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Zach had only ever worn these shoes to church and funerals. It was nice to wear them for a different occasion. He’d never been to an art exhibit before, but he figured it required some measure of dressing up. He was looking forward to seeing Tyler’s project, although he regretted that this was Alex’ first evening back in town, after the first week of classes following winter break. He wanted to have his boyfriend all to himself, but he’d have to share him with the group for as long as was socially required before he could steal him away.

He checked to make sure he didn’t get any toothpaste on his black dress shirt and ran a hand through his hair before heading out of his bedroom. His body was jittery with excitement, going to pick up Alex at his parents’ house to drive him to the gallery. All because of one, simple text Alex had sent him that afternoon:

Alex : I want to tell them.

Telling the Standalls about their relationship was a big deal to Zach. He knew Alex’ parents liked him, but as their son’s friend. He couldn’t predict if they would like him as his boyfriend. In fact, if he had to guess, he’d say they wouldn’t be too enthused. As a local law enforcement officer, Deputy Standall was well aware of Zach’s “fucked-up semester”. The man knew about the two DUI charges and was the cop to have pulled him over for what would have been his third offense, but he’d let him off with a warning. He knew how Zach had behaved at the riot and had instigated his son to partake in the vandalism. And – fuck – if they ever found out he coaxed their physically disabled son to follow him onto the ledge of a rooftop, Zach was sure there’d be another murder in town that the Deputy would gladly help cover up.

He wanted them to like him, as Alex’ boyfriend. But how was he ever going to live up to the legacy that was Charlie?

Charles Hayden Brixton Perfect Son-in-Law St. George.

Zach was a recovering drunk, who barely graduated high school after letting his grades slip and was now studying music – of all things – at a community college – of all places. His mom still paid for all his shit because he barely made any money with his part time job as the Tiger’s assistant coach. He hadn’t been a good friend to Alex when he had needed him most, too caught up in his own tape to see how Alex was buckling under his guilt. He had violently beaten a man to within an inch of his life and had left him for dead. If Jessica and Alex had never showed up on the pier, Bryce would have frozen to death over the course of the night anyway, seeing as the cops later found his phone still in his car. Zach would have been a murderer, without the defense of a traumatic brain injury.

Oh and on top of all of that, he was also the idiot who was too afraid to face his feelings and broke Alex’ heart more than anyone less strong would be able to handle.

Alex was nervous about telling them too, but not for the same reasons Zach was. The boy kept reassuring Zach that his parents loved him, ever since he pushed him through his PT. Alex’ reasons for being nervous had actually made Zach laugh out loud.

“They are so gonna know I’m ‘the girl’ in this relationship...”

Zach had spent all of that afternoon reminding Alex that there was no girl in their relationship…

That was a pretty hot afternoon.

He drove to the Standall home, his heartbeat becoming erratic along the way. Every time he moved his hands on the steering wheel, he noticed the sweaty palm print he left on the leather.

At the curb, parked behind the Mustang. Zach fretted with the top button of his button-up shirt. Should he do up the last button and suffer how tight the collar felt around his neck, or leave it undone and worry about making the wrong impression? He decided it was better to risk suffocation and pushed the button through the loop.

“Ok, Dempsey,” He spoke to his reflection in the rearview mirror, “Be cool. Relax.” That was so uncool he rolled his eyes.

On the porch he took one more deep breath before ringing the doorbell and listening as it chimed throughout the house. A tall figure appeared behind the frosted glass and the Deputy opened the door for him. He’d been faced with Alex’ father countless of times and knew him to be a kind man, but his heart leapt into his throat anyway.

“Zach, welcome.” Bill looked down at his watch with a frown.

Shit. “Hello, Sir. Am- Am I late?”

He laughed. “No, not at all. You’re actually on the dot. Impressive.” The man made way for him so he could step into the house. Another laugh resounded, softer this time. “Son, either you’re a little overdressed or Alex didn’t get the memo. Last I saw him, he was wearing jeans.”

He glanced down at himself as if he didn’t remember what he was wearing; a black button-up, grey slacks, and shiny shoes. Then he studied the Deputy, dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt. Top button undone. “Oh.” His brain just stopped at that.

Helpful. Thanks.

“Don’t worry about it. Come on in.” He patted a hand on his shoulder and motioned for him to continue into the living room.

He stiffly walked into the living space and greeted misses Standall who was in the kitchen still cleaning up after dinner. Her smile was wide and bright.

“Zach, honey, you look great.” She turned her attention to her husband. “See, Bill? People dress up for things other than church.”

The Deputy leaned in close to Zach. “You’re making me look bad, son.”

“Sorry, Sir.” From the mirthful look he received he got the keen sense he was being toyed with.

The man placated his wife by saying: “Fine, fine, I’ll put on a different shirt, at least.” He jogged up the staircase.

“Since Bill and I are tagging along, I hope you don’t mind if we take Bill’s truck instead,” Carolyn rattled off to Zach as she moved over to fix her lipstick in the mirror that hung above an end table. “We’re too old to fold into the back seat of that Audi of yours.”

“Oh, uhhh… Of course.”

She threw him a knowing look. “Alex didn’t tell you we were coming too, did he?”

“Give me a break, Mom,” Alex interjected as he came down from the stairs. “Tyler only texted me, like, twenty minutes ago that you should probably come.”

Zach stood rooted in the middle of the living room, feasting his eyes on the sight of Alex after not being able to see him for the past five days. He’d gotten used to not seeing his friend for five days at a time. But not seeing his boyfriend for five days at a time was definitely different.

He looked slim and fit in black jeans and a black, long-sleeved shirt. Although his hair was already perfectly tousled, Zach’s fingers itched to rake through the locks as he’d kiss him.

In turn, Alex looked him up and down, but his conclusion wasn’t quite as flattering. With that characteristic tone of voice, he asked: “Zach, what the fuck are you wearing?”

“Alexander, language.”

“Sorry, Mom.”

For the second time, Zach looked himself up and down, really regretting his choice of wardrobe. All he could do was shrug.

Alex crossed the space between them, sporting a smile, and with arms around Zach’s shoulders he pulled the taller boy down into a hug. “Missed you,” He whispered in his ear. “Asshole.”

Zach tightened his arms around him before forcing himself to let go. It was so hard to be close to him but not be able to kiss him, in the presence of Alex’ mom.

With a little frown on his face Alex reached up and undid the top button his Zach’s shirt, oblivious – or purposefully ignoring – how red Zach’s face became. “There, at least now you can breathe.”

Bill came stomping down the stairs and made a point of showing his attire change. He was wearing another flannel shirt, as he always did, but it was a dark green one, as opposed to the faded red one he’d been wearing earlier. “Better?” He asked his wife.

Carolyn shook her head at him, but with a smile. “Sure,” She said in defeat.

Bill faced his son. “Agreed?”

Alex quirked an eyebrow. “Dad, my own style has regressed to match yours, so I can hardly judge.”

“I’ll take it as a ‘yes’.” He clapped his hands together and checked his watch once more. “Everybody ready to go?”

Alex bounced forward. “Actually, before we leave, there’s something I wanted to tell you.”

Zach observed the two parents. Both waited patiently for their son to speak. He looked sideways to meet Alex’ gaze.

“Uhm,” The shorter boy scratched the back of his neck but then dropped his hand down and reached for Zach’s to entwine their fingers. “Zach and I are kinda… more than friends now.”

Zach swallowed a lump in his throat. It took him a second to dare to look back at the Standalls.

The parents exchanged a look. “We know, honey,” Said Carolyn, her smile was beaming.

“Oh. How?

She explained: “You told us how you felt about Zach two months ago and then you two didn’t see each other for over a month, until all of a sudden you spent all of winter break together. Also, you’ve had the most adorable little smile on your face ever since.”

Mom, oh my God.” Alex covered his face with his free hand.

The entire time Alex’ dad was looking at Zach and smiling at him and Zach felt so happy he could cry.

“Alright, come on,” The Deputy said eventually. “The guest of honor can’t be late.”

Zach threw a frown at Alex. “Guest of honor?”

His cute ears tinged red. “Yeah. You’ll see. Fuck.”

As the four of them walked to the truck parked on the driveway, Alex still held Zach’s hand and the father put a hand on Zach’s shoulder. Zach felt accepted. No, more than that, he felt welcomed and part of the family. It was more than he could ever wish for.

He knew his mom would never be able to react to the news like that. Most of him didn’t even believe anymore that she would get upset, since he hadn’t been her perfect son in a long time anyway. She’d probably take it in stride, chalk it up as yet another disappointment. But a small part of him was really scared that she would cast him out. That she might kick him out of the house, not pay for school anymore, and not let him see May anymore. And he was even more terrified that she could lash out at Alex, like she had done in the past. That she would blame him, in her old-fashioned ignorance.

That possibility wasn’t something he was ready to face yet and Alex told him he could keep it a secret as long as he wanted. There was no pressure on coming out. With the way their relationship had devolved, he might never want to make her privy to this part of his life. Because this part of his life, the part he shared with Alex, was the most precious thing to him and he didn’t want to give her the chance to taint that.

Which was why it was all the more special to him to have shared this moment with the Standalls.

Alex was lucky to have parents so loving and so evolving – they went to church every Sunday but never used religion as an excuse to not support their son. But he didn’t need to tell the boy how lucky he was; Alex was well aware.

The two boys got into the backseat of the truck.

It was almost a two hour drive to San Francisco where Tyler went to school and where a number of selected students had an exposition of their photography in a local art gallery. Zach played with Alex’ fingers the entire way.

When they were nearly there, Alex complained that he should have stayed at school. San Francisco was just across the Oakland Bay bridge from Berkeley. But then muttered something about having to get away from his “fucking roommate”, at which point his mom routinely corrected his language.

They arrived a little past eight and the exhibition wouldn’t open until nine, but they had been promised early access. They texted Tyler to let him know they were only a few minutes away and when they pulled up to the gallery, Tyler was waiting for them outside the windowed front of the building, accompanied by Estella. Inside, Zach could see angled, white walls displaying the photography and a lot of students bustling around to perfect their section and some parents trying to calm them down.

One by one they hugged Tyler. The boy was stiff with nerves. With jerky movements, he invited them into the gallery, holding the door open for them. As he led them to the back, he thanked Alex for “letting him do this”.

Zach shot Alex a confused look. “What’s this about?”

Alex stopped him then, pressing a hand against his stomach and coming to stand in front of him. “You guys go ahead,” He told Tyler, Estella and his parents and the four of them walked away. “Uhm… Tyler sorta asked me to model for him.”

Zach raised his eyebrows. “Are we gonna be looking at tasteful nudes or something?” He winked at the other and that earned him a punch against his chest.

“You know Ty took pictures of me after, right?”

“Well, yeah…” He’d been furious when he had found out. He couldn’t understand why Tyler would photograph Alex while he had been in such a fragile and vulnerable state.

“He kinda, like, documented my recovery.”

“His photography project is about you?”

“… Yeah.”

Zach drummed his fingers on his outer thighs. Now he was nervous too, about seeing the pictures. He knew what Alex had looked like, in that hospital bed, he had seen it with his own eyes. But he hadn’t seen it since. He had never been able to look at the pictures Tyler had taken of Alex.

“I’m sorry, I should have told you. I guess I wanted it to be a surprise. I think you might like it. But I didn’t really consider how hard it has to be to see the older pictures.”

“What about your parents?”

He shrugged. “It’s hard for them too, but they’ve seen ‘em before.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest and bowed his head. “You don’t have to go look, if you don’t want to see.”

“No. No, I want to see.” He curled a finger under Alex’ chin and tilted his head up so he could place a kiss on his lips. “I told you: this is a part of you and I want all of you.”

Still, he was apprehensive as he followed Alex to the back, where the others had disappeared to. As they walked around a segment of wall with colorful nature photography, he spotted the four figures. Tyler stood off to the side, head ducked between his shoulders, Estella talking to him, probably saying encouraging words that fell to deaf ears. Bill had his arm around Carolyn and she rested her head on his shoulder as they both studied a series of black-and-white pictures on the wall in front of them.

Zach and Alex came to stand next to them and immediately Alex was pulled into his mother’s embrace.

Zach swallowed to cure his dry throat and looked at the pictures from left to right. The first made his stomach churn. As feared, it was a picture of Alex in his most broken state, taken only a week after his attempt, when the parents first allowed other people to come visit him in the hospital. Bandages around his bleach-blonde head, face still bruised from the beating at Monty’s hands. The respirator tube looked like it violated him. The harsh sunlight streaming in through the windows created black shadows in the rippled bedsheets. The silhouette of his parents was out of focus in the background.

Zach couldn’t look at the picture for too long. It felt like he was going to be sick.

But the other pictures were a saving grace. The progression of photos showed Alex’ recovery. It showed him talking to his brother, while still bedridden. Walking out of the hospital with his cane. A PT session with Zach; the exact moment Alex had caught a ball left-handed and both boys looked shocked. In another the entire group was flipping off the camera left-handed at Monet’s. It also showed a picture taken from the passenger seat of the Mustang, of him sitting behind the wheel, wearing sunglasses and being caught in the mid of licking his lips.

There were more candids of him working out at Caleb’s, talking to his friends, or smiling at Tyler through the lens of the camera. And one photo of him cheering Charlie on during the first football game of the season.

Zach could never again be jealous of the time Alex had spent with Charlie. In hindsight, he could only be grateful to how much Charlie had helped him open up and be more comfortable with himself.

 Of course there was a photo of him at graduation as well.

The last photo was another one his boyfriend had clearly been asked to model for. He was sitting on his bed, his new bass guitar in his lap. He made piercing eye contact with the lens and he looked exactly the way Zach remembered him when they had first met and he wouldn’t budge for the school’s biggest bullies.


He took in the entire timeline all over again. The pictures were beautiful. The story they told was beautiful. The boy was beautiful.

His eyes were welling up with tears.

It took him a while to even notice that at the far right, there was an empty picture frame. He scraped his throat and asked Tyler: “Do you still have to put one in?”

“No. Uhh…” His face flushed with embarrassment. “I know it’s cheesy, but it’s supposed to symbolize that there’s more to come. That the story isn’t over yet.”

“… Jesus fucking Christ, Tyler.”

“Zach, language,” Alex’ mom said and then they all exchanged a look and laughed.

Bill squeezed Zach’s shoulder and said: “Welcome to the family, son.”

They complimented Tyler on his work, all with tears in their eyes, and spent two more hours meandering through the exhibition, but circling back to Tyler’s photos several times. They experienced the emotional turmoil all over again when the rest of the group of friends arrived as well to show their support.

Charlie was the only one of the group who hadn’t been there during the first months after and the expression on his face was gutting, but seeing the other pictures snapped him out of his misery and then he seemed proud and relieved more and anything. Zach gave him a moment alone with Alex so they could talk.

When Alex couldn’t stand to be the center of attention any longer, the four of them went home and the Standalls invited Zach to spend the night.

But in the guest bedroom.



Spring break couldn’t have come soon enough. And couldn’t have lasted long enough. But three months crawled and the nine days flew. Alex soared with them, a little higher every day until the plummet ahead was terrifying and nauseating. It had been the best week of his life and Zach promised him they’d have more. Many more. But on days like today, Alex mostly thought about all the time they lost in the past and how much more time they would lose in the future. Over three more years of college left. Three years of a long distance relationship.

Zach wouldn’t let him be sad, however. The day would be a celebration. Not for any special reason. There would be plenty of sad days, Zach agreed, but that Sunday wouldn’t be one of them. He refused.

And… well… He had a way of being very persuasive.

Instead of their weekly Sunday lunch, the group met for breakfast instead. Three coffees and cinnamon rolls to start the day with. And then it was off to the beach. It was a long drive, but the journey was part of the fun. A caravan of cars speeding along the highway. Windows rolled down, roof folded down. Zach turning up the volume on his Spotify playlist, especially on one song by Wild Cherry. Alex behind the wheel.  

It was a warm day for March, but the section of beach they found wasn’t crowded and didn’t attract any of the last of the Spring Breakers.

They brought beach chairs, towels, parasols, food, and drinks. All non-alcoholic, out of consideration. They claimed a stretch of sand as their own. Diego, Charlie, Caleb and Zach wasted no time wrestling each other into the water, once they were in just their swimming trunks. Tony, Clay, and Alex desperately trying not to be included in the ritual. Of course none of the boys tried to grab any of the girls or Tyler; he was happy sharing a towel with Estella. Alex took off his jeans, but not his shirt.

The four athletes came running out of the ocean, putting up a show. Diego, Charlie, and Caleb were rewarded with a kiss. Zach had a slipper thrown at his face because Alex damn well recognized his mischievous expression and he narrowly escaped his boyfriend’s grabby arms.

Zach admitted defeat and dropped onto his beach towel close to Alex’. They lay together, soaking in the sun. Their fingers playing together in the sand.

After lunch, Zach whispered in Alex’ ear: “If you’ll take your shirt off, I’ll lather you in sunscreen lotion, white boy.” That was too enticing. Zach leisurely massaged his back with lotion, then leaned over his shoulder and playfully placed a dollop on his nose, point out it was already turning a little red.

Alex couldn’t have been asleep for more than five minutes when cold droplets landed on his chest and stomach and he glared up at his very wet boyfriend towering over him, blocking the sun. Of course he knew the moment he had agreed to take his shirt off and be left only in his swim trunks that it was only a matter of time until…

But Zach didn’t drag him into the water. Instead he covered Alex’ body with his, touching his freezing skin to Alex’ heated skin and getting him wet by dripping all over him.

“Since you’re wet anyway…” Then the boy was hoisted up from his towel and carried over to the water to be thrown into the waves. Hilariously, Clay, Tyler, Tony and Jessica ran in after them to come to his aid, igniting the others to come to Zach’s defense. It devolved into an uncoordinated battle of everyone trying to tackle everyone else. Zach held his ground with all but Alex; letting himself fall when Alex put his arms around him and pulled him down.

They let themselves dry in the sun afterwards and then packed up at the end of afternoon to head back to Evergreen. They stopped at a fast food restaurant along the way and ate on the parking lot, sitting on the hoods of their cars.

As they drove back into their hometown, the group split up, honking their horns at each other.

When the Audi parted ways with Tony’s red Mustang at an intersection, Alex expected Zach to drive them to his place, where they would spend the evening alone until Alex would have no choice but to head back to Berkeley. His blue Mustang was already in Zach’s driveway, with his weekend bag in the backseat. But at the next intersection, Zach took them straight ahead instead of making the turn to the right, towards his street.

“Where are you taking me?”

“It’s a surprise.”


They drove straight through Evergreen to the other end and climbed the hill, clueing Alex in as to what their destination was.

Sure enough they ended up on the overlook at the top of the hill. The town was below and the golden sunset was beyond.

Alex smirked as the car came to a halt. It was sheer luck that nobody else was around. It was a popular place for couples to go – not always with the most romantic motivations. He met Zach’s gaze and soon the tall boy was leaning towards him. With a hand on his chest, Alex stopped him, causing his boyfriend to pout.

He smirked at him. In a fluid movement he unbuckled the seatbelt and got up. With his hand on the headrest for support, he climbed over the center console and between the two chairs to the backseat. He looked at Zach defiantly and challenged him: “Come work some of that Dempsey-magic.”

Zach was quick to follow suit and he occupied the space between Alex’ legs and curled over to connect their mouths.

Zach smelled of salt water and the breaths that swept across Alex’ face were like a warm ocean breeze. His body still radiated heat from the sun. Alex felt it through the thin material of his shirt as his hands explored the broad chest above him, gliding his palms over the smooth planes and tracing his fingers through the outlines of muscles.

It didn’t bother Alex to know that Zach had brought many girls to the overlook. In fact, he liked it. Zach always had subtle ways of assuring Alex that their relationship was just as normal as any other and that they had the right to do regular “couple things”, like going on dinner dates, holding hands in the street, and making-out on the overlook. Even though Zach still hadn’t come out to his mother and perhaps won’t for years to come, if ever, he never made any effort to hide their relationship when they were in public. His mom was too in denial to believe any rumors she might hear. Him not coming out to her was not about shame. He wasn’t ashamed of his sexuality, or of Alex.  

That gave Alex a confidence he had never known before.

Zach sat back and Alex let himself be maneuvered into his lap. He loved getting manhandled. It was a thrill to him whenever Zach took control of the situation and took control of him. He wanted to relinquish control to Zach in the most intimate way. They hadn’t yet gotten that far but Alex felt ready.

Two big hands slipped under his shirt and drew up his back, leaving goosebumps in their wake.

Alex rocked back and forth in Zach’s lap, the friction through the two layers of denim was very familiar to them now, but no less exciting. No less arousing.

The hands traveled back down and greedy fingers pressed into his ass cheeks.

With his hands on the sides of Zach’s neck, he felt the wild heartbeat. His own heart was racing too.

Two hearts skipped a beat when headlights interrupted them and another car parked a few yards away from theirs.

“Wanna come home with me?”


They climbed back to the front of the car, both stumbling as they did and laughing at each other.

At Zach’s house, Alex followed him up the stairs. Zach had held his hand since they had been at the door to the garage. Inside his bedroom, the Asian boy didn’t bother turning on any of the lights. The sun had set and barely any light filtered in through the small window, but they both knew the room well enough to find their way around blindly until their eyes became adjusted to the darkness.

They knew their way around each other blindly as well. They kissed and groped on their way towards the bed, but pausing just short.

Zach stripped them both out of their shirts.

Alex let out his first moan when fingers ghosted over his chest and brushed by his nipples, hardening them with a single, passing touch. He listed forward and began kissing Zach’s chest. He tasted the salt on his skin when he sucked on his collar bone.

Zach’s arms wrapped around him. One hand delved into his hair, sending shivers down his spine. The other was at the small of his back, the tips of his fingers inching under his jeans. Lips appeared at the shell of his ear. A tongue traced along the edge before teeth grazed and nibbled at his earlobe.


“Hmmm?” The deep voice vibrated in Alex’ ear and chest.

“Is it okay if we make tonight our first time?”

The arms held him tighter still. “Are you sure?”

“Yes…” The word itself was a moan. His breath hitched when Zach’s hands grabbed his ass and the tall boy lifted him up against him. Reactively, he looped his arms around the strong shoulders and his legs around Zach’s waist. He was carried the final few feet to bed and gently lowered onto the mattress. He raised his hips up so Zach could help him out of his jeans and swim trunks. Once naked, he crawled further up the bed and waited for Zach to join him. He watched his silhouette against the window undress himself and the mattress dipped when he climbed onto the bed.

Alex blinked when a lamp on the nightstand was flicked on and the bedroom was bathed in a soft, orange glow.

Zach sidled up next to him, his onyx eyes magnetic. “I want to see you, is that okay?”

The blonde boy could only nod. He was pulled flush against his boyfriend’s naked body and they resumed their kiss. Zach’s tongue swiped along his lips, but every time Alex tried to engage it in play with his own, he withdrew and he could tell by kissing his lips that Zach was smirking.

It was driving Alex wild that Zach refused to claim his mouth. Thankfully, he knew exactly how to drive Zach wild in turn. He hooked a calf over Zach’s thigh and rolled himself back, pulling the bigger boy on top him. Then he put his other leg around him as well, locking his ankles together. He threaded his fingers into the black hair and moaned his name.

Simple as that.

Immediately his lips were plied open; Zach licked into his mouth to tease his tongue and teasing turned into dominating. Alex fought back coyly, but with no intention of trying to win. He arched his back as their arousals rubbed together, trapped between their stomachs.

One of the hottest moments of the past three months was Zach sitting on his knees between Alex’ parted thighs, the fingers of one hand wrapped around the base of their shafts, holding them together, while the other hand, slickened with lube, massaged the tips until they came together.

The pressure was already building in his stomach. The muscles of his thighs twitched as he had them clamped around Zach. “Please… Zach…”

Zach prolonged the foreplay a little longer, moving his head down and sucking on each nipple. His hands stroked from Alex sides down to his legs. Then he sat up and positioned one calf over his shoulder and turned the other leg outward, spreading Alex’ thighs further. Zach held eye contact and licked his lips. “Ready?”

He nodded stiffly. He trusted Zach. They had already admitted to each other previously that they had done some Googling on the matter.

The bigger boy reached out and pumped lube into his hand. He treated Alex’ cock to a few strokes and thumbed the underside of the head until Alex breathlessly urged him to stop. He took his hand off his arousal and brought it lower instead. It disappeared from Alex’ sight, so he studied Zach’s face instead, as he was looking down, completely focused on what he was doing.

Alex tensed up when he felt pressure against his opening; the tips of two fingers rubbing against him. He worried his bottom lip with his teeth. His chest and face were flushed, like he was under the sun again. He clenched his muscles involuntarily. The excitement was almost unbearable.

They had made themselves wait so long for this moment because neither wanted there to be any doubt once the time had come.

Alex definitely didn’t have any doubts. He craved Zach’s fingers. He craved his cock.

He was certain Zach was finally going to push a finger into him, but the other changed his mind and first reached for more lube instead. The cold liquid dripped down Alex’ cleft.

“It’s okay, Zach. I’ve had one finger before,” He reminded him. Alex telling Zach about the time he had fingered himself had created another memory Alex cherished, especially on lonely nights at Berkeley.

Alex twisted his fingers into the bedsheets. Thinking back to that – back to fingering himself and back to Zach hanging off his lips as he told him about it – while being in the position he was in, was both too much and not enough. He begged again: “Please, Zach.”

The first finger slipped in without resistance.

He squeezed his eyes shut and threw his head back. It moved in and out of him and curled inside him, searching.

“How will I know-?”

“Trust me, you’ll know,” Alex grunted, flashing back to the time he discovered his own prostate. He could feel the bump of the gland along his inner wall. When he pressed it, he saw stars. And the more aroused he became, the more swollen and sensitive the prostate grew.

It didn’t take Zach long to find it and touch it in just the right way.

Alex sucked in a breath. His cock bounced up from where it rested on his stomach. He clenched around the invading finger.

Oh.” Zach let out dumbly.

When Alex cracked his eyes open, he caught his smirk. He didn’t get the chance to make a quip because Zach pressed his finger up again and the only sound Alex could make was a drawn-out moan.

A second finger joined the first, completely painless. Then a third.

Alex was a writhing mess. Zach held the leg draped over his shoulder still, with fingers digging into his thighs, but the other leg was restless. His mouth was open so moans could tumble past his lips unfiltered. “Zach, I’m ready, please. God, I’m so ready.”

He retreated his fingers and used a tissue from the nightstand to wipe them. He produced a condom from the drawer. “Do you want me to wear one?”

“Uh… I haven’t-… Since…” Forming sentences was difficult. No, impossible, apparently. But Zach knew what he meant, they had discussed it before: he hadn’t had sex since all of them had gotten tested last summer.

“Me neither.”

Alex giggled. “This is gonna be over quick.”

“Probably.” He bent forward and kissed him, before mumbling against his lips: “Don’t judge, okay?”

“I won’t if you won’t.”

“So… No condom?”

Alex shook his head, then thought to say: “Not unless you want to.” Maybe he thought it was unclean otherwise…

“I don’t. I want to come inside you.”

He clawed at Zach’s back. “Ohh, fuck… Zach.”

“Fuck indeed…”

Alex welcomed another kiss. Their tongues danced together.

Zach’s hands glided over his body. Only stopping to apply a liberal amount of lube to his cock. He hooked his thumbs under his knees and pushed his legs up until both were over Zach’s shoulders. With one hand, he held himself at the base and pushed the tip against Alex’ opening.

He bit his lip when Zach pushed into him. Pressure built until the ring of muscle stretched to accept him inside. He kept himself quiet, reveling in the throaty moan his partner let out.

“Stop me if it hurts,” He ground out, slowly entering him, his muscles quivering with self-restraint.

“No, it’s good, keep going.” The stretch and the constant pressure against his prostate felt wonderful and dulled any pain involved to a mere discomfort. He let his legs slide back down to Zach’s hips and urged him to come forward.

Zach dropped his head down into the crook of his neck when he was fully seated inside him. He struggled to remain still. His chest was heaving as he panted. His weight rested on his elbows. He grabbed fistfuls of pillow on either side of Alex’ head.

Alex had his arms and legs around him, surrounding Zach’s body in every way he could. Holding him inside of him was the most incredible experience. It was a kind of intimacy he had never known before. He mouthed meaningless things against his ear; whispers and moans. All coherent thought vacated his mind for a minute and in the calm one wish became prominent: “Move… Zach… fuck me…”

A kiss silenced him, but Zach did as requested, pulling out to thrust back in. The motion was slow and careful at first. The friction was only maddening, not satisfying. Alex cupped Zach’s face and broke their kiss to look into his eyes and to tell him: “I’m not gonna break. Fuck me harder.”

Zach complied, building up the rhythm of his hips. His skin glistened with sweat. His hair was damp. Alex ran his fingers through it. He brought his face down to rest his forehead against his. Zach let out a grunt with every powerful thrust. The head of his cock pushed past the prostate with every motion. Soon enough, every thrust earned Zach a moan from Alex. The pleasure built like a crescendo. The tension needed a release. Soon.

“You were right… It’s-… I’m gonna-“ Zach warned.

Alex wetted his fingers on his tongue and brought his hand down between them. Massaging two fingers against the underside of his cock was enough to push him towards the edge of his orgasm. His brows knitted together.

“Are you close too, baby?”

He fucking loved that nickname. “Ahh, yeah! Yeah! C-Call me that again.”

Zach’s voice was like velvet against skin when he said: “Wanna see your pretty face when I come inside you for the first time, baby.”

Holy shit. Alex cried out as his climax hit him. The intensity of it was new. He clamped his muscles down on Zach’s cock, but he needed him to fuck him through his orgasm, so he pleaded: “Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop.”

“Baby, I won’t.”

His own cock twitched, releasing semen onto his belly. The thought of Zach soon coming inside him added to his high.

Riding out the waves of his orgasm, he managed to open his eyes again and lock gazes with Zach.

“Keep looking at me just like that, baby…” Zach stared into him. His black eyes were smoldering. “I fucking love you.”

“Love you too.” Alex panted through parted lips and watched Zach pressed his lips into a taut line. His hips bucked uncontrollably as he reached his climax. He slammed himself into Alex and froze up. He tried to keep his eyes open, but he ended up squeezing them shut in pleasure. Alex felt him release inside him and it made him feel dirty in a good way.

Zach’s muscles unlocked and he lazily rolled his hips for a moment before carefully pulling out and collapsing down onto the bed next to Alex. He gathered his boyfriend up in his arms, holding him against him, not caring about the semen or sweat. He petted a hand through Alex’ blonde hair.

After a few minutes of them catching their breaths, Zach let out a laugh and Alex joined him.

Holy fuck.”

“Holy fuck indeed.”

Zach pulled back only just enough to show off his silly smirk. “We make some good music together.”

All Alex could do was wordlessly agree and let himself be kissed. Zach poured all of his passion into it. “How am I supposed to leave after that?” He wondered. He didn’t have long until he’d have to head back to Berkeley. He sighed and closed his eyes at the way Zach caressed his face. It put him at ease.

“At what time does your first class start?”

“Hmm… Nine.” He smiled when Zach placed a kiss on his lips, curling a finger under his chin.

“Spend the night,” He suggested. “If you leave at seven, you’ll make it back in time.”

“That sounds like a good solution now… But I’m gonna regret it in the morning.”

Another kiss. “I’ll wake you at six thirty with a blowjob.”

He blinked his eyes open. “No orgasm is ever gonna be good enough again without you inside me.”

Zach groaned. “Fuck... If you’re not too sore tomorrow,” he stressed, “I’ll  make love to you in the morning.”

Alex smiled, this one time not protesting the corny term of ‘making love’.

Zach brushed his hand through his hair. “You have no idea what you do to me when you smile.”

He nuzzled his face into Zach’s chest to hide his blush. He knew they had to get up in a minute to clean up a little bit, but he wanted to enjoy the moment for as long as he could, breathing in the smell of sweat, sex, and salt. “I’m gonna miss you so much.”

Zach tightened his embrace around him in agreement.

“We need more Zach and Alex time.” Alex said. He felt Zach’s chuckle, rather than heard it.

“We’ll have forever for more.”