All it takes is a nod from Connor and Travis’s heart fucking skips four beats and then starts back on a rhythm all on its own.
A fucking nod.
Practice had been hard, especially since it’s barely two weeks into their break and it already feels like the middle of the fucking summer, humidity on top of heat – but with enough guys from the frat hanging around and not opting to go back home for their break, there had been no point in discontinuing baseball practice. Tuesday nights, five to eight. Everyone had managed to arrange it with their summer jobs to have that night off for the team to play, even though baseball season is still so far away that it’s not so much practice as it is an excuse to hang out, talk shit, and hit the ball around the field. Simple, easy, something Travis has been doing since he was old enough to pick up the bat and swing.
Of course, now practice comes with the added benefit of Connor.
Connor was new this year. Not a freshman, not quite an upperclassmen, a friend of a friend of Travis’s who thought he’d make a good fit for Sigma Phi Tau. He did, of course, this easygoing, subtly smart physiology major who had made Travis’s stomach do funny things from the minute he’d laid eyes on him.
It didn’t happen to matter all that much to Travis that so far, he’s been the only guy to ever do that for him. Guys are guys, but not all guys are fucking Connor.
Striking up a friendship hadn’t been hard – sports medicine and physiology have enough in common that classes together over the last school year had meant they’d had the chance to get to know each other beyond beers on the sagging porch of Elias’s rented pad and in the context of normal conditions. Yeah, normal, because every fucking time Connor so much had looked at him over the last nine months Travis had had to make a conscious effort to not stumble over his words.
Connor’s his friend, a good friend. There’s absolutely nothing he dislikes about him – hell, they’ve slept with a few of the same girls, as it turns out, and man oh man, talking about those shared experiences had provided enough jerk off material for Travis to last him the rest of his life.
Most of the time he’d just been thinking about Connor, never mind Kelly, or Leah, or Maggie – picturing Connor’s fucking gorgeous body, sweating and naked, had been more than enough. Travis has only seen Connor, at most, shirtless – but the bulge in his baseball pants and the swell of his ass are two frames on permanent display in the back of Travis’s mind. Christ, the guy is blonde, beefy, and tall. A man’s man, all hard muscle and easy athleticism.
Had it all just been fantasy and the continued promise of just getting to be around him, Travis would have been perfectly fine. Seriously, just hanging out with him and being his bro has been more than enough, and one of the guys that Travis had had intentions of keeping up with after all this was over.
Right up until last week, after beers and about five hours of GTA and whatever else Colt had for his Xbox, Connor had kissed him while the other guys went on a food run. No preemptive sign, not warning, just leaned over, put his arm over the back of the couch, and kissed Travis midsentence.
And then not a word had been said about it after, because the second Connor had pulled away Elias and Colt had bursted in, triumphantly holding up the free pizza they’d gotten as a result of a mistake made on their order. Connor, being the bro he is, had covered for them so that Travis could take a minute to collect his brains where they had suddenly slid out of his ear.
Six days, and Travis hasn’t been able to think about anything else. At work, in the couple of summer courses he’s taking, hell, when he’s laying awake in bed after having jerked off twice to try and get that kiss out of his head. Connor’s lips had been soft, firm, slightly wet and tasting of beer that’s ten times better than the cheap stuff Travis keeps around. It hadn’t had the chance to go deeper, but it hasn’t stopped Travis from licking his lips four times a minute to try and get the taste back.
That nod, the first indication to the questions Travis hadn’t been asking out loud, gives him hope that maybe tonight, he’ll get another chance to make sure Connor tastes as good as he remembers.
They end up next to each other in the dugout, and Connor’s voice is quiet enough for just Travis to hear.
“Comin’ over tonight?” Connor’s taking his time about putting his gear away, and Travis is close enough to get a strong whiff of the musk, sweat trapped in his dark gray Underarmour.
Travis dumps his balls into his bag and grins a little. “Anyone else gonna be there, or…”
Connor’s smirk in reply is all too knowing, and Travis’s hopes raise that much more. “Think Colt’s going out with Kellan after practice – didn’t sound like they’d be back til late, either.”
Travis nods, trying his hardest not to look antsy. “Cool.”
Connor’s hand brushes his and Travis’s skin breaks out in goosebumps, and the way he shudders makes Connor pause. “You okay?”
“Uh… yeah. Sorry, it’s been…”
“A long week?” Connor’s voice loses a little more volume, and Travis notices the heated look in his eyes – at least he can tell he’s on the same page.
“Very. What time’s good for you?”
Connor shrugs, but his grin widens a little more. “Just gonna shower and grab dinner, so whenever you can. Don’t have any plans and don’t work til late tomorrow, so…”
“Got it. Uh, there anything I need to bring?”
“Just yourself, man – and don’t shave when you clean up. I like the scruff.” Connor gently shoves his face in a totally socially acceptable bro sort of way – but that touch leaves Travis’s heart pounding even harder.
He does get the added benefit of watching Connor walk away, ass just as tight and beautiful as it’s ever going to get in his dirt-streaked pants.
And soon, Travis hopes, in his hands. Once he finally pulls himself together, he starts to beat it fast back to his apartment, following Max and hopefully giving him the right answer as to whether or not they had any protein powder left.
Showering proves to be a test of willpower, because there are parts of Travis’s body that are far more excited than they should be – but he can’t stop thinking about Connor touching his face, or the promising note in his voice when he’d told him to come as he was. His hands have been shaking non stop, and it’s like every time he accidentally bumps his hands against his cock or lower body it pulls him that much closer to an edge he thought was farther away.
When was the last time he got this excited about a girl? There was Angela, back in tenth grade, with her snarky smile and give ’em hell green eyes, only Travis had had all the experience of kissing Tiffany the week before and going through what turned out to be a rough, pull-too-hard handjob, and Angela certainly wasn’t going to be impressed by that record.
Even then, Travis’s nerves hadn’t been anywhere near that taut.
A text from Connor tells him he’s ordered pizza and ESPN is replaying the Orioles game from earlier. Pizza and baseball are safe, lock, stock and barrel.
Only Travis already knows who won, and there’s no way in hell that Travis is going to be able to sit through all nine innings without at least trying to get closer to Connor – unless…
Hell, Travis doesn’t have a fucking clue.
He finds a pair of his nicer jeans (yes, jeans, in spite of the heat) and a polo he got for Christmas, an earthy green that Maxine told him brought out his eyes at the end of year party. Would Connor notice – or did he notice then? Travis is certain he was there, maybe even handed him a few shots.
Which reminds him, he’s going to pick up a six pack before he goes. Being invited over for pizza, you can’t have it without some beer to go with it, and
seeing as how his nerves are already wound tighter than a violin’s strings, he’s going to need one. Maybe two.
It’s a twenty minute walk to Connor’s building, thirty if he stops to pick up beer. He opts for his Jeep instead, especially since a summer evening thunderstorm is gathering on the horizon. He deliberately concentrates on driving safely, the seatbelt of the passenger’s side keeping the beer in place.
Fat raindrops are starting to spatter against his windshield by the time he’s pulled into a visitor’s spot, turning into a full deluge as he enters the building and heads for the staircase. Each step creaks as he ascends, wood worn under countless students and other tenants. Travis makes a conscious effort to not slip and fall, which means that he’s only got the time to be nervous as he walks up the hall to Connor’s door and knocks.
Connor’s sitting in the living room, stretched out on one end of the huge, worn l-shaped couch he’d appropriated from James and Asher’s place before they’d gone home for the summer – more friends of friends that Travis should probably thank for putting Connor in his life.
“Have I missed much?” Travis kicks his shoes off by the door and goes to put the beer in the fridge, trying hard to ignore the dry feeling in his throat. “Would have gotten here quicker but-“
As if to punctuate his point, thunder rumbles overhead and shakes the window panes. “No worries, man, I wasn’t going anywhere.” Connor gets up and follows Travis to the kitchen, fifteen steps from his seat on the couch. “What’d you get?”
“Cool.” Connor leans against the counter facing the refrigerator while Travis puts the beer in to chill further; Travis can feel his eyes on him, and Travis is still trying to figure out how to bring, well, them up.
“You were on fire at practice today.” Travis closes the fridge door and shoves his hands in his pockets, trying and failing to subtly check Connor out, dressed in a t-shirt that’s had the sides torn out and black gym shorts, with nothing on his feet and the glasses he wears only in class on his face – and at home apparently.
Connor looks really, really good in glasses.
“I don’t know, I guess I wanted to watch you run after I hit it.” Connor’s smirk is disconcertingly sexy, and hello, perfect fucking chance to go through the door Connor’s so generously holding open for him.
“Everyone’s gotta have a motivation, I guess. But that uh, that’s an interesting one. Wanting to…”
“Watch you? Yeah, it’s weird, so far as a reason goes.” Connor moves closer, hands out of his own pockets, finger curling against the body heat Travis is sure he’s throwing off enough of to cook a roast. “Are you… okay with uh, you know.”
“This thing?” Travis points back and forth between himself and Connor. “If it even is a thing. I don’t know, Connor, I hadn’t exactly macked on any guys before-“
“Before me? Yeah, me either, and I wanted to say I was sorry, I uh… kinda sprang it on you. Without warning. That wasn’t cool.” Connor actually looks deeply, genuinely sorry, and Travis’s willpower to try and be reasonable about all this dissolves even further. “I was…”
“I didn’t say I didn’t enjoy it, man.”
Connor licks his lips and looks away like he’s trying to choose his words carefully, only Travis gets stuck on the pink of Connor’s mouth. “So… if it happened again, you would uh, it would be okay.”
Travis nods, afraid that if he speaks he would just end up embarrassing himself.
Connor reaches up and runs his fingers through his hair, breathing out slowly. “If it doesn’t feel right, Travis, man, just… clock me, alright? Knock me the fuck out and go.”
There is absolutely no way in hell Travis would ever tell him to stop, but he agrees gamely anyway. “Not exactly our first, is it?”
Connor laughs, a deep little chuckle that makes warmth spill out from somewhere behind Travis’s heart. “No but… it could be the first proper one. Because I definitely wanted to keep going before we were interrupted.” He’s closing the already tiny distance between them, and it’s not until Connor’s hands are resting on Travis’s hips that he realizes just how much four inches of a height advantage is, and Travis wouldn’t call himself short, either.
“I’m interested to know your definition of proper.” Travis’s heart and lungs have completely stopped working, and his sight must fail him as well because he doesn’t actually see Connor tilt his head down, but he definitely fucking feels the soft brush of his lips against his own, the easy pressure that lets Travis sink into the reality of the fantasies he’s been playing in his head over and over again, then the slamming realization that this is about ten billion times better than anything his brain had been supplying in the meantime.
Travis puts his hands on Connor’s face and pulls him closer, lips parting so that Connor’s tongue can touch his own and alright, this is more than enough to make any complex thought aside from more leave his brain. Connor tastes faintly of toothpaste and something warmly forbidden, completely different from any girl Travis has ever kissed.
It’s also in that moment that Travis realizes he’s truly, deeply fucked because that was better than any hit of weed he’s ever taken, and Connor isn’t going to burn down after a few puffs.
Travis has to break the kiss to make himself take a breath, and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let more than an inch of space widen between his mouth and Connor’s. “I… you know, that definitely doesn’t suck. At all.” His lips are still tingling, eyes closed because he’s afraid Connor won’t actually be there if he opens them.
“Then why did we stop?” Connor’s right hand has moved to cup the back of his head and now that Travis has had a second to adjust to the fact that he is indeed alive and not hallucinating, he makes a conscientious effort to push back a little, test out just how firm his friend’s response can be.
When Connor moans as Travis’s tongue slides against his own in Connor’s mouth, Travis feels like he’s got a little more control of this situation. Not that either of them have done anything more than find out kissing is fucking incredible, but it gives Travis hope.
The sharp sudden rap of knuckles against the door makes them spring apart, and Travis’s instinct is to go into flight mode, like he’s been caught somewhere where he wasn’t ever supposed to be.
“Pizza,” Connor mutters, and it’s not until Travis actually pays attention to his body that he realizes Connor has popped a massive boner in his shorts – and that he’s gotten almost painfully hard as well, complete with a sticky patch of precome that’s making his cock stick to the inside of his underwear.
Travis doesn’t move until Connor’s back in the kitchen, still plastered to the front of the refrigerator. “Uh… dinner?” Connor’s trying his best to balance two pizzas and stand so that his hard-on isn’t quite as obvious – but he’s not fooling anyone, and Travis feels like it’s probably okay to look now.
“Depends on what follows after.” Travis is thankful for the compression shorts he’s got on (he really needs to do laundry, but whatever) because were it not for them, he’d probably be doing the exact same thing. Connor’s eyes are on his crotch now, and while Travis had been entertaining the possibility of going there, he’d mostly been certain it wouldn’t be today. Maybe.
Kicking his brain back on is a lot harder when you’re not only hungry but more turned on than you’ve been in a very, very long time.
“Stop looking at my dick.” Connor sets the pizzas on the table and makes absolutely no effort to hide it, the shorts he’s wearing not exactly leaving much to the imagination. “It’s rude.”
“You made me.” Travis wants to reach for him, put his hand in his shorts and find out more, but something in his heart tells him to give it a little bit longer – this isn’t exactly familiar territory, and part of him is still very much freaking out. “So you should stop staring at mine, too.”
Connor doesn’t, and Travis can feel the heat between them kick up another notch.
Normalcy settles in again once they’ve managed to get pizza onto plates and have settled on the couch, Connor taking the spot he was in before and Travis sitting with his feet up on the battered coffee table, neither of them acknowledging that there’s maybe a foot of space between their bodies.