The Winner

The Winner

by Corvidae

erotic fiction“Harry! You crazy bastard, I hear you’re a real fag now!”

I bristled instinctively at the words until I registered the note of teasing amusement underneath them. I turned just in time to be tackled in a hug.

“Good to see you too, Billy….” I squeaked out under the crush of his arms.

“Psh, it’s William now, son! Three kids and a mortgage to your name means it’s gotta grow up too!”

It was a little strange, Billy calling me “son,” since technically I was seven months older than him. But time seemed to have stolen his youth faster than it had for me. My body was still holding onto some semblance of a six pack, while his had thrown itself a kegger. On top of this, his hair was thinning, and his skin showed the wear that over twenty years of outdoor construction jobs would do.

But all of those details were overshadowed by the open, easy smile that I still remembered from all those years ago. My heart stirred.

“What do you mean by, um, a ‘real’ fag?” I asked, now more perplexed than offended.

He laughed and slapped me on the shoulder, almost making me spill my drink. “I mean living up there in New York City! Going to fancy restaurants with them small plates of food, probably got a fancy apartment with some small kind of dog.”

I smiled. “Oh, well, maybe some of those things. It’s definitely is a lot different than Maple Grove.”

He snorted. “You got that right. Can see why you ain’t barely been back since the last reunion.”

He was right, and frankly, I wasn’t sure why I had even bothered to come back for the reunions at all. My parents had moved to be closer to my sister’s family, and I certainly didn’t have a lot of old friends here. There weren’t even a lot of memories I wanted to revisit.

But there were some, I realized as I looked at Billy’s grinning face. Of all the people I had greeted so far that evening, he alone seemed genuinely happy to see me. For a moment, I felt like I was once again looking at Billy Kendricks, star quarterback of Maple Grove High, the benevolent king of our small world.

I had known since about fourteen that I was gay, but I knew better than to come out to anyone in our country town. I tried to dispel suspicion by joining the football team, but somehow rumors still started to circulate. By sophomore year, I was already the target of name calling, and sometimes worse.

But not from Billy. When the other teammates would start to tease me, he would put a stop to it. Usually it was with a lighthearted joke that broke the tension and changed the subject, but on at least a few occasions he directly admonished my attackers.

I don’t know why he took it upon himself to protect me, but those efforts—combined with his athletic good looks—turned him into my first crush, and from there into my first unrequited love.

As concerned as I was about my reputation, I couldn’t help but steal glances at him in the locker room as he walked around joking with the other teammates. Sometimes he wrapped a thin white towel around his waist, but more often than not he wore nothing but his trademark smile.

The worst was when we ended up in the shower together at the same time. I would stare at the stained tile walls and try not to think about the fact that he was mere feet away, skin glistening with soap and sweat, water running along every crevice of his muscles and flowing into forbidden places. I started to purposefully delay my showers till the end of our allotted time, knowing he’d be done by then.

But on one memorable occasion, this strategy backfired. I went into the shower late as usual, as most of the other guys were finishing. Unbeknownst to me, Billy had stayed behind after practice to talk with the coach. He walked into the shower just as the last of our other teammates were leaving. I exchanged some lighthearted words with him, trying to hide my simultaneous excitement and terror; excitement and terror that only increased when he decided to take the shower head next to mine.

Although I stared at the wall, I could still see him out of the corner of my eye. He spent a few seconds just standing under the water, letting the warmth run across his neck and down his back. Then he lathered up a sponge and started washing. Unlike most of our teammates—whose routine was to throw some soap at themselves and call it a day—Billy was meticulous. He worked the sponge in a slow spiral pattern along each arm and down his long legs. With surprising dexterity, he reached around to lather the planes of his broad back. He finished with his chest, letting his head roll back under the spray as he soaped and stroked his neck, shoulders, and muscular chest.

I wished that it was my hand that held that sponge. Better yet, I wished there was no sponge at all, and it was just my naked palms running over his slick flesh. Once I finished soaping him up, I would step closer, pressing my wet body against his, bringing my face closer to his under the spray….

As I fantasized, Billy turned to look at me. I realized I was now staring at him openly. Even more horrifying, my deep longing had started to strive for physical release, and my cock stood half erect, fully visible to him. I froze, terrified of how he would respond. But he just smiled at me with that winning smile of his and winked. He finished his shower and left without a word, and as far as I could tell he never told any of the other guys about what happened.

That moment in the shower rushed back into my mind as I stood there in front of him. Though he was no longer the chiseled god he once was, I realized there that it had been his kindness and quiet acceptance more than his looks that drew me to him in the first place.

He had been talking all through my brief reverie, catching me up on the gossip of our other old teammates, most of them I only remembered because of words of hate they once directed at me. I took advantage of a pause in his narration to change to happier subjects and asked him about his family.

The bright light in his eyes dimmed slightly. “Ah, well, Lucy and I are divorced, going on six years now. She got the boat and I kept the house, and I still see the kids every other weekend, but, well….” He looked dejectedly down at the floor. “Without the kids around, I don’t see much point in the house. Just reminds me of what I don’t have.”

I recognized that look. It was the look of a man who barely felt he had a place in his own world anymore.

“Billy,” I said slowly, an idea dawning, “Would you like to come visit me in New York sometime? On one of the weekends you don’t have the kids. You know, for a change of scene or something. My boyfriend and I have a guest room, and I hope you don’t mind that we don’t have a tiny dog, although we do have a cat.”

He looked up, surprised. I watched with trepidation while he processed this idea, hoping that I hadn’t offended or upset him in some way.

Then his face broke out in the same bright grin as before. “Yeah, you know, I think I would like that. Went there once as a kid with my dad but haven’t been back since. Just so long as I don’t have to get no manicures or anything,” he added with a chuckle.

I smiled at him with a winning smile, and winked.

© 2013 Corvidae. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

Bio: Corvidae is a biologist, a science writer, and a self-proclaimed perv. She lives in California.

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