Authors: K. Sterling
Courage In Love
There wasn’t enough coffee in the whole state of Virginia to keep Parker’s head from slamming onto the desktop as he struggled to stay awake while grading the worst of the term papers. He’d left Jonathan Hays for last, knowing it was going to be grueling.
You have days. Literally. You’re stalling and once you’re done, you’ll have to face the whole long weekend.
Parker groaned as he rubbed the back of his neck. He hated his new house and he’d stayed in his office late the last two evenings
grading and avoiding his new “life”.
David was probably at the English Department’s cocktail social being erudite and dashing. Parker heard that he was dating a new TA. He hoped David overdosed on his precious Viagra and his dick exploded.
You know, you’d get over this faster if you got laid. He’s moved on and you’ve been pathetic for more than two months.
Parker’s eyes slid to his phone and heard his sister’s voice nagging him to move on. She put Grindr on his phone and kept texting him about trying it out. The idea of meeting guys like that made Parker queasy. He was certain that no one looking for a decent guy and a healthy relationship put themselves on Grindr. Then again, maybe he needed a few one night stands to purge any hope or grief from his system.
Come on, you’re thirty-four. You aren’t dead.
Parker clenched his jaw and snatched his phone off the desk. He opened the app and a grid full of abs and bedroom eyes popped up.
Well… that’s not terrible,
He decided. Parker tapped a picture but the app demanded he create a profile. He bit his lip as he stared at the door to his office. No one else was here but better safe than sorry. He rushed across the room and locked the door before he unbuttoned his shirt and quickly tossed it on the couch. His undershirt followed and Parker chewed his lip as he stared down his body. His nerves hummed and the room seemed warmer as his cock started to get heavy and hard. Parker shrugged as he opened the camera on his phone.
Apparently, I am the sort of guy that gets turned on by exposing himself.
He held the phone away from him and angled it down, trying to keep his face out of the shot. When Parker checked the picture he frowned. He was in great shape but it wasn’t very exciting. He set the phone down and opened the fly of his jeans and spread the front, showing a glimpse of his boxer briefs and took another picture. Still, nice but not much more interesting than an underwear ad.
If you’re going to do this, go big and see if you can score with someone really hot.
He pushed his jeans lower and spread his legs so they hung just below his hips. Parker grabbed the bulge in the front of his briefs and gave it a firm squeeze before he stroked it through the smooth cotton. It didn’t require much encouraging for a very serious and obvious erection to push against the soft fabric. Parker took another picture and this time, he blushed. The flash clung to every groove and hollow of his chest and stomach and his skin looked rich and warm. But it was the way it made his underwear look nearly transparent that caused Parker’s face to feel hot.
Before he could chicken out, Parker added the picture and quickly filled out the profile. He described himself as an educated professional looking for someone discreet, clean and over thirty with a similar lifestyle. Meaning: No Students. Parker didn’t bother with sexual preferences or tribes (Tribes? Things had changed a lot since the last time he was single). He was pretty openminded and it had been so long, with the right person, he wasn’t going to be picky. Parker wasn’t totally sure what DTF meant but a few of the photos that caught his eye included the acronym and he decided it must have meant something positive. So, DTF and off he went. Parker submitted his profile, quickly put himself back in order, returned to his desk and acted like there was any sort of chance that he’d get to grading Hays’ terrible paper.
Ross scanned the tap room of the brewery and relaxed when he spotted Bryan and Ian. They were staring longingly at each other, as they always did, and laughing. Ross smiled and kept moving toward them despite the very strong urge to slam their heads together, like they were two of the Three Stooges. That would make him Moe. Ross stifled a weary sigh. They were just so damn happy. It was disgusting. And wonderful. While Ross didn’t want to retire and settle down, like Bryan had done after things with Ian became serious, Ross wished he had
The missions were slowing down and he was getting older. Coming home to an empty house was eating away at Ross. The rest of the team had girlfriends or wives and kids. Ross had a giant t.v. and nothing he wanted to watch on it.
Charlottesville was a little hippy and trendy for Ross but it was more relaxed and cleaner than Virginia Beach and quieter than Richmond. The long drive relaxed him and being in the mountains, surrounded by green was often the soothing balm he needed after a mission. At first, Ross thought Bryan was out of his mind to settle in a college town but the more he visited, the more it grew on Ross. Ian worked in the University’s advertising department and he and Bryan were all in. They had a house and a swarm of bichons. Their guest room had a mountain view and Ross looked forward to burrowing under heavy, vintage quilts. It wasn’t the life that Ross wanted but he wouldn’t mind something in the neighborhood.
“It’s about time!” Ian exclaimed as he reached to hug Ross. “We were starting to think you decided to be old and stay at home.” He settled close to Bryan and took a long drink and Ross scowled as he waved at the waitress. He wasn’t taking Ian’s bait. The conversation would inevitably turn into a list of all the reasons Ross was still single and how he wasn’t really trying. Ross ordered a beer and got comfortable.
“It’s quiet here, is everyone gone for the Tech game?” Ross asked as he looked around.
“I’d guess that about two thirds of campus has migrated to Blacksburg.” Bryan grinned as he leaned close to Ian and whispered in his ear. Ross looked away and tried not to feel like a third wheel. He saw Ian nod out of the corner of his eye and smiled in relief when the waitress set his beer on the table.
“We’re tired of waiting for you to do something about your nonexistent love life, Ross.” Ian declared and Ross eyed him warily.
“I swear to God, if you’ve set this up as a blind date and someone else is about to show up, I’m leaving.” Ross promised and Bryan laughed.
“Relax. No one does that anymore. We live in amazing times, my friend.” Bryan giggled and Ross’ head pulled back in shock. Bryan was reserved and sensible. Knowing that he’d agreed to whatever Ian was up to and had actually giggled was a bit jarring for Ross.
“Et tu, Brute?” Ross asked as he raised a brow at Bryan. He only shrugged.
“Look. It’s time you found someone. Or had a little fun. You come up on your free weekends and maybe have a few beers before you crash in our guest room. I’ve never seen you so much as flirt, let alone hook up with anyone.” Bryan paused to sip his beer and Ross’ lips pulled tight as he looked around the bar, hoping for a way out of the conversation. It was fine, accepting that he wanted to find someone and that he was lonely but discussing it with his two, very happily ever after-ed best friends was making Ross anxious and his mood was turning. He was about to tell them to mind their own business when Ian reached for his hand.
“We love having you here and you’re always welcome but now and then, it would be nice to be able to have sex with you in the house and not worry that we’re going to wake up the monk.” Ian laughed when Ross’ eyes grew wide and he fell back in his seat.
“I’m not a monk.” He argued and Ian gave him an impatient look.
“Please. You barely drink and you disapprove of everything. I’ve started to doubt that you’re even gay. You know, gay men have sex with other gay men.” Ian pointed out and Ross glared at him.
“I’ve had sex.” Ross mumbled as he raised his glass to his lips and took a long drink.
A few times,
Ross admitted. “Just because I never had a whore phase doesn’t make me a monk.” He gave Ian an accusing look and Bryan laughed.
“It’s time you had a whore phase, Ross.” Bryan announced and Ross frowned and shook his head. Before he could argue Bryan gave him a pointed look. “It’s for your own good. In a few years, you’ll be too old and no one will want you. You’re already too cranky. We put you on Grindr and you’re meeting someone tonight.” Bryan smiled wickedly and Ross felt a tickle of panic. He wasn’t old in general but he was too old for Grindr and from what he heard, Grindr moved a lot faster than he was comfortable with. He shook his head again.
“I’m not doing that. Besides, having that on my phone could be bad for my clearance. I’ve still got a job.” He argued and Bryan shrugged as he pulled out his phone.
“We knew you’d say that. So, we made an account for you on my phone. All we need to do is fire it up and see who’s in the vicinity.” Bryan winked and looked down at his phone. Ross looked at the door and considered fleeing as his shirt started to cling to his chest and back.
“How could you?” He complained as he shifted uncomfortably. The last thing Ross wanted was to be forced into meeting some horny college kid for something that would end in rejection or Ross feeling sleazy. Ian snorted as he watched over Bryan’s shoulder.
“It was pretty easy. We used the picture I took of you at the lake a few weeks ago, cropped your head out of it and plugged in a little info.” Ian explained and his eyes lit up. “Oh! Look at that one!” His eyes got even bigger and Bryan nodded. “Oh, shit!” Ian whispered and Ross clenched his jaw as curiosity stirred. Bryan smiled as he swiped.
“We’re definitely interested.” He announced and Ross’ mouth fell open and he reached across the table.
“What do you mean
?” He asked as he snatched the phone from Bryan.
Oh, shit, indeed.
Ross could only stare longingly at the picture. A sculpted chest and abs, rich latte skin and a very large and detailed bulge hardly concealed by grey cotton made Ross’ body tighten and the room was starting to feel too warm. He shook his head as he passed the phone back to Bryan. “It’s never going to happen. That guy isn’t looking for someone like me.” Ross argued. “What does DTF mean?” He asked and Ian threw his head back and laughed.
“Baby, it means Down To Fuck. This is exactly why you need to be on here.” Ian took Bryan’s phone and began to read. “Ha! It says he’s a professional and looking for someone over thirty with a ‘similar lifestyle’. He don’t got time for poor, young college boys.” Ian sang as he typed. Ross threw Bryan an accusatory glare.
“I can’t believe you went along with this. And a guy like that is not going to be interested in me.” Ross resisted the urge to grab the phone again. He wouldn’t mind staring at the picture for the rest of the evening. Hell, he could do a lot with that picture after a few beers and a little privacy. Ian started to bounce excitedly.
“He replied!” Ian gasped and he leaned back, out of Ross’ reach when his hand shot across the table.
“What are you doing?” Ross knew he sounded terrified. He was. Ian turned, taking the phone further out of Ross’ reach as he continued to type.
“He’s going to meet you here. Says he was about to pass right by anyway and he doesn’t have any other plans.” Ian squealed and Bryan’s head tilted as he read over Ian’s shoulder.
“You’ve got about five minutes.” Bryan informed him and Ross started to shake his head frantically.
“No, no, no, no, no!” He whined as he pushed a hand through his hair. “I can’t do this! I can’t meet some random, slutty guy.” Ross hated that his face was probably turning red. The strong flight instinct that had served him so well was screaming for him to run way. Bryan pointed across the table and gave him a hard stare.
“Listen to me, Ross.” He was suddenly serious and Ross almost nodded. “You’re going to sit at that table and have a drink with a ridiculously hot guy. It doesn’t have to be more than that. Just do something for once. You’re not happy and we’re tired of waiting for you to realize that and do something about it. You’re a great guy and you deserve more than a sad little house and moping around here on the weekends.” Bryan waited while Ross digested his statement.
“I don’t mope.” Ross mumbled and Ian nodded.
“You do. All you have is work. When you aren’t with the team, you spend your weekends doing our chores because you want what we have. It’s time for you to get your own life.” Ian squeezed Ross’ hand encouragingly.
“If you’re tired of me, you should have just said so.” Ross teased and Ian rolled his eyes.
“Shut up. We’re not tired of you. We love you. And we’d both feel better if you at least got laid.” He said as his head jerked toward the empty table by the window. “Go over there and try not to be boring.” Ian winked and Ross slouched.
“Fine. I’ll have a beer but I’m not having a one night stand.” He scrubbed a hand over his face and groaned. “This is going to be a train wreck.” Ross predicted before he got up and went to the other table.