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Month: August 2023 (Page 1 of 2)

Boarding School Blues – Chapter 12

Boarding School Blues
Levi Holland

Chapter 12

Cooper couldn’t remember the last time anyone ever looked as depressed as Kai. Ever since he’d joined Cooper upstairs, he was more like the echo of a person than an actual one. Even now he sat hunched with his head drooped below his sagging shoulders.

The rain slapped against the suite windows in sheets, but the boys could hardly hear it over the blaring TV. Leaning back against the couch, Naveen was more interested in beating Julian in Mario Kart than listening to Kai. Cooper was ready to unplug the Switch from the wall. How did neither of them understand how big of a deal this was? People were missing! Kids, just like Naveen and Julian!

And on top of it all, Roman’s brother was missing. Cooper knew Roman hadn’t meant to be mean earlier. Roman said as much when he apologized later at dinner. He couldn’t imagine being in Roman’s shoes. The closest thing Cooper had to a sibling was Anakin. If it was him who vanished, Cooper would stop at nothing to get answers. Just like Detective Dackery, Cooper would use all the tools in his kit, sniff out the clues, and wouldn’t rest until he solved the case, no matter what the costs.

Seeing Kai stress over Jordy only made Cooper more determined. If no one else was going to step up, then he would find the missing boys himself.

“Alright, one more time,” Cooper said. “Tell us about the last time you saw Jordy.”

Kai took a ragged breath and his shoulders somehow sank even lower. The dark rings under his eyes made Cooper think he hadn’t slept any the night before.

“It was yesterday during dinner, but honestly, he was acting weird since lunch.”

Cooper and Anakin traded curious glances.

“Weird how?” Anakin asked.

“I don’t know…jumpy? Anxious? I mean, you know how he is. It’s strange if he isn’t happy all the time. I thought maybe he needed space from me or something.”

Jordy acting jumpy? That did sound odd. Anytime they talked, Jordy was always smiling. Especially early on at Blue Ridge, Jordy was a light in Cooper’s dark tunnel. He frowned. What could have happened to him?

“Eh, I’m sure you’re all being paranoid,” Naveen said. He chewed his bottom lip as he pulled off a handbrake slide around a sharp corner and dropped a banana peel behind him to spin out Julian’s character. “Jordy’s probably fine. Xavier, too.”

“Dude!” Anakin shouted, and Julian smacked Naveen’s arm.

“Oww, what? It’s true.”

“Not the time,” Julian said as he mashed a few buttons to try and catch up.

Cooper knew he needed more info. Something to give him a starting point. “So he was acting weird at lunch, but what about your other classes?”

“I should have said something to him sooner—asked what was wrong. Once dinner came around, he said he had to take care of something alone. Wouldn’t say what. You know the rest…”

Anakin put a comforting hand on Kai’s knee and leaned against him.

Cooper thought about everything that might have happened between lunch and dinner. Jordy was an active part of the swim club. Maybe he could start with the other members and see if they knew anything. Then there was the lake. The more Cooper thought about it, the more he was certain the lake held answers. It couldn’t be a coincidence that Jordy and Xavier both went missing the same night he and Anakin spotted the ghost light through their bedroom window. Thinking about it made Cooper shiver.

After Kai returned to his suite for the night, the boys brushed their teeth as the thunder grew in intensity. Naveen spat out a mouthful of toothpaste in the sink and said, “I still don’t see what the big deal is. Anyone consider they might have just run away?”

Julian rolled his eyes as he ran a string of floss between his teeth.

“Okay, but why would anyone run away in the first place?” Cooper asked. “Something weird is definitely going on.”

“Sure, Detective Dorkery. Whatever you say.”

Once inside his bedroom, Cooper stared past his reflection in the window. Another bolt of lightning tore through the sky, briefly illuminating the trees, the mountains, the lake. No ghost light tonight, just the storm. Jordy and Xavier were out there. Somewhere. But if they were trapped or in need of rescue, how was anyone expected to find them in Blue Ridge’s never-ending acres?


On the other side of the room, Anakin hugged a pillow to his chest as another bout of heavy thunder rattled the windows, rattled his bones.

“I know I saw something last night,” Cooper told him as he gestured to the window. “We both did.”

“Do you think it was them?”

“Maybe. Tomorrow we have to get down to the lake and see for ourselves.”

“Coop, I’m scared. Do you think…”


“Do you think maybe we can push our beds together? I don’t want to sleep alone.”

Cooper nodded, and as Anakin jumped from bed, they worked together to drag the furniture around, straining against the heavy wooden dressers and nightstands as they scraped against the floor. By the time they rearranged everything, Cooper was out of breath but happy with their handiwork. The twin beds were now shoved close, and there was even enough space to squeeze their nightstands on either side.

“You don’t think anyone will get mad, will they?”

Cooper shrugged. “I think they’re worrying about more important things.”

While Anakin grabbed a night shirt to wear with his briefs, Cooper stripped and pulled on his pajamas. The sky split in two from a sudden flash of lightning, and Cooper flinched into the explosive thunder that made everything tremble in the room. There was shouting from next door in Naveen and Julian’s room, and a split second later, the lights winked out, casting them all in total darkness.

“This sucks,” Anakin said.

Cooper agreed. “I know. I hate heavy storms like this.”

When the lights flickered back on, Cooper was quick to turn them off before crawling in bed. The moment he was beneath the covers, Anakin was right there and grabbed his hand. The inside of the covers immediately grew warm as they shared their body heat.

“Who do you think screamed?” Anakin asked as he and Cooper snuggled close.

“Probably Naveen,” Cooper said. “At least, I hope it was.”

“Betcha he’s a big scaredy cat.”

Cooper giggled as the rain swelled outside, no end to the downpour in sight. They were quiet for a few moments, just listening to the white noise of the rain. If everything wasn’t so crazy, maybe it would have been enough to fall asleep to, even if the rain normally set him on edge.

Anakin rustled beside him before whispering, “Hey, Coop?”


“Remember that thing we did on laundry day?”

Cooper’s breath caught, and he was thankful for the darkness hiding his blushing face.

“Yeah…” Cooper answered cryptically. He waited to see what Anakin would say.

“Have you done it since then?”

He shook his head before remembering Anakin couldn’t see him. “Not really. Have you?”

“Just a little,” Anakin confessed. “Mainly in the morning, when it’s, you know…hard.”

Cooper didn’t need to reach his hand down to know his stiff dick was pressing against his cotton pajama bottoms, but he did it anyway. He squeezed the spot just beneath the head of his penis and shuddered. Ever since that day in the laundry room, Cooper had wanted the cum feeling again, but he wasn’t sure how. He didn’t have a way to make vibrations against his crotch like the washing machine. And whenever he did try, it was always like trying to tickle himself. He knew the idea, but it just never happened.

Taking in a deep breath to steady his nerves, Cooper placed a hand on Anakin’s smooth arm and rubbed it.

Anakin shifted even closer, and now Cooper could feel Anakin’s smooth, lean legs slide against his own as their toes brushed together. Their hips couldn’t have been separated by more than a few inches. With how hard his dick was, Cooper knew if he thrust forward, he might even bump against Anakin’s boner.

“Do you wanna try it again?” Anakin asked, his breath tickling Cooper’s nose.

“I don’t know how,” Cooper said.

“I’ll show you.”

Another bout of fierce thunder rocked the castle, but this time when Cooper jumped, it was because Anakin’s hand rested low on his tummy before cupping the three-inch boner inside his pajamas. Cooper groaned against the intense sensation. Anakin’s hand against him was as electric as the storm raging outside.

“Is this okay?” Anakin asked, and Cooper desperately nodded, whispering his approval as Anakin snaked his hand inside Cooper’s waistband and coiled it around his length.

“Aaaah,” Cooper panted, grunting as little sparks of pleasure raced along his penis. It was similar to the rumbling washer, but without the buildup. It was more focused, more deliberate. By now, Anakin’s thicker dick smushed against Cooper’s thigh, and they both ground against each other, Anakin against his hip, Cooper into Anakin’s hand.

Cooper dropped his hand from Anakin’s arm and trailed it along the front of his silky briefs. When his fingers grazed Anakin’s boner, it seemed to quiver under his touch, and Anakin shivered beside him.

“I think it’s better with someone else,” Anakin groaned, pumping his hips against Cooper’s hand.

Feeling bolder, Cooper mimicked Anakin and worked his hand inside his friend’s briefs. They hugged Anakin’s hips, but Cooper didn’t need to go far to bump against the velvety pole inside. Maybe it was because they were in the dark, but it felt massive in Cooper’s hand. He remembered in the shower comparing Anakin’s boner to a hotdog, although he’d never held a hotdog so hard and soft and warm as it danced in his grip.

Already, Cooper thought he was getting close to the good feeling. His insides tingled and there was a spot somewhere deep and low in his stomach that hummed.

“My hand’s cramping,” Anakin said and took it away.

As if outside of his control, Cooper humped his hips, seeking out the warmth of Anakin’s missing hand. He bit his lower lip as he tried to capture the fleeting pleasure in his groin. He’d been so close.

Cooper still had his hand around Anakin’s dick but dropped it as his friend wiggled his briefs down to his thighs. Getting the idea, Cooper rolled on his back and raised his legs so he could do the same with his pajamas. Now when they scooted against each other, their dicks smushed together. Cooper gasped.

“Closer,” Anakin breathed.

They lined the base of their dicks together, and even though Anakin’s boner dwarfed his in size, the touch was enough to make Cooper’s eyes roll as they humped against each other. Every once in a while their balls connected, gently sticking together before peeling apart. Like with their dicks, Anakin’s balls were bigger than his own, but Cooper didn’t care. Breaking a sweat under the combined heat of the covers and their bodies, both of them panted as they rocked their hips.

Suddenly Anakin gripped his shoulders as his eyes fluttered shut. There were a few frantic thrusts against him as Anakin’s fingernails dug into his skin, and soon Anakin whined as his dick spasmed automatically, twitching and kicking against his own, smaller boner as Anakin got his cum feeling again.

The thumping against his dick was enough to send Cooper over the edge, and he jammed his hips forward, locking their penises together as the good feelings took him. He tensed as his dick pulsed, his butthole clamped, and delicious goosebumps ran up and down his arms before tingling down his spine.

Cooper wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but when his focus returned, he and Anakin were still hard as they pressed against each other’s hips, panting as they came down from their highs.

“How is it so good?” Cooper wondered aloud. His dick was extra sensitive as Anakin wrapped a hand around both of their penises together.

“I don’t know,” he said, “but I feel like we’ve been missing out on the good stuff for too long.”

“No kidding.”

Anakin rolled away, laying on his back as he caught his breath. After reaching beneath the covers and shifting around, Anakin came back with his briefs and dropped them beside his head.

“No point in wearing these anymore, right?”

Cooper shrugged, following his friend’s lead as he tossed his own pajama bottoms. His body felt freer in a way, unrestricted by the extra clothing. If he had still been at home, Cooper wondered if he would have eventually tried sleeping in the nude on his own. Maybe not. He would have died if his mom ever walked in on him in the buff.

“Anakin, can I tell you something?” Cooper asked.

The rain continued to beat against the window, though the thunder seemed less intense than it had before. Cooper wasn’t sure when his eyes had adjusted to the dark, but he watched as Anakin twisted on his side and propped his head up.

“Sure, anything.”

Cooper bit his lip, warring with his thoughts, but knowing he needed to tell Anakin.

“I think…I think you’re my best friend I’ve ever had.”

“What about Sawyer?”

Cooper was quiet. It’s not that Sawyer was replaced so easily…but the fact was that Sawyer wasn’t around anymore. It was no fault of his, or Cooper’s, or anyone else, but that’s how it was. Anakin was the one he spent most of his time with now. Actually, all of his time. He’d even stuck by Cooper’s side when he felt at his worst.

Anakin seemed to understand. He leaned close and gave a quick smooch against Cooper’s temple.

“You’re my best friend, too, Coop. And not only because of what we just did.”

Cooper laughed as his heart swelled. “But we can do it again, right?”

Anakin laughed too. “I’d do it right now if I wasn’t so tired.”

As they snuggled together, Anakin slipped his fingers alongside Cooper’s. He needed this. Not just the good feelings, but the distraction as well. His mind had been stuffed with concerns for Jordy and Roman’s brother, and even though Cooper had no way of knowing where to start, he remembered his promise to himself.

He would find them, whatever the cost.


Outside his bedroom, the evening storm raged on as Roman tried to nurse his aching back muscles from the comfort of his bed. They were bunched tight and locked from overuse, and Roman struggled to even reach a hand behind his shoulders.

Across the room, Fielding hadn’t said much since they’d gotten back from dinner. Even now, he sat hunched on his bed as he chewed his fingernails. A quick burst of thunder made them both jump in place. The power flickered out a few seconds before coming back on.

“Would you stop worrying?” Roman asked. “It’s just a little thunder.”

Fielding’s eyes flicked to meet his. “You know that’s not what I’m worried about.”

“They’re both fine.”

Roman growled in frustration as he failed again to reach the achy spot that needed the most relief. Maybe the best solution was to let his back soak in a hot shower, but it was already so late. Besides, he was undressed and comfy, and didn’t want to deal with the hassle of another shower, especially not in the storm.

“You overdid it today, huh?” Fielding asked.

“I guess,” Roman said, “and okay, maybe I am a little worried. Even Cooper looked stressed out.”

Fielding perked up and removed his clear-framed glasses. “You guys have been getting pretty close lately…”

He let the statement hang unfinished. What was he implying, that Roman had a crush on Cooper? No way. At least, not like that. Sure, Cooper was good looking, but in a charming, boyish kind of way. Not a romantic one.

“It’s not like that,” Roman said.

Whether he believed him or not, Roman wasn’t sure, but Fielding scooted off the edge of his mattress, his loose white t-shirt hanging past his underwear as he walked to Roman.

“If your back’s bothering you,” Fielding said, “I can try something my moms do.”

“What is it?”

“Here, lay on your stomach,” Fielding said, pointing for Roman to go face down on his pillow. “Actually, lose your shirt first. It’ll be better that way.”

Pulling his shirt over his shoulders proved to be tricky with the way his shoulders screamed at him, but Roman finally got it off, tossing it in a crumpled heap at Fielding’s feet. Once he laid face down on the bed, Roman turned his head in time to see Fielding disappear behind him as the mattress dipped beneath their combined weight.

“Sorry if this is a little strange,” Fielding said. “I don’t really have anywhere else to sit.”

And with that, Fielding nestled his butt against Roman’s as he straddled his hips. They both still had their underwear on, but the closeness of their skin made Roman’s head buzz. Fielding cracked his fingers and leaned forward, kneading his knuckles into Roman’s knotted muscles.

Roman groaned into his pillow as Fielding struck a particularly painful knot. Fielding had done this before. He must have. There was no way he could reach the exact spots Roman had been struggling with for hours if not. His muscles rippled under Fielding’s touch as he switched between firm pressure and soft, at times even switching to the heel of his palm.

The sharp knife of pain in his muscles was borderline too much, but Fielding continued rolling over the stubborn muscle until it finally released. Each time it clicked, the pain ebbed away as the knot shrunk more and more.

While Fielding worked, a few times he had to lean forward, and Roman could have sworn he felt the tight pouch of Fielding’s ball sack smushing against him. When something stiff poked against his lower back, it was impossible not to grow hard, and Roman shifted uncomfortably. There was no way to adjust himself, not without being super obvious.

To Roman’s surprise, the back massage was working better than he could have hoped and was enough to distract him from his boner. It had been relaxing with the added rain, and once or twice, he nearly dozed off. At some point, Fielding’s hands were doing less massaging as they mapped out the contours along his shoulder blades. The touch was soft and tender, like Fielding wanted to memorize every groove and muscle with his fingers.

A few minutes passed before Fielding leaned back and said, “I think you’re good, unless you want me to do the front. I know some stuff there…if you want…”

“’Kay…” Roman’s cheeks were on fire. During the massage, his boner had come and gone, especially as he started to snooze, but with Fielding’s last feathery touches, he was rock hard, once again smushed tight against the mattress. He had to stop himself from grinding against it.

As Roman twisted around, he tried to play it cool. How many times by now had they seen each other with a boner? Still, it was how he got his boner that made Roman so embarrassed, and he fought every urge to shield himself with his hands as he closed his eyes.

There was a long pause where nothing was said or done, and Roman almost opened his eyes to check, but then Fielding’s fingers began to work, first at his chest and then over to his shoulders. As he leaned forward, Roman gasped as something brushed against his dick.

“Sorry,” Fielding apologized a little breathlessly.

This time, Roman opened his eyes. Fielding worked just above him, his face inches away from Roman’s as his thumbs dug softly into his skin. Fielding’s long t-shirt draped across their groins, but there was really only one thing that could have bumped so stiffly against his dick.

The lamp from the nightstand highlighted Fielding’s teal-green eyes and the smattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose. Even his strawberry-blonde hair took on a reddish hue in the soft light. Pausing near Roman’s chest, Fielding’s thumb strayed dangerously close to Roman’s nipple, already rigid on his chest.

Fielding teased it once, and Roman wriggled into the mattress. It was an interesting feeling. Like being tickled, but in a way that made his insides feel all squirmy. Instinctively, Roman understood the need radiating from his hard penis. He ground his hips up against Fielding’s ass. There was no way his friend missed his poking boner as he flicked his thumb across Roman’s nipple again.

Roman’s head rolled back against the pillow. He just wanted release, whatever that looked like, whatever that felt like. He had to have it. This must have been what Xavier felt each of those times Roman had gotten him off—-an instinctual, animalistic desire. It was a hunger and a thirst all wrapped into one, and it could only be quenched by one thing.

Their eyes darted between each other’s, and Roman raised his head as Fielding bent down and mashed their lips together. His lips buzzed as Fielding’s mouth worked against his. It was aggressive at first, almost stiff and rigid, but soon they each softened and relaxed into the kiss.

Fielding broke away, panting heavily as he tried to catch his breath.

Roman could barely speak, his heart setting new records inside his chest.

“Fielding…” Roman breathed, hoping the name alone somehow communicated everything Roman needed to say. His desire was burning him up, ready to consume him like fire.

Fielding shimmied back until their groins were together. They wriggled against each other, Roman pinned beneath him, bucking up as Fielding thrust down. Whenever one of them deflected away, they were quick to readjust, and Roman could hardly breathe as he neared the tipping point he’d been so close to time and again.


“I know, me too,” Fielding grunted, and he leaned forward, keeping their bodies trapped together as he went in for another kiss.

This time they melted into each other, and Roman’s head swam with dizziness, pleasure radiating like the sun from his whole body. Their lips moved softly in sync, their chests rubbed together, and the underside of their boners rubbed in that same ticklish way, getting better and better.

“Gonna…unngh…” Fielding grunted again as he increased the power behind his thrusts, and Roman couldn’t stand it anymore. Grabbing Fielding by his smooth thighs, Roman pulled him down against his body while he humped upward, losing control of himself as every nerve ending went haywire in his groin. With each burst of pleasure, something jumped and flicked behind his balls, sending new shivers down Roman’s spine. He couldn’t think. He couldn’t breathe. He was simply lost in the moment until, at last, the feeling dimmed steadily, leaving behind a soft glow in its place.

Roman couldn’t remember when his eyes had clenched shut, but as he opened them, he let out a whoosh of air as he processed the amazing feeling that had just wracked his body from head to toe.

Above him, Fielding’s shoulders were drawn up as his head rolled, apparently going through the same thing Roman just had. When he opened his eyes, his pale cheeks were tinged like roses.

“That was…wow…” Fielding said dreamily, falling on the bed in the narrow space between Roman and the wall.

“What was that?”

“My moms called it an orgasm when they made me sit through a dumb sex talk. Everyone can get it apparently, even girls.”

So that’s what it was. The thing Xavier had been so desperate for. Roman pulled back his waistband to check for the white stuff that shot out of Xavier’s dick. Nothing. He even rubbed a finger over his penis to be sure, but he only jumped as his fingers brushed the sensitive head.

“Anything there?” Fielding asked.

Roman shook his head.

“I can almost make jizz,” Fielding said proudly. “It’s only a drop, but it happened after I got my first hair. Check it out.”

When Fielding pulled down the waistband of his black briefs, Roman couldn’t see anything at first except the purplish head of Fielding’s mushroom crown as it quivered from his recent orgasm. It wasn’t until Fielding reached down and smushed his fingers together that Roman saw something thin and clear there.

“Huh, I thought it was supposed to be white,” Roman said.

Fielding shot him a funny look before wiping his fingers on Roman’s comforter. It wasn’t long before Fielding was back in his bed on the other side of the room.

Roman laughed to himself as he pulled the covers up to his chest. The nice glow was still sitting in his belly, and he was suddenly tired throughout his whole body.

“What’s so funny?” Fielding asked.

“Nothing, it’s just…that was the best massage I’ve ever gotten.”

End Chapter 12

Copyright 2023 – Levi Holland
All rights reserved

Boarding School Blues – Chapter 11

Boarding School Blues
Levi Holland

Chapter 11

They were ready to start the mural.

During their first month at the academy, Cooper and Anakin talked about all the ways they could make their room pop with color and stand out. The problem was that drawing on the walls or marking them with paint would only land them in a big pile of trouble, but Cooper knew there had to be some solution they hadn’t thought about. It was Anakin who came up with the idea for a mural. Maybe they couldn’t draw on the walls of their dorms, but there were no rules against hanging up artwork, and if the artwork happened to be a mural that covered their entire bedroom wall, then so be it.

Getting permission to use extra art supplies from Anakin’s club teacher, Professor Ricci, proved to be no trouble at all. They found the man hanging self portraits outside the art studio. He twirled the curly ends of his pencil-thin mustache between his fingers as they explained their plan, and Professor Ricci practically gushed over the fact that anybody wanted to bring some personality into the drab, old dormitory rooms. “Uggh, my muse, my protege,” he said, placing the back of his hand against his forehead as if he might faint. “I can hardly bear it. Yes, of course you can use the supplies. Go forth. Create!”

After raiding what they needed from the art studio, they hauled the giant sheet of blank paper back to the suite. Naveen raised an eyebrow at them from the couch as they climbed the final stairs.

“Do I even want to know what you’re planning?” he asked.

“Probably not,” Anakin said, running his fingers through his styled hair. “Besides, it wouldn’t interest you anyway.”

Naveen rolled his eyes and returned back to the book in his hands. Cooper rolled his eyes back, and Anakin stuck out his tongue. Whatever, Cooper thought. Someone like Naveen would never understand. When their room looked awesome and his sucked, that would be his problem. Besides, no one could make art like Anakin. They were about to have the coolest room in the whole castle!

By the time Anakin created a few sketches of all the things they wanted on the mural, most of the night had passed, and the floor was littered with balled up and crumpled papers from Anakin’s sketchbook. Sprawled out on the bed, Cooper fought back an enormous yawn as he watched Anakin work. His roommate was busy penciling in guiding lines, pausing every few minutes to lean against the door and inspect his art through his framed fingers. Already Cooper could see how the drawing was coming to life.

“I promise it’ll be worth it,” Anakin said. “If I don’t take the time now, I might mess something up later, and then it’ll be too late to try and restart.”

“You’re the artist,” Cooper said, hovering over Anakin’s shoulder as he looked at the sketch pad. He couldn’t wait to see the life-size drawings of Detective Dackery. They planned to have themselves somewhere in the picture too. Most of the space had been filled up on Anakin’s sketch, but there was still a gap near the center of the page. Something was missing, something that would tie the whole piece together, but so far they couldn’t figure out what it might be.

“Sometimes you have to let these things sit for a while,” Anakin said. “When the time’s right, we’ll know what we need to add.”

As Cooper crossed the window overlooking the campus grounds, he was about to change into his pajamas when a light from outside caught his eye. It wasn’t like the warm glow from the homes nestled in the distant mountains. This light was a narrow pinprick and dim as it bobbed steadily in the darkness.

“What is that?” Cooper asked.

“What’s what?”

“There’s something outside the window. Some kind of light. It looks like it’s maybe at the lake.”

Anakin set his pencils back in their case before joining Cooper at the window. Together they cupped their hands over their eyes and leaned against the cool glass. The moon was bright enough to cast a pale glow over the autumn trees, but not enough to clearly see the lake or the boat house. There was no doubt about it, though. Something was drifting across the lake.

“Maybe it’s a ghost,” Anakin said.

Even though he didn’t really believe in ghosts, a chill crept up Cooper’s arms. “That’s not funny.”

Ooooooh,” Anakin moaned, raising his hands above his head and turning on Cooper.

“Stop, or I’ll flick you,” Cooper said. “I’m serious. What do you think it is?”

Anakin waved it off and stepped away from the window. “Beats me,” he said. “Probably just some reflection. Anyway, we gotta hit the hay, or we’ll be wiped tomorrow. Come on.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Cooper said, taking one last glance at the spectral light before heading to his bed.

As he ditched his shirt and pants, Anakin snickered behind him.

“I see London, I see France,” Anakin sang.

“You’re gonna see the moon again in a second,” Cooper said and quickly stripped out of his underwear. He wriggled his butt at Anakin before slipping into his pajamas. Shaking his butt was starting to make him hard, so before Anakin could see, he turned off his lamp and tucked himself beneath the covers.


When Cooper woke up the next day, it should have been ordinary. It felt ordinary. But by the time he and Anakin sat with their food trays at breakfast, he knew something was terribly wrong. None of the other Valentias at their table seemed to know what was up, but there was no doubt about it. There was something odd in the way all the teachers scurried about.

Hushed conversations. Low whispers. Strange glances.

“What’s going on?” Cooper asked.

“Beats me,” Anakin said.

A few professors moved table to table asking questions. Some even scribbled down notes or typed a quick message in their phones. Two tables down, Kai Feng looked miserable. The older boy’s sunken eyes had dark pouches beneath them, and his eyes looked puffy like he might’ve been crying. Where was Jordy?

All around the room, students kept shaking their heads whenever the professors showed up at their table with more questions. At least he wasn’t the only one to notice how weird things had gotten.

Kai suddenly stood up before accidentally knocking his chair backwards with a loud clatter that only managed to draw all eyes in the room towards him. He barely had it back in place before he scurried out of the banquet hall. That was it. Things were too weird. Cooper needed answers now.

“Coop, where are you going?”

“I’ll be right back,” he told Anakin before chasing after Kai.

The late autumn hair burned Cooper’s nostrils as he raced outside the banquet hall. Kai was resting at one of the courtyard benches, his head buried in his hands. It wasn’t until Cooper drew closer that he heard the crying and hiccups. Cooper’s foot crunched against the pebbles on the ground, and Kai immediately wiped an arm across his eyes before facing him.

“Hey, Cooper,” he said, trying to put on a brave face. “Sorry, I just…needed a sec. Everyone started staring, and I panicked, I guess…”

“Can I join you? What’s going on?”

Kai motioned to the other side of the bench, and the hard granite stone was like ice against Cooper’s butt.

“It’s Jordy,” Kai said. “He never showed up last night.”

“What does that mean?” Cooper asked. A sharp spike of panic pierced his insides.

“After dinner last night, he said he needed to take care of something, but no one’s seen him since. Then Professor Bell got annoyed because he never showed up for their student council meeting either, but I don’t know where he is! And I don’t know what to do, either! I’m really worried, Cooper. What if something bad happened?”

Cooper reached out to steady Kai’s fidgeting hands.

“Hey, you can’t think like that. Maybe there was an emergency and his parents came by to get him. Did you try texting him?”

Kai nodded. “I did, but his phone’s off. Or the battery’s dead. I’m not sure.”

“He’ll show up, Kai. Everything’s going to be alright.”

Kai looked anything but convinced.

“He’s not the only one missing,” Kai said, an edge of bitterness creeping into his voice. “Turns out Xavier Jacobs is missing, too.”

Roman’s brother was missing?

Honestly Cooper wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He didn’t care much for Xavier, but he cared plenty about Roman. Did Roman know about his brother? What could have happened to the two of them?

“Listen,” Cooper said, shaking it a little to clear his thoughts. “Why don’t you come hang with us after classes tonight? It might help being around other people, you know?”

Wiping the back of his hand across his nose, Kai sniffled again before saying, “Thanks, Cooper. I’ll think about it.”

Cooper’s head swam with thoughts, doubts, and suspicions by the time he returned to breakfast. The moment he stepped inside, it was clear Jordy and Xavier were all anyone was talking about. The professors no longer moved around the room, but as Cooper glanced to the adults huddled together on the far end of the room, there was no mistaking the concern on their faces.

“I don’t like this, Coop,” Anakin said softly.

“I know,” he agreed. “We have to find out what’s up.”


Roman couldn’t shake the worry from his stomach.

It had grown from a seed into something fully rooted by the time classes started. During breakfast, when their flustered professors asked if anyone had seen Jordy, Roman and Fielding swapped nervous glances. They knew something had been off yesterday. Should they have said something then? No, it wasn’t his or Fielding’s fault that Jordy was suddenly nowhere to be found. Nobody knew what happened.

It wasn’t until Professor Lee came and told him Xavier was missing that Roman really started to worry. Like Jordy, Xavier was a no show after dinner.

“Roman?” Fielding asked, but Roman shook his head, not trusting himself to speak. His emotions were more unsteady than a ship in a storm at sea. How was it possible to feel so many different ways about Xavier disappearing?

The day only got worse. Everywhere Roman went, someone wanted to ask him about Xavier. Ask if he was alright. Ask if he needed anything. Ask how they could help. He knew they were just being polite, but with all the extra attention, Roman wanted to shake them all by the shoulders and shout at everyone to leave him alone.

Later in class, Professor Riviera could barely get a peep from any of them. Her words only fell on deaf ears when she told them not to worry. Worrying was all anyone could do.

If Roman had any hopes Professor Bell’s class would be better, they were quickly dashed. There was no smile on his face, no friendly banter. They were quick to get to their science lesson, and in a rare break of character, he even snapped at two girls whispering to themselves about the missing boys during his lesson.

No one wanted to talk in Professor Gray’s class either, and their reading teacher’s ghastly frown did nothing to break them from their sour mood. If anything, Professor Gray seemed the most distressed of all the teachers. His greasy thin hair looked like he hadn’t showered at all that morning, and his eyes were dark from lack of sleep.

It was only Professor Lee who sat them down to talk. She had just finished working out the math problem across her chalkboard when she lowered the hand holding her chalk with a sigh.

“Boys and girls,” she said. “You cannot let this eat at you. There is nothing to worry about. All of us are doing everything we can.”

Across the room, Cooper raised his hand, and Roman caught his glance before Professor Lee called on him.

“But Professor Lee, isn’t this super weird to you? People don’t just go missing.”

Professor Lee adjusted the base of her shirt and considered her words.

“It’s unusual, but tell me what worrying will do for you. No? No one? My advice for you all is to blow off some steam this afternoon during your clubs. Come back refreshed tomorrow.”

Easier said than done.

By the time Roman geared up at the rock climbing wall, he said nothing as he joined Cooper on the next climb. He gripped the holds too tightly, forgetting any of the technique drilled into him over the last couple months. Several times he misplaced his foot and smashed his knee or lost his hold and careened to the bottom.

“Roman, do you want to talk about it?” Cooper asked, placing a hand on his shoulder, but Roman shrugged it off.

“It’s fine, Cooper,” he said. “I don’t really wanna talk.”

“But he’s your brother…”

When Cooper tried again, the touch burned Roman, and without giving it a second thought, he lashed out and shoved Cooper back.

“I said, I’m fine!”

Great, now he felt like a jerk. Balling his fists, Roman ignored the hurt that flashed across Cooper’s face. He made the next climb alone and struggled the whole way up. When he finally reached the bell at the top, his muscles were tight with ache across his shoulders and back, but he could hardly feel them past his fury. He hadn’t had such a difficult climb since his first. His brain was running wild, filled with ceaseless thoughts. He refused to let himself worry. He didn’t care. It didn’t bother him at all.

As the harness carried him safely to the ground, Roy Rochester was barking orders to other faculty before they split off in a search party. Roman’s stomach gurgled with uneasiness as he prepared for another climb.

Lately, the campus grounds had grown darker and darker by the night. The shadows stretched like eager hands waiting to snatch Roman up as he walked to dinner. Fielding was extra clingy that night, nearly hugging Roman’s side the whole way through the castle’s dark corridors.

“I don’t like this, Roman,” he whispered. “What if something’s really wrong?”

“It’s not,” Roman said. “Xavier’s probably pulling some dumb prank.”

“But how do you know? You remember how Jordy looked the other day. We should say something to one of the teachers. We should—”

“No!” Roman shouted, wincing as the harsh words escaped him.

“But why not? Something happened, and you know it.”

“We don’t know anything,” Roman lied, ignoring his growing fears. “Please, just drop it, Fielding, okay?”

Dinner was filled with nothing but halfhearted clinks of forks on plates. Near the end, Headmaster Robinson took a rare stand at the podium and cleared his throat for everyone’s attention.

“No doubt many of you have heard by now about our two missing friends.”

Roman flicked his eyes to the empty chair pushed in at Xavier’s table.

“Rest assured, there is nothing to fear. For the time being, however, we are insisting nobody wander the campus alone. Until we know more, all students will adhere to a strict curfew following dinner each night.”

The groans after that were the loudest part of the whole dinner. Roman walked back to the dorms in silence. Outside their window, fat raindrops plopped against the panes of glass as lightning flashed in the distance. A low grumble of thunder washed over them as he climbed the final stairs up the spire. He didn’t believe in fate. Destiny was whatever he wanted it to be. But if everything that had happened was some kind of sign from the universe, Roman didn’t want to know where it was pointing to.

End Chapter 11

Copyright 2023 – Levi Holland
All rights reserved

Boarding School Blues – Chapter 10

Boarding School Blues
Levi Holland

Chapter 10

Cooper scrubbed his shampoo through his hair as he reflected on his past couple months at Blue Ridge.

Already the terrible things he faced in his first week were like a distant memory, constantly replaced by better ones, but that’s not to say everything was perfect.

Naveen still made snarky comments, but that was just him, Cooper learned. Some people were just natural-born buttheads. Cooper rolled his eyes to think how many pointless arguments Naveen and Anakin had over the dumbest things like their favorite soccer teams or which snacks were actually the best. Usually Naveen got too heated, and then Julian had to talk him down. For a kid who wasn’t great at English, Julian always seemed to know the right words to say.

Cooper’s friendship with Naveen wasn’t even the craziest one he’d made. If anyone had asked Cooper at the start of the year if he was ever likely to be friends with Roman Jacobs of all people, Cooper would have bet a million dollars against it.

It’s not that Roman wasn’t nice, but Cooper’s first impression of him was soured after meeting his jerk older brother, Xavier. Of course Cooper thought Roman would be the same! It didn’t help that Roman wore a permanent scowl, like he was ready to fist fight the moment anyone said something he didn’t like. Cooper was thankful to find out how wrong he was. He’d misjudged Roman, doing the same exact thing he’d been frustrated at Naveen for—judging people without giving them the chance to show who they really were.

Not only had he become friends with Roman, Cooper had also found a rival in him, someone who liked to push him as much as he liked to push back. In the races they’d had since the House competition, they were dead even on the rock climbing wall, with two wins each, though Roman still complained that Cooper let him win his first time, but Roman was wrong. No way that would ever happen. Cooper never gave up on anything, ever.

As Cooper ducked his head beneath the shower head, the steaming water rinsed the suds from his eyes, and he blinked the water from his eyes. Across from him, Anakin was running his soapy hands over his body. His hands glided over his flat stomach, spreading to his smooth thighs, before finally swiping across his drooping testicles and hanging penis.

In the two weeks since Naveen showed them how to get the cum feeling in the laundry room, Cooper wondered when he and Anakin might try it again. They were way more comfortable being naked now around each other, but whenever Cooper thought about asking, something always managed to trap his words like a dam in a river. At least he wasn’t shy about his boners anymore.

They happened daily now, but knowing it would go down once he peed, Cooper usually let it stick up against his pajamas. Anakin, too, was plagued with them, although since he only slept in his briefs, his boners were way more obvious. Anytime Cooper saw it, his heart skipped a beat. Whereas Cooper’s was still thin and small, only about three inches when hard, Anakin’s was like a thick tube and reminded him of a hot dog. Obviously Cooper hadn’t measured it, but it had to be at least four inches if not bigger, and Anakin’s was the same size soft as he was hard. Cooper wished his hanged when he was soft instead of looking like a shriveled up balloon attached to his body.

As Anakin worked a hand over his penis, it chubbed up, and he gave a guilty glance at Cooper before dropping his hand away. It didn’t stop his penis from craving the extra attention as it bobbed and pulsed into its full hardness. Cooper’s face grew warm, and already his own tool was starting to respond.

They graded glances at each other’s junk before Anakin gave a shy grin. “Still gotta try that thing again sometime.”

In an attempt to distract himself from how his face sizzled like a frying pan, Cooper turned the squeaky shower knobs until the water stopped flowing, and Anakin did the same.

They opened the shower door, and immediately the cool air gave Cooper goosebumps. He couldn’t wait to dry and wrap himself in one of the school’s soft towels.

As he padded over the marbled floor to the towel rack, Naveen and Julian stepped inside the bathroom, each shirtless as they held their towels around their necks.

“Well lookey here, if it isn’t the boner boys.”

Naveen smirked at each of them, and Julian rolled his eyes.

“Ignore him,” Julian said in his thick accent, “he gets all the time, too.”

Naveen’s eyes widened, and a blush tinged his copper cheeks. “Well, so do you!”

All the talk about constant boners was doing nothing to help Cooper with his, and he quickly wrapped the towel around his waist, irked that the little lump was still visible when he looked down.

Beside him, Anakin let his dick freely jut out from his groin, and it wagged side to side with each step.

“So what?” Anakin said. “We all get boners. Why should I be embarrassed? Mine’s the biggest one here.”

“It is not!” Naveen shouted. “Mine’s easily that big.”

“Anakin…” Cooper warned.

“Yeah, well prove it!”

“How am I supposed to prove it? By sticking it next to yours?”

“Yeah, unless you’re scared,” Anakin said.

They were quiet then, wondering who might chicken out first. Did Cooper want to see Naveen with a boner? Maybe. Actually, yes. The only glimpse he’d had of it was that day in the laundry room as it peeked through the narrow opening in Naveen’s boxers. And then their last laundry day, they lost the chance to try anything. One of the fuses inside the electric boxes had blown, and an electrician was busy fixing it the whole time they were there.

Naveen tossed the towel around his neck over to the sink counter and hooked his thumbs inside his waistband.

“Don’t feel bad when yours is smaller,” he said and lowered his pants to his thighs.

Naveen’s dick had a gentle curve. It was definitely on the thinner side, but other than its width, Cooper thought it might have been pretty close to Anakin’s size. What’s more was that Naveen still had skin on the end of his dick. Cooper knew some boys still had it—or rather, they all did at birth—but he’d never actually seen it on someone. It was super cool the way it stretched over the head of his penis, exposing nearly half of the pink glans inside.

“Hah, mine’s fatter,” Anakin said as he walked over and stood in front.

“I was talking about length, dummy,” Naveen said.

Cooper held his breath as the two boys leaned forward. The ends of their dicks were like two ships passing in the night as they inched closer.

“Coop, come tell us who’s bigger.”

“Me?” Cooper squeaked.

“You can’t ask him. Of course he’ll say you. Julian, you come over, too.”

Being right next to the two of their boners was making Cooper’s throb. He wondered if Julian was suffering the same way, but it was difficult to tell as the Polish boy hunched forward with his hands on his knees. Anakin and Naveen planted a thumb at the base of their dicks as they pushed their hips outward.

Anakin’s was definitely thicker, that was obvious, but it wasn’t crazily so. It just had more…heft. No one said a word as the two kept pushing their hips, and a split second before Naveen’s would have reached, Anakin’s boner squished gently against Naveen’s auburn skin.

“See? Told you,” Anakin said, his words husky and thick.

What was going through Anakin’s head? If Cooper was in Anakin’s shoes—or rather, skin—he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to stop himself from wrapping his fingers around Naveen’s boner to see what it felt like. The smoothness. The texture. Hell, it took everything in him not to grab his own dick. There was an itchy, almost anxious energy in his body, and Cooper rubbed his palms over his stomach to try and get some of it out.

“Yeah, well it’s not always about size. It’s how you use it,” Naveen said, and he flexed his penis, making it bump into Anakin’s on the way down.


“Come on, Naveen,” Julian said as he tugged his arm. “We have to shower or be late for breakfast.”

“You’re crazy,” Cooper told Anakin on their way back into the bedroom.

Now with a towel around his waist, Anakin still had a boner, but at least it wasn’t threatening to stab the next person they passed. Anakin wrapped his arm around Cooper’s neck as they entered their bedroom.

“Sometimes, Coop, you gotta prove to people they’re wrong.”

By the time they made it to the banquet hall for breakfast, the place was in chaos. Brown packages were being tossed around the room like prizes as kids of all ages carried them back to their tables. At the center of the chaos was Professor Bell and the other Blue Ridge Buddies as they checked names off lists.

Of course! In the excitement of the showers, Cooper had completely forgotten about the care packages. Today was the day!

“Cooper!” Jordy called out as he tied his dreads together using a scrunchie.

“What do you think you’ll get?” Anakin asked as they rushed the table.

“I don’t know, but I can’t wait!”

Cooper’s body buzzed with excitement as Jordy handed them each a wrapped package. Anakin had to use two hands to grab the rectangular box, but even though Cooper was able to carry his with one hand, he didn’t care. His body buzzed like Christmas morning.

They didn’t even bother with their food as they rushed to open their packages. Anakin tore away the brown wrapping, revealing a sleek black box inside. When he peeled away the tape holding it together, a pile of brand new, crisply folded clothes lay inside. Anakin moved lightning fast as he pulled out a pair of peach pants with red swirl designs all around the legs.

“These are awesome!” he beamed. “My dad’s so kickass.”

Anakin skimmed through the handwritten note inside before digging past the clothes and discovering a box of brand new, premium colored pencils. There were shades of color Cooper had never seen before. That was it. Cooper couldn’t take waiting anymore.

Ripping through the wrapping of his own box, Cooper pulled out a reused Amazon package, taped carefully around the edges to secure everything in place. It was practically begging to be opened and have its mysteries revealed. He used one of the forks on the table to pry away the tape before opening it with a gasp.

Right away Cooper knew what he was staring at, he just couldn’t believe it. Shining with the newness only freshly printed books can have, Cooper gingerly scooped up the latest Detective Dackery mystery. He hadn’t even known a new one was being released! On the cover, the famous cartoon duck detective was dressed in his familiar beige trench coat, surrounded by the other animal members from his agency. Something was different about this background. As Dackery and his friends each struck a cool pose, an ominous figure towered behind them in the shadowy background. Cooper got chills just thinking about what mysteries and turmoil might happen next in the series.

“Nice, Coop, you love those books!” Anakin said, and they bumped fists.

Inside the box, where the book had been, were two different notes. The first was a note from his mom. It was filled with all sorts of mushy comments about how they missed him and couldn’t wait for him to come home for the winter. As he read, Cooper rolled his eyes at all the lovey-dovey comments packed in every sentence, but before he set it down on the table, he squeezed the letter softly against his chest.

The final item in Cooper’s package was another note, this one with much sloppier handwriting, and a few scratched out words, misspellings, and smudges. Right away, Cooper knew it was from Sawyer.

He snatched it up and devoured the words:

Hey Cooper!!!

Im sorry I missed writing to you last time—stupid family trip to my grandmas. You know, the one in Pencilvania? Man it sucks not having you here. Middle school is SOOOO lame and theres so much homework. I wuld much rather hang out in a castle with you all day. Ur teachers seem really cool and Anakin sounds nice, but I know he’s not a better friend than me. It would be kool to meet him some time. Any way it was sweet you won the rock climbing thing. Ur mom told me all about it. If I was there, I wuld have bet money on you winning and we’d be totally rich right now! Remember wut I said before you left. You better not be a snob when you get back! See you at Christmas!!

Your best bud,


It was a while before Cooper put down the letter. Even though the words were hastily scratched out to hide them, Cooper could easily see what Sawyer had written about being a better friend. His heart was conflicted as he reread the letter. His first day at Blue Ridge, hanging out with Sawyer was all that was on Cooper’s mind. He didn’t want to admit to himself that there had been days recently where Sawyer hadn’t popped into his head at all. It’s not that Anakin was a better friend than Sawyer, or vice versa. It’s just that they were so different.

What made it trickier was that even though he and Anakin had only known each other a couple months, they spent practically every waking moment together. They slept in the same bedroom. They ate every meal together. They had all their classes together. They dressed in front of each other. They had been naked and showered together. They even saw each other hard and got the cum feeling together. How could anyone go through all that and not have some sort of special connection to the other person?

Sure, Sawyer was one of his best friends now. But what about a year from now? Two years? By the time they started high school or graduated? Would Sawyer even be around then?

The truth was, Sawyer had been Cooper’s ride or die for the past two years, but what was two years compared to all of middle school and high school with Anakin? It pained Cooper to think that his friendship with Sawyer might be dying.

Maybe he was turning into one of those people that Sawyer warned him about, after all.


Roman tossed and turned for nearly the hundredth time that night.

No matter what he tried, he just couldn’t get to sleep! Across the room, Fielding snored away. Usually that was enough for Roman—Fielding’s snores were a white noise that calmed his mind. But now his brain was racing like the times he’d drank way too much soda before bed. With a sigh of frustration, Roman kicked the covers away and rolled to his feet. Maybe a drink of water would help him out.

On the way to the door, Roman cursed himself for not having a bottle he could refill like the one Fielding kept on his nightstand. At least then he wouldn’t have to make a separate trip whenever he was thirsty.

Roman twisted the doorknob as quietly as he could and tiptoed to the bathroom, pulling down the part of his briefs that had ridden up his crack.

The bathroom light stung his eyes as his bare toes touched the cool, marbled surface. The zombie staring back at him in the mirror confirmed that even though his mind was buzzing, his body desperately needed to sleep. The past few days at the rock climbing wall had been extra intense. Professor Green had been so relentless on them, even Cooper was worn out by the end of the day, and he never got tired! Lately there’d been nothing but drill after drill, and by the time Roman had walked away earlier that afternoon, his arms and legs were like wet spaghetti noodles.

Roman turned on the faucet and splashed his face with the brisk water. A few streams ran past his chin and down his neck, but the water was refreshing. He bent down to slurp a few mouthfuls before turning off the sink and wiping his face. He was still wired, but at least he felt better as he made his way back into the suite.

The door to Ivan and Wyatt’s room was barely open, and a thin light shined against the crack as Roman walked the short distance across the suite. He wasn’t too worried. Sometimes his friends fell asleep with their lights still on. It happened to all of them at one point or another.

Roman was ready to hop back into the warmth of his bed, but moments before reaching his bedroom door, a familiar groan reached his ears from the other bedroom. He paused, his hand hovering over his doorknob. All he would have to do is tune it out, step inside, and close the door behind him. The noise wasn’t any of his business.

But Roman couldn’t keep his mind from tumbling back to the previous summer when he first watched Xavier touch himself. The groans he heard now certainly sounded the same, but if it was what he thought it was, Roman knew he should leave—leave Wyatt or Ivan to their privacy and return to bed.

So then why were his feet betraying him?

Before he could stop himself, Roman’s curiosity won out as he pressed his face to the gap in his suitemates’ door. The light inside shined from one of their table lamps, illuminating Ivan’s bare thigh as he sat on the edge of the bed. His feet were planted on the floor, and his hands propped his stocky body upright as his head tilted back.

As he watched, Ivan released another low moan, deeper than the one before. Roman thought he might have been dreaming as he stared on. Buried between Ivan’s legs was the scrawny form of Wyatt. From his angle, all Roman could see was Wyatt’s sandy blond hair as his head bobbed up and down, but the slurps were unmistakable.

This was something he and Xavier had never done. Roman couldn’t believe it. Wyatt was actually sucking Ivan’s dick.

Ivan whispered something, and as the two shifted, Roman got a better view. Ivan’s body wasn’t the only thing built like a tank. From their showers, they all knew Ivan was the most physically mature. He was the only one with body hair in more places than his head. Obviously there was no way Roman could spot much of the dark pubes from where he stood, but by then, he’d seen them plenty of times. What’s more was how thick Ivan’s cock was, even soft. If dicks were vehicles, then Ivan’s was a school bus. It was every bit as developed as the rest of his body.

Once the two boys readjusted, Wyatt continued, bobbing his head again along Ivan’s dick. Each time the tiny boy lowered his head back down, he deflected it to the side of his mouth where a thick bulge throbbed against his cheek.

Roman had never once considered the idea of his dick being in someone’s mouth. They were for peeing, plain and simple. But Ivan’s continued moans told him it must be good. Really good. He sounded a lot like Xavier whenever Roman helped him out.

Pretty soon Ivan’s hands were on Wyatt’s shoulders, and when Ivan started to tense, he gave the side of Wyatt’s neck a couple pats.

Immediately Wyatt pulled off with a wet plop, but he didn’t go anywhere as Ivan scootched forward and aimed his boner at Wyatt’s smooth cheek. Hand squelching as he gave his dick several fierce pumps, Ivan finally grunted like he’d been kicked in the stomach. Right after, a few thick burps of semen smeared against Wyatt’s cheek. It clung to the downy hairs on Wyatt’s cheek before drooping along the side of his face. In the dim light, it was tough to tell, but Roman thought it didn’t look quite as white as Xavier’s had been.

Wyatt grimaced even as he let out a soft giggle. When Ivan finally sat back down, the mattress sank under his weight again. Wyatt scooped a few fingers full of semen from his face, and Roman expected him to wipe it on the covers, but he nearly gasped when the small boy reached a cummy hand toward his groin. That part of Wyatt was still blocked by the mattress, but Roman could guess what was happening from the sounds. Wyatt’s eyes rolled and fluttered as more wet squelching filled the room.

Roman had to leave. Tearing himself from the opening in the door, the stiffness in his underwear was painful as he retreated back to his bedroom. Fielding was still snoring as Roman slipped beneath the covers once more and drew them to his face. The walls between their two bedrooms were thick enough that Roman couldn’t hear them, but knowing what had just happened in the room next door made his body shiver.

Roman slipped his hand beneath his waistband, shuddering as he gripped his aching boner. The pleasure shot like a spike through his penis before spreading out deeper inside his pelvis. Maybe this time he’d let himself go all the way.

Guiding his wrist up and down, Roman suppressed a moan of his own, not wanting to wake Fielding if possible. Still, if pleasure had a taste, then the feelings coursing through him were delicious.

Roman squeezed his eyes shut as his mind filled with all the sexual things he’d witnessed lately: Wyatt pleasuring himself, bobbing along Ivan’s dick, Fielding’s hand slip-sliding over his boner in the shower, Roman jacking Fielding’s thin erection between his fingers as they lay in bed together.

He was closer than he’d ever been to the feeling before, he could sense it. Sense it building in the same way a balloon swelled with each huffing breath. Soon it would burst. It had to burst. If it didn’t, Roman might go insane.

His mind jolted as Xavier appeared in his fantasy, and Roman was back in the thick musk of his brother’s bedroom, his hand coated in Xavier’s slime, his cheek stinging after Xavier slapped him. Suddenly Roman’s dick was like a hot stove as he snatched it from inside his briefs. His heart pounded as his balls throbbed painfully, and he tried to steady his breath. Everything in his body cried out to finish the job, but Roman couldn’t do it. Wouldn’t do it. Not while Xavier haunted him so easily.

Instead, Roman opened his mouth and clamped down on his fist, digging his teeth into his knuckles as he tried to distract himself from his memories. The rest of his sleep was restless, and by the time he woke up, he wondered if it would have been better just to stay awake.

In the days following, a fierce blush spread across Roman’s face any time he crossed paths with Ivan or Wyatt. If the two of them ever suspected they had an audience, they certainly didn’t show it. Roman tried to think back to how many times over the past couple months Ivan and Wyatt had slipped off by themselves somewhere. Roman knew the other night had to be far from their first time together.

Now as he walked with Fielding to Professor Gray’s reading class, Roman wondered again if his roommate would ever want to do sexy things like that together. Fielding wanted it to mean something—to him, it wasn’t just a way to please the other person. Maybe he should ask the next time they were alone.

Roman was so wrapped up tightly in his own thoughts, he barely had time to recognize Jordy Diaz before they collided. He’d come around the corner so fast, Roman hadn’t had time to stop before bonking his head against the 8th grader’s chest.

“Oh, my bad, Jordy,” Roman said in apology.

“Hey, Jordy,” Fielding beamed, nearly starstruck as he stared with twinkling eyes at one of Blue Ridge’s most popular.

But something was off. The edges of Jordy’s hair were damp with sweat, and when he finally looked at them, his eyes darted wildly around. When his gaze focused on Roman, he recoiled and nearly tripped over his feet as he backed away and escaped down the other end of the hall. Roman must have imagined it, but as Jordy scurried past them, he could have sworn he heard the name Xavier fall from Jordy’s lips.

“Okay, that…was weird, right?” Fielding asked, scratching the back of his ear. “Wonder what’s up with him.”

Roman agreed. If you could somehow bottle up joy and turn it into a person, that person would be Jordy Diaz. For something to shake him up that bad, it’d have to be really intense. Something had shaken Jordy down to the core, and Roman had a sneaking suspicion about the person responsible.

End Chapter 10

Copyright 2023 – Levi Holland
All rights reserved

Boarding School Blues – Chapter 9

Boarding School Blues
Levi Holland

Chapter 9


Cooper shied away from the spray of mist shooting from Anakin’s nose. What didn’t land on him rained down on their writing assignment for Professor Gray. It was the fourth time he’d sneezed in nearly a minute, and Cooper had had enough.

“Dude, cover up,” Cooper said. “No one wants your germs in their face.”

Anakin sniffed, holding up a finger as another sneeze took him.

“I’m not sick, I promise!” he insisted. “But I can’t help it. Something’s making me sneeze.”

Professor Gray strolled over to their tables with a tissue box in his hand. While Anakin swiped a few extra to keep with him, a strange odor made Cooper sniff. It was a weird mix of lemons and some kind of flowers.

Cooper turned to Naveen and Julian behind him.

“You guys smell that? I think it’s coming from Professor Gray.”

Naveen smirked. “Anakin’s probably allergic to him.”

“Really? Now?”

“You’re right,” Naveen said. “Dumb joke. Sorry.”

Cooper spun back around and raised his hand as Anakin sneezed again, this time, at least, into his wad of tissues. It was clear nobody cared about the assignment anymore.

“Professor Gray, I think he’s sneezing because of you.”

Professor Gray glared at him as a few others snickered, and right away Cooper realized how it must have sounded.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that,” Cooper said. “What I mean is, are you wearing something different today?”

Professor Gray paused before leaning in to sniff the front of his suit.

“It’s possible it’s this new cologne,” he admitted and then sighed. “Anakin, excuse yourself to the bathroom and see if the sneezing stops.”

“’Kay,” Anakin said through a stuffy nose.

By the time Anakin returned, his nostrils were plugged with the ends of toilet paper. It looked like one of those rings you’d see in a bull’s nostrils. Cooper couldn’t stop his laughter, especially with all the strange clothing Anakin liked to wear.

“I’ll just use these from now on,” Anakin said as he returned to his seat.

“You will do no such thing,” Professor Gray announced. “After tomorrow, I’ll be sure to use a different cologne. I will not have your appearance be any more of a distraction than it already is. Now, I trust you all have had plenty of time for your written work. Textbooks open to—p”



It was time for laundry day.

Cooper braced himself against the laundry room door with his basket while the others carried their baskets inside. The laundry room wasn’t anywhere near the size of their bedrooms. It was a wonder the four of them could even fit in the tiny room tucked beneath Valentia’s staircase. Inside were two washers and two dryers, each facing each other on opposite ends.

Their first laundry day had been awkward. Naveen still wasn’t talking to him, and washing his laundry was Cooper’s least favorite way to spend his time, he decided. Now, it was a completely different experience as they all piled into the cramped laundry room, laughing as they tried not to drop their hampers.

“I thought Professor Gray was going to wring your neck earlier,” Cooper said.

“It wasn’t my fault his stupid cologne makes me sneeze,” Anakin shot back.

After Julian clicked the door shut, they dumped their clothes inside the two washers. Cooper was about to close the lid when Anakin stopped him and pulled his shirt over his head. There was a flash of Anakin’s bare armpits. Cooper had never seen them up close like that. For some reason they were cool to look at. It made him feel funny.

Anakin added his shirt to the pile of clothes before kicking off his shoes and socks. Next came his shorts, and when those had gone, Anakin was left in only a pair of teal briefs. The rounded bulge in his underwear was unmistakable, and Cooper tried not to stare.

“It makes no sense not to wash all our clothes,” Anakin said. “We only get to use the washers once a week.”

“I guess that’s true,” Cooper said.

“Works for me,” Naveen said, ditching his own clothes until he was left in only a pair of plaid boxers. Julian joined him, as usual following Naveen’s lead, and soon it was only Cooper dressed.

“Come on, Coop,” Anakin said. “It’s just us boys.”

What did he have to lose? Cooper took off his shirt to the cheers of the other three. Once he got down to his underwear, though, he was still self-conscious. His briefs were faded and loose, nowhere near the quality of everyone else’s clothes. Whenever his parents went shopping, his mom loved Goodwill because of how easy it was to find old, cheap clothes in his size. Now the thought of everyone seeing him in his used underwear made his cheeks burn with shame.

Other than a brief glance from Naveen, thankfully no one said anything.

“Finally. Let’s start this puppy up,” Anakin said as he slapped the washer next to him.

They hung around the washers as the machines rumbled and clattered. Cooper sat cross-legged on the floor beside Julian. Their Polish friend stretched back as he propped himself up with his hands. Cooper liked the way Julian’s neon briefs clung to his body. The material looked super stretchy, but soft to the touch. Beside the washer, Naveen had his arms crossed as he leaned against it, and Anakin sat on top, dangling his feet over the edge.

Stuck until their clothes finished, they passed the time talking about anything—memories from home, past vacations, their favorite professors, friends they’d left behind. Now a couple weeks into his time at Blue Ridge, Cooper knew Sawyer would have started 6th grade. Had he made new friends? Was he enjoying Misty Pines Middle? He’d written a letter to Sawyer, but until their first care package arrived, Cooper had no way of knowing how life was going for his friend. He hoped one day soon his parents might cave on letting him have his first cell phone. That would be the coolest thing in the world.

From the top of the washer, Anakin squirmed and spread his legs out as a very evident boner tented the front of his briefs. The sight made Cooper’s face hot and sent a blush creeping down his neck.

It took them a few days to get comfortable showering together at the same time, but even then, he and Anakin had always been quick to shield their bodies from each other. Glimpses were all he’d really seen of Anakin’s penis and balls, and the only other time he’d noticed his friend hard was the morning after their first day when Cooper had been trying to hide his own erection.

“Someone’s got a boner,” Naveen teased in a sing-song voice. He was only a foot from Anakin, getting a close-up view of Anakin’s penis as it twitched in his underwear.

Anakin blushed. “Yeah, well, big whoop. It’s not my fault. It’s this dumb washer.”

“You’re the one sitting on it, dummy,” Naveen said.

“Why not just come down here with us?” Cooper asked.

Anakin shrugged with an embarrassed smile. “I don’t know. It feels kind of good. Tickles a bit.”

Naveen gave a wicked grin as he leaned in close. “Keep going, and it’ll feel even better.”

“Really?” Anakin asked. Gripping the edges of the washer, Anakin flattened his bottom and ground against the rumbling washer. The more he held on to the washer, the more Anakin’s legs trembled, jerking occasionally as he twitched. It must have been similar to the way Cooper’s boner felt when it scraped against his pajamas or mattress in the morning. Whenever that happened, the sensations were almost too much—a mix of pleasure and pain and something he couldn’t put into words.

Anakin rubbed his palms repeatedly over his bare thighs as his head rolled. “It’s starting to feel really good, but I think I’m gonna pee if this keeps up.”

Naveen reached down and pinched the boner in his boxers. Through the opening, Cooper could just make out the penny-colored rod of Naveen’s thin dick.

Watching Anakin made Cooper’s chest all fluttery and jittery, and he tucked his knees up, trying to ignore how hard his penis was getting. Julian, on the other hand, didn’t seem bothered at all as his little rod stretched firmly towards his hip.

“You won’t pee,” Naveen said. “Keep going.”

“O…Okay…” Anakin said. His eyes fluttered closed as his body rocked, and a few seconds later, he groaned long and low. The strangest thing happened to Anakin’s penis as it jumped around inside his briefs. It flexed against the cloth up and down the same way Cooper got rid of any lingering drops of pee in the bathroom.

Anakin’s hand crept down and cupped his groin before he finally rolled off the washer. Pulling back his waistband, he stared down inside his underwear as if checking to see what had happened.

“Are you alright?” Cooper asked.

“Yeah,” Anakin said, still staring at his dick. “That was…oh man. Why’s it twitching?”

“Felt amazing, right?” Naveen asked. “Julian, Cooper. You should try it, too.”

“I’m good,” Cooper said, but Julian was already getting to his feet, his little boner leading the way.

“Don’t be such a baby,” Naveen said. “Trust me.”

More irked by Naveen’s response than anything, Cooper hunched over as he climbed to his feet, hoping his boner didn’t stick out too much as he climbed onto the washer.

Naveen gestured down to Cooper’s hardness. “See? That just means you’re ready to try it. Ask Anakin if you don’t believe me.”

Anakin snapped the waistband of his briefs back, his still-hard boner smushed against his leg. “It did feel really good, Coop. He’s right.”

“If it feels so good, then why don’t you do it?” Cooper asked Naveen.

The Indian boy shrugged. “I might later. We’ll see.”

As Julian hoisted himself onto the second washer, Cooper sat on the same one Anakin had, and immediately the vibrations rumbled in his butt cheeks. Even his balls jiggled and bounced around.

It was an interesting feeling, but nothing mind-blowing. It wasn’t until Anakin told him to flex his dick and hold it as long as possible that something started to build inside him. It somehow tickled and tingled at the same time all throughout his boner, but Cooper figured it might have had more to do with the vibrations of the washing machine than anything he was doing. Testing his theory, Cooper ground his pelvis into the washer to try and make the feeling stronger.

Pretty soon the sensations were getting better, more intense, almost unbearable. When he was really little, he used to pretend wrestle with his dad. It always turned into Cooper being tickled on the ground, begging his dad to stop before he peed his pants. The feeling now was a lot like that, only Cooper could pull away if he wanted to. He didn’t though. He wanted—needed—the feeling to keep going.

Beside him, Julian was shuddering as his shoulders bunched up.


Julian rubbed his palm over his crotch before rolling the head of his penis between his fingers, each time bucking under the pleasure.

“Coop, how does it feel?” Anakin asked.

Anakin was right next to him, hands resting just beside Cooper’s legs as he leaned in. As he stared, Anakin’s head was only a few inches from his groin. The extra attention only made Cooper stiffer.

“It feels kinda funny,” Cooper panted. “Tickles a lot, like you said.”

Suddenly Julian squeaked and snatched his hand away as he started peeing himself. Or, at least, it looked like pee. There wasn’t much, but the front of Julian’s neon briefs had spots of wetness soaking through where his dick poked against them.

Cooper started rocking his hips, loving how the underside of his erection rubbed against his underwear. It was better than the times he tried it in bed because the tickling vibrations kept up the whole time. Something felt like it was climbing through his groin, and Cooper couldn’t hold it back any longer.

Squeezing his eyes shut, his dick exploded with pleasure and twitched as goosebumps crawled over his arms. It was like a million tiny feathers were dancing all over his skin. Even the hairs at the back of his neck were standing on end as his penis kicked in his underpants. He hadn’t noticed he was holding his breath until it came whooshing out of him. Cooper was grateful he wasn’t peeing himself, because there was no way his body was in control anymore. It was all good, warm, tickly feelings.

When he could finally breathe, the rumbles became too intense on his penis, and he crawled off the washer. His dick was still hard though, just like Anakin’s had been. He wiped a hand across his sweaty brow and turned before his jaw dropped.

Over on the other washer, Julian had pulled the front end of his briefs down, and Cooper was nearly face to dick with a shiny erection. Sticking up with a curve, Julian’s dick had a tiny bead of water clinging to the end. The head of his penis was smeared with more of the shiny, clear juice. Julian rubbed the spot with his fingers and twitched from the sensitivity.

“Happened again, huh?” Naveen asked, coming closer.

“Yeah, but I wasn’t asleep this time,” Julian said, bringing his fingers to his nostrils as he sniffed.

“You’ve made that stuff before?” Anakin asked.

“I bet it’s your sperms,” Naveen explained. “Do you have any hairs yet?”

Julian shook his head, although he hunched over to inspect either side of his dick. All three of them were huddled around Julian.

“Can we get that feeling whenever we want?” Anakin asked. “That was awesome!”

“How did you even find out about it?” Cooper asked the copper-skinned boy.

“The tickling feeling is called a cum, and yeah, you can have it whenever you want. I don’t need a washing machine, though. I usually get my good feelings from sex.”

All three boys jumped in surprise.

“You’ve had sex!?”

“I don’t believe you!”

“No way!”

Naveen blushed and scratched the back of his head, suddenly uncomfortable from all the extra attention.

“It’s not really a big deal,” he said. “I’ve done it loads of times.”

“Bullshit it isn’t,” Anakin said. “Tell us about it. Who was it with?”

But Naveen suddenly wasn’t interested in sharing, no matter how much Anakin pushed and prodded. Naveen had had real sex? Cooper could hardly believe it. On the playground, he and the other boys always joked about it in giggly whispers, but sex was an adult thing, not something kids his age did.

His parents still had sex. He was uncomfortably certain they did. One night, when he had been thirsty and needed a glass of water, he crossed the open door of his parents’ bedroom. The moans coming from his mom and dad had been strange and sent a weird, tingly rush through his body. These weren’t like the over-the-top moans his friends made at recess. It was low and sensual and drawn out.

A couple times near the end of his 5th grade year, he and Sawyer had watched sex videos on Sawyer’s phone. The site said those people were eighteen, and everyone else they saw looked way older, so of course sex was only for adults. It just made sense. So did that mean Naveen was having sex with an old woman? But he was only in 6th grade, so maybe there wasn’t an age limit after all.

A million questions tickled the back of his brain as the washer buzzed. When the boys switched their clothes to the dryer, they weren’t sure what to do about Julian’s messy underwear. In the end, he decided to wear them, saying he didn’t mind the way they felt.

“It is a nice feeling,” Julian said, searching for the right word. “Squishy.”

While their clothes dried, Anakin kept fiddling with his penis which shifted between hard and soft multiple times. It was obvious he kept thinking about the cum feeling. Maybe he’d want to try it again next time they were at the washers.

Even though they found other things to talk about, the conversation kept coming back to Naveen having sex. No matter how much they begged and pleaded though, he was adamant that he didn’t want to talk about it. Cooper wondered who it could have been. Surely not someone from Blue Ridge. They’d only been there a few weeks.

Once the dryer pinged, the boys folded their clothes and threw on a fresh set. As Julian opened the laundry room door and the boys walked up the spiral steps of Valentia, Anakin leaned in and said, “We should do that again sometime, Coop.”

Cooper blushed, worried people around could somehow sense what they’d done together. Even still, there was no denying the lurching in his underwear as his penis more than agreed with Anakin’s idea.


“We should talk about last night.”

Roman knew this was coming and tried to busy himself with folding up the stubborn cloth hamper. Why didn’t these things work when they were supposed to? He rattled the hamper until it finally collapsed. Behind him, Roman could hear Fielding tapping his foot, waiting.

After last night, when Fielding had stopped Roman from touching his dick, things had been awkward. By the time Roman woke up, Fielding was already gone from his bed, showered, and dressed. It wasn’t until breakfast that Roman saw him, and by then it was too late to have any meaningful, private conversations. Too late except for now, that is. Why did Ivan and Wyatt have to bail on doing their laundry until later?

The dryer rattled and clattered as Roman turned to face Fielding. His strawberry-blonde hair was dulled in the florescent lighting, but his hazel eyes were no less intense.

“Can we talk about it, please?”

Roman slid down against the dryer until his butt kissed the ground. Fielding crouched next to him. It was clear he wasn’t going to give up.

“I just…I don’t know,” Roman said. “Didn’t you like it?”

Fielding rubbed at his freckled arms. “I did, but not like that, Roman. You were really upset.”

“Sorry. It was another bad dream.”

“You always have bad dreams,” Fielding said. “I’m really worried about you.”

When Xavier had nearly pummeled the two of them earlier in the school year, Roman had to give Fielding some kind of answer. He told him about the times Xavier had shoved him, slapped him, even about getting punched their first day at Blue Ridge. But whenever he thought about opening up to Fielding in other ways, like the ways Xavier had Roman help him shoot his stuff, something stopped him. It was like Roman’s heart was locked in chains, and any effort to speak only rendered him mute. He wasn’t sure he would ever be able to find the words.

He couldn’t talk about Xavier directly, but maybe there was a way to talk around it.

“Fielding, have you ever felt like you don’t belong?”

Beside him, Fielding’s eyes grew unfocused, like he was recalling a memory from his past, but at last, he nodded.

“That’s how it is for me.”

“Being at Blue Ridge?” Fielding asked, but Roman shook his head.

“Being with my family. Maybe it’s me, I don’t know. They’re all so…caught up in their own lives, and sometimes it’s like they forget I even exist.”

“I’m sure that’s not true,” Fielding said and rolled his eyes. “My mom thinks your dad’s a pretty great guy. Believe me, ever since she found out you were my roommate, she won’t stop texting me about it.”

“I mean, he’s always there for other people. It’s part of his job. But him, my mom, they’re always someplace else or running late or never there. Then, with Xavier…”

It was like trying to explain the vastness of space or the depths of the ocean.

“Was he always such a big asshole?” Fielding asked, then quickly amended himself. “Sorry.”

“No, not always,” Roman said. “It’s like someone flipped a switch and turned off the Xavier I grew up with.”

“That sucks,” Fielding said, summing it up in the way only boys can.

“And there are other things…” Roman hinted at cryptically. “Things I don’t really wanna talk about. Can’t talk about…sorry.”

Fielding stood up suddenly and started pacing around the room, wagging his hands like he was trying to rid them of something germy and gross. When he spoke, he was a nervous, shaky mess.

“Okay, so listen. I’ve never really told anybody this other than my moms, because, well, they’re my moms, but I’m pretty sure—like 95% sure—I’m probably gay. And not because they are or anything, at least I don’t think, but because…well, I just am, okay?”

Fielding wasn’t even looking at him anymore as he bounced from wall to wall. Any faster and Roman thought he might combust.

“And I’ve never had anyone like me growing up. Again, moms don’t count. But last year there was this one boy at my school who I had the biggest crush on, but I didn’t know it at the time. I just wanted to be near him. And then one day I was at his house, and we were playing games, and I misread something he said and tried to kiss him, which he did not like, and then I panicked and asked my moms to pick me up. Next thing I know, he tells everyone in our class I’m a fag. The rest of that school year was a nightmare, but then I came to Blue Ridge to start over, so there. Now you know.”

“Woah,” was all Roman could say. Fielding had finally stopped to catch his breath, as much from his pacing as his prattling on.

“So, yeah, if you hate me now, or don’t want to be my roommate or whatever, then that’s fine. But I had to tell you. Because about last night, it’s not that I didn’t want to. I did…it’s just…”

“I get it. You want it to mean something.”

Fielding nodded and before anything else could be said, they jumped as the dryer buzzed behind them. It was good that it had, too, because Roman wasn’t sure he trusted himself to do much else than breathe. He’d never considered doing something sexual with anyone because he was attracted to them. Sure, Roman was close with Xavier, but that was different. He didn’t want to date his brother or anything weird like that.

“I don’t hate you,” Roman said. “And I don’t want anyone else as my roommate. And I don’t care if you’re gay—or one day decide you’re not. But I do care about you. And last night…you’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I promise, if I ever try to do something like that again, it’ll be because it means something to me, too.”

It was like someone unraveled Fielding like a knotted ball of yarn. His shoulders relaxed, and he took in a deep breath before he smiled and gave Roman a hug. As he did, a crack chiseled against the shell outside Roman’s heart, a place he thought long sealed away. For the first time since Xavier—the old Xavier—someone was managing to work their way in.

The thought terrified him.


Roman smacked his hands together and rubbed the chalk into his palms. With his helmet already tightened on his head, and most of his harness laced up, he was ready to climb. He pulled the end of his cramped shorts down to give his balls some relief.

“Hey, Roman, wait up,” a voice called, and Cooper Morrow was there, his thick, wavy hair curling out from beneath his helmet. “I didn’t know you were joining the club.”

To be fair, Roman hadn’t either. Fielding had all but talked Roman out of it when they were first searching for clubs, using Cooper as the main reason why it would be a bad idea. But after the House competition and coming so close to winning, only to have victory snatched away from him at the last second, Roman knew the rock climbing club was where he wanted to be.

“You climbed a heck of a race,” Cooper said. “I only barely beat you.”

Cooper held out his fist, and Roman had to fight the urge to say something cruel. Maybe it was Xavier bleeding off on him. It wasn’t Cooper’s fault Roman lost. He’d gotten too eager, too impatient. Roman shook away the mean thoughts like a case of bad fleas and instead playfully slapped Cooper’s fist away.

“Yeah, well that was only because I took it easy on you. Next time, you don’t stand a chance.”

A light twinkled in Cooper’s eyes. “How about a race right now?”

“Please,” Roman said, cracking his knuckles. “I could climb this wall with my eyes shut.”

They were poised to restart their race, but before they could begin, someone smacked the back of their helmets.

“You boys will do no such thing!”

Roman’s helmet slipped over his forehead as Professor Green strutted past, her tight ponytail swinging as she strode toward the base of the wall. Cooper shrugged, and they joined their teacher, who gave them all extensive rules on safety and always making sure they were properly geared up before ever climbing. After that, she released them to the wall where they worked on basics, including types of holds, climbing and breathing techniques, and the importance of a spotter.

“Even though you’re harnessed up now, climbing alone is still very dangerous. Having someone to look after you can help keep you from taking a nasty fall.”

It didn’t take long for Roman to realize how much he’d misjudged Cooper. Maybe misjudged wasn’t the right word, but he certainly didn’t have the full picture. It was obvious how strong of a climber Cooper was. Anytime Roman thought Cooper got jammed in an awkward spot, he always managed to readjust and make it to the next jug. On top of that, Cooper ended up being a great spotter, helping Roman to see the best routes to climb when he got stuck.

By the time Professor Green called them to unharness and hang their gear, Roman was sweating in places he’d never sweat before. His legs were jello, and his blisters had blisters. Cooper, on the other hand, looked ready to climb another round.

Roman dabbed the sweat burning his eyes with the end of his shirt, and when he looked back up, he saw Xavier’s lanky body slinking away from campus into the nearby woods. He wasn’t taking the cobblestone path, instead crunching through the underbrush, obviously up to something no good.

Just leave him be, Roman told himself, but already his legs were betraying him. Before Roman could slip away and follow Xavier, a hand clasped his shoulder.

“Good job today, Roman,” Cooper said. “I’m sure we’ll race again soon! You wanna walk back to the castle together?”

Roman was ready to decline and chase Xavier down, but by the time he turned his head back around, Xavier was already gone.

What was he up to, Roman wondered.

End Chapter 9

Copyright 2023 – Levi Holland
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