If there was one thing Eric and Clara had in common it was their ability to play with fire without getting burned. In every other possible regard they differed, positioned firmly on opposing sides of their social circle and often enough on opposite sides of the room. It was a gap love could not bridge, and neither of them fell victim to any illusion in that regard.

But the bridge they had found was much more powerful, dangerous even in that they shared their love for destructive relationships. They needed the group to stay sane and fight loneliness, but in moments of clarity Eric realized they were really just using them to create a neutral zone in which they could play their game of bluffing and teasing, pulling each other close enough to push away.

At first Eric had found her boring, and on a normal level he still did. She was a weird person as a friend, kind of there without adding much to conversations he was interested in and he knew it had to feel just the same way for her. Too different were their lifestyles, their upbringing and plans in life for them to settle on any common ground a regular relationship could have been built on.

Her upbringing certainly added to his image of her. Her life was based on the money her parents had earned, or rather bolstered by it. In a strange way she had avoided becoming a spoiled brat, but everything from her apartment over the clothes to the hobbies she could afford stood out in their group that otherwise consisted of lower middle class office drones and people who worked twice as hard for half the wage.

She managed to assimilate surprisingly well and under different circumstances he might have respected her for that, if not for that glimmer in her eyes that every so often showed she was a different kind of breed in a stable of workhorses.

Maybe that was were they found their common ground, while he had shared his childhood with most of the others he had always felt different. He had been kept away from most bad influences, growing up in the local library where he had devoured books as much as the others had watched their cartoons. Over the years that had evolved into a gap between him and them and while he always enjoyed their presence he had developed an unhealthy habit of feeling ever so slightly superior.

Lonelier as well, bored even to the point where he had found he was seeking thrills at increasingly high costs with decreasing care for himself or the very circle of friends that had kept him alive and sane throughout the years.

Drugs had never fascinated him enough to get hooked or even try that many, but he had soon found it was all too easy to get the same destructive potential in a more pure form simply by actively being destructive. Burning bridges felt that much more liberating than building them or using them to cross rivers, just because the price paid was higher than the achieved result.

Like with any drug maintaining a survivable dosage in regular intervals was the hardest part and that was were Clara came in. In a way she was his nicotine patch and he her methadone, keeping them functioning in the real world until they could meet again.

But even the replacement drug bore the danger of overdosing, making it invaluable to have a fellow addict that was at the height of their game when the other wasn’t, whenever one of them fell victim to taking the teases seriously the other was quick to block any advances. They kept setting one feet over the line without ever crossing it.

But tonight was different. Eric suffered from a particularly hard work week and a need for company and friendship he normally tried to stay ahead of. So far so usual considering he rarely spent a week without mentally murdering someone, but it seemed Clara wasn’t at the top of her game either. Something in her eyes was off, when she threw a teasing verbal jab it seemed she looked at him a little longer, a little more longing than they were used to.

It made Eric afraid, he noticed all too well how he couldn’t take his eyes off of her, the way she was lounged on the couch or the sting of envy because she was leaned against the shoulder of Steve who certainly didn’t mind. He knew that strange state of mind that was more fear of missing out than actual love, knew the only way to get out of it was getting her to reject him in some way. But if she was in the same state that rejection might never come.

Eric forced himself to focus on other things, distract him from the thoughts he could barely handle. The other faces in the room, the laughter and conversation and the way Clara played with her necklace. Damn it.

His eyes found their way up to her face, finding she was staring right back at him. It was as if they looked right into each other’s souls, finding their emotions mirroring in the other and slowly coming to terms with that. Clara whipped her head to the side, motioning to the terrace and putting her fingers to her lips to signal she wanted to smoke. Neither of them smoked – much – and yet it was just what they needed now. A little time alone together, but with the fresh air that would surely clear their heads. They moved out of their seats and headed outside, leaving amused jokes in their wake. It was a long running gag among the others that they should just come around and finally start dating because none of them could understand how much better it was not to. Weak minds.

The chilly night air calmed his nerves a little, enough to stand her close proximity for a couple minutes. They lit their cigarettes and inhaled silently, staring out into the darkness and watching traffic flow past below them, just distant lights from the hilltop. The place had a much better view than any of them should have been able to afford, but in a rare case of luck Gina had inherited it from an aunt she had barely known and they had immediately turned it into their regular meeting place to the point where he knew it better than his own apartment.

Eric, rarely one to be at a loss of words struggled to come up with a conversation topic, the silence weighing heavier with each passing moment. Finally he gave up and settled on a sigh, shaking his head. He felt Clara’s eyes on his face, but when he looked over the amused smile he had hoped for was anything but, hungry with a healthy dose of sadness and loneliness poured into the mix.

“It’s not as much fun as usual, is it?”

Eric shook his head again. “No, something’s off. Hard week?”

A nod. “Mh, but not more than usual. I’m feeling strangely weak tonight.”

That they could agree on. He inhaled once more, watching the smoke disintegrate into the night. “Me too, me too. It’s dangerous tonight, we should just stop and go home before we do something stupid.” Good, build up some distance.

Bad, Clara had closed the distance the very next moment, physically by moving close enough for their shoulders to touch and mentally with that look in her eyes.

“Truth is, I don’t want to stop. Not sure I even could.”

Again he found himself struggling to come up with an answer, defaulting to the least beneficial option of putting an arm around Clara’s shoulder.

“It’s a mistake, we are going to regret that in the morning.” He noticed there was no if anymore, just staking out the perimeter and agreeing on a plan of attack.

“Maybe. Maybe we can treat tonight as an exception, a mutual slip and when daylight returns we feel ashamed enough to return to the status quo.”

In a weird way those words felt warmer than a promise of eternal love ever could have. The way they understood each other perfectly and could admit their deep and deeper feelings without any fear or hesitation filled his heart with a warmth that made him smile wryly.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but let’s find out.”

Clara smiled right back, then the distance between their lips and eyes continued to decrease at a rapid pace. The moment they touched Eric noticed how much of a mental wreck he was by the way tears crept into the corner of his eyes. Their arms still rested on the railing, just their lips touching ever so slightly and yet the mere touch felt better than the hungriest kiss with anyone else ever had.

Years of tension between them were wiped away in the blink of an eye, walls they had carefully erected for protection torn down in a swift motion. When their lips disconnected they were quick to stare back into the dark, a nervous giggle breaking the silence.

Their cigarettes had almost burned out, only enough left to inhale once more and hold on to that fleeting moment of peace before they had to come up with next steps.

Eric swung around to rest his back against the railing and broke the peace with a broad grin that captured his emotions perfectly. “That was nice.”

“Mhm, nicer than I ever imagined. You know it’s not the first time we’ve come really close, not the first time I’ve wondered how it would feel.”

He chuckled. “What about that burning sensation of regret?”

Smiling back Clara shook her head, pushed out the cigarette on the railing and threw it into the abyss. “Hasn’t set in yet. Right now I just want more.”

“I feel we should get back inside, there must be a place in this house to be alone.”

Clara moved away from the railing, locking her arms around his waist. “And I think we should stay right here, no one can see us.”

Looking around Eric noticed she was right. The terrace lay a little lower on the hill than the rest of the building, the absence of light probably meant nothing could be seen from the inside anyway. Not that it mattered if anyone did, but Eric needed the solitude as much as he needed Clara to break it.

He locked his arms around her as well, pulled her in close and waited until the very last moment before moving his head back to draw her with him.

A short snicker, a murmured ‘asshole’ and a long kiss later Eric found himself back in a reality that was slightly less shitty than the one he had left moments earlier.

A finger pressed into his chest Clara looked at him, the smile on her face turned into a devious, hungry grin. “In case you don’t know what to do: This is the part where you start undressing me.”

Eric shook his head in slight disbelief, if there was anything weirder than having sex on a balcony mere yards away from all their friends he wasn’t able to come up with it.

“Definitely crazy.”

Clara made a playfully insulted face. “I’m sorry? What did you say?”

“Oh, nothing.”

“Mhm, smart choice.”

Not waiting any longer seemed like a smart choice as well and his fingers moved to open the buttons of her blouse. There was just no way to get tired of that moment of excitement when bare skin became visible, no comparison to the feel of breasts with hard nipples and the joy of sending clothes on a journey towards the floor. Her pants looked just as good down on the floor as they had on her, maybe a little better even. Had she looked stunning with her clothes still on she now looked simply beautiful, what little light there was illuminating her curves, hair and every feature with a hint of mystery.

As much as they had needed clear words earlier as little did they now, instincts and an animalistic hunger kicking in. Lacking a plan Eric simply pushed her against the railing, holding onto it with one hand and holding Clara with the other around her back.

“Oh god, we’re going to die such a horrible death.”

The steep decline behind them was indeed quite frightening, giving them the small chance to survive with every last bone broken instead of dying outright.

Eric moved in for another kiss, only pausing at her lips for a second before he went on to whisper into her ear. “Eh, at least we’re dying together because I’m not letting go of you.”

An amused chuckle left her lips. “Promise?”

Instead of an answer Eric reached down to guide his dick into her, their bodies connecting without any struggle and with the familiarity of kindred spirits. He couldn’t even remember when he had last felt at ease with someone while naked, certainly not like this. If there was any need for them to prove anything to the other they had left it inside, out here they were just two equally lost souls sharing a moment of peace.

Clara’s arms were locked around his neck and more than anything else he loved that, their usual greeting hugs always felt far too short. Just like the glances they shared were always just the shortest moments and now he could stare into the abyss that stared right back, hungry as he was.

The cold air was starting to overwhelm them, Clara’s grip around him tightening involuntarily and shivers running over her skin. Her eyes had become foggy and the few words she uttered showed none of her usual personality. Eric saw her eyes roll up and thrust into her even harder, her arms clenched around him as tight as she possibly could as all air left her lungs in a long, stretched out moan. He held her through her orgasm, stabilizing her weight while the waves of shivers ran over her body as he came closer and closer himself. He was seconds late, sense was already starting to return into her eyes as his balls exploded and he shot load after load into her pussy.

Not that he minded, but part of him was slightly embarrassed about the amused look on her face that already seemed to tease him again like they were used to.

With a stifled chuckle Eric let go of her, leaning against the railing next to her. The cold was now impossible to ignore, but he was in no rush to get dressed.

Looking to the side he saw similar emotions in Clara’s gaze, plus virtually any possible emotion from thankful over embarrassed to sad. The ones that stuck out most though were the most beautiful of them all: Trust and a friendship hardly anything could possibly break.

They got dressed quietly, eager to cover their nakedness and get back into the warmth, the talk and laughter that felt so much safer than talking about feelings and other such treacherous grounds.

He wanted to kiss her one more time before they got back inside but when he leaned in Clara pressed a finger on his lips and shook her head with a smile.

“Nu-uh, next kiss’s at least a month away.”

“Oh come on.”

“You are not growing weak, are you?”


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