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Any use of real places, events, corporations or products within this text are strictly for the purpose of adding realism and authenticity to the writing. Critiques are always welcome. Also, please let me know what you think of the format. If you want more information about any rodeo events, there are tons of resources online.

Written exclusively for Nifty Archives. This story involves sexual relationships between boys, aged 15 and older. If this is illegal in your area, please do not read on. This story is work of fiction. Any similarities between real places, people, and events is completely coincidental and unintentional. If you read the archives frequently, then you know the drill. Take the rest with a grain of salt. This story is (c) 2007-08, Milos. All rights reserved! Please do NOT repost this story without permission.

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I'm pulling books off the shelf here and there. Trying to get these damned assignments done before the holiday. God knows I don't want to be doing this shit when I should be spending time with Mattie.

I'm looking for a writing manual. It's a huge fuckin' thing, and it doesn't balance on my cast that well. I got two other books tucked under my free arm, and I'm trying not to drop anything.

The writing manual takes a tumble and hits the ground with a deep whump! Instinct takes over. "Shit."

I hear a few shushes around the library. I'm sure the librarian's fixin' to come over here and kick my scrawny little ass. I sigh. Then, the other few books I'm holding fall out from under my arm and hit the ground. I kneel down and try to pick them up, balance them against my chest.

"You need some help?"

I look over my shoulder.

It's that guy from my lit class. The one that was tryin' to shut me up with his stare. From the looks of him, he ain't no pussy, and he's not a pushover, either. They way he's got his hair fixed up, he almost looks like a rooster. It's all dyed black, spiked up in the back. Long, bright red bangs hang in his face. Dark, sharp eyes. He's got some guns on him, too. With drumsticks like that, you probably don't want to fuck with him. They're big enough to fill the arm-holes on his shirt.

There's something about him that it's hard for me to take my eyes off him for a bit. His shirt's so tight across his chest it doesn't look like it'd be too comfortable. Other than his hair and all the earrings, he looks like a normal jeans-and-teeshirt kinda guy.

"I think I can manage, but thanks." I try to stand up, but the writing manual isn't balanced right. The books get away from my grip again. "Damn all these thumbs."

He smiles and walks over. "You know, there isn't anything wrong with asking for a little help once in a while." He picks up the books and stands up. Smiles when I stand up in front of him. He holds out a hand from under my books. "Call me Rook."

I twist my left arm and shake his hand. Give him a lop-sided smile. "And people tell me I have a weird name."

"Lem's not weird. Just unique."

"How did you get past a guy like Handy Jack with a name like Rook?"

He shrugs. "I've taken Craft before. He's not a pleasant person." He looks at the books. "Checking these out, or are you staying here?"

"Taking them back to the dorm and hammering the shit out before the weekend."

We start walking toward the front counter. "Think you'd be up for a study group kinda thing? Might help get us both through it quicker."

I nod, consider it. "I guess that could be cool. My roommate's never around, anyway."

He smiles. He's not too bad lookin'. For a guy, I mean. I guess he's right about as tall as me, because I can look him in the eye.

I check out my books. The librarian puts my books in a plastic bag so I can carry them, bless her heart. We head out the front door and start for Brooks Hall.

"How'd you break your arm, if I might ask?" I look over at him. He's walking along with his hands in his pocket.

"Fell off a bull."

He raises an eyebrow. "A bull?"

"Yeah. Big cow with horns."

"I know what a bull is. What were you doing on a bull?"

"Rodeo competition in North Dakota. First time I've ever been hurt."

"Why would you put yourself through that?"

I shrug. "It's just a way of life back home."

"Doesn't it hurt the animals?"

"Not really. Animal athletes are treated better than most people's house pets. It's a sport that comes from real ranching practices."

"It seems barbaric."

I look at him across my shoulder. I don't know if I like where this' going. "You eat beef or chicken?"


"Check out a feedlot sometime."

He pipes up a little.

"So, you one of those emo people I keep hearing about?"

"Emo? Fuck that noise. Industrial. Synthetic."

"I don't follow."

"It's derived from the gothic movement. Industrial electronic music."

I stop. I don't know why it's bothering the shit out of me so much. "No offense or anything, but Rook isn't your real name, is it?"

He fishes out his wallet. Holds out his student ID and a Utah driver's license. Rook Corvus. It just has such an odd ring to it. But it's right here, who am I to question it?

I hand his cards back. Grin. "Sorry."

"No worries, man. I get it all the time." We start walking again. "For the longest time, whenever Craft would talk to me, he'd say nevermore for some reason. Just sneak it into a sentence or something. He's really a dick sometimes."

I quote something I heard Mos say a few days ago. "Well, shit happens then you live. Right?"

"I guess."

"What do you do here?"

"Trying to get my degree in fine art. Cheaper to get it out of the way here then transfer to another college for my masters."

"Yet, you're built like a brick shit-house."

"Art leaves you with a lot of spare time. I'm close to the gym, so I figure I might as well use it. Started taking Judo when some little shits started getting a little lippy with me in high school."

"What'd they do?"

"Started following me around for no reason. Called me some bad names. Ruined what little reputation I had. They'd jump me and try to beat me up," he looks at me, matter-of-factly, "all in the name of their precious Mormon dogma. God's little soldiers. Utah's not the best place to be if you're not in the church. I couldn't even get into the Boy Scouts back in sixth grade because I wasn't LDS."

"So you're not Mormon?"

"Nope. You a real cowboy?"

I shrug. "Guess I could be."

He stares up at the sky a bit. Skips a step or two. "What'cha gonna do with a cowboy when he don't saddle up and ride away..." Chris LeDoux? Really?

I chuckle. "You're somethin' else, man."

# # #

The idea of the cowboy and the bucking bull is romantic. It's a life that lures some people in, puts others off completely.

In a way, us riders ain't too different than the bulls we ride. The bulls get in a trailer, get shipped from one place to another. They sleep, shit, eat, sleep some more, and buck.

Riders get into a truck, get shipped from one place to another. We sleep, shit, eat, take a catnap where we can and ride.

It's not an easy life. It's a long, lonely road.

# # #

The lights are off. I'm laying in bed with my laptop open in front of me, watching Mattie make faces at me through his webcam. Dane's in his bed watching TV. His bed sits a bit higher than mine, like a bunk bed, and it leans against the other wall. He'd see if something was going on. Wish I could have my own room like Mattie does.

MatthewHedquist: what are you going to do to me when we get back to Montana?

BullRiderLem: i have a few ideas.

MatthewHedquist: Promise?

BullRiderLem: you better believe it. I sigh.

Dane looks over the side of his bed at me. "What's wrong?"

I shake my head. "Just missing home. Can't wait to see someone."

MatthewHedquist: know when your spring break is?

Dane grins. "Got a little lady at home, eh?"

I look at him real quick. Look back at Mattie. "Something like that." BullRiderLem: gonna have your ankles pinned up next to your ears faster than you can count to three.

Mattie blushes. MatthewHedquist: i could use a little vitamin L.

"Why didn't she come over with you?"

There's something stirring in me, like I want to say it. I scratch around Mattie's bracelet, hope maybe it'll give me some sort of strength. "It's my best friend, actually. He's in Arizona." True enough.

He nods. "Gotcha. I think I'm gonna smoke a big 'ol bowl when I get home. It's been way too fuckin' long, man." He lays back.

It starts bringing me back to Jeff, for some reason. The times we got high and he'd fuck my brains out.

MatthewHedquist: still there?

BullRiderLem: yeah. I pause. BullRiderLem: have you ever thought bout getting high?

MatthewHedquist: huh?

BullRiderLem: just wondering. room mate was talking about it.

MatthewHedquist: have you? been high?

BullRiderLem: a time or two.

MatthewHedquist: what was it like?

I grin for some reason. BullRiderLem: y? you thinkin bout trying it?

MatthewHedquist: What if I am? He raises an eyebrow at me.

BullRiderLem: your brother said he'd kill me. hell, he'd prolly kill us both.

MatthewHedquist: what's it like?

BullRiderLem: hmmm... Like cold medicine without being sleepy. it makes you horny as all hell.

MatthewHedquist: would you do it with me sometime?

BullRiderLem: i'm beginning to think im a bad influence on you

MatthewHedquist: bad boys are hot.

I don't know why it's strange for me to hear him say that. "Hey, Dane? Where, uh..."

"What's up?"

"How does a guy get ahold of a little herb?" My cheeks tingle. I can't believe I'm actually going to pay for drugs.

"How much you want? An eighth?"

I shake my head. "What? Um... Maybe two joints."

"You just want two joints?" He giggles. "I don't think they'll sell you just two joints. When you want it? Right now?"

"Now? Dude, no. I was thinking about taking it home with me when I leave."

"Day after tomorrow, right?"

I nod. "Yeah."

"I'll call my guy tomorrow. I wanted to get some to have around."

The thought shakes me a little. I don't know if I like the idea of having drugs in here. "Keep it around here?"

"Yeah. You put it in a little tupperware container full of dry rice. Keep it in the freezer."


"Yeah, push the baggie in to hide it."

"What if someone asks why you have rice in your freezer?"

"Humidity. Say you're from Florida or some shit and you just keep dry goods in the freezer sometimes. My mom still keeps potato chips in the freezer to keep them crispy. Drives my dad ape shit."

"How much will it be if you got me some?"

"How about twenty for three joints. I'll even roll them for you."

That's going to eat into my food budget. "Sounds fine."

BullRiderLem: friday, since everyone is going to great falls.

MatthewHedquist: friday what?

Just like me to jump half way into a thought. BullRiderLem: sorry. smoke some stuff. since we've got the house to ourselves, we can get a little baked and have some fun.

MatthewHedquist: what if someone comes home?

BullRiderLem: they're going to great falls for black friday. they won't get home until after eleven at night.

He smiles. MatthewHedquist: let's just play it by ear. I'll be happy just to see you.

# # #

My truck rattles and shakes when I turn it off. Old beast that it is. Momma walks out onto the front porch and stands there with her hands on her hips. Smiles at me.

I grin back and pull my duffle bag over my shoulder. Trying to be careful not to get it snagged on my cast again. I hop out of the truck and start walking toward the front door.

She takes a few steps off the porch. Hugs me. "How was the drive?"

"Boring. I forget how flat the eastern plains are sometimes. Just ain't nothin' to look at." I squeeze her, step back. "Did you talk to Jason?"

She nods. Hooks my arm and leads me into the house. "He's stuck in Iraq. He told me to give everyone a hug for him, and he'll be thinkin' about us." She knocks on my cast. "Anyone home?"

I giggle. "Mom..." I sigh. "I got the X-Ray, if you wanna see it."

"Maybe later. When's the cast come off?"

"Got another two or three weeks. Can't wait to get this thing off. Itches clear to tarnation and back."

"I think you and Jason both broke your arm in the same place."


"Broke his ulna. Chipped his other one about the same spot. Don't tell him I told you this, but he cried and cried when they reset it."

"Hell, I almost cried, it hurt so bad. I broke my radius, so it's the other way around." I pause. "Wait, didn't he break his left arm?"

"No. I'm pretty sure it was his right."

Chase comes down the steps. Takes a leap at me. "Lem!"

I hug her back. Squeeze her as hard as I can. "Hey!"

"What's college like?" She looks at me like she's expecting me to tell her it's like an amusement park.

"It's like living in a high school." I smile at her.

"Should I put on some coffee?" Momma starts for the kitchen.

"Sounds pretty good." I look at chase and nod toward the kitchen door. "Let's go sit."

Chase whispers. "How's Mattie?"

"Good, far as I know. I'll be seeing him tomorrow or the next day."

We go through the swinging door. Momma's got pies and about everything else scattered around on the counters. Guess she's getting her cooking outta the way so she can relax tomorrow. The way she fusses over a turkey, though.

I can't complain about her cookin', though. You get to appreciate it more when you're not around it all the time. It feels good to be back, just sittin' here with the special women in my life.

"Anything you want with dinner tomorrow?" Momma pours a cup, puts it down in front of me.

"I'd be happy with just about anything."

She smiles. "You're easy to please. Are you losing weight?"

I look down over my body. "Maybe. I don't know."

"Don't you get too much thinner. There won't be anymore of you left."

"I didn't mean to. As soon as this stupid thing comes off, I'm gonna start weightlifting. I can get my gym credits out of the way and build up my back muscles so I don't mess myself up so bad riding."

She nods. "That's probably a good idea."

"There's a dude in my english lit class that's pretty stacked. I might start going to the gym with him." I try to sound like Arnold. I fail, at best. "Go paump some Aih-rahn! Bend joo in hafff!" I flex one of my arms. Stringy as a noodle, and just as thin, too.

Chase giggles.

"Well, as the mom in charge, I'm entitled to tell you not to over-do it and hurt yourself."

Chase leans forward on her elbows. "What's your roommate like?"

"He's pretty quiet. Keeps to himself and plays video games most of the time he's actually home."

"What, quiet like Mattie?"

"No. Dane talks plenty. He just don't go out of his way to say much."

Mom dumps a can of cranberries into a bowl. Starts mixing them around with some other stuff. "How's Mattie these days?"

"Pretty good. He said he should be getting in late. Might stop by tomorrow before they eat."

"Can I sign your cast?" Chase holds up a marker, like she'd been thinking about it before I even got here.

I laugh. "If you want to, I guess."

# # #

It took a lot of convincing to get Momma to let me stay home. Told her I just wanted to stay in and sit on the couch and watch the football game with Mattie, seeing I drove all the way from South Dakota, and I was sick of sitting in a car.

When I said it, Dad got that pleading look in his eye with Momma, like he wanted to stay home, too. Bad as it sounds, she's got him by the balls, and she made it clear he wasn't getting out of holiday shopping. Momma and Chase live for that sort of thing.

I roll over and look at the clock next to my bed. It's a little before ten. Been sleeping in a lot lately. College really changes a person. I run to the bathroom and brush my teeth. Go downstairs and unlock the front door. Head back to my room and call Mattie.


I smile. "Hey, yourself."

"What are you doing?"

"Just woke up. Still laying here in bed." I'm getting a hard-on. "Front door's unlocked."

The line clicks.


The line's dead. It just starts beeping at me. Guess he couldn't wait.

I roll over and start to doze off again, but not before I feel someone crawl into bed with me. I start sucking on his face. "God, you smell good."

He tickles my collar bone with his tongue. "I've been waiting for this for three fuckin' months." He pushes his hand down the front of my jammies.

I jump. "Christ! Your hands are fuckin' cold!"

He grins sheepishly. "Sorry."

"Thanks Doctor Hedquist." I sit up, kiss him. "Before we get all messy, lets take care of a little something first." I walk over to my duffel bag. Lean over and start going through it.

Mattie plants a hand square on my ass and squeezes.

"Just you wait, Shadow." I find a small, black film canister. Peel the lid back and pull out one of the joints. I hold it up to him.

He turns a little red. "Good thing I don't have to be at home until late."

I smile, get a little closer to his face. "But we're grown-ups now." I stand up and dart outta the room. "Come on!" I get to the bottom of the steps with Mattie on my heels. I slip on some shoes and grab a jacket. Don't think the horses'll care if I'm walking around in the barn with my flannels on.

We go through the mud room, jog to the barn since it's so cold. I open the top half of one of the barn doors, huddle with Mattie under the space heater next to Smokey's stall. It's fuckin' freezing out here.

"You ever smoke anything before?"

He bites his bottom lip. Looks a little curious. "Never."

"Okay, the object is to hold the smoke in your lungs as long as you can. First few times it burns and itches a bit. Just make sure you blow the smoke out the door." I wink at him. "You're taking the first hit."

"Uh, Lem..."

"I'm gonna blow it into your mouth. Just, trust me." I put the joint on my lips, hold the lighter up to it and draw in. Take a few puffs to get the cherry red. I take a long hit, signal Mattie closer with my finger. I grab the back of his head and put my lips on his. Blow the smoke out gently.

He takes it all. Stands there squinting, trying not to cough. Turns red as a cranberry. A few small coughs get by.

I take my hit and watch him. Hold mine in while I try to talk. "You can breathe. It's not like you gotta hold your breath forever."

He exhales and starts coughing. He leans over, props his hands against one of the horse gates. "I think this' why I don't smoke."

"It takes a few times." I hold the joint out to him. "You want to take one yourself, or do you want me to shotgun you again?"

He stands up and pats his chest. Shrugs. "Might as well do it on my own."

"Damn. That shotgunning was hot."

He takes the joint out of my fingers. "We'll be doing plenty of shotgunning here in a bit." He takes a small hit. Starts coughing like he's got the plague.

I light up the joint and take another hit. Hold it in for a bit.

Mattie takes a hit while I hold it up to his face. He doesn't cough so bad this time. "That's some harsh shit." His eyes are watering.

"How you feeling?"

"A little lightheaded. I was expecting better." His face is getting rosy.

"Just you wait."

We finish the joint off and start heading back to the house. He can hardly keep his hands off me. Hell, I can't keep my hands off him. I'm surprised we're not fucking in the yard.

I pull him up the steps, up to my room.

He gets himself into a little giggle fit by the time we get through the door. His eyes are a little squinty. Kind of swaggers around.

I'm starting to get the feeling. The ocean of pleasure. The kind waves. I just look at Shadow, take him in.

"What?" He smiles at me.

"What you mean, what?"

"You're smiling at me."

I kiss him. Take a step back.

He looks down at my crotch. My pecker's pointing straight out. Makes a nice tent of my pants. He grabs my cock and pulls me toward him.

"You're totally baked."

He grins. "Am not!"

I laugh. "You so are!"

"So what if I am?"

I grab his junk through his pants. "You feelin' it yet?"

He bites my bottom lip. "Oh, I am." He yanks my pants down. Drops to his knees and starts sucking me off. Once in a while he looks up at me, those big orange eyes. Just to be mean, he runs his teeth down my length. Just lightly enough to make me jump a little. He stands up, holds his body against mine. He's so tall, it's hard not to latch onto him.

I work the front of his pants. Fidget with his fly and get his pants off. I lay down on the bed and put a hand behind his knee. Try to guide him into a sixty-nine.

He takes to it natural as a calf to it's momma's teat. Lays down on top, presses against me. I can feel his warmth. Feel his wet mouth sliding up and down my pole.

I grab him with my fist. Stroke it while I take to eatin' his nuts. God, his perfect nuts. I put his cock in my mouth.

We go at each other for ten minutes before he just starts face-fucking me. My jaw's starting to hurt a little bit, but I'd take it as long as he'd give it. Stare at his ass. I want...

I put my hands around the back of his legs, just under his butt. I get his dick out of my mouth and pull his legs apart a little, so he's fully against me. Lick from his nuts, all the way up his crack, and surf the outer rim of the spokes. Let my tongue wander closer and closer until I can't take it anymore.

He whimpers when I jam it in. Now I'm just gettin' nasty. He has to stop and breathe every little bit; stop sucking me off and moan, squeeze part of my leg or twist the blankets.

The tingling moves to my own hole. The high feeling spinning like a hurricane to the entire southern part of my body. Every inch from my belly button to my toes tickles. Feels like it's all moving toward my back door, wanting me to invite someone in.

Mattie stops sucking and tries to pull my legs back. I don't want him to feel like he has to do this to me; just because I'm eating him out doesn't mean he has to toss me any returns. I push my legs down against the bed, and he tries again. He pulls up toward him like he wants after what I got, and I push legs down against the bed and clench my cheeks together.

He rubs the backs of my legs, lifts gently, but I'm not going there. I just keep flicking my tongue across his back-scraps.

I guess he gets sick of it. He grabs my nuts, squeezes just to the point of being a little uncomfortable, and starts pulling them up.

"Owwwww oww oww owwwwwwww."

"You know I can about lift you off the bed like this." He lets go and runs his tongue down my cock, over my balls.

I go back to what I was doing.

He draws my legs back. I feel the cold air over my notch. He starts on my balls again. Wraps his arms around the backs of my legs and holds my thighs with his hands. Moves closer and closer to it with his tongue. Works me until we're both moaning over each other.

A thought strikes me. I lean my head back against the bed and just bust up laughing.

Mattie stops and looks back over his shoulder. "What? What's wrong."

I try to get it out between laughs, but I can barely speak. I've got tears in my eyes. Just some random thought that came outta left field. "Dude! We're carpet munchers!" I laugh again. "Look at us nasty 'ol lesbians!"

That did it. Got him laughing pretty hard. I'm laughing at him, gets him laughing harder.

I put my face in his ass crack. "Rawr rawr rawr rawr!"

He rolls off the top of me, on his side, holds his belly and laughs. He rotates onto his back and falls off the bed. THUMP! Hits the floor hard enough it rattles the lamp on my bed stand. Goes quiet.

I get up on an elbow. "Shadow?"

"Ahhhhhh ha ha ha ha!!"

I look over the edge of the bed. "You are so high right now."

He stops laughing and just smiles at me. He gets up and lies down next to me. Kisses me.

I keep my lips pursed together. Try not to giggle.

"What's the matter?"

"You were just eatin' on my ass." I smile.

"So? You were just eating mine." He straddles me. "I might just eat it some more."

I squeeze his cock. So fuckin' awkward having to do this with my left hand. "Just as long as I get a ride on this."

# # #

Clomp! Clomp! Clomp! Clomp! Clomp!


Smack smack smack smack smack smack...

"Ahhhhhhhhh uh uh uh uh uh Gooooooooo-od!" Mattie's face is pushed into one of my pillows, looking off to the side. He's braced against his shoulders, ass in the air, propped up on his knees, got his arms back running underneath him. Somehow, he's got a few fingers in me.

I'm in him as far as I can go. Sweat and slime building up between us. Sliding off each other. Slamming his ass, knocking the headboard into the wall. We're both moaning so loud we could probably wake the dead.

I can feel his slick hole squeezing around it, like he's flexing his muscles on purpose.

"Uhhh... Shadow..." I breathe hard, "Shadow, will you fuck me for a while?" I stop.

He sighs. "But you feel so good." He pouts his face a little.

"Please?" A bead of sweat runs down my face. Falls onto Mattie's back.

"You're a pain in my ass."

"You know you like it."

Somehow he turns over and gets me on my back, him on top. He holds my hands above my head and smiles. "You better like it rough." He pulls one of my legs over his shoulder, and presses his weight against my body. Pins me down and slides his dick through my crack.

I can't move, but I don't want to. I want him to fuck me. My mouth waters. I'm hungry for it. The feeling of me wrapping my insides around his pride. It's a burning feeling in my stomach, now.

He pours a little lube on his dick and rubs it on. I'm still plenty slick from him exploring me a bit ago. Sticks two fingers back up my ass and jams them into my button.

A thick glob of clear cum, or something, oozes out. About a tee-spoon of it. No force. It didn't feel like I had an orgasm or anything.

"Did you just cum?"

I shake my head. "No."

He pokes the spot again, and I drop half the amount as the first time. He shrugs. Puts himself at the ready and starts pushing in.

He's expanding me, filling every inch of me. A few short moments of pain turn into more than half an hour of pleasure.

His eyes look like they're watering, got that look on his face.

It's not long before I feel something wet in my eye sockets.

He stops. "Are you okay? I'm not hurting you, am I?"

"No. Why?" I blink at him a few times and feel water run down my cheek. It's not sweat.

"Why're you crying."

I pull on him. Try to get him going again. "Because it feels so fuckin' good. Because I love you. Don't stop." I hear myself. It almost sounds like I'm sobbing. What the fuck is wrong with me?

He starts again, kisses me hard. Shoves his tongue in my mouth. Goes for a while and starts mewling. Moaning. He cradles his face in my neck. "Ggggh! UHHH! Ohhhh. Huhhh." Thrusts really hard one more time. Hot breath splashing my neck. I can feel it in me, the heat of his seed. A little runoff running up my tailbone and dripping, falling to the bed.

Now he's crying into my neck. I'm crying and I don't know why. We lie there for a while, high as a pair of kites... just crying.

# # #

I pull into my parking spot and park. It's already dark. I stare around the campus and feel alone again. Just sit here and wish Mattie was with me. I don't want to fuck him right now. I just want him to hold me.

I sigh. Look at the little spot on my cast that he signed. Shadow. Under that he drew something that looks like one of the ghosties from pac-man.

I've been driving the last few hours, by myself, broken radio, and damn it if I'm not in a foul mood. Figure I should get inside and sleep. Got tomorrow off to do laundry then I've gotta fling myself back into the shit.

I hop out of the truck and pull my duffel bag across the seats. Sling it over my shoulder and start for the dorm. It's too chilly for anyone to be out tonight. Sure most people aren't back yet.

I stop shy of my door. There's a green neck tie hanging from the knob. Can't figure what it's doing there, so I unlock the door and take a step in. Turn on the light.

Swear to fuckin' God and everyone, Dane is in the throes of some chick's fanny, and from the looks of this particular girl, she's very flexible.

She sees me and covers her tits. Don't know why that matters because I can still see her... stuff. Dane has a pretty nice ass. Shit!

"Christ! Sorry! Sorry!" I cover my eyes and duck outta the room.

Hear Dane callin' after me. "Fuck, man--do not disturb sign on the door. Heed the fuckin' warning, douche bag!"

I close the door and stand against the wall across from my room. Just stare at that little green tie swinging from the handle. How the fuck was I supposed to know?

I don't know what I'm supposed to do now. Just... what the fuck?

I think for a bit.

Brynn and Brian are coming back in tomorrow. I could just go to the lobby and watch TV, but I don't want to be hanging around when Dane gets done. Hell, I don't think I wanna even touch anything in that room when he gets done.

My watch says it's almost eight. Maybe the cafeteria still has some pumpkin pie. At least I can get a cup of coffee until they kick me out.

I zip up my jacket and pull my shoulders up around my ears. Stick my hands in my pockets. Leave my duffel bag just outside my door.

Feels shitty having to slog off like this. I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep. Locked out of my room. My roommate thinks I'm a douche. And to top it off, I'm going to have mental images of this chick's wide set vagina running around in my head for the next few weeks. And it's fuckin' cold out.

I get to the cafeteria. There isn't much set out right now, but I was right on the money. I find the biggest piece of pie I can. Fill up a paper coffee cup with brew off the burner. God knows how long it's been sitting there. Load it up with flavored coffee creamer. I pay and look around for a place to sit. Someplace comfortable and out of the way.

There are about twenty people scattered here and there. Otherwise, it's pretty quiet.

Off to my right there's a wall that sorta curves a little. Where the curved wall and the back wall meet, they put up a few couches, four big ones facing each other, and put a big coffee table in the middle of it all.

Someone's sitting there facing away from me, but judging from the bright red and black spikes, I can tell it's Rook. He's reading a book.

I walk up behind him. "Howdy."

He looks over his shoulder at me. Shuts his book and sits up. "Hey, man. How's it goin'?"

I shrug. "Eh."

He points at one of the couches. "Have a seat."

I set my stuff on the table and take a seat off to his left.

"What're you doing tonight?"

"Just pulled into town. Walked in on my roommate fucking some chick, so I decided to come over here and pout a while."

"They were just, like, doing it?"

"Yeah. Saw way more than I wanted to. If Dane wants to poke shit at me, I might just mention how small his nuts are."

He giggles. "Okay. So floor show aside, how was your break?"

I think back. Start missin' Mattie again. "Good until I had to come back."

He leans back against the arm of the couch, props his head on his hand. Tucks his feet behind his butt. "Why, what's wrong?"

I sigh. Take a sip of my coffee and stare into it. A cardboard colored abyss.

"Okay, dude?"

I nod. "I just really miss someone. Having someone."

He nods. Takes a sip off his own coffee cup. "Girlfriend?"

"Um, no, not really." I don't know why I just said it. Something about him reminds me of Reagan and how she used to talk to me.

"Parents? Family?"

"A little, yeah." Sigh again. "Bummed I had to leave my best friend again. Hurts a little, you know?"

"I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about it." I start thinking back, about the sex. Feel myself flush a little.

"How long you two been-"

"We're not, um..."


"Oh. Um..." Shit. What? Fuck. I'm not thinking clearly. I shake my head. "Sorry."

He leans forward. "You're dating your best friend?"

I look him in the eye a second, look back at the floor.

"Wouldn't have pegged you for the type."

"Look, man, I'm not gay."


Shake my head. "No."

"But, you're with a guy."

"It's complicated. I can't explain it, but I'm not that way. I'm just... He's the only one I'd... Aww, hell. Please don't tell anyone."

He shakes his head, holds one of his hands up defensively. "Hey, none of my business." Kind of has this smug grin on his face.

"What's that look for?"

"You're a rodeo type. I mean... how Brokeback Mountain of you. You're in denial just like Heath Ledger's character."

I Grumble. "Ain't never seen it." Starting to get a little worked up.

"Don't worry about it. You are what you are."

"Then why label it?"

"Because people label everything. You can't get away from labels. You know how many times I've been called an emo fag because of my hair?"

"Sorry. I didn't want to deal with this tonight." I lean back against the couch. "All I wanted to do was unpack my shit and jump in bed. Maybe talk to Shadow for a little."


"My friend's nick name. It's a long story."

"I'm here all night, if you wanna tell me."

"It's just going to make me feel worse. Maybe some other time." I try to think of something constructive to say. "Um... How was your Thanksgiving?"

"Stayed here."

"Didn't go home to see family or anything?"

"I don't really have any family."

"I'm... sorry." We stare at each other for a few minutes. This little twisting tension between us. We are nothing alike, nothing in common, but here we are. Strangers just staring at each other.


Please let me know what you think of the story. Send critiques to with the subject "Lem.". Thanks for reading!