Chapter 8

June 7th 1964

Jack had a smile on his face as he got dressed in their bedroom. Ennis was in the bathroom, shaving after his shower. It was now a year since their first night together, and Jack had been playing the memory in his head for most of the day. Since it was a Sunday, they'd spent a lazy day together, both alone and with Becky. The three of them had sat in the living room awhile watching TV, Ennis and Jack with hands laced together, and then the pair of them had ridden up to their hill for most of the afternoon, sitting side by side, Jack's head on Ennis's shoulder as they watched the landscape. At around four in the afternoon they had returned, and were now preparing to go out to their favourite diner. The only thing Jack didn't know about was the surprise Ennis had for him.

Ennis, meanwhile, was watching his reflection as he shaved, trying to calm his shaking hands and avoid nicking himself. He was so incredibly nervous. This was nothing like when he'd proposed to Alma, and he knew why. He loved Jack and wanted this night to be perfect.

Jack finished buttoning up his shirt and went into the bathroom, grinning like a Cheshire cat at the sight of Ennis. He was wearing a new white buttoned shirt and his best pair of jeans, and Jack felt that he wanted to eat him right up. Maybe he would get the chance later. Jack meanwhile, was wearing a deep blue denim shirt and his best jeans. They hadn't discussed beforehand what they would wear for their night out, but Jack couldn't help but notice that their shirts were very reminiscent of another pair of shirts; the ones hanging from their bedroom door. It made some sort of sense.

Ennis caught sight of him as he entered and smiled. "Hey rodeo."

Jack walked up to him and put his head to Ennis's neck, smelling his aftershave. "Mmm, you smell good," he purred. "Look good too. I could throw ya down right here an' have my way with ya." He ran his hands up Ennis's chest.

Ennis smirked. "Maybe later. Wanna get somethin' to eat, doncha?"

Jack grinned. "I got all I need to eat right here." He squeezed Ennis's crotch.

"Damn it Jack, don't go gettin' me hard. Can't have Becky seein' that."

"Ain't nothin' she ain't seen before."

"Still don't mean I wanna go showin' all I got. Come on, let's get outta here."

"Oh alright...but you owe me fer this."

Ennis swallowed. Maybe what I got planned will make up fer it, bud.

With a kiss to Ennis's neck, Jack led the way downstairs, where Becky was settling into her chair with a book.

"Hey guys," she said, looking up. "Well, you two scrub up well, huh?"

"Well, it's a special night," replied Jack with a grin, wrapping one arm around Ennis and squeezing him.

Becky shifted her eyes to Ennis in a silent conversation while Jack retrieved their hats. He'd asked her to do something while they were out.

"C'mon, cowboy, let's get goin'."

Half an hour later, they were seated in their favourite diner, in the booth in the corner. It was quite quiet, given that it was a Sunday and most people went out on Saturday. They were happy with the quiet of the place.

"Hey, boys, what'll it be?" asked the waitress who had served them on their very first evening in Georgia, so long ago. They both ordered rare steak, with beer and a Coke for Ennis, since he was driving. Ennis was by now a lot more comfortable about being out in public, and people here thought they were just cousins and business partners; there was nothing suspicious about going out for a bite to eat together.

"So," said Jack as they waited. "Whaddaya got planned fer tonight?" He had a sly grin on his face that always seemed to appear there whenever they talked about sex.

Ennis kept his face impassive. "You'll hafta wait an' see."

Jack wasn't giving up. "Remember on Valentines'? When ya tied me up? That was fun."

"Sure was. But I got somethin' else in mind."

"Hmm...well, since it's the anniversary of our first night together, whaddaya say we recreate that night? Know what I mean?" He wagged his eyebrows suggestively.

"Jack..." Ennis looked quickly around and briefly grasped Jack's hand. "Stop, okay? I got somethin' in mind, somethin' I know you'll like, but you gotta trust me on this, okay? I got it under control. Okay, darlin'?" he finished softly, hoping Jack wouldn't think he was pissing him off, which he wasn't.

Jack looked down at their hands. "Sorry, Ennis..." he whispered. "It's just...I'm just so happy an' I got to thinkin' 'bout how it's been a year an' everythin'. I'm just so goddamned happy I feel like I wanna do everythin'. Sorry if I'm bein' pushy."

"Jack, lookit me." Jack looked up. "S'okay, darlin'. I know how ya feel. I'm real happy too, you know I am. But...I don't wanna go doin' everythin' we do in one night. I wanted tonight to be...romantic, ya know? An' I got in mind what I wanna do, so..."

Jack nodded and took a deep breath, calming himself. "Okay, bud. I got it. It's okay. Yer right, this is supposed to be romantic." He smiled. "Love ya, Ennis."

"Love ya too." Ennis took his hand away just as the waitress returned with their meals. The owner of the restaurant had placed a big beef and dairy order for the end of October, once calving was over and done with. Many others were now starting to place orders. Jack and Becky had warned them that since it would be their first calving, they had no idea how the calves would turn out, if they would give quality meat. But word had spread about where their bull had come from, and the ranch in question was not cheap to buy from, and were unwittingly sending their potential customers and even previous customers to a little ranch down near Sandersville by name of Brokeback.

Ennis and Jack returned around seven. The house was quiet; Becky had clearly gone to bed early. Jack took their hats and hung them up by the door, before slipping his arms around Ennis's waist and pulling him close, a soft smile on his face.

"Alone at last," Ennis whispered. He leaned in and nuzzled his nose against Jack's, whose lips were already seeking his, before finally letting them meet.

They kissed deeply and Ennis's tongue was just saying hello to Jack's when Jack called out, "Becky?" into his mouth.

Ennis pulled back and gave Jack a funny look. "Should I be worried that yer callin' yer cousin's name while kissin' me?"

Jack gave a soft giggle, the sound warming Ennis's heart. "Just checkin', cowboy." A quick search told them that Becky was indeed in bed, and Jack was filled with a desire to get into their own bed, pronto. He took Ennis's hand and led him upstairs. He stopped, sniffing. "What's that smell?"

Ennis smiled. He knew exactly what the smell was. He'd asked Becky to do this while they were out. She had seemed concerned about intruding on their privacy like that, but he'd told her it was fine. And she had been pleased to be able to give them a little present.

They went into their room and Jack stopped, speechless. All around the room, on every surface, were sandalwood candles, the flickering glow casting strange and wonderful shadows on the walls.

"Oh my..." His hands were on his mouth as he looked around. It was such a romantic setting and he couldn't believe his eyes.

Ennis placed his hands on Jack's waist from behind. "You like it, rodeo? I got Becky to do this while we was out."

"Oh Ennis..." He turned and kissed him warmly. "Thank you..."

They undressed each other slowly, carefully watching each others' skin in the candlelight, running hands over bare chests, pressing wet kisses to necks and lips and faces, and then Ennis took Jack's hand and led him around to his side of the bed. He got on first, not letting go of Jack's hand, and then scooted over to allow Jack to get on. They stretched out on top of the covers, kissing again.

Ennis laid a hand on Jack's hip. Jack ran a finger down his face. "Got us somethin' fer tonight."


Ennis nodded, and then reached back to his nightstand, where a tube of lubricant lay next to a bottle of massage oil, almond scented.

"Is that what I think it is?" asked Jack with a smile in his voice.

"Sure is," Ennis whispered. "Turn over." Jack did so without hesitation, only pausing to give Ennis a quick kiss. He bunched up his pillows and laid his head on his folded arms on top of them. They hadn't had the opportunity to give each other massages for a while, but Jack sure was looking forward to it.

Ennis got some of the oil on his hands and straddled Jack, trying not to get distracted by Jack's perfect ass. He slowly ran his hands over Jack's back, hearing as Jack sighed with contentment. The motion was slow and sensuous and there was silence between them. Ennis massaged everywhere he could get to, including the backs of Jack's arms and yes, his upper thighs and ass. Jack bucked into the mattress when Ennis got to his ass. Ennis then instructed him to turn back over and repeated the motion over Jack's chest, eyes never breaking contact with Jack's, caressing his hands and kissing them. He then moved down the bed to lavish some attention on Jack's lower legs and feet, deliberately not touching the place between Jack's legs, which was starting to harden.

Jack smiled when Ennis was finished. "Your turn, cowboy," he murmured. Ennis got into position as Jack prepared his hands. He repeated Ennis's actions and slowly began his own massage, making it soft yet firm; the way he suspected Ennis would like it. Ennis's soft moans were enough to indicate that he did. He then turned Ennis over and caressed all his front, then focusing on the feet, loving how intimate and romantic this all was.

He crawled back up to Ennis and pressed his weight onto him, kissing him gently as Ennis lifted his arms up around his neck.

"Who's doin' the honours?" Jack whispered into Ennis's ear as he kissed his neck.

"I...I wanna rub, Jack. Just it like that first. Maybe later we can get to the rougher stuff."

Jack smiled into Ennis's neck. "Okay." He rocked his hips from side to side slowly. As he had once predicted, the addition of the massage oil, making their bodies smooth and slippery, intensified the whole experience for both of them. They were both sighing and whispering each others' names, along with declarations of love. Ennis's hands found Jack's and laced them together on the bed on either side of him. Jack was busy making his mark on Ennis's neck and Ennis decided that if Jack was going to brand him, he could damn well get a taste of his own medicine. He began sucking and biting softly at Jack's neck, feeling Jack moan into his own neck.

Jack sped up slightly as they continued to rub together, fire building in their groins.

"Jack, Jack Jack Jack..." Ennis whispered his name like a mantra.

"Ennis..." Jack murmured. "God, this...this is..."

"I ya Jack."

"Love ya too."

Just like their second night up on Brokeback, Ennis couldn't help but start thrusting up against Jack, who kissed his mouth enthusiastically. Within moments they were both over the edge, gasping for breath and choking out each others' names as they came together, before Jack collapsed onto Ennis's chest. He nuzzled his face, even into the sweat there, kissing it away and trying to catch his breath.

Ennis's head was spinning at the encounter. But he couldn't let himself get too distracted; he had something to do tonight and he was going to get through it, make Jack happy and make him remember this night forever.

A little later, after a more enthusiastic session, they were lying on their backs as they had earlier that afternoon, Jack's head tucked into the crook of Ennis's arm, which was around his shoulders. Their left arms were both raised so that their elbows were resting on the bed, and they were watching their fingers play slowly, caressing together; enjoying the comfortable silence.

Ennis took a deep breath, knowing the moment was finally upon him. It was crunch time. He licked his lower lip for a moment, and then cleared his throat. "Can I ask you somethin'?" he murmured.


"Well...somethin' I wanna talk to ya about, anyway."

"Okay, shoot." Jack felt happy and relaxed and warm in Ennis's embrace.

"I, uh..." He cleared his throat nervously. His proposal to Alma hadn't been this nerve-wracking, the reason for which was not lost upon him.

He was trying to get his throat to work, and his silence made Jack frown in concern. He held Ennis's hand and craned his head to look at him.

"Ennis? What's wrong?"

Ennis sighed. "Nothin's wrong, that's the thing." Jack looked puzzled. "Sit up a minute, Jack." Jack did so and turned to look at him properly, looking confused. Ennis turned so that his entire body was facing Jack. "Come here," he whispered, looking into the blue eyes. Jack scooted to him and Ennis let his legs rest, drawn up slightly, on either side of Jack, who let his own legs lie flat on either side of Ennis.

Ennis took a deep breath and held Jack's hands in his own. "Listen, gotta know, I'm real happy. Here with you. This place, you an' me together. An' now Becky an' her baby."

Jack smiled at him and wondered what was coming.

"It's like I said when you was in hospital last year, that when I was growin' up, I didn't have nothin', so thought I didn't deserve nothin'. An' remember when I said that...since bein' with you, I been thinkin' that maybe I do deserve somethin' outta life after all?"

"Yeah. I remember that. I know what you said, even though I was unconscious. I heard yer voice. An' do deserve somethin', Ennis. Somethin' real good. We got it now, right?"

Ennis nodded. "We sure do, bud. know I'm happy with you. But...for a while I been thinkin'...there's somethin' missin'."

Jack lowered his head. "Yeah...the fact we can't get married." It was a harsh truth, that they couldn't do this one thing.

Ennis smiled to himself. "Well...just...close yer eyes, darlin'. I got a surprise fer ya."

Jack gave him a suspicious look and closed his eyes. The image made him look like an angel in Ennis's eyes. He reached back over to his nightstand and took out the two ring boxes, placing his own to his side and holding Jack's.

"Open yer eyes."

Jack did and looked down, brow furrowing with confusion as he saw the box. "What's that?"

Ennis, keeping his eyes locked on Jack's face for his reaction, opened the box to reveal the silver ring. He saw Jack's eyes widen and a hand go to his mouth as he quickly realised what was going on. He looked up. "Ennis?" he croaked.

"Well...I know we can't get married all legal, like. But...I was thinkin'..." He took his own ring box and opened it to reveal his matching ring.

"Oh my God," Jack whispered, his face showing joy and his eyes filling up. "I can't believe mean...?"

"Yeah, Jack," Ennis murmured, shaking slightly. "S'the best I can offer ya, 'til the law gets some sense." He looked down for a moment, and then mustered the courage to say the golden words. "Will ya...will ya marry me, Jack?"

Ennis had a fleeting image of tears running from blue eyes before his arms were full of a shaking Jack. "Oh God, oh god," Jack was whispering.

"Shh, shh..." He held Jack tightly while he calmed himself. Just the reaction he'd hoped for.

Jack pulled back, sniffing. His face was tear-stained and his eyes were red, hair sticking up, but to Ennis he looked beautiful.

"Whaddaya say, Jack? Will ya?"

Jack looked at the rings again, and then back up, a watery smile on his face. "You bet yer ass I will!" They both laughed, Jack in shock, Ennis in relief.

Ennis put the rings aside and laid his hands on Jack's face. He pulled him close for a sweet kiss, to which Jack happily responded. They kissed a couple of times and caressed each others' faces. Jack then picked up the box containing Ennis's ring. "You know, when I had that dream of our weddin' day, I pictured gold, but...these look better. Perfect, even. An' they're cut like rope..."

Ennis nodded. "Thought you might like it if they was cut in a way that reminded us of somethin' we know . Works fer us."

"Sure does. So, you wanna swap these, I take it?"

"Actually," said Ennis, laying a hand on Jack's arm. "I do, but not right here, an' not right now."

Jack tilted his head. "No?" Then he smiled. "I guess you got plans fer that, too?"

"Yeah. remember what happened on August 19th last year?"

Jack didn't even have to think. That was the day in Signal; the day where he'd woken up after an unexpected passionate night with Ennis, thinking that it was all over, the day Ennis would return to Alma. He'd been confused and hurt, thinking that Ennis was messing with his feelings, when in reality, he'd been waging his own war in his head. And then...those angry words tossed in the street, ending with a declaration of love and a promise to stay together.

The day that he'd dreamed about often.

"Yeah, cowboy," he said softly. "I remember."

Ennis nodded. "The day we got together. I wanna swap these then. Just feel like it's the right time."

"Okay. Where you wanna do it? Here? The hill?"

Here was the best part, in Ennis's opinion. "I uh...I'd like it if...we could...go back to Brokeback."

Damn, this just gets better by the minute. "Really?"

"Yep. Just feels right, to go back where you an' me started." Ennis took Jack's hands again, running his thumbs over them. "I wanna try an' find that last campsite again. The one with the hill." Simultaneously, their head automatically turned to look at their bedroom door, at the shirts hanging from it.

They looked back at each other, and Ennis continued. "I want us to go up there, sit on that there hill with these rings, an'...make our promises. Just feels like we should do it there," he finished in a whisper.

Jack held his face. "Sounds real good to me, sweetheart. Okay, we'll do that."

Ennis felt relieved that everything had gone to plan, and was ready for some sleep. Jack was too, judging by his yawn. Ennis put the rings back in his nightstand, after Jack had taken another look at them, a look of reverence on his face. They lay back down on their sides and Ennis spooned up behind Jack, holding him close. They whispered their love to each other before letting sleep claim them, hearts full of bliss.

When they awoke early the next morning, they spent some time lying in bed, kissing and holding each other. Jack's shock at Ennis's proposal had worn off some, and was replaced by elation. Ennis didn't think Jack would ever stop grinning. He was feeling pretty good himself. Last night had gone perfectly.

Ennis went downstairs first to make breakfast, and Jack slipped up behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist. Ennis had to smile when Jack started humming the Wedding March in his ear.

"Know what I was just thinkin' 'bout?" mumbled Jack, head buried in Ennis's neck.


" asked me to marry you last night. I said yes, but the weddin' ain't 'til August."


"You know what we are, doncha cowboy?"


Jack pressed a kiss to the back of Ennis's neck. "We're engaged, cowboy," he murmured softly.

Ennis let the words sink in, realising their truth. There really was no other word for it. This engagement felt nothing like his engagement to Alma, thankfully. Truth be told, he hadn't been particularly looking forward to his wedding. But now...he couldn't wait. He kind of liked the feeling of being engaged to Jack.

"Huh...guess we are, rodeo."

Jack looked at him, looking around at his face. "You alright with me sayin' that? I know it ain't legal an' it's gotta be strange fer ya since I'm a guy an' all, but..."

Ennis turned himself in Jack's arms, his honey-coloured pools gazing into the sky-blue ones. "It's fine, darlin'. Yeah it's strange, but...feels a lot better than my last engagement. Feels right." He leaned in and kissed Jack deeply, neither of them hearing Becky padding into the room.

"Get a room, guys," she said, smirking as she went into the fridge. They broke apart by the lips but still held on. Jack fixed her with a knowing smile. "You knew what he was plannin' didn't ya? You did the candles, you musta known about the rings."

She blushed. "Yeah. Ennis asked me to help him out. Rick's sister is a silversmith; she made them."

"Well, she did a good job. Thanks, Becky."

"Yer welcome. You both got hickeys, by the way." She turned and went to sit down, knowing that they were both bright red and trying to cover their necks.

Breakfast conversation included some ranch business, as usual. Things were going really well right now and they were looking forward to calving. But there was some tension; their hand Pete seemed to be on a short fuse these days, for whatever reason. Especially around Michael, but they were doing their best to keep them apart as much as they could, and they'd asked all of their other hands and Dave to keep an eye on them.

Becky couldn't help but notice a change in them both. She figured it had a lot to do with last night. Ennis had never hesitated to touch Jack in her presence anyway, but now he seemed even more affectionate than ever. Right now he was holding Jack's hand at the table, and Jack had made no comment about eating one-handed. When they'd cleared up and gone outside, Ennis had held the door open for Jack. He was behaving in exactly the kind of way she would expect someone to behave towards their fiancé, which was what they were, really.

Ennis left Jack outside the office, reluctantly, with more than a few parting kisses, and went to check in with the hands. Jack had also noticed the shift in Ennis's behaviour, almost as if he were courting Jack, being sweet and considerate, even more than usual. He just couldn't get over the events of the previous night. Ennis had actually proposed to him. Okay, so it wasn't legal, but it had come from the heart. Ennis had proposed to Alma because he knew it had been expected of him. But when it came down to it, Ennis was under no real obligation to propose to him, since it wasn't yet recognised. That, to him, made last night even more special. He hadn't done it because he'd felt like he had to, he'd done it because he'd wanted to. That meant a lot to Jack. And the rings were beautiful. And Ennis's plans for them to go back to Brokeback could only be described as perfect. He wished that the next couple of months would pass quickly.

About an hour later, Ennis came into the office, a smile on his face. He now had Jack pressed up against the door, kissing him deeply and massaging his ass as Jack buried his fingers in Ennis's hair. The sound of heavy breathing filled the room and Ennis's hand was soon down Jack's jeans, fondling him and making him moan. Jack was soon bent over the desk and Ennis was sliding into him and making him pound his fists as he groaned.

"God...Jack, my Jack..."

"Yeah, yours Ennis, always..."

Ennis thrust deep again and again, pushing up Jack's shirt and leaving a trail of kisses down his back. He shuddered and came deep inside Jack, who then spilled into his hand. Jack's legs were still like jelly so Ennis helped him to stand up straight, wrapping him up and holding him close.

" angel..." Ennis was whispering, hands running up and down Jack's back.

Jack gulped with the intensity of his feelings upon hearing the endearment. So Ennis thinks of me as his angel. He's got no idea that he's my angel. But Jack knew that last night had spoken volumes about their feelings for each other, especially Ennis. He was still convinced that he wasn't as good as Jack at expressing how he felt, but Jack knew he'd come a long way since Brokeback, and told him so frequently. His words had woven their magic last night, for sure. Those words had warmed Jack's heart and he knew that it just one of many memories that he would always remember and cherish. They'd had some good times together, and Jack knew that there were many more to come.

After they'd finished and cleaned themselves up, they decided that it would be a good idea to call their relatives back in Wyoming, and let them know what was going on. Jack remained in the office to call his mother while Ennis went up to the house to call Cecilia and possibly K.E., if he would hear about his younger brother proposing to another man. K.E. was a lot better about their relationship now than he used to be, but it was still a lot to take in.

Jack dialled his mother's number and waited, nervously drumming his fingers on the desk.


"Mama, it's me."

"Jack! Hey sweetheart, how are you?"

"I'm...I'm great, mama." His throat was closing up and he was choking out the words.

"Jack, are you okay?"

"Uh-huh. I got some great news."

"Really? What?"

"Ennis, he...he asked me marry him, mama. Said the words an' everythin'!"

"Oh, Jack, that's wonderful! I bet yer over the moon."

"Well...we know it ain't legal, but..."

"That's alright. You know he truly meant it then. You'll be married in your hearts, where all married couples should be."

"Yeah, mama. I love him so much. He...he gave me a ring, ya know. Silver, cut like rope."

"Oh...that sounds so sweet. I can't wait to see it. So what are yer plans?"

" August, it'll be a year since we got together for real, so we're gonna do it then. Gonna go back up to Brokeback an' make our promises there." He could hardly believe the words himself.

"That's wonderful, Jack. I'm so happy for you. Where's Ennis? I wanna thank him for makin' you so happy."

Jack smiled. "He's up at the house, callin' his brother an' sister. I'm in the office. But I'll be sure to tell him."

"Okay, Jack. I'd better go. Speak to you soon, son."

"Yep, love ya ma."


Jack hung up and ran his hands over his face. He'd thought that he couldn't possibly get any happier, but last night had proved him wrong.

Up at the house, Ennis was just finishing speaking to Cecilia. She'd been thrilled by his news and said she couldn't wait to see him and Jack. He suggested that when the pair of them went up to Wyoming, perhaps they could stop in on her, K.E. and Rose. If not, they would be seeing them at Thanksgiving. He'd asked her how Tom and the children were doing, and she replied that they were all fine, and offered to give Becky some pregnancy tips sometime. He asked her to tell Tom that Adam and Pete had been by and that they were both fine. Ennis liked this; swapping family news and asking after family members. He'd thought of himself as something as a lone wolf after having to fend for himself once his brother and sister were married, but he liked the feeling of being part of a family unit; the combined unit of his and Jack's families.

He hung up and waited a moment before dialling his brother's number. Despite K.E.'s apparent acceptance of his and Jack's relationship, Ennis still felt nervous talking to him about it. He couldn't quite forget the punch K.E. had thrown him, nor the angry and bitter words he'd thrown at them both, both to their faces and over the phone. Only time and effort could heal those wounds. Ennis knew in his heart that K.E.'s initial reaction was down to the horrible memory of a corpse in an irrigation ditch, and his love for his brother was steering his efforts to make amends.

"Hello?" his brother answered.

"K.E., it's Ennis."

"Oh, hey little brother."

"Hey. How are you an' Sarah? How's she doin'?"

"Her doc says she's gonna give birth any day now. She's kinda uncomfortable, ain't much I can do for her, you know? How's Becky?" Ennis had told him and Cecilia about her, and that she was now living with them.

"She's fine. Comin' up to twelve weeks next month."

"Maybe when we come down fer Thanksgivin', Sarah can give her some advice."

"Yeah, maybe. She'd appreciate that, I think." Ennis took a breath. "Look, K.E., I got some news, 'bout me an' Jack."


"Yeah. I, um...last night, I, uh...well, let's just say I got him a ring, an'..."

"You...proposed to him?"

Ennis swallowed nervously. "Yeah. Said the words, even."

K.E. was silent for a moment. "So this Jack fella...he really loves you, huh? He really makes you happy?"

Ennis smiled. "He sure does, K.E. Real happy."

"Well, congratulations then. You got somethin' planned?"

"Sure do. We're goin' back up to Brokeback in August. Make our promises there."

"Sounds pretty great. You gonna be droppin' in while yer up here? Jack's welcome too."

"We was thinkin' on it. See you, Cecilia, an' Jack's ma too, up in Lightnin' Flat. He's callin' her right now, tellin' her."

"Right. Well...I better get goin', Ennis."

"Yeah, me too. See ya, K.E."

They hung up and Ennis too ran his hands over his face. An odd sense of calm was drifting over him. Things between him, Jack and K.E. seemed to be on the mend; bridges were being built. That was more than he could have asked for, that his two surviving family members, at least those related by blood, were accepting his new life.

Normally, they would take dinner with Bill and Mary on Fridays, but they called them over that night, telling them they had something important to tell them. Bill and Mary were happy for them and said how wonderful it was that they were making such a commitment.

Late that night, Ennis and Jack were just cooling down from some enthusiastic sex and were holding each other face to face, stroking each others' faces and drinking in the sight of each other.

Jack moved forward and kissed him softly, lips pulling at his own, and ran his fingers through Ennis's now damp curls. Ennis pulled him close and slid his hands down, not to his ass but to the small of his back, lacing his fingers together as Jack kissed him. They settled down after some whispered words in the darkness, and slept in each others' arms, dreams full of images of Brokeback Mountain and August and wedding rings and promises; the final piece of their commitment to each other falling into place.