Friends and Benefits
Copyright© 2005 by Big Ed Magusson
Sex Story: Chapter 2 - I told her "It's a long, complicated story about friends with benefits. Or without benefits. Or... I don't know. Friends and benefits." It was the story of my mid-twenties and sorting out my confusion about women, love, and sex. But it was only in telling my story to a non-traditional "therapist" that I really found the answers and learned about the varied forms that love can take. Note slow code.
Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa Fa/Fa Consensual Romantic Light Bond Group Sex First Safe Sex Oral Sex Masturbation Petting Sex Toys Exhibitionism Voyeurism Slow School
I dreamed of long black hair that night. It wrapped around me and enfolded me and cushioned me. I kept trying to grasp it in my hands, but the silken threads just slipped and slid on through.
Morning found me hung over, though not as badly as I'd expected. Bad enough to call into the office and claim a sick day. My boss asked if it was the bug that was going around and I said yes, so he wished me well and told me to stay in bed. I did so for most of the morning, just staring at the far wall when I couldn't sleep. Hunger and boredom finally drove me out shortly after twelve.
In the kitchen, I found Sherri's card on the table and my wallet on the counter. Why was my wallet on the counter? Oh yeah. I'd paid Sherri while we were standing there, just before she called the agency on the kitchen phone to confirm her arrival. Then I'd apparently forgotten to put my wallet back in my pocket.
I opened it up. Nothing was missing. Sherri had been moving around the kitchen while I sat mired in sorrow and she hadn't touched it. I let out a deep sigh of relief.
I'd been lucky, I realized. I'd invited a complete stranger into my house to engage in an illegal activity, while I was too drunk to do much to protect my stuff or defend myself. I was lucky in who actually showed up. Incredibly lucky.
I got some coffee and a bowl of cereal and sat down at the table. I picked up Sherri's card and read it again. I was surprised. She'd written down the rates for "social evening" and they were a third of what a "full" hour cost. In fact, they weren't too much higher than what shrinks cost, if I could believe what Sharon had told me she was paying. I idly wondered what her shrink had said about me.
I didn't wonder long. I didn't want to get into another self-pity party like I had over Alicia. It still hurt, but it only hurt when I thought about it. So I avoided thinking about it.
I spent the afternoon reading old favorite novels on the couch and internet porn on the computer. I toyed with going in to work but figured that I couldn't explain why my recovery from "the bug going around" had been so fast. In the end I didn't do much at all in the afternoon.
I did start getting lonely in the early evening. Unless I was working late, I usually called Sharon right before dinner. It was a great way to get sound and a sense of other people into my otherwise quiet apartment. Far superior to the TV that served that same function when Sharon didn't answer.
Instead I made a different phone call.
It took a little convincing to get the agency to agree to the "social" rate that Sherri had mentioned. They wanted to maintain the fiction their ladies only provided "time and companionship" under any circumstance. It wasn't until I mentioned that Sherri had given me the rate herself that the lady on the phone stopped obfuscating and scheduled me an appointment for two hours later, making it a late dinner date.
Sherri met me at Union Station. When the District, or the Feds, I was never sure which, overhauled the train station, they added a mall area in the front half. The shopping was okay and the food wasn't terrible. I caught the Metro in and met Sherri at the Center Café, which was in the middle of the restored Grand Hall.
"Good to see you, Joe," Sherri said, giving me a quick hug. I did a quick check of my watch and realized she was exactly on time. She caught me looking.
"Don't worry. We've got plenty of time."
We were a little too close to the entrance and the hostess asked if we were ready to be seated before I could make a reply. Sherri told her yes and led the way to the table. I dropped back to admire Sherri walking a few steps in front of me. Her hair cascaded straight down further than I expected; really three quarters of the way down her back instead of halfway. Her ass was tight and beautifully molded in the skirt she wore. I didn't have a chance to look much more before we arrived at our table.
Sherri only glanced at the menu before putting it down. She looked at me, placed her elbows on the table, and clasped her hands. She arched her eyebrows and waited. Oh, yeah. I passed her an envelope which disappeared into her purse after a quick glance at the contents.
"So, how was your morning?" Sherri asked.
"Not as bad as I'd expected," I replied. "Neither the hangover nor the guilt were as bad as I expected."
"Uhh, well, for, well, getting drunk and calling you."
"What's there to feel guilty about in that?"
"Because you're an escort."
"So? We didn't do anything illegal."
"True, but I wanted to."
"If every person who wanted to commit a crime was in jail, there wouldn't be anyone left on the outside."
"You needed to talk and I like listening," she said next. "That's why we're here tonight, right?"
"I need more friends in D.C.," I said. "It was either you or a shrink and they don't keep evening hours. Besides, you're better looking."
"I'm also not bound by the same rules that they are, either."
"Rules?" I asked.
She leered in reply. "Let's just say I can't lose my license for getting involved with a client."
I sat, frozen. I didn't know whether to run away, make a joke, or make a pass at her. Sherri seemed to revel in my discomfort for a moment, but then she relaxed and reached over to take my hand.
"Tell me more about Sharon, Joe."
I nodded my head and let out a deep breath...
Sharon called two days after our "ten questions" afternoon to claim her first forfeit.
"Joe, can you come to Kim's party with me Saturday?"
"Kim's having a barbeque and she's invited a lot of people. I want to go but Allen might be there."
"So you want me to go as your date?"
"Good, because Allen would never believe we're dating."
"I know that," Sharon said. "It's that ... well ... I just don't want to be standing alone if he shows up with someone."
This didn't make sense to me. "So, you want me to go to Kim's party with you and stand around with you until he shows up, but not act like we're together."
"Right. And watch the door. I want to be able to flirt with some of the guys that Kim's inviting without having to be constantly watching out for Allen. You can let me know if he shows up with anyone before I have to talk to him."
Oh. She wanted me to be her wingman. I was glad she couldn't see me rolling my eyes over the phone.
"Sure," I answered. "I'll do that. What are friends for?"
The party actually turned out to be pretty big. That was fine since Kim and her roommates were renting a house with a yard. There were probably fifty people there and the gender mix was about even. Kim had a keg out back under one tree and her boyfriend was manning the grill almost non-stop. Sharon hung around the backyard and, after snagging my beer, I headed back to the front of the house. I joked with some women that I didn't know who were talking with one of Kim's roommates, but my attempts to flirt went over like a lead balloon. I quit trying and decided just to enjoy the conversation. Allen arrived about an hour later. He was alone.
"Joe!" he called. "I didn't expect to see you here!"
He came over and Kim's roommate introduced him to the ladies we were talking with. One of them used the break in the conversation as an excuse to go get more beer and her friend followed. Other folks came in and Kim's roommate abandoned us to go greet them. In less than two minutes I'd gone from talking with three single women to none. Allen seemed amused and non-plussed.
"Driving 'em away again, Joe?" he joked.
"Hey, they were here until you walked over. If they were driven away, it was by you," I shot back.
Allen chuckled. "That wouldn't have happened if they weren't so eager to get away from you," he countered.
I glared at him. He just grinned back.
"Let's get a beer," he suggested.
I nodded and led the way to the back. A quick glance around revealed Sharon in conversation with a dark haired Keanu Reeves type on the opposite side of the yard from the keg. Allen's eyes were only for the beer until we'd both gotten a glass. Then he stepped back and surveyed the yard.
"Good crowd," he commented.
"Kim does know a lot of people," I replied.
"True. Most of the old dorm is here. Greg, Tom, Patty. And Sharon." His face soured with Sharon's name.
"But no Alicia," I said.
Allen took a long sip out of his glass. "No," he said. "No Alicia."
We settled into silence for a while. Allen was watching the crowd and I was watching Sharon. She noticed us and stiffened, but only for a moment. Then she shifted her stance so that she couldn't see us. It placed her a little closer to the guy she was talking to and he perked up and started talking faster. I watched Sharon over-exaggerate a laugh at one of his jokes and I turned back to Allen.
"So what are you doing these days?" I asked "Now that you've graduated?"
"Bartending. Taking it easy. Mostly just being happy I graduated. Five years is too long."
"Well, you did change majors four times."
"Not everybody knows what they want to do on day one like you, Joe."
"I'm not so sure anymore. Grad school's kicking my butt."
That surprised Allen. He stared at me, mouth open, for long enough for me to be uncomfortable.
"'Kicking your butt'?? School was always easy for you! You barely studied for tests and never pulled an all-nighter. At least when we were living together."
"I've got good short-term memory," I said. "The higher-level math to understand cosmology, though,..." I just shook my head.
"Math is kicking your butt?" Allen asked again.
I just nodded my head.
"I'm not sure it's math at this level so much as magic," I said. "I was in class one day this spring and the professor filled an entire blackboard with a single non-linear second order differential equation. He was lecturing without notes and stepped back to look at it and spotted an error he'd made. One I never would have seen. Then he said, and I quote: 'The solution to this equation is obviously'—and then proceeded to fill the next chalkboard with the answer. I knew right then I was toast. There was no way I was getting from chalkboard A to chalkboard B, even with a week of study and analysis."
"That bites," Allen said.
"Yeah," I said. "It's made me really question what I'm doing in Arizona."
"You going to stay in school then?" Allen asked.
I shrugged. "No point in dropping out. I can't tend bar worth shit."
Allen responded with a low chuckle but didn't get offended. We'd joked too often when we'd been roommates that he was responsible for organizing the parties and I was responsible for making sure they didn't get out of hand. He'd developed more pride in his ability to mix up exotic drinks than he had in his test scores. That had cost him a semester of failing grades, the fall I moved out because I couldn't stand dorm food anymore. The same fall after he'd dumped Sharon, I realized.
"So what are you going to do when you get done 'taking it easy'?" I asked.
"Dunno. I'll worry about that when I get there."
There was nothing I could say in reply to that, so I didn't.
A couple of other people came up to the keg about then and we spent some time shooting the breeze with them. After a while, I slipped away for a bathroom break. When I came out of the restroom, Sharon was waiting in the hall.
"So is he with anybody?" she hissed, her eyes constantly flicking toward the main part of the house.
"He didn't bring anybody. I don't know if he's involved with anyone or not."
Sharon just looked at me, studying my face.
"Honest," I said.
"Okay," she said. Then she motioned toward the bathroom door.
"If you'll excuse me," she said.
I nodded and let Sharon slip on by. I returned to the party where I found Allen chatting up a blonde in a tight t-shirt. I decided not to interrupt and just headed back outside. I found a lawn chair and sank into it.
I pretty much was left alone for a while. The hubbub swirled around me, but other than smiles and the occasional nod, no one engaged me in conversation. The women in particular seemed to keep their distance. I wondered if my ripped-out heart showed. Probably. I knew it wasn't attractive, but I didn't know what to do about it.
Eventually, Allen wandered into the yard and found me. He had stopped by the keg and he handed me a fresh glass before pulling up a seat.
"Struck out?" I asked. He looked at me, confused. "The blonde."
"Yeah," he admitted. "She has a boyfriend in California. She didn't get around to mentioning him until I'd asked her if she wanted to go to dancing later."
We shared the knowing glance of the torpedoed male and smiled.
"That reminds me, why aren't you in California?" I asked.
"No point. With Mom and Dad divorcing, there wasn't exactly a home to go back to. Besides, I like it here."
"Sure beats the desert," I said. "Why I picked Tucson, I'll never know. It's brown, it's hot, it's uncultured."
"Uncultured? Why does that matter?"
"It does if you want to find decent theatre or restaurants."
"I suspect it's got those, but you haven't found them. Besides, you can't afford fine dining. You're a poor starving grad student, remember?"
"Don't remind me. Actually, I'd be happy to pay for good food if I knew where it was and if I had someone to go with."
"So ask someone."
"Not that simple. My department is overwhelmingly male."
"So take a friend."
"If I had any," I said.
Allen just looked at me, slowly shaking his head.
"Okay, I know that's pathetic," I said. "I need to stop whining."
I took a swig of beer and didn't reply. There was some commotion by the door to the house. Apparently a guy had spilled beer on a girl coming out and made a huge mess of her shirt. Her boyfriend was having words with the first guy and a crowd was developing. It dissipated when our hostess Kim intervened.
"You know what you need, Joe," Allen opined. "You need to do two things. First, you need to give yourself a treat now. Give yourself something nice so your last good memory won't be of Alicia. Get laid if you can, actually. That's always a nice memory."
"The second thing—give yourself something to look forward to. A goal, or a reward for meeting some other goal, like finishing your degree. That'll help you stay out of the pity party."
I paused and thought about what Allen had said.
"You're probably right," I admitted.
He nodded, but didn't tear his eyes off a couple of women laughing together a little ways away.
"Any specific suggestions?"
"You want fine dining? Take someone out here, before you head back. I'm sure you can come up with some restaurants you've always wanted to go to in Denver. Hell, go to the Flagstaff House. You'll remember that for a while."
"Yeah, that might work."
"Of course it'll work. I know what I'm talking about."
He flashed me a smile then and I rolled my eyes.
"Yeah, I forget, you were a psych major for a semester, weren't you?"
"Two," he replied.
I just chuckled. Allen was not always right, but never in doubt.
"What you really need," Allen continued, "is to get laid."
"No kidding. But how do I manage that?"
"For that, you're on your own." Allen glanced at the two women who had been laughing and my eyes followed his. They were still talking and one of the girls, a brunette, kept glancing over our way. She was smiling as she did so.
"You're definitely on your own," Allen muttered and then slammed the rest of his beer. He stood and started walking over to the women. The brunette's eyes twinkled at his approach.
I just laughed quietly to myself.
I sat and slowly finished my beer, idly surveying the crowd. It had grown thinner and more clumped, as if little magnets had been dropped into an iron filing bath. Maybe they had, I mused. All the unattached women seemed to be in the middle of those clumps.
Except one. Sharon appeared at the back door, took one glance around the yard, and strode over to me.
"Ready to go?" she asked. Demanded, really.
I set my near-empty glass down and got up. As soon as I was on my feet, Sharon started walking back toward the house. I quick-stepped a couple of paces to catch up.
"What's up?" I asked.
"Later," she spat.
We found our hostess, said goodnight with Sharon giving some excuse about early morning plans, and headed to the car. Since she was more sober, she took the driver's seat.
"So what is it?" I asked again as soon as the seatbelts clicked closed.
"The guy I was talking to," she began.
"Short black hair?"
"Yeah, him. We were flirting pretty heavily and he even suggested a trip to Glenwood Springs. Then he asked for my phone number. I gave it to him and then asked for his. He hesitated and when I asked again, he said his roommate really didn't like being disturbed by the phone ringing and so it wasn't a good idea for people to call him."
"Well, it turns out his roommate is his girlfriend."
"Yeah. He says they have an 'arrangement' and I told him I wanted to talk to her about their 'arrangement.' He started some bullshit story about how that wasn't a good idea and that's when I told him to go fuck himself. Then I came looking for you."
"What is it with guys?" Sharon bemoaned. "Why do they have to be such liars?"
"Not all guys are liars."
"Present company excepted, of course." Sharon didn't even glance at me as she said that.
"I'm not sure I'm the only exception."
"True. Allen never lied to me. He just dumped me."
I bit my lip to avoid responding to that.
I gained a distraction when Sharon paused to curse at a car that had cut us off. Given her aggressive driving, I didn't think it was really the other driver's fault, but Sharon wasn't in a mood for me to point that out. I just clenched the door handle until we pulled into her parking lot. As we walked to her apartment, Sharon seemed to calm down. She invited me in and I plopped down on her couch as she got us each a glass of water.
"How's Allen?" she asked, after settling into the chair across from me.