1) Defective Gaydar
“And then he tripped over the receiver, dropping the ball.” The storyteller laughed, slapping his knee. “The guy’s a real jerk. He deserved it.”
Taylor Barnes smiled. His friend, Greg “Boomer” Magee, preferred tales which end with someone injured or humiliated, but he’d heard it a few times. Once Boomer found a story he liked, he repeated it often.
As the other boys continued joking, he closed his locker. It was the end of the day, and with no practice, he was eager to get home. Slipping his books into his bookbag, Taylor observed the other kids getting their things together. He was about to head off, when one of the band members caught his eye.
The kid, whom he recognized as Jacob, another senior, was watching him while talking with his friends. When their eyes met, Jacob raised an eyebrow. Taylor recognized the look. He hadn’t had much practice giving them, but he’d learned to appreciate them. From the one glance, he knew that Jacob was gay and interested in getting together.
He jerked back, as if surprised by a bee, and the discussion between his teammates was forgotten. He’d never gotten that look in school before. In fact, the only time he’d received it was during a football camp the previous summer.
As the lead quarterback, with college recruiters fielding him offers, no one ever pegged Taylor as gay. Jacob was what he referred to as a ‘flamer’. There was little doubt that he was as gay as they come. He played in the band and was on the glee club. His wrists were so limp they appeared to be broken and he had little control over how they responded.
So far, Taylor had managed to hide his sexuality and wanted to preserve his anonymity. He had too much to lose. With the future he was aiming for, he was satisfied sacrificing high school romances. Yet somehow, Jacob had seen through his subterfuge. Either his gaydar was particularly effective, or Taylor was overconfident about his ability to blend in. Try as he might, he couldn’t recall dropping any clues Jacob might have picked up.
Unlike him, Jacob was a lean, scrawny kid. They were both seniors, so Taylor was familiar with the other boy. He was in each of the drama club’s plays and had his own fan base, which included several of Taylor’s teammates’ girlfriends, but they’d never interacted before. Jacob was cute with a boyish body, short sun-bleached hair and an innocent appearance, but he had a reputation for reading people. Several girls around school laughed about stories he’d tell about other students.
Taylor considered what he knew of Jacob. As far as he recalled, the punch line of each story was some clever quip about the person’s interests, rather than anything about their lives. Jacob didn’t qualify as a gossip, but still, this was dangerous territory both were treading.
Despite his trepidation, he couldn’t prevent his own brow from arching, asking a silent question invisible to everyone else. When Jacob looked questioningly at him, he motioned towards the football field with the finger holding his back pack’s strap. Jacob smiled, nodded, and went back to his conversation.
Not noticing his preoccupation, Boomer turned to him. “Why don’t we head out and grab some food?”
Boomer was a bulky linebacker, weighing in at 240 pounds. He wasn’t the sharpest crayon in the pack, but was a loyal friend.
Taylor waved the suggestion off, immediately reminded of Jacob’s limp wrists. He regretted the action, but continued on as if he hadn’t slipped up. “Nah, I’ve got some things to catch up on.”
“You’ve got to go easy on the studying. You’ll get your scholarship and coast through college. There’s no sense making the rest of us look bad.”
Taylor put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “It’s not that I’m showing off, but I don’t want to lose my future if I get injured. I intend to get my degree legitimately. I’d rather not work for all the computer geeks after I graduate.”
Boomer stood erect, puffing his chest out. “I’ll get a scholarship to college, grab my sheepskin, and be hired as a coach. With the contacts I’ll make through football, I’ll have an inside edge on a ton of jobs.”
“Anyway, I can’t go out now. There are a few loose ends I need to clean up before heading home.”
Boomer and the others shrugged. “Whatever, we’ll catch you next time.”
Instead of leaving via the main entrance, Taylor headed out the back way. Boomer glanced back, but didn’t seem curious where he was going. Feeling conspicuous, Taylor surveyed those walking past, expecting everyone to guess his intent. When he reached the back door, he breathed a sigh of relief. He was sure no one had caught him. His secret was safe, and to his surprise, he was heading for a rendezvous on his own home ground.
Despite the fact he ran to the stadium nearly every day, the familiar trek seemed endless. He replayed the scene in his mind, wondering whether he had unintentionally broadcast some subtle clue, or if Jacob was cleverer than he gave Taylor credit for. It was like his gaydar had sprung a leak, signaling he was available to others but weakening his own perceptions.
He surveyed the field, seeing no one he recognized. The cheerleaders were practicing their routines, but they wouldn’t impact him.
Taylor considered Jacob. Though not his type, Jacob was an attractive guy. While Taylor liked big men, especially those who worked out and developed their bodies, Jacob had a delightful ‘surfer boy’ physique with clean lines. He didn’t have Taylor’s bulging chest, but his stomach was tight. He was anticipating their meeting. He was, for all practical purposes, still a virgin. In an effort to preempt any gossip, he’d bowed to pressure and slept with two girls at school. He picked the two biggest gossips specifically so they’d talk about him. The first ended with a blowjob, which he appreciated because he could close his eyes and imagine someone else. The second wanted to go all the way, and Taylor tried. He succeeded, but kept losing his erection. Luckily the girl didn’t want to embarrass him and spoke glowingly of his prowess—which improved both their standings. But this might be his first real homosexual experience, aside from that single make out session the previous summer. He’d have done more, as he’d been attracted to the kid, but the camp ended the next day and they never had the opportunity.
He shivered, the word ‘homosexual’ causing his skin to crawl. His entire family was homophobic. His father and Caitlyn, his younger sister, made fun of gays—both on TV and in their lives. When his father, Andrew, sought to motivate his son, he’d call Taylor a ‘gay pussy’. He’d never understood what that meant, but he didn’t argue the point. It had motivated him, but only because he tried doubly hard to shut his father up.
When he reached the safety of the bleachers, he turned and noted Jacob following. His stomach felt like it was dropping. He’d thought of this moment multiple times, but facing it was entirely different. He was excited but nervous. Would Jacob mock him for being so inexperienced? Would he talk about it to score points with his friends? Most of all, this would mean he was really gay. However, he didn’t even understand what that meant. Was he turning his back on the life his parents wanted for him? Was there no turning back after the first time? Might this end up with his visiting public rest rooms, looking for anonymous sex from total strangers? Taylor had little knowledge about the gay lifestyle. He was so naïve he wasn’t sure what to think. He couldn’t sneak porn into his home for fear his parents might discover it. Researching articles on gays might show in his search history, or worse, result in gay ads popping up on his screen. He groaned, considering how his parents would respond.
Realizing Jacob had seen him, he headed into the bleachers. This was the hard part. Taylor Barnes was a man of action. As long as he was moving, he could deal with any kind of stress. However, when forced to sit still, like sitting on the sidelines, he worried. It was one thing when he was shouting or encouraging others, but when his hands stopped waving, he was lost to his emotions. Luckily, Jacob didn’t waste time.
“I wasn’t certain you’d be interested.” Jacob glanced around at the bleacher supports. He’d heard people talk about making out there, but had never tried it, preferring his comfortable bed at home. “Our social networks don’t quite … overlap.”
Taylor stood tall, towering over Jacob, who was a good five inches shorter. “Look, before we do anything, we need to lay some ground rules. Unlike you, I’m safely in the closet with no desire to out myself.”
Jacob laughed. “Man, I remember the days before I finally come out to my family. They were the worst of my life. You should reconsider, at least with your friends and family.”
“Not everyone is like you. You couldn’t find a closet big enough for you to prance around in. You’ve got to remember, I’m planning to play ball for a university and get a professional football contract. In case you haven’t noticed, the NFL isn’t terribly accepting of gays.”
“That’s not true. What about Michael Sam?”
Taylor snorted. “He’s a perfect example. Although he was drafted into a pro team, he never played and will likely be shuffled from one minor league team to another. If anyone hears about my sexuality, my future goes down the tubes.”
“Don’t worry,” Jacob said, approaching him. “I won’t say anything. I think locking yourself in your own private closet is dumb, but I’m not about to mention this encounter to anyone. You’re not the only person with a reputation to preserve.”
Taylor took a step back. “What do you mean? Everyone knows you’re gay!”
Jacob laughed. “I wasn’t talking about that. I meant, despite how popular you think you are, the people in my circle don’t think much of jocks. Between the beatings, name calling and dirty tricks, your clique isn’t appreciated.”
“Hmm, who’d have thought nerds have standards.”
Jacob put his hand against a girder, but yanked it back when it came away filthy. “Remember, the people supporting your rights will be the nerds I hang out with.”
“That doesn’t bother me, as long as I’ve got a secure future, I’m happy. I’m not out to prove anything.”
Jacob stepped forward again. “Good. Are you through trying to distance us, or are you ready to make out?”
Jacob leaned in, waiting for him. Taylor fought the impulse to jerk away, letting Jacob kiss him. Taylor was tense when their lips met. However, when they did, he found himself lost in the kiss. It was nothing like making out with cheerleaders. It was as if Jacob’s soul rose up, entered him and flew around his stomach. Jacob’s tongue ventured into his mouth where he welcomed it. His hands started roaming, running along Jacob’s arms—which were surprisingly firm. He reached around and grasped Jacob’s buns, which were nice and tight. Jacob even flexed them for him, bringing a smile to Taylor’s face.
While he masturbated frequently, he did it without pornography, since he was terrified of his family discovering his secret. Experiencing sex in real life was substantially better. Making love with those women wasn’t sexual—it was a task to be completed as quickly as possible.
Jacob reached down, unzipping Taylor’s jeans, the sound raising goosebumps on his arms. Fishing out his prize, he pulled back, smiled and dropped to his knees. Taylor closed his eyes, marveling in the sensations as Jacob took his dick in his mouth. He leaned his head back, enjoying the erotic sensations. Jacob swallowed him deep, jerking him off as he bobbed his head. Taylor grasped Jacob’s head, stroking his hair.
Jacob was pleasantly surprised to discover that Taylor wasn’t huge. He was simply … average, at least in terms of endowments. It would have been too much if, after all the ballyhoo, football jocks really did have it all. With those thoughts occupying his mind, he couldn’t help but smile. Having been around the block a time or two, Jacob appreciated the pleasantly average. After telling friends and family that everyone has value, he disliked those who not only disproved the concept, but rubbed the fact in everyone’s face. For him, average and ordinary were turn-ons. Of course, the jock physique didn’t hurt Taylor’s appeal.
Taylor felt himself getting close. He didn’t know what Jacob’s plans were, but hoped it wouldn’t end there. Coming too soon would be a shame, but for all he knew, he might be planning to slow him down so they could fuck longer. Jacob didn’t hesitate, so he let himself go, enjoying the sensations. He was starting to tremble when he heard voices approaching.
Panicking, he took two steps back, catching Jacob by surprise and earning teeth marks on his dick.
Jacob glanced up, surprised. “What’s the deal? You change your mind?”
Taylor held his finger to his lips. “Shh, I hear someone.” He whispered so quietly Jacob barely understood. Jacob twisted, trying to figure out who was there and how far away they were.
“Don’t worry,” he assured the quarterback, reaching for his cock again. “They’ll never see us. Even if they do, we’re hardly the first people to make out in the bleachers.”
Taylor took another step backwards, shoving his dick into his jeans without bothering to straighten his jockstrap. “No. I can’t take the chance. While it may not hurt you, it could cost me millions. I can’t afford the risk.”
Zipping up, he turned and ran off, leaving Jacob still on his knees as Taylor fled the approaching voices.
Jacob sighed, climbing to his feet and brushing off his jeans. He watched his almost lover’s fleeing form, appreciating Taylor’s tight buns. Turning, he headed out, managing his way to an aisle where he could escape the bleacher maze. When he walked out, he recognized the groundskeeper and the women’s volleyball coach. Neither one seemed particularly concerned. They were busy talking about maintaining the long-jump pit. He had no clue whether he’d get a second chance with Taylor. The guy was flighty, but Jacob hoped he could entice the athlete to his house where they’d both be more comfortable.