By Tim Mead
The rest of the evening had been awkward. After Moira's big Sunday dinner, neither Justin nor Bailey was very hungry when supper time came around, so they both worked on assignments for the next day. About 10:00 they had cocoa and some cookies that Moira had sent back with them. Conversation was desultory at best.
Justin was elated, but he was also sensitive to how difficult it must have been for Bailey to realize he had such strong feelings for another man. With that in mind, he resolved not to push things, not to do anything that would send Bailey running.
As he read or later as he sat at his computer, he stole glances at his roommate, at the man he so desperately wanted for his lover. Often he saw Bailey sneaking a look at him. Both tried to hide their embarrassment by turning away. Justin could feel himself blushing.
The most awkward moment came at bedtime. After they'd done their bathroom routines and were ready to get into bed, the unspoken question was "What now?"
"You coming to the gym with me in the morning, Jus?"
"Yeah, I think I should."
"Okay, then. I'll see that you're awake in time."
And there they were. Earlier that day each had confessed his love for the other. But Justin felt it was up to Bailey to make the first move. If there was even going to be a move.
"Jus, I know what I've told you must have taken you by surprise."
Justin grinned. "You could say that."
"Uh, about the whole sex thing, uh, I'm not sure . . . "
"Look, I understand. This has to be tough for you. I'm not gonna push for anything. You set the pace. If you decide the whole thing is a big mistake, I can even understand that. I just don't wanna screw anything up. It means too much to me."
Bailey grinned. "And they say you're a smartass. I think I know better than anybody how sensitive you really can be. It's one of the things I love about you."
Justin felt like melting into a puddle, but again, he didn't want to come across as too needy, too . . . queer. "Nobody's ever said anything like that to me before, and it means a whole fuckin' lot to me." He stood. "Now, since you opened the window, my ass is freezin'. I've gotta get in bed."
"I'll get the physical stuff sorted out in my mind soon, Jus, I promise. For tonight, can I just have a hug?"
"Any time you want, babe. You don't mind me calling you babe, do you?"
Bailey pulled Justin to his chest and nearly squeezed the breath out of him. Into Justin's ear he said, softly, "Actually, I don't like that. It's too, well, too gay. Maybe sometime, but not yet. Do you mind?"
"No, as long as you understand that I really love you."
Then, as the two pulled apart, Bailey put his hands behind Justin's head and gave him a soft kiss on the lips. No tongue. But more than a peck. Enough to leave Justin glowing . . . anticipating.
Justin got into bed. Bailey turned off the light. "Goodnight, Jus."
He didn't go to sleep easily. Until Bailey had said something about not uttering endearments in public, it hadn't occurred to Justin that Bailey might want to keep their new relationship – whatever that turned out to be – secret. But of course he would! He lived in the straight world, and he obviously wouldn't want to give that up because of his feelings for Justin. Bailey was always cool around gay people, certainly, but Justin could understand that he might not want to start flying the rainbow flag.
"Time to get up if you're working out with me."
Justin remembered that it was important to get up and go to the gym with Bailey. And then he remembered why. He sat up and swung his feet to the floor. His morning wood was sticking through the fly of his boxers. Bailey was sitting in his computer chair tying the laces of his winter shoes. A faint crinkle developed around his eyes when he saw Justin's condition.
"It's snowing again, so dress accordingly."
"Okay, just let me pee and throw on some clothes."
At the gym things went pretty much as usual. Neither of them mentioned what had passed between them the previous afternoon. In the shower, however, Justin couldn't help seeing Bailey differently. Standing there with water cascading over his glistening skin, his pumped-up muscles bulging, his pubes and the bit of hair between his pecs plastered down, he was spectacular. `And,' Justin thought, `he loves me. He says he loves me! Oh, god! How can I live up to that?'
There were a couple of other students in the showers, plus a forty-something who looked as if he might be a professor, so the room mates didn't talk. But once as he was standing on one foot while washing the other, Bailey looked at Justin and smiled. Justin smiled back and then concentrated on his upcoming class so he wouldn't throw wood.
After their computer class with Toby Taba, they didn't see each other again until Bailey came back to the room just before supper time. They went to the Commons because it was too nasty outside to go any further. The supper conversation was on general topics, the latest stupidity in Washington, the announcement of yet another candidate for the presidency two years hence, anything except what Justin longed to talk about.
Back in the room, they studied, spending some time talking about their mutual assignment in Computer Science.
When, at last, they'd finished their homework, checked their email and turned off their computers, they swiveled to face each other.
"Jus, I – "
They had spoken simultaneously. Both laughed from embarrassment.
Justin gestured for Bailey to continue.
"How do you feel about what I told you yesterday now that you've had time to think?
"You're kidding, right? I'm over the moon. I can't believe it, but I know you wouldn't shit me about something like that. I'm still in shock, maybe. For one thing, I've always thought my gaydar was 100% accurate. And you say you love me? You did say that, didn't you? I'm not imagining it?"
"Yeah, I said it. And, believe me, please, I meant it." He smiled. "I'm not worried much about your gaydar. I have been worried though, about the whole gay thing. I'm still totally confused about that." He ran his hand over his short hair and looked at the floor.
"Look, we can pretend you never said anything. I don't want you to do anything you're not sure about."
"That's so sweet, Jus. I guess I'm not being clear, though. I'm confused about the gay thing. What I'm not confused about is the way I feel about you. I love you. I'm in love with you. Everything I said to you yesterday about that is absolutely true."
Breathing a sigh of relief, Justin said, "Okay."
"Yeah, I was waiting for that."
"But I'm not sure I can come out. My mind, my values tell me that it's no big deal, that I'd be going back on everything I believe in if I tried to hide how I feel about you."
"But telling my friends is gonna be harder than I would have thought." He paused. "And then there's the sex thing."
"Sure. I love you. I want to, uh, be intimate with you. I just need to take that slow, okay?"
"I'm not goin' anywhere, man. I can wait until you're ready. And I won't push you to come out. Your sexuality is no one's business but your own. And, well," he grinned, "maybe mine, too."
Bailey stood and held his arms open. "Come here, please."
When Justin was wrapped in the bear hug he was coming to love, Bailey said, "I don't deserve you."
Grinning, Justin said into Bailey's ear, "You keep telling yourself that. Maybe someday you'll believe it."
"I do believe it, asshole. Now, about tonight . . ."
Justin pulled back enough to look Bailey in the face and grin. "Yeah?"
"Maybe we could just get in bed and hold each other?"
"That's gonna be hard, but sure, why not?"
Bailey chuckled. "Yeah, it'll be hard – for both of us."
"Let's do it in mine. That way, if you feel like it isn't working, you can always go back to your own."
"It's gonna be crowded in a single bed. You can kick me out whenever you want."
And that's what they did.
Justin stripped to his boxers and was ready to get into Bailey's bed, but Bailey made a point of taking off his boxers. So, Justin took off his, too, and they got into bed naked. There was a certain amount of awkward wiggling around until they lay on their sides, arms wrapped around each other. Justin loved the smell of Bailey's toothpaste breath, of the remnants of soap and deodorant, and something that was simply essence of Bailey.
His cock was hard. That was inevitable. But he was determined not to start anything. Soon, Bailey was kissing him. Justin threw one leg over Bailey's legs and returned the kiss. This time tongues were involved. Perhaps from his experience with all those women, Bailey obviously knew how to kiss. Kisses passed back and forth between them, sweet, tender, gradually growing more intense.
Justin wanted to reach down and grab Bailey's dick, but he kept telling himself to let the other man make the first move. His need grew greater and greater, however, and he was about to put a finger in Bailey's butt crack when his bed partner pulled his mouth away and said, "Thanks, Jus. I think it's time to go to sleep. Will you stay here with me, or do you want to get in your own bed?"
He stayed in Bailey's bed until he went to sleep. He woke up when he fell out of bed. The clock said 3:43. He got into his own bed and lay there, thinking about the hunk asleep only a few feet away, about the kisses and cuddling they'd shared. He grabbed his hardening cock . . .
* * *
Succeeding nights were about the same, Justin and Bailey snuggling and snogging in Bailey's much-too-small bed.
When, on Thursday, Justin got an email from his mother saying she was going to a conference in Philadelphia for the weekend, Justin uttered a cheer.
"What's up?" Bailey asked.
"Mom's going to be out of town this weekend. What would you think about us spending the weekend in my bed at home?"
Bailey looked momentarily uncomfortable. Then he said, "Sure, Jus. It would be nice to get out of here for a while."
"Dude, it's not getting out of here that I'm interested in. It's getting you into a bigger bed."
"Well, yeah, of course."
Justin caught the hesitancy in Bailey's tone. "Look, man, we don't have to do anything you don't want to. I told you we'd go at your pace." He grinned. "But I can light your fire, Stone. Trust me!"
Bailey grinned. "Horny devil! Sure, let's spend the weekend in Higgins. I don't suppose you want to spend the whole time in bed, do you?"
"Yeah, but I won't insist on that. We could see what Brody and Ole Dave are doing, I suppose."
"Jus, let's not."
"Not call Brody and Dave. I don't want to impose on them. Besides, now that I think of it, a whole weekend with you, just hanging out, doing whatever comes naturally, sounds pretty sweet."
On Friday evening they went to a basketball game with Cale and Ted. CSU won handily over Case Western Reserve. Both Justin and Bailey tried hard not to touch each other or in any other way reveal their newly discovered relationship. After the game they were invited to Cale and Ted's room for a beer. The four guys sat around rehashing the game, everyone but Justin having a beer. Justin asked for and was given a soft drink.
Justin couldn't help being aware of how good looking Cale was and thanking his lucky stars that Bailey wasn't attracted to him. In fact, he'd been mentally pinching himself ever since Bailey had confessed his feelings.
That night again they snuggled together, kissed with a bit more intensity than they had the previous nights, and, this time, ground their hard rods together. Justin was close to erupting on Bailey's lower abs, pulling back in time, though just barely. He thought if something didn't happen at his house that weekend, he'd simply explode. He fervently hoped that Bailey would be willing to take a step or so toward sexual intimacy in Higgins.
It was fantastic lying there with Bailey's arms around him, their cocks together, enjoying the warmth and the closeness. But Bailey went to sleep quickly, leaving Justin too horny to sleep. He disengaged himself carefully and moved to his own bed, grateful that he hadn't awakened his sleeping . . . what? They weren't lovers, though they loved each other. They weren't fuckbuddies because the most they'd done was kiss and snuggle.
Justin lay there thinking of the muscular hunk in the bed only a few feet from him. He pictured the pecs with the patch of black hair between them, the treasure trail leading straight down from navel through the abs to the lush pubes. His cock became even harder as he envisioned the pelvic girdle, the V of which pointed to Bailey's beautiful penis.
Once again he reached for his own hard tool . . . .
Saturday morning, despite his resolve, Justin really wanted to sleep in. At Bailey's insistence, however, he got up and they went to work out.
Bailey had grinned at him. "We may be doing a lot of lying around this weekend, Quinn, and I want to make sure we do something to make up for that, even if it's in advance. Now get your cute little ass in gear!"
"You never told me I had a cute ass."
"Well, I couldn't very well do that, could I, until I'd told you I love you? You might have wondered about me."
For once, Justin couldn't think of a snappy comeback. And he wondered what Bailey meant by "lying around." As he walked toward the door of their room, he wiggled his ass. `No harm in reminding him,' he thought.
They weren't together much at the gym because each had his own routines, though as usual they showered together. That morning there was only one other guy in the showers, perhaps because it was still early on a Saturday.. As always, Justin couldn't help admiring the view. This time, however, he didn't have to worry about Bailey catching him looking. And the third guy in the showers was some distance away, ignoring them. Justin guessed the guy was in his forties. He was in good shape for someone that old. His blond hair was curly and shot with just a little gray. And he wore a gold stud in his right ear. A gay faculty member, apparently. `Go, prof!'
Justin thought the wet Bailey looked like one of those body builders who oils himself up before posing. Once when Bailey looked at him, Justin made a point of licking his lips. Bailey didn't blush often, and he didn't this time. But he looked embarrassed, scowled, and then grinned. Looking over his shoulder to check the other guy, he put his hand under his balls and hefted them, giving Justin a "you want these?" look.
Justin laughed, and the prof turned to see what was going on. He and Bailey concentrated on finishing up and getting out of there.
They went back to the dorm to pick up a change of clothes and their toilet kits and then slogged to the freshman parking lot where they got in the Rav 4 and left for Higgins. As soon as they were out of the lot, Bailey put his hand on Justin's thigh.
"Do I really turn you on, Jus?"
Justin put Bailey's hand on his hardening cock. "Does that answer the question?"
Bailey chuckled. "I guess it does. So is this weekend gonna be kind of like our honeymoon?"
Justin gulped and took a deep breath. "Wow! I didn't realize you were thinking like that. But this weekend can be anything you want it to be. You set the agenda, okay?"
"Okay. So, first, let's stop at the flower shop where you used to work."
"I thought it would be nice to leave some flowers for your mom when we start back to the dorm tomorrow. And they won't be open then because it'll be Sunday."
"That's the thing about you, Stone."
Bailey looked puzzled. "What is?"
"About time you figured that out. Now, my good man, to, uh, what's the silly name of the place?"
"Who came up with that? They just call the one in Colby Cox Floral, don't they?"
"Yep. But the Higgins shop is the original one, and it was named by Brody's mom. Neither of the sons has the balls to suggest changing it."
"Is she that formidable?"
"I dunno, I've never met her. But from the little bit Brody's let drop, yeah, she's quite the diva."
When he saw Sheila's car in the back lot, Justin pulled in beside it and took Bailey in through the back door.
"Well, look who the cat dragged in!" Sheila said, giving Justin a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
"Hi, Sheil, how the hell are ya?"
"I'm good. And real happy to see you, Jus. But what brings you here and who's this hunk?"
"This is Bailey Stone, my, uh, roommate."
Bailey gave Justin a grateful look and held out his hand to Sheila. She shook it, giving him a long up and down look as she did so. "Glad to meet you, Bailey. I've heard about you. But if you two are just room mates, I imagine Justin's going crazy. You're gorgeous."
This time Bailey did blush.
"Look, Sheila, you've made him blush! But you know what? You're right. He does drive me crazy! I've just learned to live with a hardon."
"Jus!" Bailey exclaimed.
Sheila laughed. "It's okay, Bailey. Justin doesn't shock me. I'm used to his ways. Besides, he's always got a hardon." Before Justin could protest, she turned to him and asked, "Did you two come all the way here from Colby just to see me?"
"Well, I can't lie. Bailey thought it would be nice if we took Mom some flowers."
"You want to make up a mixed bouquet for her?"
"Yeah, that'd be great."
"Okay, help yourself. I'll charge you after I've seen what you come up with."
Bailey watched with great interest as Justin selected the flowers, cut the stems, and put them in a box.
"You don't need a vase?"
"Nah, we've got lots of those at home. I'll put them in water when we get there."
A mild dispute broke out when he'd finished because Bailey wanted to pay for the flowers and Justin wouldn't hear of it. He insisted they split the cost, which Sheila told them would be at the employees' rate.
They visited a while before they left. Justin wanted to know all about Sheila's husband and kid, and they talked about Brody's brother Bob and his family as well. When the boys left, Sheila hugged first Bailey and then Justin.
"Everybody knows you and Gary broke up, Jus. Don't let this one get away. He looks like a keeper to me!"
Justin grinned. "Shit, Sheil, you don't even know if he's gay."
Sheila blushed. "Oh, damn, Bailey I'm so sorry. I just assumed . . ."
"Hey, Sheila, it's okay. I'm used to it. A lot of people assume if I've got a gay roomie I'm gay, too. And you never know, do you?" He grinned at her.
Back in the car, Justin said, "That was pretty clever, Stone. But you know, you're gonna have to decide whether you're out or not."
Bailey turned to him, grinned, and said, "Well, maybe that's gonna depend on what we do this weekend. You did plan this whole thing so you could have your evil way with me, didn't you?"
"Heh heh heh."
When they got to the Quinn house they found a note from Moira listing all sorts of things in the fridge and the freezer that they could have as meals or as snacks. Bailey's stomach rumbled.
"Sounds like I'd better feed my growing boy," Justin said.
"Aren't you hungry?"
"Yeah, but I want to get these flowers in water first. That'll only take a sec, though."
He went into the utility room, opened a cabinet, studied the contents for a moment, and returned with a vase. He put water and a packet of Floralife in the vase and then arranged the flowers in it.
"I think I'll put them on the counter between the kitchen and family room so she'll see `em when she comes in from the garage tomorrow. Then she can put `em wherever she wants."
"Now, how about some BLT's, corn chips and cole slaw?"
"Sounds great! You do the bacon and I'll slice some tomatoes."
Working perfectly together they soon had the sandwiches assembled and on the table along with the other food.
When they were finished and the kitchen was put back to rights, Justin rather hesitantly asked, "So you wanna go to the mall and hang or maybe see a show?"
"You got a better idea?"
Bailey put his arms around Justin, trapping his arms at his sides, and squeezed. "Yeah, I think I do."
Barely able to breathe, both from being crushed and from tension, Justin grunted, "And what would that be?"
He shivered when Bailey licked his ear. "I was hoping you'd make love to me."
Justin let his knees bend so he could slide down Bailey's frame. He nuzzled one of Bailey's nipples. Even through a sweatshirt and a tee, that caused Bailey to moan.
"Oh, man," Justin growled, "I'm gonna make you feel so good!"
To Be Continued
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