Chapter 10

October 20th, 2009

Life had settled well for Ennis and Jack, and as the weeks passed they found themselves growing happier all the time. They had another weekend boat trip out on the water together, watching the sun set and relaxing on the same deckchair. They loved lounging about and enjoying some quiet time together. After their recent drama with Ennis's parents, they felt as if they deserved to have some time like this. Jack's cold had passed after a few days, and Ennis stopped worrying so much now that he knew Jack was okay.

As time passed, they began to learn more and more about each other. They both had a liking for sitcoms and action movies, liked the same kind of music and both had an insatiable taste for fried chicken when the mood struck them. They enjoyed staying up late at night and eating fast food while watching TV, especially noodles. One of them would take a strand and put one end in their mouth, the other one taking the other end. They would then move forward, eating the strand until their lips met. It didn't matter how old they were; they enjoyed the giddiness of love that run through them. Jack sometimes felt like a teenager in love when he and Ennis were together, and knew that Ennis felt the same from some of the things they did.

Despite how happy they were, there was one thing annoying Jack. Matters in the bedroom hadn't changed much, and Ennis still hadn't been on top. Whenever they had actual sex, it was always Jack doing the fucking. While he knew that it felt pretty damn good, and that Ennis enjoyed it, Jack couldn't help but feel frustrated that Ennis wouldn't return the favour. He wanted to know how it might feel to have Ennis inside him, and he had a feeling he would like it. His only experience with penetration wasn't exactly something he cared to remember, if he could help it.

During his lunch break, and knowing that Ennis would still be at work for a little while, Jack entered the coffeehouse, looking for Lureen, and found her wiping down tables. "Hey, Lu."

"Hey," she replied, smiling. "You want a coffee? I was just about to take a break..." He nodded and she got him a drink, getting herself one and sitting down with him. "So...what's on your mind? You look like you wanna talk about something."

Jack chewed his lip. "There is something bothering me, but...I don't know if you wanna hear about it.'s and Ennis. You"

Her eyebrows lifted. "Oh...well, if you wanna tell me, it's okay. But I won't push if you don't."

"I need to talk to someone, Lu." He sighed. "Thing is...with us, it's always on top," he admitted, eyes lowered. "I mean...that doesn't make him less of a man," he added quickly, glancing up. She nodded.

"Of course not...just means he trusts you," she agreed. "So...he's never...?"

"No. At first I thought that maybe he was too nervous about it, and was happy to let me take over. And especially with how I got HIV in the first place...probably scared him. But now...I don't know. We've been together nearly three months, and he still hasn't..." Jack cleared his throat. "Every time I try to coax things that get him to do it...he either rolls on his back and pulls me over him, or goes down on me..."

Lureen smirked. "You complaining? Never thought I'd meet a guy who'd complain about that." Jack gave her a withering look.

"You know what I mean, Lu. He keeps...batting me off every time I try to get him to fuck me. I love what we're already doing, and being with him is really great. I just wish we were doing everything, and that he'd do it."

They fell into silence for a few moments, both thinking. Lureen thought about what Jack must be feeling. He loved Ennis, and she knew from her own experiences with love that he wanted to share everything with Ennis; to have them completely be a part of each other. It must be very frustrating to have this one thing missing from their relationship, like a part of a jigsaw that you just couldn't find no matter how hard you tried to.

She sighed and placed her hand over his. "Jack...I think you have to talk to him about this. For all you know, he could be scared for you. Maybe he just doesn't want you to...I don't know, freak out or something when he goes to do it. Maybe he thinks you'll remember the attack," she continued in a soft voice.

Jack looked up at her, seeing the logic in her words. "Yeah...maybe." It did make some sort of sense. Ennis cared about his well-being, making it a priority no matter what else might be going on. If he was truly worried that penetrating Jack would cause him to remember what happened, then maybe it was all he could do to reassure Ennis that this wouldn't happen. He honestly thought that it wouldn't; his body and mind had long since recovered, save for the flashbacks and nausea on the anniversary. He loved and trusted Ennis enough to know that he would never hurt him.

He sighed. "Guess I do have to talk to him," he mused, running his finger along the rim of his mug. "Maybe he is just scared."

"And you'll have to let him know how it is," she finished, nodding. "Anyway...I should get back to work." She kissed his cheek and stood up. "Let me know how it goes, okay?" He nodded and she left him to his thoughts. The whole thing made him think on a larger scale. As much as he loved Ennis, he knew that their relationship wouldn't work if they didn't talk about things, especially what was troubling them. He was determined to keep this going, because Ennis made him a lot happier than he'd ever thought he could be. So he would simply have to bite the bullet and ask him what was going on.

Jack spent the next couple of days thinking about his conversation with Lureen. It did make sense that Ennis might be scared of penetrating him, thinking that it would make Jack remember the attack. While he appreciated Ennis's tactfulness, Jack couldn't help but be a little pissed off that Ennis hadn't even asked him about it.

He tried to send Ennis signals that it was okay for him to be on top, but didn't have much luck. He decided that enough was enough when, one night, he lay on his back with his legs spread wide, and Ennis had simply sucked him off, leaving him both satisfied and frustrated.

On Friday morning, as they were eating breakfast, Jack decided to go ahead and ask. "Ennis...we have to talk about something."

Ennis froze. The words that nobody wants to hear from the person they're seeing. He sure as hell hoped that Jack wasn't breaking up with him. Ennis cared about him so much; when Jack had been ill, he'd managed to wrangle that day and the next off, as it was just before the weekend. He'd stayed by Jack's side for four days while he recovered.

"Um...okay. What's up?" he asked nervously. Jack sighed.

"You know I love you, and that I love being with you. But...our sex life...there's just one thing missing."

Ennis's heart sank. Should've seen this one coming. "Yeah?"

Jack looked at him, deciding to just be blunt. "Ennis...haven't you noticed that it's always me on top? That you've never...?"

"Uh huh..." A quiet admission, but Jack sensed that it might have been on Ennis's mind just as much as his. He gently placed his hand over Ennis's.

"What's going on?" he asked softly. "It's not right for it to be all one-sided like this; you have needs, too. I know you do. And...I feel selfish, being on top all the time. I don't exactly like feeling that way." Jack looked imploringly into Ennis's eyes, hoping for a response. "You gonna tell me?" He chewed his lip. "Is're scared that if I...take it up the ass, I'll feel like less of a man or something? Do you feel that way when I'm fucking you?"

Ennis shook his head. "No, that's not it. Feels good, having you inside me like that. Never felt like less of a man." He took a deep breath. "Jack, I..."

"What?" he asked, squeezing Ennis's fingers. "Tell me..."

"I..." His throat worked and he tore his eyes away from Jack, who sighed.

"It's about what happened, isn't it?" he said quietly, and he saw Ennis nod. "I kind of figured it out. You're scared that...if you try to do it, I'll get flashbacks or something and panic, right?"

"Yeah..." Ennis felt his chin being lifted until he was looking into those deep, soul-searching eyes.

"Look at me, Ennis..." Jack murmured, keeping him still. "That's not going to happen. I promise. I know I get flashbacks on the anniversary of the attack, but that's it. Most of the time, I'm okay."

"I...I'm scared of hurting you, Jack," Ennis admitted, looking fearful. "Keep thinking that...if I do it, and you get scared, we'll break up or something because you can't stand to be near me..."

"Baby..." Jack cupped his cheeks. "That'll never happen. I swear to you,'ll be fine. I want you to do it...I want to feel you inside me." He kept their eyes fixed together. "I trust you, Ennis. I know that you'd never hurt me. I love you so much, and I don't want this to be a...a black spot on our relationship. We have to talk about these things and fix them as soon as we can."

They stared at each other for a few moments, and Ennis spoke hesitantly. "You really wouldn't get scared if I...?" Jack shook his head.

"No, because you know what? We'd do it with me on my back and you leaning over me. That way...I know it's you. We might never get to a point where I'll let you take me from behind,'s a little too close to what happened. But I think it'd be fine if I could see you, and if you'd kiss me. Tell me that everything's alright so that I can hear your voice..." He smiled. "What do you say?"

Ennis looked into his eyes and swallowed. If Jack was so certain that everything would be okay, there might be a chance that he could do it. The more he thought about it and looked into those eyes, the more he believed that it would be alright.

"I wanna do it, Jack," he admitted. "I really do...I'm just scared for you..."

"You don't have to be," Jack told him firmly. "We'll figure it out together, alright?" Ennis nodded.

"How about tonight?" he asked unexpectedly. "Since we're talking about it..." Jack grinned.

"Sounds great. It's Friday; you wanna go out tonight?"

"Sure. Dinner and a movie?"

"Just what I had in mind." They cleared away the breakfast dishes and made sure they had everything they needed, Ennis making sure that Jack had taken his meds. Jack came up to Ennis from behind and wrapped his arms around him, kissing the back of his neck. "I love you..."

Ennis let his eyes slide shut and covered Jack's arms with his own, enjoying the embrace. "I love you too, Jack. Sorry if I got you pissed off...I know you were trying to send me signals that you wanted it that way...just didn't know what to do."

"Doesn't matter now," Jack told him, nuzzling his ear. "We'll sort this out, I promise." They stood there for a while, enjoying the early morning sun shining through the window. Eventually they moved, heading off to work where they would try not to think about each other too much, but knowing they wouldn't be successful. Now that their plans for tonight were laid out, both of them were looking forward to what the evening and night would hold for them.

That night, Ennis and Jack went out to a movie and dinner, as planned. Ennis was relieved to hear that Jack was certain that everything would be alright. He'd wanted to be inside Jack for a while now, but had feared hurting Jack. He knew what it would do to their relationship if Jack became scared of him; they would break up and that would be that. He was terrified of losing Jack, so he was glad that Jack had brought it up.

When they were finished with work, they went back to their respective apartments to change and for Jack to pack an overnight bag, since he would be spending the night at Ennis's. He was looking forward to their night together.

He stood outside his apartment building, shivering a little as he waited for Ennis to pick him up. The familiar car rounded the corner and he grinned, anticipation running through him.

"Evening," he said with a grin, leaning down to look into the car. Ennis smiled and opened the door, looking over Jack appreciatively

"Come on, darlin'." Jack got in and threw his bag to the back seat, kissing Ennis's cheek.

"Looking forward to tonight, bud?" he asked, and Ennis took his hand, playing with Jack's fingers.

"Sure am. Nervous, though." Jack nodded.

"I know. But just remember, Ennis...I love you and trust you completely. It'll be okay." He sighed, smiling. "Right...we ready to go?" Ennis nodded and put the car into gear, heading for downtown. They were headed for their favourite Italian place, Ennis wanting this night to be romantic.

At the restaurant, they ate pasta and breadsticks, watching the other patrons with interest and talking. Music was being played in a corner and the lights were a little dim, casting a romantic glow over them. Jack smiled at Ennis as they ate, and felt his heart soar with love as he looked at his lover. He wasn't really mad at Ennis for always taking things in a different direction whenever he'd tried to take them the way he wanted. Ennis had only been thinking of his well-being, as usual, and Jack couldn't really fault him for that.

As they were eating, a thought occurred to Jack. "Hey, bud?"


"I was thinking...what are we doing for Thanksgiving? It's only a month away..."

Ennis chewed thoughtfully. "Don't know. I normally go back up to my parents' place, but I don't think that'll happen this year. What about you?"

"I've always been on my own," Jack sighed, thinking about the last five years he'd spent alone. "Always had turkey sandwiches and red wine. Sitting on the sofa watching the football." He shook his head and Ennis took his hand.

"Darlin' don't have to do that this year. We could have us a proper dinner together. Or...maybe even go to my uncle's place in Wyoming; my aunt makes a great Thanksgiving dinner."

Jack smiled. "You think it'd be okay?" he asked. Ennis shrugged.

"Don't see why not. I've never heard them say anything bad about gay people; they know I'm gay."

"I mean about the you-know-what," Jack replied. Ennis licked his lower lip, unsure of what his aunt and uncle's reaction might be; he hoped that it wouldn't be like his parents'.

"I'd have to ask them. I don't want another scene like at my parents' place. So if I call them, I'd have to tell them right then."

Jack nodded. "Alright. How are you related, anyway? Whose brother is he?"

"My dad's. But he's not like him. A lot calmer about things. All I can do is ask him." He looked into Jack's eyes. "But if he doesn't like you coming over there with me, we'll have dinner here. Maybe invite the girls, too, if they don't have any other plans. Whatever you want, darlin'." Jack smiled.

"That sounds great, Ennis. can ask your uncle. But if he says no, then we'll just do Thanksgiving here." This decided, they returned to their food and started talking about what they might do over the weekend. There was a soccer game on TV on Sunday that Jack wanted to see, so that was one day sorted.

As for Saturday, Jack was hoping they would have a late morning following tonight; maybe they could lie in bed for a while and talk until it was time to make breakfast. Jack liked lying in bed with Ennis and talking. It showed that they weren't just lovers; they were good friends, too. Lureen would always have a place in his heart as the person who had always looked after him during the first few years after the attack, but Ennis was without a doubt his best friend now. He meant everything to Jack.

After dinner, they went to the movie theatre and settled at the back. Their attention was on the movie for a while until they grew bored with it, choosing to make out instead. Jack was still in his seat but pressed up against Ennis, tongue in his mouth and hand rubbing his leg. Ennis enjoyed the feeling very much and ran his hand up and down Jack's back.

"Mmm..." Jack purred as he finally pulled his lips away. "Love kissing you..." Ennis smiled.

"The feeling's mutual," he replied, nuzzling their noses together. The movie ended and they stretched. "You ready to go?"

"Yep. Are we, um...we still on know...?" Jack asked, looking hopeful. Ennis took a deep breath and nodded, looking at Jack apprehensively.

"Uh huh. I'm really nervous, Jack..."

"I know," Jack said softly, touching his cheek. "But it'll be okay...we'll work it out. Come on, let's get out of here." They stood up and headed out into the lobby, hand in hand.

They walked down the street towards the parking lot, kissing in the shadows of buildings. Jack felt Ennis up a few more times before they got to the car, eventually getting there and heading back to Ennis's place, looking forward to their night together.

They arrived back at Ennis's place and were strangely silent as they walked in. It felt as though they were working towards breaking down the final barrier in their relationship, and both were contemplating how it would be done.

Ennis got them both a glass of wine and they sat down on the sofa, half-facing each other. Jack looked very tantalising, with his wine-stained lips and glowing skin, and Ennis couldn't help but feel aroused by the very sight. He put his glass down and gave Jack the familiar look. Jack understood immediately and put his own glass down, licking his lower lip. They moved closer and kissed, lips pressing softly together. It almost felt as though this was their first time ever, the way they were silent and taking things slowly.

A hand came up to tangle in Ennis's curls and he moaned softly, pressing closer to Jack. They kissed for several long moments and then broke away.

"You wanna?" Jack whispered, trailing his fingers down Ennis's chest to his groin. Ennis swallowed.

"Yeah..." Jack took his hand and led him over to the bedroom. The door closed behind them and they kissed again, Jack cupping Ennis's face as Ennis undressed them both, throwing shirts to a random corner and kicking off shoes. He manoeuvred Jack until his legs hit the bed, and he sat down. They removed their jeans while never breaking eye contact, images of what was to come flashing before their eyes.

When they were naked, Ennis straddled Jack and they crawled up the bed, kissing once more. They got to the pillows and Jack settled back, staring up into Ennis's eyes. He spread his legs, hoping that Ennis would do it this time.

"All yours," he breathed, hands back in Ennis's curls. Ennis swallowed and kissed him desperately, willing his heart rate to slow down to normal. Jack passed him a condom and the lubricant, and he reared up onto his knees, remembering the motions that Jack went through when it was him doing this. He got himself prepared and made to put some lube on his fingers, but Jack stopped him. "You don't need to do that, it's fine."

Ennis's brow furrowed. "But...I thought you said it was to relax the muscles back there. Why...?" Jack's eyes lowered.

"Because I'm not exactly a virgin," he reminded Ennis in a low voice, and Ennis could have kicked himself.

"Shit...sorry, bud. Are you okay?" Jack nodded, the dark moment passing.

"I'm fine. Just go ahead."

"Alright..." Ennis pulled Jack's legs up and around his waist, heart hammering. He moved as close to Jack as he could get, and with encouragement flowing from Jack's eyes, started to push. Jack bit his lip, reminding himself that it was Ennis, who loved him and cared about him. Being able to see Ennis certainly helped, and any bad memories that were floating around his brain at the feeling of being penetrated were pushed to the back, almost as if Ennis himself was pushing them away.

When Ennis was fully inside him, he panted a little and looked down into Jack's eyes. "You alright?" he asked, full of concern for the man beneath him. Jack was warm and welcoming, and the feeling was incredible.

Jack nodded, smiling. He felt complete at long last, as if they truly had been meant to end up together. This was where they were supposed to be. "I'm fine, baby..." His arms came up around Ennis's neck and pulled him down so that their chests were pressed together. Ennis began to slowly move into Jack, nervously at first as he explored this new territory. Jack could feel that Ennis was getting used to what he'd found, and the thrusts that he made as a result were making his head spin. "Oh...God..."

"Feel good?" Ennis murmured, nuzzling Jack's neck and finding his confidence, putting all his weight on his knees and thrusting properly, in and out as Jack moaned an affirmative response.

"Fuck me," Jack breathed into his ear, eyes screwed shut with pleasure as he felt unnameable sensations rippling through him, unable to think clearly. "Oh God, Ennis..."

"Love you," Ennis choked out, almost blinded with the pleasure he felt at the tightness around him and how Jack's muscles were moving inside him. It felt like nothing else he'd ever experienced, not even with a girl. Remembering that he was supposed to be looking for the prostate, he changed his angle, eliciting another moan from Jack.

"Oh my God!" he groaned when Ennis found it. He'd never been touched there before, and he felt as if his head was about to split open (which head, he wasn't sure). "Ennis!"

Ennis planted his lips on Jack's, searching for his tongue and drawing it to his. He pushed in deeper and faster, and could feel Jack shaking all over. A few more thrusts and he felt Jack shoot in between them, warm and sticky. He groaned into Jack's neck and felt himself cross the finish line, collapsing onto Jack and breathing heavily.

They laid there for several moments, unable to speak. Without a doubt, that had been one of their best times, and Ennis was proud of his achievement in finally having the confidence to do it. Jack was thoroughly pleased with the results. They eventually moved, Ennis removing the rubber and cleaning them both up before they crawled under the quilt. Jack moved into his arms and sighed contentedly.

"You alright, darlin'?" Ennis asked softly, stroking his face. Jack smiled at him.

"I'm on cloud nine, bud. Thank you..." He didn't know if he would ever have the words to tell Ennis what this meant to him. Ennis had effectively erased all his fears of penetration, showing him how wonderful it could be and how he could feel. Jack would be eternally grateful for this. "Thank you so much..."

Ennis seemed to understand why Jack was thanking him, even though he wasn't capable of saying. He smiled back and kissed Jack one more time before they settled down together, sleep taking them swiftly.

October 27th, 2009

The next few days were passing slowly, and nothing much changed in their lives. Ennis always had stories from work to tell, and Jack was always happy to hear them. They were unconsciously starting to make plans; the first one on the horizon was Thanksgiving, wherever they would be spending it. Ennis hoped to be able to take Jack to his uncle's ranch, but he wasn't sure if it would be possible. He would need to talk to his uncle at some point, and tell him exactly how it was with Jack. Hopefully things would be okay.

He hadn't spoken to his parents since the disastrous dinner at their house. It had been just over three weeks, and it was the longest he'd gone without speaking to them. But it had to be like this; they had been downright nasty to Jack and even implored Ennis to break up with him. He still couldn't believe they'd been like that; he had expected them to take the news badly, with them being his parents, but he hadn't expected that. But he tried not to think about it as he went about his day, spending time with Jack in the mornings and evenings, before going to bed and then getting up the next day to do it all again.

After speaking with Jack, they had discovered that they both had two weeks off over Christmas and New Year's, beginning and ending at the same time. They hadn't yet decided what to do with this time, but Ennis knew he wanted them to do something special; maybe take a trip somewhere. That would be good.

He walked into his kitchen that evening to see Jack making them dinner, the aroma of roasted chicken filling the air. "Hey, that sure smells good. What you making?"

Jack turned and smiled at him, blushing a little when Ennis kissed his cheek. "Chicken salad. Everything's just about done; could you set the table?" Ennis nodded and did so, liking how it felt to have Jack in his kitchen, like he was part of the fixtures. Jack carved the chicken and started putting strips on their plates, licking his fingers of the grease and making appreciative sounds. Ennis couldn't help but smile. Jack brought the plates over and cleaned up as best he could. They settled into their seats, glancing at each other; for the past couple of weeks, they'd taken to lighting a candle during their dinners together. It was a small touch of romance that both liked very much. Ennis especially liked how it made Jack's eyes glow softly at him. Ever since he'd been on top for the first time, Ennis felt as if yet another corner had been turned for them, bringing them closer together than ever.

"So," he began, looking down and starting to eat. "We gonna decide what we're doing during those weeks off?" Jack shrugged.

"Don't know. Don't think we're gonna get to your parents, huh?" he replied, looking up at Ennis.

"Probably not. And we're hoping to get to my uncle's place for Thanksgiving. So...maybe we could spend Christmas and New Year's alone, just the two of us."

Jack smiled. "That sounds good." Then he grinned wickedly. "Maybe you'll find me under your tree, naked with a big red bow." Ennis went bright red.

"Jesus, Jack..." He shifted, trying to ease the ache in his crotch. "Don't do that when I'm trying to eat..." Jack looked at him innocently.

"Do what? Don't know what you mean. Tell you what...I'll let you eat me something big, hard and cream-filled, just for you." Ennis shifted even more and shook his head. Jack was about to continue, when his phone rang. "It's my mom," he said, flipping it open.

"Can't believe you're gonna talk to your mother with that mouth," Ennis muttered, picking at his lettuce. Jack stuck his tongue out and put the phone to his ear.

"Hey, mom."

"Hi, sweetie. How's it going?"

"Alright. We're just having dinner. What's up?"

"Well, I was know those two weeks you have off over Christmas and New Year's?"


"Well, I was wondering if..." She left her sentence hanging, knowing that Jack would pick up on what she was asking. He looked up at Ennis, thinking. Despite his fears of being anywhere near Central Park, he thought that maybe it would be okay if Ennis was there with him. Ennis would stay by him and reassure him that it was okay; he knew that now. Ever since Ennis had topped him for the first time, Jack felt safer than he had ever been, if only in Ennis's arms. He could trust Ennis to take care of him.

"I'd like to see you, mom. Maybe...we could come over. Could you just give me a sec, so I can ask Ennis?"

"Sure." He tucked the phone under his chin.

"What do you think? New York for those two weeks we have off? Or at least one of them?"

Ennis nodded, wondering why Jack was having this change of heart so soon. "Sure, sounds good." Jack smiled and reached for his hand.

"Okay, mom. We'll come over for at least one of those weeks, maybe both if we don't have any other plans."

"That's wonderful!" she replied, and he could hear the smile in her voice. "Don't worry about your dad; I'll meet you in the city if I have to. And...Jack? Are you sure you'll be okay to be near the park?"

Jack squeezed Ennis's hand. "I'll be fine, mom. I'll have Ennis with me." The way he said it, and the way he looked into Ennis's eyes, made it sound so simple, and maybe it was. If Ennis was there with him, Jack was certain that everything would be alright. "So...I'll call you nearer the time, then."

"Sure thing, honey. Can't wait to see you. Bye."

"Bye, mom." They hung up and Jack smiled across at Ennis, who laced their fingers together. Neither of them spoke; didn't need to.