8. Friends without benefits
Things had finally settled down when Zander and I reached an agreement. We wouldn't make a physical move on Lennix. If she wanted to be with one of us, she would have to make the first move or show some kind of interest past flirty banter. So I've been bidding my time, but then he tells me last week that he's leaving to help her pack.
Just fucking fantastic.
He left six days ago. Six damn days he's been alone with her. I'm not stupid. I know what he's doing. He's staking his claim, yet again.
I get it dude, damn! You don't have to rub it in my face that you are the more stable choice. That you have history. That she would always pick you over me. I fucking get it. I just don't have to like it. And I don't. I fucking hate it.
I'm not even on the board then it comes to winning her heart. I tried. I tried to get past my insecurities and I couldn't do it. Zander can be as patient as he wants to be. He can put in all the leg work he thinks he needs to, but I couldn't get past it.
I've backed off the last couple of months. I left the group message she started between the three of us because I couldn't take watching him openly flirt with her while he glared at me challenging me to say something.
He's going to sweep her off her feet and I'll be here, consumed by work and distracting myself with whomever is asking.
Do you know what it's like to want someone so fucking bad that the thought of them has your dick throbbing so hard that even getting off doesn't make it go away? No matter how many women I've been with since she left I'm not satisfied. No matter what deviant activities I run through, it doesn't bring me joy. She's all I think about and everything I can't have. Zander made that clear when he asked me if I was prepared to go all in for her.
I'm not. I would fuck everything up and lose her as a friend or she would wreck me. Destroy me from the inside out.
Over the months that she's been back in California, we talked almost every day about everything until she went on a date and I lost my shit.
It was actually only a handful of dates, we had no more secrets besides how I really feel about her, but when she said she slept with someone I watched Zander's heart break just a little and I felt something snap inside me.
It wasn't being broken. It was like a puzzle piece being violently slammed into place.
I couldn't bring myself to honestly answer Lennix when she asked me what was wrong. I couldn't lie and say I was ok. I'm not ok.
How the hell do you tell someone that you like them, you crave everything about them, but you can't be with them, can't give them everything they deserve so knowing they are with someone else who can't give them what they deserve is beating it into you even more that you aren't good enough?
Shit, I'd rather her be with Zander than her be with someone else who doesn't love her like he does... doesn't need her like I do... because I do. Even if it's just as a friend, I need her in my life. I need that smile... her laugh... shit I'm in so deep and she's not even mine.
Her flight is coming in today and we are helping her move tomorrow. Tonight I've planned something simple, just pizza, beer, and a movie in our condo. Hopefully it will be just like before she left, just three friends hanging out. I even washed my sheets and cleaned my room so she has a place to sleep for the night. I'll take the couch and pray that it's not awkward for her.
Lennix is special to both of us. I don't want her to feel the tension that has been silently settled just under the surface between Zander and I. She's too nice. It would hurt her to know that we have fought about her. That we both ache to be with her.
Zander is completely in love with her. Has been as long as I can remember and me..... well, I can feel myself slipping under her spell. I keep trying to convince myself that if I could just have her once under me, in my bed, filled with my cock, screaming my name... that it would all go away, but if that's the truth why would her smile brighten any room she's in? Why would I know her favorite color, movie, music? The idea of waking up to her is just as appealing as falling asleep with her. No... just lust. It has to be. And if it's just lust I'll keep her just as a friend. I have to. She deserves more than I can give her and I'm a fucking mess.
I'm pulling beer out of the fridge when they walk in. Her bright smile is the first thing I see.
"Jax!" She calls out in an excited voice jumping into my arms.
I pull her tight to me and burry my face in her hair. She always smells so damn good.
"Nix, I missed you. How are you?" I try for casual but I must have failed because Zander is shooting me a look over her shoulder.
She released me from her hug giving me a questioning look. "I missed you too, Jax. And you would know how I am if you texted or called. What's been up with you? Are you ok?" The concern and frustration is clear on her face.
I can't lie to her, but I can't exactly tell her the truth either. "I'm sorry, Nix. I've just been keeping myself busy. You know. Lots to do." That was weak. Pathetic. But I couldn't come up with anything else.
A flash of hurt passed her features, but was quickly covered by a playful smirk. If I wasn't watching carefully I would have missed it. "Oh really? And who's been keeping you so busy you couldn't send a text to check in?"
Ouch. But she's not wrong. I've been filling my time with others to try to distract myself.
I just shrug and she shakes her head. "One day you are going to fall in love with someone and I don't think they will appreciate all the dirty looks the women of Austin give them." She laughs softly and I have to look away. She could be right and that's what kills.
"Well you are here now to scare off all the tail I could get when we hang out." I flash her a smile. "Maybe you can turn me around and make me a respectable man a girl would love to fall for one day." I'm only half joking. If there were ever a woman on this planet that could change my ways it would be Lennix.
She blushes and grabs a beer from the counter.
"So what are we watching?" Zander walks up behind Lennix and I didn't miss the way his hand grazed her side and rested on her hip.
What the fuck is that?
She leaned back slightly into him and it hit me like a brick wall to the face. Zander is smiling like he just won the prize of a lifetime and she's allowing his hands on her and leaning into him?!
I cracked open my beer and chugged half of it before I answered. "Top Gun." I looked into Lennix's bright blue eyes as I see her excitement "it's Nix's favorite movie." She smiled that heart stopping smile again. God I love that smile.
I turn my attention to Zander who looks like he's fighting his jealousy again, "but I have something to take care of so I'll be back later." I kiss Lennix on the cheek "sorry Nix. I'll see you tomorrow ok?"
She nods sadly as I grab my helmet and make my way to the door. "Y'all have fun."
This night just took a complete 180 and I need something much stronger than beer.
What the fuck is wrong with me? This girl has turned me into a complete pussy! And then Zander... he swooped in and picked her up. That's obvious. He can't hide it if he wanted to, but he didn't want to. He threw it in my face. Fucking dick! So much for best friends.
Fuck this! I'm going to get drunk and burry my self in a warm body. It's not going to take away the sting but it will numb the pain for a moment and that's all I need.
It's 3am when I stumble back into the condo. I'm sure I smell like I took a bath in Jack Daniels and rolled around in a whore house. It wouldn't be too far from the truth. But it didn't make me feel better. It was temporary. It's always fucking temporary.
I kicked my shoes off at the door and found my way to my room. Stripped my clothes down to my boxers and climbed into my bed.
I didn't even realize I wasn't alone until a tiny, soft, warm body rolled over and snuggled into me.
My eyes shot open and looked down at the mess of long blond hair and silky tattooed skin draped over me.
Why was she here? Shouldn't she be with Zander in his bed? Was I misreading that whole situation earlier? Did I just fuck up a perfectly good hangout with my princess to get drunk and fuck some random when I could have been here laughing and spending time with her? I could have fallen asleep with her in my arms like I've wanted to for months?!
I run my fingers over the side of her face and brush her hair away. She has dried tear marks in her makeup. She was crying? Why was she crying? The sight broke my heart. Was this my fault? Shit I'm such an asshole! She's been back for only a few hours and I've already fucked this up. I want to protect her from everything. From everyone. But I'm the one who hurt her. I have no doubt about it. Zander would never hurt her. He wouldn't make her cry. I know this is my fault. How am I going to make this right?
She snuggled deeper into my chest and sighed a sweet little purr. It pulls at everything in me. She is my everything. I'd do anything to never see those tears again. I kissed her forehead and whispered in her hair. " I'm so sorry, princess. I never meant to hurt you. I'll make it up to you. I promise." I wrapped my arms around her and quickly fell asleep.
Tomorrow is going to suck, but I'll pick up the pieces and try to put them back together. I have to.