The knock on the door at one minute to seven had Spencer smiling. He couldn’t abide it if Aaron was late. For him and his Aaron time was money and neither of them liked anyone who wasted it. He opened the door with a smile on his face and watched as Aaron just stared at him.
“You didn’t need to dress up that much,” Aaron said as he entered the apartment as Spencer stepped back.
“I went shopping for a few new things and I liked this.” Spencer wasn’t sure what Aaron or even the team had ever seen of the other Spencer’s clothes so he just lied. When Aaron just nodded, not catching his lie, he wondered exactly how good other Spencer had been on lying or if the other just thought that he never did. He had a lot that he needed to look up and wanted to make the time to do it but he had to play along. If he was playing the other Spencer, he had to figure that the date was important to him. “I can change if it makes you uncomfortable.”
“No!” Aaron blushed a little. “No, it looks good on you.”
“And jeans look good on you,” Spencer said and he meant it. Jeans were rare given their lives. Aaron had to look good and most of the time he stayed in a suit for most of the evening at home before changing into sleep clothes or just sleeping naked. He waved the older man farther into the apartment and closed the door behind him. Aaron went right to the kitchen. He saw several bags of food and wondered exactly how much this Spencer ate? Spencer was thin because he liked to be. He had muscle on him and it was hard earned muscle. Aaron always made sure that he ate but never forced him to unless he hadn’t eaten all day.
“I went ahead and got the burgers and a surprise.” Aaron moved to the fridge and opened it up, slipping in what looked like a box from a bakery. It wasn’t one that he knew so it had to be either one that he and his Aaron never went to or one that didn’t exist in his world. He followed the man and tried to sneak a peak but Aaron grabbed him around the waist and pulled him back. He smiled feeling how hesitant the hold was on him. He could tell that touching was new between them.
Turning in the other man’s hold, Spencer wrapped his arms around his neck and kept him close. “Hi,” Spencer said shyly.
“Hi.” Aaron ducked his head slightly and brushed their lips. That same hesitancy from that morning was there. He wanted that gone as soon as possible. His Aaron was never hesitant, even after he woke from a nightmare. Spencer slipped his hands up to hold his head still as he kissed him back. Aaron groaned as he licked at the seam of his lips. The lips parted when he licked across them a second time. He sighed when the man finally took charge of the kiss. He wasn’t against taking charge but that wouldn’t do for what he had planned with this Aaron. “And again, if we don’t stop, we aren’t going to. I need to eat as Strauss had me working through lunch today.”
“Okay. I am pretty hungry.” Spencer couldn’t resist a final brush of lip on lip though. Aaron laughed as he pulled back.
“You ate lunch today right?”
“Yes, Aaron I did. I had a cobb salad downtown between shops. And snacked at several of the shops.” Spencer made his face look indignant. It wasn’t a look he was used to but he knew how to do it. He was a master at all things deception, except around Aaron. He’d never been able to lie to him. It was easy to lie to this Aaron it seemed. Was this Spencer really that innocent? How after the childhood he had? Or did he keep up the innocent facade? Spencer was looking forward to finding out. “Did you want to eat in here or on the couch?”
“Couch is perfectly fine. I don’t get to eat like that much anymore. Jack likes to have my undivided attention so we eat at the table, where the TV can’t tempt us.”
“Well the TV will be staying off,” Spencer said as he grabbed two glasses from the cabinets. Aaron took one from him and easily moved to the fridge and filled it with water from the pitcher inside. Spencer went for the cran grape juice and hoped that it wasn’t a mistake. Pop was a treat for Jack so Spencer and Aaron didn’t drink it at home. Aaron grabbed the two bags of food left on the table and carried them into the living room. He thankfully took the middle couch seat and set down the food in front of his seat and the seat to the left of him. His dominant side. Spencer hid his smile into his juice as he took a sip of it. He watched as Aaron set out box after box, wondering again exactly how much food he’d bought. Then Spencer sat down and started to help open it all up and found that it had been separated. One box held several hamburger patties, another little cups of condiments. Another smaller box held lettuce, tomato, and onion. A little bag held cheese. The other two big boxes held both onion rings and fries.
Aaron stood up and went to get plates from the kitchen. The man seemed to know his way around and if it wasn’t because of their relationship, what was it from? Did Spencer entertain the team in this small apartment? He didn’t think so as it was very tiny and the team was biggish in size and personality and there wasn’t enough seating. The couch, the two chairs across from the chess tables, and the reading chair on the far side was about it. That would mean someone would have to sit on the hard table chairs and he didn’t see Spencer wanting someone to do that. No, there was something else that had the man feeling at ease in the apartment and he needed to figure it out.
Spencer took the plate that he was offered and started to work on putting together his burger. He watched as Aaron did his, needing to file it away, just to be safe. He’d have to be vigilant about everything for a while. He wasn’t shocked when Aaron went for the pepperjack cheese in the baggie and left Spencer a piece each of pepperjack and what looked like swiss. Spencer gladly took them and put a piece in between his two patties and one on top. The underside had his condiments and on top of the cheese he put lettuce and onion. He didn’t add too much but given the onion rings, it didn’t seem that Aaron was worried about onion breath. There was always the fact that they could brush their teeth before anything more started. And he was going to make sure that something more happened.
“Has anything more about the past day come back to you?” Aaron asked as he sat back, balancing the box of now combined fries and rings on his leg. With ketchup cups on each of the corners. This it seemed was normal for him. How had those two done this kind of stuff and never moved on to more? He remembered the morning’s conversation and the mention of Jessica. Jack was still in this world but who was Jessica? The flash of a memory from when his Jack was a baby and Haley trying to run, she’d tried to get to her sister’s with him. The sister’s name had been Jessica. So he had Jack and he had Jessica but why would Jessica give him the time of day after what had happened to Haley? Her death at the hands of a serial killer would make the relationship hard. Jessica Brooks in his world was a non entity in their lives. His Aaron had made sure that no one would even think of taking Jack from them.
“Work is still a little fuzzy but I think that it’s more just a repeat of daily working than anything. I remember your office, you asking me but after that it’s all kind of blurry but the closer to the event, the fuzzier it’s going to be. I may never get those memories back.”
“Jack’s worried. He knew that something was up given that he’d gone to bed with me home and Jessica was there when he got up. She told him that something with work came up but when I was there tonight to see him off and help him get ready he knew it wasn’t a case. I told him that you had gone into the hospital last night and were released this morning. He was worried and I made sure he knew you weren’t seriously hurt. Still he wanted you to see him in his date outfit so he made me take a picture.” Aaron wiped his fingers on a napkin and then pulled his phone from his pocket. He leaned in close, brushing their shoulders as he unlocked his phone and opened up his gallery. Spencer saw the unlock code and made sure to commit it to memory. It was different than his own Aaron’s and the numbers made no sense to him but he was sure it would become apparent to him as time went on.
When Aaron handed the phone over, Spencer took it. He worked hard on keeping his reaction to himself. The only Jack that looked like that existed in his memory and in pictures now. Jack looked to be around six years old instead of the ten that he was in his world. His heart ached for the boy that was probably at least mostly sure that it wasn’t his Spencer there with him. Jack had his father’s intelligence and he doubted that Aaron would hide it from him for long, afraid of lying to him. He also doubted that Spencer would be prompted by Aaron to do all the little things that he did with the boy.
“He looks adorable.” Spencer resisted the urge to brush his thumb down the image. He hadn’t thought much about his Jack. He made himself not think much on him. There wasn’t a him and Aaron, not like in his world. This Jack hadn’t grown up around that Spencer. It wasn’t going to be anything like his world. He wasn’t even sure if Jack would like the same things. He doubted the kid would know anything about guns. He wouldn’t be trained in fighting techniques like his Jack was. But this Jack was at his favorite age for the boy. When he’d been so into learning everything. There had been times between the ages of four and six that he was sure that Aaron was ready to just gag them both and be done with it. One question always turned into two and then four and so on until it was like they would never end. He knew though that his Aaron loved the fact that Jack and him got along wonderfully.
“He does,” Aaron murmured.
Spencer turned to see him staring off into space. Spencer set the phone on his leg and went back to eating. The burger was fabulous. Very close to what the chef did at the house. Aaron resumed eating several seconds later, not saying a word. The rest of the meal was eaten in silence. Spencer didn’t know if it was a good silence or not. To him it felt wrong but this wasn’t his Aaron and he didn’t know all of his quirks. Still after Aaron ate his last bite of burger, he wiped his hands then pulled one of Spencer’s hands into his lap. He threaded their fingers together, raising them up to kiss the back of his hand. He smiled at the older man and he smiled back, whatever maudlin thing that was on his mind was gone.
Before Spencer could slide off the couch, Aaron was turning towards him, kissing his mouth.
“I’ll clean up, you relax. You didn’t seem to rest at all today.”
“The only way that you’ll ever get me to stay in bed when I don’t feel tired is to tie me there, Agent Hotchner,” Spencer said with a smirk on his face. The flash on Aaron’s face told Spencer that the thought wasn’t as abhorrent as Spencer thought it would be to the man. He’d find the alpha inside him, the dominant that his Aaron allowed to rule him. First though, he needed to get Aaron to fuck him. Aaron leaned in and kissed him again, this time there was an edge to it.
“Get up off the couch before I get back and no dessert,” Aaron threatened as he stood up. Spencer pouted at him and all he did was laugh. Once Aaron was in the kitchen area, Spencer turned to prop his back up on the arm of the couch and tucked his legs up to his chest. As he did he felt something hit his leg. He frowned until he saw it was Aaron’s phone. Snatching it up, Spencer smiled as he unlocked it. He easily worked through texts to and from Aaron and the other Spencer, all the while keeping an ear out for Aaron. It wasn’t hard to realize that they kept their relationship out of the texts, other than fondness and discussions of Jack. Those he filed away to help him. The one text that shocked him was the one from Jessica. She told him that she had bought him a few things and left them in his bathroom. Spencer was intrigued so he read only to find that no mention of what said items were was listed in the conversation.
“I’m thirsty!” Spencer called out. He heard a chuckle from Aaron and smiled as he dropped the phone back down. Aaron came out just seconds later with a cup of coffee in his hand. Spencer took it from him before pulling him down into another kiss. Aaron hummed before allowing Spencer to lick into his mouth. He blindly set the cup down and coaxed Aaron onto the couch on top of him. The man settled in the V of his spread legs easily. Spencer slid down the couch a little, settling the man farther down onto him. He sighed as Aaron’s weight pushed him down into the couch. His body shuddered and Aaron thrust into him. It was easy to get lost in his mouth. The taste of him was the same as his Aaron. The hands that touched him were close enough in the callouses on them that it was easy to pretend. Roleplay, he was used to. He had to use it when he was getting information from people. He just had to employ the same principles.
Aaron pulled him down a little more, aligning their groins. There was such desperation to Aaron’s movements and touches that Spencer knew it had been a while. Given how long it had been since the divorce, Spencer figured that the last time he’d had sex was long before that. That wouldn’t do with what he wanted. He tried to wiggle down more but he stopped when the hand on his hip tightened. He didn’t want to have Aaron go off in his pants like a teenager. He needed to calm this down. As he grabbed Aaron’s hips, a wicked idea came to him. It would give Aaron the relief he needed and still make it so that the connection was there. So he slipped a hand down and rubbed at the half formed erection that Aaron was sporting. He wondered if he’d be able to talk the man into an office blow job before he went home to his universe.
“How about you lay back there and let me…” Spencer stopped. He knew what he’d say if it was him and his Aaron. So instead he made himself blush and duck his head a little bit. He whispered, “Can I suck your cock?”
“Yes,” Aaron said. He grudgingly lifted up and laid back against the opposite arm. One leg was pressed against the back cushions and the other Spencer knocked off the couch as he sat up to his knees. He leaned over to kiss Aaron again as he worked his pants open. He smiled into the kiss as he felt that Aaron was fully hard and he hadn’t even touched him skin to skin yet.
“Are you clean?” Spencer asked, almost forgetting. There had been no time in his and his Aaron’s relationship where condoms were used. Aaron was militant on making sure they were in good health and free from everything. “Or do I need to get a condom?”
“I’m clean,” Aaron said.
“Good. I dislike condoms.” Spencer laid down, shoving his knees into the arm of the couch where his head had been before. The couch was the perfect length with Aaron propped on the arm. He leaned down to exhale on Aaron’s cloth covered cock. He watched it twitch while trapped. Finally, he couldn’t take torturing the man anymore and he pulled down on the underwear, helping the cock free itself. He buried his nose in the base and inhaled.
“Spencer,” Aaron said brokenly.
Spencer just smirked and looked up at him as he took the head in his mouth. He kept their eyes locked as he swiped his tongue around the entirety of what was in his mouth. When he slipped his tongue between his lips and the head, licking at the underside some, Aaron’s eyes closed and his head dropped back. This Aaron had no clue who he had sucking his cock. Just how dangerous he was. Spencer moaned as he took nearly the whole thing in his mouth. Deep throating was as easy as breathing for him. His Aaron had taught him not long after Spencer had seduced him. His mouth knew the cock in his mouth, even if the man was different. His hands found all of the hot spots along the stretch of thigh skin that matched his own Aaron. He wondered if he could get him to beg.
Moving all the way down, taking the entire cock in and swallowing around the head, Spencer let Aaron feel just a hint of it before he pulled up, focusing on the head with his tongue while he used one of his hands to play with his balls.
“Fuck,” Aaron whispered. One of his hands ghosted along the top of Spencer’s head, he didn’t grab though and Spencer smiled around the cock in his mouth as he looked up, finding heated eyes looking at him. He went all the way down again, teasing him as he rolled the balls in his hand. He wriggled his other hand down to see if the jeans would allow him to pressed on Aaron’s perineum and nearly crowed when they did. He pressed up into it as he swallowed Aaron’s cock down again. He wasn’t shocked about the cry that Aaron let out or the swell of flesh in his mouth. He stayed with cock in his throat as Aaron came down it. When he was fairly certain that Aaron had nothing left to give, he released the cock before it became over sensitive. Aaron grabbed him by the back of the head and hauled him in to kiss him. There was just a small taste of Aaron in his mouth so he knew that the man wasn’t chasing that as his tongue tried to count every single one of his teeth.
“Did I rob the great Aaron Hotchner of his speech?” Spencer asked as he pulled back just enough to brace his forehead on Aaron’s.
“I knew that your brain was a weapon. Spending thirteen minutes talking down a serial killer so that he didn’t try and kill us proved that to me. But this.” Aaron reached up with his hand, thumbing at his lip. “I don’t think I’ll never not think about it as a weapon as well.”
“It’s just an extension of my brain.”
Aaron smiled up at him and Spencer could see his Aaron in that smile. It was nice to see another piece of his lover in his doppleganger. A hand moved down to start working on his pants. He grabbed the hand and pulled it up, kissing the palm of it before laying it on his cheek.
“What’s wrong?” Aaron asked before Spencer could say anything.
“I don’t…I don’t want that right now. Why don’t you go get that dessert you’ve got hidden in there and I’ll go to the bathroom?”
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t want to go until we are tangled in bed, you inside me.” Spencer pecked a kiss on his lips before getting up and leaving.
The rest of the evening flowed like a well driven orchestra. Aaron shared the Madeline pastries with him, hand feeding him. Then a movie on the couch where Spencer drove Aaron insane with touch. He wanted the man desperate for release.
By the time that they were in bed, Aaron had left several marks just below the collar of his shirt. Spencer had him stripped while he still had his shirt and underwear on. Every time that Aaron tried to work on his shirt, Spencer distracted him. It wasn’t long though before Aaron wasn’t too be distracted anymore.
Aaron shoved him down onto the bed and stared at him. The inquisitive Hotchner eye looked him up and down before his hands went to the bottom button of Spencer’s shirt. The room was silent except for the miniscule sound of the button popping free. Aaron kissed at skin as it was revealed but as soon as those lips found the first scar, Spencer knew it. The rest of the buttons were opened with Aaron’s whole gaze focused on the scars as they appeared. His eye lingered on the rune above his heart.
“It’s the odal rune. It means possession. I own my scars.”
“We will talk about them later.” Aaron kissed just below the rune. Spencer pulled him up for a kiss. Aaron’s erection had softened some but after a few minutes of kissing and thrusting on each other, Aaron was fully hard again.
“I need you in me, Aaron,” Spencer said. He propped his legs up, squeezing Aaron’s sides with his knees. Aaron fumbled for the drawer at the bedside. His hand appeared seconds later with a bottle of lube.
“There are no condoms.”
“Don’t need them. Want to feel you.” Spencer thrust up against him. “Every single inch of you as you slide into me.”
Aaron flipped the cap open on the lube, coating several fingers before closing it again. Spencer felt one trace his hole a few times before slipping inside of him. He didn’t want to be stretched too much. He wanted to feel it. So when Aaron pulled his two fingers out to slip in three, he shook his head.
“Spencer let me…”
“Aaron, I know my body.”
Aaron looked hesitant so Spencer took matters into his own hands. He sat up, so Aaron leaned up and back as well. Spencer took him right back until the man was on his back and Spencer astride his hips. Spencer kept his eyes locked with Aaron’s as he slid down his cock. The stretch and burn felt good. The pain of it made him feel alive. Aaron was watching his face and not his cock so he didn’t realize that Spencer’s cock wasn’t completely hard until Aaron was fully inside of him.
The first rock of their bodies together had Aaron crying out. Spencer closed his eyes to feel it all better. Hands gripped his hips and he gasped as Aaron thrust up to meet him. The slid of cock in him felt good and as the hands gripped him tight, Spencer could almost believe it was his Aaron.
Aaron turned the tables, tipping Spencer back onto the bed then thrust back inside him, hard. He drew legs up and pulled Aaron into a kiss. He didn’t want to say the wrong words so it was better to keep his mouth occupied.
Spencer rode the edge of coming for a long while, moaning into their kiss when the man would thrust into harder. His cock was pressed between their bodies, leaking horribly. He felt Aaron go, the swell of cock inside him, the pressure of the cock pressed all the way inside him. This wasn’t lazy morning sex though. This wasn’t Aaron losing himself in his body after a night of play. He was trained and Aaron’s pet wasn’t allowed to come without being told to.
A hand snaking between them surprised him. He rocked up into it, mewling when Aaron’s cock slipped out of him.
“Close?” Aaron asked.
Spencer nodded, trying to thrust up harder into the hand. He bit his lip trying to stop himself from begging.
“Come on, Spencer.” Aaron said hotly in his ear. The hand on his cock tightened and Spencer cried out. “Come for me.”
Spencer’s entire body locked up as he came. His cry was wordless as he slumped onto the bed boneless. He knew if he stayed there, he’d go to sleep and he needed to clean up. Aaron was laying along his side, one hand tracing nonsense on his thigh.
“Give me a moment and I’ll clean us up.”
“I shower after sex, Aaron. As soon as I can walk.” Spencer laid there for several minutes before he got up. Aaron followed him into the bathroom but didn’t join him in the shower. He allowed the other man to wash up before he turned the shower on.
By the time Spencer exited the bathroom, Aaron was in bed. He wasn’t asleep though. Spencer hesitated, unsure what was going to happen if he slept without the cuffs. He hadn’t in so long. He knew he’d have to try though. If a case came up, it would be hard to hide them if he would have to share a room. After he slid under the covers, Aaron wrapped his arms around him.
Spencer listened to him breathe as they laid there. Just when he thought the other man was asleep, he pressed himself closer and kissed his neck.
“I love you,” Aaron said in his ear.
“Love you too,” Spencer murmured back, faking a roughness of sleep to his voice. Aaron murmured and nuzzled in closer. It was seconds later that he was asleep. Spencer laid there longer before sleep claimed him. Wanting stronger arms banded around him. Wanting cuffs around his wrists and his collar around his neck.
“What?” Spencer looked at Aaron, shock evident on his face.
“Well, not you obviously. My Spencer. It was his college graduation gift when he turned 18. As much as you might hate or strongly dislike your father, my Spencer loathed him. Oh, don’t worry, there is no evidence and even if you were to record me it would be thrown out because it was without my consent.” Aaron picked up a piece of shrimp and popped it into his mouth chewing and smiling at the same time.
“You’re both insane.” Spencer pushed his food away and took a long drink of his water trying to soothe his suddenly dry throat.
“No, we are not. What I fully accept is that I am a sociopath. I am aware of myself at all times Spencer. I know what it is that I do.”
“And what is it you do? What exactly is it that you do that could get us killed?” Spencer had leaned in and narrowed his eyes at Aaron.
“Power, Spencer. It’s all about power. Who has it and who doesn’t. I have carefully cultivated my contacts, and those that are loyal to me. I don’t make anyone do anything. Everyone in my network does whatever I need because they want to. I have never had to coerce anyone.”
Spencer sat back in his chair and ran a hand over his face and started to think long and hard.
“That’s what the pro bono work is as well as the charity work, fundraisers, philanthropy, even the lobbying I found that you’ve done. You’ve been manipulating laws and what, the government itself?”
“In a way. I have a lot of influence Spencer. Sometimes it gets ugly and there are those out there that oppose what I and my network have been trying to do.”
“And what exactly is that?”
“Change. Making things better. When I was growing-up things were very different. The US was at near civil war, but with my father’s influence, as well as many of his friends it was stemmed. You see The Evangelical Church had gotten to the point where they were trying to take over, some well placed rumors, which were true by the way, and a choking off of their funds it was soon brought to light that they were behind the rampant rise in prejudice, and attempts at cutting off citizens civil liberties. There is still organized religion, but it is now illegal to have religion in politics, on any level. Many rights were cemented and the last thirty years the US has seen the biggest economic boom since the late 1950’s. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a long way to go, but things are better than they were. Though I abhor my father, I am continuing the work he started.”
“So, you are doing this to help everyone else.”
Aaron sat back and laughed. He took a drink of his wine, then set it aside.
“Hell no. I’m doing this for myself, my network and my family. I couldn’t give give a rat’s ass what the rest of the US thinks. If it gets me what I want, I’ll exploit or hinder it at will.”
Spencer didn’t know how to respond. He was sick to his stomach but knew he had nowhere to go. He needed Aaron and it made him angry. He closed his eyes and tried to stem the tide of the emotions that were rolling through him.
“Spencer,” He looked up sharply to see Aaron glaring at him. That look he knew well. He realized he must have been too much in his head.
“You are nothing like my Aaron. He’s good and kind and you, I don’t even know what to think. I hate that I need you, but I do.”
“And as long as you play along, nothing bad will happen.” Aaron looked-up to see JJ and Dave walking into the restaurant. “Come on, we are moving this conversation to the club. Dave and JJ are here and the client should be there as well.”
Spencer stood and followed Aaron to the other side of the restaurant that had a private entrance. He was directed to a table with the other arrivals and only half paid attention. He was still working through everything in his head, trying to make sense of this world and he just couldn’t. Not yet at least. He needed to be alone, time to get lost in his thoughts, but he wasn’t sure when that would be. He was so lost in his head that the didn’t realize when the meeting was ending.
“Thank you Dave, Mr. Sarkisian, expect a call from my secretary in three days. I’ll have more information on how to proceed with your case by then.” Aaron had stood and was shaking hands with the client. JJ was writing down some things on a tablet and Dave, well Dave was just creeping him out and he wasn’t sure why.
“If we are going to make it for the press conference we need to get going back to the office. You both have what we need, get in touch with Maisie and let her know, she’ll coordinate Mr. Sarkisian’s case with me.”
“Okay Aaron. I have it all, we’ll see you at the house after the press conference.”
The four of them went their separate ways and Spencer just let himself be led out of the restaurant. They got back to the office a few minutes later and the rest of the day went quickly. When the clock approached five fifteen, Aaron was once again ushering them out of the office. They were on the courthouse steps and in front of camera’s by five till six. Spencer, for some reason, was more nervous about this than he had been by everything else in the day. He wasn’t a stranger to cameras but this was different, it felt different and he was trying to stay calm.
The reporters kept smiling at them and throwing them questions that made Spencer pause. The press conference hadn’t even started and Aaron switched on the charm. Spencer attempted to smile when asked questions and there were way too many of them about his hair, it was making him self-conscious.
It was a few minutes later when the lights went on, the cameras started to roll and the press conference was in full swing.
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to let you know that justice has not been served in the case of James Heathridge. Now, before you get angry with me, let me explain. Mr. Heathridge has been under his mother’s influence for most of his life. His mother, Catherine, was a delusional schizophrenic who believed a fairy story about witches that had cursed the Heathridge family. While Catherine was in and out of several mental hospitals over the years, no one even did a family evaluation to see what kind of influence she had on her children. While James does not have the classical symptoms of schizophrenia, he has, through his mother’s influence, become delusional. He truly believes that the women that were killed were witches. I do not think this young man should be released back into the public, what I do believe is that he should be moved from the Virginia State Correctional Institute, into the Virginia State Mental Health Hospital for the Criminally Insane. He needs help, what he does not need is to be subjected to the kinds of people that are housed in the Correctional Institute. I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the young man’s life is in danger.” Aaron paused and took a deep breath.
“The hearings that will be taking place over the next few weeks will, hopefully, determine that the young man should be moved. And I sincerely hope that justice will be served for this young man.” Aaron waved a hand towards the reports, “I will now take your questions.”
Several reports were jumping up, raising their hands trying to get Aaron’s attention.
“Miss Carmichael.” Aaron pointed to a pretty redhead.
“Counselor, do you really believe that Mr. Heathridge should be moved? Don’t you think that it’s unfair to the families of the victims he killed to say that justice has not been served?”
“No. While I do have compassion for the families that have grieved over the loss of their loved ones, James Heathridge should have had intervention long before now. His mother should never have been allowed to be as close as she was knowing her condition. We are currently looking into services for the sister as well.”
More hands and more questions. The press conference went on for about fifteen minutes. Then one of the reports asked an off topic question that had Spencer’s eyes almost bulging out of his head.
“Mr. Hotchner, I can speak for everyone here when I say that you and Dr. Reid look as amazing as ever. When, do you suppose, you will be putting a ring on it?” The female reporter smiled wide as she gave Aaron a bit of a flirty smile.
Spencer turned to look at Aaron and that dimple popping Hotchner smile came out and he almost melted right there on the podium.
“Well, Ms. Grant, Spencer and I quite like things how they are, but that isn’t to say that they can’t change in the future.” There were a lot of ooh’s and aah’s from the reporters. Aaron was smooth and charming through the whole thing and it set Spencer’s back up.
“I’m sorry everyone, that will be enough for today. Though Spencer and I will be attending the benefit dinner at the Bergamont tomorrow evening and you can ask us the more…personal questions then…” Aaron smiled and leaned in and kissed Spencer, who, to his credit, leaned in and made it look good. Aaron turned back to the reports and smiled once more, “Doesn’t mean we’ll answer.” He chuckled as the lights and cameras were being turned off.
“You did perfect. Now smile, hold my hand and look happy.” Aaron nuzzled his neck for the crowd as he whispered this in Spencer’s ear.
Spencer wanted to protest. Everything inside him wanted him to runaway but it was too crowded and all the reporters were there looking at them fondly. This also gave him pause because he had no clue what to make of it. He took a deep breath, laced his fingers with Aaron’s and beamed his best smile as they left the podium practically wrapped around each other.
By the time they returned to Aaron’s mansion Spencer was a nervous wreck. He just wanted to curl up in the library with a book and get lost in his thoughts. He didn’t think Aaron was going to let him, though.
“I know this day has been taxing on you. Have a light dinner, you didn’t eat much at lunch, and if you’d like to take time for yourself please do. If you are anything like my Spencer your mind is going a million miles a minute and you are trying to process everything that has happened. There’s the library, a viewing room with several hundred movies and TV shows you can choose from, or if you’d like to see what Spencer is researching, please go ahead to his study. Just make sure to keep everything exactly like it is.”
“Why are you giving me that much freedom?”
“You aren’t a slave Spencer. If that is what you think my relationship to him is, then you know nothing at all. Yes, I am dominant over him, but it’s all consensual and all his choice. If he told me to go fuck off tomorrow, well, it would hurt like hell, but I won’t hold him here. I love him too much.” Spencer watched as Aaron closed his eyes and fisted his hands tight trying to stem his anger.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry about all this. I know I keep saying it but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to make this better for either of us until we find Charlie.”
“And I will get him here, believe me I want him back as much as you want to go back.” Aaron glared at the young man before he stalked off.
Spencer rubbed at his head before he went to the kitchen to have something light to eat. He found some cheeses, crackers and some fruit. He plated-up a little of each and, looking through cupboards, found some marcona almonds and a lavender honey he spooned onto the almonds. Taking his plate he went into the library and browsed for a few moments. What startled him were how many books were in Latin, German, Spanish, French, Russian and even a few in Japanese. It made him even more curious about this world’s Aaron Hotchner.
Choosing Dante’s Inferno in a German edition he’d never read before he settled on the comfortable sofa that was under the clerestory style windows. He curled up and started to absently snack on his food while reading. He got lost in the story around the time Dante reached the fourth level. He almost laughed out loud because the theme of the sin of greed seemed to fit his current situation.
“I was coming to get you. It’s time for bed Spencer.” Aaron walked in and set the plate aside and looked at the book in Spencer’s hand.
“Do you feel like Dante, Spencer?” Aaron asked as he sat on the couch. Spencer could tell by the man’s body language that he wanted to reach out and touch him. He set the book aside and was conflicted on what to do. A part of him that missed Aaron, missed out on their date wanted this Aaron to touch him. But, he knew if he let that happen, he wasn’t sure if he’d come back from that.
“No. It’s just been one of my favorite books.” He stood. He didn’t want to argue with the man so he started off towards the bedroom. By the time he was undressed and in bed, he was almost resigned to his current fate. He was tired, so many emotions, so many head games in such a short time that he just didn’t have it in him to fight. When the cuffs came around his wrists and a body was nestled behind him with a heavy arm around his waist Spencer turned into the pillow and silently cried.
Spencer woke up with a gasp, shooting up in the bed. He looked around the room seeing nothing but his old bedroom from Las Vegas. From when he was a kid. He reached up under the bed for the gun that was holstered to his side of the bed but it wasn’t there. The holster wasn’t there. He knew it should be, no matter where his mind was trying to tell him that he was. He rolled off the bed, searching for it.
“Spencer?” Aaron called out. He sounded sleepy. That wasn’t right. Spencer should have been cuffed to the bed. If he had woke Aaron with a nightmare, the man would have just unhooked the cuffs from each other but he would have left him chained to the bed. Spencer made himself breathe. He needed to calm down. As he did he was able to realize that it wasn’t his old bedroom back in Vegas, it just sort of had the same layout. He looked at the man on the bed and remembered everything. He wasn’t at home. He was in some apartment in the DC. That wasn’t his Aaron in that bed. It was the other Spencer’s Aaron. He slumped down and Aaron caught him, pulling him onto the bed. “What’s wrong?”
“Just a nightmare,” Spencer said. He couldn’t go into the horrors of his past. Those horrors were not the other Spencer’s horrors. His were the horrors that he himself had done to countless men and women. “Just minute of the day.”
“I’m here. Tell me about it.” Aaron’s voice was soft and gentle. His hands didn’t stop moving on his body. Up and down and maddening in their pursuit of calming him down. His heart was still racing but the smell and feel of Aaron was calming it down. Aaron shifted to lay above him. Staring down into his face, trying to read it.
“No. It’s nothing concrete just images flashing and words.” Spencer just stared at him.
“What can I do to help?” Aaron asked.
Spencer leaned up and kissed him. Aaron was hesitant but he gave into the kiss. It wasn’t hard to coax the man into hardness. Thrusting up into him and relaxing down. All the things that he has learned that his Aaron likes when the man wants him to work for it. A moan at the right time. A hitch in his breath when Aaron’s resolve breaks and thrust into him hard enough that the bed groans.
“Make me forget,” Spencer whispered as Aaron started to kiss down his jaw. “Make me feel.”
Aaron shuffled around, removing the pants he’d put on at some point in the night. No wonder he’d been jarred. It was rare for Aaron to sleep with clothes on. Aaron came back to him with lube on his hand, slicking them both up. He wiped his hand on a pillowcase before throwing it off the bed. Spencer was disgusted by it. He schooled his features before Aaron looked back at him. He watched Aaron’s face as the man started up a rhythm. It was fantastic for him. The newness of it all was a wonder to Aaron and Spencer hated it. He didn’t want it. He wanted his Aaron back and their set ways and a life of happiness and love.
Lost in memories, Spencer felt Aaron’s chase of his own orgasm. He felt the spill of fluid on his own cock and sagged in relief. It had not gone anywhere near the way that he wanted. Aaron sought his mouth out again and he gave into the kiss.
“Relax and I’ll get something to clean us up,” Aaron whispered in his ear as slid off of him.
Spencer though couldn’t take it. He got up off the bed and followed Aaron into the bathroom. The older man turned to say something but Spencer just kissed the side of his face before slipping into the shower. Aaron didn’t join him and Spencer was thankful for it. He turned the water up a little higher than normal as he washed himself off. When he was done twenty minutes later, he toweled himself off slowly, getting every single drop of water off his body and making sure that his hair was dry.
Padding naked into the bedroom, Spencer found Aaron asleep in the bed. Given what he knew of this world’s Spencer, this Aaron was perfect for him. He moved to the dresser and grabbed the black bag from his shopping trip. He’d stuffed it in his underwear drawer figuring that it was the safest place. He slipped out of the room with it and cringed as the door squeaked. He listened as Aaron thankfully kept on sleeping.
Standing in the moonlight in the middle of the living room, Spencer pulled his new collar out. His hands shook as he slipped it on. He buckled it and just the feel of it around his throat helped calm him down. He grabbed the cuffs out next and slipped them on. It took some maneuvering but he did it. He’d seen Aaron’s alarms on his phone and knew what time he was going to get up so Spencer set one of his own for half an hour earlier than that. He curled onto the couch and grabbed the throw from the back. He had to get his mind right. He had to make sure that he could go through with the plans because he needed to live. He needed to live and he needed to not fuck this Spencer’s life.
He knew he was damaged but he didn’t want to damage this Spencer’s life. He’d got the good end of the stick as far as life went. This Spencer hadn’t had an easy life. This Spencer had to face eight years of a mother who was slowly slipping away, a woman that he loved and seemed to cherish. Spencer would never give up Aaron for that but then he’d never fully known any parent who loved him. He hadn’t known love other than Aaron but this Spencer had a godson and a team who loved him and Spencer couldn’t wreck that for him.
The alarm on Spencer’s phone jarred him awake. He silenced it and stumbled to the bedroom, pulling off his collar and cuffs. The underwear drawer was still open and he slipped them inside, underneath all the pairs inside. Aaron was asleep on his back and he slipped into the bed as carefully as he could. Aaron rolled over to him and wrapped an arm around his waist. He laid there, staring at the window. Sleeping in the cuffs had helped but he was still far away from where he needed to be.
When the alarm on Aaron’s phone went off roughly twenty five minutes later, Spencer was wide awake but acted dead asleep. The alarm was silenced and Spencer waited to see what Aaron was going to do. He wasn’t expecting to feel Aaron pull away some. Then he felt fingers tracing his scars on his back. He sighed happily. The fingers went from hesitant to heavy on his scars. He rolled onto his front and Aaron followed him.
By the time that all of the scars had been traced with fingers, Spencer was squirming in arousal. Aaron straddled him, his cock slipping between Spencer’s ass cheeks. Spencer moved to push himself up so that Aaron could fuck him but the man pushed him back down. Covering his entire body, stretching his arms up where he could press them into the bed at his head.
Spencer was thrusting his cock into the mattress, wanting permission to come. He opened his mouth to beg but a tongue started to trace his upper most scars and he lost all sense of reason. His Aaron rarely did anything like it, not out of spite but the fact that it worked Spencer up so much. It was a treat. A reward for a superb job. He’d come without permission, one of the only times he ever had after Aaron had started to demand it of him.
“Are you close?” Aaron asked, lips pressed to one of the heaviest marks on his back. Spencer could only nod. “Don’t wait for me.”
Spencer took that as permission so when he felt the pull in his groin, he let go. Aaron nuzzled into Spencer’s neck, drawing their linked hands underneath Spencer’s chest, pressing him down more into the bed. In that instant, he felt safer than he had since he’d opened his eyes in the hospital and realized he wasn’t in his universe. Aaron came with a gasp and Spencer felt his release pool on his back. He expected Aaron to move away from him but he didn’t. They stayed right like that, Spencer in the wet spot and Aaron’s spreading more as his weight crushed more into Spencer. He laid his head down, sort of trapping Aaron where he was.
“Your back is worse than your front.” Aaron ducked his head a little and kissed at a spot on Spencer’s shoulder.”
“It’s nothing you need to worry about.”
“You look worse than some victims we’ve saved, Spencer. You can’t tell me not to worry about it.”
“It was in the past, before I knew you.” Which technically wasn’t a lie. It had been a while since a new mark had been added to him and it was before he had met this Aaron. Aaron was going to be thinking before this Spencer had joined the FBI though. “I don’t want to discuss them. I’ve accepted them as part of me and you need to do the same.”
“I want to erase the pain,” Aaron said, his voice sounded so earnest that Spencer wanted to laugh. What would he think if Spencer told him the truth that each mark was put there with his consent? That each and every single one of them he wore as a badge to show his love for his Aaron?
“If you erase the pain, you’ll change who I am. I like who I am and you love who I am. We can’t change it and I don’t want to. I live with my scars and I accept them.” Spencer closed his mouth before he asked Aaron if he accepted his because he knew that he didn’t. He’d seen them but hadn’t said a word. He’d work on that because he could tell that the scars were a badge of shame. If they were the scars that Spencer thought they were, from this world’s twisted Foyet, he should be proud of them. Even if it did cost him his wife.
“How did none of us know that you had pierced nipples and a belly button ring?”
“Because I didn’t want you to. I have silicone rings and rods that I wear on cases and at work. It’s not hard to hide them.”
“Even being stripped to get scrubbed from Anthrax?”
“Oh, the decontamination team took them and destroyed them.” Spencer made a mental note to figure out exactly how the hell this Spencer had gotten anthrax. He tried to imagine his Aaron if he got sick like that. None of them really got sick. There was the colds that came and seasonal allergies that would get worse at the start of spring but that was pretty much it. His Aaron would freak out if he caught something bad and would probably horrifying if he’d been exposed to anthrax. If it had happened on purpose, Spencer would probably be assigned a bodyguard on a full time basis instead of the occasional time that he needed it during high profile cases. If it was a large scale exposure, Aaron would probably sue the fuck out of everyone involved. He’d ruffle feathers from the local mayor all the way up to the President. “Wouldn’t take any chances.”
“How have we never seen them?”
“Because you think I strip naked around people all the time?” Spencer asked, his tone affronted.
“Even if you did, you aren’t going to anymore. I don’t like to share.” The words were followed by teeth scraping his shoulder. “What time is it?”
“Just a little past six thirty.”
“Why did my alarm go off?” Aaron relaxed back on top of him. It felt wonderful and he enjoyed just laying there.
“Did you do an early run on Saturday last week?” Spencer was sure that with Aaron’s physique that he ran and he ran often.
“I did. I want to go back to sleep.”
“Just like this?” Spencer asked, yawning as he did. He turned his head to his side, laying his cheek on top of Aaron’s hands and closed his eyes.
“Really?” Aaron asked but he didn’t move.
“I can breathe and I like your weight on me.”
Aaron shifted down to laid his head on the back of Spencer’s neck, his face turned the same way as Spencer’s. “Then like this we shall sleep.”
Spencer listened as Aaron’s breathing evened out in sleep then allowed himself to drift off to sleep between one breath and the next.
“No…..stop, please I don’t want it, I don’t please…”
Spencer was shaking and trying to come out of the dream. He had tears streaming down his face and his body was covered in sweat. His eyes flew open and he was panicked. He didn’t know where he was and when he moved his hands and saw the cuffs he started struggling hard against them.
“Get them off! Get them off!..” He was almost screaming as he was struggling to get out of the cuffs. Without warning they were being taken off and he was being engulfed in strong, comforting arms. A hand was in his hair, rubbing at his scalp while the other arm was around his waist holding him close. He was also trying to remember where he was but at the moment he just gave in to his emotions, gave in to the comfort and the kisses to his forehead and temples. He gripped tighter around the man and the words he was saying started to break through the fog in his brain.
“Shh, Spencer, shh, it’s okay, you’re okay. No one is going to hurt you, it’s okay.” That warm soothing voice he knew. He’d heard the very same words from Aaron when he’d had nightmares after Georgia and they shared rooms. Awareness of where he was and who he was with came back to him slowly and it made him cry even harder. He didn’t want to be comforted by this man, He wanted his Aaron, and his life back. Not this crazy world where Aaron played power games and head games.
However, there was a part of this man that was still Aaron. The way his arms felt, it was like that time in the graveyard and Hotch had been there to hold him, hug him. The words and tone were soothing like those nights in hotel rooms when Hotch had been there to wake him from a dream and lie with him in his bed. Though they hadn’t done anything with each other, the comfort they often sought soothed the both of them. This Aaron was just enough like his own that it made him forget himself for a moment when he lifted his head and kissed him.
He was gently being laid back down and Aaron was on top of him. He looked up and he knew he could say no, should say no, but he didn’t. What he did surprised even him. He reached up and carded his fingers in Aaron’s hair and pulled him down, kissing him, thrusting up into the man and moaned when their cocks rubbed together.
“I…this doesn’t mean….” Spencer’s breath quickened as Aaron thrust down against him and covered his mouth with his own. The kiss was searing and burned right down to his gut. Aaron’s tongue licked into his mouth and he opened giving the other man access. A part of him was screaming to stop, that this was wrong, but another part, the part that was hurting and in pain, the part that had wanted his Aaron for so long overruled that other part. He let Aaron take him, let him kiss him and rock their hips together. The burn of skin on skin made Spencer feel alive, he just wanted to feel alive.
“No, this doesn’t mean anything other than I want to comfort you. I want to chase whatever nightmare you had from your mind. Let me have you Spencer, let me comfort you.” Aaron nipped at his neck and he was lost.
“Yes,” he heard himself saying before he could stop himself. He almost whined when Aaron moved off him, but he was back a moment later with a bottle of lube.
“Don’t want to hurt you.”
“Somehow I think that’s a lie. I think you do want to hurt me. I think you want to do to me what you do to your Spencer, but you don’t want me to leave, so, you won’t hurt me.”
Aaron reached down and cupped Spencer’s cheek, “You are just as beautiful and just as smart as my Pet. But yes, I don’t want you to leave so I won’t hurt you, not unless you ask me to.” Spencer watched as Aaron poured some lube into his hand and slicked-up both of their cocks. Wiping his hand on a towel he kept near the bed just for this reason, Aaron settled between Spencer’s open legs. He once again started to kiss Spencer as he thrust against him.
Spencer moaned deep in his throat as he thrust up, feeling the glide of his cock against Aaron’s. He dug his fingers in Aaron’s ass as their motions became faster, and more urgent. He knew he was close when he felt the pull in his thighs, as it moved through his groin, tightening up his balls his breath hitched as he pulled Aaron back down and kissed him hard, almost grinding their teeth together as he sped-up his motions. He stilled a moment later as his back bowed coming hard between their bodies. He felt it a moment later when Aaron came as well.
They continued kissing and touching for a while longer, then Aaron stood and grabbed a washcloth from the bathroom and came back to clean Spencer up. Once that was done Spencer felt him settle next to him and an arm was coming around him, holding him close.
“Tell me about the nightmare.” Spencer closed his eyes as he settled in Aaron’s arms, hating that he was enjoying the comfort. He cleared his throat as he laid a hand on Aaron’s stomach, softly stroking.
“I was kidnapped on a case in Georgia,” he continued telling Aaron his story about being cuffed to a chair, dying and coming back to life. About the dilaudid and getting addicted. How Aaron had tried to help him, but he brushed the man off. How Gideon, his mentor, had abandoned him when he needed him the most. When he was done, he felt thin and wrung out. Closing his eyes he tried to fight back the memories that wanted to assault him once more.
“I’m sorry that happened to you,” Aaron said as he carded his fingers through Spencer’s hair soothing the younger man.
Spencer was more confused than before. He hadn’t meant to have sex with Aaron, but the nightmare and everything else had broken down his normally strong defenses.
“I’m surprised you care,” he said as he laid his head on Aaron’s chest.
“Believe it or not, I do. My Spencer is everything to me and I have a feeling that your Aaron feels the same. Why you two aren’t together by now seems to me that you are both afraid. Fear is a weakness and you, even after all you’ve been through are not weak. I’m not an evil man Spencer, I’m a hard man. I know what I want and I don’t let others stop me from getting what I want. If that makes me evil, then so be it. I have no desire to change. And, my Spencer doesn’t want me to change.”
Spencer didn’t quite believe him. He knew there was a bit of a lie in there somewhere, he just wasn’t sure where. For the moment he just wanted to be held, he wanted the pain to stop, even if it was the wrong person, at least for now, he could make himself believe he was going to be okay.
“Do you think the nightmares will return if I cuff you again?” Aaron asked as he stroked Spencer’s hair.
“I don’t know. I think it was more the stress of the day than anything.”
“Give me your wrists.” Aaron’s tone didn’t broker any argument. Spencer sighed in resignation as he lifted up his wrists. This time the cuffs were attached individually and he had more freedom of movement. The were not clipped together like before. Seeing that he thought that maybe he could live with that. Pulling out of Aaron’s embrace he turned on his side and started to fall back to sleep. He’d worry about the rest in the morning.
Morning seemed to come too soon and the soft knock on the bedroom door woke him. He felt Aaron stirring and the arm pulling him close. Spencer closed his eyes and tried not to think of the night before and sex with Aaron.
“Come in Jack.” Aaron said from his side of the bed. Spencer almost squawked at that. Not only was he still cuffed, but he was naked as well. When Jack bounded into the bedroom in his Star Wars pajamas, Spencer couldn’t help the smile. At least something was familiar.
Jack jumped on the bed and threw his arms around Aaron who beamed that devastating smile and hugged his son close. Then Jack wiggled out of his father’s arms and hugged Spencer. He was startled at first, but then wrapped his arms around the boy and smiled himself.
“Did you have a nightmare Papa?” Jack asked him as he pulled back and sat between the two men.
“Um, yes I did. How did you know?” The question was out of his mouth before he could stop himself and Aaron narrowed his eyes.
“Cause of the way your cuffs are. Dad only does that when you have a nightmare.”
“Right, I forgot about that buddy.”
Jack looked down at Spencer, the sheet had slipped down and exposed his chest.
“Papa? Why do you look so different?”
Spencer’s eyes widened at Aaron and he didn’t know what to say. He thought that he’d be able to avoid this with Jack, but apparently, Aaron didn’t mind his son coming into the bedroom when they weren’t dressed. It should have shocked him, but it somehow didn’t.
“Come here Jack. I know how good you are at keeping secrets. Can you keep a really big secret buddy?” Aaron held the boy in his lap and pushed his too long hair out of his eyes.
“Yes. Daddy, what’s going on?” Jack looked between the two men.
“This Spencer, he isn’t our Spencer. Do you remember when Papa took you on that trip to CERN and you got to stand in the Hadron Collider?”
“Yes, it was so huge. And I got to hear Papa’s paper he presented on the Science of the Mind.”
Aaron smiled softly as he tucked the boy next to him, cuddling him close.
“Well, this man, he and another scientist did an experiment and it went wrong. This Spencer is from a different dimension. And our Spencer, I’m going to assume, is in his.”
“Dad! That’s like that old show Sliders.” Jack then turned to Spencer, “Are you really from someplace else?”
Spencer took a deep breath as he looked down at his wrists, “Yes Jack. I am and I’m going to try to get your Spencer back. I promise.”
“Daddy says never make a promise you can’t keep.” Jack frowned at him a moment. “I knew you were different. You didn’t come talk to me about my homework, or sit and watch Doctor Who, or even tuck me in bed. I’m not a dumb little kid.”
Spencer smiled a genuine smile, “No Jack, you are far from a dumb little kid. I have a Jack in my world. He’s only six though.”
“Are you his Papa too?”
Spencer’s heart lurched because until right then he hadn’t been sure he wanted to be anyone’s Papa. But Jack, even his Jack, had made him re-think everything. He knew then that he wanted to be Jack’s Papa, he wanted to love and mentor the boy. A tear leaked out and he quickly wiped it away. He didn’t know how much it hurt him that Aaron had kept Jack just out of his reach. He knew that this was something they were going to have to talk about when he got back.
“Not yet, but I want to be and I hope he’s as amazing as you are.” Spencer was still trying to sort through his feelings when Jack scrambled onto his lap and hugged him tight.
“If he’s like me, he’ll love you.” Spencer closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around the boy and held him close trying to stem the emotions that threatened to break.
“Okay buddy, time to go get dressed. We have a science fair to go to.”
“Yay,” Jack practically yelled as he jumped off the bed and ran out the door, closing it behind him.
Spencer was in his head when he felt the cuffs come off. He looked-up into warm chocolate eyes and his heart hitched once again in his chest. When lips met his he lifted his hand and gentled his fingers over Aaron’s cheek.
“He’s very good at keeping secrets. He was bound to ask questions. It was better this way.”
Spencer glared at him, “You did that on purpose.”
Aaron quirked a brow, “Of course. Better to let him know now so he can understand and process than to let this go on and he finds out some other way.”
“I think you just wanted to rub it in that Aaron doesn’t trust me with Jack. I think you are still playing head games with me.” Spencer didn’t back down as Aaron chuckled and backed away. He stood and made his way into the bathroom without giving Spencer an answer.
When Aaron was done Spencer slid out of bed and went to take his own shower. He stood under the water for a long-time as he worked on shoring-up his defenses. He was so off-kilter and Aaron was keeping him off-kilter he didn’t know which leg to stand on, so to speak. When he got out he dried off and finished what he needed to do then went back into the room. Laid out on the bed was an obviously expensive pair of jeans, a dark purple polo shirt and a corduroy sport jacket in a deeper purple that went well with the polo shirt. He didn’t have to ask as Aaron was already dressed in casual trousers, button down shirt and his own sport jacket. Resigned, yet again, he went ahead and dressed in what was laid out for him. He was surprised at just how tight the jeans were.
“They make your ass look fantastic,” Aaron whispered in his ear. “I take it you do some kind of workout.”
“I, I started running, sometimes with Aaron. It helped, after what happened.” He slipped on the jacket and wondered about shoes.
“In your closet.” Aaron pointed out. Spencer moved to it but didn’t find any casual shoes. No Converse, no tennis shoes. What he found were dress shoes and loafers. There was a nice pair of polished black loafers that looked like they would be comfortable enough. Grabbing them and finding a pair of black socks, though he itched to grab two different ones, he played it safe.
“One last thing.” Aaron crooked his finger telling Spencer he wanted him near the cabinet. Aaron pulled out a different collar, this one a black thick triple chain. On it were small charms, mostly scientific symbols. He wondered just how many were in there. He was curious, but he wasn’t going to ask. Aaron switched out the collars and Spencer hadn’t processed the fact that he had gotten used to feeling it around his neck. That thought scared him as the heavy chain wrapped around him, the weight reminding him just where he was.
When they were finally done Aaron led them to the dining room where it was just Jack and JJ at the table.
“Everyone else is already out of the house. Dave did want me to give you this Aaron.” JJ handed over a note which Aaron looked at then handed it back to her.
“Put it on the calendar.” Aaron didn’t elaborate and Spencer, though his curiosity was high, didn’t ask.
Breakfast didn’t take long and Spencer grabbed the satchel, he still hadn’t looked through it, but the comfort of it across his shoulder helped to calm him a little. They piled into Aaron’s Lexus and left.
Spencer took note of the car and noticed the extra security as well as the bullet-proof windows. He wasn’t a stranger to this type of secure vehicle, most FBI SUV’s had what was in this car, but that was just the thing, this wasn’t an FBI vehicle. He filed that knowledge away wondering just how much outside danger he was in.
He listened to Jack talking about the fair and answered his questions. The boy was happy that Spencer knew many of the answers. They pulled-up to the convention center about a half-hour later with Aaron getting VIP parking. Spencer raised a brow but didn’t ask.
They piled out and Jack slipped between them, taking their hands in one of his. There was that little hitch in his heart again. Jack always stayed on the other side of Aaron when they went out together. Spencer’s thoughts started to turn dark as he looked down at the enthusiastic boy. Shaking his head he refused to let himself believe that Aaron was doing it on purpose. They hadn’t even really started and he considered that maybe Aaron was being cautious.
“Dr. Reid, we are so glad to see you. I’m sorry you won’t be speaking this year, but I’m sure you will be impressed by the work that has been done this year. I want to thank you personally for the foundation grant that you gave to The Einstein School for the Sciences. If it wasn’t for your very generous donation, yet again, this wouldn’t be possible.” Spencer was stunned for a moment.
“It’s okay we all know you don’t like to shake hands. I do hope you enjoy and here is your packet. Please, let us know by the end of the day who you are going to nominate for the scholarships.”
“Thank you Matteo. We’ll just wander and Dr. Reid will give you his nominations before we leave today.”
“Um yes, thank you. I’ll be sure to make my decisions carefully.” He tried to smile charmingly and when Matteo smiled back, he knew he succeeded.
The three of them moved off and started to walk through the fair. Spencer was looking through the packet and Jack had hooked his fingers in Spencer belt loop. He unconsciously let his hand fall on Jack’s head and lightly scratched. Jack pressed into him and he didn’t know what to think. Spencer focused on the papers he was given, some were ones he needed to sign to finalize the initial grant money. He had a odd thought and wondered if it would be considered forgery, chuckling at himself he set that thought aside, slipped the packet into his satchel and paid attention to what was happening at the fair.
Spencer was impressed by not only the creativity, but the intelligence of the kids presenting as well. He was also happy to see Jack take such an interest in science as well. While they walked through Spencer stopped at several booths to ask questions to get a better sense of the kids and teens participating. He noted everything in his head as he walked through the exhibits looking for, well he didn’t know exactly what he was looking for but knew he would eventually find it.
“Dr. Reid, Dr. Reid,” Spencer heard his name being called. He turned around to try to see where the voice was coming from. When his eyes finally settled on the person he gasped in shock. This couldn’t be Charlie, the man was a mess. His hair was dishevelled as was his clothing. This wasn’t the same Charlie that he had befriended and competed with over his years at CalTech.
“Charlie Epps?” Spencer asked cautiously.
“You, you know me? I know you well I know of you I was at your Ted Talks which was great and I’ve always wanted to meet you but it never happened and well things just went crazy and I guess I never got a chance to meet you because all my invites got returned and you never even said why…” Charlie’s hands were never still and his eyes looked a little manic.
“Dr. Epps, calm down. I’m sure there is a good reason. I get invites to a lot of events.”
“Right right right I bet I’m sure I mean I’m just a teacher and you you you have done so much for science…”
“Dr. Epps,” Aaron used his hard Dom voice and it pulled the mathematician up short. Aaron raised a brow at the man. “Kneel.” Aaron said as he kept his eyes on Charlie. The man dropped to his knees right there in the middle of the fair and not one person was even wondering about it. “Don’t speak.” Aaron moved up to him and grabbed his too wild hair. “Where is your Dom?”
Charlie’s eyes filled and Spencer wondered about that.
“Dead all dead gone gone gone, everyone gone.”
Spencer frowned and got down on one knee.
“Dr. Epps, what happened?” It was slow going because of the fractured mind of Charlie but Spencer was patient and stayed calm. When he got the whole story he was almost sick. Aaron saw his face go pale and knew there would be questions.
“Aaron I think we should leave.” Spencer stood on shaky legs and waited for Aaron.
“I think so too.” Aaron turned to Charlie once again, “Stand, follow us and don’t say a word. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” Charlie’s hands twisted together in nervous anticipation as he stood. Aaron made their goodbyes known and told Matteo that Spencer would send him an e-mail about his choices and that something came-up and they needed to leave.
Jack was confused and a little disappointed but he always knew his father did everything with a purpose.
Spencer wasn’t looking forward to the conversation he knew Aaron was going to press him for. He wasn’t even sure what to feel and by the time they got to the car Spencer had a raging migraine. He knew the day wasn’t going to get any better.