Every now and then, you and your friends made it a point to go on a trip together to hang out and spend time with each other. It was a way for everyone to destress from their work life and just have some fun and adventure. This time, it was decided that a trip to a forest lodge was the perfect summer getaway. The place was known for its hidden lakes and natural waterfalls, which was an ideal spot for taking a swim in.
It was already mid-afternoon when you reached the house, hearing the rush of water nearby as a couple of the boys busied themselves over finding the waterfall while the girls were discussing what to have for dinner. You felt a hand on your shoulder, looking up to deep blue eyes watching you. "Whatcha doing standing around here?"
"I was just taking in how pretty this place is. Don't you think so?"
"Yeah, it sure is. Though we should probably beat everyone else to which room we want to sleep in.
"The room closest to the stairs then. That seems to be farther away from the rest of the others." You mentioned, setting your backpack down on the table. "I guess this is what we get for being the only ones single in this group of couples."
"What, you saying you don't wanna share a room with me?" He teased. "It's not my fault that you keep dating jerks who break up with you after a month."
"Yeah, yeah, will you stop reminding me already and grab the room keys?"
It was still a bit of a sore topic to talk about. There was always some issue with every guy you previously dated, ranging from the typical 'got back together with their ex after a week or so' or they were dating another woman at the same time. There was even one that felt they were rushing too fast into the relationship after you harmlessly offered to let him sleep on your couch for a night.
Sid had been the one who was there after each breakup. You've known each other since your college days, which almost always surprised everyone who knew that fact. He was one of the few who got the privilege to listen to you drone on about how much of a jerk they were, preferably over some alcohol. It was stupid because even though you didn't have the same tolerance as he did, you would continue to drink even if you'd hit your limit. This sprouted a problem when one morning, you woke up to a different bedroom in a different set of clothes. Your panicked scream made him run inside to check on you only to have one of his pillows smack him right in the face.
"Sid! What happened last night?!" Clutching the blanket closer to your chest, you tried to hide from him. "Don't tell me we--"
"Sheesh, calm down for a sec." He gently placed his hands on your shoulder, his warmth shaking you out of your confusion. "Take a deep breath and lemme talk."
When you had calmed down, he started to explain last night. After you got drunk, he drove you to his place since it was much closer compared to yours and asked one of his maids to attend to you. Your clothes were in the laundry since you had spilled a drink down your blouse as you tried to stumble your way to the nearby dance floor. He managed to stop you from humiliating yourself just in time and convinced you to come home with him.
Your cheeks burned as you listened to his story, the words triggering a few bits of your hazy memory. Looking around, you noticed that the rest of the room seemed untouched. "Wait, if I was here, then where did you sleep?"
"Why, did you think I stayed here with you?" He grinned, the tone of his voice suggesting otherwise.
"I said nothing of the sort."
Sid handed you a bottle of aspirin and some water from his nightstand. "My living room couch is pretty comfy, you know. Now drink up and get changed so I can drive you home."
That morning, to say the least, was quite strange. You knew that he was well-off, but you didn't feel the extent of the reality until you sat down on the spacious table with him, eating breakfast as a few of the maids simply stood close by. It was surreal, especially when you're used to eating all alone in your apartment. An older butler, who you guessed was the head housekeeper, approached you in the foyer and handed you a small opaque packet. You weren't able to inspect what it was until you were settled in Sid's car, the blister pack slipping from your hand in surprise.
"Your butler gave me Plan B!" You couldn't decide if this was comical or horrifying.
Sid paused as his shoulders shook, pulling over the nearest sidewalk before exploding in laughter. You should have been suspicious, especially since you knew about his infamous track record with women. Not that you were a part of that--even back in college, which is a whole other thing in itself--, but you should have made the connection much earlier.
"Stop laughing! This is serious!" You smacked his arm. "Your staff thinks that we slept together!"
"Ah, James, ya damn prick. Sticking your nose where you shouldn't." He murmured, finally getting a hold of himself before continuing to drive down the road.
"I don't see why this is funny to you."
"Because you and I both know that that will never happen between us."
"I wouldn't use the word never..." You muttered under your breath as you turned to the window.
"You sure you mean that?"
The shift of his voice from being playful to serious made you look back at him. For some reason, you thought he looked a bit tense as he kept his eyes on the road. "What do you mean?"
"I'm saying that if it's possible, you would give being friends with benefits with me a chance."
You can't say that the thought hadn't crossed your mind before. He certainly was good looking, though quite cocky and tactless at times. What stood out to you though was despite that, there was a caring and selfless side to him. Not many people would know that, mostly because they get put off with his abrasive attitude.
A part of you wondered how serious he was. "You've seen how terrible my relationships are."
"It doesn't have to be anything else but physical." He replied. "I think we both know that there are certain urges that are better dealt with someone who knows what they're doing."
"That's a bit subjective."
He chuckled. "That's not what drunk you said to me last night."
"Oh god... What did I even say to you?"
"A lot. Some would say a bit too much. You turn into quite the chatterbox after a few shots."
Groaning, you rested your forehead on your hand. It was bad enough that you couldn't remember what you said, but now he knows about how poorly your exes perform in bed. Though you trusted him not to say anything to anyone, the fact that he knew about it made you wish the ground would swallow you up on the spot.
The car came to a full stop in front of your apartment complex. "Nothing else is going to change. Except that we may get a bit busy in the sheets with each other now and then." He said it so casually as if talking about the weather. "We can also forget this conversation ever happened."
This sort of thing wasn't that unusual--you know people who had friends with benefits and turned out okay. He already knew about your intimate frustrations and here he was, offering you a viable option with no strings attached. To say that you didn't want it would be a lie. Plus, both of you were smart and responsible adults who can make their own decisions. Either of you can choose to stop at any given time and still keep the friendship intact.
You thought it was a fine idea. Until it got complicated.
Night had already come as you sat on a log by the campfire, tending to a s'more on a metal skewer. Everyone else had gone up ahead to swim in the lake but you decided to stay behind, declaring that you forgot your swimwear to avoid any further questions.
"You sure you don't want to swim?"
"No, Sid. I don't want to." You rotated the stick, careful to not let the marshmallow burn. He took a seat beside you. "What about you? Didn't you say you wanted to take a dip?"
"Nah. Maybe later." Poking at the fire, he rested his chin on his hand and watched the ashes dance with the wind.
A strange silence settled over the two of you as you waited for your perfectly toasted s'more to cool down before taking a bite. Maybe it was just you who felt that way, but for the past few weeks, you knew that something had changed. Admittedly, being friends with benefits with Sid was quite the revelation. You were confident in your assumption that he was good in bed, but experiencing it for yourself had been mind-blowing. You were by no means innocent, but each encounter had left you breathless and wanting for more.
Of course, there were rules that both of you had agreed on, which mainly rotated around communication. Be open about what you want to try or what you don't want to do. Respecting personal space and time. Speaking up if one of you has found someone they want to romantically date--which was the set deal breaker.
Thankfully, you never received another blister pack from James. It did make you wonder about the previous women he slept with, thinking about if they received this same sort of treatment with him. You quickly shoved those thoughts away, your chest aching a little. It was also easy to forget about it when you were with him because you always enjoyed your time together, whether it be just hanging out as friends.
Out of the blue, one of your co-workers commented on your improved mood, chalking it up with a new and better lover. Before you could explain, a realization had struck you as you stared at them wide-eyed.
You were in love with Sid Arnault.
And that was trouble. But after that day, you couldn't ignore the swirl of emotions in your chest when you saw him. In hindsight, you didn't expect this to happen since you were quite secure on what your ground was with him. He was a great friend, someone who knew some of your intimate secrets, who always looked out for you and protected you. Sure he would tease you for the spirit of it, but never to the point of harm.
A relationship with him was out of the question--you weren't even sure if he was interested in having one, more so with you. You were sure that he had no romantic feelings for you.
Engrossed in your thoughts, you didn't notice Sid until he was right in your face as he took a bite from your s'more. "Hey!"
"It'll go to waste if you keep spacing out like that." He teased, licking the chocolate off his lips.
Seeing him do that sent a rush of memories through your mind, your body tingling in response to the closeness of his warmth. The singing cicadas were a good reminder of where you were, looking away as you focused on your treat. As a means of distraction, you decided to skewer another one on your stick, pretending to watch it cook as you push your thoughts away.
"You keep thinking about something."
I'm thinking about you. "What makes you say that?"
"You have this distant look in your eyes. Like you're trying to remember something."
I'm trying to remember the moment when I fell for you. "Really? When do I do that?"
"Sometimes, when you look at me." You tore your gaze from the fire to look at him. Sid looked far ahead into the forest and for a second there, you thought he was about to say something profound. He grinned, leaning closer as he stared into your eyes. "You're not falling in love with me, are you?"
I already am. "You wish."
He shrugged and pulled away. "You should let me know if you're dating someone."
I'm not. "I know. We agreed to that."
"But there is someone you're interested in."
"Who is it?"
You. "There isn't anyone."
"Don't tell me." He paused, mischief twinkling in his eyes. "He hasn't the balls to confess to you."
Annoyed, you hit him on the head with your hand. "No one! How many times do I have to tell you before it gets through that thick head of yours?!"
Sid covered his head, wincing in pain from your sudden attack. A moment passed before the sound of his unbridled laughter rang in your ears, filling you with a sense of happiness. "There we go. You look better when you smile."
You hadn't even realized you were frowning until he mentioned it.
"Whatever you're worried about, it'll be fine. Trust me."
Before you could respond, footsteps echoed behind the two of you as you heard your friends coming back from their night swim. He stood up, ruffling your hair before walking off towards the lodge. "I'm gonna go lie down first. See you inside."
As you watched his retreating back, you whispered to yourself. "If only it was that easy..."
After extinguishing the fire and bidding goodnight to everyone else, you quietly slipped inside the dimly lit room and under the covers of your bed. Although it's been roughly an hour since Sid lied down, your gut somehow told you otherwise. It didn't help that you couldn't sleep, hyperaware of the fact that you were surrounded by couples who could be up to some business.
Nothing. You turned around, seeing the back of his head poke out from his blanket. "Sid."
The hoarse quality of his voice told you that he might have been asleep. "Sorry. Did I wake you?"
"No. Kinda hard to sleep on this bed."
"Take a dip with me." The words were out of your mouth before you could stop yourself.
You heard him shuffle a bit, presumably to check the time on his watch. "Right now? It's well past midnight."
"I thought you didn't have anything to swim in."
"Swimming naked doesn't sound too bad."
"The water's going to be cold."
"Then you'll keep me warm."
"Come on." You pleaded. "Please?"
The two of you slipped outside, using the moonlight to guide your path. It was easy to follow the sound of rushing water to the lake as your eyes widened in wonder. "Oh wow. It's amazing."
"The others mentioned that there was a small alcove behind the waterfall. Pretty sure no one's been using that for any funny business." His tone suggested otherwise as he approached the edge, watching as he undressed before glancing back at you. "Well? Stop gawking and get moving."
This wasn't the first time you've been naked in front of him, yet a shy feeling bloomed in your chest. Staring at the ground, you started to take off your clothes, tossing it on his pile, and slowly stepped in the cold waters. It wasn't too bad as you tested the bottom, seeing how far you could go until it all disappeared beneath your feet.
Sid headed for the center, which was also probably the deepest area. "What are you doing all the way over there? I thought you wanted a swim."
"I am not going any further than this." You pouted, crossing your hands over your chest.
"You shouldn't waste the opportunity, you know." He made his way over to you, standing in front of you as you tried to avoid staring at his muscular chest. "What, are you afraid of drowning or something?"
"I can't help you if you don't tell me what's wrong."
Biting your lip, you cast your gaze to the waterfall. "I don't like it if I can't feel my footing under me and there's nothing for me to hold on to. It's... unnerving for me."
Without another word, Sid reached for your arms to wrap them around his neck, pulling you closer and pressing your chests together. The warmth from his body made you shudder as he tilted your chin up to him. "If we're like this, then there's nothing to worry about now."
As the ground starts to fade, you closed your eyes and hid your face in his neck. His arms rested on your waist, holding you securely as he let out a husky chuckle. "You alright there?"
"I'm fine!" You fought the urge to kick around, worried that you might hit him by accident.
"Yeah," he muttered, his voice a bit softer now. "you're doing okay."
Feeling nothing with your legs, you tuned your attention to him instead. Idly playing with his damp hair, you matched the rhythm of your breathing with his own. He was looking at the sky, and you didn't bother to look until he stopped swimming.
"Hey, look up."
You lifted your head, following his instruction as you took in the sight in front of you. The night sky was unobstructed, the darkness littered with stars as far as the eye could see. They created a stream of light and colors, dispersing away as they stretched higher and faded in the distance. It was mesmerizing, leaving you in awe as you smiled.
"Right? I've never seen anything like--" You looked back at Sid, surprised to see him staring at you. The gentle look on his face made your heart skip a beat, wondering if he had been talking about the sky or describing something else.
Something pulled the two of you closer, lips coming in for a kiss. One of his hands came up your back, tangling his fingers in your hair and tilting your head back as he deepened the kiss. You nipped on his lower lip, sucking on it and sliding your tongue in when he opened his mouth. It was demanding and intense, quickly robbing you of your breath as he palmed your breast.
Sid leaned down to nip on your neck, teasing your skin with his tongue as he said. "I think we need to move if we're going to continue this."
"Mhn. A bath sounds like a good idea as well."
You let him lead you back to the edge, having enough restraint to put your clothes back on and walk back to the house. Even in this uncomfortably damp situation, it did nothing to impede the growing heat in your core. Sneaking back into your shared room, he immediately pulled you in the shower and stripped you both of your clothing. The smell of lavender filled your nose as Sid massaged the shampoo in your hair, washing it carefully before moving along your body with soap. When he reached the apex of your thighs, you whimpered when his hand slipped between them and brushed against your clit.
Not wanting to be left out, you started to do the same to him, reaching up to gently rake your lathered fingers through his hair. You started to rub your hands over his chest and down his hips before reaching to stroke his hardness, earning you a strained grunt from him. Swiping your thumb on the head, you balled your hand around it and squeezed before pumping your hand over the entire length.
"Don't play naughty." He nipped on your ear before getting on his knees, lifting one of your legs over his shoulder. "You know the rules."
"Why did you even put that rule in?" You asked, remembering his preference of pleasuring you first before taking his.
Sid answered with his tongue on your slit. Gasping in surprise, you clutched on his hair and rolled your hips forward. His appetite was as ravenous as the last you remembered, your body shuddering in delight when he sucked hard on your clit. Fingers rubbed your soaked entrance, two of them thrusting in you fast while applying more pressure with his mouth. You could only moan his name as your orgasm crashed over you, your other leg giving out and trusting him to support your weight.
Dizzy from the rush of your release, you slid down into his awaiting arms. He held you to him, your heart hammering wildly in your chest. He pressed soft kisses on your shoulder, caressing your sides. "Sid," your purred, blowing hot air below his ear as you raked your nails up his back. "give me all of you."
Whether either of you realized the implication of those words was the least of your concern as his tall form hovered over you. His disheveled and wet hair framed his gorgeous face, his intense blue eyes shining like the midnight sky you saw earlier. If your thoughts hadn't been hopelessly muddled by him, you would have recognized that look he had.
"I just can't win over you, can I?" He mumbled, voice taut as he shut the shower off. Without letting go, he stood up and left the bathroom with you still in his arms before laying you down on one of the beds. Settling himself between your legs, he rubs his cock along your slit, using your arousal to push into your slick heat without causing you pain.
You moaned loudly as he filled you, stretching around his impressive size. With a steady pace, he started to thrust inside you while his thumb stroked your aching clit with wide circles. It was a slow climb to your peak, a contrast from his earlier ministrations. His free hand caressed your chest, cupping and massaging your breast.
A pinch to your hardened nipple made you whimper. "Any other man would be lucky to see you like this."
Flustered with his words, your cheeks grew red. "What? No one else is--"
The rest of the words died in your throat when he slammed his hips hard into yours. Letting go of your breast, he leaned forward on his knees and slipped his arm under your waist, hugging you closer to him. His mouth nipped on your neck as you arched your back, thighs quivering from the building tension in your core. You couldn't grind up against him in this position, leaving you open and defenseless as you took everything he gave you. His cock rubbed right against your sweet spot in this angle, making you spasm with each thrust.
Moving faster, he pumped in and out of you as his fingers drew smaller circles on your clit. You felt him whisper in your ear, your heart leaping out of your chest over his words. Overwhelmed with pleasure, you rasped out his name with your reply, squeezing around him tightly. Groaning in your neck, he released inside you as his thrust became erratic, filling you with much of his warmth.
Even as exhaustion set in, Sid gently pulled out of you and eased you down on the bed. A soft towel was wiped down your body before he lifted you in his arms, carrying you over to the next bed and tucking you in the cool sheets with him. His hand caressing your hair quickly pulled on your consciousness, sending you off into a dreamless sleep.
When you woke up, you were alone in the room. The darkness outside told you that it was still early morning, probably just before dawn. You got dressed and grabbed Sid's jacket, draping it over you as you made your way downstairs. The living room was empty, though a cup of unfinished coffee was your only sign that someone else was awake.
Leaving the lodge, you looked around for him. You ventured down the path to the lake, spotting him by the edge as you came closer. He was looking out into the distance, refusing to turn around as he spoke. "It's still too early. Go back to sleep."
"Nah. Maybe later."
The cicadas were gone now. There was no one but the two of you here. Walking over to a rock next to him, you faced the opposite direction and leaned on a smooth portion. "Last night, I heard something."
"Did you now?"
"I remember you said that any other guy would be lucky to see me like that." What struck you with that sentence wasn't so much the words, but the undertone of jealousy. "And then you said, 'be mine'."
Sid didn't respond, so you continued. "You didn't let me finish replying to the first one. I was going to say, 'no one else is going to see me like this'. Because I only want it to be you who sees me like that."
As scared as you were to address the pink elephant, you couldn't bear to leave it just like that, not after what you heard. You would survive if the arrangement was broken after this, but not before you determine what his feelings for you are. Even if you're wrong and this is all just one-sided, you could bear the heartache. It's the regret from not giving this--the two of you--your all that you refuse to let happen. Not with Sid.
Still nothing. Taking a deep breath, you clenched your fist and mustered what courage you had left. "What I'm saying is, I love you."
Your heart clamored in your chest as you waited for a reply, staring at the patch of grass in front of your feet. The first morning rays had started to peek over the horizon when you finally mustered the courage to look up at him. "Sid?"
He looked at you, cocking a sure smile. "Heh. It feels nice to hear that from someone you love."
As your mind scrambled to think, he leaned closer and cupped your cheek. Your vision was filled with him as he kissed you with quiet passion, pouring out his feelings into you. Kissing him back, you clutched on his shirt to keep yourself steady as you pulled him down.
Sid let out a chuckle. "I didn't think you'd remember all that. Not with what I was doing."
Your cheeks flushed over the memory. "I usually don't, but I couldn't get it out of my head."
"Hm. Makes that two of us then."
The two of you stared at each other for a while before you spoke. "Are you sure about this? I don't have a very good track record when it comes to relationships."
"I have my own bad record and you seem to be accepting of it." He rested his forehead on yours, gazing into your eyes. "This is just the start, so we'll have plenty of time to figure stuff out."
Nodding, you leaned closer to give him a kiss on the cheek. "I love you."
"I love you too." He smiled, kissing your forehead before extending a hand out to you. "Come on. Let's have some breakfast."
"Oh, before we head back, there's something I want to ask you."
You felt embarrassed to ask this, but you needed to know. "When did you start to like me?"
His eyes widened in surprise as a faint blush spread on his cheeks. "Around our last year in college."
"What! It's been that long?!" You shouted, clamping your hand over your mouth. "Okay, then why didn't you try to ask me out then?"
Rubbing the back of his head sheepishly, he averted his gaze. "I would've, but... When you cried to me about how you hated playboys because your first boyfriend was one, I knew I couldn't at that time. I was pretty much jumping from bed to bed back then." You noticed the tips of his ears turning a shade of red as he continued. "So I had to straighten myself out first."
"So, that day in your car, when you offered that... You weren't sleeping around anymore?"
"Not for a long while."
Now it was your turn to blush. "But the pill..."
"James is a nosy guy. Sticks himself in other people's business even if he isn't supposed to." Sid cleared his throat. "Are you done investigating? You can ask me more after we eat."
"Fine, fine." You pulled on his arm, walking back together to the lodge. Although you had many more questions for him and probably vice versa, he was right--this was just the start, and there's plenty of time for the two of you to explore this next step. It can't be that bad, not if you have him at your side through it, and you were sure to do the same for him.