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Losing It

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“I am never going to lose my virginity,” Rey announces one night after another really horrid date. She’d been out with some guy she’d met on Tinder. The app is supposed to be about cheap hookups and she was sure that she could at least lose it to some random guy who would never come calling again. But no, this guy was irritating in every way. Oh sure he was good looking if you went for the tall, blond, blue-eyed surfer types (Rey finds suddenly that she doesn’t), but his focus was himself and nothing more. She lost interest less than halfway through the short date and made excuses to get out of there.

Her roommate, Ben, glances up from the book he’s reading, one black brow raised. “And you felt the need to announce this to everyone?”

“Everyone?” Rey scoffs. “You’re the only one here.” They’d been roommates for almost three years now, and she’s sure that Ben is used to her eccentricities. She’s certainly used to his. Up to all hours of the night studying, going for runs at the crack of dawn despite his obvious exhaustion, falling asleep over his books in the afternoon. He’s a strange combination of studious and jock, spending equal amount of times with his long nose buried in a book or working out at the gym.

Surely he’s used to her verbal diarrhea and too much information she sometimes shares.

“Isn’t that more appropriate to share with Finn?” Finn’s her best friend. Her gay best friend. They were roommates once too, before he moved in with his now long-term partner Poe. They’ve been talking of marriage. Well, Poe has been talking of it to her and Finn has been talking of it to her, but never together. She suspects one day one of them will pop the question and the other will be mad because he’d been planning it and the wedding will be a smashing success.

Rey smirks at Ben and comes to sit next to him on the couch. “How did you lose yours?”

It should have been an innocent question. Ben is 29, some eight years older than her, so obviously more experienced in the world. But his head shoots up and the tips of his ears sticking out through his hair turn red. He says nothing, his eyes dark and hooded, before turning back to his book. The corners of his mouth turn down just a little bit.

“So it must have been pretty bad?” she surmises.

He still says nothing but the lines at the corner of his mouth deepen.

“Oh come on.” She shoves playfully at his shoulder. “It can’t have been that bad, can it? People always say it’s better for the guys…”

She trails off as there’s a flash of something in his eyes.

“Ben,” she wheedles. She’s so curious now.  There’s a story there. There has to be. She reaches out one hand and puts it on his knee and he jumps, pushing back and away from her. The book hits the ground with a dull thud.

“I haven’t.” The words come out through gritted teeth.

“You…Oh my God, you’re a virgin too?” And now his whole face is red. “But…how?”

“I don’t have time for that nonsense.” He can’t seem to look at her as he says the words.

“Are you Ace?”

“What?”

“Asexual? God I’m sorry. I didn’t know…”

“I’m not asexual,” he shoots back quickly. “I mean…not that there’s anything wrong with it. But I’m…I’m not.”

“Oh.” She’s not sure what to say to this revelation.

“I just…I’m in school. I have things to do. And I’m…” He waves one hand in the air. “…me,” he finishes with.

Rey just studies him for a moment. Surely some woman would find him attractive. He is attractive, she realizes. The strange unevenness of his features comes together to make one interesting whole. Dark somewhat slanted eyes, long nose, plush lips. His jaw is slightly crooked and his ears stick out at a strange angle. But he has gorgeous hair, wavy and looking perfectly unkempt even after he’s brushed it. She’s played with it before, enough to know it’s silky and feels good through her fingers. And he’s tall and broad, even if he does bury all those muscles in sweaters that are at least two sizes too big for him.

“That’s it!” she announces.

“I’m going to regret asking this,” he says with a sigh. “But what is it?”

“We need to get us both laid,” she says as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world. She puts her hand back on his knee and watches as he takes a deep breath. “Oh don’t you tell me no.” There’s a pout to the words. “You can’t want to keep it, right?”

“It’s never really occurred to me to care,” he points out.

“Really?”

“Why is this so important to you?”

And oh dear, he’s getting angry. His mouth is drawing into that sort of pucker that tells her he’s rapidly losing his patience with her. She’s seen it before. Like the time Finn came banging at the door in the middle of the night after his first fight with Poe. Or the time she ate the rest of his pizza or used his conditioner when she ran out of hers.

“I don’t know,” she admits. “I just feel…left out?” The words come out a little small. “Come on Ben. Just go on one date and see if it works out? Maybe you won’t be alone all the time…”

“I’m not alone,” he mutters.

She sighs. “I mean someone other than me. I’m your roommate. Surely you want a girlfriend or something?”

He mutters something under his breath.

“What?”

“Fine,” he spits out. “One date. If you can find someone appropriate.”

She lets out a little squeal and hugs him. “Perfect! Let’s do this thing. Operation Getting Us Laid begins now!”

“Great,” he mutters.


“Tinder? Really?” The things he lets her talk him into. Tinder of all things.

“It’s the obvious choice,” she points out. She looks so perfectly at ease and he finds himself groaning. She sits close to him and he can feel the heat from her body, tries not to shiver as her bare thigh brushes his.

“It’s a hook-up app,” he points out.

She rolls her eyes at him. “Of course it is. I mean, that’s what we’re trying to do isn’t it?”

She’s going to be the death of him. He’s sure of this now. She has been ever since she tumbled into his life. Quite literally, actually. He’d been late to meeting her at his apartment when she came to look at it that day. She’d been standing at the top of the stairs and his voice startled her. She tripped and the next thing he knew he was rushing forward and catching her. Talk about falling for someone, he had quipped and God, if he wasn’t embarrassed in the days after at his terrible attempt at flirting.

She had looked so annoyed in that moment as she set herself to rights and he was fairly sure she was going to stomp off, not even look at the place. But then she’d insisted that she came all this way and it was cheap, so she might as well. But none of that funny stuff, buddy.

He’d replayed the exchange for days after (weeks if he was to be honest with himself) and even now he sometimes cringes at it. You’re an embarrassment to the Solo name, kid.

“Fine, whatever. Let’s just get this thing over with.”

She smiles then and it’s like the sun comes out. His own little Rey of Sunshine. He cringes inwardly at that. She’d hate it. She’d probably punch him and remind him none of that funny stuff.

“Perfect. First, we need a picture.”

“Do we really need one?”

She just stares at him. “Seriously? It’s Tinder. Do you think anyone looks at profiles with no picture?”

“I’m not a piece of meat.”

“Of course you are,” she says with a laugh. “Well, for this at least. I mean, you’re intelligent and funny when you want to be. But that’s not what people are looking for on Tinder. You might as well just go on Match or something if you’re looking for someone who cares more about that.”

He tries not to point out that he’d rather not be on any of it, thank you very much.

“So, hmmm…” she says and stands up, studying him.

“What are you doing?” He’s pretty sure she can see the tips of his ears turn redder the more she stares at him. God, Ben, what are you doing? This whole thing is insane. The reality is he doesn’t want to lose his virginity. Not to someone who doesn’t matter. Not to someone who’s not…

“Trying to figure out your best angle.”

“Pretty sure I don’t have one,” he points out. With a face like his, his best angle is probably one that shows nothing more than some of his hair and the rest of his body. He’s not ashamed of that at least and he knows there’s a reason he’s worked on it. He has the face of some weird anime creature with overly large features set in a long face. At least women might appreciate his muscles, even if they’re hidden behind too much pale skin.

Everyone has one,” she points out and crosses her arms over her chest. Finally, she looks satisfied and for some reason he feels a little scared at the look on her face. “Take off your shirt.”

“What?” The voice that comes out of his mouth is at least an octave higher than usual. Squeaky. He hasn’t sounded squeaky since he was going through puberty.

She laughs.

Of course she does.

 “Come on, just do it.” She reaches out her hands to grasp the bottom of his shirt and he lets out a hiss. She backs away immediately.

“No.” And now he sounds petulant. “This was a bad idea.”

Ben.” She sounds exasperated. “You promised.”

“I’m not taking photos shirtless.”

“What have you got to worry about?” She looks him up and down. Actually looks him up and down and he has to try to reign in his traitorous emotions. “I mean, have you seen your body? Because I have. And trust me. Women will love it.”

He’s not sure what to say to that, really. She’s never shown any signs of actually noticing him. And he’s looked. God has he looked. He’s always trying to read into the things she says and does and always comes up empty. Rey simply makes no sense sometimes.

“Alright, fine. But maybe undo a few buttons? You look like a prude.”

“I am a…”

Ben.”

And there’s really nothing she won’t get with that tone of voice. He’d throw his heart at her feet and let her stomp on it if she asked in that tone of voice. He’d strip down naked and let her post those photos if she really wanted to. God, he’d do anything for her.

“Fine,” he mutters, undoing two buttons. And then a third when she tells him to. She reaches out to adjust his shirt, undoing one more button and letting the top of it spread apart a bit. The feel of her hands brushing across his chest leaves him trying to pull himself together. He feels like he’s about to fall off a cliff. Why this, Rey? Why can’t…But no, he knows that’s impossible. Rey is the sun and he is the darkness of a black hole. She deserves someone who can give her everything, not nothing more than a soul that’s in tatters.

“Perfect,” she declares. “Now lean back a bit. Rest one of your ankles on your knee.” He’s really sure he doesn’t want to do that. He’s half hard from her nearness. That can’t bode well. But dammit if she doesn’t give him another one of those looks, and he’s doing it, trying to rest his book over his groin and hoping she won’t notice.

But no, she pulls the book away and situates it better. He watches as her eyes go to there and he’s almost sure…almost…that her eyes widen a little and are her pupils a little more dilated than before? He chases that thought from his head before he can follow it to any sort of illogical conclusion.

“Well,” she says. He’s almost sure she’s going to say something else and so he cuts her off. He doesn’t want her to go there, doesn’t want her to bring it up. He’s uncomfortable enough as is.

“Just take the picture, Rey,” he mutters.

“Right…of course…” And is her voice a little breathless?

She stands back with her phone in hand and shifts a few different ways before she can find just the right angle. And then she snaps a few photos, checks them on her phone, and nods.

“Alright…let’s get this profile set up.”


He doesn’t see her save the photo. She makes sure of that. Dear God…Ben Solo looks absolutely debauched sitting there, legs spread, hair just a little messy as always, buttons undone on his shirt. And is he packing? Not that she’s spent much time contemplating such things about anyone really, but Finn sure has. She still can’t quite get the conversations about Poe and what he might be packing out of her mind. Dear God was Finn embarrassingly specific at times.

She’s not sure she’s ever really thought about Ben in such a way. He’s just the roommate who’s somehow become her best friend along the way. Well, he’s handsome, she guesses? In a sort of unconventional way. The kind of handsome that sneaks up on you, really. He’s tall, built well, and he does have those eyes and hair.

God...where is your mind going anyway, Rey?

He buttons his shirt back up and somehow he’s back to being her ridiculous roommate, in his too-large shirts, repressed and studious. She somehow always assumed he just kept his private life, well, private. Surely there were women? But no. When he went out with “friends” for the night he really did mean Hux and Phasma, apparently. She always thought that was cover for his going on dates or something, that he was just intensely private and didn’t feel the need to share such things with her. Apparently not.

She grabs his phone from him before he can enter anything on the profile himself.

“That’s my profile,” he points out.

“Well, aren’t you getting protective now?” she says with a laugh and flops back on the couch next to him.

“What are you putting down?” He scoots closer to her, trying to see what she’s writing.

“Ben, 29,” she starts to say.

“Can we put down a fake name?”

“Seriously?” She blinks a couple times as she turns to look at him.

“Yes. I don’t…I don’t want anyone I know recognizing me.” She gives him a pointed look at that. Anyone who wasn’t blind would recognize Ben Solo. He’s not exactly the cookie-cutter type.

“Fine…”

“Kylo Ren,” he says quickly.

“Kylo what?” She tries not to laugh but isn’t entirely successful. “What the hell is that?”

He mutters something under his breath.

“Your what?”

“My Sith name.” He looks away from her as he says the words.

“Your…Sith…name? Sith? As in Star Wars?” He has the good graces to at least look embarrassed at that. “My God you really are a dork, aren’t you?”

“Darth Kylo Ren is nothing to trifle with,” he shoots back at her. “He can stop a blaster bolt with the Force and can read people’s minds and he has the coolest light saber…”

“Oh my God.”

“What?” She feels almost bad at how defensive he sounds.

“Ok Darth Kylo Ren.” The mirth just leaks out of her voice. “You can keep the fake name. Just…don’t tell anyone you meet that ok?”

He blinks owlishly at her and she does a quick name change on the app. “Alright, so…Kylo Ren, 29. Graduate student at Takodana University. Likes to work out…”

“That’s boring,” he interjects with.

“Right. They can tell that from the photos.”

“Photos?”

“Did you think we were taking only one?” She smirks at him. She’s seen him with his shirt off, after all. Her friends might call him funny-looking, what with his big ears and long nose, but there’s one thing that will get the women throwing themselves at him. That rock-hard body of his. For all his sensitivity and artistic nature, he also clearly spends a lot of time at the gym honing his muscles.

He lifted her once. Just for fun.

She tries not to think about how that might have made her heart beat a little faster.

“I told you I’m not taking my shirt off,” he mutters.

“You have to.”

“No.”

“Why not?” The words slip out before she can take them back.

“Why…”

“Oh come on, Ben. Sorry…” She raises her hands up with a bit of a smirk. “Kylo Ren. Surely if you want to catch someone, you should, well…” She waves a hand at him.

He leans back in the couch, his arms tight around his chest. “Rey…” She’s not sure if there’s a warning in the word or just a lot of whining.

“Ben…” She crosses her arms over her own chest and then lets out a little laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.

“Will you go without your shirt on your profile?” He raises one eyebrow.

“Well, of course not…”

“Then I’m not either.”

She says his name again, exasperated and he finally rolls his eyes and leans forward. “Ok ok…fine. You win. I take off my shirt.”

She claps her hands together.

And then he lets the hammer fall.

“But when it comes to setting up your profile…”

“I already have a profile. What do you think started this whole thing?” She says the last under her breath but he clearly hears it anyway.

The corner of his mouth draws in again and she’s about to protest it. She’s not quite sure why there seems to be a touch of anger under his voice. She’s trying to keep this light. Light and easy, get in there, get rid of it, and go on with their lives. It’s Ben who always makes things bloody difficult. But he goes on. “Then we’re redoing your profile. And you’re putting on some sexy low-cut thing and I’m taking that picture.”

“Fine,” she shoots back with.


This whole thing is getting ridiculous and he really should put a stop to it. Rey does indeed manage to get him to take his shirt off. He’s half afraid she’s going to drag him to the gym and make him pose there or worse…make him flex or some such bullshit. He works on his body, of course, but there are reasons for that. Reasons he doesn’t really share with anyone. And he hides himself beneath overly baggy shirts anyway. If anyone were to look at him, they’d be sure he was a beanpole, 120 pounds soaking wet.

But she doesn’t make him do either of those things.

He supposes he should know her better by now. She’s a wiz with her camera and has an eye for detail that he admires. She might be going for an engineering degree, but she’s an artist at heart, just like he is. And so when she insists he sit down at his desk with his calligraphy set, head bowed as he concentrates on his art, he realizes that she’s actually thinking about this.

It’s not just a lark to her.

 It may seem to be on the surface, but he wonders…well, it’s no use wondering too much.

He poses as she directs. He’s not even looking at the camera. She shoots his profile and he’s thankful his dark hair falls over his face, hiding the ridiculously large ears and the long nose. He doesn’t like his profile. Truth be told, he doesn’t like portraits either. He’s weird looking. It’s not like he doesn’t know this. The laughter of the girls he tried to ask out as an awkward teenager have followed him into adulthood.

Really, he doesn’t want to do this.

But for Rey?

Well, for Rey, he’ll do damned near anything.

“Oh this is lovely,” she exclaims, looking down at the screen of her phone. “It really…” She looks up at him, meets his eyes but only for a moment.

“It really what?”

“Can I get out my good camera?”

“Your…” He’s seen her out and about with it. Some massive thing that she found for a steal at a garage sale. It’s digital at least, but probably at least ten years old. She considers it art to use such an old clunky thing and more than once he’s thought about offering to buy her a brand new one. But just how pathetic would that look anyway?

“The light is perfect and this angle…”

He sighs and waves a hand.

He’ll get her back for this. He swears. When it’s her turn she’s going to spend at least thirty minutes traipsing around their apartment in a bikini.

She rushes forward and gives him a quick hug and well, that’s never happened before. Her hands on his shoulders as she leaned over him almost burned. He feels hot and flushed, and he hopes she’ll aim for black and white. The world doesn’t need to see his ridiculous crush on her plastered all over the internet.

Her little photography session is over quickly at least, though not fast enough for his taste. She positions his arms and his hand, reaches up and messes around with his hair until she has it sitting in just the way she wants. He doesn’t dare touch it. He just hopes she’s left his ear covered.

“Bend forward. Just a little. No…no…not too far. Just…like that.” He stays still while she snaps a few photos and then checks the screen. “Ok you can move,” she says quietly.

“Rey?” he glances up at her.

“You can…” She’s still staring at the back of her screen as she starts to turn away. “You can get dressed.” And then she’s disappearing into the other room.

He doesn’t know what that’s about but then shouts after her. “You’re next!”

The groan that he hears from across the apartment seems to dispel at least a little bit of the tension that had started to gather.


Her turn. Sometimes she really wonders what on earth she’s thinking. She convinced him to go shirtless by offering up her own sexy poses and God if that isn’t the most ridiculous thing she’s ever done. Rey does not do sexy. Rey does…tomboy. She does that well. Too large pants with a lot of pockets in them, narrow hips, small chest. One might even call it flat.

Ok, the boys back home called it flat.

The boys in the foster home called it flat.

And she knows they’re right, that there’s not much there. But maybe if she poses just the right way, finds some sort of push-up bra to accentuate things, it will look appealing. Certainly the handful of men that she’s been on dates with didn’t seem to be overly enamored with her charms and she’s yet to try such a trick on them. Maye that’s what she needs to do to attract a man.

Men, she scoffs. They were boys. Usually around her age, they had one thing only on their mind and it seemed that she did not qualify for their one-night stands. Or even second dates. Finn, her best friend, had told her many times that she was beautiful and it was their loss. But, well, she’s starting to think it’s really hers. Maybe she should try harder.

“Do we really have to do this?” she calls from inside her bedroom. She’s been rifling through her stuff for far too long.

“You promised,” Ben shouts from just outside the door.

“I don’t have anything to wear…”

“You promised.”

“Yes, but…”

“That’s it. I’m coming in.” The door starts to shift a little. “Are you decent?”

“Never!” she shoots back with and it’s too late anyway. He’s thrown the door wide and she’s left standing there holding a shirt in one hand, and wearing nothing more than her one push-up bra that really isn’t quite pushing anything up.

Ben just stops there and stares at her and if there wasn’t a faint bit of pink on his cheeks, she’d be sure he was just being a pervert. “What?” she says. “It’s not like you haven’t seen it before…”

“I haven’t,” he says quietly and finally manages to tear his gaze away.

“Oh God, I’m sorry.” It’s a reminder of what they’re both really here for. Losing it…they haven’t seen it. At least, not live. Though surely he had…

“It’s fine,” he mutters and runs his hand across his face, through his hair. And then he looks back up at her and studies her with a critical eye.

There it is.

The artist.

He has a good eye. She knows this much, has seen it in his work. Even in his penmanship. He does calligraphy for God’s sake. Who does calligraphy? He can’t even write like a normal person. Instead his notes left on the refrigerator door look more like the perfect script of ancient monks. He takes pride in that. And she finds it hard to pitch the notes in the trash. She wonders what he’d think if he found out how many of those notes she’s hoarded away in a shoebox that she’s shoved into the back of her closet.

She’s not even sure why she does that.

 “Take that ridiculous thing off,” he finally says and she lets out a squeak.

“What? No…”

His face turns even redder, which she didn’t think was possible. His pale skin shows everything and it would be kind of amusing if she weren’t sure that her own body was just as flushed. This is ridiculous. It’s just Ben we’re talking about.

“That’s not what I meant.”

“Then what did you mean?”

“That thing looks terrible on you. I mean…” His mouth turns down at the corners and he shakes his head. “You look good in everything.” He pauses and she bites her lip. God, it’s like watching a sitcom and there’s that awkward moment where someone never says the right thing and there’s that whole second-hand embarrassment thing going on. Only this is her real life.

You did this to yourself, Rey. Just remember that…

“Let me start again. You don’t need to make yourself something you’re not. That…” He waves one hand at her and she wraps her arms closer around herself. “It’s just not you.”

“I need all the help I can get,” she whispers, cutting him off. He just stares at her and she’s not sure if she should go on. “Obviously me is not what is getting these men.”

“Then they’re stupid.” The words are firm and she must look confused because he’s staring at her like he suddenly doesn’t even recognize her. “Jesus, Rey. Surely you must know you’re beautiful.”

“I…” He thinks she’s…her?... “You think I’m beautiful?” She barely gets the words out.

He just shakes his head at her.  “I’m not blind,” he mutters and then turns and walks out the door. “Find something that says you and we’ll get that photo.”

He shuts the door between them then and she’s left standing on the other side, reeling from whatever he just revealed to her.


God Ben, shut up while you’re ahead.

This has to be the most ridiculous, stupidest thing he’s ever done. And he’s done a lot of stupid things in his life. But going on Tinder has to be the worst. He doesn’t want to do this. Not really. Well, he wouldn’t mind losing his virginity. Frankly, the longer that goes on the more he realizes it will be horrible the first time. Because he’s almost 30. And by that age, women expect him to know his way around their body.

But the reality is he doesn’t want to do it with someone who doesn’t matter.

And there’s only one person who matters.

He knows that he is ridiculously, stupidly in love with his stupid roommate. And here she is trying to set him up with someone else. And all he wants to do is be with her.

He hates the thought of her hooking up with some random jerk she met on Tinder.

He hates the thought of himself hooking up with some random jerk from there, too.

And yet he’ll do it. He’ll do it all for her if she just asks.

That’s how he finds himself trying to take photos of Rey looking sexy. She has one little black dress and one pair of high heels. Which he’s seen her in before, of course, but he’s always tried to avoid looking. Or really looking. Of course he takes the occasional glance. But he keeps his nose in his book as best he can. But now? Now he has to look. Now he has to tell her how to pose.

And she’s terrible at it. She leans forward and tries that stupid duckface thing so many girls do and he just rolls his eyes. She gets a fit of the giggles and he takes a few quick photos.

“I don’t think that’s the look you’re going for,” he says and has to wait for her to stop laughing. And then stop hiccupping. Which involves running to the bathroom and drinking out of the opposite side of the glass and somehow it’s all the more ridiculous for her trying to look sexy while doing it.

He gets a photo of that too.

He’s half tempted to make her post that one.

But he doesn’t. He finally manages to get her sitting down on the couch, legs demurely crossed. He has her tilt her face slightly away from the camera, a little down. Look up through your eyelashes.

Yes.

That’s it.

Any guy who sees that and doesn’t swipe left…or is it right? He can’t even remember…is either blind or stupid. Maybe both.

And then it’s just a matter of a few adjustments to their profiles, pictures posted, short biography up.

She sets his to active and he helps her add the photo to hers.

“That’s it?” he asks, staring down at his profile.

“Well, no,” she says. “Next you start looking through profiles and saying Yes or No to them. Swipe left…no. Swipe right…yes. When someone swipes right on you too, it’s a match. And you can contact them. Or not, if you change your mind.”

“People aren’t going to swipe right on me.”

“Have you seen those photos?” Rey asks. Her eyebrows are up and she’s shaking her head. “Trust me, Ben. Women will be swiping right as soon as they see them.”


And they do.

Ben comes to her the next day and holds his phone out.

“What do I do?”

There’s a woman’s picture on the phone. She’s not unattractive. Pretty in an unassuming way. She works out, so she supposes that’s up Ben’s alley. She doesn’t know what he likes in a woman, really. It’s not like they’ve ever talked about it. She’s surprised to see that the woman in question is a bit of a tomboy. She’s wearing shorts and a workout shirt and standing next to a pretty slick-looking bicycle.

“You contact her?” It’s the obvious answer and Rey can’t keep that bit of ire out of her voice.

“Why do you sound annoyed?”

“I wasn’t expecting you to find someone so quickly.”

“You told me women would be all over those photos,” he points out and she shoves him. Just a little.

“I know.”

“But?”

“Do you like her?” She looks down at the photo again.

“I guess?”

“Enough to…”

He shrugs. “I guess it can’t hurt to meet her?”

She meets his eyes and there’s something unsettling there. He’s staring at her and his eyes seem to be searching hers for something. “You don’t need my permission,” she points out.

“Right.” His cheeks are tinged just a little red. “So I’m…um…right…I’m gonna contact her.”

Rey leaps up from the seat she’s been flopped in and gives him a quick hug. “I’m proud of you, Ben.”

“For?”

“For getting out there, for doing it.” And she tries not to imagine him with the woman in the picture, naked and hot and sweaty. Don’t go down that road, Rey. There lies danger…

“I haven’t done anything.”

“Yet,” she adds and the word may just be a little bit more forceful, more strident than she intends. What the bloody hell is wrong with you?


The date, if one can call it that, is an unmitigated disaster. Kelly, the girl’s name is. She’s everything a guy should want. She’s smart, a doctoral candidate in history. She’s funny. She’s in great shape, loves long hikes and mountain biking and going to the gym on bad weather days.  Most of that was in her profile and it was part of why Rey told him to swipe right on it. I mean, what wasn’t to his liking?

Eveything,” he says as he throws himself on the couch next to Rey. He cut the date short, some sort of excuse about a phone call and a friend and a broken down car and he rushed back to their apartment.

Everything was wrong.

“She was gorgeous and seemed like she had a lot in common with you. What was wrong with her?” He hates the confused look on Rey’s face.

“She wasn’t…” He cuts off there.

She wasn’t…

He doesn’t even want to finish that thought.

If he acknowledges it, acknowledges just how deep in he really is, then he’s going to have to face it. And he can’t. Not here. Not right now. Not with her staring at him with her head slightly cocked to the side and her brow furrowed in that way that he finds so ridiculously endearing.

“She wasn’t what?” Rey says on a huff.

“I don’t know.” He stands suddenly. “I’m going to bed.”

Rey just rolls her eyes. “Don’t tell me you’re going to…”

“No,” he mutters. It’s not like there was any attraction to Kelly. And God knows she had tried, rubbing up against him, throwing her leg across him and even once trying to bring her hand up between his legs. Where he was, sadly, still quite soft. She just wasn’t…right.

That’s as much as he’ll admit.


Rey sighs in frustration as Ben disappears into the other room. They had spent far too long the night before going through each picture and it took her damned near an hour to get him to swipe right on anyone. Even then, she practically had to do it for him.

I hate football, to one girl, obviously a cheerleader for the local college.

I don’t like sushi, to another who lists that she loves going out for late night sushi. He completely ignores that she goes for late night sushi because she’s a bright young woman studying to be a neurosurgeon.

Too blond, to another.

The refusals go on and on and she still wonders if he’s just doing this to humor her. Maybe he really is Ace, despite his protesting. Maybe he’s just doing this to get her laid.

Not that her swipes have gone all that well either. She wants it to be the right guy. She’s somehow sure she can find someone to do it with, but each guy she goes on a date with is worse than the last.

And the last is the worst. There’s nothing about him she likes. He’s too handsy. His hair is too short, tipped in blond. He looks like he spends more time worrying about his appearance than she does. Oh, he’s muscular, and that much she can appreciate. But he’s too tan. She prefers…well, what does she prefer?

Dark hair, dark eyes, tall and well built, the pale skin of the artist who spends too much time indoors, too much time in his head.

And then it hits her.

Oh shit

It’s late at night when she pulls out the phone and starts scrolling through her Tinder app, looking for the one profile that she hasn’t seen come up yet. She has no idea how many people in the area are on the app but God damnit, it seems like half the world must be on there. She’s swiping left so fast that she almost accidentally blows past his profile.

But then there it is.

Kylo Ren, 29.

She snorts over the ridiculous name, but then hesitates for a moment with her finger over the swipe button. There’s one good thing about Tinder. He won’t know she swiped right unless he does too. It’s the safest way to gauge the possibility. And she doesn’t know why it didn’t occur to her before. They’re both in the same boat. Would it be awkward for them to try it? Just once maybe? See how it works, how it all…fits together.

She swipes right and then turns the screen off on her phone, tossing it aside and rolling over onto her side.  This is crazy. Ben Solo. She’s going to try to lose her virginity to Ben Solo and it is going to be the most ridiculously awkward thing she could ever imagine.


She still goes on two more dates.

Just to make sure.

They both suck.

Well, she can’t say that exactly, but the reality is neither of them is Ben and now that she’s swiped right on him she can’t stop thinking about him, can’t stop admiring him.

He’s a little awkward, never quite knowing the right thing to say, but she loves the way he runs his big hands through all that hair of his and she knows he has a fabulous body. It would be like climbing a tree and she can admit to herself, more and more, that it’s a tree she’d most definitely like to climb.

She finds herself in the shower a little too often, hand between her legs, as she thinks about what he’s packing, as she thinks about him using those big hands on her. Her own slim fingers don’t do much, but what would one or two or three of those long, thick fingers do to her. What would those plush lips feel like between her legs?  She’s never had oral sex before but oh does she think she might enjoy it. Especially from those lips.

It’s the middle of the night when she’s woken up to the sound of something, a loud thud and then cursing coming from Ben’s room. The walls are fairly thin so it’s not like she hasn’t heard him in there before, but she can’t remember hearing that sound before. It almost sounded like he fell out of bed.

She’s on her feet at the door, throwing it open before she can think. And then Ben is there and he’s wearing nothing but boxers and she almost catches a glimpse of it through the small hole in the front before he skids to a stop in front of her.

He’s holding his phone.

And his eyes are huge in the dim light of the hallway.

She can feel a blush creep up her cheeks.

He glances down at his phone and back up at her. “You swiped right.” There’s no accusation to his words. They’re flat, strangely unemotional. But there’s just a small tremor at the end of the final word.

Her eyebrows rise. “You did too.”

“Why did you swipe right?” The words come out on a rush and he takes a step toward her.

“Why did you?” She shoots back with. Now that she’s faced with this she’s…not sure. When he takes another step toward her, she looks up at him. He’s so damned tall. So damned…something.

She can’t read his expression in the dark but he’s not looking away and then suddenly he swoops in, his arms coming around her waist to pull her in closer to him. She’s pretty sure her feet actually leave the ground as he ducks down and his lips meet hers.

And then there are fireworks and birds flying around them and…

No, that’s not quite how it really goes. He swoops in so fast and with such force that she’s yanked up against him and his lips hit hers so hard that their teeth knock together and their noses bump and Oh God it might just be the worst kiss of her entire life. It hurts.

“Ben,” she gasps against his lips and reaches up to his face. She wants to pull back but when she starts to, he follows and she ends up pinned against the opposite wall for a moment. His lips are back on hers and they’re maybe a little bit gentler but they’re still too firm and too dry and she needs to stop this, to think.

She finally manages to extricate herself and ducks under his arm. She’s breathing hard when he turns to face her and she takes in what she can see of him in the near darkness. His hair is wild about his face and she can see him tenting his boxers and… “Oh,” she whispers. “I guess we won’t have any problem there.”

“Oh God,” he mutters, his hands coming down to try to cover the view. And while his hands are massive, it’s hard to hide that. “I’m so…”

“Don’t be,” she quickly says, holding up one hand. “I mean, if we’re going to…you know…then…” She waves that hand in the air.

“Right.” A beat. An awkward laugh. “Right, of course.” Another beat. He’s still staring at her with that intensity, his eyes so focused on her that she shivers even though it’s warm in the hallway. “Are we?”

“Are we what?” For a moment, she’s not even sure who she is much less what she’s doing in this dark hallway half naked with Ben Solo.

“Doing this?” he says, the words tumbling out of his mouth. “You, me…this.” He gestures with one of the hands still covering up what’s left of his erection.

“God Ben, this was not where I thought this whole Operation Getting Laid was going.”

“No?” He sounds a little annoyed now. “Did you never even consider the possibility?”

“Ben…”

“Or am I so unattractive to you that you didn’t even think for a second that maybe we could trust each other to do this?” He sounds almost angry now.

“What? No. That’s not…” She takes a deep breath. “I didn’t think of you that way.” The words are quiet. He starts to say something. “I couldn’t think of you that way. How awkward would that be, living with someone you had a crush on?”

He lets out a small snort of laughter and she just watches him. He says nothing further though.

“So that brings us back to…do we?” She watches the play of emotions running across his face, trying to catalogue every facial twitch. He doesn’t meet her eyes and she’s sure, even in the dim light of the hallway, that there’s a pink tinge to his cheeks and that his ears are darker than usual. She doesn’t see them often, but now with his hair a mess from sleep and her hands, she can see them sticking out from where they usually hide in his thick locks.

Finally his mouth turns down a bit, his lips pressing together. And then… “I’d like to.” The words sound like they’re wrenched from him, almost against his own will.

“You’re sure?”

“I said it, didn’t I?” he shoots back. Then… “Yes. Yes I’m sure.”

“Ok.”

“Ok? What does that mean?” There’s a small crease between his brows.

“Ok we’ll do it.” She’s resolute. She’s going to lose her virginity and it’s going to be to Ben Solo, awkwardness be damned. Maybe it will be easier with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing either.

“What…now?” he says and she’s sure his voice has gone up an octave from its usual deep tone.

“No,” she says quickly. “No. Let’s…take our time? Set the mood?”

“Right.” He sounds relieved.

Maybe this isn’t going to be easier.

“I’m just…going to…um…” She turns to go back into her room, accidentally running into the door frame on the way. “Bed…yes. Going to go to bed. Alone,” she says before he can say something in response. She shuts the door then, quietly cutting herself off from him and then leans against it.

Just what has she gotten herself into?


He’s sitting on the couch working on his latest project when she comes into the apartment. He hasn’t seen her since last night, since the incident and he’s replayed it over and over in his mind. That first press of lips, the feel of her in his arms. None of it had gone quite right, but she’d been there and close and he’s pretty sure if he died now, he’d at least die happy. Or at least…happier than he has been.

He looks up as she tosses something down on the couch next to him. Her face is red. Bright red. And she can’t meet his eyes.

“Rey,” he starts to say. God, they don’t have to. Maybe this is too much. But he wants to. So bad that he can almost taste it, can almost feel her beneath him. In his dreams, he’s the perfect lover, of course. Even though if truth be told he has so little experience that last night was his first ever kiss. 29 and never been kissed. There’s a movie out there about that isn’t there? At least he’s not in 40 Year Old Virgin territory. Yet, at least.

“Research.” The word comes out of her mouth on a rush and he looks closer at what she’s tossed at him.

DVDs.

No, he amends. Pornos. They’re pornography DVDs, rented from the last known video store in the area. “Can’t we find this stuff on the internet?” he says as he sifts through them.

“They need the business,” she says on a shrug. He desperately hopes that none of her friends still work there.  How on earth would they explain this one to them?

“So what are we supposed to do with this?” He picks up one of them and sneers at the title. “Is this some sort of Star Wars parody?”

She laughs. “Well, I know you like it…”

“And so this is what you wanted to watch?”

“Well, it’s research.” She pulls a notebook out of her bag and tosses it on top of the table. “We can take notes.”

“Notes…”

Her smile looks just a little too wide. “On what we might like.”

“I know what I’d like,” he mutters.

“There’s more to just sticking your dick inside a woman,” she points out.

He can feel the blush creep up his cheeks.  “I…well…of course there is.” He’s not completely uneducated. Just…mostly. But it’s not like he hasn’t occasionally snuck onto the internet late at night and jerked off to what he found there. Not that any of them could compare to Rey, something he’s known forever, he’s pretty sure.

“So we should decide what we’re going to do.” She’s staring at him and it takes him a moment to realize just what all this research is about. He can see it in the way she chews on her lip, the way she has trouble meeting his eyes, the way she fiddles with her hair.

And he feels it too. He can’t stop thinking about it, about her, about what they’re going to do and what it might mean. The thoughts went around and around in his head as soon as he crawled into bed and even bringing himself to an orgasm didn’t stop the pull of his thoughts. She’s like a gravitational force. Sunshine and roses Rey who always sees the best in people, including her surly and socially awkward roommate.

“Ok,” he says with a shrug that belies a nonchalance he doesn’t feel about the whole thing. “We can do research.”

“Great.  I’ll order pizza. You get…something…queued up.” She jumps up and leaves him to sift through the handful of DVDs she brought home. She must have looked depraved. There’s a good variety he realizes, quickly discarding the Star Wars parody as something he’s sure he’d just laugh through. Also tossed in the pile are the ones that show a woman all dressed in leather wielding a whip with a man tied to the bed behind her. He’s pretty sure he’s not into that. Though he does wonder if she might be. He leans back and glances at her where she stands in the kitchen, one hand holding her cell to her ear and the other resting on the counter.

Ok, she might not be into that but he can see her being the dominant one. In some ways he really hopes she is. Rey has never been afraid of taking the bull by the horns. He hopes that she blunders through this just as fearlessly as she has everything else in life. Because, if he’s going to be totally honest with himself, he’s terrified. Terrified of mucking it up, terrified of doing it all wrong, of her hating it, hating him.

He finally settles on one that seems, if not totally romantic, at least acceptable. It stars just one couple. And it’s not terribly long so he might not have to be embarrassed for quite as long as some of the others. It seems…vanilla. That’s the word he’s heard from others. Pretty standard heterosexual sex with no whips or chains or, he tosses one of the others away, no anal. He’s pretty sure that’s not in the cards.

Rey comes back. “Pizza will be here in 15 minutes,” she says as she flops down on the couch. Close…almost too close. He wants to put some distance between them as they watch this thing.

“Ok.”

“Are you nervous?”

He swallows, takes a deep breath. “No. Not at all. I mean, I’m only going to watch a porno to figure out the best way to fuck my best friend. Nothing to be nervous about at all.”

“I’m your best friend?”

He’s surprised by the question and maybe even more so about the smile. “That’s what you got out of that?” He returns her smile. “Yes of course you’re my best friend. Surely you must know that.” He leans forward and searches her eyes. Did she not know? How? He supposes if she’s been oblivious to that, he’s managed to keep everything else from her as well.

“I guess…” She shakes her head. “I guess I didn’t realize.” And then she does something unexpected. She leans toward him and kisses him. It’s slower this time. They’re still a bit unsure of what they’re doing. But he’s a researcher at heart, probably the one thing that keeps him locked up in his own headspace. And he ended up buying…well, ok, not buying exactly. He used to shoplift, back when he was a delinquent teenager. And the skill never quite goes away. So he tucked away a handful of Cosmo and other women’s magazines once they decided to do this thing. With “Be a better kisser in 10 steps” and “How to be the vixen your man really wants” as headlines on the cover, how could he resist?

He wants to be good. He doesn’t just want to be the awkward first person Rey has sex with and moves on from after they get it out of their system. He wants to be more.

So when she leans into him, he lets his lips go a little soft. Women like it soft…and slow. And he tilts his head just slightly to the side to avoid bumping noses. He knows that Rey has kissed someone before. She’s talked about the few awful kisses. But Ben? Nothing. The couple dates he’s been on ended with him dropping them off and them getting out of the car and rushing inside before he even could think about it.

Her tongue touches the seam of his lips and he lets out a small gasp at the sensation. And then she’s there, her tongue running alongside his, dipping into his mouth, soft and wet and the slide of her tongue against his has him reaching out to pull her closer to him.

Her hands tangle in his hair, tugging at it slightly and God isn’t that a sensation he didn’t know he needed until now? The scrape of her nails against his scalp, the feeling of his hair moving as she runs her fingers through it.

He loses himself in the kiss. So completely that he wonders why they haven’t been doing this since they first met.  Well, he knows the answer to that. Ben Solo is a coward. He’s not told another soul until he told Rey that he has no experience with women at all. And he certainly didn’t want to ask her out with that hanging over his head.

Ironic, really.

They’re here now with her full knowledge of his inexperience. And his full knowledge of hers.

She moves so she’s straddling him and the feeling of her, warm and pliant against him, makes him moan into her mouth. He thrusts up without thinking and then she makes a noise in the back of her throat, releasing him from the kiss to stare down at him.

He murmurs her name and God damnit, he’s sure he’s screwed up again. “I’m sorry…” he starts to say, but she cuts him off.

“Maybe we don’t need these things.” She gestures toward the videos that are still sitting at their side. He turns to look at the one he’s set out as the best option to watch.

“I…I don’t know. Rey, I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Neither do I. I mean…I know what goes where. Eventually.” He’s sure she’s all too aware of it as she’s still pressed against him and he’s painfully hard.

“Right…but…”

“There’s more to it. I know.” She gets off him then, removing herself like she’s dismounting a horse and he almost laughs. When she sits back at his side, she’s curled closer to him, hip to hip and he pulls the notebook to himself, letting it cover his lap. “Ok…maybe just the one?”

“Ok,” he responds with. He’s not sure he’s ready anyway. Well, he’s ready, or his body is at least. But this is a momentous step. Maybe it needs to be put off for a little while longer.

“Ok,” she echoes him. “Here goes nothing.”


She’s honestly not sure she wants to keep watching this. She’s got the general idea, though there are things she’s watching that she didn’t quite think of.

“I’m not sure I’m flexible enough for that position,” Rey points out as they watch a scene.

“That doesn’t look comfortable,” Ben responds with and pulls the notebook up to himself. “Ok, so no…what do you even call that position?”

She shakes her head. “I have no idea.”

“Ok. No position that is so uncomfortable that we pull a muscle.” He actually writes it down and she laughs. So far they have an interesting list. More of the “what they’d hate” than “what they’d enjoy.” She’s not sure about going down on him, not at first. Ben admits that he’s similar in size to the man they’re watching on screen and Rey seems rather worried about that. She wonders if maybe her first time should have been with someone smaller.

But that’s neither here nor there. She and Ben have decided to do this and they’ll figure it out, size be damned.

“I want to be facing you,” Ben finally says. Almost too quiet.

“What?”

“I want to…” Deep lines form at the corners of his mouth. “I want to be able to see you. When…you know…”

She almost says if, but stops herself. She doesn’t know if she can with someone, doesn’t know if they’ll figure that out. Not the first time at least and she realizes that she’s thinking about future times in that moment. She chokes that thought down.  They’re just losing their virginity to each other, right? There has been no talk of feelings or future encounters.

She nods. “Write that down. Missionary.”

“Or you on top,” he says, waving a hand at the screen where the woman has shifted position to ride the man beneath her.

“That looks far more comfortable,” Rey comments and imagines herself riding Ben in that way. She feels her cheeks warm, feels the heat between her thighs. If they don’t get to it right after they finish watching this, she might just pass out from want. Is that even possible? Can that happen to people? Death from sexual arousal? She chokes back the snicker at her train of thoughts.

“It does.” He looks down at the notebook. “We don’t have much of a list of things we want here, Rey.”

“No?” She picks it up and re-reads the list. “No I guess we don’t.” She hums for a minute as she considers the list. “What do you want to do?”

“I want to go down on you.” The words come out quickly and she’s never seen his face and ears go red so quickly. It goes right down his neck, to somewhere beneath his collar. She just stares at him. “I do,” he reiterates and he can’t even meet her eyes.

“You’ve thought about this.”

“I have.”

“Since when?”

“Since…” He can’t seem to finish the statement. “Does it matter? I want to. Put it on the list.”

“Are you sure? I hear most guys don’t like that.” She can’t say that the thought of those plush lips of his there doesn’t leave her probably the most wet she’s ever been. But she doesn’t want this experience to be horrible for him, doesn’t want him to do something he’ll hate.

And she’s slightly embarrassed at the thought, that her best friend is going to have his mouth between her legs.

“I’m sure,” he says. Quiet. As if he’s afraid of getting the words out. She looks up and meets his eyes and they’re too serious. By far.

“You’ve really…” she starts to say and then swallows hard. “How long?”

He doesn’t say anything, and she watches as the blush on his cheeks intensifies.  “Can we…” He pauses there and one of his hands comes up to brush his hair back. “Can we just leave this for the moment?”

“Ok,” she says after a moment. “We can revisit that later…”

“Or not,” he cuts her off with.

“Or not,” she echoes and tries to smile. She takes a deep breath then and scoots a little bit closer to him. He jumps when she puts her hand on his thigh. “Ben?” She speaks barely above a whisper.

He doesn’t look at her, squeezes his eyes shut as he turns his head away from her. His lips are pressed together and he’s shaking, small tremors wracking his body.

“We don’t have to,” she starts to say.

“I want to,” he mumbles.

“Look at me.” She puts one hand on his cheek and his head moves into her hand. His eyes don’t open. “Ben.”

He turns then and his eyes meet hers and for a moment she’s completely taken aback by the darkness in his eyes, pupils blown wide. He’s still squinting at her a little and his eyebrows are drawn low, but there’s something there that makes her shiver.

“Are you absolutely sure?”

His hand comes up to cover the one that’s still on his cheek. “Are you?”

She realizes this is the moment, the point of no return as it were. They can turn back now, laugh at it the whole ridiculous thing and forget that any of this ever happened. Or they can agree to proceed together and face the consequences of whatever this is leading to.

She takes a deep breath.

Is she sure?

She watches Ben for awhile, studies him, his dark eyes, all that wavy hair, his large hands and sensitive mouth. She trusts him and realizes that there’s no one she trusts more than him. She thinks of her other male friends and tries to imagine trusting any of them to do this.

And she can’t.

She realizes she’s not even attracted to them.

But she is to Ben. Just thinking about what they’re about to do has her wet and needy, has her wanting to throw caution to the wind and just do it now.  “Yes,” she says finally. “I want to. Definitely.”

She watches as he takes a deep breath, then another, and then leans forward. He’s just a hair’s breadth away from her when he whispers, “Me too.” And then he kisses her. And it’s not like their first kiss. It’s soft, tender, almost loving she realizes. His lips are soft this time, pliant, and she opens to him when he touches his tongue to the seam of her lips.

And this, she thinks, is how a kiss should be. Soft and slow, the smooth drag of his tongue over hers, the scrape of teeth across her bottom lip as he nibbles at it. Her hands come up to tangle in his hair, nails scraping lightly across his scalp. He lets out a soft moan into her mouth, a breathy sigh that she feels deep into her soul, and cups her face with one of his hands, his thumb tracing circles on her jaw.

When they finally pull apart, her eyes stay closed for a moment and she’s surprised to hear a small chuckle come from him. Her eyes open then, meet his. He’s smiling, not the half smile she’s used to, but a full smile, slightly crooked teeth on display.

“I think we’ll be just fine,” she murmurs and his smile widens, his eyes crinkling slightly.

“I’m nervous,” he admits.

“Me too.”

“Good,” he says and then quickly goes on. “I mean, I wish you weren’t. But…” He swallows hard. “I’m glad I’m not the only one.”

She just nods and pulls him in close for a hug. “Tomorrow?” she asks.

He stiffens just slightly before relaxing further into the hug. “Yes,” he says at least. “Tomorrow. That gives…um…time to prepare? I guess I need to get some condoms…”

“No,” she interjects with and he pulls back to look at her again. She feels her face redden further. God, will this ever stop being so damned awkward? “I’m on the pill. And since, you know…”

“Right.”

“We don’t need them.”

He takes a deep breath. “Wow…ok…”

“Breathe,” she says and can’t help but giggle, just a little. “We’re going to be ok. Whatever happens, right?”

“Yes. Even if it’s a complete disaster,” he adds with a self-deprecating smile.

“It won’t be.” And she realizes she’s sure of that. She didn’t think about it at first, whether or not there was an attraction there, but now that they’ve kissed, now that they’re sure they’re acting on it, she finds she wants to climb him like a damned tree. And she’s felt him hot and hard against her as they’ve done a small bit of exploring. It’s there on his side too. “We will be fine,” she reiterates.

He nods.

She hugs him again and they stay like that for some time before she finally yawns. “I should go to bed.”

“Yes,” he says, quickly. “We need rest for…tomorrow.”

“Exactly.” Before things can get too awkward, she stands, and then leans down to kiss him quickly on the lips. “Goodnight Ben.”

“Goodnight, Rey,” she hears come from behind her, soft and quiet, before she retreats to her room and closes the door.


Tomorrow comes almost too fast for Ben. It’s not that he doesn’t want to. But God what if he trips up? What if he tells her he loves her while in the throes of passion and he can’t take it back?

What if he gets so nervous he can’t perform?

What if he comes too soon?

Oh God, what if it’s all over in five seconds flat? It’s part of why he wants to go down on her. He has absolutely no clue what he’s doing and she may not either, but she can direct him and maybe he can manage to get her off before he completely loses his shit.

This was a mistake. The thought keeps rattling around in his head. A terrible God forsaken what the hell were you thinking agreeing to this mess mistake.  

When he steps out of his room early in the morning, Rey is already there and she looks tired, he realizes. There are dark circles beneath her eyes and her hair sticks out at an odd angle and she’s chewing on her lip. “Ben,” she says when he appears, and she sounds almost surprised to see him standing there.

The corners of his mouth quirk up. “Did you expect someone else?”

“What? No.” She sounds distracted, and he can almost see the thoughts rattling around in her head. He sits down across the table from her and debates reaching out to take her hand. Should he?  It’s not like she wasn’t straddling his lap and kissing the hell out of him yesterday, but somehow that feels even more intimate. As if that crosses a line from friends who fuck to friends who are something more.

After a moment of watching her leg bouncing on the ground, her fingers drumming on the table, he finally just does it. He takes one of her hands in his, enjoying the way his much larger hand engulfs hers. She stills then and looks up at him. He says her name softly, and her hand tightens in his.

“We…”  He pauses there, not entirely sure what he intends to say, then shakes his head. “We don’t have to do this.” She starts to draw back, but he grips her hand tighter.

“You’re backing out.” Her voice is flat.

“No…I mean…No. I’m not.” He watches his thumb trace traces circles on the back of her hand, hopefully a soothing gesture. “I’m doing this all wrong,” he mutters more to himself than her.

“You’re not,” she says and when he looks back up at her, there’s an intensity to her gaze that he hadn’t seen there before. “You’re not,” she repeats. “I swear it. This is just me.”

“You’re nervous.”

“Terrified,” she admits.

“Why?”

“I…” she starts to say, but then stops. “I mean…” She takes her hand back from his and runs her fingers through her hair and he finds it somehow both strange and arousing to see a gesture that’s so him come from her. When she speaks again, her voice is small, almost distant. “If this all goes wrong, are you still going to be my best friend?”

“Of course.” He doesn’t even have to think on it. “What's the worst that’s going to happen? We have some really bad sex and forget about it?” He knows that’s not the worst that could happen on his end. He could reveal himself, all the pieces of his soul that he’s just barely hanging onto, could toss it at her feet to trample on.

“I suppose,” she says, the words coming out almost slow and painful.

They stare at each other for a moment. “We’re still going to do this?”

He watches as she takes a deep breath. “I would like to. Yes.” She watches him, her eyes steady.

“Right. Good…Good then. We’ll just…do it.”

“Yeah,” she responds with. They fall into a sort of uncomfortable silence after that. Breakfast is a quiet affair, full of awkward pauses and none of the fun they usually have. He hopes that they’re not going to lose their easy camaraderie after this, that whatever might happen they’ll go back to being Ben and Rey and not whatever weirdness this is.

They part ways shortly after they finish breakfast, a sort of quiet pact that they’ll do their own thing during the day and meet up that evening to finally go through with it. Ben is going to spend the day at the library. It feels less weird to be out of the apartment until he needs to come back and get ready.

Rey says she’s going out for a run. He can tell from the way she moves all through breakfast that she has energy to burn. Hopefully she’ll burn out her nervousness and he’ll be able to push his away if he spends enough time studying and reading.

And he hopes that he can push away thoughts of love and the rest of our lives before they start this thing in earnest. The only prayer he has of coming out of the other side of this with his heart intact is if he can keep his damned mouth from running away with him.


“You shaved.” It’s probably the most ridiculous thing she could have said at the moment and yet there it was.

“I did,” he responds with and she watches as one of his hands comes up to briefly touch his face. He’s already red about the cheeks and it somehow makes him more attractive. She didn’t know that was possible. She thought the bit of stubble was always a nice addition, but now she finds she enjoys watching the slide of his hand against the smooth skin of his cheek.

“Is this ok?” she asks as she cups his cheek.

He nods, swallows hard. “It’s…uh…yeah…” The words are mumbled and she giggles. Giggles. Rey is not a giggler but she feels butterflies in her stomach, surrounding one great big knot, and she’s half terrified and half excited.

He pushes back a little from her and she follows. “Sorry. I’m not…” She takes a deep breath. “I’m not laughing at you. God, this is harder than I thought.” She can see him almost open his mouth to say something and she feels the blush that’s already on her cheeks creep down her neck. “Is it hot in here?”

He manages a laugh then. “This is…”

“Yeah,” she responds with.

“How…” he starts to say, running his fingers through his hair. “How do we want to do this?”

“Bedroom?” she says, almost too eagerly she realizes. She bites her lip as she looks away from him and hears him groan.

“Yes. That seems…”

“A good idea, right? Yeah…” She reaches out a hand to grasp his, intertwining their fingers. He lets out a deep breath and follows her as she leads him back toward her bedroom. He’s been in there before, of course. They had been roommates for what felt like forever. But this is different and they both know it.

He pauses at the entrance to the room, releasing her hand, and she turns to look at him. “You’re sure?”

She says nothing for a moment, just watches him, but finally steps back toward him and goes up on her toes to kiss him. “Take me to bed, Ben,” she whispers against his lips.

He nods and kisses her again. More this time. Teeth nibbing on her lower lip, tongue touching hers, delving into her mouth. They’re getting good at this much at least. Her knees almost buckle when he tears his mouth away and presses a kiss just below her ear. “Is this ok?” he whispers, and she shivers at the feel of breath fanning across her ear.

“Yes,” definitely. She backs up another pace. She wants him down on the bed with her, before she falls and makes a complete ass out of herself. She’s sure that Ben could pick her up, if he caught her, but she’s also equally sure that he’d probably trip himself up in a panic and drop her.

The back of her legs hit the bed and she loses her balance slightly, grabbing Ben by both arms and pulling him down as she lands heavily on it.

“More,” she whispers. He’s breathing heavily over her and his eyes are wide as he returns first to her lips, then her neck. He bites just a little too hard at the juncture where her shoulder meets her neck and she lets out a little yelp.

“Sorry,” he mutters.

“Less teeth, more tongue.”

“I thought you said you liked biting?” There’s a pout to his voice.

“I said I might. I don’t really know. I…”  Nothing can be simple. “Maybe just a little less hard?”

“Right.” When he returns he’s more cautious, softer somehow. He presses his lips against her neck and licks a path of fire down to her shoulder. “Good?”

“Yes,” she just barely gets out. He stays there for a time until she makes a noise of frustration in the back of her throat and pulls away to rip her top off.

“Oh,” he says and he very carefully looks anywhere but at her.

“You can look,” Rey says with a roll of her eyes. “We’re going to get completely naked, Ben…” She watches as he swallows hard.

“Right.”

“So look. Look all you want. Touch all you want.” She reaches up to cup his faces and softly kisses him.

He does look then and she’s absolutely floored by the look that crosses his face. Lips parted, eyes wide. He’s almost smiling…almost. But he looks…enthralled, entranced.  For a moment, she considers covering herself but she did tell him to look his fill.

“They’re not…” she starts to say.

“They’re perfect,” he cuts her off with. He looks back up at her. “Can I…”

“Yes…please.” And she lets out a whine when his hand comes up to cup one of her breasts through the material of her bra. She’s chosen something simple, sweet. It’s not a fancy or complicated bra, but it’s pretty. She tries not to blush as she remembers picking it out just for this moment. The saleswoman had given her such a knowing look that she had rushed off to buy it without even looking at the price tag.

He thumbs her nipple and he is the one who lets out a gasp it hardens underneath his touch. “That’s…wow…” His hand engulfs her entirely and he’s almost too delicate with it, just lightly brushing the tip.

“I need more.” At least, she thinks that’s what she says. She wants him to take it off, just rip the brand new thing from her body, but her mind settles a little bit as he reaches around behind her to take it off.

He tugs it one way and then another, lets out a little growl of frustration. He leans further over her, trying to see down her back and accidentally jabs her in the stomach with one of his elbows.  She’s about to reach around her back to just undo the damned thing herself when he lets out another growl and pushes it up and over her breasts.

It’s not the most comfortable place for her bra to rest, but the look on his face is worth all the uncomfortableness in the world.

“Fuck.”

And she laughs. She can’t help it. He blushes right to the tips of his ears as she threads her hands through his hair.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean…”

“It’s ok…”

“It’s just…fuck,” he says again. “Can I…” His voice fades away and he gestures with one hand.

“You don’t have to ask, Ben. “

“I just don’t want to do anything you don’t want me to do.”

He’s so sincere and she smiles, kisses the top of his head. “I want you to do it.”

One of his hands comes up to lightly touch her. Almost too light. She pushes back a little with a giggle that she doesn’t expect to come out of her. “Sorry,” she murmurs to the worried look he gives her. “That tickles.”

“Oh.”

“Too light.” She reaches behind her and undoes her bra and tosses it to the side. Ben’s eyes are on her immediately and his lips part just a little.

“I…” He swallows hard.

“Touch me, Ben. Please? I won’t break. I promise.”

He nods and then reaches out a hand to palm one of her breasts, squeezing lightly. When he looks up at her, his eyes are dark, pupils blown wide and she offers a small smile. He’s so…hesitant. She doesn’t know how else to tell him to just do it. Touch her, kiss her, whatever. She’s his at the moment, his to do with as he pleases. And she may not know what she wants but she’ll know what she likes. Rey is not one to shy away from telling someone when she’s unhappy.

He takes to running his thumb over her breast, back and forth across her nipple and it puckers beneath his hand. He lets out a small growl in the back of his throat and it’s so fucking hot that Rey finds herself arching into his touch. That voice. She’s not really taken much notice of it before. It’s just Ben’s voice. But she realizes that it’s a sexy voice, and especially so when he has his hands on her in such an intimate way.

Fuck.

He leans forward then, and hesitates…again. She won’t let him this time. There’s nothing she can manage to get out. The time for talking is way past and so she reaches up and tugs his face down toward her breasts. It’s as clear as it can get and when he takes one nipple into his mouth, carefully sucking it in between his teeth, she lets out a small gasp.

This.

God dammit this.

She’s played with her nipples herself before but this is beyond anything she could have expected, hoped for. He nibbles at her, clearly encouraged by her small gasps and her hand in his hair, laves at her nipple with his tongue. He bites down a little too hard at one point and she lets out a small yelp.

“Sorry,” he mutters and almost pulls back. But she keeps him close.

“You’re doing fine,” she murmurs, stroking his hair. He returns to giving attention to her breasts before shifting a little. He pulls back and then presses a kiss to her ribs. It’s messy, maybe a little too much tongue as he makes his way across her ribcage, down her stomach. She wouldn’t trade it for anything though. He’s so intent and just watching him has her wanting to throw him down and ride him.

She doesn’t even notice that he’s at the waistband of her pants but then he’s there and his hands are hovering over the button.

He stops moving.

Her hands still in his hair.

This is it. The moment. Making out and getting to second base is pretty tame stuff. They could turn back here, admit it was a fun experiment, and go order pizza or something.

Or she can let him do some of the things he said he wanted to do and they could take this somewhere they probably couldn’t return from.

Does she want to return?

That’s a question for another time…

“Rey?” His voice is quiet and he’s not looking at her. His hand still hovers over the button and she can see that it’s shaking, small tremors that start in his hand and wrack his whole body.

“We don’t have to…” She’s the one who says it this time.

“I want to,” he cuts her off with. “But…”

“But?” She reluctantly removes her fingers from his hair and tilts his face up toward her. His eyes look everywhere but at her, flitting around the room, cheeks red, lips pressed together.

“What if…” And then he starts to shove away from her, pushing up from the bed suddenly. “Oh forget it!” The words practically explode out of him. “This was a bad idea.”

“Was it?” She’s sure it is a terrible idea. They’ve been friends, best friends, for what seems like forever. They’re roommates. If there’s one good way to completely ruin a friendship, it’s throwing meaningless sex that’s not quite as meaningless as she’d like to pretend into the mix. She follows him off the bed, putting her hand on his arm. She is not giving up. “Ben?”

He turns back to her and for a moment she sees something hidden there behind his eyes, but they go hooded and dark as they sweep down her body.

“Maybe…” She takes a deep breath. She’s not done this before either. She watches the way his lips turn down at the corners and tries to smile. God why is this so hard? “Maybe we should take the edge off a bit? Of you…I mean…”

It takes him a moment to catch her meaning and then his eyes are meeting hers. They’re wide, eyebrows up. She knows that look well. “Are you…”

Yes.” She doesn’t mean to sound so short, but dammit, if he asks one more time… “Just lay down.” He hesitates and she gives him a look. He finally moves away from her to lay on his back. He’s trembling, she realizes, as she reaches out to the buttons of his shirt. His hands clench into fists, relax, clench again, as she undoes one button after another. “I’ve seen this before, remember,” she murmurs.

“Not helping,” he shoots back with and she laughs. She’s rewarded with a half-smile, and while he’s still trembling a little, he at least doesn’t look nearly so panicked as he did a moment before. This really isn’t what she had expected, what she’d planned really. She planned to find some random guy who had tons of experience and who could show her the ropes. Instead she’s pressing her hand lightly to the firm muscles over her roommate’s abdomen and…

She wouldn’t have it any other way, really. It hits her then…the seriousness of what they’re about to do. She closes her eyes, realizes they won’t be able to go back from this. There’s just no way. It’s too intimate, too…something. They’re tying each other together here. Their firsts…and a part of her wants more.

Their lasts.

Blinking hard, she tries to brush that thought away. Now is not the time to get maudlin, not the time to think about the future. She has him here, now, beneath her and enthralled. She parts his shirt and pushes it over his broad shoulders. He lets her, lifting himself up to pull the shirt the rest of the way off and toss it on the ground. His arms start to come around himself and she pushes them back and away from him, silences whatever he’s about to say with a look. He swallows hard as she leans down to press her lips to his chest.

This isn’t something that the porno they watched really went into. No one cares about the man’s pleasure. He’s just the accessory, something there to get the woman off, or at least for her to fake getting off to. Sure, he gets to get his rocks off fucking some hot young thing, but still…porn is not for women to enjoy. It’s for men to get off to.

Showing a woman pleasuring the man when they can show her tits and her cunt and show her with her mouth wrapped around his cock? Not bloody likely.

So it’s all new territory for her, and for Ben. She takes guesses, trailing kisses down his chest and listening to the intakes of breath that tell her he likes what she’s doing. When she nibbles at a spot on his rib cage, his hips buck underneath her and his hands come to tangle in her hair. “Harder,” he murmurs.

“Really?” She glances up at him and there’s already a blush on his cheeks as he turns his head away.

“Yes,” he says and she can see mortification written into every tense line of his body.

“Hey,” she says and he looks back down at her. “No embarrassment.”

“Rey…”

“I’m serious…don’t be. Please…” And then before he has a chance to say anything, do anything, she leans back down and bites down on the same place she’d been nibbling before. He’s all hard muscle there, lean and firm over his ribs and she finds she likes the way his skin barely gives beneath her teeth, the way he tastes. He chokes back a moan and she smirks. Oh no, none of that hiding it. She wants to hear him, deep voice breathy with want.

She trails bites and kisses down his ribs, one hand brushing across his firm abs as she makes her way down his body. He seems lost to it then and she finds herself enjoying the noises he makes. Small gasps, a little moan, fuck. Ben’s always had a bit of a filthy mouth, gets it from his father he claims, but here it sends pleasure spiraling right down her center.

When she reaches that small bit of hair that starts just beneath his navel, when her hand connects with the button on his jeans, she looks back up at him.

“Yes,” he says. “God yes. Please. If you don’t, I don’t know if I’m going to live.”

She laughs then. “You’re being a bit dramatic.”

He glances down at her and grins. “Maybe a little.”

She turns back to the task at hand, undoing the button and pulling the zipper down. As her hand brushes his erection, he lets out a small hiss of pleasure and for a moment she hesitates. She’s really going to do this. She’s going to put her hands on her best friend’s cock, she’s going to touch him and stroke him and make him come. She really is. And for a moment it’s so real and she wonders just why they’re doing this, what really brought them to this moment. It’s there…haunting the back of her mind, but she can’t draw it forth.

“Rey?”

She blinks at the worried sound of his voice. “Sorry,” she mutters. “Got lost in my own mind there for a second.”

“I know the feeling,” he murmurs.

She takes a deep breath. She wants to do this. Even now she can feel the heat pooling in her core, can feel how her underwear has gotten damp with her own arousal. She wants him. She never realized that before, but there it is. She wants him to be the first, as awkward and maybe weird as it might be. “Lift up,” she says and taps him lightly on the hip.

“Yes ma’am,” he says, doing as she asks and helping her push his pants down. She slides them down his legs, God those long legs. There’s so much there. Lightly covered in hair, almost invisible unless you’re up close. He’s always been strangely, beautifully almost compeltely hairless. It’s like whoever made him decided to put all his energy into the amazing mop of thick black hair on his head and forgot about the rest. She finds she likes that, the feeling of his smooth skin beneath her hands, against her lips. He’s like a marble statue of a Greek God.

And then…finally….she just does it, reaching out to grasp his cock. His boxers are still in the way, but they offer very little cover, thin as they are. She can feel his entire length beneath her hand, hard and hot and huge. Not that she has anything to compare it to, but it feels massive in her hand and she wonders just how they’re going to do this, how they’ll manage to make it fit.

“Boxers,” she mutters and he does as she asks, pulling them off his hips and freeing himself and God dammit, he is indeed large.

“Wow,” she murmurs.

“Well, that’s a way to a man’s heart.”

Ben,” she chastises and reaches out to wrap a hand around it. He throws his head back at her touch, mouth opening.

“Fuck Rey, that’s amazing,” flies out of his mouth and he looks almost embarrassed at the words.

“I’m sure you’ve done this before.”

“Plenty of times but just…it’s just…” She twists her hand on it, just slightly, runs it down and back up again. “Wow…dammit…no one has ever done this. Fuck,” he says as she tightens her grip. One of his hands hovers in the air near her head before coming down to grip the sheets hard.

“Is this ok?” She wraps her hand tightly around him and moves it up and down a couple times.

“A little too tight.”

She loosens her grip. “Do you want to show me how you like it?”

“No,” he’s quick to answer. “No…like that…that’s good. God, I can’t believe…I can’t…how are we even doing this?” She doesn’t say anything, just keeps her hand moving and watches him. The way his head is thrown back, the column of his throat bared, his eyes squeezed shut and his hands clutching and releasing the sheets almost in rhythm with her movements has her so damned wet she wants to touch herself.  And she almost does.

But she has a different idea.

Ben is still babbling nonsense above her. She’s pretty sure he has no idea what he’s saying, the words just a strange stream of consciousness that he’s clearly not in control of. “God Rey, this is…it’s just…” And then he lets out a garbled string of curse words as she leans forward and licks him. “I thought you didn’t want to do that.”

“I wondered what you tasted like.”

Fuck.”

She laughs. Not at him. But he’s so beautiful and looks so wrecked, so she leans forward and swirls her tongue around the head of it again, enjoying the taste of his skin, the bit of saltiness there at the tip. She won’t dare try to put the whole thing in her mouth, but she likes this.

“Rey…” He reaches down to her hair, tugs at her and she puts her hand back on him, strokes him. “Rey…you need to…argh!” And then he’s coming and she has to jump back as part of it hits her face, the rest coming to land on his stomach.

He’s breathing heavy as she finally releases him and when he lifts up on his elbows to look at her, his eyes are almost completely unfocused. She smiles, slow and gentle, and he blinks a couple times.

“Wow,” is all he says, and then because it’s clear he doesn’t know what else to do, he reaches up a hand to try to wipe away the evidence that is still on her chin.

“We should clean you up,” she murmurs as she turns her head into the small caress.

“And then your turn?” he says and she almost laughs at how he eager he sounds.

“If you still want to…”

He groans at her words and pulls her up toward him. She goes easily. He’s strong, even after his orgasm, and she’s not sure why that surprises her so damned much. “I want to,” he whispers, his eyes almost too intense. She closes hers for a moment only to have them fly open at his next words. “I want to taste you.” And there’s something there, in the way he admits those words, in the flush that traces its way across his cheeks to the ears that are poking out from his sweat-slicked hair. “Just…let me get cleaned up?”

“Of course.” She pushes back from him and lets him get up. She had thought about cleaning him up herself, but wondered if perhaps that weren’t too intimate. As if licking his cock and his putting those lovely lips to her cunt weren’t intimate enough.

It’s the emotional intimacy though. She can’t say it really scares her, not with Ben. But she’s not sure where he stands with all of that. As she watches him leave the room, she realizes she might just be falling in love with him. And it’s not his perfectly fine ass that’s on display that convinces her of that. No, it’s more than that. It’s late nights watching Netflix, it’s arguments over their favorite TV shows and his complete hatred of pineapple on pizza. “Damn,” she mutters as he comes back with a few tissues, gesturing at her face.

“What?” he asks and crosses his arms over his chest. He looks strangely shy and awkward standing there, huge and beautiful and yet vulnerable all at the same time, his cock softening between his legs.

“Nothing,” she murmurs, wiping the evidence of what they’d just done from her jaw and tossing the issues in the trash can she keeps at the side of the bed.

He walks a few steps closer. “Lay back.” She’s surprised at the command in his deep voice and it sends a little shiver down her back. She does as he commands, pushing back on the bed and laying down with her head on the pillow. He grabs a second pillow and has her sit up slightly, propping her up a bit. So she can watch. Fuck…Sometimes it’s uncanny, how much he seems to just get her. “Good,” he murmurs. “Now, take everything off and spread your legs.” The command in his voice is lost a bit when his entire chest blushes in embarrassment. “I mean…if you want to…”

She giggles.

Fucking giggles.

Jesus, this is fucking awkward…

He looks slightly taken aback. “Is something…”

“No,” she says quickly. “I’m just…it’s embarrassing. No one has ever…well, my gynecologist of course, but that’s not the same. I mean, clearly it’s not…Damn.”

“Rey…”

“I’m doing it. I am,” she says to his concerned look. Taking a deep breath, she just does it, shimming out of pants and underwear, pushing her knees apart and baring herself to his gaze. She can’t look at him for a moment, closing her eyes and turning her head away from him. She feels like somehow this is more than just baring her body to him, as if she’s baring herself to him, everything she is and could be. It’s a strange, unsettling feeling.

She feels the bed dip as he gets on it and finally chances a look at him.

His eyes, dark and unfathomable, are focused on her spread cunt. His lips are parted in a silent “o”, and she feels a blush works its way down her body at his complete hyper-focus on her body. He looks up at her then, for just a moment, his eyes meeting hers, and his mouth turns up in an almost-feral smile.

“Rey,” he whispers and then lays down on the bed, bringing those luscious lips ever closer to her core. But he doesn’t just start there. No, Ben has always been a man who likes to work with his hands. So the first thing he does is take one finger and swipe it down the moisture that’s been pooling between her legs. He hits her clit as he moves across her slit and her hips buck without even thinking.

She could come just from that look and the touch of that thick finger alone, she swears.

He does it again. “I can’t believe how wet you are,” he murmurs, running the finger back and forth across her slit.

She reaches down and grasps his wrist to stop him, and he looks up at her. “Here…Let me show you?” She’s done this at least, touching herself. She knows what she likes, where to touch herself. She can show him, teach him.

He nods and swallows hard.

She takes his one finger and brings it to her clit, making small circles around it. His hands are smoother than her work-roughened ones and the slide of his finger across her clit causes a spark of electricity to shoot up her spine. Her hips buck again into his hand and he groans when she does it.

She releases him and lets him take over, just lets him explore, as he lazily moves his finger around her clit, sometimes hitting it, sometimes purposely sliding away from it. He watches her with an intensity she imagines few must have, glancing up to meet her eyes and then continuing on when she nods at him.

He’s teasing at her entrance when he stops suddenly and looks up at her. “Can I?” He’s going to penetrate her eventually. They’ve made sure of it. But this is something so intimate it takes her breath away for a moment. It’s one thing to kiss, to caress each other. It’s another to take someone into your body. Finger or cock, it doesn’t matter. It’s an invasion of sorts, but it’s one she welcomes.

She wants this.

She wants him.

She can’t even speak at that moment, so only nods. He presses one thick finger inside her and it’s a feeling like she’s never imagined. Warmth spreads through her and she can feel herself grow almost obscenely wet as he pushes the finger all the way in and then brings it back out.

“Another,” she whispers and his eyebrows shoot up for a moment, but he complies, putting a second finger in and fucking her with the two of them.

“I thought it would hurt.” She almost doesn’t register his quiet words at first.

“It shouldn’t,” she says and she really doesn’t want to give him a lecture on how sex isn’t supposed to hurt, even the first time. But instead says, “I’m pretty wet. And I’ve tried a small dildo before…”

His eyes shoot up to hers. “Really?”

She’d laugh if he didn’t look so damned surprised. “It’s the 21st century, Ben. It’s pretty easy to buy such things with complete anonymity.”

“Will you show me sometime?” The words tumble out of his mouth and she realizes he wants to take them back right after he said them. Sometime…in the future…when we do this again

“Sure,” she responds with and his mouth opens a little wider.

He doesn’t say anything for a moment, just continues to slowly fuck her with his fingers. But then… “Did you ever…when I was home?”

“Yes.” She doesn’t know if she should answer his question so honestly, but his fingers are inside her and they’re driving her damned nuts.

“Did you…did you ever think of me?...While you used it…”

“Yes…”

He lets out a strange noise then, taking his fingers out of her for a moment to stare at her. “Rey, I…” He shakes his head and instead brings his fingers to his mouth, licking her juices off them, and she never had any idea that could be such a turn-on in her life. But here she is, getting even more wet. She can feel it dripping down her thighs to the sheets below her spread legs.

And then he leans forward and licks her. Just…licks. Like she’s a fucking ice cream cone. “Holy shit,” she says before she can even stop the words from coming out of her mouth.

“Was that…” He pauses there and she watches as flashes of something move across his face. “Was that ok?”

“Yeah…” What else can she say? It was one damned touch of his tongue and it set her on fire? It was probably the most amazing thing she’d ever felt? “Do it again,” she whispers instead, and he smiles at her.

“Good,” he whispers, and he does, swiping the flat of his tongue from her opening to the top of her slit. When he brushes it across her clit, she throws her head back, waiting for him to do it again. He laps at her, one soft lick after another, and she can feel her legs quiver, her stomach muscles tighten. He stops after a few more licks and looks up at her. “I don’t know what else to do.” There’s a self-deprecating half-smile on his face, and she feels even more aroused when he bites at his lip in worry. She almost groans when he licks his lips.

“Um…” she says and realizes how damned stupid she sounds. “I don’t know either,” she admits. “I’ve never done this.”

“Right, of course,” he says and this has to be the weirdest conversation she’s had, looking down at Ben Solo grinning up at her from between her spread thighs.

“Maybe…” She reaches down and touches her clit. He watches her, intent. “Maybe here?” She moves her fingers in a small circle over the sensitive bundle of nerves and he groans. “Not too hard?”

“Yes. Ok. I can do that.” She moves her hand away and shuts her eyes. She can’t watch him. And then suddenly his tongue is back on her, swiping across her clit, tracing circles around it like she did with her finger. The touches are light and she gasps at the feeling, warm and wet as his tongue slides around her.

“A little harder,” she murmurs and he complies, swiping the flat of his tongue harder against her clit “God, yes,” comes out before can stop it, her hands coming to tangle in the soft wavy strands of his hair. She’s thankful there’s so much, giving her something to really grip as he continues his ministrations.

He laughs against her and the vibrations, the puff of air across her clit, almost makes her scream. And he realizes what he’s done, humming again and then backing off to blow a little air across the sensitive flesh there.

“Dammit, Ben, are you trying to kill me?” She’s never heard her voice like this, a little lower, a little huskier than normal. Breathless. As if she’s been running a marathon.

“What else do you want?”

“I don’t know…try something?” She bites her lip as their eyes meet. She wishes she had some idea of what she’d like. But this is their chance, his chance to see what works. For him, for them. This is all an experiment for them.

“You’ll tell me to stop if you don’t like it?”

She nods.

“Ok. Ok, good.” He leans back in and for a moment continues the same movements he was doing before, circling her clit with his tongue. He seems to recognize that that works at least to some degree. But then he stops for a second, nibbling at her clit. Just a small scraping of teeth across the hood and it’s like lightning going straight up through her.

“Fuck!”

He stops. “You like that?”

“Fuck yes.” She doesn’t even care about the filthy words coming out of her mouth.

He does it some more and in what she can only think is a moment of pure fucking genius, he wraps those amazing plush lips of his around her clit and sucks it into his mouth, tonguing at it lightly at first and then a little harder as she lets out a string of curse words. Her hips shove harder into his mouth, her back arches. “In me,” is all she manages to get out.

He stops what he’s doing. “What?”

“Fingers…” She reaches out to grab his hair. “Ben.”

It’s all she really needs to say. He seems to realize what she can’t quite articulate in that moment. Her nerve endings are on fire, her body tight with need. Need for him. She needs his mouth on her, his fingers inside her and if he doesn’t do it right now she’s pretty sure she’s going to expire.

But she doesn’t have to worry about that. He wraps his lips around her clit again, sucking a little harder and inserts a finger.

“Another.” She wants to feel filled up, she wants to feel stretched.

He does as she asks, pressing two fingers inside her and God if it’s not the most glorious feeling in the world as he fucks her with his fingers and suckles at her with his mouth and tongues at her clit.

“Oh fuck,” she says again because apparently she can’t stop herself. There’s a tightening in her body, taut as a bow string, and she pulls at his hair, presses her hips up further. His fingers move quicker and he quirks one against her. She doesn’t even know how he knows to do it, if he even realizes what he’s doing, hitting that spot, right there and then all that tension releases at once, her hips shooting up hard into his face, her head going back, her legs shaking. She shouts something, she doesn’t even know what. More curses, more nonsense words, as she comes with his fingers in her and his mouth on her and God she did not know it could be like this.

He rides it out, still licking at her clit and she feels utterly boneless, collapsing back against the pillow. “Stop.” He doesn’t seem to hear her and so she tugs at his hair, pulling him away from her. “Ben, stop…too much…”

He finally seems to come back to reality, pulling away from her clit and looking up at her. His fingers are still up inside her and the stretch there is pleasant, a feeling she doesn’t really want to let go of. “Did you…” he starts to say.

“Do you really need to ask?”

“You did?” He sounds so earnest, so damned surprised.

Yes.”

“Oh.” And then a small smile, almost shy, crosses his face. “I did that.” There’s a strange sense of pride behind the words.

“You did,” she confirms.

“Wow.”

She laughs at that. He removes his fingers then, the soft slide of them against her insides causing her to clench up again, one small aftershock of her orgasm. He looks down at them, down at her. She’s drenched. Absolutely drenched, and she groans as he brings his fingers up to his mouth and licks them clean, wiping them on the sheets afterward.

“I like how you taste.” The words are quiet.

“I…really? You do?”

He nods. “I want to do that again.”

She laughs and shakes her head. “I think I might be a bit too sensitive.” He looks crestfallen at her words. But then she follows up with, “Maybe another time,” and he’s positively beaming at her.

“You’d want to…again?” He sounds so much like a hopeful puppy that she pushes up and toward him, enclosing him in a hug. His arms wrap around her and she’s almost sure she hears him sigh into her hair.

When he unwraps himself from her, he starts to back off the bed and Rey is right there with him, coming forward and grabbing his arm. “Where are you going?”

He stops, looks at her and blinks once. Twice. “I don’t know,” he finally admits.

“We still have more to do,” she says with a small smirk.

He glances down at her, down at himself. He’s half hard again already and she raises an eyebrow. “We were here for more, weren’t we?”

“I…”

“Unless you…”

“No I want to.” He lets out a small huff of a laugh.

“But?” she asks.

He says nothing for a moment, and then closes his eyes, “This is kind of a big deal,” he admits.

She cocks her head slightly to the side as she studies him. “It is,” she confirms. For him, for her. It’s probably a bigger deal than she’s been comfortable admitting, emotions tangled up somewhere deep inside her. She’s in love with him. She doesn’t know why it’s taken so long to realize it. He’s sullen, often angry, and she watches him always trying to keep control over the rages that hit him on occasion.

But he’s also kind and generous and God, he was willing to do this, willing to be the one to take her virginity when he hadn’t ever shown any real need to lose his own. But here they were. Naked, her soaked, him half hard, and it was when everything was finally going to come together.

And it felt momentous.

“Ok,” he finally says.

“Ok?”

“We agree. It’s a big deal. Rey?” She looks up to see him watching her. “There’s no going back from this.”

“I don’t think there’s any going back from what we’ve already done,” she points out.

“Maybe not, but…” He runs a hand through his hair and she watches as the damp locks fall back into place.

“Do you still want to?” she asks and her voice is small, disappointment tingeing the brittle edges of it.

“God, yes,” he says quickly and she laughs.

“Then come here.” He comes back to kneel on the bed and she sits up, running her hand down his chest, brushing across the muscles of his abdomen. His breath stutters then and she can feel the muscles bunch beneath her soft touch. His cock is already getting thicker, harder, and she reaches down to touch it again.

He hisses. “Oversensitive,” he points out and she nods.

“I guess it happens to guys too?”

“I guess.”

She strokes him lightly, enjoying the feel of soft skin over the hardness beneath it. As she shifts to lie down, she pulls him with her, and then he’s there, lying down in between her legs. So close

Reaching behind her, she grabs the bottle of lube that she had picked up, face bright red, at the pharmacy the night before. “I don’t know if we’ll need it, but considering your size and my inexperience…”

“It’s a good idea,” he interrupts her with.

“Oh good. I wasn’t sure…”

“I’m glad you did.”

“Right…good…” God, what is wrong with her? She wants this but now that the moment is here, she feels a shiver trace down her spine and the butterflies have taken to wing. Just plow ahead Rey, it’s what you’re good at. She pours some of the lube into her hand and reaches down to stroke him some more.

“Fuck, that feels good,” he says and there’s surprise behind the words. “I may need to steal that for the future.”

“Maybe you won’t need it,” she says almost shyly.

His eyes widen and she reaches down to line him up with her. “Ben?” she says as she pauses there, still holding him in her lube-slickened hand. “I’m scared.”

He leans down to kiss her. “So am I,” he admits.

“You are?”

“It’s not like I’ve done this before. What if I hurt you?” He sounds so earnest and somehow it’s that earnestness that makes her want to press ahead.

“It may,” she admits and she hates that it might. “But go slow.” He’s right at her entrance now and she releases him to let him press forward.

He nods and there’s so much concentration written across his brow. “Look at me, Rey.”

The way he says her name makes her shiver again. She loves his deep voice and she loves the way he says her name. She does as he asks, her eyes going up to his. He presses forward then, just the tip nudging at her entrance. She tries not to tense up, tries not to brace for it. He’s large and while she’s experimented with a dildo or two, they’ve always been small, easy to slip inside her.

There’s a moment of pressure as he tries to move into her slowly and then the tip breeches her. “Fuck,” he says and she can see his arms shaking with his attempts to hold back. “Fuck…God…fuck, Rey, this is amazing.” She doesn’t say anything, just takes a deep breath as her body adjusts to the stretch. “Are you ok?”

“Yes…keep going.”

He nods and presses forward again, sliding in just a couple more inches. More curse words fall out of his mouth and she presses him forward. It doesn’t hurt, not exactly. Her body is well-prepared and the extra lube is certainly helping him slide in with little resistance. She reaches up to grab his ass, urge him on. He’s almost too slow at this point and so she wiggles a little, presses herself up onto him a bit.

“Fuck Rey, don’t do that.”

“What?” He looks almost pained.

“If you…move like that…I’ll be done before I can even get inside you.”

“Then get inside me, dammit.” And she grabs his ass again, this time pulling him forward. And then he’s there, seated fully inside her and she groans. God, she’s never felt anything like this. It’s nothing like she could have imagined. Ben is muttering filthy words in her ear, peppering kisses across her cheek, her nose. Her eyes are practically rolled back in her head at the feeling of him so thick and deep inside her.

“Fuck,” he finally says, pressing his forehead against hers.

“Move,” she responds with.

“What?”

“I need you…Ben…”

He takes a deep breath. “I’m not going to last.”

“I don’t fucking care,” she responds with and he pulls out, not all the way, and then presses back in with another string of curses. “Next time…” she says and the words are cut off as Ben starts to move in her, thrusting slow and gently. There’s no pain, and the feeling of fullness, the drag of his cock against her insides, is maybe her new favorite thing in the whole world.

When he pulls out again, she pushes her hips up to meet his downward thrust and he curses. He reaches down to grab her hips and pauses for a moment. Her eyes fly up to meet his and somehow she knows what he’s asking.  “You won’t hurt me,” she whispers.

The words are all the permission he needs to take her like his body wants him to. She wraps herself around him, legs up around his hips, and holds on as his pace increases. His head is thrown back, the veins standing out in relief near his temples. His eyes squint shut and his mouth opens in a grimace that looks almost painful. She’s never seen him like this before and it’s fascinating, watching the way he’s lost in the moment, pumping in and out of her. He’s gorgeous to watch and she keeps her eyes trained on him.

She wants to watch him as he let’s go.

“I’m close,” he says and there’s almost a whine behind the words.

She wraps her arms around him, leans up to whisper in his ear. “Let go, Ben.”

“But you…” The words end in a grunt.

“I already did,” she reminds him.

Fuck.”

“Just let go.”

And he does, thrusting harder, faster. The muscles of his arms and chest are taut. His eyes are trained on hers and she’s almost lost in them. “Fuck…Rey…Fuck.” And then his rhythm stutters and he pulls her tight against him as he finally reaches his climax. His eyes shut, his mouth is open as he shouts his pleasure with a few more curse words and her name and…

“Fuck, Rey, I think I love you.” And then he collapses on top of her, utterly spent.  She stays wrapped around him, joined with him. She doesn’t want to lose that feeling, his being buried inside her, that sort of closeness that she imagines can only come in the aftermath of sex. She has nothing to compare it to, of course, but she thinks this is something she wouldn’t mind happening more often.

He finally moves, pulling out of her and she hates the feeling of loss, even as he shifts to her side and pulls her into his arms.

His breathing is slowing and she reaches up to push the strands of his sweat-slicked hair away from his face. They’re quiet for a time and she wonders what’s going through his mind. Did he…Did he really say that? Did he mean it? She’s heard about great declarations of love in the middle of sex before. It’s certainly been a part of the romance novels she’s read, the mistaken confession a big plot point, and she worries that he’ll want to take it back.

Opening her eyes, she pushes away slightly and leans up over him. He doesn’t meet her eyes for a moment and she reaches out a finger to touch a tear that seems to have gathered just at the corner of one eye. “Ben?” She doesn’t want to startle him, He looks…lost…somehow.

“Sorry,” he mutters.

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” She cups his face, leans forward and touches her lips to his. His lips are soft and pliant beneath hers and the kiss is almost chaste, especially considering what they had just done. “Did you mean it?”

His eyes widen almost comically, and then he groans. “Did…dammit…did I say it?”

“Well, you said something.” She sighs, shakes her head. “I get it. Don’t worry about it. People say things all the time during sex that they don’t mean. It was pretty intense, so, you know…”

“I meant it,” he says and the quiet words fall heavily into the middle of her rambling.

“You do?”

“Well, no,” he says and she feels her heart sink. She starts to pull away, eyes downcast, but he doesn’t let her. “I don’t think,” he says as she looks back up at him. “I know.”

She doesn’t say anything.

What can she say?

“God, Rey, say something. Please?”

“How long?”

“What?” There’s a furrow between his brows.

“How long have you known?”

“That I love you?”

She feels the corners of her lips tilt up just a little at actually hearing the words . “Yeah. That.”

“I don’t know. It just…snuck up on me I guess.” She can see him trying to look nonchalant but there’s an intensity in his dark eyes that leaves her breathless.

“Me too.”

“You?”

“It snuck up on me, same as…”

“You love me?” The words are hushed. She almost doesn’t hear them over the rushing sound of her own heartbeat.

She nods in response. She can’t quite get the words out. Loving someone is not something that comes easy and it’s not something she’s ever done before. Well, there’s the sibling-esque love she feels toward Finn. But this? This is different. Intense, the kind of love she can see building a lifetime on.

“Say it,” he murmurs. “I need to hear you say it.”

She opens her mouth, but nothing comes out. She tries again. Then finally leans forward, presses her lips to one of his ridiculously over-sized ears, and whispers, “I love you. I do, Ben. I swear.”

He turns his head and tugs her to him, kissing her as she comes to him. Soft, sweet. “I know this is kind of backward, considering everything. But let me take you to dinner?”

“A proper date?”

“Yes, a proper date.” He’s smiling against her lips, she can feel it.

“I’d like that,” she says and kisses him again. “I’d like that very much.”