Chapter 42

January 1982

There was a thick blanket of snow on the ground, and the two men were huddled close together one morning trying to keep warm. Ennis could feel Jack shivering and pulled him closer, hoping that Jack didn't get frostbite.

"Fuckin' cold out here," Jack mumbled into Ennis's chest, still shaking. "Hate bein' out here when it's been snowin'."

Ennis nodded and rubbed his back. "I know, bud. Sure wish it could be warmer up here. How about...I keep you warm?" he offered. It wasn't often that he suggested sex, but it was the only thing he could think of to warm them up. Jack looked up at him, a smile on his face.

"I'd like that...but I don't wanna be exposin' myself an' gettin' things frozen, you know? Be like a pair of popsicles."

Ennis couldn't help but laugh at this, and he stroked Jack's face. "Just thinkin' of you, bud. Don't wanna spend our whole trip like this. We're s'posed to be enjoyin' ourselves..."

Jack nodded, and he planted a kiss on Ennis's lips. "I know. We can try it, I guess. But if it's too cold, I'm zippin' back up."

"Fair enough." They disentangled themselves and undid their jeans, hoping that they could go through with this before they got too cold. Jack then lay on his side facing away from Ennis, indicating the position he wanted. Ennis understood and smoothed the lube over himself before moving back close to Jack, feeling the warmth emanating from the other man's body. "Don't freeze on me, bud."

"I'll try not to," Jack replied, and he let out a soft gasp as he felt his lover penetrate him. Ennis took it slowly and gently at first, just savouring how this felt and knowing that nothing could come close to this. He didn't understand why he needed this man so much, or why he had fallen in love with him, but he knew it was the truth. His heart would always yearn for him to tell Jack how he felt, but his voice just wouldn't co-operate every time he tried.

Still, as he buried himself inside Jack and they held onto each other, he knew he couldn't dwell on that. He'd said himself that they were supposed to enjoy these trips, and he was determined to do that. He loved being out here with Jack, even with the cold weather; it allowed him to escape from his life for a few days, and to forget everything that was going on. Alma knew about them and hated him for it, the girls were growing up and becoming women themselves, soon to start their own lives. Cassie was sweet enough but he had to admit that he had no real feelings for her. It was awful for him to admit, but he thought that if he was seen with her, it would eliminate any chance of people wondering about him.

"Jack," he whispered as he started moving. "You feel so fuckin' good, darlin'..." He kissed the back of Jack's neck and held Jack around the middle, his heart filling with the love he had for this man.

" make me feel good, Ennis," Jack managed to say back, eyes falling shut as Ennis moved inside him. Nobody could match Ennis when it came to sex; they didn't even come close as far as he was concerned. All were just cheap imitations that he only went after to fill the time between trips.

Jack turned his head and their eyes met in the darkness, their souls connecting as they looked at each other. Ennis then leaned in to kiss Jack and it was as if the world slipped away and they were the only two left. They had felt like that up on Brokeback, when they were just kids and ruled their own little world. Nothing could touch them up there for those few short months, and Jack longed to feel so carefree once more. But he knew that they would never find it anywhere else; perhaps that was why they had never returned to the mountain itself.

Their lips parted and Ennis straddled Jack's lower leg, trying to push in deeper and harder and drawing a moan out of his lover. "God, Ennis...I think yer gonna tear me in two but don't stop..." Ennis did as he was asked, moving faster until Jack started trembling; a sure sign that he was close. "Oh, fuck..."

"That's what I'm doin', bud," he replied, hips pushing against Jack in a steady rhythm until Jack gave a yell and shot across the bedroll, hitting the canvas of the tent. He gave a few more thrusts and was there himself, filling Jack with everything he had until he was spent.

They lay there panting, seeing stars before their eyes as they came down. Ennis slowly pulled out of Jack and rested his forehead against Jack's back; they were both covered in sweat but neither cared too much.

"Reckon yer warm enough now, bud?" Ennis asked, grinning slightly. Jack laughed.

"Yeah, I think so. You sure did the trick, cowboy." They both started laughing and Jack turned over, smiling widely. "I-" he started, and then stopped. He couldn't finish his sentence; they had agreed not to say those three words, no matter how true it was.

I love you, he thought instead, cupping Ennis's face and kissing him. I love you so' you make me happy, even when things ain't too good. "That was great," he said softly, and Ennis nodded. He'd caught Jack's slip of the tongue and knew what Jack had been about to say. Part of him was glad that Jack didn't, because he couldn't be sure of the outcome.

But as they held each other afterwards, Ennis realised that an even larger part of him was disappointed that Jack hadn't finished his words. He wanted Jack to say it, and wanted very much to say it back. He didn't quite know what to think about that.