Sorry it took so long to get this chapter out (understatement of the decade!). I'll try to not go so long before the next one goes up. Oh yeah, I also finally found my celeb look-a-likes for Cory and Preston--Shayne Topp and Presley Gerber.
By the time I finally looked at my cell phone, I was amazed. Efrain and I had managed to waste a few hours between our shower fun time and a much needed nap. I didn’t know why we’d been allowed to cloister ourselves for so long, but I knew when our time was up when I checked my text messages.
Keenan: Time to get your ass out here.
Keenan: Unless you really want everyone eating the tamales Vic’s mom sent.
I texted a quick “omw” before settling the kitten on my pillow and casting about for some jeans and a t-shirt.
Efrain stretched with a groan. “Shit, what time is it?”
“Time for me to entertain my guests,” I said.
“Eh, fuck ‘em. They can entertain themselves.” He sat up in bed, scrubbing his hand over his face.
I chuckled. “We left them with Indie.”
“You know he’s going to be bitchy after that.”
My boyfriend huffed, but nonetheless slid out of bed and began his own search for clothes. I’d had awhile to get used to Efrain’s relationship with Indie—they did all these little things to annoy each other, yet seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. There have been stranger friendships, but theirs was still fairly odd. I like to think that Efrain getting up and dressed to rescue our roommate from my brothers was more out of consideration for Indie than wanting to avoid a bitch fit, but you never know with them.
“They’re also about to eat my tamales.”
“My ex’s mom apparently sent me tamales,” I said.
“Why is your ex’s mom sending you food?”
“Don’t know, don’t care—the woman’s cooking is fucking ace. We mostly hung out with Vic and Vicky because we couldn’t get enough of their mother’s chocoflan.”
“Chocoflan is an abomination and must be stopped.”
Efrain continued to curse the atrocities committed against Cuban desserts while we got dressed, and growled at me when I asked if he was finished when he paused for a breath.
I laughed, pulling a hoodie over my head as he opened the door. We made our way down the hall only to find that our “guests” multiplied faster than a colony of Viagra-fueled bunnies in May. My former roommates and the Brain Trust, plus a number of girlfriends, sprawled all over Indie’s couches and spilled out onto the living room floor. Even Laurel and her friends had showed up. They sat, chatting animatedly with each other and my brothers as if they hung out together all the time.
However, before I could get an explanation for the impromptu house party, Connor broke away from the group to approach us. My boyfriend and I got no further than a shared confused look before my oldest brother’s arm wrapped around Efrain’s shoulders.
“We got words to exchange,” Connor gruffly told him as he moved to drag Efrain into the dining room.
“Connor,” I protested.
“It’s cool,” Keenan said, drawing my attention away. “He just wants to talk.” Then, he subtly jerked his head toward Preston with a stern set to his mouth, and I recalled the dickish words I’d leveled at my newest best friend. I cringed--I had some words to exchange as well.
I approached Preston. He was chatting with Meggie and Luz about some antics one of the girls had gotten into over the break. Preston seemed like he had recovered in the time since I’d fled the dining room, but that hardly meant he didn’t deserve an apology.
“Hey, Preston.” I laid my hand on his shoulder and he looked up at me. “Can I talk to you for a second?”
His expression fell a bit, and I cursed at myself. “Sure, no prob.” He stood and followed me down the hall toward my bedroom. We stood just outside the door, not exactly in complete privacy, but secluded enough.
Preston turned to me. “I’m so sorry, Cory.”
I cut him off gently. “Dude, what I said was out of line.”
“You were stressed, and I made it worse.”
“That’s no excuse,” I said, shaking my head. “I shouldn’t have said those things to you.”
“But, they’re true,” he said sadly.
“A little,” I admitted with a small grin and pulled him into a hug. “But, that’s part of your charm.”
Preston hugged me back with a little chuckle, resting his head on my shoulder. “I guess so.”
I kissed the top of his head.
“Thanks for putting up with me,” he said.
“Thanks for being there for me,” I replied.
“Well, that’s cute,” Keenan drawled as he walked toward us. “So, y’all got it straightened out?”
Preston nodded against my chest and hugged tighter.
“You know,” Keenan said, crossing his arms over his chest. “I’m kinda feeling left out now.”
“You could join us,” I offered, lifting one of my arms in invitation.
“Cory’s bi,” Preston said. “So, it’d be slightly less than totally gay.”
“Sounds reasonable,” Keenan shrugged and moved behind Preston to get his arms around both of us.
“Woohoo, Preston sammich!” Preston giggled. He squirmed and wiggled a little between us. “I’m sure we can find some extra meat somewhere in here.” Keenan snorted, but nevertheless gave Preston one of those over-the-top peck kisses at his temple.
I laughed. “I love you guys.”
“Of course you do,” Keenan said.
“How could you not?” Preston added.
I squeezed them both. “Now that we have that settled, y’all mind telling me how the hell so many people got here?”
“Laurel and Meggie set up a little ‘man date’ because they think Indie and Drew need to be friends,” Preston said.
“Indie said he forgot he was supposed to be their ‘seventh wheel’ again,” Keenan added.
“No, Indie forgot to tell me they were having a group date. Lucky for him, Meggie had already invited me.” Preston pouted, “The man had no problem remembering to invite JJ and Berta.”
“Which is how everyone else got here,” Keenan continued. “Your teammate called some other guys, and they all drove over.”
“Then Gio called Romero and Al,” I guessed.
“Yup. Since there’s so many people, they decided the group date should be a guys’/girls’ night out,” Preston said. “The girls are going out for salads and Cosmos--or something basic like that, I tend to tune out harpy squabble--while the rest of us are heading to Satchel’s for pizza.”
“Oh,” I said. “I’ll fuck up some Satchel’s pizza.”
“It's also their extended Happy Hour night, so your brothers and teammates are ready for some twofer beers.”
I sighed dramatically at the mention of my brothers and friends. “Suppose we should get back out there,” I said. “Keenan did threaten to feed everyone my tamales.”
“Hey, you’re supposed to provide refreshments and snacks for guests,” Keenan protested. “It’s not my fault I had to improvise ‘cause you suck ass as a host.”
Preston whined. “But, ‘Preston sammich!’”
“As awesome as this is, I’ve left my brothers with y’all for too long.”
“Yeah,” Keenan said as we broke apart. “You know, they totally annihilated your boy’s leftovers.”
“Really? I was looking forward to eating that curry,” I complained.
“And, your teammates got into those pancakes you had in the freezer.”
“Yeah,” Preston said. “They’re all gone now.”
“Welp, if it’s any consolation,” Keenan said, “Connor and Cameron did go out and buy a fuckton of groceries.”
“Were we really gone that long?”
Keenan chuckled. “I think they’re gonna make Efrain cook for them.”
I shrugged. “The way to a man’s heart…”
“Get your hands off me!” Preston squawked over a chorus of feminine whining as the girls tried to drag him out the front door.
Meggie entreated. “You hafta come with us!”
“Like hell I do!”
“No! I will not be your hag fag!”
“It won’t be ‘Girls’ Night’ without you,” Luz said.
“Do I look like a girl to you?” Preston fiddled with the front of his pants, and I heard something that sounded like a belt buckle and zipper coming undone followed by squeals and giggles. He gestured at his crotch. “Does this look like girl bits to you?”
“He’s showing them his dick, isn’t he?” Denholm muttered from the other side of the living room.
I nodded. It seemed my best friend had recovered even more of his impish humor since I’d apologized earlier.
“Ooooo! Preston manscapes!” Paul rolled his eyes at the sound of his girlfriend’s voice.
“Is this normal?” Caiden asked quietly and received affirmative nods from the guys crowding Indie’s couches.
“Oh my God, Luz!” Berta said. “You aren’t supposed to look.”
Luz laughed. “Hey, if he’s putting it out there, Ima take advantage. But, damn, he wasn’t kidding about bits.”
“Fucking duh it looks small!” Preston snapped to the tune of his refastening pants and belt. “I got the goddamn harpies of the basic bitch apocalypse trying to drag me off for their nefarious basic bitch purposes. No wonder my junk’s trying to crawl back up into my body!”
“Oh, come on,” Lacey drawled. “We’re not that bad.”
“Please, Preston,” Laurel begged. “All the girlfriends are going so the guys can be unattached.”
“Piss on that!” Preston said. “By that fucked-up logic, Efrain should be going, and I sure as hell don’t see you trying to drag his ass off.” Efrain’s eyes widened at the suggestion.
“Naw, Efrain’s not as fun,” Meggie said.
“Efrain’s not fun at all,” Luz argued. “We’d prefer Cory, but since his brothers are here, we can’t have him.”
“Yep,” Laurel stepped in, “and that’s why you hafta come with us.”
“Fuck no,” he asserted.
“Welp,” Meggie said, “if you won’t come willingly…” She turned to the other girls. “Get him!”
“Oh, hell no!” A minor scuffle ensued, as the gaggle of very determined women tried to herd the unwilling male cheerleader out the door. “Don’t think I won’t start throwing down ‘cause you’re women!”
Laurel cackled. “You can’t take all of us!”
Indie pinched the bridge of his nose and muttered, “Fucking A.” He marched into the foyer and after a few terse words marched back in with a smug looking, if slightly mussed, Preston.
“Now that that’s settled,” Preston said over the sounds of disappointed females walking out the door, “let’s load up and move out!”
We trooped outside, and after fighting off the girls’ last ditch efforts to get Preston into their outing, piled into our vehicles to carpool over. My brothers got divided among our friends—Mitch went with Caiden so they could talk shop about sports writing, Indie and JJ were conspiring with Connor, and Cameron joined Denholm and Paul. I only just barely got Keenan in the truck with me and Efrain.
VT was still out on winter break, so with half the dining area occupied we had no issues securing a table without a reservation on a Friday night. While we looked over the menu (or, those who could drink poured over the beer list), two guys with acoustic guitars entertained the diners. I remembered that they sang covers of the indie rock songs the restaurant played during the rest of the week, but were always willing to take requests.
“Hey, Cam,” Caiden said. “What cat beer are you getting?”
“I cat dunno,” Cameron answered. “I was cat thinking the Arrogant cat Bastard cat IPA. You?”
“There’s a cat local stout that cat looked cat good.”
Connor glared at them as they chuckled. “Will you stop talking about the stupid cat?”
“What cat?” Caiden asked innocently. “I have no cat idea what you’re cat talking about.”
“Yeah, cat man,” Cameron said before succumbing to a fit of giggles when I shot him a confused look.
Keenan rolled his eyes. “Apparently, they think Connor’s still sore about Lola and have been seeing how many times they can use ‘cat’ in a sentence. We got them to stop a little bit before y’all came back out. Guess they still aren’t tired of it.”
“God, they’re worse than the twins,” Efrain said.
“Twins?” Al asked.
“My brother and sister,” Preston answered. “They’re twelve, and yet somehow seem more mature than those two.”
“Aren’t y’all twins?” Mitch asked Caiden and Cameron. “Cory said you both graduated year before last.”
“Nope,” Caiden said.
“They just act like twins,” I said.
“They’re eleven months apart,” Connor elaborated. “They red-shirted Caiden back in pre-k.”
Our server, a petite brunette with some kind of Manic Pixie Dream Girl name that I could never remember, stopped over to take our drink order. Somehow, Preston had convinced Ms. MPDG that since his twenty-first birthday was only a couple weeks away, it would be okay to serve him alcohol, and he got to join in on the cat beer, while the rest of us underage guys had to settle for iced cat tea and cat water. We ordered more pizzas than one would reasonably think a group our size could consume in one sitting. Cameron asked for a couple dozen “garlic cat knots” because they sounded yummy.
Caiden and Cameron’s “cat” game continued and grew progressively worse as the rest of us got in on it. Someone even tipped the guitars guys to sing “Kitty” by The Presidents of the United States of America--which we all sang along to, even Connor—and they threw in “Katmandu” by Cat Stevens as a bonus.
But, we knew it’d gotten out of hand when the waitress brought the guys another “cat pitcher of cat beer.”
As they’d already run through the normal get-to-know-you stuff during mine and Efrain’s time out, my Virginia Tech friends had satisfied their curiosity about my brothers and Keenan, and vice-versa. Instead, my brothers trotted out all kinds of embarrassing shit about me.
He’d cry if Connor didn’t take him to play with his friend’s cat.
The first time I saw my wife, he was sitting in her lap.
He wouldn’t sleep in his own bed until he was six.
At least we convinced him to bathe by himself before Connor hit puberty.
We used him to pick up girls. Called it “girl fishing.”
Remember the time he got up at the asscrack of dawn and tried to make everyone breakfast? A whole gallon of milk, three sticks of butter, a box of cereal, half a carton of eggs, flour, sugar, and a bunch of mixing bowls and bakeware all over himself and the kitchen floor. No idea what he thought he was making, but I had to mop three times before my feet stopped sticking to the linoleum.
Then, Cam saw fit to bring up the time he caught me exchanging handy j’s with a friend in Dad’s woodshed.
“And that didn’t surprise you?” Adrien asked.
“Walking in on the act? Sure. That it was another guy? Not really.”
Caiden chimed in. “We were more surprised when we caught him sneaking in girls, too.”
“Cory stopped talking about other boys after that one dickhead four-year-old,” Cam narrowed his eyes at Keenan, who threw up his hands in mock surrender, “cruelly stopped all over his poor little pre-k heart.”
“But, he picked up with talking about girls somewhere about ten or so,” Connor finished.
“We still knew about some of the guys,” Caiden said. He laughed at my confused expression. “You weren’t as discreet as you thought when sneaking off.”
“One or two may have blabbed.” Cameron took a nonchalant sip of beer before adding, “Imagine my surprise when one of my frat brothers came begging for forgiveness for making out with my baby brother during his little college visit.”
JJ choked on his beer as the rest of the table burst into laughter.
“We also know about Richie K,” Connor said, a sardonic lift to his brow. “Though, that was more putting-two-and-two-together.”
“Funny,” Caiden said. “Richie also had that Connor’s gonna kill me look about him.” I managed a halfway decent eyeroll at that.
Denholm took a massive bite of his pizza before adding, “That sounds like a good story.”
“Oh, it is.” Connor smiled and leaned back in his chair.
“Dude! Spill!” Preston urged.
Cameron set his elbows on the table. “It was, what, two years ago?”
Caiden held up three fingers, his mouth otherwise occupied in gulping down beer.
“Yeah, three,” Connor confirmed. “We were all home for Fiesta.”
“Six Flags?” Adrien asked.
Caiden shook his head. “Fiesta is this huge festival in San Antonio. Concerts, debutants, parades, various meats on sticks.”
“Meat sticks,” Keenan scoffed.
I slouched back in my seat, this was just getting worse by the moment. Efrain patted my leg before tell them to “go on.”
“One of our high school buddies was getting a bunch of the guys together for a bonfire at his place,” Cameron said. “Only, once we get there, Richie’s roommate, John, is going on about how he had to force Richie to even show up. Says he musta been trying to hook back up with this ‘hot piece’ he’d scored the previous week.”
“Apparently, y’all left a little scrap of condom wrapper in the living room,” Caiden added, “which led to John finding a trash can full of wrappers and suspicious wads of tissue paper.”
“And dents in the drywall behind the headboard,” Connor said.
“Hmm,” Keenan said, his eyes narrowing. “I don’t recall you sharing any of this with me, Cory.”
“So, yeah, we all start roastin’ Richie for getting ‘bros before hos’ mixed up,” Caiden snickered.
“Then, someone’s like ‘maybe he boned one of your sisters,’” Cameron said. “And he’s like ‘I didn’t bone anyone’s sister.’”
“Then, asshole over here,” Connor said, jerking a thumb at Cameron, “says ‘maybe he nailed someone’s kid brother.’”
“Dude went pale as fuck,” Caiden said. “And, Connor took all of ten seconds before he starts tryin’ to rip into poor Richie.”
“Fuck, man, we’re holding Connor back trying not to crack up, the rest of the guys are confused as fuck, and Richie’s blabbing the whole sordid tale with an assload of apologies.”
Caiden threw up his hands, and his best scared shitless face. “Dude, I swear all I did was make one comment and next thing I know, he has me pinned against the door!”
That set the whole table laughing, including our MPDG waitress, who had stayed behind to listen in. I covered my face with both hands—it had to be redder than the tomato sauce on the pizzas.
“Woulda been nice of you to tell the poor guy you were only sixteen,” Connor accused.
“How old was this Richie guy?” Denholm asked.
“Damn, Cory,” JJ laughed.
“Hey, if an older chick, for some inexplicable reason, wanted to bump your uglies all over her apartment, would you turn her down?” I asked.
“Not if she was hot.”
“Was he hot?” Preston asked.
Because of course he would.
“He was pretty popular with girls in high school,” Cameron answered, shrugging.
“Cory did have a thing about jumping on Richie every time he came over, now that I think about it,” Caiden added.
“Almost didn’t recognize him, though,” Connor said. “The Marines put a lot of fucking muscle on him.”
“A marine, huh?” Preston smirked. “Way to support the troops, Mr. One-Man-USO.”
Goddamn that fucking waitress.
What the fuck.
If she hadn’t been too busy checking out Cory’s brothers, or was slightly less fucking stupid, she could have remembered which Card she’d carded, and not served my boyfriend alcohol—leaving me to deal with him walking his fingers down the inside of my leg.
I shifted his hand back to the center console. “No te azoto lo suficiente,”* I grumbled.
“Not nearly enough,” he said, cheeky grin stretched dimple-to-fucking-dimple.
As much fun as he is to take advantage of when he’s inebriated, I wasn’t a fan of driving while fending off his drunken advances, especially with JJ and Paul in the backseat giggling about it the whole drive home. The last time he pulled this shit on me, I fuckin’ told Cory I’d spank his ass ‘til he couldn’t sit down, then fuck his spanked ass ‘til he couldn’t walk straight.
He thought he was being sneaky, at least he wasn’t trying to pull my dick out of my pants or put his head in my lap like every other time, but it was still fairly obvious what he was up to when he stretched his arm over the center console. I’d get little reprieves whenever Paul or JJ saw fit to distract Cory, but then he’d be right back at it.
And that innocent as fuck look on his face, like there was no way in hell he was fondling my dick enough to chub it up, then drawing his finger in idle circles around the head to keep me that way. That part seemed to piss me off the most.
I got halfway through plans on how I’d make good on my threat—his white ass bent over with red handprints all over both cheeks, and my fat Puerto Rican cock plowing his hole (after I plowed that cheeky mouth)—before I realized his brothers would be down the hall, and thus perfectly capable of ruining any attempts at a halfway decent punish fuck.
Stupid fucking thirsty-ass waitress.
Cory, whose drunk stealth seemed more in line with Solid Snake creeping around under a cardboard box than actual stealth, snuck his little paw back up my inner thigh to grope at my junk again. I smacked the offending hand, getting in what licks I could since Connor-fucking-Junior sure as hell would get in the way of my fun, and the guys giggled behind us.
“We need to get Cory drunk more,” JJ said.
“Like hell you do,” I growled.
“Not like it’s hard,” Paul said. “He had like what, two beers?”
“Fuck you,” Cory laughed as I pulled into the driveway. “I had three.”
Which was three too fuckin’ many, if you ask me. Anymore, and he’d probably be tryin’ to faceplant in my damn lap.
Once we got out of the truck, I grabbed Cory’s arm and pulled him out of earshot. I growled low in his ear, “I’m bustin’ that ass wide open first chance I get.” That earned me an enigmatic ain’t-I-the-cutest-thing-ever grin and another pseudo-surreptitious groping as he walked away.
Despite my best efforts, the corners of my mouth lifted in to what I assumed to be the very picture of besottedness, something confirmed when Paul yelled at me from the front door.
“Yo, Rain!” Him and that fucking weather shit again. “If you’re done acting cock-whipped, you got a fuckton of people all up in here to socialize with.”
“Piss off,” I said, roughing him into a headlock and pulling him along the foyer. “You have some nerve talkin’ about ‘whipped.’ Cory’s been telling me some of the shit Luz has you doing.”
The line of cars stretching along the street suggested that our guys’ night convoy had arrived well after the girls. Sure enough, we found them all, spread out around the living room watching TV and squealing. Indie being Indie got bitchy the moment he saw what was going on.
“I thought you said you lost your housekey,” he complained to Laurel.
“I said nothing of the sort,” she answered. “In fact, I told you that Mike and I were keeping it for emergencies.”
“This doesn’t look like an emergency.”
She shrugged. “Yeah, this is more of a perk.”
As they continued to bicker, Preston slunk over and wedged himself between me and Cory. “I swear he’s overreacting.” He clung drunkenly to Cory’s arm and slurred through his giggles. “But, somehow, I think he’s more pissed about them drinking boxed wine out of plastic cups than the fact that they let themselves in. I’d be more outraged at what they’re defiling his TV with.” It looked like Sex and the City or Girls, or some shit like that. “God, I fuckin’ dodged a bullet.”
“Besides, we wanted to play with her!” Meggie said, hefting Lola up, who was supposed to be in our room. Before Cory could complain about them messing with his cat (or I could complain about them invading my bedroom), she cuddled the kitten close. “Poor little thing was scratching at the door and crying her little head off.”
“She’s such a sweetie,” Berta cooed.
“She’s a brat,” Indie said.
“Oh, yeah,” Laurel added, twirling a loop of black elastic around her index finger. “Guess what the ‘brat’ was sweet enough to show me, Indie.”
“Hey! That’s mine!” he said. “Been looking all over for that.” He reached down for the headband, only to be denied when she snatched away from him.
“Fuck you, Indie, it’s mine,” she replied. “Found a nice collection of my hair elastics and clips under the couch.”
“The little snot keeps stealing them,” Indie grumbled.
“You stole them from me, jerk! The fuck is wrong with buying your own headbands?”
“That crap, again?” Mike chuckled.
“You’d think I was making him by tampons.”
“You did make me buy tampons!” Indie squawked.
“Now, she makes me buy ‘em,” Mike grumbled. After noticing the commiserating nods around the room (and the knowing shrugs from the females), I decided I had another reason to appreciate being gay.
“You bet,” Laurel said.
“You know, there’s a trick to that,” Preston said from his little snuggle against Cory. “Quit acting like a little bitch and just buy the damn things.”
“Fine,” JJ laughed. “We’ll send you next time.”
“Eh, no skin off my back.”
Frustrated, Indie bent down, and I heard an indignant mewl as he stood back up and turned, thrusting Lola at me.
“Your child,” he drawled.
I turned back to where Preston stood with Cory and jabbed my index fingers into the little twink’s ribs. He came up off my boyfriend with a startled squeak before falling into squabbling as I grabbed his hips and manhandled him around to face Indie.
“I’m nobody’s fucktoy, asshole!” Preston snapped. “Cory! Get your man off me!”
Lola struggled in Indie’s hands and meowed something that sounded roughly like Preston’s complaints. I looked at Indie over Preston’s head and did my level best to not laugh. Indie seemed to be holding it in as much as me.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Cory sighed, rescuing little Lola, leaving Preston to fend for himself.
I jiggled Squeak Toy at Indie.
“Might as well,” Indie relented, taking Preston and walking him to their usual seat.
“God, you guys are weird,” Connor said.
I jabbed my finger at him. “You have no room to talk, Deer Thug.”
* "No te azoto lo suficiente." trans- "I don't spank you enough."