“So you found this in Chester’s trailer?” Asks Anne Marie, who Trevor just beat out for some dressage bullshit less than six hours ago, and now apparently they’re best friends and she’s staked out her claim in his future wedding as his best lady. Horse people, Trevor thinks, but he’s a fucking horse person now too, isn’t he?
Hell. He’s still got his show boots on and his blue ribbon pinned on his hair like it’s some kind of girl’s fascinator.
“Yeah, I mean, I figure… it has to be somebody else in today’s event, right? Like, horses can’t draw,” he says, pulling from an illicit beer while Mitchell leans over Anne Marie’s shoulder and Trevor’s to look at the crudely-drawn, cartoonishly scribbly stick figures. They feature, unmistakably, Trevor riding Chester, with an unusual amount of hearts in their eyes and fire at their heels. It’s badass, he has to admit, or at least it is until they get to the pages where it looks like Trevor and his horse are making out, romance-novel-swoon-style, which is so weird that he ended up not being able to look Chester in the eye as he left the barn that night, having just discovered the weird journal in his otherwise empty horse trailer.
The football match around them erupts in cheers; Trevor slaps at a mosquito on his arm. He doesn’t bother to so much as glance at the field.
He won everything today, which is quite a bit for anybody, let alone a bad-boy city kid who’s come to the land of horses, corn, and long horizons. Now he’s surrounded by the true spoils of his victory, a king amongst his new court: the horse people, the preppiest and best-connected kids in Wise Acres High. Trevor’s still got his leather jacket on from his bike gang days in the city. He wore it as a good luck charm; it sure seemed to work.
Anne Marie was a graceful loser, he has to admit, and got them all hooked up with Bud from her mom’s fridge and bud from her mom’s stash. Her mother, as usual, was not there to witness the theft. Now they’re piled on the top row of the bleachers watching their mixed-sex football team absolutely crush the competition. They’re blazed, drunk, and gossipy.
The only real difference between the kids he used to run with in the city and the kids here, Trevor has concluded, is that these kids wear nicer sweaters.
“My mom had a dog who could draw,” volunteers Rachael, who has one too many vowels in her name by Trevor’s estimate.
“Did your mom’s dog draw Trevor making out with his horse?” asks Anne Marie scornfully.
“Could have,” Rachael sniffs, handing out the joint to Thom, and angles her dark eyes out over the field. “Oh, who fucking cares? Somebody wants Trevor to bang his horse, whatever. Look, the cheer squad is coming out!”
“You know everybody’s weird about that, man, don’t let it get to you,” Adam says from Trevor’s other side, clapping him on the shoulder. “Horses. I figure it’s penis envy, really. Very Freudian.”
“Freud was a hack, and shut the fuck up, I need to bask here!” Rachael insists, pointing insistently at the cheer squad as they swan out into the lights.
As one, the crew around Trevor whips out matching monogrammed golden binoculars right as the lights dim, gluing them to their faces like they’re oxygen masks on a plane going down.
“The fuck,” Trevor says, and perhaps mistaking his meaning, perhaps not, Anne Marie wordlessly whips out another set of binoculars.
“Thanks,” he says, uncertain if he is, and slaps his eyes on the field just in time to see one of the most beautiful boys he’s ever seen in his life flick his hair, uh, his mane if Trevor is being honest and not uncomfortable with horse words right now, over his shoulder. “What the hell are they wearing?”
“The cheer captain got his dad to buy the school new uniforms,” says Thom breathlessly, and when Trevor looks at him his knuckles are white with the intensity of his grip on his binoculars. “The old ones were the school colors, and polyester. There are a 30-50-20 cotton-linen-wool blend, custom-tailored from Wardsboro Mills. God I just want to eat them up.”
“Yes. Supremely sexy. I would like all of them, all at once.” Rachael agrees, swinging her gaze this way and that.
“Whore,” Anne Marie comments, more as an aside than anything.
“God just to get my hands on those fibers,” mutters Thom.
Trevor thinks about asking multiple questions, but they all end up starting and ending with why, so he shakes his head and slaps his binoculars back on his face. They do look good, he has to admit: the red piping on the dark grey of the jackets is choice as fuck, and it frames everybody’s asses perfectly as it goes down.
The music kicks in and the cheer squad start dancing. It looks like some kind of bullshit courtly dance. Trevor would be annoyed, but it does give him time to scan the field for that beautiful bolt of lightning known as the cheer captain. There he is- his expression is irritatingly calm in the kind of way that always sets Trevor’s teeth on edge at the same time it makes his heart pitter-patter.
“Christ spread out with sushi on his nipples,” breathes Rachael, and Thom gives a low moan of agreement: the cheer squad has burst into some kind of vigorous, intense dance that Trevor can’t keep track of. It looks like a brawl made beautiful, gets his blood running again like it did when he saw those sweet sweet scores on the board earlier today, and all he can think of as he watches the wild gyrations and twists and leaps of the cheer squad is that he is fucking into this.
“I’m gonna’ fuck the cheer captain,” Trevor decides.
“I’ve been pining after him for four years,” Matt protests.
“He just beat all of our stupid asses at a sport we’ve been practicing your whole lives,” Anne Marie points out. “With like two months of practice on a horse that hates everybody. If anybody can fuck the cheer captain, Trevor can.”
“I think his horse wants to fuck him,” says Mariah thinly, still paging through the journal, but nobody is paying attention.
He’s gone down to say hi after the game, but partway there he catches sight of the star of the football game whipping off her helmet as she slowly walks off the field.
Her hair is damp with sweat as it falls from her helmet, moisture beading along her temples and catching in the fine hairs there. Her cheeks are pink with exertion, and she has dark smears of grease under her eyes. She’s still wearing the uniform with its outsized shoulders and heavy protective pads under the jersey; Trevor would be hard-pressed to say what number she is, but he knows, as her stark blue eyes meet his across the field and through the crowd, that he has to push his luck tonight.
She tosses her head and a little halo of sweat comes off her under the lights; Trevor feels his knees go weak.
“I liked how you,” Trevor says awkwardly, gesturing vaguely before making a clutching motion, “did the- uh, all those.”
She stares at him in silence. The crowd around them is raucous, brilliantly cheery the way a crowd only can be on a hot summer night when all there is to do now is go home and drink some more.
Fuck. Did she catch? Run? Or… kick? Did people kick in football?
“Sports things,” Trevor continues confidently, narrowing his eyes a little to make himself look cooler. “Good job just—“ he makes a throttling motion. “Really fielding the, just getting in there and, the goal really was—“ he’s rapidly reaching the limits of his knowledge of Sportsballs. He may have already reached it, but his knowledge is so limited that he can’t even tell.
“Who are you?” she interrupts, brow furrowing. “Have I seen you around school before?”
“Probably not,” he says, running a hand through his hair and continuing to squint to look cool. “I skip a lot.”
“You shouldn’t,” she says, ‘BELNADES’ blazoned over her chest in blue like a beacon of hope. “That can really impact your grades, I think.”
“I don’t care about grades,” Trevor says smugly, pretty sure he’s got this in the bag. Law-abiding women love bad boys. That’s why he got sent out here in the first place, after all. Sort of.
“You should,” says a voice from over his shoulder, and it’s the cheer captain, and Trevor is pretty much sandwiched between them, and he wants to die, but like, in a sexy way. Thom may be a freak, but he is not wrong: those new uniforms are fuckable.
“Maybe we should get off the field,” says the star football person whose position he doesn’t know and fuck he should have asked Anne Marie.
“Yeah? And do what?” Trevor asks, glancing between the both of these impossibly sexy and also paying-attention-to-him people.
“I don’t know,” the good-at-football person says, “but you’re squinting a lot and so I figure the lights must be hurting your eyes.”
One nice thing about the country, Trevor decides, lying in the bed of the star quarterback’s truck as she rides him like she’s the one showing up to regionals next month, is all that space. Sure, he doesn’t have any right now, not with the cheer captain fucking his mouth and the star quarterback fucking the rest of him, but that’s another thing about the country he’s learning about: freedom.
“Good thing you’re done with your events for today,” Adrian says, pants around his ankles, fucking Trevor in the back of Sypha’s truck while they’re parked in the darkened lot of a closed Best Buy. She’s eating a frostee from Wendy’s with a spoon. Adrian and Trevor are making the truck rock.
“Uh,” Trevor comments, wedged into a corner and taking dick and loving it, “fuck, fuck, fuck, ah god harder,”
“I can’t see him bouncing on anybody’s back tomorrow, that’s for sure,” Sypha agrees, reaching out to draw one cold, wet finger up Trevor’s cock, making him whine and beg and tangle his hands in Adrian’s hair.
“He’s honestly got good core strength,” Adrian breathes out, almost snarling, as he bends Trevor in half and really sets to work demonstrating his own moves.
Trevor sees stars, and will never be able to see any of Adrian’s dance routines the same again.
Another thing about the country Trevor is learning is the art of just diving right on in to a good meal and not stopping until you’re done.
“Maybe I should take some horseback lessons,” Sypha muses, lazily rocking her hips forward and back as Trevor licks her. They’re piled on Adrian’s bed; both his parents are doctors, his mother an ER surgeon and his father a researcher, and so the chances of either of them coming home tonight are near zero.
“It seems to be good for the thighs,” Adrian agrees, groping lazily along Trevor’s. He pinches at the muscle there, watches Trevor jump, and laughs. “And for stamina. Do tell us once you’re all tired out.”
“Don’t,” Sypha says, threateningly, her thighs clenching around Trevor’s head, “until you’re done here.”
Next Monday, Trevor walks in to school with his leather jacket over his shoulder and his bookbag empty. He moves to fling himself down next to Anne Marie but catches himself halfway into the movement and sits down like a normal person instead. He’s got a ring of hickies all along his shoulders, his collarbones, and his neck. Thom is chewing on his straw, staring at an L.L. Bean catalogue; everybody else is talking or texting.
“Damn,” Anne Marie says, fingering through her pink-and-lime-green organizer. “Midterms are coming up.”
“I haven’t really done any homework,” Trevor admits. “I’ll probably just fail the exams again here like I did in my old school.”
“Try to make it a little easier for me to feel sorry for myself,” Anne Marie chides. “When you say shit like that, I just start feeling sorry for you instead.”
“Oh god,” says Rachael, looking at something over Trevor’s head. He pops his head up to see Adrian, clutching a stack of dense textbooks like they weigh nothing, standing over him. Sypha pops up from behind him brandishing pens and a set of papers with X’s and O’s on them. The papers look suspiciously sports-y.
“I can’t date an idiot,” Adrian explains loftily. “We need to get your grades up.”
“I can’t date a sports idiot,” Sypha chimes in. “You need to at least understand enough to know when our team is winning.”
“Oh god,” says Rachael, her tone turning salacious as her eyes fall on Trevor’s hickey-laden form.
“Whore,” says Anne Marie again.
From elsewhere down the table, Mariah comments, “have you ever contemplated that your constant slut-shaming of your closest friend might stem from repressed lesbian desire?”
“We’ll see you at the library after school,” Adrian tells Trevor, rummaging through his pile of books. He doesn’t seem to be bothered at all by the fact that he’s balancing a stack of full textbooks on one arm. Trevor has struggled with a backpack holding two books, but Adrian seems freakishly strong; no wonder he was able to keep up with Trevor this past weekend.
“Adrian wrote up your study schedule and I made your meal and activity plan in an old planner I had lying around,” Sypha says, fluffing her hair. “If you synchronize your protein intake and exercise regimen for maximum synergy, you should see even better results in the ring.” Trevor accepts the book that Adrian hands him, flabbergasted.
“She’s practically a magician with stacked protein consumption,” Adrian agrees, and Sypha flutters fondly at him.
“I never said anything about,” Trevor tries, but Sypha just smiles at him and Adrian glowers hotly, and. Well. They walk away, so he just turns back, confused.
Anne Marie and Rachael are making out passionately.
Trevor looks back down at his new schedule.
“Seriously, though, you can’t get back on that horse,” Mariah tries from the end of the table. “He’s actually written poetry here comparing you to a rose, and then wrote a poem about eating roses.”
“That’s Freudian too,” Adam comments. “Penis envy.”
“I can’t wait to leave this town,” Mariah moans.
Trevor flips through the schedule some more, frowning at how much damn studying is piled in there. After school is for skulking in alleys looking for meaning in filth. This is really going to cut into his nihilistic brooding schedule. (Somebody has written in ‘high-intensity impact training’ every Friday night, which would be subtle if it wasn’t surrounded by neon stick figures obviously fucking.)
They even have his riding schedule noted down, complete with little horse stickers.
Country life, Trevor concludes, tucking the little book into his backpack, might not be all bad after all. He’s still got a lot to learn, after all, and he’s sure Chester will be there for him through it all.
He’s lucky to have that horse.