by Rachel Woe (2017, All Rights Reserved)

Each time Liam glanced up from his desk to find Avery eyeballing him with that wiseacre smirk, he wrestled the urge to march across the classroom and right-hook him in his haughty, self-righteous mug. It was the face that had mocked him every single day since they were assigned to the same dorm room last fall. Pale as milk and home to those black-brown eyes that seemed to follow him around campus, saying, I see you, Liam, I see all of you, better than you see yourself.

Professor Connelly cleared his throat from his spot at the front of the lecture room.

Liam’s gaze snapped back to his half-finished Spanish Civil War exam. His fingers grasped the pen but were utterly useless without the aid of his brain, which may as well have been thousands of miles away in Spain. He rubbed his eyes and took a breath, releasing the air in a slow stream.

A muffled cough pulled Liam’s attention to his immediate right. Sarah Gallagher, known around campus as The Silent Observer, was watching him, too—and not for the first time that morning. Liam had locked eyes with Sarah while fleeing his dorm room just after two o’clock, ruddy-faced with a raging hard-on straining his pajamas.

He could only hope she hadn’t caught a glimpse of what was inside his room before he yanked the door shut.

After three days of exams and little-to-no sleep, Liam had managed to make it back to his dorm early after his girlfriend’s concert. Relieved to find the room he shared with that asshole Avery empty, he slid into bed and unconsciousness with few distractions.

But he was roused from sleep a short while later, and by the time he realized what was happening in the adjacent bed, it was too late.

There was no mistaking Avery’s heavy breathing and the sound of skin gliding over skin. Mercifully, the room was pitch black, save for a thin strip of light emanating from beneath the door. Liam kept still, hyper-aware of the tension and warmth pooling in his groin. Soon, Avery’s breaths became whimpers, his strokes quickening as his sighs evolved into grunts.

Liam squeezed his eyes shut, wanting desperately to reach into the waistband of his pants and massage his own growing erection. But he was determined to ride it out, to refrain from tossing more kindling onto the fire of his roommate’s suspicion. Closet Case—that was the nickname Avery had chosen for his all-American jock roommate—whispered quietly, clandestinely, with that signature Southern drawl. Avery had a voice that could melt butter in the dead of winter. Liam’s cock pulsed just thinking about the sound.

No. If Liam allowed himself to get off with Avery, to be seen or heard for what he was, then Avery would make it his mission to drag him further out of the closet. That’s how Avery operated: unabashedly out and proud at one of the most conservative colleges in the state, strutting around campus in rainbow-colored skinny jeans with an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude that Liam secretly envied. He could never see himself acting so brazenly, not while his dad was still paying for his education, and half the faculty were regulars at his parents’ yacht club.

He had too much to lose.

Grunting. Panting. Wheezing. Liam bit the fat of his cheek, his cock and balls aching to be touched. Slowly, he inched a hand downward, closing his palm over his erection through the fabric of his PJs. He massaged his bulge and tried his best to keep his elbow stationary.

Avery inhaled sharply, letting out a long groan that seemed to go on forever. Liam tried not to imagine what Avery’s face looked like mid-orgasm or the way his come was likely dripping from his fingers and pooling on his abdomen, moistening the dark curls of his pubic hair.

Liam’s cock pulsed, his balls tight and hot. He held his breath.

“Hey, Closet Case.” Avery’s voice was deep and hoarse. “Need a hand?”

Liam shot out of bed, grabbed his pillow and blanket, and made quick strides toward the door. As he opened it, he glanced back just long enough to see the light from the hallway illuminate Avery’s bed: the covers pushed down to the young man’s knees; his legs splayed casually with his cock resting to one side; daubs of wet glistening across his bare chest.

Liam turned just in time to lock eyes with Sarah Gallagher and slammed the door behind him.

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