Beneficial

Chapter 1: The Problem With Benefits

There's something poking into my leg. It's making me a little uncomfortable. And don't think I don't have my suspicions about what it is.

I take a deep breath in through my nose, and ew! Morning breath!

What the hell? How did this disgusting, unhygienic...whatever get into my bed?

I roll onto my side and open my tired brown eyes to come face to face with Sammy. Ah. He evidently did not go home last night after all.

He shivers when I try to pull the covers back, and I guess that makes sense since it's January and we're sleeping in boxers.

Back to the poking. I let my eyes travel down to the area that is being poked. My suspicions are confirmed.

Heh. There's some wood in his boxers.

The type of wood that doesn't give splinters.

I chuckle and whisper, "Happy to see me, Sammy?"

He groans and opens his eyes, blinking blearily and then burying his face in my neck.

"I'm always happy to see you, Jack-Jack," he mumbles, his nasty morning breath tickling my sensitive skin. My neck is a sensitive place! And fully-conscious Sammy knows that, too...he knows exactly what to do with his tongue to drive me wild... "But I'm not in the mood, 'kay? What time is it?"

I glance at my alarm clock and see the glowing green letters that read eight thirty-two. Fuck. So early.

"Eight thirty-two," I relay to Sammy, who groans again and bangs his head against my neck.

"How are you awake?" he asks, pulling away from my neck and glaring at me.

"How are you not?" I retort, flicking his ear. "You always get up early."

"I had a late night," he says, stretching and yawning.

"Oh? What were you doing?" I ask. Ha. Like I don't know.

Sammy hoists himself up into a sitting position and meets my eyes. "You."

I roll my eyes. "Technically, you didn't do me. We just made out."

Sammy rolls out of my bed and lands with a thud on the not-so-soft floor, his dirty blond hair falling into his eyes. "And your little sister saw us," he adds, standing up and stretching some more. His back pops, and he bends to the side so that it cracks again and his bony hips jut out to the side.

"Poor Carly," I sigh.

Sammy flops back onto my bed and glares down at the tent in his boxers and then back at me. "Fuck, I'm horny," he moans.

"Well, someone was obviously having some naughty dreams about me," I say cheekily, grinning at him and cringing when he punches my shoulder.

"Screw it. Shower time," he mumbles, getting out of bed again. I hop up as well and follow him into the bathroom.

Sammy doesn't really seem aware of the fact that I've followed him down the hall until he's closed the door and is testing the water in my shower. He gives me a glance over his shoulder and teasingly says, "You can't join me, you know."

"We'd save water," I remind him, not even caring when he slides his boxers off right in front of me and steps into the shower.

"Not really," he replies. "With two of us, it'd just take a lot of water to get us both clean...Fuck! Cold! Cold, oh God, my dick is gonna freeze and fall off..."

I laugh at his antics, and I can hear him jumping around in the tub behind the curtain. Sammy trying to take a cold shower is kind of the soundtrack of my life.

I snatch up my toothbrush and squirt some toothpaste onto it- my toothpaste is strawberry flavored, and it sounds gross, but I love it and I hate everything mint flavored with a fiery passion. Mint is disgusting.

"Cooooolllllddd!" Sammy wails. "Cold, cold, cold, kill me!"

"Fwudn't wer boona be gone wy fwow?" I mumble around my toothbrush. Translation: Shouldn't your boner be gone by now?

'Y-yeah, but I'm t-too cold to move!" he yelps, deciphering my toothbrush-talk correctly.

I sigh in annoyance and walk over to the shower, pulling back the curtain and moving the handle so that the water temperature goes from frigid to near Sahara Desert status. I can't help but laugh when I glance over and see a soaking wet Sammy shivering under the cold spray.

"You're a loser," I taunt, splashing some water on him while he tries to unfreeze. "Hurry up so I can get in."

"I need to wash my hair," he pouts. "And my hair is amazing. I can't just throw some shampoo on it like you."
I glare at him and then glance down at myself. I feel like nastiness, and my hair is filthy and itchy and I smell like my cologne mixed with Sammy's- let me tell you, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger don't smell nice all combined. Yuck.

"Fuck it. I'm getting in." I slip off my boxers and step into the shower with Sammy. I toss the shampoo at him and wet myself down under the spray while he carefully shampoos his soft hair. Yeah, it's really soft.

Reeeallly soft.

"Soap," I say, more like an order than anything. Sammy tosses the bar of soap that I found in my sister's room at me, and I lather up. And repeat. Isn't that what you're supposed to do? Rinse, lather, and repeat. Wait. Lather, rinse, and repeat would make more sense. Or am I missing a verb?

"My turn," Sammy says, grabbing me by the shoulders and pushing me out of the way so that he can rinse the shampoo out of his hair. There's nothing to really look at in the shower, so I just watch as he tilts his head back and closes his eyes, letting the soapy water run out of his hair and drip down his body.

"Oh, by the way," I say casually, squirting some shampoo into my hand and rubbing it into my hair, "Alexa called last night when you were drowning yourself with that hot fudge sundae. She wanted to apologize, again, for cheating on you."

Sammy sighs and shakes his head so that the water in his hair sprays around the tub. A drop hits me in the eye.

"I hate her so much right now." He stares up at the ceiling, and I don't think it's soap in his eyes that's making his eyes tear up.

"It's okay, Sammy. Come on, if she didn't like you, then she's just a bitch who doesn't deserve you. And she shouldn't have cheated," I say softly, reaching out to brush some of his wet hair out of his eyes.

He gives me a small smile and quietly replies, "I know. But it still hurts."

"Which is exactly why we're going to spend all day doing nothing but making you feel better. I'm gonna get my mom to make homemade mac n' cheese, and we'll watch your favorite movies and do whatever the hell else we need to do to get Alexa Young off your mind. 'Kay?"

We finish rinsing out all remaining soap and step out of the shower at the same time. I grab the softest towel before Sammy can, and he settles for the Disney Princess one. I think he likes it better, anyway.

I thought that our little conversation in the shower would be the last I'd hear of Sammy's failing love life, but apparently not.

As we walk back into my room with towels around our waists, my best friend sighs and says, "Damn, how come I can't keep a girlfriend? Half the girls at school throw themselves at me, and the other half are lesbians or something, so why the hell...why would Alexa cheat on me?"

I shrug and grab some boxers, slipping them on under my towel like I want privacy even though we just showered together. Naked. That is generally how one would take a shower.

"Maybe she thought you were going behind her back with someone else. I dunno. That's the general consensus- girls think you want sex and nothing else," I reply.

Sammy pulls his boxers on that he snatched out of the box labeled "Sammy's Stuff", and then he drops the towel on the floor and rummages around looking for his favorite pair of jeans.

"So they think I'm a player?" he asks, his eyebrow raising to the ceiling. "Great."

"Well, no, but...," I begin, but Sammy gives me a look and I hang my head. "Uh, yeah. I mean, I talked to Alexa's friend Sarah, and Sarah was the one who wanted Alexa to dump you anyway 'cause she thought that you would hurt her."

Sammy stares at me with wide eyes and says, "Are you serious? Fuck, I would never hurt a girl by using her. She's the damn one who hurt me."

He sounds pretty upset about the whole thing, so I pull him over to the bed next to me before he can put his shirt on. He holds the black material in his clenched hands while I put my arm around his shoulders and say, "But they don't know you, stupid. You need to try to get to know people."

"Fine." He sighs and rests his head on my shoulder, and then he adds, "And besides, I wouldn't need to use a girl for sex. I release my sexual tension on you."

"Don't I know it," I reply with a roll of my eyes. "Last night was probably the most intense we've gotten."
"Nah. I gave you a handjob that one time while we were in your backyard, remember? That was intense," he corrects. He sits up and grins at me. "God, I can't believe all of my action comes from you."

"Jack and Sammy, since 1992," I say in an announcer voice. "Jack Baker, stealing first kisses from his best friend since...almost 1992."

"More like last year."

"Breakfast, Jack!"

"How the hell did Mom know that I was awake?" I ask, standing up and pulling Sammy up with me. He follows me down the stairs, slipping his shirt on as he goes.

"Uh, she heard the shower?" Sammy suggests. "I dunno. She probably doesn't know that I'm still here, though."

"Whatever. I'll tell her what happened with you and Alexa and she'll try to adopt you," I say, shrugging. We enter the kitchen, and my mom nearly drops her spatula when she sees me tugging Sammy by the hand along with me.

"Sammy, I didn't know you were still here," she says, giving a disapproving look. "Jack, honey, I told you to ask me before-"

"Sammy's girlfriend cheated on him," I interrupt. "He's kind of a mess, Mom. Please don't lecture us."

Mom really does drop the spatula that she's using to take the pancakes out of the pan. The pan hisses a little when the plastic hits the hot metal, but she ignores it and throws her arms around her pseudo-son's shoulders.

"Oh, Sammy! I'm so sorry! Are you okay, hon?" She holds him at arm's length and says, "Do you want me to make macaroni and cheese for you tonight?"

Sammy's eyes light up, and he gives Mom a watery smile. "That would be great. Thanks, Mrs. Baker."

"Not a problem. Anything for you, sweetheart," Mom says with a sad smile. "What was the girl's name again? Alexis? I hope you give that girl a talking-to, Jack."

I nod obediently. "Of course. I'm gonna give her a talking-to with my fist."

Sammy pulls on my sleeve. "Please don't. You'd get in trouble."

I grin and hand him a plate with two pancakes on it, taking one for myself and sitting down at the kitchen table.

Just as Sammy's phone rings.

"S-C-A-N-D to the A to the L, O-U-S, can't handle it, can't handle it, damn that girl she's scandalous," blares from the tiny speakers of the phone. Sammy pulls the device out of his pocket and lets out a shriek, dropping it on the table and letting it sing away.

"What?" I ask through a mouthful of pancake.

"It's Alexa," he moans. "I'm not talking to her."
I grab the phone and open it. "Buddy the elf, what's your favorite color?" I say, instead of answering with the typical "hello?"

"Sammy, baby?" comes the simpering voice.

I gag and say, "Uh, no. It's Jack."

"Oh." I can hear the eye-roll in her voice. "Jack. Where's Sammy? Why do you always answer his phone?"

"Because he doesn't want to talk to a slut like you," I say sweetly. "Thanks a lot for breaking his heart. How long were you together? A year? Wow. How long were you with Jared behind his back, huh?"

"Shut up. I told Sammy I was sorry," she growls. "I never meant to hurt him."

"Uh, hate to break it to you, sweetie," I say in a 'duh' tone, "but you cheated on him, which kind of gives you no excuse to say that you didn't mean to hurt him. Hello! How many people actually get away with cheating?"

Sammy gives me a fearful look, and I see that some tears are forming. Maybe I should make this conversation stop prematurely.

"It's Sarah's fault!" Alexa shrieks. "She wanted me to stop seeing Sammy 'cause she thought that he'd just hurt me."

"So she encouraged you to hurt him, is that it?" I say menacingly. "Just 'cause he's a guy doesn't mean he doesn't have fucking emotions!"

"Jack," Mom says warningly when I swear. I give her a sheepish smile and go back to yelling at Alexa, while trying to ignore the tears welling in Sammy's eyes.

"I was going to break up with him before he found out about Jared, but you had to go and be a little snoop, didn't you?" Alexa retorts.

"I was at the movies! I wasn't spying! I thought you and Sammy seemed just fine! And so what if I tried to protect him? He's my best friend!" I glare at the phone and say, "You should be more careful. And less heartless. Don't fucking call Sammy again. Wait for him to get this under control, and he'll call you, okay?"

I hang up before she can complain, and I toss Sammy his phone again.

"Thanks," he says quietly.

"Can I shoot her?" I say hopefully.

Sammy sighs and wipes his eyes with napkin. "S-she's such a friggin'..." But he doesn't finish. He buries his face in his hands, and his shoulders start shaking. He's crying. Oh hell, I thought that the breakdowns were done with last night.

I stand up and go over to kneel next to him, wrapping my arms around him and whispering, "Shh, Sammy. I know she hurt you, but it's gonna be okay. Really."

But he's sobbing now, and Mom quickly exits the room because she knows that Sammy wouldn't want her to see him like this. Normally he's happy-go-lucky, but ever since his girlfriend of over a year cheated on him (which I found out yesterday when I was at the movie theater), he's been a wreck.

"H-how the hell c-could she d-do that to me?" he whispers, and I kiss the top of his head and try to get him into a standing position.

"I don't know. But you're better than her. We both know that. Come on, let's get you to the couch." I try to support as much of his weight as I can while I half-carry, half-drag my crying best friend to the couch in the living room. He collapses onto it, and I sit down and let him slowly curl up against me. He leans against my chest, and I can feel the tears soaking through my shirt, but I don't care.

Poor Sammy.

"Sammy Whammy, forget about Alexa," I murmur, playing with his hair. "I know you loved her, but if she was with Jared for that long, then-"

"I know how long she's been with him for, all right?" Sammy says loudly, glaring at me. His green eyes are rimmed with red from crying. I flinch at his tone, and he sighs and hugs me tighter. "I'm sorry. I'm just so...Damn it, I'm not over her! That's the fucking thing!"

"I know, baby," I say gently. "But you need to get over her, okay?"

He sighs and nods. "But you have to help me. I seriously can't get over her by myself."

"That's why you're here, stupid," I tell him. "Come on, I need to finish my pancakes."

Sammy sits up a little more and nods again. "Okay. I'm sorry for being such a wimp."

"It's fine. You've got reason to be a weaksauce-man," I say teasingly.

Sammy laughs lightly. "Shut up." He tilts his head up and presses his lips against my cheek quickly. "Thanks for being there for me," he whispers, standing up and grabbing my hand to pull me back into the kitchen.

I raise my hand up to my cheek where his lips just touched me.

That was definitely not a normal friends with benefits move.

Last year we started to 'experiment' with each other, because, well, we started to get really horny and decided, why not make out with each other? We're best friends, so it's never really seemed too awkward. And since then, we've basically released our sexual frustration on each other.

But lately, the kisses have been getting gentler, more emotional and less "I'm so fucking horny and my girlfriend can't satisfy my needs".

And I guess I should worry a little more about what we're doing, especially the way that it's changing from desperate to almost...boyfriend-y. Because straight guys don't kiss each other's cheeks or shower together or make out when they're bored or as a rebound after a breakup. Like last night.

It's also way too confusing for someone in my situation.

See, Sammy doesn't...understand what I'm going through. He thinks we're just two straight dudes- literally, friends with benefits. But now, I've started to realize that I don't see him as just a friend anymore. He's no longer just Sammy to me. And I've started to wish that I was more than just Jack, just a guy to make out with when Sammy's bored.

That's why I hate it when Sammy acts like that- all gentle and sweet and cuddly. He doesn't get that, to me, it's more than just friends behavior.

He doesn't get that I've started to feel more. That I...like him.

And I guess that, technically, he's okay with being with a guy. So maybe he wouldn't freak out if I told him how I feel. Hell, he's so fragile right now, I could just sneak my way in as his knight in shining armor and rescue him from Alexa...

I feel like a really bad friend.

Seriously, what kind of friend even considers taking advantage of his hot best friend's fragile emotional state after a breakup to win him over?

Certainly not me.

Uhh...

Ignore that.

I don't want to, though! I mean, I love Sammy in every way. I don't want to just jump him because he's all vulnerable now. I would never do that.

But God, I want to step in and make him mine...have him all to myself, all the girls out of the way, nothing but us.

But am I really willing to take advantage of him when he's all torn up like this just so that I can be happy?

My stomach sinks to the floor in sudden embarrassment when I realize that, yes, I would do that to Sammy just to get what I want. My face heats up, and I drag myself to the kitchen, trying to brush off how ashamed I suddenly feel.

Shit, what kind of person am I?

I swallow hard and sit down at the kitchen table next to Sammy, cutting a small piece off of my pancakes and stuffing it in my mouth.

"Are you okay, Jack?" Sammy asks quietly. "You got really quiet all of a sudden."

I give him a weak smile and nod. "I'm fine. I don't want to be rude and talk and eat at the same time, that's all."

Sammy doesn't really seem to believe me. But he just shrugs and finishes off his pancakes.

I sigh and watch him out of the corner of my eye. I love everything about him- the way those few strands of hair fall across his right eye, the way he juts his bony elbow out to the side when he raises his fork to his mouth...God, his mouth...

I love having Sammy, whether it's as a friend or whatever.

And I'm not going to take advantage of him while he's like this.

...Right?

A/N: Hey, guys! Here's chapter one of my new story. This is gonna be short- 5 chapters. But it'll be fun. Just you wait.

Please review! I really appreciate feedback, especially on the first chapter. The first one is always the hardest, because you've got to grab attention. My strategy is to make sure that the first section of the chapter isn't a huge paragraph, because half the time readers open a page and then run when they see a big block of black.

Yeah.

Uh...

View and review!

-Ryette