Love's Given Up On Me - Chapter 13

 

–Ōŗ°ĪŠ

Disclaimer: First of all, this story contains sexually explicit content between two consenting adult males. If you find this offensive, then read no further.

Notice: I would like to thank everyone who e-mailed me about continuing the story. This chapter has taken an insane amount of time to post, and for that I am truly sorry. Thanks again for everyone's support and patience. I hope it was worth the wait. Enjoy.

 

Love's Given Up On Me: Part One

By: Cody Lane

Chapter Thirteen: Unconditional


*LOGAN/KENNETH*

"Yeah Matt, the plane ride over was fine," I answered, running my fingers through my hair, almost pulling it as I spoke into my cell phone. I impatiently paced in circles around my duffle bag and backpack lying on the floor as I listened to Matt talk to me like I were his only son.

I know now that since I had 'come out' he seemed a lot more worried about me than ever, his 'big brother side' out shining every other part of him. I remembered leaving his and Holly's house this morning at about 4 am. Except for Matt and me, everyone else was still in their sleeping clothes as they gathered in the living room. I got hugs from everyone, a few sentimental tears here and there as I said my good-byes. To my surprise, it felt like my little announcement did nothing but make us a tighter family. I guess because there were no more secrets getting in the way now. At the airport in Denver, Matt gave me an extra long hug as he made me promise that I'd call him when I could.

So here I was, already off the plane in Tucson, reassuring Matt that everything was perfectly fine.

The airport in Tucson was surprisingly not as crowded as I thought it'd be. Even though there were empty seats everywhere, I didn't feel much for sitting.

"Yeah, tell Holly I'm fine and that I miss her too..... AND her cooking."

I looked down at my wrist and at my watch as I listened to Matt chuckle in my ear. 8:56 a.m., I looked up and out of the three-story-high, open widow in front of me, at the moderately filled parking lot, at another plane coming in for a landing. I squinted my eyes a bit as the bright morning rays warmed my face through the glass. The clouds were building up. I guess I better get ready for a cold day.

"So when are you planning on bringing Ethan up for us to meet?" Matt asked, yanking me off my train of thought.

I turned around, the window to my back. "Uhh.... I donít want to make any promises....but.....," I said as I gently kicked my duffle bag.

"But...?" Matt asked. "You know Holly and Cammy are dying to meet this guy of yours."

"I know, but.... I donít want to make any plans without talking to him first."

"Ok then," he said chuckling. "It sounds like you got back to Tucson just fine."

"Yeah," I said, "Now I'm just waiting on a friend of mine to come pick me up."

"Oh," Matt said. "I almost forgot, you got a call from Alison this morning."

Matt's voice sounded a little worried. I winced. Shit.... I totally forgot to call her. I must have stood there, mentally hitting myself for a few seconds when Matt finally asked, "Everything alright Kenny?"

"Yeah," I said sharply.

"Wow Kenny, you got a boyfriend, and now your ex is callin' ya."

I sighed at him. "It's not what you think. We're still friends..... kinda....." the absence of conviction in my voice made him laugh even louder.

"Hey!" I all but shouted into my cell phone. "She's seeing someone, I'm seeing someone.... it's nothing."

"Ok Kenny, I just got the message telling me, to tell you, that she wanted you to call her... that's it..... ok?" his voice implying that he was just pushing my buttons for kicks.

"Ok," I replied apologetically.

Just then I heard the heavy rumble of someone revving their V8 engine. I turned my head, searching for the source. I saw a big, black, Chevy pick-up truck parked just outside and Adam and Terrace half waving at me through the windshield. I smiled at them and waved back.

I turned my attention to my bags, holding my cell phone in my shoulder as I picked up my luggage.

"Well Matt, my ride's here."

"Ok, well you take care Kenny Ok?" he said, his voice going into his parent mode again.

"Yeah, I'm a big boy Matt," I said as I started my walk to the front.

That made him laugh again, "Ok.... bye."

"Bye," I said as I walked out of the sliding doors and up to Adam's truck. I flung my duffle in the back and then closed my phone, sliding it into my pocket as I opened the passenger side door.

"So.... how was the flight?" Adam asked, his smile goofy as he had one arm on the steering wheel and the other resting on the seat behind Terrance. Terrance sat slouched as he leaned into Adam, he looked tired.

I threw my backpack in the back seat as I laughed to myself at them. They were still in their Pj's; sleeping bottoms and white undershirts. They had stubble on their faces and their hair was still a mess.

"The flight was fine," I said, smiling at them as I got in. "So.... did you two just roll out of bed or what?" I asked, slightly pointed at each of them.

Adam shifted his Dad's truck in gear as Terrance yawned, rubbing his face and then running his fingers through his soft curls.

"Nope, just lazy," Terrace said.

"Yeah man," Adam added. "It's Sunday morning."

I shook my head at them as I laughed once more. "Anyways, on to a subject that matters.... Ethan?" I asked, looking at one and then the other.

"Oh, your pretty boy's still training at his karate..... gym.....place....," Terrance said, pointing at the clock on the dashboard.

"And YES he misses the shit out of you," Terrace added, almost like he was rubbing it in.

Even though I didnít ask, it made me smile. I missed him so much over the past few days. It almost felt like slowly drowning in some sort of heartache. I didnít want to go back to the dorm room. Terry was not who I wanted to see right away.

I turned to Adam and Terrance, about to say something but instead, suddenly feeling like I was somehow interrupting; Adam driving single handed, lip-synching to the radio as he lightly bobbed his head. Terrance looked like he had fallen right back to sleep, Adam's arm gently around him as he rested his head against Adam's chest. I looked back down at my lap, at my empty arms. Ethan......

"Ughmm... Adam?" I asked.

"Yeah?" he replied, his eyes slowly reverting to me.

"Could you take my bags back to Terrance and Ethan's place and uhh.... drop me off at the dojo?"

Adam grinned at me, his crooked smile making me feel embarrassed. "You miss him that much, huh?"

I felt a quick rush of blood to my face, I was blushing. "Yeah," I said, admitting my emotions and smiling timidly back at him. I really needed to see him.... that and.... I had something to tell him.

"No problem," Adam said, getting off the freeway. "Gives me a chance to get my guy back to bed."

Adam's sly smile made my chuckle. He looked down at Terrance, still asleep, his smile turning soft. They did make a cute couple.

I looked back out at the road. Well now, this is gonna be an odd arrangement.... me and Ethan now have to share a room with Adam and Terrance. I guess..... we're just gonna have to learn to share.


*ETHAN*

"Yeah Chris, I talked to the brokers. I donít see why you and Derek didnít do this before you guys left?" I asked into my cell phone, holding it between my ear and my shoulder as I took another bite of my breakfast burrito; driving while I ate and talked on the phone, if the cops could only see me now.

Even this early in the morning, traffic was a bitch. I took a quick glance at my watch, 7:34. I was running a little late getting to the dojo. I only had a couple more practices with Steve and then I'd be as ready as I'd ever be for the tournament. The tournament..... Fuck! Was that already this weekend? I was now more than ever wishing that I had said no to Frank and Derek when they decided to make me their Tae Kwon Do entry; a few months too late to back out now.

Chris' voice pulled me out of my head, "So who is this guy anyways?"

"The guy that's replacing Derek?" I asked as I took a right turn.

"Yeah, that guy."

"Uhh...." I stalled as I searched for a parking spot, finishing off my burrito, "He's uhhhh....."

Finally parking Terrance's car I answered, "He's a police officer.... Troy.....? I think his name is....?"

I unbuckled my seat beat as Chris asked, "Is he hot?"

Making an annoyed face I answered, "I have a boyfriend, I wouldnít know."

"Boyfriend or not, that doesnít mean you can't 'window shop'," Chris said as I reached into the back seat and grabbed my gym bag. I got out of the car and zipped up my sweat shirt. The weather wasnít exactly freezing, but cold was cold. The clouds had now completely knocked out the sunrise as it tried to peer over the horizon. The wind was chilly as it picked up, but calm as it brushed my bangs over my eyes.

I closed the car door, locking it. "I can look, but..... Logan's the only guy that seems to do it for me," smiling as I said every word.

"Speaking of Logan, where is that ball-player of yours?" Chris asked as I began my jog across the parking lot, keeping an eye out for any traffic.

"He's comin'," I answered as I neared the entrance. "Donít worry. He hasnít left me yet," I said, the joking tone in my voice obvious.

I listened to Chris chuckle, "You know? Derek thinks of you and Logan as 'the-perfect-gay fairy-tale couple.'"

I stopped just outside the entrance of the dojo, my fist around the door handle, "uhh.... I'm not sure if I should be flattered or insulted, but.....thanks?"

Chris' laugh turned into a roar, "You're probably at the dojo now, so I better let you go. Oh, and tell Frank, me and Derek said hey, all the way from Missouri."

"I will. Bye," I said, opening the door as Chris hung up.

I was smiling from ear to ear as I walked into the dojo. Chris had called to ask me a favor. He needed me to run down to Derek's old office; big mess, really didnít feel like thinking about it. But before Chris, Logan called from the airport in Denver. I was still at the apartment. I had just gotten out of bed when I heard my cell phone chime. I think I just stopped getting ready and fell back into my covers, imagining him strong, warm.... secure arms around me, his breath on my neck, leaving tiny kisses on my skin. I could still smell him in my sheets. Being in love was great.......wait, I take that back, better than great. We didnít talk long but he said he had something to tell me. He sounded excited, yet..... scared at the same time. It made me wonder whether or not I wanted to hear about it. But he said I had to wait until he got back into town, whenever that was.

I shoved my cell phone into one of the open side pockets of my gym bag. The dojo looked empty but someone was here, the door was open; probably Frank, if not Steve. But I couldnít quite recall seeing Steve's big black truck outside. Anyways, that's beside the point. I'm late.

I walked out of the locker-room tying my karate belt, my eyes on my waist when I heard a voice that wasnít Steve's, Frank's, or even Liz's.

"So I guess you decided to show up after all," I looked up, my hands still tightening my belt as I stood still. Troy stood practically in the middle of the floor, his arms folded; all dressed out in his traditional white gi.

His bright hazel eyes locked on me, his body and his belt telling me instantly that he took his martial art training VERY seriously. He smiled at me as I slowly walked towards him, slightly confused and looking to see if anyone else was here.

"Troy, right?" I asked, barely smiling.

His face seemed to light up as I said his name, nodding his head once, "right."

"So Steve's not showing up I guess," I said as I pulled my grappling gloves on one by one, flexing my fingers so they fit snuggly.

Troy's grin turned into a small, nervous laugh as he scratched the back of his head, "No, he... uh, had a little somethin' come up at home."

"Oh," I said, letting the small bit of disappointment slip into my voice.

"But donít worry, you'll see him again before the tournament," Troy added, I guess trying to somehow cheer me back up

I nodded in response.

"Ok then. Go ahead and stretch......"

He watched as I steadied my stance, shoulder width apart. I got up on the heels of my feet and slowly, lowered myself onto the mat; the perfect splits. With my groin now touching the mat and my legs sticking straight out across from each other, I smiled up at him. Stretch? I was already limber enough.

He scratched his head and laughed to himself, "....Don't.... want you.... pullin'.... anything. Steve would hunt me down and castrate me."

I got back on my feet, doing a few tiny hops as I said, "Yeah, I already stretched after my morning run. This ain't the first time I've trained."

I watched a small glimpse of stupidity trickle down Troy's face as he averted his eyes and then laughed on an exhale, shifting his stance and then locking me with his eyes. They had a hypnotizing effect; his eyes, a warm hazel color with tiny specks of green. They weren't like Logan's eyes, they didnít leave me sated or floating. But still.... they dug at me, like there was something he was searching for, something buried beneath my gaze.

His smile faded as I finally noticed that we had been staring at each other for longer than what should have been allowed. I quickly turned my head. It would be smart not to let that happen again. Logan is.... well he's not fond of me being the center of ANYONE'S attention but his.

I tightened my lip and told myself, 'show him only your serious face.'

I think that was the last time I saw Troy smile. The next 2, almost 3 hours, were grueling as hell. He had me run laps around the dojo. Timing each one and then telling me to keep my pace up. Then I had my actual Tae Kwon Do to work on.

The sweat was now freely running down my face. I was practically out of breath as he had me work on my drop kicks; kicking my right leg up almost vertically and then swinging it back down; a graceful, yet powerful move. Troy counted each one out loud while pacing in front of me, his hands behind his back as he watched me out of the corner of his eye. I tired not to stare at him. But when you know someone's looking at you, it's hard not to.

As I listened to Troy count, my mind began asking questions. 'Was this guy for real? Was he really my new sensei?'

I was starting to really miss Derek right about now. It felt like all THIS guy wanted to do was find out what it would take to break me in two. Drills, push-ups, drills, push-ups; it felt more like some warped mixture of martial arts and police academy training. But I had to admit, in a sick way, it was kinda fun; pushing myself while also having someone looking over my shoulder, keeping me in check. He was a lot harsher than Steve ever was.

The last hour was spent 'perfecting my fighting stances.' My breath was finally falling back to normal as I held one particular fighting stance, Troy slowly circling me as he told me once again to focus. I hardened my countenance and tried again to control my breathing, my eyes locking on an imaginary opponent facing me.

"Come on Ethan, you know the judges are gonna be watchin' your form......." He said as he inspected my stance, his arms folded in disappointment.

I swear, I could feel his eyes running over my body sweating beneath my gi. His face looked distracted as he finally met my eyes, the hazel of them piercing. I looked away, back at the floor as I listened to my own heavy heart beat. He walked around me.

"....like this," he said as I looked at him. A shy smile on his face as he got behind me, his chest almost against my back as he gently took hold of my wrists and slightly positioned them closer to my body.

"....there...." he said almost whispering into my ear, "You wanna protect your core."

The feel of his breath made the hairs on the back my neck stand up. I felt my heart beat a little faster as the churning in my stomach made itself loudly known. This didnít feel right. I distracted my eyes and swallowed the enormous lump that had collected in my throat. This isnít happening.... He's not doing what I think he's doing..... is he? No Ethan, you're just thinking that's what he's doing. This is just you jumping ahead of yourself.

It finally dawned on me that he still had his hands gently holding my wrists. That feeling of my guts twisting now had my head screaming my name at me. The feel of his hands made my skin tingled with heat. No.... only Logan was supposed to make me feel that way. I blinked. Nervous, I slowly turned my head towards him, his deep amber eyes staring into mine, his face expressionless, his body motionless. That look..... I had to get out of this situation.

I looked back down at the matted floor, clearing my throat, "Ugghhmmm."

I heard Troy's sharp exhale. He blinked a few times, his grip suddenly loosening as he finally let me go. The look on his face looked anything but innocent as he frowned, a loose blend of guilt and embarrassment.

He took a couple quick steps back, running his hands over his short hair as he took a few uneasy looks around. He finally looked at me, "....You, uhh.... just practice those and... Steve should be happy."

His smile was forced as I finally let my body relax, a deep and edgy exhale escaping my lips. I stood up straight, faced him and looked at him square in the eyes. I was convinced that my face held no expression at all as I looked at him. I watched his head lightly jerk back, just barely. I guess he was expecting me to say something about...... whatever it was that just happened. I wanted to say something. Set the record straight that I was with someone, gloriously happy with someone. And that although he was a good-looking guy.... I wasnít about to risk everything, and Logan was everything. But behind it all, I wasn't even sure if what I was thinking was really what had happened. It could have all just been me.

I let my arms fall to my sides as I bowed to him, closing my eyes. Troy quickly did the same. Ethan, better just to forget it all happened. He's just doing his job, helping me.

"Yes sensei," I said in my most respectable tone.

That made his lips twist into a somewhat relived smile. Whatever did happen between us.... I didnít want it interfering with me and my instruction. He was still my sensei, and I had to respect that.

We didnít say anything as he slowly walked back to the wall bench, his steps nervous as he undid his belt, folding it nicely and gently placing it in his gym bag. I took a seat on the floor and stretched my legs as I watched him, his back to me as he pulled his traditional gi top off his shoulders. He was wearing a t-shirt underneath, but it did little to hide his physique. He was nice to look at, but......nothing. He wasnít Logan.

I focused back on my stretches, my hands gripping my left foot as I pulled my chest flat against my knee. After a few minutes I noticed that he had stopped packing and was just standing there, all ready to leave. Him being my sensei, I quickly stammered to my feet. He was still wearing his gi bottoms but now with a pair of comfy cross trainers and a heather grey t-shirt that spelled out 'POLICE.'

"So....." he looked down at the floor, his hands tightly gripping the strap across his chest. "I'll see you Monday then...... right? You'll be here?" asking me like I was gonna say no.

I stuck my thumbs into my belt and weakly smiled at him. The worried look in his eyes faded as I let out a breathy laugh.

"...Uhh....yeah, YEAH, I'll be here," I said, nodding.

Troy took a small step back, "Ok then.....good luck Friday at the tournament... I know you'll.....you....you'll blow 'em away.......ahhh.... yeah....."

He looked like he was about to say something else but bit his tongue instead. He quickly turned around and marched out the door, not looking back as he jogged down the stairs and disappeared into the parking lot. I stood there until he was out of sight, the door finally closing.

What the hell was that all about? I scratched my head as I stared back at the door. I folded my arms, my hands rubbing my triceps as now, more than ever, I wanted to see Logan. My eyes fell to floor as I imagined his warm skin against mine, reminding me that he needed me. I looked back at the door; empty. Troy was gone.

I shook my head..... whatever.

I kicked the ball of my foot into the mat. Finally alone I tilted my head to the right, listening to my neck crack and then did the same to the left. That's Better. I ran my fingers through my hair, combing it back, dampening my bare fingers and gloves with sweat as I walked back to my gym bag and pulled out my MP3 player. I stuck the earphones on and slowly strolled back into the middle of the dojo. The mean guitar and heavy drum pumping me up for my own little work-out.

Finally back in the middle of the mat I shook out each leg of my gi, making them snap a few times before I took my stance. My hands out in front of me, ready, just like Troy had taught me. My feet apart, my head only slightly bowed. I felt the sweat bead off my shoulders and then run down my bare arms, trailing down my tense triceps. I felt it run down my jaw line and finally drip off my chin. Alright Ethan, it's all you.

Rushing side kick, roundhouse, jumping spin kick. I felt the sweat spin off me. I landed smoothly enough, crouched with my fingers on the matted floor, my head bowed as I took a few heavy breaths, the music in my ears loud and fast...... AGAIN!

After about 30 minutes I was just about spent when I landed off another kick, almost loosing my balance. OK Ethan, push yourself..... donít kill yourself. I wiped the perspiration off my forehead with the back of my glove, my breath slowly going back to normal.

I collapsed there on the mat, my legs telling me they had enough. I was leaning back on my hands with my legs sprawled out when I heard the door open. It wasnít a subtle sound as it echoed through the dojo. I pulled my headphones off, turning off the music as I looked to see who was at the door.

Logan wandered in. His size making it hard to say it wasnít him. His head turned in all directions as he finally noticed me sitting there looking at him. I felt my lips curl as my heart jump in excitement. He was finally here.

He was holding his keys as they slightly jingled between his fingers. His sneakers making that scuffing sound against the hard wood floor of the foyer. He had on a pair of loose faded jeans, low as they hung on his hips. I guess he wasn't wearing a belt today. His t-shirt, a bright royal blue, gently hugged his chest and biceps.

I watched as he noticed me get up off the floor and stand up straight. His smile, big, bright, and hard to miss as he slowly started his jog across the dojo floor. I walked towards him and was soon swept up into a big hug, his arms around my waist as he picked me up a few inches off the floor. My arms instinctively wrapped themselves around this thick neck and pulled his lips to mine. My hands still in my grapping gloves as I felt his soft hair brush against my open fingertips. The kiss was deep, something fierce..... something long, but.... not long enough to make up for the days without him.

I felt him groan into me as I finally let his lips go, my taste buds happily remembering what he tasted like. His face lit up again with a smile. I smiled back at him as he set me back on my feet. My arms still around his neck, I brought my glove covered palm around his jaw and over his cheek. I felt the hairs of his beard scrap against the leathery material of my glove and then the bare skin of my fingertips.

I smirked at him, "So you gonna let it grow?"

His smile got wider, "No more football practice."

His eyes flickered at me, the color of his shirt making their icy blue color burn in brilliance.

I then felt his thick fingertips, gentle as they brush my bangs away from my face, "God.... I fucking missed you so much."


*LOGAN*

He was in my arms, right where he was meant to be. My mind could now rest at ease, and my heart could now stop killing itself. I kissed him again. His lips tasting like a molten fusion of happiness and sugar as I let my tongue soak up his flavor. His tongue dueled with mine as I felt his fingers in my hair again, taking fistfuls, pulling my mouth down harder over his. He missed me, his kiss told me that. I grabbed at the sides of his gi above his waist, pulling his body into mine. The thick fabric was slightly damp. It was sweat, I could smell it.

I took deep breaths, Ethan's scent burning up my nostrils. His fragrance bolted down my body, shocking my semi-hard tool and enticing me to grow to full mast. Fuck...... Even my body missed him.

His kiss finally faded, his lips slowly departing from mine. I opened my eyes, smiling with my forehead gently resting against his, the both of us taking deep breaths. I watched a smile creep across his face as the argent cocoa brown cinders of his eyes shimmered at me, happiness making them burn.

I let my eyes fall, taking in the rest of him. I took a slow step back, my arms still clinging to his waist and his hands still around my neck. I looked up at him and felt the lust flare up in my stare. He looked hot as fucking hell, sweating in his black karate suit, his hair slightly damp as it fell into his eyes. His sleeveless top letting me drink in the sight of his tight and tense muscles; his biceps, triceps..... shoulders and forearms. I felt up his bare arm, his skin soft and moist to the touch, gently flexing under my palms and fingers. I watched my hands feel over every muscle until I came to his shoulders, his neck.... his face.

I had his jaw in my palm, my thumb on his cheek. My eyes met his once more. "Could you be any sexier?" I asked him in my huskiest voice.

I felt his hands tighten around my neck as he smiled, looking away and then closing his eyes. I smiled in response, my hands still around his waist and on his cheek. I loved making him smile like that.

He finally looked back at me, "So I'm still hot, huh?..... even when I'm sweatin' up a storm and all?"

I let my other hand drop back around his waist as I brought my mouth back to his face, my lips barely touching his cheek as I guided them towards his ear, his slight stubble nipping at my tender flesh.

I let out a deep exhale, my breath whispering into his ear, "You smell fuckin' wonderful.... the way my man should smell after a hard work-out."

I slowly pulled back to see his reaction. He looked less than convinced. I grinned, forcing a smile out of him as I felt his fingers gently caress the hair on the back of my head.

"I know what it is," he said, a tone of mock discovery in his voice.

"What?" I asked.

"You got some kinda muscle-work-out fetish goin' on..... am I right?" his brow raised at me.

I bit my lip and looked away, my smile somewhat culpable. When I looked back at him I leaned in and kissed him softly on the lips, "Something like that."

"Good," he said, grinning like he was guilty.

I cocked my head back, surprised. He let his hands fall off my neck, feeling across my shoulders, over my chest, down my abs and then snagging on my loose jeans. I looked back up at him smirking, as I knew he could see my hard-on pulsing through the denim.

He stepped back, both index and middle fingers in my jeans as he gently tugged me back as well, towards the locker-room. I let out an exhale, surprised at his eagerness. I was willing to wait until we were a bit more alone, but......

"Here...?" I asked as I slowly followed him.

He looked up at me. I could see it, the desire for me smoldering behind his eyes. "Well....." he looked down innocently. "If you can wait..... I guess...... I donít know if I can."

He looked back up at me, his fingers digging deeper into my jeans, his excited fingertips slightly gracing my engorged and livid tool through my boxers. My body wanted him, and it wanted him right now. I listened to my mind running out of excuses as to why we should wait until we got to the apartment. And the more I argued with myself, the more my desire for him seemed to boil..... until all my self control had evaporated away.

"...fuck it...," I whispered to him, my smile going from innocent to devious.

I attacked him like I was about to tackle him. He knew I wasnít gonna hurt him. He let out a laugh as I wrapped my arms around his waist and flung him over my shoulder. He didnít fight me as I carried him off like spoils of war towards the locker-room.


*ETHAN*

The locker-room was no place special. Not exactly my first place pick for sex, but there was no way in hell I was gonna wait until I got home to have my way with my man. Besides, there was no one here, and there wouldnít be for at least another hour.

He carried me past the sinks and urinals, past the empty stalls and finally into the locker-room towards the benches. If this were under any other circumstances and with any other guy, there was no way I gonna be the submissive one. But this was Logan..... and if he wanted to take the lead, then fuck it.... I'll was gonna let him. Besides.... I was his, and he was mine.

Logan flung me onto one of the benches that lined the front of the lockers. Although he did fling me pretty hard, it didnít hurt. I'm not fragile. I laid on my back, the length of the bench, my legs on either side as I let my head fall back against the wood, breathing hard as Logan looked down at me. His breathing had deepened. I watched his eyes look me down and then back up, his tongue slightly peeking out from between his lips. His eyes met mine again as he grabbed at the hem of his shirt, and with one swift movement, pulled it off and over his head.

I watched all the fuzzy muscles of his upper body tighten as he dropped his shirt on the floor. His chest solid along with his nipples, his abs contracting with every breath as they vanished into a pair of black boxers. Everything but his shoulders and upper arms were matted in fine, soft, bronzed-blond fur. As I took in the sight of him I felt my skin almost ache to feel him pressed up against me, to feel something else other than my own smooth skin. I've been away from him for far too long. His body was the only body I wanted to feel this close to mine.

His eyes still locked with mine as he placed one leg on either side of the bench. He sat, straddling it, grabbing at my hips and pulling me closer to him, my calves and knees now around his waist. His hands lashed out at my karate belt. I gripped the edges of the wooden bench beneath me, watching his thick fingers work, trying to loosen the knot.

"Need some help?" I asked, smiling at him..... slightly amused.

"I got it," he replied, the blue of his eyes going smoky, and with one smooth move, released the knot. I felt my belt fall loosely open. Logan undid it until he flung both ends to the floor. He beamed with accomplishment as I now felt his fingers slowly work their way under the V-neck top of my gi. I felt his hand on my abs, caressing me forcibly.

I let my head fall back against the bench as I closed my eyes, my lips parting as I took in deep gasps of air. God I missed him.... his touch.... everything. I felt him push my gi top up, my abs now in clear view. I opened my eyes and raised my head. I felt his large hands grip the sides of my waist as I watched him bend over until his mouth was inches from my skin. He closed his eyes as his tongue slowly emerged from his mouth. I shut my eyes again, my head falling back with a soft thud as I felt the hot wetness sear up the groove between my six pack. I moaned, his lips and tongue bathing my well worked muscles. I felt my cock angrily aching in the confines of my jock, pressed beneath Logan's chest.

I looked back down at him. He opened his eyes, his tongue still out, licking me like I were melting ice.

"Ethan.... you're on fire," with that he closed his eyes again, and proceeded with his tongue bathing. I then felt one of his hands fiddle around my crotch. I felt his fingers, this time messing with the drawstring knot of my gi bottoms. I listened to the knot of the cotton cords give to Logan's persistence, my gi bottoms now loose and low around my waist.

I felt his mouth venture further down my body. I felt his tongue lap against my treasure trail and then go farther. His thick fingers fiercely gripping the waist of my gi bottoms, Logan pulled furiously at them, pulling them down. I lifted up my ass, feeling him pull them unto my mid thighs. All I had now between him and me was a sweaty jock.


*LOGAN*

His body was perfect. The only thing working-out could do for him was make him hot and sweaty..... and make me the hungriest man alive.

I continued to pull at his gi bottoms, enjoying the slow process as I listened to the sound of tough cotton fabric brush and rustle against the smooth and flawless skin of Ethan's upper thighs. The sight of his taut and flushed flesh made my mouth water as my lips hovered an inch or so above his groin. His soft moans cooed in my ears as I could feel the dull heat off of Ethan's skin.

I slowly pulled myself up, looking down at him as he lay in front of me, his smile coaxingly inviting me to do with him as I pleased. I let my eyes fall from his perfect face, across the top of his gi that still covered his chest, following the cut down the middle of his abs that finally faded under a thick bright white elastic band. It was a jock strap, like any other. But what made this one special was they guy wearing it, and I wanted nothing more than to see that sweaty piece of garment off my man and wadded on the floor.

"You just gonna stare big guy?" Ethan's voice drew my eyes to his face once again.

He now had his arms folded beneath his head as he tilted it to one side, smirking back at me. Still holding his eyes I grabbed his knees on either side of me. I pulled his legs up, the soles of his bare feet pointing skywards as I tugged at his gi bottoms; pulling at the thick black fabric as it slowly released his thick and muscular legs, only lightly dusted in fine dark hairs. His gi bottoms were now partially bundled in my right fist, Ethan's legs finally free.

I took a slow deep breath. I could feel it, the burning embers of desire and possession flickering behind my eyes as I stared at my lover lying in front of me. Only a stretched and soaked jock concealed him as I watched his perfect cock pulse irritably beneath the fabric. My lips parted as I noticed all the lines and cuts of his muscles drew my eyes to that cotton pouch in his groin. I drew my eyes up, taking in the sight of his abs, ripped and flexing, dampened with his sweat and my saliva. My mouth was watering again. The shirt part of his gi bunched and press up against his pecs, rising and falling with every deep and exited breath. I followed up his bare right arm, bent with his hands under his head, the knot of his bicep solid and bulged, his wrist finally concealed under the leathery material of his grapping glove. Following his arms left me at his face, his eyes wondering what I was thinking, his pouting pink lips so fucking kissable.

I flung his gi bottoms to the floor. He was almost too good to be true.


*ETHAN*

There was that look again, the blue of his eyes turning to an icy fire that shortened my breath and froze me in place. He looked like a man possessed, a man that would take what he wanted..... and his eyes...... his eyes were blind to everything but me. I watched the thick hairy muscles of his chest and arms flex sporadically, his tongue dancing behind his parted lips. Was I doing this to him?

His eyes were glued to mine as he gently lowered my right leg, placing it lovingly at his side. But my left leg he held firmly in his grasp, his right hand gripping me right above my ankle as his left hand felt down my thigh. His wide palm and solid fingers lightly massaging the muscles of my upper, inner leg as I let my head fall back again, closing my eyes and letting out a small, partial moan. I inhaled sharply as his rough fingers pressed themselves into the soft and sensitive skin of my high inner thigh, sliding his hand closer and closer to my balls.

I listened to Logan's raspy groan and then he whispered to himself, "....oohhh.... fuck me thatís soft....mmmm......"

He finally let my leg go; letting it rest next to him as I felt both his hands grip my thighs. I looked up in time to see him bend over me, his head an inch above the pouch of my jock. His eyes looked up at me, his lips parting and then pressing into my jock, his eyes closing as I felt his grasp on my upper thighs tightened. My eyelids fluttered close as I felt his mouth suck on my jock pouch, my cock desperately trying to jump beneath its confines.

"....aahh....ah......aaaahhhh...." my moans were breathy, caught in my throat as I felt his hot saliva seep into my jock and then dampen my stiff and aching flesh. I threw one arm over my eyes as the other gripped the wooden bench beneath me once more. I listened to his deep and satisfied moans as his hands gripped me harder.

"....M'....mmmhhh...." was all he could groan.


*LOGAN*

I could feel his body tightening, tensing as I bit and sucked at his cock through the coarse cotton of his jock. He was hard, so fucking turned on.... and it was all my doing.

I let his jock clad cock fall from my mouth, the warm taste of sweat and pre-cum lingering on my taste buds. I opened my eyes and focused in on the wide white elastic band of his jock, wrapped low and snug around Ethan's waist. I didnít really feel like pulling it off of him, it looked so satisfied there. I let my eyes drop again to the over stuffed pouch. It taunted me, showing me the dull outline of a perfect, hard and delicious cock.

Almost angrily I tugged at the elastic band and pouch of Ethan's jock, pulling it to the side with my left hand and carefully extracting Ethan's cock with my right. First to fall into view were his balls, a perfect size for my mouth, and then his shaft, straight and veined. As the head came into view I felt my mouth salivate and then my tongue twitch as it peeked out from between my lips. I looked up at Ethan. He was sitting up on one elbow, his chest rising and falling dramatically, his eyes pleading for me to end this torture of anticipation.

I looked back down at his cock, flawless and beautiful, his jock still on but tugged and yanked to one side; Ethan's cock in full glory. I gently held him at the base, listening to his breath turn to gasps as I let my spit pool behind my bottom lip and then spill over the deep pink head, glossy as it ran down his length and over my gripping fingers. My tongue had a mind of its own as it reached out and began making slow circles around the head.

I looked up at Ethan as he flung his head back. I watched the tendons in his neck tighten as I finally latched my lips around the crown, my tongue now on the sensitive underside of the head, massaging firmly as I felt Ethan spasm and twitch.

"Awwwhhh...... awwhh, Logan..... awwhh, that feels fucking good."

I felt my confidence swell as I let my free hand grab at his inner thigh. Ethan got the message and slowly parted his legs. I took hold of his right leg, holding him from behind his knee, lifting it up and then placing it over my shoulder, his calf muscle knotting against my delts and his heel digging into my obloquies. I wrapped my hand and wrist around his thigh, holding his leg in place over my shoulder. I sucked more of his cock into my hungry mouth, my tongue welcoming every new inch of his hot male flesh, his heavily flowing pre-cum drugging my taste buds, a flavor that only I had the privilege of enjoying.

"...'uuhhh.....Logan...Lo-o-hhh...." his words melting into gasps.

You're mine Ethan.... all mine.


*ETHAN*

What a way to relax after a killer work out, with my hunky boyfriend.......what a fuckin' awesome way to relax.

He held me firmly in his hold, his possessive hands and arms wrapped around my thighs and groin as I feed him willingly, my cock warmly disappearing into the back of his mouth, his tongue expertly wrapping itself around my shaft. He sucked hard, his strong lips locked tightly secure around my cock. I listened to myself gasp as I looked down at him, his right hand, his fingers latched onto my inner thigh; his left hand holding my right leg over his shoulder. His face looked enthralled, feasting on my body like it were like his last meal.

I watched my length vanish into his mouth. The warm sucking sounds growing louder as I felt my cock hit the back of his mouth and then leisurely slip down into his throat. I know he felt every muscle in my body tense. I clenched my eyes shut as I listened to him moan from deep within his body, his hands holding me still as his throat contracted around my tool. I felt my balls twitch, they wanted to cum for him, fill him with all my essence..... give him what he wanted, make me his all over again.

"...aauugghhh....yeah, ohhh... fuuucckk yeeaahh....awwwhhh....."

My words were barley audible as I partially opened my eyes. Logan stared back at me, his moans were pleasure filled as I felt him slowly begin to pull off my over heated cock. Inch after inched appeared from between his lips, the slow slurping sound he made had me falling back onto the bench, a small but satisfied smile creeping across my face.

"..mmm...MMMM...mmmm...." I heard him moan as my cock left his throat. I looked back down at him, my eyes barely open. My emerging shaft looked spit-shinned as it glistened in wetness. I felt his warm and slick saliva roll down my shaft, collect on my balls and then roll farther, past the thinner straps of my jock and then finally.... roll between my ass cheeks and wet that special part of my body.

I felt my ignored hole uncontrollably convulse, puckering at it tried to soak itself in and out with Logan's spit. That part of my body that belonged only to Logan. The one place where he knew I would be frozen solid if he were to but only lick.

I bit my lip and moaned, desperately, "...'Mmmhhh...."

My cock finally came to rest on Logan's tongue, his eyes and ears alert as to what exactly had me moaning helplessly. The free flow of spit continued to flow from the corner of his lips, flexing around my shaft as the sucking sounds he made only made me moan harder.

I shook my head to one side as my cock slowly fell from Logan's lips as he sloppily kissed the head, his saliva still strung, connecting us both.

"Did that feel good?" he whispered as he asked, licking my shaft from the base to the head. I could only nod.


*LOGAN*

I stared at his beautiful cock, marinated and dripping with fresh spit and sweet cock honey. I licked at him again, feeling his legs tremble slightly in my grasp, his sharp breath telling me I had him where I wanted him.

I took in a deep breath, smelling his skin and aroma as it lifted from his body. I let my right hands grope his creamy inner thighs, my thumb searching for a warm, tight place to nestle itself. I licked at his head, taking in his nectar as it spilled from his piss slit.

All of a sudden my fingers felt something wet and slick. I let my thumb feel around as I finally noticed that my spit was running off his cock, onto his balls, into his crack and then soaking his hole.

I sucked the head back into my mouth, my tongue rubbing everyway it could reach. I let my thumb gently massage his opening along with the supple skin that surrounded it. I felt Ethan tense, his ass raising slightly off the bench, pushing another inch into my mouth, nothing unwelcome.

"..AAAhhh....ahhh....Mmmmm.....right there..." he groaned as he pressed his ass into my thumb, his hungry ass lips almost grabbing at it.

Not yet......I wanted get him ready for that part first.

I pulled my mouth off of him, more spit rolling off his cock and into his crack, wetting him, prepping him. As he settle back onto the bench I pulled my thumb from his crack. I looked at him, in time to watch his eyes open, dazed and blurry as he lay in front of me, his leg on my shoulder as I held him tightly in place. I opened my mouth and sucked on my thumb, his beautiful flavor soaked into my skin. I savored it, closing my eyes as I groaned to myself.

"....I could eat you my breakfast, lunch and dinner..." I said softly. Ethan tried to grin, laying there helpless, only pleasure coursing it's way through his veins.

I watched his body move in anticipation as I brought my index and middle fingers to my mouth, sucking on them and coating them in as much saliva as possible.

I pulled them from my mouth slowly, feeling the spit run onto my palms. I watched Ethan's body twitch as I brought my fingers back to his hungry hole. He was warm, and still fucking tight as ever. I let my fingertips massage his trembling hole, circling it as I gently pressed my index finger into him. All the while licking and sucking on his pulsing shaft as I listened to Ethan hiss and moan as his muscles tightened under my hold.

I sucked the head of his cock back into my mouth, his sweet nectar forcing me to close my eyes. As I sucked more of his cock between my lips I felt his hole relax, I pressed a little harder into him until I felt my fingertip engulfed in hot, tight, wetness.


*ETHAN*

I almost forget to breathe as I felt Logan's finger penetrate me, the pain was slight, but I knew it would pass. I took in a sharp gasp of air and rolled my head back against the bench beneath me, his meaty, thick finger gliding slowly into me. I bit my bottom lip and tired to accept his invading digit, relaxing my hole but clenching every other muscle in my body instead.

His movement came to halt as he held his finger still. He sucked more of my cock into his mouth, his tongue merciless as it wrapped itself around my shaft. Small slurps escaped his lips as they accepted another inch or two.

"MMMmmm...." I moaned as my right hand found itself tangled in Logan's hair. He pulled off my cock slowly, his index finger pulling out as well, his left hand digging into the skin of my left inner thigh. The joint stimulation was deafening, and all I could hear was Logan, feasting on my body.

Logan's rhythm was paced, his mouth sucking on me tenderly, his lips and tongue coaxing me to let him drink more and more of me, his right index finger now easily gliding out of me. 'Fuck me.... Fuck me,' was all I could say in my head, I knew my mouth was open but at that moment it was incapable of forming words. I missed his fingers, I missed him inside of me, showing me that I belonged to someone, that I belonged to him.

I felt Logan pull of my cock. I regrettably opened my eyes, my fingers still knotted in his hair. I looked down at him, his face consumed with primal desire; my cock soaked in spit but still leaking like a faucet.

"Is this what you want?" he whispered huskily, flicking his tongue against my shaft as he pressed his saliva soaked finger back into me hole, still tight, but taunting him to no end. I let my head fall back onto the bench.

"...Yes Lo-Logan...FUCK... I can't take it anymore...AAhhh....Logan..." my voice was shaky, but at least I could speak.


*LOGAN*

His taste. Fuck me, his taste. I held the head in my lips as I pulled my index finger from his scorching hot hole. I finally let his cock fall from my mouth. Opening my eyes I saw my index finger, drenched with spit and soaked with Ethan's juice, I felt my taste buds flare at the eagerness of a sample.

It was impossible to keep my eyes open as I sucked on my finger once more, "...mmmmmhhh....," I pulled my finger from my mouth, "sweeeeet...."

I lapped at Ethan cock in front of me, then sucked on my index and middle fingers.

I brought them back to his hole, pressing my finger back into him. I watched Ethan's breath go heavy, I heard his left hand grip at the beach beneath us, I felt the muscles of his leg tighten in my grasp.

"Ah....AAAHH.... Yeah...Come on Logan....AHHH..."

Ethan's moans were getting louder, his body now gently bucking against me, his ass begging for more.

"Oh Fuck yeah, I'll give you something to moan about.... Oh yeah......I'll give you something to fucking moan about....." I said, as I watched his face, my finger-fucking picking up in pace.

I pulled my slicked finger from him, his body reluctantly relaxing. I slightly crossed my middle and index fingers, and pressed them back into him. His body instantly reacted; I could feel it, see it, hear it.

One knuckle....... two knuckles.


*ETHAN*

FUCK.... two... two fingers.... fuck if they ever felt this good.

He wasnít as slow this time. It didnít matter, I didnít want him to be. I felt his smooth lips and talented tongue wrap themselves around my shaft once more, sucking me into his mouth as his thick, beefy fingers bottomed out deep inside me.

I laid there, helpless as I felt Logan's fingers gently curl and then begin to pull out.

"...Ah'...A'AAAhhhh....FUCK... FUCK ME... AGGGHHH..." my voice went almost violent as my eyes rolled into the back of my skull, my mouth still open but nothing coming out. Logan knew exactly where to press and where to stroke. His mouth began sliding up and down my shaft, stroking my cock with his lips. My eyes were barley open, but all I could manage to see was a blurry image the florescent lights of the ceiling. All I could here were the muffled moans that resonated from his body.

Logan had taken me somewhere else entirely.

He pulled his fingers back, almost out of my ass. I could feel my anal ring stretched around his fingertip, his lips still working around my shaft as I felt my cock venture farther and farther down his throat.

I let out a powerless whimper, a sound that only Logan could draw out of me. I shut my eyes to the feeling of his nostrils blowing hot air into my pubes, my cock buried deep down his throat, and his fingers, still as I all but begged for him to finger me.... to finger me until I came deep into his body.

The sensation caught me by surprise, his fingers suddenly pressing back into me. I rolled my head to the side, clenching my teeth as I felt his fingers press into my joy-button. I felt like melting, the pleasure intense and glowing. I know I said something, but at that moment I didnít care what I said, all I know is that whatever it was, it made him suck me harder and finger me faster.

I listened to his slicked fingers making that wet sound as he fingered me senseless, every time rubbing my butt-nut as he pulled out. I listened to his lips slurp as he bobbed up and down on my shaft.

Fucking Logan..... I'm gonna last at all.


*LOGAN*

"Uuuhhh.....," Ethan groaned before he gasped.

I wanted him now. I wanted to taste what I had to live without for five days. My cock-sucking turned almost harsh, fueled now by primal desire, gone were the gentle suckles and tender techniques. I bobbed up and down on his cock, my lips holding him tightly in place, my index and middle fingers fucking him with long and powerful thrusts, hitting him in just right the right spots.

"UUUHHH.... fuck, Fuck, FUCK...." Ethan moaned powerlessly.

I had him on edge. He needed to cum, he had to cum. His fingers in my hair were now pulling at me, his head swaying furiously from one side to the other. I felt his cock begin to swell, his hips bucking into my mouth and onto my fingers, wanting more his cock in my mouth and more of my fingers up his ass.

"Awwwhhhh.....MMMmmmm," was all that escaped Ethan's lips, his breath now heavy as ever.

I shut my eyes and gripped his right leg tight, holding it securely over my shoulder as his entire leg began to shudder. I felt his calf muscle knot against my shoulder blade. I opened my eyes to watch Ethan arch his back, his fingers in my hair now pulling at my scalp. Ethan flung his head to the left, his eyes shut, his lips gently parted as wave after wave of unbridled pleasure crashed over his face.

"AAAHHH.....AAAHHH...I-I'm gonna cum....Logan....I'm.... aaaAAAhhhh...."

I sucked him hard, not letting him finish his sentence. My finger fucking made him buck and bounce slightly off the locker-room bench. He was snug, velvety and hot; constricting every other second as I hit his prostate in just the right way.

Just then his ass clenched down on my fingers, the pressure like a bite. His back arched, his body still, as I felt the first hard shot of sweet, milky cum hit the back of my mouth. My tongue felt drugged as my mind felt like shutting down. His taste was sweet, naturally sweet.

"Aaahh.....aahh..." Ethan moaned as he swung his head the other direction. I flexed my fingers still lodged in his ass, massaging him gently as more and more cum spewed from his cock. I drank him slowly, savoring every drop as Ethan's body relaxed into a cool-down. His back now fully rested on the bench, his fingers now only stroking my hair, his chest taking deep but slow breaths, his eyes still closed, his face peaceful... sated.

I felt my overflow of desire and need simmer from a boil. My lust satisfied as I massaged the last couple of drops from his cock with my tongue. I pulled off him, his cock slowly softening as Ethan let out a sharp sigh. I slowly pulled my slick fingers from his well worked ass, giving his joy-bottom one last stroke, making my grunt.

I sucked on my fingers, taking up all the flavor they had to offer. I pulled Ethan's almost limp leg off my shoulder and sat up. Ethan opened his eyes reluctantly, as if waking up from a wonderful dream. He sat up, facing me. And before I knew it he had his hand around my neck, pulling me into a kiss; slow, wet... and thankful.

As he pulled away, I opened my mouth wanting to say something sweet and endearing but instead saying, "I wanna fuck you Ethan.... Fuck..... I wanna fuck you."

I was shocked at how desperate it, I sounded. I know I wanted it, but it surprised me that I wanted it that bad. My eyes were still closed, but when I opened them I noticed that Ethan was smiling at me, nothing devious or sly, but happy in some degree.

He had his hand on my cheek, stroking his fingers against the grain of my lengthening, prickly beard. He had his other hand around my neck.

"I want you to," he said, the sincerity in his voice making my heart tighten as it jumped into my throat. He still wanted me to.

We stared at each other for what must have been minutes. I think there was agreement in our stare. I guess it was, 'everything in its own time.' Yeah, that's what it was.

Ethan finally looked down and let out a chuckle on an exhale. I watched him scoot back a little grab the top of his gi and pull it off.


*ETHAN*

I yanked at my collar, raising my other arm and pulling my gi top off, leaving me in my still damp, black, sleeveless athletic shirt; my jock still around me and Logan still in everything but a shirt. God, he looked sexy as fuck sitting across from me, his lips slightly parted as I listened to his breath go back to normal, his eyes still drowning in a deep sea of desire.

His little 'declaration' was still bright in my mind. 'I wanna fuck you Ethan.... Fuck..... I wanna fuck you.' God knows I wanted him. I wanted him in the most intimate way possible. But.... even I know I'm not physically ready for that yet. But what mattered right now was that he still wanted me, and that he was willing to wait.

I scooted closer to him, our bodies still facing each other. He watched me attentively as I let my right hand feel up his forearm, and then his bicep and shoulder, powerful and soothing as he reached around my lower back and pulled me even closer to him. I let my palms openly grope his chest, my fingers stroking the fine soft hairs, his eyes going peaceful as I felt down his abs, flexing tight as I brushed my fingertips across them. Finally below his waist, my hand felt a thick and solid cock throbbing in his jeans. I watched his face go desperate as he let out a tiny gasp.

I then felt his hand on top of mine, taking hold and pulling me away from his groin and then bringing my finger to his lips. His eyes holding mine as he gently kissed and sucked on the back of my fingers. I felt my own smile shudder as it fell from my lips. I blinked at him a few times, my gaze soft as I could sense something dark and brooding swimming behind his eyes.

I somehow felt..... hurt. Why didnít he want me touching him?

"Donít look at me like that," Logan finally said, his deep voice commanding yet gentle, "You know damn well that whatever you do to me drives me insane."

I smiled softly, but I was still for the most part confused.

"Today was all about you," Logan said, his face happy, his breath finally returning to him.

All about me? He knows that I donít exactly like it when I get all his sexual attention and he gets...... well nothing from me. It just bothers me when it's not my choice. I mean, I like touching him and making him feel good too.

Something was wrong.

I must have let it show on my face, because before I had the chance to object he had reached out and took hold of my neck, pulling my lips to his. His hand in my hair massaged the back of my head as the other held my face, his thumb gliding across my cheek as I opened my mouth to him. His tongue was forceful, almost needy as I let him kiss me the way the wanted to, my flavor and spirit lingering on his tongue.

I could feel it. Something WAS bothering him.

He finally let go of my lips as I opened my eyes, his left hand still in my hair as he stared at me. I know I had worry spilling into my gaze as he took a deep breath and closed his eyes again.

I took hold of his other hand, letting my fingers interlock with his. His grip was surprisingly firm. I could see his bicep and his neck tense.

"Logan?" I asked, hoping that he'd open his eyes and look at me, "Whatís wrong?"

He let his breath go, his eyes still shut as he said softly, "Nothing...." he raised his head and opened his eyes, still shinning, but not like I was used to seeing them.

I leaned in and kissed him lightly on the lips. "Tell me," I whispered, my lips an inch from his, our noses touching as I leaned my head against his.

I watched his bottom lip quiver.

"I....... came out to my dad.... about us."


*LOGAN*

Ethan fell motionless, his eyes fixed on me, the only thing moving about him was his breath.

I know we never officially talked about coming out to family. And I knew deep down that we both wanted the approval of the other so we could do this together. But with what happened over Thanksgiving break, I was really left with no real option. I really donít know why telling Ethan this scared me, but it did. How was he going to react to my family knowing that he was my boyfriend?

I felt the muscles in my face twinge in a dull pain as I remembered my father's reaction.... his face as I looked him in the eye and told him that I was gay. It was not my fondest memory.

I sighed. I'm not good at this. I shut my eyes and inhaled deeply, holding my breath as I waited for Ethan to say something. I wanted to know what he thought. I wanted him to comfort me, stroke my hair and tell me I did the right thing. But I was also prepared for him to be somewhat mad at me. I know he didnít like coming out to anyone, especially when he's not there to tell them.

I listened to his breath, focused on the feeling of his skin, his hand still holding mine tight.

"Sooo......" he said, finally making me open my eyes and look at him. His face so close to mine we were almost kissing.

"...What'd he say?" Ethan's lips curling at the corner.

I let out a sigh of relief, that paranoid corner of my mind resting at ease as I stared into the soothing cinnamon color of his eyes. I closed the inch between our lips and left him a little kiss. My little way of telling myself that he was perfect for me, absolutely perfect.

He looked at me, a happy confusion on his face, "Ok?... What'd I do to earn that?"

I closed my eyes and smiled as I bent down and picked up his gi bottoms off the floor. As our eyes met again he asked, smiling with only a touch of frustration in his voice, "Well, What'd your old man say?"

I let my smile lessen in brilliance as I got up and off the bench and knelt in front of Ethan. I took his left foot and placed it in the bunched up leg of his gi bottoms. His face showed me that he was worried that what I was about to say wasnít gonna be a happy one.

Ethan grabbed my hands, holding them still.

"Hey, why donít you let me get dressed and you can tell me about your dad..... Its obvious thatís what's buggin ya," Ethan said as he took over pulling his gi bottoms up over his knees. He stood up, pulling them completely on. They loosely hung there, riding well below his waist, the top of his jock still well in view.

I got back on the bench and just sat there, looking up at him. I guess having one part of your life fall perfectly into place meant that another part had to fall disastrously to pieces. I let my eyes fall to my lap as I sat there on the bench, the A/C in the locker-room finally kicking in as it hummed and echoed through the room.

I was a little surprised when Ethan tossed my shirt at me. It landed on my shoulder. Smiling at him I grabbed it, putting my arms through the sleeves and then pulling it over my head.

When my head came out of my shirt Ethan was sitting next me me, staring at me with a soft smile on his lips. I was only a little disappointed that we werenít still straddling the bench, facing each other.

"Now that we're clothed...." Ethan said, grabbing my hand from my lap and holding it as he waited for me to talk. His look was soft but attentive, his smile small and his eyes big as they held mine, telling me softly that he was ready to listen.

'Yeah, this is the perfect thing to talk about after sucking your boyfriend off,' I said to myself sarcastically.

As I stared into his eyes as I remembered back to Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. That morning, the smell of homemade breakfast, Matt and Holly's house..... everyone around the dinning room table....happy. I even remember the exact tone of my dad's voice.



 

"Who's this?" dad said from the kitchen of Matt and Holly's house.

Everyone's conversations seemed to have stopped mid-sentence, Matt stopped chewing his breakfast as Holly held her glass to her lips, Kurt looked worried as he held onto Mika, his arm around her as the both their eyes locked with mine. Cammy dropped her fork, the clatter being the only sound emanating from the table. I watched Lynn's face flash white for a split second as we all focused our attention towards the kitchen and dad's voice asking again, "Kenny?.... who's this?"

I felt my heart skip a beat as my stomach knotted itself somewhere between my lungs. I watched my dad reach out and pull my Polaroid off the fridge; the magnet coming off as well, hitting the tile floor and rattling as it spun; no one paying it any attention. Dad held the photograph in his fingers, his eye boring into it as I watched his profile go puzzled and then blank.

The room was silent, unnaturally silent.

I squeezed the glass of orange juice in my fist as all of a sudden I felt the urge to puke. The room felt heavy as my eyes uncontrollably stayed locked on my dad. He must have noticed the silence too. All four of his kids in one place is supposed to equal one hell of a ruckus, but..... not this time. He looked back at the fridge, at all the other photos and then at the rest of us, the picture of me and Ethan tightly held between his fingers. He eyes scanned the room, like he was searching for an answer in someone's face.

"Kenny?" his eyes locked with mine, his voice desperate for something to call an answer. All I could do at that moment was breath and stare back at him

"Kurt? Matty?......." his gaze shot across the table, ".....Cammy?"

He looked back down at the picture.

I watched him chuckle nervously; it wasnít humorous at all, "Come on..... you guys are starting to scare me."

I head Matt clear his throat. It was a nerve-racking sound, but it broke me out of my stare. Matt had his hands on the table, his eyes sullen as he took a deep breath and locked eyes with dad.

"Dad...." Matt looked lost, searching for the right words, "....Kenny, uh...."

Matt locked back down at his half-eaten breakfast.

I couldnít stand it anymore. No one had to stand up for me. Not when I had the strength to stand up for myself. I stood up, my chair scrapping the floor as everyone looked at me. I swallowed hard, the lump in my throat going down slow. I had hoped coming out to Matt, Kurt, Holly.... Cammy.... would have somehow made all this easier.... a lot less painful, and a lot less freighting.

I looked into my father's asking eyes, and for the first time, I truly felt scared of telling someone.

I took a deep sigh and looked back down at my plate, my head hung as well.

"Dad," my voice was on the verge of trembling, "....that's my picture..."

Dad looked back down at the Polaroid and began to cross the room. The air now had a perturbed feel to it. The happy family feel of the morning had faded. When he stood next to me he still looked confused, "Kenny?..... W....Why are your arms around him? like.... well it looks like...."

When I looked up at him, all I could do was blink.

"Is he...." I listened to him swallow as he took another look at the image, "is he a.... friend?"

Friend. The way he said it. I looked down and for the first time, I felt ashamed of myself. Why? Why was my dad making me feel ashamed about everything I had come to accept as hope, happiness..... love. Why? And the worst part of it was that he didnít even have to say it.

Without looking at him I turned and slowly began walking towards the living room.

"...eehh..ghhmm...Ke-..." I heard Matt grumble in protest.

Everyone else didnít have to hear this. Dad took a few steps after me, but before we could reach the living room, he grabbed my left arm, pulling me, making me turn and face him.

He didnít look mad, just.... frustrated.

He held firmly onto my arm, slightly shaking his head, his mouth open, wanting to say something.

"Kenny...I-..."

I looked at the picture in his hand, his fingers creasing the corner; he was clutching it.

I finally looked up at him. All these years and now.... now I'll see how he really feels about me; Kenneth; his all-star football quarterback; his gay son.

"...dad..." my voice was so small and vulnerable. I tried not to let the fear seep in. But how could I hide it?

Dad looked slightly relieved that I had finally said something, finally letting his breath go.

I took a deep breath, blinking at him as I tried to remember the exact words of how I wanted to tell him. My mind had been full of every thought imaginable of what I could say to him. But now, when it came down to telling him, when he's right in front of me, everything just went blank. Nothing came to mind as my mouth began to move.

Fuck..... Logan, this is your dad, just tell him....

I tried to look back up at him. But I couldnít hold his gaze for more than a second. I shut my eyes and imagined the only happy thought I could think of; waking up with Ethan asleep in my arms, the smell of his hair, the sound of his breath, the warmth of his body so close to mine. I felt my body loosen as I took a deep breath and opened my eyes, dad looking straight at me.

"....I'm gay dad.... what else do you want me to say?"

I just fell right out of my mouth. I hadnít given it any thought. It was simple, and to the point.

I looked back at him, expecting just about everything to happen. Dad didnít even flinch as he blinked at me a few times and then looked down at the picture. He held the Polaroid out on front of him for me to take. As I took hold of it he looked back up at me, nothing.... absolutely nothing in his eyes. No hate, no disappointment.... no acceptance, no worry, no love. I watched him turn from me and walk back into the dinning room.

Logan..... he didnít even say anything.

I stood there in some horrific, contorted form of confusion, my shoulders slumped, my head bowed, me and Ethan's picture in my hand as I tried to take in all that had just happened. I came out to my dad.... and..... and what? Was this all?.... Did he hate me that much? That I wasnít even worth an angry reaction.

"Dad....? Aren't.... aren't you gonna...." I heard Matt start, about to get up out of his chair. He was abruptly stopped by Holly who had grabbed his arm and shook her head at him. "Matthew....." she said softly.

Matt disappointingly sank back into his seat as I looked up and watched Dad walk away from me. I let my eyes fall to my feet. He's ashamed of me.... isnít he? I stood there in the foyer, looking down at my picture; at Ethan smiling back at me; at the undeniable happiness on my face as I held him.

I had no idea what to think anymore.

"Well..." Dad said, his voice all of a sudden happy as he clapped his hands in front of everyone around the dinning room table. "What do we got planned for today?"

Kurt looked confused. I'm sure he didnít know what to think as he looked back over at Matt. Matt gave me a sorry look. I could tell he wasnít happy at all at how things had turned out. He sighed before looking back at dad.

"Well..." Matt said, his voice solemn with just a tint of anger. "The girls were wanting to go check out the stores today and...."

Matt didnít even finish his sentence before dad agreed.

"Great! How about we take my rental and go browsing at the mall? How's that sound?"

Lynn stared at me, her mouth slightly open, her head gently shaking, she seemed lost for words. Mika clung to Kurt as they both looked at me, afraid to say anything to me or my dad. Cammy had her hands gripped around the seat of her chair, looking at her cold breakfast and then at me, her eyes telling me that she was sorry too.

I stood there in the foyer, not really sure if I should go back and attempt to finish my breakfast. I no longer had an appetite.


 

"My dad then went into the kitchen to clean while everyone got ready."

I looked down at my lap. "He didnít say anything.... nothing....."

I took a long sigh. "Later Matt gave me a hug and told me he was sorry.... and that he should've said something to my dad.... but...."

I felt Ethan's fingers hook my chin, pulling my face to meet his. His face looked contrite, his eyes seemed dimmed in their usual brilliance.

"Well, did you want him to be mad at you? Did you want him to... hate you?" Ethan asked, his voice careful and soft.

"No.... I- I guess... I wanted some sort of reaction from him.... anything."

Ethan took a deep breath, "But... you know he doesnít hate you, Logan.... if....he did... he would have shown you, he would've said so....."

Ethan's mouth opened, he hesitated, as if trying to pick is words carefully. "I guess all you can do is wait for him to say something."

I closed my eyes. It hurt to think that my dad had to argue with himself whether or not to keep loving me as his son, or forget me as some wasted mistake. I sighed as I know I felt the corners of my eyes begin to moisten.

"Hey....Logan," I felt Ethan say softy, his hushed voice comforting me, his strong fingers stroking my cheek. "I'm not your dad, but I can imagine that you telling him was a surprise and... completely unexpected...."

I opened my eyes and looked at him.

"He's probably just as confused as you are..... so.... donít write him off yet as someone who doesnít love you....."

He looked down at his lap, "You...." he looked back up at me. "You donít know what he thinks until he says something."

His warm brown eyes holding mine and telling my soflty that.... that this was somehow gonna be ok. They could always make me smile; his eyes.

"This brother of yours, Matt...." his smile was small; affectionate. "He sounds like an awesome big brother."

"He is..." I said in a soft whisper, wiping my eyes, slightly relived by the subject change. I didnít want to cry in front of him unless I had to. I was supposed to be the big strong boyfriend, not the crybaby.

I watched Ethan's eyes slowly drop, and then his head, his smile fading as my face went confused.

His fingers grazed my beard as they fell from my face, his gaze now on the floor.

"Logan...." He said it with a little hurt in his voice. "I-I remember you called seven times over break.... and....."

His face finally turned and looked at me. "Why didnít.... why didnít you tell me about your dad when you called?"

I let out a sad sigh, slumping my shoulders, disappointed at myself even more. I know he saw how sorry I felt... and I know he didnít mean to make me feel even worse.

"I... I dunno.... I guess I really didnít feel like talking about it, not even to myself....at least not then.... and...."

It was my turn to take hold of Ethan's chin in my fingers. As I pulled his face to meet mine, I smiled softly at him, hoping he'd smile back.

"Donít.... donít be mad at me...." I pleaded from behind my smile. He finally smiled back at me, slowly as if trying to hold it back.

"At least I'm telling you now," I said, moving my lips closer to his.

Ethan nodded gently, his hand running up my forearm, my bicep, my shoulder, and then around my neck, pulling my lips even closer to his.

"I love you, Ethan," I whispered.

"I know.....I love you too, Kenny," he whispered back.

I finally felt my smile wash across my face.

Kenny...... He knows I hate it when he calls me that. But it was sign that he was happy.

He forgave me.


*ETHAN*

Just then we heard the locker-room door swing open and the muffled echo of a few heavy footsteps. We couldnít see who it was, but he had to be a big guy from the sound of it. Well, who ever he was, he had to cross the restroom to see into the locker-room.

Logan pulled his hands from me, ending what was the start of our kiss as he jumped to his feet. Logan looked scared shitless as he looked around, fidgeting as he panicked.

"I'm not supposed to be back here," he whispered as loud he could without actually using his voice. He then looked back at me, "....am I?"

My smile was amused as I sat there, leaning back on my hands, looking up at him as I thought to myself, "What was he so worried about?"

I quickly looked down at myself and then scanned over Logan standing in front of me.

"Logan, we're dressed," I said, my voice attempting to calm his nerves.

Standing and facing me, Logan no more than looked down when Frank appeared from behind the dividing wall between the locker and restroom. Frank looked like he had just gotten here. He had on a faded blue zip-up sweatshirt with the dojo's logo, which happened to carry his last name, embroidered over his left pec. His dark brown hair still looked messy as he clutched his signature clipboard in one hand.

"Ah, here you are Ethan," he said, readjusting his glasses and then looking at Logan standing between us. Frank's expression looked confused as I could see him asking himself who this was. Logan obviously felt like he was trouble, his lips moving, but not saying anything.

Ethan, why are you just sitting here?

"Oh," I said as I jumped off the bench and stood next to Logan. Logan locked eyes with me as I smiled back, reassuring him that Frank wasnít anyone to be scared of.

"Uhh.... Frank, this is Logan Rian," I said as Frank finally let out a relieved smile.

"Oh... Logan is it?" he said he extended his hand.

"Logan," I said, drawing his eyes back to me, "this is Frank Calvert, he.....owns the dojo."

"Uhh..." Logan looked embarrassed, "nice to finally meet you."

I watched them lock hands as they smiled back at one another. I watched Frank's gaze turn to me, freeze for a second, and then turn back to Logan. I felt my smile wane for a split second.

What was THAT look for?

Their hand shake ended as Frank looked back at me, folding his arms and sighing, "So how'd your training go with your new sensei, Mr. Preston?"

I let out a nervous smile, "It was good.... not what I expected."

"That's what I thought," he said, smiling almost sadistically. "I'm glad Troy worked you hard."

I chuckled nervously as I remembered the hellish work-out/training routine that Troy had for me. I looked up at Logan who looked uneasy as ever. You'd think Logan thought that Frank might as well have been my father.

"Well..." Frank said, folding his arms again and then pressing his glasses back onto his nose. "You boys just gonna stay back here in the locker-room?"

The way Frank looked at us; the smile on his face. I wanted to think he didnít know anything, but gut instinct told me other wise. Logan and I slowly looked at each other.

"Come on Ethan," Frank said, gesturing me to follow him, "bring your boy along. I got your paycheck in the office."

As Frank turned and headed out of the bathroom, Logan leaned into me. "Am I your 'boy' now?" he asked, his face confused, just about as much as mine. But all I could do was smile and act like it was nothing.

"I....guess you are."


*LOGAN*

"....boy...?" I stood there in a small stupor as Ethan and I watched Frank walk out of the locker-room. Did he hear something before he walked in?

Oh god, if he did.....the moans.... Oh god

I let out a deep nervous sigh. This four-day weekend was not turning out to be at all what I had expected.

Frank was finally out of sight, the sound of his steps getting farther away. It was then that I felt Ethan's fingers brush my open hand. I looked at him, his smile penetrating all the layers of worry I had wrapped myself in. I guess things weren't all that bad after all.

He tilted his head in the direction of the door. "Come along 'BOY,'" he said, obviously joking. I guess if Ethan felt like it was nothing, then.... it had to be nothing. Besides, if Frank thought something was up, I'm sure he'd have approached Ethan about it.

Ethan yanked me out of my thoughts as he took a hold of my hand and pulled me towards the door. I guess now I should just be happy that I'm back where I belong, and that this whole dad issue will be okay. It had to be.

I let out a sigh of relief as we exited the locker-room and found that the dojo was still silent and empty. I know that when Ethan and I get into it, we tend to get pretty oblivious about our surroundings, people included.

I looked over at Ethan as he reluctantly let my hand go, our finger tips gently locking before it ended. He was still only half dressed, by karate standards. He had left the top half of his gi in locker-room along with his belt.

We walked up to Frank's open office door. Ethan knocked on it as he leaned against the door frame while folding his arms. I stood behind Ethan, my hands in my pockets, as Frank looked up from his paper work that was scattered all over his desk. His office was a little messy compared to what I was used to seeing. But that didnít matter after I looked against the back wall. I noticed three shelves lined with trophies and metals, some bronze, some silver, but mostly gold.

'Wow,' I thought. This guy's gotta be good.

"You wanted to see me?" Ethan asked playfully as Frank smiled at the both of us.

"Yeah," Frank said as he lifted a few sheets of paper off his desk, as if looking for something. "Uhh...." he said as he began pulling the drawers of desk open. Finally he pulled out a stack of envelopes, flipped through the first few, extracting one and then holding it out to Ethan.

"Here ya go kiddo," Frank said as Ethan leaned off the wall and took the envelope.

Still in the door way, I watched Ethan open the envelope and pull out what looked like a check.

I listened to Frank chuckle, "I know Tae Kwan Do instructor isnít the most high paying job out there..... but..." Frank was smiling nervously while scratching his head.

"Hey..." Ethan said, grinning as he put the check back into the envelope, "At least I get paid for doin' what I'm good at."

Frank nodded in agreement as he leaned back in his chair, "Well, go on Ethan.... take this fine young man out for lunch or somethin'."

Frank was gesturing at me as he said it. Ethan looked back at me; a confused, nervous and startled smile falling across his lips. My smile looked just like his. I could read it in Ethan's eyes. Does he know? Ethan turned back at Frank, pasting a happy smile back on his face.

"Just remember Ethan, we got a one-on-one, run-through session at 2. Ok? Tournament's just about here," Frank said, his voice going into 'boss mode.'

"Yeah, I'll be back here," Ethan said as he took a few slow steps backwards, towards me.

"Have fun you two," Frank said. He knew something, it was in his voice. Ethan walked out of the office, me trailing close behind. I smiled and waved at Frank as Ethan and I stared walking back towards the locker-room, Ethan eyeing his check along the way.

As we walked through the locker-room doors, I turned to Ethan.

"Does.... Frank... know?" I asked as Ethan stopped in his tracks. He sighed.

I stared at his profile until he finally said, "I think so...."

I watched a defeated smile creep across his lips. "If he does know something," Ethan looked up at me, "then he's obviously OK with it."

I looked back down at the floor and chuckled, "Well, maybe now you won't get fired for fucking the university quarterback."

Ethan laughed as he walked back over to the bench we had 'broken in' earlier, picking up the rest of his gi and belt and then pulling a gym bag out of a near by locker.

He looked back at me, a small sly grin on his face, "Only if we get caught."

I walked up behind him as he began packing his gym bag. I wrapped my arms around his waist, pulling his body into mine rather forcefully, making him gently grunt, doing absolutely nothing to resist me. My hands groped his chest and stomach through his black athletic-tee. I kissed his neck as he offered it to me, he practically dropped his bag as a result. As I sucked on the tender flesh of his neck, Ethan reached around, his hand gripping the hair on the back of head as he hissed.

"If.... if we keep this up..." I bit him as he hissed again, "....Frank might walk in on us and.... we'll be late for our work-out..... ah.. again."

That's right. We now had a work-out schedule we had to keep. I gave his neck a small, departing kiss, then rested my chin on his shoulder. He turned his head and looked at me.

"Yeah.... youíre right," I said, a little guilty, but still smiling.

He leaned in and with his fingers still in my hair, pulled me in for a long, passionate kiss, the kind that leaves you out of breath, with our lips tingling with your lover's flavor, the best kind or kiss. As our lips separated, I still had my eyes closed, breathing hard and smiling. As I opened my eyes, Ethan smirked back at me.

"Come on big guy. Either we fuck here OR we get our work-out done and THEN have fun...." he said jokingly.

I reluctantly let him go, knowing that his Tae Kwon Do training came before our libidos. He picked up his gym bag and swung it over his head, strapping it around his chest. He grabbed my hand as I followed him to the door.

"Let's go... we gotta drop by your dorm room so you can change."

I chuckled. "If you wanna get me out of these clothes, then you should just come out and say so."

Ethan laughed at my playfulness. It was great knowing that after what had happened over the holiday... with what happened with my dad.... Ethan could still make me smile.

And make me think about nothing but the two of us.


*ETHAN*

Fuck, Logan could lift a shit load.

So far I'd been coming to the gym with him for over a solid two weeks. And it still amazed me that I was dating a guy who could lift my body weight times two.... maybe more. It was becoming obvious that a martial artist's workout differed from that of a football player's. I was by no means skinny or scrawny, but if I tried lifting as much as Logan, I'm pretty sure I'd rip something.

The gym was crowded today; college students from everywhere on campus, the sorority girls on the elliptical machines, the skinnier kids on the treadmills, and me and Logan at the bench press, right in the middle of the fucking fraternity guys. Well, if coming to the campus gym meant practically free membership, then I guess one couldnít pass it up. But, me being me, I usually avoided places like this. I had a nice gym membership somewhere else, away from places like this. The air smelt of a crude mixture of cleaning chemicals and sweat. It was a faint smell, nothing nauseous, but over everything else, I really only smelt Logan.

I stood behind Logan's head as he lay back, spotting him as he finishing his rep on the bench press. My hands ready and positioned to catch the bar if there was any chance that something were to happen, although I doubted it; just a gym rule of thumb. I watched his jaw tighten as his face went red with effort, the muscles of his arms bulging with veins, the front of his muscle-tee soaked with sweat. I watched a bead of perspiration roll off his temple as he grunted under the weight.

He let out a deep breath, "...twelve..."

He slowly placed the Olympic bar back on the rack with a soft but heavy clank before sitting up. His back still towards me as he turned his head, smiling through his exhaustion, "Your turn."

"Tell me, are you just showing off?" I asked, a total joke of course.

Logan beamed as he chuckled, his hands still in his weight-lifting gloves as he ran his fingers through his bangs. I loosened the clamps and pulled the 35 lbs weights off each end of the bar, nothing significant when compared to the weight that was still on it. Logan got off the bench and let me switch places with him. He took his position behind me, spotting me as I lifted the bar off the rack. Wow, I can't believe that Logan could lift more than this, and with a lot less effort than I was putting into it. I started my rep.

"Ok babe.... almost there," Logan said softly, taking note and assuring me that no one could hear him but me. I was on my last rep. He had no idea how distracting he could be. I think he knew full well that as I was lying on my back, I could almost see right up his gym shorts, and this was no place to be sporting a hard-on.

His smile was encouraging, "....seven..." he finally said as I practically threw the bar against the rack with a loud clank.

Seven.... five less than Logan could do and with a lot more weight.

But I really didnít need a bigger chest, I was fine with my size and definition and Logan seemed happy with it too. I was big for my size but I didnít want to turn out like those guys who lived and breathed the gym, I had a real life.

I sat up on the bench, taking a few deep breaths as Logan took a seat next to me and handed me his water bottle. I took a big swig as Logan watched me gulp down his H2O, his grin was somewhat cute, like an entertained child. I all but finished the water, drops spilling onto my chin as I took a deep breath and handed him back his water bottle.

He looked at it and turned it upside down, a couple drops dripping out and off the opening, "No worries.... I wasnít thirsty anyway."

His face was happy as he said, "Well, that concludes our weight training for today. You feel any bigger?"

"...Uhhh..." I looked down at my lap and then examined my arms, looking for anything that could be called 'bigger.'

"Everything looks the same to me," I said to him, and it did.

I watched Logan lean his mouth into my ear, his hot breath against my skin made me shudder.

"Well, as your man I can tell you, you look hotter than ever." He would might as well have licked my earlobe.

I chortled as he said it. He then pulled back, examining my reaction as he bit his lip in admiration. I think that deep down he liked to pull corny lines like that, and deep down, I guess I kinda liked it.

"Ok, I guess now we can get to your favorite part.... the punching bag," Logan said, the semi-whinny tone in his voice making me nudge him in the shoulder.

He was right. The punching bag was my favorite part of coming to the gym. Sure lifting weights all day did make me stronger, but what use was all that strength if I didnít use it?
Besides, I was fighter, and fighters throw punches.


*LOGAN*

We walked into one of the empty back rooms, padded and reminiscent of Frank's dojo. Ethan was even wearing the bottoms to his black karate gi, the top he changed out for a plain white-T. His shirt was a little damp, semi-transparent as it hugged his upper body. I donít even think he noticed that he might as well have been shirtless. His hands were clad in his fingerless grappling gloves, his fingers flexing, his knuckles cracking as he did so.

Ethan pulled the Velcro straps open on his gloves so they were no longer tightly wrapped around his wrists.

I leaned against the wall next to him as he sat on the floor and began untying his cross-trainers. He pulled them off his feet and set them next to him and took off his socks. His feet were wrapped in cotton bands, white and snug, only his toes and heels exposed. He looked lethal... and fuckin' delicious.

He got up, shaking out the legs of his gi, "You just gonna stand there like always?"

I smiled at him as I nodded, "Go on and do your punch, kick karate.... Tae Kwon Do thing."

He grinned at me, shaking his head as I folding my arms. He knew that the very first time we were here, I helped hold the bag for him as he practiced his kicks and punches. And I remember very well almost getting smacked more than a few times. He may be the love of my life, but I wasnít about to get kicked on the side of the head for something like steadying the punching bag for him. His kicks looked and sounded like they hurt like a mother fucker.

I watched him crack his neck and then stretch his arms across this chest and then over his head. He stood in front of the punching bag closest to him, one of four.

He raised his right fist to the bag and taped his knuckles against one of the duct-tapped patches that dotted the well beaten surface. He turned his head towards me and shot me a wicked smirk.

This was the fun part. I watched as he focused back on the bag, his face turning serious as he steadied his stance and then all of a sudden, there were fists all over that thing. Ethan had his head ducked, smacking that thing silly as it rocked in almost every direction, the room suddenly filling with the sound of pulverization. Ethan looked calm and cool as his fists hit with blinding speed. I pitied any guy who ended up in a brawl with my boyfriend. Ethan would beat the living shit out of any guy I knew, including myself.

I noticed a couple of guys out of the corner of my eye, gym bags and water bottles, talking as they walked into the room. Walking past me, their conversation steadied to a halt as they noticed Ethan, paying absolutely no attention to me. They soon stopped walking as well as I heard one of them say, "Whoa.... check it out," nodding his head in Ethan's direction

I should have felt proud. I mean Ethan was amazing. So it shouldnít be surprising that guys, people, would find him and what he did fascinating. But I was far from feeling anything but pure jealousy at that moment. I could feel it, pumping into my veins like some drug. My lip tightened, my eyes hardening as I stared at their backs as they watched Ethan, MY boyfriend.

I knew I was about to say something stupid or rude before they were soon on their way to the back of the room, settling around another punching bag. The sound of Ethan's punches came to a halt. I felt my countenance soften as I looked back to see Ethan, out of breath, his hands in fists at his side as he stood in front of the bag. He turned his head and looked right into my eyes, his smile radiant with confidence as he wiped the sweat off his brow.

He was amazing. At everything he did.


*ETHAN*

"Whew," I sighed under my breath, wiping my brow and feeling my damp bangs brush against my fingers.

I put my hands on my waist as I listened to myself take a few more deep, well deserved breaths. I heard a few new voices in the room and noticed that Logan and I were no longer alone; a couple of guys in the back, minding their own business, and a couple of girls, taking a break from the look of it.

I looked over just in time to see Logan lean off the wall walk up to me. His praise soaked into his smile.

"You're getting better," he said through his smile.

"Well," I said as I looked at the punching bag and then back at him, "when you practice, that tends to happen."

I nudged him sportingly on the shoulder with my fist, letting my grin shine in full force. "Just let me practice a few kicks and then we can get out of here, ok?"

Logan nodded in agreement and then, leaning forward, he said, "I gotta take a leak babe. You Ok if I leave you here for a minute or two?"

He looked almost sorry for having a small bladder or something, frowning behind his small smile.

I felt my self-protective wall of fear crack and then begin to crumble.

I stared at him staring back at me. For that spit second I smashed the reality that we were in a gym, in a public place filled with our peers. I smiled and looked down at my right hand as I gently reached out and took Logan's left hand. I looked up in time to watch the worry in his eyes wash away. He was soon letting a cheesy, but happy grin, creep across his handsome face as I slowly let my fingers interlock with his.

"Yeah," I said, nodding that 'yes, I'll be fine here without him.... for a little while.'

I let his hand go as he took a slow step back. "Be right back," he said and finally darted towards the restroom. I watched him until he was completely out of sight. I turned back around not letting my eyes wander. I didnít want to notice anyone staring at me and wondering if what they saw between me and Logan had actually happened. Two guys... holding hands....

I looked down at my hands and swiftly pulled at the Velcro straps of my grappling gloves. Pulling my left hand out of the glove, I hesitantly let my eyes wander with intense trepidation.

I didnít see any girls, but I heard a few talking, nothing audible. I pulled my right hand out of my glove, throwing the pair on the floor next to me.

Ok, time for some kicks.

I shook out each leg of the gi bottoms, listening to the fabric snap and then steadying my stance once more. My hands open and a more relaxed as I focused on the punching bag once more.

"Faggot."

That word rang in my head with a sharp, jagged echo. I could hear the hate and disgust along with it. It was in my head. I knew that no one in the room had said it. But it felt just as painful. It was just all that bottled up panic that I refused to show.

Is..... is that what everyone thinks of me? Is that what they see when they look at me? Is that all they see? Is that what Frank thinks? Why? Why isnít this getting any easier? At least.....for Logan's sake, I wanna be happy with myself.

When I felt my thoughts fleeting away I noticed that I had kicked the living shit out of that punching bag. It was still swaying as it spun rather rapidly. I nervously looked around and noticed that the couple of guys were staring at me, one looked entertained while the other looked a little frightened. I looked back at the bag and then down at my feet. It was then that I noticed the throbbing pain in my ankles and toes.

I let out a sigh of regret. Shouldnít have lost control like that.

I looked back up and took a deep controlling breath, this time letting my determination take over. This time I was going to focus. This time I was going to practice.... and not just vent. I was about to get ready for my next round when I was interrupted by a soft gentle voice.

"It's pretty cool what you do."

I stopped my kick, mid-executed, my leg half way in the air. I immediately lost my balance. I tried grabbing the punching bag to catch me. I didnít get a very good hold and landed flat on my side.

The thud was pretty loud.

Great Ethan, great way to embarrass yourself, like you need anymore attention.

A very pretty dark-haired girl giggled and then smiled back at me. Her long jet-black hair, pulled back into a pony tail. She had dark eyes like mine, a smooth tanned color to her skin, and a smile that could defiantly light up even the coldest of people. Her some what skimpy work-out attire clung to her tightly, stretched in all the right places. She was exactly the kind of girl my mom wanted me to bring home.

She extended her hand, offering to help me up. "I didnít mean to startle you."

"Jordan," she said, introducing herself as I finally got to my feet.

She stared at me as it took a few seconds for me to realize that she was waiting for my name.

"Uhh...." I looked down a little, showing off my shy side, "...Ethan."

"So you do a lot of karate then.... Ethan?" she asked, her grin going mischievous.

I watched her bring her fingers to her hair, taking a few strands and beginning to twist them around her index fingers. I may be gay now, but I knew the name of the game. I looked down and sighed.

"It's... not exactly Karate...." I said,a tiny smile on my lips, "it's uh.....Tae Kwon Do"

I placed one hand on my waist as I rubbed my nose. Nervous, girls always make me nervous.

"My mistake," Jordan said, smiling as she unconvincingly apologized.

She seemed amused at how fidgety she was making me. She took a step closer to me. "You know me and my girlfriend were wondering if-"

Oh boy. I knew where this was going. I better end this before Logan gets back. In Logan's eyes, she was a threat.... even if she was just a girl.

"I'm gay," I said sharply, interrupting her mid-sentence as an uneasy smile fell onto my face, surprised that what I said actually fell out of MY mouth. Fuck... even the direct approach didn't wasnít much better. I never like doing this. Coming out in any way or form is never a happy moment for me. But I guess I should just look at this as practice for my parents, then my sisters, then..... Kyle. Ugghh... the thought made my stomach turn.

Jordan looked shocked... obviously, her eyes quickly falling from mine.

"Oh my god.... I am so sorry," she said, taking a step back, her hand over her mouth. Now she looked sorry.

"No... it's not your fault... that I'm..." I started saying when we both realized what I was about to say. I stopped myself before I could feel any more stupid.

She giggled again as I chuckled, rubbing the back of my head as I bit my lip.

She looked amused once again, but that devious look about her was gone. The pause was ice breaking. With the awkwardness now somewhat relived, she almost whispered, "So the big guy, built like a tank is your...?

"yeah..." I said, blushing as I watched her smile widened. "Built like a tank. That's Logan."

"Figures," she said, jokingly saddened. "All the good-looking AND NOW interesting guys are unavailable." She locked eyes with me, "... taken or.... gay..."

I shuffled my feet, my smile still uneasy, raising my brow and shoulders to imply that I guess it was true.

"Well I was just gonna ask you.... well, my girlfriend over there...." Jordan looked past me at another girl, now talking with another guy. She looked over to where Jordan and I were standing, and smiled. I waved at her. She looked away shyly and then looked back at me.

"Well, looks like she's doing just fine without my company," I said, still smiling shyly as I turned my attention back to Jordan.

"But hey, we're having a party Saturday," she said as she bit her thumb nail. "You and your boyfriend...."

"Logan," I said, feeling like she should know his name.

"Yeah, you and Logan should come," she said. "Just a few people, nothing big.... Saturday night."

I folded my arms and nodded, "We'll see. I uh... I got plans for Saturday."

"Ok.... but if you can make it, that'd be awesome," she said, a new found enthusiasm in her voice and all over her face.

I nodded, "sure...."

She took a step back, her hands behind her waist. "10 o'clock, Ridge View apartments, 201."

With that she turned around and jogged off. I watched her go as I scratched my head. Confused was only partially what I felt. A party? But I hardly knew her. But then again, she did invite me.... and Logan.

I turned back towards to the punching bag just in time to look up and see Logan marching in my direction. I could almost hear the pounding of his footsteps on the semi-padded floor, the look on his face was not happy. I took a deep sigh. I could feel the apologetic look melt over my face. I knew damn well that me talking with ANYONE who was not a friend of mine or his, spelt serious jealously for Logan.

Fuck.... where do I start to explain this to him?

*LOGAN*

Gotta piss, gotta piss, GOTTA PISS!

I all but threw open the men's room door. I marched right up to the nearest urinal, tugged open the drawstrings of my athletic shorts and let her rip. I shut my eyes, letting my head fall back slightly as I let out a slow, deep sigh of relief. God, I shouldnít have had that extra PowerAde. Then again, a great work-out does get everything moving.

I almost didnít notice the two guys occupying a couple urinals a few away from me. I didnít look over, I had my eyes shut. But I did hear them; talking about some girl on the treadmills. They finished up before I did and I was soon listening to the additional noise of running faucets.

I was about to close up shop when I heard them say something. It felt like a cold bullet had fired into my spine. I felt my heart skip a beat, as my blood ran frigid.

"Fag," the word rang into my ears, resonating through my head then spiraling down my throat and into my gut. I stood frozen in front of the urinal, my bladder relived, my cock still hanging out as stared at the tiled wall, my stomach feeling like it weighed half a ton.

I'd never actually been called that before. Frankly, I believed that word had nothing to do with me other than who I liked. But even if that was really the truth, it still cut like a knife.

When I finally came to, I knew who it was that said it; one of the guys I was pissing next to. I'm usually not an angry guy, or even an intimidating guy. But what they said, it had to be about me. I was the only other guy in here.

I tightened my lip as I stuffed my meat back into my jock and retied the drawstrings of my gym shorts. I felt myself nostrils flare as I took a deep breath, flushing the urinal. I turned around and saw the two guys still washing their hands as they traded stories.

"Fucking fags," one guy scoffed. "We might as well look for new place to work-out, huh?" he asked, looking at his friend next to him.

As I walked closer I could see my vision narrowing, my muscles tightening, my footsteps almost hammering at the tiled floor. No one, fucking no one, talks shit about Ethan.

"So glad they fuckin' left," one guy said, still focused on rinsing his hands.

They left..... I felt my common sense smack me on the side of my face as I stammered, trying not to trip. Almost all at once I felt all the angry emotions lift off of me, my muscles relaxing as my stomping slowed to a walk. So.... I guess they weren't talking about me and Ethan.

As I reached the counter to wash my hands, I saw one of them look at me out of the corner of my eye. His expression implying that he wasnít quite sure what to think of me. I tried to pay him no heed as I lathered up my hands and ran the water.

"Shit.... I donít need no guy checkin' me out," I heard the other say to his friend.

I listened to them laugh between themselves, realizing that Ethan and I werenít a topic in their conversation. Really... Why should I care? I finally rinsed my hands and walked passed them. I felt them looking at me as their chatter halted. I grabbed a few paper towels and proceeded to dry my hands off.

What they said. Deep down.... it did make me angry. Not in a rage, but still bitter. I turned around slowly. I was right, they were looking at me. One guy had the message, "What the hell are you looking at?" pouring out his eyes. I gave him that look right back. I guess this is one of those situations were my size came in handy. I watched him back off, his eyes dropping as he turned his attention back to his friend. That done, I trashed my used paper towels and walked out the door.

"Assholes," I said under my breath as I walked back into the gym. Now, I'm no defender of perfect strangers but the fucking nerve of some people!

I walked back to room were I had left Ethan to finish his work-out, finally feeling that all that seething emotion had watered down and out of my blood. But when I walked in, I was hit with the image of some girl talking and smiling with Ethan. She had one of her fingers twisted in her hair, her smile coy as she looked up at him. Ethan smiled back at her as he nodded his head.

My boyfriend, MY boyfriend.... and he's flirting with.......

My vision turned red. My thoughts went incoherent as I felt my blood begin to boil. I know..... I KNOW what she wanted. The way she stood there, the way she looked at him. I watched her laugh at something Ethan said.... and I lost it.

All I could think of was protecting what belonged to me.... and Ethan belonged to ME.

As I began my stomp across the room I watched her leave and smile and him. That didnít help, it was just fuel on the fire. Just then Ethan looked up and saw me all but barge in his direction. The smile on his face dropped to floor, his face instantly washing over with a guilty apology. It helped, but I still felt threatened.... and scared.

"What the FUCK was that!?" I almost demanded as I finally reached him.

"Ethan....Who the FUCK.....!?" I fumed as I sharply gestured in the direction of the succubus that all but had her talons clawed around him.

I could hear the deep set anger and fear in my voice. Ethan looked surprised by my brash behavior, quickly followed by an insulted look. He looked away, not at all pleased with my conduct. This only made me angrier. I felt my neck tense and the muscles of my face tighten; my hands clasping and turning into constricting fists as I gritted my teeth.

If what had happened was really nothing, then he would have said so.

"I did nothing wrong," Ethan said. He didnít look up as he stormed right past me. It might as well have been a slap across the face. Sure felt like it. His back to me, I heard him sigh sharply. I could see the muscles strained in his arms and neck. He was mad. I watched him pick up his grappling gloves off floor next to him. He stood up, still not looking at me.

"Logan, I donít need this...... One of these days," he turned around, his eyes finally locking with mine, "this jealousy of yours is gonna get you in a shit load of trouble."

His words, his voice... they hit me like a semi. I felt the reality of it all dilute into my blood, calming my nerves as I realized that I was being a dick. I watched my features soften in his eyes as I suddenly felt too guilty to look at him.

As I stared at the floor I heard him take a long sigh and then take a step toward me.

"Logan..." He said softly, his voice coaxing me to look at him as he took another step closer.

His sigh sounded almost defeated.

"I told her I had a boyfriend," Ethan said gently. Those words soothed my stupid fear, telling me that my title of 'boyfriend' was still well protected.

"Oh," I said sheepishly from behind my frown, feeling twice as stupid as I sounded; my common sense smacking across the face.

Ethan gently smiled back, it looked sad and somewhat forced. His smile strained out one of my own; miserable, guilty... and sorry.

He stood there, clutching his grappling gloves as he folded his arms. "Hey," he said, the happy tone slowly trying to returning to his voice. "Donít worry, Logan. I think if I ever saw you and some girl talking it'd drive me just as crazy."

I know I blushed with guilt and a dose of embarrassment. Ethan.... I know I'm an asshole sometimes, but..... I'm glad you still love me in spite of it all.

Ethan gestured that he was done with his work out as we headed for the exit. We didnít say anything as we walked out of the campus gym. The clouds were clearing up as a few rays of sun shot through the overcast. But despite the small bit of sunshine, it was still cold outside.

Ethan zipped up his hoodie as I stuck my hands into the pocket of my favorite red pull-over. Ethan still dressed in his Karate uniform and me in my work-out clothes. Ethan walked next to me at a slow pace, both his hands gripped around the strap of his gym bag. I watched him stare at the sidewalk as I felt compelled to say something but then decided not to.

I looked back down at my own feet and sighed. I felt my stomach tie itself into a knot. This was about my jealous rant, I knew it was. He's not mad at me.... maybe a little disappointed.

But disappointment might as well be anger.

I was so busy beating myself up that I didnít hear Ethan ask me something.

"Logan?" he asked again as he stopped walking.

I halted, and looked up and over at him standing a couple of steps behind me, suddenly feeling even more like a sorry fuck-up for spacing out.

"I-I'm sorry Ethan...." I stammered, averting my gaze to the cement.

We stood there in front of each other...... in the middle of the sidewalk, almost no one around; the campus quiet.

Ethan looked down, vexingly saddened. "Logan....."


*ETHAN*

What...? What do I say?

'Logan, no matter what you do, people are gonna talk to me. You canít feel threatened all the time, this.... this side of you that comes out..... I'm... I'm not a fucking trophy..... fuck....'

"Logan...." I started, not sure what to say after that. I listened to my grip tighten on the shoulder strap of my gym bag. I felt his deep stare on me. I looked up, into his icy blue eyes swimming in remorse, his rugged features soft, his beautiful pink lips parted as the cool autumn breeze combed through his lengthening dark blond hair. As jealous and as possessive and as.... over-protective as he could be..... I still loved him more than I felt I had to.

'Kiss me,' told him with my stare. I... I donít want to feel like this, I donít want to be mad at you... I donít want to feel like we have problems.... we're not supposed to have problems. All my mind wanted to do was give into my body's desire to wrap myself up in him and tell him that he was perfect, every part of him.

I shuffled my feet nervously. Fuck Ethan.... this is your boyfriend, why are you nervous?

"Ahh....About what happened back there," I said, softly.

Logan nodded, that horribly guilty look still soaked into his face.

Tell him you're not a trophy Ethan, go on....

"I'm sorry....." I said, my voice going poignant. "Any guy in his right mind should be flattered that he's got a guy.... a uhh.... a boyfriend who watches out for him."

I watched Logan's face go slightly confused.

"I really just came out and told her; point blank..... I uh, I guess I was practicing for when I have to tell my family...."

I watched Logan take a tiny step forward, his gym bag almost falling off his shoulder. I wanted to walk right into his arms and tell him that I was scared beyond any fear of my family knowing anything about me and my feelings for him. I was absolutely terrified of telling Kyle. If he didnít understand, well.... I donít know if I could handle myself if he didnít understand.

But miles above all that fear..... loosing Logan would be instant death. Sure, I could tell him to back off, that he has nothing to worry about.... that he's the only one for me.

But I'm not going to say anything.

I know this will probably come back, even worse than before. But right now, with finals, my family.... the fucking tournament martial arts expo, I donít need Logan mad at me AND I donít need to be mad at him. I needed him more than ever now. And if that meant I had to put up with a jealous, protective, possessive boyfriend... then so fuckin' be it. I have too much on my plate already. Why should I make things worse?

Logan waited for me to look at him. "I'm the one that should be sorry," he said, his frown tearing at my insides. "I have this jealousy.... problem..... I know."

"But like I said.... I'm just so afraid of loosing the only thing that......that..." Logan stammered, parts of words coming out until finally, "...I'm afraid of loosing you..."

I shut my eyes and let out a deep sigh. See Ethan..... He loves you. Why do you question him? I smiled, a small comfortingly happy laugh escaping as my lips as well. I opened my eyes. Logan gently cocked his head closer to mine, his face quizzical, but with a smile.

"Youíre not gonna lose anything," I said, shaking my head at him.

I watched Logan's eyes light up slightly along with his grin as he sighed. He nodded. I know if we were someplace else, besides on campus, I'd have walked right up to him, grabbed his neck and kissed him.... tenderly....if just to remind myself that what I felt for him was stronger than any other destructive emotion. But I guess a trade of stares and smiles will have to do.... for now.

Logan readjusted the strap on his shoulder. "Agghhmmm...." he said, clearing his throat.
"So..." he said as we started our stroll farther into campus once more. "You feel like getting a bite to eat with your jerk boyfriend?"

I looked up at him, his tone was joking but his face said other wise.

"I am a little hungry but....... I gotta get back to the dojo. Frank's waiting for me, remember?" I said, my voice tinted in regret. I watched his smile dim in disappointment.

"But hey, why donít we go back to my place? There's always somethin' in the fridge," I proposed, hoping he'd smile again.

Logan nodded, his smile a lesser degree of happy than I would have liked to see.

Our conversation started out little weird, small talk in its purest from. But as we neared my apartment things fell partially back to normal. We were talking. Well, Logan did most of the talking.... I just seemed to nod my head, agreeing to everything he said, my smiles half-hearted and my eyes at times afraid to lock with his.

The topics of our chats were almost always the same, bullshit topics.

I didnít understand it.... why was I punishing him?

The confrontation we had earlier, it wasnít even a real fight.... and look what it's doing to us. I never want to be mad at him again. I hope we never have to fight, maybe disagree, but.... I donít ever want to feel this way again.


*LOGAN*

"Your Thanksgiving sounds like it was fuckin' awesome," Ethan said as we neared his apartment complex, our walk at a creeping pace as we took our time. I didnít like this, I didnít like feeling like we weren't in love.

Ethan made a sour face at himself as he shook his head. "Well.... uh.... awesome until that part with your dad, I mean."

I chuckled softly. It was still a tender memory. "Nah, don't worry about it.... he's...."

We stopped as we found ourselves in front of the apartment gates. Ethan put in his code as the gate began to creak open. He looked at me, his eyes telling me to go on.

I looked down. "Forget it."

Ethan's face looked like he wanted to know more but.... had to be satisfied with that...."forget it." I felt a cool shock run up my spine. Why Logan? Why are you doing this to him? Is this how treat someone you love? I silenced my head as he gestured me to follow him up to his apartment.

Ethan pulled his keys out from the side pocket of his gym bag. But to our surprise the door was open. Ethan looked like he didnít question it. He walked in before me and uncaringly dropped his gym bag in the middle of the room. I had just shut the door behind me when Ethan reached out, his arms wrapping around my neck, his face against my shoulder. My arms instinctively locked around him as well.

I shut my eyes, his warm scent once again around me, his breath against my body. I was so afraid to touch him until now. I tightened my grip around him as I whispered into his hair, "I'm sorry, Ethan.... I'm sorry."

I felt him inhale and then sigh. "I know..." he said, slightly muffled, his face buried in my work-out shirt.

"Umm.... There's a bed in the room you know," we heard from across the living room.

Ethan's hold on me loosed as we both looked at Adam standing at the entrance of the tiny hallway. His arms were folded as he stood there in the same sleeping clothes he had on when he and Terrence picked me up from the airport. His hair was still a mess and his face was still unshaven as he smiled nervously at us. He looked sorry for spoiling what moment Ethan and I had together.

Ethan slowly let me go, his hands gliding down my arms, our fingers clasping for a split second before separating. Ethan looked up at me. He looked tired, lonely.... drained.

"Oh..... Logan," I heard Adam say from the kitchen. I couldnít see him, but from the sound of it, he had the refrigerator door open. "Your bags are on Ethan's bed."

Ethan grabbed my hand gently, like he was not sure if he was allowed to do so. I held his hand firmly, hoping he'd get the picture that I did want him to touch me. I was his.... and I hoped to god he'd never forget that he was mine.

Adam appeared out of kitchen with a box of crackers. He was munching on one as he said muffled, "Donít forget."

I nodded my head at him as Ethan and I walked into his and Terrence's room, Ethan now holding firmly to my hand as well. As we walked in we saw Terrance sitting with his legs crossed on his bed. He had his laptop computer in his lap. And just like Adam, he was still in his sleeping clothes.

We listened to the click of his keyboard for a couple seconds before he looked up and over at Ethan and I walking into the room. He smiled at us before placing his computer on his bed.

"You two are busy considering it's the weekend," Terrence asked as Adam shimmied past us. Adam threw himself back on Terrence's bed before handing Terrence the box of crackers.

"Yeah, and we're still busy," Ethan said as he threw his gym bag next to his bed, on top of his skateboard.

I lifted my duffle and backpack off of Ethan's bed, throwing both over my shoulders. "Yeah, I gotta unpack," I said, my voice void of any enthusiasm. Ethan looked just like I sounded. I noticed the looks on Adam and Terrence's faces as their munching slowed to a grind. They looked like they wanted to ask us what was wrong. But before they could Ethan said, "I'm gonna rinse off in the shower before I head back to the dojo."

Ethan looked at me. I didnít say anything. I looked down and away. You know Logan..... this is all your fault.

Ethan sighed as he walked past me, out of the room and back into the hallway. Does he still want me here? Adam and Terrence now looked really worried. I didnít want to answer questions right now. With my bags around my shoulders I walked out into the hallway, the sound of running water echoing out of the bathroom as I walked towards the front door.

Ethan.... I donít want to fucking feel like this.

I heard a soft, almost whisper as I trudged out of hallway. "Logan," it was Ethan's voice. I could hear the emotions tangled in his tone, the way he said my name; sorry, alone... and scared. I stopped. He was standing just inside the bathroom, my back to him. I shut my eyes and swallowed hard. I wish I could take it all back. Take back everything I said to him and go back to this morning.

"Logan," he said again. I opened my eyes and sighed. I turned my head in his direction. I dropped my duffle bag in the middle of the hallway as my backpack slid off my slumping shoulder. I slowly turned to face him, standing where I stood. I know I looked defeated, frowning as I stared at him. He didnít look any better.

We stared at each other for what felt like several minutes until Ethan finally looked down. I watched his mouth open once or twice, his fists clenching like he was mad at himself. I know I felt like shit, but it hurt ten's over to see him feel just the same. I was hesitant, but I took the few steps towards him. As I got closer he looked up at me, his eyes watery. He blinked a couple of times before a lone tear formed and began to roll down his cheek.


*ETHAN*

Great Ethan..... go on and cry.

The way he looked walking away. I donít know. Part of me was still mad at him, mad that I was treated like some sort of possession. But the greater part of me wanted..... wanted him..... just fucking wanted him.

Logan looked down at me, his eyes deep as they made my bottom lip quiver. All the happiness seemed drained from his face. Ethan.... look what you've done to him.

I lowered my head, shutting my eyes as I wiped the moister from my cheek. Logan did nothing. I think he was still too scared to do anything. Ok Ethan.... fix this.

With much trepidation I reached out, at first touching Logan's hand with my fingertips. He responded, turning his hand slowly into mine as I clapped it gently. I looked up at him. His eyes flooded with a stormy grey color.... sadness.

I pulled him into the bathroom, his steps small and timid, and me.... scared of what it would have been like if he did just walk out of the apartment. Logan shut the door behind him, the room beginning to steam from the hot running water that was filling the tub.

I bit my lip as I reached out, my hands grabbing the hem of Logan's muscle tee, gently pulling it up, my eyes asking him if I had permission. Logan just looked at me, and raised his arms, letting me pull his shirt up until he took over and pulled it from his body. His body still made me shudder, powerful and intimidating, yet tender in his actions.

He just let his shirt drop, taking a deep breath, his chest expanding as he reached for my shirt. I raised my arms with a look of his eyes. 'Only if you let me,' they told me.

Me being the shorter one, he pulled my shirt off without any help from me. With my upper body fully exposed, he dropped my athletic t-shirt at his feet.

He looked so beautiful, in a way he only could when he was sad. His eyes were open, like wishing wells, his soul exposed.... he was hurting.

Just like me.


*LOGAN*

The room was steamy, the mirror foggy, the water still running, the both of us silent. I stared into Ethan's coffee brown eyes, pulling me in like gravity wells. I felt my chest pull inwards, aching to show him that I was sorry. Say something Ethan....

I bit my bottom lip as I watched Ethan step closer to me, sticking his fingers between my skin and my athletic shorts. I shut my eyes, taking in deep, rapid breaths, relived to finally feel his skin on mine, even if it was just his fingertips. He pulled them down, off my thighs, the sound of it soft against my skin. I felt my shorts and jock strap fall around my ankles. I was semi-hard, even though sex seemed like the farthest thing from me.

I opened my eyes as he pulled his hands away. I watched Ethan stick his thumb under the elastic band of his gi bottoms and pull them down. The sound of thick rustling fabric filled my ears as I watched him slouch over, shoving the rest of his clothes off his thighs. He stood back up, completely naked and gorgeous as ever.

Sex....? Is this really gonna fix what happened?

His lips were pouting slightly as he kicked off his sneakers. He stepped out of his gi bottoms as I did the same with my shorts. All of our shed clothing was now strewn across the bathroom floor. I looked down at Ethan's hand as he took mine and guided me towards the larger than average bathtub. He turned off the water as the room fell silent, a couple of drops of water making a few small echoes.

He was about to step in when I stepped in first. The water was hot, perfect for a post-work-out soak. I stood there, my claves half submerged as I pulled Ethan in as well, still only our hands touching.

I laid back into the tub, staring up at him as the water came half way up my stomach. I pulled Ethan down with me. He lay back against me slowly, his back against my chest, his head against my shoulder.

I shut my eyes as my arms came securely around him, holding him even closer to me. I felt him relax, his tension melting away in my embrace. I took a deep breath, the scent of his hair filling my nostrils as my chest no longer fell like caving in. Our breath, the dripping faucet, the ripples; the only sounds in the room

The silence was finally gratefully broken as Ethan said softy, "I've been away from you for far too long to watch you just get up and leave."

I sighed into his hair, my arms holding him tighter to me. "I thought you didnít want me here anymore."

He turned his head and looked up at me, "I'm sorry for making you feel that way."

I watched his eyes glance down, "....but, I'm not perfect either."


*ETHAN*

I felt at home again; his body, hard yet cradling, against mine. The heat of his body and the water surrounding me.

I shut my eyes; the fine matted hairs of his chest and abs brushing against my back and shoulders, his cock stiffening as it pressed into me. I turned my head so that my cheek was pressed into his shoulder. He smelt of deodorant and hard work. He smelt of remorse, pain, hope and most of all....love. His arms' embrace told me that I shouldnít fight the fact that I was his.

"I...I shouldnít have come off as some possessive dick," Logan said as I felt his voice rumble through his chest.

I pressed myself back into him, "I'm-I am YOUR turf, so I guess it's...."

I felt Logan shake his head, "No, itís not ok Ethan."

I looked up at him, his lips pouting as he sighed. "I-....I donít know what's wrong with me," he said, closing his eyes.

As I looked at him, I realized, weíre not the perfect couple.... we'll never be perfect. And I knew damn well that this was just the beginning. I looked back down, at his arms still holding me close. If love was easy then.... what the fuck am I saying! Love is NOT easy and it's NOT cheap, like some.... inexpensive trinket.

I turned my head up towards Logan's, his eyes were still closed. But as I moved closer to his lips, he felt me move and he opened his eyes. He was confused, as he stared at me moving closer to his face. He didnít notice my fingers until they were stroking his prickly cheek. I watched his grin flash in tiny burst. He brought his head down as I leaned up and over, my back still against his chest as I kissed him softly.

I loved someone. I loved Logan. And that's not something that I'm going to let go of so easily.


*LOGAN*

I felt my breath fall out of me. His satin pink lips; his kiss, stealing a little bit of the pain. It wasnít quite as passionate, but it was still wonderful as ever. I pulled his body even closer to mine, making him softly whimper into my mouth, his hand coming round, caressing the back of my head.

Almost out of breath, we both slowed; the kiss fading like the stars at morning. My eyes still closed as I inhaled deeply. I could still feel Ethan's heavy breath on my lips, his fingers gently combing through the hair on the back of my neck.

"I know I already said it today," I heard Ethan all but whisper. "But...... I wanna say it again."

I cocked my head forward, my lips brushing against his temple, my eyes still shut. "I.... I want to hear you say it."

I opened my eyes. Ethan was gazing at me, his eyes freezing me place. "I love you more than anything, Logan."

I couldnít help the smile that burst onto my face. I shut my eyes and leaned my head against the side of his. "Ethan...." I felt him perk up. "I love you more than you could ever hope for."

I listened to him sigh.

"So....." I said, hesitatingly as I opened my eyes, my smile dimming, but still happy. "You still mad at me?"

I watched him avert his eyes, his smile fading completely. He was still in my grasp, but I think if I wasnít holding him, he would have gotten up and left.

"You need to trust me Logan," he said softly.

"I do," I said, almost pleading with him.

I felt him shuffle in my arms, at first I was afraid he wanted out of my hold, my heart sinking into my gut while my mind raced with questions. 'Did I say something?.... What's wrong with me?.... how?..... why?....

He could have said anything hurtful to me at that moment.

But he didnít.

Instead he turned completely around in my arms, his chest now against mine, his elbows on my shoulders, his face in front of mine. He must have seen the painful look on my face trail away, because he looked surprised as I felt his fingers stroke my hair.

He wasnít leaving me.


*ETHAN*

I stared at his face, a faint flash of confusion in his countenance. What was he thinking?

I could see in his cool blue eyes that he was beating himself up on the inside. I gently combed the hair above his temple with my fingertips. 'Donít do that Logan,' I said with my eyes. He sighed as I felt his hands grip my lower back. Our noses about to touch, the only sound now was that rippling water and our deep breaths.

"I donít want to talk about this anymore," I whispered, my voice caught somewhere between a request, a command and a prayer.

Logan's face fell into concern. "But.... it's-" He said, about to protest. I know that what had happened at the gym was a problem. And I know that we'll work out it. But not right now. Now, I wanted our problems to take a back seat. And I wanted my boyfriend back.

"No," I said I looked into Logan's eyes, their icy tone, pushing back, telling me that we had to resolve this now. Logan always was a little stubborn, just a little. I stared him down until I watched his countenance soften. That defeated look falling over his face as he sighed beneath me.

"smile," I asked, a smile of my own gently creeping across my lips. I brushed as his hair as I let all my weight fall onto him. He looked at me, his as I watched a saddened smile form on him lips. He wasnít happy about just letting our problems be.

I let my head rest on his chest, my stubbly cheek brushing against the fine hairs on his chest. I closed my eyes, contented as I felt his grip on my waist tighten and his warm breath in my hair again.

"Logan," I said.

"hmmm...." he mumbled, telling me I had his attention.

"It's nothing a little time won't heal," I said, putting as much reassurance into my voice as I could.

I felt up his strong arms as they held me, his body heat, so much more comforting than the hot water around us.

"Turn around," I heard Logan say softy.

I wasnít about to say no. I turned in his arms and rested back against him once more, my back against his chest, my head on his shoulders, his cock once again hardening he pressed it into my ass.

Logan, I missed you


*LOGAN*

I believed him. If a little time was all Ethan was asking for, then it was as good as his. I know if I let it, what I felt for him would eclipse all the negativity. Time....

I felt my mind clear as I reveled in the feel of Ethan's body completely resting against mine, my cock finally feeling free to express it's desire for my mate. I started caressing his upper body, feeling his pecs, his abs, his neck, groping and gently massaging when I felt the urge or heard one of Ethan's soft receptive moans, occasionally grinding his ass into my hard cock. Ethan had one arm behind him, around my neck, his eyes closed, biting his bottom lip when we both heard the stereo all of a sudden get louder.

Ethan opened his eyes and looked up at me as the lyrics of a song penetrated its way into the room. It was a soft, smooth guitar. A slow song, a female singer with a hauntingly serine voice.

"You know I'm such a fool for you. You got me wrapped around your finger Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, Do you have to let it linger?"

I watched Ethan blush with embarrassment. "Fucking T," he said under his breath as he chuckled. I laughed into his ear as I wrapped my arms around his chest and shoulders.

"Stop laughing," Ethan said. "You know Adam's being just as bad as Terrence."

"...yeah..." I said, into his ear as I watched our legs tangle under the surface of the water, our feet rubbing against each other as the stuck out at the other end of the tub. Sure, what they did was horribly clichť, but it was still nice.

The song wore on as Ethan and I just sat there, enjoying the water, enjoying the feeling, and finally relaxing.


*ETHAN*

My hair was still slightly drippy as I clutched my clothes and held up my towel in one hand and held Logan's hand in the other. Logan had his clothes thrown over his shoulder as he opened the bathroom door.

I stepped out first and almost stepped on Terrence's CD player/clock /radio that was just sitting in the hall in front of the bathroom door. I quickly stumbled around it, dropping my T-shirt and my jock as my towel almost fell right off my waist. Logan steadied me as he clutched my hand.

He laughed as he helped me regain my balance.

"Fucking T," I said as I shook my head. Logan's laugh turned to a roar as I lead him into my room. Surprisingly, neither he nor Adam was in to bedroom. Ok, I guess we can get dressed without being picked on.

I threw my socks and gi bottoms onto the pile of laundry that was over flowing out my laundry basket. I dropped my towel were I stood and walked naked up to my dresser and pulled out a clear pair of grey boxer-briefs and threw it over my shoulder. I then went rummaging through Logan's underwear that he had stashed next to mine. I pulled out a pair of white boxer-briefs and turned around and tossed them at him.

He grinned as he dropped his towel to catch them. God, no matter how many times I'd seen him naked..... fuck, my guy was hot. I noticed that he had thrown his used jock into my laundry basket.

I slipped on my boxer-briefs as Logan did the same.

I pulled a clean solid white t-shirt over my torso as Logan finished dressing back into his gym clothes, giving me the scan every other second as he grinned at me. Fucker, he knows that makes me blush every time. And guys donít blush.... well... they shouldnít at least.

All dressed in my gi bottoms and cross trainers, Logan and I walked back into the hall. We heard Adam and Terrence talking and found them in the living room watching re-runs of Seinfeld. They both looked up at us we walked into the living room. They just smiled knowingly as I shook my head at them and picked up my gym bag that I had left on the floor in front of the door.

"You guys are bastards, you know that?" I said as I flung my gym back next to the door.

Adam shrugged as Terrence replied, "Yeah, what are gonna do about it?" He said it without turning his attention away from the television. Logan just shook his head, more amused than anything else.

We walked into the kitchen as I listened to my stomach rumble. God I was hungry. Logan lifted himself onto the counter top and watched as I opened the fridge.

"Ah-ha," I said as pulled a couple of boxes of leftover Chinese take-out.

I opened one of the boxes and yelled into the living room, "Hey, weíre gonna eat your Chinese food.

"Yeah, help yourselves," I heard Adam yell back.

I turned around and faced Logan. "OK," I said as held out one box. "You want the moo shu?" I held out the other, "Or the beef and broccoli."

Logan hopped off the counter top and grabbed the box with the beef and broccoli. He grinned knowingly at me.

"Hmm, I guess it's beef for the beef cake then?" I said, giving him the scan.

He didnít say anything as he took my box of moo shu from me and set it on the counter with his. He grabbed the side of my shirt and closed the distance between us as he pulled me into him, my hand gripping his waist and shoulder. The kiss was tender, slow and sweet.

As he pulled away he brushed my bangs from my eyes he smiled down at me. "You're gonna be late."

Fuck! The dojo! Frank! I grabbed Logan's wrist and looked at his watch. Fuck! I had half and hour to get my ass over there.

"To go?" Logan asked as he grabbed the boxes off the counter and held them in front of him. I stopped jogging in place and looked at him, my face in wonder. I got my boyfriend back. I let my smile cover my face and I watched it reflect in his.

Yeah, jealous, possessive, protective.... I still loved him.


*LOGAN*

We ate on the run, literally. Nothing is funnier than eating with chopsticks while walking and trying to talk at the same time. I felt good; things were back to normal. We were in love and.... smiling. I made him laugh a couple of times, the last of which resulted in a small food fight, right on the sidewalk. I was still mad at myself, that I could live with. But I was glad that for me and Ethan, it had been our fist hurdle, and we made it out alive... and together.

We were late getting back to campus. Ethan had about five minutes to run two miles. We parted ways in front of the steps of my dormitory. I told him he was gonna be late after I said that I'd be there after I unpacked. He smiled at that. It felt good to make him smile after what had happened. I watched him take a few backwards steps, then sprint away.

I stuck my hands in my pockets and stared at the steps beneath my feet. I turned around and looked up at the dorm building. Ugghh.... this was that last place I wanted to be.

For a late Sunday the dorm room halls were a bit busier than they usually were. Most of the time everyone just stayed in their rooms and slept, and on a usual Sunday Ethan and I were no exception.

I quickly raced up the stairs, taking big strides, dodging a few bodies on the way; a bit harder to do with a 50 lb duffle bag and an over-stuffed back pack wrapped around my shoulders. A little out of breath, I finally approached my room and noticed that the door was slightly open.

Hmm.... Terry must be back too.

I opened the door and trudged in, pulling the strap of my duffle bag off my shoulders and dropping in the middle of the room with a loud and heavy thud. Terry looked up from his notes and textbooks, his eyes emotionless behind his glasses. I threw my backpack on the floor as I heard his pencil drop on his notebook. I didnít look up at him but proceeded to open my backpack and begin unpacking. Go ahead Terry, get up and walk out like you always do when I'm here. I heard him turn in his seat, expecting to hear him gather his things and get up to leave.

But I didnít hear any of that.

"Uhh....hmmm...." I heard him mutter as I stopped unpacking and froze, staring at the contents of my backpack scattered over my bed. I stood up straight and slowly turned in his direction. All these weeks of being a total shit and NOW he wants to talk to me?

I cautiously looked over at him and caught his glance, only for a split second before he quickly looked away.

"So..... how was the break?" he asked softly, nonchalant as ever.

"It was good," I answered quickly and was about to return to unpacking when he replied, "Did Ethan go with you?"

I stopped, halfway turned around, holding my breath and then letting out a long exhale as I let my shoulders slump. I could feel the sparks of anger ignite in my bones, my fists clenching along with my jaw. It was hard to will myself to stay in control, but somehow I did it.

"Listen... Terry.... I know what you're thinking," I said in my sternest voice as I turned around towards him, "...and.... I donít care..."

He let his eyes fall to the floor as he said, "That's cool.... you shouldnít."

He turned back around and picked up his pencil again. I stood there stunned, staring the back of his head as he started writing again. Did he just say something that didnít enforce the idea of him being a total shit?

He must have noticed that I was still standing there; silent. He dropped his pencil again and turned his head, "You know Logan..... now that you're.... not the typical asshole jock.... I think I like you more."

"Why's that?" I asked, softly. The confusions unmistakable in my voice.

Turning back towards his work he replied, "I dunno... I guess you shatter that stereotype of 'big bad ass jock, and all I want to do is make everyone's life a living hell.'"

"Was I that bad?" curious to know if that was how everyone saw me.

"No," he said softly. "But let's just leave the conversation here. I donít hate you anymore.... as much."

"Oh..." I said. I guess I'm less of a jerk in his eyes, but still a jerk. I let my eyes fall to the floor as I turned back around to continue unpacking.

"But I will say this," Terry said. I looked over him. He was still writing; not looking up.

"....nice choice in the boyfriend department."

With that I turned back around and began sorting through my duffle bag, the smile on my face suprised.

Mother-fucker.

Who'd have thought that being gay would have made me more tolerable.

 

*ETHAN*

I got to the dojo almost out of breath. I flung the door to the bathroom open and marched into the locker-room. My gym bag now feeling like it had doubled in weight. I threw my bag onto the bench now dubbed as 'Mine and Logan's' bench. I smiled at the thought as I opened one of the many empty lockers. As the metal locker door creaked open I noticed that there was no other sound in the room but me. The locker-room was empty. Hmm... the lights were on and the front doors were open. But come to think of it, I donít remember seeing Frank anywhere when I ran in. Was I that late? Did he cancel because I wasnít here? God, I wish I had brought my skateboard. But.... I guess being in a hurry to leave the apartment....

"Fuck," I said under my breath as I stretched the back of my head. No, he didnít leave, because if he did then he would've locked-up.

My sigh was frustrated as I pulled my water bottle from the side pocket of my gym bag. There wasnít much left, and it was warm, but it was good. It was then that I heard a familiar ringing noise. I stopped drinking, the bottle still held to my lips as I listened. There it was again, that dull ringing. I quickly swallowed the mouthful of water as I realized it was my cell phone. I tore open the zippers to my gym bag, yanking out a few sweaty garments and finally pulled my cell phone out, hoping that I'd answer before the person hung up.

"Yeah?..... Hello," I said, slightly out of breath as I set my water down on the bench.

"Do all college students sound as tired as you?" Kyle's voice asked.

"Oh... K, hey," I said as I sat down on the bench, my voice jokingly going disappointed, "I though that was my voice."

I took seat next to my bag and rested on my elbows on my knees, letting out a sigh, "So how are things in sunny California? The Navy treating you well enough?"

"Yeah, good," his voice didnít sound convincing, I'm guess he had himself a lousy day.

"So..... and uh... to what do I owe this phone call? You never call unless it's some kind of emotional emergency."

"What?! Can't a guy just call up his twin brother for no other reason than just to talk?" his voice going back to its aggressive nature.

"Well...." was all I could say in my defense. He knew I wasn't convinced.

"Shut up, you civilians never know what you're talking about."

I laughed at him. He always pulled that card, implying that we 'non-military' folk had shit for brains. I chuckled as I heard Kyle blow some steam into the phone.

"So, this about Hanna?" I asked.

"Hell no... she left me remember?" Kyle said, his voice subtly showing me that he was still bitter about her.

"Yeah...." I said, as I stared up at the ceiling, "She still with that Hank guy?"

"How the fuck should I know?!" Kyle exclaimed into my ear. I winched a little at the volume of his voice.

I laughed, glad that I got a rise out of him.

"Ok, Ok, so what's up?" I asked, my attitude finally giving in. He may be younger by five minutes, but he usually won when I came to who had the biggest ego/attitude.

"What?! Can't I just call to check up on ya?" his voice as defensive as ever. I sighed, typical Kyle, never wanting to say that he needed something, even it was just to talk to someone.

"So.... how's Wes?" I asked, thinking that the subject might lighten him up. That and I was still kinda worried about him.... in the back of mind that is.

Thanksgiving break was fine and all, but Wes never told me what was bugging him. Oh, I knew full well that he had it bad for Kyle, but even after coming out to me and telling me about it, he still didnít tell me everything. And I guess it's my brotherly protection that makes me want to know if Wes and everything he said.......

Ethan, you need to stay out of you brother's business.

Kyle's voice drew me back to our conversation. "Young? He's somewhere on base. Probably hanging out with Stanton?"

"Stanton?" I asked, as I put my phone between my shoulder and my ear as I got up and began rummaging through my gym bag.

"Yeah, Tommy Stanton," Kyle said, his voice implying that I should have known who he was, "Lance Corporal like Wes?"

I listened to him sigh, "If Wes is anywhere he's with Stanton."

"Is he..... Wes'..... boyfriend?" I asked cautiously as I pulled out the top to my gi along with my belt.

Kyle let out a roar as I pulled my ear from my phone.

"You know what?" Kyle asked, his voice all of a sudden more insightful, "I asked him that and the mother-fucker got all defensive."

I laughed nervously as I set the phone down on the bench and pulled my gi top over my head. I picked the phone back up. He didnít answer my question. He finally stopped laughing.

"But... nah, they're just hard-core bros, that's all," Kyle said.

"Oh, while were talking about the jarhead. Wes said, 'thanks,' for whatever it was you did for him over the holiday," Kyle's voice all of a sudden jumpy," He said he had a great time hanging out with the two of us, Terrance, Grant and Jeff."

"He didnít find us weird at all?" I asked curiously as I tied my belt around my waist.

"Weird? Why?" Kyle said, not sure as to why I was asking. I tightened the knot in my belt.

"Well," I said, not sure if there really was an argument to make. "We didnít exactly ask him what he wanted to do. You dragged him to the casinos so he could gamble for you after I dragged him to about 20 skate shops." I sighed comically, "I really donít think he has much appreciation for the sport."

"You still insist that rolling around on a stupid piece of wood constitutes it as a sport?" Kyle asked, not really asking for my opinion, but only trying to push my buttons.

"Yeah, but thatís not the point. I thought we were talking about Wes," I said, not giving him the satisfaction of a fight over the phone. "Yeah, well, after all that, Grant and Jeff dragged us to just about every arcade on the south side."

"Well, that day was all he talked about on the flight home," Kyle said. "Now that you mention it, he still brings it up whenever I mention you. Did you say something to him?" Kyle's voice all of sudden going inquisitive. "I think he might have something for you."

"What?! I know for a fact that he doesnít." It was my turn to get all defensive.

"Why?" He asked, his voice showing that he was all of a sudden more interested. "You got some woman I donít know about?"

I know my eyes flooded with terror as my jaw hung open. Fuuuuuck! I screamed in my head. Lie Ethan, lie!

"No," I said, trying to make my voice sound as convincing as possible. I didnít lie to him. I was basically telling him the truth. No, there was no woman. But it still sure as hell felt like I was lying.

"Oh," Kyle said, the disappointment in his voice obvious. "Well.... Wes invited me to a party tonight." He said, as if trying to get off the subject of women.

I felt my stomach jump, not sure if I wanted Kyle go or not. "And?" I asked.

"I'm not sure if I wanna go," he said, the division in his voice clear.

"Why not?" I asked as I pulled my grapping gloves on.

"I dunno..." he said, the confliction in his voice had me worried, "I think the more we see of each other...... the weirder he seems to act."

Ok, maybe he's noticing something. Finally! Wes couldnít have been more obvious, but then again Kyle can be pretty dense.

"Well Kyle, maybe Wes...." I was interrupted by the sound of the restroom door swing open again. I turned my head in the direction of the door. "....Maybe he...."

I watched Frank walk in. It looked as if he was relived to have finally found me. He was about to say something until he noticed that I was on the phone. I was all dressed out as Frank stared at me while folding his arms. The look on face seemed pressed for time.

"....Yeah?...." Kyle said into my ear, telling me that he was listening.

Frank looked at his watch subtly. Ok, that was the sign that said I was no longer on my time, but his.

"Uhh... Kyle... I gotta go," I said slowly, as I averted my eyes from Frank. His stare was telling me we had to start training.

"...wait...you didnít tell me...." Kyle protested.

"Kyle.....KYLE!" I yelled back at him, "I gotta go."

There was a split second of silence, and then, "Ok, fine... talk to you later...."

"Bastard," he said softly before hanging up.

I clicked my phone off and threw it into my open gym bag.

"We ready?" Frank asked, smiling under his harsh countenance.

"Yeah," I said as I wiped my hands off on the pant leg of my gi, "all ready."

I walked towards him and noticed him take a quick glance around the room, not turning his head but letting his eyes wander.

"Aaannd.....Mr. Rian?" he asked after realizing that I was alone.

Why? Why is he asking about Logan? I shook my head, all of a sudden feeling like I was in the middle of an interrogation. His eyes might as well have been spotlights. Despite what I said about Frank earlier, he definitely knew something. I was sure as fuck.

I know my facial expression told him something, but Frank didnít make much of it as he shrugged his shoulders and gestured me to follow him.

"Come on Kid, we got a lot of work to put into the next two hours."


*LOGAN*

I opened the door to the dojo slowly as to not disturb anyone inside. Ethan said his training would be over at 4:00, so afterwards I could see him. As I walked into the foyer I took a quick glance at my watch.... 4:07. I was excusably late. I was half expecting a flood of school children to be rushing out but was rather surprised that there was no one leaving; there was only me and an empty foyer.

"Aggghhhh!" I had yelled out, not a painful sort of yell but more like a battle cry. It echoed off the high ceiling as it resonated throughout the building.

I peered my head around the corner and saw Ethan in a fighting stance and an older man opposite him in an equal stance. I stepped out of the foyer and leaned against the wall, my arms folded as I watched Ethan in that sexy black Tea Kwon Do gi of his and the other man in simple, casual street clothes. I heard the older guy say something inaudible and then Ethan nod in compliance. The guy nimbly hopped back and Ethan immediately charged. I let my mouth hang open as I watched Ethan do a few acrobatically amazing kicks; spinning and jumping the way he did. Holy Hell was he flexible... and fast.

I shook myself out of my daze and frowned at myself. God... for being his boyfriend Logan you sure know a lot about his hobbies. I slapped myself again. Well now I donít have football practice to keep me away from him.... so now I guess I could pull off the role of 'supportive boyfriend.'

"Good job," I could barely hear the older guy say as Ethan finally landed and then stood up straight. Ethan looked a little out of breath as the both of them bowed towards each other.

I watched the older man pick up a clip board off the floor. Clip board? FRANK! God, I'm so bad a remembering faces.

Frank walked way, jotting down something down as he walked towards what I remembered to be the office at the other end of the dojo.

I leaned off the wall and started to walk towards Ethan. Ethan was drying his face and neck with a navy blue towel when he noticed me. I watched his face light up, his smile and eyes shinning as he threw the towel over his shoulder and folded his arms, shifting his weight to one side as he waited for me to come closer. Finally in front of him, I closed my eyes and chuckled.

"Did you really pull off all those spinning kicks?"

He was still breathing hard as I watched his face flush into a deep pink. His smile was hypnotizing.

"I'd like to think I did," he said, his right hand reaching around my neck as he gently pulled my face towards his. I smiled in anticipation as his parting lips got closer. The kiss was small, nothing like what I was quite use to but still just as satisfying.

He was hiding it. He was still upset with me. I could see it peeking out from behind his bright brown eyes, at least what was left of it before he crushed it. I know..... I know things will never be perfect, but I think this is as close as we can get.

Ethan turned around and picked up his water bottle, taking a long chug as he turned back around and faced me. With his water now gone, he took a deep breath and wiped his mouth on his glove. He looked tired, not exhausted, but a satisfied tired. He smiled at me as I said, "Go on and change," pointing to the locker-room doors not too far away. "Uhh.....I'll wait here," said softly, my body language going nervous as I looked over at Frank's open office door.

Ethan took two steps closer to me, his face inches from mine, his smile sly. "Pussy," he said, he was obviously taunting me. I rolled my eyes at him. "No," I whispered to him, my teeth slightly gritting. "I'm not gonna let Frank catch me with my hands and mouth all over you."

Ethan looked down and sighed. "I guess you're right," he said, the mock disappointment his voice was emphasized. He took a couple of quick steps back, "gimme five minutes, Ok?" He flashed a smile at me and disappeared behind the locker-room doors.

I pulled my hands from my pockets and strolled slowly towards the bench along the wall. I took a seat as I admired my surroundings, the large windows with trophies lined up behind them, the Korean and Japanese flags that hung along side the American and Arizona state flag above me. I heard Ethan's shower start up as I echoed out of the locker-room.

I was looking up at the flags when I head my name.

"Mr. Rian," I quickly looked at Frank standing in front of me. I don't think I jumped, but it sure felt like I did. He didnít have his glasses on but he still had that smile of his on his face, the smile that a protective father would give his daughter's prospective boyfriends.

"I was wondering when you were going to show up," he said as I let his clip board fall to his side.

I usually donít get frightened very easily, but I know my blood began to race as I watched Frank take a seat right next to me. I listened to him set his clip board on the bench. This guy has god knows how many Karate trophies. He could break me in half, no sweat.

I know I was probably gripping the bench beneath me as I tried not to look him in the eye. Oh god, he knows.... I'm fucking his star student and he's gonna kill me.

"Are you nervous?" I heard Frank ask with a bit of humor and amusement eerily tied around his question.

I looked at him cautiously. "No," I said. I wasnít even convinced by the lack of confidence in my voice.

"Logan," he said, nodding his head at me. He then gave me a quizzical look. "Is it ok if I call you Logan?"

I stared at him, every part me frozen except for my neck as I nodded at him. "Yeah."

He looked down at the floor and chuckled. I listened to him sigh and hesitate as he pursed his lips.

"I'm not going to hurt you Logan, if that's what you're thinking?" he said as he looked me in the eye, his facial features finally softening along with his voice. "I'm actually concerned about Ethan...."

Ethan? With that I sat up. I know Frank saw the instant concern draw over my face and manner. I was listening now.

"I.... I need your help," Frank confessed. "He's been here all morning and he said that he went weight lifting with you all afternoon..." He let his eyes look over the dojo, "...and now he's back here."

I nodded before letting my eyes fall to the floor. "Well this expo on Friday means a lot to him....." I looked back at Frank, "...and he wants to do well."

"I know, I know," Frank said, shutting his eyes and shaking his head. "But the boy needs a break."

"Oh," I said.

I heard Frank sigh as I watched him get up off the bench and pick up his clip board. He pulled he glasses out of the pocket of his zip-up sweatshirt. He put them on as he said, "Take him out Logan."

I watched him smile at me as I realized that he knew.... and he didnít care.

"Take him out and..... have fun," he said as he smiled down on me still sitting. "Go..... play videogames, go to the movies, eat some fast food.... " I watched him close his eyes as he winced, "If you do eat fast food.... donít tell Steve."

I laughed softly at him as I took his first step back to his office.

I listened to the water shut off in the locker-room.

"Oh and Logan," I turned my attention to Frank standing a few yards away. "Thank-you, he's happy now."

And with that he turned back abound and headed back towards his office. I smiled to myself as I looked down at my lap. 'Fuck me,' I said to myself as I chuckled. Ethan's never gonna believe this. I looked over at the locker-room doors. "You know what Frank? He makes me happy too," I said just above a whisper.

The mall; the place looked like 'high school' had just puked all over it. But that was expected since it was almost 5 p.m. The kids were all fashionable, loitering around as I imagined there was absolutely nothing else to on a Sunday afternoon expect hang out at the mall and not buy anything. They all looked stuck-up to me, snapping their gum behind their designer sunglasses as they ignored everyone else here. God I hated clicks. I know I was in the football click in high school but it's not like I had a choice when it came to my membership.

I shut my eyes and sighed as I smiled, gently shaking my head. Come on Logan, you're in college now. What they donít know is that life kicks you in the balls after graduation.

"Come on babe," I said rather quietly to Ethan, leaning into his ear as I nodded in the direction of the food court.

I jogged just ahead of him and started jogging backwards, "I think maybe a corn dog and a smoothie 'ought to do you good."

I watched Ethan's face burst into a smile and then slowly soften, the brown of his eyes reminding me that I was the luckiest dumbass jock alive. Time froze for a second as I wrestled the urge to grab his hand and drag him all the way to the food court, just like he had dragged me on many occasions. Ethan chuckled as I slowed down and walked back beside him, just a little embarrassed with myself as I stuffed my hands into the pockets of my jeans.

"You know, Steve's gonna have my head if he ever finds out that you dragged me here," his eyes wandered, but he didnít look at all uncomfortable, he looked.... happy.

His eyes met back with mine, a smirk still lingering on his lips, "...inhaling junk food like it were crack.... you know, he might just have your head as well."

"Should I be scared?" I asked, just a tiny bit of real worry behind it.

He nudged my shoulder with his, his eyes telling me I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

"Nah, Steve..... he's just been like another dad," Ethan said.

"Dad huh?" the amusement clearly showing in my voice. "So should I be asking him if can date you?"

Ethan laughed at me, "I know exactly what'd he'd say."

"WHAT?! What would he say?" I asked, my curiosity getting the best of me.

We finally reached the food court as our paces slowed to a stand still. Ethan turned to me and said, "He'd tell you, 'Ethan has better thing to do than to go on dates with an over-sized gorilla,'" Ethan doing his best to imitate Steve.

I frowned at him, "Wow, that was mean."

Ethan then smiled apologetically, tilting his head slightly to the side as he looked at me, "Then I'd tell him, than I'm in love with that over-sized gorilla, and when it comes to him..... there's absolutely no one better for me."

"Do you fuckin' want me to kiss you in public?" I said softly as I felt my body draw closer to his. I watched his eyes dart to the side as his smile waned. I literally had to kick myself to stop my advance. I let him refocus on me. When will he ever get used to this? I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that I loved him, let everyone see that for once in my life, I was happy.

"I'll tell you what?" Ethan said, the happiness reappearing in his face. "Beat me on Marvel VS Capcom 2 and you'll get a nice victory kiss," he said as he pointed to the arcade on the other end of the food court. I looked in that direction, smiled, and then looked back at him.

"You do remember that's...." I started to say until Ethan finished for me.

"That's.... how we met," he said, his smile bright as I watched his coffee brown eyes begin to shimmer.

"So if I win, this time I get a victory kiss?" I asked, grinning as I bit my lip.

"Yeah, right there in that dark arcade," Ethan said, as he took a small step in that direction.

"You game?" he asked, his voice almost challenging me to say no.

"With a prize like that....?" I said as I nodded my head. "What sorry fuck in his right mind would say no?"


End of Chapter Thirteen: Unconditional

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