Chapter 15: Friday
Friday was usually Jensen’s busiest day of the week. He had a student pass out the test and went to his desk and read a new book on Roman statuary he had found on a braille site. He was excited to be able to read it.
After the tests were turned in he had his students bring out their projects. He took time, moving his hands carefully over each piece, giving compliments and suggestions. He did this until ten minutes to time for the class to be over.
“Over all, you are doing good work on your projects. Next year you will be in my advanced class which is four semesters long. The last semester you will have two weeks to finish the project you choose and you will enter it in the area art contest. I have found out that it can be a proving ground for you. Have a good weekend. If you are attending the basketball event tonight and tomorrow, stop and say hi to me. I’ll be there.”
Jensen worked with four students on a regular basis. All four of them were in the classroom when Jared arrived.
“Hey, Jen, I’m not going to be able to eat lunch with you today.”
The professor turned towards the man’s voice. “Oh? Why not?”
“The coaching staff, cheerleader coach, and the band director are having a meal catered today. First I heard of it.”
“Will the cheerleaders be there?”
“Not at the banquet, but afterwards, yes. The band will be too. They want us to hear the new music and see the new routines.”
Jensen turned red. Jared tried to understand why.
“I’m sorry, Jen.”
“No, don’t say that. You can’t help it.”
Ellen walked into the classroom as both men were talking.
“Jen, I’ll go ahead and go. See you tonight.”
“Don’t leave, Jared,” Ellen interrupted the conversation.
“Okay,” Jared was confused.
“Jensen, the museum sent a letter. Your piece has been accepted and entered into the arts contest.”
“That’s awesome, Jen!” Jared rushed over and gave his companion a hug and a slight peck on the cheek without thinking.
“Jar?” Jensen turned a dark red. There were some whistles and applause from his students.
“Way to go, Coach.”
“You missed the lips!”
“That’s enough,” Ellen said loudly.
Jared stood there in surprise over what he had done. Jensen was still a brilliant shade of red.
“Jensen, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. Honest.”
The sculptor turned white and murmured, “Oh. It’s all right. Just enthusiasm. Right?”
“Yeah. That has to be it.”
“Go eat and watch your cheerleaders.”
Jared hurried out but Ellen looked at the students and told them to put their projects away and to keep their mouths shut. Jensen turned and hurried into his office, with the department head right behind him.
“That was the closest thing to affection I’ve seen from him. You looked upset when he found an excuse for what happened. Were you hoping for more?”
“More? I…I don’t know what I want. He touched his lips to my forehead when he held me and calmed me down after I kicked my mother and her friend out of the house on Saturday.”
“Sit down and eat. It sounds like he’s wanting to show more affection. If you want that affection, let him. Encourage him when he does, Jensen. What was the comment about the cheerleaders?”
“One of them wants him and I think she doesn’t look at me as competition.”
“Fight for him if you want him. I’ll help where I can. You know that.”
At 5:35, Alan Ackles entered Jensen’s classroom and walked over to his office and knocked. He heard a voice and entered.
“I thought we could go grab a burger and chat a bit and then go to the game.”
“That sounds great.”
The two men went to the Five Guys Burger and each had a cheeseburger and split large fries. Alan updated Jensen on what was happening at home. Jensen filled him in on his new home life.
“Jensen, I know what happened on Saturday. Your mother was livid. Would you give me your side of the story?”
Jensen was quiet. He took a drink of his iced tea, and inhaled deeply.
“You’ve never asked me that before.”
“I’ve never had a reason to think about it before. Your mother should never have gone over there without me and without you knowing in advance. I need to know your side.”
Jensen spoke softly and told his father about the entire conversation. Alan had his head lowered but would look up at his son’s face and knew Jensen wasn’t lying and that Donna was.
“I’ll take care of it, Son.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
They finished eating their meal and the conversation turned to basketball. Jared had surprised Alan with the stories of Jensen experiencing new things in life. He was excited over the opportunity to share a sport with his youngest son.
Alan’s car pulled into the Sports Arena parking lot and found a handicap parking spot open. The two men and Gus headed towards the arena. They found seats on the home side and Alan looked for Josh and Jared. The team was not on the court yet so neither man was in sight.
The next hour was intense. Both teams were good. Alan kept up a running commentary and Jensen was soon caught up in the excitement.
The two men went to get drinks and use the restroom. Jensen came back out of the restroom and headed the direction he had come. Gus stopped him.
“What is it, Gus?” He leaned down and ran his hand over the golden. He heard some voices close to him and his head turned towards them.
“Hey Professor. I’m surprised to see you hear since you can’t see me.”
The voice was familiar and it took a moment to place it. He frowned.
“Danneel,” his voice was stern.
“Yeah,” the cheerleader responded.
“You should be out on the floor with the other cheerleaders.”
“I’m the head cheerleader and I’m taking a break.”
“Well I’m heading over to concessions.”
“Just avoid the coaches. One of them is hands off to you. Got it?”
“That would be a little difficult since I live with him.”
“It won’t be long before he’ll ask you to leave. He’s mine, Prof.”
“Only my students call me Prof. You aren’t one of mine. It’s Professor Ackles to you. If I hear of you chasing after any of the Coaching or Teaching staff, I’ll have you ousted. You know the no fraternization rules.”
“We’ll see, Prof.”
“Is there a problem here?”
“No, Dad. Danneel was just leaving.”
The cheerleader walked towards the gym floor.
“You all right?”
“She’s chasing after Jared and thinks I’m competition.”
“I don’t know Dad. I don’t understand what’s happening to me. I know I want to cut her tongue out and drag her by her hair from wherever he is.”
Alan smiled. “Well, it is very possible you are jealous.”
“Yes Son. Jealous. Do me a favor and take it slow. I think he may have feelings for you. That would explain everything. He seems to be taking things slow. Don’t push it too fast. Let him do whatever he is doing.”
“Because he has a lot more experience about these things then you do. You were sheltered too much.”
“Let’s go watch the rest of the game.”
The two men went back to the bleachers and watched their team win. They walked over to the coaches’ hallway, looking for their two coaches. They stopped when Alan saw and Jensen heard Danneel hitting on Jared. The woman had him against the wall, rubbing herself into him. She reached up to kiss the coach, when he pushed her away.
“You’d rather be f’ing that professor than someone who looks like me?”
“Let me explain something to you. I am not interested in a child.”
“You have to be right out of college. I’m not that much younger than you.”
“You’re young enough.”
“Ackles is way older then you.”
Jensen turned white. His Dad put an arm around his shoulders.
“No, he’s not. Just four years. That’s maturity.”
“Maturity? He’s an f’ing virgin.”
Jensen tried to turn to leave. His Dad stopped him.
“At least I know who’s been in him. You? Give me a break. I like innocence. He’s adorable, talented, intelligent, and he’s absolutely beautiful. You can’t compete.”
Danneel screamed at the tall man and ran past the two Ackles and Jared spotted them and knew his companion had heard him. He walked over to the two men and stood there.
“For defending me. No one has done that for me.”
“I like you a lot, Jensen. I want the right to defend you.”
“I would like that.”
“Why don’t you two head on home and I’ll go look for Josh.”
Jared put his hand in the middle of Jensen’s back and guided him toward the doors.