Just Hit 'Send' - The Interim Years

by Grasshopper

Ch. 2

His wheelchair pulled as close to the cliff edge as Easy would let him, Danny watched the sun set, fully expecting to hear a loud hiss when it hit the water. "Terry, everything's wonderful," he laughed, turning his head to smile up at his friend.

Terry was so pleased to see that smile on Danny's face. He had been quiet and thoughtful on the drive up and Terry didn't know if he was sorry he had agreed to move. "I hope you'll like it here. My mom is off in Europe and we can just kick back and enjoy ourselves."

"But, this is great. The house is unbelievable and this view, My God!" The house sat on the high cliffs of the Columbia River, the storm gods whirling and spinning their thunderbolts and misty clouds of rain along the corridor of polished bluffs and rocky ledges. Danny had never seen such beauty in nature, such an imbalance of his senses.

They had left San Diego in cutoff jeans and t-shirts and now, here he was, half frozen, bundled in one of Terry's hooded USC sweatshirts, the mist in the air dampening his eyelashes. He had begged Easy to wheel him to the very edge of the high bluff so he could see the storm gods at work.

He felt for Easy's hand, pulling him down close. "I wish Jordy could see this, Ez."

"I know. He will one day," Easy soothed. He was so conflicted about this move. Danny needed to continue his therapy and he relied on Terry. Easy felt loyalty pulling him in both directions. He owed Jordan his very life but he could see what Danny was going through. He just hoped he could be the right friend for both of them. If they were meant to be together, then life would work out that way.

"Let's go get you warmed up and some supper going," Terry said quietly. He could feel Easy's questions and wished he could answer them but on the other hand, perhaps Jordan hadn't been the right person, the right catalyst to make Danny live his life. Time would tell, and Terry would be right by Danny to help him.

They walked back up the stone path toward the back deck that opened into a huge open house made of wood and glass as if the gods had thrown one of their crystal toys and it had landed on this barren cliff.

"I love the stained glass," Danny praised the play of colors as the sun shown its last through the violets and lavenders and azure blues of the high windows. "I feel like I'm in a movie."

Terry grinned. "What can I say? My mother marries well. Now, let's get you to your rooms." He pushed Danny's chair up the wooden ramp behind the huge banister to the second floor.

"Is your mom in a wheelchair?" Danny asked. "I can get around so easy here with all the ramps."

"Nah," Terry blushed, "I um....kinda added these before you came."

"Ohhhh," Danny sighed, his face a conflict of pleasure and worry.

"No problem, Dan. I just wanted you to be comfortable."

"Thank you, Terry." He reached up and pulled Terry down for a sweet hug.

"I don't want to be trouble for you."

Terry just smiled.


"Well, Markie. I don't know what to tell ya," Easy muttered into the phone later in the night.

"What?" she asked, catching the tone in his voice.

"Dang if the guy hasn't added ramps and shit to his GORGEOUS house to make our boy comfortable."

"Oh."

"Yeah. We may be in big trouble here. How's the Man?"

"He's doing okay. School started Monday and he loves it. The lesson plans and schedules and papers to grade have already got him running. Between being Teacher and Daddy, Jordy hasn't had time to think a lot."

"Good. Keep him that way."

"Ez? Danny can't do this, you know."

"Miss Marks, sometimes life fucks with your brain. Dan is on overload right now. But....the first thing he did was put Jordan's picture right by his bed and stare at it for like ever. He kinda talks to Jord under his breath all the time. It's kinda goofy but he just runs this conversation with him a lot."

"Well, Jordan doesn't even pretend to be brave. If I say Danny's name, he starts to blink real fast, so I change the subject. When do you start classes? When does he start back with his therapy?"

"Monday. Terry has a jeep we can use and trust me, we're gonna live in that exercise room."

"See ya, Ez."

"Night sweet lady."


Jordan stood in front of the mirror, wiggling the knot in his tie. "I hate wearing this," he yelled to no one in particular. "I never thought I'd see the day I had to wear a tie."

Markie walked up behind him, tiptoed up and helped him adjust the offensive slip of silk. She looked at the mirror. "You look good, MR. Lawrence." The soft graygreen long sleeved cotton shirt brought out his eyes and made his blonde hair shine. He looked better than any teacher she remembered having in high school. "All the girls falling over you?"

He rolled his eyes, then grinned, "Yeah, kinda. And there's this one teacher...she invited me to work on our plan books together.....at her house."

"Haha, now if it was a guy..........," She didn't get any further as Jordan turned to grab her. "If it was guy, I'd bring him home for you." They looked at each other for a minute, then sighed.

"What are we doin', Marks?"

"Getting' by, Jordy. Getting' by." the words left unsaid, *Til Danny comes home*

"I know we're "married" as far as people know but if you find someone, Marks, promise me...."

"I promise, Jordy. But until you're happy, I'm here."

"You're so confident he'll come back to me?"

She thought for a minute. "Yeah. I've never seen more love than you two have. I don't know why he's done this, but he must have his reasons, so, if you can wait, yeah.......he'll come back. Will you care, after all this, if he still can't walk?"

"No. I never have."

An angry wail interrupted their talk as Josh let it be known that he was tired of waiting, buckled into his carry chair and the day was moving on. Jordan hoisted the little guy, chair and all, slung his carryall over his shoulder and they walked out of their little apartment on Clarkson Avenue to go be grownups, teachers. Would wonders never cease?


"Jordy?"
"Dan."
"I miss you."

Jordan wasn't sure how much to say, how far to let his feelings show right now. He wanted Danny to know he missed him so much but he didn't want to put pressure on him or make him feel guilty.

"Me 2 you."

Danny heard the tone in Jordan's reply.

"Jordy?"
"Uh huh?"
"It isn't that I don't love you."
"I know baby."
"It's just that I was such a burden.""

Jordan closed his eyes tight.

"Never to me but I understand."
"Do you, Jordy?"
"I understand that you felt better off away from me; that I wasn't what you needed right now."

Danny cried silently.

"I always need you, Jordy."
"Then......?"
"I don't want to strap you down."
"Strap........what the hell are you talking about?"
"Be an anchor that keeps you from......"
"Dan........stop, please stop. I can't do it if you talk like this."

Both boys were crying quietly, each lying in their single beds at opposite ends of the earth.

"How is therapy?

Danny grabbed the change in conversation.

"Good. Terry says I'm gonna be on the parallel bars in no time."
"How is Terry?"
"He's being so great, Jordy. He built ramps at his house just so I could get around."

*Fanfuckingtastic* Jordan groaned quietly.

"How's school?"
"Cool. I really like it, so does Marks."
"And Josh?"
"He's my way cool super baby. He'll be boardin' and surfin' in a few months."
"Haha.......give him a big hug from his Uncle Danny."
"Will do."

Each boy held onto the phone for dear life, knowing what was wrong, how easy it would be to fix it and yet unable to do a thing.

"Jordy?"
"Mmmm?"
"Why are we being like this?"
"Like what?"
"Like....like strangers?"
"Cause, I guess cause I don't know what to say and you've made up your mind."

Danny wanted so much to tell Jordan to come get him, that none of this was worth hurting each other like this, but he could still hear David's words in his brain......"burden....strapped down.....sin...he has a chance." He knew he would do anything so that Jordan had his chance.

"Dan?"
"Yes?"
"Just......just don't stop loving me. I can do this if you don't stop loving me somewhere between now and when you come home."

Hot tears flooded down Danny's cheeks.

"Never, my sweet Jordy."
"I love you, Dan."'

*Never as much as I love you* Danny sighed to himself.

"I love you, Jordy."


Days began to fly by. They flipped into weeks and weeks into months. Months in people's lives. Months you can't get back.


"Danny, How does this feel?" Terry was bending Danny's knee and flexing the tight muscles in his thigh, his fingers brushing lightly against the skin. He watched Danny's eyes, looking for any spark. It had been months and he was not going to push Danny into anything he'd regret but dang! He was beautiful.

Danny closed his eyes tight and then opened them, willing his body to behave. It had been so long since Jordy had touched him. So long since he had felt heat from anyone's hands. He let Terry's fingers edge closer to his body, knowing he was hard, knowing he couldn't help it. He raised his eyes up to look in Terry's face.

"Terry, I.............,"

"Hey guys ! You about done, Dan?" Easy's voice echoed in their ears. "We need to get to the library like an hour ago."

The tension was thick and Easy walked right into it. He saw the situation, the bulge in Danny's shorts, the look in Terry's eyes. 'Lordy,' he thought, 'I need some help here, Jord.'


"Dan?"

"Yeah, Easy?"

"Think, sweetstuff. If you want it, you want it, but think what you might be throwin' away."

Danny looked out the jeep window. He had wanted Jordy and would have settled for Terry's warmth, Terry's mouth.

"I know. I really do know. I miss Jordy so much. I couldn't help it," he blushed.

"This isn't exactly my speciality," Easy laughed, "But with gay guys, is it okay to fool around when you're with someone as long as no one knows?"

"As long as Jordan doesn't know, you mean."

"Well, yeah."

"Maybe for some guys but Jordy and me? No."

"Then think hard. Or maybe that was the wrong word," Easy snorted.

Danny laughed. "I'm so glad you're here with me, Ez. It's almost like having Jordan with me...........kinda." he grinned.

"Ha! Oh no you don't. Don't you be looking at me with those horndog eyes, Lil Dude. But, Dan......"

"Yeah?"

"You need to talk to Terry. I hope he's really your friend cause if all he wants is your hot bod......we're in a world of trouble."


Jordan held Josh in his arms as he walked into the ocean. The water was warm and the day was clear and blue. "Look, little Josh. There's a big moose in the clouds. He's chasing that little mouse across the sky." He pointed up to the sky and laughed when Josh grabbed his finger and began to gnaw. "I guess those teeth are making you crazy, huh little guy?"

Jordan wouldn't have traded anything for this time with Josh, watching him grow and change and learn. He wished Josh was really his but in almost every sense, he was. He just wished Dan was here to help and laugh at all the silly little things that happened every day.

*Dan.........you'd love him. Can we have kids? I wish you were here. The day is perfect......except for one thing* he had gotten into the habit of talking to Danny in his mind and most of the time in little whispers. Markie would just laugh and call him a doof.

Lying on the blanket at the public beach, he settled Josh under the big umbrella with his rattle toys and then turned to Marks.

"Marks?" the sound in his voice making her put down her book.

"What Jordy?"

"Do you," he blushed, "Do you get like crazy sometimes?"

She laughed. "Ohhhhh yeah. See that guy over there? I could throw him down, strip him naked and do him right here on the beach."

"OMG!! Too much information," he snorted, covering his ears. Then, shyly, he whispered, "So could I."

"Jordan!!" she tried to look shocked and then they both moaned.

"Sometimes, Marks, I just want to feel someone warm next to me."

Markie rolled over and touched her hand to Jordan's face. "Why don't you go see him? It's been a long time."

"We don't have the money. You know that."

"We could save on something," she offered, having no idea what.

"No," his voice taking on a difficult tone. "I love him but I'm not gonna hurt you and me when he didn't even have to go."

Markie frowned. She hadn't heard that tone before.

"Jordy, are you angry?"

"Damn, Marks. Sometimes, I don't know what I am. It's been 6 months and for what? So he can live out there with some rich guy doing shit only knows what, while I'm......"

"Stuck with us," she said softly.

Jordan stopped. "No sweetheart, never stuck, not with you or my man here," he reached to pat Josh. "I was gonna say, sittin', waitin' for him like some idiot schoolboy. For all I know, he's having a wonderful time with Terry." He made the name sound like something nasty you find on the bottom of your shoe. "Maybe I need to find someone to keep me 'occupied' til he decides to come home.........if he decides to come home."

"Talk to him, Jordy. This doesn't sound like you at all."

"I can't, Marks. He......I need to touch him to talk to him. I can't talk about this stuff on the phone. I can't see his face. I can't even see who's sitting right beside him."

"Don't you trust him?"

Jordan sat up and folded his legs in, resting his chin on his knees. "Yeah, I do......but why should I trust Terry?"


David was cleaning out one of the horse stalls, talking to the horses. "You miss them too, don't you? Remember how we used to ride out into the swamp in the early mornings to look for the eagles? Adam used to always beg for the sugar cubes I'd put in my pocket, so you could have a treat, Jo. And you, Tink....Jordan always brushed you till you shone. They were my good boys, my two perfect boys."

Claire leaned against the doorjam. "No one's perfect, David."

He didn't even turn his head. "My boys were."

"Well, Adam wasn't old enough to be anything except perfect when he died and Jordan, as far as I'm concerned, he still is."

"Maybe now, he will be."

"What does that mean?"

"Just maybe now he has a chance."

"He does have a chance.....a chance with Danny. A chance to be happy."

"Daniel Trainor isn't who he needs. Jordan will see that.....in time."

"Didn't you even look at them at graduation? Didn't you even try to see what they have?"

"Yes, Claire. I looked."

"And what did you see?"

"Do you really want to stir that up again? You know what I saw. I saw that queer turning my son's head and heart because he's crippled. You know Jordan's always helped the ones with the broken wings."

*God give me strength* Claire thought.


"Hey Dan, you need anything before I leave?"

"No, Ez. Have a good time and I'll see ya when I see ya," he laughed, wiggling his eyebrows.

"She's just a friend."

"Uh huh........a reeeeeeeeally good friend."

Easy popped him on the forehead, "Don't be showin' me a bunch a sass, Lil Dude. I'll call your boyfriend."

He watched Danny's eyes cloud over. Shit !! "You tuck in and I'll check in when I get home, K?" Damn, he hated it when he made Danny go all sad.

"Sure, Ez. I'll be right here."


Jordan had a bad feeling. He had had a headache all day and it didn't show any signs of letting up. Rubbing his eyes, he slammed the gradebook shut on the big stack of English papers he was grading. Something was gonna happen; he could feel it. Picking up his cell, he punched #1.

"Jordy?"
"Yeah, it's me."
"Hi."
"Are you okay?"
"Sure. What's wrong?"

Jordan pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to ease away the tension.

"I guess nothing."
"Are YOU okay, Jordy? You sound funny."
"Yeah, it's just late and I'm tired, I guess."
"It's 1:00 there. Go to bed, baby."
"If you're sure nothin's wrong."
"I'm fine. You're just tired."

Danny knew better than to say anything lovey. The last time they'd tried to have phone sex, he'd ended up crying instead of cumming and Jordan had just known. If he told Jordan he wanted to rub his tummy like he always did when Jordan was overtired, he'd end up crying again.

"Okay.....if you're all right," Jordan asked one more time.
"I'm fine, Jordy. I love you."
"Love you too, Dan. Night."

Clicking off, Jordan's headache pounded. He took some Excedrin, a hot shower and fell into bed but sleep was a long time coming. He had learned the hard way that jerking off after one of these frustrating phone calls just made things worse. Just made his head ache worse.

*Night Dan* he whispered.


Danny was dozing off, reading a book the teacher had assigned that was dead boring, wondering why they thought they had to make college kids pay $125 for a book they wrote that was a boring as mud.

Terry tapped on the door and stuck his head in. "You asleep?" he said softly.

"Nah.......come on in," Danny smiled.

Terry came and sat on the edge of Danny's bed. "Reading?"

"Yeah but it's awful."

"Dan," he said quietly, "We need to talk."

Danny knew. He just knew. This had been coming for awhile, ever since that day in the exercise room. "I know."

"I realize you think you love Jordan but Dan, he's so far away and well, I'm right here." He put his hand up to cup Danny's cheek. It felt like the air had suddenly gotten sucked out of the room. Danny turned his face into Terry's hand and closed his eyes. His body betrayed him as he felt the bed move under Terry's weight. He loved Jordan, he needed Jordan so much, but....... Jordan wasn't here.

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