Chapter 19: Jensen’s Response
This is a short chapter but an important one.
Jared stood still and watched the other man’s face. Jensen wore a look of surprise. He watched him swallow hard and run his hand over his lips and swallow again.
“Love?” Jensen’s voice had a tremor in it.
“I love you.”
“How? Jared, how can you love me? You don’t even know me.”
“You’re shy. You want to experience life. You want to see things as best you can. You are hurt deeply from your past. You are striving to understand the feelings you are experiencing. You have a strong desire to have someone close to you who you can share things with. Someone who will take an interest in what you do, what you think, and who you really are. You want someone who will care for you as you are and not see you as damaged. Am I close?”
Jensen could not respond. He nodded and stood there. He wasn’t sure what to do. Jared stepped closer to the man. He reached out his hand and touched Jensen’s face and watched him closely.
“Do you have any feelings for me?”
“I feel something, Jared. I’m just not sure what it is.”
“Jen, I’ve been courting you.”
“I want to win your heart and take things further. Slowly, but definitely further. Will you allow me to continue?”
Jensen turned away and walked across the room. He leaned his head against the wall and Jared watched him shake violently. Twenty minutes passed and the older man suddenly stopped shaking. He stood straight. Jared’s eyebrows raised. Jensen turned and walked back to him.
“I know you can’t promise this, but will you not hurt me?”
“Your mother hurt you?”
“Yeah. In lots of ways. I’m scared of caring for anyone.”
“If I get upset, I don’t usually say anything. I go for a walk. Then we can talk it over when I get back. But, no…no, Jensen. I won’t hurt you.”
Jensen took a deep breath and sighed. Jared watched the man’s thought processes through the expressions on his face.
“I would like to try. I don’t know what I’m feeling for sure, Jared. Will you give me time?”
“All the time you need. I’m not going anywhere.”
“All right. The answer to your question is yes. I really think it is what I want.”
Jared reached out and pulled the man into his arms and kissed him. Jensen’s arms went around his neck pulling the taller man closer into him. They stood in each other’s arms for a long time before Jared broke away.
“We need to get some sleep. School tomorrow. Josh and I will pick you up to go to the Dean’s office and deal with Danneel.”
Jared took Jensen’s hand in his and they headed towards the hall. Stopping at the older man’s door, Jared leaned in and gently brushed his lips over the pouting ones.
“Good night, Jen,” he said.
“Good night,” came a whispered reply