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The start of the school year is always kind of chaotic. Or more specifically, the prestart, since classes don’t begin until Monday. I arrived at Brixham U a couple of days ago, wanting to settle in and catch up with my housemates before school begins and practice starts.
I plan to make the most of my senior year at Brixham. Not only by playing my ass off in basketball, but come next year, adulting begins.
I knock back the shot Sammy hands me, holding back my cringe. I’m not sure if the sour aftertaste of his gross concoction or the thought of working full-time causes the reaction.
“Leon, you want another?” Sammy grins and offers me a full shot glass. The contents of this one are red and gloopy-looking.
I scrunch my nose, undecided. I don’t plan to get too wasted tonight, but if there was a night for it, this is it. It’s probably my last chance of getting hard-core drunk. We’ll meet with Coach in a few days, get our first look at the newbies, and I expect I’ll receive an unforgiving reading list and class schedule.
Just the thought of the madness to come makes me nod and reach for the shot.
“Good man.” Sammy clinks his glass against mine and downs it. While this one goes down easier, it’s strong, and I’m pretty sure I’ve sprouted hairs on my otherwise smooth chest.
“Shit, Sammy, what the hell was in that thing?”
His snort doesn’t reassure me. “You don’t wanna know.” He follows up with a wink before turning his attention to the brunette Bentley’s talking to a few feet away.
Grinning, I leave him to it, swipe a beer from the counter, and work my way through the crowd.
Almost all my teammates are here tonight, which includes my four housemates. Other than Sammy and Bentley, I have no idea where the rest are, but that’s more than okay. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, and at times like tonight, I like to blend in a little. That’s not the easiest thing to do when the team is together. Sure, there’s the whole height thing—we’re pretty much giants among this crowd—but we also get loud and rowdy when together. So many personalities and big egos tend to make us one-up one another. It’s fun, but tonight I just wanna go with the flow.
Maybe get my dick sucked.
I stop near the makeshift dance floor. It’s full, with plenty of gyrating bodies to catch my attention. In theory. I glance around. There’s no one I want to sidle up to. But that’s okay. I’ve only been here an hour and am in no rush.
It’s not like I’m looking for anything in particular. Honestly, a willing mouth will do.
Now, now, before you start wondering who this douche is—meaning me, obviously—I’m not that bad. I make it clear I’m just looking for a good, albeit quick time. It’s also been a long, dry summer.
Taking another sip of my beer, I make my way around the outside of the crowd. A few people catch my eye, offering hellos or smiles. Each time, I grin back or give an up-nod. What I don’t do is allow myself to get caught up in conversation.
Last season, our team, the Brixham Bears, kicked ass and won the playoffs. It means my face is recognizable. Not only on campus but in town and, honestly, to most discerning college basketball fans.
It’s helped a lot to get no-strings-attached head, so I like the attention, but it sometimes gets exhausting. Did you know people can be fake as fuck? Go figure.
It’s tiring to get bombarded by hangers-on who think I can give them street cred or an in if I go pro. That sounds all “woe is me,” I know, but bear with me. People try to take advantage. People get in my space without an invite. It makes my whole no-strings head make more sense, right? Outside of my buddies, who are all my teammates, I don’t trust anyone.
A round of cheers followed by hollers and laughter captures my attention. I follow the sound, curious that the noise broke through the pumping music. The journey takes me to a side room that, despite the volume, isn’t crammed. There’s probably fifteen people in the room, and I shit you not, they’re playing spin the bottle.
I snort, mildly interested as the bottle spins. Seriously, I was fifteen the last time I played this game. I remember it, as Debbie Leicester shoved her tongue in my mouth, and to this day, I don’t know how I stopped myself from gagging and humiliating her.
When the bottle lands on a couple of girls, my brows shoot up in surprise, and my mildly interested becomes a little more fascinated. Two girls making out… well, it’s something different to look at. The group’s reaction is like it was for the previous pair—a freckled redhead and skinny guy with specs.
It’s kinda cool that they react the same. There’s no sleazy comments, no lewd gestures or anything. I can’t help but wonder if the reaction would be the same if it were guys kissing.
“You wanna play?”
It takes me a moment to realize the question is thrown my way. My gaze lands on the speaker, a brown-haired guy with longish hair and wearing an old-school Nirvana T-shirt—something I only recognize courtesy of my uncle. The guy indicates toward the space next to a blonde.
With a shrug, I make my way over. Why the hell not? Kissing can be fun, plus there’s the whole adulting bullshit next year. When will I get the chance to do something so ridiculously immature again?
“Sure,” I say, sitting my ass down, grinning at the round of applause and claps. “Anything I need to know?”
The same guy, who on my second look appears vaguely familiar, smirks and then quirks his brow. “Just that wherever the bottle stops, that’s the person you’re matched with. Tongues are optional, and on the mouth is essential.” He bounces his brows, and a couple of people around the group chuckle. I join in and bob my head, not pulling away from the intensity of his dark gaze.
Do I have a problem if it lands on a guy? Not especially. Not that I’ve ever kissed a dude before, but have I thought about it? A time or five for sure. You can only hang out in a gay club so many times before your interest is piqued, right? Or is that just me?
Not that I go to gay bars for shits and giggles. It’s always been doing my best-friend duty, with me and my housemates joining Kieran. He’s one of my best friends, also our team captain, and over the years, when he’s been looking to hook up, we’ve gone with him.
That’s not as creepy as it sounds. We don’t, like, watch him or anything. Well, not deliberately. But we have his back, have since the day we met, and there’s no way we’d let him head into Atlanta without looking out for him.
I space out a little as the bottle spins, aware there’s been some kissing. There’s a couple of funny statements made, which are amusing, and when a guy to my right starts laughing about something Tiller said, I realize that’s the name of the guy who invited me to join.
“A tongue piercing isn’t the only one.” Tiller’s smirk is wide as he arches his brow. He tugs his tee, revealing ink on his pec and a bar through his nipple.
It’s a struggle to pull my attention away. Ink and a nipple piercing… separate, they can be sexy, but together, they’re hot as fuck. I’ve always thought that, whether on men or women. They look particularly spectacular on Tiller with his defined chest and washboard abs that I haven’t failed to notice.
“It’s the Prince Albert I’m curious about.” The girl opposite me smirks, laser-focused on Tiller.
“Is that right?” Amusement colors Tiller’s words while I flick my gaze down to his crotch.
Am I intrigued? Heck yes. I’ve always wondered what they look like in the flesh. No pun intended. Sure, I’ve seen photos, but the thought of seeing Tiller’s dick, ideally when he’s naked so I can see if the tattoos spread anywhere else, slams into my mind.
It’s front and center and not going anywhere.
And fuck if my dick doesn’t twinge in interest.
Again, not the first time this has happened. It is the first time, though, that my dick’s reacting to a guy sitting within arm’s reach of me and looking at me with barely concealed amusement.
Wide-eyed, I figure he’s caught me staring at his junk. Heat burns my cheeks, and I glance away, trying to discreetly clear my throat while pulling up my knee, foot flat, to prevent any more awkwardness.
And by that, I mean this group getting an eyeful they never asked for of the boner growing in my pants.
The chick with short hair spins. Rather than focus on the bottle, I concentrate on how that means it’s Tiller’s turn next. My stomach dips at the thought, but it’s not dread causing that reaction.
Awareness ripples through me. If the bottle lands on me, it means I get to kiss a guy—something I’ve been curious about for a while—but more than that, I get to kiss Tiller.
I have no idea who this man is, and despite seeming vaguely familiar, I can’t for the life of me place his face. Regardless, he has my interest—100 percent of it, in fact.
Maybe it’s because he hasn’t said my name, made a big deal of knowing who I am. I don’t say that because of my overinflated ego either. It’s hard not to know I play for the Bears if you’re a student here.
After the current kiss ends, I swallow hard and hold air in my lungs. I risk a glance toward Tiller. My breath whooshes out when his attention is already on me. With his head cocked, he seems to be studying me, and since I suck at hiding my reaction to him, a surge of “fuck it” slams into me.
I arch my brow at him. He can read into that whatever he wants. And then he spins. Rather than focusing on the bottle, I stare at him. His gaze doesn’t drift either. We’re caught up in this challenge of sorts, and I hope like fuck the bottle lands—
A squeal has me jerking my attention to the redhead. From the expression on her face—the goddamn glee there—I don’t even have to look to know the bottle is pointed right at her. Hell, I would likely react the same way if the stupid bottle had singled me out.
I can’t blame the girl.
I don’t know if fascination or envy has me staring hard at her as Tiller leans across the space. A beat before their lips collide, his gaze snags mine. My chest tightens at that one look, and I can’t watch. Glancing away, I focus on the window, which is a mistake as the reflection shows Tiller pressed against the girl.
And then it’s over.
Is it me, or was that kiss super short? Like, a good ten seconds less than the others. Am I grasping? Maybe, but still, the cheering’s died down, though there’s plenty of laughter and talking, and the next spin has started.
But I don’t really want to play anymore. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t had my spin; the fun factor disappeared when I focused on the reflection.
A nudge in my side startles me. The group’s looking at me, and apparently, it’s too late to make a run for it. Forcing a smile, I pick up the bottle. I may as well just get on with it.
I spin the damn thing and look away. At this point, I don’t care who it lands on. A kiss is a kiss and isn’t a big deal. Hell, I’ve lost count of how many kisses I’ve had over the years.
None of them have left a mark.
It’s the sound of catcalls that alerts me to the bottle stopping. With a sigh, I peer down and focus on the bottleneck, my gaze traveling in its direction.
I swallow hard when I see a pair of black boots. Jerking my gaze up, I focus on Tiller, pretty sure my lips part and my heart is beating so hard that it will leave a bruise behind.
And then we’re moving.
Piercing dark eyes are focused on me so intently that it’s impossible to look away. They draw me in, our bodies getting closer as if he’s a magnet and I’m iron shavings or some shit. Whatever the hell it is that’s making me move, I’m happy not to question it. Especially when his gaze dips.
When I do the same, glancing at his mouth, Tiller’s tongue peeks out, and he wets his bottom lip. While I don’t see it, I know there’s a bar through it. Do I want to suck it and see what it feels like?
Damn straight, I do.
There’s a moment that we pause. Maybe it’s not apparent to anyone else but the two of us. But it’s enough for our gazes to catch, for me to see how wide his pupils are blown, and enough for me to know that Tiller is as invested in this moment as I am.