By Tim Mead
Sunday was the only morning when Dan could enjoy the luxury of sleeping in. Mustering his will power, he forced himself out of bed when it was necessary, which this term was every weekday, but he loved the delicious laziness of waking, realizing he didn't have to get up, turning over, and going back to sleep.
It was nearly 11:00 by the time he'd showered, dressed, and wandered into the kitchen for juice, coffee, and cereal. He noticed in passing Casey's bed was made, which meant he was up and out already.
As he crunched his Kashi, he thought back to what Seth had suggested the evening before, that he, Dan, had submissive tendencies.
The idea had come as a shock. He couldn't imagine allowing himself to be whipped or punished or humiliated. One of the reasons he'd wrestled in high school and then gone into MMA, after all, had been because he enjoyed the contest. And there was nothing like the rush of pitting yourself against another guy your size and winning!
Outside the ring, Dan wasn't a confrontational guy. He knew people were all different, and he believed in living and letting live. But that wasn't the same as being submissive, was it? There was a difference between being agreeable and letting people walk all over him.
He decided he was going to challenge Seth on the issue the first chance he got.
Still, he had gotten a hard on when they were talking about the loser of a fight getting fucked right there in the ring with everybody watching. What did that say about him?
That afternoon he dusted the surfaces in his room and the living room, ran the Hoover, and mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors. Then he studied for a while. Late in the afternoon he went to the kitchen to see what he might come up with for supper. Casey would be working, so it would be another solitary meal for Dan.
As he was peering into the freezer, he thought he heard a cat meow. Closing the freezer door, he stood quietly. Sure enough, he heard it again. The sound came from outside. When he opened the back door, he found a small yellow cat sitting on the stoop.
Dan stepped outside and squatted to pet the cat, which immediately retreated, arched its back, and hissed at him.
He sat and put his hands in his lap. The small feline, probably not yet full grown, watched him warily from the edge of the stoop. When Dan extended his fist slowly, as he would when around a strange dog, the cat retreated, once more arching its back.
"Hey, cat. You're on my porch," Dan said, chuckling. "But it's nice out, so I may just sit here a while."
After a moment the cat, remaining at the edge of the stoop, sat and began to groom itself.
"Okay. We'll ignore each other. But ya hungry? I'll bet you are."
The cat didn't respond.
Dan stood slowly, trying not to spook his visitor, who instantly jumped off the stoop into the grass.
"Don't go `way."
He went inside and found a small bowl, into which he ran some water. He knew you weren't supposed to give cats milk. So he opened a can of tuna and forked some of it onto a saucer.
He could just hear his mother saying, "Daniel, if you feed the creature, it will never go away."
But he took the tuna and water outside and set them down. The cat licked its chops as soon as it caught a whiff of the tuna, but it didn't budge from its spot in the grass.
"Okay, I'll go inside."
He went to his room and used his computer to look up some things related to one of his courses. Then he checked his email. Apart from the usual spam, there was a note from Nicole saying she was eager to talk with him after their Tuesday afternoon lab.
Supper time rolled around, and Dan was hungry. He hadn't eaten anything since his late, light breakfast.
Albert, the chef at the restaurant where Casey worked, often sent food home with Casey. The freezer had a nice selection of things, labeled with instructions for how to thaw and heat them in the microwave. Casey had invited Dan to help himself to any of Albert's "care packages." And those were the best meals Dan had had since coming to Colby.
That particular evening he had a ragout de boeuf, which was a kind of glorified beef stew, but better than any beef stew he'd had before. He poured himself a glass of red wine, warmed a couple of frozen ciabatta roles, and dined like a king.
That's me, King Dan. No, King Cool. Too bad the King is dining alone, though.
Which reminded him of the visitor out back. When he looked through the window in the back door, he saw the cat, hunkered down like the Sphinx, eyes closed, looking pretty contented. About half the tuna had been eaten, and the cat's sides were bulging.
"You'd better go back home, kitty," he said. "Someone's probably missing you."
Since the cat wore no collar, however, it occurred to Dan that perhaps it had been dropped. He debated on whether to bring it in, assuming he could catch it or entice it to enter, but wondered if he should wait until Casey got home. They shared the apartment, after all, and Casey should have a vote in whether or not they took in a stray. Still, after the sun went down it would be chilly. And Casey should see the cat in the light, not outside in the dark.
When he picked up the water and food bowls and set them inside the back door, the cat was watching him through slitted eyes. Dan held the door open and said, "You'd better come on in."
The cat got up, stretched, and walked very slowly into the kitchen.
By the time Casey got home, the kitten was snoozing at the other end of the sofa from Dan, who was watching TV.
"Hello! Who's this?" Casey asked.
The kitten jumped up, arched its back, stuck its tail in the air, and hissed at Casey.
"I think we should call him `Urijah.' He's little but he's feisty."
Casey chuckled. "Good name!" He grabbed the subject of the discussion and cuddled it against his chest. Urijah instantly began to purr.
"He likes you."
"Seems that way. So tell me, where did you get him?"
Dan explained about his evening with the cat.
"So, you wanna keep him?" Casey asked when the narrative was completed.
"Yeah, if it's okay with you."
The roommates decided that the next morning Casey would pick up a litter box, litter, and cat food, and that they'd share the cost. Dan promised to call the police to tell them they'd taken in the cat in case anyone reported him missing, though neither he nor Casey thought that would be the case. They were pretty sure, since it was clean and not malnourished, it had been abandoned in their neighborhood, probably that very day.
And thus the Shaw/Cole household acquired another member.
It turned out Nicole wanted to talk about the guy she'd been dating. Over beers at the Cougar (where her fake ID was accepted without challenge), she explained that she'd been seeing Gage for several weeks. Given the nature of their friendship, Dan was surprised she hadn't mentioned him before, but he felt no jealousy.
His first question was, "What does he look like?"
She smiled. "A straight guy would have asked what he's like."
"So I'm not straight. Answer the question."
"Do you know Taylor Hawkins, the Foo Fighters' drummer?"
"Not personally, but I've seen pictures of him."
Hawkins wore his hair at shoulder length, currently several shades of blond. He had a dark beard which always looked about four days old. His eyes were blue. And he had a great smile featuring perfect teeth.
"Your guy really looks like Hawkins?"
"Yes, he does. And, like I told you, his name is Gage."
"Okay." He grinned at her. "What's he like?"
She grinned back. "Charming. Sexy."
Dan wondered if she'd slept with him, but he didn't ask. He merely waited for Nicole to continue.
"He has a wonderful sense of humor. Did I mention his smile? It makes me tingle all over."
"Yeah, you mentioned his smile. So is this man perfect, then? Or does he have a fault hidden away somewhere."
She thought for a moment. Then she took a swallow of beer.
"Well, nobody's perfect. Anyone who's out to find the perfect man is foolish, don't you think?"
"Probably. I hadn't thought about it much. So what's wrong with lover boy?"
"His name is Gage. You aren't jealous, are you?"
"No way. You and I, we're just friends. I'm gay, remember?"
"Yeah, sorry, Danny."
"So, what is Gage's great flaw?"
"Oh, nothing much. It's just that he's . . . ."
". . . a little possessive, that's all."
"Well, he's lucky to have you as his, what? Girlfriend?"
Dan grinned again. "Is that uh huh to him being lucky or you being his girlfriend?"
She returned the grin. "Yes."
"So he's possessive?"
She was sliding the bottle around in the puddle of condensation on the table.
"He seems to tense up when we're around other guys, especially if he thinks I'm noticing them."
"I, uh, haven't told him about you. About our friendship."
"Because he's jealous or because I'm gay?"
She sighed. "I just don't want to complicate our relationship right now. I really like Gage and I'm not ready for an argument, okay?"
"Okay by me. So long as you think he's worth the bother." Dan took a swallow of beer, set the bottle down, and continued. "Would it make things easier for you if we didn't get together after lab?"
"Maybe. But I'm not going to give up a good friendship. Gage will have to learn that he doesn't own me."
No one had reported a cat missing, so Casey and Dan went ahead with "parenthood." They took him to a vet, who pronounced him perfectly healthy.
"Are you going to have him neutered?"
"Ouch!" Casey exclaimed.
"Well, he's about 4 months old. If you don't, in a couple more months he's going to want to prowl and also to spray. We can also remove his claws, too, if you're worried about your furniture. But we don't like to do that. It's pretty painful for the animal."
"Poor guy. We'll have to think about it, doc."
The roommates split the cost of the vet's bill.
"I didn't realize taking in Urijah would be so expensive."
"Neither did I," Dan said. "But we can't just put him back out on the street, can we?"
"No way! He's family now."
"I just thought of something."
"What'll we do at Thanksgiving and Christmas?"
"One of us will have to take him home, I suppose."
Urijah was young enough to be playful. Often Dan and Casey found themselves on the floor after supper watching the feline member of the family bat and chase a ping-pong ball they had given him. But, as is often the case with the young, Urijah's attention span was short, and he often came to them for petting, purring loudly as he was stroked. Or, as Casey said, "Running his engine."
On a Friday evening in October. Dan and Arnie ate in the food court at the Colby Towne Centre Mall, which wasn't in the City of Colby at all. It was outside of town on the road to Toledo. After their burgers, fries, and sodas, they went to a movie starring a Bruce Lee wannabe. Dan annoyed Arnie and others around him by chuckling throughout the film.
"I'm sorry," he apologized as they left the theater, "but that was all just so bogus."
Arnie huffed and shook his head. "Lord, save us from purists. Promise me you won't tell me everything that was wrong."
They decided to stop by Nellie's to see what was happening.
It was chilly when they came out of the movie. Since both he and Arnie were wearing polos and hadn't brought jackets, Dan used the heater in his old Blazer for the first time since the previous spring. He had to park a block away from Nellie's and they could see their breath as they walked quickly to the bar.
He felt a finger running up and down the seam in the middle of the seat of his jeans.
"I'm gonna get me some of that before this night's over."
No, you're not! Dan thought. But will you drop me when I tell you I don't bottom?
The place was busy and noisy, but not the zoo it would become a couple of hours later. Dan and Arnie stopped by the bar, got their beers, and found a small table from which they could people watch.
"Arn, there's a question I asked you once before that you didn't answer."
"Why didn't I answer?"
"Because we were fucking."
"Oh, good reason. But what was the question?"
"I'm just curious, okay?"
"Yeah. Go ahead."
"It's about the way you talk. Sometimes you sound like a brutha. And sometimes you sound like, well . . . me."
Arnie grinned. "Your parents are both college graduates, right?"
"And so are mine."
"You said they were both teachers."
"Right. I remember my momma saying when I was just a kid that if I wanted to be a success down town, I had to be able to talk like down town. So they made me speak the standard dialect at home."
"But to get along with my black friends, the bruthas, I had to talk their talk. So now I'm what's called bi-dialectal."
"From a practical viewpoint, I can see the logic of that. But it's a shame you should have to change the way you talk to avoid prejudice."
"Man, I'm black and queer. I know about prejudice. But it's not just blacks. A lot of people from Appalachia and the South learn the standard dialect if they want to move to the North or the West Coast."
"It's kind of like being gay, isn't it? Sometimes it's better to play down who you are."
"Things are getting better, bro. Maybe race and gender orientation won't even be an issue for our kids."
"What kids?" Dan asked, pretending to be shocked.
"One never knows, do one?"
As he and Arnie chatted, Dan looked around the room. He didn't see anyone he knew. One of the busy – and hunky – bartenders was named Clay. But he didn't recognize any of the patrons.
He mentioned that to Arnie.
"I see some familiar faces. And other parts," Arnie replied, raising an eyebrow.
Dan wished he could do that. It was like wiggling your ears. Some people could do it, some couldn't.
"See the guys in the booth over there?" He nodded to indicate which booth.
"You mean the older guy and the younger one?"
The booth in question contained a forty-something redheaded guy and a really good-looking blond who appeared to be in his mid-twenties.
"Yeah. I have American lit. with the older guy. That's Dr. Adam Craig. He's cool."
"Do you know the hottie with him?"
"We've been introduced. That's Blake Bellamy. He and the prof live together."
"Is Bellamy a student? He must be in grad school."
"I don't think so. I hear he worked a while before he started to Colby. Rumor has it he was on a lake freighter. They say he spent his spare time writing a novel, and destroyed it when he decided to quit being a sailor and come to the university."
"Wow! That's some story."
"Anyway, he and Dr. Craig seem really tight."
"I wonder why they aren't home fucking instead of sitting here."
"Meeting friends, maybe?"
"Oh, yeah, I suppose it could be something like that."
As he looked around the room, Dan was surprised Bernie Caldwell wasn't there and mentioned that to Arnie.
"Yeah, he's always here."
When, a little later, one of the wait staff stopped by to see if they wanted anything, Arnie called him by name.
"Hey, Butch, this is Dan."
"Butch, I suppose you know Bernie Caldwell."
"Yeah, everybody here knows the Colby Casanova."
"Seen him lately?"
Butch shrugged. "Now you mention it, it's been a while since he's been around. You guys want another beer?"
"No, thanks, Butch," Dan said. He looked at Arnie. "Dude, nothing's happening here. We can have more beer back at my place."
"That's good," Arnie said, standing up.
With a leer, Butch said, "Have fun, guys."
On the way to Dan and Casey's apartment, Arnie asked, "What's up about Caldwell?"
"Nothing, I guess. Everybody says he's always cruising at Nellie's on weekends, and he hasn't been there in a while."
"Maybe he found a new cruising spot."
"Maybe he's toning up his tan in Key West or someplace."
"I wouldn't put it past him. He doesn't seem to have any money problems." He paused. "Or maybe some of those notches on his bedpost decided on some payback."
"Prolly not. Just sayin'."
This time there was no kissing and groping just inside the front door. Instead, Urijah, who'd apparently been snoozing on the sofa, stood and went through his stranger routine. Dan picked him up and held him while Arnie petted him. That did the trick, and soon he was in Arnie's arms, purring loudly while being petted.
"You're not such a tiger, are you?" Arnie asked Urijah. "You're really just a pussycat."
Dan laughed. "Well, duh!"
When Arnie put the cat back on the sofa, the boys made it all the way to Dan's bedroom before they went at each other. Once there, however, they had soon removed their clothes and were naked on the bed.
"I've been thinking about this all evening," Arnie said, running his fingertips up the inside of Dan's thigh.
As his flesh involuntarily quivered, Dan said, "Oh, yeah. Me, too. Ever since you groped my butt."
You shouldn't have said that, he thought. It'll just remind him he wants to fuck you.
To seize the initiative, Dan rolled onto his side, pushed Arnie onto his back, and began to tongue the closest nipple.
"Yesss," Arnie hissed. "Suck on that tittie!"
Dan humped Arnie's leg as he nuzzled and nibbled the firm, shiny, black pectorals.
After a while, just as Dan thought he might shoot, Arnie said, "My boy here's feelin' neglected. Think you could help him out?"
Dan turned around and assumed a 69 position on top of his friend.
As he busied himself – pleasured himself, actually – with Arnie's cock, Arnie was at first reciprocating skillfully. After a while, however, Dan became aware of something else happening at his nether end. Arnie was no longer sucking Dan's cock. He was lapping at Dan's hole.
Which felt fantastic. But Dan was afraid it was the prelude to something else. He intensified what had been a leisurely sucking of the big black cock in his mouth, hoping to make Arnie come.
One of the problems with 69ing, Dan was discovering, was that he was distracted from sucking dick by what was going on at the other end. He wanted to give Arnie a good blow job, but he couldn't help twitching and moaning because of the rimming he was getting.
Arnie chuckled. "Yeah, dude. It feels good when you moan. They don't call `em hummers for nothing."
So everything was more or less fine. For the moment.
But when Arnie stuck a finger, albeit one well lubed with spit, up his ass, Dan stopped sucking cock and said, "Wait a minute. Please."
Dan turned around so that they were lying on their sides, face to face, hard, leaky dick to hard leaky dick.
"I guess we need to talk."
"Bro, this isn't really a good time for talkin'."
"Yeah, but I got to tell you. I don't take it up the ass."
"You mean you're an anal virgin?"
"Why don't you let me get you off and then we'll talk."
Arnie rolled onto his back, clasped his hands behind his head, and said, "I guess I could live with that."
Dan positioned himself between his friend's legs and gave him the best blow job he knew how, accompanied by Arnie's appreciative noises and occasional comments.
It wasn't too long before Arnie said, "I'm about to come.
Dan kept on with what he was doing and after another minute or so, Arnie said, "Don't swallow. Just hold it in your mouth."
Dan found the request/command a bit surprising, but he did as he was told when Arnie unloaded.
As is often the case, it took Arnie a couple of minutes to come down from his orgasm-induced high. Dan waited, lying on his stomach between Arnie's legs, neck craned so he could look at Arnie's face, holding the cum in his mouth.
"Okay, dude. Open your mouth and show me."
Dan did what Arnie said.
Arnie grinned. "Man, I love to see you with my stuff in your mouth. You can swallow now."
When Dan had swallowed, Arnie said, "Let's change positions. It's your turn." He then proceeded to give the needy Dan a formidable blow job.
Dan remembered to warn him before he came, but he kept bobbing and sucking, using his tongue brilliantly on the under side of Dan's shaft. When the eruption occurred, Arnie swallowed it all, his eyes sparkling the whole time.
Later as they were lying side by side, Arnie asked, "Man, you don't bottom at all?"
"I'd rather not."
"Have you ever tried it?"
"Oh. Then you must have had a bad experience. Wanna tell me about it?"
"There was this guy back home. He was my coach and trainer. When I got thrown out of my apartment because I'd been late with the rent once too often, he let me stay in his spare bedroom. He didn't charge me any rent or anything. But after I'd been there a while, he came home one night and was all pissed because his girlfriend was on the rag or something. He knew I was gay. I hadn't told the other guys I trained with, but I thought he should know if he was gonna let me live there. So that night he told me he wanted to fuck me. What was I gonna say?"
"Tough decision, man."
"Yeah. I felt like a whore, `cause it was like I was doin' it for money."
"Is that the only reason you won't bottom now?"
"No. Frank was a nice guy in most ways. He was good to me at the gym, he cornered me at all my fights, and he helped me improve professionally. But when he was fucking me, he didn't seem to know or care how it felt to me. It was always quick and rough. I've read enough to know that getting your prostate rubbed is supposed to feel good. But all I ever got ranged from discomfort to real pain.
"Sort of slam, bam – "
"Yeah, like that."
They lay there without speaking for a few minutes.
"Guess we should have a shower."
When they had showered, they put back on their underpants, Dan his boxers, Arnie white briefs that looked amazing against his dark skin.
"How about some cocoa?"
As they sat at the kitchen table with their cocoa, Arnie said, "You know, Danny, taking it up the ass can be awesome if the guy knows what he's doing. Some time you've got to let me show you. I promise I won't hurt you. I'll quit if you tell me to. But I promise you'll be surprised. I think you're gonna love it."
Dan heaved a big sigh.
"Everybody says it's great. Or at least that's what I've read in all those stories online. I just don't know."
"Well, you could get a vibrator and practice with it." Arnie grinned. "But I could make you feel better than any vibrator."
"I feel kind of guilty, Arn, like I'm cheating you. Let me think about it, okay?"
"No pressure, Dan."
Just then they heard a key in the front door, and Casey came in.
"Whoa! How cozy! Am I interrupting something?"
"Just us having cocoa. Want some?"
He patted his stomach. "Thanks, but I'm stuffed. I didn't eat until late, and I got to pig out on Albert's Beef Wellington, or `buff velleen tone,' as he calls it. Don't want to slow you guys down. I'll just grab a shower and go to bed."
"It'll still be a little steamy in the bathroom, I'm afraid," Dan said.
"Not a problem. `Nite, guys."
They both wished him goodnight.
Urijah followed Casey into his bedroom.
"Want to get together tomorrow night?" Dan asked.
"Sounds good, but a buddy and I are invited to a frat party. Maybe next weekend."
Then Arnie stood, took his mug to the sink, rinsed it, and put it in the drainer.
When Dan had done the same with his mug, Arnie said, "Time for me to go. Thanks, Dan. For everything. The sex of course. And for trusting me with your story."
"Thanks for listening."
Arnie took him by the shoulders and pulled him into a gentle kiss.
"Just promise me you'll think about my offer."
"Sure, Arn. I will."
Dan had trouble going to sleep that night. His mind was filled with thoughts of his evening. He wondered what had become of Bernie Caldwell. His mind flashed from that to Arnie commanding him to hold the cum in his mouth, to open it and display it before swallowing. Arnie didn't seem like a dominant sort of person. And why did Dan do what Arnie told him to? Not that there was anything so terrible about it. Still, Seth had said he thought Dan was at heart a submissive. Could that be right? Did Arnie think so?
Then there was the problem of not wanting to bottom. Was that all Frank's fault? Or did he refuse to do that because he thought it was giving up too much control? Was he hung up on the idea that being the top meant he was more masculine, more dominant? Was it being too submissive to bottom? Was that what this was all about?
The last image in his mind before sleep was of Casey coming through the front door earlier. Even though Dan and Arnie had just had good sex, Dan's cock had twitched when he saw his roommate and recognized once again just how hot he was.
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