Got my first one today, I post once a blue moon, feels shitty but oh well. Comments were ranting about how Char A was righteous for killing because it was under certain circumstances and Char B is stupid for thinking of him as a “psychopath” and scolding him. I get how it’d be controversial because really ALL of the fandom agrees Char A was right, so do I, and still, people will not read something from a controversial, more realistic perspective
Anyone here deal with this? I haven’t gotten a regular physical in about 15 years; if anyone asked I always said it was because my insurance was off and on. But I’ve had insurance for 3 years now and still haven’t made an appointment. My recent family history is riddled with cancer so I really need to get checked and I have to have a physical for work but I keep putting off making an appointment. I can’t imagine telling a complete stranger my medical history either, I’d be honest with the important physical stuff but all the mental stuff Id just lie about.
But the worst part is that I just really really don’t like being undressed around or touched by anyone I’m not comfortable with, and that’s only been like 5 people my whole life. I had really bad anxiety in high school just getting changed in the locker room before gym class, so much that I would “forget” to bring clothes some days. I’m at the age where I know I’d have to get a colonoscopy too but the thought of being in that compromised situation in a room full of strangers while they make home movies of my insides is not something I think I’ll ever be ok with. The only time I’m ever naked is the 2 seconds between getting out of the shower and into a towel.
I did start going to the dentist last year and while the two fillings were awful it hasn’t been unmanageable. Most of my anxiety was focused on trying to breathe
It was late in the morning when Adam woke from his dreamless sleep. Warm sunlight poured through the cracks between the window blinds, casting bars of shadow along his naked body.
Sleeping naked was a habit he had picked up from Jen. She had insisted
upon it, to his great bemusement. Because why would a man wear clothes
to keep warm in bed when a woman could do the job much better? Being a young man, Adam couldn’t find fault in that particular orcish custom.
But some orcish customs… Adam had learned how disruptive
they could be.
Adam threw his legs over the side of the bed so that he sat upright. He stared off into space, frowning. Disqualified.
Somewhere in his mind, in a hazy construct of the great hall back home, that word hung over his portrait on a gilded plaque. Right next to the words Disappointment
Adam shook his head, groaning. Was it frustration? Disgust? Adam couldn’t tell. He knew the thought was absurd. His family wouldn’t disown him for losing a tourney much less getting disqualified from one - especially since getting kicked out wasn’t even his fault.
The Castermans were a proud, ancient house, this was true. But they didn’t put so much value on trophies and medals and honors the way other Stakari houses did. They would never consider tossing their youngest aside… But that didn’t stop Adam from feeling fear and doubt.
Every young man who ever lived feared being a disappointment to his family. And as the fourth son of his father’s line, Adam had the unenviable position of being measured against his older brothers. Royce, Dane, and Garen, loving and supportive as they were, weren’t simply his older brothers. They were titans, looming tall and casting their shadows over their baby brother.
His brothers had all been exceptional at the paths they chose. Military man, beast wrangler, and a bonafide wizard. All impressive and noble occupations. Of course Adam was happy for them. But his brothers had set some incredibly high standards. All through his youth, the youngest Casterman feared he would never measure up.
But then, in his teens, Adam discovered his passion for history. Stories of kings, warriors, tyrants, and heroes. Of great bloody battles and fallen cities. Of ferocious beasts and mighty slayers. Adam drank it all in like a man finding an oasis after wandering lost through the desert sands. Especially so for the history of his home, the Kingdom of Stakaria, as well as his family and his own noble blood.
The Castermans had earned
their greatness, Adam proudly reminded himself. Jorr Casterman won his knighthood defending the Lord of the Bluewater several centuries back. During a skirmish against a wild raiding party, the lord had been unhorsed and at the mercy of a monstrous ogre. He would have died on that battlefield had Jorr not slain the towering beast.
Adam had no towering beast to slay. The days where men could make their names with sword and shield were long past. So the youngest Casterman chose to sharpen his mind. His battles would be fought and won with pen and ink. Not at all the kind of man a she-orc would fall for, one might have thought.
The young noble pondered on that for a moment as he stood up and stretched. He groaned, his body still quite sore from the tourney matches he had managed to win. Then he went to the dresser at the foot of his bed and dug out a pair of boxers.
As he tugged them on, his mind drifted to Jen… and her sister, Sayla.
His girlfriend’s sister had interfered during one of his matches and got him disqualified from the tourney. Attacked him with real daggers, too. It was a wonder she hadn’t been arrested - though the security staff might have simply thought she was part of some viral stunt.
The whole situation was absurd. So absurd that Adam was more bewildered than upset - though he wasn’t without anger. He had worked hard to get into the lists. And to have it all taken away because of his girlfriend’s secret plan…
Adam tightened his jaw as Jen and Sayla’s “clan chief” business came to the forefront of his mind. He still needed to talk to them about that. He might as well, right? There was nothing that was going to un-disqualify him as far as he could tell. So why not learn more about the absurdity that screwed with his life?
He inhaled deeply through his nose, then frowned. The scent of sweat stung his nostrils. He would need to shower soon. But first, he would check his phone. He hadn’t answered anything from anybody after he left Jen and Sayla at the diner last night. No doubt his voicemail and email had some build up that needed some looking over.
Adam found his cellphone right where he left it, sitting on his desk. Sure enough, he found a long list of missed calls and unread messages. All
of them from Jen.
The corner of his mouth twitched some at the sight. It wasn’t quite a smile, but there was a wryness about it.
In a way, the attention felt nice. It showed that Jen cared. Adam already knew that, of course. Jen was the kind of girl who was very open - and physical
- with her affections. But the dozens of messages of apology proved that Jen at least felt appropriately guilty over the whole mess. The disqualification and
the secret plan to make him her clan’s chieftain.
Chieftain Adam Casterman, leader of the G’Kalis Clan. Reader of books, slayer of essays, husband to she-orcs. Adam grinned at the sheer absurdity
On the one hand, becoming a clan chief would have been a rather unique way of making a name for himself. And Adam had read up on orcish clan customs. He couldn’t deny that taking multiple wives had a certain appeal.
But Adam was nothing if not a realist.
Surely being a chieftain came with a whole mountain
of responsibility. Even if Adam agreed to Jen’s proposition, where would he find the time to fulfill all of the duties that came with his new role? By the Allfather, he was a college student
barely out of his teen years. He already had responsibilities here on campus. And what would he even tell his parents? That his girlfriend asked him to essentially marry her and her sisters and he said yes on a whim?
Adam rubbed his temple. It was way too early for such heavy thoughts. He put down his phone and switched over to his laptop to check his email.
His inbox was mostly as expected. Some newsletter stuff, spam that hadn’t been filtered out… And one message from Trevelyan Institute Administration.
That last one gave Adam a moment of pause. He stared at it, the email sitting unread on his computer screen. Dread slowly crept into him, slithering up his back, under his skin, making his hair stand on end.
It was a disciplinary response to the nonsense at the tourney. Adam knew it. Was he being put on probation? Was he expelled?
His mouth had gone dry. Surely, his face had gone ghostly white as well.
Adam collected himself, gathering his wits and nerves.
He ran the cursor over the email and clicked on it.
- - -
“Stop calling him.”
” Jenakka snapped, glaring at her clan-sister. The green she-orc turned her eyes back to her phone, staring at the message of apology she had just finished writing. She’d already written several others, but there was always something that Jenakka felt like she forgot to say. So she ended up writing another.
The G’Kalis clan scholar had been pacing around her dorm room ever since she woke up. She’d hardly gotten any sleep last night. Sayla, of course, had slept like a rock. She’s as thick as one too…
The gray-skinned champion sat on Jenakka’s bed, her back pressed against the wall with her long legs stretched out. Sayla watched her sister walk back and forth across her dorm room, boredom clear in her red eyes. Boredom and not an ounce of guilt. Typical.
Jenakka huffed through her nose and hit send.
“You’ve already left several messages. You’re making yourself look desperate.” Sayla droned in a flat voice. There was another look about her now, Jenakka noted. Distaste. The clan champion continued, muttering. “More than you already have…
Jenakka whirled around on her heels, fuming. She pointed accusingly at her clan-sister, a scowl twisting across her face.
“You’re the last person who should be giving advice!” Jenakka was near-shrieking. The other students who lived on her floor might have heard her, but Jenakka did not care. Her relationship with Adam might have been irreparably damaged because of the brainless fool sitting on her bed. The clan scholar collected herself just a bit, breathing in. “After that debacle at the arena it was a miracle you weren’t detained. The clan can’t afford to have its champion behind bars, as you well know.
Sayla was on her feet then, but Jenakka feared her little. Tall and strong her older clan-sister was, but Jenakka knew Sayla took her clan oaths as seriously as Mystic Akari. She would never hurt anyone of the clan. Still, Jenakka glared as the taller she-orc stepped up to her.
“Don’t lecture me, sister. Don’t you dare.
” Sayla growled, her red eyes hard and cold. “I took action. You’re the one who spent a year playing Lord and Lady with her darling human. And such a wonderful
Jenakka’s anger flared hotter, now blazing in her heart.
supposed to mean?”
“You promised the clan you’d find us a chieftain.” Sayla raised her voice, her words hard with anger. “Instead, you spent all this time on some pretty boy lordling. Beyond
ideal? Don’t make me laugh!”
Sayla turned away then, scoffing. Jenakka glowered, her hands tightening into fists.
“He beat you didn’t he?”
“He did not
beat me.” Sayla snarled as she whirled back around. Her red eyes were now sharp like her daggers. Her lips tightened into what was almost a pout. “Our fight was interrupted.
There was a knock at the door then. Both orc women turned their eyes towards it. Sayla merely looked annoyed at the disturbance, but Jenakka deflated some, her shoulders falling slack. It was probably one of the other dorm residents coming to check because of the shouting.
The knocking came again. Jenakka sighed and went to answer it, collecting herself just enough to put on a fake smile. No problem here, ma’am. Just two orc sisters having a shouting match over the future of their clan!
She opened the door… and found her dear Adam standing in the hall!
“Hi.” He said, wearing a small smile.
Jenakka felt a rush of emotions then. Relief that Adam bothered to come see her. Happiness at seeing her love in the flesh. Embarrassment because she didn’t know what to say. All those text messages were nothing compared to seeing him again face-to-face.
Leaping forward, she wrapped her arms around him in perhaps the tightest hug she had ever given. With her face buried into his neck, she took in his scent. He smelled of paper and wood and steel. And a hint of soap as well. He showered recently, she noted. As she pulled back, she also noticed his clothing. He had dressed nicely. A brown coat over a white shirt and fitted jeans. Adam always made some effort to look presentable. But the fact that he bothered at all today was a good sign. Jenakka’s heart fluttered.
“I’m glad you came.” She said warmly, pulling the fresh-faced human into her dorm room. She closed the door shut behind them. Then she reached out and took Adam’s hands with hers. She stared into his eyes, hoping he would see the sincerity of her words. “And again, I’m so, so sorry about the tourney.”
Jenakka then shot an expecting look towards Sayla, who was standing by her desk with her arms crossed.
The clan champion gave Jenakka’s boyfriend a once-over. Then she wrinkled her nose.
“I’m not.” Sayla answered bluntly. She gave Adam a curt nod. “You still need to prove your worth as a fighter, pup.”
“He’s only two years younger than you.” Jenakka simmered. To her irritation, her clan-sister merely shrugged.
“Still younger than me. Still a pup.”
Jenakka frowned, fighting the fire inside her that Sayla was unapologetically stoking. She wasn’t going to break into another argument in front of Adam. He had dealt with enough problems because of her.
She turned her eyes back onto her boyfriend, giving him a regretful look.
“Sorry about her, too.” She told him.
“It’s no problem.” Adam said. A moment of silence passed, with Adam’s eyes roaming around Jenakka’s dorm room. Jenakka wanted to try and imagine what he was thinking, but the prospect made her anxious. So she simply waited. Finally, he spoke again. “So… I’m here.”
Jenakka stepped closer, hesitant but hopeful. She allowed herself a tiny smile.
“Does… does that mean you have an answer for us?”
“I spent a long time thinking last night.” Her boyfriend started. Jenakka tried to parse the tone of his voice, but the words came from his lips level and even. “Thinking about you. About us. I’d be lying if I said these last few months weren’t some of the best of my life.”
Another moment of silence. Jenakka drank in the lines of Adam’s face, watching him clench and unclench his jaw. She bit her lip, waiting.
“Growing up, I was always afraid that I’d never be as strong or as handsome or as skilled as my older brothers.” Adam spoke again, his brow furrowing as a sliver of discomfort weaved into his words. “I always questioned my worth as a man. Until I met you.”
Jenakka’s heart ached for him. She moved even closer, close enough that she could enjoy his scent again. On instinct, she darted forward and kissed him softly. The taste of his lips was quite welcome after the doubt and worry that plagued her last night. And surely Adam found the affection pleasing. He did not push her away.
The clan scholar pulled back after a time, sighing.
“I never cared if you were a fourth son. I wouldn’t have cared if you were the fortieth
. I love you, Adam.” Jenakka spoke those words with her entire heart and spirit. She could only pray that her human would truly listen.
“But you still kept the truth from me.” He answered in a cool tone.
Jenakka winced. She averted her eyes from his for a moment. Was it shame? Regret? Embarrassment? Or all of them at once?
“I was waiting for the right time to tell you. But no moment ever felt right.” It was the truth. But Jenakka feared - no, she knew
it wasn’t enough. She hadn’t told Adam about her intentions for him. For her clan. The fault for the resulting mess belonged to her and her alone.
Jenakka knew Adam was the understanding type. But was he the forgiving type? She could only hope.
“Do you have an answer or did you come here to waste more of our time?” Sayla’s sharp voice cleaved through their intimate moment.
Jenakka whipped her head around to shoot her sister a withering glare. A venomous retort bubbled up in her throat, ready to spew. But then Adam broke into a flat chuckle.
"Wow.” He said to Sayla, deep laughs rumbling in his chest. “You are a real piece of work.”
Sayla only gave a rude gesture in response. Jenakka felt a flash of anger, but it was tempered by the fact that Adam almost certainly had no idea what it meant.
“She’s always been like that.” Jenakka murmured into her boyfriend’s neck.
Adam chuckled again. Jenakka took it as a good sign. Next, he pulled away some so that he could look her in the eyes.
“I can… understand
how your situation might have been awkward. I don’t like it, but I get it. If you told me about the clan stuff from the start, I might have just blown you off as a loony.” Adam pressed his lips into a line, appearing to consider his next words. “Being your clan’s chieftain… I take it that this is a big responsibility…”
Jenakka’s heart soared. He wasn’t refusing her outright. And that was enough for her. She jumped on the opening, seizing the opportunity as her clan-mother taught her.
“You wouldn’t need to carry that whole weight by yourself.” She insisted, clutching his hands tightly in hers. Her thumbs brushed over his knuckles, gentle and loving. “G’Kalis is a small clan, but you’d still have five of us to help you understand and perform your duties.”
Adam quirked his lips, weighing her answer in his head. He gave a short nod.
“That’s… good to hear, I suppose. And the extra free time will probably help, too.”
Jenakka blinked. She held her breath.
“What do you mean?” She asked cautiously. She needed to hear him say it.
Adam gave her a faint grin. He breathed in deeply through his nose.
“I got an email this morning.” Her tall, strapping human started, his grin widening some. “From the university administration. After that whole deal with Miss Daggers last night, I was afraid I was going to face some disciplinary action.”
“They didn’t blame you for that, did they?” Jenakka winced as the chaos from the arena flashed in her head.
“No. Turns out the email wasn’t about that tourney stuff at all. I’ve been exempt.” Adam gave her an incredulous look. “From all
of my classes until spring. Special clan privileges, apparently. Clan members get excused from course work if they have spiritual rites that require their attention.”
Jenakka reeled back, bewildered. Why would Adam have special clan privileges… Oh.
Realization struck her like a mace to the back of her head. The clan scholar turned and gave Sayla an accusing look. But the eldest daughter of G’Kalis appeared as baffled as any of them.
“Don’t look at me.” Sayla said, shrugging. “I only came here to initiate my chieftain trial.”
Jenakka narrowed her eyes, looking from Sayla to Adam. She only had to think for a moment before an answer presented itself to her. The only answer that made any sense, at least.
“Matriarch Hera.” Jenakka whispered. She looked into Adam’s eyes, hoping he was following along. He nodded back to her and she took it as a good sign. “Our clan-mother. She must have registered you as our chieftain already. Either her or Akari.”
“How?” Adam didn’t seem shocked or offended, only confused. Jenakka couldn’t blame him. These last several hours or so had completely turned his life into some absurdist comedy.
“I might have sent my clan your personal information.” Jenakka winced as she said it. A sour look crossed Adam’s face. She gave her boyfriend an apologetic look. “I just thought they wanted to know more about you! I’ll fix it. We’ll
fix it! Sayla and I, we’ll head back to our clan and we’ll clear all this up! I promise!”
going.” Adam told her. Jenakka was taken aback for a moment. She felt the urge to ask him to elaborate on what that meant. But the look in his blue eyes told her everything. And deep in her heart, Jenakka G’Kalis felt jubilation
. Her boyfriend… her chieftain turned his eyes to Sayla, his words hammering out like black iron.
“If I’m going to be your clan’s chieftain, then it’s time I met the rest of you.”
- - - First Previous
- - - You can read the next two chapters on my Patreon.
So me and my gay friend used to hang out a lot and one day I inquired with him if he’d be down to do some sexual stuff with me. (I’m bi curious leaning towards straight) and he was down. We are really good friends I’ve known him since like freshman year (both 18) anyways a week later I have the house to myself and he comes over. We hang out like normal then play strip Mario kart to try and lighten the mood. I got really nervous after we were both naked and I chickened out. I told him I wasn’t really ready to try anything anymore and he said that’s okay. He said he was just happy he didn’t force me to do anything. Anyways we chilled nude for a bit longer and then he left for work I’ve tried hanging with him a few times since then but so far he hasn’t really been up for anything either busy or just not in the mood. Today we can do karaoke together if he’s up for it but I’m really refraining from asking him. I told him 3ish weeks ago that he can let me know when he’s ready to hang out but I haven’t gotten any requests. What should I do? He was one of my closest friends and we promised to not have it come between us. I’ve talked about this on my podcast in more detail if ur curious about what happened.