Home > WTF_ A Male_Male Westbrook Elite Standalone

WTF_ A Male_Male Westbrook Elite Standalone
Author: Cambria Hebert











I really don’t need this, I think for probably the twelve-hundredth time in the last hour. Can a guy have that many thoughts in a single hour? Maybe I just set a record.

Something else I did not want or need.

Ever since getting the call summoning me to the coach’s office, my body had torpedoed itself into fight-or-flight mode. The urge to escape was like a wildfire beneath my skin, making me want to peel it back and throw it away. The need to run should have been helpful as I pointed myself in the direction of the pool… but it wasn’t. It just made things worse because I had to fight the instinct to run in the opposite direction.

I had no clue why I was freaking out. Getting called to Coach’s office wasn’t like being sent before a firing squad. It wasn’t a life-and-death situation.

It didn’t matter. My body paid no attention to actual reasonable thought because it was already freaking the fuck out and sounding the alarms.

Nausea? Check.

Quivering limbs? Check.

Shallow, rapid breathing? Check and check.

Speedy heart rate? Yep, that too.

Honestly, I should be used to this by now. Fight-or-flight was a state I existed in more than not the past six months. Or maybe longer. It never got any easier, but I got better at hiding it. At least on the outside.

On the inside, though, I was filled to the brim with everything mentioned above along with my brain telling me repeatedly that it did not need this.

Whatever this was.

“It’s a good excuse to not have to go back to your dorm room. It’s a good way to mix up your routine. Don’t be predictable,” I mumbled, once again trying to reason with my head.

That argument actually helped some, and a long intake of breath expanded my lungs and helped my tight muscles unclench.

The heavy door latched behind me, and the scent of chlorine tickled my nose, making me breathe deeply once more. The massive pool sat undisturbed, the water so still it looked like glass. The sudden urge to take a running leap over the side and plunge into the cold depths made my body turn toward it. The toes of my sneakers stopped at the edge, and I glanced down at my reflection the water mirrored back at me.

I’d already practiced this morning, but the call of the water was strong. It was just the thing I needed to tire my body out until it was too exhausted to fight itself.

“Eriksson!” Coach’s voice echoed around the otherwise quiet space. My head whipped up to where he stood in the open doorway leading to his office. “Get in here.”

I left the crystalline water, my stomach jumping and robbing me of the breath I’d just found. My shoes squeaked slightly over the tile, and when I stepped into Coach’s office, he was already behind his desk.

“Have a seat.” He gestured to a nearby chair that looked uncomfortable as hell.

I wasn’t even perched on the edge of it when he made a gruff sound. “Stop making that face. You aren’t in trouble.”

“I’m not making a face,” I said before I thought better of it. I guess my mood was sourer than I realized. “I apologize.” I spoke immediately. “I guess I am expecting some kind of lecture.”

“I didn’t call you here for a lecture,” Coach said. “Your swim times are consistent, your grades are excellent, and everyone on the team likes you.”

“So…” I said, letting the word echo with my question.

“I need a favor. Well, it’s actually a favor for the sports med faculty.” He paused. “Which is your faculty, correct?”

I nodded. “Yes.”

With a decisive nod, Coach picked up a sheet of paper and laid it on the desk close to me. “Your foreign exchange buddy lands tomorrow.”

A second ticked by.


Guess I knew how to shut up the fight-or-flight response… Shock.

My eyes dipped to the paper I’d yet to reach for, then back up to Coach. “Excuse me?”

“You’ve been assigned a foreign exchange student who will be with the sports medicine program for the fall semester. Make sure he settles in, finds his way around. Tell him anything he might need to know about our culture.” Coach grimaced. “Which is probably a lot.”

“Why?” The sharp panic in my voice was clear.

“He’s American. From the United States.”

“No,” I said, pushing to my feet. “I’m sorry, but this is a favor I cannot grant.”

“Did I say favor?” Coach’s chair creaked when he sat back. “I meant nonnegotiable assignment.”

“I’m not even part of the foreign exchange program,” I refuted.

“Is anyone?” He wondered. “Look, he’s in your department. You speak English very well.”

“Eighty percent of the people here speak English,” I interrupted, but Coach kept going as though I hadn’t even spoken.

“And you have space in your room.”

I jerked upright. “My room!”

“You are currently solo in your dorm room, right?”

Panic, fresh and pungent, tightened my chest. At my sides, my fingers curled into my palms. “I asked for a solo room.”

“It won’t hurt you to share for a few months.”

Yes. Yes, it would. It would hurt more than I could explain. More than I was willing to explain. Sharing that room would rob me of all the peace and safety I’d managed to find.

You still don’t feel safe, a voice inside me taunted.

But I will. I would, I argued. But not if a stranger moves in.

“I can’t share a room with someone I don’t even know.”

“That’s literally what everyone here does.” Coach reminded me, his patience clearly wearing thin. “You’ll get to know him.”

“I don’t want to.”

“I have to say, Eriksson, I expected better from you. You’re usually a team player.”

I chose not to remind him that swimming was not a team sport. I chose to say nothing at all. My tongue was thick, my brain fogging with overload.

Coach sighed heavily. “Is there a reason you’re so adamant about not wanting to help a new student get acclimated to our institute?”

I opened my mouth. Shut it. Misery draped me like a finely woven cloak. “No, sir.”

“Then, what’s the issue?”

I went for the thing I knew Coach would appreciate most. “I just wanted to focus on swimming this semester. Improve my time.”

He nodded. “And you will. But you will also be hospitable to our new student and represent our school and country with pride.”

I sighed. There was no getting out of this. Unless I wanted to tell him the real reason I wanted to keep my solo room, which I did not.

So… new roomie it was.


“His name and information are on the sheet along with his flight information. His plane lands tomorrow. Be at the airport to pick him up.”

My lips curled in as warm anger bloomed inside me. If I wasn’t so put out, I’d probably be ashamed I hated someone whose name I didn’t even know.

I grabbed the paper and walked out of Coach’s office without even looking back and stalked into the locker room and over to my locker. The paper crinkled when I jammed it inside and grabbed my Speedo.

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