Controller Ch. 01

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The controller swung in a vicious arc, my thumbs sliding across multiple buttons on the pad as the sounds of war echoed on either side. The end of my gun was barely visible, and the barrage of bullets erupting from the barrel gave the impression of a light saber. A sensor went off, and I bit my lip as I did a front roll to escape the slicing katana whizzing through the air a hair’s breadth above me. I spun and blasted the assassin from the packing crate, his head exploding with a satisfying splatter of gore.

“Die, motherfuck’r!”

The door slammed open, breaking the spell, and I glanced over as the goon who posed as my roommate stomped into the room. Trying to refocus on the game, I took out a second attacker.

“Hey, dork. You been sittin’ in front of the damn computer all day?”

Back off, Tony. I don’t want your crap today. I grabbed a tootsie roll pop out of the stash of candy on my desk and sank my teeth against the hard sugar, fighting to not smash the controller in my hand against Tony’s hollow head. I sure wasn’t going to try and talk with him. It took too much effort to try and have a conversation. My physical attraction to the big blond had lasted just long enough for him to open his mouth and say something. Our bond had plummeted downhill afterwards. I didn’t hate him, but I’d dealt with smart-ass jocks in high school. College was not going to be a badly done level two. My concentration was shattered when a pillow slammed into the side of my head.

“Hey, Dork! I’m talking to you.”

I paused the game, trying not to let out a noise indicating any kind of victory for him. “What?”

“You gotta be gone tonight. I’m goin’ to the Tri-Delt’s end-of-rush party, and I’m planning to get lucky.”

My eyes rolled. Wishful thinking. “Yeah, ok. But midnight’s it. I’m not sleeping in the hall.”

“Whatever. Just don’t be here.”

I worked at blocking him out as Tony stripped for the showers. I tapped the play button and rolled the sucker around in my mouth. Just one more level and I’m heading to the library. When the door shut behind Tony, I relaxed into my chair, the tension lessening with him out of the room.

Concentrating on the destruction of the last attacker, I jumped when the door banged open again, and Tony bumbled back into the room still dripping water from his shower. My fingers kept dancing across the controller as I successfully ignored him, until water splattered over me.

“Hey, Jerk! Knock it off!”

His laugh slammed into me and I flushed, embarrassed at the thought I’d ever tried to sneak a look at his goods or let him have some kind of effect on me. He’s such an ass. I can just imagine what kind of girl would go out with him. I locked my eyes on the flickering screen, trying to remember which way my last attacker had gone. I’d found the brute again and was slashing away at him when Tony started in again.

“Come on! You said you’d leave.”

With a sigh, I pause the game again and closed my laptop. I turned in time to see Tony holding in his package so he could zip himself into a skintight pair of jeans. I paused before shaking my head. “Yeah, whatever. I’m going.”

I shoved my computer and controller into the backpack and headed out the door. Unhappy didn’t even begin to describe how pissed off I was. My jaw clenched and the last of the hard candy shattered between my teeth.

#

Hello Kitty? Why in the hell would I want a USB drive that looked like Hello Kitty? The fact I had to pull off its head to plug it in was a step in the right direction though. Stupid, just really stupid. I flipped through the other USB drives and found a Great Pumpkin drive. God, I loved Charlie Brown and the whole Great Pumpkin thing. I drove Mom nuts with my obsession over it when I was eight. I was determined to wait for the Great Pumpkin. It didn’t matter to me that the nearest pumpkin patch involved a twenty-mile drive out of Chicago. As I stood grinning over my moment of realization of what a stubborn child my mother had, one of the store employees had walked up beside me.

“Can I help you find something?” he asked, tucking his dark shoulder length hair behind each ear.

“I need a USB drive. I was headed to the library and can’t find mine.” I smiled and shrugged my shoulders. “I can’t seem to keep up with the things.”

He chuckled, and I caught his nametag. Jamie. “Yeah, I have the same problem. I buy them, and they disappear. Somewhere there’s an orc with a huge stash of USB drives.” He glanced at the rack I’d been going through and his smile broadened. “You want to see some that don’t look like skateboards or barbie dolls?”

I let out a sigh of relief. “God, yes. I’m having an over-dose of cute with these.”

“Yeah, and they’re about twice as much too. Come on, the serious ones are over in this corner.”

Following closely behind, we quickly entered hardcore gamer heaven. They carried assessors and attachments for every game system I could think of, and some of them I’d never heard of. I almost plowed into Jamie when he came to a screeching halt in front of me.

“Here casino şirketleri you go. The smaller ones are down lower, and the eight and sixteen gig are toward the top of the display. We’ve got a few big ones too, up to one-twenty-eight, but they’re in the locked case cause they’re a little pricey.”

I pulled one of the bubble packs from the display and checked out the drive. “This one should work fine. I don’t need the high dollar ones since I lose ’em constantly.”

“Cool. I can check you out if you’d like?”

When he tucked his hair back again, I noticed the two captive-bead rings he had in the top of each ear. For some reason the glimpse of his piercings sent a little tingle through my body. “Yeah, sure. I don’t need anything else.” As we walked to the counter, he glanced back at me and flashed a set of pearly white teeth.

“So, what system have you got?”

“Alienware notebook. My folks got it for me for a graduation present. It’s a sweet little computer. Has a phenomenal processor time.” I grinned and let out a laugh. “I told them I needed it for my major.”

“What’s that?”

“Biology…”

Jamie laughed as he started writing out the ticket. He slowed until he stood tapping his pen against the counter. I started to worry something was wrong when he started talking.

“So, you busy tonight?’

I gave him a confused glance, then remembered I was banished from my room and shook my head. “Nope, I was given marching orders actually.”

Jamie stared at me and then started laughing. “Please don’t tell me your roomie was dumb enough to believe the girls at the end of Rush were going to be easy.”

I shrugged.

“Yeah, all he’s gonna find are Rosie Palmer and her five sisters.” Jamie snickered.

I thought a second before I got the connotation and cracked up laughing. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”

Jamie continued to laugh as he spun the ticket on the counter and handed me a pen. “Anyway, I’m meeting up with a few friends at our room for a little Halo. If you’re interested. They’re a pretty cool group.”

I signed off on the charge to my university account, and the parents. “Yeah. Sounds like fun. Where should I meet you?”

Jamie checked his watch. “I get off in about an hour. You can head back with me if that works.”

His fingers slid his hair back again, and I nodded. “Sure. I’ll get some stuff done at the library and then come back.”

#

Watching Jamie struggle with the door, I couldn’t help but smile. It was refreshing to find someone else who can’t get anything mechanical to work.

“Damn door! It’s like this every freakin’ night.” Jamie struggled with the lock for several minutes until finally it snapped into place. His face twisted in frustration. “I hate that door. And it hates me even more. I swear if they don’t get it fixed soon, I’m going to throw a chair through it and say it was a planned protest!”

“I know what you mean. I hate the lock on my dorm room. And it doesn’t help that my idiot roommate thinks he’s MacGyver and can rig anything. He’d screw up a wet dream.”

My face flush hot at Jamie’s laughter. We walked in silence for a few minutes, and I was afraid I’ve just made myself look like a stupid freshman. I fought down the urge to fill the void, but words ricocheted inside me, fighting to get loose. As we walked, I noticed the grounds were deserted for such an early evening.

Jamie looked at me, and his smile shone in the twilight. “I like it at night. You know, on campus.”

Looking around I realized that the grounds were pools of multicolored light strung along the ghostly slivers of gray concrete that connected them. Absorbed in the imagery, I moved alongside Jamie and enjoyed the company.

Before too long we arrived at the Quad, one of the high-rise dorms populated by upperclassmen who still wanted to live on campus. They were more like apartments and impossible for freshmen to get into. Lord knows, I’d tried. That’s how I ended up with charming Tony as a roommate. No backup plan.

I ran full speed into Jamie and bounced off him. “Shit! Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”

As I moved away, a blast of musk and cologne drifted into my nostrils. I always enjoyed that musky smell some guys put off. Not a funky stink, just a nice scent that says he’s all man. Jamie sure fell into that category.

“You okay?”

I snapped back and found Jamie staring at me with his eyebrows squished together in apparent concern. “No, I’m good. Just zoned there for a second.”

“Okay. You just got a weird look on your face. I thought I should check.”

“No. Sorry. Just a long week.”

“Oh, heck yeah. I get that.”

I walked with him down the corridors, amazed at how many people he knew by first name. The place did feel more like an apartment building than a dorm. Jealousy rolled over me again. I want to live in the Quad. That I’d gotten asshole Tony as a roommate made it worse. His funk was the exact opposite of Jamie’s clean smell, and I found it revolting.

Jamie hit the elevator button, casino firmaları shot me a strange glance, and then started chuckling. “What are you humming?”

I froze for a minute, afraid I’d done something stupid. “It’s the theme song from an old show. I was watching it off YouTube.”

“Mister Ed?”

“Yeah. Mister Ed.”

Jamie started laughing. “I love that show.”

I relaxed as we grinned at each other. His hands again flicked his hair behind his ears. The ritual was endearing. He started humming the theme song and before the elevator showed up, the two of us were grinning from ear to ear as we hummed the song as loud as possible. After a moment it faded away, and we were again in silence.

“So, biology huh? That’s a tough major,” said Jamie.

“Well, I’m hoping to get in med school. Biology made the most sense. We checked out a few places before deciding on here. The med school’s only a few years old, but I know I have to bust my ass.”

The elevator opened and I followed him inside. His khaki’s were a nice fit and I took a split-second to admire his butt before I locked my eyes on Jamie’s face. I realized to my horror that the elevator might as well be mirrored, and Jamie probably caught me. Damn it, I’m not sweating it. All I did was look. If Jaime were checking out some girl, nobody would care. It wasn’t fair.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” said Jamie.

I locked eyes with him when his words almost echoed my own thoughts. Then I realized he was talking about my pre-med major. “Oh. Yeah. It will be. I’ve always got good grades.”

The door opened into a stark white hallway. Jamie continued with his explanation. “Not me. School isn’t really my thing. But my parents insisted, and decided I needed to major in business. So here I am, almost finished and my grades are crappy. But I’ll probably work with my dad anyway, so they don’t matter too much.”

“Where’s your dad work?”

“He’s a bank president. Does pretty well.” He fumbled with the door key for a few moments.

I couldn’t help but wonder, how much easier life would be. We get by on what Dad makes as a welder, but Mom has her hands full taking care of Evan. I froze for a second when the door popped open and the roaring sounds of warfare flooded the peaceful hallway. I was dumbfounded, I’d never seen so much gaming equipment in one place before. There were speakers, headset and controllers that I’d only read about in magazines or on-line. I’m thrilled to have two gaming centers, and one of them I saved up for from my sucky job working at the local fast food place. This room was a gamers dream come true.

#

“Nathan. Come on in, ignore the mess. This game’s been going on since early this morning, and these animals wouldn’t leave the room to go to the bathroom if I didn’t insist.”

Creeping into the room, it was obvious what held their attention, a huge flat screen television so large that the avatars were almost life size. I was so absorbed in the game playing out in front of me that I barely noticed when Jamie closed the door.

The group was deep in a multiplayer Halo game. I’d spent more time playing Halo than anything else I’d done. The game was an obsession for me. I’d played video games my whole life, but this enormous size was even changing the sense of time passing.

When the shock of the giant ass TV started to wear off, I began to notice the other people around the room. A small crowd pressed close, some in various states of being slouched over the furniture watching while others gunned down the current round of bad guys.

“Hey, Nathan, Want something to drink?”

I tore myself away from the screen to see Jamie tucking the hair behind his ears again. “Sure, Whatcha got?”

Jamie studied the content of their fridge for a minute and came up with a smile. “Beer, local Beer, imported beer and cheap beer. Oh, and a diet Dr. Pepper that someone left.”

I thought about the choices for a second, but decided against being stupid this time. “Water’s fine. I think I’ll pass on the beer.”

Jamie handed me the unopened pop. “Better take this. The water’s kinda nasty.”

I didn’t really want a pop. The other guys might think I was some puss because I wasn’t drinking with them. But Jamie’s cute face began to make me have that fluttering sensation when we touched, so I took it. “Thanks,” I mumbled.

“Hey, babe. Grab me a brew.”

Jamie looked over at the hulking blond draped over one of the chairs. He shrugged at me then without a word, took one of the bottles of imported beer, and delivered it. I watched. Surprise, disappointment and elation swirled inside me when the blond took the beer with one hand, grabbed Jamie behind the neck with the other, and pulled him down for a kiss.

“Come on. Get a room,” said one of the other players.

I wondered too when it looked like the blond gorilla grabbed Jamie’s crotch to cop a feel before he let him go. He walked back to me with an odd grin on his face. “Sorry, hope that didn’t freak you out. Michael get’s handsie sometimes, he likes to be in control. güvenilir casino I hope it didn’t bother you. I know some people don’t like to see two guys being affectionate.”

I swallowed hard. My mix of emotions settled in layers with disappointment being the thickest. It took me a few minutes, but I realized Jamie was waiting for me to reply. About the same time, I knew this was my chance. I could start chipping away at my worry about people discovering I was gay. Obviously, this group didn’t care. They didn’t have much reaction to the kiss. First steps, just a tiny first step. I gathered my courage and turned to Jamie. “Don’t sweat it. I’m gay, too.”

Unfortunately for me, as the first words slipped from my lips, the gunfire reached a fevered pitch and Jamie didn’t hear a word I said.

“What?” Jamie yelled at me.

Someone stumbled over a powerstrip, and the speakers went dead just as I screamed into the silent room. “I’m gay!”

#

The words I’d yelled seemed to echo forever. If there had been a time I wanted an undo button on my life, this would be that time. In spite of my careful logic, I prepared myself for the reaction I knew was coming. The sound of a ripe melon being thumped sounded in the room, followed by a yelp. I traced the noise to find Michael frowning at someone who was rubbing the back of their head.

“You clumsy dumbass. Plug the fucking thing back in.”

Still massaging his head, the culprit shoved the plug back into the wall, and a tsunami of sound flooded the room. The players returned to their focus without a backward glance at me. Disappointment dominated my emotions. I thought coming out would get me a minimum of a pat on the back and congratulations. Anger, anger might have even been better. At least I thought my act of bravery should get some kind of reaction. Assholes.

I caught Jamie’s scent again as he put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed. The combination of touch and smell curled into my system and found eager receptors. My anger melted as horny teenager surged to the forefront.

“Don’t let them get to you. They are focused on the game. I could walk through naked, and most of them wouldn’t notice.”

“Yeah, sorry. I didn’t mean to yell it out like that.”

Jamie started chuckling. “Ryan’s a klutz. His timing always sucks. But the TV is his, and he lives in the suite.” He stopped for a minute, then his expression changed with understanding. “That was your first time wasn’t it. For you to tell someone.”

I looked at him for a moment. My timing’s worse than Ryan’s. “Yeah, it was. Kinda sucky timing, huh.”

“No, it’s cool. Congratulations, I’m so happy that you’d share your first coming out with us. Next week you should go with me to the campus GSA. I’m president.”

“GSA?”

“Yeah, sorry. Gay-Straight Alliance. It’s a fun bunch. And no one cares how you identify.”

“Hey! Get your fat ass over here. I’m ready for a break.” I recognized Michael’s summons from across the room.

Jamie grinned at me. “I better go. Sounds like Michael’s ready for me to take over. Make yourself at home. We rotate in and out.”

“Okay, cool.”

Jamie hurried to Michael and took his place. I noticed he didn’t let the opportunity pass to squeeze Jamie’s butt as they switched places. I settled in at the counter and enjoyed watching the gaming action. The sharp scent of too much testosterone in one small room was soon evident, beer and action building the level of noise with each passing minute.

I was about to leave, when the door opened letting in a gust of fresh air. The guy who stomped in looked like he’d just crawled out of bed, threw on a tee and came over.

“Do you assholes realize it’s 2am? My damn walls are vibrating from your speakers. Some of us have to be in class at eight in the morning.”

Michael walked by and shoved him. “Quit bitching, Eli. You know you like playing too.”

Eli glared at Michael. “I had to work until midnight. Not everyone has Daddy’s money pouring in.”

“Whaa, whaa, whaa. We’ve all heard about poor Eli before. Cry me a river.”

Eli looked on the verge of tearing into Michael, despite their size difference. I jumped off the stool I’d been warming and stuck my hand out. “Hey. We haven’t met. I’m Nathan.”

Eli gave Michael a last glare before turning to me and taking my hand. The firm shake surprised me, for some reason bringing Eli up in my opinion. “Hey Nathan. I’m Eli. Nice to meet you.” He shot a go-to-hell look at Michael. “Apparently some of the people in the room have advanced beyond Neanderthal.”

A giggle slipped out, not the image I wanted to give off, but Eli’s smile got bigger. I stood like a statue, not sure what to do next, when a couple of players were killed in the game.

“Hey, I’m already up. You want to play?”

I was a little surprised at Eli’s invitation, but I’d come with Jamie to play a few rounds. “Sure, let’s grab a controller.”

I vaulted the back of the chair and got comfortable while Eli grinned in my direction and walked around. As he did, the dark hair on his legs grabbed my attention. I love hairy legs. I don’t know why, but I think they’re incredibly hot. My focus shifted to a much more primal part of my brain, and my cock started to respond. By the time I had returned from the fantasy, Eli had settled in beside me.

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