Mike walked into the room to see Anthony dancing to loud music he didn't recognize. Anthony gyrated his hips to the beat and spun so he was facing the door. His eyes were shut, and he was deep into the music. Mikes mouth watered as he followed the small trail of soft black fur with his eyes. It started right between his abs and traveled down between his abs and into the waist line of his shorts. His tail swished to the beat behind him and his mouth was slightly open revealing shiny long fangs. His claws brushed through his hair and his feet moved silently. He wasn't wearing any shoes and Mike noticed his slightly furry feet and his toes which were padded like a panthers. Anthony hated shoes. Mike shut the door and Anthony's bright yellow eyes snapped open,
"Oh, damn sorry. Didn't see you there." Anthony smiled showing his fangs.
"It's your room too." Mike swallowed and tried not to look at Anthony. He knew he was attracted to the panther but he felt horrible, soul crushing, guilt whenever he thought anything remotely sexual about the other man. They had been sharing the room for over a month now and Anthony knew Mike was still grieving for his boyfriend. He knew Mike had nightmares. He would wake up in the night screaming or crying. He wanted to do something but he didn't know what.
"How was your class?" Anthony asked.
"It was OK." Mike pulled out a text book and sat at his desk.
"Lots of homework?" Anthony ransacked his closet looking for his mesh top he loved.
"Yeah. You?" Mike pulled out a pencil and began thumbing through the book.
"Nope, I'm going to the club tonight." Anthony sighed when he couldn't find the top. He grabbed his uniform, which was just a vest, and put it on without a shirt under it. " How does this look?" Anthony asked. Mike glanced at his muscular, soft, chest and swallowed his guilt.
"You look great." Mike turned back to his homework. Anthony looked at him for a moment.
"You should come with me. You never get out." Anthony said.
"You're not clubbing, your working. I would just be in the way." Mike shook his head without looking up.
"I get a ton of breaks. It's a weekday we are never busy. Please?" Anthony begged.
Mike sighed and looked at his picture of Alex.
"He wouldn't have wanted you to sit here alone. Don't you think he would have wanted you to be happy?" Anthony got serious.
"I can't. I..... I just can't." Mike turned back to his work.
"don't wait up m'kay?" Anthony said as he was halfway out the door.
"Alright." Mike said. He heard the door shut and sighed. He looked at his picture again and let the tears fall.
"I need you." he said out loud.
"Do you mind if I bring someone here?" Anthony said one Saturday evening.
"Huh?" Mike asked as he looked up from the book he was reading.
"I met a guy. We've been seeing each other and I wanted you to meet him." Anthony said.
"Oh, sure it's your room too. How long have you two been dating?" Mike asked.
"A couple weeks." Anthony turned back to the mirror and put on his eyeliner thick. Mike looked up shocked.
"You haven't said anything about him." Mike said.
"Well, I know how you get when you talk about Alex. I just didn't want to bring up something that could stir up old emotions or anything, you know? Seeing me with a guy might bring back memories of you and Alex dating or something." Anthony looked at him through the reflection in the mirror.
"No, its fine. I'm glad you found someone." Mike shrugged.
"Cool. Is it OK if he comes tomorrow?" Anthony asked. Mike nodded. Anthony smiled.
"Awesome! Oh, by the way some guy called for you earlier." Anthony went back to work on his makeup and hair.
"Who?" Mike asked.
"Some dude. Evan, Eaton, Eden?" Anthony shrugged.
"Ethan?" Mike asked. He squeezed his book until he could hear the pages ripping.
"Yeah that's it. Who is he?" Anthony asked as he teased his hair.
"He uh. He was my best friend awhile ago." Mike said. He felt tears stinging his eyes.
"Oh, what happened?" Anthony asked, not really paying attention.
"He hated Alex and was friends with the guy who shot him." Mike stared blankly at a wall. 'Why would Ethan call...' He thought to himself.
"Oh, damn. And you still talk to him?" Anthony turned in his seat to look at Mike.
"No, why did he call?" Mike asked, still glaring at the poor wall.
"He didn't say. He just wanted you to call him back." Anthony shrugged. He looked sympathetic and worried for Mike.
"Fuck that." Mike went back to reading. Anthony stood up and walked over to his bed and sat down.
"don't you think its time you stopped punishing yourself for what happened? It wasn't your fault there was nothing you could have done to stop it." Anthony said and put a hand on Mikes leg, trying to comfort him. Mike looked at the hand and moved his leg so Anthony wasn't touching him. He was surprised how long it had been since another man had touched him besides his father. He missed it.
"You cant just stay locked up in here. Please come out with me tonight. Pretty please?" Anthony begged. Mike sighed. They've had this conversation hundreds of times.
"I know this great club. You deserve some fun. Come on." Anthony begged. He looked at Mike with those big yellow eyes and his tail swished lazily. Mike felt his cock stir. Anthony was in his favorite leather pants and was barefoot as usual. He had on his thick black make up and had on a simple black tank top that was tight enough to show off his toned body.
"You know the answer." Mike turned back to his book. Anthony let out a small growl and grabbed the book and threw it across the room at the door. It smacked the door and hit the ground. Mike looked at it in silence for a second then looked back at Anthony who just stared back.
"Was there a point to that?" Mike asked.
"The point was for you to get off your ass and stop brooding." Anthony bared his fangs and let out another growl. It wasn't meant to be threatening. Just to get his attention. Mike thought it was sexy. He mentally kicked himself and willed his cock to relax.
"I don't want to-"
"You don't want to forgive yourself for what happened to Alex, but it wasn't your fault. I know your not ready to meet somebody yet but that doesn't mean you have to sit in here like a hermit. You can go hang out with a friend cant you?" Anthony shouted. Mike stared at him quietly for a second.
"I don't have anything to wear." Mike sighed. Anthony smiled and his ears perked up. His tail swished happily.
"My ex left some stuff lying around and I figured I could find someone who would want to wear it." Anthony got up and began rummaging around in the closet.
Mike felt uncomfortable in the dark, loud, club. There was a ton of guys on the dance floor and several couples danced together. Several people said Hi to Anthony and Mike had three phone numbers in his pocket already. He knew he would just throw them away when he got home. A large guy walked up to Anthony and gave him a kiss. Mike shifted uncomfortably.
"Mike, this is James." Anthony introduced the two. James smiled at Mike but it wasn't a friendly one. " The guy I told you about." Anthony clarified. Mike nodded. Anthony had to yell to be heard over the loud music.
"James this is my roommate, Mike." He turned to the other guy, James. James put a possessive hand around Anthony's hips.
"Hey." He said. Mike nodded at him and gave a half smile.
"Let's go dance, babe." James said to Anthony.
"I don't just want to leave Mike here." Anthony said to him. James sighed. Mike felt like a third wheel and just wanted to leave.
"Its fine, I think I'm going to go Anyways." Mike sighed and looked for the door.
"No! Please, just find someone to dance with. It doesn't have to go any further then that." Anthony said.
"I don't think so." Mike shook his head.
"Come on, Mike. Just find one guy to dance with and then we can go." Anthony reasoned. 'Baby steps.' He thought to himself. Mike sighed.
"Fine." He nodded. Anthony smiled.
"I'll see you out there." He said as James dragged him away. Mike looked uncomfortable just standing there and was almost glad when a small man, if you could call him that, walked up to him and shyly asked if he wanted to go dance. Mike nodded and the two headed out. The music had a loud firm beat and the smaller man began to dance and gyrate against Mike. Soon Mike got into it and didn't even realize they had been dancing for over half an hour. He looked around and saw Anthony pushed up against the wall by James and making out heavily.
"I'm Chris." The smaller man introduced himself.
"Mike." He smiled. Chris blushed and looked shy.
"Do you... do you want to go somewhere?" He asked. Mike swallowed uncomfortably.
"Actually I'm just here 'cause my friend would let me sit in our room anymore." He smiled nervously. " My last relationship kind of ended badly and I'm not really ready to get involved with anyone. I didn't mean to lead you on or anything." Mike felt bad when the smaller man looked crushed.
"Its OK. I should go." He tried to turn his head to hide his tears and walked away. Mike grabbed his arm and pulled him back before he could get to far.
"Wait, please I didn't mean to turn you down like that. Cant we just hang out? You know dance, as friends?" Mike asked. Chris smiled a little and nodded. Mike pulled them back to their spot on the dance floor and began dancing to the new beat. They danced for awhile until Anthony walked up and tapped Mike on the shoulder.
"Its getting late. Are you ready to go?" Anthony smiled at Chris and he gave a small wave.
"Sure, This is Chris." Mike introduced them.
"Hey. James already left he has work in the morning and I have class. We should get going." He said. Mike said goodbye to Chris and began leaving.
"Wait!" Chris caught up to Mike and wrote his number on Mikes hand.
"Just friends." He smiled and walked off. Mike smiled and watched him walk away before Anthony pulled him out the door.
"So, Chris." He said.
"Hes just a friend." Mike smiled at Anthony. He found himself smiling more and more everyday.
"uh huh." Anthony rolled his eyes. " You gonna call him?" He asked.
"As a friend." Mike said and nudged Anthony with his shoulder.
Mike wrote down Chris's number when they got back to their room and crawled into bed.
"Night, Mike." Anthony said from across the room in his bed.
"Night." Mike replied.
"Mike!" He was startled awake by Anthony shaking his shoulders. He could see his glowing yellow eyes in the dark and felt something warm on his face. He raised a hand and realized he was crying. He had been having another nightmare. He was covered in sweat and could hardly breath. He wanted Alex. He wanted his songbird back. He sobbed and grabbed on to Anthony. Anthony held him while he cried and stroked his hair. Anthony crawled into bed with him and let Mike soak his chest with his tears. Soon Mike had fallen asleep on his chest and was snoring slightly. Anthony sighed and tried to get comfortable and soon followed Mike into sleep.
Mike woke up and felt a small body under his own. He smiled and nuzzled the chest and planted a kiss on the firm body.
"Morning, babe." He said groggily.
"Uh, Mike." Anthony said uncomfortably. Reality snapped back to Mike and he remembered Alex was dead. He remembered the night before and how Anthony had comforted him in the night. He sat up quickly and pulled his hands away from Anthony.
"Shit." He felt his cheeks go bright red and didn't know what to say.
"Its OK, Mike. It was just a mistake." Anthony put a hand on his shoulder. Mike shook it away.
"Yeah. OK. Sorry. Was just dreaming." Mike had had a good dream of Alex once Anthony had soothed him back to sleep.
"It happens. No awkwardness, yeah?" Anthony asked.
"Yeah." Mike moved over Anthony and got dressed quickly.
'Jesus what would Alex think?' He scolded himself.
Anthony was at class and Mike just sat lazily around the room. He held the picture of Alex in his hands and just looked at it and thought. He stroked the smooth glass and longed for the days he could feel the amazingly soft feathers of Alex's wings. He sighed and put the picture back on his nightstand.
'Why bother torturing myself?' He thought. A slip of paper fell off the nightstand and he reached down to pick it up. He folded it and remembered Chris from the night before. He thought for a moment and reached over to pick up the phone. It rang a few times and then he heard Chris's voice. It sounded different without the loud music muffling it.
"Hey, Chris. Its Mike from last night." Mike was worried he wouldn't remember him.
"Oh, Hey! How are you doing?" Chris asked. Mike didn't see why he should tell Chris about last night.
"I'm OK. Do you want to do something today? As friends?" Mike clarified.
"Sure! Uh, what did you have in mind?" Chris asked. Mike didn't feel like going out. He remembered he was supposed to do something with Anthony and James that night.
"I don't know, Anthony's boyfriend James is coming over. You could too. I don't know what we're doing thought. Just a fair warning, the guy seems like hes kind of a dick." Mike laughed. He heard Chris giggle.
"Sure, that sounds fun. When should I come over?" He asked. Mike thought for a moment.
"We could do something before he comes over. I have an epic movie collection. You wanna hang out over here and veg?" Mike laughed.
"I love movies!" Mike could hear Chris smiling over the phone. He told him where he lived and they made plans to meet in an hour.
Anthony walked into the room in a hurry. He didn't have long before James came over and he wanted to change into something nicer. He walked in and saw Mike and Chris, the boy from the club, sitting on the floor watching some old movie. Chris's head rested in Mikes lap and the two shared a bowl of popcorn.
"Hey Anthony." Mike said without looking up.
"Hey." He said. He dropped his bag and walked over to the closet.
"One of these days I'm going to tally how many times you change clothes in a day." Mike said without moving his eyes from the TV Chris giggled.
"Shut up. Do you mind if I change?" Anthony asked Chris. Chris blushed and shook his head no. Anthony quickly stripped down to his boxers and slipped into something sexier.
"I invited Chris to hang with us tonight, hope you don't mind." Mike said.
"No problem." Anthony put on some black bracelets to match his outfit.
"How do I look?" Anthony asked. He wanted to look good for James.
"Good." Mike said without looking away from the TV
"You didn't even look." Anthony threw a shoe at Mike. It hit him in the head and Chris started laughing.
"Ow." Mike said but didn't look away from the TV He fumbled for the shoe and threw it blindly. It missed Anthony by several feet.
"That was just pathetic." Anthony rolled his eyes and turned around back to the closet. Mike looked away from the TV Finally and threw a handful of popcorn and Anthony's head. Anthony turned around and glared at him. He looked at the TV Like nothing had happened.
"I need to run out real fast. I'll be back before James gets here.' Anthony walked out.
Silenced passed between Chris and Mike for a moment before Chris got up the courage to ask.
"So, uh, Anthony. Hes an infected?" He asked. Mike looked down at him.
"Yeah, that's not a problem is it?" Mike asked. He was enjoying Chris's company, he didn't want it ruined.
"No, no! I was just wondering. I've never actually met one before." Chris blushed.
"Oh, there just like regular people. Just...fuzzy." Mike smiled. Chris giggled. And looked around the room. His eyes fell on the picture of Mike and Alex.
"Is that your ex you were talking about?" Chris asked and pointed to the picture. Mike looked over. He felt uncomfortable with Chris's head in his lap. It felt like the picture was watching them.
"Yeah." He said sadly. Chris looked at him but knew better then to ask.
"So how bout you. Any special someone?" Mike asked Chris.
"No. I've...I've actually never had a boyfriend." Chris blushed.
"What? Lies! There's no way someone as cute as you could stay single." Mike laughed. Chris gave a small smile and blushed harder.
"I just... I want to meet someone but I want a relationship based on more then just sex. You know?" Chris picked at his nails nervously and looked up at Mike.
"Yeah, I know. Just don't give up. You will find a good guy." Mike assured him. Chris smiled and tilted his head back over Mikes leg to see who opened the door.
"It all keeps adding up, I think I'm cracking up..." Anthony walked into the room singing Basket Case by Greenday. Mike smiled at him and began tapping the drum line to the song on Chris's stomach. Chris laughed as Anthony continued to sing and Mike rocked out. He soon joined in on the chorus with Anthony. They burst into a fit of laughter and Anthony was down on the floor with them laughing so hard. They were laughing so hard they didn't notice the door open and James step in.
"What are you doing?" He asked Anthony. Anthony stopped laughing and stood up brushing himself off.
"We were just having some fun." Mike said and shrugged.
"On the floor?" James raised one eyebrow.
"Why not." Chris shrugged and laughed when Mike did a drum roll on his stomach. James scoffed and looked at them like they were insects he should crush with his expensive boots. Chris looked up at Mike and mouthed ' Dick ' to Mike. They had another giggle fit and Anthony looked embarrassed.
"Mike." He growled.
"What?" Mike threw up his hands.
"Get up." He growled quietly.
Mike rolled his eyes and stood up before reaching a hand down to help Chris up.
"So, James where are we going tonight?" Anthony asked him.
The night went horribly. They ended up going out to get something to eat. Mike and Chris both wanted a local diner not far from the dorm and Mike knew Anthony loved it. James looked like they had offered him the contents of a dumpster. Anthony acted as if he hated the place. Finally they agreed to go there Anyways. When they got seated in the diner they ordered and James got up to use the bathroom. As soon as he was out of earshot Mike turned to Anthony.
"What is your problem?" He asked. Anthony looked at him.
"What?" He shrugged.
"I know you love this place. Why did you say you didn't? You act weird around James." Mike said.
"He just has different interests. I just want to make him happy." Anthony rolled his eyes.
"Its one thing to make him happy its another to not be yourself. Besides, that guy could win the lottery and just shrug it off and ask for more." Mike rolled his eyes. Chris giggled.
"You don't like him?" Anthony asked.
"The guys a prick, Anthony. Hes to stuck up to even have fun." Mike said.
"Whatever." Anthony sighed. His tail flicked back and forth angrily. James walked back to the table and Anthony stood and grabbed his hand.
"Where are we going?" He asked.
"We're leaving." Anthony said and looked at Mike as they left.
"Thank god." James sighed.
After they had eaten dinner Mike walked Chris back to his apartment that he and two friends shared and then he walked back to his dorm. When he got back he saw Anthony was already asleep and he stripped down before crawling into bed and falling asleep himself.