Friends and Benefits
Copyright© 2005 by Big Ed Magusson
Sex Story: Chapter 19 - 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 almost broke a wine glass in Sharon's kitchen, slamming it down on the counter. Fortunately, I pulled my punch, so to speak, at the last minute and it didn't crack. I stormed back into the living room and flopped on the couch.
She was getting off! As I was kicked to the corner. I fumed, thinking of things I could have said, but of course hadn't. She had as much invited me to join her, and then shut me down. I couldn't believe it!
I shook my head to get some of the frustration out, and The Kama Sutra caught my eye. Well, she certainly didn't mind the thought of me getting off, or she wouldn't have given me such a present.
She just didn't want to see me naked, apparently.
But then, she'd walked in on me in Albuquerque and seen me naked, and hadn't gotten upset. Something had to be different this time. I wracked my brain for a few minutes, and decided that it had to be the deliberateness. Albuquerque had been purely accidental. I analyzed it some more and didn't come up with anything better. It did calm me down, though.
With nothing much to do, I started thumbing through the book again. I came to the blowjob picture, which Sharon had liked. And then the doggie style one.
Yeah, I'd like to do Sharon doggie style. Or leaning up against the shower wall like her last pose.
I closed my eyes to better visualize that pose. The curve of her ass, the way her back bent. My mental eye traced every inch that I could remember. I definitely hoped the picture came out.
I realized I was hard. I listened carefully—I could still hear the shower going. So why not? I slowly undid my pants and freed my cock. I glanced at the picture in the book, but then closed my eyes and returned to my fantasies as I stroked my own erection.
I went slow, in part because I wanted to savor the memories. I was also having trouble staying hard—I'd drunk just a little too much.
Fortunately, I regained my full erection shortly after I started fantasizing about standing behind Sharon, thrusting my cock into her. I began breathing heavily, sliding my hand up and down—
"What the hell are you doing?"
I open my eyes. Sharon stood a few feet away in a robe. "Same thing you were in the shower."
Her eyes flared and she scowled. "I hope you're not thinking about me!"
I tilted my head toward the open book at my side. "Nope."
Sharon's eyes flicked from the picture to my now wilting cock to my face. "Fine. Go ahead."
She strode out of the room. After watching her go, I glanced at the book. At least it had been open to a photo page instead of one that was mostly text. But I wasn't in the mood anymore. Particularly after the harshness in her voice.
I turned to look at Sherri, since we were now sitting side by side on the couch. "No, I'm not."
"That's disgusting. Despicable. That she would treat you like that."
I shrugged. "That's Sharon. Don't get me wrong, though, she was a great friend. She just didn't like the idea of me getting turned on by her. That's why I knew she didn't want me masturbating to her pictures."
"Why not? She was getting turned on by you."
"By what I was saying. Not by me."
Sherri glared at me.
"Well... ," I struggled for a moment, trying to avoid her eyes. "The distinction was important to her."
"Did you talk about it?"
"Actually, this time we did. Not until the next morning though—we exchanged a few curt words that night before Sharon pointed me to the linen closet that held some sheets and blankets. I slept on the couch and awoke to the smell of coffee..."
My head pounded and my mouth tasted like cotton. I cracked my eyelids and looked over toward the kitchen. Sharon sat at the table, her head in her hands, a steaming mug before her. I slowly shifted to a sitting position, ignoring the screams in my head as I moved.
Sharon looked up. She looked as bad as I felt. "Good morning."
"Nothing good about it."
She slowly nodded.
She pointed to a bottle on the table that I hadn't seen before. I slowly eased to my feet and shuffled over. I got a glass of water from the sink, downed the aspirin, and sank into the chair across from Sharon. I watched her for a couple of moments, but she didn't raise her head.
"I ... I'm sorry," I said. "Things got a little out of hand last night."
Sharon looked up at me and grimaced. "Yeah, we drank too much."
"I was referring to the pictures."
She made a dismissive motion with her hand.
I paused, not knowing what to say. "Go out for breakfast?" I asked finally.
"I need the drugs to kick in first."
I nodded. I got myself some coffee and then returned to my chair, both of us sitting silently for some time. I closed my eyes and tried not to think about Sharon. Or about anything at all. Finally, after an indeterminate time, she moved.
"I'm going to throw on some sweats," she said. "Then we can go."
I nodded. After she left, I picked my way over to my shirt, put it on, and started looking for my shoes. I found them just as Sharon returned.
"Dot's Diner?" she asked.
We drove in silence, though my head slowly began to feel better. After coffee and juice at the diner, I even began to feel human. Sharon was looking better, too. I decided to go ahead and order food, confident I could keep it down.
"So," I said when our pancakes arrived, "about last night..."
"The pictures really aren't a problem, Joe."
"That's not what I was going to ask about." I paused to put my fork down. "After, when you ... caught me, you said you didn't want me fantasizing about you."
"We're friends, Joe. If you were thinking about me that way ... it'd be creepy. I mean, how could I confide in you?"
"Well, I like talking with you about sex. And I like knowing you won't take advantage of what I tell you, to, you know, try to seduce me."
I snorted. It's not like anything she'd told me was actually useful in a seduction. I decided to say something about it.
"No, no seduction. I just use what you tell me to pick out stories for you."
"True. But the stories are just friends helping each other out. It's not the same at all."
"It's not the same?" I asked, incredulous. Of course I knew it wasn't as soon as I said it.
"No," Sharon replied, curling her lip into a frown. "That's just like trading books you know the other person will like. Except these are sexy."
"You're right," I said, nodding. Then I thought a little more. "But that doesn't explain the pictures."
"Sure it does. Same thing."
I pushed a forkful of pancake into my mouth to buy myself time to think. "So what are we trading?"
"I'm helping you get better at photography."
"Yeah. And you?"
Sharon bit her lip and blushed a little. She didn't say anything. I thought back to our first sessions.
"It's Allen, isn't it?" I asked. "You're getting off thinking about Allen looking at the pictures."
"Yeah," she admitted, her eyes not meeting mine.
"I thought you said you were over him."
"I am over him," Sharon huffed, "I just haven't found anyone to replace him yet."
I stuffed another bite of pancake in my mouth.
"And what do you care?" she continued, combative. "It's my camera. My film. I'm paying for the developing."
I nodded and kept chewing. Sharon looked away and sipped some coffee.
"Look," I said after I'd swallowed, "I enjoy taking the pictures. I'm glad you trust me to take them. But if you don't want to, that's okay."
Sharon looked back at me and nodded. "We'll see."
I nodded again. I couldn't think of anything else to say, so I stabbed my breakfast for another forkful of food. Sharon did the same, so we sat in silence for a while. After I'd had as much food as my stomach declared it could handle, I set my fork down.
"Is Kim having another New Year's party?" I asked.
Sharon nodded. "Yeah. You want to go?"
"It's either that or stay home with my parents."
"Okay. Be at my place at seven. I'll drive from there."
I nodded and then the check came. Our conversation shifted to more mundane topics after that and on the drive back to her place. Sharon told me a story about one of her professors I hadn't yet heard and I talked a little about my upcoming job search. We said goodbye at her door and she hugged me. Apparently, all was forgiven.
When I got to my parents, I showered and changed into fresh clothes and then collapsed for a nap. A couple of hours later, I awoke to a knock on the door. My mother stuck her head in.
"Phone. It's Tina."
I nodded groggily and pulled myself up. Mom politely left the room when I got to the phone in the kitchen.
"Hi," I said.
"Hi! How are you?" Tina asked, her voice bouncy and happy.
"Okay. What's up?"
"Oh, my dad took my brothers out shopping. It felt like a good time to call. I wanted to hear your voice."
"That's nice," I replied. It was a lame answer, but I was tired.
"So, has your vacation continued to go well?" I paused to think—we'd last talked the day after Christmas.
"It has. Yours?"
Tina laughed. "Other than being teased by my sisters about you, it's pretty good. Sometimes I forget how much I miss my family when I'm at school."
"You never mention it."
"Yeah. I think I was so eager to get away my first year, I didn't want to admit that I missed them."
"But now it's different."
"Yeah," she said. "It is. My father announced at dinner the first night I was home that I wasn't a kid anymore, and I'm not being treated like one. It's really nice."
I let out a deep breath and then chuckled at my own relief.
"I'm glad to hear that your father said that."
"So," Tina continued, "did Sharon like her present?"
"She loved it. She's going to hang it in the bathroom, opposite the shower. It'll look good there."
"Cool. I'm glad she liked it. What did she get you?"
I glanced over at the doorway. I couldn't hear my parents, which meant they probably weren't close by.
"A Stephen King novel that involves bondage," I said in low tones, "and The Illustrated Kama Sutra."
"Really?" Tina's words almost turned into a chuckle.
"Really. She said we might like trying out some of the positions."
Tina laughed. "I knew I liked Sharon."
"Yeah, she wants to help us enjoy ourselves."
Tina laughed again. "Good for her."
"Good for us."
"So... ," I drawled, "anything exciting happening in Arizona?"
"Not much," Tina said. "Some shopping with my sisters for after-Christmas bargains."
She proceeded to tell me the details of her family's New Year's celebration and her last couple of days. I sank onto a kitchen stool and we talked for another half an hour before she had to go. Saying goodbye took a couple of rounds, but eventually we hung up. I continued to sit there after I'd returned the phone to the cradle, thinking about Tina.
Then the thought hit me. I hadn't told her about taking pictures with Sharon.
My gut went tight. Tina had been unhappy that I hadn't told her about the previous photo sessions. And those had taken place before we'd become a couple. I realized I was holding my breath and let it out in a ragged exhale.
The photos had been a mistake. I knew that, and I was sure Sharon agreed. Maybe we could just pretend it'd never happened.
But I was wrong. When I arrived to pick Sharon up for Kim's New Year's party, the familiar three stacks of prints sat on her table.
"You're getting better," Sharon said, indicating the table after greeting me at the front door.
"Yeah. We probably should have shot a couple of rolls."
I wandered over to the prints. The stacks were slim, since we'd only taken about twenty pictures. However, only three were in the "bad" pile. Most were in the "good" pile to the left.
"I've gotta finish my hair," Sharon said. After I nodded, she headed for the hall.
I thumbed through the prints. The final shot, with Sharon leaning up against the shower wall, had made the good pile. The lust in her eyes was evident, making it a really hot photo. In another shot, one of her breasts looked almost artistic, with the water rivulet trailing down and just missing her areola. The one of Sharon's back—the one that was supposed to mimic the poster—was in the middle pile. It really didn't look like the print. The shower head really was all wrong—not high enough and not broad enough.
Sharon returned, looking great. This time I could tell what she'd done—or at least I thought so. Her hair had a little more curl to it, as it cascaded past her shoulders.
"By the way," she said, "those are your copies. Mine are in the bedroom."
"You're going to let me keep these?"
"Because they're nudes."
"So?" she said, gathering her coat and purse.
I shrugged and gathered the pictures up. I wasn't foolish enough to object.
Kim's party was smaller than the year before, but this time there were a few singles. Fairly early in the evening, Sharon started flirting with a blond guy I didn't know. I talked to Trish and Kim and a few others, but mostly just faded into the décor. I nursed my wine—memories of last year's foolishness kept sliding through my head at inconvenient times and I knew I didn't want a repeat. Getting drunk and making a pass at Sharon again was likely to seriously damage our friendship.
Sharon didn't feel the same way about drinking, though. She'd started on margaritas and switched to rum and Coke when the blond guy brought her one. She was still so deep in conversation with this guy, laughing and smiling, that I decided to just mingle and stay out of her way.
About ten o'clock, Kim called for a Trivial Pursuit game. Sharon teamed up with the blond guy and so I joined Trish and her boyfriend. We ended up finishing third, because none of us could get any sports questions. Sharon and her new guy came in just ahead of us and then disappeared to the kitchen to refresh their drinks. I decided a little more wine couldn't hurt and followed about five minutes later.
I froze in the doorway. Sharon and the blond guy were locked in an embrace, kissing passionately.
"Ahem," I said.
The both pulled back and turned. Sharon's eyes widened in surprise and she blushed a little. The blond guy stared at me, eyes narrow. Sharon stepped back from him and beckoned to me.
"Justin, this is my good friend Joe," she said. "Joe, this is Justin. He's a junior at Boston University, home for the holidays."
I walked over and extended my hand. "We met briefly earlier when we came in. But good to meet you again."
"Yeah," he said, taking my hand and giving me a firm shake.
"So, how do you know Kim?" I asked.
"Our parents are friends," he said. "We ran into each other at the mall last week and she invited me to this."
"Yeah." He slid his arm around Sharon again, pulling her into his body. He never broke eye contact with me as he did so. I glanced away—I really didn't want to play alpha male games.
"Justin's a pre-med," Sharon said. "And he's on the track team."
"Good for you."
Justin just gave me a curt nod.
"Well, look," I said, "I'll just get my wine and get back to the party."
"We should probably get back to the party, too," Sharon said to Justin.
"Sure," he said. He snagged both of their drinks while I refilled my glass.
"Talk to you later," he called over his shoulder as they left the room.
I just shook my head and sipped my wine.
When I returned to the living room, the TV was on and we weren't too far from the countdown to midnight. I joked around with Trish some more and watched Sharon and Justin, arms wrapped around each other. Our countdown was loud, but not too raucous, and I just drank my wine while the couples kissed around me, Sharon and Justin among them. Not too long after, Trish announced she had to leave. I decided to interrupt Sharon.
"Uh, sorry to break in," I said once I'd pulled her away from Justin, "but Trish is leaving. I don't know what your plans are," I nodded in Justin's direction, "but I either need to ride back with her or with you."
"I just met him. I'll take you home."
"We don't have to go right away," I said.
Sharon shook her head. "No. If we stay, I'll just drink more and then I won't be able to drive."
I looked at her carefully. I wasn't sure she could drive now.
"I can drive," I said. "I haven't had much wine."
"It's okay," she said with a small smile. "Let me go say goodbye to him."
I nodded and wandered over to say goodbye to Kim and Trish. About ten minutes later, Sharon joined us and then we headed back to her place.
"Looks like you had a good evening," I teased while Sharon drove.
A sappy grin spread across her face. "Yeah. I'm not sure it's going anywhere, with him in Boston, but it was still nice."
I chuckled. "Well, I do hope you exchanged phone numbers."
"Oh, we did." She couldn't stop grinning and I had to stifle my own laughter.
Well, good," I said. "Maybe you'll see him later this week."
"Maybe. I know I'd like to."
This time I did laugh at her cat-ate-the-canary expression. "I look forward to hearing about it."
"I look forward to telling you."
We arrived at her house, said our goodbyes, and I headed back to my parents' house. I carefully tucked the new pictures into my suitcase so no one else would find them and then collapsed on the bed and fell immediately asleep.
"You weren't jealous?" Sherri asked.
I shook my head. "No. Amused, a little. I would have been annoyed if she'd abandoned me, but she didn't. Definitely not jealous."
"Even though this guy might get into her pants?"
"Well, actually ... that happened a few days later. After some other phone calls..."
I'd mailed some resumés just before the holidays. The first week of January, I made follow-up calls. The Denver area aerospace companies all gave me polite brush-offs. Yes, they'd received and filed my resumé. They'd call me if one of the managers wanted to bring me in for an interview. No, there was no need for me to make follow-up calls. No, they weren't hiring in general. It was the post-Cold War reduction in military spending. Yes, they still would hire exceptional candidates. One company called them "strategic hires." Somehow I suspected that a guy fresh out of school wouldn't qualify as "strategic."
The astronomy institutes associated with the local universities weren't much better. They wanted post-docs. I didn't have the doctorate. Frustrated, I started looking for advice. Sharon didn't have any to offer, nor did my parents. I couldn't go to Career Services, since it was still school vacation. Two days before I was due to head back to Arizona, I decided to call Allen. I knew he'd decided to stay in New Mexico for the holidays with Jenna.
"Joe!" he said, "I'm glad you called! I was going to call you."
"I asked Jenna to marry me New Year's Day. She said yes!"
I leaned back in my chair, stunned. "Well, congratulations."
"I wasn't sure she was going to," Allen continued, "because we've been together only a year and a half, but she didn't hesitate. It was yes right away!"
"I'm happy for you," I said, having regained my composure. At 24, I felt too young to get married, but Allen was going ahead. "Where did you pop the question?"
"On a dawn bike ride, at one of our favorite stops."
"Dawn? On New Year's?"
"We didn't stay up late. Jenna said it would be more fun to watch the sun rise on the first day of the new year than to watch some ball drop at midnight. So we rode to one of our favorite spots outside of town."