Three Roads: Chapter 42: Luck Be A Naked Guy
Cooper poked his head out of the fast moving car as it made its way down the street he had called home. He closed his eyes as he let the warm breeze wash over him. It was an unexpectedly warm night for early November, but Cooper had always been one to welcome the unexpected. As he settled back into the passenger's seat he looked over to this right and smiled at another unexpected, but welcome, addition to his life.
"What?" Mike smiled back as he glanced at Cooper.
"Nothing. It's just a fantastic night."
"That it is." Mike said as he pulled into a parking spot near the front of the house. He turned off the ignition and then let out a sigh as he turned to Cooper, "Did you like the movie?"
"Yeah. There could have been a little less boob flashing, but nothing's perfect."
Mike laughed, "You're such a character."
"And you love it."
Mike paused as if he were about to say something, but stopped. Cooper could see the wheels turning in Mike's mind and let curiosity get the better of him, "What?"
"I want to ask you something, but I can't think of a normal way to ask it."
"Just ask; the worst I can do is run out of the car screaming, close and lock the door, and never go out with you again."
"Ok, never mind."
"I'm just kidding," Cooper laughed, playfully punching Mike in the shoulder, "What's up?"
"When you talk about me, how do you refer to me?" Mike asked seriously.
"Who says I talk about you?"
"I tell them your aunt lived in the house I live in now and that we're dating and that you`re really hot."
Mike blushed, "No you don't."
"Well before you asked me out me, Eric, and Toby did talk about how hot you were."
"Stop it you're embarrassing me." He smiled.
"Oh, the poor baby can't handle being hot; what a hard life you must have." Cooper teased.
"Anyway," Mike said loudly, "I asked cause I've really had fun these past couple of times we've gone out, and I was wondering if you were interested in making it something more."
"You mean like going out again?"
"No, I mean like...the next time someone asks about me, you refer to me as your boyfriend."
"I knew what you meant I just wanted to hear you say it out loud." Cooper smiled.
"You looked really hot trying to get the words out what can I say."
Mike blushed again, "You want to come over to my place tomorrow evening. We can make dinner or something and just kick back."
"I got an essay I need to finish, but I can make the time for my boyfriend."
Mike smiled and then leaned forward to give Cooper a kiss. When their lips met, Cooper hastily unbuckled his seat belt and was able to better lean into the kiss. He heard himself moaning, but he didn't care; Mike was a great kisser and Cooper couldn't recall a time in his life that he had been kissed like this. He moved as close as he could without hitting the emergency break so that he could lay his hands across Mike's shoulders. He felt Mike starting to pull away so Cooper let their lips part and he immediately began to attack his neck.
"Mmm...you smell really good." Cooper said in between kisses.
Mike giggled which turned Cooper on even more. Cooper licked and pecked at Mike's neck for a few more moments before Mike firmly pulled away, "Down boy!"
"What, you didn't like it?"
"Of course I did. My balls are turning blue as we speak."
"You should let me take care of that." Cooper said.
His hand went to Mike's jean covered crotch and he enjoyed feeling the hard dick beneath the cloth twitch in excitement. Mike let out a sigh which Cooper felt was permission for him to continue. He slid his hands under Mike's black collared shirt and unconsciously licked his lips as he ran his hand over the treasure trail that promisingly led below. He was surprised to feel Mike's hand grab his wrist and once again stop him, "You should go in the house before we do something we regret."
"I thought you wanted to make it something more?" Cooper said confused.
"Yeah, you know commitment. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page as far as where we thought this was going."
"We are." Cooper was trying to hide the disappointment in his voice.
"Alright then, I'll call you tomorrow and let you know when I'll be by to pick you up."
"Ok." Cooper said hesitating a moment longer before realizing that Mike was really serious about not going any further, "I'll see you tomorrow then."
He got out of the car and slammed the door a bit harder than he had intended to. He waved as Mike pulled away from the curb and once he was sure that Mike was far enough down the street, the wave turned into an obscene gesture as Cooper flipped off the rapidly moving car.
"I guess I'll be jerking off tonight." He huffed as he turned to go into the house.
The next morning was a school morning, so all three of the boys were up quite early. Cooper walked into the dining area to find Toby and Eric already at the table eating.
"Morning." Cooper said as he walked past them into the kitchen.
"Morning." Toby said distractedly. He was reviewing for a test he had in his anatomy class later that afternoon.
"Good morning." Eric yawned.
Cooper retrieved a bowl from the cabinets and grabbed the banana nut crunch box of cereal from atop the refrigerator. He sat at the end of the table and poured a generous amount of cereal into his bowl. As he poured his milk, he heard the sound of Eric's spoon hitting against the glass bowl that he was eating out of. Cooper glanced at Toby who didn't seem to be bothered by the sound, so he decided not to say anything. Cooper huffed loudly and began to eat his cereal waiting for either one of his friends to start up a conversation. Cooper got through an entire bowl of cereal in complete silence. Eric looked like he was going to fall asleep again as he stared off into space as he ate and Toby looked like he was growing more and more frustrated by the minute. Cooper poured himself another bowl of cereal and again sighed loudly enough where he was sure both of his roommates heard him. Once he was sure that neither of them were going to take the bait he decided to speak up, "So last night I tried to have sex with Mike in the car and he didn't want to."
Eric was brought out of his slumber and shook his head, "It is way too early in the morning for that."
"Speak for yourself," Toby said closing his text book, "I'm not getting any so I need to live through someone else. What happened?"
"I don't know. He was horny, I was horny and willing, and nothing happened."
"Maybe he just didn't want to do it in the car." Toby said.
"Fuck, I should have invited him in!"
"You guys are already there?" Eric said looking more awake by the minute.
"I know I for damn sure am," Cooper had crossed his arms across his chest, "We talked about it and we're gonna try the whole relationship thing."
"Is that what you want?" Toby asked.
"It is. He's a really cool guy and I like him a lot."
"I feel like we don't even know anything about him," Eric said, "Does he go to school, does he work, is he an axe murderer..."
"He can chop me up into little pieces for all I care, the man knows how to kiss. My God, I bet he gives awesome head."
"Ok...is all you think about sex?" Eric asked as he stood up and walked his bowl to the sink.
"Depends on the day. But he doesn't go to school anymore, he works full time doing evaluation research for a small firm in the city."
"Really?" Toby said surprised, "He doesn't look like that kind of a guy to me."
"Do I?" Cooper replied, "It's all apart of Sociology. I think evaluation research is interesting, but I couldn't do it for the rest of my life. He's hoping that in another three to five years he'll have enough experience to be a project manager and maybe even start his own firm."
"Damn, how old is he?" Toby said biting into a piece of ham that had now gotten cold.
"He's twenty four."
"How is that possible? At the rate I'm going I'm never going to graduate. Does he have his Masters in Sociology?"
"Yep. He said he took so many A.P. courses in high school that he had most of his G.E. done so he was able to get his B.A. in like two and a half years and then went straight into his Masters. He's been at this firm for almost four years now. The first two years was as an intern and then they hired him full time once he got his Masters."
"Holy shit, sounds like you got a keeper." Toby smiled.
"My man is hot, a good kisser, and smart as hell. I can now die a happy man."
"You don't think he's too old for you?" Eric started, "Twenty four is old."
"Age ain't nothing but a number plus," Cooper said dramatically as he held his index finger up, "I'll be twenty one in the summer, it's not like I'm sixteen."
Eric scrunched his nose as if he were smelling something bad, "That would be disgusting."
"I can't wait til my twenty first," Toby said imagining it.
"Why what do you want to do?" Cooper asked.
"I want to get absolutely fucked up drunk. It's like a rite of passage."
Eric shook his head at Toby's comment "That's nice, anyways we're going to be late for school if we don't pack it up soon."
"Always the party pooper." Cooper teased
Brian appeared in the doorway of the Pride Center and expected to be greeted by Joey's smiling face, but instead he saw Richard staring at the computer screen in front of him. Brian watched him as his lips moved, then confusion appeared on his face, and then a look of resignation that caused Richard to lean back into the chair he was sitting in and place his hands behind his head, "Oh, shit," Richard yelped when he noticed Brian in the doorway. He sat up straight in his chair, "How long have you been there?"
"Not long, I didn't want to disturb you. You looked so cute...or like you were concentrating."
"Cute huh?" Richard teased.
"Well yeah. I like those kind of moments when you're watching someone who has no idea they are being watched. I think you learn a lot about people that way."
"Interesting. So...why are you here?" Richard asked once again getting comfortable in his chair.
"Waiting for Joey. I'm done with classes and I told him I'd walk back to the dorms with him."
"He ran a quick errand on campus for me, so he should be back in a few minutes."
"I'm in no rush."
"How come you never come by and walk me back to the dorms?"
Brian smiled, "Uhhh...I didn't know you wanted me to."
"Don't get me wrong, I don't need protection or anything, but the company would be nice sometimes."
"You make it sound like the dorms are miles away from the Pride Center."
Richard shrugged, "They're not. But if you ever did walk with me one of these days we could go and get coffee or something."
Brian could feel his heart thumping insanely fast in his chest and he wondered, even though he knew it wasn't true, if Richard could hear his heart beat, "I think that'd be cool." Brian tried to say as evenly as possible.
"So when are you going to come walk with me?" Richard asked. He was enjoying this; he hadn't had the chance to flirt with a guy so openly in a while.
"I guess you'll just have to wait and see." Brian too was enjoying this, "What were you reading?"
"Just some stuff about the S.S.G."
"The Sunnydale Student Government. I'm gonna run this spring." Richard said confidently.
"Wow, and be like the President?"
"If I win...but I'm in the process of finding people willing to run on the slate with me. Interested?"
"No thanks, but can I cheer from the sidelines?"
"Oh, I'm sure we could find a job more useful than that for you. Want to be an intern?"
Brian laughed nervously, "I may not be an American, but I do know all about Mr. Clinton and his infamous cigar."
"Who doesn`t?" Joey said from behind Brian. Brian moved out of the way to allow Joey into the Pride Center, "Sorry, I'm late I had to run an errand."
"Why are you smiling like you just had really good sex?" Joey asked looking at Brian.
Brian blushed, but didn't say anything and Joey noticed that Richard had a similar expression on his face, "Did I interrupt something?" Joey sneered, "Cause I can leave and let you guys do each other over the desk."
"Hey now, that language is inappropriate." Richard laughed.
"I'm off the clock so I can let my inner self run free again."
"Let's go," Brian said still a little red in the face, "I want to eat at the cafeteria before they stop serving lunch."
"I'm sure Richard wouldn't mind giving you a snack."
Brian began to push Joey out of the room, "We're leaving now," he said to Richard, "and maybe I'll see you later." He teased.
Richard waved goodbye and sighed contentedly once he was alone. He glanced at the clock on the wall and saw that it was barely two o clock. He adjusted his package in his khaki pants and wondered if Brian would be there to meet him at five.
"Yo!" Cooper said greeting his roommates as he walked out of his last class.
"How was class?" Toby asked adjusting his tennis bag on his shoulder.
"Same old same old. It's one of the few G.E. classes I still have left, government. The shit is so boring, but at least my professor is funny, how was your day?"
"Good good. I feel like my tennis is finally starting to come back to where it was before I left. I finally got to practice with someone different today. Coach has pretty much only let me hit with Brian since school started."
"What's wrong with Brian?" Eric asked brushing a piece of hair from his face.
"He doesn't hit the ball hard enough; it annoys me."
"Isn't the point to get used to all the different styles of play?"
"Yeah, but that's not a style of play that's called being a pusher."
Eric and Cooper exchanged looks; it was apparent to both of them that they had hit a sore spot with Toby.
Cooper looked at Eric, "Did you have a good day?"
"I guess so. I've just felt kind of sluggish today."
"You looked sluggish this morning." Cooper said matter of factly.
"He looks like that every morning." Toby laughed as he unlocked his car.
"Yeah yeah, can we go get some Chipotle?"
"That sounds fuckin awesome right now, Cooper?"
"I'll go, but I can't eat."
"And why the hell not?"
"I'm going to Mike's place for dinner tonight."
It was now Toby's turn to exchange looks with Eric. They both rolled their eyes causing Cooper to be a little offended, "What?!"
"Oh I'm going to my boyfriend's house." Toby mocked Cooper.
"That's not what I said and I don't sound like that."
"You do to me." Eric laughed.
"Yeah, are we gonna have to hear about him all the time?" Toby continued.
"I know," Eric followed, "I barely know him and I'm already sick of hearing about him."
"Ya'll are just jealous that I'll be getting some tonight and you'll be jerking yourselves to sleep."
"I thought you said he wanted to wait to have sex." Eric said leaning towards the front of the car.
"I said he didn't want to do it in the car. But I plan on getting some tonight; it's been too long!"
"I plan to pull out all my charms tonight." Cooper smiled, "Can you drop me off at home instead? I need to work on an essay before he comes."
"There he goes again." Toby said looking at Eric in the rear view mirror.
"Alright alright," Toby said," we don't want you around anyway. But hey make sure you let out a moan for me."
"Stop looking at your watch!" Joey yelled even though he couldn't see Brian.
"How do you know I'm looking at my watch?"
"Because you've been looking at it every few seconds, Richard's cock will still be there at 5."
"I'm not doing it for that." Brian said simply.
Joey, who had been checking e mail, turned around in his chair to look at Brian, "Yeah. Fuckin. Right."
"Not everyone is as sex crazed as you."
"I'm not sex crazed."
Brian gave Joey a long look that made it clear he didn't believe him.
"I'm not! I just don't try and deny my actions and feelings. For instance, I would never go to a coffee shop with someone pretending I had innocent intentions when all I really wanted to do was get in their pants, I'd just go for it."
"Ok, he's hot, but..."
"No, but he seems like a nice guy too."
"Why not go after Toby? You see him everyday." Joey shrugged.
"I'm not going after anybody, plus it would never work. Toby's too..."
"I was not going to say that at all!" Brian said mortified.
"I know, but the look on your face was priceless." Joey giggled.
"I'm just glad I got to hit with someone new today."
"What's wrong with hitting with Toby?"
"Nothing...he just hit's the ball hard all the time. He moves well for someone his size, but he'd be so awesome if he just used a bit more thought on the court."
"You have no idea what I am talking about do you?" Brian smiled.
"Nope. I don't like sports."
"But it has balls."
"Ha. Ha. Now who's the horny one?"
Thirty minutes later, Brian found himself once again in the doorway of the Pride Center, but this time it looked like Richard was expecting him.
"Looks like you decided to show up." Richard smiled.
"Looks like I did."
"I just need to lock up," Richard said grabbing his keys off the desk. He flipped off the light switch and lightly put his hand on the small of Brian's back to escort him out of the room. Brian tensed slightly when he did it, but enjoyed the feel of Richard's hand.
"Alright," Richard said after locking the door, "let's go get that coffee."
Once outside, Richard looked up at the sky and the rapidly fading light, "I hate when it gets dark this early."
"But at least we're getting a few extra nights of warm weather; that will be over soon."
"I know, we'll have to go get coffee in raincoats." Brian smiled.
"We haven't even gotten there and you already want to do it again?"
"It's just two friends getting coffee right?"
Brian laughed uncomfortably, "For now."
"You do that a lot, that laugh. What does it mean?"
"I guess when I'm nervous or have nothing else to say. Do I really do it that much?"
"Yes, but it's really cute."
"I think so, but I think you're hot anyways, so maybe I'm biased."
"You flirt a lot." Brian blushed.
"Why not? I'm a single man."
"Good to know."
"Why was there any doubt?" Richard asked skeptically.
"You and Toby...some people don't think that's a done deal."
"Some people don't know what they're talking about." Richard said firmly, "I love Toby, but it'll be a while before I ever go back to that, if ever. It'd make more sense for you to think I was with Bliss or Melinda."
"Please tell me you're not."
"I'm not. Does that mean you're interested?"
"We haven't even gotten there yet and you're already asking me if I'm interested." Brian smiled.
"Well you're not walking with me for protection," Richard laughed, "So there's only so many other things that you could be here for. Plus, you and Joey hang out so I know he put lots of dirty things in your mind."
Brian couldn't help but laugh, "And he says he's not sex crazed."
Richard held open the door of the on campus coffee shop for Brian, "Don't worry about paying tonight, I got you. Think of it as your official welcome to the U.S."
"I've been here for over two months now."
"Ok, then think of it as a welcome especially from me."
"Damn, your place is nice!" Cooper said immediately as he entered Mike's loft.
"It's actually pretty small as far as lofts go."
"Pshhh...I want to do evaluation research if it gets me a pad this nice." Cooper said. He walked further into the loft and he could tell just by looking at the couch that it was really expensive. He ran his hand along the material and made a sound of approval. He sat down on the couch, closed his eyes and smiled, "You know I'm never getting up right?"
"My aunt bought that for me." Mike smiled.
"Is it weird going to that house and not have her be there?"
"A little bit. But by the time you guys came along she had been dead for several months, so I got used to being there and not have her there."
"Were you guys close?"
"Uhh...," Mike shrugged, "I don't know. I would only see her mostly at family gatherings, birthday parties, that sort of thing."
"Am I prying?" Cooper asked seriously.
"No, it's fine. I'm surprised you didn't ask earlier."
"You weren't my boyfriend then," Cooper smiled, "Do you need any help with dinner?"
"No, but you can join me so that I don't have to yell to talk to you."
"Fuck that. That requires me to get up."
"Come on lazy ass." Mike said extending his hand to help Cooper off the couch.
Cooper followed closely behind Mike and noticed that like almost everything else in the loft, the kitchen seemed to be almost entirely black and gray.
"Your house looks like a straight guy's bachelor pad." Cooper remarked.
"I can't tell if that's a compliment or not."
"I don't mean it in a bad way."
"What did you expect rainbow flags draped across the walls?"
Cooper thought for a moment, "To be honest I didn't know what to expect."
"Well you'll never see rainbow flags in here that's for damn sure."
"What's wrong with rainbow flags?" Cooper had meant it as a joke, but he was surprised when Mike felt the need to respond.
"It bothers me that people feel the need to flaunt their sexuality like that." Mike said while he stirred the pasta that had been cooking while he went to pick up Cooper.
"That sounds like something Pat Robertson would say."
Mike chuckled, "I hate that guy, but seriously, I have no issues with being gay, but when I see people marching in the parades covered in rainbow stickers and flags or in ass less pants it makes me sick. You know there are plenty of people who see that and say yep those fags don't deserve rights."
"I know what you mean, but I think people should be able to express themselves however they want to."
"So do I, but it's also the right of others to judge you based on what you put out there," Mike was now dumping the pasta from the pot it had been cooking in, into a strainer, "The sauce is almost done, and I'm gonna put the garlic bread into the oven and we should be eating in about five minutes or so."
"Sounds good. I agree with you it's people's right to judge, but that doesn't make it any less stupid or idiotic. Anybody who would say that gays don't deserve rights because of some clowns in a parade lack some serious perspective. The outrageous ones that get on T.V.. aren't representative of gay people everywhere."
"Ok, I'll give you that, but how many of us use that same thought process when Pat Robertson says Ellen Degeneres is the reason for September 11th? Lots of gay people condemn Christianity and religion in general instead of realizing that someone like Pat Robertson isn't representative of all Christians either."
"Hmmm...I don't think the comparison is exactly the same, but I never thought of it that way." Cooper said still throwing what Mike had said around in his mind.
"That's why I love Sociology man. I really wish I was still taking class sometimes. I think the exchange of ideas is where you really learn. So many times you hear things and are like wow, never heard it put that way before."
"For sure, I'm really starting to love it. You think with a sociological mind."
"It's just clear to me that so many of the problems in the world today are problems because people see them as one sided. If we all realized that racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, and everything else out there required us all to keep an open mind to come up with a solution, we'd be so much better off."
"That smells really good," Cooper said sniffing the air as Mike pulled he garlic bread out of the oven, "again I agree with you, but I'm already starting to see that Sociology in a lot of ways doesn't really provide answers. It's good at identifying problems or showing why certain problems continue, but I don't know if it can really provide the answers to all the questions it creates. That's why I don't just take G.E. and sociology classes. I like to take classes just for fun and in subjects I'm interested in that have no real relation to what I eventually want to do."
"I'm taking a natural disasters class and it's fuckin awesome. It's a bitch taking the exams, but we learn so many cool things. I just go in that class and am amazed at like the power of nature."
"I wish I would have taken that class, but I was too busy trying to get the hell out of school to take anything fun." Mike said scooping a generous amount of pasta onto two plates, "Let's move to the table."
"You want me to grab anything?"
"Yeah, can you grab the ginger ale from the fridge? I would say grab the wine, but someone's still a baby."
Cooper laughed, "Oh trust me this boy is all grown up."
Cooper joined Mike at the table a few moments later and poured them both a glassful of the ginger ale he had carried to the table.
"You said you wanted to be a professor right?" Mike asked before biting into a crisp piece of garlic bread.
"That means a doctorate?"
"Yeah," Cooper said sighing, "but it's what I really want."
"That's a shitload of work."
"Yeah, but having students who are forced to listen to me and who will write down every word I say is just too much of an opportunity to pass. It's like being a mini God."
Mike shook his head and something about the way he did it reminded Cooper of Eric, "By the way," Cooper said recovering, "this food is amazing."
Mike extended his hand across the table and held it out for Cooper to take hold of, "Thank you for coming tonight."
Cooper interlaced his fingers with Mike's, "Thank you for inviting me and for cooking. It's nice."
"There's more where that came from." Mike smiled.
"I hope so." Cooper said returning the smile.
"Who's idea was it to have this party again?" Cooper said with a hint of anger as he put a new trash bag in the receptacle.
"Yours." Eric said simply.
"No it wasn't."
"Yes, it was! You were saying how you felt bad after putting a damper on the night at the football game. I believe it was your clumsiness that ended the night." Eric smiled.
"Yeah, I did it for some asshole who wanted a shirt. Have you even worn it?"
"No, I was waiting until we go to the football game again."
Toby walked into the kitchen holding his cell phone to his ear, "How many pizzas should I order?"
"Who are you calling?" Eric asked.
"You should do Pizza hut."
"Dominos has the 5-5-5 deal." Toby reminded him, "Yeah I'd like to order your 5-5-5 deal...twice...uh huh...oh, what do we want on them?"
"A couple of pepperonis for sure." Eric said.
"Yeah, and one with pepperoni, bacon, sausage, and mushrooms." Cooper added.
"They're only one topping." Toby said putting his hand over the phone.
"That must be a birdy pizza place."
"A what?" Toby asked trying to listen to both Cooper and the woman who could barely speak English over the phone.
"A birdy pizza place."
"What does that mean?" Eric said staring at Cooper.
"You know a birdy...cheap cheap cheap."
Toby made a motion that told Cooper to be quiet and Eric laughed in disbelief, "You should be barred from ever speaking again after that."
"Don't be jealous because you didn't think of it first."
"Yeah, that's correct," Toby said loudly, "I'm paying with cash. Ok, sounds great. Thanks. It'll be here in about 45 minutes."
"Good, that's right when everyone's going to be here." Eric said.
"Yeah," Toby turned to look at Cooper, "You're ok with the fact that there will be alcohol at this party right?"
"Yeah, if nothing else at least I can go in my room and lock the door to escape the madness. You know, I might even have a drink tonight."
Toby looked at him in surprise, "Are you serious?"
"He's only saying that because Mike once again rejected him." Eric said with a hint of a smile on his face.
"He didn't reject me."
"Then what do you call it?"
Cooper gave Eric a nasty look, "You know I really should be glad that I picked a good guy who doesn't just want me for my hot body."
Toby laughed, "Something tells me that's not what he said."
"If I recall correctly," Eric jumped in, "he said that he didn't want to have sex with you just because you were horny or that it had been awhile, but that he wanted to wait until you honestly cared about him."
"Damn, were you there?"
"I remember it because it was funny. You were like so heartbroken."
"I know I was. I was so frustrated not even Mr. Happy was able to get me off."
Both Eric and Toby grimaced at the mention of Cooper`s dildo, "Don't say that when everybody gets here." Eric said. They heard the doorbell ring and they hurried to the front door.
"Hello hello," Bliss said walking in through the door in a white tank top and very short pink shorts, "How is everyone?" She asked giving each of the boys hugs.
"We're fine," Cooper said, "Bliss why is there a capital T on your shirt?"
As soon as he finished asking the question, Melinda stepped up behind Bliss and Cooper noticed she also had a letter written on her shirt causing Cooper to laugh hysterically.
"You know you love it!" Melinda said stretching out her tank top so that the capital A was clearly visible.
"T & A huh?" Toby laughed.
"Mmhmm," Bliss started, "Yep because I've got the tits." She said giving her chest a little shake.
"And I've got the ass," Melinda said turning around and giving her ass a jiggle, "You guys for sure can appreciate a little bootylicious."
"Not young Eric here," Cooper smiled, "He is still in virgin territory.
Eric turned towards Cooper, "You're banned from talking remember."
Bliss entered the house and Melinda held up a bag of chips to Toby, "I didn't know what to bring so I just brought a bag of chips."
"Are they open?" Eric asked.
"I got hungry in the car!" Melinda said defensively as she followed Bliss into the house.
Over the next hour all of their friends and the pizza had arrived except Tim who was going to be a little late because of the volleyball game he was working. Everyone had settled into small groups Joey, Cooper, and Brian had been put in charge of finding a movie for everyone to watch.
"Oh look," Cooper started, "The Pam and Tommy video is available on pay per view for only $3.99."
"Blah, seen it already. It wasn't worth the seventeen hours it took to download." Joey said bitterly.
"Oh come on. Tommy Lee's dick is huge."
Brian was only half paying attention to what Cooper and Joey were talking about as he had been exchanging smiles and eye contact with Richard from across the room every few minutes. Richard and Toby were near the entrance to the kitchen just catching up. They hadn't seen each other, except for walking by each other and exchanging hellos on campus since the football game, "How's the pride center working out?" Toby asked.
"Outstanding. I think we're doing a lot of good, but there's still so much to be done. This spring we'll be doing the panels once again, you know how we go to classes and talk about what it's like to be gay and stuff."
Toby nodded as he took a drink from his red plastic cup.
"You should do one of the panels."
"That'd be fun. I liked doing them."
"Cause you get to talk about your favorite subject, you." Richard smiled.
Toby was about t respond in protest but took the smile on Richard's face as evidence he had just been playing around, "Oh, you were joking."
"Are we not there yet?"
"No, we are."
Melinda was inside the kitchen getting a second serving of the "punch" that Richard and Toby had concocted. Eric walked up next to her and took a look inside the bowl she was stirring, "Is it good?"
"It sure is. You want some?"
Eric hesitated thinking back to the last time he drank, "I think I'm ok."
"Did you and Bliss really dress up like that just of this party?"
"Oh no," Melinda said taking a long drink from her cup, "We're going to another party after this one. We just decided we'd do our warm up here."
"What's it like living with two gay guys?"
"Cooper and Toby? Your roommates? I mean Cooper seems nice even if a little flaming."
Eric made a mental note to tell Cooper what Melinda had said when the party was over. She continued, "and I only know Toby is gay because Richie told me. I would have never guessed it. But I guess with an ass that nice he might as well get to use it. So you're not ever uncomfortable living with two gay guys?"
"Uhhh...no." Eric said still a little confused where this line of questioning was going.
Melinda stepped a little closer, "I like a man that is secure in his sexuality."
Eric took a large step backward, "You know I'm gay too, right?"
Melinda gave a look of confusion and then laughed, "Now it all adds up!"
"Yeah." Eric said simply as he wondered if Melinda had already had too much to drink.
"Time to move on then." Melinda said giving Eric a pat on the back. Eric followed her out of the kitchen and saw that Cooper had just let Tim in through the front door, "Tim!" Eric called to him. He walked over and gave his friend a big hug, "did you just get here?"
"I did and I probably smell like hot dogs." Tim said sniffing his shirt.
"Not a fun game?"
"It was a Saturday night volleyball game. There was barely anyone there under 35 to look at, but I still had to walk around with the smell of nacho cheese filling my nostrils."
"Yuck, well there's soda and alcohol on the table in the kitchen if you want to help yourself."
Tim walked into the kitchen and stopped immediately when he saw Richard pouring more alcohol into the large punch bowl. Richard spotted him a few seconds later and Tim seriously thought about turning around and exiting the kitchen, but his pride got the best of him. He walked towards the table and picked up a cup, "I'm not done." Richard said dryly.
"I'm not having any of that anyway, just soda for me."
"Oh that's right, you're on probation." Richard smiled maliciously.
"I'm underage. I'm not supposed to drink anyway."
"Yeah, but are you even allowed to be this close to alcohol since you're on probation? I don't know if I feel safe with an ex con this close to me."
"I've had a long day, I'm really not in the mood for this." Tim said hastily screwing the cap of the soda bottle back on.
"I'm sure. How many buildings did you break in today?"
"What's your problem?" Tim said turning around.
"I don't like you. Simple as that."
"What are you five? Grow up!"
Richard stepped closer to Toby so that they were mere inches apart, "You so need every square inch of your ass kicked."
"Violence, huh? I guess it runs in the family. How are your parents by the way?"
Toby had been watching them out of the corner of his eye even though he couldn't hear what was being said. He saw the look on Richard's face and knew that it would only take one more small push for Richard to fly off the deep end. Toby quickly made it to the kitchen and grabbed Richard by the arm, "Tim can you excuse us?"
"What?!" Richard yelled.
"Why are you coming over here starting stuff with him?" Toby said trying to control his temper.
"I didn't start anything with him."
"Yes, you did, I saw you."
"So what! He deserves it. He's an asshole, he went after you when he knew we were in a relationship."
"Richard, you know you are always welcome here, but do not come into my house and start shit or you'll have to leave."
"You always take his side."
"This isn't about any of that. Don't fuck up this party ok? Everyone's having a good time. If you still haven't made peace with the fact that we've broken up then that's on you."
"You can say that because I wasn't the one who let someone else suck my dick." Richard said quietly.
Toby took several deep breaths before responding, "Ok then, I should be the person you're mad at then."
Bliss walked into the kitchen and both Toby and Richard could tell by the look on her face that they hadn't been speaking as quietly as they thought they had, "Richie, me and Melinda are about to leave to go to the other party, you want to come with us?"
Bliss glanced at Toby, "Are you sure?"
"I said I'm fine alright I just need to cool down."
"Ok, then you should walk us out to the car and calm down."
"I can do that." Richard said as he passed Toby.
"Maybe, I should leave." Tim whispered to Brian and Eric as Richard , Bliss, and Melinda said their goodbyes to everyone.
"No, you're just as welcome here as he is." Eric said patting Tim on the shoulder.
"Yeah, don't go," Brian said trying to comfort his friend, "I'll hang with you the rest of the night so nothing happens."
"Thanks guys, but I think I'm really going to go. I'm tired anyway, and I've caused enough trouble for one night, I think I'm just going to go home and go to sleep."
"It's your choice." Eric said.
"Yeah, I think I'm going to head out. Thanks for inviting me. Will you tell Toby I said bye?"
Brian and Eric both nodded.
"Thanks, I'll call you guys later."
"You think it's safe to let him walk out there with Richard outside?" Brian said worriedly.
"I hope so. Bliss is out there and I think she knows how to handle Richard."
"I'm really worried about Tim."
"He's been through a lot." Eric acknowledged.
"I know, but just in hanging out with him lately he seems so...I don't know different. He's not as lively or as upbeat anymore."
"Like I said he's been through a lot."
"I just hope he'll be ok."
Richard walked back in about fifteen minutes later and looked a little more relaxed.
"Are you doing alright man?" Cooper asked.
"Yeah, I'm alright."
"Good. So now that we`re all a little more relaxed," Cooper yelled to get everyone's attention, "Why don't we play a little game?"
"Like what?" Eric asked unsure if he wanted to hear the answer.
Cooper produced a stack of playing cards from his back pocket and held them up for all his friends to see, "Strip 21."
"Hell yeah!" Joey said excitedly.
No one said anything and Cooper smiled, "Then let's all get on the floor and sit in a circle."
"What are the rules?" Richard said as everyone made their way to the floor.
"Let's keep it simple," Cooper said as he shuffled the deck, "The person with the lowest total has to take off an article of clothing."
"What's considered an article of clothing?" Brian said making sure not to make eye contact with Richard.
"So we're not here all damn night waiting for some nudity, socks, shoes, and belts al count as one piece of clothing. So the first time you lose you take off your shoes, socks, and belt. After that your shirt, then pants, underwear, and then the goodies! And if you go over 21, then you have to take off two articles of clothing."
Joey raised his hand, "What if we're not wearing underwear?"
"You are such a whore!" Cooper yelled. Everybody laughed except for Joey,
"I was asking hypothetically bitch."
"Sure...any other questions?"
"So...if we have to be naked...like do we have to like parade around or something?" Eric asked.
"You have to be naked long enough for everyone to get a good look."
"Last thing," Toby said clearing his voice, "I think we should have a rule that anyone who gets a 21 gets to decide who takes off an article of clothing."
"Alright alright," Cooper said impatiently, "Let's start this bitch already."
The first rounds went fast as Joey, Eric, and Cooper lost their shoes, socks, and belts in the first three turns. Every time one of the boys removed an article of clothing, the others showered them with hoots and hollers. The next round saw Richard be the first to go over 21 and he cursed when he saw that his cards amounted to 23.
"That means your shoes, socks, belt, and your shirt." Joey grinned.
"Take it all in boys." Richard said as he lifted his light blue polo over his head.
"Eh, I've seen it before." Toby remarked.
"I'm not as in good shape since I don't have tennis anymore." Richard said running his hand over his naked chest."
"Who's fault is that?" Toby teased.
"Shhh!" Cooper hissed, "Next round."
"As soon as Richard received his cards, he immediately called out, "21!" He showed the guys his cards which consisted of a Jack and a 10. "I have redeemed myself."
"Who do you select to take off an article of clothing?" Cooper asked looking around.
"Brian," Richard said, "would you kindly take off your shoes and socks."
Brian was already half way up before Richard finished. He knew Richard would choose him. Richard had caught him staring at his chest, though Brian was not all shy about looking at him, "Happy?" he asked as he threw one of his socks at Richard.
The game continued and three rounds later Toby found himself without shoes and socks on, and both Eric and Cooper found themselves shirtless.
"Oh my God, do you eat?" Joey said extending his hand towards Eric's torso.
"Hey," Cooper said slapping Joey's hand out of the air, "No touching." Even though nobody said anything Cooper could tell all eyes were on him as he shuffled the deck. He didn't want to look at anyone, especially Eric, as he handed out the cards. He cleared his throat, "Anyone want a hit?"
"I'll take one." Eric said.
"Me too." Brian followed.
"Show em boys." Cooper said.
It took them a moment to figure out who had the lowest, but all fingers ended up pointing at Toby who had a score of 15, "I should have just went for it."
Cooper flipped over the top card, "You would have had a 21 had you taken a risk you pussy." Toby flipped him off, but Cooper waved off the gesture, "Just take off your shirt already."
Toby discarded his shirt and, just like all the others received hoots and hollers from his friends. Joey felt the need to add a little something extra, "Mmm...break me off a piece of that!"
"Remember your whole speech about not being a sex addict." Brian said looking over at him.
Joey ignored him and looked at Cooper, "I think he should have to remove an article of clothing for his negativity."
"As much as we'd all like to see what's under there, we have to go by the rules my friend."
The game continued on and this time it was Cooper who shouted the expletive, "Fuck!"
Eric laughed, "Time to take it off."
"If I get a 21 I'm coming after you." Cooper stood up and moved to the center of the circle so that all his friends were surrounding him.
"Oh please," Toby laughed, "go back to your spot."
Cooper paused his hands over the zipper of his jeans, "I thought I'd do everyone a favor and give them a good view."
Cooper pulled down his zipper and unfastened his pants and slowly pulled them down his legs. He was wearing a pair of black briefs and received a few extra jibes as he threw his pants so that they landed on the couch.
"You act like a four year old," Toby yelled over the noise of his friends, "but I never knew you dressed like one too."
"You wear briefs."
"Yeah, but only for tennis."
"I'm surprised your dick fits in underwear that small." Joey said, "But they look good."
"I know." Cooper smiled.
"No offense but I hope you don't win...or lose." Richard said looking at Cooper.
"Why is that?"
"Cause who here hasn't seen you naked?"
"That means he thinks you're the whore." Joey laughed.
Brian raised is hand, "I haven't seen him naked."
"Oh, that's right. The sleepover was before your time." Richard said thinking back to that night.
"Just wait your time," Toby interjected, "there's no way not to know this guy long term without knowing every crevice of his body."
"If you really want to know every crevice of my body, just say the word hot boy." Cooper was trying his best to seductively lick his lips.
Toby laughed at the feeble attempt, "You're such a dork."
"Ok next round." Joey said impatiently.
Before Cooper finished passing around the cards, Eric smiled, "21."
"Pick your victim." Richard said in a very deep voice.
"You're it." Eric said looking at Richard.
"Traitor!" but Richard dutifully stood and made a much less dramatic show than Cooper of taking off his jeans.
"Traditional white underwear, I like it." Cooper said.
"I pretty much only wear boxer briefs now." Richard said playing with the strap.
"You could take those off if you wanted to." Brian said, surprised by his own comment.
"I bet you'd like that."
Toby looked from Richard to Brian and then back again and noticed they had been flirting on and off all night. He made a mental note to ask Richard about it later.
"So two boys in their underwear, two more are shirtless, and me and Brian here only have lost our shoes and socks." Joey said taking stock.
"Thank God for that no one wants to see your pixie stick anyway." Cooper said looking at Joey.
"Some things don't deserve a comment."
Cooper once again passed around the cards and all of the boys asked for another card except for Toby, who was confident he would be ok with a total of eighteen.
"Let's show em."
"Yes!" Joey screamed when he saw that Richard had the lowest score, but a few seconds later he shouted a, "No!" when he realized that Cooper had the same total.
"Well this sucks for me," Toby said throwing his cards to the middle of the floor, "I've already seen both of them nude."
"What do we do in a case like this?" Brian asked, hoping it wasn't obvious how eager he was to see someone naked.
"We could have them both strip." Eric suggested.
"I'm starting to like you more and more." Joey smiled.
"That's not fair," Cooper said crossing his arms, "This ain't a sale you don't get two for the price of one."
"Why don't we just have them each pick a card?" Toby said still a little annoyed that he would not be seeing any new flesh, "Whoever picks the lowest one has to strip."
"That' a good idea." Brian agreed wanting to get the process going.
Joey spread out the deck across the floor and told each of the guys to pick one. Cooper went first and picked from near the end of the deck, he held up an 8, "Your turn."
Richard picked from the middle of the deck and closed his eyed before looking at his card and he smiled, "A 9!"
"Son of a bitch!" Joey said throwing his hands up in frustration.
Brian would have preferred the other outcome, but he was still glad he would get to see a naked body in just a few seconds.
"Get ready for a small slice of heaven gentlemen...and lady." Cooper said looking at Joey. He slipped his briefs off and flung them on his index finger.
"Oh my God," Brian gasped, "It's huge."
"And he's from Maine, he knew." Toby laughed.
"Booooooooooo!" Joey yelled giving a thumbs down sign, "Rerun!"
"Ok ok," Eric said after taking his obligatory peeks at Cooper's body, "Put your clothes back on."
"Nah, I'm good. I'm going to bed soon anyway I'll just sleep naked tonight."
Brian nudged Joey, "It is pretty late maybe we should get going."
"Yeah," he said standing, "Cooper is naked; the night is official ruined."
"Bitch, you'll be dreaming about all of this tonight."
"Do you guys need help cleaning up or anything?" Brian asked.
"No, it's not too bad, plus it'll probably wait until the morning anyway." Toby said yawning.
As Richard walked by he glanced at Toby and decided to give him a hug, "Are we ok?" he whispered.
As their friends exited, Toby and Eric thanked everyone from coming, while Cooper parked himself on the couch, still naked and legs spread.
"That is now your permanent spot on the couch," Toby said as he shut the door, "I'm not sitting there ever again."
"I don't want to be sitting on your ball juice."
"Should we clean up now?" Eric asked hoping his roommates would say no.
"It's not bad at all, it's mainly just trash, I think it can wait."
"Tonight was fun." Cooper yawned, "We really know a great group of guys."
"We do.' Eric smiled, "We definitely have to do this again."