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Yolande Kleinn

Copyright 2015 Yolande Kleinn

Smashwords Edition

ISBN 978-1-946316-04-2


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About the Author

Other Titles by Yolande


by Yolande Kleinn

All of the most awkward conversations of Jason's life had happened on this couch.

Coming out to his parents when he was so young it almost hurt to think about. Breaking up with his first girlfriend, the puppy crush of his youth, around the same time. Telling his best friend Max that he was leaving town—that he might never come back—because there was a school out of state and a full-ride scholarship. There was a bigger world; there was any excuse at all, as long as it got him out of the tiny-minded town that was slowly strangling him.

Fifteen years and nine apartments later, he still owned the damn couch. It was bulky and gray and had followed him through more living rooms than he cared to fathom, though it never quite matched the décor in any of them. It was too nice for some of the hell holes he'd landed in over the years, too old and clunky for the pricier places he could afford now.

More surprising than the couch, Jason still had Max.

Max was still his best friend, although that could turn around in the next ten seconds or so.

"You want to fuck me," Max echoed, as though he couldn't quite wrap his head around the idea.

Jason wanted to crawl between the couch cushions and hide there until Armageddon. He settled instead for shrugging and slumping tiredly, staring straight ahead so he didn't have to acknowledge the gawping disbelief on Max's face.

Max was too close a presence, sitting with one leg folded on the cushion, his knee pressed against Jason's thigh. It was as though he didn't realize how distracting his proximity was, even though they'd already stumbled into… whatever the hell this conversation had become.

A moment ago the air between them had been quiet and easy. Max might've been too close, but that was fine. That was nice. Jason liked it when Max sat too close. He'd always been able to appreciate his friend's proximity without opening his stupid mouth before.

"You want to fuck me," Max repeated. He was starting to sound less dazed. A shift of movement in Jason's peripheral vision was followed by the soft click of glass on wood as Max deposited his barely touched beer on the end table.

"Forget it." Jason had no idea where his own drink had gotten to, but he wished it were still in his hand. He hadn't yet swallowed even a sip of it, and he could really stand to be less sober right now.

Silence settled stiltedly around them, and for a moment Jason allowed himself to hope this conversation would end as abruptly as it had begun. Max could be tenacious—about feelings, about secrets, about everything really—but maybe this time he would simply let go. Maybe he would decipher the anxious plea in Jason's voice and, for once in their lives, leave well enough alone.

Then Max murmured, "You never said."

And just like that Jason knew he was fucked. He wasn't getting out of this with any of his secrets intact, let alone his dignity, and he might as well surrender to the inevitable. Max knew exactly how to poke at the soft spots in his armor until something gave. He would learn the embarrassing extent of Jason's infatuation, and then what?

"Of course I never said." Jason forced himself to meet Max's eyes at last, and fucking hell, Max was sitting even nearer than he'd realized. Max had angled toward Jason with one arm on the back of the couch, staring with the same intensity he applied to anything that defied his understanding. Jason managed not to flinch beneath the unexpected focus, but it took conscious effort.

"Why not?" Max asked. "Did you think I'd be angry?"

Jason laughed, but it was a tight, unhappy sound. "What would've been the point? You're not interested in men. Hell, sometimes I think you aren't interested in anyone. You're certainly not interested in me."

Though close as Max was sitting, Jason could almost convince himself he'd spent years misreading his friend.

Max's brows knit, as though he was dissatisfied with this reasoning, but his next question took a different tack. "How long have you wanted… this? From me?"

Jason didn't answer. A caught-out chill twisted behind his ribs, and he pressed his lips into a thin line.

"That long?" Max asked, and Jason cursed inwardly. When he didn't respond, Max's gentle voice cajoled, "Jason."

His tone crumbled the sturdy ground beneath Jason's feet, the same way it always did, and suddenly honesty seemed the only option. Jason pursed his lips and straightened his back.

He met Max's eyes and asked, "Why do you think I left?"

The question wasn't entirely fair. Jason had harbored plenty of reasons for leaving, back when they were still stupid kids and more than anything he had needed out. He'd needed something bigger, and the scholarship was too good an opportunity to refuse. He'd needed distance from his family, and from the destructive little town closing in around him.

But he'd also needed to get away from Max before he said or did something too obvious. Something just like this. He had needed to put some physical distance between them before his stupid, stubborn crush turned into something he couldn't handle.

Mostly, he had succeeded.

Except for the way he found himself staring at Max's mouth now, imagining what it might feel like beneath his own. Or even better, on his cock.

Jason was not in love with his best friend. He wasn't. But he sure as fuck wanted him, and he shouldn't have needed to explain to Max why it was a problem.

The silence in the room was so profound it took Jason a moment to realize Max was holding his breath. In fact, Max was staring so hard it was a wonder Jason hadn't ignited under the scrutiny. Jason let himself look back, though his pulse beat an unsteady racket in his chest. He took in the sight of Max's slim shoulders, his ice-pale eyes, the way Max's lips were parted in silent surprise. Jason wanted to reach out and bury his fingers in Max's hair, the mess of curls strangely backlit by the lamp in the far corner.

Jason watched silently, and Max drew a shaky breath.

"You asshole." Max glared. "This was why you ditched me? Because you were attracted to me? That's why you disappeared off the face of the earth for three fucking years?"

Jason didn't answer; anything he said would only dig him deeper.

There was anger in the line of Max's shoulders, in narrowed eyes, in the barely perceptible tremor where Max's knee still pressed against his leg. The quiet hung heavy with tension, and Jason didn't know how to break away.

"Please don't be angry," he said at last, though Max's eyes narrowed farther. "You said you forgave me for leaving."

"That was before I knew how much your reason sucked." Max glared harder. "I thought you'd taken off to have a nervous breakdown or something. I tried to feel sorry for you. I didn't know you were avoiding me."

"I'm sorry."

"God, you're a dick."

But Max's ire visibly deflated at Jason's apology. Or maybe he had simply decided it wasn't worth the energy to be angry. The tightness in Max's posture eased, and his expression shifted from wrath to exasperation. Surely he'd had enough time to learn that Jason could be a selfish jerk sometimes. What was one more piece of evidence?

"I really am sorry," Jason said more softly.

It was the one fuck-up he'd regretted from the first: skipping town with barely a goodbye, without a forwarding address, with no warning at all except a brief conversation on this very couch. There was no good excuse for treating a friend that way, and some days he still couldn't believe Max had spoken to him when their paths crossed again three years later.

A new quiet closed suddenly in, but this one felt different. There was a taut undercurrent of… something. Not discomfort, but an edge that threw Jason off balance, dragging him from his memories and dropping him onto paths he couldn't afford to follow. Those were treacherous thoughts, or at the very least inappropriate ones. Thoughts about Max's mouth and what Jason would like him to do with it. Thoughts about Max's hands, and his throat, and how incredible he would look sprawled beneath Jason or, better, arching astride him, head thrown back and neck taut—

"What's wrong?" Max asked, and Jason jolted back to reality. Max was still sitting too close. He was within easy reach and showing no sign of retreat, and Jason couldn't stop staring at his mouth.

He caught the sharp inhale as Max belatedly comprehended the direction of his thoughts. When Jason at last raised his gaze, he found Max's eyes flashing too much white. That wasn't fair; why should Max be surprised? It wasn't as though wanting to fuck one's best friend was an abstract concept. After everything Jason had already admitted tonight, how could Max be surprised that Jason wanted him now?

But Max's shock was potent, and Jason felt like a grade-A asshole. He needed to get off this couch and put some distance between them, but he didn't dare. If he moved now, he was going to move in the wrong direction—toward Max instead of away from him—and then they would really be screwed. Jason would put his hands on Max, and Max would rebuff him, and they'd never be able to have a conversation again without thinking about this single, most awkward moment of their lives.

Jason hated this damn couch. First thing tomorrow he was going to drag it outside and set it on fire. But for now, he couldn't move, which meant it had to be Max. Max would back off any second now, and maybe he'd laugh a little uncomfortably, and then they could get on with pretending this conversation never happened.

But Max wasn't moving either. He held motionless, right where he was, right in reach. Jason could scream with how desperately he wanted to touch.

Then Max said his name, barely a whisper, and set a hand on Jason's thigh.

Jason reached without thinking, tangling his fingers in Max's hair. His grip was tight enough to elicit a startled gasp, and then he tugged Max toward him. Drew him so close it was a wonder this wasn't already a kiss.

The tug pulled Max off balance, and he braced himself, one hand on Jason's thigh and the other coming to rest above his heart. Jason felt a tremor where his wrist rested against Max's neck. Up close, he could see in intimate detail the way Max's pupils had dilated, and Jason's pulse rushed in his ears.

Hunger twisted in his chest, making it almost impossible to hold position and not crush Max to him. Reason couldn't quite penetrate the giddy fog of desire. Never mind that before today Max had never looked at Jason with anything like invitation in his eyes. Never mind that despite a lifetime of putting up with Jason's bullshit, Max was still his truest friend, the one person he couldn't afford to lose.

Somehow, despite the chaos clamoring behind his ribs, Jason found his voice. "I need you to leave. Before I do something stupid."

# # # # #

Unfamiliar heat twisted in Max's chest at Jason's words. Strong fingers tightened in his hair, and the sensation sent a jolt straight through him, making his face heat and his breath rush out in a gasp.

Before I do something stupid.

Max gawped at his best friend, seeing him in a light he'd never before considered. He wasn't attracted to Jason, was he? He took in the familiar face, the expressive eyes and strong jaw. Jason's tall posture and broad shoulders were suddenly distracting in a way Max had never noticed before, and he became abruptly aware of the muscular build visible beneath Jason's T-shirt.

If Max wasn't attracted to Jason, why did he suddenly find it difficult to breathe?

More importantly, why was he not pushing away? Jason would never try to hold on if Max withdrew.

Something changed in Jason's eyes as the seconds stretched and Max didn't retreat. His gaze sharpened. Then, without releasing his grip, Jason leaned slowly forward.

Max knew what was coming, but the moment their lips met still startled him. His breath froze in his throat, and his fingers curled in the fabric of Jason's T-shirt. It was a cautious kiss, almost chaste, and the nape of Max's neck tingled as Jason's tongue teased at his lips. Max parted them without hesitation, then gasped at the rush of Jason's tongue pressing forward. All hint of caution vanished in that instant, as the kiss became something deep and eager.

Jason pulled him further off balance, claiming him, guiding him. Caught up in sensation, Max leaned closer.

It was Jason who finally drew back, but only to trail heated kisses along Max's jaw, down the column of his throat. Max's breath came shallow and unsteady, and he barely processed the fleeting glimpse of Jason's untidy apartment around them. He was far more focused on his other senses right now—the pressure of Jason's mouth as he mapped the line of Max's throat; the strength of Jason's hands on him; the graze of teeth just beneath his jaw, sending a tremor along his skin.

Max grunted in surprise when Jason bit experimentally down on the sensitive spot just below his ear. Ragged warmth blossomed in his chest, and he stifled a whimper when Jason licked almost apologetically at the spot, easing the pleasant sting.

Then Jason's mouth disappeared entirely, and Max blinked. It took him a moment to figure out Jason had backed off deliberately and was watching him with rapt focus.

Jason's gaze sharpened, some new intention drawing to the fore, and a less certain expression crossed his features. Are you sure about this? the look asked. The fingers in Max's hair tightened as if to emphasize the point. Are you sure you want to stay?

Max met Jason's eyes without flinching, and perhaps they both understood at the same instant that he wasn't going anywhere. He gave a slow nod, determination twining with unexpected arousal. Jason shifted, making the couch creak quietly, and Max couldn't look away from his face. Jason's eyes held him trapped, just as Jason's hand held him still.

Then there was the rustle of denim and the unmistakable sound of a zipper being drawn down. Max's eyes widened, a fresh blush warming his face. Jason was still watching him, questioning and intent. He stared at Max as though waiting for something. The room was impossibly quiet but for the rustle of fabric.

Then pressure, as the hand in Max's hair curled more loosely around the base of his skull. The pressure was gentle but unyielding, tugging Max forward, urging his head down with a touch both commanding and tentative.

Without hesitation Max let himself be maneuvered. He dropped his eyes and allowed the guiding touch to urge him down toward Jason's naked cock. Flushed and hard and curving upward, it was larger than Max expected. The fingers of Jason's free hand were curled loosely around the shaft as he drew Max forward. Max's breath stuttered out of his chest when his brain caught up with what his body was about to do. He braced himself more steadily now, one hand curled over Jason's knee and the other squashed into the couch cushion. He could easily resist, but the idea evaporated almost before it formed, overshadowed by greedier thoughts when the head of Jason's cock bumped his lips.

Max barely hesitated before dropping his jaw, inhaling through his nose as Jason's cock slid smoothly into his mouth. A musky scent hit him, something intimately Jason, and Max took him deeper—just slightly—just enough to lick curiously at the ridge, then at the underside of the thick length sliding across his tongue. He felt a shuddering tremor through Jason's knee beneath his hand, and in his mouth where they were touching so much more intimately.

Max's eyes had fallen closed, and when he opened them, he saw Jason's restless fingers stroking the base of his cock. His touch on Max's neck was softer now, not urging more. Patient.

Max had never had a cock in his mouth before, and he was damn sure Jason knew it. The shared knowledge didn't make him feel confident in his fumbling, but Max trailed another lick along the shaft. The mechanics were simple enough, after all, and Max was on perfectly competent terms with his own dick. He knew what felt good. Besides, the moan Jason cut short was a sure sign Max was doing something right.

Heat twisted in his belly when Jason's fingers curled tighter at his nape, and Max bobbed down to take Jason as deep as he could—which, it turned out, was not particularly far. He nearly gagged when the head nudged at the back of his throat; he had to back off and try again, more carefully this time.

He still reached his limit with barely half of Jason's cock in his mouth.

Max breathed a frustrated sound, and the hum must have offered its own stimulation because Jason's hips thrust abruptly upward. Max choked, overwhelmed by the force of Jason's cock slipping down his throat like an uncomfortable afterthought. From the sound of Jason's muffled curse and the way he quickly retreated, the movement had been completely involuntary.

Max pulled back, letting Jason slip entirely out of his mouth. He coughed around the unexpected ache in his throat, his face flushing, embarrassed. But Jason's fingers carded softly through his hair, almost a caress. Neither of them spoke, but there was apology in Jason's touch.

Gradually Max recovered himself, getting his breathing back under control and returning his attention to Jason's insistent hard-on. He reached forward this time, pushing Jason's hand away so he could wrap his own fingers around hot flesh. His heart pounded quick and loud in his own ears. He was eager and curious, desperate to see this through.

It was almost too intense, the weight and feel of it, the hard heat of Jason's cock against his palm. Max drew a deep breath and again took Jason into his mouth.

The uneven rhythm he found was messy and unfamiliar. He thrilled at the slick taste of Jason overtaking his senses, the surreal weight across his tongue as Max worked his hand in time with his mouth, squeezing and stroking. His efforts elicited gasps and stifled groans that urged him on with growing confidence. He didn't try to take Jason all the way down again, at least not at first. When he did try, it was in answer to the momentary tightening of Jason's fingers against his scalp. Deliberate. A challenge Max found himself helpless to ignore.

Max paused with the head of Jason's cock bumping his soft palate. He waited pointedly through a long moment of stillness, drawing a slow breath as he and Jason gauged each other carefully. Then, with the hand still braced on Jason's thigh, Max gave a soft squeeze of encouragement.

Jason pushed him down slowly. He guided Max farther along the length of his cock until, again, the head was a nudging, uncomfortable presence at the back of Max's throat. But he was expecting it this time. And maybe it was instinct, maybe it was luck, but this time he relaxed his throat the best he could, and when Jason pressed more firmly—when his length slipped down Max's throat—this time Max took him smoothly down.

He held his breath as Jason slid deeper. He couldn't process this, couldn't find words for the sensation of being filled so intimately and completely. He swallowed Jason farther still until he had taken it all, until there was nothing but the salty weight on his tongue, in his throat, buried to the root, and Max couldn't breathe. He couldn't think. He was lost in sensation, his blood heating at the sound of Jason gasping above him.

Then Max gagged, and it was like landing right back at square one. He pulled off with a cough and pressed his forehead to Jason's denim-clad thigh as he struggled for breath.

Fingers threaded through his hair, soothing with a gentle touch.

Jason was still hard—of course he was—and his erection was the first thing Max saw when he finally raised his head. Jason's cock glistened wetly, and Max licked his lips, surprised at how impatient he was to continue. He was hard now too, his own jeans uncomfortably tight, and he wasn't entirely sure when it had happened.

Jason didn't urge him forward this time, but those long fingers curled again around the nape of his neck as Max took him in once more. Max searched for his previous rhythm, but he managed only three strokes, sucking wetly, before Jason groaned his name.

It was the first word either of them had spoken since Jason told him to leave. It was plenty of warning, but Max stayed right where he was as Jason's release spilled across his tongue. He could have retreated, avoided the rest. He swallowed instead, tasting the slick pulse of Jason's orgasm. His skin tingled pleasantly at the way Jason groaned his name before lapsing into silence.

He barely had time to draw back before Jason dragged him up by the hair.

It should have been awkward, or maybe pissed him off. It should've annoyed him at least, considering how uncomfortable it was to be manhandled this way. But the rough treatment sent a wash of arousal straight to Max's groin, and he allowed himself to be jerked into an uncoordinated kiss. Jason's tongue thrust deep, and he must have been able to taste himself on Max's tongue.

The thought made Max's head spin, or possibly that was only the vertigo as Jason upended him, shoving Max onto his back. The couch creaked its protest beneath them as Jason followed, mouthing at his throat, while Max's hands found their way to the hem of Jason's T-shirt and tugged impatiently.

Jason stopped touching him only long enough to yank the shirt over his own head and toss it aside. Then he was on Max again, claiming his mouth with relentless kisses. His skin was warm and smooth beneath Max's hands until Jason drew suddenly, maddeningly away.

Jason leaned back, just out of reach, and Max growled his protest.

He couldn't find his voice, so his Why the fuck are you stopping? died unspoken in his throat. The question was irrelevant an instant later when Jason's purpose became clear. His hands were strong and steady on the buttons of Max's shirt as he undid them one by one. His palms pressed hot along Max's chest and stomach as the garment fell open.

Jason didn't waste time divesting him of the shirt entirely. Already he was moving on to other, better things, like working open Max's fly and maneuvering him out of pants and boxers alike, throwing both carelessly aside. He laid Max back along the couch when he finished, positioning himself between splayed thighs.

Then Jason's hand circled the base of Max's cock, and Max arched into the touch with a moan.

# # # # #

Jason froze with his fingers curled around Max, enthralled at the sight beneath him.

Max's eyes had fallen closed, his head thrown back as Jason stroked downward, just once. Max's throat worked, his chest rising and falling with shallow breaths. Jason stroked again, relishing the weight, the warmth of Max's cock in his hand.

In fifteen years of fantasizing, it had never occurred to him that he could actually have this. Max beneath him, Max gasping, Max jerking his hips in search of friction. Jason watched. He stroked and teased, his own blood warming with every gasp and stifled moan. All the audible proofs of Max's arousal, and the sight of him arching into Jason's touch, made Jason's skin heat with renewed fire. He stilled mid-stroke.

There were so many ways he wanted to touch.

Max opened his eyes when Jason didn't resume, and his irises were thin slivers around the dilated black of his pupils. He blinked and seemed to focus only with difficulty, staring at Jason with lust and questions in his eyes.

Possessive instincts surged in Jason's blood when Max looked at him that way. Hungry potential twisted beneath his skin, and he leaned closer, touching Max's face with gentle fingers. Max's cheeks were flushed, and Jason ghosted his knuckles over sharp cheekbones. He let his touch trail lower, tracing Max's lower lip with his thumb.

Max watched him, and his lips parted when Jason paused and pressed deliberately forward.

Jason's thumb slipped past soft lips, pressing down on Max's tongue. His spent cock twitched with interest when Max closed his mouth around the digit and hollowed his cheeks. Their gazes held steady, locked fiercely together for several taut seconds. When Jason slipped his thumb from Max's mouth and offered his index and middle fingers instead, Max accepted the longer digits into his mouth, licking and sucking, slicking the fingers almost methodically.

While Max slicked his fingers, Jason curled his free hand around Max's thigh and knelt between his legs. A soft tug pulled his hips onto Jason's lap.

When Jason slipped his hand from Max's mouth, doubt caught him for a single, electric instant. The silence held between them, and suddenly he wasn't sure. What if Max didn't realize what he intended? Jason moved with deliberate slowness, broadcasting every movement as he slipped his saliva-slicked fingers between Max's thighs, questing, finding the tight ring of muscle there. His fingertips nudged at Max's entrance, and he paused. He stared into Max's eyes, waiting for a measurable sign of assent.

Then Max shifted, spreading his thighs wider. He met Jason's eyes with fierce determination, and Jason pressed his fingers inside.

The practical certainty that Max had never done this before did nothing to lessen the shock of just how tight he felt around Jason's fingers. The air fractured with the sound of Max's gasp, and Jason couldn't decide where to look. At his hand between Max's thighs, fingers slipping forward, or at Max's face, eyes wide and mouth open as he drew a panting breath. Jason pressed his fingers deeper by maddeningly slow increments, until his hand was flush with Max's body. Max's eyes fluttered closed, and he breathed a low sound, almost a whimper.

Jason drew his fingers out, teasingly slow, and then slid them in again. Max's body arched in response, and the sound that escaped him this time was breathless and overwhelmed. Max's lower lip caught tightly between his teeth, and god, he was beautiful. Jason felt winded just looking at him.

Look at me, he wanted to say, but his voice was gone. He couldn't summon words through the tangle of desire and affection in his chest. So he reached again for Max's cock with his free hand and stilled his fingers inside Max's body. Max inhaled sharply when the hand closed around him, but Jason held motionless until impatience and curiosity opened those lust-hazed eyes.

He didn't move until Max's gaze had locked clearly with his.

Then he gave a deliberate stroke, and Max arched into the touch. The movement jostled Jason's fingers inside him, and Max groaned with surprised pleasure. Jason smiled, ignoring the mounting ache of arousal calling his own cock back to attention. He focused on Max's body, on the ragged moans and shocky gasps. Jason curled his fingers inside that intimate heat, and Max's entire body arched up off the couch.

Jason repeated the movement, and Max's breath hitched as his hands locked onto Jason's arms with bruising strength. Jason paused—he didn't want to hurt Max—but before he could withdraw, Max shifted beneath him. Thighs parting wider, hips rocking downward, as he rode the long fingers inside him.

And oh fuck, Jason couldn't resist. He dropped forward to claim a breathless kiss.

He had to release Max's cock in order to brace himself against the armrest, elbow crushing the gray material as his mouth turned demanding. He could still taste the echoes of his own release on Max's tongue. He fucked his fingers out and in, twisting them inside Max's body. He swallowed the moans straight from Max's mouth and marveled at the way his friend moved and adjusted to the physical intrusion—rolling with Jason's quicker, harder thrusts, following his every retreat, wordlessly pleading for more.

When Max broke from the kiss and threw his head back—short of breath, gasping at the rhythm of Jason's fingers inside him—Jason kissed his throat instead. He nipped and sucked a greedy path, lingering on the bruises he'd already left. Max's cock pressed hot and hard, trapped between their bodies.

And then there was Jason's own dick, which had risen once more to full attention. After an eternity of indulging explorations, Jason shifted upright with a stifled moan, drawing his fingers reluctantly free.

# # # # #

The sudden sense of emptiness was disconcerting, and Max grunted in surprise.

Jason wasn't looking at him. Jason had stretched over Max, above his head, reaching for something well beyond Max's field of vision. There was the clink and slide of a drawer then awkward fumbling as Jason groped for something in the end table by Max's head.

When Jason re-settled his weight and brought his arm back into view, he was holding an unopened condom in his hand and watching Max with an intensity that could set something on fire if they weren't careful. Max drew in a shaky breath then let it out as steadily as he could. His ass already ached pleasantly, a warm discomfort that made his skin heat and his pulse rush.

He'd seen Jason's cock. He'd touched it. He'd tasted it. He knew it was bigger than the fingers that had filled him a moment before. And the thought of that cock inside him sent a mingled rush of nervousness and hunger through his body.

He wasn't sure if he could handle this. But fuck, he wanted it.

Jason didn't open the packet right away. He leaned slowly forward instead, a gradual approach, touching Max's chest and throat with his clean hand. He approached slowly, not out of caution, Max realized, but something else entirely, bracing himself above Max with the hand still holding the foil packet. Jason hovered close, not quite kissing him, expression heavy with questions and intent.

Max's breath caught in his chest along with a longing so fierce it crushed everything else. He wanted Jason to kiss him. He wanted Jason to fuck him. And then what? What would happen to their friendship after that?

Those questions were beyond him right now, and they washed away with a rush when Jason's mouth claimed his. This kiss was gentler than the last, but still commanding and confident. It was still forceful in a way that tightened the arousal beneath Max's skin and made him want Jason's hands all over him. He tilted his head and invited the kiss deeper, impatient energy singing along his nerves.

At last Jason released him and sat back. Jason's cock was a flushed line, curved down against the denim of the jeans he was still more or less wearing, and Max marveled again at the size of him. His ass gave an anticipatory twinge at what was coming, as he watched Jason tear open the foil packet.

The lubricated condom glistened slickly as Jason unrolled it over his cock, and Max swallowed past the sudden lump in his throat. His head buzzed with expectation, and his pulse pounded noisily in his ears. His fingers grasped uselessly at the couch cushions while Jason worked jeans and boxers farther down his own hips. Then Jason slipped closer and positioned himself at Max's ready entrance.

Jason had one hand steadying his own cock, the other curled tightly around Max's hip, and in that instant of readiness, he stilled.

Anticipation sang wordlessly between them in those few seconds. The air felt superheated along Max's skin, and he drew a slow breath. Then Jason thrust forward, filling Max with the head of his cock, and Max's breath gasped out of him in a wordless cry. It was too much. It was heat and slick pressure, the overwhelming ache of being fucked by his best friend. He reminded himself to breathe as Jason pressed gradually deeper.

Then it was done, Jason's length firm and hot inside him with no farther to go. Jason was a solid presence, complete and surreal, and Max could feel the nudge of Jason's balls where they pressed snugly against his ass.

"Fuck," Max breathed, and it was the first word he'd spoken in a lifetime.

That was Jason. Fuck. That was Jason inside him. Discomfort quickly gave way to more pleasant sensations as Max's body adjusted to the slick intrusion. Jason was staring down at him with greedy rapture, and Max hadn't the faintest idea how to respond to that expression. He wondered how his own face looked.

Eventually, apparently sensing that Max was ready, Jason moved. He rocked his hips, out and in, and Max gasped at the sensation. The hand at his hip shifted, and Jason dropped forward, warm weight across Max's chest. Hot breath tingled over Max's jaw as Jason nuzzled and nipped at his ear. He tilted his head back, baring his throat for Jason's lips, and then—

Then Jason really moved.

Max reached for him, arms wrapping around broad shoulders as cautious thrusts turned harder. He wrapped his legs around Jason and rode the forceful roll of hips, panting as he was fucked. Jason breathed an uneven staccato along Max's skin, and they moved together. Grasping hands, arching bodies, uncoordinated kisses that turned quickly to bites and moans and then to wordless shouts as pleasure mounted between them.

Max could feel the precipice looming close. He slipped a hand between their bodies and wrapped it around his own straining cock. He gave an awkward stroke in the confined space, then another. He didn't manage a third before Jason stopped him. Jason's fingers took hold of his wrist and yanked his hand away, pinning it to the armrest beside Max's head.

Why? Max wanted to ask but couldn't find his voice. Instead he only stared.

"No." Jason breathed the word, rough with gravel. "No. Like this."

Then he fucked in at a different angle, and Max came apart. Jason's thrusts had already been bottoming out every time, but they were hitting him differently now, exciting a spot inside him that nearly whited out his vision. The feeling was too much. It unmade him, shattering the world into bright sensation as his orgasm carried him away.

For a moment after, he was aware of nothing beyond a heavy haze of satisfaction. His thoughts moved sluggishly, and he registered little beyond the noisy chaos of his own heartbeat.

As his pulse slowed and his over-stimulated senses calmed, he became aware again of other things—Jason's weight on top of him, still moving in unsteady thrusts; Jason's breath panting raggedly in his ear; the firm length of Jason's cock still rocking into him. Jason's need was a physical force, pressed into Max's exhausted body with strong hands.

Then Jason's hips rocked more sharply forward, and his rhythm faltered. He was close. Max could feel it in Jason's shoulders, his sweat-slick skin, his thrusts gone frantic. Max buried his face in the crook of Jason's neck. He kissed the tense column of his throat and earned a shaky gasp. When he bared his teeth and offered a tentative bite, Jason crushed him all the more tightly in powerful arms. Max slid his fingers into Jason's hair and squirmed, angling in search of his mouth.

When Max kissed him, Jason moaned and fell still as he came.

# # # # #

Jason groaned the echo of his orgasm around Max's tongue, still not quite believing that this was Max beneath him.

Spent, he collapsed, squashing Max into the cushions and curling close. His more rational brain knew things were about to get uncomfortable, emotionally and physically, but he wasn't thinking about that yet. He just wanted a moment to bask in the perfect satisfaction.

His reprieve ended even more quickly than he expected. He had perhaps thirty seconds of quietly holding Max in his arms, not ready to pull out yet, before Max shifted beneath him and spoke.

"Did we really just do that?"

Jason stifled a moan and shifted as well, sliding free of Max's body and—as surreptitiously as he could—disposing of the condom.

"That depends," he answered finally. He met Max's eyes and barely resisted the urge to kiss him. "Are you going to freak out?"

"Possibly," Max admitted, looking sheepish.

"Then no. We didn't just do that."

The assertion earned a startled snort of laughter, and the cryptic expression on Max's face softened to fond amusement. It was almost easy. It was almost normal in that moment, as though they hadn't taken the world and dropped it upside-down. For a second, Jason hoped it could be so simple.

Of course the easy familiarity didn't last. Uncertainty reclaimed Max's expression, darkening his eyes like a shadow. Jason's own expression turned serious as he searched for signs of regret.

"Are you all right?" Jason finally asked when the silence had stretched long enough for worry to wriggle into his chest and make itself at home.

There was a long pause, and he knew Max was weighing his answer carefully.

"You didn't hurt me," Max said at last.

"Don't be a brat. You know that's not all I'm asking."

Silence again. Max's throat bobbed in a swallow, and Jason wanted to lean in and taste. But this was important, and he held his ground.

Max never looked away, and finally he answered, "I don't know. I'm not… I've never really…" He trailed off helplessly, and finally concluded, "It's a little overwhelming."

A renewed flush stained his cheeks, and Jason wanted to kiss him so badly his chest physically ached with it. He couldn't fathom how he'd cope—how he would pretend not to be disappointed—if Max told him this wouldn't happen again. Now that he'd gotten a taste, all he wanted was more.

"Are you in love with me?" Max asked, so abruptly Jason's heart nearly stopped.

"What? No."

"Are you sure?"

It was an idiotic question. Ridiculous. Jason was attracted to Max. He was infatuated. Maybe he'd spent fifteen-plus years wanting to get his hands on his best friend, but that hardly meant he was in love.

He wasn't.

But Max looked as though he understood a little too clearly. And Jason had to admit, belatedly, that the question wasn't half so simple or stupid as it seemed.

"You're my best friend," Jason said finally. "No one else matters the way you do."

For some reason, of all the things they'd said to each other—of all the things they'd done to each other tonight—this was what made Max look away. His eyes cut to the side, and Jason wished he had kept his mouth shut.

Then, without raising his eyes, Max whispered a quiet, "You, too." The words carried the weight of confession, and the new knot in Jason's chest loosened as quickly as it had come.

Maybe they were all right. Maybe tonight wouldn't end with Max walking away and both of them pretending nothing had changed.

"Look at me," Jason pleaded, his voice gone gravel-rough in the quiet.

Max did so without any sign of reluctance, and his eyes were piercing. Jason shivered at the way they burned into him. Let me kiss you, he wanted to say. And, I'd like to do that again. And maybe, You're so fucking gorgeous I don't know what to do. A hundred urges tangled up in his head, tripping over each other and making it impossible to voice a single coherent thought.

"Come to bed," he said at last. "Stay the night."

He waited, frozen, while Max processed what he was asking. Not just Jason's words, but also the deeper significance. If Max stayed, nothing would ever be simple between them again.

"All right," Max answered at last, smiling almost shyly, and Jason grinned with relief.

# # # # #

Max had slept in Jason's bed before, but everything about it was different now. No clothes, for one thing. But there was also the hot line of Jason's body spooned along his back. Jason's arm draped forward across Max's stomach, surprisingly comfortable considering Max's habit of sleeping alone.

He was barely conscious when Jason's breath tickled his ear. "I might be in love with you. A little."

"I know," Max murmured, though his own voice slurred with fatigue. He was too sleepy to be surprised at himself when he answered, "Me, too."

# # # THE END # # #


Yolande Kleinn may be a shameless dreamer and a stubborn optimist, but she is also a proud purveyor of erotic romance. Excitable, fastidious and a little eclectic, she spends every spare moment writing the stories she wants to read. If she can drag other people into the pool along with her, then so much the better.

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Cover design by Yolande Kleinn

Photo by Jon Tyson

"The Real Font" by Graham Meade / GemFonts



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Jack Mason—graphic designer and unrepentant player—has never been interested in monogamy. He certainly isn't looking for romance when he meets Professor Colin Sloan.

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