The Troll Whisperer

by Sera Trevor

The Troll Whisperer - Sera Trevor
Editions:Kindle
ISBN: B017J071JQ
Pages: 142

Oscar Lozada is repulsive, and he likes it that way. His apartment is always a wreck, he works at a sewage plant, and he’s an abrasive jerk to just about everyone. When he's not out drinking and hooking up with strangers, he trolls people on the Internet for lulz. His life changes when he finds out a victim of his trolling lives right next door. Noah is super hot and disarmingly nice. In spite of himself, Oscar starts to fall for him. All he has to do is make sure Noah never discovers the truth behind his trollish ways.

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Excerpt:

Oscar slept until eleven. It was a luxury he’d been enjoying since he’d started working graveyard shift, but as of Monday, he was back to the early shift. At least he had Saturday and Sunday off again; having his days off in the middle of the week always felt weird. He woke up a little fuzzy; he wanted a cup of coffee, but his kitchen thwarted him again. He had no clean mugs, no way to clean them with a full sink, and his coffee pot was too nasty even for him. Goddamnit, he was going to have to wash some dishes, too. He spent most of his time cleaning up other people’s shit at the sewage plant— the last thing he wanted to do on his day off was clean up his own.

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He stacked the dishes on the counter and went to work. After thirty minutes, he finally had enough cleared to make a cup of coffee. When his head felt less fuzzy, he liberated his laundry basket from the dirty clothes that had buried it. He piled a more reasonable amount in and began his trip to the community laundry room. The bright light of the sun made him squint— looked like it was going to be yet another disgustingly perfect day in paradise. He took the basket to the laundry room, dumped the clothes on the folding table, and then headed back for more, making five trips in total. After loading his laundry card with forty dollars, he returned to begin the ordeal. He claimed four washers and was about to take the last one when he heard someone come in the door. Normally he would have just taken it anyway, but he happened to turn around to see who he would be pissing off today.

It was Noah.

Oscar dropped the laundry basket in surprise. Noah immediately put his own down and crossed the room to Oscar. “Here, let me help you with that.” His voice was louder this time, but it still had that sweet quality that Oscar had masturbated to last night. He panicked for a second, but he quickly realized how stupid that was. There was no way Noah could know it was Oscar fucking with him last night.

Noah finished gathering the clothes. “Should I just put them in the washer for you?”

Oscar just stared at him for a moment, his mouth hanging open. It felt unreal, as if a character had popped out his television set. “Uh, yeah, sure.”

Noah surveyed the rest of the machines. “Looks like I’ll have to come back later,” he said as he loaded Oscar’s clothes into the washer.

“No!” Oscar said, surprising himself. This was strange and embarrassing and probably the worst idea he’d ever had, but hell, if Matt Bomer popped out of his TV, he would definitely try to fuck him. Why should this be any different? “No, you can have this one.”

“That’s very considerate of you, but I’ll just come back later.”

“No, it’s cool— I mean I already have laundry in the other machines, so it’d be a dick move on my part to take the last one, right?”

Noah looked again at the washers, then around the empty room. “Are you using all of them?”

Oscar rubbed the back of his neck. “Uh, yeah, I guess I got behind on my laundry.” He felt himself blushing. What the fuck? He never blushed, because he was never embarrassed.

Noah arched his eyebrow, but he looked more amused than disgusted. He retrieved his basket from across the room, placed the clothes in the washer, and added the soap. He was about to put in his laundry card, but Oscar stuck his own in. “Here, it’s on me. I put like forty dollars on this thing.”

Noah smiled. Christ, he had dimples. Dimples. “Are you this nice to everyone, or am I just lucky?”

“You’re lucky,” Oscar said. Now it was Noah’s turn to look a bit flummoxed. He retreated with his basket to the other side of the room, pulled out a textbook that he had carried at the bottom of his laundry basket, and began reading. Oscar didn’t want to come on too strong, so he sat at the other end of the room. He just watched Noah for a few minutes. Noah took out a notebook and a pen and began to take notes. In between notes, he would put the pen in between his lips, nibbling at the end with those plush lips…

Thankfully, his phone buzzed just then. He welcomed the distraction. It was a text from Jeremy.

U want to go drinking tonite?

Oscar texted back.

Not with u. u left me with a $75 tab last week when you left with that skank. Pay up dickface or fuck off.

Jeremy responded:

Better a dickface then having actual dicks in my face.

How is that an insult? i love dicks in my face.

Why dont u suck mine?

As if i would let ur diseased dick anywhere near me. ur a walking std.

There was a long pause in which Oscar definitely did not sneak another peek at Noah. His phone buzzed again.

How about I pay u $30 and ur drinks are on me?

Deal.

Cool. see u tonite.

He put his phone back in his pocket and contemplated his next move. This was going to be a challenge. A laundry room was not a sleazy nightclub, and neither of them were drunk. They were also not exchanging messages on Grindr. Those were the two primary ways Oscar got laid. He was pretty sure Noah was gay, but he decided he’d better test it before he went further. He took off his tank top and threw it in his remaining pile of laundry. The movement caught Noah’s eye. Oscar stretched his arms up, displaying his toned, tattooed body. Noah’s pale skin turned bright pink; he put his nose back in his textbook but kept looking up, his gaze scurrying away quickly each time as his face grew even redder. Well, that answered that question.

Where did he go from there? He should probably start up a conversation. “So,” Oscar said. “What are you studying?”

“Biology 101. I just started at San Diego City College.”

“Oh yeah? What are you majoring in?”

“Nursing.”

Of course he was. “So, are you new to the area?”

“Yes, actually. I’m from New Hampshire.”

“Wow. That’s a long ways away.”

“Yes,” Noah agreed. “Are you from here?”

“Yup. Born and raised in San Diego.”

“This area is beautiful,” Noah said.

“Yeah, I guess, but you guys have those trees that get all colorful and shit in the fall. Must be nice to live somewhere where things actually change. Nothing changes here.”

The conversation petered out after that. Oscar thought over what he had learned. New to San Diego, new to college, new to the Internet— what else was Noah new to? He casually examined Noah’s clothes. He wore khakis and a polo shirt, despite it being ninety degrees outside. He was very polite and well-spoken. He was as far away from home as he could manage while staying in the United States, and he was also living in a cruddy apartment which suggested no parental support. Ex-fundie, Oscar decided. Or maybe Mormon. Was he out of the closet yet?

Oscar took out his phone and played a game while Noah studied for a little while longer. Eventually, Oscar’s wash finished. He took the wet laundry and piled it into the dryers. A few minutes later and Noah’s wash was done as well; he put his clothes in one of the dryers, too. They both stood beside each other, a little closer than was necessary. Oscar breathed in; Noah smelled very faintly of Pine-Sol, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly chemical. Just nice.

When he had finished loading, he stuck his hand out to Noah. “I’m Oscar.”

Noah took his hand, his skin surprisingly rough. “Noah,” he said. “It’s nice to meet you.”

Their hands lingered together for a few moments. Noah broke the grip first and retreated, returning to his studying. Oscar considered him. Yes, this was definitely a mutual flirtation, but where to take it from here? His gaze lit upon the vending machine in the corner. Inspiration struck him. He crossed the room and purchased two Snickers bars.

Casually, he sauntered over to Noah. “Here,” he said, offering the candy. “Brain food.”

Noah smiled shyly as he accepted it. “Thank you.”

Oscar went back to his seat, feeling triumphant. This was going well, but he still couldn’t think of a subject for conversation. They’d already covered the weather. He ate his Snickers bar and threw the wrapper in the trash, like a good boy. He returned to his seat and got out his phone again; maybe there would be another opportunity to talk when the laundry was finished.

Eventually, Oscar’s dryers buzzed. He put on a T-shirt from the dryer before beginning to fill the basket, making sure to take his time. If he left now, Noah might not be there when he got back. Should he ask for his number now? Or would that scare a barely out fundie too much? Fortunately, Noah swooped in and saved him from having to decide. “Aren’t you going to fold those?” he asked.

Oscar looked down at his basket. “Oh, I’ll fold them when I get upstairs.” Which was a lie. He didn’t fold his clothes, generally.

“You really ought to fold them right away,” Noah said. “Here, bring them over to the counter.”

Oscar did as Noah asked. Noah plucked out a T-shirt and gave Oscar a little grin as he lay it smoothly on the table. He pinched two places on the shirt and crossed his arms over each other. When he uncrossed his arms, the shirt twisted in a blur of motion, and then suddenly it lay folded neatly on the table. The whole thing had taken about five seconds.

“Whoa,” Oscar said. “How did you do that?”

“It’s simple.” He took out another T-shirt and handed it to Oscar. “Just lay it out as I did before.” Oscar did. “Now pinch the corner of the right collar with your right hand. Imagine a straight line down, then cross to the other side. Pinch it there with your left.” He could have just pointed to the points, but he put his hands on Oscar’s instead, guiding them where he wanted them. The touch gave him a chubby. Maybe Noah wasn’t completely new to this whole gay thing. Good. It would make things easier.

“Cross your right hand over your left,” Noah continued, guiding his movements. “Now uncross your arms.”

Oscar did. The shirt flipped, and he grinned.

“Lay the shirt on the table, fold it in half, and you’re done.” Noah reached across Oscar to the laundry basket and pulled out another shirt. He handed it to Oscar. “Why don’t you try?”

Oscar accepted the shirt and lay it out on the table. He didn’t get it quite right now that Noah wasn’t guiding his hands, but with a little practice, he got it down. In the meantime, Noah folded his jeans, shorts, and even his underwear.

“I have a job cleaning houses,” Noah mentioned casually. “I also do some light chores, like laundry. I could do yours for $10 a week, if you wanted. Strictly under the table, of course.”

“Yeah, sure,” Oscar said. “Sounds good.”

“Great.” Noah flashed his smile again. “You can bring them down to my apartment every Saturday. Just leave me the soap and your laundry card. You can pick them up in the afternoon.”

So now Oscar basically had a weekly invitation to Noah’s apartment. He tried to play it cool, but on the inside, he was cheering. He’d just scored a ticket to Bone Town. “Cool,” Oscar said. “What’s your apartment number?”

“Two-twelve, in building two. It’s down by the pool.” He nodded toward the other dryers. “Do you want to bring another load over?”

They finished the second load and piled it in the basket; when the clothes were nice and folded, a lot more could fit in it. Oscar took it upstairs. He put the clothes carefully in the drawers of his bureau. Since most of his clothes wound up on the floor, the drawers were mostly empty. He went down to get the next couple loads, which Noah already had halfway done. It took several trips, but they got it done pretty quickly.

Noah helped put the last of the laundry in the basket. Noah gave the clothes a pat with one hand, which happened to land on a pair of Oscar’s underwear. “There you go.”

Did he expect Oscar to pay him now? “I don’t have any cash.”

“The first fold is free,” Noah said. “Besides, I had help.”

Oscar pulled out his phone. “Why don’t we swap numbers so I can see when you’re around?”

“I don’t have my phone on me.”

“No prob, I’ll just text you.”

After Noah gave him his number, Oscar had to think of what to text him. He could stick with a “yo,” but that seemed like a missed opportunity. He’d think of something later. “All right, got it.”

“Good.” Noah put his textbook and folded clothes in his own basket. “See you next Saturday.”

Oh yeah. Oscar planned on seeing him. All of him. Preferably on his knees. Or hell, with his cock level to Oscar’s face. He wasn’t lying about loving dick in his face— it was the best. Something about Noah made his mouth water more than usual. Maybe it was the Pine-Sol thing. Very exotic.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

Sera Trevor is terminally curious and views the 35 book limit at her local library as a dare. She’s a little bit interested in just about everything, which is probably why she can’t pin herself to one subgenre. Her books are populated with dragons, vampire movie stars, shadow people, and internet trolls. (Not in the same book, obviously, although that would be interesting!) Her works have been nominated for several Goodreads M/M Romance Reader's Choice Awards, including Best Contemporary, Best Fantasy, and Best Debut, for which she won third prize in 2015 for her novella Consorting With Dragons.

She lives in California with her husband, two kids, and a cat the size of three cats.


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