He doesn’t even seem like a boss. He’s like a grown-up kid. He’s got messy hair and this huge infectious grin, and you just want to take him home and snuggle him. And he’s got these perfect tight muscles, so he’d be really good at squeezing you back, too, as I eventually learned first-hand. Whenever I see him I just get this warm spot in my chest, and I can never decide whether I want ruffle that shaggy mane of his, or drag him to the supply closet, pull off his uniform and just lick him all over.
Of course I end up doing neither of those things, because I never do anything like that. I’m the quietest and most introverted out of all us guys behind the line at Super Hero, the best, biggest, and most popular sub shop within five miles of Wolcott University, and that’s saying something. It’s a big college and a big college town, and out of all the sandwich guys in all the shops in town I’m the one you’re least likely to ever hear a peep from. But there’s something about Simon that just brings you out of yourself. If anyone stood a chance of helping me breaking out of my shell, it was this guy. I’m Garrett, by the way.
Not only does he not seem like a boss, he claims he doesn’t know anything about sandwiches. When Joaquín, who’s easily the most outgoing of us, asked him right up front where he worked before, back in that first week he came to us right before the semester started, he said he used to run a frozen yogurt shop over at Central U., two states away. Why did he want to run a sub shop instead? He just shrugged and grinned, and challenged us to each teach him how to make our favorite sandwich. He even made a game of it, which we’ve since learned is kind of his thing, especially since I suspect it involved a really sneaky pun. With a huge grin, he said that whichever sandwich he thought tasted the most delicious, the guy who taught it to him would get free sandwiches for a week, and he’d even throw in “extra meat.” Well, I’m the one that showed him how to make the Supersonic—that’s the one with seasoned roast beef, a hint of chorizo, sharp provolone, and chipotle sauce on herbed French bread—and he ended up picking that, but I think he knew all along who would win because he totally winked at me when he was handing over the certificate for “extra meat,” and even though there’s no way he could have known how many cocks I had before that whole thing started, he must have figured it out somehow. It’s, um, two, by the way. I mean, people know I’ve got a big bulge, and of course they assume that I just have one huge cock instead of two average-sized tools (or, okay, slightly larger than average sized). People see my bulge and they know I’m hung, but nobody here at school knows I’m double-hung. And yet, there was Simon, just grinning at me while I stood there in the back room in our team circle, all red-faced and muttering while the other guys clapped and hooted and slapped me on the back and threw their arms around my shoulders, and all I could think was, I was the last guy on the team who needed “extra meat.”
Morale was good before, but with Simon around it was through the roof. I sat through my classes trying to make myself pay attention and curb my impatience to get to work. It wasn’t just that I was looking forward to seeing my delicious, dangerously sexy goofball of a boss—I was actually eager to be making sandwiches! The rest of the guys and I started to feel tight, too, like we were all connected, and I started to feel happiest when it was the four of us guys and Simon all together at the shop. Simon’s wacky, juvenile contests only seemed to bring us together more, too, like the playful competitions weren’t about the shop, they were about a bunch of us young guys all doing stuff together and having fun. Simon promised us from the beginning that we would all find love, sooner or later, but no matter what we’d all love and appreciate each other.
Some of Simon’s little contests were quick one-offs, over in an afternoon and just among ourselves, like the back-room tomato-chopping contest we had where Simon claimed Joshua, who won after filling five bins of tomato slices before I’d even finished four, had chopped so fast he’d accidentally hacked a finger off; so Simon playfully presented him with a coupon for an extra finger—which of course Joshua didn’t need, since he hadn’t really lost any of the six fingers he had on either hand.
Or there was the one where we each had to pack as many meatballs as we could in a six-inch sub without it falling apart. The shop’s meatballs weren’t very big, but I could only get six in mine before the hinge side of the bread started to tear. Meanwhile Qíno and Josh both got eight in, and Kevin somehow managed ten—to this day I still don’t know how. Simon laughingly pointed out that this was only appropriate, as Kevin actually had a ten-pack himself. Of course we demanded proof of this statement, but when Kevin smugly lifted up his uniform polo it turned out Simon was right—Kevin did indeed have a nicely chiseled ten-pack, with a thin line of dark hair leading into his snug jeans. He even offered this as an explanation for why he was taller than the rest of us. Goaded by Kevin, Qíno and Josh proudly displayed their eight-packs, but I demurred, leaving my own nicely carved six-pack to their imaginations.
He even held little impromptu contests when we all hung out together away from the shop, which was increasingly often. Once we were all snuggling together in a booth at one of the bars in town, enjoying our shared physical contact, which even I was becoming accustomed to without much thought. I tended to end up in the middle, and I was getting very used to the firm press of masculine flesh from both directions—though it was Kevin who really enjoyed the sandwich thing, as he called it, and so before long it was always Kevin and me in the middle of the four of us, not just at the bar but whenever we were together, and I didn’t mind—Kevin feels really nice mashed up against you, or overlapping with you, or whatever. Anyway, at one point, fairly late on what had been a rather wet evening talking and laughing about anything and everything, Simon brought back a huge tray completely filled with shots. Our eyes boggled at the tray, then at Simon, who we knew didn’t drink—my sozzled mind, for a second, had suspected him of ordering all those shots for himself. Our boss explained, grinning as always. Apparently the joke was that every shot represented “an inch”, and our job was to toss down as many as we could each.
We were already pretty sloshed, I guess, or we wouldn’t have treated it as an actual thing. Simon later gigglingly confessed that most of the shots were actually water, which was a damn good thing because Qíno would have died for sure. I wasn’t quite clear-headed enough to be certain I counted accurately, but I think he must have tossed down at least ten, and he was definitely done in by the time Simon got us into his SUV and drove us all back to our various rooms and apartments. I think I had four, maybe five, and then realized I’d better stop. Joshua only tossed back three, I think, and Kevin took a token shot or two before going back to beer, which he greatly preferred. I woke up with a massive hang-over, unsurprisingly. I was also profoundly grateful that the contest hadn’t been real, as my cocks were already way, way past average and bordering on fucking huge, and certainly did not need to get any bigger.
Other competitions were more open-ended. Early on Simon announced a standing contest where the first one of us to get an unsolicited kiss from a customer at the counter (one that we weren’t dating or had asked out, of course) would win the Lover Boy award, which supposedly earned you the right to change one thing about yourself. It was all for laughs, and it wasn’t like anything like that could be real, but I went to bed that night wondering what I would change. And before you ask: no, it would not be my cocks. And no, I’m not going explain why. Just trust me, you wouldn’t, either.
The contest he did the third month he was there was the most intense. He told us all one Monday morning that the employee who made the most hot sandwiches that week would earn the title of “The Hot One.” Well, of course, Joshua, who was definitely the most handsome out of the four of us and could easily be mistaken for an actor from one of those shows where the casting is all guys who are searingly, dick-hardeningly attractive, joked that he was a shoo-in to win that title. But Qíno, who knows how to talk his way into anyone’s heart, said hotness was all about charm, not looks, and he would definitely be the “hot one.” At least he didn’t claim it was all about his enormous cock, which I’d seen shifting around in his pants leg and actually spotted in the wild when he was tucking it away at a urinal in the employee men’s room, just as I was coming in. Then Kevin, who’s training to be a mixed martial arts fighter and who’s built like a fucking god, assuming there’s a cocky, buzzed-skull god somewhere who’s built like an MMA fighter with a goddamned ten-pack, protested against both Qíno and Joshua assuming they even had a shot, demonstrating his own preeminent hotness with a double-bi pose that stretched out the sleeves of his uniform polo very nicely. We all get to wear different colors, by the way, and his is cobalt blue, which looks really, really good hugging all those big, bulging muscles of his. Mine’s crimson, which Qíno quipped matches my face when I get embarrassed, ha ha. Qíno wears a warm, buttery yellow, which looks amazing with his dark, caramel coloring, and Joshua’s is chocolate brown to bring out his amazing emerald green eyes. Simon wears white, like he’s all innocent. He’ll almost convince you, too, until he winks at you—and even then you just want to grab him and hug him and keep him in your house like a puppy, a really cute and sexy dude-puppy, if that makes any sense.
Um, right, the contest. So we were all having fun competing with each other to get customers to order hot sandwiches, each suggesting some of our favorites. It was November and had started getting cold, so that helped. I was pushing the Supersonic, which kind of felt like my good luck charm, and that ended up being a big hit with the school wrestling team after I somehow got the team captain to give it a try. Kevin did something secret with the Scarlet Crusader, our meatball sub, that none of the rest of us could quite duplicate, even when we were all using the official number of meatballs. By Wednesday everyone in the Theta Iota Zeta frat had been in at least twice to order Kevin’s special creation. He got pretty cocky, giving us little flexes through the day while we rolled our eyes at him as we worked.
But then Joaquín started getting customer after smiling customer flocking into the store in droves to order his own personal favorite, the Fearless Prince, which has marinated chicken, pepper jack, and sriracha mayo on Italian bread and is really unbelievably good when Qíno makes it. It turns out he’d been spending the last couple of says on campus in between classes and shifts at the shop talking up his Fearless Prince to everyone he knew, and they got this whole messaging thing going that turned into a kind of staggered flash mob where everyone came in whenever they were free on Wednesday just to order a Fearless Prince from Qíno. Now he was grinning ear to ear, and Kevin was trying to text his friends to get people to come in and order meatballs, except we were too busy for any of us to do anything but make sandwiches nonstop. Meanwhile, all Joshua had to do was smile and flash his green eyes at them, and, girl or guy, they’d fall over themselves ordering all the hot sandwiches on the menu. It was like they were placing orders for shirtless videos of Joshua riding a horse on a beach, or something equally dreamy.
By now the whole campus seemed to have caught wind of our little competition, and it became this whole thing where people were coming into the store just to support their favorite sandwich guys. I saw some of the posts online when I finally let myself look before bed Thursday night, and it was way out-of-control crazy. There were hashtags like #JoachinRules and #FightForKevin and #JoshuaIsTheHotOne. Somehow even I got attention out of all this, I guess because folks like an underdog or something, and so there were hashtags for #GarrettGuys and #GarrettGirls, and even one for #MakeGarrettBlush. My stupid face got hot just reading it, and I had to put my phone away and try not to get too antsy about my upcoming Friday shift, when it would all come down to the wire.
I was so distracted I accidentally let my super-hot jock roommate, Brett, who I had an even bigger crush on than the one I had on my yummy boss Simon, see my, you know, double-hung situation when I came back from the shower, which I’d totally been trying to avoid at all costs in case he thought it was weird or freaky or whatever and asked for a room transfer and I wouldn’t ever see him in his constant uniform of jeans and no shirt or smell his dark, citrusy after-shave in the room after he’d left for class or feel his physical presence in the other bed while we were both in the room studying or listening to music or whatever. And I was mortified, and he spent the next few minutes very obviously trying not to look at my crotch while totally speechless, which was both excruciating and kind of hot. Which was not very helpful with the whole “keeping your big dicks from being really obvious” thing, especially when you’re trying to throw on clothes so you can scurry away to the all-night library until you decide your roommate’s got to be asleep for sure and it’s safe to come home, thereby avoiding any conversations whatsoever.
When I came in to work on Friday, I saw that Simon had rigged up the big flatscreen in the back corner to show running results of the hot-sandwich sales so far that week, and to my amazement I saw that all four of us were very close. I was flabbergasted—not only was I in the running, which I totally had not expected to be even possible, but I was actually ahead of Kevin, and only two sandwiches behind Qíno and Josh, who started out Friday tied for first place. All that day it was insane. All the fanboys and fangirls for all four of us were filtering in and out, ordering and eating and talking and laughing in the big seating area as they watched the totals on the board for any kind of change, and as soon as one of us pulled ahead someone would text out to all the other fans of their favorite sandwich guy and get people to come in and order from him.
As the evening built toward our closing time at eight o’clock, though, I started to understand what was really going on, and soon it became obvious to the other guys, too. All the fans weren’t competing to try to get their favorite employee to win—they were trying to tie us all up and get us all to win! Any difference in numbers would cause texts to go out and soon people would show up and order exactly the number of sandwiches needed, from exactly the right sandwich guy, to make the numbers all even out. The tension was incredible. As it got closer to closing the place was packed with onlookers eager to see the final outcome. People were live tweeting. It was nuts. By seven fifty-five, the numbers were all tied up—except I had one sandwich less than the other guys! I was girding myself to lose gracefully, which, after all, had been likely from the beginning, when suddenly, to my amazement, Brett walked in, looking more delicious than anything we had in the shop in crisp dark jeans, dark boots, and a crimson Super Hero tee-shirt that looked so amazing on him I wanted to tear it off him with one hard yank, like ripping down curtains and exposing the beautiful vista beyond that should never be hidden, ever.
The whole place was completely silent, enthralled by the drama taking place before them. Everyone watched as Brett walked up to the sandwich line and came straight to me. Qíno, Joshua, and Kevin all stepped back, grinning, to watch the final sale. I couldn’t breathe.
“Hey, Gar,” Brett greeted me, and for a super-hot jock he seemed positively bashful. I stared at him and nodded, not quite able to speak yet. The crowd was hushed as they waited to hear what came next. Brett cleared his throat. “So,” he said, sounding almost as nervous as I would be if I were asking him out on a date, “what do you recommend?”
My breathing had stopped again. Qíno, who was standing closest to me, glanced up at the big old-fashioned clock on the exposed-brick wall behind us, then nudged me in the ribs, hard, still grinning the whole time. Jolted, I blurted out, “Supersonic.” Swallowing to try get my saliva going again, I added my customary explanation, “It’s awesome.” It was like a trademark. It was also a hashtag, I’d noticed the night before. Em, hyphen, barrassing.
Brett smiled, and my heart tripped over itself. “Okay then,” he said winningly. “I’ll have that.” I nodded, nodded again, and then started in on making his sandwich, determined to make the best damn Supersonic anyone at Super Hero had ever made ever. Only once did I come close to fucking it up, and that was when Qíno leaned over and whispered in my ear. “He’s the biggest GarrettBoy of them all, you know,” Qíno confided quietly. “He’s been getting people in here all week.”
My eyes shot up to meet Brett’s, even as I very nearly lost my grip on the last slices of sharp provolone we had left, because my fevered mind was already telling me that what I’d been suspecting, that this was all about my big dicks, couldn’t be true after all, because Brett had only found out about them on Thursday. Fumbling to hold onto the cheese I saw, shockingly, that Brett was actually blushing—clearly he’d heard what Qíno had said, which is not surprising when someone stage whispers in a room full of people that are hanging on every word and deed. Without thinking I said, “You’re not supposed to blush. I’m supposed to blush!” There was a ripple of laughter in the crowd, and that actually did make me blush.
Brett grinned endearingly, his cheeks and ears still bright red. “Maybe we can both blush,” he said haltingly, and half of the crowd in the shop actually went aww at this beautiful, sappy, totally awesome response.
I made that boy a killer sandwich.
Before I knew it we were standing at the register. The sandwich was plated for here and set on his tray with the fountain-mixed raspberry iced tea, which Simon himself had made for him. Brett had a twenty in hand, not wanting to risk the card reader not working or the sudden unexpected collapse of the world monetary system or anything like that. It was 7:59. I rang him up. He handed me the twenty. I made the sale and gave him his change. Then every single pair of eyes in the store, ours included, turned and looked up at the big flatscreen in the back corner. The numbers rolled up to a four-way tie one actual second before the time went from 7:59 to 8:00, and the whole place erupted into deafening cheers.
Simon gathered the five of us together behind the line, arms around each other’s shoulders, and his voice rose easily above all the shouts and applause as he shouted exuberantly to the assembled throng, “I hereby proclaim that Garrett, Joaquín, Kevin, and Joshua are all the Hot Ones! Congratulations!” My hunky goofball boss, my three super-sexy coworkers, and I shared a big, heartwarming hug, then I left them to go join their very enthusiastic fans while I returned to Brett, who was still standing there at the cash register, beaming his happiness, his blue eyes alight with what could only, amazingly, be actual, unbridled affection and, very possibly, a whole lot more. I felt positively incandescent. I must have been giddy with happiness, in fact, because I did something I never would have done in a million years otherwise. I ducked around the end of the counter in a flash and grabbed Brett up in a huge hug that expressed everything I was feeling and couldn’t quite say.
And Brett must have been liberated by the moment, too, because as soon as our eyes met again, and while we were still embracing each other tightly, he leaned in for the sweetest, most arousing, most magnificent kiss that had ever happened on this planet ever.
When we broke the kiss I realized Simon was standing right next to us in the midst of the celebrating crowd, and he was gaping at us—an expression I’d certainly never seen on him. “I didn’t see that one coming at all!” he marveled. I looked at him in astonishment and he broke into a grin wider than I’d ever seen on him, his eyes shining with joy. “You won the Lover Boy contest too, Garrett!” he said, sounding awestruck. “You get to change one thing about yourself, if you want!” He looked at me expectantly. I got the strangest feeling that, for the first time since he got here, and maybe ever, he had no idea what was coming next.
I faced Brett, feeling a smile on my face that was so wide my cheeks were aching, and I didn’t care at all. “I wouldn’t change anything,” I said truthfully. Then, just to be cheeky, I added, “Unless it was to have a boyfriend who’s hung like I am.”
Simon gasped and then barked out a laugh, but I barely noticed as Brett flushed a deep crimson red that very nearly was the same color as his tee shirt—the one that matched my own crimson work polo. “Actually,” he said with a sheepish half-grin, “I kind of am.”
“What??” I exclaimed, completely stunned. I thought back through the whole semester so far, but all I’d ever managed to see was a very prominent bulge in his jeans. I’d never had a chance to get a better idea of what he was packing—any more than he had with me, before last night.
“I was afraid to tell you,” Brett admitted. “I, um, didn’t want you to think I was a freak or anything.”
I laughed outright, feeling better and freer than I ever had in my life—so much so I kissed him again, on my own initiative this time. When we came up for air I kept my forehead against his. “Will you show me? Later?” I asked, in a low voice.
Brett dimpled adorably. “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. Unable to resist, I kissed him again as the happy crowd moved around us. We were at it for a while, evidently, because Qíno, Kevin, and Joshua found their way to us while we were thus engaged, and when I was aware of my surroundings again I discovered them gathered around us, arms around each other, watching us like they wanted to get out bags of popcorn, and grinning like idiots. Simon, I saw, was now behind the counter, serving drinks and snacks on the house and letting the rest of us enjoy our moment, radiating boyish happiness as always.
“I think you won after all, Gar,” Joshua teased, nodding at Brett and me plastered against each other in our mutual embrace, a position that had already accidentally afforded me dizzying proof of my new boyfriend’s reduplicated, and very impressive, endowments.
“Aw, look, they’re both blushing,” Qíno said.
I tried to hide my reddening face behind Brett’s, but his cheek was just as warm as mine. He said in my ear, “Told you.” I squeezed him hard, enjoying feeling him against me at last, and he squeezed me back.
“Gotta admit, I’m kinda jealous,” Kevin said. “I’ll guess I’ll have to settle for the McCabe twins.” He leaned in and whispered loudly to the rest of us, “Marc and Eric. They’re acrobats.”
“Oookay then, Sandwich Boy,” Joshua chuckled. “We’re all winners tonight, we don’t have to compare notes on our conquests.”
Qíno put his warm, strong hand on my shoulder, and I smiled at him and the rest of my friends, still holding Brett tightly against me like I’d never physically let him go, which in that moment seemed a distinct possibility. “How do you feel, Gar?” Qíno asked seriously. More than anyone, he had been conscious of my social reticence, as outgoing guys often were. “Tell us the truth. You okay with all this?”
I turned and faced Brett. He met my gaze with everything in his eyes I could ever have wanted, and maybe even more than that. “How do I feel?” I said, repeating Qíno’s question. “I feel … hot.”
They guys laughed and, each giving me a pat on the back (or, in Kevin’s case, on the ass), they all slipped away into the crowd again, leaving my guy and me exploring a deep and wonderful kiss—a kiss that, in many ways, has never really ended.