Disclaimer: this story is of a homosexual nature. If you don't want to read it, then don't.
Chapter 6: Surfacing
I heard the birds outside as I opened my eyes. I gazed at the ceiling and then at the open window, the slight morning breeze blowing in through the thin fabric of the curtains. I looked down at my chest, at Ethan's head resting on my left pec, his right hand on the other. His warm breath against my slight chest hair, sending a strangely welcome feeling back to my brain. My head fell back into the couch cushion as I smiled to myself. I still couldn't believe that he was my boyfriend, and what happened last night wasn't just a dream.
I took a deep breath, completely forgetting that my chest rises when I do that. He moved a little and made some morning sounds as his eyes flashed open. Their beautiful brown color was now irresistible. He smiled as he turned and rested on his chin.
"Morning," I said in a raspy voice. He smiled then shivered a little.
"You cold?" I asked.
"A little," he said nuzzling is body against mine. I guess my opportunity. I brought my hands back up to touch him, gently tracing circles on his back. I was hesitant to fully hold him, for some stupid reason I'm sure. I guess I thought that he'd think of me as... I dunno... pushy? Maybe too aggressive?
My face must have told him something. He smile and laughed lightly.
"If I remember correctly, you had your hands doing other things in other places."
I let my right hand rest on the skin where his back met his ass, the other fell on his shoulder blade as I laughed at his remark. His skin was warm, and even though I slept all night with him in my arms, the touch of him was refreshing. I was all smiles as his face lit up also. I felt his finger tips on my cheek, and my stubble grabbing as his flesh as he skimmed his way around. His eyes went inquisitive.
"Logan?... I still can't believe that this is real."
With confusion in my voice I asked, "What?"
He continued to look at me and said, "If it were any other guy.... I would have said no."
The corner of his lips rose as did mine.
"So what makes me so special?" I said as I gently stoked his skin.
His eyes fell from mine. I saw his lips move as if he were trying to form the words.
"...like, this was fate or something.... I dunno.... I, I didn't know I was dreaming of you until last night... and it was the most incredible feeling ever."
My hold on him went tight as he closed his eyes. He looked as if he fell back on his thoughts.
"I know the feeling too," I said softly.
He opened his eyes. A needy look lingered in them, like he was waiting for me to say something in particular.
"I won't lie Ethan. I was attracted to you the first day we met. That day I hoped we'd become friends. And when we were, I hoped we'd become more.... and now..."
His countenance seemed to gesture me to go on. The next thing I noticed was that I was the one shaking. My throat seemed to cut off any words that might come out. I shut my eyes as I focused on my hands, my chest, the feeling of Ethan's body so close to mine. I've wanted this forever, and didn't want to let it go. My throat loosened. I took a few breaths and opened my mouth.
And little more breath than speech I said, "...I love you Ethan."
The look on his face didn't change. He just stared at me. Say something Ethan, please fucking say something.... I looked down then away as I tried to forget his reaction. I choked and wished with all my might that I hadn't said that. I closed my eyes and felt them moisten, the beginnings of a tear. Perfect.
"I love you Ethan."
I just stared at him. I've never had anyone tell me that. I was caught off guard. Letting those words sink in I thought, 'it found me, I wasn't looking for it, but it found me.' And it was the most incredible feeling. I felt my mind and body smack me and tell me, 'he loves you!' But I didn't know what to do. As my eyes refocused on him I saw his face drawn, his eyes shut and moistening. I'd have given him the Medal of Honor for the courage it took to say what he did. He loved me. I saw it in his eyes so many times. If it wasn't there... I doubt last night would've happened. What's wrong with you Ethan? You love him just as much. It felt like a million thoughts were running threw my head, and all I could do was look at him. What's your fucking problem Ethan?! SAY SOMETHING!!
"...I... I love you too..." I said, just as softly as he did.
Why did I feel so relieved? I guess I finally figured out what I was feeling all this time. His eyes opened and blinked at me as I whipped his tears. His lips quivered as his breath again went choppy. He smiled at me and he seemed to relax.
"I love you so much... at times it even hurts."
I smiled, memorizing his face as he said it. It made me feel special, like I was as much the world to him as he was to me. I ran my thumb along his lips, firm and pink.... and trembling.
"I love you, Kenneth Logan Rian."
This time I think I made him blush.
"I've wanted to say it for so long.... I just didn't know it was what I wanted to say... and I didn't exactly know how to either..."
His grip held me tighter as we just stared at each other. I was in love with a guy, probably the most masculine guy I knew.... this was all so new to me. I hope Logan understood.
The moments passed as we took each other in, noting every detail of his face. He let out a sigh and smiled.
"Ethan, I prayed for exactly this. I prayed every night that you'd fall in love with me. Because I couldn't stand the thought that I loved you and you didn't love me back."
The tears started to form again.
"But you do, and I can't imagine myself with anyone else."
Why did he love me so much? I was so full of imperfections. But with his words and the way he looked at me, it was hard to resist. I moved up to kiss him, but my skin seemed to be glued to his fur. It must have yanked because shock rolled over his face. I laughed and did a push-up off his body. We looked between us and saw a familiar dried white substance pasting us together. I guess clean up was something to remember next time. He chuckled as I fell back on top of him.
"Guess we did make a pretty big mess," he said as he grabbed hold of my waist.
His hands pulled me up, ignoring the bond. Our lips crashed as we kissed deep, his fingers in my hair and his hands all over my back. So this was being in love...
We de-bonded ourselves as we finally sat up. Glad nothing got on the couch. I looked down at my abs and chest. The dried substance caked into my body hair, and my briefs stained, probably beyond salvage. I looked at Ethan who had the same problem, except for the body hair part. He looked at me and smirked.
"You up for a shower?"
I grinned back, grabbed his hand and lifted him off the couch. By the time we were in the bathroom we were already making out with our hands all over each other. Our last shred of clothing came off as we slipped under the water. I think all we did was rinse ourselves off and continue.
The steam cleared as we stepped out, drying ourselves off then walking back into the living room to get out clothes. I walked back into Ethan's room with him and watched him drop his towel. His body was perfect. Everything him seemed like I dreamed him up. He pulled his boxer briefs up and picked up the stained ones he'd gotten from the bathroom. He looked at mine and his underwear from last night. He looked back at me as a grin drew over his face.
"So what are you gonna wear?"
Naked and semi hard I shrugged. He dug back into his dresser drawer and flung me a clean pair. I unfolded a pair of briefs. "Polo Ralph Lauren" it said around the band. I guess the fact that I had on 'Calvin's' before made it all that more amusing to him. I stood there and looked at him as he grinned at me.
"Thought they'd look sexy on you."
I laughed, "Well, we'll see."
I slipped my legs in one by one and pulled them up. They were a little tight but nothing too uncomfortable. My meat was a little snug. I just hoped I wouldn't stain them like I did mine. We watched each other dress and traded smiles. We walked back into the bathroom. Ethan brushed his teeth as I washed my face.
As he finished he dropped his toothbrush into the cup. He froze, looked at the cup and then at me. I wasn't gonna ask but now that I was in the situation, it was inevitable. With a shaky voice I stuttered out.
"Uh, Ethan? You don't mind if I ..." pointing at his toothbrush.
He laughed and took the few steps up to me, his face almost touching mine.
"You've already sucked my tonsils out, what other invitation do you need?"
He kissed me lightly on the lips then turned to the sink to wash his face. I totally felt like a boyfriend now.
The cool water splashed on my face as I looked in the mirror, at Logan brushing his teeth with my toothbrush, smiling all the while. I felt like I was 12 again and he was my friend on a sleepover. But then again, at 12 I didn't have a boyfriend. I dried my face off as Logan finished. As I set the towel back on the rack I felt Logan's arms come around my waist and his breath on my neck as he whispered in my ear.
"It's Saturday, what do we got planned?"
I thought and nearly died as he gently nibbled on my ear.
"Uhh..." was all I had to say as I leaned back into him. I was about to answer when I heard the door push open and familiar voices flood into the room. In almost complete shock I stiffened as Logan's arms quickly fell from my body. We looked at each other in total worry. Nervously I walked out, leaving Logan in the bathroom. I tried to play it cool as I saw Terrance, Jeff and Grant standing in the living room. Terrance looked completely awake and alert while Grant and Jeff looked like hung over train wrecks.
"Uh... hey, where'd you guys go? .... Got home last night and no one was here."
All three of them looked at each other, suspiciously in my opinion.
"Well we went to Phoenix to go party hoppin' and ended up passed out in some apartment in Chandler."
They laughed but a little bothered by their obvious hangovers. Terrance stepped up to me, a sly grin on his face.
"And how was YOUR night?"
I looked like a kid that just lied being caught by his father.
"Uhh... wwhat....do you mean?"
The biggest grin fell upon his face.
"Oh come on! I didn't plan all this for nothing... where's he at?!"
I was screaming on the inside. HOW THE FUCK DID HE KNOW?! In a calm voice he said, "Ok Logan, you can come on out."
I had the look of complete and utter terror on my face as Terrance looked passed me. He smiled like a fool as I turned also. Logan stood there, obviously embarrassed by all the attention. Grant and Jeff looked at him with surprised wiped on their faces. Terrance had a look of almost pride. What was he so smug about? And what was this about 'having last night planned.' I felt like sweating bullets. What did a perfectly awesome night end up with a morning like this? Logan finally spoke up. I guess trying to find a way out of this. The same thing I was trying to do.
"Uh... I was just... uhh..." he said, trying to mask his nervousness but to no avail.
"AGGGHH.... hell with you two!" Terrance busted out.
I imagine from frustration. He walked up to me at a heated pace, grabbed me by the shoulder and dragged me to where Logan stood. There I stood in complete shock. Not sure from his attitude or what he was trying to accomplish. Terrance eyes both of us and opened his mouth.
"You two have been walking around this for way too long."
Logan and I looked at each other. I think he could feel the nervousness dripping off me. Ok, now was as good a time than any. I took a deep breath, looking at Logan again, who was smiling despite the situation. Oddly my hand found his as it tangled itself in his fingers. Logan's face went brilliant, smiling uncontrollably. Jeff and Grant's jaws seemed to hit the floor, and Terrance seemed beside himself.
"I guess I have a little explaining to do," I said smiling sheepishly.
"Cool," Terrance said in response, "You guys can explain everything over breakfast."
I looked down at the floor and smirked as Logan wrapped his large arm around me.
"Why not," I said.
We all looked at Grant and Jeff who were almost crying out in agony. Grant spoke up.
"Listen, Ethan, Logan, congrats with the whole couple thing, but me and Jeff are dying here. I dunno about him but I just wanna pop some pain killers and go to sleep."
Jeff nodded in compliance. The rest of us laughed and agreed that it was best if they stayed and slept.
We walked into Denny's and were soon seated at a booth in the corner at our, more like my request. Naturally me and Logan sat together and Terrance opposite us. Maybe it was the atmosphere or maybe it was the place, but Logan and I weren't too affectionate. We still had a lot to work through, especially me. As much as I smiled at the thought of being Logan's boyfriend, I still had to get my head on straight. I mean we still hadn't had sex, or at least what I considered sex.
I nursed my OJ while Logan sipped on his hot chocolate. He looked adorable, like a little kid, his tasseled hair as always, unshaven, but still attractive as hell... at least to me. And he was. I'd seen all of him and .... uh, felt all of him as well.
"Ok guys, I'm all ears," Terrance said putting down his coffee mug.
I started, "Well.... I guess.....HEY! Wait a minute. You said you had this planned. What gives?"
I eyed him hard until he finally cracked.
"Ok, I guess I owe you that much," Terrance blurted out in defense.
I nodded as Logan stared at both of us puzzled as ever. Terrance took a deep breath and sighed.
"Well Ethan..... I guess it's nothing new to say that your luck with women has been.... well.... shit, for lack of a better word."
Logan's head turned and glared at me in almost astonishment. I think I turned red. I let a nervous laugh.
"Yeah bro, I guess you're right."
Terrance laughed as Logan grinned at me while taking another sip of his hot cocoa.
"I mean take this last date you were on. You came home, feeling like shit and you take off in Jeff's truck."
His stare turned to Logan.
"Then Prince Charming comes over looking for you. Then distraught when you're not there."
Logan blushed, probably worse than I did. Terrance and I laughed and Logan did a little. I looked at Logan as he looked back at me. Did he really come looking for me? That ever present warm feeling crept back into my chest as I looked at Logan's face, filled with all the love that he manifested before. Terrance took a light sip of coffee.
"But how did you know?" I asked, wonder I my words.
Terrance looked up from his mug and smiled warmly.
"Ethan, you and your brother.... and I have been friends since the sixth grade. I've seen you guys happy, at school, home and just being with friends."
He stirred his coffee as I nodded along with what he said.
"Yeah....." I said under my breath.
"And then HE comes along and it's not the same way as it is with me, Jeff, Grant or even Kyle.... you look happier."
I looked down as I thought about Logan, from the day we met to the moment right now. And I smiled without even knowing it.
"SEE!" Terrance spilled, "You can't even think about him without smiling,"
I guess it was my turn to blush again as I sat there knowing it was all true. I felt Logan's hand on mine under the table, his thumb caressing the back of my hand. His touch seemed to reassure me that for whatever reason, it was ok. He looked at me, those ice blue eyes staring into me. For all the embarrassment, he was worth it. He smiled back at me. I guess like an idiot because Terrance couldn't help but comment.
"What are you smiling about? You're the dead give away!"
When Terrance said that I almost choked on my own breath along with my hot chocolate. Personally I was trying to stay out of this. As long as Ethan was with me nothing seemed to faze me.... but this?
"Hey I didn't say anything," I responded, trying to sound at least firm.
Terrance broke out laughing, Ethan making the face of trying to hold back his laughter. Terrance finally calmed down.
"Logan, that's the point, you didn't have to say anything."
I was now squeezing Ethan's hand. What did that mean? I'm guessing I looked at him puzzled.
"Oh come on Logan, don't play stupid. ALL of us have seen you look at Ethan with those puppy dog eyes. And the night you came looking for him, the look in you eyes was almost heartbreaking. You'd have to be heartless not to want to help you two out, and not to mention blind not to notice that Ethan meant more to you than you said he did."
I felt nervous being put on the spot, smiling weakly at both of them.
"And look at you two now.... so, be thankful!" Terrance blurted out.
I did look at Ethan, I looked into his eyes. I guess Terrance was right. I was thankful, for whatever he did.
All three of us laughed, me and Ethan more nervously than Terrance. As our meals arrived Ethan finally told Terrance about last night and the scenic view after he begged and bitched about it. Good thing Ethan didn't go into details or I'd have reddened ten times worse than I was now.
Terrance swallowed a bite of his short stack as he asked, "So... Logan, is Ethan a good kisser?"
I almost choked, so far twice.
"Uhh...." I looked at Terrance who was egging me to go on and then at Ethan who looked like he was on trial. I looked down at my omelet and laughed on an exhale.
"...uh... it was incredible."
Ethan's lips curved into a smile as Terrance looked satisfied and continued eating.
"I'll save the details for you two," he said, pointing at us with his fork.
Ethan's hand held mine as I looked at him again. I didn't know how many times I had in the past 24 hours, but he never ceased to entrance me. He still wore his cap. Which was a bummer, but at least he wore it backwards this time. The skin on his face glowed in the sun, a perfect light tan. I noticed the stubble on his face and I fell in love with him even more.
Terrance spoke up again, and in a casual voice asked, "You two have sex yet?"
The hair on the back of my neck stood up as Ethan looked as if someone had kicked him in the gut.
Ethan's eyes went in all directions as he muttered, "Uhh.... GOD! Terrance we're public!!!"
"Ok," he said, laughing and smiling, "I guess you two haven't come to that yet."
I looked at Ethan who looked at me a little worried.
"Ethan, Logan, guys. Forget about it. I was just being nosey."
We both smiled at Terrance as an acceptance of his apology.
"Ok let's talk about somethin' different.... other than you two."
We both nodded as we continued to eat.
"So, Logan, you said you were form Colorado, Denver right?"
"Yeah," I said smiling from my mug.
"Kyle sent me an e-mail, said he made a friend from Denver... well they guy's from all over the place, but the last place he lived was Denver," Terrance said talking another bite of his pancakes.
"Yeah? What's his name? I might know him."
I didn't know any 'Wes', but 'Young' sounded familiar. But then again that was not an uncommon name. I thought about it for a bit but nothing came to mind.
"Nope, doesn't ring a bell," I said, cutting out a piece of my omelet.
"Ok," Terrance said, reverting his attention back to his breakfast. Still somewhat confused I looked at Ethan still working on his Belgian waffle.
"Whose Kyle?" I asked.
He looked at me a little surprised as Terrance looked at him with the same expression.
"Uggh... I guess I forgot to tell you.... Kyle's my twin brother."
"Oohhh." I exclaimed, "I remember, you just never told me his name."
"Well... I guess you never asked."
I shrugged my shoulders and continued to smile at him. Terrance just looked at us with comic resentment. Ethan put down his fork and looked at me.
"Well, Kyle's in the Navy. He calls once in a while, but mostly he writes e-mails," Ethan finished speaking looking at Terrance.
"We all live in the same house, so Kyle only writes me," Terrance said, almost gloating.
Ethan leaned into me and said, "It's just he's the only one who checks his e-mail everyday.... like he has nothing better to do."
Terrance shot him a mock 'go to hell' look. After a little stare down they both started laughing.
Ethan turned back to me, "The truth Logan, Kyle's a lot tighter with Grant and Jeff, but we're all friends."
He stared into me as he said it, with his brown eyes, oddly the same color as my hot chocolate... maybe a little darker. We finished our meal and quickly paid. It was 11:00 am. Well there goes my morning. I kinda planned on spending it alone with Ethan, but then again getting a few facts in check seemed to take priority. Plus, I think I needed to get to know where Terrance stood in all this.
We all piled back into Terrance's car, him driving, Logan and I sitting in the back. As he started the engine and began to pull out of the parking lot he said, "So, what do you two have planned for today?"
Logan and I both kinda looked at him. I looked down and said, "I got Tae Kwan Do practice, state's coming up."
"Oh" Terrance said, "sorry to take up your morning."
"Ahh, it's ok," Logan said, flashing me a cheesy smile, a little reminiscent token of last night. I think I turned red as Logan's gaze seemed to set me ablaze. I thought back to last night. I got the idea that we would have to do that again sometime soon.
We got back to the apartment. Terrance went upstairs. I'm guessing to check on Grant and Jeff. I headed for my room and gestured for Logan to fallow. As we made our way through the door I turned around and Logan's hands lashed out around my waist as mine grabbed at his. Our lips met a little violently as my tongue invaded his mouth, his massaging mine, gently but with need, his stubble grabbing at my flesh as our lips battled. As they parted he smiled broad.
"I've been waiting to do that all morning," he said as he licked his lips.
"You taste like OJ."
I licked mine, "You taste like chocolate."
We both kinda laughed as he slowly let me go and my hands gently fell from his body.
"So when do you gotta get to your karate class?"
I let out a sigh and turned around to grab my backpack.
"In an hour.... sorry I gotta go so early, but I've been working for this for a long time now and it means a lot to me."
Still smiling he hung his head.
"It's ok. I think I got enough of you to hold me off until tomorrow, besides I got football practice too."
I think I let out a huge grin as I emptied my backpack out, throwing my notebooks and textbooks all over my bed. Logan watched as I refilled it with my gi, gloves, foot padding and belt.
"You're not gonna change here?" a little disappointment in his voice as well as on his face.
I stepped up to him, our bodies almost touching.
"If I'm gonna walk you back to campus I'm gonna do it in my street clothes."
He grinned, all teeth, as he pulled me into him. And this time he took the initiative as him kissing me. He let his hands wander up my shirt.
"I was kinda hoping to see at least some skin," his hands on my torso and sides. I laughed as his hands began to grope.
"Well if you're patient you'll see a lot more."
He smirked at me as his hands slowly retreated.
"Ok," he said, his voice tainted with a little reluctance.
I turned and picked up my backpack. Made sure my cap was on snug. I had it on backwards, I guess so I didn't have to look up at Logan. He had himself leaned up against my dresser as I hunted for my wallet.
"So where's this dojo at exactly?"
I stopped my searching and looked up at him. Wow.... he was handsome, leaning there with his arms folded and a look of almost coolness in his eyes. I blinked then shook my head a little to get myself back to reality.
"Oh.... uh.... yeah the dojo, it's uhh... next door to the gym on Haul Rd."
"Ooohhh..." he said, nodding his head.
"Found it!" I said, digging into last night's jeans and pulling out my wallet.
"So I guess I'll have to pass by one of these days," he said, smiling from ear to ear.
"Yeah, just not today," I said, "forms master is coming in today. Special training the dojo is paying for. Competition's in December."
"Oh... I see," he looked at me questionably.
"He gonna have his hands all over you?"
I laughed on an exhale and smiled back at him, "Well.... for your sake lets hope not."
He laughed out loud and grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into him, practically leaving no space between out faces.
"Well... I hope not, cuz I'd like to think that only my hands are allowed to go certain places."
I felt his warm breath against my lips as I felt the heat of his fingertips tease the skin above the waistband of my underwear. I looked into his eyes as he whispered.
"I love you."
I smiled back and slowly lifted the front of his polo and let my fingers scan his lower abs, letting his hairs send shocks back to his head.
"I love you too."
The start of a kiss was in motion when we heard someone clearing their throat.
We both kind turned to see Terrance standing in the doorway.
"Am I ... interrupting?"
A little annoyed, but more of a joke I answered, "Yeah."
He busted out laughing.
"Good, because I gotta jet. You guys planning on staying?"
Logan and I looked back at each other, his head dropped while still smiling. I turned back to Terrance.
"Nah, I gotta get to Tae kwan do practice."
Logan turned and fallowed, "Yeah, and I need to be at football practice in a little bit."
Terrance nodded as Logan leaned off the dresser and started to walk towards the door. I adjusted my backpack, grabbed my skateboard and soon fallowed.
Outside the apartment Terrance turned and asked, "You two need a ride?"
I looked at Logan who raised an eyebrow at me, then back at Terrance.
"Uh... we kinda planned on walking."
Terrance tried to hold back his laughter, "Sorry for asking."
We took our time on the 30 minute walk back to campus. We still talked like friends; movies, sports, WWF, ESPN, music... nothing really changed, except those ever-present gay jokes that were there before. They didn't invite laughs like before but now insatiable stares between the both of us. But I think I liked it more. Besides, now there were other things to joke about. I guess having a boyfriend wasn't as hard to get used to as I thought it would be. I loved him, and that seemed to be all that mattered.
Damn.... my dorm building. I had the feeling of waking up from a dream and this was cruel reality. I soaked up the images of Ethan standing in front of me; his backwards cap, that almost lamentful look about his face as he just watched me stare at him. I wanted to kiss him. The urge was there tugging at me. I but I told myself here and now in our relationship was not the time. I quickly looked down at my feet.
"So I'll call you tonight then?"
I looked back up at him. This really was a dream and I was about to wake up. He smiled and punched me pretty hard in the shoulder.
"You better cuz I don't have your phone number."
I stood there a little surprised. SHIT! He was right. I groped at my pockets until I extracted a pen.
Ethan shrugged his shoulders with a look of 'don't look at me.' Before even thinking about it I grabbed his wrist, and on his forearm, wrote the number of the dorm room I was in. As I scribbled on his skin I noticed a few lines, scars on his forearm. What happened?
"If you ever come by its room 267," I said letting go of his hand.
There was that look again. I made the intention to move in. I took my first step forward. He watched me and bit his lip and stepped back.... why? I was a little hurt, but I understood.
Without looking at me he said, "Logan, as much as I want to.... I can't, not here."
I stepped back and forced a smile on my face.
"I know, sorry for being selfish."
He looked back up at me, his eyes now shinning.
"Don't be.... I'll make it up to you. Besides, you're still wearing my underwear."
He stepped back and shot me a wink then waved. He made a gesture of a phone in his hand, "10?"
I smiled back and waved, "yeah."
He threw his board on the concrete and skated off out of view. Wow, even in a gay relationship things are complicated. I smiled to myself and pictured Ethan as he was last night, then said to myself, "I wouldn't have him any other way."
I opened the door and found Terry typing away in his computer. Nothing new, he just ignored me as always. But something was different about him. He was definitely bigger that before, still skinny, but with a little more meat. That's funny, why hadn't I noticed it before? I pondered for a moment.... oh, because I had Ethan on my mind 24/7. Anyways, forget about Terry. I had to be at the football field in 20 minutes.
I stepped out of the locker-room dressed out and helmet in hand. I took a swig from my water bottle and slowly strolled onto the field. The sun was strong even for late fall. Shit. I was gonna sweat up a storm. I sat down at a bench to tie my cleat. As I looked up I saw Scott and Adam jog over.
"Where the fuck have you been?" Adam said, swatting the side of my head lightly.
I looked down and smiled as Scott came up and clasped my shoulder through my padding.
"So, how's the all-state QB feelin'?" he said, looking down at me then squinting his eyes, "Dude, did you just role out of bed?"
"Huh?" was all that escaped my lips as Scott traced his finger around his jaw line. I raised my hand and felt the prickly hairs against my fingertips. I clenched my teeth a little remembering that I slept at Ethan's place last night. Plus having this morning's surprise visit, I guess it slipped my mind to shave. Scott had a look of his face of worry. Adam had his eye brows raised.
"Logan, you know what coach say's about his players being hygienic and all, and clean shaven is included."
I let out a sigh as I knew I was gonna get an earful.
"Yeah, coach Randall's gonna be glad to see me ain't he?"
"Don't stress about it man," Scott said as he sat down next to me, "Cuz I got news that should cheer ya up."
kinda puzzled I looked at him.
"....What....?" I said, drawn out, not sure if I wanted to know.
A cheesy smile grew across his face, "I know a really hot girl, smokin', whose got it bad for you."
He nodded, smiling with raised eyebrows. I wasn't sure what to feel..... flattered? But whatever I felt it made my stomach do flips. And the look on my face didn't seem to show that much excitement. Scott stared at me with his mouth open.
"Logan..... you... uh... don't seem too excited."
I laughed a little at his remark, as did Adam.
"Well..... I'm kinda already... taken."
Scott just looked at me. Adam folded his arms as he seemed a little more entertained. Scott then reopened his mouth.
"Would it matter if I told you it was Madison?"
Shit.....! Madison Weeks? I let out a sigh of regret. Talk about cliche. She was a cheerleader for the team and yeah, she was hot. But what was I gonna say? Not interested, I'm gay. I thought I was ready to deal with some of my sexual problems, but not all at once. Scott stared at me as he waited for a response.
"Uhh.... well, I'm already seeing someone," I looked back up at him, "And I don't feel like that's gonna change."
Scott frowned and nodded his head in an 'I guess you're right' expression.
He then looked back at me, "Can I ask who she is?"
FUCK.....!!! How the hell was I gonna get out of this one? They both stared at me as I felt all the muscles in my body tense and my stomach leaped into my chest. If I could've passes out at any time, now would be nice. They were my friends but I wasn't sure they were ready for what I had to say. Besides, Ethan was nothing like them.... or me. I opened my mouth as I tried to come up with some excuse.
My mind was then interrupted by a sharp sound, coach's whistle. Saved!
"Coach dude. Come on, we'll talk later," Scott said as he looked past me then nodded, got up and grabbed Adam on the way. Air finally seemed to flow smoothly through my neck as I placed my hands on the back of the bench and leaned back. That was close. I sat there for a few seconds. I guess Ethan had the right idea to be a little scared, because I can't say anything when I have the same problem. I continued to sit there, breathing a little bit more freely when I heard my name screamed.
Great. Relaxing will have to wait. Besides, Ethan said he owed me a favor. The thought of him made me smile as I knew I'd see him soon enough.
I slowly changed into my gi as I thought about mine and Logan's relationship; friends, boyfriends, lovers.... I kinda let the thought wander into my head. What are you getting yourself into? But then I remembered last night and the feeling I felt seemed to wash away any doubt. But I still didn't know how we were going to deal with this whole public issue. He seemed somewhat fine with it.... it scared the shit out of me. I was no where near ready or comfortable to even think about being out. And that was another question. If I only found Logan attractive but no other guy, did that make me gay, bi, curious....???? But I loved him. That had to count for something. I'd thought about this a few times over the past 12 hours but only seemed to confuse myself even more. I let out a deep sigh as I pulled my gi top over, tied my belt and left the restroom. Maybe some exercise will clear my mind.
The dojo was empty like I had entered. I walked over to the benches and dropped my bag with my street clothes on top of my skateboard. With my gloves in hand I walked over to the center of the padded floor and began stretching when I heard footsteps. I turned my head to see an older man, maybe early 40's, with a white gi, black belt, and a pair of Nike's. He had black hair, short that lay close to his head with dark brown eyes. He was taller than I was, maybe Logan's height. He was in shape but starting to form a belly. Behind him was a girl. I imagine his daughter. She was beautiful with long brown hair and eyes like he father. I'd say my age. She was dressed like she was just here to watch but she oddly.... looked familiar.
I stood up and extended my hand as they walked closer. His hand clasped mine in an almost vice like grip. He smiled as he said, "You must be Ethan, the student that Frank's been praising about. I'm Steve Reily, and this is my daughter Liz."
"Hi," she said as she shook my hand.
"Well Ethan, why don't you continue stretching while I get ready then I'll be right with you," Steve said.
I nodded as I turned back around and continued my stretches. When 15 minutes rolled around Steve came walking up all ready with his gloves. He shot me a glare.
"Yes sensei," I responded.
He adjusted the shoulder of his gi as he said, "You don't have to call me sensei, just regular ol' Steve will be fine."
I nodded as I head Liz laugh from the sidelines.
"So, you ready to spar?"
I stared at him for a split second. Start with a spar? Well this will be a first. I shook out the legs of my gi as I asked, "You gonna stretch?"
"Already did," he said as he slipped on his gloves.
His eyes looked at me as he spoke out.
"Liz, honey, you're judge."
Facing each other on the mat we bowed and assumed our fighting stances. With that done he inched his way closer with his right foot. His hands in fists ready and his head ducked. Here it comes. Right jab the chest, easy side dodge, fallowed by a left, left hand block. Elbow to the face, right arm rising block. And a final side kick to the torso, side slide dodge. Steve then backed off.
"Well Ethan, you aren't an amateur," he said fixing his gloves.
"You ready to get fancy?" he said getting back into his fighting stance.
I smiled at him almost wickedly. I stood there perpendicular to him, my legs a good width apart, fists ready and my head turned towards him. Before I knew it he dashed at me, low punch to my stomach, cross arm block to stop his advance. He then quickly spun out of my view and 'SMACK' in the back of my head, back hand. I rolled forward with the hit and did a front flip, hoping my left heel would hit him in the process. Now squatted on my left foot and right knee I turned to see him smiling.
"Close, but I like my nose where it is."
I smiled and lunged at him. I crashed into him with a double palm press into his chest. He blocked it but he was still pushed back. NOW! I dropped and did a low kick to his right shin. HIT! Then I spun using the same leg to trip him. BAM! He was on the floor. As I got back to my feet he kipped up and was on his feet again. And before I knew it he was in my face. He did a right spin kick. I blocked it with my knee. I watched as he brought the same leg up and did a right down kick to my shoulder. OUCH! I was forced down, my knees buckling. Then a right snap kick to my chest. And to finish the combo, a side kick into my chest again. The next thing I knew I was on my back breathing hard and feeling the throb in my knees, shoulders, and chest.
"Cool combo eh?" Steve said, standing over me and holding out his hand, Liz clapping in the background.
"Good job dad. Ethan, nice work."
I grabbed his hand as he helped me to my feet. Rubbing my chest I smiled at him.
"Yeah, cool combo."
He laughed, "Well Ethan, thanks. And uh, nice job on the 2-hit trip, I didn't see that one coming till it was too late."
I smiled back as I accepted his compliment, rubbing the back of my head where I'd been smacked.
"But like all young people, you still have a lot to learn," he said raising his eyebrows at me and grinning.
"And if you stick with me, I'll teach you some more combos along with that one."
I nodded and smiled wildly at him.
By the time 2 hours had passed I was exhausted, dripping sweat off my face and down my body. He worked me hard.
"Ok Ethan, good job, how about calling it a day?"
I nodded, breathing heavily and falling on the matted floor, legs extended, leaning back on my hands. Steve walked over to where he had his towel on a bench while Liz casually walked over to me with a water jug.
Then squatting next to me she said, "Here."
I took the jug from her hand and guzzled down the H2O as she said, "You know you're pretty good. Dad doesn't accept personal training unless the student is exceptional."
I lowered the jug from my mouth, exceptional?.... me?
"Well.... it still seems like I was the one who got my ass kicked."
She let out a giggle as she covered her mouth.
"Well he was North American champion, and you really surprised him, and me, when I got a few hit it yourself."
I looked down and smiled. I then heard Steve speak up as he walked over.
"That's because Ethan's not your ordinary Tae Kwan do student. And living up to what Frank told me, he puts his own spin on moves and adds himself a few hits when possible."
I continued to turn red.
"So how'd you learn to personalize your style?"
I looked at him taking off his gloves.
"Uhh.... Street Fighter II?"
He laughed out loud, "I can see how. But good, you're turning out to be more that I expected."
Still shinning from all the praises I got up, Steve and Liz standing in front of me. Steve having all his gear packed up and over his shoulder, "Well kid, times up. But you practice those forms we ran over. I want them memorized so we can build on them Tuesday, ok?"
Steve said it almost sternly. He gave me a firm pat on the back as he turned for the door.
"You take care kiddo, and oh, Frank will have some keys for me so I can start opening and closing up, Ok?"
He waved as Liz turned around and flashed me a smile, "I'll see you in algebra class Monday."
She was soon out the door when I realized that was where I remembered her form. STUPID ME!! I felt like an idiot for not remembering. But she was gone so I guess I'll have to apologize on Monday then. Still exhausted I dragged myself to the restroom/locker-room to change. My body will be screaming tomorrow. Tae kwan do along with Logan, this was gonna be a tiring week ahead of me.
End chapter 6: surfacing