Mitch was a lot older than the rest of us in the college program. He was an ex-Marine. Back from a second tour in Iraq, catching up with his life. He would be a natural leader among the students even if his playing skills didn't shine brightly above the rest of ours in all of the intermural sports we played to let off steam. Even in choosing sides and getting anything going, we'd all hem and haw and throw out suggestions, until, at some point, in a few, not-to-be-questioned, barked-out words, Mitch would tell us what we'd do. And we'd do it.

Even though he was graying at the temples now, which was barely discernible with that buzz cut he maintained, and had some tested-by-life lines in his handsome, square-cut face, he was still every inch the in-control Marine. When I'd go down to the basement of the intramural gym to swim my laps early in the morning before classes started, he'd be there in the weight room, stripped down to gym shorts, lifting weights and doing push-ups and pull-ups a couple of hundred reps at a time. Not an ounce of flab on him, all steel and muscle, with his veins popping out on his arms and legs and along his torso because there wasn't any fat for them to run through under the skin.

Other than the gym and the class and the pickup sports games out on the basketball and tennis courts and intermural football field in the afternoons, he didn't really fraternize with the college students much at all. He was a man of few words and of hard, serious stares that made you feel compelled to pay attention to him, to make him approve of what you were saying and doing. He never talked about what he'd done in life, what he'd done in combat or what combat had done to him, but his bearing and the intensity he approached everything with, whether it was classroom work, the pickup games, or those solitary morning gym workouts, made you want to accept whatever he said as basic truth the rare times he said anything.

He had the exact same effect on our professors that he had on the students. If there was a discussion or argument going on in class, all Mitch had to do was to start a sentence, and by the end of just one sentence, the discussion had been decided and the room was quiet.

He really was reclusive and totally apart from the other students, something that went way beyond the difference in our ages, life experiences, and his manner of being above any argument or discussion rather in it, of being the last, authoritative word. He didn't live in the dorms with the other students; he had a small house out on the edge of the college town. At one time it probably had been the gatehouse of some estate, although the bigger house was no longer there.

That's where he held his study sessions with a select set of students.

The study sessions became somewhat of a mystery that students whispered about but never reached any conclusion on about exactly they were and how much of a help they were in passing tests and completing winning papers. No one even could - or would - say for sure who was in the study group, or had been at one time. The only common denominator in the names tossed out were that you had to be a serious student, not into the party scene, good looking - and male.

Mitch did spend a fair amount of time studying at the library in the late evening. That's where I'd see him the most. We shared a few classes; we'd been in a couple of afternoon pickup basketball games, where he'd chosen me for the skins side and we'd shared wins; and I'd occasionally see him standing at the weight room door, panting in shallow, controlled breaths between his marathon one-armed push-up sessions, watching me come out of the gym pool some mornings. But it was really seeing him at a nearby table at the library that caught my attention the most - probably because in the most recent weeks it seemed like he wasn't really studying much there at the library; he seemed more sitting there and watching me study.

It should have made me uncomfortable, I suppose. But it didn't. I found it flattering. Mitch was taking an interest in me. Mitch, the natural leader, the one with all of the answers, all of the experience. Mitch, who already had met life head on and who had his own house and camouflage-painted Hummer H2 that made all the heads snap whenever it floated across campus. Mitch, the man of the world, who even the professors listened to and obeyed.

Chuck Albert stopped me on the quad one day. He pulled away from a group of guys he was joking with as I passed by and said he wanted to tell me something in private. Chuck, the college team's quarterback, a guy I wouldn't have thought even knew I existed. Quiet Chuck, the guy who aced all of his tests, had a solid-gold passing arm, and who I assumed could pop the cherry of any coed on campus just with one of his sultry gazes.

'Big test coming up in calculus,' he said to me when we had withdrawn to the verge of the quad's tree line.

'Yeah,' I said. 'I've already started studying.'

'But you'd like help and would be willing to contribute, wouldn't you?' Chuck asked. He was looking at me with a hard stare. He seemed a little more serious than the test was worth.

'Yeah, I guess so. I usually study alone, but . . . it's a big test, and - '

'Mitch wants me to invite you to his study group. Seven next Tuesday, at his place. You know where it is?'

'Mitch's group?' I was practically speechless. The mystery group. Something like a golden ticket. Of course I couldn't say no. Especially to Chuck. 'Um, yes. Yeah, sure. I'm sure I can make it. Out at the end of Pine, right?'

'Right. Seven on Tuesday. I can tell him you'll be there, then?'

'Yeah. Yes, I'll be there.'

Chuck gave me a hard look and then he turned and was gone.

Tuesday night, almost exactly at seven, I pulled into the asphalted area at the side of Mitch's cottage. The house was right off the road, but there was such a thick fringe of trees and bushes between it and the road that you'd never know a house even was there if you didn't know it was there and if you didn't see the mailbox at the edge of the drive.

Mitch's Hummer was there and just one other car, a BMW convertible I thought belonged to Bud Howard. That figured. Bud was one of our math brains in addition to being a star basketball player. No other cars, though. I looked at my watch. No, I wasn't early. I would have thought that anyone invited to be in Mitch's study group would be prompt. I'd think they would know that much about Marines. Well, maybe I'd rack up points with him for being on time.

The front door was ajar when I got to it and there was a note taped to the knocker to come on back to the back of the house, so I didn't knock or ring the bell. I entered directly into the living room, which was sparsely furnished, but all of the furniture looked like it was good quality. And the place was neat as a pin. Another Marine trait, I assumed. The living room was only dimly lit, but a hallway running off it toward the back of the cottage was brightly lit, so I just moved on back. I could hear the murmuring of voices from somewhere in the back of the house.

A door was open as far back down the hallway I could go, and a light was on in that room, so that's where I headed.

And I stopped dead in my tracks, in shock, as soon as I walked through the door.

I was in a sparsely furnished bedroom. A double bed against the wall to my left. A straight chair immediately to my left beside the door, with a wooden bureau beyond that.

And directly in front of me, in front of a draped window, under a pole light, the only light in the room, in a straight chair set at a three-quarters angle to me - Bud and Mitch.

Bud was the first one I identified, because Mitch was behind and below him in the chair. Both were nude. Tall, lithe, almost gangling, sandy-haired, ruddy skinned Bud, sitting on Mitch's lap, facing me, his long, thin legs hooked over Mitch's muscular, widespread legs. The balls of Bud's feet planted on the carpet, giving him leverage for his rising and falling hips. Bud's chest was arched out, and Mitch's arms were wrapped around him, his hands palmed on Bud's pecs, Mitch's thumbs and forefingers playing Bud's nipples.

Bud's face had a mixed expression of pain and ecstasy and wonder and panic all at once. Bud was the one who I heard murmuring. He was panting and moaning and making little gurgling sounds. He was the one doing most of the moving as he rose and fell on Mitch's thick cock. On the rise I could see a good three inches of condom-sheathed cock appear above the short, curly pubic hairs at Mitch's crotch. And then the three inches would slowly disappear as Bud descended on it. Bud was also doing most of the huffing and puffing. Mitch was more or less just sitting under him, solid as a rock. Muscles taut, bulging. A slight smile on his face - slight, but more expression than I usually saw from him. The only movement from him those thumbs and forefingers rolling Bud's nipples and a slight undulation of his pelvis as he rolled, almost imperceptibly, in countermovement to Bud's rising and falling, moving back as Bud rose, and forward to meet Bud's downward thrusts.

When he noticed me standing, dumbstruck, unable to move from the doorway, to retreat from the shocking sight, Bud looked surprised and more than a little embarrassed. But he just kept on pumping, his eyes searching mine, seeking understanding and acceptance.

'Sit in the chair.' It was Mitch's voice, clearly Mitch's voice, although it had a guttural edge to it. The voice of the Mitch who was to be obeyed.

I stumbled to my left and fell more than sat in the chair.

'Faster.' The voice again. I was confused. Faster what? But then I saw that the command wasn't for me. Bud dutifully picked up the rhythm of his rising and falling. Bud was moaning louder now, his eyes still on me, but I could not hold the gaze. I was watching that three inches of hard, thick, condom-crowned cock disappearing and reappearing. I'd never seen anything like this before. Shock, dismay, interest, arousal.

'Unzip.' I sat there, hearing him but not comprehending him.

'Unzip your pants. Pull it out.' The voice was for me. I realized that now. No, I certainly wouldn't do anything like that. I would stand up right now and leave the house. Never speak to either one of them again. Transfer. Put this all behind me.

All the time I was thinking that, I was unzipping my pants and fishing my cock out. It was half hard already. Gawd, why was that? I couldn't find this arousing. Could I? I'd never . . .

'Thought so. Stroke it.' The voice that was to be obeyed.

'Rotate.' The commanding voice again. But this time for Bud. Bud moved his hands back to cup the back of Mitch's head and, leveraging off the balls of his feet, began to rotate his hips back and forth and in a circular motion. Mitch moved his hands to Bud's small waist and helped control the movement. Moans in harmony now, Bud's tenor and Mitch's bass. Bud's louder than Mitch's, but Mitch was softly grunting and groaning now too. And I could see his muscles straining and the veins popping out on his ropy forearms.

My cock was hard already, rising to my involuntary stroking. I moved my other hand up under the hem of my T-shirt and up to a nipple. Three-part harmony in the moaning now. Bud's tenor, Mitch's bass, my baritone.

'Up on your feet.' Who was that for? Must be Bud, although he didn't seem to fully comprehend.

'Up on your feet. Now!' Mitch brought Bud up out of his lap with the grip he had on the basketball player's waist. Bud stood, but still crouch over Mitch's lap. I saw a good five inches of the condomed cock now, but the head was still embedded in Bud's ass.

Mitch's pelvis came up off the chair and he thrust up into Bud's ass, again and again and again. Six, seven inches sliding out and then disappearing in a quick upward jab. Bud lurching and twisting and gasping and yelping. Muscles rolling, bulging, straining. Both straining and breathing heavily.

Bud's legs were trembling uncontrollably and his knees gave way and he fell back into Mitch's lap, fully impaled. Mitch snaked a hand around and fisted Bud's engorged cock in a steel grip and started pumping, slowly but relentlessly. Bud was trembling and writhing under his grip. Mitch had his lips buried in Bud's neck. Loud oohs and ahhs and gruntings and groanings now. All tenor, all Bud.

Bud cried out in a shooting of cum and collapsed like a rag doll in Mitch's lap. Mitch's pelvis was still slowly churning. He wasn't finished, although Bud certainly was.

Bud raised his head and searched out my eyes with his. He had a languid, well-taken expression on his face. I don't know why, but I somehow knew this had been his first taking and that he was lost to the Marine now. Whatever Mitch, still churning inside him, wanted, he would do. And there was another look in his eyes. A message for me. A 'you're next' warning.

I gathered strength and fled the room and the house.



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