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Hotel Jock: Chapter 1

Friday, 2.12pm

Outside the hotel lobby, a woman is rummaging through her purse when she hears a strange sound. It’s almost like a clicking, or no… perhaps a muffled hissing? It’s definitely breathy, like an elongated gasp, but she can’t quite make out what it is. As she slowly tilts her head to look above, her purse falls to the ground and she screams.

A man is dangling from the balcony two storeys from the ground. What’s holding him hostage are his own white briefs, which have him caught in a deadly hanging wedgie. His body twirls ever so slowly in mid-air, like a rotisserie chicken at a kebab shop. As the woman looks closely, she realises the gurgling sounds are coming from him, as his underwear has come around his front and is choking him at the neck. Within just seconds of her seeing him, the sound abruptly stops and his body collapses limply. The woman screams again, but this time it’s masked by the sound of his dead body hitting the ground.

A flurry of footsteps can be heard from the balcony where he dropped from. The woman looks up but she sees no one.

*

Four days earlier.

GUY
Monday, 1.13pm

Hotel Jock is notorious for being the best Schoolies getaway in the country. The resort is situated in the heart of Surfers Paradise and sees thousands of guests every Schoolies. It tends to have a particularly frat boyish clientele, but that’s something Guy knows all too well.

Red Snakes is the on-the-ground volunteer organisation dedicated to ensuring the safety of Schoolies-goers. At least that’s what he’s grown used to telling people when they think he’s a confectioner, and not an events manager. See, the iconic Aussie red snake lolly is the mascot of the company, and while they do give out a lot of free red snake lollies, the company does so much more than just the fun and the smiles. It’s walking people safely back to their rooms at the end of the night, it’s offering emotional support for anyone who’s inebriated, it’s confiscating and impeding the distribution of illicit drugs. Next to resort security, they’re the next most important people here. That’s a responsibility Guy’s reminded of when he walks past a guest room on the top floor and finds one of his volunteers fucking a Schoolies girl in wheelbarrow position.

“What the fuck are you doing?!” Guy yells.

Unable to dismount in time, the man flounders about as he finishes all over the girl’s bare ass. Several seconds pass as all three of them just stare at each other, the man’s body vibrating at odd intervals.

“Sir, I can explain,” he pleads as he gets up, tripping over the bedside table.

“Put some pants on so I can fire you in my office in 5 minutes,” Guy grumbles.

*

DANNY
2.23pm

He’s trying to concentrate on the instructions the lovely woman at the front desk is telling him, but the kissing and jerking off gestures his two doofus friends are making in his peripheral are making it kinda hard to do so. He exaggeratedly rolls his eyes at them.

“Danny?” The woman asks.

“Huh? Oh, yep, no that’s everything I need… No issues for Danny,” he replies, wincing as he collects his fob. It’s made worse by the fact that his mates are pissing themselves a few metres away at his pathetic attempt at flirting.

The woman smiles and he defeatedly waddles over. His mates, Ricky and Josh, look ready for a week of partying – Ricky in his baggy cargo pants and signature straw hanging loosely from his lips, and Josh shirtless in nothing but jorts and flip flops. There’s a particularly dark mole just below Josh’s right nipple that he’s been meaning to tell him to get checked out, but he can never find the right time to do it without risking sounding gay. If only fragile masculinity wasn’t so threatened by the potential of skin cancer.

“Before you say anything…” is all he can get out before his two friends burst into laughter again.

“Will there ever be a day where a woman doesn’t fall for him?” Josh teases.

“Mate, you’re so dense when it comes to chicks. Your flirting screams virgin without you having to say that you’re one,” Ricky adds.

“Maybe don’t loudly exclaim that I’m a virgin in the hotel lobby?” Danny whispers loudly.

“Don’t you worry, Schoolies chicks are nothing like Melbourne chicks. You’ll be devirginised before we’ve had dinner.”

“Yeah,” Danny replies softly.

The elevator reaches the second floor and they walk a few doors down to get to their room, 207. The inside looks just like the pictures on the website, Danny thinks to himself; nice big living space and a classic Australian 2000s-looking kitchen that’s straight out of Kath and Kim, only in white. There’s a bedroom for each of them and one bathroom that’s petite, but should be enough for the five-day stay.

Exiting the bathroom, Danny notices that Ricky and Josh have already claimed their rooms so he gets the last and smallest one. He doesn’t mind though and places his luggage inside. He walks back to the living room to find his friends waiting for him.

“Since it’s your very first Schoolies, we thought we’d give you a bit of an initiation to the Schoolies life,” Ricky says with one hand behind his back. “You’re free of school now, so you no longer have to be that dorky kid you were for six years.”

“Isn’t this also your first Schoolies?” Danny glances at Josh.

“Yeah but Josh isn’t a nerdy twerp is he?” Ricky replies. “Besides, he’s already experienced his fair share of noogies from me.”

Danny swallows the urge to point out how homoerotic frat bro culture is. He’s been worried about bringing Ricky as he’s a few years older and his parents have always warned about him being a bad influence. But Ricky was very persuasive about giving him the full Schoolies experience, and somehow a week before the trip Josh was also added in. Danny’s totally cool with this whole setup.

“Schoolies is where all the hottest guys come to bang all the hottest girls. It’s like Tinder, but only for people who scored below 60 on their final maths exam.”

“So, Tinder,” Danny interjects.

Ricky continues. “I think by law, or something, there’s not legally allowed to be any virgins like yourself here, but I actually think this is the best place to be a virgin.”

Danny waits for the ba dum tss to drop, but Ricky’s face remains sternly intent on delivering these apparently unironic instructions. “Oh, right”

“You enter a lanky twerp and you leave a sex god,” Josh adds.

“Don’t tell me this initiation is just you two giving me the sex talk,” Danny says.

“Turn around. Close your eyes.” Ricky instructs.

Danny does as he’s told and for about thirty seconds nothing happens. He wonders if they’re still in the room with him when he suddenly feels an excruciating knee to his groin. He yelps, falling to the ground as he covers his sore crotch, as if the closer he shields them with his hands, the less painful the blow will feel as it ricochets through his body. Ricky and Josh begin undressing him as he remains cowering on the floor – first his Reneé Rapp concert tee, then his Converse, and then with some wrestling, his skinny jeans. Soon he’s stripped to just his blue Bonds boxerbriefs. He can only watch as Ricky approaches and yanks them off of him, revealing his bare genitals. A few more kicks to the now public private parts and Ricky tosses an extra small pair of tighty whities to him.

“Put these on,” Ricky commands.

Danny takes a second to catch his breath, which only leads to another sharp stab to the balls, one that elicits a rather embarrassing high-pitched scream. He groans, obliging. The second the whities are on and hugging his bruised balls, the two of them rush to his side, each tugging on one of his shoulders and dragging him to the door. The carpet burn alone is enough to make a grown man contemplate never installing carpet in any home ever again. In an instant, Danny’s flung outside with the door slammed shut in his face, the lock clicking.

“No, please!” Danny yells, crawling to the door and banging on it to be unlocked. “Let me back in!”

He shudders as he realises he has no idea how long he’s stuck out here for. Eventually the laughter he can hear inside dies away, leaving him truly all by himself in the corridor in the tiniest pair of tighty whities ever.

Two guys holding hands get off the elevator and walk past him, doing a bad job of hiding their amusement. One of them mutters ‘tough break’ while the other smirks, but they just stroll by with their suitcases doing nothing to aid the almost fully nude Danny in the hallway. He glances down at the tiny white briefs, realising that they’re so tight that they effectively look like a thong on his tall lanky body. And half of a ball is hanging out.

Thirty minutes and at least two dozen more hotel guests passing by later and Ricky finally lets Danny back into the room with open arms.

“Welcome to Schoolies,” he says, patting him on the shoulder.

“You really got me there,” Danny says as he forces a laugh. “I’m gonna get changed but then maybe we can head to the beach?”

“Hang on…” Ricky says, stopping Danny from entering his room. “Those briefs are staying on unless you wanna risk revoking the initiation.”

“You can’t revoke an initiation,” Danny protests.

“Dude,” Josh says as he taps him on the shoulder, “just go with it. And while you’re at it, put this on.”

He passes Danny a black t-shirt that has nothing on the front. Confused, he flips it over and laughs nervously once he sees what’s on the back. He stares pleadingly at both of them but they don’t budge. Sighing, he puts it on and goes to the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror. From the front it’s a regular black t-shirt, but on the back it says ‘wedgie me’ with an arrow pointing down.

“Fucks sake,” Danny mutters under his breath.

*

AIDAN
2.43pm

Aidan and Vikram have been boyfriends for exactly two years, with this week being the week of their anniversary. Unlike the rest of Australia, they haven’t been counting down the days to Schoolies and in fact, up until two weeks ago they weren’t even coming. Neither particularly like the idea of partying with sweaty flops who have never heard of Slayyyter, or who think Selena Gomez is the Jesus of the music industry. But, fortunately or unfortunately, upon Vikram’s brother’s suggestion, they decided to try it out. After all, they’ll never get another chance to experience it, and there’s a lot of other fun stuff to do on vacation in the Gold Coast. Or apparently there is, the 20 fun things to do in Surfers Paradise article he skimmed on the plane seemed to have a very different definition of the word fun. At least he’ll get to fuck his boyfriend a bunch without his parent’s strict keep-the-door-open-and-no-sex-in-the-house rule.

With check-in finished, the couple head up to the second floor. When they step out of the elevator and into the hallway, they spot a guy on his knees in nothing but tighty whities clawing at one of the rooms. They stifle laughter and make awkward eye contact with him as they gingerly yet quickly try to race by.

“Tough break,” Vikram whispers to Aidan, which forces a pitiful laugh out of him.

They reach the end of the hallway and unlock their room with the swipe card from the front desk: 219. The door to the room next to them has been left flung open and Aidan wonders who’s staying beside them. He’d recognised some familiar faces in the hotel lobby from the plane ride, so he wonders if their neighbours will also be from Western Australia. Neither Aidan nor Vikram were that popular in school, so any friends they do have aren’t really the type to be attending Schoolies. He supposes it’d be nice if they could make some friends.

Vikram’s just wheeling their suitcases through the door when they hear a squeal from inside the neighbouring room.

“Oh my god! Is that Aidan and Vikram?” A woman squawks from inside.

The vacation grin on Aidan’s lips vanishes once he sees who appears from the room: football captain and head jock doofus Leo and his overachieving over-fake tanned popular president-of-the-school-council girlfriend Aimee. He sneaks a panicked glance at Vikram, but he doesn’t see it.

“Woah fancy seeing you guys here,” Leo says as he attempts to bro-hug Vikram, who clearly has never been bro-hugged in his life. He doesn’t even try with Aidan, which, frankly, earns him a bit of respect.

“I can’t believe you both came!” Aimee beams. “I never would’ve pegged either of you for Schoolies.”

Aidan can’t help but visibly face crack, which Vikram sees and quickly steps in to distract from. “Yeah, we weren’t sure about it at first. Aidan here was convinced we were gonna get scammed or robbed or something.”

“Hey, that Facebook article my mum sent was legit,” he pipes up, thawing out of his shock. To his surprise, all four of them have a good chuckle at this.

“We’re glad we came in the end though.” He puts his arm around Aidan.

“Well listen, we’re gonna unpack and get settled, but we’re thinking of heading down to the beach around 8 o’clock. Wanna join?” Aimee asks.

“Yeah, that’d be great,” Vikram replies before Aidan can communicate through stare that that would in fact not be great.

“See you then, boys,” Aimee says as she and Leo head back into their room.

Aidan doesn’t even bother unpacking when they enter their room, he just plops himself onto the bed and groans. A few seconds pass and when Vikram doesn’t respond, he groans again, this time much louder. Soon Vikram is by his side, massaging his curly brown hair.

“I hate that we’re next door neighbours with the most annoying couple at school,” Aidan muffles, not moving his face from his face-planted position in the bedsheets.

“What was that?” Vikram asks.

Aidan lifts his head from the sheets and pouts. “I said, I hate that—”

Vikram kisses him, going from a quick peck to a longer, more passionate smooch. When Vikram pulls away, he breaks out into a grin so wide Aidan can’t continue pouting.

“Even with airport coffee breath, you’re so darn cute,” Vikram teases, now deliberately messing with Aidan’s hair. This elicits a “hey!” as he playfully pushes him off, moving his fingers through his hair to try and fix it.

“I know they’re not exactly the most ideal neighbours we could have here,” Vikram continues cautiously, “but we have a chance to do Schoolies with the popular kids. Don’t tell me you’d pass on drinking and dancing with the coolest football captain our school’s ever seen?”

“Coolest? Did you see the Hawaiian shirt he was wearing?” Vikram just gives him a look. “They weren’t exactly very nice to us in high school.”

“Yeah, I remember. I was there,” Vikram replies as he begins to unpack the suitcases. “It’s just that we’re at Schoolies and I wanna make the most of it. No more exams, no more teasing, no strict parents controlling everything I do. We finally get to be with the cool kids, babe.”

“Well maybe put a brake on that, Echosmith. What if this is a prank and they’re just gonna torment us when we get down to the beach? What if this is an episode of Scotty and the Prank Patrol and we’re being pranked and we don’t even know it?”

Vikram doesn’t answer, just grabs their toiletries bags and goes to put them in the bathroom. Aidan finds himself pouting again, but this time less in a sexually suggestive ingénue way and in more of an actual irritated way. Vikram wasn’t like this a week ago when they were debating coming here. The two had had several drawn-out conversations about Schoolies, and throughout it all Vikram had been very reassuring that if Aidan wasn’t feeling it, they didn’t have to come. But the second they touch down, he’s now suddenly off partying with the very people they used to bitch about at lunch time.

“I just don’t want them to get in the way of our vacation,” he continues from the bed. “Or our anniversary. Two years is a big deal in gay time. I think we might be the first gay couple ever to hit that two-year mark. Well, besides Sarah Paulson, but I don’t think anyone expected Holland to make it past 2011.”

Vikram returns from the bathroom and flings something Aidan’s way. It’s a jockstrap and it lands right on Aidan’s face. Peering through one of the white leg holes, he meets his boyfriend’s eyes, who raises an eyebrow in temptation. He instantly feels the lust building deep in his chest, his heartbeat picking up the pace. The only downside to having a jockstrap fetish is having a partner who knows that any time you’re upset or displeased, he can use said fetish against you. With just a few thrusts into that jockstrapped ass, you’ll blissfully forget what it was you were so bothered by.

His desire takes over and soon Aidan’s stripped down to just the jockstrap and his white Adidas socks. Vikram pounces on him, the two grinding on each other as they bash their mouths together. With one hand, Vikram tugs at one of Aidan’s leg holes and inches it deep into his butt, while the other fondles his erect dick through the jockstrap front. After a few minutes of this, Vikram pulls the two straps to the side and edges into Aidan, their moans filling the room as he starts to thrust hard and quick. The way he pulls on his curly hair, forcing his head to arch back and stare deep into his eyes as he fucks him will never not make him irresistibly horny.

A loud whimper through the walls makes Vikram’s fucking slow to a halt. It sounds again, and again, and he and Aidan freeze there, his dick still lodged firmly inside. A spank echoes, followed by the unmistakable sound of Leo moaning, “fuck me harder, baby!”

Aidan grunts a little as Vikram collapses on his chest, his 6’2” boyfriend forgetting just how much bigger he is compared to his 5’8” frame. The two lie there, their breaths eventually returning as they cradle one another and listen to the orgasm they were robbed of.

“I don’t remember thin walls being advertised on the booking website,” Aidan says.

“And I don’t remember pegging being something straight people our age do, but here we are. We really should sync our Google calendars so we know who’s fucking when,” Vikram murmurs.

“I think I’d rather jump off this balcony than have to see all the 5am jogs Leo probably has scheduled in,” Aidan mutters back.

“Who jogs while on vacation?”

“The insane people next door who you’ve just befriended.”

Vikram closes his eyes and begins to fake a prayer. “Please God let me be free to fuck my gorgeous boyfriend. He’s just so fuckable, like, I can’t help myself.”

Aidan giggles and Vikram wrestles him into his chest, the two snuggling together for a while longer. At some point, long after the wall-travelling sex wails, Aidan whispers into Vikram’s ear, asking if their new neighbours will be as invasive for the whole trip. He whispers back reassuring him that he won’t let them ruin their anniversary. Content with this answer, Aidan dozes off in his lover’s arms.

*

GUY
4.06pm

“I’m Claudio. I’m one of the new, uh, volunteers.”

Guy looks up from his phone to find a shy man fidgeting in the doorway. He’s wearing glasses, is relatively pimply and looks like the type to spend most of his free time in libraries. “Ah. Come in, come in.”

1C is the room Guy’s unofficially claimed as his makeshift office. It’s one of the tiny shoebox office spaces Red Snakes have been assigned at the hotel. The space is rather bare with not much in terms of decoration apart from two fake house plants – one by the door and the other in the corner diagonally opposite it. There are no windows so the air is pretty stuffy.

“You’re quite young. You must’ve only just had Schoolies yourself,” Guy remarks.

“Yeah, class of 2019,” Claudio responds.

“Which school?”

“Frankston High. I grew up in Victoria.”

“Exotic.”

Claudio hesitantly nods.

“In a second we’ll be heading down to the resort with a few other volunteers. Lovely team, you’ll fit right in.”

“Any tips before my first night?” He asks as Guy ushers him out of the room.

“Just don’t let me catch you on top of one of the hotel guests.”

*

VIKRAM
8.03pm

The two have changed into outfits more suited for a summer rave – Aidan’s in a plain white t-shirt with hot pink short shorts while Vikram’s in a black singlet and navy blue shorts. He knows how horny Aidan gets whenever he wears a tank top because of his hairy chest poking out, something he’s reminded of when Aidan chucks the jockstrap onto the bed sheets. “For tonight,” he says with a wink.

“You guys ready for the rave of your life?” Leo asks when Vikram opens their door.

“Ohh boy am I,” Aidan says, his smile already melting off his face.

The four of them make their way to the gorgeous beach. They’d been able to see it from their balcony, but now that they’re up close to that caramel sand and that glistening water, it’s enchanting. Halfway down the walkway, Vikram narrowly escapes a woman projectile vomiting into the bushes. Behind her, a twink of a man with dyed blonde hair is holding her hair back, whispering variations of “c’mon diva” and “you’ve got this queen” to her in-between spews. He can’t help but notice how much he looks like Aidan’s ex-boyfriend.

“Sorry about that,” the man says to Vikram.

“Can’t imagine getting puke on my new white air force ones, am I right?” Leo, who’s a few metres ahead of them, says.

“Yeah dude, that’d be enough to send me right back home,” Vikram replies. Aidan gives him a look at the use of the word dude, to which he just shrugs.

They reach the main beach area and there’s already a huge crowd gathered. There’s a singer performing some electronic dark pop number on the stage, but she appears to be the warm-up act.

“Let’s go get some drinks, babe,” Aimee yells over the noise of the crowd.

Leo nods. “You guys stay here. First drink of Schoolies is on us, kay?”

The other couple head over to a section that’s been designated for drinks, leaving Aidan and Vikram alone for a minute. Sensing Aidan’s slight discomfort, Vikram takes his hand in his and squeezes it gently.

“We can leave at any time if you’re not feeling it,” Vikram soothes.

Aidan nods his head. “No, this’ll be fun.”

“That’s my boy,” Vikram says as he pulls him into a kiss.

*

DANNY
8.14pm

A hundred or so metres away from the stage, Danny is bearing his 12th wedgie from a stranger. This one’s some scrawny beach boy with curly blonde hair and the most enchanting dimples. He actually doesn’t mind getting wedgied by this guy – yes there’s already a stinging in his butthole that’s gonna take a good few days to subside, but the guy’s laughing and patting him on the shoulder. He could get used to this.

“Okay, okay— enough! Cool it on the briefs, Cody Simpson,” Ricky says, the straw punctuating his speech as it bobs up and down in his mouth. He ushers the guy away as the tighty whities reach Danny’s shoulder blades. “Save some for the rest of these guys, gotta make sure there’s a bumhole to wedgie in the first place.”

Dimples guy lets go and fist bumps him, jogging back to his friends who are nearby and absolutely pissing themselves with laughter. At least it beats the group of 5 girls from half an hour ago who all wanted to take turns yanking his briefs. Now those wedgies hurt, and not just because of their pointy nail extensions.

“I told you, wedgies are the best icebreaker for meeting people,” Ricky says.

“If only people with social anxiety knew this simple life hack,” Danny sighs.

“Yeah dude…” Ricky replies, not getting the joke. “Well I’m gonna try and find the girl from earlier who gave you a back AND front wedgie. I think she really digged you.”

Before Danny can respond, Ricky’s already off. It’s been an hour since he saw Josh who ‘had to go take care of business,’ whatever that meant. Probably a threesome with some random chicks, he thinks to himself. So he’s alone in a sea of people snickering at his t-shirt and stretched out tighty whities. How he expected Schoolies to go any different, he doesn’t know.

*

CLAUDIO
8.17pm

Patrolling the beach has proven more difficult than expected. He’s been handing out red snakes and bottles of water for what feels like hours. When he glances at his Apple Watch, it’s only been 34 minutes. At least as long as no one’s getting trampled to death though, the job’s not that bad. That is until he spots a rather peculiar scene a few metres to his left.

“You okay?” Claudio asks, approaching the man.

“Huh?” The man’s in the middle of picking a wedgie out of his crotch, his hand rummaging around the front of his jeans. When he turns around, his cheeks are rosy red, like he’s been blushing the whole night.

“You need a hand?” Claudio asks.

The man stutters for a second. “With… with picking my underwear?”

“No! No, sorry I…” Claudio stammers. Several seconds pass as he stands there, embarrassed and vocal-frying in thought. “I’m Claudio. I’m with Red Snakes. I— I meant is anyone taking advantage of you? Your shirt, it says—”

“Oh right,” he says, catching on. He extends his hand out. “Danny. My friends did it, it’s all good.”

“Weird thing for a friend to do,” Claudio replies, shaking his hand before remembering where it had been five seconds earlier.

“It… is, actually.”

Guy, who has also been on patrol, walks over next to Claudio. “How are things going in this section?”

“It’s good, no dangerous or illegal activities here sir.”

“Good, good,” Guy says, poking his head above the crowd like an emu and scanning around them. He lets out a brief cackle when he eventually notices Danny’s t-shirt. “Oh my, what have your mates gotten you into!”

Danny forces a polite laugh. “I know, it’s a real ballbuster.”

“Oh I bet!” Guy exclaims.

A couple seconds pass between the three of them, that entranced grin on Guy’s face frozen in time and Claudio standing there slowly nodding his head in affirmative yet absent active listening. Eventually, Danny looks down at his pants and gestures towards them.

“You— you want a go?” Danny offers them.

“Oh, no, I probably shouldn’t—” Claudio begins.

“Fuck, alright! Let ol’ Guy have a go at the fun,” he replies.

Danny turns around, and after a couple seconds of Guy awkwardly sticking his hand down his pants, he proudly jabs his hand up, making Danny stand on his tiptoes from the sheer strength of the tug. He grunts, unable to keep his poker face as he grimaces, his face flushing redder as the people around them stifle their laughter. Suddenly there’s a loud tearing sound and he’s practically hoisted up in the air as the back of his waistband is flung over his head, landing abruptly in front of his nipples. Losing his balance from the force of it, he trips, hitting the ground where he lays there, groaning. While everyone around him is held hostage to a laughing fit, Claudio helps him up.

“Good sport,” Guy says, celebratorily slapping him on the bum.  “I know we’re on the clock and everything, but it’s always great to participate in the fun. Takes me back to my Schoolies days. Do let us know if you do run into any actual trouble, though.”

Guy gestures to Claudio that they should continue the patrol, when they’re joined by a man who immediately engages Danny in a bro-hug.

“Danny my man, I found her! Y’know, front and back girl?” he exclaims, beckoning at someone over his shoulder before gesturing a back and forth wedgie with his hands.

“Enjoying Schoolies?” Guy asks.

The man pans his attention across to the two of them, having been so caught up in the moment he appears to have not regarded them. Claudio can’t help but notice the faintest realisation set in on his face – of what, he has no clue.

“Yeah, man, it’s fucking fantastic,” he says after a beat.

At this point, a woman arrives who, from the look on Danny’s face, is the famed front and back girl. The weird man with the straw in his mouth slaps him on the shoulder before excusing himself to go find another friend. Claudio glances at Danny, but he’s engaging in the most awkward eye contact with the girl.

He feels a sweaty palm on his shoulder. “We’re off. Enjoy the night,” Guy says, winking at Danny.

The two head off, Guy heading for the food trucks while he makes his way to the rave. He can just make out the woman asking if she can give Danny another wedgie before he’s out of earshot.

*

AIDAN
8.36pm

The mosh pit is somehow sweatier and clammier than Aidan expected. There’s a pungent smell in the air that he can’t escape, and everyone seems to be jumping at incongruent intervals. He’s been attempting to bop along like his eager boyfriend and their new ‘friends’ for the past 10 minutes, but he just can’t shake the feeling that he’s not meant to be here. The song changes to yet another Selena Gomez song and he takes his chance to slip out of the pit. He’s almost halfway up the hill back to the hotel when he hears his name called out.

“Aidan! Hey, wait up!” Vikram’s jogging behind him. “You ok?”

“That was really intense,” Aidan replies.

“I can sit with you for a bit if you like?” Vikram offers.

“Actually I think I might just head back up.”

“Oh,” he says disappointedly.

“Yeah, I’ve just got a bit of a headache and I think I’m still jet lagged,” Aidan lies. “Are you gonna stay?”

“I might stay for the rest of this set but then I’ll come up?”

Aidan nods. “I’ll be waiting in my jockstrap.”

Even though the rave isn’t Aidan’s vibe at all, his boyfriend might actually be enjoying this to an extent. They kiss and then part, Vikram heading back to the mosh pit and Aidan making his way back to the hotel. When he reaches the top of the hill, he turns back around and stares at the crowd. It takes him a minute, but he spots Vikram, who seems to be enjoying himself with Leo and Aimee. All three of them are jumping with their hands in the air to the music, having a great time.

This isn’t what he envisioned. Sure, maybe they would’ve come down to the beach a couple nights, watched the raves unfold from the sidelines while judging everyone else. But to actually enjoy it? It’s not what they’d agreed upon. Or at least, that’s not what Aidan wanted.

He looks back at the crowd and sees a mass of glow sticks in the air, matching the change to a slow song. It’s actually not half bad, but it’s no Speechless by Lady Gaga. He glances back at the crowd and spots Vikram chatting with some guy he hasn’t seen before. He’s tall, rather handsome with gelled back blonde hair. The man’s saying something in Vikram’s ear, something that makes him laugh violently. He usually only laughs like that when around Aidan.

The drummer comes back in and it’s back to an upbeat song, and what was a rather personal moment between his boyfriend and some stranger turns back into a tide of people all dancing together as one. Aidan turns around and heads up to the hotel.

*

DANNY
8.41pm

“Trotsky was basically Lenin’s Michelle Visage,” Danny tells the girl, who he thinks is called Amy but can’t remember.

“I don’t remember that being in the history revolutions syllabus,” Amy says.

The two are walking down the hallway back to Danny’s room, Amy leading by tugging on his ripped waistband. He doesn’t know how his face hasn’t been blushed raw with the amount of stares he’s received on the walk back to the hotel.

“This is me,” he smiles as they reach room 207. He hasn’t even finished closing the door to the flat when her lips are pressed against his and they’re clumsily careening to his room. Sure, he’s had a peck or two during truth or dare, but he’s never properly made out with anyone before. It’s a lot more mouth-mashing than he imagined and he didn’t realise just how prominent the smell of each others’ breaths would be, but he supposes he doesn’t mind it. With half his brain focusing on making out, he uses the other half to guide them both onto his bed.

Once on his bed, Danny closes his eyes, expecting much more sloppy making out. But he hears an unzip and opens his eyes to see that Amy has made her way down to his groin. Freeballing now due to the ripping wedgie, his flaccid dick flops out. She takes it in her hand and starts jerking.

“How’s that feel?” She whispers.

Danny lies back, focusing on her swift back and forth of his manhood. Her tight grasp, her affectionate whispers. This is… good, right? This is surely an objectively pleasurable experience for all parties involved. Ricky and Josh would be over the moon that on his first night, he’s hooking up with a pretty girl. And she really is so pretty, like so pretty. Her face is aesthetically pleasing in a very symmetrical way, she has long silky hair, her nails have been recently manicured; she is just the embodiment of classic aesthetic beauty.

Danny sits up. “I’m gay.”

Amy stops mid-jerk and looks up at him, her body in mid-arch and her mouth agape as she was clearly about to go down on him.

“You’re gay?”

“Yeah, I’m gay.”

“Oh.”

Danny’s penis flops out of her hand as she sits up and thinks for a minute. At a couple points she looks like she’s about to ask a question, but stops herself, delving back into her thoughts. Eventually, she just asks, “this whole time?”

“Pretty much. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, I’m just not really out of the closet yet. And Ricky and Josh are hellbent on me losing my virginity to a woman over Schoolies so…” He trails off.

“That’s alright,” she says as she stands up and puts on her shoes. “My second cousin’s gay, so I know what it’s like.”

“Sure,” Danny replies, still naked and lying on the bed.

“I just wish you hadn’t wasted my time. God why are the cute ones always gay?”

“I’m really sorry, Amy.”

“My name’s Denise.”

Danny blinks. “Oh.”

Denise groans. “I’m going back to the beach.”

“Please don’t tell Ricky or Josh about this,” Danny calls out as she leaves his room.

“Whatever, dork,” she calls back, followed by a slam of the door.

*

GUY
9.32pm

Guy lounges in his chair, stretching and elongating every taut muscle in his body. A shiver breezes through his body and he rests his head on the arm of the chair. In front of him, Claudio stands in the doorway, picking at his lip.

“Oh, you can go. You’ve done well today,” Guy says, sitting up and smoothing out his face with his palms. “I usually spend a good 15 or so decompressing after a long day. You go on ahead.”

“Thanks, uh, sir.”

He grabs a bottle of whiskey from the bottom drawer of his desk and pours himself a couple sips worth. Returning the bottle to the drawer, he’s surprised to find Claudio still lingering in his doorway. “Unless you’d like to join me for a drink? Or moreso a mouthful, gotta drive home after all.”

“No, sorry.” He goes to leave, but pauses, turning back. “I just can’t get that guy down at the beach out of my mind.”

“Which one? The guy who streaked naked across the stage?” Guy says after a sip.

“No, not him. When we were by the guy with the wedgie shirt.”

“Him?” He says with a chuckle, reliving the ripping wedgie moment.

“Moreso his friend. Didn’t he seem… I think I know him from somewhere.”

Guy beckons for him to join him on his side of the desk. A couple passcodes later and he’s brought up a list of all hotel guests who have been blacklisted. “You think he’s trouble?”

“Scroll down,” Claudio says, practically taking over control of the mouse. The soft rolling of the scroll wheel pulses like a heartbeat in the otherwise silent room. When the first page produces no results, Claudio goes onto the second, and then the third, before finally clicking on a profile. “There.”

He’s brought up the profile of Ricky Young. Although there’s no photo attached, there’s a single log from two years prior.

Ricky Young was found to be the perpetrator of dangerous activities including harassment, hazing and supplying illicit drugs that lead to three guests being hospitalised in 2021. Also found to avoid Schoolies payments and unlawfully squatting with friends despite not booking accommodation. Has the distinct scent of tobacco and mulch.

“He went to my school. Was a couple years above me – absolute madman, he was.”

“He might be a tooly,” Guy says, deep in thought.

“What’s a tooly?”

“They’re people who graduated years ago who return to Schoolies to cause trouble,” he explains. “They exploit a bunch of 18-year olds just trying to have a fun time. Supplying drugs, hazing rituals; yeah, it’s all there.”

“So what are we gonna do?”

Guy takes the final swig of his whisky. “We’re gonna get him.”

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