The standard rules and terms of service apply - mainly, if you are under 18 (21 in some locations), you should not be reading this, or even using the Nifty Archives website. This story is located in the 'Gay Male' section, and as such, contains explicit content between two consenting, semi-fictional male characters. The names and locations have been changed, but little else has.

With this in mind, please enjoy the story. It's based loosely on my current situation as a frustrated, closeted twenty-something. The other person or "character" is straight in reality, so far as I can tell. He's done and said some things that strike me as questionable, and he's just too damned gorgeous not to dream about.

Also, I am well aware of a problem I have with destroying contractions (typing "can" when I meant "can't"). I don't know why I do this, and I have a tendency to miss these errors even with a proofing read. If the word could be a contraction and seems out of context, that's probably why.

Last, but not least before the story begins, a bit of background info on the title. Tim has twice referred to me as "tiger" while speaking to me, and that just seemed like a good way to title the series, since it's one of the "signs". Past the point of Tim referring to me as 'tiger' is when it gets fictional.

Tiger Tim

I hated my job. I simply hated it. Well, okay, that's not entirely the truth. I hated the management. There were one or two in management that worked hard, but most were a bunch of lazy fucks. That's all there was to it. But, what can you expect from a small-town grocery store serving a few cities, each with 5,000 residents or fewer? The store probably served an area encompassing about 20,000 people at best, and this was within a 10 miles radius, and even a little further out for some.

There was one up-side to the situation, though; the boy working in the Dairy department was really quite something to look at. Being six-foot-four and reaching towards 250, I preferred larger guys. Smaller is alright, and I'm not extremely discriminating, but I found (and still do find) myself attracted to guys closer to my size.

Aaron was about my size, though being two years younger at 17 and still in high school, he was still athletically active and therefore just barely leaner than I. I dreamed about him, that's for sure. But I was never going to take the chance of being prosecuted for "corrupting a minor" or some bullshit like that, despite him and I both being perfectly capable of deciding and consenting to who we wanted to sleep with, regardless of what the law said. There's really an age limit, and I don't think anyone less than sixteen is actually capable of making an informed and intelligent decision concerning their sex life. They may think so, but within probably five years in either direction of that age, you learn so much more with each year than you ever could have imagined, simply because that's the age range in which most kids and people feel they have the whole world figured out, and that they know it all.

We were friends, and both into computers and such. He was intelligent, and for the most part, mature for his age. He had his childish moments that left me thinking "What the fuck is wrong with you kid?" instead of "Nice move, man." As a result of the shared interest, he came over from time to time and spent the night once or twice. I went to his house once in a while, and spent the night there a couple of times. During our friendship, he did a few things I found a bit odd for someone who I thought was straight.

I can't recall all the reasons as to why I thought he was gay towards the end of our friendship, but they were fairly numerous. I only counted the "major" things, which added up to a little less than ten. One of which was when I had done something in my computer requiring the temporary removal of the motherboard. I put everything back together while he sat five feet away on the floor, leaning up against my bed. I had hit the power button, and nothing came up on screen. Instead, the machine beeped angrily at me for a few seconds before I cut its power, since I didn't want to listen to that depressing tone longer than I had to. I tried rebooting several times - same result. It was about this time that I looked over at him... his expression was somewhat out of place.

"What's wrong with you?" I asked, noticing the depressed look about his face.

"Well, you're machine isn't working."

"That affects me, though, not you. It's my machine - yours is safe at home."

"But I'm sad for you." he replied.

Excuse me? What the fuck? You're "sad for me"? What the hell kind of straight seventeen-year-old expresses sadness or sympathy for another teenaged guy over his computer? For that matter, what kind of straight teen openly expresses sadness over anything with someone they've known for a little less than a year, and don't even frequently visit outside of work?!

Well, I didn't really think too much of it at the time. It wasn't until I thought about it a little more a few months later when other signs started popping up. For instance, he brought his brand-new laptop over to my house one day. I was toying with it, holding it in its namesake location, and starting up a music file. He reached for the volume control to turn it up, rather than asking me to turn it up. Not so strange, if it weren't for the volume buttons being on the front and center of the laptop's case. Less than about an inch or two from my dick, as the machine was sitting. That one caught my attention and caused me to think about it a little more than the previous computer incident. It could have been innocuous, and it could have been just out of excitement of the new "rig". He'd only had the machine for a couple days before this. This one became a bit of a "grey issue" in my list of reasons, simply because of the latter possibility in those options.

His car was... a little less than healthy. The heater didn't work, the passenger seatbelt didn't work, and the passenger side had an enormous brown dent in it just behind the passenger door. That was the result of the previous owner going sideways into a utility pole with a small Mazda sports car. As we were leaving Best Buy and turning the corner of an intersection one night, the latch of my door failed, exposing me to a potentially nasty launch from the vehicle - especially since the seatbelt on my side wasn't an available option. For some reason, it was almost as though I was expecting that to happen, even though I hadn't. I simply reached out and hauled the door shut while still in the turn, and not even with the typical lunge that can result from a sudden event. It was as though the door had been getting away from me all my life, much like a puppy, and I had to keep grabbing it to keep it out of trouble.

"Holy shit.." he said, glancing over at me.

"No shit... that was kinda freaky."

"That fuckin' freaked me out." he says.

"Seriously?" I asked. "It didn't really freak me out, which is really strange."

A few months later, after him and a female coworker had gone to see a movie (and not as a date, confirmed reliably by both of them), I ended up talking with her. Somehow the car thing got brought up, and she said that it happened to her one day while she was with him. She also said that he actually laughed at it!

Do you hear those screeching tires? Yup, that's the sound of another "What the Fuck?!" approaching at high-speed.

He shows considerable concern when it happens to me, a guy, and laughs when it happens to a girl? Somethin' ain't right there, whether or not he's gay.

I brought it up with her at some point in time that I thought it was possible he was gay. We talked at length about how silent he generally was, and pretty introverted; how his father was a bigot, and how that would aid in keeping him from coming out if he were gay; and how he jerked his leg away when her hand accidentally brushed up against it during the movie excursion. He also wouldn't reach for the Wendy's cup she was holding with her knees in his car while her hands were full after having asked if he could have a sip. "Are you gonna hand it to me?" he says, instead.

God damn, that WTF 4x4 is gonna fucking run someone over. He won't reach for a cup several inches away from her pussy, but will reach without hesitation to within an inch or two of my crotch to turn up the volume on a laptop? Hmmm...

Other reasons for thinking he could be gay existed as well... so I eventually decided I just had to outright ask him, since the curiosity was killing me. When I went to his house to do so, I kept the car ready to go in case he wished to kick my ass, which I don't doubt he could. It probably would be an even match, but it's just not worth it, especially if I'm offending him. I left the old Buick running, and the door ready to be whipped open, and spoke with him outside.

He actually took it with very little expression change on his face. "What?" he said, with surprise. "No."

We talked a little more for a minute or so, and I left. I couldn't believe he took it that easily. Yeah, he's pretty damned liberal, but most straight guys don't go without getting at least somewhat offended by that question.

Well, during all this, I had kept a small notebook of ambiguous terms without naming names in a hidden spot in the back room, and in the back of the book. Apparently it was discovered, and I was told that its contents were "shown to the person you wrote about".

Being closeted and still not ready to come out, I can't believe I heard that and absorbed it as calmly as I did... but I wasn't about to suffer any further embarrassment with a coworker or more, and while enduring such shitty management. I walked upstairs to the break room, clocked out, cleaned out my locker, handed the office clerk the locker's key, informed management of such and said "See ya."

I spent almost a full four weeks unemployed. I didn't tell my parents why I had quit, other than management had pissed me off for the last time. That was fully believable, since I'd been bitching about that place for most of the nearly two years I was employed there.

I knew I was going to have to look for work in the next largest city twelve miles away, since my last employer was the largest in that radius. It would have never occurred to me to apply at an arts & crafts store had it not been for my mother already being employed there to teach classes a couple time each month. She'd been on the phone with the store's assistant manager, and brought up that her son was looking for a job. Kari, the assistant manager, immediately assumed that the "son" in question was 17, and said they didn't really want any more high schoolers.

"Send 'im in." was the immediate response my mother received when she told Kari I was 20.

When I went in for an application, I brought with me what I needed to fill it out accurately and on the spot. I gave it back to Ron, the store manager who gave it to me. He looked it over and gave me a "bubble sheet" type questionnaire that the company required all applicants to fill out. However, he came into the store's classroom where I was filling it out after I'd gotten about nine questions into the 80 or so it had.

"I can already tell just from meeting you that I want to hire you."

I could tell this was a real manager, just by his demeanor. I also could tell he'd be a whole different story to work with.

"And because I don't want corporate to find some reason in this to screw me over, I'm gonna come back every few minutes, see how you're doing, and tell you which answers to switch." he told me.

Whoa. Wait a second... a manager who can already tell I'm valuable before I've been hired, when the last place couldn't figure that out after nearly two years of service? Wow. That boosted my ego a smidgen.

After he'd come back maybe three or four times and corrected only four or five answers, I left feeling quite confident. My mother bought her art supplies there, and asked if I wanted to go with just to see what the progress was. So only a few days after the "interview", if you can really call it that, I went in. She checked the schedule sitting at the Service desk for her own times, and found that I was already scheduled for the next week! So I wrote down my days - which weren't too plentiful, since it was a part-time position - and we headed home.

On my first day, Kari told me that the reason they hadn't called was that they had some administrative crap coming up and were going to wait one more week. But since I had showed up, they decided I may as well work that first scheduled week. Within the first two weeks, I was promoted to one of the ten full-time positions in the store, just under department manager in Floral Department. In another two months, Ron told me that at that point I was his "right-hand man" as he put it. The praise and great news just kept coming. I went from a dollar less per hour in contrast to the last place I worked to more than a dollar more per hour in two weeks. The benefits were exponentially better, and I was essentially they "golden boy". To top it off, the atmosphere was far more accepting of homosexuals, which was evident by the number of us and positions held. The lead framer in the framing department is a big ol' flamin' black guy, one of the part-time male cashiers/sales associates is gay (both of these guys easily over 30), and Kari herself is a "lez". Sara, one of the frame shop part-timers is bi; but she quit by the time the majority of this story will take place.

Who knew that quitting one place with no notice and applying at another I had never thought to apply at would be the best decision so far in my life?

Well, I've definitely got more to write, and I probably will regardless of response. But I'd still love to hear from you! Input is always appreciated, positive or negative. If you were expecting sex in the first chapter, I apologize. I had to get background in on this one, and I plan to make this a running series, and not just a one-file jackoff story. Why? I don't know, really. I have no aspiration to be a writer, I just need some way to really scratch my imagination to make my jackoff fantasies a little better, I guess. He already gets me off better than I have in months, but since I'm pretty sure this guy's straight, I know I won't be able to relieve this tension the way I really want to. No, Tim didn't appear in the intro. He will in Chapter 1, though, and sex is fairly likely then, too.

Send your communique to gaybekenobi [at] yahoo . com. (And yes, it was supposed to be "gaybewankenobi", but I completely forgot the first three-quarters of "wang" when signing up late at night.