Into the raid they went, a new dungeon called the Dark Savant’s Labyrinth, and Jay joined up with Asta’s guild. It was a fifteen man raid, which meant that there were thirteen other unique players fighting alongside them.
Jay was stunned when he saw some of the player’s names:
AltheidesXX, aka Al, a legendary champion who competed in player-versus-player tournaments for real-world money and was undefeated.
Vi Domina, a fire mage who went viral on the internet for her wicked taunts during a failed raid and was also known as an expert player.
And Brofessional, who was famous for, well…
He sounded just like Barry White despite being reportedly only sixteen.
Jay was rubbing virtual elbows with some of the most well-known Crusaders players in the world, and he felt suddenly very out of his league. Not to mention the fact they were raising a brand new dungeon—they were up against new bosses, bosses no one had yet defeated because they were only a few hours old and people were still working out the battle mechanics.
“Asta,” Jay said quietly, “I don’t think I’m geared for this.”
“Pffft. You’re fine.” Asta snorted. “I vouched for you.”
“Oh! One quick teeny tiny thing before we jump over into the guild’s Strife channel.”
“I maybe sort of told them you’re dying of a terrible super fatal disease—”
“Asta! What the fuck?”
“How else was I gonna get them to say yes? Fighters suck!”
“You motherfu—!” Jay groaned when he heard the ding of Asta leaving their voice channel. “Great. This is just great.” He took a deep breath and then clicked over to join the big group channel where everyone else was.
“—here. ‘Sup bitches,” Asta was saying.
“Hey, Bob,” the deep voice of Brofessional rumbled. “You ready for this shit or what?”
“Fuckin’ ready! Let’s go!” Asta cheered.
Jay muted his mic, and he got in position with the rest of the raid as they prepared to enter the instance. The first boss was relatively certain, a dynamic commonly referred to as a “tank and spank” because there was no real strategy to defeat them. Bolstered by a quick victory, the raid moved on to the next in high spirits.
It was the Magna Dane, a powerful wizard with incredible abilities. He had appeared in earlier parts of the game, but this was the first time players were able to fight him. Jay was excited because he knew the lore of the game well, and the fact that the Magna Dane was willing to do battle meant his patron demon, T’Shober, might be making an appearance.
The battlefield was a large ballroom, and the Magna Dane stood in the center. There did not appear to be any other obstacles, no readily apparent traps, and the guild was feeling pretty good considering how easy the first boss had been. They charged right in, and then…
That is to say, they died miserably.
As soon as a player got close to the Magna Dane, they were struck by a strange damaging effect called “The Dane’s Touch”. It was a cold spell that froze the players and slowed them down. It stacked up fast.
By the time a player reached a fifth level of the effect, they were dead.
As the guild respawned and got grouped back together in front of the entrance to the ballroom, the raid leaders–Asta, Vi, Altheidies, and Brofessional–argued about what to do next. Once the group was ready, they tried again.
Asta and Brofessional thought it might require a similar tactic to an old raid boss where players had to advance in small groups before getting to attack, so they did that.
Each small group suffered the same slow frozen death until the entire raid died again.
By the ninth attempt, everyone was screaming at each other in the voice chat and Jay had to take off his headset to save his ears. Nothing they’d tried so far worked. No previously known mechanic applied to the battle, every attempted strategy had failed, and many players were frustrated.
After an in-game death, characters incurred repair costs to fix their gear, and it was getting expensive. Not to mention that people were running out of potions and scrolls, and it was decided that they were going to take a brief intermission so players could restock and get ready to go again.
Asta sent Jay a private chat message through the game:
Having fun yet, babycakes?
The pet name made Jay smile, and he typed back:
A blast. I love spending 200g for a valiant death in battle.
Jay hesitated, and then he added:
You know, there might be something we can try. It might be kinda crazy, but you know how T’Shober really hated dancing? But we’re in a ballroom? It might just work.
Jay flinched when he heard the chat application ding. He was being pulled into another channel, and he said, “Uh, hello?”
“Hey,” Asta said. “Talk to me, babycakes.”
“What’s this idea you have?” Vi asked.
“Tell us,” Brofessional pleaded.
Altheides, presumably, grunted.
“O-Oh. I…” Jay gulped anxiously. “Right, so…”
In the game, Asta moved Bob over to give Jay’s fighter a hug and then cheered at him.
It made Jay smile, and he took a deep breath.
“In the original Bane of the Cosmic Forge,” he began, “the Magna Dane makes a pact with the demon T’Shober–”
“We already know that,” Vi cut in. “Everybody knows that!”
“Yeah, well, what you may not know is how they met. They were friends for a super long time before T’Shober revealed himself as a demon and offered the pact. It’s never actually shown in the game, but it’s in the novelization. The Magna Dane befriended T’Shober when he saw him leaving the royal ball. T’Shober says he left because he hated all the dancing. The Magna Dane says that he doesn’t like the dancing either, but it’s a great way to break the ice.”
“Holy shit.” Asta cackled. “That’s fucking genius.”
“What?” Vi scoffed. “What are we saying to do?”
“We should try spamming the dance emote when we’re hit with that icy debuff,” Jay said firmly. “If I’m right and this is meant to be a reference to how T’Shober and the Magna Dane met, we have to dance out of it to break it before it stacks too high.”
“I’m so down,” Brofessional rumbled. “Fuck it. We’ve tried everything else!”
“Altheides?” Vi prompted.
There was a long pause.
“Let’s go,” a deep, growling voice said.
“Fuck yeah!” Asta cheered. “You heard the man. Let’s fuckin’ do this!”
They all moved back into the main guild chat channel so Vi and Brofessional could explain the new plan. Some people were doubtful, but overall everyone was eager to make another attempt with the new strategy. The guild regrouped in front of the ballroom entrance, waited for Brofessional to count down, and they surged back inside to attack.
Jay’s heart was pounding at a thousand miles per second, and he hoped that this was going to work. In his head, it had made perfect sense, but he was terrified now that he was wrong and he’d just made a total fool of himself in front of some of the best players in the world.
The first wave of the Dane’s Touch hit, and the affected players quickly launched their dance emotes.
A quick gyration of the characters’ digital hips and a wave of their arms removed the debuff immediately.
“Fuck yeah, Jay!” Asta cheered triumphantly. “Look! It’s dropping! Just keep dancing in between attacks, guys! It’s gonna work!”
“Sending out a macro in chat to automatically spam dancing emotes for everyone’s attack rotation!” Vi exclaimed. “Keep it going!”
With the threat of the Dane’s Touch neutralized, the rest of the battle was relatively easy. Once the Magna Dane’s health dropped to fifty percent, he started attacking individual players and freezing them in giant blocks of ice.
Jay quickly ran his character over to Vi Domina’s avatar and hit the dance emote. Dancing on the ice shattered it, and Vi quickly ordered, “Dance on the ice! Everybody dance on the ice to get people out!”
It was a little hectic for the last half of the battle as everyone was frantically trying to break ice and escape the Magna Dane’s other spells, but his health continued to drop.
Jay yanked off his headset when everyone cheered, and he gasped when he saw a banner flash across the screen:
SERVER FIRST! Defeated the Magna Dane!
“Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit!” Jay gasped.
The achievement meant they were the first ones on the server to beat this boss. Out of thousands of other players, they had done it before anyone else.
And it was all thanks to Jay.
The guild was cheering Jay’s name so loudly that he could hear it through the headset even though he’d taken it off. The chat log was blowing up with everyone singing Jay’s praises, including Altheides, Vi, and Brofessional thanking him for his great idea.
Asta sent him a private message as well:
You kicked ass, babycakes. Congrats on your first ever server-first!
Jay smiled warmly.
From there, the rest of the dungeon was a breeze. They raided for hours against lower level mobs and monsters, but it was almost two o’clock in the morning by the time they reached the next boss. Some of the other players were starting to tap out, complaining of exhaustion and wanting to crash.
Altheides decided to call it a night and asked the guild to come back tomorrow morning to pick up where they left off.
He invited Jay back personally.
Jay thanked him for the invite, but he did have to go to work tomorrow.
Everyone booed at that, but Asta shushed them by shouting, “Shut your dumb word dumpsters, assholes. He’s welcome back any damn time and we will be honored to have him. The end!”
“Thanks, Asta.” Jay smiled warmly. “And thanks again for the server first. I, I really had fun tonight. Good night everybody.”
“How much time does he have left exactly?” Jay heard Vi asking as he exited the chat.
Jay snorted out a quick laugh, and he saw that Asta had sent him a link to Bob’s Love Chat again. It was late, but maybe he could talk for just a few more minutes. He did want to tell Asta what a great time he had, and it would be the polite thing to do.
Then again, he did have to be up for work in a few hours. He wasn’t sure if talking to Asta was such a good idea either. Even if Asta was being so very nice to him…
No, especially because Asta was being so nice.
It made it too easy to forget how awful Asta had been, and Jay’s old feelings were bubbling up fast. Tonight had been the most fun he’d had in months, and he was overjoyed that his rare lore knowledge had literally saved the day.
Well, in the game anyway.
Jay might not be able to do much for the insane crises popping up left and right in Archersville, but it felt pretty good that he’d been able to get a big win in a virtual world.
Jay clicked the link.
“That. Was. Fucking. Amazing,” Asta gushed, taking the time to enunciate each word. “You are a fucking genius!”
“Thank you!” Jay beamed. “And thanks for, you know, vouching for me and all that. I really didn’t know if it was gonna work–”
“Of course you did!” Asta laughed. “You’re so fuckin’ smart, and I think you might actually know the game better than me. I’d completely forgotten about those damn books.”
“I still have them!” Jay chuckled. “First editions, every last one.”
“God, you’re so hot when you say shit like that.”
Jay rubbed his face where his cheeks were getting warm. “Hey, quit that now.”
“Sorry.” Asta did not sound very sorry. “Can’t help it.”
“Uh-huh.” Jay rolled his eyes. “Thank you for the invite, the raid was awesome, and I am very, very happy to have a server first. But–”
“But nothing! We should celebrate!”
“Celebrate?” Jay hesitated. “It’s like two in the morning, Asta.”
“I sense the need for late night sushi.”
Jay’s stomach grumbled. “I mean… maybe.”
“Come on. A very friendly sushi dinner hang out thing. How about it?”
“You mean, like… in person?”
“Or I could just poof it over there for you. We could still hang out in chat for a little while.” Asta cleared his throat. “I can do that, you know.”
“I know, I just, uh, I’m thinking.”
Jay’s immediate inclination was to say yes, but other parts of his brain were screaming what a terrible decision that would be. Although he’d enjoyed himself tonight, he did have doubts about how it would be to see Asta again in person. It had been so long, and he didn’t know what he’d do.
Well, it wasn’t like he was going to throw himself at Asta the second he saw him.
Jay had some self-control.
He wasn’t some kind of animal. He could share a friendly meal with his ex-whatever Asta was and keep his hands to himself.
Whether or not Asta would, well, that was a risk Jay realized he was willing to take.
“Think away,” Asta said with a smile in his voice. “I’ll be right here.”
“Okay,” Jay said almost immediately.
“I said, yeah, okay.” Jay cleared his throat. “Just, uh, give me like… ten minutes?”
“Sure thing. California rolls and sashimi?”
“Yes, please. That’s, that sounds good.”
“Okay!” Asta sounded excited. “Ten minutes. Yup. I’ll be there.”
“Okay! Uh, see you then! Good night! I mean, no, I’ll see you in a minute!”
“Ten of ‘em. You got it.”
Jay flew out of his chair so fast that he’d forgotten he still had his headset on. He yelped as it popped off his ears, but he didn’t bother trying to fix it. He had to get ready.
He didn’t have enough time to take a shower, so he plastered on a new coat of deodorant and a big spray of cologne after changing into a T-shirt and jeans. He checked his reflection out in the mirror, tried to fluff his hair into something resembling a style, and then scolded himself for trying to look good for something that was definitely not a date in the slightest.
Nope, not a date at all.
Even so, his heart was pounding hard and his palms were getting sweaty.
Shit, shit, shit.
Ten minutes came and went in the blink of an eye, and Jay shouted when he stepped into his living room and found Asta lounging across his couch.
Of course, he was naked except for a pair of blood red sunglasses.
“Ah!” Asta shouted back playfully, flashing a toothy smile. “Hey, what’s up?”
Blushing to the bone, Jay put his back to Asta. “Could you, uh, maybe–”
“Right! Yeah.” Asta chuckled. “All naughty bits are now appropriately covered.”
“How are you defining appropriate?”
“I have pajamas on, I promise!”
Jay hesitated to look, but he had to turn around eventually. He was relieved to find Asta wearing red flannel pants that matched his sunglasses. The sight of Asta’s bare chest was enticing, and–no!
Nope, nope, nope.
“Shirt?” Jay pressed.
“Are my boobs distracting you?”
Jay crossed his arms, refusing to answer and glaring expectantly.
“Eesh, all right.” Asta shook his head. “I know my body is magically delicious, it’s okay. I’ll remove the glorious temptation that is my scrumptious flesh.” He smirked as a tight black T-shirt appeared, clinging to his lean torso.
Somehow, that just made it worse.
“Thank you.” Jay offered a small smile.
“Sure thing.” Asta stood, tugging on the hem of his new shirt. He approached cautiously, and he was staring at Jay as if he was about to pounce. “You look really good, Jay.”
“Uh, thanks.” Jay’s fingers went right for his glasses to adjust them even though they didn’t need to be. His pulse was fluttery and weird, and he had the wildest urge to take a step back when Asta got close. “You… You do too.”
Asta smiled, and it lit up the whole damn apartment.
“I…” Asta’s mouth closed, and his shoulders sagged.
Gone was the confident prince Jay knew, and before him was an unsure young man whose bright eyes were full of a deep yearning that took Jay’s breath away.
Jay hugged his arms around himself to help dampen the urge to reach out to Asta. Time seemed to stop except for the light glittering in Asta’s eyes, shifting and shimmering like it was being reflected off sparkling bits of gold.
It was positively mesmerizing, so hypnotic that Jay didn’t even realize how close Asta was until Asta’s hands were on Jay’s hips.
The physical contact made the room spin in a hectic blur, and Jay braced himself on Asta’s chest. They fit together so well, and his heart pounded its way up the back of his throat until it was hard to breathe.
“I’m so sorry,” Asta said quietly. “I’ve been hoping every day that there would be some kind of great miracle and maybe, just maybe… you’d forgive me.”
Jay’s heart thudded with the throb of old wounds being reopened, but they were nothing compared to the ache of desire steamrolling right over them. He knew he’d be a fool to take Asta back, especially so soon after reconnecting, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that this was exactly where he was supposed to be.
Right here—with Asta’s arms around him.
“Well.” Jay swallowed back the swell of emotions threatening to choke him. “You can see the future, right?”
“Sometimes, yeah. But I’ve never seen anything about us.” Asta’s upper lip twitched. “At first, it kinda scared me that I didn’t know if we had a future. But after I was a giant prick of legendary proportions, uh, it gave me more of that hope feeling.”
“Well. Not seeing a future with you is sure as hell better than seeing a future without you in it.” Asta smiled sadly. “Made me think there might be a way. To maybe, well, to maybe try again.”
“Asta, you… you really hurt me.” Jay blinked rapidly, fighting off frustrated tears. “I know I fell for you really hard, really fast—”
“I know, I know you did, and I’m the world’s biggest idiot for not understanding what I was feeling, okay?”
Jay tensed. “What are you talking about?”
“Jay, I’ve never wanted anyone like you. I wanted you when I was still your damn cat, and yes, maybe, I was a dickhole to Ted sometimes because I was jealous. I wanted to be with you on the couch watching dumb movies and hanging out. I wanted to be your friend, and then I wanted to be a lot more than a friend.” Asta cupped Jay’s cheek. “When I finally got my chance, I—”
“You fucked up. I know.” Jay shuddered, but he leaned into Asta’s touch like he was starved for it. “It happened too fast, and you hadn’t had enough time to catch up to me emotionally, I get it.”
“No, Jay…” Asta laughed softly. “What I’m trying to say is… you were really just catching up to me.”
“Jay Tintenfisch,” Asta said with a sweet smile, “I fell in love with you when I was still pretending to be your damn cat, and I didn’t even know it. I, I’ve never been in love before, and wow, it is so utterly fucking terrifying. Especially since I didn’t figure it out until after I had already ruined everything.”
Jay’s heart continued its frantic dance, and he clung to Asta’s chest. “Why… why are you telling me this now?”
“Because I have no idea what’s gonna happen. I have no fucking clue what the future holds for me, but I sure as shit hope that you’re gonna be in it with me.” Asta’s eyes were damp. “I understand if you don’t wanna give me another chance or you wanna be friends or maybe you don’t want me around at all, but I really wanted to do this. You know, face to face, shoot my shot, and just hope that you—”
Jay kissed him.
Asta gasped, and his arm immediately squeezed Jay’s waist, dragging him into a desperate embrace.
Jay kissed Asta passionately, and he dragged his fingers up into his hair and pulled hard, delighting in Asta’s eager moan. Asta was practically clawing at Jay’s hips and back, dragging them impossibly closer as they made out right there in the middle of the living room.
Gods, he’d missed this. He’d missed Asta so much, and his lips were sweet and hot and–
“Is this okay?” Asta asked urgently. “Babycakes, I don’t wanna fuck up again.”
“It’s okay.” Jay’s glasses were askew. “It’s so okay.”
“I don’t want you to decide you’re still mad at me later and then say you don’t actually wanna do this–”
Jay kissed him again to shut him up. “I want you. Asta desu Crem Dianah Kane Bavar Nico Lucet.”
“By all the gods, you remembered my fuckin’ name. You’re so hot.” Asta thrust his tongue into Jay’s mouth, and his hands slipped under Jay’s shirt to seek out bare skin.
Jay was a mess, clinging to Asta’s neck and sucking on his tongue as his hips awkwardly jerked forward.
One of Asta’s hands dropped to grab his ass, holding him tight. “F-Fuck, babycakes.”
“Can we, can we go… uh…” Jay cleared his throat.
“Yeah, definitely bed.”
Asta lifted Jay right up off the floor, drawing his legs around his waist as he pressed a firm kiss to his lips.
Jay laughed in delight at how easily Asta could carry him, though his laughter was cut off by a groan when Asta accidentally ran his back into the doorframe at a rather unpleasant angle. “Ow!”
“Sorry!” Asta laughed. “Can’t make out and steer at the same time, I guess.”
“Yes, yes! Mm, very delicate merchandise.”
Asta snickered as he carried Jay into his bedroom, and then they tumbled into bed, a mess of legs and arms trying to stay close as their lips fought to stay connected. He ended up on his back with Jay on top of him, and he shuddered from head to toe, gasping, “Ah, Jay…”
“Yeah?” Jay gasped as Asta’s long legs curled around his waist, drawing him in until their hips collided. They were both hard, and the grinding friction was fantastic.
“I haven’t been… with anyone since you.”
“Ditto.” Jay smiled. “I… I don’t think I could have. I mean, it’s not like I tried or anything, but… all I could ever think about was you.”
“Yeah?” Asta grinned, and he gently removed Jay’s glasses to put over on the bedside table. “Well. Good. I might have tried a little, but–”
“Asta. Shut up.”
“Shutting up.” Asta’s grin grew, and he kissed Jay eagerly.
“Can we… I wanna do…” Jay rolled his hips forward.
“Whatever you want, babycakes.”
“That thing with your dicks?” Jay blushed.
“You gotta be more specific. I do a lot of things with my dicks.” Asta wagged his brows.
“Where you put my dick, uh, like, in between them?”
“Are you sure?” Asta was serious for a moment, frowning up at Jay. “We don’t have to mess around. We can take it slow–”
“I don’t want slow. I want you.” Jay kissed him fiercely, and he reached down to fumble with his pants to get them out of the way.
“Yes, sir, you’re the boss.” Asta was naked instantly, and he grabbed the zipper of Jay’s jeans.
Jay reared back to yank his shirt over his head while Asta dragged his pants and underwear down, and he pleaded, “Just, just take ‘em off.”
“You fuckin’ got it.” Asta dragged Jay back into another passionate kiss, his legs now sliding against Jay’s bare skin.
It was weird to suddenly be naked–what happened to his clothes? Did Asta just destroy them? Did they vanish into another dimension?
Shit, no, focus!
There was a very beautiful and very naked cat prince writhing beneath him much more worthy of his attention, and Jay tilted his hips to aim his cock against Asta’s. He kissed Asta with everything he had, and he groaned as he felt Asta’s cocks twisting and squeezing around him.
Asta’s cocks were hot, wet, and the slide between them was fantastic. The pressure was almost too much, so tight that it made Jay ache, and he thrust quickly, making himself gasp and moan.
“There you go,” Asta purred. “Fuck, come on, baby… I love how you fuck my cocks… just like that, just like that, come on, get it!”
“Gods!” Jay gasped, needing air as much as he needed to see what was happening. He stared down between them, watching his cock push between Asta’s.
Asta pumped the heads of his cock where he held them tight, and he clawed at Jay’s hip, urging him to go faster. “Baby, fuck…!”
“Yeah, yeah, I got you. I got you, come on.” Jay pushed harder, picking up speed until the slick sounds of his cock thrusting were absolutely obscene. He loved the grip of Asta’s legs on his waist, the prick of his nails, and every last beautiful sound leaving his lips as their bodies ground together.
He knew it would be fast, but he couldn’t help it. All of his whirling emotions needed an end, some sort of relief from their heavy hold, and he found it there in Asta’s lips as they kissed. The pressure rose, broke, and Jay grunted low as he came, his cock pulsing across Asta’s stomach.
“Baby, fuck, yes, yes, yes! Don’t stop, don’t stop–!” Asta cried out, desperately jerking both of his cocks around Jay’s until he was coming too. His back arched off the bed and his thighs shuddered against Jay’s sides, and he moaned happily as he spilled his thick loads. “Yeahhh, baby… mmm, fuck!”
The tingles of overstimulation were coming in quick waves, but Jay ignored it for as long as he could. He didn’t want to end this connection yet, and he couldn’t get enough of how Asta was touching him. He kissed him long and slow, their squirming bodies finally coming to a halt as they simply held one another close.
“Wow,” Jay whispered.
“Mmm, big wow,” Asta agreed. “Fuck, that was good.”
“Yeah, it was.” Jay chuckled softly.
“Pretty good way to make up, huh?”
“Well, you still have a lot of making up to do,” Jay said firmly. “And I do mean a lot. And we need to talk. With actual words.”
“Whatever you want, babycakes.” Asta bumped their noses together. “I don’t wanna fuck this up again. Not ever. I wanna be with you. So, you just tell me what to do, and I will do it. Anything. Weird shit. Even shit with toothbrushes.”
Jay laughed. “How about you start by bringing me that sushi you promised?”
“You got it.”
Jay managed two bites of sushi before he was ready to pass out. He never stayed up this late and after the server first win, the ensuing emotional rollercoaster, and the spectacular orgasm, he was exhausted. As tired as he was though, he was happy.
He loved Asta, and Asta loved him too.
Neither one said it explicitly that night, but Jay didn’t mind.
They had all the time in the world to get there, and Jay didn’t want to rush a single thing. If this truly was a second chance at happiness, he was going to make sure that it was perfect.
Asta put the food away and cleaned up, and then he put them both in matching black and pink flannel pajamas. They traded a few more sweet kisses before Jay dozed right off in Asta’s arms.
He woke up with Asta tangled around him, and he snuggled in tight with a smile.
This was where he was supposed to be.
“Good morning,” Asta mumbled drowsily, stirring as Jay buried his face in his chest.
“Morning.” Jay smiled. “Sleep good?”
“So fuckin’ good. You?”
“Great.” Jay sighed happily.
And then he realized his alarm hadn’t gone off.
“Fuck!” Jay wrenched himself out of bed, rushing over to his desk to find his phone. It wasn’t there. He whirled around and saw it sitting on the bedside table. “Shit, shit, shit!”
“What’s wrong?” Asta asked.
“My alarm never went off! I know I set it–”
“Oh, that noisy bell thing? Yeah, I turned it off.” Asta beamed. “You were so comfy and cute, and I wanted to let you sleep.”
“That was my alarm to get up for work! I’m gonna be late!” Jay groaned.
“Pffft. Whatever. I got this.” Asta sat up, stretching his arms over his head. He cracked his neck to the left.
Jay was dressed instantly. He even had his coat and scarf on, and his shoes were already tied.
Asta cracked his neck to the right.
Jay’s glasses were on now, and he had a steaming to-go cup of coffee in his hand.
“Keys are in your pocket, and you will find your car is already warm.” Asta winked. “Oh, and there’s a breakfast burrito waiting for you in your cup holder.”
“You’re amazing.” Jay ducked his head for a kiss.
Asta caressed the side of Jay’s face as they kissed, and he sighed, a breathy and sexy sound…
“Okay, I gotta go right now, or I really am gonna be late.” Jay grunted as he made himself pull away. “Thank you. For everything.”
“You free tonight?” Asta licked his lips. “I feel like I got some more making up to do.”
“Yes.” Jay grinned. “I, I am definitely free.”
“Tonight. Dinner and a raid?”
“Yeah, dinner and a raid sounds great.”
“I’ll be here.” Asta flopped back into bed, sliding his hands over his crotch. “Probably masturbating thinking of you, moaning your name a bunch.”
Jay whined, and he stared at the gorgeous vision of Asta in his bed, stretching his long body and touching himself and–”I gotta go!”
“Bye!” Asta cackled.
Jay raced to his car, and it was indeed warm and ready to go. He ate the burrito on the way to work, and he was only ten minutes late. He sent Asta a text to thank him again for his help, and it turned into a long, squishy message about how happy he was and how glad he was that they were getting back together.
He hesitated to send it for a moment, but he decided to go for it.
Asta texted back almost immediately:
me too babycakes 😉
He also sent a dick pic.
Dicks pic? Whatever.
Blushing, Jay quickly texted back that it was very nice but not appropriate. He would see the real thing later. After that, he put his phone away and got to work.
He didn’t see Chase all day, and he made a mental note to at least send him a text message to thank him. He didn’t know if Chase really could sell life insurance to a dead man, but Jay was happy to be falling in love with Asta all over again. There was a part of him that was worried this felt too easy, but maybe that was the point.
Everything else in Jay’s life had always been so hard–maybe this would finally be the one thing he didn’t have to fight for.
Not that it wasn’t going to take some more work. Jay knew that he and Asta had a lot of work to do, but he was certain they were on the right path now. He was already trying to think of what to do for dinner before the raid, and he wondered if they would be joining Asta’s guild again in the game.
It would be easy for Asta to magically poof his computer over to Jay’s, and maybe they could play together like they had in Xenon.
Then again, Jay mused, they could maybe just pop over to Xenon for the night…
One thing at a time.
He had to go do battle with his arch-nemesis before he could leave for the day–the printer.
The department was hectic, as much of the city was still in a panic. He heard reports that there were still riots and looting downtown, and a mandatory curfew was going into effect through the weekend until the chaos was under control.
Jay had to text Asta and tell him that he was going to be late, but he’d be home as soon as he could.
Asta sent a picture, but this time it was just a selfie of him smiling.
Can’t wait, babycakes. <333
Jay’s heart skipped a beat.
He really couldn’t wait to get the hell out of here.
By the time he was finally done, it was dark and miserably cold out. Jay bundled up and hurried to his car, driving over to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. He knew Asta could magically create anything out of thin air for them to eat, but he wanted to actually cook for him.
He wanted tonight to be special.
The grocery store was a mess, and one of the front windows was boarded up because it had been shattered. Jay was startled to see evidence of the city’s unrest so close to home. Two members of the AVPD were standing by to keep the peace, and Jay grabbed the ingredients to make spaghetti and then rushed through the self-checkout.
Jay packed his groceries in the trunk of his car, and he reached into his pocket to get his keys. He was beyond ready to get home, eager to see Asta–
“Hey, need some help?” a gruff voice growled from behind him.
“What?” Jay turned, grunting as two large men slammed him up against the side of his car.
“Wallet. Now!” the gruff man demanded. “We already know you’re fuckin’ silenced, so don’t make this hard.”
“Wallet! Keys!” the other man snapped. “Come on, let’s go!”
Jay gritted his teeth, terror giving way to rage. There were literally two cops in the grocery store, and he didn’t have a single scrap of magic or any possible way to alert them that he was being robbed right outside in the parking lot.
But then Jay remembered that he was far from helpless.
He didn’t have magic, that was true, but he had something else.
Taking a deep breath, he shouted as loud as he could:
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