Chapter 16: Home
This is a shorter chapter, but major things occur. I did add a new character to the tags.
On the way home Friday night, both men were quiet. Jensen was going over what Jared had said. He was surprised that the man had told him he liked him. Everyone was saying Jared was moving slow. Jensen didn’t know if liking him and wanting to protect him was slow or not. The professor was confused. The most difficult thing to understand was his own response. Why was he happy that Jared wanted to protect him? He shook his head slightly, grateful that the driver could not see his movement.
Jared kept his eyes on the road. It was late and he was tired and figured that Jensen had to be too. He went back over what Danneel had said to him and it made him angry. It was upsetting that Jensen had heard it. At least he didn’t see it, but his father did. His mind went back over the day. He kept halfway skipping over the kiss on Jensen’s cheek and the students’ comments. He ran straight into the wall of his confession to Jensen. He sighed, unhappy with himself. He did not want to scare Jensen off.
The quiet continued as they pulled into the long drive and Jared finally parked the truck in the large garage. The two men got out and Jensen took Gus for a walk on the property. Jared watched him for a minute, noting the man went past the old oval barn. His great grandfather had it built to look like a silo. Jared sucked his bottom lip between his teeth and a plan entered his mind. Walking into the house, he went to the bar in the game room and poured himself a scotch. He took out his cellphone, hit search for a name and hit the call button.
“Jared? Do you know how late it is?”
“Yeah. I’m sorry. I just had something pop into my head and I have a question for you.”
“I’m still awake, so shoot.”
“Are you doing any construction right now?”
“I’m between jobs. Why?”
“Would you be interested in taking on a major renovation?”
“What do you have in mind?”
“You remember that old silo/barn my great granddad built?”
“The one we used to play in?”
“What do you want done to it?”
“Make it into an artist’s studio for a sculptor.”
“When do you want me to come out and walk it with you?”
“Sunday, after church. Say, around three.”
“I’ll see you then.”
Jared hit end call as Jensen and Gus entered the house. The sculptor took the leash and vest off the dog, and the two walked into the family room. Jared entered the room behind him. He handed the other man a drink. Jensen sniffed the drink and his head jerked back.
“That smells strong.”
“I’ve never tasted it before.”
“Take a sip. It’s a smooth scotch.”
The sculptor took a small sip and held his breath. The liquor burned on the way down. He coughed a little and took another sip
“What do you think?”
“I think I’ll take this slow. I’m not used to it.”
Jensen walked over to the where the taller man stood. Jared looked into the man’s green eyes. Both were quiet.
“May I ask you something?”
Jared froze thinking, ‘Here it comes.’ He held his breath for a moment.
“What is it, Jen?”
“Could I see your face?”
The coach was surprised. Jensen not knowing what he looked like had never occurred to him.
“Of course you can, Jen. How do you want to do this?”
Jensen put his drink down. Slowly his hands reached up to Jared’s face. The fingers gently caressed and moved over every inch of the face in front of him. Jared felt the fingers feeling the shape of his nose, moving over his high forehead, down his cheeks to his chin. Finally, Jensen’s fingers touched the man’s lips.
Jared felt a loss when the shorter man moved back. The silence could have been sliced with a knife.
Jensen was shaking. His companion wanted to grab those fingers and kiss each one.
“Yes,” Jared whispered.
The professor’s voice sounded rough as he answered “I understand why Danneel is chasing after you.”
Jared thought he heard resignation in the man’s voice.
“You’re beautiful,” came a whispery response.
Jared stood in shock.
“I think I’d better go to bed. This scotch is messing with me. Good night, Jared.”
“Good night, Jen.”
Jared picked up Jensen’s glass and headed to the kitchen. He made their lunches and walked to his room.