A cellphone trembled with anticipation upon the edge of a desk, sliding over, and falling into a wastepaper basket. Amongst crumpled essay drafts, granola bar wrappers and used tissues, its screen shone brightly and its vibrations came to a halt.
From upon a bed, a muscular, meaty hand dove for it. The hand was covered in gingery hair that bristled with greed while reaching for into the basket and palmed the phone.
"Did you hear something?" asked a young student, his brown shag of hair falling wildly over his eyes and ears.
His dorm room in university residence went quiet, with the click of a mouse upon the pause button of an iTunes playlist. The girl sitting at his desk turned away from the laptop and made eye contact with his roommate, whose uncertain look was most palpable, and then returned her gaze to him.
The brown-haired student raised one eyebrow at the three other people in the room.
All that could be heard was noise from the hallway, and the sound of someone typing tiny plastic keys.
"I didn't hear anything," she told him. "Did you, Penny?"
The darkly copper-haired girl perched on the other half of the cushioned chair beside her mumbled, "No."
"I thought I heard a phone vibrate," said the chestnut-haired student who commanded control of the room with an air of possession.
"Wasn't mine," said Penny. "Shani?"
The olive-skinned girl on the other half of the chair looked up from the poetry she had been focused on, displayed before her on the laptop. "Pardon?"
"Your phone, Eashani, did it go off?" asked the brown-haired young man.
Eashani shook her head, her black hair geled in a gallant, boyish fashion. Each of her ears was pierced once with a multicoloured opal bead. "I left mine in my room."
"What?!" Penny was taken aback. "Emily could be here any minute. Shouldn't you go meet her?"
"Doh!" exclaimed Eashani as she jumped off the chair and rushed out of the large dormitory room.
Penny, and the chair, toppled sideways. "Ow!" She righted herself. "Shani gets so out of it when she's nervous. Good thing she has us."
From upon his stool, the brown-haired guy spun around to face the longer of the two beds in the room. There, his ginger-haired and broad-shouldered lover was busy typing a text message into a phone. "Are you listening to anything we're saying, Freid?"
Freid grinned, eyes not looking up from the phone. "Yes. But it's funnier if I tell you afterwards." His large fingers hurriedly typed another message into the cellphone he had retrieved from the waste basket.
Penny clicked play, and the music resumed.
"Put it down, Gadfried."
His red-headed roommate grinned more broadly than ever. Then, he slid closed the qwerty-pad of the cellphone and stopped texting.
"I'm glad it wasn't mine this time," commented Penny. "I'd never sext you such obscenities, Corbin."
Gadfried chuckled to himself.
The phone vibrated again.
Gadfried continued to type another text into it.
"Give me James's phone," demanded Corbin as he lowered himself onto end of the bed, over Gadfried's calves, and clenched his fingers into his companion's lower thighs while staring up at him through a curtain of wax-tipped, fuscous hair.
After a few taps to the scrollpad, Gadfried turned the phone to face Corbin and showed him a message:
From: Diego Torres
im at the entrnce
the don wont let me in
come get me plz hun xox
"Penny," began Corbin, "would you be so kind as to take the elevator downstairs and tell Diego that James will be down soon? And pass by the bathroom and let James know?"
"Sure thing," she obliged, casting an appreciative look at the playful tension rising between Corbin and Gadfried where they lay upon James's bed. "Just save some of the punishment for me."
"Oh, I will, darling," vowed Corbin, as he raised one hand higher on Gadfried's thigh.
Penny walked out of the room, leaving to notify James and accompany Diego while he waited.
Gadfried snickered, "I told you we'd get some action in James's bed tonight."
A look of disturbed horror cringed across Corbin's features.
"Don't tell me you've never thought about it," whispered Gadfried, bringing his face and his warm breath closer to Corbin's neck. "He's tall, blond, handsome... he's gotta be packing, what like eight or n–"
"No!" Corbin intoned with amusement. "You can be really sick, sometimes, y'know that."
"That's what you love about me," whispered Gadfried, as he brushed his goatee against Corbin's neck as softly as his Austrian accent. Then, he began to kiss at the pale, freckled skin with wet, eager lips.
"Mmm," hummed Corbin, his hands gripping Gadfried's back firmly and tracing the hard, muscled bone structure of his upper back from between his shirt and the comforter of James's bed. "Wait until Penny gets back, babe."
Gadfried, however, paid no attention to his boyfriend's suggestion to wait for their girlfriend to return. Instead, he slid a hand up Corbin's shirt and began to grope at the lithe, toned muscles of his boyfriend's torso.
Corbin, trying his best to ignore Gadfried's playful and affectionate advances, reached for his roommate's cellphone and found his way to the outbox to see how bad, and how hilarious, the damage was.
To: Diego Torres
wut a cawk block that don is!!!
did u bring lots of lube bb?
The smell of marijuana and cigarette smoke clung to Gadfried's polo shirt.
To: Diego Torres To: Diego Torres
yes im cummin 2 get u
cant wait to bone u
hell yeah im serious
n i hope u dooshd
ps im gonna tear ur clothes off
To: Diego Torres
To: Diego Torres
"You're high," stated Corbin, dry and flat.
"You promised Penny and I that that would stop!" Corbin reminded him, brushing the other man's hands off his hips. He swung one leg around and got off the bed.
"I've got mid-terms coming up. It was hard to relax. I was... I'm scared to bring this polyamory thing out into the open!"
"That's bull!" exclaimed Corbin, pacing the room, feet padding angrily upon James's yoga mat. "There may be three of us in this relationship, but there is still fidelity! Do you not understand that? I can't have you making innuendo about my roommate, or flirting with his boyfriend, okay? I can't freaking put up with that! Got it?"
"Psshh! You wouldn't even be into guys if it wasn't for that square. You weren't so high and mighty when I met you. You were a freakin' homophobe, Corbin!"
"Ughh, don't you think I know that?" Corbin was becoming red-faced. "I was terrible to James last semester. As a roommate, as a friend, as a peer... I want to make it up to him. And if that means we have to –"
"We shouldn't even be having this conversation without her!" Gadfried protested, standing up from the bed and looking right at Corbin.
"Oh, don't pull that defence mechanism out on me again! You're never like this when she's around. And you know she doesn't notice half the things I do," Corbin whined. "Don't make this hard."
"Look, I'm sorry, I was stressing out this afternoon. It won't happen again."
"It can happen again, you're allowed to enjoy yourself. Just... in the right time and place. And right now, this whole triple date – not the time or the place to be stoned!"
Gadfried growled at himself, calming his rage. "You're right. I... I should've just said something. The two of you can calm me down better than–"
"We can?" Corbin asked, moving closer. "Alright. Just don't try to... y'know, engineer an orgy or something."
Gadfried rolled his eyes. "Wouldn't dream of it," he lied.
Corbin kissed him on the cheek.
Moments later, Gadfried shoved his boyfriend against the bed of James Deacon and pounced upon him at the most fragile end of a love triangle.