Here’s chapter 28 of Nelson and Cris, I mean, the Swimmer and the Manager.
I don’t wanna spoil anything, so I’ll just say this chapter is really cute
Hope you like it
The Swimmer and The Manager 28
“How many times you want. I can play all night!” Marcelo shouted, smiling as he pressed start again. “But now you have to tell me why you are so good and why I haven’t seen you in any local tournaments or anything.”
“I don’t like tournaments. And it’s not like I’m into on football or anything. I’m good ‘cause I used to hook up with a guy who liked to wake up as early as this one,” Cris said, indicating Nelson with his head without taking his eyes from the screen. “So after he went to sleep, I was really bored and started playing his game.”
“You’re really into guys who like to wake up early, huh?” Marcelo commented.
“What can I say?” Cris glanced at Nelson. “I tend to fall for weird guys.”
“I totally get it,” Marcelo said, nodding understandingly. “The last girl I was with hated getting in the pool because she hated getting her hair wet. In fact, she even hated sports in general”
“The last girl you got dumped by, you mean?” Nelson mumbled grumpily. But his voice was loud enough for everyone to hear.
Marcelo’s eyes twitched as Cris chuckled.
“Well, I’m sorry if I’m not popular like you,” the other swimmer said, doing his best to control the anger in his voice. “But since Cris is so interested in you, though I have no idea why, I’ll give him some of your past for free.”
Cris’ face lit with a smile. “Please,” he said, bowing to Marcelo when the ball passed the sideline.
The other swimmer put his hand on his chin and hummed for a moment. “Did you know that Nelson here managed to get an entire competition postponed all by himself?”
“How? I’ve never heard of this,” Cris said, eyeing Nelson. “How did he manage that?”
“This was way back before we got scouted by the club. Our mutual friend here was so nervous with the tournament that he ended up drinking too much sports drink. But he had barely anything solid and—”
“You suck, you know that? Why are you telling him that? You promised you’d never tell anyone that,” Nelson complained, but both men ignored him. Cris even waved his hand to shut him up.
“We were at the starting block, seconds away from the starting whistle… but then Nelson… how can I say this? He returned the sports drink to the nature, but not in the expected way,” Marcelo went on, as if not interrupted, showing a nasty smile.
“You puked in the pool?” the manager asked, not hiding his eager smile.
“Oh yeah… and no one wanted to get in the water after that. It took all morning to drain and refill the pool.”
Cris turned to Nelson, who was blushing and covering his face. “You never told me that! Why haven’t I seen that on your record or anything?”
“Like I’d ever tell you,” the swimmer mumbled. But under Cris’ eager face, he let out a frustrated sigh. “I was a kid and it was a school tournament back home. Apart from that idiot, very few people even remember that.”
“What else have you been hiding from me?” Cris asked, his voice too curious. But when he realized Nelson would say nothing else, he turned to Marcelo. “Do you have more stories like that?”
“Oh, please.” Marcelo showed a dignified expression. “I have a lifetime worth of stories that can embarrass my best friend.”
“You don’t have to sound so proud,” Nelson complained.
“Let’s gamble all those stories now,” Cris said, raising his arm in the air.
“Too bad for you. Now that I’m serious, you won’t be hearing more of those stories. At least not today,” Marcelo said, turning to face the screen.
Cris let out a loud snort. “We’ll see about that. I’ll be hearing Nelson’s full biography by morning. But don’t worry. I’m a nice guy and I’ll introduce you to a cute manager as a consolation prize.”
“When I win, you’ll do that!”
Marcelo won the second rematch. But it didn’t end there.
Despite Nelson’s constants complains, they ended up playing many matches.
Marcelo won most matches, to the swimmer’s relief. But each time Cris won, Nelson had to suffer reliving some story of his embarrassing past. To his surprise, there were many that he had work hard to suppress from his memory.
“What the hell? I never wanted you, I mean, anyone to hear about those stories,” the swimmer mumbled, watching as they once again restarted the match. But despite all the embarrassment he was suffering, Nelson couldn’t stop smiling as he saw his best friend and his manager playing video games.
“But I wanna know everything about you,” Cris said, taking his eyes off the game for a second to smile at Nelson. His cheeks were slightly red.
“Ah, well… I never thought this night would end like this, but I guess it’s nice to hang out like this. With my best friend and my… and you,” Nelson said trailing off.
After many games, Nelson’s head started to wobble. He tried to fight it, but a few moments later, he ended up falling asleep, leaning his head against the bed.
“He totally crashed,” Cris said when he saw the scene, a tiny smile on his lips. “Guess we should stop for tonight…”
“Yeah, I guess…” Marcelo looked like he wanted to keep playing, even if the owner of the room had fallen asleep. But even so, he turned off the game and organized the controller.
“At least our job here is done. I’m sure he wasn’t thinking about the tournament at all.”
“I guess putting a guy’s embarrassing past on the line tends to occupy someone’s mind entirely,” the other swimmer said, standing up. “Especially in front of… his manager…”
“He can’t sleep like this… Hey, help me put him on the bed.
“Hey, man, that’s between you two,” Marcelo said, smiling and raising both hands.
It took a second for Cris to realized what the other swimmer meant. Then he laughed. “Too bad that’s not what I meant.”
With Marcelo’s help, Cris managed to put Nelson on the bed.
“He’s heavier than he looks,” the manager complained as he covered Nelson with the sheets.
Marcelo snorted and shook his head. “Don’t I know it. Try carrying a drunk and more annoying version of that.”
“I’d like to see that one day.” Cris smiled as he watched Nelson’s peaceful face. “I bet he’s one of those drunk who can’t keep their mouth shut.”
“You really like him, don’t you?” Marcelo asked in a low voice.
Cris blushed and averted his gaze. “Yeah… I really do,” he mumbled, still smiling though.
“I’m in trouble if you make a face like that,” Marcelo said after a while in silence. He looked between Nelson and Cris as he scratched his head. “I wanna say something to help you, but I promise my stupid best friend that I wouldn’t say anything… so bothersome…”
“Promised him what?” The manager asked, taking his eyes off the sleeping swimmer.
“Even telling you that might be off limits.” Marcelo walked towards the door and Cris trailed after him. The other swimmer closed his eyes and pressed his lips. After a moment, his face lit with a smile. “I know!”
He pulled his wallet and opened it. There were a couple of crumpled notes, an ID card of the club and a few credit cards. And folded inside the coin compartment, there was a blue note with a grouper fish on it. Marcelo took it out and showed it to the manager.
Cris stared at the money, with no idea what to say. “Are you just showing off 100 bucks note or what?” he finally asked with a note of annoyance in his voice.
“No, my friend. This isn’t just any 100 bucks note. This is the money Nelson paid me,” Marcelo said, emphasizing the last words, his eyes wide and his eyebrows raised.
“So what? He never told me about owing you money,” Cris said with a blank face.
“You’re wrong. You knew about this money,” Marcelo spoke slowly. “You know about this money since the first day you met him. And me. Try to remember.”
Still without understanding, Cris thought back of the night he met Nelson. I remember he was surprised ‘cause I was a cute guy… and that’s he wasn’t bothered by the fact that I’m was gay… what else? But no matter how much he tried, the manager had no idea what Marcelo was talking.
“Dude, I remember you had too much to drink that night,” he said after he gave up.
“That also happened. But I’m a hundred percent sure this money has nothing to do with alcohol.” Marcelo flashed a look full of meaning. “Ah, I know! Instead of 100 bucks, think of this as two 50 notes.”
“Two 50s?” Cris repeated slowly.
What difference does that make? Cris shook his head, remembering that night again. When I met Nelson and Marcelo… they were talking about a bet… a bet if Nelson would fall in love with his new manager… with me…
The manager’s face lit with comprehension. Then it became a wild shade of red the next second. Speechless, he looked inside to Nelson, still sleeping peacefully.
Marcelo smiled and nodded, satisfied. “It looks like you got it. Well then, since my other work here is done, I’ll be leaving. I don’t want to get in the way,” he said before closing the door.
Cris barely noticed the other swimmer had left.
Nelson… paid the money… doesn’t it mean he lost the bet… so he’s… Cris shook his head, trying to shake the thought away. Then he covered his red face. But no matter much he tried, the smile kept coming back. Nelson is in love with me…
The swimmer was still lying with his mouth opened. But the sheets had already fallen, and he had one leg out of the bed.
With his smile widening, Cris started putting all the beer bottles away and cleaning up the mess they had done. But all the time, he kept glancing at the swimmer and blushing even more.
Ah… I never thought I could be this happy… but how am I gonna face him now? Damn it… my heart feels like its gonna burst out of my chest.
Cris went fix the sheets. But the moment he leaned over to cover the swimmer, Nelson reached out and pulled the manager by the wrist.
The manager lost his balance and fell on top of the swimmer. Lying on top of Nelson’s chest, he stared at the face of the man he loved. His heart thumped widely, his face burning up.
Damn it… I gave him a BJ, and yet I’m blushing with this, Cris thought. But he didn’t hate the feeling at all. It’s not the first time I fall for someone… but it feels… so different with Nelson…
Before he realized it, Cris wrapped his arms around the swimmer and rested his ear on Nelson’s chest. He closed his eyes and listened to those heartbeats.
Thanks for reading.
Hope you liked the chapter. Please, tell me what you thought.
If you don’t wanna miss any chapter, sign up to my newsletter
If you like The Swimmer and the Manager, you can support it on Patreon. And I’m planning many things for my web novels. I’d like your support to make it happen.