Beyond the blue

Jack put his hand around Ennis' hard neck and caressed it softly. Ennis didn't move, but looked deeply into Jack's large blue eyes. He could see his reflection in them, and it filled him with dread.

Jack, sensing his unease, leaned in towards him.

"Don't" Ennis said as he pushed him away. Jack watched as Ennis gruffly stood and began walking away from him…walking towards the water.

Jack opened his mouth to say something, but quickly closed it again, knowing that words were useless right now. He laid motionlessly and looked on as Ennis, facing away from him, stepped on the soft bank.

The weight of his boots on the muddy sand caused a slight sinking feeling that Ennis felt with sheer intensity. He was so absolutely aware of every movement, every sound, every point of pressure. It was all consuming and too much for him to bear.

Bending down onto his knees, he bit his lip as he began to untie the thick laces on his boots. Hesitantly, he quickly looked over his shoulder. Jack was still lying there, still staring at him with those big eyes of his. With that feeling of discomfort rushing back, Ennis quickly faced the water and pulled off his boots and socks.

Closing his eyes, he held his breath as the soles of his feet imprinted themselves onto the sand. Feeling the weight of awareness leaving him with abandon, he let out a peaceful sigh.

Jack frowned as he watched Ennis. He had grown so used to studying him from a distance; watching him walk, watching him work…but this was different. He suddenly sat upright as Ennis began to walk into the water fully clothed.

"Ennis!" he called out, but he – in a trance like state – didn't respond. Jack quickly rose and hurried towards the bank, which contrasted with Ennis' slow steps as he moved further and further into the deep. Jack, about to call his name again, froze as their eyes met. With only the sound of the water, he now understood.

Silently removing his own socks and boots, he followed Ennis' footsteps into the water. There was a sharp intake of breath as he felt the coldness on his skin, but it melted away as he moved closer to Ennis, eventually wading alongside him. The two men once again stared deeply into each other's eyes, only this time all the feelings of doubt and dread were stripped away.

Ennis, with his heart beating at a tranquil pace, moved his body towards Jack's, wordlessly telling him how much he cared for him. The space between their lips grew smaller with every movement, and soon their mouths were touching, joining. Jack gripped Ennis' heavy shirt as he gently bit his lip, relishing the sensation of their entangled legs.

As they parted, Ennis softly traced his hand over Jack's face, who closed his eyes and lifted his head in subdued passion. Taking his hand away, Ennis then took hold of Jack's wrists under the water as their foreheads rested against each other's. With their eyes closed, they shared an intimate moment of united longing, pain and beauty that would take a place in eternity… Once the moment passed, they embraced tenderly moved in unison with the water.

Although the words were never used, their love for each other had never been intensified so strongly until now, with the acceptance of the natural world as their only witness.