by BRK

 Corey has a secret ability to pull objects through space from one place to another. He doesn’t ever want his lover, Will, to find out, until one day he faces a temptation he’s increasingly unable to resist.

Added: Sep 2022 8,098 words 1,913 views 4.9 stars (10 votes)


“Maybe this is a bad idea.”

Corey ignored the comment as he smoothed out the burgundy duvet and lit the fat red candles on the two nightstands, one to either side of the wide king-sized bed. The candles weren’t necessary for what he was about to do next, but the atmosphere might help him focus.

“Corey,” the voice behind him persisted anxiously, “Maybe—”

Corey slid a hand through his loose, sandy curls. “Maybe you should shut your monkey face.”

The voice subsided, though Corey could feel its owner’s tense, uncertain stare. He let out a long, slow breath between pursed lips, willing himself to concentrate. He had never quite understood exactly how he’d ended up with a sentient, talking sock monkey as a boyhood companion, still with him now as if to remind him of the innocence of long-spent youth. None of his other toys had been magical. Nothing else in the house had spoken to him, or lain awake nights with him laughing at his stories of reckless school hijinks, or teased him about his first chest hairs sprouting like a few pathetic stalks in a barren field. The toaster hadn’t answered back when he’d demanded its attention; the houseplants had callously ignored him; the shower-fogged bathroom mirror never formed a face to remind him to brush his teeth and clean behind his ears. His parents were ridiculously mundane, and so were his annoying aunts and beer-swilling uncles and his good-ole-boy cousins. Nothing else supernatural existed in the world around him, and only one thing that wasn’t human had ever spoken to him: a perfectly ordinary brown and white, red-lipped sock monkey that had appeared, tufted beanie and all, in his toy chest one day when he was eight, not bought by his parents or from any other source he could discover, and now so familiar a part of his life that he couldn’t imagine not having the woolen fussbudget around.

Even so, when all was said and done that bundle of nervous animated knitwear probably only ranked as the second strangest thing about him; and it was that first thing, the hidden eldritch ability he possessed that no one but Monkeymonk even knew about, that occupied him now.

He’d used his talent for years now and then, slyly and with no one the wiser, but only on small things and incidental needs. He’d never tried anything on this kind of scale, and the fear that slithered through him felt like a self-made threat, an id-driven sabotage that could derail the outcome he wanted, in this moment, more than anything he’d ever desired.

He focused, remembering the first time. It was October of his sophomore year in high school, still during his gangly too-tall phase before his dedication to track and field—particularly the field part, with the discus-throwing and javelin-hurling and shot-putting—had filled him out into the classical proportions he worked hard to maintain even today. It was a free period and he’d just sidled up in front of the vending machine, already at peak salivation for those hexagonal multigrain tortilla chips he loved, when he pulled out his change and stared the two quarters on his palm. Not enough. Yeesh! He thought back to the change in the plastic bowl on his dresser. Just one more quarter.

His internal vision had seemed to sharpen, almost like he could see straight into that change bowl back in his room with its plethora of dimes and nickels and stupid pennies and—there, an old quarter from the bicentennial he’d somehow gotten in change from the 7-11 a few months back. He could see it so clearly, it was almost like he could feel its solidity in his brain.

Maybe if it hadn’t been for Monkeymonk, he wouldn’t have tried it. But he knew magic was real, even if he’d only ever encountered the one random example from his toy chest. He made himself see his hand, still held in front of him with the two coins he’d had in his pocket, and consciously willed that single bicentennial quarter he was so unnaturally aware of onto his palm with the others.

A moment of cold nausea washed swiftly him. Then it was gone, and he was gaping at… three quarters in his hand. Three, not two. A shiny new quarter, a duller, worn Delaware state quarter, and that old, scuffed bicentennial quarter, the stern-faced Colonial drummer looking ready to start the American Revolution all over again.

He sensed the presence behind him a split second too late. “You gonna buy anything, geek, or what?” barked the football team’s bloated star linebacker, Tom Aiello, so suddenly that Corey jumped, almost scattering the inexplicably augmented coinage in his hand all over the gleaming tile floors of West Hall.

Quickly fisting his hand and trying to slow his galloping heart, he half turned his head and mumbled over his shoulder, “Yeah, sure, sorry.”

“Then move, before I move you!” Tom brayed. There was a chuckle from someone else nearby—Tom was famous for his lowbrow jock humor.

Corey silently fed his change into the machine, coin by coin. The new one dropped, making the familiar noises. No ejection into the coin return—it was accepted. The Delaware went next; it, too, clattered into place and stilled. Then, trying to keep himself from shaking, he slipped the bicentennial in. Clink, clink, clink. Then, stillness. No ringing ricochet into the coin return. It was good. It was real.

The display read 75 cents. The machine hummed, content and ready.

“Well?” Tom demanded loudly from right behind him, making him jump again. “Come on, Jones! Jeez, do you believe this guy? Some of us have places to be.”

An ungentle prod in the middle of his back made him stumble half a step forward, and he silently rued that his ungainly six-foot-three stature didn’t come with the 230 pounds of solid mass this refrigerator of a 17-year-old had at his disposal for pushing people around, tight ends and virginal sophomores alike. He pushed the buttons for his snack, A, then 7, then watched it drop. It still didn’t seem quite real, but not wanting any more aggression from the bullies behind him he quickly snatched the seven-ounce bag out of the tray and slunk off, Tom’s “Finally! God!” nipping at his ass as he went.

That was the first time. The chips were real, extra-delicious even. He’d really retrieved it into his hand, somehow, dragging it through the two miles of reality that separated the back upstairs corner of the school by the locker rooms and the jumbled upper surface of his solid of cheery dresser. He’d sprinted home that afternoon, speeding past his astonished kid sister (barely home from middle school and already thrashing mecha robots on the living room Gamecube), and dashed up the stairs to his bedroom. He grabbed the blue plastic change dish off his dresser so roughly some of the coins almost sloshed over the edge, peering into the bowl as intently as any scrying seer desperate to find the salvation of his people had ever done. The quarter was gone! The nudged the little treasury around a little, stirring everything to the surface again and again, but there was no sign of the bicentennial quarter at all. It was gone. It wasn’t in the bowl because three hours ago he had stared at it with his brain and fucking wormholed the thing right into his hand!

“Corey? Are you all right?” Monkeymonk said from where he sat propped against his pillow in the middle of his carefully-made bed—his preferred spot for idly pretending to be an ordinary, knitted fluff-toy while Corey was at school. When Corey didn’t move or answer he added tentatively, “You’re acting very oddly.”

Slowly Corey set the bowl back on his dresser and turned to face the sock monkey, who was eyeing him carefully with occasional glances at the door to check they were alone. Corey took the hint and closed his bedroom door, then moved across the room, pulling off his red tee shirt out of habit (he hated wearing shirts, and always pulled them off whenever there was no one around to sneer at his vertically stretched, barely-defined torso). Tossing the shirt toward his laundry basket he sat on the edge of the bed with one leg folded, angling himself toward the monkey.

“Monk,” he said, “are you sure you’re not here because I’m, like, a witch or something?”

Monkeymonk didn’t have eyebrows, but he gave the impression of lowering them anyway. They’d had this conversation before. He didn’t remember anything before he’d opened his eyes to see an eight-year-old Corey peering down at him where he lay half-immersed in childhood detritus, but later, when Corey was old enough to ask questions like this, he had explained that he somehow knew he had been ejected from somewhere, not pulled toward anything. “What happened?” he asked sharply.

His voice quavering slightly, Corey explained about the quarter. Monkeymonk listened without comment. When Corey was done, he said nothing at first. “Try it again,” he directed finally. “Then we will know.”

Know what? Corey thought. But Monk was right—it made sense to test the repeatability of the phenomenon, just like they said in his AP science classes. He bit his lip, casting about mentally for something to try to wormhole. Inevitably, his mind went back to the vending machine and the white and yellow bag of delicious salty chips he’d been hankering for all through Spanish. What had he done before? Eyes here, mind there, bring the thing his mind saw into the place his eyes saw.

His glossy black surface of his desk was right next to his bed, mostly clear for once. He fixed his eyes on the smooth, sable surface, then let his eyes unfocus slightly as he cast back in his imagination to the rows of snacks he saw every day, picking out the multigrain chips in the coil marked A7, 75¢.

As his mental image clarified he had the strange impression that he was no longer conjuring a memory, but actually seeing the bag of chips as it was in that very moment. He kept his eyes on the bag, not wanting to break the moment, but even without looking around he could sense that the wide, gleaming corridor was full of football players in uniform, spilling out of the locker room in twos and threes as they gathered to head out the side doors to the high field behind the school. He should try to be quick—one of them could decide they needed a quick Cheez Doodles fix at any moment.

He sharpened his psychic stare even harder, forcing the bag he wanted into excruciating, almost trippy detail, becoming a strange kind of weight in his mind, solid and slightly warm and immutably real. Then, steadying his thoughts as best he could, he carefully repeated what he’d done before, slipping that “heavy” image of the chips bag onto the black, smooth surface of the desk he was actually looking at with his physical eyes.

Almost instantly, it came—the cold flutter of nausea—and Corey knew it had happened.

His pulse quickened. He blinked, releasing the vision in his mind (he thought someone might have squawked “What the f—?” just as the connection blurred, but he couldn’t be sure), and then … the impossible was before him, physical and incontrovertible. The bag of tortilla chips, having arrived in the same vertical position it had been in where it stood in the vending machine coil, dropped silently onto its back, rocking slightly on the black surface of the desk like a penguin who’d fallen placidly back onto the ice for a little quiet stargazing.

Slowly, Corey turned to look at Monkeymonk. Monkeymonk regarded the chips for a long moment, then turned to Corey and, with uncharacteristic insouciance gave him a wordless, sock monkey shrug.

Just then his door banged open, startling him badly for the third time that day. “Hey, Stinky!” his sister Sara bellowed, standing in his doorway with her arms crossed over her white tee and girly red overalls. “Didn’t you hear the phone? Mom’s calling!”

Knock!!” he roared back at her, scared and angry. His heart felt like it was beating out of his chest.

Sara rolled her eyes and stomped back into the bathroom at the end of the hall, slamming the door behind her. With final quick glance at Monkeymonk Corey jumped up and went downstairs to find the kitchen phone, which lay waiting for him off the hook on the counter next to the bananas. Peeling one of these in an effort to steady his nerves, Corey picked up the phone and gave his CPA mom the usual assurances: yes, he’d gotten home okay. Yes, he’d have the usual preplanned Tuesday dinner ready by the time she got home (Tuesday was turkey tacos, Sara’s favorite). No, no one had bullied him. No, nothing interesting had happened at school. Nothing at all.

After that, Corey tested his ability. Warned by the near-miss of his sister almost walking in on him, not to mention the nagging sense that that “What the f—” might have been one of the football meatheads happening to glance at the rows of chips bags at the exact moment his selection had silently vanished from the machine, he was careful to the point of paranoia. He practiced in the dead of night, wormholing random objects elsewhere and recalling them back. No changes seemed to come over them, and he came to take it as read that the objects he wormholed were unchanged by the process. He sent that same bag of chips back and forth to its perch in the vending machine a good ten times, then tentatively tried the chips—good as ever. He sent his full laundry basket down to the basement where the washing machine was. Kind of practical, but not exactly a life saver. He deliberately left his bookbag behind one morning and then called it to him in one of the stalls of the boy’s bathroom; a good test, but he was so racked with nerves that someone would call him out as not having his bag when he first arrived that he decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

He knew if he’d been a little more confident he could have turned it into a cool party trick, pretending he was doing sleight-of-hand but actually making that coin appear behind someone’s ear for real, or something like that; but he wasn’t that guy, and, tall, skinny unpopular physics nerd in an unpopular sport as he was, it wasn’t like he had a coterie of hangers-on vapid enough to be impressed by whatever glib card tricks or fake-unfake prestidigitation he might have come up with. He tried sending Monkeymonk exactly once, with his permission, just from one end of the bed to the other. He said he felt all right afterwards, but that the transition was a bit unnerving and he would prefer not to do it again.

Weirdly, then, the novelty of his uncanny ability started to wear off. He started testing himself for any other powers he might have. He couldn’t make his Mom’s decorative hen/rooster mated salt and pepper shakers move, no matter how long he sat at the table and stared at them—not without wormholing them from one spot to the next, anyway. He couldn’t will his hot chocolate to reheat when it got cold. Changing channels was still down to whoever had claimed the remote, like always. He couldn’t make his sister shut up when she blathered on at the dinner table about Scouts or the mecha game she was crushing all her friends in.

He definitely couldn’t fly. That was a big no.

Corey started wormholing less and less. That half-second of cold nausea started seeming more and more unpleasant. His use of his abilities tailed off, until fear he might lose it if he didn’t use it regularly caused him to consciously use his power once a week every week, purely for the purpose of upkeep and conditioning, like the hardcore training he was putting himself through on the track and field team. He decided to consciously create a new habit of sending his laundry basket down to the basement every Friday after school, when Sara was at Scouts and his Mom hadn’t come home yet. It seemed a little pointless—he still had to stump down the two flights and actually do the laundry, along with everyone else’s, as a part of his weekly chores; but he forced himself to keep it up, until flicking that heap of dirty jeans, smelly socks, and sweaty tees down to that same exact spot on the concrete floor next to their high-end Maytag was almost second-nature, as easy as breathing.

Years passed. High school ended, and he sailed into a prestigious engineering program at a school just far enough away from home that he didn’t feel like he had to come home every weekend. He transitioned into the culture shock of the dorms a little roughly. He was a little thrown by the casual male nudity—sure, he’d seen plenty of ass in the locker rooms, but these were men, stepping in and out of shower stalls, milling in the bathroom, even dashing down the halls, naked and hairy and very much not what he was used to.

His roommate, a hard-studying, hard-partying honors student named Orem, was particularly distracting. Not just because he liked shirts even less than he did and was fit and handsome enough to get away with it, but because he seemed to appreciate Corey’s smooth, cut, track-honed physique from a perspective that seemed to lie halfway between a bro respecting a bro and a banked but smoldering bi-curiosity. The energy between them had a low-level “what if” charge that never quite went away.

Roommate quirks aside, generally Corey slotted into college well. He got some good-natured teasing for having brought his sock monkey with him, and it took him a while to understand the rhythms of his new life enough to find much time alone with him. He had a real scare when, late one Friday afternoon, he instinctively wormholed his laundry like he was used to—all the way back home to that same spot next to the Maytag in his old house. The next second he was frantically calling it back, and the heart-pounding shock of almost exposing himself at home and school put him off wormholing for a long time. Only later was he able to laugh at himself for taking the old cliché of taking his laundry home from college a bit too literally. Remembering his fears about his power atrophying he trained himself into a new habit, one inspired by his original discovery of his ability: whenever he was awake and alone in his room in the middle of the night, usually late on Fridays when his roommate was guaranteed to out at any of the various weekly beerfests around campus, he’d transfer any change he had in his change-dish into the tips jar at the Campus Coffee Castle where merit scholar Orem was picking up a few shifts every week for extra cash. That got to be second nature, too, after a while, though he always double-checked to make sure he was alone and the coffee shop was closed and dark before flicking his coins into the squat, ceramic, open-skilled knight by the main registers.

Meanwhile he settled in, trying to make himself as normal a freshman as possible. He made friends, had a few dalliances, studied hard, and tried to ignore Orem’s unselfconscious glances. All in all he settled into a new and pleasant routine.

Then he met Will, and everything changed forever.

The meeting wasn’t anywhere romantic, nor was it a grand event. Corey went to study with a classmate, Jody, in her dorm, and her friend Will happened to be stop by, mooching her supply of homemade brownies from a recent care package. Corey glanced up from highlighting passages in Foundations of Material Science and Engineering, caught one sight of the man deflecting Jody’s flak as he rooted through the deep red tin for just the right corner piece of fudgy brownie goodness, and… he was done.

It wasn’t even that Will was such an all-impressive Adonis, exactly. He was handsome, sure, with olive skin, an enticing stubble-beard that obviously received a certain amount of daily attention, loose, dark hair, and a pure, easy smile that would probably melt any heart it was aimed at. He was tall and athletic, not quite Corey’s height but just a bit buffer, going by the bulges hinted at by his stylish midnight-blue hoodie and the suggestive swells of his thighs and calves in his new-looking jeans. His banter with Jody was playful and affectionate, his voice was deep with just a hint of rasp, and when he turned his head to smile at Corey his hazel eyes seemed alight with endless energy. A long second passed before Corey realized he was staring at the guy, agape and dazed. He shut his mouth with an audible clack of his teeth, unable to look away. The object of his instant affection just let his smile go a little crooked, winked, and sailed right back out of Corey’s life, scarfing down his pilfered brownie before he was even out the door.

That wasn’t the end of it, of course. He got all the details he could from Jody, who seemed half amused and half exasperated—this wasn’t the first time Will had snuck in and stolen one of her friends’ attentions, apparently. They contrived for him to “run into” her and Will at lunch the next day, and more meetings followed, sometimes the three of them, increasingly just Will and Corey. Will proved himself genial and sure of himself but completely free of the kind of arrogance and hubris Corey was used to seeing in good-looking, confident, well-muscled guys. He wasn’t actively seeking a relationship, he said, but to Corey he seemed willing to be wooed. Corey, completely hooked, found his thoughts revolving around Will all the time—so much so that when a slightly drunk Orem finally started actively flirting with him he didn’t even notice. He’d chide himself for having cartoon hearts in his eyes, but he knew there was no way back. He had to have Will, and he would make that happen however he could.

Then, one cold Saturday night in November, he was suddenly at the turning point. Orem was away for a weekend with his folks, along with half the dorm, it seemed. Candles were lit, lights were lowered. Playlists were queued. Monkeymonk was… loaned out to a bemused Jody. Everything was planned. Will would be his, for real and for good.

Then Will showed up, right on time in a snug navy sweater and khakis, a four-pack of ale in hand and an oddly bashful expression curving his stubble-framed lips, and Corey forgot all his coyly suggestive conversation as he fell into those sweet hazel eyes. Without a word he slid his arms around Will’s narrow waist, pulled them together, and slid his lips against Will’s.

Will’s surprise was brief, and he quickly got into the spirit of things. Carelessly dropping the beer onto the nearest bed he folded Corey up in his powerful arms as he opened for him, deepening the kiss. Passion swamped Corey and he pressed himself hard against Will, feeling his thick manhood mashing hungrily against a corresponding hardness in Will’s pants as their kissing grew more urgent and feral. He pulled at Will’s sweater, trying to get it off him without stopping their demanding make-out, and finally Will pushed him back long enough to yank Corey’s henley off him and let Corey do the same with that yummy sweater, revealing a dream body, a shade darker, hairier, and more muscular than Corey’s lither, creamier discus-thrower’s bod. They toed their shoes off, already knowing what was coming, and then they were crashing back together, kissing hard and messily while they pushed their bodies into each other, feeling up each other’s torsos and asses with the fervor of men impossibly turned on by hard, elegantly sculpted masculinity.

Then they were in the bed—at the last minute Corey remembered to steer them toward the one that didn’t have the beer in it—and Corey was on top of Will, still kissing him passionately as they struggled to get each other’s pants down. Moments later their hard cocks were jostling together at last as they mouthfucked, hot and thick and aching for release. Deftly kicking off his own pants and Will’s with a single move, Corey dropped his crotch right back onto Will’s heat, feeling their balls and cocks rubbing together free and uninhibited, like that was how their junk was supposed to be. Corey never wanted to wear clothes again, or be more than an inch away from this smart, kind, and utterly sexy man.

He stared down into those hazel eyes, which were glinting gold in the candlelight. “How do you want it?” he asked, his voice sounding rough in his own ears. “Do you want to fuck me, or me fuck you?” When Will smiled, he added slyly, “Because there will be fucking.”

Will held his gaze. “I want…” he said, dragging out the moment, “…to be in you, and I want you to be in me. I want to feel you inside me, Corey. I want you to feel my cock deep inside you, all the way, as far as it will go.”

Corey shivered. He realized he was actually close just from hearing those words in Will’s low baritone, and from seeing the intent and passion in those mesmerizing green-gold eyes. He forced it down, for now. He tried to think of something clever to say, but a smirky, off-handed “We’ll just have to switch off, then” sounded lame, and “I want that too” seemed… curiously inadequate. Instead he grinned and pounced, renewing the furious kiss, and they kept this up, rutting animalistically as they made out naked and desperate on top of Orem’s favorite green blanket, until they finally started making Will’s words come true—every single one.

From that night on they were inseparable, not just through college but afterwards. Corey got a premium job at an engineering firm in Chicago while he worked on his masters, and Will, a design major, went with him, finding plenty of lucrative work there as well. They bought an apartment together, and Monkeymonk—still only a sock monkey to Will and one his favorite endearing quirks about Corey—was consigned to Corey’s desk in the spare room they’d converted to an office, not much more interested in watching Corey make hot, sweaty love with Will than Corey was in have a sock monkey spectator.

They got sweaty in other ways, too, religiously working out together, making a game out of laughingly competing to see who could achieve the most chiseled abs. They talked about everything, more and more in sync mentally and physically. They mixed with each other’s colleagues, went out and stayed in, and looked forward to every minute spent together, whether it was sharing meals, nestling on the couch, or delivering pure, simple ecstasy to each other in bed.

Corey reveled in their mutual devotion, and was as happy as he had ever been. The only thing between them were Corey’s two secrets, the things that made him too strange for anyone to accept; but the more time that passed between them, the more Corey sure he’d never need to tell Will anything.

Then Corey’s job shifted. He got a promotion, one that involved travel. At first he went with it, having been well trained by his mother in the practicalities of following a clear and stable career path. But the nights apart ate at him. Being away from each other was prolonged agony for them both, one that didn’t ease at all as the months passed. Video phone sex and endless conversations until his battery died helped, but they weren’t enough.

This last trip was the worst. Ten days in Scotland, put up at a quaint local ten-room hotel with spotty cell reception and wi-fi that was “down for repairs,” if it had ever existed at all. Corey was going mad, Monkeymonk was at wit’s end trying to calm him, and things seemed as dark as the ominously threatening sky outside.

Finally, on the seventh night, amidst the black, raging storm that had finally broken that afternoon, Corey had had enough. It had been a day and a half since he’d even spoken to Will, and a stressful day and a bad meal at the half-assed restaurant downstairs made him close to frantic. As Monkeymonk watched he paced the room in increasing agitation, lightning and thunder from the growing storm punctuating his mood. Finally he stopped, swung to face Monkeymonk, and growled, “That’s it. I can’t take it. I have to do it.”

“Do what?” the sock monkey asked warily, his red, woolen lips pursed.

Corey looked him dead in his shoebutton eyes. “I’m going to bring Will to me,” he said. “I’m going to fucking wormhole him.”

Will had always thought true love was a Hollywood myth, and the aching that supposedly came not being able to be with your fated mate a joke. Coupling was about pleasure, pure and simple. It was the whole reason he’d resolved to start working out, all the way back when he could still count his public hairs on the fingers of one hand: he wanted to know what it felt like to rub up against other guys, and building sweet aesthetic muscle was the obvious way to up the quality of the dudes interested in letting him. Plus the guys would catch a bonus too, he figured, getting a hotter body to feel up and mash up against. It turned out to be a triple win when he discovered how pumping iron came naturally to him, the rhythm of it anchoring his occasionally turbulent home life and even helping him focus academically enough to get into a good school and aim at a real future for himself.

When he met Corey, he told himself that all he saw was another hot guy to share pleasure with. His first meeting with the man, a chance encounter in Jody’s dorm room, wasn’t his usual hook-up scenario: usually he noticed a fellow lecture-attendee’s hard, round ass as the exited the auditorium together, or the swell of his firm pecs under a sweat tee shirt as he slapped his buddies’ backs after a round of hoops, or the honed curves of his thighs as he cooled down from a run at the water-bottle refill. With Corey, he noticed—him. It wasn’t just the ice-blue eyes that entranced him, or the ridiculously sweet elfin face under the adorable mop of sandy curls. He didn’t even pick up on the decently broad shoulders then, or any of the other signs that he was mouthwateringly fit under that baggy Vikings tee. All that came later. In that first moment, what he registered was Corey’s presence. It was something about him, something Will couldn’t name, something that made him want to stroke that peach-cream cheek and slide a finger along that sharp jaw, until his thumb found those plump, slightly parted lips. He realized he was getting turned on just seeing the guy—for once, before he’d even gotten a good look at his ass!

Acting on instinct, he’d tossed Corey some bait and then bolted, shoving the stolen brownie into his mouth to distract himself from his confusing sense of full-body arousal. He was more relieved than he’d have cared to admit when Corey followed up, arranging a supposedly random meeting via Jody that instantly became a date. Will found he couldn’t get enough of Corey. Just being with him made his blood head and his heart swell—and his dick, too. Corey did turn out to have a splendid ass and an amazing everything else, and their first fuck was passionate and carnal and utterly epic. Even as he was blasting his load for the second time, Corey’s long, hot dick so deep in him he through he could taste it, all he could think through the shared, sweaty haze of euphoria was more. Not just more fucking—more Corey. More Corey, all the time.

Corey obviously felt the same way. They could not get enough of each other. They were in each other’s pockets day and night, through college and then beyond, neither questioning the need to be together even after the protective bubble of university life was behind them. They kept physically close whenever they could, his hand always on Corey’s waist or his shoulder or his ass, their bodies pressed tight in mutual comfort. Even when they were out in social situations Will wanted his face to be constantly near Corey’s, as if his soft, meticulously-kept stubble were a sensor array that could feel the proximity of Corey’s warm, smooth cheek and jaw, flooding his mind with the reassurance that Corey was there, that a kiss could be stolen at any moment. Sometimes just knowing that and being close was enough, but there were plenty of times Will just couldn’t resist and would attack Corey’s mouth without warning, winning a surprised, laughing reciprocation from his man while their friends hooted and cheered.

The travel thing, when it came, was the wrench in the works he hadn’t seen coming. Will had never done “alone” well. Even before Corey he’d always sought out people and avoided solitude at all costs. Now that he was in love, it was a hundred times worse. Their modestly upscale flat with all the big rooms and wide windows was painfully empty when Corey was away, full of vast expanses of empty he could barely cope with. Going out didn’t help; he still felt alone, even at the movies or their gym on the corner or the local gay-friendly bar they went to sometimes. Texting Jody in San Diego only reinforced how isolated he was. If he tried walking in the park, something they did together whenever they wanted a quiet moment of peace together, his sense of aloneness seemed to expand into the open air, filling the whole fucking planet.

As if that weren’t enough, as the months went by he started having strange moments when he was sure he was being watched. At first the eerie sensation was infrequent, but lately it was happening more and more, until every night Corey was away, as he lay in their too-big bed half-sick from missing him, Will was certain there was someone watching him. Craving him. Caressing unseen eyes over his ripped, naked body, seeing into his soul, feeling his aloneness and echoing its own back.

During this most recent trip to Scotland the sensation had become intense. On the third night, as Will lay there, his skin prickling, he felt his cock start to fill and his heartbeat quicken, as though his body knew what he couldn’t bring himself to believe. He closed his eyes, letting the feeling of being watched sink into him. “Corey?” he said at last, soft and uncertain, though he knew it couldn’t be anything but his man making him feel all these things.

He regretted having spoken almost instantly—the sensation stopped, leaving him alone again in the cold bedroom. He had felt him, though. The strangeness stopping the moment he said his name was proof—it had to be. Pretending Corey was still with him he jerked off feverishly, for the first time since Corey had left, then, after cleaning himself up, slipped into an uneasy sleep, hoping this spectral version of Corey would return to him.

Will must have spooked him, he decided, because the sensation of being watched did not recur the next night, or the night after that. Will kept his nerve, stoking his hopes. Then, on the seventh night, it happened. The unseen eyes were back, more potent than ever. Will sensed desperation and reckless need in his lover, and just the idea got him instantly hard. He lay exposed in the middle of their bed, sheet cast aside, letting himself be raked with roiling, unfathomable passion built up over too many days apart—the same passion he felt burning through him like liquid fire as he imagined Corey watching him and wanting him. Touch me, he thought. Touch me, you sweet bastard! Do it! I need to feel you! I need—

There was a moment of tingling, pervasive cold, like his body was infested with ice-spiders for the barest fraction of a second, and then the room changed completely. The sheets under his naked body had somehow turned cool and cloyingly floral-scented—no, it was a soft, thick duvet, not the chocolate-brown sheets that Corey loved, still holding his lingering scent after a week apart. The bed felt soft and full of springs. Candles flared to either side of him, casting horrific shadows on unfamiliar walls. Thunder crashed, seeming to shake everything. Slumped over him like a rag doll was a half-naked man, his pale skin looking white and exotic in the flickering candlelight.

Will gasped. Was this Corey?

He grabbed the figure by the arms and lifted him to see his face. It was Corey. At first Will had been scared he was unconscious (or worse), but to his relief he saw his eyes were half-open, though only the whites were showing under his long lashes as they lolled back into his head. Will shook him lightly, not wanting to flail his head around too much. “Corey!” he called, worried. “Corey, babe, are you okay?”

They eyes stayed lolled back, but a watery smile tried to take hold of Corey’s lips. He mumbled something in a silly voice that sounded like Willie-will-will.

Will shifted over on the bed, drawing Corey onto his back and getting him fully onto the bed. He stroked Corey’s cheek, worried and excited all at the same time. He’d been needing to see him and touch him like this, to be this close to him. He just wished Corey didn’t look so… drained.

“Corey, sweetheart,” he cooed, sliding the backs of his fingers along the fine sandpaper of Corey’s jaw. “Talk to me, babe. Tell me you’re okay.”

Corey’s lids fluttered, and Will finally saw the delicate blue eyes he loved as Corey met his gaze. “Did I do it?” he slurred. “I did it, right? You’re really here?”

Will spared a quick look around him and understood at last where he was. Lightning flickered in a nearby rain-spattered window, and in the beat before the thunder rolled he took in what could only be Corey’s much-hated hotel room in Scotland. It had been described to him at great length in their few sporadic phone conversations over the last seven days, down to the vomitous orange tulip wallpaper and the collection of three (unfueled) hurricane lamps provided as bits of pointless, random decor on the pine shelf over the TV stand. He turned back to Corey with a wonderstruck smile. “I’m really here,” he confirmed.

Then, when Corey said nothing further, he had to ask: “How?”

Corey squeezed his eyes shut, his brow creasing lightly. “Get Monkeymonk to explain,” he directed blearily. “Too tired.”

Will, bemused, glanced across the room to where Corey’s beloved sock monkey was perched on the low, old-fashioned bureau, watching them intently with what Will fancied was a rather more astonished expression than usual. And well he might, Will thought, quirking his lips as he turned his head back to Corey. He resumed stroking his cheek and said soothingly, “You can tell me later.”

“S’your fault,” Corey murmured, clearly starting to drift. “You’re way too heavy in the mind.” Will huffed a laugh and kissed him on the forehead, allowing him to fall into the deep, restful sleep he clearly needed, his other half finally, if inexplicably, once more at his side.

A two-hour nap and a mug of herbal tea from the caddy next to the Mr Coffee in the nook by the door rejuvenated Corey enough to be reasonably human again, and he was able to give a brief account of “this one thing I can do.” Will listened, a bit dazed, as they sat together on the side of the springy bed. Corey watched him nervously, finally interrupting himself to ask, “Are you… are you okay with this?”

Will felt something warm well up in him as he stared back into those worried ice-blue eyes. “You missed me so much you bent space and time to bring me near to you,” he said, his voice low and rough. He took the mug out of Corey’s hands and set it on the night stand next to the now-guttering candle, then took his shoulders in his hands, locking their gazes. “Corey, love,” he said, “I am very okay with this.”

They made love until the sun came up, first with Will on top, then Corey, emboldened and reinvigorated by Will’s acceptance of what he could do, gave him the dicking of his life.

After taking turns in the small, anemic shower they came back out and regarded each other wistfully, each taking in the other’s wet, carefully sculpted form. “I have to get to the client site soon,” Corey admitted ruefully.

“Me too, actually,” Will said. “I’ve got two long consults this morning back to back.” Of course, with the time difference Will was not in such a rush, but there was no point hanging around if Corey was going to be in meetings. He frowned. “Are you sure you can do this? It seemed to take a lot out of you last night.”

Corey nodded, though his expression was more uncertain. “It was weird—it had never felt like that before,” he said. “Usually it’s just flicking something one place to another. Like at school I was always sending my change to the Coffee Castle every week, but—”

“Wait, what?” Will broke in. When Corey explained about the regular exercise he’d forced on himself involving transferring his spare change to the coffee shop’s tip jar, Will jumped in again. “I saw that!” he said excitedly.

Corey blanched, looking alarmed, and Will hastened to reassure him. “I didn’t see it actually happening,” he said. “But I was in there a lot on Friday nights as they closed, and I saw them empty out that mug with the tips a few times. And—remember how I was always doing early morning runs on Saturdays? I’d stop in when they opened as I was finishing, and I kept seeing change in the change jar all over again that I knew shouldn’t have been there…”

Corey was still looking a bit unnerved. “Fuck, and I always worried how I’d get caught,” he babbled, giving Will a crooked smile. “It’s like that Charmed episode where Piper uses magic on some asshole and he realizes what happened and it ends up causing these witch hunts that start tearing everything down, and—”

Will put a hand on his shoulder, grinning at him. “Dude, dude, you weren’t ‘caught’!” he said quickly, chuckling. “Anyway in retrospect it’s actually hilarious. I just ended up telling myself they were seeding the thing to get more tips, though I didn’t ever quite believe it. The truth is, I kinda liked the spooky strangeness of it all.”

Corey’s smile resurfaced, a little stronger this time. “You liked the… spooky strangeness?”

Will stepped closer, catching Corey’s gaze as they felt each other’s body heat against their bare, chilled skin. “I love the spooky strangeness,” he said.

Corey beamed, and Will had to kiss him—solemnly, deeply, and at great length, meetings or no meetings.

“Do you… want me to lie down on the bed?” Will asked.

Corey threw up his hands. He was looking a little pale, but now that he wasn’t so overwrought he didn’t seem to be on the brink of collapse like he’d been the night before.

“I don’t get it!” he said, turning away from Will and ranting, seemingly to himself. “I got the chill, I felt the weight of him in my mind, I saw our living room—” He shook his head, turning to Monkeymonk. “Do you have any ideas?”

The sock monkey said nothing.

“Okay, look, maybe doing a whole person two days in a row is too much of a strain,” Will said. “You said you’ve never done people before, right?”

“No, just Monk.”

Will nodded, glancing at the sock monkey again. “R-right. So, let’s do this. What if you… transferred?”

“Wormholed,” Corey corrected, still turned away from Will with a scowl contorting his sweet face, one Will very much wanted to assuage.

“Wormholed,” Will repeated. “What if you ‘wormholed’ me my wallet, keys, and passport—maybe some clothes, if that’s doable—and I can just fly home? Easy answer, no problema.”

Corey turned back to him, shoulders slumping. “That’s ridiculous,” he said. “I can send you back.”

“I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”

“I won’t!” Seeing Will’s worried look, he said, “Look, let me try it one more time, then we’ll do it your way.”

The second try to reverse Will’s little wormhole trip to Scotland was not a success, though Will thought just for a moment it might—he was sure he could sense the ice-spiders, only to have the whole feeling snuff out like a doused match. Corey was chalk-white after that final try, and Will forbade any further attempts to send him bodily back to the States. Instead, and only after a decent breakfast and two black coffees in the restaurant downstairs, Corey glumly set about wormholing Corey’s wallet, keys, passport, and some comfortable traveling clothes straight out of the clean laundry basket from the two loads Will had done the night before to distract himself and hadn’t gotten around to putting away. Smelling the smell of their dryer sheets, something he associated with home, in this dingy countryside hotel halfway around the world triggered his amazement at what Corey could do all over again.

He had to reschedule his consults after all, of course, and getting back home took almost the entire day, but he was riding high on seeing Corey and didn’t care too much. He still had a smile on his face when he got out of the rideshare from the airport, and he was already starting to miss Corey again as he unlocked the door to his apartment, stepped inside… and froze.

The apartment door opened into the living room, and there were three shirtless men standing right there in front of the sofa, less than ten feet away, in a close cluster as if Will had interrupted an intimate discussion. Will gaped at them, and they stared right back. They were olive-skinned, handsome, exquisitely muscled, hairy-chested, hazel-eyed, stubble-cheeked, and, most shockingly, they were all him. He knew it, instinctively and unquestioningly: All three of these men… were him.

The one on the right turned to the others. “I told you there’d be one more,” he said smugly.


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