Hi guys! As promised, here is the sequel to Love Will Find A Way. I know people are looking forward to it, so here it is! Six months have passed since we left the boys. There isn't much plot in this first chapter, just setting the scene, but I promise things will pick up soon.
August 19th, 1963
The rain fell hard and fast as the two young men shouted at each other, one trying to hold together the pieces of his breaking heart, the other trying desperately to get through to him and make him listen. Harsh words were being thrown in self-defence, but the other wouldn't give up.
"Jack, I don't love her!" the blonde yelled at the retreating figure, hoping for a chance to explain himself.
"You must, you proposed to her didn't ya? You must love her!" the awful truth was draining him of energy. He hadn't expected this.
"I thought I did...I proposed to her 'cos I thought I could make her happy, I thought it was what I was supposed to do!" the voice was now desperate; he was trying so hard not to lose the one person he had come to care about more than any other.
"Yep, an' now you've had yer little summer of fun, get it out of yer system before ya settle down. I was just a way of you gettin' experience so's you'd know what to do on yer weddin' night!" Tears were flowing down the flushed cheeks, blue eyes full of raw emotion.
"Jack, I don't love her, I-"
"You do, you're just confused by what's happened between us. A few months down the line an' you'll see how much you love her. She's the love of yer life." The figure turned and continued to walk briskly, trying to put as much space between him and his companion as possible.
"Jack, she ain't the love of my life," a deep breath. "She can't be, not when you are!"
The other figure froze in his tracks, heart pounding, not daring to believe what had just been said. Warm, strong arms were wrapped around him from behind, a face buried in his neck.
"Jack...I love you. Ain't ever loved nobody but you."
Jack finally turned in Ennis's arms, smiling. A deep and meaningful kiss was shared, the pair of them trying to convey everything they felt.
"I love you too Ennis," he whispered as he was drawn back into Ennis's arms.
April 10th, 1964
Jack's eyes opened slowly as he returned to wakefulness. It took him a moment to adjust, and then he remembered where he was. Every morning for the past six months, when he awoke, he was unable to stop a grin unfurling across his face. He was in a wonderful ranch house on a beautiful ranch, and the best part was the man lying next to him, who, Jack could tell by his breathing, was still fast asleep.
He rolled onto his back and then onto his other side, facing his bedfellow. Ennis was on his side facing him, looking so young as he slept. Well, they were still very young, only twenty after all, but when Ennis was awake his face usually bore signs of hard work, and wrinkles would be a continuous presence on his forehead. They only cleared when he was with Jack, and perhaps that was because they seemed to migrate to his mouth and reappear as those wonderful dimples.
Jack silently watched Ennis sleep, forehead free of wrinkles. He loved it when he could do this, when he woke before his partner and could watch him like this.
He thought back to his dream. He'd had it a few times since their arrival, and he always seemed to awake with a smile on his face. It was a good memory. The majority of that day had been spent in turmoil, terrified of what may or may not happen with Ennis, his heart fearful that it was all over. And then out of the storm clouds, a ray of sunshine had appeared. Ennis had admitted his feelings and told Jack he wanted to be with him. Jack's heart had soared to hear those words; he still felt a swell in his heart even now as he thought back on it. It had gone from being the worst day of his life to the best. And now...here they were. Here in Georgia, on their ranch. The state had its problems of course, but then, didn't everywhere? They were doing their best to keep a low profile, and not get themselves entangled in the events up near Atlanta, and up until now they'd had some success.
Jack thought about the last six months. It was now early April, and spring was well underway. The cows had all been impregnated by their bull, and the horses were doing well. His beautiful stallion, Signal, had taken a shine to their recent addition, Star. Perhaps they could be bred sometime. Their other horse, the one that Ennis usually rode, was another strong stallion, and Ennis had named him Lightning. The significance of the name had not been lost on Jack.
Ennis stirred next to him, shaking him from his thoughts. Jack watched as Ennis's deep brown eyes became visible. Ennis blinked a few times, and looked up to see Jack watching him.
"Hey," Jack whispered, "Mornin', cowboy."
Ennis smiled sleepily. "Mornin'..." he yawned. "Time's it?"
Jack looked over his shoulder at his watch on the nightstand. "Just after five," he whispered, stroking Ennis's curls. "You sleep okay?"
Jack smiled. "Always do. I had that dream again..."
"Yeah?" Ennis's brain was starting to function properly. Jack had had the dream a few times now, and he knew that it made Jack happy to revisit that moment in his dreams. Neither of them had had any nightmares in the last six months, but they'd agreed that if they did that they would be there for each other.
"Yeah...I ended up feelin' so happy that day..." Jack leaned across and planted a soft kiss on Ennis's lips, then drew back to see Ennis smiling slightly.
"Me too, darlin'...c'mere..." He reached out to Jack, stretching one arm under his neck, using the other to pull him close. Jack leaned back over without hesitation, the pair of them engaging in more soft, slow kisses. They'd known each other almost a year now, and they had reached a comfort level unlike anything they'd expected. They loved lying in bed in the early morning like this, just enjoying each other's company.
A scratching at the door made them break apart, laughing slightly as Jack got out of bed to let Lucky in. He loved coming in and jumping on their bed to see them. He was still only young, but was already quite protective of them, and they knew he would be good for them and their ranch.
The blue heeler ran in and leapt onto the bed, crawling up to Ennis to lick his face. Ennis wrapped him in his arms and scratched him behind the ear, then glanced up at Jack, whose heart filled with happiness at the scene before him. He was home.
After breakfast, the pair of them parted ways for the morning. A few months after their arrival, they had realised that they would need an office area, somewhere for all the important documents to be kept, and business calls to be made. Within a few weeks, a small office building had been built a few yards from the house to the side, between the house and the stables. Jack showed more of an aptitude for bookkeeping than Ennis, yet he still wanted to work on the land with his partner.
As a result, they had soon come up with a routine. After they'd had breakfast, Jack would spend a few hours in the office, doing whatever needed to be done, while Ennis would take Lucky and head out to the stables, working with their hired hands. They had three so far, Rick, Sam and Peter. Rick and Sam were older than themselves, Peter was eighteen. Both Ennis and Jack felt that they should give all potential workers a chance, knowing how it felt to be desperate for work and money. And of course, they had their foreman, Dave, who was old enough be their father, but his experience and knowledge was something they were both grateful for.
At lunch, Jack would head back in to make something for everybody. Early on they had told the hands that they were welcome to eat lunch with them if they wanted to; take a break. They figured it would be better than eating out in the cold. Afterwards, Jack would join them in the stables or on the land, more often than not sidling up to Ennis and working with him. Jack had also been known to corner him in the tack room once or twice.
Right now, they were checking on the pregnant cows in the field. There were still some months to go before they were due for calving, but both of them knew all too well that anything could happen. They'd both seen it while growing up on ranches. Jack had to admire Ennis's work ethic; it was what made the ranch function.
"How's it feelin', cowboy?" asked Jack, watching intently as Ennis gently pressed a hand to the underside of a cow's swollen belly.
"Feels okay...nothin' seems weird or anythin'..."
"Good. It oughta be, price we paid fer that bull. I got a good feelin' 'bout these new calves." Jack said. Their bull had cost them a fair price, but they knew they would need it if the ranch was going to succeed.
Ennis straightened up and stepped away from the cow, standing next to Jack. "Everythin' seems alright here. What's next on the list?"
"Um, I dunno...you wanna go fer a ride?"
Ennis's mouth twitched slightly into a smile. "You sure? What if they need us at the stables?"
Jack thought for a moment. He hadn't considered that; he was after ten or so minutes with his man, maybe ride up to the field of heather up on the hill on the edge of their property. They'd discovered it on their very first ride, after getting themselves some horses. Just past the fields there was a dirt road that wound up a hill through a copse of trees, and at the top was a beautiful field of heather. Jack had come to realise that he loved lying there on a blanket with Ennis, letting the aroma fill their nostrils.
"Well..." he scuffed his boot in the grass. "I'm sure they're fine. Ain't gonna be the first time we've left them on their own." This was true; as they had promised themselves, whenever they hired a new member of staff, they were honest with them about their relationship, feeling that their workers had a right to know exactly who they were working for. None of them had been bothered by it, and they had become used to their employers sneaking off together for a while. They were all capable workers and decent people.
Ennis took one look into those blue eyes and soon became aware that the battle was lost. He could never resist those eyes.
Ten minutes later they were laying on a blanket in the heather field; Jack had pulled the blanket out of his saddlebag without even blinking, and Ennis knew he'd planned this.
They were on their backs, Jack with his head on Ennis's chest. Ennis had one hand running through his hair, the other rubbing his stomach lazily. They'd soon discovered that they both liked that. Jack had his hands folded comfortably on his chest, above the spot where Ennis was rubbing him. It was a clear, cloudless day and from here, they could dimly hear the traffic in Sandersville, about ten miles southeast. They loved to come here at night, when they could see the city lights in the distance, finding it a very romantic setting.
Jack sighed contentedly, enjoying the feeling of Ennis's hands on him, even in a non-sexual way like this. It reminded him of their dozy embrace by the fire that evening up on Brokeback. There was no sexual hunger here (even though they knew it could occur at any time with them) but they were happy to just lie here like this.
"Wonder what our families are doin' right now?" Jack murmured, gazing up at the endless sky.
"I mean, don't get me wrong, I love bein' here with you, you know I do. I do miss 'em though."
"I know. I do too, rodeo. But it ain't like we never see 'em. I mean, we saw Cecilia an' K.E. just last month, an' yer mama too. An' we're makin' plans to see 'em at Thanksgivin', right?"
"I know, but still. Ain't like we coulda stayed over there, anyway. Made enemies, people know us. At least we can try an' stay outta trouble here. Ain't gonna be goin' up north anytime soon."
"Hell no. Gotta feel sorry fer all those coloured folks. I never thought on it much growin' up, but...they got the same kinda problems as us. People hatin' 'em, beatin' on 'em, shunnin' 'em 'cos of somethin' they can't control. Ain't much different from us, really."
"Yeah...the world's fulla hate fer people who are different. Ain't much we can do 'bout it 'cept watch out fer each other..." Jack trailed off, his voice tinged with sadness. Ennis planted a kiss in his dark hair and continued to rub his stomach in comfort.
That evening, the pair of them were carrying out their Friday ritual of hosting dinner for their neighbours, Bill and Mary Jones. They'd gotten into the habit of having dinner together every Friday, alternating as hosts. This week, it was Ennis and Jack's turn, which meant that Jack had clocked off earlier than usual to make sure he didn't screw up.
He was busy chopping up vegetables to go with the steaks when he felt a pair of familiar arms snake around his waist, and a chin being planted on his shoulder.
"Hey rodeo," murmured Ennis, looking over his shoulder at what he was doing. "Whatcha makin' fer dinner?"
Jack smiled at the warmth pressed against his back. No other feeling could compare to this. "Got some steaks in the oven, should be ready in about an hour. What time they comin'?"
"Bill said six."
"Right. This'll be ready in time, I reckon," Jack dropped the vegetables into various pans on the stove and then wrapped his arms around Ennis's as they held him. "An' what can I do fer you?"
Ennis smiled and pressed his lips to Jack's cheek. He was silent for a moment, and then whispered, "You happy, Jack?"
Jack smiled slightly. Every so often Ennis would ask this, and he knew why. Things had happened awfully quickly for them, and Jack suspected that Ennis feared that with time, the novelty of the whole situation, a whirlwind romance as such, would wear off, especially if times got a little hard. Jack knew that Ennis was scared of losing him, not just by death, and as a result would seek reassurance that he was indeed very happy and content. It was all Jack could do to reassure him and let him know that he loved him.
Jack turned himself in Ennis's arms and looked into his eyes. "You know I am, cowboy," he said softly. "Real happy." He leaned in and kissed him, tongue gently probing Ennis's mouth where it was greeted by its mate.
"Me too," Ennis murmured into Jack's mouth.
Around an hour later, their guests had arrived and they were sitting down to what looked like a good meal. Jack's cooking skills had definitely improved over the last few months. As they ate, Ennis and Jack filled them in on how well the ranch seemed to be faring. They had indeed managed to start contract negotiations with a restaurant in town, the one that they had visited on the day they'd arrived in Sandersville. Calving would be in October, and the owner of the restaurant was interested finding in a new meat supplier. It seemed as though the ranch he was currently buying from was going under; the owners just couldn't keep up with the bills, despite his patronage.
"Seems like you boys are doin' real well," commented Bill as they told them about this new contract.
"Yep," said Jack happily, "Things are goin' real well."
"You boys interested in dairy still?" asked Mary.
"Um, dunno," replied Ennis. "We thought we'd stick with the meat fer a while, make sure it works out, you know? Won't really know 'til calvin'. Don't wanna fork out a load o' money fer dairy machines if we ain't makin' enough.
"Well, you know the old Miller ranch?" That was the name of the ranch that appeared to be failing, over on the other side of Sparta to the northwest.
"Sure, the one whose owners are losin' money?"
She nodded. "That's the one. They're sellin' off any equipment they can't afford to keep. There's a notice up in the feed store; they're sellin' off dairy equipment, good prices."
"Huh. Might look into it. We'd hafta hire more hands if we did that. Can't expect those three an' Dave to take care of everythin', even if we was both out there, too."
"Guess so. We got the money, Ennis. Barely touched what Uncle Harold left. Might be worth playin' around with, we did say we wanted to try some of everythin'."
Not for the first time that day, or ever, Ennis knew as soon as he looked into those eyes that it would happen. He knew that Jack was better than him at dealing with the finances, and that was fine. He trusted Jack enough to know that he would make the right decision for them.
"Well...I guess we could go up there this weekend, take a look," he said, giving in. It would open up a whole new avenue of making good money, after all. There was a lot of demand for dairy products, and it would also mean one less thing that they would have to pay for. They could put some of their produce away for their own use. Between the milk and the food they would get from their stock, they could become a self-sufficient farm for most things. If they decided to dig a vegetable patch some day, they would be well on their way.
We could be onto somethin' here, mused Ennis as they returned to their food. They might as well put their land to good use.
Bill and Mary left sometime later, leaving Ennis and Jack washing and drying the dishes in a companionable silence. They'd always enjoyed working together like this up on Brokeback and enjoyed this time together, even if it did feel strange to be doing dishes together, or as Ennis would put it, "all domesticated, like". Jack had a habit of splashing Ennis when he wasn't looking, and Ennis would retaliate by cracking Jack's ass with the towel he was holding.
"Ow!" exclaimed Jack after a third crack, punching Ennis on the shoulder. "Watch it will ya? I'm real sensitive back there."
"S'alright," Ennis responded calmly. "I'll kiss it all better later." That shut Jack up immediately, and he wanted to get up those stairs sooner rather than later.
The last dishes finally washed and put away, Jack turned to Ennis. "Now then, you owe me an' ass kissin'." He stood there with his hands on his hips, trying not to smirk.
Ennis faced him, eyes glittering. "That ain't the only thing I could do to yer ass, boy," he whispered, flicking out his tongue to prove a point.
That was it for Jack. He grabbed Ennis by the hand and dragged him upstairs swiftly, where Ennis more than made sure that his ass was well tended to.
The next day was a Saturday, and Ennis and Jack were just finishing their lunch, planning a lazy day together, when there was a knock on the door.
Ennis looked at Jack. "Ain't expectin' anyone, are we?"
Jack shook his head. "I don't think so, lemme go see." He rose from his chair and went to the door. He had to admit he was surprised by the sight that greeted him.
A young black man stood there, looking to be barely younger than themselves. He looked extremely nervous to be there, turning his hat over and over in his hands.
"Uh..." Jack cleared his throat, and then extended a hand. "Howdy there. Jack Twist. Can I help ya?"
"Um, I hope so, Mr Twist..." the boy said quietly, knocked back a little by Jack's friendly demeanour towards him. He shook Jack's hand. "My name's Michael Roberts. I was wonderin' if you might be hirin'?"
"Oh." Jack considered this. He and Ennis had discussed the bleak situation faced by people like Michael many times, and they had agreed that if someone should come knocking on their door looking for work, they would be determined to find some sort of work for them on the ranch. They hadn't been entirely sure if anyone would be brave enough to do so. Yet this young man had been, and they couldn't just turn him away, having some idea of what he and his family might be going through.
Jack smiled. "Tell you what, walk 'round the house to the back. You'll see a small buildin' near the back of the house. That's our office. Me an' my partner'll meet you there."
"Okay," said the boy nervously. "Thanks."
Jack went back inside and into the kitchen, where Ennis was still sat. Jack quickly relayed what was going on, and Ennis immediately agreed that they try to work something out. A few minutes later, they were walking across the grass towards the office, where Michael was waiting, scuffing his boots in the dirt.
"Hey Michael," greeted Jack. "This here's my partner, Ennis Del Mar." Ennis extended his hand and shook with Michael, who looked quite intimidated by him. Jack led them into the office, he and Ennis sat on one side of the desk, and Michael on the other. Ennis could see the confusion on the kid's face that he was being treated like an equal, and it saddened him to think that maybe he wasn't used to that kind of treatment from white people.
"So, Michael," started Jack. "You say yer lookin' fer work?"
"Um, yes sir. I just turned eighteen, an' I wanna support my family. We ain't got much..." he fidgeted and looked away in embarrassment.
Jack looked sympathetic. "We know how ya feel. This time last year we was both dirt poor. Barely had anythin' to our names. We didn't buy this place, ya know. I inherited it. We just got lucky. Ain't no need to be embarrassed in front of us."
Michael looked up and tried to meet Jack's eyes. "Well..."
"You got experience of workin' on a ranch?"
"Yes sir. Worked on my daddy's ranch the last few years. My daddy died an'...we couldn't keep the ranch. Had to leave."
Jack took a sidelong glance at Ennis, knowing that Michael's story would strike a chord with him, having himself lost a home through no fault of his own. The pained expression on Ennis's face told him he was right.
"In that case, yer welcome to start over here," Jack said. "We got three hands an' a foreman, but we're thinkin' of lookin' into dairy, so we're gonna need more help soon anyway. You wanna work here?"
Michael gave a shy smile. "I'd sure like to, sir."
Jack looked at Ennis, who nodded back. "In that case, welcome to Brokeback Ranch." He stood up and shook Michael's hand again, Ennis following suit.
Michael looked flustered. "Um...can I ask you somethin'?"
"Well...you both been real nice to me. An' you didn't slam the door in my face like a lot of people did. Can I ask why?"
Ennis and Jack looked at each other, a silent conversation passing between them. "Michael," said Jack, "me an' Ennis, we ain't just business partners, know what I'm sayin'? We're together." Jack held a steady gaze.
Michael blinked, comprehension dawning on his face. "Oh..."
"An' a requirement of workin' here is that yer alright with it. Our other employees are, an' we feel they got a right to know who they're workin' fer."
"Well...I ain't never known people like you guys before, but...I guess it ain't really my business. An' I'm grateful that yer willin' to hire me, so...I can live with it."
"Good. Since you was honest with us, now it's our turn. We know what's been goin' on up in Atlanta, all the stuff happenin' to people like yerself, an' we're sorry fer that," Jack said quietly, noticing the sad look on Michael's face. "So...thing is, we're treated pretty much the same in a lot of places, especially back in Wyomin', where we're from. We ain't all that different if ya think on it. Bein' treated like that fer somethin' we can't control, fer who we are. Ain't right. That's why we was willin' to hire ya. It's the least we can do. Yer welcome here."
Michael finally smiled fully, face full of gratitude for Jack's words. "Thanks Mr Twist. I'd like to work fer you. Yer good guys."
"So we'll see ya Monday then?" asked Ennis. "I'll show ya the ropes."
Michael nodded. "Okay. Thanks again." He tipped his hat and left the office.
Ennis looked at Jack and took his hand. "Proud of you, rodeo," he whispered. Jack smiled at him and squeezed his hand.
"So...back to our lazy day then?" he murmured, sliding his hands up Ennis's chest to play with his curls. "You wanna go fer a ride...or you wanna go back to bed?" His eyes glittered.
Ennis couldn't stop a grin unfurling on his face. "You can go fer a ride if ya want; I'm goin' back to bed."
Jack lowered his hands to squeeze Ennis's crotch. "You ain't goin' up there without me," he whispered, leaning in for a kiss.
Ennis and Jack did spend a few hours in bed that day, only moving when their stomachs started to rumble, knowing that they unfortunately couldn't survive on sex alone. They went for a ride afterwards up to the field of heather again, talking and kissing lazily in the sun until it started to drop beyond the horizon. They then sat on the hill and watched the lights of Sandersville appear against the growing darkness, Jack's head on Ennis's shoulder, Ennis's arm around his waist. The noise of the city was a faint hum from here; their land was silent.
Eventually they rode back to the house for some late dinner and an early night, knowing that they had to get up early tomorrow to go to the other ranch that was selling dairy equipment. It wouldn't take them long to get there but they didn't know how long they might take.
After locking up and making sure Lucky had food and water, should he need it in the night, Jack joined Ennis in bed, flopping onto his back and sighing. He looked at Ennis and smiled.
"I love lazy days with you," he said, a lop-sided grin appearing on his face.
Ennis smiled back and leaned over. "Me too..." he whispered, bringing his face close to Jack's, letting their lips meet for what felt like the hundredth time that day.
"Mmm," Jack moaned softly into the kiss, bringing an arm up to curl around Ennis's neck and pull him closer. Ennis's hand wandered down Jack's body to take him in hand, making Jack grin.
"Jesus, Ennis, ain't you had enough fer one day?"
Ennis pulled back, eyes glittering. "Can't never get enough of you," he whispered, leaning back in as he straddled Jack and lowered his full weight onto him. Jack's hands were in his hair as their kisses deepened, tongues mashing together and erections rubbing together. That alone would have been enough to make Jack go off, but he knew he wanted more just then.
Ennis pulled back for a few seconds to bump noses and lean back in, but Jack stopped him. "Ennis..." he whispered during the brief respite. "Ennis, hang on..."
"Huh?" Ennis stopped and looked into Jack's eyes. "What's up, rodeo?"
"This is real good, but...I want ya inside me..." Jack whispered in the darkness. "Need to feel ya..."
Ennis paused, and then nodded. "Sure thing." He leaned over to the nightstand and grabbed the tube of lubricant, always lying there ready to be used. He reared up onto his knees but kept his lips attached to Jack's as he prepared himself. He put the tube back and took hold of Jack's legs, wrapping them around his waist and pulling the sheets over them both in a cosy heat, a small intimate space for just the two of them.
Jack had hold of his forearms as he slowly pushed in, holding Jack by his shoulders. Jack's face was full of concentration as he pushed back to try and let Ennis in. It was easier by now, after almost a year of regular sex with Ennis, he didn't feel as tight as he used to, like on their first night together.
Ennis broke through and entered him fully, Jack's face going slack and his head falling back against the pillow at the sensation. Ennis kissed him as he started thrusting slowly into him, Jack raising his hips in time to meet the thrusts, happy to give himself over. He enjoyed the times when he was on top, sure, but he felt that he was happiest in Ennis's arms like this, letting him take over.
Ennis suddenly changed his angle and found what he was looking for: that special place inside his lover, his version of heaven. The place that reminded Ennis how right and perfect their relationship could feel, like he was meant to be in that place. Jack wrenched his face free as he gasped with pleasure, Ennis thrusting into the sweet spot. Ennis covered his mouth again and brought one of his own hands down to Jack's raging hard-on. He swiftly began to stroke in time to his thrusts, sending Jack closer and closer to the edge as he moaned into Ennis's mouth helplessly, unable to move or even think straight.
Jack's face broke free again. "Oh God, Ennis..." he croaked, starting to shake as his orgasm loomed nearer. Ennis braced himself as he thrust relentlessly, anticipating the explosion that he knew would come. Jack brought his mouth to Ennis's collarbone and eagerly sucked at the skin, nipping it with his teeth as his body squirmed beneath Ennis.
With a combination of more thrusts in his ass, and more strokes, Jack finally lost control and spasmed, crying out as he spilled between them, gripping onto Ennis for dear life. The sensation of Jack shaking around him so violently sent Ennis sailing over the edge too, also gripping tight as he rode it out. They could both see little white lights before their eyes and their senses were wiped out. Ennis collapsed onto Jack and all they could do for the next few minutes was breathe heavily, waiting to come down from cloud nine. Their bodies were pouring with sweat and they were a tangle of arms and legs. Ennis barely had enough energy to pull out of Jack before collapsing again. Every time they had sex, they thought of it as the best time yet, which it usually was. This was definitely one of their best times.
Ennis heard Jack give a contented sigh and raised his head from Jack's chest to look up at him. Jack's eyes were still dark; the post-coital flush evident on his face.
Ennis couldn't move a muscle, and as he lay there looking at Jack's face, a sleepy smile on his face as his head fell back and hit the pillow, he realised he didn't particularly want to. He pressed a soft kiss to Jack's chest as it cooled down, before folding his arms over it and laying his head on them, Jack's breathing rocking him into sleep.