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Fic: What About Now - Chapter 11

June 1st, 2011 (08:24 am)

Title: What About Now?
Pairing: Jared/Colin
Rating: R
Feedback: Need it!
Disclaimer: NOT TRUE, and hopefully most will never ever happen. I own nothing.
Beta: The eternally luminous legolastariel who helped out, as always. Thank you!
A/N: Story begins at the O2 Arena concert November 30th.

A/N 2: Dedicated in its entirety to the ever lovely and always supportive legolastariel!

Summary: Jared is fighting for his life. Colin is fighting with himself. And the press is fighting for a story.




30 Seconds To Mars Concert in LA, December 2009

“Look, babe, if the show sucks we’ll get out of there.” Angela said plastering herself to Mason’s side, her hand making its way into his pants before he had a chance to grab it. Angela, he reminded himself. Or was it Angel? He ignored the slur in her speech and instead took the provided opportunity to grope her breasts. She was Mason’s second hook-up of the night and he was enjoying her so far. She was not as attractive as him, but he did not mind doing an ugly drunk chick a favour on occasion.

“Are you kidding me? This is shit!” Mason cackled, throwing out his arms, bumping into another concert goer. The guy yelled something obscene at him, but Mason ignored it and focused on dragging Angel-something with him into one of the dark spots. She might get the honour of giving him a blowjob.

“It’s not bad, I mean look at him! You cannot deny that the guy is attractive.” She said before letting out a giggle and stumbling further into Mason’s already firm embrace. This was going better than he expected. Mason had met her at the local bar where she had been sulking, throwing back shots and complaining loudly to the bartender that her friend had ditched her in favour of some random guy, instead of coming to the concert like she had promised, and she now had a ticket too much. The girl was not exactly attractive, but she was drunk and pitiful and Mason knew an opportunity when he saw one. Though he was unfamiliar with the band she was babbling about, he was not going to say no to a free show and he wormed his way into her plans.

“He is ugly. His eyes are ridiculously buggy and he looks like he has anorexia. Come on, let’s get out of here.” Mason was rapidly losing interest in the stage, the music was too loud and the front man was a demanding tool. He kept asking everyone to jump and scream. Who did he think he was? No one told Mason what to do, damn it.

“Oh come on, babe, don’t be like that.” And there was that babe again. Could the drunken bitch even remember his name? It was Mason, damn it. His rage flared and he grabbed her arm none too gently, yanking her back to his side. Did she have to be so demanding? He was only there for her amusement and she had better not forget it. She owed him.

“We’re leaving, damn it. Come on.” He tightened his hold even further, enjoying the feel of her bones grinding together in his vice grip.

“No!”

Mason was just about to raise his arm, when someone grabbed onto his shoulder. Hard.

“Miss, is this man bothering you?” The question came from one of the security guys, a tall fellow with a buzzcut and tribal tattoo on his forehead. Not someone Mason was about to mess with.

“He was just about to leave.” Angela said coldly, yanking her arm back. Mason felt enraged at the dismissal, but he knew that tonight was over for him. At least for now.

“You heard the lady, get lost you creep!” Bristling at the tone, Mason whirled back preparing to strike, but hands around his upper arms stopped him. Apparently, the annoying security guy had friends.

Like some insignificant, inferior person they dragged him from the concert hall, just in time for the opening chords of The Fantasy to rumble through the packed venue.


¤¤¤¤¤¤

Present

Inspector Anderson towered over the singer quite naturally. Jared was by no means tall, but the elderly police official seemed almost colossus in comparison. Jared suspected that Anderson’s size was a bit of projecting on his part, more than the Chief Inspector’s actual physical stature. It had to do with why he was there.

The singer could not help but feel slightly smug that he was, for once, on the right side of the law. As teens, Jared and Shannon seemed to be chronically wanted for misdemeanours. Even though their mum, for some reason did not consider drug possession and auto theft as small misdemeanours.

Yet the pleased feeling was not enough to lift his sombre mood. The tension in the room was high and Jared felt uncomfortable. He held no interest in talking to the Inspector. Do not get him wrong, he appreciated everything the man had done for him in catching and detaining Helmstrom, but seeing the Inspector again was the last thing he wanted.

All he wanted was to be left alone.

Faintly, Jared could recall talking to the Police Inspector early on – he knew he had – but it was limited what he remembered from their first meeting. Just a few hours after he had awoken from his medicated sleep, Inspector Anderson interrogated him. He remembered some of the questions. One in particular. But he sincerely hoped he remembered wrong.

In an effort to gain some pride and perspective, Jared moved up further on the bed attempting to find a comfortable position. Instead, all he managed to do was to rip off his pulse oximeter, causing the machines around him to beep madly. Letting out a curse, he watched as Shannon barrelled through the door, doctors and nurses hot on his heels.

“Everything is fine, I’m fine! Calm down…” Jared called, trying in vain to stop the invasion of his room, as well as the invasion of blushing in his cheeks. It was just too much. It seemed like the higher powers themselves were out to get him. There was nothing he hated more than feeling embarrassed, it stirred at his anger and made him feel like less of a man. It made him itch to fight, to prove them all wrong. He clenched his fists, trying to still his racing heart.

Shaking his head while giving him a comforting glance, Shannon pushed past the Inspector and walked up to Jared’s bed, giving his little brother a wet kiss on the cheek.

“I hate you,” Shannon grumbled, before teasingly ruffling Jared’s hair and leaving with the still perturbed doctor. The words doused some of the fire in Jared. It was like a subtle reminder, in their own language, that his older brother was on his side and had his back.

Shannon had been asked to go visit the cafeteria while Jared was interviewed, but instead, he had apparently stayed within shouting distance in case his brother needed anything.

The nurse affixed the machines again, then left to give Jared and Anderson some privacy.

Crossing his arms, Jared tried to ignore the fact that he was blatantly hugging himself. He had really dreaded this moment. He knew what the lanky police officer wanted to talk about, and by God, did he want to avoid it.

“Mr. Leto, there are some … discrepancies, between your statement and what we have gathered from numerous interrogations of Helmstrom. This is why I will ask you again, and please bear in mind that, though you said no the first time around it will not detract from any sentence or punishment that he will receive.”

Taking a deep breath, more for the singer’s sake than his own, Anderson asked, “Mr. Leto, I will need you to be honest with me. Have you had sexual relations with this man?”

A long period of silence passed.

“I don’t see how that matters. You’re saying he is still guilty, so why does it matter?” Jared spoke up, his voice not carrying its usual strength. The performer felt more put on the spot than he ever had before. This was a million times worse than what a cocky interviewer or an arrogant fan could do to him. This was on a completely different level.

“The defence will see this as a flaw in the case against Helmstrom and you will likely be called to the witness stand where a defence lawyer will try to ruin your reputation and accuse you of having lead Helmstrom on, in an effort to get a reduced sentence. It is really in your best interest to tell the truth. The whole truth.”

Inspector Anderson had worked hundreds of cases in his long career and had met people of all ages, and from all social standings. Attempted murders in a big city like London were nothing new and yet this case had their precinct on edge. Even the mayor had called in to check that everything was being done appropriately. An attack on a rockstar was high profile and carried a lot of media attention.

But Anderson saw none of that in this hospital room. What he saw was a frightened man, attacked on his home turf for the world to see. A man with his back against the wall.

Just a man.

“Mr. Leto, -”

“It’s Jared.”

“Jared, I understand and respect your desire for privacy and I will do my best to keep this out of the media’s grasp, but you will have to be honest with me. For your own sake.”

“After all this...” Jared hesitated, licking his lips. “I woke up... I woke up in this godforsaken place desperate to know what had happened. Convinced that it had to be an accident. Convinced that there had to be some mistake... because there would be no way something like this could happen to me. That I could deserve this kind of treatment.” Jared’s voice sounded raspy and small, like he had been shouting before running out of the energy needed to continue talking. “If I slept with him, does that mean I deserved this?”

“Did you sleep with him?”

Jared opened his mouth, before hesitatingly whispering, “I... I didn’t. But I would have. I would have slept with him. Does that make me guilty?” So many people had left his bed over the years. So many one-night stands that he no longer could keep track of them. He prided himself on being a sexual creature. He enjoyed the joining of bodies, needed it to function. He needed to feel wanted, needed to feel desirable.

But that night he had needed something that he could not have. He had needed Colin and had gone for Mason.

After the show, December 2009

There was a reason why Jared never went home to Los Angeles anymore.

Sometimes it felt like Colin got everything in the break up. Including Jared’s home town. He had lived in – and loved – LA for more than 15 years. But after he slammed the door on his and Colin’s relationship all those many months ago, Los Angeles felt haunted and wrong. Which in hindsight was ridiculous, as LA was one of the places they had never really gone out. The chances of detection were simply too high. Leaving his house often brought with it a few stray paparazzi stalking him and taking shots. And back when they were a couple, they had preferred going out in the suburbia connected to the larger cities, preferably out of the country and out of the way, where they could walk the streets without immediately being recognized or considered important enough to stop for.

It was not like they had ever been the types to practise strolls hand in hand along the boardwalk or had candlelit dinners in romantic bistros. Instead, they preferred to indulge in rough, passionate, all empowering sex followed by a savoury breakfast in some nameless hotel half a world away. Jared had never been that big a fan of going out. Unless he was networking or creating and maintaining business contacts he no longer liked it. And the more his popularity increased, the more he reserved it for when he was in some far off country, away from the press.

But LA was where they had lived. It was where they had shared Colin’s house; it was where they had shared a life for several years. But a few months after they ended it, Colin sold the house in favour of something smaller. Something that would be simpler to leave behind. Something less of a home.

And now 30 Seconds to Mars was back in LA for a series of gigs and to Jared’s consternation, he was already feeling a tickle in his throat, signifying an up and coming cold. Shannon had been against these gigs for that very reason, as he knew his younger brother’s health often took a dive when he was stressed. But the label had wanted local shows that would hopefully bring in a more star-studded crowd and Jared had found no real reason to object. He couldn’t very well say that he was still on the run from his ex and feared the inevitable phone call, which always came whenever he set foot in LA.

And Jared was not wrong as his cell phone chose that moment to start blaring in his jeans. Shrugging off his jacket and ditching it on the chair, he fished into his pant pocket in search of his ever trusty Blackberry. His stomach sank and his heartbeat increased the moment he recognized the number on the screen. Colin.

Foregoing greetings, Jared jumped straight into the conversation, speaking with his clearest no-nonsense voice, “Why do you still do this?”

“Why do you still pick up the phone when I call, if you don’t want to talk to me?” Colin answered with a sigh.

The Irishman’s words sent Jared into a short silence, before he angrily retorted, “I’ve always been a masochist.” Not giving Colin a chance to comment, he seized control of the conversation once more, “Let’s get this out of the way so I can go back to work.” And with that he took a deep breath and launched a tirade in the most condescending tone he knew, “I’m fucking fine, keeping busy. Everybody is doing well. You’re fucking fine, keeping busy with baby and I assume that everybody is doing stellar. Now can I hang up on you?”

“Why do you insist on making this so difficult?" Colin replied sounding utterly hurt.

Jared swallowed his harsh words and instead sank back on the bed, defeated. Why did the actor always have to make this so damn emotional? Every time Colin called, Jared did his very best to make it short and impersonal and every time he failed. Jared was a good liar, but only when he wanted to be, and as much as he had convinced his mind that lying to Colin would be safest, his heart did not agree and kept defying him.

“I make this difficult? Me? You’re the one making the damn calls, you selfish ass.” It was supposed to come off as challenging and rude, but instead it was anything but, it sounded defeated and broken.

“Jared?” Colin asked concerned, which only managed to hurt and infuriate the singer more.

“I don’t know!” Jared hissed. But the truth was, he did know. He knew all too well how often he still thought of Colin. Knew only too well how much his heart had been left a shattered mess with no hope of fixing. He knew. And a part of him, a vicious part of him feared that Colin knew too and was only doing these phone calls to rub it in his face which one of them had moved on and who had not.

“I’m sorry,” Colin said back, just as softly, as though he could follow Jared’s current train of thought effortlessly and knew the other man’s fears. “Do you want me to stop calling?” Colin had never asked that before and the latent compassion in his tone made Jared want to rage and cry at the same time. There were still so many emotions tangled between them that they could not even have a normal conversation without either arguing or getting their feelings hurt.

“I...” Yes. Yes, please stop torturing me with what is not mine anymore, please stop forcing me to pick off the scabs of my still healing wounds and start all over again trying to heal them. Please stop making me cling to the past. I cannot take it. “No?” He murmured, “I don’t know.” I don’t know why you do not struggle with this like I do. I don’t know how you moved on when I did not.

Eventually, ignoring his previous two unsure responses he mustered his strength and said, “Yes, Colin. No more calls.”

“I’m sorry, Jay.”

“Don’t be,” Jared offered, “just... No more calls.”

They hung up the same way they had started talking: Without greetings. Pleasantries were still a long way off for them.

Frowning, he ditched his phone on the nightstand and made his way from the backstage room to the bus, hoping to find his brother there. He needed something – or someone – to distract him. He was antsy and agitated. Making his way through the hallways, he ignored the cleanup crew as he left the back stage area and entered the parking lot. His eyes fell on a hooded figure sitting underneath a streetlamp. His curiosity piqued, Jared ignored his earlier plans to find Shannon and instead made his way across the empty lot.

“Hey, man. Waiting for someone?” He stopped in front of the ‘streetlamp guy’ and checked him out. He assumed that since the man was still waiting in front of the busses, he must still believe he was going to meet the band. The man was wearing dark jeans and a worn black tee. He was cute, but not in the traditional sense. However he had dark eyes and dark hair, which was exactly what Jared wanted in a guy. At least after he had met Colin.

“You.” The stranger said, his voice devoid of any intonation.

Not in really in the mood to work for his hook-up, he considered this an early victory.

“Want to get out of here?” Jared asked, making his intentions clear. The guy looked shocked at his question, before his face turned into a sneer. At least it looked like a sneer, but Jared could not get himself to care why the man held an interest in him. He had slept with people who hated him as much as they loved him before and he had no problem doing it again. For all he cared, the guy could be wearing a pink tutu underneath his jeans and Jared would still be happy. As long as he got to bury his frustrations in a warm body, he honestly did not care about the ramifications.

Mason astonishment quickly turned into glee. He had stayed behind to teach the stuck-up ass of a singer – whose concert had ruined his night – a lesson, and now it seemed he would have the chance handed to him on a silver platter.

“Of course.”

Jared reopened the gate, letting them both through the security fence and across the parking lot into the backstage area. The singer had clearly done this before and Mason was unsettled by the man’s self-assured calmness. He was not used to being a notch in someone’s bedpost and the change was slowly starting to anger him.

It was rare that Mason indulged in men and when he did, he usually picked someone less... confident. He preferred someone small, awkward and fragile who either wanted or needed his protection. Not a dark, handsome performer who could get anyone he wanted and had apparently set his sights on Mason. His irritation revived itself, the jerk had better start realising whose company he was in soon or Mason was going to lose it.

Jared could not care less about the silence of the man walking behind him. He usually went for the people showing interest, but tonight, the less interest the better. He did not want someone’s desire. Did not want to be wanted. Not tonight. He did not want to have anyone look at him with tenderness and love, as it brought only bad memories and a sour taste in his mouth.

Colin desired him. At least he used too. But what the hell had it mattered that Colin desired him? They had fucked up everything between them. What was amazing sex worth when it always came after a searing argument of wounded prides and hearts? What the hell were they worth as a couple anyway?

Wrong place and wrong fucking time to be thinking about his damn ex and Jared angrily pushed the thoughts aside. Grabbing Mason with a desperation that was not there before, he pressed him up against the wall of the darkened venue hallway, forcing his thigh in between the other man’s legs.

Mason could not help but let out a moan of desire as he felt the singer press up against him. This was so much better than it had any right to be. Jared’s hard body felt warm under his probing hands and he wanted more. So much more and the musician had better deliver.

Jared could feel a hand snaking into his pants and his mind spiralled into chaos. He could almost feel Colin’s heart beating against his ribs... Colin? Wait, not Colin. Never Colin. Not again.

Ignoring his inner turmoil, Jared tried to force his heart to go blank like he had so many times before by shoving his tongue down the other man’s throat, he pushed his own body further up against the stranger, wanting to get this over with.

Mason was lost in sensation as the singer brutally attacked his mouth. This went beyond anything he had ever experienced with another human being and he felt intoxicated with raw lust. The front man obviously knew what he was doing and Mason could feel himself getting hard.

Jared tried, he really did, but the more he engaged the stranger the more his interest waned and his mind resisted. He wanted something he could not have and he was rapidly becoming aware of it, but the feeling was not apathy as it should have been. Instead it was misery. His hands were starting to shake and his heartbeat increased, but it had nothing to do with lust. He was panicking, feeling trapped by the strangers hands on him. Only two men had ever been allowed to touch him when he panicked and one of those was his brother.

The other was lost to him.

“Let go of me!” Jared gasped out. He pushed the stranger off him and watched as the man slid against the wall. His touch was no longer a pleasure but a burn.

“What?” Mason was infuriated by the treatment. He was being discarded like an unwanted toy and his pride detested it. “How dare you, you little shit!” He raged, anger breaking through his arousal.

Before Jared had a chance to react, a fist smashed against his cheekbone and he staggered backwards.

Not one to turn the other cheek, Jared quickly shoved Mason before giving him a firm kick across the shin. Yanking the stranger up by his collar, Jared hissed “Go! Get the hell out of my face!” and pushed him towards the door and out of the building.

¤¤¤¤¤¤

The first letter from the man, calling himself Mason, had not affected Jared in the slightest.

Letters from fans and haters were an ordinary, everyday thing and as far as he was concerned, they could not be avoided. They were like crowdsurf-bruises and travel delays – or Shannon going quiet when there was a camera in the room, despite easily being the loudest member of the band. All little things, which he had gotten used to ages ago that he now no longer found startling. And most of the letters were pretty sweet.

But the second letter from Mason was disturbing. It was mostly disturbing because he found it next to a bouquet of roses with all the flower heads missing. On the kitchen table in his house. His locked house.

He knew better than to touch anything, the display was simply too suspicious. Shannon and Jared had very tight rules when it came to security and few had ever received a key to their house. The only copies floating around belonged to Tomo, Emma and their mom. Neither of them would have any reason to leave flowers without heads on his table.

Instead he had promptly called the police.

It was not that he was afraid. It was more that he was pissed. The fact that someone had dared to enter his home and try to mess with his mind pissed him off. It was like something taken out of a run of the mill thriller flick with poor writers. Not something he had ever wanted to star in, let alone invite into his own life.

It had not taken the officers long to figure out that the patio door leading into the studio had been tampered with. Nothing had been stolen and no fingerprints had been left behind, but they had taken the letters and the flowers as evidence. A few phone calls from Emma had ensured that the police report stayed out of the media.

The letters had not been threatening. On the contrary, they had been sweet and lenient. Consoling. He kept repeating that though it was Jared’s fault, Mason had already forgiven him and that Jared should stop worrying about hurting Mason’s feelings. It was okay, he was forgiven.

But he had better not do it again.

Jared was confused, seeing as he was convinced that he did not know any Mason. He wrote it off as an occupational hazard. The ramblings of a disturbed individual. God knows, enough of them existed. Even in the Echelon – as much as he loved them – a few displayed behavior and obsession that probably warranted some form of medical attention.

But this somehow felt different. It felt spiteful.

And Jared was not one for apologies, at least not the heartfelt ones. A delusional stranger was not going to receive any concessions from him.

Jared doubted that he had done anything to this Mason he would actually regret.


¤¤¤¤¤¤

Present

“What will happen to Helmstrom?” Jared asked, anxious with a desire to know. He needed to know for sure that this was over. That there would not just be a short respite and then Helmstrom would be back. He needed closure.

“He is still being processed; his first hearing is scheduled for the first week in January. A judge has ordered a gag, keeping him from yapping to the media.” The Inspector was grateful that the judge had ordered a lockdown on Mason Helmstrom’s lines of communication. There seemed to be no end to the delusions he carried with him involving Jared and the singer’s supposed crimes against Mason. Anderson had seen a lot of hatred in his life, but rarely had he witnessed such utter detestation as the one Helmstrom aimed at the musician. Mason was proud of his accomplishment and disappointed that he could not rid the world of Jared for good. The only good thing about Mason’s lack of filter on his words was that no jury would hesitate in convicting him. No one would deem him safe to release into society.

“I was wondering why he hadn’t talked.” Jared said. Anderson chose not to mention that Helmstrom was currently keeping the guards at the sanitarium entertained with describing Jared’s sexual exploits, which Mason had kept an eye on from shadowing the singer for months. Jared had enough to worry about.

“Can I be there?” The singer asked, a sudden determination on his face, as though someone had handed him a purpose.

The Inspector looked ruefully at Jared, before answering with a sigh. “Technically, yes.”

“Technically?”

“Mr. Leto –”

“Still Jared.”

“Mr. Leto, don’t give him the satisfaction of showing up in court to face him. You know as well as I do, that the media will be right behind you.” Anderson too, had walked through the crowd of paparazzi barreling questions when he showed up in his squad car. It seemed unfair that a man in Jared’s position could not be left alone, but he recognized it as the fate of the famous.

“Does he care about the media?” Jared asked disbelievingly. He doubted that Helmstrom had any desires to steal the singer’s fame, as there would be loads of people more appropriate and beneficial for him to shoot if that had been the case.

“He’s fixated on destroying you.” Anderson said. “And he knows that the tabloids are always ready to listen. He shadowed you for months. He knows stuff. He knows about Colin Farrell. He knows about every man and woman you’ve slept with during the last year and he is willing to talk. I would strongly advise you to stay away from him and not give him an outlet to destroy you in.”

“I’ll think about it.” Jared said distractedly, once more fiddling with the hem of his hospital gown.

“Alright, that’s all I can do.” The detective sighed as he got to his feet. “That will be it for me for today, but I will keep you appraised on the situation.”

Jared thanked him and they shook hands before the detective exited the room, leaving the door open.

¤¤¤¤¤¤

Shannon shifted on the uncomfortable plastic chair as he threw another glance at his brother above the rim of his book. After the Detective had left, Shannon had spoken to Jared for a while, but the singer was uninterested in verbal communication. His little brother had been despondent and tired, and Shannon figured some reading would do them both good. The drummer had initially been reading to Jared, but the younger man had been dead to the world for several chapters now.

Jared had always been an avid reader when he had the time. Much more than Shannon, who was content getting the occasional ample and enthusiastic rundown of Jared newest literary obsession. But these days, Jared did not have the required concentration and peace of mind needed for reading and along with that, holding the books pulled at the still healing muscles in Jared chest making them ache. Therefore, Shannon read to Jared. It not only killed time, it also provided Jared with a calming distraction. Even Colin brought books when he visited now.

It was only four in the afternoon, but the singer had succumbed to tiredness early, the pain medication making him drowsy and the long talk with the Inspector wearing him out. But Jared’s slumber was far from peaceful, as he moved on the bed in a restless, medicated sleep, his IV covered hands fidgeting as they fought his body’s response to the amount of chemicals in his bloodstream. Jared tossed once more and Shannon looked up again from the paperback he was now distractedly rifling through, but it was a false alarm. It was just another cramp, not a nightmare.

These days, the drummer was afraid to leave Jared alone with only his tormented mind to keep him company. After his birthday, he had slipped into a depression that seemed impossible to revive him from. He barely spoke, barely ate and even sustaining prolonged eye contact with his younger brother was difficult, before Jared broke it in favor of gazing through the window. Shannon had been forced to indefinitely postpone all meetings that would require his presence, as well as give full control of band matters to Tomo and Emma so that he could be there for Jared. The decision was worrying, but what was even more worrying was Jared’s lack of response to the news that Mars was out of both the Letos’ hands for the time being. Before all this happened, the thought alone would have been ludicrous, but Jared seemed oddly at peace with the new arrangement, which was just another red flag among many in Shannon’s eyes.

Jared had always needed something to get lost in. Music, movies, art – it did not matter as long as he could surrender himself to a project. Revolve around it. Pour all of his restless energy into it. He did not do well with being forced to stand still and just exist in the moment. His demons tended to catch up with him whenever he stopped running.

Jared carried an incessant need to surpass himself, to drive his gifts over the edge of his perceived capabilities and silence his many critics. But this time around, Jared’s will to fight seemed to have been extinguished. Drowned under the weight of his demons, his nightmares and his broken future.

Jared jerked on the bed once more, brushing a hand over his face and accidentally dislodging the nasal cannula providing oxygen, which had replaced the mask. Shannon got out of the chair and sat down next to Jared on the bed. With great care, he fixed the tubing before brushing a stray lock a hair behind Jared’s ear.

Shannon was not surprised to lean back and find the familiar blue gaze staring at him. “Do you love me?” Jared whispered, the look in his eyes stripped of the headstrong artist and instead replaced with the insecure, gangly boy from their childhood, the boy who could never quite fit in.

“You know I do.” Shannon replied softly, not breaking the eye contact. He had not seen this side of Jared for years; it scared him to see the haunted look so firmly back.

“Because I’m your brother?”

“Because you’re worthy of love.” If people asked, Jared did not have self-esteem issues and he did not doubt himself. In the eyes of many, Jared seemed above such a silly thing. He had an adoring family, was subjected to the love of the Echelon on a daily basis and throngs of both men and women threw themselves at his feet, desperate to sleep with him. He should have nothing to worry about.

His confident and aloof demeanor hid the cracks well. But to the people who really knew him; to the people who were allowed in, Jared could not bury the scars of the past that had made him. To someone like Shannon who had watched him grow up, he could not hide. Shannon knew just how much every insult and every cruel word chipped away at his decency and hardened him. Every time he was called a douchebag, he became one a bit more, lost another tiny shred of humanity in order to survive, in order not to let the world see how human he really was. How much the world sometimes hurt him. The only setting Jared had was self-loathing. He never believed he measured up. But few were allowed to see Jared have doubts. He was like a wounded animal, dragging himself along, unwilling to let the world see him bleed, in order to endure, knowing that the press as well as his many haters would launch themselves on any weakness and tear him apart.

It was a lonely world for Jared. It was a lonely world when you hurt people before they could hurt you. Left them before they could leave him and trusted no one, so that no one could betray or deceive him. And with every new defeat Jared grew more cynical, more broken and Shannon feared the repercussions of all this.

¤¤¤¤¤¤

TBC

Comments

Posted by: shiralyndee (shiralyndee)
Posted at: June 1st, 2011 08:53 am (UTC)

While Jared in a deep depression over his break up with Colin and the shooting. Jared still has to get himself together in order to tell Colin that there past sex life is soon to be exposed. I enjoy the way that your writing keeps the read in such a deep grip. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. P.S. Thank you so much for the much needed surprise of this chapter.

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: June 17th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)

Thanks for reading and reviewing. And thank you for your kind words.
Right now, the Inspector is still keeping Mason from talking to the media, which is common in RL cases such as these. But yeah, this is far from over and Jared is still reeling from the shooting.
Next chapter will be up soon :)

Posted by: alice_domoto (alice_domoto)
Posted at: June 2nd, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)

Thank you bouncinggoat for the wonderful chapter!
Whoa! There comes the surprise! Jared should not deal with Mason like that, anyone would have been pisses off like that. But he did not deserve this :( Poor Jared. He was just in a bad mood and picked a wrong guy...If Colin knew about the true cause behind all this, he would feel so guilty.
Mason sure is going to pull a stunt in front of the media, and Jared would be hurt again...wonder if what was (or is) between Colin and him would be known to the public. I hope not because this would be too much for Jared,haha~ But just write what you have in mind. I love drama and surprises~
Shannon is akways a supportive and loving brother~so touched~
Just one question. When the inspector asked if Jared had slept with Mason. He said "“I... I didn’t. But I would have. I would have slept with him. " Does this mean that he is willing to do that so all this would not have happened to him? This is really breaking my heart...(sobs)
Can I expect Colin to show up more in the coming chapter? Haha~

Can't wait to read the next chapters!!

Hugs,
Alice

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: June 17th, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)

Hi Alice,
Jared definitely picked the wrong guy to mess with, but you don't always know the true mind of the people you meet. He really got unlucky
We will see if Mason get's a chance to pull any stunts. In cases such as these the media is not allowed to get involved as that would result in Slander which is illegal. But who knows... ;)
Shannon is amazing, what would Jared do without his big bro?
That is up to you dear, what do you think our poor heartbroken Jared meant?
Don't worry, Colin will not be kept away :)

Next chap will be up soon,
Hugs from Kayden

Posted by: [sony!] (roundedboxes)
Posted at: June 10th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)

I just wanted to tell you something. It's real short, I guess...

Anyway, I don't usually read real people fics, for a different number of reasons, mainly because trhe ones I read were... Let's say not good . But lately, I just decided to give this kind of fics another chance, and... I arrived here. And, to be honest, I'm glad. Because it's very good, it's really well written, and I like how you handle the characters and the situations and everything.

So, you've got a new reader. Keep up with the good work :)

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: June 17th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)

Hi, I'm honored that my fic is good enough to pass standards. :) But, I agree, there is a lot bad!fic out there.
Hope you'll like the future chapters as well :)

Thank you!

Posted by: cujlover (cujlover)
Posted at: June 11th, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)

Ummm...like shiralydee, my opinion is Jared have to become
reasonably and tell Colin of the vist of the officer and his indiscret questions.
And that maybe their love relationship could go public soon.
And how will Colin react, when he gets the information from
his former lover....will he still stand by Jared, or will he to differentiate himself from that....????

I'm curious...so many questions, how will the answers be???

hugs
C

Posted by: Kayden (bouncinggoat)
Posted at: June 17th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)

I guess you will have to wait and see. But who knows what kind of power Mason has. Right now, he is incapacitated my the police, but who knows if that will last.

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, I really appreciate it.

Hugs
Kayden

Posted by: cujlover (cujlover)
Posted at: June 17th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
Oh Jared

>Right now, he is incapacitated my the police, but who knows if that will last.<

Oh please, don't make me fear of such a horrorscenario.

<3,
c

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