The day after Jakub Voracek’s girlfriend broke up with him, he came into the Skate Zone in Voorhees at about nine in the morning, a full hour before practice was supposed to start. He put on his skates and pads, pulled his practice jersey over his head, and headed out to the ice. He was in the middle of doing suicides over and over, to the point of exhaustion, when there was a shout from off the ice.
“Voracek!” He stopped to see Wayne Simmonds, standing there looking at him curiously. “What the fuck are you doing, man?”
“Skating,” Jake answered, because what kind of stupid question was that? Wayne rolled his eyes.
“You know, just because they’re called suicides doesn’t mean you have to kill yourself trying to do them.”
“Bullshit. You look half dead. What are you doing at the rink this early, anyway?”
“What are you doing here?” Jake asked in return.
“Lost my cell phone, thought I’d hunt around for it before practice started.” Wayne held up the phone in one hand. “Somehow it ended up in all Claude’s shit. I blame Hartsy. But what are you doing here?” Jake’s eyes slid to the ground. “Jake?”
“Nicole dumped me,” he confessed.
“What?” Wayne sounded dumbfounded. “I thought everything was going great with you guys.”
“Apparently not,” Jake snapped, and Wayne was quiet.
“Quit with the suicides,” he said. “Give me a second to get dressed and I’ll come out and we can practice one-timers for a while, right? Give you a bit to catch your breath. If you vomit from exhaustion it’ll really gunk up the Zamboni.” Jake had to smile at that.
He and Wayne did one-timers until everyone else showed up, and practice went normally. Jake avoided getting yelled at for anything by Laviolette, which was good, because he was fairly sure that if that had happened he would have burst into tears like a small child. When skate was over he got out of his clothes and was just coming out of the shower when Wayne stopped him.
“Let me take you out for lunch.”
“Simmer, you don’t have to-”
“Come on. I’ll pay.” Jake relented.
They ended up at some South Jersey diner that Wayne claimed was good, and Jake ordered a hamburger and fries while Wayne went for the chocolate chip pancakes.
“You do know they have those on the menu for eight-year-olds, right?” Jake said, taking a sip of his Coke.
“Shut the fuck up, Voracek.” There was a silence, during which Wayne drummed his fingers on the table. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“You probably should,” Wayne said. “It’ll help you process.”
“Process? Thank you, Dr. Simmonds.” Wayne kicked Jake under the table. “Ow!”
“I’m serious. You guys were really hot and heavy there for a while. Did she give you any reason?”
“She said there was another guy,” Jake muttered.
“Another guy?” Jake nodded morosely. “Was it the beard that did it?”
“I’m sorry.” Wayne actually sounded contrite. “I’m sorry. You’re upset. I should be supportive. This is me being supportive.” There was a silence.
“Very supportive, Simmer.”
“You’re supposed to talk!” Wayne said, leaning back into his booth so the waitress could deposit chocolate chip pancakes in front of him. “I can’t be supportive when you’re staring out the window like someone in a fucking emo music video.” Jake was quiet. “Come on. Tell me what she said.”
“She said she couldn’t deal with me being gone for so long all the time. She said she met someone else and she had been sleeping with him for a while, but felt guilty so she told me and then broke up with me in the same telephone conversation.”
“She dumped you over the phone? Damn, that’s cold.”
“You suck at being supportive, you know that?” Jake said before taking a bite of his hamburger. It wasn’t half bad.
“I could, like, find this guy,” Wayne offered. “Pound some payback into the dude she’s sleeping with. I’m good at punching people.”
“Yes.” Jake swallowed another mouthful of hamburger. “But you shouldn’t do that.”
“Why not? He’s clearly a douchebag. Girlfriend-stealer.”
“This isn’t caveman times. I don’t get to go around saying ‘Woman mine!’ and then punching anyone who gets with her after I do.”
“Well, you wouldn’t be doing the punching, so that’s okay, right?” Jake just glared, and Wayne sighed. “I really do suck at being supportive.”
“You really do.”
“What do you need?” Wayne asked instead. “Like, tell me what I can do to help.”
“I don’t know.”
“That’s a terrible answer. We should go do something. There has to be a strip club open around here.”
“I am not going to a strip club with you at one o’clock in the afternoon,” Jake said firmly, because as much as he might look like him, he was not Claude Giroux.
“It’ll be fun!”
“Want to go to the Forum and watch whatever they’re showing?” The Forum was the pornographic theater on Market Street in Philadelphia.
“No! God, why are all your suggestions the sort of things that would give me herpes just from the seats?” Wayne shrugged.
“Dunno. Want to go back to my place and watch porn?” Jake sighed.
Wayne lived in a nice apartment in Old City, and as soon as they got through the door he disappeared into his bedroom and returned carrying a shoebox labeled Home Videos.
“Doesn’t everyone get their porn on the Internet now?” Jake said, watching as Wayne started to rifle through the contents of the box. “Because I know I do.”
“I like doing it old-school sometimes,” Wayne said. “Also, you can get VHS tapes really cheap off Amazon.”
“You order your porn from Amazon,” Jake said slowly.
“Yeah. You can buy anything off there. I once ordered three pornos and a teddy bear for my cousin’s kid and they came wrapped up in the same package.” Jake had to laugh at that. “What do you want to watch?”
“You can pick,” Jake said, sitting down at the end of Wayne’s couch.
“You up for a classic?” Wayne asked, and Jake rolled his eyes.
“The fact that you’re calling a porno ‘classic’ is really telling about your character.”
“No, I’m serious. Ever seen Debbie Does Dallas? Is that required viewing in the Czech Republic?”
“No,” Jake said, and Wayne straightened up, holding the tape in one hand.
“Make yourself comfortable.”
“You still have a VCR?” Jake said in surprise as Wayne walked over and put the tape in, hitting rewind.
“Just for porn.”
“Wow, when you say old-school, you’re not kidding,” Jake said, leaning into the cushions of Wayne’s couch. Wayne came over and sat down on the other end of the couch, before hitting play on the remote.
The movie had a predictable plot, but the sex was pretty hot considering that it had been filmed in the 70s, or so Wayne cheerfully told Jake, who spent most of the movie trying not to look over at him.
“It’s one of the most famous pornos there is. I’m surprised you haven’t seen it before.”
“I guess I’m just not as well-versed in pornographic films as you are, Simmer,” Jake said dryly. “And the only things I buy off Amazon are video games.”
“Dude, you’re a gamer?”
“Not really, but I do like playing sometimes.”
“That’s what we should do next. I have the latest Call of Duty; we should totally play that after the porn.”
“Are you just trying to act like as much of a frat boy as possible?” Jake asked him. “Because if so, you’re succeeding.”
“Hey. You’re not thinking about Nicole anymore, are you?” Jake realized with shock that he really wasn’t.
“Call of Duty, then.”
After watching Debbie Does Dallas (which was awkward for Jake, but not nearly as awkward as it probably should have been), Wayne broke out the PS3 and they started playing Call of Duty. It wasn’t one of Jake’s favorite games, but it was excellent when it came to shooting things, and he enjoyed thoroughly kicking Wayne’s ass around the block the first round.
“Oh, come the fuck on,” Wayne said, sounding pissed, and Jake laughed at him. “Another.”
“Fine.” They played until Wayne threw the controller down in frustration.
“Not really a gamer, my fucking ass. You’re conquering me.” Jake shrugged, grinning.
“There’s not much else to do in Kladno.” That made Wayne laugh as he got up to walk into the kitchen and returned with a takeout menu.
“I want some General Tso’s chicken.” He handed Jake the menu. “Pick what you want and I’ll order in. It’s, like, six-thirty.”
Jake picked beef lo mein, and Wayne called the Chinese place and put their order in before flopping down next to Jake on the couch.
“How you feeling, man?”
“Well, killing you over and over helped,” Jake said, and Wayne gave him the finger. “I’ll go home after dinner.”
“Fine. You gonna be okay in the game tomorrow?”
“Fuck you for even thinking that,” Jake snapped. “Of course I’ll be okay.” Wayne held up his hands.
“Fine, fine!” Jake was quiet, staring at his hands for a few moments.
“It’s the first home Flyers game where she won’t be there,” he confessed. “It’ll be…weird.”
“Yeah,” Wayne said, sounding slightly exasperated. “That’s why I asked, you know, if you’d be okay. That was me being supportive.”
“You still suck at it.” But there was more of a fondness to Jake’s tone, and Wayne grinned.
“Come on. Let’s see who’s playing.”
They settled on a Bruins-Canadiens game, and after the Chinese arrived they sat on the couch shoveling food into their mouths and commenting on the game and players to each other.
“Price looks shaky tonight,” Jake observed, right after the Bruins scored for the second time late in the first.
“At least he’s at the Garden, so he’ll only be booed a little,” Wayne said around a mouthful of General Tso’s. Jake laughed at that.
“I’m so glad I don’t play in Montreal, you have no idea. And I’ve played in Columbus.”
“Be careful. Don’t let Homer find that out, or he’ll ship you off there if you don’t toe the line.”
“Please. If we have to worry about anyone toeing the line it’s you.”
“What? I’m a model citizen!”
“Yeah. I’ve never been caught using a gay slur on camera, so, I think I’m more model than you.” Wayne looked embarrassed.
“I didn’t mean it.”
“No, I was there, and I’m pretty sure you did.”
“He threatened G,” Wayne said defensively. “What was I supposed to do, just let that go?”
“No, but you could have been, you know, a little less-”
“I was going to say horribly offensive, but that works too.” Jake took another bite of lo mein. “You should have just kicked his ass.”
“Avery would never drop the gloves with me. He’s too much of a pussy.”
“True.” They watched the game in silence for a little while, and Subban scored on Rask off a deflection.
“Speaking of guys whose asses I want to kick,” Wayne said, and Jake looked over at him in amusement.
“He’s a mouthy little fucker,” Wayne grumbled. That made Jake laugh.
“I figured you guys would stick together, because you’re both…”
“Black? Is that what you’re saying, Voracek?”
“Gay for Price, is what I was going to say,” Jake said with a shit-eating grin, and Wayne swatted at him.
“I said he was an attractive man once, are you ever going to let me forget that?”
“No,” Jake said simply. “Really, you should tell the dressing room more often when you have crushes on opposing players. It would liven up the place considerably.”
“I do not have a crush on Carey Price,” Wayne muttered, settling back into his seat.
“Sure, Simmer. I completely believe you.”
“Fuck you.” Jake grinned, turning his attention back to the game. “I thought you were going to leave after dinner.”
“Oh, right,” Jake said, flushing slightly for a reason he couldn’t really explain. He stood up, and Wayne looked up at him.
“See you tomorrow, man. Don’t let that bitch get you down.” Jake had to laugh at the wording.
Wayne and Jake had always been casual friends, but after that they became good friends. Jake went through a phase after Nicole where he had sex with any girl who looked at him twice, and when one of them kicked him out of her place in the middle of the night he staggered through Philadelphia until he reached Wayne’s apartment.
“Hello?” Wayne’s voice on the intercom was groggy.
“Simmer? It’s Jake.”
“Fuck, Voracek, it’s like two in the morning.”
“Can you let me in?” There was a heavy sigh from the speaker, and then Jake was buzzed in.
Wayne answered the door wearing nothing but boxers and a frown.
“What the hell’s going on?” Jake peered beyond Wayne into the apartment.
“You have a hookup in there?”
“No, I didn’t go out tonight. I was too tired after the game.” He stepped back to let Jake in, closing the door behind him. “You did, I’m guessing. You’ve got a hickey on your neck and you smell like booze and sex.”
“Kind of,” Jake admitted. “There was a problem.”
“What? You have trouble getting it up?” Wayne was only being mildly facetious. “Whiskey dick is a bitch, man.”
“Worse.” Wayne looked at him sharply.
“You called some chick Nicole in bed, didn’t you?” Jake nodded miserably. “What was her actual name, not that it matters?”
“Allison. I think. She kicked me out.” Wayne clapped him on the back with one hand.
“Still got a boner?”
“Good. Progress. You can sleep on the couch.” Jake made his way over to the couch in question, and Wayne disappeared for a second, before coming back with a blanket and a pillow. “Here.”
“Thanks,” Jake said as he sat down to take his shoes off. He had some trouble with the laces—fuck, was he wasted.
“You okay over there, bro?” Wayne asked, sounding amused. Jake just flipped him off, making him laugh. “Night, Jake.”
“Night,” Jake mumbled, and then he curled up on Wayne’s couch and fell asleep.
He woke up the next morning to someone shaking his shoulder.
“Jake, wake up.” His eyes flew open, to see Wayne leaning over him. “We’ve got skate in an hour. Get your ass up.” Jake sat up, slowly. He felt horrible—his head was pounding, his mouth tasted like he’d recently licked the bottom of a garbage can, and he felt like he was going to puke. Wayne saw. “Barf on my floor, you’re buying me a new carpet.” Jake nodded, trying to make the world stop spinning. Wayne pointed. “Bathroom’s through that door.”
After Jake had proceeded to vomit up his stomach contents, he came out of the bathroom to be greeted by Wayne holding a bottle of pink Gatorade.
“Pink? Really?” Jake said, blinking at the light, and Wayne shrugged.
“It was on sale. Just drink it.” Jake did so, in what was practically one gulp, and then Wayne steered him over to the couch again. “Just sit there for a while. I’m guessing you don’t want breakfast?”
“Not unless you really want a new carpet.” Wayne grinned at him briefly before heading into the kitchen.
“Let me just eat some eggs, and then we can head to practice.”
By the time they reached the Skate Zone, Jake was feeling a little more human but not much. Wayne looked over at him while he parked the car.
“Lavy’s going to have your head for showing up to practice like this.” Jake nodded. “At least it wasn’t a game day. Then he’d probably take out an internal organ, too.”
“You’re such a ray of fucking sunshine, Wayne,” Jake said on a sigh as he got out of the car.
As he’d been expecting, after skate Peter Laviolette came into the dressing room.
“Voracek! My office.” Reluctantly, Jake followed him into his office. Laviolette shut the door, and then indicated the chair in front of his desk. “Sit.” Jake sat. “You look like fucking hell.”
“I know you’ve been going through shit. Your girlfriend dumped you, right?” Jake nodded, not at all surprised that Laviolette had heard. There wasn’t much that went on in his dressing room that he didn’t know. “Yeah. That fucking sucks. But it’s no excuse to go on a fucking bender. You haven’t been playing as well as you did early in the season. Don’t think I don’t know it’s because you’re a mess over this girl.” Jake was staring at his hands as Laviolette talked. “You’re on the top line. We expect high performance from you, and you can, once you get her out of your head. So quit with the getting wasted, and if you take a girl home, just make sure you get to practice on time, capice?” Jake nodded again. “Good. You can go.”
Wayne was waiting for him outside of Laviolette’s office.
“Well, your limbs are still attached,” he said, and Jake rolled his eyes.
“It was fine. He didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.”
“That you’ve got to get over that bitch?” Wayne had persisted in referring to Nicole as “that bitch” since she’d dumped Jake.
“Well, I could have told you that.” Wayne smiled at him. “Porn and Call of Duty?”
A few days later, Jake was over at Wayne’s house pregaming and playing Mario Kart—the next day was an off day, so they’d both decided it was totally okay to get wasted. Wayne had taken to playing Mario Kart over Call of Duty because he’d discovered he could actually beat Jake at it sometimes.
“Fuck yeah!” Wayne thrust his arms into the air and Jake laughed at him.
“I’m still winning.”
“Not for long, dickhead,” Wayne retorted. “Pour me another shot, would you?” Jake obliged, and Wayne downed the very good vodka Jake had brought over remarkably quickly. “Hey.”
“I kind of…do you want to just stay in? I mean, I have porn and video games, so we could totally just order pizza and hang out.” Jake considered this, and for some reason found himself nodding.
“Yeah. We could totally do that.”
Wayne dug around in his box of pornos and came up with one called Candy Striper that he said was good.
“And by good I mean very 70s.”
“Why do you have such a boner for old porn?”
“It’s better,” Wayne said, like it was obvious. “Although the music always sucks. I like it better than the shit you can find on the Internet, though, and the VHS tapes are like two bucks.” Jake shrugged.
“Whatever. Give me the vodka.”
By the time Wayne put Candy Striper into the VCR, they were both thoroughly shitfaced. They’d gotten to the point where they were just passing the vodka bottle back and forth. Watching porn with Wayne had become sort of routine, but this time—probably due to the haze of alcohol clouding his brain—Jake was finding it harder and harder to not look over at Wayne. He couldn’t quite figure out why, but he really wanted to see Wayne’s reaction to the woman on the screen. She was in the middle of a blowjob when Jake chanced a look over. Rather than being engrossed in what was happening on the screen, Wayne noticed Jake look over and turned. Jake quickly looked away, back at the TV. The woman was now getting fucked from behind by a guy with a ridiculous 70s pornstache.
“Nice mustache, right?” Wayne said, reading Jake’s mind.
“Yeah,” Jake said, trying not to think of the sudden weirdness that had entered the room. Pretend everything’s normal, right? Perfectly normal.
He couldn’t stop himself from looking over at Wayne again, and Wayne turned again to look back. Jake couldn’t turn away that time, despite the sound of the porn track in the background (no woman sounds like that in real life, he’d learned long ago). He and Wayne stared at each other for a long time, before Wayne licked his lips and spoke.
“How drunk are you?” Jake assessed the answer to that very question.
“Very,” he said finally.
“So if I come over there and kiss you, we could totally blame it on the booze?” Jake’s heart was suddenly pounding in his ears.
“Totally.” The next thing he knew, he was flat on his back on the couch and Wayne was on top of him, kissing the life out of him. Jake moaned, louder than the woman on the TV, and Wayne broke the kiss only to sit up and take his shirt off. Jake ran his hands down Wayne’s chest, and Wayne hissed between his teeth as Jake hooked his fingers in the waistband of his jeans.
“Cocktease,” he said accusingly, before getting off Jake so he could strip off his jeans. “Get naked,” he told Jake, who struggled to sit up and get his own clothes off. Wayne finished undressing first and stood there waiting for Jake. “Hurry up, man.”
“I’m trying,” Jake said defensively as he finally got his pants off. Wayne then yanked him to his feet and dragged him through the apartment to his bedroom.
“You call me Nicole, I throw you out of this apartment naked,” he said.
“Not gonna happen,” Jake said, and then he dropped to his knees.
“What-” Wayne started to say, and then Jake slid him into his mouth and what came out after that was a strangled groan. Jake had never given a blowjob before, but if watching every vintage porno there was with Wayne over the past few weeks had taught him anything, it was technique. In a very short time, Wayne was gasping, twisting Jake’s hair around his fingers as Jake paid attention to the head of Wayne’s cock. “Stop,” Wayne finally gasped, and Jake did instantly, looking up at him.
“What did I do wrong?” Wayne laughed shortly.
“You were doing everything a little too right, understand?” Jake flushed from a combination of embarrassment and pride.
“Let me finish then,” he said, curling his hand back around Wayne’s dick, but Wayne shook his head.
“Stand up.” Reluctantly, Jake did so, and Wayne manhandled him over to the bed, shoving him over so he was flat on his back on the mattress. Jake understood and slid back so he was all the way on, and then Wayne got on top of him, leaning down to kiss him hard.
“Simmer-” Jake started to say, but Wayne silenced him with another kiss just as he rolled his hips down into Jake’s. Everything suddenly became clear, and Jake found himself moaning into Wayne’s mouth as Wayne started grinding down against him in earnest.
“Fuck,” Wayne said in a low voice after breaking the kiss, and all Jake could do was nod. “This good for you?”
“Oh, my God, it’s fantastic,” Jake gasped, and Wayne leaned down to kiss him again just as Jake realized he’d said that in Czech, which ordinarily wouldn’t have been helpful but right then had probably conveyed his meaning quite well.
“Thought about this,” Wayne muttered into Jake’s clavicle. “For fucking ages.”
“Me too, me too.” Also in Czech. Apparently his command of the English language had gone straight out the window. All it got was Wayne to moan into Jake’s shoulder. Jake had to smile at that. Wayne had a language kink, clearly.
The movements of Wayne’s hips were growing erratic, and his grip on Jake’s shoulders was iron-tight. It only took a few more minutes for Wayne to stiffen and come, all over Jake’s stomach. Jake lay there gasping for a few moments, before Wayne reached between them and fisted a hand around Jake’s dick, jacking it just shy of roughly. Jake moaned, his hips thrusting up into Wayne’s touch. Fuck, that felt good. He almost didn’t want to come, he was enjoying it so much, but then Wayne thumbed the head and tightened his grip and Jake lost it, coming with a sharp yelp and a Czech curse.
He lay there for a while, Wayne on top of him, pinning him to the mattress and breathing heavily into his shoulder.
“You okay?” Jake asked after a few minutes. Wayne nodded, before rolling off Jake and sitting up. He reached for some tissues to wipe the cum off of himself, and then did the same for Jake, after which Jake sat up. He had no idea what was supposed to happen next, but he was incredibly sleepy.
“Where do you want me to sleep?” he asked Wayne, who didn’t look at him while he got into bed.
“I don’t care.” So that was how it was going to be. Jake managed to stand up and staggered through Wayne’s apartment to his couch, collapsing on top of it and falling asleep almost immediately.
He woke up the next morning to another killer hangover. Slowly, he sat up, looking around the apartment. Wayne was nowhere to be seen, which meant he was probably still in his bedroom. Jake sat on the couch for a while, debating the merits of going to get a bottle of Gatorade from the fridge. He felt so shitty he didn’t want to stand up, but the Gatorade would help him feel less shitty, so it was kind of a catch-22. He had just managed to drag himself into the kitchen and pull another bottle of pink Gatorade out of Wayne’s fridge when the door to Wayne’s bedroom opened and he came out, looking as bad as Jake felt.
“Hey,” Jake said, and Wayne grunted in response before sitting down at the kitchen table.
“Can you grab me one of those?” he asked, gesturing at the Gatorade in Jake’s hand, and he obligingly fished another one out of the fridge and tossed it to Wayne.
“Glad we don’t have to be anywhere today, right?” Jake said, and Wayne nodded as he downed the Gatorade.
“Definitely.” Jake wondered if Wayne had actually been blackout drunk and had forgotten what had happened. If he had, Jake certainly wasn’t going to bring it up. “You should hang out,” Wayne said. “We can play some Mario Kart.” Jake tried to mask his surprise. Yeah, Wayne probably didn’t remember anything.
“You just don’t want me to kick your ass at Call of Duty again.”
“I really don’t.” That made Jake laugh.
“Yeah, I’ll stick around.”
When the nausea subsided a bit, Wayne made them scrambled eggs, and then Jake sat down on the couch as Wayne booted up the Wii.
“What other games do you have?” Jake asked, squinting at the row assembled beneath Wayne’s TV.
“A bunch. We could try Soulcalibur after this; I might be able to beat you at that, too.”
“I doubt it. I’m a master at Soulcalibur.”
“Oh, really?” Wayne turned around to look at him. “Is that a challenge?” Jake had to laugh.
“You play as someone really ridiculous, like Darth Vader, don’t you?”
“How’d you know?” Jake grinned. “No, seriously, I play as Vader, how’d you know?”
“Lucky guess.” Jake leaned over and grabbed the Wii controller off the coffee table. “Mario Kart first, though.”
Jake had thought at first that Wayne didn’t remember anything, but as they played Mario Kart he became pretty sure that wasn’t the case. For one thing, Wayne was looking at him too often, and his play was almost as shitty as Jake’s, who couldn’t stop thinking about Wayne’s hand on his dick. When they brushed elbows accidentally Wayne jumped a foot in the air, and Jake looked over at him sharply. He was ostensibly focused on the game, but he was chewing on his bottom lip and looked highly distracted.
Jake threw his controller down on the coffee table.
“This is stupid.” Wayne looked over at him.
“We hooked up last night,” Jake said flatly. “It’s dumb to pretend that didn’t happen.” The look on Wayne’s face was pained.
“I mean, if you decide you want to just do what we were doing before, that’s cool too. But shit’s changed, and you can’t pretend shit hasn’t changed, you know?” Jake grabbed his bottle of Gatorade off the coffee table and gulped some down. “Just wanted to, you know, clear the air.” Wayne was quiet for a while. “Simmer?”
“I can’t stop thinking about you blowing me.” Jake stared at him, before in one movement he got off the couch and knelt down in front of Wayne, who made the same strangled sound he had last night when Jake had hit his knees. “Jake-”
“Honestly, Wayne, just shut the fuck up,” Jake said. “Lift your hips.” Wayne did so automatically so Jake could slide his boxers down, and when Jake looked up at him Wayne was staring at him with wide eyes. “Calm down,” he told him, and then he leaned forward and wrapped his lips around the head of Wayne’s cock.
“Jesus fucking Christ,” Wayne gasped, and Jake went to work, sucking him industriously. He went hard and fast, partially because it seemed appropriate for the time and partially because the sooner Wayne came, the sooner Jake could get a handjob out of this, and he really wanted a handjob. Wayne’s hands were tangled in his hair again, and when they started to grow painfully tight Jake drew back, to a noise of disappointment from Wayne.
“You come in my mouth, I will throw up all over your couch,” Jake said, starting to stroke him.
“Legit,” Wayne managed, and Jake had to laugh just as Wayne swore colorfully and came all over Jake’s hand. Jake got to his feet and grabbed a tissue off the box on the coffee table, wiping his hand off and then looking at Wayne expectantly. Wayne was slumped back on the couch cushions, eyes closed. “How the hell are you so good at that?”
“I dunno, you’ve made me watch pretty much every porno made in the 70s since I got dumped?” Jake said, taking off his boxers. Wayne opened his eyes, saw the fact that Jake was pantsless, and laughed.
“You think you’re getting something out of this, Voracek?”
“I better be getting something out of this, Simmonds.” Wayne gestured at the couch.
“Sit down, then.” Jake sat down. “Also, take off your shirt. You look dumb in a T-shirt with no pants.” Obligingly, Jake took his T-shirt off, and Wayne grinned. “There.”
“Get down to business, would you?” Jake said.
“Fine. Lean back.” Jake did what Wayne said, and Wayne promptly reached over and wrapped his hand around the base of Jake’s cock.
“You’re pretty big, for a white guy,” he commented, and Jake had to grin despite the fact that Wayne had started stroking him and that was making it hard to think.
“I’m Czech.” Wayne made a face.
“Ew. I don’t want to think about Jagr being hung like a horse, okay? Or, for that matter, Mez.”
“Mez is Slovak,” Jake was compelled to remind Wayne. “Different country.”
“Whatever,” Wayne said. Jake was about to launch into a passionate and compelling lecture regarding the differences between the Czechs and the Slovaks and why he would rip Wayne’s head off if he confused them again, and then Wayne did something with a flick of his wrist and he completely forgot to be mad at him. “You guys were once one country,” Wayne said, continuing their conversation, and all Jake could muster up was a garbled mix of “kind of” and “fuck you” in Czech, of course. That made Wayne laugh. “You like this, don’t you?”
“What do you think?” Jake retorted, before cursing that he couldn’t seem to talk in English when Wayne was touching his cock.
“Fuck, you should always talk like that in bed,” Wayne muttered. “God, it’s hot.” Jake wanted to say something else—something important, probably having to do with making fun of Wayne for his language kink—but then Wayne rubbed under the head just right and Jake came, his hips jerking forward as Wayne stroked him through his orgasm.
There was a quiet afterwards, as Wayne cleaned his hand off and then wiped off Jake’s stomach with a surprising degree of care. Jake was the first to speak.
“You actually think about Jagr’s dick?”
“Shut the fuck up, Jake.” That made him laugh.
“Also, I’d be speaking in Czech all the time if I knew it made you so turned on.” Wayne leaned in and kissed him, slow and almost lazy, and Jake kissed him back, feeling happy for reasons he was afraid to admit to himself.
“You should definitely do it more often.”
“Only when I want to confuse you. Or get a handjob. Either one.” Wayne grinned, and then he stood up, pulling his boxers back up.
It turned out that Wayne was better at Soulcalibur than he was at Mario Kart or Call of Duty. Unfortunately for Wayne, Jake had been playing the game since the first one had come out (there really wasn’t much to do in Kladno, he hadn’t been joking) and he kicked Wayne’s ass quite thoroughly.
“Fuck,” Wayne said in a low voice. “Fuck you.” Jake laughed, pressing the button to restart the game.
“Come on. Best of three.”
“Winner gets a blowjob?” Wayne suggested, and Jake laughed.
The second battle was more even. Wayne managed to win it, and Jake shot him a sidelong look.
“Didn’t know you liked my cocksucking skills that much.”
“Well, it shuts you up for a while,” Wayne said, making Jake grin as he hit the restart button again.
“Okay. Here we go.”
They beat up on each other pretty intensely, but eventually Jake moved his leg over just enough to brush his knee against Wayne’s, making him flub a move and leaving him just vulnerable enough for Jake to kill him.
“You cheated,” Wayne said accusingly. “Not fair.”
“I did not cheat. It was accidental.”
“Bull. Shit.” Jake smiled at him widely.
“Just admit you’re hot for my dick and we can move on.” Wayne glared at him, before sighing.
“When do you want to collect?” Jake considered this.
“Not right now,” he said. “I’ll, like, keep it in my pocket for the right moment.”
“Okay,” Wayne said, standing up. “Want lunch?”
“There’s a deli down the street.”
They managed to get dressed and presentable enough to go to the deli, and Jake ordered a Reuben while Wayne got the roast beef. For a while they just ate their sandwiches in comfortable silence, before Wayne glanced up at Jake.
“So,” he said, “what the hell are we doing?” Jake shrugged.
“Do we really have to, like, think through it?”
“At least a little.”
“Like, how?” Jake was genuinely curious. Talking about feelings was not one of his specialties, and he was superb at it compared to Wayne.
“Like, how the hell are we going to do this?”
“It’s not that complicated, Simmer. I think you’ve got the basics down.” Wayne rolled his eyes as he took a bite of roast beef.
“You love it. Do you want your pickle?” Jake shook his head, and Wayne reached over to take it. “But yeah. I mean, how often are we gonna-”
“Wayne.” Jake’s voice was serious. “Don’t overthink this, okay?” Reluctantly, Wayne nodded, and Jake nudged his knee under the table. “This is good now, you know?”
“Yeah,” Wayne said. “I know.”
They fell into a pattern over the next few weeks. Every couple days Jake would come over to Wayne’s house after practice or a game and they would play video games, watch porn and/or hook up. Jake’s play improved greatly, to the point where Laviolette congratulated him on whatever he’d managed to do to “get in the right headspace.” Jake was pretty sure it would be a bad idea to tell him it was because he was giving Wayne Simmonds blowjobs on a regular basis.
About a month after that first drunken hookup, Wayne and Jake were lying on the couch watching Deep Throat at three in the afternoon when there was a sound that definitely hadn’t come from the TV.
“Is that your phone?” Wayne asked, and Jake nodded, rummaging around in his pockets as Wayne paused the TV. He pulled it out, looked at the caller ID, and gulped.
“Jake? It’s Nicole.”
“Yeah,” he said. “I know.”
“Do you have a second?” She sounded very upset, and Jake sighed, motioning at Wayne to continue the movie as he stepped into his bedroom.
“Yeah. What’s going on?”
“Devin cheated on me,” she said in a rush. “With Olivia.” Jake remembered that Olivia was Nicole’s best friend. “And I didn’t know who to call.”
“So you called the guy you cheated on with him. That makes sense.”
“C’mon, Jake.” Nicole sounded like she was on the verge of tears. “Can you meet me for coffee somewhere? I just want to talk to you.” Jake closed his eyes, trying to stop the emotions that were swirling around in his chest.
“Where are you?”
“At my apartment.” Nicole lived in a very nice apartment that happened to also be in Old City. “Where are you?”
“Nearby. I can meet you at the Starbucks near your place, okay?”
“Okay. See you soon.” Jake hung up, and turned to see Wayne standing in the doorway.
“Who was that?”
“Nicole,” he answered, pocketing the phone. “I have to go.”
“Where?” Wayne said, not moving from the doorway.
“She wants to meet for coffee.”
“Are you insane?” Wayne’s voice was incredulous. “She basically ditches you on the side of the road for some other guy and you’re going out for coffee with her?”
“That guy cheated on her. She’s upset. She said she just wants to talk.”
“Bullshit. She wants to get back together with you.” It struck Jake that this was the first time he’d really seen Wayne angry off the ice. “I can’t believe you’re doing this. I can’t believe it.”
“I’m a big boy, Wayne, I can make my own decisions.”
“Well, this is a dumbass decision!” Wayne crossed his arms over his chest. “I was the one who had to pick up the pieces the first time she dumped you. I remember what a fucking mess you were. I was the one who put you back together again, and you’re going to fuck that—fuck yourself—up.”
“You’re just jealous,” Jake snapped, and as Wayne’s face darkened he realized he’d crossed some kind of invisible line.
“Fine,” Wayne said flatly, stepping aside. “Go fuck up your life for that bitch. I don’t care.”
All Jake could do was leave.
He walked into the Starbucks to see Nicole sitting at one of the tables. Her face lit up when she saw him.
“Hey,” she said, and he pulled out the chair opposite her and sat down.
“Hey.” Upon closer inspection, it was clear that she’d been crying, and she was in sweatpants and a ponytail rather than one of her usual more fashionable outfits. “So he cheated on you with your best friend, huh.” Nicole nodded miserably.
“He’d never intended on having a real relationship with me, he said.” Jake nodded. “I was so stupid.”
“You really were.”
“Thanks, Jake,” she said tiredly. “I’m really sorry, you know.”
“That’s nice,” he said, and she winced.
“I really am. I shouldn’t have left you. I was an idiot.”
“It’s great to hear you apologize and all, but that’s not why you wanted me to come.” She shook her head.
“I want to try this again. Us.” Jake was quiet, hearing Wayne’s voice in his head.
“I was the one who put you back together again, and you’re going to fuck that—fuck yourself—up.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, “but I can’t.” Nicole sat there in shock for a few moments, before taking a deep breath.
“Oh, my God.”
“You’ve actually moved on.” Jake blinked.
“What—how-” She sighed.
“You’ve never said no to me before, you know that? Never. You always did what I wanted.” Jake thought about it and realized she was right. “And I knew it was because you loved me, and I used it, but if you’re sitting here telling me no…” She trailed off. “Who’s the girl?”
“There isn’t a girl,” Jake said. “Exactly.” A faint smile quirked the edges of Nicole’s mouth.
“You always did like Joseph Gordon-Levitt a little too much.” Jake gaped, and she laughed. “It’s fine. I mean, I’m not surprised, but if he makes you happy…do I know him?”
“You tell anyone,” Jake warned her, “I’ll distribute those pictures you sexted me last year to everyone I can find.”
“So he’s a teammate,” Nicole guessed aptly. “Giroux?”
“No.” Jake took a deep breath. “Wayne Simmonds.” Nicole’s jaw went slack with shock.
“Simmonds.” Jake nodded. “Wow, that’s a surprise.”
“I guess.” He smiled at her wanly, thinking of the look on Wayne’s face when he’d left his apartment. “I may have fucked it all up by coming here, though.”
“He was jealous,” Nicole said, once more hitting the nail on the head. Jake nodded.
“But then I accused him of being jealous in the exact wrong way and he got furious with me. Not that he wasn’t already furious because he thought I was getting back together with you.” Nicole nodded, almost to herself.
“You should go,” she said. “Make up with your boyfriend.”
“He’s not really my boyfriend,” Jake said, a little embarrassed.
“Then go make up with him and then make him your boyfriend.” Nicole smiled at him, genuine warmth behind it. “You care about him. It’s obvious.”
“Come on, Jake, don’t lie to me of all people. I like to think that we know each other at least that well.” There was a pause, and then Jake sighed.
“I do care about him,” he said, “but I can’t tell him that.”
“You can totally tell him that.” Nicole smiled at him again. “You should also tell him that you didn’t get back together with me because you’re over me. Because of him.”
“I’m sorry,” Jake said, not really sorry at all.
“It’s okay. I should be single for a while anyway. Remember what it feels like.”
“Avoid guys named Devin. Just a tip.” She laughed.
“Good tip.” She stood up, as did he, and she hugged him tightly. “Go and get the guy, Jake.”
Jake pressed the buzzer for Wayne’s apartment, and a few moments later a voice came out of the speaker.
“It’s Jake.” There was a click as the machine disconnected, and Jake sighed, pressing the button again. No response. He pressed it again, and again, until finally Wayne answered.
“Fuck you and go away.”
“I’m sorry,” Jake said into the speaker. “I’m really sorry.” Click. Jake just kept pressing the button until Wayne answered it again.
“Go away, Voracek!”
“No,” Jake said stubbornly. “I’m not leaving until you talk to me.”
“You’ll be waiting a long time, then.”
“I didn’t get back together with Nicole,” Jake said, and there was a long pause on the other end of the speaker before Wayne buzzed him in.
Jake knocked on the door, and Wayne opened it immediately.
“Hey,” Jake said awkwardly, and Wayne stepped back to let him in. There was a silence as they both looked at each other, before Wayne spoke.
“So you told her no.” Jake nodded. He was shaking slightly, he was so nervous. “Why? I know it wasn’t my compelling argument. You could have cared less what I thought.”
“That’s not true.”
“Really,” Jake said firmly. “I told her no because of you.” The only sign of surprise on Wayne’s face was his eyes widening slightly. The rest of his face was completely set.
“Okay. I guess my argument was more compelling than I thought.”
“That wasn’t it,” Jake said. “If I’d still been into her, you could have talked forever and I wouldn’t have listened. I’m over it.”
“But I thought you just said it was because-”
“It was because I did care what you thought.” Jake took a deep breath. “Because I’m into you.” Wayne stared at him, his face registering complete shock.
“I, uh, have a thing for you,” Jake said, looking down at his feet. “I care about you. I want to be with you. Like, actually dating, not just hooking up and watching porn.”
“So you didn’t get back together with that bitch because you want to be my boyfriend instead,” Wayne said slowly, like he was trying to process this. “Are you sure?” Jake’s head snapped up to look Wayne in the eye.
“Of course I’m sure. What kind of question is-” And then Wayne yanked him into a fierce, messy, fucking wonderful kiss. Jake clung to his shoulders, kissing him back as hard as he could, until Wayne pulled away.
And then smacked Jake upside the head.
“Idiot!” Wayne told him, his voice so full of happiness Jake had to smile too. “You fucking idiot! You could have just said that and then everything would have been-” And then Jake kissed him again, cutting off whatever he was going to say after that.
“Don’t lie,” Jake said after they broke apart again. “You needed to figure your shit out first.”
“Right, because I’m the one with shit that needed figuring out,” Wayne said, reaching up to brush some of Jake’s hair out of his face. “I’m glad you ditched the beard, though. It was scratchy.”
“There’s a double meaning in there, Wayne,” Jake kidded him, and Wayne laughed.
“I know.” He leaned down to kiss Jake again, lightly this time. “Do you want that blowjob now?”
“Not exactly,” Jake said, because he kind of had something else in mind but wasn’t sure exactly how to phrase his request. Wayne looked at him funny.
“Are you actually turning down a blowjob? Holy shit, are you, like, sick or something?”
“I mean, you can do that too, but…” Jake gave up trying to be subtle. “I kind of want you to fuck me.” Wayne stared, and Jake hurried to backtrack. “I mean, you don’t have to, obviously, it’s up to-”
“Like, assfucking?” Wayne asked. “That’s what you want?”
“Forget I said anything,” Jake mumbled. “I’ll just take the blowjob.”
“No,” Wayne said, and the tone of his voice made Jake look up at him. “No, wait.”
“What?” Jake asked, and he watched Wayne swallow hard.
“Do you really want this?”
“Yeah, but not if you don’t.”
“Assume I do.” Wayne’s expression was dead serious. “Assume I do want this, really bad. What would you want to do?”
“Um, have you put your dick in me, it’s not overly complicated,” Jake said, trying to figure out what Wayne meant.
“Okay then,” Wayne said, stepping back. “We need lube, right? Let me run to the Rite Aid for some lube.” Jake stared.
“You’re on board with this?” Wayne grinned at him, in a way that seemed designed to make Jake weak in the knees.
“I’ve been on board with this for weeks.” Then he kissed Jake, grabbed his wallet and keys off the table near the door and left, presumably to go buy personal lubricant so he could fuck Jake, oh my God. Jake sat down on the couch, very possibly because his knees had given out, and waited for Wayne to come back as he started to panic. If only he and Wayne had been watching gay porn all this time. Then he’d at least have some clue.
Ten minutes later, the door swung open again and Wayne came through holding a plastic bag.
“Got it,” he said, holding it aloft. “Have you just been sitting there since I left?”
“Um. Yes?” Wayne snorted, shaking his head, before pointing.
“Bedroom, now.” Jake hurried to do what Wayne said.
Once they got into the bedroom, Wayne stripped the comforter off the bed and put the lube on the nightstand as Jake stood there nervously.
“Get naked, would you?” Wayne said over his shoulder, and Jake complied, taking off his clothes at record time, and when Wayne had arranged the bed to his satisfaction he turned around and smiled.
“Like to see you’re into what’s happening.” Jake flushed. He was already quite hard.
“Try sitting in the dark for ten minutes thinking of nothing but the fact that you’re about to get fucked and see if you don’t get a boner,” he retorted. Something in Wayne’s face changed, and then he was across the room where Jake was. He kissed him, slowly and thoroughly, as he gently curled his fingers around Jake’s dick. Jake made a soft noise of desperate, and Wayne pulled back, although his hand stroked Jake’s dick a few times.
“Do guys who get fucked usually come from that?” he asked Jake, who blinked.
“Wha-what?” But of course it came out “C-co?” because Wayne was touching his dick and apparently Jake just couldn’t speak in English when that was happening. Wayne got it and took his hand back, and Jake took a few deep breaths, trying to process what Wayne had just asked him.
“I don’t know,” he said finally. “Probably not the first time. I’ve heard it hurts.”
“Is it your first time?” Jake nodded, his face bright red. Wayne kissed him quickly. “All right.” And then the next thing Jake knew, Wayne was on his knees in front of him.
“What the hell are you doing?” Jake demanded, and Wayne smiled up at him.
“Promised you a blowjob, didn’t I?”
“Yes—but-” And whatever the but was got lost forever when Wayne took Jake’s cock into his mouth. Jake moaned, his hands fisted so tightly by his sides that his fingernails were cutting into his palms. He just tried to keep his knees locked and his hips still as Wayne sucked him, somewhat inexpertly but still one of the hottest things that had ever happened to Jake, hands down. It didn’t take too long before Jake realized he was about to embarrass himself. “Wayne—gonna come-” It had taken nearly all his effort to find the English words in his brain, but instead of pulling off Wayne just hummed around Jake’s cock and then sucked harder. Jake’s knees nearly buckled under him as he came. Instead, he pitched over on Wayne and they both landed in a pile on the floor. Jake struggled upright and turned to Wayne, who was smiling widely at him.
“You’re welcome.” Jake opened his mouth to say something else, but Wayne pointed at the stripped-down bed. “Get on the bed. Hands and knees, right?” Jake nodded weakly as he went to do that.
Jake waited patiently while Wayne grabbed the lube and messed around with it behind him, just out of his field of vision.
“You can’t just stick it in,” Jake said, and Wayne paused.
“No. You have to finger me first. This I know.”
“How do you know?”
“Reasons,” Jake said, not wanting to admit that he’d once interrogated a gay friend of his on just how gay sex worked when they’d both been incredibly drunk. He was grateful for that conversation now, though.
“All right.” There was the sound of Wayne doing something else with the lube. “One or two?”
“Um, start with one, I guess.” And then Wayne was pressing a finger inside him. Jake bit his lip, hard.
“Okay?” Wayne asked, and Jake nodded. Carefully, Wayne added a second, and Jake let out a long breath. It wasn’t the best sensation; actually, it burned a little. “You’re so fucking tight,” Wayne breathed, almost in awe. “You’re gonna feel so fucking good, Jake.”
“Third,” Jake gasped, wanting to get on with this shit, and Wayne obligingly added a third. That burned quite a bit, but as Wayne pushed his fingers more deeply into him Jake shuddered from the sheer combination of novel sensations. Part of it felt good. Weird as fuck, but good.
“Yeah?” Wayne asked, doing his best to stretch Jake out, and Jake managed a nod.
“Yeah.” Wayne pulled his fingers out and then Jake heard the sound of him tearing open a condom and putting it on. He took hold of Jake’s hips and Jake closed his eyes tightly. “Fucking do it already.”
“Okay,” Wayne murmured, and then he was easing inside.
He went slowly, and by the time he’d bottomed out Jake was trying to remember how to breathe. The stretch was almost overwhelming.
“Jake?” Wayne sounded worried, but also really turned on, which was reassuring. “You okay?”
“Fuck me,” Jake said emphatically, and Wayne complied. He started off with slow, shallow thrusts, but started to move faster and deeper as Jake tried desperately to stifle moans.
“No,” Wayne said hoarsely. “I want to hear you.” He punctuated this with a particularly deep thrust, and Jake groaned. “Yeah, like that.”
“Then do that again,” Jake managed, and Wayne did. It was feeling really good by then—it still hurt, but the pain had taken a backseat to sensations that were new and strange and made him kind of understand gay men, frankly. His arms were starting to shake, so he dropped down on his elbows, and when Wayne thrust back into him Jake cried out in pleasure. Wayne had pressed against something inside him that felt absolutely amazing.
“Oh, my God!” Wayne said, mistaking it for a cry of pain and freezing in place. Jake shook his head vehemently.
“No, no, again, again.” Wayne got it and repeated the motion, and all Jake could do was rock back to meet his thrusts and make an obscene amount of noise. Through the haze, he found himself wishing that he could get off again, but before he could mull over that possibility too long Wayne slammed back into him not gently and went still, gasping out Jake’s name. The sensation of someone else coming inside of him was really fucking weird, but then Wayne withdrew and Jake collapsed down onto the bed, all of his joints feeling like they’d been replaced with rubber bands. He just lay there facedown on the sheet for a little while, trying to figure out if there was some way he could get away with never moving again. He felt a warm hand on his shoulder after a few minutes.
“Jake?” Wayne’s voice was worried. “Are you okay?”
“Mm-hm,” Jake said sleepily.
“I didn’t hurt you?”
“Yeah?” Jake didn’t open his eyes, but he could picture the expression on Wayne’s face without trying that hard. It was the oh shit, did I break my boyfriend? expression, similar to the look he’d get on his face after he hit someone too hard in practice.
“I’m fine. I’m also fucking exhausted.” He heard Wayne laugh quietly, sounding relieved.
“Want to take a nap?” Jake considered this. It was incredibly tempting, but he was also a) gross and b) hungry.
“No,” he said, hefting himself up into a sitting position. “I need a shower, and then you should feed me.”
“Can I come in the shower with you?” Wayne asked hopefully, and Jake nodded.
“Of course you can.”
They showered, and then Jake sprawled out on the couch and flicked through the channels on Wayne’s flatscreen while Wayne ordered pizza. He settled on a Rangers-Penguins game, and Wayne gave him a funny look as he came out of the kitchen.
“Rags-Pens? Why the fuck would you want to watch that?”
“It’s called hatewatching,” Jake said. “Sit down and make fun of Crosby with me.” Wayne sat down next to him, and somehow they ended up with Jake’s head in Wayne’s lap. Wayne was running his fingers absently through Jake’s hair, and Jake was on the verge of falling asleep.
“You know, I was wrong,” Jake said right before he drifted off. “You’re great at being supportive.”
“Go to sleep,” Wayne said tolerantly, and Jake did so.
Jake woke up in Wayne’s bed the next morning, alone. He pulled on a pair of boxers and came out to the kitchen to discover Wayne was making eggs.
“You’re up!” Wayne said, looking up from his frying pan. “I was thinking I’d have to drag you out of bed.”
“No,” Jake said, sitting down, before wincing. Wayne didn’t miss it.
“Yeah,” Jake admitted. Wayne looked guilty, and seemed about to say something when Jake said, “We should probably not do this before games. I have no problem with faking it during skate, but I want to actually be able to play hockey during games.”
“You mean…” Wayne trailed off, before starting again. “You’re cool with doing this again.” Jake looked at Wayne like he was an idiot.
“Um, we’re dating, right? I figured sex was a part of that.”
“I know, but…” Wayne seemed to have no idea what to say after that, and Jake rolled his eyes.
“Do you have any idea how good that felt? I want to do it again, so I can come with you inside me, and then again and again after that, just for good measure.” Wayne was quiet, before he walked over to put a plate full of eggs in front of Jake, kissing him on the cheek.
“Eat your breakfast.”
Jake ate his breakfast, and then he got dressed and got in the car with Wayne to go to practice. Just as he was climbing into the car, his phone rang. It was Nicole.
“Did you tell him?” Jake smiled to himself.
“Yeah, I told him.”
“And?” she said impatiently, and he laughed.
“Let’s just say we had a good time last night.”
“Great,” she said happily. “I’m so fucking glad. Just calling to check up on you, that’s all.”
“How are you?”
“Fine,” she said. “I watched some porn last night, you know, to settle in as a single woman.” Jake grinned.
“What did you watch?”
“Debbie Does Dallas. Have you seen it?”
Jake didn’t stop laughing once all the way to Skate Zone.