More Than FriendsbyRedMonkeyButt©
James was sitting on the table at the party, chatting and smiling at friends as everyone picked through the pile of crawfish spread on the newspaper. I was able to watch him from a distance for a few seconds before I had to go back with the beers. He smiled and took his beer, his fingers resting maybe a little too long against my own before the cold glass slid from my hand. I knew I was reading too much into things, but I had given in to the fact of having a crush on my best friend more than a year ago.
I was jolted from my thoughts when Amanda slid into his lap and laid an over-the-top kiss on his lips. Those lips I had longed to kiss had been hers for the entire year I had been left pining for him. She looked at me and smiled, unaware of my thoughts as she grabbed one of the small crustaceans from the table and noisily slurped the fat from the head before easily slipping the tail meat out of the shell.
My nose wrinkled as I set my beer down, "Ugh, how can you do that?"
"What, suck the heads?" She asked.
"Yeah, it's so gross." I split three crawfish in half and pushed the heads her way.
"You've just never tried it," she took the heads and offered a couple to James, but I knew he wouldn't do it. She pouted at him for not trying and then took them all for herself.
"I've tried it," James said. "And I agree with Jesse. The fat is only good for cooking."
I ate a handful more of the tasty red creatures before downing my beer. The whole town seemed to have turned out for the picnic lunch party, and everyone looked to be having a blast.
Amanda was trying to convince James to try the head fat and he was almost laid back across the table trying to avoid it. I rolled my eyes, "I think I'm going to go, guys."
James sat up and waved the offending crawfish head away from his face, "Why? It's only one. We can't eat all of this by ourselves." As if on cue, another pot of crawfish was dumped out on the table and a crowd of people wandered over to the fresh food.
"My dad packed me a couple coolers to take home. You'll just have to come over and help make etouffee in a few days."
It was Amanda's turn to wrinkle her nose, "That's too much work even if the etouffee is divine."
I wasn't inviting you, I thought to myself as I smiled. "I'm making pork chops beforehand so we don't eat all the crawfish."
They mocked me with whining voices as I walked back toward my truck. I hadn't been kidding when I said my dad had packed two coolers. They took up most of the bed of the vehicle. I'd have enough tail meat to feed a small army, and the worst part was I'd get to shell it all on my own tonight.
It was almost nine o'clock by the time I was done peeling both ice chests full of mud bugs. My hands ached, but I looked at the vacuum sealed packages of tail meat and the freezer jars filled with fat and knew it was all worth it. I had spent the time thinking about James and how much I hated the fact that he was still with Amanda. She didn't pay attention to him unless she wanted something, and he couldn't see it.
The knock at the door interrupted my fantasies and mental complaints and I went to see who it was. I gasped when James stumbled in reeking of alcohol and sweat.
"Jesus tap dancing Christ, James. What the hell happened after I left?"
He almost fell on top of me when he had to stop to look at me, "Shit, Jesse. You know you're closest to the bar. I thought I could come here and take a power nap." He smiled and lurched into the kitchen from the door. "Awww, you already packed up all the crawfish. I was gonna help wit' that."
"James, go sit on the couch," I stepped around him to reach under the sink and get the small trash can that I kept handy for just such moments. I had to push him toward the living room, but he finally stumbled away and collapsed on the couch. He was passed out before I got the trash can near his head, just in case.
My phone chirped from the kitchen and I went to check my messages. I had a couple drunk texts from James, which was about standard for a Saturday night, and one recent one from Amanda.
Hey gurl! I told James 2 go 2 ur house. Hesz drunk and im goin out.
I sighed and didn't bother replying. Maybe she would sleep at one of her other friends houses and I wouldn't have to deal with her as well as James. Grabbing a book, I curled up on the recliner while James started to snore.
I had fallen asleep on the chair when I felt someone touching my face. I swatted at them and tried to get back to my dreams, but they wouldn't go away. James was sitting on the arm of the chair when I finally opened my eyes to glare at the hand that had woken me.
"You talk to me in your sleep, you know that?"
Shit, what had I said? I had been dreaming about him again. Hopefully I hadn't said anything too embarrassing. "What did I say?"
"Oh, just that I was drunk and I better not throw up on your floor. I didn't, by the way. I made it in the bucket."
He seemed really sober compared to when he had entered my house, and I glanced at the clock on the wall. It was six in the morning. I groaned and tried to go back to sleep.
"Oh no, you don't. Get up and go to bed. I'll crash on the couch until it's a decent hour to leave."
"You don't have to stay out here," I gasped after the words left my mouth, and covered my face with my hands. Had I really just said that?
James looked at me as he stood. his brown eyes soft as he smiled at my shock and embarrassment. He knelt in front of me and pulled my hands away from my face and held them in his own rough ones. Slow and tentative, as though he were scared, he reached out and touched my face again. His thumb skimmed lightly over my bottom lip and I shivered. With a sigh that was almost a groan he slid his hand behind my neck and pulled me to him.
His lips were softer than I had imagined, and my body started to warm in response. The kiss deepened as he ran his tongue over my lips and I opened for him. I sucked on his bottom lip and he did moan that time, pressing me into the back of the seat as he insinuated himself between my knees.
He broke the kiss with a curse and stood back up. "I have to go, Jesse. We shouldn't do this. I'm sorry." The words cut me like a knife and I cringed when the door slammed shut. I curled into the chair and cried myself back to sleep.
The next few days passed and I didn't see James at all. Once, I saw Amanda coming out of the small grocery store with puffy eyes as though she'd been crying but I thought nothing of it. The kiss James and I had shared still haunted me. Just the thought of it would bring the feelings rushing back, but then I would remember his words as he left and I would be near tears again.
Almost two weeks later I was bartending for a little extra cash when James walked in with a couple friends. He looked at me briefly, but then it was as though he took great pains not to meet my eyes. One of the other guys would always get the beer orders, and I found myself wondering if maybe he hadn't enjoyed the touch as much as I thought he had. Maybe it had all been in my head. By the end of the night I had convinced myself that he had hated it, that I had initiated the contact, and I was slamming the doors to the beer coolers shut with every order.
When I slammed the register so hard it nearly fell off the bar back, the owner came over and told me I needed a break. "Go out to the beer garden and escape for a bit. You're too wound up, girl."
Kathy was one of the few people that knew about my feelings for James, and she had warned me that going too far could have horrible repercussions on both of us. I sat at one of the plastic tables, lay my head on my arms, and stared at the roses creeping up the side of the decrepit building next door. The door to the bar opened with a wash of sound and I looked up to see James standing there.
"Jesse..." he started and floundered. I knew he wasn't drunk. He had only had three beers while he sat and listened to his buddies talk, not adding much to their conversations.
I put my head back down on my arms and tried my best not to cry. Do not let him see you cry. It will only be worse if he knows you cared. As composed as I was going to be, I looked back up at him. He had moved closer to the table, but he was still several feet away on the other side.
"Jesse, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have left like I did," his soulful brown eyes showed his pain, and I choked back a sob. He moved around the table and sat in a chair in front of me, taking my hands into his. "I love you, more than I'll admit to even myself most of the time. But I don't want to jeopardize what we already have as friends if it doesn't work out."
The tears were running freely down my face when the door to the bar slammed open and Amanda rushed through. "You bastard! I knew it! You slept with her, didn't you? Is that why you broke up with me? So you could be with your whore?!"
James stood up as Amanda ran at me, catching her around the waist and hauling her back toward the bar. She kicked and clawed as she spat her accusations, screaming at both of us until Kathy came out with Curtis and they carried her off. I could hear Amanda, still screaming, as she was told to leave the bar and not come back until she could handle herself like an adult. For a moment, I thought she might try to climb the privacy fence between the beer garden and the street, but she walked away, crying. I almost felt bad for her, but I knew she hadn't loved James like she claimed.
I watched silently as James walked back to the table and sat down again with a sigh. He had red scratches on his arms and an angry pink handprint where she had landed a slap.
"Shit, I didn't think she'd be here tonight. She usually goes out of town with friends on the weekends." When I started to say something, he held up a hand, "Don't bother telling me you told me she was only using me for certain things. I know. She's been fucking her way through several towns while we were together, and only came to me when she needed money. I should have listened to you from the beginning, but I didn't and that's my fault."
"You couldn't have known she would sleep around," I tried to sound nice, but sleeping around was the least of her offenses.
"No, you called it. I broke up with her the same morning I left your house. Not because of the kiss or anything, but because Bobby had told me all about their night together after I left the bar."
"So, what now?"
"I don't know. Like I said, I don't want to lose your friendship," he looked at me. "I'd love to explore where this might go, but I think it would break me if it didn't work."
He looked so forlorn sitting there, spilling his heart out, that I had to smile at him. I threw my arms around his neck, "I'd like to see where it leads, too."
We walked back to my house after I closed up the bar and cleared the till for the next night. As soon as we were on my porch, I turned and hugged my arms around his waist.
"What was that for?"
"For being you. For not leaving me to wonder if I had done something wrong. For having the same thoughts as me."
His lips found mine and he reached around to open the door. We stumbled into the living room and I almost fell, breaking the kiss, and laughing we walked to the bedroom. There, he stopped me and kissed me thoroughly, leaving me sighing against his chest as he ran his thumbs under the thin straps of my shirt and down my arms.
I shivered as his touch tickled along my ribs and back, loving the look in his eyes when he saw me standing in my bra and jeans with my shirt shoved down around my hips. He guided me back to my bed and I lay back against the quilt as his hands started to explore. My hips arched against his hands as he loosened the buttons and fly of my jeans and slid them and the shirt down my legs and over my feet, taking my flats with them to be left on the floor.
Holding himself up on his forearms, he bent down and kissed me. I moaned and arched against him, the roughness of his jeans rubbing against my core as I spread my thighs around his hips. He kissed my chin and down my neck to nibble along my collar bones before dipping to my breasts. With one finger he pulled the top of my bra down to expose one nipple to his seeking mouth and I gasped as fire ignited low in my belly at the sensation of his tongue on my sensitive flesh.
I arched against him and held his head to my chest as he reached behind me to unfasten the hooks of my bra and toss it to the side. With my breasts bared before him he moaned and continued to lick and suck the nipples until I was crying out under him.
He lifted himself up and looked down at me, "I know you've had boyfriends before, Jesse, but have you ever actually had sex?"
I shook my head. It had been one of the main reasons they all broke up after a few months. I never felt right with any of them beyond some heavy petting. James had never known the real reasons for all of the break-ups. Sure, I had cried on his shoulder for most of them, but I had never really explained why.
"We'll go slow. If you want to stop, just say the word."
"I don't want to stop."
He kissed me again as he slid my panties down my hips and traced his fingers over my thigh. I sighed against him as his finger moved over my lower lips, sending tingles through my body and making my hips move against his hand. Finally, he dipped the finger into my folds and ran it in circles around my opening and then up over my clit. My head fell back and I moaned as his rough skin moved over my center. His finger left me and I whimpered, wanting him to touch me again, as he stood and pulled my panties the rest of the way off.
I watched as he pulled a foil-wrapped condom from his wallet and then stepped out of his jeans and pulled his shirt over his head. His muscles rippled as he moved and I couldn't help but stare at his erection. I had seen only one of my former boyfriends naked before, but he hadn't been nearly this large. James's penis stood out from his body as he rolled the condom over the head to the base. He climbed back on the bed, but instead of crawling up my body like I had expected he bent between my thighs and wrapped his hands around my hips.
His eyes met mine moments before his tongue slipped between my lips to flick over my clit. I gasped and reached up to hold onto the headboard as waves of sensation washed over my body, centering on my vagina and rolling outward to overwhelm me. He moved slowly, his tongue roaming over my opening and pushing a little inside me before moving back to my clit. At first he just licked along my slick depths, but then started to wrap his lips around my clit and suck at the apex of each circuit.
A long moan left my throat as he continued to lick and suck my now swollen womanhood before he moved to kiss my thighs. He rested his cheek on my thigh and slid a finger along my slit, making me gasp and squirm. His other hand squeezed down on my hip to keep me still as his tongue returned to my sex. I was moaning and thought for sure the pleasure would make me explode when he slid a finger into me. The pain was sharp, but it was quickly swept away as he continued to suck my clit. He moved the finger inside me and I moved my hips against him as pressure started to build in my abdomen.
I reached down and tangled my hand in his hair as he slid his finger in and out of me with the same rhythm his tongue had on my clit. He pulled his finger from me and then I felt the pressure as he returned with two fingers. The pressure built quickly and then exploded over me in a wash of ecstasy as I cried out and bucked against him. He held onto my hips with both hands now as I fisted my hands in his hair and tried to move his mouth from my clenching vagina. My thighs clasped over his head and I curled around him as the orgasm continued to flash through me with every flick of his tongue.
When all I could do was whimper, he let go of my hips. I relaxed my grip on his hair so he could move up my body. He knelt between my thighs and massaged both of my breasts as I moaned and writhed along the mattress. Then he lowered his body against mine and slid along my still twitching sex until I moaned and lifted my hips to his.
"I can still stop," he whispered with his lips right against my ear.
"No. Please don't stop."
He reached between our bodies and positioned the head of his penis at my opening. The pain was just as sharp as it had been with his fingers, but this time there was nothing to temper it as I gasped and cried out. James filled me entirely and then stopped moving, kissing me until the pain subsided and I just felt full.
When he started moving in me I wrapped my legs around his hips and squeezed, the pain of it slowly fading out to pleasure. I clenched my muscles around him and he moaned into my shoulder. "I'm not going to last if you keep doing that, Jesse." His voice was low and husky and I moved against him a bit more just to hear the sounds he made.
He wrapped his arms around me as he started to move faster, grunting and moaning as he got close to his own climax. I held onto him as his thrusts started to rock the bed and soon we were both moaning. With a loud moan he held himself as far into me as he could and I could feel him jerking inside me as he came.
I kissed him as he slid out of me, and then watched as he removed the condom and looked for a place to put it. Finally, he went to the bathroom and must have dropped it in the wastebasket there. He returned and we slid under the blankets together. James traced circles over my back and kissed my shoulders and neck as we both drifted off to sleep.
Author's Note: All comments and feedback are welcomed. Please vote and let me know what you thought of my story!