Warning: This work of fiction contains sexual contact between two males. If you are opposed to reading something like that, or if it is illegal for you to read this type of material in your area, please leave.
His arms are around me, moving up and down my back, sending jolts traveling all through my body. His lips are so soft and pliant against mine; cool and slick, but the kiss is like fire. It burns. His tongue thrusts deep into my mouth again, tracing the ridges at the roof of my mouth and if there's anything I can do to prevent the moan that I can feel rising in my throat, I really don't give a shit. Everything is spinning and vibrating and he smells and feels so fucking good against me that I can't bring myself to pull away, like I know I should. It isn't right. It's insane, what I'm doing and I want to pull away, but I cant because every time I think I've gathered my bearings enough to do just that--pull away and get as far away as I can--he touches me...kisses me...squeezes me in a whole new way and my brain turns to pudding again. It's odd. Because I'm not gay. Not in the slightest.
Yeah, I know. That statement would probably be a lot more believable if I didn't currently have my tongue down another guy's throat, but it's the truth. I'm straight and I've worked really long and hard to make sure I didn't...end up in a situation like this... and I'm gonna pull away. I would have done so already...but what sort of sane person can actually think in these conditions?
He really is way too good with his tongue.
He's kissing his way down my jaw now and I can't control the way I'm gripping him tight enough to bruise. Like I want him close. Like I don't want him to stop. Which is ridiculous, because I should want him to stop.
But I really don't. I want him to keep kissing me and touching me and licking me. I want him to take off my clothes and I want him to get it done faster. He's too slow.
I really have no idea how I got here. A few months ago, if you told me I'd be kissing--really kissing--a guy, I'd have had you castrated on the spot. Or...I would have at least cut you...with sharp words.
Or whatever. I definitely wouldn't have stood for it then.
But that's not stopping me now as I slide my hand just beneath the waste band of his shorts.
I suppose I should start at the beginning. Tell you how I went from Jake Taylor, the marginally cute, semi-popular, completely heterosexual, decent member of the school swim team...to Jake Taylor the guy who apparently gets off on making out with other guys.
It's odd, but I think this story starts with a girl...or English class. Either way, it's completely fucked that either of those things would lead me here.
English is by far the easiest class to bullshit your way through. As long as you've read the assigned book, or have a vague idea of what's going on in it, you've got a solid B. And if you use enough big words and look at the teacher attentively in class, you're in for an A. Use big words and the A becomes an A+ and the teacher will have nothing but good things to say if she happens to see your father in the supermarket while shopping for ingredients for her latest dinner disaster.
At least that's how it was for me. English was, by far, my worst subject but Mrs. Carmichael seemed perfectly content if she thought I was trying my damndest to get through her class. I wasn't. I was coasting. It was the one time a day in my sophomore year that I could actually relax. I used the one study hall period I had to go to the gym and get some extra swimming in, so English was the only time in the eight hours of my school day that I could kick back and just...coast.
Besides, it was the last class of the day and no one ever really pays attention to anything other than the clock last period.
Except me. Well, today at least. Today, my focus was totally and completely monopolized by Caydence.
She was beautiful, with long ink-black hair and blue eyes that shone all the brighter in contrast. She was tall and thin with smooth skin and...
She was pretty much my only chance at staying on the swim team. Because, yeah, it was easy to bullshit my way through class and homework assignments...maybe even a couple of tests--but midterms were coming up. I was sure there would be all sorts of questions about grammar and essay form and then there was the actual writing of said essay's.
I was pretty much fucked. I couldn't tell you what a verb was, much less how it differed from adverbs and adjectives and...shit.
Also, I kind of didn't do the assigned reading all year and I may have tuned out on the reading we did in class. Actually, I kind of skipped over any reading period.
Caydence was pretty much a genius all around. Not very many people talked to her, which was odd. In high school, `pretty girls' kind of flock together and Caydence definitely qualified as pretty. Prettier than most, but she was never with the rest. She was never with anyone.
All the better for me. At least I wouldn't have to navigate my way through a sea of cheerleaders and their admiring fans to get to her. All I really had to worry about was getting her to talk to me.
I ambushed her as soon as the bell rang and I found out just why people never really talked to Caydence.
She had a glare to rival my grandmothers. She stared at me through narrowed eyes, so cold it cut like shards of glass and it took me a minute to actually figure out what to say.
"Um," I said. "Hi." And can I just say: lame. Very lame.
"What do you want," she asked, her voice flat.
"I need help," I said, smiling in a way that I hoped was what my grandmother would call charming. Apparently, I failed.
She arched an eyebrow at me before saying. "Clearly." And she turned away.
"No, wait," I called stepping after her. "English," I went on stupidly. "I need help with English."
"Yeah," she said with out stopping. "It's obvious, you don't even speak it that well."
"Huh," I said, turning sideways to dodge a kid that came barreling down the hall. "I don't speak what very well?"
"English," she said and I frowned. I wasn't getting far at all.
"No, I wanted you to help me," I said. "With English. I thought you could help me get ready for the test."
She stopped walking, abruptly turning to face me and my reflexes aren't exactly the best on the planet, unless I'm on a block and the whistle is blown.
I ran right into her.
She stumbled, stepping back to get her balance but she didn't fall. She frowned at me. I think it was right then, at that moment, that I wondered whether there might be an actual reason, outside of bad luck that I hadn't been able to get a date for homecoming that year.
"There's a tutoring program, Taylor," she said with a sigh. "And I'm not part of it."
"But everyone knows you're the best," I said. It was kind of pathetic, the way I was begging, and I supposed I could have gone to the peer tutoring program, but...Caydence got higher grades than anyone in our year and it seemed...effortless. Like she didn't even have to try. I needed to learn and learn quick and I felt like she knew all the tricks.
Besides, tutoring was for the football team. Not me.
Caydence bit her lip, staring at me, her brows furrowed in that same frown she'd been wearing since I first spoke to her.
"I'll let you in a little secret," she said, "since you seem to actually be serious right now but...you don't need to prepare for the English midterm. You read the paragraph before the question and you answer a question about the paragraph. Piece of pie."
"Cake," I corrected. Mostly because I felt like an idiot and she was talking to me the way I talked to my five year old kid brother.
"What?" she asked turning away.
"It's `piece of cake'. Not pie."
She looked thoughtful for a moment, before shrugging. "I hate cake."
I honestly have no clue why I did what I did next. Maybe I did it because she really was good looking and I hadn't actually dated anyone in my year and a half of high school. Or maybe because she'd been giving me suspicious looks, like she thought I had ulterior motives in asking for her help and...at least that way I could pretend that I already knew the sophomore English midterm was a read an answer test and I only used it as an excuse to talk to her. Or maybe it was because my best friend Ryan was standing behind her, with a big shit eating grin on his face.
Or maybe I'm insane.
I have no idea why I did it.
"Do you wanna do something?" She actually laughed at me.
"Yeah," she replied, smirking. "I want to do lots of things."
"No," I went on. "With me. Do you wanna do something with me. Like, go somewhere. With me." She may have had a point when she said I had trouble speaking the English language.
She studied me for a minute before nodding like she'd made up her mind. Only, apparently the nod didn't actually mean `yes'.
"No," she said, and that actually shocked me for some reason, though, I have no idea why. No matter how you looked at it the conversation thus far wasn't going well.
"Oh," I answered, resigning myself to go home and swim a few laps in the pool before my parents got home and gave me the `homework interrogation'.
I turned away.
"But you can come somewhere with me." I hadn't take two steps when she said it, and when I turned around I wasn't sure I'd heard her right.
"Huh?" I asked. Because obviously I have such an extensive vocabulary.
"I said," she continued, "You can go somewhere with me, if you want. I'm meeting a friend at the park."
That was shocking, but oddly enough, I wasn't shocked because she'd invited me to hang out with her when I totally though I'd just been rejected. I was shocked because, as far as I knew Caydence Martell was a total loner and didn't have any friends. Her looks were the only thing that kept her out of the geek category.
It's disgusting how proud I am that I didn't say that out loud.
"Yeah," I said instead and she smiled at me.
"Alright," she shrugged. "I've got grab a pizza from Soluri's first. Do you drive?"
I shook my head. It'd be another month before I turned sixteen.
"Good," she said, turning away, not even bothering to check to see if I was following her. "You can just ride with me."
"Yeah," I said again, following her and ignoring the `thumbs-up' Ryan gave me as I passed.
"She's too hot for you, dude," he whispered, and I smacked him as I passed and hurried to catch up with Caydence.
I called my house on my cell on the way to her car and left a message to let my parents know I'd be home late.
"Ready?" Caydence asked as I got in the car and strapped myself in.
In all honesty, as pretty as she was, I wasn't really interested in dating her. I kind of figured that when I did find a girl to date, it'd be someone that I could actually talk to in complete sentences. Someone I could laugh with and a whole number of other things I'd never tell my friends I wanted out of a `girlfriend'.
But Caydence and I could have just gotten off on the wrong foot. Or something. Maybe things would be different after we'd hung out for a little while. Maybe, I'd finally have a girlfriend...an actual hot girlfriend...and be able to join in on the bragging that the rest of my friends did.
Or maybe not.
Things never go the way I want them to.
I think I disliked him right away.
The `friend' Caydence was meeting, who was definitely not a girl like I thought if the lack of breasts on his shirtless body were anything to go by.
So much for my `new girlfriend' plan. Looked like she was already off the market.
Caydence's `friend' was laying on the grass with his shirt under his head. He wasn't laying on a blanket or anything and it was uncomfortable for me to even look at. I hated the feel of grass on my skin.
I didn't recognize him right away. I figured he probably went to school with us, but I couldn't remember ever seeing him before. I was sure I would have remembered if I had. He had a nice broad chest and good shoulders. Long muscular arms. His stomach was flat, though, the way a swimmer's stomach would be. We didn't work our stomachs near as much as our arms.
His eyes are what stood out, though. He looked up at me as we approached and... They were blue, like Caydence's, but where hers were cold and dark, his were bright and sparkling like pool water on a really hot day.
It was distracting, to say the least.
"Who's the spazz," he asked as I tripped over the pesky air down by my feet as we got closer to him.
I tried to glare at him for that. But his eyes were really, really blue and it was almost difficult to look at them for too long. Blue, like water and the possibility of drowning in them didn't seem all that unfathomable, right then. I looked away almost immediately, opting to look at Caydence instead.
Caydence only laughed, though and kicked him playfully before she sat down next to him. "You know who he is," she said before turning her attention to me. "You know Shane, right?"
Uhm, no. Definitely not.
I shook my head as I sat down and said, "No," just as Shane said, "Yeah."
I frowned at him. He looked amused.
"Oh," he said, sitting up. He held out his hand and looked at me. "Well, it's Shane. Shane Tickersine."
The name sounded familiar but I couldn't place it. I shook his hand, which was slightly larger than mine and I'm not sure why that bothered me, but it did. I made sure I squeezed just a bit tighter than necessary.
"Jake Taylor," I responded before I dropped his hand.
He grinned. "I know. We've met," he said. I frowned at him, a little bemused and somewhat skeptical. I was sure I would have remembered him. He was kind of unnerving.
"We have?" I asked. "Where?"
He laughed, low and raspy. It was a nice sound, though I couldn't ever remember thinking that a laugh sounded nice before.
"Which time?" he asked after a minute. He grinned and leveled those eyes on me.
"Huh?" It astounds me how articulate I can be sometimes. Really.
He laughed again, but quieted when I risked a glare at him.
"You're on the swim team, right?" he said, smiling.
"Yeah," I responded shortly. "So?"
He sort of cocked his head to the side when I said that, studying me. "Seriously?" he asked, with a hint of skepticism in his voice. The smile he'd been wearing since I walked up with Caydence was fading. "You really don't know who I am?"
I didn't, but the way he said that--like he didn't believe me had me staring at him, racking my brain for where I might have seen him before.
"Jesus, you really don't," he said. He almost looked offended.
I wanted to go home. I was positive I'd never seen the guy before in my life and...as much as I really didn't care what he thought or felt...the way he was looking at me was making me feel guilty. Which is ridiculous. It's not like we were family and I'd forgotten who he was. He was just some guy.
I looked at Caydence, opening my mouth to tell her I'd forgotten I had to do something, or give her some other bullshit excuse, but she cut me off before I got the chance to utter a single syllable.
"He's on the swim team," she said, giving me an incredulous look that matched Shane's own.
I raised an eyebrow at her. "No, he's not," I said. "I know everybody on the team. Except this freak that--"
I have what my mother calls `word vomit' syndrome. But I'm happy to say that I had the good sense not to finish that sentence.
The three of us were silent for a moment while I cringed inwardly and Shane looked somewhat offended. I winced when he glared at me. I'd never actually seen the kid without goggles and swim cap on. He always showed up late for practice and was the last one to leave. I though maybe I should have remembered his chest...it was a nice one, but I dismissed the thought as soon as it flitted across my mind. It's not like I went around checking out the guys on the swim team. I was way too focused on swimming...not that I would have checked him out if I wasn't.
The uncomfortable silence between the three of us seemed to stretch on forever but Caydence eventually broke it. She burst into fits of giggles from where she was seated next to Shane, who shocked the hell out of me when he rolled his eyes and, after a second, his laughter joined hers.
"Harsh," he said, but he smiled at me. "My ego may never recover."
"Sorry," I said, blushing. But only a little. It was barely noticeable. Lame? Yes, very.
He shrugged. "No big deal, bro. Pizza?" he offered, lifting the box and handing it to me. He smiled again, leveling his eyes on me and there was an odd warm feeling in my chest.
I shook it off and nodded. "Thanks."
I opened the box and grabbed a slice. The cheese was already starting to get cold, but it was still good.
"So," Caydence said, cheeks still tinged pink from her laughing fit. "Guess who was sent to Principle Snider for trying to sneak an article on mercy killing for the chronically obese into the school paper."
"Who?" Shane asked with a roll of his eyes. He looked bored and I wondered if he'd only asked to humor her. I didn't have to ask. I already knew the answer.
"Ryan Lucas," she said, laughing. "The article is actually kind of funny if you can get past how disgustingly judgmental and cruel it was and--" she paused, looking at me. "Ryan is in our English class," she said.
I laughed. "I know. He's my best friend."
"He's a dick," she said, unapologetically and I didn't correct her. He was a dick. I just loved him for it.
"He stole my clothes during gym class in ninth grade," Shane commented. "He hasn't liked me since then."
That didn't make any sense at all to me. If Ryan was the one who stole his gym clothes, I didn't see what reason Ryan had to be pissed off.
"What did you do," Caydence asked, a bemused look on her face.
Shane grinned mischievously, glancing off into space. "Oh," he said with a sigh. "He wouldn't tell me where my pants were...so I took his."
I laughed, almost choking on the bite of pizza in my mouth. "That was you?" I said, remembering the day pretty clearly. Ryan had told me all about how some guy just about attacked him in the middle of the hall way in front of everyone and ripped his pants off. Ryan had broken almost everything he owned that day. It wasn't funny at the time, but we laughed about it now.
"Yeah," Shane said. "I actually got suspended for that."
I nodded. Ryan had gotten suspended too--not for stealing Shane's clothes, I'd had no idea about that--but because he showed up at school the next day in just his boxers and was pissed to find out the guy he was putting on his little show for wasn't there to see it. He threw a punch at a wall. His fist went straight through.
"You're horrible," Caydence said, but I recognized the fondness in her voice, even if the only place I'd ever heard it before was from my mother.
"Guilty," Shane said, grinning at her.
Conversation flowed after that. I found I might actually like Caydence. Her voice was soft and low but still feminine. She wasn't like most girls with their high pitched whines and she was actually kind of funny. I'd been a little annoyed, at first, with the way she always seemed to be laughing at me, but she was doing that to Shane too, half the time. The other half, she was just laughing. She talked a lot, but I liked her.
Shane was quieter and he had a different, sarcastic sort of humor. His laugh was contagious and his eyes sparkled when he was excited. And I liked listening to the low rasp in his voice when he spoke and for awhile I even forgot that the tingles it sometimes sent through me were wrong and I basked in the feeling. I didn't shake it off. It was nice being there and for awhile, I allowed myself to relax. To forget about what I should or shouldn't do and have a good time with them.
It surprised me how easy it was being there. I'm not good with people. Ryan had been my only real friend for as long as I could remember. I hung out with a lot of people and a lot of people knew who I was but only because of him. Because of Ryan. He was the only one I could really talk to. Until now. I was laughing and carrying on with two people I barely knew and I was actually enjoying myself.
"I've gotta get going," Caydence said suddenly, after we'd all recovered from laughing after a particulary funny story that involved a stalk of broccoli and his little brother's nose. I frowned. I may have wanted to leave before, but the uncomfortable feeling I'd had when we first got there was almost completely gone and I was close to having a good time. "Can you drive Jake home?" she asked.
What? Not cool, Caydence.
I may have been comfortable enough just sitting there talking with him and Caydence, hell, I'd even enjoyed myself. But I definitely did not want to be alone with him.
That had more to do with me than him, though.
"Where are you going?" Shane asked, glaring at her
She laughed. "I have to meet Tyler."
Shane rolled his eyes. "You go on and on about this Tyler character, but you've yet to bring him around. I'm beginning to wonder--"
"Hush," she said, shoving him. "It's cool if you can't take him...Tyler won't mind if I'm a little late."
Shane shoved her back, before standing to help her up. "What are you doing picking up random guys if you're supposed to have a boyfriend?"
"I thought you two could hang out," she said with an innocent smile.
"Caydence," he said. "I told you, I don't--"
"Relax," she cut him off. "I thought you two knew each other, remember? It's not my fault Jake's a space cadet."
"Uhm, hello," I said, slightly bothered that they were talking about me like I wasn't there. "I don't live far from here, I can walk."
"I'll take you," Shane said. I opened my mouth to protest, but he dropped a hand on my shoulder, looking at me. "Really, it's not a problem. I can take you."
I had to shake off another warm feeling and I wondered if I was coming down with something. Mom had mentioned something about a bug going around.
"Alright," I nodded, looking away from him.
Caydence grinned. "Alright, then," she said. "I'm gonna jet. We should hang out again, though, Jake."
She seemed genuine so I nodded and smiled. "Cool."
Shane rolled his eyes at her before turning to me. "You ready?" he asked me shortly and I nodded. It's stupid but it kind of pissed me off that he wanted to leave right away. He could have at least pretended he wanted to hang out a little longer.
"Whatever," I said.
The drive to my house was excruciatingly silent. I wanted to reach out and turn on the radio and almost did a couple times, but it felt...rude. I mean, it was his car.
When we got to my house, I almost ripped my seatbelt off. I don't do well with silence and the one we were experiencing was unnerving.
"Look," he said, before I could reach for the door handle. "Sorry, if I was rude."
He looked like it pained him to say it. I just shrugged.
"Seriously, though," he went on. "We should hang out again. If you want. As long as Ryan doesn't come along."
I didn't know what to say to that so I just shrugged again, reached for the door and got out.
I was definitely not expecting him to shut off the engine and follow me.
"What are you--," I said turning to face him.
It was his turn to shrug, it seems. "I said we should hang out again."
He was...weird. "Now?" I asked, frowning.
"Well, yeah," he said, grinning. "I could wait `til tomorrow but...given your track record, I can't be sure you'll remember who I am by then."
I smiled at that. "I won't forget," I said. "It's not like you've ever spoken to me before today," I went on, trying to explain. "And you look different with pants on."
Shane seemed to think something I said was hilarious and he nearly doubled over, laughing. I had to go over it again, but I didn't find it near as amusing as he did, once I realized what I said. I winced.
"Shut up," I said, embarrassed.
"Sorry," he said, his chest shaking. I stood there waiting for him to calm down. It took a lot longer than I would have liked.
"Well," he said, smiling. "Maybe you'll remember, now that you've seen me with clothes on, but we can still hang out, if you want. I really don't have anything better to do."
I sighed, staring at him. His eyes were alight with amusement and he looked on the verge of another laughing fit but I didn't want to tell him to get lost. And even if I did, he was already stepping forward and walking up the path that led to my front door as if I'd invited him.
"I have video games," I informed him, resigned as I followed him to the door.
He stopped just in front of me and I almost ran into him. I stopped in time, but he was way too close.
"Cool," he said, turning to face me. "Let's go play them."
I inhaled suddenly, wondering when breathing became something I had to think about in order to accomplish.
My mom was in the kitchen cooking and probably doing dishes if the sound of running water was anything to go by. I could smell the food as soon as I opened the door. Lasagna.
I hated lasagna, but I welcomed the familiar smell of it. If I focused on it hard enough, I could almost forget the smells that had assaulted my senses just moments before.
Sweat and cut grass and some sort of cologne I didn't recognize. It was an odd mix but I almost liked it.
"Jake?" my mom called. "That you?"
"Yeah," I shouted. "I brought a friend over."
"How have you been, Ryan?" my mom called back and I flinched.
"Actually, it's Shane..."
"Shane?" Mom said. I heard the water stop running and she came out into the foyer. "I don't think you've ever mentioned a Shane."
"He's on the team, Mom," I said, avoiding his eyes. He had the amused look on his face again.
"Oh," Mom said turning to look at Shane. "Oh, now I remember," she said and I gaped at her. "You placed second at the last meet over at West Hills, right?"
Shane's eyes were wide. "Yes, ma'am," he said. "But I'll kick David Rosner's a--uhm, I'll beat him eventually."
Mom laughed. "Well, it's nice to meet you," she said kindly before turning to me. "Homework?"
I shook my head.
"Alright," she said, turning back to the kitchen. "You boys have fun."
Shane laughed as she walked away. "Well," he said. "You're mom doesn't think I look to different with pants on." He waggled his eyebrows.
"Whatever," I said, shoving him. "Let's go."
We never did get around to playing video games. We couldn't agree on one. No, we spent the evening arguing. We argued over which game to play and when it was clear we weren't going to agree on one, we argued over which movie to watch. My mother seemed to find the entire thing hilarious.
We did finally pick out a movie that both of us were okay with, though. Unfortunately, his mom called just as I removed it from it's case to tell him to get his ass home.
"I don't think we're very good at this hanging out thing," I said as I walked him to the door.
He laughed. "Yeah," he said. "We're terrible at it."
I laughed along with him as I opened the door, but he paused on my porch. "We should do it again though," he said and for the first time all day, he was looking at me completely serious.
My throat closed, at that, though, and I wondered if maybe it was possible to be allergic to a person because it'd been happening a lot.
"Sure thing," I said when I found my voice. "We'll do it, again."
He offered me a small smile before turning away.
"Later," he said.
I only watched him walk away for a second before I turned back into the house, shutting the door behind me.
I wondered if I could get away with avoiding him at school the next day. I wondered if he'd buy it if I pretended not to recognize him. Because, I could play at allergies and contagious bug's all I wanted, but I knew exactly why I was feeling what I was feeling. I'd felt it before with a few different people. A few different guys. My response was always the same.
Distance myself from the guy, and pretend I never felt it.
I was extremely talented when it came to lying to myself. Because I wasn't...I couldn't be gay.
I couldn't be.
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