By Tim Mead
Dan and Nicole went to The Cougar as usual following their Tuesday afternoon lab. When they found a table, Nicole said, "You know, Danny, I'd really rather have white wine."
"You don't like beer?"
"Not a lot. I just drink it to fit in."
Dan chuckled. "Me, too. I drink it to be one of the guys."
So they both had chardonnay. When the waiter came back with their order, Nicole took a sip.
"Ick. This is pretty bad!"
Dan tasted his. "Yeah. Maybe next time we should ask if they have a white that comes in bottles instead of from a hose."
"Could be pricey, but what the hell . . . ."
In their previous conversations Dan had learned that Fischer was Nicole's mother's name. She'd been a practicing attorney before she married Nicole's father and had kept her name for professional reasons. That had rankled, as did the fact that the wife made more money than the husband, whose name was Gardner. Another problem was that Gardner was a Baptist while Nicole's mother was ethnically Jewish, though she didn't go to temple or keep Kosher. At any rate, when Nicole was two years old, the father had taken off. He was now living near Louisville, an agent for a well-known insurance company.
So Nicole was raised by a mother who had taught her to be strong and independent. And to have no use for her father.
"Does your mom hate men, Nicki?"
"No, I don't think she hates them. But she loves beating `em in court. She seems to thrive on competition."
"How `bout you? You don't seem to have any hang-ups about guys."
Nicole grinned. "No, I guess I don't."
That conversation had taken place a week or so earlier. The afternoon they decided to switch to wine Dan asked, "Where's lover boy?"
She huffed. "I keep telling you, his name is Gage! If I didn't know better, I'd say you were jealous."
Dan chuckled. "No, I just like to jerk your chain. But you've never explained why you're wasting your time with me after labs when you could be with him."
"In the first place, I'm not wasting my time with you. We're friends. We're really easy together, aren't we?"
"Yeah, I'd say we are."
"Besides, Gage has a late afternoon class on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
"Have you told him about having drinks with a gay guy after lab?"
"I've told him you and I get together, but I haven't told him you're gay. That's your business, not his."
She took a sip of her wine.
"Anything new in your life since last Thursday?"
"Yeah. Casey and I have another roomie. His name's Urijah."
"You've got another guy living with you? How come he moved in so late in the term?"
"He's not in school. In fact, I found him on the back porch."
"What? Passed out? Drunk? Dan, what have you done?"
By this time Dan couldn't keep a straight face. "Urijah is a four-month-old kitten."
"Oh, sweet! I want to see him!"
"Yes, if that's okay."
Dan had driven to campus that day, so they finished their wine and walked to the lot where he'd left his old SUV. They drove to his apartment.
When they got inside, Urijah wandered out of Casey's bedroom, tail erect, its tip flicking back and forth. Nicole immediately sat on the floor. Urijah didn't go through his arch-the-back-and-hiss routine. Instead he climbed into her lap, purring as she stroked him.
"He's an ungrateful little bastard, that's what he is."
"Aww! Why do you say that?"
"I'm the one who found him, fed him, brought him inside. I'm the one that changes his litter box and makes sure he has food and water. But he likes Casey. He spends most of his day on Casey's bed. He'd sleep with Casey, but Case won't allow that. Says the cat wakes up three or four times a night and wants to be loved. And now look. He loves you."
Nicole picked up the cat and held him so she could look into his eyes.
"Urijah, you're a naughty kitty. Danny's a nice boy. I know he takes good care of you. You should give him some loving, yes you should!"
She remained on the floor, Urijah curled up in her lap. Dan sat down, cross-legged, facing her.
"Since he's the right color, you should have called him Cougar."
"I never thought of that."
"How did you come up with Urijah?"
"Case and I named him after a fighter we both like. He only weighs 145, but he's a wildcat in the cage."
When Dan got up on Saturday morning he found that Casey was already up and out. He had left a note on the breakfast table for Dan:
Cool, you might want to check out this website. Casey
Wondering why Casey would recommend a website, Dan left the note where it lay, ate his breakfast, showered, shaved, and went about his Saturday morning chores.
It wasn't until he was having lunch that he saw the note again.
When he finished eating, he put his dishes in the dishwasher, then went to his room and booted up his computer.
He typed in the web address, which contained the word "colbybitch," and hit Enter.
The first thing he saw was a picture of Bernie Caldwell. As he studied the image Dan realized it was taken at Nellie's. Bernie was sitting on a barstool with what appeared to be his usual vodka and tonic on the bar in front of him. He was smiling at the photographer. A good pic, Dan thought.
Scrolling down just a little, Dan saw a caption under the picture:
If you hang out at Nellie's in Colby, you'll probably recognize this as Bernie. He's the campus slut.
"Jesus!" Dan exclaimed. He scrolled down further and saw another image, which showed a naked Bernie on his knees sucking dick. The angle suggested it was the suckee who took the picture.
The caption said, Bernie's a great cocksucker.
"Ouch!" Dan said.
Fascinated, he scrolled down. Another picture appeared, this time showing Bernie on hands and knees being fucked by someone whose head wasn't in the frame.
He's got a hot ass, too, and he loves getting fucked.
Below that was one more image. This was a full-screen face shot. And Bernie's face was covered with cum. Dan guessed that at least two guys had shot their loads on him. He looked a little dazed.
Yep. No question about it. Bernie's a hot bitch. The only problem is he doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. So if you decide to try out his holes, be prepared for the whole campus to know it the next day.
And that was it.
Dan's first thought was, "Poor Bernie." Then he wondered who had done this. It was pretty obviously some guys Bernie had gone to bed with and then blabbed about. Dan remembered Casey saying that somebody might decide payback was in order. He wondered if Casey had a hand in this website. He doubted it. Casey wasn't the vindictive sort. He wondered how many people had the web address.
Again he felt sorry for Bernie. How humiliating! This probably explained why Bernie hadn't been at Nellie's lately. He was lying low.
Dan tried to study that afternoon. He could hear the noise from the stadium, where a home game was in progress. But it was thoughts of Bernie that prevented any serious concentration.
About 5:30 he showered and put on fresh clothes, a long-sleeve tee and jeans.
He fed Urijah and replaced the water in his bowl. Then he pulled one of Albert's "care packages" out of the freezer, one big enough to have two man-size servings, put it in a plastic grocery bag, grabbed his keys and said to the cat, "Guard the place! Don't let any burglars in!"
He drove to Bernie's apartment building, parked in a guest spot, went to the front entrance, and buzzed Bernie's apartment.
A tinny version of Bernie's voice came from the speaker. "Who is it?"
"It's Dan Cole."
"What do you want? If you've come to gloat, you can just go fuck yourself."
"No, man. I've brought some supper. Thought you might like some friendly company."
Bernie didn't reply, but he unlocked the door.
Dan took the elevator to the fourth floor, went down the hallway, and knocked on Bernie's door. He was shocked by what he saw when the door opened.
Bernie was wearing a plain white tee, faded jeans, no shoes or socks. His hair appeared to be two weeks overdue for a cut, and he hadn't shaved in a couple of days.
Making a half-hearted attempt to smile, he searched Dan's face.
"You really aren't here to make fun of me, are you, Daniel?"
"No, man. I've missed seeing you at Nellie's. And then today I saw the pix on line. Like I said, I've brought some supper." He held up the bag. "Coq au vin from Adrian's."
Bernie stepped aside to let Dan in.
"Come to think of it, I haven't eaten today. I haven't been hungry for a while."
Just then his stomach rumbled.
"Well, I'll bet you could eat this. Where's your microwave?"
It seemed the old Bernie returned when he grinned and said, "Where the fuck do you think it is, in the bedroom? It's in the kitchen. Why don't you do what you need to do while I take a shower?"
"Okay, I'll just rummage around until I find what I need. Oh, and don't shave. I like the stubble."
Bernie ran his hand over his chin. "No shit?"
"No shit. Now go!"
"Christ, you're bossy. I'm going, I'm going."
Bernie sounded like himself, but his posture and general demeanor still suggested a defeated man.
Dan went to the kitchen, where he set to work. By the time Bernie returned, smelling like sandalwood, wearing a pale blue polo and fresh khakis, Dan was almost ready to serve the chicken.
"Sit down. Albert would have a coronary. I forgot to bring rice, and all you had was Minute Rice, so we're making do with that. We should be having a salad, too, but the veggies in your fridge are a week beyond being safe to eat."
He had found a recorked bottle of merlot in Bernie's fridge, which he served in the stemmed glasses that were on a shelf above the tall glasses he guessed Bernie used for water – and his vodka tonics. (He'd seen a nearly-empty bottle of Absolut in the freezer.)
Bernie sat, took the wine glass in his hand, holding it by the balloon, and swirled the contents. Dan knew he was doing that to take some of the chill off the red.
"Daniel, this is, I mean, you are so . . ." Tears came to his eyes.
"No talking, man. Get some of that food into you. Then you can tell me about it if you want to."
The two were mostly silent as they ate their meal. When it was over, Bernie took their plates and put them in the dishwasher.
"Now, my guilty secret," he said, looking a bit like the "old" Bernie. He opened the freezer and took out a half-gallon container of ice cream.
"Chocolate Chocolate Chip."
He took two iced tea spoons from a drawer and handed one to Dan.
"You don't do this often, or you wouldn't keep that sinewy look."
"Sinewy? Is that what you think I am?"
"Well, you obviously have very low body fat. You're not really muscular, but you look good. I think sinewy describes it."
"Is that good?"
Dan grinned. "Yep."
"This is the first ice cream I've bought in months. I can't keep it around or I'll pig out on it."
"What's funny?" Bernie asked warily.
"Oh, for some reason I pictured you eating pâté on crackers or something."
"Can't stand pâté."
For a few minutes the only sounds in the room were the scrape of the container being pushed back and forth on the table and the occasional clink of a spoon against teeth.
Dan pushed back from the table and said, "Man, I'd better quit, or I'll have to live on greens for three days."
Bernie nodded and stood up. He took Dan's spoon and put both of them in the dishwasher, then replaced the lid on the ice cream and returned it to the freezer.
"Daniel, I don't know why you did this, but thanks. Could I ask one more favor?"
"Can I have a hug?"
Dan would never have imagined Bernie Caldwell asking for a hug. More evidence of how shaken he was by his recent experience.
He wrapped Bernie in his arms. They were a pretty good fit, even though Bernie was an inch or two taller than Dan. They stood there, cheek to cheek, rocking slowly from side to side.
"Wanna talk about it now?" Dan whispered into Bernie's ear.
Bernie took Dan by the hand and pulled him to the living room, where they sat on opposite ends of a leather sofa and turned to face each other.
"Two or three weeks ago . . . I've been in such a state I've lost track of the time . . . I was doing my thing at Nellie's. It was a Saturday night. A couple of guys I'd boffed before came in. They seemed glad to see me and suggested we get a booth. They're both hotties – or I wouldn't have done them – so it was fine with me. We sat and yakked and had another beer. We talked about which of the customers were fuckworthy and which weren't. And then one of them brought the subject around to three-ways.
Dan thought he could see where this was going, but he waited for Bernie to continue.
"As you've probably figured out, I've been around the block. But I'd never been in a three-way." He seemed to look in on himself. "Partly, I suppose, because I'd be giving up more control than I'm usually comfortable with. I don't know why, exactly, but that night it sounded new and different. So I agreed. I even invited them back here.
"Everything was very friendly. And I have to say, we all got naked and did just about every combination of sucking and fucking three guys could do. I guess I was so into it I didn't realize they were taking pictures with a cell phone. Well, now that I think about it, one of them did call my name to get my attention before he took the pic on the bar stool. But after that I didn't know they were using the cell until near the end. That's when they got me down and shot their loads on my face and then very openly took a snap of it."
"Geez! Did they explain why they were doing that?"
"Yeah, they said pretty much what it says on the website. They were pissed that I'd talked about it after having sex with each of them separately. They also said that my talking – bragging, they called it – had outed one of their friends. I felt bad about that. I never knew the guy wasn't out. What was he doing at Nellie's, for Christ's sake?"
"Did they tell you what they were going to do with the pictures?"
"Not at the time. I pleaded with the bastards to delete them. Promised I'd keep my mouth shut in the future. They said I'd better. But they never told me what they planned to do with them."
"So you were left to worry."
"Yeah. It's been hell ever since. Waiting for the shoe to drop. I kept expecting those pictures to show up somewhere. I've been too worried to concentrate on anything. I've missed a lot of my classes, couldn't eat, couldn't sleep."
"So when did you learn about the website?"
"They sent the URL in an email Wednesday of this week."
"How bad is it? I mean, do you know how many people they've told about the site? If they don't publicize the URL, there's not a lot of damage done, is there?"
"How do you know about it?"
"Casey told me. Shit! He wasn't one of the guys, was he?"
"No. Casey's been, well, distant verging on hostile since the time I brought him back here." Bernie raised an eyebrow. "He's really a stud. I hope you two are getting it on."
"No, we aren't. He's not interested, and I have to honor that. But getting back to the site. How damaging is it? I mean, you're out there cruising every weekend. It's no secret you're gay and working the scene."
"Really, Daniel! Having people know you're gay isn't the same as their seeing pictures of you in the act. It's humiliating. Especially the cum facial. Makes me look like such a pig! I can't bear the thought of going out in public any more."
"Yeah, I can understand that."
"But the worst part is what would happen if my dad ever saw those pictures. My parents know I'm gay, but if they ever saw the pictures of their only son sucking dick or taking it up the ass or with cum all over his face, Dad would yank me out of here so fast it'd leave a vacuum. I'll probably wind up in the mail room of a branch office in Bumfuck."
"Ouch!" Dan, who hadn't come out to his parents, imagined what would happen if they were to see him in pictures like those of Bernie. "What can I do to help?"
"You've done it. You obviously don't hate me. You're here, and you brought me supper. You're a sweet man, Daniel Cole!"
"How long has it been since you've had sex?"
Dan grinned. "You wanna?"
"Are you sure? I mean, I am the campus whore."
"Shhh! Don't say things like that. You're a nice guy. You're hot. You just need to learn . . ."
"When to keep my mouth shut, like it says on that damned site."
"I was going to say you need to learn circumspection. But tonight I want to make you feel better. Let's make this all about pleasuring you."
"You're not teasing me, are you? You're not going to get me all worked up and then laugh at me?"
"I'm hurt you'd even think that. Now, come here."
Giving Dan the first real smile of the evening, Bernie scooted closer.
Dan began rubbing Bernie's nipples through his shirt.
"Let's get out of these," he said.
Bernie lifted his arms, and Dan pulled off his shirt. Then he removed his own shirt and threw it on the floor.
Pushing Bernie back on the sofa, he stretched over him and began to mouth one of Bernie's nipples.
Bernie sighed and ran his hands up and down Dan's back.
"God, I can feel your muscles crawling around under your skin! That's so hot!"
Dan tugged at the nipple with his teeth, and Bernie shrieked. Then he nuzzled his way down to Bernie's innie navel, which he began to tongue. His hard cock was trapped painfully in his jeans. When he reached down to unbutton his pants, Bernie said, "Let's take this to the bedroom, stud."
In the bedroom. On the bed. Naked.
"Bern, you be the stud tonight. I want you to fuck me."
"Really?" He raised both eyebrows. "I had the impression you were a top."
"I am, usually. But tonight's your night."
"You're not a virgin back there, are you?"
"No. But I need someone who knows how it's supposed to be done."
Bernie grinned. "I'm just the guy. But let's not rush this." He lay on his back and held out his arms. "Come here."
Dan rolled on top of Bernie, supporting his upper body with his forearms. They pressed their hard cocks together and began humping. Bernie opened his mouth in invitation. Dan stuck out his tongue and they wiggled the tips together. Soon Bernie's tongue was in Dan's mouth, insistent. Dan allowed his mouth to be swabbed, letting Bernie have control. He found relinquishing control a refreshing change. He didn't mind the more passive role. And, though he was on top, Bernie was humping his dick up against Dan's belly. This wasn't quite like anything Dan had experienced before, and he humped back, sucking on Bernie's tongue.
Before long Dan felt Bernie's body stiffen under him. Then his lower abs were sprayed with warm goo. He chuckled and rolled off.
"Sorry. I told you it had been a while."
"Don't you jack off?"
"I haven't even felt like doing that lately."
Bernie rolled Dan onto his back and began to lick off the cum. Then he took Dan's cock into his mouth and began to work on it.
"Oh, man, that feels good. That feels real good!"
Bernie paused long enough to say, "Feeling good's what it's all about, Daniel." Then he went back to work.
Dan was immersed in the warmth of the experience when Bernie ever-so-briefly quit sucking. It felt to Dan as if a finger had poked into Bernie's mouth beside his cock. And, sure enough, a moment later he felt a finger pushing at his pucker.
He tensed briefly before making himself relax. Bernie was just getting him ready.
"If this hurts, let me know."
Bernie pushed a little harder.
"Um, do you have any lube?"
"You're asking the bossy bottom bitch if he has lube? You bet your ass I do!"
Dan laughed. "Yeah, I guess I am."
Bernie scrabbled to the night stand and took out both lube and condoms. He applied a liberal amount of the lube to Dan's hole and to his fingers. Then he went back to work. He licked and sucked on Dan's balls as he worked a finger into the hole.
Again Dan tensed, but this time it didn't feel bad. And he jumped when Bernie began stroking his prostate.
Bernie returned his mouth to Dan's cock while working a second finger into his anus.
This is what it's all about, Dan thought as he vibrated to the zings that were coming from inside him. He knew enough to do to other guys what Bernie was doing to him. He'd just never realized it could feel so good.
Much as he enjoyed the sucking and frigging, before long he needed more.
"Um, Bern, I think it's . . . uh, could you?"
"You want to be fucked, Daniel? Is that it?"
"You're liking this?"
"Never had anything feel like this before?"
"Poor baby. You've been deprived, haven't you?"
"And you don't mind that it's Colby State's premier bottom bitch that's fucking you?"
"No, dammit! Just do it! Please!"
And so, carefully, clearly concerned to give Dan the greatest amount of pleasure, Bernie fucked him. Dan rode the tide of pleasure as long as he could, and then, for the first time in his life, he came without anyone touching his dick.
"Good boy," Bernie said, speeding up a little. "Now it's my turn." And five minutes later, he stiffened and twitched. Dan figured he must have had a lot stored up, for, though he'd come against Dan's stomach earlier, it seemed he was filling the condom.
Later, when they were lying side by side, Bernie said, "Daniel, I remember when you fucked me. You were very good. You knew what to do to make me feel good. You didn't turn it into a power trip. Are you telling me you do that when you're screwing but this is the first time you've ever experienced that bottoming can be good?"
"Yeah. You've certainly expanded my horizons, Bernie. Thanks."
Bernie rolled over and kissed Dan's cheek. He flung an arm over Dan's chest, rested his head on Dan's shoulder, nuzzled his neck, and said, "No, sweetie, thank you!"
They both fell asleep in that position. When Dan awoke, the lights were still on. Bernie's bedside clock said 1:43. He hadn't been invited to stay, so he got up and began to dress. Bernie didn't wake up. Dan suspected his friend hadn't gotten much sleep lately.
He pulled the covers over the sleeping Bernie, stopping for a moment to admire his smooth, lean body. He turned off the bedside light. Then he wrote a note which he left on the kitchen table, turned off the light in the living room, and left, making sure the door latched behind him.
As he entered the building where he lived, he met Casey, who was coming downstairs from Seth's apartment.
"You spent the evening with Seth?"
"What did you get up to?"
Casey shook his head. "A gentleman . . ."
Dan grinned. "A gentleman never tells. But you've been having sex. I can smell it on you."
"And you're the pot. Who've you been with?" He unlocked the door and stepped back to let Dan enter first. "You could do with a bath, too, dude."
"Yeah. Whatever. You can go first if you want to. And then I'll shower. But we need to talk."
"Can it wait until morning? I worked all evening and then, well, you know. I'm tired."
"Yeah, I guess so. Why don't we go to Perkins for breakfast?"
Casey grinned. "Okay, but I'm gonna haul your sorry ass out of the sack earlier than you're used to getting up. I'm not gonna wait until noon to have breakfast."
Dan yawned. "Whatever. But we do have to talk."
"What's this all about?"
"You've been with him?"
"Okay, man. You can tell me about it tomorrow."
Both young men decided to forego their usual health-conscious breakfasts the next morning and had eggs, pancakes, and sausage at Perkins.
"So," Casey asked, pouring syrup over his pancakes, "what about you and Caldwell?"
Dan looked his friend straight in the eye and asked, "Did you have anything to do with those pictures on that web site?"
"Do you know who the guys were who did it? Bernie said there were two of them."
"Didn't he tell you who they were?"
"No, and I forgot to ask. We were, uh, otherwise occupied."
"Jesus, Cool! You'll never learn."
"And you're too hard on him. He's learned his lesson. But this was a case of swatting a fly with a two-by-four."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, think about it. Granted Bernie tends to shoot his mouth off about guys he's taken to bed. But you've seen those pictures and their captions. How'd you like it if it was you? I know you'd never get into a situation like that. But use your imagination. Suppose somehow it was you. How'd you like your friends, or worse, your grandmother to see that web site?"
Casey put down his fork, picked up his coffee mug, and took a sip.
"I guess I see what you mean. Most of his friends will just have a laugh over it. After all, they know Bernie."
"Maybe they don't. He can be a very sweet guy."
"Well, you must bring out that side of him. I think he's pushy, superior, and sometimes snide."
"Yet you slept with him."
Casey grinned. "Well, there is that. He's a hot bottom."
"Getting back to your grandmother. The thing is, he's afraid his parents will see those pix. He says his dad will yank him out of school and banish him to Bumfuck if he sees them."
"I hadn't thought of that."
"I don't suppose the guys who set him up did, either."
Casey took a bite of sausage and chewed it thoughtfully.
"I'll see what I can do."
They concentrated on their food for a while.
Dan broke the silence. "You and Seth?"
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