“Bruno!” a voice called out and I hesitated, sliding across the dirt to a halt. My heart was racing, my chest heaving as my lungs cried out for air. It was unbearably hot, the summer sun scorching even this early in the morning. I glanced across the track and saw Clay waving his hands as he jogged toward me. I took a deep breath, placing my hands on my head as I focused on breathing deeper.

“What’s up?” I held my hand out as he approached, he slapped it lightly glancing around with a smirk.

“Let’s run together,” he offered and I hesitated. Beads of sweat poured down my neck, face, and chest. I could even feel some sweat rolling over my nipples and along my asscrack. I had already ran two miles and didn’t want to run too much more. “Come on!” he insisted, noticing my wariness. I took a deep breath and sighed, grabbing my shirt and wiping at my forehead.

“Alright fine. How many miles?” I asked and he smirked.

“How many have you done already?”

“Two,” I shrugged and he pursed his lips.

“Two more for me, then walk a third one to cool down,” he gestured and I sighed, nodding as I wiped my face some more. He reached up and slid his hand into my sweat soaked hair to ruffle it. “Attaboy!” he breathed and I smirked, pushing his hand away as we turned and started jogging lightly to work up to a run.

Clay was a senior this year and was the captain of our university’s soccer team. Since my freshman year he’s taken me under his wing. It was then I found out he was already captain of the team as a junior, and that all the players on the team respected him. In fact he was rated nationally for his talents and had a shot at playing professionally if he really wanted to.

What made everything worse was that he seemed to have no flaws. He made Dean’s list every year, he was a part of several clubs and student programs. He attended every major school event and hosted several parties for the team to bond. On top of that he was such a nice guy. And painfully attractive. I was envious of that the most.

He stood at 6’2″ tall with broad shoulders, a lean waist and hips, muscular legs, and a toned physique due to all of his training. He had a small mound of golden curls on his head, keeping the rest shaved. But what bugged me the most was his face. He had soft crystal blue eyes, a strong jaw and nose, and really cute lips. It looked like he was pulled out of a male model catalogue. And he had a voice like honey; it wasn’t crazy deep and it wasn’t jarring either. It was melodic and smooth.

And as we run around the track together, both of us panting and chatting occasionally I couldn’t help but steal glances at him. The way his sweat soaked his hair, how his shirt clung to his figure, the way his shorts wrapped around his thighs and ass. I had never been attracted to men before, but most of my friends said there was always that guy that could make you question yourself. Clay was that guy for me.

“One more lap Bruno, come on!” he nudged my arm before running a bit faster and I grit my teeth, already feeling that burning in my chest as I huffed for air. But I wanted to impress him. I caught up quick enough, matching his stride as we continued around the track.

“That pole, is the end of our lap,” I pointed it out and he glanced at me with a smirk. I faltered, hating how nice it looked.

“Beat you to it,” he breathed casually and my heart thumped painfully. I watched him take off and then gathered myself, sprinting after him as best I could. He obviously beat me there but I made good ground to catch up. He turned, patting my shoulder as we both panted. “Good job, walk it off,” he heaved, grabbing his shirt and pulling it up to wipe his face. I couldn’t help but stare at his abs as his stomach heaved and clenched with his efforts. His pecs were hardened, his nipples puckered and his body dripping.

“We don’t have practice this afternoon right?” I tried to pull my mind back to reality, blinking those weird thoughts away as he dropped his shirt and put his hands on his hips. We started our cool down walk, working on our breathing when he nodded.

“No practice today. Did you want to go running again this afternoon?” he glanced at me with a smile and I sighed, hating how desperately I wanted to just say yes.

“Maybe, not sure yet,” I shrugged, reaching up to push my hair back. He grabbed my shoulder and squeezed it, pushing me around playfully as he chuckled.

“Let’s run together and then grab dinner at the dining hall,” he insisted and I hesitated, feeling shocked but excited.

“You sure you’re not busy?” I pressed and he shook his head.

“Senior year has been rather relaxing compared to my other ones!” he mused light heartedly. What a guy. Even being as busy as he was he made time for people. I felt unworthy.

“Alright it’s a date,” I breathed. The words came out effortlessly I almost didn’t realize what I said. Before I could get embarrassed he laughed throwing his arm over my shoulders and pulling me close. I felt a bit off balance but didn’t want to pull away.

“Then it’s a date,” he chuckled some more and I was both relieved and overwhelmed. Thankfully we parted ways shortly after. I wallowed in self pity, cringing as the thought loop consumed me. In the shower, as I tried to get some work and studying done, as I changed into a fresh set of running clothes… I just kept shaking my head.

“It’s a date? Who the hell says that to their friend?” I scoffed as my fingers rubbed my forehead. I took a deep breath and stepped in front of my mirror. I pursed my lips and sighed.

I was 5’9.5″ tall, but claimed to be to 5’10” because it was close enough especially with shoes. My frame has always been relatively lean and firm thanks to all the exercise. But I definitely was not as broad chested or muscular so some of the other guys on the team. I had dark, shaggy hair and an average face.

I remember an ex of mine mentioning I had the kind of face no one would remember for a line up. She said I was cute but I had no outstanding qualities. The only things remotely recognizable about me were my skin color and this tiny little speck of a mole on the outer corner of my right eye.

“Are you running again?” Jake looked shocked as he came through the door and I nodded. “You’ll get even darker!” he laughed and I shrugged.

“Can’t help being half Cuban,” I muttered and he nodded.

“I wish I had your color. Chicks fucking love a buff tan guy,” he insisted. I tried not to roll my eyes. “We grabbing dinner after?” he mused plopping down on his bed.

“Uh no, a friend already asked me,” I admitted and he nodded slowly.

“Have fun I guess,” he waved me off. I took the small gym bag I packed with my shower stuff and a change of clothes. There was an eagerness I was trying to ignore as I walked to the track. Something about spending time with Clay always made me happy. Maybe because it felt like such a rare opportunity? I mean he was a great guy but we weren’t exactly friends. At least not like the kind who hung out except when necessary. Or by happenstance.

“You didn’t back out!” Clay called as he stood up from the bench by the field. I walked over, dropping my stuff.

“Why would I?” I mused and he shrugged. “Come on,” I turned and started walking to warm up.

“How many miles?” he asked, my eyes checking him out as he adjusted something on his watch.

“Three?” I offered and he nodded.

“Use the bench as our lap marker,” he threw his thumb over his shoulder and I just nodded. We walked quietly, the crunching of the dirt beneath our feet and our light breathing the only noise we had.

“Ready?” I asked as we approached and he nodded. He was so focused when running. It was captivating. We held a brisk pace and he kept checking his watch probably to maintain it.

“Last lap,” he called out and I tried not to show my disappointment. My first day getting some time with Clay and I wasted it.

“Let’s make it count,” I called out then, taking off. I heard him catch up and grit down pushing as hard as I could. He barely overtook me as we rounded the last turn and past the bench.

“You’re getting faster,” he smiled proudly and I shrugged, sliding my shirt off and wiping my face.

“I think it’s all the extra training,” I admitted and that seemed to make him smile. “Thanks for suggesting it,” I grabbed my bag, holding my shirt as he guzzled some water.

“Yeah man, I’m just upset I couldn’t dedicate more time training you myself. But we have this year,” he insisted and I smirked.

“You’re a great captain. And do a great job helping out even though you’re busy,” I lightly punched his arm and he sighed, bending over to grab his bag too.

“I’m glad you feel that way,” he muttered, glancing at me in a way I had never seen before. “You brought your shower stuff right?” he gestured to my bag and I nodded, both of us turning to head to the athletic center.

“So is senior year a lot easier?” I muttered awkwardly and he chuckled.

“In a lot of ways yeah. But I realized somethings I missed out on recently,” he mused, a distant look on his face.

“Like what?” confusion and curiosity wrinkled my forehead as I looked at him.

“My social life has sucked!” he laughed lightly. “Like I have never just hung out with friends. Let alone date these past two years!” he let out a snort and shook his head.

“I haven’t dated since my break up last year,” I admitted casually, not sure why that mattered. “Hasn’t felt like I was missing out though,” I chuckled nervously, shrugging as I stared ahead.

“What happened?” he pulled the door open as he studied me.

“We just weren’t that into each other, like we were better off friends,” I shrugged and he smiled. “I mean not like I have issues in bed or anything!” I stammered and he pressed his lips together as he laughed. My face got hot as I pushed past him. Great job Bruno, get all weird around him!

“I have a hard time being into people myself,” Clay admitted as we got to the locker rooms. That shocked me. I studied him in awe and then shook my head slowly.

“So many girls seem to like you though. You’re bound to be into any one of them right?” I challenged and he shrugged. We set our stuff into lockers, undressing and heading into the showers.

I did my best not to stare but it was hard not to steal glances. This was the first time we had ever showered after a work out. And the curiosity was eating at me. He had a great ass, his naked body looking chiseled to near perfection. I was envious yet again.

But what kept catching my eye was his junk. Even soft his dick hung proudly between his legs. And like his head, an equally unruly golden mound of hair clung to his mound and balls. There was something kind of sexy about that though.

“So you shave?” he asked me suddenly and I blushed.

“Yeah but only my pubes. I don’t have much body hair so I think I look better this way,” I admitted and he nodded.

“The idea of a razor near my dick terrifies me!” he laughed and I joined in. We finished and dried off, getting dressed and heading to the dining hall. We didn’t talk much but the silence wasn’t awkward.

“I’ll get a table,” I offered and he nodded, heading to join a line. I found one and plopped down, relaxing until a hand slapped my shoulder.

“There you are! Clay just ran into us said you were here too!” Devon smiled with some other guys from the team. They all sat down, leaving a seat for Clay. I decided to get up and get food, ignoring my mounting disappointment at wasted and lost alone time with him.

“Why does that matter?” I grumbled to myself, shaking my head as I settled on some pizza. I got a drink and joined the table. They were all rowdy, laughing and chatting happily as we ate.

“Clay you should come to the party tonight,” Devon started and he shook his head.

“I told Bruno I’d help him with some studying,” he lied easily and I felt confused as everyone looked at me.

“Forget that and both of you come,” Devon insisted and I noticed Clay glancing at me expectantly.

“Oh uh, I have a test coming up and he offered to help since I’m so nervous,” I tried to lie convincingly but Devon didn’t seem to accept it.

“Why would Clay have to help?” he pressed. Before I could struggle to answer Clay sighed and smiled.

“He’s in my major and I’m his captain. Helping him keep his GPA keeps him on the team. Who else would he ask?” he countered and everyone agreed. Devon gave up with that and as we all finished Clay got up. “Ready?” he asked and I nodded.

It wasn’t until we were halfway across campus that I got the nerve to ask him. “Why’d you lie like that?”

“Sorry to put you on the spot. But I don’t like hanging around Devon. He’s fine in small doses but,” he shrugged and I felt dazed. He didn’t like someone? “You look shocked!” he chuckled and I shrugged.

“Never thought I’d hear you say you didn’t like someone is all,” I admitted and he smiled.

“Staying civil and passive makes things easier on me. But I only really enjoy a few people,” he admitted and that shocked me more. “Like you for instance,” he continued. I couldn’t hide my smug smile.

“I like you too,” I offered a bit awkwardly and he chuckled.

“Good,” he led me to his off campus apartment. It was more like a community house and he had a bedroom and bathroom. But in his room he had a TV, a console, a desk and laptop, and a queen size bed.

“Nice,” I felt stupid and he laughed.

“Feel free to get comfy,” he mused, disappearing. I sat down against the side of his bed and laid my head back. My arms rested on my knees as I breathed deeply. His room smelt like him. It was like his subtle deodorant or cologne and just, him. It was hard to place but it was comforting.

He came back in and I looked over to see him carrying a 6-pack. My stomach knotted queasily. He sat down, setting the little carrier between us. “Want one?” he gestured to it and I hesitated before shrugging. We both opened a bottle and I took a big swig, shuddering and cringing as the alcohol hit my throat. He laughed and I did too. “Is it bad?” he teased.

“No, probably the best beer I’ve tasted. Just don’t drink much. So it takes a second for me to adjust to the alcohol,” I shrugged and he smiled.

“Well there’s three for each of us if you want,” he nudged the box and I nodded, taking another long swig. It went down easier, still a bit bitter on the back of my tongue though. I watched him rest his arm on the bed as he threw his head back and chugged one. The way his throat bobbed and pulsed with his drinking made my ears burn uncomfortably.

Why was I feeling this way? I shook my head and chugged mine too, setting the empty glass down and grabbing the next one. I popped it open and sighed, resting my arms on my knees as I fiddled with the bottle.

“You ok?” he asked after opening his second one.

“Yeah. Just thinking about something,” I shrugged and he smirked.

“Tell me,” he insisted. I took a long swig of my beer hoping for some liquid courage as I took a deep breath.

“My friends back home always used to talk about their exception,” I started, chuckling at the confusion on his face. “Like a person who was the exception to their rule,” I tried to explain but it wasn’t landing.

“Give me an example,” he pressed and I sighed, finishing off my second drink quickly. I cringed, holding back my chills as I set the bottle down and grabbed the next.

“I’m already feeling it. I’m such a lightweight,” I grumbled and he chuckled.

“Me too!” he insisted, tilting his bottle toward me before throwing it back and chugging it. “Your example?” he reminded me and I chuckled.

“So like I’ve dated girls. So my exception would be a guy who made me question my sexuality,” I offered casually feeling warm and light headed as I sipped my last beer.

“Hmm. So I guess I get it,” he mused and I nodded. “Who is your exception?” he smiled, looking so stupidly handsome. I felt my ears burn more as I shrugged. “How about I tell you mine?” he pressed and I hesitated then nodded. “Ok. If I put thought into it I’d say my exception would be Audrey Hepburn. If she were alive of course,” he chuckled and I nodded, laughing as well.

It took a minute for my drunk brain to realize what that meant but when I did my face burned. He’s gay. “You’re gay,” I blabbed immediately and he laughed.

“Wow it took you a minute,” he laughed some more and I blushed, chugging my beer.

“Alcohol slows me down,” I muttered sheepishly and he nodded, sipping his beer as well. After a brief silence he sighed.

“Tell me yours,” he pressed. It was hard to swallow, my lips feeling dry and chapped as I glanced at him. He had his head resting in his hand, a warm smile on his face, and turned slightly toward me. His other arm rested on his knee, his leg closest to me stretched out lazily. He looked like a model for a beer ad.

“It’s so stupid how good you always look!” I started suddenly, my rational mind leaving me as the alcohol took over. “Like you’re tall, fit, painfully handsome, and even naked you look great. Maybe even better!” I snorted, chugging my beer until it was empty. I set it down in the carrier closing my eyes and resting my head back. “It’s just not fair. Not only that but you’re smart, talented, kind! You’re like the perfect man,” I mumbled and he chuckled lightly.

“Are you saying I’m your exception?” he asked then and I sobered up immediately as I realized what I was admitting to suddenly.

“Um, well, uh,” I stammered and he laughed.

“Aren’t exceptions supposed to be barely plausible at best? If I’m being honest it sounds like you just have feelings for me,” he mused playfully and I sighed. “Not saying they’re much of anything. Just saying they may exist,” he shrugged and I nodded slowly, my brain fighting the alcohol to try and process everything.

“Sorry if I made this weird or uncomfortable,” I muttered finally and he laughed shaking his head.

“No it’s flattering,” he mused, still smiling and I sighed. “If I’m being honest with you Bruno, I think you’re really cute,” he muttered, his ears red now. I felt my heart throb and glanced at him shocked.

“Pffft, no way,” I shook my head and then we both laughed.

“Honest! Your skin always looks amazing, you have really warm brown eyes, your hair is thick and shiny and always tempting to touch,” he started then and I felt butterflies in my stomach as he admired me. “Not to mention this cute little mole,” his hand brushed my cheek as his thumb pressed against it lightly.

I felt frozen as we looked at one another. He leaned toward me then and I didn’t move. I could only stare into the depths of his stunning blue eyes as he reached up with his other hand and held my face.

“Your lips look really plump and kissable too,” he whispered then and I felt a heat emanate through my chest as I closed my eyes. I leaned toward him without thought, our noses brushing as he tilted his head. I felt his lips on mine, my wrinkled forehead relaxing instantly.

His lips were strong and warm, moving against mine with ease. My whole body felt electrified, burning eagerly as my lips tingled. I felt his tongue brush my lips and hesitated. But before I could think anything through he did it again. My inhibitions abandoned me and I reached out to hold his waist as my lips parted.

Our tongues touched, his thumb sliding against my ear gently. I heard myself moan as a delicious thrill ran down my back. Clay froze, my eyes opening to see him staring back at me. I cleared my throat, blushing as he sat back and grabbed his beer.

“You look worried,” he teased and I sighed, rubbing my face.

“Confused I think,” I admitted and he chuckled.