out?  Because this all seems pretty one-sided.  Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound much like a relationship to me.”


    “She can’t do anything without the cops up her ass!  She’s been arrested twice and—“


    “And who paid her bail?  Because it sure as hell better not have been you, Carter!  Let the bitch sort it out herself.”


    “Don’t call her that!” Carter bellowed.  I was almost sure the house shook at his voice.  A few tense seconds passed before he spoke again, voice even.  “I just need a new car.  I’ll tell Jason I sold the Audi and got a new one, I just need the money without him notic—“


    “No one sells a fucking Audi,” Grant said pointedly.  He scoffed.  “You gambled it away, why can’t you gamble it back?”


    “No one throws a car like that on the table—“


    “Well no shit genius!  Take your own advice!”


    “Stop talking and just listen to me!  I’m asking you for help, man.  I’ll pay you back eventually, but in the meantime you’ll earn it back before you even notice it’s gone!  It’s just a couple grand.”


    “How much is a couple?  Ten?  Twenty?  Fifty?  I don’t have that kind of cash just sitting around.”


    “Like hell you don’t!  With how many people you screw over into—“


    “Don’t talk about it, Carter.  Not here, not anywhere.”  Grant paused for a long time.


    A rough sigh came form Carter.  “I just don’t know what to do for her.  But if I don’t do something, she’s going to do something dumb, like get involved with the stuff you’ve got going.”


    “I just told you to shut the fuck up!  Jason thinks I left that a year ago, and if you screw this up for me there’s no telling what he’ll do to me, let alone to you when he figures out you’ve been stealing money from the warehouse!”


    My eyes widened.  Carter had been stealing from his own group?  And what kind of business did Grant have going that was bad enough to have Jason wanting him out?  It didn’t sit right at all.  No group had these kind of secrets and lasted.


    “You wouldn’t tell him that,” Carter tested, forcing all of his rage into his words.


    “I would,” Grant shot.  “If you screw me over—“


    I nearly jumped out of my skin when footsteps came from the top of the stairs.  Frozen, I watched as Leo’s feet appeared at the top, walking down unassuming of what was happening downstairs.  Caught between the wall and the beanbag, and had about five seconds to decide what to do.  Diving back onto the beanbag to escape Leo’s suspicion was dangerous, because Grant and Carter would know I’d been listening.  But standing here would’ve been even more so, because Leo would say something to me and alert them of my presence anyway.


    I took off for the bean bag and dove into it just as the rest of Leo’s body came into view.  He was drinking from a can, twirling a key attached to a laniard around his fingers.  I attempted to take deep breaths, my heart racing with the thought of being found out.


    As Leo walked by he only nodded at me.  I almost cried out in relief that he didn’t say my name.  He made his way into the kitchen and said a quick hello to Grant and Carter, then I heard a door slam downstairs.  Breathing hard, I took this as my opportunity to make a dash for the stairs.


    I was up and in Jason’s room within five seconds, heart thundering and listening closely for any sign that the two boys knew I’d been downstairs.  When I heard no more voices or footsteps running toward the stairs, I knew I hadn’t been caught, and I knew I was safe.


    I collapsed onto Jason’s bed and laughed.

Any guesses as to what Carter's girlfriend did, or what Grant's got going on??  Thank you all for reading.  Comments and likes much appreciated.Xx

Also, please check out my Zayn AU Xx


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