“So that’s why you called me? Give it here.”
“Then why’d you invite me here? To insult me?”
Gentry placed the book in the middle of the table, and hesitated in replying as he thoughtfully leaning his face on his fists.
“I like you.”
The air was tense for a moment, and all at once warm and hazy. Hot, bothered, sick and sultry, yet… it was all right. Zach crossed his arms and tilted his head to one side, like a bird pondering whether or not to dive for a crumb.
“You have a funny way of showing it. Excuse me if I believe that you have more than literature on your mind.”
“Can you blame me?”
Zach scoffed, “Cut it out. I have a boyfriend now. If you’re expecting anything, don’t.”
“Who said I was expecting anything?”
“I just did, because you’d never help me in lit just because you like me. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Gentry watched him for a brief but critical moment. Zach stared right back at him, one hand on the doorknob. With no sound other than a quiet sigh, Gentry rose from his seat and walked over.
It was uncomfortable, but… something was happening. Better than nothing.
It lit the air with excitement, and the selfish joy which Zach mentally condemmed as he followed him with his eyes, gut twisting and turning into tight little knots, the heat of his body only quenched by the cold sweat that broke over the back of his neck. He hated unpredictable moments like this, but craved them all the same.
All too comfortably, Gentry slid his hands over his tense shoulders, and teasingly leaned in to his ear. A feverish warmth radiated from him, enough to make Zach lightheaded.
“Do you want me to make a catch that isn’t there?”
Zach didn’t look at him, but he knew there was a smirk in his eyes and an unspoken desire on his lips. That was always there, the suggestion. The suggestion that any second he could jump him, or dive the way he did in the bathroom. It drove him crazy, that careless, carnal unpredictability…
Gentry sighed, and the warm air tickled his inner shell.
“Fine.” He growled, pulling away.
Zach continued to follow him with his eyes, apprehensively taking in every moment with a judicial, thin-lipped frown. But that judgemental face was an act, because sex appeal wasn’t right nor wrong, legal nor illegal. It just was.
Gentry leaned against the desk and slid a metal ruler out of his backpack. He turned it in his scarred hands, and hit it against the table with a resounding thud, before rubbing his palm down the length.
“Take off those jeans and bend over the table.”
“You heard me.” Gentry murmured as he slid the ruler under Zach’s chin, propped it up and leaning in to those wide blue eyes, “And take off your boxers, too.”
“You’re not serious.”
“I am. And I don’t care if you have a boyfriend; I just want to spank you, then collar and whip you mercilessly. You’ve figured me out--- I have nothing better to do than force you into sexual slavery with my superior lit skills. Maybe I rigged your grade in the office; maybe this is all part of an even more elaborate plan...”
Zach knocked the ruler out of Gentry’s hands and irately pulled away. His features contorted into a grimace of disgust, with eyes narrowed and lips turned down in a snarl of disbelief.
“Is this your idea of a joke?”
“What do you think?” came the tart reply. At least one person was enjoying themselves.
“Very funny.” Zach said in a tone that conveyed the opposite.
“The look your face sure was.”
Gentry eased himself up onto the table, dangling his legs off the edge.
“You know, I can’t force you to do something you don’t want to.”
“---it takes two to cheat. If you can’t trust me, then leave. I think you can’t trust yourself. Though I’m doing you a favor, something your so-called boyfriend isn’t.”
“I don’t want favors. I’ll pay you, how much do you charge?”
“Because. Take it or leave it.”
Zach furrowed his brow in sober contemplation. He was calculating his reply, turning it over in every which way.
“…You’re going to use this for blackmail, aren’t you.”
Gentry wordlessly dragged himself out of his seat. He gave a clipped goodbye, then slung his backpack over his one shoulder.
This time, it was Zach. Like a beleaguered choir boy, he leveled a wary glance and allowed himself a deep breath. He felt a little silly now that he had Gentry’s strained attention. Every spotless, starched, and stiff aspect of it--- if there was anyone who could play cool, it was Gentry. But despite it all, he lingered there.
“I trust you.”