Because of You
Dean sipped on his bottle of cold beer, and glanced around the bar. It was dimly lit, which wasn’t surprising considering the late hour and the premises. Soft strains of some song he’d never heard filtered through the low voices of the men around him. He’d never been here before, and to be honest he’d probably never come again. It was most definitely a pickup joint, but the men that dotted the stools at the bar, or the infrequent tables scattered haphazardly within the small room, were not his type. They were all older than him for a start—most in their mid-forties and upward, but that wasn’t the only reason. From what he could tell, they were business men—office types, in suits—and he never went for anyone who wore a suit.
He was just about to pick up his phone to check the time when he heard a voice behind him.
Assuming unwanted attention—again—Dean turned to give whoever it was a quick refusal, but Ben stood there, a smile on his face.
“You’re late,” Dean accused, unintentionally sounding more aggrieved than he felt. Ben was only a few minutes late, so it wasn’t really that which had Dean annoyed. What pissed him off was having to rebuff several attempts at being picked up.
“Sorry, got caught up at work.” Ben sat down opposite, beer already in hand. “I saw you already had one,” he said, indicating the half-empty bottle in Dean’s hand.
Dean tipped his bottle back to his mouth. He’d been nursing it for over fifteen minutes because he wouldn’t have another. He didn’t drink much, and anyway he was driving home. When he placed it back on the table, Ben was staring at him. His scrutiny was a little unusual, but so was his asking to meet Dean here. Normally they went out to their local near work, and it generally suited them both. This, though, this was so off the wall it started a niggling worry. Was Ben trying to hook him up with someone? No, he couldn’t be, because Ben knew he didn’t do casual.
“And how is work?” Dean asked.
“You should know. We both work for the same company.”
“Yeah, but you’re at the office every day. I only need to be there once a week—which is how I prefer it.”
“Well, it’s good. We signed up that new client you did the specs for.”
Dean smiled. As resident architect, Ben did the drawings and ultimately got the contracts. Dean only did the quantity surveying and oversaw the building projects once a job was under contract.
He casually leaned both arms on the table. “So, why are we here?”
Ben glanced around the bar, and then shrugged. “How long have we known each other?”
Caught off guard by the question, Dean frowned. “A little over a year. Why?”
“And how long have we been friends?”
“The same amount of time. Why?” he asked again.
Ben picked up his bottle, took a sip
and then put it down, wrapping his fingers tightly around it. He fiddled with
the label before catching Dean’s gaze. “Do you trust me?” he asked.
“Yes, of course I do, but why are you asking? What’s this about, Ben?” Something was off. Ben wasn’t acting his usual self. “You’re worrying me.”
“Don’t. Don’t worry. It’s nothing tragic. Well, that depends on your attitude, and ultimately your decision, but, I want you to think long and hard before giving me an answer, okay?”
“An answer to what?”
Ben lifted his hand, palm out. “Just give me a second to formulate the words properly.”
Seriously? Since when did Ben have a problem formulating words? The man had a mind like an encyclopedia. He was eerily smart, analytical, and decisive when it came to dealing with clients. So why was he at a loss for words now?
He waited though, simply because whatever Ben was going to ask him to do would have been meticulously thought out, and was going to be well worth hearing. However, Ben seemed to have a real issue with getting out what he wanted to say. His normally focused blue eyes were filled with uncertainty. He looked pale too, even in the dark lighting of the room. He sat back, played with his bottle a little more, then bit his lip.
“This is going to sound unusual. Actually, it’s going to sound like I’m out of my mind, but I’m not. I’ve had a lot of time to think this through. You can say no, so there’s no pressure—but I hope you don’t. I really want it to be you.”
“You’re making no sense. What do you want me to do?” What the hell was going on? Ben never acted this mysteriously, or hesitantly. It was so out of character. Then again, the last few times Dean had seen Ben he’d been acting weird.
Ben shifted a little uncomfortably in his seat then he lifted his chin—his light blue eyes clear once again. “I want you to fuck me.”
Dean knew he hadn’t heard right, but when he half lifted his mouth in an attempt at a smile he noticed the grim line of Ben’s. The man meant it. Holy fuck, Ben meant it. Dean stood abruptly, shaking his head emphatically.
Several stares were turned their way, but Dean hardly noticed. He pointed at Ben, both shock and dismay flooding his body. “Are you fucking crazy? I’m not fucking you.”
Ben grabbed his arm and pulled him back down. He also slid in close to Dean on the bench seat. “You don’t have to shout, you know. I can hear you.”
“Then you know my answer,” Dean replied, dropping his voice down to a hiss as he noticed the attention they were getting.
“You didn’t think about it.”
“I didn’t have to. I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous. You’re straight, Ben, or have you forgotten that? You fuck women, not men.”
“I haven’t forgotten, but—”
“No, there are no buts.”
“Of course there are. I’m curious.”
“Curious? Teenagers are curious. Not grown men of twenty-nine.”
“Look, I know this is a little…unorthodox, but I want you to really think about it. It would be easier with you, but if you say no—if you honestly don’t want to do this with me—then I’m going to ask someone else.”
“What?” Now Ben had gone too far. “You can’t do that. Who?”
“I don’t know who. You’re the only gay man I know, but that’s why I came here.” Ben slowly looked around the room, his gaze resting on a few single men seated at the bar. “I checked out gay bars on the internet. This place seemed like a good choice because the men here are supposed to be experienced, and I thought one of them might be glad to help.”
“Glad to… Ben, you can’t be serious. You don’t know the first thing about gay sex. You could get into trouble. They might not take care and hurt you.” Why was he even saying all this? He should be dragging Ben out of here and beating this nonsense out of his head.
“I’ve done research. I know what I’m getting myself into. And that’s why I asked you. I trust you, and I know you wouldn’t hurt me.”
“Research? Jesus. What kind of research? Do not tell me you’ve already started experimenting with someone.” Dean felt his stomach clench at the thought of Ben on his knees in a dark alley somewhere while some asshole shoved his cock down his throat.
“Like I said, I’ve checked out the internet. Watched some movies. Got some toys.” Ben made an expressive gesture with his hands. “I’m not going in blind.”
“Yes, you are. You obviously haven’t thought this through.” As soon as he said it, Dean knew it was the wrong thing to say. Ben bristled.
“I’m not rushing into this. I’ve thought about it long and hard.” Disappointment clouded Ben’s face, and uncertainty once more engulfed his eyes. “I really want it to be you. Please.”
At a loss, completely shaken by Ben’s request, Dean stared at his friend. He knew arguing with him wasn’t going to work, but maybe if he pretended to consider it, Ben might change his mind on his own—when he realized how stupid an idea this was. “Can you give me a couple of days to think about it?”
Ben smiled, though it didn’t take the darkness out of his eyes. “Okay. I’ll give you till Friday.” He stood, looking as awkward as Dean felt, and then he slowly walked away, leaving Dean with a hard knot forming in the pit of his stomach.
Friday morning, Dean was still no closer to saying yes than he’d been on Wednesday. Every part of him questioned Ben’s motives. They’d been friends for a long time, long enough to know Ben was serious because the man never did anything without going through all the pros and cons first. But sex with a man? Why? What had prompted it? Ben had never mentioned he was curious before, and God knows he would have had plenty of chances to raise the subject in the past. So why now?
Grabbing a mug from the cupboard, Dean poured himself a coffee, his actions automatic while his mind fought to find a reason for Ben’s sudden demand. And that was another thing. Ben had been pretty adamant he was going to do this, with or without Dean’s help, and that seriously had Dean worried.
Ben wasn’t stupid. Despite his claim of doing research he would know the real dangers of just hooking up with some random guy. There weren’t many men who would care that he was a virgin or take the time to introduce him to gay sex properly. If Ben really wanted to do this, he would need someone who would do it right. Someone who would take care of him, take it slowly, and treat him gently—the way he deserved. Not that Ben would think he deserved preferential treatment, but he wouldn’t take the risk of getting hurt. So why the threat? Or had he just said that because Dean had said no? And Ben would have to know Dean wouldn’t have agreed to such a thing, didn’t he?
More confused by the minute, and giving up on trying to sort this out now, Dean rinsed out his mug then grabbed the keys for his truck.
The building site he was visiting didn’t need much of his attention, which was good, because he hardly gave it any. By the end of the day a headache had begun to form behind his eyes, and he wondered what he was going to do when Ben asked for his answer. He considered requesting an extension of time, but wasn’t sure if Ben would give him one. That opportunity slipped by when he received a text message on his phone.
Meet me at Danny’s.
Danny’s was their local, and it was neutral ground. Dean supposed it was as good a place as any, and he hoped there was less chance of either one of them causing a scene that way. Still, it took a lot more courage than he’d thought to walk through the door and into the noisy bar.
Ben was waiting for him. He was sitting calmly at one of the small tables tucked into a corner. There were two bottles of beer on the table.
“Hi.” Ben stood slightly then sat back down. It looked like he’d been on the verge of hugging Dean, which, though they did on occasion, didn’t seem appropriate now. In that instant, Dean had his answer. If they were awkward with each other now, how would it be if he went ahead and gave Ben what he wanted?
He sat down opposite, worry marring his brow. Ben’s friendship meant too much to him. Since meeting at work when he’d joined the company nearly a year ago, they’d clicked. It had taken Dean a while to admit to Ben he was gay, but Ben hadn’t minded, in fact he’d actively encouraged Dean to come out openly with the rest of the staff. With no repercussions, he’d found himself happier than he’d been for a long time, and he’d allowed that happiness to affect how he thought about Ben. He couldn’t risk losing that, even if it meant disappointing him.
However, as he took a quick glance at the expectancy in his friends face, he suddenly thought of something. Dean’s private fantasies of fucking Ben were just that—fantasies. He’d never voiced them, never even hinted at them, but had Ben somehow picked up on what sometimes went through Dean’s mind? Wondering if that was why Ben was doing this, Dean groaned.
“Hey? Are you all right?” Ben reached across the table and grasped Dean’s hand. Dean instantly felt the tingle of contact, and fought the instinct to pull his hand away. Could Ben know Dean wanted his friend in bed, under him, holding him, slowly making love to him?
“I’m fine, thanks,” Dean replied, but he sat back against his chair, forcing Ben to let go of his hand. Ben frowned, but didn’t comment, which was something he would normally do.
“So, have you made up your mind?” Ben asked as he picked up his bottle of beer.
“Have you changed yours?” Dean responded, ignoring the way Ben filled out the white shirt he wore, and how under the subdued lights of the bar he positively glowed.
“Not about you fucking me, no. I still want that.” Ben didn’t look uncomfortable as he made his statement, in fact he seemed eager, excited. “But about me looking for someone else if you said no, well, I didn’t really mean it.”
Relief hit Dean hard, and it wasn’t until then he realized how upset he’d been by the idea of another man touching Ben. In fact, if he’d found out Ben had given up his virgin ass to someone else, Dean would have been pissed. However, that still didn’t mean he was willing to take Ben, despite the odd need to want to show him how good something like that could really be.
“So it’s me or no one, is that what you’re saying?”
“And if I say no?” What did he mean if? He was saying no, end of story.
“Then I’d be truly disappointed.” Ben looked it too. He dropped his gaze and heaved in a deep sigh. “I’ve been thinking of it for so long. Thinking of doing it with you.”
The last was said so low, Dean wasn’t sure he’d heard it right, but his cock did. It twitched in his jeans, filling out as his blood suddenly ran south. He bit back on another groan, careful to keep his reaction hidden.
“You know this is a bad idea, don’t you?” he asked, realizing how his words kept the possibility open. He should be saying no, emphatically, permanently.
Ben glanced up, his thick lashes fluttering over those dark blue eyes of his. “I think it’s a great idea. At least then I’d know.”
“Know what? How sore your ass will be in the morning?”
Color flooded Ben’s cheeks and he drew in his bottom lip. Fuck, did he have any idea how fucking gorgeous he was when he did that?
Dean wanted to get up and leave, he really did because the thought of being buried deep inside Ben’s body was slowly driving him crazy. So crazy he almost… He shook his head, and Ben made a small sound of dismay.
“If I was any other guy it wouldn’t bother you. All those one night stands you’ve had. Why can’t you just give me a chance? Damn it, Dean, you’re not being fair.”
“I’m not being fair?” Dean leaned forward, putting his clenched hands on the table. “You’re not any other guy, Ben, so it does bother me. You’re my best friend, and I—” Oh no. He was not going there. He wasn’t going to tell Ben he loved him because that would be unforgivable. It was bad enough he lusted after the man. Yet, hadn’t Ben just admitted he’d been lusting after him, thinking of him, imagine Dean doing all sorts of things to him?
“Just one night. That’s all I ask.”
“Why for God’s sake? Being curious is not a reason to get your ass reamed.”
Ben sat back, a mutinous expression on his face. “Give me another reason then.”
There were plenty of reasons, but the one that popped into Dean’s head wasn’t the one he was prepared to discuss.
“Fine.” Shit, had he just said that? He must have because Ben broke out in a delighted smile.
“Yes? Really? You’ll do it?”
Though wishing he could take it back, Dean still nodded. If truth be told he’d give Ben anything he asked for, he just hadn’t expected Ben to ask for this.
“Thank you. I knew you’d come through for me.” Ben stood and extended his hand. “Come on,” he said.
“We’re going back to my place. I’ve already got it set up.”
“I can’t wait.” Ben slipped his hand through Dean’s, his firm grip both surprising and odd. He pulled Dean to his feet. Dean followed, a little dizzy with shock. Ben wanted to do it now?
Ben only lived a few streets away, but Dean insisted on driving, though he kind of wished he hadn’t when his hands slipped on the steering wheel more than once. He wasn’t going to deny he was nervous, and he didn’t like the roll of his stomach as he parked the car in Ben’s driveway and got out.
Ben was animated. He climbed out of the passenger side and strode up to his front door with the air of a man who’d been told he’d just won the lottery or something. He glanced over his shoulder, and Dean had a feeling he was making sure he was still following him and hadn’t decided to bail.
Once inside, Ben headed toward the kitchen. He didn’t hesitate to bring down two glasses and a bottle of scotch from a glass-fronted cupboard. “Want one?”
Dean almost said yes, but shook his head instead. “No, thanks. I need to keep a clear head.” What he needed to do was make sure he didn’t say or do anything that would raise Ben’s suspicions. It was bad enough he’d agreed to do it in the first place; he didn’t want Ben knowing it was his own desire to have Ben in his arms that had pushed him over the line.
Ben grinned, looking far happier than Dean had ever seen him, whereas Dean guessed his own face conveyed uneasy apprehension.
He stood in the middle of the kitchen, not knowing what the hell to do. Normally he would be kissing the guy who brought him home, or getting him to strip, but here, he hadn’t a clue. He supposed the ball was in Ben’s court, and he would have to wait until Ben was ready to play. When Ben turned to put his back to the counter however, he suddenly looked nervous, and Dean guessed Ben wouldn’t be making the first move.
Deciding to help him out, because that’s what friends were for, he stood in front of Ben then took his glass from him, putting it onto the counter. “Where do you want to start?” he asked.
“I, um, I don’t know. I’ve never seduced a man.”
“I damn well hope not.” It still didn’t sit well—Ben wanting to do this, but at least Dean could breathe easy that Ben wouldn’t have tried this with someone else. But why was he trying it at all?
Still not understanding Ben’s reason, Dean again worried that once this was over… No, he didn’t want to think about that. Didn’t want to think of a future without Ben in it. He took a deep breath, pushing his fears to the back of his mind. Ben wouldn’t just dump him if he decided he’d made a mistake. He’d think about his actions rationally and wouldn’t blame Dean for giving him what he’d asked for. At least that’s what Dean hoped. Taking that chance, and the only one he’d ever get to be with Ben, Dean jumped in.
“I don’t know about you, but I like to start slow and work my way up to hot and fast.” Dean watched Ben’s face, gauging his reaction. Ben wasn’t all that easy to read, which was why this had come as such a surprise. Now though, he wasn’t hiding anything, and his eyes showed both need and trepidation.
“Slow? Like kissing?”
“Yeah.” How many times had he thought about kissing Ben? “And touching,” he added, because he’d thought about that a lot too.
“So we do that first?”
“If you want.” Sounding nonchalant didn’t come easy, but he had to make sure Ben knew what he was doing—because this was all on Ben, and Dean wasn’t going to take any responsibility for it.
Ben slid his arms around Dean’s waist. Dean shivered just slightly, the simple contact affecting him more than he’d thought. But Ben always did that to him; made him want what he thought he’d never have.
“This kind of touching okay?” Ben asked, his blue eyes wide as he stared into Dean’s.
Not sure how he’d sound if he tried to talk, Dean nodded. Ben’s shoulders were as broad as his own, his chest as wide. They were both the same height, and their hips aligned perfectly. So did their mouths. Dean dropped his gaze to Ben’s lips. The man licked them, and Dean instantly reacted to the unvoiced invitation. He leaned in and, ignoring everything that told him this wasn’t going to end well, he joined their mouths together.
Ben gasped, and Dean instantly pulled back.
“No, don’t stop.” Ben’s plea hit a chord with Dean. That’s what he usually wanted the men he was fucking to say, and hearing it from Ben was no different. He pushed up against Ben’s body, capturing his lips again. This time Ben moaned.
Wanting to grip the back of Ben’s head and plunder his mouth, it took a lot of effort for Dean to remind himself he wasn’t doing this for his own pleasure. He was supposed to be giving Ben an experience he wouldn’t forget, but Dean couldn’t help savor the feel of Ben’s lips on his and notice how soft yet firm they were. He tried to be gentle, giving Ben a chance to pull back if he wanted to, but Ben tightened his grip around Dean’s waist before moving to link his arms around his neck.
Need caused Dean to trace Ben’s bottom lip with his tongue. Ben opened his mouth, and Dean instantly entered. The heated wetness, along with the silky slide of Ben’s tongue, had Dean slanting his head, getting a better angle. The whiskey flavor was a sharp contrast to the sweetness that lay beyond it—the sweetness of Ben.
Changing direction, he nibbled against Ben’s hard jaw, then dragged his mouth down Ben’s neck, licking the slightly rough skin, relishing in the fact that Ben hadn’t shaved. Ben twisted his head to give Dean better access, and the unconscious submissive gesture had Dean’s body tightening in arousal.
Dean fought to take it slow, but the way Ben was reacting, the way he seemed to be giving himself over to Dean, just pushed all of Dean’s buttons. Needing to change the pace, he pulled back and dropped his hands, but immediately missed the contact of Ben’s skin.
“Should we get undressed now?” Ben’s question was too close to Dean’s own thoughts, but he shook his head. Seeing Ben naked… Dean inwardly groaned. Shit, how was he seriously supposed to do this without Ben finding out how much he couldn’t wait to get in his ass?
“No. I mean… Why don’t you have a shower, and I’ll, um…” What? Wait in bed for him, stay in the kitchen, run away and never come back? The surrealism of what was going to happen was throwing Dean for a loop. What if he fucked this up?
“Come in with me?” The hopeful glint in Ben’s eyes was Dean’s undoing. He hadn’t been able to say no to Ben when it counted. Would giving in and having a shower with him make any difference? He lifted both arms in a gesture of whatever, and then allowed himself to be led toward the bathroom.
He honestly tried not to watch as Ben started pulling at his tie and undoing it. He’d never thought of ties as sexy before, nor a plain white shirt, and certainly not suit pants, but as Ben took off each item of clothing, Dean started to change his mind. Yeah, Ben was a guy who wore suits, but Dean suddenly didn’t care. The body beneath the clothes didn’t look like it belonged to a man who sat behind a desk all day. He knew Ben exercised—he played squash with him once a week, but looking at Ben’s well-toned and nicely-muscled frame had Dean wondering why he hadn’t taken more notice. Oh right, because Ben was his friend and Dean wasn’t supposed to be lusting after him.
Ben had stopped at his tight, black briefs, and Dean realizing he was staring. Clearing his throat, he started pulling off his T-shirt and jeans. He knew he didn’t need to be self-conscious because if anything he was in better shape than Ben, however he’d never had a straight guy looking at him the way Ben was, and it was a little disconcerting. Down to his boxers, Dean hesitated, wondering if it would be better if Ben got naked first. He glanced up, and then sucked in a sharp breath when he noticed the front of Ben’s tight, black briefs begin to stretch and fill out.
For some odd reason, Dean hadn’t expected Ben to get aroused, which was stupid now that he thought about it. Ben wanted to get fucked. He’d no doubt want to come. Why else would he do something like this?
He swallowed, fascinated with the way Ben was hardening under his gaze. His own body’s response was immediate, but Dean ignored it. “You may want to get out of those before you strangle something,” he said, hoping to keep the mood light so Ben wouldn’t start freaking out on him.
Ben smirked, his posture relaxed. He hooked his thumbs under the waistband of his briefs and slowly—very slowly—eased them over his erection and down his hips. Dean openly stared. Fuck, Ben was big. Thick and long, he nearly put Dean’s to shame. Nearly. Dean suddenly wanted to compare. He pulled off his boxer briefs ridiculously fast, and moved to stand closer to Ben. It was only as he was about to reach out and grasp Ben’s cock did Dean realize what he was doing. He stopped, and felt his face turn red.
“I was going to compare dick sizes,” he said by way of explanation when Ben frowned at him.
“Do gay men do that?”
“Not just gay men, but yeah.” Dean eyed Ben’s cock again. “I didn’t realize you were so big.”
“Good thing I’m not fucking you then, isn’t it?”
Dean quirked an eyebrow, surprised at Ben’s humor. If Ben was trying to be funny that was. “What makes you think I’d let you top?”
Ben’s blue eyes locked onto Dean’s brown ones. Ben’s were serious once more. “Would you?”
“I might.” Dean had no idea what made him say that, but as soon as he had, he knew he meant it. If Ben was gay and things were different… But Ben wasn’t, and they weren’t.
“Are we going to have that shower now?” he asked, pushing past Ben and turning on the hot water.
The water was too hot when he stepped under it, and he had to quickly add some cold. He grabbed the first bottle he saw on the shelf and squeezed some onto the puffy thing hooked over the tap. Just as he was about to start rubbing it vigorously over his body, it was taken from him. He blinked as Ben stepped into the shower and crowded him into the corner.
“You don’t want to do this, do you?” Ben asked.
Knowing he had to be honest because Ben wouldn’t accept anything else from him, Dean said what was in his heart. “I do want to do this, but I don’t want to lose our friendship over it. Things are going to get awkward and…”
“It won’t get awkward. You’re my best friend, Dean, and I have no intention of losing you. You’re the reason I’m doing this.”
He was the reason? On the verge of asking Ben what he meant, Dean got sidetracked as Ben moved in closer and brushed his lips softly against Dean’s. His silky wet skin was a complete distraction, and Dean forgot about everything else as he opened up for Ben’s kiss and allowed the other man to start massaging suds onto his chest. He grabbed Ben’s hips and aligned them together, moaning slightly at the contact. Best friend or not, having a man’s hard cock sliding alongside his was not something Dean could deny himself.
Bubbles slithered down his stomach and pooled at the mat of dark curls at his and Ben’s groins. Dean noticed how the bubbles made Ben’s skin glisten, and how they made grinding against him so much better. He closed his eyes, and Ben skimmed his fingers across Dean’s shoulders, his caress amazingly electric.
Before he forgot why he was there, Dean took the sudsy sponge from Ben and dropped it to the tiled floor, and then he brought his hands to Ben’s cock and carefully encircled his thick length.
Ben’s low grunt of surprise had Dean smiling. “You do know this is only the beginning, don’t you?”
“Yes. I just… Yes.”
“Good, because there is so much more I’m going to do to you.” So much more.
Careful, so Ben would know what he intended, Dean got on his knees and, uncaring of the water pouring over his head, curved one hand around Ben’s thigh and used the other to draw Ben’s cock into his mouth.
Ignoring Ben’s cry, Dean concentrated on the taste of Ben’s cock. As Dean licked around the swollen head, he detected the faint salty flavor of precum leaking onto his tongue. He dipped his head lower, taking more between his lips. Ben started shaking. Dean grinned around his mouthful then began to suck in earnest. Ben’s knees buckled and he began sliding toward the floor.
Grabbing Ben so he didn’t hit his head on the tiled wall, Dean helped him sit down. “Are you all right?” he asked.
Ben nodded. “Yeah. I didn’t think it would feel like that.”
“I barely got started,” Dean said, confused. “You have had blowjobs before, right?”
With his breathing barely steady, and his hands clutched around his knees, Ben stared at Dean. “Of course I have, but this was different.”
Mumbling something Dean didn’t catch, Ben got to his feet and turned off the water. He grabbed a towel and passed it to Dean before wrapping another one around himself. His face was controlled, but his eyes seemed wild.
“You honestly don’t know, do you?”
“Know what?” Feeling like he was missing something, Dean shook his head. Ben made a reproachful sound, but before Dean could question him about it, Ben seized his arm and began dragging him toward the bedroom.
He’d only been in Ben’s bedroom once before when Ben had been sick and Dean had put him to bed. Ben hadn’t been feeling well, but hadn’t wanted to go home. One look at him however, and Dean had insisted. The fact that none of their other colleagues had been able to convince Ben had been a matter of pride to Dean. At least his friend listened to him. Well, most of the time he did.
The room hadn’t changed. The bed was neatly made, there was still a pile of books on the side table, and, as before, there were no clothes scattered on the floor or the club chair located in the corner. However, it looked… different. It wasn’t until Dean noticed the box of condoms and the bottle of lube next to the bed that he realized why.
This wasn’t the place where he’d tucked Ben in and told him he’d be okay while holding a cold compress to his forehead; this was the place where he was going to fuck his best friend.
Pulling in a deep breath, Dean counted to ten before letting it out slowly. Performance anxiety had never been an issue before, but he suddenly wondered if he was going to be worthy of Ben’s expectations. What if he was so bad, Ben wished he had tried this with someone else? A prickle of apprehension settled in his stomach, but not wanting Ben to know how daunted he felt right then, Dean casually pulled off his towel and crawled onto the middle of the bed.
“Ready?” he asked.
Ben nodded, dropped his towel to the floor, and edged right next to Dean. Ben’s heat immediately seeped into Dean’s skin, chasing away the chill sitting in his stomach. He was naked, in bed, with Ben, and Ben wanted him there. Succumbing to the need slowly building inside, Dean pushed Ben onto his back, and settled between his thighs.
“Let’s try that blowjob again, shall we?” he suggested, getting comfortable. Still hard, Ben’s cock stretched toward his navel, so Dean simply leaned in and put it into his mouth. Ben’s low groan gave Dean a sense of delight, and he forgot about worrying whether he was able to make this good for Ben.
“Dean?” Ben clutched at Dean’s head, his fingers digging in. Dean glanced up. Ben was staring at him, his mouth open. “I’m going to come.”
Considering that had been Dean’s intention, he didn’t let up, enjoying the feel and taste of Ben filling him while using his skill to bring Ben closer and closer to the edge. Just as Ben tensed and his deep groans became panted whimpers, Dean gently cupped Ben’s balls and slid a finger against the sensitive area beneath.
Hot cum spurted into the back of Dean’s throat. Expecting it, he swallowed, but as the last pulse hit, he drew back a little and caught some on his tongue. Holding it, he waited until Ben had relaxed, then he crawled up Ben’s body and kissed him.
Ben opened up, and Dean passed the leftover cum into Ben’s mouth. Ben grimaced, which was pretty much as Dean expected.
“Just wanted you to know what it tastes like,” he said.
“I know what my cum tastes like,” Ben muttered.
Astonished, Dean gaped. “You do?”
“Yes, I do. And I don’t like it.”
Though knowing he shouldn’t have presumed a blowjob in return, Dean couldn’t help but feel disappointed. It took him a moment to remember this wasn’t about him, that it was about Ben. Still, the man could have tried. Grabbing the lube and box of condoms off the bedside table, Dean was about to suggest getting Ben stretched, when Ben grinned.
“Doesn’t mean I won’t like yours though.”
Before Dean had a chance to reply, Ben rolled over and trapped him on the mattress. “I want to taste you,” he said.
Pinned down, Dean stared up at Ben. “Are you sure?”
“I wouldn’t ask you to do this without repaying the favor. I assume you like having a man’s mouth on your cock?”
“Well yes, but you’ve never—”
“No time like the present to learn.”
Dean knew he should be asking why again, but the thought of Ben’s tongue licking him, Ben’s lips wrapped around him, and Dean couldn’t say no. He nodded his assent then watched as Ben got himself in position. Ben seemed to take stock, and then he gripped Dean’s hard length and sank his mouth onto it.
Dean shuddered at the first contact, but was careful not to do anything that would hurt Ben, or make him want to stop. Warm lips, soft and pliant, enveloped his cock while a tentative yet effective tongue swiped over the head. Ben moaned; the little hum sending vibrations through Dean’s shaft. Dean stared down at him. Ben’s eyes were closed, but the way he was devouring Dean’s cock made it look like he was enjoying himself. Mesmerized, Dean held back on a groan, clutching the quilt beneath him as he felt his balls begin to tighten. Struggling against the need building inside and the control he knew he needed to keep, Dean transferred his grasp from the bedspread to Ben’s hair. He pulled him up, nearly laughing at the look on Ben’s face.
“What?” Ben asked. “Wasn’t I doing it right?”
“Yes, you were doing it right. Much better than I expected.” Way better.
“So why’d you stop me?” Ben asked, his voice tense.
Dean didn’t want to admit he had no intention of coming in Ben’s mouth. It wasn’t as if he wouldn’t be able to come twice, it was just that he didn’t want the memories of spurting down Ben’s throat to haunt him for the rest of his life. Taking stock, again, of why he was doing this, he tried for a smile. “Turn over and I’ll show you,” he said.
Ben sat up and shook his head. “I don’t want you to do it from behind. I want us to be face to face.”
Something inside Dean twisted. In every fantasy he’d ever had about making love to Ben, he always had Ben on his back so he could stare into his deep blue eyes. To know that was what Ben also wanted had Dean’s pulse racing. He nodded then gently helped put Ben into position.
“Grip the backs of your knees and pull your legs up.”
Ben did as asked, exposing himself to Dean’s gaze. Dean’s mouth went dry. Jesus, Ben had a beautiful pink hole, just begging to be breached. He reached for it, gently stroking the puckered skin. Ben twitched and sucked in a sharp breath.
“Relax,” Dean said instinctively. “It won’t hurt so much.”
“You’d better not hurt me.” Ben’s growl released some of Dean’s tension, and he grinned.
“It’s gonna burn a little, but I’ll be careful.” He wasn’t going to pretty this up this for Ben, but he was going to try and make it as good as he could. “Now relax,” he said again.
The lube was of good quality, the same brand Dean used, so he knew how much to put on his fingers. Inching a little closer, and ignoring the way his hand was shaking, Dean slowly inserted the tip of his middle finger into Ben.
Heat and tightness welcomed him, so did Ben’s low moan. He pushed in deeper, almost closing his eyes as the sight of Ben accepting him became close to unbearable. God, and he hadn’t even started pushing his cock in there yet.
“Okay?” he asked, just to make sure.
Ben’s plea sent shivers across Dean’s skin. He couldn’t ignore it this time. He’d wanted this man for so long it was hard to hold back on the desire rushing through him, but he couldn’t let Ben know. Couldn’t allow him to see how this was affecting him, how he was slowly losing control.
Closing his eyes, Dean gave himself a few seconds of respite, and then gave Ben more, smearing the lube inside before adding another finger to test Ben’s endurance.
Dean paused, glancing up at Ben’s face. He looked so serene, so calm, when Dean felt anything but. “Yes?”
“I want you in me.”
“I am in you.”
“I want more of you.” Ben let go of one of his legs and grabbed Dean’s hand. The movement caused Dean’s fingers to brush against Ben’s prostate, and he groaned. “Oh God, that’s…”
Heart somewhere in his throat at Ben’s response, Dean did it again. Ben visibly shook, and his grip on Dean’s hand tightened. It wasn’t to stop him though, so Dean gently added a third finger, truly stretching Ben and getting him ready.
Ben was panting by the time Dean thought he’d be able to take his cock. He pulled his fingers free then picked up the box of condoms. Ben avidly watched him, drawing in his bottom lip as Dean ripped open a foil packet.
There was no point in asking Ben if he was still sure, and with that in mind, Dean rolled the condom on and aligned himself with Ben’s waiting hole. He prayed though. Prayed with all his heart this wasn’t going to end up with him getting hurt.
Just before he pushed in, Dean gave the inside of Ben’s knee a small kiss. Ben’s gaze never left his, and it was the trust Dean could see in those dark blue depths that gave him the courage to continue.
“Remember to relax,” he said. Then, with gritted teeth, he penetrated Ben’s virgin ass.
The feel of being inside Ben was far more intense than Dean expected. It wasn’t so much the physical sensation, but the emotion behind it that made Dean groan. He gripped Ben’s thighs to hold himself steady, using all his experience to not push in too fast, too deep. He knew Ben would need time to adjust, and he paid close attention to the nuances of Ben’s body to indicate when and how much to move.
“So good, Dean.”
Ben’s soft words were like a balm, easing the concern tightening Dean’s chest. He nodded before slowly pushing all the way in; then he waited.
“Okay?” he asked again.
“You have no idea.” Ben reached up and curved his hand around the back of Dean’s neck and pulled him down. A gentle caress of lips teased Dean before Ben tightened his grip and opened his mouth to deepen the kiss. Dean lowered his weight and felt Ben’s erection pressing against his stomach. A shot of pleasure raced down Dean’s spine, igniting a need he could no longer deny.
“Want this. Want you.” Ben shifted slightly to accommodate him, and Dean automatically started to thrust.
He began slowly, each lift of his hips measured and controlled. Ben moved with him, wrapping his legs around Dean’s waist. Muffled moans accompanied each thrust, and it took a while for Dean to realize they were coming from him. He buried his face in the crook of Ben’s neck, tasting his skin, smelling his sweat—and knowing those two things would remain with him forever.
Ben’s arms tightened around him, holding him, while his soft murmurs encouraged Dean to thrust harder, faster. Dean was becoming lost in the pleasure. He could feel Ben’s muscles surrounding him, squeezing him, embracing him. He rocked his hips, pumping with more force, more need. Ben groaned and arched his back. Dean sought his mouth again, sliding his tongue alongside Ben’s.
His heart was racing, but it had nothing to do with how close he was to coming. This was Ben, and he was kissing him, fucking him, and he didn’t want to stop.
Everything changed in that heady moment. As Dean stroked Ben’s innermost parts he somehow felt his soul being filled, taken, and held, by Ben. Dean lifted up and met Ben’s beautiful eyes, and knew he would never be the same. They would never be the same.
“Coming. I’m coming.” Ben looked almost astonished, but Dean was too far gone to think it funny. His body tightened with the familiar tingle at the base of his spine.
“For me, Ben,” he said. “Come for me.”
Ben’s cry sounded loud in the room, but it echoed inside Dean’s heart. Wet heat splashed against his stomach the same instant Dean’s orgasm took him to a place he would have sworn he’d never been.
“Fuck! Fuck, Ben!”
Strength deserted him, and as the last pulse of intensity died, Dean collapsed. He only had enough wits about him to hold onto the condom as he carefully pulled out. Ben’s small whimper had Dean instantly pulling Ben into his arms.
“It’s okay. It’s over now. It’s over,” he said. And that’s what he was afraid of. He knew this would happen. He knew making love to Ben would ruin things between them. He’d hoped it wouldn’t; had hoped he could do this and walk away without his heart being crushed. But from now on, every time he looked at Ben, he was going to remember this, and know he was never going to experience it again.
Sorrow replaced the remnants of bliss still lingering in Dean’s limbs, but he continued to hold Ben, soothing him and hoping it would be enough to get them through the next few difficult minutes. He waited until Ben pulled free, and then steeled himself for the judgment in Ben’s eyes.
Ben, however, smiled at him. “Thank you.”
Dean nodded, not prepared to say you’re welcome or to offer any other inane reply. He inched away, needing some space, some room to breathe. Some time to figure out how he was going to survive each day.
“Hey. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. I just…” Dean shrugged. “I think I’d better go.”
Ben frowned and reached out to grip Dean’s arm. “Why?”
“Because we never should have done this,” Dean argued. “You’re going to wake up tomorrow and wish you’d never asked me, and I’m going to wish I never agreed.”
Ben’s face paled. “You hated it.”
“Yes. No. Shit, Ben. What I felt about it doesn’t matter. It’s how you’re going to feel.”
“And how will I feel?” Ben sat up, anger seeming to ripple through his muscles.
“Like I let you down,” Dean said against the constriction in his throat. Damn, it wasn’t fair. He’d just had amazing, mind-blowing sex, and instead of reveling in it, he was pushing away the man who had given it to him. But wasn’t that better? For him to leave before Ben left him?
“You haven’t let me down. Just the opposite. You’ve given me what I wanted.”
“If getting your ass fucked was what you wanted, then yes, I have, but at what cost? What did you gain from this, Ben? Seriously, I want to know.”
Ben closed the distance between them. His breath ghosted along Dean’s shoulder, making him shiver. “I thought I’d gained you.”
“You’ve always had me. Fucking your ass wouldn’t have made any difference.”
“It does to me. I wanted to know what it was like. I wanted to know what being with you was like.”
Ben shook his head, as if Dean should already have known. “Because I love you.”
Dean’s heart gave a little jolt. “Love me? What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Look, I know it sounds strange, but I started noticing things about you, things that attracted me. Your smile, the way you laugh, the way your eyes light up when you’re telling a stupid joke… I’ve never felt that way before and…” Ben took a deep breath, his hands held out. “When I realized what was happening to me, I had to follow through on it. I had to find out if it was real or not. And it was.”
Somehow, somewhere, Dean thought he’d dropped into The Twilight Zone. Was Ben insane? Straight men didn’t fall for their gay best friend. That was the stuff of fairytales and romantic novels.
“No. I understand you wanted to experiment, but that’s all this was. You were curious. You had an itch to scratch. Well, it’s done. You don’t—”
“An itch? That was not a fucking itch, Dean! We made love!”
“No, we didn’t. We—” Fucked? Dean cringed at the word. He hadn’t fucked Ben. You don’t fuck the man you love.
“I don’t understand. I thought…” Ben’s face paled as he stared at Dean, and the look in his eyes was of a man lost. “Don’t you want me to love you?”
Something twisted in Dean’s chest, and he almost said yes, but what then? When Ben realized loving another man was not as simple as just saying it, that there was a whole world of controversy involved, he was going to regret it, and Dean would be left with his heart shattered.
Already feeling the pain of it, Dean got up off the bed and headed toward the bedroom door, intending to get his clothes from the bathroom. He couldn’t believe what Ben was saying to him because believing meant hoping, and Dean had never dared hope there could be anything between them other than friendship.
“Where are you going?” Ben was right behind him.
Dean turned to face Ben. “I can’t do this right now. Please, just give me some time to sort this out, okay?” Dean hurried to pull on his jeans and T-shirt. His wallet and keys were still in his pocket, but he would have left them behind if necessary. Ben hovered by the door, but Dean didn’t know if he could cope with looking at him again.
“Can I call you tomorrow?” Ben’s tentative question caused Dean to pause. He shook his head.
“I’ll call you.” Shoving the discomfort of that single phrase behind him, Dean walked away. He was knew he was acting like a dick, but how could Ben have thought he’d be fine with Ben’s declaration? Love him? Ben had no idea what he was talking about. Yet, as Dean slammed the front door behind him and marched toward his car, he was remembering the way Ben had clung to him and the way Ben had moaned Dean’s name as he was coming.
Monday morning came way too fast for Dean. After three sleepless nights his nerves were shot, and for the second time within a week he found himself worried about facing Ben. However, the thing about not sleeping was it had given him the chance to re-think and re-evaluate what Ben had told him.
Dean knew he’d reacted badly, and he regretted running out on his friend, but what was he supposed to make of Ben’s sudden admission? Dean had no idea Ben’s feelings toward him had morphed into something more—if what Ben had said was true. But why would he lie? Could Ben love him, really love him? Furthermore, if Dean took that chance and he gave his heart to Ben, would Ben cherish it, look after it?
After forcing himself to confront that possibility, Dean still hadn’t the balls to contact Ben and talk to him about it, and now he’d run out of time; he was going to have to face Ben today whether he was ready to or not.
Unsure of how strong Ben’s affections really were, Dean entered the office building. Their Monday meeting still had to go ahead, despite how they personally felt about each other. With his stomach cramping and his limbs feeling like lead, Dean slid through the boardroom door to see Ben and four others already sitting at the table.
Dean nodded and smiled at the others as he usually did. But then he saw Ben’s face, and Dean’s smile fell away.
Ben looked like his world was falling apart.
Dean instantly went to him. “Are you all right?” he asked.
Ben’s normally bright blue eyes appeared dull and haunted. He shrugged; his broad shoulders barely moving beneath his suit jacket. “I don’t know. Am I?”
In that split second Dean knew he’d royally fucked up. He was to blame for the way Ben looked, all because he couldn’t accept what had been given to him. Well, he could be an idiot once, but where Ben was concerned that was his limit.
He sat on the chair next to Ben and, ignoring the curious glances from around the table, turned Ben to face him. “You look like you’ve slept the same amount of hours I have,” he whispered so the others couldn’t hear.
“I was waiting for you to call me. When you didn’t…” Ben shook his head slightly. “I guess I got my answer.”
Dean groaned, knowing he needed to set this straight, and now. He glanced at their spectators. A few of them looked intrigued, but not wanting a witness to his groveling, he grabbed a startled Ben by the wrist and dragged him to the empty office next door.
“What are you doing?” Ben protested. He pulled his arm free, absently rubbing at the reddened flesh. “We have a meeting to attend.”
“I’m sorry, but what I need to say needs to be done now, and I don’t—”
“Dean…” Ben flinched, and if it was at all possible he looked even worse—like he was ready to throw up. “Not here. Please.”
Ashamed for not having done this earlier, Dean shook his head. “It’s not like you think,” he said. He picked up Ben’s hand and gently stroked his thumb across the inside of Ben’s wrist. He could feel the pulse beating there, frantic, like his seemed to be doing.
“I’ve been a jerk,” he began, and it was only when Ben’s frown leveled out did Dean figure he could say the rest. “For the past five days I’ve gone from feeling shocked, to euphoric, to completely uncertain, and I’ll admit, I haven’t handled it very well. But you’re my best friend, Ben, and if you honestly think you love me—”
Dean didn’t get a chance to say anything else. Ben’s mouth was on his, cutting off the ability to do anything other than kiss the man back. He automatically opened for him, and then moaned under the onslaught of Ben’s tongue.
Wrapping his arms around Ben’s waist, Dean hauled the man up against him. Ben went willingly, cupping Dean’s face to keep their kiss going. Shockwaves skittered across Dean’s skin, and he tightened his hold on Ben, reluctant to let the man go now that he realized he could have him.
Dean only pulled back a little when he remembered the office they were in had a glass panel in the door and wasn’t really private. Ben tried to drag him back, but Dean shook his head. “I don’t think this is the right time or place to continue our discussion,” he said, hoping his tone sounded reasonable.
“We’re not discussing anything. I don’t think I love you, I know I do. Granted, it was difficult for me to understand and accept that at first, but I know how I feel. It’s not going to change, Dean, if that’s what you’re worried about. I may have been straight, or the gay in me had been dormant simply because I hadn’t met the right man to love, but don’t think I don’t know what I’m doing. Well, I may not have known what I was doing by asking you to fuck me instead of telling you I loved you.” Ben blushed then, giving color back to his too pale features. “In hindsight I should have done it the other way around, but if the sex wasn’t good, if I didn’t like it, then at least I wouldn’t have felt guilty if things didn’t work out.”
“So you like the sex?”
“I fucking love it. The way you make me feel when you’re inside me…” Ben shivered. “I love you, Dean. You’ve made me love you, just by being you. You’re smart, you’re sexy, you don’t care that I’m a stubborn workaholic bully, or that I snore—”
“You snore? No, sorry, that’s a deal breaker,” Dean said, but he was smiling, and Ben’s answering grin set fire to Dean’s nerve endings.
“So, do you think you can love me back?” Ben asked.
“I’ve always loved you, but can I fall in love with you?” Dean thought about the way Ben felt in his arms, the way Ben was always there for him, and the way Ben was looking at him now, as if the world revolved around Dean’s answer. Things had changed between them, but Dean reckoned they’d changed for the better. He nodded. “I already have.”