Chapter 27

February 12th, 1988

Jack was putting the finishing touches to the tent when he felt a pair of hands snake around his waist and pull him close. He grinned. "Hey, cowboy."

"Mmm..." Ennis kissed his neck and slid his hands under Jack's coat, searching for any skin he could find. He was busy slipping his hands down Jack's jeans and finding that his lover wasn't wearing any underwear. "Well, lookit what I found," he murmured, trailing his fingers over Jack's growing erection. Jack bit back a moan.

"Ennis..." he breathed, eyes sliding shut under his partner's touch. He was happy to let Ennis fondle him and just stood there. Ennis withdrew his hand and turned Jack around, smiling at him.

"Good to be back here, huh?" Jack licked his lower lip.

"You tease. Gettin' me riled up an' then changin' the subject. Yer gonna pay fer that." Ennis arched one eyebrow.

"That so?" he asked, hands on his hips. "You think you could take me?"

Jack leaned in close and kissed Ennis's neck, knowing that it would drive him mad. Ennis squirmed. "I sure do, cowboy," Jack whispered. "Gonna punish ya for that."

"Oh yeah? Go ahead if you think ya can." He was promptly tackled to the ground, Jack on top of him. They rolled around in the dirt, their hats falling off as they tried to pin each other down. It was a sharp contrast to when they'd done this at the end of their first summer on the mountain; at least this was just for fun, and wouldn't end with blood and tears.

Ennis could hear Jack laughing as they rolled around, and the sound warmed his heart; he loved to hear Jack happy like this, especially after what they'd been through lately. He let Jack pin him down and gazed up at him as they panted, the light-heartedness giving way to lust. Jack's eyes were dark with desire and he was hard as a rock, his groin pressing against Ennis's almost painfully.

"I want you," Jack breathed, hands roaming down Ennis's chest. "I wanna be in ya." Ennis nodded; he sure as hell had no thoughts of protesting to this. While he did love being inside Jack more than anything, having Jack inside him was still an incredible feeling.

"Go ahead, Jack...do it..." He was too far gone to do anything but let Jack unbuckle his jeans, lifting his hips to help as Jack pulled them down to his knees. Jack extracted the lube from his pocket and then pulled his own jeans down to his knees. When Jack had prepared himself, he moved so that Ennis could turn over onto his knees. Ennis knelt there, shivering with anticipation and felt Jack's lips on his skin.

"Just relax, cowboy...I ain't gonna hurt ya..." Ennis closed his eyes.

"I know, darlin'." He breathed as evenly as he could when he felt Jack start to push into him, willing himself to remain calm against the pain. By now, it was a lot less painful than it used to be, but still. Jack was soon all the way inside and had his hands on Ennis's hips, holding him steady.

"You ready?" he murmured, and Ennis nodded. Jack then started to slowly move inside him, pushing deeper with every thrust and changing his angle until he found what he was looking for. Ennis let out a low moan and his head dropped down, feeling Jack thrust harder and faster.

"Oh, God...Jack..." he groaned, shaking all over. Jack was kissing his back and panting as he neared the edge, finally finishing and spilling deep into his lover. Ennis tensed up and shot across the ground, groaning and still calling Jack's name.

Jack collapsed onto Ennis's back, causing him to fall to the ground. They lay there for several moments, breathing hard and sighing. Jack pulled himself out and shifted off Ennis, landing on the ground next to him. "You alright?" he breathed, looking over at his lover. Ennis turned his head to look at Jack, smiling as their eyes met.

"Sure am, darlin'. Always alright with you...ain't never bad." They rolled onto their backs and pulled up their jeans, stretching out and staring up at the sky. Jack lifted his arm and allowed Ennis to move close to him, arm across his chest. He ran his hand along Ennis's back, his eyes closed as he revelled in the feeling of being here, in this place, with this man. Nothing ever felt as good as this.

Jack's stomach started rumbling and he felt Ennis laughing against him. "Sounds like you could do with some food, rodeo." He sat up and looked down at Jack, love in his eyes. He took Jack's hand and pulled him up with him. "What you wanna eat?"

"Could eat some eggs an' bacon, I guess," Jack replied as they crossed the camp, swinging their hands. Ennis retrieved the food from the cooler and waved Jack off.

"Let me do it, darlin'." Jack nodded and stepped back, rubbing his neck. He sat down on the log and watched Ennis as he started preparing the food over the fire. His cowboy always moved gracefully when doing something like this, but he was still very manly. Jack smiled to himself as Ennis worked, happy to be back in this place with his partner; the place where it had all began, and where they had formed their everlasting bond.

When the food was ready they sat side by side on the log, their knees touching as they ate. They ended up feeding each other and laughing, Jack occasionally leaning in to steal a kiss. After they finished, they stood up and began to gather the plates.

"Tell you what," said Jack. "I'll go wash these an' then...you wanna go for a walk?" Ennis's eyes were sparkling at him in the sunlight.

"Sounds good, rodeo." Jack washed the dishes in record time and was soon back, taking Ennis's hand and leading him into the trees.


While Ennis and Jack were spending their time together on Brokeback, Lily and Ben were in town having lunch, talking about the wedding. They were due to have a rehearsal in a few days, when Ennis and Jack returned home. Lily had decided on the final version of her dress, and she was very happy with it. It was simple yet elegant, and she was looking forward to the most special day of her life.

As far as her father was concerned, she felt as if she was finally making up her mind. She had two choices; to either invite him to the wedding, or to let him give her his congratulations over the phone. When he looked into her heart, she saw what it wanted. She wanted him to attend. He hadn't been part of her childhood, so maybe he could be part of her adult life, and the lives of her children. He had done his very best to make it up to her over the last few months, and she had to admit that she liked him. And maybe they weren't having the best of conversations, but there was time for that. They had time to get to know each other properly; even just the little things that family knew about each other. She wanted to know him, and wanted him to know her.

She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn't notice Ben speaking to her. "Lily?" Her head snapped up.

"Huh? Oh, sorry. What did you say?"

"I said I wanna call my parents when we get back." He tilted his head, looking at her. "You okay? You was miles away."

She shook her head. "I'm fine. Just...now you mention it, I was thinkin' 'bout my dad." She bit her lip. "I think...I think I want him at the weddin'."

Ben looked surprised. "Really? Well...gotta admit, I wasn't sure what you were gonna decide about him. It's up to you, an' I'll support whatever you decide, you know that. You really want him there?" His hand slid across the table to cover hers, squeezing it gently. She nodded.

"I think so. I ain't quite ready to ask him yet, but...we've got time. An'...I was thinkin' of maybe invitin' my half-brothers too. I know we only met 'em once, but...they was real nice to us, an' we got on alright. We know they'd be okay around Ennis an' Jack." She shrugged. "Might be nice to have 'em there."

Ben nodded. "That sounds alright. You should call 'em soon, then. So they can get tuxes an' make the journey."

"I know." She twirled her fork a little and then put it down. "I can't eat no more. You want it?" He shook his head, so she left it and picked up her glass of juice instead, waiting for him to finish. "Anyway...hope Ennis an' Jack are enjoyin' themselves."

"I bet they are. The way they talk about that place...even if I didn't know the story behind it, I'd still know that it means a lot to 'em, just from the looks on their faces when they talk about it."

Lily smiled. "Yeah. They've been goin' back every year ever since they got married. When they come back...they look rested. Like it recharges their batteries to go there." She thought for a moment. "Come to think of it...maybe it's better that they're there now, instead of last summer. I think they need it more right now, given everythin' that's happened. They really need a break from here."

"Yeah. You think there's a place up in Tennessee that could be that for us? There was a few nice places up there, like those wildlife places."

"I guess. Failin' that, we could just find somewhere new an' make it our own Brokeback."

Ben smiled at her. "Maybe. Anyway, we gonna get outta here? How 'bout we go to the park an' take a walk?" She grinned.

"I'd love that." They split the bill, as usual, and then left, hand in hand. It was a bright sunny day and Valentine's was just around the corner. Their wedding was less than a month away and Pete Dawson was behind bars. They had a lot to be happy about at the moment, and Lily sincerely hoped that their problems were over for now. Ennis and Jack were good people, and they didn't deserve to be treated the way that gay people were. She was glad that the world was changing for them, and that people were becoming more accepting of them.

When they got back to the house about an hour later, Ben called his parents from the living room and Lily found Rose upstairs, changing the bed sheets. "Hey, Grandma."

"Oh, hey honey. You two enjoy yerselves?"

"Yeah," Lily replied, leaning against the door frame and folding her arms. "I made a decision about the weddin'."

"You did? What?" Rose asked, looking at her, wondering what she might have been thinking. She was a smart young woman.

"Well...I was thinkin'...if it's okay with Ennis an' Jack, I...I wanna invite my dad to the weddin'. He's been tryin' his best to make things up to me lately, an'...I know it ain't gonna be easy. But I wanna give him a chance. I'd like to get to know him. An'...me an' Ben are gonna have kids one day. I want them to know their grandfather." She stood up properly, looking determined. "So...it's time I did my part too, just like he is."

Rose came up to her and put her hands on Lily's shoulders. "Honey...I'm proud of you. Just a few months ago, you didn't even wanna know him. An' now yer buildin' bridges. An' just between you an' me...I think it's done Ennis an' Jack some good to see that. Helped them make peace with what their own fathers have done."

Lily smiled. "Thanks, Grandma. I reckon that the sooner we make peace with the past...the sooner we can look to the future."


February 14th, 1988

Jack stirred under the bedroll and stretched, not fully awake yet. He rubbed his eyes and looked around; Ennis wasn't in the tent, but he could hear sounds outside. Jack figured that he was up to something, so he wasn't too worried. "Ennis?" he called.

"Be right in, bud," he heard his cowboy reply, and he lay back, yawning. Within a few moments, the tent flap opened and Ennis came in, smiling. Jack smiled lazily back at him.

"There you are. I missed you, where'd you go?" Ennis lay down next to him and raised his hand to tangle in Jack's unruly hair.

"Went to get you my present. It's Valentine's, remember?" Jack's smile widened.

"Right. I'll go get mine for you..." He started to get up, but Ennis laid a hand on his chest and pushed him back down.

"It'll wait, rodeo. You ain't even properly awake yet. Just wanted to give ya mine." He reached into his pocket and extracted a small box, turning it over nervously in his hands. "Um...it's just a small thing, but I hope ya like it."

Jack touched his arm. "Ennis...you know I will. I always like things you give me." Ennis nodded and sighed.

"Alright. Here you go, then." He handed Jack the box and watched his face as it was opened. Jack's eyes lit up in the sunlight streaming through the tent opening.

"Ennis..."

"I had the idea a while back. Caught myself lookin' at the pictures on the mantelpiece an'...I wanted you to have somethin' like that. Where you could have a picture with you all the time. I know you keep one in yer wallet, but...I wanted you to have this."

Jack put his fingers into the box and pulled out a small photo key ring, staring at it. It held a picture of their household; himself, Ennis, Lily, Rose and Ben. "Oh, cowboy..."

"Turn it around," Ennis told him. Jack did so and his throat closed up. On the other side was a picture of just the two of them, arms around each other's shoulders and foreheads together, their eyes only for one another. It was one of Jack's favourite photos of them together.

Ennis saw the look of love in Jack's eyes as he looked up at him. "Ennis...this is...thank you..." He sat up and pulled Ennis into a hug, kissing his neck. "I love you, cowboy."

"Love you too, darlin'. Glad you like it." Jack drew away and grinned, pressing their lips together.

"I love it. Can I go get yours now? I want ya to have it." Ennis nodded and Jack crawled out of the bedroll, stark naked. He left the tent and Ennis was still smiling to himself over Jack's reaction. He'd only ever wanted to make Jack happy, and he loved knowing that he had done so.

Jack came back into the tent, making Ennis's groin stir when he received a full-frontal shot. There would plenty of time later for celebrating the day properly.

"Here we go," he said, sitting back down next to Ennis. "It ain't much like yours, but I think you'll like it." He handed Ennis an envelope, chewing his lip. Ennis opened it up and pulled out the card. Inside it was a gift certificate to his favourite ranching gear store up in Atlanta. It wasn't the cheapest place but he loved it, and here was a gift from Jack for him to go without worrying about the cost.

"Jack..." Tears pricked at his eyes as he looked up. Jack was smiling.

"I know you love that place, an' you always feel guilty about spendin' money in there. So...I want ya to get whatever you want. There's a hundred dollars' worth there. So use it for whatever you wanna buy." He leaned in and kissed Ennis warmly, hand on his cheek.

Ennis smiled at him. "Thanks, Jack. This is...really somethin'." He put their gifts aside and slid his arms around Jack. "D'you mind if we...?" Jack understood.

"Not at all. C'mere..." Their lips met again and they lay down, hands roaming over skin. Ennis's hand slid down to Jack's ass and squeezed, making him moan into his mouth. Jack grabbed him by the hips and pulled him on top of him. "Ennis...fuck me..." Ennis's tongue dove into his mouth and his hand fumbled around for the lube. He wasn't entirely sure where it was after last night. He found the tube while keeping his lips attached to Jack's and slicked himself up.

When he finally pulled away, he looked down into Jack's hazy eyes. "How you want it, bud?"

"Just lift my legs an' get to it," Jack breathed, his body yearning for Ennis. His legs were lifted over Ennis's shoulders and he panted as he felt Ennis push into him. "Oh..."

"Relax, darlin'...it's alright..." He slid all the way in and began to thrust eagerly, giving Jack what he was asking for. He leaned forward to kiss Jack as he moved, and Jack was bent in half but he didn't care. His entire body thrummed with desire and arousal as he felt Ennis's length inside him, taking him and loving him.

Ennis moved his mouth to Jack's neck; his favourite spot above Jack's waist, not counting his face. He increased the pace and changed the angle, looking for that special spot inside Jack that would remind them both just how much they loved each other.

Within a few moments, Jack was shooting in between them and moaning loudly, lost in his orgasm and still feeling Ennis thrust into him. Then it was over and Ennis collapsed onto his chest, sighing. "Mmm..."

"That was good, cowboy...happy Valentine's Day."

"You too, baby." Ennis rose up and kissed Jack's chest. He noticed that there was a mixture of sweat and come still on Jack, so he settled and began to clean Jack up with his tongue. Jack smiled to himself and lay back, enjoying what Ennis was doing to him and looking forward to where Ennis's mouth might end up.


Four days later, Ennis and Jack were back home, and the household were preparing for a rehearsal of the wedding. Ben's brother and Lily's friend Sarah were here, as they were the best man and maid of honour. The wedding was just over two weeks away, and they were all looking forward to it.

Lily had been right; Ennis and Jack's trip to Brokeback had done them the world of good. Whenever anybody saw them together, thinking that nobody was watching them, it became clear that they were back to normal. One of them usually had an arm wrapped around the other, and both of them looked like they were on cloud nine. Even Ennis, who had been so worried during the last few months about Pete's presence, looked a lot more relaxed. And more than once, Lily caught sight of them necking in the shadows of the barn or stables, or wherever they could find some privacy. She felt better about everything now; that everything would be okay.

She was just inside the kitchen, looking out of the window. They had a small mock set-up of the ceremony out on the lawn, and the priest was there, due to put them through their paces. He was currently talking to Ben, while Ennis and Jack were stood out on the back porch, watching. When the priest gave them the signal to begin, Jack would come inside to retrieve her, and he and Ennis would walk her down the aisle. Brian was stood by Ben, and Sarah was at the table, waiting; she would follow the three of them outside.

Out on the back porch, Jack was thinking. This was the same priest who had officiated both Lily's christening and Becky's funeral. Despite worrying that he wouldn't want anything to do with them because of their relationship, he had always been courteous to them. Even if he didn't approve of them, he wasn't the fire and brimstone type that would spit hate at them. He understood that things had been hard enough for them, and that they were just trying to find some happiness in their lives.

Just then, the priest turned and nodded to them, and they stood up straight. Jack smiled at Ennis and clapped him on the shoulder as he walked to the back door. He poked his head in.

"Hey, girls. Ready to go?" They nodded and Sarah stood up. "It's simple enough. Just a walk down the aisle. You remember what to do, Lily?" She nodded and he held out his arm for her to hold. She smiled at him and he led her outside, into the sunlight. Since Lily would be holding a bouquet of flowers, and right now was carrying a few flowers in her hand, Ennis would be on Jack's other side, and Jack would hold onto him. They were both proud to be a part of this.

Ennis and Jack smiled at each other as they linked arms and they made their way down the steps. Lily's eyes caught Ben's as he stood near the priest, and she smiled. They led her down the aisle until she was stood next to her fiancé, and they took their seats on her side. Rose was sat there, a proud smile on her face.

The priest smiled around at them all. "Alright. So when the bride and groom are standing here, the wedding march music ends, and I will begin. I will speak to the congregation at large and then I will turn to Ben."

He did so and addressed the young man. "Since it has been decided that you and Lily will recite your own vows that you have been working on, I will address you in turn so that you can repeat them. When that has been done, I will then ask you if you take each other in marriage, and hopefully you will say yes." He smiled at them and Lily grinned at Ben. "Then I will ask Brian for the rings and you can swap them. I will ask if anybody can give any lawful impediment why you should not be joined in marriage, and then I will pronounce you husband and wife. You may then kiss and that will be the end of the ceremony."

Lily looked at Ben. "I can't wait," she said, her eyes shining. Ennis and Jack had their hands clasped between them.

"Me neither, honey."

The priest cleared his throat. "With the ceremony finished, you will be asked to sign the register, as will your best man and maid of honour. Then that's pretty much it."

"Who's givin' toasts at the reception?" asked Sarah.

"Um, me, Ben, Brian an' you," Lily replied, ticking off her fingers.

"We wanna say a few words too," said Jack, indicating himself and Ennis. They had decided on it a few months ago, and had secretly been working on it between them.

Lily smiled. "That'll be fine. I'd love for you guys to speak. So then it's just the party. You guys gonna dance?" she asked with a grin. Jack smiled serenely.

"Just make sure there's plenty of champagne; I'll get Ennis up on the dance floor before the night's out." Ennis rolled his eyes but a smirk was at the corner of his mouth, and he didn't protest.

After the others went home and everybody else was busy, Ennis came up to Jack in the kitchen and slid his arms around his waist, kissing Jack's neck. "Jack?"

"Mm?"

"You know I love ya, an' I'm happy with whatever kinda marriage we've already got. You know I think of us as married, but...you ever think...they'll let us get married legally?"

Jack sighed. "Ennis...we've been over this more times than I can count..."

"I know, but...you ever think...?" Jack turned in his arms and touched his face.

"Cowboy...I love you too, an' it'd make me real happy to marry you legally. But if this is all we're ever gonna have...I'd say we're pretty lucky. Got more than most guys like us."

Ennis nodded and smiled, leaning in to kiss Jack. "Sure have, darlin'."


That night, everybody went up to bed after another long day. Ever since the two of them had moved in together, late evening had become Jack's favourite time of day, as it most often meant that he and Ennis were going to have sex of some kind. He counted himself very lucky to be in a relationship where they were always up for it and never turned each other away. Maybe it was because they were both men, or maybe it was because they loved each other. He wasn't too sure which it was, but a part of him thought it was a little of both.

Still, his thoughts switched off when they entered their bedroom and Ennis was giving him that special look that he reserved for the bedroom. Jack gulped a little as he realised what was about to happen. Ennis moved forward and took him in his arms, pressing their lips together. He kept it light, with a promise of more to come soon.

"Mmm..." Jack moaned into Ennis's mouth, feeling all of his muscles going limp - except for one. He could feel Ennis growing hard against him. He'd heard that as men got older, it took them longer to get hard, but this didn't seem to have happened to them. He knew that they were very lucky in that respect.

They pulled apart and Ennis gazed down into Jack's eyes, smoothing the hair back from his forehead and then holding Jack's face in both of his hands, the way that Jack loved. "Darlin'..." Jack's eyes were half-closed, lost in the feeling of being so close to the one who could make him feel like nothing else could. He loved it when they took things slowly, taking the time to appreciate each other and focus on their love, instead of just falling into bed straightaway.

Ennis kissed him again and his fingers started working on Jack's buttons, undoing them and pulling Jack's shirt out of his pants. He slid the shirt off Jack's shoulders, running his hands over the warm skin and muscles of Jack's back, pulling him close. Jack's fingers were shakily undoing Ennis's shirt, copying his movements and letting it fall to the floor. His hands rose to tangle in Ennis's curls and they started moving towards the bed, their mouths still glued together.

Jack sat down on the bed and helped Ennis to tug off his jeans, watching Ennis's face as his naked body was revealed. Ennis then undid his own jeans, seeing the mesmerised look on his lover's face. It humbled him to know that while he found Jack incredibly attractive, Jack felt exactly the same about him. Jack started shuffling up the bed, his eyes fixed on Ennis's as they got under the quilt and lay down together.

They stayed where they were for a few moments, just looking at each other. Eventually, Ennis moved forward with a hand to Jack's chest, coaxing him to roll onto his back. Jack did so and Ennis lay on top of him, looking down at him.

"I love you, Jack," he whispered, touching Jack's face. "So much..." Jack smiled and leaned into Ennis's hand.

"I love you too, Ennis. Always have, always will." They kissed again and Ennis reached for the lube, smearing a few fingers with it and pushing them slowly into Jack, caressing his chest with his free hand. Jack's eyes slid shut when he felt the penetration. "Ennis..." he sighed, letting Ennis take over his body.

Ennis watched him as he moved his fingers around until Jack nodded at him, his breath hitching. He coated himself with the lube and lifted Jack's legs. "You ready?"

"Yeah..." Jack wrapped his legs around Ennis's waist and waited as Ennis got into position, anticipation flooding through him. He bit his lip when he felt Ennis pushing into him, hips rising off the bed to help. He pushed back and sighed when he felt Ennis sliding in, lacing their fingers together. For a few moments, they just looked at each other.

At last, Ennis began to move, slowly thrusting into his lover and feeling Jack's heat surround him; the home he had found. He made love to Jack very slowly, wanting to draw this out as long as possible. They both knew that it would make the experience better in the long run, and things wouldn't be over as quickly. He wanted to remain inside Jack as long as he could.

He let go of Jack's hands and lay down on Jack's chest to enfold him in his arms. Jack held onto him for dear life as they moved. The slow pace was almost agonising for him, desperate for release as he was. "Ennis...oh God..."

Ennis buried his face in Jack's shoulder. "Come on, Jack...come on...come for me..." He could feel Jack trembling all over, which he knew by now was a signal that Jack was about to hit the edge. Jack was groaning and he kept on moving, picking up the pace in a way that he knew would give Jack the release he wanted.

It did the trick; Jack's muscled clenched and he shot in between them, almost crying with relief as he emptied himself. A few more thrusts and Ennis was there himself, shooting into Jack and then collapsing onto his chest. Their muscles relaxed and Ennis managed to pull himself out before falling back down. Jack smiled and wrapped his arms around his lover, pulling him close and stroking his hair.

"That was good," he said softly, hearing Ennis make an affirmative sound into his neck. He kissed the damp curls and rubbed Ennis's back. "You okay over there, cowboy?"

Ennis lifted his head; he was looking drunk on love, a dozy smile on his face. "Yeah. You?"

"I'm just fine, sweetheart." They kissed lightly and then their tired bodies caught up to them, both of their heads drooping and then finally giving in, the pair of them tangled together in their own cocoon.