My 5th Nifty story and as always I welcome your emails, comments, critiques. You can read my other stories by looking me up (JJ) under prolific authors. Enjoy! And Support Nifty. -JJ



What Grows in Winter

Chapter Three: Beautiful Evil


Jacob was skeptical.

Did Tyler just want to get laid or was he really into him? That question was premised on some bit of false modesty: Jacob knew how good he looked these days. Since freshman year he had been lifting regularly and now in second semester of sophomore year his body showed the sexy results: lean and toned legs, a tight and defined stomach, nice shoulders and back muscles that highlighted a firm though not overly muscular physique. His shirts became smaller at the gym graduating from tee shirts last year to sleeveless to tank tops to now nothing at all. Girls who didn't know him talked him up frequently, and he politely smiled and chit chatted though never led them on that he was interested. He wasn't. Those who knew him knew that. Even the occasional guy approached him too, though less overtly and much more vaguely. College is full of liberal and progressive views, but this was the University of Kansas- KU- sports and social powerhouse, and gay jokes and stereotypes were the norm. Gay guys knew it was prudent to keep their profile pretty low.

Then came along Tyler. NCAA Division I soccer player, and since the season was over he was spending more time in the gym. Over time he and Jacob struck up a friendship. For Jacob the attraction was immediate. Tyler had everything Jacob looked for in a guy: good looking, fit, masculine though not macho, friendly without it being feminine, and just enough cockiness to make him endearing. He was sure Tyler was straight, though. The small gay community on campus knew one another.

The two set their work out times to coincide and began spotting one another almost daily. A few times they took a steam together though Tyler never did anything obvious like accidentally drop his towel or hint that he needed a backrub. It seemed like a natural friendship of two dudes at the gym, and Jacob was glad to have a new buddy. Surely Tyler knew he was gay; it wasn't exactly a campus secret.

One afternoon after a workout that focused on core and abs Tyler asked Jacob if they could talk "in private" while they were changing. Jacob agreed, and about 15 minutes later they were in Tyler's dorm room sitting on the floor with beers in hand. Tyler brought up his concern. Taking a deep breath, and trusting in Jacob's kindness, he asked "You're gay, right?"

"Yeah. You could have asked me that in the gym" Jacob said with a chuckle. "I don't hide it."

"No I get it, it's just that... how did you know?"

"I just knew, I guess. It wasn't like I began to choose one sex over the other. It was just natural."

"Did you like hook up with a guy and think it was better or something?"

"No- it's not like that at all. I knew long before hook-ups started. Look, we're friends, you can tell me if something's wrong. You struggling with something?"

"I don't know. A little?"

"And you're nervous about the thoughts you've been having."

"Really nervous."

"OK- well let me tell you something from a gay guy to a not-sure guy: just because you are curious doesn't mean you are gay. I've had sex with girls cause I was curious. Doesn't make me straight."


"No, shit man, there's a lot of normal curiosity. How many guys do circle jerks or compare sizes or shit like that. Doesn't mean they are gay. Just means they like sex and are curious about their buddies."

"Yeah the guys on the soccer team do a lot of comparing sizes."

"And they're not all gay are they? Well, that's a bad example because it's soccer so probably they are all gay" Jacob said with a grin.

"Fuck you man!" Tyler said laughing and throwing a ball at Jacob who blocked it's trajectory towards his face. The levity was helpful.

"No seriously, think of guys watching porn. Shit my dorm last year I feel like guys spent all day watching porn together. They'd watch a chick give a guy head for like 10 minutes and get turned on. And watch a guy shoot his load and get turned on. But those guys aren't gay. They're just curious and learning and, I don't know, it's just normal."

"Huh. I never thought of it like that."

"Why? What happened that's got you all caught up in this?"

"I don't know just recently with the season and the showers and the dick talk and everything. I just got... I don't know man..."


After a several second pause Tyler worked up the nerve to respond though he looked down at his feet. "Yeah."

"You know you are a good looking guy. If you wanted to play around a little you'd have no problem finding willing partners."

"No, I Know that. It's just that I don't want people find out. NO OFFENSE."

"No. I know what you mean. I'm not offended" Jacob said with a smile. They both took a sip of their beers, and after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, Jacob decided to be bold. He wasn't a man-whore and he did have certain level of standards, but Tyler was really good looking and it could be fun to break-in a newbie. "Alright I'll just go ahead and say it. You want to hook up with me just to see what it's like, and you don't want anyone to know, and if it's not your thing, you don't want to hurt my feelings by backing off and worry that I'll be calling you asking to date." He saw Tyler's eyes widen with an expression of disbelief and relief on his face. Jacob had hit the mark so perfectly he was flabbergasted. The look of exactitude was pretty obvious. "Yeah, I thought so."

"How do you just go and ask someone that?" Tyler asked. Jacob smiled and with a shrug of his shoulders nodded his head with an indication of `go ahead and ask'. "So, would you?" Tyler said meekly.

"Just to be clear, you want to mess around a little just to see what it's like." Tyler nodded. "Ok", Jacob said with a smile. "I can do that."

Tyler smiled shyly, excited about the prospect. "So... how do we... um... proceed?"

Jacob knew he should take charge. He put down his beer and stood pulling Tyler to his feet. "What have you done with a guy? Anything?"


"Ok. Let's go slow." Jacob took off his shirt and then lifted Tyler's tee shirt of him. He lay down on the bed and pulled Tyler alongside. Tyler was propped up on his elbow and looked the length of Jacob's body and pale naked torso just inches beside him. He watched his chest rise and fall with each breath and the fine film of tiny wisps of body hair stand on end. Slowly Tyler extended his timid hand to touch the nude skin. Funny, he though, if it was a pat on the back or a headlock or even a smack on the ass after a goal he'd have no hesitation to touch Jacob, but this type of intimate contact made him suddenly shy. His fingertips landed on Jacob's stomach muscles, and he traced the contours of every ridge and valley of his abs examining the trail of blonde hairs that burrowed under his jeans. He could hear Jacob breathing in the silence of his sexual exploration.

Slowly his hand made its way up Jacob's chest until it landed under his defined pectoral muscle and he began to draw tiny circles around his nipple which responded eagerly by perking up. Jacob had placed his hand around Tyler's shoulders and began to massage him and delicately scratching the back of his neck and running his fingers over his short cropped hair. He could sense Tyler wanted to lean over and put his lips down on his chest so he helped him along by softly lowering Tyler's head to his body. Tyler responded knowing it was ok and found his tongue on Jacob's nipple. Jacob shuddered in pleasure as he sucked gently. "Oh that feels good" Jacob whispered in encouragement.

"Can I kiss you?" Tyler asked sweetly. Jacob nodded, and he pressed his lips on his, eager to feel the rough lips of another man on his. Their mouths opened and tongues began to collide inside the shared space and Tyler's hands became less timid as the roamed freely up and down the naked torso until his right hand landed on Jacob's crotch. He squeezed gently and felt throbbing within yearning for release. Jacob's breath... his saliva... his moaning all felt so natural and good.

Jacob rolled Tyler onto his back and squatted above him holding his hands above his head and pinning him down with his weight. What a feeling to be dominated! To be submissive! To be under the command of someone else and just have to lay there unknowing what his next move would be. It all clicked, it all seemed right. His body convulsed in ecstatic spasms as Jacob kissed his way down his neck, chest, stomach and pelvis. He licked gently at his Tyler's navel and rubbed his hands along the bulge in his jeans. Tyler's moans were incredibly sexy and soft as he succumbed to Jacob's oral talent. He never knew his body could be touched like that and that he could make such noises. It felt like he would cum in any moment and his cock hadn't been touched yet.

Jacob unzipped his jeans with his teeth. His cock yearned to be touched by another man, and Jacob held it tenderly in his hand and rubbed it against his face feeling it throb. "Let me show you what a guy can do better than any girl" he whispered. "Watch." Tyler looked down the length of his body while Jacob took his member completely in his mouth giving the young soccer star his first male blowjob. It required extra effort to keep Tyler from rolling off the bed so strong had his convulsions become as Jacob's tongue glided up and down the shaft creating gentle suction in his mouth that put fantastic pressure on Tyler's cock. He'd never felt anything like that before! Is this what it means to be gay?! Why had he waited so long!

"Dude what the FUCK!" screamed Brad barging into the room. "Jesus Christ are you fucking kidding me!" He was charging over to the bed ready to fight, his face turning red and his eyes furious. Jacob stood aside confused, annoyed, embarrassed and a little intimidated. Brad was a big guy.

"It's not like that man! It's not like that!" Tyler was asserting tucking his dripping cock back into his pants. "This guy he wanted to give me a blowjob so I let him."

"You'd let some guy suck your dick! What the fuck Tyler?!"

"He wanted to do it man! He wanted to! Who'd turn down a good blowjob?"

Jacob hadn't said a word. Before he even got his shirt on they were laughing about the little cocksucker and how it was too bad every chick on campus wasn't as eager to go down as the fags. Tyler had convinced Brad, and maybe even himself, that even a straight guy would stick his dick in a man's mouth if it felt good.

"You like sucking cock come here and suck mine too" Brad laughed. "Maybe I'll fuck you in your ass too!" Tyler laughed along with Brad's insults as Jacob closed the dorm door behind him. Jacob was angry, but more than that, he was disappointed. He thought Tyler was a better person, and he thought he came to him for help. Guys like Brad would inevitably share the story with every guy he could find. Luckily UK is a big school, he thought, and he could hide in the crowd. Still, it stung.

He didn't see Tyler in the gym for a few days, but about a week later when Jacob was finishing on the bench Tyler sheepishly approached. Jacob continued his reps, and Tyler spotted the bar back onto the rack, a gesture that attempted to convey `everything is back to normal'. It wasn't good enough for Jacob. He got up from the bench without making eye contact, wiped it off, and headed to the locker room. Tyler followed.

"Can we talk?" he asked.


"Come on, Jacob. Let me explain. Please."

"You don't have to explain. I understand. I'm just not going to be part of it" Jacob replied opening his combo lock and taking out shower accessories. He still had not made eye contact.

"I didn't want it to go like that. Really, man. Please?"

Jacob inhaled deeply. What he had to say he wanted to get out in one breath. "Look Tyler being gay at this school is sometimes hard enough. I mean look at me. Do I make a big deal out of it? Ever see me hooking up outside of Douglas Hall like straight couples? Ever see me holding hands as I walk to my lab? I keep a low profile not because I'm ashamed or because I'm afraid but because I know there are a good number of guys who are so insecure that they only way they can feel good about themselves is by putting others down. And for two years now I've made sure I was no victim. But now I'm a target. I know you are confused and figuring stuff out, and I was willing to help you. But I can't walk down my hall without seeing signs for a cocksucker and my room number. My roommate asked to transfer because people bang on the door at all hours asking for a blowjob..."

"I'm sorry Jacob..."

Jacob put his hand up preventing the interruption, and he continued "it is what it is, and I just have to deal with it. But when I opened myself up to you I just expected a little bit of humanity. That's all Tyler. I don't want to date; I'm not looking for a fuck buddy, just a decent person who wouldn't hang me out to the campus clowns so he could stay safe in the closet. So forgive me if I don't trust you and don't want to be friends with you. I have good reason and you know it."

Jacob closed his locker and headed to the showers leaving Tyler along on the bench. He determined to change the times he worked out. He did not want to see Tyler again.

After some weeks things seemed to return to "normal" for Jacob, and between midterms and return trips to the farm to help with the spring planting, he had too many pressing responsibilities to remember any ugly incident in the past. He had even convinced himself it was "all part of growing up" and had mentally moved on.

Selection Sunday rolled around in March, and KU was given a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Tom Daily, one of Jacob's closest friends since freshman orientation, also an Agriculture major, was on the basketball team and invited Jacob to an off-campus party to celebrate. Jacob liked Tom because he never treated him any different than anyone else. That was rare, and very welcomed.

It had been as normal a college party as ever: beer pong, keg stands, some guys in the basement doing pot. Jacob knew enough people to have fun, but a little after midnight he decided to call it a night. He had a 9am organic chemistry lab that went until noon and couldn't bear to be hung over in class for that long. He chugged what remained in his red Solo cup, gave a few goodbye high fives, thanked Tom for the invitation and headed out the back door. On the back porch he ran into a very drunk and very belligerent Brad.

"S'up little cocksucker", he said pointing a finger at Jacob.

Jacob said nothing. For a split second he thought about going back into the house. It was a gut instinct: go back inside. Wait for Tom. Don't walk alone. Be smart and safe. He dismissed those thoughts as cowardice. He as not going to let some stupid oaf like Brad intimidate him. It was 2005, not 1955. He kept walking.

"I was just takin' a piss. Betcha like that dontcha- fag. FAG!"

"Go fuck yourself, man" he said walking away. The sound of footsteps approaching made him turn around. Brad was feet from him with a bottle in his hand. It happened so fast... Jacob fell to the ground unconscious, unable to put up any fight...


Jacob had stopped telling the story as his chest tightened and eyes filled. It had been 6 years, but something about sharing it with TJ had made it very real. Lying on the couch TJ held him close to his chest. He could feel Jacob's tears through his tee shirt. He fought off his own. He felt like Jacob needed him to be strong during this story.

Dry eyes, but a broken heart.

How could anyone do that to Jacob? The story crushed him... and filled him with rage. He waited patiently for Jacob to compose himself. He listened to the sounds of the wind outside, the crackling of the fireplace and Jacob's sobs. Even Buckley whined a little sensing his owner's sorrow. Jacob was unable to go on.

Eddie, still sitting at the top of the stairs, dried his eyes, too.

"So that explains the scar on your head. I guess it wasn't a farming accident after all?" TJ said tenderly.

"No", Jacob said swallowing hard. "But a good enough story."

"Perfectly good story." TJ brushed his fingers along Jacob's temple feeling the little bumps of the scar. He cupped Jacob's head there and kissed him sweetly. "So what happened to him?"

"He's still in jail. He's up for parole in 8 years."

"We'll make sure he doesn't get it."

They sat in silence for a few seconds. Finally TJ spoke. "You don't have to continue, Jake." He liked calling him Jake in private.

"No, there's not much else. to Kansas State. Finished college under my mom's maiden name so I could keep some sort of privacy. I didn't want everyone Googling me seeing what happened."

"And what about you? Did you get the help you needed?"

"Yeah I think. I saw a therapist for about a year or so. There are support groups for... rape victims... and I went to a couple of meetings. Mainly though I just wanted to move on. I didn't want to relive it all the time."

"No. And you shouldn't have to. I can't tell you what it means you would share it with me, though."

"I want you to know."

"Here- sit up." They rearranged their bodies to sit on the couch facing each other. TJ brushed the tears out of Jacob's eyes gently with his massive thumbs. He took Jacob's hands in his own. "You are the bravest person I've met. And I want you to know you never have to do anything you don't want to. Ever. After all that... you deserve to have things on your terms."

Jacob smiled. "I like making love to you. I know it must be enjoyable and I want to experience that someday with you."

"You will. But when you are ready. For now we'll just stick to what we are comfortable with... and that's like not exactly nothing, man." He pulled Jacob into a strong embrace. It felt right to have him in his arms. Having Jacob close made him a better person. Jacob was a better than most men: no anger, no hatred... to have gone through so much and still have faith in people, to even take in a stranger... Jacob was special.

Eddie was thinking the same thing as he carefully crept back to his bedroom. Knowing what Jacob had been through made it easier to trust him- maybe even enough to share his own sorrows. He so wanted to share it with someone. Lying in bed swept up in thoughts about his own life and Jacob's story, he heard the two men walk past his door into Jacob's bedroom. No sex noises that night. Surely though they were closely embraced and safe in each other's arms. It made him happy for Jacob, and a little sad for himself. It must be wonderful, he thought, to have someone in bed with you, touching you, holding you, pleasuring you. He thought about this as his hand found its way to his growing erection.

TJ couldn't sleep that night. He took great comfort in hearing Jacob's heavy breathing; he deserved a good night's sleep. He made mental notes of the story Jacob shared, and tomorrow when he got to the station he would do a little research on the case and Brad's exact whereabouts. If he was in jail, what was his status? Could he be out of jail? And if so where was he? He could kill him. As a cop he knew how to make it look like an accident or an attempted robbery gone wrong. He knew how to use a gun that couldn't be traced back to him. It's really not hard to kill someone and not get caught- especially a stranger like Brad. But he dismissed those thoughts; it was just the anger taking over his reason. He wouldn't kill Brad. But he would hurt him.

Hurt him very, very badly.

The next morning after breakfast and TJ's departure Jacob went to wake Eddie who, he was glad to note, had slept like a normal teenager: 10 hours. He tapped on Eddie's door with Buckley standing faithfully at his side. No answer. When he opened it he found Eddie still asleep with several tissues thrown on the floor. He closed the door behind him so the poor dog wouldn't walk through Eddie's cum rags. He didn't want that spread all around the house. Tip toeing to his bedside Jacob lost count. How many times had he jerked off last night?!

"Eddie, you ok?" He said gently shaking the naked shoulder which popped out of the covers. Eddie stirred and sat up abruptly.

"What time is it?"

"Almost 8."


"Don't apologize. Look at me." Jacob sat on the bed and took hold of Eddie's face in both hands and looked intently at him. "Wow this looks so much better. Your lip is healing well and your eye is just a little swollen and black. Another week or so and you'll be 100%. There's breakfast downstairs" he said getting up to leave.

"I'll hurry."

"No take your time and then come find me so we can talk about something."

Eddie noticed Jacob looking at the floor. He wasn't going to lie. Not to Jacob. Ever. "Sorry about all the tissues. I'll pick them up."

Jacob just winked at him. "Better than on the sheets." He closed the door to Eddie's laughter and it warmed his heart. Eddie deserved a laugh. Everyone does, in fact.

Later that morning, Jacob took Eddie out on his rounds and introduced him to most of the staff. He wanted to show the young man his operation and hopefully convey what a large operation he ran and how many people it takes to make a successful working farm. Hopefully this would coax Eddie into accepting a new position: chief mechanic. True, it is cheaper to hire a mechanic as needed as opposed to bringing one on the payroll full time: no healthcare costs and social security taxes, etc. But the time it would save having an onsite mechanic would be worth it. Sometimes it took two or three days to get a mechanic in to look at the broken machinery, and having Eddie on hand would be a huge plus. Not to mention he wanted Eddie to fix his soul, too. Jacob's dad had put him in charge so he made the decision. Besides, he thought, dad won't be back until March.

Little did Jacob know Eddie had already decided to say yes. It was too good an offer to turn down, and much better than the prospect of going to Dodge City without a plan.

"It's settled then" Jacob said as they walked back to the office. They were in the field between the larger cattle barns and the grain barn, about a mile from the house. Jacob purposely wanted to walk and talk hoping it would help Eddie open up. He was about to probe some sensitive things. "Three thousand a month plus room and board for now. Half day Saturday, Sunday's off unless there's an emergency of sorts."

"And I get to stay with you in the house?"

"For now, yeah and in the spring we'll figure out a more permanent location. Unless you want to find your own place now."

"No, I just don't want to cause any problems. I know you told me you try to keep the staff out of your personal life and I just... well I'd be in your personal space at least."

"You are an old family friend, remember?" Eddie smiled. "Look, I'm not going to pry into your life, but I know what it's like to be 19 and gay in this part of the world. I wish I had a hand. So stay with me until you're a little more settled. Sound ok?" Eddie nodded. "When's the last time you had a check-up?"

"With a doctor?"



"Ugh. Dentist?" Eddie shook his head. "Eyes checked?" Another head shake. Jacob stopped and looked him in the eyes. "You been tested for STDs and HIV?"

"No. Should I be?"

"Well that all depends on what you've done." He started walking again. Sometimes it was easier for young people to talk openly when they didn't have to look someone in the eye. Jacob remembered that from his own teen years.

"I haven't done much I don't think."

"Do you mind if I ask you these things?"

"No, I trust you." Eddie smiled when he felt Jacob look at him. He didn't need to know why he had earned his trust.

"Well, have you had anal intercourse with someone?"

"Like top or bottom?"


Eddie paused for a second slightly embarrassed. "No. I'm still a virgin."

"That's ok!"

"I feel like I'm too old to still be."

"Don't say that. You are the right age to do what is right for you."

"I want to."

"I'm sure you do. But there's no rush."

"I've... you know... oral before. Couple of times. Does that make a difference?"

"Couple of times with the same person who is clean, no. Couple of times with different guys, yeah. Still, it's really rare to get HIV through oral, but worth getting tested. You can get other STDs that way. You'd think out here it's somehow cleaner than in the city, but the thing is the gay population is so small there's a lot of interaction, people hooking up with the same people, and one disease can get spread around quickly."

"Is it hard to get an HIV test?"

"No- not at all. Hardest part is walking in the place. But you go in, you hold your head high, the people where I went are really nice, and there's great peace of mind knowing you are healthy."

"Would you go with me?"

"Of course I will" Jacob said patting Eddie on the back. "It's a piece of cake. You'll see. I'm going to give you an I-pad too. I've got a spare one I don't use."

"Really! Why? I don't need one."

"Well, so you can watch a thing or too... and no, not just porn" he said looking at Eddie who smiled sheepishly. "Though I'm not going to police your viewing habits. I'll just know that when you are late for dinner it's because you are upstairs spanking again." Eddie laughed. "No it's because there are some good sites for support, and questions for answers you may have and not want to ask me, and even chat rooms where you can talk to other guys and share your experiences. There are some good guys out there. Just be careful is all. It's still online. Don't give out your phone number or anything."

"Maybe I can meet someone?"

"Maybe. It's not impossible to meet someone online, though I think it's more common for people who are just looking for a hook-up. But you can try. Just don't give any strangers my address" he said with pat on the backside. Eddie chuckled.

They walked for a few moments in silence. The house was no more than 20 yards away when Eddie felt compelled to speak up. "I had a friend when I was like 16. He was the first guy I ever... you know... messed around with. I don't even know how we knew to do it but we just did."

"Sometimes that's how it happens: natural and spontaneous. What happened to him?" Eddie stopped at the foot of the porch sad their path had come to an end. He needed another mile to finish the story.

"My dad caught us. We were together by a creek and we were... um... naked and he found us. That was the first time my dad..."

Debbie threw open the front door and interrupted. "Jacob, Mac's on the radio. He's got a problem with the delivery."

Jacob looked at Eddie who had turned red, his eyes starting to water ever so slightly. "Give us a minute, will you Debbie?"

"What do I tell him?"

"Debbie! I'll be in in a second. OK?" Debbie turned in a huff. Once they were alone together Jacob could tell he had lost that moment. Eddie was on defense. "You want to finish?"

Eddie shook his head. "I'll get started on the John Deere" he replied. "Go take an inventory of what we have and what we need."

Jacob put his hand on his shoulder and stopped him from leaving. "Eddie, you can't fix anything unless you know what's broken first. Get me?"

Eddie smiled and nodded as a single tear slid down his cheek. "That's why I need to take inventory" he replied. Jacob nodded and let him go. They would find another moment.

Later that evening Jacob was back on Game of Thrones. It had only been two nights since he had read it but it seemed like much had changed in that time. His boyfriend was on a night patrol so would not be stopping by, though he hoped to swing by for breakfast (TJ would call it dinner) and then would sleep in his bed. Jacob liked knowing that TJ would be in his bed all day. Eddie had been upstairs for a while, and he was about to call up and ask him what he was doing until suddenly he remembered what 19 year old virgins do alone in their room, especially in the internet age. OK- he would talk to Eddie about not becoming too internet porn addicted. Let him get it out of his system for now.

Jacob stared at his I-pad but was lost in thought. The farm, a boyfriend, a kid to take care of... so much had changed in a few days. Buckley whined on the floor below him.

"I'm sorry Buckley I'm not ignoring you. You'll always be my first love" he said scratching the furrow of his head. Poor Buckley wasn't used to having competition for Jacob's affection. He put down his I-pad and picked up some chew toys and played with Buckley for the rest of the night.

Jacob believed that if he could make another living thing happy the world would be just a little bit better.