Seeing Stars

by Will S

Chapter 2

Wright Steinbeck dashed from his bathroom into his bedroom, water still dripping from his body. In the privacy of his room, he stood staring at his reflection in the mirror as he pulled the towel from around his waist and began drying off. For days, he'd been thinking about what he was going to wear when he went to the movies. The movies! With Chris Donnelly, official Lincoln High Hunk! And for days he'd also been telling himself it didn't matter what he wore. He almost felt foolish considering what clothes might catch Chris Donnelly's attention. That, however, only got him shaking his head. He's not gay, Wright reminded himself. I could wear a tux, complete with a perfectly tied bow-tie, and he's not going to notice.

For about five millionth time he muttered, "It's not a date!" (Not that he had a clue what a date was or what a date felt like or even how a date worked.) Well, he did have a little bit of a clue about what a date was; he figured for something to be a date, both people had to agree it was a date, and he knew Chris Donnelly would be mortified to think two guys going to a movie could be called a date. Wright figured hunky Chris would probably pound his ass into the ground if he knew he was gay and thinking about them going on a date together. Chris Donnelly was straight, no doubt about that, but not just straight; he was like the poster boy for straight. Super straight and mega-popular—yeah, that was Chris Donnelly. And for about the five millionth time he asked himself how he ever got himself into this situation.

So why was he now hyperventilating about what he was going to wear? And why did this stud of a guy suggest—insist, really—that Wright go with him to the movies? Ever since the "incident" with the tree limb, Wright had been trying to make sense of all of this, without a lot of success. Things just didn't add up.

Maybe, Wright told himself, Chris Donnelly was just a nice guy and maybe he was being just that: nice. In fact, Wright had pretty much convinced himself that the only reason why he was going to the movies was because the dark-haired boy happened to be in Wright's kitchen and receiving "treatment" under Wright's care. He probably thinks he has to pay me back somehow, Wright thought. More than once, Wright had almost called Chris and told him he didn't need to go with him.

Still all during the "limb" encounter, Wright had been getting strange vibes, like what he might expect to get from someone who was gay—not that he had much experience with that either. (Read "not much experience" as ZERO experience.) On the other hand, maybe it was all on him, maybe Wright was seeing stuff (or imagining stuff, more like it) that just wasn't there. I mean really, thought Wright Steinbeck. Chris Donnelly, one of Lincoln High's top ten studs—if listening to girls in the hallways meant anything—would not be sending out mixed signals, not for a second.

Still, he had to wear something, so back to the matter at hand: his clothes. And it started with his underwear. He wore boxers most of the time, but sometimes he wore traditional Hanes tighty-whiteys. And then he thought of something else.

His crazy cousin Stephanie had given him a secret birthday gift. In hushed tones, he'd heard others in the family talking about her, suggesting…shhh…Great Aunt Abby thinks Stephie is a lesbian. Oh my! Wright didn't have a clue whether she was or wasn't. All he knew was that Stephanie was a senior in college, and, yeah, she was a little crazy.

Anyway, everyone had gathered at a 50th Anniversary party for Wright's grandparents, and Stephanie had caught his eye and asked him to go for a walk with her. It was a weird conversation. There was plenty of small talk, but she kept sneaking in these odd questions that didn't quite fit, like how are things going with you? Any new developments in your life? Any "special" someone?

Of course with every question, he thought about being gay. And of course, he thought about the rumors about her, but still, he wasn't about to announce, "Life sucks 'cuz I'm so deep in the closet." Or, "Oh yeah, here's a little tidbit: I'm gay." Or, "No, no one special yet, but there is this incredibly cute boy in my gym class with a body to die for and is just the perfect thing to be thinking about when I settle into bed at night and start jacking off like a madman." Still, he thought about the family rumors about her and he wondered if they were true. If they were, he thought, would it maybe be so bad to talk to her, you know, about "stuff?"

"I guess I'm pretty boring," he had finally answered.

"Well, maybe I can do something about that," she had said. "I know your birthday's coming up, so I got you something." She paused and gave him this really weird, leering grin, and added. "But whatever you do, do not open it until you're all alone. In your room. With the door locked!" Then they'd walked back to where their cars were, and Stephanie had given him this small, soft object, covered in rainbow-colored gift wrap. She gestured to the thing that he held in front of him, and whispered, "I've really thought a lot about your package." She looked up at him with this forced smile of innocence, and watched as his cheeks turned a rosy red, the color extending up to his temples and down his neck.

When he got home, he slipped the "package" into the front pocket of his hoodie sweatshirt, and went directly to his room. When he'd ripped open the wrapping, he was stunned. Crazy cousin Stephanie had given him a pair of ober-sexy silky Calvin Klein briefs, fire-engine red and skimpy. That night, before getting into bed, he'd tried them on, but wore them only for a few seconds before he realized Stephanie might be, at this very moment, picturing him attired only her gift. He immediately got so embarrassed that he pulled them off and jammed them inside an old sweatshirt in his bottom drawer, and never took them out again.

So, which to wear? Get real, Wright told himself. What difference does it make? He's not gonna care even for a second. "You're an idiot," Wright muttered aloud. He picked up the tighty-whiteys. He liked how they held his junk. He pulled them on, and checked himself out in the mirror. His equipment filled out his undies pretty well, and as he stood there thinking about Chris Donnelly, the mound between his legs began to grow. Geesh, the boy thought, is this going to be happening all night long!

But in that moment something changed. Why not? he thought, and suddenly, he pulled down his undies, stepped to his bureau, and fished out his crazy cousin's gift. His heartbeat increased a few notches as he stepped into them, first left foot, then right. He pulled them up slowly, and slipped his hand in to try to adjust an increasingly unruly part of him. When he'd realized it was a losing battle, he just shook his head once and studied himself in the mirror one more time. Although he could never tell anyone, especially his cousin, he had to admit, they did look pretty sexy, and if he needed any proof, he felt himself begin to harden even more as he gazed in the mirror.

Was it the briefs, he wondered, or the thoughts of being with Chris Donnelly while he was wearing them? Wright blushed—his cheeks almost as red as his underpants. And it was in that moment, that the doorbell rang. After another few seconds, his dad called up the stairs, "Wright, your friend's here."

"Damn," Wright breathed. My friend? He glanced at the clock. It had to be Chris, but they'd agreed just to meet at the theater. "I'll be right down," he called.

"Take your time," a voice called up to him, a voice now more familiar to him.

That seemed to shake him out of his daydream, and before much more time had passed, he pulled on a pair of white shorts from Aeropostale. The material was light, perfect for a warm day, and they were a trim fit—none of those baggy, oversized legs that made his legs look even skinnier than they were. Just to be sure, he pulled the shorts tight around his butt, and twisted around to look in the mirror once more. It was good. There was no hint of his bright red Calvin Kleins.

His top was light blue T, but at the last moment he decided to add a pastel blue, green, and yellow collared shirt unbuttoned, to go over the T. He checked himself out once more, and pulled off his shirt and replaced the light blue T with a light green one.

That was when his door opened, and standing there was Chris Donnelly. Chris's eyes traveled slowly up and down Wright's body, and a hint of a smile formed on his face. "Your dad said I should just come on up," Chris offered. "Cool digs."

"Thanks," Wright answered coolly. "I thought we were gonna meet at the theater."

"Yeah, I know. I just figured it'd be easier to go together. No big deal."

Wright looked at him and fumed. Somehow this seemed like the rules had been changed.

" It's okay, isn't it?"

"Yeah," Wright answered, as he pulled on his favorite Nikes, and with one last mirror check, his reflection nodded his approval.

"Nice," Chris said softly.

When Wright looked at him, the other boy was again running his gaze up and down Wright's body. "Sorry I'm late."

"You're not late," Wright answered.

"I mean, if I'd gotten here a few minutes earlier, I might have gotten a real show." His eyebrows bounced up and down a few times, and he smirked a curious grin.

A few minutes earlier, Wright thought and the confounding boy across from him would have gotten a show for sure. He felt his cheeks warm up, and just shook his head. "Don't know about that," he muttered.

"Anyway," Chris began, "thanks again for being there for me the other day." He reached out his hand and almost reluctantly, Wright took it in his. They shook once, and then Chris just held Wright's hand in his. The dark-haired boy's grip was firm but gentle. And again, he felt his body react to the warmth of contact with the boy-god. Finally, growing even more unsure, Wright pulled his hand back, and muttered, "Maybe we ought to get going."

"Yeah," Chris said, and turned to head back downstairs. Now Wright had a chance to really take the other boy in, albeit from behind. What Chris was wearing seemed just about perfect for him, but it also seemed as if the boy had just sort of thrown his clothes on. That is, Wright couldn't imagine the dark-haired boy taking the hours it seemed like he had to decide what to wear. Chris was wearing brown shorts with a Tony Hawke label, and a pure white, snug-fitting T-shirt, and leather sandals. But it was his butt that Wright's eyes settled on. It just seemed to be perfectly proportioned to the rest of his tight body. Wright shook his head and forced himself to look away. If he hadn't, his penis might have actually transformed to steel and ripped a hole right through those silky red briefs and popped open the zipper of his shorts.

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