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Introduction:

"And ye shall seek and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:13
We didn’t have sex.

Not because neither of us wanted it. Had she asked, I would have been more than happy to oblige. But it wasn’t the time; we both felt it. What we felt for each other couldn’t be satisfied by carnal desires but by a natural progression of feeling. Just like I allowed our first kiss to allow itself to manifest into something beautiful, the same thing had to happen with intimacy. It would come with time and I was more than happy to wait.

I didn’t tell her all this because I didn’t want to pressure her into thinking about it and I think she appreciated that.

For the rest of the day we kissed, made out, snuggled, talked, and had her crush me a dozen more times at Super Smash Bros. Seriously, this girl was a wizard with the game. I tried every combination I could think of but when she smacked my Donkey Kong out of commission with freaking Jigglypuff, I had to concede defeat. Actual defeat…as in I wasn’t planning on challenging her again until I trained myself up.

“Bend over,” she said after she had completed her patented Victory Dance.

“…Why?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Because you’ve got a gorgeous butt and I need to kick it,” she said, sticking her tongue out.

“You been staring at my ass?” I asked slyly.

“Just as much as you’ve been staring at mine.”

“You told me to! Remember, a couple days ago? You told me I should continue staring at your butt so I could fall in love with it!”

“That is so not what I meant!”

“Yeah huh!”

“Nuh uh!”

I pounced on her and picked her up in a bear hug. She whooped and swatted at me feebly but I had trapped her arms between our bodies and she could do little more than buffet me lightly. “Jack!” she squealed, “Put me down!”

“I don’t know. You’ll just want to kick my ass.”

“But it’s a gorgeous ass!”

“I still don’t know.”

“What if I paid you?”

I raised an eyebrow. “How would you pay?”

She lowered her head to mine and gave me another of her heart-stopping kisses. We stayed connected as I lowered her and then our arms were around each other, gripping each other as though clinging onto life. Our kiss, like all the others, grew in urgency and passion until we broke apart, panting slightly. She stroked my cheek. “So this is what it’s like to have an amazing boyfriend,” she said quietly.

“Well, if it’s just making out, I’m going to need to start chewing more gum to get my jaw muscles strong enough.”

“Romantic moment…” she sighed, closing her eyes, “…destroyed.”

Those hours were pure joy. Even amidst our now-revealed feelings for each other, not much else had changed. We could still joke, still tease, still find things to mutually complain about. Aside from being able to leap on each other and make out whenever we pleased, the way we behaved hadn’t changed drastically. I liked that. How I had felt about her hadn’t changed; it’s just I could now express it more overtly. And by overtly I mean having her pin me to the sofa with her mouth.

Eventually, even the absence of her parents couldn’t justify my staying later. The rain had let up a bit, leaving the world outside a dripping and misty mess. “Do you have to go?” she asked sadly as I pulled on my shoes, “It’s only ten.”

“Believe me, sweetheart,” I said, putting a hand on her cheek, “I’d love to stay. But if I stay we’re going to want me to stay over and what’ll your parents think about that?”

She nuzzled my hand with her cheek. “I can’t believe this is real now,” she said, “And somehow this is one of the hardest things I have to do.”

“Sweetie, I live right next door.”

“I know!” she said, gripping my hand with both of hers, “But I want you next to me. Near to me. This feeling I have when I’m with you…it’s impossible to describe.”

“You don’t have to, Kayla. I feel it to.”

She pulled me in tightly for a hug. “I’ll be thinking about you all night.”

“Sweetie, we’ll see each other at school tomorrow!”

“Ugh, don’t mention school. When I hear ‘school’, it sounds just like ‘Craig’.”

“I’ll be there right beside you. Nothing bad is going to happen.”

She kissed my cheek. “I’m more worried about you.”

“And I’m more worried about you. Let’s call it even.”

We leaned in for a goodbye kiss. We had about thirty more ‘final kisses’ before I was finally able to tear myself away. I got to the end of the porch before I flung myself back at the door for a dozen more.

We laughed as we broke apart. “Okay, you gotta promise to close the door when I walk away,” I said.

“I promise,” she said, kissing me again, “Sealed with a kiss.”

One last kiss, which might have lasted five minutes, and I pulled away, forcing my legs to carry me forward even though my heart wanted to pull me back. I heard the door shut and the magnetic force broke. Part of me was still in there with her, cherishing the time we had spent together and being excited for all the time we would spend together in the future.

The wet grass squished softly beneath my shoes and the mist flicked at my skin deliciously, like the sheerest silk blanket parting at my touch. The wet grass was tangy and sweet at the same time, mingling with the musky smell of the fog. This was the second night in a row I had left Kayla’s house happy as a kid on Christmas, but I didn’t feel like celebrating tonight. I had no desire to hum or skip or sing my joy to the world. I was fine being silent and collected. My hands were in my pockets to keep them warm and I had my head down. There was no way I could describe this feeling to anyone else. It was too personal, too perfect to put into words.

I switched my phone to silent as I entered the house, knowing that Kayla would text me within a couple minutes. It was pitch black, just like last night, but somehow seemed even more intense. It was a nagging feeling I didn’t fully understand until I got upstairs and saw that there was no light on in the twins’ room. It was dark just like the rest of the house. Well, that was strange. Maybe they had already had their romp. Or maybe Alan had tried to talk to her and that killed the mood. Either way, it was an interesting development, whether for good or bad I couldn’t say.

I locked my door and pulled the beanbag chair to its place behind it. Even with Amanda asleep, presumably, I didn’t want to take any chances. Hopefully I could get it all sorted out before Kayla came over for a sleepover or something; I wasn’t sure I could come up with an explanation that would make sense aside from the real one.

As I was pulling my shirt over my head, my phone buzzed.

Kayla: Rawr, take it off slower. I want a show ;)

I turned and saw Kayla standing at the window, cheering as if I were putting on a striptease.

Me: Since when have you become a peeper?

Kayla: Since my macho boyfriend decided the perfect place to strip would be in front of his window lol

I slid out of sight and my phone buzzed almost instantly.

Kayla: Noooooooooo! Where did you goooooooo? :(

Me: Somewhere I won’t be teasing your filthy fantasies ;P

Kayla: Do you want me to take my shirt off?

I stared at the text. I didn’t think she really wanted to, at least not because she was desperate to get naked with me. More likely she just didn’t want me feeling uncomfortable with her watching me.

Me: As enticing as that sounds, we aren’t there. Keep your shirt on.

Kayla: But how will I get ready for bed?

Me: Okay, get dressed in your pjs and then tell me when you’re done. I promise I won’t look.

Kayla: Hehehehe better keep that promise ;)

I sat down on the beanbag chair, staring at the window. As much as I wished I could see what was going on in her room, I had made a promise. And I was serious when I said that we weren’t ready for that yet; this was all so fresh, so new. I wanted to have sex with her, more than with any girl I had ever seen, whether she were real or an online pornstar. But to do it now, even tonight when we had let our feelings out…just didn’t seem right. I wasn’t going to rush this, especially not if she was hesitant. I mean, she had just gotten out of a relationship with Craig, the living argument for celibacy.

My phone finally buzzed.

Kayla: All done.

I got up and walked back to the window, still shirtless. Kayla had changed into her black tank-top and boxer shorts and was evidently pleased to see that I had not put a shirt on; she winked and pawed at the glass.

Kayla: Did you peek?

Me: No. I promised I wouldn’t and I didn’t.

Kayla: I know. I was watching.

She dropped the sultry looks and gave me a smile, resting her hand against the glass. I put my hand on the glass of my window as well, our connection streaming forth despite the distance.

Me: Thank you.

Kayla: For what?

Me: For making me so happy. I was in a rut before you came along. Now, everything is looking much brighter.

Kayla: Awwww.

She blew me a kiss from her window.

Kayla: I promise I will give you a real one tomorrow.

Me: Just one?

Kayla: Did I mention that you are my boyfriend? That means I get your lips whenever I damn well please ;P

Me: Lol yes you do.

She blew me another kiss and then waved before closing her curtains. I slipped into bed, heaving a deep sigh as I relaxed into the softness of the mattress and pillow. I stared up at the ceiling for a while, too happy to feel sleepy, thinking about Kayla. Was she also lying awake, thinking about me? Was this new relationship as wonderful and thrilling to her as it was for me? Just thinking about her had my heart kicking like crazy with joy, like a kid with his first candy bar.

My phone suddenly buzzed again.

Kayla: Jack…you thanked me but I should be thanking you. I was so nervous coming here because I was afraid I wouldn’t meet anyone who would like me but you were so amazing right from the first day. I’m sorry I went out with Craig so fast. He just seemed so sweet and I was so overwhelmed I thought it would be amazing if I found a relationship right away. He was all phony and I felt so bad because I knew you were always there as well. I had thought about you as a boyfriend but I thought you might be too upset that I had gone after Craig first. But you were always there, always ready to help me. You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met and you wanting me as a girlfriend…well, that’s about as big a boost to the ego as you can get lol I am so happy you’re my boyfriend and don’t think I’m going to let you go anytime soon! You better get used to me! Lol Sleep tight, Jack. Thank you for giving me more happiness than I ever thought possible <3

I felt tears trickle down my cheeks. And she said I was the sweet one! My God…we hadn’t used the ‘L’ word yet (and that’s ‘love’, not ‘lesbian’ for you Scott Pilgrim vs. The World lovers) but I was really damn close. If I was hesitating to say it, it was only because once I said it, I couldn’t take it back. I wanted to be sure. Damn sure. So when I said it, I could give it the weight and honesty that it deserved. That Kayla, more than anyone, deserved.

Me: I think you beat me tonight at perfect goodnight texts lol But you still deserve my thanks. It doesn’t even matter if I’m your boyfriend. I will always be there for you. But I’m going to be your boyfriend, don’t worry! You sleep tight too and have sweet dreams :) <3

It was the first time I ever put a heart into a text. I knew it wasn’t going to be the last, not as long as Kayla was receiving it.

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Female mind-reading powers must be transferable. The first thing dad said when I sat down to breakfast the next day was, “So how does it feel to have a girlfriend?”

My spoon paused halfway to my mouth. “What?”

“Come on, Jack,” dad said with a friendly smirk, “I recognize that look on your face. I had it myself after I took your mother out for the first time.”

I had no idea I had a ‘look’ on my face but it wouldn’t surprise me. I had woken up early and my first thought was of Kayla. Thinking about her got my brain and my heart active and I found it impossible to go back to sleep. She had been on my mind ever since, even as I had come down to breakfast.

“Good for you, Jack,” mom said, giving me a kiss on the forehead, “She’s a lucky girl.”

“I’m the lucky guy,” I replied, finally getting my spoon to my mouth.

“Whatever the case, we’re happy for you.”

“Just watch out for what’s-his-douche,” dad said, taking a sip of his coffee, “How thrilled is he going to be?”

“Honestly, I don’t care,” I said, smiling. I’d shoot a quick text to Brad and Joe, to keep them on standby.

Dad looked at me seriously. “Don’t care about what?”

“I don’t care if he’s not thrilled. I will care if he tries to do something about it.”

“That’s the answer I was looking for,” dad nodded, returning to his paper.

My phone buzzed and both mom and dad looked up at me with smiles. “I wonder who that could be?” mom said, returning to the bacon.

I opened my phone. Kayla. I could feel the smile stretch my cheeks.

Kayla: Good morning, boyfriend :)

Me: Good morning, girlfriend :)

Kayla: Ugh, I know how cheesy that sounds but it just sounds so right :)

Me: Lol I know. My parents are staring at me right now.

Kayla: Did you tell them?

Me: No, they guessed.

Kayla: Hehehe not subtle, are you? ;)

Me: Maybe not.

Kayla: Hmmm, I think I like that.

Me: I will be as subtle as an earthquake.

Kayla: Lmao you’re cute.

Me: And you’re gorgeous.

Kayla: Awwwww <3

I had finished up my cereal and was about to bring my bowl to the sink when dad held up his hand. “Don’t worry about it, buddy,” he said with a wink, “You’ve got someone else who needs your attention.”

“Thanks, dad,” I said, giving him a one-armed hug.

I went upstairs, pulling out my phone again.

Me: Do I need to ask if you need a ride today?

Kayla: You’ll never have to ask that again. But…would it be okay if I waited inside until you drove up?

Me: You worried about what’s-his-douche?

Kayla: LOL what???

Me: Sorry, it was something my dad said.

Kayla: I think that’s the perfect name for him. And yes, to your question.

Me: I will escort you to my car.

Kayla: Such a gentleman!

Me: Lol only for you, baby ;)

Kayla: So many blushes!!!

Me: Lol hey, I gotta hop in the shower. I’ll text you soon!

Kayla: Get clean, dirty boy ;) Can’t wait to see you! <3

I colored. I may not have been panting for sex but she sure knew how to get me tingling in the trousers.

I grabbed some fresh clothes and was on the way to the bathroom when Amanda came out of her room, almost colliding with me. “Jesus…sorry, Amanda,” I said.

She looked at me, looked at the clothes in my hand, then turned around. “It’s fine,” she muttered.

Seeing she was in her bathrobe, I said, “You can take your shower first, if you want.”

“What do you care?” she snapped, slamming the door in my face.

That one hurt. Like, punch-to-the-gut hurt. What Amanda had done to me was twisted and terrifying but it didn’t stop me loving and caring about her. She was still my sister. That made what she did more disturbing, yes, but we still had that familial connection binding us together. And that was something I held dear.

I brooded about it in the shower, trying to think how best to approach her. It wasn’t likely she was going to come to me anytime soon and the last thing I wanted was for her to stew so much that she tried to do something to break Kayla and me up. Yeah, that was kind of a selfish motivation, but it was the first one that came to mind. The only thing I could think of was to take the time we had alone, when our parents were still at work, and try to approach her without Alan around. What I was going to say to her was another matter entirely.

I might just have to wing it. Lousy strategy but what other choice did I have?

When I finally emerged, clean and in somewhat better spirits, I shot a text to Joe and Brad.

Me: Hey, guys. I got some good news when we get to school. But we need to keep an extra eye on Craig.

A few minutes later, two buzzes, almost simultaneous.

Brad: What good news? Tell me now! I fucking hate waiting!

Joe: Where the hell were you yesterday? We thought you finally went bonkers and ran off naked into the woods.

I laughed and responded.

Me: Brad, mystery is healthy for you. Joe, only in your dreams.

I finished getting dressed and glanced out toward Kayla’s window. The blinds were open but I didn’t see her. I sent her a message.

Me: All squeaky clean and smelling relatively fragrant.

Kayla: Lol good! If I’m going to be close to you, I don’t want to be wearing a nose-clip. What kind of message would that send?

Me: A very confusing one lol You all ready to go?

Kayla: Yep! See you in a couple!

God, she was amazing. Just the thought of seeing her made the prospect of school bearable. I swung my backpack onto my shoulders and thundered down the stairs. “Elephant!” my dad called.

Alan and Amanda were finishing up their breakfast, both of them looking like they had barely gotten and hours’ sleep the night before. I almost felt bad being in such a good mood. “Ready to go, guys?” I asked as they cleaned up their plates.

“Yeah, I’m going to walk today,” Amanda said flatly.

Everyone stared at her. I pretty much knew her reasoning but Alan, mom, and dad all looked stunned. “Honey, is everything okay?” mom asked.

“Peachy,” she responded in her most sour tone.

“Amanda, come on,” Alan said, putting a hand on her shoulder, “Let’s just get—”

She shrugged off his hand, an action none of us ever thought we would see. Alan was staggered. “If you want to come with me,” she said, “you can. But I’m going to walk and no one is going to change my mind.”

Mom and dad looked to me, clearly expecting me to say something. What could I do? “Amanda…” I said, rubbing my eyes. I had to make a token effort for my parents but it would likely only serve to piss Amanda off even more.

“Don’t,” she said shortly, picking up her backpack and walking to the door. Alan hesitated for a second, threw a helpless glance around, then followed her.

Mom looked at me. “Jack, what is going on?”

“I don’t know.”

“Be honest, Jack.”

“I really don’t!” I really didn’t. I mean, I knew what I had done but I wasn’t sure why it would have affected anything. If she just wanted to fuck, why did she care whether or not I was emotionally involved? Guh, I hated this.

“Well, figure it out soon,” dad said sternly, “You’re going to be boss in the afternoons.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” I said, pinching the bridge of my nose.

“I’m sure you will,” mom said, giving me a hug, “Have a good day at school. Say hi to Kayla from us.”

“And say hi with your voice, not just your lips,” dad said with a wink. I left before mom was able to give him a swat.

I considered walking over to Kayla’s house and getting her, but the grass was still soaking from last night and I didn’t want her soaking the insides of her shoes. Nothing is worse than being stuck in damp socks all day. Okay, there’s lots of things worse but…damn it, give me a break. Monday mornings don’t allow for the most lucid of thoughts.

I got in my car and drove it the incredibly long distance of about twenty yards to her parking lot. I was about to get out when I saw her emerge from her doorway. As always, the sight of her gave a nice kick to my heart’s rear. She was wearing a red bow-tie today and she had done something different with her hair; it looked glossier than normal and flowed like liquid down her shoulders. She was wearing long jeans and a long-sleeved blouse tinted bluish-grey, like a stormy ocean after a squall. But the thing that struck me most was her face. She glanced once up the street, presumably looking for Craig, but when she swung her gaze to me her face broke into a smile so genuine and joyful it seemed as though she glowed like the sun. Again, I didn’t want to say the ‘L’ word just yet, not a day in, but…I was ready to give up my life for this girl. Just for her smile alone.

She crawled into the car. “Hey, you,” she said cheerfully, leaning in for a kiss. What should have been a quick peck turned into some more and it was only through sheer force of self-control that we managed to pull each other back from the brink. “Sorry,” she said, grinning.

“No complaints from me,” I said, smiling back. As upset as I was by Amanda’s attitude, I was actually glad I was the only one in the car with Kayla.

“So…” she drawled, clicking on her seatbelt and leaning back, “Back to fun times and joyful memories. Wheeeeee.”

I laughed. “One week down,” I said.

She put her face in her hands as I backed out of her driveway. “Ugh, don’t say that! I’m depressed enough as it is.”

“Yeah, being stuck in a car with me will do that.”

She swatted at my arm. “Nooooo,” she whined, taking my hand, “You’re amazing. Don’t say things like that!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I take it back.”

“Good,” she said, raising my hand to her lips.

“Are we planning on making every week as memorable as last week?” I asked, winking at her.

She stuck her tongue out. “Memorable, maybe, but you better make it happier than last week. At least I’m starting off with the right guy this time.”

I glanced in my rearview mirror as I rolled into the road. No sign of Craig’s Chevy. Kayla glanced up to, a flicker of worry crossing her beautiful eyes. “Hey,” I said, squeezing her hand, “I’m here. Nothing’s going to happen.”

She smiled. “I know.”

“I’m your knight in shining armor, after all.”

“Can you do me a favor, baby?”

“Anything.”

“Can you call yourself that in front of Joe and Brad?” She leered at me, daring me to go back on my word.

“Gladly,” I said, knowing I’d have to secretly threaten both of them with castration if they ever brought it up again.

“Awwww, you’d really do that?”

“If you really wanted it.”

She leaned in and kissed me again. “Well, let’s not keep them waiting. I want to see their faces!” Kayla was amazing but I’d have to watch out for her feisty side. If this last week was any indication, I think I may have met my match. In more ways than one.

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Kayla seized my hand as soon as we left the car. “You’re mine,” she said firmly, “So every other girl can just deal with it.”

“Marking your territory?” I joked.

“Hell yes.”

“I don’t think you have to worry,” I replied, kissing her on top of her head, “I’m hardly the most desirable guy.”

“You are to me so if any girl so much as flirts with you accidentally, she’ll be answering to me.”

I laughed. “Maybe you’re the shining knight and I’m the damsel in distress.”

She looked up at me again with that mischievous look. “Remember what I asked you to say to Joe and Brad earlier? Well, now—”

She didn’t get the chance to finish. We had just gotten under the awning above the school entrance when we were both suddenly swept up by two pairs of thick arms. Joe and Brad were holding us aloft, twirling us around and around as they whooped and hollered with delight, sounding like a pair of excited baboons. Students were looking over, laughing at the absurd sight. I was blushing but Kayla seemed to be enjoying the enthusiasm.

Eventually they set up down, both of my pounding my back and ruffling my hair so hard, I was starting to get dizzy. “We fucking knew it!” Joe roared with delight.

“You two are a thing now?” Brad demanded, “Jack is your boyfriend now?”

“Yes he is,” she said loudly, entwining her arm in mine.

They started whooping again, dancing around like natives around a campfire. Their enthusiasm affected Kayla and she started bouncing up and down in time with their hollers, looking up at me with glee.

Eventually they stopped and suddenly pulled me to them. They wrapped their arms around me, looking at Kayla sadly. “Does this mean we can’t play with him anymore?” Joe asked, stroking my hair.

“I don’t know how I can handle separation,” Brad said, pretending to cuff away a tear, “He’s just…so precious to us.”

Kayla folded her arms in amusement. “Well, I’m sure I could find a way to share him with you boys. It’s not fair that I get all his loving.” I perked up at the sound of that word.

“Yay!” the Doofus Duo shouted, jumping up and down, jarring my bones until I felt like I was going to pass out. I managed to extricate myself and ran behind Kayla for protection. She giggled and spread her arms out defensibly.

I looked around at the students walking by, more than a few looking over with confusion and amusement, and noticed Jessica standing alone by one of the brick pillars that held up the awning. She was looking at me and, once I caught her eye, she motioned me over. “Hey, Kayla, can you excuse me for a sec?”

“Sure, sweetie. I’ll try and calm the animals down,” she replied, referring to Joe and Brad’s continued exuberance over our new relationship.

I walked over to Jessica, who was staring back at Kayla. I guessed what this was about and wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to play out. “So you’re together now?” she asked, “Craig’s all dealt with?”

“He is for now,” I said, “And yes, we’re together now.”

“Congratulations,” she said, not looking me in the eye.

“Thanks,” I replied. I knew I needed to say more, to tell her that I wouldn’t need her to let Kayla know about Craig’s other conquests, but now it felt like the asshole thing to do.

She looked up at me and seemed to guess what I was thinking (it’s official now: women read minds. Shocker!). “So I guess that means I’m not exactly needed anymore,” she said matter-of-factly.

“Well, you won’t need to tell her anything,” I said, trying to smooth out her terse words.

“So I need to stay quiet about what happened to me. Just like I have been until now.”

She was getting upset, and I didn’t blame her. I had asked her to confide in someone else a really shitty thing that happened to her and now I was telling her to just continue on as she had before. “Jessica, I didn’t mean it like that.”

“How exactly did you mean it?”

“I…well, it’s…look, I know what Craig did was really shitty. Trust me. I just…I didn’t want that happening to someone else.”

“It would have been really nice if I had had someone to tell me what Craig was planning,” she said through gritted teeth, “Guess that’s just too fucking bad for me, huh?”

“Look,” I said, not wanting to make her more upset than she already was, “You said you needed a favor from me, right?”

Some of her fury disappeared. “Yes…”

I took a deep breath, knowing I was probably getting myself into a Faustian deal (if you don’t know what Faustian means…take a guess). “Whatever it was, if it’ll make you feel better, I’m still open to doing it.”

Her face broke into a broad grin. “Really?”

I twisted my mouth but nodded. “As long as it’s not anything that could compromise my relationship with Kayla.”

“Awww, no fun,” Jessica pouted. Oh, shit. That didn’t sound good. Nor did the sly look that was creeping into her eyes.

“Jessica, I’m serious.”

“I know,” she said, noticeably peppier than before, “I’ll see what I can do.”

“What do you need me to do?”

“I don’t know yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do,” she said, winking at me and turning away. “Congratulations again,” she said over her shoulder as she flounced off into the building. I heaved a sigh of relief. I was glad that went over smoothly but now I’d have to worry about what it was she wanted from me. I thought back to Amanda and what she had wanted from me…

“Nahhhh,” I said to myself. Jessica was the hottest…well, okay, no, Kayla was…Jessica was the most popular girl in school. No reason to go after a guy like me. More likely she just wanted me to do her homework for a month or buy her some expensive shoes or something. Damn, I was going to need this job bad.

And hand entwined itself in mind. Kayla was standing next to me, beaming. “Everything all right?”

“Yeah,” I said, not sure if I was lying or not.

“Bell’s about to ring,” she said sadly, “And I won’t see you for a whole period!” (We only had to go to homeroom first for the first week of school. Why? Who the fuck knows?)

“I know,” I sighed, leaning my head into hers.

“Well, I’m not splitting up until we get inside,” she said, brightening up, “And I want to see what it’s like being escorted into school by my boyfriend.”

I laughed. “It would be my pleasure to escort you.”

We were joking around but, and it was probably still the new-relationship feeling, having to separate for an entire class period did feel like a long time. No, it wasn’t because we were feeling clingy; and no, it wasn’t a ‘whipped’ thing. She was my girlfriend and I was her boyfriend and I don’t think it’s out-of-line to want to be close to the person who makes you the happiest you’ve ever felt.

All too soon we were standing in the foyer, forced to go down two separate hallways. “Have a good class,” she said, hugging me tight.

“You too, sweetie. See you in Biology.”

“Ugh, we’re going to have to see him there, aren’t we?”

I pulled back from the hug and looked her in the eyes. “We’ll deal with it together, Kayla, okay?”

“Okay,” she smiled, inclining her head. I didn’t know how comfortable she was with PDA and I had planned on just giving her a hug, maybe a kiss on the forehead. But before I could do either, she grabbed the back of my head and pulled me in for a kiss that took my breath away. Well, that answered my question.

“Bye, handsome,” she said, turning and walking down the adjacent hallway. Being her boyfriend now probably meant I had free license to stare at her ass as she walked away but my eyes were up higher, hoping she would turn and look at me one last time. She did and I blew her a kiss. She brightened up and returned it.

I can’t even pretend to tell you what happened in my first class. Hell, if I didn’t know it was a history class, I could have been learning anything. If the teacher had held up a banana and started explaining its use as a compass, I wouldn’t have been surprised. I spent most of the class, absentmindedly taking notes, one eye glued to the clock that was slowly, so damn slowly, ticking down to the bell. The loss of homeroom added extra minutes to the class and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t doing its best to make us feel those extra minutes. I tried doing that trick where you look away from the clock and convince yourself that it’s only been a minute or so since you looked. That way, when you look back and see that it’s been half an hour, you feel extra happy.

When I looked back up, it had only been a minute or so. God damn it.

Finally the bell rang and I was up and out the door before it had finished the first toll. I wasn’t seeing hallways and classrooms anymore; I was seeing a lighted path to where Kayla would be waiting for me. I was speed-walking, zipping along with such clear intention that people were instinctively stepping aside so as not to get run over. All I could think of was getting to her, being able to see her again.

If that sounds crazy…yeah, it was. I was crazy. And I didn’t care.

I waited outside our Biology class and felt my body spring to attention when she came around the corner. She approached me with a coy smile. “Well, this is a wonderful surprise,” she said, leaning in to give me a peck on the lips. “How was History?”

“Endless,” I said as we walked into the room. She laughed. “What?”

“History is endless,” she giggled, “Funny.”

“Let’s go ahead and pretend I actually meant that to be a joke.”

“Sounds good to me.”

We had just taken our seats when Craig walked in. His usual swagger was missing and without it, he seemed a very limp and sullen individual. Black rings surrounded his eyes and I noticed that his jaw, usually working to give him a cocky smirk, was very weak. He slouched and moved as though being prodded along by someone behind him. His eyes rested on us for a second, he cringed, and then shuffled past us, plopping down into the seat behind me with an audible groan. Kayla and I shared a brief glance but didn’t say anything. It was like all three of us were balancing on a string and the slightest shift in anything would snap it.

The entire class was like that. Kayla and I listened close as Mr. Norman outlined the basic concept and origin of evolution theory, taking detailed notes just so we had something to focus on. But part of me was still thinking about Craig, just behind me. My spine tingled constantly and I had the feeling it was because Craig was staring at me. What was he thinking right now? More importantly, what was he planning? I could feel his hatred for me like a blaze of fire shot from his eyes and knew I was going to have to deal with his retaliation at some point. I didn’t care if he came after me but if he started going after Kayla, I’d take him apart.

Kayla was writing something on a slip of paper. When Mr. Norman turned to the board, she slid it over to me.

You doing okay, baby?

I took the paper and wrote back:

Yeah, I just get the feeling Craig is staring at me.

She twisted her mouth and wrote:

I got that feeling too. It’s creepy.

Lol yes it is. But he can’t do anything.

And if he tries, I’ll protect you.

I couldn’t help but snigger at that. She smiled and stifled a laugh herself. “Something you two would like to share?” Mr. Norman called to us from the front of the room.

“No, sir,” I said.

“Good.”

We stayed silent for the rest of class but that didn’t stop us from throwing each other little glances and smiles. I had been happy before that she sat next to me but now I couldn’t imagine getting through classes without her. She was my source of joy, my reason to get up in the morning. God, I knew I was a romantic but I think I was going off the deep end. Oh, well. Kayla was worth it.

Class finally ended and we parted once again, though now we had lunch to look forward to. One boring half hour of English later, we were sitting together at our lunch table with Joe, who kept making kissing faces at us until I was forced to kick him under the table.

“Oh, hey, how did English go this morning?” I asked Kayla.

“Not all that bad,” she replied, piling the sauce on her nachos to one end of her tray, “I still don’t get the book but what you told me this weekend let me pretend I did when the teacher called on me.”

“What are you doing?” Joe asked, pointing to her tray.

“They always pile the sauce on top so the chips at the bottom never get any,” she replied, stacking her chips, “This way I can get the most out of both.” She demonstrated by sliding a chip into the glop of sauce and scooping out a generous portion.

“Nice,” Joe said, sticking out his bottom lip in appreciation, “Are you going to inhale that like the burrito on Saturday?”

“I just might,” she replied, scooping another chip, “I can be a nasty eater when I want to be.”

“Ha!” Joe said and I groaned inwardly. Joe had a special talent for revolting actions, especially when it came to food. I began sucking down my meal before he made a challenge that would cause me to lose my appetite.

“Bring it on, big man,” she said, spreading her hands.

“Sweetie…” I laid a hand on her shoulder.

“No, no, Jack, I wanna see if he can cash that check his mouth wrote.” Damn, Kayla was badass. I’d have to be careful about challenging her in the future.

Kayla and Joe started hurling challenges back and forth, challenging each other to gross-out contests to see who could go the longest without puking, who could make others puke the fastest, etc. Desperate to find something that I could focus on without making my stomach regret its meal, I glanced around the lunch room. My eyes fell on Jessica, who caught my eye and gave me a small, meaningful smile. I looked quickly away.

My gaze then fell on Craig, sitting alone at the table where he and Kayla had sat together last week. A small smile twitched my mouth as I remembered just how confident Craig had seemed when he first started working on Kayla and now look at him. All alone with no one but himself to blame. Yeah, I didn’t have a lot of empathy for the guy, but can you blame me?

He looked up and caught my eye. We stared at each other for a long time, mutual dislike forming a laser-like beam between us like two Kamehameha waves from Dragonball Z. Even if he had been defeated for the moment, there was a hatred between us that only a fight was going to solve.

Come at me, Craig. I’m ready for you.

“Don’t you think, Jack?” Kayla said, poking me in the arm.

“Of course, sweetheart, whatever you say,” I responded, my mind coming back to the table.

Joe and Kayla started roaring with laughter. “You were right!” Joe said, between guffaws.

I looked from one to the other. “What?”

“I bet that I could get you to agree to anything while you were staring off into space,” Kayla giggled, “And you did.”

“What exactly did I agree to?”

“That a dick in your butt would make your life complete,” Joe sniggered. They looked at each other and started laughing again.

“You,” I said, pointing at Kayla, “I will punish later.”

“Ohhhhh,” she said, wriggling and batting her eyelashes, “I’m in trouble!”

“And you,” I said, pointing at Joe, “I will punish now.” I booted him in the knee under the table again.

“Ow! Damn, dude.”

“I’ll wear cleats next time.”

We finished lunch and I finished English class after another hour of the clock giving me the middle finger. I met up with Kayla halfway to Math and we twined our hands again, leaning against each other. I didn’t care about the stares we drew. She was my joy and I didn’t care who knew about it.

To my surprise, Craig didn’t show up for Math. It didn’t surprise me that he missed the bell (his entrance was all the more noticeable if there was a fuss made about it) but he didn’t come in after the bell, he didn’t come in during attendance, and he didn’t come in as the lesson started. Kayla was paying too much attention to the teacher to remark it, proving she was a much better student than I was, but Joe tapped me on the shoulder and jerked his head at Craig’s empty seat. I shrugged.

An hour and a half later, we exited gratefully, burdened only with the knowledge that we could not escape the grip of math that now clung to us in the form of homework. “Wanna come over to my place and work on it?” Kayla asked.

“Sorry, sweetie, I gotta be head of the household. My mom and dad aren’t going to be back until late from now on, so—”

“So your house is now where we have the parties,” Joe cut in, bumping me with his shoulder.

I bumped him back hard enough to make him stagger and said, “So…I have to be around to make sure the house stays standing.”

“Well, then can I come over with you?” Kayla asked brightly.

“Will your parents be okay with it?”

She pulled out her phone and sent a text. “I’m going to be a psychic and say that they will be perfectly fine with it.”

“You know, if you’re going to be getting a job,” Joe said, “That’s going to be cutting into your ability to be head honcho at home.”

I bit my lip. He was right. Not that I thought Amanda and Alan were going to need me to watch over them (I figured the decision was based more around the fact that I could drive them home) but if dad expected me to stay at home whenever they were at work, that left only weekends open for me. And I wanted the weekends to be my time with Kayla. Jeez, I hadn’t even gotten the job and I was already scheming for extra time off.

Kayla’s phone buzzed and she looked at it. Her face fell. “Oh,” she said sadly.

“What’s wrong?” I said, concerned. She showed me her phone. The text message read:

That’s perfectly fine, sweetie! Make sure you’re home for dinner. Tell Jack we say hi.

There was nothing depressing in that. I looked up at her to see her grinning. “Sweetcheeks, remember when I said I was going to punish you later?”

“Yes,” she said, biting a finger.

“Consider it doubled.” She giggled and fluttered her eyelashes again.

“Here comes the Gruesome Twosome,” Joe said, pointing out Alan and Amanda in the crowd. Amanda swept past me without a glance and Alan could do little but shrug and give us a distressed look as he passed. We were left blinking and confused. “Dude…”

“Is she okay?” Kayla asked, concerned.

“Apparently not,” I muttered, miffed at Amanda’s attitude, “Let’s go. See you later, Joe.”

“See ya, man. Are you two actually going to get some studying done?” He leapt away as I aimed another kick at his kneecap.

“Don’t damage him too much, sweetie,” she said, taking my hand. I rolled my eyes and we left, hand-in-hand.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alan was surprised, and pleased, to see me walk in with Kayla. “Wait, are you two dating now?” he asked, pointing at us.

“Whether he likes it or not,” she giggled, clutching my arm.

His face lit up. “Awesome! Hey Amanda!”

“What?” came the dull reply from upstairs.

“Jack and Kayla are dating!”

Ouch. I groaned inwardly, thinking about how that must have hit Amanda straight in the gut. Oh, God, what if she thought I told Alan to say that? What if she thought I asked Kayla over her just to show her off? Ugh…it was one of those times where no matter what I did, I was going to look like a douchebag.

There was a long silence. “Great,” she finally replied, the insincerity of the remark giving it a nasty, biting edge.

Alan noticed it too. “Well, don’t you want to come say hi to her?”

“No.”

He looked depressed. “I’m sorry,” he sighed, “She’s been like this for the past couple days.”

“Did you want me to go talk to her?” Kayla asked, “Girl-to-girl?”

“Would you?” Alan asked hopefully.

“Baby,” I said, realizing that was probably the worst thing that could happen, “I’ll talk to her first.”

She looked at me with a worried face. “Are you sure? I’d be happy to help.”

“I’m sure,” I replied. And I was. I wanted Amanda and Kayla to get along and that wasn’t going to happen as long as there was animosity between my sister and me. The last thing I needed was for Amanda to try to drive a wedge between us.

“Well, can you do it soon, Jack?” Alan asked in a tone he never used with me, “I’m getting worried about her.”

“I promise,” I said. When I was going to do it, I couldn’t say.

Kayla hesitated as we passed the twins’ room, which was shut with a very obvious ‘Don’t Come In’ aura about it. “Are you sure you don’t want me to talk to her?” she asked again, “She might be more comfortable talking to me.”

“Because you’re a girl?”

“Yeah.”

I chewed my lip and stared at the door. “Let me talk to her first.”

“Because you’re her brother?”

“Yeah.”

“I love how we can loop our own conversations,” she said with a grin.

Our battle with math homework only took about half an hour, mostly because we kept having to take ‘breaks’. By breaks, I mean we snuggled together and just basked in our own happiness. We didn’t even need to speak while we cuddled; our synchronized breathing and the smiles on our faces said it all.

Once we finally conquered the math homework, I asked, “What else do you have to work on?”

She thought for a moment. “Well, tomorrow I have to talk about what beauty is.”

“For Philosophy?”

“Yup.”

“Well,” I said, tracing a finger along her angelic face, “Beauty is you.”

“Corny,” she said, raising an eyebrow.

“Sorry.”

“And unbelievably sweet,” she continued, leaning in for a long, slow, passionate kiss. The kiss lasted only a few seconds but they were a few seconds of bliss and we broke apart slowly, sharing contented smiles. “But seriously, it has to be what I think beauty is.”

I leaned back in my beanbag chair. “And what do you think beauty is?”

“Subjective.”

“Obviously.”

“It’s not something that you can sum up as easily as they want me to,” she said, getting up and pacing, “I mean, what I think is beautiful is not what everyone is going to think is beautiful. I think a rose is beautiful, someone else will think a tulip is more beautiful. I like sunrise, someone else likes sunset. They’re asking for certainties with something that can’t be certain. It’s like trying to grab a fistful of water.”

“Then you should say that,” I said, “Trying to describe beauty is like trying to grab a fistful of water. You’ll get some of it but the essence of it will forever escape your grasp.”

She rubbed her temples. “I wish I could say it as good as you do.”

“You do,” I said, pulling her to me, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

“You’re just a much better student than me,” she said, resting her head on my shoulder.

I lifted her chin. “I never thought of looking ahead in math to get a head start. Just because some stuff comes naturally to me doesn’t mean I’m a genius or anything.”

“I guess,” she sighed, “But I figure I must be a genius.”

“How do you figure?”

“Well, I somehow managed to snag the best boyfriend ever,” she said, looking up at me, “If that isn’t the work of a genius, I don’t know what is.”

I pressed her nose with a finger. “Well, my little genius, what do we do now?”

“I don’t feel like talking about Lord of the Whatever right now,” she mused, “So I guess we’re all done.”

“Free to do whatever we want?”

“Absolutely.”

“And what does my gorgeous girlfriend want to do?”

She thought about it. “How about we make out?”

I pretended to consider. “I don’t know. Will it be just as good as it always is?”

“With you, absolutely. You kissing me? I don’t know. Sounds kind of…blahhhhh.”

I laughed. “Blahhhhhh.”

She hauled back her head to deliver a blast of ‘blahhhhh’ to my face but changed her mind at the last second. She tackled me to the ground, our lips desperately seeking each other. We clung together, hands clutching and pressing as we held each other close, our lips meeting again and again, filling the room with the sounds of our passion. I could hear fireworks and see bright swirls of colors beneath my closed eyelids, ricocheting and becoming brighter every time Kayla’s lips touched mine.

Heaven.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday ended up being a rather uneventful day. Amanda continued to be in a pissy mood, Craig was still gloomy, and Jessica kept giving me odd smiles in the hallways, but they didn’t actually do anything. And having Kayla’s smile to greet me every time I saw her more than made up for any discomfort the other three may have given me. Each one needed to be dealt with but I was still basking in the glow of my new relationship and the last thing I needed was to start building a barricade around it.

Classes on Tuesday slithered by without much in the way of memorable occurrence. We continued to sweat and pant in gym class under Walburn’s increasingly fanatic devotion to fitness, we laughed and joked together at lunch while Craig’s gaze hung like a vulture over us, and we groaned as Ms. Locke decided to turn our Theater period into a long lecture about the most famous theatrical actors in history. Interesting stuff but I’ll save that for Theater History 101 in college, thank you.

After school was much the same as on Monday as well: Amanda’s attitude, Alan’s helplessness, Kayla and my time together studying and holding each other. One of those three I enjoyed. The other two…well, they weighed heavily on me, particularly as the older brother (by ten minutes) and head of the household (until about eleven at night). Amanda still refused to acknowledge my presence while we were in the same room and every time I tried to talk to her, she would leave.

And as happy as I was with Kayla, my worry for my siblings hung around during our time together like a shadow at the edge of a sunlight-drenched park. I knew she could sense it and we talked about it.

“I don’t know how to approach her,” I said glumly on Tuesday evening, shortly before she had to go back home.

“Just let her know you aren’t going to leave until she talks to you,” Kayla replied, “If she isn’t going to come to you, you’re going to have to get firm with her.”

“Yeah…”

“Baby,” she said, taking my hands, “I know this is eating at you. Just let me know if I can help. I want to help you. I’ll help you any way I can.”

“Just being here with me is enough,” I said with a smile.

She gave me a kiss. “Why can’t more guys be like you?”

“Then I wouldn’t be so unique,” I said cockily.

She laughed. “You’re unique, all right. I’ve never met anyone like you. Someone as sweet, caring, friendly…dashingly handsome, of course.”

“So if you met another guy like me and he hit on you…”

“I’d tell him to fuck off. I’ve got a boyfriend.” She swatted me on the rear. I tried to tickle her sides but by now her reflexes were ninja-like and she easily dodged, sticking her tongue out at me as she did so. That never stopped being adorable.

A few hours later, I was standing outside Amanda’s door, trying to work up the courage to knock. I raised my hand a few times but just let it fall. It wasn’t that I was scared; I just didn’t know what to say. What could I say to her to make peace? Appeal to her as a brother? As someone she’s attracted to? Just thinking about having a "Let’s be friends" conversation with my sister made my brain feeling like puking.

It all came to a head on Wednesday.

After a fairly typical school day (elevated by Kayla’s presence, of course), we stood chatting outside with Joe and Brad when Brad’s eye suddenly darkened. Being so normally easy-going, seeing him like this was enough to catch our attention. He jerked his head at a point behind me. “Jack.”

I turned and saw Craig chatting with Amanda. That would have been bad enough but he was also insisting and resting his hand on her arm, which she was voicing no objection to. In fact, she was smiling at him. She glanced over at me, saw me watching, and then moved in closer to him.

“Jesus,” Kayla breathed.

“Just say the word, man,” Joe growled, cracking his knuckles.

I was very nearly on the point of allowing them to dissect Craig, I was so angry, when Alan came up and very vocally announced his disapproval. We couldn’t hear what he was saying but the way he was pointing at Craig and the anger and hurt in his face made it fairly clear that he was pointing out exactly who it was that Amanda was getting so friendly with. Craig put up his hands and backed away, a little smile on his face. Fuck this guy. Seriously.

“Dude,” Brad said, watching Craig walk away, “That son of a bitch just won’t leave you alone.”

“I know,” I said, infuriated. I was furious with Craig, sure, but I was also kind of pissed at Amanda. It’s not as if she had Kayla’s excuse; she knew who he was and that what she was doing would get to me. This was revenge.

“What do you want to do about it?” Joe asked.

“I’m going to have a nice, long talk with her when I get home.”

“Let’s give her a ride,” Kayla said. I raised an eyebrow to her. “If you’re going to be laying down the law with her, maybe being nice beforehand will make her want to listen.”

I nodded. “That’s an idea.”

“It is an idea,” she said, getting that grin she got when she planned to be a smartass, “It’s also a good idea.”

“It’s also a good idea to give your butt a spanking,” I growled, reaching for her. She danced away and stuck her gorgeous butt out lewdly, growling.

Before I could pursue her and properly punish her, my phone buzzed. I pulled it out, seeing an unfamiliar number on the display. I answered. “Hello?”

“Jack Harrison?”

“Yeah?”

“This is Frank Simpson, I’m the manager of the Gamestop you applied to. How are you doing?”

I mouthed, “Gamestop,” to Kayla, who stopped teasing me with her butt and slid up close, putting her ear next to mine. “I’m doing okay, sir. Just got out of school so the day’s looking brighter already.”

Frank chuckled. “I hoped I wouldn’t catch you while you were still in school. I’ve been looking over your application and was wondering if you wanted to come in for a quick interview.”

“Sure,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady. Kayla was bouncing up and down with joy. “When were you thinking?”

“Now. Now works.”

“But…I mean, I’m not exactly wearing something professional.”

“Neither am I. We’re not looking for suits and ties, Jack. Nice and casual. Unless now doesn’t work for you…”

Kayla prodded me in the side and skipped away as I tried to do the same to her. “No, no, now works fine. I’ll be over in about ten minutes or so.”

“Sounds good. Looking forward to meeting you.”

“And you too, sir.”

I hung up and Kayla leapt on my back, kissing my cheek. “Yay!” she squealed, “Yay! Yay! My baby’s got an interview!”

Joe and Brad were giving me grins that suggested I was going to get shit for something. “So, baby,” Joe drawled, “You’ve got a big interview? Going to start making major moolah?”

“Shut up,” I muttered as Kayla continued to cover my cheek with kisses.

“He’s gonna be our sugar-daddy now,” Brad said, grinning, “We’re gonna have to find something pretty to wear.”

“If you two are planning on gold-digging,” Kayla said, looking up at them, “Get in line. I’ve got girlfriend-dibs.”

“But we’ve known him longer!”

“And I’m his girlfriend so that means I come first.” She stuck her tongue out and flipped them off. “So…suck it.”

“Jack, I will pay you a hundred bucks if I can give her a spanking,” Brad said, folding his arms.

“He doesn’t have time,” Kayla whooped, “He’s got an interview to get to. Go!” She smacked my rear. “Mush! To your car!”

“See you guys,” I said, walking off with Kayla still on my back.

“See ya, horsie,” Joe called, “Let us know how it goes!”

I let Kayla down when we got to my car. “I hope you don’t mind that I’m touchy-feely,” she said, suddenly shy, “I just…don’t wanna take my hands off you.”

I pulled her in for a kiss. It’s amazing how each kiss feels just as wonderful and passionate as our first. “It’s fine, sweetie,” I said, “But if you keep spanking me in front of people, it’s going to start costing you.”

“Your ass is mine,” she growled, squeezing it.

“That I don’t doubt,” I said, winking at her.

The drive to Gamestop took closer to fifteen minutes, courtesy of an accident just as we got into town. Kayla carried the brunt of the conversation along the way, mostly words of encouragement that, though fairly generic, nevertheless helped boost my spirits. Especially since she followed each one with a kiss on the cheek. I wasn’t worried too much about the interview (Frank’s desire to have me come in as soon as possible gave me a good boost of confidence); my thoughts were all on Amanda. What the hell was she thinking, letting Craig flirt with her? She knew who he was and what he did. I had warned her about him this past summer, even pointed him out in the yearbook. Was she so desperate to hurt me that she was willing to put up with a shitnugget like Craig?

I was going to talk to her when I got home. There were no two ways about it.

I parked out front and Kayla pulled me in so that we were cheek-to-cheek. “You’ll do great, baby,” she whispered in my ear, “I’ll be waiting for the good news.” She gave me a quick kiss and waved to me as I exited the car.

Paul, of the rocking goatee, was behind the counter and perked up when I came in. “Hey, Jack,” he said, leaning forward to shake my hand.

“Hey.”

“Yo, Frank!” Paul called to the back of the store.

“Yeah?” came the response.

“Jack Harrison here for you!”

“Send him on back!”

Paul pointed me to the back of the store and I left, wondering exactly how much face-to-face time actually happened between employees.

There was no door to the back room, just a doorway through which I could see stacks of boxes and shelves full of games. I knocked on the edge of the doorway. “Come on in.” I walked in and a tall man with a fairly prominent bald-patch came forward to shake my hand. “Paul was right. I do recognize you.”

“Thanks,” I said, not sure what else I could say. I recognized him too, less from his name and more as the guy who sold me stuff. And that was something I decided not to say during the interview.

He pointed me to a folding chair at a plastic table and sat down on the other side of it. He shifted through some papers until he pulled out my application. “Normally I start off by asking why you want to work here but…well, you’re a high school kid. Why wouldn’t you want to work here?” I shrugged. “But what’s put you above the normal hoodie-clad mumblers is Paul’s recommendation. And I know you’re a regular here so…you must have some interest in gaming.”

“Some,” I admitted. If I started going into everything I knew about gaming, we’d be here all day and I wanted to get home quickly.

He reached into a box and pulled out three games: Bioshock Infinite, Red Dead Redemption, and Assassin’s Creed. “All right,” he said, “Quick exercise. Stack these in order from least best to best. Best being on top.”

I looked at them for a second, a little confused by the exercise. All of this was purely subjective, right? I mean, who cared what I thought was the best? I was selling, not buying. Still, if this was what it took to get a job…I placed Assassin’s Creed on the bottom, stacked Red Dead Redemption on top of it, and finished the stack with Bioshock Infinite.

Frank looked at the stack for a moment, nodded, then leaned back. “All right, I’ve got a fairly good sense for what kind of gamer you are,” he said. He did? With three games? “Now, one more challenge for you.” He slipped Assassin’s Creed out from the bottom and handed it to me. “Sell me the game.”

“Huh?”

“Since this was what you considered the ‘least best’, I want to see how you would sell it.” He leaned back and raised an eyebrow.

I stared at the game for a second, then at him, then back to the game. “What kind of games do you like, Frank?” I asked.

He blinked. “Wait…what?”

“Games. What kind of games do you like?”

“I…uh…I guess action games mostly. I mean…what?”

“Now, are we talking action games with just guns or do you like just about any sort of action?”

“Any, I guess. Jack, what—”

“Well,” I said, placing the game on the table, “Then I’ve got the perfect title for you.” He stared at the game, still very confused but seeming to catch on a little. “If you want action, this has plenty. Swords, knives, all that good stuff. But…imagine all that on top of a story about centuries-old conspiracy, an order of assassin’s that still exists today, running across the rooftops of ancient Jerusalem as you figure out how best to assassinate a target without being spotted. Action is great…but imagine being able to sneak up behind an unsuspecting target, taking care of them, and then being chased across rooftops and skylights by armed soldiers. You want pulse-pounding, there you go.”

He took the game back, grinning. “Well, that was unorthodox. Most people just stutter and go, ‘Um…it’s a fun game…I like it’. Some crap like that.” He clapped his hands. “Well, Mr. Harrison, how would you feel if I made you an offer right now?”

My jaw dropped. “Seriously? That’s all it took?”

“Look, Jack, teenagers all would like a job that pays for very little work. Hell, do you know what percentage of people actually give a crap about our opinions when they come in the store? It’s tiny! You plowed ahead and, were I a customer, I would seriously have considered buying.” He laughed. “And I own the game! Now, how does eight dollars an hour sound for starting salary?”

I sputtered for a second before saying, “I think I could live with that.”

“I bet you could. When can you come in for your first day of training?”

“Well…I’m free after school tomorrow.”

“No good. I’m not going to be here.”

“Saturday?”

“That is good. All right…let’s say…Saturday at noon?” It would be cutting into my time with Kayla but I doubt she would have a problem with it, not when she was so supportive of me working. I nodded. “Fantastic. All right then…” He pushed back his chair and extended his hand. I shook it. “Welcome aboard.”

“You really don’t need any time to think about it? Don’t need to go to the District Manager or anything?”

“Jack, I need an extra guy. Yeah, I’ll have to forward the details to the DM but I have perfect authority to make you an offer. I’ll hear back by later today if I send off the info now…which I will.”

“Well, thank you, sir. Thanks a lot!”

“And no ‘sir’! Just Frank.”

“Yes, Frank.”

I emerged from the back room, grinning from ear to ear. Paul came out from behind the counter to give me a fist-bump. “Great job, bro,” he said, “Knew you’d get it.”

“Thanks, Paul,” I replied, “Looking forward to working with you.”

“Same to you, man. You take care!”

I wanted to get to the car with a blank expression, to keep Kayla guessing until I told her, but I was so giddy with joy that the spring in my step would have been visible a mile away. Kayla saw it and instantly started whooping and shrieking with delight. I had barely opened the door when she seized me and pulled me in for a kiss so forceful, I swear I tasted blood.

“I’m so proud of you, baby,” she said when she pulled back.

“Thanks,” I said, panting a little from the force of the kiss, “I’m kind of proud of myself, too.”

She started dancing in her seat, making the car rock to and fro. “My baby is employed! My baby is employed!” she chanted, doing a subdued version of her Victory Dance. The fact that she was sitting was the only reason she couldn’t do the actual thing. She continued to dance and chant even as we were pulling out of the parking lot, hollering at passersby, who stared back at us with raised eyebrows.

“So when do you start?” she asked once the energy kick had subsided a little.

“Saturday. I’m going in for training.”

“How to work the register and stuff like that?”

“And how to push the Power Card and how to work with troubleshooting hardware problems and stuff like that.”

“Jeez,” she said, pulling a face, “And here was me thinking you just needed to like games.”

“You like burgers, right? Want to go work for Burger King?”

Kayla glared at me. “Try to push me into fast food, Jack, and—”

“But you’d be so cute in those outfits!”

“Pull the car over.” I glanced at her to see if she was kidding. “Pull…the car…over.”

I did as she asked, pulling into the nearest parking lot. My stomach sank a little and I wondered if I hadn’t gone too far. Only three days in and I had made my first blunder. Wonderful. “Kayla, I’m really—”

“Jack,” she cut through, looking at me with all seriousness, “Your butt is going to receive the most epic whooping of its life. I wanted you to pull over so you could fully appreciate the gravity of that fact. Your butt is going to be begging for mercy by the time I’m done with it.” She leaned in close so our noses almost touched. “Is there a problem with that?”

I gulped. Damn, she could be scary. “No, ma’am.”

“Good,” she said, smiling, “But I’m really proud of you, Jack.”

“Thanks. Sorry it’ll cut into our time together.”

She pouted. “Yeah…but you’ve got your stuff to do. And I’ll just come visit you if I get bored.”

“You’ll need a car for that.”

“Sounds like I got something new to hound my parents for.” We shared a laugh.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Every bit of confidence I had built up for myself in preparation for my talk with Amanda wavered like a Jenga tower as I stared at my house. I was getting that familiar sour feeling in my stomach and my limbs shook uncontrollably. Memories of Friday night came pouring back as if my brain was trying to justify avoiding her altogether. She handcuffed you to the bed. She tried to fuck you. There’s no reason you

Brain, you’ve gotten me through some difficult times, but if you don’t shut up, I’m going to kill you with booze.

Kayla noticed my distress and took my hand. “You can do it,” she said encouragingly, “Do you want me to come in with you?”

I squeezed her hand. “I think I’ll be fine,” I replied, “But I will text you if I need your help.”

“Okay, sweetie,” she said, leaning over to kiss me on the cheek, “It’ll go fine. I’ll be waiting for the good news.” I turned my head and we shared a quick kiss before she got out. I watched her until she entered her house, allowing myself one quick peek at her butt. Spectacular.

I sucked in a deep breath, let it out raggedly, and stepped out of the car. I did not want to do this. I mean, yes, I wanted to fix things with Amanda but shouldn’t there be a pill by now that you can take that just solves everything quick and easy? Why can’t it ever be the future? Ugh. My brain was still trying to convince me that I shouldn’t do anything, that I should just leave it alone, but something deeper inside, my conscious I guess, was telling me I had to. God, why was this so hard?

I found Alan sitting alone in the living room, watching TV. “Where’s Amanda?” I asked, trying to make it sound casual.

He threw up his hands irritably. “Where do you think? Up in our room. She fucking locked me out!” He twisted around and glared at me. His eyes were red, as if he’d been crying. “Did you see her with that asshole? She said she was going to call him as soon as we got home.”

Shit! My brain finally stopped trying to fight me and was sounding the rally call to battle. “Did she?”

“I don’t know but she could be doing anything up there.”

“I’m going to go talk to her,” I said hotly.

“Good luck, Jack,” he said, turning back to the TV. I saw his draw a hand across his eyes.

I pounded up the stairs and hammered on the twins’ door. “Go away, Alan.” Her voice was muffled, as if she were pressing her face into a pillow.

“It’s Jack,” I said, “Please open the door.”

“Go away.”

“No, Amanda. You’ve been avoiding me for almost five days now and I’m sick of it. Open the door.”

“No.”

I huffed. If she wasn’t going to open the door, I’d have to do it myself. The keyhole was purely for decoration, there was no key for it, but the bolt in the doorknob was another matter. No one else knew about the small piece of metal on the lentil above the bathroom door, which served as the key for all the rooms. A few seconds later, I was opening the door.

Amanda was lying on the bed, face buried in the pillow, but she sat bolt upright when I came in. “How did you—” she started in an outraged tone.

“What is going on?” I asked.

“What?”

“What are you doing? Why are you hiding in here? And why in the name of all that’s Holy are you talking to Craig?”

“Why do you care?” she said, folding her arms, “Shouldn’t you ask those questions to someone you care about?”

“Amanda, that’s not how I meant it. I misspoke.”

“No, you made it very clear how you felt. You found me disgusting and didn’t give a shit what I wanted.”

“You wanted to fuck me!” I hissed, trying to keep my voice down, “Of course I didn’t want that!”

“But if it was Kayla, you’d have no problem, right?”

“She’s…she’s not related to me.”

Her eyes were filling up with tears. “What’s wrong with me, Jack? Why don’t you want to be with me?”

“You’re my sister.”

“So? Alan doesn’t care.”

“I’m not Alan,” I said, “And why do you even want me when you have Alan? Why do you want your brothers in the first place?”

“Well, who else should I go after?” she sneered, “Those two chunkheads you hang out with? The assholes at school that see my tits before my face?”

“Why go after anyone? You’re a freshman!”

Angry tears were streaking down her cheeks. “I just want someone to want me! And that’s clearly not you! You fucking hate me!”

I walked over and seized her. She looked afraid for a moment, as if she thought I would slap her, but I pulled her in for a tight hug instead. My arms encircled her shoulders and I pressed her to me, burying her face in my shoulder. I held for a long time. “Do you remember when we were five and you broke my Hot Wheels track?”

She stiffened. “Yes?”

“What happened?”

“I was trying to make some new—”

“No, I mean, what happened when I found out?”

She was silent for a second. “You told me it was okay. Mom and dad were madder at me than you were. You told them not to punish me.”

I pulled back and looked her in the eyes. “I will never hate you,” I said, “You are my sister. That puts a hold on your ability to screw me but that also means I love you and will always love you.”

She broke down, heaving great sobs as she hugged me back, squeezing me like she wanted to crack my ribs. I held her back and gently rocked her back and forth, letting her soak my shirt with tears. I didn’t say anything. She needed to get all of her grief out and I didn’t want to interrupt that.

I don’t know how long we sat there, just holding onto each other. Eventually she pushed back and wiped her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said, looking at the giant wet stain on my shirt.

“It’s fine,” I said, smiling at her, “Are you okay?”

“No. But…I think I will be.” She took a shuddering breath. “This is all just so fucked up, you know?”

“Amanda,” I said, “Why me? Why Alan?”

She didn’t say anything for a while. I thought she wasn’t going to answer, but then she sighed and said, “I love you guys. You’ve always been there for me, even when I’m a complete bitch. You just…I know you’re my brothers but you’re also the sweetest, kindest most wonderful guys ever.” She looked at me desperately. “I’m sorry I tried to force myself on you. I just thought…maybe once you saw me naked, you would want me. You would want to make love to me.”

“I’m sorry, Amanda, but that’s not going to happen.”

She looked down sadly. “I know,” she said in a small voice, “Kayla’s a lucky girl.”

“Amanda…how do you feel about Alan?”

She looked confused. “I love him. I’ve always loved him.”

“I mean as more than a brother, how do you feel about him?”

“I…I’m not exactly sure.”

I had been thinking about this in the back of my mind, since I gave Amanda the hug, and now I was certain. It was the right thing to do. I went to the door and called, “Alan! Come up here!”

“Jack, what are you doing?” Amanda asked, alarmed.

I didn’t answer. Alan tromped up the stairs slowly, each step thudding loudly on the wood of the steps. Finally he walked in, glancing once at Amanda before sitting down on the edge of the bed, as far away from her as he could. She looked at him sadly.

“All right,” I said, closing the door and turning to face them, “This is going to stop now. I’m head of the household until mom and dad get home and I’m sick of coming home to silence from you two.”

“I thought you didn’t like when we talked,” Alan muttered.

“That’s when you talked at the same time to creep me out. I’ll even take that over this. Now…” I took a huge breath, knowing I had to go for it now or lose any chance of fixing this, “…I know about you two.”

This was directed more at Alan than Amanda, who already knew, but they both had the exact same reaction: their faces drained until both of their faces looked like scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup on top. Amanda’s lips were pressed together tightly in horror but Alan tried to make the save.

“I…Jack, what are you…”

“Save it, Alan. I know you two have been having sex.”

Alan whirled on her. “You told him?” he roared.

“No, I saw you two,” I said, trying to sound authoritarian even though I could feel a blush coming on, “I saw you two last Tuesday for the first time. How long has this been going on?”

They both stayed silent for a while, their faces white and twitchy. “Six months…” Alan finally mumbled.

“I’m surprised you kept it secret from mom and dad for so long.”

“It wasn’t easy,” Amanda said, “That’s how I knew you were out there, when—” She clamped her mouth shut but it was too late. Alan heard and understood in a second.

“Wait…you knew he knew?” he said, hotly, color returning to his face.

She looked down and nodded. “Jack,” Alan said, turning back to me, “Did she try anything with you?”

Here was a conundrum. On the one hand, I wanted to be honest because I was asking them to be honest. On the other hand, I wanted them to be happy together and if Alan knew what she had done to me, he might be less inclined to think accept that. “What makes you think that?” I asked, playing for time as the moral battle raged on the battlefield of my conscience.

“She talks about you a lot,” he snapped, “And I mean a lot. Especially since you got interested in Kayla.” He turned on her again. “I think she’s jealous.” She turned red but didn’t respond.

I made up my mind. “No, she didn’t.”

“Huh?” Alan said.

“She hasn’t tried anything with me,” I repeated. Part of me felt bad for wanting to base their relationship on a lie but…what was I going to gain from being absolutely honest? This wasn’t anything I held a grudge over, nor was it something that needed to be aired out. Amanda was going to be on her honor not to try anything from now on. I could tell, by the look on her face, that she knew I was giving her a second chance and was grateful.

“Oh…” Alan said, clearly surprised.

“What is important,” I continued, “is how you two feel about each other. I assume the girl you were talking about yesterday was Amanda, Alan?”

He hesitated before nodding. “What did you say?” Amanda asked him.

He opened his mouth and I stopped him. “Wait,” I said, “Don’t tell her what you told me yesterday. Tell her what you want to tell her now.”

Alan looked at me for a bit, as if weighing whether or not I was actually trying to help him, before turning to Amanda. He looked into her eyes for a minute before taking both her hands in his. He took a deep breath. “Amanda,” he said stolidly, “I love you. And I mean, I think I love you love you. And it’s been the hardest thing in the world to see you almost slipping away from me. It’s not just about the sex, though trust me the sex is amazing. You listen to me and you don’t judge me and everything you say and do makes me love you even more. I don’t…I don’t even know how to really describe it but I love you and I will always be there for you because I can’t see myself with anyone else.”

Take out the fact that they were brother and sister, it was really sweet. Amanda was biting her lip hard, trying to keep in the tears. “Alan…” she breathed before leaning in to kiss him deeply. “I love you too,” she whispered.

She looked over at me with misty eyes. “And I love you, Jack. I love you both so much. I just…wanted to show you how much I love you both, too.”

“Well, I’m taken,” I said seriously. She sighed and nodded, seeming to finally accept it. “But Alan feels the same way about you and he’s open for the taking.”

“You really don’t mind?” Alan asked.

I considered it for a second. “It’s weird,” I finally said, “And yeah, I know society would have a shit-fit if they ever found out about it. But fuck society. Fuck what people think. If you guys love each other…I’m on your side.”

Amanda grabbed Alan and pulled him in for a fiercer kiss, one that had him sprawling on the bed with surprise. “You’re the best, Jack,” she said, looking up at me.

“Should I give you two some alone time?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

Amanda stared at me, clearly thinking about something. She looked down at Alan, then back up at me and said, “Jack, can you give us a few minutes?”

“What for?” Alan and I asked at the same time.

“Just…I need to ask Alan something. Please. It’ll only take a couple minutes.”

I had no clue what she was talking about but I shrugged and said, “Okay.” I walked out of the bedroom and closed the door, sagging against the doorframe. What had I just agreed to? Nothing, really. Amanda wasn’t going to try anything with me anymore…hopefully. And really, nothing much was going to change between them except that they would probably be doing it outside of the bedroom when mom and dad weren’t around. I grimaced. Yeah, there was a downside. I didn’t want to come home every day with them doing the horizontal tango on the dining room table. I’d have to take dinner in my room from then on out.

I pulled out my phone and checked my messages. There was only one, from Kayla.

Kayla: Hey, sweetie! I hope everything is going well. Message me when you’re done! <3

Christ, what would Kayla say if she knew about Alan and Amanda? I didn’t think she would freak out, at least I hoped she wouldn’t, but that wasn’t my secret to tell. If they wanted to bring her into their confidence, they would decide that, not me. I rubbed my face, praying that I hadn’t just opened a huge can of worms.

Amanda poked her head out after a couple more minutes. “Jack, can you come back in?”

I walked in to find Alan sitting with a distinctly uncomfortable expression. Amanda sat next to him on the bed, putting on a brave face as she said, “Jack, we have a favor to ask you.”

“Okay.”

“We are going to have sex. Right now.” Alan’s expression brightened a bit at the sound of that.

“Awesome. I’ll just go back to my—”

“Hang on,” she said holding up a hand, “Look, I know I’ll never be able to have you. I understand that. It’s hard but…I can live with it. But…I want to ask you to please…stay here while we have sex.”

My dropped jaw and raised eyebrows made my face feel about twice as long as it normally was. “Say what?”

Her eyes were sparking with distress, as if she feared I would become angry. “Please, Jack, just stay here. Just this once. I want to be as close as possible to the two guys I love more than anything. You aren’t going to do anything. Just…please sit in here with us while we do it, just so I can feel close to you both at the same time.” A tear slid down her cheek.

Well, fuck me if that wasn’t something I expected to hear in my life. She wanted me to watch them have sex. My initial gut-reaction was the say, “No,” purely based on the fact that it would be unbelievably awkward to be in the same room as two people having sex. Then I realized that I would be watching my brother and sister fucking and that made the ‘no’ come closer to exploding out of my mouth. And then…I realized that this really was important to Amanda. Not just the sex but being close to the two of us. Yeah, the idea of it still made my stomach question why my brain hadn’t tossed out the idea altogether, but if it would make her happy…and it was just one time…

Still not one hundred percent on it, I said, “You wouldn’t feel awkward?”

“No,” she replied.

Alan rolled his words around in his mouth before saying, “I mean…if it’ll make her happy.”

Make her happy. Seems like I had been doing a lot of that lately. With Kayla, it was a natural reaction. With Jessica, it was out of guilt. With Amanda…she was my sister. And this was important to her because of love, not because of sex. Shit…what was I getting myself into?

“Okay.”

Amanda blinked, looking as if she couldn’t believe her ears. “You will?”

“Just this once,” I said, holding up a finger, “And then never ever again.”

Amanda leapt up and hugged me so tight, I thought she was going to lift me off the ground. “Jack, you’re amazing.” I didn’t respond; saying anything at this point might cause me to reconsider. I sat on the other bed, leaned back against the pillows, and watched them.

Alan was clearly more nervous than Amanda, giving me awkward sideways glances, but Amanda turned his head around. “Just look at me, Alan,” she said.

“Only you,” he said, smiling, “You’re all I want to look at.” I wondered if Kayla and I were ever that nauseatingly cute.

They leaned in and kissed each other, but it was different than I had expected. When I had watched them before, they had gone at each other with wild, carnal lust. The kiss they gave each other now was the same type of kiss Kayla and I gave each other: one of passion, of trust. Of…love. They held each other close, kissing again and again, leaning into each other as their breaths began to quicken.

Alan kissed down Amanda’s neck to her collarbone, where he licked and sucked on it. She moaned and bit her lip, running her hands over his body. His hands roamed down her midriff and up into her shirt. I could see his fingers flexing as he worked on the button and zipper to her pants. She lifted up her rear so that he could slip her jeans off, slowly revealing her milky skin little by little as the blue fabric traveled down her bare legs. She was wearing a pair of pink panties and Alan immediately placed his hand on her mound. She moaned louder and began running her hands through his hair.

She was shifting her butt down until she was just about in his lap. Her hands left his hair and she tugged off his shirt, revealing a physique that was solid but not very well defined. That didn’t seem to matter and she ran her hands up his stomach and lightly raked her fingernails up and down his chest, eliciting groans from him as his mouth found hers again. He was lying on his back now, with her on top, and she was humping his hand with her pussy, squeaking every time his fingers ran along her slit.

Watching them wasn’t as strange as I had thought, no more so than just watching porn online. As soon as I separated myself from the fact that they were my siblings (a difficult task and one that my brain was sure to punish me for later), all I saw were two people in love. It made it easier to accept, as long as I didn’t think about it.

Alan used his other hand and lifted her shirt up, revealing a matching pink bra that Amanda quickly relieved herself of. Alan’s hand left her pussy and both took a breast as a partner, rolling them and squeezing them gently as the two of them continued to kiss passionately. Her hand slid into his pants and I could see the outline flex as she grasped his cock. He pulled back from the kiss and gasped, his eyes closing in bliss.

“You like that?” she whispered, flicking his ear with her tongue. He moaned in response. She opened up his pants and slid them down, grasping his cock through his boxers and receiving more moans as he started to thrust up into her fist.

She put her other hand on his chest and gently laid him back. He lay back on the bed, his arms hanging over the side as he panted in anticipation. She slowly pulled his boxers down, his erect shaft bouncing out as they were released from their cotton confines. Not that I wanted to check out my brother’s junk but…well, yeah, I had to glance (what? As if you don’t look at both partners during porn!) and I was somewhat pleased to see he was a good inch shorter than I was. I mean, not that I give a shit about how big someone’s cock is but my chest swelled a little all the same.

She had her butt facing me so when she went to take his cock in her mouth, most of the action was lost to me. I saw her head bobbing up and down, her body getting into the motion as well, and heard Alan’s moans and sighs of pleasure, but saw nothing of the actual action. I also noted that they were being much less vocal than they had previously, an effect, perhaps, of realizing that they were making love, not just fucking the life out of each other.

Her sucking lasted a few minutes before she pulled herself off, saying, “Are you ready to be inside?”

“Oh, yes,” Alan breathed, his voice breathy.

She giggled. “I bet you are.” She slid off her panties and tossed them off the bed and raised herself up so she was straddling his waist. She reached between her legs and grasped his cock, rubbing the tip against her slit. She gasped and moaned as the tip teased her clit and the smell of her excitement filled the room. It wasn’t as tangy as I remembered but more sweet, like freshly-sliced cantaloupe. Maybe it was because she wasn’t grinding on me that the smell seemed different. Or because my nose wasn’t plugged up out of terror that she might have her way with me.

Finally she slid Alan’s length into her and let out a loud, low moan as she slowly descended onto it. Alan moaned as well and grabbed her hips, lowering her at a steady pace. She rested for a moment once their groins met, panting and resting her hands on top of his. “I love you, Alan,” she whispered.

“I love you too, Amanda.”

He gently lifted her and brought her back down. Another moan from her and her head lolled back, her eyes closed and her mouth half-open in pleasure. She started to rock her hips back and forth as he started to bounce her on his cock, a complicated maneuver that looked hot as hell but also difficult as hell to coordinate. Well, they had had plenty of practice. Her mouth twisted into an o-shape and her breath came in quicker gasps as their movements quickened. Every time her butt slammed down onto his thighs, little ripples cascaded down its length like the wind through a field of grass. The air was thick with the heady scent of their excitement and the sounds of groins slapping and moans of pleasure.

Alan lifted himself up onto his elbows, allowing him to angle his hips towards him. Amanda squealed at the new position and her eyes opened wide as he found a new spot to thrust against. “Ho…ly…shit,” she moaned, putting her hands on his shoulders and slamming her hips against his.

I should mention at this point that I was fully erect but would never dream of jacking myself off. Even though she had wanted me here, it seemed as though just being silent and still was working out just fine.

As Amanda began grinding her hips harder, gritting her teeth as the pleasure overwhelmed her, Alan took one of his hands and brought it around to cup one of her ass cheeks. She looked confused for a second but then he started rolling her hips, grinding her but with an added dimension to the movement. That did it. Her eyes bugged out and she screamed as she came hard, shuddering as she continued to slam down onto him.

“Fuck…me!” she shouted as the blush of her orgasm spread from her shoulders down to her belly, “Oh…fuck…yes…”

Alan’s moans were louder and more frequent now and it seemed like it wouldn’t be too long before he would finish as well. He sat up fully now, wrapping his arms around her waist and using all of his strength to grind her on top of him. She wrapped her arms around his head and pulled his face into her breasts, moaning at the top of her lungs.

“Amanda,” he gasped after another minute, “I’m…going…to…”

“Me too,” she gasped as she slid down his cock once again, “Just…give me a…holy…few seconds…oh, my fucking God…” The blush was creeping into her skin again and her breath was so high-pitched, it sounded like a blown whistle rather than human breath.

His breath, on the other hand, was coming from his chest in hollow groans like a foghorn, a sound that would be decidedly unsexy if heard on its own. “Amanda…” he groaned, his eyes screwed shut and jaw clenched, “I’m…fucking…cumming…”

“Me too!” she screamed.

Right as they both climaxed, Amanda suddenly looked over at me. Our eyes met as she orgasmed, shaking and gasping as beads of sweat dotted her skin. Alan grunted as he emptied his balls into her, burying his face in her chest, but she held my gaze the entire time, never wavering as both of them came down from their high, panting and dripping with sweat and juice. It was only when Alan finally relaxed his grip around her body did her eyes slowly, very slowly, leave mine.

They both collapsed on the bed, holding each other close as they caught their breath. “So,” Amanda said after a second, “I think I like making love rather than just fucking.”

“Me too,” Alan said drunkenly. He was so giddy, he probably would have agreed to anything at this point.

Amanda caught my eye again and whispered, “Thank you, Jack.”

“You’re welcome,” I said in a voice cracked and husky from having been unused for the past half hour. I cleared my throat and said, “I’ll…leave you two to clean up.”

“Clean up?” Amanda said, raising an eyebrow and grinning, “I think I’m up for round two.” Alan eagerly crawled back on top of her, their lips smacking as they made out furiously. I sighed and walked out, closing the door with an audible click.

It was hard to describe my feelings. I suppose it was repulsive having watched my two siblings fuck each other like crazy. Call it making love if you want, it’s still a brother and sister. But a brother and sister…in love. I mean, who are we to decide who can love who? Love will spring up anywhere and between anybody. I mean, yeah, I wasn’t into the whole fucking-my-sister thing, but if Alan was, more power to him. He certainly wouldn’t find me fighting him for the honor.

I closed the door to my room and collapsed in my beanbag chair. I pulled out my phone and checked the time. 7:48. Probably too late to do anything with Kayla.

Oh, shit! Kayla!

I quickly sent her a message.

Me: Hey, I’m done.

A few seconds later, my phone buzzed and lit up.

Kayla: Hey hey! How did it go?

Me: Good. I think we’ve worked everything out.

Kayla: Really??? That’s awesome!!! Go you!

Me: Lol thanks.

Kayla: How did you do it?

Kayla, you’re an absolute angel, but that’s one thing you never have to know.

Me: It’s a secret.

Kayla: A SECRET?! :(

Me: Family secret. Sorry, gorgeous.

Kayla: I don’t like secrets :(

Me: Want me to tell you one?

Kayla: Yes!

Me: You’re the most beautiful girl ever.

Kayla: Kiss-ass.

Me: Lol but it’s true.

Kayla: Your lips are mine next time I see you.

Me: Aren’t they always?

Kayla: Yes but I’m asserting authority.

Me: As you wish.

Kayla: I like the sound of that ;)

Me: Lol what are you doing?

Kayla: Just reading with Tori.

Me: Awwww.

She didn’t text back for a couple of minutes and I was just opening up my laptop when my phone buzzed and I saw she had sent me a picture. She was making a kissing face at the camera with her cat, Tori, laying next to her on the couch.

Me: Adorable.

Kayla: Hehehehehe :)

Me: And so is Tori. :)

Kayla: You’re too sweet. Seriously, I’m getting a tooth-ache.

Me: Lmao but only for you :)

Kayla: Awwwww :)

Me: I haven’t gotten to meet Tori yet!

Kayla: She probably doesn’t trust you. You’re a stranger man.

Me: A very DANGEROUS stranger man.

Kayla: Who will forever get his ass kicked at Super Smash Bros ;)

Me: You are forever the champion, sweetcheeks.

Kayla: Hehehehehe I know ;) Hey, we haven’t gone Facebook official yet!

Me: No we haven’t! I’ll fix that.

I logged onto my Facebook profile, realizing I hadn’t checked it in the last couple of days. Only a few notifications about posts other friends had made and one new friend request. It was Jessica. I grimaced but decided it was best to friend her to avoid any further issues with her. I opened my relationship status, changed it to ‘In a relationship’ and then selected Kayla as the one I was in a relationship with.

And thus it was that Kayla and I became Facebook official. Because that’s important.

Me: Done.

Kayla: Yay! You know I didn’t really care about that, right?

Me: I know. But I want to whole world to know that I have the best girlfriend ever :)

Kayla: You’re lucky it’s late or I’d be running over there for a major make-out session!

Me: Promises, promises.

The message bar on my Facebook page suddenly lit up with one new message. From Jessica Wilson. Oh, boy.

Jessica: “Thanks for accepting my friend request finally.”

Me: “Sorry. I haven’t been on in a couple of days.”

Was she going to be a problem now? Jesus Christ, I had just finished sorting out my issues with Amanda, Craig was still in the background, and now I had to deal with Jessica hounding me? Please, God, let her be messaging me to call the whole thing off. I can’t deal with this.

Jessica: “I’ll accept that. So…”

Me: “So what?”

Jessica: “I think I’ve finally decided what I want from you.”

Me: “Want from me?”

Jessica: “For that favor you owe me. I’ve decided how you can pay it back ;)”

God, are you really that busy?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Author's Note:

Hey everyone. Sorry it took me a little bit longer to post this part. I was in a really bad place because of some personal stuff and I ended up writing this part completely differently the first time around. I was just about to post it when I looked back through it and realized, "Wow...this is terrible." So I scrapped it and started all over from the beginning. Thank you, everyone, for all the support you've shown me. It's helped me get through what's been the toughest chapter so fr. But I've got a clearer sense of where I'm headed with the next parts so I will try to get those out quicker.
Also, if you have suggestions for stuff you would like to see happen, don't hesitate to post them. I read each and every comment and if I see something in particular that I like, I will certainly use it. This isn't a rigid process; there's a lot of room for flexibility in my writing and I would be honored to use suggestions from fans. Thanks again! :)
285 comments

Anonymous readerReport

2014-09-13 22:28:02
I dont want to sound rude, but I came here from Being more Social and was disappointed, the Kayla story is very cliche and the brother and sister shit is just fucked up. Craig has no character depth, and is the most cliche "bad guy" ever. The plot twists aren't very interesting because he obviously wants Kayla over anyone else.And to top it all off, this story has barely any sex.

Anonymous readerReport

2014-08-19 06:57:10
I feel like this is my life.

Anonymous readerReport

2014-08-17 08:51:05
I said in once and I'll say it again. I have skipped more of this story than any other I have tried to read. You really should have published in "Ladies Home Journal", not a sex story site.

Anonymous readerReport

2014-08-06 07:15:12
How far is it between their bedroom windows?

From the time I was in 2nd grade until I got married, the house I shared with my parents was acrossed a shared driveway, 20 feet wide, from the next house. Both houses had a second floor bedroom in the front corner on the driveway, and the bathroom on the rear corner. The good Catholics that they were, the neighbors had two boys and two girls. The younger girl was 3 or 4 years behind me. Not especially cute, but she had a nice figure. One morning at 6 am, when It was around when I was around 19 and she would have been 15 or 16, I was awoken by an alarm clock - but it wasn't mine. The sound had carried from the bedroom opposite mine. The headboard of my bed was up against the wall facing the driveway, with the window a foot from the edge of my bed. Her alarm shut off, then not much later I saw the lights come on in their bathroom. The glass in our bathroom window was frosted, but there's was clear.

Anonymous readerReport

2014-08-06 07:13:26
I was laying in my bed, my head on my pillow, but by turning my head towards their bathroom I could see Jeannie facing the window, feet spread wide, doing stretching exercises, left hand to the right toe, right hand to the left toe, while she was stark naked not 30 feet from my face. The strips of venetian blinds blocked 50% of the view, but my brain did a wonderful job of filling in the other 50%, allowing me a great view of her bush at the intersection of her well toned thighs, as well as her nice breasts. Even as she got into the shower, I could still see her lathering behind it's clear sliding glass door. For quite awhile I made a habit of being aroused at 6 am.

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