Mutual Benefits Ch. 12

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I was never going to have a threesome with Morgan and Taylor. That much had become clear. In fact, the more the three of us hung out and sexuality was inevitably introduced, the more sure I was that I wanted to distance myself from the entire topic. And yet… something inside of me couldn’t stop her. It couldn’t stop her when we were alone, and it couldn’t stop me when we were all hanging out together. That had to end.

It was clear it was only going to end on Taylor’s terms, which definitely complicated the process. Taylor, it seemed, felt one way about me one day, and another the next. Morgan brought stability. Taylor brought spontaneity. I brought…

…What the hell did I bring? To either of their lives. It was all well and good that Morgan gave me the whole ‘I like you because of who you are’ speech, but it didn’t really convince me. I wasn’t anything. I felt… blank. Boring, like a piece of paper with no writing on it or something. I definitely wanted to be someone for Morgan, she was beginning to inspire that in me, but it still felt like only a beginning.

It was around six in the morning when I woke up. The other two were probably passed out. I left to sleep on the couch around the time their alcohol started to wear off and Morgan urged me to go to bed and skip what Taylor got like when she came down from peak drunkenness, whatever that meant.

I couldn’t sleep, so I did what I do best when I can’t sleep, and put some pants on and paced back and forth, eventually deciding I needed water in my system.

I couldn’t help but smirk when I saw their fridge. They had one of those rich suburban family fridges with the water tap in it. I quickly found a glass and helped myself to their water, opting for the ‘cool’ tap, since the fridge was kind enough to ask. Unfortunately, I nearly choked on it when someone turned the corner.

“Good morning,” Morgan’s brother told me in a quiet voice as he walked into the kitchen. Like me, he wasn’t wearing a shirt, though he was clearly more secure about that fact than I was.

“Hello,” I said, I think the first word I said to the guy. He had blond hair, dirtier than Morgan’s, and some matching facial hair to go with it. Like his sister, he was fairly good-looking, and naturally intimidating. He sported a pair of trendy glasses, and clearly shared Morgan’s habit of going to the gym.

I didn’t know why, but I was incredibly nervous.

“So,” he began, getting some orange juice out of the fridge. “You’re Quinn.”

“Yes,” I replied uneasily, wanting to cut the tension with ‘you’re observant’ or something but not knowing how that would go over.

“My sister’s boyfriend.”

“Is that okay?” I asked. I felt my cheeks get hot after I asked.

He gave me a weird look that slowly broke into a smile. “Yeah. Yeah, it’s okay. Relax. It’s just the only thing I know about you so far.”

“Oh. Well, I go to school with Morgan. I know her because I tutored Taylor in math.”

“You know her from Taylor?” he asked, clearly with some kind of purpose.

I felt my cheeks get hot again. “Um, yes…” I mumbled.

“Hmm, interesting,” he remarked to himself. “Well, Quinn, my name is Doug. It’s nice to finally get to meet you.” He nodded diplomatically.

I nodded back. “Nice to meet you, Doug,” I told him. “Is this like a thing you do often? Like, do I need to know the rules to date your sister or something?”

I didn’t know if what I just asked was bold or anything, but Doug smirked like I just told him a joke. “Maybe if you were someone else. I don’t get bad vibrations from you. You kind of look… is it okay to say, ‘shy?'” Seeing me shrug and nod, he continued. “Then yeah, shy.”

“I’m not very popular,” I pointed out. Doug just stared at me. “Morgan is.”

“Ah, I see,” he commented lightly. He took an apple out of a bowl and took a bite of it. “You’re a lucky guy then, if I remember Hazelwood’s cliques as well as I do,” he said with a mouth full of apple.

“More like I don’t get why she picked me,” I said dejectedly.

“Ooh, pity party. Aren’t you a cheery one,” he jeered. “I won’t be able to tell you what Morgan’s type is if that’s something you’re looking for.”

“Why not?”

“Because Morgan barely ever tells mom and dad that she has a ‘boyfriend.’ She goes on dates, but she’ll only ever go on three dates with a guy, maximum, dump him, and feel weird ever calling him a boyfriend while doing it. So, clearly, whatever her type is, you mean something to her.”

“Okay,” I digested slowly. “That does make me feel a little better. But she did tell Taylor about guys doing stuff with her before. You know, not date things, but-“

Doug held up a hand. “Can I assume ‘not popular’ can also mean ‘socially awkward?’ Is that a fair thing to assume here?”

“Um, yes, it can.”

“Great, thought so. Gonna give you a freebie lesson here: Don’t tell a girl’s brother she’s done anything sexual, especially out of a relationship. It’s weird.”

“Oh, sorry,” I backed down immediately.

Doug raised his eyebrows at me. “Huh. Thought you Sincan Escort were going to push back a little on that. You’re a hard guy to read.”

“Did we ever know each other in high school?” I asked. “Or even go at the same time or something?”

“Nope, first time I’m seeing you. I’m twenty-five.”

“Oh.” I let silence fill the air. “I’m sorry about saying that thing I said earlier.”

“I trust you’re more romantic and sensitive with her,” he told me dryly with a smile.

“I want to be. She thinks I am… sometimes.”

He shrugged. “Then you’re good.”

“I just feel like-” I stopped mid-sentence when Taylor stumbled into the kitchen. She practically spilled into it. Her hair was messed up, her eyes were, at most, a quarter open, and she had this look of perpetual pain on her face.

“Good morning, Taylor,” Doug practically sang with a smug face.

“Go fuck yourself,” Taylor answered. “Quinn, get me some water.”

I scrambled to get another glass. “Sounds like you went harder than cider,” Doug observed.

“Triple eight,” Taylor answered. “Quinn!”

“Yeah, that doesn’t mean anything to me,” Doug continued as I filled the glass and handed it to her.

She drank the whole thing before answering. “Vodka,” she spat out, handing me the glass. “Fill it up again.”

“Vodka? And you’re looking like this? Hope you didn’t throw up,” Doug said flatly.

Taylor shook her head, taking the glass I filled again. “I didn’t. Morgan did.”

“Wait, Morgan threw up?!” I asked with urgency.

“Keep it down!!” Taylor said quietly yet with urgency.

“Yeah, this — I’ll handle this, Taylor — our parents don’t know about this kind of thing,” Doug said to me in a patient voice.

“But, she’s my — I need to go see her, is she awake?” I replied, still worried for her.

Taylor’s arm stopped me. “Quinn, you’re sweet, but Morgan has specifically asked not to see you this morning.”

“She… what?” I felt my heart sink. What the heck did that mean?

“You’re going to give the guy a heart attack, Taylor, he’s clueless! Lead more gently!” Doug barked. “Yo, Quinn.” He whistled at me as one does to a dog to get my attention. I slowly turned to him. “She’s embarrassed and thinks she looks terrible. She doesn’t want her boyfriend to see her in such a state. It’s a code of honor thing. She doesn’t want you to see her at her worst, that’s all. It’s not about you. It’s an insecurity thing.”

I stared back and forth between the two of them, confused, no noise except for a muffled sound of throwing up occurring from down the hall. Was this a code of honor thing? Maybe I was socially oblivious, but the code of honor kind of sucked. Wordlessly, I got a third glass out of the cupboard, filled it with water, and marched up the stairs and down the hallway, this time ignoring Taylor’s arm before going.

Finding the washroom down the hallway was easy; it was clear Morgan started throwing up before she made it to the toilet. The smell was… I ignored the smell. Gingerly, I took the last few steps into the washroom, hearing the sound of Morgan sniffling and… possibly crying softly. It was hard to tell. She was hunched over the toilet, occasionally dry-heaving, looking a bit like a mess even from the back.

I didn’t have much experience with alcohol. In fact, I didn’t have any. But I knew at a basic level what alcohol did, and tried to think hard about what she’d be going through, and based what I told her on that.

“It’s me. No need to turn around if you feel bad or anything. I brought you some water, it’ll be on the sink.” I let the glass settle on the porcelain sink with a ‘clink’ to demonstrate. “I just didn’t want you to be alone or feel too bad to see me. This could, uh, happen to anyone, and I don’t want you to feel bad.”

I let my words sink in. Morgan didn’t turn around, and it was really hard to figure out if I made the right call or the wrong one. Eventually, she got some toilet paper and wiped her mouth with it, throwing it in the toilet and flushing whatever was in there. Slowly, she turned around and faced me.

She looked a little worse than usual, sure, but… she was my girlfriend. And despite her pained expression and puffy ‘I’ve just been crying’ eyes, she was smiling at me. “Thank you for checking up on me, Quinn,” she told me softly. “Can you give me a second to just freshen up?”

I had an idea. “Yeah,” I told her, looking underneath the kitchen sink. Sure enough, sme all-purpose cleaner and paper towels greeted my eyes. I grabbed both and headed out of the washroom, determined, even being bold enough to shut the door behind me. While Morgan was in the washroom, I cleaned up any mess I found on the ground. By the time I was done, Morgan had just gotten out of the washroom, smelling overwhelmingly of mint.

“Oh my God, Quinn,” she commented, only then realizing what I did. “Why did you do that?”

“Because I figure this situation was terrible for you and I wanted to help my girlfriend?” I felt my heart rise Etlik Escort in my chest. Something about calling her my girlfriend made me happy. The way she smiled when I said it made me more convinced.

“You are the fucking sweetest person,” she told me, grabbing my hand and holding it in hers.

“Oh, be careful, I still haven’t washed my hands since using the cleane-“

“I’ll be okay, I’ll take the risk,” she told me sarcastically. “This was, uh, really embarrassing for me. I’m sorry you had to see me like this.”

I stared at her, somewhat confused but also somewhat understanding. “Morgan, this was just you in a tricky situation. I don’t get why I would want to not see you right now. If I hear you’re not doing well, that should make me want to help, not stand by.”

“I don’t want you ever questioning why I like you again,” she laughed. “Can I kiss you? I brushed my teeth. Really thoroughly. I’d understand if you didn’t want that.”

“I do want that,” I told her, and as a gesture, I was the one who brought her in close. I was the one that brought my lips to hers.

I was happy to find that she did a good job; I tasted nothing but mint. We started off tame, but ended up passionately kissing each other in the doorway to her washroom, quickly going from sweet and kind to a sea of teenage hormones. When we broke off the kiss, despite her clear hangover, Morgan was looking at me with lust and vitality in her eyes.

“Do you have to go immediately?” Morgan asked. “Because I think a guy that is willing to be that helpful is pretty… sexy, and I want to show you how much I appreciate you.”

I smiled. “I think Taylor is my ride, so she’s the one that needs convincing,” I told her. “Or Doug. Whoever can give me a ride. I don’t mind staying a bit longer and…”

“And…?” Morgan teased.

“And,” I told her with a grin. She got the message and walked off down the stairs, leaving me in the hallway chuckling.

I couldn’t resist listening in on whatever conversation they’d have, though. I wasn’t above that. I tiptoed over to the banister and leaned over, closing my eyes and listening in.

“No,” Taylor’s flat voice met my ears. “Maybe try thinking of someone else for once. I’m hurting too.”

“Doesn’t that work though?” Morgan asked. “You can sit here and drink water, recover, do whatever you want. I just want to see him for a few more minutes.”

“Can I ask why you like him?” Doug interjected. “You’ve turned down guys that have more charisma in their left nut. How much chemistry could you possibly have if he just answers ‘um, yeah’ to everything?”

“Where the fuck did that come from?!” Morgan demanded.

“Woah, woah. Didn’t realize I had to like any boyfriend you bring home immediately.” Doug’s tone got sour.

“Taylor, help me out here,” Morgan pleaded.

I heard Taylor sigh. “He can be a sweet guy. Misguided, but sweet. Not really boyfriend material, but…”

“Not exactly a ten in the looks department either,” Doug dryly added. Ouch.

No one spoke for a bit. “You’re driving him home, Doug,” Morgan told him after a while, in the angriest voice I ever heard her use. “And you’re both going to be a lot fucking nicer to him from now on, and if you don’t, don’t bother fucking talking to me either. Taylor, go the fuck home if you’re going to be such a baby.” I could hear her stomping back to the stairs and tiptoed back to the hallway, grabbing the cleaning supplies again and pretending to go over the floor again. I looked up after positioning myself in time to see Morgan coming up the stairs.

“Oh, hey,” I casually said. “How’d it go?”

“Did you hear anything?”

“Nope, I was busy here,” I lied.

She broke into a sweet smile, as if nothing had happened. “Oh! We’re all good,” she lied back. “Doug was happy to offer you a ride home if Taylor decides she wants to go home soon. Her head is really hurting, so I wouldn’t blame her.”

“And how’s your head, are you alright?” I asked, standing up.

“I’m… yeah, I’m okay,” she replied uneasily. “Can I say something weird? It’s just on my mind right now.” She started to head into her room.

I followed. “Um, yeah, sure. What’s up?”

She closed the door behind us. “So, if we ever do break up…”

“I don’t like where this is going.”

“I wouldn’t like it either, but this is just a thing I want to say about you. I know high school does this whole totem pole thing, and a lot of people can make you think or feel you’re on the bottom.” She fidgeted with her hands. “If you were ever single, just… don’t presume that someone taking pity on you is being nice to you. It’s okay to have value in yourself. You’re really sweet, and you see the good in people a lot. I don’t like the idea of you getting taken advantage of by some toxic girl.”

She sat down on her bed, and I sat down beside her. I couldn’t help smiling. “Is this toxic girl Taylor?” I asked.

I wanted her to smile with me, but instead, she just frowned. “I think you know the type at this Çankaya Escort point,” she admitted quietly. “Quinn, I think we’re more alike than I wanted to admit when I first met you.”

“You have a duty to protect others, but you feel as though you get taken advantage of yourself?” I offered. “You hate being walked on, but it’s kind of hard to stop when you’re used to just helping people?”

She looked into my eyes and smiled. “Either you’re really perceptive, you’re psychic, or you did hear some of the stuff we said downstairs, you liar,” she playfully accused.

“If I said I was psychic, would that make you impressed enough to give me a kiss?” I joked.

“This one’s a freebie,” she laughed, leaning in. Gently, I met her lips with mine and gave her a kiss. Despite the pain she was in, she relaxed and melted into the kiss, giving a small appreciative moan as our lips met.

Slowly, we pulled away from each other. “Yeah, I lied,” I admitted. “I thought it would be awkward to tell the truth.”

“I understand,” she told me simply. “She pisses me the fuck off sometimes.”

“And Doug?”

“Complicated,” she answered simply. “I’ll just say that he feels like age always gives you wisdom.”

“I think you’re kind of wise beyond your years,” I admitted.

She gave me a look. “Quinn, come on.”

“No, I’m serious! You have a lot of emotional intelligence,” I told her. “He seems more… bro-y than you.”

“You’ll get on his good side soon, I’m sure.”

“After you threatened him,” I quipped. “Besides, it’s true, I’m not a ten on th-“

“Shut up,” she barked at me. “Just shut up. There’s no such thing as objective looks. It’s not impossible for me to find you attractive. It’s not impossible for you to be attractive. You’re fucking attractive, Quinn. There’s no number on the looks chart. It’s not even a thing. I just look at you, and I think, ‘wow, it’s Quinn. I want to date him. I want to kiss him.’ Is that so unbelievable?”

“See? Emotional intelligence,” I insisted.

“Admit I find you attractive,” she ordered, quickly adding, “Physically. Don’t weasel out.”

“Do I get to admit I’m not conventionally attractive when I say it?”

“Only if I get to point out that ‘conventional’ doesn’t mean a fucking thing.”

“Morgan, despite not being conventionally attractive to many, you find me attractive. You find me physically attractive.”

“Quinn, ‘conventional’ doesn’t mean a fucking thing.” We shared a giggle. “There are people, lots of people, that would never find Taylor attractive. There are lots of people that wouldn’t find me attractive.”

“Well, they’re not here. I am,” I told her, moving in close to her face.

She smiled slightly. “Hot.”

I kissed her gently, then looked into her eyes. “Morgan,” I began. “You’re such a kind and giving person. I want to give back to you. What can I do that would make you happy?”

Her eyes got misty, and she didn’t say anything for a bit. “I… really liked hearing that. Even just hearing that,” she shakily said.

I smiled at her. We were more alike than I had realized. Realizing I had already talked the talk at this point, I internally grimaced at the realization that I had to take initiative again, although I’d gladly do it for her. “Lay down,” I gently said.

She gave me a curious look. “What for?”

“It won’t be as romantic if I tell you what I plan on doing.”

She looked nervous. “I’m kind of an overthinker. Is what you’re going to do-“

“We’re not going all the way,” I chuckled. “And I’m going to remain clothed.”

She smiled and blushed, looking away. I read her mind. I turned her head back to me and gave her another gentle kiss, before pushing her on both of her shoulders, letting her flop on top of the bed. Trying to be as graceful as possible, I climbed on top of her, kissing her lips over and over, slowly going down to her neck.

She closed her eyes and sighed when she felt my first kiss on her neck. I went from polite chaste kisses to passionate open-mouth kisses, until we got to the point where I was definitely going to leave marks.

It was clear that Morgan’s neck was a sensitive spot. She kept moving around as I kissed her neck, to such an extent that I began to worry if I was hurting her or something. And yet, every time I tried pulling up from her neck to check up on her, her hand would find the back of my head and pull me back down. Clearly I was doing something right. Armed with this information, I pressed on, kissing and biting her neck, feeling her body flush and practically grow hotter with her passion.

As I kept kissing and biting her, my hands once again found their way over her shirt, then under. I decided not to grab anything or be too sudden with my movements — it was easy to forget, but she was probably hurting right now, with her hangover and all. I made slow sweeping motions up and down her body, paying attention to when she’d react and which areas my fingertips were grazing when she reacted. Apart from one area where she was clearly just ticklish, I had tried to commit to memory the areas she particularly seemed to like and ‘mapped’ her out. Once I did, I retreated my head, moving it down to her torso, lifting her shirt. Morgan’s cream-colored torso greeted my eyes, along with a bra that looked too tight on her body. I wondered if today was the day I was going to truly let her body breathe.

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