The pedestrian bridge about half a mile off campus was well known for being a prime cruising location. Parker leaned against a tree, his Ray Bans concealing his vivid blue eyes, his nondescript navy blue hoodie concealing his blond-streaked hair and his broad shoulders. Through the dark lenses of his sunglasses, he studied the men passing by the bridge, first checking out their physique, their walk, their hair, and especially noting if they seemed to be looking for someone the same way he was.
Nobody knew that Parker spent his Sunday afternoons cruising a bridge off campus. His parents didn't know. His friends on the state champion hockey team didn't know. And his girlfriend sure as hell didn't know.
Parker knew he'd be in big trouble if anyone knew he came here, or about any of the men he'd hooked up with in the last year. Melissa would leave him for sure, not that it would be a big loss. His father would probably cut him off and he'd have to scramble to figure out a way to pay his senior year tuition at the university. And his teammates... well, they'd probably beat him to a bloody pulp.
Parker tried not to think of the possible consequences of his actions as his eyes rested on a man sitting on a bench about ten yards from the bridge. Actually, he was more of a boy, probably around college age like Parker was. He had short black hair that was tossed carelessly by the wind, and there was an intensity in his face was intriguing. But more than that, Parker was drawn to the taut muscles in his shoulders and chest, even though he had a lanky frame.
The only problem was that the boy was wearing a T-shirt with the name of their university on it, and reading a textbook that clearly labeled him as a student. Parker's general rule was "you don't shit where you eat." If this boy was a student at his school, he needed to stay far away, no matter how sexy he was.
And Parker likely would have done just that if the boy hadn't stood up at that moment, grabbing a pair of forearm crutches from under the bench.
Parker felt like he did after he got an elbow in the gut during a hockey game. The air left his lungs and his knees felt wobbly as he watched the boy struggle into a standing position, leaning heavily on his crutches. He walked laboriously across the bridge in the direction of campus, taking two steps with his crutches, then dragging his legs along behind him. His right knee didn't seem to bend at all, and his left knee looked like it bent almost too much. From his location adjacent to the bridge, Parker could see the muscles flexing in the boy's forearms and biceps as he gripped the handles of the crutches.
Parker pushed his hands into the pockets of his hoodie, feeling his erection bulging under his pants. He'd never been so turned on in his life as he was while watching this boy crutch his way across the bridge. Suddenly, he didn't give a shit if the boy went to the university or what the possible consequences might be. He had to meet this boy. Even if nothing sexual came of it, he wanted to get to know him.
He pulled his hood further down over his forehead, ducked his head down, and started following the boy. The boy was walking pretty slowly, which was fine since Parker was nursing a huge hard-on. At one point, the boy looked like he was about to trip on a tree root jutting out of the ground, and Parker's heart sped up, thinking that if he fell, that would be a perfect excuse to introduce himself. But the boy righted himself and continued on his way.
Parker was so focused on the boy that about a minute later, he found himself flying forward as he tripped on the same root that nearly felled the boy. He pitched forward, his right knee landing hard against the firm soil, and knocking the wind out of him. Stunned, he lay on the ground, nursing his bruised and bloody knee. Parker had fallen many times during hockey, but he was always expecting it then. This one came out of nowhere.
As Parker tested his knee out to see if he could straighten it out, he heard a male voice above him saying, "Hey, you okay?"
He looked up and his heart soared when he saw the boy he'd been following had come back to see if he needed help. Despite the fact that there were about a dozen able-bodied people passing by, the boy with crutches was the only one who had bothered to stop. "I think so," Parker said. "I guess I was distracted." By you, he wanted to add.
"That looked like a pretty nasty fall," the boy said. "I almost did the same thing a few minutes ago."
"I'm a little embarrassed," Parker admitted.
"Don't be," the boy said. "I fall all the time. You get used to it."
Parker struggled to his feet, ignoring the sharp pain in his knee as he stood up. He'd had an ACL tear on the other knee, but this had always been his good one. He could put weight on it at least. And anyway, that was the least of his problems right now.
"I'm Jamie, by the way," the boy said, taking his hand off his crutch to hold it out to Parker.
"Hi, Jamie," Parker said. "I'm Parker."
"I know," Jamie said.
"I think everyone knows the name of the school's number one hockey champ."
"Oh yeah," Parker said, pushing the hoodie off his head so that he could scratch his hair. It was a nervous habit that drove Melissa crazy. "Anyway, thanks for stopping to help, Jamie. Nobody else did."
"Yeah, I'm used to that," he said. "I figured I'd be a good samaritan."
Jamie looked like he was getting ready to walk away, and Parker knew he couldn't let that happen (as much as he would have enjoyed seeing Jamie walk some more). Parker took a deep breath and sputtered, "Hey, I'm starving. You want to grab some food at the cafe?"
Jamie's eyes, brown flecked with green, widened. Parker was terrified that he had crossed a line, but then Jamie nodded. "Sure," he said. "I'm starving too. Do you want to go to the Greenhouse Cafe?"
Parker nodded. He'd gone to the Greenhouse with lots of friends from hockey and of course with Melissa. But he'd certainly never invited any of the men he hooked up with to join him at the cafe. He wondered if his invitation had sounded odd to Jamie. After all, nobody at the school suspected that Parker was gay. But the way Jamie agreed so quickly... it gave Parker hope that maybe something interesting would come of this. He was willing to risk it anyway.
To be continued................