A Walk On Queer Street

Only quick reflexes saved Evan from being thrown into the wall by the side entrance door as it flew open. The way his hand snapped up to catch the solid metal was all instinct, as was the quick sidestep he made to clear the entryway. The fright of the sudden assault sent his pulse racing, and matters certainly weren't helped by the man who skidded to a stop just past him to do a double take.

"Shit, Evan! Are you all right?"

It seemed Evan wasn't the only one with a racing pulse. Connor must have run all the way to the gym. Then again, that wasn't uncommon on it's own. What was out of the ordinary was that Connor was nearly half an hour late to his morning practice. Evan tried to laugh off the tension their near-collision had caused, letting go of the cold door to run his fingers through his short hair.

"I'm good, Connor. No problem. What happened? Late start on your morning run?"

"Nah," Connor panted, flashing him an expression that was half relief and half annoyance. "My fucking cell phone alarm decided to auto-snooze or some shit. Didn't wake me up until ten after six."

"You ran two miles in under fifteen minutes without a warm-up?" Evan couldn't help but be impressed. He nearly dropped his book bag when Connor snorted and playfully punched his arm.

"There's a reason I'm the one training to be champ now while you waste away up in that studio with your little paintbrushes."

"Hey!" Evan punched back, the quick jab just powerful enough to truly be felt if not bruise. "I don't bitch about your boxing, so no knocking the artwork."

"Boxing's a real sport," Connor teased, finally regaining his breath.

Evan smirked. "Art is a real career."

Connor was about to fire back, but a booming voice echoed through the hallway with such force that they both couldn't help but cringe.

"Connor O'Riley! You get your ass in here now!"

"Shit," Connor muttered under his breath before shouting back. "Coming, coach!"

"He's gonna rip you a new one," Evan chuckled.

"Yeah. Too bad I don't actually need a new one." The statement piqued Evan's attention. Connor couldn't have meant that the way he thought. He must have been imagining things. If Connor was secretly gay and taking it up the ass, then the world as Evan knew it would practically come to an end. It was just lack of sleep, or so he instantly told himself. Lack of sleep had him projecting his desires into Connor's harmless words. He'd stayed up late to finish that oil painting so it could dry all day, and that had thrown off his normal rhythm.

Another punch to his arm made him blink himself back to reality. "Huh?" he asked dumbly.

"I said, 'You coming to practice tonight?'" Connor repeated hastily, already bouncing in place a little to keep his blood flowing.

"Who else can still give you a run for your money in the ring?" Evan smirked. "I'll be here. Now, get in there before Rex gives himself a hernia."

Connor grinned at him and waved before sprinting through the hallway to the main gym. Evan retreated out the door to the side parking lot just as Rex began giving Connor a lecture that would score at least a hundred decibels. He looked up at the overcast sky. It was still dark outside except for the light pollution of the city, an almost golden glow that was dully reflected by the clouds.

Two years ago, he would have been right there with Connor, taking a run in the chilly weather before sunrise. Evan was great at boxing and could have competed at the top levels if he'd devoted himself to it, but his life's ambition hadn't been to fight the best and beat the best.

Drawing and painting had been the only subjects in school he excelled in, but instead of taking it as a sign, his father had encouraged him to drop out of school to train in the gym their family had run for the last three generations. Without a mom around to discourage them, they'd hired Rex years ago, and he was one of the best coaches out there. With his help, Evan could have gone all the way, but then Connor showed up, three years younger and begging to train alongside Evan for just a couple months.

Evan shook his head at the memory and crossed the small, private parking lot to his car. "A couple months, my ass," he muttered as he sat in the driver's seat, pumped the gas pedal, and turned the key in the ignition until the car rumbled to life. A couple months had turned into a year, and then two years. It had started out as a friendly rivalry while Connor played catch-up, but as time went on, Evan had realized two things. First, he wanted to pursue art more than boxing, and second, he wanted to fuck Connor more than any of the girls his aunt Grace kept trying to shove at him.

Two years since he'd quit boxing, and only in the last few months had he found his stride. He had his GED, had a couple college classes every day, and spent the rest of his time helping Connor train. Despite his love of art, he hadn't been able to completely leave boxing behind and disconnect from Connor. Like it or not, he had a thing for his former training partner, and that thing refused to die, no matter how many others he'd fucked around with in the last year.

He reached down and turned the heater from the floor vents to the face vents, closing his eyes as the hot air streamed onto his face full-blast. He must have been a glut for punishment, sticking around when Connor had given no indication of being bi, much less gay.

"That, or I've lost my fucking mind," he chuckled to himself before putting the car into gear and easing out of his parking spot to the nearly deserted street. Then again, who was crazier, the artist who served as a part-time punching bag, or the boxer who ran two miles in the frigid winter without a warm-up?

Evan decided it was a draw.

***

The knock on Evan's studio door barely made it to his ears over the rock music that was blasting from his computer speakers, but it didn't blend with the beat of the music and eventually pulled him out of his groove. He glanced up at the time. Ten o'clock at night. Who the fuck would be bugging him this late when he had to get up before dawn to make it to his morning classes?

He nudged the volume control with his elbow, turning the music down before grabbing a rag for his charcoal caked hands. When he peered through the peephole on his door, his pulse sped, and he quickly undid the latch and chain over the door. He opened it to find Connor standing there in the dim florescent lighting of the hallway.

"Hey." He hoped the one-word greeting managed to convey his surprise.

"Hey," Connor echoed, and Evan could tell he was embarrassed by the way he shifted on his feet and looked everywhere but into his eyes. "I know you've got finals coming up, but I couldn't sleep. Thought I might hang out with you for a bit. I figured if I actually made it here without turning back, it'd be worth it, y'know?"

Evan was about to answer, but Connor's eyes zeroed in on his dirty hands, and he never got the chance before Connor was apologizing. "Shit. You're busy. I can go. It was fucking stupid of me to come all the way here without even thinking to call ahead. Sorry, man. I'm just gonna–"

"Connor!" Evan nearly had to shout to get Connor's attention. "Shut up and get your ass inside. The hallway's fucking freezing."

Connor's blue eyes finally met Evan's hazel gaze, and shock was slowly replaced by a grateful grin on the younger man's face. Evan stepped out of the doorway, motioning Connor inside, and the door was soon closed and locked to keep out the chill.

"Holy shit," Connor chuckled as he searched for a place to throw his heavy, snow-dusted jacket. There were art projects everywhere, which made the search utterly futile. He watched as Connor gave up and plopped his coat by the door before taking a closer look at his artwork.

His pulse pounded in his neck, and he had to swallow a few times before he could step back into the main part of the room. Connor had never seen his artwork. Sure, they were friends and all, but between his school schedule and Connor's training, there was rarely time to just hang out. Two years, and Connor hadn't stepped foot in his studio when he actually had art projects out.

Evan cleared his throat. "The oil paintings are still drying, and I've got a couple more charcoal pieces to do for my final." He sat down at his easel, which was set up with his canvas. Tossing his rag aside, he picked up his charcoal again. "I'm almost done with this one, which I started a couple days ago."

Curiosity got the best of Connor, and Evan chuckled when Connor rounded the canvas for a peek and did a double take with a whistle. "Is that what I think it is?"

Evan chortled. "It's a naked woman. What else would you mistake it for?"

"Duh." Connor nudged him with a glare. "I meant is it one of those drawings you did with the model there in the room?"

"Yeah. She was there. It's a figure drawing. She posed for about an hour in that reclined position as we drew her." He brought the charcoal to the canvas and scribbled a little under one breast and down her side before smearing the lines with his fingertips, deepening the shadow he'd already drawn.

"That's hot," Connor commented with a smirk.

"It's not all naked women," Evan felt he should point out. "We draw naked men, too. We had one day where two men posed at once for us."

"Even better," Connor murmured, sending a chill down Evan's spine. He tried to tell himself he'd heard wrong, but there was no mistaking the words when Connor was all but speaking into his ear, watching him draw from over his shoulder.

"What do you mean?" he managed in a steady voice, fighting not to shift in his seat. It wasn't just the general discomfort of having someone watch him draw so intently that made him want to fidget; it was the way his cock twitched with interest at the possibilities in Connor's words. Fuck, but it couldn't be true!

He looked over his shoulder soon enough to see Connor straighten and shrug. "Nothing, I guess," Connor said nonchalantly, and Evan wasn't sure if Connor meant to be a tease or was just answering honestly until those blue eyes were drawn to another of his oil paintings. He sagged a little on his stool and tried to concentrate on the gentle curves of the female body he was drawing. False alarm, once again.

The minutes passed slowly, and the awkward silence seemed to settle into something more companionable as Connor slowly circled the room and made small comments about Evan's work. He wasn't sure if Connor was just being nice with all the compliments, but it still made him loosen up a bit and make simple conversation instead of brood like he would have if Connor had left.

"Nice view of the gym from here, too," Connor noted from the window of his studio that looked out over the inside of the gym.

Evan smirked to himself, knowing Connor couldn't see it. "Yeah. It's come in handy a few times."

Silence descended again, but this time it was ended abruptly as Connor practically sprinted to him from across the room. "Come down and spar with me."

"What?" Evan couldn't help but laugh, pivoting on his stool to face Connor. When met with Connor's eager gaze and serious expression, his own smile dropped a bit. "You can't be serious. The heaters turned off two hours ago. It's fucking cold down there."

"Don't be a pussy, Evan. We've sparred outside in the snow before. It won't be that bad." Connor crossed his arms stubbornly. "What? Afraid I'll make you kiss the canvas so hard you won't be able to finish drawing your hot, naked woman?"

It was just enough to make Evan's eyes narrow, and he set his charcoal down again. "No. I'm more afraid I'll finally shatter that glass jaw of yours and have to haul your heavy ass back up here for the night after I knock you the fuck out."

"Think you can land a solid one on me?" Connor baited.

"Oh, I don't have to think. I know I can."

"Ah, but two years of artsing around has made you soft."

"We'll just see about that," Evan growled through a grin as he stood and crossed to his closet to grab his light hand pads and gauze. He snatched up his spares as well, tossing them to Connor. His heart pounded as they bound their hands up for an informal spar. They both knew they wouldn't beat the shit out of each other, especially not after hours when no one would be able to help them if they got seriously hurt. This was just good old-fashioned sparring, more for fun than actual training. It had been too long since they'd had this kind of informal fun.

They both cursed under their breath all the way down into the gym, smacking their hands against their sides and thighs to get the blood flowing in the chilly air. The snow outside must have been light, because the moonlight was shining through the large windows near the ceiling, casting over half the ring in a silvery glow. It was dim, but they didn't bother to turn on the lights. They had done this a few times in the past when they first started training together. Back then, Evan hadn't been able to resist teaching Connor a thing or two without their coach riding their asses. Even now, it still held that edge of the forbidden, like they were teenagers sneaking out at night to smoke a joint and have sloppy sex before returning home so their parents wouldn't catch on.

Their boxing boots were hidden in the shadow cast by the edge of the ring, but they both knew the gym so well that they didn't even grab the wrong pair of boots in the darkness. Evan switched from his sneakers to his boots, cursing as the cold leather and nylon hugged his foot and lower leg. A similar hiss escaped Connor, and he grinned at him in the semi-darkness. "You're fucking insane, man."

"Shut up and get in the ring, Palooka," Connor quipped, and Evan just laughed off the insult as he laced up and climbed onto the canvas. He jogged to the far corner and began bouncing and punching the air to warm up a little. He had to admit that his heart was already racing with anticipation, and adrenaline pumped through him the moment Connor joined him in the ring, taking the moonlit corner opposite him.

Damn, but he looked hot in that whitewash of light. Leave it to Connor to strip down to his undershirt in the freezing cold. Evan could see his nipples pressing against the ribbed cotton, and all Connor's arm tattoos were displayed to perfection. The sight made Evan's throat feel dry, and he tried to push back the tingle that threatened to take hold in his groin.

"You ready for this, Southpaw?" Evan teased, using the standard nickname Connor had received as a left-handed fighter.

Connor smirked. "More than ready to take you out, Doxie."

Evan laughed at the canine take on his own orthodox, right-handed title. He stepped forward, shaking out his arms as he approached Connor in the moonlit center of the ring. Their eyes met, and it seemed like that moment as they reached forward to tap their padded knuckles lasted forever. Connor's eyes looked pale and luminescent in the moonlight, the blue washed out to silver, and Evan had to snap himself out of his trance to step back when Connor took full advantage of his state and threw the first punch.

The moment was broken, and Evan grinned as he dodged the flurry of jabs and hooks Connor tried to land. It was the infighter style that Connor was known for, getting right into the action with quick punches thrown close, but it was also the style that Evan had actually helped Rex teach him. He blocked, and then countered one of the wider hooks with an uppercut that landed in the weak spot of Connor's stance.

They both stepped back, Connor to recover and Evan to smirk his triumph. He followed when Connor began circling, maintaining his distance and watching for an opportunity. When Connor lowered his guard just a bit while transferring his weight, he dashed forward with a jab. It wasn't a hit, but when Connor tried to counter, he had already stepped back out of range.

Connor growled and tried to rush him, but he moved quickly, matching each step and keeping them apart in a swift dance that made him forget all about the cold air and the way their breaths became puffs of fog between them. When he finally tired of the cat and mouse game, letting Connor close in, he was prepared for the blows, even recognizing a pattern Connor tended to fall back on when frustrated.

Jab, cross, feint, jab, jab, uppercut.

Evan expertly blocked every blow, countering the last with a jab that clipped Connor's shoulder as he moved to block. It wasn't a direct hit, but with neither of them wearing full gloves, that hardly mattered. He laughed when they started circling again. "Just not able to get off, huh?" he asked, referring to the way Connor couldn't land a single punch.

"Oh, I'll get off tonight," Connor promised, and the sensual tone he used threw Evan off cadence long enough for Connor to sucker punch him, a quick cross that connected squarely into his cheek and jaw.

He stumbled backwards, momentarily dazed by the hit, but when Connor closed in again, he did his best to defend himself, pushing through the pain and shock to dodge and weakly counter. He had given up the advantage, however, and Connor knew it, sending punch after punch his way. After a second punch landed solidly on his chest, he threw himself forward, locking Connor in a clinch.

With their bodies too close for either of them to land a punch, they continued trying to circle. Their breaths mingled, and Evan felt the warmth of Connor's laughter as he panted and tried to regain his bearings.

"See?" Connor gloated. "I can get off because I know your weakness."

"Yeah? And what's that?" Evan ground out, his jaw smarting as he spoke.

"This," Connor stated, and before Evan could react, Connor tilted his head and pressed into him, sealing their lips firmly together.

He had been anticipating a blow, and the kiss stunned him for a heartbeat before he released his clinch hold and stumbled back. His lips tingled from the kiss, and he stared at Connor in disbelief, searching the unapologetic gaze for a sign that this was some sort of sick joke. Connor didn't flinch, though, and Evan surged forward again, not with a punch but with a rough, desperate kiss. He plunged his tongue into Connor's mouth the instant Connor gasped his surprise, and the sharp edge of his movements softened just a fraction when he finally gained his first taste of that sweet heat. Fucking hell, he'd fantasized about it for more nights than he could count!

Connor jerked against him, making a weak attempt at escape, but Evan gripped his neck and his dominant arm, preventing him from moving away. A shuddering moan escaped Connor, and Evan answered it with a deep groan. All resistance faded away, and their bodies melted against one another, their hands gripping frantically at clothing.

It didn't matter how cold it was. All that mattered was feeling skin against skin, and they broke their kiss to each pull a layer off over their heads. It left Connor shirtless, and Evan forgot all about his own tank top, choosing instead to pull Connor back into their rough, careless kisses. The sudden jerk he used to pull Connor close must have caught Connor off guard, because his balance faltered, and with how entangled they were, it sent them both to their knees on the cold canvas.

Their kiss jostled with the impact, and Connor's teeth cut into his lower lip. A hint of iron splashed over their tongues, and he moaned his pleasure and pain.

"Sorry," Connor panted.

Evan smiled, even though it hurt his jaw to do so. "Don't be," he insisted hastily before kissing Connor again. If this was the only time Connor was going to indulge him, then damn it all, he was going to enjoy every instant. When he realized Connor was pushing his sweatpants down past his hips, he moaned and began returning the favor.

Connor gasped when he pushed underwear down with jeans, exposing Connor's cock to the freezing air, and Evan grinned when Connor remedied the cold by pressing even closer than before. Evan welcomed him with a chuckle. "You're hard as a fucking rock."

"You, too, but your damn underwear's still in the way," Connor complained, messily pulling off the padding and gauze from his hands, before cradling Evan's jaw and neck and kissing him again.

Evan's efforts at taking his own pads off were only half-assed. Connor was too distracting for him to be thorough, and his heart raced with joy and lust as he wrapped his arms tightly around the younger man. The air around them was frigid, but their bodies were blissfully warm against one another. He could feel Connor's cock against his stomach, and they rubbed against one another, feeding their moans and soft chuckles into one another's mouths.

He drew his hand firmly across Connor's shoulder blades, tracing over the area he knew was inked with the pattern of a bird in flight. He fucking loved that tat, just as he loved the four-leaf clover Connor had tattooed beneath his left ear. They were symbols he felt perfectly suited the younger man, both for his fighting style and his airy, mercurial personality. Connor took chances, followed his whims, and trusted luck to follow. It was more than Evan often managed, and he admired it in Connor.

His hand moved on, past the other shoulder blade and down Connor's arm. He followed the arm back and down, and when he realized what Connor was doing with his own fingers, he shuddered, pulling back from their kiss with a moan.

"Are you seriously fingering yourself, or are you just being a tease?" he questioned, their foreheads pressed together.

"Why?" Connor asked with a grin. "You wanna fuck me?"

"You bet your ass I do," Evan growled. He withdrew his hand and shoved his own underwear down to his thighs, cursing at the cold air as it prickled across his bare skin. He took their cocks in hand and stroked firmly, loving the way every twist of his fingers and swipe of his palm made Connor moan and thrust into him.

Words ceased to have meaning as they cursed, groaned, and rubbed against one another. One of Connor's hands remained at his neck, but the other was absent, and now that he knew what Connor was doing with it, his pulse pounded in his ears. Connor wanted to be taken, and the knowledge made the current act that much more erotic.

The pleasure of it all was too intense, and it seemed like no time at all before Connor jerked and cried out, coming over his fist as he pumped them both furiously. He felt Connor's fluids gush onto his fingers and groaned, kissing Connor passionately as he lost himself to his own orgasm. He grunted, his hips straining forward as his come spattered his hand and abdomen.

They panted raggedly, their lips only a breath apart, and time stood still again, just as it had when they first started the sparring match. Evan's eyes fluttered open to find Connor's already locked on him, and when Connor grinned wickedly at him, he couldn't help but smile in return.

"Why the shit-eating grin?" Evan asked as soon as he'd recovered his ability to speak.

"Because," Connor purred, shivering in his arms as the chill of the room finally started to invade their momentary warmth. "I know something you don't."

Evan raised an eyebrow. "What?"

"You're gonna take me upstairs, fuck me senseless, and ditch your classes in the morning."

Laughter bubbled out of him as he tilted his head and pressed a kiss to that clover tattoo behind Connor's ear. "Doesn't matter."

"It doesn't?" Connor shivered against him.

"Nope." Evan insisted, tightening his arms around Connor. "I just found the perfect model for my last figure drawing."

"It's a scheme. Can't knock your artwork if I'm the subject, right?"

"Right." Evan grinned, and as they grabbed their discarded clothing and dashed upstairs, he knew without a doubt that it was going to be the longest, happiest night of his life.




All works contained here are copyrighted to K. Piet. No reproduction or usage is permitted without written, express consent by the author.