Flip shows up for his work study. For some reason he is thinking about Zackery and that night. He can't get that night out of his head. Shady Shanice has an event and he's in the studio alone. Somehow he finds himself digging down in his pants. He grabs on his dick. Flip's dick is swollen. Back in the day, they called him big dick Flip. His dick is swollen as hell and he quickly pulls it out of his pants. He plays with the head.
He can see Zackery now. He can see the body covered in tattoos. He has a thing for guys who have tats on their necks but Zackery has them everywhere. He thinks of his sexy Spanish accent. He remembers how Zackery kissed him and jerked his dick. He remembers how Zackery's skin felt. He remembered the taste of Zackery's lips.
Flip pulls his dick out.
He begins to masturbate slowly. His breaths are short and excitable. He rubs up and down his shaft, squeezing his nipples listening to the pre-recorded playlist of hip hop and R&B that Shanice has playing on the radio. Flip leans back in his chair. He strokes so hard that he gets so close to spraying all of his man mayonnaise all over the studio but then he stops when he hears someone attempting to get in the door!
Flip quickly puts his dick away. He squeezes it inside of his pants. He struggles to maintain his composure as none other than Shady Shanice walks in.
"My event was canceled," Shanice says looking up and down at Flip, "What were you doing?"
"Just making sure there were no errors in the recordings playing like you said," he explains.
Almost every student in Felis U listened to Shady Shanice's local radio station. They needed their gossip. The fact that Shanice trusted Flip to make sure the pre-recorded stuff went smoothly was kind of a big deal. Still...Flip knew Shanice wanted a lot more out of her.
"So how was Rush Week..."
He's not supposed to say. It says it on the invitation that you aren't supposed to tell anyone you are a pledge for Gamma. Usually at the end of pledging there is a big event where everyone comes out to see who the new members of Gamma will be.
Unfortunately Flip didn't have that luxury, "I got it."
Shanice's smile is legit.
"I could kiss you right now," she says sitting in the chair next to him and leaning forward, "So give me all of the dirt that you found out so far."
Flip shrugs, "There seems to be some tension between Zackery and Gaige. They kind of are catty towards one another."
Shady Shanice gives Flip a long hard stare. She raises her eyebrows. It is clear this isn't what she is interested in right now. It's clear that she wanted a lot more than something stupid like that.
"That's old news," Shanice replies, "What else?"
"Um...the Gamma Cody is cheating with his girlfriend I think..."
"Are you FUCKING joking me? A Gamma is cheating on his girl? You think that is news? The news would be if a Gamma wasn't cheating on his girl," Shady Shanice says, "You spent a week attending Gamma parties and you don't have anything real?"
Flip thinks. There was the thing with Zackery and Marilyn. Zackery was an asshole. It would serve him right if Flip told Shady Shanice everything that happened that night.
That was exactly what Shanice was looking for.
"There is this one thing."
Shanice smiles again, "Good. Good! Work with me here. What is it?"
"It's about Zackery."
"Senator Castro's son Zackery? This is good. This is really good. What do you know about him?"
Flip could say everything now. He could ruin Zackery forever.
"Flip spit it out. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. If you help me take down the Gammas this radio station is yours once I graduate. You can even rename it to Shady Flip if you want..."
Flip shook his head. His resume would be amazing if he had on it that he ran the most popular radio station at a prestigious school like Felis U. On the other hand he felt bad about outing Zackery to Shady Shanice. Flip wasn't that type of a person. He knew that he wanted to get ahead in life. He never had anything growing up. This was his chance to really make something of himself. But for some reason as he is about to open up about Zackery he just sees Zackery's face in his head. He remembers that night.
What if this was something more than just a one night stand? What if the sparks Flip felt with Zackery had just gone out for a while and were going to spark again?
He couldn't just do it now.
"I need more time," Flip tells Shady Shanice.
"Give me what you have now," Shanice insists, "I'll start writing the story."
Shanice was messy. Flip could see it from a mile away. If he told her anything he needed to be sure there was nothing worth having with Zackery.
Flip sighs, feeling stressed.
He repeats himself.
"I need more time."
I am sitting in my room with Jordan. He's been depressed about not making the cut. What's even worse is that I made the cut.
"I can't believe we didn't make it," Jordan explains, "I don't get what we did wrong. I don't get why the Gammas didn't want us."
I didn't tell Jordan that I made the cut. I didn't know how to. I figure there was no point of joining the Gammas without Jordan. We were best friends. We wanted to experience this Fraternity together. If he didn't make it then I would be declining the invitation. Jordan didn't need to know that I had even gotten one in the first place.
"Look. It's their loss," I explain to Jordan.
"I feel rejected," Jordan explains shaking his head, "What is it? Am I not attractive enough? Do I not fit in? I tried SO fucking hard! This was my dream since I was 10."
My brother Ross and Jordan always used to talk about joining the Gammas. I was always the odd-ball out who didn't really care.
"Let me tell you something Jordan. You are my best friend. You are smart. You are handsome. You don't need these guys to tell you that. Not everyone needs to be perfect like them. Sometimes you have to be satisfied with yourself. Sometimes you have to be complete with who you are."
I have a feeling my words are going into Jordan's one ear and out the others. It hurts to see him be like this. It hurts to know that something so simple as being accepted could cause people to feel so much pain. I understood it, though. I understood how rejection feels. It's an emptiness that you feel so suddenly and you have no idea how to fill it so you just try to justify all that empty space with questions. Jordan didn't understand how he didn't make it and neither did I. He wanted it more and he deserved it more than me.
I comfort Jordan but I'm distracted by a knock on the door. I walk over and open it. It's none other than Gaige.
"What is your roommate home?"
"No. He's out with his cousin talking," I explain, "Jordan is here, though."
Gaige's eyes get wide.
"Is that Gaige?" Jordan asks.
Jordan comes to the door to see Gaige standing there. Gaige looks good, I have to admit. He smells good too. Seeing him at my door reminds me for a moment of all the times we had. He has on a tank top that barely is doing its job. His dark brown nipples poke through. He stares at me dead in my eyes playing with that thick beard of his.
Jordan walks to the door. He looks pissed. It's clear he's been crying. I hate seeing Jordan like this. He's such a good guy deep inside but I know that he gets sensitive when it comes to things like this.
"What's the stare for?" Gaige asks.
"I didn't get a bid," Jordan states.
Gaige shrugs, "I brought you up. It just didn't happen. Sucks you know. You just didn't make the cut. You weren't good enough. Maybe next year..."
Jordan storms past Gaige. He looks beyond emotional. I can't believe Gaige. He could have been at least a little bit more sensitive. Gaige didn't understand sensitivity, though. I knew that as much as the next man knew. Jordan leaves the room. A part of me wants to run him down but I figure I need to give Jordan some time. Besides. I hadn't talked to Gaige alone in forever.
"You could have been nicer," I explain to Gaige.
Gaige shrugs, "I'm telling him the truth."
"Sometimes the truth hurt," Gaige says.
I shake my head. I'm pissed at him, "I don't know why I like you. You're an asshole."
Gaige grabs me behind my waist. He attempts to hold me. I can feel his dick hardening behind me. He might think I'm joking with this. Maybe Gaige thinks this is all a joke to him. He attempts to kiss on the back of my neck and probably is trying to have sex. I don't know though. I'm not giving him the opportunity no matter how sexy he is with his deep Denzel sounding voice, his wavy hair or his tickling thick Philadelphia beard.
"Are you serious right now?"
I turn to him, "Yes, I am. Why do I like you? I mean besides the obvious...what's there? What's behind all that beauty? You're not even deep. You don't care about anyone's feelings."
The way he treated Jordan just now blew my mind. Gaige knew what Jordan felt about joining the Gammas. He'd been around long enough to hear about it. I'm not saying he should have pulled some strings to help Jordan get in but he could have at least broke the news to Jordan in a different way. He literally told Jordan that he wasn't good enough.
"I can get deep..."
"Prove it. Tell me one flaw that you have. Tell me one thing that you are embarrassed about. Look at me and tell me one thing that doesn't make you perfect."
Gaige had never expressed anything but perfection to me. He looked the part. He acted the part. Everything about him was perfect. Sometimes I didn't even understand why he was with me. I'm sure he could have found a much better looking guy than I was. Of course I was attracted to him but this physical only thing was starting to wear off.
"Are you serious?"
"I'm dead serious."
Gaige sits there and thinks for a minute. He's thinking hard. It's shocking me that it's taking him so long to think of one flaw that he has within himself.
"Well I mean this one is deep..."
I'm shocked Gaige actually thought of one. For a minute I swear that I must have gotten it all wrong about him. He leans down a little bit. I feel like he is going to tell me the deepest, darkest secret he's never told anyone else. For the first time, I feel like Gaige will finally let his guard down with me.
"When I was younger. I used to constantly think my fly was down. You don't understand how something like that makes you feel. You walk around scared to check yourself and look like you're playing with your dick in public. So I'd always have to run to the bathroom. That shit killed me yo. You know how I got over it though? I realized that I got a big ol' beautiful dick. So I just stopped wearing underwear. Way I figure it, if my fly is down at least someone will be impressed."
This wasn't a joke. This wasn't a laughing matter. This was Gaige telling me that his biggest insecurity in life was that sometimes his fly might be down. I look at my boyfriend in disbelief and I know now more than ever that this is going nowhere.
"It's over between us."
The words come out of my mouth before I realize it. I just let them come out and for that moment it feels so right telling him that. I feel liberated. I feel like I'm making the right choice.
Gaige doesn't take me serious, "Quit playing bae..."
"Do I look like I'm playing?" I ask him.
Gaige's smile fades when he sees how serious I am. His eyes get wide at that moment. The look on his face says it all. Gaige is beyond pissed.
"You don't fucking dump me. Are you fucking kidding me? Do you know who the FUCK I am?"
"No. I don't. Not really. That's the problem. I know the front you put on for your friends and all these people who idolize you but I don't really know who you are. Deep down inside. You are like an empty shell. And I don't know if that's what I want anymore. I want something more out of the life. People come to college to find themselves and what they want. I'm realizing I don't want you."
Gaige is pissed. He's so upset that he's shaking. His breathing gets heavy. I can tell that he's beyond pissed at that moment. I can tell that he's angry.
"You ain't shit," he tells me.
"Really?" I ask.
"Without your fucking money you wouldn't be shit. You not that cute. You have no body. You have no personality. You can't dress. You ain't shit and you won't ever be shit. How dare you fucking break up with me? I'm GOOD."
"If you're so good then why are you so upset?" I ask.
I'm not trying to be smart or anything but I'm just trying to understand. I figured Gaige would be rude to me like he was to everyone else once I finally broke up with him. That isn't a surprise. My surprise is the fact that Gaige just didn't turn around and walk away without looking back.
Gaige stares at me for a minute like he wants to say something else. Maybe he wants to argue. Maybe he wants me to change my mind and `come to my senses'. Neither of those things are going to happen. I'm just going to sit there and cross my arms and stare at the door until he was ready to leave.
"You think I'm going to be bothered. You think I care? You can still pledge. You can still be a Gamma. I won't even give a fuck. I'll see you every day and walk by you. You know that right?"
"I believe you. But that won't even be an issue. I'm not pledging."
His eyes get wide.
"What? Are you stupid? No one turns down Gamma. We are the plug. Are you fucking kidding me!"
I knew firsthand what being a Gamma man would do for my life. I knew that it'd be so much easier to be happy even after college. The Gammas had connections to every industry. They were respected and well renowned. Being a Gamma would make my dad happy. I'd be following in my dead brother's footsteps.
I walk to the door and open it up, "I was pledging with Jordan. Me and Jordan were doing it together. If Jordan isn't pledging then neither am I. Go tell the Gammas I said that."
The night passes quickly. Gaige is in his bedroom. He'd stood outside of Mariano's door for almost 20 minutes hoping that Mariano would open the door again. He'd hoped that Mariano would change his mind. He had thought about knocking. He'd thought about apologizing for all the horrible things he'd said to Mariano during those 20 minutes. He didn't mean any of them. Mariano was the most beautiful person to Gaige, inside and out. He didn't understand why he just couldn't express that to him.
Tears are rolling down his eyes.
Gaige felt so stupid. The whole thing with his fly was bullshit. He looks at his phone. He starts to write a text message to Mariano.
The text message reads:
The fly thing was bullshit. You were right. What I really wanted to tell you was that YOU are my main insecurity. Sometimes I get jealous thinking that someone else could make you happier than I could. I guess my insecurities acting up. Because I know I'm not the best looking, smartest or most fun and exciting. I'm not brave enough to hold your hand in public even though I want to with every fingertip for the rest of my life. I strive to be perfect because I know that's what you deserve. I hide behind my looks and what I can maintain because I am trying to protect myself thinking that one day you were going to do what you just did today. I knew one day you'd realize that you could be better. I was hoping that by me acting like it didn't matter would work. I'd protect myself. Maybe it would hurt less. Mariano, it doesn't hurt less. I'm dead inside without you..."
Just as he is about to hit send the door opens. His frat brothers are back at the frat house. A few of them walk in at first but then all of them start pouring in. They are drunk, loud and belligerent. It's nothing different from the Gammas. It was all fun now but truthfully Gaige wanted something more. He wanted his boyfriend back.
"Gaige! Bro...you missed the wildest fucking pool party!" Roddy says.
Roddy and Cody were Gaige's best friends. They run up to him in an attempt to wrestle.
"Yo cut it the fuck out," Gaige says.
He's not in the mood especially after what happened with Mariano. Gaige literally felt like everything he had was ruined.
Reggie is standing next to Barry. They are drinking a few beers shirtless and talking about some bullshit. Zackery is walking around clearly drunk and not giving a fuck. A few other frat brothers are bullshitting around in the kitchen playing drinking games as though they hadn't had enough to drink already. Gaige can hear the rest of the brothers head back out to the porch where it sounds like some girls are probably pulling up.
His frat brother James is one of the guys heading out. He looks over at Gaige, "Hey Gaige, there is this freshman girl with THE FATTEST ass who is outside. She said she had a crush on you. I said I lived with you. She brought all the hoes with her. She's trying to party. Come on..."
Gaige couldn't even think about that. He'd hurt Mariano enough. All he could think about was how he could make this right with Mariano. He looks down at the text. He needed to send this. He keeps re-reading it wondering if it was perfect enough for Mariano. Everything had to be perfect for Mariano. That's what Mariano deserved.
"She's a dime."
"I told you I'm good. Shit," Gaige responds a little bit forcefully, "You go fuck her if you want."
"Yo what's your problem?"
"Let him be," Barry responds, "Besides...we got real shit to worry about. Like how the hell we are going to haze these freshmen that come in."
James doesn't seem to be worried about hazing. He's always been one of the man-hoes of Gammas. Hanging around James had gotten Gaige close to being caught so many times by Mariano. He wished he could take all that back. He wished he could take his situation with Jordan back. He figured what if he just told Mariano the truth about everything. What if he told Mariano the truth about Jordan? What if he told Mariano what happened to his brother Ross.
Maybe they can start clean.
A blank slate.
Roddy smiles, "We can tape their dicks together with gorilla tape while they are sleeping."
"Definitely on the list!" his brother Cody gives him a pound.
Zackery seems excited about this, "We should get them to chug a handle full of vomit of every single frat brother."
Gaige looks at Zackery crazy. He wasn't surprised. Zackery was pure evil if he ever knew it. He would say some fucked up shit like that.
It's Barry who shakes his head, "No way in hell we are getting Mariano Choice to chug vomit. Your father would kill us."
Zackery shakes his head, "Damn you're right. We can still get Flip and Caliph to do it."
"Choice isn't even joining," Gaige points out.
The frat brothers all look over at him. They are all shocked. It wasn't every day someone turned down a bid to pledge Gamma. This wasn't exactly the most normal thing in the world.
"Come again?" Barry asks.
"He's not joining. He told me today," Gaige explains shaking his head, "He won't join unless his friend Jordan joins."
Zackery seems to panic, "Choice has to join. My father promised his father that he would join. We don't have an option here. You guys aren't really quite understanding. Mariano needs to join."
"We can't force him to join," Reggie points out.
"Invite Jordan," Zackery says.
"Fuck no," Barry responds.
"Do I need to remind you guys that Choice is donating to my father's re-election campaign? Do I need to remind you guy that Choice helped pay for this house we are staying in?"
The room gets quiet. Gaige can't take it. All this talk about Mariano was getting underneath his skin. He silently is sitting in the corner. He wants to fade away. He gets up and is walking out of the room trying to get away from his brothers. Even hearing Mariano's name is making him break down a little bit. He feels like shit. He's never felt this way before. It was literally physical pain what he felt right now. It literally hurt him.
Right before he is about to leave he can hear Barry's voice trailing behind him.
"Gaige what do you think?"
Gaige turns around and shrugs, "Do what you guys want...invite Jordan or not. I don't care..."
"Were you crying bro?" Cody asks, "Please tell me this fool wasn't fucking crying ya'll..."
Fuck. Gaige didn't even notice the tears rolling down his eyes. He feels this embarrassment. There is a laughter breaking out among some people. Other people just think maybe it is the liquor so they aren't paying much attention. Then there is Zackery.
Zackery is in the distance. Gaige doesn't trust the guy. He's never really trusted the guy. Like a shark out smelling blood in the water Zackery quickly makes his way over to Gaige. He's examining what is going on.
"He does look like he's crying," Zackery says, before noticing Gaige's phone, "Whose that? Who you talking to man?"
Zackery snatches Gaige's phone.
"Quit fucking playing."
"What's the problem bro? What you trying to hide?"
Zackery is about to look down at the screen! Zackery's eyes literally lock down on the text messages at that moment.
If it was anyone else maybe Gaige would have a chance to bribe them to keep this shit a secret if they read the message. Zackery was different. Zackery was a spiteful little cunt who wanted to be Gaige more than anything. Gaige could smell the jealousy a mile away. If Zackery knew what was going on in his personal life he'd ruin him.
Gaige panics! He runs over to Zackery damn near tackling him to the ground. He tackles him hard as fuck to the ground. He grabs the phone out of Zackery's hand and deletes the message before Zackery gets a chance to read.
Zackery squirms in pain, "What the fuck is wrong with you?"
"Don't ever snatch my phone from me again, you little bitch," Gaige says.
"Who the fuck you calling a little bitch?"
Zackery gets in Gaige's face. Gaige doesn't hesitate. He's already upset over Mariano. His blood is boiling.
Gaige punches Zackery right in the face! Zackery goes down hard! He climbs on top of him before Zackery gets the chance to fight him back. Zackery struggles to cover up his pretty boy face but Gaige is decking at his arms so hard that Zackery finally lets them down. As soon as he drops his guard Zackery starts punching him. He's punching him over and over and over.
He keeps punching him. He sees blood! He keeps punching!
He keeps punching. And punching and punching.
Barry is shouting as they try to break it up, "Gaige! Gaige yo! Let it go bro! Let it go!"
Gaige is hitting Zackery right now but it isn't Zackery that he sees. All Gaige can see is his reflection. All Gaige can see is the stupid idiot who let the best thing in his life go. He was fighting Zackery but deep inside he really wanted to be fighting himself for letting Mariano walk out of his life.
Zackery arrives at the studio. He has on glasses. He walks in there feeling like he's been hit by a ton of bricks. Maybe it was because just the day before Gaige had gone crazy on him. The worst part of it all was that the Gammas didn't even kick Gaige out after the assault. They didn't even demote Gaige. Hell...they didn't even scream at him. The only thing that Gaige got for beating his ass was a cold beer and the instructions to sleep whatever it was off.
The room is spinning when he walks in there. He almost falls. He still feels like shit from the beating. Just as he stops in the room feeling fatigued he gets a helping hand.
"Thanks," Zackery says.
He doesn't even notice who it was.
"You OK?" Flip asks, "You look...like shit man."
Clearly Zackery looked like shit. He had a black eye and a busted lip. Zackery was raised better to go around just punching people. The fact that Gaige was like that blew his mind. He hadn't known the Gammas were a bunch of thugs.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Zackery asks Flip, "You fucking stalking me bro?"
"No I was um...with Shady Shanice..."
"Wait. You work with Shady Shanice?" Zackery asks Flip.
If Flip worked for Shady Shanice this would be a game changer.
Flip takes a moment to answer but just shakes his head and says, "No. Of course not. I just um...I was...uh...you know trying to see if she'd give me some head."
Zackery raises an eyebrow at Flip, "I know a liar when I see one."
"Are you going to tell the Frat?" Flip asks.
Zackery was shocked. Flip was working for Shady Shanice this whole entire time. Shady Shanice had a reputation for gossip around campus. People who were seen around her were usually outcast as snitches. You don't go to Shady Shanice ever.
"Depends. How much does she know about me and you?" Zackery asks Flip.
Flip hesitates for a minute. He was a kind of awkward geeky kind of guy when you talked to him for more than a few minutes. Sure he had the Gamma look and Gamma style but talking to him Zackery wondered if this was real or just an act. Now that he'd known Flip worked with Shady Shanice it all made sense. Flip was a puppet. He was probably a nerd deep inside. Zackery could see that a mile away but there was something about the geek that Zackery liked.
"She doesn't know anything," Flip states.
Zackery could tell a liar and he could tell when someone was telling the truth. This kind of confuses Zackery though honestly.
"Why didn't you tell her? Are you a spy for her or not?"
"I am...or at least she thinks I am. She's promising me the station if I help her out. It's my dream honestly. I just have to feed her information on the Gammas. Truthfully I just didn't want to tell her about me and you."
Zackery is confused even more.
"Why? That's the kind of information she would kill for," Zackery states.
Zackery didn't get it. He knew Gammas who would stab their own mothers in the back to get ahead in life. That was the point of being a Gamma. Flip wanted to become a Gamma but he was willing to keep Zackery's secret. Zackery had just gotten beat up by his own frat brother. The others hardly did nothing to protect him from it. Why the hell did this random guy have more loyalty to him than his own frat did?
"I thought it was personal between you and me," Flip states and takes a step forward, "I'm not shady and I'm not a backstabber."
"Then maybe you shouldn't pledge Gamma, because you'd get swallowed whole."
"Maybe I wanted to prove to you that I wasn't like the other Gammas," Flip explains, "Maybe I wanted to explain to you that I can keep a secret."
"You can, huh?"
"I can keep as many secrets as you like. Over and over and over..."
Flip is in Zackery's ear. He nibbles on his earlobes. Zackery's dick gets hard almost immediately. Truthfully he wanted to turn Flip around on the studio equipment and fill him with hot nut. Maybe he could trust Flip to keep a little bit of a secret.
In fact, maybe him running into Flip wasn't a coincidence after all.
"Maybe we can use each other," Zackery says.
Flip bites on his lip, "I like that."
"For more than one thing."
Zackery moves forward into Flip's personal space. He wants to be in his personal space. They are so close than can kiss. Zackery had to admit that the night he had with Flip was something amazing. He wanted to have another one of those pretty soon. He'd just been so scared.
"What do you have in mind?"
"You need to start feeding Shady Shanice gossip. And I need Shady Shanice to know some gossip."
That was why Zackery was here in the first place looking for Shady Shanice. If he could go through Flip it would be a win-win scenario. Flip would get the station after Shanice graduated and Zackery wouldn't have to be seen interacting with Shanice.
"What kind of gossip?"
The worse kind.
"I got a hold of Gaige's phone. It was only for a second but I saw something. I'm pretty sure Gaige is in love with Mariano Choice..."
To read the next chapter in advance go to www.crushedcrown.com