“Hi,” Brendan greeted me as I stepped out of the Uber. He was waiting by the door, watching for me, which is just so Brendan.
I breezed past him like I owned the place and he grabbed the bun on top of my head playfully. So this definitely felt like a college-era booty call.
We both stepped inside and I took in the place again. It was dark and moody, with most of the light coming from the fireplace.
“Want something to drink?” Brendan asked.
“Obviously,” I said back as I set down my things and kicked off my shoes.
“Red or white?”
“Whatever you’re having.”
“I just finished a bottle of Sancerre so I was thinking of opening this new Volnay my stepmom got me. Is that okay?”
“Brendan.” I gave him a look as I joined him in the kitchen. He’s just way too nice and accommodating. “Whatever you’re having.”
I checked him out while he opened the bottle of wine and didn’t even try to hide it when he caught me.
“You look cute,” I told him.
Brendan smirked as he poured wine in our glasses. “Thanks. That’s always my goal: to be ‘cute.’”
I gave him a sassy eye roll as I picked up my wine and turned to leave, but then he grabbed me by one of the belt loops of my baggy jeans to stop me. I immediately got goosebumps all over and he’d barely even touched me.
“Cheers. Thanks for coming,” he said.
I hope I wasn’t the only one coming, I thought as we clinked our glasses together.
Brendan said I could pick out the movie and I flipped through until I found Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion — an absolute classic. And then we got settled on the couch: him on one end and me on the other, with my feet in his lap.
And while I wanted to focus on Romy and Michele because the movie is superb, I was more interested in talking to Brendan. We talked a little bit about work and I made him elaborate on a story he’d started earlier, about how Thomas had ordered six pallets of materials to the wrong job site. And then I watched him, amused, as he tried to hide his frustration because this was not the first time Thomas had done something like this and Brendan is too nice to hold him accountable. If I owned a company and someone made a mistake that cost us thousands of dollars, they’d only make that mistake once, I told him. Thomas is good at a lot of other things, he explained, and that he had to pick his battles because his dad had picked the wrong ones and that was part of his downfall. I made him tell me more about how he took over he company from his dad because we hadn’t really talked in depth about that and it’s fascinating to me. Brendan went to business school with the intention of being some startup genius, but instead got roped into running his family’s business.
We talked a bit more about his family and then he made one mention of his ex-wife and I pounced — literally getting up on my knees to be right next to him. He was being so open so maybe he was in the mood to share more about their relationship. I still didn’t even know why they officially broke up. I knew that they’d basically grown up together and that their families are close, but I wasn’t aware that his ex’s dad is the one who encouraged him to go to business school and helped him get in. And when he started his business when he was in his twenties, his ex’s dad fronted all the money. He didn’t even really need it, but the father insisted — clearly as a control tactic. So he told me how this was always a pain point between him and his ex; her family — mainly her father — was super involved in their lives and relationship and she relied on them for everything.
“So do you still talk to her family?” I needed to know.
Brendan squirmed. “I don’t wanna talk about her anymore.”
“Okay…” I said, “What do you want to talk about instead?”
He glanced down at my boobs (to be fair, they were kinda in his face), put a hand on my lower back and kissed me. Finally. Brendan and I hadn’t been physical at all since that kiss I can barely even remember and I was beyond ready to get it on and poppin. I climbed into his lap and straddled him so I could kiss him like I really wanted to and okay, so I could gauge his excitement level.
It wasn’t long before we were fully making out; his arms were wrapped strongly around my waist and I was grinding myself back and forth on what felt like a nice sized boner. And I wish I could take that moment and bottle it up: the relief of finally kissing him — like scratching a hard to reach itch, the feeling of his hard body under me, even the way he smelled… like fucking soap and man.
“Should we go to your room?” I asked eventually.
Brendan stared up at me curiously. “You sure you wanna do that?”
There was literally nothing I wanted to do more. “Uh, yes.”
So we got up and I followed Brendan down the dark hallway to his bedroom. As soon as we got in the room, I started to undress, beginning with my jeans. I watched as Brendan went to the nightstand and slowly emptied his pockets and took off his Apple Watch. And then with his back to me, he took his shirt off and folded it up nicely. I hesitated, wondering if we misunderstood each other, and he thought I wanted to come in here to go to sleep.
Brendan turned around and faced me and started undoing the buttons on his joggers and… yeah. Clearly we were on the same page. I peeled my tank top off, thinking vaguely about the fact that Brendan would be the first guy to see me naked (besides Brady 🙄) since I had a baby. But technically, I was in the best shape of my life (
aka the thinnest) so it was fine I guess.
“Come here,” Brendan said and I met him where he was sitting in his boxer briefs on the edge of the bed. “You are unbelievable.”
And then we started kissing again and I got on top of him and pushed him back on the bed and you know, tried to move things along. Brendan put his hands on my shoulders and pulled back slightly.
“You sure?” he murmured.
Seriously? “Brendan.” I wanted to let him know that I didn’t travel all this way to watch a movie from 1997 and gossip about his ex-wife’s family — as much fun as all that was.
“Okay.” He used one hand to reach around me and dig into the nightstand to pull out a full box of condoms. At least he was prepared.
And so then… I helped him out of his boxer briefs, he watched me watch him put the condom on and then I hopped on.
So this was really happening. Brendan was inside me and there was no going back now. It took a second for my body to get adjusted (it had been awhile!) and so we just stared at each other. Brendan and I were having sex. Finally. I actually didn’t think it would ever happen.
But then I stopped being sentimental and got on with it because if this was going to happen, I was going to make it worthwhile. I put one hand flat against his chest and rode him like my life absolutely depended on it. Brendan grabbed onto my hips and tossed his head back and I had goosebumps everywhere and it was so incredible. Then he sat up so we were chest to chest. At this point we were both hot and sticky with sweat.
“I want to kiss you,” he said.
And it’s like, really? At a time like this? But it was really intimate, having sex with him looking me in the eye like that. All of my dreams about sex with Brendan were rough and dirty where we’re both agressive and impatient and desperate to get off after years of brewing sexual tension. But I guess this was nice too and something about the chest to chest positioning created friction and his face right in my face just made me completely explode.
And then after I came, Brendan flipped us over so he was on top of me, pinned my thighs apart, and fucked me hard, just like I imagined. And this is terrible, but I always think about how Brendan said his ex-wife is the only person he’s ever been with. So did he fuck her like this? Why did my mind go there? He probably didn’t even mean it like that.
And then we were done and Brendan got up to use the bathroom and I wondered if I should make a run for it. We’d just had sex and it was probably going to be really fucking weird because he’s my good friend and we had no business doing that. But then he came back to the bed and snuggled behind me (of course Brendan is a post-coitus spooner).
“You okay?” he asked and I rolled my eyes even though he couldn’t see me.
“You have to stop checking on me.”
And then he didn’t say anything and I was oddly worried that maybe I’d hurt his feelings. I make it a point not to give a shit about men or their feelings.
I thought maybe I’d rest a bit and then take my ass home, but then we just kept having sex after that: the way I always envisioned where my face was smashed into the pillows and my ass was in the air, but then Brendan would plant light kisses all over every inch of my body and I wanted to slap him because it felt too good but instead I’d push him down and climb back on top because at that point I just wanted him inside me again and…yeah.
That lasted until 5 AM. My phone started chiming with morning promotional emails and we hadn’t gotten any sleep and I really needed to go home.
“Don’t go,” Brendan said as I peeled myself out of the bed.
“I need to sleep and shower and eat and check in with my child,” I said.
“You can sleep here,” Brendan said as I started getting dressed. “And then you can walk to your office.”
Obviously that was not an option because imagine me doing the walk of shame in front of Mike? Plus, after all that, it would definitely be a WFH day for me. So I finished getting dressed and when Brendan saw that I was serious, he got up and put on pants. He offered to call an Uber and as we waited, he proceeded to talk about his to-do list for the day and how he was meeting with Mike in the afternoon to discuss an upcoming project and no pressure, but did I want to join? And it’s just like dude, we’re still awake from yesterday because we were banging all night — and it clearly shows — I do not want to talk about work or my boss right now.
The Uber arrived and I tried to rush out, but Brendan grabbed my arm, pulled me back into the doorway and kissed me. And it was really cute and I spent the whole ride wondering what the fuck because now I really, really, really liked Brendan.
I had every intention of going home, soaking in a scalding bath and then sleeping the rest of the day, but when I double-checked my calendar to make sure I didn’t have anything to do, I saw an in-person meeting with some architect that Sam set up. See, that’s why you check your calendar before scheduling a booty call. But it was fine; the meeting wasn’t until later in the day so I could still sleep a little bit.
But just as I was tucking myself into bed, I got a text from Mike.
“Hit me up when you get in today,” he said.
Hit me up? Mike, really? But of course, my initial thought was: he knows. He and Brendan are best friends so of course he found out what happened. And now he was going to confront me because maybe there was no written rule stating that what I did was wrong, but it was certainly unprofessional.
I wasn’t about to tell him that I had no plans of coming in today because you don’t say that to Mike. I dragged my ass out of bed, got ready (making good use of my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer) and schlepped to the city. Mike wasn’t even in the office when I got there so I caught up with emails and Sam. And then Mike finally strolled in with a huge coffee and told me to meet him in his office. I walked down there like an actual zombie.
“What’s up?” I said as I sat down, trying to act natural.
“Reese. What are you working on?” he said, not bothering to look up at me.
Sometimes Mike asks this, especially during times when it made the least amount of sense, so I always have an answer prepared. And it’s not like he actually cares what I’m working on, it’s his way of being polite. So I rattled off a bunch of nonsense.
“I’m sure you’ve noticed Paige hasn’t been around,” Mike said.
And I’d been so up my own butt that I actually hadn’t noticed that I hadn’t heard from Paige in a while.
“She’s on a leave of absence so she’ll be out of the business for a few weeks. Stress or some stupid bullshit. She thinks I’m too hard on her. She can’t handle it,” he explained.
Wow, wow, wow. Stress? She barely does anything!
“Okay,” I said, still processing the information.
“You’re going to have to step in since I’ll need your help these next few weeks. She left most of her stuff here so we can divvy it up, but you know I don’t have much time to spare.”
And it’s like, you think I do? And I know for a fact that Paige makes considerably more than I do so was I getting a raise for covering her while she relaxed at home? Seriously? But what was I supposed to do, refuse?
“K. I don’t really have a ton of spare time either, but I’ll see what I can do,” I said.
And then Mike finally looked at me with his cold, beady eyes and didn’t say another word. I got up and left since apparently I was dismissed.
So that’s what I did for the rest of the day: worked with Sam to try to make sense of Paige’s shit. To literally no one’s surprise, Paige is not in the least bit organized. I made it to my meeting with the architect, dragging Sam along with me because I was barely functioning, and came back to the office to finish up for the day. It was only three, but like I said… your girl was a zombie.
I was walking back to my office after raiding Paige’s pigpen and at that moment, Mike, Thomas and Brendan walked out of Mike’s office, directly opposite. And seeing Brendan there, dressed for casual Friday in joggers, a fitted tee and a puffer jacket by NorthFace, I suddenly got hot and itchy and nauseous thinking how I knew how he looked and felt under all those clothes. And was it just me or did he look like he’d gotten a full night’s rest and showed no signs of the debauchery we’d gotten into the night before? He looked so fucking good.
Brendan lifted his hand to wave and I shut him down before he could start.
“Hi,” I said quickly, rushing past them.
I just… I was in no mood. I had no intentions of seeing Brendan that day and I especially didn’t want to interact with him in front of Mike in case things were weird. So I went back to my office, packed up and snuck the fuck out of there.
Brady and Winnie came home and I was glad to have my baby back, but also happy to have them as a distraction. Brendan and I weren’t speaking. I thought he might text me after we saw each other in passing at the office, but I heard nothing — we just sent a few memes back and forth on Instagram. And I didn’t want to fixate on it, but had hooking up ruined our relationship? I was used to Brendan texting me all the time, even when I was being moody or acting like a bitch so why not now? Maybe I’d been weird in the office, but he was being weird by not texting me like he always does. And I certainly wasn’t going to text him first. Every time I saw his face in his tiny profile picture pop up in my Instagram messages I got excited and sad at the same time.
So it seemed like a good time to pick a fight with Brady.
“So are you just going to move all of your stuff to the city so you don’t have to keep going back and forth?” I asked.
He avoided eye contact. “I’m not sure.”
“What did your lawyer say to do?” I said, snarkily.
He looked at me then. “My lawyer said it’s fine if we’re both fine.”
“I’d rather not be stuck in fucking Connecticut, you know,” I said, bringing up old shit, even though I’ve gotten used to Connecticut by now.
“So maybe you should stay here while me and Winnie prance around the city.”
Brady threw his hands up. “Why are you doing this? What do you want, Reese?”
“I don’t know, I just feel like you moved us out to the fucking suburbs and then abandoned us when things got hard. You didn’t even want Winnie so you should’ve just left a long time ago,” I said.
It was such a cruel and unnecessary low blow and I could tell by Brady’s face that it really upset him. In my defense though, he should’ve known that I would throw his reaction to my pregnancy in his face one day. He didn’t say anything and stormed out of the kitchen. And later, I cried because I felt so bad for being mean.
So that made the rest of the weekend tense. I tried to smooth it over and pretend nothing happened, but Brady wasn’t having any of my shit. And I guess I couldn’t blame him. Then on Monday, Brady set up his laptop and stuff and started working from home — something he hadn’t done in a long time. He had every right to (the majority of the bills are still being paid by him) but it was still like, ugh. I’m used to him not being around.
On my way to the office, I checked my email and I saw one from Brendan.
“Reese, thanks for all the follow through. Can you please let me know when this is complete?”
And it was just so weird because that’s not even the way we speak to each other. So I spent the entire day overthinking it and analyzing everything that had happened. Was it because I told him not to check on me? Was it because I didn’t stay and sleep with him at 5AM? Was he offended by one of the memes I sent? Had his ex-wife come crawling back? What the fuck?
But then in the afternoon, I heard Brendan in the hallway laughing with Mike. He had no meetings in our office — I’d checked — so I wasn’t expecting him. I froze. There was a knock on my door.
“Come in,” I called.
And Brendan stepped in, shutting the door behind him. My armpits began to sweat.
“Hiiii,” I said, saccharinely.
“Hey,” he said, smirking at my tone.
“That invoice is closed out, by the way,” I said and he raised an eyebrow. “The email you sent earlier.”
“Ah, yeah. Thanks.” We just looked at each other. He then sat down in one of my chairs and said, “Did you have a good weekend?”
Oh, you mean trolling your Instagram and fighting with my baby daddy? It was fantastic. “Yeah, good. Yours?”
“Good, too. Do you wanna talk?”
And even though I knew exactly what he was referring to and I was dying to talk about it, I said, “What about?”
“You know what about,” Brendan smiled, knowing me too well.
“I mean…” Was this really the right time and place to have this conversation?
“You tell me. You’re the one being weird,” I said.
Brendan looked genuinely taken aback. “Me? No, you’re being weird.”
“How? You’re the one who never texted me back,” I said. And technically this was true (Brendan sent a message on Friday morning to make sure I got home okay and I’d let him know that I had), but it’s not like I’d given him anything to text back to.
“Well, after we saw each other here on Friday and you practically ran from me, I thought you needed some space,” he said.
My mouth opened and I just laughed because I couldn’t even deny it. “I was busy. Paige is on a LOA, I’m sure you’ve heard.”
“Yeah, but…okay. I just wanted to make sure you aren’t like, freaked out about what happened.”
“Brendan, please,” I said. “There’s no reason to be freaked out. We’re both adults.”
I had, in fact, been freaked out all weekend.
He leaned back in the chair and I had to force myself not to blatantly check him out. “Okay, good. I’m sorry, I just wanted to back off a bit because I like you so much and…”
All I could focus on was him saying, “I like you so much.” And I was elated to hear him say he felt that way, but why did he have to say it to me? I’ve always been so impressed with how adeptly Brendan is able to express his feelings, but couldn’t he keep this one close to his chest? Of course we liked each other, it was obvious, but couldn’t we pretend we weren’t so sure? I was not ready to admit my feelings and especially not to him.
Anyway, we were able to squash the tension and my plan was to back off a bit because I didn’t want to develop further feelings for the dude. We went back to our normal texting, memes and lunches for a few weeks. Flirty of course, but nothing crazy. We didn’t even talk about our hookup again. At the end of the day, he was still my close friend, you know? It helped that I was swamped with work (all of Paige’s work since Mike was obviously no help) and trying to keep Winnie’s life as normal as possible.
But then one night, Brendan sent a picture of his bare leg in bed sticking out of his comforter and I jokingly texted, “I’m literally on my way.” And he sent back a virtual key to get into his apartment and…I couldn’t not go. Winnie was sleeping and Brady was in his little office working so why not? They wouldn’t even know I was gone.
So I got to Brendan’s, let myself in and found him in the bed. And then…we were up all night having sex again. It was just so amazing…to explore each other’s bodies…to find out where we liked to be touched and kissed…to be on the receiving end of Brendan’s generosity…to compete to please each other.
And…yeah. I guess that’s where we are now: being flirty friends most of the time and then having a rendezvous at his place about twice a month. No one has a clue that anything is going on, they’re so used to us being together that they can’t tell that anything has changed. Yeah, Brendan brings me tea and lunch nearly everyday, but that’s just what friends do!
And at this point, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m in love with Brendan. I love him; what do you want me to do about it? I would never tell him that, of course, not unless he said it to me first, but it’s true. It’s the way he treats me and the way he treats others, how he always leads with empathy and compassion. He’s just so kind.
And all the shit I’m used to pulling? Picking fights and yelling and acting like a petty bitch? That just doesn’t work with him. This might be terrible, but it’s almost as if you can tell he’s been married before because he will never go to sleep mad, and isn’t that like a golden rule in marriage? One time, while we were in his bed and he was kissing various parts of my body, he asked if I wanted to have more kids. I kicked him off and flipped out (who just asks that??) and he apologized and calmed me down and made me talk to him about why it was so upsetting to me. I realized that I was triggered — Brady used to talk about marriage while he was balls deep in me but never any other time so of course I didn’t want to have these conversations while being intimate.
This just feels different. I’ve never been with someone who makes me want to be a better person. Seeing how Brendan reacts to things makes me feel ridiculous, like when this girl he works with sent an aggressive email and he replied super sweetly and politely and I said I would’ve dragged her and gotten her together, he was seriously just like, “Why? What would that solve?” And it’s like, good point. Maybe I’m just getting older or I’ve learned from my mistakes, I don’t know. I realize it sounds like I’m gushing or trying to hype him up like he’s perfect. I’m not. He’s not. He can’t be, not with how we got together and how his marriage ended. He has baggage and flaws and unpredictable emotions just like I do, but I feel like at this juncture, he’s a solid match for me. I love him.
As for Brady…I don’t know. Maybe I’ll talk about him more in my next post. He’s completely shut me out and always has and I don’t think he will ever be happy until he addresses his trauma and sees a fucking therapist. Or maybe he just needs to find someone who brings out a better side of him because that definitely isn’t me.
I have one more *dRaMa* story to share, but I’ll lump that into the next post too. It’s Winnie’s birthday and Brady’s birthday coming up and my family is flying in so I’m sure I’ll have stories to talk about from that.