Seeing Stars

by Will S

Chapter 6

At first, things between Wright and Chris were definitely a little strained, and "strained" was exactly the right word for it. It was as if they were sort of dancing with each other, trying to figure out who was moving in which direction so they could get there at the same time. Chris thought this was all his fault. After all, he'd been the one who was living in two different "mindsets:" one while running and one in school. On the other hand, Wright, being Wright, thought he bore at least some of the responsibility for the awkwardness between them. After all, he told himself, if he'd been more honest with Chris in the beginning, Chris might have responded differently, and much of the stress of the last few days could have been avoided.

Plus in his secret thoughts, Wright knew, of course, why he was reluctant to call Chris on his behavior. Wright had more or less created a fantasy relationship with Chris. Yes, there was the time they spent together that anyone could see: two boys running together—just that, nothing more. But Wright wanted a different kind of relationship; he wanted a deeper relationship, he wanted Chris to feel that deeper relationship, too, a relationship, which, if he was being honest, Wright had to admit might not exist anywhere but in his own imagination. It seemed as if there was something more between them, but neither one of them had acknowledged whatever that hidden thing might be. And Wright certainly wasn't going to start talking about that fantastical, secret link he was feeling to Chris; it was just too risky since he didn't really have a clue that Chris was thinking anything close to what he was thinking.

Wright hoped they had gotten to a better place, but if he shared how he really felt about Chris, if he shared his dream to have their relationship be something more, then he knew he could—no, would, he corrected—lose what they had. After all, he reminded himself for the umpteenth time, Chris was as straight as a boy could possibly be, everyone knew that. And so, in the end, Wright decided just being with Chris this way was enough. He loved those times when they were together. He loved discovering things about Chris, simple things like favorite things to eat, favorite flavor of ice cream, favorite music group, and on, and on. But after their talk in Chris's car, he'd also discovered that there was more to Chris. He could be serious. He could be sensitive. With each day that passed, Wright felt he was getting to understand Chris better.

One day, during their cool-down, Wright summoned up all his courage and told Chris, "You know, it's alright to talk about Liz. I know you've got to miss her."

That really seemed to throw Chris a bit. Finally he gave Wright a nod and a smile. "Thanks," he offered, "that's so…you. You're always thinking about what someone else needs. It means a lot to me." He seemed to hesitate, and then continued. "I haven't told anyone this; you're the first, but I think both Liz and I know our relationship probably isn't going to continue. I mean, we're going to be half way across the country. We've even sort of talked about it. She'll be popular wherever she ends up. There will be a flood of boys lining up as soon as school starts out there. And well…for me…I don't know…I guess maybe I want to take a little break from all the dating drama for a while."

Wright nodded, but inside he wondered if it would be all that easy for Lincoln High's super stud football star. In his mind, if he paid attention to all the talk between the boys in the locker room, it seemed that Chris would be pretty "frustrated" if he wasn't going out on dates all the time. Still, that wasn't something Wright wanted to think about, and secretly, the prospects of an "unattached" Chris only deepened his fantasies about their own relationship.

The other thing that was happening was that Chris was getting much better at running. Before, it seemed almost as if running was just sort of a thing to play at. Wright wasn't even sure why Chris really wanted to run with him, but it was now getting close to the end of July, and Wright had seen a huge change.

One thing Wright knew for sure was that Chris was a natural-born athlete. It seemed as if anything in sport Chris wanted to do, he could…and he'd be not just good; he'd be unbelievable! He made it all seem so effortless. Once Wright explained something…the proper way to breathe, for example…Chris just seemed to adapt. Anyone seeing him for the first time would have thought he'd been running all his life.

One of the more subtle changes (perhaps) in their relationship was that Wright now wasn't so uncomfortable about gazing at Chris's incredible body. The weather had gotten hotter over the past week, now often in the mid-90's, and it was a given that they'd both run shirtless. Truthfully, it made Wright a little self-conscious when he compared his slim (but taut) body to Chris's more "sculpted" body. Clearly all the lifting Chris had done had made a difference. He had a well-defined six-pack. Wright, on the other hand, when he looked in the mirror, could maybe say there was a six-pack there—if the light was just right. He had a slight tapering to his torso, but Chris? Chris's upper body was chiseled and angular, his form accented by muscles that bulged even when they were relaxed.

A few weeks earlier, Wright and his dad had been preparing to do a project in the back yard. They would begin by pouring a concrete base, and that meant mixing up several bags of concrete. They'd gone to the building supply store late in the day, and since it was supposed to rain hard that night, they'd left the bags in the car. Wright had said he'd move the bags out of the car the next day. He mentioned that to Chris during their cool-down, and instantly Chris had volunteered to help move them. Wright took a breath and lifted the 80 pound bag as if he were a weightlifter going after the world record. Chris simply picked up the bag and practically strolled around to the back yard. Wright got the feeling if he'd wanted to, Chris could easily have carried two bags, one under each arm. Chris, for his part, couldn't help but feel a surge of excitement as he saw Wright practically drooling as he gazed at his bulging biceps.

At the same time, Chris continued to savor Wright's thoroughly inviting body. Although not as "jacked" as his own, to Chris, Wright's body was almost hypnotic, and although he could never share this with another living soul, he found himself daydreaming about running his fingers over the blond boy's smooth body. And if they were being completely honest, both boys would have had to acknowledge a stirring in their compression shorts—a stirring that quickly led to one more bulge for each of them to take note of.

By the third week of July, it was positively miserable: mid-to-high 90's, humidity at 85 percent. Both Wright and Chris were sweating gallons. Both understood the need to keep hydrated, but still, by the end of their run and cool-down, they both stunk like hogs in a wallow.

"Hey," Chris said as he got ready to head for home, "you wouldn't happen to have a towel I could borrow. As soon as I sit down, the driver's seat is gonna be like some giant sponge soaking up my sweat."

"Sure," Wright said. "Let me get ya' something." He headed inside, but stopped at the door. "Hey, you want a drink? Lemonade? Ice tea?"

Chris hesitated. "You sure you want this stink in your house. It'll smell like a locker room after about 20 seconds."

Wright grinned, lifted his arm and did a quick sniff check. "Don't think one more's gonna make much difference. "

Chris offered a smile and shrugged. "Then sure. Why not."

Together, they headed for the kitchen. As Chris sat at the island, drinking lemonade, Wright headed out to the bathroom to get a towel, but stopped before he'd gone three steps. "Umm, you…you're welcome to use the shower here, I mean if you want to."

"Nah," Chris said, "I don't have a change of—" He paused. "Wait. I think I've got a swimsuit in the car. I can wear that." He looked at Wright. "It's okay, right? I mean, you don't mind?"

Wright blushed. "Not at all," he said. "It's up to you."

"Okay, then, deal!" Maybe I'll go right now, and minimize the stink factor."

"This way," Wright beckoned. They headed to Wright's room. One of the nice things about his house was both his parent's room and his had their own bathrooms.

"Hey, I know I told you before, but, dude, cool digs," Chris said. "It's like your own personal mancave…or boycave, I guess you could say. It's cool. Love the dartboard…and not too many holes in the wall. You must be good!" He grinned at Wright.

"I do okay," Wright answered. "Ah, the bathroom's in there. If, um, you need anything, just shout."

Chris could not fail to feel the tension in the room, but he resisted going the usual Chris Donnelly route of making some comment about it. Instead, he simply offered a quiet, "Thanks."

The door shut, and Wright picked up his summer reading book, leaned back against his desk and began to read. Almost immediately he heard the shower, and after about four or five minutes, he heard Chris's voice.

"Hey, Wright! I forgot to get my swimsuit. It's in the car. Could you get it for me? I think it's in the back seat."

"Done," Wright said, and was off, down the hall.

Once he'd found Chris's swimsuit, Wright headed quickly back to his room, but as he stepped through the doorway, he was jolted to a dead stop. While he was gone, Chris had opened the bathroom door and was standing there, back to, toweling off his head. Chris apparently hadn't heard him return, and Wright took the opportunity to gaze upon the most incredible sight: a muscled, firm torso, tapering V-shaped to two smooth, firm, rounded mounds of muscle. "Ohmygod," he breathed, and immediately felt himself hardening. He also knew he'd never blushed as much as he was right now. He dropped Chris's swimsuit in front of his shorts. "Ah…here they are," he mumbled. "I'll just…"

"Oh, thanks," Chris interrupted, and with that, turned totally around. In one quick move, he pulled the towel from his head, gathered it around his neck and let the ends drape over his chest.

He reached out and grabbed the blue and white striped swimsuit. Wright worked so hard not to, but he couldn't help it, he had to look. In just the briefest glimpse, he saw a dense triangular nest of black, tightly curled hair above a soft, but obviously thick, cut penis. Blushing more than ever, he swallowed hard and looked up into Chris's face. "You're welcome," Wright tried to say, but the words caught in his throat. "Um…I can wait outside."

"No need on my account," Chris replied. "Both guys, ya' know." He gave a laugh. Wright's strained laughter tried to echo his, but Wright's was not nearly so relaxed.

Chris couldn't miss the discomfort in his friend, and the tenting of Wright's shorts offered evidence as to the source of that discomfort. The outcropping was impressive. But as easy it would be to play with Wright and make him squirm even more, Chris opted again to let him off the hook. "It's all ready for you," Chris said, gesturing to the bathroom. "I cleaned up best I could—better than I usually do, anyway, if you listen to my mom."

"I…ahm…I can—" Wright began.

"No," Chris interrupted. "I'll wait. Take your time. You mind if I check your room out?"

Wright shrugged, feeling a bit less on display. "Not a lot here, sort of what you see is what you get."

Chris nodded. "Maybe I'll practice throwing some darts." He smiled and nodded toward the bathroom. "Go on." Once Wright had closed the door and the shower was running, Chris did throw some darts. Most of them landed just about in the center. The ones that didn't were those that he threw as he was picturing Wright in the shower. He had to admit he felt cheated, after all, he'd given the sweet, blond-haired boy quite a show. But, if he'd learned only one thing from Wright, it was to be patient.

In the shower, Wright was so hard he was aching. His first thought was, I can never be with Chris Donnelly again. He just knew Chris had to have seen Wright checking him out. He also understood that Chris would have to have been blind not to have seen the tent created by his unruly member, which, by the way, was continuing to be rigidly uncooperative. Surely Chris would put two and two together and figure out Wright was hard because he'd been staring at him. Wright felt himself blushing at that fact even under the shower's cool water. And no matter what he tried, it was like his cock was permanently locked in the upright position! Slowly, he realized there was only one solution, and so with Chris Donnelly less than eight feet away, Wright reached down and let his fingers settle around his rock-hard penis. Unlike Chris, he hadn't been circumcised, and he eased his foreskin back and began the ritual practiced by every boy in the world. With each stroke, his body shuddered, and whether he wanted it or not, his mind was filled not with some imagined image of his friend, but of an actual mental video of Chris from behind, then turning to reveal his cock and impressive set of balls. Wright, thankfully, came in record time, and he never remembered coming harder. Huge, thick gobs of his semen slammed against the wall and the faucet in front of him. He reached out, pressing his hand against the wall to keep himself from collapsing into a pile on the bottom of the shower stall. He groaned but quickly tried to swallow it when he suddenly worried that Chris might have heard him. Still, in his exhausted state, his jerk-off session seemed to have done the trick. His tent pole was slowly shrinking. He dried off, and quickly pulled on some underwear.

The truth was, Chris had indeed heard the soft groan coming from inside Wright's bathroom, but he'd also heard the subtle change in the sound of the shower. The pattern of the water hitting the sides of the shower stall seemed to change slightly. It was a sound Chris was familiar with from his own shower experience—or more precisely—from his own experience of jacking off in the shower. He smiled at the knowledge that poor Wright, undoubtedly mortified at his obvious responses to Chris's naked body, had gotten that way (tongue-tied, red from the top of his gorgeous head to his neck, flustered, and—oh yes—hard as steel) all because of him. Truthfully, it got Chris's heart pumping, and he felt a stirring within the confines of his swimsuit. The question was would Wright ever be willing to do anything about those impulses which were now assaulting him?

Chris heard the door open, and he turned, thinking, well, maybe I'll find out right now. He wasn't surprised that the blond-haired boy was clad in his tighty-whiteys, but he did feel just the slightest disappointment. But still, what a vision stood before him. And the truth was the Hanes briefs didn't hide all that much. Wright sported an impressive package, filling his undies nicely.

Unlike Wright, Chris didn't try to hide the fact that he was checking out his friend. He wanted Wright to know, and when he looked deliberately up into Wright's eyes, he knew that his friend knew exactly what he'd been doing. He also knew that Wright was waiting for him to say something.

"Um…I was hoping it'd be those red bikinis." He grinned, and instantly, Wright was nearly as red as the item of clothing Chris had brought up. "But," Chris added, "these are a pretty close second in the 'hot' factor." He intentionally scanned Wright up and down again.

In the days that followed, the showering became one of their rituals. They were running regularly, and much to Wright's amazement, Chris had wanted to continue showering at Wrights. And in those intervening days, they'd both become more comfortable with Chris's nudity. (Well, truthfully for Wright perhaps the more accurate word would be more "accepting.") Wright desperately tried to tell himself it was really no big deal—even though in reality it was a HUGE deal for him! He finally tried to rationalize it by telling himself that somehow the locker room must be different for the baseball team or the football team. Everyone on the track team, just sort of quickly showered, changed, and headed out. Not a lot of gawking. Maybe baseball and football jocks were different.

At one point, though, Wright had a sort of revelation: Chris was naked in his presence because he wanted to be. Chris could easily have stayed in the bathroom to dry off and change, but he chose not to. With that awareness, oddly, impossibly, a thought crept into Wright's head. I wonder if he wants to see me naked, too. But that simply couldn't be true. Why would a straight guy want to see another guy naked? Maybe, Wright told himself, Chris just wanted to compare; he wanted to see if he was bigger down there, but that didn't quite make sense either. Still, for some reason, he was reluctant to step out of the bathroom displaying his charms for all the world. (Well, for Chris, anyway.) But the fact remained: it was something the blond-haired runner thought about every time he showered, knowing Chris was waiting for him in his bedroom.

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