The Fundamentals of Friendship Pt. 01byNanaya©
So, I was home doing nothing thinking to myself "Now you have three whole months of sun and nothing to do, I'm sure you won't write a thing. You never write when you actually have the time to do it."
I wrote, though.
This is just the foundation of a story I intend to be deep. Just a little background. By now I think it's safe to say you all know what kind of stories and characters I write.
The best friend angle is something I've been wanting to do for a while, so here it is. Because I only recently finished my last story (Dindi) I fear some elements of it are still clinging to me. I'm sure they'll gradually disappear as this new story progresses.
Since I mentioned the last story...
I don't really reply to comments, but I want to say how happy I am you guys liked that story. Thank you so much for all the support. You're great!
I'll say this again: My first language isn't English (is Portuguese for those of you who asked me). That being said you will find some mistakes my eyes didn't catch. I'm terribly, terribly sorry for them. I know how annoying it is to read badly written things.
I plan 4, maybe 5 parts for this new story. Although I have an idea of what might happen in the coming chapters, I never know how a story will end until I write it. Your comments and feedbacks influence me a lot. A LOT. After all, this is meant to entertain you more than me.
I hope you like this. I might have nothing to do, but I still need some inspiration and weeks of revision to post the next chapter. I promise part 2 won't take too long (that if you think you want to read a part 2).
"I still can't believe you're doing this."
"It's only for three weeks."
"Four." He corrected me.
"Oh, right. A whole month."
His hand, which was way below my waist, gave the sore cheek it rested upon a gentle squeeze. "I just realized something." He said.
"I'm going to have to find someone else to have sex with while you're away."
"Oh, yeah. How very inconvenient for you, Riley." The corners of my mouth turned up a little, in spite of myself. "I won't have the same problem, of course. I'm way hotter than you."
Though my eyes were closed I could hear his smile very clearly. He gave my backside another squeeze, this one not so gentle, and I winced a little. The harshness of the palm of his hand had left the flesh there overly sensible. I couldn't really complain. I had asked for it.
"That's true. I'm sure you'll come back leaving half a dozen heartbroken Frenchman in your wake."
Lying sideways, with a hand under my cheek, I lifted my heavy eyelids to spy Riley's naked body stretched out on my bed, next to me. He had his eyes closed, a languid arm thrown over my hip, and his face turned towards the ceiling enjoying the fading evening light that came in through the window.
Riley had something about him. A kind of drawing power that would make most people jealous. It could be called charm, but to me that was just the way he was. Irresistible.
Looking at his body of finely sculpted muscles by years of swimming, it wasn't too hard to see why, once upon a time, I had been so crazy in love with him.
"Clementine will take good care of the place while I'm gone." I said to him, more to convince myself than anything else.
He grunted, the sound quickly replaced by that almost-not-there smile that was so typical of him.
Of course he knew I had reservations about staying away from work for a whole month. He knew me well. After all, Riley was my best friend in the whole world.
He also was the go-to man for when I wanted sex.
We weren't the first people to do the friends with benefits thing. We certainly wouldn't be the last.
"Are you sure you don't want me to drive you to the airport tomorrow?" He asked.
"Nah. I hate airports and goodbyes, you know that. Besides, you have that meeting tomorrow, don't you?"
"I can reschedule that."
"Soph will drive me. Don't worry, Ry."
I was leaving for Paris the next day for a three week course in French cuisine. The plan was to spend an extra week sightseeing or touring or whatever it is people do when they have free time. I needed to take a break, according to the general opinion. The general opinion being Riley's and my sister's, Sophia.
I owned a little corner bistro which, at Riley's creative suggestion, was called Laura's Bistro for lack of a better name.
In all the eight years I've called myself the proud owner of that little establishment, I could count on the fingers of one hand how many days, from sunrise to sundown, I had been away from its kitchen. Now everybody just expected me to leave the business I dedicated years of my life to in the hands of my kitchen-assistant-turned-manager for an entire month.
Not that Clementine couldn't handle the job. She could. But I was...well, me. If you want something done right, do it yourself. That was my motto. Riley, though, would say I simply didn't know how to delegate.
"You know what, Ry. I don't need the extra week." I finally said what I had been thinking for days.
Riley laughed that tired sound of people depleted of physical energy. "I knew it."
He turned his head on the pillow to face me, opening his dark eyes. "You need a break, Ells. Take the week. The world will keep turning if you take a holiday, you know."
I stared into Riley's amused eyes. He had the darkest eyes. The distinction between iris and pupil was only discernible when he looked directly into the light. I always got a disquieting feeling deep inside whenever I looked into them for too long. It was like staring at the sun. After a time you had to turn away.
"What will I do with a free week?" That made him laugh again.
Riley turned to lie on his side, running the hand on my hip all the way up to my hair. His fingers snaked their way into my curls and a little shiver raised the little hairs on my nape. "What will you do in Paris for a whole month? What a difficult question, Ells! I mean, there's nothing to see there. It's such a horrible looking city! And the food is shit, too. Ah, and all that wine! You hate wine, right? What will you do, indeed?"
I gave his shoulder a nudge. "I'm serious, Ry."
"Hey. Just relax a little, Ells. Take some time for yourself. All you ever do here is work. Even you need to take a little time off once in awhile."
"I'm taking time off right now."
"Sex doesn't count. It requires too much energy."
He retrieved his hand, leaving a passing coldness in the place where it had been. He closed his eyes again, rolling on his back. I just watched the funny way the orange reddish light of a day's end lit one side of his face casting a shade on the other, darkening the hollow just below his cheekbone, which was high and sharp like a cat's. It made him look freakishly thin.
Riley had one of those exotic, interesting faces that made you wonder just what kind of combination had originated him. His lips, a little plumper than one would expect to find in a man, composed a broad mouth that seemed to always be on the verge of smiling. He had a strong, long nose that was maybe a little too long, but an imperfection that fitted him perfectly. He wasn't the kind of man you'd call handsome immediately. You would need a second glance to see his appeal. He hid it all under layers of geekness. Once his layers were peeled off, though, he couldn't be resisted any more than the apple was by Eve.
I've known him since he was a scrawny little boy with scraped knees, but after puberty I developed a little difficulty keeping my eyes away from his body. It persisted to this day, specially as it was now, naked and sticky with the sweat sprung from all the exertion I put him through.
"I'm hungry." I'm sure he thought he was being subtle.
I opened my mouth to deny him, finding I needed a little time to recompose myself. If he heard my smile he'd know I wasn't serious and I'd have to get up and make him his damn French toast. He would live solely on French toast. Or anything that contained a lot of cinnamon.
"I won't cook for you, Riley. You know where the kitchen is."
"Yeah, but I'm not the chef here."
"I'm way too tired and you have only yourself to blame for that."
"Not true. I have you to blame as well."
He fell silent allowing me to think he'd given up. I should've known it wouldn't be so easy to dissuade him though. I felt the mattress sinking under Riley's weight as he lazily dragged his body over to mine. "Come on, Ells. If you whip us something up I'll give you one last orgasm before you get to Paris."
That was my turn to laugh. Even that little effort made the muscles on my abdomen hurt.
"Riley, if you can get that thing up after all we did here today I'll give you a prize." Even as I said it, my legs opened to him, welcoming the intrusion of his body between them.
"Who said anything about getting anything up?" His smirk was pure wickedness.
"Oh." I wasn't one to turn down free tongue-fucking from the man who could call himself an expert on my clit (on my whole body, really). Not even as worn out as I was.
Riley kissed me slowly, letting his tongue caress mine with the dexterity he knew I liked. My hands traced the hard muscles under the smooth, sticky skin of his back. He travelled south, trailing kisses, bites and little licks down my body until his head of tousled dark hair disappeared in between my legs.
I just arched my back and enjoyed the show. I'd go a whole month without it.
Riley and I met as kids in school.
He made some nasty comment about my curly hair, I kicked him in the shins. The next day our teachers forced us to apologize, then grounded us. We were made to sit together, side by side, during lunch break for an entire week. Somehow after that we actually became friends.
We grew up together, basically.
When puberty reached me, around the age of 14 or something, he was the first boy I ever acknowledged as cute. It was very cliché. A boy and a girl are best friends. And the girl falls in love with the boy.
Riley was strangely unpopular among girls. Strangely because, to me, he was the hottest thing on two legs when my girl friends thought he looked weird. To my face they said weird while on my back most of them had kissed him in the library darkest aisle.
He was tall. Taller than most boys. And with his height came that gawkiness and lack of proportion teenage boys are afflicted with.
When he wasn't hiding behind an Isaac Asimov or a H.G. Wells novel, he was part of the swimming team. Nothing on earth gave me more pleasure than watching his training. Seeing the muscles of his back working under the water, flexing and relaxing, extending and contracting. I learned how to touch myself around that time, thinking about Riley's muscular back and arms straining with effort while he touched me in every way I've always wanted to be touched by him.
Of course I placed him way above me, like any good teenage girl in love for the first time. He lived on a pedestal. Unachievable to me. On my fifteenth birthday, though, I was surprised when he asked if I would mind it if he kissed me. From what I remember, I gaped at him for a full minute before nodding in agreement. He kissed me, then asked me to be his girlfriend. Just like that. Without any previous indication of his intentions. I said yes without even blinking and that was how our romance began.
Being as insecure as I was as a teenager, I used to think that, maybe, Riley only wanted me as his girlfriend because I was the only girl with boobs (or without it) who showed any public interest in him. Even though he incessantly said he liked me because I was beautiful and the smartest girl he knew.
I wasn't as tall as he, but I was tall for a girl. Mostly, what I saw in the mirror when I looked at myself was a stick with voluminous, curly hair.
I also had a huge problem with the way kids in school looked at us. Some of them being mean enough (as kids normally are in high school) to actually tell us what they thought of that white boy dating that black girl. Not to mention all those girls who wanted him, but wouldn't be caught dead admitting it.
I can't count on all of my fingers and toes how many times Riley ended up in the principal's office for punching bullies. Sometimes I had accompanied him myself.
Riley Vogel was my very first love. And I was his.
He was my best friend, my boyfriend and, eventually, he became the guy who I lost my virginity to in a surprisingly good experience with all the due awkwardness first times demand. After that day I'd yank his pants down every chance I got.
We dated for six whole years.
We managed three years of long distance while in college. Our relationship consisted of e-mails, phone calls and a short-lived visit five, maybe six, times a year if we were lucky. By and by the distance cooled things down. I missed him like a lost limb, but somewhere along the way, on the rare occasions we could meet, we used most of our time together to just talk and forgot we had to actually behave like a couple of lovestruck birds.
Sex began to feel like a Sunday evening to a student. We enjoyed it as well as we could, but that deep desolation feeling came creeping in once the act was over.
When you're used to having a lot of sex then find yourself having it through the phone most of the time, and the flesh on flesh thing only happens during holidays; you will discover that not minding to have it at all, given the chance, means something is really, mortally wrong.
I loved Riley to death. I also knew he loved me. Be that as it may, we found we were the kind of people who actually needed the everyday physical contact to keep the flame alive. In the end we decided to put a stop to the romantic side of our relationship. I cried for months, but at least I knew I hadn't lost him. Not really.
In some strange way we helped each other get over the break up. We even called one another sometimes to cry and say "I miss you. I love you, but yeah I know, it doesn't work this way". He didn't stop being my best friend not for a single moment amid all that mess.
We finally graduated. He came back home and once again, we were seeing each other almost every day. Strangely enough though, that thing just wasn't there anymore. I still thought him a gorgeous, wildly attractive man, but we weren't two teenagers in love anymore. Adulthood and its responsibilities ended that naive, romanticized versions of ourselves.
We moved on with our lives. Riley had girlfriends. I had boyfriends. Some of them were nice, some others not so much. The whole time he was with somebody that wasn't me or I was dating a guy that wasn't him, I expected one of us to throw a maniac fit of jealousy. It never happened, though. We understood we had had our chance. We had tried. It had been wonderful, but it was all water under the bridge. One of his girlfriends and I actually became such good friends that we remained in touch even after they parted ways. In time our friendship proved itself stronger than any of life's eventualities.
It was not until Riley's 30th birthday that things took strange turn.
We drank a lot. A L-O-T that night. More than I remembered ever doing before. I might have put some illegal herbs in his cake, too. I only remember waking up around noon the next day, naked in his bed (with him equally naked beside me), knowing, from the feels of my body, that I had been thoroughly fucked all night long.
After that we had both agreed the night had been a mistake. Huge, huge mistake. We were drunk. We were high. We were stupid. We would never do it again.
Until we did it.
And then we did it again. And again. And then one more time after that. It became a habit.
Finally we sat down to talk things straight.
"Why do we keep doing this?"
"Because it's good."
"Yeah, it really is."
"Really, really good."
"We should stop, though. Our friendship is too important."
"Yeah. We could stop."
"We could not."
So we didn't.
Funny thing is, we actually dated other people in between our friends with benefits arrangement. And surprisingly, nothing changed between us. I mean, we stopped. Of course we didn't sleep with each other while dating someone else. But I didn't find myself suddenly crazy jealous of his dates, nor did he try to punch my then boyfriend to get me back or anything.
No. We knew how to separate things.
Sex is sex. Our friendship is our friendship.
And that was it.
I'm not sure how we managed to separate things, but we did. Sex was a physical contact with one goal in mind. A limited activity. Our friendship was unlimited. I'd give him my kidneys and a piece of the liver if he needed it. I knew he'd do the same for me.
When I felt like having orgasms I could just open my bedside table drawer or text him 'Come over'. He'd come and we'd do it. Simple as that. Out of the sex bubble we didn't touch each other in any way borderlining romantic entanglement. We didn't kiss. We didn't exchange caresses. We didn't stare at each other with an expression of devotion for long periods of time. We simply had sex when we felt like having sex.
Our arrangement was mutually beneficial and purely physical.
I still had my best friend, with the benefit of having sex with him when I wanted to.
As an extra benefit, he was also the person who knew me and my body better than anyone in the world. As I knew his. None of us would ever be left unsatisfied. Our deal was actually safer than one night stands with random people. One night stands were known to leave you wanting from time to time. Not that we didn't do the occasional catch it, enjoyed it and release it with other people. We did it. But there was no denying it was easier to just do it with each other.
Riley and I were two people who liked (actually loved) each other. We were very sexually attracted to one another and also, had known each other forever. Not to mention the fact that sex with us was easy. I felt as comfortable in bed with him as a fish in the water. We worked in synch, and that was perfect.
My sister, Sophia, liked to muse on my particular situation. Her theory was that Riley and I still had a childhood reminiscent hope that our love would reflourish, making us a happy couple once more. The argument I threw back at her was that Riley knew what my clit existed for.
"Why don't you two just date like normal people?" She'd say "I mean, you're already fucking and you're always there for each other." She put an annoying, although funny, childish mimicking tone to her voice when she had said that last part.
She wasn't all that wrong. We could date. But that wouldn't work. We were just too comfortable with being friends. Besides, Riley was in good terms with being single. Seemed to me he wouldn't worry himself with relationships for a while. He was young, handsome, talented, earned himself some good money. He was fine as he was.
"I'm not looking for anyone right now." He'd say on the matter.
I loved Riley. I didn't even know how to be without him. I just wasn't in love with him. At least not anymore. But I did love him. Very, very much
And we were just fine as we were.
Once Riley understood I wasn't going to cook him anything, not even for all the orgasms in the world, he accompanied me to the bistro. I had to double check things with Clementine before I left for Paris, just to make sure she'd be alright.
"Hey, boss." She greeted me with the same smile that had me wondering every morning how the hell she could be such a happy person. "Here to make sure I won't burn the place down in your absence?"