tagGay MalePretty Boy

Pretty Boy

bytamgreen©

I always hated stereotypes. At least, that was my excuse for resenting anyone who assumed I was gay. A guy can be fabulous and into clothes and still be attracted to the opposite sex. And I have been attracted to girls as far back as I can remember--that's no bullshit. Girls love a guy they can go shopping with. "Metrosexual" was what they called me, and I was fine with that mantle. It meant they recognized my good taste, refined appearance, superior grooming, and upscale tastes. It was when people called me "gay" that I got frustrated. I'm not gay. Properly, I'm bi.

I'll admit I'd never been with a guy before--kissed a few, but that was it. And I never liked people thinking I was into them, because the point was that, regardless of appearances, I didn't HAVE to be gay.

I always thought people needed to open their minds--especially those macho loser jocks who think the epitome of masculinity is throwing a ball around, beating each other up, and making fun of gays.

I dunno. Football? The whole thing always seemed kind of homoerotic to me.

It wasn't as if I didn't understand why people--especially dudes--jumped to the conclusion that I was gay. I've always been in touch with my feminine side, and classy as fuck. An appreciation for fine clothing, superior hygiene, a decent hair and skin care routine--these are things that people seem to think are qualities of a homosexual male, when they really should be qualities of every human being as far as I'm concerned.

It was all the more frustrating, then, when I found out who I'd been paired with in my college dorm.

I was in my second year, pursuing a business degree. I hadn't lived on campus my first year, but my parents were now insisting on it. Apparently they thought me a bit of a sponge, still living at home. I was mad, certainly, but after a while I could see their point. I supposed I had taken them for granted.

It was a difficult transition, moving myself to a comparatively tiny room, plus having to share it with some random dude. I was immensely grateful, at least, that I wouldn't have to deal with communal bathrooms. Besides the revolting thought of the dubious level of hygiene resulting from masses of sweaty, sloppy young men sharing shower and toilet facilities, I cherish my self-care routines, and I wasn't interested in putting them on display. I'm not sure other guys would have been interested in display either--I had that "gay vibe", and when I was around dudes in any state of undress, they were hypersensitive to being observed. I could certainly appreciate a well-formed male body, but I was as hypersensitive as they were, knowing if I was caught looking, they'd think it proof that I was gay. In high school locker rooms, I kept my eyes on my own business and did my utmost to suggest to them I was straight by my complete disinterest.

Thank God I was long finished with high school gym classes. Now I was a college man, and I only had to share a bathroom with one roommate.

Our cramped dorm was fairly cleverly designed to make the best use of the limited space. The beds were loft beds, with small but serviceable desks beneath. There were bureaus, a few shelves, and a shared closet. Whoever my roommate was, he was already moved in. He seemed to have been living here a while already. He was obviously an athlete, and a complete slob. While his stuff took up only fifty percent of the room, he had made that fifty percent an eyesore. Sports shit, clothes everywhere, papers, food wrappers, empty Powerade bottles, et cetera.

His clothes also took up squarely fifty percent of our shared closet, but I hated to even put my clothes in the same physical space as his... it was hard to call them clothes at all. I realized as I unpacked that I was going to need more than half of that closet space. My shirts and trousers were expensive and needed to be hung up--the idea of cramming any of them into drawers was unfathomable. He seemed to mainly have grotty, well-worn t-shirts.

The man himself finally wandered in, clad in sweatpants and a tee sporting our school's logo, and looking and smelling like he'd just had a run.

"Hey," he muttered, glancing over me with an irritated expression.

"Hello," I replied, glaring back at him appraisingly. He looked like a real bruiser, thick and broad-shouldered--I guessed correctly that he was a football player. He had blue eyes, and his head was shaved, but by his eyebrows I figured he was an ash blonde. Speaking of eyebrows, his badly needed to be plucked and shaped.

I must have been showing my distaste--his mouth twisted, and he turned his back to me, rummaging in one of his drawers.

"So, you're my roommate," I ventured when he did not speak to me further.

He turned and squinted at me. "Yeah..." he said slowly, as if it should have been the most obvious fact in the world.

I frowned at his rudeness, and decided to be the bigger man, though physically he was the size of approximately three of me. "I'm Markus," I said, moving to the midpoint of the room and extending a hand. "Markus Van Aken."

He looked at my hand, and then at me. He snorted briefly and finally took my hand, giving it one brief pump with his warm, sweaty paw before pulling back. "Greg," he replied, and went back to his drawer.

I minded my own business while he changed out of his exercise clothes and into a plain white undershirt and a pair of flannel shorts.

"So... Greg," I finally ventured. "Are there any little 'house rules' for our dorm?"

He vaulted up onto his bed and flopped back, fiddling with his phone. "I dunno. Don't be an ass?"

"Hmm," I murmured, carefully putting my shirts on hangers and trying to puzzle out how to hang them all in this tiny half-closet space. "Question. Do you think you need all these clothes hung up? They mostly look like they could be folded and put in drawers. I have a lot of things that really need to be on hangers, and I need some extra space."

Greg snorted. "Sorry, slick. Half that closet's mine and I'm using it."

I pursed my lips, but made no reply. It was hard to argue that, but I wished he'd listen to my logic. I resigned myself to making do, and found a way to hang some things beneath my loft bed.

I glanced at him periodically while I set up my living area. He mostly had his attention on his phone, but from time to time he'd watch me through narrowed eyes as if I were some kind of strange insect.

I could practically feel him forming assumptions about me.

"So, what about girls?" I piped up, seeing a perfect opportunity to assert my masculinity.

"Girls?" He eyed me, smirking, and snorted.

There it was. Obviously he'd pegged me as gay. I squared my shoulders. "Yes--you know, the opposite sex? The ones with breasts? Ever had one?"

He snorted again, this time looking a little less amused. "You are some piece of work," he muttered, turning back to his phone.

I felt slightly chastened, but kept up my dignity. "So... seriously. If one of us has a girl over, and things get... intimate... do we do the tie-on-the-doorknob thing or what?"

"Tie on the doorknob--are you from the seventies?" he snickered. "No one does that."

I was going to remark that I suspected he didn't own any ties regardless, but kept my mouth shut.

"I don't tend to bring my one-night stands here, so don't worry about me," he continued. "If you feel a pressing need to get laid in your little dorm bunk bed, just send me a text and latch the door. I'll find someplace to couch surf."

"All right," I agreed, and we proceeded to exchange cell numbers.

I didn't like Greg. He seemed determined to make me out to be a moron at every turn. I was just as determined not to let him succeed.

He snored. I had a difficult time falling asleep the first night. I awoke by six and he was still sawing logs. I groaned and nearly fell out of my loft bed trying to climb down. I gathered up an armful of supplies and stumbled to the bathroom.

Getting myself ready for a day was always a production, and it was a unique challenge completing my usual ablutions in this tiny, shared bathroom. I was accustomed to having a spacious bathroom all to myself. There was hardly any counter space--I wouldn't even be able to store all the products I used on a daily basis in here unless I could use the whole space. The only things Greg kept next to the sink were a toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, and shaving cream, so I shifted them aside. I had to clean the countertop and sink thoroughly before spreading out my stuff. It had been spattered with old soap scum, toothpaste, and God only knew what else.

I glanced into the shower stall and grimaced. It, too, did not look well cared for. Well, I wasn't going to spend all my time here cleaning up after my slovenly roommate. I dug up a pair of flip-flops and wore them while I showered. I could at least protect myself from someone else's filth.

I was halfway through moisturizing when Greg began to pound on the door.

"Time's up!" he bellowed.

I tensed with discomfort. Being interrupted in the bathroom was extremely distasteful, and I felt it rather rude on my roommate's part.

"I'm not finished yet," I called back. "Give me ten more minutes."

"You've been in there for nearly an hour! What the fuck is taking so long?"

"You don't know how long I've been--you were still asleep when I got up!" I protested.

"I was awake when you came and got your little sandals. You a germophobe or what?"

"No, I just don't appreciate being exposed to this level of squalor!" I sighed grievously. "Do you ever clean anything in here?"

He pounded on the door again, making it rattle.

"Stop that, please!" I snapped.

"Hurry... the fuck... up!"

Greg was ruining my morning routine, and now I was tense and upset. My personal care and grooming rituals were important to my well-being. This was intolerable. And yet... I would have to resign myself to it. This was going to be the reality of sharing a space, I realized. It was not my bathroom; it was our bathroom. Paring a bit of time off of my morning routine would have to be one of a thousand small sacrifices I was going to have to make in order to live in this shared dorm.

I wrapped a towel around myself, balled up my PJs with my boxers and moisturizer bottle, and tucked the bundle under my arm. I could finish outside the bathroom, I supposed. Reluctantly I unlocked the door and pulled it open. Greg stood there like a bouncer with his arms propped against the jamb, blocking the doorway. He looked me up and down and suddenly burst out in obnoxious, braying laughter.

"Problem?" I wondered, putting on my most unamused face.

"You wear your towel like a girl!" he snorted. "Gotta protect those sweet little titties, huh?" He poked me in the nipple through the towel, and I jerked back.

"I'd rather you didn't touch me."

He snorted again and twisted his face into a mock expression of remorse. "Aww, sowwy pwincess!"

I looked down at myself, cheeks burning. I'd never thought about the way I wore my towel--I'd get too chilly if I didn't wear it up around my chest. I furrowed my brow and looked back up at him. "You going to move? I thought you wanted me out." I had a wicked thought and continued sardonically, "Or were you wanting to join me in here? I mean, I know I'm uncommonly pretty, but you're not exactly my type." I smiled smugly, figuring if a dumb jock could dish out the gay jokes, so could I.

"Ow, my feelings!" he quipped, briefly miming a fake cry before invading my personal space just long enough to get himself through the doorway and then turning aside to allow me to leave. However, I could take no more than a step before his hand had seized my bare shoulder to stop me.

"What?" I exclaimed. "I asked you not to touch me!"

"What's all this shit?" he demanded, turning me toward the sink and pointing at my arrangement of products.

I shrugged him off. "Not all of us are content to just roll out of bed and go, Greg. This look doesn't happen by accident." I raised my hands to form a frame around my face, unapologetically.

He rolled his eyes. "Look... Mark... this isn't rocket surgery. You get fifty percent of all common areas--no more. Move your shit."

"It's 'Markus', please," I corrected. "Never 'Mark'. And I'm going to ask you to lay off. We obviously have different needs, and we're both going to have to respect that. You were using less than a quarter of the counter space, so I don't think it's unfair of me to commandeer space you're not using anyway."

He shifted his broad, square jaw, glaring down at me. "You think wrong. You get half, princess. I don't give a flying fuck if you think my half is wasted. It's still my half. And I don't want any of your makeup and shit on it."

"It's not makeup!" I exclaimed, exasperated, grabbing my moisturizer bottle and shoving it in his face. "Ever hear of personal grooming?"

"I'm a man, not a fucking poodle," he snarled back, swatting my arm aside. "I don't care what this shit is--MOVE IT!"

I flinched at his forcefulness. Whether or not he was right, I felt horribly disrespected. He was using his bulk to intimidate me, and it simply wasn't right. Regardless, I put my proverbial tail between my legs and selected a number of bottles and jars I could stand to keep in my bureau instead of the bathroom, and carefully moved what remained to one side of the sink while Greg stood glaring at me. Clutching my armful of stuff, I stuck my chin in the air and glared back at him.

"You're a bully," I said simply.

"You smell like a fucking meadow," he retorted.

"If only you did!" I made a disgusted face and mimed gagging before departing the bathroom, my flip-flops absurdly making their iconic flipping, flopping noises as I went.

He snorted once before slamming the door shut, and moments later I heard him peeing like a racehorse.

"Neanderthal," I muttered.

We fell into a grudging routine over the next few days. We took the trouble to learn each other's schedules so that neither of us was bound to be hogging the bathroom at inopportune times. I will admit I still took more than my fair share, and the arguments only grew worse. I usually went away feeling an uncomfortable mixture of smug self-satisfaction and guilt. It was hard to admit, but Greg brought out my most immature side, and... yes, my insecurity. He had an effortless, sharp-tongued way of poking straight at all my faults, and I felt consistently unsettled. It became a vicious cycle, as the more unsettled I felt, the more determined I became to prove myself.

A girl entered the picture, which inevitably amplified all this. She wasn't any girl of mine, but Greg's. I came back from a late class one night and found them both sitting curled up on his bed, cozily shoulder-to-shoulder. They were talking very quietly, and stopped when I entered.

"Oh, hey--so you're Markus-never-Mark." She smirked at me while Greg looked in the other direction, looking grumpy.

I had to fight to keep from showing my chagrin at the way Greg had obviously been complaining about me to his girl. She was achingly beautiful, with bronze skin; dark, almond-shaped eyes; and very curly black hair gathered into a spectacular poof of a ponytail. Fabulous hair--I would have liked to join her in the shower and wash it for her. I wanted her immediately, perhaps especially so because Greg had her. "Markus is fine," I replied in good humour, managing one of my most charming smiles.

"I'm Rana," she replied, hopping gracefully down off of Greg's bed. Her breasts bounced enticingly beneath a snug cotton top, and her floral skirt swirled around her thighs. She offered a hand to me politely, and I shook it, giving her a light squeeze.

"Pleased to meet you," I said. "You're a... friend of Greg's?" I smiled continually, slipping my hands into my pockets in a deliberate show of casualness.

"Yes, I am indeed a friend of Greg's," she replied, eyes glinting playfully. "We were just... calling it a night, though."

"Ohh, are you sure?" My gaze passed from hers to Greg's; I smirked and adjusted an invisible tie. "I could go somewhere else if you wanted some privacy."

"That's sweet, but really, I have to run," Rana chuckled, squeezing my shoulder briefly. "Got a paper to work on."

She turned to smile widely at Greg, and he jumped down, ignoring me completely as he walked her the brief distance to the door. I pretended to look at a textbook, but watched surreptitiously as they hugged each other tightly, and whispered back and forth.

"So," I said once she was gone and he'd hefted his bulk back into bed. "She's stunning."

"I don't need your opinion."

"Retract your claws, Gregory," I chuckled, lowering myself into my desk chair and crossing my legs neatly. "It was a compliment."

"To who?"

"Both of you, I guess!"

"I'm not responsible for her being stunning. If you were implying she's my girlfriend, you'd be wrong."

"Oh? She seems fond of you." I continued to grin at him.

"Yeah, she is. That doesn't mean we're in a relationship."

"Well, isn't that nice for you!" I retorted sarcastically. I crossed my arms. "If she's not your girlfriend, then I suppose you wouldn't mind me asking her out."

He released a harsh, irritated sigh. It took him several moments to respond. "You're welcome to try, pretty boy, but trust me, she wouldn't bite."

"She, uh... into the ladies then?" I kept up my grin.

"Fuck!" he burst out, rolling to face me with furious eyes and flushed cheeks. "You're such a douche! You think any girl who might not be into you must be gay? Fuck--seriously! The only thing worse than having an ego the size of a planet is combining that ego with complete and utter ignorance! I am so fucking done!"

I let out a long breath. "Whew... someone really does need to get laid," I muttered, regretting my words even as they fell from my lips. It was a reflex, and I didn't know why. I wasn't exactly disproving myself a douche.

I felt the floor tremble as he leaped down off of his bed. He barrelled across the room like The Hulk and grabbed me by the shirt, pushing until my chair slammed back against the wall. He got right in my face, snarling.

"What is my one rule?!" he roared. "Don't be an ass! DON'T BE AN ASS, Markus!"

I blanched, breathing rapidly like a little mouse caught under a cat's paw. Would he hit me? Would he actually hurt me? I didn't want my face bruised, but if he did hit me, he'd at least prove himself a hypocrite, which would give me some satisfaction. "Look at yourself right now," I whispered, trying to make steady eye contact with him, though my breath trembled a little. "Who exactly is being an ass?"

He gritted his teeth, continuing to glare furiously at me for a short time, his blue eyes shining and frigid. His cheeks only reddened further as he sucked in deep breaths and let them out in angry huffs. Finally he let go of my shirt and spun away, leaning hard against the nearest wall to catch his breath.

I said nothing further as he struggled to calm himself, deciding I was done poking the bear for tonight. I adjusted my chair and took a deep breath, and he shot me another glare as if even these small noises were infuriating to him. He abruptly stripped off his shirt, pulled on another, and plunged his gigantic feet into a pair of hideous, old runners. "I need some air!" he spat, and departed, slamming the door behind him.

We spoke minimally for the next couple of weeks, and Rana continued to be a regular presence. Often when I came back from a day of classes or a party or pub night, she would be in our dorm, the two of them perched on his bed or scrunched up in chairs side by side. Whatever they were up to, they always stopped the moment I walked in.

I bumped into her in the pub one night, and she happily joined me for a drink. I was pleased to have her all to myself for once, without Greg's influence. I certainly felt more at ease, and more myself without him around.

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