Meeting Ian (Part 1)

Meeting Ian (Part 2)

I wish I could say college was the best time of my life. Going into sophomore year, I was dreading returning to campus. I hated the monotonous conversations that always started with “So what’s your major?” which always was followed up with “What are you going to do with English? Teach?” I hated the colon destroying food and the large seminar classes. But what I really hated most was feeling alone.

I’m not going to say that I was the most popular kid in my high school but I did win Homecoming King. Then again, in a class of 65 it wasn’t hard to know everyone and really only the girls voted. Leaving the comfort of the South and stepping into the bleakness of Boston was a difficult transition made only worse by being on campus with 17 thousand undergraduates.


This story is a work of fiction. All characters are older than 18. They have fun having gay sex. If gay sex is not allowed in your country, you should consider moving to another one. The characters are not having safe sex, please use condoms while exploring your sexuality.

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For all of freshman year, I hid in my miniscule dorm room hoping that my roommate wouldn’t come home and ask yet again, “Do you have any plans for this weekend?” I did. Watching Netflix and writing a novel counted as exciting Friday night plans. I made it through the year on Dean’s List because I didn’t have any distractions and only a small number of friends cultivated out of my classes.

Though nervous coming back to campus, I had resolved over the summer months to branch out—leave my dorm room—and meet people. The club fair is a huge event on campus, pretty much all of the 3 thousand freshman attend to find out where they can leave their mark, and I guess me as well.

I quickly discounted the athletic clubs. While I enjoy writing about and watching sports, my coordination led my mother to once make sure I didn’t need glasses. The school newspaper looked interesting but the flood of students around it made me not want to join. These kids looked like they lived and breathed journalism and I wasn’t competitive enough to want to compete for a byline.

Casting my eyes around I found a literary magazine. The kid in charge wasn’t boasting his club but rather standing calmly. With a pretty pitiful goatee growing, he looked more my speed. We both gave half smiles as I signed up for the emailing list. I was glad to see we both had some anxiety about speaking especially in a space where we would have to yell to be heard.

I quickly moved on, pleased that I had signed up for something and content that I could now leave. The exit was blocked by the hoard of students. I wasn’t stupid enough to try and go upstream of the flow of traffic and allowed myself to be pushed along. Groaning when I saw where it would lead: Greek Life.

Just keep your head down and no one will notice you, I told myself moving with the masses.

“Hey! Did you ever think about joining a Fraternity?” A loud voice piped up from beside me.

I glanced up resignedly, “No, thanks.” He was tall, but not intimidating. Maybe three inches taller than me and twenty pounds heavier. His chest was covered in large letters purporting his affiliation. I almost laughed when I saw his hair pushed forward by the hat thrown on backwards; what a fucking stereotype.

“Why not?” He asked arching a brow but smiling. He had a nice smile, wide and guileless.

“What do you mean, why not?” I realized I had stopped walking with the crowd but they seemed to merge around me naturally.

“I mean why don’t you want to join a fraternity? That way, I can tell you why you’re wrong.”

“This is a really bad sales pitch.”

He chuckled, “You stopped to talk so I think it’s going better than expected.”

“I don’t think I would fit in with your Frat.” Obviously, I muttered under my breath.

“Fraternity,” he easily corrected, “And I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t. Are you against loyalty, friendship, scholastic achievement, philanthropy, campus involvement, leadership, networking opportunities, and social events? ”

“No—”

“Great, then you seem like a good fit. What’s your name?”

“Artie.”

He stuck out his hand, “Good to meet you Artie. I’m Ian Sherman.” His grip was firm and pleasant but I still retracted my hand quickly. “You really should come to the IFC info meeting tonight. You can meet all the organizations, see if you want to rush. It’s really fun and—if I haven’t sold you yet—free pizza.”

I actually smiled. He really was selling it hard, “Alright, I’ll think about it.”

“Awesome. It’s at 7:30 in the Ballroom; attire is business casual. There’s a Facebook event if you forget any of that.”

“Okay, Ian.”

I made to start walking away when I heard, “I really think you should come, Artie. Just remember free pizza.”

I snorted as I rejoined the melee pushing through the fair. Like I was going to go to a fraternity thing, the likelihood of me joining Greek Life was about as likely as me suddenly switching to one of the engineering programs. Frats were just so archaically hyper-masculine, something I am intrinsically not. I pass for straight and everything, it’s not like that’s my goal but I’m not throwing glitter into the air and wearing nothing but a gold thong and rainbow body paint. Still, being gay is too gay for a fraternity. Why would I put myself into a position where people could possibly beat me up? It was going to be a strong pass from me.

But then I was lying on my bed at 7, with nothing to do just staring at a blank screen, trying to come up with something witty for a character to say. Nothing was coming to me and all I could think was somewhere across campus people were getting ready to eat free pizza.

I reasoned with myself as I buttoned up a crisp blue collared shirt that I was just going to eat the pizza. It’s not like that meant I had to rush. I ran a comb through my dark brown mop of hair that always seemed to go where it wanted regardless of product.

I surveyed the scene at the meeting. Strangely, it reminded me of home. The South had been the home of boat shoes but I hadn’t seen so many men in Sperry’s until that very moment. I snorted, maybe I wasn’t the only gay one there.

I casually looked around the room locating the only important thing in the room: the pizza. I sidled up to it and grabbed two slices, pleased with my decision to come out of my room and wondering if I had enough time to leave with my pizza before the meeting started. I didn’t. Just then a voice, amplified by a microphone filled the ballroom, “Hey, guys if you could take your seats. We’re just about ready to get started.”

I turned toward the voice, Ian was standing at the podium. Gone were the Letters and the baseball hat. Instead, his hair was smooth and finely combed and he looked very good in his white oxford.

I grabbed a seat near the back as the rest of the men all tried to be in the first two rows. Eventually, everyone in a seat. Ian began to speak again. “So we’re all going to introduce ourselves and then we’re going to have a short presentation about Greek Life on campus as well a brief introduction to the eleven chapters. After the presentation, each chapter will be available around the room for questions or just to start to get to know them.” Ian took a small breath and gave a mega-watt smile, “My name is Ian Sherman and I am the President of the Inter-fraternity Council, or IFC. I oversee all Fraternity events and long term planning and am a proud brother of Lambda Pi.”

The presidents of all the fraternities gave their pitches. I quickly got bored amongst the various explanations of their similar dogmas. They all were the same, it seemed to me. Instead of focusing on the speakers, I busied myself with my pizza.

All of a sudden scraping chairs alerted me that the presentation had ended and we were expected to go and meet the chapters. That was a no for me. I could see however, that I could grab another slice of pizza before sneaking out the back.

Hand in the pizza box, I felt a hand clap my shoulder, “So, I did get you with the pizza, huh?”

I turned, “Hey, a free meal is a free meal.” I was slightly embarrassed under his large grin.

“You didn’t grab a nametag. Hold on.” Ian walked and grabbed a sharpie and a paper nametag. He didn’t even consider handing them to me, writing Artie in a flourish. “Now, I know Lambda Pi would be interested in talking with you. Did any of the other organizations catch your eye?”

I shifted under his steady gaze, wishing I could come up with any of the other fraternities to make it look like I had been paying attention. Nothing. “Nope,” I said blushing furiously.

Ian smirked, “Great. Well then, I’ll just show you over to our table.”

He led me over there, getting the attention of a whip thin blond, “Greg, this is Artie maybe you could explain to him why you joined Greek Life.”

Greg smiled, “That’s easy. The parties man.”

“Greg!” Ian exclaimed looking pissed and mortified.

“Oh calm down Ian. Just saying that to mess with you. I’m sure you could be talking to someone else, right?”

Ian glared but then smiled and nodded.

Greg turned to me with a grin, “I wasn’t kidding the parties are really fun. You get to meet a lot of new people and the girls man.” Greg stopped in his tracks, reminiscing. “They’re incredible. But for the more complete answer: being a brother is a friendship closer than you can even imagine. Your pledge class is something really special and then not just them, or your chapter but the entire national fraternity is looking out for you. We have the best GPA nationally and an extensive alumni network. I can honestly say that my college experience would have been pretty boring without Lambda.”

There was no falseness in his tone. Maybe he had drunk the Kool-Aid but from his perspective it sounded delicious.

Still not for me though. I smiled. “Well, I’ll think about it.”

“You should come to one of the Rush events. Just to see if you’d like it.”

“Yeah, I don’t know.”

A loud snort came from behind me, “Greg, you’re just not pushing the right angle. There will be free food, Artie and people to meet.” Ian smiled as I turned around.

“I can’t be bribed with free food,” I said.

“Can’t you? C’mon, sign up for our emails. It’ll be good for you.” He looked so expectant. I sighed, I could just ignore them when they came.

“Fine.”

I could see him trying to hide his smirk. He was really unsuccessful. Handed an IPad, I started filling out the information: my student ID number and email before I got to full name. “Do I have to put down my real name?”

“Uh, yeah. We have to check on transcripts if you decide to Rush. There’s a spot for preferred names if you want.” He was quiet for a second, “What’s your name?”

“Artie.” I said flatly.

“Bullshit. It’s clearly something else if you asked. I’m going to see it anyway. You might as well tell me.”

Fuck. I hate my name. Hate it, such Southern shit. “Randall Thompson.”

Ian stood there for a moment, “How the hell do you get Artie from Randall?”

Just then, I really wanted to be back in my dorm room. I could have forgone the pizza, “Well R from Randall and T from Thompson. R-T, Artie.”

“Well, that’s not the stupidest nickname I’ve ever heard.”

“Thanks,” I muttered sarcastically.

“You really should come to our first pre-Rush event. Just incase the email gets lost or accidentally makes its way into the trash: it’s Tuesday at 7:30 in the suites in the student center, the attire is still business casual.”

Retail: $54.96 Pay: $41.50

Retail: $54.96 Pay: $41.50

“Look Ian, I’m not right for a frat.” I stressed.

“Okay, let’s pretend you’re right. Who is right for a fraternity?”

Well, fuck. “Bro-y guys. I don’t know, guys who funnel beer and say dude a lot.”

“Dude.” Ian mocked, with his face disapproving.

I crossed my arms over my chest, “I don’t fit the mold.”

“You seem to be really ready to tell me what my fraternity is looking for. Maybe you should let us decide that.”

“Maybe I know more about myself than you do.”

“Maybe we can see something in you that you can’t,” he rejoined.

I’d like to pretend I didn’t outright laugh in his face. His glower was a mood killer though.

“Look Artie, I can’t make you go to the mixer and I can’t make you decide to Rush but I think you would like it if you gave it half a chance. I think you’d be great in a fraternity, not just Lambda. I’d be happy to introduce you around to all the organizations.”

Feeling pretty ashamed, I muttered, “No, thanks.”

“Alright. Well, I hope to see you on Tuesday.”

I walked away haunted by how hurt he looked. I didn’t get why he was so invested but figured that was how a fraternity recruits, making a potential new member feel important and welcomed. It was irritating that it even started to work. I actually felt that Ian would be sad if I didn’t show up to the Tuesday event. He might have been a master manipulator but he was good at what he did.

The weekend passed slowly. My roommate stumbled in on Saturday night with his arm slung around a girl. It was unclear if this was an affectionate touch or because they were keeping each other upright. In his drunken state, he had forgotten our rule to send a text if he was going to exile me for the night. I wish that had been the first night I had to quickly gather my things.

With dull resignation, I quickly pulled together my stuff and threw on a pair of jeans. The door had already closed when I realized I didn’t have anywhere to go. Regardless of the fact that it was a Saturday night and most people would be out partying, I wouldn’t have anywhere to go if everyone was at home.

Traipsing to the common room, I settled on the couch with my laptop and busted out a full chapter. My insomnia was always an issue but not being in my bed made sleeping even less likely. Around 3:30 AM, I made a decision. I didn’t want to spend another night alone in the common room. I wanted to have plans, to go out and meet people. I wanted to have friends.

With a sigh, I realized that meant I was going to the Lambda Pi rush event.

Actually caring, Tuesday came and I was much more supercilious about my outfit making sure that I looked both masculine and approachable. I wasn’t blessed with unlimited money but I had a few nice pairs of slacks for interviews.

Charcoal slacks and a perfectly pressed white shirt with a black and grey tie… I was ready and feeling like I was going to throw up. Someone I made it to the meeting. Around twenty men milled around speaking. I took a deep breath before making myself a nametag. The brothers were wearing metal nametags professing their class year and in some cases their titles.

In that moment, I said fuck it and walked up to a group of guys. In the center clearly holding court was the president of Lambda Pi, a tall attractive boy who I would describe an ethnically ambiguous. I would later find out that he was Armenian.

“Hey,” Drew said with obvious enthusiasm, sticking out his hand, “I’m Drew Petrosyan, President of Lambda Pi.”

“Artie Thompson, nice to meet you”

Each of the kids extended their hands giving their names: Josh, Matt, Eric, Peter and Chase.

Drew resumed his speech from before I had came into the circle, “So in partnering with the American Cancer Society we have a whole calendar of events throughout the year to raise money and awareness. It all culminates in a large auction for girls in the sororities to shave our heads. It’s not a mandatory but it’s a really fun event and if you don’t want to go bald you can work the raffles and other games.”

I was shocked, we were actually talking about raising money for a cause? Where was the partying? The vulgarity? The machismo? I listened as Drew explained their purposes and where notable alumni had ended up both from our chapter and nationally.

I glanced around at the other new guys and realized that I was mimicking their stupid grins. Was I believing this? Drew started handing out forms to the assembled guys, “These are Intent forms to Rush, if you go to other Fraternity events you don’t have to fill out another one. Bid day if you decide to Rush is August 30th.”

I glanced at the form in my hands as the guys all sprang apart in search of a level surface.

“You gonna fill that out?” I heard from behind me. Ian stood with his hands shoved deep in his pockets, his eyes twinkling as if to say I told you so.

“I don’t know.” I answered truthfully, I had made it to the mixer but I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to Rush.

“You came to the event, clearly you’re at least a little interested. I know I’m a really good salesman and everything but I can see that you want this. So, what’s the problem?”

“I already told you, I don’t think I would fit in.”

“Non-issue. I like you, clearly, or I wouldn’t be trying to get you to Rush so bad.”

I lowered my voice, “Look Ian, I just don’t think that people like me fit into a Fraternity.”

“People like you?” He quirked an eyebrow.

“Look man, I’m gay.”

There was a long pause and I wondered if I should maybe hightail it the fuck out of there before he spoke, “I’m waiting for a reason you can’t join.”

I opened my mouth to speak but he cut me off, “Look Artie, we don’t discriminate here. Not Lambda and not any of the Fraternities. One: it’s illegal and two: we aren’t dicks. There have been gay brothers before and I’m sure you wouldn’t be the last. We do LGBTQ and Greek events throughout the year to promote inclusiveness.” He stopped for a moment and seemed pleased with himself, “Any other reasons?”

Rather subdued, I murmured, “No.”

“Great. Which brings us back to: You gonna fill that out?” He didn’t care. Didn’t bat a fucking eyelash. Maybe all my stereotypes had been wrong about Greek Life.

“Yeah, do you have a pen?”

With a triumphant smile, Ian produced a pen with Lambda Pi embossed on the side, “Keep the pen.”

After filling out the form, my life got considerably more hectic.

There seemed to be an event every night. All of a sudden all brothers of any fraternity wouldn’t say which organization they were a part of. Though we all knew through the grapevine. It was easy for me to fill out my preference form, through meeting the other groups I could tell I wasn’t going with one because they were all clearly the drug users, one frat was too preppy, one too arrogant and rich. I also quickly could discount the special interest fraternities: being not black, Jewish, nor multi-cultural. My list was short: Lambda Pi.

Bid night came in all its festoon glory and I was shocked to discover that I had received competing bids. Beta and Lambda had selected me. Flattered as I was, I still turned down Beta.

Pledging

I felt a little tricked. The second I got my pin, Lambda changed. Apparently all the kindness being shown in the Rush events was on hold until initiation. One of my pledge brothers, Chase, leaned over to me as our New Member Educator explained the consequences if we were found to not be wearing our pin, “They can’t actually do anything. That would be hazing. This is all just to scare us.”

The forty initiated brothers of Lambda became the older brother I never had. Not exactly warm but deep down I could imagine them having my best interests at heart. Of course, they also were older brothers in the sense that we became venerated servants for them. The workers at Chipotle came to know me personally by the regularity of me picking up lunches for the brothers.

TOM OF FINLAND 1200X400

 

I had never been good at tests; my SATs were low. Like worrisomely. As an English major, I could write an essay with the best of them. But the second I had to bubble in an answer, I was done for. New member meetings started with a quiz of what we learned the last week. I tried, I really tried but the first two weeks came back with failing grades.

Austin asked me to stay behind after the third as our new member educator he had the distinguished job of teaching all the pledges exactly what it meant to be a lambda and me not doing well on the tests was looking bad for him—and me. His voice wasn’t exactly pitched low and I promised rapidly that I would do better on the next quiz.

I could feel pinpricks of tears start as I left the room running straight into Ian. Fucking great. The full chapter had meetings after the new member meeting and it was just shit luck that I ran into Ian. Or maybe it was better, he wasn’t going to make fun of me.

“Whoa. Artie, everything okay?”

“Yeah, everything’s great.” I muscled away from him walking stiffly away.

I was at home curled not around my assigned reading for classes but the small bound book of the traditions and histories of Lambda when I got a text: Want to talk about what happened today? I checked my phone: no contact. With dread, I guessed who it was but wanted to be sure.

Is this Ian? I texted back, hedging the time I had to answer.

Yep! Your friendly neighborhood IFC president is just checking in because it looked like Austin made you cry today.

I didn’t cry. I texted back.

Yeah, I’ve heard allergies are really bad in September. Seriously, what happened?

Don’t want to talk about it.

There was a long pause before the buzz came. Okay. How about we get our interview with over today. It might be the only time I’m free in the next few weeks.

He was such a dick. One of the requirements of initiation was to have an interview with every member of Lambda. It was only forty guys but those logistics were really hard as it was, without Ian threatening to withhold his.

Fine. Where?

West Campus in 15?

Begrudgingly, I agreed. And fifteen minutes later I was standing in front of the swipe in area of the large cafeteria. I was still in my slacks, not bothering to change after the new member meeting where we were required to be dressed up. Ian similarly hadn’t changed wearing a tight Lambda t-shirt, a baseball hat and jeans.

With a perfunctory greeting to me, he lavished attention on the elderly woman who swipes the cards. “Alicia, how are you?”

“Ian, it’s been too long. You’re too skinny!”

“I live in a house now, Alicia. I have to learn to cook for myself.”

“Bah,” she waved away his concerns before smiling at him, “Who is your friend?”

“Artie, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the matriarch of the campus, Ms. Alicia.”

I smiled and offered my hand, “Nice to meet you Alicia.” I felt more than slightly embarrassed that I had been at school for more than a year but had never bothered to meet any of the support staff.

We both handed over our cards to be swiped and as I walked away, I heard Alicia call Ian, “guapo”. Definitely not wrong.

The food in West Campus is mediocre at best. My burger was soggy and I cut my eyes at Ian’s lasagna. Didn’t look much better.

“Alright, I have to interview you. So, what’s your major?”

“Boring question.” He replied.

Not like I didn’t agree, “It’s on the sheet we have to fill out.”

“So you’re only going to ask what’s on the sheet?” His eyes twinkled with amusement and I was struck with how pretty they are. Many people don’t call attention to brown eyes, but these were no muddy depths. They were warm and soft, with amber flecks that refracted the light.

“I’m certainly going to ask what is on it. Otherwise, I’d be an even worse pledge than I already am.”

He stopped for a moment, “Here’s the deal, Artie. You tell me what happened and I’ll be very helpful for you filling out the interview sheet.”

“What’s your major?”

He sighed, “International Affairs with a minor in Business. Now, what happened.”

I dutifully scribbled out his answer. Wishing he hadn’t seen me upset, “I failed both of the quizzes.”

Ian blew out a breath, “Because you didn’t study or what?”

Retail: $25.00 Pay: $20.00

Retail: $25.00 Pay: $20.00

“I don’t take tests well. I failed the written part of my driver’s test twice. I know everything but the second the test is in front of me… I just panic.”

“So you promise you know everything?”

“Yeah.”

“What year were we founded?”

“1895.”

“List our founders alphabetically.”

I did with ease and he sat back with a satisfied smile. “Great, I’ll explain to Austin the situation and you can take your quizzes orally with him after the meetings.”

“That’s special treatment; my pledge brothers are going to be pissed,” I said though I was internally doing cartwheels that it might be an option

“No, it’s evening the playing field. You clearly have some anxiety over test taking so we are making reasonable accommodations. It would be special treatment to say you didn’t have to take any assessment at all.”

I gazed at him astounded, “So I guess you’re pretty good at the diplomacy side of your major?”

“Top of my class and everything.” He had a really nice smile, all full lips and white Chiclet teeth.

“Thank you.”

“It’s no big deal, Artie. I don’t want you to drop because of some misunderstanding. Austin should have asked what was up but he can be a little bit of a tool.” He took a bite of his lasagna, grimacing, “Alright, ask me some questions but you have to answer them as well.”

The questions were boring but he wasn’t. Asking him about his siblings lead to a twenty-minute story of the time his sister and him got into a prank war. He was generous in his questions too, asking insightful follow-ups but never making me feel uncomfortable.

The only one that made me squirm was, “So, how are you liking Lambda?”

“Uh, it’s interesting. I can see the brotherhood starting to form between me and the other pledges. I’m excited for the opportunity.”

I thought I had fooled him until he started laughing, “You should consider switching majors. That was a very political answer, you’d fit in really well in my classes. What’s the real answer, Artie?”

“It’s weird. I guess I just thought there would be more social stuff. It’s just been these interviews and tests and meetings.”

Ian smirked, “Didn’t think you were really into partying.”

“Trying new things, expanding my horizons.” No, not really into partying at all.

“You guys are going to come to the kick back before our party this weekend. If you guys do okay: maybe you can stay for the party.”

The intervening days were boring. Filled with interviews far less interesting than Ian’s which had ending memorably with Alicia sneaking him a plate of cookies. Food was on lockdown in West. You can’t bring it out but Ian just accepted it with a gracious smile and a thanks and walked out no problem.

Friday came, we had gotten a message in our group text about the party and I only felt slightly superior that I had the upper hand, the inside track.

Austin had walked in to the room followed by several of the fraternity brothers, an entire handle of Smirnoff in hand. He plunked it down onto the table in the middle of us. One of the other brothers threw down some cups and a bottle of orange juice.

“Alright, here’s the game. I can’t make you drink this as a condition of being initiated but if you want to come to the party, as a team this handle has to be finished. You guys have an hour and half before people start arriving. Happy drinking.”

Fuck. Our pledge class was small and a handle was way too much alcohol. I knew I was a fucking lightweight. And that was even more concerning when immediately Chase piped up, “Well to get this done we each need to take six, maybe seven shots.”

The other guys all chorused variations of: “Doable,” “Sure,” and “Get me a cup.”

The first drink we decided should just be us trying to kill the alcohol, four shots with a tiny bit of the mixer. Four shots was my maximum, the kind of drinking that had be regretting the day I was born. Aside from being smaller than most men, I was just not as tolerant to the booze. Not to sound as gay as I am, but I’d take a glass of wine over a beer or liquor any day.

I made it through that cup, shooting the shit with the guys. I don’t want to advocate for underage or binge drinking but it really was a social lubricant. I could feel myself loosening up, being more a friend. So when the call for shots came, I was fucking in.

I didn’t need a chaser. I was on top of the world. Why had I been afraid of booze before? I was making it my bitch!: All things I yelled out to my new friends.

By the time we tipped the bottle over and yelled out our victory, I was way too warm and pulled off my sweater leaving only white t-shirt and my jeans. Austin came back into the room and looked suitably impressed that we had completed it.

The party was already in full swing as we walked down the stairs. Boston isn’t a big fan of fraternities and sororities having official bought houses. So this was just a house that seven brothers happened to be renting. It was four floors and all Lambda: affectionately called 48 after its address.

It was in pretty bad shape and parties like that night weren’t going to help. I spotted one of the brothers dancing on their kitchen counter sandwiched between two girls and dancing like they were about to head upstairs, all three of them.

It was every stereotype I had imagined and it was fucking awesome. Drew slipped a cup into my hands clearly not seeing that my eyelids were barely staying open as it was. I drained the cup way too fast, moving into the party. It tasted like nothing but it definitely wasn’t water. I got pulled into the throb of people dancing by a pretty little girl. She wasn’t doing anything for me but I was hammered and dancing was the best thing for me. I shook my ass like I was getting paid.

One second I was feeling like a king obsessed with the fun, the touch, the heat, the synergy of us all being young and wild and free and then I was going to puke. The motion was dizzying and I could barely see.

I fought my way through the crowd but at every bathroom there was a line of girls on their phones who would go into the bathroom in strange groups. I was going to puke.

I fought my way outside and leaning against the porch finally heaved.

“So, how are we doing?” Even through the drunken haze, I knew his voice.

“Fuck off.”

He just laughed, “I need to get you back inside. If a cop drives down and sees you puking, we’re fucked.”

I let him manhandle me into a standing position. Leaning on him massively as my head spun and my stomach churned, he led me through the party. He didn’t stop to talk to all of the people that called out to him keeping his attention on me.

“So, the handle challenge went well did it? I heard you drank O’Haare’s share when he bitched out.” That thought drifted through my head. Did I? That sounds idiotic. Sounds like me when I’m drunk. “Here, sleep it off.” He pushed me down onto a soft surface and set me up on my side with a bucket underneath me. I succumbed to the best sleep I’ve ever had.

Waking up was a hell-scape. My head was a horrific nightmare of pounding and aching. My mouth tasted like battery acid.

“Good morning, Randall,” I groaned at how loud the voice was and then at my own groan.

Opening my eyes, I could see Drew and Austin’s grinning faces, “Ugh, where am I?”

“48. You passed out in Sherman’s bed.” Fucking fantastic.

“Where is Ian?” I had to apologize to him.

“He’s downstairs supervising the crew. We volunteered to come wake you up.”

Hung over, my brain wasn’t working at top speed, “The crew?”

“Yeah, you guys are cleaning up the house. So, grab a water and get up. They’ve already started.”

I moved sluggishly, my body not responding well to all of a sudden being vertical nor the smell of lemon pledge that assaulted my body.

The first pledge I saw was Matt on his hands and knees scrubbing what looked like pure jungle juice out of the couch. As I passed he let out an excited, “Yo Randall. Sick party last night, right?”

I could barely let out a whimper, so I moved my head in a nod with a thumbs up. I sobered up with the water and with cleaning up the outside which was my designated area because according to Austin, “You claimed that when you yakked all over it.” Was cleaning up my own puke a little demeaning? Yep. But it got me outside. I was bagging the solo cups strewn around the lawn when I saw Chris another pledge brother lifting his garbage into the dumpster, “Randall! You were on fire man! Rebecca was so sad when you left. You gotta teach me how to dance like that.” Who the fuck was Rebecca? Another vague affirmation and I was free. I sat drinking my water when I saw a familiar profile.

“Ian!” I called out. He flung around, smirking when his eyes landed on me.

“Sup, Randall? How’s the king of the party?”

I wasn’t in the mood for his jokes, “How badly did I embarrass myself?”

He sat down on the bench, “Honestly, you killed it. I had three girls ask where you went. You were the life of the party until you started throwing up. That wasn’t even too embarrassing. Drew, his freshman year, threw up on a girl.”

“Why is everyone calling me Randall?”

It started as a stifled laugh but he couldn’t contain himself, “According to the others, after stepping in and drinking for Matt. You took the last shot and declared yourself, Finish the Handle Randall. All in all, not the worst nickname and a fair rhyme for being that drunk.”

I pressed the heels of my hands into my eye sockets, trying to keep from cursing at my own stupidity. This is why I didn’t drink. I don’t like making an ass out of myself. “I’m sorry I passed out in your bed.”

“It’s all good. You needed it more than me.” He was quiet for a moment, “Hey, seriously don’t worry about it. No one was arrested. No one got really hurt. You stepped up and paid the consequences for the brother’s respect.”

Retail: $50.00 Pay: $38.95

Retail: $50.00 Pay: $38.95

It didn’t make me feel better but strangely I had a new respect in the eyes of both my peers and the brothers. Them calling me Randall died out a little slowly for my tastes but I got over it. Suddenly, I had texts inviting me to dinner, to hang out. Being a dude is really weird.

Meetings got easier, with Austin actually letting me take my quizzes orally. That makes it sound like I blew him. I didn’t. For maybe the first time in my college experience I was pretty happy.

The next party came too soon. My liver was still pissed at me for my hubris when we got a case of Natty- lights dumped at our feet. “Welcome to the Power Hour Gents.”

I honestly didn’t know what that was. Apparently the game was a shot of beer for every minute for an entire hour. There were other variations that I learned but this one might have been the most irritating. It was nearly impossible to have a conversation with a shot needing to be had every minute. Luckily, the game only turned out to be around 7 standards drinks. Still way too much for me but way less than I had the previous week.

I was back in that fun zone. The fun zone without the puking. No puking, no inhibitions. Also apparently no shirt, but who could tell when that got lost in the mix. All of a sudden, I was on the dance floor in just my jeans. A crush of women around me. Here’s the thing: I wasn’t the hottest guy out there by a landslide. I’m pretty short and my muscle tone really exists in my forearms and fingers (and my brain). But I danced. It’s always pissed me off that most men at parties won’t even try to dance. I in no way was good at dancing but I was having fun and thus the girls were all over it.

Drunk girls are both my best friends and my nemeses. A pair of lips found my neck, even drunken I was uncomfortable. I didn’t want to do the whole drunken make-out thing with some girl. Might be some people’s thing, definitely not mine.

I extricated myself from the limbs and the lips, going in search of one of my pledge brothers so maybe we could play a game of pong.

In the kitchen on the third floor I find Drew, Austin and Ian refilling a jungle juice container. Well, Drew was more watching with his arms casually slung around a girl’s waist.

Drew spotted me first, “Artie! Come meet my girlfriend Emily.”

Emily was lovely and they made a really hot couple. Drew had all his deep skin while she was a porcelain doll. She only started to piss me off when she noted really loudly, “Wow, your neck.”

Drew started laughing as well, a loud unrestrained, booze-filled sound. “Shit. She got you good.”

Ian and Austin were paying attention as I tried to crane my neck around. Austin helpfully piped up, “You have a bunch of lipstick and a few hickies. All the other pledges are going to be jealous.”

Ian’s eyes widened for a moment but he didn’t say anything just resumed pouring vodka into the mix.

Ian stirred in the vodka to the juice and other mixers. There really was no telling what went into it. “Can I have a cup?” I asked.

“Sure, as long as you don’t puke. Where’d your shirt go?” Ian said, looking down at my chest. I could feel a flush start at my collarbones. Ian looking at my body was strange but exciting.

“No idea.”

“I’m sure those horny girls probably took it as a souvenir.”

“Yeah, I like the dancing but the rest wasn’t really my scene.”

“Oh, I know.” Ian smiled at me. We were both leaning against the counter, our hips almost touching. “You want me to get the lipstick off you?”

“I mean I can get—”

Ian had a wet towel against my neck, slowly rubbing away the shiny pink aberration. His thumb pressed against the hickie, already sore to the touch but my body inexplicably hardened.

I twisted my body away, anxious that he didn’t see. “It’s fine, Artie. Don’t worry about it.” Of course he had seen, an awful flush suffused my body, my cheeks and ears burning in embarrassment. I turned to run away but his fingers latched on to my jeans. “Come on Artie, communicate. Why are you so embarrassed?”

Was he actually kidding? “I just popped a boner because you’re touching me. Of course I want to bury myself right now.” My accent was coming out stronger as my wanting to die and my drunkenness conflated.

His fingers splayed a little bit, “See communication is key. Let’s go upstairs okay?”

If anything I was just more embarrassed, once again Ian was going to talk me down. Mutely, I followed him to his room, the same one I had taken over the week before.

He closed the door behind him and I opened my mouth to explain that it wasn’t him. It was just the situation and the drunkenness. I didn’t get a chance.

I wasn’t a shrinking virgin. I’ve been around the block once or twice. But I gasped when Ian’s lips found mine and then somehow I became the girls who had been dancing on me. I was ravenous for it, for him. I didn’t know I was allowed to lust over him. I had been but this hadn’t even been in my realm of possibilities.

I melted into his warmth, his arms coming around me pressing me into the flat planes of his chest. His lips were soft but pressing, insistent, and I was more than okay with him getting his way. The first swipe of his tongue set me on fire. He didn’t tell me to stop as my hands roved around his body grasping at his back pulling us closer together.

He was moving us. He lifted me and pressed me slowly down onto his bed. It wasn’t the first time I had been there but the circumstances were worlds away. He followed me down, but his lips left mine. “That girl left some pretty weak hickies on you. Let’s improve them.”

TOM OF FINLAND 1200X400

His lips on my neck were incredible, my cock pressed hard against my jeans. The slight burn of him making bruises only added to my enjoyment. I wanted more though, grasping the edge of his shirt, I started pulling it off him. He helped me to get it out from under him and then we were skin to skin. I reclaimed his lips as I reveled in the pure body contact.

He sat up straddling me and I got my first eyeful of his body. He was lithe, with small compact muscles. A dark patch of hair grew in the center of his chest that matched the trail of hair leading from his belly button down below the confines of his jeans which bulged outward.

Idiotically I muttered, “You’re hard.”

Ian laughed rubbing his crotch against mine, “Yeah man. Of course I am.” He swooped down and started kissing me again. They became more passionate, less exploratory. His hand trailed down my body, cupping my erection through my jeans. He deftly unsnapped them with one hand but didn’t slip his hand inside. I would have begged for it.

My hands couldn’t get enough, finding his ass, his strong shoulders, every inch of perfect skin. A jarring siren broke the air, previously only filled my moans and panting.

“Fuck.” Ian was immediately up, as his phone went of simultaneously. He answered the phone, “I heard Dusty. On my way. Get everyone out the back. Get the underage pledges upstairs.” He hung up and I was frozen. “Stay here.” He muttered swiping on his discarded t-shirt.

I was mildly in shock as Ian ran down the stairs. I could hear the thunder of hundreds of kids running out the backdoor into the side streets putting as much distance as possible between them and the police. It wasn’t the possibility of maybe getting in trouble with campus police or the BPD that kept me immobile. It was that I had just been making out with Ian, Ian Sherman. IFC President and Homecoming King: Ian Sherman.

I could hear feet coming up the stairs so I rapidly extricated myself from the bed, no need to be caught there by some nice officers. I was ready to act sober when the door flung open and most of my pledge class barged in.

“Artie! Great, that means we all cleared out.” The six boys breathed, “Matt ran out the back.”

“Are we going to be in trouble?” I asked worriedly. An alcohol violation wouldn’t look good on my grad school applications.

“Nah,” Chase spoke, slurring slightly, “It’s probably just a noise violation. The cops are stupid; they clearly saw everyone run. They didn’t even try to get anyone. They’ll just tell us to be quiet and be happy they shut down the party.”

That was pretty much exactly what happened. A few of the brothers including Ian, Drew and Austin came up to tell us the cops were leaving.

“No write up, just a verbal warning.” Drew said, running his hand through his messy hair.

“Go home, we’ll see you guys tomorrow at ten for cleanup,” Austin said.

I tried to catch Ian’s eye but he was talking to Drew. I walked out of the house feeling slightly put off. Why hadn’t he asked me to stay the night? Why didn’t he at least say goodbye? I realized I was being insane so I just sent him a text: Pretty good party. See you tomorrow.

I went to sleep still waiting for a reply.

Cleaning the house took on a different feel. I wasn’t as sick as the week before but I felt queasy that Ian was avoiding me. He clearly was. If I was sent to complete a chore where he was he would immediately leave the room. Thoughts sprang through my head, did I completely misremember the night before? Had he not been into it?

I had scrubbed the kitchen on the third floor back to its only mildly filthy state when I heard a throat being cleared.

Ian leaned against the door jamb, “So, uh, can we talk?”

I nodded and stood.

“So, that can’t happen again. It would look really bad.”

My stomach sank, “Because I’m gay?”

Ian looked stricken, “Jesus. No. Because you’re a pledge. It might seem like I’m forcing you. Like I have a position of power and if it got out then it could look like a hazing thing. Look, I’m IFC president, but I could actually be arrested if someone accused me.”

Shit. Hadn’t thought of that at all. “Okay. Sure. No problem.”

Brothers

It had been months since initiation. That cool November morning had been a proud moment, a culmination of a lot of hard work. I was so proud to call myself a brother of Lambda Pi. It was also a day that didn’t pan out the way I thought it would.

Ian had been keeping me at a distance, which was understandable. But I had learned a lot about him. Like he was a massive man whore.

Retail: $50.00 Pay: $38.95

Retail: $50.00 Pay: $38.95

One day I had heard Austin call Ian: In. At first I thought it had been a charming accent difference. But then I heard it all around. The story was none too flattering, merely that he always gets it in. It was something that I discovered was all too real. At parties, at work, in my classes, if I was wearing my letters everyone would stop and ask, “Do you know Ian Sherman?” At my increasingly begrudging yes, they would explain that some girl they knew or them knew Ian intimately. Everyone loved him, they just all had the same experience. They would fuck a few times and it would be over.

I would see him at parties in the back corner with a girl wrapped around him. Always a different girl, sometimes multiple a night. He would show off the scratches up his back, not to me (he wasn’t an asshole) just to the guys and I would inevitably see that.

I got over him. I don’t know what depressed person would let a guy just fuck around for months and not get tired of it.

He had said the reason we weren’t fucking was because I was a pledge and then months later and I was a brother and nothing. I was taking a class called 19th Century American Poets and met a nice kid, Sean. He was tall and attractive with blond hair brighter than the sun. I couldn’t tell if it was dyed at first but it was all natural. We met discussing the first paper of the spring semester. He was bright but not the best at paper writing. In the library, we edited his paper and got it up to snuff.

He lingered for a while, “So, do you want to go get dinner? I should pay you back for the editing.”

I considered him. “Yeah, alright.” Unlike Ian, and I really had to stop comparing guys to Ian, there was no confusion that Sean was gay.

I had a surprisingly good time so I invited him to the party at 48 that Friday.

Partying in February in Boston is always a mess, luckily this year it wasn’t that snowy but it was cold as fuck outside. I picked Sean up at his dorm and we verily ran to 48 because the temperature was horrific. The party hadn’t truly started, with just a few brothers hanging out. I had come out well before initiation much to the general non-caring of my brothers but they were loving ribbing me about actually bringing a date to the party. Sean held his own, laughing and joking along with them.

I grabbed Sean a drink and the party started kicking off, slowly more people started arriving. Ian was one of them, I saw the moment his eyes hit me and the arm that was thrown around my shoulders. He became coolly assessing as he stuck out his hand, “Ian Sherman.”

I saw his smirk when Sean had to take his arm off my shoulder to shake his hand.

“So, you guys are…”

“On a date.” Sean answered confidently.

“Well, that’s great. Really happy for you. I’m going to go grab a drink. If you need anything Sean, I got you.” Ian turned away and I shrugged in response to Sean’s questioning glance.

The party was fun and Sean was one of the main reasons for it. The dance floor which strangely had become the place I felt most confident was ruled by us. As the night wore on our movements got dirtier and dirtier. I didn’t lose my shirt but we were basically having sex on the dance floor, making out constantly. I was achingly hard and I knew he was too as we grinding together.

“Want to get out of here?” Sean whisper-yelled in my ear.

“Yeah. I just have to tell the guys. I’m the sober monitor for the night.”

“You’re not sober.”

“Yeah, it’s only so we can say we have one.” He chuckled as I walked away.

I needed to find a brother named Anton who was in charge of social events. I climbed two flights of stairs looking for him when I happened on Ian, uncharacteristically alone. He was also wasted, something that I didn’t typically see.

“So where’s Sean?” He asked, lisping a little.

“He’s downstairs. I’m gonna go; do you know where Anton is?”

“I saw you making out with him.”

I snorted, “Yeah, I bet a lot of people did. We were in the middle of the room.”

“It looks bad.”

“Why? Because we’re dudes? Because I see you making out with girls all the time.”

He didn’t respond for a moment. “You’re going home with him?”

Jesus. “Yes.”

“Use protection.” He bit out.

“Wise words from the master.” I’ve always been a bit of dick, so snark comes to me naturally.

“Whatever Artie. I’ll text Anton, go do what you want.”

“Great.” But just like that Ian had taken the wind of out my sails. The horniness was gone remembering Ian’s sour face. Then I got angry. Why did he get to make me feel bad? He fucked around all the time. We made out once, he didn’t own me.

Me and Sean didn’t have sex that night but I thanked him for coming to the party with a screaming orgasm and his cum shooting down my throat.

I got two texts while I was sleeping from Sean: Had a great time last night. Hope to see you again soon.

And from Ian: Come to 48. If the text hadn’t been sent in the morning, I would have thought it was a drunk text.

I knocked on the back door, the only people who knocked on the front were cops and freshman and then the freshman learned to knock at the back. Ian flung open the door and pulled me through it. Lips descending on mine in a possessive, dominant display.

I shoved him away from me, “The fuck, dude?”

“I’m better than him. I can make you feel better than him. Let me show you.” His fingers tugged on my arm and his lips claimed me again. He pushed me back against the door caging my hands in his above my head.

I was breathless. Stricken stupid by his kiss, I didn’t know what to think. “Seriously, now? After months of ignoring me?”

He smiled ruefully, “I know I’m an asshole. But yeah, now.” He bent to kiss me in a fiery sweep of lips and tongue. “Be honest, am I a better kisser?” He didn’t let me answer just proving that the answer was yes. “Come upstairs with me.”

I nodded, feeling almost drugged.

I dutifully followed him up the stairs to his bedroom. Watching with wary eyes, I knew this was a mistake. I was hurting Sean. I shouldn’t blow someone and then have sex with someone else twelve hours later. These thoughts were pushed aside by Ian tossing aside his t-shirt.

I had missed his chest. The slightly furred expanse made me just want to touch him. His muscles seemed bigger than the last time I had seen them. His fingers trailed up my stomach removing my shirt. I stood impassively, trying not to get my hopes up if he was going to dash them.

“You’re so hot.” He murmured as his lips found that perfect space between my jaw and ear. His arms came around me and pulled me to him. We fit together perfectly. I couldn’t feign indifference anymore. My hands tangled in his hair and I kissed him. His hands were gripping my ass, massaging it while rubbing our dicks together. My brain might have been worried about the moral implications but my cock was fully onboard with the proceedings.

His hand slipped underneath my waistband. And I realized that this was my fantasy, our interrupted session had become what if’s in my mind and now I got to know and it was incredible. One hand still cupping my ass under my jeans, his other hand anchored my face to his.

I was done with the minimal touching. I broke apart from him and he looked like he was about to protest when I unbuttoned my pants and slowly dropped them and my boxers kicking them aside with my loose slip on shoes.

Ian’s eyes were dark with lust as he stalked me toward the bed, stripping off his own pants as he went. I’m not saying that I’m small, I am slightly above the average but Ian’s cock was disproportionate to his body. Way too long. I had heard stories about it before, but seeing those rumors come to life was both a rude awakening and such a turn on. I’m a bit of size queen, who cares.

“Did he suck you?” Ian asked rubbing his hands up my thighs, leaving tingling trails.

I shook my head no, focused on his fingers coming closer to my purpling cock. It was already leaking from the tip.

“Such a shame.” He pushed me down so that I was sitting on his bed and then he pushed my legs wide. He knelt between my spread thighs. I hadn’t seen him hook up with any guys in the months I watched from the shadows, but this wasn’t his first time.

Retail: $25.00 Pay: $20.00

Retail: $25.00 Pay: $20.00

With no warning he flicked his tongue across the slit, tasting my pre-cum. I could feel his smile as I let out an involuntary groan of pleasure. His tongue flitted around me shaft, lightly as if to tease me. As his tongue ran over the sensitive underside of the head, his mouth closes and applied the slightest bit of pressure. It was fucking heavenly; his mouth was velvet. Warm and wet and perfect. He sucked evenly and brought me to a fever pitch quickly. His fingers traced around my balls before trailing up to my ass. This too was teasing, nothing going in. He just played with the nerves around it.

When he started humming and taking my cock deep I started to lose it. “Ian, fuck, I’m going to cum.” He paid me no attention drinking down my cum with little evident care.

He ensured not to keep sucking my overly sensitive cock. Laying his head on my thigh, he pressed a kiss to the skin. It was too tender, too sweet. “Do you want to fuck?”

He grinned up at me, “Do I still have something to prove?”

Yes, but not what he thought. I wanted him to prove that he cared about me not that his prowess was better than Sean’s.

He stood, towering over me in my still seated position. He pulled me across the bed so that I was lying down. I got an eyeful of his long shaft, fuck that was going in me. It’s all fun to write about big cocks but the reality is a little scary.

He reached into the bedside table and got an industrial side bottle of lube, half empty. “Seriously man?” I asked incredulously.

He looked confused, “Oh, I jerk off with lube instead of lotion. It feels better.” He threw the lube down beside me before falling over me, “I can show you how good it feels.”

Uncapping it, I heard a soft squelch but no lube. He apparently saw my confusion, “Warming it up for you.” Then the lube was on me as well as his nimble fingers. My cock perked up out of it’s sated state as his index finger started to press in. It had been a while, but I wasn’t about to say that to Mr. Proving His Virility.

He distracted me with tricky fingers tweaking my nipples and tender kisses to my lips, neck, and chest. Two fingers in and he nudged my spot. My back arched under the waves of perfect sensation. My cock was back in the game.

As he pushed into me, I grabbed at his back feeling his powerful muscles flexing. He was so controlled as my body both tried to push him out and desperately needed him in me. To distract me from the pain, his lips came to my neck and like the first time marked me. I cried out as his pelvis met my ass. I was so full, so complete. He grinned at me.

“Well? What are you waiting for?” I asked, though still breathing hard.

A short flex of his hips had my back arching as he dragged his cock over my prostate, “I’m a generous lover Artie. Just wanted to be sure you were ready for this.”

“Give it to me. Fuck me, Ian.”

His hips pulled out slowly and snapped back. It was all sensation. My hands weren’t helping him move, I just wanted him to stay in me. My body rocked. I lost control of my mouth yelling out my pleasure, begging for everything. For him to fuck me. For him to go faster. For more. He obliged every time.

I was on the edge again. He could see it, stopping for a moment before three fast jabs straight over my g-spot. I came in a web of spunk across his chest. He followed soon after, his body becoming all smooth lines as he filled the condom with his load.

With adept fingers, Ian looped the top of the rubber and tossed it away.

I spent most of the day with him, partially clothed, mostly not. We texted throughout the week with me coming over most nights, spending a few hours (mostly on my back) and then going home. It was fantastic.

For three weeks it was like that. Non-stop action. And then a Friday night came and I didn’t get a text from him to come over for a pre-party. I shrugged it off, midterms were around the corner and he had a paper to write for most of his classes. The party was fine. The brilliance of the sheer number of people had dimmed but now I knew most of the main crowd. Throughout the night I glanced around for Ian before I asked Drew, “Where’s Ian?” He stopped his conversation with Emily looking a little queasy. We hadn’t been super discreet about our relationship.

“Artie, I don’t know how to tell you this but he’s upstairs… with someone.”

I felt like I had been punched, like the floor was disintegrating beneath me. “Who?” The morbid fascination overwhelmed me. Was it better if he was with a girl? I thought so. Maybe I couldn’t give him what he needed.

“I don’t know, Artie”

Emily looked sad as well, “Sorry Artie, he’s a jerk.”

I waved off their concerns, “It’s all good, we were just having fun.” I knew that was true but they like me didn’t believe it.

I proceeded to get really drunk at that party, far beyond that first night but no puking. My liver had been trained to take a beating. I crashed at the house on one of the couches only to be awoken by a smiling Ian, “What’s up, Artie?” Like nothing had happened. Like nothing had changed.

“Did you have sex last night?”

He looked uncertain, “Yes.”

 

Read by: Bobby Newberry

 

Picture: Google+

 

TOM OF FINLAND 1200X400

 

 

 

 

One Response to Meeting Ian (Part 1)

  1. Dan says:

    So hot! Can’t wait to see what’s next!!

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