Secret Love

T

Disclaimer: I don't own OffBeat.

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It had been a week since Tory's trip to the gym with Colin. It had been a week since they'd kissed. Now it was the weekend once again, and Tory was eager to go someplace with Colin again. He knew that Colin was reclusive and unavailable during the week, so after school on Friday, Tory brought up the subject of going to the gym again.

"Colin?" he asked as the two boys walked out the door of their school.

"Yeah?"

"Um, if you're not doing anything tomorrow, want to go to the gym again? 'Cause it was fun last week…" Tory said awkwardly.

"Yeah, sure," said Colin softly. He smiled at Tory and the red-headed boy blushed. "But this time, how about we go swimming?"

"Aw, that'd be fun!" agreed Tory.

"Great. I'll call you Saturday, then," said Colin.

"OK," said Tory. "Well, see ya!" and the boys went their separate ways (even though they lived in the same neighborhood, Colin was driven home while Tory took several modes of public transportation).

Come Saturday, Tory had prepared his gym bag thoroughly. He was wearing his swim trunks under his pants, and packed a towel, a change of clothes and some shampoo and body wash, since last time he had forgotten and Colin had had to lend him his. As he was getting his coat on, Paul came in and questioned the teenager.

"Where're you going?" he asked,

"To the gym with Colin," said Tory.

"Oh, so you two are hanging out on a regular basis, huh?" said Paul, a hint of teasing in his voice.

"Yeah, I guess," said Tory, trying not to sound embarrassed. He hadn't told Paul of the kiss he and Colin had shared, and he wasn't sure if Paul had the slightest clue the two boys were now romantically involved.

"Well, have fun."

"Thanks. I will," said Tory. And then he left.

Like the last time, Tory and Colin met outside, and walked to the gym together. Tory was especially exited to get to see Colin in nothing but a bathing suit, but he did his best not to show it. Colin on the other hand, was as calm and collected as ever. Tory liked that about the boy, but he also envied him for it. He wished he could be as relaxed as Colin, instead of the blushing, awkward fool that he saw himself to be. He felt like he was at a disadvantage; his mannerisms always giving away what he was thinking while Colin remained an intriguing mystery.

When they arrived at the gym, Colin, once again getting in with just a membership card, actually waited this time for Tory, who had to sign in. Last time, Colin had rudely gone right ahead while Tory was detained by paperwork. Tory was glad that Colin had waited for him, but he didn't say thanks or anything.

The boys found two lockers right next to one another, and stored their clothes in them. Colin had also worn his bathing suit under his pants. Tory drank in the sight of Colin slowly pulling his shirt up over his head and then off his arms. His hair got a little messed up as he pulled his shirt over it, and it gave him a sort or wild look. Tory liked it a lot. Tory attempted to take off his hooded sweatshirt the same way, but the hood got caught on his head and he couldn't get it off. Colin suppressed a laugh.

"Uh, little help?" Tory mumbled. Colin smiled and gently pulled Tory's sweatshirt off of his head, and once he had gotten it off, held it between the two of them, and looked into Tory's green eyes. The two of them stopped laughing and just looked at each other for a moment. Tory was hoping that maybe Colin was about to kiss him again, but Colin just looked away after a minute. Tory sighed, but then he realized that there were other people around, and they probably were better off not kissing just then.

"Come on," said Colin, handing Tory back his sweatshirt. The two boys finished undressing and then walked into the pool area.

"Oh, there's hardly anybody here," Tory commented, noticing that the pool was divided into three parts; the shallow end, the deep end and the lap lane, and that there were only two other people there. One person was swimming laps and the other was just floating around and swimming freestyle.

"Yeah. Let's go," said Colin. The two boys slowly climbed into the warm pool water. It had been a while since Tory had swam, and his tummy scrunched up when he sank into the water.

"Heh, it's kind-of cold," he said.

"Not really," said Colin, who had already submerged himself up to his neck. Tory, not wanting to look weak, dived under the water and came up right in front of Colin.

"Yeah, whatever," he said, wiping his eyes. Because he was so close to Colin, their legs touched. Tory blushed and jerked himself backwards, away from Colin. Colin had felt it, but knew that Tory was just embarrassed, and pretended not to notice. "Want to race?" asked Tory.

"Uh, OK."

"Alright, let's start here, and…first one to the other end and back wins," Tory explained.

"OK."

"You ready?"

"Yeah."

"Alright…and…go!" Tory and Colin both took off. Tory didn't really know what he was doing, and was just swimming by keeping his head out of the water and doing little dog-paddling motions. Colin, as usual, was experienced and knew exactly how to correctly swim laps, and beat Tory the first length by at least ten feet. He even knew how to do a somersault in the water the way Olympic swimmers do, and flip himself around again to push off against the wall and start swimming back.

Tory was a little chagrined, but he managed to finish the race, which accounted for something. Colin was waiting for him back at the shallow end. Tory came up panting, his chest heaving.

"Are you OK?" Colin asked, not seriously, just out of common courtesy.

"Yeah!" Tory huffed. He and Colin were once again very close. Tory reached up and rested his forearm on the ledge of the pool, hanging off while he caught his breath. "Man," he breathed. "I'm out of shape."

"Not really," said Colin in a low voice. "You're probably a lot stronger than you know." Tory's breathing slowed as Colin touched his arm and ran his hand up to Tory's shoulder. He squeezed the red-headed boy's arm a few times and smirked. Tory blushed like crazy at Colin's feeling-up of him. His breathing became ragged as Colin's hands glided across his chest, much like how Tory had felt him last week when they were on his couch. Colin slowly moved his hands down Tory's arms and rested them on the red-head's waist. "You'll get better, as long as you keep working at it."

"Thanks," said Tory, letting go of the pool ledge and wrapping his arm around Colin's waist, pulling him closer.

"Heh," Colin laughed, smiling at Tory. Their lips almost touched. Suddenly, they were splashed by a kid jumping into the pool.

"Aah!" grumbled Tory. The moment was ruined, so they boys just swam around and raced a few more times, before getting tired.

"Want to get out soon?" asked Tory.

"Yeah, there are too many kids here, now," said Colin. "I think Family Swim is starting."

"Well, let's go," said Tory. He climbed out of the pool and Colin followed. Tory was so busy admiring Colin's dripping wet body he didn't even notice they had forgotten to bring towels with them. As soon as they got back in the locker room the temperature seemed to drop ten degrees. "G-g-g-g-g!" shivered Tory. "It's c-c-c-cold!"

"Yeah…we probably should've brought towels with us!" agreed Colin, his teeth chattering.

"Unnnnghhhhh!" whined Tory. "So cold!"

"I know!" said Colin. "L-let's g-go in the hot-tub until we warm up."

"G-g-good idea!" Tory said, holding his arms around his cold body, Colin doing the same.

They found the hot tub already occupied with another man. They nodded in acknowledgement to him as they stepped in.

"Ahhh!" sighed Tory. "That's much better."

"Totally," sighed Colin. "Nice and warm." The other guy chuckled at them. Colin sat down on a ledge in between to jets and nodded to Tory, indicating that he wanted Tory to sit next to him. Tory did so.

The three of them sat there for what seemed like hours, even though it was only about ten minutes. From time to time, Colin would find Tory's foot with his own, and they'd rub their feet together, unbeknownst to the other guy in the hot tub with them. Tory returned the gesture by holding Colin's hand under the water. They were confident that the other guy couldn't see what they were doing, since the foam created by the water jets was too thick to see through. They still wished they had some privacy, though.

Soon, the man glanced at his watch, and realized that it was time for him to go. He got out of the hot tub, leaving Tory and Colin alone. They watched until he disappeared through the fogged-up windows of the room, then slowly turned to each other, smiling.

"Man," said Colin. "I thought he'd never leave."

"I know, right?" breathed Tory as the two of them moved closer to each other and kissed. Colin gripped Tory's shoulder's aggressively and Tory wrapped his arms around Colin's back. They were so giddy and in love, they found it hard to kiss each other without smiling and laughing. Tory rubbed his nose against Colin's in an Eskimo kiss, and Colin seemed to like it.

"You're so cute," he whispered to Tory.

"You are!" said Tory. Before they could get into a play-argument of who was cuter, Colin kissed Tory again. When they pulled apart, they both looked at each other lazily.

I'm really in love with him. thought Tory. Colin was thinking basically the same thing. Tory leaned in and kissed Colin's neck. Colin smiled and scrunched up his body because it tickled so.

"Ha ha ha!" he giggled. "Tory that tickles!"

"Sorry," said Tory, going back to kissing him on the lips. Suddenly, their make-out session was interrupted by an employee.

"Uh, you can't do that here!" he said sternly. Tory and Colin pulled apart and cringed in embarrassment.

"Sorry!" said Tory. "We're really sorry!"

"Yeah, we'll stop. Sorry," said Colin, nodding.

"Look, we don't discriminate, but if you guys want to make out, you have to do it somewhere else. Understand?" said the employee.

"Yes," said Tory.

"Yes," said Colin.

"Alright then," said the employee. "Now if I catch you again I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

"You won't," said Colin. The employee was already walking away. The two boys were silent for a moment.

Darn it. thought Tory. Just when things were getting good! Suddenly he felt Colin's warm breath on his ear.

"Meet me under the water," Colin whispered. Tory turned around to face the other boy, and saw that Colin had already submerged himself in the foamy, bubbly water. Tory took in a deep breath and went under.

The two boys felt around for one another with their hands, finally finding each other. Tory leaned in, hoping that, even with his eyes closed, his lips would just somehow find Colin's. They did, but only briefly. As soon as they kissed, their bodies made their natural reaction to being underwater, and started to rise again. They two boys bumped their heads and came up laughing hard.

"Ha ha ha ha ha!" laughed Colin. Tory just snorted through his nose.

"Yeah, that didn't go over so well, did it?" chuckled Tory.

"OK, that was stupid, I have to admit…ha ha ha ha ha!" Colin laughed. Tory couldn't help but join in, even though he liked kissing Colin better than clumsily knocking their heads together and then laughing about it. Colin was beginning to calm down when Tory walked over to him. He slowly wiped a few strands of wet hair out of Colin's eyes and looked into them longingly. Tory wanted to kiss Colin so badly, but they couldn't risk getting caught again. Pressing his eyes shut, Tory sighed and looked away from Colin.

"Well, we should go," said Colin, finally having regained his composure. Tory looked up, feeling almost hurt because he thought Colin meant that they should leave and go back to their own houses, not seeing each other for the rest of the day. Colin however had a familiar smirk on his lips, which Tory took to mean that their 'date' was not yet over.

They got out, showered, got dressed and then left the gym. They wished they could have held hands on the way home, but there were two many people around.

"So…you want to come over?" asked Tory.

"Uh, can I?"

"Yeah. I mean…my mom might be home, but…" The two boys walked back to Tory's house to find Paul on the front porch smoking a cigarette.

"Hey Tory," he said. "You're mom went shopping. Said she's going to get a chicken for dinner."

"Oh, thanks."

"Hey Colin," Paul said to Tory's acquaintance. Colin waved shyly.

"Uh, why don't you go on in? I'll catch up in a sec," Tory whispered to Colin. "You know where my room is, right?" Colin nodded and went inside. Tory turned back to Paul. "So, she's not here?" he asked. Paul nodded. "Score!" Tory said to himself. Paul grabbed him by the arm.

"Wait just a minute, lover-boy!" he said sternly. "I don't know when she'll be back and I'm not going to stick around to give you a heads-up. You two behave yourselves, you got me?"

"Paul!" grumbled Tory, shoving him. "We're not going to do anything!"

"You'd better not," said Paul.

"We won't," Tory said seriously.

"Alright then. See you later."

"Bye."

Tory reached his room and found Colin politely standing there, not sitting on anything or touching anything.

"Heh, sorry about that," said Tory. "Uh, come here." He sat down on the bed and patted a spot next to him. Colin sat down. "So…my mom won't be home for a while," Tory began. Colin smiled and the two boys kissed. Tory leaned back on his bed, pulling Colin down on top of him. They kicked off their shoes and pulled the covers up over them, so that they were all cozy, cuddling underneath the blankets.

"So, should we just…stay like this for a while?" asked Colin.

"Yeah, that's what I was thinking," said Tory. Facing each other, they rubbed noses again, sighing in their relaxed state. Colin closed his eyes and Tory tucked the raven-haired boy's head under his chin. They wrapped their arms around each other and rubbed their feet against each other's.

Tory couldn't have been happier than if they were able to be together in public without fear of other people's judgment. He just wanted to be with Colin. It didn't matter where. Colin was just as happy, too. They didn't know how long they'd be able to cuddle together before Tory's mom got home, but for now, they were both perfectly happy.

Tory wanted to tell Colin that he loved him, but he wasn't sure if they were ready for that. They'd only just started 'going out,' if one could even call it that. He figured they should wait a few weeks before saying "I love you."

Someday I'll tell him, thought Tory. For now, this is perfect.

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THE END

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