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We're Friends When You're on Your Knees

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It begins how these things tend to. Girl meets boy.

 

No, wait. That’s not strictly true. Because in this tale the boy is sixteen – almost seventeen, but still, sixteen – and the girl is old enough to know better. Plus, Petra thinks she knows it all, thinks what she likes is tall, dark and asshole. He’s none of those. He’s short, blonde and argyle sweater. “You’re not what I expected,” she says, eyebrows arched in surprise.

 

“Likewise,” he replies. She doesn’t quite know how to take that.

 

He’s easy to ignore as anything more than a friend for the first year or so. Just an angry seventeen-year-old frustrated at the high school girls that don’t want to date him.

 

“Older women,” he says one night as they sit in his room writing endless songs that will never go anywhere. “Yeah, that’s where it’s at. Not fucking girls.”

 

His eyes glow with something she recognises immediately; he has a crush on her. Her heart flutters uncomfortably and her stomach swoops. This is why his mom glares at her. This is why the bedroom door has to stay propped open. This is conversations over cookies and milk about his best friend Petra and how to get noticed. This is, categorically, not good.

 

“You sound like an asshole,” she informs him, because he does. But that isn’t unusual, Patrick sounds like an asshole a lot.

 

“You like assholes,” he counters, neither of them saying anything else for a while. He’s thrown down his gauntlet, he just wants her to pick it up.

 

“I like adults,” she says, accepting the good-natured punch to her shoulder, the fuck you delivered without bite as he lapses into an argument about a chord progression. He argues like he thinks she’ll object. She barely knows one end of the bass from the other but she recognises the talent in him and she’s not half bad at hooking a stream of confused consciousness into a series of metaphors that almost make sense.

 

He doesn’t bring it back up.

 

The band starts to progress beyond basements, beyond half-formed interest and barely polite booing into something palpable, something that shifts with her pulse when they play on stage. Joe tells her to wear short skirts and shirts that show off her tits to draw in the crowds. Joe doesn’t mention it again with bruised balls and a bruised ego.

 

Patrick still looks at her like he’s trying to frame words he doesn’t understand. But he’s still seventeen and he’s still kind of an asshole which makes him almost possible to ignore. He’s fun to taunt in the back of the van, ticking his nose when he tries to sleep, draping dirty boxers over his face until he kicks his foot straight through their best amp in wordless fury.

 

Just a kid and acting like one.

 

He gets drunk on his eighteenth birthday – totally wasted, in fact – spurred on by Joe and Chris and a dozen other people that should have known better while Petra and Andy roll their eyes like they’re the designated responsible adults. But it suits him, in a strange sort of way, the fuzzy softness that steals his attitude problem and leaves his eyes glassy. They sit together on the back porch, sprawled on bone-bleached boards in the moonlight with her head on his shoulder. It might be close to May but there’s still a bite of cold to the air and she shivers in her too-short, too-tight Green Day shirt, the one that shows off her tits though she pretends that isn’t why she wears it. No one dares to comment anyway after the last time. Patrick slips off his denim jacket and throws it over her shoulders, wrapping her in the smell of him; his skin, cheap cologne and the faintest hint of sweat. Fuck, he’s such a sweaty little dude, his palm damp and hot against hers as he takes her hand like the romantic lead in a novel she’s never read.

 

He begins a monologue of you mean a lot to me, Petra, the kind of thing designed to woo her. But it’s sloppy and childish and slurred thick with cheap beer and, she thinks, maybe a couple of hits from the bong Joe has set up in the basement. It’s embarrassing to listen to him, excruciating actually, and she knows he’ll die of humiliation the next morning. If he even remembers it. She decides to give him something else to remember instead, leaning close and pushing her mouth to his. He squeaks, hand tight against hers as he dives in too eagerly, a clash of teeth and mumbled apologies before his tongue curls against hers as his hands sink into her hair.

 

He kisses like he thinks she might run away if he stops, like the world will stop turning if their lips part, like she’s the centre of his universe, the axis on which his planet turns, the sun in his sky. His lips are chapped, she notices it absently, bitten raw by nervous teeth whenever he climbs up on stage.

 

He’s a good kisser – fucking amazing, in fact – fluttering sweet little pecks of his lips to hers, nipping points of pressure with the sharp press of his teeth that makes them throb a pulse that seems to echo between her legs. His tongue is talented, doing interesting things against the roof of her mouth that make her shiver. Petra is constructed of nothing more than molten honey and stardust. She’s an explosion waiting to detonate with hands curled around his neck as he leans into her. And that’s the thing; she knows her weird little eighteen-year-old best friend shouldn’t get her wet from nothing more than a kiss. She should pull away when he takes her hand and presses it down between his legs, lets her feel the hard throb of his cock under the sharp scrape of his zipper. She should stop him when he slips a hand up her shirt and tweaks gently at her nipple, already stiff and she can’t pretend it’s just the cold as she tucks her mouth to the crook of his neck and moans against his skin.

 

There are voices in the kitchen behind them, questioning cries for the birthday boy that jerk them apart like opposing polarities, eyes dark and hands twitching against thighs as they try to make it look like nothing has happened.

 

“Later?” He whispers hopefully. She just smiles and hopes he’ll forget about it. She slips away early rather than find out, terrified of how she feels as she turns up the collar of his jacket and breathes in the scent of him. She wears it to sleep in that night, nothing else, just the rough denim against the soft of her skin as she slides her whole hand down the front of her panties. She rubs against the press of flattened fingers, grinding into the ridges of them, face down into her pillow to stop herself screaming as she comes and comes, again and again until she’s exhausted enough to sleep and not think about it.

 

He smiles at her at practice the next day, that same look lingering like he has something to say. There’s a tiny bruise on his neck that’s almost the shape of her lips. She ignores him and he doesn’t bring it up again.

 

She catches him sometimes, staring at her wistfully from across the eternity of a basement practice, pretty hands curled in defiant possession around his mic, lips soft with something dangerous. He looks away when she raises her eyebrows, flushed pink and stammering something nonsensical at the toes of his shoes.

 

Once they get signed it becomes easier to deflect him; the band is serious, they shouldn’twon’tcan’t fuck it up by dragging something as stupid as sex into the room with them. He discovers groupies, has fun, discovers a girlfriend and forgets about Petra at least a little in the haze of brand-new love. She pretends she doesn’t notice that the other girl doesn’t like her, that she doesn’t see the lingering glares, the way she finds a reason to slip between them if a conversation lasts a beat too long. She pretends it doesn’t hurt to see him slip away with her, eyes bright and smile slashed wound-wide across his face.

 

She pretends she can’t hear them in the room next door of their apartment, the way his girlfriend moans for him. She decides she must be faking it even as she touches herself, even as she hooks up with other guys and has them touch her. It makes her feel ridiculously powerful to see the way Patrick scowls at them the next morning. But he’s her friend and nothing more, a kid – and a dumb one at that – until the day he isn’t.

 

He goes right ahead and brazenly does that thing that teenage boys do.

 

He grows up.

 

She isn’t sure when, exactly, it happens, when he makes that shift from dumb kid who giggles at tit jokes to a man. She sees it one afternoon as they sit in the van, her legs kicked up onto his thighs, his arm slung across the back of the bench, fingers toying with her hair and his eyes gazing past her at the flat Midwest skyline. It’s something in the set of his jaw, in the way he holds his shoulders and the casual flex of his fingers against the upholstery. He’s a man and that means he isn’t safe anymore, a thought that strikes a confusing pulse in her veins.

 

They share a hotel room that night, always the case when there isn’t enough money to get her a separate room and there aren’t any triples for the boys to share. Twin beds, very proper, even his girlfriend claims she doesn’t mind though Petra hasn’t missed the sour looks the other girl gives her when Patrick slings an arm around her shoulders and slurs drunken declarations of friendship.

 

“You’re my best friend,” he announces, like anyone is listening, “You’re my… my dude without a dick, yeah, I fuckin’ love you, Peep…”

 

She refuses to think about the girlfriend as she showers off the van and post-show sweat and grime, as she washes her hair and shaves her legs, runs the razor over her pussy though she has no idea if he likes that. She won’t think about anything, she tells herself, as she reapplies her eyeliner out of nothing more than vanity and slips, completely naked, out of the bathroom.

 

“You done?” He doesn’t look up from his laptop right away. “I’m pretty sure my crotch is sixty-eight percent ball sweat right now and I…”

 

He almost chokes on his tongue when he glances up, eyes wide then jerking to the floor as his breathing rasps rough over those petal-pink lips.

 

“`Trick?” She wonders if she’s misjudged everything horribly, nerves warring with arousal for which can drive her heart rate highest. “Don’t you… I mean, isn’t this what – what you want?”

 

“Fuck, Peep,” he whispers, fists clenched against the comforter and a voice that stings with accusation. That doesn’t seem entirely fair when he couples it with the nickname he knows only he gets to use. “What the fuck are you doing to me?”

 

Everything in her wants to slink back to the bathroom, to drag on her pajamas – okay his pajamas but she’s claimed them – and hope he’s willing to pretend it never happened. Because of all the scenarios she imagined as she stood under the lukewarm spray of a shitty motel shower, outright rejection wasn’t one of them. She moves towards him, to where he lies on his back on the bed, laptop abandoned next to him, and straddles his hips, daring him to stop her.

 

He doesn’t.

 

“Don’t you want to?” she asks, sliding to grasp his hands in hers and sliding them to her breasts. Callous-rough fingertips find her nipples, tugging and pinching with a flair she’s only seen lavished on his guitar. She’s wet for him, rocking her hips to his as he stares up at her from eyes as dark as midnight. “You always did…”

 

“I have a girlfriend.” It doesn’t even sound like an objection, just an observation as the hard press of his cock pushes against her through his jeans. “Peep, I – ”

 

She won’t let him ruin this, she’s already decided, her hands quick and draft against the buckle and zipper keeping her from his dick. For a few moments it won’t cooperate and she begins to seriously consider gaining access via the huge rip in the thigh of his jeans but then he grabs her wrists in both hands, pinning her still as he pants and writhes beneath her.

 

“M-my hat.” It’s a pathetic objection, if it even is one, she reaches for the trucker hat and sets it on top of her own shower-damp hair. The tension breaks. He laughs and slips a hand between her legs, fingers sliding along her lips as his eyes widen. “Fuck, Petra, you’re so fucking wet.”

 

And that’s how she finds herself on her back in a cheap motel room with Patrick kissing fire into her throat as his fingers do clever things between her legs. He’s good at it, too, but like the kissing it’s a surprise that he knows what to do. She imagined sweet but clumsy fumbling, the warm buzz of an orgasm she mostly had to provide herself. She doesn’t expect to come hard and gasping with crashing stars exploding in her skull as he teases her clit with a single swirling fingertip. She hadn’t expected him to breathe lust and want into her ear, “I wanna eat your pussy. Can I, Peep? Please say yes…”

 

She thinks she might be prepared, after the kissing and the fingering, for him to be better than she anticipated. She lies, trembling and chest heaving, as he bites tiny, bruising little kisses to her inner thighs with greedy moans. She tenses, back arched, as he gently licks along her lips, circling where they part around her swollen clit but not quite touching just the right place.

 

He licks into her, tongue driving right into the core of her as she clenches around him, thighs hugged to his temples as he smirks up at her like he knows a secret. His fingers find her, three pressed inside as his tongue flutters around them, as he raises his head and slowly drags the plush swell of his lower lip over her clit, chasing sensation with hot breath and fired eyes.

 

The calloused pad of his index finger finds that spot, the one that knots pressure between her legs and makes her buck to his mouth as he teases slow, languid, precise. She thinks she screams, head thrown back, the thud of a fist from the other side of the flimsy drywall a strong indication that she’s pissed off Joe.

 

She’ll deal with that in the morning.

 

“Shh,” Patrick soothes, his heavenly mouth – that mouth, Patrick’s irredeemably, eminently, utterly filthy mouth – biting a bruise to her thigh as he orchestrates maddening heat within her with the press and curl of his fingers. “Peep, you gotta shut the fuck up…”

 

Her reply is delivered in the form of fingers knotted into his hair, his mouth dragged back to her clit as he huffs a breathless laugh over nerve-bright, aching, slicked-wet flesh. The noises don’t stop, embarrassing little whines and whimpers as he curls his tongue around her clit, as he licks and kisses and moans into her with a hum that vibrates straight to her skull. She bucks again, hard and desperate, cunt clenching around his fingers like she can absorb him as he breathes something halfway unintelligible about making her squirt.

 

He doesn’t, not this time, but the sudden pull of his tongue against the ache of her clit, the way his fingers tease and twist inside of her as he laves a long, slow, wet lick that burns with wanton heat is enough to arch her back from the mattress. Muscles pull and pulse within her, the very core of her being dragging with her heart beat around the invasive press of his fingers as something close to an incendiary explosion races fire through her bloodstream. There isn’t enough air in the room – and what there is slicks sticky and hot in her lungs – as her body throbs, as her vision washes white to gold to endless, limitless red and swirling orange. She rocks her hips, rubbing against his mouth like she can make it last forever, like the world will end if she stops.

 

He keeps licking, keeps kissing, keeps his fingers still as she shudders around him until the world calms briefly once more. She feels as though she’s on fire, as though she’s drowning, as though there’s nothing but Patrick, warm and solid between her thighs, that stops her from ascending somewhere else.

 

“God, Peep,” he whispers against her skin, lips and chin wet with his spit and her pussy. “Fuck, just… God.”

 

She’s never seen so much of him as she does on the motel bed, so much cream-pale skin dusted with red-gold hair. He contrasts to her perfectly, her gold to his pearl, the pretty pink of his lips closed around the tight dark of her nipples, the way his pale hand looks between her legs as he fucks his fingers into her until she cries out. She wants to possess him, to own and taste each inch of him as she feathers kisses everywhere she can reach, legs around his waist as he grinds into her through denim and cotton and she knows the front of his jeans will smell of her tomorrow.

 

Finally, he struggles out of them, wriggling and kicking until they thump to the floor in a tangle and she can look. He’s got the most gorgeous cock she’s ever seen, thick and pink and curving prettily towards his stomach. He lowers shy eyes, fingertips tracing something onto her thigh – a figure 8 or an infinity loop, she knows which she likes to imagine – her thighs hook to his hips.

 

“Can I suck your cock?” she asks, her mouth watering at the thought of wrapping her lips around him. He shakes his head slowly. “Can you fuck me?”

 

“I don’t have any condoms,” he shrugs and her stomach clenches a little. That’s not what she’s imagined so many times, she wants him inside of her, satin skin and the wet reminder of him in her panties tomorrow. She smiles.

 

“I didn’t expect you to use one,” she whispers, drawing him closer with the wrap of her legs around his waist. There’s a date-marked, foil wrapped blister pack tucked in her bag that says this is okay. “I’m clean, you’re clean, I’m… protected.”

 

She won’t imagine dark-haired, blue-eyed little poppets. She won’t. She’s already a breath away from an I love you. She’s already placing a bet with currency she doesn’t have. She’s already risking everything they’ve worked so hard on.

 

“Oh, you mean…” he trails off as he lowers himself to brace over her, knees and elbows taking his weight as he rubs the flushed-thick length of his cock along the flooded stretch of her pussy. She shudders around the nod, bitten nails stained with sharpie sinking sharp into his shoulders. “Right.”

 

She spreads her legs a little wider, feels him nudge just inside then still, shaking like he’ll break apart with it as he shivers with restraint. Her hands slide to the plush roundness of his ass, pressing and pushing and urging as he sinks into her, as she stretches to accommodate him and he breathes, hot and stale and smelling of stage salt and raw vocal chords, against her neck.

 

“Are you okay?” he asks like a gentleman, like she’s some untouched virgin corrupted by his cock. She wonders if he was his girlfriend’s first then immediately forces herself not to think about that. She nods furiously and strokes his cheek, his sideburns wet with sweat as he presses a kiss to the corner of her lips. “I’m gonna move, yeah?”

 

She’s almost sobbing by the time he does, nerves burnt raw as he drags out slowly, circles his hips as he thrusts back inside of her. It’s never been like this with skinny jean wearing scene boys on piles of coats in dark bedrooms at parties. It was never this good on her college dorm bed, in bathrooms or the backseat of cars with anonymous hands and mouths and dicks that didn’t belong to Patrick.

 

“Do that again,” she begs as he touches that spot inside of her and scores it with a lazy beat against her clit with his thumb. “Please!”

 

He does it again. Again and again in the steadiest rhythm she’s ever felt. She’s never fucked a drummer before, but she’s not certain she wants to fuck anything else as he keeps that perfect tick-tock back and forth. She wonders if she’s still contained within her body or floating somewhere above it as he breathes filth into her ear, as he tells her of all the things he’ll do to her, the ways he’ll take her, how he’ll make her scream for him until her head rings with the same pulse that pounds between her legs.

 

Petra comes screaming.

 

She comes like she’ll die if Patrick stops, like the world is crumbling around them and the flex and push of his shoulder under her greedy, grasping fingernails is the only thing stopping her from drifting to ash. She comes and feels the flood of him inside, the twitch of his cock as he croons her name, sweet and utterly lovely. Her cunt clenches tight around him, drawing each trembling pulse and flutter as he fucks out the last of his orgasm into her until they’re sweaty and breathless. This is it, Petra decides, fingers tight in his hair as she kisses him like she can shotgun the taste of herself that lingers against his lips and tongue, this is everything and all she’s ever wanted.

 

 He shifts above her awakardly, avoiding eye contact like it negates the fact that he’s inside of her.

 

“Are we okay?” he asks, unsure and flushed, his hair tufted and messy around his face as he blinks at her uncertainly. “I mean, I didn’t want – ”

 

“It’s only weird if we make it that way,” she insists with a nonchalance she doesn’t feel. “Let’s… not. Yeah?”

 

“Yeah,” he agrees, pulling out with a chaste kiss brushed to her mouth.

 

He showers but she doesn’t. She wants the reminder tomorrow; the fucked sticky sensation and the bleach-musk smell every time she uses the bathroom. She wants the reminder smudged like pearl against her panties – she does a quick recce in her bag for clean ones and sighs – okay his underwear, that she’ll steal and he’ll grouse but won’t actually mind. He curls into the bed beside her and reaches for his phone, squinting at it in the darkness as he scrolls to his girlfriend’s name.

 

“What are you doing?” she asks, panicked.

 

“I need to tell her it’s over,” he explains patiently, like she’s an idiot as his fingers comb through her hair. “I thought that’s… Isn’t this what you want?”

 

No. It’s absolutely the opposite of what she wants. She’s a girl in the scene, a band around her constructed of guys, touring with other guys in other bands, the only pair of tits on a stage filled with cock. She’s seen the way the girls in the crowd divide between the ones that want to be her and the ones that can’t stand her. She’s heard the whispers in smoky club bathrooms, the red-letter shame of being a girl amongst guys. She doesn’t want to fulfil the prophecy, doesn’t want to be the one dismissed for fucking her way into the band – even though she is the fucking band, even though she does everything and more to make sure no one thinks that.

 

She’s never been sure of anything, a life controlled with prescription pills and time on stage spent screaming her feelings into the abyss. All she’s known is that she doesn’t want average, she doesn’t want to be the prom queen that marries her high school sweetheart and settles for suburban obscurity. The thought turns her cold, shifts her stomach inside out and she won’t go back to it for anyone, for any reason whatsoever, she has to be taken seriously.

 

She’s been so careful, never wears a skirt on stage, skinny jeans and striped shirts or band shirts, studded belts at her hips and converse instead of heels. She never drifts too close to any of them, never rests a hand to a sweat-damp shoulder or brushes a kiss to a stubbled cheek. She’s girl-next-door not scene queen supernova. How long until the girlfriend talks, until petraisacreep is the LiveJournal they flock to for all of the wrong reasons? Her heart is too big for her chest, pulsing raw and wet and messy as she snatches the phone from his hand and switches it off.

 

In the darkness he tenses, stuttered confused and awkward with hands that don’t know what to do.

 

“Just…” she trails off for a moment before sliding a hand around the soft length of his cock. He twitches against her palm, flushing full and thick in a few strokes as he groans out tortured defeat into the air between them, all framed in a weak nod. “Let’s enjoy this, shall we? You can have her at home, this is just… us.”

 

She’s twenty-four and should know better.

 

He’s nineteen and in love with her.

 

She’s got this under control.

 

She’s got this.