Chapter 12

June 14th, 1963

Ennis and Jack had been sleeping together for a week now, and they were enjoying their newfound intimacy. Jack could tell that Ennis was still wary of this whole thing and what it might mean, but decided not to say anything. He was just happy that he'd finally gotten what he'd longed for.

He tried not to think about the end of the summer, and that Ennis had said this was a one-shot thing. He knew it would be very hard to say goodbye to Ennis now that his feelings were so strong.

When Jack woke up that morning, he opened his eyes to see a pair of deep brown ones looking at him. "Hey," he mumbled, yawning. To his surprise, he felt Ennis's hand caressing his hair.

"Mornin', bud," Ennis replied, feeling slightly unsure of himself. He did like being here with Jack, but various thoughts were constantly running through his head. The main one was how on earth he was going to face Alma after this. He knew that he could never tell anybody about their affair, but he was also scared of saying goodbye to Jack at the end of the summer. "You, um...you sleep alright?"

"After last night? You bet," Jack said with a smirk. They'd had full sex a few more times over the past week, and last night had been their first time face to face. It had been wonderful to look up into Ennis's eyes as they'd moved together, seeing how he made Ennis feel. He wondered how Ennis felt about it now. "Was good, huh?"

"Yeah," Ennis managed to say, still stroking the back of Jack's head. He had liked being able to look into Jack's eyes, but now he could no longer deny that he was doing this with a man. Ennis was unable to think about this just yet, so he decided not to and just focus on how much he enjoyed it.

Jack leaned over and glanced up at Ennis for a moment, before moving in to capture his lips. They'd done a lot of heavy kissing last night, their saliva mixing and his teeth almost drawing blood with how passionate they were; this kiss was gentle and soft. Ennis practically melted under Jack's touch, feeling very content.

When they broke apart, Jack nuzzled their noses together and smiled. "Well...reckon we oughta get up an'...I should get up to the sheep." Ennis nodded, remembering how one of the sheep had been killed a week ago because he hadn't been there to watch them. He'd been here with Jack, but he just couldn't regret what had happened between them. Without warning, he reached out and took Jack's hand. Jack looked at him. "Ennis?"

"I...I want you to know...I don't regret this, Jack. I mean...can't really talk much 'bout it. But...I don't feel bad about it happenin'," he mumbled, squeezing Jack's fingers. "Last night...it was good. I liked...seein' you." He looked up into Jack's warm eyes, feeling uncertain about expressing his feelings like this.

Jack leaned in for another kiss, his heart bursting with the love he felt. Maybe Ennis would never be able to talk much about this, but at least he was happy for it to continue. That was more than Jack could have hoped for, and he smiled into the kiss.

"I don't regret it either," he said when they pulled apart again. "I like doin' this with you, Ennis. Um...we should get movin' then." Ennis nodded and they got dressed, having been completely naked the night before. They were continuing to explore each other's bodies and they liked what they found. Ennis seemed to have grown attached to the space in Jack's collarbone, tucking his head there when they were cooling down after sex. When he did that, Jack liked holding him close and inhaling his scent. If it had just been about sex, Jack might have believed Ennis's claims that he wasn't queer. But it was moments like that, and this morning, that made him think otherwise.

They emerged from the tent and Ennis set about making breakfast while Jack went to relieve himself. Part of him wanted to go after Jack and jump his bones in the bushes, but he held back. He was reluctant to get close to Jack outside the tent; anybody could be spying on them. What if Aguirre came up to check on things, and he caught them out in the open? Everything would be ruined for sure.

Jack didn't seem to worry about this; when he was finished he sat right next to Ennis, giving him a wide smile. Ennis managed to smile back as he cooked, feeling somewhat lighter now that he no longer had to fight his attraction to Jack. They had agreed not to talk about the end of the summer or what might happen; they were just enjoying what they had now.

"Sure looks good," Jack told him, giving him a slight nudge. "Reckon we worked up an appetite after last night, huh?" he asked, smirking. Ennis said nothing; he wasn't sure if their new relationship made him feel better or worse than before. He no longer had to pretend that he was just after friendship, but he had been unfaithful to Alma. He'd promised to marry her, and his first time should have been on their wedding night. But here he was, having sex with his male co-worker because he couldn't restrain himself.

Jack noticed his tension and reached out to rub his back, trying to soothe him. "Hey...don't go thinkin' on things, alright? It's just us up here." He knew that Ennis worried about things, especially the fact that they were both men.

Ennis nodded and tried not to worry too much. Jack was right; the next few months were just about them, and he couldn't think about the end of that. He tried to ignore the fact that every day they were together was one more day towards the end of their time together.