Everything always came easy for me. Genetics gave me my looks, strength, abilities and intelligence. By the time I was ten, I'd already figured out what I was good at. I'd try new things for the challenge, but if I wasn't getting them or failed, I wouldn't try again. It wasn't out of any sense of fear or failure, but if I wasn't good at them, why bother. Basically, my life was easy.
I met Byron in school. His life wasn't easy. When he came into class in the third grade, he was shy and awkward. It wouldn't have been so bad, except he was a big guy. Even at nine, he was tall and gangly. He couldn't hide. Whereas I learned all new things with ease, Byron struggled. Dyslexia was something new at the time. No one had any idea what it was.
As the years went by, Byron seemed to stay in the wings, on the periphery of activity. I was this popular guy who had many friends. Byron spent his summers traveling with his parents. It was as if he didn't know how to interact with children, having spent all his time with adults and being an only child. Of course, children, being the cruel, spiteful, hateful people that they can be, treated Byron horribly. I was no different.
No matter how badly he was treated, Byron always had this shy, quiet smile. He was observant. He'd overhear conversations and laugh or smile at what he'd heard. He knew what was going on around him. More than once I would catch him listening in, enjoying the jokes. Unless directly spoken to though, he was alone. Recess is this fun, energetic time to burn off energy. Byron always had a book or would sit under a tree and watch. I was into kickball or some other game. No one thought to include him with us.
As the years passed and we left elementary school and went to junior high, Byron's life got worse. His body seemed to rebel. He started growing. I mean, he was always tall, but this was worse. Between sixth and seventh grade, Byron's voice changed and he grew almost fifteen inches. He stuck out like a sore thumb. This shy, quiet boy was now the tallest kid in the entire school. Like most people who grow a lot, he became clumsy. Watching him, you could tell how frustrated he was. While he was at lunch, he'd drop his fork at least three or four times each meal. He tripped over his shoes. He'd drop his books. It was nothing more than his amazing growth spurt. All this time, I doubt I'd spoken more than ten words to him in the four years I'd known him.
When we got back to school for the eighth grade year, Byron was even taller. He was standing at six-four. No one knew it until later, but he was shaving each morning. Now in this time, I had grown too. My voice was deeper and my body was maturing. I seemed to have topped out at the above average height of five-eleven. I started playing sports that year; I got really into football and baseball. Byron was still the shy, quiet guy in the corner that no one picked for any team until he was the last one. We all saw how clumsy he was.
By the start of freshman year, Byron was topping out at six-eight. That year, we started high school; all new teachers with all new rules. Fifth period, Byron and I were in the same PE class. We're out on the field, doing sprints. Byron wore sweats and a sweatshirt. It was still summer-like weather. He must have been sweltering. I did notice that he wasn't so awkward anymore. He also wasn't as gawky or gangly. He was starting to fill out.
In the new school, PE coaches required us to shower. There was no choice in the matter. Byron didn't look overly pleased, but he started to take off his clothes. The guy had hairy damn legs. He stood there in his sweatshirt and briefs and he was so damn hairy. Then he took off his sweatshirt and tee. He had more hair on his chest than any of the seniors who were starting to get hairy. Hell, he had more hair then the coaches. He immediately came under the scrutiny of the seniors. This was a freshman. No one is supposed to be this hairy this young. Byron was touched and pretty much felt up. He took it like he did most things, embarrassed but not saying anything.
The fascination was starting to die out, to the point that he could go and shower. It would have died out completely, if he hadn't taken off his underwear. Byron was uncut and longer than average. Most of the students were both average and cut, so they all had to look at Byron's foreskin. If it was any other person but Byron, I'm sure he would have left school that day and never come back. He was mortified. We weren't friends, we were barely acquaintances, but I finally had had enough. I stood up from untying my shoes and stepped in front of Byron. "Come on guys, leave him alone. Stop being jealous."
Okay, so it wasn't the best thing to say but it did get them to leave Byron alone so he could shower. I finished undressing and followed him. He stood under the spray, bent down to accommodate his height, letting the water pound into his still heated cheeks. When I turned on the shower next to him, he looked over. He gave me one of his genuine smiles, the one I had seen him give a few times over the years. "Thanks."
I stood under the shower, watching Byron. He was tall, so very tall. But his body was catching up to his growth spurt. His body was muscular. He was still underweight and gawky, but you could tell that once given some time, he'd fill out and grow into his body. He caught me staring at him. I wasn't embarrassed, but I decided to fill the awkward space. "You should try out next year on the football team. If you were stronger, you'd make an incredible center."
Byron kind of chuckled, as if unsure of what I was saying or why I was saying it. "Sure. I'll keep that in mind."
I left the shower shortly after, got dressed and went to class. Byron and I still didn't talk that often, but he'd nod to me if he passed me in the hall. The next semester, he signed up for the weightlifting class. He started out slow and small, but by the end of the semester, what had been toned but underdeveloped was cut and buffed out. When we broke for summer, Byron had gotten the okay from the football coach to come to tryouts. In a way, I felt responsible, but in a good way.
The first week in August was hot, humid, and all around miserable. The seventy odd guys turning out for football were all standing around, listless and droopy from the heat. Not Byron though. He stood out like the giant he was. He had hopefully finished growing at six-ten. When we were all weighed, he tipped the scales at two-fifty. I was still my same five-eleven, roughly one-eighty. I didn't mind. The man's height and size would make him an excellent center, one I wouldn't mind quarterbacking behind.
Needless to say we both got on the junior varsity team. Byron and I learned a lot that year. We learned to work as a team. We talked and shared, it took a long time to get past his shields, but once he started, he let me in, as much as he ever let anyone in. We worked so well together. He seemed to know what I was doing before I did. No one got past him. It got to the point where I forgot how to take a hit. We were undefeated and both guaranteed a first string spot the following fall once the outgoing seniors graduated.
Byron was still so damn shy though. I invited him to a party. He went, but didn't talk to anyone. Oh if someone came up to him, he talked to them, but he didn't make any move to mingle. I spotted him several times, looking at me. This wasn't his scene. The fact that he came here because I asked him really got to me. He didn't want to be here, but he came anyway.
Later on, I noticed Veronica Sampson corner Byron and do her shameless flirt routine. Yeah, I fell for it too. She was my first, the one that started me on my road of sexual discovery and fulfillment. In fact, Veronica really set my pace. She liked it fast and hard, not too much of either, but if it lasted more than ten minutes, she was bored. Looking back now, I can understand why I spent so many nights screwing then saying goodbye in the morning, never to look back. Your first time really sets the tone and pace of your future endeavors, especially if you're a self-assured, egomaniac like me.
Veronica and Byron stepped out onto the balcony. I continued to finish off my beer and was talking to one of the senior cheerleaders when I noticed Veronica come back inside, looking a bit flustered. I wondered what it was all about, so I excused myself and headed outside. Byron was standing, leaning against the rail. When I stepped out and shut the sliding glass door he turned to me and smiled. "Hell of a night, isn't it Byron."
He laughed. "You have no idea Luke. None whatsoever."
Byron stood and turned to me. His shirt's top two buttons were undone and he had some lipstick on his lip. He rested his hip against the rail as he looked at me. When he spoke, it was quietly. I was always amazed when he'd talk like this, because his voice was rather deep, but when he'd get quiet, it was like smooth silk against my nerves. "Veronica wanted to induct me into her club. I don't play that way."
My eyes tracked to his. Byron was looking slightly anxious, mostly nervous, and as if he was hoping I'd get something without him having to say it. He needn't have worried. I got it. He was gay. "If you ever get any grief from the team, you let me know."
He half laughed, half choked. "Thanks."
That seemed to be the end of it. Byron wasn't openly gay. He didn't date and kept to himself. He'd continue to go to parties if I asked, but he didn't become any less of a wallflower. I guess he didn't have anything in common. He didn't jump into the sack with willing cheerleaders and he wasn't into drinking. That left little to build upon.
Junior year started and we took first in state, the winning team of Byron and Luke. Senior year was much the same, our names in the paper and offers of scholarships for the both of us. Since we worked so well as a team on field and had become relatively good friends off, we sat down and worked out which of the schools we would accept. We settled on the University of Washington.
College was a different beast for the both of us. Byron still struggled with his dyslexia; his grades in high school only slightly less than mine. But where I only did my homework in a few minutes, Byron took hours to do his. We ended up rooming together as freshmen. Since he spent so much time studying, it was difficult for me to do as much entertaining, as I would have liked. I didn't want to affect his studies, but I also had a very healthy sex and social life. We worked out a schedule; Byron could have the room for as long as he wanted, provided that on weekends, I got it. I used it too. I found out how different the women were in college. Intelligent, freethinking women, not timid, shy girls. It was during one weekend that I had my first encounter with a man.
In college, I didn't do drugs or smoke, I drank, but only when off-season. I met this guy, a therapist in the athletic department, at a party. I had had several drinks and we ended up back at his place. The idea of two men in bed together didn't gross me out and before that night, it hadn't turned me on either. It was with his help that I discovered my bisexual side. We kissed a little. We touched a lot. There was some stroking, some sucking, and when the mood was right, a condom slipped over me and there was some serious fucking. I never told Byron though. For some reason, this was one thing I couldn't discuss with him. Which is odd, because I almost always told him about my female conquests.
Byron didn't have conquests to tell me about. He'd go off for the evening, often not coming home until morning. But whatever he did or didn't do, stayed with him. Looking back, I realize now how lonely he was. His family had packed up and moved to California shortly after we started university. He didn't make friends easily. He didn't party and he didn't sleep around. I think I was feeling sorry for him, but when it came pledge time for the football fraternity, I asked him to join me. He did. I don't know how he studied with all the drinking and loud music going on, but his grades didn't falter. In fact, he probably had more time for studying now that he no longer shared a room. I know I sure liked it. I had almost a constant stream of sleepover guests for all of my sophomore year.
During our junior year, we made it to the Orange Bowl and took tenth for the year. Our goal for next year was the Rose Bowl and first. It was about March of that year that I woke up one morning and wondered what the hell I was doing. There was some girl sprawled over my chest, cuddled up against me. I didn't know her name. Thinking back, the sex hadn't been that good. In fact, the last few months, none of the easy, nameless one-night stands had been very satisfying. Perhaps I was growing up. Perhaps I was bored. That night, I met up with a guy; the third I'd ever been with, thinking that variety is what I needed. It didn't work.
For the rest of that year, I stayed alone. I reintroduced my right hand to my penis and spent more time studying, hanging out with friends, and basically not trying to nail anything on two legs with a pulse. Byron and I ended up sharing a lot of dinners together. Dinner was the only time when Byron broke away from his studies. He worked so hard to overcome his dyslexia. There was special training to help, but if he was the slightest bit stressed or tired, it would set him back. One night, when his midterms were going to be killing him, I sat and read his notes back to him. He needed to not have to read. He was so grateful. I found in Byron something I didn't have before: companionship.
During the summer break before our senior year, I met Jenny. I decided to stay on campus so I could take a lighter class load during the season. Jenny was this bright, smart woman. She was confident and strong. Basically, I felt something in that moment, something that I had never felt before. We went out, to the movies of all things. That night, when I took her home, I didn't even try to come inside her place. We just kissed. It wasn't until we had been seeing each other for almost a month before we slept together. There was something special about it. For once, my mind wasn't focused, I wasn't thinking. All I did was feel, physically and emotionally. For someone who had spent his life being callow and popular, this was earth shattering. Without even thinking, I asked her to marry me. When she said yes, I spent the next two weeks with the biggest grin on my face.
At the beginning of August, we started training for the upcoming football season. Byron came back from his summer with his parents in California, tanned and smiling, gripping me up in a big bear hug, lifting me off the ground. He always greeted me like that, whenever we had been separated for a while. We spent the first few minutes, while suiting up, telling each other what had happened over the summer. I was still in that bubbly excited mode and told him about Jenny and how we planned on getting married.
Byron paused in tying his shoes. I looked up at him. He smiled at me, something less than his full-wattage smile. "Congratulations, Luke."
We didn't have much time to discuss it. In fact, we really never brought it up again. We went out to practice. We played hard, working with the new players and shoring up the holes left by the now departed seniors from last season. By the time we had our first game, I was totally focused on football. Any spare time at all went to Jenny.
By Thanksgiving, I was more often than not at Jenny's place. It was the perfect setup but for one thing. I missed Byron. Over the years, he had become my best friend, the most trusted person, and my confidant. Over the weeks between August and Thanksgiving, the three of us had gotten together a few times for dinner. But it wasn't the same. Jenny and I were wonderful together; we clicked, just as Byron and I clicked together. But the three of us didn't click. They were polite to each other. It hurt. I wanted the two people I cared for most to care for each other. I didn't want to give up one in order to have the other.
The season went just as predicted; we were going to the Rose Bowl. We were tied for first, but that could easily be swayed by a good victory. Byron left as soon as finals were over. Pasadena is close to where his parents lived. The parade before the game was beautiful as always. We were behind by five with only a few seconds left to play. A field goal wouldn't do it. Byron and I had worked out a play in high school, although we never got a chance to use it. This was the time.
We set up, Byron holding the ball, me standing behind him. I called the play. Byron snapped the ball perfectly into my hands. The roar of the fans faded. Time slowed to nothing. Byron fended off the three who came for me, knocking them to the ground. It was a simple play. I tossed the ball to Byron and he leapt over two fallen players and didn't stop running until he had crossed the line. Goal. We won.
When the game was over, the showers taken, and the rounds with the press, I realized that I didn't want to board the bus for the flight home. I was too pumped, too wired, and much too disinterested in waiting at home for classes to start again and Jenny to return from Wisconsin. Rushing to do it, I found Byron and asked if I could bunk with him until it was time to go back to Seattle. He enthusiastically agreed and we set off down the coast a bit to Huntington Beach. His parents were there and greeted us to a victory dinner and a bit of champagne. Byron and I were both beat and shortly after the last toast was drunk, I hit the sack. Byron stayed up a little longer because his parents were leaving early the next morning for Mexico and a little twenty-fifth anniversary celebration.
The next day, I slept in late, until almost noon. Because this wasn't my home, I threw on some shorts before heading down for some coffee. I found Byron sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a cup and staring off into space with a silly smile on his lips. I almost didn't want to interrupt him. It had been far too long since I had seen him smile. But my need for coffee won out. "Reliving that play, By?"
Byron turned his startled eyes to me and gaped at my mostly naked appearance. He seemed to stare at my chest. I looked down, wondering if I had blanket creases on it. Nope, same old chest with the over-responsive nipples that always seemed to be standing at attention. I brushed a piece of lint out of the hair trail around my belly button, the only spot with hair from crotch to chin, and looked back at Byron. Color tinted his cheeks and he looked away. "Good morning, Luke."
I walked over to the coffee pot and reached up in the cabinet to get a mug; my morning wood banged into the counter. So that was what Byron was staring at. We had seen each other naked practically every day since we were freshmen in high school. My half naked body shouldn't have sparked that kind of response from Byron, but it did. I knew he was gay, but he'd never shown the slightest bit of interest in me before. Of course, he had no idea that I had explored my bi side either. As the first slugs of caffeine hit my system, I turned around to face Byron. He was still blushing and I could tell that he'd been looking at my ass. A little curl of excitement began to build in my belly.
I stood there and thought about it for perhaps a few seconds then decided that I kind of liked the idea that Byron was attracted to me. The man stood almost a foot taller than me, but I had always found his gentle smile, warm eyes, and yes, his hairy body, attractive. I decided I would let things progress at its own pace and left to shower. Okay, so I left the bathroom door open while I showered. Yes, I left the bathroom and walked the halls naked. I was playing with fire, but my cock stood half-hard from the moment I noticed Byron checking me out.