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My dad always taught me that the best way to deal with stress is to just wash it away. There was nothing that a little soap and water couldn't cure. Or, in my case, a lot of soap and water.

If washing your hands once is good, then washing them four or five times must be better, right? And technique must surely count, too. Palms, backs, fingers, in between them, under the nails, then thumbs and wrists.

I think my dad was right, that washing was a good thing, but sometimes, when I was particularly stressed, I would get stuck, washing and washing until my hands were red and cracked, but I couldn't stop. I had to touch the cold faucet exactly twelve times, then the hot for six and the cold again for eight. If I didn't touch them at exactly the right time, at exactly the right interval, then it didn't count and I'd have to start over again.

Or maybe I thought I had done it right, but I had to do it over again, just to be sure. Did I touch the cold twelve times? Or eleven? Starting over again was the safest thing. Of course, the faucets had to be perfectly clean, or I would contaminate and have to begin again.

I was standing at the sink, having exactly this problem, my fingers scrubbed raw, when Chazz came in and shut the water off. I tried to tap the faucet twelve times, but he dragged me out of the bathroom.

"What's up, O.P.P.?"

"It's O.C.D., and nothing is up, I'm just getting ready for bed."

Chazz raised an eyebrow. "Really? It looked more like you were scrubbing up for brain surgery."

"Well excuse me for practicing personal hygiene." I tried to storm away, but he grabbed my wrist and brought my red, chapped hand up to my face.

"I'm not trying to slag you, Little Dude, I just don't like to see you hurt yourself."

I wrenched my hand away and quickly sat on my bunk, hands hidden beneath me. I mustered my best scoff and shrugged. "Hey, it's not like I'm cutting myself or something stupid like that." No, because that would be cool, and I have to suffer from a nerdy psychosis like chronic hand washing, instead of something manly like … meth addiction, or …murder/suicide.

Chazz sat down beside me and leaned back, hands laced behind his head. "So, what's bugging you?"

"Nothing!" I hissed, in a way that sounded unbelievably prissy, even to me. My hands twitched, begging for the sting of hot water, and I was thankful that I was still sitting on them.

"Fine," he drawled, bringing his legs up so he all but pushed me off the bed, "I guess I'll just have to lay here until you spill your guts."

"Fine with me," I said, even though it really wasn't. I wanted to take a shower now, but I couldn't while he was still there.

Chazz's features screwed up, as if deep in thought, then the thin, rumbling sound of a fart ripped through the silence between us.

"Oh gross!"

"Oh yeah," he grinned, "Behold my manly essence."

"I cannot believe how disgusting you are."

His grin broadened as he let another one loose. "As if you don't fart, Princess."

"Of course I do," I said, thinking about the state of my bed spread, "just not on purpose." Chazz shrugged noncommittally as I fought to keep the bile from backing up in my throat. "What the crap did you eat? Skunk?"

"Beef jerky Red Hots. The breakfast of champions."

I didn't bother to remind him that it was night time, or that Red Hots weren't technically beef jerky. I pulled my now numb hands out from under my ass and looked at them in the dim light. They really did look like hell. Maybe I'd put some cream on them after my shower.

"How's Katie?"

"Fine," I said, a little too quickly. "I'm gonna get ready for bed." I jumped up and hightailed it to the bathroom, my heart pounding. Was I really that easy to read? Was he just asking, or could he tell? I turned on the water and when he didn't appear at the door to chastise me, I dropped my clothes and slipped beneath its warm embrace.

When I came out an hour later, he was snoring softly in the top bunk. Grateful for the reprieve, I lay down in my own, but had trouble falling asleep.

~* ~*

If I was going to design a cabin, the first thing I would do would be to give it a big water heater. Maybe two. The measly one at Coach's cabin was woefully lacking. If I didn't get up before everyone else, or stay up AFTER everyone else, then there was never enough warm water. Coach had a hot tub, but the thought of all those germs just marinating in hot bacteria stew made me want to puke, so I always avoided it like the plague. Literally. The same goes for baths. Aside from the fact that you could never get the tub clean enough to warrant sitting in it with my bare ass, why would anyone want to soak in their own dirt and dead skin cells?

Nope, it was just showers for me. Especially on a night like tonight. I couldn't get home fast enough, the thought of that invigorating steamy spray making me ache. I unwrapped a brand new soap and retrieved a fresh towel from the laundry while I waited for the water to warm up. Except it didn't.

Crap.

I turned off the cold faucet and cranked the hot on full, but the water remained tepid.

Double crap.

Stupid Chazz had probably wasted it all polishing his trophies, or washing his prized Verticoli. Oh well, there was nothing to be done. I braced myself and stepped into the cool spray. I would just have to make due. I lathered up and began to count. I was somewhere near two thousand when the shower curtain was thrown back and Chazz hauled me out of the tub.

"Jimmy, what the hell are you doing?"

"C-c-c-c-c-cle-cleaning," I replied through numb lips.

"I'm supposed to be the idiot here," he said, wrapping a towel around my shoulders, "but even I have enough sense to not freeze to death. Look at yourself! You're blue!"

I wrapped the towel more tightly around my shaking self and peered down at my legs. They were, indeed, blue. One more thing to add to my ever growing list of what I hated about myself. Scrawny, undersized, girly, and now I wasn't even a normal human colour. I was blue. A freakin' Smurf!

I looked up at Chazz's flushed pink face and tried not to hate him. I did not succeed. HE was supposed to be the stupid one. HE was the screwed up one. So how come I was so unhappy? To be honest, I hated him from the first moment I saw him. That swagger, that cocky grin, his devil-may-care attitude. He was so gosh darn full of himself that it made me want to puke. Actually it DID make me puke.

Every time that we were slated to skate against each other, I would spend the precious moments before my routine ralphing my guts out. Time that I should have been using centering myself, focusing on my moves, mentally going through my routine, was spent bent over a (dirty, disgusting PUBLIC) toilet, blowing chunks and cursing his name.

 

I have no doubt that Chazz never vomited before a competition. Well, not from nerves, anyway. And I've certainly never heard him tossing and turning at night, stressing over a missed landing or a screwed up toeless lutz. All too often, I would lie there in the dark, listening to him snore, my hands aching for the burn of soap and my heart aching because of Katie.

"K-K-kk-Katie."

"Katie? Is that what this is about?" he asked, his eyes dark with concern, "What the hell did she do to you? Am I gonna have to smack a bitch?"

"N-n-no," I managed, making my way over to the bed and pulling the comforter around my shaking shoulders. "It's nothing like that. Nothing at all, actually."

"Did she dump you?" He was getting indignant, chest puffed out and shoulders back. If I hadn't been marinating in my own misery, I might have been flattered.

"No. Not yet. But the way it's going, it's just a matter of time."

"You're kidding, right? You're Jimmy MacElroy! Mr. Quadruple Gold! Mr. Jimmy Curl! God, look at you! She's probably just jealous because she's not as pretty as you are."

"No, Chazz, it's not like that. She's wonderful, it's me that has the problem."

Chazz surveyed me and gave an approving nod. "Ah, yes, have no fear, it's nothing that a little penicillin can't cure."

"Huh?"

"So what is it? Burn when ya pee? Getting a little drippage? Or is it more of the crotch critters variety? Because penicillin won't help at all for that. Trust me, Bro, I've been there."

"What? No!" The thought of pubic lice practically threw me into a convulsion, and I willed the image away. "No, we haven't gotten that far yet. In fact.." I stopped, afraid that he would laugh. "..we can't seem to get a handle on kissing." I cringed, waiting for a hearty snort and derisive comment, but none came. I looked up, and he was regarding me like I had just landed my spaceship out back.

"When you say 'handle' do you mean, like, her tits? Or her ass?"

"Neither!" I shot back. Obviously, I was getting nowhere here, and it was stupid of me to even have brought it up.

His head was cocked to the side like a curious puppy, and his brows knitted and unknitted as he worked out what I was saying, so while I waited for his cogs to turn I counted to sixteen.

Thirteen times.

"What are you saying? Why can't you kiss?" he finally asked. "Like… is she missing her tongue or something?" He gasped, his eyes growing wide, " Oh my God! Was it cut off in that car accident?"

"No," I sighed, reaching beneath my pillow for my pajamas, "it's nothing like that. We both have … the right equipment, I think. It just doesn't gel." I shrugged my towel off and pulled the warm, fleece Hello Kitty top over my head. Chazz was still staring at me like a new and exotic bug.

"So, what's the problem? She's got an 'innie'," he made a circle with his thumb and index finger, "and you've got an 'outie'," he made his other index finger rigid and slipped it in the ring he'd made. And out. And in again. "It's simple mathematics really, and you're really good at math."

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes as I worked my feet free from the blanket and slid them into my Hello Kitty bottoms. "This has nothing to do with math, Chazz. It has to do with the fact that I've never done long division." I waggled my eyebrows at him and sent up a prayer that I wouldn't have to spell it out more clearly.

"What do you mean? You did your own taxes last year, and you're great at long division."

I sighed and wiggled my pajama bottoms up under the blanket. Unlike certain other people in the room I had a modicum of modesty, and did not walk around in the buff all the time. Of course, if I had a huge schlong like him, I might be more inclined to.

It was evident that Chazz was still stuck on my math metaphor, so I pulled my pajamas up over my hips, took a deep breath and let it spill as graphically as I knew how. "Intercourse, Chazz. I've never had … relations with a girl."

The cocked head was back and I suddenly became filled with a desire to club him over his Neanderthal skull.

"I'm a VIRGIN! Do I need to draw you a picture?"

His eyes grew wide and he snorted loudly. "Fuck off, Jimmy! No fucking way!"

"Yes Chazz. Yes effing way. I am."

His mouth worked, but no sounds came out. He finally sputtered at breathy; "Wha? How?"

"I dunno. My dad never let me date. I was always busy practicing skating and he said that dating would just distract me. He said that gold medalists didn't have sex."

Chazz choked and burst into laughter. This was not going well.

"Just forget about it, Chazz, okay? Pretend we didn't have this conversation, God knows I'm going to."

"So, just so I have this straight, are you telling me that you, Jimmy MacElroy have not nailed that fine filly that you're dating? You haven't slipped her the Foaming Meat Probe? Saddled up the Baloney Pony?"

"Oh my God! No! Do you have to be so crass?"

"Do YOU have to be such a fuckin' … goody two shoes?"

"I am NOT a goody two shoes!"

"Then say it. Say you've never fucked a woman."

I threw up my hands in exasperation. " I DID just say that. Are you being deliberately dense?"

"No, say you never FUCKED a woman."

"Chazz!"

"Say it."

I opened my mouth, but the words refused to form. "I'm … gonna go brush my teeth." I stomped off to the bathroom while he giggled to himself. Jerk.

Ten minutes later he poked his head into the bathroom and I quickly shut off the water. We stood in silence for a minute, both sulking. I was about to touch the faucet again when he spoke.

"I can help you."

I looked up at his reflection in the mirror. Chazz Micheal Micheals is many things, but a good liar he is not. He seemed genuinely concerned.

"How?" I asked.

"You are having problems with the ladies, and chicks are my speciality."

"Speciality is not a word."

"Then it's a deal. I'll help you with the ladies, and you can help me with my languaging."

He extended his hand, and holding my breath, I shook it.

**********

"Kissing is a complicated oral maneuver, requiring focus, concentration and most of all, dexterity. Think of it as a triple Salchow with your mouth." Chazz flicked his tongue like a snake, and I nodded solemnly. Katie and I had failed miserably each time we had attempted this, and I was determined to drink in every drop of Chazz's knowledge.

We were back sitting on my bunk, and I had a pen and pad of paper at the ready.

"First of all, as in any sport, you want to limber up." He opened his mouth wide, stretching out his tongue and I was amazed to see that it reached the bottom of his chin. He narrowed his eyes at me and tapped my shoulder. "Follow along, Princess, this isn't for my benefit."

I quickly adopted the same pose, mirroring each lip, jaw and tongue stretch that he demonstrated.

"Also," he continued, "you want to be aware of your expression. You don't want to close your eyes and miss all the full-lipped hotness, but you don't want to stare and creep her out either. Ergo," he said, letting his eyelids fall to half-mast, "the smouldering heavy lidded eye." I gave him the same smouldering stare. "Now pout," he said, letting his lips fall full and slightly parted.

I tried to do the same but ended up giggling.

"Sorry," I said, taking some deep breaths, "I'm just nervous."

Chazz paused while I got myself under control, then continued.

"How is your lean-in?"

"My what?"

"Your lean-in. You don't want your nose to run interference. She tilts left, you tilt right. She tilts right …?"

"I tilt left?"

"You've got it, my man! Now, I'm going to lean in, try to read me."

"Are- are you going to … kiss me?" It suddenly seemed very hot in the room and I pulled at the neck of my pajamas, swallowing nervously. Chazz thought for a moment, then shrugged.

"I guess so. It's kind of fruity, but if this will help you get your dinky stinky, then I'm willing to take one for the team."

He leaned in towards me and I instinctively leaned back. "Chazz, I don't-"

"Come on, Doll Face, if I can do this, so can you." I straightened back up, but tensed when he leaned in again. "Eyes," he said, his voice deep and soothing, "close your eyes."

"I'm trying," I said, my breath shallow and uneven.

"Relax your mouth."

"I can't."

"Okay," he said, sitting up and away from me, "we'll take this reeaal slow. You're my nervous little filly, and I'm the Horse Whisperer."

He gently cupped my face in his big, warm hands and murmured softly.

"Relax, Princess, it's okay."

He leaned forward and brushed the tip of his nose back and forth against mine.

"I don't bite."

He nuzzled a soft line up my cheek to my temple, his breath hot in my ear.

"The Chazz Man won't hurt you."

"Okay," I said, my voice sounding thick and far away.

"Here we go," he whispered, his mouth brushing my skin.

I nodded. I was ready. I could do this.

I braced myself as Chazz shifted on the bed, then, with my face still in his hands, he pressed his lips to the inner corner of my brow. It was such a sweet and tender gesture that I couldn't help but relax.

He kissed the bridge of my nose, then the other brow, trailing kisses across the ridge there and down to my cheeks. God! I had been doing this all wrong! I had just attacked Katie's mouth. It had never occurred to me to kiss the rest of her face.

Chazz then moved on to my ear, nibbling the lobe and dragging those lips whisper-soft along my jaw. I sighed and let my head fall back.

"That feels … really good."

He smiled into my neck and suckled on the tender skin there.

"Just wait, my lovely, this is just the opening credits before the main attraction. No, wait, this is the coming attractions before the main attraction. Or … no, this is the stupid trivia crap that they make you sit through before they even PLAY the coming attractions."

"Chazz."

"What?"

"Shut up."

His eyes sparked as he desperately tried to think of a come-back, but then settled for the ever-lame, "You shut up."

"I'm not the one talking."

"Funny, but that sounded like English to me."

I sighed. Not because I was frustrated, but because I was getting uncomfortably warm, and having him this close to me was making me nervous. I was about to say something. Anything. About how crazy this was. How wrong we were to try it, when he pressed his lips to mine. Dry and chaste at first. Just a nibble. A gentle caress, then a tentative swipe of his tongue across the seam of my lips. I gasped, surprised, and he took it as an invitation to enter. He explored the uneven ridge of my bottom teeth, then pulled away to suck my bottom lip between his own. Kissing Katie had never felt anything like this. My lips were tingling as his hot mouth moved over them, and his tongue playfully flicked against mine.

I screwed up my courage, and made myself kiss him back in the same way. His mouth opened wider, allowing me in. His tongue met mine again, and teased me further inside and I pushed against him, wanting more. My hands found his hair and tangled in it, pulling him closer and angling his head so I could probe deeper.

His lips ground against mine, his tongue tickling my palate and rubbing so deliciously against my own. I sighed and I could feel Chazz smirk against my mouth.

Oh God! What was wrong with me?

"Chazz," I said, breaking away and sucking my tingling bottom lip between my teeth. I could still taste him on me, and the mere thought of it made me dizzy, "that was…"

"Fuckin' amazing? I know," he said, his machismo turned up to full volume. "That's what you get when you kiss the master." He gave me a manly slap on the shoulder and got up, stretching, popping the joints in his back.

"I, uh…yeah," I answered, still stunned not only by what we had just done, but how much it had floored me.

"I had these chops insured for a million dollars," he said, grinning slyly.

"Really?" I asked.

"No, Homeschool, I'm just yanking your chain. Besides, If I was gonna insure anything, it would be the Hanging Chads." He made a flourish to the crotch of his track pants and my eyes followed, noticing, perhaps for the first time, how well he filled them out.

He had put on a bit of weight since breaking his ankle, but not too much. Tomorrow would be the first day that he would be back on skates, and it occurred to me that things might be weird between us. Oh God, I hoped not! I hoped I hadn't just ruined the best thing that had ever happened to me.

A sudden throat clearing pulled me from my thoughts and I realized with horror that I was still staring at his groin.

"Hey, Tinkerbell, my eyes are up here."

I shot my gaze up to his face, then quickly looked away, a blush rising in my cheeks.

"God, men are pigs," he chuckled, limping off to the kitchen, while I willed the bunk to swallow me whole.

 

* * *

 

Chazz was more steady on his feet than I would have expected. Coach only wanted to get us limbered up, not practice our footwork or anything, but the American Nationals were only two months away, so Chazz insisted that we go over all the moves, although Coach drew the line at overhead lifts. I had to agree. Having both of us injured wouldn't be very helpful.

Besides, most of this routine, aside from the actual throws, was side by side jumps and a bit of flourish and arm work. The 'fruity stuff', as Chazz called it, but Coach and I both know that the little details can be the difference between silver and gold.

The theme for the new routine was 'Under the Sea.' Chazz was a shipwrecked sailor and I was … a ghost or something. A Siren, or an underwater spirit of some-kind, dragging him down to the murky depths.

We did fairly well until it came time for me to circle around Chazz then move into a Biellmann spin. Chazz was having problems maintaining the correct posture so that I didn't smack him in the face with my skate, but he refused to move, so I was left with no alternative, but to smack him in the face. So I did.

"Ow!" he cried, holding the red blotch growing on his cheek.

"Hey," I replied, "I'm spinning here, what do you expect me to do? You're just standing there, get out of my way."

"I'm not just standing here, I'm emoting."

"Well, emote six inches to the left."

"How 'bout YOU don't swing your skate in my fucking face?"

"How about YOU watch your mouth?"

"Shut up, MacElroy."

"Make me, Micheals."

"I don't make monkeys, I buy them in the zoo."

"What? That's ridiculous. The zoo doesn't sell monkeys, it's unethical."

"Well, my zoo does."

"Okay, ladies," shouted Coach, from the sidelines, "break it up. Chazz, throw your shoulders back and your head will be clear. Jimmy, start your spin slightly to Chazz's right and we can probably avoid this problem altogether."

Chazz stuck out his tongue at me. Very mature.

"I told you it was your fault," he sneered.

"Chazz!" barked Coach, "Try to remember that you're a sailor, not a whale. I know it's your first day back, but you're lumbering around like an Orca."

Chazz self-consciously pulled the hem of his shirt over his belly and stage whispered to me, "If I WAS a whale, I wouldn't be an Orca, I'd be a SPERM whale, baby!" He suggestively grabbed his crotch with one hand, and pointed at me with the other. "Thar she blows, matey!"

"Screw off," I snapped, skating slow loops around him, "you're not supposed to be a whale, dumb-ass, you're supposed to be a sailor."

"Oh yeah, I can be a sailor. A seamen on the high seas, and Blondie here is my fine-looking mermaid."

"No, I'm not! I'm a ghost … I think. Or a fish. Coach? Am I a ghost?"

"No way, baby, you're my little mermaid. Spread 'em, Sweet Cheeks, here comes the semen."

"Are you retarded? If I was a mermaid, I'd only have a tail. What the hell am I supposed to spread? You'd have to fertilize my eggs after I had already laid them."

Chazz sniffed, unconcerned. "Any port in a storm."

My God, he really was hopeless.We did, however, manage to finish practice without giving Coach an embolism. I was in the locker room when I noticed Chazz staring at me.

I had been tying and un-tying my skates, trying to take them off just right. I tapped each eyelet and counted each loop, but when I loosened the laces, they became too messy and I'd have to start over again. I only wanted them to cross over each other a maximum of one time, but by the time I loosened the bottom enough to remove the skate, the top was so loose that they flopped all over, willy-nilly. I knew I was making us all late for dinner, but I had to get it just right or it would bother me all night.

"Why do you do that?"

"Do what?"

Chazz slumped his shoulders and rolled his eyes at me. "What the fuck do you think I mean?" He made jabbing motions at his skates and stuck out his tongue like a crazy person.

Shit! Why did I have to be such a freak? And why did he have to talk about it? Everyone else always managed to look the other way, as long as I skated well, but I obviously didn't have that free pass with Chazz. I gripped the laces and tried to stay calm. "Look, you're not helping, okay? Just leave me alone. The faster I do this properly, the faster we can all get home and eat."

"Just take them off."

I clenched my jaw and made a point of not looking at him. "I'm trying."

"There is no trying," he said, in his best Yoda voice, "There is only doing."

"Easy for you to say," I said, tapping frantically at the metal eyelets, "I … I can't do that."

He was silent for a moment, while I re-tightened the laces, making sure none of them were twisted, and I braced myself for the barrage of insults that were sure to come. Instead, he slid closer to me, and put his hand on my arm.

"Can I help?"

"No," I answered, both immensely grateful and mortally horrified that he had asked, "I have to do this myself."

He quietly chewed on his lip for a moment, then nodded. "Okay, I'll be outside when you're ready." He was almost out the door when I called to him.

"Chazz?"

He stopped, but did not turn around. "Yeah?"

"Uh … thanks."

He gave a curt nod and continued on his way.

***********

Dinner was a somewhat solemn affair, aside from the grotesque slurping and chewing sounds coming from Chazz's side of the table. We had just finished up and I was rinsing off the plates when Coach, with his coat tucked under his arm, announced that he was going out for a while.

Chazz gave a half wave from the couch, eyes glued to American Gladiator, while I wished Coach a good night. The door had barely snicked shut when Chazz's head popped up from behind the couch, and he motioned for me to come over.

"What?" I asked, dishtowel in hand.

"Lessons," he said, "are you ready for another one?"

"Huh? Oh, yeah!" I wasn't sure if there was going to be any more after the last one, but I obviously still had a lot to learn, and I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to learn from someone with so much … experience.

He patted the couch, and I sat beside him, expectantly.

"Today, my friend, we will review the finer details of kissing, but I think it's time to venture into heavy petting. Have you touched Katie's fun bags yet?"

"What?"

"Sweater cows. Hammers. Tits. Gazangas." He held his hands out in front of his chest in a mime of massive breasts.

"Oh, uh… yeah, sure I have."

"How?"

"With my hands, how the hell do you think?"

"No," said Chazz, wiggling his fingers, "show me."

"Oh, well, like this." I held my hands up in a palms out, fingers up position, as if I were stopping traffic.

"Oh, bad move. Very amateur."

"Really?" I asked, horrified.

"Oh yes, you want to cup, not flatten." Chazz placed his hands on my shirt and slid them down my chest until they rested on top of my boobs. Or, at least, where my boobs would be, if I had any. His hands twisted from my described 'stop' position, to a softer, thumbs up, fingers turned out position. "See? Much more comfortable, right?"

I nodded, as he twisted his hands between the two positions, letting me appreciate the difference. "You want to let gravity do the work for you. Feel the weight of them. Plus," he whispered conspiratorially, "when you hold your hands like this, it leaves your thumbs free to play."

He brushed his thumbs across my nipples, and even through the polyester blend of my shirt, it made me shiver.

"Oooh!" he mock squealed, "is it cold in here or what?"

"Shut up!" I said, pushing his hands away.

"You shut up."

"Make me."

"Maybe I will."

"You and what army?"

Chazz's features screwed up while his meager brain searched for a comeback. This was too easy, really. "Dumbledore's Army," he finally managed.

"That's not a real army," I snorted.

"Yes it is."

"No, it's from a stupid movie about wizards."

"That wasn't a stupid movie."

"Well sure, if you call plot holes and weak characterization not stupid, then yes, you're completely right."

"Told ya!" he smiled smugly, while I ground my teeth to powder. God! He could be so frustrating sometimes.

We both sat, arms crossed and sullen for a few moments until Chazz broke the stand off.

"Okay," he said brightly, nullifying our stupid argument, "try it on me." He gestured to his chest and smiled.

I hesitated, unsure, until he grabbed my hands and pressed them to his torso. He puffed himself out, to simulate boobs, and I laughed and told him to cut it out.

"Quit goofing around, I really want to learn this."

I moved my hands across the contours of his chest, feeling the warm flesh and hard muscle beneath. I turned them to copy the position that he had shown me.

"That's right," he said, practically in my ear, and I jumped, startled by his deep baritone, "now do the thumb thing."

"Really?"

"Yeah, give it a try."

I timidly rubbed the pads of my thumbs across where I hoped his nipples were. He caught my gaze and smiled.

"Do it again."

I gave a quick nod and complied. This time, as my thumbs brushed over him, I felt a hardening beneath my touch. I looked up at Chazz, surprised. He smiled knowingly.

"Cool huh?"

"Yeah. Will they do that every time?"

"Sure, if you do it right."

"And am I?"

"Oh yeah, Daddy like!"

I rubbed them again, and he took a deep breath then let out a satisfied sigh. "You know, Jimmy," he said, eyes getting glassy, "nipples are the windows to the soul."

"That's eyes, Chazz."

"Au contraire, it's definitely the nips."

I shrugged, "Whatever."

"You don't believe me? I'll prove it. Take off your shirt."

"No!" I said, grabbing my collar protectively.

"Fine, we'll work up to that. Let's see if you can cop a feel and suck face at the same time."

He pushed me back on the couch and slid up so that we were face to face, his weight braced on his arms. My stomach did a flip-flop, and I grabbed the sofa cushions reflexively.

I tried to remind myself that Chazz was just doing me a favor. He wasn't Katie. We weren't dating, or in love or anything. It was just one guy, doing another guy a favor.

Chazz drew my upper lip into his mouth and nibbled and sucked on it. My stomach flipped again, except, it wasn't exactly my stomach, if you know what I mean. Chazz moved down to my bottom lip to give it the same treatment and I opened my mouth in a gasp.

"You okay?"

"Nnuugh" I replied, my tongue too busy finding his to articulate.

A favor, my mind repeated. He's just doing me a favor. With his mouth. Oh God! His mouth! That disgusting, curse bellowing, sewage spewing pie-hole was working its way down my neck, licking and sucking the skin and tendons until it came to rest in the hollow at the base of my throat.

You might not know this, but the surface of the human tongue harbors millions of bacteria, fungi, and dead skin cells. Technically speaking, dogs' mouths are cleaner than ours. Hell, a dog's FEET would probably be cleaner than Chazz's mouth! And what did I do when confronted with this bacterial cistern?

I moaned! Well, squeaked, actually, because I was trying NOT to moan, but there I was anyhow, arching up towards that mouth, my hands fisted in the cushions, making these ridiculous squeaking sounds.

Chazz moved his hand to the front of my shirt, and without changing the pace of our kiss, he expertly flicked his thumb and the top button of my shirt popped open.

Then the next one.

"Cool!"

"I know."

Two more buttons.

Then three.

I held my breath as he pulled my shirt open to expose my chest. Oh please, oh please, oh please don't laugh. Chazz was so furry, he bordered on Sasquatch. I knew my bare skin would never measure up. He surveyed my naked torso for what seemed like forever, then looked up at me, a big dopey smile plastered across his face.

"My little porcelain doll."

"Shut up."

"Why? That's a compliment."

"Yeah, if you're a chick."

"Trust me, Jimmy, I've been with lots of chicks, and you are definitely not one."

"Thanks, Chazz."

"Of course, you're prettier than most of them."

"Shut up!"

"Okay, I've got a better use for my mouth anyway." Chazz licked a thin line down my breastbone, then veered off to tongue a wet trail around one nipple. "Are you ready to eat chrome?"

"Huh?"

"Windows to the soul, Jimbo. When you realize I'm right, you'll have to eat chrome."

"It's CROW, Chazz."

He stopped licking and looked up at me. "That's stupid. Who in their right mind would eat a crow?"

"Yeah, and normal, well adjusted people eat chrome every GAAAHH!"

Chazz scraped his stubbly chin across my nipple, then sealed his lips over it and sucked.

And sucked.

And sucked some more.

Ohjesuscrumbcrapshitpissgodheckassshazzbot!

I had no idea that a person's nipples and their groin were so connected, but I swear to god, when he sucked on me like that, I felt it 'down there', too. Like, A LOT!

If I had been squeaking earlier, then I full out roared when he did that. It was wonderful, and fantastic and all encompassing, and OhGod! Way too intense! Ow!

"Okay! Okay! Uncle! Please stop!"

Chazz relented and took his mouth off me with an audible 'pop'.

"Windows to the soul?" he asked.

"Windows," I conceded, breathlessly.

"Chrome?"

"Oh yeah, I'll eat a whole Harley if you want." I sunk, boneless, into the couch.

"Great," he said, getting up and off of me, "Now I'm gonna go wank."

"What?"

"Wank. Wack off. Spank the monkey. Wax the dolphin. Rough up the suspect. Make knuckle babies."

"Oh my God, enough! I did NOT need to know that."

"Oh please, as if you never choke the chicken."

"I don't."

"Right. Everyone masturbates, and those who say they don't are lying, or … paralyzed, or … dead."

"You're sick."

"Or they had their arms amputated."

"I'll say it again. You're sick."

Chazz shrugged. "Hey, if you can't make love to yourself, how are you supposed to do it to someone else?" He made a face and pressed the heel of his hand to his (bulging) crotch. "Oh shit, I'd better hurry up, or I'll be too late."

He jogged off to the bathroom while the wisdom of his words swam through my head. He was right.

I didn't know how to love myself.

******

The next day, we were going to try lifts. Coach didn't think Chazz was ready, and Chazz didn't think Coach knew what the hell he was talking about. Me? I didn't think it was a good idea to get in the middle of it, so I kept my mouth shut.

Chazz, of course, had to prove his readiness by skating around on one foot, his entire (impressive) weight supported only by his shattered ankle. Eventually, Coach relented, probably only to prevent Chazz from shattering his pelvis, too.

"Cumon, Pretty Lady, let's try the Detroiter."

My mouth fell open. That lift was banned from medals competitions because it was deemed too dangerous. We had tried it a couple of other times before Coach had suggested the Iron Lotus, but always with safety harnesses, and never with much success.

"Detroiter? No way. Why don't we start with something less … deadly? Maybe something where you don't have to hold me over your head?"

Chazz grabbed me by the waist and spun me so that I was in the starting position.

"Where's your sense of adventure, MacElroy?"

I turned my head to look at him and raised an eyebrow. "Hello? I don't HAVE a sense of adventure, or have you been living with someone else the past six months?"

"Dude, are you kidding me? Your whole life is an adventure! Okay, a lame, Disney, G rated adventure, but cumon! The first ever Men's Pairs gold medal winner in the history of humankind? If that's not adventurous, then Chazz Micheal Micheals doesn't know what adventurous is."

I couldn't help but smile. "Really? You think that?"

"Sure. You did something that a lot of other dudes would be too scared to try. So what do you say, Goldilocks, you gonna trust Papa Bear?"

He held out his hand, and holding my breath, I took it.

Chazz gave Coach the nod, and we began skating a large loop, gaining the speed required for the maneuver. I spun on my heel, now facing backwards, and placed my right hand on Chazz's shoulder.

"Ready?" I asked, nervous and excited to be back in action together. Chazz nodded and hooked his right hand under my raised, left knee. "Are you sure?" I asked, concerned by the way his jaw was clenched.

"Alleyoop!" he grunted, and lifted me past his chest. I moved my knee to the solid surface of his shoulder and he deftly grabbed my hand with his now free one.

"Still okay?" I asked, the wind whipping my hair into my eyes. I grabbed the top of his head and pulled myself even higher, as he pushed my butt up and over his head.

"Yeah!" he said, although in response to my question or in triumph I'm not sure. I tentatively let go of his hair and stretched out my arms, wobbling while I strove to find my equilibrium.

"Got it, Jimmy?"

"Yeah," I said, finally finding my center of gravity. I did! I had it!

"Fuckin' A," he said, bringing one hand down and putting us into the spin that the Detroiter is known for. The stands were whipping by too quickly to see much, but I heard Coach's excited cheer from the sidelines, and I grinned. Man, life didn't get much better than this.

I kind of flubbed the dismount, but not so much that we ended up falling. I had missed my grip for the descent, but Chazz shot out his hand and grabbed my arm before I tumbled, and I managed to find a solid edge to land on.

"Thanks," I said, breathless. Chazz tipped me a quick salute, and we were on to the side by side work, finishing up with a death spin. It felt great to be back on the ice, working as a team, and practice was over before I knew it.

Coach practically bowled me over as we left the ice.

"Jimmy! That was amazing! Your arms needed a bit of work, but you totally nailed the spin! Both of you." He looked up at Chazz and clapped his shoulder. "Chazz, what can I say, buddy? You're as strong as a bull!"

"Sperm whale," Chazz corrected and they both laughed. My feeling of euphoria diminished, however, as we arrived at the change rooms. As Chazz took off his skates and stripped down, I rooted around in my gym bag, taking out the clothes I was going to wear, and folding them on the bench. As soon as Chazz left for the showers, I tackled the problem of removing my skates.

Chazz showers for an average of seven minutes, nine if he's going to masturbate. I was a bit shocked when he came out and admitted it earlier, but knowing him and his disposition, it was hardly a secret. Considering that he wanked last night, and would probably be tired from today's practice, I had seven minutes maximum. It probably takes me one minute per skate, so I would have only three tries per skate if I was going to finish before he came out.

I centered myself and began to carefully tap and count each eyelet, taking care to not cross the laces.

Ten minutes later, Chazz emerged. I still had both skates on and was hyperventilating. He pointedly did not look at me while he got dressed, and I prayed that he had enough sense to just leave. Of course he didn't.

"Hey, Rain Man, hurry up, you're gonna miss Wopner."

"Go to hell," I hissed. My hands twitched, itching to tap and count, and I bent over, pressing them to my chest. "Go away, you fat sack of crap."

"See? That's the difference between you and me," he said, walking over and kneeling in front of me. "I AM a fat sack of crap, and I know it. And I don't care! I'm also rude, a bit dumb, and a shameless whore. And you know what? I accept it. It's who I am. People dig me anyway. Hell, people dig me BECAUSE of it!" He picked up my foot and placed my skate on his thighs, the blade resting between his knees. "Do you think people will like you less because you're C.O.D?"

"It's O.C.D," I spit out, "and yes, I KNOW they will like me less. Now let go of my foot."

Chazz ran his fingers down the laces. "I want to help you."

"No!" I cried, jerking my foot away, but he held tight.

"I know you're a bit twitchy, and I like you anyway. What are you afraid of? What's going to happen if you don't take off your skates perfectly?"

"Don't," I begged, trying to calm my erratic breathing. This was bad. This was very bad.

"Tell me what you're afraid of."

"Nothing. Just forget it, okay?"

"Then why do you do this?"

"Do you think I want to? Do you think I like being a freak? Because I don't. I hate it. I would do anything to be able to stop. To be …"

"Normal?"

"Yeah, normal." I tried to pull my skate away again, but he still held tight.

"What if," he began, "you just WERE normal? What if you just THOUGHT you had to do all this crazy stuff to make the rest of your life work? What if things would turn out fine even if you didn't act all twitchy?"

"I don't know, Chazz. It's not that easy."

"Hey, bad shit happens to everyone, little bro. I can guarantee you that regardless of how spastically you convulse over your skates, it will either happen, or it won't. Any of us could get smoked by a bus, or killed by a jealous husband or pimp, at anytime! You deserve to be happy, Jimmy. You don't have to work for it so hard."

I shrugged. It sounded pretty simple when he put it that way.

"Trust me," he said, gripping my leg, "I won't let anything bad happen to you."

Chazz held up a fist, an invitation to our secret handshake. "Let's capture the dream. Please?"

I looked into those dark blue puppy dog eyes and felt my resolve crumble.

"Me and you," he continued, "we're a team. Together, we can do anything."

I made a fist, and after a moment's hesitation, raised it in the air. He was right, what was the worst that could happen? We bumped knuckles, did the Supernova, and bumped knuckles again.

"Cool! Now let's do this like a Band-aid, quick and painful."

I covered my eyes as Chazz unlaced and removed my skates. Miracle of miracles, the roof did not cave in, a bus didn't run us over, and there was nary a jealous husband or knife wielding pimp to be found. I started to breathe a little easier. Maybe Chazz was right after all.

 

***********

 

Iron Chef is probably the stupidest show to ever air on t.v. Not only is it ridiculous (and unsanitary) to force people to prepare and cook meals on a tight timeline, but the dishes that they are challenged with are barbaric.

Chicken fetus? For real? Chazz, of course, was on the edge of his seat, rooting for the Chick Chef with the Big Jugs over the Fat Dude Chef with the Big Jugs. I was hoping to get through it all without throwing up. Generally, the show alone is enough to make me nauseous, but I was pretty queasy from what I had agreed to do earlier that afternoon.

Skates or no skates, he couldn't stop me from counting, so there I sat on one corner of the couch, counting to sixteen over and over again. Sixteen is such a comforting number. Most skating programs are based on music, which, of course, is based on 4/4 time, which is usually broken down into four measures, or sixteen beats.

I usually count when I'm on the ice, but there it's not for protection, it's to know where I am in the routine. Our Detroiter lift was exactly sixteen beats long. Well, it should have been, if I hadn't flubbed the dismount, but the number still made me happy.

I might have fallen asleep there, drifting between my numbers and the sound of frying unborn chicken babies, but Chazz's disgusting slurping noises kept bringing me out of my contemplative state. I cracked an eye and watched him cramming some sort of putrid wrinkly orange turds in his mouth.

"Hey Chazz, can you keep the sewer noises to a minimum?"

He stopped shoving stuff into his cake-hole and spared me a glance.

"Sewer, huh? I'll give you a sewer right away." He lifted one butt-cheek off the couch and farted.

"Oh crap! You are so vile! By the way, Hell called, and they want their brimstone back."

"Yeah? Shirly Temple called, she wants her hair-do back."

"Oh yeah? Jabba the Hut called, he wants his fat-ass gut back."

"Ha!" Chazz lifted his shirt and rubbed his belly, while I tried not to stare, "Jabba WISHES he was this sexy." He absently dragged a finger through the soft curls on his midriff.

I stopped counting, and watched that hand tracing slow figure eights around his navel. The hair grew much thicker and darker below his belly button, almost making a line, or trail, leading down to ….

"Jimmy?"

"Huh?" I dragged my gaze from his torso to his face.

"I SAID," he huffed, "that Princess Leia called, and she wants her vagina back. It was funny. How come you didn't laugh?"

I shrugged. "Oh, I uh..I guess I didn't…"

"Hey!" he crowed, not waiting for my response, "Speaking of vaginas, I've got a good lesson for you!"

"Oh god, I don't like the way this sounds, Chazz. I think I'm too tired for any lessons tonight."

"No, no! It'll be fun. And no kissing."

I masked my disappointment as I nodded my approval. "Okay, what is it?"

"Have you ever given face?"

"What?"

"You know, gone muff diving? Eaten a fuzz sandwich? French kissed Mr. Lincoln?"

"Oh, sweet Jesus, Chazz! That's disgusting!"

"No way! Oh little bro, you haven't lived until you've tasted a woman's honeyed nectar. Honestly, if you want a chick to fall in love with you fast, you've gotta learn how to give an Australian kiss."

"What's an Australian kiss?"

Chazz smiled in his self-satisfied way and waggled his eyebrows. "It's like a French kiss, but it's Down Under."

I shook my head and hunkered down into the couch. "Sorry, Chazz, I just don't think I could do that."

"I'm telling you Jimmy, man to man, if you do this right, no woman can resist you. Hell, I had to get restraining orders against a few of them. Once you've had the Chazz, everything else is just … uh … not the Chazz. Know what I mean?"

I shook my head no. I did not know what he meant. At all.

"Today is your lucky day, my friend. Never before have I shared the secrets of my superior cunnilingual skills, but because you are my brother, I am going to gift you with that knowledge. And maybe one day, you will pass this on to somebody else, so that these skills never die." He paused for a moment, imagining future generations of sex-pigs like himself, imbued with the knowledge of the truly twisted. "It's my legacy. Plus, Katie will be putty in your hands. Or mouth. Whatever."

Chazz reached into the snack-bag. "Here, take this." He placed one of the mystery orange turds on my outstretched palm.

"I'm almost afraid to ask, but what is this?"

He shrugged. "Dried somethings." Chazz picked up the snack-bag and scanned the front. "Apricots, what ever the hell an apricot is. But it doesn't matter. What DOES matter is the shape of these beauties. They almost perfectly mimic the human vagina."

I looked at the shriveled, wrinkly prune in my hand and sincerely hoped he was wrong. I had never seen a real, live vagina, but I did own a computer, and this certainly didn't resemble anything I had seen online.

"Take it like this," he said, picking up his apricot and carefully hooking his thumbs along the edge of it, then gently peeling it apart. "Then, when you've got it started, get your tongue in there and work it all the way open."

Still holding the delicate edges, Chazz pressed the fruit to his mouth and pushed his tongue into the small slit that his fingers had made. "Once you've got it good and open, work around in there to loosen it up."

He ran his tongue back and forth through the small cleft, and my own apricot dropped from my hands, forgotten. "Now," he continued, "on a real woman, there's a very special little button at the front here that you want to pay particular attention to."

He wiggled his tongue back and forth across the front of the apricot and I felt a familiar surge in my groin. "Oh yeah," he said, "they love that. This little toggle here -the clit- you wanna think of that as her doorbell. You've gotta ring that puppy before she'll let you in. And if she's kind of freaky, you can try knocking on her back door too!"

He slid his mouth to the back of the fruit and licked it thoroughly there as well. Something odd was happening to me while I watched him slurping away there. All sorts of feelings were flooding through me that I didn't fully understand, but all I knew was that I wanted to be that apricot. Oh God! I've never been so jealous of a little dried turd before in my life.

"Okay," he said, finally taking mercy on me and popping that well-sucked fruit into his mouth and chewing on it, "your turn." He motioned to the coffee table, so I took a seat there, across from him. He handed me another apricot and I turned it over in my hands, searching for the seam.

"Right there," he said, leaning close to me and running his finger along the ridge where the pit had been removed. I gingerly pinched each side and eased it open. "Yeah, that's it," he smiled, "now get your mouth on there."

I held the spongy fruit up to my face and sniffed. It wasn't unpleasant. I tentatively licked along the edge, teasing my tongue between the folds. Chazz hummed his approval, and I pressed in deeper, relishing the sweet, moist flesh at the center.

"Now the clit. Do the clit," he breathed. I moved my mouth forward and ran my tongue over where this mythical doorbell was supposed to exist, then placed my lips over it and sucked.

"Oh, fuck yeah," moaned Chazz, "you've got it. She'll love that. Now underneath."

I looked up in confusion. "Underneath what?"

"Your tongue. Use the underside there."

"Why?"

"Here." He took my hand and proceeded to wrap his mouth around my index finger. "Close your eyes and feel the difference." He ran the pad of his tongue over the tip of my finger. "Got that?"

I nodded mutely. I was suddenly jealous of my own finger.

"Now compare it to this," He pushed my finger under his tongue, and I gasped. It was warmer, and slicker, and smoother, and I suddenly had much bigger plans for that tongue. He licked a spiral around my finger, then drew it in all the way to the third knuckle and suckled on it.

My eyes were still closed, but fluttered open at the undulating pressure of his tongue. The sight of my finger between his lips made me dizzy so I closed them again.

"Please don't." I begged.

"Look at me, Jimmy," he whispered, releasing my hand.

"No, I can't."

"What are you afraid of?"

I slowly opened my eyes and dared a peek at his face. His cheeks had a nice flush, and his lips were still moist from sucking on my finger. When he ran his tongue over the bottom one, I did the only thing that I could think of to do.

I launched myself at him.

I landed in his lap, hands grasping, mouth searching, lips meeting his, teeth crashing and tongues twining. His surprised grunt became a moan of pleasure, and it was the only encouragement I needed. I grabbed the hem of his shirt and tugged upwards. He raised his arms and we pulled it up and over his head.

My hands found his chest, luxuriating in the soft curls there, and soon my mouth had worked its way down his neck and lower, tonguing across the dark hair, until my lips closed around one soft, pink nub. I circled it with my tongue, then pursed and sucked. His hands found my hair and pressed me firmly to his chest.

When he moaned again, it reverberated through his chest, vibrating against my lips. Then he was pulling me back up to plunder my mouth, his hands slipping down my back to clumsily tug my shirt off as well.

Soon we were chest to chest, skin to skin, bodies rubbing, hands exploring, touching, pinching. Soft sighs, encouraging groans, and frying chicken embryos were the only sounds punctuating the not-quite silence.

Chazz slid his hands down my back to the curve of my ass and pulled me close, grinding up against me from below. Oh Sweet God, we were both so hard, and to have him rubbing himself against me like that was heaven.

The thin layers of cotton and polyester did nothing to hide our excitement. I rubbed myself along the firm contour of his length and he tightened his grip and pressed back.

Holy hell! This was it! I was going to … you know, do it! Right here. With Chazz. Me and Chazz! He pushed his hips up to meet mine while I ground against him and I pressed my forehead into his shoulder, holding on for dear life.

"Chazz," I moaned, chin pressed into his collarbone, "I think … Oh God! I think-"

"Don't think, Jimmy, just-"

The shrill ring of Coach's phone sliced through the room, and we both jumped, surprised and guilty.

"Coach," said Chazz, reaching for the phone, "he probably forgot his keys."

"Nooo," I groaned, still rubbing against him, and when Chazz pressed a finger to my lips to shush me, I opened my mouth and let it slip inside. I ran my tongue along the length of it, as he had done to me, then pressed it to the roof of my mouth and sucked.

"Hhhuulo?" he groaned into the receiver. I smirked around his finger and sucked again, but instead of succumbing, Chazz jerked straight up, practically pushing me off his lap.

"Katie!"

Chazz's finger dropped from my lips and a feeling of horror rippled through me. Oh crap! What was I doing? I had a girlfriend! Why was I making out with my best friend? Chazz pushed the phone towards me and I shook my head no. I couldn't talk to her right now. Chazz nodded insistently and tossed the receiver at me, as if it might explode.

"K-Katie? Um, hi. Yeah. No, uh, no, I was just um … sitting here on Chazz, with the couch. I mean, WITH Chazz, ON the couch." Oh shit! I was so bad at this! "Tonight? Uh, sure. Okay. I'll meet you there in an hour. Right. Okay."

I dropped the phone back into the receiver and blinked dumbly at Chazz. Had we really been doing what we had just been doing? I suddenly felt very naked, and aware that I was pretty much sitting right on top of Chazz's still hard … thing.

I scrambled off his lap and stood up, holding my shirt to my chest. I felt awkward and conflicted. And seeing him sitting there, alone, made me oddly sad.

"Big date?" he offered cheerfully.

"Yeah. I guess so. I should … get ready." I shrugged.

"Go take a shower," he offered, "I'll pick out something for you to wear."

"Thanks," I said, and headed off to the bathroom.

 

*******

Ten minutes is probably a record. Actually, it was probably more like six minutes, but after she left I spent quite a while just trying to process what had happened, before I thought to look at my watch.

I sat there for an hour after that, watching our milkshakes melt. The whipped cream slowly caved in on itself, and the condensation built up and slid down to wrinkle the paper napkins underneath.

I tapped the formica counter top with one agitated finger.
STUPIDLOSERANDAFREAKNOBODYWILLEVERLOVEJIMMY
STUPIDLOSERANDAFREAKNOBODYWILLEVERLOVEJIMMY

Sixteen beats. One hundred and fourteen times over, until the man in the next booth slammed down his fist and not very politely asked me to stop. The way that I was feeling, it would only get worse, not better, so I quickly paid for my uneaten food and left the diner.

Shit, I couldn't go home this early, but I didn't have anywhere else to go, so I dragged my feet the few blocks back to Coach's place, and sat on the front stoop for a while. As long as I was quiet, I could count and tap as much I wanted. I even counted the eyelets on my boots for a while, but they're not the same as skates.

Even with the tapping, Katie's words swirled around in my head.

"Not working out."
"Chemistry isn't there."
"Really like you as a friend."

I tapped my forehead to make the image of her pained expression go away. God, it wasn't even WHAT she said that was so bad, it was her face while she said it. Pity. That's the only word that I could think of to describe it. Poor Jimmy. Not only is he a jittery freak, but he can't kiss worth a crap either. He doesn't know how to cop a feel either. Ha! If only she knew that I was now practically an expert on oral sex. Now, if I could just meet a nice female apricot, we might live happily ever after.

The porch light shut off and I jumped.

Another hour or so, and I could go inside without having to answer any questions. I pulled Chazz's leather jacket around myself and huddled against the cold. I hadn't wanted to borrow it at first, but he had insisted. I needed a cool 'outside' persona to go with my new cool 'inside' persona. It really was pretty cool, too. I lifted my arms and watched the fringe sway back and forth. I'd have to try skating in this one day, it would look super neat in a spin.

I shoved my hands in the pockets and was surprised by something hard and smooth. I pulled it out and smiled. The Verticoli. I rubbed my thumb over the shiny whale bone. Not only had Chazz picked out my entire outfit, but he had insisted that I take the Verticoli with me for luck.

I had laughed, of course. After all his talk of my idiosyncrasies being for nothing, and how stray buses and vengeful pimps were completely random, here he was, passing me the Talisman of Good Sex. For all the good it had done me.

I took out the fabled brush and marveled at how the white handle almost seemed to glow in the dim light. It did seem to have a certain magic to it, and I began to tap it for good luck.

When the house had quieted, and all signs of life had ceased, I quietly ventured inside. The television was still on in the living room.

Crap.

I took off my boots as quietly as I could and snuck into the bathroom. I was just unwrapping a new soap when a housecoat -clad Chazz appeared in the doorway.

"Late night, mi amigo?"

"Is it? Yeah, I guess."

"So, what did she think of the get-up?" He gestured to my leather -clad form in the mirror.

"Oh, the jacket? Yeah, she liked it, I think."

"And why wouldn't she?" he asked, a sly grin curling his lips, "You look smokin' hot in it. Animal hides, baby. They drive the ladies crazy, am I right?" He clapped me on the shoulder hard enough to send me reeling into the counter and it suddenly twigged in for me.

"Are you drunk?"

He shrugged. "Define drunk."

"Six beers?"

"Yup," he said proudly, "if by 'six' you mean 'ten' and by 'beer' you mean 'whiskey', then yes, my friend, I am lit up. Come with me." He grabbed a handful of fringe and dragged me to the living room. "Let's have another 'beer'," he said, making clumsy quotations with his fingers, "and celebrate your new status as sex god."

He pushed me towards the couch and sloppily filled a glass for me. "So dish! Dish! Dish!" he cried, patting my leg. He filled himself a tumbler of whatever swill he'd been drinking and slumped into the couch beside me, his shoulder pressing against my own.

"So, is she a moaner? Or a screamer? Or, or or…a SCROAMER? Fuck me, those are the best!" He looked over at me and gave a terrible impression of what was supposed to be a woman in the throes of passion, but sounded more like a porpoise caught in a tuna net.

"Ssshh! You're gonna wake Coach!"

"Don't worry about him, Princess, he always sleeps with his IPod on. Skatecasts." He waved dismissively towards Coach's room, then regaled me with another version of a scroamer. "Was she tight? Oh shit, tell me about how tight she was." He took a healthy
swig of his drink, spilling much of it on both of us in the process. "Whoops!" He wiped the front of his housecoat absently then began to paw at my shirt. "Tell me, Jimmy. Tell me everything."

"No! She wasn't. I mean, yeah, she probably is, but ew! No! I'm not going to talk about her like this."

"Jimmy," he pouted, still caressing my shirt, "Don't hold out on me now. Throw the Chazz-dog a bone. I'm in recovery, dude! You can't go givin' your girl a creamy tribute and not share the details with me. I have to live vivaciously through you."

"It's vicariously, and no. There's nothing to tell."

"Bullshit!" he snapped, grabbing my (his) jacket. "You're holding out."

"No, I'm not. There's nothing to tell."

"Oh yeah, I get it," he said, taking another swig, "Chazz is good enough to use for practice, but when it comes right down to it, Richie Rich doesn't like to slum around."

"You're drunk," I said, getting up, "there's no point arguing."

Chazz put a firm hand on my chest and pushed me back down. "I don't wanna fight either, Jimmy." He leaned up and over so that his mouth was beside my ear. "I just, I don't know … I couldn't stop thinking about you and her."

He rubbed his nose against my temple, and ran his lips over the soft folds of my ear. "Did she tease you first?" he asked, licking a slow line down to my lobe, then using his teeth to trace the same path. I sighed and relaxed my defensive grip on his arms.

"Chazz-,"

"I bet she did. I bet she made you squirm for it." The hand pressing against my chest slid down and pinched at my nipple.

"Ow! Stop!"

"How hard were you," he breathed, "before she let you push it into her? Did she make you beg first?" he sucked on my neck, and shifted his weight so that he was on top of me. "I'd love to see you beg." He popped the first few buttons of my shirt, then licked and sucked his way to my collar bone.

"Chazz, I don't-,"

"Relax, Jimmy. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm just doing a little … remedial lesson here." My shirt was now most of the way open, and he slid his mouth down the center of my chest, then dipped it in and around my navel. Two more buttons, and it fell completely away. He sucked in an appreciative breath and licked at the scant hair that gathered above the waistband of my jeans.

"Did she suck you, Jimmy?" He skimmed a hand across the front of my pants, and my hips pushed up and into it, seemingly of their own accord. He pressed his hand across there again, and began to work at the buttons of my jeans with his mouth.

The pressure of his hand felt so good, and his hot breath down there just about zapped me of any control I had left. I'd been in a constant state of semi-arousal since our first lesson on my bunk, and unlike Chazz, I wasn't in the habit of releasing that pressure by myself.

"Can I suck you, Jimmy?" He pressed his chin against my fly, and I saw sparks. "Can I taste her on you?" I could feel the moist heat of his breath, even through my jeans and I arched up into that warmth.

This was getting out of hand. We were friends, not lovers. Except, that maybe we could be lovers. Could we? I mean, of course we could. If I didn't stop this in the next couple of seconds we already would be, but I had to know that this was right, before I was comfortable taking the next step. Chazz certainly had his limitations as a … well, as a human, actually. But then again, so did I. And yet, he knew all of my shortcomings and he seemed to like me anyway. Quite a bit, I'd say, considering that he had my fly all the way open and was licking a trail along the elastic waistband of my underwear.

"Chazz, let's think about this."

He snorted into my belly and dragged himself up to my face. "You analyze things too much, MacElroy." He met my gaze and pressed his hips to mine. "Less thinky, more dinky." He ground himself against me again and covered my mouth with his own. There was only his black speedos, my BVD's and a couple inches of my half-removed jeans between us.

"Wait," I said, breaking the kiss, and pushing him away. "You're drunk, and I'm confused. Maybe we should wait until tomorrow."

"Does THIS," he asked, taking my hand and pressing it against his impressive erection, "look like it can wait until tomorrow?" He rubbed himself against my palm and without thinking I wrapped my fingers around him. "Don't tease me, Princess. It's bad enough that I've got to watch you prancing around in your tight little sweat pants. If you don't let me have this, I'm going to go crazy. Do you think I don't see you looking at me? Checking me out? Jesus Christ, Jimmy, if this is wrong, then I don't want to be right."

He pressed his mouth to mine again, with a little more pressure than I was comfortable with, and I turned my head away.

"Cut it out." I pulled my hand away from his crotch and tried to pry him off of me.

"Two minutes," he moaned, still rubbing himself on me, "that's all it'll take, then you can go and shower, and twitch all you like."

"Shut up. I told you to get off!"

"Sorry, Precious, too late," he said, and when I pushed against him again, he grabbed my wrists and twisted them up and over my head, pinning me with his chest. He pressed his mouth to my neck and began to bite and suck me there.

"Stop it, you're hurting me," I cried, sounding way too much like a whiny girl for my own liking.

Chazz gripped both of my wrists in one hand, and insinuated his free one between us. "Trust me," he moaned into my throat, "you'll like this."

"I don't …" I huffed, but the rest of what I was going to say was lost as he dragged my jeans down over my hips and pulled me, still hard, free from the confines of my underwear.

The rest is kind of a blur. I know that I told him to stop, but I also know that I moaned when his fingers moved over me and squeezed. And I cried out when he wrapped his hand around both of us and pumped and rubbed me while his hard cock slid against mine, so smooth and stiff and pressing and friction and Oh God!

I struggled beneath him, but it only served to excite him more, and he grunted into my neck, still sucking the skin there. And suddenly, there was a heaviness, coiling in my belly. I arched, and pushed, holding my breath, but it kept building, and Chazz's hand continued to hold us together, our cocks rubbing back and forth between the weight of our bodies and the force of his grip, and I fought, and bucked beneath him, and he kept pumping and pressing, and I snapped my hips and pushed against him, my arms numb from his hold, and my legs shaking from exertion, sweat slick between us, and then it happened.

I was coming. Great waves of release pulsing through me, his hand and our bellies slick with it, and I cried out his name.

I meant it as a curse, but he groaned out mine a moment later. A couple of jerky thrusts and grunts, and he, too, spilled himself (creamy tribute, my mind screamed) over both of us.

He released my arms and rolled part-way off of me, panting, and smiling, and chuckling to himself.

"Man, that was..."

I pulled back my arm and punched him as hard as I could. I had been aiming for his face, but my arm was numb, and I hit his throat instead. I would have to remember this for next time, because the results were surprisingly satisfying. He coughed and wheezed and flailed around, and I took the opportunity to pull up my pants. His coughing fit subsided slightly, and when I was sure that he wasn't going to die, I punched him again. This time I was going for his eye, and came a bit closer, with a rewarding crunch to his nose.

Blood squirted out in an impressive arc, and I only had a moment to think about how pissed Coach was going to be, when Chazz hit me with his trademark head-butt. I think I bounced off the coffee table on my way down, I'm not sure, but when I managed to open my eyes, I was on the floor, surrounded by bottles. Chazz was standing over me, and I shielded my bloody face from another attack.

He, however, was too shocked to move.

"What the fuck?" he asked, using his housecoat to staunch the flow of blood from his nose.

"You," I cried, trying to get up, "are a fucking asshole! Don't you ever touch me again!" I rolled around in the broken glass for a minute, before finding my equilibrium and getting to my feet.

"I repeat, Dude, What the Fuck?"

"I know you're stupid," I hissed, "but can you actually be THAT retarded that you don't know what just happened here? I didn't want … I mean, I told you to fuckin' stop!"

"Yeah," he said, dragging a finger through the goopy mess on his stomach, "and if I remember correctly, you also shot your load all over me."

"That's not the point," I shrieked, "you can't just force yourself on somebody because you fuckin' feel like it! Do you know why you're the 'Lone Wolf', Chazz? Because nobody else will fucking HAVE you! You have no boundaries. You have no social skills! You're a bully, and an oaf, and to top it all off, you're a fucking douche-bag and I HATE YOU!"

I was screaming now, and tears and snot were mixing with the blood and spunk all over me. I pulled my shirt and jacket over the mess on my stomach and tried to put my boots on through the blur of my tears. When I looked up at Chazz, he was still standing in the same place, in the same position, mouth open in an 'O' of surprise.

"And don't stand there looking so hurt and shocked. You knew I had never done this before. Thanks for the beautiful memories, asshole!"

I slammed the door dramatically behind me, and set out to God only knows where. The diner would be closed already, and I sure wasn't going to go to Katie's. It occurred to me then, that I was unbearably dirty and gross, and I had a total of five dollars and thirty-five cents to my name.

Crap.

It was going to be a long night, and my pride certainly wouldn't let me go back to Coach's now. And I sure as hell wasn't going to be sleeping in the same room as that jerk either. I buttoned my shirt with shaky fingers and set out to find somewhere warm that I could spend a few hours.

I should have noticed the car following me, but my mind was elsewhere. And I should have heard him walk up behind me, but all I could think of was the stupid-crap expression on Chazz's face, right before I left. WAS he really that dumb? Because his expression sure seemed genuine.

"Hey, Jimmy!"

My stomach bottomed out, but there was no time to react. I had a millisecond to think-Hector- and then my head exploded into a thousand stars and the pavement rushed up to meet me.

************

I was pretty sure that I was in a car. At least, it felt like a car, and sounded like a car, but everything was black, and muddled, and I couldn't think about it too much. After a few minutes we slowed and came to a stop, and the red brake lights told me we were definitely in a car. The trunk, probably. I had never been in the trunk of a car before, but it certainly made sense. Well, as much sense as waking up in the trunk of a car could.

I also couldn't move. My feet were stuck together, and my hands were pulled behind me and seemingly tied. The next time that the brake lights came on, I tried to look around, but moving my neck brought on a whole new spectrum of pain, so I lay still and just tried to think. No easy feat, in a back of a moving, dark car.

I mentally retraced my steps.

Licking apricot vaginas with Chazz. Check.

Date gone wrong with Katie. Check.

Waiting on Coach's porch. Check.

Date gone wrong with Chazz. Crap. Check.

Wow, I was really on a roll today. Did he really make me…spooge all over myself? Did I really say all of those horrible things to him? Holy hell, the look on his face as I was leaving was pathetic. Loser. Of course, I had been the one in tears. Double loser.

I sighed and rubbed my hands over my face. Except, I didn't, because they were still tied behind me. Crap. The last thing I could remember was storming out of Coach's house and leaving Chazz standing there with his mouth hanging open. Loser. And me, screaming like a petulant teenager. "I HATE YOU!" Double loser. Oh God, we really were made for each other.

Okay, back to the car thing. Unless we were sneaking into a drive-in, which seemed pretty doubtful, I should probably try and get out of here. I rolled onto my back and attempted to wedge my legs and feet against the top of the trunk to force it open, except there wasn't enough room to get lodged against it for proper leverage. Crap.

I once saw a movie, where the captive kicked out a brake-light and flagged the car behind them. I wriggled around so that my head was crammed against the spare tire, and my feet were somewhere in the vicinity of the brake lights, but again, there just wasn't enough room to shift into the proper position to punch them out. Crap! What the hell was I stuck in, a Smart Car? Oh wait, they don't have a trunk. A Yugo? Hmmm. I don't' know if they have a trunk or not. A Jetta? Sedan? Yeah, that could be it. A Jetta sedan, just like … my heart skipped a beat and I broke out in a cold sweat.

Just like Hector drove.

Double crap.

There's another blank space there. I guess I passed out, or fell asleep, but when I woke up I was freezing cold. My limbs were numb and heavy and burning with the chill, all except my head, which was hot and throbbing as if it had split in two. I turned my face and let my cheek rest on the cool ice.

Ice!

I was on ice. A rink? An arena?

I licked my dry lips and took a chance.

"Hector?"

A shrill giggle erupted from nearby on my left and I turned my head towards him. Slowly, his hunched form wavered before me, and I willed my eyes to focus.

"Where are we?"

He giggled again, and put a finger to his lips. "I can't tell you, Jimmy, it's a secret."

"Okay," I said slowly, "it's just that I'm hurt pretty badly, and I think I need a doctor."

"I know!" he nodded enthusiastically. "I hit you really hard."

"Yeah, yeah, you did, Hector. Am I bleeding?"

Hector shrugged in a way that let me know that he didn't particularly care if I bled out on the ice in front of him or not. He leaned over me and gave me a broad smile, but I was most taken aback by the vacant, glassy look in his eyes. I'd had a few occasions to speak with him in the past, and he was always frighteningly intense, but lucid. This Hector seemed vapid and empty.

Double-triple crap.

I was going to die. Oh man! This sucked so huge. Killed by my psychotic freak-o stalker. Great. And what was the last thing I said to my best friend in the whole world? I hate you. And then I punched him. Twice. Classic. This just got better and better. And now, they would find my mutilated body in a shallow grave somewhere, and when CSI got a hold of me, what would they find? A freakin' DNA happy meal. Blood and sweat and tears and snot and JIZZ from both me and Chazz, smeared all over my belly. I may as well have 'CHAZZ DID IT' tattooed across my forehead.

I thought of him, kneeling before me, God, was that just yesterday? His hand on my skate, fingers tracing through the laces. "What's the worst that could happen?" he'd asked. I snorted. Well, this certainly capped it.

"Cumon Jimmy, we have to hurry."

I opened my eyes. Had I drifted off again? A shiver rippled through me and I clenched my teeth to prevent them chattering. Why the hell was I lying on ice anyway?

"Why, Hector? Why do we have to hurry?"

Hector looked at me and raised his eyebrows. "Our routine, silly! It's time to get ready."

"You mean … skating?"

"Well duh! Of course skating. Finally, you and I are going to be able to perform our routine together." He let his eyes wander over me in a way that made my skin crawl and my testicles tuck themselves high into my abdomen.

"Oh!" I said, doing my best to sound enthusiastic, "that sounds like a lot of fun. It's just that, um, I need to warm up a bit. And I'm not sure I can skate if I'm, you know, bleeding profusely from my head, and all. Plus, I didn't bring any costumes. Or music!"

"Don't worry, Jimmy," he said, fumbling through his pockets for something, "I've got it all taken care of." He found what he was looking for, and proceeded to pull out an antique looking hypodermic needle.

"Oh!" I cried, "what are you—what do you need that for?"

"It's okay, Jimmy," he said, checking to see if there were any bubbles to inject into my bloodstream to stop my heart, "I have to get you dressed, and I don't want you to fight."

"I won't! Please!" Oh god! That needle looked nasty. I did my best to twist my body away, but was no match for him. "I promise!" I squealed, "I won't fight you. I'll do whatever you like."

"Silly," he said, plunging the syringe into my arm, "you're fighting me already. How am I supposed to trust you?"

"I won't," I breathed, already feeling the effects of the whateverthehell he just shot into me. "I just … front … can't then."

"Nightie-night," I think I heard him say, then nothing. Even the cold went away.

~*~*

The banks of lights came on in a linear series of flashes, each an affront to my abused and pounding head. I was standing at center ice. Sort of. I'm not sure that I could have stood up, even if I'd wanted to, but I was supported by some sort of harness, suspended from the ceiling. My skates just resting on the surface of the ice.

Nylon straps wove around my legs and butt, then buckled up across my chest and waist. Longer straps rose up from beneath my arms and extended to some sort of pulley system that my neck would not allow me explore further.

He had dressed me in an outfit that I barely recognized. A soft mauve with some sort of cloud motif. I searched my memory for when I might have last worn this. Junior Championships in Hungary? It had seen a lot of wear since then, by the look of it. The spandex was pilled in places and many of the sequins were missing or just barely hanging on.

I wondered at the significance of this particular costume. Was it the first time that he'd seen me skate? Or the first time that I'd won first place? I couldn't remember. My entire adolescence had been a series of rehearsals, plane rides, press junkets and competitions. Every city looked the same when you only got to see the inside of the arena and the hotel.

I hadn't been allowed to explore the cities or 'fraternize' with the other competitors, even ones on the same team as me. No wonder my social skills were so appalling. Aside from my dad and Coach, I didn't have the chance to make any friends growing up. Not that I wasn't happy, because I was. I loved skating. I loved performing. The only time that I can recall being unhappy was the three years between being banned from Men's Singles and meeting up with Chazz again.

The best, of course had been the last six months. I'd never had so much fun working so hard before. And winning the gold had meant so much more with a partner than doing it alone.

A lone figure entering the arena brought me from my reverie. I shifted in my harness and steeled myself for whatever might happen. The only thing that I knew for sure was that I was going to get back to Coach and Chazz or I was going to die trying.

Hector glided up to me wearing an outfit similar to my own.

"Come on, Jimmy, let's capture the dream."

I tried to not visibly stiffen at his blatant rip-off of Chazz's tag line.

"Sounds like fun," I managed instead. "What are we doing?"

Hector looked at me like I was the one in need of anti-psychotic medication.

"The 'Beaches' routine!" He raised his arms in a dramatic imitation of wings. "You're my wind, Jimmy."

Right. The very un-memorable memory of that routine was suddenly crystal clear. God, the late eighties were so lame.

"So," I asked, "how do we … do this together?"

"Just follow my lead," he said, holding out his hands.

"Gosh, I'd love to," I shrugged, " but you'll have to untie me first."

Hector giggled and slapped his head with an almost comic ferocity. "I completely forgot!"

"Yeah, me too," I smiled. He skated behind me, and I did my best not to flinch as he cut my bonds. Sudden relief flooded through me as the pressure was released from my wrists and shoulders. However, that relief was immediately replaced with revulsion when I saw the state that my hands were in.

You would have thought I worked on an oil rig. My knuckles were split and bloodied from my fight with Chazz and added to that were innumerable layers of muck and grime acquired from falling down on the streets, rolling around in car trunks and laying on ice that was God only knows how old.

I held them away from myself and shut my eyes from the horror of my scabbed knuckles and grease-monkey black crescents of grime under my fingernails.

"Oh shit, Hector. I can't! My hands! Oh God!" I said, breathing through my mouth, so as not to throw up. "I can't skate like this - I have to clean-- wash my hands!"

"They look fine," Hector said, his annoyance evident by the crease in his forehead.

"No." I said, panic rising in my throat, "You don't understand." And he didn't. My OCD was kept well under wraps. I always had a squeaky-clean image, but the public had no idea how far it went. My dad thought I'd be shunned if anyone knew my … problem, so it was always kept secret. "I have a … thing …" I said, trying to keep my voice even, "about my hands being clean. I can't …" I looked at my palms again, then looked away, "deal with them like this. I can't …" I started gulping air and blinking involuntarily. "I just need to … please, Hector, I can't skate like this."

Hector looked me over, gauging, no doubt, if I was having him on or not. I started counting and prayed he would understand, one freak to another, how important this was to me.

After what seemed like a lifetime, he nodded and skated off, returning shortly with a small basin of water and an old sliver of soap.

"Thank you," I said, nearly slumping with relief when I was able to dip my hands in the luke-warm liquid and work up a lather.

On my third go, he pulled the basin away, sloshing some of it onto the ice.

"Enough. Now it's my time, Jimmy. I've waited for this for far too long."

And thus began a long and exhausting farce of a routine. For someone who spent countless hours obsessing over figure skaing, Hector had managed to pick up absolutely no skills or grace.

He attempted to lift me a couple of times and even though I was a good forty pounds lighter than him, he just did not possess the strength or stamina required to be a skater.

Of course, I tried to stay positive, giving him praise and encouragement throughout the entire ordeal. By the time we were finished, my head was pounding and we were both more than a little sweaty.

"Great job out there, Hector," I said brightly, "gosh, you'd think you'd been doing this your whole life."

Hector, however, was acting distant and sullen. The more we skated, the more it had become obvious, even to him, that ice dancing really was not his forte.

"Hey, don't get down on yourself, we all have to start somewhere. You showed good form today."

"Don't patronize me, Jimmy. I'm not an idiot, you know."

"I know that, I was just trying to- "

"Well don't. I don't need your pity."

"Okay," I said, holding up my hands to placate him. Hector grabbed one of my wrists and twisted it behind my back.

"It's time to restrain you again."

"Oh." I tried to not tense up against him. "Do you think I could shower first?"

"No time," he said, bringing my other hand down and behind my back, tying them together. "I have an appointment."

"Okay, but do you think I could get a bathroom break?"

Hector looked at me like I was deaf. "No time, Jimmy. I can't keep God waiting."

I paused.

"You- you have an appointment with God?"

"Well, yeah! I talk to him all the time. He says he's looking forward to meeting you, Jimmy."

"Meeting me?" This did not bode well.

"Pretty soon." Hector smiled and patted my back.

"But … I have to pee!"

"Not my problem, Jimmy." He skated over to the bench and put on my (Chazz's) jacket. "Man, this is sweet!" He swatted at the fringe. "I'll think I'll bury you in this." He reached into the pocket and withdrew the Verticoli. Wrinkling up his nose, he tossed it towards me. It slid across the ice and came to rest a few inches from my foot. "Bye!"

"I have to pee!" I cried, but he was gone. After a moment, the lights shut off in the opposite order that they had gone on earlier.

"When are you coming back?"

Nothing.

I stood on the picks of my skates and stretched my legs. The harness sat at a height that just barely supported me while standing, but it gapped slightly when I was on point. I wondered if I could work one leg through that small gap, then perhaps I could squish one knee in behind the lowest strap, then push up from there to free my other leg. After that, it would just be a matter of standing on the leg straps and jumping free from it.

My problem was having my arms tethered behind me. It threw my balance off in a way that I could not figure out how to counteract. I tried for the better part of what felt like an hour, and all I had managed to do was pinch and crush my poor balls in the unforgiving nylon straps.

This was not helped at all by the fact that I really had to go to the bathroom. God! When was he coming back? I was dying here.

"Hector! I have to take a whiz!"

"Heelllooooo? Anyone?"

No luck. Two more hours and I was frantic. How freaking long was his God meeting? You'd think he'd have more important things to do, like smiting people and raining plagues upon his minions or something. I tried counting, to soothe myself, but it only served to remind me how much time was passing, and how much fuller my bladder was now.

I leaned back in my harness to relieve any undue pressure on my stomach, and somehow managed to drift off for a while. A particularly vivid dream about filthy public washrooms woke me up, and now my entire midriff just hurt. Okay, now this was just ridiculous. How the hell did he expect me to not eat or piss or shit for days on end? Why the hell was he torturing me anyway? What the hell did I ever do to him?

"HECTOR!" I shrieked. "Get out here now! You freaky-crap piece of shit! Show yourself you coward!"

Silence.

"GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW AND UNTIE ME YOU MENTAL FUCK!" I flailed against the straps and had myself a right little tantrum, twisting and spitting and swearing to myself. My bladder spasmed and I sucked in a breath as I felt the warm dampness. No! I clenched and held my breath until it passed. Okay, crisis averted for now. But obviously I couldn't just stand here and wait for my bladder to explode. How could I do this with minimal … mess?

I stood on my tiptoes, legs spread, then leaned forward. Hopefully gravity would take care of most of it, but with no hands to aim with, I didn't really have much choice in the matter.

Relax Jimmy, I coached. I shut my eyes and willed my muscles to loosen up, and took deep calming breaths. I tried to bear down and push with my pelvic muscles, but twenty odd years of toilet training were not easy to overcome.

"Come on!" I yelled at my urethra. My legs were starting to tremble from the position, and the pressure in my pelvis was beyond unbearable.

Running faucets, trickling streams, water fountains, shooting fire hoses, Niagara falls in all their liquid glory, and then, finally, there it was. A small trickle at first, then a full-on stream, and I nearly cried with the relief of it. By the time I had finished, my tights were soaked from navel to knees, and the ice around me was steaming from my release but I felt so much better that I almost didn't care.

I cared a hell of a lot more later that night, after I'd been standing in wet tights in sub-zero temperatures. Now I was starting to get angry.

 

************

 

I was dreaming about Chazz. He cupped my face in his big hands and rubbed the tip of his nose back and forth against mine.

"You've got to hang on," he said, gripping my jaw, and giving me a stern look, "I'm coming for you. Do you hear me?"

"I'm tired," I tried to say, "I haven't eaten or slept for two days."

"Tell me, MacElroy. Tell me you're not giving up." He gave me a firm shake. "Say it."

"Alright," I said, "I won't give up."

"Good. Because if I get there and you're already dead … so help me …"

"I won't," I promised, "I swear."

"Okay. Oh, also, don't lose sight of the Verticoli."

"Why?" I asked, awestruck, "Does it have magical powers?"

"The Inuit believe that whale bone has protective properties that can be passed between two people who care for each other."

"Really?"

"How the hell should I know? Do I look like I live in a grass hut? I'll just be pissed if you lose my brush. Ooohh!" he sang, wiggling his fingers dramatically, "Behold the magic powers of the Verticoli! Able to untangle … tangles in … tangly hair! Hold it close to your heart, Bro."

He winked at me and began to disappear.

"Wait!" I cried, "I can't tell if you're joking or not."

"Mind-bottling, isn't it?"

"Chazz!" I yelled, but he was gone.

I searched the darkness around me and eventually, the eerie bluish-white glow of the brush appeared off to my right. I had kicked it aside earlier, so as to not piss all over it and I inched my way towards it, careful to not bump into any unseen things in the darkness.

When I got close enough, I pressed it between the blades of both my skates, then, supported by the harness, I lifted them up and under my butt. I leaned back as far as I could, and tried to grab it. My fingers were numb from being tied for so long, but after a couple of failed attempts, I managed to grab the handle and pull it free from my skates. I then crammed it between my butt and the nylon straps, for safe-keeping.

~*~*

Someone was touching my hair. I sighed. Gentle fingers combing through my curls, twisting around a ringlet at my temple, then SNIP!

I jerked awake in time to see a lock of blond hair fall into Hector's hand.

"A little something to remember you by," he said, holding the hair up to his face and taking a big sniff. "Oh God, Jimmy, you smell just like heaven."

I smelled like a lot of things, fear, exhaustion, and urine topping the list, but I was pretty sure 'heaven' wasn't among them.

"You know," he smiled, fingers back in my hair, "I think you'll always be my favorite, even after you're gone." He put his other hand on my chest, feeling, no doubt, my erratic heartbeat pounding there. "So beautiful. God, I think about you all the time." He pressed his face to my head an inhaled deeply. "Can I tell you a secret?"

I opened my mouth, but wasn't sure what to say. He wasn't really asking my permission.

"You make me want to sin. I like to think that I have a good relationship with God, but when I'm with you, I want to throw it all away." His lips brushed my ear and I shivered. "You can feel it, too. I can tell."

"Wh-what does God want you to do?"

"I'm not supposed to say it out loud, but I can whisper it to you." He leaned in even closer, both hands cupped my ear, "I'm going to kill you."

I wish I could say that I was surprised, but I had already come to that conclusion. My only question was why? "I thought you liked me."

"I don't," he said, then surprised me by gripping me tightly and pressing his face further into my hair. His breath became labored, and he began to tremble, and for one crazy moment I thought he was going to add to my now-crusty semen collection, but then I realized that he wasn't turned on, but that he was crying.

"I don't like you," he reiterated between sobs, "I love you. I love you Jimmy."

Wow. Talk about awkward.

"It's okay Hector, I um … I like you too."

"No!" he cried, "you don't understand! I have a job to do here. I don't want to do it, but I have to."

"Why?"

"Don't you see? To save you, Jimmy. To save you from hell."

"I don't understand."

He stepped back and patted my face affectionately.

"You're sinning. You and the fornicator. I have to kill you before he condemns you to hell."

"What? Who?"

"Well, Chazz, of course, silly."

"Because he … skates with me?"

"Don't be coy," said Hector, anger creeping across his features, "I've seen what the two of you are doing. Kissing and touching and … other things."

Noticing my open-mouthed stare, he added, "I watch you. If you don't want the world to know that you're a sodomite, you should really close your curtains. Hey," he asked brightly, "do you know the best part of all of this?"

I shook my head no.

"Jesus loves you! All you have to do is repent before I kill you and all will be forgiven. Isn't that great?"

I shook my head no.

"And hopefully Chazz will repent before I kill him, too."

"NO!"

"That way," he continued, "you two can be together in heaven. Well, not THAT way, of course, but, you know, platonically."

"You leave him the hell alone," I spat, panic wrapping itself around me and constricting my chest.

"It's God's will. 'If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.'"

"Please, Hector, kill only me. Leave Chazz alone." Suddenly, there didn't seem to be enough oxygen in the room. Oh God, I had to get to Chazz and warn him!

Hector slowly knelt in front of me. "Let's get these skates off, it's time to get ready." He placed a hand over my laces, and I jerked my foot away. He grabbed it more firmly and pulled it towards himself.

"Don't fight me, Jimmy."

"I'm not," I said, gasping for air, and pulling my foot away again. "I mean, I am, but I have this … thing … about my skates."

"I don't have time for your 'things' right now. I have a job to do, and I'm not going to let you distract me from it." He grasped my skate and I cried out again, fighting to get away.

"Fine," he said, reaching into his pocket, "I had hoped to not have to use this. I would have thought that you'd learned to trust me by now."

Oh crap, the needle! I had to get out of here. I had to warn Chazz and Coach. Hector said something else, but my pulse was pounding in my ears, and I was struggling just to breathe. He was going to kill me. He was going to kill Chazz. And he was TOUCHING MY FUCKING SKATES!

Hector pulled the hypodermic from his pocket and uncapped it with his teeth.

"Repent," he said around the little clear cap. "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."

"No!" I gave a mighty jerk and felt something dislodge from underneath me. It fell to the ice and clattered away. The Verticoli! Hector turned his head to watch it, and I saw my chance. It was one of those moments, when time seems to slow down and the world shrinks down to one small point of focus.

I pulled my foot back and kicked him as hard as I could.

In the neck.

Holy crap! If I had thought punching someone in the throat was effective, I wasn't prepared for what a skate could do!. The force of the kick shoved him backwards, and he fell, knocking his head on the ice. The syringe fell out of his hand and skidded a few feet away from us. Hector was flailing and sputtering, trying to draw air into his collapsed windpipe, his feet kicking and pounding fruitlessly against the ice.

There was blood, of course, but not a lot, because I had hit him straight on with the blade of my skate, not sliced right through his neck. Yuck! That would have been messy.

I tipped myself all the way forward and dug one skate-pick into the ice, grinding it to make the groove nice and deep. Then, with all the force I could muster, I flung my shoulders back and swung my legs up and into the air. I wrapped my foot around one of the long tether straps and used the other one to slice at it with my skate blade.

Hector had graduated from wheezing to gasping. He was starting to recover. Crap. I had better hurry, because he was going to be pissed! Three more passes with the blade of my skate. Then four. The nylon was finally starting to fray. Five cuts. Then six.

My vision was starting to waver. Upside down was not the best position for someone with a head injury. Seven cuts. Eight.

Coughing. Hector was coughing now, which meant that he was getting air. Nine cuts. Ten. Ohforfuckssake! "Cumon!" Eleven, then it finally gave way and ripped through. The harness tipped wildly to the side, and I fell, in a head-first sideways spin, landing on the hard ice with one shoulder and hip, but I was free! Well, from the harness. I rolled into a sitting position, with one foot bend behind me, and then began to work my hand restraints against the other blade.

No easy feat, when you can't even see what you're doing. Hector was now up on one elbow, looking around with wild eyes. He was still hacking and coughing, but not as much. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth against the blade of my skate. I could feel them begin to loosen, and I doubled my efforts.

Hector was moving. Shit! The needle! We both stared at it, lying on the ice between us. Back and forth, back and forth. Shiiiiiitt! Hector began crawling, crab-like towards it, one hand still clasped to his throat.

My bonds finally broke and I threw my body forward, arms outstretched, but fell short of the needle. We both scrambled over the slippery ice, feet kicking and hands grabbing. Hector's fingers closed over it first, my hand a sloppy second, grabbing his fist.

We struggled in a bizarre tug of war, pulling and pushing against each other, rolling around, vying for control over that little needle. Hector was stockier than me and also had the benefit of food and sleep over the past couple of days. I was also at a disadvantage because of my hands. They were swollen and numb from being tied up for so long. Gripping with them was agony, as they were all pins and needles from the returning circulation.

Hector rolled on top of me and used his weight to force my arms down. The syringe hovered chillingly close to my neck. I dug my skates in and tried to buck him off, but he was too heavy and I was too tired.

His face was pressed almost into mine, his lips pulled back into a horrible snarl as he forced my arms down, the sharp point of the needle grazing the tender skin of my throat.

"Get off!" I cried, pushing with all my might.

"Give it up, Jimmy. It's in God's hands now."

 

We both shook with the effort of our struggle. "Repent," he spat, shoving forward. The back of my head smacked the ice, and the syringe plunged into my neck. My arms flew out and brushed against something hard. The Verticoli!

I grabbed it and brought it up against Hector's head, cracking his skull. He fell back, leaving the needle protruding from my throat. I yanked it out and jabbed it into Hector's thigh, pressing down on the plunger.

"Take that, you fucker," I said, clambering away from him. He moaned softly, then fell silent.

I had to get out of here before he woke up. I had to warn Chazz.

I tried to stand, but my legs were rubber and I couldn't get my skates under me. I settled for pushing myself while sitting, sliding across the ice on my butt, the Verticoli gripped tightly in my bloated fingers. God, I was so tired.

I had to warn Chazz.

Maybe, if I just rested here for a moment, I would get my strength back. Yeah. Just until I didn't feel so weak. I carefully lay back, the ice a welcome reprieve to my throbbing head.

I had to warn Chazz …

Chazz

"I've got you, Jimbo." He gathered me in his arms and lifted me up.

"Chazz! H-hector …"

"Shhh. I've got you now."

He did.

I sighed and let the darkness overtake me.

 

*********

 

The needle spun on the ice, and as it rotated, it turned into Chazz's Verticoli, then back to a syringe, then again to a brush. I watched, fascinated. It really DID have magical properties.

Then a hand, Hector's hand, reached out and snatched it up. He flipped it over onto the back of his fingers and made the needle/brush walk across his knuckles, the way a magician would work a coin. His lips stretched in a macabre smile, revealing bloody shark-like teeth.

"Repent," he hissed and threw the brush at me. I looked down and was horrified to see the Verticoli had pierced my chest and was protruding from my ribcage.

I flinched and jerked awake. Coach was there. I sucked in a shaky breath and clumsily grabbed at his collar.

"Hector!" I shouted. "Hurry!"

"It's okay, Jimmy," he said, pushing me back down on the bed.

Bed?

"Chazz! I've got to warn Chazz!" I struggled to sit up again, and Coach put a firm hand on my chest.

"It's okay, Jimmy. You're safe now. You're in the hospital."

I slumped back, my heart still pounding. "But, what about … Hector?"

Coach patted my arm. "You won't have to worry about him anymore."

"Is he … dead?" I hadn't thought I'd killed him, but there seemed to be a large chunk of time that I couldn't remember.

"Dead? God no," he chuckled, "but after Chazz was done with him, I'm sure he wished he was!"

"Chazz was there?"

"Well sure, Jimmy, we both were. You don't remember?"

I shook my head. I seemed to have a vague recollection, but it didn't seem real.

"And I want to tell you that you did a heck of a job back there, kid. I'm really proud of you. Chazz is, too."

"I think he hates me." I said, a lump rising in my throat. "We had a … I said some terrible things to him."

"I know," he said squeezing my arm, "he told me what happened."

"He - What?"

"Oh yeah," he laughed, "I just about killed Chazz when he told me what he'd done to you."

"He … told you?" I squeaked, "Everything?"

"Well sure. The drinking. The fight. The head butt. The fact that you ran off." He looked me over, warily. "Was there something else?"

"No!" I said, giddy with relief. "That's everything."

"You know, when two people get as close as you guys have, you have to expect a certain amount of tension, and the need to release some of that pent-up energy. What happened between you is only natural."

"Um … are we still talking about the fight?"

"Of course, Jimmy, what else would we be talking about?"

I shrugged. "Where is Chazz, anyway?"

"Shhh, listen." He said, holding up one finger. Sure enough, within a second or two, we could hear Chazz's elevated voice, demanding better quality care for his 'brother'. Did they not know whom they were dealing with? Olympic Gold Medalist Jimmy MacElroy! America's sweetheart.

Coach gave me a lopsided grin and nodded. "I'll go tell him you're awake; I'm sure he wants to see you."

"Wait," I said, my mental wheels slowly turning, "how did you guys find me?"

"The Verticoli," said Coach, tipping his head to the bedside table, where, beside a pitcher of ice water and a vase of flowers, sat the fabled brush. "It has a GPS unit in it."

"GPS?" I asked, still not understanding.

"Global Positioning System." Coach held up a small black unit that closely resembled a cell phone. "This little puppy will track that brush anywhere. Once we realized that you were actually missing and not just cooling your heels, it led us right to you."

"Neat!"

Chazz stormed in the room, still yelling over his shoulder at whatever unfortunate nurse was the target of his tirade, but stopped in his tracks when he saw me.

"Well," said Coach, "I'm uh … gonna go to the cafeteria and get myself a coffee. I'm sure you two have plenty to talk about."

We both watched his retreating form, then pointedly did not look at each other when he was gone. Chazz looked like crap, I noted, when I snuck a peek at him while he fiddled with the flowers. He also looked really pissed off. I didn't know if it would help, but I needed to let him know how sorry I was for the terrible things I had said. If he couldn't accept my apology, then I'm not sure what I would have done, but I certainly wasn't above begging.

"Chazz," I began, but he held up a hand and promptly stopped me.

"Not now," he said, lips pressed into a tight line. "Let's just work on getting you out of here, and we can deal with the other shit later."

He was standing beside the bed, but his gaze was still directed at the door. The main reason that I had survived that whole ordeal was so that I could apologize to him, and he didn't even want to hear it. My throat closed up, and I could feel the prickle of tears behind my eyes. Oh God, why did I have to be such a woman sometimes?

"Look at me," I said, my voice thick with emotion.

"I can't," he said, his expression stony, "not yet."

He turned to leave and I clasped a hand over my mouth to stifle a sob.

STUPIDLOSERANDAFREAKNOBODYWILLEVERLOVEJIMMY
STUPIDLOSERANDAFREAKNOBODYWILLEVERLOVEJIMMY

I counted all afternoon until the police came to interview me, and then I counted all night after that. I was still counting when Coach came to get me and take me home.

~*~*

I sat on the counter beside the sink while Chazz fiddled with the shower taps, getting the temperature just right. He'd been cold and distant ever since I'd arrived home with Coach a few hours earlier, but had immediately offered to help when I mentioned that I was dying to have a shower.

Chazz closed the curtain to let the steam build up and began to unbutton my shirt. My hands were still useless and swollen. I took a deep breath. It was now or never.

"Chazz," I began, "I really suck at this, but I have to tell you how sorry I am."

He gave a curt nod and continued working my buttons.

"The things that I said to you the other day were inexcusable. They were hurtful and untrue, and if I could un-say them, I gladly would. I just hope … I mean, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me."

I closed my eyes and did my best to not count myself into oblivion.

"Jimmy," he finally said, and I peeked through my lashes at him. His expression still looked angry, but his bottom lip quivered tellingly, "you had me at 'suck'."

I let out a sigh of relief. Yes!

"You don't hate me?"

Chazz looked confused. "Me? Hate you? Shit no! I thought you hated me."

I shook my head gravely.

"Oh Jimmy, I effed up big time. I hurt you, man, and you are the one person that I'd never want to do that to. You're my brother. Okay, that's gross, but I mean, I love you, man. And not in a girly-faggy way, but in a," he pounded his chest, "in a big, burly he-man way."

I choked out a laugh.

"I'm serious, Jimmy." The lip quiver was back. "I'm tired of being the lone wolf. Things were going so great between us, and I had to go and ruin everything. I promise that I will never, ever hurt you again. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?"

I nodded and wrapped my arms around his big, stupid body. After a moment, he hugged me back.

"Now get in there," he said, motioning to the shower, "you smell like a slaughterhouse."

I laughed again and shrugged off my shirt. I hopped off the counter, but almost crumpled to the floor when my legs buckled. Chazz held out a hand to steady me.

"You okay?"

I nodded, but wasn't sure. I still felt pretty weak and shaky.

"You need some help?"

I shook my head, but then reconsidered.

"Yeah," I said, "that would be great."

Chazz took a towel off the rack and folded it into a square, placing it in the center of the tub.

"There you go, you can sit instead of stand, and your precious ass won't have to touch any germs."

"Do you really think my ass is precious?" I asked, shedding my pants.

"Well, it doesn't hold a candle to mine," he joked, helping me into the tub, "but I suppose it'll do."

I sank down onto the towel and let the soothing spray rain down on my sore, bruised body. After a moment, the shower curtain flew open and a completely nude Chazz stepped in and sat behind me, long legs stretched out on either side of mine.

He didn't say anything, but put his arms around me and held me tight. I closed my eyes and leaned back against him. We might have stayed that way until the hot water gave out, but eventually he laughed and kissed the back of my head.

"Dude, you're rank! Hand me the Mane and Tail before I blow my groceries all over you."

He uncapped the shampoo and began to work it into my hair, being careful to avoid the more delicate areas. He washed my ears and my neck, then began to rub the strained muscles in my shoulders.

"That feels great," I sighed, and let my head fall forward, as he ran his soapy thumbs down along my spine, then back up to trace around my shoulder blades. He poured more shampoo into his palms, and washed my underarms and chest, working in slow circles.

"Give me your hands," he said, and I obediently placed them in his grip. Chazz used his fingers to work around the base of my thumbs and I moaned my approval. I leaned back into the circle of his arms and rested against him. He massaged each finger, starting at the base, then twisted and rubbed each knuckle and joint, sliding his soapy hands around and between, then tugging gently on each finger-tip.

Between the soothing water and Chazz's magical hands, I began to relax for the first time since my ill-fated ordeal with Hector. Well, parts of me were relaxing. Other parts were definitely getting keyed up, and judging by the massive torpedo stabbing me in the back, Chazz was experiencing the same thing.

He drizzled the Mane and Tail over my front and pressed his fingers into the sore flesh, across my chest and stomach, then in ever-increasing circles, working lower and lower on each pass, until I was arching back and up, straining for his touch. A hand grazed my aching cock, and I gasped.

"Are you okay?" he asked, pulling his hands away.

"Yeah, I'm more than okay."

"But … are you sure you want this? You want me to-"

"I'm sure," I said, taking his soapy hands and guiding them lower, until they slid across the part of me that was yearning for his touch. We both hissed as his fingers wrapped around me, and I pressed into the tight circle of his hands.

"This isn't going to take very long," I said, gripping his knees.

"S'okay," he breathed into my neck, "Iron Chef's on in a minute."

I was about to laugh, but choked on it when his hand slid back up my length, and his other arm pulled me back against him, pressing his hardened cock between us. He rolled his hips beneath me, pulling me closer and working my cock at the same time.

I arched up and let my head fall back on his shoulder. That delicious pressure was back, and I could feel it coiling deep in my belly. I wanted to touch him like he was touching me, but he was pressed so tightly against me, and I was already so close, that all I could do was lean back into him and moan my encouragement.

His lips brushed my neck, his breath hot and jagged against my ear, and that hand, that slippery, hot, delightfully wet hand, rubbing and twisting and pulling and I pushed into it, Ohgodsoclose, and he gripped my hips and pressed against me, breathing whisper-soft grunts against my neck. One more tug, and I was over the edge, crying out as it pulsed through me.

His hand slowed and became a gentle caress, tracing slow circles through the soap and my release. 'Creamy Tribute,' my mind supplied, and I laughed.

"What?" he asked thickly.

"I think you're going to have to wash my stomach again."

"Yeah," he replied, wriggling his softening cock against me, "and your back too."

I smiled and slumped against him.

He twisted a finger around one of my wet curls and pressed his face into the back of my neck.

"I thought you were a goner," he said, rubbing his stubbly chin across my shoulder.

"Yeah," I replied, turning my face towards his, "I thought I was, too."

"Welcome back, Homeschool." Then he kissed me, slowly and thoroughly and I kissed him right back. When we broke apart, I leaned against him again, and his chin returned to my shoulder.

"I guess we should tell Coach," I said.

"I already did."

"What? You mean, about … us? This?"

"Well, yeah. When you went missing, I told him everything."

"That bugger! He knew the whole time and he never let on."

Chazz laughed, and rubbed his hand across my chest and stomach, rinsing away the remains of what we'd just done. "Come on, let's get out of here, the water's starting to get cold."

~*~*

When I came out of the bathroom, Chazz was already waiting for me in my bunk.

"Is this okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, I don't think I'd be able to sleep if I was alone."

"You wouldn't be alone, I'd just be right up there," he said, pointing to the bunk above us.

"Not the same," I said, crawling in next to him and pulling his arm across my shoulders. "Hey," I asked, "what happened with Hector? Coach said that you beat the snot out of him."

"Worse than that," Chazz said, miming a karate chop, "He suffered my fists of furry."

"Did you just say 'furry'?"

"Yeah, you know, when your hands move so fast that they look all furry!"

"If you could move that fast, your hands would look blurry."

"Exactly," he said, nodding against my neck.

I rolled my eyes in the dark.

"Goodnight, Chazz."

"Goodnight, Princess."

 

********

Epilogue:

*********

 

"Like this?" I asked, brushing my fingers over smooth flesh.

Chazz shook his head, no, but the heat from his gaze said otherwise.

"Nipples first," he whispered, "and don't be gentle."

I licked the tips of my fingers, then rubbed around the pink peaks, tweaking and pinching one, and then the other until they stood erect and rosy from the attention.

"Beautiful," he said, running his tongue across his lower lip, then drawing it in with his teeth and sucking on it.

"What do you want now?" I asked, already knowing what his answer would be.

"Balls," he said, his eyes trailing down my flushed abdomen, then lower. I slid my hand down until I encountered the soft, warm flesh of them. I ghosted my fingers across the scant hair, feeling them tighten; then I rolled them around in my palm, tugging gently at the soft skin.

"Oh yeah," he moaned, "just like that." I tugged again, less gently, and he let out a strangled whimper. I ran my fingernails whisper-soft down the crease where leg meets torso and was rewarded with a shiver.

"Oh fuck, Jimmy, this is so hot."

"Really?" I asked, letting my legs fall open.

"Touch it," he hissed, eyes practically rolling back into his head, "grab it before I take it and finish it off, myself."

"Kiss me first," I said, licking my lips in anticipation of the pressure from his mouth.

"Ah, but that's cheating," he said, leaning closer anyway.

"Please?" I pouted, wriggling invitingly beside him. I smiled smugly when he pressed his mouth to mine and kissed me with an urgency that raised gooseflesh down my arms, but when I wrapped my arms around his neck, he shook his head and pulled away.

"You're not supposed to touch me, just yourself."

"You do it," I begged, "you're better at it."

"That's just because I've spent years honing that skill. I practically have calluses."

"Kiss me while I do it, then."

"No, I want to watch."

"Well, I can't do it while you're staring at me."

"Here," he said, "I'll make it easier for you." He leaned over me to reach into his track bag and pulled out a little bottle. "Give me your hand."

"What is it?"

"Lube," he said, grinning, as he poured a healthy amount into my waiting palm. "This will figure prominently in later lessons."

I looked at him, questioningly, but he was staring off into the distance, a dreamy look in his eyes.

"Aaaand?" I prompted.

"Oh!" he said, back in the moment, "Use it. Grab that monkey and spank it."

I rolled my eyes, but obediently rubbed my lubed up hand over my erection. Chazz lay back down beside me, head on his hand, and eyes intent on what I was doing. I sighed and pulled my hand away.

"I can't do this while you're looking. I feel like a total dork."

"You're kidding me, right? Jimmy," he said, taking in my sprawled, sweaty form, "you're fucking gorgeous, dude. I could stare at you like this all day. Except, of course, that my dick would explode." He made a detonation sound and mimed the debris raining down on top of me.

I smiled, but couldn't help still feeling self-conscious.

"Here," he said, taking my hand, "I'll help you get started."

He took my palm and wrapped it around my now-slick cock, then placed his hand over my own.

"Just do what feels natural: up, down, twist, squeeze."

Our hands moved in tandem, pulling up on my hard length, then pressing down, Chazz's thumb pushing against mine, showing me where I should squeeze and constrict, and where a gentler touch was needed.

I laid my head back and shut my eyes, concentrating on the sensations, and trying to ignore the fact that not only was I wanking off, but I was doing it in front of Chazz. Despite his refusal to kiss me, his lips were soon on my neck, and I tilted my head to give him full access.

Wow, it sure felt different with lubrication. Way different! In no time, with Chazz's help, my hand was quickening along with my pulse. Despite the fact that it was my own hand doing the work, it really didn't feel very different from what we had done in the shower the week before. That, and the fact that he was breathing heavily in my ear and pressing his cock into my thigh.

At some point his hand fell away from mine, but my legs were already tensing and my hips were pressing into it. I turned my head towards Chazz, and his lips found mine in a sloppy open-mouthed kiss.

I'm doing it! I thought, I'm really doing it!

"So hot," he moaned into my mouth, and I was coming.

All over myself.

Because of myself!

All by myself! Well, sort of.

"Nice work, princess," Chazz said into my neck.

"Thanks," I said proudly, while sinking back into the bed. Chazz ran a finger through the mess on my belly and held it up to my mouth.

"You've GOT to be kidding me," I said, nose wrinkling in disgust.

"Your loss," he shrugged, then ran his finger over his bottom lip before licking it off. I stared, incredulous.

"That is possibly the grossest and hottest thing I have ever seen."

"Wrap you mind around it, Blondie, because it's part of tomorrow's lesson."

"Really?" I asked, intrigued and horrified at the same time.

"Yeah, but first things first," he said, drilling a hole in my leg with his boner, "do you think you could help a guy out here?"

I rolled on top of him, my legs straddling his. I took a good, long look at his mouth before lowering my head and pressing my lips to his. He rolled his hips under me, pressing his cock through the sticky mess on my stomach, then moaned and cupped my ass, pulling me more closely against him.

"Wait!" I said, breaking the kiss, "maybe I want to see you … do it yourself."

"What's the rush? Come back this afternoon for the daily matinee. Plus," he said, nuzzling my neck, "you're here, naked, and on top of me. Now that I have you in my grasp, I don't want to let go."

"Good," I said, "I wasn't planning on going anywhere."

We stared at each other for a moment, something deep, and meaningful passing between us.

"How are your hands?"

I sat up and looked at them. "Fine," I said, giving them an experimental flex.

"Good, because my beefy man-stick is dying of neglect."

I laughed and insinuated a hand between us, wrapping my fingers around his 'man-stick.'
The hands on my ass squeezed tighter.

"I love you, Jimmy."

"Yeah, when I'm touching your dick."

He nodded, smiling. "ESPECIALLY when you're touching my dick!"

I smiled back. He was an oaf and a douche-bag, and I loved him, too.

 

THE END