Mutual Benefits – Chapter 19

The morning sunlight poured in through the window. The room was silent, apart from Cheesecake running around in his cage. Next to me, Morgan soundly slept, hogging all of the sheets as usual. I exhaled sharply, looking at the ceiling, and grabbed my phone, rereading the last few messages Taylor sent me.

I think im going to go to bed, but this was amazing. Goodnight

Seriously, I dont think i ever came that hard in my entire life

I looked from the screen back to Morgan and exhaled again. I looked back to my message history with Kevin, and saw he hadn’t responded yet. He definitely was already awake if I knew him. He’d definitely already seen my message. I shifted my mouth around in thought.

I sat in silence until Morgan stirred, draping herself over me, sleepily cuddling up to me.

“G’mornin,’” she practically slurred. “Wha’ time is it?”

“Uh…” I looked at my phone again. “Almost ten.”

“Jeez, I’m getting lazy,” she mumbled, slumping back off of me. “Did you enjoy the party?”

I smiled at her. “I enjoyed what we did afterwards more.”

“Tell me something I don’t know,” she joked, playfully shoving me. “I enjoyed it too,” she sleepily added.

We lay there for a bit longer until she silently decided it was time to start the day. With no shame, she got up out of bed, fully naked, and stretched in front of me. I stared at her breasts with no shame, which caused her to lightly chuckle and grab them for me, playing with them a bit. After a chuckle, she grabbed a bra and some underwear, then went off to brush her teeth. 

“You good?” she tossed behind her as she walked off. She knew my signs at this point.

“Yeah, just a lot on my mind,” I replied. I went back to my phone, unsure whose message log I was more bothered by – Taylor’s or Kevin’s.

***

“Welcome home,” Mother said casually as I walked through the front door. “How is Morgan?”

“She’s good, Mother,” I replied. “We went to the same party Kevin went to last night.”

“Ah yes, the big party,” Mother said with a nod. She smiled and looked at me. “Kevin told me he met the ‘love of his life’ there last night.”

I smiled back. “And what do you think?”

“Oh, he is going to meet a new girl next week and say that about her,” Mother laughed, putzing around the kitchen. Jokingly, she added, “This is your fault Quinn! You got him into parties!”

I chuckled. “I created a monster,” I added, before walking off towards my room. I tested the doorknob – Kevin locked it when he wanted privacy, since I was in the house less now – and opened the door. Nuo rushed out to greet me, but Kevin was just at the computer, browsing the internet.

“Yo,” he said, greeting me with his hand.

“Hey,” I replied casually, putting my stuff down on my bed. “You get my text?”

“Uh, the door,” he said with a motion. I closed it and he rolled his chair back, getting out his phone. “Nah, I was, uh, kinda busy for the last little bit. A lot on my mind, you know.”

“Oh, sorry,” I awkwardly replied. “It was just about the whole Morgan thing, like, if you found anything out at the party.”

“If I found anything out at the party?” he asked casually. “Uh, no. Nothing doing.”

“Oh,” I simply replied. “Did you, like, ask around, or…”

He opened his mouth then closed it again. “Uh, yeah,  I asked a few people,” he offered quietly.

“I feel like you’re not giving me the whole story,” I replied.

“Well, that would probably be because I’m not,” he simply said.

“…And why is that?” I asked.

“Well…” he began, spinning his chair around once or twice. “Remember how I said that this could be a whole thing?”

“Yeah…” I slowly said.

“It seems like a whole thing,” he quickly concluded. 

“So, what, you lied to me about it?” I asked.

“No, I never lied,” he insisted.

“You said you didn’t find out about Morgan.”

“You asked if I found anything out at the party,” he clarified. “And I wasn’t at the party when I found out.”

“What, was it next-day stuff?” I asked. “Did you need to follow up?”

Kevin sighed. “No, it was before,” he replied.

I started pacing around. “Wha- so what, you wanted me to get you into the party anyway, and you planned on lying to me based on the wording of my question, you snake?” I spat out.

“Hey now,” he said soothingly yet authoritatively. “Stop that. No, I mean as in I got the info from Doug.”

I stopped pacing and just stared at him, waiting for him to continue.

“Her brother.”

“I know who he is,” I impatiently cut in. “You got it from him?”

He nodded, then flashed a quick smile. “I’m so good I got the info before I even set foot at the party,” he joked.

I shifted in place. “So, he knew whatever it was the whole time or something?”

“I dunno if it was the whole time,” he replied. “It kind of ruins the covert op if I ask too many questions like that. It comes right back to you.”

“But if it’s a ‘whole thing’ and he knew about it, why did he never tell me?”

“I don’t know for sure, but if I had to guess, I think he just likes you, man,” Kevin said simply.

I stared at him for a few more seconds before shaking my head. “Just tell me what it is.”

“I’m trying to work up to that,” Kevin admitted. He breathed in and out a few times. “I just don’t want to see you hurt. Y’know.”

“I’m an overthinker,” I told him. “Every second you tell me something is happening and don’t tell me what, my mind will keep thinking up the worst-case scenario for what it could be and convincing myself it’s that. Telling me would be a relief.”

He cracked a smile. “Wow, then Morgan telling you there even was a thing must have been hell.”

I didn’t smile back. “Yes, it was.”

His smile faded. “Yeah, guess so. So, uh…” He sighed again, then closed his eyes. “Morgan has been cheating on you with a guy named Arin.” He opened his eyes again. “Doug swears by it. He’s apparently kind of furious with her about it, but he never got to confront her directly.” 

I processed what she said. “I actually asked her point-blank if she did. She says no. She doesn’t lie to me.”

He shrugged. “I can’t do much to answer that,” he replied.

“Well, you know Morgan. Can you guess who’s lying?”

“Yes, I can, but what would that do for you? It would be a complete guess. It’s not like if one person who normally tells the truth can’t lie, or like, vice versa.”

“So, what, the only way to know for sure would be to out Doug to her?” I asked.

“You’re, uh…” Kevin gestured to his eye.

“What?” My fingers went to my eyes. I rubbed around them and felt wetness. Tears. I didn’t even notice them coming out. 

It didn’t make sense. I wasn’t upset. We had an open relationship, albeit a clumsy one. Even if she slept with someone else, so what? So did I. I was fine with it being open both ways. I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t crying.

“You should sit down, Quinn,” Kevin urged me in a serious voice. “You look, uh… yeah, you look… broken.”

“Thanks,” I scoffed, sitting down. My head was abuzz with thoughts. I didn’t get it. None of this made sense, and yet, it felt like a long time coming. Simultaneously. Morgan had sex with another guy. Morgan had sex with another guy. Morgan had sex with another guy.

I asked her about it to her face and she lied to me.

Or Doug was lying. Was that worse? No, it was better. I mean, it was better, but more… needlessly mean. If I was being objective, I would have said that was less likely. There was less motive, right? I had to be objective.

But I wasn’t objective. I was Quinn Shen. 

I barely heard Kevin when he offered to go into the living room and play Bloodborne or help Mother with some chores or something. My head just hit the pillow at some point, and when it came back up, Kevin was gone and over an hour had passed.

Reason was telling me to go talk to Morgan immediately and sort this out, and confirm who was lying and why, and hopefully put this behind me. Even so, I remembered my talk with Taylor in that Starbucks so long ago. If I talked to Morgan now, I’d be causing a mountain of headaches for both of us. Instead, I decided to go on a walk.

***

“I don’t even go on walks,” Lexi complained. “I got little legs.”

“I’ll go slow,” I chuckled. “I just wanted someone to be with.”

“Trouble in paradise?” she joked. I guess my face gave it away, because her face immediately softened with concern. “Oh, no! Really? What’s going on?”

I shrugged. “Drama,” I admitted, perhaps for the first time. “You know me.”

“Oh, don’t beat yourself up,” she soothed. “I’m sure whatever it is, it’ll be gone in like a week, and everything will be fine.”

“Or it won’t,” I replied, stopping for a second. “What if this is the thing that causes us to break up, and I could have prevented it or something? I feel like I need to know how to properly-”

“Do you see how when you stopped walking, I had to stop walking too?” Lexi asked, interrupting me.

“Um…” I squinted at her in confusion. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. Keep walking,” she told me.

“Lexi, I’m trying to talk about my situation with Morgan here,” I argued.

“So am I,” she told me, then turned away and kept walking.

Against all odds, I broke out into a smile. “Oh, you think you’re just so smooth with that one, don’t you?” I asked, unable to stop myself from giggling.

She giggled back and flashed me a grin. “Yes I do,” she admitted with no remorse. “You get what I’m saying.”

“To an extent,” I admitted.

“And like, whatever it is, what’s gonna, like, win here, Quinn? Months of connection and you gushing about how much you love her? Or one especially spicy… like, piece or whatever, of drama?”

I sighed and kept walking. “There’s a lot of factors at play,” I admitted. “I think she might have point-blank lied to me about this. She’d never done that before.”

“Okay, but like, so what?” Lexi challenged me. “People are gonna lie in relationships. I lie allll the fucking time to my boyfriends.”

“So, about that, ‘if you and Morgan weren’t a couple’ speech you gave to me…” I joked.

“Maybe that was a lie and I don’t lie to my boyfriends,” she joked back. “No, but like, this is definitely not the first time Morgan has lied to you. Maybe it’s the first time you found out, or even the first time it meant so much, but like, girls lie. Boys lie. Even Milo lies, and he’s both!”

“Milo’s a boy,” I asserted.

“It was just a joke.”

“Is the punchline only humorous because you don’t truly see Milo as a boy?” I asked her.

“Jeez,” she replied. 

“Would he laugh if he was here and heard that?” I pressed on.

“Well… alright, fine, sorry,” she admitted. “Whatever. Anyway, if you two can’t recover from one lie she told you, even if it’s a big lie, thank fuck she lied this early on in the relationship. Like, imagine if you guys got married or something like that and this lie came out a few years into the marriage instead.”

“I think that would make it worse,” I admitted.

“So she’s cheating?” she inferred.

“Uh, no,” I replied quickly, lying badly.

“Quinn, I can keep a secret,” she attempted to soothe me.

“Okay, so that’s a lie,” I rebutted. “One of the first things I learned about you is that you can’t keep secrets. It’s one of the core traits of your personality!”

“Hey! Core? Core?!” she asked incredulously.

“Yes,” I asserted.

“…’Core’ means, like, one of the biggest, right?” she asked.

“Yes.”

“It is not core! It’s – yeah, okay. I’ll try really hard to shut up about this one though,” she admitted.

“You’d better,” I said authoritatively. “I mean it. This one in particular. It could blow up really badly.”

We arrived at some kind of river and stopped walking. We didn’t say anything more, but Lexi picked up a stone and tried to skip it across. It sunk immediately.

“Fuck,” she spat.

I picked up a nice flat rock and stared at the water, positioning my hand over and over in different ways.

“Never skipped before?” she asked.

“Nope,” I replied. 

“Well, if you want to get it right, it’s all in the wrist,” she said confidently.

“You just sank it on your first throw,” I noted.

“Yeah, okay, so… use your wrist better than I did,” she argued. “You ever thrown a frisbee before?”

“Nope.”

“Ever passed a folded note across a table?” 

“Nope.”

“Ever… I dunno, thrown a coin at someone you owed money to?”

“Nope.”

“Were you born this year, Quinn??” she asked exasperatedly. “You can’t break up with Morgan. She’s teaching you how to be a normal human being.”

I eyed the water, letting the words sink in. “Morgan hurt me. If whatever’s going on is true, she hurt me really badly.”

“How? You fucked both Taylor and I, didn’t you?” she asked.

“That’s ‘Taylor and me,’” I corrected her. “And yeah, with her permission. In your case, practically at her urging.”

“Hey.”

“I liked it, sorry, I liked it too. I’m happy I got to do that with you. But in this case… she didn’t ask permission, and she… lied to me about it, and…” I felt a tear drop from her eye.

“Oh. Um, hey, don’t cry,” Lexi offered upon noticing me, clearly out of her element here.

I flung my wrist and launched the stone out into the water. It sank without skipping. “It feels so dumb to say that the permission made all the difference, but…”

“I guess telling people about it is nice, yeah,” Lexi admitted. “But does this end everything?”

“No. It just… taints it.”

“Taints?”

“Yeah, like it affects-”

“I know what it means, bozo,” Lexi defensively interrupted. “I just don’t get it, I guess.” She picked up a rock and flung it at the water. It skipped once, then sunk.

“Hey, congrats,” I said half-heartedly.

“Are you going to be okay?” she asked. I didn’t respond, so we stood there in silence. “Y’know, it’s weird,” she continued. “When we got closer, I kinda thought to myself that it would be kinda cool if you two broke up. Like, just to see what would happen between us. Now it just feels like it would suck if you two split up.”

I chuckled. “That’s pretty honest of you,” I admitted. I picked up a rock and threw it, imitating what Lexi did. It skipped three times.

“Hey, look at that, your first skip,” she said with a smile.

I weakly smiled back. We found and skipped rocks the entire rest of the time we were there, and managed to skip every rock we threw.

***

“Hey,” I greeted Morgan at her front door. She had one of those extended bits of roof or whatever they’re called above her porch, so I didn’t get soaked by the cliched rain as I waited for my girlfriend. “How’s it going?”

“It’s fine, what’s up?” she asked. “Did you want to hang out?” She looked out into the rain. “How’d you even get here?”

“I, uh, got a ride. Can I come in?” I asked.

I didn’t like this. It was tense already. Less than a minute in and things were already going off-script. Staring me dead in the eye, Morgan let me in and closed the door behind me. “Is it okay if we keep whatever this is short?” she asked. “I’ve kind of got a lot of stuff to do today.”

“I just really need to talk to you about something. It’s importa-”

“I don’t like this,” she interrupted.

“I know what the secret is,” I immediately replied.

She stared at me. The sounds of the pouring rain outside were the only sounds I could hear. She looked around the living room, then back at me. “And what is it?”

“Did you… lie to me, earlier, when I asked you if you did something with Arin?” I asked, trying to keep myself from shaking with the nerves.

“No,” she quickly replied.

Changing my strategy, I said nothing. My expression didn’t change. I just stared back at her, almost blankly.

Her expression quickly turned into ‘weirded out.’ “No,” she repeated emphatically. After about ten more seconds of staring, she quickly added, “I’d like you to leave if that’s okay.”

“If I leave, I’m not coming back,” I replied with a quiet voice.

Her breathing quickened, even though she tried to hold her expression steady. “Are you breaking up with me?”

“No. But if you ask me to leave again, you’ll be breaking up with me,” I promised her.

“So what are my options?”

“Ask me to leave or tell me the truth.”

“I don’t like that you’re forcing me to talk about something I’m clearly uncomfortable with,” she said. 

“I think you lied to me, and if you told me the truth the first time, I wouldn’t be this demanding with you.”

Morgan’s expression remained unchanged, save for her eyes getting wetter. She was holding back tears.

I didn’t let up. “I trusted you, and you broke my heart.”

That did it. At once, her hands flew to her face and she started crying. “How the fuck do you think I felt?!” she demanded. “Would it have fucking killed you to think about this from my – from my-”

“Perspecti-”

Shut up,” she sobbed. “Perspective. Taylor kept fucking with me just to g-”

Us, Morgan. Taylor kept fucking with us,” I argued.

“I’m sorry, who did she convince to have sex with her, including after knowing you were going out with me? And you went along with it!”

“So that’s what this is about?!” I demanded. “We had a billion conversations about this, and you’re upset we didn’t have a billion and one?”

“I’m upset because I’m always being fucked with!” she protested. “Once, just once, I wanted to be in charge of my own things without… without you…” She trailed off, clearly about to say something she regretted, and retired to the couch. I followed. 

The extra time allowed me to breathe. “Okay, first things first,” I said as calmly as possible. “Did you, or did you not, sleep with Arin?”

“I’m not answering that,” Morgan replied angrily.

“So you’re telling me to leave?” I asked.

She glared at me. “Fuck you. Yes, I did.”

“How many times?”

“Three.”

“Three?” I asked in shock. “When?”

“I’m not answering that and I’m never answering that,” she asserted. “If you want to play your stupid fucking ‘walk out the door’ game with me, I’ll see you never.” This was so new for Morgan. This wasn’t the calm adult-in-the-room she was even when she was upset. This was something new.

“Okay, so you slept with Arin three times while you were with me. I can guess when the first time happened,” I reasoned, partially to myself. “So why didn’t you just tell me when it happened? I mean, we were messy, but we were open at that point, kinda. Unless… was this before…?”

“No, this was after I caught you with Taylor,” she admitted. She looked at me for a bit and sighed, tears still on her face. “Look, it was… bad. I didn’t like it, I didn’t even want it past a certain point. I thought it would help me get even. It… didn’t.”

I was getting confused. “I don’t get this. Why?”

“Why what?” she asked exasperatedly.

“Why any of this!”

She huffed. “I fucked my ex because Taylor got to fuck you.”

“We didn’t go all the w-”

“Shut up, just shut up,” she ordered childishly. “If you wanted a fucking response then let me fucking talk, for fuck’s sakes. You don’t need to nitpick and correct every single little fucking thing.”

I didn’t take well to being yelled at, and could feel my own tears coming on. “Okay, go ahead,” I said in a small voice.

“Okay. So, I got – right, I fucked him. He was begging for it for a while, and I thought it would feel good. He and I were, uh, friends with benefits after we broke up, mainly because he was the only guy I could tolerate for a long while. But I, like, only tolerated him. Sleeping with him again just reminded me how shitty and empty my life felt. Shitty and empty.”

I nodded along, even though it was breaking my heart. “And why didn’t you tell me that you were doing this? Wouldn’t that have helped keep things transparent between us? You even made us officially open to friends.”

“Use your fucking brains, Quinn. I hated that I did it. I wanted to pretend I didn’t do it. You could do it because it was already in the open. I didn’t want you to know that I did the same shitty things.”

“So you wanted to be better than me?” I asked with heat.

“You know what, yes! I wanted to be better than just cheating and manipulation. I wanted the whole thing to be behind us, and after the first time, I figured we could just go on and make our relationship better and never worry about it again!”

“Um, that doesn’t explain the other two-” Oh. I was getting it. Stopping mid-sentence, I shifted myself in place. With a new voice, I thought out loud. “After the second time, you opened up the relationship. You encouraged me to go after Lexi.”

With a sad expression, she nodded.

“To make yourself feel better about doing it with him a second time. But why’d you even do it with him a second time at all?”

“Because he’s an asshole and I was addicted to him. Happy?” she spat. “Because I hate myself. Because thanks to fucking Taylor, I can’t be happy in any relationship, so I may as well ruin shit on my own terms.”

“Morgan, I would have been fine if you just told me what you did,” I protested. “You made us open. I practically wanted you to make our relationship evenly open. If you told me that you wanted to sleep w-”

“Listen to me when I say shit!!” she interrupted. “I didn’t want to sleep with him! I hated sleeping with him, and I hated myself for going back, but it was the only thing that made sense! You’re just not listening! That’s your problem, Quinn, you just don’t, fucking, listen!” She buried her head into the couch, and judging by the way her head was moving, she was sobbing. “Why can’t you get that telling you meant, like, fucking saying it? Telling you makes it real! I wanted to grow, not wallow! I’m allowed to be angry!”

“Why are you allowed to be angry and I’m not?” I demanded. “You lied to me about sleeping with someone else! I asked you if you wanted to sleep with someone, you said no, and I even asked if you and him were doing something and you said no! What the fuck is wrong with you?”

Morgan nearly screamed into the couch, then resurfaced her head. “Be angry, Quinn. Walk out that fucking door and break up with me. I’m a shitty fucking girlfriend and I did shitty fucking girlfriend things. I just wanted to fucking believe I could be better than I was. I’m so fucking sorry I’m a human being.”

So, Morgan had sex with Arin because she felt angry at Taylor and me, thought that would be the end of it and we could move on as a couple without me knowing, but then she had sex with him again. So, to alleviate the guilt, she opened up the relationship. Then I guess she had sex with him a third time, and sometime after, clearly got angry at him at Jackson’s party. 

A third time. The first time was after she caught Taylor and me. The pieces were coming together. “So that’s why you were so angry when Taylor of all people kissed me.”

Morgan continued crying for a few more seconds, soundlessly. After a while, she spoke. “You like her more, don’t you?”

“Morgan, ple-”

“No, no. It’s true. You always did.” Her voice was ominously calm. “I think I just wanted to delay the inevitable the whole time. I just wanted to lie to myself. And when I couldn’t lie, I’d cheat back. Well, now I can’t do either. You even mentioned she brought Kevin to the party. Kevin’s how you found out, huh?”

I cringed. I wasn’t the only one putting the pieces together.

“And Taylor invited him.” Her voice was plain with no emotion. “Son of a bitch. She’s good. I guess he’s good, too. I didn’t expect anyone could make Arin blab, he’s real good at keeping secrets.”

I ran my tongue over my teeth. I could do no good at this point, showing my hand and outing Doug. 

She turned to me. “So you suspected I fucked him.”

“No, you just revealed there was a big thing hurting you, and it was damaging our relationship.”

“And you didn’t trust me to handle it on my own, huh?”

“Look where ‘handling it on your own’ got us. You fucked him two more times, despite you yourself claiming you didn’t even like it, and lied to my face. You never lie to me.”

“I’ve lied to you before,” she admitted. “Everybody does. But Quinn… I need you to understand this… summer is ending. Arin was about to move away. I opened a fucking beer in his face. I handled it. I, like, put a band-aid over the wound, and you tore it off and picked the scab right back open.”

“He would’ve tried again,” I protested. “I’ve seen the way he looks at you at those parties.”

“Oh, so, in hindsight, you totally knew? Why did you even need Kevin, or Taylor, or who-knows-who-else?” she spat. “For all I know, Lexi, Crystal, and Milo are in on this too. And now I guess they can all know I’m just a shitty fucking person who deserves to be alone.”

“You didn’t treat me right, and lied to me. Own up to it.”

“You did the same, Quinn,” she asserted.

“Yes I did, and I had to own up to it every fucking day. I’ve apologized, I’ve walked on eggshells, and I lived with it knowing you saw me at my lowest. Now I’ve seen you at yours, and what, you expect me not to get angry because I did the same? If fair’s fair and you wanted to do the same thing to me, I get to hold this over you the same way you held it over me. You want to have your cake and eat it too.”

Morgan got up and started pointing at me as she yelled. “If you hated how I held it over you, maybe you could understand why I was too scared to tell you, Quinn. That’s why I lied, fucking gifted kid. We were finally happy, and I just had one small thing to take care of, but nope, you just had to butt in anyway.”

“So what, you wanted to berate me and make me guilty for cheating on you, then cheat on me back and hope I never find out all while giving me cryptic hints and crying, and pretend me finding out anyway was the thing that stopped us from being happy?” I yelled back. “Morgan, what the fuck?! You like to pretend you’re the adult of the friend group but clearly you’re not. It’s becoming more and more clear that you’re just a fucking child.”

“You just don’t-!” Morgan sputtered, her arms moving in a blind fury until eventually I felt her fist forcing on my chest. I stumbled back. She struck me. It wasn’t even that hard, but the fact that she did it at all left us both in pain. I rubbed my chest, feeling the soreness and betrayal coursing through me. Morgan yelled at me after I called her out for doing something wrong, then hit me.

“I didn’t mean to do that,” she said quickly and quietly. It was a soft voice, but it wasn’t her normal voice that hid her tone. On the contrary, it was very clear what her tone was trying to hide; fear. 

I stared at her for a bit, trying to figure out what I should even say. After a few seconds, I realized I didn’t have anything to say, and didn’t even feel comfortable speaking to her at this time anymore. Wordlessly, I turned around and headed for the door.

“Quinn… please…” her words feebly echoed to me as I walked to the door. I could tell she wasn’t getting up; she wasn’t chasing me. She was sitting right there, hoping I’d turn around. I never gave her the satisfaction.

***

“Did it go alright?” Taylor asked sympathetically as I got into her car. 

“Um, uh, no. No it didn’t. I think we might have broken up. I’m not sure. Can you drive please?” I was a flustered mess.

“Oh no, really?” she asked, her voice full of concern. “Like, what happened?”

“What happened was that she was fucking Arin to take back some kind of control after catching us. She found out she didn’t like doing that but couldn’t stop herself. So-”

“Wait-”

“No, you are not fucking interrupting me,” I rasped. “Anyways, she felt bad about fucking Arin so that’s why she even made our relationship open. Then I asked, point-blank, ‘hey, are you fucking Arin?’ She lied. I found out. She acted like I was the fucking bad guy. She even hit me.”

“Oh my God,” she murmured, processing all of that information. “I’m, uh, really sorry, Quinn.”

“Yeah, so am I,” I scoffed.

She drove for about another minute before piping up. “We’re not going back to your place,” she told me.

“Then where are we going?”

“I don’t think you should be alone right now. We’re going back to my place. I can ask the others to hang out if you want, but I really don’t think you should be alone.”

“I wouldn’t be alone at my place. Kevin’s there,” I pointed out.

“Yeah, that doesn’t make me feel any better about leaving you there, Quinn,” she said with a slight smirk. 

I didn’t argue. I just stared out the window as she drove.

***

I collapsed on her beanbag chair, a familiar yet distant memory. 

“How’re you holding up?” Taylor asked, her voice full of concern.

I shrugged. 

“I’m sorry Morgan did that,” she offered.

“I – we did it first,” I replied.

“You didn’t lie about it. You accepted the consequences. You didn’t hit her. You’re more grown-up than she ever was,” Taylor replied emphatically.

“No, she’s normally grown up. I guess she was… upset. It was uncharacteristic of her, but you should have seen her. You’re right, she was acting like she was half her age there.”

“I think I’ve seen it before, yeah,” Taylor replied with a nod. “But, like, I never broke up with her, obviously. I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”

“I don’t even know if we broke up,” I thought out loud. “I just left.”

“Well, that doesn’t mean it’s a breakup,” she replied.

“It could. Context. You’d have to be there.”

“Well, do you want to break up with her?” she asked slowly. She sat down in front of me, studying my eyes.

“I don’t know,” I admitted.

“What do you want then, do you know that?” she asked.

“I don’t have that luxury,” I chuckled. I looked up at her and saw that she was holding the vodka bottle.

“Do you mind if I?” she asked.

“How would I get home?”

“I can run up and ask my mom, if you wouldn’t mind that.”

I chuckled again. “You pick the oddest times to get tipsy,” I remarked. “Sure.”

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

“Oh, I just meant… I’m just worried about… y’know, you being tipsy around me.”

She gave me a confused smile. “Why? I’ve been tipsy around you before.”

“Yeah, but usually that led to us fooling around.”

“Yeah, but we’re not fooling around now, not with the relationship troubles, right?”

“I’m not in a relationship right now, Taylor.”

The silence was deafening. Taylor looked at me, at first confused, then meaningfully. “…Yeah?” she eventually asked.

“Sorry, that was dumb,” I backpedaled. “I didn’t mean to – I was talking out of turn.”

“No no, I get it,” Taylor softly replied. “I mean, you just went through a tough moment, and you might be single now and that can hit you hard. Everyone wants a…” She lowered her voice to a whisper. “…Rebound.”

“But, like… so soon? It shouldn’t happen, you know?”

“Are you telling me to back off? Because I will,” Taylor replied. 

I paused, then looked at her. “Why, is there something you’d be backing off from?”

“Quinn, I dunno if you want me to be the bigger person here, but I won’t be. If you pictured me giving some big speech about how I’ve grown and our friendship would be better if we didn’t have sex, you’re picturing me wrong.”

“I didn’t mean to come to this basement to proposition you,” I murmured.

“Neither did I,” she replied. “It kinda says something about how it just happened, and how it happened so quickly.”

“But what about Morgan? Won’t this hurt her?” I asked.

“If it does, if the story you told me is true, she’d be the biggest hypocrite on the planet. And maybe you two won’t ever talk again. Maybe you will, but, like, y’know, you can’t base everything on…”

“…’What ifs,’ yeah,” I concluded. We stood up at the same time, and slowly, I grabbed the vodka bottle. “Okay, so, uh… let’s maybe lose this. I don’t want you to drink tonight, if that’s okay.”

“Yeah, that’s fine,” Taylor said in some kind of new voice. I put the vodka bottle on the ground, then put my hands on her waist. We looked into each other’s eyes for a moment, then I chuckled nervously, looking away.

“What?” she asked.

“It’s just silly,” I noted. “Like, days ago, this wasn’t a big deal, but now…”

“Well now, I want all of it,” she told me, boldly but quietly. “But I don’t want you to do it unless you want it too.”

“Taylor, I wanted it for a long while now,” I protested. “I just held back.”

“Don’t hold back,” she said, her voice just above a whisper. We closed the gap between us, and before long, my hands went from her waist to grabbing her ass as we started open-mouth kissing.

I hated how good and right it felt. A part of me wanted it to feel wrong immediately, to push her away and run off towards Morgan’s house or something. There was no such luck. I felt like melting into her, and judging from the moans she was making, Taylor felt the exact same way.

As desperate as we were to feel each other’s bodies and to attack each other’s mouths with our tongues, we were content to kiss for a while. The context of our school had melted away. Every drop of context was gone. The most anti-social nerd in the school wasn’t kissing the most popular girl – Quinn Shen was kissing Taylor Wise, and it was clear that both of them had been longing for it for so long, whether they wanted to admit that to themselves or not. 

Taylor’s hands were moving all over my body in a frenzy. Her pelvis began desperately grinding against mine. She broke the kiss and leaned into my ear, never stopping her grinding. “Quinn, this better not be a fucking joke,” she breathed. “I want it. I want this to finally happen.”

I could only grunt back, grinding myself back against her pelvis. “I’ve wanted to fuck you for so long, Taylor,” I found myself admitting. “And tonight, whatever happens, I’m single. Even if I’m not tomorrow, I’m single now. We both want this.”

She moaned. “I want it, so badly,” she pleaded.

Before I even knew what I was doing, I shoved her against the wall. Taylor and I had done cute little innocent acts up until this moment, but now, it was no holds barred. Taylor moaned, feeling my body against hers, pinning her to the wall. I moved her shirt up her waist and caressed the bare skin of her midriff, giving her neck kisses and bites, listening to the rhythmic sounds of her panting. I wanted to taste all of her. I wanted her.

“Fuck, you’ve gotten better at this…” she panted. “Show me everything you’ve learned, Quinn.”

Stepping back, I teasingly slapped her across the face. “This isn’t what I learned, this is what I can do,” I growled. “Tonight, I’ll-”

Taylor gingerly caressed her cheek and with her other hand, held up a finger to interrupt me. “So, uh, I like your spirit, but I’m not sure I’m into this,” she complained.

“Oh, uh, yeah, of course, sorry,” I replied, instantly deflated.

“Don’t be!” she instantly replied. “Let’s just be… softer. I’m okay with, like, really wanting it, but maybe let’s not make it violent or overly dom-subby. On, like, either end.”

I smiled sheepishly. “Deal. Uh, sorry again.”

“Don’t be, don’t be!” she soothed. “Is the moment ruined?”

“I’m good to go if you are,” I told her.

She flashed a smile. “Me too.” We closed the gap and began kissing again, tame and polite at first, to get back into the swing of things. Before long, like two teens in lust, we were making out, grinding up against the wall, and moaning about how badly we wanted each other again.

Taylor made eager whimpers and moans with her body pressed up against the wall. I remembered worrying about my chest against hers if she gave me any friendly hugs in our early days, and now, without shame, our chests were smashed together. Even with a bra on underneath her shirt, her breasts felt so good pressed up against me. Our bodies clicked naturally, and felt so right together.

It’s just that our pesky clothes were in the way. We quickly worked to solve that problem, and eventually both of our shirts and Taylor’s bra were on the floor as we continued to make out, enjoying the feeling of skin on skin. 

“Your skin feels so good against mine,” I moaned in between our kisses.

She smiled cheekily. “You’re quite the sap, Quinn,” she teased. “I would have thought you’d immediately start giving the girls attention again.”

“The girls…?” I asked obliviously, before Taylor held her modest breasts in her hands for my attention. My expression turned from confused to mischievous as I dove down, eager to show Taylor just how much I had grown since my mouth was last on her nipples.

I went easy on the teasing, since it was clear how badly she (and I) wanted it. Anything that made Taylor coo and moan, I was happy to do it. Taylor leaned back against the wall for support as I rolled my tongue around her nipples, sucked and lightly bit, trying to combine my newfound experience and every detail I remembered about what set Taylor off.

Taylor was hot as a firecracker, or I was doing everything right. She had one hand against the wall and the other on the back of my hand, moaning things like, “Oh, Quinn, that feels so good,” or “Oh Quinn, why did we ever stop doing this?” She was in a world of her own. 

At the point where she couldn’t take it anymore, she brought me back up by my shoulders and kissed me deeply, smiling at me after.

“Blowjob or main event?” she practically breathed. 

As eager as I was to finally be inside her, I couldn’t resist sporting a little grin. “I want to taste you too. How about we do five-ish minutes both sides?”

“What, are we cooking a steak? You’re going to fucking kill me here,” she muttered with a laugh. “Fine, get your fucking pants off.”

“Nope, we’re doing you first,” I replied forcefully, still with a smile. Taylor blushed a deep red and muttered something I couldn’t hear, then started to work her pants off. 

I forgot what a beautiful sight Taylor Wise naked really was. She wasn’t just gorgeous with clothes on; her body perfectly complemented her cute innocent little chipmunk face in every way, and it just made me realize how fucking lucky I was to get to have sex with her. Here she was, naked and blushing, eager to have sex with me after all this time. 

“Against the wall or on the ground?” I asked, barely recognizing the confidence in my own voice. 

“Fuck, you’re hot,” she purred. “Um, ground, probably.” She got into the position on the ground and I, pants still on, knelt down before her, prying open her legs and winking at her before lowering my lips to her inner thighs. I swear I could see her shiver from my wink before my lips even made contact with her.

Taylor was so needy, she started moaning from the moment I began to eat her. Both hands were on the back of my head and her mouth was fully open, her eyes gazing up to the heavens. My tongue danced on her throbbing little clit, my fingers alternating between curling to reach her G-spot and pumping in and out of her. I did my best to listen for every signal and reward every squirm. I wanted Taylor to see me as a God, if only for one night, and I wanted her to cum.

Luckily, the latter was clearly being arranged. It helped that Taylor taught me herself to make her cum, and I had a sneaking suspicion it was easier to make her climax than other girls, but from her whimper-moans, her gyrations, and particularly from her “Fuck, Quinn, I’m cumming”s, Taylor was having the ride of her life on my tongue.

It was clear I had made an impression on her. I may as well have blinked after her climax and in that time she managed to reverse our positions, with me on the ground, and her tearing open my fly, moaning that she needed my dick again. 

When it was released, Taylor all but had cartoon hearts replacing her eyes. I may not have been the most well-endowed guy on the planet, but I knew right then and there that Taylor had never looked at another guy’s junk the same way she looked at mine. She didn’t waste any time bothering to tease me, and went as quickly to deepthroating as humanly possible, eager to give me the same treatment as I gave her.

Taylor’s mouth felt amazing, but the clincher was watching her mouth on me. It was the sexiest thing I had seen in my working memory. The popular girl, eyes glazed over with lust, hungrily sucking my dick, practically dripping from her desire.

Taylor and I had one thing in common – both of us knew the other couldn’t last for the whole five minutes. Taylor seemed to know when I was getting close; I could practically feel her smile on my dick, her hands exploring my abdomen, her eyes forever on me.

“Tay-!” I managed. I was lucky she was used to this and knew the telltale signs, because I didn’t get to say a word more before what may have been the largest load of my life was shot down her throat, with her obediently swallowing every drop. I could feel rope after rope being ejaculated as my hips started to tingle with pleasure, shooting out throughout my entire body. “Holy fuuuuck…” I moaned, nearly blacking out from the sensations. “Jesus Christ Taylor, you’re so fucking good.”

She gently removed her mouth from me and began to play with my dick. “You’d better not be spent, Quinn,” she purred. “I’m going to need this very soon.”

“I… give me a minute,” I chuckled, and she followed suit. We filled time with some more foreplay, largely with me playing with her breasts with my tongue, before I was back and ready to go. 

“Already?” she asked coquettishly, pushing down on my dick with one finger and watching it bounce back up. “Impressive.”

I started breathing more heavily. “I can’t believe we’re about to do this…” I breathed. 

“I can’t believe it’s taken this long,” she rebutted, going back to the same position she was in when I ate her out. “Like this. I want us to look into each other’s eyes when we do it.”

“Now who’s the sap?” I joked, moving up to her. I lined myself up against her and breathed in and out a few times.

This was it. The moment everything had led up to. I was going to fuck Taylor Wise. This wasn’t a dream, and we weren’t going to get interrupted. Most of all, she wanted me, badly. If only September Me could see me now.

“You good?” I asked, lining myself up against her.

Eagerly, she nodded. I nodded back, and slowly began to push inside her, feeling Taylor’s walls contracting around me for the first time. I was inside Taylor. I had done it. 

A flash of Morgan appeared before me, and I remembered my first time with her. They felt so different yet so similar. I watched Taylor’s face as she threw her head back, moaned, and bit her lower lip. Eventually, she locked eyes with me and nodded, indicating for me to continue.

Slowly at first, I began to move my hips back and forth, sliding myself in and out of Taylor. We were closer than ever. I was inside her. This was it. I felt her muscles – perhaps all of the muscles in her whole body – dedicated to milking me, and making me feel as welcome as possible inside her. I’d give her the same treatment.

Soon, I began to pick up speed, and before long, we were full-on fucking on her basement floor, making enough noise to make me hope her mom was cool with all this. I had moved one hand from supporting myself to grabbing a handful of her hair, and despite her desire to look me in the eyes, her eyes were closed in rapture and pure pleasure. 

“Ooh, oh God, oh my God, oh my fucking God, Quinn, yes, yes…” Taylor moaned. She was talking a lot, but I was glad to see it. If anything, once I realized it, I was saying a lot back myself.

“Fuck, Taylor… does that feel good? I feel good, I feel so good… fuck, you’re amazing…”

It was like a full-on conversation while we were fucking. It didn’t slow down our rhythms though, and in fact, just as we had managed to never talk over one another, our bodies were just as much in sync, moving in perfect harmony with one another.

At one particularly faithful moment, Taylor’s eyes flew open, and met mine. We both instantly knew, while grinding into each other like desperate teenagers, to meet our lips in a desperate, horny kiss. At this point, I could feel Taylor, and myself, approaching our climaxes. 

We didn’t change pace, or switch positions. We didn’t even need to say anything. He just held each other close and kept humping, our breathing doing the rest of the talking, the room smelling of sweat and cum, the air thick. It was time. 

You get taught that simultaneous orgasms are a myth, and yet, right at the moment where I first felt my second load coming, Taylor’s body tensed up and I heard her emit a deep, guttural moan. The both of us smashed our bodies together and held them there, letting the pleasure flow through both of our bodies. We ended like we had been fucking the whole time – in sync.

I could feel Taylor’s vaginal walls rippling over my dick and I’m sure she could feel my load shooting inside her. The both of us held each other until we could both feel our orgasms subsidizing, and then, we locked eyes and… laughed. Just laughed.

I was expecting to feel guilty towards Morgan after what I had just done, but for some weird reason, guilt didn’t click. I didn’t know what I was feeling. I still definitely cared about her. Did I want to be her boyfriend? I thought so. I wasn’t sure. I was inside another girl at the moment. We were possibly both single. I hoped Morgan was doing okay, but that’s as far as I got. Maybe it was because of my deep history with taylor, but… this still felt right. Even if this and this alone solidified our breakup, this felt like something that needed to happen. If I were feeling cliche, I would have said that this ‘had better be the first of many’ or something, but I wasn’t even sure if that was true. All I knew, and all I cared about, was this was new, and I was glad I did it.

I collapsed on top of Taylor, earning a laugh from her. “You freaked me out for a second there,” she murmured, playing with my hair.

I lifted my head. “Huh?”

“After we came, even after I came back to Earth, you were, like, staring off into space with a silly expression on your face…” she said with a giggle.

“Oh. W-was I? Sorry,” I replied sheepishly.

“Thinking about Morgan?” she asked boldly.

“Let’s not talk about her,” I replied quickly.

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” she admitted. “But I just, like, wanna say one thing. I’m glad we did this. I don’t care what happens to me after this, I’m glad I did this with you.”

I felt my penis slide out of Taylor’s vagina, our act officially over. I smiled at her. “I feel the exact same way,” I told her sincerely.

We sat in silence for a few seconds before Taylor broke it with a long sigh. “So, do you want to spoon and talk for a bit, or should we get cleaned up and go?” she asked. “And pick the first one, don’t be mean.”

I chuckled, and opened my mouth to answer, before a noise caught our attention. A vibration.

“My phone’s upstairs,” Taylor noted. “If this is what I think it is, fate is a mean bitch.”

Naked, I got up and scrambled to my discarded pants and fished out my phone. Sure enough, I was getting a call from Morgan. I flashed Taylor a look. “It’s what you think.”

She sighed. “Well,” she mused. “Your fight happened. Tonight happened. What do you want to do now? It’s totally up to you.”

I stared at Morgan’s picture on my phone, then back at Taylor, in thought. There were only precious seconds left before it went to voicemail. If I was going to answer the phone, I had to do it now. And I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that whatever I chose to do was going to decide how this all played out. 

________________________________________

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4 thoughts on “Mutual Benefits – Chapter 19

  1. Hmm, ending chapters by game-changing-like phone calls/msgs is disturbingly ugly repeated habit (joking). I hope, for change,that the last chapter will ends with a very nice, heartwarming call.(joking again).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never commented on any stories online before, but I just wanted say that this series has been one of the best I’ve read so far. The characters have depth and are flawed but relatable in their own ways. Can’t wait for more!

    Liked by 1 person

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