“Hat Trick 2: Playing the Rebound” Chapter 1 Excerpt

AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you haven’t read Hat Trick, be advised that there are spoilers here. Also, there is some sexual content ahead since Simon & Alex are in college now.

Water poured over my already wet body. My clothes were soaked, and cold. I jerked from side to side but the ropes binding me to the chair held fast. The cloth stuffed in my mouth kept me from calling for help. All I could manage were muffled screams.

“Simon?”

The voice sounded far away. I couldn’t see. Something covered my eyes. I sat rigid, my arms tied behind my back and my legs lashed to the base. There was little chance for leverage, and struggling against the ropes only made them tighter.

“Simon?”

I jerked my head in the direction of the voice, but someone jerked my head back. I wasn’t alone. I screamed as loud as I could until someone forced the gag further down my throat, choking me.

“Simon!”

I couldn’t breathe. I put all the energy I had left into loosening the bindings behind my back. The rope dug painfully into my wrists, refusing to yield.

“Simon!” The voice was stern, and very close.

I screamed with what little I had left. Hands gripped me by the shoulders and shook me hard.

“Simon, open your eyes. It’s okay.”

I screamed out loud and opened my eyes. The gag and blindfold were gone.

I was in bed.

In our room.

Alex sat next to me, hands on my shoulders.

“You’re okay,” he said as he laid next to me. He put an arm across my chest and kissed me softly on the lips.

I rolled on top of him and wrapped him in a tight hug. Even though more than a year had passed, I continued to relive the terrifying event of my father tying me up in the basement. Thankfully that dream, and the one where I watched Jackson die over and over, happened less frequently, but they still crept into my sleep from time to time.

There were three sharp knocks on the door.

“Guys, everything okay?”

It was Danny, our friend, teammate, and neighbor from across the hall. Shit.

“I got it,” Alex said as he rolled out of bed, clad only in boxer shorts. As he opened the door I saw Danny, wrapped in his robe and looking very sleepy. “Sorry, man. We’re fine.”

“Nightmare?”

Alex nodded.

“Sorry.” I said, getting up to get a bottle of water from our mini-fridge.

“‘S okay,” he said. “That was extra loud, so just wanted to make sure everything was okay.”

“Appreciate it,” I said, standing next to Alex now. “And, really, sorry.”

“No worries,” he said, putting out a fist for us to bump, which we both did. “Try to get some more sleep, all right?”

“Gonna try,” I said.

Danny shuffled back to his room as we closed our door.

“Fuck. If he heard it, you know everyone did,” I said as we padded back to our bed. Only jocks lived on our floor, most of them our Wolverines teammates.

“I’m sure no one will care,” Alex said as we laid back down and he wrapped himself around me. “It’s noisy around here all the time.” We laid quietly for a few moments.

“It was so vivid,” I said, recalling the dream. “At first I couldn’t figure out where I was, but then it got familiar. Too familiar. I hoped I was done with those.” I maneuvered us so we were face to face. “At least you’re always my rescuer, just like you were then.”

“I’m here anytime you need it.” He pulled me closer, pressing his body against mine as we kissed. I began to relax, feeling safe in Alex’s arms.

“Not exactly the best way to start the week, is it?” I asked.

He shrugged and I saw his smile in the soft glow from the night light on the other side of our room. It was a small space, but we made the most of it. We had a queen-sized bed instead of separate twin beds which allowed our desks to face each other. A wall of bookshelves sat opposite our bed, filled with a mix of our textbooks and Alex’s leisure reading. A small gap in the shelving left just enough room for our microwave and fridge. It was a cozy room, and comfortable.

“But it’s turned into snuggle time. That’s a good way to start any day.”

“I love you. I wake us up in a screaming fit and you put a good spin on it.” I paused, playing with the back of his neck.

“What time is it anyway? I’m afraid to look.”

Alex grabbed his phone from the nightstand to look at the time. “It’s a little before five.”

“Nearly an hour before the alarm. Ugh.”

“It means we can lay here and drift awhile.” He kissed me again. “Get up next to me and close your eyes. I promise to keep you safe.”

I turned onto my side and pressed my back against his chest. He put his arm around me, pulling me even closer. He laid a line of kisses along my neck. I wrapped my hand around his. Next week we’d celebrate two years of being together. And after all that time I loved cuddling in bed with him more than ever. It never got old.

We celebrated our second anniversary early with our friends at home before returning to Michigan for the start of training camp in August. Now we were already a month into our sophomore year and the hockey season was just about to get underway. Academically we were exactly where we needed to be, exceeding the requirements of our scholarships. I switched majors last spring, from political science to social work, but was still on track to graduate in four years. Alex continued with mechanical engineering, also on a four-year schedule.

Hockey was incredible, too. I’m not sure which of us enjoyed playing on the Wolverines more. As excited as we were coming to Michigan, both of us were a little overwhelmed about integrating into such a highly regarded hockey program. But we had a good freshman season and were psyched for our second season opener this weekend.

The team welcomed us from the beginning. We were treated no different than the rest of last year’s incoming freshmen. Some teammates kept their distance socially, but on the ice we all worked hard. In the early games a couple of our opponents tried to make something out of how our team had a couple gay players, but that faded quickly as we showed that the only thing we were interested in was playing the game.

Alex’s breathing changed. If he wasn’t asleep, he was close. While my body relaxed, my mind raced. I appreciated Alex’s calming influence lying next to me, but I couldn’t go back to sleep.

It wasn’t possible for us to be more perfect for each other. We were the best of friends. Our routines meshed together well. We were confident in our complete love and trust for each other.

“You’re not falling asleep are you?” Alex mumbled sleepily.

“No,” I said disappointedly.

He nibbled on the back of my neck as he spoke. “What’re you thinking about?”

“Everything.”

“I thought so.”

I gave a small chuckle. “How’d you know? You fell asleep.”

“And you didn’t. Feeling your body tells me everything.”

I held his hand a little tighter.

“It’s difficult to shake off the dream. I can still feel being wet and trapped, even though I’m awake and right here with you.”

Alex pushed himself up against the headboard. “Maybe we should just get up and start the day.” I turned over to face him, resting my head on his hip. “Hit the gym ahead of schedule. Work out the stress.”

Peering up at him, I took in how incredible he looked. It didn’t matter that I saw him multiple times a day, dressed and undressed. I could look at him anytime. We were more muscular now than when we first met, and we trained often to stay in top condition. Alex had added some definition to his pecs, arms and quads, making him hotter than ever. We both saw the changes in ourselves, especially in pictures from school, family and vacation photos to the selfies we’d occasionally tease each other with.

“You’re staring.”

“Yup.”

I pulled myself up on his shoulders and swung one leg over to straddle him. I nuzzled his face with my beard, knowing that would get a reaction.

He moaned as he directed my head so our lips could meet. He wrapped his arms around me and pressed his chest against mine. Sure, we’d gotten each other off before we went to sleep, but based on the hardness beneath me, he was ready to go again. Of course, so was I.

Alex repositioned us so we were flat against the bed, Alex on top of me. The kisses continued for a long time as we went from soft and gentle to more aggressive and back again. Just as I reached inside his boxers, the alarm went off.

“Damn it,” he said, letting me go so I could reach my phone. “We should’ve started earlier.”

“Who said we’re done?”

He raised an eyebrow in his I-think-you’re-crazy look.

I repositioned myself and reached into the fly of his boxers. He moaned softly when I freed his hard on. My lips and tongue worked on him as he gently thrust his hips. I knew exactly how to push his buttons and he rewarded me with more moans.

My other hand slipped inside the leg of his boxers as my mouth continued to push him closer to the finish line. His breathing became more ragged and my mouth slid up and down faster. My fingers darted around, caressing all the right spots. His breath caught the slightest bit and I knew I had him and few things made me happier than knowing I was giving him an intense moment of pleasure.

“Oh man. Yeah. Yeah.” There was no more talking as the sounds of his climax filled the room. I didn’t release him from my mouth until he was completely spent. The expression of ecstasy on his face said “job well done.”

“I can’t get myself off that fast. How do you do that?”

I moved up so I could give him a quick kiss. “I can’t give away all my secrets.”

“Whatever it is, I’m glad you use it on me,” he said, rolling out of the bed at the same time I did. “That was quickie perfection.”

“What’re we going to do about this?” he said, rubbing the front of my boxers.

“You’ll take care of that tonight.”

“Fair enough. It’d be my pleasure.”

“And mine, I’m sure.”

We burst into laughter as we got dressed to go to the gym.

“Let’s do quick weights today,” he said, “and leave time for a real, sit down breakfast.”

“Sounds good. I’ve got class at 8:30. It’s going to be a typical Monday on the run between class, practice and the community center.”

“I hear that. Regular classes and then a study group for me. Should be back here around the same time you are.”

When I switched majors, I snagged a new work study assignment with the Ann Arbor LGBT community center. I get to rotate through their various programs, learn what they do and eventually settle in to work with the people who visit the center. I wanted to work with teens and since I was observing in a lot of youth programs it fit perfectly with my course of study.

Alex and I were quick to get out the door. We didn’t bother primping before a workout. We already had a reputation with the early gym crowd for the bedhead we always had. We thought it made more sense to just get to the gym and clean up when we were done rather than take the time to do it before.

“Race you to the gym?” Alex asked as we left the room.

“Competitive this morning, huh? Okay. As soon as we step outside, the sprint starts.”

“You’re on.”

There was an elevator but we usually took the four flights of stairs down to the lobby. It was just another way to stay fit. We walked through the lobby side by side and went out the double doors together. Without a word, we took off as soon as our feet crossed the threshold. The rec facility was four buildings away from the dorm, so it was close enough to have a good sprint. Alex somehow edged me out by a fraction of a second as his hand hit the door first, followed by mine on top of his.

 

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