The last thing Jackhammer remembered was O’Shay’s whiny lilt bemoaning “How much further can it be?!” as they’d settled into another barn for the night.
They’d been on the move for days, scavenging for food, sleeping in hay lofts and avoiding populated areas as much as they could. They'd both desperately needed a shower, and in Jackhammer’s case, a well earned rest. O’Shay had lasted only two days on their hunt for The Brotherhood before his whinging had become incessant. In the end, Jackhammer had relented and had been piggybacking the hitchhiker ever since.
“What the…” O’Shay whispered, echoing Jackhammer’s own thoughts. They were no longer in the barn they’d fallen asleep in.
The room was narrow and bare, offering nothing more than the two single fold up beds on which they lay, and a small desk with a lamp. They were both naked and covered discretely by a thin, scratchy blanket. The stone walls and concrete floor made Jackhammer think of a monastery and he leapt from the bed with visions of ninja monks patrolling the corridors outside.
“Nice,” O’Shay grinned, momentarily distracted by Jackhammer’s nakedness.
The hero sighed and quickly secured the blanket around his waist. It was only when he looked down however, that he noticed the glisten of his skin. He’d been bathed while unconscious.
O’Shay’s legs wrapped around Jackhammers and the light coat of fur scratched at Jackhammer’s chest. In moments of crisis, people need to be held, and Jackhammer felt himself go hard immediately, his own skin hunger betraying him in an instant.
He pulled away, straddling O’Shay, who was grinning madly. O’Shay sat up and begun kissing Jackhammer’s chest; his hands caressing Jack’s back. Jack pushed O’Shay off him and pinned the man to the bed.
“What have I told you?” Jackhammer growled.
“You know you want me,” O’Shay replied, and Jackhammer couldn’t honestly disagree. “Isn’t that why you came over?” O’Shay continued.
“I came over to smell you,” Jackhammer snapped, refusing to admit anything more. “We’ve been cleaned up. Wherever we are, they couldn’t stand the smell of you either!”
Jackhammer climbed off the bed and resecured the blanket.
“Stay!” he ordered.
The door to the room clicked and swung ajar. Jackhammer braced for an attack but he couldn’t yet see what was on the other side of the door.
“As I get older, my timing is not so good,” a feeble man’s voice announced from the other side. “Have you finished? Is it okay to come in?”
Jackhammer frowned but stayed slightly crouched, ready for action.
“Show yourself!” he barked, not fooled for an instant by the friendliness of the voice.
The door opened fully to reveal an octogenarian with a white stick. Jackhammer’s nostrils filled with the smell the mothballs emanating from the man’s tweed suit.
“I really hope I haven’t interrupted,” the grandfatherly man apologised, “but time is short and there is much to do.”
“Who are you?”
“Me?” the old man laughed and waved a dismissive hand. “I’m no one of importance. I’m just the Head Master.”
“The what?!” Jackhammer straightened up but kept a watchful eye over the figure’s shoulder in case further company should arrive.
“The Headmaster. I’m the Head Master. I see the future. And I’ve been expecting you.”