What You Leave Behind

Chapter 8

By Dabeagle


We both slept in a little, and when he climbed from the bed he pushed me down, kissed me and told me to relax a while longer. I rolled in his bed and drifted in a semi-conscious state, my nose filled with our mixed scent. I slowly replayed the night before in my mind, and I was soon achingly hard. Julia and I had enjoyed the sex life we'd managed, but in a feeling that was becoming familiar, this was different. It wasn't just the physical fact that he was a guy; it was the intensity. It was...

It was like when I'd first lost my virginity and all I could think of was doing it again. The giddiness, the yearning, the pure...everything of it. Nothing else compared, the world was dull and boring except for this bright, shiny spot that was Benji – and sex with Benji. The door squeaked open and I rolled toward it. Benji was wearing just his underwear and a tee shirt, and it was pushing my buttons.

“I brought you coffee, babe,” he said with a gentle smile. I sat up and leaned against the wall to accept the cup from him.

“Thanks, Benji,” I replied.

“Let me grab my cup,” he said and left the room. I sipped the brew and nodded – pretty good. He returned and settled down beside me, pressed to my side. “How's your coffee, babe?”

“Good, thanks,” I replied, sipping. I let out a small sigh – this was the life. Everything was perfect except my dick was still standing tall and wanted Benji. I mean I did, too, but it seemed like the wrong time. We sat in silence – him, me and my hard on – sipping coffee and enjoying the moment. I set my cup down.

“Have to pee,” I said as I stood up. As I put my hand on the doorknob Benji spoke.


I looked back over my shoulder.

“If you're still hard when you come back, we should take care of that.”

Fuck. Now I'd never be able to piss. Hell if that was going to stop me. “Your ass is mine,” I promised as I left the room. Partway to the bathroom it occurred to me this was the second time I crossed his living room naked, and I smiled to myself. It took a lot longer than usual, but once my bladder was empty and my teeth brushed I made sure my dick led the way back to his bedroom.

He was waiting, naked and standing in every sense of the word. Some people might think we were just about sex at this stage, but I didn't care, because I was about to have sex. With Benji. Then I was kissing him. It was all fervent, not at all like our first time, which had been slow and loving. This was even more frantic than the night before had begun. This was more raw, more primal. I'd never had sex standing up, but I didn't mind trying new things. Besides, his mattress was on the floor, and I couldn't be bothered to go all the way down there. Shortly I was pressed against him, pinning him to the wall. Our fingers intertwined as he told me not to stop. He moved, adjusting his body to my strokes and groaning when he'd positioned himself as he wanted.

Then I was in him.

Passion took over. Lust was present, but I think for passion you need a little more than a base desire to fuck. I wanted him – was loving having him – but there was another element of emotion there, too. My senses filled with the sounds of our sex, the heat rolling from our bodies. He let out a breathy gasp and convulsed, and I imagined I could hear his release hitting the wall. I sped up, focusing on my own release, and he slammed himself back onto me. The sound of our skin crashing together, the sight of my dick disappearing inside him and the shake of his ass as our bodies collided finished me.

I leaned forward, kissing his shoulder. He arched back into me, turning his head, and our lips met. I slipped from him and he turned, kissing me with meaning. Sweating, I kissed his neck and ran my fingers up his flanks and then around to embrace him. He cooed at me and pressed our slick bodies together and we kissed. The kiss was of embers, a flame not quite out that might roar to life with just a little stoking. We were breathing heavily when he broke the kiss and placed his head beside mine, chin on my shoulder.

“This is beautiful,” he said and squeezed me to him lightly. We stood like that for minutes as our breathing slowly returned to normal and the beating of my heart steadied to something closer to resting. I think it always beat a bit faster around Benji. He leaned back and I leaned forward and kissed him, nibbling his soft lips.

“How about we shower? And I need to do laundry today.”

I thought for a minute. “I have a hoodie and shorts in my car. I could wash my clothes with yours,” I said, my gaze meeting his.

“Does that mean I get to keep you for another day?” he asked, his voice sounding odd.

“Whole day,” I agreed.

He sighed. “Grab your stuff from your car. We can start laundry, then come up and get cleaned up. Then I'll make us breakfast.”

I growled and pulled him to me, kissing him gently in opposition to my growling. I felt him smile against my lips as he returned the kiss.

“As much as I'd like to have you fuck my brains out all day, I have work tomorrow and need to do laundry.”

I sighed, pulled on my jeans from the day before, and headed down to my car to get the couple of things I kept because I was lazy. Some people might think emergency but really – a hoodie and a pair of shorts? How prepared can a guy get? I headed back to his apartment and he told me to toss my jeans in the basket and he'd take them down to get started if I'd get the shower ready. I dropped my jeans in the basket and he slapped my ass, then laughed as he ran across the apartment with the basket, falling partway along and spilling clothes everywhere.

“That's what you get for a slap and run!” I called to him. He laughed.

“Aren't you going to help me pick this up?” he asked, putting clothes back in the basket.

“No way, ass-slapper,” I told him, teasing.

He laughed again and left the room, still laughing to himself. I went to the bathroom and hunted for a clean towel so we'd both be able to dry off. After delaying as much as I thought I could, I started the water running. I heard the front door close and then he joined me. The tub had hard water stains and the paint was dulled, but that didn’t distract me from getting him squeaky clean. It was kind of amazing – this was the horniest I'd ever been in my life!

Sex in the shower was another first for me. This one lacked the urgency of the morning. Benji backed me against the wall and he did most of the work. It was a pretty sweet experience – most fun I'd ever had getting clean.

We eventually dried off, and I pulled on my shorts and hoodie while he slid into sweats and a tee shirt. He refilled our coffee cups and sat me at their tiny dinette. I offered to help cook, but he reminded me he'd bought eggs specifically to cook for me, so I was to 'sit my ass down'. He hummed to himself as he cooked. I sipped my coffee and alternated between watching him and checking my phone. Luca wanted to know how my night went, and I messaged him that I was being cooked breakfast right then. He started teasing me and I was just fine telling him yep, I must have earned it. I was feeling the tiniest bit smug, because the sex had been awesome.

My sister was being pretty pushy, but I shrugged her off. Benji slid a plate in front of me with eggs, sausage and toast on it. I was starting to feel a little guilty. This was costing him, and he'd skipped work last night to spend time with me. I figured he wouldn't let me give him cash, so I'd have to bring groceries. Pride, ugh.

But, damn. My boy can cook.

After breakfast we chilled with a movie. A timer went off on Benji's phone and he went to his room to grab his basket and dryer sheets. While he was in there, Gwen came home.

She gave me the same look of shock as she had the night before.

“You okay, Gwen?” I asked, with maybe a little sass.

“Um. Yeah. Just not used to seeing the same guy here more than once. You know, besides Benji.” She gave me a fake smile and I wondered where that snark had been hiding the night before. Benji emerged from his room and greeted Gwen. Since she was being snippy, I got up and followed Benji, though I soon wished I'd grabbed my shoes from his room. I followed him down the hallway and down the steps into the basement, to the washers and dryers.

An old basketball lay forgotten on the floor. I picked it up and then hopped on top of a washer. “So. Gwen seems a little pissy,” I commented while looking down at the ball. There was a name written in ink, but I was struggling to figure out the letters.

“Oh?” he replied, sounding distracted.


I heard the electronic sound of a camera and looked up to see him smiling as he held his camera toward me. “You get a candid shot, I get a candid shot.” He tapped on his phone and I shook my head. He was probably posting the image. “So what did she say?” he asked.

“Made a comment about she was surprised to see me because it's usually not the same guy twice.”

“Bitch,” he said with a roll of his eyes. “I mean, she's not wrong. I've had dates – I didn't just have guys here to fuck. Still, didn't really work out.”

I tilted my head. “Why's that?”

He shrugged and leaned back against a machine. “Why do they ever not work out? Some guys were hot and then turns out they had no personality – or a shitty one. Some guys were really bougie and didn't like that I live in a crappy apartment. Some guys thought they were showing up to fuck and were put off by having dinner or something like conversation.” He paused. “I like sex. Sometimes I hooked up, not going to lie. But sometimes I was just lonely and wanted to cook for someone and have them watch a movie with me or tell me how they had plans for a life.” He shrugged again.

I nodded. “Just so we're clear – I'm not cool with you having sex with other guys.”

He grinned mischievously. “Keep dicking me down and it won't be a problem.”

My ego swelled. “I don't see that being a problem.”

We went back upstairs to find Gwen on the couch with the TV up loud and her phone in front of her face.

“Come on, she's cranky,” he stage whispered.

“No, I'm not,” she said in a tone that totally meant she was. “I just didn't know we had a third roommate.”

“Don't even start with me,” Benji snapped, a tone I'd never heard from him. “Mike was here for months – eating my food, using my stuff – and that was okay with you. You want to be in your own pissed off little world, you do you, but leave my boyfriend out of it.”

“Boyfriend? Please. I could lift my skirt and he'd leave you in a second,” she scoffed.

“Yeah, no,” I said, growing angry.

“The fuck he would,” Benji snapped. He looked back at me. “C'mon.”

I followed Benji, unsettled by Gwen and her bullshit. I didn't like seeing him upset, but it was good to know he stood up to people, too. He turned and waited for me to enter, then shut the door firmly behind me.

“Ugh. She can be such a troll!” he grumbled.

I reached tentatively for him and he fell into me. I hugged him briefly before we moved to lie down, and I started to voice concerns I wasn't sure I had a right to – yet.

“So. Are you month-to-month here or on a lease or what?”

He sighed. “We do six-month leases.”

“Is she always like this? I mean – that's stupid, but you know what I mean.”

“She has her moments,” Benji admitted. “I'm sure I can be a douche, too. Sometimes we're just assholes to each other. You and Luca must fight sometimes, right?”

“Mostly in middle school. We disagree sometimes, but we don't fight – not saying mean shit like Gwen just was,” I replied. “Luca...he's kind of an external conscience. He can make me feel guilty with a look.”

“Well, it's a thing we do. She can be a hag, but she's my hag, if that makes any sense to you,” he replied.

“So. What's the school plan? How long before you go back?”

“At least a year and a half. Two at the worst, at this rate,” he said with a sigh.

“Have you looked into loans? Community college isn't that expensive, so the loans wouldn't be so bad.”

“I'd have to take more than just enough to cover tuition and books. If I'm in school full time, I don't have time to work nearly enough hours to have a place to live. Trust me, Ry, I've thought about this a lot.”

I rubbed his arm and he leaned toward me, cuddling in. “Okay. Just seems like something to think about.” I hated his reality. I realized that for me it was just a matter of asking my parents. Education? Yeah, they'd pay until they screamed – or their bank account did. The idea of that support being yanked, something I realized I took for granted, sent a spike of unease through me.

We streamed some music through my phone and we talked through the evening about our families, our friends and, I don't know, our lives I guess. We got his clothes and folded things up – and I thought to send my dad a text that I'd see him at the shop in the morning. For some reason I was pretty bushed. Rather than sex, we just curled around each other as if we were made of liquid and went to sleep.

The next morning Benji was up early. He started getting ready for work, and I made up some of the eggs he'd bought for us. I even made enough for his troll of a roommate, but she wasn't nearly so bitter this morning. I couldn't imagine saying the kind of shit they do with Luca. It just wasn't us.

Once I got to work my dad made this big deal to Pat about how I was gone all weekend and we all know what young men get up to when they are gone all weekend.

“Please. He was probably just sleeping somewhere trying to get some peace and quiet away from you,” Pat said with a snort.

Feeling a stupid need to defend the idea that I could get laid I retorted, “I got as much action this weekend as you claim to have in those fantasies where you're getting hit on down at the pub.”

“Hey, hey!” Pat protested with a grin. “Everyone gets prettier at closing time. When you're an old fuck like me you prioritize – will she touch my peepee? If so, everything else is negotiable.”

“Jesus Christ,” my father muttered as he laughed and looked away from Pat. “Never, ever take life advice from this guy.”

“Say what you will, but I know women,” Pat said with a trace of smugness.

“You've been divorced twice. Doesn't mean you know women, just that you know how to piss them off,” I said with a grin.

“Get to work, you,” he growled while grinning at me.

I started in on an old Honda that needed a clutch. I set up a support for the engine that sat on two rubber feet on the shock towers. I attached a hook to the block and then ran a chain from the hook to the top of the support and cranked it tight so that the motor mounts wouldn't twist and break without the balance and support of the transmission and its mount. I was so focused I lost track of time, except when I'd suddenly stop and think of Benji. The sex. The cuddles. His trouble with getting back into school.

Luca met me for lunch, and he had to ask why he'd heard so little from me over the weekend. “I mostly spent it having sex with Benji,” I told him. I enjoyed watching his jaw drop.

“Wow. Did you just brag about getting laid?” he asked with a chuckle.

“I've never had so much sex,” I said, grinning and nodding.

“Huh,” Luca said and adopted a thoughtful expression. “How many times do you think he'll give you to get it right before he dumps you for being lousy in bed?”

“Really? Luca, I'm hurt,” I said teasingly.

“Well, in other news, I managed to manipulate my folks into getting me an apartment,” he said.

“You did?” I asked, stunned.

“Yep. Started by telling mom that dad was going to and then telling dad that mom was looking at these particular ones that are kind of run down. Just like that it turned into a competition and I picked out the one I wanted. It's close to school, and fuck knows I need to get some distance from them.”

“Yeah, no joke. I can't believe you got them so fooled.”

“They're blind about some stuff,” he said with a shrug. “So I'll need a hand moving in – be nice to get to know Ben a little if he's going to be important to you.”

“Yeah, totally. I...I really like him, Luca.” I hesitated and then plunged on. “I've never felt like this. I know how dumb that sounds. Benji even says we sound like a cheesy romcom or a trashy novel, but it's the truth. I have Benji on the brain.”

He smiled at me. “Maybe the first big part of the new you. When you registering for classes?”

“Next few weeks or so, I think. Not a lot of time to screw around.”

“Tell your folks about your new major yet?”

I sighed. “No.”

“That's going to bite you in the ass,” he opined.

Silently I agreed with him.

“I'm going to start boxing some stuff up. Want to come over tonight and help me out? Julia's coming.”

“Yeah, sure.”


I had the transmission in place by the end of the day, but I wasn't ready to button things down and finish putting it back together. I could finish it the next day, and that would feel pretty good. I was going to get washed up and changed but detoured into the office where my dad was lounging in his desk chair.

“Hey, Pop?” I said to get his attention. He rolled his head to look at me with a tired expression. “I straightened up some of your goldmine in the extra bay,” I started and he jerked in his seat.

“What? You didn't throw anything out, did you? I'll never find anything if you moved it all.”

I rolled my eyes. “You can't find anything anyway,” I stated, then mimicked him. “I know I saved a widget fourteen years ago from this car that some old lady drove to church on Sunday and the store on Monday – that was it! Pristine parts!”

He narrowed his eyes. “Why are you so evil?”

“Mom says I get it from you,” I told him with a grin.

“Well, your mom has an evil streak, let me tell you,” he said, leaning back into his chair. “So what about my spare parts bay?”

“I found this old blue car – I was going to try and look it up, but it seems like an old VW. What is it?”

He chuckled. “That was your grandfather's. It's a Mark 1 Jetta. Last year before they went to a fatter body style. Your grandpa loved that thing. He used to pick you up and take you to baseball games at the little league and high school fields. Do you remember?”

A smile touched my lips. “Sort of. I remember the concession stand. Trying to catch foul balls. If you caught one and turned it in they gave you a freeze pop or something.”

He nodded and chuckled. With a sigh he said, “When his eyes got too bad he told me to save it, maybe for you. We parked it in there, and stuff just...accumulated.”

“Gee, wonder how that happened?” I asked.

He sniffed at me. “Evil. Your mother's whole side of the family was evil, you know.”

“That a fact?”

“You have no idea. I'm convinced your aunt Stella sacrificed the neighbor kids just because they were noisy. One year they were there, next – whole family is gone!”

“Didn't mom say they moved?” I asked doubtfully.

Dad pointed at me and with wide eyes said, “That's Stella's story. But what really happened? That's the real question.”

I put my hands up and laughed. “Okay, Pop.”

“Be home for dinner?” he asked.

“Yeah. I'm going to Luca's tonight. He's getting an apartment, so I'm going to help him pack a few things, I guess.”

“He's got enough for an apartment? What about school?” he asked with concern.

“His folks are paying for it. He's going to school, Pop. Relax,” I said with a chuckle.

“And you? You need to register.”

“Yeah. Um, how about I take off a day in the next couple weeks to go to the school?”

He smiled widely. “Good idea.”

I turned to go and then turned back. “About Gramp's car. Okay if I tinker with it?”

He hesitated a moment. “Only if you're not throwing parts away behind my back. As soon as you do, I'll need it and no one else will have one,” he said gravely.

“Uh huh,” I said with a knowing grin. I headed over to the bathroom and got washed up and changed. I grabbed my cell with the intent to text Benji, but was delighted to see he'd texted me. As I read the texts I began to frown; they went from a hello, to that he was on break and was I around and then into something along the lines of that he guessed he'd see me around. With all the things we'd talked about, my dad's work rules on cell phones hadn't been mentioned.

I headed out front and called him as I walked to my car. It rang several times and then went to voicemail. I frowned. I called again and Benji picked up with a tired voice.


“Were you sleeping?” I asked, wondering if I'd been rude to dial twice.

He sighed. “No. Just cooking. What's up?” His tone was bored. Or something like it – bored didn't seem quite right.

“I got your texts. I'm sorry – dad makes us lock the phones up during the day, so I'm kind of used to not checking it until the end of the day.”

“Oh. No big deal,” he said in that same dead tone.

“Listen. I'm going home for dinner, then I'm supposed to go to Luca's. You want to come with?”

“Uh, no, that's okay. I might go work at the club tonight. Make up some cash,” he replied dully.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“Yeah, fine. I have to drain the pasta. Talk to you later.”

I turned that all over on my way home. I was completely not thrilled with the way it had gone, and I was worried about him. His tone and demeanor were totally not like him. I was thinking of calling him back as I tossed my keys on my desk, but I got distracted by my sister.

“You bastard.”

I turned to look at her and frowned. “Don't say that shit to me,” I snapped.

Her eyes widened slightly and then narrowed. Great. She was going to be a full-on brat. “You're dating Benji Masterson.”

“Didn't I text you and say we'd have to talk?”

“That could mean anything!” she said loudly. “You should have told me!”

My temper boiled. “You don't have a right to know!”

Her eyes bulged. “You said you'd tell me!”

“And have I been home? Did you expect me to stop everything and call you so you could tell your little friends?”

Her face grew stormy. “I guess it was asking too much," she said, her tone slipping down into something nasty. “Couldn't pull out of him long enough to talk?”

I ground my teeth together. What a little bitch. “More like didn't want to. It's my life, my relationship – don't you have a guy too old for you with a car you're in love with?”

“When mom and dad find out about you and Benji they won't even notice when I sneak out to meet Jameison. He loves me.”

I took a step forward and she stumbled back a half-step. “He's sixteen with a car. He wants from you what he wants from every girl. As far as he's concerned his backseat is a mobile bed.”

Uncertainly flashed across her face. “Yeah, right. He's hotter than Ben. He's got money and a car.”

I tilted my head and closed the distance between us. “Then really, Annie, what does he need with you?”

Her eyes were wide – we didn't talk to each other like this. Oh, we'd argued – thrown shit, but this was personal. “I told you. He loves me.”

“What he loves is what you might do for him. Hand job. Blow job. Maybe climb into his backseat.”

“Isn't that what Benji wants?” she struck back.

I nodded. “And it's what Benji gets. But we're adults. We go into this understanding the situation. You? You see a boy with a car – whoopee – and a little money his parents give him and you think he's the one or something just as dumb – and you can't see it.”

Her expression hardened. “I'm telling mom and dad.”

“Go ahead. Because I'm telling them you're planning to sneak out with Jameison.”

“They won't believe you,” she said, sounding unconvinced.

“You willing to take that chance?”

She stared at me for a minute and then whirled, storming out of the room. I rubbed my tongue along my teeth and ran my fingers through my hair. Shit! What the hell was that all about? My parents weren't bigots. What did I care if they found out about Benji? It struck me that I wanted to keep it just for me for a bit longer. No, that wasn't quite right.

My parents had scheduled me within an inch of my life as a kid. Tutors. Practices. Extra worksheets. If it weren't that they believed in balance – mind and body – I'd never have gotten to play basketball. Luca and I had studied together, mostly because his folks were too busy for him. I lived through Luca when he told me about stuff he did with other people. When Julia and I started to date, I'd had to fight for a night to go out for a movie or just to hang out. If it weren't that dating is a development milestone, I'm not sure they'd have allowed it.

That had changed when I'd failed out of college. We'd talked about the 'why' of it. I felt despondent, but only when I had to explain it. I felt guilty about having wasted their money and disappointing them, but I had also felt – and still do – free. Released from my parents’ ideas of what I should become. I felt in control, which was dizzying, and I didn't want to let go of it. I was also feeling the pressure of having to go back to school and telling them it wasn't for medicine.

So, yeah, I didn't want them to know about Benji because I wanted to keep control from them a little bit longer. How fucked up am I? Or is that really fucked up at all?

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