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Collateral Damage

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He had taken over the room by the time I got there.
His stuff unpacked and neatly arranged, and he was lying on the bed he’d claimed.
I got in late, of course, but I bet he was early. Overly eager.

“Hallo,” I tried to be friendly. His suspicious glare told me I might be barking up the wrong tree. Not overly welcoming.
Which is a shame cause he wasn’t unpleasant to look at. Very nicely built with deep set eyes, a strong jaw and a perpetual scowl. Intense.
I’ve always been a sucker for the angsty ones.
He's not a talker either, I found out quickly.

 

I didn’t think training was going to be fun.

 

The first few days we barely said two words to each other. Once I asked him to turn off the light cause his bed was closer to the switch. And I think he told me to move my towel from the bathroom we shared.
We didn’t acknowledge each other outside the confined little room either. Not in the beginning.

 

I think it was on the third day of training when I first noticed him trying to keep up with me on the track. He didn’t stand a chance; his form was awful, his endurance shit, and his breathing a joke. But he tried anyway.
That caught my interest.

 

After that I noticed him glancing. I guess I started glancing too, or I wouldn’t have noticed, so yeah, I guess we both started around the same time. I’d be in the mess hall or chatting with someone by the barracks, when I’d turn my gaze and find his eyes fixed on me, not scowling for a change, more curious, as if he was seeing something for the very first time. The second he’d notice me looking back he’d turn away and pretend it never happened. But it did.

 

I sometimes wonder if my catching him staring was what made him lose his cool that day. We were doing a crowd control simulation and the wanker kicked me, hard, with intent to inflict pain. I called him on it and it turned into this whole thing. We both ended up getting chewed out by the head instructor. I think his name was Brandt.

 

Anyway, that was when everything started to change.

 

When Brandt was finally done with me, I walked out and noticed him smoking in the shadows. I’m pretty sure he was waiting around to apologize for being a prick, which he had been, and which he did. He looked awkward and uncomfortable, even contrite, which was quite adorable, really.
The look on his face when he realized I lit a spliff and not a cigarette was priceless. I just smiled coolly and offered him a drag, silently daring him to break a rule. I got the sense he didn’t do that often.
Since he was too jumpy to smoke out in the open, I suggested we head to the pool.
He was so nervous about getting caught that he couldn’t help but sneak backward glances every few steps. I could see why he became a cop. It was sweet.
I never thought he’d follow when I jumped in. But the verbal baiting worked like a charm…I threw one ”pussy” at him, and he cannon balled right in.

 

I took a mental note; he responds to direct dares.

 

In the pool, he immediately charged toward me, playfully dunking my head under water. I won’t pretend it didn’t give me a thrill. I knew I was attracted to him, but now, this horsing around, his touch, it stirred something in me. I wanted more.

 

I didn’t return to the room with him. Something told me that if I were to exit the pool sporting the massive boner he’d caused, it would’ve freaked him out.

 

He chilled out after that night. We still played the staring game, but now that we’d gotten friendly, he seemed less uptight when our eyes met.
That Friday, I thought I was being super sly when I offered to give him jogging tips, which god knows he needed. The nice part about it was that it gave me an excuse to spend more time with him. There’s no use denying that by this point, I was crushing pretty hard.
Jogging side by side felt comfortable, relaxing. He was less reserved, starting to open up, talk to me, even joke around. When his scowl softened, I could see the sparkle in his blue eyes. I hadn’t noticed it before, but now that I did, I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to have those sparkling eyes boring into mine.
I wanted him.

 

While I was fairly certain I sensed chemistry on his end too, I wasn’t sure he was aware of it yet. It’s not that I didn’t know he was straight, but lots of straight guys experiment so at that point, I still didn’t know how inexperienced he was.

 

The shotgun was my way to test the waters. He was nervous, for sure, but played along. That encouraged me to keep going, push just a little bit further. Which is when I kissed him, if you can even call it a kiss, it was more a peck on the lips.
“Are you nuts?” he looked appalled.
Not exactly the response I’d hoped for scheiße
I tried to pass it off as a joke, act like nothing weird happened, but he was clearly freaked out. We jogged back to the barracks in a super uncomfortable silence. He wouldn’t even look at me.

By the time I stepped out of the shower in our shared room, he’d already fled home for the weekend.

 

It was a crappy weekend. Thomas dropped by unannounced 5 minutes after I got home. I wanted to deal with him like I wanted a hole in my head. I’d broken it off with him 2 months prior, but he wouldn’t go away. I knew I was partly to blame. There’d been a handful of times when he had come over and I was stoned or lonely or horny enough and ended up sleeping with him. I guess that encouraged him to keep trying. But I was not about to sleep with him tonight. It was not happening. No way.

 

The best thing about Thomas were his blowjobs. That man knew his way around a cock and balls, I can tell you that much. And the bonus that night was that with his full head of soft dark hair, I could imagine it was Marc sucking me off instead, as I held his head firmly in my hands, setting the pace I wanted. Damn, it was sweet. Only thing sweeter would be the real deal. I wasn’t sure when my attraction blew up inside me and became this gnawing physical ache. I hadn’t expected it.
I’d run into a dry patch in recent months, hadn’t really been into anyone since the early days with Thomas, but that infatuation had faded away fast. Leaving me kind of bored with everyone and everything.
I returned the favor with a quick, half assed hand job. Lame but he didn’t seem to mind. Then I waited for him to leave. Sex with an ex is never a good idea.

 

Sunday was a little bit better. Obligatory brunch with my folks, a satisfyingly naughty heart to heart with my sister, and clubbing with a casual group of friends. That might be a generous description. More like people who go clubbing together but that’s about the extent of their relationship.

 

Romy’s a few years older and is just about the coolest person I know. She’d recently come home after living in Chicago with an American tourist she fell for last summer. Followed him all the way around the world only to realize the chase had been much more exciting than the happily ever after. So she cut her losses and came back. That about sums my sister up. She does what she wants, when she wants, takes shit from no one, and never apologizes for her choices.
I guess you could say she molded me in her form. Or maybe it’s genetic. Who knows?

 

That Sunday I told Romy about Marc.
“A straight guy, Kay? Why would you put yourself through that?”
I shrugged. “I want him. I don’t even understand it myself. And straight or not, he’s attracted to me too. I can feel it in my bones whenever we’re together.”
“You can feel it in your boner, more like!” she teased.

I walked straight into that one.

We’re sharing a joint in her artist’s loft, lying lazily on her futon. She takes a long drag and says in a serious tone, “You know I’d never stop you from following your heart…or in this case, your little head. But please promise me you’ll be careful and watch over that sweet heart of yours, baby brother.”
Yep, that’s Romy; loving, supportive and crass all at the same time. You gotta love her.

 

Thank god I checked my phone before taking anything at the club. As soon as we walked in, I got a text from my squad leader telling me I had to cover for Jonas from my unit on Monday morning and put off returning to the academy to Tuesday. Normally I wouldn’t have minded, but this time, I felt a small pang of disappointment, knowing I’d have to wait another day to see him.

 

Tuesday started with another lecture in Brandt’s office where he explained the concept of priorities to me. That man could drone on…but he did let an interesting little tidbit slip as he finished his diatribe.
“Off then. Your roommate was worried you weren’t coming back.”

That was unexpected.

As was walking out and finding Marc smoking in the same spot he’d waited last time I was in Brandt’s office.
waiting for me again? Ok then, showtime!
“Makes you impotent,” I snuck up on him from behind, “don’t you ever read the package inserts?”
I patted his chest pocket where I knew he kept the pack and fished one out.
I was starting to understand his MO by then. Freak out by my physical closeness, then come right back like a boomerang. Mr. straight lace was into me. That much I could tell.
His eager expression emboldened me to push even further.
I held the cigarette to my lips and grabbed his hand nonchalantly, brought it close to my mouth to light mine with his. I took my sweet time, allowing the touch to linger. Giving him a taste.
I was in full flirt mode, teasing him, getting closer, having a bit of fun with him.

 

“Brandt made a huge fuss again.” I paused for effect, then added sardonically, “I think he really missed me.”
Marc smiled at that, and I remember wondering if he even realized I hadn’t actually been talking about Brandt. Throughout this entire exchange, he didn’t say a word. But his body language and facial expressions spoke volumes. I could tell he was lapping it all up.
Which meant it was time to walk away.

The line had been cast. Now I had to give him a chance to take the bait.

 

He didn’t take the bait.

 

He’d intentionally steered clear of me for the rest of the day. I’d hoped we’d get a chance to connect again that night in the room we were sharing. But by the time I got back he’d either fallen asleep or pretended to.
I was starting to second guess myself.
Could I have misread the signs? Am I creeping him out?
I didn’t have to wonder too long. When I opened my eyes the following morning, he was standing by the little table between our bunks, staring at me. I was surprised that he didn’t budge when he realized I was awake and watching him.
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you staring at people when they sleep is creepy?”
That snapped him out of his daze. He shook his head silently and walked out of the room.

 

So yeah, game on.

 

Waiting for him to make a move had been a bad idea. There were just 2 days of training left, and he was either too much of a pussy to do anything about it, or was in such deep denial, he hadn’t even allowed himself to admit how he felt.
I didn’t want us to miss our chance. The thought of never tasting the warmth of his mouth, never touching his hard, chiseled body, never feeling his firm touch was driving me crazy. I was running out of time.

 

That afternoon I tracked him down in the gym, bench pressing weights. Not his most flattering angle, but he was much better at this than at running.
“Another jog in the forest?” I suggested, making sure to keep my voice even.
He averted his eyes.
“I’ve had enough for today.” That scowl again.
He was scared shitless. It was all over his face. Scared of what might happen in the forest this time. Scared of how much he wanted to find out.
I’m not proud of this, but I even tried insulting him to get a reaction. Goading him had worked last time.
“I nearly forgot what a great runner you are.”
I got nothing. He was showing frustratingly strong self-control. I stood there while he ignored me for another moment and then walked out.

 

I headed back to the room thinking he’d have to show up sooner or later. I remember I was just about to head for the shower when I heard someone outside yelling “Hey Marc, where are you running off to?”
I looked out the window and saw him run toward the forest.
The first thought I had was:
What the fuck? What’s he playing at? Why is he running into the forest when 20 minutes ago he had turned me down?

 

Then it clicked.
He was going after me. He thought I was in the forest.

 

He was finally taking the bait.

 

Catching up to him was a cinch. He turned back when he heard my footsteps and looked a little spooked to see me. I wanted to put him at ease. I also didn’t want to feel like some predator chasing him down. I mean, he’d come into the forest looking for me, hadn’t he?
I tapped his head playfully and reminded him to breathe evenly. When he still wouldn’t look at me I did it again, “Evenly!” I said, still grinning at him.

That’s when he shoved me and yelled “stop it!”

But he just stood there facing me, like he was waiting to see what I’d do next.
The air between us was charged. He could feel it too, I’m sure. He was lashing out at me because I had gotten too close. He was uncomfortable, but at the same time, we both knew he wanted me to get even closer.

I moved gingerly towards him, reaching my arms to touch him.
He gave me a quick shove,“stop it!”
I tried again and got another shove.
But he wasn’t trying to get away. If he’d wanted me to back off, he could have easily punched me, kicked me, gotten his point across. He didn’t do any of those things. He still stood right in front of me, breathing hard, eyes glued on me.
It was confusing and arousing at the same time.

He was mad at himself, not at me. Because he wanted me to keep going. I don’t know how I knew this, but it was plain as day to me in that moment. So I pressed on.
I was moving slowly, trying to get him to relax, to stop fighting me. His expression was full of dread, but the dread was softened by shadows of expectation.
He wanted and dreaded this in equal measure.

I took a step towards him and placed my hands on both sides of his head, steadying him, first outside his hood, then on his cheeks, forcing him to look at me. He shook his head slightly, but his gaze was smoldering, he was panting and at that moment I knew for certain I hadn’t been wrong.
My first attempt was a little clunky and awkward as I placed light kisses around his mouth. But it got him to stop resisting. He grabbed my sweatshirt with both his hands and held on for dear life. That’s when I knew he was ready to submit, and I went in for a real kiss. The first one was cautious. I was easing him in, waiting for permission to continue. And he gave it to me. He was finally kissing me back. No longer pretending he hadn’t wanted this just as much as I did. I’d pulled down his hood to get better access, and now we were kissing heavily, our hands roaming all over one another, flush with passion and lust.

 

Then he let out a gorgeous guttural moan that sent tingles down my groin.
I had to hear that sound again, so I slid my hand down his shorts and grabbed his throbbing cock. I tugged it quickly, sensing that he was already at the peak of arousal and aching for release. He came fast and hard in my hand and rewarded me with a few more of those throaty moans that made my cock leak.
Then he slumped over my shoulder, spent. I held him, kissing his face softly, savoring his salty taste.

 

That’s when it all came to a head.

 

Once he caught his breath, the transition was instant. I felt his body tense up against me. It was as if he’d woken up from a trance and remembered who he was. Apparently, he was not a man who had sexual encounters with other men in a forest clearing. He stepped away from me, dropping my hand, looking into my face with a mix of anger and fierce determination. I needed to say or do something, anything, to bring him back, to wipe the indignation off his face. I lifted my hand softly toward him, but he pushed it away.
Then turned his back to me and ran.

 

I won’t lie, it was quite a let down. I hadn’t gone after him for a quick grope and kiss. I wanted more, especially now that I’d gotten a taste. He was hard in all the right places, his kisses were forceful, manly, and passionate. And those husky moans…just remembering them made my cock twitch.
But I wasn’t blind either. I saw Marc for what he was. A confused straight alpha male discovering latent homosexual desires for the first time. And they frightened the hell out of him.

 

It was at that moment, standing alone in the forest clearing, feeling a little dejected and still aroused, that I made the decision to find a way to see him again.