My Exception is You Ch. 03

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**All characters are 18+ years old**

Warning: Potentially offensive content regarding homophobia.

Please let me know if you enjoy this chapter, I look forward to writing another one for you all!

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Saturday’s practice was always really early and I usually hated it. But the idea of having the entire afternoon off was getting me super amped. I finished all of my homework so that I could be available. Sadly Clay and I hadn’t made official plans yet, but I didn’t want a reason to potentially turn him down if he asked. As I walked to the track scrolling through my phone I heard some commotion ahead. I glanced up seeing Clay, Zack, and a few other guys from the team. I smiled, shoving my phone into my pocket and heading over.

“Hey!” I called out. They all hesitated, glancing in my direction. I was nearly there when I noticed Zack’s face. Him and the other guys were all glaring at me. Without realizing it I had stopped, my shoulders falling as I felt my forehead wrinkle.

“You know it’s pretty fucked up that you would lie about being queer just to get glimpses of us naked in the showers,” Zack started then and I felt my chest tighten as he shoved his hands into his pockets. “Don’t go acting buddy-buddy with us as if your nasty secret isn’t out,” he snipped, turning abruptly and walking off. The other guys followed as my eyes fell on Clay. He looked unnerved as his eyes met mine for a moment.

“Cl-“

“See you at the field,” he offered, turning as well. His name fell from my lips when I realized with some sick amusement that this was a lot deeper than I had imagined. I wasn’t an idiot. The icy stares, the cold shoulder, that all didn’t bother me. It came with the territory and most online sites I read said it was just par for the course, and those relationships aren’t worth fighting for in the end. So I was ready to accept those reactions and move on. What I didn’t expect, or want, was Clay to play bystander in all of it.

“I did this for you,” I whispered, crossing my arms as my eyes narrowed. I studied Clay’s back as Zack pat his shoulder. He didn’t even look back at me. So much for not wanting to hide anymore. A heavy sigh escaped my lips when I felt a slap on my shoulder.

“Sup Bruno?” Devon’s voice shocked me and I cleared my throat, composing myself as I smiled. Getting upset with Clay wasn’t going to solve anything either. I knew that much. So I could suppress some of those petty frustrations. At least for now.

“Eh, Zack just rustled me a bit,” I admitted and he frowned.

“What’d he say?” he demanded and I sighed, not expecting Devon to be such a supportive person. The past two days though he’s been adamant about being by my side and making sure no one treated me differently on the team.

“Oh you know, accused me of hiding my sexuality so I could perv out on the team while they showered,” I laughed, still amused at the idea. “As if Zack is even anything to look at,” I shook my head, Devon laughing then too. He threw his arm over my shoulder, pulling me into his side. Clay had done this enough that it felt intimate to me. My ears got hot as I realized I compared Devon’s affection to Clay. “Shit,” I sighed and Devon pinched my ear.

“Shit what?” he pressed.

“Well uh,” I looked around and hesitated, stopping. He stopped as well, dropping his arm as he studied me. “I recently figured out that I like guys and now that I know that, I,” I hesitated and he smirked.

“Bruno likes being held by guys now, is that it?” he teased then, sliding his arm over my shoulders. “What a cute little perv!” he messed my hair up and I pushed away from him, sighing heavily.

“God you’re fucking annoying,” I admitted but he just laughed it off. Having him not shy away from my reality was rather comforting though. As we approached the field he and I chatted mindlessly about pointless shit, just laughing and enjoying the early morning breeze together. As we walked down the stairs Clay glanced over hearing us laughing, his face blank.

“You want me to talk to Zack?” Devon asked and I shrugged.

“Won’t it just make it worse?” I countered, both of us pursing our lips in thought. He grabbed my shoulder then, turning me to face him. “Devon you’re getting all serious on me,” I teased and he smirked, his hand gripping my shoulder firmly.

“I told you this is important to me. Just know that you have a friend in me, ok?” he asked and I nodded. He pulled me into a headlock, grinding his knuckles into my head. I groaned and struggled to pull away.

“You a queer too?!” Zack called out and Devon laughed, letting me go as he turned to look at the small group of our teammates. About half the team was there, some looking uncomfortably between us and some paying no mind. Clay was of the latter group.

“Do I have to be gay to clown around with my teammates?” Devon challenged easily, shaking his head. “You’re so stupid Zack,” he laughed lightly then, Clay glancing mardin escort at me with that same blank face. I took a deep breath and walked over, dropping my bag on the ground. I got ready for practice, sipping my water when some teammates came over.

“Are you and Devon a thing?” one of them asked and I snorted, nearly choking on my water as I studied them.

“How stupid are you guys?” I shook my head. “Devon is straight and not my type. He’s just not uncomfortable with the idea of me being bi,” I shrugged and they hesitated before seeming to accept that and move on. “God could I just go back into the fucking closet?” I snickered to myself, irked as I let my water bottle fall onto my bag.

“You’re the one who outed yourself,” Clay breathed and I flinched, turning on my heel as I studied his face. “This is what happens,” he glanced around and I took a deep breath.

“So you would rather be a quiet bystander and watch it happen than do something about it?” I snapped, feeling a bit more irritated than I wanted to. He frowned, crossing his arms then. “Whatever. It’s still just new to them all. Once everyone gets used to it I’m sure it’ll be normal again,” I walked away, too frustrated with his indifference to handle a conversation with him.

We ran laps to warm up, doing dynamic stretches along the track. Today was all about offensive and defensive strategy so we spent most of our time running game drills. It felt like so many eyes were on me as I ran across the field. The grass was still damp from the dew and I slid when trying to stop, falling over onto one of the defenders.

“Shit, I’m sorry the grass is wet!” I pushed up, offering him my hand but he ignored it.

“Just watch yourself next time,” his shoulder bumped mine and I stumbled back, feeling defeated as my eyes darted around the field. I spotted Clay on the side lines, but he was looking away. My mind naturally drifted to Devon who was in the goal ahead of me. He gave me a thumbs up and I took a deep breath. I really wish this asshole wasn’t the only ally I had. My boyfriend was hardly fifty feet away and he couldn’t even make eye contact with me.

When practice ended I felt like I could breathe again. I hurried up to the fitness center wanting to shower and get dressed for the day. As I stopped at a locker and more of the team filed in I felt an uncomfortable stiffness in the air.

“You’re really going to shower with everyone?” Zack demanded next to me and I took a deep breath, swallowing my frustration as I turned my head to study him.

“What’s crazy is that up until this point I showered with half the team. It’s never been a problem until now. What changed?” I asked and he frowned.

“Now we know you’re being a gay perv,” he started and I scoffed, my hand gripping the locker door tightly as I bared my teeth. “If you’re showering now I’ll wait,” he continued and I shrugged.

“No one said you had to shower with me,” I insisted.

“Come on Bruno, let’s shower and get lunch!” Devon called out and I took a deep breath, about to turn away.

“Man I always knew Devon was gay too,” Zack laughed, some other guys chuckling and that did it. I slammed my locker shut, my hands pressing into his chest as I shoved him as hard as I could. He fell back into an open locker, nearly knocking over two of our teammates. “You just fucked up,” he lunged forward, throwing a punch. Thankfully I was ready for it and ducked, driving my fist into his gut.

“Hey!” coach’s voice called out as Zack crumpled to the floor, coughing as he clutched his stomach. “The hell is going on?!” he demanded and I grabbed all my shit, collecting it to head back to the dorm.

“Some fucking bullshit coach, that’s what!” I snapped, glaring at him. I was seething. “The fuck would you care though? The fuck would anyone care? My team finds out I’m bisexual and all of a sudden no one can even fucking look at me!” I glared at everyone, Devon standing behind the coach from the other side of the lockers. He looked frustrated and worried as he surveyed the room.

“Can you blame them?” he asked me then and I was floored.

“Coach,” Devon looked pissed, his forehead wrinkling as his eyebrows pulled together. I felt my anger welling up, desperation for someone to stand up with me. As I looked around the only person I saw who was willing to stand by my side was Devon. My eyes fell on Clay, my heart pounding painfully as he stared back at me.

“Why don’t you just shower at your dorm?” Clay offered then and I felt gutted. We stared at one another, a million thoughts running through my head.

“Why should he have to do that?!” Devon called out in the silence and I flinched.

“Just forget it Dev. No one will understand,” I shook my head, sliding my bag on my shoulder as I glared at Zack and then my coach. “Not if it doesn’t benefit them,” I breathed, my eyes darting to Clay. I saw his face falter before he composed himself. I sighed, turning and pushing past Zack. mardin escort bayan He tsked his tongue, grabbing my shoulder. I grabbed his shoulder and slammed him back into the locker. “Leave me the fuck alone. No girls want you, what would make you think a gay guy would?” I snapped, getting a few unexpected laughs that were quickly hushed.

I pushed past coach and Devon, storming out of the locker room. My body was on fire, my anger consuming me. I got back to my dorm, Jake stirring as I threw my shit across the room. “Woah, what the hell happened to you?” he grumbled, sitting up as he rubbed his face. His hand slid over his buzzed hair, his lips pursed as his eyes squinted sleepily.

“Some prick on my soccer team has been such an ass to me!” I started pacing, knowing that wasn’t what was pissing me off. I mean it was, but I felt like I could handle it. What was gnawing at me was how indifferent Clay was to it all. Of course it was stupid of me to expect anything different though right? He told me he was ashamed to be gay, that he always wanted to stay in the closet. In fact his whole life, now that I had a better look into it, it seemed like a carefully constructed front.

His looks, his athleticism, his extracurriculars, and his academics were all a mask. Sure they might be parts of him, but they were only some parts. We got to see all the parts that made him what he wanted to be: the perfect guy. But he just held his emotions in. He wasn’t kidding when he said he chose to be civil and passive. I saw it though, when we were alone or when he thought no one was looking. I saw his frustrations, his pain, his sadness. He had to be miserable.

“Why don’t we go to a party tonight or something?” Jake offered pushing up out of bed. He was in his boxers, stretching as he yawned before scratching at his balls.

“What party?” usually I wouldn’t take him up on his offer, but there was a part of me that wanted a distraction. And that part was making my decisions now.

“A couple of seniors are hosting a party at their house. Most of the football team is invited and we can invite one or two friends,” he started and I nodded slowly. A football team party? I had heard about them from some of my teammates but never went to them. They seemed too rowdy, too disorderly, and like they were asking for some horrible scandal or a fight to break out.

“Why not?” I sighed finally and he smiled, patting my arm as he walked past me to grab some clothes and his shower stuff. “Have you eaten yet?” I asked and he shook his head, throwing his towel over his shoulder. “Want to get lunch after we shower?” I offered and he nodded.

“Wait you didn’t shower after practice?” he studied me, seeming more coherent as he pursed his lips.

“I would have if that guy,” I hesitated and his forehead wrinkled as he frowned. “Nevermind, forget about it. It’s not important,” I backpedaled and he shook his head.

“Whose ass do I gotta beat?” he demanded and I scoffed. “Bruno you’ve been my best friend since middle school. If someone is giving you shit-“

“I didn’t shower because I got into a fight with him and just left after coach broke it up,” I admitted sheepishly and he smiled, ruffling my hair.

“Hell yeah! Bruno and Jake don’t take shit from nobody,” he held his fist out and I sighed, bumping it lightly. “We’re talking about it though,” he called out as he left to shower. I slumped over, collecting my stuff to shower as well. I let my mind go blank, zoning out until we were walking up to the dining hall. As we walked in I saw most of my team at their usual table.

“Bruno!” I heard my name and saw Devon coming over from the trash cans. It looked like he just finished eating. “Oh shit Jake!” Devon grinned widely, holding his hand out and pulling Jake into a very manly looking hug. They slapped each other’s backs roughly, both beaming.

“You’re coming tonight right? Bruno’s joining me,” Jake’s hand slapped my chest, and I winced rubbing it as they both smiled at me.

“No way! Bruno you don’t party much,” Devon teased and I sighed heavily.

“Well I don’t have anything else to do,” I shrugged, turning to join one of the lines. Jake and Devon were behind me, talking animatedly about their excitement for tonight. Honestly it was like two peas in a pod. The more I listened to them and saw them interact, the more I realized why I didn’t mind Devon. I was already trained to be patient.

“Oh and this fucker!” Jake pulled me into his side, his arm heavy on me as his other finger jabbed into my chest. “He’s a lady killer. So we gotta watch out,” he laughed and Devon did too.

“Shut up,” I pushed his arm off and they both laughed.

“Can you turn your gay on tonight instead?” Devon started and Jake laughed, nodding happily.

“Yeah please, just be a wingman,” Jake insisted eagerly and I took a deep breath.

“I’m taken,” I started and Devon looked curious, Jake rolling his eyes. “At least I think I am,” I escort mardin clarified, feeling uncertain.

“The hell does that mean?” Devon pressed and I sighed heavily.

“It means I’m trying to figure out my relationship with this guy. It’s my first time dating a guy and he’s still in the closet,” I complained, ignoring the glances from a few people around us. I didn’t even care if it was out of judgment or passive curiosity. At this point all of my inhibitions were gone.

“That’s heavy shit,” Devon mused and I exhaled sharply, glancing at him with a frustrated smirk.

“You’re telling me,” I shook my head, crossing my arms as I shuffled forward with the line. “But I guess it’s my fault. I caught feelings first without even realizing it,” I grumbled then, still shaking my head slightly. They seemed to understand I wanted to be left alone, both of them chatting when it finally dawned on me as we got to our table. “How do you know each other?” I demanded and they both smiled.

“You think I don’t go to parties all the time?” Devon laughed, pulling Jake close as he slapped his chest. “This guy and I met last year and have been partying together ever since. He told me about this weekend,” he breathed and I sighed, shaking my head.

“So who is your boyfriend?” Jake asked then and I froze, looking between them as I held my sandwich in front of my mouth. “Or are we not even allowed to know?” he held back his smile and I pursed my lips. What were the odds either of them would tell?

“He’s closeted right?” Devon pressed and I sighed, nodding. “So if you don’t tell us that means one of us might know him,” he continued and my eyes narrowed.

“Why are you being smart all of a sudden?” I grumbled and a wicked grin tugged at his lips.

“It’s not Zack right?” he laughed and I choked, dying of laughter myself. Jake looked confused when Devon shook his head. “He’s the homophobe on our team that’s been giving Bruno a hard time,” he admitted and I nodded slowly. Jake smirked, chuckling then as he understood the joke. Devon studied me and then a weird expression crossed his face. “It’s Clay isn’t it?” he asked suddenly.

My reaction wasn’t one I could immediately control. I choked on my sandwich, my ears going red as Jake reached over and pounded my back with a light laugh as well. I guzzled my drink hoping this uncomfortable feeling would pass. Devon seemed too proud of himself. I took a deep breath and swallowed hard, sighing heavily.

“I won’t tell anyone,” he started and I crossed my arms, leaning back as I studied him. My lips were pressed together; I was full of doubt.

“Me either,” Jake started and I sighed, shaking my head.

“I knew it was weird that such a hot guy was always single,” Devon started then and I glared at him, Jake and him laughing at my reaction. “Alright, I’ll drop it,” he surrendered. I was grateful that the rest of the lunch conversation returned to normal. We were talking about meeting up for the party, Jake planning most of it since he was on the football team. After lunch I enjoyed a peaceful walk to my dorm, alone.

As soon as I was about to walk into my room my phone rang. My usual habit took over and I answered it without even checking the name. “Hello?” I breathed.

“You ok?” Clay’s voice had a funny effect on me as I held my door open. I felt at ease a bit, enjoying the warmth and silkiness of his voice. However, I was still very pissed and hearing him reminded me of that too.

“Define ok,” I retorted, the door shutting as I threw myself down onto my bed. I glared at the ceiling, kicking my shoes off as I thought about taking a nap.

“After today, what happened with Zack, I wanted to know if you were ok,” he sounded worried, but his voice also sounded strained.

“You know, I don’t think Zack or coach pissed me off as much as you did today,” I breathed. Silence. This was going to be a war of attrition. I could hear him breathing occasionally as the void of conversation persisted between us. And then a heavy sigh from him.

“What do you want from me Bruno? I told you I want to keep it private for now,” he defended himself and I scoffed.

“Being in the closet and choosing to side with the homophobic assholes are two different things. You’re supposed to be my boyfriend and I can’t even rely on you. Devon has been more of an ally and a better support system than you have. No one even suspects you’re gay. The least you could do is throw me a fucking bone,” I started and he scoffed.

“How?” his tone tightening as he got angry too.

“You’re the captain of the team! If you show you have no problem with it, most of the other guys who don’t really care will move on as well. The damn problem is that it’s fucking Zack!” I started and he sighed heavily.

“But if I do that, Zack’ll get on my case too,” he countered and I rolled my eyes. “And coach too!” he pressed and I took a deep breath, trying to swallow the rage consuming me.

“Then fine. Prioritize Zack and coach’s feelings over mine and yours. But don’t come calling me when you’re all alone acting like you actually care. Because from where I’m sitting this just makes it worse for me,” I hung up then, hating how petty and stupid I was being. My phone rang a few times but I ignored it, rolling over to take a nap instead.

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