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Jason rubbed the towel over his head a last time before he wrapped it around his waist. As he ran the comb through his blond hair, he decided he needed to get it cut. With shorter hair he wouldn’t need to shower a second time at home to get all the mud out.

Peter looked up from his book, still leaning against the pillows where Jason left him. A smile–almost a smirk–curled his lips.

“Feel better?”

“A bit, but still can’t figure out what was up Matt’s ass today.” He dropped the towel and stepped into his boxers. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

Peter swung his legs over the end of the queen-sized mattress and hooked the waistband of Jason’s underwear. “Why’d you do that? I’ll just need to take them off you.”

Despite the change in subject, Jason smiled back. “I prefer it that way.”

Letting go after a half tug, Peter gave him a wink. “Yes, I know. But you can’t always get what you want.”

“In this case I can.” Jason adjusted the blue and white cotton shorts and pulled a t-shirt from his drawer. “But what should I do about Matt? He can’t keep doing that. He’ll hurt Blake and get kicked off the team and probably out of school too.”

“Have you talked to him yet?”

He nodded, then walked around the bed. “Tried, but he left before practice was over.” Before Jason made it to the other side, Peter sank back down into his pillows.

“I assume you tried to call him.” Peter patted the mattress by his leg, invitingly.

“Called, texted, emailed.” He shrugged and scooted across the bedspread. A quick flip onto his back and Jason rested his head on Peter’s lap. After staring at the ceiling for a few seconds, he closed his eyes. “Guess he doesn’t want to talk about it right now.”

“Didn’t you say he wanted to talk?” Peter lazily ran a hand across Jason’s chest and stomach.

Peter’s fingers felt soothing and a touch erotic as they traced meaningless patterns across Jason’s torso. Enjoying the feeling, Jason closed his eyes and rolled his neck.

“Do you know how good that feels?”

Without missing a stroke, Peter said, “Looking at your face, I’ve a good idea.”

“It probably doesn’t show how much I like this.” He let the sensation continue a moment more.  “And yes, Matt said he wanted to talk, but he doesn’t act like it. ”

Peter stayed quiet, but after a time his hand came to a rest. “Maybe he just needs some space to think before he speaks to you. That seems normal given the circumstances.”

“What do you mean, circumstances?”

“Well…I mean he’s upset.”

Twisting, Jason turned until he stared at Peter. “No, that’s not what you meant. Tell me what you really think.”

Rather than answer, Peter stared at the closed bedroom door. His comment sounded so certain that Jason knew he thought more about this than he’d said. “Seriously, tell me what you meant.”

“It’s just…I mean…Don’t you think it’s a bit weird how he flipped out?”

“Of course.” He’d been thinking about it ever since it happened. “The question is why.”

Shifting his weight to get more comfortable, Jason kept his gaze on Peter. Clearly his boyfriend had some theory on what happened, but he seemed hesitant to share. The indecision reflected on his Peter’s face soon turned into a look Jason knew very well. When Peter turned toward Jason, he’d made a decision.

“I think he’s not happy having another gay teammate.” He shrugged, almost defensively. “Which is surprising given that Matt always seemed really comfortable around us, even when I couldn’t resist kissing you.”

“No.” He shook his head. “I’m sure it’s not that.” Matt is a hot head and a bit black and white in his thinking, but not a homophobe.

Peter sat up, tucking one leg under the other. “How can you be sure? I mean from what you’ve said, it started on Saturday when he saw Blake with Ethan. Not hard to figure out what was up with them being together.”

“Right, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t like gay people.” Whatever the issue, Jason knew it couldn’t be that.

“So is he a closet case too? Like Blake?”

Now Pete was reaching. “Definitely not. And before you ask, I’ll tell you why not. Matt and I have talked any number of times about this. His acceptance of me was the real him. He just doesn’t see it as an issue – people being gay that is – let alone a problem.”

“It has to be something. Has he ever gotten mad at Blake before? Mad enough to try to hurt him?”

“I’ve never seen Matt mad like that at anyone on the team.” The answer triggered an image that cleared Jason’s thinking.  “I think I know.”

“Know what?” The hint of annoyance in Peter’s voice made Jason realize what’d he done.

“Sorry, I meant I think I know why he’s so mad….”

The doorbell rang, cutting off Jason’s answer.

“I’ll get it.” Peter swung his legs over the bed and twisted back. “Get dressed. If the bible thumpers are back, I want some help this time.”

Jason flashed him a big smile. “But you handled them so well. Why drag me into this?”

“Just get dressed and come down, please?”

“How can I resist you when you beg?”

Peter squinted, his jaw slightly tight. “If you’re not careful, you’ll be begging later on.” Holding the glare for an instant longer, Peter winked and disappeared out the door.

Scanning the room, Jason spied a pair of blue Graydon soccer shorts on a stack of clean clothes. Putting them on, he decided not to tempt fate and followed Peter. He heard the front door close just as he reached the head of the stairs.

“Who was it?” When he hit the last step, Jason stopped.

“Hey Jase.” Matt said. “Is now a good time?”

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