Two Bodies

Copyright March 12-April 14, 2005
by Matthew Haldeman-Time

I write about men having sex with other men.  You must be eighteen or older to read my fiction.  This site is for consenting, responsible adults only.

animated banner by Leslie Lee

            Bruce loved guys, Bruce loved dick, Bruce loved sex.  Intense, hard-core, groping fucking sex.  There was nothing like running his hands over naked flesh, sucking tongue and sucking dick, moaning and sweating and groaning and coming.

            He wasn’t shy about it, and he didn’t care who knew it.  Sex was a natural urge; fucking was a biological pleasure.  Whenever he had a free night, he’d go out and pick up a guy or two and fuck, long and hard, sucking dick and fucking ass and overloading his senses with pure male sex.

            He liked younger guys.  He was only twenty-five himself, and most nights he picked up guys who were anywhere from his age to forty.  But the guys who caught his eye were younger, college kids, slender twenty-year-olds.  Fresh meat.

            He was a mechanic, so his nights were open.  When the shop closed, if he didn’t already have plans with his friends, he went to one of the clubs around town.  He wasn’t so hot that he stopped traffic, but he’d been known to turn a head here and there.  He stayed in shape, he kept a close shave, he had short light brown hair and what one of his almost-boyfriends had called “sexually intense” blue eyes.

            He’d had several almost-boyfriends over the years, but never an actual boyfriend.  No one he’d ever committed to.  He’d come close to establishing long-term relationships, but he’d never been able to promise monogamy.  Not that he required a different fuck every night; but no one had ever grabbed his attention long enough to keep his gaze, or his hands, from wandering.

            One of his closest friends, Mark, did require a different fuck every night.  The frequency of Bruce’s sexual encounters was based on Bruce’s healthy, appreciative interest in fucking the male form.  Mark was just a slut, by his own admission.

            When Mark was approached by someone calling himself a pornographer, Bruce wasn’t entirely surprised.  Bruce also didn’t believe that the guy was legitimate.  But Mark insisted on checking it out, and came back smiling with cash and a story.  The pornographer hired guys, amateurs off the street largely gathered through word of mouth, and paid them to fuck each other.  They could do whatever they wanted, no script, just sex; and once they were paid, he’d put it on the Net.

            Mark had been paired with someone he described as a Norse god hung like a stallion.  He was happy about the experience and already had agreed to go back for another round.

            Bruce enjoyed sex, and he couldn’t help but think of the many uses he had for some extra cash.  His landlord had just raised the rent, his car was getting to the point where even he couldn’t salvage it, and he was planning a trip to California in a couple of months.  A little extra money was just what he needed.

            Mark assured him that the pornographer was on the level.  The guy hadn’t tried to touch him, had paid him exactly what they’d agreed on, hadn’t even suggested that they try any kinky shit.  Just sex for money.

            Bruce thought about it, but he wasn’t sure.  The idea of getting paid to fuck somebody was dirty no matter how he looked at it.  His honest enjoyment of sex and his interest in the money couldn’t overcome his reluctance to get paid to fuck a stranger.

            Then his car died.  Everyone at the shop did his best, but the facts had to be faced: it was over.  He had to get a new car.

            He got a good one cheap, but not cheap enough, and when it came time to pay the rent, he didn’t have the money.  Two hundred bucks short, he went downtown and met his friends at the bar.  At a table over some beers, they brainstormed about where he could pick up the extra cash.  Another job?  A loan?

            Mark said that if he needed the money immediately, the fastest way to get it would be to talk to Kent.

            “Kent who?” Bruce asked, tipping back another bottle.

            “Kent Carlson,” Mark said.

            “The porno perv?” John asked.

            “It’s good money and good sex,” Mark said.  “Nothing wrong with that.”

            “I like good sex,” Bruce admitted.

            “And you could use good money,” Mark reminded him.

            Bruce took a long swallow and thought about it.  Hell.  He could at least meet the guy.

            Twenty minutes later, he and Mark were in Kent Carlson’s spacious two-bedroom apartment.  He talked to Kent about his sexual experience, he met the second cameraman, he showed off his dick, and he was hired.

            After signing on the dotted line, he asked, “Who am I fucking?”

            “His name is Cory,” Kent said.  “I found him a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t find the right guy to put him with.  I think that he’d look great with you.  Relax and have a drink, and I’ll call him over.”

            “I’ve already had a few,” Bruce said as he was handed a beer.

            “Don’t worry about it,” Kent said.  “It’ll help you loosen up and forget the cameras.”

            Bruce and Mark hung out in the second bedroom, which was where Kent filmed.  While the second cameraman adjusted the lighting, they sat on the bed and had a few beers and talked about the last time Mark had been there; he’d had a three-way with the Norse god and a sweet-faced Latino bottom boy.  When Bruce cracked open another beer, Mark asked him if he was going to be sober enough to fuck.  Bruce couldn’t remember how many he’d already had, but while he’d occasionally been too drunk to drive or too drunk to walk straight or too drunk to string together a coherent sentence, he’d never been too drunk to fuck.  At the moment, he was pretty damned smashed, but that wouldn’t slow him down, unless the guy wanted to talk first.

            Kent walked into the room.  “Cory, this is Bruce.  Bruce, this is Cory.”

            Finding his feet, Bruce looked the guy over slowly, feeling heat rise.  Cory was young, and Cory was hot.  Maybe twenty years old, short near-black hair, thick-lashed dark brown eyes, pale skin, slender build.  He was wearing jeans and sneakers, a long-sleeved Nathanson University T-shirt, and a nervous expression.  Bruce stared at him, entranced.  The contrast of vulnerability and determination in his eyes was captivating, and he was so pretty that just looking at him made Bruce flush with heat all the way through.  Gazing, lost, Bruce was deaf to everything that Kent said.  Cory was so pretty that it was distracting, so hot that it was maddening, so beautiful that Bruce was intoxicated.

            “Okay with you?” Kent asked Bruce.  “Okay with you?” he asked Cory.

            “Oh, yeah,” Bruce said, already anticipating the taste of those pink lips, the feel of that smooth skin.  He couldn’t look away from those eyes.

            “Yeah,” Cory said.

            “Okay,” Kent said.  “Mark, you’re going to have to leave the room.  Ben, let’s get the cameras rolling.  You two can start undressing each other.  Bruce, Cory’s never bottomed before, so let’s take this one slowly.”

            Cory stepped out of his sandals, curling bare toes against the carpet.  When Bruce walked in closer, soft pink lips parted.  “Hi,” Cory said.

            “Hi,” Bruce said, and kissed him.  He was sweet and surprised; Bruce’s hand cupped his nape, keeping him in place, while Bruce’s kiss ravaged his mouth.  Cory made an overwhelmed noise and Bruce’s hands went on the move, groping and fondling, squeezing and cupping, feeling over his body.  He had slim hips that enhanced the taut curves of his ass, and broad shoulders that he’d just grown into.  His long-fingered hands skimmed up Bruce’s arms, grip tightening when Bruce rubbed his dick through his jeans.

            “Mmm, yeah,” Bruce murmured, loving the feel of a dick in his hand.  “Take your shirt off.”  Releasing Cory’s cock with a squeeze, Bruce pulled off his own shirt and kicked his shoes side, going down on his knees and pressing his face to Cory’s newly bared abdomen, kissing a firm stomach and licking Cory’s navel.  His hands stroked up and rubbed down, relishing the feel of naked skin.  Cory’s chest was hairless, his pecs nicely defined, his small nipples hard from Bruce’s touch.  When Cory’s fingers slid through Bruce’s hair, Bruce pushed his face into Cory’s crotch, nuzzling the bulge of Cory’s arousal, hands sliding with lusting impatience over Cory’s hips.

            Unbuttoning, unzipping, Bruce opened Cory’s jeans, pushing them down to his ankles.  Cory had on light gray boxer-briefs, and Bruce put his mouth to where Cory’s erection was beginning to strain against the fabric, licking the head.  Moaning in aroused surprise, Cory rubbed his naked shoulders, encouraging.  Bruce peeled down Cory’s underwear, pausing only to let Cory step free and kick the clothes aside before reaching out with both hands, stroking the thickening hardness of Cory’s dick.  It was starting to curve upward as it lifted and filled, and the mushroom cap of a head tempted his mouth.  “Gorgeous dick,” Bruce said, kissing the head, licking it, moaning over the press of it against his tongue.  “You have a gorgeous dick,” and god, it felt so, tasted so, mmm…  Bruce licked the shaft, running his tongue up, down, up again.  Cory’s quiet moan coincided with Cory’s fingers tightening in his hair, and Bruce sucked on the head, licking it, wrapping one hand around the shaft and sucking just deep enough to kiss his fist.

            Cory’s dick was almost as long as his, and thick enough to make things interesting.  Bruce cupped Cory’s balls in one hand, other hand sliding down Cory’s thigh, up Cory’s chest, moaning as he stroked smooth, taut skin.  Coming off of Cory’s dick with a wet kiss, Bruce sucked on Cory’s balls, Cory’s hands rubbing his neck with need and agitation.  Bruce hadn’t had anyone this young, this pretty, this hot in a long time, and he couldn’t wait to experience more, and more, and more.

            Getting a firm grasp on Cory’s hips, Bruce pulled, yanking Cory down, jerking Cory onto his lap and then spilling Cory back across the floor, Cory unable to catch himself on his hands in time, ass in Bruce’s lap and back arching beautifully to display gorgeous virgin skin, arms flung wide.  Bruce dumped Cory’s ass on the floor, spreading Cory’s firm thighs, kneeling between them and nuzzling Cory’s chest, licking and sucking at a tight nipple.

            “Fuck, Jesus,” Cory whispered.  Bruce sucked harder, wanting him, wanting to fuck him, wanting to have him and take him and own him, feeling Cory tense and shiver under his hands as he stroked and caressed and teased deliciously smooth skin.  Dimly, Bruce was aware that Kent was saying something; he didn’t care what it was, too busy kissing Cory’s neck, pushing Cory’s thighs wider with his knees and gliding his hands over Cory’s chest.  Cory said, “It’s okay, I’m okay,” and rubbed his arms, stroking his shoulders.

            Bruce lifted his head and kissed Cory, devouring quiet moans, kissing more deeply when exploring hands traveled over his body, feeding off of anxious lust.  Cory was delicious, soft sucking mouth and sleek licking tongue.  The urge to fuck was driving Bruce’s hips forward; he rocked his dick against Cory’s erection, and even muffled by their kiss, Cory’s hot groans of pleasure made Bruce harder, made Bruce want to fuck him to hear more.

            A thigh in one hand and a hip in the other, Bruce flipped Cory over, pushing him down onto his stomach and then pulling his hips up to bring him onto his knees, kissing his sweet ass, licking that tight virgin pucker and spreading his thighs wide.  Bruce loved ass, loved Cory’s ass, licked the soft skin, squeezed the curves.  High, round, pale, tight, it was perfect.  “Sweet ass,” he murmured, massaging it, fascinated by its softness, its resiliency.  “Sweet, sweet ass.”  Oh, yeah, he was going to fuck this baby hard.

            “Bruce.”  Kent’s voice broke through his haze.

            “Yeah,” he said vaguely, caressing Cory’s ass, leaning in to kiss the small of his back, kissing up his spine, stroking, licking, god, “You taste so good.”

            “Maybe you should take this to the bed,” Kent said.

            “No,” Bruce said.  He didn’t want to move.  He wanted to stay right where he was.  Stroking Cory’s ass, finger riding the cleft, he kissed the back of Cory’s neck, licking one sweetly curved ear.  “Gonna fuck you so hard,” he whispered, nuzzling, kissing.  “Gonna fuck you so right.”

            Cory was twisting slightly beneath him, ass rubbing into his touch one second and shying away the next.  Cory’s rapid breathing was nervous and eager and hot.  Bruce kissed down Cory’s back again, licking hungrily into the cleft of his ass, spreading his cheeks with eager hands.  The perfect little pucker of Cory’s asshole had been made to fit Bruce’s tongue, and the longer Bruce licked, the harder his dick throbbed and ached to be in there.

            He couldn’t go in bare.  He and Kent had talked about it.  Bruce raised his head, looking for the lube and condoms, finding them right there at his side.  He didn’t remember them being there before, but he didn’t worry about it, shucking off his jeans, quickly getting the condom on and slicking it down.  He tested the virgin tunnel with one finger, stretching and lubing, ducking his head to suck at Cory’s balls before pushing in with a second finger while Cory’s quick, responsive moans grew louder.  “Mmm, yeah, tight ass,” he said, licking between his fingers.  “Gonna fuck your tight ass.”

            Rising up onto his knees, Bruce grabbed Cory’s hips and pulled Cory closer, ass in position.  Taking his dick in one hand, Bruce aimed at the vulnerable target, his other hand holding Cory in place.  With one thrust he was in, burying his dick in sweet, hot ass.

            Cory groaned, lowering his head.

            Bruce didn’t even pause.  Cory was too tight for him, and he was going to come too soon, but he was determined to get a solid fucking out of it.  Rocking back, he thrust in again, dick surging deep.  His rhythm was steady and the pace was quick, thrust after thrust, slamming into Cory’s ass with the sound of flesh hitting flesh.  He pounded that pretty ass, moaning and panting, fucking and fucking and fucking.

            Holding back was impossible.  The idea of it didn’t even cross Bruce’s mind.  Cory’s ass felt too good, like nothing he’d ever felt before.  He drove in deep and steady, aching all through his body with bone-deep fever, possessed by the urge to fuck and the need to come.  Cory’s groans echoed in his mind and his hands couldn’t get enough of that smooth skin.

            He wanted more.  More, and more.  Bruce pulled out, flipping Cory over, yanking Cory into place and sliding deep inside.  “God,” he groaned, as Cory twitched and panted beneath him.  So tight, so perfect, clamping down around him and almost sucking the cum out through his dick.  He fucked harder, faster, pounding, balls-deep, hiking Cory’s legs over his shoulders.

            The way his head was spinning and his vision was blurring told Bruce that he’d better not drag out the moment.  The way his dick was throbbing and his body was aching told Bruce that he’d better not put off orgasm a second longer.  Driving his dick as deep as it would go, cupping Cory’s ass in both hands and lifting Cory against his body, Bruce kissed Cory’s chest, slamming his dick in hard as he came, feeling hot wild ecstasy pump through his body, groaning incoherently, those sweet ass muscles flexing in his hands as his teeth grazed a nipple.

            God.  Bruce wanted to pass out.  Shaking his head, he opened his eyes and waited for the double vision to pass.  Popping his dick from Cory’s ass, he shed the condom and slumped forward, kissing Cory’s chest.  “God, I love your dick,” he breathed, sliding down and opening his mouth for it, sucking the head.  Cory whimpered, then moaned breathlessly, drawing up his knees and arching his back.  “So fucking hot,” Bruce said, taking in more, swallowing down to the base and then backing off.  “Want you so fucking much,” he muttered, mouthing Cory’s balls before deep-throating that thick erection, humming around it and pushing three fingers into that hot, wet ass.  Cory was rubbing his hair, undulating and groaning helplessly, convulsing suddenly and coming down his throat.

            Swallowing greedily, Bruce kept sucking until there was nothing left, then collapsed, pillowing his head on Cory’s stomach.  He needed to take a breather; the room wasn’t just spinning, it was swirling in several directions at once.  Cory’s fingers threaded through his hair.  Reaching up, he caught that hand and brought it before his face, pressing kisses to the palm, sucking on the fingertips.  The second before his eyes closed, his mind registered the sight of a white coral bracelet.

            Bruce opened his eyes and regretted it.  He was tempted to wallow in bed, but that wouldn’t do him any good, so he forced himself up, staggering to the bathroom.  Hangover, he definitely had a hangover.  He took a piss, then caught sight of the bathroom mirror.  There was a note taped there, a scrap of paper with Mark’s handwriting.

            Call me when you get up, porn star.

            He wondered what Mark had been doing in his place.  He drank some water, made some coffee, took a shower, and shaved.  As he dressed, he decided to call Mark.  He tried to remember Mark coming home with him.  Call me when you get up, porn star.

            Porn star.  Porn.  Porn - - Kent Carlson - - Kent’s apartment - - Cory.


            Bruce froze, remembering.   Remembering that dark hair, those dark eyes, that smooth skin.  Remembering being incredibly turned on, rock-hard, luxuriating in the pleasure of Cory’s body.  Remembering being drunk as hell and exercising no self-control whatsoever.

            He’d been drunk, not kind of drunk, drunk off his ass, and they’d let him fuck that kid, that, shit, that virgin.  In front of fucking cameras for the world to see.  Bruce grabbed the phone, dialing impatiently.

            “Hey, good morn-”

            “Get over here.  Now.”

            Mark strolled into Bruce’s apartment.  “You were so charming on the phone, I rushed right over.  What can I do for you?” he asked, dropping familiarly onto the sofa.

            “You knew I was drunk last night,” Bruce said.

            “Morning after regrets?” Mark guessed.  “Look, you needed the money-”

            “I don’t care about that,” Bruce said.  “It’s Cory.”  Saying the name out loud seemed, suddenly, too intimate.  God, he’d barely said hello to the guy.  What had he even said besides “hi?”

            “The kid?” Mark asked.  “He was cute as hell.  Not my type, but damned hot.  Great dick, too.”  He smirked and corrected himself.  “Gorgeous dick.”

            Gorgeous dick.  He’d said that, he remembered that.  “You saw us?” Bruce demanded.  Hadn’t Kent sent Mark out of the room?

            “Kent showed me some of the video,” Mark said.  “While you were…asleep.”

            Passed out.  He’d fucked Cory and then passed out right on top of him.  Fuck.  “What the hell were you thinking?  Is that how Kent does business?  I was drunk, I was practically wasted-”

            “I was high the first two times I did it,” Mark said.  “You were sober enough to sign the contract.  Whatever you drank after that was up to you.”

            “What about Cory?” Bruce demanded, standing over him.  “He was a virgin, who knows how much other experience he’s had, he’s young, he’s probably only twenty years old-”


            No.  “What?” Bruce asked, willing it to be a lie.

            “He’s eighteen,” Mark said.

            Jesus.  “He’s barely legal,” Bruce said.  God, this was getting worse and worse.  Bruce rubbed his hands over his face.  He felt like absolute shit, and he couldn’t stop flashing back to just how fucking incredible last night had been, and that only made him feel worse.  He could still remember licking Cory’s navel, tasting salt and soap, inhaling musk, smooth skin and slender muscle under his hands.  Hell, probably newly acquired muscle.  Eighteen?  “Was he okay?”

            “He was fine,” Mark said.  “We tried to get you off of him, you started kissing him and mumbling something, you passed out again, we got him free, he got up and got dressed and left.  Kent asked him if he was okay, and he said he was.  Kent even asked him a couple of times in the middle of taping, and he said he was fine.”

            Bruce searched back through his memory.  He couldn’t remember anything after Cory’s orgasm.  He’d rested his head on Cory’s warm stomach, and Cory had touched his hair, and…he’d kissed Cory’s hand…he remembered sucking on Cory’s fingertips…coral bracelet…  Shit.  He’d passed out with his fingers still up Cory’s ass.  Fuck.  “Just kill me now,” he groaned, collapsing beside Mark on the couch.

            “He was fine,” Mark said.  “He never pushed you away, he never asked you to stop.  He came.  And let me tell you how pissed off Kent is that you ruined both cum shots.”

            “Fuck Kent,” Bruce said.  No, as a matter of fact, “Let’s go see Kent.”

            “Don’t do anything stupid,” Mark warned him.

            “I won’t,” Bruce promised.  He didn’t give a shit about Kent.  All he cared about was Cory.

            Kent had been in charge and in control.  Bruce had been drunk, without any higher judgment functions, and it had been Kent’s job to look out for Cory.  Kent had failed.  Now it was up to Bruce to make sure that Cory was all right.

            He couldn’t deny that even though most of last night was a blur, it was a hot blur, with vividly erotic moments that even now made his body react.  His regret was mixing in with undeniably strong lust, and the product was a protective instinct that he couldn’t explain.

            Two long days passed before they could see Kent.  Two whole fucking days, during which Bruce worried about Cory and plotted Kent’s death.  He had to admit that he was becoming somewhat obsessive, which was so unlike him that he had to worry about himself.  But his memories of Cory were so intensely sexual that he couldn’t get Cory out of his head.  Which meant that he spent most of his time half-hard.

            At home, at work, in the grocery store, it didn’t matter where he was or what was happening, his mind was on Cory.

            The wet luxury of Cory’s mouth, the softness of pink lips.  The roundness of Cory’s ass, the slimness of Cory’s hips, the lines of Cory’s pelvis that begged to be traced by Bruce’s fingers, by Bruce’s tongue.

            He’d manhandled Cory.  Had he been too rough?

            Those tiny pink nipples.  Those high, round balls.  That sweet little asshole, aching to be licked wet by his tongue, tight around his fingers.

            He’d fucked too hard, he’d thrust in too fast, he must have hurt Cory, it must have hurt.

            That gorgeous dick, so perfectly thick, that gentle curve, the delicious head.  He remembered swallowing Cory’s dick, swallowing Cory’s cum.  His mouth watered; his own dick twitched.

            Cory had come.  He’d made Cory come, Cory must have liked it, Cory must have had a good time.

            Kissing Cory’s neck.  Watching Cory’s back arch.  Licking Cory’s spine.  Sucking Cory’s fingertips.  Flashes of skin, fuzzily remembered sounds of…pleasure?  Anxiety and lust rising from Cory in equal parts.  Tight muscle fluttering around Bruce’s fingers, around Bruce’s tongue, around Bruce’s dick.

            He’d been wearing a shirt from Nathanson U.  Maybe he went to college there.  Maybe Bruce could track him down.

            Gorgeous, pretty Cory, splayed out across his lap, naked except for one white coral bracelet.

            Bruce could almost, almost remember waking up to kiss Cory good-bye.  Could almost, almost remember stroking his tongue into Cory’s mouth, twisting his fingers deeper inside Cory’s ass, whispering “You’re so beautiful” and “I love you” against soft, gently curving lips.  Could almost, almost remember gazing into scared, aroused, uncertain eyes.  But that was something his brain was making up.  That wasn’t real.  That hadn’t happened.

            Had it?

            Had he fucked Cory with intense, greedy lust and then whispered, “I love you?”

            Bruce never confused sex with love.  He never mistook what his body wanted for what his heart felt.  Desire was a great thing, could be a wonderfully strong emotion, but it wasn’t love.

            But what could explain how he felt about Cory?  He wanted Cory with an intensity that almost frightened him.  He felt protective, yes, but also possessive.  Even though he had absolutely no right to expect Cory to so much as like him, and even though he couldn’t expect to see Cory ever again, the idea of Cory in bed with anyone else made him angry.  Viciously angry.  He wanted Cory all to himself.

            He’d done something wrong, and he wanted to make it right.

            There was more to it than that.  Irrationally more.

            He jacked off each night and each morning, thinking about Cory, remembering the tight grip of Cory’s ass and the delicious smoothness of Cory’s skin.  The heat of Cory’s body.  The feel of Cory’s hands sliding over his flesh.  In the hours between, his body ached with need.

            Sometimes, when he was honest with himself, he didn’t know if he wanted to track Cory down to apologize, or to try to get laid.

            Kent refused to give out Cory’s last name.  Absolutely refused, even when Bruce pinned him to the wall with a forearm across his neck and a wrench in one hand.

            Kent could confirm that Cory was a student at Nathanson U., and that he was indeed eighteen.  And a physics major.


            “Astrophysics, quantum physics, one of those brainiac sciences,” Kent said.  “He lives off-campus, apartment housing.  Daddy’s got money.”

            That didn’t make sense.  “Then why would he come here?” Bruce asked.

            “He’s studying too hard to get a job,” Kent said.  “He’s taking extra classes.  But he needs money.  Daddy’s rich, but Daddy’s stingy.”

            Bruce immediately hated Cory’s father.

            Kent wouldn’t give Bruce any contact information for Cory, but Kent did agree to give Cory Bruce’s phone number, work number, home address, work address, and e-mail address.

            “You really want him bad,” Kent said.

            “I have to talk to him,” Bruce said, fingers flexing on the wrench in his hand.

            “You  want a rematch?” Kent asked.  “Maybe I can see if he’s interested in pairing up with you again.”

            Despite the fact that Bruce spent every waking minute fantasizing over Cory’s naked body, the idea of anyone else having even remotely lecherous thoughts about Cory gave him violent tendencies.  But Kent’s comments brought up a point that Bruce hadn’t considered.  “You said you haven’t heard from him.”

            “Not since he left here,” Kent said.

            “Are you planning to call him for another…job?”  Fingers flexed.

            “Oh, yeah,” Kent said.  “That’s one sweet piece of-”

            Bruce slammed Kent into the wall again, and kept him there until it was clearly understood that Kent was never, ever to cast Cory in one of his movies ever again.

            “Then what’s the kid supposed to do for money?” Kent asked.

            Bruce didn’t know, but he’d come up with something.

            Bruce had never been on the university’s campus before.  It was only a ten-minute drive from work, but it wasn’t his territory.  He was a fairly intelligent guy, and a lot of people had told him to go to college, but he loved cars.  He was a mechanic at heart, and he’d always be a mechanic, and given the choice between spending four more years in school or getting grease on his hands right away, he’d opted for the grease.

            After he found visitor parking, he asked around, and was directed to the Hoffmaier building, where most physics classes were held.  He hung around outside, taking a seat on a stone bench, watching the front doors.

            Hours passed.

            The foot traffic thinned considerably.

            Night fell.

            No Cory.

            He wasn’t going to be daunted.  He’d just have to go back.  Start asking around.  If Cory was a physics major with a heavy course load, someone would be in a class with him; someone would know him.

            If Cory had been lying, and wasn’t a physics major at all, or wasn’t even a student at the university…  Well, then Bruce would go back to Kent and force out more information.

            Days off were spent on campus.  Haunting Hoffmaier.  Roaming.  Exploring the places were students congregated, like the cafeterias, the libraries, the bookstore, the student union.

            In the bookstore, Bruce discovered a small stand of jewelry by the cash register.  Between a cheap charm bracelet and a strand of fake pearls he found a white coral bracelet.  Cory’s bracelet, the exact one.

            He bought it.

            He checked in with Kent.  Kent had called Cory and given Cory all of his contact information.  Cory had sounded fine; hadn’t said much, though.

            He picked up a few extra shifts.

            He moved to a new apartment, one with two bedrooms but slightly less rent.

            During his sixth day on campus, he saw Cory.  The visual impact was staggering.  Bruce stared, locked in place.  Cory was walking out of the physics building, backpack over one shoulder, one hand curled around the strap.  He was wearing jeans and a flannel shirt open over a blue T-shirt.  His short, dark hair was gelled in vaguely punk disarray and he looked exactly like the beautiful young man Bruce had now spent weeks obsessing over.

            While his heart pounded and his dick hardened, Bruce watched Cory walk away.

            …stroking his tongue into Cory’s mouth, twisting his fingers deeper inside Cory’s ass, whispering “You’re so beautiful” and “I love you” against soft, gently curving lips…

            Bruce wondered if Cory ever thought about that night.  Wondered what Cory thought about that night.  Wondered what Cory thought about, what Cory talked about, what Cory’s life was like.

            He watched until Cory disappeared from view.

            Bruce had seen Cory just after three o’clock on Wednesday.

            He traded shifts with one of the guys at the shop, and got his next Wednesday afternoon off.  A week later, he was back in front of Hoffmaier, wearing his best jeans and feeling more nervous than he’d ever been in his life.

            He didn’t get nervous.  He didn’t get romantic.  He was a fun guy, a straightforward guy, a guy with common sense and a healthy interest in sex.  He loved cars, he loved to fuck, and he’d never stayed up at night sweating and fantasizing and jacking off over anyone in his life.  Until Cory.

            He had to keep in mind that he didn’t know Cory.  They hadn’t even spoken to each other.  They’d had sex, sure, but he had no idea what Cory’s personality was like.  Maybe Cory was an arrogant jackass.  A fumbling nerd.  Had an offensive sense of humor.  Had an explosive temper.

            But Bruce’s mind kept flashing back to a half-remembered gaze into Cory’s eyes, and the vulnerability mixed with desire he’d seen there almost brought him to his knees.

            No one could live up to the fantasy Cory he’d built in his head.

            But he had to know who the real Cory was.

            As three o’clock approached, Bruce walked closer to the front doors.  The physics building was on the fringe of campus, away from the main flow of student traffic, and the sidewalks were becoming empty.

            Suddenly, students poured outside, laughing and joking and complaining as they spilled out across the lawn.  A class was letting out.  Cory’s class?  Bruce listened to snatches of conversation.  “-can’t believe it’s three damned chapters-”  “-know that I’m going to fail the final-”  “-should have figured that out by Tuesday, but-”  “-Madison would quit fucking up the curve-”  “-starving, do you have any-”  “-have to change my major before my head explodes.”

            A few more students trickled out.

            Bruce waited.

            A woman walked out, short and graying and severe-looking, definitely a professor.  With Cory.  Bruce stepped back, staring, somehow unprepared for the punch to the gut that seeing Cory again brought.  Loose gray sweatshirt, red T-shirt collar peeking out underneath, jeans and sneakers, those long lashes downcast as Cory listened with respectful attention.  He said yes and no and called her “ma’am” while she said things that Bruce’s high school education hadn’t covered.  Bruce had no idea what she was talking about, but she was talking to Cory, and Cory was tall and slender and pretty and his.

            She was calling Cory “Mr. Madison.”

            Cory Madison.

            Cory Madison was fucking up the grading curve.

            Bruce smiled with pride.

            The two of them walked down the stairs to the sidewalk.  In another few seconds, their conversation ended, and the professor walked off.

            Cory sat on the next to lowest step, setting his backpack down between his feet and unzipping it.

            Bruce took a few steps towards him, stopping at the edge of the stairs.

            Cory pulled out a notebook and a pen, and began to write.

            Taking notes on what his professor had said?  Bruce moved down a step.  One step closer.

            Corey closed his notebook.

            Bruce walked down the steps, going right past him.  Cory didn’t look up.

            Cory put his notebook back into his bag.

            Bruce turned, facing him, stepped forward, and crouched down right in front of him, so close that the soft pink curves of Cory’s lips made his dick jerk against his fly.

            Cory looked up, startled, then froze.  Recognition widened his eyes.  Trepidation and desire flickered across his face as he swallowed.  “What do you want?”

            “Cory Madison,” Bruce said softly, and pushed Cory’s backpack aside, kneeling closer.  “My name is Bruce Kirkwood.”  He had to get closer, had to touch.  He pushed Cory’s knees apart, sliding his hands over Cory’s thighs, luxuriating in the feel of tight muscle under denim.  Arousal flashed through Cory’s eyes as pink lips parted, hands curling into nervous fists.  “I had to see you again.”  Bruce’s hands stroked up Cory’s thighs, fingers hooking behind Cory’s hips and pulling Cory forward to the edge of the step.  “I had to make sure you were all right.”

            Cory’s hands reached back to the edge of the third step for support.  “I’m fine,” he promised in a shaky voice.

            “Did I hurt you?” Bruce asked, looking deep into those gorgeous dark eyes, almost unaware that his hands were sliding up underneath Cory’s sweatshirt and burrowing under the T-shirt beneath.

            “No,” Cory said breathlessly, leaning back.  “Yes, but it’s okay.”

            Bruce’s hands found skin.  Warm, smooth skin.  His fingers crawled up Cory’s ribcage.  “I’m sorry,” he said softly, feeling a spasm of pain in his own heart at the knowledge that he’d hurt Cory.  “I’m so sorry, baby, it never should have been like that.”  His hands slid around to Cory’s slender back.  “I never wanted to hurt you.”

            “It’s okay,” Cory said, breath coming fast.  Bruce leaned in, and Cory’s eyes widened.  “Bruce,” he whispered, “we can’t.”

            Bruce’s stomach tightened.  “I have to,” he whispered, and kissed Cory’s mouth.  With a gasp, Cory’s lips parted, and Bruce’s tongue swept in, his hands tilting Cory back against the steps as his body pressed in chest to chest.  Moaning with quiet, confused desperation, Cory clutched up handfuls of Bruce’s shirt, thighs pressing in on either side of Bruce’s waist.

            He was kissing Cory again.  He was kissing Cory, and Cory was kissing him back, and Bruce groaned with rich pleasure, pushing Cory’s shirts up to bare Cory’s stomach for his touch.  With an aching moan, Cory moved against him, arching and then grinding dick to dick.  Bruce was already so hard that the friction from Cory’s arousal rubbing against him ratcheted up his need to new levels.  Sucking greedily at Cory’s kiss, he cupped Cory’s firm ass in two hands, rocking insistently against Cory’s thickening, hardening dick.

            “No, no, stop.”  Cory’s words were low and shocked, not afraid but insistent.  Despite his body’s demands, Bruce forcibly jerked himself under control, stilling his hips and breaking away from Cory’s mouth.  “We can’t.”

            There was heat in Cory’s cheeks, fresh color in his lips, and despite his words his groin remained pressed to Bruce’s, the hard bulge of his erection tight to Bruce’s body.  Carefully, wondering, Bruce put a hand to Cory’s exposed abdomen, pressing lightly against Cory’s warmth.  Panting, Cory shuddered with suffering need, legs locking around Bruce’s waist to ensure their bodies’ closeness.

            The desire was too great; Bruce kissed Cory again, swallowing hotly passionate moans from the friction between their bodies.  So hard that his toes were curling, Bruce groaned at the soft thrust of Cory’s tongue, pushing Cory’s shirts higher.  Cory turned his face away, moaning helplessly, and Bruce lowered his head, sucking greedily over one tight nipple.

            “No, Bruce…”  Cory moaned, twisting with need.  “Please…”

            Panting hot breath over Cory’s nipple, Bruce licked at it, unable to help himself.  “Tell me to stop.”

            “Oh, god,” Cory begged, head falling back against the steps.

            Reaching behind himself, Bruce unhooked Cory’s feet, easing Cory’s legs from around his waist.  He planted Cory’s feet on the step, spreading Cory’s thighs wide apart, and slid down, kissing a line down the center of Cory’s torso, licking at Cory’s navel on his way down to-

            “No, no, stop,” Cory insisted, breathless and panicked.

            Bruce raised his head, raking his gaze up Cory’s body to meet Cory’s eyes.

            “Not,” Cory swallowed, “not here.”

            Bruce sat back on his heels, removing his hands from Cory’s body.

            “Oh, god,” Cory whispered, and remained there, unmoving for a long moment, splayed there on the steps in sexual invitation.  Bruce’s gaze lingered on the thickness of the bulge of his arousal, the hard pink nubs of his nipples, the rise and fall of his chest as he caught his breath, the flush of color across his cheeks, the dark fringe of his lashes.  “God,” Cory whispered again, and sat up, closing his legs, tugging down his shirts.  Worriedly, he cast a look around, but didn’t seem to notice anything that bothered him.

            Bruce didn’t care about anyone catching them, for himself, but he should have considered that, for Cory’s sake.  He would, in the future.

            Cory finally made eye contact.  “What are you, insane?”

            Bruce just smiled, because Cory didn’t sound mad.  Disturbed, but not angry.

            Shaking his head, Cory adjusted his shirts again and ran a hand over his hair.  “You’re establishing a pattern,” he said.  “Is this how you always say hello?”

            Bruce laughed.  “No.”

            “That’s good,” Cory said.  He studied Bruce with curious eyes.  “Kent gave me your phone number.  He said that you wanted to talk to me.”  There was a slight pause; Bruce let Cory look at him, looking back with equal interest.  “You’re a mechanic?”

            “Yeah,” Bruce said.  “You’re a physics major?”

            “Nuclear physics,” Cory said.

            Bruce smiled.  Cory was either a genius or ambitious or both, and he liked that.  “You must spend a lot of time studying.”

            “I’m…  I’m double majoring in nuclear physics and quantum mechanics with a double minor in atomic physics and astrophysics.”  Cory continued on quickly, trying to explain that away.  “I don’t usually tell people that because - - I know how it sounds, usually I just say that I’m majoring in nuclear physics and let it go, and even then - - I just couldn’t decide, and I’m genuinely interested in all fields of physics, and I know that it sounds like a lot but really it’s not that much.  It’s all just science, really.”  Cory’s eyes begged him please not to make a big deal out of it.  “Really.”

            Pretty, sexy as hell, and a physics geek.  Bruce never would have guessed that that would be the magical combination that would make him fall in love.  “Then thank you for telling me.”

            “We’ve already had sex, so it doesn’t make sense not to tell you my major,” Cory said, but his eyes were relieved.

            Bruce had to be sure.  “You were a virgin?”

            Cory pulled his hands into his lap.  “Yeah.”

            Bruce had never had a virgin kink, but he found Cory unbearably sexy.  “How much other experience have you had?”

            Cory licked his lips, averting his gaze.  “Not a lot.”

            Bruce wanted to make love to Cory.  He also wanted to know Cory better.  Learn Cory’s life.  “I’m not even sure what nuclear physics is, but I’d like you to tell me.”

            Cory’s smile was so touched and so sweet and so warm that Bruce’s heart melted and swelled all at once.

            “Can we go somewhere?” Bruce asked.  “Your place, my place?  A restaurant?  I’ll buy dinner.”

            Cory blinked suddenly, then stared at Bruce in shock.  “Shit!”  Cory was up and scrambling, grabbing his backpack.  “I have class, I have a test, I have to go.”

            Damn it.  Bruce stood, wrapping a hand around Cory’s wrist to still him and get his attention, fingers catching in the coral bracelet.  “I have to see you again.”

            “I have your number,” Cory said.  “I’ll call you.  I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I have to go.”

            Because Bruce could see that Cory didn’t want to leave, he let go.  “Good luck on your test.”

            “Bye.”  Cory startled him with a kiss on the cheek, then ran.

            Bruce watched him go with an odd sense of exhilaration.  He’d found Cory.  He loved Cory.  And Cory wanted him.  Cory was going to call him.  They-

            “Fuck!” Bruce shouted across the empty quad.

            He’d moved!

            He’d changed his number!


            On Friday, Bruce finally got in touch with Kent, and gave Kent his new address and phone number.

            On Monday afternoon, when Bruce got to work, his boss Randy said, “You got a call this morning.”

            “Yeah?” Bruce asked, distracted, studying the schedule.  He’d been trying to switch shifts to get Wednesday afternoon off, but Ted had been uncooperative.  If he didn’t get Wednesday-

            “Yeah,” Randy said.  “Just some kid, some young guy, asking if you work here.”

            Bruce snapped to attention.  “He didn’t say who he was?”

            “No,” Randy said.  “You’ve been a little off lately - - your work’s as good as it’s always been, but your head’s been miles away, and you’ve been skipping poker night, changing shifts.  If something’s wrong, you need a couple of days off, I can’t do much for you, with Hank quitting I need you more than ever-”

            “Hank’s quitting?” Bruce asked.

            “Yeah,” Randy said with a sigh.  “Here I am offering you a couple of days off when I was planning to ask you to pick up some extra days.”

            “I’ll take them,” Bruce said.  “I’ll take any time you can give me.”

            “That’s what I like to hear,” Randy said.  “I don’t want to ask this, but are you sure?”

            “I’m sure,” Bruce said.  “I’m trying to get some money together.”  Randy would assume that it was for the trip that Bruce had been planning; Bruce didn’t correct that impression.  “And if anyone calls for me again, you’ll let me know?”

            “Sure thing,” Randy said.

            Bruce couldn’t get Wednesday afternoon off.  He contemplated telling Ted’s girlfriend that Ted had been cheating on her.

            He wondered how Cory had done on the test.

            He’d spent Tuesday evening at Mark’s house, on the computer.  While he worked on an ’02 Escalade, he went over what he’d learned about nuclear physics, atomic physics, astrophysics, and quantum mechanics.  He was mentally reciting the definition of a “quark” when Randy called, “Kirkwood!  You’ve got a visitor!”

            Heat exploded in Bruce’s body.  Getting up, he wiped his hands clean, hurrying through the side door and coming into the office.  “Thanks,” he said, and Randy nodded, going back out.

            Both hands in his pockets, Cory gave him a brave smile.  “Hi.”

            Cory.  Sizzling lust set in right on schedule.  “I moved,” Bruce said, walking around the counter.  “My number changed.”  He kissed Cory, unable to hold back a moan, drowning in the sweet heat of Cory’s mouth.  He’d promised himself that when he saw Cory again they’d talk, that he wouldn’t miss another opportunity to learn who Cory was.  But he couldn’t break away from the luxury of Cory’s kiss or the press of Cory’s body or the perfect gift of Cory’s hands on his waist.  “How did you,” god, that tongue, “do on your,” oh, mmm, “test?”

            “A,” Cory said, and Bruce pursued his tongue.  “It would have been,” Bruce kissed him, “an A-plus but,” delicious, “I couldn’t think straight.”  Bruce’s kiss muffled the rest of the words, but he knew that his visit had been the reason Cory’s mind hadn’t been on the test.

            “Sorry,” he said, because he was sorry; he didn’t want to ruin Cory’s GPA.

            “It’s okay,” Cory said breathlessly, hands sliding into his hair and tugging him in for another kiss.  Bruce groaned, his hands immediately seeking the heat of Cory’s torso under layers of cotton.  “You’re dirty,” Cory whispered.

            “I know,” Bruce whispered, so close that they were almost kissing, closing his eyes to focus on the feel of Cory’s flesh under his hands.  He didn’t dare slide his hands down, so they traveled up, up.  When his fingers brushed a nipple, Cory gasped, once, softly.  “I can recite Planck’s constant,” Bruce murmured, stroking a thumb over each nipple.  “I don’t know what it means.”  Cory was panting, fingers tightening spasmodically on his hair.  “Maybe you can explain it to me.”

            Cory moaned, squirming away from his touch, then pressing closer.

            Bruce loved a man with sensitive nipples.  “What about,” he ever-so-gently nipped Cory’s lower lip with his teeth, “Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle?”

            With a tortured groan, Cory kissed him, Cory’s dick rubbing urgently against his erection, Cory’s hands tugging at his jumpsuit with frustration.  Bruce twisted his nipples to make him moan and writhe, then slid both hands down to his ass, cupping and squeezing.

            “Kirkwood.”  Randy sounded fed up, which meant that he was amused.  “Get back to work before I fire you.”

            Bruce tightened his embrace to prevent Cory from jerking away.  “Be there in five minutes,” he said, and nuzzled Cory’s ear.

            “Five minutes,” Randy muttered, and grumbled his way back into the garage.

            Bruce loosened his hold slightly, kissing Cory’s jaw.  “I have to go back to work.”

            “I didn’t know if I should come here,” Cory said, nervousness returning.

            “I wish you could come here every day,” Bruce said, kissing him until the tension drained out of him and his hands were back on Bruce’s body.  “I want to see you tonight.”

            “Okay,” Cory said, still lost in his kiss.

            Bruce licked Cory’s lips and cupped Cory’s chin in one hand, looking at Cory’s well-kissed mouth, at Cory’s dark eyes that burned with innocent need.  “Meet me outside of Barrington’s at seven.”

            “Barrington’s,” Cory repeated, his hands rubbing down Bruce’s back.

            One slow, tender, heated kiss.  “I’m so glad you came to see me,” Bruce whispered.

            Cory kissed him, then slowly pulled away.  “Bye.”

            “Seven o’clock,” Bruce said.

            Cory left.

            Bruce got a cold drink from the vending machine and waited for his dick to calm down, then went back to work.  Stepping into the garage, he heard wolf whistles and hearty applause.  “Way to go, Kirkwood!”  “Heard you got yourself a little friend!”

            Bruce smiled at the guys, flipping them off.  They laughed and got back to work with a few chuckling remarks.  It was only to be expected that they’d comment; no one had ever come to visit him at work before.  Cory was a first for him in a lot of ways.

            He hadn’t made a date in…months?   Usually he picked men up for one-night stands, and sometimes he ran into the same people in the same places and had sex with them.  But an actual date?

            As soon as work was over, Bruce went home and showered, eagerly anticipating meeting Cory for dinner.  He scrubbed thoroughly to wash away sweat and grease.  Even though the pairing of the hard-working mechanic and the pretty little rich boy was a terrible cliché, he couldn’t help but wonder if he’d left smudges on Cory’s tiny, sweet pink nipples.  The idea was tantalizing.  And the way that Cory had whispered that soft, haunting, desire-filled, “You’re dirty...”  Bruce tugged on his stiffening dick with a soapy hand, closing his eyes.


            Bruce wanted Cory so much, he wanted to suck on Cory’s bracelet.

            When he pulled into Barrington’s lot, he saw Cory standing in the light by the front door.  Quickly parking his car, he forced himself to walk - - not run - - towards Cory.  Standing too close, he reached for Cory’s hand, his touch skimming Cory’s wrist and stroking the bracelet before he linked their fingers.  “It’s good to see you,” he said, his voice coming out low and intense, his gaze locked on Cory’s eyes.

            “You, too,” Cory said.  His gaze kept dropping to Bruce’s mouth before flickering back up.

            If Cory wanted his mouth, then Cory could have his mouth.  Bruce kissed him, tasting those soft lips. “Tell me,” Bruce whispered, kissing him again.  Again.  “Your nipples.”  Cory’s nipples, Cory’s mouth.  Pink like candy.  Sweet like candy.  Bruce kissed him deeper, and he made a soft, aching sound.  “Did I get them dirty?”

            Cory made a noise that was as hungry as it was shocked.  “Yes.”

            Bruce stopped kissing him, fingers skimming back along his jaw.  “Did you like that?”

            Cory hesitated a heartbeat before confessing, “Yes.”

            They had to go inside.  If they didn’t, Bruce was going to fuck Cory right outside Barrington’s front door.  Taking Cory’s hand again, Bruce pulled him into the restaurant, forcing himself to smile at the hostess and pretend that he wasn’t raging with lust.  “Two, please.  Non-smoking.”

            Seated across the table from Cory, Bruce watched him study the menu by candlelight.  Cory was wearing a tucked-in, buttoned-up shirt with jeans.  He never wore any jewelry other than the coral bracelet, not even a watch.  Sometimes his hair was spiked and punked; sometimes it was more conservatively styled and softer-looking, like tonight.  He didn’t bite his nails, but he did chew his lower lip, probably without even realizing that he was doing it.

            “You don’t wear a watch,” Bruce said.  He didn’t, either, but he didn’t have a lot to keep track of.

            Cory glanced at his wrist.  “I used to.  I decided that I didn’t really need it.”

            There was something off about that answer.  Bruce wondered why it sounded…incomplete.

            Cory looked back at the menu.  “I pawned it,” he said quietly, and turned a page.

            Fuck.  Bruce hated Cory’s father.

            Cory was looking at the menu, but he wasn’t reading it.  He probably wasn’t even seeing it.

            “I like your bracelet,” Bruce said.

            Cory’s eyes found his in surprise.  “Thanks.”  With a slight blush of red across pale skin, he went back to the menu, this time with more attention.

            Having made Cory feel better made Bruce feel better.  He wondered what Cory was going to order.  He wondered what Cory liked to eat.  “Are you allergic to anything?”

            Cory looked surprised again, and amused this time.  “No.”  His smile quirked.  “Are you?”

            “Abstinence,” Bruce said.

            Cory laughed, ducking back into the menu, snickering.

            Bruce smiled.  Cory was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen.  He didn’t want to eat dinner; he wanted to eat Cory.  Kiss that long neck, suck those little nipples, lick that smooth skin.  Lick that sweet ass, mouth those round balls, suck on that gorgeous dick.  God, Cory was a feast.  He wanted to lick Cory’s ears.  Nibble on Cory’s fingertips.

            “Hey, Bruce.”  The waitress leaned familiarly against the booth.  “Who’s this cutie?”

            “Jan, this is Cory.”

            “Hi,” Cory said.

            “Hi, Cory,” she said.  She straightened up as the manager walked past.  “And what will you be having tonight?” she asked in a more professional voice.

            He gave his menu a last, brief glance.  “A double cheddar burger, onion rings, and fries.”

            Hearty teenager food.  Bruce loved him.

            “Good choice,” Jan said approvingly, relaxing as her manager moved on.  “And to drink?”  She winked.  “Don’t make me card you.”

            “Uh, lemonade,” Cory said with a blush.

            “Lemonade,” she repeated.  “The usual?” she asked Bruce.

            “The usual,” he said.

            “I’ll be right back with that lemonade,” she promised Cory with a grin, collecting their menus, and walked off.

            Smiling nervously, Cory sat back.  Bruce watched him, enjoying the view.  “So, uh,” Cory fidgeted with the edge of the tablecloth before catching himself and lowering his hand, “how old are you?”

            “Twenty-five,” Bruce said.

            Cory relaxed slightly, like he’d been worried that the age gap had been wider.  “I’m eighteen,” he said, and then looked like he regretted admitting it.

            “Kent told me,” Bruce said.  He watched, but Cory carefully avoided reacting to the name.  “Cory,” Bruce said quietly.  “Why were you there?”

            Cory’s face tightened; he met Bruce’s eyes firmly, almost defiantly.  “Why were you there?” he asked.

            That was fair.  “I needed the money.”

            “So did I,” Cory said.

            Jan appeared, setting their drinks before them, and left.

            Cory stripped the paper from his straw.

            Bruce sipped his water.  “I did it.  My best friend does it.  I’m not judging you.”

            “You don’t have much room to,” Cory said, not looking at him.

            “Cory.”  Bruce reached out, taking Cory’s hand across the table, mating palm to palm.  “I just want to know more about you.  I care about you and I want to be good to you.  I’m not judging you and I don’t want to hurt you.”

            Cory became still, then scratched his forehead and sighed.  “I needed the money.  I don’t have time for a job, not even a part-time one.  I’ve tried tutoring, typing papers, pawning some of my things…  If I sold my car, my dad would kill me.”

            “What do you drive?” Bruce asked.

            “It’s…a Ford.”

            Bruce smiled.  “What kind of Ford?”

            “A sports car.”

            There was no way that Bruce was going to let Cory get away with that answer.  “What kind?”

            “An Ascension,” Cory said.  He quickly added, “It’s a-”

            “It’s an Aston Martin,” Bruce said.  Hell fuck.  “You have an Aston Martin V12 Ascension S?”

            Cory swallowed.  “My mother gave it to me for my birthday.”

            Bruce paused for a moment, indulging in car fantasy.  Then he pulled himself back to the moment.  “How are you paying for tuition?”

            “My father pays it.”  Cory withdrew his hand; Bruce let him.  Briefly, Cory met Bruce’s eyes.  “He pays my tuition, and he gave me money for the school year.  But that’s all I have, and I’m trying to spread it out until the end of next semester, so I’m on a limited budget.”

            “You don’t have any other money of your own?”

            “It was placed in trust,” Cory said.  “I won’t get it until I’m twenty-one.”

            “How limited is your limited budget?” Bruce asked, keeping his voice low and calm.  Cory was physically withdrawing from him; it was clear that the conversation was making Cory tense.

            “I had some extra expenses at the beginning of the year,” Cory said.  “Lab supplies and textbooks.  I have enough to make the rent.”

            Bruce listened to what Cory wasn’t saying.  Like, how much money was left for food.  He remembered the feel of Cory’s ribs.  “Why aren’t you living on-campus?”

            “Freshmen can’t get single rooms, and I didn’t want a roommate,” Cory said.  “There’s no good way to study in the dorms.”

            Only very rich kids had trust funds.  Only extremely indulgent parents gave Aston Martins to teenagers.  “You could ask your father for more money.”

            “I have enough,” Cory said.

            Liar.  Bruce watched Cory sip his drink and avoid his gaze.  It was obvious that Cory was leaving out some very important information.  “You could get a roommate.  If you saved money on rent and utilities, you’d have more for other things.”  Like food.

            “A roommate who’d give me a chance to study?” Cory asked.

            “I have an extra bedroom,” Bruce said.  “Cheap rent, too.”

            Cory’s gaze flew up.  “What?”

            “I’ll give you plenty of space, plenty of privacy, plenty of quiet,” Bruce said.  “I promise.”

            “We can’t,” Cory protested.  “We don’t even know each other.  We don’t have anything in common.”

            “Here you go,” Jan said brightly, setting plates down in front of them.  “Double cheddar with fries, side of onion rings.  Bacon cheese with cheddar fries, baked potato on the side.  Everything okay here?”

            “We’re fine,” Bruce said.  “Thanks.”

            “Enjoy your meal,” she said, and left.

            Cory looked at his plate.

            Bruce picked up his burger and took a bite, watching Cory not eat.  “I was going to wait to suggest it.”

            “You shouldn’t have suggested it at all,” Cory said.  He reached for the ketchup.  “It’s so inappropriate and so fucking insulting I’d walk out of here if I weren’t so hungry.”

            Ouch.  Double ouch.  “I didn’t mean it that way.”

            “Don’t even talk to me about it.”  Cory started eating.  “I should’ve stayed home.  I have a quiz tomorrow, I have a paper due Friday…  This is such bullshit, I can’t believe that I fell for it.  Do you always prey on stupid young virgins, or is this just a new habit that you’ve only recently picked up?”

            Jesus.  “I won’t talk about it now if you don’t want me to, but you have to let me explain-”

            “I don’t have to let you do anything,” Cory said.  He was eating fast, even for a guy his age.  Not out of anger; out of hunger.  “I already let you fuck me.  Other people might have considered that enough.”

            Bruce swallowed.  Cory didn’t fight fair.  He painfully added that to his list of facts.  “I’m sorry.”  For a lot of things, at this point.

            “Forget about it,” Cory muttered.

            Silence reigned over their table.

            Cory polished off his fries and started on the burger.  “So,” he said, “you come here often?”

            “Yeah,” Bruce said, forcing himself to hold a conversation.  “Usually with my friends.  The food’s good and the service is fast for a place with candles on the tables.”  He risked a question of his own.  “Why’d you choose Nathanson?”

            “It has a great physics department,” Cory said.  “My father was begging me to go to Harvard, and my mother would have accepted Yale or Princeton, but I wanted to be where Schuller, Hoffman, and Janicak were.”

            “They’re great theorists?” Bruce guessed.  He pushed the plate holding his baked potato across to Cory’s side of the table.  In doing so, he risked rejection, but he couldn’t stand the idea of Cory being hungry.

            “Dr. Schuller is doing incredible work in particle physics, way ahead of everyone else in the field.”

            “Particle physics,” Bruce repeated.  “What is that?”  The physics of particles, he’d assume, but what the hell did that mean?

            Head bent down to his plate, chewing, Cory looked up at Bruce from beneath his lashes.  He swallowed.  “You don’t have to pretend to be interested.”

            “I’m interested in you,” Bruce said.  “I’m interested in learning more about what you’re into.  Physics is your passion.”

            “Your passion is…cars?” Cory asked without a hint of irony.

            “Absolutely,” Bruce said.  “You don’t know how hard it is to stay here at this table while there’s an Aston Martin in the parking lot.”  He’d love to get his hands on it.  He wondered if he could get Cory to let him look at it.  “Tell me about particle physics.  Or quantum mechanics.  Or what a nuclear physicist actually does.”

            Cory ran his tongue over his teeth, pausing in his eating to study Bruce.  “Short version or long version?”

            “If you tell me the long version, I’ll buy you dessert,” Bruce said.

            Cory pulled the plate bearing Bruce’s baked potato closer.  “Long version,” he said, and started talking.

            Bruce listened.  He’d never been stupid, but he also didn’t usually hang out with a highly educated crowd, either, and he didn’t want to seem like an idiot in Cory’s eyes.  If he paid close attention, though, he followed what Cory was saying.  He’d actually taken physics in high school, although he didn’t remember a thing from it.  Maybe because his teacher hadn’t had gorgeous, thick black lashes.

            After explaining the differences between his chosen fields - - how they overlapped and how they didn’t - - while polishing off two slices of pie, Cory licked a trace of blueberry from his lip and sat back.  “Now try to tell me that you’re still interested.”

            “I’d like to hear more about the Theory of Everything,” Bruce said.  “That sounds pretty philosophical.”

            Cory opened his mouth, sitting forward to launch into an explanation, then hesitated.  “What do you want?” he asked.  He was suspicious now, wary, defensive.  He hadn’t been that way, not at all, until Bruce had brought up Kent, and money, and Cory’s parents.  “Why did you ask me to dinner?  Do you want sex?  Do you want a live-in…whore?”

            “I want you,” Bruce said.  “Can we talk about this somewhere more private?  Your place, or my place?”

            Cory pushed his plate away a few inches, then met Bruce’s eyes and sighed.  “I like you,” he said, “but I don’t know you.  We didn’t meet under ideal circumstances.  You’ve been very sexually aggressive every time that I’ve seen you.  You just asked me to move in with you, even though we barely know each other.  I like you, or I want to like you, but every sign in the world is telling me not to trust you.”

            “I want to talk to you,” Bruce said.  “Talk to me, tonight, and let me explain a few things.”

            “We don’t do very well when we’re alone together,” Cory said.

            Bruce thought that they did pretty damned well.  “I’ll restrain myself.”

            Cory chewed on his lower lip.  “I don’t know which one would be worse, inviting you into my apartment, or going home with you.”

            “I don’t chop up college kids in bizarre rituals,” Bruce promised.

            “But if you did, you wouldn’t admit it,” Cory said.

            “If my apartment’s out and so is yours, where can we go?” Bruce asked.

            “Hoffmaier,” Cory said.  “There’s always someone in the building, so if you attack me I can yell for help.  But there are plenty of rooms, so we can talk privately.”

            “Okay,” Bruce said, reaching for his wallet.  “Lead the way.”

            Even in the dark, the Ascension was an incredible machine.  Cory’s was a sleek, glossy black.  “Did you choose the color?” Bruce asked.

            “Yeah,” Cory said.  “My mom wanted red.”

            He wanted to ask how it handled, how it cornered, how it accelerated.  He wanted to get a look at the engine and - - but that would come later.  In the moment, he had to remain focused on Cory.

            He followed Cory into the Hoffmaier building and down a short hallway.  Around a corner, Cory escorted him into a classroom, closing the door and flipping on the overhead lights.  “Okay,” Cory said, walking to the front of the classroom and sitting on the long table there.  “What do you want to explain to me?”

            “When I met you…”  Bruce walked towards the table.  “I wasn’t myself.”  That was a cop-out.  “I’d had too many beers, and I was drunk.”

            Cory folded his hands in his lap.  “I…noticed.”

            “Things didn’t go the way they should have,” Bruce said.  “I was drunk and I fucked up.  You deserved better.  I wanted to apologize to you, to try to make it up to you, so I tracked you down.  It took me a while to find you, but I couldn’t get you out of my head.  All day, all night, you were there in my thoughts.”

            Cory laced his fingers tightly, but he kept his voice calm when he said, “You didn’t have to apologize.”

            “You deserved better,” Bruce said.  “Somehow, I have to make sure you get it.”

            “Why do you care?” Cory asked in confusion with an edge of frustration.  “I don’t even know why it matters to you.”

            “It matters because you’re smart and nice and hurt and innocent and beautiful,” Bruce said.  “You’re a genius, and you’re pretty as hell.  It must have taken a serious glitch somewhere in the world for our paths to cross.  Now that they have, I can’t just walk away.  You’re too special, and you’re too important.  I want to make things right.  If I can’t change what happened that night, there has to be something else that I can do.”

            “You don’t have to-”

            “That’s why I want you to move in with me,” Bruce said, continuing right on.  “You’ll have plenty of space and plenty of privacy.  Plenty of quiet.”

            “You want to improve my quality of life, so you’re asking me to be your live-in whore?” Cory asked.  “I don’t think that you know what a bad idea this is.  Maybe you don’t know how insulting it sounds.”

            “You need help,” Bruce said.  “I don’t know why you need help, and I don’t know what your family situation is, but I do know that you need help, and I can give it to you.”

            “Bruce…”  Cory sighed.  “Thank you.  I know that you mean it.  But it’s not your place to help me.”

            “Yes, it is,” Bruce argued.  “I hurt you.”

            “You didn’t hurt me,” Cory said, sliding down from the table.  “You fucked me for money.  That actually makes us even, because I fucked you for money, too.  You bought me a nice dinner, and you gave me your potato.  You’ve fulfilled any obligation to me.”  He held out his hand.  “Now we can say good-bye.”

            Bruce looked at Cory’s hand, then into Cory’s pointedly decisive, dark-eyed gaze.  “If I touch you, you’re going to end up naked on this floor with my dick up your ass.”

            Slowly, Cory withdrew his hand.

            “Let me help you,” Bruce said quietly.

            “Thank you,” Cory said, “but I can help myself.”  Giving Bruce a wide berth, he left the classroom.

            Bruce followed Cory home.  He didn’t know if Cory noticed; that didn’t matter.  As he drove, he studied the Ascension’s lines and tried to decide when he’d become so far gone that he was more turned on by a hot guy than by a hot car.  Usually, sex was easy to come by, but a machine like that was special.  But no car could ever compare to the sleek lines of Cory’s body.  No headlights could burn brighter than the heat of need in Cory’s eyes.

            When Cory pulled into the parking lot of a recently abandoned pizza place, Bruce parked right beside him.  When Cory cut his engine, Bruce did the same.  When Cory got out of his car, Bruce got out, too, walking around to meet him by the front bumpers.

            “You’re following me,” Cory said.

            “I want to know where you live,” Bruce said.  There was no sense in denying it.

            Cory sighed.  “Why?  For what?”

            “I want to help you,” Bruce said.

            “You want to fuck me,” Cory said.  “You don’t have to pretend that there’s more to it than that,” he added earnestly.

            “There’s a lot more to it than just that,” Bruce said.  “Listen, if you move in with me, splitting the rent, splitting the utilities, that’s money right there.  I won’t get in your way.  I can fit my schedule around yours.  If you spend an hour each Saturday dusting and running the dishwasher, I’ll pay a little extra rent.  More if you do laundry.  I hate doing laundry.”

            “We don’t know each other,” Cory said.  “I don’t know you, and you don’t know me.  You have friends and a life.  I’m very focused on my classes.  You’ll come home drunk with a guy you picked up, and I’ll be shushing you so I can study.”

            “If I can fuck you, I won’t pick up anyone else,” Bruce said.  It scared him that he meant it, but it was almost a dangerous thrill.  Monogamy.  Commitment.  What would that be like?  The same one person, all of the time.  Swearing off other people for good.  Seeing a guy and not being free to hit on him.

            “This is crazy.”  Cory stared at him.  “This is crazy!  We barely exchanged names before we got paid to have sex, and now you’re stalking me and you want me to move in with you?  We just had our first date!  It ended ten minutes ago!”

            “I want to be with you,” Bruce said.

            “You don’t know me!” Cory protested.

            “Then let me get to know you,” Bruce said.  “Tell me who you are.  Tell me how I can help you.  Tell me why you drive this car but you’re pawning your watch for grocery money.”

            “That’s not really your business,” Cory said.

            They were stuck.  Bruce was determined to help, and Cory was determined to refuse.  “What will you let me do?”

            “Maybe you shouldn’t do anything,” Cory said.  “Maybe this should be the end of it.”

            No.  Absolutely not.  “Can I take you to dinner again?”

            “I don’t know,” Cory said.  “We don’t have anything in common.  Under normal circumstances, we never would have met.”

            “Can I fuck you?” Bruce asked, determined to get a yes out of him somehow.

            “No,” Cory said.  He crossed his arms over his chest.  “You can say good-bye.”

            “I’m twenty-five,” Bruce said.  “I’ve fucked more men than I can remember.  No one has ever gotten to me the way that you have.”

            “You’ll get over it,” Cory said, almost pleading.

            “I’m infatuated,” Bruce said.  “I’m obsessed.  When you say good-bye to me tonight, it won’t be over.  I’m going to show up again, and again, and again.”

            “You’re actually going to stalk me?” Cory asked, disbelieving.  “Why do you care?  I know that you feel guilty for being drunk when we…met, but you apologized and you took me out to dinner.  Why can’t that be the end of it?  What do you want?”

            “I want you!” Bruce shouted.  He’d worked hard to track Cory down, and now Cory was trying to say good-bye, already.  He couldn’t lose Cory now, not after he’d finally found him.  “Give me a chance.  Dinner, again, or something else.  You have to study, we can hang out at the library, I’ll carry your books for you.  Anything.  Laundry, I hate laundry, but I’d love to do it with you.”

            Cory was silent, looking conflicted.

            “Please,” Bruce said.  He couldn’t explain why his heart was twisting into itself.

            “Why can’t we touch without needing more?” Cory asked.

            “I want you,” Bruce said.

            “It’s more than that,” Cory said.  He smiled uncertainly.  “Or do you jump on everyone you’re interested in like that?”

            “No,” Bruce admitted.  “Usually I can control myself.”  Raising one hand, he fitted his palm to Cory’s cheek.  Cory’s gaze didn’t waver; Bruce’s knees were shaking.  “You’re not usual in my life.”

            “You’re not usual in my life, either,” Cory said.

            Bruce kissed him.  The taste of him, the feel of him, god, it was incredible, it was magnificent.  Groaning, Bruce jerked Cory’s hips flush to his, grinding arousal against arousal.  Cory moaned, and Bruce pushed him back into the passenger side door, kissing him hungrily, devouring his soft, greedy mouth.

            Bruce wanted to fuck him there against the car.  Bent forward over the hood.  In the backseat.  God, right there on the asphalt.  Driven by his body’s urges, Bruce gripped Cory’s sweetly curving ass and turned his face against Cory’s neck, panting.  He couldn’t stop; he sucked at the warm, soft skin he found there, listening to Cory’s desperate groans as their bodies moved in eager, primal rhythms.  Cory moaned his name, pulling the back of his shirt from his waistband in one overeager fist.  Cory’s hands flattened against his back, rubbing up over naked flesh as Cory breathed in his ear.

            Cory deserved better.  They were in public in a grimy setting.  He couldn’t fuck Cory out in the open air, in a public parking lot by an abandoned building.  He’d been trying to make amends for his previous behavior, but this would only prove that Cory shouldn’t trust him.

            Sliding his hands over slim hips, Bruce tugged at Cory’s collar with his teeth until it opened.  He licked over Cory’s throat, tongue finding the hollow at the center of Cory’s collarbone.  “Come home with me.”

            Panting, shuddering, Cory held onto Bruce’s shoulders as he writhed against Bruce’s body.  “I…  Oh…”

            “You feel so good,” Bruce said against his neck, hands sliding firmly up over Cory’s chest.  He jerked Cory’s shirt open, peeling it back to reveal a thin white T-shirt. Bruce’s exploring hands found the tiny nubs of Cory’s nipples, and while Cory moaned, Bruce teased his easily exploited weakness.  “You feel so good, baby, I want to fuck you.” Cory’s neck was smooth and Cory’s moans were intoxicating and Cory’s hands were sliding under Bruce’s shirt.  “Come home with me.”

            “Stop.”  Cory sounded like he’d rather be saying anything than the words coming out of his mouth.  “Wait, stop.”

            Bruce closed his eyes, his hands balling into fists on either side of Cory’s waist.  He rested his forehead against Cory’s.  “Let me come home with you.”

            The slow, affectionate stroke of Cory’s fingers through Bruce’s hair drove Bruce’s hips to grind with impatient insistence against Cory’s erection.  Cory’s moan was sex in Bruce’s ears, and then they were kissing again, hungry and fevered.

            Bruce dropped heavily onto his bed and stared up at the ceiling in the dark.  He had to undress, had to shower Cory’s sex from his body.

            He hadn’t gone home with Cory, and Cory hadn’t come home with him.  He’d fucked Cory right there in his car in the parking lot, in the backseat.  His beautiful, smooth-skinned Cory had proven to be very…flexible.

            Now, alone in his apartment, Bruce cursed himself.  What if the police had come?  What if he’d caused a humiliated, degraded Cory to be hauled off to jail?  What the fuck had he been thinking?

            He’d been thinking about how amazingly good Cory felt against his body.  He’d been thinking about how he needed to make love to Cory again.  He’d been thinking about how hard his throbbing dick was and how he could ease that ache.

            It had been even better this time.  Better, because he’d been more aware, more alert, not drunk and fuzzy-headed.  He’d been attuned to Cory’s responses, each grateful moan and shocked breath, each begging word and pleading curse, each twitch and shudder.  The sound of Cory in pleasure, the sound of Cory in orgasm - - god, the sounds were as rich and varied as a symphony.

            He hadn’t wanted to let Cory go.  Damn, it had been hard to let Cory ease out of his grip and put all of that physical space between their bodies.  It had been nearly impossible to watch Cory drive away.

            Bruce rubbed at his eyes with impatient fingers.  Why did Cory matter this much?  Why was one guy this important?  Was it the great sex?  He’d had great sex before and it hadn’t made him stupid and weak like this.  Was it the urge to help Cory?  He’d never wanted to play the Good Samaritan before.  What was his problem?

            When he closed his eyes, he fell back into memory, himself and Cory crammed into the backseat, his hands greedy for every inch of Cory’s limber body, their skin slick with sweat, their sexual groans filling the car as steam covered the windows.

            He had to get a grip.  He had to learn to keep his hands to himself.  He overreacted to Cory’s mere presence, and that was crazy.  He wasn’t a horny kid.  He had to stop feeling Cory up and trying to get off every time they saw each other.

            He couldn’t say that he respected Cory and then treat Cory like a cheap little trick.  No wonder Cory didn’t trust him.

            He didn’t trust himself.  Not when it came to Cory.  His hormones went into overdrive, and his emotions...

            A week after seeing Cory, Bruce went to his usual Wednesday afternoon haunt and waited for Cory outside the Hoffmaier building.

            At the predicted time, students came out through the front doors.  A moment after they’d gone their separate ways, Cory walked outside.  Seeing Bruce standing there waiting for him, Cory hesitated, curling a hand around his backpack strap with a nervous smile.  “Hi.”

            “I’m sorry about last time,” Bruce said.

            “Sorry?” Cory asked, an uncertain expression crossing his face.

            “I’m sorry about the car,” Bruce said.  “It was the wrong place, maybe the wrong time.  You deserve better, and I have to stop just saying that and start doing it.”

            “Okay,” Cory said hesitantly.  “How?”

            “You tell me,” Bruce said.  “What can I do for you?”

            “Uh…  I don’t know,” Cory said.  “My next class was cancelled for today, so I was going to go home and get some homework done.”

            Bruce wanted to be with him.  Be right by his side, in any place, during any activity.  Being in Cory’s apartment, watching Cory study, it sounded like a heaven all of its own.  “Let me come with you.”

            “I really have to get work done,” Cory said.  “I’ve been so distracted lately…  I haven’t been productive.”  His gaze was steady, but a blush crept up over his features.

            He’d been distracting Cory.  Even when he hadn’t been around.  Bruce smiled.  He wanted to fuck his sweet Cory’s sweet body and watch, feel, Cory move against him.  “I’ll do my best not to distract you too much.  I’ll just watch.  If I get in the way, you can kick me out.”  Cory at work; it sounded fascinating.  How did Cory approach homework?  How did he look doing it?  Bruce imagined him quietly focused.

            “Watch me study?” Cory asked with a puzzled head tilt.  “You’ll be bored in two minutes.”

            “No, I won’t,” Bruce promised.  Looking at Cory could never be boring.

            “Okay, but you don’t have to stay,” Cory said.

            He’d be happy to stay wherever Cory was.

            Cory had a one-bedroom apartment.  It was a small place, and well-kept.  It was a cheap apartment in a cheap building, but all of the furniture looked expensive as hell.  The black leather living room set had to have cost about a year’s rent all by itself.  Was this Cory’s version of furnishing his new place with his parents’ cast-offs?  Or had his parents bought him new furniture for his new apartment?  Why go to the expense, if they weren’t going to ensure that he had adequate grocery money?

            The bed was out in plain sight, tucked into one corner of the main room.  The bedroom had been converted into an office bearing a massive wooden desk, a luxurious executive chair, a coffee table and sofa, and two bookshelves, one crammed full of horror novels and biographies, the other overflowing with what Bruce decided had to be every book ever written that even remotely related to physics.  On top of the desk was a computer with a monitor larger than Bruce’s TV screen.

            Cory dropped his backpack on the floor, then heaved thick notebooks and heavy textbooks out of it, dumping them onto the table.  “Do you want something to eat?”

            “I’ll eat when you eat,” Bruce said.

            “I’m eating now,” Cory said with an amused smile.  “What do you want to eat?”

            “I’ll eat what you eat,” Bruce said.  Cory kissed him, slowly, more slowly, with tender strokes of a soft tongue.  Bruce’s eyes closed; his hand rose to cup Cory’s cheek.  So perfect, so intimate…

            “I hope you like peanut butter,” Cory said, pulling back and licking his lips.

            Bruce followed him to the kitchen, watching him move familiarly through his established patterns.  Cory opened a can of soup into a small pot, setting it over a burner.  “Pretend I’m not here,” Bruce said.  “I want to see you in your own habitat, in your normal routine.”

            “I can’t ignore a guest,” Cory said, getting out slices of bread.

            “I’m not a guest,” Bruce said as Cory opened the fridge to get jelly.  Cory’s refrigerator was almost empty.  Milk, mustard, butter, eggs, jelly.  “I’m an observer.”  He hadn’t seen much in the cabinets, either.  Peanut butter, cans of soup.  “You don’t eat enough.”

            “Is that an official observation?” Cory asked.  His tone of voice was almost calm, but there was a slight, bitter edge to it that warned Bruce to back off.  Bruce decided not to push the issue, and didn’t respond.  Taking down heavy cut glass tumblers from the cupboard, Cory poured simple tap water over ice.  “If you get bored, you can watch TV.  I don’t get cable, but there are videotapes and DVD’s in the cabinet.”

            He didn’t get cable?  He couldn’t afford cable.  If Bruce asked, though, Cory would probably just say that he was too busy to watch.  Too busy to eat, too?  Bruce caught Cory’s hand, tugging him closer.  Cory came to him easily, unable to deny their bodies’ natural magnetic attraction, but avoided his eyes.  “Thank you for letting me come over,” Bruce said, brushing gentle kisses over Cory’s temple.

            “I’m not sorry about last time,” Cory said.  “I’m not sorry about the car.”  His expressive, dark eyes shone with desire as he raised his gaze to Bruce’s.  “I’ll never apologize for it.”

            Bruce took Cory’s face in both hands, sliding his thumbs over high cheekbones, caught by those eyes.  “It was illegal, and it was risky, and it was stupid.”

            “It was what we both wanted,” Cory said.  His mouth was close enough to kiss, pink lips parted, and the desire in his eyes was just asking Bruce to make a move.  “I don’t know what we’re doing together, or why we can’t stop.”

            “I don’t know, either.”  His hands slid down Cory’s back, easing Cory against his body from chest to groin.  “You always feel…so good…” he groaned, eyes falling shut.  Cory’s firm, slender body fitted perfectly to his.  He remembered Cory’s back against his chest, Cory’s ass nestled to his groin, Cory’s scent-

            “Shit.”  Cory jerked away from him, and Bruce’s eyes snapped open suddenly, his arms empty, his front side feeling exposed and bare.  “Sorry,” Cory said quickly, shifting the pot from one burner to the next.  “It was boiling over.”

            Bruce was happy to be in a room with Cory, happy to be in Cory’s apartment, happy to be sharing a domestic meal, and looking forward to spending the evening together.  More than happy.  Grateful.  Thrilled.  Cory was smart and passionate and complex, and Bruce was in love with him.

            Cory took his sandwich, soup, and water into the office and sat at the oversized desk, opening books and getting to work.  Bruce sat on the sofa, eating and watching him.  The meal was demolished in seconds, and then all of Cory’s attention was firmly focused on the task at hand.  He did all of his writing and most of his page-flipping with his right hand, his left hand free to burrow into his hair.  After a few minutes he kicked off his shoes and peeled off his socks and brought his legs up, tucking his feet up into the chair.

            Considering how eagerly Cory had devoured his meal at the restaurant, and how quickly he’d polished off this soup and sandwich, Bruce wondered how much he usually ate, and how often.

            Cory had permitted him to visit, which indicated that Cory trusted him.  During even the most casual visit, truths could be exposed.  Even innocent truths, easily explained away truths, like an empty fridge or no cable, were important clues, when taken together.

            It was possible that Cory was simply behind in his grocery shopping.

            It was possible that Cory didn’t cook, but had regular, healthy, simple meals.

            So he ate quickly; so what?  So did every other guy his age.

            But something was wrong.  Something was very wrong when someone sitting on a five hundred-dollar desk chair had to sell his body for money.

            Quietly, Bruce roamed the apartment.  It wasn’t a mess, but it wasn’t spotless, either, which was nice.  It was obvious that someone lived there, someone who bothered to hang up towels but did so haphazardly, someone who didn’t make his bed, someone who owned a hell of a lot of clothes and apparently disliked laundry as much as Bruce did, someone who read Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time repeatedly, judging from the used look of the book by the bed.

            It was a very nice bed.  King-sized, four-poster, ridiculously out of place in the living room of this cheap apartment.  The rumpled sheets and thick spread tempted Bruce; he wanted to linger and picture Cory asleep there, or fetch Cory and deposit him in the center of the bed and start peeling off clothes.

            But Cory was busy, and Bruce had promised not to interfere.

            The TV was one of those huge flat-panel things that no one Bruce knew actually had.  The cabinet against the wall was filled with videotapes and DVD’s, movie after movie, most of them thrillers, a few of them National Geographic-type specials.

            Bruce returned to the office, where Cory was absorbed in his work.  He studied the back of Cory’s head, his gaze running over silky black hair before caressing Cory’s nape.

            Cory flipped back a few pages, then jotted down something.

            Turning his back, Bruce scanned the bookshelves.  He’d do better with the novels; at least those he was sure that he could follow.  But he wanted to learn more about who Cory was and what Cory was interested in, which meant reading one of the physics books.  That presented a whole new problem: which book?  Bruce took a few off of the shelf, to check them out, but they all seemed a little advanced.  It was like reading a bad translation of Martian.

            Not wanting to disturb Cory’s concentration, Bruce studied the shelves more closely, trying to find something that would qualify as Physics for Dummies.  After a few wrong selections, he came across something relatively simple, and settled down on the sofa to read.

            Several hours later, Bruce set the book aside and left the room.  From the main room, with the office door shut, he called his favorite Chinese food place.  He didn’t know what Cory would like, so he ordered enough food for several people.  Cory could just keep the leftovers.  And, if it turned out that Cory didn’t like Chinese food at all, Bruce would order pizza.

            What the hell.  He went ahead and called for pizza.

            Going back into the office, he lingered in the doorway, watching.  Long, pale fingers twisted in short, black hair.  Curled up in the chair, absorbed in his work, Cory seemed to have forgotten that Bruce existed.

            Bruce smiled.  He found that endearing.  He liked that Cory was focused enough to shut out everything else; he liked that Cory had a passion.  It gave Cory depth and purpose.  Cory wouldn’t wander through an unfocused life.

            After taking a nice, long look, Bruce quietly closed the office door and went to the kitchen.  He washed dishes and scrubbed down the counter, then wiped off the table and moved on to tidy up the living room.  He was changing the sheets on the bed when someone knocked sharply at the front door.

            Bruce made it across to the office in record time.  Sticking his head in, he caught Cory looking startled and confused, as though wakening from a deep sleep.  “It’s okay,” he said softly.  “I’ll call you when dinner’s ready.”  He closed the door again and went to the front door, where the deliveryman was loaded down with bags of food.

            Finding clean plates and heavy silver forks, Bruce spread the meal across the coffee table in front of the TV.  When the second delivery guy arrived, with three boxes of pizza and a couple of two-liter bottles of soda, Bruce poured out some Coke.

            After looking through the movie cabinet, Bruce found the box with the most obvious wear, and popped that movie into the VCR.  He wanted Cory to have a calm night with a full stomach, and maybe watching an old favorite would soothe that busy brain.

            With everything ready, Bruce tapped at the office door, opening it.  “Hey.”  He couldn’t resist making physical contact after all of these hours, so he walked closer and slid his hand through Cory’s hair, smoothing the mess that Cory’s fingers had made.  “Come and get something to eat.”

            “Who was at the door?” Cory asked, setting aside a pen and swiveling his chair around to face Bruce.  He rubbed absently at one eye, unfolding his legs.

            “Is this how you spend every night?” Bruce asked, bracing his hands on the armrests as he crouched down in front of Cory.

            “Yeah,” Cory said.

            “You get up in the morning, you go to school, you have classes all day, then you come back here and study until you go to bed?”

            “Yeah,” Cory said.

            Bruce shook his head.  “You work too hard.”

            “I have a double major and a double minor,” Cory said.

            He leaned in for a chaste kiss, then kissed Cory’s cheek, too.  “I’m proud of you,” he said, sliding his fingers through Cory’s hair again.

            “Thanks,” Cory said, sounding surprised.

            Another kiss sweetly stolen.  “Are you ready for class tomorrow?  Can you take an hour off?”

            Cory glanced back at the notebooks spread over his desk.  “Yeah.”  Curious eyes looked at Bruce.  “Why?”

            “To eat,” Bruce said.  “I’m hungry, so I ordered food.  Come on.”  Rising, he tugged Cory up from the chair and into his arms.  Cory met him in a slow, feasting kiss.  Bruce moaned, already slipping his hands under Cory’s shirt.  The food was getting cold but, mmm, Cory was getting hot…  Groaning, Cory arched and then ground against him, and the urgent hardening of Bruce’s dick in response made Bruce echo that groan.

            Bruce’s brain sped ahead in time, predicting the events to follow.  He and Cory be unable to pull away from each other, so the situation would escalate.  Rock-hard and caught up in the moment, lusting for Cory and responding to Cory’s sexual hunger, Bruce would clear the coffee table and lay Cory on it.

            Granted, it wouldn’t be public sex, with other people in the room, broadcast over the Internet, or in a car in a parking lot on a populated street.  But it wasn’t right.  Just once, Bruce wanted to make love to Cory in the intimacy of a shared bed, instead of rutting on any available surface.  Why couldn’t he manage to rein in his dick enough to show Cory even a little respect?

            Cory was going to have a nice, calm evening.  A satisfying dinner, a favorite movie.  Maybe sex, but only after dinner.

            Their intense, sexual need for each other made it hard for Bruce to break their embrace.  Cory was moaning around his tongue and pushing up his shirt to rub over his chest and grinding against his dick.  When Cory was simply standing still, Bruce couldn’t control himself; when Cory was aroused and intent on fucking, how was Bruce supposed to be able to say no?

            In the end, he couldn’t refuse, not completely.  Even if he could tell his dick that he wasn’t going to fuck Cory, he couldn’t back away from Cory’s delicious erotic need.  Dropping to his knees, Bruce opened Cory’s jeans with professional efficiency and pulled Cory’s gorgeous dick into his mouth.  Groaning, he swallowed the thick shaft, the fat head nudging down the back of his throat.  He moved on and off of it in quick, steady rhythm, while Cory moaned in shocked pleasure.  When the muscles in Cory’s legs began to fail, Bruce pushed him down onto the office chair, pulling his ass to the edge and pushing his thighs apart.  Groaning Bruce’s name and making inviting, sexual sounds of pleasure, Cory rubbed Bruce’s shoulders and tugged at Bruce’s hair, hips rocking out of his control.

            With one hand wrapped around the base of Cory’s dick, Bruce sucked hard enough to make Cory beg for more, using his own spit and Cory’s precum to wet the first fingers of his other hand.  He pushed one finger up into Cory’s asshole, and heard a reverberating groan that turned from encouraging to demanding in the space of two strokes.  Picking up the rhythm of his suction, Bruce rubbed Cory’s prostate, and by the time Cory’s dick jerked in his mouth and thick strands of cum shot down Bruce’s throat, Cory was shuddering with the force of orgasm.

            A few final sucks and Bruce swallowed the last of Cory’s jism, gently sliding his finger out.  He left a few warm kisses on Cory’s abdomen and chest through his shirt, then leaned up and kissed Cory’s mouth.  Cory’s kiss was lazy, post-orgasm, and innocently grateful.  When Bruce sat back, he took a moment to admire the flush of passion across Cory’s face.

            His dick was achingly hard, with precum leaking inside his underwear, and Cory was ripe for the taking.  All he had to do was pull Cory down onto his lap and-

            “Get up,” Bruce said briskly, forcing himself to his feet.  “I’m starving, and if we stay in here any longer, the food be cold.”

            “We can reheat it,” Cory said, rising and tucking himself away, redoing his fly.  “We don’t have to stop now.”  One hand reached for the bulge in Bruce’s jeans, palming it warmly.  “God, you’re so hard,” Cory murmured, pressing into Bruce’s embrace and rubbing his dick, moaning softly.

            The exquisite torture of Cory’s obvious desire made Bruce curse as he pried Cory’s fingers free.  “Cory, baby, no, not now.  Let’s eat first.”

            Cory hesitated, slowly withdrawing.  “All right,” he said, a small frown crossing his face.

            Bruce kissed him, then pushed him toward the door.  “I’m starving,” he said again, although his need for Cory was greater than any need for food.

            Entering the living room, Cory stopped short and turned to him with a wondering half-smile, half-frown.  “What did you do?”

            “Ordered food,” Bruce said.

            “From where?” Cory asked.  “The Chinese Pizza Hut?”  He walked over to the couch.  “You have enough food for fifteen people here.”

            “I didn’t know what you wanted.”

            Cory laughed.  “You could have asked me,” he said, taking a seat.

            “I didn’t want to disturb you,” Bruce said, sitting beside him.

            Cory surveyed the feast before them, then turned and kissed Bruce, sliding a firm hand up his thigh.  “Thank you,” he said.

            “Thank you,” Bruce said, kissing him back.  He wanted to drag Cory closer and ease his dick into that tight ass and, god…

            “What do you want to do?” Cory asked softly, fingertips stroking down the side of Bruce’s face and across the lines of Bruce’s mouth as his other hand worked its way up Bruce’s inner thigh.  “Feed me, or fuck me?”

            Groaning, Bruce couldn’t even speak as Cory’s palm pressed against his erection.  His head fell back as his body tensed.  “Cory…  Oh, god, yes, yes…”

            He’d been so damned hard and so damned eager for it, the first time he fucked Cory, he was barely in before he was coming.  So he had to do it again, for the sake of his own self-respect.

            While Cory showered, Bruce cleaned off the sofa.  While Bruce showered, Cory heated up the food again.  Then they settled comfortably on the sofa to watch a movie and eat everything in sight.

            After Cory finished off enough food for five people, he curled up familiarly against Bruce, his arm around Bruce’s shoulders and his face in the crook of Bruce’s neck.  Bruce gently petted him, his soft silky hair, his smooth skin, even after he fell asleep, even after the movie ended.

            Eventually, Bruce remembered that Cory had classes in the morning, and that he himself had to go to work in the morning.  He slid his fingers down Cory’s cheek and whispered, “Cory.  Cory, baby, it’s time to go to bed.”

            Cory roused with a sleepy noise, gradually blinking his eyes open.

            “You should go to bed,” Bruce said.

            “Okay,” Cory said vaguely, and sat up straighter.

            Bruce rubbed his slender, naked back.  “Can I come with you?”

            “Mmm, yeah,” Cory said.  He took Bruce’s hand and led the way over to his bed.  He clicked on a corner lamp, then became still.  “Did you make my bed?”

            “I changed the sheets,” Bruce said.

            “You were busy,” Cory said, getting into the bed.  When Bruce got in beside him, Cory gave him a slow, friendly kiss.  “Thank you.”

            “You’re welcome,” Bruce said, skinning out of his underwear and pulling his gorgeous Cory against his body.

            “What else did you do?” Cory asked, his voice curious, his hand rubbing down Bruce’s shoulder and over Bruce’s bicep.

            “I read,” Bruce said, wrapping his arms around Cory’s waist.  “I watched you.”

            “What’d you read?” Cory asked, gazing into Bruce’s face.

            Bruce had no idea how Cory had gone from deeply asleep to awake and interested in one minute.  “A book,” he said, having no idea about the title.  “It had a blue cover.”

            Cory laughed.  “What was it about?”

            “It was an introduction to physics,” he said.  “It talked a lot about Isaac Newton and the laws of motion.”

            “Yeah?” Cory asked, encouraging but not pushing.

            “I think I actually remember them,” Bruce said.  “I know that for every motion there’s an equal and opposite reaction.”

            Cory’s smile was so happy, so deep-down richly pleased, that Bruce felt a warm flush of pride.

            “And…”  He tried to remember the phrasing.  “Every object at rest tends to remain at rest unless an external force is applied to it.”

            “You memorized that just now?” Cory asked.

            “I took physics in high school, so some of this sounds familiar,” Bruce said.  “It might’ve helped if I’d paid any attention in class.”

            “My physics teacher was terrible,” Cory said.  “Everyone else slept through it.”

            “You must have been the best student there,” Bruce said.

            “He hated me.”  Cory’s smile was guilty and wicked.  “I kept correcting him in front of everybody.”

            Bruce laughed and kissed him.

            Cory’s tongue was soft and teasing.  “Do you remember the third law?”

            Bruce’s hands slid admiringly over the sweet curves of Cory’s ass.  “Two bodies,” he kissed Cory’s tempting mouth, “in motion,” mmm, “tend to stay in motion,” he rolled them over as Cory’s arms wound around his neck, “and when one body meets another body, the first product is sex,” slow kiss, “and the second product…”  He gazed into wide, dark eyes.

            “Is love,” Cory whispered.

            After work the next day, Bruce went home for a thorough shower and a change of clothes, then went straight over to Cory’s apartment.  Cory kept studying while Bruce hung around relaxing and reading and watching TV; then Bruce heated up yesterday’s leftovers.  It was all very domestic.  Bruce wondered what it would be like to twine his life through someone else’s like this.  He’d never been interested in anything like that before; he’d been happy with his independence.

            What if he shared his life with Cory?  What if they lived together?  Paid bills together, did laundry together, bought groceries together?  What if they were a couple, committed to each other for the future?

            They’d depend on each other.  Count on each other.  If he had a bad day at work, if Cory had a bad day at school…  He’d want to go out and see his friends and hang out at clubs; Cory would be studying, doing homework, preparing for exams.  If they had a fight, they’d be trapped in the same apartment.  How could Cory introduce his parents to the twenty-five-year-old mechanic he was living with?  How could Bruce explain to his friends that he’d fallen in love with an eighteen-year-old physicist?

            The only commitment that Bruce had ever made was to his own bachelorhood.  Now he was considering monogamy?  What about all of the guys out there?  Guys he met at work?  Guys in clubs?  Guys at the bank, at the grocery store, on the street?  There were men everywhere, hot men, men he could fuck at will.  Why should he give that up?

            Why did he have to give that up?  He could fuck them and hang out with Cory.  Cory hadn’t asked him for a commitment, and Cory had clearly refused his offer to live together.

            Having a boyfriend meant being responsible to someone.  Having a boyfriend, living with him, it was a huge emotional, sexual, and financial commitment.  His bed would be their bed.  His bathroom would be their bathroom.  Cory’s problems would be his problems.  Cory’s happiness would be his happiness.

            Would that make Cory’s car, his car?

            The other guys might not understand dating an eighteen-year-old physicist, but they would understand dating an Aston Martin.

            He could say no to other men if Cory was in his life.

            Cory’s happiness already was his happiness.  Cory’s problems already were his problems.  Cory’s smile made him smile.  Cory’s passion inspired him.  Cory’s struggles wounded him.

            He wondered whose apartment was cheaper.  With their combined assets, it wouldn’t really matter.  His was bigger, which meant that Cory would have more space for privacy and quiet to study.  He wondered if Cory would like his place.

            Tucked in bed together that night, after making love, they still couldn’t let each other go.  Bruce kissed Cory’s neck while Cory pressed closer and moaned softly in his ear.  Cory’s sweet noises were filled with aching pleasure and whispers of desire that shuddered through Bruce’s body, leaving behind echoes of heat to stir his blood.  “You sound so good,” Bruce murmured, sucking lightly.

            “I love the way you touch me,” Cory said.  Bruce opened his eyes at the unexpected pleasure of the compliment.  “It’s like being manhandled.”  Cory smiled, idly stroking Bruce’s hair.  “I like it.”  That sweet, happy smile brightened the room.  “I like how direct you are.  You’re very straightforward, and you never seem embarrassed.  You have a lot of confidence, and I admire that.  And you have a lot of persistence.  If you didn’t, we wouldn't be together now.”  Cory’s kiss was slow and loving, but when he opened his eyes, he was concerned.  “If you move in with me and it doesn’t work out, what are we going to do?”

            Bruce raised his head, meeting worried brown eyes.  Now that Cory had been honest with him, he’d show Cory enough respect to answer honestly.  “I’d have to move out,” he said quietly, and kissed Cory’s mouth.

            “If we keep things the way they are, we’d be happy with that,” Cory said.

            “I wouldn’t,” Bruce said.  “I need complete access to you.  I need you fully cemented in my life, or I’m going to lose my mind.”  He took Cory’s hand in his, kissing Cory’s wrist, kissing Cory’s bracelet.  “If I don’t move in with you, our only other option is for you to move in with me.”

            “Our only choice is to live together?” Cory asked.

            “Are you worried about getting hurt?” Bruce asked.  “Are you worried about not being compatible?  Are you worried about your parents?”

            “You never talk about your parents,” Cory said.  It was a tidy subject change, but he seemed genuinely interested, so Bruce indulged him.

            “They live in Maine,” Bruce said.  “My dad would love you.”

            Cory grinned.  “He would?”

            “I know he would,” Bruce said.

            Cory gently shook his hand free of Bruce’s hold to stroke curious fingertips across Bruce’s eyebrows and down Bruce’s nose.  “What about your mom?”

            “She’d say that you’re too young and too pretty, and that spells trouble.”

            Cory laughed.

            “What about your parents?” Bruce asked, maintaining eye contact.

            Cory swallowed, stroking Bruce’s jaw.  “My parents are very wealthy.  They have…a lot of money.”

            That, Bruce had guessed.

            “My mother wants me to be happy.  She really does, and she tries her best.  She got me all of this furniture and everything.”

            Bruce caressed the lean curve of Cory’s spine.  “And your father?”

            Cory sighed.  “Well…”  He rolled onto his back, away from Bruce, and looked at the ceiling for a while.

            Bruce settled comfortably on his side, watching patiently.

            Cory turned his head to one side.  “It’s hard to explain this without sounding like a whining victim.  I’m not a victim, and he’s not a villain.  We’re just people.”

            “Okay,” Bruce said, automatically labeling Cory’s father a personal enemy.

            Cory sighed again.  “My biological father died when I was two.  All of his money went to me and my mother.  My inheritance, and the money she’s set aside for me, is being held in trust.”

            “For another three years,” Bruce remembered.

            “Right.”  Cory hesitated.  “My stepfather doesn’t like me.  He loves my mother, and he loves his own kids.  He just doesn’t like me.  We never got along.  My brothers and sisters are athletic and blond.  They’re always captain of something or president of something or being crowned by someone.  I was always the skinny black-haired kid reading boring books and talking about Einstein.”

            “You love them,” Bruce said.  He could hear it in Cory’s voice.  “You’re proud of them.”

            “I’m very proud of them,” Cory said, like it was an obvious fact.

            Bruce wondered if they were step-siblings, half-siblings, or both.  Cory didn’t seem to be making any kind of distinction; they were just siblings, to him.  Bruce kissed his forehead.

            “Dad wants to reserve his money for his own children,” Cory said.  “It’s…  Do you want details?”

            “Yes,” Bruce said.  Absolutely.

            Cory sat up, so Bruce sat up with him.  “Think of it like my biological father had a million dollars, my mother has a million, and my stepfather has a million.  My biological father willed half of his million to me and half to my mother.  Now I have half and my mother has one and a half.”

            Bruce nodded.  Simple so far.

            “I’m not supposed to know all of this, but from what I’ve heard, since my mother already has her own money, she set aside her half from my biological father, and that’ll go to me in her will.”

            “So all of his money is going to you,” Bruce said.

            “Right.  My mother has three kids, me and Jimmy and Ginny.  She’s willing her own one million to the three of us equally.”

            “Okay,” Bruce said.

            “Dad has five kids.  Jimmy, Ginny, Charlie, Vicky, and Paul.  He’s separating his one million into five parts.”

            “Right,” Bruce said.  That made sense.

            “Dad…  I’m not his kid.  I’ve always been different, and I’ve always reminded him that someone was with Mom before he was.  I’m not going to Harvard, like I was supposed to, like everyone in his family always has.  I’m not going to be a doctor or a lawyer or a mogul.”

            “You’re a nuclear physicist,” Bruce said, in case Cory hadn’t caught the significance of that.

            “I’m a science geek,” Cory said.  “I’m not even a computer geek.  At least then he could groom me to take over Microsoft.”

            Bruce laughed.  There was no other appropriate response.

            “He and I have a careful tightrope that we walk,” Cory said.  “He loves my mom, and he treats her very well, and he keeps her happy, so I pretend to get along.  I love her, and I treat her well, and I keep her happy, so he pretends to get along.”

            “Seeing you go hungry would not make your mother happy,” Bruce said sharply.

            “That’s why I’m not telling her,” Cory said with a look just as sharp.

            Silenced, but displeased, Bruce said nothing.

            “He’s paying my tuition,” Cory said, calm again.  “He gave me money for the year.  He didn’t have to do that.”

            “No, he didn’t,” Bruce said, suspicious.  “If your mother had, she would have been more generous.”

            “He’s paying for everyone else’s education,” Cory said.  “He’s always pretended to include me as one of his kids.  He sent Paul and Charlie and Vicky to Harvard, he’ll send Jimmy and Ginny to Harvard, he wants it to look like he’s not making a distinction between me and them, so he’s paying for me to be here, too.”

            “Was he this stingy with them?” Bruce asked.

            Cory snorted.

            Bruce sighed.  “You won’t ask your mother for a little money on the side?”

            “I don’t want to upset her.  She thinks that everything’s fine, and it is.”

            “He’s punishing you,” Bruce said.

            “The more money they spend on me, the less goes to the other kids,” Cory said.  “He resents me for that.”

            Three of the kids would get a fifth of a million.  Two of the kids would get, hell, roughly a half million.  Cory would get one and a third.  And Bruce was willing to bet that they weren’t dealing with one million dollars per parent, either.  “Which of your parents has the most money?” Bruce asked.

            Cory shrugged awkwardly.  “My biological father.”

            Of course.  And of course it would be a sore subject.  “He’s punishing you,” Bruce said again.

            “I understand why,” Cory said.          

            “So do I,” Bruce said, “but that doesn’t make it okay.”

            “I’ll be fine,” Cory said.  “In three years, this won’t even be a problem.”

            “What about until then?” Bruce asked.

            “He loves her,” Cory said.  “She’s so happy.  You should see her, she adores him.”

            “She adores you,” Bruce said.

            Cory kissed him gently.  “I’ll be fine.”

            Bruce kissed him back, rubbing his arm.  “I can’t keep you in the style to which you’ve been accustomed-”

            Cory snickered.

            Bruce pinched him.  “-but I want to live with you.  In my place, if that’s okay.”

            “Your place?” Cory asked.  “I’ve never been there.  I don’t even know where it is,” he realized.  He frowned.  “And you think that we’re ready to live together?”

            “Your place is closer to school, but mine’s only five minutes farther away, and you drive anyway.”

            Cory smiled, amused.  “Are you in this for me, for sex, or for my car?”

            “For you,” Bruce said, pushing him down to the mattress.  Cory laughed, and Bruce kissed him.  “We’ll move into my place,” Bruce decided.  “Once you’ve signed the lease and you can’t back out, we’ll work out who’s paying for what.  I’ve been picking up extra shifts, so I’ll have more money, and the more I work, the less I’ll interrupt your studying.”

            “What about your night life?” Cory asked.  “You can go out as often as you want.  I don’t want you to think that you have to stay at home with me.  But what about bringing your friends home?”

            “I’ll check with you first,” Bruce said.  “They don’t come over that often, anyway.  We usually meet out somewhere.”

            Cory’s fingers caressed Bruce’s neck, eliciting a brief shiver.  “What about your sex life?”

            “I have you,” Bruce said.

            Cory studied him.  “Is that going to be enough?”

            It had been weeks since Bruce had first met Cory.  In those weeks, he hadn’t touched another man, hadn’t even looked.  And if he ever did look, would he want to touch?  Would he ever need to touch anyone the way he needed to touch Cory?  He had Cory at his side, in his home, in his bed.  The way Cory looked, tasted, felt, moved…  “Yes,” Bruce said.  “You’re enough.”  A slow, cherishing kiss.  “You’re all there is.”
Short stories