Chapter 4

August 11th, 2009

When Jack awoke on Tuesday morning, he initially thought that his memories of last night were just a dream, but when he opened his eyes and realised that the bedroom around him was not his own, he couldn't help but smile. It was real.

He turned in the bed, but Ennis wasn't beside him. His friend's side was still warm, so he couldn't have been gone for long. "Ennis?" he called out, looking around. He thought that he could hear sounds coming from the other side of the door, perhaps in the kitchen. "Ennis, you there?"

"Coming, bud," Ennis's voice responded, and Jack sat up in time to see his friend (and now lover) push the door open wider, two mugs of steaming coffee in his hands. Jack smiled when their eyes met.

"What's this?" Jack asked as Ennis laid one mug on his nightstand before moving around to his own side. Ennis shrugged.

"Alarm went off, figured that you might want something when you wake up." He looked at Jack over the rim of his mug. Jack smiled and kissed his cheek.

"Thank you." He leaned against the headboard, sipping his coffee and then looking at the clock. "Ennis, I...I've gotta get back to my place before going to work. Have to take my meds and change into my uniform."

"I know," Ennis replied. "That's why I set the alarm earlier than normal. So that we could have some breakfast and still have enough time for me to run you over there." Jack looked at him, heart swelling from such a sweet gesture. He put his mug down and kissed Ennis full on the lips before getting up to use the bathroom.

Fifteen minutes later, the pair of them were tucking into a breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast, with more coffee and some orange juice. Jack had tried to tell Ennis that he didn't need to do so much, but Ennis seemed to want to do this for him, so he let it go.

"So...last night..." Jack started, eyeing Ennis across the table. "Are you okay?"

Ennis nodded, smiling. "Just fine, Jack. Not too sore, and...I don't regret it, if that's what you're thinking. It was great." He chewed thoughtfully. "Sure did feel good...having you inside me. And...I'll start having those tests, I promise." Jack made an affirmative sound in his throat.

"Good. We have to take care of ourselves. I mean...it could be a lot worse, I guess. Could be AIDS, like some guys have."

"Yeah..." Ennis thought for a moment. "What's the difference between the two? I never really understood it."

"Well...HIV affects your immune system. Makes it harder to fight off infections, you know? That's why we have the meds, and go to the gym and everything; to build up our immune systems." Jack thought back to what his doctor back in New York had told him. "AIDS is...something different. When someone with HIV becomes...very weak from having the virus. And if their T-cell count gets really low...it can get bad. Basically, the person gets sicker and sicker, until..." His voice trailed off. Seeing the look in Ennis's eyes, Jack was quick to reassure him. "But...people can live for a long time with HIV, and it might never progress to AIDS. Depends on how well they look after themselves while still relatively healthy. So...it's just about looking after yourself."

Ennis was nodding. "Right. Well...at least you're healthy right now."

"Yeah. But...I can't guarantee that I'll stay that way. And...that's why there's something I have to say." He cleared his throat. "Ennis...last night was wonderful. And I'd really like it if this could go somewhere. Thing is...with what I have, and what it could turn into, I can't afford to just have something casual. I'm nearing thirty, and I...I need something stable, with someone who..."

"Who'll take care of you," Ennis finished for him, knowing what Jack was saying. "Someone who won't let you down." He reached across the table, taking Jack's hand.

"I'm not asking you to make me any promises," Jack said, eyes fixed on his coffee mug. "I'd never do that. But...if you could...just tell me that you'd try..."

"I will, Jack," Ennis said softly. "I can't say for sure, right now, that there won't be a day when I can't take it anymore. I can't promise that. But...I can say that...I'll ride this thing for as long as I can. I'd like to be that guy, Jack. The one who'll look after you, and who won't let you down. I can promise to be that guy as long as we're together."

Jack's eyes were a little glassy. "Ennis...nobody ever promised to look after me before..."

"I'll be the first, then," Ennis replied, smiling a little. "It's gonna be okay, Jack." He released Jack's hand and smiled further. "Come on now, finish your breakfast so I can run you over to your place. You need to take your meds." Jack choked out a laugh and resumed eating, the intense moment passing. He appreciated the promise that Ennis could make him, and he started to believe that he could depend on his new boyfriend. Jack liked the word; it gave him a better sense of where they stood now. He knew that he could fall for Ennis hard, and he hoped that what they were creating between them would last a long time.

After breakfast, Ennis drove Jack up to Richmond Heights, to his apartment. They bid goodbye outside the building, kissing softly by the front door until Jack finally prised himself away. Ennis then left to go home and get ready for his workday. They had already planned to meet up at lunch in the coffeehouse, and both of them liked the routine they were settling into. Meeting in the middle of the day, spending time together in the evening. It felt comfortable and soothing, in a way. Jack especially appreciated having some normality in his life, knowing that he now had someone who he could lean on.


For the first time in a few days, Jack would be spending his lunch break without Ennis. His friend had managed to send him a quick text explaining that things were hectic at the vet's and he couldn't get away just yet. He'd swallowed down his disappointment and decided to spend time with Lureen instead, at least until if and when Ennis could join him.

He walked along the street to the coffeehouse, already wondering how things were going with Ennis, and he entered the warm building, the aroma of caffeine filling his nostrils. He'd always loved the smell, and he smiled to himself as he realised that the last cup of coffee he'd had was at Ennis's place. He and Ennis had actually taken a shower together before they left for his place. They hadn't had sex in there, but Ennis had turned Jack around and soaped his back for him, Jack returning the favour afterwards. They'd done a lot of kissing, too. Jack loved kissing Ennis; there was just something about how his lips felt and tasted against his that sent volts through him.

Jack was starting to realise that his feelings for Ennis were deeper now that they had slept together. It felt as if they'd crossed a threshold of some sort, and were ready to move forward. He thought about this as he took a seat at the counter. Lureen came over to him, a smile on her face. "Hey, Jack. The usual?" He nodded and she started preparing it for him.

"So," she began. "How's it going with Ennis?" Jack grinned.

"Going really well, thanks." She caught the look in his eye and tilted her head, working out what seemed so different about him.

"Oh...did you two...do it?" she asked, eyes widening. Jack's grin widened.

"Yep." She smiled; even though things would never be easy for them, she got the sense that it was the right time for both of them. She knew that Ennis would be good to Jack.

"So...how was it?"

Jack sighed. "It was...wonderful. Just...felt so right. You know? I was thinking that it might be too soon, but...when we were doing it, I...I knew that it was the right time. Felt so good to be with him like that."

Lureen smiled. "That sounds great, Jack. So how were things this morning?"

"Well, we were at his place, and he made me breakfast. Then he ran me over to my place to change and take my meds." He fiddled with the rim of his cup. "Sure was nice...having him take care of me like that." He looked up at her. "Lu, I...I told him a few things. That I can't just have a casual thing; that I need something stable. I said that I don't expect him to make any promises to me. But...he said that as long as we're together, he promises to be there for me, to be the kind of guy I need." Jack's cheeks reddened and he looked down into his coffee. "Nobody's ever said things like that to me before..."

Lureen shook his shoulder. "You deserve to hear those things, Jack. And I really think that you can trust him. He seems like someone who means everything he says. I don't think he would have said those things if he didn't mean them."

Jack nodded. "I know. I really do trust him, and...I'm falling for him, Lureen. Big time. What we did last night...I've never felt like that in my whole life. Like...I was supposed to be right there, with him." He blushed again. "Well..." Lureen smiled and left him to his own devices as she served another customer.

With just half an hour to go until the end of the lunch break, Ennis burst into the coffeehouse, looking around for Jack. He just had to see his lover before returning to work. Spying Jack at the counter, Ennis crept up to him and planted a kiss on the back of his neck. Jack jumped and looked around. His face lit up when he saw who it was. "Ennis!" He jumped off his stool and hugged Ennis tightly to him, grinning. Ennis held him close, nose in his hair. Lureen watched the reunion with a smile on her lips.

Jack pulled away and was about to kiss Ennis, but his brow furrowed when he looked at Ennis's face. "Bud, what...?" There was a set of scratches on Ennis's face, on his cheek. They weren't deep or bleeding, but still looked painful. Jack touched them gingerly. "What happened?"

"This cat was supposed to have a shot, but he was being an ornery little bastard and scratched everybody who came near him," Ennis replied, shaking his head. "They got him under control and gave him the shot while I had these checked. They're fine," he reassured Jack. "Don't even hurt anymore."

Jack sighed and very gently pressed his lips to Ennis's cheek, and then his lips. "Come and sit down." He pulled Ennis onto the stool next to him and took his hand as Ennis ordered some coffee. With the events of Ennis's morning, discussed and put aside, their thoughts turned to last night; how the other had felt, tasted, smelled, sounded and looked. Both of them could remember every detail of the night before by going through these five senses, and there was something more as well; how they had each felt in their hearts as their bodies had joined together. When they thought about each other and last night, one word in particular came to mind to describe it. But they both thought it was way too soon to even think on it properly, let alone verbalise it.

Still, as they held hands and talked, drinking their coffee one-handed, both of them knew that things would go from strength to strength as their relationship continued, and they were looking forward to the day when they could say that word. Hopefully, it wouldn't be too long before the right time hit.


On Thursday morning, Ennis and Jack were lying in Jack's bed, enjoying some quiet time before they had to get up. Ennis was on his back and Jack on his front, softly kissing Ennis's face and neck. They'd spent the night together once more; ever since their first time on Monday night, they didn't want to sleep alone in their apartments. Even if they didn't have sex, they wanted to sleep in the same bed. Last night they had made love for the second time, and Jack was feeling loose-limbed and warm now.

He was smiling as he kissed Ennis's face, enjoying the feel of Ennis's stubble on his chin. Jack pulled away and folded his arms on Ennis's chest, resting his chin on them. He watched Ennis thoughtfully.

"You know something? I really like those freckles on your face..."

Ennis raised his eyebrows. "Really? I never cared much for them. But I've always had them. Probably because of living here, where there's a lot of sun."

"And because you're blonde," Jack pointed out, nodding at the messy curls on the pillow. "They're kinda cute, you know." Ennis went red.

"No they're not..." Jack laughed a little and shuffled up, closer to Ennis's face.

"Yeah they are. Tell you what...I heard that freckles are angel kisses. How about that?" Jack said softly, kissing each cheek. Ennis tangled one hand in Jack's dark hair.

"I got an angel kissing me now," he murmured, looking up into Jack's eyes. Jack paused and looked back at him, thoroughly taken aback by what Ennis had just said. He thought his heart would melt there and then.

"Ennis..." he whispered, touching his lover's face with his hand. He swallowed. "That's...that's probably the nicest thing anybody's ever said to me. I..." His voice caught in his throat. "I don't know what to say..."

"You don't have to say anything, Jack. Come here." Ennis pulled Jack into his arms, holding him close and rubbing his back. "Meant what I just said, you know..."

"I know you did," Jack breathed into his ear, sighing. He smiled and kissed Ennis's neck. After several moments of caressing each other, Jack started to get riled up again. "Ennis?"

"Yeah?"

"I, um...I'd like to try something...if it's alright with you." He took a deep breath and pulled back to meet Ennis's eyes.

"What, Jack?"

"I...I'd like to..." He paused. "To...have my mouth...down there. You know...a blow job."

"Oh." Ennis had never had one before; he'd considered it with Alma when they'd been together, but he didn't know how she might react. So it had never happened. But here was Jack, willing and wanting to do it. "I...I've never had one of them before."

"I did, back in high school," Jack admitted. "Did it with this girl one night when I was about eighteen. It was pretty good." He smiled. "But...the thing is...I know things are different now." He reared up onto his knees. "With me doing it, I could swallow if I wanted to, since it's...well...kind of too late to worry about that, and you're clean anyway. And I keep checking; there's no cuts or sores in my mouth, so you'd be safe."

"What if you did have to use a rubber?" Ennis asked, looking doubtful. "Bet they wouldn't taste nice."

Jack grinned. "That's why they do them in flavours these days," he replied. Both of them started laughing, and Jack was soon kissing Ennis with a smile on his lips.

When they pulled apart, they were breathing heavily and hard. "Ennis...is it okay? Can I?" Jack asked, gesturing his head down. Ennis nodded, eyes on Jack's face.

"Yeah, go ahead." He gave a nervous grin, and Jack kissed him once more before straddling him and starting to move down the bed. As he moved south, he pressed wet kisses to Ennis's strong, lean chest, running his hands over the hard muscles. He'd been right in his initial impression of Ennis; he was manly and rugged and Jack found it all very arousing.

He reached his destination and settled himself, spreading Ennis's legs wider. "Just relax," he said softly, looking up into the molten brown eyes. "Gonna make it so good." Ennis nodded and his head fell back, biting his lip in anticipation. Jack nuzzled his face into the hair; blonde yet darker than that on Ennis's head. He then licked slowly up one side of Ennis's erection, which was already leaking. Jack smiled and lapped up the tiny drop, making Ennis gasp.

"Oh, God..." He grabbed the sheets in his hands, curling them in his fists. Jack grinned and returned his mouth to his task, now sucking gently on Ennis's balls in turn and running his hands over Ennis's legs. He moved one hand around and slipped it into Ennis, fingering him while sucking at him. He then took Ennis in his mouth fully, sucking hard and fast. Ennis was moaning and bucking, completely lost in what Jack was doing to him. "Jack...God..."

Jack sucked enthusiastically a few more times and moved his finger a little, and he was soon drinking down the liquid that tasted like nothing else. While Ennis was recovering, Jack crawled back up and quickly put a condom on, not wanting his come to get anywhere near Ennis; they had to keep their wits about them. Once covered, he jerked himself off until he came and then collapsed on his back. He removed the rubber and got up to dispose of it.

He came back into the bedroom and smiled at the sight of Ennis. He was smiling dozily at Jack, reaching out with one arm. "C'mere, bud." Jack crawled back onto the bed and tucked himself close to Ennis, kissing his cheek.

"You like that?" he asked, nuzzling Ennis's neck with his nose. Ennis sighed and nodded.

"Sure did. That was good." He looked over at the bedside clock. "Be time to get up soon..."

"Yeah." They felt themselves drifting off, dozing lightly until the alarm clock went off.


August 15th, 2009

Saturday finally arrived, and Jack realised that he and Ennis had officially been together for a week now. He woke up in Ennis's bed that morning and watched his lover sleep peacefully, the golden curls spread over the pillow. Ennis looked beautiful as he slept, and Jack could feel his heart swelling with everything he felt for Ennis. This wonderful man not only made him very happy, but also knew the truth about him and was still around, still wanting to be with him. Jack counted himself very lucky to have found someone like this.

When Ennis finally awoke, they took a shower together and then started making breakfast, side by side in the kitchen.

"So what are we doing today?" Ennis asked as he buttered the toast.

"Well, I was thinking, why don't we spend the day with the girls? We did say we'd all spend some time together. And I know Lureen isn't working today. Alma works nights, right?"

"Yep, and I think she's got a shift tonight. But she's free all day."

Jack nodded. "Okay. We can spend the day with them, and then you and I can do something by ourselves tonight."

Ennis smiled at him. "Sounds good." They sat down and started on their breakfast, Jack running his foot up and down Ennis's leg, smiling at him. "Don't go getting me riled up, bud."

"Why? What you gonna do? Shove everything off the table and bend me over it?" Jack asked, his eyes glittering. Ennis smiled back, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. He continued to eat, and Jack dropped his foot, sensing that something was amiss.

In truth, Ennis wasn't quite sure about what Jack had implied. Every time they'd had full sex, it had always been Jack fucking him. He loved having sex with Jack, but there was something holding him back from trying to be the one in control. Every time he thought about it, he would remember how Jack had got HIV in the first place, and he couldn't shake off the mental image of Jack being attacked. Something in his mind told him that if he tried to top Jack, then his lover would immediately remember how it had felt to be forced upon like that, and he would freak out. Ennis didn't want that to happen, so he was content with what they were already doing. But he knew that there would come a time when Jack would start to question why he wouldn't top him.

To try and cover up his discomfort, Ennis cleared his throat. "So...since we're spending time with the girls today, what are we doing tonight?" Jack raised his eyebrows, a small smile on his face. Ennis rolled his eyes. "Apart from that."

"I was thinking we'd see a movie," Jack replied. "You know, that Time Traveller's Wife movie came out yesterday, I'd like to see that."

"Alright, sounds good. I'll pay for dinner, you pay for the tickets?" Jack nodded and smiled.

They finished their breakfast and then called Alma and Lureen. Both of them were free for a day out and it was soon decided. They would head downtown for the morning, where the girls would shop, and then have lunch. After that, they would walk up to Fisherman's Wharf and spend some time by the sea. It sounded like the perfect day out, given how lovely the weather was already.

Ennis and Alma waited at their building while Jack picked up Lureen, and then they headed off. People who saw them assumed that they were two guys with their girlfriends, until the two guys started holding hands as they waited around while the girls shopped. Alma and Lureen talked about their friends while they were alone, voicing their approval of the relationship, and how relieved they were that their friends were finally happy. But both of them knew how hard things might get for them, especially if Ennis ever took Jack to meet his parents. Alma reassured Lureen that Ennis wasn't the type to give up just because he had a hurdle in front of him; he would try and work it out until he found a solution. This said, they agreed that even if Ennis's parents didn't approve of him seeing Jack, he would very likely not let it affect him; their relationship would still be solid.

The rest of the day was pleasant, and Jack soon forgot his thoughts this morning; that something had gone amiss with Ennis when he'd made his suggestion about Ennis fucking him. Maybe Ennis was just nervous about it.

When evening arrived, the girls went home and Ennis and Jack went to the theatre to catch the movie. They loaded up on popcorn, chips and drinks and found themselves some seats at the back. It was fairly busy, with the movie being brand new, but they didn't feel uncomfortable. They slowly ate their way through the food and then snuggled together to watch the rest of the movie. Nobody bothered them or looked at them funny; they were left alone, even when they exchanged a few kisses here and there. The movie was good, but the company was even better.

After the movie finished and they were leaving the theatre, Jack turned to Ennis, their hands entwined. "I had a good time today," he said softly, looking up into his lover's eyes. Ennis smiled and nodded.

"Me too." He lifted up their hands and kissed Jack's. "Been together for a week now, you know."

"I know...just flown by, hasn't it?" Jack replied. Ennis released his hand and put his arm around him as they headed outside.

"Sure has, bud. You ready to go back?"

"Yep. Your place or mine?" Jack asked him, eyes shining. Ennis considered.

"Well, we stayed at my place last night, so...what about your place?" Jack nodded.

"Okay."

Ennis didn't say so, but he preferred it when they stayed at Jack's place. He was near his medication so he could take it as soon as he woke up. Ennis didn't want to leave anything to chance where Jack's health was concerned.


They got back to Jack's place, kissing as soon as the door closed behind them. Jack pulled Ennis close, grinning into his mouth.

"Been looking forward to this all day," he said around Ennis's tongue, hands roaming down his lover's back to cup his ass. Ennis smiled.

"Don't see how," he replied between kisses. "We did it last night; don't you ever get enough? And remember this morning?"

Jack pulled away and smirked. "Can't ever get enough of you," he said in a low voice, eyes glittering. "I'm serious, Ennis...I know one thing. I won't ever get bored of this." Ennis felt his arousal grow even further as he saw Jack's bright eyes, darkened with lust, roam his body. He let out a low growl and grabbed the front of Jack's shirt, pulling him back for another searing kiss, tongue plunging into his mouth. Jack moaned and his fingers were drawn to Ennis's buttons, undoing them rapidly. Ennis was doing the same to him, but then Jack wrenched his lips away. "Mmm, wait..."

"What is it?" Ennis asked, fearful that something was wrong. Jack looked sheepish.

"I gotta use the bathroom. It'll be sort of tricky if you keep me here much longer." Ennis sighed, a smile on his face, and swatted Jack's ass.

"Alright. I can wait." Jack kissed him.

"Why don't you get on the bed and wait for me?" he murmured, eyes full of lust. Ennis nodded and they briefly parted ways, anticipation running through them both.

When Jack came out of the bathroom and entered the bedroom, Ennis was waiting for him. He was naked, lying on the covers against the headboard, with one leg raised to cover his groin from where Jack was standing. Jack paused in the doorway, smiling.

"Don't waste any time, do you?" he asked. Ennis shrugged, hand resting on his chest.

"Wanna join me?" he said softly, patting the bed beside him. Jack nodded and pulled his shirt off, throwing it to the chair in the corner. He quickly removed his jeans, sneakers and underwear, eager to get to his lover. Ennis grinned when Jack crawled onto the bed next to him, kissing his neck. They moved in close, kissing and nipping at each other's skin, and they moved down the bed so that they were lying properly.

Ennis tugged at Jack's hip, and Jack rolled on top of him, pinning him down with his warm weight. Jack buried his fingers in the blonde curls and sucked hard on Ennis's neck, hearing him moan. "Oh, Jack..."

Before meeting, neither of them knew much at all about foreplay and intimacy. They hadn't learned about it from anyone. It had just come naturally to both of them; they had soon figured out what each other liked and they wanted to make each other feel good.

Jack released Ennis's neck and kissed his lips. "What do you want, Ennis?" he breathed, eyes locking together. "Tell me what you want."

"Want you in me," he whispered, groaning as he felt Jack grinding against him. Jack nuzzled his nose.

"You got it. Front, behind or side?" he asked, kissing him lightly.

"Front," Ennis replied. "Wanna see you..." Jack nodded and rose up onto his knees. He grabbed a condom and unwrapped it with his teeth, spitting the torn off part at the corner. This simple act caused Ennis to grow even harder. Jack covered himself and then grabbed the lube. He put some on his fingers and lifted Ennis's leg.

"Come on, wrap them around my waist," he instructed. Ennis did so and Jack moved his hand around, slipping a finger in and working it around. He saw Ennis bite his lip.

"Oh..."

"Feel good?" Jack whispered. Ennis nodded and Jack inserted another finger, drawing a low moan out of him.

After a few moments, Ennis opened his eyes. "I'm ready..." Jack removed his fingers and smeared the lube over himself, making sure not to make it too slippery. He didn't want the condom sliding off. He moved closer to Ennis and started to push in, biting his lip. Ennis breathed deeply, trying to relax as he felt Jack move inside him, heading in deeper. It was a little painful, but he remembered how it felt when they got going, and this thought gave him the courage to wait it out when he felt the pain. He knew that Jack didn't like hurting him, but it was necessary it they wanted to do this, and they did.

Jack slid all the way in and began to move slowly, leaning down and capturing Ennis's lips as they rocked together. Ennis wrapped his arms around Jack's neck and pulled him close, moaning in his ear. As the pace increased, Jack nipped at Ennis's neck and pushed deeper, trying to find that special place. He knew he'd found it when he heard Ennis moan again and squeeze him with his legs. He moved faster and pushed in deeper, not letting up.

Ennis gave a yell and shot in between them, gripping Jack for dear life. The force of his orgasm triggered Jack's, and he let loose. He collapsed onto Ennis and sighed. "Mmm..."

"That was good," Ennis breathed.

"Sure was..." Jack slowly pulled out and pulled off the condom, walking out of the door and to the bathroom, disposing of it and then returning. He crawled back onto the bed and snuggled close to Ennis, kissing his cheek. "You alright?"

"I'm fine," Ennis replied, smiling over at him. He raised his hand and stroked Jack's cheek. "Come here..." They leaned in and their lips met softly, kissing a couple of times. They then got under the covers and moved in close on their sides, Ennis with his arm around Jack, and Jack with his head against Ennis's chest. Before closing their eyes, Jack kissed Ennis's cheek again and smiled.

"Night, Ennis."

Ennis smiled widely, feeling a strong emotion build up inside him as he looked into Jack's deep blue eyes. "Night, bud."