I wanted to thank Lucy and Erotica For All for asking me to guest blog today. More Than Friends was my first published piece of fiction. It was published by Cobblestone Press, LLC. This is my first ever book blog tour. I am learning a ton and meeting all sorts of great people. It’s been great fun!
Everyone loves friends-to-lovers stories! We all like to watch two people that already know each other realize that their friendship is more. Why is that?!? What is so intriguing about that situation!?!
I think it is because all of us have all had that person in our life! We have had that person that we called a friend… that we trusted with our secrets and fears… that knew our good and bad sides… that made us laugh when nothing else could or held us when we cried…and then one day, that same person walked into a room and caused the butterflies to flutter in our stomach or desire to course through our body.
How, and if, it blossoms is different for each friendship. Sometimes the attraction is always there from the minute the two people meet and become friends but other aspects of life prevent the friendship from moving to more. Sometimes the attraction isn’t immediately apparent but develops over time. Sometimes the two people act on the attraction and end up in their happily ever after… and other times the relationship is an utter failure and it’s a struggle to even hang on to the remaining strands of the friendship. And a lot of times… we don’t act on the attraction at all for whatever reasons and always wonder about what could have been! But in some fashion, we have all had our version of Brian Hamilton from my novella, More Than Friends. Yes… even me!
It is exciting to explore sex with someone you have known for a good part of your life… someone you trust with your life… someone you know respects and cherishes you because there is a solid friendship at stake. All the sexual fumbles and mistakes are easier to handle when it’s someone that has already seen you at your worst and knows how remarkable you are at your best. It can be incredible to know that you can explore some avenues you maybe never would because the person on that exploration with you already has your trust, so you can let go of some inhibitions and reservations. And, of course, the basis of any good, real relationship is friendship… we all know that! So that’s what made me want to write Jeni and Brian’s story.
Some parts of Brian Hamilton’s character were loosely based on a very good friend of mine. Some aspects of More Than Friends had roots in my own life that I explored more thoroughly through my writing. My friend and I grew up together in our small Ohio town. We knew each other very early in our lives and had been friends since we were able to walk. Our grandparents were good friends and used to joke with us that we were bound to be married to each other. As we got older and entered our teenage years, our friendship grew stronger, but there was an obvious physical attraction between us. More than once over those years, we crossed the line beyond just friends and discovered a lot about each other and life. I remember those moments in my life fondly and always, always with a smile.
So writing Jeni and Brian’s story was fun because I could relate to both characters. I could understand the excitement, the attraction and of course, the hesitation. I knew what held them back. I knew what was at stake. But I also knew what I could create from their friendship… and so I did. I hope you enjoy Jeni and Brian’s ride to more than friends.
Jeni Acerna’s longstanding sexual relationship with her best friend, Brian Hamilton, is both blissful and troublesome. She’s been unable to commit herself to another relationship because no one compares to Brian in or out of bed.
Prior to attending a friend’s wedding together, they place a wager…the first to beg for sex owes the other $500. After a tortuous night, their passion erupts and their sexual relationship picks up where it left off…hot and heavy. However, this time, Brian wants Jeni… and not just in his bed. Can he convince her the risk is worth taking?
Chapter One More Than Friends
Staring out the tiny airplane window, Jeni Acerna watched as the vehicles below transformed into matchbox cars and the slight cityscape of Tampa soon became a miniature play set. She was on her way to Cleveland for her college roommate Bethany’s wedding…alone.
Jeni had recently ended yet another relationship. Stephen Weller. He was a corporate attorney at a large firm in Tampa, Florida, working his way to senior partner. Handsome. Intelligent. And addicted to his work. He had to actually schedule time for Jeni on his Outlook calendar. Even when they had some time together for dinner or such, she had to regularly battle for attention with his iPhone. Jeni did not consider herself high maintenance. She was a small town Ohio girl, who moved to Florida like many northerners. She did not need constant attention. But she never expected to have to call her boyfriend’s secretary in order to arrange a dinner date with him. Stephen was reluctant to let the relationship go. He told her he truly enjoyed their time together, even if it was minimal. Jeni had some reluctance as well. She was twenty-eight years old and several relationships deep. But she wanted a relationship that involved spending time together and allowed for some spontaneity. At this point in Stephen’s career, that was not going to be possible. They went their separate ways.
It looked as if Jeni would be attending Bethany’s wedding solo. Not a big deal. Several of their college friends would be there, so Jeni would know more than enough people to keep her from feeling lonely. But a part of her dreaded the thought of going without a date. Many of her college friends were either married or engaged. Weddings were a great reminder that she was still so very far from having one of her own.
Instead of sulking to the wedding single, Jeni did what she inevitably did every time she traveled back home to Ohio—she called Brian Hamilton. Brian and Jeni grew up together. They had been best friends, but Brian had always been more than a friend. He was Jeni’s sex addiction and perhaps one of the big reasons none of her romantic relationships seemed capable of succeeding. She either compared her boyfriend at the time to Brian or could not keep herself from fucking Brian when she saw him.
“Hey, Jeni,” Brian said. He answered the phone in his usual cheerful manner.
“Hey, Bri,” Jeni replied. She was grateful to hear his voice, even though it had only been a couple weeks since they had actually spoken. “How are you?”
“Usual. Busy and bored,” he said with a laugh. Brian still lived in Canton Falls, Ohio, their small town about an hour south of Cleveland. He was a CPA working for his dad’s accounting firm, which consisted of Brian, his dad, and his older brother, Phillip. Brian enjoyed the work itself. He was always a numbers kind of guy. But living in CantonFalls could be suffocating. And Brian had made his way through most of the local attractive female population.
“Maybe I can brighten up your day and add some excitement. Would you want to meet me in Cleveland this weekend and go to Bethany’s wedding with me? I’m flying in on Friday evening.”
“You’ll be in Ohio next weekend and I am just hearing about this now?” he asked, pretending to be hurt. “Oh, wait! You must have broken up with dreamy Stevie, and now you need a date for the wedding.”
“Cute, Brian. And yes, I did.” He knew Jeni so well. Too well.
“Ha-ha,” he said with a laugh. “I knew it wouldn’t last. Jeni Acerna does not take well to being second fiddle. He’s a fool!”
“Thanks for the positivity,” Jeni said. “So, you’ll come with me?” To be honest, Jeni could not think of another person with whom she would rather spend the weekend.
“This is kind of short notice,” he said. “You know my social calendar is jam-packed.” He laughed. In their last conversation a couple weeks ago, Brian told her he had taken Samantha Franklin out on a date. She was the much younger sister to one of their high school classmates. Sam had had a crush on Brian since she was a little girl. When asked how the date had gone, he chuckled and said there was zero chance of them getting serious, but that it was fun to date a twenty-one-year-old again.
“You already have plans?” Jeni tried to disguise the disappointment in her voice.
“Tentatively,” he said. “Besides, it would be nothing but trouble for us to see each other.”
“Why would you say that?” she asked.
“Didn’t you say you wanted to ‘cool things off’ between us?” he asked.
“I suppose I did,” Jeni replied. She had made that request when she thought she and Stephen might have a chance at a real relationship. Brian always complicated things, because Jeni had an almost impossible time resisting him, and Jeni made regular visits to Ohio to see her parents, siblings, and friends. Brian had not been overly thrilled with the request, but he respected her and agreed to her “cooling off.” Jeni could kick herself now for ever suggesting that to Brian. There was little she wanted more than a dose of Brian Hamilton.
“Jeni, you know you are to me what alcohol is to an alcoholic. When I am around you, I can never get enough…no matter the situation.”
Jeni’s heart skipped a beat at the fact that she still had such a profound sexual effect on him. He, of course, still made her knees weak and her panties wet.
“I’d never be able to keep it cooled off spending the weekend with you. You should know that.”
And she did know it. They had seen each other only twice since the cooling off began several months ago, and both times were planned with many of their friends around them so as to avoid the one-on-one time. Even then, they had a difficult time keeping their hands off each other. She found his hand at the small of her back or on her thigh during dinner. She couldn’t stop from ruffling his silky, brown hair or nuzzling into his neck when they said goodbye.
They had had a secret love affair or rather sex affair for years. But she knew that it had never actually been a secret to anyone. They had known each other since they were born. Their parents were good friends and had gone to high school together in CantonFalls too. Since Jeni and Brian were fifteen, they had a magnetic attraction to each other. Their sexual relationship started in high school, continued through college, and carried on even after Jeni moved to Florida five years ago for warmer weather and a job in hospitality marketing at a large resort in Clearwater. Anytime she returned home to Ohio to visit her family and friends, she and Brian found a way to be together. And when she saw Brian, Jeni had an extremely difficult time not fucking him.
When they were in high school, they had tried the boyfriend-girlfriend thing. At the time, neither of them wanted a serious relationship, so they agreed to be friends with benefits. Since then, they never approached the subject of a “relationship” so as not to ruin the good thing they had. And it was good. Very fucking good!
“Are you turning me down because you might not be able to fuck me?” Jeni asked. Brian laughed.
“Might not? I’m turned on just thinking about being in the same room as you,” he said. “There is no way either of us would get out of that hotel room not completely sated.”
“Maybe the cooling off period can be over,” she teased. “Could we make a game out of it?” A thought popped into her head that could make it a challenge. Brian could hardly resist a challenge, especially against her.
“What kind of game?” Brian asked, intrigued.
“Every time we meet up, we are fucking within ten minutes,” Jeni said.
“It’s one of the many pleasures of getting together with you.”
“I’m not saying I don’t enjoy that aspect, because, of course, I do. But it might be fun to restrain from our natural instinct even if just for a little bit. Let’s agree not to have sex for the first twenty-four hours I’m in town. That still leaves about forty-eight hours to play.”
“That’s such a waste of twenty-four hours,” he said. “What do I get out of this?”
“The challenge,” she replied. “I know you can’t last that long being in a hotel room with me with nothing but our clothes separating us.” She heard him snicker on the other end of the phone. Brian could never pass on a challenge. He was way too competitive. “Whoever begs to be fucked first owes the other five hundred dollars. So make sure you bring cash when you pick me up from the airport.” Jeni knew they would not likely make the twenty-four hours, and she did not mind coming home with a little extra cash.
“You know me too well, Jeni,” he said. “I’m always up for a challenge. I’ve got you on this one! You’ll be begging me to fuck you well before that twenty-four-hour period is over. Keep the money in your bra. I’ll find it!”
I am a born and raised small town Ohio girl, who moved to the Sunshine State after graduating from college. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English because I could not imagine doing anything else but reading and writing. It is such a pleasure to be able to share all the stories in my head!
In the journey of life, I also became a wife and a mother of three children. So, life is always an adventure. But the love of writing has never died.
My favorites: I love to read and write… obviously! But I also enjoy all sports, especially college football and the Ohio State Buckeyes! Go Steelers! Go Rays! I LOVE to travel… LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to travel. And I love sharing my love to travel with my children. I love to drink Teavana teas! I love a good glass of wine, especially if it comes from a bottle made by the FOOLS wine club… yep, I’m a member of that! J I love hanging out with my family and my friends! Big fan of music, but love nothing better than putting on my jean shorts, tank top, cowboy boots and hat and watching Tim McGraw belt it out! I’m a sucker for a cowboy hat!
Favorite quote: “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.”