It started at James's stag do. I was feeling out of place as the odd one out – I was significantly younger than James and all his friends, I was kind of dorky and pretty shy, and I was gay. So being at a strip club just made me feel even more awkward. But it was my big brother's stag do and I couldn't not go. He wanted me there, too, which was nice. I didn't hang out with James and his friends very often. I was only just 20 and they were all at least five years older. James was the oldest of his group at 28. I know, 8 years is a big gap. By the time I was old enough to play properly with James, he'd moved on from playing make believe games. I'd been forced to grow up quicker, in an attempt to keep up with my older brother. And now he'd brought me to a strip club.

It wasn't his choice, obviously. Callum, James's best friend and best man, had organised the stag do. All the other guys approved of the choice. They'd been out for a steak dinner, which I had enjoyed, and then to a bar, which had been okay, but then we'd moved onto the strip club. My dad and Beth's dad had both come for dinner. James got on really well with his future bride's family, which was great, and I think our dad and Bath's dad liked that they'd been invited.

When we got to the strip club, I wished I'd gone with them after dinner. I didn't know what to do. I sat at the table with a glass with some alcohol in it that James had ordered for me. I didn't know where to look or how to act. I didn't think I'd ever felt so awkward. James was loving it, though. He was well passed drunk and was laughing with his friends as they watched the sexy, half-naked women dance.

"What are you sitting over here for, Gray?" Callum asked and I sighed. I didn't like when people other than James called me Gray. My name was Graham, which, okay, wasn't a great name but still.

"Drinking," I said, holding up my glass. I'd had a few sips.

"You wanna come watch that dancer?" Callum asked, nodding towards a side stage where a woman was grinding on a pole. "She's hot."

"Uh, no, thanks," I said, keeping my eyes on my drink.

"It's ok to feel uncomfortable," Callum said with a shrug. "Pretty much everyone is the first time they come to a strip club."

"It's not that," I said, though that was partly it.

"What is it then?" Callum asked and I glanced at him. He knew I was gay, it was public knowledge. Maybe he'd just forgotten. He didn't seem too drunk but maybe he just handled it well.

"Uh, you know…" I waved in the air in a vague gesture. Callum just looked at me in confusion and I sighed. "She's…you know, female and I, uh…" I trailed off with a shrug and Callum's eyes widened.

"You're gay?" he asked and I blinked in shock.

"I…thought you knew that?" I asked and he shook his head. "Oh. Thought James would have told you."

"Well, fuck, James knows?" he asked and I nodded. He frowned to himself for a moment and shook his head. "Maybe I'll just sit here with you, that'll piss him off."

"What?" I asked in confusion. This whole conversation had been confusing. Callum laughed and shook his head.

"I'm gay, too," he said and my lips parted in surprise.

"James never said…" I said. I'd never spent a lot of time with Callum but I'd seen him in passing. He and James had been best friends since school. Callum started coming around when I was about 6. They played with me sometimes, but there was only so much time two 14 year olds would spend with a 6 year old. As I got older so did they and they still didn't have much time for me. "Why wouldn't he tell me?"

"Who knows," Callum said as he glanced over at my brother who was downing whatever drink he had. "Who knows why he didn't tell me about you either." I frowned. "So there's only one way for us to enjoy this strip club," Callum said and I turned my attention away from my brother.

"What's that?" I asked and Callum lifted his beer into the air.

"Bottoms up," he said with a grin. I looked at my glass to and then back up at his smiling face. I raised my glass and clinked it against his.

"Bottoms up," I said and we both downed our drinks.

As the hours passed, the alcohol continued to flow and I did start to enjoy it. Not the strip club, exactly, but being with Callum. He was nice and funny and he bought me drinks when I ran out of cash. We played our own games. While James and his other friends were admiring the girls in the club, Callum and I rated the guys. I'd never had a boyfriend, or anything remotely close, before and I was too shy to initiate anything with anyone anyway. I didn't have any other gay friends but it was fun to be able to talk about guys with someone else. I was able to admire every guy in the club while Callum did the same. Though my gaze kept wandering back to the body beside me.

I'd admired Callum before, obviously, but never in the way I was now. Before I'd just been aware that he had nice eyes and shoulders. But now, thanks to the atmosphere, the game we were playing, and the alcohol, I started admiring him in a new way. I wondered what his lips felt like, what his hands felt like. I wondered how strong his arms were, how muscular he was under those tight t-shirts he wore. I wondered how soft his hair was, what it would feel like if I ran my fingers through it, tugged it. I wondered what his skin would taste like, if I traced my tongue across his collar bone. I licked my lips. I flicked my gaze up to Callum's eyes and my heart stuttered when I realised that he was looking at me too.

He shifted slightly and then his knee pressed against mine under the table. I pressed back. "Wanna get some air?" Callum asked and I nodded.

"Sure," I whispered, my tongue feeling too heavy. Callum quickly swallowed the rest of his drink and stood. I followed his example, finished my drink and stood. My head swam a little as the alcohol hit me but I quickly followed Callum out of the club.

Once we were on the street, Callum grasped my hand. We walked in silence for about 30 seconds until we reached an alley which Callum pushed me into. I happily went, moving backwards until I hit the brick wall. Callum's body pressed against mine and then I was feeling his lips on mine, feeling his hands under my shirt. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders as I opened under his kiss, letting one hand slide into his hair. It was just as soft as I'd imagined and I decided to explore his body later. I tugged his hair and he groaned, pressing his hips against mine. My dick was hard – I wasn't even sure when that had happened, but it was probably sometime around the time Callum had bought me a drink and shot me a flirty grin – and so was his. I lifted my hips away from the wall, desperately needing the friction. I'd never done anything like this before and I forced myself not to think. I knew if I started thinking, I'd realise I should stop. But I didn't want to stop. I wanted this so badly, I needed this. I needed Callum.

Callum broke the kiss suddenly and I gasped in a lungful of cold air before releasing a shaky breath as his lips created a tight seal on my neck. He sucked hard, nibbling at the area too. I let my hand that wasn't knotted in his hair travel down his back until I reached the bottom of his shirt. I pushed beneath and held on tight to his warm skin. "Cal," I moaned, hardly able to catch my breath. Callum just groaned against my skin before letting go with a pop. My neck throbbed but I kind of loved it.

"Tell me what you want, Gray," Callum said as he cupped my face and looked down at me.

"This," I whispered, gazing up at him. "You."

"Fuck," Callum groaned, kissing me hard again. "Never let myself imagine…" I didn't stop to think about what he was saying, I just pulled him back to me and kissed him again.

"Cal," I whispered, breaking the kiss again. "Can we go back to the hotel?"

"Are you sure?" he asked and I nodded.

"Yes," I said, blinking through the haze of alcohol. I stroked my hands over his shoulders, over his arms, over his chest. My fingers rose and fell with the ridges of muscles and I swallowed thickly. "Yes."

"Okay," Cal said, taking his phone out of his pocket.

"What are you doing?" I asked, leaning into his body.

"Texting James," he said. "Saying you drank too much so I'm taking you back."

Because we knew we'd be drinking so much, we'd booked rooms at the hotel closest to where Cal had booked dinner and drinks, so it didn't take very long to get back to the hotel. "What's your room?" Cal asked when we got in the lift.

"118," I said and Cal nodded, pressing the button for the right floor. We had the lift to ourselves and once it started moving, Cal pressed me against the wall. He didn't kiss me, just pressed himself against me.

"You're so fucking gorgeous," Cal whispered, cupping my jaw before finally kissing me. We sprang apart only a few moments later when the lift dinged and the doors opened onto my floor. Cal's fingers were entwined with mine as we walked and I couldn't remember when that had happened. I quickly led the way to my room and slid my key card into the slot before pushing the door open. It shut heavily behind us and then we were kissing again. Cal's hands were everywhere as he kissed me breathless. Our shifts vanished as if by magic and our hot bare skin pressed together. He was as muscular as I knew he would be. He was stunning, better looking that I'd ever dared to dream.

We fell onto the bed together, our legs tangled together and our arms wrapped around one another. We kicked our shoes off and Cal moved slightly so he was straddling my thighs, his hard dick aligned with mine. Cal broke the kiss suddenly and I frowned at the loss and opened my eyes. "Need to tell you something," Cal said and I blinked at the sudden change.

"Okay," I said.

"I don't do, you know, relationships," he said with a grimace. "You okay with this being a one-time thing? Just tonight?"

Was I? I paused for a moment as I thought about it. But all I could think about was the half-naked man hovering above me. Who wanted me. Who cares if he didn't want me beyond tonight? He wanted me right now and I wanted him more desperately than I'd ever wanted anything.

"Yeah," I said, curling my hand around the back of his neck to pull him back into a kiss. If one night was all I was going to get, I was damn sure going to make it count.

When I rolled over the following morning, I knew my bed was empty immediately. Cal had warned me but I was still slightly disappointed. He must have snuck out after I'd drifted asleep, exhausted and sated after we'd fucked several times. It had been an amazing night. Despite the desperation with which we'd first kissed, the first time had been slow. I hadn't told Cal that it was my first time, but I think he knew. Maybe he could see how nervous I was, or maybe I just screamed 'virgin', who knows. But either way, Cal had been perfect.

I rolled back over onto my back and stared at the ceiling. There were no plans to do anything today. We'd all got late check-out because Cal had doubted we'd be sober by 11am to check out. I glanced at the clock. 9.30. I had no intention of sticking around to see Cal just yet, so after lying in bed for a little while, I climbed out of bed. Once I was standing, my pounding headache woke up and I groaned and stumbled to the bathroom just in time to hurl into the toilet.

About an hour later, I felt like most of the liquid I'd drunk the night before had left my system and I was freshly showered and dressed. I texted James that I was heading to the station, though I didn't expect a reply and I didn't get one. I still lived with my parents, just outside the city, but James lived with Beth closer to the city centre for work. I'd just finished my second year of university so was living with my parents during the holidays. I shook my head at myself. Realistically, why would someone like Callum be interested in anything more with someone like me? I'm a kid compared to him.

I managed to avoid Callum for the next 3 weeks before the wedding. He came over sometimes if James came over to talk to our parents about something to do with the wedding, but I was always able to stay in my room or go out for a couple hours. It's not that I didn't want to see him. I wasn't even sure why I was avoiding him. We'd not done anything wrong and we'd agreed it was a one night thing. But part of me knew that when I saw him again, my feelings would be clear on my face. I guess I had to be grateful that he'd set the one-time-only agreement. Otherwise I'd be sitting in my bedroom feeling used and rejected. Now I was just sitting pining for something that he obviously didn't want to give me. Ridiculous.

Eventually, though, the day of the wedding arrived. James and Callum had stayed at our house the night before to save having to get a hotel. James and Beth were getting married at a small church about half an hour away from us and then the reception was at a nearby hotel. I hadn't been able to avoid Callum that night. Obviously nothing had happened – my parents and James were around after all. And there was no awkwardness. He acknowledged me as much as he always had in the past, with a brief nod in my direction followed by a vague 'what's up?' I just nodded back and continued watching television. James and Callum joined me for a while until they moved to sit outside. It was mid-summer and still warm in the evenings. I didn't really know what I was expecting…just, I'd been expecting something. And nothing had happened. I just sat with my heart pounding in my chest. It had probably been better before I'd found out he was gay. Back then I knew having a crush on Cal was a hopeless dream. Now that he was gay, and he'd been mine – if only for a night – I couldn't stop thinking about him. It helped that I knew he didn't want anything else from me, though. It was like knowing that there was nothing I could do. Out of my hands.

Instead of sticking around and waiting for a glimpse of Cal again, I went up to bed.

James and Beth's wedding was beautiful. It wasn't a big event, which was nice, just family and close friends. Cal and I, along with James's other friend and groomsman, Sam, stood at the front of the church and watched and Beth walked down the aisle with her bridesmaids trailing behind her. She looked beautiful and I was so happy for James.

I was both dreading and excited for the reception afterwards. I was looking forward to being able to take my tie off and find something alcoholic to drink. Standing next to Cal was a bit of a nightmare. I needed alcohol to help me relax. The reception was in a swanky hotel near the church, where most of the guests were staying if they weren't locals.

About 3 hours later, I was finally able to sit at the bar and order a drink. I'd had dinner, sat through the speeches, and now was able to switch off. My glass had only just been placed in front of me when someone appeared next to me and cleared their throat. I took a sip of my drink and turned towards Cal. "I liked your speech," I said. Part of me had worried that Cal was going to be rude in his speech and make inappropriate comments, but he actually made some really nice comments about how James and Beth were perfect together.

"Thanks," Cal said. "What are you drinking?"

"G&T," I said, sipping it through the straw. I looked up at Cal and his eyes locked on my lips and then moved back to my eyes. I licked the drop of liquid from my lower lip, watching Cal's eyes go back to my lips. "What are you drinking?" I asked, motioning to the bar.

"Not sure yet," Cal said. "Depends how drunk I want to get."

"And how drunk is that?" I asked, tilting my head and looking up at him. Cal stepped closer to me and I grinned.

"Come with me a minute," Cal said, nodding over his shoulder. I quickly downed my drink and hopped off my stool and followed him out of the reception hall. People were buzzing around, starting to drink and dance to the band. I didn't really think anyone noticed when Cal and I left.

We walked through the corridor until Cal grabbed my hand and yanked me through a door. Beyond the door was pitch black and silent. "Cal?" I asked but instead of responding, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me.

"Fuck, been wanting that all day," he said, resting his forehead against mine. "Or maybe even longer than that."

"God, me too," I whispered, cupping the back of his head and pulling him into another kiss.

About 10 minutes later we were back in the reception room, getting a drink. I'd done my best to flatten my hair and make my suit look presentable again. Cal had tried too but I could see the differences between what he looked like before we went to the storage room. Part of his shirt was still untucked and bits of his hair was standing on end from where I'd tugged on it when he'd been on his knees in front of me.

I forced myself to look away from Cal and watched James and Beth waltz around the dancefloor. "I can't believe this is all over," Cal said and I glanced at him. "All the planning and everything." I nodded.

"All the planning obviously paid off though," I said and Cal nodded. "I'm not sure I'd want something like this if I get married." I watched James and Beth for a little while more, while the guests danced around them. "I'd want it smaller, you know," I said. "I dunno, I'm not sure I'd want strangers at my wedding." I looked over at Cal and he was gazing down at me with a pensive look on his face. "What?" I asked self-consciously.

"If you get married?" he asked. "Not when?"

"Well, I mean, I might not ever get married," I said with a shrug.

"Any guy would be lucky to marry you," Cal said and I looked up at him. "If I got married it would be like that, too, intimate. Maybe outside."

"Garden wedding," I smiled, imaging it just as I'd always pictured.

"Yeah," Cal said.

"You don't strike me as a garden wedding type," I said. "I thought you'd go with something like this, but maybe bigger. A proper party."

"I can party anytime," Cal said. "I only intend to get married once and I want it to be special." I looked up at him and bit my lip. If he didn't do relationships, how was he going to get married? I figured it wouldn't be any time soon. I smiled softly and looked away. "So, why no date?" Cal asked after a little silence.

"A date would require a boyfriend," I said. "Not having much luck with that right now."

"No one caught your eye?" he asked and I glanced at him, wondering if he was digging for information. I decided to play it up a bit.

"There's this guy at uni," I said. "We're both in the LGBT society. He's kinda cute. I haven't spoken to him much over the holidays so I should really catch up with him…"

"Even after what we just did?" Cal asked and I frowned and looked at him.

"You said it's a one-time thing," I said.

"That we've done twice now?" he asked and I crossed my arms over my chest.

"I don't know what you want, Cal," I said. "You told me the stag do was a one night only thing. I don't hear from you for the last few weeks. And now what? You said you don't do relationships so I've not let myself-" Cal cut me off with a quick kiss which left me gasping for a breath. "What the hell are you doing?"

"I…I don't even know, I just…I don't want you getting with some random guy from uni," Cal said and my eyes widened.

"So, what do you want?" I asked.

"You," he said and my lips parted in shock. "I don't really know what I want, but I want you. I want you for myself and I want to just…I don't know, be with you."

"Oh," I whispered, gazing up at him. Was he actually saying what it sounded like?

"Ahem," a voice said beside us and I turned, my heart sinking when I realised James was standing next to me.

"James," I said.

"Fuck," Cal said.

"Cal what the fuck are you doing?" James asked, stepping in front of me to face up to Cal.

"James, stop it," I said, pushing him aside. "This is nothing to do with you."

"The hell it isn't," he said. "I've kept you from him for years and I'm not going to let that go to waste."

"What?" I asked and James turned to me.

"Cal is my best friend, you know that," James said, glancing at Cal. "But you're my baby brother. I know what Cal's like and I won't let him hurt you."

"I don't think he'd hurt me," I said and James gritted his teeth and shook his head.

"You don't know him like I do," James said. "He sleeps with guys once and then moves on. I don't want that to happen to you."

"It won't," I said. "And even if it does, I'm not a kid, James. I can look after myself."

"I'm not going to let this happen," James said and I exhaled sharply.

"You're telling me that instead of being with your wife on your wedding day, you're going to stand here and babysit me?" I asked, crossing my arms over my chest. "I'm going to do what I want no matter what you say. If I want to sleep with Cal again, I will."

"Again?" James asked, his face falling. He turned to Cal who took a small step back. "Again?"

"Come on, James, it's not what you think, okay?" Cal said. "I like Gray. A lot. Fuck, I haven't been able to stop thinking about him these last few weeks. And the only reason I haven't been texting or phoning or hell just turning up at his house every single day was because I have no fucking clue how to do this, okay? I'm so fucking terrified that I'm going to fuck this up before it even becomes anything. And I know what I was like before but it's different with Gray. He's just…more." I gazed at Cal and quickly pushed my brother aside, shooting him a glare as I did so.

"I like you, too," I whispered, wrapping my arms around his shoulders and kissing him tenderly. It was unlike any other kiss we'd shared before. It was almost like a promise. I pulled back a small amount but kept my body close to his. "If you'd turned up at my house, I wouldn't have turned you away." Cal smiled and cupped my cheek.

"How about if I suggested maybe going on a date?" he asked and I grinned.

"I'd say when and where," I said and Cal smiled and kissed me again. "Not just a one-time thing?"

"You were never going to be a one-time thing," he whispered. "I'm sorry that I made you think that you were." I smiled softly and moved into his arms and rested my head on his shoulder.

"I never stopped hoping," I whispered and his arms tightened around me.

"Want to dance?" Cal asked, starting to sway already and I grinned.

"Sure," I said.

"Hang on," James said and I sighed and lifted my head but didn't move out of Cal's arms. "So that's it, you guys are just a thing now?" I glanced up at Cal.

"Yeah," Cal said and I leant into him as I smiled. James sighed.

"Nothing you say will stop me," I said to James. "So just go find Beth and get over it." James grimaced.

"Fine," James said. "As long as I never have to hear about…it." Cal laughed and dragged me onto the dance floor where we spent the next few hours, wrapped in each other's arms.

And when the DJ finally stopped, we went up to my hotel room and had another night together. One where Cal was in bed beside me when I woke up. One of many more to come.