Chapter 18

October 31st, 2012

Halloween fell on a Wednesday this year; both Ennis and Jack had noticed how their work places had been decorated for the occasion. They had already exchanged tales of how they had spent the holidays as kids, running around town with their friends and knocking on doors for candy. They were too old to do that now but Jack had suggested they do a little trick-or-treating of their own at night.

Jack's good mood of the previous week was still going strong. The dark cloud that had been lingering over him lately seemed to have dissipated in the hope that they had a chance. Ennis had called Peter over the weekend to thank him for suggesting it and helping Jack snap out of his bleak mood. And the amazing sex of last week had also kept going; both of them felt a lot better now that their frustrations had been seen to, as it were.

Jack did still occasionally worry about the trial and how it might go, but he kept thinking over what people had told him. Ennis had vowed to stay true to him no matter what, and Peter had helped them find a concrete defence that nobody could argue with. Things were looking up and he was tired of feeling hopeless anyway; it was time to change and fight to keep himself out of jail. Ennis couldn't do all the work; he had to take control of this situation.

When they had been cooking dinner after work, Jack's mother had dropped by with a pumpkin pie for them. She couldn't stay, but they had thanked her and Jack had told Ennis about the wonderful pies she made. Ennis could see just how much he was looking forward to eating it. He was happy that Jack was still so close to his mother, and didn't feel any resentment that he couldn't have the same relationship with his own parents. This was their fault and he was starting to hate them for it. If they couldn't accept his choice to be with Jack then all he could do was try to protect what he and Jack had.

"This is something else," he mumbled around a mouthful of the pie. He'd had it before, but never like this. "Damn good."

"Sure is," Jack agreed, nodding. They had bowls of candy ready for any kids that might pop by; the front doors to the building were left open on this night for the kids and they wondered if one day they might be taking their own child around like that. The notion of it made both of them hope that it would happen soon; they both wanted to be parents.

When they were done, they settled themselves on the sofa with a bottle of wine to watch a scary movie marathon. Jack grabbed the afghan from the back and draped it over them, smiling up at Ennis as their eyes met. "Comfy?"

"Yep," Ennis replied, leaning down to kiss him softly. The bottle of wine was opened and they started watching the first movie, comfortable together. With the main lights off and just the lamps and the glow of the TV, it felt very intimate and romantic.

When there came a knock at the door about an hour later, Jack jumped and exhaled. "Damn, wasn't expecting that." He got up and grabbed a bowl of candy, opening the door to find a ghost and vampire looking up at him with identical green eyes; they were clearly the twins that lived on the first floor with their parents. "Well, don't you two look scary?" he said to them with a grin, putting some candy into their pumpkin-shaped bags. Ennis heard him and grinned, knowing that Jack would be a good father one day.

Jack closed the door and set the bowl back down, resuming his place next to Ennis and curling up. "Who was it? Anyone we know?" Ennis asked him. Jack nodded.

"Yep. Kirsty and Katie; those twins who live on the first floor. They were a ghost and vampire." Ennis nodded and squeezed him, hoping that they would have a kid soon. He wanted to raise a child with Jack; one that needed a loving home that they could provide.

"You're good with kids, Jack. You're gonna be a great dad." Jack smiled up at him.

"So will you." Ennis kissed the top of his head and they turned back to the movie.

Half an hour later, Ennis opened the door to a witch accompanied by a cowboy, smiling at the unusual sight. The first Halloween costume he could recall having was a cowboy, including a tan hat that he had kept until it would no longer fit. Jack had told him that his first costume had been a mummy, which had caused Karen a headache with all the bandages they'd needed for it.

As the evening wore on, a few more kids came to their door. One of Jack's clients from work had brought his niece, who was a ballerina, and they enjoyed talking for a few moments before he bid goodbye to them.

The bottle of wine was dwindling and Jack could tell that Ennis was becoming horny; red wine did that to him. He grinned and pretended not to notice that Ennis was nuzzling the back of his neck, or that a hand was wandering underneath the afghan and towards his crotch.

"You want something?" he asked when Ennis dipped his hand between his legs and squeezed. Ennis smirked and shrugged, continuing to fondle him. Jack bit back a moan as he tried to keep his face neutral.

"Maybe. You got a problem with that?"

"Hell no. I'll see you in our bed in two minutes," Jack replied before springing up and switching the TV off. He was aware of Ennis half-running to the bedroom as he locked up and made sure everything was safe to leave. Then he grinned to himself and followed his very eager husband.

Ennis was all over Jack as soon as he entered the bedroom, kissing him deeply and squeezing his ass. Jack moaned into his mouth at the contact; he was very happy that they were like this again.

"God, you drive me crazy," he breathed when Ennis broke away, now nibbling at his neck. Ennis grinned.

"Thought you already were."

"Bastard," Jack replied, his hands working at the buttons of Ennis's shirt. "Come here..." Ennis started doing the same to him, and soon they were both shirtless, admiring each other in the moonlight coming through the balcony doors.

"You're beautiful," Ennis whispered, cupping Jack's chin in his hands. "You know that, right?"

Jack smiled. "I'm not vain, Ennis. But you keep telling me things like that, so's true. But you are too, you know." They kissed and ran their hands over each other, remembering every muscle and curve; they knew each other's bodies so well by now, just as well as their own.

Ennis started moving backwards to the bed, bringing Jack with him until they were sinking down onto it, growing harder as their hands continued to paw at each other. Jack hungrily plunged his tongue into Ennis's mouth, needing more.

With some difficulty owing to their unwillingness to part lips, they managed to get their jeans and underwear off, kicking everything to the floor. Jack found himself on his back with Ennis leaning over him, their fingers squeezing together. "Ennis," Jack breathed, feeling every little surge of pleasure like an electric shock. "Oh God..."

Ennis looked down at him, brown eyes almost black with desire; the sight made Jack shiver with anticipation. "What d'you want, darlin'?" he whispered, making Jack grin. The hand wandering down his stomach was distracting him.

"Want you inside me," he replied, lifting his hips. "Please?"

Ennis nodded and nuzzled his neck. "Which way?" he asked, and Jack considered for a moment. Sex on all fours didn't appeal to him right now, when he thought about what could happen to him in prison.

"From the front," he breathed, looking up into Ennis's eyes. "I wanna see you..." Ennis seemed to understand why he wanted it that way, and he nodded.

"Sure, bud. I'll take care of you." A lump grew in Jack's throat, the words catching him off-guard.

"You always do," he croaked, emotions building up inside him. Ennis kissed his cheek.

"Just relax, know I won't hurt you." Jack nodded and watched as Ennis started preparing himself, knowing in his heart that Ennis wouldn't do anything that would make him uncomfortable or scared.

When he was ready, he saw Jack widen his legs. "Come on, Ennis...let's show them how it's done." That mischievous twinkle was in his eyes and Ennis knew what that meant. He got into position and started pushing in, watching his lover's face carefully for signs of too much pain. But they didn't come and soon he was fully inside, tugging Jack's legs around his waist and bracing himself on his knees.

"You ready?" he asked, looking forward to this; he always did. Jack nodded, feeling the wonderful pressure of having Ennis inside him. Ennis leaned down and started moving, sliding out a little before pushing back in. He knew that Jack loved it when the pace was slow, so they could appreciate every moment. It truly felt like making love.

"Oh..." Jack moaned, letting his head fall to the side and exposing his neck. Ennis couldn't help but press his lips to it, thinking of giving Jack a hickey. He knew that Jack didn't mind being branded, for he had often told Ennis how they belonged to each other. He would never think of Jack as property, but in some way Jack was his. "Ennis...feels good..."

"I'm glad," Ennis murmured to him, nibbling his ear. He continued to rock into Jack, hearing the delicious little moans coming from his mouth. He trailed a hand down to caress Jack's lower stomach, knowing that it would drive him crazy with need. Sure enough, Jack groaned loudly and lifted his hips even further.

"Oh God...Ennis...touch me, please!" he pleaded, and Ennis did as he was asked; he took a firm hold of Jack and started jerking him off in time to his thrusts, still nipping at Jack's neck. When he felt himself coming and knew that Jack wasn't far behind, he planted his lips on Jack's just as their orgasms ripped through them. Ennis gritted his teeth until it was over, and then sank down onto Jack's heaving chest. "Oh, darlin'..."

Jack sighed in contentment and wrapped his arms around Ennis, wincing slightly as he pulled out. "Happy Halloween, baby."

"Same to you..." They were silent for a moment as they got their breath back, and Jack started thinking as he looked up at the ceiling. He ran his hand up and down Ennis's back as he thought, hearing Ennis sigh in approval. He cleared his throat.



"This kid we're gonna think it's already been born?"

"Dunno, why?"

"I was thinking...we believe in fate, right? hasn't been born yet. Maybe it's waiting for us to be approved. I know that sounds really crazy, but..."

Ennis lifted his head, looking at Jack curiously. "It's not crazy. But I've never thought about it that way before. You might be right there." It was a strange notion, but one that appealed to him very much.

Jack smiled at him. "Hmm..." Ennis shuffled forward so that they could kiss, feeling Jack smiling against his lips. Then he crawled off Jack and lay on his own side of the bed, stretching. Jack curled up against him like a cat, warm and sated. Ennis smiled and put an arm around him, nuzzling Jack's hair and hearing him purr in response. "Night, Ennis..."

"Night, darlin'." Jack hadn't had any nightmares since his birthday, so Ennis was confident that he would be okay. Still, he held onto Jack tightly through the night to reassure him that he was there.

November 3rd, 2012

On Saturday, Ennis and Jack were due for another meeting with Peter to go over their defence. There was less than two weeks until the trial but Jack seemed to be coping better now that they had something to work with. The photos from the footage could be used as evidence in their favour and that was giving them hope that they would win.

Ennis had been tempted to call his parents and taunt them over what he and Jack had against them, but he was smart enough to know it wouldn't be a very good idea; he didn't want it to backfire on them. They had to be extremely careful if they wanted to win this; they couldn't risk anything.

They strolled down the street hand in hand, Ennis swinging their clasped fingers now and then. He was happy that Jack was doing so much better now, and he had assured Karen over the phone that Jack was fine. This was far from over yet, but Ennis knew that if Jack felt better about everything, he would be in the right state of mind to defend himself in court; that was very important.

"So, I had a thought," Ennis started as they turned a corner. Jack looked at him. "I was wondering if you wanted to go on a date tonight." They hadn't been out for a while and Jack seemed like he would be up for it; he was doing so much better.

Jack grinned at him. "You asking me out?" he teased, nudging Ennis's shoulder. He shrugged, cheeks colouring slightly.

"Yep. Maybe that restaurant where we went before, the River Café. Remember?"

"That really romantic place?" Jack asked, eyes lighting up. "That sounds great, Ennis. I'd love to." He kissed Ennis's cheek, feeling pleased at the offer. Even though they were married and settled down, he was glad to know that the flame between them hadn't died down at all. Also, he knew that going on dates was just one of the many things they enjoyed doing together. Ennis smiled when Jack kissed him, his cheek tingling pleasantly at the contact.

They made their way to Peter's office and were soon shown in, shaking his hand in turn before sitting down. "So, how are you two faring?" he asked them. Jack nodded.

"We're okay, I reckon," he replied. "Now that we've got something we can use."

"I have to say, do look a lot better now. I guess you needed that kind of reassurance."

"Yeah, it helped," he agreed, smiling. "So...what are we doing today again?"

Peter cleared his throat. "Well, I thought it would be a good idea if we went over your defence. I can also give you a rundown of how the trial would proceed." They leaned forward eagerly.


"Well, both of you will be called to the stand to state your defence, which you already know. On your behalf, I would plead not guilty. Now, Ennis's parents will probably be trying their best to claim that Jack is guilty, so just be prepared for some dirty looks from them. Now, they will likely be declaring the medical record as their evidence, which is so weak it's laughable," he added, smirking at them. "I'd say you two have a much stronger argument, especially when we bring up how the records were stolen."

Ennis nodded. "Can't wait to see their faces," he replied, making Jack grin.

"Me neither, to be honest. Now, you are allowed to call witnesses, if you should wish. As with the adoption letter, you should choose someone who knows you well; who can vouch for the fact that the infection was accidental. They would tell the jury about your relationship and how unlikely it is that you would infect Ennis without his consent."

"Okay. Could my mom do that?" Jack asked. "She knows us well enough."

"True, I don't see why not. And if your friend Lureen is over here during the time of the trial, perhaps she could stand up for you too."

"Sounds good to me," Jack replied. "I'll ask her later. So we give our statements, show the images from that footage and hope for the best?"

"Pretty much, but you should focus on what you're going to say. Practice it together so that you get it right. That will certainly help, as you are bound to be nervous on the day. I would highly recommend that you try and relax as much as possible before the date, alright? You got any plans?"

Jack smiled. "We're going on a date tonight," he replied. Peter nodded.

"Good, try and keep things normal as much as you can. Just try not to worry, okay?"

They nodded and talked a little more before deciding to leave. Once back out in the sunshine, Jack turned to Ennis; it was just after twelve and he was starting to get hungry.

"So...what time are we going out for dinner? I was thinking we could get a little lunch while we're here."

Ennis nodded. "Sure. I think we could book a table for six, if you want." He thought for a moment. "There's something I wanna do first, though."

"What's that?"

"I wanna call my parents. I'm not gonna tell them," he added when Jack opened his mouth. "I'll just let them know that we're fighting this with everything we have. I want them to know that I'm not backing down." He had already decided on one thing; when the trial was over and Jack was safe, he would be rejecting his parents for good. He didn't even feel any hurt at the prospect; they had done this by threatening his relationship.

Jack nodded, seeing the logic in this. "Fair enough. Tell you do that and I'll call my mom to ask her to make a statement at the trial. Let's go for a walk and grab some lunch in the park." Ennis agreed and they headed off, once more clasping hands between them.

The pair of them walked slowly through the park until they reached a bench and sat down. Ennis took his phone out and looked at Jack, who nodded to him. "When you're ready," he said softly, taking Ennis's hand to offer him support.

Ennis dialled his parents' home number and waited, wondering what they were going to say this time. He wouldn't tell them about the leverage he and Jack had over them, despite how tempting it was. He didn't want to put Jack at any more risk than he already was.

"Hello?" asked his mother. He took a deep breath, hoping to get through this.

"Mom, it's me."

"Oh...right. What's this about?"

"Just wanted to tell you a couple of things. You know that Jack's been really worried about the trial, and I was sure he'd have a breakdown," he admitted. Jack lowered his eyes; Ennis hadn't told him about that fear. "But he's doing a lot better now, and he's coping."

"Okay," she replied, and he could swear that she sounded disappointed; this did nothing to improve his mood towards her. She was trying his patience and he no longer cared about cutting them off.

"And...I just wanted to let you know something else. I'm not backing down over this. It's not easy for either of us, but we're gonna fight you every step of the way. I love Jack, with all my heart, and I'm not gonna let you take him away from me," he said firmly, squeezing Jack's hand. Jack smiled at him. "So you can do whatever you like...I'm not letting him go without a fight." He hung up before she could reply, breathing deeply. "She doesn't seem too happy about you feeling better."

Jack shrugged and kissed his cheek. "It's okay, Ennis. I kind of expected that, to be honest." He thought for a moment. " said to her that you thought I was gonna have a breakdown. You never told me that..."

Ennis looked at him sadly. "I didn't wanna say anything. Thought that you were dealing with enough, to be honest. Sorry..."

"It's okay. I'm glad I didn't, anyway. Would have made things so much worse." He thought for a moment. "You know...Peter's been so great to us, and it's because of him that we've got a good chance of winning this trial. So I was thinking...maybe we could have him over for dinner one evening. As a thank you." Ennis nodded.

"Yeah, that sounds good." He put his arm around Jack comfortably, and Jack settled against him. "You're right; he's been good to us. Are you gonna talk to your mom about speaking for us?"

"In a while," Jack replied, nuzzling his neck. "Just want some time with you first..." Ennis looked down into his eyes, smiling at how they were reflecting the sun. They really were something else, and he recalled how they had been the first things he'd noticed about Jack. Even now, they took his breath away, especially when he was looking down into them when they were in bed.

He leaned in to kiss those soft lips, feeling Jack breathe into his mouth at the contact. He did always love kissing Jack; it was a feeling that he would never grow tired of.

After a while, they broke apart and smiled at each other, nuzzling noses. "Well, um..." Jack started, now sounding flustered. "You wanna get some lunch?"

"Yeah, sure." They got up with their hands clasped together, and headed for the café where they usually ate while here. It was fairly busy, but not too much.

When they walked in, they were just about to head for an empty table when they heard a familiar voice. "Ennis! Jack!" It was Karen, sat in a corner and waving at them. They headed over to her, smiling.

"Hey, Mom," Jack said to her, bending to kiss her cheek. Ennis did the same and they sat with her. "What are you doing here?"

"I just felt like having a shopping trip, and you two are always telling me about this place so I figured I'd try it. What are you up to?"

"We've just had a meeting with Peter," Jack informed her. "Just to go over our defence and everything." She nodded.

"Good. I'm guessing he's got the images from that footage?" They nodded. "Well, I'm glad to see you're doing better, Jack. I was worried about you." He took her hand.

"I'm fine, really. Ennis is taking good care of me." A waitress came over to take their orders and they decided to split a tuna melt; they had always liked sharing food for some reason.

"I'm glad to hear it," she replied, smiling at them both. As they waited for their food, they ended up talking about asking Lureen to stand up for them if she was in the area at the time.

"I think it's a good idea," Karen agreed. "She knows you well and can confirm that it's highly unlikely you would infect Ennis without his consent. Because that's what this is about. If it had been intentional, then would have agreed, right?"

Ennis nodded. "Yeah. I'd be lying if I said that I hadn't thought about it...about asking him to do it. Sometimes I figured it'd make things easier for us. But I'm glad I didn' might have made things worse." Jack nodded in agreement; he too was very glad that Ennis hadn't asked him. He didn't want to make that kind of decision where Ennis was concerned.

When they were finished, they bid goodbye to Karen and went their separate way, strolling along a random path that they knew would lead them to a lake.

Once there, they sat down on the grass and watched people as they walked by. Despite the month, it was still relatively warm and they wanted to make the most of it. They were looking forward to their date tonight, and what the night would bring when they got home afterwards.

That evening, Ennis and Jack were preparing for their date at the restaurant; it had been a while since they'd been out together and they were looking forward to it.

Jack walked into the bedroom and was left speechless as he caught sight of Ennis; he was wearing a deep red shirt that showed his muscles very nicely. "Um..."

Ennis smirked at him. "Well, it's a special night. Wanted to make the effort for you." He walked up to Jack, kissing him softly. "You look damn good, darlin'," he observed, taking in the crisp white shirt he was wearing. "Can't wait to get that off you later..."

"You sweet-talker," Jack replied, grinning when Ennis nuzzled his neck. "Come on, or we're just gonna end up in bed all night." Ennis sighed and let him go, admiring the view when Jack turned around. "And quit looking at my ass, Del Mar. We'll have time for that later." He led Ennis into the main room, gathering his keys and wallet. Ennis took the latter from him.

"I'm paying tonight, my treat," he said to Jack, smiling at him. Jack tilted his head.

" don't have to do that," he replied, feeling slightly pleased nevertheless. Ennis shook his head.

"I want to. Come on, bud." Jack decided not to argue, but simply followed Ennis out of the door and locked up behind them. They clasped hands and headed out of the building together, looking forward to a romantic evening. They always had enjoyed doing this.

They reached the restaurant and were shown to their table, glad that they had booked ahead. Once more, they were seated by the large windows that had a beautiful view of the water and Manhattan. Jack had loved coming here a few months ago, and he hoped that they would do so again in the future.

"You know...there was a time when I didn't understand why married couples went on dates," Ennis admitted as they looked over the menus. "I mean, they were already committed to each other and I didn't get why they felt they had to impress each other."

"But you get it now?" Jack asked with a knowing smile.

"I sure do. I like it when we make the effort for each other, Jack. It helps to know that we're still interested in each other so much. I like that," he replied, smiling back. Jack's eyes were sparkling at him in the candlelight and he looked away, as if he would get distracted by looking into them.

They ordered their food and listened to the live music as they waited; they were bound to dance a little later after they had eaten. They were glad to know that this place was so accepting; it had turned out that one of the co-owners was gay so that soon explained everything.

"This is a great place," Jack said, looking around. Ennis was playing with his fingers on the table, sending tiny waves of pleasure through him. This looked set to be a perfect evening. "I mean, look at this view..."

Ennis watched as Jack admired the view, seeing how happy he was. "Sure is beautiful," he agreed; Jack knew he wasn't looking in the same direction but said nothing. "I love you, Jack."

Jack turned to smile at him, squeezing his fingers gently. "Same to you, bud. Where'd that come from?"

"Just wanted to say it. I mean...I really do. I'm love with you and...I hope you know just how much," he replied, hoping that Jack really did know. "I'd do anything for you...and anything to protect you." He gulped, trying to keep his emotions in check. "You know?"

Jack looked into his eyes. "I do, Ennis...I really do. You know how? Because I feel exactly the same. I understand how you feel because I feel it too. I swear, make me really happy." They gazed at each other for a few minutes, taking each other in and completely oblivious to everybody around them. Both had been in relationships before meeting, but they hadn't been a patch on this; they had found the one person that they were meant to be with, and they wanted to keep this going. They just couldn't let Ennis's parents have their way.

The waitress had to clear her throat to get their attention, smiling when they blushed at being caught. The food was just as delicious as they'd remembered it, and they ended up feeding each other with grins on their faces. Nobody paid them any attention, which they appreciated. They were proud of what they had but didn't want an audience when they were showing their love for one another.

They ate dinner and Ennis was going to order dessert but Jack murmured in his ear that they could have that at home, so he decided not to. After dancing in the corner to the live band for a while, they decided to head back home; Jack knew that Ennis had been drinking red wine and he knew what that did to him.

Sure enough, Jack soon found himself pressed against a brick wall in an alleyway, Ennis nibbling his exposed neck and grinding against him. They had had sex in public like this before, in similar places, but Jack really wanted to get into their bed for this. But what Ennis was doing to him felt so good and he seriously contemplated letting it happen here.

"Ennis..." he groaned, thrusting his hips helplessly. "Wanna get to bed for this..." He was hard and just wanted Ennis to take him right here, but it wouldn't be a good idea.

"Me too, but...I can't help it. You know you turn me on, Jack..." He managed to pull his lips away and took a deep breath. "You're right...we don't wanna be seen doing this. It's illegal, for one thing...and we don't need that right now." He grabbed Jack's hand and pulled him out of the alleyway, making a beeline for their apartment.