Fandom: Brokeback Mountain
Rating: NC-17 FRAO
Pairing: Jack and Ennis
Warning: SEXUALLY EXPLICIT M/M
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Annie Proulx. Not to me, darn it all!
Authors note: (Apologies to any boy scouts or leaders.)
BOY SCOUTS 101 (AU)
"Hey! whatcha doin?"
"It's middle of the night. Whatcha think I'm doin?"
"Dreamin of me way down here in Texas?"
"I do that kinda dreamin 'fore I go to sleep. So's I can clean up after."
"Ha ha ha. Been thinkin 'bout you. Got some news. Wanna hear it?"
"I'm movin to Lightnin Flat."
"All of you?"
"Oh hell no. Gettin divorced. All nice and friendly. Gettin a nice
settlement; nice chunk of money."
"Good for you."
"Don't sound all that happy 'bout it."
"Divorce ain't nothin to celebrate."
"Mine is. I get to move back to Wyomin. Back where I belong."
"Be a lot closer."
"Won't have to drive near as far."
"Didn't know drivin was a problem."
"It wasn't. I'd a driven twice as far to see you."
"What's wrong? Thought you'd be happy 'bout this."
"Can't be nothin happy 'bout a Pa leavin his boy."
"Jesus, Ennis. I ain't leavin Bobby. He's my boy. He always will
be. He's goin off to college in a coupla months. He's talkin 'bout
goin in the service; the Marines. He wants a degree first so's he
can go in an officer."
"Can't you talk him outta that?"
"He's been set on it now all through high school. He'll be 19 in the
fall; old enough to make his own decisions."
"That's a bad one though. Ought to try and talk him out of it."
"It's what he wants. I have to respect that."
"Why? Did you know what you wanted at 19?"
"I sure as hell did; but I was too dumb to go after it."
"You ain't happy 'bout me bein closer?"
"Don't see as how it affects me. You're the one does all that drivin."
"You're an ass!"
"You call me up in the middle of the night to tell me that?"
"You're pissed I woke you up?"
"I ain't pissed."
"Wish I was there layin beside you. I'd get you in a better mood
"Ain't nothin wrong with my mood."
"You through talkin?" Ennis asked.
"You still gonna meet me next month?"
"Sure. Why wouldn't I?"
"Any way I could talk you into makin it next week?"
"Can't get off next week."
"I'm talkin the week end. Saturday and Sunday?"
"Instead of next month?"
"Why not both?"
"Jack, you know how I feel 'bout that."
"Oh yeah. I forgot. 2 or 3 times a year. That's all you want to be
"That ain't what I meant."
"Ain't it the same thing?"
"You really think anyone gives a shit who you're sleepin with?"
"I ain't ready to be dead, Jack"
"Christ, Ennis. Just forget about it. I'll find someone else to
spend my weekends with. You just go back to sleep now. I'll see you
"Jack Twist here. How can I help you?"
"Thought you was movin up here?"
"Ennis! I am. New man's supposed to start here Monday. I'm leaving
in the morning for Wyomin."
"Good. You still mad at me?"
"You know I can't stay mad at you. You are infuriating though, you
"I know I am. Sorry."
"It's OK. That why you called? Wonderin if I was still mad?"
"I was just thinkin. It's Saturday and I don't usually have nothin to
do on the weekends. Just lay 'round and get drunk. Where you gonna
be next weekend?"
"You mean it? We can see each other next weekend?"
"You'll be up here by then?"
"Yeah. Pick any place. I'll meet you. Anywhere you want."
"Can't be too far. I have to be back to work Monday."
"How 'bout that place south of Lander? That's close to Riverton. Got
good roads. Wouldn't have to take the horses."
"I'll be there waitin for you next Saturday morning."
"Anythin wrong with Friday night?"
"If there's one thing that's better than Saturday morning, it's Friday
"Old man's leavin town for the weekend. Gonna get off early. 'Bout 4
O'clock. Should be able to make it there by 6:00 or 6:30."
"I'll be there. Don't worry 'bout dinner. I'll bring steaks and some
"Just bring yourself."
"See you Friday evening then?"
"I...a...be good seein ya."
"Yeah, Ennis. Be good seein you too. Bye"
Jack sat on a log shucking corn and dumping the ears into the boiling
water when he heard Ennis' truck pull up. He stood, hands on hips,
grinning; watching Ennis unload a sack of clothes and a case of beer;
Ennis' idea of supplies for a weekend. He jogged down the incline from
the roadway to the campsite into Jack's waiting arms.
"Eat First? or Fuck First?" Jack whispered.
"Just wanna be prepared."
"What're you some kind of boy scout now?"
"Yeah. And I'm workin on my campin badge. Wanna help me?"
"Never was a boyscout, myself." Ennis grinned at him.
"It's easy. I'll show you." He reached over and removed the pot of
corn from the fire and set it aside. "C'mere." He pulled Ennis into
the new tent.
"Hey, we can stand up in this one!"
"Won't be doing all that much standin up in here." Jack pulled him
down on the opened out sleeping bags and tugged off his boots. He did
the same with his and pulled his jacket off; then reached over and
unzipped Ennis's Jacket.
"This part of bein a Boy Scout?"
"First I gotta check out your equipment. You gotta have the right
"Ain't never had no complaints 'bout my equipment."
He unsnapped Ennis' shirt; took it off his shoulders and arms, tossed
it in the corner. A hand in the middle of his chest, laid Ennis back.
Warm eager mouths clung together; tongues exploring. Hands roamed
over chests; backs; shoulders; holding heads closer; tighter.
"You got too many clothes on to be a scout leader." Ennis breathed
through kiss-swollen lips.
"You're right about that." Jack answered and began a quick removal of
the offending clothes, then reached for Ennis' jeans, undid the zipper
and slid them off, briefs followed to the pile in the corner.
Jack started a trail of tiny kisses on the inside of Ennis' thigh,
worked his way up leaving a damp trail. He nuzzled the balls, more
little kisses up the shaft; little licks from the eager tongue around
the ridge, across the tip.
"Exactly what badge is it we're workin on now?" Ennis gasped out.
"Don't know. Must be one though." He took the head in his mouth and
sucked, lowering his head to take it all in; his nose down to the
damp curls. He pulled back and did it again and again.
"Ooohhhhh Jack. You better quit or it'll be all over before we get
He let go with a slurp and continued his trail of kisses up over the
stomach, dipped his tongue into the navel and swirled it around,
making Ennis wiggle.
"Cut that out! You know that tickles!"
He kissed up across the chest to a tiny brown nipple; licked at it,
then sucked it hard.
"Jesus, Jack. You tryin to kill me here?"
He crossed to the other nipple and did the same till Ennis was
squirming, then dove back onto that mouth again. He laid full on him
then; pressing their cocks together between them; Ennis struggling
for a tighter grip on Jack's back, shoulders and hip; hands going
from one place to the other; holding them closer.
Jack broke the kiss and went for Ennis' neck; kissing up behind his
ear; sucking an ear lobe.
"Missed you......So glad to see you." He whispered against Ennis'
trembling lips and took them again. Hips moving back and forth,
rubbing, grinding, bringing them both closer and closer.
" K. Me to."
Each held on the others hips, pistoning furiously against one another.
Ennis lost it first, spilling between them. Jack followed seconds
latter adding to the liquid warmth.
They laid together for a time; side by side, arms and legs entwined;
foreheads pressed together.
"So when do I get my badge?" Ennis grinned at him.
"Soon as you clean up this mess you made." Jack teased, sitting up;
swiping at the residue running down his stomach.
"The mess I made? I wasn't exactly alone there you know."
"Yeah, but I'm the leader. You wanna badge you gotta do what I say."
"Show me the badge and I'll get to cleanin." Ennis challenged.
"Here it is." Jack dug into his bag and pulled out a tube and tossed
it to him.
"What the hell is this 'KY'?” He read the label and grinned.
"You be a good little scout and I'll show you what that's for after
"Then I get my badge?"
"Then you can have anything you want." Jack promised.
They cleaned up together, ate dinner of steaks and corn, and sat
passing the bottle of Old Rose back and forth.
"Think I'm gonna like havin you closer." Ennis said, staring into the
"Hope so. I'd like to do this as often as we can. As often as you're
comfortable with." Jack smiled and passed the bottle back.
"So when you gonna show me what you brought this stuff for?" Ennis
asked pulling the tube of KY out of his jacket pocket.
"Whenever you're ready."
"I'm ready if you are." He smiled over at Jack, his quiet little smile.
"Well, let's get after it then." Jack smiled standing up and reaching
a hand to help Ennis up off the log.
Ennis took the offered hand and stood up. Jack led him over back
behind their tent.
"What's wrong with the tent?" Ennis asked.
"You want this badge or not?" Jack asked, grinning and keeping their
"Yes sir, I surely do sir." Ennis answered following Jack off into
the trees. They stopped in front of one and he took Ennis in his arms
and kissed him thoroughly. They were both breathless when they broke
"Turn around." Jack said in a husky voice.
Jack pointed at the tree and Ennis faced it. Jack reached around in
front of him and undid the zipper, slid a hand inside and caressed the
balls; he leaned his head against Ennis' shoulder. Ennis leaned his
head back against Jack's.
"Anythin you want me to do?" Ennis whispered, turning enough to place
a kiss on the top of Jack's head.
"Grab hold of that tree."
"Why? It ain't goin no where."
"Just do it."
"OK." He leaned forward and put his hands on either side of the tree.
Jack slid Ennis' jeans and briefs down to his knees; ran his hands up
under her shirt and pinched both nipples at the same time; tugging at
them gently, rolling them between his fingers.
Jack kissed the side of his neck and pushed up against Ennis' bare
bottom. "You like this outdoor stuff?" He whispered.
"Kinda." Ennis answered with a gasp as his cock was enclosed in a
warm hand; balls carressed.
"Good. Let's see if you like this." Jack uncapped the lube and
rubbed some onto Ennis' opening.
"Ooohhhh. 's cold."
"Won't be for long." Jack slid one finger in, then two; stretching him.
"Fuck!" Ennis gasped.
"You got that right." Jack undid his own jeans and pushed them down.
He pulled his fingers out then and pushed up inside Ennis with one
long slow push.
"God Damn!" Ennis pushed against the tree with both hands and back
against Jack with all his might.
Jack pulled out then all the way back in again; slowly at first; then
faster, deeper, harder. Jack held him by the hips and pounded into
him as fast and as hard as he could stand. Ennis let out a howl,
grabbed his cock and came all over the tree. Jack kept the pace until
Ennis settled then with a few more thrusts came to a shuddering
climax. They stayed clinging together for a time before Jack pulled out.
Ennis pulled up his jeans and shorts, and grabbed onto Jack.
"Jack.....never....I....we..shit!" He had no words to describe his
Jack held him tight. "I love you, Ennis. And one of these days
you're gonna realize you love me too." They went back into the tent,
cleaned up and slept soundly.
Morning woodys were taken care of eagerly and they sat by the fire
after breakfast, enjoying a cup of coffee.
"Think we could do some serious talkin without fightin?" Jack asked,
refilling both their cups.
"Sure. Whatcha wanna talk 'bout?" Ennis was still wearing his
"Would you come live with me if I could protect you?" Jack asked
quickly before he backed out.
"Jack....." The smile disapeared and a frown replaced it.
"I know you're afraid, Ennis. We could be real careful. No reason
for anyone to suspect nothin."
"Two men living together, Jack, is just.....askin for trouble."
"Ennis.....How many trailers in your trailer park?"
"You heard me. How many trailers in your park?"
"Don't know. 10, 12 maybe. Don't much pay attention."
"Who lives in them? You know any of your neighbors?"
"Mrs. McIntosh lives across the way. She's a widow woman."
"Who does she sleep with?"
"How the hell should I know?"
"You ever wonder about it?
"Hell no. I don't care who she sleeps with!"
"Then what makes you think she'd care who you sleep with?"
"Now that's different, Jack and you know it."
"How? How is it different?"
"She's an old woman. Don't matter."
"Oh. So you don't think it matters if you're old?"
"I'm serious here, Ennins. I'm tryin to understand how you see
things. So if this lady moved another old lady into her trailer that
would be OK?"
"Why wouldn't it?"
"It's OK for old ladies to live together, but not old men?"
"You and me ain't exactly old men."
"So this thing has an age limit on it?"
"Jack you're bein ridiculous.!"
"Ennis, I'm trying to show you how ridiculous your arguments are. You
don't care who other people sleep with; what makes you think other
people care who you sleep with?"
Ennis dumped the remainder of his coffee and walked over to the
stream to rinse his cup out. Jack followed him, knelt down beside him
and put an arm around Ennis' shoulders.
"I love you Ennis. I want us to be together. I know you're scared
and to a point, that's a good thing. We do need to be careful. We
wouldn't take any chances. We could stay out of places where we might
get in trouble. Do our drinkin at home. We'd put us up a good fence;
get us some guard dogs. We could get us a coupla guns. You could
teach me how to shoot."
"Jack, this is just foolish talk." He stood and took his cup back.
"Is it foolish to be with the person you're in love with? Or are you
gonna tell me you don't love me? Can you tell me that?"
"Now I didn't say none of that." Ennis argued, hands jammed into his
"You don't have to say it, Ennis. I know you love me. I just wish I
could make you understand that bein together would be worth any risk
we had to take." Jack sat back down on the log and poked the fire
back to life; added more wood.
Ennis sat down beside him.
"You know how I feel 'bout you, Jack."
"Yeah. You love me; just not enough to live with me."
"Don't say it like that."
"It's the truth, isn't it?"
"All them things you talked 'bout. They cost money; lots of money."
"I told you I got money now. I been savin all these years; got a nice
chunk of cash in the divorce."
"You talkin 'bout buyin a place; buyin dogs, buyin guns, fencin.
That's a whole lotta buyin. You ain't got that kinda money."
"There you go, jumpin to conclusions again. Don't have to buy a
place. Already got one."
"You talkin 'bout the old man's place?"
"Like that's gonna happen!"
"He's an old man, Ennis; hasn't been able to handle the place for
years. He's lettin it all go to hell. When he's gone, it comes to
me. I'm already startin on the place. Got new fencin goin in next
week; new gates; already talked with Momma about some dogs. She
loves 'em. Pa hates 'em. We need to get some full growed so's he
can't kill 'em off. We'll have to watch him on that."
"Thought the two of you didn't get along? Thought he run you off?"
"Well, that was a long time ago. I'm not no kid no more that he can
knock down and spit in my face. He try that now he'd be eatin dirt."
"You can't hit your Pa, Jack."
"You don't know my Pa. I won't as long as he leaves me alone but I
ain't takin none of his shit."
"You come draggin me into the picture, how you think he's gonna like
"I don't give a damn whether he likes it or not; we’re already
cross-ways 'bout the fence. Says it's a waste of good money. His
daddy put up that fence and he thinks we should keep it up till it
turns to dust."
"Fencin is important." Ennis agreed.
"You're darn right it is! Can't use the south pasture at all cause
it's down every time the wind blows. The rest of it is just as bad.
Been patched up so many times, it's more patches than fence!"
"Arguin 'bout the grass too. He wants to put in the cheapest stuff
they got. I already got seed on order for the better stuff. You give
cows shit to eat, they gonna end up shitty cows. Give them the good
stuff, they produce twice as much! You come out ahead in the long run.
Any damn fool should know that."
"You talk to them 'bout me?" Ennis chewed his thumb nail.
"Uh huh. Been talkin to them 'bout you since '63."
"You kiddin me!"
"Nope. Told them one of these days I'd bring you home with me and
we'd whip the ranch back into shape."
"What'd they say?"
"Momma cried, she was so happy. Pa just spit and said it'd never
happen. Sure as hell hate to see him right about that."
"Do they know......you know......'bout us?"
"Yeah, told Momma that first summer. Told her I loved you and I'd
bring you home with me someday."
"She didn't....get upset?"
"Why should she? She loves me. She want's me to be happy."
"She know 'bout the divorce and all?"
"Uh huh. She's OK with it."
"You know if you take me up there, it'll just give the old man
somethin to ride you about."
"I ain't gonna lie to you Ennis. The old man's got a tongue on him
like a snake. Always has. I just been ignorin him. I'm doin what
the ranch needs, and if he don't like it, he can take a walk. Same
thing with you; he don't like it, he knows where the front gate is."
"He won't just run you off again?"
"The place is in Momma's name. Come to them from her family; comes
to me next. I already spoke to her about what I wanted to do with the
place. She's all excited about it. Says it's as good as mine now.
So the old man ain't got no say. I ain't 14 years old anymore. No
way he's runnin me off again. One of us goes, it'll be him."
"He's your Pa, Jack."
"He's a son of a bitch, Ennis."
"Don't seem right, you talkin 'bout your Pa like that."
"Wait til you meet him. You'll see."
"He got that big a mouth, probably be tellin stuff 'round town. Stuff
that could get us killed."
"Not in a million years. The old fart is so ashamed he got a faggot
for a son; he'd deny it if he walked in on us and saw it with his own
"That's a horrible thought!"
"That it is." Jack agreed.
The rest of the weekend went about the same. Jack pleading his case
for a life together, Ennis terrified to make that step. As they were
saying good bye Sunday after dinner; they stood by their trucks talking.
"You promise you'll give serious thought to this?"
"I always think about it." Ennis answered.
"I want you with me, Ennis. I got big plans for the place and I can't
do it alone. I need you; workin beside me and sleepin beside me." He
caressed the side of Ennis' neck.
"You make it sound almost possible." Ennis grinned up at him from
under his hat brim.
"It is possible, Ennis. We can make it happen. You just have to want
it. Want it bad enough to take the risk."
"Never been much of a gambler."
"Won't be that much of a gamble. Promise you that." Jack kissed him
then and they held onto each other, dreading that moment when they had
to drive away from each other.
The phone call came about midnight. Ennis had been asleep about 2
"H'lo?" he said sleepily.
"Is this Ennis Del Mar?" A frightened little voice asked.
"Yes, ma'am. Who is this?" He had a chilling feeling up his spine.
"My name is Rosemary Twist. I'm Jackie's momma."
"What is it?" Fear grabbed him by the throat. He could barely get the
"Jackie's been in an accident. His truck ran off the road near
Shoshoni. That's right near to Riverton, isn't it?" She was crying,
he could tell.
"Is he alright? He's OK, ain't he?" He stood now, kicking blankets
out of the way, pacing the length of his small trailer.
"He's in the hospital there in Shoshoni. They just called here.
There's no way I can get to him. He told me, long time ago, anythin
happen to him, I was to call you."
"You did the right thing. That's only 'bout 20 miles out. I'll get
over there right now."
"Call me when you see him. Let me know?"
"I will. Doctor's say anything?"
"Just talked to the Highway Patrol; he said they found Jack's truck
in a ditch and took him to the hospital in Shoshoni. Didn't say how
bad he was hurt. But I'm afraid, Ennis." She was weeping again. "If
he wasn't bad hurt, he'd a called; 'stead of the officer."
"I'll get over there right now. Give you a call soon as I know anything."
"Thank you, Ennis. Thank you so much." and then, as she always said
to her son, she added "Drive carefully."
It was only a 20 minute drive but it seemed like a lifetime to him.
Jack's momma had sounded so scared. Momma's had a sense about such
things. The thought sent a shiver through him. "He's alright. He's
gotta be alright. Can't be anything but alright." he muttered to
himself; chasing all other frightening thoughts away.
He parked and ran into the emergency entrance coming to a stop at the
"Jack Twist? He was in an accident? Highway Patrol brought him in?"
"Oh yeah." the receptionsit consulted her charts. "He's still here
in the E.R. Dr. Sullivan's patient."
"Can you tell me his condition? He OK? Can I see him?"
"You'll have to speak with Dr. Sullivan. I'll see if I can catch him;
tell him you're here."
"Thank you." He paced the floor until he saw two Highway Patrol men
coming down the hall.
"Excuse me" He stopped them. "You the ones brought Jack Twist in?"
"The pick-up in the ditch? You a relative?" one of them asked.
"Yeah. His mom called me. Asked me to check on him for her. She's
up in Lightning Flat. He OK?" He tried to keep the panic down. Just
the smell of this place scared him.
"He's busted up pretty good." the fat one answered. "We found him in
his truck just outside of town. No other vehicle involved. Looks like
he just ran off the road into the ditch."
"They took him to X-ray. His legs busted, maybe his arm too; got a
bump on the head, scrapes and bruises. That's all we know."
The other one answered.
"Thanks" He stepped aside and the officers went on their way. He
followed the signs pointing towards X-ray until he came to a set of
closed doors. He waited outside until they came out, pushing a
"Dr. Sullivan?" Ennis asked approaching the man with the chart. He
glanced down at the bed. Jack's head and arm were covered in
bandages. He was asleep.
"Yes. Are you a family member?"
"Friend of the family. Jack's momma called me. He and I had been on
a campin trip. I live in Riverton."
"I see. Well, looks like he has a compound fracture of the left leg;
left shoulder is dislocated. Got a bump on the head but that's not
too serious, possible concussion. He's got a few good weeks of hurt
ahead of him; but he'll be alright. He was lucky. From what I hear,
he totaled his truck."
"Yeah. Lucky. Why's he asleep? He in a coma or somethin?"
"No. He's just asleep. I gave him something pretty strong for the
pain. I knew we'd be setting that leg and pullin that shoulder back
into place. It's best for him to sleep for a spell."
"Yes. Sure thing. How long he gonna be here?" Ennis asked following
them back into the E.R.
"We need to get that leg in a cast and then we'll get him set up in a
room. He can probably go home in a day or two. After a trauma like
this, it's best he stay under observation for at least 48 hours."
"OK. Thanks. There a phone 'round here?"
"Up front by the desk."
He spoke to the operator and had the charges for the call put on his
home phone and waited while the phone rang at the Twist home.
It was answered on the first ring.
"Yes, Ma'am. He's gonna be alright." He told her what he knew she
needed to know first.
"Oh thank God! Can I talk to him?"
"Not right now. He's sleepin. They gave him somethin for the pain.
He busted his leg, dislocated a shoulder, got a bump on the head.
He's scraped up a little bit. Doctor says he wants to keep him here
under observation for 48 hours."
"Oh my goodness! Do they know what happened?" she asked, relieved but
"Don't know yet. I spoke with the Highway Patrol. They said they
found his truck in a ditch. No other vehicle involved; looks like he
just ran off the road. We'll know more in the mornin when we can talk
"Oh thank you, Ennis. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you
seein to him; callin me."
"Not a problem. I'll see to him till he gets home. I'll have him
call you tomorrow."
"Thank you, Ennis. You're a good man. I knew you would be."
"Thank you, Ma'am. I'll bring him home to you. That's a promise."
"I'll see you soon then."
"Yes, Ma'am." he hung up the phone and went back to wait outside the
curtain where they were working on Jack. The curtain opened and he
saw the nurse working over the cast on Jack's leg, His arm was now
in a sling. He was sleeping soundly.
He spent the rest of that night beside Jack's bed. Thinking. He'd
almost lost him. His eyes burned from lack of sleep; and the tears
that slipped down his cheeks from time to time. He'd almost lost him!
It came to him, over and over again. What would he have done if Jack
had died? He almost lost him. He could have died. He nearly did.
He almost lost him.
He awoke with a start when he heard the noise. It took a second to
remember where he was.
"You been here all night?" the nurse asked him as she took Jack's vitals.
"Aaahh I promised his Mom, I'd see to him." Ennis mumbled, standing
and stretching, "Could we get a phone in here? I promised her I'd
have him call soon as he wakes up."
"Sure thing." She made her notations on her chart and left the room.
Jack was still sleeping so he slipped into the adjoining bathroom and
relieved himself. He splashed water in his face and dried off with
paper towels and went back to Jack's bedside.
A few minutes later the nurse returned with a telephone and hooked it up.
"Dr. Sullivan should be in in a little while to check on him. All his
vitals look good though." She smiled at him and left the room.
"Did you get her phone number?" Jack asked with a tired smile.
"Jack! You son of a bitch! What the hell happened?" He caressed the
hand sticking out of the sling; bent and kissed the cracked lips lightly.
"Oh shit. I wrecked my new truck!"
"Fuck your truck! What happened?"
"Ohhhh." He put his good hand to his forehead. "Can't believe I did
that!" He tried to sit up, reached for the control on the side of the
bed and raised himself up.
The doctor walked in then reading off the chart. "How're you feelin?"
"Everything I got hurts." Jack answered.
"I'm not surprised. Get used to it. You're gonna be feelin like that
for a while. We can give you somethin to make you a little more
comfortable. Everythin looks good. You got a mild concussion,
dislocated shoulder, seriously broken leg and just about evrery thing
else is either scraped or bruised. Other than that, you're fine."
"Don't feel fine."
"You will shortly. Feel like you can handle some breakfast? Nurse
will be in with it in a few minutes. She's got some pain pills for
you and I ordered a tray for your friend as well." He left the room
making notes on the clipboard.
"You gonna tell me now what happened?" Ennis asked.
"Shit! You'll break my other leg!" Jack touched his upper lip.
"Hey, where's my moustache?"
"Half of it's still there." Ennis grinned.
"Half? He felt the rest of his lip "Why'd they take half off for?"
"You busted your lip. Looks like you got a coupla stitches in it."
"Jack. I need to know what happened. How'd you end up in that ditch?"
"Promise you won't laugh?"
"Laugh? Why would I laugh?"
"Jesus, Ennis!" Jack rubbed a hand over his face.
"I wasn't payin attention, is all."
"More to it than that. Why would I laugh at that?"
"I was just thinkin, is all"
"you and me and that tree....."
"And rememberin that time up at Pine Creek when we was goin at it and
bumped into the support and the tent came down on us. Remember that?"
"Yeah, I remember that. What's that got to do with you endin up in a
"And you didn't wanna stop? And we kept goin and goin, the canvas all
over us, gettin in the way?"
"OK. OK. I was.....well .....I was jackin off."
"You were WHAT??" He threw his head back and laughed out loud.
"You promised not to laugh!" Jack pouted.
"You almost got yourself KILLED!" His laughter quickly turning to
anger. " Do you have any idea what that would have done to me? To
"Don't yell at me. I'm hurt." He looked up with those puppy-dog eyes.
"YOU! ....Jack!....You son of a bitch! I almost lost you!!!" He
turned away from him then; walked to the window and stared out.
He stood there for a time, staring out the window without seeing
anything. Jack kept quiet. He knew he'd done a stupid thing and was
paying the price with Ennis' anger. That hurt more than his broken bones.
Several minutes passed then Ennis truned abruptly came back to the
bedside and picked up the telephone. He dialed the ranch and spoke to
"Ernie? Ennis. Somethin's come up. I gotta leave town." Pause
"No. Not tomorrow. I won't be back. Just send my final check to my
P.O. box." Pause "Yeah. I'm sure. Thanks."
He dialed the Twist ranch. Mrs. Twist answered first ring.
"Ma'am? It's Ennis. He's doin fine. Here you can talk to him." He
handed Jack the phone; Jack staring at him big-eyed. He held the
phone against his chest. "What'd you quit for?" he asked in a whisper.
"You gonna need someone to do for you for a while. I reckon that's
gonna be me. Talk to your Momma; tell her I'll be bringin you home
in a coupla days; and I'll be stayin."
Ennis walked back over to the window, leaned back against the ledge,
and stood, arms crossed, staring at Jack.
"Momma?" Jack put the phone to his ear but his eyes never left Ennis.
"Yes, Momma. I'm fine. Just busted my leg again." he listened to
the soothing words of his Momma and watched Ennis staring at him, with
that little smile of his and all the sudden he didn't hurt anymore.
All his empty places were filled. He was complete. Looked like Ennis
was gonna be working on his nursing badge!