Chapter 23: October Surprises
The following week was the second one Jensen had dealt with that was filled with noise. Jared refused to tell him what he was doing to the barn. Jensen got up on Saturday morning. The noise outside was almost overwhelming. He thought he would never get used to it. He took a shower and headed to the kitchen to put coffee on.
Gus nosed him and the young professor grinned down at him.
“Just a minute, Gus. I’ll take you out and then you can eat.” Bending down, the man put a leash on the dog and they both went for a long walk. When they returned, Jared was up and drinking a cup of coffee. He watched the two come near the house and thought they made a beautiful pair. He put Gus’ food dish down and replenished his water.
Jensen walked into the house and unclipped the leash. Jared handed him a cup of coffee and said, “He’s already fed, Jen.”
“Thank you,” the sculptor replied. He was quiet for a moment.
“Can we get away from the noise for a while?”
“Yeah, I like to decorate early for the holidays.”
“Yeah, Jen. There’s a major holiday for each of the next three months.”
“Mother never let us celebrate it.”
Jared looked as shocked as he felt. He finally shook it off and decided that they would start a new tradition for Jensen. The two of them would go all out for every holiday of the year.
“Grab a jacket. It’s chilly out there. You should have been wearing one during your walk”
“Where are we going?”
“Breakfast and shopping.”
Jared grinned. You’re going to have to wait.
The two men were gone for about six hours. They stopped at a neighbor’s where Jared purchased six bales of hay to be delivered to their front yard. Stopping at Denny’s, the two men ordered large breakfasts. One of the area churches was holding a pumpkin patch. Jared bought ten of them.
“Jared, I appreciate the effort but a decorated yard is not something I can see.”
“Sure you can. I’ll let you climb all over everything.”
“They drove to Lowes where Jared went wild in the outdoor Halloween decorations. He let Jensen touch everything. Soon an employee checked on them. Seeing Gus, he smiled.
“Are you finding everything all right?”
“I’m looking for old movie monster stuff. Some of this is great, but I need a coffin.”
“I’m not supposed do this, but you are buying quite a bit. My dad makes Halloween stuff. He’s a wood worker. Just tell him Kevin sent you,” the young man said, handing Jared a business card.
Jared read the name on the card, ‘Woods’ Woods. He grinned and thanked the young man.
“Here, let me help you.”
After the truck was loaded, the two men drove to Hobby Lobby. Jensen was fascinated with everything. Jared made another large purchase and the two men drove to the wood shop where Jared finally found the items he was looking for.
After leaving the wood shop, Jared drove to a mom and pop hamburger place. They each had a large burger with toppings each wanted. Both had spicy Nacho cheese on it.
The next day and a half was spent decorating the house and property. When they were done, Jensen slowly walked both the house and the property. Jared stayed right beside him, explaining things.
“This is going to scare the crap out of people!”
“And they’ll enjoy every minute of it.”
There was a knock at the front door, Jared opened it to Matt.
“I wanted you to know it’s finished. Here are the keys for the new door.”
“Come on in. I’ll write you a check.”
“Hi, Jensen. How have you been doing?”
“I’m trying to understand why people want to be afraid.”
Matt laughed, “It’s an adrenaline rush.”
“If you say so.”
Jared came back into the room and the two men walked outside to see the barn. The interior had lights mounted on the walls; one every ten feet of the circumference. There were two mounted tables and a large platform for statues. One side had a desk and chair. There was an elevated dog bed for Gus. A sink with hot and cold water, a refrigerator and a microwave were also part of the furnishings.
“This is perfect. Matt, you’re awesome.”
“You’re really serious about this one. No one goes to the trouble of doing something like this unless they’re serious.”
“Yeah, I am. It’s coming along slowly.”
“Take good care of him.”
They walked to the front of the house and Jared waved goodbye and went inside to get Jensen. The two men walked towards the barn on a new sidewalk.
“You put in a sidewalk?”
“It would make it easier in bad weather.”
He let Jensen enter the building first. The man stood in the center of the room. It felt huge to him.
“Check everything out. Let me know what you think. If something needs to be changed, tell me.”
“What have you done?”
Jensen spent over an hour slowly moving and touching. The further he went, the paler he got. Finally, he climbed the stairs to the platform. He turned towards the door where Jared was still standing.
“This is a studio?”
“I thought you might like to have more than an hour or so a day. Especially with basketball practice going full time.”
Jensen went to his knees on the platform, sobs wrenched from his body. He was shaking and tears poured from is eyes. Jared ran to him. He pulled the man into his arms and rubbed the small of his back, peppering his face with gentle kisses. Jared was worried.
“What’s wrong, Jenny?”
“I wasn’t even allowed to talk about my job or my art at home.”
“When will your next shipment of marble be in?”
“Have them deliver it here.”
The sculptor’s arms went around Jared’s neck and Jensen kissed him, opening his mouth to him. Jared inhaled deeply and returned the kiss.
“Thank you, Jared,” Jensen whispered into the other man’s mouth; their lips still touching.
“You’re welcome, Jenny. Let’s heat up that leftover soup and I’ll make some cornbread and we’ll eat supper and then I’ll read another chapter of the “Lou Gehrig Story.”
The two men and Gus headed to house.”