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University parties had some of the best drugs if the doped up idiots in one of the game rooms were any indication. It was tempting, but it was a temptation that Aiden had managed to resist—other than the cigarettes and the alcohol, both of which were at least legal, if not legal for him when he’d first started smoking and drinking. He was cautiously hopeful about the legalization efforts for weed, even if the only thing it did for his roommate was make him more obnoxious than usual.

Then again, considering how many wasted twenty-somethings he’d had to dodge over the last hour and a half, maybe that was just a symptom of age. Or lack thereof.

He considered the solo cup in his hand with origins indeterminate. Maybe he was more obnoxious than usual too, come to think of it. The idea that he could be an obnoxious drunk sat uneasy in his gut, pulling his face into a frown as he drifted into one of the rooms blasting loud with music.

There were more people here, crushed together and dancing unlike the drunken, laughing groups in the halls and scattered in the quieter rooms. Aiden skirted the edge of the worst of it, heading right for the alcohol, but a prickle on the back of his neck made him pause. He knew the feeling of being watched—it was half the reason he came to these things, cruising for whatever attractive and desperately horny frat boys would have him—but there was an intensity that was unfamiliar. He downed the rest of his drink before turning, hunting out whoever was watching him.

It wasn’t a guy he recognized, though the red button up tucked into his black slacks said anything from ‘kind of pretentious nerd’ to ‘maitre’d at a high-end restaurant’. There was a thickness to his thighs and a firmness to the arm wrapped around a girl at his side that suggested muscle under the dressed-up exterior, and his eyes were dark and black in the dim lighting of the room. Firm jaw, messy black hair, what was probably a goatee, and fuck but he kept watching Aiden with a hunger that seemed too sexual for how big the crowd around them was.

The mass of partiers shifted, blocking his line of sight. Aiden shifted with it, tossing his cup to the side and navigating around the edge of the room towards where he remembered the guy being. Girl hanging off his arm said he was straight, but the way the guy watched his ass said he wasn’t that straight. Either way, Aiden figured his chances were pretty good.

He wanted to feel those thighs wrapped around his waist, wanted to see those dark eyes all fogged up with want underneath him. Failing that, he really wanted a better look at whatever the guy was packing. Muscle like that, it would be a crying shame if he were just average.

When the crowd parted again, his guy was alone, leaning back against the wall and squinting his thin eyes as he glared into the mass of moving bodies. Whether he’d been abandoned or told his girl to leave, Aiden didn’t know and didn’t care; the only thing that mattered was that he was alone, and he was still clearly hunting for him. The one that got away.

Aiden felt himself grinning as he slid up on the guy’s left side, and he was still grinning when he wrapped an arm around the guy’s waist and leaned in close to say, “Looking for someone?”

He’d been right about the muscle. It tensed into iron underneath him, but his guy ended up turning his head and relaxing instead of throwing the punch that Aiden could feel humming under his skin. This close, he could see the small mole on the guy’s cheek, the slight crinkle at the corner of his eyes as he squinted, the way his pale cheeks flushed as he breathed in and realized who was touching him.

“You could say that,” the guy said, his own arm snaking around Aiden’s side, hand sliding easily into his back pocket. “Hot thing with green eyes. Met anyone who fit the description?”

“Is this the part where I use the ‘got any Irish in you? Would you like to?’ line? Because if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather skip it.” There was a thrill of excitement beating through him to the pulse of the music, adrenaline and lust mixing into a cocktail better than anything he could get in a solo cup.

“Holy shit,” the guy breathed, his teeth bright and white as he grinned in return. “Are all guys this forward, or is this just a you thing?”

“You were checking me out. If I’m reading this wrong, tell me to fuck off, but,” his other hand dragged down the silk of the guy’s button up, smoothing over the thick bulge in his slacks, “Jesus Christ, did they pour you in the Bad Dragon factory?”

His guy laughed, low and hungry, his hand squeezing Aiden’s ass. He leaned in, beard brushing against Aiden’s stubble, body half turning so that he was in Aiden’s space. “You wanna find somewhere private and get a better look?”

“I saw a bedroom that was available,” Aiden said, though that had been ten minutes ago and there were no promises that it had stayed available. Whatever. They could find a closet or something instead.

And his guy didn’t argue, didn’t even hesitate before dragging him out of the room, hand remaining in the back of Aiden’s jeans as Aiden shifted his grip up around one well-muscled shoulder. The bedroom he’d seen was occupied now, a girl with her tits out and some blonde musclehead that looked like he’d seen the face of god, but the bathroom through it was empty and inviting, absolutely no evidence that it had been puked in yet.

It wasn’t the worst place he’d blown someone. Aiden hauled them both forward when it seemed like his guy might hesitate, kicking the door shut behind them and then twisting out of the grip with a movement slightly too fluid to be natural. From the flummoxed look on the guy’s face, he hadn’t been expecting that—just like he wasn’t expecting Aiden to drop to his knees, fingers already finding the button and zipper on his black slacks.

“So this is definitely just a you thing,” the guy said, hands hovering uncertainty for a half-second before burying themselves in the rough locks of Aiden’s hair. His thumb caught on the edge of the scar on Aiden’s temple but it didn’t linger.

“Oh, this is definitely a me thing,” Aiden agreed, tugging the guy’s pants down and fishing him out of his boxers. Between the silk boxers and the silk shirt and the probably silk pants, he was getting the feeling this guy made more money than he did. “Somebody upstairs loves you. How do you still have blood in your brain?”

“I’m starting to think I don’t anymore. Are you gonna stare at it all day, or—” His words cut off with a harsh gasp as Aiden dragged his tongue up the thick length of the shaft, watching the way his face went slack and eager.

If he couldn’t have the guy underneath him—and evidence pointed towards this being the first time any man had had this guy in any position, which was a nice little feather in Aiden’s cap—having his dick in his mouth was a good second place prize.

“Oh fuck,” the guy whispered, head thunking back against the door. The beat of the music from down the hall vibrated up through Aiden’s knees, rattling the mirror as he wrapped his lips around the head and sucked.

His guy got rapidly less intelligible after that, swearing and groaning as his hips jerked, Aiden’s hands firm up under his shirt and pressing him back down. The fingers in his hair were tight enough to hurt, but not hurt so bad that he wasn’t enjoying it—not everyone had the balls to manhandle him the way he liked. But oh, this guy had balls. Every time Aiden pulled off him to breathe, his hands were insistent, hips bucking demandingly as his voice lifted in an arrogant, desperate plea.

The things he’d do to this man if he had the time. In the absence of it, Aiden swallowed him down, finally let him buck up into his mouth, moaned pointedly around his cock as it buried itself in his throat.

“Shit, god, fuck,” the guy swore, pinning Aiden’s head down as he came.

He swallowed, because the other option was choking, and reminded himself to use condoms next time. When the fingers in his hair finally eased up, Aiden pulled off, pressed his cheek into the hot silk twisted around the guy’s thigh, and grinned up at him.

“Any chance for a return of the favor?” he asked, fully expecting to be turned down.

His guy stared down at him, flushed cheeks and dark eyes, then yanked him up and buried a hand down the front of Aiden’s jeans. His mouth was hot and wet when he dragged Aiden into an open-mouthed kiss, uncaring or unaware that his come was still on Aiden’s tongue, and his hand was hard and unforgiving where it jerked him off, dry and tight.

They went their separate ways after Aiden came with an embarrassingly high noise, his guy to whatever frat house or society he actually belonged to, Aiden back to his car to sober up a little before he headed home. There hadn’t been any chance of anything deeper, which was exactly as he liked it—fast, dirty, anonymous, some dude newly bicurious and a generous hand around his dick, no names, no chance of ever seeing each other again.

And all of that, all of that, would have been fine, except that when he walked into his early morning Anatomy lab, his guy was sitting at a table near the front of the class.


Clara, predictably, found it much funnier than he did.

“Okay, I get it, I’m a sexed up moron. You can stop laughing now,” Aiden said after the third straight minute of choked, muffled laughter. Her hands were caught up over her mouth, the only thing keeping her from howling in the middle of the campus cafe, and the bangles on her wrists jingled in beat with the shaking of her shoulders.

She was a pretty woman, in her own way. The streak of white in her hair was either bleached or natural, and he’d never been able to figure out which it was—if it was bleached, she took care not to let her roots show. The ink on her arms and chest was half-filled in, not quite done, but she had an apprenticeship with a local parlor and it was one of the perks of the job. Today she was actually wearing makeup, but it wasn’t a common thing, which meant she had something she was doing later that called for it.

Or someone, he thought sourly, even if it was hard to hold it against her. Not after his own deeds two nights ago.

“It’s just,” she wheezed, carefully dabbing tears from her eyes without smearing her mascara, “it’s just, only you can end up in these situations, you know that? Only you!”

“I cannot be the only person to run into an inadvisable one-night-stand in class the next morning.” He sighed, taking a long sip of his coffee. It wasn’t like Clara was wrong, though. It seemed like the stupidest situations were the ones he invariably found himself in.

“No, but you’re the only one to have two classes with him,” she said gleefully, reaching across the table to steal a sip of his coffee too.

“They’re gen-eds. Everyone shares gen-eds, right?” This was the furthest thing from the truth, actually—it was his third semester at this college, the closest to a local school as he could figure, but there were enough people attending that he could barely keep track of anyone from day to day.

Clara he’d known because she was in one of his programming classes. Oddballs in those were a dime a dozen, worse than the art students he could see on campus sometimes, but she’d been the only one to spot the small, defiant rainbow on his keychain and come closer because of it. And since she’d kept catching him after class anyways, it seemed inevitable for them to become friends.

There were clubs and shit, he knew that. Organizations. No fraternities, not for a two year college, but a couple that had outreach programs for people who planned to jump to university out of here. Weekly events, including the ones that were about to eat up the quad in an hour, workshops, meetings, movie nights—

Even outside of class, there were places to meet people, was the thing. He could meet people, if he wanted. He just… didn’t want to. Clara was enough of a friend for him, and between her and his roommates, he met his limit of social interaction during the weeks pretty regularly. It was a rare thing for him to retreat into his room for days on end now.

And when he did want to stretch out beyond that tight social circle, Aiden had a good thumb on the pulse of the party scene. It was the only reason why he’d been at the one night before last. He didn’t like going to bars, not really, but parties were a good place to get a quick lay, and usually they didn’t come back to bite him.

Usually.

“Not at all,” Clara said, stealing another sip of his coffee before sighing at the look on his face. “Look. It’s probably not a big deal, Aiden. It’s just funny!”

“Not to me,” he muttered resentfully, moving his coffee out of her reach.

“Here’s what we’ll do,” she said, knocking her boot against his calf, “Defalt has some kind of thing at that club—the real artsy one? That’s on Thursday. We’ll go there, we’ll get absolutely wasted, I’ll ask him if he can swing it to get the cute bartender on that night, and you’ll get laid with someone who is too old to be in your classes. That’s your type, right?”

“Shut up.”

“Yeah, I thought so. So you’ll get it on with the hot bartender, I’ll get so blitzed I can barely walk the next morning, Defalt will get a couple extra cover charges for his thing, and we’ll all be happy.” She paused, considered the consequences of her course of action. “Well, you and I will probably be hungover, so not happy with that, but otherwise it will be a very fun Thursday.”

After a few more seconds stewing in his own resentment, Aiden gave up. Clara was right—he’d feel better after a night out with a hot guy who didn’t necessarily have to be older than him and that way he’d stop thinking about the guy in two of his gen-eds whose name he didn’t even know.

Fuck. He didn’t even know the guy’s name.

“Oh god, I have no idea what his name is,” he said, immediately forgetting his personal resolution to stop thinking about him.

Clara, like a bitch, started laughing at him again. She stole his coffee for good measure, standing up and patting him on the shoulder with mock sympathy. “Don’t worry about it, Aiden. I’m sure he’ll tell you once he figures that out.”

There was a strong likelihood that she was right, but he didn’t want to admit that. He watched her leave, her bag heavy with punk patches and dangling keychains, then shoved out of his chair and headed for the counter of the cafe. Another coffee wouldn’t hurt him, and he had his afternoon class in about fifteen minutes. It would give him time to find a good seat.

He tried not to mull over the problem of his guy on the way there, dodging around a laughing group wearing similar patches to Clara’s. Between JB’s—sorry, Defalt’s—gigs at campus parties and the kid in that mask, he was beginning to wonder what kind of visible face policies the school had. Maybe getting a motorcycle and just wearing his helmet around wouldn’t be a problem.

It was a useful distraction, better than worrying about his mystery man. He’d always wanted a bike, but his mom had vetoed it as his first vehicle and he couldn’t exactly afford the damn thing now. If he put in the extra time driving, maybe but—fuck, did he even really need a bike in the first place? Just because he could, theoretically, have one didn’t mean he should have one.

His apartment complex probably wouldn’t permit him for one, anyways. Not when he already had a car. And their apartment only had two allocated spaces, both of which were taken by now, so begging one of his roommates to pick up a space permit for it was out of the question.

Hard to justify the expense when he couldn’t even make money off of it—mulishly, Aiden grabbed that practicality and shoved it back in the locker where it belonged. He already knew all the things standing between him and his dream bike, he didn’t need to focus on them now. Right now, he was thinking about how cool it would be, how much fun he’d have on it, how fast it would probably go, and how he wouldn’t even get in trouble for wearing a helmet through the building. Sensible Aiden could go take a hike. This was Fun Aiden’s show.

Still focused on arguing with himself, he didn’t look around the classroom as he walked in, just finding the closest seat to the board that also had a wall on one side. Laptop, notebook, pencil, bag on the floor—he had a system, better than he’d ever had in high school, because now that he was paying for it, he wasn’t going to waste this. Even if this was… Intro to Anthropology. Ugh. He sat, rolled his neck, pulled out his phone to text Clara that she owed him coffee, and finally looked up.

Aiden Pearce did not share two classes with the hot guy from the party that he’d given a sexual awakening. That would be ridiculous.

He shared three.