The Power of Love
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters – they are the creation of Annie Proulx. The story of Brokeback Mountain is hers too – I'm just giving my version of it for no profit, just for fun and curiosity! I don't mean any disrespect at all ^^
I'm adding parts, taking away parts, expanding parts, exaggerating parts and just plain making up some parts in this. I love the original Brokeback Mountain story so I'm not doing this to make it any better – I just wanted to do a multi chapter Jack/Ennis story and have some fun with them
Chapter 1 - Arrival
It must have been the hottest morning of the year yet. The Sun seemed like it had drifted closer to the Earth, its rays were so warm, and the little breeze that was creeping tiredly through the trees was just as balmy, moving the dust in irritating patterns around Ennis Del Mar's feet. He'd been walking for only a couple of minutes, considering the truck he had hitched a ride in had spluttered out of life a way down the road, but it already felt like much too long. His blonde curly hair was itching annoyingly underneath his hat, his feet were cramping inside his leather boots and his dark jeans were sticking to his legs, making it uncomfortable to move them.
He hoped it wasn't too far until he reached the trailer where he was meant to be meeting his new boss. A summer tending to sheep had seemed like a good idea back home, where him and Alma were slowly running out of money, but now he was here in the hot and wide-stretching mountains, the notion was rapidly losing its appeal. Sure, they needed money to get married in the winter yet they could have easily made it other ways. Why did he have to go and open his mouth and suggest going to work up at Brokeback? He should have listened to his brother and gone to work at his ranch.
Frustrated, he kicked a stray stone and watched it tumble into the road, scattering dirt. It sure did seem very lonely up here. Apart from the driver of the truck he had been in for what felt like an eternity before he got kicked out, he hadn't seen anyone else. He hoped it wasn't going to be like this up on the mountain – it'd be nice to have someone with him. Of course, he'd worked alone before but never in a place this huge and threatening-looking. Suddenly, the thought that he was making a mistake got even stronger.
But then, up ahead, he saw the outline of a trailer against the throbbing spot of the Sun and shielding his eyes, he knew it must be the one. There was nobody else around for miles. So, drawing in a shaking breath, he lurched forward again and willed his feet to walk a little further up the dusty track to the caravan.
There was, as he feared, nothing else up there. No other cars or trucks or people waiting around so, with a disappointed sinking of his heart, he realised he'd be on his own on Brokeback. Just a tent and the sheep to keep him company. Great, he thought, this is exactly what I want. Should have gone to my brother.
Sighing, he stopped outside the trailer and leant up against it, squinting in the blazing afternoon heat. Alma had warned him it was going to be hot this summer but he had ignored her and shoved on his jacket anyway, saying it got colder the higher up you were. However, now it seemed the stark opposite of that. He swore it felt a hundred times cooler down where they lived than up here.
Cursing himself again for deciding to do this job, he ripped his jacket off impatiently and threw it over his arm, rolling up the sleeves of his shirt underneath to allow fragments of the slightly cool breeze onto his skin. Much to his displeasure, it did nothing to take away the sticky heat but then just as he swore at the area around in frustration, there was the sound of a wheezing engine behind him and a battered old pick-up truck bounced its way unstably into the dusty space in front, making defeated whining noises. Ennis watched it use its last amount of energy to drive up to the rugged iron wall surrounding the site and then immediately stall, the motor dying in an instant.
At the scene, no matter how painful it was to watch, Ennis's heart lifted momentarily. He hoped that the driver of the poor vehicle was another man waiting for a job up on the mountain but there was a fair chance of it being his new boss. Yet, if it was, he'd still have been a little entertained. If the guy arrived in a coughing old pick-up truck, he sure wouldn't have been doing a lot to give himself a powerful image.
Fiddling nervously with his jacket, Ennis looked up from beneath the rim of his hat and watched as a man staggered out of the car's front door and walked around it, kicking the tyres irritably. He didn't look like a boss type of person at all so Ennis immediately took him to be a hopeful for a job around here. At first glance, he seemed a bit cocky and full of himself and immediately, he lived up to that expectation, stopping by the side of the vehicle and placing one hand on his hip, glancing at Ennis through the shadows his hat was making. To start with, Ennis didn't look back, refusing to meet this other guy's eyes. He didn't seem all that friendly, by the way he was standing, all full of himself, and for a while, Ennis thought he'd rather be alone up on the mountain than share it with this man.
Yet then, after the atmosphere around them felt like it was getting tighter and tighter, more awkward at every moment, Ennis finally peered up a little, seeing the other guy was looking in another direction, his hand still gripping the side of the truck. Interested, he drew his hat down a little more so he wouldn't see him watching, and let his eyes curiously drift over him.
He now saw that he was about his age, tall and strong-looking, with dark messy hair and the air of a man who had done this before. Ennis didn't know how that made him feel – on one hand, if he was working with this guy up on the mountain then he'd be experienced and aware of what he was doing but also, he'd be even more afraid of his actions in case he did something that proved he wasn't as sure and steady as him. After all, he wanted to give a good impression of himself, no matter how silly that seemed to him at the moment.
But, as the man turned his head back around to look at the window of the trailer beyond, his thoughts softened a little. He didn't look as arrogant as he first thought he would be at all, instead just confident. His eyes were deep and positive but as Ennis continued to take him in, he realised they were also quite warm, tinged with a blue that seemed to reflect the colours of the afternoon sky, maybe even brighter. Surrounding them were surprisingly long eyelashes, thin yet still quite dark, highlighted against the rosy glow of his cheeks.
A little way below his eyes was his mouth, slightly open at the time and a light pink colour. His lips were glistening a little with moist in the dazzling Sun and even from over by the trailer, Ennis could see how full they were, almost like a girl's. In fact, not even Alma had a mouth like that – Ennis found himself momentarily captivated by it. But then a wet tongue suddenly darted over them and he quickly looked away, realising he had been staring. He didn't want to seem strange on his first day.
But, after a while, the other guy finally shifted his gaze and pulled himself up onto the truck, perching on the edge of it. Ennis shuffled on his feet a little and still not glancing up, moved towards the steps of the trailer, sinking down onto them and placing his small bag of necessities beside him. Alma had basically packed them in for him – he never knew what or what not to take on journeys, let alone long summers of work. It was a good job he had her otherwise he'd probably be left with just one shirt and a sock.
Suddenly, there was movement in the caravan behind him and the door was thrown open, narrowly missing the back of his head. He immediately jumped to his feet and saw the other man slide from the truck, lacing his fingers through his belt loops. Standing in front of them, on the threshold of the trailer was a man, at least in his mid to late 40's, looking rather irritated and temperamental. Seeing the pair of boys waiting around outside, he frowned with two bushy eyebrows and scowled, gruffly telling them to follow him. Saying goodbye to any chance of going home, Ennis trudged up the short flight of steps and passed through the creaking door, noticing a sign on it that said 'J. Aguirre' and something about trespassers. The other man entered after him and they closed the door behind them.
Inside, it wasn't any cooler, even with the whirring fan in the corner of the cramped room and Ennis still felt his cheeks flushing slightly, reddening further in the sticky heat. As Aguirre he began to talk to them about the jobs they had, it got too much for him and all the older man's words slipped into one ear and out the other, strangled by the unbearable warmth. He started to pick up on one off phrases as he glanced uncomfortably out the window into the relatively cooler outdoors and slowly, he gratefully managed to piece them together. Luckily, he'd done enough work beforehand to know what he was doing with the sheep up on the mountain and Aguirre wanted him to stay in the main camp as camp tender. That seemed OK, depending on where the camp would be situated (he'd been in some pretty bad situations before now) but it was better than the job the other guy with him had.
The blue eyed boy's task as herder was to pitch up a pup tent with the sheep and stay up there with them in the nights. He'd eat breakfast and supper in camp but Aguirre made a firm point on where he'd be sleeping. Ennis's companion shuffled uncomfortably at this, his head slightly lowered. He wasn't allowed a fire either.
Suddenly, mid way through a sentence explaining about rolling up the tent each morning in case the Forest Service came around and found out, the phone rang and both men looked down, hearing their new boss's irritated voice as he barked down the receiver. He yelled a few insults at the caller and then frustratedly hung up, glancing back up the men with an even wilder look in his eyes. Staying firmly on the point of the dark haired boy staying with the sheep, he relayed that he'd had near a 25% loss last summer and he didn't want that again, no way. Each understood perfectly well, though far from happy with his rule breaking schemes, and then Ennis accepted a watch he threw at him, being told he'd meet somebody with a grocery list and his mules on Friday's at noon by the bridge who'd give the necessary supplies over.
Once his orders had been given, Aguirre dismissed them and they walked out of the trailer, closing the door behind them.
Ennis lit up a cigarette on the steps and let out a long breath, entwined with wisps of smoke. After the choking heat of the room he had just been in, it actually seemed a little cooler out here, even with the sun beating down upon him. There was a long summer ahead.
As he reached the bottom of the steps, the man with him stuck out his hand and grasped his, making him look up. '' Jack Twist,'' he said, offering his name. Ennis didn't really know why he was introducing himself. It wasn't like they were here to make friends. But, still, he thought it would be rude to just ignore him.
'' Your folks jus' stop at Ennis?''
'' Del Mar.''
'' Nice to know ya, Ennis Del Mar.''