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|Finally, a dollar.
I had a number of loose coins left over after my cab fare. I counted the change again and deposited it into the waiting slot, selecting an RC Cola. The soda machine hummed in electronic approval and gurgled a few times before spitting out its chilly prize.
Something stopped me from bending to collect my prize immediately. I felt the same sensation from the previous night, an itch somewhere in my skull like I was being watched. I spun to catch my observer, but there was no one behind me.
The hallway was completely empty, although I heard chatter and laughter from other sections of the dorms. Perhaps the sensation had come from outdoors. Windows lined the dormitory hallways, looking out onto a hillside strewn with pines. While not precisely a forest, the trees grew thick enough to hide someone, especially in the dark of night. Only the spear-top peaks of the trees were visible, marching in black procession under the sullen sky. Clouds spread like bruises spread across the face of night, choking the light of the moon. A shiver lanced up my spine.
After recovering the soda from the machine's maw, I made my way back toward my room, stopping at the corkboard that held the week's announcements. Most of them were typical collegiate fare. There were leftover announcements about fraternity rushes from the beginning of the semester scattered around several advertisements for off-campus housing. One colorful sign proclaimed a campus Wiccan circle, almost concealed by fliers for several student unions that were based on race but welcomed 'all skin colors.' There was a Christian support group for 'recovering homosexuals,' and that advertisement rankled me a bit. I thought about founding a gay support group for Christians, but the thought of how soundly my ass would get kicked forestalled my testosterone-induced moment.
Besides, I thought as I fingered the Saint Christopher medal at my neck, that would be sacrilege of a sort. An unpleasant sort, if I got my ass kicked by a bunch of conservative Christians. I went to church once every so often and lived as moral a life as most boys managed amidst the liquor-stained travails of collegiate life, so I figured God and I were on good terms.
The St. Christopher medal was cool against my fingers, as usual. I was unsure of the metal from which it had been made, but it never quite warmed to the heat of my body. I still recall the day that Danny gave the charm to me in technicolor clarity. No small wonder, because I relived it often, in needle-sharp clarity, almost every time my head hit my pillow.
He'd hung the pendant around my neck, cool green eyes staring into mine. We had been the same height, but Danny always seemed twice my size. A fountain of energy bubbled beneath those eyes. He always had an extraordinary tan, a coppery brown glow that hinted at some foreign pigment in his classical American boy good looks. His lazy smile was a bit off-center. The one imperfection in his face made his sharp-edged features and flawless skin all the more irresistable.
"It's a Saint Christopher medal," he'd said. His voice had a husky quality like the smoky taste of fine scotch. When he'd whispered to me at night, his voice was redolent of life and sex and young wonder. "A lot of surfers wear them," he finished. The goofy grin broke the spell his voice had cast.
"I'm not a surfer, Danny. I don't have friends that are surfers. Heck, I don't have any fri--"
His eyes were normally like jade, but something in them melted at my self-deprecating tone. The disappointment in his gaze stung harder than pity. I marveled at how able he was to control me without even opening his mouth.
"You've got me," he said. "And now you have Saint Christopher. He's the patron saint of travelers."
I tried to slump, to make myself small, but my boyfriend's hands were like steel on my shoulders. He was not a large man, but he was muscled like a dancer and unusually strong. I used to joke that he would make a wonderful wrestler, but violence was beyond Danny.
I reached up to place my right hand on his left. "I'm not sure I believe in God, Danny."
"Well, I do. Whenever you wear this, I'll be with you, stud. Hey, are you all right?" He started tugging at my shoulder.
Wait, that wasn't what happened. I shook my head, throwing off my daydream. Someone had placed a hand on my shoulder. It was one of the floor monitors, an insipid girl who insisted on calling herself "Candi-with-an-I" so often that the "with-an-I" suffix had become part of her name.
I forced a smile at her. "Something wrong?" I asked.
"I was just checking if you were okay," she said.
Candi winked at me. With that straight brown hair, those highlights, an a physique that tended toward the curvaceous without being Wagnerian, I might have found her attractive if my mind wasn't full of boys. Or if liked plastic. Candi also had one of the biggest football player boyfriends I had ever seen, so even if I were straight...
"I was just daydreaming," I told her, careful not to let my eyes travel down past her neck. It was difficult. Somehow I didn't think that her boyfriend would be swayed by the "It's-okay-I-was-staring-at-your-girlfriend's-chest-'cuz-guess-what-I'm-gay" gambit.
She was talking, but Danny's face in my head muted her voice into incomprehensibility. Even thinking of him now, three years later, my throat got an unpleasant ache like I had been crying for hours. I somehow went through the motions of dismissing Candi.
After she left, it took a few minutes of composing myself, of thinking about anything else but Danny, to ready myself for walking again.
I shuffled down the hallway, surprised at how many people were up at this hour. A few drunken cheerleaders wandered by, and one of them, named Joy, waved to me. I don't think she knew my name, but I had tutored her more than few times. Many other people stumbling through the halls were drunk or didn't know me, but I recognized and knew most of them by name. I have a good head for names and faces. My memory, in general, is superb as far as facts and associations go.
My door rose up before me, white like salvation. I slid the key into the lock and slipped into the solitude of my dark room, breathing easy for the first time since Danny's memory had assaulted me. I felt like I'd been dragged over shattered glass.
Not even bothering to take off my clothes, I dropped my drink and fell into bed. My windows were shut and the lights were off, but it wasn't dark enough. I dug my fingers until my eyes until geometric shapes swam before my vision, and then I realized I was crying. Warm, salty fluid trickled down the sides of my face in stinging trails.
Try telling me that I have friends now, Danny, I thought, and shivered again at the cold inside.
Moments later, it was morning.
Shafts of light pried at my eyes, forcing them open. Sunlight only penetrated my room's blinds in the afternoon. I'd slept through classes again, and wasted another day. My room was cold, as usual. As I oozed out of bed, I almost tripped over my still-untouched soda from the night before. I eyed it appraisingly for a few moments before I made the unequivocal decision that it would make for a terrible breakfast.
I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror on my room's door. It was good that I didn't have a roommate any more. Unshaven, puffy-eyed, and with matted hair, my reflection greeted me with dismay. I wanted to go down to breakfast, but my clothing was bordering on shabby. Taking a shower seemed like a lot of effort.
Rumpled as I was, the only thing decent about me in the morning was my body, and even that was unimpressive when compared to Reagan or Brent. Just thinking of them sent a hot wave of jealousy and desperation through me. They had so few redeeming qualities, I told myself, but part of me disagreed. I glanced down at the jeans I had fallen asleep in. The meaning of the bulge in my pants was clear: all my cock cared about right now was Reagan.
With a sigh of resignation, I fell back into bed, undoing my jeans with a practiced hand. My left hand thrust down into my exposed boxer-briefs, brushing the hot skin of my member. Tremors of pleasure rolled through my body at the intensity of the sensation. It felt like it had been years. My dick leapt. The underpants were tight enough that there was little room for maneuvering, so I forced them down over my legs.
Freed from its prison, my cock sprung up to point skyward. I've said before that it wasn't excessively large, but it served. I was of average girth and uncut. My hand performed a precursory slide up and down the shaft before I began jerking myself in earnest. The movement grew easier as precum welled up on my cockhead, slicking my shaft.
Reagan was before me in my mind's eye, framed against a dark background. He was like a photograph, but he moved and smirked as if real. Not a shred of clothing hid his flawless physique from my searching eyes. I admired the paths the branching blue veins formed as they traveled from his shoulders to his powerful hands. His abs were striated, and flexed with every breath, sending the veins leading down to his sex into stern relief.
I worked myself harder. Sweat blossomed on my brow and Reagan's at the same time. A single trickle ran down his chest, leaving a shining trail over his swollen pectorals. He moved, almost imperceptibly, and the muscles of his chest bunched. One of his mammoth hands rose to caress his abs. His eyes rolled back in pleasure as the hand made its way down each row of muscles on its way toward his cock.
Soft, it was larger than my dick at its hardest. It was beginning to fill with blood as he cupped it in his hand. With each pulse of his heart, it swelled a little in his grip, first expanding past his fingers, then engorging further to fill his hand. He pulled down on the erection as it neared half-mast. Even compared to his mammoth football player's physique, it was huge. I watched as it swelled an inch more, plumping and pulsing under his ministrations. He pulled down on the head and let go.
The cock flew up to strike his abs with a resounding thwack. He chuckled, low and throaty, and flexed again so that his swollen member leapt into near-vertical position.
A white rush erupted from my cock as blackness obscured my vision. My back arched away from the sweat-drenched bed as I struggled to contain the painful ecstacy of orgasm. I kicked one of the bedposts in my bliss, but I could barely feel the pain. Hot droplets splattered over my chest and face. Of a sudden, I shouted something incomprehensible.
It took moments for the orgasm to recede, and still my balls were churning more fluid out. I forced myself to breathe to force the blackness away from my vision, but I panted as if I had run a mile.
Finally, pleasure subsided. I was almost ready to go back to bed after that. I glanced down at my shirt. The cum was starting to cool on my face, and I brushed it away absently.
I'd definitely have to change now.
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