Dan Cole disappointed his parents when he decided not to go to college. Instead he tried a career as a mixed martial arts fighter. One particularly memorable match was against Casey Shaw, and Dan found it a case of either tap out or pass out. Dan chose the former. To his surprise, Casey invited Dan out for a drink after the match and they agreed to stay in touch. Believing Dan needed a ring name, Casey starts calling him Dan “Cool” Cole.
Dan eventually realizes he'll never make it in MMA. With his parents' help, he hies himself off to college. Specifically, Colby State, the alma mater of both his parents.
Casey, who’s already a student at Colby, offers to share an off campus apartment with Dan, who readily agrees. Dan finds it hard to live up to his Cool nickname where Casey is concerned. Dan is attracted to Casey, but Casey believes that as they look so much alike, dating Dan would be like dating his brother.
Casey appears uncomfortable at the number of sex partners Dan has, and Dan is jealous of the time Casey spends with their upstairs hunky neighbor. Will the two former fighters continue to just circle each other, or will they finally get physical and both end up winning?
The apartment was on a shady street in an older residential section of Colby, about ten minutes from campus by car. The converted ground floor of a big old house, it had a lot of space. With two large bedrooms, a living room, a recently updated bathroom and eat-in kitchen, it looked great to Dan. The furniture was old but clean.
"This looks great, Casey. You're lucky. But I don't imagine I could afford a place like this. Does your landlord have any one-bedroom apartments?"
"Dude, I can't afford this place either unless I find a roommate, someone to share the rent. That's why I brought you here."
"You're asking me to be your roomie?"
"Well, there'd be some conditions."
"You'd pay half of the rent and utilities."
"I'm gonna be bussing tables four times a week, so you'd have the place to yourself those evenings. But the landlord said we'd be kicked out if we had wild parties. Some guy who's on the faculty lives upstairs."
Dan grinned. "That shouldn't be a problem."
"I'm also kind of a neat freak. I couldn't live with a slob."
"I'm kind of that way, too."
"If you've got a guy in your room, keep the door shut, and I won't bother you. And I'll expect the same consideration."
"Okay ... Wait a minute! A guy? You think I'm gay?"
"Come off it, man. Are you telling me you're not?"
"How'd you know?"
"I dunno. I just knew. I knew that evening we went out after our fight."
"You never said anything."
"Sorry. I just assumed we'd recognized that about each other."
Dan took a deep breath and blew it out. This was big. Ever since Casey had suggested they share the apartment, he'd been thinking he owed it to his new roomie to tell him the truth. How great it would be to have a guy who not only knew the ropes around Colby but who wouldn't be hung up over his being gay!
"I, um, I think it would be great to share this with you. Are you sure you want to?"
Casey grinned, his dark eyes sparkling. "Well, I took you down once. I figure if you get out of line I can do it again. And let's agree that if either of us is unhappy at the end of the fall term, you'll move out."
"Well, it is your place."
Casey put a fraternal arm around Dan's shoulder and said, "Let's say it's our place and see how that works out."
"You're Cool and I'm Case."