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Third Place “The 2012 Phenomenon” Competition.

Playing By The Rules

Rules are made to be broken.

Every game needs rules and Jake and Beth’s year-long competition was no different. The rules of their game served a number of purposes; some were to ensure that an unfair advantage could not be gained by either player whereas others were simply to add a little extra fun and excitement to this long-haul contest. A few of the rules were in place to protect the players, the game coming, as it did, with its share of risks, both physical and mental. The most important rule, which they each took extremely seriously, was that their friendship not be compromised by, and that it take priority over, the game, no matter what.

The game would come to an end on the twenty-first of December 2012 - the end of the Mayan calendar and, allegedly, the world - and the winner would be declared as that competitor who had scored the most “points” by that date. While neither participant truly believed that the apocalypse was indeed nigh, they saw it as an opportunity, or rather an excuse, to inject some excitement into what might be their last days on Earth.


Beth was sitting on the edge of the bed, pulling unclean socks over unclean feet, when her phone beeped from within the pocket of her discarded jeans of the previous day. She staggered the few feet to retrieve them and dragged them unceremoniously up her legs before taking out the device to find a text message from precisely the person she suspected. Glancing back on the battleground of her latest victory one last time, she smirked and slipped silently out of the flat into a cold stairwell for which her attire left her ill-prepared. As Beth stepped into the sharp February morning, she returned to the message she had received and entered into the routine Saturday morning exchange.

Jake: Love the 3 for 2 rule! Best night of my life AND I take the lead. 

Beth: Pics or it never happened. 

Jake: Haha, might have known you wouldn’t believe me. I’ll do you one better, give me a minute. How did you get on last night anyway? 

Beth: Good. Very good… Show me what you’ve got then.

She had reached the bus stop by this time and could see the double decker which would return her to her studio flat and, more importantly, a warm, much-needed shower. Her phoned vibrated once more as the bus doors reluctantly opened for her. Beth retreated upstairs, eager to see what Jake had sent her. She winced slightly as she sat down on the back seat, as far as possible from the sole other traveler on the upper deck, and fished her mobile out once more to find she had been sent a video file accompanied by another message:

Jake: Both 18, crazy sexy. Kept me up all fucking night! Video was all their idea.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Beth opened the file and waited in excited anticipation of what she could hardly believe was to come. The poor quality image came through and Beth was suddenly confronted with nothing short of unashamedly full frontal amateur porn starring none other than her closest friend of more than eleven years. It was a few mesmerizing seconds and an unsubtle clear of the throat from the disgruntled passenger at the front before she thought to lower the volume on her phone.

She watched, entranced as Jake rutted away relentlessly with a cute blonde teen and then as the camera shifted to the masturbatory efforts of its presently neglected operator. The five minutes of what Beth had been informed was a sex marathon was easily worthy of a place on any reputable porn tube website; the hot, hardcore fucking would undoubtedly be ample jerk-off material for any spotty teenager with a bottle of lube and a box of tissues. Indeed, even Beth found her free hand drifting absentmindedly to her crotch as she watched and it was only the tender result of her own efforts to advance in the contest the previous night that stopped her.

Beth: Very impressive, Jacob. A porn star in the making. I’m afraid you still don’t take the lead though.

Jake: You’re kidding!? You had a threesome last night, too?

Beth: Not exactly…

This was the first invocation of the ‘Three For Two Rule’, established to reward exceptional efforts. It guaranteed a “bonus point” for engaging in a ménage à trois. Prior to the game, neither Beth nor Jake had partaken in this particular activity. Extraordinary, then, that they should both have encountered that milestone on the same evening, although Beth had, true to form, “one-upped” her good friend. Although she may not have recorded a video she had made sure to document her conquest so as not to be done out of hard-earned points.

Jake nearly spat out his drink when the image Beth sent him appeared on his screen. Beth’s pale, naked body contrasted starkly against the ebony wall created by the three tall, muscular gentlemen with whom she had evidently spent the evening, each grinning like nude idiots. The smug expression on his friend’s face was obviously meant for him but one’s eyes did not linger there long for they were inevitably drawn to three of the longest black cocks that Jake had ever seen either in real life or in pornography, dangling mockingly close to the knees of the large men. Jake could only shake his head in disbelief, genuinely humbled in defeat.

Jake: Brava, good woman! I tip my hat to you for funneling those hogs. Willing to bet you’re more than a little “sensitive” today though, haha.

Beth: You have no idea! Those boys don’t mess around; I may be out of action for the rest of the weekend. You free for lunch?

Jake: That will give me a chance to catch up. Meet you at Poppin’s at 1, my treat (you’ve earned it).

Beth: I should think so, too. See you then.

Jake looked back with a pang of envy at the picture of the horse-hung men who had brutalised Beth and felt his own dick stir as he imagined them passing her around like a fuck-doll and, one after another, ploughing her senseless. A cold finger ran down his naked back causing the hair on his arms to stand on end and sending a rush of blood southwards.

“Who you texting, handsome?” asked a seductive voice from his side accompanied by a gentle squeeze of his firm buttocks.

Placing his phone on the bedside table, Jake turned to face the insatiable blonde and ran his hand up her bare torso to grasp one of her breasts. “Just arranging lunch with a friend,” he replied before taking her in a heated kiss. He had hoped the girls would be game for a quickie before he had to leave.

“You’re not going yet, are you?” Gorgeous, suggestive blue eyes looked up at him, promising adequate recompense for a correct answer. The second appeared over her shoulder, lust in her equally alluring green eyes. With a hand lightly stroking his now full erection, Jake would have been powerless to refuse them even if he wanted to.

“I’ve got some time.”


“You got the time?”

Jake glanced at his watch, tilting his wrist towards the light to read it in the darkened room. “It’s just after ten.”

“Okay.” Beth scanned the nightclub and its sparse clientele contemplatively. “What do you say to double points for anyone who leaves with someone before eleven? Call it the ‘Early Bird Special Rule’.” Their laughs were drowned out by the obnoxiously loud music being piped into the room.

“That’s quite the challenge considering the slim pre-midnight pickings of this particular establishment,” Jake pondered, taking a sip of his beer, “But I suppose we could both use a bit of a challenge, huh? You certainly know how to keep it interesting, Elizabeth.”

“See any potential takers yet?” A particularly giggly gaggle of girls had just tottered in on six-inch heels; Beth fancied her mate’s chances with one of those beauties, even within the tight forty-five minute window she had given them.

“Well, I reckon my best chance of doubling my points lies with them at the edge of the dancefloor.” Beth had not even noticed the three poorly-dressed misfits awkwardly dancing at the far side of the club. They were, in Beth’s opinion, most definitely not of the calibre Jake could easily acquire.

“Talk about setting your sights low,” Beth scolded, exaggerating her displeasure at Jake’s less than ambitious targets, “Get yourself some standards, dear Jacob.”

Jake was nowhere near so modest as to think those girls were in his league but, lagging slightly in the rankings as he was, his only thought was scoring a few easy points. He found Beth’s abhorrence of the girls slightly bemusing and could only assume she meant to hinder his game by goading him into going after better quality girls.

“Why don’t you try that lot that just walked in?” Beth pressed, “They’re much fitter and much more ‘you’.” As she finished speaking, her own target for the evening caught her eye over Jake’s shoulder and, keenly aware of the passing of time, she was eager to get to work. “It’s your call though; I don’t care. Now, how’s my hair?”

“It’s perfect; go get him!” He watched her walk off towards the admittedly dishy stranger, temporarily captivated by her elegance, before returning to his beer to mull his options over. Bedding girls like those Beth had suggested took a lot more time (and money) but it would be an injustice to himself if he didn’t really challenge himself from time to time. Even if he missed the eleven o’clock cut-off, he could still get a point, and a decent lay, out of the night.

He zeroed in on one particular stunner with an air of sophistication - a tough nut to crack, he was sure. She was tall, even taking the heels into consideration, with perfect, sun-tanned legs and a divinely svelte body. Jake’s watch read 22:17; he really felt he deserved triple points if he could actually pull this off.

“I’m Jake.” She looked him up and down, intrigued. “I’m not usually so forward but… can I buy you a drink?” Immediately he felt he should have taken a different tact, perhaps broken the ice with a cheesy line to get the laughter going. He wasn’t usually so nervous but he knew the pressure was on.

The piercing eyes of the bewitching woman fixed on Jake’s and a wry smile appeared on her face. “I guess there can’t be much harm in that,” she replied, amused, “Mine’s a vodka and tonic; no ice. I’m Caroline.” She extended a slender hand which Jake took and kissed lightly, feeling the best approach now was to lay it on thick and hope for the best. Her faint blush told him he was right; all hope was not lost.

They remained at the bar, decidedly the part of the club least affected by booming speakers, and chatted a while, both flirting heavily. Caroline continually surveyed him, her eyes like a scanner searching for some giveaway clue to what he was really at. As soon as Jake had her laughing, he was confident of a point regardless of the time - laughter was the surest way he had yet found into a woman’s underwear.

While she excused herself, Jake checked his watch again - 22:48. He had to make his move now and get out of this club if he wanted that extra point, especially now that it looked as though Beth would be doubling up that night, too. Already she was draped over her chosen fellow and it seemed highly plausible that they would be leaving soon. Jake had to be careful to play this just right so that, even if he doesn’t get her out the door by eleven, he’s still able to close the deal at some point in the evening. If nothing else, he was really enjoying this girl’s company; she wasn’t the standard airhead he was so used to seducing into bed.

On her return, he was ready. “Y’know, this club scene isn’t really my thing; I just really came to please a friend.” He thought this approach might work as she didn’t seem like much of a clubber either. “Do you wanna get out of here and maybe go somewhere a bit quieter? There’s a great pub just down the road that’s open until one.” Perfectly executed, down to the coolly persuasive look which followed, and he would be disappointed not to get a bite.

“Well,” she began, definitely tempted and holding back a schoolgirl grin, “I’m technically on a girl’s night out, but…” He urged her on with his eyes, knowing she was teetering on the edge. “But they probably won’t even notice I’m gone; the club scene’s not really for me either.” Hook, line and sinker.

They made to leave and as they reached the door Jake looked at his wrist, basking in his victory as he read 22:57. Just then, Caroline turned to him almost nervously to say, “My flat’s actually just five minutes away and I’ve got a full bottle of vodka. We could… just head there, if you’d rather?” This was even better than Jake had bargained for; he must have made a bigger impression than usual.

“Yeah, sure; that sounds good.” Just then, Beth swanned past them, arm in arm with her exotic friend, and shot Jake an imperceptible wink. This game was becoming a real piece of cake for them both; even this seemingly impossible challenge had been pulled off by them both without a hitch. He led Caroline by the hand into the warm June evening and she squeezed his fingers tightly, hardly knowing what a night she was in for.

By the time they arrived at Caroline’s beautiful mid-town flat, the sexual tension between them had grown to breaking point and there was nothing to be done but take each other in a passionate clinch. Jake held her still shaking body close against his as they explored each other’s mouths for the first time. He sensed her hesitation and wanted to put her at ease, a skill he had honed over several years of one-night stands with uncertain participants.

“Calm down,” he smiled, rubbing her arms and gazing down at her warmly, “We’ll go at your pace.” This had the effect of making the woman think she was in control of the situation when, in fact, the very opposite was true. Jake topped off the “sensitive guy” act with a soft peck on the lips, lingering just long enough to leave her longing for more.

“It’s just…” she faltered, shuffling her feet, “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m just… nervous.” Placing her hand in his, she looked up at him sweetly. She was putty in his hands and, with one more kiss, she would let him do whatever the hell he wanted to her. For Jake, this was all just a twisted way of entertaining himself; Caroline was just a means to an end, another face in a long line of toys to be used then forgotten. To feel anything but cold indifference towards the women he fucked only left him susceptible to breaking the ‘Three Little Words Rule’, an offense for which the punishment was immediate disqualification.

At length, their lips met and she melted in his arms, physically submitting herself to this perfect stranger. He let his hand wander down her back, caressing her rounded ass, to the hem of her dress and stroked the bare skin of her thigh with a solitary digit. Breaking away, Jake gave her a warm, reassuring look, perfected over years of manipulating women into bed. It did its job - Caroline silently took his hand and led him down the hallway to the ajar door of the bedroom which was to be the setting for Jake’s next two points.

“I’ll be back in a second,” Caroline said softly, slinking away to her en suite, “Make yourself comfortable.” Once the door had clicked shut, Jake took out his phone to send Beth a quick text but found he had been beaten to the punch.

Beth: Nice work; she was hot. Come to mine for breakfast tomorrow, I’ll make victory pancakes.

Jake: Like taking candy from a baby. Have a fun night, see you in the morning.

Slipping his loafers off and removing his socks, Jake climbed onto the bed, his mind full of pancakes. He was just making a mental note to pick up syrup on his way to Beth’s when the bathroom door opened to reveal an incredibly sexy Caroline, clad only in a silky black teddy and the heels she had been wearing, attempting a look of confidence. Jake beckoned his plaything for the evening to join him atop the duvet.

Caroline mounted the bed at its foot and as she crawled up and over Jake’s body he felt his phone vibrate close to his growing arousal. Knowing it would be Beth, he smiled. A few hours later he would find it to read, ‘Bring syrup.’ The next morning he would be told over pancakes how it had been sent while she rode the “magnificent” eight inches of her Italian stud in the reverse cowgirl position.


By August, Beth and Jake had somehow managed to garner exactly the same number of points. It seemed that neither was able to build up a strong, solid lead; so fixated on outdoing each other were they that every time one of them scored, the other responded almost immediately. Knowing that they had to be on their toes at all times kept the game really fresh and exciting, even after several months of mindless casual sex.

One event at which they were both hoping to score a point or two was Beth’s parents’ silver wedding party. They each had a room booked at the luxurious hotel where the party was to be held and they fully intended to utilise them. Although they faced the obstacle of already knowing the majority of party guests, if not being related to them, they had the added confidence that comes from hours of preening and being dressed to the nines for this special night.

Jake had traveled with Beth’s family to the picturesque venue in the rural outskirts of the city. The car journey largely consisted of a barrage of questions courtesy of Beth’s father, who had always suspected that Jake was much more to his daughter than a best friend, and wholly inane chatter from her younger sister, Lydia. He had always been made to feel like part of their family and had spent many a Sunday afternoon lazing around their house and scrounging free food, especially on the last weekend before pay day.

The party was an elegant, black-tie affair and was, in Jake’s unheard opinion, ridiculously over the top. He dared not share this with Beth, the organiser, lest he experience her notorious wrath. The upside, from Jake’s point of view, of such an unnecessary palaver was the presence of numerous very shaggable girls serving guests with champagne flutes. Even within the first half hour, a particularly attractive red-head had been distracted from her duties to flirt with Jake.

Beth had not fallen so lucky, instead finding herself engaged in tedious pleasantries with distant family members to whom she was often not sure how she was related. The twenty-nine-year-old’s patience wore thin after the third time she had to ignore the inviting looks of some of the few genuinely eligible men there present. Of course, the ease with which Lydia seemed to avoid such awkward discourses with forgotten cousins only exasperated Beth further and heightened her resentment towards her lazy, irresponsible little sister.

With a flick of slightly wavy red hair and girlish giggle, Jake knew he was in with this bodacious twenty-something. As a point was more or less guaranteed, he contemplated the ways in which he might increase his score. He reckoned there were three rules he could cash in on to at least double his score for the evening - the ‘Early Bird Special Rule’, the ‘Three For Two Rule’ or the ‘Night Of Five Times Rule’. The first, although very achievable, did not seem like enough of a challenge for Jake; at 21:45 she was all but drooling as she stroked his bicep. Finding a second partner, while promising a very pleasing payoff, would be not only extremely difficult but also very risky; if the red-head didn’t go for it he could end up with no points at all. It was the latter score-booster which enticed Jake on this evening and, allowing his eyes to rove over the lithe body before him, he was certain it would be as much a pleasure as a physical trial.

As he strategized his evening’s entertainment, a flash of sheer brilliance illuminated in his mind. Cheesily kissing the hand of the blushing Kelly, Jake excused himself to confer with Beth. If he could work quickly, a frenzied fuck in the restroom would allow him to utilise the ‘Early Bird Special Rule’ as well as gain a ‘Triple P’, or ‘Public Place Point’. Then, at the end of the night and Kelly’s shift, they two would have had the time to regain their energy and could retire to Jake’s room for rounds two through five.

“Curse you, Jacob,” Beth seethed, downing the rest of her champagne, “That’s fucking brilliant! As long as you don’t sleep between the first and second fucks, I’ll have no reason to deny you four points.”

“I’ve learned from the best.” Jake winked at the astounded Beth, tremendously proud of his own scheming. “I’m just off to scope out the men’s room to see if we can get away with this without the poor girl losing her job.”

“So thoughtful,” she sneered after him, the reply to which was the flip of a middle finger. The increasingly tipsy Beth was genuinely impressed by Jake’s cunning and initiative, something he was not generally renowned for, and felt envious. The most action she had had was a gummy kiss on the cheek from Creepy Uncle Harold.

The lobby leading to the lavatories was deserted, an indication that there was only a small chance of being disturbed mid-coitus. He reached out to grab the polished brass handle of the men’s room door but his hand fell short as he was yanked backwards by the collar through a similar door adorned with a sign that read, ‘Ladies’. In his bewilderment he was overpowered by his mysterious captor. Before he had regained his senses, he had been flung into a bathroom stall and forced back against the wall in a steamy kiss, a brazen hand already cupping his manhood, which reacted accordingly.

“What the fuck?” he yelled when he eventually found the will-power to firmly remove the young woman from his face and hold her at arm’s length. “What do you think you’re doing, Lydia?”

“What I’ve wanted to do for years, Jacob.” Her hand, still on his crotch, began to massage his hardening cock through the pristinely pressed trousers. The use of his proper name caught Jake off guard and he neglected to say anything for a moment, instead staring in befuddlement at the girl he had met when she was just nine years old, now a beautiful, albeit slutty, woman. Lydia’s likeness to her sister had never been so striking in all the time he had known them and it was that that had rendered him temporarily mute.

Jake’s hold on Lydia’s shoulders loosened and, as slender fingers nimbly dealt with the obstacles of zip and underwear, a dozen of his thoughts tried and failed to materialize as words of protest or even confusion. He knew Beth would not afford him the luxury of finding out if the Mayans were right if he went through with this but somehow he couldn’t find it in himself to stop the desirous harlot about to fellate him. Her big, brown eyes, so familiar to him, met his just before her mouth engulfed his entire length, eliciting a gasp, and it was as though being put under a spell of paralysis. His eyes rolled back and his knees weakened as she began an adept blow job. So dreadfully taboo and, consequently, terribly arousing was the situation, not to mention the impressive skill of Lydia’s practiced mouth, that Jake felt within minutes an orgasm begin to bubble up inside him.

Lydia slid her hand around him to clench his buttocks tightly and pulled him into her, forcing his erection deep into her throat effortlessly. Jake ejaculated with force, his knees buckling entirely leaving only the wall behind him to hold him up. He had had a lot of orgasms but rarely were they so all-consuming and powerful. As she withdrew and Jake’s drained member popped out of her mouth, that devilish smile possessed her face once more and she licked her lips clean of him.

“Come to room four-three-three tonight at one o’clock,” she instructed in a whisper, “The room next to my sister’s.” She left him standing there, panting lightly, his trousers still undone and his hanging limply, dripping onto the bathroom floor.

“Fuck!” he exhaled.

He felt nauseous at the thought of telling Beth what had happened but he knew that a secret like that had the potential to destroy their friendship from the inside, so better that it be out in the open at the earliest opportunity. With a sharp intake of breath, he braced himself for the onslaught of abuse and profanities about to be directed his way.

His hands trembled on the table as he told her, constantly avoiding her penetrating gaze. Shame and guilt laced his words; he had let Beth down and he could not see, at this time, a way of repairing the damage. She didn’t say a word throughout the entire, painful story, with certain details wisely omitted, and when he was done she bore the grim expression of a disapproving school teacher. An uncomfortably long pause followed, during which Jake was all but cowering under her stare.

“I’m going to kill that little slut!” Beth screamed, rising to her feet to the bewildered looks of more than a few nearby revelers. Jake, slightly taken aback himself, jumped up in time to prevent her from charging through the hotel to find and destroy her younger sister, calmly reseating his enraged best friend. While her fury was no surprise at all, hardly had he expected that anger to be primarily directed at Lydia rather than himself.

“Look,” he began, restraining her closed fists in his hands, “I understand that you’re mad with us and I never should have…”

“I’m not mad at you,” Beth shouted incredulously, as though he were an idiot for thinking so. “A girl starts giving you a blow job, you don’t stop her - I get it. But that little whore…” Beth’s beautiful brown eyes seemed to turn to red as she thought about her sister’s betrayal. “She did this just to get at me; she knows you’re off limits.”

“Oh.” Jake was dumbfounded by her response but, amid his confusion, tried to savour the relief he felt at not being subject to Beth’s wrath. “So, we’re okay?”

“You really are such a girl sometimes, Jacob. Of course we’re okay, as long as you don’t sleep with that spiteful trollop. Oh, and you’re so not getting a ‘BJ Half-Point’ for that.” He laughed tentatively, still wary of her volatility. “Fair enough, I think,” he said, grabbing a napkin to mop the nervous sweat from his brow.

“Just wait ‘til I get my hands on that tramp,” Beth muttered, scanning the room for Lydia, scarcely heeding Jake any more.

“Wait,” Jake interjected, his cognition returning to normal function as the storm appeared to have passed, “Why am I off limits to Lydia but she’s not off limits to me?”

Beth snapped out of her preoccupation with imparting serious physical pain to her sibling and she stammered, her cheeks reddening at his question, “Because, well, you’re not… and she’s… Oh, never mind that; isn’t that the redhead you’re hoping to do the dirty with tonight?” Jake’s head turned rapidly to see the gorgeous waitress he had nearly forgotten a few tables away, coyly sneaking glances at him. “You better act quick,” Beth continued, looking up at the grand clock on the wall, “Not long before the ‘Early Bird Special Rule’ expires.”

His wristwatch read 22:37 and, cursing Lydia for nearly messing up his game plan for the evening, he abandoned Beth again, satisfied that he was in the clear for his indiscretion, only slightly worried that he had not been left with enough “recovery time” to execute what he had dubbed the ‘Four Point Play’. As it turned out, he had been, and Jake enjoyed one of the most delightfully carnal evenings of the year with the breathtakingly kinky Kelly, the pelvic floor of whom was to be reckoned with.

The next morning, a new rule was proposed, perhaps needlessly, by Jake - the ‘Family Heirlooms Rule’. It decreed that family members, up to and including first cousins, aunts and uncles, of either competitor could be “looked at but never handled”. Though history was unlikely to repeat itself, Jake felt this rule would act as a concrete safeguard against unnecessary family strife and tension between the friends.

“Probably just as well,” Beth joked, biting into her croissant, “Ed’s been giving me the eye for weeks and I was beginning to get a little tempted.”

Jake looked at her seriously and answered in a low tone, “My brother is a married man with two beautifu-”

“Relax, Jacob; I’m not going to touch your brother,” she stopped him before he worked himself up into an irrational frenzy, pondering for only a moment the fine physique of his hunky older brother, “I was talking about Ed, your dad.” Seeing Jake almost burst a blood vessel during the five-minute rant which followed was well worth the orange juice he sprayed across her face at that comment. She knew just how to wind him up.


Jake held a comfortable lead for around three months that, continuing an unprecedented sex spree, filling condom after condom. Beth, however, was struggling through an unfortunate bout of low sex drive and failing to match his pace. When she had gone over two weeks without scoring a single point, Jake started to worry about her but she brushed his inquiries off, boldly asserting that her dry spell would soon come to an end and that she would be hot on his heels in no time.

It was in mid-November, when out at a bar with some friends from work, that Beth met a man who would prove to be a certifiable game-changer - an accountant named Gregg. She spied him at once across the half-filled pub, and almost immediately determined that he would be the one to break her inexplicable and insufferable run of celibacy. He carried the rare air of a true gentleman, even without saying a word; Beth loved nothing more than to break so-called gentlemen and unveil the dirty, little, pull-your-hair-and-smack-your-ass fuckers that inevitably resided within.

Gregg was, as expected, very charming on first meeting; well-spoken, polite, not in need of much coercion to buy Beth a drink. To her slight dismay, he was not quite so malleable as she was used to and she found it difficult to penetrate his clean-cut exterior. He was unyielding to her standard set of tricks and, indeed, she occasionally felt as though she were being made to work for his attention. Within half an hour, she found herself so frustrated with her lack of progress, despite their altogether congenial interaction, that she sought advice from Jake.

Beth: Sights set on a guy but very tough nut to crack. I won’t give up but he’s just not biting at anything. Any advice?

Jake: How the mighty have fallen. Never thought I’d see the day you wanted my advice. Sounds like you want it more than him so just play it cool.

Beth: It’s hard when I’m horny for the first time in weeks but I’ll back off a bit. Cheers.

The truth was, she did want it more than Gregg; she was completely besotted with him. It was, in a sense, a relief to her to feel like that again, to want. She imagined part of the attraction was his imperviousness to her wiles but, more than that, it was his genuine nature - no hidden agenda or “game”, just a nice guy who could hold a good conversation. He made her laugh; he made her forget she was trying to fuck him.

They passed an hour at the bar, just getting to know each other. Beth was captivated by this enchanting man; sex was not at the forefront of her mind, although she couldn’t deny her lust for him. In a pause in the conversation, he turned on his stool to look her in the face, his dreamy eyes fixing her in place. Her mouth was slightly agape as she unconsciously leaned towards him, lost in the moment, when he said, “I better get back to my friends.”

She willed the world to swallow her up right there and then. There she was, practically drooling on this guy and he could not have played it more indifferently. An awkward pause was poorly recovered by her less than convincing reply, “Yeah, of course… me, too.” She looked over to her friends and then to her shoes, her ordinarily admirable confidence shattered with a line.

“But I’d really like to see you again,” he carried on. She didn’t look up, worried she might blush for the first time in a decade, but smiled inwardly. “So, can I have your number and I’ll call you tomorrow?”

“Why don’t you give me yours?” Beth needed to regain some kind of control, for her own sake, and managed to muster enough wits about her to at least do this right.

Gregg scribbled his number on a beer mat and handed it to her. “Enjoy the rest of your night. I look forward to your call.” His hand lightly grazed her bare shoulder as he walked back to his party, sending an electric pulse down her spine, exciting her. She dared not look after him, though she desperately wanted to, sipping her drink for a few minutes more before composing herself just enough to rise and make her way to the toilets.

Splashing water on her face did naught to quell the heat he had induced in her. The mirrored image of herself told her what to do to prevent an evening of uncomfortable sexual longing. The very thought made her feel both dirty and alive; a thirst for the risqué which had for too long lay dormant had been revived. Beth slid into the stall furthest from the door and secured the lock, lifting her skirt to expose her moist pussy to the cool air of the restroom. It had been some time since she had rubbed one out in the dirty washroom of a pub but, in light of her present need to get off, Beth was none too fussy about the where of it all.

She leaned with her left hand against the cistern, heels planted firmly on either side of the toilet, and began to run the middle finger of her right hand along her moist lips. Increasing the pressure, she teased out her throbbing clit, the first touch electrifying, and massaged it gently for a moment. She could scarcely believe how wet her interaction with Gregg had gotten her. The thought crossed her mind to liberate her trusty vibe from her purse but the risk of being heard by a workmate was too great; this had to be a manual job.

With virtually no resistance whatsoever, her digitus tertius sank into her entrance as far as it would go, stroking her inner walls before gliding easily back out. Beth raised the finger to her mouth and sucked it clean, vainly savouring the taste of herself. A narrow stream of juices had begun to flow down the inside of her thigh, cool against her warm skin. Her chest heaved lightly as her body grew impatient, needing her touch, needing a release; it would be cruel to deny herself any longer.

Two fingers went in just as smoothly as one but three provided a much more pleasurable sensation, with the palm of her hand just catching her sensitive nub occasionally as she finger-fucked herself in a public house. The heaviness of her breathing grew with the speed and intensity of her own hand and low gasps periodically escaped her mouth. Her eyes were closed, allowing her mind to wander and create; her firm stance weakened as a climax built within. When she was close enough, her coated fingers refocussed on her now swollen clitoris, rubbing and frigging furiously towards her happy ending. The merciless orgasm ripped through her to every extremity, causing her to collapse onto the toilet seat, her hips still spasming. A soothing, satisfied glow overcame her as the ecstasy subsided, leaving Beth smiling and breathless.

“Fuck!” she exhaled.


The date was fairly standard, as first dates go - good food and plenty wine; flowing conversation and shared laughter; a little flirtation and occasional innuendo. Unfortunately, the power lay completely with him once again as Beth reverted to her schoolgirl self, incapable of deploying the plot of seduction she had earlier devised. Whether or not they would sleep together was, at the point of dessert, entirely up to him, a situation in which Beth had never before found herself and one she found extraordinarily frustrating. She cursed her own juvenility as she heard herself giggle at his witty anecdote; the respect Jake had for her would have all but vanished in that moment were he there to witness her woeful behaviour.

Beth knew, though, that the success or failure of the night lay in how it ended. Like the gentleman he had proven himself to be, Gregg saw Beth all the way to her door and, a la every cheesy American romantic comedy, they shared that awkward moment that sometimes precedes a first kiss and is sometimes followed by a confidence-shattering handshake and the unspoken assurance that there would be no second date. Beth’s breath was most definitely bated as she stood on her stoop, painfully unsure of whether Gregg would disappoint or delight.

“I had a really nice time, Beth,” he said to her, taking her hand in his, “Thanks for calling me.” This didn’t sound to her like it was about to segue into the kiss that she wanted or the hours of torrid sex she craved; she mentally located her biggest dildo and favourite pornographic DVD in readiness for the lonely night of tearful, masturbation that almost certainly lay ahead of her. Gregg looked at her, his impenetrable eyes promising, she thought, to leave her wanting.

There was a pull at her hand and he drew her body towards his; her mouth parted as her heart rate quickened, so close she could feel his breath. He leaned, she leaned and it happened - their eyes closed as their lips locked in a prolonged kiss with a tasteful amount of tongue. Beth’s body went slightly weak but she held herself up, aided by Gregg’s hands around her waist, by sheer force of the kiss, losing herself in the moment she had only imagined for the past week. In that moment, she felt she had won.

When it ended, Gregg looked at her emotionlessly, much to her moist-pussied frustration. This guy was either the biggest cock-tease, figuratively speaking, or he had the most genuinely unreadable face. In either case, Beth was again left at his mercy, dumbly waiting on him to make his next move, if there was one. Her animal desire to ravish him there and then was only kept under wraps by the mysterious, irritating power he somehow wielded over her.

“Goodnight, Beth.” Nothing in his tone, facial expression or body language indicated an inclination to spend the night, starkly in contrast to Beth’s pleading eyes and tight grasp on his hand.

“You could come up” Beth began, a hint of desperation in her voice, “For a nightcap?” Immediately she felt an idiot but she knew she’d have beaten herself up all night for not asking him anyway.

Gregg laughed, not mockingly but with kindness, and caressed her reddened cheek with a finger. “I shouldn’t,” he replied. He pressed his lips against hers and, for the first time, Beth knew he wanted her, too. “But I will call you, be sure of it.” After watching him drive off, she spent a few minutes more on her doorstep, breathing in the wintry air and contemplating the evening, already looking forward to that promised phone call.

Her phone buzzed with a message as she collapsed on her bed, her head sickeningly full of Gregg. This was not going to be an easy one to explain to Jake - he was definitely expecting a good boning story in the morning and the story she had for him would only be considered mushy bullshit.

Jake: Hope you’re getting fucked right now; don’t let me down. See you at Poppin’s tomorrow for all the juicy details.

Knowing he had planned a quiet evening with no point-scoring on the agenda, Beth decided to phone him rather than get into a long, vexing text discussion. She suddenly felt embarrassed at the end result of her date. This was not how she operated; this was not how she usually played it and she felt she had let them both down. She was nervous about having to defend herself to him, fully aware that she was not playing a good game.

“Oh, dear,” Jake answered the phone, a hint of smugness in his voice, “Either we went home alone this evening or this guy’s a bit quick off the mark, so to speak. Bad times, either way.” Beth sighed, beginning to undress as she spoke. “The former, thank goodness. I asked him up but he was being a gentleman or something. Don’t worry; it is, without a doubt, a sure thing the next time.”

“The next time?” Jake was astonished at the proclamation that she was going to give this another go. “Is this guy really worth another night when you could be hitting the student bars and snapping up some young meat. I say you forget this ‘gentleman’.”

“No,” she responded, almost too quickly, “I’m not giving up; it’s a matter of pride now. If I don’t get him, it will bug me forever.” Jake was right, of course, but she was certain she wouldn’t be able to refuse Gregg when he called the next day anyway. It was something she needed to do.

“I’m just saying, it seems like a waste of time to me, especially now that we’ve only got a month left.” He sounded almost concerned for Beth although it was more likely that he was simply bored with his comfortable lead. “You’ve only got one more shot with his guy,” he seemed to boldly declare, “So you better get it right.”

Beth was right affronted that Jake, best friend or not, thought he could put restrictions on the length of time she could take to bed a guy and stood as she tartly inquired, “What do you mean, ‘only one more shot’?”

“Elizabeth, have you forgotten your own ‘Third Time’s The Charm Rule’?”

As it happened, she had forgotten said rule. It stipulated that a player could not pursue a point after the third meeting with the target. They had both agreed, as well as preventing stalker-like behaviour on their part, it protected against the possibility of accidentally falling into a relationship.

“Look, Jacob…” She sounded tired as she mentally admitted to herself what she must now admit verbally to him. “My heart’s not in this stupid game any more; it hasn’t been for a while now.”

“‘This stupid game’?” Jake sounded positively incensed at her words, as though taking them as a personal insult. “This game was your idea, Elizabeth, and you didn’t think it was so ‘stupid’ when you were getting laid two and three times a week.”

“Well, maybe I’m sick of sleeping with strangers!” she burst out, matching his intensity, “We’ve been doing this since high school, Jacob; maybe it’s time we grew up. We’re twenty-nine years old and neither of us have had a relationship that’s lasted more that three months - that’s fucked up!”

“That’s not fucked up; it’s just how we are,” Jake argued, “Where the hell is all this coming from?”

Her exasperation grew. “I can’t do this any more. I don’t want to fuck my way through my thirties, too. I’m done with this game we play, Jacob; I’m done.” Beth’s voice broke at her last two words and she started to cry, buried emotions allowed to overflow.

“You can’t just quit, Elizabeth!” he yelled, enraged almost to the point of tears himself, “You can’t just leave me.” A silence followed these words, a poignant pause marking the end of… something.

“I can’t do this,” she whimpered, “You win.” She hung up before he could reply and immediately burst into floods of tears. She lay atop her bed and sobbed herself to a restless sleep.


Jake shook the snow from his hair as he entered the busy café. The clock above the counter told him he was five minutes late; he cursed the weather that had caused his tardiness. It had always been his intention to turn up but he was realistic about the probability of his being stood up. Simply ordering “the usual”, he looked across the room to their usual table to see someone watching him rather intently with an expression of nervous gladness.

Beth needn’t have been nervous for it was not she, in Jake’s opinion, who had acted wrongly. There had, in honesty, been little hope on her part that she might not dine alone that morning and it was with trepidatious relief that she watched him enter Poppin’s to keep his long-standing appointment with her. The look he gave her from across the diner was serious; his face had lost its usual brightness that always picked up Beth’s mood.

“I didn’t think you were going to come,” she said hesitantly as he removed his thick, long coat and took his seat opposite her. He was looking thin, she noticed, and the bags beneath his eyes gave away the many night’s sleep he hadn’t had. It worried her that Jake, ordinarily a poster boy for healthy living, was now looking so worn and tired.

There was no response for a minute as Jake settled into his seat and clasped his hands on the table, looking at her, studying her. His dull eyes took in every detail of Beth, as though making up for the weeks they had been denied the sight of her. Half a smile crossed his face when their eyes met, hers searching for a clue of what he was thinking, his savouring the moments he had missed.

“I’m sorry,” he breathed out at length, wanting to avert his gaze but holding her stare determinedly. The words surprised her a little and he went on before she could respond, “I got so caught up in that stupid fucking game that I just lost all perspective. I was obsessed with it because…”

“Where have you been?” Beth asked suddenly, regaining her wits, “I’ve been calling you for weeks and you haven’t been in your flat. Your brother didn’t even know where you were.” There was deep concern in her voice, born of weeks of worry and fear. “I was beginning to think the worst until your dad called and told me he had heard from you.”

He couldn’t look at her while he told her about his last month. His phone had shattered on impact with the wall when Beth had hung up that night and he had gotten a new one but, obviously, not shared his number with her. Shame and embarrassment had taken him on a bender for a few days, the only way he knew how to cope. When he eventually allowed himself to sober up, he found that he had to go on an unexpected two-week business trip. Jake was good at his job and was easily able to lose himself in it to escape whatever he didn’t want to deal with in his personal life.

“And for the past week,” he concluded, still focussed intently on his own thumbs, “I’ve just been sorting out some paper work before I get off for Christmas.” There was a pause as they both simultaneously remembered that they had planned to spend Christmas Day together at Beth’s place, just the two of them. “Although,” Jake continued, amused at his own thought, “I probably shouldn’t worry too much seeing as the world is going to end in about three hours.”

They both laughed, glad of something to break the tension but, at the same time, reminded of why they were there in the first place. This was the last day of the competition and they had planned to compare tallies and declare the winner before the scheduled 11.11am apocalypse. There had been no points scored since their last phone conversation though - Gregg had never gotten that second date, despite numerous unanswered calls, and some self-reflection had made Jake almost sick at the thought of another one-night stand, even during the drug-addled few days that followed immediately.

Their breakfasts arrived, rescuing what was about to become an awkward silence. For the first time in their relationship, Beth didn’t know what to say to Jake. She had never seen him in such a state; it was always her that was the mess. When he smiled at her, though, she knew they would be alright - theirs was an enduring friendship, a bond too strong to be torn apart by an idiotic game. The reality remained, however, that that idiotic game had changed the dynamic of their relationship forever and that they would have to find a new way.

They ate in silence for a few minutes, neither quite themselves. It was Beth that spoke first, seeing an opportunity to start afresh. “I have a proposal: if we survive the day, then we both agree that the game never happened. We put it in the past and leave it there; deal?”

Jake swallowed what he was chewing and looked across at Beth’s staunch expression thoughtfully. It was everything he wanted; he had spent so long worrying that the game had ruined them beyond repair. “Deal,” he agreed firmly, “As of eleven minutes past eleven today, it never happened. And no more games, ever.”

“Agreed,” Beth beamed at him, perceiving the first meaningful spark of what they used to have. Watching Jake, she was filled with the well-known but nameless feeling she had when around him, the absence of which over the past four weeks had given her a depressing sense of incompleteness.

“Jacob, are you working today?” Beth asked when they had both finished their meals.

“I was going to go in for a few hours this afternoon if I’m not dead.” His face remained deadpan as he offhandedly accepted the possibility of his imminent mortality. “Why?”

“I’m off and I was gonna ring in the apocalypse by watching It’s A Wonderful Life… and maybe a bottle of wine; wanna hang out?”

“Wine? It’s not even nine o’clock yet!” he scolded, returning her broad grin. “But I suppose I’m in.”

They exchanged a warm look, their faces brightened by their renewed friendship, and Beth spoke quietly. “I don’t like not talking to you; let’s not do that again, okay?”

“Okay, Elizabeth,” Jake laughed, pulling her into a rib-cracking hug.


Beth picked up the remote for the DVD player and joined Jake on the two-seater couch, taking a few seconds to find a comfortable way to lean against him before pressing the play button. He placed an arm around her shoulder as she cuddled into him, both feeling content and relieved.

“You know, if the world does end,” she said, pausing long enough to let Jake’s imagination kick in, “We won’t get to see the end of this.”

“That’s alright, I’ve seen it already.” He leaned down to kiss her on top of her head, letting her know and reassuring himself that their relationship was solid, momentarily enjoying the flowery scent of her hair.

She turned her head towards him; their eyes locked and their smiles disappeared, replaced by an intense look of mutual realisation. After twelve years they were done playing games; done pretending. For over a decade they had been building up these rules to protect themselves from each other, from being vulnerable. With a look, the barriers came down and the “rules” were forgotten; all fears vanished in that instant and they were finally ready to accept the consequences of their desires, whatever they might be.

Their first, long-awaited kiss, fueled by years of tamed desire, was fiery with passion. Beth shifted into a lusty clinch with Jake, whom she had wanted to suck the face off since the drunken, underage party they had met at. Too many lonely nights had she lay in bed, dreaming of this very moment, of these very lips, of this very man. She was done with dreaming; now it was time to experience the real thing, to have her Jacob.

He lifted her with strong arms so that she straddled him, never breaking their fervent kiss, and ran his big hands all over her petite body, something he had thought of doing countless times. Everything about this moment felt right to him, natural. Beth lifted her arms for him to remove her shirt and expose the radiant skin of her torso; his cock roused beneath her as his hand slid up over her breasts. His own shirt was untucked with a vigorous tug and little hands were blindly and frantically unfastening the buttons.

The pair wasted little time in removing the rest of their clothes, a dozen years of pent-up lust affording them no patience whatsoever, the various articles landing all around the room until they each sported only their underwear. Lying on top of Jake on the couch now, Beth reached down and wrapped her fingers around his stiff shaft, wet at the thought of it inside her. Jake’s hands had crept under the waistband of her underwear and were cupping her taut buttocks. Meanwhile, their tongues undulated rhythmically in their mouths, each toying with the other in an erotic, salivary tango.

Sensing Jake’s mild discomfort on the sofa half his length, Beth stood and pushed the mess of hair out of her face to reveal a beckoning smile, gracefully and sexily removed her now damp panties and lay out on the faux sheepskin rug on the floor, inviting Jake with her eyes. Less gracefully, Jake jumped up from the couch, yanking off his boxer shorts as he went, and knelt down on the carpet over her, his turgid cock pressing against her pubes as he leaned in to kiss his gorgeous best friend. No amount of fantasising had really prepared either of them for this and the two sexually adept adults felt as virginal teenagers on the verge of an unforgettable milestone. Jake’s hand trembled a little as he ran his fingers up, over and into her slick pussy; her breath was quick and she gave him a nervous, wanting look, smiling to give him the final go-ahead.

Lips lightly touched the inside of each of her thighs as Beth spread her legs wider apart, leaving Jake under no illusion as to what she needed from him. Stealing a taste of her, he returned to their kiss and positioned himself for entry, teasing her clit with the tip of his dick for a short time until she looked at him with half-pleading, half-demanding eyes, wanting him so much it ached. In he slid, evoking a gasp, pushing deeply into her inch by inch until he could go no further. They could have stayed in that perfect, indelible moment for eternity, their two bodies at last one, meant for each other.

With a raunchy kiss, they began to move in rhythm with one another, each reacting harmoniously to the other’s touch like no one had before. Elizabeth grabbed and squeezed her breasts as Jake’s thrusts grew in frequency and ferocity, her hips rising with each one to draw him deeper. The sensation to her was incredible, his movements hitting the right spot every time, like their bodies were paired to deliver pleasure. Moans became whimpers and whimpers became yelps of delight; Jake fucked her like a porn star but made her feel like a goddess.

The pleasure snowballed within her, his intensity leaving no window for subsidence, until she was grasping handfuls of the rug underneath her, sure that the imminent orgasm would have force enough to push Jacob clean out of her. Her eyes were squeezed tightly closed and she was all but screaming, about to be tipped inelegantly over the top when he stopped, followed a few seconds later by her gyrating hips. She barely knew what had happened but she had been picked up and flipped over so that she now looked down on Jake, straddling him again with his solid erection buried deep within her enflamed cunt. He really was as good as he often boasted, if not better.

She felt his heartbeat as she placed her hands on Jacob’s chest and her pelvic muscles tightened involuntarily around his throbbing cock; for some reason it seemed like the sexiest thing in the world to her. Letting her hair cascade onto his pectorals, Elizabeth started to rise and fall, feeling utterly in tune with him and sensing very quickly the return of her abandoned orgasm. A few minutes later, she had reached that point again but this time she had the control and the hands on his chest were now, rather than a support for her, a restraint for him; nothing would prevent her from coming hard onto his stiff dick this time. The forceful wave of ecstasy that rippled through her whole body was accompanied by a shrill cry of his name, piercing the air thick with the smell of sex. Jacob continued to pump upward into her as she rode it out, prolonging her unbridled pleasure.

Jacob sat up, wrapping his arms around her in a sweaty, sloppy kiss between heavy breaths, and then got to his feet whilst still inside Elizabeth. Clinging to his neck and tightly gripping his body with her legs, she looked at him with a raised eyebrow, impressed and surprised. Holding her tenderly yet securely, he began to slide her up and down on his swollen shaft, energetically pounding her tender pussy towards his own release. He could feel her breasts against his skin and her lips exploring his neck and shoulder and chest while he fucked her like she deserved to be fucked.

His balls tightened and his body tensed, nails digging into the cheeks of Elizabeth’s rear, as with three strong, purposeful thrusts he released a hot, thick torrent into her. Spurt after spurt was unleashed until his cock gave a final twitch and, with a heavy sigh, he collapsed onto the couch, Elizabeth landing lightly atop him and kissing his lips firmly. She rolled off of him, allowing a stream of juices to flow from her and slowly down her inner thighs, and she cuddled into him again, just like at the start of the movie, both panting heavily.

The wall-mounted clock opposite them read 11:10 when Jacob turned to Elizabeth and said, “I guess you win the game then.” “How do you figure?” She looked puzzled, knowing that he definitely had more points than her.

“Well, I’m disqualified,” he started, smiling at her cute, confused face, “Because I love you, Elizabeth.”

Confusion changed instantly to delight and a steady flow of tears. “We’re both losers then,” she asserted, wiping her face with the back of her hand, “Because I love you, too, Jacob.” They embraced and kissed; at long last, friends became lovers and the clock on the wall changed to 11:11, ending the game with no players, but two winners.

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