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Do You Ship Us? - 74. Taking Control

“You've still got his number haven’t you?” Jasper turns to Ryan who looked completely horrified and bewildered despite the fact Damien had not yet said a word.

“Ryan tell me you are not still in contact with him.” Jules asks, her best stern parenting tone unleashed, she wasn’t taking her eyes off the screen, and if looks could kill Damien wouldn’t have been a problem judging by the glare she had locked on him.

“I’ve got him blocked.” Ryan says defensively as he pulls his phone out of his pocket and quickly goes into his contacts, getting to Damien’s number and opening it to prove his point.

“Well he’s about to get the shock of his life.” Jasper snatches the phone from Ryan’s hand, there was no way he was going to let Ryan talk to him right now, he could already see the panic taking over Ryan’s face, the short rapid breaths and flustered expression along with the way he was uncomfortably shifting from one foot to the other every few seconds as he waited in anticipation, giving him away. Jasper steps closer and as he unblocks and hits call on Damien’s number, he rubs Ryan’s back slowly in an attempt to comfort him.

“What’s your relationship with Jasper Reid of The Obselete, he was pictured leaving your house.” The ‘investigative journalist’ holds up the photo of Jasper walking in Damien’s door proudly, unaware that she was conducting her last interview because after this Jasper intended on getting her fired.

“I don’t have a relationship with Jasper, he’s my exes boyfriend, that’s literally all.” Damien answers then pulls his phone out as it starts ringing. Ryan turns around furiously punching the air while Jasper inhales deeply and holds his breath for a moment to keep from getting caught up in the feeling of absolute resolve, now that those words were out there and the media had hear them, there was no taking it back and no keeping this private. The can of worms was torn open and Jasper only hoped to stop all of them leaking out.

“I will kill him. I will actually kill him.” Jules says through gritted teeth, her frustration mimicking Ryan’s.

“I’ll dig the hole.” Blake nods at Jules and they continue bitching in the background but Jasper blocks them out as the phone is answered.

“Damien, it’s Jasper. Go inside and close the door, they are live-streaming this, you’re on the goddamn news.” Jasper demands before Damien even had the chance to say hello. Damien looks directly into the camera then turns away quickly and takes a step back in his door, closing it while he’s begged and questioned to further his comment.

So you’re saying you’re Ryan’s ex-boyfriend?!” They had all the story they needed to escalate the drama once again and Ryan was rapidly losing it.

“You IDIOT, you absolute piece of...” Ryan grabs the phone and shouts into it but Jasper swiftly takes the phone back off Ryan and clicks his fingers at Blake then gestures at him to get Ryan away. Blake and Flynn both move over to herd Ryan away from Jasper like a couple of body guards.

“Damien what the fuck?” Jasper asks into the phone in an exasperated sigh, he was annoyed of course but his tone was more one of defeat, after every single time this man had gotten between them and they had managed to get past it, now the whole world was going to know that he existed and with that came the risk of every single piece of dirt being dug up.

“I swear I didn’t mean to start anything, I was minding my own business. They just knocked on the door and when I opened it they started asking questions and I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know they were recording it, I don’t even know who they are I promise Jasper, please tell Ryan that I didn’t mean to cause him any problems.” Damien sounded sincere and panicked, Jasper could hear the banging on his door and the questions being shouted to him, through the phone.

“Yeah we should have expected this, we were shown that photo a couple of days ago and were asked who you were and why I was there, they know your job and they thought I was having an affair with you.” Jasper sighs, he couldn’t believe he was dealing with this bullshit. “Here’s the thing, you cannot tell them anything, and you’ve probably got a chance at suing them for releasing your personal information against your consent, I mean they have your name on the screen, your job title, they are pointing a camera at the apartment number on your door, this is definitely a huge breach of privacy at best. I’m going to give your contact number to our lawyer and get him to call you to work on this and to moderate a plan of action between us. This is out there now, the media will keep digging and I think you’ve got a lot of things you would rather not have people uncover so it’s best if we all keep our mouths shut until we have a plan about how to handle and answer the questions that will come from this.” Jasper tells him quickly, trying to ignore the absolute chaos unfolding around him with Ryan’s Mum, Blake and Flynn all trying to calm Ryan down while unhelpfully adding comments about how bad this was and what they would like to see happen to Damien.

“Thank you, I am so sorry. I really am.” Damien apologizes, he’d never sounded so sincere, Jasper could even tell that he was choking up with tears.

“I’m sorry too, because you’re part of the shitstorm now and you’re going to get a lot of hate. If I were you I would be looking for somewhere to disappear to for a while. Just so you know, I’ll be blocking your number in Ryan’s phone again so you can’t contact him. Our lawyer Daniel will call you soon though so don’t worry.” Jasper hangs up and turns to Blake, grabbing him and pulling him away from Ryan.

“What are you going to do?” Blake asks, his eyes burning with anger.

“What I’m going to do is try to defuse that bomb.” Jasper points at Ryan. “While you call Daniel and give him Damien’s number. Tell him Ryan’s ex just had his address, name and profession publicly shared without his consent and that we need him to organize a meeting for the three of us to discuss a plan because Ryan doesn’t want information about their relationship becoming public knowledge.” Jasper passes Blake Ryan’s phone.

Sure I can’t just kill him because I’m willing.” Blake asks in a slightly too enthusiastic tone.

“I really need for you to pretend like this isn’t that big a deal alright? Go home and do this shit talk all night with Flynn, I don’t care but not in front of Ryan, I need him to be able to handle this and everyone is just pouring fuel on the fire right now with their anger.” Jasper lowers his voice, Blake looks over at Ryan and shakes his head.

“Good luck.” He sighs, taking out his own phone to call Daniel. Jasper turns to Ryan, who was now in the kitchen arguing with his Mum. Flynn had stepped aside and was filling her in on the whole Damien saga.

“You guys might want to take Ellie for a walk.” Jasper suggests as he heads past them, towards Ryan and Jules. “Hey.” Jasper steps into their argument.

“How many times Ryan, how many times are you going to let him ruin your life?” Jules shouts.

“Ryan.” Jasper raises his voice to get Ryan’s attention.

“I’m not trying to let him ruin my life! He’s like a cockroach, he’d outlast the apocalypse if there was a chance to fuck with me on the other side of it.” Ryan snaps back at his mum.

“RY!” Jasper shouts. Ryan looks at him, his expression was frantic and desperately lost. “Come with me.” Jasper takes his hand and leads him to their bedroom, Jules follows them, still lecturing Ryan about Damien the whole way.

“It’s all going to come out now. Just every single fucking time I think I’m finally done with him, and this time it’s the media, the whole fucking media knows he’s my ex. They are going to find out everything.” Ryan blurts out all his panicked thoughts. In the peaceful safe space that is their bedroom, Jasper takes one of Ryan’s hands and places it on his chest so Ryan could feel his heart rate and subconsciously slow down to in time with Jasper’s.

Ryan I know this is fucked, but we are still in charge.” Jasper assures him confidently, his tone low and calm.

“How. How, are we in charge when the media are snooping into my personal business.” Ryan asks, already starting to calm down with Jasper’s relaxed demeanor influencing him.

“We control what they get to know. I’ve got Blake on the phone to Daniel right now to arrange a meeting. Damien did not ask for this, this was my fault. I was photographed there and they didn’t get the story from us so they have turned up and blind sighted him. I hate him too, but this time this is not his fault. What is he going to gain from the entire world knowing what an absolute asshole he was to you. Nothing. So I get that this is the worst, and the timing too, I get it’s all a lot right now but we’re still in control here. I promise this is seems a lot worse than it is.” Jasper tells him, Ryan finally calms again, leaning back against the wall and consciously taking deeper breaths. Jasper turns his head and gives Jules a fake smile. “It’s ok, I promise you too, I’ve got this covered. Trust me I’ve dealt with a few shitty information leaks and I’m not going to let this get out of hand.” He assures her.

“I hope so, I’m not going to stand by and watch him destroy my son again. He’s come too far.” Jules had tears in her eyes as she watched Ryan.

“Trust me the only thing getting destroyed by this, is going to be that investigative journalists’ career.” Jasper sighs.

“Amen to that, I gave Daniel a quick run down of what was going on and there’s potential for a lawsuit for publicly sharing his personal information.” Blake hands Ryan back his phone. “I took the liberty of re-naming him as ‘Demion’ before I blocked the number, which I’m quite proud of and really hope you don’t change so that next time you look at his number you can be reminded that he is a demon and you shouldn’t contact him.” He states, giving Ryan a look of warning.

“What about me, they publicly shared my personal information too.” Ryan snaps annoyed, paying no attention at all to Blake.

“Technically he did, and you’re a public figure so it’s a bit of a grey area what our privacy rights are in that aspect.” Jasper shrugs, rubbing Ryan’s shoulder.

“You could sue him.” Jules suggests bitterly. “After everything he has put you through he deserves it.”

“Not unless he signed a non-disclosure agreement or he says something that is considered slander. Whatever he says is within his rights. We’ve just got to navigate the situation now, all they know is he is your ex and I was over there while you were away. We can be truthful without giving away more details than necessary. He’s been trying to re-connect with you during our relationship and I went there to tell him to step back. That’s all that needs to be said for this issue to be done with.” Jasper fakes confidence in himself in the hope it’d rub off on Ryan, while inside he wanted to rip out a killer statement about how much of an inexcusable waste of air he thought Damien was. “Like I said before, he’s got nothing to gain from people knowing what kind of boyfriend he was, so we keep it short and simple and he keeps his mouth shut and the problem ends with that. It’s just a big drama because of the way it’s come about but we were basically going to make a statement explaining that anyway right?” Jasper turns to Ryan and leans against him a little.

“I told you from the start, he is not a good person and he doesn’t care about you.” Ryan’s Mum starts off on another tangent about Damien that Jasper had to try very hard not to enjoy too much.

“I know, does it look like this is fun to me?” Ryan snaps. “Can I just have some time alone please?” He asks, not wanting to keep losing his temper with his Mum, he knew she meant well but right now he was too emotional to be being lectured. Jasper turns to Blake and nudges him, signaling him to leave the room with him.

You and I need to get drunk some time.” Jasper sighs as they reach the front door. Blake nods in agreement, seemingly off in deep thought. “After the week I have had, you can’t deny me a single drunk night.” Jasper whines, assuming that was what Blake was thinking about.

“I wasn’t saying no.” Blake shrugs then turns to Jasper. You shouldn’t be dealing with this, you have your own stuff to focus on.” He reminds him.

“We don’t have to take turns dealing with shit. He helped with my parents’, now I’m going to help with his ex. Jasper shrugs, looking down the hall as Jules’ walks up towards them. “You ok?” Jasper asks, putting his arms out to give her a comforting hug.

“I will be, as soon as I can stop hearing and thinking about Damien.” She sighs and hugs Jasper tightly.

“You and me both.” Jasper answers. “Leave it with me ok, I’m really good at handling this kind of thing, and Damien already knows he can’t get away with shit with me.” Jasper smiles at Jules who gives a small laugh.

“Are you sure you don’t want kids?” She sighs.

“Jas, Daniel wants to talk to you.” Ryan calls out from the doorway of their bedroom, holding up his phone.

“One thing at a time.” Jasper winks at Jules. “Anyway we better sort this out. Talk to you both later.” He says then turns and heads back to the bedroom, holding his hand out expectantly for Ryan’s phone but instead Ryan takes him by the hand. Jasper frowns at him but lets Ryan pull him in close.

“Thought I better save you.” Ryan admits, circling his arm around Jasper’s waist.

“Did you just lie in front of your Mum?” Jasper fakes a gasp of surprise.

“Well when I heard her ask about kids I had to intervene. It’s about the last thing you needed today. She was stressing me so much, I really appreciate you being so calm about all this, I know you’re as furious as I am about this.” Ryan states. Jasper smiles and runs his hands up Ryan’s chest, slipping smoothly over his shoulders, behind his neck and up into his hair distractedly messing up his hair.

“I shouldn’t have gone there in the first place, and I should have told you that I did go there, so you had time to process this and know how to handle it if it got escalated by media. He sighs and Ryan fakes a smile at him.

“Your intentions were good, I’m just so sick of feeling like everything is out of my control.” Ryan sighs and as soon as the words leave his mouth, Jasper pulls away from him, stepping back and eyeing him off thoughtfully. “What?” Ryan frowns at him.

“You want to be in control, then be in control.” Jasper suggests with a cheeky grin.

“I didn’t mean like that. I mean in general.” Ryan laughs, reaching for Jasper’s hands but Jasper steps back out of reach.

“I know what you meant, but I’d thoroughly enjoy you practicing on me. I’d even make it easy for you and not challenge you, I’ll behave and do as I’m told.” He promises, putting his arms behind his back and wiggling his shoulders in an exaggeratedly innocent way. Ryan raises an eyebrow, stuck on how to respond. He looks down at the floor for a moment and nods to himself in consideration before looking back up and meeting Jasper’s curious stare.

“Well if you’re not going to challenge me, then I’m not really practicing am I? The rest of the world isn’t going to submit to me.” He smirks.

Actually I’m sure that’s probably a lot of people’s fantasies.” Jasper replies with a wink.

“Is it one of yours?” Ryan asks and Jasper just shrugs in response. “I asked you a question, and I want you to answer me.” Ryan surprises Jasper with the assertive change of tone, stepping up close to him and holding his chin, forcing Jasper to look into his eyes. Jasper hesitates, testing to see whether Ryan would cave in but he holds strong, letting his lips brush against Jasper’s, glide across his jaw and up to his ear. “I know exactly how to make you weak, I’ll get my answer one way or another.” He whispers as his hand runs up Jasper’s spine all the way into his hair, he grips and yanks his head slightly to the side to expose his neck, Ryan then starts biting and kissing his way down Jasper’s neck, to his shoulder. The sensation sends a shiver up Jasper’s spine as Ryan’s lips tempt him to speak, a heat rushing through his body as though Ryan’s touch was igniting a fire through every single nerve in hi. Lust rapidly taking over his body, Jasper presses into Ryan, trying to move them towards the bed. “Do you want something?” Ryan asks, holding Jasper’s hands and taking half a step back, his eyes drifting shamelessly all over Jasper’s body.

“I want you.” Jasper replies and steps close again, a playful smile on his face as his attention goes to Ryan’s lips hungrily, torn between whether he wanted to kiss him, or feel his lips all over his body.

“Then you’d better answer my question. Is it your fantasy, to have me dominate you like this?” Ryan asks, his intensely strong gaze meeting Jasper's eyes again and taking his breath away. Jasper couldn’t resist now, every cheeky response felt like it evaporated from his mind and all he could do was gulp and mutter a slightly nervous, ‘yes’. “You don’t sound so sure.” Ryan frowns.

“I am it’s just.” Jasper pauses, trying to understand what the feeling was that just ran through him as he answered Ryan. In theory he loved this idea, Ryan was more sensitive and gentler with him so naturally, Jasper had wanted to see a different side to him. The problem was, he had no idea what to expect and how far Ryan would take things. Up until now they were mutual, they asked what each other wanted and liked and they were tentative to each other’s needs. “In my fantasies, it’s still my thoughts, my imagination, so it’s a little different in reality.”

"Relax and let me control this for you, I promise it'll be very, pleasurable for you." Ryan whispers and kisses him slowly, hands roaming his body while his lips are distracted. Jasper couldn't deny how much he wanted this, every touch, every kiss was filling him with a sense of desperation that he couldn’t ignore and he realizes the feeling was adrenaline and thrill a fear and excitement of letting go and letting Ryan do as he pleased.

"I'm all yours." Jasper breathes when their lips part. “Within reasonable boundaries.” He quickly adds.

“Are you going to shut up and let me do this now?” Ryan asks jokingly. “Because that’s your last warning, next time you speak I’m going to have to gag you.” He threatens and Jasper stares at him with a nervous smile, licking his lips as he considers pushing his luck and calling Ryan’s bluff but decides to keep his mouth shut.

 

“Ryan hey, thank you so much for coming over to help me out with this, I had no idea I was being ambushed by media.” Damien stresses the moment Ryan walks into his apartment.

“Just to be clear, I’m not here to ‘help you out’ I’m here to sort out the part of this shit storm that is going to effect me and Jasper and that’s it. You’re on your own with the rest of it. The only reason we’re organizing a lawyer for you is because Jasper wants to show the media that they don’t have a right to invade our personal lives and he’s using you as an example of what will happen if they keep harassing us. As for us, here’s what’s going to happen.” Ryan pulls out a chair at the table, taking a seat. “I’m about to make a statement that will explain that we were in a toxic relationship for a year and that after it ended, you continued to pursue me to the point where Jasper felt he had to intervene on my behalf, hence his visit here. I was not aware that you worked in the sex industry during our relationship as you didn’t disclose that information to me. Due to the nature of the relationship and the circumstances under which it ended, I am not going to make further comment on it and I’m going to request that out of respect for me, it is not given any more attention than it has already received because dealing with our relationship has been emotionally destructive and caused the mental health issues I’ve only now finally started overcoming.” Ryan reads out the note he’d written in the car ride over. He looks up and over at Damien who was listening with a look of guilt plastered on his face while he watched the curtained closed windows.

“I guess I deserve for that to be very…”

“Honest?” Ryan asks.

Ryan I know I don’t deserve to ask for you to back me at all but your fans... This statement will put a target on my back for abuse online and what if I get recognized in public and...” Damien is cut off again.

“This is already the kindest way I could have worded it, Daniel will be able to give you guidance about what is and isn’t going to be able to protected with legal action.”

“That won’t stop them talking though, I can already picture what is going to be said about me. ‘Prostitute That Emotionally Destroyed Ryan.’.” Damien complains.

“Amazing how you care about it when it’s going to be you facing the consequences. I’ve left the details of how our relationship was toxic, ambiguous, any assumptions about our relationship you can probably treat as slander. If it effects your uh, ability to earn an income, you’d be able to receive some kind of compensation I’m sure. The fan abuse you’ll just have to deal with.” Ryan tells him and gives a cold shrug, standing up from the chair again.

“Are you leaving already? What about the people literally trapping me in my house with cameras? I’m supposed to be at work in 40 minutes.” Damien follows Ryan to the door.

I could not give less of a fuck, I’m fresh out of fucks to give, you’ll just have to call your pimp and tell him your situation.” Ryan answers, reaching the door, his hand on the handle.

“No, I’m not that anymore, I’ve just started a new job.” Damien replies with a smile. “It was your boyfriend’s idea actually, bar work.” He tells Ryan, sounding way too casual and friendly, clearly trying to make conversation to keep Ryan there.

“He’s full of good ideas.” Ryan smiles to himself, but it doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Did he tell you about me? My job and all that?” Damien asks.

“You should have told me about it, when we were dating. I don’t care other than you could have had something and spread it to me and I deserved to know that was a risk. I should have been tested while we were together and when we broke up.” Ryan turns on him annoyed again.

“I was tested every 3 months as part of the job, if I ever had anything I would have told you.” Damien rolls his eyes, as if not seeing it as a serious issue.

“Every 3 months? That’s only 4 times in the whole year that you were potentially exposing me to shit, do you not understand how STD’s work? You could have been tested and been clear and gone and been infected with something the same day, spent the next 3 months sharing it around before you would have even known. Do you have any idea the guilt I felt when I found out about your sex work, knowing that I could have unknowingly passed something on to Jasper? Luckily a few blood tests and I had peace of mind but you clearly weren’t even the slightest bit worried about me while you were out fucking whoever paid you enough. Do whatever and whoever you like, but have the decency to be honest with people about it so that they can be safe and take care of themselves. Nobody deserves your selfish deceitfulness to be the cause of a preventable and treatable infection ruining their life.” Damien stares at Ryan unnerved by how blunt he was being.

“Ok, yes. I’m sorry.” Damien sighs, looking down at his feet ashamed. “I know I’ve made a lot of mistakes.”

Oh fuck off, you don’t lie by ‘mistake’ that’s a decision. I have no pity left for you and I have no reason to forgive you. This whole situation, the bad media and the criticism you’re about to receive, that’s all some bittersweet karma catching up with you. Good luck with it, and be grateful that Jasper asked Daniel to get involved and cover your ass because as far as I’m concerned, you don’t deserve and easy way out. Once this blows over, and it will blow over, you keep your head down and stay out of my life because I don’t have to go through the trauma of recalling the time I tried to kill myself because of you, I just have to slip up and mention that Jasper had tried to talk to you once before and ended up drugged. You think you’re afraid of backlash from fans now, let me tell you Jasper’s fans are terrifying, they organized a gofundme to hire a hitman on his best friend after he joked that he and Jasper were each other's type. Let them find out you drugged him and then you’ll really have to start worrying about showing your face in public. Keep your mouth shut and let this fade away and fade away with it.” Ryan orders, turning the door handle finally and stepping out into the gossip hungry crowd outside Damien’s door. He forces his way past everyone, not making any comment as questions are shouted at him. He gets in the car waiting for him at the end of the footpath.

“How are you going?” Mark asks, politely giving a wave to the surge of people that followed Ryan to his car.

“I am posting the statement now.” Ryan replies, taking his phone out and opening the pre-typed message. He takes a deep breath and presses post then pockets his phone and shakes his head. “Thanks so much for your advice and for offering to drive me here, you didn’t have to.”

“I told you all you could come to me about anything and I meant it, just because you’re stepping away from the band doesn’t mean I don’t still feel like I am responsible for helping you handle difficult media situations.” Mark answers as he starts driving.

“Yeah well this solidifies my decision.” Ryan sighs, feeling his phone buzzing with notifications.

“If I were in your position Ryan, I would use this timing to my advantage and announce your departure from the band. Give them something else to talk about.” Mark suggests.

“I thought that. The sooner I do that, the sooner I can fade away too. I don’t want the problems in my life, being the headline of an article. Jasper warned me right back when I started that if I couldn’t handle people commenting on everything I do, then this wasn’t a good career path for me and he was right. I don’t know how he stays so calm through drama but I’m just not cut out for dealing with this shit, it’s exhausting.” Ryan complains, crossing his arms and looking out the windows, watching the world passing by, people going about their day as normal and envying their ability to live normally.

“Well we’ve got a few band events coming up, an interview in a week and even a demo concert where the guys will be debuting a few of their new songs live, if you want to withdraw from those I totally understand...”

“No, I already said I would be there for those, besides I think I am going to announce my departure and blame this invasion of my personal life for the reason I am quitting the band. Maybe it’ll give them all some perspective and I expect they will latch onto Jasper to find out what is happening with me after I leave, so maybe it will guilt them into backing off and just letting us have our privacy.” Ryan knew it was wishful thinking, but he was hopeful none the less, that maybe he and Jasper could have a chance to have a break from all the problems and enjoy just a little slice of time to themselves because there was nothing he wanted more right now, than to run away with Jasper and leave the world and the bullshit all behind.

Claire Rosalind
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As much as a POS Damien is I think the investigating journalist(s) are every bit just as much of a POS please tell us that she got fired

Edited by weinerdog
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Blake and Jules are far from helpful here as Jules keeps berating Ryan as if this is all his fault while Blake tells Jasper he doesn’t need to be dealing with this as if implying Ryan isn’t worth it. Both of them as Jasper said just kept adding fuel to the fire of Ryan’s anger causing him to enter even further into an emotional spiral. Honestly while his comment about being Ryan’s ex was far from helpful this wasn’t really Damien’s fault for once. I’m confused why Ryan went to his house though as that seems beyond stupid and if Jasper didn’t know it’s sure to piss him off. Ryan’s presence there will surely be photographed and thoroughly documented adding to the already existing drama. I can only imagine the various spins the media will put on it.

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