Chapter 9: Sunday
Sorry the update was so late. My mouse pad died. They had to block it and give me a mouse to plug in. I had tried plugging one in before the mouse pad was blocked and it wasn’t allowing it. Anyway, it’s working now. I’m back.
Jared drove into town and pulled into the Denny’s parking lot. He stopped the truck and was quiet for a moment. Jensen noticed the stillness and turned his head toward the driver.
“Is everything all right?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry. I was just looking at you.”
“Why? Did I not dress right?”
“No, actually, you are perfect for the day.”
“Then what is it?”
“I was trying to figure out how you can be twenty-six years old and not be in a relationship.”
It was Jensen’s turn to be quiet. Jared saw him turn pale. As if that were even possible, he thought.
“Are you all right, Jen?”
“I..uhh…I have never met anyone I wanted to see.”
“Didn’t get out much?”
“Okay. I get it. She’s a very stupid woman, Jen.”
“She has a Master’s in accounting.”
“Book learning doesn’t make one smart.”
“Why did you say that to me?”
“I don’t know. You’re a beautiful man and I just figured there’d been women or men in your life before now.”
The professor blushed a bright red. Jared wondered how far the blush went and castigated himself for the thought. He was grateful that Jensen had not caught the slip of the tongue he’d just done. Jensen did not realize that Jared had added ‘before now.’
“Let’s go get some breakfast.”
Jared exited the truck and walked over to the other side and met Jensen and the two men entered the Denny’s. They sat in a booth near the rear of the restaurant. Both men ordered coffee and a Spanish omelet. Jared asked for extra biscuits. He watched the other man carefully run his hands over the table, making note where everything was placed. Jensen picked up the cup of coffee and took a sip. Jared’s hazel eyes followed every move, noting how full the man’s lips were as they touched the cup.
The breakfast was delicious. Both men were hungry and made inroads into the omelet and biscuits. Jared ate his hash browns with the omelet. Jensen had ordered grits and had added a lot of butter, salt, and pepper.
When the meal was over, Jared left a nice tip for the good service and the two men walked towards the register. Jared heard someone call his name and stopped to turn and look. Jensen bumped into him and apologized. Both men waited as two young women walked up to them.
“Hi, Coach Padalecki. I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself to you on Friday. My name is Dani. I’m the head cheerleader. This is Gen.”
Jared shook hands and introduced Jensen. The two young women stared at his companion.
“You’re a professor in the art department?” Dani asked, credulously.
“Yes, I am. I teach sculpting. You don’t need eyesight to sculpt. You have to be able to use your other senses.”
“Oh,” Gen answered.
“Coach,” Dani said, “Will you be working late with the players starting next week?”
“Yeah, most likely. Why?”
“I thought I’d buy you dinner and introduce you to the other cheerleaders and show you the town.”
Jared stared, wide eyed. Jensen stiffened. The girls noticed it. They looked at both of the men and wondered if they were together-together.
“I appreciate that but I keep a strict no fraternization rule for myself. I do not date students.”
Jensen relaxed and listened. He could sense irritation in the girl’s voice as she replied, “I wouldn’t tell on you. Neither would Gen.”
“I would know. Excuse me. I need to pay for our breakfast and we have some plans for the day, so we need to be leaving.”
Jared put his hand on Jensen’s back and directed him towards the register. Neither man mentioned the two girls again.
Jared drove to the museum district. He pulled into a parking lot and both men got out of the truck.
“Where are we?”
“This is the children’s museum. Everything is hands on. You can touch and explore the world here.”
“Really?” Jensen’s voice held a note of awe in it.
“You’ve never been here?”
“No. I was home schooled.”
“You were never around children when you were growing up?”
“Just at church. I wasn’t usually included in the games. I guess they thought that since I couldn’t see, I couldn’t play.”
The two men entered the building. Jared went to buy tickets. He asked about how the museum worked and explained Jensen. They were most welcome to explore to their heart’s content.
The next three hours were almost overwhelming for the blind man. Jared watched him touch things with a look of awe. There was a room filled with animals that had been mounted. Part of the pelt of each was mounted on a block and could be touched. Jensen mentioned how he wished he could touch each animal so he could see what it looked like. Jared grinned and told him they were leaving.
Thirty minutes later, Jared pulled into the park. He parked his truck and the two men entered the zoo. Jared talked with one of employees and the two men were allowed to enter the closed petting zoo. They had an hour until the zoo closed.
A zoo keeper led them through the petting zoo. They stopped in front of the first display that had animals out. The zoo keeper entered and brought an animal to the fence. Jared watched as the camel stuck its head over the fence and sniffed Jensen. He saw the surprise on the man’s face as he backed up.
“No, don’t back up, Jen. It’s a camel. Touch it.”
A timid hand went up and slowly caressed the head and neck of the massive animal. A soft smile appeared on the freckled face and the green eyes glowed. The camel snorted and suddenly its tongue came out and went up the shorter man’s face.
Jensen heard Jared roar with laughter as he jumped out of the animal’s way.
“It’s not funny,” Jensen yelled.
“Hell, yes, it’s funny. You can never say you haven’t been kissed.”
Jensen turned red and walked away. Jared followed him. The zoo keeper caught up with them and led them to a nursery. Jensen was allowed to hold a baby monkey and he felt wiry little fingers grab his thumb and a mouth try to suck on it. The zoo keeper pulled the animal off him.
“His teeth are coming in and you don’t need to have stitches.”
The two men entered a farm yard. There were lambs, baby goats and a small donkey. Jensen smiled as he touched and played with the babies.
When they left the petting zoo, Jared check his watch.
“We have enough time for one more exhibit.” They walked towards the aviary. Inside was a jungle with extension bridges crossing water ways. There was a small waterfall. Birds of brilliant plumage flew over their heads. Jensen listened to the sounds and smiled again. Jared described the birds whose calls they were hearing. They spent thirty minutes in the aviary and then headed towards the zoo exit.
When they reached the truck, Jared suggested a great hamburger place called ‘Five Guys.’ They enjoyed massive grilled burgers and a huge order of French fries.
They arrived back home around 7:30. Jared unlocked the side door and both men entered the house.
Jensen turned towards the taller man and thanked him for all they had done. Jared stared at him and softly spoke, “I would like to do something like this every weekend. I like doing things with you. Would you like to make this a regular weekly date?”
“We’re two new friends, getting to know each other. So, yeah, I’d call it a date.”
For the third time that day Jensen blushed.
“Yeah, I would like that.”
“Great! How about some ice cream and I will pick a book and I’ll read to you. Is there any particular author you would like me to choose from?”
“Anne McCaffrey. I have wanted to read her dragon books, but I haven’t been able to find them in braille yet.”
“I have them all. Chocolate, mint chocolate chip, or strawberry?
“Mint chocolate chip.”
Jensen took another shower and headed off to his bedroom. He laid down and thought over the day and realize he really liked being with Jared. He’d never liked being with anyone. Jared was the nicest man he’d ever met and he wanted to know him better. Turning over onto his side, he slowly went to sleep.
Jared kept his bedside light on as he thought over the day. He had almost blown it. Date? Jensen seemed to accept the concept as he gave it. His heart beat faster as he remembered the man’s facial expressions as he experienced new things. Jared realized he wanted to help Jensen experience the world. He turned out the light and made sure his alarm was on. He was soon asleep.