Chapter 15

The hospital lights were bright and the doctors and nurses were rushing around dealing with patients. But all this was a blur to Ennis as he sat in the cafeteria, staring into his hands as Becky was over at the coffee machine. Jack had been wheeled off immediately as soon as they'd arrived, unconscious but still alive.

There were so many thoughts running through Ennis's head. Terror that he would lose Jack, regret that he hadn't had the chance to tell Jack he really was queer and that he wanted Jack to make love to him. Anger at the men who had done this and the vow for revenge running through his heart.

Becky sat down opposite him and handed him a coffee. He was only drinking to have something to do with his hands; his mind was somewhere else, somewhere in this building where his other half could be fighting for his life.

Becky looked at him in silence, waiting for him to speak.

"I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him." Ennis whispered, staring into his coffee cup.

"You will," Becky replied quietly. "They didn't have no weapons, bar fights have ended up much worse before now. He's gonna be fine."

Ennis looked up. "He was covered in blood."

"That was 'cos one of them got his nose an' you know it. The flow got stemmed pretty quickly, it'll be okay."

"Oh no..." Ennis said suddenly, head falling into his hand.

"What?"

"When he fell off the bull...he landed on his front...an' he was hurtin'...what if they got him there?"

Becky put both of their coffee cups aside and grasped his hands. "Look at me, Ennis."

He met her eyes, they were full of fear.

"It's gonna be okay. Even if yer right, that they got his ribs or somethin'...these doctors are real good, they've dealt with worse than this. A friend of mine used to work here in the summer, you don't wanna know the horror stories I've heard. I know it seems real bad 'cos of how you feel about Jack, but trust me, it'll be fine."

"Ya know, I...I used to think I wasn't queer. Even after I first...slept with him." Ennis mumbled.

"Really?"

He nodded. "I was engaged to Alma...thought I was straight. Even when me an' him got together fer real. Thought I was straight 'cept fer him. Thought I still liked girls."

"What made you change your mind?"

He looked thoughtful. "I know now I never really fancied Alma. She was real sweet an' I figured it was what I was supposed to do, so...I proposed to her. But...truth is...she never really did anythin' for me, ya know? Not like him."

Becky was silent. "So...maybe it was just Alma. Maybe she just wasn't yer type. What about other girls?"

He looked at her, steeling himself. "I looked. I looked at other girls. I...I looked at you."

"You did?" Becky asked, surprised.

"Just to see if I could be attracted to girls. I thought about it when we was dancin' last night. S'alright though. No offense, but...you didn't do anythin' fer me." He smiled slightly.

Becky grinned. "Thank God. That would create a problem if I did."

"An'...I looked at some of the other girls that night. Nothin'. Didn't feel nothin' at all. But then I looked at Jack...can't describe what lookin' at him does to me." He went slightly red.

"So then...you don't like girls. Fair enough. What about...what about other guys?" she asked apprehensively.

"I thought 'bout lookin'...thought I would hafta if I was gonna figure it out. But...I don't wanna. Feels like...I'd be cheatin' on him or somethin'." He shook his head. "An' it don't matter anyway. I'm in love with a guy, wanna spend the rest of my life with him...if that makes me queer...that makes me queer. Nobody else is gonna care if I ain't looked at other guys, right? They'll just see that I'm with Jack. That'll be it."

"You're right, Ennis. All that people will care to see when they judge you is that yer in love with a guy. It won't matter to them if you've only looked at Jack. But ya know...don't freak out if ya take a second glance at another guy. It ain't cheatin', as long as ya keep yer hands to yerself. Don't beat yerself up over it."

They fell into silence, Ennis digesting her words. She made a lot of sense. He could see a lot of Jack in her.

A doctor came over to them. "Are you Jack Twist's family?"

"Yes," replied Becky without hesitation. "I'm his cousin, this is his brother." She knew there was no chance of Ennis getting to see Jack if they knew he wasn't family.

"How is he?" Ennis asked fearfully.

"Mr Twist is very lucky. The blow to his head was minor, and the pain caused him to lose conciousness. The blow to his nose is what caused all of the blood."

"Told ya." Becky said to Ennis.

"I have to ask...has Mr Twist sustained any injuries lately, prior to the attack?"

Ennis's heart sank. "Yeah. He's a bull rider; he fell off yesterday an' landed on his front."

The doctor sighed. "I was afraid of that. A few ribs have been fractured on his right side. The fall itself did not cause this, I believe, but it certainly weakened him considerably. The blows to his chest, while not too powerful on their own, were made worse by his weakened state."

Ennis gulped. "Is he gonna be okay?"

The doctor smiled. "He's going to be fine. Like I said, he's very lucky considering the circumstances. His only lasting injury will be the fractured ribs. They'll take a few weeks to heal properly, but once they do he'll be as good as new."

"Thank God." Ennis sighed, running his hands over his face. "When can we see him?"

"His ribs are currently being taped up. He did regain consciousness but the painkillers have sent him to sleep again. If you would go to the waiting room I can come and let you know when you can see him."

"Thanks, doctor." Becky said in relief. The doctor nodded and walked away. She looked at Ennis, who had a small, shy smile on his face, but his eyes had their sparkle back.


At nearly three in the morning, Ennis settled himself into the chair beside Jack's bed and took his hand, running his thumbs over it. It felt so good to be holding some part of him again. Becky, despite being a blood relative, insisted that he go in first. Andy had come by to keep her company, and Ennis had thanked him for calling the ambulance before he went in to Jack's room.

Ennis looked into Jack's beloved face, wishing that those beautiful blue eyes would reveal themselves. Sometimes he was blown away by just how beautiful Jack was.

He opened his mouth and hesitated. He'd heard that if someone was unconscious, they would still hear if somebody talked to them. It was worth a try.

He sighed and lowered his gaze to Jack's hand in both of his. "Ya know, I...when I was growin' up...we didn't have nothin'...parents dyin' when I was still a kid...not finishin' high school...I grew up not expectin' much outta life. Didn't think I deserved nothin'. That's the difference 'tween you an' me. You always had dreams, bud. I can see it. You knew what you wanted outta life. You didn't have nothin' much neither, but you deserved a lot."

"Bein' with you...I'm startin' to think...maybe I do deserve somethin' outta life. It ain't wrong to wish fer stuff, right?" he asked, looking up into Jack's peaceful face. "You did that. You made me think I can have a better life than what I had. You showed me there's more. I can't thank ya enough, Jack. You didn't just make me want that sweet life with ya, you showed me...showed me we can do it. Like we said back in Signal, we gotta stick together. If we can do that...we can do this."

He shuffled a little closer and caressed Jack's cheek softly. "You deserve so much. An' I know I ain't treated you right sometimes, but from now on I'm gonna. I'm gonna give ya that sweet life, darlin'. I owe you so much, it's the least I can do."

He felt his hand being squeezed gently, and looked down. Jack's hand was wrapping itself tightly around his own. He looked up. "Jack?"

Jack's mouth opened and he let out a long sigh. It was the most wonderful sound in the world right then. His eyelashes fluttered and at last, those deep blue eyes became visible.

"Ennis...?" he whispered.

"I'm here, darlin'." Ennis murmured, shuffling even closer, stroking Jack's cheek. A smirk appeared at the side of Jack's mouth.

"You mean all that just now?"

Ennis went red at the fact he'd been heard. "I sure did. I swear, Jack, I'm gonna make it happen. We're gonna get us a place. I'm gonna make ya happy."

Jack smiled wearily. "C'mere..." he whispered, raising his hand to the back of Ennis's neck, pulling him close. Their lips met in a soft kiss, just like their first so many nights ago in the tent.

"I love you." Jack whispered. "Love ya so much."

"I know ya do. An' I love you too."

"My ribs are bad ain't they?" Jack asked, a sheepish look on his face.

Ennis sighed. "Yeah. Coupla fractured ones."

"Damn. I shoulda got 'em checked. I thought I was okay. If I had...we woulda gone back to the motel..."

"It's my fault. I wasn't watchin'. I didn't see 'em follow ya. It's cos of Becky warnin' me that I got 'em off ya in time. If I'd been watchin'...I woulda got to ya sooner...an'...what if Becky hadn't seen 'em? You woulda..." Ennis trembled, the fear of losing Jack rearing up inside him again. His eyes filled with tears.

"Oh sweetheart...don't cry..." Jack brought a hand to Ennis's cheek, wiping the tears away when they escaped.

Ennis sniffed. "I like that name fer me, ya know. Like when I call you darlin'." He said, his voice shaky.

Jack smiled. "It's good that we're close enough fer that, huh? Don't go blamin' yerself, Ennis. If it's anybody's fault, it's those guys that did it. Nobody's to blame but them. I don't blame you."

Ennis nodded, trying to make himself believe Jack's words. He cleared his throat. "You wanna see Becky now? She's been real worried. Her friend Andy's here too, he called the ambulance ya know."

"Sure, let 'em in."

Ennis squeezed his hand and left the room, followed a few seconds later by Becky and the other cowboy, Andy. Becky went straight to his bedside and hugged him tightly, breathing a sigh of relief. Andy stood at the edge of the bed, twisting his hat in his hands nervously.

"So, Andy," Jack spoke up. "I hear ya called the ambulance. Thank you, I owe ya one." He smiled, indicating all three of them to sit down.

"No problem, Mr Twist. Glad I could help."

"I ain't havin' that. Call me Jack. An' this is Ennis." He indicated his partner. "So...you like our girl here?" he asked mischievously, gesturing to Becky, who blushed.

"Uh...well..." Andy stuttered. "She's real nice, an' real pretty. I'd sure like to spend more time with her, if that's alright." He looked at Becky shyly.

"S'fine with me, friend. You treat her well or I'll kick yer ass." Jack said matter-of-factly. Andy would have been intimidated if he hadn't seen the ill-disguised grin on Ennis's face, or the twinkle in Jack's eyes. He let out a nervous laugh.

"I sure will. Don't worry." He looked at his watch. "I better get home. Nice to meet ya properly."

"Right back atcha."

Becky walked with him to the door. "So, uh..." Andy started. "Maybe I'll see ya in the bar tonight? I mean, it's three in the mornin' now, so...I guess it's tonight."

"Sure." Becky replied eagerly. "Around seven?"

"Sounds great." They looked at each other nervously for a few seconds, and then he kissed her on the cheek and left the room, red-faced. Becky stared after him with butterflies in her chest, trying to ignore the fact that Jack was smirking and Ennis was rolling his eyes at him.


Soon after, Jack sent Ennis and Becky away, insisting that they get some sleep. Ennis tried to sleep in the motel, but the bed felt cold and empty without that warm body next to him, curling around him lovingly. He gave up after a few hours of tossing and turning, and by eight in the morning he was back outside. Needing company, he took breakfast with Becky and they both went to the police station to report the incident and give a description of Jack's assailants, not an easy task when they'd barely registered what they'd looked like, being distracted by the sight of Jack on the floor in that state.

Just after noon, he returned to the hospital to find Jack sitting up in bed and trying to eat. He was a little sore in the ribs but he seemed to be managing.

"Hey darlin'." said Ennis when he walked in, earning himself a big grin from Jack. He walked over to him and kissed him on the cheek.

"Hey yerself." Jack replied. "Get any sleep?"

Ennis sighed. "No. Couldn't sleep without you there." He admitted. Jack grasped his hand.

"Well friend, if it's any consolation, I think I only slept 'cos of the painkillers. What you been doin' all mornin', then?"

"I, uh...I had breakfast with Becky, an' we went to the station, told 'em what happened."

Jack looked up. "Ya did? Think they're gonna catch 'em?"

Ennis shrugged. "I dunno. I hope so, cos if I get to 'em first..." he shook his head. "So, what the doctor say? When are they lettin' you go?"

Jack made a face. "They wanna keep me overnight, as a precaution. Let me out tomorrow. Ya know, I...I asked 'em 'bout...ya know, sex."

Ennis looked at him warily. "And...?"

"Well, they said it ain't impossible, but not to overdo it, ya know? My ribs are up here, an' all the thrustin's down there." He waved to the parts in question. "I can still do it so long as I go slow, ya know?"

Perfect, Ennis thought to himself. "Jack...there's somethin' I wanna tell ya, then somethin' I wanna ask ya."

Jack put his knife and fork down. "Okay. What ya wanna tell me?"

Ennis had tried to prepare himself for this all morning as he went about his business, or maybe even longer. Some part of him had known it for months, but he couldn't admit it then. He'd acknowledged that he needed a final push, and the fear of losing Jack for good seemed to have done the trick.

He took several deep breaths, looking directly into Jack's eyes. Jack could see he was gathering the strength to say whatever it was and waited patiently.

"I, uh...I'm, uh..."

Jack took his hand. "What?" he asked softly.

"I'm...queer." the word came out in a rush, and he looked relieved to have finally got it out.

Jack couldn't have been more surprised. Ennis had told him on their way to Childress that he had been thinking about the possibility, but some part of Jack's brain had reasoned that maybe he would never be ready to admit it. He'd never expected this.

"You...you are?"

Ennis nodded. "I know I said I ain't, but...I think...I am." He trembled with nerves and Jack took both of his hands in his own, kissing them.

"Oh sweetheart...I sure am glad you said it. Gotta make things easier, huh? We can talk about it." He smiled at Ennis, who responded with his own shy smile.

"Yeah...I ain't quite ready to talk 'bout it proper yet, though, Jack. Maybe when yer outta here?"

"Sure. We got lotsa things to talk 'bout, things we gotta say. We'll do it then."

There were a few seconds of silence, both of them thinking about the promise just made, and everything they had to say to each other. Ennis was now thinking about what he wanted to ask Jack, and this would be harder, the hardest thing he'd ever attempted. He so wanted it to happen, and hoped Jack would agree, but it was hard for him to let down that last barrier between them.

"Uh...Jack? There was somethin' I wanted to ask ya, too..."

"Oh right...what was it?"

"Um...well...you an' me, when we're, uh...doin' it. It's always been me doin' you, right? You ain't never done me. Not proper. I mean...you've done stuff to me, but..."

Jack smiled. "I know what ya mean. I ain't ever been inside ya. Ennis...it don't bother me. I know it's been real hard for ya, gettin' used to havin' sex with me at all. That's why I ain't ever asked to be on top. After how scared ya were after that first night, I didn't wanna scare ya even more. I knew I shouldn't push it."

"I know. An' I'm real grateful." Ennis replied, squeezing his hands. "I wasn't ready for...that. Ain't been ready to...let someone else be...in control, like."

"Like I said, it don't bother me none. I like ya bein' inside me. Feels great ya know."

Ennis lowered his head. "Well...thing is, Jack...I'm ready."

Jack's heart skipped a beat. "What?"

Ennis met his eyes. "I'm ready fer you...to be in control."

"Oh God, Ennis...are ya sure? It's a big deal, I know that. An' I don't wanna put ya off, but the first time...it hurts a fair bit, cos ya ain't used to it."

Ennis nodded. "I thought 'bout that...I know it's gonna hurt, but...there ain't no-one else I trust like I trust you. I know you'll make it good. I trust ya, Jack. An'...didn't ya say the doctor says to take it slow, like? It works out real well."

"Well I guess...if we hafta go slow anyway. Ennis, I been hopin' this would happen, an' I'll gladly do it if ya want me to. I've wanted to do it since Brokeback but knew I shouldn't push it. I'll help ya. Help ya get comfortable, ya know?"

Ennis smiled. "I know. So...maybe when ya get outta here, after we've said everythin' we gotta...?" He looked at Jack hopefully, a twinkle in his eyes.

Jack smiled fully. "You got it, cowboy."


The following morning, Jack was finally being discharged. Just as well, for he was growing frustrated by being cooped up in the hospital, he needed fresh air. While he was filling out the necessary paperwork and collecting his prescribed painkillers, Ennis had promised to ring his mother on his behalf and tell her what had happened.

He put the coins in and dialled, listening to the rings stretch across the miles.

"Hello?" answered Rose.

"Mornin' Rose, it's Ennis."

"Ennis! How lovely to hear from you! How's Jack?"

"Well...we're in Texas. There was a rodeo an' Jack was competin' in the bull ridin'. He won, but...he fell off."

"Goodness, is he alright?" she asked in a concerned voice.

"Well, uh...he was a little sore, but okay. The worst happened that night, though."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, that night...there were these three guys...in the bar. They attacked him."

"What? What happened?"

"They put him in hospital," Ennis replied bitterly. "He's been here just over 24 hours."

"Oh no...is he okay?"

"He's okay. Got a coupla fractured ribs, but he'll be alright."

"Oh dear...what about the people who did this? Have they been caught?"

"Uh, well...we didn't get a real good look at 'em. Jack was on the floor an' we didn't notice much else. They scarpered. But we did report it."

"We? Who else was there if Jack was...well..."

"Oh...that's somethin' Jack wanted to tell ya. You know his cousin Becky? Uh...his daddy's niece?"

Rose had been silent in his presence a few times, mainly companionably as the talk had wound down back in Lightning Flat, but no silence had said so much as this one. It was strange; this silence seemed to speak a thousand words. But why? Surely she would know about Becky and how she was related to Jack? Why was this silence so tense?

"Uh...Rose, you still there?"

"Oh, yes. Sorry about that. So...you met Becky, huh?" her voice appeared light, but her silence had already spoken for her. Something wasn't right. More family secrets? They sure had a lot of skeletons in the closet, these Twists. He was practically marrying into this family, what exactly was he letting himself in for?

"Yeah. She's real nice. A lot like Jack."

"I remember her...she was always really sweet..." her voice sounded different, almost wistful. "So anyway...what happens now?"

Ennis was taken aback by the abrupt change in subject, but decided to go along with it. He would definitely need to talk to Jack and Becky about this. "Uh, well...we were gonna leave Texas today, but Jack ain't up to travellin' yet, so we're gonna stay a while. We've got money, Jack won $500 in the bull ridin'. We're gonna stay till he's fit fer travellin'.

"Okay. You decided where you're gonna go?"

"Kinda...we thought about Loveland, like ya said. It's a real nice place. I can see us livin' there fine. Gonna have a proper look when we get back up there. How's everythin' up there?"

"All fine. John's still angry about you gettin' away, but he ain't done nothin'. I think he's just glad yer off his property. He don't want ya comin' back here."

"Ain't gonna. Don't wanna go back there ever again, an' I ain't gonna let Jack go up there again, least not on his own. Don't wanna let him outta my sight for a while."

"I know. Listen, I better go. Will you get Jack to call me when he's up to it?"

"I sure will, Rose."

"Okay, bye."

"Bye." He hung up and turned to see Jack's doctor walking down the corridor towards him.

"Mr Del Mar, we're ready to have Mr Twist go home now."

"Okay." Ennis followed the doctor back up to Jack's room, where Jack was sat on the edge of the bed looking put out.

"They won't let me go without someone to take me." He said exasperatedly.

Ennis chuckled. "S'alright, bud, I gotcha."

The doctor turned to Jack. "Now remember, don't take the pills too often if you can avoid it, only when your ribs hurt, and even then only every four hours or more."

"I got it." Jack replied, trying to sound like he hadn't been told this a few times already.

It was a relief to both of them to get back out into the sun, breathing in the fresh air. They got into the truck and Jack sighed contentedly at being in a familiar surrounding. He didn't have much time to appreciate it, however, for he was soon being swept up into Ennis's arms and kissed passionately.

"Mmmph." said Jack, melting into the feeling of being in his lover's arms again for what had seemed like in forever. He'd sorely missed this, even just being held by Ennis, feeling safe and loved. Nothing compared to this feeling.

Ennis finally let him go after a few minutes. "Missed you." He whispered fervently. "Missed you somethin' awful."

"God, me too...can't wait to get back to that motel. Are ya sure you still wanna...?" he asked, looking at Ennis meaningfully.

Ennis nodded, smiling. "I'm sure. I really want ya to do it. If yer up to it."

"Sure. We'll make it work. What we doin' today?"

"Well...Becky was wonderin' if ya wanna go out fer a steak, an' she's invited Andy. It'll be the four of us. That alright with you?"

"Sure, he's a nice guy, an' she likes him. You think we should tell him? About us? I mean...if we're all goin' out together...somethin' might slip out. You know us when we've been drinkin'."

Ennis bit his lip, thinking. "Well...how about we get Becky to tell him before we go out? Then he can still back out if he wants to an' we don't have a big scene?"

"Yeah, yer right. Probably safer that way. If he ain't comfortable with it, at least he can back out an' no harm done."

"Alright. I'll call Becky an' get her to talk to him. If it's okay, we're on fer tonight. If not...we'll have to do somethin' else."


The early evening found Ennis and Jack sitting in the restaurant with Becky and Andy, talking and laughing. Becky had agreed to talk to Andy and tell him about the nature of Ennis and Jack's relationship, and while he'd been a little surprised, he confessed that when he'd seen how the pair of them looked at each other, he'd felt sure that he could see something there, something more than friendship. He insisted it didn't bother him, for it was really none of his business anyway and they were decent guys. He'd seen with his own eyes how torn up Ennis had been when he'd thought he was going to lose Jack.

As the meal progressed, they spent much of it talking about how Ennis and Jack had met and what had happened so far, the good and the bad.

"So what are you guys plannin' next?" Andy asked as they ate.

Ennis cleared his throat. "Uh, well...we were s'posed to be leavin' today fer Colorado, start settin' things up, ya know? But with what happened, it ain't a good idea fer Jack to be travellin' too far yet. He needs his rest." Jack looked at him gratefully.

"Yeah...this trip's been good fer us, but I can't wait to get outta here." He said fervently.

"Hey, uh...I wanted to ask you guys somethin'." Ennis said, looking between Jack and Becky.

"What?"

"Well, when I called Jack's ma at the hospital...I told her that we'd met you down here," he said, nodding at Becky. "An...I dunno, she went real quiet, an' when I asked her if she was alright...it was just weird. Said she was fine, but..." he trailed off at the look in Becky's eyes. She looked like she was doing some thinking about his statement, and her eyes had darkened at the mention of Jack's mother.

"Uh, Becky? You okay? Did ya not like her or somethin'?" Jack asked, concerned. He too had seen the look in her eyes, and he didn't like it much.

Becky glanced up. "No, I liked her fine. She was always real nice, an' I know she was good to you after yer daddy had finished with ya. I dunno why she'd go quiet..." her voice was low and she avoided their eyes.

Ennis and Jack looked at each other, thoroughly confused. If Rose and Becky had always got on as well as they'd said, why did they react like this at the mention of each other? There was definitely a secret there, something that not even Jack was aware of. They exchanged a slight nod and excused themselves.

In the bathroom, they gave a quick look around. It was completely empty.

"What the hell's goin' on with her an' my mama?" Jack wondered aloud, looking at Ennis.

"I dunno, bud," Ennis admitted, running a hand through his hair. "But I guess if they won't tell us there ain't a lot we can do 'bout it. You sure they got on well back in Wyomin'?"

"I been wrackin' my brains, Ennis, an' as far as I can remember...yeah. My mama was always real nice to her, seemed grateful to her fer bein' my friend."

They fell into silence, staring into the middle distance and thinking.

"Well..." Ennis sighed. "Guess there ain't much we can do." Jack nodded in agreement.

"Hey, Ennis? 'Bout tonight...you really sure you wanna...?"

Ennis smiled. "Yeah. I wanna do it that way. But ya know we got some things to talk about first. We gotta do that before we can do this."

"I know." Jack looked quickly over his shoulder, checking the door. "C'mere..." he whispered, moving towards Ennis, who shivered with longing. They couldn't possibly go at it here in the bathroom, not if they wanted to live. But a kiss or two wasn't out of the question.

And a kiss was what he got. Jack firmly pressed his lips to his, and he responded with enthusiasm, ears peeled for signs of the door opening.

When they broke apart, Jack whispered, "I'm gonna make it good for ya, Ennis, I promise. Gonna help ya relax. I'll do whatever I can to help ya. I ain't gonna lie to ya, it's gonna hurt."

"I know...but Jack, I want this to happen. I need it to happen. I want ya inside me." Ennis whispered back. "What 'bout you? You up to it?" he asked in a concerned voice, gently pressing a hand to Jack's fractured ribs.

Jack nodded. "I'll be fine. We're gonna be goin' real slow anyway. Ennis...if I'm gonna be hurtin' ya...I may as well suffer fer it."

"Oh Jack...it ain't yer fault if it hurts me. Ain't like you can control it."

"It's okay, Ennis. Yer gonna hurt, I'm gonna hurt. We'll just hafta take the pain together, friend."

Ennis gazed into his eyes. "You sure?"

Jack kissed him again in confirmation.

They finally left the bathroom and headed back to their table to finish the meal, Becky seemed back to normal now.

Outside the diner, the four of them stood talking and said they were going their separate ways. Becky and Andy were heading to the bar and Ennis and Jack, blushing somewhat, said they were heading back to the motel.

Andy had forgotten his hat, so went back in to retrieve it, leaving Becky to watch Ennis and Jack walk away.

She thought about what Ennis had said, about Jack's mother and, by association, his father. The secret that was held by the three of them, plus her own mother and father. The secret held for eighteen long years for reasons too painful and bitter to discuss. She would never forget the day after her eighteenth birthday last year, when her parents had sat her down to tell her. That day had changed everything.

She debated with herself whether or not to tell Jack. While he would be surprised, she figured he would also be happy to discover this secret. Should she tell them?

You want to drag up the past? It was hidden for a reason. You'll do more harm than good. Don't go dredgin' up all that bad stuff. Jack will hate him even more than he does now. I'm takin' this secret to my grave.