Cupid’s Sophomore Year (Fall Semester)
by Xavier Mayne

 

# 1 #

It’s good to be a sophomore. Having suffered through a year with the Worst Roommate Ever, I’ve finally earned a spot in the newest dorm on campus. In my old dorm (and I do mean old–I think the foundations were laid during the Buchanan administration) the rooms were small and the bathrooms were a nightmare of cracked porcelain and mold. Here, the rooms are arranged in suites so that each pair of bedrooms shares a bathroom–only four people competing for the shower! It’s going to be awesome.

I just hope I get a better roommate than I did last time. That loser was a constant pain in my ass all year. It wasn’t just that he was straight–though that was definitely a strike against him–it’s that he spent all of his time with that horrid girlfriend wrapped around him, mostly in our room. I rarely had a chance to rub one out in private, and I kind of need to do that on a daily (and usually twice–sometimes even thrice-daily) basis. Now at least I’ll have a bathroom with a locking door if I get desperate.

I swipe my card in the door of my new castle, and venture in.

“Hello?”

No one here yet, apparently. Which is awesome–first one in gets dibs on the best bed.

I look around the small lounge area, which comprises a coffee table and four chairs just inside the door, and then explore the rest of the suite. The layout is actually pretty cool. Next to the lounge area is a little counter with a sink, microwave and fridge. Then you walk past the bathroom, which is actually three separate areas: first, the toilet is in a small room of its own; then there’s the sink area, with two sinks and mirrors (this part is open to the rest of the suite), and then a shower in its own room. It’s possible for all four people to use the bathroom at once, because one could be showering, one could be shaving, another brushing his teeth, and the fourth locked in the toilet jacking off because of the fact that everyone else is naked and he just can’t stand it any more. You can guess which one I’ll be.

Beyond the bathroom are the two bedrooms, one to the right and one to the left, each with two loft beds and two desks. Which one to choose? I try to be scientific about this, working from the room on the left (no good–it smells a bit stale, and somewhere inside the wall there are weird pipe noises) to the one on the right. Let’s see–this bed seems okay, but the other…

Bingo.

The second bed in the room on the right has a view. While you can see out a window from all four beds, this one has a view diagonally across the courtyard to the hot tub. Oh, no one’s using it right now, but come fall it’s going to be magnet for steamy, speedo-suited guys who want to soak in the heat so that their muscles relax and their nipples perk up in the chill of the fall evening air. One imagines.

I hear the door open and close. Roommate!

I walk out of the bedroom to meet the new guy. Guys, actually–there are two of them. And they are a matched set of hot hot hot.

A perfectly matched set, in fact.

“Hey, I’m Josh,” I offer, my hand outstretched.

They both smile. I am blinded.

“Nice to meet you, Josh. I’m Dexter.” His hand is soft, but his grip is strong. A shiver shoots up my arm. “This is my brother, Porter.”

“Pleased to meet you,” the brother says. His voice is identical, his hand just as soft; the grip, though, is not quite as MBA-firm as Dexter’s. It’s more of a hand embrace than a handshake.

“Twins, huh?” I state, obviously. Sometimes it’s best just to get those things out in the open.

“He’s on to us, Dex,” says Porter, smiling.

“So, I picked a bed–you guys should go have a look at which ones you want.”

“Which room are you in?” Dexter asks.

“The one on the right.”

“Oh, so we’ll take the room on the left, I guess,” says Porter.

Now, wait a minute! I don’t get to watch either of you undress at the end of a hard day of classes? How is that fair?

The twins pick up their duffels and head for the room on the left. I watch them go, which is a treat in itself–four identical buttocks rising and falling rhythmically in their khaki enclosures. It’s some compensation for not being able to bunk with one of them.

Now I wait for the door to open again, through which will walk my roomie for the year. Extrapolating the increasing hunk factor from me (I’m not bad to look at, I think) to the twins (two helpings of hunk, served hot), my roommate should be the love child of Channing Tatum and Ronaldo Cristiano. But I’m not getting my hopes up or anything.

A few minutes pass. I can hear the Beautiful Twins rustling about in their room, talking in half-sentences. I’m getting a little impatient (something that would surprise no one who’s ever met me). I open the door to check out the traffic in the hall. There’s a constant flow of people–those coming from the elevator lobby are dragging suitcases and boxes, while those heading back that way are empty-handed. Several times I see oncoming hotties I would like to grab and drag into the suite, but they pass serenely by to other rooms down the hall. Dammit. I go back into the suite to wait. I should be making runs out to the car to pick up more stuff to bring in, but if I’m not here to defend my claim on the bunk I may lose it. I don’t want to start the year with a new roommate by having a turf war.

I’m just about to give up on the waiting when I hear someone fumbling with the card-swipe outside the door. The lock clicks open, the knob turns.

I count to three before looking up at the new guy. I use this time to imagine all of the possible configurations of lean muscle, flawless skin, and glittering beauty that are possible in the world, and wonder which I will find before me. And then I see him.

He’s…average.

No, seriously, he’s the absolute mean in all respects. He’s not tall, nor is he short. He’s not a bodybuilder, but he’s not a fat slob either. His skin does not glow with radiant clarity, but neither is it horribly disfigured. In short, if I passed him on the street I wouldn’t give him a second look. Which is fine, really, except that I’m going to be looking at him every day for the entire school year. Damn those twins.

“Hey, I’m Josh. How ya doin’?” I get up and walk over to him, putting on my super-friendly face to keep him from seeing my disappointment that he is not, in fact, the love child of Channing and Ronaldo.

“Um, hi…um, Josh.” His voice is so quiet I have a hard time hearing him at all. He seems not at all sure what he should do now that he’s found the room.

“And you are…?” I ask.

“Um, oh, sorry. I’m Seth.” With that he seems to snap into awareness of where he is, and he sets down his bag and extends a hand.

His grip is nothing like that of the Wonder Twins, but I wasn’t really expecting it to be.

“Nice to meet you, Seth. Let me show you where you’ll be.” I lead him past the bathroom and to–ugh, there’s no better word for it–“our” room. I can hear the twins giggling on the other side of the wall, and I imagine what it would have been like to room with one of those specimens of manhood instead of Seth. And the day had been so promising!

We all spend about an hour shuttling stuff from our cars, except for Seth, whose parents seem to have just plopped him on the curb with all of his possessions and then driven away. Once everything’s settled, we decide to head for dinner together, to get to know each other a bit.

We’re sitting at a table in the commons, looking at plates full of prison-issue cookery that do not bode well for our dining enjoyment this year. The twins, however, plow through it with the energetic precision of German paratroopers. They even eat the same things, in the same order. This may get a little creepy.

Seth seems completely cowed by the twins. He keeps staring at them, and then looking away when one of them notices him. Which they do, frequently, because in addition to being sculpturally beautiful, they are also the nicest people I think I’ve ever met. They keep asking him about life in the little town he comes from, and he keeps answering their questions with nearly inaudible three-word mutterings; they respond with nods and agreeing noises far in excess of what his gruntings deserve.

Then they turn to me.

“So, Josh. What are you studying?” Dexter asks.

You, mostly.

“Undecided. Taking my time to figure it out.” It’s my standard answer to this question, and I’ve been practicing it during the weeks I’ve been home–one of my family’s favorite hobbies is to ask me this a dozen times a day.

“Good for you,” says Porter. I think I love Porter.

“What else keeps you busy?” asks Dexter, following up like a White House reporter.

“Well,” I answer, “I’m vice-president of Campus Pride, and I’ll also be helping out with the freshmen when they get here this week.”

I scan the table quickly for reaction to my outing myself with the Campus Pride bit. It’s the LGBTQ group on campus, and I’ve been active with it since I got here. Actually, since I got beaten up pretty badly outside a gay club early in my first semester.

I don’t tell them this.

Here are the reactions I get: Dexter is smiling and nodding, in the manner of a father whose son has finally announced that he’s running for political office to keep the family dynasty in power; Porter has a half-grin on his face, and one eyebrow is cocked up a bit, which makes me want to lunge across the table and have my way with him, right fucking now; Seth looks frankly terrified, as if I’ve just announced that I’m vice-president of the campus Al-Qaeda cell.

“Good for you,” Dexter enthuses. “That kind of stuff is great for the resume.” The others decide not to offer commentary–actually, I’m not sure Seth is even breathing.

“How about you guys?” I ask the table, mainly to get the topic onto something that won’t cause Seth to topple over in a dead faint.

“We’re both pre-med,” answers Porter. Of course they are–why stop at gorgeous and sweet? Might as well be rich, and save lives for good measure.

“And outside of class?”

“We both came here to play water polo,” replies Dexter. “But after the first year we decided it was taking too much time away from our studies–”

“And other things,” Porter adds, and is that a wink? Did he just wink at me? My penis thinks so.

“So we decided to leave the team and focus on our classes,” concludes Dexter. Porter’s interruption doesn’t seem to have thrown him at all–I guess that’s what it’s like with twins.

“And you, Seth?” Porter asks, ever the gentlemen. I bet our kids would have his eyes. Sigh.

“Um,” Seth begins, as he begins every sentence I think I’ve heard him utter since I met him. “I’m majoring in physics.”

This makes me happy, because it will be like having a built-in tutor, but also sad, because it means that the chances of his having hot friends over to study is slim indeed.

“And what do you do when you’re not studying physics?” asks Dexter.

“Um, sleep, I guess. It keeps me pretty busy.”

I don’t know what I was expecting from a new roommate–perhaps a champion wrestler whose hobbies include gourmet cooking and nudity. We would have been very happy, my naked wrestler and me, but now that’s not going to happen. I take another look at Seth, squinting a bit to see the inner beauty. It must be pretty deep in there, because I still can’t see it.

We return to our suite, and spend some time getting settled in. You can tell a lot about people by what they put on their dorm walls, and this group is no exception. My side of the room is populated by a range of athletes and musical artists in various stages of undress and dampness–I kind of have a thing for soccer players in the rain, if you must know–as well as a calendar that my friend Pete found for me in a dodgy shop in eastern Europe that provides pastoral views of mostly-naked men doing things that mostly-naked men enjoy doing, like threshing wheat and fixing Stalin-era tractors. I keep it high on the wall, where I can see it as I drift off at night.

Seth, on the other hand, has decorated with the images that give him wood–a periodic table, a glamor shot of Stephen Hawking, and a series of posters by his favorite photographer, the Hubble telescope. The top shelf of his bookcase displays a set of pictures, clearly of his family. They all look just as hip as Seth. Tucked up on the end of that high shelf is a small frame, angled so that he can see it from bed, that seems to hold a photo of someone on a beach with a sunset in the background.

“Who’s that?” I ask.

Seth blushes furiously. Then he reaches up and tips the frame onto its front so that the picture is no longer visible.

“No one,” he answers, and then bolts from the room.

Okay, then.

I venture next door to see what the twins are up to. Dexter has taken the right side of the room, and his taste runs to the best traditions of dorm decor. Above the desk is a poster of an airbrushed and silicone-enhanced young woman who would very much like us to enjoy her favorite brand of beer–so much so, in fact, that in her haste to deliver this marketing message she has neglected to button her shorts. Next to her is a more sports-themed poster, this one depicting a group of cheerleaders in ridiculously short skirts who would no doubt blacken their own eyes if they attempted even a half-hearted jump. High on the wall, above his bunk, are more explicit images, each of the same sort of woman (the poster in the middle shows two of them together–like, really together). Well, so now we know what turns Dexter’s crank.

I turn to Porter’s side of the room, expecting to see a mirror image in this as in all things. What I see, though, stops me cold.

Above his desk is a poster quite similar to the one on Dexter’s side of the room, except that the here the product is not beer, but–leather goods? Oh, and the model wearing the strappy leather harness thing is a strapping gentleman, apparently on a float in one of the more upscale pride parades. There’s a team photo too, though Porter’s taste runs not to cheerleaders but naked French rugby players (the poor dears seem to have gotten a bit muddy on their way to the photo shoot). Higher on the wall is a calendar much like mine, except that his focuses on skimpy swimwear rather than overalls, and the photography is lush and artistic.

I notice suddenly that Porter is watching me, trying to gauge my reaction. I’m not sure what to say.

“Your calendar is on September,” is all I can come up with. Smooth, right?

He laughs. “That’s because I don’t really like looking at the model for August,” he answers.

“Why?”

“Because it’s him,” replies Dexter, who at this moment is trying to finish hooking up the flat-screen TV that occupies the space under his loft bed.

Porter shrugs and nods. Of course these two would be models. Why not?

“So, I guess we have some stuff in common,” I say to Porter, as casually as I can. He raises his eyebrows at me, and I nod to the collection of fine male flesh on the walls. He smiles and nods.

“You mean the gay thing? Yeah, seems we do. Hey,” he continues, not missing a beat, “We brought an XBox. You play?”

I don’t.

“Hells yeah,” I reply.

“Awesome. We’ll tear it up once we get it sorted.” he says, and then turns back to putting his stuff away.

It’s getting late, and I have to get up early in the morning to prepare for the arrival of the freshmen, who will be moving in this week. As I lie in bed, looking at the calendar above my bed in the orange glow of the courtyard lights, I listen to the grumbling snore of Seth who dropped off to sleep as soon as he climbed into bed an hour ago. I can hear the twins next door clicking madly on their XBox controllers, no doubt dominating a worldwide army of sweaty, muscled warriors. It takes me a while to fall asleep.

 

# 2 #

I wake up before my alarm goes off, my sleep broken by the sound of the shower running. It’s all of six-thirty in the morning, and I cannot imagine who would be up at this hour–classes don’t even start until next week. I slip down off my loft bed and shuffle to the door; just as I open it, the door to the shower room opens and the twins walk out, towels around their waists. Unsurprisingly, they are uniformly beautiful specimens, bearing the hallmarks of the water polo champion–toned muscle, zero fat, an easy grace of movement. They each take a sink and begin their morning ritual. One reaches over to borrow shaving cream from the other, causing his towel to slide off. Oh, fuck me. His ass is a wonder–smooth and muscled and gorgeous. Now, for once, it is possible to tell them apart, as one is wearing a towel and the other is not. But I don’t know which is which.

Then, suddenly, as if to restore order to the universe, the towel around the waist of the other slides off, and they are both naked at the sink. An involuntary gasp escapes me, and they both look behind them in the mirror and see me lurking in the doorway. I yawn and step out, trying to make it look as though I had just opened the door and, in my sleepy state, have not yet even noticed their presence, their naked, beautiful presence.

“Mmmmorning,” I mumble, heading for the toilet room.

“Morning,” they answer together, turning back to their shaving. If they were perturbed by my creeping on them, they don’t let it show.

My morning pee accomplished, I come back out of the toilet room and stand behind them–they’re still working away at their mysterious beauty regimen, now applying–moisturizer? The one closest to me steps aside from the sink to let me wash my hands. I nod my thanks, making extra special sure not to glance down the front of him, though every fiber in my being wants me to.

I dry my hands and step back, letting them finish. I take a moment to memorize this sight, sure that they will take greater care to cover up in the future. Unfortunately, before I can make a graceful exit, the one on the left meets my eyes in the mirror. Caught. I try to casual it up.

“So, you guys are up early,” I venture, in what I hope is a non-creeper tone.

“We run every morning,” the one on the right answers. I nod–not because I understand what makes people get up at o’dark-thirty to run, but because I tend to agree with naked men, whatever the topic.

“You know, I have no idea how to tell you two apart,” I say, as casually as I can. They really are identical–I have tried to find some marking that will allow me to distinguish between them, but that would require one of them to have a blemish or imperfection of some kind, and they clearly do not.

They laugh.

“Yeah, that’s a problem for a lot of people,” the one on the left answers.

“It was even hard for our parents when we were little,” adds the other.

“There was only one way to tell us apart,” concludes the one on the left.

“How was that?” I ask–I can imagine it’s going to be really awkward around here if I don’t know whether I’m talking to the gay one or the straight one.

In perfect sync, they both turn around to face me. Holy fucking fuck.

Their front side is as lovely as their backside. From the slabs of muscle that form their perfect pectorals, to the bricklayer abs, to the…oh, I don’t know if I have words for what comes next.

I’ve seen my share of cockage in my time–I’m only 19, but I’ve been working at it–and I’ve rarely seen one this beautiful. And yet here are two of them, identically beautiful. They are rooted in expertly groomed pubes, and they arch out slightly, even now, when they are at rest. They are flawless, perfectly proportioned in the way that a battleship is–long, broad, and purpose-built. They taper slightly from base to flared head (they are cut, alas–I always like to find new friends with ‘skin like I have) and they even have identical veins snaking along the top, down the entire length. As long as those cocks are, their balls drop even further, and on each the right one droops slightly more than the left.

I suddenly realize that I’ve been staring. My eyes flick up to their faces–each one is wearing a sly grin. They’re enjoying this.

“Nope, still don’t see it. You seem completely identical, in every–” my eyes dart crotch-ward and then back up again, “–detail.”

“Yep,” the one one the left says. “Apparently the egg that formed us split very late in the growth process. We are more identical than most.”

“But,” the one on the right continues, “Our parents found one way to tell us apart.” He turns to his mirror image. “Shall we?” The other nods. He turns back to me. “What we’re going to show you we don’t tell anyone about. But since we’re going to be living intimately–” I shiver, “–together, we think you should know.”

As one, they jump up and plant those beautiful asses on the counter. Their cocks bob merrily before them, their balls come to rest on the lucky, lucky polished concrete. It’s like a buffet spread out before me, and I could eat and eat.

“We have a birthmark each,” the one on the left says, as they each spread their legs wider apart. I can hardly breathe. “Mine is here,” he says, pointing to a small spot on his left inner thigh–my left, that is, his right.

“And mine is here,” says the other, pointing to similar mark on–his–left inner thigh.

I try to get my breathing under control. I pretend to be unable to see the marks from this distance–I squint, and look from one to the other. I step closer, as one who has difficulty seeing would. Ah, now I can see everything better. Yum.

I look where the one on the left is pointing, and I see it–a small spot, about the size of a pea, that is slightly darker than the rest of his skin. It’s right in the place where his right leg meets his hip, and would be completely hidden if his legs were not spread open. I try to take in the complete view without letting drool collect in the corner of my mouth. I turn to the other, the one on the right, and see his corresponding mark, where his right leg meets his groin.

“Wow,” I say, “You guys really are a matched set.”

“Yeah, but it kind of bugged us to have the birthmark thing be different, so we fixed that,” says the one on the left.

“What do you mean you fixed it?”

“Look,” say the one on the right. He points to the other side of his glorious cock, at a birthmark that is identical to the one that his brother has.

“And I’ve got his,” says the one on the left, pointing out a replica of his brother’s mark.

“Whoa, that’s…seriously weird. You guys got tattoos of each other’s birthmarks?”

“Yep. Now we really are identical,” says the one on the left.

“Well, there is a way you can tell the difference,” says the one on the right. “The tattoo guy did a great job matching the color and shape and everything, but the real birthmark is raised a bit. You can tell by feeling them which one is real.”

“Here, try it,” the one on the right says. He grabs my hand and presses it to his real birthmark, and then grabs the other hand and puts it on the fake one, in his brother’s crotch. I now have my hands nestled up against their genitals, running my fingers over their skin. Through the electric fog in my head–I get a little loopy when confronted with handfuls of cock–I can feel the difference.

“Wow,” I say, because I don’t know exactly what one is supposed to say in this situation. I pull my hands back reluctantly, hoping that there will be occasion for them to return for a more wide-ranging survey of the manscape.

Once I am no longer in physical contact with them, my head clears a bit, and a thought occurs to me.

“So, guys, why go through all the trouble–and the pain of having a needle that close to…well…there–when the only people who would ever see those marks would probably have no way to compare them. Unless, you know, the same person ever saw both of you…you know, that up close and…oh…”

They are looking at me with the identical sly grins. Apparently some lucky soul has had a chance to compare the feel of their most intimate regions. But if Porter is gay, and Dexter is straight, then that would mean that there is a certain amount of flexibility in their tastes.

I like flexibility.

I hear a noise behind me–it’s Seth, opening the door. What he sees is me standing in front of the two naked twins, who are still perched on the counter, grinning. The door slams shut again.

“Well,” I say to my identical roomies, “I think we have some ‘splaining to do.”

They giggle, and how can I not join in? Their cocks dance so fetchingly when they laugh.

The twins retreat to their bedroom and I to mine to find Seth hurriedly dressing–he has apparently discovered someplace he needs to be right away.

“Seth?” I venture. I’m not sure what to say about what he saw in the bathroom.

“Um, yeah, I gotta go,” he says, stuffing his laptop in to his backpack.

“Where are you going this early?” I ask as he brushes past me.

“Library,” he says, and then I hear the front door quickly open and close.

I’m not sure what this means–was he freaked out by the naked twins, or is something else bugging him? Looks like our Seth is an enigma wrapped in a riddle clothed in nerdiness. But there will be time to get him figured out–right now I gotta get going so that I can be ready to help out the incoming freshmen with their orientation. I love that word–so many possibilities.

 

# 3 #

Come on, that’s right, get in my line. That’s it. Oh, yes, bring your cute friend with you. Excellent.

The best part about working freshman orientation is–well, duh–the freshmen. I’ve managed to wangle the dream spot, for me at least: the registration table in front of Hurley Hall, the jock dorm. All I need to do now is sit back and wait for the muscle boys to come to me.

Take this pair in front of me right now, for example. They look like they’ve just arrived together and aren’t sure they’re in the right place. The one on the left is tall and lanky and tan–which says basketball–and apparently blissfully unaware of the effect that his barely-there t-shirt, with its deeply cut armholes and ragged neck, is having on people around him. But every time he moves, one of his nipples peeks out, and I just about wet myself. Damn, he’s gorgeous.

His friend is a bit shorter, and a bit more muscled, and holy shit his legs are amazing. Him I peg for wrestling. I picture him in a singlet–ah, it’s a good look.

Finally they approach. The table, conveniently, is just below crotch-height. That lets me appear to glance casually at the campus map taped to the surface while pointing out directions–while I’m really studying the mysterious forms that lurk and bob within those sleek nylon shorts. Or khakis. Or hemp–I’m not picky.

“Can I help you?” I ask, looking up into the vaguely confused face of the tall tan one.

“Yeah, we need, uh–” He turns to his buddy. “What’s the number again?”

“237N,” mutters his friend out the side of his mouth. He clearly thinks it’s uncool to have to deal with bureaucracy.

“Yeah, room 237N,” Basketball says.

“You’re in the right place,” I assure him, reaching to point at the map. The bulge in his shorts is about an inch from my hand. I point to the building on the map, and look up at him. “We’re right here, and the north wing of the building runs along here.” I circle the area with my finger, wondering if I can accidentally brush against him…no, too risky.

I shuffle through the file box looking for 237N. Ah, here it is.

“You two together?” I ask as I hand over their paperwork, trying to keep the insinuation in my voice at the just-barely-noticeable level.

“Yeah,” Basketball says, while Wrestler looks at him with a critical eyebrow.

“In 237N,” clarifies Wrestler. Ah. He heard the hint. Interesting.

“OK, so 237N is about here,” I point to the map of the building. “Go in here, up to the second floor, and along this corridor. Your room will be on the right side of the hall, which means you’ll have a view of–” I point to the map just to the side of building, “–the recycling depot. Awesome.”

If he’s disappointed with the prospect of that view from his room, he doesn’t show it–of course the best view in his room is going to be his muscly friend stretching as he wakes in the morning, his hair tousled, his sheets sliding down, down, down…

“OK, thanks!” Basketball says, jauntily, and the two of them walk off together. I watch them as they stride away, their heavy duffles smacking them on the ass with every step–oh, to be slung over the back of one of them.

“Excuse me?” a deep, strong voice sidles up to my ear. Aw, crap, someone else is at my table–I hope the expression on my face is one of concern for our treasured new students, not one of unbridled lust at the thought of coming between those two friends. Like a sandwich.

I shake off the dirty visions that have filled my head and turn to the party in front of me, my best customer-service face firmly in place. I look, I am awed.

Good things come in twos today. After Basketball and Wrestling, I could not reasonably hope to find as tasty a morsel in the next batch–who is that lucky?–but here is the magic of freshman orientation. Demographically, this parade of flesh is guaranteed to be all 18 years old, all athletic, and all mine.

But at the moment I’m not looking at a pair of 18-year olds–there’s just one. But he brought his dad, who must have fathered him at a tender young age–I’m not into older guys, but this one can’t be much past mid-thirties, and he looks no more than late twenties. He is, like his son, well-built and fit as fuck. Some very tasty genes have been passed down.

“Yes, sir, how can I help you?” Please please please be looking for directions to the nearest blowjob, Mr. Goodgenes, because I would be happy to direct you to my mouth.

“Well, hey there,” he says, smiling broadly at my no doubt transparently admiring gaze. “We need to find 230N. Where should we go?”

I grab the paperwork, hand it over, and point out the room to them.

“Anything else I can do for you?” I ask. Please say blowjob. Please!

“That should do it. Hey, what sport do you play?”

“Oh, me? I don’t play a sport. I’m more of an athletic supporter,” I reply, with my best customer service smile.

Mr. Goodgenes raises an eyebrow at me, but the corner of his mouth twitches upward just ever so slightly. Hmmmm.

“Well, thanks,” he says with a nod, and then father and son walk off toward the door. This gives me the chance to appreciate their resemblance from the rear. How can dad’s ass be even perkier than his son’s? And am I really checking out an old guy’s ass?

Luckily, there are several other lust-objects in my queue, and my mind is pulled back to the work at hand. I spend the next half-hour directing lost jocks to all four floors, North and South wing. Out of the corner of my eye I see Abby, who’s been assigned to watch over the inside of the building, come running up, out of breath.

“Hey Josh,” she pants, “I need you to go in and help out with something.”

“Sure,” I respond. This could be my big moment–maybe there’s a hostage situation, or an orgy. I think I’d be pretty good in both kinds of crisis. “What’s up?”

She comes around to my side of the table and leans in close.

“You know, they’re painting on the second floor.”

“Why are they doing that today?”

“Because they didn’t get it done last week when they were supposed to. But now one of the painters dropped a bucket of paint on some people who were moving in.”

“Anyone hurt?” I ask, because that’s what a superhero would ask before charging to the rescue.

“No, but they’re a complete mess. I sent them to the showers on 2North, but can you go up and see if they’re okay and help them get clothes and stuff from their rooms?”

Athletes in distress? In the shower? Can I help? Yes, yes, and oh hell yes!

“I’m on it,” I say, because I’ve always wanted to say that.

I speed off into the building, jostling my way through halls sometimes thick with jocks. I wave my badge importantly, to explain why I’m having to push through, and to excuse my occasionally pressing up against some hard package of muscle or other as I rush to the scene. Best job ever.

As I enter the 2North corridor, I see where it happened. The custodial crew has put out the barf cones (these will soon see heavy use, if past years are any indication–when freshmen can’t hold their liquor, it usually ends up on the dorm floor) so that people are having to file past the puddle of beige. There are splatters on the wall, and a few beige shoe prints around the edge. I head for the shower, located midway along the wing, and when I push through the door I can hear water running.

This facility is much like the one I had freshman year–it’s a large, open room, with shower heads on the outer walls as well as a steel column in the center with heads pointing out in all directions. Privacy-wise, it’s a total loss; the view, though, more than makes up for it.

On either side of the steel column, soap running dreamily down their bodies, are Mr. Goodgenes and his boy. They are currently scrubbing industrial-strength beige paint out of their hair, eyes shut tight against the chemicals, so they have no idea I’ve entered the room. I decide not to tell them, just yet. I sit on the bench just outside the tiled area, next to two piles of beige-spattered clothing.

Watching this duo scrub down is profoundly weird–is that why I keep having to adjust my growing boner? Now, the son is beautiful in his own right. He’s muscular without being bulgy, and he is classically proportioned. Dad, though, is somehow even hotter. He shares his son’s lean musculature (well, of course–he gave it to him) but what is simply pleasing to look at on an 18-year-old is somehow miraculous on a man twice that age. He must work like hell to keep that bod rockin’ so hard. I watch, amazed, as their motions mirror one another, instinctively–I mean, surely they aren’t in the habit of showering together, right?

But the area where the resemblance is greatest is yet to come. Their privates (now made public because I’m here) are virtually identical. Okay, not identical to the degree of my new roommates, but very similar. They aren’t particularly massive, but in shape, coloring, and general boinginess they are lovely. Their balls are the same size, though sonny-boy’s hang lower. It’s funny to think that the set on the left created the set on the right.

They are rinsing their hair now, so I should announce my presence.

“Hey, guys, sorry about the paint thing,” I say, loudly enough to be heard over the splash of all of that water now caressing them in its cascade to the floor drain. “Should I get some clothes for you from your suitcase?” I remember that junior was rolling a duffel behind him. Luckily, it looks like Dad would wear the same size.

“That would be great,” says Mr. Goodgenes, smiling fetchingly. Good god he’s chipper for a guy who’s just been painted, and who is now standing drenched and naked in front of a stranger.

“Yeah, thanks,” says the son, flashing a smile as bright. “My room is 230N.”

“Oh, I remember! I’ll be right back,” I assure them as I hustle off.

I hurry down the corridor to the room, and swipe my card in the lock. For this week only my card will open any dorm room on campus. It’s a terrifying power, and not one that even I would be willing to abuse–not so much for ethical reasons, but because every swipe is recorded by the computer. It would be hard to explain why my card went and opened every door along the corridor one evening while I gathered data on how many of the residents sleep naked…

They had only had a chance to drop off the duffel and some smaller items before being painted beige, so there’s not much here. I set the duffel flat on the ground and zip it open. It contains the expected assortment of jeans, t-shirts, and socks, and I grab out two sets of each without really looking at them. I dig down further in search of underwear. I am not disappointed. There are a half-dozen pairs of tighty-whities; in my field research, I have found that approximately 40% of freshman males will sport these for everyday use. These are of better quality than I’m used to running my hand across (and I have run my hand across a fair number), but I go deeper–no one comes to college with just six pairs of briefs. Under them I find several pairs of boxers in unimaginative plaid, and two with cartoon dogs on them. Hmm, better. Under those, though, are what I’ve been searching for–a small collection of Dolce & Gabbana boxer briefs in fetching colors. Date-night unders. I take a basic black, and one in a bright blue–I’ve had a fondness for blue since I ripped a pair this color off a hockey player last year, in the course of a disagreement which we were later able to resolve to the satisfaction of both parties. Good times.

After I get all of that out of the duffel, I see a pocket at the bottom that has a velcro flap closing it off. I know I shouldn’t–but I do it anyway. I open the flap and reach in. What’s in there are a couple of slick magazines–no, wait, they’re porn mags. Junior brought old-school beat-off material! I like him more already. There are three here–the first two are standard-issue breeder shots (since I have, on occasion, assailed the virtue of my straight buddies, I am familiar with hetero porn–the way a fisherman is familiar with worms) but the third is far more interesting. It is full of threesomes, and not the traditional kind. The trios are made up of one woman (not my thing, but still, they’re not horrible to look at) and two guys (who definitely are my thing, and these are fine specimens). A quick look through the mag shows that the guys don’t actually touch each other, but let’s just say that at several points they find their cocks pressed together in ways that I, for one, would consider less than completely heterosexual. It’s like gateway porn.

You go, Daddy’s Boy.

I carefully replace the stroke mags and zip up the duffel, and then grab up the clothes and motor back to the shower room. The water is still running–yay!

As I enter the shower area, I suddenly realize that I don’t have towels for them.

“You know, I just realized that we haven’t brought the linens box in from the car,” Mr. Goodgenes says as I set down the clothes. Great minds, you know.

“Well, we do have dryers mounted on the wall over here–you can use those to dry off,” I offer, knowing it sounds lame. But these two just keep on smiling. They shut off their respective showers, and walk over to the dryers. These are mounted at eye level, and two of them roar to life when the Goodgenes duo hit the big chrome buttons on the front.

Can this day get any better? I get to watch these guys rub themselves dry for like five full minutes as they turn, run their hands over their firm, tan bodies, and occasionally slap the start button again when the dryers wind down. Finally they stop glistening, and come over for their clothes. As they approach, their cocks slap back and forth from one powerful quadricep to the other. Slap slap slap. Oh, the humanity.

I have placed the two piles of clothes on a bench so that they can sort them out. They pick through for the underwear first, which I’m sad about, because it means that the sexy bits are going to be covered, but there’s still a lot of hotness left on them. Dad grabs the bright blue D&Gs, leaving Junior with the basic black. As Junior handles the black boxer briefs he looks at me and cocks one eyebrow up. He knows I went shopping for the sexy underwear. I put on my best “I have no idea what you’re accusing me of” look–the one I used in high school when Mom found questionable content in my web browsing history–and it seems to work.

I resign myself to losing sight of Mr. Goodgenes’ goodies, but before he slips on the underwear he surprises me by standing up straight and walking over to where I’m sitting on the next bench over. He reaches out a hand. He’s completely naked, and he’s reaching out a hand.

“You’ve been so nice to help us, and we haven’t even introduced ourselves. I’m Ted, and this is my son Skyler.” I shake his hand, and then watch as his son comes over to extend his–it’s too bad he had time to put the black boxer briefs on before doing so, but I’ll take what I can get.

“Call me Sky,” he says, smiling warmly and shaking my hand.

Oh, I will definitely be calling you–you have potential.

“I’m Josh,” I say, hoping that Sky will remember it next time he needs someone to watch him shower. They smile and nod.

“You know, this place hasn’t changed much at all since I was here,” Ted says, looking about the shower room. I don’t think it’s changed much since Abe Lincoln took the train through town, but I don’t say this.

“You went to the U?” I ask, because I’m polite, and because the longer I keep him talking the longer he’ll stand there in just his son’s underwear.

He smiles broadly at the memory. “I did. Played baseball all four years–we took regionals in my last two seasons.”

“Dad,” protests Sky, who’s clearly heard this all before, and doesn’t want everyone his dad meets today to be oppressed with the story. I, however, could listen to him all day.

Ted grins, with only the slightest hint of abashedness at aggravating his son. “Sky’s going to play ball here as well. We’ll see if he can best his old man’s record.”

“I wouldn’t call you old,” I laugh.

Oh, shit. Did I just flirt with some guy’s dad?

This could be bad.

I look up quickly to see in Ted’s face if I’ve crossed the line. What I see is a flash of a half-grin, which he tucks away instantly. I’m not sure if it was meant for me, or if it was just an instinctive reaction to being complimented on his physical form. Which, to be honest, must happen to him on a regular basis.

I decide to cut out before I embarrass myself or them.

“Well, if there’s anything else I can do for you…” I venture, getting to my feet.

Ted and Sky are dressed now. Sky looks like every other jock freshman here today, but Ted–damn, there’s something about his fully-developed body packed into those clothes that makes me just about weak in the knees. It wouldn’t work on just anyone, but on him–it works.

“No, no, I’m sure you have lots of important things to do. Thank you so much, Josh. You’ve been great.” Dad and son, in jeans, t-shirts, and sock feet, both nodding their thanks at me with 1,000-watt smiles–it’s quite a scene. But I have duties, and they’re no longer naked, so I must away.

“I’ll see you around, Sky,” I say cheerily as I back out of the shower area.

“Yeah, see ya,” he calls back. I am probably deluding myself in hearing a note of genuine desire in his voice, but delusion has often turned out okay for me, so I’ll take it. I’ll make sure I find my way back to 230N in the not-too-distant future.

 

# 4 #

“So, what about jacking off?”

My day since showering with the Goodgenes boys has been busy but unexceptional. Just the usual parade of toned, summer-tanned flesh and expressions of vague confusion. Now it’s getting on toward evening, the freshies have eaten their first dorm dinner (where do they even find a recipe for Salisbury Steak anymore?) and we’re in the sex-segregated “Roommate Relations” information session. The questions until now have been predictable and booooring (“Will my roommate respect my severe nut allergies?” and “What do I do if he snores?”). Now it’s getting interesting.

The guy who asked the question is about three rows back, and he’s here with his posse. He’s been watching me, and he’s apparently decided to relieve the boredom by having a go at embarrassing me. His boys grunt with laughter at his sassy wit, while he reclines and practically dares me to react.

“I’d have to say I’m in favor of it,” I answer in my most professional tone.

This takes him by surprise, though his reaction is not nearly as flustered as that of Marty, the hall director, who gapes at me like I just threw a lit firework at him.

“I think,” Marty blusters, “What he meant to ask was how we should handle privacy issues in the dorm setting.” He looks at me with raised eyebrows, as if trying with mind control to get me to be vague and PG-13. He doesn’t know me very well.

“I think,” I reply, turning back to the gentleman with the burning question, “That since most of the guys in this room probably masturbate on a regular basis, they want to know how to make sure they don’t get interrupted doing it or, possibly worse, interrupt their roommate while he’s hard at it.”

My interrogator’s smirk wavers a bit, but he’s going to keep trying to offend me. I don’t give him the chance.

“So, here’s what I’d say. Admit that you do it, that he does it, and figure out how to schedule it. Make sure you give each other a half hour alone in the room frequently–maybe even daily. That way you don’t have to talk about it, since even mentioning the topic can embarrass some guys. I mean,” I look at him, hard. “You probably rubbed one out this morning, and you shouldn’t have to give that up just because you moved into the dorm this afternoon.”

The entire posse is looking pretty embarrassed right now. Marty is simply spluttering, like a forgotten tea kettle on a high flame.

Quickly, Question Guy recovers. With his boys watching him, he needs to pull it together.

“Maybe you jerked off this morning, but I don’t have to, asshole,” he says, the sneer in his voice matching the one on his face.

“Oh,” I shake my head empathetically. “Still doing it in your sleep, are you?”

Now he just looks furious. Straight boys are so sensitive!

“Look, faggot,” he sputters, “Shut the fuck up about me!”

“Are there ANY other questions?” Marty manages to bluster over the chaos of chattering that has erupted. Question Guy is getting ready to continue his snarling salvo, but he’s interrupted.

“What,” comes a voice from the other side of the room, “If your roommate is a fag?”

I crane my neck to get a look at the source of this question–the voice is familiar, but I can’t place it. Then I see him–it’s Sky, from the shower earlier. I’m sure I’ve misheard his question–he wouldn’t say what I thought he said, would he?

“I’m sorry, what–”

“What do you do if your roommate is a queer?” he enunciates clearly, slicing off each word as if it were poisonous. “What if he stares at your junk? What if he slips something in your drink and then rapes your ass when you’re passed out?”

I’m stunned. I just stand there staring at him. This is nice little Goodgenes junior? Dude’s a Hitler. I open my mouth to speak without really working out what I’m going to say, but he continues.

“I mean, if you catch your roommate perving on you you’re allowed to beat the shit out of him, right? That’s self-defense, right? ‘Cause if a fag looks at me he’s going to be shipped home in about a dozen little boxes.”

Now I’m less stunned than I am seriously pissed off. I open my mouth and take a deep breath to power through the rant of all rants, but I don’t get the chance.

“Dude, dial it back. Do you even know any gay people?”

It’s a member of Question Guy’s posse. He’s looking straight at Sky, and he’s pissed.

“I guess I do now,” Sky spits back, looking the other guy up and down with disdain.

“Look, you gotta check your homophobia at the door,” retorts another member of Question Guy’s gang. “What makes you think they’d want your ugly ass anyway?” There are murmurs of assent from all over the room, which has clearly turned against Sky. I’m kind of proud of these freshies.

“I THINK WE’RE ABOUT OUT OF TIME!” bellows Marty. He take a couple of panting breaths. “Thank you for coming.”

The guys filter out of the room, and I manage to slip away before Marty can lay into me for letting it get out of hand. I’m trying to figure out why I was completely blindsided by Sky–I’m usually pretty good at sizing people up. And I completely wasn’t expecting him to be basically shouted down by the other people in the room.

But I don’t really have time to think through it–I’m on my way to another room for a similar session, this one organized by Campus Pride, for gay, bi, and questioning freshmen.

The room is sparsely populated, with groups of two or three here and there, and a fair number of solitary guys. About a couple dozen are here total, which is not a bad turnout. I walk up to the front of the room.

“Hey guys, I’m Josh, and I’m the VP of Campus Pride. I want to welcome you to this special session on Roommate Relations. This is a safe space for you to ask questions and get support in what for a lot of us can be a challenging time.”

I stop here, to let a latecomer enter.

It’s Sky. No fucking way! He takes a seat near the door, and looks attentively at me. I try my best to look unruffled to the rest of the people in the room, while looking daggers at him. It’s not an easy combo to master. I turn back to the room.

“Now, what questions can I answer for you?”

There’s silence, and some shuffling and fidgeting, but I know to count to twenty and wait for responses. I’m only on eight when the first hand goes up.

“Yes?” I ask. The hand belongs to a slight boy in the second row, who is clearly petrified to speak.

“I was wondering,” he squeaks, then clears his throat and attempts to speak more forcefully. It doesn’t work. “How would you deal with a r-roommate who is hom–homophobic?”

“That’s an excellent question,” I say supportively, smiling my brightest at him. Poor fella, he needs every bit of positive affirmation he can get. “You should know that all freshmen will be going through sensitivity sessions this week. The university will not tolerate people being disrespected or threatened because of their sexuality. If you have any reason to suspect that your roommate has a problem with you because of sexual orientation, you should talk to your RA, or to the Hall Director, or to me or someone else from Campus Pride. We can help you.” He smiles, weakly at first, and then more confidently. “If your roommate has a problem with your sexuality, that’s his problem, not yours.”

“But,” says another voice from across the room, this one deeper and more forceful. “What if you find yourself being attracted to your roommate? I mean, we’re living pretty much on top of each other. It could be awkward.”

“Yes, it could get awkward. But I think you’ll find that living that closely with someone means that you see them when they’re not at their best. It’s kind of hard to fall for someone when you see him picking his nose, or wearing the same underwear for the third day, or making out with his girlfriend while you’re trying to sleep. People think that dorms are some kind of hotbed of lust, but it’s almost never that way.” Well, it sort of is for me this year, but I paid my dues, right?

“But what if you end up with an amazing guy and you just really want to go for it?”

“I would say be careful, especially if he identifies as straight. I think it’s almost always better to hang back and don’t push it. Even if that means feeling like you’re letting a great opportunity go.”

“So,” says another one, this one looking at me skeptically. “You’re telling us you were never attracted to a straight guy?”

“Oh hell no I’m not saying that!” I say, laughing. “Most days I’ve been attracted to six straight guys before breakfast. But I don’t go all flirty on them or anything. Sometimes appreciating them from afar, or just being friends with them, is the best way. Most straight guys, given the right opportunity and the right kind of offer, are still straight. Even the ones that may let you do stuff sometimes, most are still straight and always will be, and that’s just a recipe for you getting hurt, emotionally or otherwise.” I sound like I really believe this. Do I?

We go through several more rounds of Q&A about more mundane things, like how to handle bringing a guy back to the room, whether bisexuality really exists, that kind of stuff.

The guy who had been first to speak raises his hand again, even more tentatively than the last time.

“I wonder if…I just…I mean, I think that…what happens when–” He seems to realize he’s not making sense, but he’s clearly thinking of something that’s causing him some pain. His eyes well up, and is he really? Yes, he’s shaking.

“Hey,” I read his name tag, “Grant, take a deep breath. We’re all here for you, buddy. You can tell us anything.”

I flash a quick look at Sky. I swear to god you fucker, you say anything right now and I will yank your spine out your asshole.

Grant takes a couple of halting breaths, and seems to compose himself.

“I thought my best friend, last summer…I thought we were, you know, kind of taking the next step, but it–” A sob escapes him, but he closes his eyes and breathes deeply again, and he forges on. “He said he was okay with it, but after, he…he–” Grant looks up at me with tears streaking down his cheeks. “He beat me up pretty bad, and drove away and left me.”

Oh my god.

Out of the corner of my eye I see movement. Before I have time to react, Sky gets up, walks over to Grant, sits down next to him, and–what? He puts his arm around him. Grant is clearly shocked, but he just kind of loses it, and sobs into Sky’s shoulder.

“It’s okay, buddy,” Sky says, his voice soft but strong. “It’s okay. We’re all here, and no one’s going to hurt you like that again. You have friends in this room, and we’ve got your back.” These consoling words make Grant break out into a seizure of sobs, and the meeting is pretty much over. Gradually the others in the room come together around Grant and Sky, and each one pats him on the back, or puts an arm around him, or says something supportive to him.

It’s about the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. And in the middle of it, getting his shirt soaked with Grant’s tears, is Sky. What the fuck?

Eventually the emotional crisis level in the room drops a bit, and we wrap it up. As the guys leave the room, Sky seems to be hanging back a bit. He’s talking with the much more composed Grant, who finally is able to walk out under his own power as I finish straightening up the room. Now it’s just Sky and me left. He walks up to the front of the room where I’ve just put the chairs back in order.

“Hey,” he says.

“What the fuck is with you?”

If he’s taken aback by my question he doesn’t show it.

“What, I’m not allowed to help a brother out?”

“That’s not what I was asking about. How do you go from Super Bigot to the Gay Avenger in the space of an hour?”

Sky smiles slyly.

“Oh, that,” he says, and did he just wink at me?

“Yeah, that. You went all homophobe before, and then you walk three doors down and you’re suddenly the wind beneath Grant’s gay wings. What the fuck?”

He tips his head to the side, considers me for a moment.

“Wanna grab a cup of coffee?” he asks, as if this is a natural response to what I have asked him.

I’m pissed that he’s ignoring my question, but coffee doesn’t sound bad right now. I know I should stop drinking as much of it as I do, but as addictions go, caffeine’s not the worst thing in the world.

“Sure, whatever.”

We head for the junky replica of a cafe that the dining commons provides, which is pretty much deserted at this hour–it’s nearly 9pm. I get a small coffee, while Sky orders a double shot of espresso–he pays for both before I have a chance to even reach for my wallet. At least the schizo bastard is a gentleman in this one respect.

We walk over to a table near the window looking out over the main plaza, and we sit.

“So,” I start, “What the hell is your deal?” I take a significant sip of coffee here, mainly to punctuate my scalding interrogative. Unfortunately, the coffee is also scalding. I don’t spit it out because that would ruin the tough image I’m going for–I think my mouth is going to blister tomorrow.

“I would have thought it would be clear to a smart guy like you,” he murmurs slickly, and then sips his espresso. He’s much better than I am at this drinking-like-James-Bond thing. He looks cool and collected, and not at all like his mouth is going to blister. I hate him more now.

“Guess I’m stupid then. I just don’t get you being a complete asshole homophobe and then practically cuddling with poor Grant–you could have wrapped the two of you in a rainbow flag and not lost an ounce of subtlety.”

“I was just managing the crowd,” he says insouciantly. Another elegant sip of espresso. “Doing what needed to be done to keep things moving productively along.”

I squint at him, trying to make sense of this.

“I see you’re still confused,” he states, noting the obvious. “Okay, here’s the deal. That shithead in the first meeting was trying to push your buttons, and you were letting him–no, wait, hear me out,” he says, holding up a hand against my objection. “He was showing off for his buddies, and the game he was playing was to shock you. It clearly didn’t work–you saw his sexual provocation and raised him an ad-hominem aspersion.”

“Damn right I did,” I say proudly. “He needed to know who he was dealing with.”

“Yeah, that was your first mistake,” Sky says, shaking his head and taking another sip of espresso.

“What? Why was that a mistake?”

“Because you pushed him into a corner. In order to save face with his buddies, he had to see your insult and raise you a scatological reference.”

“You meant the part where he called me an asshole?”

“Yep, that part. Then you made your second mistake.”

“Oh, I can hardly wait to hear this.”

“You advanced the supposition that he still experiences wet dreams, which is anathema to an adult male, because it implies that he has no better outlet.”

“Okay, so that was kind of clumsy, but it was all I could think of at the moment. Dude was pissing me off.” I take a gulp of coffee, which burns burn burns all the way down. I don’t care.

“Exactly right he was, which is what he had set out to do. But now you’ve impugned his masculinity, so he’s double pissed. That’s when he breaks out the f-word.”

“Two of them, actually–faggot and fuck.”

“That’s when I knew the wheels had come off the cart. So I saved your ass.”

I’m intrigued.

“How, exactly, was the bigot act supposed to save my ass?”

He smirks at me, as if he’s about to divulge some shocking secret.

“Back-blaze,” he says triumphantly, as if this explained everything.

I stare at him, willing my eyes to generate a searing heat ray that will melt his smug grin.

“You know,” he continues, still smirking, “Like what they do when fighting a forest fire. You light a small, controlled fire to remove fuel from the main blaze. That’s what I was doing.”

“I still don’t get how that was supposed to help,” I say, unable to keep a note of irritation from my voice.

“Look, Shithead Question Guy called you a faggot because it was the next worst thing he could call you after ‘asshole.’ So, in order to keep him from going further, I jumped over him and busted out the whole queer-bait gay-panic thing.”

“Yeah, I don’t see how that helped.”

He sighs, shakes his head, and looks at me pityingly.

“Let’s go through this step by step, okay?” he asks me, in exactly the tone of voice one would use to explain long division to a not terribly bright child. “Shithead Question Guy starts here,” he places a sugar packet on the middle of the table, “Trying to get a rise from you. Instead of laughing him off, you push his buttons back.” He places a pink packet of sweetener to one side of the sugar packet. “That forces him to go more extreme.” He leapfrogs the sugar packet over the pink one. “Then you come back at him, and he has to go further. Pretty soon he’s going to actually jump you and start beating your head in. So I,” and here he places a blue sweetener packet on the very edge of the table, “go even further, saying stuff that’s so extreme even his buddies want to call me out on it.”

“Yeah, they did kind of scold you,” I grant him, grudgingly.

“And that, sir, is how the game is won. With a couple of horrid, bigoted remarks, I undermine him with his buddies, remove the possibility of his saying anything more extreme about your sexual preferences, and unite everyone in the room in the opinion that open homophobia shouldn’t be tolerated here. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a win–win–win,” he says as he plucks up each packet of sweet visual aids. He drops them back into the white porcelain holder on the table and crosses his arms and then grins at me, waiting for me to applaud or something.

I stare at him for a moment.

“So,” I grunt. “Which is the real Sky, the hyper-bigot or the ‘we’ve got your back’ rainbow warrior?”

He’d clearly been expecting a more congratulatory response. He seems a little crestfallen.

“Neither, really, I guess.”

“Surely someone who breaks social dynamics down into sugar packets has a better answer than that. Are you really going to tell me that you aren’t sure whether you’re sexually attracted to women or men?”

He looks genuinely shocked at my question.

“Who said anything about sex?”

My turn to be dumbstruck.

“Isn’t that what we’ve been talking about? You know that’s what everyone in the Campus Pride group thought you meant when you said ‘We’ve got your back,’ right? That was pretty out there for someone who’s not sure.”

“Ah, I get it,” he says, but his sip of espresso is less polished this time. “You think all of this had something to do with me, with my sexuality?”

“Well, duh,” I respond, because the part of my brain where wit comes from is apparently offline.

“Here’s the deal. First thing you need to know about me is that I’m going to be a senator someday. Maybe president after that. Everything I do here,” he gestures all around, to the university, “Is directed at that. I’m going to major in Political Science, I’m going to lead the student groups I join, I’m going to get the University Medal when I graduate.” He sits back and looks at me, as though saying it has made it so.

“You do realize you were in a Campus Pride meeting, right? And that there were witnesses? That you hugged a gay man in distress?”

He nods.

“All of that is great–I think it’s awesome. But how do you get elected once that story gets out?”

The sly grin is back.

“I’m counting on it getting out,” he says.

“Well, as campaign strategies go, that’s a new one.”

He sits up again, clearly eager for the chance to explain.

“Look, you’ve got to think about electoral dynamics in terms of the big cycles. Back before Reagan, fundamentalist Christians were viewed as unreliable voters, outliers in a primarily secular culture. They tended to get distracted by quaint little biblical things, and that kept them from voting reliably Republican. But after Reagan, the party learned to give them enough of what they wanted to keep them in line. It was brilliant. In one political generation, Christians went from the unwanted fringe to the electoral base.”

I nod, mainly to stay awake. Who talks like this? He takes this as a signal to continue. Great.

“Latinos were next. Since the late 90s, the Hispanic vote has swung several southwestern states and sometimes Florida, though the Cuban thing muddies the waters a bit. But you start to hear candidates greeting crowds in awkward Spanish, so you know they’re feeling the heat.”

He stops raises his eyebrows at me, checking for comprehension. I shake my head, because I have no idea why he’s suddenly channeling public radio. He sighs and continues.

“So the next marginalized group to come to electoral power is going to be the sexual minorities. Already in San Francisco and other metro areas it’s not possible to get elected without currying favor among gays and lesbians and all of the other categories. That’s going to spread over the next decade, until being pro-gay-marriage carries the same weight as saying ‘God bless America’ at the end of a speech. And that is the electoral wave I am going to surf into office.”

“You have got to be kidding me.”

“No, I’m dead serious,” he replies.

“Isn’t that a bit cynical? You’re basically planning to use oppressed minority groups to get yourself into office.”

“Yes, but once I’m in office I will serve the interests of those groups, as well as the others who elected me. It’s a win for everyone.”

I stare at him. I’m not sure whether to appreciate his optimism or hate him for his naked self-interest. Heh, naked. I remember him naked.

“But there’s one thing you haven’t covered,” I remind him.

“What’s that?” he asks, with the manner of a politician ready for a follow-up question on a Sunday morning talk show.

“Men or women?”

He stops for a second, blinking. Clearly he thinks I’ve misunderstood the whole concept of his strategy.

“That doesn’t matter right now.”

“How can you say sex doesn’t matter? You’re going to tell me that you haven’t even considered it? That you don’t have any preference at all?”

“I’m not saying that. It’s just that sex has always been the trap into which politicians have fallen.”

“Wait. First you say that you are going to ride gay men and lesbians to victory, and now sex is the third rail?”

“You’re getting sexual identity and sex mixed up,” he replies, his Patient Voice returning. “I believe that sexual identity is going to be the next great political boom. In terms of sex, that’s a whole different deal. If I were to have sex with someone, that means giving up control of my destiny to that person. Way too high a risk.”

“But if everyone accepts everyone’s sexual identity, in your little utopian vision of the future–which I am not at all buying, by the way–what does it matter who you sleep with?”

Sky sighs as me, exasperated.

“Because while I could definitely get elected being straight, gay, or bisexual,” he replies, still patiently, “Sluts never win.”

I look at him blankly.

“More politicians have had their career derailed by sex than anything else. All I need is one person to show up in a tabloid talking about a night of secret passion while I was supposed to be in a committed relationship with someone else, or involving anything remotely dirty, and I’m done. When it comes to sexuality, the American people will tolerate orientation–what they won’t tolerate is bad choices. And that’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He tosses back his espresso, and looks at me with the satisfied air of an attorney who has just finished a devastating closing argument.

I wish I could say that he is full of shit, but a moment’s reflection indicates that he’s pretty much right-on.

“So, have you had your previous sexual partners sign non-disclosure agreements, or something?”

“Ha! No, I’m not Tom Cruise,” he laughs. “I just haven’t had any.”

This stops me cold.

“Haven’t had any what?”

“Sexual partners. Weren’t you listening? Too much risk.”

“You’re a … a … virgin?” I manage to stutter out.

“That’s what you call someone who hasn’t had sex with anyone, yes.”

“Wow. That’s … well, that’s just bizarre, is what that is.”

“Really? I’m eighteen. Until six months ago it would have been technically illegal for me to have had sex.”

“Yeah, but that’s like the speed limit. It’s a suggestion that nobody follows, especially when they’re going somewhere they really want to be.”

He laughs again at my naivete. “Not if you want a clean record. And no, I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket either.”

“You, my friend, are seriously weird. And, if I may say, I think that by keeping that body to yourself you are depriving the world of a vital natural resource.”

“Think what you like, as long as you vote for me.” He grins.

I chuckle in spite of myself.

“One thing, though,” I begin.

“Ask me anything–my life is an open book.”

“When it’s time, and you find the right person, will that person be a man or a woman?”

“Most likely. Although I am also open to those who identify somewhere in between.”

“No, I mean, how do you identify–gay, straight, bisexual, what?”

“I don’t think that way,” he says, simply. “I believe that when I meet the right person, then I’ll know. If it’s a man, then I’m gay. If it’s a woman, then I’m straight. If the right one turns out to be a couple, then I’ll be bi.” He pauses for a second, then looks me in the eye. “So put me down on your list as TBD. I’ll let you know when it happens.”

So that explains the porn choices–mostly straight, because politicians love to be mainstream, but the threesomes to keep options open.

“Well, I should get going,” he says, getting up from the table, “Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. And,” he adds, a mischievous twinkle in his eye, “for what you said about my body. You’re not bad to look at either.”

He turns and strides confidently away, as if the presidential helicopter awaited him.

 

# 5 #

Buzzed from the coffee, staggered by the political science lesson, I make my way back to the suite. The halls are noisier tonight than they were last night–just about everyone’s back to campus, and people are getting reacquainted. Along our corridor there’s some big party going on, because I can hear a thumping beat and loud voices as soon as I step out of the stairwell. Someone’s risking a nasty-gram from the RA.

As I walked down the hall, the noise gets louder, until I reach my door and notice that the doorknob is vibrating with the beat of the music. Great–apparently the party is at my place. I swipe my card and open the door, and I walk right into a wall of humanity. The room is full.

“Josh!” I hear Dexter, or Porter, call out to me as I shut the door behind me. “You’re here!”

“Yeah, and so is everyone else!” I call back.

“We invited the guys from the water polo team over for a little reunion,” he explains, looking genuinely apologetic and just too fucking sweet. If he’s the gay one, I just want to kiss him. If he’s the straight one, I just want to kiss him.

“Well, that explains all the tall testosterone in the room,” I reply with a grin. He laughs.

“I know, right? It’s like being a kid in a meat store!” Ah, it must be Porter. He winks at me and grins that blazing white grin. “Come meet the guys.”

Porter introduces me around. I’ve never really been into water polo, not since I found out they had boarded up the observation glass that looks into the pool from underwater. If I could watch a dozen Speedo-wrapped parcels bob up and down, smashing into one another, I would get season tickets–from the bleachers it’s just not as much fun. But these guys are as tall and graceful and muscled as Dexter and Porter, and I am quite pleased to make their acquaintance.

Once I’ve met everyone within shouting distance I settle into the corner and watch the goings-on. There are no women here–teammates only–and that’s fine with me. The guys are telling each other about their summer vacations, and as the evening wears on the talk turns from surfing exploits and horrible bosses to which beach boasted the women with the most flexible morals. One of the twins’ teammates launches into a story about dating two women at once, which went well until each found out about the other. He was able to effect a detente, however, by having sex with both of them at once. He recounted the scene, in his family’s beach house, when one of the women knelt before him and sucked his cock and the other knelt behind him and stuck her tongue so far up his ass he thought that she was trying to french-kiss the one in front.

This anecdote was quite well received.

A little later, as the party was calming down (gatherings without booze do that) I hear one of the guys say, “Hey, dudes, Diggler’s going to do it. In Dex’s bedroom!”

I look to Porter, wondering what this means. He comes over to me to explain.

“You should go see,” he says. “I think you would…enjoy it.” He smiles.

“Who’s Diggler?” I ask. “Kind of a funny name.”

“Yeah,” he chuckles. “It’s a nickname, from Boogie Nights. We call him that because his cock is, and I’m not kidding here, longer than you’ve ever seen in your life.”

“Well, I don’t know about that. I mean, I’ve seen–” I stop talking as I see him shaking his head slowly side to side. He holds his hands out in front of him, ridiculously far apart. “No way, come on,” I say–my turn to shake my head.

“I shit you not,” he says gravely. “You owe it to yourself to go look. He doesn’t do this very often.”

“Do what?” I ask, squinting suspiciously.

“You just have to see it,” he says simply.

I’m not one to shy away from any mystery involving an enormous penis, so I go. There are already half a dozen guys in the room, so I claim roommate’s privilege and climb up onto the bunk opposite the futon. The other guys stand around the futon, where sits the one named Diggler, who is reposed with Buddha-like calm among the somewhat boisterous crowd. Then, he takes a breath, and the crowd falls silent.

He nods toward the door, and the guy closest to it pushes it shut. Then Diggler stands, and in one smooth motion, drops his shorts to his ankles. I can’t see anything yet, because I’m up on the bunk and he has bent over to pull his feet through the leg holes of his shorts. Then he flops back on the futon and I see that he is naked from the waist down.

And it is amazing.

Porter, if anything, sold it short. It is so long you almost forget what the base looked like by the time your eyes reach the tip. It is thin, but it must be a foot long. I think I’m drooling a bit on Dexter’s pillow, which is kind of exciting all on its own.

The other guys in the room are silent, and then it hits me–everyone in here is staring at one of their teammates who is showing off his third leg. Doesn’t this strike any of them as odd? And what is he going to do now?

Diggler glances around the room, checking that all eyes are on him (he doesn’t look up to the balcony, where I lie, gaping). Then he grasps his cock firmly with both hands, and he leans forward.

Oh my god is he going to…? Yep, he is.

As he leans forward, he sticks out his tongue and touches it to his cock. I hear one of the guys below me gasp. Diggler’s tongue flicks around the head of his cock, and the shock and envy in the room is almost palpable.

But he’s just getting started.

He suddenly opens his mouth wide, crunches up his abs, and takes the top four or five inches of his cock into his mouth. He’s sucking his own cock! The gasper below me makes another soft cry of amazement, and I hear several of the guys in the room shift around as if they too have suddenly sprung wood like me.

Now that Diggler has accomplished the enviable feat of stuffing his own cock into his mouth, I expect the show is over. That would be enough to secure his reputation for length far and wide. But as soon as he pulls back, leaving his dick shiny and wet, he plunges down again, taking maybe even a little more of his cock into his mouth. He repeats this motion several times.

Is he really gonna? No, he wouldn’t. Would he?

As his head bobs up and down more and more quickly, the room is silent except for the sound of his exertions. I don’t think anyone else is breathing. I notice that his balls are starting to pull up a bit–they’re dwarfed by his cock, of course, but they seem a bit on the small side in any case. Now they are snuggled tightly against the base of his towering member.

He lets out a small groan, and pulls his mouth off his cock for the first time since he started. He grips the thin pole even more viciously, and about every third stroke he swoops down and throats his cock again. His pace is increasing, and it’s clear he’s about to blow.

He sits bolt upright, clenching on his cock, and groans a deep rumble. I expect the blast is going to hit the ceiling, given the caliber of the weapon, but Diggler’s cock instead oozes milky liquid from the tip which runs over his hands and paints the length of his prick all the way down. He closes his eyes and sighs, which makes his about the least boisterous orgasm I’ve ever witnessed. It seems a little too little for such a bizarrely public performance.

Meanwhile, the sharp scent of Diggler’s cum is hitting the nostrils of his audience. I have found, in my checkered past, that nothing will clear a room of straight men quite as quickly as the smell of another man’s semen. There is a concerted shuffling toward the door, and only one of the guys says anything at all–a murmured “Dude,” intoned in equal measures of wonder and embarrassment.

The last one out closes the door, leaving just me and the now drained Diggler. He drops his cock, which flops out before him, dripping a bit onto the futon, and leans back. He wipes his hands on his boxer shorts, which are crumpled next to him. I suddenly realize that he doesn’t know I’m here.

I’m about to announce my presence (with what words I have no idea, because what does one say after such a performance?) when I hear noise from the futon–Diggler is crying. Crying! Why a guy with a foot-long cock is crying after having made all of his super-meaty teammates green with envy is beyond me. But there he sits, sobbing quietly, still naked from the waist down. His cock, meanwhile, has shrunk to a mere 10 or 11 inches. The guy is clearly a show-er, not a grow-er. But, of course, I’ve already seen the show.

I can’t just lie here forever–it feels creepy. I first rock my hips side to side to judge the status of my hard-on–it has faded to merely stiff from the rock-hardness it attained during the show. Should be presentable.

“Dude?” I say, as quietly and calmly as I can. I don’t want to scare him, or embarrass him any more than I have to. Despite the exhibitionistic display, I can sense that he could be very upset that someone’s watching this aftermath.

He startles, looks up at me, and jumps to his feet and thrashes about trying to pull his shorts on.

“Hey, don’t freak out,” I say calmly, hoping that he won’t hop around with one foot caught in his shorts and crash into the TV.

“What are you doing up there?” he asks, clearly upset.

“I was just watching the show, man,” I reply, making my way down off the bunk. “The orchestra was full when I got here, so I headed for the cheap seats.”

He stares at me, now realizing that I’m not one of his teammates.

“Who are you?” he asks, angrily.

“I’m Josh. I’m Dexter and Porter’s roommate. And,” I add, with what I hope is a winning smile, “I’m your biggest fan.”

This seems to make him even more upset.

“Well, the show’s over,” he says with an air of grim finality, and begins slipping on his shoes.

“It was awesome,” I say, unable to hold back any longer.

“Huh,” is his only reply, which I’m not sure whether to count as a chuckle or a grunt of disgust. He’s clearly still upset, and a rational person would simply fall silent and let him escape.

“So, how long have you been able to do that?”

See, not rational.

He looks at me, his eyes bloodshot, his mouth quivering. He seems to be working something out in his head–like differential equations–and then he sighs again.

“Look, I don’t really talk about it much. Truth is, normally guys can’t get out of the room fast enough once I’m done.”

“Yeah, I noticed that. But I’m not like most other guys.”

He looks at me, hard.

“You gay?”

This is either a blunt question or a simple statement in caveman language. I take it as the former.

“Yep.”

He nods. “Thought so.”

“How could you tell?” I ask, not really curious, but wanting to keep him talking.

“When you said it was awesome, you really seemed to mean it. Most guys wrinkle up their noses when they talk about it. If they talk about it at all.”

“Yeah, guys, right?” I reply, rolling my eyes conspiratorially.

“I’m straight,” he says. He looks at me as though expecting me to argue with him or something. I don’t, of course–statistically, the vast majority of guys are. “Not that it really matters,” he sighs, plopping down on the futon again.

Breakthrough! I sit down next to him, not too close.

“What do you mean, it doesn’t matter?” I ask. If he needs someone in whom to confide the difficulties of having a stupendously long cock, I’m his man.

He squints at me, apparently trying to figure out whether he can trust me. But there is that tiredness in his eyes, and I suspect that the desperate need to share his burden with someone is going to win out.

“You said you’re Josh, right?” I nod. “I’m Clark. Pleased to meet you.” He extends a hand–the one that just moments ago had cum running over it. I take it and give it a firm shake.

“Pleasure’s all mine, sir,” I reply, and there’s a flicker of a grin. Good.

He sighs again, shakes his head, mutters “Shit,” under his breath.

“Clark, I’m going to go out on a limb here. You have the most amazing dong in the world, and it it were mine I would spend every moment of the day doing what you just did, and every moment of the night having other people do it for me. There would be a line at the door.”

He grunts again.

“But, being the sensitive and perceptive person that I am, I can tell that you are not entirely happy. The only conclusion that I can come to is that it does not give you the pleasure that I think it would. In fact,” and here I pause for dramatic effect, “It seems to me that what brought these other guys into this room is the very thing that is making you so unhappy.”

He looks right into my eyes, an expression of pure disbelief on his face.

“How did you know that?” he whispers.

“I’m not brilliant at a lot of things, but I’m kind of a cock savant.”

He shakes his head, and squints at me again. Then he mumbles something under his breath.

“What? I didn’t hear that,” I say, leaning closer.

“I’m a virgin,” he says in a very low voice.

“Oh,” I say, trying to keep the shock out of my voice. A virgin? Seriously? This is like Michael Jordan deciding not to go out for basketball.

“That’s…” I have no idea how to finish that sentence. He looks deeply ashamed. I need to fix this.

“I guess I’m just surprised that a guy as handsome as you would–”

“You mean hung like me, right?” he interrupts.

“No, of course that’s not what I meant,” I blurt effusively, trying to cover the fact that this is precisely what I meant. He’s definitely easy on the eyes, but the cock kind of steals the show.

“It’s not like I haven’t tried,” he says quietly, then slouches back into the futon, miserably.

“What do you mean?” I ask, trying to match his quiet tone and his slumping posture.

“I mean that I tried, and I couldn’t do it,” he says, a bitter edge in his voice.

I try to imagine how this would be possible, and then it finally comes to me.

“Oh, let me guess,” I say. “She took one look at what you’re packing and fled in a panic, right? Too much man for her to handle?”

If he’s flattered by my assumption he doesn’t let on.

“No, it’s not that,” he says, Eeyore-like. “That did happen this one time, but mostly it’s…” He trails off. I wait.

“It’s what?” I prompt. Clearly I suck at waiting.

He looks at me again, with a strange intensity, and then he closes his eyes.

“It never gets hard,” he whispers, and then, shaking his head, he turns away from me completely.

“It looked plenty hard to me a few minutes ago,” I reply, in my most upbeat tone.

“It wasn’t. It doesn’t have to be–didn’t you notice that I never let go of it?”

“I noticed everything; I never took my eyes off of it.”

“Well, I can make it work by myself, but when I get into bed with a chick, even one who’s willing to try taking it, I can’t get it in. It just doesn’t get hard enough.”

Now, I’ve counseled my share of guys who couldn’t get hard with women–I’ve kind of made a specialty of it, given that most of them are in denial about being gay, and I happen to drive the welcome wagon for their newly accepted orientation.

“But it gets hard when you do it, right? Like when you’re rubbing one out alone?”

“No.”

“What?”

“No. It never gets hard.”

Hmm. This is one I haven’t heard before.

“I even stole a Viagra from my grandfather’s medicine cabinet once. No dice. All I can get is a semi-boner.”

“Have you talked to a doctor?”

“Yeah, a couple of years ago when I came to the U and could see someone other than my doc at home I did. He said that the longer the penis the more likely it is that it won’t get fully hard. And mine was the longest one he’d ever seen.”

Normally that’s good news, but not in this case.

“Clark, I just think you haven’t found the right woman.”

He grunts a dismal chuckle.

“Well, the right women don’t date me. The ones I meet all seem to hear about me before I get a chance to go out with them. Based on what they hear from the other guys, they are either terrified or out for a trophy. Both kinds are bad. I kind of gave up.” He looks up, stares me in the eyes. “I just can’t do it, and I guess I never will.”

“But you’ve had blowjobs, right?” I ask. He shakes his head. “Handjobs?” I offer, more tentatively. He shakes his head again. “No jobs at all?” He shakes his head twice and then buries his face in his hands.

It suddenly becomes clear to me.

“So putting on this show is the only way…”

“To have any kind of sex with someone else in the room,” he finishes my sentence.

This is really sad.

“I don’t know why people keep asking me to do it, actually,” he continues. “I did it once just out of desperation, and then they kept pushing me to do it again. I have no idea why they want to see it. And I’m not too happy about what makes me do it, either.”

“I can help you with that one,” I say. “Straight guys are all about the cock. They see you in the locker room and they can’t keep their eyes off of you. They fantasize about being you, and seeing you do this is the closest they can come to it.”

“But they’re straight,” he replies, as if mystified by this.

“Yes, they are. And, like I said, straight guys–all guys–are obsessed by cock. Women, in my experience, could for the most part care less about penis size. But dudes? To them it’s the magic number, the key to the kingdom. They are constantly measuring themselves up against the guys they see in the locker room, or in porn. Straight guys are fixated on cocks, their own and everyone else’s, just as much as gay guys are.”

“But that just makes it worse for me,” he mutters. “They all think I’m some kind of super stud. At least since I started doing this performance they don’t ask me about who I’m fucking anymore. It’s like they don’t want to talk about it because they’ve watched me do this.”

“Makes perfect sense to me,” I reply, recalling Sky’s sugar-packet analysis from earlier this evening. “You’ve leaped over regular sex into this bizarre thing that they can’t admit they enjoy watching. You found the perfect way to shut them up!”

He gives a half-grin, the most cheerful thing he’s done since I met him.

“Great. Now how do I solve my real problem?”

“I’m glad you asked, sir. I have some ideas.”

He looks positively elated–relieved at having finally confided in someone, and hopeful in my abilities to actually help him.

This is going to be fun.

 

# 6 #

After jock-dorm move-in, the rest of freshman week is pretty much a drag. I answer questions, pass things out, direct traffic as wave after wave of new students are dropped off. Then I get to lead silly ice-breakers and social events until my brain is bleeding from trying to learn the names of several thousand lost newbies. Things finally settle down as the weekend approaches and I have a spare moment to stop by the room my friend Calvin shares with his boyfriend, Reese.

They’re allowed to share a dorm room because of a discrimination lawsuit a couple of years ago that forced the U to recognize committed same-sex relationships. And honestly, there was never a more perfect couple to be covered under the policy they call Section 28; if Calvin and Reese hadn’t been able to live together, they both would have had to be committed. Like to an insane asylum. They are that crazy for each other.

I’m excited tonight because Calvin’s finally going to tell me about the amazing job he’s gotten lined up for me. Both he and Reese are on scholarships (football and lacrosse, respectively), and he said at the end of the previous school year that he had a line on “the perfect job” at the athletic complex. I’m not a jock myself, but the idea of having a job where I would be surrounded by them all day kind of gives me a boner.

Calvin and Reese’s room is in a far less modern dorm than mine; in fact, all of the Section 28 couples live along the same stretch of ratty hallway. I’m friends with two of the three couples; Calvin and Reese I’m close to because I sort of helped them get together last year. I knock on their door, and Reese answers.

“Hey, Josh! Great to see you, buddy!” Reese pulls me to him in a hug so strong that he just about squeezes the air out of me. The fact that he’s not wearing a shirt may be a contributing factor to my breathlessness. He loosens his grip a bit so that he can look me in the eye.

“I’ve missed you,” he says with a chuckle and a grin, and then he kisses me. And not a peck on the cheek, either–this is third-date kissing. I kiss him back, of course, because Reese kisses like no one in the world; his tongue knows how to do things that one must normally sell one’s soul to Satan to learn.

“Ahem,” rumbles a deep voice from the room.

If Reese is in a rush to break our kiss just because his boyfriend is getting impatient, it doesn’t show. He spends a long moment trying to put my mouth back in order, having deranged it completely with his ministrations, and finishes by giving my ass a firm squeeze with both hands.

I step back, panting. Reese winks at me.

“Are you finished mashing on my boyfriend?” Calvin grunts at me as he stalks across the room to where we’re standing. He sounds fierce, but he breaks into a grin as he opens his arms and wraps me up in them. He’s clearly trying to outdo Reese in the vigor department, and I think I hear a rib crack.

“It’s been far too long, my friend,” he whispers, a soft rush into my ear, causing goosebumps to shoot down my entire left side. He lets up the pressure, his hands moving up to my face, where they cradle my jaw. His thumb brushes the hollow of my cheek, just like he did the first time he kissed me, back before Reese was here, back when he was straight, way back on the other side of this love we share. Then he kisses me, and it’s like the first time I’ve ever been kissed. The first time anyone’s ever kissed anyone. Fuck, how can he always do this to me?

Finally, he releases me, and I try to make my knees bear my weight again.

“You guys…” I murmur. I shake my head, and they laugh. “I can’t believe it’s been so long.”

“Not our fault,” objects Calvin, who has slung his arm around Reese’s shoulder.

“Yeah, we were just at Aunt Emily’s cabin. You could have come up anytime, but no, you had to go gallivanting around Eastern Europe all summer.”

I had spent a good part of the summer on a service trip with my friend Pete, who lives next door to Calvin and Reese with his boy Nick.

“Hey! We were just making the world safe for democracy!” I cry, defending my honor. They laugh at me. “And there might have been the occasional Bel Ami boy who needed to be liberated from his narrow view of sexuality.” They laugh harder. “Hey, I got service credits for it toward graduation!”

This cracks them up completely. Calvin is the first to recover.

“Wait! Wait!” he laughs, his eyes streaming. “You finagled college credit for blowing your way across Buttfuckistan?”

“Shut up, you crude jock,” I mutter, taking a swipe at his rock-solid shoulder. “It wasn’t like that.”

They dry their eyes, and nod their heads seriously as if trying to convince me that they believe that it was not, in fact, like that. They don’t succeed at this.

“Now, are you going to show me your glamorous den of sexual iniquity, or what?”

They take two steps back, and I take two steps forward.

“There, now you’ve had the full tour,” Calvin says. The small room is a mirror-image of Pete’s, next door.

“We just got here this morning, so we haven’t really set it up,” Reese says. “But it was sure nice of the U to give us a double bed.”

“Actually, I think that’s queen size, which makes it perfect for you two,” I laugh. I love to tease the guys, as they’ve been out for less than a year. Before one weekend last fall when all three of us found ourselves at Reese’s aunt’s cabin, they were sure they were straight.

“So,” I say, flopping myself down on the bed. “Tell me about this job that you’re working on for me. Does it involve helping jocks wash those hard-to-reach spots?”

“You are such a perv,” Reese says, shaking his head in the disapproving manner of a shocked suburban housewife. But he’s smiling as he does it.

“Yeah,” Calvin nods, “All I had to do was go to the athletic director and tell her that I knew a guy who could help rid our teams of their distracting pre-game hard-ons. She totally wants to give you the first scholarship in Advanced Fellatio Studies.”

I throw a pillow at him, pointlessly. It bounces off him without a sound. Reese catches it on the way down, glares at me, tosses it back on the bed.

“Well, what is it then? Scrubbing fungus off the mats in the weight room? Picking muck off of cleats?”

“One word,” Calvin says, his eyes aglow with expectation. He looks like he’s going to bust.

I wait.

“What’s the one word?” See? Terrible at waiting.

“Towels,” he says, then takes a breath and stares at me as if he fully expects me to pass out from excitement.

“Towels?” I ask.

“Towels.”

“Towels?” I ask of Reese, hoping he can help me understand what this means.

“Towels,” he says, nodding gravely. Great.

“So, what do I do with towels in this dream job you’ve come up with?”

“Well,” Calvin begins, suddenly channelling a car salesman offering the best deal ever, “You know that they’re going to be opening the new athletic complex next week.”

“Yeah, I noticed that the construction site was all cleaned up. It was fun while it lasted–sometimes those construction workers were pretty hot. Though they didn’t always appreciate my whistling at them.”

Reese fixes me with a disbelieving squint.

“You harassed construction workers?”

“Just when there were hot ones. Most of the time it was a total loss–you know, the slobby ones with the saggy coveralls–but at the end of the summer when the lifers were needed on other jobs, they brought in the reserves. Mostly guys from the construction program at the tech college. They would wear just tight jeans, steel-toed boots, and a tan.” I sigh at the recollection.

“You are impossible,” Reese chuckles. Clavin raises his eyebrows, asking if he may be allowed to continue. I straighten my face, and nod expectantly.

“So, as part of the new locker room setup, they have a big shower area in the middle of all of the different sports’ locker rooms. Everyone showers up in the same place, instead of having a bunch of smaller showers scattered around.”

“Well, yea for architectural efficiency,” I cheer, with ironic jazz hands conveying my sarcasm. “I’m all for packing the showers with as many jocks as possible, but I still don’t get the towel part.”

Calvin sighs. He’s always been charmed by my inability to listen quietly. He’s chewing his lip he’s missed me so much.

“I’m getting to that. Now, when every sport had its own shower, the towels got scattered all over the place. They lost hundreds of them. People would take them home, or just drop them somewhere, or stuff them into a duffel that they would leave at some chick’s house, or whatever. Cost the U thousands a month.”

“Okay, so I’m supposed to hunt down lost towels? Do I get a bounty? Can I rip them off of the guys in the locker room? Cause that would be awesome. Do I get a badge or something?”

Calvin just looks at me and shakes his head, wearily.

“No. What you do is work at the towel counter next to the showers. You hand guys a towel when they walk into the shower area, and you collect it when they walk out. Simple as that.”

I try to figure out why Calvin thinks that handing out dry towels and collecting wet ones would be the perfect job for me.

“I don’t get it. That sounds like it would be really boring.”

“Think about it, Einstein. When the guys walk past your counter, they are going into the shower. And when they come back and hand you their towel, they’re on their way back from the shower.”

Then it hits me.

“So I sit at a counter, and hand towels to naked jocks.”

Calvin nods.

“And then I collect towels from them so that they are naked again.”

He nods again, more vigorously.

“So it’ll basically be a non-stop parade of hot naked guys.”

He and Reese both nod, laughing at my slowly dawning awareness of how awesome this is.

“And it gets better,” Calvin says.

“It can’t get better, unless we also make it a kissing booth.”

“Oh it does. When there aren’t any teams using the showers, you go around to the other parts of the facility and stock the towels, and collect the used ones.”

“Which other parts?”

“How about the training rooms, where guys get rubbed down after practice?” Reese snickers when my eyes light up at the insinuation in his husky voice.

“And the sauna and whirlpool area,” Calvin adds, “And the weight room.”

“Holy fuck,” I gasp, “You were right. I would actually pay to have this job. I’ll be able to cancel my subscription to the Str8 Frat Dudes site!”

“I thought your buddy Nick got you a free membership since he works there,” Reese asks, always eager to remind me that he knows all about my porn addiction. Of course, if I had a naked Calvin in bed with me every night I wouldn’t give a crap about porn either. Bastard.

“I’m just making a point,” I sniff at Reese, pretending to be offended. “I’m going to have to wear compression shorts on the job, though. Unless I need an extra place to hang towels.”

Ignoring my subtle innuendo, Calvin continues. “On Monday I’ll introduce you to the athletic director. I’ve already told her about you, so all you need to do is not come off like a drooling pervert and the job is yours.”

I hope I can do that.

“You are amazing, Calvin,” I say, throwing my arms around him. “I don’t know how to thank you.”

His leer says he has some ideas. He grabs me around the waist, lifts me off the floor, and walks toward the bed. Next thing I know, I’m on my back, Calvin on top of me. Reese pads around the room, switching off the light and drawing the curtain. Then he joins us on the bed.

“So, I was thinking, before we get dinner,” Calvin murmurs, kissing his way along my throat, “That we should commemorate our reunion.”

I feel Reese’s hand snaking up my leg, seeking my already surging cock. “Just like old times,” he purrs.

“If you mean old times like when we camped on the beach in May and fucked sand into every crevice, then I’m in.”

It feels so good to be back with my boys. Dinner can wait.

 

# 7 #

Saturday morning I discover an unfortunate fact: at 10am the sun sneaks up and blasts through my window, directly on my pillow. Stupid sun.

Completely exhausted from my “reunion” with Calvin and Reese, I reach over and try to adjust the curtains, but the light is glaring through the gap between the curtain and the window frame (I whisper my expletive-laced thanks to the U for providing interior design by the lowest bidder) and I can’t block it. Now I’m awake, though, so I might as well get up.

I’m supposed to meet Diggler for lunch today–it took me several dozen text messages to get him to agree to talk with me about some ideas I have for his problem. I’m a problem solver, I am. Especially when the problem involves a dick that’s simply too long. Oh, I have ideas.

Seth is snoring away opposite, oblivious to the sun, and to my somewhat clumsy descent from my bunk (the boys got a bit frisky last night, so I step gingerly). The door to the twins’ room is open, and they are apparently already at the gym doing their KGB assassin-training calisthenics or whatever. I head for the kitchenette to nuke some water for coffee. The sludge they serve in the commons is horrifying, so I keep a french press in the suite.

Heh–french press. Sounds like what Reese did to me last night.

Fortified by the coffee, I go for a run, and then get washed and dressed. I walk a couple of blocks to lunch with Diggler. I suggested that we meet off-campus, since I don’t think he’d want to be overheard by anyone he knows. Even so, I’m not sure he’s going to show. I grab a booth near the back, and wait.

It’s nearly 12:30 by the time he finally slips in the door, looking furtively around the place until he sees me waving at him. He hustles over, apparently eager for the privacy of the booth. He slides in opposite me, his eyes sweeping the room again. It’s like something out of a Grisham novel.

“Were you followed?” I whisper, looking around the room like a spook. His panicked expression tells me that he doesn’t get the joke. “Just kidding,” I laugh. “You act like you just snuck secret plans out of the embassy.”

He smiles slightly, and shrugs, and blushes a bit. I hadn’t really noticed before that he’s kind of cute.

“Sorry,” he says, shrugging again. “I just feel kind of funny about this, is all.”

“Funny about lunch? What, you don’t normally eat?”

“No, about meeting you. And,” he looks around again, “I’ve never been here. What kind of place is it?”

“It’s a restaurant. They serve food here.”

“I know that. But it is a…” he leans over the table to whisper to me, “A gay restaurant?”

“Well, it kind of looks that way when you lean across the table and whisper in my ear.”

Again, the joke thing doesn’t work. I’ve got to try to stop trying to lighten the mood.

“No, it’s just the usual boulangerie-style sandwich-cafe thing,” I assure him, as earnestly as possible.

“There are so many plants.” He says this as if I surely must have been thinking the same thing. “Seems kind of gay.”

“Yes, there are many plants,” I say, slowly, trying to calm him down a bit. “Why don’t you take a look at the menu and pick something to eat? That’ll take your mind off all the suspicious greenery.”

He reviews his options on the menu, frowning a bit. “It seems kind of fancy,” he says, in the same tone of voice one might use to call attention to dog crap on someone’s shoe.

“Look, I have not lured you to a den of iniquity to seduce you with a triple-decker sin sandwich covered with fancy, fancy gruyere cheese, under a canopy of gay ficus plants. This is just a restaurant, and this is just lunch. Think you can get the heck over it, please?”

He blushes a bit and looks a bit ashamed at me. “Sorry,” he says, “I’m just nervous, I guess.”

“Well, take a deep breath, pick a sandwich, and take a swig of this camomile iced tea with lavender sugar.” I push my glass across the table to him, and he looks at it.

“Sounds kind of–” He stops short when he sees my nostrils flare. “Kind of delicious, is what I was going to say,” he blurts, smiling anxiously. He takes a sip.

“Not bad,” he says. I just hope the herbs relax him a bit. The waiter appears at this moment of relative calm, adorable eyebrows raised in expectation that I will finally order. I don’t know where the management keeps finding these beautiful specimens of the waiterly arts, but I wholeheartedly approve of their hiring priorities.

“So, the artisanal sausage…” I begin, glancing at the menu, “How is that?”

His eyes light up. “It’s an amazing blend of local pork and heirloom herbs. Delicious. But,” he leans in a bit, “It’s often too much for one person.”

“How big is it?” I ask, innocently. I’ve been flirting with waiters since I was five years old.

“Nearly a foot long,” he says in an awed whisper.

I notice Diggler blushing furiously.

“Well, Dig, what do you think? Want to share a foot-long with me?”

He makes a weird gasping noise, and presses his hand to his brow. I’m getting really worried about whether he’s still breathing when he finally bursts out laughing. Finally, I think I’m reaching him!

“That would be great,” he says, a little too loudly. “Let’s definitely share a foot-long sausage. We can even take turns biting off the end, how would that be?” More maniacal laughter. He sounds a bit unhinged.

The waiter, ever helpful, says, “Oh, no, sir, I’ll have them cut it in half. That’ll be no problem at all. Now, would you like an ice tea of your own?” A sly grin appears at the corner of his mouth.

Diggler sighs, surrendering. “Yeah, that would be nice. Thanks.”

The waiter nods gravely, and retreats. Diggler glares at me.

“Is this all a big joke to you?” he mutters, accusingly.

“Most things are a big joke to me,” I reply. “I find it’s better to laugh about things than to cry about them, any day.”

“Well, it seems like you’re laughing at me.” He looks down at the table.

“No, no, I’m not–really! It’s just that if you get all depressed and dismal about what’s bothering you, nothing’s going to help.”

“I don’t think anything’s going to help anyway.”

His ice tea arrives, and he takes a swig.

“Oh, I wouldn’t be too sure about that,” I say, pulling out my laptop. “I have a plan for you.” I turn the computer toward him, showing him the chart on the screen.

“What’s this?”

“It’s my plan for you.”

He squints at the screen. “You’re going to fix my junk with a flowchart?”

“Yeah…no.” Deep breath. “My theory is that you haven’t had the right stimulation, because you haven’t given yourself a chance to find what that is. So, this is a sequence of stimuli that you’re going to try. See, here,” I point to the first box in the chart, “This is the first thing you do. There are three porn sites listed here that I want you to visit, and see how the big guy reacts. Then you go to the next box, and try those.”

He studies the chart.

“This is a lot of porn–it would cost a fortune.”

“That’s the beauty of my plan. I have a friend who works for a porn site, and he got me a pass that you can use for all of these.”

“He just gave you that for free?”

“Well, I told him about your problem, and he was very eager to help.” Nick was also very eager to recruit Diggler to work for his site. I don’t tell him this.

“So, let’s say one of these sites works for me–how does that help?”

“It will give us a sense of what works for you. Once we know what turns your crank, we’ll be able to move into real-world testing.”

Diggler nods slowly, frowns a bit, then nods more definitely.

“OK, I’m game. Can you send me this chart?”

“Of course. But first you have to agree to view whatever the chart tells you to. No matter what. We have to approach this scientifically.”

He looks at me, hard. I can see that he’s trying to decide whether he can really trust me.

“Promise?” I prompt.

“Promise,” he says, with a sigh of resignation.

“Excellent. I’ll email this to you right now.”

As I slide my laptop back into my bag, our sandwiches arrive. Diggler stares down at his.

“This would be easier, you know,” he says, under his breath.

“What would?”

“Just to cut it down to size.”

My turn to gasp. “Oh, hell no! You don’t cut the Eiffel Tower in half because people get winded climbing the stairs! All we need to do is find the person who will appreciate–who deserves–what you have.”

He looks up at me, eyes glistening a bit, blinking.

“You’re…amazing,” he says, softly, then looks back down.

“Pssh. I’m just a good judge of character. I can tell that there’s a pretty great guy attached to that Eiffel Tower.” He blushes, sips his drink. “Now, chow down on your sausage.”

I wonder if chamomile tea stings when it shoots out one’s nose. By the time he finally stops laughing, I’ve forgotten to ask him.

 

# 8 #

Saturday evening comes hot and sticky–the last gasp of summer before school starts, just to remind us what we’re going to be missing out on once classes gear up. Tonight is the welcome-back mixer for the Pride Alliance, and as VP I’m pretty much expected to host the event. We’re holding it in the student center, in a room that the decorations committee (sorry, “Team Fabulous”–they made me promise to call them that) has transformed into a tiki paradise. Little white lights glitter from the ceiling, palm trees adorn the walls, and there’s a genuine tropical vibe to the whole deal. I just hope I’ll find my way under someone’s grass skirt tonight.

The crowd is larger than I’d expected it to be–lots of new faces, and some familiar ones that I wouldn’t mind getting more familiar with. I work the room a bit, then circle back around to my likeliest prospect. Yes, I am using an official event of the Pride Alliance as a hook-up opportunity. I definitely did not sign a vow of chastity when I ran for VP.

“Hey, Mitchell, good to see you.”

“Hey, man, you too. How was your summer?”

“Can’t complain. Yours?”

“It was awesome. Spent the whole thing at the beach. Pulled a few kids out of the waves, collected a nice paycheck.”

I met Mitchell during the spring semester when he showed up as a model in my Life Drawing class. As soon as he walked into the studio he took my breath away. He was beautiful in regular clothes, but when he posed with his shirt off I was barely able to hold a pencil. Then, second hour, he took it all off, and I would have had better luck dipping my cock in paint and trying to capture his likeness that way. He was tan all over, and he had the most gorgeous body, top to bottom. Oh, that bottom.

“So,” I venture, testing the waters a bit, “You’re here.”

“Yep, I’m here,” he nods.

“Does that mean that you’ve decided?”

Mitchell, I’d found out once I chased him down after class, was on the horns of a dilemma. He had dated women since high school, but lately had started to draw some interest from men (not hard to figure out why, since he looked like six feet of sex), and that had made him a bit curious. I, naturally, had tried to help him in his struggle of self-definition. Alas, summer came before I could really lay hands on the issue.

“I think so. I mean, I’m open to new…stuff.” He looked at me with arched eyebrows. God, I hope he means he’s open to my stuff.

“I see. That’s terrific. Is there anything I can do to, um…help you? With your…stuff?”

“You know, I think there might be,” he says, then sips his drink and grins at me. Hot damn. “How ’bout we slip out of here and we’ll see?”

Oh hell yes.

“I think that that can be arranged. Give me five.”

He nods and smiles, and I make a lightning circuit of the room, welcoming the newcomers and expressing regrets for my sudden need to depart. Emergency, can’t be helped, you stay and have fun, don’t worry about me. Then I’m back to Mitchell.

“Let’s go,” I mutter as I walk briskly past him. He glances around, then follows me out. In the hall we’re giggling like middle school girls, pleased indeed with our transgression. He leads the way to his car–it hadn’t occurred to me that he would live off campus. I’m fine with that, though, since it’s hard to be intimate in a dorm room without shocking the roommate. Or the neighbors. Or people walking by outside–I tend to be a little loud sometimes.

Mitchell’s place turns out to be a tidy little studio stuffed into the rafters of a big old house a dozen or so blocks from campus. Standing in the place that is his alone gives me a pang of jealousy, but then I remember that my living alone would mean not having the twins’ asses to look at in the morning as they groom. Seems kind of a stiff price.

Mitchell sits on the bed, looking expectantly at me. I sit next to him, and I can suddenly feel the nervousness radiating from him.

“You okay?” I ask.

“Yeah, I am,” he says, uncertainly. “This is what I want.”

I’m still not believing him. But before I can try to reassure him that we’ll take this as slowly as he needs to, he suddenly clamps his mouth on mine with a force that’s a little terrifying, honestly.

Is he kissing me?

He’s doing this sort of licking-slopping-smacking thing that makes me wonder whether he’s trying to chew my gum for me. But I’m not chewing gum.

I try to ease him up a little by grabbing his jaw with my hands, holding him down so that I can actually try to kiss him, because I’ve dreamed of this moment, of kissing him, and it was romantic and hot and not at all like having a Saint Bernard maul you, which is what this feels like.

“Whoa, dude, slow down,” I murmur, hoping to come off suave and suggestive. I just don’t want to get my tonsils hoovered out.

“You’re making me so fucking hot!” he blurts, again lunging for my mouth.

I’m trying to figure out what I might have done to provoke this reaction, but I’m kind of distracted by worrying about whether my fillings are still in place–such is the force of his rummaging through my oral cavity. Jesus he’s going to be tasting the burrito I had for dinner if he keeps at it!

I push him back, with effort.

“Mitch, buddy, take a breath,” I finally manage to say through all of the saliva pooling in my mouth. It’s mostly his.

His only response is to fix me with a somewhat savage glare. Then he whips off his shirt, and–I wish I were kidding here–his pecs start to jump, in turn, like a meat see-saw.

“Do you want to fuck this?” he growls at me.

“What?” is the only thing I can think to say. What, exactly, am I supposed to want to fuck–his bouncing boobs? They’re nice and all–if anything, he’s got an even more amazing body than I remember from art class–but I don’t know what the hell he wants from me.

He reaches for me, and in a blur of motion my shirt goes the way of his, and now we’re both naked to the waist. Then he’s on my mouth again, his tongue doing what feels like a swab for strep. And he keeps up this constant refrain of moaning and grunting that makes every laxative commercial I’ve ever seen spring horribly to mind.

I either have the take the initiative or smother him with a pillow. As murder tends to result in unfortunate mug shots, I decide on the former route. I break the squelching thing that he thinks is a kiss by putting both hands on his chest and pushing back firmly. Taken by surprise, he flops backward on the bed and looks up at me, stunned into silence. Thank god.

I pounce on him, straddling his hips, and begin undoing his pants. Perhaps if I get him naked and boned up he’ll stop slobbering and grunting.

I reach my hand into his pants–gold mine!

He’s not wearing underwear, the dirty boy, and my hand wraps around a hot shaft of throbbing cock. Actually, I can’t quite wrap my hand around it, as it’s just too thick. I remember his package being hefty in Life Drawing, but he’s even bigger on the bone.

“Mitchell, you brought more to the party than I expected,” I purr, fondling his prick but keeping it under wraps. I want him insane with anticipation before I unleash this monster.

“Oooh, fuck yeah,” he breathes, his eye rolling back in his head.

Now that’s more like it. I run my fingers up and down as he writhes beneath me.

“Oh, yeah, squeeze my cock, man, squeeze that fucking cock! You like that cock?”

I answer his insipid rambling by squeezing quite firmly.

“Aiee!” he squeaks, his body folding instinctively to protect the family jewels. He’s panting suddenly, which I hope will keep him from talking any more.

“Sorry, bro,” I whisper into his sweating face. “Got carried away. Lie back and I’ll be more gentle with it.”

He lies back on the bed again, somewhat gingerly, as if expecting that I might try to pinch his cock off at any moment. To reassure him, I undo the top button on his pants, and kiss the patch of golden skin that is exposed as I push the fabric open. I pull the zipper down a bit, and kiss the next bit of perfect flesh that appears. Zip, kiss, zip, kiss, and then I’m running my lips across the base of his cock, feeling the carefully trimmed pubes I remember from drawing class tickle across my nose. He is warm and tasty and I’m finally feeling like this date is going in the right direction–you know, down.

Then he starts up again.

“Oooooh, yeah, stud,” he moans, thrashing his head around. I feel his hands on the back of my head, pushing me down onto his cock. “Fuck, yeah, lick that cock,” he grunts, “Lick my fucking cock! You like that fucking cock, do you? Oh, shit, yeah!”

Oh hell no.

I shake his hands off my head, and sit up. I fully intend to tell him that this just isn’t on, that I can’t work his cock while he insists on working his jaw, but then I look at him, stretched out before me. He is fucking beautiful, and he has a charming sort of crestfallen look as he tries to figure out why I’ve stopped traveling down Fellatio Boulevard.

New plan.

“Hey, let’s do this,” I growl at him. “I’m going to give you the best fucking blowjob you have ever had.”

“Oh, fuck, yeah,” he groans, clearly pleased that I’m still interested.

“And in return…” I murmur.

“Yes?” he grunts, urgently. “Anything. Anything you want.”

I smile.

“In return, you are going to be absolutely silent. No talking, no moaning, I don’t even want to hear you breathe. Nothing. One sound, and I stop. Deal?”

He looks at me, clearly a bit puzzled. To seal the deal I reach out my right hand, and run my fingers slowly up the length of his beautiful member. It surges in response, and I know I’ve got him.

“Deal,” he whispers, desperately, and then lays his head back down on the pillow.

Not wanting to allow time for second thoughts, I dive on his cock like an eagle on a garter snake. Or, more fittingly, a python. An anaconda. Dude is thick. I grab it up and sink the tip into my mouth. A sharp gasp escapes his lips, and I freeze.

“Sorry,” he whispers. “Won’t happen again. Promise.” Then he closes his eyes and tries to breathe silently.

I turn my attention back to the big boy in my hand, which is throbbing now and steely hard. It occurs to me that this may be the first time that his cock has felt the inside of a guy’s mouth, and the realization makes me giddy. I am eager to welcome him to his new orientation, and I stroke the fat length and suck hard on the plump head.

Looking up from my work, I can see Mitchell writhing in silence. He is clasping the sheets in both hands, knuckles white, and a misty sweat is breaking out across his chest. His nipples stiffen as evaporation cools them. He’s thrusting into my mouth now, his abs flexing and stretching as they force his cock further toward my throat.

I pull off his cock, grip it tightly in my hand, and then spit on it to really get it lubed up. Mitchell’s back arches, and I can hear his feet behind me struggle for purchase on the blanket as he thrashes. I stroke hard and fast, enjoying the stressed urgency that is coursing through his body.

Finally, wanting to put him out of his misery, I flick my tongue at the very tip of his prick, where a steady drip of precum is flowing. He freezes, as if afraid to move, and I run my tongue all over his hot cockhead. He’s panting softly now, still trying to be silent, but I can hear the quiet urgency in his shallow breathing. I open wide and plunge his cock into my mouth. I take but three strokes and then it starts.

Suddenly, he’s still. Not moving, not breathing. His chest is a relief map of taut muscle, as if every cell in his body were straining for this release. The cords in his neck stand out, and all down his arms the sinews strain at the skin that only barely hides them.

I hear it begin. The room is so silent, and he is so silent, that I can actually hear the muscles deep inside his pelvis start to spasm. I pull my mouth off his cock and keep up a steady stroke with my hand; I put my ear next to the tip and listen. The pulsations of his impending orgasm are making tiny gasping noises as his semen begins filling the tube that will bring it to the surface. He’s almost there–and a good thing too, as his face is now almost maroon with the strain of silently riding this roller coaster of an orgasm.

Then, it happens. The opening at the tip of his cock seems to wink at me, and I hear it wetly open again as the cum rises to the surface. I pump harder, Mitchell tenses even more, and suddenly there’s a plume of white arching into the air, raining down on his belly with a sloppy wonderful splashing sound. It is followed by another, even louder ejaculation, and then I lose count of how many follow that. By the time he’s finished, by the time he can breathe audibly again, he is soaking wet. The coiled muscles slowly yield all over his body, as softness returns where steely hardness had dominated.

Well, that was fun.

Pleased with my handiwork (and mouthiwork!) I relinquish my grip on his slowly detumescing cock and slide along the bed to lie next to him. His eyes are closed, though not screwed shut as they had been against the strenuousness of his orgasm, but smoothly and softly.

“You are amazing,” he exhales, a little shiver racing across his body. His nipples, coated as they are with his spunk, harden as the fluid cools.

“That was just my opening move. I’ve got a whole playbook.”

He smiles, and nuzzles my cheek softly. It’s like cuddling with the sexiest puppy in the world–innocence on top of rock-hard muscle.

“So,” I venture, calm and collected, “How was it?”

“Unbelievable,” he exhales, shaking his head. “I had no idea it would feel that different.”

I cock an eyebrow. Different? Different is all I get for that virtuoso performance?

“Different, but fucking incredible,” he says, sensing somehow exactly what I was thinking. “Guys just do that better. I mean, I guess they do.”

He looks at me, clearly trying to figure out how to say something.

“I kind of have a secret to tell you,” he says finally, quietly.

I lean in close and whisper, “I’m really good with secrets.”

He smiles.

“You’re the first guy who’s ever done…that…to me.”

I try to look surprised, supportive, understanding, and flattered all at once.

“No! Really? You seemed so…assertive.” That’s the best spin I can put on his lamprey-like kissing and bizarre dirty talk. I decide it’s time for an intervention.

“Before, when we were, like, making out?” I venture.

“Yeah? How awesome was that.”

“Really awesome. But, you were kind of, well, talky through it all. I just wondered where all of that ‘Do you want to fuck this and that’ stuff came from.”

He grins. “Well, I had no idea what guys do together, so I watched some gay porn to see how it all worked.”

Ah. Now it’s all clear–he’s been reenacting cheesy porn vids! Now, I consider myself an ambassador for the gay community, so I feel obliged to try to steer poor Mitchell in the right direction.

“Actually, it was kind of awkward.”

His eyes jolt up to mine.

“What? You mean, that’s not the way that guys talk to each other?”

“No, not really.”

“Oh. I guess I figured that’s what I should do, because that’s what the guys in the porn I’ve been watching do. I thought it sounded kind of weird, but it was all I had to go on.”

I smile, and then kiss him on the nose.

“You shouldn’t believe everything you see in porn,” I chuckle to him.

“Oh, good,” he replies, clearly relieved. “Because what always happens in the videos is the once the first guy gets a blowjob, then he gives the other guy one in return. I’m so glad that it doesn’t work that way in real life.”

Well, you can imagine the look on my face. A broad smile breaks out across his.

“I’m just kidding you, Josh! I can hardly wait to return the favor. Now, I’m going to clean up, and I want you naked and ready when I get back, okay?”

He kisses me, a lovely, soft, lingering kiss. This guy’s a keeper!

He gets up from the bed, and pads over toward the bathroom. It takes me about twelve and a half seconds to strip off everything I’m wearing. In fact, I’m already reclining on the bed, striking as casual a pose as I can with a raging boner, when I hear a key sliding into the lock. Mitchell must have heard it as well, because he’s suddenly standing in the doorway of the bathroom, his cum still running down the front of him, as the door to the apartment swings open.

For a moment, there is silence as we all look at each other.

None of us is at our best, really. I’m fully naked, with a rapidly shrinking dick in my lap. Mitch is damp with semen, his face a mask of horror. And in the doorway stands a woman who, judging from her expression, would rather have walked in on her own grandparents doing it doggy style than on the two of us. We are a still life.

Finally, Mitch finds his voice.

“Thea, I–”

“SHUT! UP!” the banshee–apparently named Thea–shrieks.

Oh, this doesn’t look good.

“I can explain,” Mitch tries again, gamely.

Actually, I’m not sure he can. And if he does explain what we’ve been doing, will that really help?

“I don’t want to hear it! I can see damn well what’s going on here.” Her voice manages to be both shaky and deafening at the same time, which is a neat trick.

I look over to Mitchell to see how he’s reacting to this strange person who has barged in and let loose with the Medea act. He’s now a ghostly white, and he’s shaking all over. Yeah, this is not good.

“Thea, I–” he tries again, but he seems to know that he’s not going to get very far with it.

“Shut the fuck up, Mitch. We’re done,” she says, and her voice breaks as she says it. “And to think I came over here because I was worried about you.” She seems on the verge of tears, and then she masters herself. She looks back over at me, disgust on her face. “So I guess–this–is your migraine?”

“Thea, this isn’t what–”

“Oh shut up, Mitch. Look, when you’re done fucking this piece of shit, you do me a favor and fuck yourself, okay?”

She takes the key from the door, throws it at him (she’s a pretty good shot–the key smacks him square in the chest, but he doesn’t even flinch at the impact), and then slams the door behind her. Her angry footsteps fade down the stairs.

The entire interaction took probably thirty seconds, and yet we now inhabit a completely changed world. I sit stupidly for a minute, until Mitchell breaks the spell by gasping. Startled, I look over to see him convulsed with great wracking sobs, silent at first, until he finally manages to take in some air, and the room is filled with his keening.

This is shaping up to be the worst first date ever.

“Mitchell? Mitch, come here,” I call to him, holding my arms open. I’m not sure he can hear me over the rattling grief issuing from his rasping throat. Finally, though, he stumbles in my direction, and I wrap my arms around him as he crumples on the bed. I hold him until he exhausts himself with crying.

I hoped that I would end the evening naked, in bed with a hot guy, dripping wet. I just didn’t think it would be tears that soaked me.

* * *

It’s 5:30 in the morning when I awaken. Mitchell is curled up next to me, sleeping peacefully, his soft, warm breath on my neck. Poor guy. When he wakes up he’s going to remember last night’s horrible scene with that shrieky woman, and then he’ll have to figure out what he’s going to do.

This is the downside to specializing in guys on the sexual fence. There’s a lot of fun to be had–when years of repressed dude-lust break loose, the ride can be exhilarating–but there’s also the potential for a lot of drama. And there are real risks, too–there’s a chance that when Mitchell comes around he’ll see me not as the sexy liberator, but as the faggot who seduced him away from his girlfriend, charming as she was. The tough part is anticipating what reaction he’ll have.

This one could go either way. I decide to make a decorous exit before Mitch awakes. I slip out of his bed, which disturbs him not at all–he went down hard, emotionally drained (and drained in another way–the memory makes me smile). I pull on my clothes from last night and jot him a quick note on the whiteboard on his fridge (“Mitch–Text me when you get up–We should talk.”) I add a smiley face, hoping that will smooth over any disappointment he might feel at waking up alone after being blown by a guy–and blown off by a girl. Poor Mitch. But part of me suspects he might be relieved to have some time to himself to think things through.

It’s a longish walk back to campus, and I break it up with a stop at the only place I come across that’s open: Professor Poof’s Donut Emporium. The donut jockey behind the counter doesn’t look happy to be the guy who has to open this dump, so I grab my coffee and cream-filled long john (what else?) and finish my walk to campus. It’s still really early when I get in, so early that even the twins are still asleep. I slip into my room as quietly as possible, so as not to awaken Seth (though I’m not sure why–it’s not like he’s suddenly going to care that I haven’t been in all night). I climb up to my bunk and lay back, hoping to get a few hours of actual rest after the strange night at Mitch’s place.

“Josh? You’re back?”

Wait, did Seth actually notice me?

“Yeah, I’m back,” I answer, ridiculously. He obviously knows I’m back.

“I was worried when you didn’t come back last night.”

“Um, thanks? It’s okay, though. Sometimes that happens.” Sometimes it happens that I end up suddenly away for a whole weekend, like when I met Calvin and Reese. As I said, drama is a frequent side effect of my questionable erotic choices.

“Okay.” He turns over, and that’s the end of the conversation. A strange, short conversation. I guess there’s more to Seth than I thought. Hmm.

 

# 9 #

I spend Sunday lazing about, in denial about classes starting on Monday. The early-morning conversation with Seth has put me in a strange mood, so I suggest to the guys that we have dinner together–kind of a Sunday thing. They humor me, going along with the idea, and we break bread together that evening (seriously, you have to break it, by cracking it on the edge of the table–gotta love the dining commons).

Classes go well during that first week–enough eye candy to keep it interesting, but not so much that I won’t get any work done. The most target-rich environment is my math class–this is the math class that guys in the Engineering programs have to take. A good number of them are clearly working their way through college by doing construction work. Or stripping. Because, damn.

My meeting with the Athletic Director comes on the second afternoon of classes, and it goes really well. I manage to come off not looking like a total perv, which is a pretty important qualification for working in the locker room. I lock in a schedule of towel management every afternoon after my classes are over (that’s the shift Calvin recommended, as most teams practice then).

Wednesday after classes I head for the newly opened athletic complex, and make my way through the maze of locker rooms. At the towel desk is my new supervisor, who is the spitting image of every nightmare PE teacher I ever had in high school. He looks me up and down and clearly doesn’t like what he sees; he grudgingly admits me to what he considers his private domain, and spends about a half-hour scolding me not to let anyone walk out of the Towel Use Zone into the Towel Exclusion Zone (seriously, he has marked these out on a map) holding one of the precious towels. He is thankfully interrupted in his fifth repetition of the rules covering the swim team’s special towel needs by the arrival of the diving team coming from practice. They are hot, wet, and hot. They emerge from the showers, dripping and naked, and come to me for a towel. I give it to them–after they approach the desk with their muscles pumping and cocks wagging. Best job ever.

The rest of the afternoon shift is a parade of flesh. The divers are followed by the football players, then the water polo team (I have met many of these guys, but had only seen one of them naked before now–Diggler, though, is not among them today), then the track team, and then I lose track. So many penises. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight.

Somehow I make it through the week, my head filled with enough fleshy goodness to keep me wanking all weekend long. On Friday evening, though, my plan to spend the weekend rubbing myself raw goes out the window when I get a text from Diggler.

“Grab a drink tonight?”

Oh hell yes.

“Yup,” I type back. “Where?” As I’m not technically old enough to drink, this matters.

“My place?”

Oh double-hell yes.

“Sounds good. Now?”

“Sure.” And he sends me his address.

Diggler’s apartment is in a medium-sized complex several blocks from campus, and I walk there in the twilight, a few well-endowed butterflies bumping into the walls of my stomach. I’m not sure what to expect–the problem with texting is that it doesn’t give you any sense of how the person on the other end is feeling as they type. Is Diggler’s invitation a sign that he’s made great progress, and wants to show me the happy results (oh please oh please) or is he disappointed and angry and wants to work me over for giving him false hope?

Before I can figure out whether I’m going to be greeted with a hug or a punch in the face, I’m here. I push the button corresponding to his apartment number, and he buzzes me up instantly. I take the stairs rather than the elevator, trying to exhaust those damn butterflies, but it doesn’t work. I arrive at his door, take three deep breaths (I saw that once on a show about giving birth, and though I never expect to be in labor, it does kind of work to calm me down) and then knock.

The door opens.

“Hey, man, thanks for coming,” he says, holding the door open and gesturing me in.

“No prob. You had me at ‘grab a drink.'”

He smiles, and I figure it’s going to be okay. I step in, and he closes the door behind me. His place is small but furnished in a way that one rarely expects to encounter in a guy’s apartment–that is, tastefully. The furniture clearly is of mixed origins, but he’s put it all together in a way that works. The lighting is soft and indirect, and a candle burns on the kitchen table.

“So,” he says, “I promised you a drink. What’s your pleasure?”

Oh, it’s you. Especially you standing there with your flickering candlelight and your stubbly jaw and your arched eyebrows.

“What have you got? I’m pretty slutty when it comes to drinks–I’ll take anything.” Anything at all.

He smiles.

“Well, since you’re not exactly legal…” he begins.

I sigh. He’s right–I’m not legal for one of the two things I want to do with him right now.

“I’ll just make us some coffee.” He turns and starts scooping coffee into a Bialetti. If it has to be coffee, at least he knows how to make it.

“Nice place you have here,” I say, turning around, taking in the room.

“Thanks,” he says, coming to join me once the coffee maker is on the stove. “It beats the hell out of the dorm, I’ll say that much. My mom picked it out for me, since we were at nationals when I had to get a lease signed.”

“Did she pick out the furniture and stuff too?” Naturally, finding a huge-dicked guy with perfect design sense is too much to ask.

“Nope, she just found the place. I put it all together the week before classes started last year.”

“It’s really nice,” I say, silently thanking the universe for maybe coming through for me, just this once.

“Yeah, that’s what girls always say too. Then they get suspicious, because I’m not supposed to know how to pick out throw pillows or whatever, and then by the time we actually get down to it I guess they figure it’s not working out because I’m not really into chicks. Sucks.”

Well, this turned mopey all of a sudden. Luckily, he’s interrupted in his dismal monologue by the Bialetti sputtering on the stove, and he turns back to see to the coffee. I find a spot on the sofa near the window and try to figure out how to be supportive. This may be harder than I’d expected.

“Here,” he says, handing me a steaming mug of coffee. A very nice mug, in fact, not just some freebie he picked up from a diner somewhere. I take a sip, trying to emulate Sky and his Bond-perfect coffee style. The coffee is very strong, and very good, and very…spiked.

I look up and smile. He smiles back, and raises his mug in a toast, then takes a seat in a chair opposite the sofa.

“Kahlua. It’s a trick I got from my dad. He throws some into his coffee when he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s drinking.”

Is it too soon to be in love with him and his Kahlua and his candles and his throw pillows? Yes. Maybe. I’m not much of a drinker, so even this little bit of liqueur hits me pretty hard. A delicious warmth spreads across my chest, and Diggler’s apartment is suddenly the best place in the world.

But I mustn’t forget, there’s work to do.

“So,” I ask, raising my eyebrows. This is my signature move–it lets the person I’m talking to decide what I’m asking, and how much to answer. If the response is “So, what?” then I know I have to take the lead.

“So, you’re probably wondering why I asked you to come over.” Oh, he’s going to take the lead. Swoon.

“Well, I figured it had something to do with the porn plan.” He nods. “How’s that going?”

“Pretty miserably, at first. Then it was better, then it got disgusting–I mean, really, some of those sites you made me look at? Ugh. But then it got better again, and then it was amazing.”

“That’s great!”

“Yeah, sort of. But it kind of leaves me wondering what to do now.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s like this. The first few sites were just your normal porno, right?”

I nod. “Normal” is about the kindest word I could use for these hetero-only plain-vanilla why-bother sites. But I had to start somewhere.

“Those were like the sites I’ve been to before, and didn’t have luck with. And it was the same this time–the quality was better than I’m used to, don’t get me wrong–but it was like…a little spark, but no fire, know what I mean?”

“I know exactly what you mean.” His lack of enthusiasm about one-man one-woman is promising indeed.

“So then I went on to the next set, and there was some pretty awesome stuff. The lots of guys and one girl was great, and the lots of girls and one guy was even better–cuz dude, those girls know how to pass the time while they wait–and then the lots of everybody all at once was good too, but it was kind of hard to know where to look.”

He’s been taking my assignment seriously. I like this.

“But even though there was interest,” he nods significantly toward his lap, “We didn’t get the result we were hoping for.”

I love that Diggler and I are now so in this together that “we” have expectations for his genital performance. I nod supportively.

“So, following the flowchart,” he says as he picks up the sheet from the coffee table, “I went on to these sites.” He points to a group of sites in the middle. The first have been checked off, the next set crossed out, and the final ones so covered with ink that there are holes in the paper. “These didn’t go so well.”

Yeah, I could tell that.

“No interest at all, then?”

“Are you kidding me? Does anyone like seeing people tied up and spanked,” he gestures to the first set of crossed-out sites, “having things stuck in them that are–no joke–as big as my arm,” second set, “or watching people wearing rubber get abused by people wearing leather?”

“Okay, so we can eliminate the rough stuff. Good to know. But you said that it got better after that.”

“Yeah, these weren’t bad,” he says, gesturing to a set of sites that specialize in solo scenes with women. “And then these were great,” he continues, pointing at the next box over, containing sites with women in pairs and groups.

He’s kind of a typical male when it comes to this–even guys who don’t know any actual lesbians are more than happy to see attractive women get busy with each other. But I don’t judge, I’m here to help.

“So, good news. Were you able to achieve your–err, our–goal with those sites?”

“It felt like I was close. But I still wasn’t there.”

I can’t help but notice that there are two more boxes on the chart.

“You said that after it got better again, it was amazing?” I prompt.

“Yeah, so, about that. As you know, this box was the same as this one,” he points back to the previous set, “But with guys instead of girls.”

Yes, of course I know. Those are some of my favorite sites, but I had figured my taste was far different from his. I nod, encouraging him to continue.

“Well, I really didn’t want to look at those, because, well, you know…”

I do know, but I don’t want to give him any hint that I’m thinking what I’m thinking. I just keep nodding, like one of those stupid toy birds from physics class that dip into a water glass over and over and over again.

“But then I remembered that I had promised I would, no matter what, and so I did.”

He stops, silent. It’s pretty clear he’s not going to go on unless I give him some sign that he can trust me not to judge him.

“You know, people look at all kinds of stuff on the web, and none of it means anything about them as people, really.”

He sighs, a little sideways chuckle, as if he’s already told himself this many times over. He shakes his head and looks at the rug, the coffee clutched in his hands, swishing around and around in the mug.

“Clark, tell me what happened,” I urge softly.

There follows the longest pause in the history of the world. Mountain ranges are formed during this silence, oceans boil and cool. I wait and wait and wait. And wait.

Finally, finally, he croaks out a word.

“Worked.”

“What?” I ask, disbelieving.

“It worked,” he mumbles, eyes closed, coffee still swishing in circles.

“Oh.”

We wait. But I’ve already sat through the longest pause ever, and I can do no more.

“It…worked,” I repeat back to him, and he nods. “You were able to get fully hard?” He nods. “For the first time, right?”

“The first time in my life,” he whispers. He screws his eyes tighter, and a tear trickles down his cheek.

“Dude, that’s fuckin’ awesome! Once it got hard, were you able to…”

He nods. And then, “Three times.”

“Holy shit, man! That’s fantastic!”

He looks up suddenly, as if I’ve stabbed him. I would have expected relief in his eyes, but all I see is a bewildered pain that sears through me like a hot knife.

“They were dudes, Josh. Dudes.” His voice breaks.

“Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean anything, necessarily…there could be all kinds of reasons why you–”

“Why I got hard for the first time in my life? Why I had the best three orgasms of my life watching guys jack off?”

I have to grant that he has a point. But I’m not going to push him over that edge if I can help it–at least not so quickly.

“But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gay–”

“What else could it mean?”

“That you saw yourself in those guys. That it was like watching yourself get hard for the first time. That it was shocking enough to jolt your dick awake. It could mean a lot of things.”

He suddenly launches off the chair and lands with a thud next to me on the sofa. He looks right into my eyes, flush with an intensity that scares me a bit. He’s lost for words, struggling. Then he looks down, and takes a heaving breath.

“When I look at them,” he says, then clears his throat and shifts his weight on the sofa.  “I get so fucking–argh! They don’t even have to think about it. They just reach down, give their junk a wiggle, and bam! They’re rock-hard and ready to go.” He stops and breathes in and out, rapidly. Then he takes a breath, and it all comes out in a rush.

“I didn’t really want to watch, but once I’d started I couldn’t stop. I mean, those guys–they moaned and writhed and all that other fake stuff for the camera, but their bodies are just so ready to do what they want. I sat there, staring at their cocks, seeing all the changes they go through, how they shine when they’re super hard. It is so fucking easy for them! I was just about to say fuck it, but then I felt my stupid dick waking up, and suddenly it wanted to do what they were doing, and so I did. It was fucking amazing,” he gasps, wild-eyed, “–and now I have to deal with it.”

Having exploded like an angst volcano, he falls silent, shaking, tears again running down his cheeks. I don’t know how to help him, I don’t know what to say.

“The worst part,” he chokes out, his throat closing with emotion, “Is that I don’t even like guys.”

I take a breath to speak, but he holds up a hand and stops me.

“Not attracted to them at all. Never have been. I mean, you’re right here next to me, and you are so sweet and so kind and honestly, I think if I were gay I would be all over you right now because you were cute already but now you have a kind of a glow from the Kahlua and I think any gay guy would be all over you, but that’s just not me. I don’t think. Oh, fuck, Josh, I don’t even know any more!”

I can feel myself blushing furiously, flattered and overwhelmed and completely at a loss as to how to respond.

“So that’s why I asked you over tonight. There’s one box left on the chart, and I’m pretty sure I know what’s in it. I know I said I would try it, but I’m scared out of my fucking mind right now. What if I watch that porn and it turns out that dudes are the only thing that gets me going? What do I do then? Ohhh, fuck.”

He lays back on the sofa, covers his face with his hands, and I think that noise means he’s sobbing. It’s awful. I keep finding myself with these cuties who suddenly explode into sobs–I’m starting to think I’m being punished for something.

I look at him, stretched out next to me, face covered, and try to think altruistic thoughts. He’s clearly in desperate shape, and so the wrong thing for me to do at this point would be to stare at the strip of his muscular lower belly that I can see peeking out between his waistband and his shirt, right? I should be all about consoling him and saying the right thing, but what occupies my mind right now is the intricate pattern of dark blond hair that swirls around that lovely swath of skin from his outie navel all the way into his shorts, pointing the way.

Pull it together, Josh. You’re here to help.

“Clark?” I say softly, and either he doesn’t hear me, or he’s too far gone to respond. “Clark?” I say a little more loudly. Still no response. I put my hand on his knee, and he jumps as if I’ve touched him with a hot iron.

He takes his hands away from his face, and looks at me–hard. He’s trying to decide whether he can trust me, I’m sure of it.

“Clark, it’s okay. Nothing you’ve done–nothing you’ve told me–will leave this room. You are absolutely safe.”

He nods, slowly, and he starts to calm down. I’ll give him all the time he needs. I knock back the burning remains of my coffee, feeling a bit dizzy as I do.

“Will you do it with me?”

Luckily I’ve swallowed by the time he asks this, or he would be wearing my last mouthful of coffee.

“Yes!” I blurt as soon as I’ve had a chance to draw a breath. “Now, um…what, exactly, are we doing?”

He smiles in spite of himself.

“The last box.”

Before I can respond, he’s grabbed his laptop and fired up a browser. He copies the URL from the version of the flowchart I sent him by email, and the site pops up. He takes a deep breath and looks at me.

When I selected the sites in this box I really didn’t think he’d ever get this far. I expected that something along the way would turn his crank, or that despite his assurances he would wimp out and ignore it. So I chose these sites mainly because they’re the ones I like, not because they are a representative sample of the many ways that male bodies can fit together. The first one is now in front of us, and he’s looking for me to give him the sign that it’s okay to continue. Well, here goes.

“All right, let’s do this thing,” I bluster, with as much faux bravado as I can muster. I am so turned on right now I can barely see, but I must continue to look objective or he’s going to seriously freak out.

He nods, and logs in using the account I supplied. The screen is filled with images of this site’s specialty–the application of the latest in handjob techniques to the bodies of the hottest, straightest jocks that money can buy. I love this site because the models seem genuinely straight, and are clearly way outside their comfort zone. In a lot of the videos you can hear straight porn in the background, and most of the guys never look anywhere other than the off-camera monitor that plays it. It’s almost like the orgasms are being wrenched from them, forced by the expert manipulations of the handjob practitioner. You can see them battle against being aroused and brought to orgasm by another man, but he always wins. It’s awesome.

“Which one should we watch?” he asks, cursor hovering over the array of bodies laid out for our delectation.

“Him,” I answer, authoritatively. I point to a new model who looks very much like Diggler. I hope the irony will be lost on him.

“All right, AJ it is,” says Dig. He clicks, and AJ’s video loads.

The obligatory legal verbiage fills the screen for a moment–you know, everyone’s over 18, some poor drudge in a tastelessly decorated office has the proof on file, blah blah–and then the scene opens. Every video on this site uses the same set–a brightly lit bedroom, furnished in a manner one might encounter in the second-best hotel in a medium-sized city. It’s nothing much to look at, but that just means that all of the attention is on the star of the show, a guy named AJ who begins by standing somewhat awkwardly at the foot of the bed.

“So, AJ, tell us a little about yourself,” prompts the unseen director. He never shows up on camera, so I have no idea what he looks like–the voice is smooth, but always with a leer in it.

“Umm,” starts AJ, who either is a terrific actor or really, really nervous. “I’m in college, and I play basketball, and I, uh, you know.”

AJ is great to look at, but there’s not a lot going on in that head of his.

“All right, why don’t you take off your clothes and let us see what we’re getting today.”

Robotically (hmm, robot strippers–there’s a sci-fi story I would actually read) AJ strips down to his boxer briefs and stands anxiously, shifting his weight from side to side. He is an athletic specimen, with muscles not chiseled in a gym but grown naturally as a result of his play.

In each of the scenes on this site there’s a moment at which the handjob specialist comes into the picture to finish the disrobing process and guide the guy to the bed. Luckily, this scene has been shot with my favorite handjobber–the other two often look bored while they stroke away, but not this one. He seems to really enjoy his work. He takes AJ’s hand and leads him over to the side of the bed, and then he pulls down the underwear and leaves AJ standing stark naked. The camera slowly works its way down his body, pausing for a good minute while the narrator asks AJ if the girls like his big dick. It’s silly talk, but I will admit that I enjoy hearing straight guys talk about how they use their equipment.

Once the interview is over, AJ lies down on the bed, and the wankworker settles between his legs. The camera catches just a moment when AJ’s eyes flick down at the figure reaching about to lay male hands on his cock for the first time, and then, instantly, AJ looks off to the side where the narrator has turned on a hetero porn flick. The good stuff is about to begin.

Click.

Diggler has hit the pause button.

I look at him, trying to see what’s caused him to stop the video. He looks at the screen for a moment longer, then turns to me.

“See, here’s the thing,” he says, gesturing at the screen. “They didn’t kiss or anything.”

“That’s not what this site is about,” I reply.

“Well, what is it about, then?” he asks, all innocence.

“They find straight guys who want to make some money, and they pay them to let some guy jack them off.”

“Oh,” he says, still pondering. “That’s not what the all-girl sites were like.”

“Yeah, I imagine that those had, you know, girls in them.”

He chuckles. Good sign.

“No, I mean that the chicks were all like kissing on each other and stuff, and they moaned and whimpered like they’d never wanted anything more in their entire lives. This AJ guy looks like he hardly wants to be there.”

“Well, duh. He’s straight.”

“Oh no he’s not, not if he’s about to let that other dude do what I think he’s getting ready to do.” Diggler looks at me like I must have suddenly forgotten what “straight” means.

“But that’s the whole thing on this site. These guys don’t get off on a guy touching them, but then they get off because a guy’s touching them. It’s kind of awesome, really, because you get to see them give it up–they never wanted a guy, but they can’t fight off the orgasm.” I pause for a sec, looking at his disbelieving face. “Guys are sluts, really. They’ll take any hand over their own, no matter what it’s attached to.”

Diggler squints at me like he’s trying to decide if I’m serious.

“You know it’s true, Dig. Friction is friction.”

He exhales and gives a reluctant nod. Then he clicks play again, and the real action begins.

AJ is given enough time to become engrossed in the porn he’s watching, perhaps even forgetting where he is and what’s he getting paid to allow. He jumps when he feels the hand close around his soft cock. His eyes close for a second, as if he’s fighting the urge to look down at what’s happening to him, and when they open they focus on the porn vid as if his life depended on unblinking scrutiny.

The hand around his dick massages and tickles and coaxes, and soon he’s on the rise. A squirt of lube gives his cock a gloss, and it grows even larger. In spite of himself, he sighs quietly as his erection reaches full strength.

Click.

“See, that’s what I mean. All that guy has to do is get a quick jiggle, and he’s bone-hard and ready to rumble. Shit.”

“And this is having no effect on you?” I ask, my voice scrupulously devoid of insinuation. I have noticed a slight tenting in Dig’s shorts.

His hand immediately moves into a protective posture over his crotch, but he knows I’m onto him. He looks up, and the slight grin that plays around his mouth bursts open with a giggle that is half anxiety and half excitement.

“You caught me. Yeah, I’m getting a little motion down there. But I still don’t think I get this whole deal–I mean, this AJ guy isn’t straight anymore, right? Once you’ve had your junk jostled by another dude, you’re pretty much on the gay train.”

“Oh, and every time one woman gets busy with another a lesbian is born?”

He looks puzzled at me, and then says, earnestly, “Dude, you probably don’t know this, but chicks are different.”

“Okay, so here’s another lesson about the gays,” I say patiently. “We actually understand women better than you do.”

His puzzlement deepens. “But you don’t even like chicks…”

“I don’t bone them, duh, but my closest friends have always been girls. At least until I got to college, when I had a chance to meet a better class of guy than the ones that populate my hometown.”

“So, then…” he’s thinking hard. “Let me get this–women in the lesbo videos really are dykes?”

“Actually, no. It’s kind of the opposite. The women in the ‘lesbo’ videos are women who get paid to have sex on camera, and they don’t much care which sex they’re having it with.”

“Okay, I get that. But you’re saying that this guy,” he thrusts at the screen, “Is really straight, but he lets this guy paw at him, for money, while the other guy films it?”

“Yep, that’s it.”

“That’s pretty fucked up, you know.”

“Your boner and I disagree,” I answer smugly. His crotch is now nearly overflowing.

He looks down, looks back up at me, and then there’s that giggle again–the one that makes me picture him and me and a soft summer breeze and a green meadow and lots and lots of semen.

He clicks the video back on.

AJ can no longer ignore the sensations coming from his sturdy prick. His skin is flushed, and his breathing is heavy. The lube crackles softly while little “Unh” noises emanate from AJ’s throat. The hand gripping his dick moves faster, twisting, pulling on the pole of pale flesh. AJ’s eyes roll back a little, and he says something that sounds like “Hoooo,” and we can tell he’s close. He takes two short breaths in, and he’s almost there.

Then the hand stops.

I’m not sure whose gasp is more anguished, AJ’s or Diggler’s. AJ’s is pained, yearning, and it speaks of the ache that is surely cramping through his loins at this moment. Diggler’s is shocked, bereft, and in it I can hear an undertone of mortification that what’s happening on the screen has affected him so direly.

“That’s just fucking cold, man. Who does that to a guy?”

I swivel my head to look at Diggler.

“Wait, so first you didn’t even want to watch this, and now you’re upset that they’re not doing it right?

“Oh, fuck, Josh–I don’t know what I’m…I mean what we’re…oh, fuck.”

I notice he hasn’t stopped the video.

“Please?”

It takes me a second to realize that it’s AJ’s voice we’re hearing. He’s clearly distraught, and though his balls don’t actually look blue on the video, you know they’re aching. He’s asking for the handjob to continue–asking for a man to bring him to orgasm. I’m somehow able to stay conscious even though every blood cell in my body is on its way to fill my cock like the Hindenburg. I decide to push Dig a little.

“Oh, man, did you hear that?” I goad. “He’s begging for it now.”

All I hear from next to me is a hissing noise, like air being slowly let out of an inflatable sex doll. Dig’s shorts are ridiculously tented now, like big-top-circus tented, and he’s squirming as he watches.

“What did you say?” the handjobber prompts AJ.

“Do it. Please, just do it.”

“Do what?”

AJ’s dick throbs crazily on his stomach, bouncing up and down and side to side as he thrashes, seeking friction.

“Jack me, just fucking do it, okay? Make me–make me–” he pants, “Make me nut.”

“Ohhh, fucking fuck,” Diggler mutters next to me. He’s given up trying to manage his genitalia, and the shiny head of his cock protrudes hungrily from the waistband of his shorts.

“Unnnnnhhhh,” is all we hear from AJ as the stroking begins again. He isn’t even looking at the porn anymore–his eyes are screwed shut and he is gripping the sheets on both sides as he writhes. His pectorals gather up into hard mounds, his nipples point to the ceiling, and the corded muscles of his arms stand out in glossy relief as his body goes rigid. His pelvis tightens and he thrusts one more time into the fist of his tormentor, and then the blast comes. The milking hand flies up and down his rigid cock while the white liquid sprays all over–all over him, all over the bed, all over everything.

When a calm finally settles over AJ, the camera pans up his body, tracing the web of white spunk that decorates his still-panting form. The camera finally reaches his face, and he fixes his gaze right at the lens.

“Are we done?” he asks, in the manner of someone who has suffered through a particularly complicated root canal. And the scene fades to black.

We sit in silence in front of the computer. I wait.

“Oh, god, Josh,” whispers Diggler.

“Yeah?” I ask, as open-ended a question as I can think of at this moment.

He looks down at his lap, where the angry red head of his cock throbs at us, a crystal drop emerging from the slit at the tip.

“I’m going to ask you a question,” he says, slowly.

“Okay,” I reply. Oh please oh please be the question I want to answer. Please!

“You can say no,” he says, even more slowly.

Yeah, that’ll happen.

“Mm-hmm,” I answer, not wanting to delay him in his asking.

He looks at me–right at me, his urgent gaze drilling into my eyes.

“Will you do that to me?”

He immediately looks away, as if he cannot stand to see what effect his words will have on me.

There’s silence in the room. I think it’s silent, anyway, but I can’t really tell. All I can hear in my head is some kind of Hallelujah Chorus, sung by unicorns dancing on rainbows. This is all kinds of awesome.

“Clark, are you sure that’s what you want?”

He turns back.

“No.” He huffs out a sharp breath. “I’m not sure about anything right now. But I have to know. Will you do it?”

He looks up at me and swallows hard. His eyebrows rise, a plaintive expression that pierces me. He’s so scared and so horny and so confused–and so, my type.

“Of course I will.” I even manage to make this come off sounding like I’m doing him a favor. Of course, I’m fully aware that the cock fairy has just waved his magic wand and made my dream come true.

“Come on,” he says, and then he bolts up and heads for the bedroom. I follow, the butterflies back in my stomach. But this time they feel wonderful.

 

# 10 #

Diggler’s bedroom is as IKEA-perfect as the rest of the place. He switches on the lamps by the bed, which fill the room with a soft glow. He stands at the end of the bed, and looks at me, suddenly shy. Oh, we are not going to slow this train down now, buddy.

I step close to him, and look him right in the eye.

“You in?”

He nods, slowly at first, then with more assurance.

“Then make like AJ and get these clothes off.” I smile reassuringly. God, I hope I’m not drooling.

He takes the hem of his shirt in his hands, and pulls it up and over his head. I’d forgotten that under that shirt lurks the body of a water polo player so tightly built that he can go down on himself. Damn.

Without pausing, be slips his hands into the waistband of his shorts and whips them off. Then he stands before me, his cock barely contained in his well-stretched boxers. I stand, appreciating the view, until I realize that he’s waiting for me to take the lead. We really are going to re-enact the video.

I take his hand and lead him over to the side of the bed. His palm is sweating, and his breath is kind of shallow and quick.

We reach the designated spot, and he stops. I know what I’m supposed to do next, but now it’s my turn to be nervous. This is a huge step for both of us, and my mouth is suddenly dry. Usually by the time I get to laying hands on a straight guy, he’s already begun to think of himself as not so straight after all. Dig’s not there yet, which makes what we’re about to do kind of kinky, even for me.

But we’ve come this far. I’m not going to let the cock fairy’s work be in vain.

I reach out and put my hands on the waistband of his drawers. Here I stop, taking a moment to look him in the face, to see if he still wants this. In answer to my unspoken question, he puts his hands over mine and pushes down. Yep, he still wants it.

I slide his boxers down those slim legs with their steely sleek muscles, and he steps out of them and onto the bed. He lays back, like AJ did, though he looks a bit more anxious.

I climb on the bed after him, positioning myself between those lovely legs, and immediately before me It throbs. It’s not fully erect at the moment, but Diggler half-hard is twice as long as most men are when fully extended. His eyes are closed, but somehow he knows when I reach toward him, and he catches my wrist in his hand. I look up.

“Will you do something for me?” he asks, his voice breathy and urgent.

“I’m about to, Dig. Just let my hand loose and I’ll get to it.”

“No, not that. I mean, I still want that, but I’m scared.”

“Of course you are. This is a really new thing you’re doing. But you’re going to be fine.”

“But I don’t know what will happen…you know…after.”

“I assume that you’ll shower and I’ll go home, content with a job well done.”

“No, I mean what if it gets weird? What if I get weird?”

I look up at him, puzzled.

“What I mean,” he explains, “Is that I’m not sure I’m going to want to go through with it once we get going.”

I start to tell him that he shouldn’t worry, but he stops me.

“No, listen. This is all so new and strange and I’m worried about what I might do. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“So, do you want me to stop?”

“No, I need you to do it. But I also need you to use these.” He reaches around behind the headboard and pulls out a length of soft, red rope from each corner.

“You want me to–what?”

“Tie me up with these. Tie my wrists so that I can’t get loose. I just want you to be safe,” he says, sensing my hesitation. “And I want to be sure that I go through with it. I gotta see this through.”

Whoa, dude.

“Dig, why do you have ropes on your bed?”

He looks a little sheepish. “I told you I’d tried everything to make it work, right? Well, these are left over from one of my last desperate tries. I actually hired a pro, and she thought that I might like it rough. She tied me up and did her best, but I just couldn’t…well, you know. After that I just stuffed them back here and tried to forget about the whole thing.”

He hands me the ends of the two ropes, and then stretches his arms out wide. Holy shit that’s just about more sexy than I can take right now.

“You’re sure?” I ask.

“Definitely,” he says, and he means it.

I tie his wrists with the two lengths of rope, and then sit back to appreciate my work. Suffering through those horrible years of Boy Scouts has finally paid off–he won’t be getting out of these anytime soon. He’s like my Odysseus, lashed to the mast so as to resist the Sirens’ song. It’s pretty much the same deal here–we’ve tied him up so that if heterosexuality beckons, he won’t be able to answer the call.

So. Fucking. Hot.

“Do you want me to grab your laptop and pull up some porn or something? AJ had something to look at, and that probably helped.”

“No.” His voice is sure and quiet. He looks down at me, and his face is as serious as I’ve ever seen it. “You’re all I need.”

Have you ever stuck a fire hose down your pants? Yeah, me either. Until this moment I had no idea what that would feel like. Now I know. It’s damp. And my cock is showing no signs of easing up on the twitch-and-drool thing it’s doing.

I look up at him, eyebrows up, asking; he looks down at me, jaw set, nodding.

I brush the fingers of one hand along the base of his cock, right where the loose skin of his balls begins. He gasps, startled, perhaps shocked at being touched this way by another guy. Well, hold on Diggler, because you’re about to get a whole lot more touched.

I wrap my fingers around his cock, which snakes up to his belly button. The fingers of both hands. And still I’ve only got about half of it in my grip. I slide my fists loosely up and down several times, and I feel the monster respond. It doesn’t get much thicker, but it is definitely getting firmer. I smile, proud of the effect I’m having.

I hear him chuckle, and I look up. He is grinning at me, teasing me gently for my goofy look of delight at feeling him bone up. But he looks genuinely happy, and that warms me all over. But especially in my pants.

I give his hard-on a squeeze, and feel its firmness. He’s there.

“Oh, fuck, Josh,” he exhales.

“Yeah, Dig?”

“That’s the first time. Ever.”

“First time for what?” This, I know the answer to. But hearing him say it will pretty much make me come in my pants, and I’m not going to miss out on that.

“The first time anyone’s ever gotten me hard. The first time anyone’s ever felt my hard dick.”

Oh, yeah. That did it. All I have to do is squirm a little. That tiny little bit of friction puts me right over the edge. A perfect little orgasm washes over me, leaving me happy but ready for more. Lots more.

“It’s fucking amazing, Dig. You are so hard right now.”

He groans, and I start sliding my hands up and down, first slowly, and then, as we settle into a rhythm, I stroke more purposefully. Soon I see his balls start to pull up to the base of his cock. He’s getting close.

“Oh, god, Josh. Ohh…STOP!” he suddenly cries, tensing against the ropes.

I drop his cock as if it actually were a snake, and look up at him.

“What’s wrong? Did I hurt you? Are you okay?” I’m completely freaked out by his sudden shout.

He pants a bit, catches his breath, and then he can speak again.

“It was too fast, too much all at once. I needed you to stop.” He takes a couple of breaths, trying to calm himself down. Then he looks at me, and that intensity is back in his eyes. “But I don’t want you to stop.”

“Uh, dude? You said ‘stop.’ ”

“Yeah, but it’s like I said–I want you to do this, and I need to see it through.”

“But if you say to stop, I’m going to stop.”

“No. If I say stop again, you keep going. You ignore me and just keep doing it. Okay?”

I look at him, not sure which Diggler to trust–the one who clearly needs this release, or the one who’s not into being touched by another guy.

“Dig, I–”

“No! You keep going. Even if I tell you to stop–even if I scream it–you need to do it. All the way. No matter what. Will you do that for me?”

“Uh, I guess. It’s a little weird, though.”

“What part of what we’re doing isn’t already a little weird? Just promise me that you’ll keep going. Promise.”

Now, my Philosophy professor would have something pithy to say here about free will, but he’s not looking up at the longest cock in the world that just happens to be attached to an amazing naked guy who is begging me, naked, for help.

“I will. No matter what. Promise.”

“Thank you. Now, for god’s sake, go!”

I set my jaw, grab that cock, and get back to tugging. This is work I can get into.

“Hey, Dig? Got any lube? I’m afraid I’m going to rub you raw here. This skin hasn’t seen much friction.”

“Tell me about it. But I don’t have any lube around. Sorry.”

“What kind of guy doesn’t have lube?”

He blushes. “Um, well, it’s just that…lube tastes bad.” He shrugs impishly.

Oh, that’s right. Why should he content himself with a handjob when he can give himself a blowjob? But back to the task at hand. To get through this, I need to be resourceful. I need to think like a Boy Scout. Ah, got it.

I work up some saliva, and then spit it into my hand. Now, this could seriously freak Diggler out. Kinda risky. But then I remember that he’s tied up, so I stop worrying how he’ll take it and just slap that spit right onto his rock-hard cock.

He jumps, clearly alarmed at what I’ve done. But then he starts to feel my hands slipping more smoothly up and down, gliding along his length, and he’s quickly at peace with it. His breathing starts to get a little labored, and I can tell he’s on his way. This will be fun.

“Ohhh, oohhh,” he moans, his head turning side to side. A mist of sweat has appeared on his chest, giving him a healthy glow. His breaths are quicker now, shallower. Then I see his balls start to pull up again, drawing nearer to the base of his towering cock. It won’t be long now. This is the point he was at when he–

“Josh, stop.”

I look up at him. His face is etched with a confusion of emotion–I see regret, fear, desperation, perhaps a little shame–and his voice is clipped and reedy.

“No.”

I keep up my strokes, spitting into my hand again for good measure.

He thrashes against the ropes, his head swiveling desperately from left to right, searching for any slack he can use to get away from me.

“Stop! You have to fucking stop!” His voice is louder now, and his legs are kicking frantically. I lift myself up and then come to rest on top of them, pinning them to the bed. It’s a bronco ride, but he’s not getting away from me.

“Josh! Fucking stop! Right now!” he bellows. We’ll be hearing from the neighbors soon if he keeps that up.

A sudden inspiration strikes me. I reach down the side of the mattress and feel around the base of the bed. There! I feel a rope–the lower companion of the two that bind Diggler’s wrists. I pull it up, and he sees it just as I wrap it around his ankle. I have to release his cock for a moment in order to finish the knot and pull it tight, but soon my work is done. Now he has only one leg to kick with, and a quick jump to the remaining corner of the bed yields the final rope. In seconds I have him spread-eagled and immobilized.

His yelling has become a profane litany of abuse, his voice growing hoarse with exertion and panic. He suddenly switches tactics. He fixes me with a desperate, wide-eyed stare, his voice a husky, urgent rasp.

“You can’t do this, Josh,” he pants. “This is like rape. I don’t want you to do it.”

I lie down on the bed next to him, and speak softly, directly into his ear. “You do want me to do it, Dig. You told me so. And you told me not to stop. Made me promise. And I’m not one,” here I grab his cock, give it a squeeze, “To break my promises.”

He whimpers, and his eyes are welling up.

“But…but I’m not…I’m not gay,” he whispers.

“No, you aren’t. But I’ll tell you what you are,” I growl into his ear. I stroke his cock harder, faster.

“What…what am I?”

“You are…about to have an orgasm.” I grin. That was smooth.

“No.”

“And I’m going to give it to you.”

“No, please.” His whisper is now a groan.

“I’m going to make you come.”

“No! You can’t make me.”

“Oh yes I can. I’m going to pull it out of you.”

“Oh…god…no…” he grunts.

“You’re going to come, right now, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”

“Oh, fuck, stop!” he shouts again.

While one hand tugs on his cock, or at least the top eight inches or so, I clamp the other over his mouth. This has the effect of preventing any more outbursts. It also makes me feel very very dirty. I gotta get this done before the questionable ethics start to kill the mood.

I bend down, spit on his cock, and come back up to look in his face. I can’t even tell what he’s feeling anymore–he looks like a drowning man, watching the water close over him, just wanting it to be over. He’s about to get his wish. I lean down, and he gasps as my breath fills his ear.

“Come for me, Clark. Come for me. Shoot it all over me.”

He goes rigid, and I know I’ve won. Every muscle stands out in sharp relief, and he stops thrashing, stops yelling. I pull my hand off his mouth. He looks at the ceiling, his eyes wide, and then, from his throat, the tiniest little gasp.

The first blast I don’t even see coming. It smacks me wetly on the side of my head, glazing my shoulder as well. This is the same guy who barely dribbled during his performance last week? The second volley goes even further–some of it hits the headboard, some streaks his face. Then his pole just goes crazy, lobbing spurts of come all over the place, a constant flow of spunk that quickly frosts both of us and the bed. It goes on for what seems like a full minute, and then finally subsides.

Diggler gasps, as if he hadn’t drawn breath since it started. He may not have. I look up from the sperm-dotted bedscape to see how he’s doing. This moment will be crucial.

His eyes are screwed shut, and he’s shaking all over. Oh, not a good sign. Crap.

Suddenly his eyes fly open. He looks at me, somewhat insanely, as if trying to remember who I am and how I got here. I realize I’m still holding onto his cock. I let go.

“Josh…” he croaks. Is that horror or post-orgasmic exhaustion I hear in his voice?

“Clark?”

His mouth moves, trying to wrap itself around what he’s struggling to say. His tongue darts out to moisten his lips.

“Thank you,” he sighs, finally. “You saved me.” A grin flashes briefly, and then he closes his eyes.

“It was my pleasure,” I whisper, humbled by his extravagant gratitude. “I did what any friend would do.”

He chuckles.

“I guess I’ve never had a friend as good as you,” he says.

“Well, you have me now,” I say, meaning that on levels that he certainly can’t understand. I release the knots on his wrists, and then those that bind his ankles. He’s stretched out on the bed, exhausted, drained.

“I should get going. You look like you need a rest.”

His eyes open again, and he sits up a bit.

“No, stay. Please. This is the first time that I’ve ever had…ever done…well, ever whatever, and I don’t want to feel like it was a hit and run. Come on, stay. I’ll make breakfast in the morning,” he wheedles, and gives me a puppy look that makes my chest tight.

“Oh, okay. You win. I’ll take the couch. You’ve kind of made a mess of the bed.”

He laughs.

“Yeah, but only the top of the duvet. The sheets are fine. Come on, stay with me.”

I look at him, hard.

“Clark, what are we doing here?”

“I don’t know what we’re doing–or what we did. I kind of don’t give a fuck right now. Just stay, okay? I don’t want to be alone.” He pulls back the sheets and slides in, and then holds them open for me to join him.

If you’re wondering how I get myself into such fucked-up situations, well, I am too. If you figure it out, drop me a line. In the meantime, I’m just going to shuck off my clothes and hop in bed with the straight, self-fellating water polo player whom I’ve pretty much just raped with my hand.

I slip into the sheets, keeping my boxer briefs on to restrain my still-hard cock, and position myself as close to the edge of the bed as I can get. Dig looks over, smiles sleepily, and touches my cheek.

“Thanks, man. I love you.” Having said this, he drifts immediately to sleep, leaving me to ask the ceiling just what the hell he meant by that.

 

# 11 #

When I awaken, I’m in bed, Diggler’s bed, alone. I look around, reconstructing the events of last night, trying to understand what happened to put me here. I review the whole evening, with the following results: one, I have no idea what it all means; two, I’m rock-hard again. This is why letting your cock make major decisions about your relationships is a bad idea.

I hear Diggler in the kitchen, so I slip out of his bed, put my clothes back on, and head out to say good morning. What I’m going to say beyond that is, well, beyond me.

He’s in the kitchen area, at the stove, no doubt cooking something indescribably delicious because that would just be my luck. Huge cock, cute guy, great cook, totally straight. We probably won’t even mention what happened last night.

“Hey, buddy,” he says as he hears me approach.

“Hey,” I reply, sitting at the small counter. He turns back to whatever he’s cooking. It smells awesome.

I study his back for a moment, thinking about all the ways this could go. He could decide on the “Full Denial” strategy, in which we pretend that I didn’t just have to dig his dried semen out of my ear, and never acknowledge that we even came into contact. Or, he could go the “Ruby Slippers” route, in which he comes to the conclusion that he’s suddenly completely gay, and this will end with our breakfast getting stone cold while we frolic in the shower all morning. It could be something in between, of course, because that’s where I live my entire life. Smart money’s on indeterminate sexual tension that leads to confusion and angst. Yay.

Dig turns to face me, his frying pan full of what looks like the thing that Apollo eats in the morning before he harnesses his horses and steers the chariot of the sun across the sky. He slides half onto my plate and half onto his, and then comes around to join me at the counter.

“This is amazing,” I say, looking at the steaming plate of yum in front of me.

“I always promised myself,” he says, taking a mouthful, “That I would make a proper breakfast for the girl who jump-started my junk.” He smiles and blushes. “I guess that turned out to be you.”

The first bite of his cooking, like the first glimpse of his cock, only makes me want more. “If I had known something like this was the reward, I would have been all over you that first time in the dorm.”

He makes an injured face.

“You only like me for my cooking?”

Oh god he is cute.

“Um, Dig? I think I proved last night that I like you for more than that. It’s mainly your amazingly big…heart. You are the sweetest guy I think I’ve ever met.”

He blushes again, and smiles so angelically that I want to drag him back to bed and make with the knots. But after the debacle at Mitch’s place, I’m a little more cautious than I used to be. I’m trying to figure out how to figure him out, when he–again–takes the lead.

“Josh, can I be serious for a minute?”

“Sure. What’s on your mind?”

He studies me for a moment, chewing.

“You’re a guy,” he says, carefully, as if trying to soften the blow of this revelation.

“Yes, Dig, I am. I have suspected this for some time, but with your confirmation I am finally sure.”

He grins, realizing how silly he must have sounded.

“It’s just that,” he continues, undaunted, “I never imagined doing this with a guy. At all.”

I nod, encouraging him to continue.

“And now I have, and I guess that means…even though I’ve never thought about guys that way…that I must be…”

Oh, he is so cute and so lost.

“Dig, let me help. What we did doesn’t mean you’re gay.”

He looks at me, blankly.

“But…but…we just…I mean, last night you–”

“I know what happened last night. But despite the fact that your first sexual experience was with a guy, and despite the fact that that guy is kind of falling for you right now because you are so cute and so sweet, and despite the fact that you know precisely what an orange throw pillow can do for a tweed couch, you are probably as straight as you were before this all happened.”

He looks dumbfounded. This is not what he expected me to say.

“Prove it,” he says, abruptly. “Prove to me I’m not gay.”

This, I wasn’t expecting.

“It’s kind of hard to prove that somebody isn’t something,” I say, trying desperately to remember what my logic textbook had to say about proving a negative. “If I were a girl, I would be able to show you, but I’m just not equipped for that.”

He smirks at me. “Then I don’t believe you.”

“Wait, you’re trying to convince me that you actually are gay?”

The smirk disappears.

“No…wait…I don’t know,” he stutters, not sure anymore which side he’s on.

“I think there is a way we can find out,” I say, once inspiration has finally struck.

“Well, about damn time,” he says, relieved.

“Now, you have to promise me that you won’t freak out,” I say, my index finger poised in a scoldy posture.

“Um, I didn’t freak out when you tied me up and had your way with me, so…”

“Actually, you did freak out a little,” I remind him.

“Okay, okay, but we worked through that, right?”

Yes, Odysseus, we did.

“And speaking of last night, thanks for not pressing charges–I appreciate that.”

He grins, and my heart skips a beat. I want so badly for him to be gay, or at least gay enough to want me as much as I’m finding I want him. But we don’t always get what we want–and at least I got some of what I wanted last night. And I definitely don’t want a scorned girlfriend busting down the door to assert a prior claim. I need to be sure this time.

I turn to face him, and he does the same to me. If we wanted to play pat-a-cake, this is how we would sit, knee-to-knee.

“Now, remember, no freaking out,” I caution.

“No freaking out. Promise,” he replies, all Eagle Scout-y.

I lean toward him, and he instinctively leans back. I bring my hands up to his shoulders, and look at him warningly. He reads my message clearly, and leans forward again. I pull him closer. He’s seriously scared right now, because he senses what’s about to happen. Before he can ask for ropes again, I make my move.

I wrap my hands around the base of his skull, from his jaw all the way back around, feeling the soft bristle of his freshly cut hair. I bring him closer, and he closes his eyes, bracing for impact.

My lips find his, and I stop, barely making contact, leaving him in that moment–the one when you’re not sure what’s happening is actually happening? That one–and then I move in. His lips are unbelievably soft, but he’s so stunned to be kissed by a guy that they aren’t moving, aren’t responding. And then, suddenly, they do.

I’m startled by the gentle fluidity of his lips, which press and nudge in ways I’ve never imagined. He makes playful transits from the corner of my mouth all the way across and back again, covering me with his softly insistent nuzzling. I’m about to lose myself in this dizzying universe of a kiss when I come to my senses and pull back.

Dig’s eyes pop open, and he looks as if I’ve just yanked the last bite of chocolate cake off his fork.

“Why did you stop?” he asks, an adorable pout in his voice.

“Umm…because,” I manage to say–his kiss has surprised me with its decidedly gay-friendly vigor–“I need to ask you something.”

“If you’re going to ask me to do that again, I can tell you right now what my answer will be.”

“I need to know what you felt when I kissed you.”

“I felt your lips…what else was there?”

“No, I meant…what did you feel–here?” I put my hand on his chest. His muscular, warm, strong-but-yielding chest. Focus, Josh, focus.

“What do you mean?”

“Think back on the times that you’ve kissed a girl. I know when I finally kiss a guy who I’ve been crushing on for a while it makes me dizzy, and I get this kind of flutter, right here.” I take his hand and press it to my chest, right over my heart, which is beating crazily right now because I’ve just kissed him and now his hand is on my chest, right over my heart.

“Dude, your heart is pounding!” he says, a look of awe on his face.

“Exactly. Now what is your heart doing? How did that kiss make you feel?”

“I did that? To you?” He’s still talking about my heart, not his.

“Yes, you did that to me. What did I do to you?”

“Here, see for yourself,” he murmurs, and he grabs my hand and slips it under his shirt. His skin is so warm and so soft, and he guides my hand up and to his heart and presses it to him. My right hand has gotten more action in the last twenty-four hours than the rest of my body has in the last week…

“I feel your heart beating, but it feels pretty calm to me.”

“Keep your hand there, and try this,” he says. He pulls me close and kisses me again, this time with lips that are firmer and more demanding. I’m trying to count his pulse, but then his tongue brushes between my lips and suddenly I could no more count his heartbeats than I could solve differentials. I lose track of time, of where I am and what I’m doing, until finally that tongue slips away and he withdraws, taking my breath with him.

He’s looking at me, expectantly.

“Well, what did my heart say to you?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” I reply, “Your tongue was talking over it.”

He looks disappointed. If it’s answers he wants, then answers he shall have. I’m through playing around.

I grab his hand and press it to my crotch. My erection, a direct and immediate result of his kissing me, is obvious even to his untrained hand. I look him in the eye, and nod. Yep, he knows what’s going on there. Then I move his hand to his own crotch which, though full as always, is full of softly coiled cock.

“There,” I say, finally, as I let go of his hand.

“That’s not fair,” he says, clearly hurt. “You of all people know that I don’t get hard like that. Just because I didn’t bone up right away doesn’t mean I’m not into it.”

I take a deep breath. I spend a lot of my time trying to convince confused guys that they should at least consider the possibility that they are gay; now, I find myself trying to convince a guy who has proven himself eager to kiss me–with tongue–that he needs to slow down and consider the possibility that he’s straight. Not that he couldn’t be gay–it’s just that I don’t want to take advantage of his obvious gratitude that I was his first.

“Dig,” I begin, trying a new way round this, “What do you feel when you kiss a girl?”

“Her tits, if she’ll let me,” he replies, a sneaky grin gracing his stubbly face.

“Very funny. And very straight. You see why I’m putting the brakes on, right?”

“Sorry. I’ll be serious.”

I cock a skeptical eyebrow, but forge ahead.

“I know that what you and I did last night was–”

“Amazing,” he interrupts.

“Yes, it was amazing. But all I did was show you that you could get hard and get off with another person. The fact that I happen to be a guy doesn’t mean that you’re gay now.”

“Josh? What more would it take? We didn’t just bump up against each other by accident, you know.”

“I’m not saying that what we did wasn’t great–it was. And I would do it again in a heartbeat…if I knew that you were into it the way I am. I don’t want you to do it because you think you owe me one.”

“What if I told you that I am into it?”

“I’m not sure I’d believe you.”

“Why not?”

“Because you told me you’re not into guys. Because you practically had a nervous breakdown when you got hard watching another guy get off. Because I had to fucking tie you to the fucking bed!” I’m not sure when I started shouting. Real mature.

I feel Dig’s hand on my shoulder.

“Dude. You’re acting like I went all ‘no homo’ on you this morning, and I didn’t. I made you breakfast, remember? I kissed you. What more do I need to do?”

“I don’t know. You need to prove it. You need to prove to me–to yourself–that this is what you want.”

“How? How can I do that? Just tell me and I will.”

“You need to get your wish. You need to have sex with a woman–have the sex that you always wanted. You need to experience that, because only when you have will I believe you when you say you want what I want.”

“This is crazy, you know that, right? What you’re asking me to do makes no sense.”

“It makes sense to me. I’ve seen people go through this. My friend Pete, he fell in love with a straight guy. It really tore him up.”

“The guy dumped him for a chick? That sucks.”

“No, they’re still together. But it was hard, and it just about killed them both.”

“I get it. Relationships are hard. Or, I guess they are–I wouldn’t really know.”

I grab him by the shoulders, and look him dead in the eye.

“I can’t do this. I’ve been with my share of guys who were on the fence about their sexuality, but they weren’t like you. And I didn’t feel about them the way I feel right now. You are beautiful and humble and shy and honest and I could just stay here forever basking in the warmth of your smile and your gourmet cooking, but I can’t let myself do that if you’re going to find out in a week or a month or a year that you really aren’t into guys–”

“I’m not into guys,” he interrupts. “I’m into one guy. I’m into you.”

I’m trying to have an adult conversation here, but my heart betrays me, skipping like a schoolgirl. He’s so innocent, and I don’t think he’s lying to me–he really seems to mean it. But does he know himself well enough to be able to say that with such confidence?

“And I’m really into you. But we’ve come so far so fast that we have to take a step back and figure this all out. Here’s what I think we should do: let’s take a breather for a week, and during that time I want you to try it with a girl. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding any number of them to come to bed with you. See how it works. If at the end of a week you want to pick up where we left off, I will be here, ready to rumble, with the safety off–you won’t know what hit you. But until you do what I ask, I just…can’t.”

His face has run through the entire gamut of emotions while I’ve been talking–impatient, angry, sad, and finally just mystified. But I think he’s starting to see that I’m serious about this.

“Okay,” he says softly, nodding. “One week. I’ll do it.”

“Thank you, Dig. It’s for the best.”

His eyes flash. “No, what would be best would be spending the day doing this,” he says as he grabs me to him and kisses me again, kisses me as if we were the only two people on earth, kisses me like he’s trying to bring me back from the dead. Holy fuck what he can do to me.

I break the kiss–I have to.

“One week. Then we’ll know for sure. One week.”

I stand, and back away from him, back toward the door, back to the outside world that has no word for what we are to each other now–there’s never been another like us. This knowledge would make me profoundly lonely if we didn’t have it in common.

“Josh?” he calls as I open the door.

“Yeah?”

“You’re wrong about me,” he says, simply.

“I hope I am,” I reply as I close the door behind me.

I hope I am.

 

# 12 #

It’s mid-Saturday by the time I wake up–I crashed pretty hard after the early-morning angst-fest at Diggler’s. Seth is already gone, probably rolling around in Physics homework with his study buddies. The twins are gone too, which I don’t really mind; it’s hard to concentrate on anything but their duplicate beauty when they’re lounging about. I have some time to focus on homework, and that’s what I need right now.

It’s not actually what I need, of course. What I need is someone who wants to be with me after we’ve finished whatever sweaty, tear-stained thing we’ve managed to get up to in bed. Someone who wants to spend the day doing homework and drinking coffee, and taking a break every once in a while to look at porn or maybe take a long shower or maybe just sweep all of the books off the desk and pound away at each other all afternoon…

You see why I don’t have any study buddies.

I work through the day and into the evening, and turn in early hardly having set foot outside the room. My roommates aren’t even back by the time I lay down. It’s pretty lonely, actually, and I find myself looking forward to Sunday dinner with the guys.

There’s more noise in the suite when I awake on Sunday–I can hear the twins in the bathroom area, so I hustle out to say hi and perhaps get an eyeful of tanned, muscly muscle. In this I am not disappointed. Having been deprived of them for a couple of days, I take a moment to drink in their loveliness.

“Well, there he is,” says Dexter to Porter. I can tell which is which only because they have consistently staked out the same mirror in the mornings.

“Yes, he seems quite chipper for one whose heart is so black,” Porter replies.

Their smirks tell me that they are having a bit of fun, but my curiosity is piqued.

“Don’t you two know it’s impolite to talk trash about someone when he’s standing right here? You could at least have the decency to asperse my character behind my back like civilized folk.”

Dexter turns back to Porter. “You have to grant, he is a proper gentleman,” he says to his reflection, “I don’t know what Diggler was going on about.”

“I’m sure I can’t imagine,” Porter replies, the effect of his southern belle intonation betrayed by his voice being two octaves lower than Scarlett O’Hara’s.

I can easily forgive them their arch delivery, especially as all I can hear right now is my pulse pounding in my ears. What the fuck did Diggler tell them? And why did he tell them anything at all?

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I offer, doing my best to fit the mock-chivalry of their delivery.

They both turn on me, crossing their arms over their bare, strapping chests.

“That’s funny,” Porter says, squinting skeptically at me. “The way Diggler went on about it, I thought it would have made an impression.”

“What–” and here my voice breaks, as the panic of dealing with a public airing of my fucked-up night with Diggler rises in my chest, “What did he go on about?”

“Well,” Dexter answers, “We’re not really sure, to be perfectly honest. He said that the two of you had a pretty serious disagreement, and that you left before it was settled.”

“That’s all he said?” I ask.

Porter’s eyes narrow. “What else is there?” His voice is urgent, but there’s only a note of concern for his friend, not suspicion of my malfeasance.

“Nothing I know of,” I reply. Making light is the way to play this, I decide on the spot. Diggler certainly wouldn’t have spilled the entire story, even to Dexter and Porter, who would make a pretty open-minded audience.

“Hmm,” Porter replies. His face reveals that his internal bullshit detector is buzzing loudly, but he’s going to let me walk. Bless his muscular heart.

“See you guys for Sunday dinner?” I ask cheerily, changing the subject as quickly as I think I can get away with.

“Sure, buddy,” replies Porter as they turn back to their work at the mirror.

The next few days slide by without any word from Diggler–or from Mitch, for that matter, though I’m inclined to think that I won’t ever hear from him again–and before I know it it’s Friday. I haven’t given up hope that I will hear from Diggler tomorrow. Tonight, though, I just need to get away from the routine of classes, studying, and towel-handling that makes up my week.

I arrange to meet my friend Pete for dinner. I spent a good part of the summer with Pete, and we got to know each other pretty well as we worked on our service projects in Eastern Europe. He’s smart and funny, and best of all he’s completely taken–he and Nick have been together for more than a year, and their relationship has survived even Nick’s chronic heterosexuality. Pete’s my safety valve–I can be myself around him, but I know it’s not going to lead to anything sweaty. In the shadow of Mitch and Diggler, I need that right now.

“So, wait,” Pete’s saying, as we take turns stabbing bits of cheesecake off the plate between us. “This super-sweet guy with the enormous cock wanted you to stay, and you left anyway? What kind of sense does that make?”

I sigh. I’ve been trying to explain it since the appetizers arrived, and clearly I’m not there yet.

“It makes sense because less than 12 hours earlier he was completely straight. Said that he’d never even thought about guys that way.”

Pete waves his fork in the air in a gesture of confusion. “When has that ever stopped you? How long had you known Calvin before the two of you ended up in bed? An hour?”

“It was a good three hours,” I reply, in my best indignant tone. “Well, two, at least.”

“And how gay was Calvin before that?”

“Well, it turns out he was pretty gay after all. He just didn’t know it until then.”

“And you’re saying that this one is different?”

I nod.

“How? How is he different?”

“He just is, okay? I can tell. Gaydar is kind of my core competency, and I’m not getting a full-strength ping off the guy.”

He looks at me with one eyebrow up.

“Look, I don’t want to end up with a straight guy, okay?” I blurt, exasperated.

I can tell right away that I’ve hurt him. He studies the cheesecake and his voice drops an octave.

“I know things with me and Nick have been rough at times, but I wouldn’t give him up for anything. Love is like that, or it should be. I don’t love Nick because we’re both into guys. I love Nick because Nick is Nick.”

“I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry. It’s just that, if we’re going to make this into something, I want him to go into it with his eyes open. I don’t want him to want me just because I was able to help him out.”

Pete reaches over and takes my hand.

“If that’s what you want, then all you can do is wait. If it’s meant to be, he’ll come around.”

I’m just about to thank him for being the best friend ever when a familiar motion catches my eye–I can’t see his face, but I can tell even from a distance that it’s Dig making his way to the door. And wrapped around him is a…well, a woman. Her arm is around him, and she’s leaning on him pretty heavily. He escorts her out the door of the restaurant, and onto the sidewalk. He waves at a passing taxi, and as it pulls up the woman in his arms stumbles toward him. He holds her up, and she throws her arms around him and begins kissing him somewhat frenetically. He manages to get the door of the cab open, and to slide his date into the back seat. She pulls his arm suddenly, and he tumbles into the taxi on top of her. There’s some energetic scrabbling, and finally he reaches around behind and pulls the door shut. The taxi pulls out, spiriting the happy couple away.

I turn back to Pete, dumbstruck.

“What?” he asks.

“That was Diggler,” I manage to croak out.

“That guy? Didn’t you say he was not really on board with your idea that he should find a woman to date?”

I nod.

“Because he seemed pretty on board right then,” he concludes, as if I hadn’t seen the exact same display he’s just witnessed.

I take a deep breath, try to find the upside. “It looks like he’s on his way to finding out if it’s women he wants. It’ll be nice just to know.”

“I hope you get the answer you’re looking for,” Pete offers, ever the good friend. But his tone tells me he’s coming to the same conclusion I am–Diggler is pretty damn straight.

“Yeah, me too.”

After dinner we walk back to campus, and I drop Pete off at his dorm. I could come up and seek solace in the arms of my Calvin and Reese, but I’m too muddled by what I’ve seen at the restaurant to be good company. I head back to my room and get ready for bed, even though it’s only 9. Sometimes it’s better to be unconscious.

It’s mid-morning by the time I wake up, and the first thing I do is reach under my pillow for my phone. No message from Dig. I am momentarily shocked at how sad this makes me, but I only have a few seconds to contemplate my sorry state when the phone rings. It’s Diggler.

“Hey,” I say into the phone, attempting a jaunty tone. I’m not sure it worked, but at least I gave it a try.

“It’s Saturday,” Dig says by way of greeting.

“Yes, yes it is,” I reply. I’m not really a conversationalist until after the first cup of coffee.

“A week ago, we were here, and we said that in a week’s time we could be back here.”

“As long as one condition was met,” I remind him. I don’t for a moment think he’s forgotten, particularly after last night’s scene at the restaurant.

“Yeah, about that,” he says, sounding reluctant indeed to broach the topic. Now, I know I was the one who forced him to agree to go out with a woman, so I shouldn’t be upset now that he’s done what I asked. But rationality has never been my strength when it comes to romance. Or sex. Or food. Or…oh, never mind.

“What about that?” I prompt. Might as well get it all out.

“I couldn’t bring myself to do it, Josh. I’m sorry.”

“You couldn’t bring yourself to have sex with a woman?” This may work out after all.

“Actually, I couldn’t bring myself even to go out with a woman. Every time I thought about asking a girl out, I just kept thinking about you, and how I would so much rather be with you than with her. So I ended up just sitting home alone thinking about you. It sounds pathetic, I know.”

No, what it sounds like is a load of crap. I can handle just about anything a guy can dish out, but lying is a deal-breaker.

“So, you didn’t go out at all?” I ask, trying to keep the bile in the back of my throat from making my voice bitter.

“Nope. I tried, really I did. But I just couldn’t. I hope you understand.”

Yeah, I understand pretty well, actually. My latest prospective boyfriend turns out to be lying piece of shit.

“No, I don’t get it. What does this mean, for us?”

“It means you should just get yourself over here so we can pick up where we left off. You’re what I want, Josh. I know that now. You’re what I need.”

That’s when it clicks. Dig “needs” me as a reliable Plan B, a fuck buddy he can count on when he needs a release. He still wants to date women–that’s where he’ll live his real life–but he wants to keep me in reserve for when the chick passes out in the back of the cab and can’t get him off. Fuck. Why did I think this was going to work?

“Actually, I have a different plan in mind. It goes like this: I don’t come over this morning, and you never call me again. How’s that? Does that work for you?”

I hang up the phone, and switch it off.

And stuff it back under my pillow.

And spend the rest of the day crying.

 

# 13 #

First Mitchell, now Diggler. I’m 0 for 2 in the romance department. Mitch I never hear from–he’s probably in the loving, reconciled arms of Thea. Diggler I do hear from–at least I hear his ringing of my phone a dozen times a day. He finally gets the hint after a week and half.

I spend every waking moment that I’m not in class–or attending to the towelly needs of the athletes–moping around the suite. On the weekends I sleep late, awaken surly and caffeine-deprived, and then make a sport out of peeing on the good spirits of my roommates.

I’m kind of a bitch right now.

On a Sunday afternoon about three weeks into my pitiful slump I’m sitting on the futon under Porter’s bed, right where Diggler performed that night, what–a few weeks ago?–trying to figure how it all went so weird.

“Josh?” It’s Porter, back from his weekly volunteer work at the shelter. He raises the spirits of the homeless by being beautiful. Or cooking pancakes or something.

I realize I must look for all the world like the lovelorn heroine in a Jane Austen novel, in that sad and bleak chapter after the supposed nobleman has revealed himself to be an utter cad. The thought should shame me into sitting up straight and at least pretending to be fine, just fine, but then I would deny myself the warm presence of the dishy vicar, here to comfort me with truisms about human nature. I embrace my inner jilted heroine, and look up at Porter through what I hope are tear-glittered eyelashes.

“Dude,” he says, in a tut-tutting sigh. He doesn’t disappoint in the dishy vicar area–he sets himself down next to me on the futon and gives me the full measure of his charm. Arched eyebrows, wry half-grin, slow shrug of his broad shoulders; his hand finds my knee to drive the point home. The heroine is warmed.

“Gonna tell me about it?” he asks, gently, in that honey rumble of a voice.

“Not much to tell.”

“You trying to make me believe that ‘not much’ has been keeping you locked up in the suite, staring at walls?” He shakes his head. “That ‘not much’ took away your will to liven up every conversation with crude sexual innuendo?”

I guess I have let some things go lately.

“We’re worried about you,” he says, softly.

“Who’s we?” I ask, then remember that I know the answer–of course it’s Dexter, because they share everything.

“All of us. Dex and me and Seth.”

“Seth? Seriously?”

Porter nods. “He says you’re not sleeping, or at least not sleeping well.”

“Great. Next you’re going to tell me I’ve been crying out someone’s name in my sleep or something.”

Porter chuckles.

“What’s so funny?” I ask.

“Nothing,” he says, unconvincingly.

I fix him with my special stare. The one that tells people I don’t like to shut up and the ones I do to get undressed.

“Okay, okay!” he relents, obviously startled. “Seth said that you…well–”

“What?”

“You’ve been making noises. In your sleep. Like…a chicken.”

My turn to be startled.

“What?”

“Chicken. He says you’ve been sounding like a chicken at night. You know, clucking.”

“Has Seth been going to bed drunk?”

“No! He says that several times a night you wake him up going ‘Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!'”

Okay, this is seriously weird.

“Why would I be doing that?”

“Hell if I know. Why do you think you’ve been doing that?”

“Cluck, cluck, cluck, huh?” I mutter. Then it hits me. Oh. Clark Clark Clark. Shit.

Before I can squelch my shock, I catch Porter’s eye. His lips are moving, and he’s figured it out too. I look quickly back down to the floor.

“Oh, oh, fuck–I’m sorry,” he blurts. I can sense him studying my face for a reaction. I look up at him, a fresh surge of tears in my eyes. “It’s Clark, isn’t it?” he whispers.

Right on cue, the dishy vicar has named the scoundrel who betrayed the naive trust of our lovelorn heroine.

“Shit,” he says, simply.

I rest my head in my hands. I huff out a breath, hoping thereby to arrest the sob that’s rising in my chest.

“What happened? What did he do to you?” His voice suddenly takes on a steely edge–like a knife he’s ready to wield in defense of my honor. “I swear, if he–”

“No!” I object, perhaps a little frantically. I take a calming breath. “He didn’t do anything.”

Porter looks at me, squinty, for a long moment.

“Was that the problem, then? That he didn’t do anything? Didn’t want to do anything?”

I sigh. I had hoped he would decorously abstain from further questions. The dishy vicar would have.

“No. That’s not it. We just couldn’t come to an agreement on some things.”

Porter nods slowly. “I see,” he says, finally.

“Did he tell you anything about what happened?”

“No. But we don’t talk about stuff much. You know–guys.”

I nod. That’s the problem right there.

We sit in silence for a few minutes.

“So, you’re coming to dinner,” he says, standing.

“Nah,” I answer, turning to the window to contemplate my woeful existence in peace.

“That wasn’t a question,” he says. “You’re coming to dinner. You’ve missed the last two, and you’re not missing this one. These Sunday dinners were your idea, and we want you there.”

“Don’t really feel like it, thanks,” I say.

“Again, not an invitation. More of an intervention. You’re coming to dinner.”

My stupid, meddling, adorable roommates.

Over dinner the Wonder Twins tell me about the water polo team’s Halloween party next weekend, and they invite me to come along (Seth’s going to be out of town at some physics festival or whatever). I get the sense that this, too, is more intervention than invitation. I doubt it will raise my spirits–particularly if Diggler shows up with a date. At the very least I hope the costumes are skimpy and water soluble.

The next morning, I’m brushing my teeth when Porter comes to floss next to me. This is a huge departure–normally he and Dexter do this together.

“Hey, Porter?”

“Yeah, Josh?”

“Do you think that…uh, that Diggler is likely to be…uh…”

Luckily he saves me from my stumbling.

“No, Dig’s not going to be at the Halloween party. He said he needs to be home next weekend. Probably that girl who’s been hanging on him for the last couple of weeks is dragging him out of town. Maybe he’s going to meet the parents or something.” He looks at me, then he pales suddenly. “Oh, shit, sorry. That was really insensitive of me.” He pauses, and then, satisfied that I’m not going to burst into tears over this mention of Diggler and a woman, “You gonna tell me what happened between you guys?”

Though it feels like I’ve been punched in the stomach, I’m not crying. This must be progress.

“It was nothing,” I reply, which is both completely true and completely false at the same time. Either way, he’s not convinced.

“Right,” he nods, but he’s too much of a gentlemen to press the issue, and he changes the subject abruptly. “What are you going to wear to the Halloween party?”

“Not sure yet. What about you?”

He grins. “Dex and I have an awesome idea. But it’s a secret, so you’re going to have to wait to see it.”

I raise a critical eyebrow.

“I promise you, you’re going to love it.”

“Unless you’re going as Lady Godiva’s twin brothers, I’ll reserve judgment.”

“Trust me,” he says, as he fires up his toothbrush. Maintaining that blinding white smile takes heavy equipment–the thing sounds like a leaf blower.

As the days pass it slowly dawns on me that I’m looking forward to the Halloween party–I haven’t looked forward to anything in weeks. College students, as per stereotype, will take any excuse to drink too much, party too hard, and basically wreck any chance they have of being competent the next day. And in the pantheon of excuses for drunken debauchery, Halloween is pretty much the big dog. That it falls on a Saturday this year means that everyone will drink twice as much and make double the number of bad decisions. This is just what I need.

I never plan far enough in advance for Halloween, and this year is even worse because I expected to spend it moping. Friday night, therefore, finds me preparing my costume. I have gathered my materials: a white t-shirt and a purple marker. On the shirt I write things like “1. Ruin traditional marriage” and “2. Marry my gay lover and his dog.” By the time I’m finished, the shirt is covered.

“What is that?” Seth asks when I finally look up from my labors, a bit dizzy from the marker fumes.

“I’m the Gay Agenda,” I reply. “Scary, right?”

Seth never knows when to take me seriously; he shakes his head and returns to packing his slide rules for his big fun physics weekend.

The next evening Porter and Dexter offer to drive me to the Halloween party, which is being hosted by a couple of water polo alums who live across town. As we walk to their car, I realize that they twins aren’t dressed up–they’re in sweats, looking like they’re heading to work out.

“Guys, what’s up? Where’s the great costume?”

They chuckle.

“All in good time,” Dexter says from the driver’s seat.

Porter turns back to me from the passenger seat to explain. “Our costumes aren’t exactly street legal, so we’re changing there.”

Oh, this is promising.

We pull up outside a huge house on a street of huge houses–a very swank neighborhood I’ve never been to. The only sign that there’s a party going on at all is a faint rumble of bass coming from the house we’re in front of, and a glow of black light peeking through the curtains.

“So, who’s throwing this shindig?” I ask the twins as we stroll up the long driveway.

“A couple of star players from a decade ago,” Porter says. “They’ve done pretty well for themselves, right?”

I catch something in Porter’s tone.

“When you say ‘a couple’ of players, do you really mean…”

He nods.

“Yep, they’re a couple. And their parties are always amazing. They are an appreciative audience for the more creative costumes.”

“What Porter means,” Dexter leans in to explain, “Is that they encourage us to sex it up a bit.”

“The guys on the team go along with that?”

“Oh hell yeah. The booze is top-shelf, the food is awesome, and the hosts don’t mind if the guys slip off someplace quiet with their girlfriends.”

Porter coughs critically.

“Or their boyfriends,” Dexter amends, his voice oozing with fake solicitousness.

At this moment we arrive at the door, and Dexter knocks. Almost immediately, the door opens and there stands a vampire so convincingly rendered that I actually take a step back.

“Dexter! Porter!” the count cries in a thick Transylvanian accent. “And you have brought me an extra morsel! I am pleased.” He stands aside, sweeping his silk-and-velvet cape back to invite us in. “Enter! But be warned–” he pauses here for dramatic effect, “I may not be able to resist sucking your…blood.” He gives each of us an appraising look on our way past him. “Or anything else that looks tasty,” he murmurs to me as I bring up the rear.

Given my recent state of mind, getting mashed on by a thirty-something vampire is actually pretty cool. I smile and wrap a protective hand around my neck.

We follow the music to where the party is already in full swing. There are some familiar faces here from the Towel Use Zone, but seeing guys naked is very different from seeing them dressed up as sexy scary things. The majority of them have brought dates, and a striking number of them have coordinated their costumes. Here a zombie couple–whose clothing has rotted away artfully–grind against each other, while over there a Founding Father sports a tea-party outfit–his formal colonial attire opens at the front to display a g-string that makes his balls into tea bags and his cock the string with a Lipton label. His Betsy Ross seems intent on trying to raise an insurrection.

I turn to thank the twins for inviting me, but they have disappeared. I shrug and make my way over to the table where the punchbowl sends a fog wafting over the food, and ask the mummy staffing the table for a drink.

“What’s your pleasure?” insinuates a growly voice from beneath the bandages.

“Well, I like the looks of that philosopher over there,” I gesture to a well-muscled gent in a short-short toga, “But I should probably just get a drink instead. What’s good?”

“How about a nice bloody martini?” he asks, handing me a cocktail that indeed looks as though it has just spurted from an artery. I take a sip, and find that the boys were, in this as in all things, completely right–it’s better hooch than I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting at a party.

“Thanks, it’s awesome.”

“You’re welcome. Love the shirt, by the way,” the mummy says with a wink.

A little booze, a little flirting, a lot of beautiful boys gyrating around me–I can feel the dismal Diggler haze lifting from my life.

I’m pretty much tanked on my first drink when a hush settles over the party-goers. You know those weird silences that just sort of happen at parties, and you never know why? Well, this time I know why–the twins have appeared in their costumes, and everyone has stopped to look. All eyes–gay, straight, male, female, undead–are on them.

They are sporting baseball caps, black lines under their eyes–and jockstraps. That’s it. I look them up and down and back up again, and then I see it–their caps have the Twins logo. Very clever.

I chuckle, but I’m the only one who seems to be reacting with anything other than sheer amazement. The looks on the faces of the other in the room tell the tale–the girls are trying not to gasp audibly at the perfect beauty of the twins, and the guys frown to see themselves outdone. This difference of opinion is not likely to lead to heterosexual bliss. There are, however, a few male couples who are in perfect agreement about their support for the Minnesota Twins.

Then the party starts up again–the twins have stepped into the crowd, and the pause button has been released. They come my way first–the eyes of the crowd are on them, and when they stand on either side of me I am bathed in the glow that they attract.

The twins, because they are perfect in their modesty as in all other things, are a bit taken aback by the reaction they have caused.

“You’d think,” one says, and the other completes the sentence, “That they’ve never seen baseball players before.”

I laugh.

“You two kill me. I’m used to this,” I say, gesturing at their lovely, lovely bodies, “But most of these poor folks don’t get to see you naked. You have to understand their shock and awe.”

“Josh, you are too much.” I hope that was Porter. I would like to be too much to Porter.

They reach for the drinks that mummy with the wandering eyes is handing them, and as they do I get to appreciate their costume from behind. They went all out for authenticity–their jockstraps are old-school, with a wide white band across the top of their perfect cheeks, and two smaller straps that plunge into the special place that lies between.

“If I’m not mistaken, you two have been tanning au naturel in preparation for the festivities.”

“Well, this guy,” one thumbs to the other, “Had a modeling gig last weekend that required him to be tan. So in order to match I had to do it too. For the costume, you know.”

“Yes, for the costume,” I agree, somewhat absentmindedly. I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to survey the area that would normally be pale and flawless. Now it’s just flawless. Yum.

The party is now in full swing–the middle of the room is full of dancing devils and angels and a superhero or two. In the corner there’s a Batman and Robin who are getting up to things that I doubt the comic books ever intended. I’m seriously considering asking Socrates in the go-go toga to dance when the mummy hands me another drink.

“Thanks. This is some party you’re throwing here.”

“Glad you’re enjoying it. We do love to see the guys here having fun–they work so hard for the team. We’re so proud of them.”

“Plus they’re not bad to look at,” I agree.

“No kidding. I thought I was going to bust out of my bandages when the Twins showed up. Those two have been a special joy to us the last couple of years.”

“They’ve livened up my year too–they’re my roommates.”

The mummy grins broadly. “You are the luckiest guy in the world,” he says, raising a bloody drink of his own in salute. “I’d never get anything done with those two around.”

I laugh. “It can be hard. In a lot of ways.” Wink.

The mummy chuckles, nods knowingly, and turns to serve more drinks.

The crowd here seems to have taken the twins’ outfits as a challenge–several of the costumes seem to have fallen apart in the last little while. There’s a zombie in front of me who is showing more pink, healthy skin than gray, necrotic flesh–his pants have disappeared completely, and only his ragged shirt is keeping him from flashing the room. Emboldened by the first few partygoers who have shaken off some clothing, more of them do so during each of the next few songs. It’s like strip poker, and everyone’s losing. Well, everyone except me–I’m definitely winning.

There’s one costume that catches my eye, though. Across the room stands a very convincing grim reaper with a long robe and a shiny scythe. His face is completely hooded, so I can’t see who’s in the costume. Which is a little creepy, I have to say. I’m actually considering asking the mummy if he can see Death too, just to be sure that the bloody martinis haven’t completely clouded my mind, when there’s a dignified clinking of silver on crystal. The vampire and the mummy stand at the edge of the room, waiting for the attention of the crowd. The group quickly settles down.

“We are so pleased that you could join us for our annual Halloween festivities,” the vampire intones, his voice silky and low.

“The costumes were particularly inspired this year,” adds the mummy. “We noticed, however, that most of you are wearing somewhat less than when you arrived, and for that we would like to thank the Twins, who by their very presence both raised the bar and lowered it.”

Both hosts raise their glasses to the twins, who blush modestly. Which makes them cuter. Damn it.

“And now, we invite you to partake of another Halloween tradition,” concludes the vampire, and with a sweep of his cloak he stands aside while the large sliding doors behind him whoosh silently out of sight. Behind him is an enormous swimming pool, lit from above by three enormous cauldron light fixtures from which artificial flames lick toward the ceiling. Along one side of the pool are arranged long tables heavy with more food and drink, and along the other side are chaise lounges and an assortment of pool floats.

“All right!” someone in the crowd calls, and the entire group begins to move en masse toward the pool. I’m swept along, down the steps and onto the marble floor at which the water laps. Everywhere partiers are shucking off the remains of their costumes, and with a whoop and a splash the first naked body hits the water. He’s followed by a dozen more in short order.

The twins materialize at my side as the party sweeps by us.

“This is amazing,” I murmur, to both of them.

“It is,” the one closest to me agrees. “Didn’t I tell you?” says the other, who must be Porter.

“But doesn’t the team spend a lot of time in the water as it is? Why are they so excited about this?”

“It’s a salt-water pool, so there’s no chlorine. Makes a huge difference.”

Porter looks at his brother, eyebrows up.

“Yeah, it has nothing to do with everyone being naked, or that they brought dates or anything. Nope, it’s the pool chemistry that’s so exciting.”

Dexter rolls his eyes and strips off his jockstrap, throws it and his hat over to an empty chair, and strides into the water. Porter follows suit. Damn, their asses even clench and relax the same way.

At the far end of the pool there’s a whirlpool that is at the moment stuffed full of steaming lovelies, while opposite that there’s a shower where the zombies and a superman whose costume was painted on are scrubbing down before getting into the pool. It’s kind of sexy flesh overload, and I’m not sure where to look next.

Then I see him again. It’s Death, standing between the shower and the whirlpool. I get the feeling that he’s looking at me. Chills, again. Weird.

Everyone’s in the pool now, so I whip off my costume and jump in as well. The water is warm (the better to avoid male shrinkage due to cold–the hosts have thought of everything!) and I paddle around a bit. I catch sight of Socrates throwing his toga aside, but as he enters the pool he is immediately besieged by a woman whose attentions he returns with vigor. Damn.

The pool, large as it is, is positively churning with people. I don’t skinny dip very often–it’s really only when I’m with Calvin and Reese at Aunt Emily’s cabin that I get a chance to–and the rush and wiggle of warm water over my body is wonderful. That, and the occasional brush against a slippery water polo player gliding past, is enough to get me boned up. I’m worried that this is completely inappropriate, but a quick glance around me confirms that I’m not the only one thus afflicted. Of course, most of those bobbing boners belong to guys who brought a date, so their stiffness will not be in vain. Mine will be. Again.

How does a person get depressed in the middle of a roiling stew of beautiful bodies? I’ve somehow found a way. I paddle over to the edge of the pool and haul my naked self out onto the deck. I’m near the whirlpool, so I drip my way over to it. It’s empty now, which will be perfect for me–I can soak, relax, and watch the team cavort like otters. That may raise my spirits.

I’m about to step in when I see him, in the corner by the shower. It’s Death. And he’s crooking a skeletal finger at me.

An absurd notion flashes through my mind–that this really is the moment of my death, and this is how it will be. I’m naked, alone, wet–pretty much how I came into the world is how I’m going to leave it. I consider ignoring Death, but something impels me to find out what the hell is going on. I walk over to the other side of the pool, grabbing a towel along the way. I wrap it around my waist, securing it with a little tuck-and-twist that I learned by watching the members of a swim team on exchange from Turkey. Had to study them–their sleek caramel bodies–for several days to get it right.

Death, having seen me coming, turns and walks through a door that I hadn’t noticed before. I look around to see if anyone will see me leave, but they only have eyes for each other. When they find my body they’ll tell the news cameras that I must have slipped away at some point–you know, a loner at the cool kids’ party.

I follow the faint swishing sound of the black robes of Death, around a corner and through another door. Then I emerge into a small conservatory–small for the scale of this house, but larger than my living room at home–where a fire crackles in the stone hearth and the moon shimmers through the windows that make up two of the walls and nearly the entire ceiling. Death stands next to the fireplace, and that ghostly hand points to the low leather sofa that faces it.

Again, that small voice in my head tells me to get the hell out, but mostly I want to solve this Halloween mystery and find out who this is and what he wants. I sit on the sofa, and look up expectantly. Death approaches me, and his hands–his real hands, not the fake skeleton thing that he had been gesturing with–reach up. He unfastens the clasp at his throat, and the robe begins to open. It’s immediately clear that he’s naked under the black drapery.

My Halloween is looking up.

He pulls open the robe, and I scan down his body. Muscly chest, ridged abs–so far so good! The dark golden hair starts just below his belly button, and then I’m to the good stuff. His cock–well, his cock is the longest I’ve seen since–

I jerk up to look at his face as the hood slides back. Death is…

Diggler.

 

# 14 #

“What the fucking fuck are you doing here?”

Having asked this, I will freely admit that I don’t care about the answer. I just want to get out of here, away from him.

I’m halfway to the door when he grabs me by the hand. He spins me around, grabs my other hand, and holds me in place. He’s panting, eyes wild, and he opens his mouth to say something but then swallows hard instead. I try to shake loose of his grip, but he’s got me tight.

“Diggler, if you don’t fucking–”

“Wait! Josh, wait. Please. Why won’t you talk to me?”

“Last time you talked to me all you told me were lies. I don’t need any more of those, thanks.”

The look on his face is one of transparent shock.

“What? What did I lie about?”

“About not doing what you said you would–what you promised you would.”

He shakes his head, still wide-eyed with dismay.

“You told me that you couldn’t bring yourself to go on a date with a woman.”

His sharp intake of breath and slow nod tell me that he’s finally catching on.

“I know I said I would do it, but I honestly couldn’t–I was thinking about you, not about women, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.”

“But, then, you did.” Snap.

His expression is a complete blank.

“What? What are you talking about?”

“I saw you. I was out that Friday night at that new place over on Tenth. I saw you–I saw you with her. And it looked to me like you could, in fact, bring yourself to do it, right there in the back seat of that taxi.”

The realization creeps across his face, like sunrise at the town dump. Yes, now he knows he’s been caught. Finally this can be over.

“So, I’m going to go now, and leave you to play the Grim Reaper with other people’s hearts, okay? Thanks, this has been fun.” I get arch when I’m really pissed.

“Wait, wait! You don’t know–that wasn’t a date!”

I stop on my way to the door, and turn on my heel.

“Oh, this should be good. Please tell me how I was completely mistaken, and that the woman who was all over you, and whom you practically mounted in the taxi, was not your date. Tell me that you didn’t call me to be your Plan B, your fallback fuck when the woman you’re dating won’t put out. Go on, clear it all up for me.”

“That was Gretchen, one my best friends when we were growing up. She’d just found out that her mom has cancer, and she asked if we could go someplace noisy and have a drink. Just to get away from thinking about her mom for a while. Well, she ended up getting pretty well wasted, and I was trying to get her out before she did something stupid. So, yeah, she was leaning on me.”

“She was doing more than leaning by the time you got to the sidewalk.” His story is creative, I’ll give him that. But it doesn’t explain what happened.

He blushes, caught in his lie.

“Oh, that,” he says in an awkward tone. “Look, Gretchen and I went out a couple of times in high school, just to see what would happen. Well, what happened is that she discovered she’s a lesbian, and I discovered I don’t enjoy dating women who spend our dates looking at other women, so we called it quits after a couple of tries. But when she drinks–which isn’t often, but, you know, mom getting cancer and all–she kind of gets sloppy drunk and she kissed on me a bit. It was awkward and dumb and I practically shoved her into the taxi to get her off me. Then her bracelet caught on the zipper of my jacket, and I fell in on top of her. I just wanted to get her home, so we got the hell out of there and untangled ourselves on the way to her place.”

I raise a critical eyebrow.

“Where I handed her over to her partner of three years and said goodnight. Then I came home. That’s it.”

“Wow. You managed to make that up right quick, being on the spot and all. My compliments. Can I go now?”

“No! You have to believe me. It’s all true.”

The look on his face is what stops me from turning and walking out of the room. He’s pale, and his eyes are welling up. Damn it! I’m sure a memo has gone out to every fucking confused boy in the state–tear up at Josh and he’ll do whatever you want. I’m the Pirates of Penzance and everyone’s an orphan.

Diggler takes a deep breath.

“I–I’m so sorry that you thought I was lying. That must have felt awful–I can’t imagine it. But that wasn’t me, Josh–I didn’t lie to you.” He takes another deep breath. “Well, I didn’t lie about the important stuff.” He looks ashamed.

“You know, when you are trying to get someone to believe that you didn’t lie to him, it’s best not to fuck it up at the last second by admitting that you actually did lie.”

“But it wasn’t really a lie. I just didn’t tell you–I didn’t have a chance to tell you–that…that..”

“What, Dig? Come clean right now if you are ever going to, because you will never get me to listen to you again after this moment.”

“What I didn’t tell you is that when Gretchen kissed me I felt something.”

Fuck. This just gets worse and worse. I’m leaving. Again.

“Wait! What I felt was that kissing a woman was nothing–nothing–after kissing you. I realized right then that if I never kiss another woman I’ll be just fine. That’s why I told you that you are all I need. Because I know that now.”

I turn slowly back to him. He’s standing in the middle of the room, draped in the robes that hang off his broad shoulders, the light of the fire dancing all around his body. He turns back and sits slowly on the sofa, and then slumps over to lean on the armrest.

What I may have doubted in his words is proven by his body. Like a puppet whose strings have been cut, the life fades from him, and he sobs quietly, alone. Seeing him I know that every word he said is true.

Fuck.

I walk over to him, and sit on the couch. He seems not to be aware that I’m there, so complete is his despair. I slide over to his side of the couch, put my arm around his shoulders.

“It’s okay, Clark. I’m here.”

I hear him take a long, deep breath, and he turns to me. The tracks of his tears glisten in the firelight; he blinks hard, his eyelashes glittering–ust like I had imagined mine doing when Porter came to comfort me because my potential boyfriend had turned out to be an utter cad. I see that’s what I have been to Diggler, now that I know the whole story.

“I am so sorry. I guess I was fearing the worst, and so that’s what I saw. I should have talked to you about–”

He reaches out his hand and puts two fingers on my lips, stopping my rambling apology. He shakes his head slowly.

“Shh. I don’t care what happened before this moment. We’re here now, and that’s all that matters to me. You’re all I’ve thought about for weeks, every single day–every single minute. When Porter told me that you were coming to the party, I knew I had to try to talk to you, to find out what happened. And now we’re here.”

He looks at me, firelight dancing on his cheek, and a slight smile warms its way across his face–the first I’ve seen.

“I…I think I love you, Josh.”

I sure hope that he finds tear-glittered eyelashes as attractive as I do.

“I think I must love you too, because I’ve been calling out your name in my sleep, I think about you pretty much every seven seconds day and night, and I’m about to tear a hole right through my towel.”

He reaches over and places a warm hand on the front of my towel, and strokes gently from my balls up to the tip of my rock-hard cock, and then back down. The motion surprises me with its subtle frankness.

“For a straight guy you have a pretty sure hand,” I murmur, my eyes closing involuntarily as I surrender to his touch.

“I don’t actually think I qualify as a straight guy anymore,” he replies, continuing his caress.

“Why is that, do you think?”

“Couple of reasons.” He takes my hand and guides it into the folds of his robe. I think for a moment that I must be feeling the handle of his scythe, but it’s too warm for that. It’s his cock, which has reached monumental size and is harder than I’ve ever felt it.

“Oh, god, Clark,” I whisper.

“And then there’s this,” he murmurs, and he lets go of my hand–I don’t let go of his cock, don’t ever plan to–and his hands wrap around my neck. He pulls me into him, slowly, slowly, until I feel that I’m going to explode before our lips ever touch. And then, once my eyes are closed because I can’t stand the suspense any longer, we meet. Those lips, the tongue that took my breath away, that strong jaw’s scratchy tickly stubble, it’s all there just where I left it so reluctantly at his apartment, so long ago. A warmth radiates out from the place where my body has joined his, and suddenly the air itself seems purified. We were made for this, built for it, headed to it all our lives.

He moves toward me, his entire sleek body rising up, the black robe sliding down his arms. He pushes me back not with his touch but with the force of his radiant, hungry heat. He is on top of me, covering me entirely, his arms wrapping around me like the wings of a descending angel, his hips grinding into mine. He holds me, looks deep into my eyes, and that grin breaks out into an open smile, a joyous giggle in his throat. His hand reaches down and with a flick my towel releases, and with a yank he sends it flying over the back of the couch.

I wrap my legs around his slim hips, and hook them together atop the globes of his clenching ass. Our bodies are in contact along their full length–nipples, cocks, balls–and he holds my head in his hands and looks into my eyes. He gives a little shiver and a giggle, as if he cannot believe that we are finally here, and I clamp my legs down tighter, pressing us together, forcing us into a single body. He kisses me, his tongue greeting mine, stroking it, delicately frigging it. Can tongues have orgasms? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that just happened to me.

We kiss in the crackling firelight until I hear the clock on the mantle chime the hour.

“We should probably pull ourselves together and rejoin the party before someone comes looking for us,” I whisper when he finally surrenders his hold on my lips.

“They won’t,” he replies with a sigh and starts kissing me again.

“How do you know that?” I pull off his mouth to ask.

“Because Porter arranged it. He helped me plan the whole thing. The door is locked, and no one’s going to come looking for us. We have the whole night.”

I look at him, stunned.

“If you want to spend the night with me, that is,” he says, surprised at my reaction.

“Of course I do. It’s just that I’m going to have to have a talk about secrets with our dear friend Porter.”

Clark chuckles. “Oh, go easy on him. He was only helping me out.”

“So you told him the whole story?”

“No, of course not. I just told him enough to get him to help me get you here.”

“Which was totally worth it, I have to say,” as I kiss him again. I have forgiven him, and Porter, and everyone who’s ever done anything because it all led to this, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

“Now, you’ve gone to a lot of effort to arrange this evening. I’d like to show my gratitude for your hard work.” I smile up at him, and marvel at the expression of pure joy that lights his face. “So, let’s switch spots–you lie here,” I tell him as I slide out from under him.

He rises, and then lays himself out the length of the sofa, hands behind his head, and looks at me. The firelight dances along the extent of his body, darkness gathering in the hollow of his muscular ass, light sparkling in the golden hairs of his legs, his armpits, his lower belly. He is beautiful.

I throw one leg over him and straddle his belly button. He beams up at me, and his hands find my buttocks, gripping them with his strong fingers. I bend down and kiss him, and this time he is tentative, demure–his tongue darts and retreats, letting me take the lead. I realize, as I look down upon him, that he is giving himself to me. He trusts me to guide him into the uncharted regions of his sexuality.

I kiss my way along his strong jaw up to his ear. “I want you so much it hurts,” I growl. Instantly, he groans and flexes beneath me, and I feel his surging cock poke me in the left buttock. I move down, kissing the soft skin of his throat, running my lips along the pronounced clavicles. I am delighted to find his nipples already stiff, poking out from his slabs of pectoral muscle. I kiss one, and he gasps; I lick the other, and he cries out. He is practically vibrating with sexual energy.

Lifting myself up and over the Eiffel Tower, I push his legs gently apart and find my place where they come together. No one else knows this place, where his strong legs meet, as well as I do–no one else has ever seen him hard, or held his erection. No one else has heard the growl he makes when he comes, and no one else has felt his seed shoot out. And yet I did all of those things under such bizarre circumstances that this time it feels like I am embarking on something completely new.

“Clark?” I ask, as I wrap my hands around his cock.

“Josh?” he answers back, smiling. For someone who despaired of ever having sex, he’s remarkably relaxed–it takes a pretty secure guy to spread his legs wide and let a known pervert nestle there.

“I’m going to do some things to you now that may be considered homosexual in nature. Will I need to tie you up, or will you come willingly?”

He laughs. “I will willingly come whenever you want me to.”

“Ah, the night is young. We’ll see how many times I can raise the dead.”

I take that enormous hot thing and point it toward me, and lean down to it. I catch his eye as I do so, and I watch for his reaction as I approach. His eyebrows rise in little jumps and his breath comes in shallow gasps as I draw near. At the moment that my lips touch the tip, his eyes roll back in his head and he stretches backward, his cock surging toward me. I open, and take him in.

I can see right away why he enjoys sucking this lovely thing. His cock is salty and firm, and every thrust of his pelvis brings a new hot drop of precum to invade my mouth with its slick essence. I’ve got him in both hands, and almost down my throat, and I work that steely pole with every trick I know. I can feel him climbing toward orgasm, and it’s only been a couple of minutes.

“Oh my god oh my god oh my god,” he mumbles, his head thrashing side to side.

This the blowjob version of a standing ovation. I blush with pride.

Suddenly his entire body seizes up, and he thrashes stiffly, his legs pressing on me, his hands clawing at the leather upholstery.

“Oh god, Josh!” he shouts, and I immediately regret my decision not to tie him down. There’s such anguish in that voice.

And then he hisses as if struggling to draw his last breath, and he is absolutely still. I can feel a surge rising at the base of his cock, where his balls have gathered, and it makes its way up up up, tunneling through that once-reluctant member, blasting its way to the surface.

“I’m gonna…I’m gonna…” he grunts and mumbles, panting.

He’s such a gentleman, warning me that he’s about to paint my tonsils. But there is nothing in the world that would make me miss a drop. I hold tight, and press down harder just for effect, to show him that I mean business, to reassure him that I love every inch of him.

I’ve read that the spasms of ejaculation occur every 0.8 seconds. But his have to travel about a foot and a half from where they originate, and by the time they reach the surface they have merged into a single, hot, sweet river. I take it in, all of it, make it part of me, stroking and sucking and squeezing. I want it all, and he’s going to give it to me–freely, this time. Without knots, without silly porn set-ups–just the two of us, together.

I’m glad that he told me the door is locked, because his moaning and yelping is almost unhinged. He’s holding my ears tightly, but I can still hear him screaming out this orgasm as he thrashes on the sofa, until finally he turns, buries his face in the couch, and his voice dies away, muffled. He’s breathing hard, his rib cage rising and falling in rapid cycles, his straining abs surging in and out of relief. The firelight catches the sheen of sex sweat on his body, and he glistens all over, a shimmering jewel of a man, my man, mine.

I release my hold on his cock, which is only barely starting to soften, and kiss my way up that beautiful torso. The rise and fall of his exhausted breathing slows as I crawl upward, and by the time I reach his face he is peaceful and aglow. I kiss him, deeply and with luxuriant slowness, knowing that we have all the time in the world.

He looks at me, eyes wide and clear, his cheeks still flushed (the blood is probably only now starting to flow back out of his cock, restoring circulation to other parts of his body), his smile widening.

“Oh my god,” he breathes, shaking his head slightly. “I had no idea.”

“What, that I was any good with a blowjob? Really, now.”

“No, I had no idea it could be like that. You know,” he grins, his eyes twinkling with glee, “You would have saved a lot of time and trouble if you had just done that back when we first met.”

“Back when we first met, you were straight.”

“I didn’t think you would hold that against me.” He giggles. “Actually, I kind of like what you’re holding against me right now.”

My cock, having been rock hard since we started kissing, is beyond urgent. It lies on Clark’s hard, smooth belly, spitting up glops of slippery precum every minute or so.

He glances down at it, then back at me.

“May I?” he asks, as if needing a hall pass.

“You’d better,” I reply. I’ve been positively monastic the last few weeks, and Little Josh needs to feel a hand other than my own.

“Will you let me do what I want with it?” he asks, slyly eyeing me up and down.

“It’s yours, buddy. I give it over to your care. Just promise me you won’t be gentle with it.”

He grins.

“I have a little secret to tell you,” he whispers as his hand slides down his belly to where my cock lies in a pool of its own lust.

“This better be the last one,” I scold–lamely though, because I don’t want to put him off his intention to have his way with me.

“Promise,” he says, solemnly. “After you left my apartment that time, I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

This is the kind of secret I like. I nod for him to continue.

“Well, I kind of figured that, in order to stop thinking about you, I should do something about it…”

“What kind of something?”

“I worked through the rest of the sites on the flow chart. You know, the–” he pauses, then finishes in a whisper, “The gay ones.”

I try to maintain a straight face. It’s not easy.

“And?” I prompt.

“Well, you saw what happened with the first site. The second one was even better. And the third one–well, the third one…”

“Yes?”

“The third one is what I want to do to you right now.” He grins at me, eagerly.

For my part, I’m trying to remember what the third site was. I hope it didn’t involve anything too advanced or fetishy. I wouldn’t want his newbie enthusiasm to end me up in the emergency room, having something sewn back on.

“So,” he says, sitting up, “I want you right here.” He pats the wide, flat, modernist armrest of the sofa.

Well, that seems safe enough. I hike myself up onto the armrest, my legs stretching out onto the seating surface of the sofa. He places himself between my legs, and looks up at me as if it’s Christmas morning and he’s just heard a puppy barking from inside the last, biggest package.

“Turn around, and put your elbows on the armrest.”

Now, I’ve been around this block before. I know that when a guy wants you on all fours, he’s pretty much got one thing in mind. It just surprises me that Clark has that particular thing in mind, and that he’s ready to plunge in so soon after blowing his first load. But I gotta admire the guy’s enthusiasm.

“Perfect,” he breathes, and then climbs on the sofa behind me. It only now occurs to me that I have no idea what it’s like to have something that long inside me. The girth isn’t bad, but the length…I’m just about to suggest that we maybe take a moment to consider the logistics when I feel him slide his head between my–knees?

He’s stretched himself out on the sofa, lying face up, and he’s looking right at my balls.

Oh.

He looks up at me, his head framed by my thighs, and smiles.

“I’ve never done this before,” he says, in a voice that makes it clear he’s going to do it, right now, no matter what. “Tell me if I’m doing it wrong, okay?”

He cranes his neck up an inch or two, and plants the lightest of kisses on the loose skin at the bottom of my sac, which is hanging pretty low after the warm pool and the hot fire. I see his tongue dart out, and he tastes my balls.

“Oh, god,” he groans, “I can’t believe I’m actually doing this.” More licks, like he expects there to be a soft candy center or something. He looks up at me again. “I watched this video where a guy did this, and for the last month it’s the only thing I’ve been thinking about.”

“You’ve been thinking about my balls for a month?”

He grins, a bit sheepishly.

“Sick, right?”

“Oh hell no. Totally normal. Now, what did this guy do next?”

“Well…” he says, as he returns his attention to my privates. “Something like this.”

His mouth opens, and my entire scrotum disappears into his mouth. Holy fucking fuck. He swishes his tongue around my nuts, and works his cheeks in and out, and basically makes my balls feel like they’ve won the fucking lottery. Then, after several minutes during which my sex life flashes before my eyes, he relinquishes them with a wet suctiony noise. They shine, spit-covered and drippy, in the firelight.

“Yeah, it was pretty much like that,” he says, looking back up at me. “How was that for you?”

“Let’s just say that if you don’t start doing it again, right fucking now, we’re going to have issues.”

He positively beams at me, and returns to the task at hand. At mouth. Whatever.

He plants kisses all along the wrinkly skin, each time sucking a little more of my sac into his mouth, until finally he’s taking most of my scrotum in, pressing it between his lips, and letting it slide slickly back out. It’s awesome, and I’m not too proud to say that he’s got me panting and thrusting, eager for more. Then he opens wide and captures my left ball, closing his lips firmly behind it. His tongue presses all around it, feeling the smooth surface, exploring the coiled sperm tubes on the back side. You know, if they made public service announcements for testicular cancer checks that gave this approach as an option everyone would be happy to do a monthly exam. I, for one, would have daily–or nightly–checkups. He’s astonishingly thorough.

The suction is building, his entire mouth is pressing on me from all sides, and I’m about to squeal from the pressure–my balls are a bit more sensitive than the ones he’s apparently found on his new favorite porn site–when he lets it slide back out. Whew. But before it emerges completely, he sucks it back in. My legs nearly give way from the glorious shock of this move, but I manage to hold on for the ride. He plays my ball between his lips, in and out, like he’s giving it a mini-blowjob. At one point it pops completely out, and a wave of release shoots up my spine because of the break in the overwhelming pressure of pleasure; but he greedily slurps it back in and I’m back to moaning like a crazy man. Then, without warning, he slips his hand in between my legs and wraps his fingers around the cords that attach my nearly exhausted ball to my body. He pops it out of his mouth, and it is trapped by the ring he’s made with his fingers. He stares at it in awe as he squeezes it tight, the skin smooth and shining, every vein pulsing on the surface. I’m starting to wonder if he’s just going to squeeze it out, like a grape from its skin, when he lifts his head back up to it.

His teeth. I feel his teeth.

Oh, shit.

He grazes the top and bottom of my captured gonad simultaneously, lightly scraping along the taut surface. He does this several times while I try to navigate the complex terrain between mind-blowing pleasure and mortal fear that he might accidentally geld me. Then he starts with little chattering motions on the tip of my ball, not opening his mouth completely but nibbling ever so gently, so quickly that I can hardly register each motion, swept up in the totality of it.

Suddenly, he pops my ball back in his mouth, his warm wet mouth, and releases his fingers. The relief I feel as that tension breaks is swept away in the same instant by his suctioning mouth, pulling my trapped teste even further away from my body, as his head rests on the sofa. This is further than I’ve ever been stretched, and I would never have imagined it would feel this good. A little achy, yes, but the most wonderful ache in the world.

He opens his mouth, and my intrepid left ball slips out and rises back to its home. Boy, does it have a story to tell my right one.

He looks about ready to start on the right one, in fact, when I jump up a bit and slide down the sofa atop him. He has the look of purest joy on his spit-slicked face, and I kiss him madly, unhinged by the wondrous pleasure he’s forced upon me. He kisses me back, and I recognize the motions of his tongue on mine–his technique is consistent, whether he’s got my tongue or my balls in his mouth.

“Dude, this cannot really be your first time,” I manage to say when we stop to take a breath.

“Why not?”

“Because, in my checkered past I’ve had a few straight guys give me their first try. Some of them are awkward, and some are prodigies, but all of them–every single one–went for the cock first. No one starts with the balls.”

He grins.

“You forget,” he says, kissing me on the nose, “I’ve been sucking cock every day of my life since I was twelve. It’s kind of old-hat for me.”

An involuntary shock stiffens my spine, but then I remember–the cock he’s been sucking all these years is his own.

“Well, I’ve also sucked your cock, and I don’t think it will ever be old-hat to me.”

“Glad to hear it. Now, I have some unfinished business I need to take care of.” He kisses me gently on the lips one more time. “Up ya go.”

I rest my elbows on the armrest again, and he starts nibbling on my right ball. The sucking-pulling thing is even more intense on this side, since this one normally rides a little higher–the cremasters are getting a good and thorough stretch. At one point, he pulls a little too hard, and I gasp.

“Oh, sorry, bud!” he cries out. “I just got a little carried away. I never thought of balls as sexy, but holy shit yours are a fine, fine pair.” He kisses my balls, apologizing, and then gulps them in again.

By this point my cock, having been hard for what seems like hours, is dripping a constant flow of slick gel onto his forehead. It’s about the least subtle hint I can send, but he seems determined not to get it. Finally he lets my tingling testes go, and lies back, looking up at my entire kit. He brings his hands up and grips my legs on both sides of my genitals, and begins a massage that makes me crazy–or would, if I weren’t already insane from what he’s been doing.

He rubs me all around, stroking the muscles of my ass, my lower belly, the tops of my thighs. He pays special attention to the sinews that connect the root of my cock and balls to my body. Waves of relaxation course through me. I’ve never felt so–well…loved.

His hands snake their way up my torso, where they find my nipples and give them a little squeeze and tug. Then his hands flatten against my sweaty pecs, and he pushes me. I’m not sure what he’s doing, but he is so strong that I rise up off my elbows, and find myself sitting straight up. I’m afraid my virgin boyfriend is unaware of the dynamics, since surely he was intending to get to work on my cock, but it’s now rising away from him. I’m just about to make a helpful suggestion when I feel it.

It’s his tongue.

It’s in my ass.

I gasp again–he must think I’m exceedingly delicate, but he keeps surprising me, dammit–and try to lift up a bit, but his hands stiffen their grip on my torso and I’m not going anywhere.

“Oh, fuck, Clark,” I breathe, the shock being overtaken by the delightful wriggle of his tongue.

He chuckles in a low rumble between my legs, clearly enjoying the effect he’s having.

His tongue slips elegantly out through the ring of my ass, leaving it twitching and empty. I can feel his breath on my wet skin, but no contact. Has he had a second thought about doing this? Wouldn’t be the first time that a straight guy changed his mind once the reality of his situation hit him. Straight guys can do a lot of things without having to consider themselves anything but straight–circle jerks, mutuals, even being on the receiving end of a big ol’ gay blowjob–but you have to admit that licking the inside of another guy’s ass is pretty darn gay.

But Clark forges ahead. The next thing I feel on my pucker is his pucker–he’s kissing my ass. Kissing it like he wants to marry it. He plants kisses all around the opening, and then that tongue is back in action, swirling and poking. Then it’s gone again, and then there’s the strangest feeling–suction. I hear the wet smacking of his lips before I can fully comprehend what he’s doing. He’s sucking on my anus, his lips taking in the entire ring of muscle. Little slurps of air slip in between my ass and his lips, a turbulent tickling. And then he pulls away again, with a sound like a champagne cork popping.

“Oh my god,” I exhale. My legs are starting to quiver.

“Hang on, buddy. There’s more coming!”

I feel his hands slip back through my legs, and his fingers are wriggling into the crack of my ass. They poke and pull right at the center of my ass, tugging my cheeks apart, exposing me fully and still they prise, lubed by his saliva, until my ass is just about to turn itself inside out it’s spread so wide open. His tongue tickles at the opening, and then he lunges. His tongue, that lithe squirmy little thing, is suddenly huge–thick and powerful, it shoots up into me, stretching my poor flattered anus to a diameter I didn’t think possible. He jams himself into me, over and over again, moaning and twisting below me, gripping my hips like my groin is the last life preserver on the Titanic. Those powerful arms flex, drawing me down onto his face, pressing my ass against his mouth with all the pressure that gravity and his muscles can bring to bear. And still his tongue surges, prying pleasure from my most hidden places.

I lose track of time, I don’t know where I am or how I got here, I just know that I would ride this tongue to Timbuktu and back. I’ll have stubble burns all up and down my inner thighs, but that’s a small price to pay, all things considered. Finally I feel his arms relax their hold on me while his tongue slows and begins to withdraw. As soon as I can trust my legs to support my weight I rise up and once again slide down his length to look him in the eye.

“That was…well, it was just…”

He grins. “Cat got your tongue?”

“Yeah, and I’ve misplaced my spare. I know it was in my ass just a minute ago.”

He giggles. “How awesome was that?”

“Fuck. No one’s ever done that to me,” I sigh, shaking my head, wondering at my impossible good fortune.

He squints at me skeptically. “Right. Because gay guys would never do that.”

“I didn’t say no one’s ever rimmed me before. No one would believe that,” I laugh. “But no one–no one–has ever made me feel that way. How did you come up with those moves?”

“I had a month to plan. And I took careful notes when I was watching porn. Those guys can get pretty creative.”

“You are a diligent student,” I reply. I kiss him, deeply, tasting myself on his tongue, which drives me even crazier. “Now, did any of those nice, creative gentlemen give you any ideas about other parts? Say, like, oh, I don’t know, the penis, for example? ‘Cause mine could use some creativity right about now. Before it gives up on me and goes off to make its own way in the world.”

“I thought you’d never ask,” he growls. His hand finds the organ in question, and begins a slow, firm stroke. Each time he slides up, my ‘skin gathers over the top of the head, slipping back down when he makes the return motion. A few more of those and I’m done.

Suddenly, his eyes light up, and he looks down to where my hip meets his. He looks back up at me, eyes wild. “You’re…you’re uncut!”

“Don’t panic. You treat it just like any other cock. Well, hypothetically. Though if I catch you treating any other cock from now on, mister, there’s going to be trouble.”

He grins and kisses me. “Only two cocks in the world I’m ever going to do this to–yours and mine.”

“You always know the right thing to say, and yet it still comes out sounding dirty.”

“I just can’t believe you’re uncut. I watched a couple of vids with uncut guys, but I never imagined that I would find myself one.” He clears his throat, then he’s all business again. “Now, assume the position! I’ve got work to do.” His smile lights the room.

Once again I rest my elbows on the armrest–not sure those indentations in the upholstery are ever going to come out. Beneath me he squirms into position, and I feel his fingers wrap around my cock. He pulls it down to him, to his mouth, and I can feel his breath on the wet tip. Remembering his recklessness with my balls and ass, I steel myself for the swallowing I’m about to experience. But it doesn’t come. Instead, his hands pull slowly, forcefully, drawing my skin down and over the head of my prick. He coaxes along all that he can, so that it completely hoods the end and the excess gathers. He kisses the skin that covers my dickhead, then draws it in and flattens it between his tongue and the roof of his mouth. His tongue wriggles into the opening, and he works that skin like it’s gum and he wants to blow a bubble. The tip of his tongue circles my cock, slivering down between layers of skin as far as it can go, swabbing me out but good. Then, without warning, be purses his lips and pulls back, stretching my skin so that it thins and my entire cock is pulled down toward him.

He hears my heavy breathing.

“Everything okay?” he asks, having released my foreskin with a smack of his lips.

“Fucking awesome,” I huff back. “Now, be honest. Who taught you this?”

“Heh. No one. Guess you could call me an autodidact of dick. Now, I’d love to chat, but there’s this thing I gotta do.”

And with that, he’s back on my dick. He tugs and sucks while his hands roam all over me, tickling my buttocks with light sweeps of his fingertips, squeezing my balls, and a couple of times he pokes at my ass with his fingers. It’s like having a whole team of specialists down there working away at making me crazy with lust.

This can’t go on. Not because he’s going to exhaust himself–though he’s certainly working hard enough–but because I’m going to come like a fucking cannon in about twelve seconds. I give the international signal for impending male orgasm: several thrusts of my pelvis, accompanied by urgent grunt/moan combinations and heavy breathing. If he’s been paying attention to the porn vids, he’ll know the drill.

Instantly, the suction on my cock doubles, while his hands fly into action–one wraps around my balls, the other, slick with saliva, jabs into my ass without so much as a howdy. The shock of this intrusion makes me jump, but his hold on my balls (with his hand) and on my cock (with his mouth) keeps me rooted in place.

“Oh, god, I’m gonna–”

That’s as far as I get before the speech part of my brain shuts down so that its synapses can be given over to the I’m-about-to-come part, which must be lit up like Paris at night right now. The last thing I feel before the lights go out is his long finger mashing on my prostate like it’s the doorbell to the whorehouse. From that moment on, I no longer exist in conventional space-time. I’m lost in the dark thicket of pure orgasm–every hair stands up, searing hot chills wrack my body, and I feel a heaviness gather in my gut that threatens to pull me right down through the floor.

And then, the brilliant clarity of ejaculation. I see my body in cross section, watch the rhythmic contraction of all of the secret muscles whose only job is this–these amazing few seconds that stretch out forever–and I follow with my mind’s eye the first blast as it barrels toward Clark, still mine–still mine…unhhh…now his–all his.

He signals receipt of my essence with a groan, and a swallow, and a redoubling of his frenetic labors between my legs. His tongue races around the head of my cock as if 0.8 seconds were an eternity to wait for the next dose; his hand tightens on my balls to prevent their rising to the base of my raging member; and the finger in my ass–wait, is that two fingers?–flicks and strokes my prostate with an intensity that would make a proctologist blush.

From that instant, I become a fire hose that has slipped the fireman’s grip. There’s so much semen that it feels like an solid mass extending from his finger in the back to his tongue in the front, and thrust as I may I cannot get it all out. I feel him swallowing, twice, three, four times.

Finally the spasming slows, and I begin to think I will survive. But then his fingers–I’m sure there are two of them in there now–make one last assault on my p-spot, and a second, even more electric orgasm tears through me.

The last thing I am aware of is my elbows giving way.

 

# 15 #

“Josh? Josh!”

The first thing I hear is Clark’s somewhat panicked voice. I open my eyes, and I’m staring at the slate floor, which is about half a foot from the tip of my nose.

“Are you okay?” His voice is strained.

“I’m fine, I’m just a little, well…” I’m not sure what I am right now. I hike myself back up onto the sofa, and Clark immediately wraps a blanket around me. Mmmm.

“I think you passed out,” he says, looking into my eyes for–what? Signs of a stroke?

“How long was I…”

“Just a minute or two. But you really worried me there.”

His voice has gone from stressed to shaky, and now he sounds like he’s about to cry. I must have scared him pretty badly.

“I’m fine, really. But, damn, you know how to give a blowjob.”

His anxious expression yields to a grin, and then he’s so relieved that he breaks into giggles.

“So, do people often pass out when they come?” he manages to ask once the giggles have subsided.

“Well, it’s never happened to me before. But it’s your fault–that thing you did with your fingers? That was amazing.”

He blushes and I just have to kiss him.

“Here, let me get this thing going,” he says, and gets up to put more wood on the fire. Once the blaze is furious he pulls a couple more blankets from a chest of drawers and lays them on the furry white rug in front of the fire (I swear to god this place is a replica of Hugh Hefner’s swingin’ bachelor pad, circa 1960). He tosses out a few pillows for good measure, and then gestures for me to slide off the couch and join him on the rug in front of the fire. I do, and he covers me with what has to be a cashmere blanket–it’s so soft, and he’s under it with me, and this is about the most amazingly romantic thing ever.

I curl up next to him and kiss him while his long fingers trace endless looping swirls on my back. I used to snicker when people talked about cuddling being better than sex, but right now I can kind of see their point. I certainly felt close to him when his tongue was up my ass, but right now we are so totally together that I can’t imagine how it could be better, or more complete.

“I love you,” I whisper into his ear as the fire crackles and shadows dance on the ceiling above us.

“I’ve been waiting for you my whole life,” he whispers back, and pulls me even tighter into him.

I’m not sure what time it is when I wake–the fire has become a glowing bed of coals, and the house is silent all around us. Clark and I are still entwined, and his deep breathing is the new rhythm of my life. When he told me we had the entire night to spend together, I immediately thought of how many sweaty positions we could get into, how much semen would be spilt. But this is infinitely better–one (no, wait–two) perfect orgasms and a luxurious doze in front of the fire, wrapped in the softest blankets imaginable. I had no idea such happiness existed in the world. I drift back into the warmth.

The next time my eyes open sunlight has filled the room, streaming in through the windows that make up half the walls and most of the ceiling. The fire is dead and cold, but Clark is still warm next to me, and we spend our first waking moments looking silently at each other, amazed at our good fortune, astonished at how we got here.

“Good morning,” he finally says, kissing me on the nose.

“Morning,” I reply. I know for a fact that most people, upon waking, look a little rough–but Clark is the same beautiful man he was when he pulled open his robes of Death last night. If anything, he’s even sexier, with his stubbled jaw and slightly mussed hair.

The clock chimes eight times.

“We should probably get up and see if anyone else is around,” I offer. “Seeing as we’ve been locked away all night–they might think you’ve killed me or something.”

He grins. “I thought I had there for a minute.”

“Pretty proud of yourself now, though, aren’t ya?” I tease. “Not everyone can make their first sex partner pass out.”

He gives me a quizzical look.

“Sex partner?” he asks, nose wrinkling. “That’s not what you are to me.”

My turn to look quizzical.

“This isn’t about sex,” he continues. “We’re here because you took a chance and helped a guy who didn’t even know he needed your help–because once you reached out to me I knew that we were meant to be together. We’re here because there was a hole in my whole life and you fill every bit of it.”

“Clark, I…I don’t know what to say.”

“Just say that you love me, and that you feel the same way I do, and I’ll be the happiest guy on the planet.”

I look into his sparkling green eyes, and I flash back to the first time I saw him, the lost look on his face, the bizarre performance in the twins’ room. He’s hardly that person anymore, and I guess I did have something to do with that.

“I love you, and I feel exactly the way you do, and I’ll give you some competition on that happiest guy on the planet thing.”

His smile is as bright as the sun streaming into the room.

“We should get ourselves pulled together,” he says, sitting up.

“Not sure how together we can get,” I reply. “All we brought into this room was a grim reaper costume and a towel.”

“That will have to do,” he laughs, and we gather our respective garments and put them on. He looks incredibly sexy in his robes, which he leaves open to the waist. I wrap my towel securely around me, and we walk to the door.

Before we open it though, I stop him.

“We’re about to go public, you know,” I caution, covering his hand with mine as it rests on the doorknob. “Are you sure you’re ready for this? It’s going to mean that the whole team, and soon everyone else you know, is going to know what happened between us. This is a big step we’re taking.”

“Actually, I think the big step was when I swallowed your come–twice,” he says through a grin. “This is a baby step compared to that.”

“Well, then, let’s take some baby steps,” I reply, and kiss him again for luck.

We open the door and almost trip–someone has gathered up our clothes and stacked them neatly outside the door. I’m relieved–the towel seemed like a fine outfit last night, but it’s not really morning wear. I put mine on, but realize that there isn’t anything here for Clark.

“I guess they couldn’t find yours.”

“Didn’t bring any,” he says, simply. “This was an all-or-nothing deal for me.”

“I like you in the robes anyway,” I assure him, and just to drive the point home I run my hands down his chest and into his costume, give his package a quick caress.

“That’s all I care about,” he says, smiling. “Now, let’s see if there’s breakfast around here.”

The hall outside the conservatory is empty, and we walk toward the only sounds of life we can discern. After what seems like a quarter mile, we arrive at the kitchen, which is the center of morning-after activity. The hosts are here, sporting khakis and polos instead of vampire and mummy costumes, and there are pancakes on the griddle and bacon in the air. Upon seeing us, the former mummy drops his spatula and gasps.

“Well! What have we here?” He looks at Clark meaningfully, eyebrows raised.

“Cameron, I’d like you to meet Josh, my…” He pauses a bit. He’s clearly never imagined himself saying this word. “My boyfriend.”

Cameron beams, and, pausing first to retrieve his spatula from where it had clattered to the floor, steps over to us, hand outstretched.

“So pleased to finally meet you, Josh. I had no idea last night that you were the one Clark had been talking about.” He turns to Clark. “You, sir, have excellent taste.” With that he returns to his griddle to flip a half-dozen pancakes.

I’m trying to figure out whether I should thank him for this indirect compliment when a door opens and Dexter walks through (I can tell it’s him because he’s back in his street clothes–the Twins costume is probably under the bed of a completely satisfied woman).

“Good morning!” he calls, and we all answer back.

Through the door just behind him steps the aforementioned beautiful woman, wearing the top half of a zombie costume. It’s a tattered old button-down shirt, just long enough to reach her thighs but torn enough to reveal some pale, smooth skin. I can see what Dexter sees in her. She walks over to him and kisses him–briefly, but with a little tongue. Yeah, there’s a jockstrap under her bed all right.

“Josh,” Dexter says, “Have you met Andrea?”

I haven’t, and I’m about to say so when the door swings open again, and Porter and another guy come barreling through as if they’ve been racing each other to the kitchen. They shove and tickle their way across the room. Clearly Porter has found someone to tear off his jockstrap as well.

“And this,” Dexter continues, undeterred from his social graces by the ebullient entrance of his brother and guest, “is Roman, Andrea’s boyfriend and the best center on the team, now that I’m not playing anymore.” He shakes his head at Porter.  “I believe you’ve met my obnoxious brother.”

Roman leans over and kisses Andrea, and I’m completely baffled about how all of this works. But before I can ask any awkward questions, Cameron announces that breakfast is ready, and we follow him into the dining room where another amazing feast has been laid out for us.

As we walk into the dining room, Porter squeezes his way between Clark and myself.

“So,” he growls, a leer in his voice and a sexy crook in his eyebrow, “Did Death come for you last night?”

Clark rolls his eyes at the palpable lack of subtlety.

“Yes, and I came for him.” Clark gives me a sort of thrilled/embarrassed look. “Twice,” I add. Clark blushes and beams, a combination I quite like.

Porter turns to Clark for confirmation.

“It was epic,” he tells Porter. “And I owe it all to you. Thanks for being my wingman, buddy.”

“Are you kidding me? I mainly wanted the drama queen here to stop moping around the suite. It was getting depressing.” He jabs me in the ribs, eyes twinkling with good-natured teasing. Lovely bastard.

As expected, the breakfast is amazing, and as I eat I recall the last time Clark and I had breakfast together. We’ve come so far so fast that it makes my head swim, but when I look at him I know we’re on the right path. He’s glowing this morning, and he keeps touching my leg under the table–at first I think he’s flirting, but the more I think about it the more it seems he’s simply confirming that I’m still there, that I’m real. I swear to god he just gets more adorable every minute.

After breakfast, Porter and Clark and I help out with the dishes. It gives me a chance to ask Porter about how his evening went.

“So, this Roman guy,” I begin, and Porter grins slyly. “Seemed like the two of you were pretty close, but then he’s with Andrea, who seemed like she was into Dexter. What’s the deal?”

He smiles at me. “You’ve got a pretty good handle on it,” he says, somewhat cryptically.

“Wait, what?”

“Roman and Andrea are a couple. But they can get kinda wild, and last night they got wild with us.”

“You and Dexter?”

He nods.

“But not, like, at the same time, right?”

He nods. Clark, who has been following my line of questioning, nearly drops a dish.

“But how does that work?” he asks.

Porter looks at us with that skeptical critical eyebrow of his.

“You want the details?”

I nod. I don’t know about Clark, but when it comes to sex, I’m very detail-oriented.

“Well, once the party started to break up, a bunch of us were in the hot tub. Dex and Andrea started making out, and then I felt this hand on my junk, and it could either have been that Betsy Ross–she was hot enough, but, you know, a chick–or Roman, who was on the other side of me. It turns out that Roman is more…flexible than I’d originally thought he was. So we start messing around, and then Andrea notices, and she’s all like ‘That is so hot!’ and then Dex suggested we find a room. So we did, and we spent the night all kind of tangled up together.” He chuckles at the memory. “At one point, Dex was on the bed, and he was fucking Andrea, reverse cowgirl–”

“Oh dude–too much detail,” I tell him. I’m into lots of things, but I draw the line at heterosexuality. “Pull back a bit.”

“No, you have to know that part to get what happens next!” he replies, then continues. “Roman and I were on the bed next to them, but then he rolls over, pushes her back so that she’s lying on top of Dex, facing up, and he slides into her too. This, as you might imagine, makes quit an impression on Andrea, but she seems down with it, so he starts thrusting and moaning about how he can feel both of them, that she’s so tight because Dex is already in there. He’s getting both of them at once, and I’m getting nothing. So I condom up and slip into Roman from behind. Aw, man! You should have heard the guy. He’s starts gibbering about how he’s got one twin in his ass and he’s rubbing against the other’s cock in his girlfriend’s pussy, and basically having a sex seizure. Luckily, Andrea shuts him up with her tongue, leaving Dex and me to finish our work in peace.” He takes a deep breath, and contemplates the glass he’s been drying. “It was kind of awesome, really.”

Clark stares at Porter, slack-jawed, while water runs all across the counter, deflected by the dish he’s forgotten he’s holding.

“Well played, good sir,” I say to Porter, giving him a congratulatory fist-bump. Then I kiss Clark on the cheek to bring him out of his sex-addled haze.

“C’mon, sweetie. We should probably get going.” He startles a bit when I call him sweetie, but then an only slightly befuddled grin appears on his face and I know it’s all good. “Give me a ride home?”

“So soon?” he asks, crestfallen. Then he brightens. “How about we go to my place first?”

“Just have him back for Sunday dinner,” scolds Porter.

“I promise I will. He may be worn out, but he’ll be there.”

I’m not used to being referred to in the third person, but I’ll let it pass because we’re talking about me and sex. We say our goodbyes to the more-than-generous hosts of the party, and then we’re on our way to Clark’s.

Nothing could have prepared me for walking into that apartment, the scene of my first awareness of how deep my crush on Clark was. I see it differently now–rather than being a surprisingly tasteful living space, it’s the physical realization of his personality, a personality that I’ve recently become quite attached to. Being here is like being surrounded by him, wrapped in a warm, soft blanket of him.

Clark stands in the middle of the living room, and holds his arms out to me. I go to him, let him wrap me up in his strength.

“That’s where it happened,” he says softly. He’s looking at the tweed couch. “Where I let myself trust you. That was the hardest thing I think I’ve ever done.”

Ah, yes. The Silence to End All Silences. The one that ended with him telling me that the gay site had given him his first real hard-on.

“God, Clark, where would we be if you hadn’t?” I shiver involuntarily and pull myself closer to him. The last day has brought so many changes that I cannot imagine what life would be like without him. Actually, I can imagine what it would be like–me, alone, like always.

“I think we were destined to be here, and we would have found a way,” he says, kissing me on the nose. “Now, we both smell like chlorine, smoke, and sweat.” He’s right–I hadn’t noticed until we got into his clean and fresh apartment. “How about I run us a nice hot shower?”

“Only if you promise that once we’re clean we can get dirty together.”

“Oh hell yeah. I plan to get dirty with you every day from now on.”

By the time he drops me off at my dorm, we’ve gotten clean, then sweaty and spermy on his bed (no ropes this time! Well, except for that once, but we used them in a very different way), and then clean again. As promised, I’m exhausted and completely blissfully satisfied when I sit down for dinner with the guys. I’m the last to the table with my tray, though, and the guys are talking about the party when I get there.

“So all along, Diggler was into guys?” Dexter is asking Porter as I arrive. “And the sex show thing was what–a cry for help? Why didn’t he just come out and be done with it?”

“He says he wasn’t into guys before Josh offered to help him.”

“I appears our roomie has talents we were not aware of,” Dexter muses as I sit down.

“Oh, you mean the way he can turn straight guys into butt monkeys with just a kiss and a jiggle?” Porter winks at me. “He’s only used his powers for good as far as I can tell, but you’d better watch out–he might come after you next.”

“Hey, wait a minute!” I protest. “I have a guy and I’m sticking with him. Straight men may now roam freely without fear that I’m going to make them go all gay.”

The twins and I get a good laugh out of this, but Seth seems not to really know how to join into the conversation. Can’t blame him, really–this all must seem a bit strange from the outside. But then, out of the blue, he raises his glass of 2% milk.

“To Josh, who finally seems happy. Here’s hoping he’s found the love of his life.”

“Here, here!” reply the twins, in unison.

All I can do is gape at Seth. He continues to surprise me. I’m so touched by this gesture that I get kind of choked up.

“Now, you’re going to stop making chicken noises in your sleep, right?” he asks, an impish grin playing at the corner of his mouth.

In response I stab the rubbery chicken breast that sits atop the overcooked pasta on my plate and hold it up.

“Cluck! Cluck!” I call, and then take a bite out of it. Seth just shakes his head.

 

# 16 #

For the next three weeks Clark and I luxuriate in the thrill of a new relationship. I spend every available waking hour and many of my sleeping ones at his apartment–previously, I would have thought that this would mean non-stop sex, but with Clark it’s different. Really different. We have sex, of course, but we also cuddle and cook and study and shop together. Most of all, I just love being around him–there’s such a calm strength about him now that was completely missing before.

All too soon Thanksgiving rears its head. My family lives too far away for me to make the whole trip just for a couple of days; I’ll be flying home for Christmas in a month anyway. Clark’s place is only a few hours by car, but I don’t dare ask him if I can tag along–I don’t want to rush meeting the family until he’s had some time to prepare them. From what he’s said about them, I can tell he’s worried about how they’ll respond to his new outlook on life. Or whether he’ll even be able to summon up the courage to tell them at all.

So it is with no small trepidation that I see him on his way home for the holiday. As I wave to his receding car, his kiss still tingling on my lips, all I can really do is hope that he’s going to be okay.

An hour later I’m loading into Calvin’s car–he and Reese invited me home with them for Thanksgiving, since I was going to be alone here. Their parents are all complete homophobe evangelicals, so they spend holidays with their Aunt Emily, who’s about the only person in their entire family who’s still speaking to them. I love Aunt Emily, and I love Calvin and Reese, so if I can’t spend the holiday with the one I love, at least I can spend it with loved ones.

We arrive at Aunt Emily’s house in the late afternoon the day before Thanksgiving. I’ve only ever been to her cabin in the mountains before–the boys love to spend the summer there, and I’ve joined them for skinny dipping in the pond on several memorable occasions–but I immediately recognize her style when Calvin pulls up in front of the tasteful craftsman bungalow. You can tell Aunt Emily is loaded, but not in a showy way.

“Boys!” she calls from the porch as we’re pulling our duffels out of the trunk of the car. She marches across the yard and grabs Reese into a full-body hug, then tackles Calvin, kissing him twice on each cheek, and then she comes after me.

“Josh! My darling Cupid! How are you?” She doesn’t wait for a reply–she often doesn’t–and leans in closer. “The boys tell me that Cupid has fallen in love himself. True?” She searches my eyes, her gaze darting back and forth quickly, reading me. “True,” she decides, and she hugs me again. “I am so happy for you! I must insist on every detail, but first let’s get you into the warm house.”

Soon we are in her living room, before a crackling fire, steaming mugs of subtly spiked hot cocoa in our hands. I would think that living together would have cooled Calvin and Reese’s passion for cuddling on the couch, but they are curled up like lovebirds, hands moving in lumpy abandon under a blanket. I realize that Aunt Emily and I are both watching them, smiling with unironic joy at their happiness.

“You know,” Aunt Emily says, “I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing those two together.”

“Good thing,” I reply. “Seeing as they are joined at the hip. And the mouth. And at several points between.”

Aunt Emily laughs, and touches her mug to mine with a delicate clink. “And they owe their happiness to you, dear boy, who brought them together.”

“All I did was close the deal. You’re the one who knew all along that they were deeply in love and even more deeply in denial. The whole world couldn’t have kept those two apart once they realized that they belong together.”

“The whole world did try, though,” she mutters. Then she turns back to the couch and says, in a more serious tone, “Did they tell you how their parents reacted?”

“Not in much detail. I gathered that it didn’t go well, but they’ve never really talked about it.”

Aunt Emily sighs. “We were expecting the worst from their parents, of course, given their…views. But the boys wanted so much to be honest, and to not have to hide who they had become. I didn’t see what the rush was, myself. I wanted them to wait until they were completely independent of their families, so that they could be self-sufficient if it went as badly as I thought it might. But when the families gathered for Thanksgiving last year, they decided to come out.” Aunt Emily sips her cocoa and shakes her head sadly.

“Oh, please tell me they didn’t just announce it at dinner or something.”

“No, they wanted to do it in the least traumatic way possible. Cal took his father–that fundamentalist Neanderthal Frank–aside after the big meal. I watched them walk into Frank’s study, and it was all I could do to keep breathing. Luckily I had a nice after-dinner martini in my hand or I might have shattered my teeth from gritting them so hard.” She pauses, looking suddenly sad. “We heard the yelling start almost immediately. At first the voices were indistinct, but soon I could sort out Cal’s calm, low voice from his father’s angry, spitting howl. Now, you’ll recall that when Reese first told Cal that he had developed feelings for him, Cal pretty much did the same thing–the dinner table was thrown over and just about every dish ended up in pieces–so the anger wasn’t all that surprising. But what came next was so much worse.” Aunt Emily’s voice drifts off, and she blinks hard at the fire.

“I’m not sure I want to know what happened next,” I venture, trying to mask the impatience in my voice.

“The study door opened, and Cal stumbled into the room, followed by his father, who had clearly pushed him, hard. Then his father called for everyone’s attention. Well, no one had a clue what was going on, so they gathered round. Only Reese and I had any hint how terribly wrong it had gone–I looked over at him, and all the blood had drained from his face. I pretended to spill my drink so I could grab Reese into the kitchen to help me mop up. I just wanted to get my darling boy out of that house, to keep him from witnessing whatever awful thing Frank had in mind, to get him to safety, but I didn’t make it in time–everyone was calling out for Reese to come back to the living room, thinking that Frank had something important to tell him. All I could do was stand there and watch the disaster happen, like seeing cars on ice slide slowly into each other.

“Cal’s dad–his voice was cold with fury–started out by announcing that we were there to watch his oldest son, his pride and joy, make the biggest choice of his life. Then he ordered Reese to come stand with Cal, which he did–scared as he was, he didn’t want to make the situation worse by arguing. It still makes my heart ache to picture the two of them, panic in their eyes, not knowing what was coming next but knowing that it wouldn’t be good, standing there together with their smiling families and Cal’s furious dad.

“Then Frank said that Cal had decided that he was a fag. Well, you could have heard a pin drop in that house after that. But he wasn’t finished. He continued, saying that Cal now had to choose between his perversion and his family. If he chose Reese, he would never see his family again. If he chose his family, he could never see Reese–ever. The family started to realize that something serious was happening here, and both boys’ mothers gasped–Reese’s father leaned over and threw up into a potted palm. I opened my mouth to speak, but Frank said that he didn’t care what some dyke had to say.”

“Wow, he seems like a real dick.”

“You don’t know the half of it. He told Cal he had one minute to decide. The boys just stood there, gobsmacked, tears streaming down their cheeks. Well, that minute lasted both an eternity and about two seconds. Frank started screaming that he had to decide right then and there which way he was going to go. We were all hanging on his every breath, trying to anticipate when he would say something–anything. It took a little while before we realized that the boys were holding hands.” She pauses to sip a little more cocoa. “A pretty classy way to make an answer, if you ask me.

“Then Frank really went off the deep end. He ducked back into his study, and returned a couple of seconds later with a piece of paper. He told Cal that he was no longer his son, and he waved the paper around in front of him–his birth certificate–and then he held it right in front of Cal’s face and set it on fire. We were all so shocked that no one moved. The paper burned up quickly, and Frank dropped it, glowing and blackened. It drifted down and was about to hit Cal in the chest when Reese reached out and smacked it away, shattering it into a hundred little wisps of charred paper that drifted to the rug. We all stood there for a moment, looking at the pile of ash that had been Cal’s birthright, and then Frank hissed that the two were no longer welcome in his house. Cal and Reese walked past their silent mothers–silent! as their sons were thrown out of the house!–and I took their hands when they reached me and I walked with them out the door of that horrible, unwelcoming home to which they have never returned.”

“Wow.” I have no idea what else to say in response to Aunt Emily’s wrenching account.

“You can see now why it just makes my heart sing to see the two of them happy. This Thanksgiving, here with us, is how the memories of that horrible holiday can start to be expunged.”

“Have their parents ever tried to get in touch with them?”

She shakes her head, slowly.

“Not a peep. They’ve been here with me whenever they haven’t been at school, and in the summer at my cabin. I’m so happy that I can support them when their families have been such utter bastards to them. But I know that it makes them sad–they so miss their brothers and sisters, and I know they would do just about anything to reconcile with their parents.”

“Anything but give up each other.”

“There are some prices that are simply too great, my boy, and I’m so proud of them for not stooping to pay it.”

A gentle snoring noise emanates from under the blanket on the couch. She beams at the long, lanky lumps under the blanket.

“Now, Cupid, you must tell me everything. Who is this lucky person on whom you have settled your affections?

I blush in spite of myself. “His name is Clark. He’s a little older than I am–two whole years–and he’s simply amazing.”

“I would expect nothing less. You’ve demonstrated the quality of your taste in men,” she chuckles, nodding to the couch where Calvin and Reese lay tangled.

“Funny you should mention. It just so happens that Clark was also straight when I met him.”

“But you managed to talk him out of it?” She winks at me.

“Actually, he had to talk me into it. I thought he was just imprinted on me like a baby duck because I was his first. But he was persistent, and he wore me down.”

She squints at me. “A man had to talk you into bed? Clearly this is one of the signs of the Apocalypse!” She bursts out with her karate-chop laugh and then tosses back the last of her drink. I do love Aunt Emily.

I’m about to defend my honor when my phone buzzes. It’s a text from Clark, and he wants to know if we can talk in a few minutes. I’m thrilled, not having heard from him since he left campus this morning, and I text back that he can call whenever he has a chance. I’m actually kind of quivering when I put my phone down, and Aunt Emily, with her hawk-like eyes, sees it.

“He’s really special, isn’t he?” she asks, casting her piercing gaze at me.

“He is. But I know his family is pretty conservative, and after what you’ve told me about Calvin’s dad…”

“Tut tut. The boys’ families are a corner case–they’ve fallen in with the worst kind of influence: fundamentalist freakshows who have convinced them that on the scale of evil homosexuality is somewhere between communism and killing kittens with a hammer. I’m sure that Clark’s family will love you just as much as I do, dear.” She kisses me on the forehead on her way to the kitchen.

My phone rings with Clark’s tone.

“You can talk in my office, Josh,” Aunt Emily calls from the kitchen.

I scurry down the hall to the office, close the door behind me, and answer.

“Diggler’s ho,” I say cheerfully into the phone.

He laughs. I love still being able to surprise him–there’s such magic in the early days of a relationship.

“I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you,” he says. “We’ve been apart for eight hours, so I owe you those.”

God he’s so sweet.

“How was the drive?” I ask.

“Lonely,” he says.

“And the family?”

“They’re…fine.”

Hmm. That sounded sub-optimal.

“Just…fine?”

He sighs.

“I came here hoping that I could just tell them what’s been going on with me, with us, but I’d been here all of twenty minutes when my uncle cracks a fag joke and the entire bunch yukked it up. Even my little bro, who is only twelve and probably had no idea what everyone thought was so funny, he laughed his little head off. Ugh.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry! But, you know, sometimes people laugh at stuff like that when they don’t know what else to do. They probably don’t all feel that way.”

“Yeah, I tried telling myself that too. But there are other things–things that they say, stuff they don’t say–it just makes me think that I won’t be able to tell them.”

“You gotta give it time, hon,” I assure him. “They’ll come around.”

“I hope so,” he sighs.

“So,” I growl into the phone, wanting to change the subject. “What are you wearing? I hope it’s those wide-wale cords that make your package look huge.”

“God I love it when you talk like that,” he says, his voice husking up a bit.

“That’s nothing. I haven’t begun to talk.”

“Oh, fuuuck,” he groans into the phone.

“I’m in a room all by myself here,” I growl, “And now I’m slipping off my jeans,” and I really do, because what’s phone sex without authenticity? “I’m rubbing myself through those soft boxers you love.”

“The ones with the little dogs?”

Well, that could have been sexier, but I’ll take it.

“Yep. I’m getting hard just thinking about you, and now my cock is starting to poke out the front. It’s throbbing for you.”

“Oh, fuck, dude, I am so boned up,” he whispers into the phone.

“What would you do if you were here right now?”

He takes a deep breath. I’m not sure if that means that this is weirding him out, or if he’s getting into it. “I would kiss the tip of your hard cock, and lick all around the head.” Oh, he’s into it. “I would slide your boxers down, all the way down your legs, and I would take your hot cock in my hands, and then I would grip it tight by the head and skin the meat off of it with a really sharp knife.”

Whoa.

“Uh, Clark? What the fuck?”

He’s silent for a second. Then, I hear him breathing again.

“Fuck, sorry! I told my family that I was going to call a friend who was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time and needed some tips on handling the turkey. Just now my grandpa wandered past, and I didn’t know what else to say.”

“Well, that was pretty quick thinking. But I kind of thought I was dating a serial killer for a second there.”

“Sorry–there’s family everywhere, and the only place that’s even semi-private is this little nook by the stairs. But people keep walking by.”

“Couldn’t you just tell them that you have a girlfriend that you want to talk to? They would give you some privacy then.”

He’s silent for a second.

“I couldn’t do that,” he says, firmly. “I may not be able to tell them the truth about you yet, but I won’t tell them lies about you either. That wouldn’t be fair–to you. To us.”

“Oh, god, you are such a romantic.”

“And I’m also totally horned up. Now back to the work at hand.”

“Heh. It’s in my hand, all right. And it’s starting to drip. It wants you as much as I do.”

“I want that cock in my mouth! But first I would turn you around, press you up against the wall and kiss my way down your back. When I got to your tight butt, I would push your legs apart, and get on my knees behind you.”

“God I love it when you do that!”

“Then I would kiss your sweet ass, and lick you all up and down until you were dripping wet. My tongue would slip inside so that I could taste you. Then I would shove my whole hand in there, really open it up, and stuff it as full as possible without packing it.”

I have no response to that.

“Then take any stuffing that’s left over, put it in a greased pan, and bake it separately.”

Oh. “Great tip. And my ass thanks you as well.”

“Sorry! My aunt walked through, looking for grandpa.”

“Maybe we should just hold off on this…”

“No, I really need this right now. Please!”

“Okay. I’ve never done Food Network porn, but I’m game if you are.”

“Awesome. Now, I want you to stroke your cock for me.”

“Consider it stroked.”

“Is the skin gathering at the tip? Is the head wet?”

“Oh, fuck yeah.” I’m surprised how much I’m getting into this. “I’m not going to last long.”

“I hope not. If I were there, I would get you done in about twelve seconds. I miss your cock so bad.”

“Clark, I’m gonna–”

“Wait! When you come I want you to catch it in your hand.”

Well, I wasn’t about to spew all over Aunt Emily’s desk, but I figured a couple of tissues would work just fine.

“Come for me, Josh. Stroke your cock for me and make it shoot, like I want to so badly. I want to taste you, feel your hot come in my mouth.”

“Oh, fuck, I’m–” I grunt as the orgasm washes over me, I manage to get my other hand down in front of my dick just in time by cradling the phone between my ear and my shoulder (not the most comfortable posture for ejaculation, but so worth it) and I catch six great globs of cum in my cupped palm.

“Now, I want you to lick it for me. I love the taste of your cum, and I need you to lick it up for me. Tell me how it feels on your tongue.”

“It’s so hot, dude.”

“Ohhhhh,” he groans into the phone. “Now’s the time to check for lumps. If you find any, you have to keep beating it.”

“Oh, I plan to,” I laugh into the phone. “Let me guess, you had another visitor?”

“Uh, yeah. My brother this time. And me with my shorts full of cum. Awkward.”

“Wait, you came too?”

“Didn’t mean to, but yeah, it kind of happened when yours did.”

“That’s about the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard,” I sigh into the phone. “I used to have to tie you up and wring it out of you, and now you’re shooting off just from phone sex. That’s fucking awesome is what that is.”

“I love you, you perv. No matter what happens, you make me feel like it’s okay.”

“That’s my job. Now, we need to clean up a bit, and you should probably get back to your family before they get suspicious. Call me when you’re ready to talk me through mashing some hot, sexy potatoes, okay?”

He laughs. “It’s a date. And Josh? I really do love you, you know.”

“Not as much as I love you. Talk to you tomorrow?”

“If I can wait that long. No guarantees.”

I hang up and blot as best I can. This is maybe the best thing about being in love–even the stuff that would be awkward with anyone else is okay with him because it’s with him.

I have a moment–after getting my pants back on–to catch my breath and contemplate Aunt Emily’s carefully manicured Zen rock garden outside the window of her office, and then I hear voices in the kitchen. The guys must be up, so it’s time for me to rejoin the party.

“Everything okay with your new beau?” Aunt Emily asks as I walk in. Calvin and Reese turn, concerned that something might have happened.

“He’s fine. He’s just in a house full of family and couldn’t really talk.”

Calvin chuckles. “Well, he may not have been able to talk, but judging from the glow on your face he was able to do something–I know that look.”

Reese studies my face, and nods. “Yep, he’s showing all the classic signs. Definitely a phone-sex situation we got here.”

“Now boys, stop badgering. Not everyone is as lucky as you are, getting to live together and be naughty whenever they like,” scolds Aunt Emily. “Everyone take a dish to the table before it gets stone cold.”

After dinner, we bask in the fire’s glow and talk about nothing very important. I keep waiting for Calvin and Reese to mention their families, but they seem perfectly content to spend the holiday with just us. I try to imagine how I would feel in their place, but what they’ve been through is just too much for me to get my head around.

“Well, boys, I’m off to bed,” announces Aunt Emily as the clock strikes midnight. “Both guest bedrooms are made up. You may distribute yourselves as you see fit.” She winks broadly at us and hums merrily as she sweeps out of the room.

“Well, I say we take the bedroom furthest from Aunt Emily’s,” suggests Reese. “We wouldn’t want to wake her if we get a little noisy.” He grins at Calvin, who responds with a broad smile and a bit of a leer.

“Okay, then, I’ll take the middle room,” I say as I stand.

“But when I said ‘us’ I meant all of us,” replies Reese, a slight pout in his voice.

“Yeah, holidays are when people should come together,” agrees Calvin. “Don’t you want to come together with us?” He deploys those fucking dimples to chip away at my virtue.

“I would love to, guys, but I’m kind of serious with Clark now, and I don’t think it would be right.”

“So, this is the real deal, then?” asks Reese.

“I think it might be,” I answer, with giggle that sounds entirely too high school.

“But it’s not like you’re cheating or anything. I mean, it’s just us!” Calvin exclaims, a note of indignation in his voice. “We’ve been doing this since…well, forever. It’s like we have an exemption for each other. You’re the only one that Reese and I do this with, because you were there at the beginning. C’mon, Clark would understand.”

“He might. But I need to tell him about it first, and make sure he’s okay with it. I’m not saying we won’t ever do it again, because I would really miss the way that you and Reese…well, I would miss it. So, not this time, but maybe in the future, depending on what he and I work out.”

“Ask him to join us,” suggests Reese.

Calvin turns on him, eyes flashing. “Wait, what? You just decided that we have an open relationship now?”

“No, that’s not what I meant. I just think that if this guy is to Josh what we are to each other, and we don’t want to lose him, we should welcome his boyfriend.”

Calvin ponders this for a moment.

“Plus,” Reese continues, “Josh says his dick is as long as your arm.”

Calvin turns back to me, eyes wide.

“No shit?” he asks me. Apparently the appropriateness of a foursome hinges on genital size. Who knew.

“No shit. I’ve measured it, and it’s precisely 29 centimeters.”

“And for the non-mathematicians among us?” Calvin asks testily.

“About 11 and a half,” Reese replies. “Told you.”

Calvin looks from Reese to me, and back again. Reese nods.

“So,” Calvin says, turning back to me, “You’ll ask him?”

I laugh. Calvin is always like this–honest to the point of transparency. You never have to wonder what he’s thinking.

“If it comes up in casual conversation, we’ll see what happens. No guarantees. He’s pretty new at this.”

“Well, so were we just last year, and look at us now,” Reese laughs. He kisses Calvin, and they’re off to the races, hands grasping and hips grinding.

“Yeah, look at you,” I sigh. I kiss them each goodnight (Reese slips me a little tongue, the bastard), and head to bed. Clark and I wish each other goodnight by text, and I drift off, hearing only the occasional slurping noise from the guys next door.

Thanksgiving day at Aunt Emily’s is much like I imagine it was at the Kennedys’ place–touch football on the lawn, witty repartee over old-fashioneds as the daylight fades, and a kitchen so full of wonderful aromas that you can practically take a bite of the air. Aunt Emily is clearly working overtime to be sure that Calvin and Reese want for nothing on this first Thanksgiving without the rest of their families.

I’m helping out in the kitchen, ignoring Calvin and Reese as they tease me for talking or texting with Clark about once an hour.

“Here, make yourselves useful,” she orders them, handing out huge steaming platters of potatoes and brussels sprouts. She winks at me and then turns back to the stove.

Shortly we’re gathered around the table, which is piled high. Aunt Emily has cooked enough to feed several additional guests, plus a rugby team, but there are just the four place settings. I raise my glass.

“Here’s to family we choose, and to the holiday that has brought us together. I am thankful that all of you are in my life.” We touch our glasses, and Aunt Emily starts to stand so that she can carve the turkey.

Reese clears his throat.

“Can we say grace?” he asks, in a voice far more meek and tentative than I’ve heard before.

“Of course, darling. Please, go ahead,” Aunt Emily replies, sitting back down and smiling at him. This puzzles me a bit, because I’ve never known her to show any patience for religious ceremony. It’s no wonder, given what it’s done to Calvin and Reese.

Reese holds out his hands, and Calvin and I take them. We both reach out to Aunt Emily, who grasps ours, and we are joined.

“Thank you, God, for the loved ones we have to share this feast. We are truly thankful that you have given us Aunt Emily, who has been the greatest blessing in our lives. We are thankful too for Josh, who helped us see ourselves clearly. And, God, we ask you to watch over our families who are distant from us today,” he says, his voice faltering. He takes a deep breath. “And we ask for your help that they may be brought back to us. Amen.”

“Amen,” Calvin whispers, and I see a tear on his cheek.

“That was beautiful, Reese,” Aunt Emily says, as she rises to carve the turkey. And we eat.

Now, had I been thrown out by my family because their religion teaches that I am a degenerate who needs to be punished, I would have a hard time even thinking about praying to the same god that they do. But Reese seems to have found his way to being able to do that. It’s kind of a mystery to me.

Later, we gather again before the fire, fighting off that final Thanksgiving tradition–the food coma. I study Calvin and Reese as they slouch on the sofa, Reese drawing intricate patterns with his fingertips on his partner’s broad arm, Calvin’s face that of a slumbering angel. They are so happy. I just have to ask.

“So, Reese?” I venture.

“Yeah?” he says in a sleepy happy voice.

“Before, at dinner?”

“Yeah?” he says again, no trace of impatience in his voice.

“When you said grace?”

At this he opens his eyes, and looks at me with a half-smile. “Yes? What about it?”

“I was just kind of surprised by that, is all,” I manage, awkwardly. I’m not really sure how you’re supposed to talk to people about their religion, since I’ve always been told that you’re not supposed to talk to people about their religion.

He nods, still smiling.

“Well, you know that Cal and I were raised as Christians,” he says, as if I could somehow have missed this along the way.

“But that hasn’t worked out so well, right? That’s kind of why you’re here instead of with the rest of your family.”

He takes a deep breath.

“Cal and I didn’t stop being Christians when we found out that we loved each other,” he says, his voice calm and even.

“But why? Why would you keep being part of something that doesn’t want you?”

“It’s not Christ who doesn’t want us,” he explains. “There are some Christians who are intolerant, but there are many more who have no problem at all with gays and lesbians. Just because someone has faith doesn’t mean that they hate the gays.”

“I kind of assumed that because right-wing assholes are always going on about family values that everyone thought that way.”

Reese laughs. “Those guys would be the first ones Jesus would bitch-slap if he came back today. I’m not sure what part of his teachings aren’t clear to them–they have pretty much fucked it all up. But you know that little church on the west side of campus? The brick one with all the windows? That’s where Cal and I go, and they’re awesome. They get all of the Christ stuff right–love each other, care for the young and the old and the sick–and they leave aside all of the hellfire and damnation. You should come sometime.”

“Oh, now you’re going to try to convert me?” I laugh.

“Turnabout is fair play, my friend,” Reese laughs in response. “You turned us into cocksuckers, so you have to give our thing a try too.”

The only answer I have to this is a pillow that I launch into his face. I think it makes my point. He lobs it back to me, laughing, and then snuggles into the crook of Calvin’s arm, a smile of perfect peace on his face.

The rest of the weekend is spent lounging and laughing, and when Sunday morning rolls around the only thing that makes me want to pack up and head back is knowing that Clark will be there. I hope we’ll be able to get a little naughty time in before Sunday dinner with my suitemates.

In this I am not disappointed.

 

# 17 #

Around the first week of December Clark and I find ourselves with some extra time on a Sunday morning.

“What do you want to do?” he asks me, as we sit on his tweed couch, the newspaper strewn about; I’m dabbing up the crumbly remains of his unspeakably delicious scones from my plate and trying to imagine how I got so lucky.

“What I always want to do–you,” I smile at him, crooking my eyebrow up.

“But we’ve already done that today–twice–and it’s not even noon! Plus, I think I might be getting a little sore. What else ya got?”

I ponder this for a moment.

“What are you in the mood for?” I ask, returning to my important work of scarfing up crumbs. Every once in a while I get a little flaked coconut. Yum.

“I don’t know. Something that involves actually getting dressed.” He looks at me, a little squint in his eye.

“What? When did I say you couldn’t get dressed?”

“You didn’t say anything. But every time I try to put pants on you keep tearing them off, so I’m starting to wonder if you are ever going to let me out of the apartment.”

“Totally not my fault. Diggler’s gotta be free.” His nickname has transformed over the past few weeks; now it refers only to his penis. It’s big enough for its own postal code, so it makes sense that it has its own name. Plus, it makes me laugh every time someone from the water polo team calls him that. Totally mature, I know.

“So, what’ll it be?” he asks again, undeterred.

“Got it. Alta Avenue,” I say, snapping my section of the newspaper shut.

“What’s that?” he asks.

Alta Avenue is the upscale gay district downtown. I forget that Clark would have no reason to know about it, since he wasn’t gay until all of a month and a half ago.

“Just a place downtown. We’ll walk, window shop, have lunch. It’ll be very grown up. You can even wear pants.”

“Can’t turn down an offer like that. C’mon, let’s shower up and get going.”

It’s two hours later that we finally set out. The delay is my fault–I’m a complete sucker for wet and slippery bits, and Clark’s are now positively aglow with cleanliness. I did apply lotion afterward to ensure that he’s not suffering from the effects of friction. I’d hate to have Diggler out of commission, even for a day.

I navigate while Clark drives, and we’re shortly swinging into parking spot near the heart of Alta Avenue. We walk along the line of precious little shops and restaurants, pausing occasionally to ponder the advisability of adding this or that objet to Clark’s decor.

“So, I’m getting the sense,” Clark says as we walk, “That this isn’t just a place downtown.”

“What ever do you mean?” I reply, in my shocked–shocked!–voice.

“I may be naive, but I can see what this place is.”

“What gave it away?” I ask.

“Well, I was suspicious when that shoe store had a sign in the window saying that they stocked pumps in sizes up to 15EEE. But what sealed the deal was that last place–Cabana Boy? Yeah, when that living mannequin wearing the mesh speedo winked at me, I kind of figured what was up.”

“It’s not like I was trying to trick you or anything. I just wanted you to discover it for yourself. We are among our people now.”

Clark stops dead in his tracks.

“Our people? I’m don’t know about you, but my people don’t wear mesh swimwear and wink at strangers.”

“Not what I meant. It’s just that this is a place where we don’t have to worry about anyone giving us shit for being together. It’s safe.”

“I hadn’t realized that the world was so dangerous,” he muses, walking along again.

“Let’s just say that I’ve run into people who thought that fags shouldn’t be allowed to walk the streets unbashed.”

He stops again.

“Josh, are you–” he stops, aghast. “You mean that someone–”

“Beat the shit out of me for being gay? Yeah, that happened. Last year, actually. It wasn’t just someone, either–it was three of them, and it would have been a lot worse if my friend Pete hadn’t happened along.”

“Oh my god…oh, oh my god,” he says, his voice no more than a husky whisper. He grabs me to him, holds me tight, presses me as if he could squeeze the history of that night right out of me.

“It’s okay, honey,” I murmur into his shoulder, from which I cannot lift my face due to his protective embrace. “Pete broke the ringleader’s arm, and the other guys split. My wrists were sprained, but there wasn’t anything worse than that. I’m fine, really.”

He relents in his grip, enough for me to look him in the eye. Tears are streaming down his pale cheeks.

“Clark, it’s fine. I’m fine. I’m sorry I brought it up.”

“Oh my god, Josh. I don’t know what I would–” Words fail him again, and he yanks me back to him. I can feel him shaking. Finally he relaxes a little, only to grip my face in his hands and kiss me with every ounce of vigor his lips can muster. It’s kind of overwhelming.

“Never, never again,” he says, shaking his head.

The romantic masculinity of his reaction makes me blush all the way to my ankles. In this moment I realize that someone can tell you he loves you until he’s blue in the face, but it’s nothing compared to how he responds at a moment like this. I feel so loved and so safe, but I also feel kind of awful for telling him this way. I’d been meaning to find a way to tell him what had happened last year, but I certainly didn’t intend to blurt it out like that.

“Come on, let’s sit and get some lunch,” I suggest, steering him into Cafe Narcisse, the closest establishment offering the distraction of food.

Sunday at mid-afternoon finds the lunch spots on Alta Avenue buzzing at capacity. Everyone has now slept off his Saturday night, emerged groggily into the daylight, and is seeking crepes with the ferocity of a newly-undead zombie. Luckily there’s a table for us, and a nice one at that. It’s near the fountain at the center of the restaurant, into which water plashes playfully; with Narcissus as the theme, it makes sense to have a reflecting pool available. There are certainly some fine specimens lunching around us, but I only have eyes for my guy. Who is still a bit shaken by our conversation on the sidewalk.

“Here, drink some water,” I offer, holding out the glass that has just been delivered by our toga-clad waitstud.

He takes it and drinks, and then rubs his eyes and shakes his head.

“Sorry,” he says. “I just never imagined that something like that could happen.” He takes my hands in his. “I’ve never wanted to kill anyone in my life, but…”

“Stop,” I say, as gently as I can. “It happened. It’s over. I’m fine. Look around this room–everyone you see here has a story like mine. Some even worse. And we all got through it. Those guys over there–” I point out a couple who look to be in their sixties, “They probably had it much worse. And the ones who come after us, well, they’ll have it even better than we do. It’s getting better, promise.”

“But it hasn’t been bad for me,” he says, earnestly. “I haven’t gone through anything like what you did. You keep saying that ‘we’ have it better than they did, and that this is a place that ‘we’ can be safe. I don’t feel like I belong to any other ‘we’ than you and me.” He leans close, and continues in a quieter voice, “I mean, all that we have in common with the other people here is that we have sex with each other. I kinda don’t see how that makes us part of a whole community.”

“But being gay is part of who we are. And that makes us part of this community.”

“Does it really? I don’t feel any different now than I did two months ago.” He notices my startled reaction. “I mean, I’m in love for the first time in my life, and that’s amazing, and you’re amazing…” He trails off when he sees my eyebrows drop back to their normal position, then continues. “But I’m still who I was. I don’t remember signing a membership card for a whole new identity.”

“It’s not so much the way it feels to you that’s important,” I reply. “It’s the way that the world views you. When you and I got together, we became what some people–a minority, but a loud and angry minority–view as wrong, sick, and perverted. That’s why safe places like Alta Avenue evolved. I would love to live in a world where no one cares who you choose to love, but that’s not the world we live in. Not yet, anyway.”

“So this is all just politics?” he asks.

Oh god, I sound like Sky. Time for a different tack. “It’s part politics, but it’s also part being able to be honest with who you are. That table over there–the one by the door? All four of those guys have been checking you out since we walked in. In some other parts of town, that could get them beaten up. Here, it’s just flattering. We can hold hands as we walk down the street here–try that a few blocks over. We can be ourselves, Clark, and that’s why it’s important.”

He shakes his head. “Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m part of this. It still seems weird to me that there are so few women here. It makes me jump a little when I see two guys cuddling in a booth. It’s just so new.”

“But you kissed me out there on the street just a minute ago!”

“Yeah, but that’s us. We’re not like, say, those guys,” he says, tipping his head at the next table over. “Look at them–they’re like living stereotypes. They way they talk, the way they flail their hands around…I don’t want to seem prejudiced, but that’s not who I am.”

“And that’s not who they are, either. Just because they conform to a stereotype that you’ve been raised to look down on doesn’t mean they aren’t people just like you and me.”

He shakes his head. “That’s not who I am,” he whispers at me, and then turns to look at the menu.

I get that he’s having trouble seeing how his personal choice (me) can determine so much about the world he inhabits, but it’s still a bit frustrating.

“We’ll see.” I turn to the couple that he’s been referring to. “Bryce, Nestor, would you come over here for a moment please?”

Clark looks at me, stunned. “You know those people?” he hisses, desperately.

I nod as they make their way to our table.

“Now, Josh honey, I thought you would never ask!” says Bryce as he reaches our table. “But I can see why you’d want to keep this one to yourself. Very pleased to make your acquaintance, sir,” he says, with a half-bow, half-curtsey.

“Bryce, this is my boyfriend Clark.”

Bryce’s eyes narrow to judgmental slits. He turns back to me.

“This is Clark? The Clark? The one who reduced my Josh to tears? The one who dates–” here he shivers as if he’s touched polyester, “–women?”

I open my mouth to explain, but Bryce has already turned his tight-lipped gaze of disdain upon poor Clark.

“I’ll have you know, you brute,” he sniffs, “That you reduced my dearest friend to such depths of despair that his brow may be permanently wrinkled beyond the help of Botox. Wrinkled! I hope you’re happy, sir!”

Clark, stunned, can only gape at Bryce, who is burning with the intensity of a thousand white-hot drag queens.

“Bryce, it’s okay. It was all a misunderstanding.” I turn to Clark. “I met up with Bryce and Nestor one night when I was trying to drown my sorrows in virgin daiquiris. They listened patiently to my tale of woe and did their best to cheer me up.”

Nestor’s brow is furrowed with the memory of how pitiful I was that night, but Bryce’s fury is unquenched.

“This saintly man was a shadow of himself, positively parched from crying over you! And after how you treated him, I don’t wonder why. We did everything we could to cheer him, didn’t we, Nestor?” Nestor nods earnestly. “He wouldn’t even take basic nutrition! We tried hot food, cold vodka, and a go-go boy from the club down the street, and not one of them would he let past his pouting lips.”

Clark looks at me with raised eyebrows.

“His constant refrain was that you were all he wanted but he couldn’t have you,” Bryce plows on, unrelenting. “When a man is so bereft that he shuns the sincere and heartfelt gyrations of a pole dancer in a gold lamé thong, then he may as well be dead.”

Bryce pauses to survey the effect of his tirade. But Clark isn’t even looking at him.

“Oh my god, you were…?” he asks, in a low, stricken voice.

“Well, Bryce may be pimping it a bit, but yeah, I was pretty much like that.”

He looks back up to Bryce.

“Thank you,” he says, solemnly.

Bryce is not expecting this. He turns to me, confused. Straight men normally wither when smote with Full Bitch Mode. He turns back to Clark.

“Whatever for?”

“For being a good friend to Josh. For trying to cheer him up when we were broken. I’m glad he had you guys.”

Bryce is not accustomed to having the rug yanked out from under him when he’s got his Joan Crawford on. He huffs and flutters, a wasp without a target. It falls to Nestor to break the awkward silence.

“Please permit me,” he suavely murmurs, his voice dripping with Cuban sugar, his hand extended. “I am Nestor.”

“I am very pleased to meet you, Nestor,” Clark returns heartily, giving Nestor’s delicate hand a firm shake. I’m not sure there are actually any bones in Nestor’s wrists, so exotically limber are they.

“This one is strong,” he sighs to Bryce, while he cradles the hand that Clark has released as if it were a divine artifact. “And he smile like the sun.”

Clark’s smile is a luminous thing, I admit. Nestor basks in it. Even Bryce is not immune.

“Well,” he grumps, disappointed to have worked up a righteous dudgeon for nothing. “If you’ve patched things up, and Josh is happy,” he looks at me, and I nod, “Then I am pleased to make your acquaintance.” He extends a hand delicately.

Clark takes Bryce’s hand, winks at me, and brings it to his lips. He lays the daintiest of kisses on it.

Bryce squeals. He can hold no grudges when he is treated like the princess he believes himself to be. The chivalry of Clark’s gesture has whisked away his former fury.

“Where did you find him, Josh?” Bryce asks conspiratorially.

“We met on campus a couple of months ago. Clark’s on the water polo team.”

Nestor looks about ready to faint at this, and Bryce fans himself dramatically.

“So you pack all of this,” he gestures up and down Clarks lanky frame, “Into a little tiny speedo, and then watch as he smashes himself up against others just like him? In the water?”

I nod.

“Nestor darling, we have a new favorite sport.” Nestor nods fervently.

Bryce turns back to me. “So, you’re absolutely fine now? Your tears have turned to bliss?”

“It was all my fault. I jumped to conclusions. Clark has been a perfect gentleman.”

Bryce turns to Clark, eyebrows raised.

Clark sees that it’s his turn. “Josh is the only man, the only person, I’ve ever been with. I think he’s a miracle, and I love him.”

Both Bryce and Nestor gasp in a breath, and then turn to me. I’m blushing like a fire engine.

“You’ll need help with the wedding. We’ll get to work on the plans. You will not,” Bryce shakes a finger at me, “Let this one get away.”

“I don’t plan to,” I reply. “Thanks for coming over, guys. This is Clark’s first time on the Avenue, so I wanted him to meet the most important people here.”

“Oh, piff. I’ll bet you say that to all the boys.” Then he thinks over the implications of what I’ve said. “Do you mean that he’s new to town, or new to…?”

“Like Clark said, I’m his first.”

Bryce slowly turns to Clark, his face aglow, as if seeing him for the first time. “Welcome, my darling. I wondered what had put the starch in your shirt. You may now unclench, for you are among family here. You know,” he says, leaning back and looking at Clark appraisingly, “I see what’s what now. You fell for our darling boy here, and then suddenly you have stepped through the Looking Glass into a strange new world.”

Clark opens his mouth, but nothing comes out.

“No words, darling, no words. You will soon find out that we welcome all who land on our shore, be they fabulous,” here he points to himself, “Or charming,” he points to me, “Or the strong silent type,” he nods to Clark. “Come as you are, my dear, and know that you have friends here.” He offers his hand to Clark once again, as does Nestor, and then they sidle back to their table like a tropical storm voguing back out to sea.

“So, now you’ve met some actual people here,” I say, brightly.

Clark’s looking down at his palm, into which Nestor managed to slip a piece of paper. He studies it.

“It’s a 25% off coupon for a place called ‘Grindstone,'” He says. He looks up at me, bewildered.

“That’s the clothing store where they work. Nice place. Maybe we should stop by there later. But what did you think of them?”

Clark considers for a moment, glancing over at Bryce and Nestor’s table, where the conversation has once again reached an animated fervency.

“They were there for you when I couldn’t be. I will always owe them for that.” He sips his water. “I guess I’m starting to see what you mean about this place.”

“And what would that be?”

“Well, it just never occurred to me that there was anyone in the world who would have understood what I was going through during those weeks that you wouldn’t talk to me. I only confided in Porter when I was just about out of my mind, and I still couldn’t tell him the whole story.”

“Yeah, I’m not sure the whole story is something we could tell anyone–it gets a bit dirty in places.”

He laughs and it’s like the sun is shining again.

“I wish,” he muses, “That Christmas dinner could be like this. We’re a couple, and we’re normal, and no one cares.”

“Are you planning to tell your family at Christmas?”

He turns serious. “I have to, Josh. They need to know. And I can’t keep going back home and pretending that nothing’s changed.”

“Do you want me to go with you?” I’m not sure, as I say this, which way I want him to answer.

“I would love for you to go with me,” he says, “But not yet. I want them to know that I have changed, and it will be better if they accept that before they meet you. That way if they freak out, they’ll be freaking out about me and not you. I’d hate for them to go all ape-shit conservative on you.”

Images of Calvin and Reese’s last Thanksgiving flash into my mind.

“Then maybe it’s best to wait,” I offer, as casually as I can. I haven’t told Clark about Calvin and Reese’s experience. I don’t want to make him any more anxious.

“No. I’m going to do it at Christmas, and the chips will fall were they may. If I’m suddenly damaged goods just because I’ve fallen in love with a guy, then screw them.”

“It’s your choice, of course. You do it when the time is right, and I’ll be there with you whenever you are ready to show me off to your family. Just give me a little advance notice so that I can get something stunning to wear.”

He reaches across the table, and takes my hands in his.

“I am the luckiest man in the world. I love you so much.”

“I love you more, ya big stud. I’ll bet you every man in this room would kill to get into your pants, and I’m the lucky bastard who gets to.”

We ever actually make it to Grindstone that day, as urgent business required us to return to Clark’s apartment and get naked right away. Sometimes things just come up.

THE END

 

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