Mutual Benefits – Chapter 11

It was a miracle that the memories of that second date didn’t make me fail all of my finals. School should have been the first thing on my mind, but it came at a distant second place, after Morgan, and the time we got to share together at the movie theater. Any time I wasn’t texting her, I was thinking of her. Kevin of all people reminded me that I should study for the finals, though Mother also was glad to give her two cents as well.

That said, I tried to be humble but I wasn’t delusional – I was fine. Finals were a breeze. At his point it came down to “which scholarship am I going to earn” rather than “am I going to pass?” I wasn’t worried. I wasn’t Taylor.

Taylor…

We hadn’t really talked since that night. She was really mature and self-aware in the moment, but knowing Taylor, there was a full possibility that after she dropped me off at home, she decided she was angry at me for “The things I made her say” or whatever and decided to work from that point outwards, deciding what I did wrong after already deciding that I was wrong for something. Wouldn’t have been the first time. Either way, it was clear something was up. After I finished my third final, I waited outside the classroom for her, just to debrief or something. When she exited – about a full hour after me, to boot – she just looked shocked that I was there, then stopped making eye contact with me and walked away.

I wasn’t sure if she was mad at me, or if she felt guilty, or if she was weirded out that I waited for her or something. Maybe all three. Maybe none. I didn’t know, and… the ‘cool guy’ follow-up would be to say I didn’t care, but I did. Taylor may have had her bad streaks, but I cared about her in some way, and I certainly cared about how she did. Her well-being in Data Management class was my baby too, and I wanted to see it through to the end, but… maybe I was right. Now that she didn’t need my tutoring, I was useless to her.

It definitely showed that I was bummed out and dragging my feet when I went back to my locker. Taylor may not have been the most important person in my life anymore, but… that didn’t mean it had to be all or nothing. If I was never going to see her again, that would have been a bummer. If this was the last I’d see of her… well, I would have missed her.

“Yo, Quinn.”

I turned around to see Joel walking up to me, with a purpose. Instinctively, I cringed. I couldn’t help it. Was this Taylor’s last action? She told him some lie about me, or worse, the truth? This was something I wouldn’t miss at all – the drama, the bullshit, the never-knowing.

I recovered when I didn’t feel immediate pain. I opened my eyes and saw Joel smirking slightly in a cocky way, clearly amused by my little cringe. “Y-yes?”

“I got a thing I wanna talk about with you. Walk with me,” he asserted.

“W-what is it?”

“Walk with me, dude,” he replied emphatically.

I gulped. This was not going to be good. I closed my locker, locking it, leaving one of my books in there but not daring to refuse Joel, or do anything that looked like refusing him. “Where are we going?”

“Who cares?” he replied with this faux easygoing voice, the kind jocks used in public to people they pushed around. “We’re just gonna go somewhere where no one else can disturb us, alright?”

I looked around. The hallways were practically empty. Taylor finished her final considerably later than most students, and almost everyone just went home afterwards. It’s not like I couldn’t have gathered attention by shouting “fire” or something, but I knew that if Joel was trying to look for a place to “talk to” me one-on-one, he was going to find one. 

Maybe it was my active imagination, but I was shaking. Joel was assertive, strong, and most importantly, completely charming to the people of the school. If anything happened, he of all people could easily get away with it.

Eventually he led me into this hallway with no lockers in it and shrugged. “This’ll do,” he remarked out loud. “All the classrooms could have teachers marking finals. You know. Witnesses.”

That was confirmation. I was fucked. 

Joel didn’t break eye contact, taking his backpack off and reaching into it. “Alright, so you already know where I’m going with this I bet…” he began.

He could have just hit me in that one hallway while I was at my locker and spared me the torment. I bit down hard on my tongue, waiting for the second part of his sentence.

“…but we’re still in the hallways, so we’ll keep this quiet. You got any more notes? How much for chem?”

I paused for a few seconds. My teeth released my tongue. “Huh?”

“Like, y’know…” he made a motion with his hand, rubbing his fingertips together, the symbol for money. “Chem’s my weakest subject. You got any chem notes? I’ll pay.”

“That’s what this is about?!” I couldn’t help asking.

He looked at me like I was dumb. “Um, yeah. Why, what else would I bother ya with?”

I shook my head. “Sorry, finals must be getting to me,” I replied, my voice still shaky. “I had chemistry first semester, but my notes are at home.”

He shrugged and gave another cocky smile. “Hey, that works. How about this – I drive ya home, and I can wait in the parking lot and you go get ‘em? I’ve been a, uh, a bad student – I got jack squat to work with.”

I chuckled nervously. “Haha, I see… Well, if you’re offering me a ride home, and I don’t need them anymore, I don’t mind doing it for free.”

“No shit?” Joel asked, his grin widening. “Quinn, you’re a pal! I’m glad I met ya!”

He accompanied his comment with a friendly slap on the back. It hurt a lot.

***

Hey, im hanging out at the gym after todays final. Want to come with me?

I stared at my phone, puzzled. What good would I do to Morgan at a gym? It didn’t seem like she’d be available to talk and it wasn’t private or anything, but it was an excuse to see her, so I shrugged and texted her back, agreeing and setting a time and place in the school to meet her. 

The final itself was pretty easy, like the rest of them. Physics was a bunch of memorization; the better you could remember formulae, the better you did. The rest was just seeing the calculations through. The fact I breezed through my classes when they were structured like that told me both why I was good at things like math and science, and why I was always so confused around Morgan and Taylor.

After waiting around for Morgan to be done her final, we met in the intended hallway, shared a polite chaste kiss, and started to make our way outside.

“So, the gym, huh?” I asked.

Morgan looked at me as she walked, expecting me to go on. When I didn’t, she piped up. “What?”

“Oh, I’m just, I’m just wondering what we’re going to do there.”

She giggled at my question. “Well, I was planning on working out,” she said with a slightly weirded-out expression. “As crazy as that sounds.”

“…I think I don’t understand the concept of hanging out,” I admitted. “Doesn’t it make more sense to work out, and then hang out with friends or, y’know, me, afterwards? Since at that point you’re not burdened with working out.”

Morgan smiled with understanding. “It’s just nice to have someone else there,” she explained. “Just going to the gym is like just doing work. Sometimes doing work with other people around makes it enjoyable.”

“But aren’t you distracted?” I asked. “You’re doing stuff with the machinery and… yeah.”

Morgan gave me a contained smirk. “You could always watch me be distracted,” she offered.

“The whole time? I’d feel like a creep,” I honestly replied.

Morgan shook her head but kept her smile on her face. “Okay then, let’s settle. Half the time you look at me. The other half… did you bring a book to your final or something?”

I shook my head. “I’m not really reading anything right now anyways.”

“What do you do for fun then?”

“Um, in public? I don’t go out in public a lot, but… I guess I play my 3DS sometimes on the bus.”

“Your what?”

“It’s like a handheld video game console.”

She shrugged and stretched her arms. “Okay, then we can swing by your place and pick it up on the way. You play for half the time, then the other half you look at me.”

I chuckled and grinned at her. “Am I supposed to understand you, or are you being deliberately… strange?”

“Was that supposed to be a compliment?” she immediately shot back.

My smile faded. “Did it come across hurtfully?”

“No, don’t worry. I’m being… this is my way of being flirtatious.” She let a beat of silence pass between us, then her smile resumed, albeit playfully. “Since we both know you won’t be.”

“How would I even be flirtatious?” I asked.

“How…?” Morgan gave me a weird look.

“Yeah. How. Pretend I’m a socially awkward dork and you’re my first ever girlfriend, and that I have no experience flirting.” We’d stopped walking by now, even though we were close to the carpark exit. “What would you say I should do?”

“Well, there are many ways to flirt, Quinn,” she replied.

“Yeah, but I want to flirt the way that makes you feel the best.”

She smiled. “Well, there you go, you just did it,” she replied softly.

I shook my head. “Aren’t you popular? You could date literally any guy and all of them know how to just talk to you, and you go for me and act like I did something huge when I give you a weird awkward… thing like that.”

“Have you ever thought that I wanted to date you because of who you are, not despite who you are?!” Morgan asked, with a surprising amount of heat to her voice.

I remained quiet for a while, processing her answer. I felt like the biggest baby in the world, because the more I thought about it, the more I felt my eyes start to water. I wasn’t even sad or anything, it was like… shock tears or something. I rapidly turned away from Morgan and faced the wall.

I could hear her come up behind me. “Hug me. Do something. I don’t need to see your eyes,” she ordered.

“Give me a sec,” I immediately replied, breathing in and out a few times. I turned around and obliged her, giving her a hug which she accepted. “You’re really nice to me.”

“You’re really honest with me, and I like the nice things you say,” she replied with an earnest tone.

I pulled back from the hug and leaned in to kiss her. We closed our eyes and let a single slow kiss pass between us. Even so, time stopped. It felt like my soul was being dragged out of my body, swirling around with hers in a whirlpool, then slowly making its way back into me. We both smiled slightly as the kiss ended. 

“I like that you did that,” she told me quietly. “Please stop telling me to stop liking you though.”

“I don’t mean it like that,” I admitted.

“I don’t care. It’s not fair to either of us when you say it. No girl likes hearing it, and it only makes you more unsure of yourself to hear yourself say it. If you want to see things objectively, who benefits from you saying it?”

“Well, that’s not really objectivity, it’s more l-…”

I stopped myself as I saw Morgan’s eyelids lowering. I recomposed myself and cleared my throat. “No one,” I admitted. “It’s a defence mechanism.”

“It’s a bad habit,” Morgan corrected me. “And not to suck my own dick, but I’m patient. Is your next girlfriend going to stick around when you do this pity party every few times you hang out?”

‘Next’ girlfriend? That was a Catch-22 if ever I saw one. Answering her would be like admitting there was going to be a next, but questioning the phrasing of ‘next’ would have been too bold. I had to not reply at all.

“What do you mean, next?” I asked, unable to stop myself. Thankfully, Morgan only winked in response. Not knowing what else to say, I started to walk for the doors and Morgan followed, no doubt a small smile on her face.

I realized once we got outside that I didn’t quite know which car to look for, though Morgan was happy to show me the way. After catching up to me, she gestured off towards the end of the carpark, where an idling car sat with a certain someone inside.

“Taylor? We’re going with Taylor?” I couldn’t help but blurt out. 

“You know I don’t drive. You really couldn’t figure it out? Gifted kid,” she teased. 

I stayed rooted to the ground for a few seconds. Something inside of me, weirdly, did not want to get into the car with Taylor, even though I’d done so more than a dozen times at this point, several with Morgan. 

That said, what was I going to do, just stand there forever? I blinked a couple of times, regaining my composure, and walked forward with purpose, catching up to Morgan and greeting Taylor with a simple wave.

It was hard to tell if Taylor was completely nonchalant with me, or was trying to communicate with me less than usual because she was trying to prove a point or something. To be fair, she and Morgan were clearly close friends, and I guess I was some guy until a short time ago, so of course they were closer, although I shared a bond with her that Morgan clearly didn’t. I shuddered to think about that.

“Can we stop by Quinn’s on the way there?” Morgan asked when Taylor began driving. “He’s got to pick up his 3DS.”

“Um, why? Does he need it?” Taylor asked.

“He’d feel better with it, and his place is on the way, isn’t it?” Morgan continued.

“I… guess…” Taylor replied, dragging out each word, clearly inviting further comment on why her words were so pained. When no one did, she just huffed. “I just don’t get why he’d need it.”

“He doesn’t,” Morgan replied, cool as a cucumber. “I’m just asking you to stop by his place so he can get it. We’d appreciate it if you did. If you can’t, let us know.” She was, evidently, an expert at talking to Taylor. Taylor merely shook her head slightly and kept on driving, and a minute or so later, she was at my place.

I didn’t wait for either of them to so much as turn around and look at me. Within seconds I was flying out of the car, running inside, hoping that if I was quick enough, Taylor would like me more or something.

It was hard to tell if I had pissed her off or something, but, that was Taylor for you. It really helped having Morgan there – it was like having a giant neon side that said “if you were in the wrong, I’d be mad at you too, so relax.”

As soon as I was in the apartment, Mother spoke up. “Ah, who is… Quinn!” she exclaimed, turning around from sweeping the floor. “How was last final?”

“I think I did well, Mother!” I tossed behind me, running to my room and searching below the bed, quickly finding my 3DS.

“Today was physics?” she continued. 

“Yeah!” I nodded, trying to communicate as wordlessly as I could that I was frazzled and needed to leave.

Luckily, she noticed quickly. “Where are you going? School is done. Do you have work today?”

“No, I’m off today. I was actually hoping to – I’m going to hang out with Morgan.”

“Morgan? Your girlfriend Morgan?”

“Yes Mother, my girlfriend.”

“And not Taylor, your girlfriend Taylor?”

I groaned. “I’m not dating two people, Mother.”

Mother smiled at me. “You fooled me, Quinn. It seem like you fool yourself too.”

I don’t know why, but that comment made me stop thinking about leaving and just stop.

Mother nevertheless continued. “Your girlfriend can wait. You need to tell me about your final! No arguing.”

I glanced over at the sink and remembered how, like me, Mother hated doing the dishes. “If I can leave right now, I’ll do all of the dishes when I come home, Mother. All of them.”

That made Mother stop in her tracks, then slowly break out into a smile. “This was too easy, Quinn. Your girlfriend is going to walk all over you when she gets to know you!” She paused. “Gàn ba! You’re standing there, staring at me, I didn’t realize I’d raised such a soft boy.” She gave me a knowing smile, then made the ‘shoo’ motion with your hands.

I knew I’d come to regret it later, but I smiled back at Mother and left, thanking my lucky stars. The only person who had grown more accustomed to my lack of a social life than me was Mother, and it was clear she was still in shock from me evolving from Loser to Not Quite a Loser. 

When I got back to the car, Taylor gave me a look. “What took you so long?”

“My mother. Thank whatever deity you worship that you haven’t met her.”

“Thank wha…?” Taylor asked.

“He thinks his mom is scary,” Morgan clarified, then turned back and smirked for me.

I cringed. That couldn’t have boded well for my sexual congress with her. I couldn’t help but look away, which I’m pretty sure caused her to chuckle. Taylor ignored the both of us and piped up. “So I can go to the gym now, right? No more stops?”

“Go, bitch,” Morgan laughed, still enjoying the moment. “Is Joel going to be there?”

“Ugh, no,” Taylor grumbled. “The dick cancelled on me last minute. Why do you think I’m so pissed off?”

As if she could read my mind, Morgan looked at me again and raised her eyebrows up and down. She was clearly milking my situation as best as she could. 

I was silent for the rest of the trip, and only thought to say something when we were in the lobby of the gym.

“Don’t I need a membership or something to go in?” I asked Morgan.

“Is this your first time going somewhere with Taylor?” Morgan asked me playfully. “Only went back to her place, never thought to ask her out, huh?”

“I thought to ask you out, though,” I countered with a smile.

She smiled back. “Watch this.”

I turned to see Taylor practically saunter her way up to the counter. “Heyyyy Grant,” she practically purred.

A fit white young adult looked up from whatever he was reading. “Oh, hey Tay. Good to see you again. You and Morgan again?”

“Actuallyyyyyyy, we were wondering if we could let a friend of ours in with us this just, just once. Is that cool?”

Grant looked over at me, then back to Taylor. “That guy? You sure he’s ever been inside of a gym before?”

I hadn’t, so I guess I had no right to be insulted at that, even though Morgan thought to murmur “sorry” towards me.

“Gym rules, I can’t let anyone in without a membership. He can buy one now though.”

“Oh, please?” Taylor whined. “I don’t wanna pay for a whole month for him, couldn’t you make an exception just this one time?” She put on her best pouty voice.

“Can’t he just wait out here or something? What is he, your boyfriend? You got a boyfriend now?”

Taylor gave a sultry laugh. “No, silly, of course he’s not my boyfriend, Grant! You know I wouldn’t do that to you,” she purred as if they were sharing an in-joke. “He’s just a friend. I’m still single for you.”

I immediately looked at Morgan with eyebrows raised. She met my gaze, but didn’t say anything.

I looked back at Grant and saw that behind the facade, Taylor was getting frustrated things weren’t playing out in her favor. “I won’t use any of the equipment,” I offered. “I’m just here to be company for Morgan and, uh, Taylor here.”

Grant looked back towards Taylor and sighed heavily. “You’re gonna get me fired one of these days.”

“For this or for the… y’know…?” Taylor teased him. “We haven’t been caught yet, have we?”

Grant rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Don’t cause me trouble. Go on in.”

“You’re the best!” Taylor practically shouted enthusiastically, then walked past him to the changerooms. 

Morgan and I followed, with Morgan waiting until after we were out of earshot to tell me, “Don’t get the wrong idea, she and Grant haven’t done anything. She just likes doing that with guys who like her.”

“She still implied she was single for him when she’s not,” I countered.

“Believe me, that’s more about Grant being an asshole than her,” Morgan replied with a distrusting tone. 

I didn’t really have anything to say to that, so I left it there. Morgan and Taylor went into the girls’ changeroom while I awkwardly walked through the guys’, then awkwardly waited in the gym on the other side for the girls to come out.

The gym was loud and echoey, with a really high ceiling and fans keeping the place a little cooler than I’d like. There were mirrors everywhere and the whole place smelled like plastic. I definitely felt out of place and the girls could clearly tell when they made it into the gym, judging by their laughs when they looked at me.

I decided to own it. “I’m surprised I had to tell him I wasn’t going to use the equipment, huh?”

Morgan chuckled, as did Taylor. “Oh, Quinn,” Taylor giggled. “Come with us! We’re doing the bikes first.”

Morgan turned to her friend with a cocked eyebrow. “Nope, I’m doing the machines first. Finish with light cardio, reps first.”

“Yeah, because the best time to do cardio is after you stretched yourself sore like a rubber band.” Taylor rolled her eyes.

“You’re just scared to use the machines,” Morgan practically sang. 

Taylor eyed her friend curiously, her eyes flickering back and forth to me. “Are… are you trying to look good in front of your new boyfriend?” She turned to me. “Quinn, she normally starts off with cardio like me. She’s just trying to look good for you.”

“She doesn’t need to, she already looks good to me…” I said with a shrug.

Interestingly, as if they never argued at all, both girls ‘Ooh’ed at my comment. “He’s quick, he’s quick…” Taylor congratulated me, nodding, with Morgan saying something similar at the same time.

“Well, just so we don’t split up, we can do cardio first if you really want to,” Morgan conceded.

“And I do,” Taylor finished proudly. “See that, Quinn? She puts on a good show for you, but she listens to me.” She spun around towards the bikes and flipped her hair dramatically as she began to walk towards them.

“You are such a bitch,” Morgan laughed as she chased after her friend, slapping her on the ass, earning a yelp from Taylor. I turned pink and looked around the gym – either no one noticed or this was just common gym behavior from them, because nobody seemed to care.

I followed them and found some kind of nearby bench behind the bikes, watching the girls mount two bikes next to each other. They started pedalling, and as much as I did not want to look like a creep, I had to admit, I had a front-row seat to one of the nicest ass shows in the whole damn country. 

Morgan’s ass was smaller albeit a little more visibly toned (my guess was her talking about using the stretch machines wasn’t just a lie for me), but it was an incredibly close contest, plus, I certainly wasn’t minding Taylor’s ass being bigger. Seeing both asses moving delicately back and forth as their legs pumped and pumped on the machines was getting my breathing just as quick as the two on the bikes. Suddenly I had completely forgotten that my 3DS was even in my pocket. 

I thought about how much I missed feeling up Taylor’s ass when we had our little study sessions, as well as realizing I was going to get to have Morgan’s in my hands soon if I played my cards right. I was like a deer in headlights for most of this, and I chastised myself for even wanting it in the past, but it was clear that Morgan wanted me to want it, right? She’d be happy to know I was getting hard, sitting here, thinking about the next time I could make out with her and squeeze her ass cheeks in my hand.

Thanks to my daydreaming, I didn’t exactly have to ask. Not one minute into their Tour de Ass, Morgan glanced back at me and immediately broke into laughter. “I knew it,” she laughed to herself. “Hey Tay, we’ve got a peeper.”

I blushed and looked away as Taylor joined in on the laughter. “You’re so easy, Quinn,” she laughed alongside her friend. “Can’t resist looking, huh?”

I shifted around. “I’m just looking at you while you two exercise, to keep you company. It just so happens that you two have your backs to me. It’s just where the bench happened to be.” I turned more pink as I talked.

Taylor’s smile got bigger as I tried to explain myself, and her eyes flickered down. “He’s hard.”

“Oh, he’s definitely hard,” Morgan readily agreed, her tone jokingly implying it was obvious. She turned to me. “If it’s so embarrassing, why don’t you get on a bike instead? Or even just stand up and walk around a bit…”

I practically whimpered. “I promised the receptionist I wouldn’t use any of the equipment…”

Both girls broke out into giggles again. “God, I can’t believe you, Quinn…” Taylor jokingly chastised me, beginning to pedal yet lifting her ass above the seat so I could clearly see her butt moving from side to side, each cheek moving back and forth, showing off how big yet how fit her ass really was.

Morgan grinned at the situation. “What do you think, Quinn? Don’t act like you weren’t staring at it before.”

I had no clue what to do in this situation, so I just buried my face in my hands as the girls kept laughing. 

Morgan couldn’t resist continuing. “We’re going to give him a heart attack, Tay.”

“Maybe we should get him a membership after all. That way he can’t stare at our butts and maybe he can get one like mine.”

“Ooh, I can get behind that. Quinn with a nice ass.”

“Yeah, I bet you can ‘get behind it,’” Taylor joked, and the two laughed and laughed. “What do you say, Quinn? Wanna come here with us more often? Get a nice ass for Morgan?”

“Get a nice ass?” I repeated cautiously, pulling my face out of my hands.

Morgan winked at me. “I like my boys with nice bums. Sue me. I haven’t even seen your bum yet.”

Both girls stared at me, smiling, waiting for me to answer. I coughed nervously but figured I needed to not take it so seriously. “Um… you can look but not touch?” I offered as a joke, and the two took it, laughing gently. 

It was crazy to think about how mere days ago these two were furious at each other with me being the central plot to their little drama and now here they were, laughing and shoving their butts in my face. Although I certainly wasn’t complaining.

***

Was this a date? I had no clue. Taylor was here, so that made it weird, but Taylor had this natural charm to her where sex was more easily brought up around her than when Morgan and I were alone. And, in hindsight, it suddenly made more sense operating under that train of thought that Taylor and I also ended up doing what we did at our study sessions. 

Either way, even with me nervously pushing back, it ended up with us driving to Morgan’s house. It’s not like we had school tomorrow – finals were over, and Morgan and Taylor wanted to celebrate. As for me, what could I do? My driver was dead-set on bringing both of us to Morgan’s, and was clearly having none of it when I bashfully told her I should get going soon.

I internally snickered when Taylor dragged me inside and I saw Morgan’s parents for the first time. They were exactly what one pictures when they’re told to picture the most stereotypical white man-woman couple. Even their names were straight out of some kind of “this is the Nuclear Family” 50s period piece – Art and Celeste. Art and Celeste Jones. Perfect.

“Oh now, who’s this?” Celeste piped up with that kind of middle-age energy a parent has when their kid brings home a friend, especially a friend of the opposite sex. “Morgan, do you have a new friend?”

Morgan seemed more nervous than I’d seen her in a long time. The last time I’d seen her this flustered was before she told me she liked me. “Um, so, mom and dad, this is, uh, Quinn. He’s… my boyfriend.”

Both Art and Celeste paused, though Art quickly recovered and gave a warm yet confused laugh. “Boyfriend, huh? Did you ever think about telling us?”

“We haven’t been together long,” Morgan defended herself, still very flustered. 

“Long enough that you wanted him to meet your parents,” Taylor countered. 

I heard a “Ha!” to my left and glanced over to an open-concept living room with Morgan’s brother hanging out on the couch, doing something on a laptop, clearly listening in. Judging by the grin on his face, he was clearly loving something about this. Taylor was grinning back at him, clearly already acquainted with him.

Morgan continued nonetheless. “Now that finals are done, I was wondering if Quinn could just hang out for the night. We won’t be too loud.”

Celeste looked at Art with a classic ‘concerned parent’ look, then looked back at us. “Morgan, sweetheart, I’m not sure if your dad and I are too comfortable with a boy staying over in your room. If you could-”

“Oh, I’ll be here too, Mrs. Jones!” Taylor piped up. I didn’t know whether to feel relieved or annoyed. It was clear she was sticking up for us, but on the other hand… I kind of wanted some alone time with Morgan, and it was almost more annoying to know that Taylor could probably guess that. Still, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten any alone time with Morgan in this house regardless.

“Well…” Celeste turned to Art and they murmured to each other a bit, then they turned back. “…Okay. You three have fun. Congratulations on finishing your finals.”

Morgan smiled politely at them. “Thanks, mom.” Without another word, she thundered up the stairs, with Taylor following close behind. Meekly, I followed, astonished how little her parents cared about talking to her. No real discussions about the finals, no discussion about how they clearly weren’t comfortable with me here without some kind of caveat… Morgan even dropped a “boyfriend” bomb on them and they didn’t even talk about it. Maybe Crystal was right, maybe a lot of this was culture shock.

Morgan and Taylor were so quick to get to Morgan’s room that I almost missed them, and would have had to guess which room was hers. When I got there, I found them giggling and on the bed together, looking over something on their phones. 

Morgan smiled at me and patted the bed next to her when I arrived, but Taylor barely acknowledged my existence. After she tore herself away from her phone, she looked under the bed and grabbed some kind of blueberry vodka, with ‘Triple Eight’ on the label. I was looking at her, but Morgan went back to her phone.

“This stuff – Morgan! – this stuff is the good stuff I was talking about, trust me. Locally made, Arin raves about it – trust me.” Taylor sported a grin and started to open it. “Are you ready to become a man, Quinn?” she teased.

Thanks to the gym visit, I was getting more comfortable with their joking. “I’ll stay a boy. None for me, thanks.”

“You don’t know what you’re missing. Cups,” she ordered at Morgan. Morgan went to her closet and pulled out a few red plastic cups, handing me a third one.

“Just in case you change your mind,” she told me, and shrugged. “Or if you want some water. I think there might be other stuff downstairs too.”

“Thanks,” I told her as Taylor poured herself a ‘glass,’ then Morgan. 

“Fuck finals!” she toasted, holding her cup in the air.

“Fuck finals,” Morgan chuckled, toasting to her. The two attempted to down as much of the vodka as they could, though Morgan quickly recoiled and came up sputtering. “Jesus,” she muttered.

Taylor, though, kept downing the drink, drinking slowly but nearly downing half of the cup. Morgan shook her head, watching the scene before her. “I have no fucking clue how you do that…” Morgan murmured slowly, coughing once or twice from the drink she just took.

Taylor shrugged at her, then looked at me and winked. “I’m just talented,” she said simply. “You may not like it, but like… I’m good at this shit.” The two laughed.

I was starting to feel weird and out of the loop, so I decided to say something – anything – to stay relevant. “Do you drink a lot, Morgan? The last time I saw you drinking was in her basement.”

Not the greatest thing to bring up since that was an awkward time for us, but I think Morgan knew I was just trying to stay in the conversation. She shifted her body from Taylor to me. “Nope, I really only drink with her and Crystal and Milo and the gang.”

“And Lexi,” Taylor laughed. “You literally only forgot Lexi.”

Morgan simply laughed back, then resumed talking to me. “I think it’s pretty clear I don’t have a lot of experience with this kind of stuff. Not as much as…”

“…Not as much as me,” Taylor said proudly, filling up Morgan’s cup. “Okay, you gotta drink all that before thirty minutes.”

I peered into the cup. The vodka only went halfway. “…Half a cup in thirty minutes?” I asked. “Why doesn’t she just down it immediately?”

Taylor turned to Morgan. “He’s so cute,” she cooed patronizingly.

Morgan turned to me, holding the cup to my face. “Here. Smell it. You don’t have to drink anything, but do me a favor and just smell.”

Hesitating, I took the cup, and sniffed. The smell was halfway between glue and poison. I couldn’t even smell the blueberries. “Ugh,” I instinctively retched.

“Yup,” Morgan smirked, taking the cup back. “That’s why.”

When I was a kid, my small exposure to alcohol was usually in TV shows, portraying alcohol as this amazing drink adults couldn’t resist. So many characters loved it so much, and I figured it was because it tasted so good and happened to get you drunk. Now I was almost confused. “Does it taste as bad as it smells?”

Morgan side-eyed me, almost putting the cup to her lips. She smirked. “It also burns going down too. Za zdorovie!” She started drinking it slowly, matched by Taylor.

Taylor nearly finished her cup, setting it down violently and shivering, before breathing through her mouth a few times. “I think I need to, like, slow down,” she commented sickly. 

Morgan didn’t return, still drinking. It was clear she was trying to match Taylor. Slowly, she did, finally coming up for air, clearly putting on a brave face yet feeling the same way. “Why, what’s wrong?” she asked, pretending like it didn’t even faze her.

Taylor shook her head with a smile. “You bitch.”

“What’s wrong? I thought you were good at this shit,” Morgan replied with a sing-song tone to her voice. I recognized it from the last time she drank with Taylor that I saw. Still, I grinned and waited for Taylor’s reaction.

“You suck,” she laughed, filling up both cups to the halfway point. “Okay, both of us set it aside. You’re not gonna look sexy when you’re, like, barfing all over Quinn.”

Morgan looked at me with a little smile. I smiled back and shrugged. “You stayed with me through worse,” I joked and she giggled, turning back to Taylor. 

The two of them talked for a little while, mostly about finals, getting to see friends over the summer, and not having to see people they hated ever again. High school girls were kind of characterized as hating other girls, at least in my experience, but it seemed like in this group at least they were way more preoccupied with hating boys. Girls were usually mentioned in the context of plans and parties they were going to. Boys were just badmouthed, apart for a few lucky exceptions, myself included.

It was clear that after a bit, the drinks started to take their effect. I recognized a few of the telltale signs in Taylor’s performance, but the big giveaway was Morgan. The tipsier she got, the more she leaned in to me, until a full half hour had gone by and the girls resumed their drinking, with Morgan practically using me as her standing pillow. 

I started playfully pushing back against Morgan, watching Morgan move back and forth like a sitting ragdoll. She eventually turned to face me, doing one of those exaggerated and big neck movements to shift her head that drunk people did. It looked like the drink was hitting her fairly hard. She was looking at me through half-closed eyes, but for the first time, not in a disapproving way.

“Hey,” she murmured cutely in a soft voice. A higher-pitched voice, one I’d never heard from Morgan before.

“Hey,” I responded with a light chuckle. “Having fun?”

“Mmmmmyes,” she replied simply, throwing herself lightly at me. I did my best to catch her and as I did, she lightly kissed me on the lips. 

“Get a room,” Taylor quipped.

“We did, we’re in one. You’re just here too,” Morgan fired back, turning her body back to Morgan. “Weird how the school slut is coming after me for this shit.”

“I am not the school slut!” Taylor protested, drinking from her cup after. “Not my fault I have more experience with guys. Men just fling themselves at me. You’d better hope you can contain Quinn over there.”

I laughed nervously, knowing that with our history, this subject matter could get ugly quickly.

Luckily, Morgan didn’t really seem interested in taking the bait, if that was bait. “Oh my God, Taylor, listen. So, Quinn and I went out for our second date at the movies, and we totally did the thing.”

“Oh my God, really?!” Taylor instantly got into it, whatever ‘it’ was. “Tell me all about it.”

“Okay, so, I got the good seats…”

“The ones with the sound,” I added proudly, just happy to contribute where I could. Both girls gave me some kind of look. 

“Sound…?” Taylor asked.

“Don’t listen to him. Anyway, so he just sat there and watched the movie for, like, thirty whole minutes before making a move.”

Taylor looked at me approvingly and raised her glass to me. “Always such a gentleman, Quinn,” she muttered approvingly, taking a sip. I looked back at her with confusion.

“He’s on me after I kiss him, maybe once, and oh my fucking God Tay, his hands went -” She paused, turning to look at me. “I’d really like to tell Taylor about this. Just Taylor. Could I, please?”

I couldn’t help but smile in disbelief at her. “Um, yeah, go ahead, we’re in a unique situation,” I managed, truthfully not knowing where my comfort levels were at but realizing this, for whatever reason, meant a lot to her.

She turned back immediately. “His hands went under my shirt! We’re making out and I’m on his leg and he actually grabbed my boobs first and – ugh! When I got home I, like, immediately masturbated.”

I blushed, knowing I had an effect on Morgan but not quite that much of an effect. Taylor nodded approvingly. “Sounds like the Quinn I know,” she joked. “You know who taught him how to be effective at grabbing them, right? You’re, like, welcome, Morgan.”

Up until this point it was clear Morgan and Taylor made peace with the past but Morgan couldn’t hide the look on her face after Taylor made that comment. As the sober one in the room, I suddenly became aware that I probably should have spoken up in Morgan’s honor but before I could, Morgan took about a shot’s worth of her vodka and turned to my ear, beginning to whisper.

“Could I, like, make out with you in front of her, would that be cool?”

I paused. “…What?” I finally whispered back. 

“She gets like this, and just, actions speak louder than… y’know? C’mon, if you want to I think it would be really… I think it would get to her.” She smiled drunkenly at me.

“Can you consent like this?” I asked worriedly. “You’re drunk.”

“Quinn, we literally made out before when I was sober. This is fine,” she clarified. “That stuff only applies to new stuff.”

“It’s new to make out with an audience,” I countered.

She grinned. “Got me there. No, look, it’s fine, just, hand me that water bottle over there.”

“Why?”

“My mouth is gonna taste terrible, and you don’t want that,” she whispered, smiling. I smiled back. Always so considerate. 

“Hello? Can I be part of the conversation too?” Taylor asked, annoyed, as I handed Morgan the water. She took a drink, swished it around her mouth for a bit, then swallowed, winking at me. 

She turned back to Taylor. “Sorry, you wanted to continue talking about you doing shit with my boyfriend?”

Taylor lowered an eyebrow. “Aww, are you jealous?” she asked in a mock baby voice with faux concern.

“Are you?” Morgan asked her then turned around and attacked my mouth with passion. It was clear that in her drunken state she was sacrificing technique for eagerness, so as the sober one, I had to pick up the slack and make up for it, even in my state of slight shock. I kissed her back, my eyes remaining open in the sheer surprise of what was going on, long enough to see Morgan extend an arm behind her aimed at Taylor, flipping her off as she kissed me. I had to control myself not to laugh into Morgan’s mouth as I accepted the situation and slowly got into it, kissing Morgan back and allowing her tongue access into my mouth.

At the beginning of our kiss, Taylor scoffed and gave a small chuckle, but I noticed I didn’t hear anything else from her. Frankly, I didn’t care. I didn’t get to make out with Morgan since the movie theater, so we made up for lost time. Morgan was very motivated to enjoy me and the alcohol meant that she wasn’t holding back at all, kissing me and beginning to move her hands up and down my shoulders romantically yet hungrily. I was a bit more hesitant but soon I was mimicking her movements, moving my hands up and down her body too, remembering to keep it as safe-for-work as possible.

Apparently that wasn’t a factor for Morgan. Mid-kiss one of her hands began travelling lower and lower until she found my rock-hard cock. As soon as her hand made contact my body jerked automatically and she broke off the kiss, taking her hand away from it. We looked into each other’s eyes for a bit in shock but after a few seconds her gaze softened and her hand slowly returned to my cock, tracing its tent in my pants. 

I gazed back towards Taylor, which was enough to make Morgan remember that there was a third party in the room. She stopped teasing my dick and looked back at Taylor, with what I could only imagine as embarrassment in her eyes. 

Taylor had a small smile on her face, her eyes glossed over yet still clearly looking at us. When she saw whatever expression Morgan was giving her, she waved it off. “Whatever, I’ve seen it before,” she said in what tried to come across as a confident voice. In reality it was a little shaky, like she had to clear her throat. “Just have your fun, who cares. I’m cool with it if you are.”

Morgan looked back at me, eyes still half-closed, and a little unfocused. I clearly looked a little uneasy. “We don’t have to,” she whispered cutely, in that higher-pitched voice of hers. 

“I’m more worried about you,” I answered honestly.

“I want this. A lot,” she admitted, blushing a little. “I don’t care what else is here… you’re here. And I’ll stop anytime you ask me to.” She looked down at my dick and shuddered. “This wasn’t how I was picturing it, but…” She looked back up at me. “I kinda don’t want to wait anymore.”

I was losing my resolve more and more by the second. My gaze softened and I found myself slowly nodding at her to continue. Gleefully, her hands resumed its journey, travelling up from my leg this time. She got down on her knees and knelt before me as I sat on her bed, mesmerized by the sight. Her breathing was quickening. Her chest was rising and falling. She groped the outline of my cock and boldly grabbed at it, truly feeling me in her hands for the first time.

She stared at it openly, transfixed, experimentally grabbing at it and moving it back and forth. She looked up at my eyes and smiled a content little smile. I couldn’t help smiling back, and nodded at her. She bit her lip and continued, moving her hand back and forth, trying clumsily to jack me off over my pants. It wasn’t working that well, but the sight alone had me pulsing and throbbing, so that was definitely counting for something. 

I was still a little nervous in this situation – hell, I would have been nervous if we were alone doing this – but I wanted to do this, for her. It was clear Morgan was more eager when she was drunk, but also more daring. She stood up straight on her knees, pulling me by the shirt down, into a deep kiss, thoroughly enjoying what she was doing. She was thoroughly enjoying me. When the kiss ended, she was blushing more profusely, her breathing a little quicker, as she slowly, delicately, almost teasingly, began to play with my fly. Biting her lower lip again, she looked into my eyes, searching for approval.

Fondling me over my pants was one thing, but this was another entirely. My first thought was to look at Taylor. Expecting a look of bewilderment, I was surprised instead to find a look of… intent on her face. She wasn’t even looking at me, or at least, not in the eye. She was clearly staring between my legs, but once she saw I was looking at her, she tried to smoothly transition to looking away, but she did it in the most awkward way possible, staring out the window instead like she hadn’t noticed me. As I kept looking at her, she maintained her stare out the window, but started to blush. 

I looked back at Morgan and just stared, my heart thumping in my chest, as she pulled out my cock, inch by inch, looking it over. She smiled back up at me with her half-closed eyes. “I love it,” she practically whispered, beginning to jack me off.

I threw my head back and moaned instantly, a little louder than I’d hoped. Taylor definitely heard. I had to contain myself or I’d cum instantly. Morgan, teasingly, moaned back, causing me to look back at her with a horny smile on my face. 

“This is so fucked, you guys,” Taylor’s dry voice broke the tension between us. 

Still pumping my cock with her hand, Morgan turned to Taylor and shrugged. “You didn’t stop us,” she told Taylor with her sing-song voice. “I even saw you staring at it. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you miss this and you want to do this almost as badly as I do right now.”

Taylor laughed as if she was being challenged. “Big talk, slut. It sure seems like you’re the one that wants me to do something right now.”

Morgan raised both eyebrows at Taylor and smirked confidently, leaning back a bit. Taylor stared at Morgan for a bit, then at me, and got up, moving over to me and taking my dick in her hand, looking over at Morgan. They met eyes and began giggling, with Taylor starting to pump me.

I should have liked it. I really wanted to like it. From the moment Taylor got in on it, it started to feel… off. Wrong somehow. Morgan wasn’t objecting, but that didn’t change anything to me. I don’t think I was uncomfortable because of Morgan, I think… this was a me thing. This was a thing I didn’t want.

Within a minute or two of Taylor taking over, I had started to go soft, even while she was doing a good job jacking me off. She frowned in concentration but kept going, making me realize that I would have to speak up. I cleared my throat and said, “Uh, maybe we could do something else now…”

It was like a spell had been broken. Taylor looked up into my eyes and maintained eye contact for about a second before looking away from me and taking her hand off of me immediately. Morgan’s eyes got big and there was a recognizable look to them – guilt. Unmistakably guilt. 

Taylor, of course, was too human for guilt. “I was just doing what it seemed like we all wanted,” she began. “It was, like, pretty clear to me. I don’t know what you guys were trying to do, but like, this is not on me if you can’t keep it up.”

“No, it’s fine. Nobody’s fault. Let’s just… hang out instead or something,” I replied as I awkwardly shifted my pants back up. “I did really enjoy it, but yeah. Just a little weird for me, that’s all.”

“Well, I think that-”

“And if it’s cool, I’d rather we not talk about it. I’m not mad, I just want to move on. Now, preferably,” I said, with a gentle tone, but still a meaningful one.

Taylor paused. “Well, what do you want to do?” she asked, moving back to the bed. “Just talk until we drive you back?”

“Taylor, we both drank way too much for that to even be an option,” Morgan spoke for the first time since my objection. She too went back to the bed. Her guilty expression, however, hadn’t changed. “He’s going to have to sleep over.”

Realization struck me. Mother was going to have my hide. “I’ll need to call my mother,” I muttered.

“Um, okay, so go do that… I’m going to talk to my parents.” Morgan stood up, wobbling a bit but keeping her footing. “They’re not gonna be happy, but like… we don’t have a lot of options.” I had a sneaking suspicion she wasn’t heartbroken to get out of the room as soon as possible, if the lingering guilt on her face was any indication. Within seconds, she was out of the room.

I pulled out my phone and dialed my home’s phone number, thanking goodness that it wasn’t too late in the night. While I was dialing, I heard Taylor sigh twice, then she spoke.

“Are you not attracted to me anymore?”

For a second I didn’t even remember I had a phone in my hand. I stared at the ground, my mind blank except for the lingering thought that she just asked that, and I was going to have to answer her. I considered lying, but realized that wouldn’t get me anywhere, so I answered with as much honesty as I had in me. 

“I… am. Sexually, I… yeah, I still am. I am still sexually attracted to you. I just… never envisioned… that a relationship… could even be like this. This is my first relationship, and… due to its unique nature, I… don’t know how to proceed. I literally don’t know how I’ll feel about something like this until it happens. I’m learning about myself with everything we do. So, so far, what happened in the gym was okay. Whatever just happened now… at least in this point in time, that was too much. It’s a little weird for me to do this stuff in front of someone else, but I think I am still sexually attracted to you.”

Taylor gave a small smile and a nod in response to what I said, clearly doing her best to take it in. I finished dialing and put my phone to my ear. As I did, hearing the phone start to ring, I saw Taylor slide over to me, bring her hand over to me, and hover it above my crotch. She stopped, and looked at me for approval.

At first I was confused, but quickly it dawned on me that this was an ego thing for her. Not even in a negative connotation. It seemed silly, but this was important to her. I may have been the one with the dick, but… this was clearly more about her than me. Understanding that, I shrugged, doing my best to look nonchalant, and nodded. Equally nonchalantly, she began to rub my rehardening member, doing her best not to be too rough and make the phone call awkward.

Mother was absolutely baffled at me explaining my situation, and needless to say, not amused. It was almost nice to have Taylor’s, um, “company” as Mother switched over to Mandarin and began yelling into the phone.

You are telling me there is no other option?! Quinn, if you know they are getting drunk, you take responsibility! You tell them, ‘no, I need to come home!’ Like you promised! How can I trust you when you lie to me, Quinn? And don’t think I don’t see what you are doing! You tell me I can trust you won’t be irresponsible when you sleep over with your one girlfriend Morgan and your other girlfriend Taylor, and both of them are drunk?!” Taylor was within earshot of the phone and could likely vaguely hear Mother’s voice, so I was eternally grateful Mother was choosing to admonish me in Mandarin. Otherwise I would have had some explaining to do for that ‘other girlfriend’ comment.

Of course, I had no solution to give her, and nothing to offer but my apologies, so eventually, Mother had to accept that. She grumbled about this not being the end and a “serious talk” we’d have to have when I was back, then she wished me a good sleep and hung up. I sighed and laid back on the bed with my eyes closed, and Taylor’s hand on my crotch.

“She seems like a handful,” she mumbled.

“You’re one to talk,” I quipped to her. 

I heard the door open and guessed Morgan walked in. If nothing else, if anyone else walked in, I would have felt Taylor retract her hand. In true Taylor fashion, in front of my girlfriend, she kept groping me.

I opened my eyes and looked at Morgan, who was smirking at us. “You two are so weird.”

“We all are,” Taylor purred, retracting her hand. I got up and kissed Morgan, and Taylor got up and closed the door as the gentle kiss got heavier until we were making out for the second time that night. What a fucking life I was living. 

________________________________________

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2 thoughts on “Mutual Benefits – Chapter 11

  1. This was a great chapter for sure, but I just feel bad for Quinn and the rest of his school about how terrible the physics class must be if the class/final was just a “bunch of memorization; the better you could remember formulae, the better you did.”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That line was based on my experiences in my own physics class, at least for finals (or “exams” as they’re called up north).

      Like

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