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    Ethan
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Noah and Jordan - 17. Chapter Seventeen

*** NOAH ***

If you think about it, they're only three simple words. There really isn't anything complex about them. Yet we struggle so much to say them. And when we do, it's as if we've dropped a bomb. They can change everything in a mere second. Flip your world upside down unexpectedly.

Yet they're only three simple words.

I. Love. You.

How can three words when put together have so much meaning? How can they be so important? How can they keep me up all night?

Jordan's words have taken hold of my mind. I can barely think about anything else. Here is a guy who, only a few weeks ago, could not even admit he is gay. Yet now says he is madly in love. How could he turn so quickly? I even searched online to see how long normally people wait to say ‘I love you’. The consensus appears to be three months. He said it a little after three weeks! It must have been a slip of the tongue. It has to be. I've wanted to ask him about it several times; the next morning, the next day, in English class, but I couldn't find the right words. I’m afraid if it was a slip of the tongue, and he doesn’t remember, reminding him may make him feel uncomfortable. He may feel he has to now act a certain way, or profess his love, even if he doesn’t mean it. It might scare him. Our relationship is going so well. I don’t want to ruin it. For his part though, Jordan hasn't changed in any way, or acknowledged saying anything. All of that just leads me to believe he blurted it out without realizing it.

The other reason why I haven’t brought it up is because he might confirm he meant what he said. He might say, yes, he loves me. He might then ask me how I feel. I’ll probably feel compelled to say I love him too. But do I love him? I like him. I like him a lot. I haven't connected with anyone the way I have connected with him. But our relationship is still in its infancy; it's raw. I don't want to rush or ruin it. It feels too soon to be in love. And if we are, what does that even mean? Does that change anything? Does that mean we should be out in public? I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet.

Anyway, I can’t think about that right now. I have enough to worry about with school. Plus, Jordan is on his way over. We’re going out tonight to watch a movie. I haven’t seen much of him since his volleyball game on Sunday. Both of us have a ton of work. Essays, assignments, labs are all due this week and next. Jordan is basically living in a lab. Tonight is the only night this week both of us are free. Technically, I should stay at home and work, but I push my inner nerd to the side. I need to spend time with my boyfriend.

The first thing Jordan does when he walks into my apartment, he plants his lips on mine. It feels so nice to feel him in my arms again. I do love the feeling. Love. No. Not thinking about that again.

Sorry, I've just really wanted to do that every time I saw you this week,” he says.

“So why didn't you?” I ask him.

In front of everyone on campus?

“You don't have the balls to do it!” I say groping his semi-hard dick. He seems to be always at least semi-hard! This guy has no off switch. Maybe we should skip the movie and ...

“I'll get you back for that later. Right now, we don't have much time. You ready?”

Yep. What are we even seeing?

“I thought a good chick flick,” Jordan says as we head out.

Two guys watching a chick flick together, that's not gay at all!”

Well, I thought you liked seeing them since you go with Jenn all the time.

“She drags me to them,” I protest.

Sure buddy, same difference, he laughs.

Well, have fun on your own then.

I will.

Jordan goes up to the movie counter and buys tickets for both of us. He picks a comedy, not a chick flick.

“I can pay for myself you know,” I say when he hands me my ticket.

Yes, I know you can. Can't I treat you to something once in a while? So difficult!

Well, just because you bought movie tickets don't think you're going to get some tonight.

He looks at me with a wicked smile. “Oh, I know I will.” I try to look at him with the most serious face I can muster but it doesn't really work. “And you can buy the popcorn,” he says. “It's freaking more expensive than the damn tickets! Rip off. But at least I'm not the one wasting ten bucks. I just have to run to the washroom, I'll meet you in the theatre in a few seconds.”

The movie theatre is quite empty; the film has been playing now for a few weeks. I find a spot near the back and sit down. Right now, they're playing all of those stupid commercials and trailers before the film. I wish they'd start a movie on time for once! Though it’s good they haven’t, because Jordan hasn’t arrived yet. Where is he? He said he would be here in a few seconds and it's been like five minutes almost. Maybe he went into the wrong theatre? He arrives just as the movie is about to start. Finally!

Sorry, he says sitting down.

A short while into the film, once all the food is done, Jordan grabs my hand and holds it beside him. The theatre is dark and there really isn't anyone beside us. I turn towards him and smile. He smiles back. Looking at him those words come back to me. I love you. What did he mean exactly? Am I ready to say it back to him? It seems so soon. Too soon. I don't want to ruin things. But maybe he's waiting for me to say something to him. Maybe he does remember. I didn’t say it back. Maybe that’s why he hasn’t brought it up? Dammit! I can't keep doing this to myself. I need to know!

Once the film ends, we all begin to stream out of the theatre.

So, what did you think? he asks.

It was good, funny. What did you think?

He doesn't respond so I look towards him. He's looking at some girl who is smiling and waving at him from across the hall.

I'm sorry," he says, did you say something?

“Uh, yeah, I was asking if you liked the movie.”

Oh, it was good. He's still distracted by that girl.

Who is that? I ask him.

“Oh, no one important. It’s um … it’s actually Kate, my ex-girlfriend.”

Ah, the infamous Kate. “Oh. It seems like shes trying to get your attention.”

“No, no, it’s fine. We should go. I need some food. I’m starving!”

*** JORDAN ***

I'll admit I'm someone who has always enjoyed having sex. I have no real issues with being naked and vulnerable in front of another person. Rather, I enjoy the intimacy. I was almost certain I would enjoy being in bed with Noah, but each time is beyond my expectations. I love being in bed with him, feeling him, being inside of him. The shy, nervous, reserved Noah disappears in the bedroom. He is active, he teases me, he pushes me on. But that wasn't the case last night. Last night after the movie was good, but it was a bit different. Normally, Noah and I fool around first, but there was none of that. He felt hesitant. It almost felt a bit mechanical, as if we were going through the motions. Maybe he was just tired. Or stressed because of school. But I really hope this doesn't become our sex life. I still had fun, but not nearly as much as before.

Other than that, everything else seems to be going great with Noah. We haven’t been spending as much time as I’d like, but that is mainly because of school. This week has been insane! It is now crunch time and I know Noah is stressed too. Today, we only have time for a quick lunch. Then I have to work on a lab with my group. We are not even close to being done and it is due tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a long and painful night.

“How’s your week going so far?” I ask Noah as we sit down to eat.

“It's going. I have a paper due tomorrow. Once that is done, I’ll focus over the weekend on our English essay, and then my other history paper. Then I have to start prepping for exams.”

“Yeah, I have a bunch of stuff I have to get done too. I haven’t even thought about exams yet. All of mine are pretty much back-to-back in the first two weeks. The good thing is I'm done relatively early, but it's going to be a killer few days.”

“I kind of prefer that,” Noah says. “My exams are a bit spread out, and then I have a couple of days off between my fourth and last.”

“You know I was thinking this morning, we only have a few more English classes left. It all started in that room in September, our first meeting. Did I ever tell you that I almost dropped English before our first class?”

No, you didn't.

“Yeah, I was actually thinking it would be better if I just took something easier. So, then I looked up a few of the other elective courses I had wanted to take, but by then they were all full. I was going to check again later, but I forgot. Just think how different things would be if I had dropped English.

“Well, everything happens for a reason. In this case, a very good reason, Noah smiles.

“Yep, I met you. I'll miss those English classes when they’re done.

Why? You hated them and the prof hates you. Even I hate them and I really like English!

I know, but we won't have any classes together anymore. And we won't get to make fun of brat face.

“Ah, brat face. Good times,” Noah says. “Well at least there will be one good outcome; I won't have any more distractions either.”

“You loved my distractions. Remember that time the prof

“Hey, Jordan.” It's John. Where did he come from?

Hey John, how are you? Why is it that random people always appear when I'm with Noah? I have really bad luck.

I'm okay. Almost didn't see you there, John says looking at Noah.

Oh sorry, John this is Noah, and Noah that's John, I say.

“Hey. We've met before. You were at Jordan's birthday party, right?” John asks.

I was, Noah replies.

Yeah he's my friend from English class. I think I told you about him, I say.

Right, I remember you telling me about some presentation, John replies sitting down. Great he's staying. It's nice to meet you man. Aren't you guys done with your English presentation?”

“Yeah we finished a few weeks ago. We actually are just talking about our essay. Its due next week,” I say. I don't think I need to explain myself, and why I’m having lunch with Noah because it's perfectly natural to do so, but I think I should. “We were just meeting to go over our notes together. Half of this English stuff goes over my head, so I'm getting his help.”

“Oh, okay. Cool. Oh, so did I tell you I've been seeing this girl for like two weeks now?”

No, you didn't, I say. He's completely ignorant to the fact that Noah and I were having a conversation. He's turned his back on Noah and is facing me.

Yeah man it's going really well. I never see you around anymore, otherwise I would have told you, John says.

I see him all the time! One thing Noah has been adamant about is that we continue to spend time with our other friends too. I’d rather just spend all my time with Noah.

Well, I've been crazy busy with school, so you can't fault me on that, I say in my defence.

“True, true. I know. But yeah, it's going great with her. Are you seeing anyone right now? You broke things off with that other girl a while back now ... what was her name again?”

Jenn, I say.

Yeah, her. You never told me why you even ended things with her, John says.

Noah just sits there silently. It doesn't seem like John plans on leaving anytime soon.

“Um, well, it wasn't working out. We just were different people. No big deal really.” I'm trying to be as vague and generic as possible.

You're so diplomatic. What the bitch wouldn't let you fuck her?

I see Noah's eyes shoot open. He looks pissed. Clearly, he did not like that reference to Jenn. Neither did I. John can't see Noah's facial expressions and that's a really good thing.

Dude watch what you say. She's not a bitch and don't call her that again. It wasn't her, it was me. She was fine. I just wasn't ready for a relationship.

Fine, sorry, don't get all serious on me. So then are you seeing anyone else now?

Noah and I exchange glances. Yes, I am, I think to myself, and you're actually ruining it! “Um, no, not right now.” I hate that I have to lie.

Well, my girl has a really hot friend if you want me to introduce you, even if you just want to bang her. You're probably getting blue balls you've been single for so long now,” John says.

“I'm good man, thanks.” I probably have a better sex life than you do!

“Maybe you’ll find someone special tomorrow night,” he says. Friday is John’s birthday. Caleb has invited a couple of guys to hang out. I’m not really sure what the plan is, but knowing Caleb it will involve alcohol and girls. “You are still coming, right?”

“I am.” I don’t want to! Again, that would be Noah who says I should go. And I should. “Where exactly are we going?”

“I’m pretty sure we’re going to a strip club. It’ll be good for you. Seeing some boobs will straighten you out,” John says to me.

Noah starts gagging on his drink. It almost all comes flying out. He’s laughing. I can see why. It will take a lot more than boobs to ‘straighten’ me out. If only John knew. I have no plans on telling him anytime soon. He doesn’t seem that open minded. But I could be wrong.

“That’s where you want to go for your birthday?” I ask John. I hope they pick something else.

“Yeah, why not? You too gay to see naked chicks?”

“Maybe I am,” I say to test the waters.

John just continues talking. Clearly, he thinks I’m joking. “Don’t be lame. It'll be fun. My girlfriend doesn’t care. She’s cool like that. So, the other night, we were in my room and …” John keeps talking as I tune out.

Noah is putting away his things. He does some sort of weird hand movement which I think means he will see me later. I just nod as he walks away. Great there goes our lunch date.

“So yeah it was fucking awesome I can't believe ... hey where did your friend go?” John asks turning around.

He had to run,” I say.

Who the hell is that anyway?

Um, I just told you, Noah.

Yeah I know your English partner. Why are you still hanging out with your English partner if your project's done?

What's the big deal? He's my friend, I say.

He's weird.

“What do you mean he's weird? There's nothing wrong with him at all.” I'm really getting annoyed of John.

“He's quiet. I remember him at your party, he was, I don't even know how to explain it, but he barely spoke to anyone. He's the type of kid you used to pick on in high school.”

“We didn't go to high school together, so you don't know what I did, and I didn't pick on anyone, I respond.

“Oh, whatever. You were into sports and the whole jock personality. He's the geek who walks around with a book in his hand. I know you made fun of those types of kids because everyone did.”

Fuck this guy is irritating! Dude act your age. We're not in high school anymore. There's nothing wrong with Noah. He's not a loser and he's not a geek. And you're such an idiot. Jenn is Noah's best friend. He is the one that introduced me to her. Watch what you say in front of him.

Oh ... I didn't know …”

“Yeah. Anyway, I have to run. I have time booked at the lab. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

My time doesn’t actually start for another hour. I just don’t want to continue this anger inducing conversation with John.


*** NOAH ***

I didn’t realize John could be so irritating. I wanted to say something when he called Jenn a bitch, but I didn’t because he is Jordan’s friend. On many occasions Jordan has said he will ditch John and Caleb to spend time with me, but I’ve always argued against that. We need to be separate people that have lives beyond this relationship. We can’t just live in our own sphere. I don’t want to be a controlling boyfriend who is adamant he spends all of his time with me. I want him to have his own social life. Though, if John is going to try to ‘straighten’ by gay boyfriend, I may have to reconsider. Do I love that they’re going to a strip club? No. But I trust Jordan. The way he is with me in bed, I’m not worried.

Soon after I left Jordan messaged to apologize for John’s behaviour. I told him he didn’t need to worry. He can’t control what his friends say. I was just bummed that we didn’t get to finish our lunch together! Though, I won’t have to wait too long to see Jordan again. I’ll see him in class tomorrow, and then again on Saturday night. Saturday marks one month since we’ve been dating. I want to do something special but unfortunately, Jordan has volleyball practice in the morning and then work Saturday night, so we don’t have anything big planned (I’m not sure if he even knows this Saturday marks a month). As long as we’re together, that’s all that matters.

Now I just have to get through the next couple of hours before I’m with him again. God, how I miss that guy sometimes. As I sit eating dinner, we message back and forth. His lab isn’t going too well. His group doesn’t seem to be on top of things. They’ve been at it for hours now and still have a lot more work to go. Poor, Jordan. I wish I could help. Maybe I can. I have an idea. I head out the door.

When I’m outside the science labs, I message him to come meet me outside in the hall for a quick second.

“Noah,” Jordan says emerging from a door a few minutes later. “What are you doing here?”

“I brought you dinner,” I say. In my hand in a box of pizza I picked up along the way. “I figured you’d be hungry and wouldn’t have time to grab food to eat.”

He stops in his tracks and smiles. “I don’t deserve you.”

“I know.”

“Thank you so much. You’re amazing. I’m actually starving! I haven’t had a second to go out and grab a bite to eat.”

“I got a large pizza, so I'm hoping that’s enough for your group.” He’s working with two other guys. “Enjoy. If you need anything else, just message me, okay? I’ll see you later. Good luck. I hope you’re not stuck here all night.”

“You’re not going to stay and eat with me?”

“I had dinner already. Plus, I just figured you don’t have the time,” I say.

“I don’t. But for you, I’ll always make time. I can spare two minutes. Have a slice with me.”

When he looks at me that way, I just can’t say no. “Sure.”

It’s not the lunch we were supposed to have, or much of a dinner. Jordan literally scarfs down his slice of pizza in seconds. Clearly, he is hungry! Even though it only lasts a minute (not even the full two) our short dinner date is perfect.

——— 

Friday. I love Friday. It has been a tiring week. After I dropped off the pizza last night, I went home to finish my history essay. I was up practically all-night long. I just handed it in this morning. Now I have to start working on my English paper, and then another essay. It just never ends.

“Hey,” Jordan says with a huge smile on his face as he sits down beside me in class.

“Hey. What are you so happy about?”

“Nothing,” he replies. “Can't a guy just be happy?”

“He can, but seeing how I can tell from your eyes you barely slept last night, your smile seems a bit sinister.” Jordan messaged me at four in the morning last night to say he was just getting home.

“True. I was just thinking about how you're still such a big nerd,” he answers. “You have your binder open, your pen ready to scribble notes, all of your books neatly stacked beside you. You haven’t changed at all since September. The only difference is now,” he says leaning in, “you’re my nerd.”

“Nerds are cool. It's an elite club that not everyone can join,” I say. “So, how are you? Did everything work out with your lab assignment?

I’m so tired! These labs are going to be the death of me. Every year I tell myself I'm not going to procrastinate; I'm going to start early. Yet here I am again scrambling to finish everything on time.”

“I know, I do that too. Bad habits die hard. I could use a nap right now,” I reply.

“Well we could go back to my place and …”

“You never stop do you?”

“We've been over this,” he replies, “I'm always on.” He places his hand on my thigh and rubs it back and forth. We're right at the back so no one can see us.

“Even sitting here in class staring at that eighty-year-old professor, that turns you on?” I ask.

“No, but it looks like it's turning you on.”

“Stop that,” I say brushing his hand away. “I’m not turned on.”

“Does someone have lustful feelings for the professor?” he teases me.

“I'd rather throw up,” I say.

“It's okay if you have a crush on the professor; I don't mind.”

“Buddy he's all yours. If you want to get with him, by all means, you have my full permission. I wish you guys well.”

“Oh, someone's all defensive because he has a crush on the professor,” he continues.

“Dude, that's just wrong!”

“I'm sure he's really kinky in bed and into all sorts of weird things like fisting, leather …”

“Dude, no! I do not want that mental picture in my head! I'm already tired; don't make me feel sick too,” I say shaking my head.

“He probably bends guys over and spanks them with his books and then

Good morning class …”

He stops speaking as the professor starts his lecture. I give Jordan a smug look. He has to stop now. Oh, I am so wrong.


*** JORDAN ***

Oh, Noah. You’ve learned nothing. You think just because the prof is talking, I’m going to stop? HA! You wish. I start slipping Noah notes of all the kinky things the professor probably does in bed. He looks at the first one and makes a horrid face and then rips it up quickly. I know he's trying not to laugh. He doesn't look at the second or third note. I push them in front of him. As he tries to stop me, he places his hand on top of mine. His hand is barely there for a second when he quickly yanks it away. It's as if he just touched some infectious, disease filled object. I understand why he took his hand away, but it kind of hurts. It almost feels like he's ashamed of me or doesn't want to be associated with me. I know that's not the case and not what he meant at all, but it's just a sharp reminder that we still face many limitations and obstacles together. The violent jerk of his hand also seems to catch the professor's attention.

So, we're in grade school now and passing notes to each other?

It takes me a second to realize the professor is talking to me. Oh, no sir. I wasn't passing any notes.

Let's see then, the prof says motioning for me to come give him the notes.

Fuck. He can't see these notes. He so can't see these notes. What do I do? He's just waiting. Everyone is staring at me. Oh, crap. “Sir, these are just my regular notes.”

Then let's see them.

You want to see them ... oh shit. Shit, shit, shit! What am I going to do? My mind is clogged. I can't think. What the fuck is Noah doing? I feel something being stuffed under the table into my left hand. It's some sort of paper. I look at him and he points with his eyes to my hand. Oh. Smart. I pick up the notes on the table with my right hand and bring them towards me. Okay I have one shot at doing this. I bring my right hand quickly under the table, get up, and drop the notes onto my seat. I'm not sure what's on the piece of paper Noah gave me, but I sure hope it's not as bad as what was on those other notes. I make my way down to the front and give Noah's note to the prof. He takes it, reads it, laughs and then gets all serious.

Take a seat. Now where was I ... yes we were talking about the theme …”

That was embarrassing. Everyone, and I mean everyone, stares at me as I make my way back to my seat. Brat face is especially enjoying himself. When I’m back at my desk, I notice my original notes are gone. Noah must have picked them up. Once I sit down Noah doesn't look at me. I think he's had enough adventure for one day. So have I. I wonder what was on that note though. The professor laughed so it couldn't have been something bad.

The moment class is over I jump out of my seat. Both Noah and I grab our stuff and make our way to the door.

You two, wait a second. Now what does the prof want?

“Yes sir?” Noah asks.

“I thought we went over this a few weeks ago, the rules of my class. I thought no passing childish notes would be obvious. There are only two weeks left until classes end, so I hope this isn't a problem again. If it is, I will dock participation marks from both of you.

It won't be sir, I'm very sorry, Noah says.

I'm sorry. I have to say something even though I'm not sorry.

“I expect more from my students. Both of you did very well on your presentation, and you,” he points to Noah, “had the highest mark on the midterm. I don't expect this kind of behaviour from students who clearly have brains. Now use them and don't make me dock marks.”

“I promise, we'll both behave next time,” Noah replies.

“Good. I'll see you guys next week.”

Thank you, sir. Goodbye,” Noah says before leaving.

We walk out in silence and down the now deserted hallway.

“So …” I try to say as casually as possible while trying not to laugh.

You think that was funny? Noah asks.

Kind of.

You wouldn't be laughing if the prof saw the notes you wrote and I didn't save your ass!

Thanks for that by the way. Come on, it was kind of funny.

“No, it wasn't. If you ever try any of that stuff with me that you wrote on those notes, I will honestly beat you.”

I guess he read those notes after all.

“It wasn't THAT bad,” I counter. One was about fisting. The other about urination, which fine, is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Fine, then I'll go give them to the prof and he can be the judge.

“Okay, it wasn't that great either.” Noah seems angry. Oops.

“And then you're such an idiot you actually wrote the prof's name! That's a rookie mistake! Even I know you don't do that!”

True you don't, especially because you could get caught. “By the way, what did you write on the other piece of paper?” I ask.

Oh, I'm sure you want to know. But I'm not telling you.

Come on he laughed, he actually has a sense of humour. It's hard to believe, eh? But tell me, what did it say?

“Nothing. You're lucky I saved you. And then, even in front of the professor, you didn't say anything, that was me again saving both of us!”

Thank you; you're my saviour, my knight, my hero. Now what did that note say? I ask again.

Flattery won't help you.

I'm not trying to flatter you. I'm just saying you're really good with older men, that's all. I really try to suppress a smile.

I'm going to kill you!

It's okay. I didn't know you were into older guys ... should I be worried? I mock him.

Extremely worried smart ass, he says, lightly punching me on the arm.

So, are there any other professors I should know about who could be potential rivals? Maybe you all get together and have orgies together, I say.

“Is that some sort of backwards attempt to find out if I have my eyes on anyone besides you? I didn't know you were the jealous type, Noah replies.

Oh, I'm not jealous. You have my blessing to get with your old cronies whenever you want.

“Well I can barely handle taking care of you, so I'm good for now.

Now tell me what was on that note! I say in the most authoritative voice I can muster.

“It was about our long running joke and our mutual friend in class,” he finally says.

“Long running joke? What long running joke? And mutual friend? We don't have a mutual friend?” What is he talking about?

“You’re so clueless.”

———  

Its strange being back here again. It feels like I’ve returned to the scene of the crime. A few weeks ago, as I was struggling with my feelings about Noah, I came here with John. To this very strip club. I wanted to get lost in a sea of naked flesh. To be aroused by the scantily-clad women. My memory from that night is quite fuzzy. I was completely wasted by the end of the night. But as far as I can remember, it didn’t really work. Seeing those girls dance, getting that lap dance, did nothing for me. Even now, tonight, as my friends holler and cheer, I’m not into any of this. It just feels wrong.

It feels like I’m cheating on Noah, that I am being unfaithful. I don’t touch any of the strippers. Caleb insists I get a lap dance, but I decline. That would clearly be wrong and cross a line. Noah trusts me. I don’t want to give him a reason not to trust me in the future. I try my best not to look, but I can’t. They’re everywhere. But even when I do look, I realize that I’m not aroused. The image of a naked woman doesn’t excite me. It’s not the same feeling I get when I see a man undressing, when I get to see Noah naked. If anything, tonight reaffirms what I already know, I have no plans on switching teams again.

After the strip club, the crew goes out to get more drinks. But I tell them I am tired. I actually am tired! I haven’t gotten much sleep the past two nights. So instead, I head home. I want to go to Noah’s place, and climb into bed with him. But it’s already past midnight, and he’s probably fast asleep by now. That will have to wait for another day.

———  

Every single muscle in my body hurts. I’m beyond exhausted. The lack of sleep, coupled with the crazy hours at school, studying, my part-time job, and volleyball practice are all taking their toll. By the time I leave work for Noah’s place on Saturday night I have no energy to do anything. I may even be too tired for sex. Okay, I’ll find energy for that! It feels like it has been forever since the last time we were in bed together (it’s been four days!). That’s way too long to go without being with Noah.

I know Noah wanted to go out tonight, but seeing how crazy the week has been, he suggested we stay in tonight and relax. I wanted to go out too, but honestly, I am really tired. Volleyball practice today was exhausting. The coach really made us work hard! So, a nice night in actually sounds perfect. And because I literally have the best boyfriend in the world, he has offered to cook dinner. He always tells me he likes to cook, he finds it therapeutic. I on the other hand find cooking extremely stressful! I burn everything! One of these days I’m going to have to learn how to cook and treat him to a nice meal. One day when I get a moment to breathe.

Now, when I say Noah offered to cook, I should clarify – he made a feast. When I arrive and walk into the kitchen, I find a table decorated with candles, flowers, and a spread of delicious food.

“Happy one-month anniversary,” Noah says after giving me a long and passionate kiss. “I hope you like it.”

“This is amazing. Thank you! You shouldn’t have done so much,” I say. I have no idea when he found the time to do all of this.

“I wanted to do something special for you,” he replies.

Well, I came prepared. I wasn’t sure what one gives their boyfriend to mark a one-month anniversary, but knowing Noah, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a good book.

“This is for you,” I say after pulling out a not-so-neatly wrapped package.

“You remembered.” He’s surprised.

Of course I did! It was kind of a life altering day.”

“You didn’t have to get me anything,” Noah says.

“I also wanted to do something special for you. You deserve a gift for putting up with me for a month! It takes a strong man.”

He unwraps the package to find a book he mentioned a couple of weeks ago from one of his favourite authors that just came out.

Thank you,” he says. “And this,” he says pulling out a gift, “is for you.”

“See, you got me something too! Dinner, and a gift! Noah, this is too much!”

“Just open it,” he says.

He got me a custom t-shirt with the phrase ‘I’m With Nerd’ in big block letters.

“The other day you said I’m your nerd,” he reminds me. “So, I thought I would make it official with a shirt.”

“It’s perfect.” He’s perfect.

As we eat, Noah tells me about his night out with Jenn. I then tell him about last night, how it felt to be back at the strip club. How it felt wrong. He jokingly asks whether I was straightened out by seeing boobs. I confirm, no, that I was not. I’m still gay and love the feel of his dick.

I have to say this is one quality I absolutely love about Noah, how he doesn’t pretend to be okay with something, and then get angry. Kate used to do that a lot. She would say something was fine, when clearly it wasn’t. If I went to a strip club while dating her, she would have been furious. She was kind of the jealous type. But Noah doesn’t seem to be jealous at all. And he is totally fine that I went to the strip club last night. He isn’t pretending. He trusts that I won’t do anything stupid. We’re actually joking about my experience last night. Again, that would never happen with Kate.

As we talk and eat, I continuously move my neck around to try to alleviate some of the pain in my shoulders. It didn’t help after volleyball practice I went to work and spent hours moving heavy boxes and stalking shelves. It also doesn’t help I’ve been hunched over a computer all week typing essays.

Is your neck okay?” Noah asks as we finish cleaning up the kitchen.

“Yeah, it’s just a bit sore. Everything hurts.”

“You’re getting old,” he teases.

“So are you. Need I remind you that you’re an entire year older than I am,” I respond.

“True. But I’m not the one making old man noises. I have an idea. Why don’t you go into the bedroom, strip down to your underwear, lie face down on the bed, and I’ll join you in a moment.”

“Ooh, I like the sound of that. Don't be too long.” I guess Noah wants to get it on tonight. I won’t object.

Moments after I’m in bed, I hear Noah enter the room. He puts something down on the night table, and sits at the edge of the bed.

“Just relax,” he says. Oh, I’m relaxed!

Soft instrumental music fills the silence in the room. I then feel a warm liquid being poured onto my back. Seconds later Noah’s fingers are digging into my skin. He’s giving me a massage! He is the best.

“Oh, that feels so good, Noah.”

It does. His hands are magic. I can’t help but moan as he applies pressure to my shoulders, and along my back.

“You’re so tense,” Noah says as he kneads his fingers into my skin.

Damn, he is good at this!

“Man, I really love the way your hands feel …”

And then he stops. The moment the words come out of my mouth he freezes for a moment. I lean up on my elbows and turn my head.

“Everything okay?”

He smiles. “Absolutely.”

That was perfect. I feel so much better. Thank you.” He’s probably tired.

Lie back down. I’m not done just yet.”


*** NOAH ***

Love.

There is that fraught word again.

I have been meaning to talk to Jordan. Not about his comment in bed, I’ve resolved he didn’t mean it and said it in his sleep, but more so about whether he thinks we’re going too fast. We’ve been dating now for a month, so I figure it’s worth having a conversation about where we are in this relationship, and if we are both still comfortable with how things are progressing. Now seems like a good time.

“Can I ask you something?” I say as I massage Jordan’s legs.

“Of course.”

Since we’ve been dating now for a month, I thought maybe we should talk about how things are going. If we’re going too fast, too slow … or if we’re both still happy …”

He quickly sits up in bed. He looks concerned.

“It something wrong? Did I do something?”

“No, no, no, Jordan. You didn’t do anything wrong. I just wanted to know how you feel about how things are going between us.”

He seems surprised by my question, as if the answer is obvious. It’s fantastic. Honestly, Noah I am beyond happy being with you. This relationship has surpassed all of my expectations. But are you not happy?”

“I am. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time,” I respond.

“So, then what’s wrong?” he is clearly lost.

Nothing’s wrong. I was just wondering if you’re okay with how things are progressing?”

“Absolutely. I love being with you and spending time with you. If anything, I would want to spend a bit more time with you, but I know that’s challenging right now with school. Do you think we’re going too fast or too slow?”

There is that word again, love. Maybe he did mean what he said last week?

I take a deep breath before responding. “I also really like spending time with you. But sometimes I do feel maybe we are going a bit too fast.” I can see the disappointment on his face the moment I say the word ‘fast’. “I just don’t want to ruin anything.”

“I don’t want to ruin anything either.”

“I’m sorry,” I say.

“Hey, you have no reason to be sorry,” he says taking my hand. “The first night we got together I made a promise to you we would go at a pace that makes both of us comfortable. If you feel we’re going too fast, then we’re going too fast, and we can slow down.”

“I really just want to make sure we do this right.”

What can I do to make you feel more comfortable?”

“It’s not that I need you to do something …” How do I bring up the whole ‘love’ conversation?

“I know we haven’t talked about coming out in a while. Just to be clear, I’m okay that we’re not out. I hope you’re not feeling any pressure from me on that end. I actually like the way things are going right now. I think maybe once everything calms down with school then we can have that conversation.”

“I agree. And I’m fine that we’re not out as well. I like the way things are too.”

Okay. This isn’t about how much sex we have, is it? Because if it is, we can slow down. I just like being with you,” he says.

“No, it’s not. I think our sex life is fine. I like being with you too.” I also Googled how much sex a couple should have when they start dating. And it appears we are doing okay in that department. I double-check everything!

You would tell me if I wasn't good in bed, right? If I'm doing it right, if I am not making you feel good? This is still sort of new to me. I can learn. I can read another book.

I can’t help but smile. “Jordan, there is nothing wrong with you in bed! You're amazing. I honestly wouldn't change a thing.”

“Because last time we were in bed, it seemed a bit different. You seemed like you weren’t having that much fun.”

I was a bit off the last time. I was still obsessed with his love comment. “I was just a bit tired last week. But you have nothing to worry about. You’re perfect in bed.”

“I just want to make sure I'm making you feel the way you deserve. And not only in bed. I mean all the time. If there is any way I can approve, if there is any way I can be a better boyfriend, than let me know, and I will try my best.”

“You don’t need to change.”

“So, how do we slow down then?” he asks. “Do we see each other less? Am I coming over too much?”

“No, no. I don’t want to see less of you. I love it when you’re here.” I realize I’m giving mixed messages. I haven’t really explained how we are going too fast and Jordan is rightfully confused.

“I’m not sure what else could change then …”

“I should explain … it’s not anything you’ve done, honestly, you are amazing. It’s something you said. It was small, and it might not have meant anything.”

“I don't care how small it is. I want you to tell me everything.”

You said something to me about a week ago ... the night you stayed over after winning your volleyball game. We were lying in bed together. It kind of stayed with me and I’m not sure what to make of it.”

“Okay. I don't remember that conversation in detail. What exactly did I say?

He doesn't remember. It was just a slip of the tongue.

“It's okay, forget about it. If you don't remember, you probably just said it in passing.”

“You can’t do that. You can't bring something up and then back away. It seems to be something that bothered you clearly, and that was a week ago! Tell me!”

“It didn't bother me.

“It did. If you don’t tell me then I will threaten to withhold sex.”

I laugh. “Jordan, we all know that's more of a punishment for you than me.”

“Oh really? Keep telling yourself that. Now tell me.”

He’s right. I can’t just bring something up and then tell him to forget about it. I should tell him.

“Okay. As you were falling asleep … you said that … um … you said they you’re madly in love with me.” I don't look him in the eyes when I say this.

He opens his mouth but doesn't say anything. He's silent for a few moments. I …”

He didn't mean it. He's like a deer caught in headlights. “You said it in passing right before you fell asleep. I thought it was something that you just blurted out without realizing it, you know like when you hang up the phone with your mom and you say you love her. It was more like that and nothing serious.

“I honestly didn't even know I said that. I’m sure you know that I care about you Noah.”

Jordan you don't need to explain.

“Yes, I do. I feel I have to otherwise there will always be an elephant in the room. And clearly this bothered you … these past few weeks … they have … being with you ...”

He's struggling to find the right words. Shit I'm such an idiot for bringing this up. “Look Jordan, I get it. It's okay. I feel the same way. I like you a lot too. We're still in the early stages of our relationship and trying to figure stuff out. We have a long way to go. We don't need to put any labels or anything on our relationship just yet. That’s what I meant by saying maybe we’re going too fast. We both care about one another. Maybe we just leave it at that for now. But as far as how we interact, how often we meet, what we do, I think we carry on like we have been. Nothing needs to change. I shouldn’t have said anything.” I should have kept my mouth shut. You’re such an idiot, Noah!

No, I’m glad you did. I'm the idiot. I'm so sorry,” he says.

For what!? Jordan you have nothing to be sorry about.

Our relationship is already complicated as it is ... I don't need to make it worse.

You didn't Jordan, honestly.

“Can you promise me something, Noah?”

I can try.

Next time something bothers you, don't wait a week to talk to me about it, he says.

“It didn't bother me —”

He cuts me off. Don't lie. I know it did. If there is something on your mind, if I say or do something stupid, trust me enough to tell me.

“I do trust you. I just didn't want to put you on the spot or complicate everything. Next time you goof up I'll be sure to let you know.

“You can talk to me about anything and I mean anything. I want this to be a relationship with open communication. We need it to be or we won't last,” Jordan says.

Next time I will. But don't give me any reason to be bothered okay!

“Okay.”

“So, what I said … does that make sense?” I ask.

“It does,” he replies.

“And we’re okay?” God, I hope we’re okay!

“We’re okay. Don’t worry, I still love you ... too soon to joke?” he asks.

I just shake my head. “Just a bit.”

He is such a clown. But he’s my clown.


*** JORDAN ***

Biochem 2.0. It's not a book, it's a brick! I have to finish it by next week. I've read less than half. I know, I know, not the smartest thing to do but, well, what can you do? I had planned to read quite a lot this morning but well, um, things sort of didn't go as planned. I didn't really get anything done ... or well, that's not true either. I did do Noah. Oh, how I did Noah. On the bed. On the couch. On the floor. Positions I don't even know the names of yet. We were inseparable. It was fucktastic (hey, I just made up a word!). I just had this need for him that wouldn't extinguish.

Last night, after our conversation, Noah finished his massage. We jacked each other off, took a nice, warm shower and went to bed. I think both of us were just too mentally and physically exhausted to do more. And that was fine. But in the morning when I woke up, I just had to be with him. I had this burning desire in me I couldn't put out. I know we just talked about slowing down, but my body was telling me otherwise. I needed more. And he did too. We went at it, at each other, with an intensity I didn't know I even had in me. I wanted to truly pleasure him. As I plunged into him, he would close his eyes, arch his back and moan. It drove me crazy when he would scream out my name. My name. At the top of his lungs. My name in ecstasy. Hearing him scream it in the air would only drive me into him more and more until I went over the top. Knowing I was making him feel so good inside made me feel good too. And to top it off, the orgasm I felt was probably the best I've ever had.

At some point in time we both dozed off. We woke up by mid-afternoon. Noah started to freak out. His plan was to spend the day working and studying. So now here we are on a Sunday afternoon, my head in Noah's lap, lying on his couch, my legs up over the side, reading. Noah is deep into a book as well. He runs his hand through my hair. From time to time I look up and smile at him, he smiles back. Both of us are more focused on work today because we know we wasted - or well we used up very efficiently - a lot of time this morning. Time well wasted I should say. But we both have essays due this week, and exams are coming soon! I can't wait until it is all over. But I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, I have to focus on biochemistry. Fun.

The problem is I can't focus. I have gone over a few pages without actually digesting what I'm reading. My brain is focused on something else. It's been like this since last night. It's what drove me to have sex with Noah this morning. I keep thinking about our conversation in bed. I don't remember telling him I loved him. I know Noah wouldn't make that up. I keep trying to remember what was going through my head when I talked to him last week, but it's all a blank. I don't remember. I don't know why I said it. My mind keeps drifting back to those words. Do I love him? Every time I start to think about it, I try to tear away. I'm too scared to answer the question. I'm not ready to be in love. I haven't known him for that long. He’s right. Being in love may be too fast. We’re still figuring out what we’re doing. We’re not even out yet. Being with him was just supposed to be about enjoying life and having fun. I'm not supposed to fall in love. It's too soon for me to fall in love. I was dating Kate for over a year and I wasn't in love with her. This stuff takes time. It's not like how it is in the movies.

As I think, I sit up next to Noah and start to rub my leg against his.

What are you doing Jordan? he asks.

Nothing.

Knock it off. I have a lot of work to do.

But I'd rather be doing so many other things right now, I say with an evil grin on my face.

So would I, but these essays aren't going to write themselves, are they?”

I shift closer to him on the couch. I bring my face to his neck and start to kiss him. He sighs deeply.

Jordan, we have so much work to do.

I know, you're doing yours and I'm doing mine, so stop bugging me.

I continue to suck on his skin, moving up to his earlobe. This morning wasn’t enough. I need him. I need to be with him again.

“I give up,” he says putting his book on the table. He leans back into the couch and lets me take control of his body.

Deep down I know I'm fooling myself, but I won't admit it. I know how I truly feel.


*** NOAH ***

First, I couldn’t stop thinking about Jordan’s initial love comment. Then in the days after our conversation, I couldn’t stop thinking about whether I should have said anything at all to Jordan!

I was worried after our talk that our relationship might change in a bad way, that Jordan may draw back a bit. The next day, after we had sex twice, I assumed we were okay. He seemed like his normal self. He was joking. He was flirtatious. I was relieved that my stupidity didn’t ruin a good thing. But then I started to notice a subtle change in Jordan. And it was very, very subtle. He started to feel a bit, and I mean, just a bit more guarded. He wasn’t as spontaneous and crazy as he usually is. It was barely noticeable. And it all could have just been in my head. It probably was just in my head. I tend to over think things a lot.

Now, it also could have just been that both of us were busy with schoolwork. The days after our conversation were a bit of a whirlwind. Jordan and I were intensely focused on school. The following week I had two assignments due, Jordan had three. We then turned our limited attention to our remaining classes, and our upcoming exams. Even though we were busy, we still made time for one another. I made sure that we still saw each other, and had sex. I didn’t think it was possible, but Jordan has actually gotten even better in bed. Maybe he did read another book. We also still have been going on dates. The other day I went out of my way to make sure he felt special.

Despite the small hiccup (which is what I call my stupid decision to say we’re going too fast), we’re both happy and are having a bit of fun when we can.

But of course, all good things have to come to an end eventually. Our little life, in our little bubble, can’t go on forever. Something was bound to happen. Or, in this case, someone. I shouldn’t be surprised who lobbed the first attack. It’s perfectly in line with his character.

One day, as I’m studying for my exams, I’m sitting alone in the library when I hear his voice. It feels like déjà vu. This is where he found me the first time. I need to find a new spot.

I try to ignore him. I try to keep my head down and focus. I no longer hate him; I let that anger go. Though that doesn’t mean I want to talk or associate with him.

But then he says something. Something I didn’t expect.

I wish Sebastian would just go away. He is such an ass.

In the end, Noah tells Jordan about the love comment, but then seems to regret his decision. Did he make the right call?
And how will Jordan react going forward?

Also, guess who is back! Everyone's favourite character Sebastian. Looks like he isn't done messing with these two just yet. What does he want now?
Let me know what you think. Comments below!

Copyright © 2018 Ethan; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

4 hours ago, Tonyr said:

I hate you Ethan!   😉   Have a nice week.

Um, thank you? 🤓 

 

Edited by Ethan
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Sebastian needs to GTFO.mp3

Funny how Jordan was the first to say "I love you", I always thought it would be Noah.

Anyway, I'm greatly enjoying this story :)

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3 hours ago, ObicanDecko said:

Sebastian needs to GTFO.mp3

Funny how Jordan was the first to say "I love you", I always thought it would be Noah.

Anyway, I'm greatly enjoying this story :)

I get the 'GTFO' reference, but not the '.mp3' part. 
That love conversation may, or may not, be over, and Noah may, or may not, surprise you. Maybe. 🤨

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30 minutes ago, Ethan said:

but not the '.mp3' part. 

I was referencing a song, so that's why :)

I'll be looking forward to it! 

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13 hours ago, Tonyr said:

I hate you Ethan!   😉   Have a nice week.

Ditto

 

Superbly written thus far, cannot wait for more.

Edited by frigidjason
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3 hours ago, Ethan said:

I get the 'GTFO' reference, but not the '.mp3' part. 
That love conversation may, or may not, be over, and Noah may, or may not, surprise you. Maybe. 🤨

You do teasing now?

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Noah did not make a mistake by suggesting that Jordan and he go slower: He spoke his mind. The mistake would have been in letting the situation fester without telling Jordan. Honesty helps to build solid relationships; and if honesty destroys a relationship, then the relationship was not worth having. (Sorry to sound preachy, but I feel very strongly on this issue.)

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20 hours ago, frigidjason said:

Ditto

Superbly written thus far, cannot wait for more.

Oh, I know you all love/tolerate me. And trust me, you'll have good reason to hate me soon 😑 Will I feel bad? Probably not. 😉

 

20 hours ago, Tonyr said:

You do teasing now?

Me, tease? It's like you don't even know me at all. 

 

3 hours ago, travlbug said:

Noah did not make a mistake by suggesting that Jordan and he go slower: He spoke his mind. The mistake would have been in letting the situation fester without telling Jordan. Honesty helps to build solid relationships; and if honesty destroys a relationship, then the relationship was not worth having. (Sorry to sound preachy, but I feel very strongly on this issue.)

Don't apologize, you make a really great point! 

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13 hours ago, Hunter of Porn said:

Damn, there are things I want to mention here from the original but I don’t want to spoil the story. 

No spoilers (please)! And who knows, some things could change in this version 🤔

 

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That chapter seemed to cover a great deal.

I think it's always a big mistake to discuss what was meant by a particular phrase and especially one as big as I love you.

Stuff like that needs to be said and experienced in the moment. It's fine to think about what it may mean personally. But trying to get another to explain exactly what they meant is never a right course of action.

It stops people acting naturally and forces them to think cerebrally instead. Questioning whether they actually do or don't. It's a recipe for disaster. 

I doubt Jordan will ever want to say I love you to Noah again, without having a full transcription of everything that it does or doesn't include. Noah what have you done?

And what's this with checking the averages of everything on the internet? 

Imagine how awful you would feel, if you read the average male was bigger than 4". Don't read that stuff, it will do you no good. 😉

And Noah, kick Sebastian in the nads as hard as your uncoordinated feet are able. He more than deserves it.

Great read Ethan.

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