My husband Terry squeezed me awake, and I looked around the living room bleary eyed. I could never stay awake in front of the TV. The Christmas movie we’d started watching was over, and a poor cover version of “Jingle Bell Rock” played over the closing credits. Instinctively, I reached for my phone to check the time, hoping I hadn’t overslept.
I felt his beard graze my bald scalp as he moved in to kiss me. The scratchy sensation sent shivers down my spine. “I’m sorry I passed out,” I said. I stood up and stretched, already missing the warmth radiating from his body. I rechecked the clock more surreptitiously this time. It was 11:54 p.m. Only six minutes until Christmas.
“It’s okay,” Terry said, reaching out to me. I grasped his hands and pulled him into a standing position. We laughed as both of his knees cracked on the way up. “I love napping on the sofa with you, but if I don’t get in bed, I’ll be a pretzel when I wake up tomorrow.”
The box showed up on our doorstep a week before Thanksgiving. We were confused. It couldn’t possibly have been the prep-by-step Thanksgiving dinner we ordered. It was way too early, and the box wasn’t nearly heavy enough.
“Do you think we got scammed?” I asked my boyfriend Paul.
“What do you mean we, Mr. Subscription Delivery Service Addict?” he said with a smirk. “I’m not the one who ordered it. I told you I’d be happy with pizza and beer.”
We’d done pizza and beer for two consecutive lockdown Thanksgivings. I was ready for something special, but neither of us was a great cook. I wanted premeasured ingredients and a simple chart to follow. Thanksgiving-in-a-box was the answer, or so I thought.
Noah tapped the key card against the door panel and turned the handle. It was late, and he was exhausted. After a delayed flight, lost luggage, and a tumultuous cab ride in pouring rain, his brain was fried. The dozens of work emails he missed because the plane Wi-Fi was down would just have to wait. At this hour, the only thing he wanted to do was collapse into bed.
It was long past midnight, and all the way from the airport, Noah feared his room had been resold. In a surprising demonstration of customer service, however, the Portal Hotel had held his reservation. Despite his exhaustion, Noah indulged the excitable desk attendant as he explained the hotel’s amenities. The guy was nice enough, and Noah especially enjoyed the way his pecs stretched his already tight shirt when he inhaled.
With his pants around his knees, Eric waddled back behind his desk and flopped down into his chair. “Come on,” he said to Max. “Get your phone out and do this with me.”
“I’m not sure,” Max said, taking a seat in one of the chairs opposite Eric’s desk. “I’ve been trapped in this thing for a week, and I haven’t found a way out of them. I don’t think there is a way.”
Eric opened a private browser window and pulled up DateMaker. “I can’t take it anymore, man. That meeting was a nightmare. My hands go numb every time they get near my cock. I keep knocking my bulge, and it’s like there’s nothing there. DateMaker can fuck off.”
Neil balanced his laptop on the arm of the sofa and stretched, his foot knocking a half-empty bag of potato chips onto the floor in the process. It was the middle of the afternoon, but he still wore the ratty gym shorts and faded concert T-shirt he’d slept in the night before. The TV blared. Some trashy daytime talk show host was reading out the results of a paternity test amidst raucous jeers from the studio audience. A pyramid of soda cans balanced precariously on the windowsill, and a trio of empty takeout containers sat on the coffee table.
One of the dozen browser tabs Neil had open chirped with a notification. He turned the TV down and sidled back to his laptop, quickly clicking through his social media profiles.
Trapped inside DateMaker’s underwear prison, Eric felt frustrated, empty, and hopeless. That night, he whined whenever he felt the impenetrable barrier between his fingertips and his cock and realized how often he unthinkingly groped himself. Periods of furious humping punctuated a fitful, dreamless sleep, and he awoke the next morning with bloodshot eyes and an incurable horniness that gave him no pleasure.
He stumbled through his workday like a zombie. The combination of sexual denial and enforced numbness had affected his behavior in the office, and more than one colleague observed that he didn’t quite seem like himself.
If they only knew, Eric thought as he tried to make it from the conference room to his office without anyone noticing or stopping him to talk. He was just a dozen paces away from the safety of his office when a gravelly, baritone voice called his name.
Eric tapped the RELEASE button on the screen. With the speed and force of a pressure valve being flipped, the sensation in his new underwear changed. The numbness was gone, and the rigid, plastic encasement felt like fabric again. Tentatively, Eric hooked a finger into the waistband and breathed a sigh of relief when it stretched away from his body. He was free.
“Thank fuck,” he said, sliding the briefs down his thighs. He sat down naked on his sofa, legs splayed wide, and cradled his phone in his hands. DateMaker had locked him out of his phone once again. A countdown timer now filled the screen, ticking down from five minutes, and a line of text scrolled on a loop below.
“Matt!” Oscar barked. “You’re getting the carpet wet. Go change.”
Matt scurried down the hallway into Oscar’s bedroom and opened the door to his walk-in closet. He flipped through some shelves of neatly folded T-shirts and shorts, but then his gaze settled on a row of suits, collared shirts, and ties. Matt remembered how, when he first moved in, he would sneak glances of Oscar shedding his business attire at the end of a long workday, but he was no longer thinking about what Oscar looked like. He was thinking about how amazing it would feel to put on one of Oscar’s suits.
Matt touched the fabric of a navy blue suit jacket and shivered as a wave of pleasure radiated outward from his cock. He was certain this wasn’t what Oscar meant when he said “go shopping” in his closet, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the smart-looking suits. The mindfuck of Oscar looking and acting more and more like Matt over the last several days now had Matt thinking what it would be like to flip the script on his sexy roommate. He wanted to try the suit on, and his cock agreed.
Matt’s attraction to Oscar blinded him to the fact that they would be completely incompatible as roommates. After six months of living together, Oscar’s endless set of house rules has just about driven Matt crazy. As tensions between them rise, Matt rebels, Oscar holds his ground, and their already fragile roommate relationship starts to break down.
Enter Rex, an executive wellness coach who offers to mediate the disagreement. Matt is skeptical, but everything changes when Oscar reveals in a hypnotic trance that the attraction is mutual. Matt makes some suggestions to improve their relationship, and suddenly, Oscar is the perfect roommate. The two men explore new facets of their relationship, but as they grow closer, Matt starts to wonder if Oscar isn’t the only one changing.
Relaxing My Uptight Roommate is a 6,600-word short story. All content in this story is fictional and describes activities between consenting, unrelated adults who are 18+.
Eric was a practiced hand. Each night after work, he sat on the couch for hours in nothing but socks and underwear and scrolled profiles on DateMaker. Any time a new match appeared in his inbox, the response was always the same: his standard opening line—Hey, hot stuff, you know you want this!—and a picture of his naked body with the head cropped out. He’d sent the same sentence so many times that his phone’s autocomplete had learned it, and all he had to do was tap the words on the screen. In a typical night, he’d send his dick pic to dozens of men and women, most of whom would never respond.
On the off chance that he did get a response, Eric immediately directed the conversation toward sex and was relentless in his pursuit of his quarry. The conversations usually ended with the match going silent, or more frequently blocking him, but that didn’t stop him from beating off with one hand and typing explicit things with the other. Every night, Eric continued his chase undeterred, widening his search radius and even installing an app to fool DateMaker’s location settings. Each new conversation filled him with the adrenaline of a new chase, and when he was inevitably blocked, he pouted.