Chapter 22: Friday Part II
Jared led Jensen towards the underground elevators. Chad followed. The men thought they would give the crowds ample time to get food and drink. They decided to look at the art that had been in the competition. They went to the Art museum and its large display room. The room was usually used for special exhibits.
They started at the paintings. Jared took time to describe each one to his companion, while Chad took the time to watch the strange relationship with great curiosity.
They walked into the physical art area. Chad took down the barrier surrounding his piece. There was a blue ribbon in it. The two men led Jensen and Gus towards the massive piece. It wasn’t long before Jensen was on the platform, climbing around on the piece, reaching out and feeling every part of it.
He got down, and they walked out of the enclosed area, and Chad replaced the barrier. Jensen had a look of awe on his face.
“It’s magnificent, Chad. I don’t understand how my piece won over yours.”
“Well, let me see yours and I’ll tell you.”
The three men walked towards the sculpture exhibit. There were some magnificent pieces. At the end of the room was a large table with a brown velvet cloth draping over the top. On the table was a piece about three feet tall and five long. Jared and Chad looked at the piece in awe. There was a young boy on his knees in the grass. The boy had no eyes. His hand was reaching up towards a butterfly that had just landed on it. On his shoulder, a bird was reaching towards his ear, beak open in song. Surrounding the boy were a rabbit, dog, and a fawn. His other hand was touching the rabbit’s face as if trying to experience how it looked through his fingers’ touch.
“Wow!” Chad exclaimed. “You had no competition, Jensen. I can’t believe you did this.”
“My god, Jen. What are you doing teaching? This is magnificent!”
Jensen stood, listening.
“It’s really good?”
“Jen, your mother is a fool. You should have had training before you went off to college. You have the abilities of a master.”
Jensen turned red. “Let’s go get something to drink and snack on.”
“I’m going to really wine and dine you tonight, Jen. This is going to end up on the auction block tonight. It’s going to bring in some money. I can tell you that.”
“I can’t see it bringing in much, Jare. It’s my first piece.”
“It sure as hell won’t be your last.”
Jensen laughed softly as they left the room and said, “I sure hope not.”
The three men entered the large room of the theater that was used for entertaining. Several people looked up as the men went to hors d’oeuvres table. Jared described the food and Jensen put what sounded good on his plate. They took a glass of champagne from a waiter and walked over to the fountain at the side of the room.
Several art critics stopped by to talk to Jensen, asking how he was able to create life so accurately with no vision. The questions were not done in an insulting way and Jensen smiled and explained how he saw things.
“There is a fawn, rabbit, bird, and a butterfly that would not be tamed enough to see.”
“I spent a week with my uncle in east Texas. He has a federal and state license to raise deer for venison. He does it with game birds also. The animals are tame enough to touch. My aunt has a butterfly collection and a parakeet. I learned what I needed to learn. Oh, they raise rabbits also.”
“It took a lot of touching and a fine memory to do the piece so accurately. I found it almost eerie to see a flat piece of marble where the eyes should have been.”
“I couldn’t think of a better way to make those who can see understand blindness.”
“You did an exceptional job. I intend to bid on it tonight.”
Twenty minutes later, things calmed down. Art enthusiasts who had taken the time to view the piece, had come and gone. Jared was thinking about taking Jensen back to the theater when someone called his companion’s name.
Jensen stiffened. Jared looked up and saw the Ackles family approaching. All of the Ackles family were there.
“Jensen, congratulations on the wins,” Donna said enthusiastically.
“Thank you, Mother,” Jensen replied softly, knowing his mother as he did. She was sure to have gone all over the room, letting people know that he was “her” son.
Jared caught on quickly and asked the family if they had seen the piece. Alan, Josh, and MacKenzie had done so while Donna was walking the room visiting. He turned and noticed the middle Ackles child was upset.
“Alan,” Jared said softly. “Thank you for all of you being here. I think Jensen is tired so we are going to go sit down and wait on the auction.
Donna didn’t seem happy over the situation but nodded and walked up to her younger son and kissed him on the lips, lipstick smearing over his face. She said goodbye and walked away, looking for anyone she may have missed.
The remaining people in their group watched her leave. Jensen’s hands were in fists. Jared went and wet his handkerchief and washed the lipstick from Jensen’s face. The remainder of his family hugged him and told him how proud they were of him. None of the three made any effort to find Donna. They walked to the theater auditorium and found their seats.
“I’m sorry that happened, Jen.”
“It’s not your fault. I’m not going to be able to avoid her.”
The auction had been going on for about an hour and a half. Chad had sold his piece for seven thousand dollars. The art enthusiasts were generous. It was almost over when they announced Jensen’s piece. The bidding started off at two thousand. Several people were bidding. As the price went higher, some dropped out. Soon it was between two men; the one who had talked in depth to Jensen and one they had not met.
The auctioneer said, “Do we have another bid?” The man Jensen had talked with shook his head. The auctioneer counted down from three and said, “Sold for twenty-five thousand dollars to the representative of the Fine Arts Museum.”
“What?” Jensen almost squeaked.
“It would seem your piece is going to a part of the museum’s exhibits, Jen.”
“But the price! It’s ridiculous! It’s not worth that.”
“Beauty as well as worth is in the eye of the beholder, Jen. At that price, you’ve been recognized as a new master of the art.”
“I don’t believe it.”
“When they give you the check to take to the bank, you will.”
The auctioneer asked the artists to go to the room at the left side of the auditorium. The three men and Gus headed that way.
A gentleman met them and asked Jensen and Jared to follow him. They said goodbye to Chad and went with the man towards an office. Misha Collins was seated behind a desk and smiled as they entered.
“Mr. Ackles, congratulations. I have some paperwork for you to fill out. Yours was the only piece the museum purchased tonight. We wanted to make sure the piece was budgeted for.”
“What kind of paperwork?”
“Transfer of ownership. We will be starting the history of the piece. I can fill it in as you give me the answers. When was the piece completed?”
“About two or three weeks ago.”
“Where did you find the marble?”
“I order my marble online from a mining operation in Spain. I eliminated the middle man that way.”
Misha asked several other questions and then had Jared read the paper and the sales agreement. After Jared had gone through them, Jensen signed where Misha showed him.
“Mr. Ackles. Please do not stop sculpting. I am so glad we were able to get your first piece. Thank you.”
“Thank you, Mr. Collins.” Jensen sounded stunned.
The two men and Gus left the theater and walked down the steps towards the sidewalk. They strolled past the museum to the handicapped parking area. As they got inside the truck, Jared asked the man sitting beside him, “You hungry?”
“I guess so.”
“Good. We’re going to order Chateaubriand to night.”
“What is that?”
“A wonderful cut of meat for a wonderfully talented man.”
Jared couldn’t see but he was sure that Jensen was red.