Ed and Hank
Part 16, Later Thursday evening
Like this. Always…
Question: Long chapter again. Too long? Disclaimer: Jack and Ennis belong entirely to Ms. Proulx. Ed and Hank belong only to each other. Still losing money. Started hockin' some of Ed's stuff. Shhh... Don' tell him. Rating: PG-13, language Feedback: Always appreciated.
Links to all previous and future parts (if they exist) are here:
Part 16, Like this. Always...
Ed and Hank had been reunited for almost four and a half years when Hank’s grandma moved in with his aunt and uncle making it more difficult for his aunt and uncle to travel to Hank’s folks for their annual post-holiday, January visit. Something that had been a long-standing tradition. Not wanting to forsake this tradition altogether, Hank’s folks decided to travel to his aunt and uncle’s place that year, and the next few as well. Hank would stay behind to look after the ranch.
Hank tried to hide his excitement. Probably didn't do a very good job of it. He and Ed would have the whole house to themselves. If Ed could change his week off. A real bed instead of a bedroll. Hot and cold running water. A fireplace to curl up in front of instead of a campfire. Hank couldn’t wait to talk to Ed about it. Called him at work even. Hank could tell Ed was startled, and maybe none too pleased to hear from him while he was working. Probably would have been the same had Hank called him at home. But Hank didn’t have the patience for a postcard this time. Ed hung up quickly, after saying he’d try to figure it out. But he did figure it out. He called Hank back that night. Told him he’d managed to switch things around so he could be there that week instead of the one they had originally planned on.
And then Hank was waiting. Again. Always waiting. Never getting any better at it. But as usual, somehow, someway, it was finally the day Ed was supposed to arrive. Hank said good-bye to his folks and spent the rest of the morning pacing around the house. Too nervous to do any work. Must have looked out that front window a hundred times, thinking he’d heard Ed’s truck, and it wasn’t even noon yet. Didn’t really even expect Ed before noon. It was easily a five hour drive and who knows what might have held Ed up at home. Hank tried to figure out when the earliest Ed might arrive was. He could have kicked himself for not asking Ed to call him right before he left so that he might have a better idea of when to expect him.
Not very hungry, Hank checked the fridge anyway. Hank’s ma knew Ed was coming for the week to ‘help out’ and Hank knew she’d been cooking for them, but he was taken aback when he opened the fridge and saw it bursting with all of his favorite foods. A note said there was more in the deep freeze and a couple of pies and a cake in the cupboard. Hank smiled, silently thanking his ma, then went to check the guest room, first stopping by his room to get his pillow to put on the guest room bed. His and Ed’s bed.
Hank tossed his pillow onto the bed, the fire building as he thought about Ed and that bed. "Maybe he should try 'n think 'bout somethin' else. Ed would prob'bly be here soon 'nough." Bedroom looked real nice. Thanks to his ma again. Hank stopped short then, noticing the quilt folded and hanging over the footboard of the bed. It wasn’t the usual company quilt his ma put out. But it seemed somehow familiar. "Where had he seen it before?"
Then it came to him. It had been at least ten years ago. More than that even. His ma had made that quilt. For Hank. Told him she was going to put it away and save it for him. Save it for when he got married. Said every couple needed a nice warm quilt to start them off right in this cold world.
Hank sat down hard on the bed. “His ma put that quilt out for Ed? For him and Ed? His ma knew?”
“Of course his ma knew. She’d given up trying to set him up with local single girls long ago, hadn’t she?” Hank had never come out to his parents. Didn’t even know that was what you would have called it. Besides, it was kind of a hard topic to bring up in a family whose conversations rarely went beyond the weather, local politics and the price of cattle.
Hank never really hid anything though. Didn’t pretend to be interested in girls. And he sure couldn’t hide how happy he’d get when he was leaving to meet Ed. Or how low he’d sometimes get after returning home. After the elation from having been with Ed would slowly wear away. But it was never spoken of out loud. Never even hinted at.
In a family of such few words, Hank knew that big old fridge full of food meant love. And putting that quilt on the guest bed? “Damn.” What else could that be but his ma’s way of saying she knew about him and Ed and she accepted them. Hank brushed away the few sudden tears that fell. This was more than he’d ever expected. And, somehow, it was enough.
Pulling the quilt up and over him, Hank curled up on the bed. He had to admit that it hadn’t been as bad moving back with his folks as he’d thought it was going to be. During those years when Hank was traveling so much they had never asked him to stay. Maybe they were too proud. But once Hank moved back, a certain weight seemed to be lifted from their shoulders and some of their rough edges seemed to soften just a bit.
Didn’t occur to Hank while he was growing up or even right off when he moved back, but some of that reserve might well have been worry. Worry about losing the ranch. Having to sell the land. The land was the only thing they had of any value and, way back then, it wasn’t even worth all that much. Then they would have had to move to town. Find a house to rent. Find some kind of work. A hard fate for country folk.
Another source of worry, over the last half dozen years or so, would have been his pa’s slowly deteriorating health. Hank hadn’t even noticed it at first when he was traveling so much. It wasn’t anything specific. Or maybe it was. But his pa never went to a doctor to try and find out. “Quacks and charlatans” was what he called them. And they couldn’t afford to hire help.
So, though nothing was ever said, Hank’s moving home must have gone a long way towards easing some of that worry. Towards making Hank's folks feel a little more secure.
Not that Hank and his folks ever got real close. That just wasn’t going to be. But they settled into an amicable enough routine and relationship. Only once did Hank overhear his pa complaining to his ma about Hank taking off so regular-like to meet Ed. His ma had told his pa to stop his grumbling. Told him Hank was entitled to live his own life and to take some time off and that they were lucky to have him there at all.
And, best of all, he had overheard his pa’s answer, “Yeah. Yer right. As usual. Boy deserves some kinda life outside this here ranch.” Wouldn’t sound like much to most people. But to Hank it was pretty damn close to an outright declaration of love.
Hank hadn’t slept well the night before. Too excited about Ed’s… uh… imminent arrival and the week that lay ahead. But now, wrapped in that warm quilt, that quilt that said what his ma never could, Hank fell into a deep sleep. Woke up a couple of hours later. Rested, full of energy and… “Damn. Where the hell was Ed, anyway?” Hank carefully re-folded that quilt and hung it over the footboard, then went back to pacing the house. Ate a little. But just had one beer. He wanted all his senses clear when Ed arrived. Knew he’d be needing every single one of them.
The last rays of the winter sun had just disappeared behind the distant mountains when Hank finally spotted a pair of headlights far off down the road. "Had to be Ed. Let it be Ed..." Hank headed out onto the porch. Dusk didn’t linger this time of year, with day turning almost directly into night. By the time those headlights turned off onto the long driveway it was dark. Watching those lights come up the drive, Hank grabbed onto the porch post as his knees grew unexpectedly weak. “Damn. This was it. This was what he wanted. Ed coming home to him. It should be like this. Always…”
Hank watched those headlights come slowly towards him. Ed pulled up a little ways from the porch and turned off his truck. As Ed’s headlights went dark, Hank realized he had forgotten to turn on the yard light. He couldn’t see Ed’s truck, or Ed, beyond the glow cast by the dim porch light.
Knees still weak, Hank couldn’t move. As he stood on the porch waiting for Ed, bathed in that dim glow and unable to see beyond its small circle of light, something felt very familiar. Then it hit Hank, “That second night. On their mountain. Waiting for Ed to come to him. Or not.” This time Hank knew Ed was coming to him. Knew Ed's strong arms would be wrapping around him. Knew Ed's soft lips would find his. But he also knew Ed would be leaving him again. Leaving him over and over again. Never as hard as that first parting. But ever since their reunion each good-bye had been a little harder than the one before. Hank longed for the day when Ed would stop leaving him. When Ed would come home to him. To stay. Hank had to believe there would be such a day. He just had to...
Hank shook himself out of his daydream. Stupid to be dreaming when Ed was just a few yards away. “But where the hell was Ed?” Hank hadn’t heard the truck door open or close. Then, just like that night so long ago, Hank suddenly felt oddly uneasy and exposed. “To hell with this.” Hank thought, and started down the stairs. As Hank’s eyes adjusted to the light he could just make out Ed, still sitting in his truck. Hands on the wheel, head turned towards Hank. Hank didn’t know what to make of it. Usually by now Ed would have had him locked in a tight embrace. At the bare minimum.
Hank walked over to Ed’s truck and opened the driver’s side door. Ed turned on the seat, towards Hank. The wildfire that always burned in Hank for Ed, barely contained for the last few hours, flared out of control. Hank stepped in closer to the truck then stepped up on the running board. Ducking his head into the cab, Hank grabbed Ed’s shirt, bunching it up in his hands as he pulled Ed towards him, kissing him hard. Then, lips not letting go, Hank pushed Ed back across the seat, falling with Ed as he fell back.
When they finally broke that kiss to catch their breath, shirts already askew, hands already grasping at belt buckles, Ed smiled up at Hank, launching into their now traditional greeting, which generally varied only in who started it, “What’s yer hurry, Hank? Got the whole damn week.”
Hank laughed, “Week’s not as long as ya migh’ think.”
Ed broke with the script, “Sure ‘nough. But it’s damn cold out here and if I’m not mistaken that’s a pretty invitin’ lookin’ house right there.”
“Think ya migh’ have a point there.” Hank groaned as he climbed off of Ed, grabbing Ed’s arm and pulling him up and out of the truck then towards the house. Pulled Ed up the stairs with Ed protesting, “Hey, don’t I even get a tour a yer house first?” Pulled Ed down the hall and into the guest room. Into their room. Fell backwards down onto the bed and pulled Ed down on top of him…
Hank smiled at the memory as he turned away from the computer and glanced towards the old quilt lying across the footboard of their bed. Same old quilt. Same old room. Different bed. Bigger bed. But best of all… Same old Ed. “Like always…”
“Hey, Ed? You ‘wake?”
“Sure sounds like ya are.”
“Nope. ‘M sound asleep.”
“Do ya remember that first time we met up at my folk’s place…? Uh… Here... That first time ma folks went to visit m' aunt ‘n uncle?”
“Remember every time I ever laid eyes on ya.”
“Do ya remember sittin’ in yer truck after ya pulled up? Me havin’ ta come ‘n get ya?”
“…Yeah… Remember what happened righ' after too. Why ya askin? Ya cain’t poss'bly be up fer more…”
“Jus’ seemed kinda weird. At the time. ‘N now when I think ‘bout it again. Ya usually came outta tha’ truck at me like a bat outta hell. D’ ya remember what ya were thinkin’ ‘bout? Sittin’ in yer truck like tha’.”
“Yeah. I remember.” Ed sighed, “Drove up ‘n saw ya on tha' porch. Standin’ in the light like tha’. Got a real odd feelin’. Like whatta they call it when ya feel like ya done somethin’ before, even though ya never did?"
“Yeah. But that weren’t ‘xactly it. It was more like… Whatta they call it when ya get a vision a the future?”
“Yeah. But that weren’t ‘xactly it either.”
“Think ‘m gettin’ a migh’ confused here, Cowboy.”
“Guess it’s more like tha’ first one. But the other way ‘round. Or somethin’. I dunno. Jus’ had this feelin’. Not like I’d been there before. But… when I saw ya standin’ on tha’ porch like tha’. Our porch, now. All of a sudden, lookin' at ya, couldn' catch ma breath. Reminded me a our mountain. When I came down ta you. After tha' first time... But diff'rent too... Kinda felt like I was drivin' up ta our house. Like I was comin’ home.”
“Jus’ wrote tha’ very thing. Tha’s what I was thinkin’ ‘bout when I saw ya drivin’ up. ‘Bout how it seemed like tha’ second night. ‘N tha’ it seemed like ya were comin’ home ta me. C’mere in see fer yerself.”
“Don’ wanna get outta bed. Nice 'n warm. Jus’ take yer word fer it.”
“Don’ ya think tha’s weird? Kinda spooky, even?”
“I dunno... Nah... Not too. Both wanted the same thing. Both bound ta be thinkin’ ‘bout it. ‘Specially seein’ as it were the first time we were meetin’ at a house. Yer house. Our house, now.”
“Didn’ even know ya wanted the same thing back then. Thought ya were dead-set ‘gainst it.”
“Hell. Couldn’ admit it ta ma self mos’ a the time. But… In spite a ma self. In spite a all tha’ religion. All tha’ fear ‘n pain. Wanted ta be with ya. Always. ‘Course wouldn’ let ma self think on it. But sometimes… Like right then… when I’d look at ya… it’d jus’ blindside me. Knock me fer some kinda loop. Think the diff’rence was you believed it could happen ‘n I didn’ never think it could."
“Seems so fuckin’ stupid. There we were. So long ago. Both wantin’ the same thing ‘n still so damn far from gettin’ it…”
“Sorry, Hank. Know I let ya down. Took me so long. Maybe if times had been different…”
“Didn’ let me down. Know ya did the best ya could. Just… I dunno... Fuckin' ignorant world…” Hank shook his head, “Love ya, Ed. Sorry ta bother ya. Try ta get some sleep. ‘M gonna keep writin’ fer a little while.”
“Okay. Love you, too.” Ed punched his pillow a few times and rolled over as Hank started typing again.
It had been their best week. Ever. Well… up until that point anyway. The week that gave Hank his first real taste of what a life with Ed could be like. Living together. Day to day. Working side by side together on the ranch. A life together. Like other people got to live. Without ever thinking twice about it. And Hank liked it. A lot. Hank found himself thinking over and over again, “It could be like this. Always.” Every morning. Every afternoon. Every evening. And every moment in between. “It should be like this. Always…"
Then, it was their last night...
“Remember tha’ week? Think tha’ musta been one of our best times ever. Least-wise up ‘til then. Don’ you? Kinda like the first time it were ever like what we have now.”
Hank looked over at Ed and then back at what he’d just written, “Yeah, Ed. Definitely one of our best weeks ever.”
Turning back to the keyboard, Hank typed, ‘Ed spoke again, “Hey, Hank. Maybe we should get ya a new truck. Nice green one ta match yer eyes. Loaded too. Kinda a reward fer when ya finish writin' our story. Know how hard ya been workin’ on it."'
Hank then turned and looked at Ed, waiting expectantly.
“Nothing... Damn... Oh well, it was worth a try.” Hank went back to writing.
Then it was their last night together. Again. So damn many last nights together... They had spent the night sitting on the floor, leaning against the couch, taking turns holding each other in front of the fire. Both quieter than usual. Hank wanted to tell Ed how he felt. Tell Ed what he wanted. “This. Always.” But he didn’t want to risk spoiling such a perfect week. Still not saying anything, Hank had finally stood up and held his hand out to Ed. Led him upstairs to their room.
And then they were lying in bed, Ed’s full length on top of Hank. And Ed was kissing Hank, impossibly gently and tenderly. When Ed broke that sweet kiss his eyes had caught Hank’s, not letting go. Lost in Ed’s eyes, Hank had thought once again, “It could be like this. Always…” With every touch, “It could be like this....” With every sigh, “It should be like this...” With every stroke, “Always… always…always…”
And later, lying tangled up in each others arms, Hank heard himself whisper, “It could be like this. Always.”
“Shit. Did he really say that out loud?” Hank wasn’t sure. He tensed, waiting for Ed’s reaction, but none came. Ed’s head was turned away from Hank. Maybe Ed hadn’t heard. Maybe he had fallen aslee...
“…Earth ta Hank. Come in. Watch out fer them meteors. Look a lot like pillows." Ed threw another pillow at Hank, hitting him in the head again.
“Shit.” Hank laughed, throwing the pillows back at Ed, “Ya want somethin’, Ed?”
“I said… Ya know wha’ ma favorite parts a tha’ week was?”
“Think I migh' have some idea.”
“Nah. Tha’ werent’ it. Not tha’ it weren’t earth movin’ ‘n all. Always was. ‘Specially tha’ last night... Damn...”
“Still is. Don’ think I gotta tell ya. Ya always make ma toes curl.”
“Still. Be nice ta hear it.”
“Jus’ told ya, dumbass.”
“Guess ya did. Ya curl ma toes too, dumbass.”
“Thanks. ‘N, like I said, tha' was earth shakin', as usual, but ma favorite parts was more like the kinda day ta day stuff we never done together ‘fore tha. Maybe did the campin’ version a some a it... But diff’rent when yer in a house. Ya know... Jus' dumb stuff... Like bumpin’ each other outta the way while brushin’ our teeth together a’ the same sink. ‘N jus’ lyin’ together on the couch watchin’ TV.”
“‘N lyin’ together on the couch not watching TV.”
“'N doin the dishes together while standin’ in a real kitchen. You washin’ ‘n me dryin’. Or th' other way ‘round.”
“’N eatin’ together at a real table.”
“Yeah. ’N eatin’ all tha’ good food yer ma made. Real meals. Not canned shit.”
“‘N pie. ‘N cake.”
‘N working with ya. Workin’ side by side. First time since bein’ on our mountain tha’ we worked together”
“Ya would like the workin’ part.”
“’N sleepin’ in a real bed together.”
“Or not sleepin’. In a real bed together.”
“Not bein’ too hot or too cold or wet or damp”
“Hot ‘n cold runnin’ water.
“Yeah. Even though I couldn’ getcha in tha’ tub with me.”
"’N doin’ the laundry together so’s yer ma wouldn’ have ta see them sheets."
“Then makin’ the bed together ‘n messin’ ‘em up again firs' thing.”
“Yeah. 'N eatin’ tha’ pie in bed. Remember? Ya went ‘n got tha’ whole pie ‘n two forks?”
“Sure wish we had some pie left… Oh well... Jus’ wanted ta tell ya. Remember all tha’ kinda stuff too. Thought it migh’ help with yer writin’." Ed yawned, "Gonna try ‘n go ta sleep. Night, Hank.”
“We’ll get us some pie tomorrow. Night, Ed.” Hank smiled, turning back towards the glowing computer screen.
Then it was the next morning. Their last morning. At least for a few months. And a familiar scene was being played out again. Ed was behind the wheel, Hank standing by the open window of Ed’s truck, closed door between them. Saying good-bye again.
Not looking at Hank, but looking off at the distant mountains, Ed had said, “Gotta tell ya Hank. ‘Bout whatcha said last nigh’… Ain’t no use yer thinkin’ on it. I cain’t do it. Jus’ cain’t…”
Hank was startled. So Ed had heard. He didn’t know what to say. Didn’t expect to be talking about this at all, “Think we could manage it. Jus’ take some figurin’ out.”
“No... Ya don’ understan’. Ain’t nothin’ ta figure out. I jus’ cain’t.”
Hank took a step back from the truck, “Think ya could if’n ya wanted to.”
“Tha’ ain’t got nothin’ ta do with it.” Ed looked down at the steering wheel gripped tightly in his hands, “Think ya know...” Ed paused again, “But I jus’ cain’t. We jus’ cain’t.”
Hank knew this conversation, if that’s what you’d call it, was going nowhere. But all of the sudden he needed Ed to spell out how he felt about him. To say it out loud. At least. After all, Ed hadn’t even come close to telling Hank how he’d felt about him since their reunion. When Ed had almost managed to say he still felt the same way ‘bout that shirt. And about Hank. That had been their first good-bye. What number was this one? The twenty-somethingth? Seemed like the 200th.
"Don’ know nothin’, Ed. ‘Cept I know I’m livin’ out ma life on this run-down ranch ‘cause a how I feel ‘bout ya. Don’ care if ya think it’s right or wrong. If’n ya feel the same think the least ya could do is tell me tha’ much. Ya owe me tha’ much. ‘N if’n ya don’ feel the same ya should jus’ tell me tha’. So’s I know where I stand here.”
Ed opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
“Don’ wanna hear ‘bout no goddamn shirt either…”
Ed tried again, “Dammit Hank…Ya know I… Ya know I still… I… You… I do… Shit.” Ed looked helplessly up at Hank then, unable to continue.
Hank saw that Ed wasn’t going to get it out this time either, but he also saw it in Ed’s eyes. Again. He could see so much in Ed’s eyes. Love. Pain. Anger. Fear. All of it tearing into Hank’s heart.
Hank looked down, kicking at the frozen ground, not even able to raise any dirt for satisfaction, then brought his eyes to Ed’s and just let it out, “Shit. That’s it? All them years together… ‘N tha’s the best ya can do? All ya can say is ‘Ya know I… You… I…’ Fuck that shit! So sick a this. Know ya don’ wanna hear this. But ya know what, Ed? Ya know what? I love ya, dumbass. Whether ya like it or not.”
In the next instant, Ed was out of the truck, “Best I can do?!? Dammit Hank! What the hell do ya think? What more da ya want from me? Ya wan' me ta gut ma self righ’ here in front a ya? Been meetin’ ya fer how many years now. Goin’ 'gainst ma family. Goin’ 'gainst God. Knowin’ people’d gladly kill us fer what we're doin. Why in the hell would I be doin’ this if’n I didn’… Dammit! Ya wan’ me ta say it? Tha’ what ya want? Fuck! Okay then. Yeah. I love you too, dumbass. But sure as hell wish I didn’. Sure as hell wish I could stop…”
Hank let out an anguished groan, throwing himself at Ed and wrapping his arms around him, “S’alright, Ed… S’alright… ‘S gonna be alright…”
Ed broke away, “Ain’t never gonna be alright.”
Hank grabbed Ed again, held on tight, “Yeah. It will. I promise ya. It will.”
Ed sagged against Hank then, “Shouldn’ oughta make promises ya cain’t keep, Hank. Shouldn’ oughta make promises ya cain’t keep…”
“Don’ know how… But…”
“Gotta go, Hank. Cain’t do this.” Ed broke free again and turned towards his truck.
“No! Cain’t let ya go like this. Ya cain't drive like this.” Hank pulled Ed back towards him, “C’mere, Ed… I promise. No more talkin’. I promise…”
Ed let Hank pull him towards the house muttering, “Like ta see tha’. Don’ think it’s possible for ya ta keep yer mouth shut…”
“Didn’ promise ta keep ma mouth shut. Jus’ promised ta stop talkin’.”
And then they were back in the house… somehow. And it was alright again… somehow. Despite the anger and the pain and the impossible situation. Hank knew Ed loved him. And it was alright again.
More years passed. Hank finding hope for a future with Ed wherever he could...
“Cain’t ya sleep, Ed?”
“Nope. Tha’ week? Was tha’ the time we had tha’ big blow-up? Righ’ before I left?”
“Yeah. One a the times...”
“Guess tha’ part weren’t so good.”
‘Cept it was the first time ya told me ya loved me. Outright-like. With the words ‘I’, ‘love’, and ‘you’ in one complete sentence. ‘Course ya were yellin’ it at me. ‘N I think there was a 'dumbass' in there too.”
“As I recall ya yelled it at me first. 'Dumbass' ‘n all. ‘Sides, jus wouldn’ seem right withou’ a ‘dumbass’ in there. Kinda think it mighta made it easier ta say. After tha’ I mean. First time weren’t easy at all.”
“Ain't like I heard it from ya regular like 'til a lot more years gone by. Still. Made me feel real good after ya left. ‘N fer a long, long time after tha’.”
“Made me feel like shit. Was sick ta ma stomach all the way home. ‘N fer a long, long time after tha’...”
“Damn. Didn’ know it’d made ya physic'lly ill. Sorry, Ed.”
“Don’ be. Ya didn’ ha’ no way a knowin’."
"Gotta confess. Ain't really sorry. Well... feel bad ya were sick. Jus' not sorry ya said it."
"Me neither. Later on least-wise. Jus' glad it all worked out.”
“Sure did… Got ourselves a damn good life.”
“Damn good..." Ed sighed, "‘C’mon ta bed, Hank. Feelin’ the need ta hold onta ya good 'n tight.”
Hank turned off the computer and headed towards the bed.
“Wait. ‘Fore ya climb in. Sure we ain’t got no pie hidin' somewheres?”
“Yeah. I’m sure.” Hank laughed, pulling off his socks and crawling into bed next to Ed.
“Damn! Yer feet are like blocks a ice.”
“Sorry.” Hank moved his feet away from Ed's.
“Put ‘em back. Jus’ surprised me is all. I’ll warm ‘em up fer ya.”
“’Preciate it. Hey, Ed?”
“Ya want me ta move the computer inta a diff’rent room? Would tha’ make it easier fer ya ta sleep?”
“Tha’ really mean all ma talkin’s been buggin’ ya tonigh? Need peace ‘n quiet fer yer writin’?”
“Nah. Enjoy yer talkin’. Hang on every word ya ever say. Jus’ know ya cain’t sleep sometimes. Thought I migh’ be contributin’ ta the problem. ‘N we got tha’ big ol’ master bedroom down the hall we never use ‘cept fer the once in a blue moon we got guest’s comin’. Seems kinda dumb ta have the computer crammed in this room too.”
“Tha’ room don’ face the barn. So’s ya couldn’ spy on me all the time.”
“Damn. Didn’ think a tha’. Enjoy spyin’ on ya too. ‘N I woulda missed tha’ kiss ya thrown me.”
“’Course ya wouldn’ ha’ ta spy on me if’n ya were workin’ ‘long side a me. ‘N then I could jus’ lean over ‘n kiss ya fer real when the urge come upon me.”
“Got me there. Truth is, Ed… Now tha’ I think ‘bout it… Don’ think I could write our story in any room but this one. Maybe we could move our bed inta the bigger room?”
“Dunno, Hank... Don’ think I could sleep in any room but this one.”
“Yeah... Didn' think 'bout tha'. Me neither. S’our room.”
Ed pulled Hank closer, “Okay then. Tha’s settled.”
“How da ya figure?”
“'S gonna stay jus’ like this. Always.”
“Yeah Ed... Like this. Always...”
“Love ya, dumbass”
“Love you too, dumbass.”
“Think I’m gettin’ one a them urges.”
“Well…’S yer lucky day, then… ‘Cause ’m righ' next ta ya, Cowboy.”