Story so far:

When the earth is destroyed, millions evacuate in hundreds of massive space ships, hoping that one of four planets on their route will provide a suitable new home. The ship that takes off from John Ducker University is an odd case – it’s barely half occupied, and almost everyone on board is a college-age male.

Devon Chasen is one such guy, and he tries to adjust to both this new life and the fact that he’s gay. It helps that some of his friends are also gay/bi, and horny. His friend Charlie helps Devon form a jerk off club with several other guys – Zane, Mike, Sean, Dog, and now Nick, one of Devon’s four roommates.

Devon is also developing an odd relationship with a boy he calls Sneak – a voyeur who spies on the boys from time to time and leaves occasional messages for Devon.


Space Ship Boys

Chapter 11 – Sex, Guys and Videotape


Two days had passed since I'd found the data chip Sneak had left for me in my room - two fucking days. If you're wondering what's up with the attitude, it's because over those two days, over the entire forty-fucking-eight hour period, I hadn't had a single opportunity to view the data chip.

And it wasn't for lack of trying.

In fact, I'd slipped the chip into my computer the moment I realized where it had come from. Bubbly from anticipation, I'd manipulated the cursor over the on-screen file folder, my imagination running wild as to what I was about to find.

It was exactly at that moment that someone came barging into the room noisily. I spun in my chair, both a little startled and a little annoyed. A very unhappy Reid was standing in the doorway. Not angry-unhappy, but rather he looked like shit. Or road kill. Or shitty road kill. To be succinct and less vulgar, he looked very obviously sick.

“Are you...ok?” I'd asked.

Reid shook his head and looked like he was about to hurl. “Tummy...hurts,” he'd mumbled.

It was immediately endearing that he used the word 'tummy' when describing an illness, and any annoyance I felt was overcome with concern. Reid and I were, after all, just very recently reunited as friends, so I'm sure he enjoyed a little leniency in my mind.

“Do you need anything?” I'd asked, and in retrospect this was perhaps a mistake.

As it turned out, Reid had some sort of stomach flu or other bug, and as it also turned out, Reid needed about a million things. Tissue, then water, then juice, then a bowl to puke in, then more tissue, and so on.

It's not like I was put in charge of caring for Reid, the other guys in the flat helped, but our bedroom became something of a sick ward. No one else wanted to stay there too long lest they follow down the same road Reid was travelling, which seemed paved in undesirable bodily fluids.

Unfortunately, Reid being sick meant that Nick had moved up into our unoccupied flat temporarily. I understood – Reid was pretty gross – so I offered to let him bunk in one of the bedrooms I used sometimes when staying up there. It wasn't a total hassle, Nick and I sharing a bedroom there didn't feel that different from sharing one upstairs, but it did mean that data chip viewing opportunities were few and far between.

Normally I might fix this by taking advantage of a long break between shifts. Alas, this was also not meant to be, and my work schedule conspired to keep me on the clock any time I might have been able to find a free and private moment to see what The Sneak had left me.

So it was that I spent two excruciating days going back and forth between wondering whether I should stick with my original plan and wait for a private moment to view the chip, or whether I should just find a console somewhere and take in a quick preview. I decided to wait.

Then one grey afternoon I found myself on a three hour break at exactly the same time Reid, Patrick, Nick and Jacob were all scheduled for work, and you better believe that I hustled to finish up my shift and made a hurried beeline for our dorm room.

The door closed with the slight metallic clank it always made, and I immediately moved to my personal console. Ah, privacy, sweet privacy, I thought to myself as I slipped the data chip once again into the drive, half expecting Reid or someone to come barging in. When no one did, I opened the directory structure on the chip and thought back to my odd relationship with the boy I'd come to call The Sneak.

It was odd, but Sneak was one of the longer-running friendships I'd had on the ship. We'd 'met', well, we never had actually 'met met', but I'd first come across him when I had, to my horror, discovered that someone had spied on me the night I'd run across a passed-out Charlie in the unoccupied flat. Finding Charlie wasn’t what caused the horror, it was more the fact that I’d ended up jerking Charlie off, and someone had spied on that from the emergency access tunnels, which peered into all the rooms through a grate at the rear of the room.

And I'd thought that this would be the end of that. I figured someone had stumbled on a show, and although they'd clearly enjoyed themselves (leaving a soggy wad of tissue behind as evidence of this – blech!), I'd probably never hear from them again.

Boy was I wrong.

A couple of days later, I'd reported to the medical bay for a lengthy medical scan. It wasn't terrible. Other than being confined in a noisy, narrow tube for three hours, it was ok. The perfect opportunity for a nap. At least, it had been before someone had entered the room in scrubs and proceeded to feel me up. And then they'd been daring enough to wank me off!

During the whole affair (which I’ll admit I'd enjoyed), I didn't get much of a chance to see who it was. Being encased in the scanner, all I could see was the boy's lower half, and the only clue I'd walked away with was that the guy had a small black tattoo in the shape of a rose on his hip. It also wasn't until later that I realized that the scanner pervert was the same guy that had spied on me.

At first I admit to feeling a little violated. I mean, it was weird, right? Someone watching you fool around with another guy and then stalking you? But then I had to think about that. It wasn't that far off from my own behavior, and it wasn't all that weird considering everything. I don't know, maybe I'm overly open-minded. Or maybe it's because I came into my sexuality the same way – spying on guys from the emergency tunnels. Whatever it was, I never found The Sneak to be too scary. And I have to admit, it was an ego stroke to have someone get that into spying on me.

That's probably why I'd left a note telling him when and where our wank club would be meeting. I wasn't sure if he'd show up in person or just watch, and in typical Sneak fashion he'd ended up watching, this time leaving me a thank you note rather than a sticky tissue.

And that had started one of the odder relationships I'd ever had. I would occasionally leave notes for Sneak, and he'd occasionally leave notes for me. Everything was written in a weird encrypted inside-joke lingo we seemed to be developing, and the whole anonymity voyeur thing became more and more of a turn-on for me.

But I wanted more. I knew Sneak got off on watching other guys; I didn't mind that he spied on our wank club. And I didn't mind that he was anonymous. But it did seem like a one-sided relationship, which is why I'd made a couple of dirty videos of myself, put them on an encrypted chip, and left them for my mysterious friend with a note suggesting he do the same in return, thus explaining why I was so very excited to have the chip returned to me.

I look at the files on the chip, anticipation swelling in my stomach. There were now two primary directories, one labeled 'Devon' and one labeled 'Sneak'. I smiled; I really liked that we'd settled on this pseudonym for him. Well, not so much a pseudonym as a fake name I’d given him, which he seemed to have taken to.

First I click on the 'Devon' file. I should probably have gone straight to the other one. Still, I’m curious. My computer asks for a password to open the folder, and I type in the one I’d given Sneak – it was the model number of the medical machine I was in when he first jerked me off. The folder opens to reveal three files – the originals I'd put on the chip and nothing new.

I back out of the directory and open the Sneak file. Again a password is asked for, and again it’s the one we’d decided on. Three files are revealed – 'Sneak001', 'Sneak002' and 'Sneak003'. I click on 'Sneak001', and a video window opens. On my screen, eight guys are gang-banging someone in a kangaroo costume.

No, ha, I'm just kidding. That would have been awesome.

Instead, what actually pops up is rather dull in comparison. It's an average webcam shot from right above someone's monitor, revealing a guy sitting in his desk chair at his computer. As I might have expected, the camera is conveniently positioned so that you can only see him from his neck down, so pretty much all I have a view of is a black t-shirt.

I can see a little of the room behind him – enough to see that it seems unoccupied, the bunks along the back wall are stowed and un-inflated. He's probably using an unoccupied bedroom. Dang – why didn't I think of that when I wanted to view this? God, Devon, you are such an airhead sometimes.

And that's pretty much what starts playing. A guy sitting at his desk. Whoopdie-doo-dah.

I wonder if things are going to move forward, or if I'm about to be treated to an hour of the worst French expressionist theater ever when the guy on screen reaches forward and starts typing on the keyboard. Bold black letters appear along the bottom of the video window – he's set things up so that I can see what he's typing.

“Hey Devon,” he types.

“Hey weird guy who spies on me all the time,” I say out loud to my screen, as if Sneak can hear me.

The figure pauses for a moment, and my heart skips a beat as I consider that maybe he can hear me. Wait, no, this is pre-recorded file. Don't be an idiot, Devon.

After a couple of seconds the guys starts typing again. “This is sort of weird,” he says.

“Yeah, no fucking kidding,” I reply.

Another pause. “I guess you're probably wondering a couple of things about me.”

“That's an understatement,” I say sardonically. I'm not sure why I'm bothering to respond, but it feels very therapeutic.

“First, I guess I should apologize for spying on you all the time. Well, I guess if I didn't you wouldn't call me sneak.”

I arch an eyebrow.

Sneak types a little faster now, and I gather from his body language that he's thought about what he wants to say. “Anyway, I'm sorry. But also, thank you for letting me watch. You and your friends are hot.”

A pang of guilt runs through my chest. I knew that Sneak was spying on our wank club, but I'd never told anyone else. This was an invasion of their privacy, for sure, and I felt bad for playing a role in that. This was really the only thing that disturbed me about this guy.

“In case you ever wondered, I've never told anyone about stuff, and I never would.”

I relax a little, assuming that by 'stuff' he means all the things he's witnessed.

“And I bet you probably think I should just join the group in person.”

To this I can't help buy reply vocally. “You totally should, we have a pretty damn good time.”

“Maybe I should,” he types, creeping me out again because of the way our pseudo-conversation is flowing almost as if it's live. “And sometimes I think I might, but then sometimes I think it's a bad idea.

“It's really weird. This is really weird. Talking to you is really weird.”

The guy is no Shakespeare, that's for sure.

“I don't think you're weird,” I say to the typing boy, then correct myself, “maybe just a little TOTALLY freaky.” I pause, suddenly concerned – what if Sneak is watching me watch this video through the vents right now? Jesus, Dev, you're getting paranoid.

This doesn't stop me from getting up from my chair and crossing the room to check the emergency access tunnel. No one is there, although just checking creeps me out a little. Just to compensate for this I open the bunk above Patrick's, one that we don't use, and pile some crap on it, effectively blocking any view one might have into the room from the tunnel.

“Better,” I say, clapping my hands together as I sit back at my console. Text is still scrolling on-screen, and I've apparently missed something. I rewind the file a little to catch up.

“Talking to you is really weird,” scrolls across the screen again, I’ve backed up to the right place.

Sneak goes on, “But you've been nicer to me than anyone I've ever spied on before.”

“Damn straight!” I think to myself, lifting myself from my seat slightly in order to give my own ass a solid slap. It's my way of gesturing that Sneak really owes me for the shows I've put on for him. I blush a little at my silliness.

“I didn't plan to do this, but maybe it's a good idea. I thought I'd just record you a quick video like you wanted. But I feel like we've become friends, and I know that's weird because of how that's gone. But maybe it's because we don't know each other in person that I feel like I can trust you. I've never told anyone what I'm about to tell you. I mean, type to you.”

I lean into my screen, my interest piqued.

What follows is about the exact-opposite of what I'd expected to find on the chip. Rather than doing anything sexy, Sneak proceeds to basically tell me his life story. Well, his life story without any details that would provide too strong an indicator who he was. But what he types is personal, raw, and flows across my screen in a constant stream.

Basically, Sneak tells me that he's never been sure why he likes to watch so much. He says it doesn't make a lot of sense, but he assumes it has something to so with the fact that he was physically abused as a kid. He talks about remembering a time when he was three. Apparently, his father (or a boyfriend of his mother's, I wasn't clear on this) threw him against a wall, breaking both his arms. Jesus fucking Cristo.

I feel guilty all of a sudden, and I'm not sure why. Maybe I've been making Sneak into too much of a sexual object. Wait a minute...he's the one spying on me, why should I feel guilty? I turn my attention back to the screen.

“I've always felt like an outsider – the guy with no friends. I mean, it has to be why I'm so messed up, right?”

I shrug, I'm no psychologist.

Sneak goes on to explain how he first became a voyeur, spying on some teenagers when he was ten. This bloomed into a habit, which blossomed into a hobby, which grew into an obsession that was possibly not completely healthy.

“Sometimes I'd get caught, sure,” he typed. “But I think only three times I ended up getting beat up, and only one time was bad.”

Three times? Holy cow, you'd think once would be enough.

Sneak talks about high school, about things getting a little better and his finding some friends. He says things got even better when he gets through that awkward pre-teen phase and starts looking a little hotter. I think back to pimply, stumbly thirteen year-old Devon. “I hear ya, bro,” I say.

And then he talks about college, and attending JDU. AHA! He was a student at the school - that narrows his identity down to...EVERYONE ON THE SHIP. I laugh at my silliness, and then get a little more solemn out of respect for this guy spilling his guts.

“When Earth was destroyed, I had a secret,” he types, “I was glad about it.”

I pause for a second. With the Earth we lost springtime and The Eiffel Tower and Antarctica and our home. I'd sometimes said I was ok despite everything that happened, but I'd never say that I was happy about it. A streak of dislike begins creeping across my chest.

“I know that sucks to say, and I guess I should say that it's not the Earth I'm happy about. I'm happy that my dad didn't get out. I'm happy that he's dead. Maybe that's even worse to say, and maybe it's wrong. I don't know. But I've cried myself to sleep almost every night my whole life, but as soon as I knew he was dead, I stopped.”

Images of Sneak, whoever he was, going through the terror of child abuse passed through my mind, and I found myself involuntarily tearing up as he continued.

There wasn't much more to his story. He ended up on the ship the same as we all had, and he'd been assigned the task of examining the emergency access tunnels for blockages and problems early on, much like I had. And like I had, he'd kept his access key even after his duties in the tunnels were complete. One afternoon, he'd been patrolling for stuff to watch when he'd stumbled on me. From what he describes, it was the first time I'd run into Mike. Mike had been masturbating in his room and I'd seen the whole thing.

Dang, Sneak was watching me even back then? Cool. I mean, creepy? Nah, it's cool.

Sneak wraps up his tale, explaining that spying on me helped him adjust to life on the ship. I think back to how the wank club helped me, and I relate. I'm not sure, but I think it's in this moment that I start to consider Sneak a real friend. It's a fucked-up twisted friendship, but who can't stand to have one or two of these in their life?

“So anyway,” he types, “I hope you don't hate me. I guess you must not, because the files you gave me are pretty hot.”

I blush. The files I’d given him were some of my best solo performances caught on tape.

“And I promise that I'll record some stuff like that for you. But I didn't plan to say all this. I might erase it, I'm not sure. If I don't, and if you're reading this – thanks. I know I'm a weirdo, but thanks. You know, for being a friend. Or whatever.”

The typing ends there and I sit back, looking at the neck-down guy on my screen. At first I think that the video has run out and that his image is frozen on the screen. Then I notice he's breathing slowly; the video is still running. Obviously he's thinking about what he's just written, just as I am, and I consider that he's probably making some decisions.

In another world, maybe he reaches over and hits 'delete'. Maybe I never know anything about him and he just sends me a wank video – or nothing at all. It makes me think about small decisions in our lives. Maybe in yet another world I caught Sneak the first time he spied on me and yelled at him. I'm not a mean guy, but it's a possibility. Maybe then the next day the guy turns up dead on the ship, wrists slit in a bathtub somewhere.

I shudder at the image, and suddenly feel like my responsibilities towards Sneak are as much brotherly as they are friendly. I wonder if I should maybe tone things down with him.

Once the video actually ends, I close the window to see the file structure once again. 'Sneak002' and 'Sneak004' stand out, yellow files on an otherwise blank blue screen. I can't help myself. I click on 'Sneak002'.

The video that begins playing is set in the same room as before, and again Sneak is positioned so that I can see him from neck-down. However, he's wearing a different t-shirt, so I assume that it's either a different day or later or something. Again he pauses for a moment before typing on the keyboard, again his words scrolling across the screen.

“Hi Devon!” he types.

“Hi again?” I mumble, not sure what to say.

“I'm sorry about last time. I thought about deleting that file.”

He pauses again.

“Well, then I guess I'd have to delete this one too, or you’d go crazy wondering what I deleted, lol.”

I nod, agreeing how annoyed I'd be if I received a disc that went straight into talking about a mysterious deleted file.

“I'm going to leave it. It felt good to tell someone, even if I'm too much of a screw-up to tell anyone real.”

“In the meantime,” he types, “You were right. I've had fun spying on you. A LOT of fun. And I owe you a show. I think this is more like what you thought I'd send you back.”

I raise an eyebrow, curious about what's to come. On screen Sneak sits back, his face still adeptly blocked, then he pulls his shirt off over his head. I hear a rustle as the fabric passes over Sneak's head. Tossing the garment aside, Sneak is now topless, and the thin, pale frame I’d seen once before greets me.

I don't know if it's my memory of it or what, but he looked thicker now – more developed. I reflected on all the long hours I'd spent working in the farms, and how my own muscles were growing larger.

“Looking good, Sneak,” I mention to the screen.

The other boy pauses again, then starts typing. “Sorry, relly nervos,” he says, his misspelled words affirming his jitters.

“Ahh, you're adorable,” I say, truly meaning it. Sneak had spied on me a lot, and he knew I'd already seen him naked. Well, most of him anyway. His bashfulness was endearing.

And it didn't last long.

Sneak stood and slid his shorts off. He was wearing a pair of the ship's stupid universal underwear – blech. I shudder, remembering how scratchy a pair I'd tried on had felt against my balls. I make a mental note to leave him a pair of Charlie's merchandise the next time I drop off a message for him.

In the meantime, I watch the boy on screen. He sits still for a moment before he slowly moves his hand to his crotch, which he then rubs, almost absentmindedly.

This is bad porn, to be sure, but there's a mystery to it all, and it's the mystery that makes it exciting. This guy isn't some anonymous face from the vid library. Well, he's anonymous, but he's real. And a friend. And the nature of the video makes it feel almost like he's doing this live.

It doesn't take long for Sneak's lap-rubbing to produce a bulge in his shorts, which makes me realize that his lap-rubbing is also producing a bulge in my shorts. He pauses and then starts typing.

“Sorry, really nervous still. I know, lame. But it's making me horny to think that maybe you're watching this and doing the same thing.”

I smile, and consider that maybe some day we'll try this 'live'. In the meantime, he'll just have to use his imagination when wondering about how I received his movie. Wait a minute, no he won’t.

I look up to the webcam above my monitor. In a swift move, I open the program on my console and hit record. I set the record window to display text the way Sneak has set his. I type a quick message to him.

“Hi. Just started 'sneak002'. Thought you might like to see my response. Just passed the part where you asked if I was doing the same thing. Will chat more later, but for now, enjoy'.

I smile coyly at the camera, then close out the record window so that I can watch Sneak without any distractions. Sometimes watching myself beat off is sexy, but in this case I want to focus on Sneak.

Sneak is a sexy guy, although I find myself wishing I could see his face. Still, I settle for his body. I hadn't gotten the best look back in the scanner room, and that was months ago. Sneak is a cute kid – at least from the neck down. Like me he's pale and thin, but I think Sneak crosses over into what you'd call 'lanky' more than I do. Still, he's getting pretty good definition.

Like the last time, I notice how pink his nipples are, and recall that his penis is also rose-colored. I'm wondering when I'll get to see it again when Sneak answers my question by flipping open the fly of his shorts, his dick springing free. I wave of excitement passes through me. Oh my god, I freaking love this guy! He's such a total super-freak.

Sneak types a quick message to me. “Fusk, these stupid undrwears are itchy!”

I assume he meant to type 'fuck', and laugh at the mistype. “Then take them off, doofus,” I reply.

Sneak does exactly that, slipping the horrid generic underwear down his thighs and kicking them off. He's now totally naked in his seat. Oddly, this makes me feel a little shy, almost like a voyeur (imagine that!), and I feel I have no choice but to take off my own clothes. I mean – it would be unethical not to, right? Right?

So I hurriedly pull off my shirt and unbuckle my pants. In about ten seconds I’m just as nude in my seat as Sneak is in the video.

I know I'm recording a show for him in return, but I still want to mainly focus on watching. I slowly stroke my hard dick as I watch Sneak do the same. I have to wonder, when did he record this? And where? Dang, this whole thing with Sneak has me hot and bothered. And in a good way.

Sneak is a hot guy. I guess I'm not too picky. I mean, who haven't I said is hot, and who haven't I wanted to fuck on this ship? I giggle to myself. And at myself.

On screen Sneak gets more into things, although its clear he's a better voyeur than he is exhibitionist. I can tell he's nervous, and somehow this may be a bigger turn-on than anything. At least, it's got me turned on. And wet. And stroking pretty hot and heavy.

I was really getting into it too, the way you do. Loving the feel of my shaft in my hand, my hand on my shaft. Pleasure working its way through my body. I was enrapt by the lanky boy on the screen, and enrapt by my own ministrations.

As aroused as I was, this did not stop me from jumping three feet in the air when someone entered the room behind me. SHIT! Busted.

I spun in my chair, the involuntary reaction of a boy caught red-handed. There was probably nothing goofier looking in all the universe than this, and perhaps the greatest comedy film of all time would just be a stream of guys caught awkwardly with their dicks in their hands.

My gaze met Nick’s, who was also looking a little awkward. He’d barged into the room, then stopped in his tracks when he saw what I was doing, a look of horror on his face. And I had to question – why horror? Jeez, I’m not gross or anything.

“I, uh, whoa…oh man, sorry Devon,” he stumbles.

My heart is thumping in my chest, and I feel the arrival of an adrenaline buzz. Getting caught is embarrassing, but it’s Nick so it’s not that bad. I grab a pillow and place it over my crotch. It’s not like it’s not something Nick hasn't seen before, but it’s weird talking to a fully clothed guy with your boner swaying in the wind.

“Uh, no problem,” I reply, my voice cracking a little. “I thought everyone would be out on their shifts. I mean, obviously.” I motion to the pillow, which instead of settling in my lap is sort of twirling up on my erection.

It’s a silly scene, to be sure, and it makes me giggle, which makes Nick giggle, and then we’re both laughing.

“You’re too much, Devon. I mean, you were a funny guy before I joined in the whole club thing, but now that I hear some of the stories Mike and Charlie have to tell…” Nick trails off.

“Hey!” I reply in mostly-mock offense. But Nick is right, there are some pretty silly Devon stories.

A look of concern crosses Nick’s face. I trust Mike and Charlie with my life, and whatever stories they tell are sure to be ones I would approve of them sharing. But as a newer member of the group Nick doesn’t know that.

“I’m sorry. I mean, it’s not like we gossip about you or anything. I mean, sorry man.” He crosses the room and puts his hand on my shoulder in a reassuring way. It’s sort of funny, considering that I don’t really need to be reassured in any way. Nick is a peacekeeper – the guy in the room that really, really wants everyone to get along. It’s endearing.

“Nah, don’t worry about it,” I reassure him, “I trust those guys…and you. If he didn’t tell you about it, ask Mike about the time in the engine rooms. And ask him to show off his scars.”

Nick arches an eyebrow in curiosity. I’m referring to the time I accidentally bit Mike when trying to give him a blowjob, which I still feel really bad about. Mike didn’t truly have scars, but it was a traumatic event in his young life, to be sure.

“Whoa, what ya’ watching?” Nick asks, his attention shifting from me to my screen, where Sneak is slowly massaging his shaft. I have no problem with the fact that Nick caught me the way he did, although I feel silly, but I don’t really want to share Sneak’s vids with him. Not because I think Sneak would mind, just because they were sexy, and our game felt like it would be a little sexier as solely a two-person thing.

I quickly think of a cover story and reach over to the computer to click on a folder, which opens to cover the video that is now playing in the background.

“You know how Beck is compiling all the media he can get his hands on?” I ask.

“Yeah,” Nick responds.

Beck lived across the hall in Charlie’s room, and he was heavily into music. When we took off, one of his hobbies had become collecting as many music files as he could. Then he moved on to movies and tv. At first it was just a teenager’s hobby, but then he’d become something of an archeologist, I guess you might say. He’d started this whole group where they were compiling every piece of data that survived the end of the Earth. Putting it all on the ship’s mainframe. He was even coordinating groups in other ships. Beck had explained that it was part of our heritage.

“Well, he insists on saving everything. EVERYTHING. There’s a huge porn directory, which is, uh, as you can see, kinda cool.”

The folder I’ve opened is, in fact, the x-rated section of Beck’s project. There were thousands of files – he was, after all, compiling them on a ship that was full of horny teenage males. Many had brought their personal data drives with them when we evacuated, and many of those drives had been filled with music, movies, and, as it turned out, smut.

“Cool,” Nick says, his eyes gleaming in the way boys’ eyes do when they find a cache of dirty stuff. I pick up the mouse and move it to the other side of the keyboard, sliding it to Nick. He gets the message and takes it so that he can scroll through the directories and files.

We laugh at some of the names of the ‘professional’ movies, and gawk at some of the gonzo stuff. For the most part, Nick doesn’t play any of the files, we just read the descriptions and let our imaginations run rampant.

“Oh my god, what’s with all this animal stuff?” Nick asks, laughing in disgust at one of the raunchier folders.

“I know, I know, but like Beck says, it’s part of our heritage. Ohh…yuck, a camel? Don’t play that one. No, no!” I laugh as Nick pretends he’s about to open the offending file. I wonder what part of the video would be grosser – the camel, or the girl?

Nick seems to have forgotten that I'm naked except for a pillow over my groin, but I haven’t. I’ve also not forgotten how sexy my friend is, and take the opportunity to glance at him while he reads down the list of dirty files. He’s wearing a button-down shirt and cargo shorts, both are a little dirty. The kind of dirty that tells me he’s just come back from working in one of the farms. His scent, which is slightly musky but not offensive, seems to confirm this.

And then I notice that the way Nick is bent over the desk has made his shirt ride up a little on his back, revealing a swath of tan flesh. A streak of dried mud is present on his side, but in a place where his shirt would normally cover. It makes me wonder if he’d been working in the farms topless, and a picture of the sexy boy planting away, all hot and sweaty, crosses my mind, sending a surge of hormones into my pillow-covered crotch.

Almost involuntarily (almost!), I reach up and rub my thumb across the smudge of dirt on Nick’s side. He flinches, but doesn’t move away from the computer.

“Sorry, you got some dirt on you,” I explain.

“No problem,” Nick replies, continuing his exploration of the porn directory.

Maybe it was because I was all hopped up on hormones, or maybe Nick was putting out some serious pheromones, but I took his stance, the way he was standing right next to me after catching me jerking off, to indicate that he wouldn’t be diametrically opposed to a little touching. So I reached out again and put my hand back on his side, this time using my palm and fingers to wipe off some of the dried mud. This time Nick didn’t flinch, and this time I didn’t take my hand away.

As I become more experienced with guys, I notice that they all seem to react a little differently to sexual things. Nick was the kind of guy that would act shy at first, then once you got him going he’d be unabashedly horny. He demonstrates this now by almost completely ignoring my hand on his side, standing over the computer and staring at the screen. I’m not sure whether he’s really paying attention to the files or not, but he seems to be.

Either way, I let my hand wander up into Nick’s shirt so that I can feel the muscles of his back. He’s quite warm to the touch, and I consider that he must have gotten a pretty good workout on the farm today.

“Here’s some less weird stuff,” Nick comments. He’s found a tamer section of more mainstream porn and opens a movie. It’s set in a classroom during detention, and somehow I assume the five guys in attendance are about to get it on with one another – porn is so very unpredictable.

“Cool,” I reply.

Slowly, I take my hand out of Nick’s shirt and move it up and into the right leg of his shorts. Again he doesn’t react, but remains enrapt in the 'schoolyard fun' movie.

I really like the feel of my hands on another guy (obviously), and I relish the feel of Nick’s warm upper leg against my palm. The fine hairs tickle my wrist, and I’m sure that my light grazes are ticklish to Nick, although he doesn’t squirm. Reaching further up, I come into contact with the briefs that he’s wearing. The fabric is soft and sheer, and I trace the legline with my fingertip. Nick still doesn’t say anything, but he shifts his stance a little. I smile; he’s clearly shifted his weight to give me better access.

I run my hand up to his buttocks and feel the taut rounded muscle there. I make a mental note to get a copy of the guy’s leg routine, because whatever exercises he’s doing are really working.

Continuing to explore, I run a fingertip down the crack of Nick’s butt. Ultimately I come into contact with the underside of his bulge, the humid and warm place where his balls lie huddled in his shorts. Very lightly I graze the fabric here. Nick makes a noise – finally. It’s not quite a groan, but more like he exhales sharply.

I have a theory about Nick – one that I will share. See, the guy has a big dick, as we’ve established. He’s not a freak, but it’s delightfully large. So I always had this idea that anyone he’s ever had sexual contact with – including himself – tends to focus their attention there. Because of this, I think other parts of him get ignored. Specifically, his balls, which are an average size, but still quite nice.

This may be why I’m interested in this area, and spend quite a bit of time groping and lightly squeezing his sack through his underwear. I like the weight of his balls snug in the pouch, the way they are warm and soft, and the way his testicles roll in the scrotum as I gently play with them. I'm almost being more exploratory than erotic, although I'd bet the distinction is lost on my friend.

When I reach a finger into the leg band of his underwear to feel his sack skin-on-skin, Nick gives another little gasp. I take this as an invitation and reach over with my free hand to loosen the button and zipper on his shorts. Nick doesn’t say a word, but when I move my left hand out of his shorts to manipulate the fly he gives a little butt-waggle and his shorts fall to the floor.

Simultaneously, we both turn our heads to check out opposite areas of the room. Nick looks at the door, probably weighing the risks of getting disrobed in here against the fun of being felt up. I look over at my webcam. I’d left the record feature activated. I wondered if I should shut it off now that Nick is participating. I decide to leave it running. Perhaps not the most honest thing to do, but recording this seems like a really good idea given my pumped up hormones.

Nick is wearing a pair of royal blue briefs – they’re the same design as the pair of tighty-whities Charlie had made me, just a different color. He’s somewhat aroused, but probably not fully so. Like my pair, an extended pouch allowed the underwear to carry your junk up and away from your body. In Nick’s half-mast state, this creates an impressive bulge in the undies, one that lies heavy and full in the pouch of his shorts.

Nick is a sexy guy, standing over me with his shirttail hanging down in front of his underwear, shorts pooled around his ankles. And in this moment I appreciate him fully, and appreciate the level of intimacy we can have together. Since I’d become sexually active, I’d played with several guys. I’d learned that there was such a thing as friendship sex, and it’s what Nick wanted out of the group. I don’t think he’d ever want a boyfriend, and maybe not even a lover, but given the situation we were in and dearth of sexual possibilities for him, having a friend for mutual masturbation and light play seemed ideal.

Which is why I’m not shy about reaching over and groping his package through his underwear firmly.

“Ah!” he gasps involuntarily, and I smile. Turning a guy on is fun, and it becomes readily clear that I'm really turning Nick on. I feel his penis grow heavier and larger in my fingers, stretching the pliable fabric of his new underwear until a bright blue shaft extends fully from Nick’s body.

Now that the boy is aroused, I alternate stroking at his underwear-covered boner with slowly unfastening one button of his shirt at a time, starting with the lowest. Each step opens his shirt a little more, and when I finally unclasp the top connection the fabric falls loose and open away from Nick’s body.

His smooth chest revealed, I reach up into his open shirt to stroke first his stomach, then his chest. I can’t reach much higher than his pectorals with the way we’re standing, but this is fine by me. And I assume it’s fine by Nick, particularly when he shrugs his shoulders in a manner that allows his shirt to slide off his back, the fabric rustling as it slides off his frame to join his shorts on the floor.

I'm cautious about being sexual with Nick, even if he seems to want it. I don’t want to push things too far. But when he looks over at me and smiles goofily, his large dick erect in his underwear like a triumphal blue banner poking outward from his tan tummy, I understand that I haven’t gone too far. I smile goofily back at my friend.

So I do what any red-blooded teen would and tug the pouch of Nick’s underwear sideways so that his dick springs free and into the open air out the right side. Nick gasps again, the sound that so frequently seems to accompany newly-denuded erections. And I do my part to help cause subsequent gasps, taking his cock into my hands and stroking it very lightly.

I’ve noticed that Nick is the exact opposite of Charlie in a way. Charlie will jabber away during foreplay, then once he’s naked it’s “down to business” and he remains relatively silent. Nick, on the other hand, is always quiet until he’s naked, then he talks a little more freely. Today is no exception.

“Wow, that feels so good,” he coos.

My throat is a little dry and raspy when I reply. “Yeah, bet it does.”

“Sorry,” Nick says sheepishly.

“What for?” I ask.

“Um, well I guess for this,” he looks down where my hand is gently but firmly stroking his shaft.

I chuckle. “You’re sorry that I slowly undressed you and molested you? I can stop.”

Nick rolls his eyes, which is somehow really funny looking when a guys is mostly naked and getting a handjob. “No, I mean I don’t want you to feel like I, um, expect it, like you…AH!”

Lately I’ve discovered that I really like making a guy stop mid-sentence by causing them intense pleasure, and in this case I get Nick to shut up by firmly rubbing my finger against the sensitive tip of his dick.

“Don’t worry about it,” I say, “just enjoy the movie, and this.”

“Yeah, UH, okay.”

And Nick turns his attentions back to the film, which is hot, if not overly well-scripted. I wonder if he’d like to sit down, but then I enjoy him hovering over me, and him standing while I sit offers really good access to his shaft, which I stroke and play with in time to the movie.

“Uh, uh, you’re really good, uh, at that,” he pants. I beam at the compliment. What? I work really hard at this.

“Probably ‘cause I got one too,” I remark, letting the pillow slide off my lap. My own engorged dick is poking proudly upwards.

“Yes you do,” Nick agrees, reaching into my lap to grab my cock. He strokes it a little, in the fumbling but endearing manner of a boy not quite used to pleasuring anyone other than himself. Still, it feels good. But it makes it hard for me to stroke him very well, and while I will be more than happy to teach him better handjob skills in the future, for now I feel like focusing on him.

“Here, watch your movie,” I say, taking his hand and moving it off my lap.

A flash of concern crosses his face. “Was I doing it wrong?” he asks.

“Not at all,” I say reassuringly, “It was just really sexy when you were leaning over the desk watching the movie.”

He gets my point and smiles, leaning back over the desk into his original position. I go back to work on his dick, and although it’s really a two-hand job, I can’t help but reserve my right hand for my own excited member. It always feels a little odd to use my right hand on myself, but I’m happy to be ambidextrous enough that it’s still really fun.

On screen our five detention attendees have indeed disrobed one another and opted to have sex in the classroom.

“That looks like fun too…OH!” Nick gasps.

I put on my best coy voice. “Just wait ‘till Friday.”

“I’m not sure I can…AH!” Nick squirms.

“Me neither.”

“I mean, not that it can be any better than…oh, oh, OH!” he grunts.

Nick seems to notice that every time he starts talking I’ve taken to rubbing the tip of his dick vigorously, putting pressure on his frenulum and fingering the opening at his tip. It’s an area where he’s particularly sensitive, and he doesn’t seem capable of speech when I rub him this way.

“Hey, knock that off,” he says defensively when he notices that I’m doing this on purpose.

I give him a wide grin and we giggle at my sex antics. We go back to watching the movie, me stroking both Nick and myself and our conversation flowing casually between one another from time to time. It’s an odd thing – a friendship that has developed into this type of easy-going sexuality between two guys, but it’s nice.

“Ah, it’s cool how you’re so boned, dude,” Nick says.

Having riled myself before he came in and then having spent all the time playing with him, I sure as heck am, and I tell him so.

“It’s…ah…you’re really sexy…argh…playing with your stick like that,” he says.

“It’s nothing compared to yours,” I answer, “but I like it.”

Nick blushes, a feat considering how much blood is pumped into his cock already. “I, uh, I’m kinda shy about that. I mean, it’s always been a little weird to me…ah,”

It’s cute, Nick getting all worked up and trying to explain complex emotions while receiving a handjob. “No worries, dude, I won’t say anything else about it,” I reassure him.

“Thanks. It’s awesome how squishy yours is right now.”

I was producing a lot of precum, a result of my play before Nick’s arrival, and my slightly less dexterous right hand is making my strokes sound really wet. Nick is a little moist, but not much, and it’s actually made his dick a little harder to stroke fluidly.

This isn’t the biggest problem in the world, I consider, sitting in my chair with Nick’s erect cock only inches from my face. I mean, there’s really only one solution, right? I think back to the first night Nick joined the wank club, and how great it felt to have his cock in my mouth. I can’t help myself, and I slowly lean over to take Nick’s tip gently between my lips, working my tongue against his slit.

“Jeez! Whoa, I mean…ergh…god, Devon!”

“You like that?” I ask rhetorically. “How about this?”

This time I take his dick fully into my mouth, using what I’ve learned to create as much oral contact against his shaft as possible.

“Ugh, I…AH!” he moans.

“Or this?” I then work my tongue in small, frantic circles around his helmet. Nick is turning red in the face, which makes me smile. I love that he has such a distinct reaction to my efforts.

“Uh, uh, uh.”

I’ve pushed Nick deep into lust, and I try and drive him as wild as I can by alternating strokes with oral pleasure. I love his dick in my hand, all slippery and hard. Then when it gets a little dry and sticky I take it into my mouth and lick at it some more. This works well, as evidenced by his moans of pleasure and pain. And then something takes me by surprise.

Without really realizing it, I’d been stroking myself with about the same intensity as I’d been using on Nick. While I was focusing on him, I was still getting myself off, but not really thinking much about it. I didn’t notice I was climaxing until it was right on me.

“ERGH, FUCK!” I exclaim in surprise, a jolt of orgasmic pleasure shuddering throughout my body. My dick erupts in my lap, spraying hot cum into my fist and onto my belly. I fight to maintain control, stroking myself through orgasm with one hand while wanting to still pleasure Nick with the other. Then I start laughing involuntarily – I think mostly at how totally amateurish it is to cum unexpectedly like that.

Nick grunts and gives me a sideways smirk, as if to say 'well, it's what you get'. And he’d be right.

As my climax subsides my heart is racing and my body is tingling all over. But I'm still consumed by lust, an almost animal impulse, and in this moment it is focused on one thing. Getting this naked sexy boy next to me off, fast and hard.

I shift in my chair so that I have ideal access to Nick’s throbbing stick with both hands, and it’s with both hands that I stroke him to the best of my abilities. I’d watched him in the club, and noted his preferred method. I use it now, pressing hard into the steel-hard shaft and rubbing the slick tool quickly and roughly.

Nick bends over, balancing on the desktop evenly with both hands. His elbows look like they're about to buckle, and I wonder if he'll fall over. It turns me on, having him this much in my control, and I go to town. Me at my post-coital best, the movie in front of him, my hands on his dick, Nick has no chance at all. He’s surrounded by the erotic and consumed by pleasure – overwhelmed by it. He thrashes back and forth, grunting and moaning.

“OH my…FUCK…wait, wait, JEEZ, AH! Give me a sec, Devon, I’m gonna…AH!” he moans, so loud that I wonder if his voice will carry into the other rooms of our flat. But I don’t care, and Nick is certainly too far gone to.

I don’t relent, and he gasps and groans. I feel like he wants to pull away from me, wants me to stop touching him, but that he can’t, that he’s compelled to remain rooted to this spot. And rooted he remains, his ass flexing in rhythm to my stroking, his gasps growing more frantic. And then it happens, and I feel it in the way his stance alters - the way his cock throbs and his nuts pull slightly up into his body.

Maybe I have some bottled aggression that I decided to take out on Nick that afternoon, or maybe I just wanted to give him the best handjob ever. Whatever the reason, I know that I should slow down and let him enjoy cumming, but I don’t. It’s mean, but I stroke harder, faster, and more intently than before, and later I wonder if I nearly killed the poor guy.

“UH, UH, stop, wait, OH, AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” the boy screams, and I am fairly certain that anyone within fifty feet can hear him. Still, I pound away with both hands, rubbing Nick’s stick with both hands in all the most sensitive places. It convulses, and the first ejection of sperm leaps forward, landing all over my mouse and keyboard.

This sends a wave of erotic desire through my own body, but it also makes me feel really aggressive for some reason. I stroke harder and point Nick’s erupting cock higher. Nick’s knees buckles, and he seems on the verge of toppling over. Instead he grabs on to me roughly, putting most of his weight on my shoulder. Bringing him to his knees, this only makes me continue torturing the guy.

“AH, AH, AH!” Nick continues moaning in a near-scream. His second jet erupts upward in an arc and lands with a splat on my keyboard. The third ejaculation hits the monitor, the fourth the keyboard again. I’d always noticed that when Nick comes he doesn’t get a lot of distance. Either because of the way I’m getting him off or because he’s been eating his Wheaties, he sure sprays hard today.

Nick’s cock stops erupting after seven or eight contractions, and his screams subside into a whimper. I finally relent, lessening my strokes but keeping my hand on his dick, which feels red-hot in my hand. He’s still leaning on me, his body coated in a fine sheen of sweat and his breathing hard, as it might have been if he’d just run a 400-meter dash.

It takes a couple of minutes for his breathing to slow enough so that he can speak, and in that time I find myself wondering if I’d carried things too far, if I was about to get yelled at for jacking him off this way. When Nick begins speaking again, he’s laughing, and I can instantly tell that, no, I am not going to get yelled at. I’m relieved.

“Ha, oh-ho, whoa. Jeez, Devon, I mean, FUCK. That was, um, awesome. Oh my god, wow!” Nick fawns. I chuckle at his compliments, and release his dick from my grasp.

“Sorry, I got a little carried away,” I say.

“No, it’s good, I uh…oh crap,” Nick says, shifting his attention from talking about the experience to the substantial mess he’d made. It is true that I’d made a sticky mess in my lap, which is always a little gross when it starts to cool. But Nick had made a BIG mess – my keyboard and mouse were covered with streaks of white semen, and a glob was slowly running down the monitor, distorting the image of the boys fucking in the movie.

“Uh, no problem,” I respond kindly, although inwardly I’m really glad everything on the desk can be run through the dishwasher.

“Here, let me clean up,” he says, grabbing his shirt off the floor and moving to wipe up his mess.

“No, no, no,” I say in a slightly agitated tone. I stop him, partially because I don’t really want him wiping cold cum all over his shirt, even if it already does need to be washed, and partially because I don’t want him to realize I’d recorded all of this.

“Here, sit down a bit,” I say, more of a command than a request. I grab one of the other chairs and roll it behind my own until it’s in a position behind Nick. He collapses into it, his breathing still audibly elevated.

“Thanks.”

We sit side by side, both content in our post-orgasmic bliss. Maybe five minutes pass, and although my cock shrinks into its flaccid state, Nick’s remains pointing proudly northward. I glance over at him.

He shrugs, blushing, and smiles sheepishly. “It won’t go down.”

I arch an eyebrow. “Sure it will, see…”

I move my hand into Nick’s naked lap and press a finger against his still-turgid shaft. I press it down so that it’s pointing away from Nicks body, then I release it. Predictably, it springs back up. I like the way his long dick looks swaying back and forth, so I press it down and release it over and over.

“See, down, up…down, up,” I say.

We both laugh, partially at me and partially because boners are just funny. As I continue doing this, Nick grunts.

“Dude,” I say, “You need seconds.”

He looks at me curiously, but then gets what I’m saying and smiles sheepishly. “Nah. I mean, not after that.”

I squeeze his shaft, which is as hard and it had been before he’d come. “Yeah, especially after that. Trust me dude, it’s not going to go down until you get off again. So go ahead.”

I remove my hand, my gesture an invitation for Nick to get himself off. He looks down at his dick then to me. “No, I couldn’t. I mean, this feels weird.”

I laugh at him, a little more than I intend to. “That feels weird? I’m totally covered in jizz, and so is my computer. You’re funny.”

It’s not meant to be a compelling argument, but Nick takes it as such, shrugging his shoulders and smiling at me. Then he takes his dick in his hands and strokes it lightly.

It’s clear that he’s a little shy about this – probably partially because he’d burned off a lot of hormones, and was now feeling more inhibition. But partially because it was pretty intimate, sitting in his chair naked and jerking off while I watched.

It isn’t long before his hormones rebalance, however, and his shyness fades as he works on his cock. I hadn’t considered doing anything myself, but watching Nick go for seconds makes me absentmindedly stroke myself, and before long I have a boner again too.

So I start stroking a little harder, and that makes Nick go a little faster. Then we’re both beating off, looking directly into each other’s eyes, and it feels intimate and hot and awesome. We both pant and grunt. I smile evilly at him and he smiles devilishly back. Fuck he has cute eyes. And then we cum again, this time Nick going first.

“UH, UH, UH,” he grunts as his dick ejects a second load, this one leaking out the tip and drooling down the shaft in the manner that seemed more common for him.

“AH! AH! ERGH!” I exclaim as I cum a second time, my own load not spraying very far.

And then we smile and laugh at each other, panting.

I don’t know what was in the water that day, but this time I’m the one whose boner doesn’t go down.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Nick says, pointing at my dick after a couple of minutes.

“Well,” I shrug. What can you do?

Soon we’re both stroking towards the impossibly rare third orgasm.

“AH, FUCK, WHOA,” I grunt, a single lonely splotch of semen spraying out of my dick.

“AH, YES, HERE I COME!” Nick exclaims and convulses. It’s clear he has an orgasm, but he doesn’t spray anything at all.

We’re both red-chested and panting, and our dicks both instantly deflate this time.

After a moment, I ask, “Wanna go again?”

“What?!” Nick exclaims. “No way. No fucking way. You’ve got to be kidding.”

In truth, I was kidding. I was spent. Exhausted even. But somehow, Nick’s skepticism annoyed me. So I grabbed by floppy dick and began beating off, the best a guy could on an almost entirely flaccid penis.

Nick looks at me incredulously. “I think I can get another,” I say.

Guys are a bit competitive, needless to say, so I’m not surprised when Nick grabs his own flaccid cock and begins beating it. We both stroke furiously, but neither of us are completely hard.

“Wow, this is tough,” I remark.

“Yeah”, Nick grunts.

We soldier on, our dicks getting mostly-hard, although we both have to struggle for our orgasms this time. It feels like my body doesn’t want to cum, and I have to really concentrate to get it to. It’s almost like I have to force everything to line up correctly in both my brain and my groin, squeezing my legs impossibly tight to have even a remote chance of spraying. It pisses me off, really, and so I try even harder; I can feel myself dancing around the edge of orgasm. I’d been here before in my life, and even further, and every time it was a little more painful than pleasurable.

I can tell Nick is in the same place. He’s almost abusing himself, stroking as hard and fast as he can.

“C’mon, c’mon, c’mon,” he grunts, as if willing himself to finish through this simple mantra. I feel like I’m about to have an asthma attack.

I look at Nick and he looks at me, both of us trying so hard to cum and both of us in a certain amount of pain. Nick’s entire body is tense, every muscle contracted. He’s coated in sweat. I am too, and given my fairer complexion I am sure that I’m practically glowing red.

I think it’s watching each other than trips it. At least, I know that’s what does it for me. Nick is so sexy working for number four, and it sends the last surge of hormones left in my brain rushing into my blood stream. I tense my legs as hard as I can, and it sends my tired muscle into one last spasm.

“Uh, uh, uh,” I whimper, flogging myself through the orgasm.

“ERGH!” Nick tenses and finished himself.

We collapse back into our chairs (again), and this time it takes a while for us to control our breathing. I feel spent. Totally. And my legs are cramping. Maybe the forth one wasn’t such a great idea.

“You. Are. Insane.” Nick huffs and puffs, his breating fast and hard.

“So're'you,” I slur, my own breathing hard and my heart thumping away in my chest. Fuck it's good to be alive!

This time we both have no problemo getting un-erections. Our cocks shrink back into our bodies, perhaps terrified we won't leave them alone yet. If I confessed that I actually apologized to my dick, would anyone say I was a freak? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Nick and I clean up. We still have a while before anyone else gets off their shifts, but we figure it's best to destroy the evidence. Nick smiles bashfully when I wipe his spooge off my computer equipment. I stick my tongue out at him and toss the nasty wet tissue at him. He evades it, but then relents and picks it up for disposal.

“Whew, I'm ripe,” he says. I honestly hadn't noticed, but after our session I'd bet we both are. “I'm gonna go shower. Wanna grab a bite after?”

I grunt approval, and think about going to the shower with him. But then I consider the amount of noise we'd just made and decide to stay in the room for a bit. No reason to waive a huge sign saying 'Nick and I just jerked together!' over my head.

Once Nick leaves I turn back to my screen. The video is still recording. Wow. That's probably a scene Sneak didn't expect to be treated to. Well, except I guess he hasn't yet, and I consider that I have the power to either save or delete the file.

I think if Sneak hadn't been so open and honest in writing to me I would have thrown away the file. But somehow, him bearing his soul like he had, I have this newfound soft spot in my heart for the guy. So I hit save and name the file 'devon special001'.

I sit still for a moment, thinking. Then I create a file named 'devon special000 – prelude' and start recording. Then I sit back in my seat and start typing to Sneak in the manner that I suppose was now our thing.

“I'm hoping you watch this first. I wanted to let you know that none of what's in the other file was planned. It just happened. While I was watching Sneak002, and I can tell you I’m excited to check out Sneak003, but I need to wait a bit. I’m a bit worn out.”

I involuntarily give a huge grin, thinking about how this vid will look to Sneak if he watches this part first. If our positions were reversed, I'd be hellishly curious at this point. But then I get serious and type a second message.

“But seriously for a moment, I watched your first file. The whole thing. I’m sorry. Sorry that life hasn't always been good for you. I'm glad we met. Or whatever you'd call it. And I've never been mad at you about anything.

“I want you to know that I think of you as a friend. I know this is all really weird. It's weird to me too, but not in a bad way. I don't want to get too mushy, but I want you to know that whenever you're ready, I'd like to get to know you. You know, in real life. With faces and speaking and less sneakiness.”

I pause for a moment before continuing, “Although to me you will always be Sneak, and that's a good thing. As much as I may have helped you adjust to this stupid spaceship, you helped me. And I'll always appreciate you for that. So anyway, write me back soon, whether you want to meet in real life or not.”

I offer the camera a friendly wave. I feel like I may have laid it on a little thick, and I consider deleting the file and trying again. But somehow that feels like it would be fake, less honest. So I stop the recording and transfer the file to the data chip, making sure it's encrypted so that you have to have the password to open it, a phrase Sneak and I had agreed to when I first made the chip for him.

I smile to myself, hoping all of this would help cement a new friendship firmly into place.

Glancing at the clock, I note that Nick’s only been in the shower for a couple of minutes. I figure I have enough time to drop this off for Sneak. Something about him makes me want to continue our conversation as quickly as possible, but I do want to get back before Nick returns to find me gone.

I make sure the old files are copied onto my system and that the data chip has everything on it in an encrypted format. Throwing on a pair of pants (ow! My dick is sore!) and a t-shirt, I rush out of the bedroom.

I almost run into a towel-clad figure in the hall.

“Hey!” the boy yells, his towel dropping to the floor. At first I think it’s Nick because he went to shower, but it’s actually Cory, another of our flatmates.

“Er, sorry,” I stumble.

Cory looks at me with an arched eyebrow as he reaches for his towel in an attempt to rapidly cover his nudity. Cory is a guy with a great chest, and I love chests. I try not to stare, although its hard because he has these really huge nipples that make me curious. But that’s a conversation for another day.

Heading into the hallway outside our flat, I run into Chris and Peter, who are both wearing their new security uniforms. They look rather like something out of a world war two movie.

“Hey, Devon,” Peter greets me, and we exchange a short conversation before I tell them I’m in a hurry and head off. I get about twenty feet before running smack dab into Patrick and Reid, who are returning home from work.

“Sheesh, Dev, what’s the hurry?” Reid asks, bemused.

“Sorry, no time – gotta hurry. I’ll be back in a few!” I say, rushing past.

When I get to the elevator, Mike and Sean emerge. Dammit, what is this, freaking rush hour?

“In a hurry?” Mike asks, obviously noticing how I was walking.

“Um, yeah. Sorry. Oh, hey, do you have any of Charlie’s briefs on you? Like in a medium? Anything would be fine.”

Mike looks confused for a moment before understanding what I was asking. He’d started working more in Charlie’s store and sometimes carried samples around with him. “Oh, yeah, sure,” he says, reaching into his bag. “Will these work?”

Mike pulls out a pair of dark navy briefs. They’re slightly shiny with a bright red drawstring emerging from two eyelets in the side. I’d never seen this design before, but it was good. Dang good.

“Wow, these are awesome,” I say. Mike nods in agreement – Charlie is a master. “Can I take these? And pay him later?”

Mike says this is ok and I thank him profusely, stepping into the elevator before the doors close and punching the button for one floor up. Exiting, I make my way across the identical floor plan and enter our other flat. It’s quiet, and given that I seemed to have passed every living soul on this ship on my way up here, I assume no one is home.

I go into the room we use for ‘club meetings’ and climb up on the bunk along the back wall. Stretching a little, I’m able to open the panel between the room and emergency access tunnel enough to slip the briefs and data chip into the other space. It’s the drop point Sneak and I had been using, and I knew he’d probably pick up what I’d left him relatively soon. Heck, for all I knew he was right on the other side of the wall. I pause and listen. Nope, I don’t think he is.

Leaving the flat, I smile uncontrollably. I know it’s silly, but the thing with Sneak feels really fun.

When I get back to my room, Nick isn’t there, and I figure he’s still in the shower. The boy likes them long.

But then I notice that no one else seems to be in the flat either, which is odd since I’d passed everyone on my way upstairs. They must have all gone to an early dinner or something. I'm lost in thought when Nick comes bursting into the room, naked and dripping wet.

“Jesus, Nick!” I exclaim, wondering if I was too young to have a heart attack. “Don't you ever fucking knock?” I suppose my annoyance is silly – this is Nick’s room, after all, why would he knock?

He ignores my griping. He's looking at his wristcom, which is funny looking since it’s the sole thing he's wearing. He seems really agitated, and I forego a silly comment I was about to make about how Nick's wet penis was swinging around wildly.

Nick is clearly tense, and his reply affirms this. “We need to get downstairs. There's something going on. Jacob says The Commons is on fire!”

Nick’s statement is grave – and confusing. Wait, what? “What are you talking about?” I ask him.

Nick throws on a pair of jeans, foregoing underwear. He responds to me while pulling a grey long-sleeve hoodie over his head, so that his voice is muffled by the fabric. “No idea. But everyone is messaging me. Something’s happening.”

Once he’s thrown on some shoes, he heads out in a rush and I follow, but not before grabbing my wristcom, which I’d left on my computer when I went upstairs. I activate it to see that there are several new text messages. Jacob has also messaged me, asking if Nick was with me.

We get about two feet out of the main door to our flat when the lights dim and a warning siren blares in a beeping, chirping pulse. A voice comes in over the intercom. “This is a ship wide notice. Please return to your rooms immediately. A mandatory lock down will ensue in fifteen minutes.”

I’d never been a fan of lockdowns, no one had. They usually meant sitting around the flat in complete boredom while something went wrong with the ship.

Nick looks at me, his big brown eyes about as wide as they can get. He seems to be questioning whether we should return to the flat, like the announcement demanded.

“Screw that,” I reply, answering his unasked question, “I want to see what’s going on.”

Nick nods, and we rush to the elevator bank at the end of the hall. There seems to be no one else around, as if everyone in the world were in on what was going on other than us.

“Did Jacob say what’s happening?” I ask while Nick reads his messages, wondering if we had any information as to the situation.

“No,” Nick replies, “But I have like twenty messages.”

The elevator slows as it approaches the nearest exit to The Commons, a corridor that leads into the forward concourse. A thought flashes through my mind. “Are you sure it’s a good idea to get off here. I mean, if there’s a fire…”

A look of concern crosses Nick’s face. “Nah, the elevator wouldn’t open if there was a fire right outside the door.” We look each other in the eyes. What he says sounds right, but I’m not sure either of us is totally convinced of this.

When the doors open there is no rush of flame and things seem normal. We take the twisting corridor into the forward concourse, exiting into the three-story open area about halfway down. I imagine that I can smell a slight hickory undertone on the air, but I’m not sure if it’s really there or just my imagination.

We hear a low roar that sounds like cheering at first, although on further reflection the noise seems angrier. Neither Nick nor I can see anything down at the end of the concourse where it opens into the large, domed space of The Commons - our view is blocked by the parks and trees and other obstructions that run down the center of the space.

“Hey, let’s get higher,” Nick says, nudging my shoulder and pointing to a stairway leading to the second and third floors. I nod and we climb all the way to the top, taking the railed walkway that leads along the concourse towards the main lobby.

Sometimes you forget how big the ship is, but The Commons is one of the best reminders. The forward concourse is probably the longest continuous space on the ship. I figure it’s about a half mile from The Commons to the large, blue-tiled mural at its end, although I never measured.

Nick and I hurry, not taking too long to make our way towards the rear of the ship. We can make out the noises better now, there is an angry chant drifting on the air. And I definitely smell smoke.

“What the hell?” Nick asks, a little out of breath.

Once we reach the mouth of the concourse where it opens into the main lobby, we’re greeted with a bizarre sight. There seems to be…well, there’s really only one way to describe it…there seems to be a riot going on.

From our vantage point on the third floor, we can see relatively well into the main lobby of The Commons. There, hundreds of guys are marching in a large circle, waving signs and yelling some sort of protest chant. Behind them, a towering pile is burning viciously, sending flames and billowing smoke high into the air.

Standing in close proximity to the protesters is a ring of uniformed officers. Well, ‘officers’ might be an overly formal word. I recognize them as the members of the security force that had recently been formed. And judging by the scene, formed just in time.

Encircling these two groups is a large crowd of onlookers, guys apparently not involved with either the protest or the security force, but probably drawn to the scene by the noise and fire and commotion. There must be three thousand people in here right now – the lobby is crammed, and the crowds extend well into the three concourses diverging from the space of the main lobby.

One of the officers has a megaphone, and is trying to yell above the noise. “YOU ARE ALL ORDERED TO DISPERSE IMMEDIATELY. PLEASE RETURN TO YOUR ROOMS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!”

As one might expect, the protesters pay little mind to this request, and the onlookers seem to think it’s directed at only the protesters. One protester sneers at the screaming officer before picking up what looks like a paperback book and throwing it into the ranks, yelling something unintelligible. I recognize it as Brian Fervson, a guys I’d trained with.

“Hey!” Nick exclaims. “Isn’t that Patrick?!”

He points to the protesters and I squint in their direction. Indeed, standing off to the side but still within the ring of protesters is Patrick.

“What the holy fuck is going on?!” I exclaim over the noise.

Nick yells back a response. “I have no idea, but this is bad!”

Bad doesn’t seem like a very sufficient adjective to describe the scene. I knew there was some discontent on the ship, but I had no idea something like this had been bubbling to the surface. I had to assume it had something to do with Steven Caine and his ideas about how things should be run. And sure enough, when I looked hard enough I was able to spot him in the center of the protest, throwing material onto the makeshift bonfire.

And then something happens, something that results in what I can only describe as all hell breaking loose. A siren sounds over the din of the crowd, impossibly loud and threatening to break every eardrum within a thousand feet. I clap my hands involuntarily over my ears.

Looking at Nick, he’s done the same and is yelling something, red faced. I can’t hear anything he’s saying; in fact, the siren is so loud that I can’t even tell whether he’s making any noise or not.

Below, the protesters and crowd react in a similar fashion, although the security force and about two hundred other guys don’t. They form a line, linking together their arms and slowly begin to press in on the protest. I figure they must have earplugs or something, although to be honest my primary thought at the moment is that my brain might be literally turning to jelly.

The protesters are in the same pain, but despite that they seem to quickly realize what’s going on. First, a single figure emerges from the circle, running into the line of security officers. They capture him easily, holding him down to the floor and restraining him with something. This seems to register with every single other protesters, and as if they received some inaudible signal the entire group moves towards the security force in an angry, unrelenting column.

Hundreds of bodies hurtle into the lines, which sends a wave of frenzied energy through the security force, who brace themselves. Unfortunately, someone within the protest group decides to pick up a glass bottle, which has a ragged cloth jutting out the end. There is no mistaking what this is as they light it in the flames of the bonfire before tossing it across the room. It lands in an area where no one is standing, thankfully, and explodes in a ball of flame.

Some of the other protesters get the same idea and do the same. I can’t see where the homemade bombs are landing, but I can feel a rush of heat when one of them explodes.

Apparently so can a lot of the onlookers, and a general panic consumes the crowds. People run in all directions, but because it’s so packed in the space they head mostly into the lobby, towards the security force and danger.

Assaulted on both sides, the security line is hopelessly overwhelmed. From our vantage point we witness things descend into total chaos. The sirens still blaring, guys are running here and there trying to yell above the din in utter futility. The protest group blends into the onlookers, which blends into the security force, and mostly everyone tries to get out of the way of the fires. I wonder why there aren’t any sprinklers going off.

Although the security line has been broken, the officers are still trying to grab at the protesters and take down as many as they can. I wonder if this is safe, since being thrust onto the floor seems dangerous in a stampede. Still, they try, and I see a guy grab Brian Fervson and try to press him to the ground. Brian smacks the guy in the face, which is returned with a sound uppercut to the jaw. Brian goes down, and I notice that the guy taking him down is Reid.

I’m shocked to see my friend in the middle of all of this. Well, not really shocked so much as concerned. Reid looks up to where I am standing. We exchange glances. He looks completely enraged, and for my part I’m sure I’m wide-eyed and completely freaked out. He’s yelling something, or at least I assume he is.

Suddenly I feel someone tugging at my elbow and turn to see Nick also yelling. He’s gesturing to our right, where dozens of guys are running up the stairways that lead to the safer higher floors. A large crowd is making their way right at us, frantic and panicked.

I turn to move towards the safety of the concourse hallway, only to find our route blocked this way by a group of officers. I’m not sure if they’re trying to block off the passage to stop the riot from spreading into other areas of the ship, or if they’re just standing there not knowing what to do, but Nick and I are suddenly trapped, stuck on the corner where the upper floor of the forward concourse twists into the main lobby.

I figure the best thing is to just stay where we are, which feels like a good idea until we’re caught in the crush from both direction. The security guys hit the corner at the same time as the throng of fleeing people does from the other direction, and the two groups slam into each other with a mighty force, whether they meant to or not.

I wouldn’t say a fight ensues so much as a swarm that presses into an infinitely tight pack. I feel a sharp elbow in my ribs, I think it’s Nick’s. A knee juts into my back; I have no idea who this belonged to.

“Ugh, it’s like Friday night at Disneyland!” I yell, my attempt at humor drowned out by the noise. I can’t even hear my own yells, which feels bizarre.

And then I take a sharp blow to the forehead, and see stars. I start to yell in protest when I lose my balance and feel my feet collapse out from under me. At least that’s what I think happened. There’s a searing pain across my thigh and then suddenly the pressure from the mob lightens. I’m grateful for a millisecond before I realize that the throng hadn’t relented, they were just inadvertently pushing me over the rail.

Panic grips me as I lose my balance and go over the safely rail, plummeting three stories. Above I see Nick grabbing at where I’d been, trying to stop me from falling. But in the end gravity proves a formidable opponent to us both, and I find myself dropping faster and faster, flailing in blind panic. And then, unfortunately, landing with a sickening thump and a crack.

And then things are black.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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