Just for a Month

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This story is part of a series.
This is the back story to some of the events in the first five stories in the series.
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.

            Teen Top’s practice ended on time, for once, and MBLAQ’s schedule ended early, so while the rest of his members went back to the dorm and went to bed, Chunji went to MBLAQ’s dorm and Seungho’s bed.

            After a slow, hard fuck, they fooled around for a while, and then Seungho fucked him again, faster this time, from behind, getting him off so hard he tore the sheet where he bit it.  While he was catching his breath and melting from pleasure, Seungho warm and sweaty against him and stroking his back, he heard a sudden, “Ya!  That’s my boyfriend!”

            He would’ve recognized that voice anywhere; without rolling over to see, he knew that it was Mir.  Seungho laughed and said, “Wait half an hour and I’ll be your boyfriend when Chunji leaves.”

            “No!  It’s midnight!  You’re my boyfriend now!” Mir insisted, and Chunji felt him climbing on the bed.  “Cheating on me already?”

            “Who’s cheating?” Seungho asked, laughing.  “Maybe he’s here for us to share.”

            Oh, Chunji liked that idea.  Rolling onto his side, he watched Mir clamber onto Seungho like an energetic monkey.  “Boyfriend?” he asked, curious.  It had to be some inside joke.

            “It’s the first of the month,” Mir said, like that explained everything.  He pressed a firm kiss to Seungho’s lips and nodded.  “I love you, Seungho hyung.”

            “Yeah, me, too,” Seungho said, patting his cheek.  “We,” he paused while Mir kissed him again, “switch boyfriends every month.  I was,” kiss, “G.O.’s boyfriend last month and Mir was,” kiss, “Thunder’s.”  Kiss.

            “You’re boyfriends with each other?  Every month?” Chunji asked.

            “It’s fun!” Mir said.  “If it’s only a week, it’s too short to do anything, and if it’s more than a month, it gets boring.  I like having a boyfriend.  It’s comfortable to go to bed together every night, and I can say ‘cook me some ramen’ or ‘buy me a drink’ or ‘let’s make out for a while’ and hyung doesn’t roll his eyes and push me away and tell me to stop being annoying, he just does what I want.”

            Chunji liked getting what he wanted.  “What about Joon hyung?”

            “There are five of us, so we take turns having a month off,” Seungho said.  He laughed.  “We usually make up for lost time and have sex with everybody we can find for a month, and then it’s back to these fools.”

            Mir grinned, rubbing his hands over Seungho’s bare thighs.  “Did you miss me, hyung?  Did you miss this boyfriend?”

            “I didn’t miss anything about you,” Seungho said, but when Mir kissed him again, he smiled.

            Ricky didn’t get it.  “Why would I want to be your boyfriend?”

            L.Joe laughed.  “Don’t we spend enough time together?”

            Chunji leaned against the sink.  “I think we should try it.”

            “I don’t,” Niel said, ripping open a packet of cookies.

            Oh, food.  Ricky moved closer to Niel, holding out his hands.

            “It wouldn’t hurt to try it for a month,” Chunji said.

            “Yes, it would,” Niel said.  “It would hurt me very much.  I don’t like any of you.”

            Ricky’s hands were still empty.  “Hyung.  You should share.”

            “If he were your boyfriend, he’d share,” Chunji said.

            Ricky was convinced.  “Niel hyung, I love you.”

            Sitting on the floor in the dorm, Changjo wondered why his hyungs always had such stupid ideas.  Boyfriends?  He could already envision how horrible and awkward and foolish this was going to be.  He couldn’t wait for them to become bored with their new game and drop it.  He wondered how long it would last.  Maybe only a week.

            They were talking over how to choose boyfriends.  Chunji wanted the hyungs to choose; he probably didn’t want to be stuck with Niel.  L.Joe wanted to do rock-paper-scissors.  It didn’t really matter which method they went with; Changjo would end up spending a couple of weeks as someone’s sexual servant and errand boy.

            Well, maybe he’d get some good sex out of it.  The hyungs were still shy about having sex with him, so he usually just got off with Ricky, but he and Ricky weren’t that, um, compatible?  Changjo didn’t have a wide variety of experience or anything, but he was pretty sure that he was a top - - having sex with C.A.P. was great, but having sex with Chunji was freaking amazing - - and Ricky was mostly a top, too, so they spent most of their time together bargaining and trying to convince each other to roll over.

            If he ended up as Niel’s boyfriend, he’d get no sex.  That was definitely the worst-case scenario.  If he ended up as C.A.P.’s boyfriend, he’d get regular sex, but he’d also be at C.A.P.’s beck and call even more than he already was.  If he ended up as Ricky’s boyfriend, he’d get regular sex, and their friendship would probably be the same as it always was.  If he ended up as Chunji’s boyfriend, he’d get a lot of sex, and it would be really incredibly good sex, but Chunji would probably be pushy and demanding and picky.  The sex would make it worth it, but, still, he wasn’t thrilled about being responsible for Chunji’s happiness and well-being.

            His gaze slid over to L.Joe.  He wasn’t sure what L.Joe would be like as a boyfriend.  He’d probably be dominated and pushed around a lot, but it wouldn’t be as emotionally demanding as being with Chunji.  The blowjobs would be fantastic - - there was a reason he thought about L.Joe’s mouth when he jerked off - - but L.Joe usually just made out with him once in a while and saved the interesting stuff for C.A.P. and Chunji.  He didn’t know what regular sex with L.Joe would be like.  He didn’t even know if L.Joe would agree to have sex with him regularly.

            A month of being bossed around.  He was not looking forward to it.  He’d better get some great sex out of this.

            “We’ll do rock-paper-scissors,” C.A.P. said in his “and don’t argue with me about it” voice, and Chunji gave in.

            “Who do you hope you get?” Chunji asked Ricky.

            “You,” Ricky said.

            “Who do you hope you get?” he asked Changjo.

            “You,” Changjo admitted.

            “Who do you hope you get?” he asked Niel.

            “A woman,” Niel said.  Ricky laughed.  Niel gave the five of them a doubtful look and decided, “Changjo.”

            “Who do you hope you get?” Chunji asked C.A.P.

            “L.Joe,” C.A.P. said.

            Chunji looked irritated.  “Who do you hope you get?” he asked L.Joe.

            “Umm…”  L.Joe’s gaze slid from one face to another as he lightly brushed his bangs out of his eyes.  “I don’t know,” he said with a self-conscious laugh.  “C.A.P. hyung, I guess.”

            “Yeah,” C.A.P. said with a smug smile.  “That’s right.”

            “If they both want each other, and no one else wants them, should they just be together?” Niel asked.

            “No,” Chunji said shortly.  “We said we’ll do rock-paper-scissors.”

            What, were Chunji’s feelings hurt that C.A.P. and L.Joe hadn’t chosen him?  “Chunji hyung, who do you hope you get?” Changjo asked.

            “None of you,” Chunji said, and then he laughed.  “Any two matches counts?”

            “Let’s do it,” C.A.P. said.

            Changjo wished for the best and put out scissors.  C.A.P., Chunji, and L.Joe had paper; Niel and Ricky had rocks.

            “Congratulations!” Chunji told Niel.

            “Aw, come on!” Ricky exclaimed.  “I can’t get laid for a month?!”

            “Come here, my boyfriend, come here,” Niel coaxed, holding out his arms.  Sullenly, Ricky leaned over and hugged him.  “We’ll be very happy together,” Niel announced, stroking Ricky’s hair.  “Never touch me with your penis.”

            While Niel and Ricky sat to one side, talking about whether or not they wanted to have a first date and where they should go for it, Changjo flexed his fingers and eyed his hyungs.  For the sex, he definitely wanted Chunji.  For the nonsexual parts of being a boyfriend, C.A.P. might be the easiest.  L.Joe might be amazing or might be awful; it was too big of a gamble.


            Chunji was eyeing C.A.P.’s hand.


            L.Joe was chewing on his lower lip and staring at the floor.


            Changjo grimaced and shoved his fist forward.

            He’d matched with C.A.P.

            Chunji couldn’t hold back a smile of triumph.  Perfect, absolutely perfect.

            C.A.P. sighed but smiled at him.  “A whole month?  You’re going to wear me out.”

            “I’m a great boyfriend,” Chunji said.  He slapped Niel’s knee.  “Get your stuff out of C.A.P. hyung’s room.”

            “What?”  Taken aback, Niel looked at C.A.P.

            “It makes sense to room together, doesn’t it?” Chunji asked.

            “You didn’t say anything about it before,” L.Joe said, eyeing him with suspicion.

            “It’s obvious, isn’t it?  I’ll put my things in C.A.P. hyung’s room, Changjo can move in with you, and Niel can move in with Ricky.”

            “We have to room together?” Changjo asked.

            L.Joe gave him a hard look, then laughed.  “What’s wrong with that?”

            “As long as I don’t have to move any of my shit, it’s okay with me,” C.A.P. said, getting up to stretch out on the sofa.  “Wake me up when it’s time for practice.”

            The first night went exactly how Chunji had imagined that it would.  C.A.P. fucked him good and hard with deep, slamming thrusts that had him gasping and crying out and hugging the bed to keep from being fucked right off of it.  When he got back to bed after cleaning up and tried to snuggle in against C.A.P.’s muscular back, C.A.P. shrugged him off.  He pointed out that they were boyfriends now, and some cuddling was expected.  C.A.P. grunted and said, “Not that much cuddling,” but then rolled over and dragged him close and spooned up behind him and fell asleep snoring in his ear.

            Off to a perfect start.

            “This is stupid,” L.Joe said, sitting on his bed.  With the two of them alone in the bedroom, it felt awkward even to say it.  “Boyfriends?”

            “I know,” Changjo said, standing between the beds.

            “Ricky and Niel?  You and me, boyfriends?”  L.Joe rolled his eyes.  “What are we supposed to do, hold hands and go on dates?”

            “I guess we’re supposed to, you know, have sex,” Changjo said.  “And buy each other snacks or something.”

            L.Joe narrowed his eyes, biting his lip.  “Chunji only did this so he could get more sex out of C.A.P. hyung.  I know it.”

            “What?”  Changjo looked disbelieving.  “Why?  Why would he when he can just ask C.A.P. hyung for sex?”

            “It’s embarrassing.”  L.Joe tucked his hands under his thighs.  “Embarrassing to ask for it directly.”  Embarrassing to ask his own member for sex like he was needy or something.  Embarrassing to feel so horny over his hyung - - or over his dongsaeng, which L.Joe was pretty sure was even worse.  “This was…it’s…”  He shrugged, looking down at Changjo’s bare feet.  “Now he has an excuse.”

            “That’s stupid,” Changjo said.

            Yeah, well.  L.Joe cleared his throat and looked away.  It didn’t surprise him that Changjo didn’t understand.  “He’ll get tired of it, or C.A.P. hyung will stop playing along.  You can sleep in here until it’s over.”

            Changjo was watching him with a hopeful little half-smile.  “Just sleep?”

            He snorted.  “We just practiced for six hours.  I’m tired.  Go to bed.”

            “We could jerk each other off.  Or is your hand tired, too?”

            Licking his lips, L.Joe tried to look normal.  Jacking Changjo off would be a compromise between the sex he was so desperate for and the complete avoidance of the issue he’d been trying to maintain.  Would it be terrific or awful?  He wouldn’t give himself away during a simple handjob, but he would be able to get some of what he wanted.  “Come here, then,” he said, scooting over to make room.

            Like it was the most ordinary thing in the world, Changjo stripped naked, pulling off his tank top and shoving down his underpants.  As always, L.Joe felt trapped, not wanting to be caught staring, not wanting to be caught turning away.  It wouldn’t be a problem so often if Changjo weren’t such a nudist, but Changjo was always pulling something up, taking something off, shedding clothing at any excuse.

            Licking his lips, L.Joe turned his gaze away like he didn’t care, then snuck a glance.  Damn.  Why did the maknae, of all people, have to be the one with such an incredible body?  So toned, with such handsome muscles and such sexy, smooth skin.  The taut lines of Changjo’s body beckoned him like they had “touch me, L.Joe, touch me” written all over them.  Swallowing, L.Joe tugged the hem of his T-shirt down, trying to cover himself; it would seem weird if he was turned on before Changjo even kissed him.

            Changjo was going to touch him.  Changjo was sitting on the bed.  Taking a deep breath, L.Joe curled one hand into a tense fist.  It was just Changjo.  He didn’t get this worked up about Ricky, he didn’t get weird about C.A.P.; Changjo was just another one of the members.  The same one he scolded for hogging the snacks and borrowing his clothes.  It was just a handjob.

            At the feel of Changjo’s hand running up his thigh, he jerked away.  Silently cursing at himself, he tried to cover up the movement by shifting, climbing on top of Changjo, taking the upper hand.  Staring at his mouth, Changjo leaned back against the pillow, cupping his elbows, trying to pull him in for a kiss.  He didn’t want to seem too eager for it, but Changjo looked like a gorgeous centerfold spread under him, slim-hipped and broad-shouldered, and when his gaze hit upon Changjo’s strong jaw and sculpted lips, he felt a rush of, “Yes, finally,” which overrode all of his caution and sent him right to Changjo’s mouth.

            As their mouths met, his hands slid slowly upward from Changjo’s waist, riding the ridges of Changjo’s abs, luxuriating in the firm swell of pecs, the warm satin of Changjo’s skin.  Groaning, Changjo gripped his hips, bringing him right against the rising nudge of Changjo’s cock.  The unexpected sexual aggression, the unexpected friction against his hard-on, turned him on, and he rocked forward, pressing against Changjo.  A sparking trail of pleasure rippled through him, and he dug his nails into Changjo’s shoulders, his groan overlapping with Changjo’s moan as Changjo’s hands tugged down his boxer-briefs.

            His ass was bare, Changjo’s hands rubbing and molding him, his hard-on caught in the fabric of his underwear.  Yanking his underpants down, he panted into Changjo’s kiss, his teeth grazing Changjo’s lower lip, and as their cocks slid against each other, he shuddered at the electric pleasure of it, at the sound of Changjo’s groan.

            “Uhh-hh, hyung.”  Changjo shoved his underwear down to his knees, and he twisted out of it, kicking it away, as Changjo’s hands rubbed possessively up his thighs.  “Oh, god, hyung.”

            “Yeah,” he moaned, grinding against Changjo’s cock, feeling a tingling pulse of pleasure every time their hips rolled together.  Changjo was tugging up his T-shirt, and he couldn’t understand why he still had it on, couldn’t tolerate it anymore.  Snatching it off, he threw it, and then he was sinking against Changjo’s lean, hard body and Changjo’s hands were urging him even closer and they were rocking together, kissing, groping.

            This was what he’d wanted, what he’d fought not to give in to.  He could only hope that his desire for Changjo seemed like a more general lust for sex, that the way he was rubbing and humping all over Changjo’s body seemed like overall horniness and not the more specific, relentless hunger that it was.  He loved the way Changjo seemed to want to touch all of him at once, hands sliding through his hair and stroking down his back and stealing over his waist.  Loved the way Changjo kissed him, responsively, submissively, with bouts of sudden, breathless hunger as if the fierce surges of need which overtook L.Joe occasionally hit Changjo, too.  Loved the insistent way that Changjo’s hands massaged his ass, fondling, shaping, making him feel like everything would be a thousand times better if Changjo would penetrate him.

            When he felt Changjo’s finger rubbing against his asshole, he shivered, and for an instant he rocked against it, moaning, because it felt so good, so promising, electric with erotic potential.  “I want to fuck you,” Changjo whispered, still kissing him, voice thick with lust.  “Tell me I can fuck you.”

            His body was humming with pleasure and his hand was already fumbling for the lube under the pillow.  “Yeah, yeah,” he panted, grinding against Changjo’s cock.  Changjo’s finger stroked along the cleft of his ass again, teasing him open just enough to make him shudder with lust, and he dropped the lube, gasping against Changjo’s mouth.  “Unh, maknae, fuck me.”  He had to find the lube, he’d get back to it in a moment, he just had to kiss Changjo again and figure out how to stop vibrating with need long enough to coordinate his movements.

            He was making a lot of progress on the kissing thing and none whatsoever on the coordination thing when he felt Changjo’s finger stroking against his asshole again.  It was warm and slick, and the way that it caressed him made his hips rock back like someone had pulled on his tail.  He wasn’t used to being touched like this feeling so goddamned good, and he groaned, panting, dragging his nails down Changjo’s chest as that finger pushed in and his entire body burned with yes, yes, yes.

            Changjo was stroking him, inside of him, hitting that spot, and he shuddered, his hips twitching in needy, erratic jerks.  “So good, maknae, touch me,” he groaned, rubbing his forehead against Changjo’s chest, his hand between his thighs, on his cock, fisting, pulling.

            There was a rhythm to the way Changjo was penetrating him, a slow, steady beat to the pushing, probing, stretching, and he panted with it, groaning, as lightning crackled inside him and his erection throbbed in his grip.  Changjo’s other hand was sliding through his hair, and he leaned into Changjo’s touch, rubbed his face against Changjo’s smooth, firm chest.  The lightning came faster now, each jolt a new spasm of pleasure, and Changjo’s hand was tugging on his hair, pulling his head up.  He didn’t want Changjo to see the need or the joy on his face, didn’t want to give himself away, so he lowered his head, moaning, burning, biting his lip.  Jacking himself faster, faster, his hand frantically pumping his cock, he tried to keep up with the shocks of pleasure Changjo was setting off inside of him.  Changjo’s hand was on his forehead, gripping his bangs, pulling his face up, and he groaned, squeezing his eyes shut.  “Maknae,” it felt so good, “fuck,” the slick slide of Changjo’s fingers, “yes,” just what he’d needed, just what his body had been craving, “Changjo.”

            “Oh, god, hyung.”  Changjo’s voice shook and Changjo’s fingers thrust deep and L.Joe cried out in earnest euphoria as a cacophony of ecstatic bursts rocked him.  His ass tightening greedily around Changjo’s fingers, he came, pleasure arching his back and cocking his hips as his cum spilled in long spurts over Changjo’s chest.

            “Oh, god, hyung,” Changjo repeated.  Cursing, he sank bonelessly against Changjo’s body, and then Changjo was rolling them over and quickly sliding into him, inside of him, deep.  “Oh, god, hyung.”  Changjo kept saying it, roughly and desperately, then breathlessly, ecstatically, and Changjo was thrusting into him now, cock long and hard inside of him, filling him, and he groaned, his panting, “Yes, maknae, deeper, fuck me,” mixing with Changjo’s fervent, “Oh, god, hyung,” as his thighs tightened around Changjo’s ribs.

            The rigid length of Changjo’s erection drove into him in quick, plunging thrusts, and he felt the rhythmic pat of Changjo’s balls smacking against him as he dragged his hands through Changjo’s thick hair.  Looking up into Changjo’s face, he stared hungrily at the parting of those sensuous lips, at the red heat in Changjo’s cheeks, at the sweat trickling down from Changjo’s brow, at the long fringe of Changjo’s downcast lashes.  “Come in me,” he said, his voice a rough, forceful whisper.  He wanted it, he needed it, to share that kind of pleasure, to be the one to satisfy Changjo.  “You want it, yes, maknae, come on, do it.”

            “Oh, god, hyung,” Changjo moaned, “I do, I want it.  Oh, oh, oh, L.Joe hyung.”  His hand clamped down on L.Joe’s thigh, his hips rushing the beat as he thrust harder.  His body convulsed, his mouth opening on a wordless jumble of heaving, breathy sounds as he came.  L.Joe brushed his hair out of his face, gazing at him, fascinated.  He shook his head, blinking, then met L.Joe’s eyes in an awed, joyful smile.  “Wow.”

            “Wow,” L.Joe agreed, and kissed him.  His moan was rich with pleasure, with appreciation, and L.Joe’s legs coiled around him again, arms wrapping around him, hugging him close.  Changjo’s kisses were clingy, submissive, obedient, and he made a soft, satisfied sound whenever L.Joe caressed his jaw.  They kissed for a long time, long enough for the contentment bubbling inside L.Joe to even out into a languid peace.

            With an embarrassed blush, Changjo mumbled something about going to wash up and left the room.  L.Joe just stayed there for a moment, feeling very optimistic and very soundly fucked.  And then he thought about how it might look if Changjo came back and found him lingering there like some cozy, domestic, “Come back to bed, baby,” sort of situation, like they were lovers.  They weren’t lovers, they were members, and he had to face Changjo in the morning, had to face Changjo every day of his life for the foreseeable future.

            Confused, embarrassing thoughts flurried around him.  Had he begged Changjo to fuck him?  He was pretty sure that he’d begged.  He was very sure that he’d writhed around on top of Changjo in some wildly desperate sexual euphoria.  He distinctly remembered ordering Changjo to come inside him, and in retrospect, wasn’t that the most revealing thing he could have done?  He’d already gotten off; he should’ve just sat back and relaxed.  But he’d basically spelled out, “I want your cum inside of me.”  Shit, shit, what was wrong with him?  Could he have been any more obvious?  Maybe he just should’ve written, “I’m begging you for it, please, Changjo, please,” around his asshole and rubbed his ass in Changjo’s face.

            Quickly getting up, he pulled on his underwear.

            When L.Joe got back from his turn in the bathroom, Changjo was in the other bed, asleep.

            He stood there for a while, looking at Changjo.  Wondering what was wrong with him, what weakness was inside of him, that he felt like this about his maknae.  Was it some deep sexual need?  Was it some romantic confusion?  Did he just need to get laid more often?  Should he find a real boyfriend, would that help?

            It was just a phase.  Just a phase.  He’d had an embarrassing crush on Chunji for about three weeks, and that had gone away.  This crush on Changjo was dragging out over the course of months, but it would fade.  He was sure that it would.  He just had to keep his shit together and not give himself away until it was over.  Someday he’d look back on this moment and wonder what he’d been thinking, standing there like some lovestruck fool, watching his handsome maknae sleep.

            Crouching by the bed, he crossed his arms over his knees.  Gazing at Changjo’s well-kissed, pouting lips, he smiled.  “Good night, baby.”

            Seated on the dorm floor, C.A.P. leaned back against the couch, well-fed and content.  Letting his eyes slip shut for a moment, he listened to Chunji and L.Joe talk as they finished dinner.  It had been a good day, and he had nothing left to do but get laid and sleep.

            Get laid.  Yeah.

            As he thought about that, his eyes slowly opened, gaze shifting toward Chunji.  After getting back from MBLAQ’s dorm yesterday, all Chunji had talked about was the boyfriend thing.  They hadn’t really discussed anything else.

            During a break in the conversation, C.A.P. asked Chunji, “How was it the other night?  With Seungho hyung?”

            Chunji lit up, flashing him a happy, smug smile.  “Terrific.”

            “Yeah?”  C.A.P. tried to picture it, Seungho and Chunji, Seungho smiling and palming Chunji’s ass, Chunji wriggling a little to let Seungho know that he liked it, Seungho’s lush lips trailing kisses down Chunji’s spine…  Licking his lips, C.A.P. was glad that there would be time for sex tonight.  “Did he rim you again?”

            Chunji blinked a little, like he hadn’t expected C.A.P. to remember that about last time.  Yeah, it had been a while, and Chunji had seen plenty of other guys in between, but C.A.P. tended to remember pretty much everything about Chunji’s sex life.  The more details Chunji gave, the better; C.A.P. had very vivid fantasies based on Chunji’s adventures with other idols.  “He did.”

            Behind L.Joe and Chunji, Changjo wandered into the room, looking lost, scratched his head, and wandered out again.

            L.Joe was grimacing.  Chunji laughed.  “Don’t look like that!  It was great!  I totally got off on it.”

            “I don’t want anybody’s tongue there,” L.Joe said.

            “We know,” C.A.P. said.  “No tongues, no fingers, no dildos, no plugs, no fun.”

            “Do I want to know what they’re talking about?” Niel asked Ricky in the doorway.

            “No,” Ricky said.

            “I have a lot of fun!” L.Joe protested.  “You have a lot of fun with me,” he told C.A.P.

            “Yeah,” C.A.P. admitted.  “But I’d have more fun if I could finger you.”

            Chunji winked at him.  “You can finger me any time you want.”

            While Changjo wandered through again, Niel poked Ricky.  “You said there had to be fingers.  For the lubing.”

            “L.Joe hyung lubes himself,” Ricky said.  “He doesn’t like being fingered, he says it feels like being poked and prodded by a doctor or something.”

            Slowly, Changjo walked back in.  Backward, as if he were being rewound.  Weird kid.

            “But he likes it when it’s a penis?” Niel asked.  Changjo was staring at the back of L.Joe’s head like he’d never seen it before.

            “Want to keep talking about my ass?” L.Joe asked.  “One.”

            Ricky shot Niel a look.


            Niel hurried away.  Grabbing Changjo’s elbow, Ricky scurried after Niel.

            “Three.”  L.Joe looked over his shoulder.  The kids were gone.  Muttering under his breath, he picked up a couple of bowls and went to the kitchen.

            Good.  Fewer interruptions, fewer distractions.  “You got off on Seungho hyung’s tongue?” C.A.P. asked Chunji.

            “Oh, yeah.  He had his tongue up my ass, his hand on my cock.  Seungho hyung’s always so good at multi-tasking.”  With a fond smile of reminiscence, Chunji twisted to lean sideways against the couch, facing C.A.P.  “You know they have all of those toys in their dorm.  I told you that, right?”

            C.A.P. nodded, his blood heating up.  “Did he use the nipple clamps on you?”

            “Oh, no, that’s G.O. hyung’s thing.  He loves that stuff.  No, the…”  Bursting into laughter, Chunji blushed.  “Promise you won’t laugh.”

            “I won’t laugh.”  Sliding his hand around Chunji’s ankle, he caressed upward, cupping Chunji’s calf, drawing Chunji’s leg across his lap.

            Scooting closer, Chunji bit his lip, then gave C.A.P. a confiding look, lowering his voice.  “After Seungho hyung fucked me-”

            “What was that like?”

            “So good, so long, he has stamina like a horse.  He was behind me, mostly, and he has this way of running his hand over my chest without touching my nipples, over my balls without touching my cock, that makes me want to scream, it feels so good.  I hate it,” Chunji said.  “It’s the best thing in the world.  I can’t even tell you how hard I came.  The other members were getting loud about something, so he got up and left the room for a few minutes.  He fucked me so hard we kind of destroyed the bed, so I fixed the covers and put the pillows back in place.  And I found this thing under the edge of the mattress.”

            C.A.P.’s mind was lingering on how exactly Seungho’s hand might caress Chunji’s chest and make him want to scream.  Stroking the bend of Chunji’s knee, he grunted to show that he was listening.

            “It was this red-and-brown fox tail.  It was really soft, it felt really nice, so I,” Chunji grinned, clearing his throat, “petted it a little.”

            “You humped it,” C.A.P. guessed, smiling.

            His expression innocent, then knowing, Chunji pursed his lips, looking to one side.  “It might have brushed against my cock a few times.”  C.A.P.’s hand slid up his inner thigh, and he spread his legs as easily and automatically as if C.A.P. had pushed a button.  “It was really soft,” he said again.  “There was this black rubber thing at the end.  At first I couldn’t figure it out - - what was this thing, what was it for - - and then I started to understand.  And that’s when Seungho hyung walked in and found me sitting in the middle of his bed, holding it.”

            “What was it?”  A fox tail with a black rubber - - as Chunji gave him a significant look, he suddenly got it.  “It goes in?”

            “It’s for wearing!  Like a real tail!  Seungho hyung said that he doesn’t wear it, but he wouldn’t tell me who does.  Somebody does, or why would he have it?”

            C.A.P. really, really wanted this conversation to roll in the right direction.  “Tell me that you wore it.”

            Chunji winced, shielding his eyes with one hand like if he couldn’t see C.A.P., C.A.P. couldn’t see him.  “I did!  Only for a few minutes.”  When he lowered his hand, his expression was as happy and delighted as C.A.P.’s cock.  “The plug felt really nice, really snug, not too big, and the fur was really soft.  When I moved, the tail swished around.”

            C.A.P. wanted to close his eyes and envision it, but he couldn’t bring himself to look away from Chunji’s aroused, confiding expression.  “You liked it?”

            “It was so sexy, and fun!  I love plugs, but they’re usually more discreet, you know?  This one had a whole, big, bushy, furry tail swinging out of my ass.  It was the most obvious thing ever.  Can you imagine if I just wore that?  Around the dorm?  Any time you looked over at me, you’d know, hey, Chunji has that plug up his ass.  I would love to live like that.  Wouldn’t it turn you on?”

            “Fuck, yes.  Would you wear it?  Around the dorm?  If you had one?”

            “God, no!”  Chunji laughed, turning red.  “Yes, all of the time.  I’d walk around for hours, shaking my ass, looking at myself in the mirror.  Ugh, I wish that we could have toys.  I don’t know how the MBLAQ hyungs get away with it.”

            They didn’t dare.  Andy knew Chunji well enough to have their manager dig around behind their backs, and he confiscated anything more interesting than condoms and the most generic lube possible.  C.A.P. understood it, but he knew that being denied access to that stuff only made Chunji want it more.

            “That tail must be Mir hyung’s,” Chunji said.  “Don’t you think?  I really want it to be Joon hyung’s, because I could get off to that image, but it’s probably Mir hyung’s.  He’ll try anything.”

            “Did Seungho hyung like it on you?”

            “Oh, yeah.”  Chunji nodded, looking pleased, smirking.  “He was hard as a rock, watching me dance.”

            Dance?  “You danced?”

            Chunji gave C.A.P. his deliberately flirtatious, pretend shy look.  “I had to make the tail swing.”

            L.Joe wasn’t going to risk embarrassing himself by begging Changjo to fuck him two nights in a row.  He went to bed early so he could avoid the entire situation.

            It was a great plan and it went well.

            Then morning came and Niel and Ricky started talking.

            “Good morning, darling,” Niel said in the kitchen, stroking Ricky’s hair with both hands.

            “Good morning, darling,” Ricky said, kissing Niel’s cheek.

            “You look so handsome, darling,” Niel said, gazing at him lovingly.

            “Thank you, darling.”  With the most solicitous gestures ever, Ricky picked up a bowl.  “May I pour you some cereal, darling?”

            Niel beamed at him as if he’d slayed a dragon.  “Yes, darling, thank you.”

            “Can I throw up?” Changjo asked.

            “Me, first,” C.A.P. muttered, rubbing his eyes.

            “We’re boyfriends, aren’t we?” Ricky asked.

            “Yeah.  We should act like it,” Niel said.  “If you’re just going to have sex with Chunji hyung and not do anything else, what’s the point?  You might as well not even call yourselves boyfriends.  That’s the same thing as always.”

            “You should treat each other like boyfriends,” Ricky scolded.  “Changjo, tell L.Joe hyung how handsome he looks.”

            “And kiss him good morning,” Niel said.  “And ask him to take you to dinner.”

            “And hold his hand,” Ricky said.  “And wash his back in the shower.  And snuggle with him.  And call him ‘oppa.’”

            “I’m not calling him oppa!” Changjo protested.

            “C.A.P. hyung,” Chunji said, lacing his fingers through C.A.P.’s.  “Buy me dinner.”

            “No,” C.A.P. said.

            Chunji crossed his arms over his chest and eyed C.A.P., his jaw set, a dangerous glint in his eye.

            Tired, L.Joe slumped against the counter and kicked Changjo’s ankle.  “Get me cereal.”

            “That’s not how boyfriends act,” Niel scolded.

            “I didn’t get sex last night, either,” Changjo muttered, moving out of L.Joe’s reach.

            “What?”  Ricky looked surprised.  “Why not?”

            “Seungho hyung would take me to dinner,” Chunji muttered.

            “Seungho hyung would lick your asshole,” Niel said.  “I think that you shouldn’t expect too many people to treat you the way Seungho hyung does.”

            “Yeah, you’re going to end up really disappointed,” Ricky agreed.

            L.Joe snorted, kicking Ricky this time.  “You do it.”

            Wide-eyed, Ricky covered his mouth with one hand and froze.  Niel stared at him; Changjo burst into laughter.  Blushing, Ricky began to edge toward the door.  “Ya!” Niel exclaimed.  “You what?”

            “It was weeks ago!  Chunji hyung asked me to!” Ricky said.  “His asshole’s so pretty and he bought me ice cream!  I can’t say no to a hyung!”

            “It felt great,” Chunji said, relaxing against the sink with a satisfied smirk.  “Now that’s how you treat your boyfriend.”

            “Don’t treat me like that!” Niel warned Ricky.  “I don’t want to be treated like that!  If that’s a good boyfriend, be a bad boyfriend.  A very bad boyfriend!”

            “My boyfriend’s terrible,” Changjo muttered.  “What’s the point of this if I have to masturbate and fetch cereal?  That’s what I was doing last week when I didn’t have a boyfriend.”

            “Fine.”  L.Joe glared at him.  “Then we’ll break up.”

            “We can break up?” Niel asked.  “Darling.”  With a solemn expression, he squeezed Ricky’s shoulders.  “It’s time to be apart.”

            “We’re not breaking up,” Chunji snapped.  “We have a month of this.”

            “A month of masturbating and pouring cereal?” Changjo asked.  “Can I cheat on my boyfriend?”

            Niel scratched his head.  “Did you say that Chunji hyung’s asshole is pretty?  Did you mean that the ice cream was pretty?”

            “You talk too much,” C.A.P. said.  “All of you.  It’s too early for this crap.  Eat your cereal and let’s go.”

            L.Joe growled, gritting his teeth.  “I don’t have,” he glared at Changjo, “any cereal.”

            “Changjo,” Chunji said.  “Pour L.Joe some goddamned cereal and stop complaining.”

            “What’s the point of this?” Changjo asked.  He thumped bowls and rattled spoons just enough to be irritating as hell but not enough to get in trouble for it.  “Is it for the sex?  Is it so you can have servants?”

            “If you can’t go one night without sex, I hate you,” Niel said.  “I want to introduce you to my life.  Hi, I’m Ahn Daniel, nice to meet you.”

            “If it’s to get servants, Chunji hyung’s doing it wrong,” Ricky said.

            “If it’s to get sex, L.Joe hyung’s doing it wrong,” Changjo muttered, practically dumping a bowl beside L.Joe on the counter.

            Flicking the spoon, L.Joe splattered milk across Changjo’s shirt.

            Changjo looked shocked, then angry.  L.Joe wished that he’d make a move, give L.Joe some excuse, but Ricky swiftly moved in between them, nudging Changjo back.

            “Enough,” C.A.P. said.  “Whatever’s going on between the two of you, figure it out and get over it.  Go to your room and work it out.  We’re leaving in twenty minutes.”

            Shit.  L.Joe hated being sent to his room like a kid.  Pushing Ricky out of his way, he stormed out of the kitchen.  When he got to his bedroom and turned around, Changjo was right there, shoving the door closed, lips set in a stubborn, sullen pout.

            Ignoring L.Joe, Changjo yanked his shirt off and tossed it aside.  Then, instead of putting on a clean shirt, he just crossed his arms over his chest and glared at L.Joe like he was waiting for an apology.

            He sure as hell wasn’t going to get one.  “Put your damned clothes on,” L.Joe muttered, trying not to look at him and his gorgeous, sexy body.

            “What are you so pissed off about?” Changjo demanded.

            “Me?” L.Joe demanded.  “You’re acting like a spoiled brat!”

            Changjo sat on the edge of his bed, hugging himself, looking at the floor.

            L.Joe tried to stay tense, tried not to be distracted by his strong shoulders or the soft thickness of his hair.

            “I thought that you liked it.”  Changjo was mumbling; L.Joe had to step closer to make out his words.  “I thought that you wanted it.”

            “What?”  What was he talking about?

            “I thought that you wanted me to fuck you.”  Changjo looked upward, expression hurt and sad and uneasy.  “I thought that you.  Wanted me to.  Touch you.  Like that.  I didn’t know that you don’t like it.”

            “What are you talking about?”  He couldn’t figure out which conversation they were having or what Changjo was trying to say.

            “The other night!  The night before last.”  Changjo was starting to seem confused and exasperated, but he still looked uncertain underneath.  “When I fucked you, when I, you know, used the lube and got you off.”  Now he was blushing.  “I didn’t know that you don’t like that.  I thought that you wanted it.  If that’s why…  If you didn’t want me last night because of that…  I won’t do it again.  I don’t have to.  We can do it a different way or.  Whatever you like.”

            L.Joe had no idea what to say.  He’d had no idea that Changjo thought - - was this why Changjo was being so weird and sensitive?  He wondered if he should try to brush it off, but Changjo looked so hurt and confused and sad and guilty that he felt the urge to make it all better, to soothe Changjo’s feelings, to reassure.  Bracing his hands on Changjo’s knees, he crouched down, looking up into Changjo’s face.  “Ya, don’t be so unhappy.  I did like it.  I asked for it, didn’t I?”

            “Yeah.”  He looked conflicted.

            “Usually I don’t like being poked like that.”  Feeling himself blush, he hesitated, then admitted, “It felt good when you did it.  It turned me on.”  So embarrassing!  He hurried onward.  “I just went to sleep early last night.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want you.”  It was because he wanted Changjo too much.  Even now, mid-conversation, he was very aware of how bare Changjo’s torso was, how strong Changjo’s arms looked, how good it would all feel against his hands.

            Slowly, as if discovering something wonderful, Changjo smiled.  “I’m good at it?”

            Wouldn’t it be too obvious if he agreed too enthusiastically?  “What did Ricky and Chunji say about it?”

            He hesitated.  “Not much.”  Then he brightened, taking L.Joe’s hand.  “But you liked it.”  His smile was happy and sly.  “Can we do it again tonight?  Now, can we do it now?”

            “No!”  Changjo’s enthusiasm made him laugh.  “We don’t have time to do it now.”

            “We can be quick!  I can do it fast,” Changjo assured him cheerfully, starting to unzip.

            “No!  Changjo-goon, wait,” he said, putting his hands over Changjo’s hands, laughing.  “We’re not really boyfriends, but you can’t be like this in your relationships.  What have you been thinking?  I go to sleep without getting you off for one night and suddenly you think that I don’t want you?  You overhear something that someone else says about me and suddenly you think that ‘yes, please touch me’ means ‘I don’t like this?’  You think that I’m unhappy so you make stupid comments about what a bad boyfriend I am for not fucking you?  Maknae, you can’t act like this with other people.”

            “I…  That…”  Changjo looked dismayed, then blustered, “You, what about you?  Kicking me and demanding cereal?  If you weren’t mad at me, why did you act like that?”

            “I’m tired and grumpy and you wouldn’t pour me cereal!”  And he was frustrated with himself for having a crush on Changjo.

            Slowly, Changjo pulled his hands out from under L.Joe’s.  “You’re not angry with me?”

            “No, but you do need more practice at relationships.”  He knew that he should move his hands away, but he didn’t want to.  He’d do it in another moment.  Licking his teeth, he rubbed his knuckles against the warm, taut satin of Changjo’s abdomen, then slid his fingers into the open V of Changjo’s fly.  The soft cotton of Changjo’s underwear felt comfortable, ordinary.

            “I’m sorry about the…  You confuse me so much,” Changjo said.  “What should I do?  Just ask?  Ask why you won’t have sex with me?  Ask why you asked me to touch you if you don’t like it?”

            “Yes.  Just ask questions.  You have to communicate with your boyfriends.”  Changjo was turned on; L.Joe caressed the swell of his hardening cock.  It had been stupid, dangerous, to get this close; touching Changjo was like playing with fire.  Somehow, L.Joe couldn’t bring himself to regret it.

            “L.Joe hyung?”

            “Mmm.”  He licked his lips, tipping his head to one side, eyeing the ridge of Changjo’s hard-on as it grew under his touch.  There was hopeful anticipation in his gut and need between his thighs; he wanted that cock.

            “I want to, ahh-hh-hh, communicate that, oohhh, that’s really turning me on and, and, and, and, oooohh…”  Moaning, Changjo curled his hands over the edge of the bed.  “Would you blow me?”

            “Yeah,” L.Joe breathed, already leaning in, reaching down the front of Changjo’s underwear, pulling out that handsome cock.  Changjo’s erection was just like the rest of his body, gorgeous and healthy and a little too sexy to be believed.  L.Joe kissed the head, hand curling around the shaft, eager to renew intimacy with this long-lost friend, and Changjo groaned, sliding forward to the very edge of the bed, balls plopping over the side.

            Niel knocked at the door.  “L.Joe hyung, it’s time.”

            Annoyed, L.Joe looked over his shoulder, baring his teeth at the door.  “Two minutes!”

            “One minute!” C.A.P.’s voice called back.

            Shooting a glance upward at Changjo’s tense, lustful expression, L.Joe said, “Quickly,” and sucked the first few inches into his mouth.

            “Oh, god, hyung,” Changjo said, making a stunned, grunting, hollow, choking noise.

            Sliding his hands over Changjo’s hips, L.Joe started bobbing his head, taking in more on every stroke, filling his mouth, lips stretching around the girth of Changjo’s cock.  It was so hard, so smooth, that it seemed to glide in and out of him, and he groaned in pleasure, closing his eyes, sucking harder as the length of it slipped between his lips.

            “Oh, god, hyung.  L.J-j-j-j-joe hyung.  Ahh, ahh, uh!”

            Changjo sounded so good, his voice rising and falling, deep and urgent one moment, high and desperate the next, breathless and then textured, rough, that L.Joe wanted to hear more, wanted to listen to him, loved the sound of him in pleasure.  Loved being the one he called out for.  Grunting, L.Joe sucked harder, working his lips around Changjo’s cock.

            “What the hell are they doing in there?” C.A.P.’s voice grumbled.

            Chunji laughed.  “Should we open the door and watch, or could you figure it out from the ‘oh god L.Joe hyung oh god?’”

            L.Joe wanted to tell them to shut up, but that would mean taking his mouth off of Changjo’s hard, leaking erection, and he couldn’t do that.  Swallowing, he stroked Changjo’s waist, hands sliding upward, feeling a tremor race through Changjo’s body.

            “Oh, oh, oh god, hyung,” Changjo panted helplessly.  “I, I, I…”

            “He’s coming!” Niel shouted.  “Watch out!”

            “Ah, ah, oh, fuck,” Changjo groaned, torso arching in L.Joe’s hands, and spurts of thick cum filled L.Joe’s mouth.  Stroking Changjo’s skin, L.Joe swallowed, then moaned in appreciation.  Sagging weakly, Changjo slumped backward on the bed with a satisfied whimper, and L.Joe lifted his head, licking his lips.

            Treasuring the taste of Changjo on his tongue, L.Joe picked up a bottle of vitamins and whipped it at the door, warning the other members to back off.  Then he rested his hands lightly on top of Changjo’s where they were gripping the edge of the bed.  Lowering his head, he closed his eyes and thought about all of that nasty, stupid shit that had been stressing him out lately until his erection went away.  It took longer than usual because fuck, Changjo was right in front of him and had come in his mouth and he could feel the smooth skin on the back of Changjo’s hand beneath his fingers.  But eventually he stopped feeling that needful ache, and he could breathe without his breath catching in his throat.

            Opening his eyes, he raised his head to find Changjo sitting up and watching him.  Embarrassed, he pulled away, getting up, rubbing his hands on his pants.  “We should go.”

            Was it just his imagination, or did Changjo’s gaze follow him…hungrily?  “Can I still fuck you tonight?”

            Nodding, he licked his lips.  God, he could still taste Changjo.  Rubbing his hand over his mouth and incredibly aware of how avidly Changjo’s eyes tracked the movement, he nodded again.  “Yeah, okay.”

            The door opened.  “Cuddles and kisses later,” C.A.P. said.  “Move your butt, in the van.”

            Hastily, Changjo got up, pulling his pants together.  Averting his gaze, L.Joe followed C.A.P.

            Changjo needed L.Joe’s mouth.  Really needed it.  Needed to do something to it.  Touch it or kiss it or, yes, nudge his cock back inside it.

            It was making him feel hot and obsessive and strange, and he couldn’t stop looking at it.  Couldn’t stop staring at it when no one was paying him any attention.  Couldn’t stop sneaking needy little looks at it and getting caught and looking again anyway.  He felt like an addict and he couldn’t stop.

            The make-up noona was probably trying to kill him, because L.Joe’s mouth was all red and pouty and glossy, the way it had looked after - - oh, god - - after L.Joe had sucked his cock, and it was so easy to imagine that it was shiny not with gloss but with - - god, fuck - - with his cum.

            And L.Joe kept, kept, kept licking his lips and rolling his tongue around in his mouth.  Changjo’s brain knew that it was just habit, knew that it didn’t mean anything, but Changjo’s cock kept taking it as flirtation, as a bid for attention, and their stage clothes had not been designed to hide hard-ons, and Ricky kept pinching Changjo and whispering, “Stop it!  What’s wrong with you?” but L.Joe’s tongue kept licking and caressing and beckoning.

            L.Joe treated his own mouth like a private toy, and Changjo found it unbearably cruel that he wouldn’t share.

            Then lunch happened.  And L.Joe started eating, and there was so much mouth action that Changjo couldn’t look away.  L.Joe’s tongue was licking and sliding and flicking and gliding and teasing and rubbing and curling and tasting and damn him, half of the time he didn’t even seem to be aware that he was doing it.  On top of everything else, he kept biting into things, his sharp little teeth sinking in, and Changjo had never found anyone’s teeth sexy before but he kept remembering the way L.Joe had turned away from his cock and snarled at the door and turned right back around and practically swallowed him down.

            He didn’t think that L.Joe was actually, deliberately trying to destroy him.  Especially since L.Joe barely glanced in his direction all day.  But by the time L.Joe finished lunch by picking up a drink and slowly, sensuously licking a straw into his mouth, still-glossy lips closing around it, eyes half-closed, Changjo was ready to beg for mercy.

            When their manager left them to talk to one of the PDs, Changjo sat beside L.Joe on the couch.  Playing with a game on Niel’s phone, L.Joe didn’t glance over.  “Hyung.”

            “Uh?”  L.Joe’s gaze was focused on the game.

            “Hyung.”  Wanting L.Joe so badly he was drooling, he swallowed, needing to touch, putting his hand on L.Joe’s thigh.  Only the other members were in the room but he knew that he had to be discreet, had to keep it private in case anyone walked in, so he pulled a knee up on the sofa, twisting a little, leaning in.  Under the scents of whatever the stylists had sprayed, he could smell teasing layers of soap and sweat and L.Joe, and his nostrils flared.  “I have to kiss you.”

            L.Joe’s thumbs stopped moving.

            The car onscreen slammed into a wall and exploded in a fireball.

            “Do it now, kiss me fast,” Changjo whispered.  “No one’s here.”

            L.Joe was blinking.  Under his make-up, Changjo could see pink in his cheeks.  “No!  Don’t be stupid,” L.Joe muttered, sinking down, pulling into himself, shoulders up.

            He was embarrassed?  Not angry?  Changjo couldn’t believe it and wasn’t about to question it.  “Hyung, please.”

            “Not here,” L.Joe muttered, red to the tips of his ears.  “We’re in public.”

            “What are you two whispering about?” Chunji asked, standing in front of them.

            Changjo gazed at the side of L.Joe’s face, at the shy downward cast of L.Joe’s lashes, at the soft parting of L.Joe’s lips.  “I want L.Joe hyung to kiss me.”

            Biting into his lip, L.Joe turned his face away.

            Laughing, Chunji poked at L.Joe’s forehead.  “Why are you acting shy?  Just kiss him.  You can kiss him on the cheek, anyway.”

            Looking flustered, L.Joe smacked Chunji’s thigh.  “Then you do it!”


            Changjo suddenly found Chunji gripping his chin and kissing his right cheek, his forehead, his left cheek, his nose, and his right cheek again.  “Eh!”  Laughing, he pushed Chunji away.  “I want L.Joe hyung, not you!”

            “What’s wrong with me?” Chunji demanded.

            “You should apologize,” Niel said.

            He sighed.  “I’m sorry, Chunji hyung.”

            “Tell Chunji hyung that he’s sexy,” Niel added.

            He sighed again.  If he played along, they’d stop.  “Chunji hyung.  You’re very sexy.”

            “Ask him to steal your lips,” Niel said.

            He couldn’t help it; he looked at L.Joe.  “L.Joe hyung, will you steal my lips?”

            Licking his own lips, L.Joe blushed and looked away again.

            “Why are you playing shy?” Chunji asked, nudging L.Joe’s shin with his toes.  “You’re causing a scene for no reason.”

            Ignoring Chunji, Changjo squeezed L.Joe’s thigh, leaning closer.  “Hyung.  Can I kiss you?”

            “Why,” L.Joe groaned, laughing self-consciously, curling forward.  “Ah, our maknae.”  Throwing himself back, he sighed and met Changjo’s eyes.  “Can you do it before they get back?  And then leave me alone?”

            He nodded, watching L.Joe’s lips shape each syllable.

            L.Joe nudged his bangs into place.  “Okay.”

            It wasn’t what he needed, but maybe it would satisfy some small part of his desire for L.Joe.  Inhaling, he brushed the tip of his nose against L.Joe’s cheek.  Brushed his lips over one prominent cheekbone.  He could feel the softness of L.Joe’s skin against his lips, could see the thickness of L.Joe’s black lashes.  Lightly skimming a fingertip along the line of L.Joe’s jaw, he wondered why L.Joe was holding so still.  “Don’t you like it?”  The words came out soft and low and private, like they were the only two people in the room, like the only one who would ever need to hear the sound of his voice was L.Joe.

            L.Joe glanced at him.  “Do you?”

            Grinning, he confessed, “So much.”

            Laughing, blushing again, L.Joe leaned into him a little.  Liking it, he slid his hand higher up L.Joe’s thigh and kissed the two tiny moles at the corner of L.Joe’s eye, kissed the corner of L.Joe’s jaw, kissed the side of L.Joe’s neck.  “I want to lick you,” he murmured, kissing L.Joe’s neck again, rubbing his lips against L.Joe’s soft, enticing skin.

            “You crashed,” Chunji said suddenly.  “You lost.  Weren’t you paying attention?”

            Elbowing Changjo away, L.Joe took the phone from Chunji’s hand.  “You distracted me!”

            Their manager was back, with some staff member Changjo didn’t recognize.  He cleared his throat, adjusting himself in his pants, trying to angle his body away from them so that they wouldn’t notice his hard-on.

            “How did I distract you?” Chunji asked, laughing.  “Try it again.”

            While L.Joe got reabsorbed into the game, Changjo leaned against his shoulder, waiting for the PDs to be ready for them, watching L.Joe’s lips part and pout and purse and press together.

            Chunji sat down beside C.A.P.  Crossed his arms.  Crossed his legs.  Sniffed.  Glanced around the room to see if anything interesting was happening.  Determined that, other than the way Changjo refused to let go of L.Joe’s thigh, nothing was.  Glanced at C.A.P.  Sighed.  Rolled his eyes.  “C.A.P. hyung.  Are you asleep?”

            “No,” C.A.P. mumbled, slumped against the armrest, arms crossed, eyes closed.

            “Really?”  He watched C.A.P.’s face.  “The couch is on fire.”


            Laughing, Chunji decided to let C.A.P. sleep.  He watched their manager talk to staff for a while, watched Ricky and Niel practice choreography.  When he looked over, C.A.P. was still asleep.  “C.A.P. hyung.  Are you asleep?”


            He smiled.  “Your hair’s messed up.”


            Studying the thick, rounded muscles of C.A.P.’s arms, he remembered the way C.A.P. had pinned him to the bed last night, the casual strength C.A.P. had used to flip him over and hold him down.  Resisting the urge to squirm, he breathed carefully until he trusted his voice to come out evenly.  “Will you take me to dinner tomorrow night?”

            C.A.P. made a sleepy, affirmative noise.

            He’d count that as a yes.  “Will you buy me something while we’re out?  I could use a new case for my phone.”


            “We should play some sort of game, back at the dorm, after dinner.  Something fun.  Just the two of us.”  Uncrossing and re-crossing his legs, he leaned back comfortably.  “Maybe that game Seungho hyung and I play together.  Do you want to?”

            C.A.P.’s eyes opened a slit.  “Don’t get greedy.”

            Startled, caught, Chunji burst into laughter, smacking C.A.P.’s thigh.  “You’re awake!”

            “I told you that I wasn’t sleeping!”

            Turning, resting his elbow on the back of the couch, he gave C.A.P. his best approving, flirtatious smile.  “Then you really did agree to take me to dinner.”

            “I didn’t mean it.”

            That stung, but he tried not to show it.  “You agreed!  You can’t just take it back.”  When C.A.P. just looked apathetic, he insisted.  “You owe me dinner.  And a new phone case!”

            “We all heard you,” L.Joe said from the other couch.

            “You don’t want to be a bad hyung, do you?” Niel asked.  “You don’t want to let your dongsaeng down.”  Cupping his hands over his mouth, his back to the staff, he mouthed, “Boy.  Friend.”

            Nodding vigorously and solemnly, Ricky wrapped his arm around Niel.  “A member is a member.  You can’t ignore your responsibilities.”

            “Boy.  Friend,” Niel mouthed again.

            “We should all go to dinner tomorrow,” Ricky said.  “Let’s split up and go separately!  C.A.P. hyung can take Chunji hyung, and L.Joe hyung can take Changjo, and oh!  Niel hyung!” he exclaimed as if he’d just thought of it, giving Niel a wide, innocent smile.  “You can take me!”

            “No,” Niel said hurriedly.  “No, I don’t want to.”

            “But a member is a member,” Ricky said.  “You should treat me to something nice.  You aren’t going to neglect your responsibilities, are you?”

            “I don’t have any money.”

            “Yes, you do,” Chunji said.

            “Why should I take you to dinner?” Niel asked Ricky.

            “Aren’t we close?” Ricky asked.  “Shouldn’t you look out for me?  Don’t we have a good relationship, lately?”  His back to the staff, he raised his eyebrows with a pointed smile.

            Looking flustered, Niel stammered without making any sense, then whirled around and said, “Then all of the members have to do it!  C.A.P. hyung has to keep his promise to Chunji hyung, and L.Joe hyung has to take Changjo, too!”

            “All right,” C.A.P. said, closing his eyes again.  “But you’re not getting steak.”

            L.Joe knew why he wanted Changjo so much.  It was part of this stupid crush he couldn’t shake off.  But why did Changjo want him?  Why stare at him and follow him around and whisper, “I want to lick you,” in dressing rooms?

            Was Changjo playing around?  Was it because of this stupid boyfriend game they were in?  Maybe he was just horny.

            Just horny and really enthusiastic?  L.Joe had seen Changjo have sex with the other members, and he didn’t remember Changjo acting like this.  Eager for sex and happy to get it, sure; things like the staring seemed different.

            Their last stop before the dorm was the practice room.  While they were dancing, Changjo watched him; their eyes kept meeting in the mirror.  He tried to ignore it, tried to focus, but it was distracting, being stared at like that, and it made him more aware of how he moved his body, the way he rolled his hips.  Being watched so intently made him want to perform, made him want to entertain and show off, and he caught himself putting more energy into it, biting his lip and thrusting, like, yeah, you wanna look, I’ll give you something to look at.

            When they paused for a break, he ran his hands through his hair, sweating, catching his breath.  Niel was talking to him; he nodded, watching Niel’s mouth move, only half-paying attention as he told himself to stop thinking about Changjo and stop caring about Changjo’s hormones.  He didn’t care when Niel was horny, and he laughed when Chunji was horny, so why be so interested in Changjo?  Stupid, this crush was so annoying.

            And then, while Niel was still talking, Changjo stepped in between them, crowding L.Joe back to the wall.  “What?” he asked, as Changjo’s arms rose on either side of him, hands braced against the wall.

            “Ya, stop being weird,” Niel complained.

            Changjo was staring into his face like he held some vital secret.  Staring at him with lust and strange fascination.  Breathing too hard.  Maybe that was because of practice; L.Joe was breathing too hard, too, feeling hot and flustered and ready to be fucked.  Definitely ready to be fucked.  He stared up into Changjo’s eyes and didn’t trust himself to move, because if he twitched a muscle, it would be to yank Changjo against his body.  The heat in Changjo’s gaze dared him to do it.

            “C.A.P. hyung,” Niel called.  “The maknae’s breaking the rules.”

            “Rules?  We have rules?” Chunji asked, laughing.

            “Rule two,” Niel said.

            No hormonal touching in the practice room.  L.Joe felt like he was panting for air.

            Changjo didn’t blink, didn’t look away from L.Joe’s face.  “I’m not touching.”  It was true; they weren’t.  They really, really needed to.

            “You’re going to,” Niel said.

            “Maybe they’re just talking,” Ricky suggested.

            “They’re not saying anything!  And look at this.”  Niel pulled up Changjo’s shirt.

            “That?  He’s been doing that all day,” Ricky said.  “First it was embarrassing, and now it’s just - - well, it is really nice,” he admitted.

            L.Joe couldn’t resist.  He tried, but he really, really couldn’t.  He glanced downward.

            Against the soft fabric of Changjo’s sweatpants, his erection bulged outward, lewdly tenting the fabric.

            Pressing his arms back against the wall, L.Joe balled his hands into fists.  Self-control.  He would not grab Changjo’s cock.  He would not.  Inhaling, he eyed it, licking his lips.

            With a soft, growling sound, Changjo moved in, so close L.Joe’s breath caught in his throat, so close that his gaze flew upward and their eyes met again and he could see the burning intensity of Changjo’s desire.

            Changjo was so close that Niel’s hand was caught between their bodies.  “Can I have my hand back?” he asked.  “Could I, please?  I don’t want to be a part of this.  You’re being very strange and I, I, I don’t want a threesome.”

            “I’m not touching,” Changjo said again, but his voice was softer this time, breathier.  It made L.Joe want to close his eyes and melt against the wall and let Changjo have him any way Changjo wanted.

            “I am, and I don’t want to be,” Niel moaned, pulling his hand from between them.

            “Members,” C.A.P. said firmly.  “Back to it.  Come on.”

            “I want to touch you again tonight,” Changjo whispered, staring into his face with that fascinated sexual hunger he’d been running from all day.  “I want to make you like it again.”

            “Rule three!” Niel yelped.  “Rule three!”

            “Members!” Chunji called.

            L.Joe licked his teeth, trying to hold back something like, “You can touch me wherever you want.”  His voice was low and strained when he said, “After.  After practice.”

            “Practice,” Niel said.  “Yes, let’s practice.”

            Still staring, Changjo let Niel drag him away.

            Clearing his throat, aware of everyone’s attention on him, L.Joe brushed his bangs out of his eyes and went to his spot.

            When they got back to the dorm, L.Joe was barely through the front door before Changjo was dragging him to the bedroom.

            Chunji wished that C.A.P. would pursue him like that.  He couldn’t remember a time they’d had sex that he hadn’t initiated.  Once they got started, once he’d gotten the ball rolling and C.A.P.’s hands were on him, it always went incredibly well and C.A.P. became assertive, even aggressive.  But why couldn’t it ever start with C.A.P.?

            A few times, Chunji had pledged to wait, to hold back until C.A.P. approached him.  But his libido was stronger than his willpower, and he always got horny and caved.

            Maybe tonight would be different.  They were rooming together, and C.A.P. probably assumed that they’d have sex.  Maybe tonight C.A.P. would make the first move.

            And maybe all of that moaning and groaning about to come from L.Joe’s room would put him in the mood.

            Pushing the bedroom door shut, Changjo was already dragging L.Joe close.  He’d barely turned around before he was cupping L.Joe’s face in both hands and kissing L.Joe’s sexy, sexy, sexy mouth.  Yes, “Ooouhh,” this was it, this was what he’d craved all day, and now it was finally here, and his hormones were rocketing around, ready for action.  Cupping L.Joe’s jaw, rubbing his thumbs over L.Joe’s cheekbones, he kissed and kissed and kissed L.Joe’s mouth.  After watching L.Joe’s tongue lick those prettily shaped lips all day, being able to lick them himself was deeply, fundamentally satisfying.

            L.Joe was focused on something else, and while he concentrated on the three most important things - - L.Joe’s mouth, kissing L.Joe, and kissing L.Joe’s mouth - - L.Joe got their clothes off.  Changjo cooperated, but his mind was on other things - - like figuring out how hard he had to kiss L.Joe before L.Joe would bite him - - and it wasn’t like he wanted to be bitten, really, except that he did, because L.Joe’s teeth were distractingly, fascinatingly sexy and Changjo wanted to know what it was like, wanted to feel what L.Joe felt when he bit his own lip like that - - and then Changjo realized that now that their clothes were gone, there was a lot of skin available, like L.Joe’s neck, and L.Joe’s chest.  “I want to lick you,” he said, and ran his tongue along the line of L.Joe’s jaw.

            “Maknae,” L.Joe whispered, and the way his fingers slid through Changjo’s hair sent a shiver of pleasure the whole way down Changjo’s spine.

            The soft skin of L.Joe’s long, smooth neck was a treat for Changjo’s lips, delicious and captivating.  While he was kissing, sucking, and licking at L.Joe’s neck, he heard L.Joe make breathy, moaning sounds in his ears, felt agile hands stroke over his chest and pull him closer.  L.Joe’s slim body was warm and firm against him, and as he sucked lightly at L.Joe’s neck, trailing a necklace of kisses across to the other side, his hands slid over L.Joe’s back, fingertips tracing lines of muscle.

            L.Joe was hard against him and pulling at him, tugging him forward.  Belatedly he realized that they were moving toward the bed, and that struck him as a brilliant idea.  He’d make that his top priority as soon as he finished kissing every inch of L.Joe’s collarbone and nuzzling against L.Joe’s neck and caressing L.Joe’s ass.  Grinding against L.Joe, squeezing, he breathed, “You taste so good.”

            “Yeah.  So good,” L.Joe said, and shoved him onto the bed.

            Landing on the foot of the bed with a bounce, surprised to find himself off-balance, he laughed, reaching out and pulling L.Joe closer.  L.Joe was already climbing on top of him, and he grabbed L.Joe’s waist, kissing L.Joe’s chest and dropping back.  L.Joe landed over him, and he lifted his head, cupping L.Joe’s hips in his hands, dotting L.Joe’s abs with slow, sucking kisses.  L.Joe’s hand was in his hair, fingers massaging his scalp, and the head of L.Joe’s cock was nudging his chin, pre-cum wetting his skin.

            Sliding his fingers along the shaft of L.Joe’s erection, he closed his hand around it, bringing it to his mouth.  “Ahh, maknae,” L.Joe moaned, and flavors exploded across Changjo’s tongue.  Ohh, yes, it was everything he’d been tasting across L.Joe’s skin - - salt and sweat and spice - - only stronger, and more, delicious musk and the bitter tang of pre-cum.  Licking up drops of pre-cum as they rolled down the shaft, he savored the intoxicating, complex flavors and scents.  Nuzzling at the base of L.Joe’s cock, he buried his nose against L.Joe’s balls, inhaling deeply before licking upward again, sucking the head into his mouth.

            “Yeah, suck it, suck me,” L.Joe moaned, his voice low and shaky, his hand rubbing through Changjo’s hair.  “Ahh, god, maknae, you make it so good.”

            He was glad that L.Joe liked it, because he was having the time of his life.  He wanted to slow down and scorch the experience into his memory, to relish every tantalizing flavor and every luscious inch, but he was so turned on and excited and eager that he was rushing it, jacking L.Joe’s erection quickly in time with his bobbing head, hollowing his cheeks and kissing his fist, drool trickling from the corner of his mouth.  Every time he slowed down, L.Joe started panting, “Yeah, that’s it, suck it,” in a way that made his cock ache, and when he inevitably sped up again, L.Joe made sexy, guttural moaning noises and said, “Fuck, maknae, ah.”  And then L.Joe tugged at his hair and said, “I’m going to come, you’re making me come,” and he moaned in excitement, feeling so aroused and joyful that anticipation was racing through him, simmering in his blood and heating him up.

            Long pulses of cum shot across his tongue, coating his throat.  It was thick and bitter and creamy and salty, so delicious he wished there were more.  Rolling his tongue around his mouth, he slid his hands over L.Joe’s ass, catching his breath.

            L.Joe sort of collapsed on him, and he spent a moment suffocating between L.Joe’s thighs, but that was exactly where he wanted to be anyway, so he just stroked L.Joe’s smooth, satiny skin and breathed in L.Joe’s musk.  Then, pushing up, L.Joe crawled down a little, kneeling astride his chest, looking down into his face and smiling.

            L.Joe was flushed, his eyes sparkling, his smile happy and content, full of pride and affection.  Changjo blushed, and it seemed weird to blush at the way L.Joe smiled and not at the blowjob.

            “You worked hard,” L.Joe murmured.  His thumb brushed the corner of Changjo’s mouth, swiping away moisture, and then he licked his thumb, sucking it clean.  He was tasting his own cum like it was the most natural thing in the world, and it was so sexy that Changjo just stared at him, enthralled.  Changjo felt like there was so, so much about L.Joe that he’d never known.  That he wanted to know.  Smiling, L.Joe fixed his own bangs, then fixed Changjo’s, then glanced back over one shoulder, so effortlessly limber that Changjo ached with wanting him.  His tongue flicking over his lips, he met Changjo’s eyes again.  “Here.”  Crawling forward, he tugged at Changjo, twisting around, squirming down, and as Changjo crawled on top of him he dropped the lube on his chest, thighs spreading, knees lifting.  His body was so frankly sexual, the shyness in his eyes was a breathtaking contrast as he slid his hand over Changjo’s shoulder and murmured, “Kiss me.”

            Changjo only had to be asked once.  Picking up the lube, he obeyed the guidance of L.Joe’s hand and leaned down, pressing his lips to L.Joe’s.  Kissing and opening the lube and not humping L.Joe was too much to coordinate all at once, so he let L.Joe take over the kissing part.  Struggling to hold his hips still, he slicked up his fingers and realized that L.Joe was toying with his mouth, licking a little, sucking a little, speeding up, slowing down, using his lips and tongue as a personal playground.  It was like L.Joe was doing to his mouth what he’d watched L.Joe do to his own mouth all day, and it was such a turn-on that he groaned.  L.Joe moaned right back, fingers caressing across his nape, foot rubbing along his calf.

            When he skimmed his fingertips over the small, soft pucker of L.Joe’s asshole, L.Joe made an approving sound, fingers flexing against his ribcage.  L.Joe was relaxed, sighing warmly into his mouth and stroking his nipples, and he brushed his fingers against L.Joe’s asshole again, circling it, rubbing it.

            Kissing L.Joe felt so good that he fell in love with it, with the sensuality of it, with the rhythm of it, with the desire racing through him.  He was seduced by the nuanced curves of L.Joe’s lips and falling under the spell of L.Joe’s tongue.  Kissing L.Joe and touching L.Joe like this and hearing L.Joe’s appreciative, happy sighs and feeling L.Joe’s skin so warm and smooth against his and feeling L.Joe’s body so lean and hard against his and feeling L.Joe’s thighs hugging him, feeling L.Joe’s hands on his chest, was all so great and so right and so arousing that he really, really wanted to fuck L.Joe, and his cock was throbbing in a desperate, demanding, now-now-now kind of way, and his pre-cum was leaving a mess on L.Joe’s abs.

            L.Joe made an impatient, humming sound and nipped at his lower lip.  Pleasure and excitement flashed through him - - L.Joe had bitten him, and it had been exactly as hot as he’d known that it would be - - so strongly that he almost missed L.Joe’s throaty, demanding, “Mmm, maknae, fuck me.”

            Yes yes yes.  Without a moment’s hesitation, he pushed his finger in.  As L.Joe’s muscles tightened around him, drawing him inward, he could only let out a hoarse, “Oh, god, hyung, oh.”  Yes, this was good, this was exactly where he wanted to be, inside L.Joe, where it was so warm and snug and incredible.  Opening his eyes, he slid his finger inside again.  As he felt L.Joe’s muscles flutter and contract, he stroked in and out, watching L.Joe’s face.

            L.Joe’s head tipped back, eyebrows drawing together, and he snarled a little bit, biting into his lip, nose wrinkling.  Then he gasped, his whole face relaxing, and he smiled, and his eyes rolled back in his head, and he sort of laughed when he said, “Ahh, oh, maknae,” and he snarled again, his nails scratching lightly at the side of Changjo’s neck.

            He was having so many reactions, Changjo couldn’t tell what was a reaction to what.  “What do you like?  What feels good?” Changjo asked, wanting desperately to please him.

            “Ah, ohh, everything.”  L.Joe shuddered, knees rising and falling, thighs tightening and relaxing, fingers gliding across Changjo’s lips.  “Everything.”

            Changjo wanted to celebrate.  “How much more do you want?”  He wished that he knew L.Joe’s body better, that he knew more about L.Joe’s sexual desires.  For Ricky, this wouldn’t be enough; Chunji, on the other hand, would be all over his cock already.

            “It feels so good.  The rhythm.  It’s so rhythmic.”  L.Joe bared his teeth, moaning, turning his head away, his lower body twisting upward.  “Fuck, I need it.  I want your cock in me, I want to feel you fucking me, give it to me.”

            Changjo obeyed as speedily as was humanly possible, burying his aching, swollen erection in L.Joe’s twitching, clenching ass.  Crying out at how impossibly good it felt, trying ineffectually to shove deeper, he cried out again, softly, no less earnestly, at the slide of L.Joe’s hands down his back, the way L.Joe nipped at his jaw.

            “Ahh, nnn, eh, that’s it, yes,” L.Joe panted.  “Give it to me, give me what I need.”

            Lust was burning through him, and the fervent passion of L.Joe’s desire was an electrifying pleasure.  His hips were thrusting fast, faster, faster, loving every stroke, and he felt like he couldn’t rock forward into L.Joe quickly enough.  His hips wanted to move and his cock wanted to be one with that slick, clenching heat.  L.Joe was moaning like it felt just as good to him, too, turning Changjo on more, the fact that he was giving L.Joe pleasure making his own pleasure rise even higher.  He was panting, chanting, “Oh god, hyung, oh god, hyung,” over and over again, the rhythm of his words matching the rhythm of his thrusts matching the rhythm of L.Joe’s hands tightening on his thighs matching the rhythm of L.Joe’s rough, groaning, “So good, I need it, maknae, fuck me, that’s it, that’s it, yes…”

            He fucked L.Joe as long and as hard as he could, until he was so filled up with pleasure and need and L.Joe’s sexual heat that the inevitable eruption was already shaking him.  As ecstasy hit him in a crashing, euphoric surge, he shouted in victorious joy.  He felt like he came forever, like this one orgasm would roll through him eternally in ceaseless bliss, like he was unloading buckets of cum.  Seeing stars, he moaned, going weak with pleasure, and when L.Joe’s hands coaxed him downward, he sagged onto L.Joe’s body.  “Eh,” was all that he had the energy to say, but he really, really meant it.

            Under him, he felt L.Joe moving.  Writhing.  Grinding against him.  It felt so good that he groaned.

            “Don’t move,” L.Joe grunted.  “Almost there.”

            But he wanted to help.  He really did.  Unsteadily, he pushed himself up, rolling to his side.

            “Here,” L.Joe insisted, yanking him back.


            “Shut up,” L.Joe said, hips working against him, cock riding his abs, nails digging into the flesh of his ass.  “Let me, let me, ah, ahh, uh!  Kiss me, kiss me.”

            Yes, yes, “Okay,” he said, immediately kissing L.Joe’s mouth, sliding his hand down L.Joe’s body.  When his fingers met the satiny hardness of L.Joe’s erection, he moaned, L.Joe cursed breathlessly, and L.Joe’s hips rocked upward.  For a moment, Changjo was consumed by L.Joe’s sexual desire.  With his own needs satiated, all that mattered was L.Joe’s pleasure, and he listened to every hitch in L.Joe’s breath, to every low, echoing groan, to every moan of, “So good, the way you touch me, so good.”  His body was there to please, to serve, and he stroked L.Joe’s cock, kissed L.Joe’s mouth, licked L.Joe’s neck, keenly attuned to the movements of L.Joe’s hips, to the rise and fall of L.Joe’s chest with each heaving breath, to the way L.Joe’s nails spasmodically scratched and dragged and stroked over his ass.  L.Joe liked a firm grip, liked a long pull, and made happy, feral noises right in Changjo’s ear when Changjo kissed his neck and whispered, “You’re so sexy, I wanted you all day, you’re the hottest hyung I’ve ever fucked.”

            When L.Joe came, Changjo stared in fascination at the glistening splatter of cum on his chest.  Inhaling deeply, he was rubbing his hand over his mouth, his eyes closed.  Changjo was free to stare; it wasn’t like L.Joe was watching.  If Changjo started licking, he was bound to notice, and that might be embarrassing, but…

            …well, maybe just a taste.  Ducking his head, Changjo licked up a creamy streak.

            “What,” L.Joe said, like he hadn’t even meant to say it.  “Ah, really?”

            Under the thickness of L.Joe’s cum he could taste the salt of L.Joe’s sweat, and he ran his tongue across L.Joe’s abs, seeking more.

            “Too much.”  It sounded like L.Joe was talking into his hands.  “The maknae’s going to kill me.”

            “Kill you?” Grinning, Changjo lifted his head.  “With my tongue?”

            L.Joe groaned, rolling away.

            Intrigued, Changjo slid in behind him, spooning up behind him, wrapping an arm around him and nuzzling the back of his neck.  Mmm, musk and sweat and L.Joe, his favorite flavor.  “Should we sleep like boyfriends?”

            “I have to get up,” L.Joe said.  “Wash.  You should go to the other bed, we won’t be comfortable like this.”

            Aw.  Disappointed, Changjo said, “Okay.”  He’d get up in a moment, then, when L.Joe did.

            But L.Joe never got up, and they were deeply asleep, still curled up together, when morning broke.

            Stretching out on the bed, C.A.P. laced his hands behind his head while Chunji moved around the room.  It turned him on to watch Chunji step and bend and crouch and stretch, turned him on to watch the quick movements of Chunji’s hands, to remember those hands fluttering and sliding over his own body, to anticipate fucking that hot little ass.

            He wasn’t used to having sex with Chunji every night.  A pretty good amount of the time, he would have liked to get laid, but he was so tired that he passed out before he ever got around to it.  And sometimes Chunji was busy, or one of the other members was more convenient.  So while he had sex with Chunji more than with anyone else, it wasn’t an all-of-the-time thing.  This boyfriend stuff made him wonder what it would be like to be with Chunji regularly.  If he had sex with Chunji every day for a month, he’d be exhausted, sore, limping around onstage…and smiling the broadest, happiest smile anyone had ever seen.

            As he chuckled to himself, Chunji glanced over at him.  “Not asleep?”

            “Nah.”  He ran his hand down his chest, sliding it under his T-shirt, rubbing his stomach, thinking about Chunji’s fingertips tracing over his abs.  “What are you doing?”  Silently, he added, “And why aren’t you climbing on my cock?”

            With a careless smile, Chunji said, “Oh, I’m just cleaning up,” and started moving clothes around.

            Hunh.  As much as C.A.P. loved Chunji’s hands and Chunji’s ass and those sweet, sensitive nipples and that long, slender neck and the sexy line of his back, by far C.A.P.’s favorite part of him was his face.  His pretty, fascinating face with its endless variety of damnably captivating expressions.  He could ensnare with a smile and seduce with a wink, and he could hold a crowd’s breathless attention just by asking for it with the lift of an eyebrow.  C.A.P. knew his expressions, knew all of his smiles, knew which ones were sincere and which ones were for effect and which were, although charming and sexy, complete bullshit.  This particular smile struck C.A.P. as completely false, meant to mask and distract.  What was he up to?

            Faintly curious, C.A.P. watched him hang clothes.  “You okay?”

            “Eh?”  Chunji shot him a meaningless smile.  “Of course I’m fine.  Why?”

            All right, C.A.P. wasn’t interested in dragging it out of him.  If it was important, he’d talk about it.  “The clothes can wait.  Clean later.”

            “Oh?”  Chunji folded another pair of pants - - he was feeling rebellious - - and fixed his hair, glancing around the room.  “Should I sleep, then?”

            “Yeah.”  Preferably after sex.

            Chunji pulled off his T-shirt, and if he hadn’t had C.A.P.’s attention before, he had all of it now.  Between having sex with him and dancing with him, C.A.P. knew his lithe, masculine body in perfect detail.  With just a glance at his bare torso, C.A.P. could remember his back arching in pleasure, his nipples hardening at a touch, his fingers circling his navel before following the faint trail of pubic hair downward, sweat making his skin slick as C.A.P.’s hands guided him closer.

            His pants were next to go, and C.A.P. grunted appreciatively, eyeing his skimpy boxer-briefs, remembering kneeing his thighs apart, hands sliding over his hips, his cock - - wait, “What are you doing?”

            “Going to sleep.”  Chunji’s expression was so innocent, C.A.P. wanted to believe him just because he was working so hard at it.  “Isn’t that what you said?”

            Flummoxed, C.A.P. watched Chunji settle into bed.  Did this mean that he wasn’t getting laid tonight?  Well, he could just go to sleep - -  but no, damn it, now he was horny.  He didn’t want to sleep, he wanted to feel Chunji’s naked body against his.  “What’s going on with you?”  Chunji was acting weird, giving him fake smiles, pretending not to know that he wanted it.  He didn’t buy that for a second.  Chunji always knew when he wanted it.  He loved that about Chunji, that every time he felt horny and ready for it, Chunji was always ready for it, too, smiling at him and touching him and responding to him.  Some people needed a moment to warm up, but Chunji was always right there with him, feeling it.

            “What?”  Chunji rubbed his nose; it was one of his tricks to cover his expression when he was trying to figure out how to sell whatever bullshit he was peddling.  “It’s late, isn’t it?”

            “C’mere,” he said, sitting up.  He was tired of playing; he wanted to feel Chunji in his arms, against his body, under his hands.

            “Why?  For what?”  Chunji started off innocent and ended up challenging.

            “What do you mean, for what?  What do you think, for soccer?  For sex, for sex.  Come here.”

            Sitting up, Chunji crossed his arms over his chest and gave C.A.P. a bold, assessing look.  “No.  You come here.”

            Okay, now they were getting somewhere, kind of.  C.A.P. laughed at the challenge in Chunji’s expression.  “Why?  Come here.”

            Chunji raised his eyebrows.  “You aren’t coming?”  He smiled cutely and waved.  “Okay!  Good night!  Sleep well!”  And then he lay down and closed his eyes.

            “Is this a game?” C.A.P. asked, laughing.  “You want me to go over there, I’ll go!”  Up now, off of his bed, he stripped naked.  “You want me to come?  Here I come.”

            Laughing, Chunji looked authentically happy now; there was nothing feigned or practiced about these smiles.  Kicking aside the cover, he welcomed C.A.P. into bed, his hands tugging C.A.P. down on top of him.

            His smile was so delighted, his eyes so bright with happiness, that C.A.P. kissed him eagerly, feeling good.  His skin was sweet and warm, and the way his deft, clever fingers skimmed right down to C.A.P.’s cock was like a reward for good behavior.  “You like it?” C.A.P. asked, kissing him again.  “You had fun making me chase you around?”

            “Yes,” Chunji admitted.  Smiling, he tapped his fingertips against C.A.P.’s mouth, tracing the outline of C.A.P.’s lips.  “It’s nice.  Do it more often.”

            He really meant it.  Intrigued, C.A.P. was turned on by this new side of him.  C.A.P. was used to things being so comfortable between them that he didn’t have to put a lot of work in.  That was the appeal of sex with the members, right?  Not having to question and romance and pursue.  And Chunji was so sexually confident with other men, C.A.P. was used to thinking of him as an aggressor.  “You want me to chase you around the dorm, asking for it?”

            Chunji’s smile was sensuous, his eyes flirtatious, his touch seductive as he slowly, lightly fondled C.A.P.’s cock.  “Couldn’t that be fun?”

            When Chunji looked at him like that, he was ready to agree with whatever came out of Chunji’s mouth.  He knew that about himself, but he couldn’t guard against it.  He’d just made Chunji really happy, and Chunji was smiling at him, and Chunji was touching his cock, and, yeah, if Chunji wanted him to do anything, he’d do it.  “Fun, yeah.”  Kissing Chunji’s mouth, he hooked his fingers in the fabric of Chunji’s underpants, tugging down.  “You think it’ll be fun to make me beg for it?”

            Chunji laughed, his eyes flashing happily.  He really was in a good mood.  “I beg you all of the time!”

            “Yeah.”  He grinned, feeling good, feeling shameless.  “But where else are you going to get a cock like this?”

            Despite the smile, Chunji’s eyes were challenging, and a sudden shift in Chunji’s grip reminded C.A.P. that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to tease the guy holding his cock.  “Where else are you going to get an ass like this?”

            Damn, that was so true.  “Nowhere,” C.A.P. admitted, and kissed him.

            The next day was a good one.  C.A.P. and Chunji were in great moods and were too interested in smiling at each other to spend much energy bossing Changjo around.  Any day where his hyungs weren’t finding reasons to mess with him was a happy day, as far as he was concerned.  Their schedule was light; after practice, they were going out for dinner, and then they’d have the rest of the night to themselves.

            Changjo was looking forward to spending all of that free time with L.Joe.  It was so good to be with him, lately.  He was really happy, laughing a lot; he was easily flustered and he kept blushing.  Changjo had spent all afternoon wanting to touch him, finding excuses to brush against him, whispering in his ear just to have a reason to be close enough to smell him.

            Having a boyfriend was a lot easier than Changjo had thought that it would be.  L.Joe was so different from what he’d expected, he was glad that they had a whole month together.  He wanted to learn more about this friendlier, sexier side of L.Joe, wanted to have a lot more sex, wanted to do more communicating.  L.Joe had told him to say things, to ask questions, that communication was an important part of a relationship.  He wondered what it would be like to confide in his boyfriend.

            This time, he was ready for it.  As Changjo advanced, L.Joe relaxed against the practice room wall, smirking.  Changjo came closer, closer, until their bodies were almost - - but not quite - - touching.  It was dangerous to enjoy it too much, stupid to be so obvious about soaking up this intense, sexual attention, but he loved the way Changjo watched his every move, loved the way Changjo had been sniffing around him all day, loved the way Changjo kept smiling at him like there was something new and fresh and sort of surprising and definitely attractive about him.

            Leaning against the wall, he smiled up at Changjo.  As soon as he pouted, Changjo’s gaze flew to his mouth, and it felt so good to have such an immediate effect on Changjo that he laughed, embarrassed by how much he liked it.

            “Hyung.”  Changjo shifted his weight, inching closer.  “I’m glad that you’re taking me to dinner.”

            That was what Changjo had to say to him?  Compared to the lust radiating from Changjo, that was a really simple statement.  It was so cute, he laughed.  “Are you hungry?”

            “Hungry?”  Changjo smiled.  “Hungry for you.”

            This relationship - - this situation - - whatever it was, it was still very new, and L.Joe wasn’t used to Changjo saying things like that to him.  Definitely not used to Changjo saying it directly to him while backing him against a wall and smiling at him with that fascinated, “you’re the answer to my every desire” expression.  He loved it; he could feel himself falling for it, believing in it, getting caught up in the confusion of shadows where his own fantasy met this strange reality.

            Changjo’s gaze flickered away, then back; looking bashful but adorably brave, he murmured, “It was good, last night.  You’re so…  I want to do it again.”

            So what?  “I’m so what?”  Wait, no, he shouldn’t ask that.  He shouldn’t care.  Ugh, this “boyfriend” situation was messing with his brain.  He’d been handling it as well as he could, before, but now they were having sex much more often, and Changjo kept looking at him - - not just looking but leering, sometimes, ogling, and at other times watching, tracking, like he was doing something fascinating just by sitting around eating lunch.  If they went out tonight, would Changjo stare at him while he ate, stare at him with that watchful, hungry-for-something-but-not-for-food expression?  Could he handle that in public?

            Changjo blushed, grinning, and poked at him, not in a flirtatious way but in an “aw, cone on, hyung,” way, and it was so normal, so typical, that L.Joe smiled and poked back.  “So sexy.  You know you’re sexy.”

            It was reassuring to see the familiar dongsaeng in the guy who’d fucked him so well last night.  “I know I’m sexy,” he agreed, trying not to laugh.  “I didn’t know that you think I’m sexy.”

            Changjo’s hands settled on his waist, drawing him in, and when he felt the stiffness of Changjo’s hard-on against his stomach, warmth spread through him.  He wanted to ask how Changjo could be so turned on when nothing was happening, not a thing going on, but he saw the desire in Changjo’s eyes and he knew.  Changjo’s T-shirt was damp from practice and warm with the heat of Changjo’s body, Changjo’s chest firm beneath.  “You don’t know?” Changjo asked, close against him, whispering it right in his ear.  “You don’t know I think you’re sexy?  Not after last night?”

            He’d felt sexy.  He’d felt amazing.  “You have sex with Ricky, and you don’t think he’s sexy.”

            He didn’t get a reply to that, really.  Changjo just whispered, “L.Joe hyung,” and kissed his neck.  He was closing his eyes and trying to melt through the wall when Ricky protested, “Ya, I’m sexy!” and C.A.P. dragged Changjo off of him.

            “Rules,” C.A.P. said, and thumped both of them on the head.

            “I’m very sexy,” Ricky muttered, and C.A.P. thumped him on the head, too.

            “I arranged everything for dinner,” Chunji said.  “After practice we’ll shower, and our manager will drop us off at our restaurants.  It’s close enough to the dorm to walk back if you’re too cheap for a taxi.”

            “You already chose the restaurants?” Niel asked.

            “It’s not fancy, is it?” Ricky asked.

            “I don’t want to dress up,” Niel said.

            “If it’s too expensive, Niel hyung won’t buy me anything good,” Ricky said.  “I’ll have to eat the cheap crap.”

            “They’re nice places but they’re not too nice,” Chunji said.  “Shut up, you’ll like it.”

            C.A.P. showered and changed, but he didn’t dress up.  He didn’t know why he felt so weird, with this uneasy prickle wandering up and down his spine; he ate dinner with Chunji all of the time.  He considered wearing a hat and sunglasses, then wondered what was wrong with him; this wasn’t a date.  It wasn’t like they had anything to hide.  If there was anyone he could eat comfortably in public with, it was one of his members.

            The restaurant was kind of a date-night restaurant, though.  The waitresses were really polite and the prices were less “catch a meal with one of the members” and more “special occasion.”  After they ordered, he sat back.  There was nothing to do, so he looked at Chunji.

            Chunji arranged things on the table, smiled at people, fixed his hair, and eventually got around to looking at C.A.P.  “Sleeping with your eyes open?”

            “Nah.”  Not asleep, just admiring the view.  Chunji had beautiful eyes.

            “When we chose members for this,” Chunji said.  “Rock, paper, scissors.  You said that you wanted L.Joe to be your partner.”  He tossed his head and folded his hands.  “Why?”

            “Why L.Joe?”  Eh.  C.A.P. shrugged, stretching out his legs under the table.  “He’s low-maintenance.”

            Chunji raised his eyebrows and laughed.  “Are you calling me high-maintenance?”

            “L.Joe wouldn’t make me bring him here or ask me to buy him a cell phone case.”

            A slow nod.  Chunji stared at his water glass, turning it around and around on the table.

            What?  Why was he acting like this?  “Did I hurt your feelings?” C.A.P. asked in puzzled disbelief.

            “No.”  Sitting up straighter, Chunji shook himself and flashed a brief, dazzling smile.  “Is that it?  L.Joe’s not demanding and I am?  Is everything else the same?  Or do you prefer the way he,” Chunji licked his lips, shot a glance at a passing waitress, “dances, too?”

            What kind of question was that?  “You know I think you’re a better ‘dancer.’”  He grinned, waggling his eyebrows.  “The way you move.  I love it.”

            Chunji blushed; his smile was pleased.  Crossing his legs, he toyed with his napkin for a moment, then looked across the table at C.A.P. again.  “If you were going to add another member to the group.  Not for a thirty-day trial period, but for real.  You’d want someone like L.Joe, not someone like me?”

            They hadn’t been talking about dancing, and now they weren’t talking about members, either, but boyfriends.  C.A.P. sighed, rubbing his forehead.  “I’d find someone who doesn’t have conversations like this in public.”  Looking down at his hands, he shrugged.  “Neither one of you, I guess.  What’s the point of finding someone else like you when you’re already right here?”

            “I…  Fine.  Never mind.”  Chunji picked up his water glass and set it down without drinking anything.  “You’re right, it’s a stupid question.”  His smile was forced.  “Practice went well, didn’t it?”

            C.A.P. stared at him in disbelief.  “What’s wrong with you?”

            “What?”  Chunji gave him a charming smile.  “Practice didn’t go well?”

            Damn it.  If he weren’t an idol, or if they weren’t in public, he’d react any one of a dozen ways to Chunji’s bullshit, but since he was an idol and they were in public, his options were limited.  “Come here,” he said, pulling his phone out of his pocket.  When Chunji didn’t move, he smiled, baring his teeth, and said, “Come here,” in a honeyed, firm voice all of his members knew to obey.

            With a chic sniff, Chunji stood up, fixing his clothes and taking his sweet time stepping around the table.  As soon as he was close enough, C.A.P. grabbed his wrist and pulled him down until he was sitting on C.A.P.’s knee.  Arm around his waist, C.A.P. said, “Look at this,” and started playing some old video.  Then, as Chunji’s head bent to watch, he whispered in Chunji’s ear.  “It’s this, this bullshit.  Asking stupid questions and having private conversations in public.  Jerking people around and getting emotional when nothing’s happening.  That’s why I wanted to play this game with L.Joe and not with you, so I wouldn’t have to deal with crap like this for nothing.  L.Joe wouldn’t come up with a game like this, and that’s why I’d rather play it with him than you.”

            Chunji didn’t speak, and C.A.P. couldn’t see his expression at this angle.

            “Let’s skip the game and just have dinner.  We’ll eat dinner as members.  When we get back to the dorm, you can play the game and get sulky and pout at me and call me names.”

            “Oh, no,” Chunji said in alarm, grabbing C.A.P.’s phone and staring at it.  Tearing himself away from C.A.P.’s grip, he held the phone to his ear.  “When?  Is it bad?”  He looked upset, worried, serious; people were starting to stare.  Frozen, C.A.P. didn’t know whether to play along or snatch the phone back and tell him to get a grip.  “Okay.  That’s such a shame.  Yes.  I’ll be there soon.”  Pretending to hang up, he set the phone down in front of C.A.P.  “I’m sorry, I’ll have to leave first.  Stay and enjoy the food.  You work hard, you’ve earned it.”  He bowed, pushed his chair in, and left the restaurant.

            Changjo hadn’t eaten out with L.Joe, just the two of them without anyone else, for a while.  And when they had, it hadn’t been this nice.  Tonight didn’t seem like a date, though; he wasn’t self-conscious and trying to impress anyone.  He was comfortable and relaxed and having a good time.  It was just like going out with any of the members, really.  Aside from how unbearably sexy L.Joe was and how much he enjoyed watching L.Joe eat.

            It was kind of funny, though, what a good time he was having.  “I didn’t know you were so adorable,” he said, watching L.Joe drink.

            L.Joe gave him an “oh, really” look and, setting the glass down, reached across the table toward him.

            “Hyung!  We’re in public,” he protested, ducking and pushing his chair back.

            “There aren’t any cameras,” L.Joe said, feinting at him again.  “Stop hiding.”

            “What?  Why?” he complained, not coming any closer.  “Just because I said you’re adorable?”

            “I’m not!”  L.Joe stood up, lightly rapped the side of his head, and sat back down.

            “You are!”  Worried about his hair, he patted it carefully, wishing that he had a mirror.

            “You look fine.”  L.Joe rolled his eyes, smoothed down Changjo’s sideburns, and sat back again.  Pacified, Changjo settled back in to eat.  “And I am not adorable,” he added pointedly.

            “So, so cute,” Changjo said.

            L.Joe kicked him under the table.  “Ya.  I’m your hyung.  If I say that I’m not cute, I’m not.”

            Laughing, Changjo enjoyed everything about L.Joe’s challenging expression, from the stubborn set of his mouth to the “and don’t do it again” flash in his eyes.  “No?  What are you?”

            “Ah.”  L.Joe squinted thoughtfully, running his tongue over his teeth, then nodded, relaxing.  “Handsome.  I’m very handsome.”  He gave Changjo a stern look.  “Call me handsome.”

            “And sexy,” Changjo reminded him.

            He blushed and busied himself with his plate like he hadn’t heard that.

            C.A.P. finished his meal like nothing was wrong.  Nothing was wrong.  Chunji was acting up for no good reason and would get over it soon enough.  Everything was fine.

            He was irritated with himself for feeling tense and guilty.  He hadn’t done anything to feel bad about.  He didn’t know why he was letting Chunji get to him.  He didn’t understand what was going on with Chunji in the first place.  Something about this stupid boyfriend thing was making everyone act more foolish than usual.  He’d hoped to get more sex out of it, not more weird personal drama.  If he wanted weird personal drama, he’d ask Chunji to be his boyfriend for real.

            After he ate, he strolled back to the dorm.  He should stay out, have fun, call a friend, do something, but he felt uncomfortable; he wanted to make sure that Chunji was okay.  He couldn’t explain that impulse - - of course Chunji was okay.  Chunji was an adult, an intelligent professional.  It had been one strange argument; Chunji was probably over it already, and when he got back to the dorm, Chunji would laugh at him for sitting there so awkwardly during that fake phone call.

            When he walked into the dorm, it was quiet.  The kids were probably still out, enjoying their time off.  Which was exactly what he should be doing.  He’d see if Chunji was there; maybe they could go out, salvage what was left of the night together.  “Chunji!”  He walked farther into the dorm and - - what the hell?  “What are you doing?” he asked as Chunji walked out of his room with an armload of clothes.

            “Moving back.”  Chunji had Changjo’s crap all over the hallway and was dumping his crap back into L.Joe’s room.


            Pushing past him, Chunji went in and piled the clothes on L.Joe’s bed.  “The game’s over.”

            It was?  For good?  He hadn’t really expected that.  “Well, uh, but why do you have to move back?  You were a pretty good roommate.”

            “It’s okay.”  Chunji ducked around him, going back into his room.  “You can fuck Changjo, and he won’t be so high-maintenance.”

            What was going on?  Why did this feel like a real break-up?  Not liking any of this - - not Chunji’s attitude, not Chunji’s behavior, not the nauseous feeling in his gut - - C.A.P. grabbed Chunji’s arm, shoving him back against the wall.  He’d meant to do it to get Chunji to hold still, so they could hold a goddamned normal conversation, but as soon as he did it, Chunji inhaled and looked away.  “What?”  Why wouldn’t Chunji meet his eyes?  What - - “You’ve been crying?!”

            “What?”  Looking affronted, Chunji twisted himself free.  “I’ve been moving.”

            Moving, hell, he’d also been crying.  C.A.P. stared into his face, stunned, dismayed.

            Chunji huffed impatiently.  “Do my eyes look red?”

            No, but, “Do you think I don’t know you?”  Whenever Chunji had been crying and didn’t want people to recognize it, he put drops in his eyes to clear them up, but he still looked all weird and puffy, like he did now.  It was a bad shock to see him like this.  Hell, what was going on?  “I’m in way over my head, here,” C.A.P. admitted, letting go of him.  “Did I say something?”

            “It’s nothing,” Chunji muttered, fixing his hair.  “It’s stress, we’re under stress.  I’ll be fine tomorrow.”

            C.A.P. really wanted to believe him.  “I guess this game was a bad idea.”

            “Yeah.”  Chunji snorted laughter and almost met his eyes.  “I think so.”

            “You…”  C.A.P. looked around at the jumbled mess of belongings strewn over two rooms and the hallway.  “You kind of destroyed the dorm.”

            Sighing, Chunji grimaced.

            It was really hard to see him upset.  Really hard to see his beautiful eyes so vulnerable.  “It’s still our night off.  We could go out, get drinks or something.”

            “No.”  That smile was almost natural, but not at all, really.  “I should clean up.”

            “Let the kids do it,” C.A.P. urged, putting an arm around his waist, steering him away.  “Half of this crap is Changjo’s.  He can put it away.”

            Chunji laughed and actually met his eyes that time.  Just that one look reassured him, put him back on solid footing.  Chunji was okay; it would be okay.  “Yeah.  That seems fair.”

            “Very fair,” C.A.P. agreed, opening the front door.  “Where do you want to go?”

            Halfway along their walk back to the dorm, Changjo took L.Joe’s hand.  He laced their fingers, and swung their arms for a while, and counted how many times he could squeeze L.Joe’s hand with ten-second intervals before L.Joe laughed and linked their arms and said, “Stop it.”

            Now that dinner was over, and they were headed back to the dorm, the only thing on his mind, really, was sex.  He thought, first, about the most significant question: did he want to come in L.Joe’s mouth or in L.Joe’s ass?  Once he’d settled on his answer - - which was, honestly, however L.Joe wanted it - - he thought about other things, like which positions might be most satisfying, and how much he wanted to go down on L.Joe, and how that was kind of unusual.  Yeah, he liked sucking cock, but it was all relative; on a scale of ten, where one was kissing and ten was fucking somebody, sucking cock was sort of at a five.  But sucking L.Joe’s cock was kind of a seven.  Or an eight.

            L.Joe bumped into him lightly and smiled at him.  “You look like you’re having deep, important thoughts.  You’re not plotting anything, are you?”

            Changjo loved how happy and interested and bright his eyes were when he smiled.  “Maybe a nine.”  Uh.  “No?”

            “Nine?” L.Joe repeated, his expression friendly and curious.  “Nine what?”

            “Nothing.”  He really wanted to stop right there in the middle of the sidewalk and kiss L.Joe’s mouth.  He wished that he could.  As soon as they got to the dorm, he would.  He’d kiss L.Joe, and they’d go into the bedroom - - or maybe they’d have sex right there in the front room, or on the couch, if no one else was home.  He wanted to undress L.Joe himself, and take his time with it, so he could touch everything, kiss everything.  He wanted to stroke L.Joe’s calves and kiss the small of L.Joe’s back and fuck L.Joe slowly and soak up all of the moaning, lip-biting, groaning ways L.Joe exhibited pleasure.  “If we weren’t in public, what would you do?”

            “Right now?”

            He nodded, wondering what L.Joe would say, enjoying the way L.Joe’s hand rested casually on his forearm.

            “Uh…  Maybe I would find someone to kiss.”

            He grinned.  “Anybody?”

            “Mmm.”  L.Joe gazed into the distance and squinted thoughtfully.  “Somebody with pretty brown eyes and sexy lips and thick hair.”

            “Sexy lips?” he repeated, relishing that detail.  “You think so?”

            “Shut up, I’m thinking.  And a gorgeous body.”

            “Gorgeous,” Changjo repeated.  Stopping right there on the sidewalk, he danced a little, grooving.

            Laughing, L.Joe pushed him away.  “Stop, oh my god.  So embarrassing.”

            L.Joe thought that he had a gorgeous body.  Gloating, he shuffled and kicked and danced along, keeping up as L.Joe walked away, then fell back in step, taking L.Joe’s arm again.  “What about height?  Someone taller than you?”

            “No,” L.Joe said firmly.  “No one taller.”

            Changjo laughed at how insistent he sounded.  “What’s wrong with taller?”

            “I’m tired of looking up at everybody all of the time.  It’s annoying.”

            Wrapping his arm around L.Joe’s waist, he squeezed lightly.  “Maybe the person could kneel.”

            “Kneel while we’re kissing?” L.Joe asked.  “Are you making sense?”

            Ducking his head, he brushed the tip of his nose against L.Joe’s ear.  “He doesn’t have to kiss you on the mouth.”

            C.A.P. got Chunji into the taxi and closed the door before he gave the driver directions back to the dorm.  Slumping against his shoulder, Chunji seemed to doze for a few blocks; C.A.P. gazed through the window and felt relieved that things seemed better.  A few drinks, some sleep, and whatever had gone wrong tonight would be behind them.  Now that Chunji was rooming with him, he kind of wanted to keep things that way.  It made sex even more convenient, and even aside from that, he liked seeing Chunji dress and undress, liked the thought of Chunji being right beside him in the next bed.  It was sort of…cozy.

            “Where are we?”  Chunji coughed and sat up, rubbing his eyes.

            “Going back to the dorm.”  C.A.P. missed his weight, his warmth.

            With an unfamiliar sound, a sort of bitter laugh, Chunji leaned forward, putting his face in his hands.  “God.  I don’t want to go back there.”

            What?  “Why not?”

            Sounding grim and remarkably sober, he muttered, “Because you’ll be there,” and looked away, out of the window.  Leaning forward like that, he looked hunched over, like he was protecting himself.  It was eerie.

            Obviously C.A.P. had overestimated how quickly Chunji would get over whatever was wrong.  Or had underestimated whatever was wrong.  What the hell was wrong, anyway?  “Okay, so where do you want to go?  Am I supposed to dump your drunk ass at your parents’ house?”

            Chunji shook his head, still looking away.  “I’ll get a hotel.”

            It bothered C.A.P. that Chunji had an answer ready, that he might really go ahead and do it, that he was actually going to spend the night in a hotel rather than go back to the dorm.  Because of him.  “You don’t have any money with you.”

            Chunji, damn him, had an answer for that, too.  “Aren’t we going to the dorm?  I’ll get my wallet there.”

            Shit.  C.A.P. stared at the back of Chunji’s head.  “Look, you’re drunk.  You’re not even making sense.”  He was making perfect sense about practical matters, actually; the only thing C.A.P. couldn’t understand was why he was upset in the first place.  “At least let me take you to the hotel so you’re not wandering around on your own.  I’ll pay for the room.”

            Chunji didn’t say anything in response to that.  C.A.P. leaned forward and talked to the driver for a moment; minutes later, they were at a hotel.

            While Chunji stood quietly to the side, pretending to be sober, C.A.P. booked the room.  Not really eager to leave him, C.A.P. went up with him.  It was a nice room.  Chunji closed the curtains and turned on the TV and wouldn’t look at C.A.P.

            “You have your phone,” C.A.P. said.  It was a pointless comment; he was acting like he was abandoning Chunji by the side of the road or something.  Next he’d start instructing Chunji whom to call in case of emergency.  “I.  Uh.  You can get a cab back.  In the morning.”  He pulled out his wallet again, put some money on the table.  It seemed wrong to walk out while Chunji was upset.  Then again, all he could see was Chunji’s back.  For all he knew, Chunji was smiling over there, or half-asleep.  “You okay?”


            He was frustrated.  He wanted to yell at Chunji, but for what?  “Great,” he muttered, and he left.  As soon as he’d closed the door, he hesitated.  Maybe-

            He heard a click.

            Chunji had bolted the door.

            “Fuck you, too,” he muttered.  Groaning to himself, rubbing his hand through his hair, he left.

            Changjo shook water from his hair, spraying it all over the bathroom.

            “Ya!”  L.Joe shoved a towel into his hands.  “What are you, a dog?”

            Drawing L.Joe close, he growled and nipped at L.Joe’s ear.  “Maybe.”

            L.Joe kissed his jaw, then nudged him aside.  “Let’s dry off and-”

            “And get dirty again?” Changjo suggested.

            L.Joe was smiling at him fondly, happily.  “How much sex do you think you can have in one night?”

            Good question.  “Let’s find out.”

            As L.Joe laughed, his towel hung loose in his hands.  Taking it from him, Changjo wrapped it around his shoulders, covering his back and pressing up snugly against his front.  “You’re so proud of yourself,” L.Joe said, his hands whisking Changjo’s towel away and dropping it.  “So confident about how well you’ve fucked me.”

            “Shouldn’t I be?”  He kissed L.Joe’s mouth, did it again, did it again, more slowly, and L.Joe’s fingers threaded through his hair, getting a grip on him, tugging him down for another kiss.  “You come so hard.  I love the way you-”

            “Ya!”  C.A.P. was in the doorway.  He looked over, startled; he hadn’t realized that C.A.P. had come back to the dorm.  “Get out here and clean this up!”

            Clean - - what, his stuff?  “I didn’t do that.”  He wasn’t sure who actually had done it.  He couldn’t think of why any of the members would dump his stuff around, but it must have been Chunji.  He hadn’t spent a lot of time worrying about it; he’d just made sure that there was enough room on the bed to fuck L.Joe.  “Chunji-”

            “Is it yours?” C.A.P. asked.  “Are those your clothes all over the dorm?”

            “Yes,” he admitted, “but-”

            “Then clean it up!” C.A.P. ordered.  “Now!”

            “Hyung.”  L.Joe was frowning.  “Can’t he do it in the morning?  It’s our night off.  It won’t make a difference.”

            “Now,” C.A.P. barked.  “You can help him.  You get your stuff out of the hallway, and you get Chunji’s crap out of my room.”

            “Chunji’s crap?” L.Joe repeated.

            “Why?” Changjo asked.  “What-”

            “The game’s over,” C.A.P. snapped.  “No more playing these little boyfriend games.  It’s done.”  He turned and walked away.

            Changjo really didn’t like anything about this.  He liked rooming with L.Joe and he liked this boyfriend thing.  He’d planned to spend the next hour fucking L.Joe again, not cleaning up.  “I don’t want to move back with Ricky.”

            L.Joe had pulled away and was staring at the floor like he was in a trance.

            “L.Joe hyung,” Changjo said.  “I don’t want to move back with Ricky.”

            “Eh?”  L.Joe looked up at him, then away.  “You should.  It’s more fun for you to room with him than with a hyung.  Chunji and I should be together, it’s more comfortable that way.”  L.Joe started to walk away.  “I’ll clean up Chunji’s stuff.”

            “Hyung.”  L.Joe kept walking.  “You’re still wet.”  L.Joe kept walking.  “We’re still going to have sex,” Changjo said.  “Aren’t we?”

            Chunji stared at the money on the table.

            Maybe C.A.P. had been watching too many movies.  Or maybe Chunji had.  That was how the guys in movies paid sex workers, right?  They left cash behind when they were finished.  That was what it looked like.  Like “thanks for a good screw” money.  “Thanks for being a convenient lay.”  That was what that money said.

            Chunji put it in his pocket so he wouldn’t have to look at it, but the message was still there.  He was a convenient lay.  He was an easy screw.  He was always available and always enthusiastic.  And until tonight, he’d never asked for anything else.  He’d been content with good, easy sex, and he’d been providing it for years.

            Lately, he’d wanted more between them.  He’d thought that they could be more than members to each other, but he hadn’t been sure how to broach the subject.  He’d seen no good way to suggest, “Hey, want to be my boyfriend?” without risking rejection.  And then MBLAQ had dropped the solution into his lap.  It was perfect: a way to prove to C.A.P. that they were a good couple, without having to risk emotional vulnerability.  And if he was wrong and the experience wasn’t a good one, at the end of the month he could back out gracefully and C.A.P. would never need to know what his real motive had been.

            A temporary attempt at a relationship.  As close as they were, as important as they were to each other, had he really asked for so much?

            “Pretend to be my boyfriend.”  “No, I don’t want to, you’re too high-maintenance, you’re too demanding, you’re not fun and easy like L.Joe.”

            “Take me to dinner.  Spend some time on me, just me.”  “No, it’s boring, it’s expensive, it’s not worth it.”

            “Buy me something cheap and insignificant just to show me you’ll do something for me, just to show me you’ll take care of me a little.”  “No, shut up, stop asking for things.”

            “If you had a real boyfriend, would he be anything like me?”  “Hell, no.  Why should I bother?”

            “You don’t see me as anything at all, do you?  Nothing more than a member, nothing more than a piece of ass you don’t have to work for.  If I weren’t already in your dorm with my legs spread, you wouldn’t look at me or even care.”  “Wait, you’re not upset, are you?”

            Chunji hurled the bed pillows across the room.

            While L.Joe moved Chunji’s stuff out of C.A.P.’s room, Changjo moved his own things out of the hallway and out of L.Joe’s way, dumping it all on Ricky’s bed.  As soon as he was finished, he stood in L.Joe’s doorway.  “Ready?”

            L.Joe was shoving Chunji’s skin care products into a drawer.  “For what?”

            “Sex.”  He had to explain?

            “What, with you?”  L.Joe pushed the drawer shut.  “We aren’t playing that game anymore.”

            “We can have sex anyway.  I don’t care about the game, it’s stupid.”

            “Didn’t we already do it tonight?”  L.Joe turned to him, gesturing around the room.  “This is a mess.  I’ll clean it up.  You can have sex with Ricky when he gets back.”

            “I don’t want Ricky, I want you.  This isn’t even your mess.  Can’t Chunji hyung do it?”

            “I said no, now drop it.”

            Changjo felt like he’d misunderstood something.  “You really don’t want to?”

            L.Joe stacked shoe boxes.  “I really don’t.”

            That hurt.  Like it really hurt.  He felt insulted and confused and hurt.  He didn’t know why; it wasn’t like he wasn’t used to it.  His hyungs rejected him sexually all of the time.  Especially L.Joe.  But things had been going so well, and he wanted L.Joe so much, and tonight had been so great, and - - fine, fuck it, whatever.  He’d fuck Ricky and it would be great.  Steaming, wishing that he had the nerve to tell L.Joe off, he stormed away-

            -and then kicked his door and stormed right back.  He walked right up to L.Joe’s shoulder and demanded, “Why?”

            Startled, L.Joe jerked away from him.  “What?”

            “You said to communicate and ask questions,” he snapped.  “You said that I shouldn’t just assume things and mess everything up, I should clear things up.  So tell me why you don’t want me.  What would be so bad about having sex with me that you’d rather clean up someone else’s shit?”

            “I…  I didn’t say that.”  Looking flustered, L.Joe turned away, messing with Chunji’s clothes.  “The game is over, we’re not boyfriends anymore.  It’s finished.  Drop it.”

            “What, we can only have sex if we’re playing some game?  You don’t like the way I do it?  You don’t want me?  Is it the way I touch you?”  He felt like he was pleading, and he sounded like it, too, sounded weak and confused.  It was awful.

            “It’s not that.”  L.Joe scratched his head.  “Where is Chunji, anyway?”

            “You’re changing the subject?  You told me to ask questions!  Why won’t you answer them?”

            “Shut up,” C.A.P. snapped.  What?!  Was this his new hobby, popping up in doors and ruining Changjo’s conversations?  “I’m not in the mood for it.  What are you arguing about?”

            “Nothing,” L.Joe said.

            “L.Joe hyung thinks that cleaning up after other people is better than letting me touch him,” Changjo snapped.  “I guess ‘fuck me, maknae, I need it, I need it,’ means, ‘never do this to me again,’ and I just got confused.”

            L.Joe glared at him.  “Your hormones aren’t my problem.  I liked it when it was happening.  That doesn’t mean that I want it again.”

            Wow.  Just…  “Wow.”  Changjo swallowed.  L.Joe had already turned away again; he stared at the back of L.Joe’s head.  He felt so bad he didn’t even know what to call this feeling.  He was so angry and so hurt and so - - so - - so - - so betrayed, he felt betrayed.  He’d thought that he and L.Joe understood each other, or shared something, or were getting closer, or, or something, he wasn’t even sure what.  He’d thought that they saw things the same way.  Damn, had he been wrong.  “I guess you’ll never want me again.  I guess I shouldn’t even bother asking.”

            “Yeah,” L.Joe said.  “I guess so.”

            Oh, god, why did it bother him so much?  Why did it hurt like this?  He wanted to step in closer behind L.Joe and wrap his arms around L.Joe and press his face against L.Joe’s neck.  But the L.Joe who would have tolerated it had turned into the L.Joe who would have welcomed it, and then the L.Joe who would have liked it had turned into the L.Joe who didn’t want to be touched by him ever again.

            “Don’t start crying.  I’m not in the mood for it tonight,” C.A.P. warned.

            Cry?  He was too upset to cry.  Too angry to cry.  The only thing he really wanted to do was kick L.Joe as hard as he could.  Brushing past C.A.P., he left and went to his room.  He was so fed up, he couldn’t contain it anymore.  In his own doorway, he turned and shouted.  “Ya!  Lee Byunghun!  Byunghun-ya!  Fuck you!”

            L.Joe didn’t even answer.

            More than anything else, Chunji felt stupid.

            Hurt.  Disillusioned.  Embarrassed.  Resentful.  Angry.  Regretful.  Worried.  And really, really stupid.

            What had he thought?  Had he really expected this grand plan to go well?  Had he really thought that somewhere in MBLAQ’s method was the solution he’d been looking for?

            It had seemed so easy.  Too easy.  But it hadn’t been simple at all.  It had only been wrong.

            Things were never going to be the same between himself and C.A.P.  Oh, patterns would reassert themselves and ingrained routines would eventually take over again.  And C.A.P. might not notice a thing, in time.  But for Chunji, something had been lost.  Some hope or dream or wish had been damaged and could never be set right again.  He’d never feel as optimistic or as free with C.A.P.

            He was ashamed of his own behavior, but that wasn’t bad enough.  On top of it, C.A.P. had humiliated him.  He didn’t know how much of it had been deliberate, wasn’t sure how well C.A.P. understood the situation, but the humiliation was there, nonetheless.  That hideous moment in the restaurant would burn in his memory forever.

            He’d thought that he could have it all.  The sexual freedom he needed and the relationship with C.A.P. that he wanted, all at once.  Shit, what had he been thinking?  His first clue had been right there, staring him in the face, when he’d asked who C.A.P. wanted to end up with and C.A.P. had said, “L.Joe.”  That should have stopped him dead in his tracks.  But no, he’d pushed forward, stubborn and insistent, sure that he could make it work, determined to have his own way.

            Stupid.  He felt stupid.  He’d overestimated himself and misread the situation and made terrible assumptions, and C.A.P. hadn’t even lasted a week as his boyfriend.  Had never wanted to be with him in the first place.

            His phone rang.  It was L.Joe.  The low-maintenance one.  L.Joe wouldn’t come up with a game like this, and that’s why I’d rather play it with him than you.  With unsteady hands, Chunji turned off his phone.

            C.A.P. stared at the empty disarray where Chunji’s things had been.  Stared at the stripped bed where Chunji had slept, where they’d had sex last night.

            He didn’t know what he was so interested in.  Until a couple of days ago, it had been Niel’s space, and Niel would move back in, and everything would go on like usual.

            He pushed away the lingering regret that he hadn’t stayed in Chunji’s bed last night.  After sex, he’d gotten up and gone back to his own bed.  There hadn’t been enough room, and there had been no reason to stay, anyway.  Eh, well, there had been sappy, emotional, sentimental, foolish reasons, but no real reasons, nothing practical.  Except now that he thought about it, now that he remembered the way Chunji had sleepily murmured, “Where are you going?” and the way Chunji had been so slow to let go, he wondered if maybe Chunji had wanted him to stay.  But Chunji hadn’t said anything, hadn’t asked him to stay, so it couldn’t have been important.

            He remembered Chunji crawling into bed with him this morning, good-natured and smiling, teasing him.  He’d thought, at the time, how much nicer it was to wake up to Chunji’s pretty face than Niel’s sleepy, bleary, puffy face.  Even before Chunji had started flirting with him, just seeing Chunji’s smile and those beautiful eyes had made waking up - - well, not great, but easier.  Better.

            Seeing Chunji had been improving his mood for a while.  He remembered a few mornings ago, the morning before Chunji had spent the night at MBLAQ’s dorm.  He’d been in bed, feeling grumpy and debating with himself how long he could linger in bed before the manager would come in after him, wondering how loud the wrestling in the kitchen could get before he’d have to intervene.  Chunji had walked in and sat down on the edge of his bed, curling up comfortably against his thigh and stroking his abs, telling him that Seungho had said that night was a good one, trying to get him to commit to ending practice by a certain time, telling him to get his lazy ass out of bed.  The conversation and the petting and the faint teasing had been so companionable, for a moment he’d lingered on some, well, some fond thoughts about Chunji and how much Chunji meant to him.  And then he’d been distracted by thoughts of Chunji’s plans with Seungho and by memories of Chunji’s last visit to MBLAQ’s dorm, and he’d gone to jack off in the shower.

            If things were different…  But things weren’t different.  He was who he was, and Chunji was Chunji, and Teen Top was Teen Top, and none of that was going to change.  No point in wasting energy getting upset about it.

            Changjo didn’t want to clean up, so he didn’t.  He wished that someone would come in and try to tell him to clean up; he was itching for a fight.  But no one did.  Apparently C.A.P. didn’t care, and L.Joe didn’t give a fuck about him anyway, right?

            He sat on the floor in his room, surrounded by haphazard piles of his belongings, and pulled his knees up to his chest, and hated L.Joe.

            After a while, Niel and Ricky came back to the dorm.  They talked noisily, and then they came in and started asking a hundred questions about how his night had been and why the dorm was such a wreck and where the hyungs were and why he’d made such a big mess and what was wrong with him?  He told them to leave him alone, but that didn’t work, and eventually they were sitting on misshapen stacks of his clothing, asking quieter questions and looking concerned.

            “Why do you care so much if L.Joe hyung doesn’t want to have sex with you?” Niel asked.  “He didn’t want to have sex with you before, either.”

            “He did, sometimes,” Ricky argued.

            “Yeah, sometimes,” Niel said.  “More than I do.  But not as much as Chunji hyung and Ricky.”

            “But it’s different with L.Joe hyung than with you,” Changjo told Ricky.  “With you and Chunji hyung and C.A.P. hyung, it’s like…”  He had no idea how to explain it until he remembered that night’s dinner.  “You know how you’re hungry, and you eat, and it tastes great and it fills you up and you’re really glad that you ate?  That’s what it’s like with you.  I want it, and I have a good time, and I’m really glad that I did it.  L.Joe hyung is like a really good meal with really good steak.  You want it so much more, and you look forward to every bite, and you savor it.  And afterward, you think, ‘Ah, delicious, that was amazing, that was the best.’”  They were staring at him like he’d said something wrong, so he tried to explain.  “There’s more anticipation before it, and you’re happier, afterwards.  It’s more interesting and more satisfying.  And while you’re eating, it’s really…”  He searched for words.  “There are textures and flavors and it’s just so good in your mouth that every bite’s special.  You don’t rush through a steak.”

            Niel widened his eyes and blinked dramatically.  “Are you talking about our L.Joe hyung?  The short one who raps and punches people?”

            “You…  You sound like you like him,” Ricky said.

            “Is this a hidden camera?” Niel asked, looking around with a worried, suspicious expression.  “Are you drunk?  Is this a joke?  Did you hit your head?  Did you eat rotten food?  Do you remember your own name?  What day is it?  When’s my birthday?  Is someone holding your family for ransom?”

            “Stop talking!” Changjo exclaimed, pushing at Niel’s knee.  “I don’t like him,” he told Ricky.  “I liked being his boyfriend.”  That sounded funny.  “I didn’t think that I would.  I thought that he’d just order me around a lot and scold me.  But he laughs a lot.”

            “Yes,” Ricky said, completely deadpan.  “He laughs right after he punches me.  That’s how our conversations go.”

            “No, not like that,” Changjo said, rolling his eyes.  How did most of their conversations go?  “He laughs, and he smiles, and then I want to kiss him because his mouth is so sexy.”

            Niel said, “Ya!  You like him!”

            “I don’t!” Changjo protested, but he could feel himself smiling, and then he felt self-conscious, and then his cheeks felt hot, and the way Niel and Ricky were staring at him only made him feel more nervous.  “Stop staring!  I like him a little!”

            “Changjo.”  Niel squeezed his thigh.  “If he’s threatening you and making you say this, say ‘elephant’ in your next sentence.  Okay?”  Niel winked broadly.  “Let’s go to the zoo on our next day off!  What kind of animal do you want to see?”

            “Stop being foolish,” Changjo said.  Did he like L.Joe?  He wanted to be L.Joe’s boyfriend again.  He’d really liked it.  Really liked it.  Dinner had been really nice.  When he thought about sitting there across the table from L.Joe, he wanted to go back, wanted to sit down again and gaze into L.Joe’s eyes and make L.Joe laugh and watch L.Joe eat and bump against L.Joe’s knees under the table.  Being with L.Joe, even only thinking about L.Joe, made him feel a lot of things all at once.  Sexual things, like lust and desire and arousal, and fluttery emotional things that made him excited and nervous.  Things he didn’t feel for anyone else.  Things he felt for other people but not as strongly as he did for L.Joe.

            The more he thought about it, sex with L.Joe really was different from sex with the other members.  He really liked sex, but aside from the amazing hormonal rushes, it had always been just another thing he did with the members.  Like eating together or showering together or dancing together.  He was attracted to them, and they were sexually compatible with him - - some more than others, Niel not at all - - and when it was time they made out with him, and undressed, and had sex.  It was simple.  Straightforward.  It was terrific, and when it was over, they hung out and talked or washed up or slept.  He didn’t have exotic or complex emotions about it.  It didn’t inspire new feelings toward the members, like, he wasn’t suddenly obsessively attracted to Ricky, and he didn’t suddenly want to write love poems about Chunji, and he didn’t see C.A.P. in some romantic new light.  He didn’t want them to feel any differently about him, either.

            That wasn’t really true, though.  He kind of wanted L.Joe to see him differently, now.  He wanted to believe that L.Joe felt like there was something special between them.  He wanted L.Joe to feel like they’d shared something unique.

            L.Joe had only been playing a game?  Hadn’t felt anything?  He’d seen L.Joe act; it wasn’t that good.  They’d been standing in the bathroom, making out, talking, and everything had been friendly, L.Joe had seemed happy, everything had been so good, they’d just had sex and they’d just been about to do it again and L.Joe’s hands had been in his hair, and then C.A.P. had interrupted.  And all of a sudden L.Joe hadn’t wanted to talk to him or look at him or be around him.  Just because C.A.P. had ended the game.

            Changjo hadn’t been playing a game.  He’d meant everything he’d said and everything he’d done.  It hadn’t been part of a game; it had been real.  He couldn’t stand the thought that it had been fake, pretend, make-believe on L.Joe’s part.  That L.Joe could kiss him like that and turn away without caring.  That L.Joe could smile at him so warmly and then reject him so coldly.  It didn’t just hurt; it didn’t make sense.  That wasn’t the hyung he knew.

            L.Joe couldn’t sleep.  He kept closing his eyes, and then jerking awake a moment later, alert, tense, thinking of Changjo.  Sometimes he had the nasty feeling that Changjo knew about his crush, that his feelings had been discovered, that Changjo pitied him or laughed at him.

            His alternating source of tension was that hurt, shocked expression on Changjo’s face.  The expression he’d put there when he’d rebuffed Changjo.

            Rejected.  Tossed aside.  He’d hurt Changjo.  It tore at him every time he thought about it.  He wanted to apologize, to make it right, to go down the hall and look into Changjo’s eyes and…

            …and what?  Anything he said, anything he did, he’d only end up embarrassing himself.  He’d go too far, he’d reveal his heart, he’d confess everything.

            When he thought about Changjo’s pained, stricken expression, about how confused and betrayed Changjo had been, he thought that maybe it would be okay if he embarrassed himself.  If he reassured Changjo, made Changjo feel better, made Changjo understand, that might be worth it, in the end.

            Then he thought about spending the rest of the week, the month, the year, his career, his life, facing Changjo, facing the other members, everyone knowing how he felt.  They’d tease him.  No, worse: they’d feel sorry for him.  That fear held him back, restrained him.

            Changjo was just upset.  Just surprised at the game being cut short.  In another day, he’d fight with Ricky or get excited by a new fan gift or something, and he’d get distracted and forget all about it.  He wouldn’t give this argument another thought.

            Argument?  Why not call it what it was: a break-up.  Hasty and messy and crude, but a break-up.

            Changjo had been his boyfriend.  They’d dated.  They’d broken up.  And he’d never.  Not once.  Hugged Changjo and said, “I like you.”  Looked Changjo in the eye and said, “I’m glad that we’re together.”  Kissed Changjo and said anything that really meant something or effectively communicated how he felt.

            But that was good, right?  It was a victory.  He’d hidden his crush.  He’d disguised how he felt.  Changjo had no idea.  When he got over his crush, later, when it ended, no one would ever realize how he’d felt.

            L.Joe could barely remember why that was supposed to be a good thing.  Agitated, he got up and walked around the dorm.  Poked around the kitchen.  Sat on the couch and closed his eyes and pictured Changjo, asleep, face relaxed, those long black lashes, that sensuous mouth…

            Someone was prodding him.  “Asleep?”

            Coming awake with a snort, L.Joe looked up to see Chunji settling beside him on the couch.  “What?  What time is it?”  What was he doing on the couch and - - in a flash, it all came back to him.  Changjo.  Shit, shit.  Shit.  Wishing that he knew what the hell to do, what the right thing was, why he felt like this, he pushed at Chunji’s arm.  “Where have you been?!”

            Chunji pushed back.  “I was out.  At a hotel.”  He rubbed his nose.  “C.A.P. hyung didn’t tell you?”

            “He didn’t say anything, he just made me clean up all of your crap.  It’s all back in our room.  You’re welcome.”

            Chunji nodded and looked down.  “Thanks.”  He clearly didn’t mean it.

            “What’s wrong?”  He was pretty sure that Chunji had been crying.  “You look like shit.”

            “Well, I feel like shit, so.”  Chunji inhaled and rubbed his forehead, touched his bangs.  Glanced at him.  “Why are you sleeping out here?”

            “I have a crush on the maknae.”  It sounded so stupid and obvious when he said it; it didn’t even sound worth getting upset about.  “I don’t want him to know, so when C.A.P. hyung said that the boyfriend thing was over, I told him to get away from me, that I don’t want him anymore.  I hurt his feelings and, I don’t know.  I feel bad.”  Really bad.  Ugh, Changjo had been so happy with him.  He knew it, he’d seen it, he was sure of it.  Changjo had been happy.  With him.  Because of him.  He wished that he’d let that last.  It had been so special and it was over so fast.  Now, months from now, instead of remembering that fun time they’d had, Changjo would remember what an asshole he’d been.  And instead of capturing perfect memories of actually getting to live out his fantasy and be Changjo’s boyfriend, he - - what the hell, what was wrong with him?!  Why was he swooning over the maknae like some foolish innocent romantic child?

            “What do you mean, a crush?” Chunji asked.  “It’s not a crush.”

            “It is.”  He winced and admitted, “I had one on you.  A while ago.  It ended,” he added pointedly, in case Chunji felt like making fun of him.  “It’s over.  This one will be over soon, too.  I’m just trying to keep it to myself until it ends.”

            “I know that you had a crush on me.  It was really embarrassing and I was so glad when you got over it,” Chunji said.  “This is nothing like that.”  Chunji peered at him.  “You don’t know the difference?”

            “What?”  What?  “What?”  What?  “What?”  L.Joe shook his head.  “You knew?  That I liked you?”

            Chunji laughed, squeezing his upper arm.  “All you did was follow me around looking pitiful and blushing every time I touched you.  It was so funny and awkward.  You know this is nothing like that, right?  That was just some temporary infatuation.  I understand.”  Chunji smiled at him, flirtatious and forgiving.  “A lot of people fall for me.  I’m used to it.”

            “You’re disgusting,” L.Joe said, pulling his arm away.

            Chunji settled his arm around L.Joe’s shoulders.  “You like Changjo.  You really do.  I don’t know why.  I mean, really?  The maknae?”

            “I don’t like him,” L.Joe said.  “It’s not like that.”

            “No?” Chunji asked.  “No?  You think he’s cute, you think he’s sexy, you think that he has a fantastic body, you laugh when he laughs, you smile when he smiles, you think that the stupid things he does are adorable, you want him all of the time and even in nonsexual situations, you think that sex with him is better than it actually probably is, you wish that you were with him right now, and you wish that you could tell him how you feel.  But you don’t really like him?”

            This conversation had just taken a scary turn.  “How do you know that?” L.Joe asked warily, sliding away from him.

            “I know you.  I know everything about you.  And you’ve ‘had a crush’ on Changjo for months.  It’s not a crush, it’s not going away, and - - but don’t listen to me.  I only know one thing about relationships, and that is nothing.  I know nothing.  I don’t know anything about how to get a boyfriend, I don’t know anything about liking a guy, I don’t know anything about any of it.”

            L.Joe winced at the pain and bitterness in Chunji’s voice.  “Are you okay?”  Obviously not.

            Chunji took a deep breath and looked away.  Looked down.  Crossed his legs.  Swung one foot.  “I’m fine.”

            L.Joe nibbled on his lower lip.  Chunji wasn’t saying anything about it, so he shouldn’t ask about it, but it seemed sort of obvious.  “You didn’t…  You didn’t confess to C.A.P. hyung, did you?”

            Laughing, Chunji got up, paced away, came back, and sat down again.  “I guess you know me as well as I know you.”

            “I don’t think that the kids noticed it.”

            “I don’t know if C.A.P. hyung noticed it, either.”  Chunji picked at a piece of lint on the hem of his shirt.  “I didn’t tell him.  It never got that far.  He doesn’t like me, he isn’t interested in me, I’m just one of the members.  I’m a piece of ass but I’m too much trouble, I’m inconvenient, I jerk people around, I get emotional for no good reason, I’m too fucking high-maintenance.”  With a furious glare, he hurled a throw pillow across the room, then sent another one sailing after it.  “He thinks that I should be more like you.  He wanted to be your boyfriend the whole time, not mine.”

            Shit.  L.Joe had felt bad about what he’d said to Changjo, but all of this sounded so much worse.  “I.”  He hesitated, licking his lips, feeling empathetic and guilty, not sure what to say.  “I’m sorry.”

            Shaking his head, Chunji waved L.Joe away.  “It doesn’t matter.  It’s not about you.  It’s about.”  He straightened his shoulders, took a deep breath, looked down at his lap, adjusted his rings.  “We’re just members.  It was just sex.  I should have let it stay that way, instead of getting all ‘demanding’ and ‘emotional’ about it.”

            “That’s - - it’s so shitty,” L.Joe said honestly.  “Why would he say that crap to you?  Why couldn’t he be decent about it?”

            “Were you decent about it?” Chunji asked.  “With the maknae?”

            Ouch.  Lanced with guilt, L.Joe squirmed, fixing his hair.  “I should have handled it better,” he admitted weakly.

            “We all fucked up.”  Chunji slumped against the cushions, picking at his nails.  “Time will pass.  We’ll get over it.”  He clenched his jaw, glaring at his nails.  So much emotion glittered in his eyes, so much pain, that L.Joe had to look away.  “At least C.A.P. hyung will.”

            When Changjo awakened, he barely had his eyes open before someone clapped a hand over his mouth.  Punching first and looking second, he shouted, but the sound was muffled by the hand.  His punch landed and he heard Ricky grunt, and then he saw that Ricky was glaring at him.  Ricky’s hand was over his mouth, and Ricky’s eyebrows were warning him to shut up, and then he followed the gestures of Ricky’s other hand and saw L.Joe.

            Slumped across the foot of his bed, L.Joe was asleep.

            Shoving Ricky away, he sat up and stared.  That was definitely L.Joe.

            Clenching his teeth, he kicked, hard.

            It was immensely satisfying to see L.Joe slide right off of the bed, and it was even more satisfying to hear a startled yelp and a solid thump as L.Joe landed.

            “Oh, hyung,” Changjo said innocently, getting up.  “Sorry, I didn’t know you were there.  Did you fall?”  He left without looking back, without waiting for an answer.


            Oh, shit.  He told himself not to react, but old habits died hard, and he hurriedly grabbed at the bathroom door, scuttling inside.  He almost had the door closed before L.Joe was there, in the gap, glaring murderously at him.  “Hyung!  I need privacy!” he exclaimed, trying to shove the door closed.

            It wasn’t fair that someone so little was so strong, but the door started moving in L.Joe’s favor.  Seeing the gap widening, Changjo quickly backed up, letting him in.  When running wasn’t possible, the best strategy was to apologize and endure it.

            To his surprise, though, once L.Joe was in the bathroom with him, the action stopped.  Instead of scolding him, L.Joe just closed the door and stood there looking awkward.

            Changjo looked at the toilet, the sink, the shower.  Anything to avoid eye contact with L.Joe.  Anything to keep from noticing how cute L.Joe looked with his hair spiky and mussed and his T-shirt on backwards.  Self-consciously, Changjo smoothed down his own hair.  He’d never worried about how L.Joe specifically thought he looked, but now he cared.  He didn’t want to care!  Not while L.Joe was lying to him and turning on him and jerking him around.  How could he care how he looked in front of L.Joe?  He was with L.Joe all day, every day.  L.Joe was one of the few people he was completely comfortable looking foolish and goofy and gross in front of.  He didn’t want to lose that.

            “You,” L.Joe said.  He stopped talking.  “I.”  He looked nervous and ran his hand through his hair.  “The members.”

            “Why are you lying to me?”

            L.Joe looked astonished, which only made Changjo more frustrated and confused.  “Lying?  Lying about what?  I’m not lying.”

            “You want me and you don’t want me.  You like being my boyfriend and you hate it.  You like spending time with me and you don’t like me.  If you didn’t like being my boyfriend, why did you act like you did?  Why didn’t you just say, ‘Eh, I hate this?’  If you did like it, why are you acting like you didn’t?  You told me to communicate and ask questions, but you never explain anything!”

            Resting his hip against the sink, L.Joe crossed his arms over his chest and bit at his lips.  “I didn’t want you to know,” he muttered.  He scratched his head and met Changjo’s eyes and looked away again.  “I have a crush on you.  I like you.  I didn’t want you to figure it out.  I thought that I was being too obvious about how much I liked being your boyfriend.”

            L.Joe had a crush on him?  He waited for L.Joe to start laughing.

            L.Joe hugged himself more tightly and looked at the floor, shifting his feet.

            L.Joe liked him?  He looked out into the hallway.  No one was grouped by the door, waiting to jump in and tease him about falling for it.  The only person in sight was Niel, stumbling sleepily toward the kitchen.

            L.Joe looked incredibly uncomfortable, like he would rather have been anywhere else, doing anything else.

            Changjo stepped up close to him and stared into his face.

            Squirming, L.Joe ducked his head, angling away.  “What?” he muttered at the floor.

            “Is this a joke?” Changjo demanded.  Threading his fingers through L.Joe’s soft hair, he lifted, tugging L.Joe’s face up toward his.  “Ya!  Is this a joke?!”

            “Ya!”  L.Joe pushed him away.  “Who are you speaking informally to?”

            “You!  What are you talking about, a crush?  What are you saying, that you like me?  Since when did you like being my boyfriend?  Last night you couldn’t get rid of me fast enough!”

            “I’m sorry,” L.Joe said earnestly.  “About last night.”  He hesitated, shooting a look at the door.  Then he pushed the door shut and locked it.  When he pulled Changjo to a corner of the shower, Changjo cooperated, too curious to resist.  One of the only ways to get even a half-assed attempt at privacy in the dorm was to hold a whispered conversation with the shower running, and L.Joe started the shower now, despite the fact that Changjo was still wearing underwear and L.Joe was in pants and a T-shirt.  With the shower on, he whispered, “I’m sorry.”

            Changjo had whispered with Ricky in the shower before, but they’d actually been taking a real shower, not just standing around half-dressed.  “Is something wrong with you?”

            The water was getting hot; L.Joe adjusted the temperature.  It was such a normal and familiar gesture that Changjo felt kind of reassured: this really was L.Joe, this really was happening.  “I shouldn’t have acted like that yesterday.  I was worried about me, but I should have been a better hyung and worried about you, instead.”

            “You should have been a better boyfriend,” Changjo corrected him.  “You were supposed to be my boyfriend.”  It still hurt.  “I thought that we were having a good time.”

            L.Joe ran his hand through his damp hair, tousling it.  “We were.”

            Changjo had a lot to say, but he was through communicating and asking questions and being honest.  He’d tried it last night, and it had only made things worse.  Well, maybe one question would be okay.  “Then why did you tell me to fuck off?”

            “I never said that!” L.Joe whispered.

            Changjo didn’t even bother to reply to that and just glared at him.

            “I…  I didn’t use those words,” L.Joe muttered.  “I didn’t mean it like that.  C.A.P. hyung said that the game was over, and he talked about everyone moving back to our original rooms, and it made me really think about how it was all temporary.  It wasn’t real and it wasn’t going to last, it was just some game we were playing.  You didn’t mean it the same way that I meant it.  It seemed like I was being too obvious, and I didn’t want you to notice.  I didn’t want to embarrass myself trying to keep playing if you wanted to stop or if everybody else stopped.”

            “What do you mean, I didn’t mean it the same way you meant it?”

            Water pouring down on him, his shirt clinging to his wiry torso, L.Joe gazed at Changjo with sad, solemn eyes.  “I liked it.  I like you and I liked being your boyfriend.  When we…  It wasn’t just sex, for me.  It was special.  Don’t laugh,” he ordered, shoving his finger into Changjo’s chest, determination flashing in his eyes.  “It was all really awkward and difficult for me, and I couldn’t really enjoy any of it because I was too worried about embarrassing myself.  But seeing you so happy was really important to me.  I wish that I’d been a better boyfriend, but we didn’t have a lot of time.”

            Changjo couldn’t think about laughing.  This was too important.  “It was special?  How was it special, what was special?”

            L.Joe eyed him, giving him a warning look, then adjusted the water temperature again and said, “It just was.  The sex and.  Sharing a room.  The way you smiled at me.  Going on a date.  It seemed like we were closer.  Like it might be a really good month.  It…  It seemed like you liked me a little.  You wanted me.”  Groaning, L.Joe slumped against the wall, the shower drenching him, his hands over his face.  “Embarrassing, it’s so embarrassing, I hate this.”

            Was it true?  Had they really seen things the same way, had the same experience?  Had they shared something after all?  That was what he’d wanted, to know that he hadn’t been alone, to believe that L.Joe had felt it, too.

            This L.Joe, the one whose temper flared, the one who’d liked their date, seemed like the one he knew, the one he was used to, the one who’d kissed him lately.  The one he’d talked to last night, who’d shoved him aside, had been someone else.  But this guy was the right one.

            Pushing himself away from the wall, L.Joe muttered something under his breath and turned the water off.  “Never mind.  It doesn’t matter.  You know, Chunji knows, I don’t care who else knows.  Laugh at me, feel sorry for me, I don’t care.”  Gripping Changjo’s forearms, he said firmly, “I like you.  I like you!  I’m sorry that I made you feel like I didn’t want you.”  Suddenly scowling, L.Joe started to walk away.

            “Hyung.”  His chest tight with affection and hope and desire, Changjo grabbed L.Joe’s hand.

            L.Joe froze, one foot forward, one hand back.

            “L.Joe hyung.”  He tugged until L.Joe came back a few steps and they were facing each other.

            L.Joe’s expression was cautious, tense, but he’d said “I like you” and he’d said “It was special” and he’d said “It might be a really good month,” and that was what Changjo had needed to hear.

            Reaching for the hem of L.Joe’s T-shirt, he lifted.  Soaked, it was tight to L.Joe’s lean, hard body, and as he peeled it upward, L.Joe was slow to cooperate.  “I wanted to undress you.”  He wanted to communicate.  L.Joe had been right; talking and communicating was an important part of relationships.  Look at how bad everything got when they stopped.  “Last night, I was thinking about what it would be like to take your clothes off.”  Heavy with water, the T-shirt landed on the tiled floor with a slap.  “I wanted to touch you and kiss your skin while I did it.”

            “Maknae,” L.Joe said.  His voice was a warning but his expression looked hurt.  “What is this, you’re teasing me?  You’re taunting me?  You feel sorry for me, you’re going to give me pity sex?  I don’t want it like this.”

            “No, no.  It isn’t like that.”  He didn’t want to be misunderstood, so he hugged L.Joe, holding L.Joe’s wet, wiry body close.  They were both bare to the waist, and the feel of L.Joe’s smooth, slippery skin against him was so intimate and sexy and perfect that he closed his eyes.  “I like you, too.  I like you a lot.”

            L.Joe’s arms tightened around him, hands pressed against his back.  “Maknae.”

            He didn’t know if that was a warning or a plea.  “I like you so much,” he whispered, kissing L.Joe’s cheek.  “Let’s not break up.  Let’s be boyfriends again.”

            “You don’t like me.”  L.Joe sounded hurt, frustrated.  “You’re horny and the sex is good.  That’s not the same as liking someone.”

            Ya!  “I know the difference!  Do you think because I’ve never had a boyfriend, I can’t tell when I like someone?”

            L.Joe was trying to push him away.  “Changjo-”

            “Trying to break up again?” Changjo demanded, gripping his hands.  “Trying to get rid of me again?  You owe me this!  You owe me a month!”

            “What are we doing, fighting in the shower?” L.Joe asked.  “It-”

            “I want my month!” Changjo shouted, shoving him.

            Eyes wide, L.Joe slipped, feet sliding and kicking, hands grabbing at Changjo.  Alarmed, Changjo seized him and overbalanced, and the two of them landed roughly against the wall.  While L.Joe cursed, Changjo clutched him tightly, sagging against the wall, sliding down to sit.

            L.Joe, halfway in a crouch over him and halfway in his lap, started to get up.  He just held on more firmly and looked directly into L.Joe’s face.  “I want my month.  I don’t care if C.A.P. hyung and Chunji hyung aren’t boyfriends, I don’t care about Niel hyung and Ricky.  Give me a month.”

            “It’s not real.  It doesn’t count.”

            Changjo shook his head.  “It felt real when I kissed you.”  He had to have this.  “It felt real when you smiled at me.”  He slid his hands down to L.Joe’s waist, tugging, coaxing L.Joe to relax against him.  Gazing at L.Joe’s downcast lashes, he felt frustrated and desperate and hopeful and needy.  “It felt real when you fell asleep and I could feel your heartbeat against my hand and your hair was tickling my nose and I whispered, ‘Hyung, are you asleep?’ and you kicked me.  Every time we sleep in the same bed, you kick me when I ask that, but it was different, because we weren’t just on the same bed at the same time.  We were together, sleeping together, like a couple.  I want that, damn it, I want my month back!”

            Squeezing his eyes shut, L.Joe curled his hands into fists against Changjo’s thigh.  “Can we have this conversation when you’re dressed?  Or dry?”

            “No.  Give me a month.”  He wasn’t going to give up.  If they liked each other, then spending a month as boyfriends was the right thing to do, wasn’t it?  Shouldn’t they at least try?  “Hyung, we didn’t want to break up.  We only did it because of what C.A.P. hyung said.  We’re not that much under his control, are we?  We don’t have to break up just because he and Chunji hyung did.  If he hadn’t said anything, we would have slept together again last night.  We’d still be together this morning.  Right now, we could be in the kitchen.  I’ll pour you cereal.  Right before we leave, you can kiss me, one last kiss to keep me from starving until we come back to the dorm tonight and I can kiss you again.”

            “Starving,” L.Joe repeated, giving Changjo a skeptical but interested look.

            He smiled, kissing L.Joe’s cheek.  “Starving.  I’ll starve without your kisses.”  He planted a kiss on L.Joe’s cheekbone.  “I can’t survive twenty-four hours without them.”  He brushed a kiss along L.Joe’s jaw.  “You have to kiss me as often as you can at the dorm so that I don’t wither away.”

            L.Joe smiled, repeating, “Wither away,” and caressing Changjo’s lips with his fingertips.  “Who taught you to say foolish, romantic things like this?”

            He kissed L.Joe’s fingertips.  L.Joe was smiling at him and he felt like he’d already won.  “Nobody.  They just pop into my head when I look at you.”

            Chunji didn’t say much to C.A.P. that morning.  There wasn’t much to say.

            L.Joe and Changjo cuddled and kissed and exchanged meaningful smiles and made Chunji want to sneak dye into their hairspray.  He would be happy for them later, and he would probably find them adorable or something at some point, but that particular day, their gleeful happiness in each other made him hate them and everyone around them.

            When he told L.Joe, “I hate you, and the maknae’s going to be so annoying you’ll want to break up within a week,” L.Joe just gave him an understanding look and said, “You should talk to C.A.P.”

            He didn’t want to talk to C.A.P.  He didn’t want to explain and he wasn’t going to apologize, and that left them without anything to talk about.  When they were back in the dorm for the night, he wondered if he should start marking off the days somehow.  A “number of days since I humiliated myself over C.A.P.” chart.

            L.Joe tried to get him to move out so that Changjo could move back into their room.  He didn’t feel like moving, so he didn’t budge.  L.Joe apparently took care of the problem by kicking Ricky out of Changjo’s room, and all of a sudden Chunji had a new roommate.  While Ricky grumbled and griped and hung up clothes, Chunji went out to the front room, sat on the couch, and wondered how long it would take to stop feeling so sensitive and bitter and hurt and humiliated.

            “Going out?” Niel asked.  “To the gym?”  Hearing a familiar step - - C.A.P. walked more heavily than the other members - - Chunji burrowed deeper into the corner of the couch and refused to look up.

            “I’ll be back later,” C.A.P. said.  “Don’t start a fire or anything.”

            He hadn’t said yes.  He hadn’t said no, but he hadn’t said yes, either, and it had been a very simple question.

            Without moving his head, Chunji looked over as C.A.P. strolled toward the door.  That wasn’t gym clothing.  Tight pants, leather jacket.  C.A.P. was going out alone, at night, not to the gym, and wouldn’t say why?  “Taking condoms?” Chunji asked.

            C.A.P. didn’t smile.  “Back later,” he said, and he left.

            Chunji swallowed.  Maybe C.A.P. was going to meet friends or go shopping or see family or catch a movie or any of a dozen different things.  Then why not say it?  He wondered if C.A.P. was going to see the woman with the piercings or the ex-girlfriend with five cats or someone new, but it didn’t matter.  He couldn’t stand the thought of anyone with C.A.P., couldn’t stand the thought of C.A.P.’s bare, muscular body on top of anyone, those strong arms wrapped around someone else, C.A.P. kissing anyone else.  He thought about C.A.P. grunting softly with satisfaction into someone else’s ear and murmuring, “Yeah, you move heaven and earth for me, baby,” and he wanted to scream with pain and fury and white-hot, jealous rage.

            “Chunji hyung?” Niel asked.

            Giving in to the impulse, he screamed.  It wasn’t enough; he hurled one throw pillow across the room and threw the other right at Niel.

            Surprised, Niel stared at him in wonder.

            Hunh.  He actually felt a little better.  He was still hurt and jealous, but he no longer felt like tearing the front door off of its hinges.

            “You dropped this,” Niel said, picking up the pillow and advancing with it.

            Oh.  “Wait,” Chunji said, scrabbling back against the cushions as Niel came closer.  “You - - ah!”  As Niel landed on top of him, whapping him with the pillow, he put his arms up to protect his face.  “Wait!  Stop!  Visual!  I’m the visual!  You can’t!”

            “Hold!  Still!” Niel ordered, whacking at him.

            He’d managed to half-slither off of the sofa when Ricky, gleefully snatching up the other pillow, joined in.  Chunji grabbed the first pillow out of Niel’s hands, and he and Ricky had Niel on the run down the hallway when L.Joe burst out of the bedroom, tackling Niel and taking down Ricky for good measure.  Niel was pleading for mercy when Changjo joined in and the four of them, in unspoken agreement, all turned against Ricky.

            By the time the melee was over, Chunji’s mood had improved greatly.  Abandoning Ricky on the hallway floor, he got up, fixing his hair and giving L.Joe a quick onceover.

            And then he noticed Changjo giving L.Joe the same look.

            Shit.  “You.”  Shit.  “Does this thing,” he gestured between Changjo and L.Joe, “mean that you’re,” he had to work to get the word out, “monogamous?  Off-limits?”

            “What?” L.Joe asked.

            Changjo looked uncertain.  “Does it?”

            “No,” L.Joe said.  “No, I…  For this month?” he asked Changjo.  “For this month, maybe.  Not that we, I mean…”  For someone who’d been terrorizing all four of them with one throw pillow only moments ago, he looked pretty shy all of a sudden.

            “It…”  Changjo blushed.

            “Okay, work out the fine print of your relationship later,” Chunji said.  “How does this affect me?  Are you going to keep having sex with me, or not?”  If they didn’t, that cut his list of regular sex partners by half, and the way things were going with C.A.P. - - oh, hell.  The world tilted before his eyes as he envisioned a future where he only had one regular sex partner.  True, that one partner would be Ricky, who could rock his world any night of the week, but Chunji couldn’t live without variety.

            Shit.  He was going to have to seduce Niel.

            “Oh, you?” L.Joe asked, looking relieved that the question was this simple.  “You, yes.  Not tonight,” he added.

            Okay, so L.Joe wasn’t exactly eager to share, but he didn’t plan to disrupt Chunji’s sex life.  Good.  “Okay.”  Turning, Chunji dragged Ricky up from the floor.  “Come on.  You’re moving into my room?  Let’s celebrate together.”

            “You just tried to smother me to death,” Ricky complained, limping along beside him.

            In the doorway, Chunji turned, putting both hands on Ricky’s shoulders and smiling.  “I’m in a bad mood.  You can fuck me and make me feel better, or you can refuse me and make my mood worse.  What do you want to do?”

            Ricky smiled winningly.  “Which bed would you be more comfortable in?”

            When C.A.P. got back to the dorm, everything seemed quiet.  L.Joe and Changjo were curled up together like lovers in the first bedroom.  Hunh, he guessed that they were lovers, now.  That was a weird thought.

            In the second room, Ricky was asleep in one bed, buried under the covers, nothing but some spiky black hair sticking out at the top.  On the other bed, Chunji was sitting up, awake, doing something on his phone.  He was completely naked and there was a wet towel slung over the foot of the bed.

            “Hey,” C.A.P. said quietly.  The glow of the phone was terrible lighting and he still managed to look pretty.

            “Mmm.”  Chunji didn’t look up.

            C.A.P. ran his hand over his hair and shifted his weight, cocking his knee.  “I think that you took some stuff I said the wrong way.”

            “Oh.”  He sounded bored and he still wouldn’t look up.

            Leave it to Chunji to make this shit as difficult and painful as possible.  “I guess I hurt your feelings.  I’m sorry.”


            He exhaled, tapping his fingers against his thigh.  “Are we okay or are you going to hold this against me forever?”

            “I’ll forgive you right now if you can tell me what I’m upset about.”

            Uh.  “I was a bad boyfriend.”  He really wasn’t sure what specifically had gone wrong.

            “You.”  Slapping his phone down, Chunji got up, pulled on a pair of pajama bottoms and went to the kitchen.  C.A.P. followed, not thrilled about this but ready to have it over with.  Chunji leaned back against the sink, straightened, leaned back again, and said, “You weren’t a boyfriend.  You couldn’t be a bad one because you weren’t one at all.  You didn’t want to be, you didn’t try to be, you didn’t pretend to be.”

            “I took you to dinner,” he pointed out.  Dinner was a sore subject, but, still.  That had to count for something.

            “I made you,” Chunji said.  “I forced you.  You wouldn’t have done it without being forced.  You wouldn’t do anything for me unless you had to.”

            Right.  “I look pretty stupid walking around with this, then,” he said, and handed Chunji a slim gold case with white angel wings printed on it.

            Chunji took it from him.  Looked at it.  Looked at him.  “This is a cell phone case.”

            “I know.”  He shoved his hands in his back pockets.

            Chunji looked down at it.  Looked at him.  Looked pissed off.  “Is this supposed to be some special gesture that makes me feel all better?”

            “No, it’s supposed to be a cell phone case.  You wanted one, I said that I’d get you one, there it is.”

            Chunji tossed it aside on the counter and crossed his arms over his chest.  Pursed his lips, raised his eyebrows, and looked like C.A.P. was some worthless asshole wasting his time.  “Anything else?”

            “If you want to quit the attitude and talk to me, we can talk.  If you’d rather act like we’re in a bad drama, I’m going to bed.”

            “Talk about what?”  Chunji put his hands on his hips and tilted his head to one side, narrowing his eyes, suspicious and challenging.  “What do you want to talk about?”

            “I don’t know, maybe I’m imagining things, but it seems like you’re angry with me,” C.A.P. said, leaning back against the fridge.  “Maybe you can tell me what’s wrong and I can fix it.”

            Chunji shook his head, looking fed up.

            C.A.P. crossed his ankles.  “Look, it was a stupid game.  I don’t want to screw around playing pretend boyfriends.”

            “You would with L.Joe,” Chunji muttered.

            “If I had to play, I would rather play with L.Joe.  If I had to lose a toe, I’d rather lose a small one.  That doesn’t mean that I want to lose a toe.”

            Chunji nodded.  “I.”  He rubbed his nose.  “I guess I didn’t realize what you really think of me.  That I’m demanding and high-maintenance and overemotional and full of shit.”

            Uneasily, C.A.P. muttered, “It sounds terrible when you just say it like that.”

            Chunji stared at him, then pushed away from the sink, heading for the door.

            Catching Chunji’s arm, he said, “They’re not bad things.”

            “Fuck you,” Chunji snapped, trying to pull away.

            Tightening his grip, he spun, pushing Chunji against the refrigerator.  “Listen!”  His hand pinned Chunji’s shoulder to the fridge as he looked into Chunji’s beautiful, stubborn, furious eyes.  “They’re not bad things.  It’s just how you are.  You take more work than other people.  You’re more complicated to deal with.  That’s not,” he emphasized, “a bad thing.”

            “Not a bad thing,” Chunji repeated.  “I’m full of shit and that’s not a bad thing.  I’m hard to deal with and that’s not a bad thing.  I guess you just love that about me, then.”

            “Yeah, I do.”

            Chunji looked confused.

            He could tell that this probably wasn’t the best moment to start stroking Chunji up, so he kept his hands still, one at his side, one on Chunji’s shoulder.  The lull in conversation went on for so long, though, that he let his gaze wander where it pleased, roaming the lines of Chunji’s slim, well-defined muscles, the length of Chunji’s neck, the pink of those sensitive little nipples.

            “You didn’t get laid tonight?”

            “Eh?”  He dragged his gaze up to Chunji’s face, intending to make it up to Chunji’s eyes but getting waylaid by those sexy red lips.

            “You’re horny,” Chunji said.  “You haven’t had sex?”

            “No, I was shopping.”  His thumb whispered across Chunji’s collarbone.  “You?”

            “Ricky fucked me.”

            Lucky.  “You’re not going to want me for a while, are you?”

            “Being accused of jerking people around doesn’t turn me on.”

            C.A.P. winced.  Yeah, that sounded pretty bad.  “I didn’t really mean that one.”  Rubbing the back of his neck, he avoided Chunji’s challenging glare.  “I’m sorry.  You took everything the wrong way.  I said it the wrong way,” he admitted.  “I guess I should have said it differently.”

            “Is there a good way to tell someone he’s high-maintenance?” Chunji asked.  “Really?  Oh, I forgot.  You live in a world where being high-maintenance is a good thing!”

            Sighing, C.A.P. rested his hand at the base of Chunji’s neck.  He was frustrated, but it was wearing on him to see Chunji so upset.  Beneath the snapping and glaring, Chunji was deeply unhappy, and that was making him feel guilty and unhappy and weighed down.  “What are you upset about?  That I didn’t want to play pretend?  That I said you’re demanding?  I told you that I didn’t mean it in a bad way.  What’s wrong?”  He had to fix it, and he wanted to fix it tonight.  He wasn’t going to go through tomorrow with this cloud hanging over them.

            “What the hell would have been so difficult about pretending for one month?” Chunji demanded.  “For one week?  You couldn’t put some effort in for twenty-four hours?  Niel was a better boyfriend than you, and he’s straight!  Am I really so awful that you couldn’t fake it?”

            “Why are you taking this so personally?” C.A.P. demanded.  “It wasn’t about you!  It was the game!  You’re acting like I rejected you, or something.  If I don’t want to play soccer with you, I don’t hate you, I just don’t feel like playing soccer.”

            “How is it not a rejection of me?  How is it just about the game?” Chunji shot back.  “If it’s not about me, if your only problem is the game, then let’s be together for real.  Be my boyfriend, really my boyfriend, not pretend.  You don’t have a problem with that, do you?”

            What?  “That’s completely different.”

            “Good night,” Chunji said, trying to walk past him.

            “Wait!”  He pushed Chunji back against the fridge again.  Chunji gave him a bored look.  “Chunji, you don’t want a boyfriend like me.  You’d be tired of me in a week.  I don’t think that it’s a great idea to mess around getting together and breaking up.  Someone’s feelings would get hurt and it would be bad for the team.”

            “That’s your argument?” Chunji asked.  “Really?  That you’d break my heart and it would be bad for the kids’ morale?”

            Break what?  “I was talking about me,” C.A.P. said.  “My feelings.  You’d dump me.  I never said broken-hearted, but, yeah, it would hurt.  I can’t break up with you and take time off and get away from you and get over you.  I’d still have to see you every day and work with you and live together and deal with it, and that doesn’t sound great.  I don’t want to go through that if I don’t have to.”

            Chunji was shaking his head like he didn’t understand.  “You think that I’d dump you?  I’d hurt your feelings?  You would have feelings?  For me?”

            He wasn’t trying to advertise it or anything, but, “I have feelings for you now.”

            “What feelings?  You don’t have any feelings.  You said that you’d rather be L.Joe’s boyfriend!”

            “Pretend!” C.A.P. shouted, tired of being misunderstood.  “I’d rather be L.Joe’s pretend boyfriend!  I’d rather be your real boyfriend!  Pretend!  Real!  L.Joe’s an easier pretend boyfriend because I wouldn’t have to do anything.  You’re a better real boyfriend because,” well, “you’re you.”

            “What?  You what?”  Chunji gripped a handful of C.A.P.’s jacket.  “Make sense.”

            He was making sense.  “What don’t you understand?  The difference between real and pretend?”

            “Not that!  What are you saying about a real boyfriend?  What are you saying about feelings?  You have feelings for me?  Which feelings?”

            He really hadn’t intended to have this conversation.  Ever.  Feeling self-conscious, he rubbed his hand over his hair.  “I can’t just say it.”

            Chunji balled both hands in his jacket and stared at him like someone capable of murder.  “Say it!  Say it!”  Chunji shook him.  “Say it!”

            “Ya!”  Exasperated, he shoved Chunji against the fridge again.  “I like you.”

            He’d hoped that would be enough, but Chunji stared at him in amazement, still holding onto his jacket.  “Don’t stop there!  That can’t be all you have to say!”

            “It is.”  He laughed at Chunji’s expression, which was comically disbelieving.  “What else could I say?  I like you.”  That wasn’t enough?  “I like you a lot,” he tried.

            “You don’t want to be my boyfriend.  I’m high-maintenance.  You want to be my boyfriend.  You like me.  What are you saying?!” Chunji demanded.

            Fed up, he slapped his hand against the fridge and leaned in, staring intently into Chunji’s eyes.  “It’s!  Not!  A!  Bad!  Thing!”  How many times did he have to say it?  “Maybe other people think it’s annoying.  Maybe they think it’s not worth it.  I like it because it’s you, because you’re special enough and important enough to me that it makes sense to me to treat you differently from other people.  If you were mine, I’d tell you that I like it, that you deserve extra consideration, that you’re a little more complicated than the rest of us, that you’re worth the extra effort.  What kind of boyfriend would I be if I couldn’t take some time to treat you well, to take care of you, to buy you things, to make sure you’re comfortable.  I want to look after you, I want to give you what you need.  You work hard, and I would move heaven and earth to keep you happy.”

            Suddenly kissing him, Chunji made a quick, approving noise against his mouth, hands splayed against his chest and sliding upward.  He hadn’t expected this reaction, but he liked it, and he kissed Chunji back, relieved that things were finally going more smoothly.  Chunji’s upper body was naked, the soft skin and familiar lines of Chunji’s torso a pleasure to his hands, and when his touch dipped lower, cupping Chunji’s ass through the worn cotton of pajama bottoms, Chunji groaned encouragingly and undulated against him, pushing off his jacket.

            Oh, it was time to take off clothes?  C.A.P. tucked a thumb in the waistband of Chunji’s  pants, stroking the line of Chunji’s pelvis.  Things had looked so grim that he was glad to have Chunji talking to him again, glad to have Chunji happy with him again, glad to have sex between them within reach and not a question mark on the horizon, and he kissed Chunji in celebration, pushing the pajama bottoms down, ready to go for it right there against the fridge if Chunji agreed.

            “Ah, that stupid heaven and earth line,” Chunji said between kisses, one arm around his neck, one hand slipping under his shirt with the light, feathery caresses that always made him hot and wild with wanting Chunji to touch him more and more and more.  “It’s so awkward from everyone else and I always fall for it with you.”  Chunji stopped kissing him, so he kissed Chunji’s neck instead, but the arm around his neck slipped away and Chunji caught his chin, looking into his eyes with a bold, daring expression.  “Be my boyfriend.”

            Aw, hell.  “I can’t, I told you that.”

            Chunji’s expression closed down the way it did when he was too hurt to talk about it, and C.A.P.’s gut twisted into painful knots.  With a curt nod, Chunji said, “Okay,” and pulled his pants back up, turning to go.

            “Would you stop running?” C.A.P. demanded, dragging him back to the fridge.

            “Why should I stay?  We don’t have anything else to talk about, and if you think that you’re getting laid now-”

            “Yeah, not happening, I got it.”  It was difficult to convince his cock of that, but seeing Chunji hurt and angry all over again was doing a good job.  “We just talked about why being together is a bad idea.  And you don’t want me!  Not as a boyfriend.  I’d bore you.”

            “You talked!  I didn’t say anything about it.  You still don’t understand?  You still haven’t noticed?  I wanted to be fake boyfriends with you so that I could see what it would be like for real.  I wanted to try it.  I wanted to convince you that it was a good idea.  I wanted to show you what a good time we’d have together, that it would work between us.”

            Was that stupid or brilliant?  “Where do you come up with this complex crap?”

            “Okay!  Hyung!  You think it was a bad idea!  I understand!”  Chunji turned away, facing the fridge, leaning his forehead against his crossed arms.  “Shit.”

            Gazing at the nape of his slender neck, C.A.P. wanted to touch him.  Wanted to make him feel better.  Had no idea what to say.  Feeling guilty and inadequate, C.A.P. stroked his back.  C.A.P. had spent so much time behind Chunji, gazing at Chunji’s back, kissing it, caressing it, that it had become one of his favorite things, one of his favorite sights, and even now while Chunji was upset, C.A.P. felt better just being near to him, looking at his lean back, his narrow build, his soft, pale skin, his taut, sleek muscles.

            “You’re afraid of getting hurt,” Chunji said to the fridge.  “I can’t believe it.  You think that it won’t work because I’ll hurt you?”

            “I have feelings.  Even if I know it’s just for fun, it’ll hurt when you dump me.  And if you dump me for some other guy, I’m going to be a real ass to him.”

            “Just for fun?  What’s just for fun?”

            He wanted to kiss Chunji’s shoulder.  Running his fingers up Chunji’s spine, he tried to satisfy himself with touching, tried to suppress the urge.  “If you don’t like me, it’s a one-sided relationship.  I’ll be there with all of these feelings, and you’ll be in it just to see if it’ll work, just to have a good time.”

            Chunji whirled around so quickly that C.A.P. ducked.  “I like you!  Bang Minsoo hyung, you oblivious fool, I like you!  What do you think I’ve been talking about?  Why do you think I want to be your boyfriend?  Fun?!  This isn’t fun!”

            C.A.P. smiled, so happy he felt goofy.  “You like me?”

            “You’re worried that I’ll hurt you?” Chunji asked, like that was the important topic at hand.  “What about the real problems?  Like what if you hurt me?  What if I can’t handle m-m-m-monogamy?  I mean, I want to try it for you, and I’ve never wanted anything like that before, but I don’t know if I can do it.”

            Hunh?  “There’s no reason you’d have to.”  C.A.P. felt so good that he put his hands on Chunji’s waist, squeezing lightly, rubbing a little, happy to touch Chunji’s bare skin, happy about the fact that Chunji liked him.

            “That’s what I’m saying.”  Chunji blinked.  “Wait, what?”

            “Why would you stop having sex with other guys?”

            “Boyfriends,” Chunji said.  “We’re talking about being boyfriends.  It’s a relationship, a commitment, we’re supposed to be faithful.  I mean, there are the members - - I don’t think that counts, do you?  That was kind of my plan, that if I can’t take it anymore and I need some variety, I can just have sex with the members.”

            “Not every relationship is monogamous,” C.A.P. pointed out.  “I never expected you to stop having sex with other guys.”

            “What.”  Chunji licked his lips, looking intrigued.  “What do you mean?”

            Hadn’t he just said it?  “What’s not clear?  You can have a boyfriend and still screw other people.”

            “I could be your boyfriend.  And go out and have sex with other guys.  And you wouldn’t mind?”

            C.A.P. laughed.  Mind?  “I’d want you to.  I’d want you to go do it and come back and tell me about it.”

            At that, Chunji looked so delighted, C.A.P. leaned in to kiss him, happy to see him so happy.  Their mouths met for a long, deep kiss, and this time Chunji leaned back against the fridge voluntarily, tugging C.A.P. closer.  For a moment, the conversation and the argument and everything else slipped C.A.P.’s mind and all that mattered was the heat of Chunji’s kiss and the way Chunji’s back arched as C.A.P. caressed his sides.

            When Chunji said, “Wait,” and nudged him away, C.A.P. groaned and backed away, sinking down to squat on the floor.  Couldn’t they move forward in one direction for a while without tripping over every little thing?  “What will you do while I’m out?” Chunji asked, standing over him.  “Sit here and miss me?  Or date?”

            “If I’m lucky, I’ll take a nap,” C.A.P. said.  “I’ll do what I always do.  Sleep, clean, watch the kids, practice, pick up something to eat.”

            “Date?” Chunji insisted.  “Have sex?

            “No.”  He looked up.  “Maybe with one of the members.  Not with anyone else.”

            “Forget the members, they don’t count.  You’re saying that you want to be monogamous?  You’re going to be with me, only me, just me.  No one else.  No dates, no sex, no people.”

            “Yes.  That’s what I want.  One boyfriend.  You.  That’s it.”

            Chunji still seemed suspicious.  “I go out.  You stay here.  I have amazing sex with another guy.  You eat ramen.  I come home and tell you all about the steamy sex I just had.  You’re happy.”

            C.A.P. chuckled.  “You just described how it always goes.”

            “What if you get jealous?  What if I go out too often?  What if it’s someone you don’t like?”

            “I won’t be jealous as long as it’s just sex.  If you start having feelings for somebody, or seeing him all of the time, that wouldn’t be okay.  But if it’s the same as it is now - - you respect our schedules, you stick to the idols we know we can trust, it’s just sex and not some big romantic thing, it’s great.  I want to hear all about it.”

            “Sex with anyone I want,” Chunji said slowly, eyes gleaming.  His lips curved in a wickedly pleased smile.  “And then come back to you.  My boyfriend.”

            “Good plan, right?” C.A.P. asked, grinning.

            “It’s perfect.”  Chunji rubbed his hands together, crouching in front of C.A.P.  “And you’ll be faithful to me?  No dates, no one else, just me?”

            “Just you,” C.A.P. agreed.  Like he’d have energy left for anyone else.

            “I like this,” Chunji said with relish.  “So much.”  Resting his hands on C.A.P.’s thighs, he looked curious.  “You really like me?”

            He nodded, smiling.  “Really.”

            With a proud little smile, Chunji rubbed C.A.P.’s thigh.  “Ask me to be your boyfriend.”

            Patiently, he asked, “Chunji, will you be my boyfriend?”

            Chunji just smiled at him in silence for a moment, then burst out with, “Yes!” and hugged him.

            Happy, relieved, C.A.P. hugged Chunji back, eyes closing.  This was just what C.A.P. had wanted, and exactly what he’d thought that he couldn’t have.  “Do you have any more questions or problems or issues or crap to bring up?”

            “Just one.”

            Patience.  Patience.  Patience.  C.A.P. looked into his eyes.  “What is it?”

            Chunji’s smile sparkled with sexual flirtation.  “Do you want to fuck on your bed or right here first?”

            As they entered the dorm, Changjo collapsed face-first on the couch and Niel raced to the bathroom.  With a pathetic moan, Chunji walked right into the wall and stayed there, slumped.  “I’m so tired.  And hungry.  And gross.”

            “You’re not gross,” C.A.P. said.  Stepping up behind Chunji, he massaged the back of Chunji’s neck.  “Start dinner,” he ordered, looking over at Ricky.

            Ricky looked around the room in a dramatic display of astonishment.  “Me?”

            “Am I talking to myself?  Start some ramen.”  Kissing the back of Chunji’s neck, he slid his arms around Chunji’s waist.  “You want to relax while it’s cooking?  Get out of these clothes, take a shower.”  He brushed three kisses over Chunji’s nape.  “I’ll help you wash.”

            “Mmm.”  Chunji was relaxing against him, a comfortable weight against his chest.  “That sounds nice.”

            “Yeah?”  He nuzzled Chunji’s silky hair.  “Did Dongho sunbaenim text you back?”

            With a lithe twist, Chunji kissed C.A.P.’s cheek.  Then, taking C.A.P.’s hand, he headed down the hallway.  “No, but Soohyun hyung called and said that they’ll be back in Seoul next week.  We have a couple of hours on Tuesday, don’t we?”

            While C.A.P. and Chunji kicked Niel out of the bathroom and Ricky banged pots in the kitchen, L.Joe crawled onto the sofa, stretching out over Changjo’s back.  Running his hand through Changjo’s hair, twisting the longer strands around his fingers, he smiled at Changjo’s sleepy hum of contentment.  “What day is it?”

            “The nineteenth.”

            The nineteenth.  “The month’s more than halfway over.”  He felt a weird twist of longing, just saying it.  “What do you want to do on Tuesday?  Go out?”

            “Sure.  Oh, can we go to the movies?  I want to see that dance movie.”

            “Mmm, okay.”  He was happy to spend time with Changjo doing anything, but they had so little free time, whatever they did, he felt like opportunities were slipping away from him.  If they went to the movies on Tuesday, he’d think about how much time was being wasted in staring at a screen when they could be talking instead.  If they stayed in, the sex would be fantastic, and that was never a bad thing, but he’d regret the lost opportunity to go out together, to spend time in public as boyfriends, even if no one else around them had any idea that’s what they were.

            Days were passing, weeks ending, and there was still so much of life as Changjo’s boyfriend that he had yet to experience.

            Under him, Changjo started squirming, so he lifted up a little, and Changjo twisted around until they were face-to-face.  Settling down again, on Changjo’s chest this time, he smiled at the happiness in Changjo’s expression.

            “L.Joe hyung.”

            “What?”  He liked the way Changjo’s hands glided down his back, lightly cupping his ass before sliding back up.  He shifted a little, arching his back.

            “This has been a good month,” Changjo said, stroking him.  “I’ve had a good time.  I’m glad that we did this.”

            “Yeah.”  He didn’t want to get sentimental, but it had been a very good month.  It was going to hurt like hell when it was over.

            Changjo gave him a subtle “come-and-get-it” look.  Leaning in - - he loved that look - - he kissed Changjo’s lips.  Changjo kissed him back, then murmured, “L.Joe hyung.”

            Chuckling, he kissed Changjo again.  “What?”

            Changjo’s smile held a mischievous glint.  “Next month.  Has thirty-one days.”

Series page: "The Note"

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Copyright November 16, 2013
by Matthew Haldeman-Time