Chapter 28: Jensen Finds Out
To date, this is probably one of the most. of not the most, important chapters in the story.
I will be tagging in a new character who will appear in just this chapter.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jensen woke and felt trapped. He panicked for a moment, not sure where he was. He couldn’t move. He was on his right side and felt held down. He tried to move and couldn’t.
“You all right?”
All the tension went out of the man when he heard Jared’s voice. Memories of the night before and his request came back. He smiled softly.
“I am now. I forgot where I was.”
Jared had a leg over the older man’s legs and an arm around his waist. Jensen was pulled up close. Jared leaned in and nuzzled the other’s neck and heard a sigh that pleased him deeply.
The younger man whispered softly, “Why don’t we take Gus for his morning walk and then go get breakfast. We need to grocery shop. We’ll only shop for a week. Mom let me know that she used some of her vacation time and they will be here for two weeks. She really wants to meet you.”
“Two weeks? Why does she want to meet me?”
“I told her how I feel about you. It’s all right. She’s not like your mom. You’re going to love her and she will love you. Let’s go take care of stuff.”
The two men took a long walk with Gus and planned the day. Jensen wanted to give the sculpture to Jared but not if they were leaving the house. Jared did most of the talking and the professor listened quietly and mulled over in his mind how they had come this far. Jared loved him and now he was going to meet his family. Was he ready for this?
“Penny for your thoughts, Jen.”
“I was thinking about us.”
“How did we reach this point, Jared? I don’t even understand what I’m feeling and I’m meeting your family?”
“You’ll understand your feelings eventually, Jen? Don’t worry about it. Some thing or something that is said will open it up for you. Just let yourself enjoy it. Don’t be afraid of whatever happens. If you decide you do not love me, it’s all right. I am not going to kick you out. We are friends first and always will be. You never know. If you don’t love me now, it doesn’t mean your feelings might not change one day.”
Tears started slipping down Jensen’s face. Jared grabbed his arm and pulled the man and his dog to a stop. He touched Jensen’s face and wiped the tears away with his thumbs. There was a look of awe on the man’s face and he started trembling. Jared pulled him into his arms and held him. He leaned in and softly kissed him.
It was never meant to be more than comfort, but Jensen parted his lips and his tongue softly touched Jared’s mouth. Jared groaned and deepened the kiss.
When the younger man finally pulled away, reluctantly, the older one stumbled and almost fell. Jared had not realized just how much Jensen had been leaning into him. Grabbing the man’s arm to keep him from falling, Jared realized that there was definitely no doubt Jensen was sexually attracted to him. It was more than half the battle, but Jared wanted all or nothing. He would not make love to Jensen until Jensen loved him.
The two men walked back to the house and fed Gus. Each went to his own room to change for the day.
After breakfast, the two men went to the farmer’s market and the butcher’s. Jared stocked up on the items they would need or maybe just wanted to try. When they were done they pulled into the HEB. The store had a sale going on hams. When a ham was purchased, the store gave away a free turkey twelve pounds or under. Jared knew they’d need a much larger bird for the entire family, but twelve pounds would be fine for the two of them. He picked a large spiral honey coated ham and a twelve pound bird.
The two men headed home. After Jared pulled into the garage, they hauled the bags of food and supplies into the house. They were in the middle of putting food away when the doorbell rang.
“Jen, I’m in the middle of preparing these vegetables for the freezer. Will you get the door?”
Jensen opened the door and said, “Hello?”
The man at the door stared at the professor.
“Who are you? Is Jared here?”
“Yes, he is. Who are you?”
“I asked first.”
“Yes, but I live here and I asked you.”
“I’m Steve.” The man tried to push his way past Jensen and called out Jared’s name. Jensen froze and held the door, not letting the strange man in the house. Jared walked up and stood there staring.
“Let him in, Jen. He’s an old acquaintance of mine.”
“Jen? What kind of name is that? Oh, I got it. ‘Boy Named Sue.’ Your folks named you Jennifer.”
Jared frowned, “His name is Jensen.”
“Well, he’s rude as hell, Jare.”
Jensen turned red, but did not say a word. Jared watched him for a minute and turned to his visitor.
“What do you need, Steve? We’re in the midst of putting up groceries.”
“I’ve been doing some heavy thinking, Jared. I realize I made some mistakes. I would love to start over. Would you go out with me tonight?”
Jensen felt a sense of panic. He wanted to cry out and say ‘NO’ but confusion over it was stopping him. He’d have to give a reason. Why was he feeling this?
“On a date,” Steve reached in and grabbed Jared’s shirt and kissed him.
Jensen could not see but he could tell what was happening. Anger and pain flooded him and headed towards the kitchen to put up groceries.
Jared pushed him away and wiped his mouth, “You don’t have the right to do that.”
“Why? We loved each other.”
“What I felt for you was an infatuation. I never knew what love was until now.”
“You love Jensen? He’s a blind man, Jared. You can do better than that.”
“I have done better. He is better. He is everything to me.”
“Go out with me once and prove to me that I’m not the one.”
Jensen heard the question and knew he had to stop it. He could not let Jared go out with this man. He loved him. Jensen froze. He loved him? The realization hit him hard. He rushed back into the hallway.
Jared had been quiet, staring at his former boyfriend. Before he could speak, Jensen returned.
“This is a private conversation,” Steve interrupted.
“What is it, Jen?”
“Don’t leave with him.”
Steve stood there and laughed, “How pathetic.”
Jensen turned red and anger returned and he faced the other man, “Shut the hell up! He’s no longer yours! He’s mine!”
Jared had a look of shock on his face and his old boyfriend saw it and responded, “Well, if he is, he didn’t know it. He looks shocked.”
Jensen walked towards his companion but Steve remained in the way. Jared shoved him back to make room for the other man. Jensen moved into Jared’s personal space and reached up to touch his face. The taller man closed his eyes and felt the gentle caress.
Jensen whispered so low that only the man he was touching could hear, “I love you, Jared. I don’t know when it happened or why I didn’t recognize it, but I love you so damned much. Please don’t go. Don’t leave me.”
Jared looked down at him and could see the love there. He broke down, tears running down his face. Turning to Steve, he motioned him towards the door.
“Go away. Never come back. I have what I want, I’m happy and I am most definitely satisfied.”
Steve looked at them with disgust and walked out, slamming the door behind him.
It was Jensen’s turn to wipe away the tears. Jared did not kiss him. He pulled the man into a bear hug and held him tight.
He whispered, “Mine.”
I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am in telling it. I wish I could post this every day, but I am a writer who is haunted by her characters. I write when they tell me what happens next. The story is better for that.
Please let me know how you like it. Comments are my reward. Thank you so much for reading.