Chapter 26: First Day of November
Jensen woke during the night, crying out. Nightmares riddled his sleep. He tried to calm down and remain quiet so as not to bother Jared. Gus nuzzled him and gently licked his face.
“It’s all right, boy,” he whispered softly. “Just a bad dream.”
Jensen cuddled the dog closer and drifted off to sleep. The house grew quiet until another dream hit. The older man tossed and turned, whimpering softly. The dog tried to comfort him but Jensen was caught up in the nightmare and did not feel the dog’s presence. He began to cry out again, finally awakening with a loud scream of “NO!”
Suddenly his door opened and he heard Jared’s voice, “Jensen? Are you all right?”
He was quiet for a moment, then spoke softly, “I don’t know.”
The bed moved and Jared laid down beside him, pulling him into his arms. Jensen leaned into him and Jared could feel the man trembling. Gus moved to the foot of the bed and lay near the men’s feet.
“I remembered something. There were flashes of memory. It scared me. I’m sorry.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“I just didn’t remember. I blocked it out.”
“Blocked what out, Jen?”
“One of my mother’s friends used to baby sit me when Mom wanted to go out. She used to touch me. Tried to make me do things.”
Jared held the man closer. “How old were you, Jen?”
“Little. Real little. I’m not even sure what she was trying to do.”
“How long did this go on?”
“Not long. Josh came home from school and caught her. I remember a loud argument between Mom and Dad. The lady didn’t come over any more. Why didn’t I remember that?”
“Lots of times we block things that traumatize us as children. It’s a mechanism our minds use to protect us from the horror.”
“I imagine the thing with Danneel brought it back. I’m so sorry, Jen.”
“Am I gonna start having nightmares about this?”
“I hope not. It’s possible that talking about it helped you deal with it and the dreams won’t come back. Do you want me to stay with you tonight?”
Jared crawled under the covers and reached for Jensen and held him close. He laid on is back and the older man curled up against him and laid his head on his chest and Jared listened to his breathing as calmness settled in and his companion finally dozed back off. Anger raged within the coach as he thought about how young the man must’ve been. Was Donna Ackles that blind? There had to have been signs. Bad memories always return at some point. He was glad he was here for the man.
Jensen’s alarm went off at seven as usual. Jared reached for it and turned it off. He felt the other man move.
“Do you want to get up? We can go get breakfast. Do something special if you’d like?”
“Breakfast would be nice, but can we just stay home today?”
“I’ll make a breakfast casserole and we’ll have some biscuits with it. Why don’t you sleep a little longer.”
“I’ll get up. I didn’t shower last night. Too tired. Gus needs a walk.”
“All right. I’m going to shower and start some coffee. Get breakfast ready.”
Jensen heard him move and laid there, thinking about how it felt so natural for him to be there. It confused him. Finally, the kiss the night before sprung to mind. He remembered feeling things he’d never felt before. The thought that anyone could feel such things was almost alien to him. There were longings he didn’t know how to fill. He only knew he wanted more.
Jensen and Gus took a long walk and entered the house by the side door. Unleashing the dog, Jensen went to get him some food. The house smelled wonderful. Jared was not in the kitchen, but the coffee was on. He could smell the casserole in the oven. He fed Gus and refilled his water bowl. Heading towards the front door, he went out to the road and check yesterday’s mail and grabbed the Sunday paper.
Entering the house, Jensen set the paper at Jared’s place at the table and carried the mail to the man’s office. Jared was at his desk talking on his cell. He paused and greeted Jensen.
“Pour yourself a cup of coffee. It should be ready. I’ll be there in a second.”
Jensen smiled and left the room. He sat the table, drinking his coffee when Jared entered and placed a platter of biscuits and a casserole on the table. He left the room and returned with a cup of coffee.
The two followed their normal routine. Jared read the paper as he ate. He checked sales and put aside coupon sections. There were several interesting articles he read out loud. They discussed them while they ate.
After cleaning up, Jared suggested playing board games. Jensen had never played. The coach brought several into the family room where they sat on the floor and used the large coffee table. They played Parcheesi and Monopoly.
Later in the day, Jared set up the grill and fryer and they went outside and cooked hamburgers and fries. They enjoyed the coolness of the weather. Jared talked about how the team was doing. He asked Jensen about his latest sculpture. Jensen turned red.
“All right, Jen. What’s going on?”
“I needed to ask you something and wasn’t sure how.”
“What do you need?”
“Would you let me touch you?”
“You’re in the sculpture. I need to know how you’re built.”
It grew quiet and Jared considered having Jensen’s hands roaming his body and whether or not he could handle that without getting aroused. The desire to be touched by those hands overruled the caution.
“Where do you want me?”
He noticed relief on Jensen’s face and a tautness in his body eased.
“If you would just sit cross legged on the ground, it would be perfect.”
Jared did as the man asked. He could feel Jensen’s closeness and the soft touch of his hands and he slowly moved them over his body. The movement went on for over thirty minutes. Jensen went over his legs, his feet, his torso, and the touch up and down his back was almost maddening. The man went over his head, feeling how his ears were beneath the long hair.
When it was finally over, Jared looked at the man who was on his haunches in front of him. Jensen looked as if he was undecided about something. The coach remained quiet, letting the other think.
Jensen leaned in slowly and whispered, “I want…”
Jared’s voice was hoarse when he asked him, “What do you want, Jen?”
“I don’t know. I just want,” the older man whispered as he leaned in and brushed his lips against the other’s. Jared reached up and caressed Jensen’s face and slowly pulled him into his lap and deepened the kiss.
Jared finally put a halt to the kissing and murmured that they should get up. Jensen moaned as if he didn’t want to stop. All the taller could think of was not taking it too fast or bringing on another nightmare.
They walked into the house and watched the second Tolkien movie