Boy Crazy

Published 12/25/2012 – Amazon

BOY CRAZY is a short story about sex, boys, and relationships.

Andy’s always wondered why his gay best friend, Joe, just isn’t interested in dating. No matter how many hot guys he points out, Joe never makes a move – and he always says that he wants a real relationship, not a casual hookup.

Andy stops thinking about Joe’s love life when his own is in peril. His girlfriend, Carla, dumps him without warning, leaving Andy alone and hurt on a Friday night. Joe keeps him company – and even a little more besides – but did Joe have a hand in the breakup?

And what does Andy really feel about him?


Andy pointed out yet another hot looking guy in Speedos, and nudged his friend. “How about him, then? He’s got… I dunno, nice abs or something.”

Joe rolled his eyes at him. “I don’t pick up dates at work, man, how many times do I have to say it?’ he said from the lifeguard’s chair. “Can you wait half an hour to annoy me about this? I don’t finish until four.”

“You don’t pick up dates at all,” Andy said under his breath, getting a sharp look from Joe. “Oh fine, I’ll see you in the gym.”

He returned to the pool and did a few lengths, then left for the locker room.

He was lucky to have a best friend who could get him into a great fitness center for free, but every time he saw his roommate here, he had to wonder whether Joe had a sex drive at all. He was tall, body-builder strong, half-Latino and very gay, but in the two years Andy had known him, he had never even brought a guy home to their small apartment. Joe was too easy-going to really tell Andy to quit trying to set him up with someone, and besides, he figured he’d hit the mark a few times but Joe just hadn’t made a move for some reason. Whether it was nerves or confidence or something else, Andy was going to get his friend through it. Celibacy was a good way for a man to go insane.

He started his own workout while he waited. He wasn’t as big as Joe, but he liked to stay in shape. Swimming was his preference, but he had to do some weights to even it out.

By the time Joe appeared, he had worked up a sweat.

“Hey,” Andy said, as Joe settled in on the shoulder press. He stood next to him while he adjusted it. “Look, man, I know I keep saying it, but you gotta get laid. Why is it you never bring anyone home? You know it’s okay, right?”

Joe sighed in exasperation. “Just let it go. I’m not interested in hooking up with random guys, Andy. You know it’s okay to want an actual relationship, right?”

“Yeah, but you’ll never get into one if you don’t take any chances, and in the meantime, you get no fun. That isn’t healthy.”

“I’ll be the judge of that.” He started on his reps. “How’s Carla? You and her going out this weekend?”

Andy knew he was deliberately changing the subject. “Yeah, I’m taking her to a concert. We won’t be back until after midnight. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, of course. Just make sure you’re not too drunk or anything.”

“See, that’s the kind of thing you do in a normal relationship, man – but we didn’t get there by just making eyes at each other, if you know what I mean.” He wasn’t going to let it go that easily. “You know, sexual compatibility is a good place to start if you want to turn a hookup into something more.”

Joe just laughed at him. “Dude, we are not getting into another debate about what makes for long term romance, okay? Just go do your routine, save it for when we’re drunk.”

Andy lingered instead of going back to his workout. He still wasn’t sure why it bothered him so much that Joe didn’t really date at all. He resisted every effort to get him to enjoy himself, preferring to stay in and watch movies with Andy, even though he certainly did enjoy himself on the rare occasions that he did go out. His dance moves and soft-spoken demeanor could have gotten him enough tail to satisfy Casanova.

Perhaps that was the problem. Andy didn’t like the idea of anyone missing that much sex.

Joe finished his reps and stood up. He turned his roommate towards the chest press. “C’mon, Andy, what are you waiting around for? Get going there!”

“You know I’m not going to shut up about your love life, right?” Andy said, smiling as he started to set it up.

“Yeah, but I know it’s because you care. Why else do you think I put up with you?”

 

*****

On Friday night, Andy had just pulled his T-shirt over his head when he heard the doorbell. He hurriedly reached for his jeans as he heard Joe answering the door and greeting his girlfriend.

“Hey Carla, Andy’s just getting ready, you want to come in for a sec and wait?”

“Actually -”

He emerged from his bedroom without his socks or shoes on. Carla stood in the hallway with Joe, playing nervously with the strap of her bag. She was dressed in her usual baggy pants and cutoff top, not the party dress he expected.

“Hey baby, you’re early,” he said. “Something wrong?”

“Uh… yeah. Yeah, there’s something wrong. Could we talk in private for a while?” She glanced at Joe.

His roommate gave Andy a look and snagged his keys from the small table by the door. “I’m just gonna go get something from the store. I’ll be back in a while.”

As soon as Joe had left, Carla took his arm and led him into their small living room. They sat down on the couch.

“This isn’t really easy for me to say,” she began, and it suddenly dawned on Andy what was wrong.

“Are you breaking up with me?”

She took his hand gently and looked sympathetic. “Andy, this isn’t working out. I think you’re a great guy, but I’m just not feeling it. I mean, we have fun together, but we don’t really talk and you’re not ready for a commitment.”

This couldn’t be real. It didn’t feel real. They’d been going out for almost two years, give or take – wasn’t that too early to talk about commitments? Andy pulled his hand away.

“What don’t we talk about?” he implored. “What the hell is this really about, Carla? You can’t just dump me like this and not give me a real reason!”

“This IS a real reason.”

“Is there someone else?”

“There doesn’t have to be someone else, for god’s sake,” she snapped. “This isn’t easy for me, okay? I just know that I’m not the one who can make you happy, and I figure the best way for you to find that person is if I’m out of the picture.” She took a deep breath, composing herself, and tucked her hair behind her ear. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and it’s not fair on either of us, Andy. I like you, you’re a great guy, but I don’t love you. And I’m pretty sure you don’t love me.”

He felt like his world was about to collapse. Andy stared at the floor, completely silenced by disbelief. Carla searched through her bag quickly, and put the concert ticket into his hand.

“You should still go,” she said gently. “Maybe you’ll meet someone there. I’d really like if we could stay friends, but… I’ll understand if you don’t want to.” She patted his arm. “I should go. Call me tomorrow if you want to talk.”

Carla slipped away from him. Andy was barely conscious of her leaving.

It felt completely unreal. Him and Carla were… they were… She would come over and have dinner with him. And they’d drink beer and have sex. They’d go out and meet friends and dance. He brought her to a fun fair for her birthday and won her a big fluffy teddy bear.

He wouldn’t get to do any of that anymore.

Two years of being part of something really fun and awesome, gone – no more cuddles, no more sex, no more sleeping over at her place when her roommate was out.

But… not no more talking.

Oh god, she was right. They didn’t really talk. He tossed the ticket onto the floor and slumped on the couch, feeling like he’d been punched repeatedly in the guts.

Andy jumped at the sound of the door opening again, and for one fleeting second he wanted it to be Carla, coming to tell him that it was all just a mistake. But those heavy footsteps would never have passed for his girlfriend – his ex-girlfriend – and Joe appeared with a six-pack in each hand.

“Uh, hey man. Is it what I think it is?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Andy said, hating the shaky sound of his voice. “She’s gone. She broke up with me.”

Joe sat gingerly beside him, in the spot that Carla had so recently vacated, and handed him a beer. “I kinda thought it wasn’t gonna be good. Here, I think you need this.”

“God, this sucks,” Andy muttered, but still took the can. “Thanks.”

“So… what do the straight guys do when they get dumped?” Joe said jokingly. “I’m totally here for you, man, but this is sort of out of my area of expertise, if you know what I mean.”

Andy chuckled half-heartedly. “Shit, I dunno. I haven’t been dumped since high school. What do gays do, dress up in sequins and go dancing?”

“Yeah, well, much as I’d like to lend you my tights… Personally, I get drunk and watch porn. It’s less annoying and you can do it from the comfort and convenience of your own home.” Joe grabbed his own beer, and eyed him cautiously. “No concert, then?”

Andy thought for a minute. Going to the concert would just make him feel worse. The alternative on a Friday night, of going out and getting trashed, held no appeal. “Fuck it,” he said, and downed the beer. “Drunken porn it is.”

 

*****

 

It took hours for him to feel better. Joe did his best to keep Andy’s spirits up, and they spent all their time mocking the actors and actresses in the porn movies. As the current one finished, Joe flicked through the DVDs and dug out a few more possible selections.

“I’ve seen all of these,” Andy said. “Seriously man, have we got anything else?”

“Well… I got my own stash, but I kinda don’t think you want to watch the stuff I like.”

Andy tossed his empty can to the floor and grabbed the last beer. “Who cares? I don’t care. Just show me something, Joe, I don’t give a shit any more.” He slumped on the couch dejectedly.

Joe shrugged, and disappeared into his room for a moment. He returned with a handful of DVDs that had more oiled men on their covers than usual.

“Okay, this is my favorite.” He handed one to Andy. “It’s, uh, got a lot of guys in it.”

“Just play it, asshole.”

All the women were starting to grate on his nerves. They all reminded him of Carla. Andy sucked down the beer like it was his last drink, and waited for the movie.

After the usual mediocre setup, the two guys started getting hot and heavy. Andy watched without any real interest. His mind drifted to Carla, and to their two years together, and it suddenly struck him that he didn’t really feel as bad as he thought he should. She wasn’t completely gone, just… a smaller part of his life, now. After the shock was over – or numbed by the alcohol – he felt empty instead of really sad.

Maybe she was right. Carla was pretty smart. It still meant he was going to get reacquainted with his right hand all over again. He sighed. A friend with benefits would be great right about now.

“Uh, Andy?”

He glanced over at Joe, who looked a little weirded out. “Yeah?”

His friend looked pointedly at his crotch. Andy glanced down and realized that his dick was thinking for itself while his mind was elsewhere.

“Aw dammit… Sorry, man. I was kinda planning on being with Carla tonight.” Andy shuffled around, turning himself away.

Joe seemed nonplussed. “It’s cool, I understand. I mean, you just got dumped.” He paused for a moment. “You know, uh, I could help you with that.”

“What?”

“Well, I mean, this is sort of my area of expertise.”

Andy turned back to look at his friend in disbelief. “Joe, are you offering to suck my dick?”

Joe rubbed the back of his head and wouldn’t meet his eye. “Yeah, I guess I am,” he said quietly.

“…Holy shit. Like, seriously. Holy fucking shit.” Andy stared at his friend through a haze of alcohol and disbelief. “You, Joe, guy who never ever wants to go out at all, never brings guys home, never has sex as far as I know? Who are you and what have you done with my roommate?”

“Andy, I’m willing to do you a favor because: your girlfriend of two years broke up with you, you’re my friend, and I think I can remember how to suck a dick pretty well. What’s the problem?” said Joe, sounding a little offended. “You know most guys would jump at the chance for a free blowjob.”

“I live with you, man! And you’re a man!” This was surreal, like something out of a bad TV show. Andy started to wonder whether he was dreaming all this – what were the odds of both Carla and Joe acting so crazy in one day? For a second he felt a little weirded out, then remembered that this was Joe he was talking to.

His roommate gave him a flat look. “You’re kidding me, right? I didn’t figure you for being uptight about catching the gay or some shit. What the fuck does it matter as long as it feels good?”

What indeed… Andy stared at his beer, mind blank. He’d been planning a much better evening than just sitting around, drinking beer and watching a couple of guys humping. That original plan had included a blowjob at some point. So he had missed the concert, and hanging out with Carla, and the actual sex, but… he didn’t have to miss everything.

“Promise you won’t tell anyone?” he said weakly.

Joe made the Boy Scout salute. “Cross my heart and hope to die. This is just a favor between friends, okay? I’m not gonna say anything if you don’t want me to.”

Andy gulped down the last of the beer, and carefully put it on the floor. He was still conflicted, but a very big, very petty part of him wanted to let Joe do it. The same part of him said fuck Carla, she had her chance, just take what you can get.

He fumbled with his pants, feeling a lot more drunk, and couldn’t look Joe in the eye as he pulled out his dick. Joe obviously knew what he was doing, however.

His best friend knelt down between his legs, and pushed his knees apart. “Just trust me,” he murmured. He pulled Andy’s pants down to his ankles, and slid his hands up around his butt, and Andy immediately felt a jolt of nervousness.

“Hey, wait, I thought you were gonna -“

“Andy. Trust me. There’s a method to all this, okay? This is how I do it. Relax, I’m not going to do anything you won’t enjoy.”

Joe pushed his T-shirt up, exposing his stomach, and nudged Andy around until he was lying flat on the couch on his back. Then he settled between his legs, fingers trailing around his bellybutton, and began to nuzzle the soft hair around his balls.

The feel of breath tickling his crotch was strangely soothing. Andy let him work, and lay back to enjoy the lazy sensation of hands gently rubbing his skin. Yes, it was a guy feeling him up, but as long as he kept his eyes closed, he could keep that thought out of his mind. Pretend it’s one of Carla’s hot friends or something, he thought…

No. No no no! He grimaced, and tried not to think about her. Forget her. Forget two years with her, and all the good times they had together, and concentrate on…

Joe nipped at the head of his cock, playing around the sensitive skin with his lips. Andy shivered, and everything but the burst of pleasure in his crotch faded from his mind.

Goddamn, Joe can give good head. Joe can… oh… His mouth wandered up and down his erection, sometimes pulling at the skin, sometimes sucking, always gentle – and subtly demanding. Andy exhaled sharply, and realized he’d been holding his breath. The soft burn in his guts was rising, and his hips moved with it; up towards the source of pleasure, pressing into Joe, asking for more.

His roommate didn’t disappoint. Joe spread his thighs apart, massaging the skin behind his balls and working up his erection again. He took the tip into his mouth and sucked, letting his tongue ripple along the underside as his fingers explored Andy’s buttocks. As his lips slid up and down, Andy moaned uncontrollably.

“Shit… holy shit, Joe…” His hand found their way around his roommate’s head, pressing him closer, and Joe obliged by sinking down even further, swallowing around his erection. “Oh… oh god, Joe…”

His other hand bounced off the TV remote, turning up the volume. The throaty moans distracted him for a moment, and he turned to look at the screen just in time to see one of the men climax spectacularly. His whole body suddenly tensed; the sight and sound went straight to his groin and he bucked under his roommate’s hands, making a strangled noise at the back of his throat out of surprise as much as pleasure.

He never had the chance to move again. Joe pressed a hand to his stomach and held him in place, then sucked him hard and fast. His fingers worked around Andy’s balls and down into his crack, and rubbed across his sensitive asshole, pressing in and out in steady rhythm that made his head dizzy.

He could tell himself that he didn’t want it, but his body knew he was lying. Andy would have said anything, done anything, to keep Joe’s hands on him. He’d never tried any gay stuff, never even thought of experimenting, but now he could feel the ring of muscle flexing under gentle fingers and it made his dick pulse with every stroke. He couldn’t even speak, because thinking was long since too difficult – breathing was damn near too difficult.

Joe lifted his mouth off him for a moment, and Andy groaned at the loss of sensation.

“Shhh, it’s okay, it’s okay,” Joe whispered to him. He swapped hands and sucked his fingers for a moment. “Just trust me, babe, I’ll make you fly.”

Andy stared at him groggily, not really understanding. But Joe resumed stroking him with his tongue, and every rational thought disappeared from his mind. He was getting close, and it was going to be one hell of a ride…

Joe’s fingers slid down his crack again, and rubbed around his hole. It felt so good, and insane, and his dick felt like it was going to explode soon, and the pressure got just a little stronger and a little more insistent.

He didn’t realize anything had happened until Joe moved his hand upwards, and suddenly Andy knew that his fingers were stroking him on the inside. Whether the knowledge or the sensation were to blame, he didn’t know – but every muscle in his body clenched at once, and he experienced the most powerful orgasm of his life.

Andy flailed at the couch, grasping the cushions anywhere he could, swearing breathlessly while his groin throbbed and Joe drank him down. It came close to actual pain, and he would have screamed if he could, but his vocal cords wouldn’t obey. His roommate’s strong arms held his hips steady, and it seemed that hours passed before he collapsed into a dazed, limp heap.

Coming down from the high was slow. Andy was barely aware of Joe doing up his pants again, and the movie being switched off. Then he was pulled into a warm hug that smelled of aftershave and sex, and it was easier to simply curl into that warmth and fall asleep.

*****

 

He wasn’t supposed to get hangovers.

He also wasn’t supposed to be awake before 8am on a Saturday, but the morning light that peeked in through the shades looked suspiciously early for Andy’s liking, when he finally opened his eyes.

His mouth tasted foul, and his neck was a little sore from having slept on the couch. The blanket they kept for friends who wanted to crash was tucked in around him; small consolation, but he was warm, in a fuzzy, don’t-want-to-get-up kind of way. His head and stomach loudly proclaimed that last night had involved too much alcohol, and they were in need of a cure.

He smelled coffee, and something frying. That decided it. Despite the headache, Andy got up – slowly, by swinging his legs out and sitting up, then hauling himself upright and staggering towards the kitchen.

He leaned heavily on the doorframe, still wobbly and feeling like a total lightweight. Joe was already up and making waffles and bacon, and the coffee machine promised caffeine rejuvenation as soon as he could find a mug.

“Hey man,” Andy said weakly. “Please tell me you got something I can eat that I won’t throw up?”

“Oh hey, good morning – one sec, I got coffee and stuff.” Joe waved him over to the table, and served up some bacon-y waffle-y goodness along with coffee strong enough to bend spoons. Andy stared at the food for a few minutes, mind blank, absorbing the smell rising from his mug while he waited for his headache to subside.

“You feeling okay?” Joe said sympathetically. “This isn’t like you, man. Since when do you get hangovers?”

“Since I drink too much, watch bad porn and let… you…” Andy trailed off.

Yeah, that did happen.

He rubbed his eyes. “I don’t feel like myself, sorry.” He started on the waffles, and couldn’t look his friend in the eye. As soon as he looked at Joe, he’d see his face as it was last night – lips wrapped around his dick and sucking him off with the kind of skill Andy had only ever dreamed about.

Joe cleared his throat uncomfortably. “Look, Andy, what we did last night – it’s okay. It’s not important. I’m still your friend, you’re not gay or anything, and it doesn’t have to be weird.”

“It’s already weird,” he muttered.

“No, c’mon man, listen. It was just a favor, you don’t need to think about it if you don’t want to.”

Andy didn’t want to talk to him. He really didn’t want to face anything about what Joe had done – what Andy had let him do. Even through the nausea of the hangover, the memory made his skin hot and his dick hard. It frightened him.

“I’m going to take a shower,” he muttered, and left before his roommate could say another word.

The water streamed over his hair and down his back. Andy tried to think about Carla, and her lithe body, and how she liked him to rub her breasts. He tried to think about all the times they had sex, and how great she was in bed. It didn’t help.

Nothing helped. He cut himself shaving – something he hadn’t done in years. He dropped the soap, and had to fumble around the floor of the shower to retrieve it. What they had done haunted him, because Andy knew that he was a couple of beers away from begging Joe to do it again. That thought alone made him more confused and terrified than he’d ever been in his life.

He felt like a coward when he slipped out of the apartment. Andy told himself that he needed space, and some time to think about everything, or to forget that it ever happened. He fled to one of his favorite hideaways – a small, bohemian cafe called Burnt Beans where he liked to meet Carla for lunch.

Where he used to meet her. He wouldn’t get to do that again. He knew he should be hurt, and he told himself that he was, but the feeling was empty.

Andy sauntered in and waved at Sandy, the tall, black, supermodel-like manager. She gave him a grin and a thumbs up in between taking an order from a couple at another table. He lurked at one of the small tables at the back, far away from the door, until she passed by.

“Morning, sugar, how’re you doing?” she said, in her soft accent. “You got the look of a man in need of some coffee.”

“Yeah honey, can I get a cup of something strong?” he replied. She winked at him and went back to the counter.

Carla had found it funny that he and Sandy never called each other by their very similar names. Joe found it ridiculous. Sandy was cool, and very good at knowing what other people needed, and they had become friends over their names.

Once the other patrons were fed and happy, Sandy returned with a cup of espresso and a glass of water. She set both in front of him and popped two tablets in the glass, which immediately fizzed up, then sat across from him. “You wanna talk about it?”

Andy groaned. “No.”

“Tell me anyway.”

He gulped the water down in one go, coughing from the taste. “Carla broke up with me,” he said hoarsely.

“Aw, sugar… that’s too bad. She say why?”

“I really don’t want to talk about it. Sorry.” There was only so much he could say, and the thought of telling Sandy what had happened last night made his stomach clench.

“Well – this is on the house, okay? You kinda look like you drank yourself stupid.” She collected the glass and stood up to leave, then hesitated. “Hey, I dunno if it’s my place to say, but I saw Carla outside with your friend last week.”

“What?”

“You know the big guy? I think you said he’s your roommate. Carla was in here getting her latte, and he was waiting for her outside. Seemed like a pretty crazy talk, if you know what I mean.”

Andy tried to understand this and failed. Neither of them had mentioned meeting each other to him. Why would Joe argue with Carla without telling him? They seemed completely cool last night when he greeted her at the door.

Was Joe really gay?

He shook himself. That was stupid. Joe had sucked him off and enjoyed it, as far as Andy could tell. Then he was struck by a strange and bizarre thought: did Carla break up with him because of Joe?

Andy knocked back the espresso and handed the little cup to Sandy. “Thanks for telling me, honey. I gotta go,” he mumbled.

Sandy frowned at him. “Don’t do anything stupid, okay?”

He waved her off, and left. He needed time to think.

 

*****

 

It was almost early evening before Andy returned to the apartment. His hangover had long since cleared. He’d walked, and got some lunch, and walked some more, and quickly realized that he’d left his cellphone at home. He was exhausted and hungry again, and he had to face Joe some time.

There was only one reasonable conclusion: Joe made Carla break up with him so he could come on to him. Andy didn’t even know what to think about that, because it would mean that he really didn’t know his roommate at all. Angry as he was, he needed to talk to Joe and find out the truth – then go to Carla and explain everything.

The emptiness hadn’t gone away. The effect of the previous night’s events hadn’t changed. He still got a slow burn in his gut whenever he thought about what he and Joe had done. Andy was almost ready to believe that it had broken him, messed him up in some crazy way. He should feel revulsion at being used, but it still made his cock twitch.

He slipped inside warily, listening for any sounds to indicate where his roommate was. Instead, he heard some voices from the kitchen – and it could only be Joe, and Carla.

He froze. He didn’t know, not for a second, if he was ready to see either of them. Curiosity got the better of him, and he moved close enough to hear clearly.

“…If he doesn’t? I don’t know how to deal with this, Carla.”

“C’mon, you know he’ll come back. Besides, he’s a big boy, he can take care of himself.”

“He left his phone here.”

“Of course he did, typical Andy.” She laughed. “I bet he’s feeling kinda silly right now.”

“What if he won’t talk to me?”

“I’ll talk to him then. He’ll listen to me if I explain.”

Andy could barely contain himself. He pushed the door open to see Joe and Carla sitting at the table, with a beer in front of them both. They both stood as soon as they saw him.

Before either of them could say a word, Andy pointed at Joe and snarled. “I want a fucking explanation, man. I want to know what the fuck you think you’re doing, messing around with me, and I want to know what you told Carla outside the cafe last week.”

Joe flinched. “Look, man, I don’t know what you think is going on here -“

“No, I don’t know what the fuck is going on here, but it looks like you’re either stealing my girlfriend or you’re fucking with me for fun. So which is it, Joe?!”

“You think I’m a thing, Andy?” Carla snapped. She walked right up to him and poked him in the chest. “What the hell makes you think I can be stolen? If I decide to go and bone fifty guys tonight, it’s not because they stole me away or some shit. You don’t own me, you got that?”

That took the wind right out of his sails. Andy opened and closed his mouth stupidly. “Then what the hell is going on?” he managed.

Carla looked back at Joe for a moment. “What’s going on is that I know you’ve got a thing for Joe. And that’s why I broke up with you, Andy. You’re so deep in the closet you can’t even admit it to yourself.”

Joe turned crimson. Andy stared at her in complete shock for a moment. “You broke up with me because you think I’m gay?!

“I KNOW you’re bi, Andy. I think you’re lying to yourself,” she said. “I figured out Joe had a crush on you too and I asked him to come to the cafe to talk. I told him that I thought you were into him.”

It was insane. It was absolutely insane, in every possible way, and it made him feel sick and crazy all at once, and Andy looked at Joe and wanted it to not be real. Joe looked back at him helplessly, but with a faint, desperate hint of hope.

And it suddenly made sense.

All the times they stayed up late and talked about everything and anything. All the guys he had tried to shove at Joe. All the excuses, carefully given, to avoid suspicion. He’d always counted himself lucky for having such a great, easy-going, caring guy as his friend. He’d defend Joe to the death.

He cared for Joe – of course he did, they were best friends. But this was something more than that, something so big he couldn’t wrap his mind around it. The enormity of the realization staggered him.

Andy remembered being held last night. He remembered the warmth. His whole chest abruptly clenched up, and slowly relaxed. He pulled out a chair and collapsed into it as his legs turned to rubber.

Carla grabbed her handbag as he put his face in his hands. “I’m getting out of here. Guys, just figure it out. I’ll call you later.” She vanished as abruptly as she had on the night she broke up with him.

Silence descended on the kitchen, broken only by the sound of Joe sitting down again beside Andy. Neither of them said a word. Joe reached out and touched his wrist with the tips of his fingers, and Andy didn’t move away.

“How long?” he asked.

“Since we met,” Joe replied, and laughed weakly. “It’s like a fucking joke, isn’t it? The gay guy falling for the straight guy.”

“What did Carla say to you?”

“Just that she knew. Scared the shit out of me. I thought she was going to rip my head off.”

Joe’s hand slid over his, and the burn in his gut surged for a moment. Andy felt dizzy, and awkward, and a bit like he was falling sideways, but it was… good. He had never even contemplated it being good. In all the time he’d thought of Joe’s sex life, he never once imagined himself being in it, and it terrified him.

“I don’t think you know how afraid I am right now,” he said quietly.

“I kinda think I do,” said Joe. “I – I just want to ask you, man. I’ll go, if you want me to. I guess I want a lot of things, but… I want to be your friend, even if I get nothing else. You’re a great guy, Andy. I’m scared of losing you.”

As he said the words, Andy’s chest tightened again. The thought of Joe just… not being there… hurt. It shook him that he could deal with Carla’s absence, but not this. His fingers seemed to move of their own accord, and they gripped Joe’s hand in turn.

Warmth spilled between them, through the meager contact. Warmth and hope and even some kind of relief, as if the worst was over. It was still all kinds of crazy, and the whole idea of it had knocked him so far out of his comfort zone that he might as well be on Mars, but it felt like it could be okay. Like there was no reason to be scared, despite the fact that he was walking into the complete unknown.

“Are you scared of me?” Joe asked.

“No, man,” said Andy. “I’m scared of… everything else, like… I don’t even know how I’m supposed to feel. It’s like I’ve lost my mind.”

“Do you like me?”

Andy caught the fear in his voice. It was even harder to imagine Joe being bothered by something, but now his roommate looked just as frightened as he himself felt.

“I think I do,” he said softly. “I just don’t know how to deal with it, Joe.”

Joe let out the breath he had been holding in, and swallowed nervously. “I kinda thought you’d deal with it the same way as if I were a girl.”

“What, buy you dinner and invite you back to my place for sex?” Andy said.

“Anything you’d want to give me, man. Anything.”

Joe’s fingers slid between his. His thumb drifted across the back of his hand. It was somehow ridiculous, that Andy could be so scared of this. Joe had already touched him in far more intimate places, and he’d enjoyed it then.

The warmth grew as he tried to relax. Andy thought about all the conversations they’d had, all the good times they’d enjoyed – most in this apartment, late at night, when they were drunk and stupid and silly. He could have all that and… something more. That big, crazy something that was intimidating and awesome at the same time.

He stood up, and pulled Joe with him to the living room. The couch was still a bit messy, and the blanket was where he had left it on the floor. He sat down again, and Joe sat beside him, still hand in hand.

“I don’t know what I’m doing, okay?” Andy said. “I don’t know if I’m going to freak out or something. So just… go slow?”

Joe put his arm around his shoulders, and it was a comforting weight. “You know me, Andy,” he said softly. “I’ll be good to you. Trust me, just a little. I promise I’ll make you fly.”

The same as last night. He felt a little light-headed.

Joe leaned back against the side of the couch, drawing Andy down on top of him. They’d sat here so many times before with at least a foot of space between them, and now they were squashed together with Andy tucked in around his chest and his nose against his neck. They lay together in silence until Joe spoke.

“Not so bad, huh?”

“No.” Andy moved a little against him. “Feels okay.”

Joe ran his hand down Andy’s back, leaving a trail of heat on his T-shirt. “I was so afraid you’d just leave, and never come back,” he said. “I didn’t want to get between you and Carla either. There wasn’t any point, you know? You being straight ’n’ all. That’s why I never said anything.”

“Why’d you offer me a blowjob then?” Andy asked.

“I didn’t know if I’d ever get another chance, and I wanted to do it. You’ve got a really nice dick.”

The burn in the pit of his stomach surged again. There was something really powerful about the way he said that. Andy moved again, and lifted his head towards Joe’s face. It made him feel stupid, and his tongue felt thick, but he couldn’t help saying it.

“Do you want to do it again?”

“…Yeah. As often as I can.” He paused. “I’ve had two years to think about all the things I’d like to do, if you ever wanted to…”

Andy breathed in and out, feeling his heart speed up. He was sober, and that made things different, but maybe he could forget that he was with a man –

No. This is Joe.

It scares the shit out of you, but this is Joe.

Andy kissed his neck. Joe stiffened, for a moment, then let his hand rest on Andy’s ass.

He never really figured out what happened next. Some strong urge made him act, and within seconds he was grinding against Joe and shoving his tongue down his throat. The feeling and the taste were both strange, and different; more hard than soft, more strong than weak, and although it scared him, it was like all the best things in his life distilled into a few, sharp moments.

They moved together, and Andy suddenly jumped in surprise when he felt the heat of another erection pressed against his own. It was hot, even through jeans and underwear, and it was alien – part of him insisted that it shouldn’t affect him so much, but his body rebelled. In spite of everything he believed about himself, he wanted more. He wanted…

Andy felt like he was back in high school and just discovering what felt good. It didn’t matter. Joe pulled his shirt off and he went with it willingly, let him lift him up and undo his pants. Being on top of him, rocking against him, made him feel like he could fly – and like he was just a step away from crashing into wonderful oblivion.

Joe slipped one hand between them, and Andy bucked into his touch. His other hand wandered over his thighs and back, stroking every tense muscle with reassurance. He was still gentle, still just a little forceful, and when Andy moaned, he gripped his ass and pressed him down into every thrust.

Joe whispered his name, over and over, breathless and past the point of no return. It was too much for him. No one, man or woman, had ever said his name with such desperate lust. Andy came hard, and was rewarded with Joe crying out his name one last time.

Even after he came down from the high, he didn’t pull away. Joe was warm, and he smelled of aftershave and sex. It made him feel happy as well as satisfied; insane, and somehow great. It felt more meaningful than with Carla. They’d always had fun, of course, but they never had this.

Andy groaned and nuzzled Joe’s neck, getting scraped by stubble and not really caring about it, and felt Joe’s hand running through his hair.

“I thought you said to go slow,” his roommate murmured.

“Changed my mind,” he said indistinctly.

“Go out with me?”

Andy barely knew what to say. “Like… boyfriends?”

“Yeah.”

He knew he wanted it, even if it was probably the biggest change he’d ever made in his whole life. He nodded, and Joe hugged him tighter for a moment.

“You know it’s still scary, right?” Andy said.

“I know, babe.” He kissed the top of Andy’s head. “This must be kinda crazy for you.”

“What’s Carla going to say?”

“Nothing. She told me that we had to get together. I don’t think she’ll be surprised.”

Andy sighed. “I think she’s a lot smarter than me.”

“She’s going to call eventually too,” said Joe, and shifted uncomfortably. “I’d like to stay here all night but… well, you know. Clean up.”

“Joe?”

“Yeah?”

“I think… I won’t freak out if you give me another blowjob.”

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