Chapter 11: Monday Lunch
This is a shorter chapter dealing with Jared and Jensen’s lunch.
Jensen was working with one of three students who had come in during his free time to work on their projects. He heard the door open and touched his watch and listened to the time. It was 12:35. Jared walked into the classroom, carrying two large bags and a cardboard carrier with two drinks. He grinned at the professor and walked towards the office door. The three students stared at the tall man and then looked at Jensen.
“Hey, Prof, is that your brother? I know he’s a coach here.”
Jensen turned slightly pink and answered, “No, he’s just a friend.”
Another student asked, “Boyfriend?”
“Roommate,” Jensen responded, embarrassed.
“Ooohhh,” replied the third. “Cute.”
All three stared expectantly at their professor. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Jensen was bright red by this point.
“Yeah. I, uh, guess he is.”
He turned to go to his office with three pairs of eyes watching him.
“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, Prof,” one of the girls teased.
Jensen stopped at the door when he heard the comment and swallowed. He opened the door and entered.
“Hey, Jen. I brought Chinese,” Jared stated as his roommate entered the office. He noted Jensen’s high coloring. The man was red.
“That sounds good, Jared,” Jensen replied and went around his desk.
Jared had pulled a chair up to the desk. He had brought two orders of Szechuan chicken, fried rice, and four spring rolls. There were two glasses of iced tea.
As they ate, both men discussed their morning; keeping it impersonal. Jared wiped his mouth and looked at the other man.
“I made some calls this morning. I talked to Morgan and to Ellen and we have Friday and Monday off so we can drive to Dallas.”
“Don’t get upset, Jen. It’s important.”
“It’s a surprise. You’ll find out Saturday morning.”
“Jared, this is my job. I can’t afford to just take off.”
“It’s for a good cause, Jen.”
Jared was quiet for a minute, then answered softly, “You.”
Jensen was quiet, unsure how to respond or what to do. He picked up his phone and dialed Ellen. When she picked up her phone, the department head spoke before he could say anything.
“Don’t start, Jensen. It’s for your own good. That’s all I’m going to say. Don’t ruin Jared’s surprise. It really is for your own good. Don’t come by this campus until Tuesday.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Jensen said softly.
Jared grinned, knowing he had the man and that Jensen had no choice.
“Oh, and Jensen, Ellen will be driving you home this week. Once the games start, I’d like for you to come to the games. I’ll have someone pick you up and drive you back up here for them. It will be someone who will describe what’s happening.”
Jensen was still quiet. He finally took a deep breath and thanked the coach. He really wanted to go to the games. Two of his students played and had invited him more than once.
At 1:45 Jared picked up the trash from lunch. He looked at his companion, and it was a shame the man couldn’t see his face. There was such a sweet look on it as he stared at the other man.
“I’ll see you tonight, and I’ll bring home supper. We can put something in the crock pot tomorrow morning and we can pack sack lunches tonight. I ‘ll be here a little after 12 tomorrow to share our meal,” the coach spoke softly as he watched a tinge of pink on the other man’s face. Again, he wondered if his whole body blushed. He grinned thinking it was on his to do list.
“Is there anything you want done while I’m home alone?”
“Not that I can think of. We had a busy weekend. Why don’t you read or something.”
Jensen followed the other man out of his office. The three students were putting up their projects and stopped to watch the taller man walk across the room.
“Hey, guys,“ Jared said as he left the room.
Jensen stood at his office door, listening to the footsteps of the other man. He sighed softly and walked into the classroom.
“It’s almost class time, guys. You need to clean up and head on to your next course.”
Within five minutes, the three students were gone. Jensen leaned against his desk and thought over the conversation he had just had with his roommate. He took a deep breath and got out his typed notes. His printer was a special one and printed in braille. He listened to the students entering the room and sat down on the stool, pulling the lectern towards him.