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You Plus Me Equals

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Leo is just a normal guy in college. Every day is the same. That is until Max shows up in his life and turns everything upside down. He could handle the change if it was small, but Max surprised him in front of the whole economics building... Scratch that the WHOLE College! How is he supposed to recover from that? The worst part is that Leo liked how Max made him feel inside. Now he is stuck in a crazy entanglement with Max as they both try to discover just what being in love means. Especially when what they are feeling and how to deal with those feelings, means coming to terms with a growing change inside of them. ~A beautiful short story about individuality, love, and the roles we face when held back by our own narrowed feelings.~

Chapter 1

Leo walked into the main university canteen and looked around at the surrounding hustle. The cafeteria was the center of all chaos. He needed to snatch a corner where he could work on his lecture, and he only knew of one spot. He hoped it was still free.

He wished Evan was with him. Evan was more intimidating than him. And could always clear out a table with a look if he wanted to.

Leo had the intimidating aura of a snail.

Leo politely pushed past each person, nodding and apologizing until he reached the lounge, a cafeteria where it was just a bit quieter than out in the main hall.

He surveyed the area and saw that the only available table was the small one off to the left, next to the wall—the one with the single red armchair with a broken leg.

He sighed.

“Of course, it was that one.”

“If only Evan hadn’t taken so long packing up his things. “

Leo walked along the wall past a large group of people who were working on a giant banner for some project.

He flushed and apologized when he clipped the corner of the project that stuck out past the table edge.

A few students looked up to glare at the person who dared to move their project. Leo hurried past after a nod of regret in their direction.

When he finally reached his seat, he plopped into it. And let out a startled yelp as the chair wobbled beneath him.

Leo flushed bright red and ducked down when he looked around. A few people had looked his way and were chuckling or shaking their heads in amusement.

That chair had gotten everyone in the whole university at least once. Many thought the janitor left it there to get back at the university after they reduced their budget by half.

Leo reached into his pack and searched for a moment before he found his weekly writing journal. It was the perfect size to fit in the gap the leg had; it was the only reason he had stopped using it. Once he found something that was actually the perfect size to level out the demon chair, he didn’t want to risk compromising it in any way. Leo bent down and carefully slid the book underneath the broken chair leg.

He looked up, satisfied with his ingenuity, and realized no one there had been watching or even cared how clever he was. Leo s*ck*d in his bottom lip and pouted. He stood back up, left his bag on the chair to claim it, and walked out to grab lunch.

He ordered a simple sandwich, as anything with flavor and variety had already sold out of stock a while ago. He turned and returned to sit down, wishing Evan hadn’t had to ditch him for a private class because his work was beyond tedious today. And he wasn’t looking forward to doing it alone.

His meal was almost tasteless as he mind-numbingly chewed away at it while concentrating on his lecture notes.

The teacher in his class was strict and no-nonsense; anything he handed in would have to be immaculate, so he gave this work his all, his one hundred percent.

Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw a small group of seniors enter the room and thought nothing of it, ignoring the new group of people who would have to grab one of the more extensive tables that had cleared out while he had been eating and would want nothing to do with his broken-down corner. He popped the last bite of his food into his mouth and chewed.

Each major and year had its own coursework and schedules. Because of the continuously changing schedules of so many majors, it meant that the students’ flow was always coming and going all day. At any given time, the cafeteria and foyer area filled up to the brim with at least three dozen students. And you could find it that way, even at one in the morning, as they either worked quietly or frantically on the projects before them.

Many people met here, despite the canteen closing by eleven at night. It was still an excellent place for group projects and collaborations for vlogs and essays. The space was better than the dorms because the dorms were too small for projects and gatherings.

There was a higher chance of work issues and complaints about roommates. Luckily, he had a single room. Because he didn’t think he could stand a roommate like…’

Something flashed in Leo’s peripheral.


Leo looked up and stood from the surprise. His face dropped in shock.

Max, the number one track athlete, the guy everyone adored, beloved by girls and guys alike—Mr. Social, outgoing, all-around lovable guy with a million-dollar smile. And no matter what problem smacked him in the face, he always seemed cheerful and smiling. It made me feel utterly invisible when I compared my accomplishments to his. I couldn’t believe we were just a year apart in our classes.

Max King was storming at him, anger plastered across his face.

‘How? What?’

Leo’s eyes bulged.

‘God,’ he and everyone in the room seemed to wish they could disappear as the angry behemoth of a senior charged at him. Leo choked on his last bite and attempted to swallow but only managed to choke down his food before backing up a little.

Max’s long dark hair blew back gently as he came towards him. His tie was loose, and he had undone the top two buttons of his pristine white dress shirt. His shirt billowed over the top of his pants, the edges loosely tucked in as the non-mandatory dress code advised. He had rolled his sleeves up and looked like he might have been doing physical labor beforehand, not coming from a classroom.

Max grabbed and pulled him away from the broken chair and into the wall. Leo panicked internally. As Max, his senior, pressed him flat against the wall, a look of anger pressed his thick dark brown eyebrows firmly down on his handsome face and deep brown eyes.

“What… Me?” Leo stuttered out.

Now very aware that no matter how much noise he made before. The entire hall had quieted as kids paid attention to what looked like a fight about to start.

“Max, you’re looking for me?” He asked slowly, leaning back, pressing himself further into the wall as if he were trying to melt into it as Max got right into his face.

“My Key… Give it back,” Max said, his face working in anger, a dangerous scowl that sent shivers down Leo’s spine. The dark brown of his eyes flashed, and he extended his free palm upwards in front of him. Angrily demanding, Leo quickly returns the object Max was discussing as if he had taken it.

Leo bit his bottom lip.

Then he ran his tongue slowly across the back of his teeth, unsure what Max was talking about.

“Some other freshman said they saw you take my key chain when they were leaving the freshman games.”

“I dunno why you think it would be funny to take someone else things. But give it back.” Max growled.

“I don’t have your keys…”

“I would remember taking someone else keys… Besides, who would do that?” Leo said. He looked around for help, but his glances were short and filled with anxiety, half from begging for help and partly from the stress and embarrassment of being pinned helplessly against the wall.

“You don’t have it anywhere?” Max glared at Leo, his eyes filled with distrust.

“It’s okay if I check then?” Max smirked, annoyed.

“Right?” Max, he quipped. Then, before Leo answered, he reached one arm around so he was holding Leo tightly to the wall and his own body, pinning Leo between the two so he couldn’t move.

“You don’t have to pin me down.” Leo snapped.

“Just go ahead and check. I have nothing to hide. I didn’t steal anything. I am not a thief.” He finished a little less bravely as Max gave him a look. Leo gulped, trying to remove the taste of his lunch from the back of his throat. Wolfing that sandwich down so quickly was starting to feel like a bad idea.

Max scoffed.

He let Leo go, and his arm dropped. His other hand slid inside Leo’s pants pocket and searched the deep, crumpled fabric.

“Ahhh….” Leo yelped, a little startled. ‘Relax, calm down. It’s just a pocket. It’s not like he is punching your brains out. Or invading your privacy. You could have stopped him. Yet you are letting him do this because you are not guilty of anything and have nothing to hide.’ He reminded himself.

‘His hands are going kinda deep there…’

‘Pockets are deep…’

“Max…” Leo flushed as Max’s hand moved around through the thin material of his pocket square. He felt his fingertips brush against his thighs and shivered from the contact with the material.

‘It kinda tickles. Wait….’

Chapter 2

“Ahhh, what are you doing!” Leo snapped in surprise as Max gently brushed something no one else in his life outside himself had touched. Leo felt his skin growing hot. It was so embarrassing; so many people were staring, and he had made an error; he was now being pat down like some criminal in an airport in the middle of the cafeteria in public.

Max pulled his hand out, reached into the other one, and checked Leo’s other pocket.

‘His hands are gentle for someone angry… I have never had any guy so close before, this is so awkward, but he smells nice, I guess. His hair is kinda long…’

“Stop… Not there!” Leo said, shocked and just a smidgen too loud. Then turned bright red as curious eyes that had fallen back to their work and eating stopped what they were doing to look at the spectacle.

The spectacle was Max pinning Leo against the wall, Max’s hands in his pockets.

Because the bright red that flushed to his face and the look of shock pretty much


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