Just Hit 'Send' - The College Years

by Grasshopper

Ch. 4

Junior year. The musketeers + 1 all met back at the apartment for another year working towards their futures. Now, 20 years old, they were maturing into the adults they would become.

Markie's hair was long now, blonde and curly, her bright green eyes still watching, but resigned to finding second best. Her summers at home were spent carefully, avoiding her mother as much as possible, any wrong word a reason to be gone. She was always so glad when August came and she could go back where she felt safe. Markie never told anyone.

Jerry and Missy were going strong. They had that glowy look and he spent more time at her apartment than at home. Missy was a sweetie and came over a lot to cook dinner for all of them. Danny liked to help her cook and she was teaching him *for when he and Jordan got married*. He wrote all the recipes down in a little green notebook and Jordan never ever teased him.

"How much oregano, Missy?"

"Just maybe 5 pinches."

"K."

Jordan laughed. "I'll give you 5 pinches, cutie." He had gotten over being shy in front of Missy. It made them both feel good that another person accepted them for who they were.

He peered over Danny's shoulder at the neatly printed ingredients. "You about done, Emeril?"

Danny chuckled. "Well, if you weren't a total eating machine, I wouldn't have to." Danny was cutting back on his intake cause of lack of exercise but Jordan's metabolism seemed to keep him whip thin.

Jordan leaned close to Danny's ear. "I know one thing I'd gobble that you don't need to write down in the little book."

Danny blushed and swacked a kiss on Jordan's cheek.

"Get out of the kitchen. You're distracting the cooks," Missy laughed, tossing Jordan a skinned carrot. "Go play in the other room.

"Yes, Ma'am. See ya."

Danny sighed happily. Life was so good that those little shadows kept themselves hidden in the back corners of his mind.


"Will we really have a dog, Jordy?"

"Do you want one?"

"Yeah. I want a big goofy dog that we'll name um...Fiddlesticks......that likes to run on the beach and fetch."

"You're so sure we're gonna live on the water, aren't you?"

"Yeah."

"How come?"

"Cause you promised and you always keep your promises." Danny looked at Jordan with shining eyes. "You always do."

"Okay baby. We'll live on the beach with a big goofy dog named Fiddlesticks," Jordan laughed at the stupid name, "and I'll love you till the day I die. I promise."


The weather changed and cooler wind began to blow across campus. Jordan sighed, knowing it signaled sweaters and jackets and cold rain and icy roads. He hated how this affected Danny and he knew he worried more during the cold months of the year.

"Looks like time to put the 'snow chains' on the chair, Dan."

"I know. Don't even kid. I hate it too."

"Just be careful. I don't want you hurt."

"K, Jordy." Sometimes, Danny felt more like Jordan's child than his boyfriend. He never said anything but he wished there was more he could do for Jordan. He never felt like they had a 50/50 partnership and it really bothered him.


"Jordy.......Hey...," Danny shook Jordan's shoulder. "Time to get up, sweetie."

No answer.

"Jordy?" He shook Jordan's shoulder again.

"Go away."

"What? What's wrong?" Danny schooched over by the lump under the covers and pulled the pillow off it's head.

"I think I'm dying."

"What's wrong?" Danny started to panic. "JORDY???"

"Sore throat.......feel like I'm gonna hurl."

"Oh God, there's a bad flu goin around."

"This isn't flu," Jordan moaned, "This is imminent death." He jumped up and ran for the bathroom, just making it to the john before his stomach erupted in a flow of "lava". "Oh God," he moaned, laying on the floor, his face pressed to the cold tile. "I feel like Linda Blair."

Danny grabbed his braces, reaching the bathroom in record time. "Lord, Jordy. Why didn't you wake me up?" He struggled to help Jordan up onto the toilet seat and wiped his face with a wet cloth. "Lean on me, sweetheart."

He could feel the heat rolling off Jordan's body in waves. "We've gotta take your temperature. Maybe you need to go to the doctor. C'mon, let's get you back in the bed."

They stumbled back in the bedroom and Jordan fell heavily on the bed. Danny covered him and went for the thermometer. He heard gross noises and headed back.

Jordan was sitting on the side of the bed. "I didn't make it," his voice sounding about 4 years old.

"It's okay baby. It's okay. Let's get you cleaned up." Danny stripped the sodden t-shirt over Jordan's head and pushed him toward the bathroom. "Get in," he said softly after he adjusted the water. "You wash off and I'll get you clean clothes."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be stupid."

Danny got clean sweats and helped Jordan out of the shower. "Dry off and we''ll get you to the sofa."

"I want to get in the bed and die."

"Not yet."

"Oh God.......I puked in the bed, didn't I? Just shoot me."

"I will later. Right now, let's get you comfy." Danny got a big mixing bowl from the kitchen and put it by Jordan's head. "Now, you lay still with this thermometer under your tongue and I'll be right back."

Jordan heard the water run in the tub and Danny cleaning his mess. 'I need to help him. He can't do all that by himself.' But when he tried to move, he felt the dizzies again and proceeded to puke out what little was left in his stomach. This time he hit the bowl.

By the time he was done, Danny was right there with a cool cloth and his soft gentle hands. "Let's try the thermometer again," he said gently.

Washed and shaken, he slid it under Jordan's tongue again and sat on the arm of the sofa, running his fingers through his sick baby's hair. "Okay that's 3 minutes.....hmmm......99.8. Not real high. Let's wait a little and see, okay?

I'll get you some Tylenol and ginger ale. K?" He picked up the mixing bowl and headed for the bathroom, returning it quickly.

"You stay put, right there. Hear me? No getting up."

"Yes, Mama."

"Hush up and mind. I need to go get ginger ale. I'll be right back."

"How are you gonna..........?"

"Don't worry. I'll be right back." He threw on clothes.

Jordan watched Danny go out the front door on his braces. He felt horrid and closed his eyes just for second.

The sound of the front door opening woke him from a weird sleep, a dream about huge buckets of pig blood being thrown over the head of the prom queen. 'Good Lord, I was doing a Carrie impersonation'.

"Thanks Mrs. Mc Cafferty. I appreciate this so much." Jordan watched as the lady walked into the kitchen and put a grocery bag on the counter.

"You boys gonna be all right?" She asked, as her nose wrinkled. "Whooo, he is a sick boy."

"Yes,Ma'am. I've just gotta clean up a little."

"Call me if you need anything else. I'm writing my number on this pad."

"Thank you so much."

Danny shook out two Tylenol and dropped them in his pocket. He filled a little glass with ice and brought it out to Jordan, his thumb stuck in the top, holding it by his brace. "Just a sec, "he panted, "Let me get the ginger ale."

"There," Danny laughed as he tumbled onto the end of the sofa. "Let me have the glass." He opened the bottle and poured some in and fished the pills out of his pocket. "Now, take these. Don't gulp the ginger ale. Sip it!"

Jordan grabbed Danny's hand as he held the glass. "Sorry."

Danny just smiled and kissed his forehead. "You comfy?"

"Yeah, for a dead person."

Danny pulled the throw off the back of the sofa and covered Jordan carefully. "I need to do some stuff. Call me if you need me."

How he did it, Jordan was never sure. He didn't ask. The floor clean, the sheets rinsed and fresh ones on, the room aired out, Danny tucked him back into bed and sat gently on the edge. Jordan, even as sick as he was, could see the strain lines around Danny's mouth. "You need anything?" he asked as he felt Jordan's cool forehead.

"No baby."

"I bet it's a 24 hour thing and it'll be gone tomorrow."

"I can hope. I'd kiss you but I think something died in my mouth."

Danny grinned. "Um....I never thought I'd say it, but no thanks." He leaned in and kissed Jordan on the cheek. "You try to sleep."

"I just thought of something I DO need to sleep."

"What?"

"You. Lay with me please."

Danny smiled that wide beautiful in his big blue eyes smile. "Sure, Jordy."

Later, when Jerry and Markie got home from classes, Danny heard Jordan telling them about being sick.

"Ugh! You need anything?"

"No," Danny heard him say, "I've got Danny to take care of me. I don't need any more than that."


Two days later, feeling so much better, Jordan rolled over and spooned Danny. "Dan?"

"Yeah?"

"I feel kinda better."

"You do?" Danny smiled, knowing what was coming.

"Yeah and I was wonderin........,"

"Wonderin what, Jordy?"

"If I could um........well, "thank you" for taking such good care of me?"

"You've already said thank you."

"Well, maybe I could show you."

"You sure you have your strength back?"

"Oh yeah." He pressed himself against Danny's back, his erection hot and pulsing. "Which way, baby?"

"I want to see your face, Jordy." Danny rolled over and held out his arms.

"I love to watch your eyes."

Jordan reached over and got a condom and the KY. "This is the part I like best," he whispered as his fingers began to tickle their way, making Danny wiggle. "The end is always too fast. I love to watch you when you want this so bad I think you're gonna explode. I like to feel you quiver when I touch the little place behind your balls, all hot and sweaty, that little road that leads right........here," he said as his fingers reached their goal. Danny began to clench those tight muscles, reflexing against Jordan's fingers. "That's it, baby. Let me in."

A few minutes later, as Danny slipped the condom on Jordan, as he felt the first push, he gasped, "This is always the best....this pain....giving way to the pleasure....you settling inside me...taking my breath away. Sliding in........pushing........I can't help it, Jordy.....when you're in me like this...just me and you and nothing else in the world."


Danny felt more equal in their relationship somehow after he had proved he could take care of Jordan if he needed to. It was like he wasn't totally helpless. There was so much he couldn't do, but he could take care of Jordan. If only he could make love to him. Jordan said it made no difference; that he liked everything just the way it was, but he would say that, he had no reason to feel any different. But Danny always wanted to be the one "on top" just so they were equal. He always felt a little bit of shame that he couldn't move and he would have given anything to just once hold Jordy's legs, just once be the aggressor, just once feel whole.


Jordy was headed out the door one morning on his way to early class and yelled out goodbye to anyone in hearing range. He ruffled Danny's curls and said, "Bye, cutie."

Jordy?"

"Yeah?"

"Can I ask you a favor?"

"Sure, punkin."

"Don't say goodbye."

"But I've gotta go to class," Jordan said, confused.

"I don't mean that. I mean the word 'goodbye'. Don't use it. It sounds like you're leaving and not coming back."

"Oh."

"Say SeeYa or Loveya or Later or anything....just not goodbye."

"You're such a goose, you know it?" Jordan hugged him tight, and whispered in his ear. "There are no goodbyes for us, baby, only happy days and lots and lots of hellos. For you, we'll drop the goodbyes." He kissed Danny on the tip of his nose and walked to the door. Turning, Jordan gave Danny one of his special 'sunshine smiles' that made Danny's heart melt.

"Later, Danny. There'll always be a later."


They all went to Missy's house for Christmas in Mobile. Her parents had mucho money and they swam in the heated pool and soaked in the Jacuzzi and played pool till all hours of the morning. Christmas Day, they opened presents and laughed at all the silly gifts.

"Okay, wise guys, who gave me an aqua bra?" Markie snorted.

"Well, you always complain about the heat. We just thought it would cool you down come about July."

"I'll have you know, Dolly Parton and I have a lot in common."

"Yeah, right. Your blonde hair...........Does she really have blonde hair? Those have got to be wigs she wears."

Jerry got a copy of Computers For Dummies, Jordan opened a first aid kit complete with barf bags, Danny got a miner's flashlight ( for those nights when he couldn't find Jordan haha) and Missy got a copy of So Your Boyfriend Is A Hacker. They were all giggling over their gifts when Missy shyly showed them her left hand, a bright diamond sparkling on her ring finger.

"WOW!! You guys are engaged!!"

"Yes," she said shyly. "Jerry asked me last night."

"You old dog." Jordan punched him in the arm.

"When's the wedding?"

"Oh, not for a while. We have to finish school, but we thought it would be easier to explain why we're............," she trailed off, looking at Jerry.

"What?" Markie asked.

Jerry looked a little embarrassed. "We kinda want to have a place of our own, guys."

"Move out?"

"Well, yeah."

They all knew it would happen sooner or later, but, like Danny, they were all hoping for later.

"That's great," Jordan said first, nudging Danny.

"Oh..yeah.....GREAT!! We'll miss ya but you'll be around."

A bit of a quiet settled over the five as they realized that their lives were beginning to change.

Later that night, whispered in Danny's ear, "Merry Christmas."

"Merry Christmas to you too," Danny smiled, his hand gripping a little box.

"Now?"

"Yeah."

They sat up in bed and handed each other tiny boxes wrapped in shiny silver

paper and topped with red bows. They had picked them out together, and had them engraved, had waited till Christmas to put them on. Jordan called them their "Always" rings. Smooth silver bands with tiny lines intertwined as if hugging. Inside just the word "Always", one with a J and one with a D.

"Merry Christmas, baby."

"Merry Christmas, Jordy."


The weather got worse. Snow actually fell in Tallahassee, Florida and the roads and sidewalks iced over. By February, locals were muttering that this was the worst winter they'd seen since 1892.

Jerry moved to a little apartment with Missy 2 streets over and it was like they were their friends more than they were before.

Markie tried to get Jordan to let her help with driving Danny everywhere but he wouldn't have it. "No, I'd just worry about BOTH of you. Thanks anyway, Marks."


Markie was dating a fraternity guy that Danny thought looked amazingly like Jordan. Same hair, same green eyes but that's where the resemblance ended. Jeffrey Holden was one self absorbed prick.

"Marks, you sure you know what you're doin?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I've got it all under control."

She didn't, but she would die before she'd admit it. Her mother had taught her well. "You're worthless, Markie Latham. Your daddy even named you for a boy. Don't you ever come home, you get yourself in trouble with a boy. God will strike you dead. All that blonde hair and those tight clothes, you're the work of the devil, Miss High and Mighty."

Her Mama had been that way since Markie was old enough to remember. Always watching her, always telling her what sin was and what happened to girls who did wrong. Markie had always been a good girl and all she'd wanted from the time she met him, was Jordan Lawrence.


It happened late one ugly February night. The roads were icy, the power was out in parts of the city. Jordan was driving Danny home from the library; they had studied until they couldn't even see straight.

"You okay over there, Dan?"

"It's freezing in here. Can you turn on the heat?"

"Yeah, sure, baby." Jordan reached for the heater switch.

The car in front of him began to spin out of control on a patch of thick ice and as Jordan struggled to gain control, he could feel the tires lose traction.

"Danny..God! Hold on."

"Jordy!!!!"

The median wall flew up to meet them head on and, as Danny reached for Jordan, the last thing he heard was Jordan screaming his name.

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