It was weird and uncomfortable. He doesn’t trust me, that’s why he’s doing this, Manny knew. He doesn’t trust me not to lead him into something he didn’t agree to. It was only fair. It only made sense. But it was nerve-wracking to walk three feet in front of Angel and only trust that he was still following between the glances Manny stole of him.
Angel kept his head low and his hood pulled forward. He seemed to be keeping a careful eye on his surroundings, but not enough to let Manny catch more than a fleeting glimpse of his face. They walked through the mostly empty campus, passing only a few stray individuals on their way to Ellis Hall. At the door, Manny swiped his ID. But Angel would not enter first and waited for Manny to go in.
Then they were heading up the stairs, Manny still three feet in front. When they reached the door to Manny’s dorm room, Angel hung behind even farther. It was not until he had gotten a good look inside the doorway that he finally entered. Keenly sensing how wary his visitor was, Manny left the door open until Angel had gotten his fill of checking out the space within.
“I thought you said this was a dorm room,” Angel accused after peering in at the tiny kitchenette.
“Y…yeah, it is.” Manny ran a hand through his hair, gaze searching the kitchenette for what had set off Angel’s apparent suspicion. “My uncle is paying for my school, and he insisted I stay in a single. All the singles have kitchenettes and adjoined bathrooms. I don’t really use the kitchen because I have a meal plan, but—”
“An adjoined bathroom?” For the first time in full light, their eyes met.
Manny felt something in his chest contract. His fingers froze in his hair, mind fixing on the image in front of him. Angel did not have brown eyes. His eyes were hazel. Flecks of green and gold glittered in his irises every time his eyes caught the light. In the shadow, they leveled to a uniform hazelnut. Then emerald and amber again, like rays of glitter over a rich brown. This boy was breathtaking. His cute, overgrown haircut; his perfect face; his pierced ears; his slender, fit, beautiful body; the sexy silver ring in his lower lip. Sexy? Manny blinked. “I share a bathroom with the next room over.”
Angel looked tired. Those riveting eyes were still firm and cognitive. But he was shivering in his thin jacket, and his dark hair was slightly matted. “So, this is a suite, not a dorm room,” the beautiful boy corrected.
“I—I guess.” Manny turned away. It was uncanny, how attractive this strange boy was. It almost couldn’t be real.
“Where am I sleeping?” Angel’s attention turned to the rest of the room: a bed, a desk, some shelves, a dresser, a set of drawers.
“Umm…I have an extra set of sheets.” Manny moved over to the dresser. He heard the door shut and looked up to see Angel standing silently against it. “Yeah…a set of sheets. And you can have my blanket.” He made a gesture to the bed.
“You don’t have any extra bedding?” Angel’s eyes were wary as he peered back at Manny.
“Well…I have extra sheets.”
“It’s fine. I don’t need a blanket.” Angel made a small gesture towards the door, unaware that he had momentarily hypnotized Manny with the graceful movement of his hand. “This is the bathroom? Can I take a shower?”
“Yeah, of course.” Manny lifted out the extra sheets and walked over to the shelves to find his spare towel. He handed it to Angel, the object changing hands with an odd air of awkwardness. Angel gave Manny a blank stare. He kicked off a pair of converse shoes, then disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door behind himself.
Then Manny was sitting silently on his bed, listening to the shower water run on the other side of the bathroom door, feeling that Angel should not have to sleep without a blanket. It’s not that warm in here. He stood up and turned up the thermostat, then returned to his bed. I’ll give him the blanket and go without myself.
Angel took a long shower. When the bathroom door finally opened again, Manny found himself in an entirely new world of concern. Somehow, after finding Angel, the scrapes he had seen on the boy’s forearms had rather slipped his head. But Angel stepped out of the bathroom wearing jeans and a tee-shirt. The jacket was slung over one arm, but even that did not hide the strip-cloth, makeshift bandaging covering both forearms. It was gray in color, perhaps torn from a shirt. Considering the strips might have been ripped, Angel had actually done an impressive job with it. But Manny could not help but feel certain the fabric was riddled with germs and bacteria and probably only making the wounds further exposed to infection.
“What…” Manny began, his voice half gone. Happened to your arms? He meant to ask. But Angel brought up a completely different and utterly unexpected topic.
“I’m not going to fuck you unless you have a condom.” His beautiful hazel eyes were fixed levelly on Manny’s face, the words calm and certain.
“Fuck you?” Manny echoed. His face paled. “I—I—I—” Sound left his flapping lips, leaving him to gape up at the beautiful boy. Only then did he really notice the clothing Angel wore. Tight black jeans. A gray, close-fitting tee-shirt. The way Angel’s beautiful shape showed through that tight material made Manny’s head swim. He could see the half-Asian boy’s shoulders, the dip in his collar bone, the smooth muscles forming his pectorals, nipples under stretched fabric. The midline running the length of his torso, so visible on his slender body.
“I’d rather do it now than wake up to it later.” Angel was giving Manny an uninterpretable stare. He had stopped two feet from where Manny sat on his bed.
Manny’s face went a shade whiter. “I—I wouldn’t! I’d never—” But I did, his mind accused. He would never believe me, would he? After what happened that night, there’s nothing I could possibly say to make him trust me.
“You must think I’m fucking stupid.” Angel’s eyes were flashing with a fierce tension. Whether he was threatening or feeling threatened himself, Manny did not know. The student watched frozenly as Angel’s hand moved towards Manny’s thigh. Fingers grazed against the material of Manny’s jeans, the touch making Manny flinch. It was so gentle, so chilling. That beautiful boy in front of him lowered himself quietly to his knees. Breathtaking eyes met Manny’s, and another hand joined the first. Fingertips contacted the zipper. “You’re hard.”
Manny sucked in a strained breath and tore his eyes off the riveting figure in front of him. He was sweating. Heart racing. This is wrong, he knew. And yet, he could not find the will power to protest again. The curiosity was tearing his thoughts to shreds. Hunger for one more touch. Just one more brush of those soft fingertips. Every inch of his body was suddenly craving it.
Those gentle fingers stroked Manny’s inner thigh. A moment later, a cool hand slipped up under the hem of Manny’s shirt.
I can’t. Fuck! I have to stop him. Manny’s body went tense. His blood felt like it was running hot. I can jerk off in the bathroom. Take a shower and cover myself. Fuck, just not where he is. Not by him. Fuck, I’m not gay! I’m not lusting after him! This is not real.
Those fingers undid the snap on Manny’s jeans. “A-Angel—” Manny gasped, lifting a sweaty hand to catch those fingers. His hands…they were so pretty…
“Shh…” Angel whispered. His lips curved into that faint half smile, eyes so steadily lifting to Manny’s face. He was so beautiful to look at. His face, those eyes, those lips. What would it be like to kiss him? Taste his breath? Feel him in my arms? No. No!
Angel slowly drew down the zipper. The next thing Manny knew was the feeling of those fingertips on a very private place. Shocked, the college student flinched away. But the hand that gripped his thigh was steadying.
“It’s ok,” Angel whispered, those beautiful eyes again lifting to Manny’s face. “I’ll be gentle, I promise. I won’t hurt you.”
Manny was speechless. Panting for breath and sweating like he never had in his life, he could only stare at that beautiful figure. He’s selling me on this? Why—why—I can’t pay him. Does he know I can’t pay him? God, why does it— His train of thought derailed. Angel began stroking, those soft, gentle movements coaxing a pleasure to Manny’s nerves that he had never known. He felt his eyes roll back, head tipping slightly. It was wet, warm, so soft and gentle. Manny had never felt so helpless. A quiet moan escaped his lips, nerves aching for those hands to grip a little tighter, move a little faster—but also stay slow, stay gentle.
Angel’s hands ceased their motion and moved away. Manny looked down at the beautiful boy in front of him, only seconds before he felt those hands slide up along his sides, then grip onto his waist. “Come a little closer,” Angel whispered, that soft, quiet voice again making Manny wonder what it would be like to kiss him. Those beautiful lips…the ring in the middle of the lower one…
Manny caught himself biting his lip in pure craving. He allowed Angel to pull him a closer. But nothing previous could have prepared him for when that pretty boy bent forward. Manny felt the contact of those lips like heroin shot straight into his bloodstream. A kiss on the underside. Gentle mouthing along the length. Then tongue strokes.
Manny was tearing up behind closed eyelids. Every stroke of that tongue brought him to the edge of heaven. He had lost any sense of control. Everything was gone but Angel’s skillful mouth. The touch of those lips. The way Angel knew exactly where to stroke with his tongue. Exactly how. Those beautiful lips closed around Manny’s tip, and the college student let out another powerless moan. His hands shifted on the mattress, then reached out towards that beautiful boy. One hand caught strands of wet black hair. The other trailed along the soft neck below. Angel grasped Manny’s straying hand and lowered it to one of those beautiful pectorals. Manny’s fingers found a nipple through the fabric of Angel’s shirt, and suddenly he was climaxing. His vision blurred out, drowning pleasure flooding into every nerve in his body. Angel instantly drew away, snatching up his discarded jacket and using it to catch Manny’s lacteal ejaculate.
The college student’s entire body was still tingling as Angel got to his feet and stepped away. It was several more moments before coherent thought began to flow again. “A-Angel.” Manny’s voice sounded breathless and faded.
“What?” The word was shockingly aloof for the intimate encounter they had just had.
Manny blinked. “You…you’re really good at that.”
Manny felt a close-to-unbearable pang hit him at the simple reply. My words mean nothing to him, he realized. And yet, why was he surprised? No, not surprised. Just…disappointed. Sad, even. Manny made a small gesture to Angel’s arms. “Do you think…maybe…you could let me look at your arms? I have a first aid kit.”
Angel turned away. “Ok.”
Manny zipped up his jeans and got to his feet. He could not help feeling awkward as he got out his first aid kit and sat Angel on his bed. This is his thing, he told himself. He does this all the time. He sees everyone’s private parts. Sees them all come. It’s nothing to him. And yet…But not a lot of people have seen MINE. Still, it meant nothing to Angel. There was no reason it would.
“I’m gonna take this off, ok?” Manny checked before beginning to unwind the makeshift bandaging on Angel’s forearms.
Angel shrugged. “Yeah.”
“Ok…” Manny gently gripped Angel’s arm, then ran his fingers lightly over the wrapped cloth strips to find the end. He untucked it, then carefully began to unwind the fabric. Angel did not even flinch as Manny began to uncover the festering abrasions below.
There was blood. A lot of blood. Most of it was dry, but as Manny uncovered the wounds, blood began to seep from deeper cuts. “Damn,” Manny whispered. He bit back what had intended to follow.