Mutual Benefits – Chapter 16

“So, first of all, I’m sorry,” Lexi began as we found our table.

“Ah, so Morgan’s talked to you already,” I replied with humor, sitting down. 

I put the straw in my drink as Lexi pouted at me. “I’m allowed to feel sorry without Morgan telling me anything!” she defended herself.

I put on a faux blank expression. “Oh, so she didn’t talk to you?”

She blushed. “Look… I…”

I chuckled. “Apology accepted.”

“No, you haven’t even heard it yet. That’s not fair.” She wasn’t turning any less pink. “I just thought we had… something happening and I… just wanted to ask if Morgan was…”

“You never thought to ask me?” I asked, my tone not accusatory. 

She looked at me with urgency. “I thought we already said everything in the, uh, in the clothes store that one time,” she replied earnestly. “You said, ‘who knows?’ I remember that word for word. ‘Who knows.’”

“Yeah, word for word. All two words,” I dryly replied. Lexi didn’t say anything, mostly because her mouth was full of bubble tea, so I continued. “But that was a hypothetical if I wasn’t dating Morgan. And, uh, maybe you’ve noticed, but I’m still dating her.”

Lexi gave me a weird look. “But… she said it was cool. So why…?”

“Lexi, what if I want to be monogamous while I’m dating Morgan? What if I-” I stopped myself.

She caught on anyway. “…You were going to say something about how Taylor nearly screwed things up or something?” she inferred.

“I meant to ask you, how the fuck did you find out about that?”

Lexi laughed nervously. “Yeah, no,” she immediately rebutted.

“No, really, I need to know.”

“And no really, I can’t tell,” she responded emphatically. “Just… who gives a shit, you know? Why can’t we just go with the flow? No one’s angry at each other, no one’s-”

“Taylor refuses to hang out with the group if I’m there and Milo and I are still awkward,” I contested.

“Whatever. Fuck that. Do you want me or not? Because you’re giving me some fucking mixed signals,” she barked.

“Calm down,” I defensively replied.

“I just don’t like how you always have to be right about stuff. Like, isn’t what you have nice?”

“It makes me nervous when I don’t know why, or if people are hiding stuff from me. Tay- well I guess you know now, but Taylor was the fucking queen of hiding stuff from me. I’m not trying to be right, I’m showing you what happened and how it affected the group when the fallout from that stuff happened. I’m allowed to be nervous if you know but only laugh when I ask how you know.”

“I didn’t laugh!” she protested.

“Well, I mean, it was like a nervous laugh, but it was a laugh.”

“Quinn, I’m not telling you because I know it’ll be a shitshow if I tell you and you track down everybody involved. You’re kind of a drama magnet, dude.”

“I-!” I breathed in and out a few times, and ran my tongue over my teeth. “Okay, whatever,” I conceded. “Who cares.”

“Right?” she agreed. “Who cares? So can we get back to the, um… y’know… the ‘me’ thing.”

I smirked. Classic Lexi. “So-”

“And, like, again, I’m sorry if I made you feel like a sex toy or something. Like, we don’t have to do anything if you don’t want it,” she quickly added. “But like, you did say you wanted it, and if you didn’t, it sounded a lot like you did.”

I paused for a bit. “…So, I….” I looked at the ceiling for a bit and moved my mouth around in thought. “I know that… I find you physically attractive. But, I know a big part of me wants Morgan and only Morgan. I just don’t know if that’s all of me.”

“Wow, Quinn, that’s deep,” Lexi said with big eyes, clearly meaning it. 

“I know you have… needs… and that you’re kind of jealous you don’t have what your friends have. Is that fair to say?”

Lexi immediately opened her mouth like she was going to protest, but just ended up sitting back in her chair. “Yeah,” she huffed. “It’s fair.” She pushed for a bit. “It’s just so unfair! Morgan got to have you by going into a GameStop and acting dumb. Taylor got to fuck you with this cute tutor thing! Me, I’m like, a hundred percent honest, and I get this ‘oh I dunno’ crap.”

In classic Lexi style, she practically shouted the part about Taylor fucking me with no regard for who was around. Nervously looking around me, I replied, “Lexi, I do feel for you, but by the time I even could feel you were attractive, I was already with Morgan, and already experiencing headaches from my infidelity.”

“You were a Muslim? What?” Lexi asked with confusion.

“Lexi, Jesus Christ!” I nearly shouted in disappointment. “That’s really racist! No, ‘infidelity’ means, like, cheating.” Catching her look of confusion, I sighed and kept talking. “You’re thinking of an ‘infidel,’ which is someone who doesn’t believe in your religion. So if you heard Muslims, or, y’know, Christains or any other religion, saying ‘infidel,’ it just means ‘you’re not like me.’”

“What was the point again?” Lexi asked, possibly not even listening to my response to her choice of words.

“By the time I found you attractive, I was already with Morgan, and thanks somewhat to Taylor, I didn’t like fooling around with others. But also, I just… like being just with Morgan. It feels nice for it to just be one person.”

She chewed on her straw. “Doesn’t seem fair,” she finally managed.

“I won’t even disagree with you. It probably isn’t,” I replied evenly. “But you’re not the only person involved in this.”

“Yeah, yeah,” she said bitterly. 

“And I’m not the only guy for you,” I reasoned further.

“Yeah, but don’t you like me?”

“Lexi, of course I like you, the whole group likes you.”

She gave me a look like I was stupid. “Okay, let me say it in your disconnected nerd way. Don’t you feel a seckshuwal ae-ttraction to-wards me?”

“I don’t talk like that,” I said half-defensively and half-laughing. “And yes, obviously I do or else this conversation would have been really quick. But I only started feeling that connection once I was with Morgan. It took time to get to know you, you know, like humans do.”

“Quinn, that’s not how any of this works at all,” Lexi replied. “Guys never see it like that. All guys have their own, like, hotness meter, where girls are on this one-to-ten thing of like… ‘yeah, I’d bone them.’ And it doesn’t matter what situation the guy is in, that girl is always a seven or like a ten or something.”

“…Lexi, what the fuck are you talking about?” I asked, trying to understand her but completely failing. 

“You’re an alien, Quinn! You’re a fuckin’ alien man. Any guy in Hazelwood would fuckin kill for what you had and, like, what you’re getting. And you’re sitting here all, ‘Hmm, I don’t want that.’” Her imitation of me came with this pretentious British accent. 

“So just because other guys would want it, I have to magically change myself to want something I don’t want?” I countered.

“So you don’t want me, so just say that. I can take it!” she replied right back.

“First of all, I never said that. I clearly do want you,”  I countered again.

“And yet you’re making it all complicated. Drama magnet,” Lexi replied, calm as the ocean. 

I sputtered, but no words came out. She gave me this knowing smirk, playing with the straw with her tongue. I watched her and found myself giving this low chuckle. “Fuck you,” I finally said.

“When and where?” she playfully responded, before resuming what she was doing with her tongue, not even bothering to sip her drink anymore. 

I stared at her a little longer, then felt the adrenaline flow through me. I stood up and changed my seat to the one next to her, barely breathing correctly. I couldn’t remember the last time I was this nervous. She stopped playing with her straw and just looked at me with the most blank unassuming expression I’d ever seen from her, and watched as I slowly lowered my face to hers. Unable to stop her smile, she closed the rest of the gap and we shared our first kiss.

Lexi was, as expected, enthusiastic. Nearly from the second our lips touched, she moaned into the kiss, which remained closed-mouth but lasted for a surprising amount of time. I’m sure if Lexi had her way it would have been open-mouth but we were still in a public place. As soon as we pulled away I looked around nervously to find, to my relief, that barely anyone was there and the few people that were here were clearly looking away from us. 

“You’re supposed to look me in the eyes after we kiss, dummy,” Lexi complained from behind me.

“I’m an alien man. Give me time,” I joked back. 

“But I don’t even know if you want… or like, liked it,” she continued.

I looked back at her, looking into her eyes to find insecurity. And… care, in a weird way. I smiled. “I’m unsure of a lot of my feelings, but I liked it, Lexi. And I like you. Okay?”

“Okay,” she replied with a smile of her own. “But also, like… I’m not trying to, like, replace Morgan.”

My smile didn’t wane. “Good, because no one will.”

She rolled her eyes. “Sap. Yeah, I just want, like, you know.”

“To feel wanted,” I finished her sentence.

To my surprise, sadness flecked across her eyes. “Um, no, I was going to say sex… is, like, that how you see me?”

Part of me felt bad for assuming incorrectly, but I didn’t want to change course. “Am I wrong?”

“Um… I…”

“It’s not a bad thing to feel wanted, Lexi. I want to help you but I have to know what you’re feeling.”

“Okay, yeah. I want to feel wanted,” she replied with more sadness than I’d heard in Lexi’s voice before. 

I smiled again and put my arm around her. “Then I think that this can work. Would you like me to come by your place before I go home?”

She broke into a smile right back. “Um, yeah. I would like that a lot.”

***

“…Plus, Taylor never really treated me like a friend until she wanted sex from me, even if I did start it,” I finished my thought as we walked. “And that’s true with you too. You didn’t get close to me until you learned about my sexual escapades.”

“Yeah, I totally should have bonded with you over the video games I never play and the gifted program I was never in instead,” Lexi replied, voice dripping with sarcasm. “And just say ‘sex’ like a normal person.”

I smiled at her, and after a hearty glare, she smiled back. Nevertheless, she continued. “I just don’t get why you care so much.”

“Isn’t it a good thing to care?” I asked her.

She shrugged, then gestured to a house. “We’re here, by the way.”

Much like Taylor and Morgan, Lexi lived in a particularly upper-middle-class home. I whistled. “Nice.”

She gave me a weird look. “Nice? How? This is, like, average at best.”

I folded my arms and smirked at her. “I live in an apartment. How does that fit in if this place is average?”

Embarrassed, Lexi mumbled something under her breath face flushed. “Well, uh, wanna come in?” she added.

I followed her into a modern looking foyer. The whole house smelled like some kind of expensive scented candle. “Should I say hi to your parents?” I asked.

“Mom’s working and uh, no dad,” she replied flatly.

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, he died when I was, like, five. Mom keeps going on and on about him and, to be honest, I kinda wish she’d just move on and start dating again.”

“Seems like an odd thing to want your mom to do…” I replied slowly, following her up the stairs.

“You probably want me to find a guy and be happy with him too,” she replied, teasingly mimicking the way I said ‘want.’ “It’s, like, the same thing.”

I grinned, watching her sit down on her bed. “But then we wouldn’t get to do… whatever we’re about to do.”

“I bet that’s your loss more than mine,” she said with a wink. 

“Bold,” I teased.

“I’m just starting,” she teased back. 

I didn’t reply, and instead lunged at her, moving with her as the both of us moved backwards onto the bed, open-mouth kissing for the first time. I had to admit, Lexi was a surprisingly good kisser. Looking back, I couldn’t even remember if Taylor and I kissed – I think we didn’t – and of course kissing Morgan was a whole other feeling, but Lexi’s kisses just… felt fun. In a way I never knew they could. Kissing her gave me this kind of rush.

Before our tongues could even get involved, Lexi unexpectedly pulled away, fluttering her eyes open and staring at me dreamily before nervously laughing and looking away. “Feels okay?” she asked.

“It means a lot that you asked,” I replied. “Yeah. I think it feels good.”

Without another word, we resumed what we were getting up to, getting a little hands-y with each other. Lexi’s body may have been small, but she was also surprisingly fit, especially since she clearly was against getting involved in sports. She moaned when I first dared to slide my hand down to her butt and squeeze, and rewarded me by kissing me harder, more passionately. Over time, we figured out that we both liked it when I was feeling up her butt, and so I ended up on my back, with Lexi on top of me, both hands full of her butt cheeks. 

Lexi’s body was shuddering with passion, and whenever she broke off the kiss to breathe, I would be relentless. I would kiss her neck and enjoy the little purrs and moans she gave, feeling her grind needily against me. Eventually she would get too desperate to do something and latch her mouth back onto mine, and battle my tongue with her own.

I don’t know how long we kissed for, but the sun was definitely in a different place in the sky by the time she got up off of me and breathlessly asked if I could eat her out. Since first kissing her, it was the only time I really hesitated, and thought of Morgan.

“It’s a little fast…” I managed.

“If you don’t want to, I won’t make you, but… please?” Lexi asked, biting her bottom lip. “I haven’t gotten it in forever – forever, Quinn. I really need your help. Please, just… please eat me.”

I smiled at her. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure if I even wanted it, but… Lexi was cute. It was hard to say no to her. “Alright,” I softly conceded.

She got up and we both moved kind of slowly, almost nervous for what we were about to do. I gently grabbed her by the waist and trailed my hands downwards, asking her with my eyes if she wanted me to take off her shirt. She politely declined, and undid her pants, electing to leave her shirt on.

She hesitated, seeing me stare, and blushed. “So, uh, it’s silly, but… could you look away for a sec please?” she asked.

“Uh, yeah, of course,” I replied instantly, not getting why but understanding I didn’t need to. I turned around to see a full-body mirror, and turned again to make sure there was no way I could see Lexi. I could still see her out of the corner of my eye thanks to the mirror, so I looked down at the floor and shut my eyes.

After a bit, I heard, “Okay, you’re good,” and lifted my head, opening my eyes. Lexi was back on the bed, bottomless but keeping her legs firmly together.

“Mind if I keep my clothes on?” I asked as a joke.

“Yeah, that’s fine,” she timidly replied.

“Are you okay?” I asked, noting the tension.

She nodded quickly. “Y’know,” she said with a nervous humor to her voice.

“Well, if I can…” I trailed off, putting both hands on her knees. With gentle force, I pried open her legs, and Lexi quickly turned pink and looked away. 

Lexi’s cute petit little pussy looked up at me. She’d clearly shaved recently, evident both by the lack of hair and some little red pumps in the area above her labia. Was that what she was embarrassed about…? I decided not to ask, since presuming wrongly would have really made me look like a jerk. 

Deciding that no more words were needed, I lowered my head down between her legs and found a comfy place, beginning by kissing around her engorged labia.

“Don’t tease, don’t tease,” Lexi nearly begged. “Just do it, fucking please.”

Unable to contain my glee, I completely ignored her, kissing and licking, if anything, farther around her labia. Lexi whimpered and pouted and looked down at me in desperation, before immediately blushing and looking away, though she clearly did not want to endure this much longer and used her hand to force my head down.

Enjoying our dynamic, I let it happen, and kissed her outer folds for the first time. Hoping my limited training was enough, I got to work, kissing and licking at Lexi’s folds while occasionally traveling upwards and trying to give her clit some attention. Her little clit was more securely tucked away than Morgan’s or Taylor’s, and truth be told, I wasn’t even sure if I had truly found it. It was interesting – I felt like I was ‘good’ at sex after enough times with Morgan and Taylor, but eating Lexi out made me almost feel like a novice again. Something about that really excited me. 

Her whole body shuddered with my actions. It actually became really tempting to make my tongue move a certain way and watch her body move in kind of the same way, but something inside me told me to focus on her. It felt… good to pleasure her. It didn’t feel like wish fulfillment like with Taylor, and it didn’t feel like the ‘girl next door’ I was dating like with Morgan. It felt like two friends, hanging out, enjoying each other’s bodies, getting horny to one another.

And I was feeling it. My cock pulsed and bulged against the front of my jeans, aching for release. As I made Lexi moan and whimper, I realized maybe for the first time that we were probably going to have sex. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, we were going to have sex.

I thought I was going to be repulsed or even weirded out by that fact, and yet, something about that thought really excited me. Maybe this was why everyone ever was expecting me to be a guy about this whole ‘harem’ thing and enjoy it. Because now, thinking of me having fun with Lexi with my girlfriend’s approval, I was grabbing Lexi’s ass and holding her closer to me as I dove my tongue in and out of her, dancing on her most sensitive spots, coaxing her to orgasm for me.

Lexi wasn’t exactly quiet about it. It was clear the moment her apex was building within her, with the signals ranging from her higher and higher-pitched ‘oh’s to the frantic way she grabbed my hair and forced my head down. It was so cute, so precious, so very Lexi. Her moans got desperate and whiny, her hips grinding her labia against my mouth, her entire body shivering, until in one moment, she froze, barely moving apart from some spare shivering. Then, at once, she relaxed, a satisfied groan leaving her lips.

Her body gracefully deflated and sank down into the bed, wordlessly telling me how badly she needed this release. If I didn’t know any better, I would have said this was the first time all year she actually experienced an orgasm. I let her sit for a few moments, idly stroking her vulva and watching for the moment she opened her eyes. Like with the kiss, they fluttered open dreamily and she smiled almost drunkenly at me.

“Wasn’t that fun?” she croaked, then the two of us shared a laugh. I got up and joined her on the bed, though as soon as she could move, she quickly found her panties and pants, and put them back on.

She didn’t say much after that, so I thought to just be there for her, though my concentration was mostly on my phone. Quickly pulling up my texting app, I messaged Morgan, explaining what had happened and the extent to which I had gone with Lexi. I wasn’t sure, but my gut told me that she and I weren’t going to do anything else that day. Morgan responded immediately with a simple message.

okay ❤

Ugh, texts were so damn hard to read. Part of me wished I waited until I could tell her in person, then see firsthand how she reacted.

Meanwhile, Lexi had by now fully recovered, and was cuddling up against me, smiling like the cat that ate the canary.

“That was so great,” she told me. “I definitely needed that, and you were actually kinda good at it. Like, most guys do not know what they’re doing, or even, like, care about what they’re doing. Do you mind if we don’t do anything else? Like, I dunno if you have, like, blue balls or anything right now, I’m just, like, thinking about what you said about maybe taking things a lil’ slow…”

Even though my erection had not gone down, that worked for me. For some reason, a part of me was hesitant to whip it out in front of Lexi anyway. Maybe her shyness about showing off her genitals was contagious. “Works for me, Lexi,” I simply told her with a smile.

“Okay, thanks. Like, I normally would, and like, I promise I normally do, I’m not a prude like that, but I actually kinda do want it to feel like a me thing, and I feel like if I do suck your dick, like, y’know?” she babbled. “It’ll feel like an us thing. And, like, you probably don’t want that, since you want this to be casual, so like, it works either way, right?”

Something definitely got into her. 

***

“Dammit,” Doug cursed, looking on as his character in Bloodborne died. He handed me the controller and sat back, grabbing his beer and taking a swig. “I’m never gonna get the controller back now, am I?”

“Hey, the rule was ‘every time we die.’ I’m not great with all of the bosses yet,” I replied, taking the controller and beginning to play. “Besides, I’m used to playing in complete silence.”

“Right, right. Nerd shit,” he replied, nodding slowly. “Fucking crazy how my sister ended up with you.”

“You’re telling me,” I replied with a slight chuckle. “It still doesn’t feel real. So much of it doesn’t feel real.”

“Doesn’t sound like an incredibly romantic way to sum it up,” Doug noted, taking another sip. “It seems like you two are good. If it means anything, she is really happy with you. Like, even when you’re away she’s still clearly happy with you.”

“That means a lot, but… it’s not that simple,” I replied, never looking away from the screen.

“It never is.”

“Well, I mean…” I stopped, realizing that I wasn’t even sure how much Doug knew, or how much he should know. I was glad we were hanging out more and that he was able to see me a little more on his level, but I didn’t know how close we were yet. Or even if what I had to say could jeopardize that closeness.

“You mean…?”

I sighed. I slipped up in the game, and Vicar Amelia was starting to kick my ass. “It – it’s got complications, like, complications that I feel don’t exist in other relationships, and it’s starting to get restricting.”

“Complications like how?” he prodded, then noted my silence. “I guess if you wanted to say, you would have said more than just ‘complications.’”

I mistimed my dodge, and should have gotten closer instead of rolled away anyway. My character died. Bitterly, I passed the controller to Doug, who had a blank look on his face, observing mine. 

“I mean, as long as you’re not hitting her or cheating on her, all complications are just thoughts,” he simply said, eyes on the game. After taking down an enemy, he gave me a sideways glance. “You aren’t hitting her or cheating on her, right?”

“Do you really think I’d be the type to hit… anyone? Especially her,” I replied quickly. “If anything she’d kick my ass if I tried.”

“I mean, you take advantage of this and I’ll kill you, but nah, Morgan’s all bark, no bite,” Doug replied, resuming his run. “So, uh, you answered about hitting only. Are you cheating on her?”

“Not cheating, no,” was the only thing I could think to say. “Look Doug, maybe we shouldn’t go into too much detail here. Y’know, given we’re, uh, family and all that.”

Doug gave a low chuckle. “You aren’t half as smooth as you think you are, Quinn.”

“And I don’t think I’m smooth at all, so that must be saying something,” I retorted. 

“I can fill in the gaps, you know,” he continued.

I paused. What did that mean? “The gaps in what?”

“What you’re telling me. I’ve been around the block, and for what it’s worth, I think that kinda shit is more common in relationships than you’d think.”

“I haven’t told you what the actual complications are, so you can’t know if what I’m talking about is common or not. We could be thinking different things,” I replied in a somewhat quiet voice. My vision was focused purely on the TV. He was kicking butt. 

“We could be,” he simply said. “But just go with me. Assume we’re on the same page. No need to even say what it is. Why’s it a complication? Some people would even call it ideal.”

I broke my focus and looked at Doug. “…Yeah, but it’s not ideal,” I started. “It makes me uncomfortable. It goes against what’s… supposed to be. Shouldn’t you be upset if you truly know what it is I’m talking about?”

“You clearly weren’t the one to bring it up, Mr. It Makes Me Uncomfortable,” Doug noted. “Unless you did it in the first place and now you regret it.”

I hadn’t thought of it like that, but wow, he hit the bullseye. “Kinda both, actually,” I replied in a weak voice. 

“Both? How does that work?”

“I thought we agreed no details.”

“No, you just said no details and I let it slide.”

“Well, alright, keep letting it slide,” I replied annoyedly, finding the power in my voice again. 

“Fine, fine, whatever,” he conceded. “Why do you do it then? If it makes you uncomfortable, just let it be a, fuck, what’s the word… a boundary.”

“Other people keep asking for it.”

“Come on, dude, don’t lie,” he protested.

I remained silent for a bit. I wanted to reword it, but if I was silent for too long, it would have seemed like I’d be admitting to lying. “It’s not a lie,” I began after a bit.

“Strong-ass rebuttal.”

“I keep finding myself in situations where it happens. The first time was before I even met Morgan. The second time, I think it was because I… cared too much. Does that sound like bragging?”

“Nah, I get it.”

“But it’s always worded as this favor to others, or like, what I’m supposed to do. So I just… comply.”

“You’re a people-pleaser,” Doug inferred.

“Kind of.”

“Well then you need to grow a backbone, man. Tell them no.”

“Wow, problem solved,” I replied angrily. “It’s not that simple. Honestly the weirdest part is that my girlfriend is not against it. At times it even feels like she… wants me to do it. For some reason. I haven’t figured out why yet.”

“…Does there have to be a ‘why?’” Doug asked. “It sounds like you’re an overthinker, man.”

I ignored him. “The fact that Morgan is all for it just kind of makes her an enabler. Like that’s the thing that pushes me to actually do it. But, at the same time, I can’t just ask her to be against it. That’s not how this works.” From the corner of my vision, the controller popped up into view. I looked at the TV, and saw Doug had died. I hadn’t even noticed. “Keep playing. I’m playing like shit today.”

“People do crazy shit when they’re young,” Doug observed. “And yeah, I know I’m only like seven years older than you, but that’s the difference between you and an elementary school kid. Believe me, whatever’s happening, I’ve seen it.”

“Okay, so, what do I do?”

He shrugged. “Tell her to break it off with the guys she’s seeing, break it off with the girls you’re seeing, lay down the law. If you’re uncomfortable, why the fuck wouldn’t she respect that?”

“She’s not seeing any other guys. She just wants this for me.”

Doug raised an eyebrow, doubting me. “I’m not sure I buy that.”

“Yeah,” I murmured quietly. “Neither do I.”

***

“Beach Day,” Kevin repeated with a lamenting tone. “Jesus Christ, Beach Day.”

“It’s just a bunch of girls Morgan knows going to the beach. She wanted me there as her boyfriend,” I replied defensively, making sure everything was packed and ready. “Is that so weird?”

“Quinn, the beach party is the place to be. It’s how you know you made it. And you don’t even know half of the people there.”

“I told you, I can tell her that I’m not going unless you come too if you’d like.”

Kevin flashed me a smile. “As much as I’d like that, you know how thrilled they’d be. Nah, I’m no crasher. I’m like a vampire, you gotta invite me in.”

“Yeah, and you stay up way too late, and you reek of death,” I quipped. 

And I’m gravely misunderstood and finally girls are catching on to just how hot I am,” he replied. I gave him a look of confusion and he waved me off. “Twilight meme. Never mind. Point is, if nothing else, I’m fuckin’ proud of ya.”

“Proud of what?” I asked. “It it’s anything like the last few parties, I’m just going to cling to Morgan all day, barely talk to the others… I actually pissed off a few guys at the last party.”

“Oh shit, huh? What did you do?”

“Okay, so Crystal’s nudes got leaked by this one guy – wait, that might be sensitive info, don’t let anyone know I told you that…”

“Quinn,” he began with a knowing smile. “Who am I, dude? I already knew about that shit. Nasty business.”

“Oh. Yeah, I told off the guy that did it,” I concluded.

“Ah, dredging up the past. Perfect recipe for drama,” he mused. “You know, the thing about-”

I held up a finger as I felt my phone buzzing in my pocket and pulled it out. Morgan was calling me. “I gotta go,” I replied quickly as I picked up my bag of beach stuff. Kevin just shrugged and walked off as I was out the door, only putting the phone to my ear and answering Morgan once there was a shut door between my mouth and Kevin’s ear.

The standard ‘we’re here’ and ‘I’m on my way’ conversation was expected, but one thing I was not yet aware of hit me – Joel was driving. For some strange reason, I expected Morgan to be driven by Doug again, but of course she was going with her friends. As Kevin probably revealed, this beach party was a big thing to the popular kids, which meant that Taylor’s usual rule of ‘if Quinn’s going, I’m not there’ was out the window.

I tried to avoid eye contact with her and Joel as I approached the car. Morgan greeted me warmly, showing off her new sunglasses and bikini, laughing at the fact that I was not dressed for the beach at all and would have to change once I was there. She was in the middle seats along with Lexi, and Taylor and Joel were in the front. As expected, neither addressed me, and I was ordered into the back seats with Crystal and Milo.

I thought that would have been ideal, given Taylor and I had history and Lexi and I had, uh, recent history, but I quickly discovered that along with me, the gang picked up something else, something heavy: tension.

I felt Crystal and Milo staring at me from the moment I sat down, and after a few minutes of driving with the others talking and playing music near the front of the car, I finally got the courage to look at Crystal, then at Milo. Of course I had to be in the middle seat.

“What?” I finally asked after a while. 

“Crystal’s pissed you slept with Lexi,” Milo pointed out. Classic Milo.

“Wha-?! Oh my God, I did not sleep with her!” I protested, trying to keep my voice down. This was the last thing I wanted. “Who even blabbed about this?”

“Le-”

“Lexi did, yeah, stupid question,” I admitted bitterly. “Look, Morgan proposed it to me, Lexi really wanted me to, so…”

“But, like, why did you do it?” Crystal asked with this weird tone to her voice. “If I asked you to fuck Milo, would you? You fucked my best friend, Quinn.”

“I – ugggh,” I complained, raking my hands over my face. “Okay, first of all, we did not go all the way. Second of all, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t and still am not sure if I even wanted to for my own sake. I did it as a favor to Lexi. It’s complicated, but-”

“You keep suggesting that, like, your lack of intent somehow makes you the good guy,” Milo cut in.

“Is that what this is about??” I asked exasperatedly. 

“Look at it from our point of view,” he replied calmly. “Think about what I know about you, and how you got into our friend group.”

“What do you mean by that?” Crystal asked.

I sighed. “Please, just-”

“So,” Milo continued, “that happens, and then you’re dating Morgan, and now we hear that you’re doing stuff with Lexi. It looks sketchy. Like, tell me I’m wrong for wondering if you’re just this skeeze that has ulterior motives or something.”

“How’d he get into our friend group?” Crystal asked.

In the nick of time, Morgan whipped her head around. “What’s going on back here?”

“Nothing,” Crystal immediately and obediently replied.

Morgan was not moved. She turned to Milo and asked, “What’s going on?”

Milo gave a polite smile. “Just talking about recent events.”

Morgan took her shades off to show Milo how amused with him she wasn’t. “Whatever you’re doing, knock it off, okay? Quit stirring the pot.”

“You couldn’t even hear anythi-”

“No, but I recognize that look Quinn’s giving,” Morgan replied dryly. “It’s Beach Day. Can you just knock it off for one day?”

Milo leaned in. “He slept with Lexi and you expect me to overlook that.”

“I am going to kill myself,” I murmured.

“You know how seriously I take this shit,” he continued. “I don’t care if you gave him your blessing, I’m allowed to call out red flags when I see them.”

“Wait, how is it a red flag if I wanted it?” Lexi asked, having turned around and getting fully into this conversation. 

“Why do I have to like it if Quinn is trying to seduce everyone in the friend group?” Milo continued.

“Everyone?” Morgan asked with fake confusion. “Quinn only slept with me and fooled around once with Lexi, right Milo?”

“I just don’t get why he’d do that with Lexi. Like, why? It’s just weird,” Crystal complained.

“Wait, I thought-” Lexi began, though clearly Morgan did something below the backrest to make Lexi shut up prematurely.

Angrily, I just turned away. More bullshit. More bullshit, and I was being blamed for it. What was even new at this point? If nothing else, at least this was giving me more ammo to convince Morgan to stop being such a yes-woman to… all of this weirdness.

In my anger, I had darted my eyes around – out the window, at the floor… and towards the front. I had hoped that she wouldn’t have looked at me for the whole drive, but to my horror, Taylor was, without shame, looking right at me.

She was wearing her own pair of sunglasses, but I knew, I just knew, she was looking right at me. And I looked back. Could she hear? I didn’t know. She was just… burning a hole through me with her stare. We stared at each other for a long time. I didn’t know what expression was on my face, but in that moment, I couldn’t do anything but looked back. For the first time in what felt like forever, we openly just stared at each other.

***

In an annoying bait-and-switch, Beach Day was gender-segregated. There were two sections of the beach: the guys’ section, and the girls’. I was kind of annoyed – I came here because my girlfriend convinced me, and now I had to spend the day with a bunch of guys I didn’t know? To add insult to injury, this just meant more time with Joel and Milo, the two boys I knew the most – to my own displeasure.

In an accurate reflection of high school, I just found my own little part of the settled area away from most of the guys and minded my own business. I was still dressed in jeans and a t-shirt while the rest of them sported swimming trunks. The metaphor was almost too perfect. Occasionally, one or two of the guys would eye me with confusion, no doubt wondering why I was there, but they wouldn’t vocally question it. 

Sadly, someone else didn’t get the same treatment. As soon as he was settled, Milo was hit with a small platoon of muscle-y Chad-looking guys, some looking mildly apologetic, others looking annoyed.

“Hey, uh, Sadie… we get the whole thing and all, but, uh… maybe you’d be happier hanging out with the girls. I mean, that’s the group you hang with, right?” one of them piped up.

“Could you use my actual name, please?” Milo asked with a voice meant to be calm. It came across as shaky. 

“Ha, your actual name?” another guy with a more annoying voice asked. “Sorry, what’s the name on your ID? Can you give us some proof here?”

“My name is Milo, and if we’re grouping boys in with boys, I should be here, shouldn’t I?” Milo asked.

“If you’re a guy, why don’t you take off your shirt?” another one snickered.

The first guy held up his hands in some kind of demonstration of ‘no harm intended.’ “I’m just saying, I think you should go with the girls, okay?”

“What am I taking away from you guys by being here?” Milo asked, his voice cracking more with each protest.

“Look, how’s about this – compromise. We call you Milo, but you join the girls. Huh?” the first one asked. 

“I’m not fuckin’ calling her Milo. If she wants to play make-believe, that’s on her, but she can’t make us do it too,” another one complained. “Nathan, just lay it down, man. Tell her to fuck off.”

The first guy, whose name was Nathan I guess, gave Milo a polite, sad smile. “I’m sorry,” he simply said. “But yeah. Pack up your stuff, go over there. We, uh… the guys don’t want you here.”

It may have been a silly little beach party, but something about this clearly meant a lot to Milo. I could see it in his eyes; he was crushed. And in a way, I kind of understood. He just wanted to be himself, and live the way he wanted, but other people kept insisting he do things their way, because they were used to something else. Milo was right, it wasn’t costing them anything to even just not pay him attention, but they decided to dedicate energy just to making him feel bad for… being the way he wanted to be. 

I wish I acted earlier. By the time I got up, Milo was already walking back towards the girls. He was crying, but keeping it together. Slinging my bag over my shoulder, I approached Nathan and cleared my throat.

“He wasn’t harming anyone.”

Nathan looked at me, confused. “Who wasn’t?”

“Milo.”

“Just call her Sadie man, she’s not gonna fuck you if you call her that,” one of them jeered. 

Another one joined in. “You’re really going through all these hoops, you’re just gonna make more people like her think they can get away with making us call them whatever,” another added. “Like, you can’t just shrug and leave, you have to… pretend to believe it too! Like, why?”

“It’s Orwellian,” some other guy added.

“Clint, you never read 1984, just shut the fuck up,” Nathan replied.

“I mean… that’s what Milo wanted. For you guys to shrug and leave him be. You went up to him,” I pressed them.

“Umm, yeah, after like a whole year of his – fuck, her, bullshit,” one of the guys replied. 

“It just seemed like here, he was minding his own business, and you guys made the effort to make it a problem. It doesn’t make sense,” I told them.

“Sorry for standing up for ourselves?” one of them replied with a hostile tone.

“You’re, uh, Morgan’s boyfriend, right?” Nathan asked. “Well, look man, if it bothers you that much, you could probably go hang out with them too. No skin off my back.”

“Yeah man. We didn’t invite you. We don’t even know you,” another one added.

“I mean, this guy fits in with us about as good as Sadie does, so he might be happier with his girlfriend or whatever,” I heard from the boys.

“Clint, we literally just said that,” Nathan replied, annoyed.

As much I would have liked to make a stand and go be with the girls, my situation with them was kind of… sticky. Doubly so if Milo was going to be with them. I wanted to really stand my ground – if I do say so, I was getting kind of good at it – but I elected to back down.

“Whatever, guys,” I replied, throwing my hands up. “I was just saying.”

“Nah, but it’s a good idea,” Nathan said emphatically. “You should go and, uh, check up on your girl or something.”

“I’m good, I’m good,” I replied, backing down. “I get it. I’ll shut up now, okay? I just wanted to say my piece. I’ll go back to my bag.”

One of the guys eyed where I came from. “Your bag, huh?” With speed far greater than my own, he sprinted over to my bag, made it into a ball shape, and tossed it in the general direction of the girls’ area. Of course, it didn’t go that far, but it was enough to make a point.

The guy looked at me with a crooked, toothy grin. “Oops,” he said smugly. “You’d better go get that.”

I looked at the guys once more and sighed. I guess my message came through loud and clear, I guess. With the girls it may have been awkward, but I had to put that behind me. I walked over to my discarded bag, checked to make sure my poor 3DS was okay, then made the journey to the girls’ section. Given this was supposed to be a party for everyone, it was actually a decently long walk.

Once I was there, I sought out Morgan immediately, getting her attention by waving at her. She gave me a confused expression, but waved back. “Hey, what’s wrong? Did you need something from the car?”

“I wish,” I grumbled. “No, Milo got ousted from the boys’ group-”

“Yeah, he’s over there,” Morgan interrupted quietly, gesturing to a nearby towel. Milo was on it, curled up in an upright ball, with some girl I didn’t recognize supportively rubbing his back.

“Well, I didn’t like what the boys said, and they kinda kicked me out too,” I finished.

“Quinn, they can be jerks, you just have to stand your ground sometimes with them,” she replied softly.

“I did, and they threw my bag,” I complained. “I’ll be good, I promise, but could I please just stay here a bit? We can just pretend I’m checking up on you or something.”

Morgan moved her mouth to the side of her face in thought. “Yeah, okay,” she concluded. “I’m sorry the guys are like that. Good news is, we’re away from them now.”

“I don’t know why you wanted me to be around them anyway,” I told her. “The only people from there are guys I know from parties, Joel, and I guess I just met Nathan.”

“Nathan’s not terrible,” Morgan thought out loud. “Like, he’s kinda pushy, but he… Nathan at least tries.”

“Yeah, I think I got that impression. He still was a dick to Milo for no reason though,” I replied. Morgan went back to her spot without another word, and I joined her.

Immediately, the girls were way friendlier than the boys. It was clear none of them knew why I was hanging around, but unlike the guys, they didn’t make a stink about it, and a few used it as an excuse to actually talk to me, which was sweet, if invasive.

“So, what’s Morgan actually like?”

“Is she your first girlfriend? What’s your, like, body count?”

“Oh my God, I love Korea, I’ve always wanted to visit.”

After a few minutes, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to see Milo. His eyes were a little red but aside from that he had basically fully recovered. “Hey, can we, uh, talk? Nothing bad, I just wanted to talk to you in private,” he told me.

“Uh, yeah, sure,” I managed. I followed him down some path into an area by the parking lot, a little nervous but also believing him that this wasn’t just him stirring the pot again. Once we figured we were out of earshot, Milo found a nearby bench and gestured for me to sit next to him.

“So, uh, I can get a little protective of the group sometimes,” he began. “And I have my principles. Like, when I feel something is wrong, I really feel it’s wrong, and I won’t deny, I’ve gotten crazy red flags from you for the past few months. But, uh, I, uh…” His voice got murkier. “I heard what you did.”

“Anyone would have done that,” I asserted.

“No, Quinn, anyone wouldn’t have, because all that would happen is that the guys would hate them,” Milo assertively replied. “The girls, even Morgan, they talk a big game, but they know that if they ever stand up for me or even acknowledge I’m a boy around them, their reputation is in the toilet.” He got up and paced for a bit. “I’m not popular. No one in my situation could be. I just hang with a popular crowd and I get to look popular because no one dares to get into the group to rip me out of it. I was really lucky my friends accepted me for who I am, but… they never really stood up for me like that.”

We were silent for a bit. “So I guess I’m saying, I don’t get what your game is.”

I had a theory. “I’m not popular, so I guess popularity doesn’t mean anything to me. As far as I can tell, I don’t know those guys, so if I stand up for you, I don’t lose anything like they would, I guess.”

“Yeah, but people don’t think like that,” Milo protested. “They don’t go around doing good things as soon as the bad shit is dropped. They need reasons to do the good shit in the first place. What was your reason?”

Another beat of silence passed between us. Eventually, I shrugged. “They were harassing you just because of who you were,” I replied. “That’s not nice. You deserve to feel good about who you are.”

Milo began to tear up again, although his expression looked closer to anger than joy. Eventually, I turned away. “I don’t get it,” he murmured, looking away from me.

“Do you need to?” I asked. “I’m not trying to get with you. I just saw you hurting and wanted to help.” I let my words sink in. “I’m not just mindlessly trying to get with the others either. It’s just how shit has happened. Consider, maybe, that I’m doing this because making others feel good makes me feel good, and that’s why Taylor and Lexi wanted to use that and help themselves.”

“You’re trying to tell me that this whole thing that has happened has been because of others being selfish and you happen to be the only one not being selfish,” Milo quietly retorted.

I hung my head. “A part of it is enjoying what’s happening, yeah,” I admitted. “Is that so bad? I would have helped Taylor, or Morgan, or Lexi, or you, without expecting anything in return. Are you angry because I got something in return?”

“I’m angry because you did stuff with a girl in a relationship, caused trouble for us, then fucked two other girls in my friend group. If I already see you as a skeezy perv, why the fuck wouldn’t that make me angry?!” he demanded. 

“So what? I’m supposed to just go away? I’m Morgan’s boyfriend now. I care about her. You can’t expect me to just walk away from that,” I replied, standing up.

“So what the fuck is the deal with Lexi?!” he asked, voice building.

“I’d kind of like to know the answer to that too!” I replied, my voice matching his. “She and I get closer, as friends, then out of nowhere Morgan tells me I have her blessing, then it all just falls into place.”

Milo’s eyes narrowed. “Is that the whole story?” he asked.

I paused, then sighed. “Maybe not,” I admitted. “Lexi had one of those ‘if you weren’t with Morgan’ conversations with me like a week earlier.”

“A week?”

“I don’t remember exactly when, does it matter?”

“It all matters, Quinn,” he huffed. “…Something about all this doesn’t add up.”

“Milo, I feel the exact, same, way,” I replied, putting emphasis on each word. “And fuck, don’t believe me if you want, but I can’t help but feel like I want the most for me to be monogamous with her.”

He gave me a weird look. “What does that mean? Just say no to Lexi. Have you done anything with Taylor since I did… you know… that thing?”

“What, you mean telling Joel and causing the exact rift in the group you’re pretending was my fault?” I asked with heat. He didn’t answer, so I huffed. “No, of course I haven’t. Is that good enough for you?”

We didn’t say anything for a bit. A shifting sound caught Milo’s attention, and he whirled his head around to something nearby. I followed his gaze to see that a certain somebody was spying on us.

“Lexi, what the fuck are you doing here?” Milo asked.

Lexi emerged from behind a rock. “What?” she asked as if what she was doing was completely normal. “I mean, you’re talking about me anyways, don’t I deserve to be here for this? Or are you trying to do something here?”

I didn’t know what the implications were. ‘Do something’ as in stop me from being in the group? Maybe something sexual? I didn’t know. I just looked at Milo and he looked back and forth between us for a bit, then something in his face changed. 

“Quit treating him like your plaything.”

“What?!” Lexi asked.

“Quinn is not some toy to be passed around, and he clearly feels uncomfortable in this situation,” Milo continued. “He did this stuff for you, but you can’t not know that he’s unsure of his own feelings. Give him space, it’s not hard. Treat him like a human being instead of a service.”

Lexi was looking more upset with each word Milo said, so I decided to jump in. “I’m not unhappy we did what we did, Lexi, but this kind of stuff is very new to me, and I’m still not sure if it’s the path I want to go down,” I added soothingly. “I enjoyed, uh, eating you out, but we may end up not doing this anymore. We may keep doing it too. I just don’t know, okay?”

Lexi stared at me for a bit before pouting and stomping away. “Well, at least she took it well,” I quipped to myself.

“It’s Lexi. She’ll probably insist on cuddling up to you on the drive home,” Milo humorously shot back. “I didn’t like that she spied on us, though. She’s getting bolder.”

I turned back to Milo and shifted. “So, where are we at? I didn’t expect you to defend me to Lexi.”

He stared at me. “I just don’t get why…

“You don’t need to always know why. Imagine if I myself don’t know why. You’re going to keep chasing for an answer I don’t have, and if you think I know the answer and I don’t, anything I do will be suspicious.” I breathed dramatically for a bit. “What’s more likely, that I’m secretly nefarious or that I’m a clueless nobody that had all this shit thrown at him over the course of a few months?”

He slowly nodded. “Yeah,” he admitted. “Well, if everyone else is cool with it, I guess I’ll just shut up.” He exhaled noisily. “I mean what I said. I can’t remember the last time someone defended me like that.”

I shrugged. “You’re worth defending. You deserve to feel happy as who you are.”

“Now you’re just trying to guilt trip me,” he laughed, and I joined in. “But, okay. Clean slate. Everything up to now is null and void. Forgive and forget. If you do something bad, I’ll call it out…”

“I definitely believe you’ll do that.”

“…But until then, you’re not a skeeze and you’re being nice to my friends. Thanks for, uh, doing what you did today.”

I gave him a smile in return and then that was that. We walked back to the group, with me feeling very happy and validated. Finally, the chip the size of Arkansas was off of Milo’s shoulder, or at least, so he said. Morgan saw that we came back together and raised an eyebrow, and I gave her a reassuring smile.

“Good conversation,” I told her as I sat down next to her. “Milo seems cool with me.”

I didn’t notice that Morgan was mid-conversation with another girl, and immediately added, “Oh, sorry,” and got up. I recognized the girl; Abby, the Student Council President. I never talked to her personally but everyone knew who the President was.

“No no, no worries,” the other girl replied. She smiled at me, and wow, did she ever have a politician’s smile. She’d done up her hair in box braids, which looked really good with her hair half black and the rest dyed a kind of red. She wore a surprisingly revealing white bikini, which even with my newfound experience, made me blush.

Kevin had a huge crush on her, although I think he just had a thing for black girls which he refused to outright say. I could only imagine how jealous he would have been of me to see her this way.

“So this is your boytoy?” she continued, looking me up and down.

I chuckled. “Jeez,” I couldn’t stop myself from saying bashfully. 

“Oh, sorry, I’m just like this,” she laughed it off. “Don’t be nervous. Morgan has talked a lot about you. You seem like quite the gentleman, Quinn.”

I turned to Morgan, who shrugged ambiguously, though her eyes were twinkling humorously. “I, uh…” I managed. “I… thanks.”

Abby gave this cute little chuckle and readjusted herself. “So how long have you two been together, anyway?”

“Oh, like… a few months?” I asked Morgan.

She nodded calmly. “A few months, yeah.”

“Aww, so cute, you’re so in sync!” Abby marvelled. “Well, we’re glad to have you Quinn, and I’m sure you two are going to enjoy the fuck outta Beach Day.” She turned to Morgan. “You’re lucky. Me, I couldn’t even get me a man for Beach Day.”

“Oh, come on,” Morgan replied dismissively. “You could get, like, any guy, you just didn’t want to let any of them know they could feel like owning you, even for a day.”

Abby laughed her melodic laugh again. “Maybe, maybe,” she teased, then turned to me with some kind of knowing grin. “What about you, Quinn, would you say you own your girl?”

“Wha- of course not!” I spat. “That’s such a – ‘owning?’ No, definitely not.”

“Oh,” Abby replied, the humor gone from her face. “So, like, she can do anything with any man she wants?”

“Um…” I turned to Morgan, who weirdly, wasn’t saying anything. “I-if she wants, and… communicates openly about… is there something I should know?”

Both Abby and Morgan started laughing at me. “Relax, relax, I’m fucking with you,” Abby soothed me. 

“It seems kind of private,” I managed. “I feel weird when this stuff is brought up, even as a joke.”

If I thought the humor left Abby’s face before, it really left now. “Oh. Um, sorry,” she replied seriously. “I’m sorry. My sense of humor is all about riling people up, but I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“It’s okay,” I replied. “But yeah, Morgan and I are happy. And, uh, she owns me as much as I own her.”

Abby started laughing again, probably at my wording. “Oh my fuck, that’s good,” she chuckled. “I’m gonna hold out for a man that admits I own him.”

“If you ever stay with the same guy long enough for that to even happen,” Morgan replied with a wink. “Did you want to go swimming, Quinn?”

“Yes,” I immediately replied. I didn’t want to, but I was happy to get away from this. Grabbing my bag, I turned back to Abby. “Nice to meet you, Abby,” I told her.

“Likewise, Quinn,” she told me with a pleasant smile. Quickly, I started to walk towards the water, with Morgan following closely behind me.

“In case you’re wondering, Abby is off-limits,” she began, clearly meant more as a joke than anything.

“She scares me,” I admitted.

“So, are you going to swim in your jeans, or what?” Morgan asked, looking me over.

“Oh. I just, uh, wanted to…” I fumbled with my words.

Morgan laughed. “You wanted to end the conversation with Abby,” she inferred.

“Kind of, yeah.”

“She’s harmless, Quinn,” she reassured me. “She just likes pushing buttons. All Presidents do. Come on, changing room is thataway.” She turned me around and soon we were walking in the other direction, back past Abby.

Abby noticed, and looked at us, smirking. “And just where do you think you’re going? The water’s that way.”

Morgan looked at Abby as if she was just realizing something. Weirdly, she had a full reaction: gasping, turning pink, and holding her hand over her mouth.

Abby’s knowing smile only widened. “Ohh, I seeeee, Quinn needs to change, doesn’t he? I guess he needs to go to the changing house.”

At the mention of ‘changing house,’ the few girls around us took notice and started giggling. Morgan was only blushing deeper. Abby looked over at Morgan and laughed. “You know the rules, Morgan,” she sang.

“What rules?” I asked Morgan.

“So, uh… I’m sorry, I totally forgot this…” Morgan mumbled, her face red. “So, there’s this dumb tradition involving Beach Day, the changing room, and the year’s power couple…” She trailed off, blushing too hard to even look me in the eye.

I turned to Abby with a confused expression, who only nodded. “Changing room’s yours, you two,” she laughed. “It’s school tradition.” She eyed my confused expression and rolled her eyes. “It’s Beach Day rules. The year’s power couple goes and fucks in the changing room.”

I looked at Morgan in disbelief, who only cutely shrugged. “Wait,” I began. “We can’t possibly be the year’s power couple. No one knows me, and we’ve only been together for a short time!”

Abby lowered an eyebrow, a smirk painted on her face. “Who here knows Quinn?” she asked, and nearly every girl who was paying attention put her hand up. 

What? Why?? What even was there to know about me? Morgan added, “Plus, it just sort of became any couple that’s still together on Beach Day. I’m uh, sorry, I totally forgot.”

“Well, we don’t have to…” I began, though quickly got booed by Abby and her little gang.

“Quinn, honey, at least drag her in there and give her a kiss,” she laughed. “It’s tradition. You care about us, don’t you?” Faux hurt was dripping off of every word. 

“It’s a dumb tradition,” Morgan added in a voice so quiet only I could hear it. “Your boundaries are important.”

I surveyed the group and saw Milo, Crystal, and… Taylor among them. She was no longer wearing her shades, and wasn’t shy about looking me in the eye. Interestingly, she didn’t look vulnerable, or sad, or even angry. She caught my gaze and gave me a kind of gesture with her face. One that said, ‘hey, might as well.’

I turned to Abby, who was giving me this mock concerned expression, with a humorous undertone. I turned back to Morgan, who was still pink and looking down. I exhaled and grabbed her hand, and murmured, “Come on,” leading her away to the changerooms. The girls cheered, even though I didn’t want to look back at them, and soon enough we were out of sight and earshot from the cheering crowd.

“Sorry,” Morgan repeated. “I know how much you must hate these situations.”

“Why would I hate it?” I asked, not recognizing my own voice. “We’re the power couple.”

Morgan looked at me with a confused smile, and I stopped walking and kissed her. “Do you want to do it?”

“You’re taking this way better than I thought,” she admitted.

“Sweetheart, you keep setting up things you’d think I’d like, like telling me it’s okay for us to be open or something, but more than anything, I want you,” I told her. “It’s kind of nice having people know we’re doing it, especially if they’re, uh, wayyyyy over there.”

She giggled. “You really don’t like Abby, do you?”

“I just think I need to adjust to her.”

“Totally fair.” She glanced at the changing room and looked back at me. She bit her bottom lip. “So, uh…”

I gave an adventurous laugh and took her hand again, walking into the building with her. It was not very big, but definitely big enough to accommodate us. As soon as we were inside and the door was closed, our lips were locked, enjoying our public-yet-not display of affection.

I don’t know what came over me in that moment, but some part of me really wanted to have Morgan, and have her right then and there. I loved the feeling of my body pressing right up against hers when we kissed, and when Morgan was wearing this cute little blue bikini that left little to the imagination, well, that was just the cherry on top. 

“Do you like what I’m wearing?” she asked between kisses.

“Of course I do,” I practically moaned back. “I love anything you wear.”

“But I bought this especially for you,” she said with a mock-pout. “I thought you’d like what it, uh, shows off.” She grabbed her boobs with both hands and moved her hands around her chest to solidify her point. Like the hypnotized horny teenager that I was, my eyes could only follow what her hands were doing, much to her amusement. 

Eventually, I had enough of only being a spectator, and my hands quickly replaced hers. I loved how hot Morgan’s body felt. Of course, having a big pair of breasts in my hands, being rewarded with a popular hot girl moaning for me when I massaged them, that just made this whole thing perfect.

I gasped in realization even though my hands didn’t stop moving. Morgan’s eyes shot open. “What is it?”

“Do you have a condom?” I asked, realizing only now how far we were going.

Morgan’s eyes squeezed back shut and she threw her head back and groaned. “No, I don’t,” she said quietly. “Fuck.”

I waited until her head was back up and matched her look of disappointment with one of my own. My hands were still moving though, of course. “It’s okay. We can just fool around and if they as-”

As I spoke, Morgan adopted this almost mad look on her face and she eventually cut me off by kissing me. “No,” she simply said.

“No…?”

“I don’t care. Just this once, I don’t care. Pull out or fucking don’t, you’re taking me here.” She kissed me again, this time groping my cock over my jeans as she did. “Okay?”

I had to chuckle. “What’s gotten into you?”

She smiled sweetly out of nowhere. It almost sent a shiver up my spine. “Don’t you want me too, Quinn?”

“Get the fuck out of here,” I replied humorously, playfully slapping her face. “You looked like a horror villain.”

She chuckled too, but remained focused. “I just feel like this is an opportunity for us. This is, like, a moment. I don’t want it to be spoiled, so I’m willing to work around it. Just say yes, and I’m yours. Please say yes.”

I smiled at her. She was such an enigma, and I loved it. “Yes,” I emphatically told her, and we resumed our kissing, this time with her undoing her bikini top as we kissed.

Soon, she was up against the wall, with one of my hands groping her breast and playing with her sensitive erect nipple, and the other rubbing her slit over her bikini bottoms. To top it off, my mouth was busy leaving marks on her neck. That way, the other girls wouldn’t need to ask, they could just see. 

What a fucking life I was living.

Morgan could only take so much teasing and, with a wink, bent herself over the nearest counter and looked back at me as she peeled her bikini bottoms down her legs. My breath caught in my throat. I thought I was hard before, but now I swear it felt like it was going to rip right through my jeans. 

“Fuck, you’re so… hot, Morgan,” I told her, coming up behind her and quickly dropping my pants.

“Thanks, I know,” she said with a giggle. “What are you going to do about it, cutie?”

I blushed and she giggled again. I freed my manhood and stroked it a few times, drinking in the beautiful sight of Morgan’s wet pussy waiting for me. I lined myself up and slid it in, with the both of us exhaling in pure pleasure.

“Fu-uck, you’re in me…” Morgan moaned. “You’re just in me. Nothing else between us.”

“I just want to say, fuck condoms,” I moaned.

“Fuck condoms,” she agreed as I began to pump back and forth. “Except, like, we will definitely have to wear condoms after this, but like, fuck condoms. Oh, fuuuck…”

And there we were, getting into a rhythm with each others’ bodies, fucking like animals in a public changeroom, with our classmates not only knowing, not only cheering us on, but practically making us do it. Not that I was complaining. The only thing better than being made to fuck in this room that could have happened today was forgetting the condom. I was closer to Morgan than anyone else. I was inside her, I was getting to be in her, and we both loved it. 

The changeroom had just enough variety to its layout that we could try a couple different positions, but in the end, I think we both liked it from behind best, because that’s what we kept coming back to. I even found a way to fuck her from behind against a wall and grope her breasts from behind, and clearly, this was a day where she wanted a lot of attention on them. Naturally, at every opportunity I could, from behind I would grab them and play with them, and from the front, I would kiss them and suck them and worship them with my tongue.

Eventually, I felt every nerve in my body being lit like a fuse, and grunted, “M-Morgan…”

She knew immediately what was going on, and despite being in the middle of a good rhythm, she stopped what she was doing, hopped off of my dick, whirled around, and knelt in front of me, jacking me off.

“What’s… what’s going on?” I asked.

“Ever thought about finishing on my face?” she asked as innocently as possible.

I’m sure it would have been hot to grunt and go “fuck yeah, babe” and grab her hair to prepare her or whatever, but it didn’t quite go that way. I swear, the moment those seductive words left her mouth, my vision just went pure white. I grunted, the sexiness of the situation being too much for me, and immediately shot my load all over Morgan’s beautiful face. She smiled mischievously as she felt my load painting and covering her face, with me shooting a bigger load than I was usually used to. 

She chuckled. “So I take it you’re a fan,” she joked.

“Oh my God,” I breathed. “When’s the next fucking Beach Day?”

She chuckled again, reaching into my bag. “I’m using your towel, by the way,” she told me, right before wiping her face off. 

“Hey, wait – ew,” I reacted, watching my load go from her face to the towel.

“What did you expect?” she asked. “Did you want me to walk back with this still on my face?”

“Would you have?” I asked with a grin.

“You’re such a pervert,” she said with a smile, shoving me as she got to her feet. “You’re wasted on a good girl like me.”

“I think the wasting is the other way around, sweetheart,” I told her, moving in for a kiss. I winced as I felt fluid touch my cheek. “Bleh.”

“Your fault,” she said with a laugh. 

The two of us got cleaned up and clothed, realizing that even though the likelihood of getting caught wasn’t great, it wasn’t exactly zero either, and plus, Morgan clearly wanted this on some level, and probably wanted to brag to her friends or whatever people do after these things do down.

That said, bragging wasn’t needed. As soon as we got back to the girls’ section, we were met with a chorus of cheers and claps. Abby, of course, was leading the cheers and chanting various praise our way, much to my embarrassment. 

I didn’t need a mirror to know I turned some shade of pink knowing the girls were cheering for us. Morgan was clearly slightly embarrassed too, though she also clearly was proud of what she had done. I caught her gaze and she gave me a smile, something I knew she didn’t do much in crowds. I couldn’t help but smile back.

“Want to go swimming?” she asked as the cheers died down.

I was about to say yes, then realized the hilarity of the situation. “I’d, uh, love to, but…” I trailed off. “…I’d need to change first. Want to come with me?”

Morgan and I laughed together.

***

I was exhausted by the time I got home. Thankfully, everyone was in bed when I made it in, so, as quietly as I could, I dropped off my bag, brushed my teeth, and hopped into bed.

“Welcome home,” Kevin’s voice greeted me in the darkness.

“Thanks,” I replied. If this were the first time I might have been frightened, but years of sharing the room with him made me used to situations like this.

“Had a good time?”

I could hear something in Kevin’s voice. He sounded… deflated. Sad. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

“No no, you first, did you have a good time?”

“I’m not a good swimmer, but I got to spend a lot of time with Morgan, so that was nice,” I answered.

“Cool, glad to hear it,” Kevin said tiredly. “And you don’t wanna hear it, it would probably just sound bitter and jealous anyway.”

“Are you bitter and jealous about how I got to go to Beach Day and you didn’t?” I asked.

“More than that. I’m kinda… like, no offense, why did you get into the popular crowd so effortlessly?” he asked. “I swear I spend my entire conscious life trying to get into people’s good books and then, again, I’m super happy for you and want to see you succeed but, I just see you instantly blow past me. It’s making me question a lot of stuff. Like, was everything I did in high school for nothing?”

“I wouldn’t worry about it too much,” I replied. “First of all, I’d give all of my popularity to you, if I even have any, in a heartbeat. Though I think I squandered it by standing up for the marginalized.”

“Ooh, viva la revolution! Is there a story there?”

“Someday. Not now. Secondly, this was all just because Morgan started dating me, which was all because I tutored Taylor. This was all just random chance.”

“Quinn, I love you, but that definitely makes it all worse,” Kevin complained. “I put in a solid effort all year and it all gets squished by random chance.”

I remained silent, not knowing how to comfort him further.

“Like, yeah, sometimes I could be a little overbearing, and maybe sometimes I pushed buttons, but… I tried, you know? Think whatever you will of me, but I put in the effort.”

“‘Think whatever you will of me?’ You’re my brother, Kev.”

“Figure of speech.”

“I think you did try, and if I had any kind of actual control over this stuff, you would have become popular and I wouldn’t have. Okay?”

Kevin let the words sink in. “I’m sorry,” he eventually said. “I know it’s not your fault. And I know I shouldn’t care so much.”

“Caring a lot is a good thing,” I found myself saying. “It’s good to care a lot. You can get hurt easier, but you can feel joy a lot easier too.” I paused. “You know I’d do what I could to make you feel more joy.”

“Weird way of saying that, but you’re sweet,” Kevin affectionately replied. “I shouldn’t let it get to me. We should get some sleep, huh?”

“Yeah,” I murmured. “G’nite, Kev.”

“G’nite,” he replied, and soon, silence filled the room.

I really did feel bad for Kevin. It was true, he did try, he tried his butt off, and apart from him, no one could see that more consistently than I could. And yet, I was the popular one, just because of who I was dating. I was like that guy that Oprah married. Stetson, Steadman…? I couldn’t remember his name. I guess that proved my point. 

Even though I had my own crap to look out for, by some metrics, I was popular at this point. And if it meant enough to Kevin, maybe there was a way that I could help him out a little. It felt good to help people out, but after all of the effort he put in, Kevin out of everyone deserved to see some returns. Besides, even with all of the shit going on in my life… I smiled. It hit me for the first time, the first time I consciously thought it… I was happy.

________________________________________

These stories are made possible by the generous patrons at my Patreon. If you enjoy reading these stories, please consider contributing to my Patreon to help keep me writing and get yourself a few perks along the way.

>>New Chapter

<<Previous Chapter

<< Back

One thought on “Mutual Benefits – Chapter 16

  1. Really enjoying this story so far, excited to see where everyone ends up. Also I have read a couple of your other story’s and just wanted to say that you are fantastic writer. Every time I start one of your story’s I don’t want to stop reading.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s