Chapter 45: Semester’s End
The next few weeks were busy ones for Jared and Jensen. The wedding date had been set for December 24th at 1:00 in the afternoon. Jared had rented a beach house on the Boliver Peninsula from December 26th until January 3rd. He told the realtor what he wanted done and said he’d pay extra for it. He’d made arrangements for groceries to be delivered after they arrived.
The Padaleckis and the Ackles were coming on the 23rd to celebrate Christmas. Jared would spend the 24th with Josh. The Padaleckis were returning to San Antonio after the wedding, leaving Jensen and Jared alone in the house for their wedding night and Christmas.
They had had tuxedo fittings, and Josh and Jeff had done the same. Ellen was the matron of honor, MacKenzie was the maid of honor, and Meghan was the bridesmaid. Jensen had laughed when a bridesmaid was suggested. Their gowns were deep burgundy in color.
The two were satisfied that everything was done. The church was already decorated so they only needed the fellowship hall to be cared for and the rehearsal dinner. They hired a wedding planner and a baker.
Jensen was sitting in his office Wednesday morning and was going over some research on the computer. Ellen knocked on his door and entered.
“You’re really going to do this?”
“I got your notice.”
“It’s a two year sabbatical, Ellen. You have someone capable of filling in. I want to do this; I need to do this.”
“What does Jared think?”
“I’m telling him this afternoon.”
“It’s a big step, boy. Shouldn’t you have talked to him about it?”
“I think he already knows. I left the acceptance letter on the table. He had to have read it. He’s waiting for me to say something.”
“None of the classes are doing much after exams. He’s not doing anything. Call him and have him come over or I will,” she threatened.
“Yes, Ma’am,” the professor said with a smile.
He called his fiancé and waited for the man to appear.
Jared parked in the handicapped parking space, figuring he’d hang around the building and bother Jensen until they had to go home. He walked into the building and saw Ellen standing outside Jensen’s classroom.
The woman turned and said, “Can you wait right here for a moment?”
“All right,” the coach replied.
The head of the department entered the classroom and motioned to one of the students who was helping finish the decorations to stand at the entrance. Ellen walked over to Jensen’s door and knocked.
“Come on in, Jared!”
Opening the door, Ellen leaned in and said, “You’re needed. Your classes are early.”
“Classes,” Jensen asked, rising to his feet and heading towards the door.
Ellen waved at the student to let Jared in, and both men entered the classroom at the same time.
The room was covered in crepe paper and balloons. A large cake was on one of the tables and wrapped packages on another. The basketball team and coaches, along with the art department professors, had joined Jensen’s students from his two classes. The large room was packed.
“What’s going on?”
“Bridal shower, Prof,” one of the students exclaimed.
The engaged couple were made to sit at the front of the class. Speeches and jokes were made at the couple’s expense. Two of Jensen’s students started bringing presents to the two of them. Jensen let Jared open them.
A large envelope from the coaching staff held season tickets for Mavericks. The art department had purchased a copy of Michelangelo’s David. They received his and his matching shirts, books, CD’s, and movies from the team and students. After the gifts were opened, the two gave a warm thanks to everyone.
The cake, punch, and coffee were served shortly after the gifts had been opened.
At noon, Ellen told everyone to go home and have a wonderful holiday. Tests were done, and there was no reason to just hang around until Friday. She leaned over and kissed Jensen and hugged Jared, “I’ll see you boys at the rehearsal dinner.”
The coaching staff helped load Jared’s truck, and Josh said he’d help unload it.
Josh gave his brother a hug and leaned in close to his ear, “I’ll see you at the rehearsal and dinner.”
“Love you, Josh,” Jensen whispered back.
“I love you too, little bro.”
Josh laughed, slapped Jared on the back and headed out the door.
They sat on the floor by the roaring fire with a glass of wine. Jared leaned in and kissed the man he was going to marry in a little over a week.
“Jared, we need to talk,” Jensen spoke softly.
“I was hoping you were going to tell me,” Jared responded.
“I applied to UT Austin for the doctorate program in their arts department. I was accepted. It will only be two days a week for classes, but I have to do a major project on site so it will require five days a week.”
“I know. I have bought a large SUV and hired a driver and body guard for you. His name is Clif Kosterman, and he came highly recommended. I’m giving him the apartment at the rear of the storage building. He’s already moved in but has gone home to visit family for the holidays.”
“You’re not angry?”
“Should I be?”
“You’ve always been quiet and secretive about things until you know what you’re going to do. I hope one day you’ll talk things over first, but I’m not mad about who and what you are.”
Jensen set his wine on the hearth and Jared immediately set his down, knowing Jensen all to well. The professor threw himself into the coach’s arms, and they fell backwards next to the tree.
After a heavy makeout session, Jared whispered into Jensen’s ear, “Next week, I’m taking you under the tree.”
Jensen shivered, “We won’t knock it over?”
“It would be a hell of a way to take it down,” the coach murmured as he held his future husband.
“Maybe we should remove the breakables this week,” the sculptor commented.
Jared laughed and pulled him tighter. They cuddled until bedtime.