Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 


  • Author
  • 8,987 Words

The English Year - 21. Falling Slowly

"You have suffered enough...And warred with yourself...It's time that you won." -Once

That night, like most things involving Cadet Michael Taylor Loggerman, started off promising, and then quickly devolved into a heaping shitstorm that I could have very easily avoided.

Because I still felt guilty about lying to Pete about my plans for the evening, I called Hutch and Brian to come into my room to get dressed for the cocktail party so that I could get a little bit of clarity from them.

“First of all, don’t wear the denim shirt. It makes you look like you’re from the 80s,” Hutch said, as I rolled my eyes at his critter shorts and popped collar polo. “Second of all, I don’t see why you feel so guilty about this. You didn’t lie, lie. You are busy tonight… just not with who you said you’d be busy with.”

“Says the guy who would probably tell that freshman girl he’s moving to Yemen to avoid her for the weekend,” I replied.

“She’s stage five,” Hutch responded, and I nodded in agreement.

“I just wonder if I shouldn’t have told him, you know? We’re on this let’s be friends kick, but clearly it isn’t working if I still feel like I need to lie.”

“Frankly, I don’t know why you didn’t tell him just to tell him. Why do you need to be ashamed of hanging out with Mike? Besides the obvious,” Brian scolded in his clearly disapproving way. He’d never liked Mike, and being my roommate for the year that I was up and down with the Cadet, he’d been at ground zero for the rollercoaster that was Corbin and the Cadet.

“What claim does Pete have over you?” Brian continued. “Nothing. If he really wants to be this friend to you, if he’s really as straight as he claims, he should have no problem with you going to Lex for the evening.”

I thought about what Brian was saying. The words made sense to me. Pete had no claim over me, and we’d discussed that the last time I told him that I liked him. He asked me what was going on with me and the Cadet, and I told him. But his face that night, when I told him that Mike and I had had sex and that things were complicated… that look… I couldn’t invoke that look again.

And yet, I still didn’t know what that look meant. It didn’t mean that he wanted me or else he would have said or done something. If it meant that he was jealous of Mike, then he should have done something, anything about it.

I assuaged my guilt by telling myself, and my brothers, that it wasn’t his business who I was hanging out with, and that if he’d given me a better option, an option I could have taken to the bank, I would have canceled on Mike and cashed in on Pete in a heartbeat.

“Would you though?” Hutch asked after I had settled on a cream sweater and dark blue jeans. “It seems to me like you’re enjoying this new side of the Cadet.”

“I’m enjoying what we’re doing physically, for sure. But there’s still that barrier, and there will always be that barrier. But come on, I’m not gonna say no to his dick,” I shrugged. “It’s not like I have dicks lined up outside my door sword fighting to get in.”

“That’s an image I will never be able to unsee,” Brian took a sip of his gin and tonic, and stood as if that was his cue to leave.

Both guys had to rejoin their parents for the cocktail party and then dinner at their respective reservations.

I made my rounds downstairs, schmoozed with the parents I knew, and met the parents I didn’t for the first time. I played my part as the charmer and gave our elevator pitch to the parents of prospective new members as if I meant what I was saying. Just because I was at odds with Dom didn’t mean that I was going to blow down the house at a recruiting event.

Two vodka sodas and fourteen handshakes later, Mike texted me that he was close. I ran upstairs to brush my teeth and give myself the quick once over before I headed down to the street and got into his Jeep.

“You cleaned your car,” I noticed, stepping in.

“I just put a few things away,” Mike replied nonchalantly. I’d remembered my older sister joking about her then boyfriend, now fiancé, cleaning his car before their dates. She claimed that’s how she knew he was serious. I forced that thought out of my head. This so clearly wasn’t a date, and yet it couldn’t have felt more like one.

That thought, however, had already crept into my subconscious, and before I could do anything about it, I leaned over and kissed Mike as if he was my boyfriend picking me up.

He didn’t flinch, and instead, he met my lips for just a second before pulling back, looking around and then coming back in for a longer, more tongue involved kiss.

I wasn’t sure what to make of that. Before our Pretty Woman night at the Days Inn, kissing Mike was literally like pulling teeth. Now, aside from the natural stutter that a straight man might feel when a gay guy dives into his mouth tongue first, kissing Mike felt natural and easy.

We discussed his friends during the fifteen minute drive through the country to the outskirts of Lexington, where his dyke’s girlfriend lived.

“What exactly is a dyke?” I asked when Mike explained who was hosting the kickback.

“Every rat is assigned one. Basically, they’re an older cadet that makes sure things don’t get too rough for you and that the other guys aren’t giving you too hard of a time. If you have an issue, you tell your dyke and he deals with it. Whining to anyone else will just get you your ass kicked.”

He spent the majority of the drive describing how his dyke, Patrick, had graduated the year before, forgone enlisting, and was working on putting together a start up in California.

I knew we were getting close to Lexington, and I knew there was something I needed to ask before we embarked on this non-date in front of Mike’s cadet friends.

“Are you nervous at all about bringing a gay guy to a party function?”

“Not really,” Mike replied casually. “Why? Are you going to be offering up free blow jobs in the bathroom?”

“Mike!” I backhanded his arm, which probably hurt me more than it hurt him.

“I’m kidding. Listen, you’re cool. You’re not like flaming, crazy, gay gay, you know? I told Patrick’s girlfriend that you swing that way, but that since you sneak me in to all of yall’s parties, the least I could do is return the favor whenever we throw something worth coming to. Just don’t overdo anything, and you’ll be fine.”

I couldn’t tell if I should have been mildly offended or flattered. On one hand, what the fuck was being flaming, crazy, gay gay? I was by no means a walking billboard painted rainbow, but I was clearly far enough out of the closet that it didn’t take long for anyone to guess it.

And on the other hand, that Mike thought I could hold my own in front of a group of hyper-masculine soldiers in training was a vote of confidence that I appreciated.

And hold my own, I did, from the very get-go.

After meeting the guys I didn’t know, Patrick, his girlfriend Becks, Spike, and a guy they called Gully, I made the rounds to the two cadets I did know.

The first thing I noticed was that the kickback was so far a bunch of guys and precisely two girls, one of whom was dating Patrick.

“Come on, Mike,” Patrick said in a distinct north-eastern accent after we’d all shaken hands. “I thought you were bringing over some chicks.”

“You don’t need a chick, Patty,” Mike said, slapping Patrick on the back, layering on an added level of locker room butch that I assumed was par for the course for these guys. “You’ve got the most beautiful girl in Lex right over there.”

“Tell him the truth, Mike,” Becks replied, holding her beer up and pulling her knee to her chest. She’d done a great job of stocking the back deck of the house with an assortment of beer, and after she motioned for me to grab one, I went to the nearest cooler and pulled out a cold Stella.

“Oh, please. The rat I raised would have had two or three girls in tow by now,” Patty said. “Besides, we can’t have Bryant sleeping alone like a fag tonight. Be a good friend.”

The word jolted me for a second, but I made it a point not to react at all. What was the point? I was on their turf and that’s how they talked. Making any sort of deal out of it wouldn’t have been a good idea. Besides, my personal feelings on the word aside, I’d been raised WASPY enough to know that when ‘crazy uncle Sal’ gets going at a Christmas party you grin and you bear it. I just looked at Patty like he was crazy uncle Sal.

But I did notice two looks. The first came from Bryant, who instinctively shot me a glance. I’m not even sure he noticed himself doing it. The second came from Becks, who looked at me slowly, didn’t say anything, but motioned for me to sit down next her.

By the time I did, the subject was changed, and people were back to talking about what they’d been discussing before Mike and I had gotten there, mainly the Ravens, Joe Flacco, and whether they had a legitimate chance at a playoff run with a rookie quarterback.

“Patty’s drunk,” Becks whispered to me, sipping her Bud Light. It was a sweet thing for her to say, and I nodded. The word had already rolled off my back, and a second later I offered my two-cents on the Ravens, most of which I’d picked up from brunching with Austin and Roberto on the weekends.

After shooting the shit for a while, Mike and I started a game of beer pong against Patty and another guy a year older than Mike.

That’s when things began to turn for me. Before the start of the game, my phone vibrated and I saw that I had a text from Pete.

To Corbin: How are those rushing obligations? Any chance you can sneak out and drink with an orphan later?

A lump formed in my chest as I put my phone back in my pocket without responding. I had managed to suppress my guilt for a short period of time, but that text sent it shooting back into my throat, where it lodged every time I tried to swallow.

“Earth to Corbin,” I heard next to me.

“Huh?” I snapped back into the present.

“It’s your shot. I made the first one, so it’s on you to get us going.”

I shot the ball and it landed right into the bitch cup at the front. I could tell that Patty was trying to figure me out. I was clearly a ‘fag’ in his book, yet I knew about the Ravens and was schooling him in Beer Pong. A fag raised in a frat house, I thought, and proceeded to make another cup once we’d gotten balls back.

My concentration didn’t last long, however. After Mike and I won the first game, I lapsed back into thinking about Pete. It was like when I wasn’t concentrating on tossing the ping pong ball, my mind automatically wandered.

We barely squeaked through a win on the second game, instead of dominating like we’d done against Patrick and Bryant. To be honest, had that second team been as good as Patrick and Bryant, they would have killed us.

And Mike and I both knew I was the problem.

“We need to regroup, buddy,” Mike said, slapping my back. He picked up the dip cups from the table. “Follow me. Let’s have a strategy session.”

I followed Mike, assuming we’d be going to the kitchen sink. Instead, he led me to the bathroom.

“What’s going on, bud?” he asked, closing the door and pouring the dirty water out of the two red solo cups.

“Nothing,” I answered breezily.

“You seem a million miles away,” he accused.

“I’m not. I just had a bad game.” I watched Mike turn off the faucet once the cups were full. He set them down on the counter, and in one swift motion, pushed me against the door and pressed his body into me.

“I think its time to concentrate,” he whispered, his mouth inches away from mine.

“Mike,” I protested softly. His body was rock hard, and I could tell that so was his cock. With his lips so close to mine, I could smell Mike’s last beer on him. “Mike, your friends are right outside.”

“I know,” he slurred slightly. “I know. But I kind of want to skip this joint and take your mind off whatever’s got you distracted.”

This time he didn’t wait for me to answer. He pushed his tongue into my mouth and soaked me with an eighty proof kiss. I relaxed in his touch and let him tongue dance with me, but I couldn’t get fully into it. As hot as Mike’s body was, and as much as I enjoyed his touch, my mind couldn’t help but think of Pete. And it was almost like Mike’s tongue was pushing the guilty lump in my throat further down into my chest, creating a pit that I couldn’t escape.

“Mike,” I moaned, pushing him back by the arms. My mind and my body were definitely at odds. I could feel my boner forming from the sheer sexiness of Mike’s touch, but I couldn’t let go long enough to let him in.

“Let’s go back out there,” I whispered, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I picked up the two water cups.

“Wait,” Mike said before I opened the bathroom door. He reached down and adjusted his crotch, and then reached down the front of my pants and tucked my dick down further as well. I gave him a weak smile, and resolved to try a little harder to focus on the guy at hand.

I managed to keep the ghost of Pete out of my head to win the third game, but honestly, that was all that I had in me, and Mike and I both knew it.

“Hey guys, Corbin has to be back in Clifton Hill tonight, so I’m going to go ahead and drive him back before I get too drunk.”

“Really, Mike?” Patrick slurred, walking over and draping his arm around Mike. “I just called some of Becca’s friends to come over and get in the hot tub. You coming back after you take him home?”

I could tell Mike didn’t want to come back. But how in the world could he say no to a hot tub full of local girls, especially when the girl/guy ratio at this sausage fest had been the running joke of the evening.

“Babe, I’m sure Corbin’s got plenty of Old Dominion friends lined up to hang out with them when they get back,” Becks said from behind us. I turned and gave her a knowing look. As much as Mike could posture to his friends and fellow rats, Becca could see straight to what we were.

“Yeah, probably,” Patrick stumbled as he left Mike’s shoulders, and draped his arm over mine. “I wish I’d had a friend like you when I was at VMI. You could have hooked me up with some awesome Founder pussy.”

“I think you did just fine for yourself,” I squirmed out from under him. He looked at me and started chuckling. I tried my best to breathe upwind of his beer breath.

“You’re good people,” Patrick said before Mike and I piled into his Jeep and hit the road.

“You were great tonight,” Mike said once we were on the road. “The guys liked you a lot.”

“I’m sure,” I replied absentmindedly. It was almost like Mike could sense that I wasn’t in the mood to chat, because he didn’t say anything else until we pulled into my parking lot.

“Hey, so I was hoping you’d let me up for a little while. Unless you aren’t feeling it tonight.”

I looked at Mike. I didn’t want to be a dick and reject his dick, but honestly, it would have taken the world to pull me out of the funk that I was feeling. My mind was on Pete, and I knew if I had just told him the truth, I wouldn’t have been feeling so bad.

I could tell in Mike’s eyes that he would understand if I said no, but he’d be supremely disappointed. He had gone out on a limb to introduce me to his closest friends, and I’d sort of dropped the ball. And for that, for him making the effort, for him putting himself out there, he deserved something.

“You can come up,” I smiled, using every single one of my acting skills. “If…”

“If what?” he raised an eyebrow.

“If you admit that this was a date,” I smirked.

“Oh, shut up,” he said. He unlatched his seatbelt, did a quick look around the parking lot, and then turned to me. He grabbed my chin with his strong hand. “Fine,” he said, leaning in slowly. “It was a fucking date. Are you satisfied?”

“I will be,” I smiled, kissing him briefly.

They often say to fake it until you make it, and that’s exactly what I did through foreplay with Mike that night. He followed me up to my room. The house was mostly empty as most people were partying at our off campus house or at the big Parents Weekend concert on Greek Row. As soon as I pulled the door closed behind us, Mike had me pinned to the wall and was ravaging my face.

“Slow down, killer,” I whispered, pushing him back towards my bed. I kept a sexy smile on my face to hide that I was still obsessing over Pete and the text. I pushed Mike back, told myself I was pushing Pete out of my head, and a second later, I knelt down and started undoing Mike’s pants.

“I’ve been wanting you to do that all night,” he said with a wicked grin. I pulled his pants down to his ankles and then dove, mouth first, onto his already hard cock.

“It looks like you have,” I licked my way up before encircling the head of his cock with my tongue and then kissing the tip. Mike arched his back.

I hadn’t done five minutes of lip service to little Mike Loggerman before big Mike Loggerman pulled me onto the bed with him. He turned me over, ground into me and made me feel the length and girth of his cock against mine.

I knew that the only way I would be able to get into having sex with him that night is if we did it doggy style. That way I could concentrate on how great Mike’s cock felt inside of me instead of dwelling on the fact that it was the wrong guy with the wrong cock inside of me.

I fumbled with my outfit while Mike suited up with a condom and lube, and before he could direct me into missionary, I climbed up on the bed and perched my ass out.

“Mmmm,” I heard Mike moan, guttural, animalistic, and ready. A second later, I felt him slip in, slowly at first, but with an aggression that proved he was clearly in control.

I didn’t mind surrendering. I wasn’t in the proper headspace to make the effort, and so I let Mike do whatever he wanted. He pushed himself inside of me, almost knocking my head against the wall. With one arm to brace me, my back arched, and my ass out for Mike, I sat there and let him let loose.

It was then and only then that I was able to let my mind go. Somewhere between him loosening my ass and him rubbing the head of his cock against my prostate, I almost completely forgot about Pete.


“Oh God,” I moaned as Mike pulled me into him by the shoulder. It was almost like our bodies fit together like puzzle pieces, and I briefly remember wondering why I’d wasted a perfectly good night with Mike consumed by someone else.

“Oh fucking God,” I kept moaning. The more I moaned, the faster Mike’s humping became. I kept pushing myself against the wall, but I’m sure he was determined to drill me right through it.

“Fuck me… God, fuck me!” I shouted as Mike did just that. If he was determined to make me forget what had been distracting me all night, he was doing a great job.

“God, Pete. Fuck, that feels amazing.”

I caught myself as soon as the word escaped my mouth. It was almost like everything stopped on the drop of a dime. Mike slowed down, and I could hear his panting grow shallower. Everything was silent except for Mike’s breathing.

He pulled out. I turned around and saw him pull off the condom. He tossed it on my desk and went straight for his pants.

“Mike,” I said softly. “Mike, I’m sorry.”

“If you didn’t want me to come up, you shouldn’t have told me to,” he said, quietly. I couldn’t have been more embarrassed, and even though my face was red and flushed from our workout, I could tell that I was blushing.

“Mike, don’t get hot over this,” I said. I jumped off my bed and grabbed his arm. He snapped it away.


“I’m not mad, Corbin. I don’t have the right to be, right? This wasn’t a date, and I’m not your boyfriend, and if you want to picture other guys while I… while… while I fuck you, then that’s your prerogative.”

“Mike, things are complicated.”

“I get that.” His voice was flat. I almost wanted him to raise it and yell at me so that I could feel something, but he was right. He had no claim over me, and for that reason, we both knew he couldn’t get upset.

But that didn’t stop me from being embarrassed. I’d said Pete’s name while Mike was balls deep inside of me. Even for the most secure guy in the world, that was an ego killer if I ever saw one.

“Mike, I’m sorry,” I pushed.

“You know what, Corbin? I’m really trying here. I really am. I’m making the effort, and I know that you have your life here, and I respect that. I know that you have 99 percent of your life here in Clifton, and I’ve never tried to get in the way of that. But all I ask, and all I think I deserve for trying and making the effort is for you to be here, 100 percent, when I do get to see you and when we do get to do this. You have all fucking day to think about that guy, but when I’m here, I need you to be here too. Is that too much to ask?”

“Mike, it’s comp-” I started to say that it was complicated, but he caught me.

“I get it, you think it’s complicated. But it really isn’t, Corbin. You’re in love with that guy. And you refuse to do anything about it. You think fucking me, and being just friends with him is going to be enough. You can’t sew us together and make a superman, so do me a favor and do this. Tell him how you feel. Tell him that you are in love with him. Tell him that you think about him every second of every day, even when someone who you’ve liked, you’ve claimed to have liked for two years is fucking you in spite of the fact that he doesn’t even like fucking boys. Tell him that no one will be good enough, and that you’ve got straight guys fighting for second place; risking everything they’ve ever known to come in second place. Tell him that, and then call me and tell me what he says.”

“Mike.” By this time, Mike had finished getting dressed. We’d made it to the door, and all I could do was look at him with wide eyes.

“And honestly, Corbin, I hope that he says that he loves you too. I hope that he says yes, and I hope that you can finally free me from these fucking feelings that you trapped me into feeling for you.”

“Mike, I’m sorry,” was all that I could squeak out as he opened the door.

“I’m falling slowly, Corbin. Slow enough that I can still catch myself. I am begging you to tell him and figure this out before I fall so hard that I can’t catch myself anymore.”

I stood there in my doorway, as naked as the day I was born, and watched Mike strut down the hall towards the back landing. I slammed my door, frustrated with myself, and frustrated with my situation.

Mike was right about everything. I couldn’t sew him and Pete together, and yet if I could, I’d have it all. I would have the chemistry and the connection that I had with a man that wouldn’t cross that line for me. And then I’d have the physical thrill with the man that was risking it all in order to cross that line for me.

I knew, fundamentally, that I couldn’t have my cake and eat it, too. Especially when I didn’t have either cake to begin with.

And just like that, my guilt had turned from lying to Pete to disrespecting Mike. I couldn’t get it right, and so instead of trying, I gave up for the night, took a shower, and went to bed.

I had two very important events to attend the next day. The TexVA barbeque was technically supposed to start at halftime of the football game, but if you didn’t get there before noon, you were considered late. Members names were printed on a list and security only allowed currently paid dues members into the event. To receive a guest pass, you had to request one from the association almost a week in advance. It was one of the only events on campus that had such strict attendance policies, but the TexVA prided itself on being the biggest and the best organization on campus. With that, came a certain degree of exclusivity.

Honoring my promise to Pete, I called him at 11 and asked if he was ready to go.

“We’re not going to the football game?” he asked when we met in the alley that connected our two buildings.

“Fuck no,” I replied, looking at him, and finally feeling at ease since Mike had left the night before. “This is a blowever game. It’s like Homecoming. We play a shitty ass school so that no one looks awful in front of their parents. No one else on campus goes.”

Hell, we barely even went to the competitive matches, let alone the ones where the score would resemble a basketball game.

I walked with Pete across campus to Alumni House situated at the end of the colonnade. It was part of a row of magnificent historic houses that included the President’s Residence, Dean Watson’s House, the Provost’s mansion, the Student Affairs offices, and the Alumni House.

“Leave it to you Texans to have a barbeque that no one else can get into,” Pete said as I gave my name to the security guard at the front of the house.

Getting Pete on the list would have been impossible, but getting him passed my friend Larry, who I had found out was bouncing the event, was relatively easy.

We walked through the house, which had been restored to feel modern and historic at the same time, into a sprawling backyard that was decorated with streamers, mini-piñatas, and red, white and blue balloons.

“Close your mouth,” I said to Pete as we stepped down onto the stone walkway. There were already almost a hundred people, standing around the backyard, gabbing about what I was sure were important TexVA things. At some point, the powers that were would hold elections, vote on the year’s upcoming dues, and vote on a venue for that year’s TexVA Summer Bash.

But Pete and I weren’t there for the politics. We were there for the margaritas and barbeque. We had to sing the chorus concert at 4:30, which meant we had to start early, start strong, and tail off in time to sober up for the second even of obligation that day.

I led Pete to the table where Hutch’s parents were serving up freshly mixed frozen margaritas.

“Corbin, so nice to see you. We barely got to see you last night,” Mrs. Hutchinson said, circling the table and giving me a hug.

“Nice to see you too, ma’am,” I replied. “I was busy with rush things last night.”

I continued the lie.

“Oh? Chad didn’t tell us he had anything to do.”

“The guys whose parents don’t come in usually do all the grunt work,” I replied. “Which we’re happy to do if it gives you folks more time to put this amazing event together.”

“We were up until after midnight packing these piñatas. Make sure you get one when you leave,” Mrs. Hutchinson fussed. “And who is your friend here?”

“He’s Pete. He’s an exchange student from England and a friend of mine.”

“Hello, ma’am,” Pete said politely.

“So nice to meet you, honey,” she replied, giving him one of her famous hugs. “You boys grab a drink. They’re firing up the grill, aren’t they Tom? Make sure you get a fajita when they’re ready, and please, please enjoy yourselves.”

I took two margaritas off the table. Pete motioned to take one out of my hands, and held them both back towards my chest.

“Uh, uh,” I said with a smirk. He laughed and grabbed two off the table from himself.

“Double fisting?” he asked.

“Do you think I’m the only Texan that knows how to party?”

On the contrary. During our rounds of the event, we ran into folks of different levels of drunk. A friend of mine’s mother from Houston was holding a margarita and a glass of Chardonnay. When I asked her where she’d scored some wine, she pointed to her purse and said, “Never leave anything to chance, honey.”

After four drinks, and several laps around the backyard, I told Pete we should probably go back and change in time for the concert.

“What time is it?” he asked.

“It’s almost four,” I belched. “We need to hurry. Call is at 4:30.”

“Okay, yeah,” he said. I watched him focus his eyes, and chuckled. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” I smiled. “You just look like a hot mess.”

“You’re a hot mess,” he countered, tapping me on the shoulder. “A hot, hot mess.”

I grabbed Pete’s drink out of his hand, but before I could take it away, he pulled the straw to his lips and took one more sip.

“Come on, saucy,” I said.

“So what’s the game plan here?” Pete asked as we walked down the brick sidewalk back to his dorm.

“What do you mean?”

“We can’t let go of this buzz, but we can’t be completely sloshed during the concert.”

“We won’t be the only ones, trust me,” I said. At last year’s concert, one of the girls with an aria solo didn’t make the call because she passed out at her sorority cocktail party. Her understudy had to sing the part, but she didn’t know the song well enough, and basically mumbled in a high A sharp for six and a half minutes.

“So do you want to come to my place so I can change and then go to your place? We can fill my backpack with beers and shotgun them at the concert hall.”

I looked at Pete, surprised and impressed that he was ready to crank up the night like that.

“That’s a plan,” I said, picking up the pace and following him into his building. It took Pete about ten minutes to put on his black tuxedo.

As I watched him, I thought about what Mike had said.

Just tell him that you love him.

I had told him that I liked him. I’d done it a couple of times, in different states of passing. But I’d never sat him down and told him how I felt. I’d never told him that concentrating without him around was impossible. I’d never told him how he made my heart feel. I needed to tell him, really tell him. And I needed to do it before we got too drunk.

“Will you fasten my cumber…cummerbund,” he belched.

“Oh, God, am I going to be dealing with your burps all night?” I asked.

“Who said we’d be together all night?” Pete raised an eyebrow.

“You always want me around, killer,” I said, standing and taking his black cummerbund from his hands. “Turn around.”

I could have done it then, but there was no way I’d be able to articulate my feelings while standing so close to him. I could smell him, and aside from the musk of tequila and beer, he smelled as good as he always did. Instead of telling him anything, I breathed him in, tied his cummerbund behind him, and handed him his jacket.

“Here you go, Mr. Bond,” I smirked.

“Why thank you, kindly, sir,” he said, exaggerating his own English accent like he was putting on a Saturday Night Live skit.

“My pleasure,” I said, following him to the door. Pete grabbed his back pack on the way out, and we made it up the hill to my house.

“I brought the bag, you bring the booze,” Pete said. I pointed to my fridge when we made it up to my room, and he immediately dove in and started loading his bag up with Natty Lights.

“How many do you think we’ll need?” he asked.

“Call is at 4:30. Chamber Singers go on at 5, then Myers usually makes a lame speech. We won’t line up until 5:20 probably… so we could each do three beers in an hour,” I reasoned.

“Let’s get started,” Pete said, standing and facing me just as I was lowering my jeans. I looked up and he was watching me, standing there with his eyes on me and his arm out. He coughed.

“Sorry,” I said. “I can change down the hall.”

I didn’t have a separate room in my suite like Pete did in his, and I hadn’t thought about the logistics of us changing together. But it was the same guy I’d shared a bed with a thousand times, so I didn’t even think about it.

“No, it’s fine. I just… usually I have dollar bills out for this portion of the night.”

“Oh yeah?” I smiled. I moved my hips as I undid my pants, making a drum beat with my mouth.

“How much for a good time?” I asked in my sexiest voice. I watched Pete smile and blush at the same time. I sauntered over to him, grabbed the beer out of his hand, and then shimmied to the ground in a very unsexy stripper move. When I stood up, my pants were on the floor, and I was laughing too hard to stand.

“You’d make a great stripper,” Pete sat down and cracked open his beer. “If this college thing doesn’t pan out.”

“Why, thank you,” I said, walking over to my exposed closet and pulling out the tuxedo I’d bought my senior year of high school, and only wore two or three times a year.

“If you don’t care to see this part, you might want to close your eyes,” I said. It was one thing to walk around in my boxers in front of him, but I fully planned on changing my underwear too.

“Nothing I’ve never seen before,” he mumbled. I nodded, smiled, dropped my boxer briefs, and then in a truly impulsive move, kicked them to the couch next to Pete.

“Now that’s just foul,” he said, grabbing them and throwing them back at me. I dodged, ran over to my dresser and pulled out a fresh pair. “I’m going to get you for that.”

I pulled on my underwear, and not a second later, I felt Pete wrap his arms around me and fling me onto my bed. I let out a scream, and as soon as I hit the mattress, I started laughing. I watched as he hovered over me, pinning me down with his knees on either side of my chest, and then stuffing my old boxer briefs into my face.

“Gross!” I shouted, kicking him away and trying with all my might to push him back.

“Stop!” I squirmed, trying to keep him from shoving my underwear in my own face.

“You started it,” he breathed, fighting my squirming body. “Come, come.”

I kicked, and squirmed, and kept telling him to stop. But I didn’t really want him to stop. I liked feeling him on top of me. When I squirmed from side to side, I could feel his strong thighs holding me in. I could feel the muscles in his legs, probably from row practice all day long. And then there was the crotch situation. The more I ground against his weight, the more I could feel myself getting hard under his might. In just my underwear, if he’d moved the wrong way, he definitely would have felt it. I pushed back his chest, feeling every ripple through his tuxedo.

No, I didn’t want him to stop. I wanted to stay in that position forever.

But I couldn’t, and I knew it. I knew we were cutting it close for our chorus call, and so after a minute of struggling, I let him put my boxer briefs in my mouth. He peeled off of me, and I sat up, heaving, and buying myself some time before I had to stand up.

“God, asshole,” I feigned exasperation, as I stood to finish getting ready.

“You’re on cummerbund duty,” I said, handing him my waist tie and turning around. I made it a point to stick my ass out as far as possible, and to relish the feel of Pete as he wrapped the satin waistband around me and pulled it tight. I wondered if he was doing what I had done, soaking in my smell and wondering what it would be like to lick the small of my neck.

I pushed the thought out of my head, and replaced it, once again, with what Mike had said.

Tell him that you love him.

I could have done it right then. I probably should have done it right then. We hadn’t been that close in weeks, and it felt so natural. The whole day had felt so natural. But I couldn’t bring myself to say the words, especially because I knew that we were already late for chorus, and that this conversation deserved time.

“Let’s go,” I said when he was done. He grabbed his bag again, and we jetted out of my house with exactly six minutes to walk down to the concert hall.

The room was rowdy when we got there, and folks were clearly spirited. Clifton Hill was a circus when parents came in to town, and I was sure that eighty percent of the folks singing that night had either been to brunch or a tailgate that morning, and a number of assorted cookouts and cocktail lunches. I knew immediately that Pete and I weren’t the only that had pre-gamed the concert, and so I didn’t feel bad about pulling him outside right after roll call to shotgun a beer.

“Where are we going?” he asked.

“I feel like the bathrooms might be busy,” I said, watching as parents began to file into the actual music hall. We were down the hall in the rehearsal space, and I knew that further down from the main entrance was a utility stairwell that they used to pull chairs and pianos up from the basement.

“This way,” I said, pulling him by the arm. We snuck into the stark white stairwell like Bonnie and Clyde on a mission. The walls were bright, and hurt my eyes as soon as we stepped in, but I forced them to adjust as I turned and smiled at Pete.

“Are you ready?” he asked, his smile as sexy as ever. He reached into his bag and pulled out two beer cans. They were the perfect temperature for shotgunning, not too cold and not yet too warm from the trek over.

I pulled out my key and poked the holes that we needed. I smiled at Pete, clanked our beers together, and then took the can straight to the face.

As soon as Pete put his to his mouth and opened the second hole on the top, beer went flying everywhere in the stairwell. I barely got my beer chugged before I came up for air, already laughing. He had beer all over his hands, and the banister and floor were covered in Natty.

“Holy shit,” Pete said, panting. He had been a trooper and chugged what hadn’t spilled, but still. Half his beer was on the floor, and more than just a little was on his shirt.

“Here,” I said, pulling him close to me. I used the back of my tuxedo sleeve to wipe what had gotten on his shirt while he flung his arms around to dry them.

Now this was the position that I loved. Right there, an inch from the guy I loved, feeling his chest with the back of my hand, and smiling at him. He looked at me and laughed.

“What?” he asked when I met his gaze and refused to let it go.

It was now or never, I thought. I had to do it. I had to suck it up, grow some balls, and just fucking do it. I had to be a man and face the consequence. It was too amazing of a setting, and we’d had too amazing of a day for me not to take this opportunity.

Tell him that you love him.

“Pete, I’m…”

I started. I wondered if he felt it like I did. I wondered if he was relishing our chemistry the same way that I had. I wondered if he only felt normal when I was around the same way that I did when it was just me and him.

“I, umm…”

I was never nervous. I was always self-assured. Words always came easily to me, whether I was responding to a question in class or tearing someone down, I was never at a loss. And there I stood, my hand inches away from the most beautiful face I’d ever seen, and I was speechless.

And then, as I struggled to find the right words, I realized that I didn’t need to.

I didn’t need to say anything. Actions speak much louder than any words I could have thought of, and so in that second, in that instinctive moment, layered with full on impulse, I tiptoed, leaned in and kissed Pete.

The first thing I tasted was the beer on his lips. I stood there, shaking for a second, wondering if he was going to let my tongue in, or if he was just going to stand there and let me throw myself at him.

And then I felt his lips part, ever so slightly. I heard a beer can clank to the ground, and realized Pete had dropped his. I let mine go between us, and with my two free hands, grabbed his neck, rotated my head, and went in for the full on make out.

I remember that kiss to this day. It was the kiss that ended all kisses before it. It was the kind of kiss that made you forget every time you’d ever been kissed before then. With my hands around Pete’s neck, and my tongue dancing with his, I wanted that kiss to last forever.

And then, as if my months of wondering, contemplating, and guessing had paid off, I felt Pete’s hands circle my waist and pull me in closer to him.

There were no lies in that kiss. There was no pretending. There were no excuses, no distractions, no maybes, and no pretense. There was no Mike and no Dakota. There weren’t whispers and rumors, no second-guessings.

There were only Pete’s lips, and mine.

And just as I was thinking that this was the best I’d ever felt in my entire life, I felt Pete push away from me. He looked down at me with wide eyes, and I tried my best to decide what he was thinking. He didn’t make a sound, and instead looked at me like he was seeing me for the first time.

“Pete,” I said softly. I brought my fingers to my lips and felt them to make sure they were still there, that I hadn’t dreamed the entire thing.

“Corbin,” he said quietly. “We should go back.”

It was the four words that I didn’t want to hear, and to this day those words are etched into my brain like hieroglyphs. I knew he was saying that we should have gone back to the rehearsal room. They were probably lining up in sections as we stood there and looked at each other.

But part of me couldn’t help but think that he meant something more figurative as well. Did he want to go back in time? To a time before I had kissed him? To a time before I had confessed just how much I loved him in the most non-verbal way known to man? Did he want to go back there?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to decipher his words. He picked up the empty cans, put them in his bag, and then just as stealthily as we’d snuck out, we snuck back into the rehearsal room.

My mind was racing through all four of our choral numbers. By the end of the concert, I wanted to throw up. Had I just made a huge mistake? Had I ruined my friendship with Pete by going for it? Had I crossed the point of no return?

And yet, a kiss that strong, that powerful, and that amazing couldn’t have meant nothing. It had to have meant something. Yes, I had started it, but the way he pulled me in, the way he reciprocated, the way he let himself go for that second… that couldn’t have been meaningless.

I looked around after the concert, and only saw people hugging their parents and lining up to meet Professor Myer for some encouraging words. I scanned the concert hall for Pete, and I didn’t see him. He sang two rows behind me, how could he have disappeared so quickly?

I sprinted out of the concert hall just in time to see him flee out the side door of the building. The side opposite the rehearsal hall.

My heart sank a million feet into the ground. I felt my knees get weak, and my arms flop.

“Great show, Corbin,” the tenor law student that stood to my left said, patting me on the back. I didn’t even make an attempt to nod.

What was Pete doing? What was he feeling? Where we not going to talk about the kiss? The kiss?

Was there nothing to say? I could think of a million things to say, and yet I had no words.

I walked back up to the house by myself, not trusting myself to be around anyone. It was barely six-thirty, and yet I felt like I was done for the night. I took my suit off, not bothering to hang it up, and crawled into bed.

What had just happened, I wondered? I had put myself out there in the most definitive way yet, and the sky hadn’t fallen, but it had come perfectly close.

It wasn’t the reaction I’d wanted, but was it the reaction I should have expected?

No, I thought. I deserved more. I deserved some sort of an explanation. I deserved a reason why my kiss had sent him reeling. If he truly didn’t feel anything, I deserved for him to say the words. I had put myself out there, and now it was time for him to meet me half way.

After an hour and a half of wallowing and wondering, I decided that it was time to get some answers from that boy, if it killed me. You don’t just kiss someone back and then run away like a bitch.

I wound myself up as I walked down to Pete’s building. By the time I rattled against his door, I was heated, more so because if I hadn’t gotten heated, I would have been too embarrassed to even knock.

“Corbin,” Pete answered the door.

“So you didn’t flee the country like I thought you had when you ran out of the concert hall,” I said, my words like ice. I took a deep breath and stepped in.


“No, I need to get this off my chest,” I said, like word vomit. I was unable to stop it from coming. “I know you know how I feel about you, and I’m sorry if it took you by surprise, but I can’t help myself when I’m around you. If it wasn’t today, it would have been next week or the week after. I just… I need you, Pete. I think about you when you aren’t there, and I crave you when I don’t see you. I’m falling for you, not slowly and not gradually. I’ve fallen. And I think it’s too late to stop myself. So I understand if you don’t feel the same way, and I’m sorry if you think I shouldn’t have done what I did, but I couldn’t help it. I can’t help it. And I can’t promise that I will ever be able to help it.”

It was my best version of an ‘I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy…’ speech. It was my best ‘Pick me, choose me, love me.’ It was my best ‘I will always love you’ key change, race off the plane and into his arms moment.

And for a second, I thought it might have worked. I thought I might have gotten through to him. I thought I might have worn him down long enough to let his guard down and realize that he was in fact, unconditionally and irrevocably in love with me.

And then I read his face. It wasn’t the face of someone who was going to tell me how much he loved me back. It was the face of someone who was about to catch me from my slow and gradual fall.

“When did you plan that little speech, killer? Last night when you were with the Vmee and lying to me about it?” Pete asked slowly.

The words branded my brain like a hot iron on flesh. I felt sick to my stomach. How did he know I had lied? How long had he known? Had he known all day long? Surely not, or else he would have said something sooner.


“I think you should go.”

I knew he meant it.

“Pete, let’s talk about this.”

“I think you should go now,” he replied. He stepped towards me, his energy physically pushing me back through his door. And just when I thought I’d gotten somewhere with the man I loved, his door came slamming between us.


Thanks for reading the chapter! I hope you enjoyed it. This was a VERY personal chapter for me to write, so I hope you'll take the time to leave your reviews, questions, comments, or thoughts in the reviews section or back at the conversation thread. More drama to come next week!

Copyright © 2016 Jwolf; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 32
  • Love 1
  • Wow 1

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

On 06/07/2014 09:49 AM, SteveH said:
I gota admit, I've spent the last 2 days reading all the chapters up to now. Having watched Mike evolve from then to now? That's saying something about Corbin. I'm hooked! The Jody call out the front of the building along with the shirt, loved it! Looking at from an outsiders perspective, yeah I guess Pete has a right to be mad, but then again Pete hasn't been a saint either. Can't wait to see what's comming up! Keep up the good work :)
Thanks Steve! I'm glad you're all caught up on the story. Mike really has come a long way, and his journey isn't even over yet. Expect to see more surprises out of him. Until then :)
Link to comment

How have I missed this story on GA until now? I can’t get enough.  I’m reading in the middle of the night.  Im reading before work in the morning. I FEEL anxious and heartbroken for Corbin, and Mike, and Pete.  Incredibly real characters and storyline.  It makes my heart hurt.  I don’t want it to end.  I hope you’re still writing.  Thank you for this story. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
2 hours ago, Domden said:

How have I missed this story on GA until now? I can’t get enough.  I’m reading in the middle of the night.  Im reading before work in the morning. I FEEL anxious and heartbroken for Corbin, and Mike, and Pete.  Incredibly real characters and storyline.  It makes my heart hurt.  I don’t want it to end.  I hope you’re still writing.  Thank you for this story. 

It's been a long time since we've heard from Jwolf. :(  But even if the story leaves us hanging, it's still worth reading.

Link to comment

So many amazing things happened in this chapter, including the Pete-slip and the really mature reaction from Mike. This is one of the scenes that definitely has me at #TeamMike.

I honestly don't know how I feel about Pete's reaction here, and I am OK with that. On the one hand, I get that he is unsure about all the new feels and he wants Corbin to be waiting there for him arms open and singularly focused. On the other hand, I also get that Corbin does not owe him anything of the kind given how Pete is soooooooo uncertain and incapable of even asking for Corbin to wait for him. Obviously, I find Pete still impossibly charming, but my heart is calmer when I imagine a future between Mike and Corbin. 

I am also living for these Shakespearian monologues. :)


Link to comment

I honestly needed this chapter ... right up until the end. The kiss that ends all kisses. Kissing the man you love until your lips are so raw from his stubble that it hurts and you still want more. The honesty of 'I think about you when you aren't there' and falling for you. Yet, another lie has caused a mistrust. Whether it's driving to Flagstaff to see a longtime friend - wanting to fk him knowing you can't because you're in a relationship, or lying to Pete because you already committed to an event with Mike all the while only wanting to be with there person you truly love. Either way, the ending is never good. Come on Corbin, help Pete to trust you and stop fkn it up at every turn. You're ignoring the clean water to bathe in the sewage. Forest and trees, same difference. lol 

Link to comment
21 minutes ago, Chris L said:

I honestly needed this chapter ... right up until the end. The kiss that ends all kisses. Kissing the man you love until your lips are so raw from his stubble that it hurts and you still want more. The honesty of 'I think about you when you aren't there' and falling for you. Yet, another lie has caused a mistrust. Whether it's driving to Flagstaff to see a longtime friend - wanting to fk him knowing you can't because you're in a relationship, or lying to Pete because you already committed to an event with Mike all the while only wanting to be with there person you truly love. Either way, the ending is never good. Come on Corbin, help Pete to trust you and stop fkn it up at every turn. You're ignoring the clean water to bathe in the sewage. Forest and trees, same difference. lol 

I love this chapter, but for all that it is, it was one of the hardest to sit down and write. I think writing a character like corbin is always fun because he is flawed and human, but everything that goes wrong in this chapter is his own doing. I think you're spot on with your last three sentences, but what will it take for Corbin to see it that way? More to come

Link to comment

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..