Chapter Forty Three
Over the next week, Gabe and Jordan mostly kept their relationship as it was. They stole a few kisses in the bathroom of the local pub when they went down for a drink on Monday night and in Jordan's office on his first day back at work. Jordan was trying to be patient, but every time he heard Gabriel taking a shower, or knew that Gabe was changing in the spare room, it took all of his self-control not to burst into the room and jump on him.
One evening that week, Gabe stepped out of the shower and towelled his hair vigorously. As he left the bathroom, he heard the soft strumming of guitar strings, followed by Jordan's low, melodic voice.
"I can see the moon glow, painting silver shadows on a rose coloured land. A world that we walk hand in hand." Gabe crept forwards towards the balcony, and saw Jordan perched on the edge of the wooden railing, a faded guitar strap around his neck. The guitar was an old one, the paint completely worn through in places. The strings were shiny and new though. "I can feel your warm face, ever close to my lips, and the scent of you invades the cool evening air."
"Jordan." Gabe stepped onto the balcony and smiled at his brother. Jordan looked over at him, his voice fading. "You kept the guitar."
"Of course I did." Jordan murmured. "You gave it to me." Gabe blushed and smiled shyly.
"I think… I'd like to go to bed now." He said quietly.
"It's only seven o'clock." Jordan said, glancing at his watch. "Oh…" He caught Gabe's meaning, and smirked.
"Shuddup." Gabe grunted. "I can stay up, if you like."
"No, no." Jordan said quickly. "We can go to bed." He gently placed the guitar back on its stand in his bedroom, and went back out to Gabe. His brother was stood in the doorway, shivering a little, his hair steadily dripping droplets of water onto his thin shoulders. Silently, Jordan held out his hand and motioned for Gabe to come over. Gabe did so. When he felt Gabe's cold hand slip into his own, Jordan tugged Gabe closer and claimed his lips passionately. Gabe moaned softly and looped his arms around Jordan's neck. Jordan's large, warm hands slid down Gabe's naked back, caressing gently. He could still feel the ridge of Gabriel's spine beneath his fingertips.
"Mm… hang on." Jordan drew back reluctantly. "Before we… get too excited, do I have to be gentle? With the plates in your back, I mean…" Gabe grinned and shook his head.
"Nope. I can take anything you've got."
"Mm, famous last words." Jordan growled.
"I don't know about that." Gabe purred. "I've had a few guys in my time… Bet you can't beat a couple of them." Jordan raised his eyebrows.
"Is that a challenge?" Before Gabe could answer, the phone rang loudly, startling them both. Jordan sighed, and glanced at the caller ID. "I have to get that. It's my boss." He stepped around Gabe and picked up the phone. Gabe retreated into the kitchen, trying not to listen. "Yes, Sir. When do you need me to come in? Alright Sir, but… what about Robinson? I thought he was listed as the next to go?" Jordan listened for a few moments more, before hanging up. Gabe went back into the living room and looked at Jordan curiously.
"Are you alright?" He asked tentatively.
"Yeah." Jordan said softly. "I… I need to pack."
"Oh… where are you going?"
"Iraq. The guy listed to go on the next tour has just gone down with the measles. I'm next on the list."
"Iraq?" Gabe said faintly. "You mean… the place where there's a war going on?"
"Oh… When are you leaving?"
"Four hours." Jordan said. He looked at Gabe, his eyes sad. "I'm sorry it's such short notice."
"It's alright. It's to be expected, I suppose. Someone in your line of work… how long will you be gone?"
"At least six months. Perhaps longer."
"Oh…" Gabe nodded slowly, before rubbing his hands briskly together. "Alright. Let me get changed, and I can help you pack." He disappeared into his room before Jordan could speak.
Two hours later, they had Jordan's kit packed and ready to go. They got into the car and drove down to the army base. Jordan parked the car and they got out.
"You can get the car back home, right?" He asked quietly. "I mean, it's just up the road, and then up the hill." Gabe nodded uncertainly. Jordan had let him drive the car up and down the drive a few times, but he still hadn't really gotten to grip with the pedals and gears. All around them, women were staying goodbye to their husbands, boyfriends and sons. Gabe suddenly became aware that he and Jordan were the only same-sex couple, and couldn't help shifting uncomfortably. Before Jordan could comment, the tall man in uniform came over and started gathering the men in front of a large hanger.
"You… come home safe, alright?" Gabe told Jordan, suddenly feeling scared. "Don't… get hurt, or anything."
"I'll try." Jordan promised. "And you stay at the cottage, alright. Don't go running off anywhere." Gabe smiled and nodded. Jordan fished in his pocket and pulled out his wallet. "Here. That's my credit card, and my debit card. The pins are 6734 and 3498. There's plenty in my debit account, so if you need anything, use that." He said firmly. Gabe swallowed hard, and nodded. Jordan pulled Gabe into a hug, and placed a quick kiss on Gabe's lips. "I have to go." He said softly, glancing at the uniformed man who was beckoning him over.
"I know. Take care." Gabe pulled Jordan's head down for another kiss, before gently shoving him towards the man. Jordan hoisted his kit bag into his shoulder, and disappeared into the hanger. Exhaling a shaky breath, Gabe clambered into the car, started the engine, and started a bone-jolting drive home.