Hey guys! Here's the first chapter of my new story, hope you like it :)
June 3rd, 1975
Ennis climbed back into his truck and started rifling through his mail, hoping to find a response from Jack about their next fishing trip. He'd managed to get a whole week off next month while things were quiet at the ranch and he was looking forward to spending some time with Jack.
Sure enough, he found a postcard at the bottom of the pile, with a picture of a Texas plain on one side and Jack's familiar writing on the other. He smiled to himself and read through.
July 14th sounds great. See you soon.
They couldn't vocalise how they really felt about these trips on their postcards, for fear of being found out. Ennis had insisted that they keep it formal yet friendly, so that it wouldn't raise suspicions about two men getting together for trips. Jack hadn't minded so much; at that point he was willing to do anything to make sure Ennis came back.
Ennis put the mail on the seat and thought for a moment, looking out onto the dusty street at nothing in particular. He hadn't seen Jack since January, since he'd been so busy at the ranch, and he was missing him something fierce. Jack was in his dreams every night, tormenting him and driving him crazy with lust. He took care of himself in the bathroom whenever the pressure was particularly unbearable, but it would never be as good as the real thing.
He would've preferred to be with Jack right in the moment, perhaps inside him or rubbing against him or having Jack go down on him. If he felt brave, he might even go down on Jack now and then. He'd done it a few times, the first being during that summer of love twelve years ago. The one thing they hadn't done was Jack topping him. Ennis trusted Jack and knew that if he asked for it, Jack would be gentle and careful with him, but he just couldn't seem to pluck up the courage.
Until a few years ago, Ennis would never have even considered letting Jack take control over him like that. Up on Brokeback, he'd been so skittish of this change in their relationship anyway, and he had insisted he wasn't queer. To have Jack do that would be a step too far for him, no matter how much he loved having sex with the man.
When they'd gotten back together in 1967, the thought had crossed his mind as he'd lain on a motel bed, spent from their marathon of the past few hours. But he was a husband and father now, and it just didn't seem right that he be in that kind of position now, having Jack take control.
Then again, Jack was a husband and father too, and he didn't seem to mind so much about being the bottom whenever they had sex. Ennis figured that Jack must have had his thoughts about switching over, but had never asked, probably for fear of spooking Ennis.
"Jack fuckin' Twist," Ennis murmured to himself, thinking of his lover with affection. Jack always seemed to know how to handle him so as not to scare him, while still finding pleasure for the both of them. He'd taught Ennis to be braver when it came to lovemaking, and Ennis recalled certain things when he went into the bathroom to jerk off. One thing he would always remember was their first time face to face. It had been about a week after their first night, and they had been inside the tent, the glow from the fire illuminating their skin and dancing in Jack's hazy eyes.
"That's it," he whispered, feeling Ennis move slowly inside him. "Oh God...love watching you like this..."
"Uh huh," Ennis replied, looking down at him. It was a little strange, to be inside Jack and see his face at the same time. He could no longer deny that it was a man he was fucking up here on Brokeback, but then he realised that it wasn't just fucking. There was a feeling he was starting to get in his heart whenever they started doing something, no matter what it was. He'd first felt it during their second night together, and it was getting stronger all the time.
A part of Ennis had known at the time what that feeling was, but he would never voice the thought aloud in his head, and never out loud to Jack. He knew deep down how he truly felt about Jack, but he could never find the words to tell him.
Still, as he sat there still holding the postcard, Ennis thought that Jack might possibly already know, given how he acted whenever they were alone together. Ennis might not say much about his feelings, but Jack had somehow always known, and Ennis suspected that Jack might just feel the same about him.
That was the hardest part of not being together more often; knowing what he felt for Jack, and vice versa. Ennis longed to be with him on a full-time basis, like Jack used to talk about, but he just couldn't see how to make it work. He may not love Alma in the way he loved Jack, but he had to think of his girls. He couldn't bear to be away from them, and he hoped that Jack understood, being a father himself. But more than that, he was scared that if they got together and people found out about them, they would hurt Jack.
Now and then, he had nightmares of being back in that ditch, but when he looked at the bloody figure in the grass, he kept seeing Jack's face instead of Earl's. It had happened on one of their trips a few years ago, and it had taken Jack quite a while to calm him down again.
Ennis shook his head of his thoughts and started the truck, heading for the apartment. It would never feel quite like home to him now; that would always be wherever Jack was.
When Ennis got home, he was greeted by the familiar sound of his girls chattering away, accompanied by Alma's tired voice. He entered the small apartment to see his children sat at the table waiting for dinner, and they looked over as he came into sight.
"Daddy!" they chorused, jumping up to hug him. Ennis crouched down to hug them back, happy to see them. He loved Jack very much, but his girls were his pride and joy. If he was ever going to be with Jack, he wanted his girls to be with him. But since it wasn't likely to happen, he had to make the best of it. All he could do was hope that Jack understood.
"Hey," Alma said quietly as he entered the kitchen. She'd been very quiet lately, and he wasn't sure why. Ever since his reunion with Jack eight years ago, their marriage had deteriorated. He didn't think that Alma knew about them, but he figured that she was just annoyed at how often he was going on trips with Jack, and never with her. Ennis reasoned with himself that it was no big deal; Alma got him every day for most of the year, and the times that Jack saw him were few and far between. Ennis wished he could spend more time with Jack, but it wasn't possible right now.
"Hey. Good day?" he asked as he washed his hands. She nodded, and he glanced at her. Alma looked tired and worn, her greasy reddish-brown hair tied up loosely. Ennis could honestly say he wasn't that attracted to her, and never had been. As terrible as it was to admit this, he couldn't help it. His dreams were filled not by her, but by a man with bright blue eyes and jet-black hair, with dimples around his mouth.
"Yeah, fine." She glanced over at the mail, and saw the postcard; it was from his "fishing buddy" that he'd told her about, the man whom she'd seen him kissing right outside their home. She chewed her lip. "That from your friend?" she asked, not bothering to make her tone friendly.
"Uh, yeah. Trip next month. Goin' to the Tetons this time." Alma nodded, wondering what it was about this Jack Twist that had snatched her husband away.
"Oh. You know...you go on these trips with him a lot. I was thinkin'...maybe we could go somewhere. You, me, the girls..."
Ennis paused. As much as he loved his girls, the idea of going somewhere with Alma didn't appeal to him. Besides, he had to work extra in order to take off the week next month so he could meet Jack.
"Dunno. Gotta work a lot to make up for takin' a week off."
Alma growled inwardly. It was alright for him to take off a week whenever he wanted to meet up with his "friend", but not for him to do the same for her, his wife. This had been going on for eight years now and she was starting to get frustrated.
"Right. But you can take time off whenever he wants to meet up," she muttered, and Ennis looked at her warily.
"He works hard too, Alma. We both need a break now an' then."
"Why can't you spend time off with us?" she asked him, now facing him directly. He stood his ground, trying not to lose his temper.
"Ain't that, Alma. He...he's my best friend. Told you, we was fishin' buddies an' then he went off to rodeo an' got married. I like spendin' time with him 'cos we're friends. I'm with you an' the girls every day."
"But you're workin' most of the time," she protested. "Workin' so that we can have nicer things, but the pay ain't all that good. I wish you'd find a better job, like the electric company. You wouldn't have to work all the time then."
"Ranchin's all I know," he told her quietly, turning away from this interrogation. If he got a job like that, it would mean less time with Jack. After turning down Jack's offer of a life together, Ennis was unwilling to do anything to upset him and make him not want to meet up again. He'd already lost Jack once, and didn't want to do it again.
Alma sighed and turned back to the dinner, piling it onto plates and fuming in her mind. Ennis was willing to keep at these low-paying jobs in order to meet up with Jack Twist, and she was sick of it. Her husband was supposed to be focusing on her and their children, not on his queer lover. She watched Ennis go into the small dining room and sit down with the girls, and they started talking to him. It was clear that he loved his daughters, very much, so she didn't understand. Was it a problem with her that had driven him to Jack before they were even married? She'd always been a good Christian girl, not having intercourse until their wedding night. She knew, deep down, that Ennis had not been a virgin when they'd married. He'd sinned with that friend of his, wherever they had met. He hadn't told her the truth about his friendship with Jack before their wedding; she'd never heard Ennis even mention him in the year they'd dated before getting married. But she did know that Ennis had been different after returning from a sheepherding job in the summer before the wedding. Had that been when he'd met Jack, and not before? Had they really been fishing buddies or had Ennis lied to her, to cover up what she knew in her heart was a sordid affair with another man?
Alma didn't know for sure what the truth was, or why Ennis had been drawn away from her and to another man when he'd already proposed to her. But she knew that she would never forget that day in 1967, when she'd first seen the proof with her own eyes.
Jack sat on the sofa, watching his son as he sat in front of the TV, watching some cartoon that he liked. Bobby was looking more and more like him every day, and Jack was certain that it pissed off L.D., who still kept insisting that Bobby looked like him. The little boy was like his father in every way, and wanted to be a bull rider when he grew up, just like his daddy. Jack couldn't help but feel proud of him every time Bobby mentioned it.
When Bobby had been born, Jack had found it difficult to bond with him. For one thing, L.D. had done his best to shove Jack out of the picture now that he had a grandson, and from the way he talked it was as though Lureen had had Bobby all by herself, without any input from Jack. But as Bobby had grown older, he'd leaned more towards his father and Jack grew to love him, something which he'd never expected.
He remembered the first time he'd asked Ennis to live with him, during their reunion trip. At the time, Jack had been convinced that Bobby would be better off without him, and because they hadn't really bonded he'd thought it would be easy to just leave. But as he sat here watching his son, a part of Jack was actually glad that Ennis had turned him down. He'd managed to get to know his son and spend time with him. Jack knew he loved Ennis, but he was starting to see why Ennis was so focused on his own children.
The cartoon finished and Bobby got up, walking over to him. "Daddy, it's over. Can I have somethin' to eat?" Bobby wasn't shy about asking for food, Jack thought to himself with amusement. He nodded and got up.
"Sure can, buddy. Come on." He led Bobby into the kitchen, feeling proud when Bobby grabbed his hand. He went into the fridge while Bobby sat at the table, waiting patiently. Despite his age and brashness, Jack could see that they had done a good job instilling some manners into him. He got out the peanut butter and offered Bobby a sandwich.
While he was making it, Jack couldn't help but think of his own father. Jack could honestly say that he'd never wanted kids, for fear of turning into his father, but thankfully this hadn't happened. He loved his son and knew that Bobby adored him, and Jack felt that he'd done something right for once. He set the plate in front of Bobby and leaned against the counter, watching him.
Jack wasn't normally home at this time on a weekday, but school had cleared out for the summer and Lureen was working. They usually left Bobby with their neighbour until one of them came home, but she was ill and there was no other option. So Jack had been staying at home since the previous Friday to look after his son. He cherished these rare moments when it was just the two of them, without L.D. trying to take over or Lureen glaring at him because he was better than her with Bobby. Jack knew that Lureen loved their son, but she had never been the motherly type. She had always been there to feed him, but she couldn't really play with him. By the time Bobby was old enough to start playing, Jack had already been reunited with Ennis and had been shot down on his offer to live together. That had been the time when he'd tried to bond with his son, and Jack knew that he didn't regret making the effort.
Bobby finished his sandwich and looked up at Jack. "Daddy?"
"Yeah, bud? You all done?" Jack took the plate and put it in the sink for later. "You want anythin' else?"
"No. When you goin' fishin' again?"
Jack smiled a little. Ennis had sent a postcard suggesting that they meet up on July 14th, up at the Tetons. They'd never been up there before but he was looking forward to it, and had sent a reply just a few days ago.
"Next month, Bobby." It felt strange to Jack; here he was talking to his son, and next month he would be in a tent having sex with another man. And not just any man, but the one he truly loved. Jack felt terrible for cheating on Lureen, and knew that Ennis must feel the same about Alma, but they were in far too deep now. If it was just about sex, Jack might have been able to break away and remain with his family, but he knew it was more than that. He was in love with Ennis, and that was impossible for him to tear away from.
He tried not to think about all those months, after Brokeback but before Lureen. Being on the circuit exposed him to a lot of like-minded guys, but it hadn't been able to heal his broken heart. Jack knew that Ennis would be livid if he found out, even though it had been during those years they were apart. Since marrying Lureen, he hadn't been with another guy until his reunion with Ennis, and since then it had been only him. At first, he'd tried to enjoy sex with Lureen in between trips, but it just wasn't the same. Only Ennis could penetrate him and make him feel so incredible, like he was complete. Lureen obviously couldn't do that, so he could only pretend so much that it was Ennis, since he'd never had the man that way.
Still, as Bobby ran back into the living room, leaving him alone, Jack tried not to miss Ennis too much. He knew he was fighting a losing battle, and he just didn't know how to convince Ennis that they needed to be together full-time. He hoped that one day soon, Ennis would tire of missing him so much and finally agree to live with him. Jack would never lose that hope.
Lureen came home a few hours later and started making dinner. She wasn't a bad cook and at least Jack wasn't eating beans out of a can anymore, so that was something. He just wished she could be a little nicer about everything; for the past few years she'd been cold, focusing more on the business and not enough on Bobby. Jack didn't really care about their marriage anymore; he was too in love with Ennis. But he hated that he had no other option but to stay here, at least until Ennis saw sense. If Ennis ever told him that he wanted to live together, Jack would drop everything.
As he sat at the table, looking at his wife and son, Jack couldn't help but wish that he could have a family with Ennis. Even if they got together for real, they would never have children together, but still. He would like Bobby to be part of their lives, and Ennis's girls because he knew they meant a lot to their father. Jack knew that he could never ask Ennis to completely abandon his girls; that had never been his intent anyway. If Jack got his way, he would have a life with Ennis that involved their children.
"Somethin' on your mind, Jack?" Lureen asked, noticing that he wasn't eating much. Jack shook his head of his thoughts and looked at her.
"Uh, nothin'. Just thinkin' 'bout the next trip."
Lureen pursed her lips and nodded. She wasn't particularly happy about him going on these trips so often, not when she was working this hard at the business. He never offered to take her and Bobby anywhere, and whenever they went out she usually had to coax him into it. It was clear that he wasn't himself these days, but she didn't know why.
She had her suspicions, of course. She'd often thought that these "fishing trips" were a cover-up for an affair he might be having. Or perhaps he really was meeting a friend, but also seeing another woman while he was gone. Surely it would only be a matter of time before he asked her for a divorce, and she wasn't sure what to say. She didn't want to be a single mother; there was the business to attend to, and she hadn't bonded with Bobby all that much anyway. Her father was always pushing Jack out of the picture; maybe he'd be better off away from here. Jack always seemed happy whenever he was packing for one of his trips, but miserable when he got home.
"So how long will you be gone?" she asked neutrally, trying to keep the suspicion out of her voice.
"A week, give or take. It ain't easy for him to get time off work, 'cos of him workin' on a ranch." Jack wished it could be their ranch that Ennis was working on; owned by the two of them in a sweet life. It was what he wanted more than anything, and he'd wanted it ever since Brokeback. He wanted to be with Ennis all the time; for them to be a couple and face things together.
"Right," she said quietly, thinking it over. She had to wonder why he was really going up there, or wherever he was going.
When dinner was over, the two of them started on the dishes, leaving Bobby in the living room with more cartoons. Lureen looked at Jack as he dried. He was as good-looking as he had been the day they'd met, and at the time she'd thought she'd really caught a good one. Girls had looked at her with envy as she'd walked around with him, and she'd enjoyed the notion of having such a good-looking guy.
Things were different now. He no longer made much of an effort with her; sex was more like a chore than anything else, just something they did because they were married. Even then, it wasn't that enjoyable. More often than not, Jack had his eyes closed the entire time, as though he were picturing someone else.
This frustrated her, and she tried to think back to when things had changed. It was when Bobby had been about eight months old. Jack had been reunited with a friend of his, this mysterious fishing buddy, on a trip up to his parents' place, and they'd started going on trips together. He'd seemed happy until he came back, and there was something in his eyes that hadn't been there before.
Jack was thinking of the same thing, when Ennis had turned him down during their reunion trip. He knew that he'd been miserable here since then, and didn't care if Lureen had noticed. She would never understand anyway.
"You know, I was thinkin'," Lureen started, hoping for a positive response. "You might take me an' Bobby on a trip somewhere. As a family."
She looked at him, and the look on his face told her that it was the last thing he wanted.
"I dunno, Lu. Got a lot of work down here to do. Gotta at least try an' get on with yer daddy."
"I know, but...you'll drop everythin' when it's time to go fishin'..." She trailed off and he sighed.
"Well, Ennis don't get a lot of time off, an' I like seein' him. So..." He shrugged and carried on drying. When he was finished and left the room to go and sit with Bobby, Lureen leaned against the counter and tapped her nails on the top, thinking.
It was clear that Jack wasn't happy with her, and was seeing someone on the side. But for eight years? That was a long time to be having an affair without running off completely, and she wondered why he was still here. Perhaps his girlfriend was married, and unwilling to leave her husband. Even after all these years, Jack was the one making the effort, driving all over the country to see her. Lureen wondered where she'd gone wrong; what had happened to drive her husband away into someone else's arms.
June 7th, 1975
Ennis lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. The bedroom was dark and he could hear Alma snoring softly next to him. He couldn't help but wish it was someone else there, perhaps with one leg draped across him. Jack had a habit of that.
It had been twelve years to the day since their first night together, and it was two in the morning, just like it had been back then. Ennis remembered staggering into the tent, dizzy drunk and barely able to comprehend what he was doing. He'd been so grateful to Jack for allowing him into the relative warmth of the tent.
"Quit yer hammerin' an' get in here."
He could recall the words perfectly, despite how drunk he'd been at the time. He had only intended to lie down with his blanket, but had ended up in the bedroll. That hadn't been so strange. But he could still remember feeling Jack's hand covering his, lowering it down and cupping his crotch with it.
A shiver ran through Ennis as he remembered what happened next. The jumping up, the murmured, slurred words that came out of his mouth. He remembered the look in Jack's eyes as they'd stared at each other; unmistakeable lust. A part of him had wanted to flee; that part of him that was still a nine-year-old boy standing in an irrigation ditch and being scarred for life.
But the other, larger part of his soul had yearned for the man before him. He had wanted Jack, no two ways about it, and he had felt more than simple physical desire. He knew now that he had started to fall in love with Jack, and that this feeling had intensified during their second night together.
Ennis didn't understand how Jack hadn't been angry at him for leaving the next morning without a word. Jack had welcomed him back with open arms, kissing him and holding him close, touching him in ways that he'd never been touched before; ways that sent shockwaves through him and lit up his soul. By the end of the night, he'd barely registered that he was doing these things with another man; it seemed insignificant compared to the feelings he was having at the time. Jack had relaxed him that night, introducing him to the softer, gentler side of sex, especially kissing. Ennis thought of those beautiful lips and everything they'd done to him; all the places they'd touched him.
He smiled to himself as he thought of Jack, and how beautiful he really was. Ennis hadn't had time to really appreciate that during the first night, considering how rough and quick it had been, but he'd certainly looked that second night.
Ennis looked down at himself and could see he was getting hard. He looked over at Alma and slowly slid out of bed, out of the room and down the hall to the bathroom. Jack wasn't here to relieve the pressure, so he would have to do his best by himself. It was all he could do.
An hour later, it was two in the morning down in Texas, and Jack too was lying on his back in bed, thinking of his first night with Ennis. He thought about it on every anniversary of that night, and his thoughts usually ended with a trip to the bathroom to take care of himself. He would wish that it was Ennis's hand on him, or Ennis inside him or wherever, and he hated the fact that they were a thousand miles apart. They should be in the same place, in the same bed, where Jack thought that they belonged.
Jack turned onto his side, facing away from Lureen. He recalled Ennis lying behind him on that night, shivering with cold. At first, Jack had simply asked Ennis into the tent to stop him from making a noise so he could sleep, but then his deep attraction to his co-worker had reared its head, and he'd been aroused at the feeling of the warm body next to him.
He sighed and closed his eyes, remembering. Ennis had been so skittish at his advances, and Jack now knew why. It wasn't just about the fact he had a fiancée back home. But still, Ennis had allowed Jack to draw him in, and even though Ennis had been rough and it had been very painful, Jack had loved it. He'd loved feeling Ennis inside him like that, and had never wanted it to end.
He trailed a hand down his front and into his pyjama bottoms, biting his lip as he remembered feeling that man inside him, fucking him deeply. It had been pure animal lust, and he knew it, but the real feelings had come during their second time. That had definitely been the best night of Jack's life, and he would never forget it.
"It's alright...it's alright..."
Unable to take penetration again so soon, and knowing that Ennis wasn't ready for it, Jack had simply rubbed their hips together and stroked them both off. He could still hear Ennis's moans in his ear at this, and how he'd thrust into Jack's hand uncontrollably. Jack smiled as he recalled how he could do that to Ennis; make him lose control over himself like that. Letting go during sex was a wonderful experience, and was rewarded by an orgasm unlike any other. He was glad that Ennis felt safe enough with him to let go of everything that was expected of him.
Growing harder in his hand, Jack slid out of bed and down the hall to the bathroom, locking it behind him. He allowed himself to remember everything about that amazing first night with his lover; going through all of his senses to recall Ennis and how incredible it had been to finally do what he'd wanted to for weeks. Ennis was always in his heart and mind, and Jack hoped that Ennis knew he was thinking of him.