By Tim Mead
Still at breakfast, Dan admired his friend across the table. Since it was Sunday, they'd slept in. Though he'd pulled on sweatpants and a tee, Casey looked tousled. Dan wished they could climb back into bed. Together.
The thought of Casey in bed made him push the point, though he knew he shouldn't.
"You've been seeing a lot of Seth."
"I said, don't go there!"
"I'm not asking about how the sex was. Just whether you've been spending time with him."
"You aren't jealous, are you, Cool?"
"Of Seth? No way! I just wondered about him. He's been nice to me, but don't you think he's a little creepy?"
"No. Why would you ask that?"
"He, um, asks a lot of very personal questions. A lot. Very personal. I think he should be a shrink instead of a photographer."
"Oh! Yeah, he's pretty direct. I don't think he means any harm by it, though. He's just interested in getting to know people, learning how they think and react. That's just the way he is." Casey took a long drink of OJ. "And I suppose it comes in handy when he's taking pictures of people."
"Hadn't thought of that. Well, anyway, uh. I won't ask about the sex."
"You already have. Give it a rest, will ya?"
After Casey left for work, Dan showered. As he stood there thinking about Casey and Seth in bed, he got an erection. Which he took care of. As he jerked off, his fantasy images were of himself and Casey.
While he dried himself off, his thoughts lingered on Casey. And the twinge he felt was, he realized, probably jealousy. Casey had nicely but firmly closed the door on the idea of Dan and Casey having sex together. Still, Dan habitually thought of his roomie as "his" Casey.
It was Sunday, and Casey worked the mid-day meal, the one which caught the after-church crowd having Sunday dinner. Dan studied in the morning, met Arnie for a burger, and came back to the apartment to catch up on his email, writing to his parents, to Cheryl, his workmate at Kroger's back home, and to a couple of the guys he'd trained with. He told the guys about meeting this really nice girl, Nicole, about having drinks after lab with her. He devoted most of his email to Cheryl to a description of Urijah's arrival, adoption, and behavior. It was harder with his parents. He'd already told them about Urijah and Casey in earlier emails. So this time he described his classes, stressing how much harder college courses were than the ones he'd taken in high school.
Casey got in about five wearing his work uniform of white shirt, black bow tie, black khakis, black sox, and black sneakers. He said "hi" and went to shower.
He came into the living room where Dan was half-watching the Lions taking another drubbing. He'd put on an old green tee and faded jeans. He was barefoot.
Yum! Good enough to eat.
"How was work?"
"First, Albert bitched at me for not bringing you in to eat. You've never been there, have you?"
"Well, how about showing up a few minutes before noon tomorrow? I'm off, so we can have lunch in the kitchen and you can meet Albert. Adrian probably won't be there since Monday is a light day."
"If we're in the kitchen, do I have to dress up?"
Casey chuckled. "Hell, no! You wouldn't even have to dress up to eat out front at lunch time. Most guys wear a jacket in the evening, but we don't have a dress code."
"Okay, I've never seen a restaurant kitchen before. And I know whatever we have to eat'll be fantastic. All those care packages Albert sends home are awesome. Besides, you've told me a lot about Albert. I'll be glad to meet him."
"Cool. Now, I've got some news." Without waiting for Dan to respond, Casey continued, "I'm being officially promoted to waiter. They've tried me out a couple of times when they've been short handed, and they liked the way I handled the customers."
"Great! Does that mean more money?"
"Yeah. And there's more."
"Adrian wants me to switch my major from business to hotel/restaurant management. He says if I do, he'll have a job for me."
"Wow! Won't changing majors at this point mean you'll have to stay around longer?"
Casey grinned. "Uh huh. Probably an extra year. Are you disappointed?"
"No fuckin' way. I was just thinking about the extra tuition and books and stuff."
"Well, here's the thing. Adrian's willing to help with that."
"Sounds like you're the fair-haired boy."
Casey blushed. "I wish you hadn't put it that way."
"Sorry, man. You know I wasn't suggesting anything."
"Some of the staff are pretty pissed. There's been some muttering that I've been sleeping with Albert or even Adrian."
"Let `em eat their hearts out."
"That would be a bad idea. If I'm more or less in training for management, I'll have to get along well with the staff."
"Well, I'm proud of you, Case."
"Hey, wait a minute. Having me there for lunch tomorrow isn't a way of signaling that you've got a boyfriend, is it? So your co-workers won't think . . . what they've been thinking?"
Casey laughed. "No. That's purely coincidental. Albert's been after me to bring you in ever since you got here."
The food was delicious. They had filets mignons with a caramelized onion glaze, French fried sweet potato strings, salad, and baguette with butter. Both guys dug in, Dan complaining that he'd just have a protein drink for supper.
Casey grinned. "Yeah, and maybe you should find time for a trip to the gym this afternoon."
"What about you?"
"Me? I work it off running around here all evening."
Good as the food was, however, Dan was more interested in the controlled chaos as the chefs in their black and white checked trousers, white jackets, and tall toques prepared food and waiters in formal wear but with vests instead of jackets whisked in with orders and out with trays of food.
Of most interest to Dan was the relationship between Casey and Albert. Albert had welcomed Dan, said he was glad to meet him at last, and urged him to enjoy the meal. With Casey he was much less formal. One could see the affection on his face when he and Casey spoke with each other. There was a certain possessiveness on Albert's part, the touch of a hand on Casey's shoulder suggesting something more than casual acquaintance.
Casey had told Dan about Albert's picking him up in a blizzard early Christmas morning nearly two years ago. He knew that Casey had stayed there a day or so and that he'd lived with Albert for a few months when he quit fighting and enrolled at CSU. And so he'd wondered if the two had been lovers.
There was no way of knowing that without asking, and of course he would not ask. But if he had to put money on it, he would say now that Albert's attitude was neither that of an older lover nor of a father. It was more that of a doting uncle. What is the word? I learned it in senior English. Avuncular? Yeah.
He wondered, too, about Adrian, who was, he had heard, something like the uncrowned king of Colby's gay community. Casey had let drop things that made his boss sound scary. On the other hand, Adrian obviously liked Casey and had a lot of faith in him if he was going to train him for a management position in the business.
"Where's the big boss?" he asked as he buttered a last piece of bread.
"He doesn't usually come in on Mondays. I think I told you they aren't too busy. So Albert's in charge, like he is any other time Adrian isn't here."
"Does that mean Albert's always here?"
Casey chuckled. "He doesn't have to be. But I think this place is his life. He's not away very often when we're open."
"And you're gonna like making a career here?"
"Dan, I'm just a poor kid from Parma. When I realized I wasn't ever gonna hit the jackpot in MMA, I didn't have a clue what I'd do with my life. I just chose business because I couldn't think of anything else to major in. But Adrian and Albert and most of the others have made me feel like I belong here."
"I can understand that."
Casey gave him a faint smile. Dan's cock twitched. Casey really was cute.
"But I'm not counting any chickens. We'll see what happens after I've tried waiting tables. I may bomb."
"Oh, you're gonna be great. You'll get lots of tips. The male and the female customers will love your ass. And your smile."
Dan didn't see much of Casey for the rest of the week. He left in the morning before Dan did, and when he wasn't in class he was at the restaurant. Or so it seemed to Dan.
Dan and Arnie worked out together late Friday afternoon. It was slow because they had to wait for most of the equipment. Afterwards they showered and went to Applebee's for supper.
As they left the restaurant, Arnie rested his palm on Dan's ass.
"Can I get me some of this now? I think I've waited long enough."
Dan wiggled his butt.
"Case won't be home until midnight, probably."
"What's a matter, he don't allow you to get it on when he home?"
"Can the brutha shit, man. Casey wouldn't tell me what to do. I just get embarrassed thinking about him hearing us."
Arnie chuckled. "That's the way it is with roomies. You get used to doin' it with them in the house."
Several more times on the way to the apartment, Arnie made Dan jump by fondling his butt.
"Cut it out, man! Someone will see."
"So what if they do? What's wrong with a little grope? Happens all the time with straights. And Colby's a pretty open-minded place."
"Yeah, you're right. I guess it's because of where I grew up. Cincinnati's a southern town in some ways."
When they got to Dan and Casey's apartment, there was no mad scramble this time to undress and hump each other, but there was no dawdling either. As they came in, Dan saw there was a note for him from Casey on the table where they dumped their keys and the mail, but he decided it could wait. After Arnie knelt on the floor and stroked Urijah, Dan offered him a beer or a glass of wine, which he refused. Dan fed Urijah and while he was eating they went to the bedroom, shutting the door so as not to have a feline audience later.
Arnie, who was behind Dan, grabbed him. He began to pinch Dan's nipples while he rubbed his cock up and down Dan's butt crack. Even through several layers of cloth, Dan could feel its hardness and its heat.
"I bone up whenever I think about your ass."
"You like my ass?"
"What, you never looked in a mirror?"
"Well, yeah, but it's just an ass."
"You're not an ass man?"
"I am, actually. I love guys' asses."
"I think you're just being modest."
"Okay, okay," Dan laughed. "So what are you gonna do about it?"
Arnie pushed Dan face-down on the bed, then dropped to his knees and began to nuzzle the seat of Dan's jeans.
Dan's sphincter began to clinch. He could feel Arnie blowing hot breath through the denim.
Man, he thought. I never liked it when Frank was fucking me. But first Bernie and now Arnie . . . I really want him to fill me.
"It would be easier to get at if we took off some clothes."
Arnie stood up. "Yeah, man, you right."
Dan turned over and sat on the edge of the bed. He pulled off his shirt and tee.
"So my ass makes you hard?"
"Damn straight, man. Just about any nice ass makes me hard, but I've wanted yours since the first time I saw it. And that was a week or so before I introduced myself to you."
"Why'd you wait?"
"I didn't know you were gay until I heard you'd fucked around with Caldwell."
"Maybe we should thank him."
"Wouldn't go that far."
By this time both were naked. Arnie stood there, his hard cock pointing at Dan, a drop of precum at its tip.
Dan leaned forward and licked it off.
"Don't, man. I'm too close. I want to come inside you. The stuff still in the drawer?"
"Uh huh. How do you want me?"
"Ass up. Stick your face in the pillow."
"You want me to smother?"
"No, but you might want to yell."
"Casey's not here."
"What about the guy upstairs?"
Dan sighed. He hoped he wouldn't be yelling with pain. And he sure as fuck didn't want Seth to hear him. So he put his pillow under his head, turning his face sideways, and stuck his butt in the air.
He heard Arnie tearing open a condom packet, then the sounds of him rolling on the sheath and putting lube on it.
Surprised by his impatience, he wondered if his reluctance to bottom had come solely from Frank's rough, indifferent treatment. Could it be that he thought of taking it up the ass as being servile, as if he were being the bitch?
His thoughts were interrupted by the feeling of a slicked finger sliding into his rectum. It wiggled around slowly for about half a minute and then, just as the sphincter relaxed, began to stroke his prostate. He jumped and yelped.
"Oh, god, yes!" He wiggled his ass and then felt silly. Why did he do that? To encourage Arnie? Probably.
"You like that, boy, huh?"
"Well, here comes more."
Arnie inserted another finger and began doing amazing things. Dan told himself to remember all that the next time he was topping Arnie . . . or whomever.
"You ready for my big, black dick?"
Actually it wasn't that much bigger than Dan's, but he merely groaned out "Mmm hmm."
"That won't do, boy. Tell me what you want."
"You bastard. You know what I want."
"Huh uh. You gotta tell me."
Arnie had removed his fingers from Dan's twitching hole.
"I want you to fuckin' fuck me, okay?"
"That's a good boy."
Arnie knew what he was doing. He eased in until he was sure that Dan was more or less comfortable. Then he began slowly, gradually picking up speed.
Dan found himself being more vocal than he'd ever been before during sex. This was nothing like the uncaring pounding he'd regularly received from Frank. This was good.
"Ohmygod! Ohyeah! Fuckmeee!"
"That's what I'm doin'. You like bein' a bitch, don't you, boy?"
Although he didn't see what enjoying sex had to do with being a bitch, Dan didn't say anything. Instead he stuck his face in the pillow and continued to grunt and moan.
Unsure how much time had passed, he realized he was getting close, due in part to his dick being pounded into the sheet under him, in larger part due to the stimulation Arnie's cock was giving his joy spot.
And then Arnie stopped and pulled out.
"Huh? What're you doin'?"
"On your back, babe."
Well, babe's better than bitch.
"That's good," Arnie said when Dan had rolled over.
He picked up Dan's legs and put them over his shoulders, reinserted his cock, and began to move in and out, very slowly.
Dan sank into a trance-like state, quiet now rather than vocal.
He was startled when Arnie said, "Jack your dick. I'm gettin' close."
Alert once again, Dan grabbed his drooling tool and matched Arnie stroke for stroke.
All too soon, Arnie muttered through clenched teeth, "Gonna shoot."
When, no more than a minute later, he felt Arnie's cock spasm inside him, Dan sprayed his abs and chest with his own cum.
Arnie held himself up with his hands on either side of Dan's chest for a couple of minutes, shaking his head as if to clear it. Then he backed up and began licking the cum from Dan's body.
"Man," he said, grinning and licking his lips, "that's primo stuff!"
"No, it's good." He licked up a glob of the white stuff and fed it to Dan with his tongue.
Dan grinned. "Gotta admit, it's pretty good."
"Just pretty good?"
"Okay, it's the best. But I don't really have much to compare it with."
"Shut up, bitch," Arnie said. He stretched his body over Dan's and began kissing him.
Later, as they lay side by side, Dan asked, "What's with all the black and white stuff and calling me a bitch?"
Arnie took his hand. Still looking at the ceiling, he said, "Don't mind that. I've always wanted to do it but figured the guy I was with wouldn't understand. I thought you and I were close enough you'd know I didn't mean anything by it."
"I don't mind the racial stuff. We are close enough to ignore that. But I don't see why the guy on the bottom is necessarily a bitch."
"Dude, that's too profound for a post-coital discussion. Besides, I'm hungry. What's in the kitchen?"
"You're such a romantic!"
Dan was walking carefully the next morning. They'd had round two before Arnie left. Tender and exhausted, Dan had gone to bed as soon as his friend was out the door. He hadn't even showered. And he didn't hear Casey come home.
When he got to the kitchen after showering and dressing, he found the note he'd left on the table the night before. It was from Casey:
You can tell Caldwell the website's been taken down. If he keeps his mouth shut, it will stay down. But the pictures are still in existance.
Dan smiled and shook his head. Casey had never been a good speller.
After he'd finished his breakfast, Dan changed his bed linens, which were a mess after the previous night's activities. Then he spent the morning doing the usual Saturday chores and errands. As he worked his way up and down the aisles of Kroger's he kept thinking about the night before with Arnie. That reminded him to pick up condoms and lube. Of course there was a female checker, and he knew he was blushing as he handed her his bank card.
He had a light lunch and then called Bernie but he the phone went to voicemail. He didn't want to give Bernie his news on a recording, so he hung up.
He tried again about 3:00. This time Bernie picked up.
"Bernie, it's Dan Cole."
"Oh, hi, Daniel. Why are you calling me?"
"Geez, Bernie. What a question. I'm your friend. Have you already forgotten last Saturday night?"
Sounding a little brighter, Bernie answered, "No, I haven't. I'm sorry about the question. It just seems like you're the only person in town who likes me."
"We need to talk about that. In fact, that's why I'm calling. Why don't we have supper, and then we can go back to your place if you don't have any other plans?"
"Oh, I'm not going out to eat. I've been driving to Sylvania to do my grocery shopping so I won't run into anyone I know."
"Okay, I'll bring pizza with me. Any preferences?"
"You don't have to do that."
"I want to. Is pizza okay?"
"Sure. And anything but anchovies." He chuckled. "Don't want to have fish breath."
"Got it. See you about six?"
"Any time. And Daniel?"
"You're very sweet."
A few minutes later Casey came in.
"Hey, man! I got your note."
"You gonna tell Caldwell?"
Casey pulled his sweatshirt over his head, revealing a plain white tee shirt that clung nicely to his pectorals.
"You talked the guys into taking down the web site?"
"Uh huh. I managed to persuade them getting him pulled out of the University by his old man was over the top. So they agreed to dismantle the site. But if he starts running off at the mouth about his sexual encounters again, the pictures could reappear."
"I'll make sure he understands that. Thanks, Case."
"Are you gonna fuck him?" Casey toed off his sneakers, picked them up, and headed toward his room. Dan watched his ass move under his jeans.
"You of all people shouldn't ask me that," he said to Casey's back. "If he can't talk about his sexual affairs, why should I?"
Casey turned. "Yeah, yeah. But telling me, your roomie and bosom friend, isn't the same as talking about it at Nellie's, in the Union, or in front of the Admin Building."
"Bosom friend?" Dan asked. By this time Casey had gone into his room and shut the door. A moment later Dan heard the sound of his electric razor.
Bernie had made some effort to straighten himself up. At least he had on a clean baby-blue polo, faded jeans, and white socks. But he still needed a shave and a haircut.
Why am I thinking `two bits?' Dan wondered.
They hugged awkwardly because Dan was holding the pizza box. Bernie kissed him on the cheek.
He took the box, "Take off your hoodie and put it anywhere. When you said you were bringing pizza, I opened some merlot to breathe."
Moments later they were sitting in the living area of Bernie's apartment. Dan had, at Bernie's suggestion, taken off his sneakers, so they sat, similarly dressed, sipping wine. The pizza was warming in the oven.
"Daniel, I'm happy to see you."
"Has it really been rough going to class and being around campus?"
"A few guys I know have more or less sneered at me, but no one has confronted me or actually said anything about those terrible pictures. The worst part is what I imagine everyone is thinking. I mean, how would you like it if the whole campus had seen pictures of you with a cock poking you at each end or with two big loads of cum on your face?"
"I'd want to crawl in a hole and pull it in after me."
"Exactly. But you said we had to talk?"
"Yeah. I'm here to tell you the website has been taken down."
"That's not a cruel joke, is it? No, of course it isn't. You wouldn't do that to me, would you, Daniel?"
"No joke. Go check it out if you don't believe me."
"No, I believe you. But how did you do that? I never told you who the guys were who were responsible."
"Well, let's just say a friend of mine knows them. When I told him you were afraid your father would see the site and that he'd probably take you out of the University, he talked with them."
"Oh. Will you tell me who the friend is, so I can thank him?"
"It was Casey. And I'm afraid he still doesn't like you very much. And there are strings. Or one major string. If you keep on telling the campus at large about your sexual, uh, conquests, the pictures could reappear."
"Oh, I've learned my lesson. I've had a lot of time to think during my self-imposed retreat." He held up his wine glass. "You haven't tried this. I think you'll like it."
Dan took a sip. He never claimed to be an expert, but his parents were pretty snobbish about wines and had helped educate Dan's palate.
"Mmm. This is probably too good to go with pizza."
"Life is too short to drink cheap wine." He paused. "I was saying I've thought a lot about why Casey and those other guys were mad at me. I never meant any harm, you know. It's just that gays do tend to talk about their sexual experiences. And I suppose I did that more than others. I certainly never meant to out anybody, but they told me I had outed Jer--, oops, I outed one of my pickups. Come to think of it, I didn't meet him at Nellie's. I should have realized!"
"Well, Bern, the point is to be discreet."
"I think that pizza should be ready by now." He stood. "I'm starved. As I said, I haven't been going out much and I skipped lunch."
"I called you just after noon, and you didn't answer."
"Sorry. I was here, but I've been using the voicemail to screen my calls."
They finished the pizza. And then the wine.
Dan wasn't drunk, but he was feeling pretty mellow by the time he'd gotten through his third glass.
Bernie came over and sat on the sofa next to his guest.
"Daniel, I'd like to show you how thankful I am."
Dan chuckled. "Well, it's actually Casey you should be thanking."
"I'll make a point of telling him how grateful I am for interceding. But you're the one who came to see me last weekend to find out how I was doing. You're obviously the one who got Casey to talk to those guys. You're the one who came here tonight and brought pizza."
"Okay, okay," Dan said, laughing. "You're welcome."
"Good." Bernie put his hand between Dan's legs and fondled what he found there. He put his lips next to Dan's ear and whispered, "I want to show you what a grateful bitch I can be tonight."
As it turned out, he was very grateful. Twice.
Driving home, Dan felt guilty. He knew he had used Bernie. He had had sex with him the first time knowing that Bernie would talk about it on campus. That's how he had met several new gay friends. Including Arnold Compson, who was turning into a friend with benefits.
He decided the next time he and Bernie were together, he'd better confess. And he did plan to be with Bernie again. He felt better about himself, somehow. Bernie knew how to top. He'd proven that to Dan the previous week. And his topping had convinced Dan to go ahead and allow Arnie to top just the night before.
Dan had been surprised by just how much he'd enjoyed having Arnie's cock inside him. His pleasure had been so great, in fact, that he'd worried about his self-image. But what was becoming clearer was that good sex wasn't about domination and submission, but about pleasing one's partner of the moment. Apparently both Bernie and Arnie knew that, took it for granted. But for Dan it had come, better late than never, as a revelation.
Casey was on the sofa with his earphones on when Dan got home, Urijah curled up in his lap.
The cat opened its eyes long enough to identify Dan and then closed them.
Casey took off the earphones. Then he made a point of looking at his watch.
He grinned and said, "That must have gone well."
Dan flopped down beside his friend and turned to face him. "Yeah, he said to tell you he really appreciated what you did. And that he'd learned his lesson."
"Do you think he meant it?"
"I think he meant it. But I don't know how well he'll be able to keep his resolution. Still, there is one sign he might want to change his ways."
"He asked me what I was doing next Saturday night."
Casey grinned. "Won't your friend Arnie be upset?"
"Arnie and I have been getting together on Friday nights."
"Cool, man, you're the stud! So which one of `em's better in the sack?"
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