Coaching Change

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“The forehand. Move in and take those serves with the forehand.”

The voice had cut through all of the noise in the stands at the Fitzgerald tennis center. Zach had been getting plenty of support from the stands surrounding the tennis court—which stood to reason, as he lived and trained here in Washington, D.C., a hometown boy, living in the Mclean suburbs across the Potomac in Virginia. But this was the first real piece of possibly useful advice he’d gotten on how to beat Petr Zhong.

On the next serve Zach moved in closer to the backline and to the left. He’d been covering for an angled serve that his coach, Stanislav Federov, had told him was Zhong’s style. But Zhong hadn’t used that serve for a set and a half. What he’d done was jam the serve into Zach’s body. Zach was beginning to wonder if Stan had scouted out Zhong at all.

The ball was whipping its way to him, and he was in place now and instinctively struck at it with a forehand. He connected with it in the racket’s sweet spot, and he watched the ball zing across the net and at an angle that Zhong couldn’t reach. A cheer went up from the crowd.

Zach wanted to smile and strut, but the cheer that was going up was more of a relief that he wasn’t going to be humiliated. It was really too late to bring this match around, but maybe he could keep himself from being embarrassed. The first chance he got, he looked up into the stands in the direction from which the helpful prompting had come and was surprised to see a familiar face. Bojan Nikolic, the number three seed, was sitting there in the first row. And he was smiling at Zach. This obviously was where the instruction had come from.

Zach was impressed. Bojan Nikolic had come to see him play. Zach had come through the qualifying rounds of the Legg-Mason tennis tournament, a feeder tournament for the U.S. Open, at the end of July. His coach had said he should wait until next season to try, but his dad had wanted him to see what he could do, and Zach’s dad had pretty much called the shots in Zach’s tennis development. All three of them, including Zach, had been surprised that Zach had qualified, but he’d done so in what the Washington Post sports section had said was brilliant form. Then he’d won through the first round as well. Of course, since he virtually was a hometown boy, the Post would give him all the coverage and support it could. But it looked like his dad was more right than Stan was—that Zach was ready to make a run at the pro circuit.

Losing to Petr Zhong would be no disgrace. Zhong was the seventh seed. But still, Zach couldn’t say his coach had been much of a help in recent months. Zach wanted to change coaches, but he knew that wasn’t going to fly with his dad. It was really unfair. Stan was still around because of what Zach’s father wanted, not because of what Zach needed now in his present stage of development.

Stanislav Federov’s reputation was what had brought him into the Thomas’ camp. He’d coached three top ten players in his career. And that’s all Zach’s father, Kenneth Thomas, could think about. His dream was for his son to be a top-ten player. All of his life had been focused on Zach’s tennis future—so much so that Zach’s mother didn’t stick it out and now was out on the West Coast raising some other man’s family.

Well, today it was advice from one of the other players, from the stands, that helped Zach keep his head up. He lost the second set too, but not without rallying and putting up a fight that had the crowd cheering for the effort of their hometown boy. Already holding his own—well, almost—in the pros and barely eighteen.

The surprising thing was that Bojan Nikolic was still at the tournament at all. He’d lost both his singles and doubles matches in the first round. The singles match had been a real battle in which Bojan had just run out of gas. He was twenty-eight now and on his way back down the rankings. His best performances now came in doubles. But he’d been scheduled to play the doubles virtually back to back with the singles, and the singles had wiped him out so that he hadn’t won the doubles match either.

Normally a player losing like Bojan did in early rounds of one tournament would be off preparing for the next one on his schedule—or rearranging his schedule to try to find another tournament to play in.

So, Zach was surprised to see Bojan in the stands—and much more surprised to have received coaching from him. It was flattering that Bojan would be there—and would bother with Zach at all.

At the end of the match, while Petr Zhong was sending his victory tennis balls into the stands and a courtside commentator was trying to get his attention for an on-court interview—and after Zach had received his round of applause “for trying,” everyone lost interest in Zach and he gathered up his rackets and other gear, stowed them in his duffel, and headed for the exit tunnel, forgotten now, at least for the moment.

Or so he thought. Bojan Nikolic was leaning over the railing from the stands at the Sakarya Escort corner of the tunnel as Zach was passing by.

“Nice match,” he called out to Zach.

Zach looked up to see the Serbian player smiling down at him. “Yeah, after some nice guy from the stands pointed out what I should have known I was doing wrong,” Zach called back.

“Meet me at the player’s door after you’ve showered. I’ll treat you to a beer at the Corona tent.”

Zach showered quickly, ecstatic that a top-fifty player wanted to have a beer with him. All of this good press he’d been getting was something very new to him. And a top-fifty player was showing interest in him. Was this great feeling what came with being in the hunt with the pros? Zach didn’t know, but it certainly was nice balm for having been knocked out of the tournament.

“Thanks for the pointer in there,” Zach said when they were sitting at a table as much in a corner of the food court area as they could to try to avoid Bojan being recognized. That wasn’t working, though. They were continually being interrupted by fans who wanted to connect with Bojan. And Bojan was smiling for them all and bantering with them. Zach was immediately impressed with the Serbian player. He was attractive and built like a million dollars and had a radiant smile and a friendly personality. Zach would have expected more of a sullen attitude from someone who now was losing more than he was winning and was likely dropping twenty spots just over this season. But if Bojan was concerned about this, he wasn’t letting it show.

“You were doing most things right. You’ve got great form. A few adjustments and you’re going to be in the majors.”

“You think so? Zhong certainly did a job on me.”

“You were just too far gone before you adjusted. You did great after that. You’re going to need to be in top condition to move to five-setters, however.” Nikolic reached over and felt Zach’s bicep and then dropped his hand and felt his thigh. “Pretty good conditioning, though. Just some more work in the gym. You got a steady practice partner?”

“Stan hits with me—and my dad. My dad’s good. He could have been a pro if he gotten the chances he’s giving me.”

“Ah, Stanislav Federov. He was very good . . . once.”

Zach was tempted to pursue that, but this was another player on the circuit. He remembered what his dad had told him. “It’s war out there, son,” he’d said. “Don’t give up your strategies or air your camp’s dirty linen in public.”

Nikolic didn’t seem to be fishing for signs of trouble in the Thomas camp, though. After he’d responded to a greeting from a fan, he turned and said. “Would you like someone to hit with you for a couple of days? I’ve got time to kick around until Saturday. If I could find a place to stay . . .”

“That would be great. And you could stay with us . . . with me and my dad. And with Stan. He lives with us. Our house is just over in the Virginia suburbs. You’d really hit with me—and give me some pointers.”

“I’d love to.”

* * * *

They’d managed to snag a practice court at the Fitzgerald center after their chat over the Corona, which Zach had already told his father he’d try to do win or lose his match against Zhong. So, Zach’s father and Stanislav Federov had already left the venue. Zach had driven there in his own car.

They stopped in Roslyn, in Virginia, just cross Key Bridge from Washington, and ate dinner at the Vantage Point rooftop restaurant at the Holiday Inn, so it was straight to bed for both of them when they got to the Mclean house.

They were both out early the next morning on the private court below the rear terrace of the Thomas house, though, hitting balls and talking technique.

It was the usual hot, muggy August in Washington, so they were practicing just in shorts, and Zach was impressed at the shape Bojan was in despite his rather advanced age for a tennis player. He remarked on how well cut Bojan was, and Bojan came to him and ran his hand along Zach’s own muscles, telling him what he needed better definition in the muscles for to serve the various ball stroking techniques and telling him what exercises and how many daily reps of these Zach needed to do to get his body in the proper shape to be competing at the pro level.

The younger man was impressed with what Bojan knew and awed at all he hadn’t learned about preparing for the business yet—and he felt a warmness at the nearness and touch of the handsome Bojan that had nothing to do with the temperature.

As they were playing, Zach noticed that Bojan’s attention had gone up to the terrace above them, where both his dad, Kenneth, and coach, Stan, had now appeared and were watching the two younger men practicing. Zach had telephoned his father last night and told him that Bojan was going to be there for a few days, hitting with him, so there was no surprise for the two older men that the tennis player was there. And Bojan had been installed in the studio apartment over the Adapazarı Escort garage at the Thomas’ Mclean house the previous evening.

Zach’s face flushed in embarrassment, though, when he saw that both of the older men were just in robes and were sitting quite close together as they drank their morning coffee. He had hoped that Bojan wouldn’t see anything like this. He looked across the net at Bojan, and although the tennis player had briefly shown a look of surprise, he quickly turned his attention back on Zach and immediately went into an exercise of hitting lobs.

When the two came up for a late breakfast and to hit the showers for a rest before an afternoon practice session, Kenneth and Stan were no longer on the terrace.

As soon as Zach and Bojan entered the house, however, it became obvious where the two had gone. The door to Kenneth’s bedroom was slightly ajar, and both Zach and Bojan could clearly hear the sounds of sex. They even were able to see that the two men where on the bed, naked, and that Stan was fucking Zach’s father.

“I’m sorry,” Zach mumbled, only now realizing that bringing Bojan here hadn’t been a good idea. “Please go back to the terrace. I’ll bring you some coffee and toast. If you want to leave after that, you can just go straight to the apartment over the—”

“No, it’s OK, Zach,” Bojan said. “It’s OK. I knew about them. I knew about Stanislav. All the guys know. But I thought it was you. . . . Well, that’s his usual arrangement. We can just sit in the kitchen. It’s OK.”

“Me? Oh, god, no, not me,” Zach answered in a tone of horror as they went to the kitchen. The house had an open plan. They still could hear the sounds of sex, but they also could get a glimpse of it across the great room through the half-opened door. “But now you know why I can’t change coaches. You said ‘Stan was a good coach once . . .’ and I didn’t say that I had my reservations about Stan continuing to coach me, because my father and Stan . . . well, you can see. My father pays for all of this, and he’s not going to be favor of a coaching change.” Zach said this as he was pouring coffee for both of them and perching on a stool at the kitchen island across from Bojan. The Serbian had opted for a bagel over the toast and was making short work of it.

Zach was still red-faced at the sounds coming from the bedroom. They were reaching some sort of climax, although Zach knew from experience that it would just start all over again. Stanislav was a real bull. In fact, when Zach had first reproached his father for the relationship with Stan, his father’s only response, given as if Zach should be able to understand and appreciate it, was that Stan was a real bull.

“Doesn’t that bother you?” he asked Bojan.

“Not in the least,” the Serbian answered. “It doesn’t seem to bother you all that much either other than wondering what I think. It sounds like they’re having a good time. Haven’t you ever thought of . . .?”

Zach felt the fingers on his arm. Bojan had reached across the table and was lightly stroking the hairs on Zach’s arm—and smiling at him that glorious smile. Zach shuddered. God, he was beautiful. And his body was beautiful. The Serbian’s nipples were hard, protruding nubs. Zach had seen that happen with both his father and Stan when they were working their way into doing it. And they fucked openly, not caring if Zach saw them. And Zach had seen them in high fuck.

Sure he’d thought about it before and was attracted to it. He couldn’t have moved in his father’s circle of friends and not known they were interested in him or not to have had time to think over whether he might be interested as well. He looked into Bojan’s hazel eyes. He knew that look.

“We could both shower in the apartment over the garage,” Bojan said in a low, hoarse voice.

Bojan fucked Zach under the running water in the shower. Zach’s chest and belly were pressed against the wet tiles of the shower stall, and the underside of his hard, upward-curved cock stroked up and down on the slick tiles as Bojan stood close behind him, holding his raised arms against the wall with fists on his wrists and fucking up into him from behind. After Zach came, Bojan half carried him into the bedroom and pushed him down, still wet, on his back on the edge of the bed; gripped Zach’s ankles; spread his legs wide; hunched in close over him, capturing Zach’s eyes with his own as his cock entered Zach’s channel again; and fucked him to Bojan’s own ejaculation.

It was clear that Bojan had done this before and was very good at it—and that it would become a part of the regular practice routine.

Although the love play between Zach’s father and coach had piqued his curiosity, Zach had no idea until now how good being fucked by another man—and one with experience at it—could be. Bojan was ten years his senior and it seemed like he had spent that ten years learning the techniques that would make Zach moan deeply and beg for more.

As they lay entwined with Serdivan Escort each other afterward—building up, Bojan whispered, to another session that he described to Zach in detail and that had Zach hard again already—Bojan murmured, “If I was your coach, I could live here and we’d do this twice a day.”

“My coach?” Zach said, surprised. “You’re a player. You’d leave that for coaching?”

“If I had someone as promising as you to develop, I’d turn to coaching.”

“You’d do that for me? You think I can be that good?”

“You’re almost that good now. Federov isn’t going to develop you further. And, as you know, my own standings are faltering. This is the usual signal to change to coaching. I can’t ignore that.”

“But you’ve seen. My father isn’t going to let Federov go. And it has nothing to do with my tennis. And without my father—and his backing—I can’t go on the circuit. I certainly couldn’t pay you a salary.”

“I might have a plan?”

“A plan? Tell me.”

“I will. But first we fuck again.”

“You could tell me first and then we could . . . oh, shit. Oh, fuck. Yes! Oh, god, Yessss!”

* * * *

Kenneth Thomas came home late—near twilight—on Friday evening after the regular partner’s meeting he was obligated to attend every Friday he was in town because he was the senior partner in the law firm. He was tired and irritable. He didn’t really like it that his son had brought Bojan Nikolic into the house. It had disrupted the balance somehow. Bojan was giving entirely too much tennis technique instruction to Zach, and Stan was beginning to complain about that. He was even talking of maybe leaving. But Kenneth couldn’t have that. He wasn’t a young man anymore. He couldn’t just go out and find someone who could fuck like Stan could and was as well endowed.

Kenneth suspected that Bojan was spiking Zach. The signals of that were too clear. But beyond being slightly jealous because Bojan was such a hunk—and so young still—it was neither here nor there if he was fucking Zach. Zach had to grow up someday. And better someone like Bojan than Stan help him do that. There had been signs that Stan wanted Zach, and this would kill Kenneth. He couldn’t compete with his son if Stan turned in that direction. But, regardless, the balance had been upset in the household. Something would need to be done.

He drove up by the front door and got out of his car. He looked over at the garage and saw that a light was on in the studio apartment above it.

Were they up there fucking, he wondered. He had half a notion of stealing up the stairs to see what he could see. Both Bojan and Zach had bodies to die for and were young. Bojan was ten years older than Zach, but Kenneth was twenty years older than he was, so all of that was relative. He’d enjoy watching two superb young bodies vigorously fucking. Even if one of them was his son. Maybe especially if one of them was his son.

He was about to enter the house, when muffled sounds caught his attention and he looked over to Stan’s old Mercedes sedan, parked in the shadows near the garage.

The car seemed to be rocking back and forth. Kenneth hesitated, instinctively afraid of what he’d see if he went over there, but curiosity and the need to know that it wasn’t what he thought it was enticed him to slowly and silently close the distance between the front door and Stan’s Mercedes.

It was exactly what his subconscious was afraid he’d find.

Two naked bodies in the backseat. The familiar back of Stan, knees planted on the floor of the commodious backseat of the old sedan and torso hunched over the other body, facing Stan, his legs spread wide and raised, the balls of his feet leveraging off the ceiling of the car, his fingernails digging into Stan’s shoulders.

“Oh, god, oh holy shit! It’s so big. It’s too big. I don’t know if I can . . . oh, shit. Oh Shit! Yesss! All the way. Yessss!”

Revelation one: Zach’s voice. First silly thought: Of course it’s big. He’s horse hung; that’s why he’s still here.

Later, when Kenneth was sitting at the kitchen island, slugging scotch down, beginning to calm down and he and Zach were listening to Stan driving his Mercedes away—for the last time—Kenneth began to understand the result of the tantrum he had thrown.

“He’s gone. He’s really gone.”

“I’m sorry, Dad.”

“It’s not your fault. It was just a matter of time. But I don’t believe it. He really left.”

“I can find another coach, Dad.”

Kenneth turned a glassy-eyed stare on his son. “You don’t understand. He’s gone.”

Zach latched onto the realization that his dad wasn’t talking about him losing a tennis coach. He was mourning another loss altogether. Up to that point, Zach had regretted, just a little, the plan he and Bojan had concocted. And then, after being fucked by Stan, he had the added regret that it had been just that once with Stan and that it had been abruptly interrupted. Bojan could cock—but Stan could really fuck. And the size of that cock—Zach was in awe that he had been able to take it all. But he didn’t have much in the way of regret anymore. He’d lost his tennis coach, and despite all of his dad’s talk of giving it all up for Zach’s tennis development, all his dad could think of was losing his personal fucking machine.

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