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    Roe St. Alee
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Cross Country - Full of Surprises - 1. Cross Country - Full of Surprises

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No matter how you sliced it, Joel was the odd man out on this year’s squad.


When Coach Brum posted the list of six names on his office door on the Monday before the Regional Meet, there was a certain amount of murmuring among the other boys, and Joel was undoubtedly the reason for it.


The first name on the list was not a surprise to anyone. Calvin Trudeau.


While he was not technically the fastest runner on the team, he was the undisputed leader. Calvin grew up running cross country, and he was made team captain as a junior, an obvious but unprecedented deference to his natural position of being in charge. Now a senior, his times were undoubtedly top five, even if not quite elite.


The elite times belonged almost exclusively to the second runner on the list. Jan Van de Berg.


Jan was, without a doubt, one of the main reasons the team skated through the district meet in first place, and why the team won most of the regular season meets as well. Just a junior now, Jan was running competitive times as a freshman, and was easily the fastest person on the team by the start of his sophomore year.


He had never failed to finish first at a meet through the entire season, and districts had been no different. Even at Regionals he was practically a shoo-in for the best time, and with his performance alone he might be able to carry the whole team forward into the state competition.


The other three names were to be expected: Devon Williams, Willy Carter, and Ben Lonnergan, who the guys all called ‘Lon.’


All three upperclassmen, and all three running on the varsity team all season. It was an obvious choice.


But that was where things got tricky.


The young man who would normally be sixth on the short list of other runners representing Lakewood High School for the Regional meet was Luke Paulson.


Luke, however, had recently received some unfortunate news, just two days after hitting a PR at Districts. The pain he had been feeling in his left foot wasn’t just a bruise or a sore muscle. It was a stress fracture.


There was no point in trying to run on it. It would only get worse, or even lead to permanent damage. He needed surgery, and the sooner he could get it done the better. With essentially nothing more to lose, he had gone under the knife only a few days later, leaving him as much recovery time as possible before starting track practice in the spring.


But beyond being a personal setback, Luke’s injury left a hole in the starting squad for the Regional Meet.


And that was where the surprise came in. Sixth on the list, taking the final position, was Joel Wienke.


Joel was a surprise for a few reasons. For one, he was short. The shortest person on the varsity team, in fact. If he stretched out with perfect posture he might be five-six. Willy was five-nine, and even he was a little too small to truly be an elite runner.


Then there was his size. Joel was slight. Not lanky like Lon or slim and muscular like Devon, but thin. His muscles were well-defined from months of training and practice, but all tucked neatly into his frame. Soaking wet, he might have weighed 130 pounds, and that’s with a full mop of shaggy brown hair on his head.


But most surprising of all, is that he was a sophomore.


Of course, the cross country team at Lakewood High School only truly selected its team based on one criteria: how fast you can run. Freaks like Jan made the regional team as freshmen, but he probably could have qualified for it when he was ten, if that was allowed. For most runners, you simply weren’t grown enough as a freshman or sophomore to make the final squad for a big meet, and Joel certainly fit into that category.


“Does he even know he made it?”


Calvin turned to Lon to see if he knew any more about it that Calvin did.


Lon shrugged his shoulders in response and looked back down the hallway behind them.


“He ran straight off after practice,” Lon said in his country twang. “I didn’t see him come down here to look.”


Calvin pursed his lips together and put his hands on his hips. It’s what he did when he was thinking.


“We better tell him,” Calvin muttered, almost to himself.


“The meet’s on Saturday,” Lon said in agreement.


Calvin nodded slowly to himself.


“I wonder if coach talked to him.”


Lon shrugged again, but Calvin was determined to find out for himself. He reached his hand up to the door where the roster was posted and was just about to knock when the door opened in front of him and Coach Brum stepped out.


Coach Brum was not what you might call a typical sports guys. Whereas the football team drew most of their coaches from big, burly guys who used to play on the team during their own high school years, Coach Brum was cut from the opposite cloth. While those guys got hired as football coaches then weaseled their way into jobs teaching at the school, Brum was a math teacher, through and through.


He had been teaching at Lakewood for almost twenty years, but had only started with the cross country team about five years earlier. Himself an avid fun-runner, he was tall and lanky, with a shortly cropped shock of red hair on top of his head, slowly but surely retreating away from his forehead.


He was coach for two reasons. He ran as much as the kids did, logging at least five of his own miles each day, sometimes as many as ten. He might not be able to keep the pace of some of the boys on the team, but he made up for it with a passion for running and incredible stamina.


The other reason was his record keeping. He recorded everyone’s times and distances every single day, logging them all in a massive spreadsheet, which he lovingly called, ‘The Run Master.’ He would calculate averages, splits, and who knows what else to make sure his runners were optimizing their training and that he was optimizing his team.


If he chose Joel Weinke as the final runner on this year’s squad, you could bet that it was the right move.


“Hi Coach!” said Calvin as the door swung open.


“Coach,” said Lon, with a polite nod of his head.


“What’s up, guys?”


Calvin nodded up toward the door.


“We were looking at the roster,” he said, “and we saw that Joel was running with us this weekend.”


Coach raised his eyebrows. It was rare for someone on the team to approach him about his roster selection, but Calvin was the captain, and it could be useful to know if had strong feelings about Joel’s selection.


“He doesn’t have the best times,” explained Coach tentatively. “At least not on paper at the end of each race. But he is the most consistent runner we have to fill that spot." He racked his brain for more details to share with the kids. “If you analyze his times with an adjusted comparison to-”


“No, not that,” interrupted Calvin. Calvin fell on the opposite side of the spectrum from coach. He liked running, not staring at split times.


“Oh?” asked Coach.


“Did you talk to him about racing this weekend?”


Coach Brum reached up and scratched his head.


“Everyone knew I was posting the roster after practice today,” said Coach.


Lon shook his head. “Joel always leaves right away after we’re done running. He doesn’t even shower in the locker room.”


“So you think he left without even looking?” asked coach.


Both boys nodded back in agreement.


Coach smiled and laughed out loud to himself.


“Well, I better give him a call, then,” he said, chuckling. “I don’t think this has ever happened before,” he added, mostly to himself.


“Actually,” Calvin said, “why don’t I talk to him?”


Coach gave Calvin a questioning look.


“I don’t really know him that well,” Calvin explained, “and if he’s gonna run with us this weekend, I can fill him in on a lot of the details. Like, from the runner’s side.”


With a nod, Coach stepped back into his office. After a few seconds he popped back out, but now with a sticky note in hand, Joel’s cell phone number written on it.


The boys thanked Coach Brum and headed down the hallway toward the school parking lot. Calvin and Lon lived near each other, and they often took turns driving each other to and from school and practice.


“Boys!” Coach called down the hallway after them. “No texting, ok? I want you to actually speak to Mr. Weinke on the phone.”


Calvin gave Coach a thumbs up before turning back the other way, where he joined Lon in a good laugh.


Kids may like to text, but when Calvin had said he would ‘talk’ to Joel, he had meant it.


-------       -------       -------       -------


Joel Weinke leaned his head under the shower faucet one last time, finally managing to rinse the last of the the shampoo out. He pulled it back and smoothed it out, expelling as much excess water as he could. He stood under the hot water for another ten seconds, finally convincing himself that anything more would be a waste. He liked a hot shower after practice, but anything over ten minutes would earn him a talking to from one of his parents.


He turned off the water and shook himself dry before reaching out into the bathroom and grabbing his towel. It was a little bit chilly tonight, and he figured that drying off inside the shower would be nice, as it would retain a good amount of heat. At least until he fully pulled back the curtain and stepped out.


“Bzzzt. Bzzzt.”


So much for that.


Joel sighed as he heard his phone vibrate. It wasn’t just a text, either. It was a phone call.


He could have let it go to voicemail, but he was curious. Joel didn’t get a lot of calls. A bunch of his friends from his old school still talked to him, but they almost never called, They just sent Snaps or texts, because it was a lot more convenient than actually talking on the phone.


Really the only people who ever called Joel on the phone were his parents, and on occasion his sister, who was in her freshman year of college a few hours away. But he had talked to his sister yesterday, and his parents were both downstairs, probably getting dinner and maybe watching TV.


So who could it be?


Only half dry, Joel wrapped his towel around his waist and stepped out of the shower. He walked quickly over to his bed and picked up his phone. He didn’t know the number, but it was his local area code.


Somewhat anxious, Joel accepted the call and held the phone up to his ear.




“Hi, Joel?”


The voice on the other end was young. Definitely someone about his age. It sounded familiar, but Joel couldn’t quite place it.


“Yeah,” Joel replied, “who’s this?”


“This is Calvin.”


Joel didn’t respond for a second. Why would Calvin be calling him?


“Calvin Trudeau,” the voice continued. “From the cross country team?”


“Oh, hi,” Joel stammered. He knew who it was, but this was the first time anyone from the team had really talked to him outside of practice. He wasn’t sure what to say.


“What are you doing?” Calvin asked.


Joel looked down at himself and blushed a little bit. He couldn’t say what he was doing right now. It’s not like it was weird that he was taking a shower, but it probably wouldn’t go over well to say that he was pretty much naked except for a towel and standing in the middle of his bedroom.


“Nothing,” Joel answered. “Just hanging out at my house.”


“Cool, cool,” Calvin responded. “Did you hear the news?”


“Uh…" Joel racked his brain for anything that could have constituted big news. Today had been a pretty average day at school. He went to class, ate lunch, had a few more classes, and then did about eight miles during practice. A pretty easy pace, so it wasn’t anything to be excited about.


Calvin laughed and Joel felt his cheeks darken a few more shades. Thank goodness Calvin had called and not Facetimed or anything like that.


“You’re coming with us on Saturday.”


Joel racked his brain for what that meant. Saturday was the Regional Meet for the cross country team. They don’t take along extra people just for the heck of it, so that meant…


“Really?” Joel said. His voice squeaked with excitement. He calmed himself down before continuing. “I got a spot on the team?”


Calvin laughed again.


“Yeah, you took off right after practice tonight, so we didn’t get a chance to catch you before you left.”


Joel’s heart was pounding. This was exciting news. He didn’t think he was good enough to make the team. Not this year at least. But here he was, chosen as the sixth member of the squad for an important meet on Saturday.


“Anyway,” Calvin continued, “I just wanted to give you a quick rundown so you can clear it with your parents and everything.”


Joel nodded and sat down on the bed so he could concentrate. “Go ahead,” he said.


“We’ll need to meet at the school at 9 on Saturday morning. Coach will have the van all ready to go for us, but it’s a pretty long drive to Ashland, and it’s in the middle of nowhere.”


Calvin paused for a second and Joel heard some papers shuffling around.


“I have the address here somewhere,” said Calvin. “I can text it to you, in case your folks want to come watch.”


Joel’s heart sank a little bit. “They’re busy this weekend,” he said. “They have to help with this fundraiser they help organize. It’s over at the hospital, and they...”


Calvin laughed, and Joel immediately wondered if what he said was stupid, or childish. Who cares what his parents are doing, or if they come to watch him race? Not Calvin. Not any self-respecting high schooler.


“Yeah, mine aren’t going to make it either,” Calvin said. “They’re out of town. But no worries, Coach is driving us all there and back.”


Joel breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe Calvin wasn’t laughing at him, but just laughing in general. Being friendly. Was that so hard to believe?


“The race starts at 4, so we don’t get back until late. We usually stop for dinner too if there’s time. We’ll probably be back at school around 9 or 10.”


Joel committed the details to memory.


“That’s pretty much it,” Calvin concluded. “Do you have any questions or anything?”


Joel did in fact have questions. Tons of them.


Topping the list, why did he get picked for the regional team? His times were decent, but wasn’t there someone a little older and more experienced who wanted to race?


And then there were others, less logistical but just as important.


Did the guys on the team even know who he was? Did Calvin even know who he was? Was he going to fit in with the other guys while he rode in a van with them all day? Forget about his credentials as a runner, but wasn’t there someone who hung out with the team a little more for this trip?


But those weren’t questions you could just out and ask. He would just have to play it cool for now.


“I don’t think so,” said Joel.


“Cool,” said Calvin. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow at practice then. We’re all stoked to run with you on Saturday.”


Joel felt his face get hot again. Were the guys actually excited to run with him?


“Actually,” said Calvin, “there is one more thing.”


Joel braced himself for whatever it might be. What could Calvin need to tell him?


“What kind of snacks do you like?”


Calvin hung up the phone after a short discussion of what Joel liked to eat before a race and made a note in his phone to tell Coach at practice the next day. Coach Brum always did a killer job stocking up the van with pretty much anything the boys asked for.


He smiled to himself as he finished his memo. Joel seemed like a nice kid. Quiet and reserved, but he seemed alright.


Calvin was sure that the other guys would like him too. They’d all been running together all season, but Joel almost never spoke, and he never hung out after or outside of practice with any of them.


It didn’t seem like he didn’t like the guys on the team, and his excitement at coming to the meet on Saturday lent itself to that theory as well. It was more like he was just a little bit shy, afraid to stand out in the group. He had gotten more friendly since the beginning of the season, but it was probably hard for him, coming from a different school last year and all that.


Oh well, thought Calvin, that’ll change. We’ll break him out of his shell.


-------       -------       -------       -------


The next day before practice, Calvin made it a point to try to talk to Joel. He didn’t get a ton of chances to do it, but by the time practice was underway he had at least managed to get Joel to say a few sentences to him. It was a start, at least.


The more Calvin thought about it though, the more it made sense. Why they didn’t know much about Joel, that is.


They ran together for at least an hour every day, but not everyone did much talking while they ran. Jan, for example, never said anything while he was running. He got in his zone, focused, and ran. That’s it.


And for those who did have something to say, you were out of breath half the time, depending on what part of your workout you were on. The other half of the time, Calvin realized when he really thought about it, Willy and Lon were talking. Willy especially was in phenomenal cardiovascular shape, and he talked incessantly during training runs. If Lon wasn’t feeling chatty, he could fill in the white space all by himself.


That didn’t leave a lot of room for anyone else to get a word in during practice. And Joel was still the new kid. It would be hard for anyone to break out of that and socialize with everyone, especially if you were naturally a shy person in the first place.


Tuesday was a wonderful day for running, and cool temperatures were countered by the sun, which kept things warm enough that most of the guys were able to run with their shirts off.


It would have been a great day to put in some serious miles, but it was only four days before the Regional Meet. That meant another light day. They wanted to stay limber, of course, but they didn’t want to overexert themselves either. With an easy pace but fewer miles to run, the boys were completely wrapped up with their cool down by about 3:30.


Calvin knew that he would have to be quick to catch Joel before he ran off like he usually did as soon as practice was over. He had a plan.


“Hey guys!” Calvin called out the instant they got into the locker room. “Everyone coming to Regionals, circle up for a second.”


Five other guys gathered around Calvin.


“The roster is set,” began Calvin, “and these are all the guys who will be racing on Saturday. We all know each other, but for one of us, it’ll be his first postseason race.”


Joel felt his heart starting to race as five sets of eyes all turned to look at him.


“Not that we don’t know who you are,” continued Calvin, “but everyone let’s hear it for Joel for his first Regional.”


The rest of the team all hooted and cheered for Joel, and a bunch of the other guys in the locker room joined in too. Joel couldn’t help but smile at the welcome he was getting, and he instantly felt a lot better about the trip on Saturday.


After a few more words on the schedule for the rest of the week and what everyone needed to prepare for Saturday’s meet, Calvin wrapped up his talk and released the team to take their showers and get cleaned up. As was his routine, Joel grabbed his gym bag and his backpack out of his locker, and headed for the door.


“You’re not sticking around?”


Joel turned around to see Devon standing by his locker and looking at him, arms akimbo.


“My mom is already here to pick me up,” Joel said sheepishly, “so I’m just going to shower at home.”


Devon smiled and laughed, a big deep laugh that you could always hear no matter where you were in the locker room. Joel had always thought Devon was cool. He was the biggest guy on the team, and always seemed the oldest. He had great style and a great personality to match.


“That’s cool man,” said Devon. “But you should start hanging out with us, so we can know you a little better.”


Joel shrugged. He was about to explain that his mom finished work at 3 every day and was on her way home when she picked him up, but he didn’t get the chance.


“Yeah!” shouted Willy as he pulled off his shorts. “Shower with us! It’s fun!" With that, Willy bounded down the length of the locker room with the energy of a wild animal, skidding around a corner on his way to the showers.


Even Joel had to laugh along with everyone else at that. Willy was an inexpendable bundle of energy, and the rest of the guys were constantly apologizing to other people or explaining his bizarre behavior.


“We’re not all that crazy,” Devon said in between chuckles. “But seriously, think about it.”


Joel assured him that he would and waved to everyone else before heading out of the locker room.


Devon had a great point, though Joel as he walked out to the parking lot. It would be good to try and stick around after practice with the rest of the guys. He didn’t love the idea of showering in front of everyone, but really should bond with the rest of the team. He was just so much younger than everyone else, the older guys intimidated him a little bit.


But they had been really cool to him today when Calvin was getting the Regional team together. Joel was sure that he just needed to get to know them a little better, and he would be less shy and less nervous around everybody. Maybe he could talk to his mom and figure out some other way to get home so he wasn’t always on such a tight schedule after practice.


She was always harping on him to make more friends at his new school. Maybe this would be the best way to do it.


-------       -------       -------       -------


It was cooler than usual for the beginning of November. The weather was decent enough, but it was clear that the pleasant conditions were merely hanging on for the moment. The breeze had gotten heavier and colder as the day went on, and that meant one thing. A storm was coming.


The boys had checked the forecast incessantly during their drive to Ashland, watching for even the slightly change in the hourly forecast. By the time they arrived at the site of the meet, a small state park a few miles outside of the nearest town, things were still looking good. Dark clouds were forming, but nothing was supposed to break until about an hour after the meet was over.


The boys had had a few hours to kill when they had arrived, and spent time catching up with some of the guys the knew on other teams, snacking, hydrating, and scoping out the course. After a while, however, they had all drifted back over to the van and started suiting up. With about thirty minutes left before the starting gun, they were all, without being asked, fully enmeshed in their pre-race routines.


At practice and for most of the races during the early part of the season, the team did a very specific warm up routine. Everyone did it together, and Coach Brum or Calvin would lead the team through various stretches.


Today was different.


Everyone needed to run their absolute best today, and everyone liked to warm up differently. Coach was always good about understanding that, and as the season went on, he destructured the warm ups more and more, letting every boy on the team find his own ideal routine.


When it came to Sectional and Regional Meets, all the boys were seasoned veterans. They had their own style, and knew exactly what they needed to do to be ready for their best performances. And all of them were drastically different.


Devon and Jan always listened to music. From at least half an hour before a race would start, neither of them would say a word. They would put in their headphones, start their warm ups and dynamic stretches, and get themselves into the zone. Short of any last minute instructions from Coach Brum, they wouldn’t communicate with anyone. Maybe it wasn’t the most social behavior, but you couldn’t argue with the results. Jan and Devon were the fastest runners on the team.


Lon, on the other hand, was the exact opposite. You couldn’t shut him up.


He would never say it exactly, but he got nervous before all of his races. And the only way for him to distract himself from the tightness in his chest and the worry he was feeling, was to talk. Lon talked a lot in generally, but before a race it was an absolute torrent of chatter.


It might have annoyed some of the other guys like Devon or Jan, but Lon was luckily able to spend the entirety of his breath talking to Willy. Willy could hardly get a word in, but that was ok, because he didn’t even really need to be listening. He just needed to be there for Lon to talk.


And Willy, as could be expected, was a different story altogether. The other guys on the team all joked about it. They called it “charging up." And if he came in from an outside perspective, that might be what it looked like.


Willy generally ran on an energy level of 11. He never sat still. If you were somewhere that you could stand up, Willy would walk around. If you had to sit still for a long period of time, like in class, Willy would still be in motion, bouncing his legs up and down or fiddling with his pen or textbook. It felt like if you held him down and strapped him to a table, the energy would just burst out of him.


And before a race, it built up even more. Every part of him was in constant motion, swinging his arms and jumping up and down in place. It would build and build until the moment the starter’s pistol fired and he could finally launch himself out onto the course.


Joel however, was just plain nervous. He hadn’t competed in a lot of big races like this. He didn’t have his own ingrained routine like the rest of the guys did. He actually liked following along with the stretching from Coach Brum or Calvin, and without them leading, he wasn’t sure exactly what to do. His nervousness made it had to focus, and his lack of focus made it hard to concentrate on anything except being nervous.


When the team van had pulled into the parking lot and he got his first glimpse at some of the competition, his whole body had felt numb for a second. Everyone he could see was taller, older, and faster looking than he was. He couldn’t help but think the same thing he had thought when Calvin had called him earlier that week. Why him?


Watching the other guys start their warmups, with the race a mere half hour away, he wasn’t anticipating a stellar performance. His chest was tight, his heart was beating hard, and he was barely able to force himself to take full breaths. He felt terrible.


Today was a race that really mattered. Of the six runners, only two of them would have their scores dropped.


“You ready for this?”


Joel jumped as he felt a hand on his back. He turned to see Calvin standing next to him. He didn’t know that Calvin had gotten back from the captain’s meeting already.


“Yeah,” mumbled Joel, “I guess.


Calvin laughed, and Joel winced a little. But Calvin’s eyes were still kind. He wasn’t laughing at him. He was being friendly.


“You seem nervous,” Calvin said.


Joel nodded.




With his hand still on the younger boys lower back, Calvin steered him away from the rest of the team and toward a nice patch of grass next to the parking lot.


“Why don’t you warm up with me?” said Calvin. “Those guys aren’t super fun to be around before a race.”


Joel felt himself smile for the first time since arriving at the meet as Calvin started to lead him through his pre-race warm up. They did about ten minutes of dynamic stretching to get their hearts beating and muscles loose before Calvin sat them both down on the ground for some plyometric stretches.


“I figured you were nervous,” said Calvin. “You were quiet today." Calvin chuckled. “Or quieter than usual, I guess. Which is saying something.”


Joel smiled timidly as Calvin continued.


“I was really nervous before my first big race too,” said Calvin


“Really?” said Joel. He couldn’t imagine Calvin being nervous about anything. He was always so cool and collected, and he never seemed fazed by anything. At least, that was how Joel saw things.


“Yeah, I was,” said Calvin. “Plus I was captain. I had never ever been to a district meet before.”


“Oh yeah,” said Joel, “that must have been weird.


“It’s not that tough. You just go to a meeting and hand in the roster.”


“Yeah, but you…”


Joel stopped himself.


“What?” said Calvin.


Joel looked down as he stretched out his left calf.


“But you lead the team, too,” he said quietly.


Calvin cocked an eyebrow at him.


“Yeah?” he asked rhetorically. “Do I?" Joel was so shy and he didn’t want to make it worse, but he couldn’t help it.


Joel blushed, and as he felt his cheeks get hot it made him even more embarrassed.


“All the guys, you know, they all look up to you and do what you say.”


Calvin laughed. It was so cute how flustered Joel would get around the older guys on the team.


“I guess they do,” said Calvin.


He waited for Joel to look back up at him, but he didn’t. It didn’t seem like he wanted to do much more talking at this point, and Calvin worried if he had overstepped his bounds. As fun as it was to tease him, that wasn’t his goal.


“Hey,” said Calvin seriously, “what are you nervous about today?”


What wasn’t he nervous about, thought Joel. What if he screwed up, or didn’t finish, or came in dead last?


Calvin saw the wheels turning in Joel’s head and decided to interject.


“I’m sure you’re nervous about a lot of things,” said Calvin, “but what could actually happen that’s so bad?”


Joel stopped letting his mind race and tried to think.


“You run every single day, right?” asked Calvin. “What could really go wrong?”


Joel hesitated. Calvin had a point. What was something that could go wrong and derail the entire process?


“I could… get a cramp?”


Even as he said it, Joel had to laugh, and Calvin joined in without missing a beat.


“Look,” Calvin said, lowering his voice and leaning in toward Joel, “I’m pretty nervous too.”


“What do you mean?” asked Joel.


“There’s this dude on Stark who’s here. I uh…" Calvin grimaced. “I kind of went out with him once last year and never called him back.”


Joel’s eyes got wide.


“And before you ask,” continued Calvin, “yes, he definitely remembers.”


Joel tried not to let his look of surprise bleed out to where Calvin could see it. He had heard rumors that Calvin was bi, but he had never really thought about it. He would always talk about girls with the other guys at practice, but he had made a few comments in the past that had made Joel curious.


“So you might get a cramp,” said Calvin, “but I might get shanked in the woods on mile two.”


Joel laughed, and Calvin joined in after trying to look serious as long as he could. Somehow Calvin saying that made him feel so much more at ease. He had confided in him. Something that Joel was sure, for whatever reason, he hadn’t told anyone else on the team. That was kind of cool.


“You’ll do fine,” said Calvin, hopping up to his feet and shaking out his arms and legs. “Especially now that you’re all stretched out.”


Joel smiled at Calvin in thanks, and Calvin thought it was the first real smile he had gotten from Joel. It’s not that his other smiles were insincere, more that they were always laced with insecurity and bashfulness. But this one was natural, and it suited him.


A commotion by the starting line drew the boys’ attention away from each other. Calvin checked his watch and nodded to Joel. This could only mean one thing. They were lining up for the race.


Calvin and Joel were just entering the throng gathering at the starting line when they heard Lon’s thick drawl from the far side of the crowd.


“Calvin, Joel,” he shouted. “We’re over here!”


The team united in a pocket by the starting line as the loudspeaker announced that the race would begin in two minutes. Calvin cleared his throat and tried to recall everything that coach had wanted him to relay before the race.


He smiled a little as he thought about what Joel had told him earlier, about how the guys all look up to him and listen to him. As he looked out at the five faces all staring at him intently, he knew that it really was true.


“You guys all know what to do,” he said, starting to pull everyone into a tight huddle. “We’ve run so many miles in meets this year, and even more miles in practice.”


The huddle started to sway back and forth with all the pent up energy of the young runners.


“The only thing we can’t do is leave anything out there on the course." A few of the boys nodded as Calvin continued. “Pace yourself out of the gate, but then run it out as hard as you can.”


Lon and Willy both gave little whoops, and the rest of the boys smiled.


“Leave it all out there,” Calvin repeated.


He pulled up out of the huddle and stuck his hand into the middle of the circle instead.


“Beavers on 3,” he said as the rest of the squad put their hands in a pile on top of his.


“1… 2… 3…”




The huddle broke and the boys made their way to the starting line, all humming with energy.


“SIXTY SECONDS,” the loudspeaker announced.


It would be a shotgun start, so everyone’s race would start at the exact same time, and the sixty or so boys running were all crowded up as far as they could go, toes on the starting line, which was wide enough to accommodate everyone To finish the race everyone would pass through a gate, officially stopping the time with their chip timers.




Joel closed his eyes and took a deep breath. His heart was already pounding and they hadn’t even started running yet. He felt good today, and with any luck that could translate into a great time on the course.




All the boys tensed up and got into their starting positions. This was it.


“You’re gonna kill it out there.”


Joel turned to look behind him and saw Calvin standing just a foot away from him, smiling. He smiled back, but weakly due to his nerves. Still, it was good to have someone like Calvin here. Someone older and more experienced to put his mind at ease.


Joel counted down in his head, pushing all the air out of his lungs, then filling them back up in time with the countdown. Five, four, three, two, one.




At the exact moment the starter pistol fired, two things happened.


Sixty young athletes sprang from the line to start their race, as was to be expected. But somewhat less expected, at least for Joel, was that a powerful hand swung down and gave him a hard spank on his rear end.


Joel yelped aloud in shock as he took his first step, and by the time he had even begun to figure out what had happened to him, Calvin was already several yards in front of him and laughing like crazy.


Joel smiled through his breath and let his legs carry him.


-------       -------       -------       -------


“We shouldn’t have stopped for dinner,” Coach Brum mumbled to himself for what must have been the tenth time since they had all packed back into the van for the drive home.


Even with the windshield wipers going full-blast, Coach was leaning forward as far as he could to try and see out of the rain-soaked window. It was coming down in sheets. One moment the windshield would be clear, the next it would be covered with a thick layer of water before the wipers could push it away.


Driving at maybe half the speed he would have liked, it took significantly longer for Coach to get the van back to the highway at Brockville. About a mile from town, however, everyone started to see the flashing orange lights from a highway sign. One of those big ones that they drag out for emergency messaging. Once they got close enough, they could all read it, even through the distortion of the rain.




Coach sucked air through his teeth, the way he did when he was frustrated or nervous about something. A few of the boys had heard him do it during class, but only in the most extreme situations. For such a mild-mannered guy, it was the height of his emotions.


“Maybe we can still get around?” suggested Calvin.


Coach sighed and glanced back at the six boys sitting behind him. Lewiston was the way home. Way out here in the country, who knew what other roads could get them where they needed to go. The next highway running north was over a hundred miles to the west, and if the highway here was flooded, what were the chances that some backcountry road a few miles away would be any better?


Still, it was worth a shot.


“Someone who has service on their phone, can you look up an alternate route?” Coach asked. “I’ll get us into Brockville and we can figure out our options.”


While coach maneuvered the van into a McDonald’s parking lot, the boys all gathered around Joel to check out another route. He was the only one in the car who had Sprint, and surprisingly his was the only phone that had any sort of reliable service at the moment.


Joel was a little nervous. Perhaps for lack of anything better to do, all the other guys had crammed around him on the middle seat, all making suggestions and helping him figure out how to search for directions that didn’t take you on the highway. It was like a Joel sandwich from all sides, and while he didn’t love being the center of attention, he couldn’t help but feel good that all the guys were so comfortable with him that they weren’t hesitant to pack in so tightly.


“Ummm…" Joel wasn’t sure how to give Coach the bad news. “I think we have to go through Redmont.


“Redmont?” Coach asked, turned back to face a sea of nodding faces in the back seat. “That would add almost an hour to the drive.”


“In good weather,” said Lon.


“And the whole county is under a flood watch right now,” added Calvin. He had seen the notice come up on Joel’s phone when he unlocked it.


Coach sucked another lungful of air through his teeth, then exhaled and did it again. Two breaths through the teeth? This was a new level of anxiety for Coach that the boys had never seen before. He was deep in thought.


While Coach was contemplating his options, the boys had taken the lull in conversation as an invitation to roughhouse. While they had all squeezed in around Joel to look at his phone, Calvin and Devon, who were on opposite sides of the younger boy, had started picking at each other. After another minute, they were both harassing each other as best they could, with Joel stuck right in the middle.


Coach finally looked up from his reverie, and was shocked back into the present moment by a yelp from the back seat. He could tell there had been some kind of commotion back there, but it seemed to be settled now. In any event, it was more important that the boys hear what he needed to say.


“We’re going to get a hotel,” said Coach. “There’s one just about a mile down the road here, and with any luck they’ll have a few rooms for us.”


The boys perked up at the news. This was an interesting change in plans.


“Everyone call or text your parents, and then put them on the phone with me when you get in touch with them,” said Coach. “I want to personally hear from every single one of them to make sure this is ok.”


The boys nodded in understanding.


“If you get in touch with them, just keep them on the line until we get to the hotel, ok?”


With that, Coach turned the car back on and started driving. He seemed like he was in a sour mood at the sudden change of plans, but the boys were excited. For them, this would be fun.


Calvin smiled slyly to himself as the boys all pulled out their phones, but not only at the prospect of a hotel stay with his teammates. He hadn’t planned it when he and Devon started wrestling, but in the course of the fray, he had gotten a solid feel of Joel’s package. He hardly realized what had happened until Joel yelped, but as soon as he did, he was shocked. It had felt pretty big.


He had seen all the guys on the team naked a million times, but not Joel. Part of him always wondered if there was any real reason for it. Maybe Joel was just shy, or maybe he was nervous about it because he was so much younger than the other guys. Calvin remembered when he was a freshman how he wasn’t nearly as developed as the rest of the team and he had been hesitant about changing around them.


But Joel was a part of the team now, and weird as it sounded, Calvin wanted to see Joel without his clothes on. He had been thinking about it more and more over the last few days, and staying in a hotel room together might provide the perfect opportunity. Plus, after his accidental grope, Calvin didn’t think Joel had anything to be worried about. He didn’t want to embarrass the kid too much, but curiosity might just get the better of him tonight.


-------       -------       -------       -------


“Are you sure this is ok with you all?”


Coach looked around the room one last time and cringed internally at the size and layout. It wasn’t ideal for six people, but it was the best he could do.


The hotel had apparently filled up quickly on account of the road being closed, and the team had just managed to snag the last two available rooms. Coach would have to sleep in one by himself - that went without saying - and he had taken the smaller of the two rooms.


Which left the boys in this room. Two queen beds and two cots that the night auditor had managed to produce from storage. Six boys divvying that up. It certainly wasn’t ideal.


“I think we’re good coach,” said Lon with a smile.


Coach silently thanked Lon for being so easygoing.


“Yeah, this’ll definitely work,” echoed Devon. He had already staked his claim on one of the cots.


The other boys murmured in agreement. Sure it was cramped, but for them, free of any actual responsibility on this trip, it was sort of fun.


“Alright,” said Coach, clapping his hands together. “I’m going back to my room. It’s 321 if anyone needs anything during the night. Don’t leave the room tonight unless it’s an emergency. I don’t want any phone calls.”


He looked at Willy as he said it, and the rest of the guys laughed while Willy smiled his usual goofy smile. He had been the culprit during last year’s state meet when he tried to climb up to another room using the fire escape. He wasn’t a bad kid, but certainly had a penchant for misadventure.


Coach looked down at his watch before continuing.


“Don’t stay up too late tonight,” he said, “because we’ll be getting on the road at eight tomorrow, and breakfast starts at six thirty.”


He looked around one last time, and tried to think if there was anything else. He heard the shower running and remembered the Jan was in the shower.


“Let Jan know, ok?” he said.


Calvin gave him a thumbs up and turned back to the TV.


Coach stepped into the doorway and turned around.


“If I see a single charge on this room’s account, you’re all going to be in big trouble." Coach hesitated for a second, and then dropped the biggest bombshell he could think of. “I will tell your parents,” he said, and left it at that.


He left the room without another word, and the boys took a few seconds to react before all of them burst into laughter. Coach didn’t specify, but they all knew what he meant. Don’t eat any of the candy, don’t drink any alcohol, and don’t order any porn on pay-per-view.


The bathroom door opened, letting out a wave of steam into the rest of the hotel room. Jan stepped out, wearing a pair of red track pants and dabbing his hair with a towel. He had the longest hair of anyone on the team, chestnut brown and reaching down almost to his shoulders.


“You’re up,” Jan said, nodding at Calvin, who jumped up off the bed and into the bathroom.


That left only Joel to still take a shower, and he couldn’t wait. Just seeing the rest of the guys all come out of the bathroom clean and refreshed was making him anxious to do the same.


“You guys look weird,” Jan said, chuckling as he looked around the room.


He had a point. Since everyone had been expecting to get home after the race today, no one had been able to plan ahead with a fresh change of clothes. Instead it was a random selection of warm up gear, sweatshirts, and whatever else the boys happened to have thrown in their backpacks before leaving the house this morning.


Devon was the only one with a fairly normal set of clothes on, jeans and a t-shirt. He had worn it all morning, but he had decided to was better to be fully dressed than fully clean. Not for modesty’s sake, but just for his own comfort. He got cold easily, and he liked being as bundled up as possible at all time.


Willy was in the opposite boat. Even in the cooler temperatures that morning he had shown up to school with his uniform already on, and a jacket pulled over it. The only thing he could find in his bag that was halfway clean was a different pair of running shorts. The jacket seemed like too much in the hotel room, so that was all he could muster to put on, and the orange shorts he was wearing barely went halfway down his thigh.


Lon was in a pair of grey sweatpants, but hadn’t found a shirt that was clean enough for his liking. He too was toying with the idea of eventually putting on his jacket, but he was still warm enough to do without in the afterglow of his shower.


And Joel was still wearing his uniform, a pair of short black shorts with a white stripe down the side and a black and white technical tank top. He was chilly and dirty, and couldn’t wait to get his chance at the shower.


“At least some of us thought to put on underwear,” Lon said, eyeing Jan’s crotch and grimacing.


Jan was standing at the foot of the bed that Lon was lying on, between him and the TV. There was no mistaking the faint outline of his package through the pants he was wearing, and there was no question that he indeed wasn’t wearing anything underneath.


Lon sat up and playfully pushed Jan away from his bed.


“Seriously,” he said, “get your ding dong out of my face, I’m trying to watch TV.”


As could be expected, instead of acquiescing, Jan starting jumping up and down and gyrating his hips, giving everyone, especially Lon, a very clear indication of exactly where his ‘ding dong’ was as it bounced around inside of his pants.


“You love it,” said Jan, trying unsuccessfully to swing his penis in a helicopter motion with his hips.


Lon rolled over to the other side of the bed to gain an unobstructed view of the TV. “I’ve seen it,” he said, “and I don’t love it.”


Refusing to be ignored, Jan jumped in front of Lon’s new location and started twerking.


“But you’ve never seen it up this close,” he said. Out of context, Jan’s voice might have sounded sexy and serious, but he was clearly just trying to get under Lon’s skin. “Maybe you’ll like it up close.”


Lon moaned in exasperation and put his pillow over his head, eliciting another chorus of laughter from the guys.


“It’s not that much bigger up close…”


Jan turned to Devon and stuck up his middle finger before joining in with everyone else’s laughter.


Devon was never shy about asserting himself in that category. He didn’t make a big deal about it, but he knew he could always get the last word in a discussion about size. They’d all seen each other naked countless times, and everyone knew that he had the biggest, or at least the longest dick on the team. He was the tallest guy on the team as well, and he was built in proportion


As Jan moved back to take a seat on his cot, Joel heard the sound of the shower turning off. He chuckled along with all the others, but he was still a little uneasy. He figured this must have been a part of hanging out with the team. Dick jokes, making fun of each other, all that. It was a good sign, right? The guys weren’t holding back around him. They must have been cool with him.


Not that he had much to contribute. He knew the guys were totally comfortable with each other, even - or maybe especially - when it came to their bodies. He had seen Willy naked, but only that one time a few days ago. The rest of the guys had probably seen each other with their clothes off a million times. Joel told himself to just be cool with it, and it would be a big step toward fitting in.


“You talking about wieners out here?”


Without any other introduction, Calvin burst out of the bathroom wearing nothing but towels. He had one around his waist, one wrapped around his head, and one still folded, balanced on top. He was, in a word, ridiculous.


The guys chuckled, but barely looked up from the TV as Calvin came over to his bed. For all his efforts, he still hadn’t been quite ridiculous enough to divert their attention. Lon rolled back over to his side and Calvin sat on the edge of the bed to take his place, facing Joel.


Calvin tossed his bag on his lap and started rifling through it, looking for clothes. Joel glanced over at him and immediately wished that he hadn’t. From where he was lying on the bed, he could see a good way up Calvin’s towel, which had come loose around his waist as he sat down. The bag in his lap kept him from seeing anything clearly, but Joel could easily make out the hint of a few shadowy lumps and bulges moving around inside.


Joel’s slight discomfort didn’t last long though, as Calvin’s next move was to stand up between the beds and drop his towel completely. Now Joel was sitting two feet away from a completely nude boy, and his discomfort was anything but slight.


The rest of the guys looked up from the TV and a chorus of groans, boos, and retching noises filled the room.


“What?” said Calvin definitely. “I left all my shit out here.”


Calvin flexed and posed a few times just to rub it in before Lon put a stop to it by reaching across the bed and giving him a hard smack on the ass. With a yelp, he pulled up his basketball shorts and took a bow.


“Thank you,” he said, “tonight’s show has concluded.”


With a laugh, Calvin turned to look down at Joel, who was beet red and trying hard not to get caught staring. From his position on the bed, Joel had a front row seat, and Calvin was sure that he had seen plenty.


“Sorry,” Calvin muttered, with as much sincerity as he could manage. He wasn’t particularly sorry that he had made Joel look at him naked, but he felt a little bad for putting him on the spot like that. “Shower’s all yours.”


Without a word or even a nod, Joel grabbed his clothes and hopped off the bed, making a beeline for the bathroom and leaving Calvin standing between the beds with nothing to do but shrug.


As soon as he closed the door, Joel took a deep breath and tossed his clean clothes up on the counter.


He didn’t think anyone had seen. That was a relief.


Calvin’s show had certainly not gone unnoticed from where he was sitting. And Joel wasn’t sure what it was about it, but seeing Calvin in front of him naked and flexing had kind of turned him on.


Or least, it had turned his penis on.


That’s why he had made such a mad dash for the bathroom. He held his spare clothes over his crotch too, as inconspicuously as possible. It was discreet enough, and it wasn’t like he had a raging hardon or anything like that in the first place. He was only about half hard, but in the running shorts he was wearing it wouldn’t take much at all for it to become very, very noticeable.


Now that he was by himself, he felt his member start to deflate a little bit. He wasn’t sure what the deal was. Seeing another guy naked in front of you shouldn’t have that kind of reaction, right?


Joel knew that he wasn’t gay, but there was something about Calvin. Maybe it was his status as an older guy on the team, or the fact that he had taken something of a shining to Joel over the last few days. Or maybe it was that Joel knew Calvin was bi.


When the other guys did stuff like that, getting undressed or showing off their stuff to each other, there wasn’t any intention. Sure, all high school boys are horny twenty-four seven, but they weren’t trying to be sexy when they made jokes or took off all their clothes. They were just messing with each other and trying to get a rise out of their teammates.


But when Calvin did it, it felt different. Maybe there was a little intention there. There was this undertone of actual sexuality, and Joel had definitely felt it. Whether he wanted to or not, he had reacted.


And Calvin was a good looking dude. Even Joel had to admit that.


He peeled off his tank top and tossed it aside, looking at himself in the mirror. Calvin was exactly what he wished he could look like. Joel just looked so young, so thin. Nothing like Calvin.


He wouldn’t have said that Calvin was ripped, but it almost seemed like he was the grown up version of what Joel looked like. Joel looked fine, and being so skinny at least had the advantage of putting what muscles you did have on full display. But as Joel looked himself over, all he could think about was Calvin.


All the running Calvin did gave his muscles such good definition, but he had several pounds of extra muscle on his frame compared to Joel, and a few extra inches of height as well. His pecs popped out nicely from his chest, and you could easily make out his six pack, whether he was flexing or not.


Joel slipped off his shorts and took another look, this time taking in the entire package. He had never seen Calvin fully naked before, but now that he had, the comparison was unavoidable.


Joel was completely hairless on his stomach and chest, something that he hoped would change eventually. That was the biggest thing he had noticed on Calvin, the little trace of a treasure trail running down his stomach and into his neatly trimmed bush. It was so manly, and made Calvin seem that much older and more developed.


Calvin’s package had seemed pretty impressive, too. Maybe it had just been the hot water, but Calvin certainly had nothing to be embarrassed about when it came to size. At least, thought Joel as he pulled his eyes away from the mirror and stepped into the shower, that was one area he didn’t need to be worried about.


It was small differences, really. But Joel felt strangely cowed by them. There was just something about Calvin that made it hit home for him, that made him really feel it. He still had growing to do, there was no question about it.


But when? And would he ever be on the level of someone like Calvin? Would he ever catch up?


Perhaps that was the nagging thought that had been troubling him all night. He was the sophomore, and they were all older. He had run a great race, and while he had finished last out of the six guys on his own team, that was more a testament to their speed rather than his slowness. He ran a PR, and had finished right on the heels of Calvin and Lon.


That was completely respectable, and coach and the rest of the guys had been thrilled with his times for the day. But even with a solid run in a Regional Meet under his belt, he couldn’t help but feel like the kid sidekick of the team.


Tonight was a big step though, right?


Maybe the guys had a point the other day, even if they were just joking around. Joel didn’t really hang out after practice or shower with the rest of the team. It was a small percentage of the time they all spent together, but that was where all the good bonding really took place. It was in the in between times, the off hours.


And that’s what tonight was all about, thought Joel as he turned off the shower. This is what it meant to truly be part of the team. It wasn’t the time running together at practice, it was the other times.. Just hanging out, fooling around, and most importantly being there. It might be a little weird and uncomfortable for him, but he just needed to roll with it, and prove that he could be one of the guys. Once they were all used to each other, it would be great.


Joel shook the excess water off of himself and pulled back the shower curtain. He took one step into the bathroom and froze.


There weren’t any more towels.


Within a second, Joel realized where his towel was. Calvin had brought it out of the bathroom with him. He had an extra towel balanced on his head when he came out. Now that Joel thought about it he remembered Calvin tossing it on his bed at one point. He had made a mental note to take it with him, but after Calvin’s unexpected displays of nudity he had forgotten all about it.


And to make matters worse, he suddenly realized, he had forgotten his shorts, too!


In his haste to get out of the room before anyone saw his rising erection, he had grabbed a pair of underwear and a clean shirt to cover himself up with, but left his gym shorts sitting on his bed.


It was an unfortunate combination, and it didn’t leave him any good options.


He could get dressed in his clean underwear he had brought into the bathroom with him, but then he would get it all wet. He didn’t care if he got his running shorts all wet, but the thought of putting his dirty clothes back on was equally unappealing.


Of course asking someone to bring him a towel and hand it through the door was the most obvious choice. But that all went back to his point from earlier. That’s not what the guys would do.


Obviously someone like Willy would take it to the extreme and run out completely naked, but that wasn’t what Joel was going for either. He didn’t feel a need to be the center of attention or anything, but no one on the team would think twice about stepping out in just his underwear. And if he wasn’t going to make a big show about like Calvin or Jan, then no one would probably even notice.


While it wasn’t an ideal situation, it would have to work. Joel grabbed the biggest, driest hand towel he could find and got as much water off of himself as possible. He was still damp, but after a full dry with his actual towel, he didn’t think it would get his underwear too wet. His hair, for the most part, would just have to wait.


Joel grabbed his bright blue boxer briefs and pulled them on. Definitely still a little damp, he thought to himself.


He took a look at himself in the mirror and adjusted his package to be as inconspicuous as possible. He was glad he didn’t bring briefs, but even these were quite tight against his skin and didn’t leave a lot to the imagination. Especially after the warm water of his shower, there was a noticeable bulge in his underwear and Joel hoped it wouldn’t attract any extra attention.


With one last deep breath to center himself, Joel cracked open the door and took a peek out into the hotel room. The guys were completely wrapped up in the TV show they were watching, and no one even turned to look when the bathroom door opened.


Joel saw his towel on the bed and steeled himself to walk through the room. He just needed to get that towel, pick up his shorts, and slip back into the bathroom. No one would even notice him. He would just be one of the guys, walking out in his underwear to grab his towel.


Joel steeled himself one last time and walked out of the bathroom. He stepped in front of the first bed and into the space between the two.


He was grabbing his towel when he heard a catcall from Devon. He felt his face heating up but tried to remind himself. This was normal. That was exactly the sort of thing the boys would do to anybody.


With his towel firmly in his hands, Joel searched his bed for his shorts. Where were they? He could swear he had them earlier while Calvin was in the shower. But the bed was only so big, and after checking on the bed and in his backpack, he was more or less out of places to look.


“Whatchu need?”


Joel turned to look at Calvin and for a second thought he saw Calvin’s eyes trace up his body as he turned around. Maybe it was just his imagination, but he held the towel up a bit higher, making sure it was fully covering his crotch.


“Uh,” Joel stammered, “my shorts?”


Calvin shrugged, but jumped down to the foot of the bed to look around. He leaned forward for a second then popped back up with a pair of orange shorts in his hand.


“These guys?” Calvin asked.


This time, Joel was sure that Calvin was sneaking a look at his body. He felt his cock twitch underneath his towel and he decided he needed to get his shorts and get out of the bedroom, before anything weird happened. Why the hell was he getting hard?


The commotion of looking for his shorts also had the added misfortune of attracting the attention of a few of the other guys. Now there were several sets of eyes on Joel.


“Yeah, thanks,” said Joel, ready to grab then and run into the bathroom.


Without any warning, Calvin tossed him the shorts. Joel had been planning on grabbing them as he walked by, so the throw caught him off guard. He was only a few feet away, but the toss went high, almost at head level. Without thinking, Joel reached up to catch his shorts, but the surprise throw also caused him to do exactly what he was hoping wouldn’t happen.


He dropped his towel.


“Damn, son,” muttered Calvin.


Joel immediately snapped the shorts back down in front of his crotch, but the damage was done. The tight boxer briefs didn’t leave much to the imagination in the first place, but now that he was sporting a semi, it was anything but inconspicuous.


Calvin certainly noticed. There was no question that he was looking directly at Joel’s package this time. He didn’t even try to hide it.


Lon let out a low whistle. He must have been looking too.


And once again, to Joel’s immense frustration, it had the exactly the opposite effect he was hoping for. His heart was pounding, and he could feel it in his dick as much as he could his chest. He was just getting harder.


“What the hell are you people going on about now,” asked Jan, sitting up in his cot. He was the farthest away from where Joel was standing, and had missed the commotion up until this point.


Devon turned to him and raised his eyebrows. “This kid is packing some heat.”


All the guys now turned and looked down at Joel’s crotch, which was still covered up by his shorts. Joel felt like his face might burst into flames. He should just make a run for the bathroom.


Devon laughed and gave Joel a reassuring smile. “You don’t have to cover that up on our accounts, dude. You should be proud.”


“If you got it, flaunt it,” said Lon.


Joel hesitated. As tempting as it was to just vault over the bed and hide in the bathroom, maybe the rest of the guys were right. They all seemed weirdly proud of him, so maybe he should be too. He didn’t need to cover himself up, and if the team caught a look, whatever. It was just harmless curiosity, right?


With as much willpower as he could muster, Joel reached down and picked up his towel. When he stood back up he held his shorts in one hand and his towel in the other, both at his sides.

He took his first step toward the bathroom, but was stopped by Calvin swinging his legs over the side of the bed and holding up his hand.


“I think he has you beat, Devon,” said Calvin.


The rest of the guys all reacted to that, and Joel froze and anxiously look over to Devon. To his relief, Devon was laughing.


“I guess that depends if you’re a shower or a grower,” he said.


The guys all waited for Joel to respond, but he wasn’t sure what to say to that.


“What… what do you mean?” asked Joel, joining everyone else as he looked down at the straining lump in his underwear.


“Like, does it get bigger?” asked Jan.


Joel looked down and tried to think. All this talk and attention had him clearly inflated, but he wasn’t totally hard. If he was, he had to admit, he wouldn’t even be able to fit it in his boxer briefs.


“Yeah,” said Joel.


The boys went nuts.


“Seriously?” asked Lon. “That thing gets bigger?”


Joel shrugged. “Well, yeah…”


Jan looked skeptical. “How big,” he asked.


At this point all the boys had gathered around a little bit closer. There was no question, Joel and his package were the center of attention, the TV and their cell phones all but forgotten.


“I dunno,” he muttered, “like…”


“How big is it when it’s hard?” asked Jan, clarifying exactly what he was asking.


“You mean in inches?” asked Joel.


Everyone laughed.


“Yeah,” said Calvin, “in inches.”


“Unless you have to measure it in feet,” said Jan.


Joel looked down again and realized that there was no hiding it at this point. It was clear that he was getting hard. Even if the other guys had no idea how big he usually was, they must have noticed the difference at this point. His cock was straining so hard against the fabric, and it was noticeably fuller than it was when the conversation had started.


But none of them seemed weirded out at all. It was the ultimate locker room nightmare - getting a boner in front of everyone. But if anything, the guys were more and more fascinated.


“I don’t know,” admitted Joel. “I’ve never measured it.”


“Seriously?” asked Lon. “That’s the first thing I would do with something like that.”


Suddenly, Willy jumped up out of the bed and sprang over to the far side of the room.


“I have a solution!” he announced.


That’s when Joel noticed the other boys. It was obvious when Willy got up. He was just wearing a tiny pair of running shorts, and it was easy to see that he was sporting some wood inside his shorts. The rest of the guys were in a similar state. Lon clearly had a hardon inside his baggy sweat pants, and Calvin had gone so far that he was lazily kneading his crotch through his gym shorts.


While it was undeniably a little bit gay, it actually made Joel feel better. Everyone was cool with it. It wasn’t just like Joel was some weirdo who got hard when the other guys were checking him out. No one was going to turn on him and make fun of him. They were all in the same boat, turned on by this sudden influx of sexual curiosity and energy.


Willy jumped back onto the bed and help up the item for which he had been searching. A ruler.


It was a small ruler, the one that snapped into the binding of his chemistry notebook. Willy had never actually used it up until this point, but there was a first time for everything.


Calvin laughed as Willy help up the ruler. “How is that going to work?” he asked. “It’s only six inches long.”


“I think we’re dealing with significantly more dick than that,” said Devon.


Willy shrugged. “We’ll make it work.”


All eyes turned expectantly to Joel, who swallowed hard and looked around wide eyed. How exactly was this going to work?


Calvin didn’t give him long to wonder. He dropped down to his knees in front of Joel and hooked his fingers in the elastic of his waistband on each hip. He looked up at Joel and raised his eyebrows, waiting for a signal.


Joel took a deep breath, trying to resist all the urges to fight him off and run away. The guys seemed impressed, and he knew what he was working with. This would solidify his place on the team in one fell swoop. He had to let it happen.


He gave Calvin a nod, and before he could do anything else Calvin pulled down his shorts, amid gasps from the rest of the boys.


Freed from its containment, his cock immediately began to swell to its full size. With each beat of his heart it inflated and began to rise upward. It was easily six inches and semi soft when it came out, but quickly grew bigger and bigger, surpassing eight inches and still growing.


“Holy shit…” muttered Lon.


He knew he was the second biggest on the team, after Devon. He was built more or less in proportion to his body, with a solid seven inches and a nice, big cut head. But he had nothing on this scrawny little kid in front of him. It was bigger than his both in length and girth, and on Joel’s small frame it looked absolutely enormous.


“Damn, dude,” said Devon and he scooted forward to get a closer look.


The rest of the boys followed suit and pressed in closer to get a good view.


“It’s like as big as my arm,” said Jan, holding up his forearm alongside Joel’s cock. An exaggeration, but he had a point.


Joel couldn’t help but smile as the boys crowded in. They all looked so impressed.


When it seemed that he couldn’t get any bigger, Willy help up the ruler ceremoniously.


“This needs to be official,” he announced, looking at Devon.


Devon nodded and stood up, taking his place next to Joel. Calvin reached over and yanked down Devon’s pants, revealing a healthy-sized dick of his own. It was mostly hard, but Devon didn’t waste any time giving it a few quick strokes to get up to full size.


The boys couldn’t be more different. Devon was tall, dark-skinned, and cut with muscle. He had at least seven inches on Joel’s height, and probably at least forty pounds on him as well.


In comparison Joel was tiny. Just five-six, and thin. He might have hit 125 pounds soaking wet, and his pale white skin was a severe contrast to Devon’s.


While their cocks were similar sizes, and both quite large, Devon’s looked perfectly normal on his body. It was hard to accurately compare the two, as due to his body size, Joel’s looked about twice as big.


Satisfied with the setup, Willy handed the ruler to Calvin.


“Captain,” he said with circumstance, “you do the honors.”


Calvin accepted the ruler and smiled to himself. He wondered if Willy was consciously conspiring or not. Either way, this night literally could not get any better for him. He had originally hoped to catch a glimpse of Joel tonight, but things had turned out even better than expected.


He had seen Devon naked about a million times in practice, but had only seen him hard once or twice. He had never gotten this close to it, much less been able to touch such a nice, impressive cock. It would make for a lovely appetizer.


Calvin kneeled down in front of Devon and asked if he was ready. Devon took a few more long strokes of his dick then nodded in affirmation. Calvin took hold of Devon’s hard dick and set the ruler against the base. Devon kept himself neatly trimmed, so it was easy to do. He measured six inches up the shaft with the ruler, marked the spot with his finger, then slid the ruler up to measure from there.


There were just about two more inches left on the second measure, and Calvin pulled away the ruler. Before letting go, however, Calvin took his thumb and forefinger and wrapped it around the thickest part of Devon’s dick. He let it linger there as long as he felt was appropriate, then released him.


“Eight inches and some change!” Calvin announced for everyone. “And about…" He held up his thumb and finger in a circle. “This big around.”


Devon dramatically bowed for the audience before stepping back a half step to make room for Joel. Calvin slid into place and looked up at Joel for the ok.


Joel couldn’t believe what he had just seen. He had come to terms with measuring himself in front of everyone, but he hadn’t known that it would require Calvin to wrap his hand around his dick. It had been a little intense when Calvin had pulled down his shorts earlier, but now he would actually be touching his dick?


No one had ever touched his cock before. And the first person was going to be a boy on his cross country team?


It wasn’t how he ever thought something like this would happen, but he couldn't deny that the idea of it sort of it turned him on. He wasn’t sure why, but his rock hard dick didn’t seem to mind what was about to happen, and it’s easy to turn off your brain and let your dick do the thinking.


With all eyes on him, Joel looked down, met Calvin’s gaze, and nodded. This was happening.


Lined up directly in front of Joel’s dick, Calvin couldn’t believe his luck. It was huge. Clearly bigger than Devon’s and when you were that close it looked absolutely massive. Calvin had seen - and done a few other things - with a handful of dicks in his life, but never one like this. And in comparison to the size of the rest of his body, it was absolutely absurd.


Calvin reached out and tentatively grabbed Joel’s penis between his thumb and two fingers. It was hot to the touch, and almost felt heavy in his hand. It lightly jolted when he touched it, and Calvin smiled to himself. This kid was a virgin for sure. So sensitive. This was going to be fun.


Calvin looked up at Joel and tried to keep his voice sounding casual.


“Are you sure you’re fully hard?” he asked.


Calvin was sure that he was, but he hadn’t been quite as aggressive as Devon to get himself going, and hadn’t really touched or played with himself at all.


Joel’s voice was barely a squeak.


“I think so.”


Calvin shrugged and wrapped the rest of his hand around Joel’s shaft. Joel didn’t make any motion to stop him, so Calvin took a couple of long strokes from the base to the tip. He tried to make it seem like business as usual, but he didn’t want to waste this opportunity. When would he ever have another chance to play with a dick like this?


“Ok,” Joel gasped. “I’m hard.”


While he would have loved to play with Joel’s monster all day, Calvin simply nodded and pulled out the ruler to start measuring. He didn’t want to make it weird.


He followed the same process as before, lining up with the base and then pulling the ruler up to the six inch mark to complete the measurement.


As soon as he brought it up for the second part, there was a gasp from a few of the boys who were watching. There was no question. He was going to be bigger.


“Ten,” he said simply, to a chorus of ‘wows’ and ‘woahs.’


“Holy shit,” he muttered. Saying it out loud really brought it home. The kid is huge.


He wrapped his finger and thumb around the shaft and wasn’t even close to completing the circuit. It was thicker, too.


He couldn’t help himself, and he kept his hand on it for significantly longer than he had before. He hefted it up and down a little in his hand.


“Seriously,” he muttered, looking up at Joel again, “I think this thing weighs more than you do.”


Suddenly worried that he had overstepped his bounds, he glanced around the room. But none of the guys looked put off by his excessive fondling. They actually just looked curious. Maybe, he thought, he could escalate this a little bit more.


“You guys need to feel this thing,” he said as casually as possible. “Imagine having one this big.”


He didn’t think that it would put off any of the other boys, and he hoped that paving the way with a little bit of flattery might put Joel at ease for whatever else was about to happen. He knew Joel was horny, and it usually doesn’t take much to convince a horny boy that he should get his penis touched.


Joel made no move to stop anyone, and Devon was the first to take a shot. Since he was already standing right next to him, Devon was easily able to reach down and replace Calvin’s hand with his own.


“Wow,” he said, giving it a squeeze and a few quick strokes. “That’s definitely thicker than mine too.”


He nodded to the other boys and they took turns lightly feeling on Joel’s dick, all making similar comments.


Joel wasn’t sure what to make of it all. The attention, the awe, the genuine pride. Plus a bunch of people touching his dick. He wasn’t completely comfortable with the fact that it was just a bunch of guys, but everyone was doing it and no one was being weird about it. He couldn’t say that it didn’t kind of feel good.


Willy was last in line, and he took Calvin’s place kneeling on the floor in front of Joel to get a closer look. He held it for a little bit and moved his head all around it to see it from multiple angles.


“That’s bad luck to have one this big,” he said, looking up at the rest of the guys, who seemed confused at his comment. “I don’t think most girls could even fit this in their mouths.”


Everyone laughed.


“Lucky for Joel you have such a big mouth,” said Lon.


Everyone laughed again, but the comment made Calvin think.


There was undeniably some sexual tension in the room. Calvin wondered again if he could push this further. Everyone was hard, and everyone was at least a little bit horny. There was something he really wanted to try, but it would take a bit of luck to pull it off.


Willy was a wild card when it came to stuff like this. As far as Calvin knew, Willy was straight. But he was also a strange kid. He didn’t feel shame or embarrassment like other people did. If you could goad him enough...


“Ten bucks says you can’t do it,” Calvin said, to another bout of laughter. It was a calculated ploy. If Willy didn’t bite, it was a funny joke. But if he was feeling ballsy…


Willy looked up at Calvin and he knew he had a taker.


Willy gave Joel a few more strokes and didn’t get any resistance. He opened his mouth and leaned forward a little bit, but then stopped.


Willy looked around one more time. He could still stop and play it off like a joke, but no one said anything to deter him. No one made any attempt to pull the plug. In fact, he noticed that everyone was touching themselves. Jan and Lon were both lightly rubbing themselves through their pants, while Devon was full on jacking himself while he sat on the edge of the bed watching the show.


Confident that he wasn’t crossing any boundaries, and keen to make a quick ten dollars, Willy opened up as wide as he could and took Joel’s flared cock head into his mouth.


He didn’t suck on it or bob his head up and down, but he took in enough to make it clear that he was able to do it, solidifying his victory in the bet.


He was about to release and pull out when Jan stopped him.


“Twenty says you can’t deepthroat it,” said Jan.


Willy rolled his eyes and pushed himself down on Joel’s fat dick as hard as he could. He was only able to get in about four inches before he pulled off gasping.


“Yeah right,” said Willy, getting back to his feet before jumping up on his bed. “That shit’s impossible. Now where’s my ten bucks?” he asked, looking at Calvin, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.


Calvin went over to his bag to find cash, and wasn’t surprised when he came back that Lon was kneeling down in front of Joel ready to make his own attempt.


Calvin and Lon had been friends for a long time, and when Calvin was just starting to figure out that he was bi, Lon had been the first person he had ever fooled around with. For Lon’s part it was just the horny curiosity of a teenager, but they had jacked each other off a few times and even tried sucking each other once.


Lon went for it right off the bat, and even though he managed to take in an inch or two more than Willy had, he still wasn’t even close to getting Joel’s entire dick down his throat. After three or four solid tries, Lon pulled off shaking his head.


Calvin looked around one more time to gauge the room. This was exactly the moment he had been hoping for. Everyone was so riled up. Joel was out of his mind, just having had his dick sucked, presumably for the first time. Lon and Jan had joined Devon and both had their dicks out, and Willy was steadily jacking himself through his shorts.


This was his chance.


“10 each, I’ll do it.”


All the guys turned to look at him. They knew that Calvin was bi, and they almost believed that he could do it. But Joel was so hung, it had to be impossible, even for someone with experience. But more importantly, all the boys were natural competitors. They saw a challenge in front of them that needed to be completed, and they knew that Calvin was the only one with even half a chance of doing it.


One by one, all the boys nodded, with the exception of Joel. Joel looked at Calvin, wide eyed.


Calvin thought he understood. Joel was undoubtedly super horny right now. He definitely wanted to cum, and he was probably more than a little bit curious about what it would be like to get off with someone’s mouth. But at the same time, he was straight. And this might be crossing the line.


That was why Calvin had asked for the money. He had to make it seem like a game. It had helped win over the other boys without any problem, but Joel wasn’t quite on the same level as them. He was the only one left who might say no.


Calvin walked between the beds and tossed Willy two fives that he had pulled out of his backpack. He leaned over to Joel and whispered in his ear.


“It’ll be worth it,” he said.


Calvin dropped to his knees and took hold of Joel’s cock with both hands. It was truly hard to believe. The last time he was this close to it, it had looked huge. But now that he was thinking about trying to swallow the whole thing, he realized that it might actually be impossible.


Calvin gave Joel a few quick strokes, then looked up one last time. Joel hadn’t done or said anything to stop him up until this point, but he wanted to give him one more chance.


From across the plane of Joel’s tight, hairless stomach and chest, Calvin saw Joel give him slightest of nods, then close his eyes. It was happening.


Calvin opened his mouth, moved his head forward, and let the head of Joel’s cock into his mouth.


It was big. By far the biggest that Calvin had ever tried to suck, and that was just the head. This wouldn’t be easy, thought Calvin, but at least it would be awesome.


Calvin slid forward another inch or two and was amazed. He wasn’t even halfway down, and his mouth was already full. He bobbed up and down a few times, trying to get a feel for Joel’s cock, and trying to get everything as lubricated as possible.


Calvin could have done this all day, but he knew he had to keep things moving. Taking the first time from a straight boy with a huge cock, there couldn’t be anything hotter. But he didn’t want Joel to freak out halfway through and make him stop before he really tried to take it all.


Plus, Joel was probably getting close. If he had never done this before, it wouldn’t take much. And once he deepthroated him, assuming it was actually possible, Joel would cum in no time.


Confident that he had lubricated everything to the best of his abilities, Calvin took a deep breath, relaxed his mouth and throat, and pushed forward.


Damn, it was big. Calvin had pushed down as hard as he thought he would have to, but when he looked up he saw that he was only about six inches deep. This would take everything he had.


He relaxed his throat again, closed his eyes, and redoubled his efforts. He pushed down hard, grabbing onto Joel’s taut little asscheeks to help pull himsefl forward. He pushed and pushed, and…


He felt Joel’s cockhead slide deeper into his throat and felt his nose hit Joel’s pubes. He did it. Ten inches of dick, buried to the hilt.


The boys all went crazy as Calvin held himself down, while Calvin felt the familiar swelling of an impending climax in his mouth and throat. Joel flew over the edge, and with a whimper blasted shot after shot of his load into the back of Calvin’s throat.


As soon as he was sure that it was done, Calvin pulled off, gasping for air and trying to swallow the remainder of Joel’s copious load.


Joel collapsed on his bed, not even bothering to pull his underwear back on, while the rest of the guys all manually blew their loads onto their dirty t-shirts and towels over the next minute or two.


Calvin sat back on the floor tried to catch his breath. He did it. He had deepthroated Joel’s huge, incredible cock.


And in the process, the rest of the team had joined in. He got to watch the rest of the guys blow their loads, one after the other. He made a mental note to jack off to this scene about a million times in the future.


Best forty dollars I’ve ever made, he thought to himself with a smile.

Copyright © 2017 Roe St. Alee; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Roe!! I am so glad you joined GA! Welcome! :) 


I'm excited to read your new story!


Will you be posting How I Got Carter? I think the readers would love that story too. :) 

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:*) hot tale!

Welcome to GA Roe, hope you post more stories. 

Even this characters, almost want to know more about Calvin. And sweet, shy Joe.

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2 hours ago, Lisa said:

Roe!! I am so glad you joined GA! Welcome! :) 


I'm excited to read your new story!


Will you be posting How I Got Carter? I think the readers would love that story too. :) 

IKR? I really liked how I got Carter, want to know more about the boys

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49 minutes ago, Sweetlion said:

IKR? I really liked how I got Carter, want to know more about the boys

I'd love it if he would write a sequel to HIGC! :) (Hint, hint!)

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4 hours ago, Lisa said:

Roe!! I am so glad you joined GA! Welcome! :) 


I'm excited to read your new story!


Will you be posting How I Got Carter? I think the readers would love that story too. :) 

Oh girlfriend, I love that story. ❤️❤️❤️

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18 hours ago, BlindAmbition said:

Oh girlfriend, I love that story. ❤️❤️❤️

And....I see it's posted!!!! :D 

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I absolutely loved this story, Roe! :) 


It started out nice and slow but ended with a bang! A few of them actually. :rofl: 


Seriously though, this is a great story. You could actually develop it into more than one chapter. (another hint, hint ---  since you so kindly posted HIGC, I thought this hint, hint might work too. :lol:)

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Well written, full of tension and humor. Makes me wish I was back on the track team. Oh to see what my neive brain did not even see as an opportunity. I have read your other story and am following your present (in progress). You are a good writer. I look forward to reading other things you write. 

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24 minutes ago, OzLoGo said:

Well written, full of tension and humor. Makes me wish I was back on the track team. Oh to see what my neive brain did not even see as an opportunity. I have read your other story and am following your present (in progress). You are a good writer. I look forward to reading other things you write. 


Thanks!  Glad you are enjoying the stories.  I write them as fast as I can (which is very, very slow).

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IWell written, full of tension and humor. Makes me wish I was back on the track team. Oh to see what my neive brain did not even see as an opportunity. I have read your other story and am following your present (in progress). You are a good writer. I look forward to reading other things you write.



An additional thought. This story could use a sequel. You left lots of room for some great stories. 

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Is an interesting beginning could not believe the way you set this up, all so innocent yet hot at the same time. Well done.

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Holy freaking crap!!! 10 inches on a sophomore LAWD HAVE MERCY!!! he's the envy of boys everywhere for sure. I kind of like to think that after this night Calvin might proposition Joel for some regular fwb fun and that maybe Joel discovers he's not as straight as he thought. A relationship between those two would be something to see I think. He's definitely not gonna skip out on the locker room bonding after this! 

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