Chapter 1: How It All Began

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Incest, Brother, Sister, Father, Daughter, Cousins, Uncle, Aunt, Safe Sex, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Masturbation, Petting, Slow, School, .

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1: How It All Began - Keith and Tandra are brother and sister. This is her first year as a Univeristy student, and his second. Their parents' suggest they become roommates, too. As expected by their parents, they become more than just roomies - and they aren't the only ones practising 'Family Love' . . . ! Not all tags apply to main characters.

"You in?" I asked my eighteen-year old sister Tandra.

"Yeah, let's hit the road," she answered, double checking that her seat belt was properly latched.

I slipped my van into reverse and started to back out of the driveway of our parents house, experiencing a shot of deja vu from this same scene last year. Back then, my little sister had stood in the driveway looking like she'd lost her best friend. I could still see the tears in her eyes as I pulled away and started my trip to my first year of university. That memory was burned into my brain, along with the pain I'd felt at leaving home, our parents, and especially my bratty twerp of a sister.

Tandra and I had been close all our lives, and had shared a lot of intimate information during high school. When she'd come home looking like she was on cloud number nine, I knew she'd had her first sexual experience and lost her virginity. She told me all about it, right down to the smallest detail. I'd had an erection for most of her tale. Just seeing me aroused and squirming had brought a giggle to her pouty lips.

I'd had a girlfriend for most of my time in high school, Cassie Mansden, and my sister had pried all the details of our first time making love out of me. Afterwards, I was kind of worried that Tandra would blab her little head off, and promised myself that I'd keep my big mouth shut after that. But my sister never said a word to anyone, raising my appreciation of her discretion several notches in the process. In fact, she and Cassie had become close friends. How much information about me they shared, I had no idea.

This year would be Tandra's first time living away from home. She'd be starting at the same university that I attended, and Mom and Dad had suggested that we split the cost of a two-bedroom apartment just off campus. I'm not sure if their reasoning was economic or if they hoped that we'd keep an eye on each other. All I knew was that the two of us had struck a mutual agreement that neither would pass judgement on the other when it came to dating or sex. All the evidence from our years of growing up suggested that if one of us had someone over, it would be no problem. In fact, I didn't see too many problems on any front.

Actually, I was looking forward to having my sister for a roommate, mostly because Tandra was a much better housekeeper than I'd ever been. Don't get me wrong. I've never been too keen on living in a pig stye, but I'm nowhere near being a "neat freak" either. My roommate last year, Dave Preston, had never seemed to care just how many dirty dishes were piled in the sink, nor how high that pile got. I think he must have been breeding dust-bunnies as a biology project, because he seemed to be allergic to vacuum cleaners. I needed the financial assistance he represented, though, so I just kept my mouth shut and did what was necessary to keep the health board from having the place condemned.

"Looking forward to this?" I broke into Tandra's silence. "You figure you can put up with your big brother? I'll warn you, it could get rough, especially when it's exam time. I can get pretty intense studying, so plan on becoming celibate for the two weeks before we write finals."

"I know what you're like, Keith. I've been around you my whole life. Remember? Just don't make me come home to a garbage dump and naked bodies all over the place. One or the other might be okay, but both at the same time? No way. Try it once and I'll never have to worry about nieces or nephews, guaranteed."

If it had been anyone besides Tandra, I might have been worried. But this was my little sister, complete with her warmth, caring, and more consideration than a guy like me has any right to expect. I reached across the seat to give her hand a squeeze as a sign that I really did appreciate how easy-going she was. She acknowledged my gesture with a quick peck on the cheek, something that had started between us mysteriously when I was in grade ten and had been dating Cassie for about a year. I have no idea what happened to persuade her to kiss me that first time, but I still enjoyed the closeness between us and those kisses were a part of it.

"When did you stop being such a bratty little twerp?" I quizzed her teasingly.

"Me? A bratty little twerp? Never!" she snapped back in a mockingly hurt tone. "I never had time to be a brat while you were being a complete asshole, especially when you started high school. And while we're on that subject, when did you stop? Being an asshole, I mean."

"Who? Me? When was I being an asshole?" I used my best wounded pride imitation.

"Umm, let's see. I'd say it started when I was about two or three, and lasted until ... until you got laid the second time. I don't know how Cassie managed it, but she did turn you into something approximating a human being. I mean, I've never been particularly religious, but that was as close to a divine miracle as I'll ever see!"

She was right, in more ways than one. Cassie had been pretty special, and still was, to a certain extent. She was studying at a Fine Arts school not far from the university, and we still got together whenever our busy schedules allowed. On more than one occasion, we'd even had some mind-blowing sex. She could think of positions and fantasies that would have embarrassed the Happy Hooker, I swear.

"You ever see her any more?" Tandra broke into my reverie. I glanced sideways and was presented with my sister's look of concern.

"Yeah, we still go out once in a while, but it's not the same," I confessed. "Shit, I miss her, Sis."

Despite us being in the same city, Cassie's life was starting to head in a different direction, one that diverged from my own. Sure, we talked to each other a lot, and even went out on the occasional date. But we were drifting apart in spite of all our efforts not to. I'd realized that if my dreams were to come true, losing Cassie would be a part of the cost. It'd hurt like hell inside, and I'd even gone so far as to call Tandra on the phone when I just had to get it out of my system. She'd listened to me rant and rave over my frustrations for a good two hours, never saying anything, yet offering her heart-felt support to her big brother. I loved her for that.

The rest of the trip went by quickly, with any boredom relieved by our incessant bantering. Tandra really was a good travelling companion, even spelling me behind the wheel for an hour or two when my eyeballs threatened to slam shut about halfway to Hendrickson. I'd bought my old van to do local deliveries for a courier company, and should have been used to several hours behind the wheel. Our Dad had co-signed the loan for me, knowing that I needed the income to pay for my schooling. That was an independent streak that he'd instilled over the years. I wondered if my sister had inherited the same trait. Time would tell.

It was twilight when we finished off the three hundred mile journey, not including the time it took to find the apartment building. In spite of my sister's cajoling that I ask someone for directions, we drove around and around until I found the place. There was no way I was going to admit being lost. It's a guy thing.

We talked to the building's manager for a few minutes, then rode the elevator to the second floor apartment that would be our home for the next ten months. Actually, it was a nice place, although a little barren with no furniture in it yet. From the front door, there was a small but adequate galley kitchen to the left that opened to a combination dining area and living room. To the right and down a short hallway was the main bathroom on the right, a decent-sized bedroom on the left, and a huge bedroom straight ahead, which was complete with an ensuite that held a gorgeous tiled shower in an all-glass enclosure. Tandra claimed the smaller of the two rooms, citing the fact that the main bathroom was just across the hall from her. I suggested she take the larger room, which would allow her the privacy I thought she deserved, but she was adamant that her idea made more sense. I'd learned a long time ago that arguing with my sister was an exercise in futility, and our rooming set-up was now cast in stone.

"Damn!" I cursed quietly. "We need furniture, and it's a little late to be shopping tonight. Would you mind if we just hauled up what we'll need for the morning, and crashed on the floor tonight, Sis?"

"Keith, if it was anybody but you, I'd tell you to get stuffed. But for one night, I think I can live with the inconvenience. There's a couple of boxes of blankets in the back of the van that need to come up, though. Thank God this place has carpet on the livingroom floor. It'll be a bitch to keep clean, but it's soft enough to sleep on for one night. First thing tomorrow, we unload, then go furniture shopping. That's the deal here, okay?"

"I've got a better idea," I countered. "Let's just unload everything and get it over with. We can put it in the big bedroom for now, then unpack once we get some furniture. Sound like a plan?"

"Yeah, okay, but I'm not looking forward to lugging all that stuff around tonight," Tandra told me in no uncertain terms, "and you're buying supper afterwards. You got anything in mind that you're going to feed me?"

"Umm, let's see" I started to tease her. "If I hang you by your heels from the ceiling and feed you nothing but milk for a year..."

"That's veal, you asshole! And if you're trying to imply that your sister's a cow, you'll be singing really high notes when I'm finished with you!"

Damn, but the girl could give as good as she got. I kissed her forehead as a peace offering, and I could swear she leaned into me when I did. I knew in that moment that we'd get along just fine.

"Let's go, Kiddo," I murmured, then spun her towards the door and gave her ass a light smack. I'd never done that to her before, and wondered if I'd live long enough to see another sunrise once I had. Tandra rubbed her butt mockingly as she gave me a saucy grin. No words were exchanged between us, yet that connection between brother and sister seemed to instantly strengthen. It felt good to be able to joke with one of the most important women in my young life.

My sister isn't the most substantial female I've ever known. At five-foot six, she'd have to wear her entire wardrobe to tip the scales over the one-fifteen mark. But she packed as much stuff up to that apartment as I did and never complained once. It took us over an hour to get everything upstairs, and when we were finished, we were both in desperate need of a shower. Tandra rummaged around until she found the box of towels that our mother had sent with us, then located the soap and shampoo. She headed for the main bathroom, but returned within seconds.

"That tub's going to need one hell of a good scrubbing before I'll use it," she declared, her first complaint of the day. I glanced inside the doorway, and had to agree with her.

"Yeah, I see what you mean. Bathtubs aren't supposed to have black things growing on them like that, are they?" I agreed as my nose involuntarily wrinkled. "Go use mine, and I'll wait out here for you. Where's your suitcase so I can find you something clean to wear?"

There was a mysterious gleam in her pretty blue eyes as she headed for my bedroom and the waiting shower. Just before she opened the door, she turned to me and made a suggestion that almost stopped my heartbeat.

"Get your stinky ass in here, Keith. You need a shower worse than I do. I wonder how much hot water we can get out of this place?"

"Umm, Tandra? Are you saying what I think you're saying?" I squeaked out, my failing voice betraying the hope that she was suggesting we share the shower. "That stall might be big enough for two, but you're my sister, for god's sake!"

"Look, asshole," she almost commanded, "I have to live with you for the next year. If you think I'm going to worry about you seeing my naked body or me seeing yours, you'd better get your head re-examined. You've seen me in my bra and panties before, and it's not like you weren't running around in just your shorts when we were growing up. That adds up to three pieces of clothing between the two of us. Doesn't leave much to the imagination, does it? We're bound to see each other nude around here at least once. Any good reason to delay the inevitable?"

In a way, I was floored, but the idea of seeing my sister in her birthday suit had a definite appeal to it. The fact that she'd see me naked was almost irrelevant to me. I'll admit that being offered a chance to gaze at her young body was doing things to my cock that could prove embarrassing. Whether it was Tandra or me that would suffer from the sight was still unclear.

My sister picked up the towels and facecloths we'd need along with the soap and shampoo, then disappeared into the ensuite. I heard water begin to splash, swallowed hard, then peeled off my sweat-soaked T-shirt. With more than just a little trepidation, I undid my jeans and let them fall to the floor, which left me wearing nothing more than my shorts. That, and the beginnings of a raging hard-on at the thought of Tandra's naked body about to be displayed for my pleasure.

She came back out and whipped off her shirt, revealing her firm and perky breasts still encased in a bra. Sure, I'd seen her running around in a bra before, but never this well displayed. My over-active imagination paled in comparison to the reality of actually being able to study her breasts. Without any hesitation or apparent modesty, she started to undo her pants, and I felt her eyes rivet themselves on my semi-erect manhood.

"You planning on doing laundry in there, or are you going to take those off?" she inquired. I swear the gleam in her eye became bright enough to illuminate the entire room without the use of light bulbs. She was standing in front of me in just her underwear, and I couldn't help but have that image of her pussy indelibly engraved into my brain as it strained against the fabric of her bikini panties. As if on cue, my cock rose to full erection, with the tenting of shorts that goes with it.

"Oh wow!" Tandra exclaimed as she stared at the bulge. "Is that because of me?"

There was a teasing quality to her tone, and something more. It was almost as if she was looking forward to ogling my naked form. I swallowed hard again, then bit the bullet and let my shorts slip over my hips on their way to joining the rest of my clothing.

By now Tandra had unfastened her bra, revealing every sensual detail of her upper body. It was impossible to miss the fact that her nipples were hard as diamonds, projecting a good quarter inch from her areolas. She was as turned on and horny as I was! God, I wanted to feel those magnificent orbs in my hands, to twist and tease her nipples in an effort to give her some pleasure, to suckle on her until she came for me. Then she hooked her fingers into the waistband of her panties and let them drop. My little sister had one of the most gorgeous pussies I'd ever seen; high, proud, and completely hairless. I could feel the pre-cum oozing out of me, leaving a smear of liquid at the tip of my cock.

Tandra moaned softly as she took in the sight of her naked brother, and I saw the tip of her tongue mindlessly sweep across her lips when her eyes locked onto the sight of me. I'd never considered my body to be anything special before and wasn't going to think about it now. But hers was something that most men can only dream. Now I was being treated to the real thing in all three dimensions instead of fantasies fuelled by my imagination. Even Cassie hadn't made me as horny as my little sister had gotten me right now.

"Your bigger than I thought," she murmured, "and if you keep that up, I'll be dripping wet for the whole year."

Her voice brought me out of my fantasy world and back to reality. I was a little shocked, although pleasantly surprised that the sight of my naked body appealed to my little sister. I was torn between molesting her until we both climaxed, or hitting the shower in the hopes that neither one of us would have to suffer through our potential embarrassment any longer than necessary. I finally managed to get my legs to work again and headed for the bathroom, inviting Tandra to precede me. The sight of her firm little butt wiggling in front of me as we went through the doorway did absolutely nothing to relieve my straining erection.

Tandra entered the shower stall first, and a strained air of unfamiliarity permeated our little world. Just as soon as I closed the door and turned to face her, I felt two arms snaking around my neck and the soft smoothness of feminine skin pressing against me.

"You like the look of my tits, don't you Keith?" my sister growled at me in a sexy voice that I'd never heard from her before.

"Tandra, if I was allowed to design the perfect woman's breasts, yours would be the prototype model I'd want to start from," I told her, our heads now pressed together at the forehead. "In fact, I think yours would be the production model. There's nothing about them I'd ever change."

She rolled her head up so that we were nose to nose, literally. She was too close for me to focus on, although I couldn't help but see that lustful glint of arousal. I was hoping that she'd keep going until our lips found each other. I also knew that if she didn't, I would.

"You can touch them if you want," she invited.

My hands developed a mind of their own, sliding up her ribs until she was cupped in my palms. I couldn't help but grasp her nipples between my thumbs and forefingers, tentatively tickling and teasing them until I heard her moan in delight as I became more aggressive while trying to give her even more pleasure.

"Can I?" was all she said as she pushed her chest tighter to my palms. I had a good idea of what she was referring to, but wasn't a hundred percent sure. It didn't matter at that point, because whatever she wanted, I knew I'd give with no hesitation. I muttered in the affirmative.

The result was Tandra's hand wrapping itself around my straining shaft, the feel of her soft, silky fingers on my skin like a massive electric shock. I felt an involuntary groan bubble up inside me before insistently escaping from my throat.

"Good God, Tandra," I heard myself groan, "that feels so damned good! I've never thought about you and me like this before, but now that we're here, I can't figure out why. Damn, but you feel so good!"

"Do you have any idea of how long I've wanted to do this with you?" she murmured over the sounds of cascading water. "When you told me about you and Cassie having sex together, I was so damned jealous that I could have scratched her eyes out. But the reality tonight is a lot better than my imagination ever was. Keith, I really want to feel you cum for me. Please?"

"Only if I can make you cum too, Sis. You have no idea of how bad I want to feel you go off. But I doubt I'll ever get enough of these gorgeous tits of yours. Can I cut my hands off and stick them inside your bra for the whole year?"

"Mmm, what a horribly delicious thought," she declared in a tone even more sexy than before. "I'd love to have your hands on me every waking moment of the day, but the thought of all that blood leaking out from your severed wrists isn't getting me any too enthused. How about we just leave them attached for now?"

It was at that moment that I started to roll my head back enough to get to her lips, although she was ahead of me by a fraction of that same second. I felt her lips lightly brush against mine, and pushed my tongue out in a lustful request for an entangling duel between the two of us. She responded with a heat that I couldn't remember feeling from a woman before, her want as strong as anything I'd ever run into in my life. As our tongues danced back and forth, her hand began to slowly slide along the length of my shaft, while her index finger tickled and teased my opening, and she softly swirled it in the slippery wetness of my pre-cum.

My left hand moved of its own accord from her chest, along her ribs, and around her hip until I had one cheek of her ass in my grip. I squeezed and sampled her soft and pliable cheek while pulling her closer to me. Our lips remained locked as our kiss became more insistent. In response to my touches, Tandra let out a deep groan, pulling me even tighter to her with that one arm still around my neck. As she did, I felt her begin to rub the head of my cock along the length of her slit, her wetness coating me even as she transferred my own pre-cum to the folds of her outer lips. I replied to her sensuous groan with one of my own.

"I want you, big brother," she whispered in my ear as we finally broke from that searing kiss. "I've wanted you for over three years. Hell, if I'd had my way about it, you'd have been my first, instead of Pete Maguire. But you were Cassie's guy, and I could never have lived with myself if I'd come between you two back home. However, that was then, and this is now. I need you, deep inside me, taking me, and letting me love you."

Tandra stood up on her tip-toes then manoeuvred me to her slippery entrance, and I lifted her by the butt to help guide myself inside that heated tunnel. It took her a few seconds to stretch enough to accommodate me inside her velvet-lined passage, but as I slipped in, all I was aware of was the tightness of her on me. She almost howled in ecstasy as she took every last inch inside.

"Oh Gawd, Tandra!" I exclaimed in total amazement. "You're so tight! I could stay like this forever and it still wouldn't be long enough!"

"Mmm, yeah," she let me know. "I feel so full. I want more of you than just this one time, Keith. We have a whole year ahead of us, and I'm not about to settle for just a quick tease, or a one-shot piece of tail. I want what Cassie's had for the last four years. I want my big brother."

It was more a statement of claim than anything else, with my heart welcoming her to stake out whatever she wanted. At first I thought it might just be the heat of the moment, but something inside told me that it went deeper than that. I was hers if she wanted me, hook, line, and sinker. There was now nothing I wouldn't do for this gorgeously beautiful woman, even if she was my little sister. Maybe it was because she was my little sister, I discovered inside myself.

Almost instinctively my hips began to rock and slowly pistoned me in and out of Tandra's steamy love canal. Bumping my pubic bone against her clit, I could almost feel her nubbin knotting on me as we sensually fucked, both my hands now grasping and pulling her to me as I helped her find our common rhythm. She began to hump her hips against mine, meeting my thrusts with her own, then pulling back at the same time I did. Despite the difference in our height, we seemed to fit together like gloves on a hand, and neither one of us was interested in taking that glove off.

"You're going to make me cum in a minute, Keith," Tandra quietly moaned in my ear. "Do you have any idea of how badly I've want to do that for you?"

"Not as bad as I want to feel you. God, but you feel good!" I just had to tell her. "Why did we wait so long? Any idea?"

"Nope, none, but I'm glad we finally did this. Geez, I've wanted you to do me forever. Now, I want you to do me all year long." She paused as though contemplating something of a major revelation before adding, "Baby, I'm so close! Make me cum for you, big brother, then fill my little cunt with your seed! Gawd, I want to feel you spurt inside me!"

As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she began to gasp for air, her breathing laboured and raspy. At the same time, I felt her walls begin to flutter, then clench and grasp me as though I was her last hope of hanging onto something that anchored her to the world outside. That mewl of ecstasy she first emitted became almost a scream as her body began to spasm and tremble. She just about crushed the air out of my lungs with the grip of her arms around my waist. I'd given my sister something that I'd never considered before, a mind-shattering orgasm. I loved every second of its rapturous joy as she came hard, her pussy flooding my groin with her juices and I loved the sensation on my twitching shaft, that powerful flow taking me right over the edge.

The vibrations of her orgasm sent me beyond the point of no return. Even as my balls tightened and my cock throbbed, I pushed my hips as far forward as possible, leaving me buried deep inside as semen percolated out of me and into her clenching pussy. My eyelids closed, leaving a riot of blinding light flashes in my semi-conscious mind. It was only as the last few dribbles oozed out that I realized I'd lifted her right off the floor as she balanced on the base of my manhood, and only her strong grasp on my body kept her there.

I let my consciousness invade me just enough to ease Tandra back down to the shower floor, refusing to allow that euphoric afterglow to release me any more than I had to. I could feel the aftershocks of her climax as they rippled through her young body as a part of the incestuous coupling we'd made. It was only when she became cognisant enough to reconnect with the outside world that we even thought of moving from our stance.

"I felt that!" Tandra excitedly murmured. "I felt you cum inside me. Never have I wanted to feel a guy fill me like I wanted you to, Keith. Tell me that this was the first of many days and nights together. Lie to me if you have to, but tell me anyway."

"This is the first of many days and nights together, Tandra," I started to tease her, but inside I knew it was the truth. "That's the truth, Sis, so help me Hannah," I added, then kissed her deeply and passionately as a seal to my promise.

"It had better be the truth," she almost demanded of me, "because I've learned two things this evening. One, this shower has lots of hot water, and I think we're going to need all we can get. Two, I love my big brother more than I ever knew before. You may have been Cassie's guy until now, but you're mine as of today. I'm just hope I don't have to share you with her. Being in your arms and having you inside me like this is too good to ever give up."

"Don't you worry your pretty little head about Cassie," I tried to reassure Tandra. "Just keep in mind that I do love her still and probably always will. But she has her life to live and I have mine. How you and I fit together is something that we'll just have to discover, one day at a time." I brushed my lips on hers once more, and was engulfed by her overpowering return kiss, one that demanded everything I was and ever would be.

"Maybe we should think about getting washed?" my sister broke into our post-coital bubble with her practicality. "I really would like to get something into my stomach before it begins to think my throat's been cut."

Reluctantly, I pulled back just enough to allow my softening cock to slip out of her, and the last touch of her on the rim of my glans sent reactive shockwaves radiating from my groin to the rest of my body.

Picking up the shampoo, I started to wash her silky hair, its fine texture a thrill to my fingertips. Tandra purred happily as I massaged her scalp, then rinsed her head before applying conditioner. She usually let it sit for ten to twenty minutes before rinsing it back out, she told me. During that time, we gave ourselves the luxury of washing each other, with me paying particular attention to her breasts and pussy while she made damned sure my cock was as clean as possible. Her touch was enough to get me hard again. I knew I wanted to make love to her, but she was entitled to fill her empty tummy first. I'd have to wait until we got back from eating, and I almost resented the physical demands of the human body to be fed.

We rinsed off, then stepped out and dried each other off. On opening the door to the bedroom, that blast of cool air raised goose bumps on our skin, propelling us to find some warm clothing. It was while she was slipping her breasts into her bra that Tandra broke the warm silence.

"Keith, would you be okay with being naked when it's just the two of us here? For some perverted reason, I have this burning desire to let you see my body as much as you want. Not that I don't want to enjoy the sight of yours, but it's up to you whether you're comfortable with that."

"Good one, Sis," I chuckled. "That's like asking a blind man if he'd like his sight. Now how about we get dressed and get out of here, so we can get back and I can undress you again?" She must have liked that idea, because once we had clothes on, she almost dragged me through the door without opening it first.

I wondered what she felt like eating, and her first choice was a burger from the nearest fast-food outlet. The thought of something that tasteless left me wishing we didn't have to eat. What I had in mind was a nice, thick, juicy steak, with every fattening condiment known to man, beast, and culinary science, but split the difference and went for ribs and spaghetti. I even ordered a bottle of wine. The waiter wanted to see Tandra's ID, and she was proud to be able to produce legitimate evidence that she actually was of legal age. The meal was a little more expensive than I'd had in mind, but the company I shared it with was worth the cost.

The clock that my sister had hung on the wall just before we'd left said it was eleven thirty when we got home again. It had been a long day, and we were both thinking seriously about some toothpicks to hold our eyelids open. It wasn't long before there was a useable sleeping platform made of blankets, sheets and a couple of decent pillows on the living room floor. That bed looked so welcoming that neither one of us gave a thought to night clothes, undressing right there in the living room. I turned out the lights only to hear my sister suggest that pulling the drapes might give us a little more privacy. To be honest, I hadn't noticed the large living room window until she mentioned it, which is when we realized that if anyone had been looking in, they'd have seen us naked. When I apologized to Tandra, she almost laughed herself silly.

"If anybody wanted to look at my body, I wouldn't care tonight," she giggled. "I'm warm, my tummy is full, and I'm with the guy I love. Anything after that is merely a bonus ... especially for a peeping Tom. Maybe we should give him a show that'll curl his pubic hair."

Only when I was under the covers and laying next to Tandra did I realize just how tired I was. I had no idea what kept her going, and her stifled yawns suggested that it wasn't much. I reached out an arm for her to curl up under, and she laid her head on my chest while she draped one leg over my thigh and an arm around my midriff. She felt so warm, so soft, so wonderful. I could have happily stayed in that position for the rest of whatever.

There was a surreal atmosphere in that room as I let my mind drift back over the events of the previous hours, and probably as many questions in my head as in hers.

"Tandra?" I began to try and unravel some of the mysterious happenings we'd initiated, and the emotions we'd unlocked. "What just happened here tonight? This morning, you were my little sister, but now, you're ... I don't know. You're definitely more than just my little sister, though."

"I can't speak for you, but tonight, one of my dreams came true. My big brother made love to me, and took me to somewhere that I could have never imagined existed. Why? Are you feeling guilty because your sister plotted to seduce you, and succeeded?"

"Plotted, huh? How long's this been going around in your devious, but oh-so-pretty little head?" Just the concept that Tandra had actually had this in her mind brought a smile to my lips, and a happy feeling to my heart.

"Almost since you left home last year," she divulged her itinerary. "When Mom and Dad let me come here to Hendrickson, I knew that we'd make love at least once. But when they wanted us to room together, I just knew that the first chance I got, we'd be lovers. You calling me and spilling your guts about Cassie seemed to only make that possibility more real, somehow. Don't get me wrong, though, Keith. As much as I've wanted you, I never had it in mind to break you two up just to be with you. I'm still not too comfortable with this feeling that I might have taken advantage of the situation. Cassie's my friend, and what we did tonight is like going behind her back."

There was a long silence as I let all that slowly sink in. Maybe she was right, and we had gone behind my ex-girlfriend's back. But Cassie and I were destined for other things, other places, and other lives away from each other. And while making love with my own sister might be wrong in the eyes of society, was it really cheating on Cassie?

"Are you okay, Keith?" that soft and caring voice drifted in between my thoughts. "Did I do something that maybe I shouldn't have? I know how I felt before we made love, and I know how I feel now. They're both about the same. But what I need to know is how you feel."

There were a lot of things that went through my head at that question, and it took me several minutes to sort them out. But once I had, the answers were crystal clear to me.

"Umm, how I feel," I start to explain myself. "Right now, I feel like I've found a long-lost friend again. Someone that means more to me than I ever understood, that I've missed, and that I never want to be that far away from ever again. What we did tonight was commit incest, which should leave me feeling wrong and ashamed. But it doesn't. It leaves me feeling that being with you, loving you this way, is what is supposed to have happened."

She put her arm around my chest as she laid her head on it, then eased one leg over my thighs with the knee bent as the sole of her foot rested against my own knee.

"For a minute there, I was worried that you had some regrets," she quietly confessed. "I know I don't, but I need to know if you do."

Just one," I let that last concern come to the surface.

"What's that?"

"That I waited so damned long to find the one girl that means more to me than anyone else I've ever known."

She stretched up to gently kiss my lips, that feeling of being loved that she tried to convey hitting me right between the eyes.

"Okay, two. I regret denying to myself that I've been in love with my little sister for years, but never had the guts to admit, either to her, or to myself. But after tonight, I don't think I can go back to lying to myself any more, Sis. I want you, and not just your body, although you do have a strange attraction about you. But I want to be with you for a very long time. I want as many days and nights like this as you're willing to share with me. Are we both on the same page here, or am I whistling out my ass?"

"Keith, we're not only on the same page, but the same paragraph, too. Like I said in the shower, I didn't have a quick fling in mind when I seduced you ... and that's exactly what I did. You know it too, don't you?"

"Yeah, I guess I do. But I went along with it quite happily. Don't remember getting my arm twisted, either. Despite how wrong it might be for us to be lovers, Tandra, I really am glad you did what you did tonight. I don't know if I'd have ever found the courage to initiate something like this. I'm glad that you did, though, because this just feels so... right."

"Maybe you should just sleep on it, and see how you feel in the morning?" she offered me an escape that I knew I'd never use.

"I like the sleep idea, but I know exactly how I'll feel in the morning. I'll feel just like I do right now. And I'll wake up with the most gorgeous girl in existence curled up on my chest like this, and want her, then get antsy waiting for her to wake up so I can make love to her again. I love you, Tandra Hayes, and I think I always have."

"I love you too, big brother. Maybe getting some sleep might be an idea, because we're both fried. But first thing tomorrow morning, I have all intentions of fucking you until you wake up, then screwing your brains out until they serve breakfast," she threatened me.

"Yeah? And just who's going to make breakfast if we're busy making love? This place didn't come with room service, you know," I softly teased her as I blew lightly into her ear.

"I know," she countered. "I was kind of counting on it not being available. That gives me all day to ravish my big brother's body. I think I'm going to like this hotel."

We both giggled at her declaration, finally surrendering to the sleep that was about to conquer us anyway. The last thing I remember was Tandra's soft and soothing voice bidding me a good night. I think I mumbled something back to her right before I dropped off. Just don't ask me what I said.

The next morning, I awoke feeling completely disoriented. I was in a strange room in a strange city, sprawled out on a strange floor and being kept warm by a strange something-or-other. That morning fog took forever to lift, only allowing the pieces of the puzzle to fall back into place after it had completely dissipated from my brain. The first thing I recognized was that the something-or-other laying on my chest was Tandra. The second thing I understood was that she was absent mindedly playing with me, her fingers lightly twirling around my glans. With those two facts established, I decided that the rest didn't matter. I also came to the conclusion that Tandra's fingers felt absolutely indescribable, and so did the erection she'd induced. I rolled my head over to kiss the crown of her head.

"Mmm. Morning, Keith," she softly greeted me. "Sleep well?"

"Like a log. How long have you been awake?"

"I dunno. Maybe half an hour?"

"Why didn't you wake me up, silly girl?" I chided her.

"Because you looked so comfortable sleeping there that I just didn't have the heart. Besides, I felt warm, safe, and close to you. I didn't want to move." She lifted her head and presented her lips to me.

It was an offer I couldn't refuse and pulled her tightly to me as I kissed her, softly at first, but with more want and passionate need as we pressed together for several minutes. I could feel her almost melt as the heat of our desires grew. She started to pull her head back, gasping for air just as soon as our lip-lock released.

"Good God, where'd you learn to kiss like that? Cassie?" There was a twinge of either jealousy or envy in her question, and that bothered me for some reason.

"Let's call it something that my little sister inspired in me. I'll have to introduce you to her some day. She's quite the woman."

I just had to tease her. She took the bait, letting whatever had been eating her insides dissolve and flow out of our world of mutual love and affection.

"Umm, your sister. She's about five six, dirty blond hair, passable boobs, and a fat ass? She's got a big brother that can be a bit of an asshole sometimes? Is that the girl?" Tandra took up the torch of our playfulness.

"Nah, I think you've got her confused with someone else. She's got gorgeous blond hair that glows in the dark, breasts that would make a centerfold model green with envy, a butt that's to die for, and a body that just won't quit. Her brother's quite a nice guy, actually. Not sure who you're thinking of, but it sure doesn't sound like my little sister. In fact, she sounds kind of scary," I took back the lead. Tandra released my cock long enough to give my thigh a resounding smack.

"A nice guy, huh? Like hell he is! Always teasing his little sister relentlessly is more like it," she corrected me, "but he's a loveable son-of-a-bitch."

"Well! If you're going to be like that about it, Miss Hayes, I think I'm going to get my ass in gear and get on with my day," I falsely pouted.

Tandra grabbed my nuts and started to squeeze harder and harder. Within seconds, I was in real pain.

"You going to apologize for treating me like a dirty slut, or would you rather become a eunuch?" was her only warning. Again I capitulated, but more for the sake of my future generations than anything else.

"Geez, you sure know how to hurt a guy!" I growled once she'd finally released me. "One night together and you're acting like you own me or something." I tried to keep any maliciousness out of my voice. It must have worked, because she became quite repentant.

"Would you like me to kiss them better for you, little man?" she went back to teasing.

"Yeah, I would," I threw out the challenge.

Wrong thing to say, because she scooted down under the covers and began kissing and licking my balls like an ice cream cone. It was only a moment or two later before I felt her lips on my glans. Despite the pain of having my scrotum almost reduced to two dimensions, it felt absolutely fantastic as she slowly let her lips open just enough to take half of me into her mouth. That cute little tongue circled around my rim, driving me to a state of horniness that I couldn't recall ever having experienced before.

"Tandra, let me taste you," I almost begged, and my sister spun around so that her pussy was right in front of my face without easing her oral grip one iota. Her pussy lips were distended, revealing both her little pearl and those soft pink inner lips. T he prevailing aroma of her arousal was something I found irresistible. My tongue slid from just above her pucker all the way to her knotted nubbin. Even with half my cock in her mouth, she groaned in delight. But when I dipped into her oozing entrance, she released me long enough to voice her lustful approval.

"God, Keith! You're a tease, you know that? Do that again. I dare you."

Never one to pass up a challenge, I did it again. And again, and again, and again, while her head began to bob up and down on me. It took every ounce of concentration to do Tandra's pussy the justice it deserved, but the more I concentrated, the more insistent she became. In a desperate attempt to make her cum first, I slid two fingers inside her, then pushed up gently on her G-spot. She exhaled quickly with a groan of pleasure, but never loosening her grip on me. The resulting vibrations were like nothing I'd ever felt before. In retaliation, I gently latched onto her engorged clit and sucked on it, running the tip of my tongue around the base while my fingers still teased inside her. Within moments, she was gasping for air in ragged breaths, all while still keeping up her pace. It was all too much for me, and as she started to threaten her own orgasm, I had to warn her of my pending climax.

"Tandra!" I almost howled. "I'm going to cum, Sis!"

As though spurred on by the news, my sister's lips seemed to clamp a little tighter, her tongue to dance a little faster, and her sucking to intensify. As much as I wanted to feel her cum before I did, she had me right on the edge within seconds. My balls tightened and my shaft expanded as it prepared to send a small flood down her throat. In an attempt to take her over the edge before I did, I gave her clit one last suck as my fingers danced inside her. She immediately broke into a spasmodic tremble as her orgasm erupted, joined seconds later by the gushing of my seed as I exploded.

We each fought to give more pleasure than we received, a tough trick to pull off in my case. What my sister was doing to me almost made me pass out, but as much as I wanted to scream of the euphoria she instilled, I refused to let her orgasm play out until she was completely spent. I think she had the same objective, because we both floated for what felt like years. It was only as the last few dribbles burped themselves out of me that I could let my head fall back enough to breathe, and as Tandra's tongue continued to play on me, I was beset with aftershocks that threatened immobility for the rest of the day.

Tandra collapsed on my thigh as she fought to regain her breath, then wiggled around until she was laying beside me again. Crawling into my waiting arms, she almost expired back into unconsciousness before kissing me deeply, and with a passion I'd never felt before. I could taste the saltiness of my own seed on her lips as it combined with her juices on my face. We kissed for several minutes, neither of us wanting to let go.

"You have no idea, Keith, " my sister moaned in her exhaustion, "how long I've wanted to do that."

"What, get your pussy eaten, you mean?"

"Aw dammit, don't turn into an asshole on me. Not now. Just love me, and let me love you. Okay? Right now, I need you to be my lover, not some shithead tease."

I kissed the top of her head as a token of apology, then hugged her tight.

"I'm sorry, Sis. It's just that you're so much fun to tease and I guess I go overboard sometimes. But just in case you might want to know, you have the best-tasting pussy I've ever been privileged to sample. God, I love it when you cum for me like that."

"I've never been eaten out very much, so I wouldn't know what I taste like. But where'd you learn to lick a girl like that?"

I noticed that she never mentioned Cassie this time, and I was glad of that. My soon to be ex-girlfriend had been reluctant to enjoy oral sex, so my exposure to its delights had been somewhat limited. After tasting Tandra, though, I had all intentions of correcting that situation.

"I'd ask where you learned to suck cock, but it's probably none of my business, and it doesn't matter anyway. All I know is that I've never had anything like that done to me with as much sensual feeling before. You have no idea how good that felt."

"Umm, I wanted to please you so bad, Keith. I'd even let you fuck my ass, if that's what you wanted. I've only been done there once, and it was horrid. I got pounded until it almost bled, and I was sore for a week. But I love you enough to let you take me that way, if you wanted to."

"Tandra, I just might take you up on that some day. I'd do it right now, but I'm really afraid of hurting you, or giving you pain. Would you mind if we waited until we're a little more comfortable with each other, and with the sex between us?"

"Tell you a secret," she murmured. "I could handle any pain you gave me, just as long as I knew you still loved me like this. But I sure could use a coffee right about now. If you take me over to Timmy's, I'll buy." That was another one of those offers I couldn't refuse.

We got dressed and headed out to the coffee shop. At first, Tandra insisted that all she wanted was just the coffee, but when I ordered a cinnamon sticky bun, she broke down and had one too. I've never seen anything disappear quite that fast, with the possible exception of my paycheque.

After coffee, it was time to tackle unpacking. Tandra found places for everything so that we'd be able to lay our hands on various items when they were needed. I offered her a late lunch on our way to shop for furniture. She made up a grocery list before we left, to keep us from spending our last nickel on restaurants. As much as I enjoyed taking her out, Tandra was quick to point out that we really couldn't afford that kind of luxury.

After lunch, there was the furniture problem that needed curing. Actually, it wasn't really a problem finding what we wanted or needed, but rather, a case of being able to pay for it all. It didn't take advanced calculus to figure out that the price of the furniture we needed was a lot more than our limited funds would survive. I was of the opinion that we'd pick up what we could now, then look for the other items when we had the cash. Tandra said she had a better idea.

"Keith, run me back to the apartment and let me grab my laptop. I'll treat you to Starbucks, because I've got an idea that might help without breaking the bank."

I had no idea what she was thinking, but I did as I was told. To make a long story short, my sister searched the local online want-ads, then made a few phone calls. By the end of the day, we had two beds, one of them a queen-size, two large bureaus and a dresser, a sofa and two matching chairs, a large office desk and chair, and a teak dining table with six high-back chairs. More importantly, we still had most of our cash. There were two days of picking up and moving all that furniture, but considering that my sister had saved us thousands of dollars, a couple of days of driving around was nothing. The money saved could be put towards other luxuries that we wanted, or held as a financial cushion until we had a reliable income.

It was on the way home after we'd picked up the beds that Tandra had insisted that we stop and buy a couple of new sheet sets. The ones that we'd brought from our parent's place wouldn't fit properly, although we could make do with the blankets. In a bit of a binge, she picked out two sets of satin sheets for the queen-size bed that would go into my room. Her logic was that we'd use that bed almost exclusively, but she picked up a single cotton set for the other bed, in the unlikely event that we used it for overnight guests. On the way home, Tandra sprung the rest of her idea on me.

"Keith, we don't have anything pressing tomorrow. What say we give that big bed a good christening tonight? We have two sheet sets for it, so we can launder one set in the morning, and put the second set on the bed while they're being washed."

"Why would we buy new sheets, then run them through the laundromat the next day?" I couldn't figure out.

Hey, I wasn't planning to becomes a rocket scientist, for heaven's sake! Give me a break!

"Because, silly," she explained, " by the time the sun comes up tomorrow, that first set will be covered in our juices ... or have you forgotten just how horny your little sister can get? Buddy, I have all intentions of riding you tonight 'til ah cain't rides no more!"

True to her word, we made love that night until the morning sunrise interrupted us. By the time six o'clock arrived, we were dead to the world, both from our long night and from the energy we'd expended. I've never cum so much, either before or after that night. I lost count of how many orgasms Tandra had, having quit counting somewhere around two in the morning. I also have no idea how one woman can produce that much juice. Those new sheets were absolutely soaked. I was beginning to think I'd never have another hard-on for the rest of my natural life, and Tandra walked with a definite bow to her legs the next day. It was a night I'll never forget, and I hope she won't either.

I heard one of our cell phones ring some time around noon as it dragged me out of my foggy sleep. Why I hadn't turned the damned thing off I'll never know. It sat on the edge of one of the bureaus that we'd put next to the bed, and as she was closest, Tandra slapped her hand around until she finally found the offending device. Glancing at the call display, I saw the colour drain out of her face as she read the screen.

"Shit!" she proclaimed. "It's Cassie. You want to answer it, or let it go to the mailbox?"

"Fuck! I want to just let it go to message, but I have a bad feeling that I'd better answer it."

With many reservations, I took the phone and flipped open the lid.

"Hello?" I tried to sound like I'd just recovered from being Rip Van Winkle.

"Hi, Keith," an overly-cheerful voice greeted me. "You settled in yet? I've got two whole days with nothing to interrupt us. I was going to come over and see the new place, and maybe help you break it in."

My mind was whirling at something just short of light-speed. How the hell was I supposed to explain that my sister was my new roommate? Or worse, that she was now my lover, and I was hers? And was this the time to let Cassie know that she and I were no longer an item, as she called our relationship? As much as I understood that this day would come along eventually, I really wasn't prepared for it to be today.

"Hey, Kitten, as much as I'd love to see you, this week and next are going to be a bitch. I've got to see about getting back on with the courier service, pick up some odds and sods, and seriously consider cleaning the mess in here. It looks like a war zone and definitely not fit for human occupation. Monday and Tuesday are registration, which leaves me Wednesday to hit the book store. Classes start next Thursday, and knowing the work load, we'll have our first assignment by Friday. Looks like I'm going to be swamped. How about I get through this coming week, then call you, and we'll see what we can come up with?"

I wanted to cross my fingers so that my excuses wouldn't count. As much as I realized that Cassie and I were over, I still cared for her, wanting to let her down with as little pain as possible. Whether or not I could pull that one off remained to be seen.

"Yeah, okay." Her voice was saturated with disappointment, and despite my resolve, it was all I could do not to reverse my decisions. But I couldn't explain Tandra to Cassie, either as a roommate or as a lover, without my now ex-girlfriend getting badly hurt. Cassie Mansden was someone that I had almost been ready to spend the rest of my life with, and that was something I couldn't deny. She was also someone that I couldn't just close the door on and just walk away from.

Tandra could see the worry in my face, and kept as quiet as a church-mouse, God love her. She did extend a hand towards me in silent support, and I took it gladly, feeling more love for my sister in that one moment than I had ever known in my whole life.

"Call me, Keith?" Cassie's voice broke into my thoughts. "I really want to see you again when you can. I've missed you over the summer, you know. More than I ever thought I'd miss anyone. I love you, Baby."

Right about then, I had to fight to not say what I knew she wanted to hear. Not so much that it was a lie, but more because what I felt now and what she thought I felt were a long ways apart.

"Kitten, you take care, okay? I'll call. I promise." With that, I hung up, then just sat there, my mind completely blank. It was my sister that pulled me back out of my funk.

"You okay, Keith?" she asked, the feelings of love in her voice palpable. All I could do was nod, but I wasn't so sure that I was.

"Do you think she knows? Or even suspects?" Tandra inquired.

"I have no idea, Sis. I don't think so. I mean, why would she? I haven't told her anything. Not even that you're coming to the university, or that you'd be in town. God damn, I hate this! How the hell do you tell someone that's been such a major part of your life that it's over? And how do you help them deal with the pain, the disappointment, the heartbreak? Fucked if I know!" I almost screamed.

"Any idea how you're going to tell her about us? Or for that matter, if you even intend to? I may be your sister, and your lover at the moment, but I can't force you to do something you don't want to do. As much as I want you and you may want me, I can't ask you to make a choice between me and Cassie. Face it, I'm exactly where I shouldn't be, in your bed, making love to my own brother. Maybe I should move back into the other room and use that little bed. Maybe that'll give you the space you need to figure out what it is you really want."

"It's not my bed, Sis," I corrected her, "it's our bed. Both of us. We christened it together, and we'll damned-well wear the fucking thing out together!"

"No, Keith. It's your bed. Mine's in that other room, just for times like this. But do you have any idea just how badly I want to be here with you, making love, sharing our lives, giving you all the love you deserve, supporting you when things go for a complete shit? None of that changes the fact that I'm in my brother's bed, though, and that coming between you and Cassie makes me feel like the Other Woman. I don't like this any more than you do. But I'm the one that's in the wrong place, and for the wrong reasons. Not you, and not Cassie, either. Me. No one else."

I could understand what Tandra was trying to say, but it just didn't sit right. Okay, maybe we'd gone too far out on the limb. Maybe what we'd been told about incest was right, and we were both completely wrong for crossing that line anyway. Maybe she was the other woman, as she put it.

But it didn't change the fact that we'd made love together, that we'd developed a new connection between ourselves, and that I loved her more than anyone else in the world. All of that had to be included in the equation before it would balance. It was possible that I'd put the horse before the cart, finding someone else to love even as that spark between Cassie and me sputtered its final death throes. No, if Tandra and I were meant to be together, and I fully believed that we were, then we'd go through this together. I'd probably go through more shit than I really wanted to endure, but if that's what it took, I'd do it for the sake of my little sister, even if we hadn't become lovers. Now that we were, my resolve was even stronger.

"How about some coffee?" Tandra burst into my sullen thoughts. I loved her a little bit more for pulling me out of that misery. "I want to try out that coffee machine we picked up, and we bought coffee. We've even got cream. You aren't using sugar yet, are you?"

"No, I'm still sugar-free. Coffee sounds great, Sis," I conceded.

Tandra rattled around in the kitchen for a while, then joined me at the dining table while the coffee brewed. She sat down wordlessly, almost trying to stay out of my thoughts, then relented as she slid a hand across the distance between us, almost as an anchor against the turmoil raging inside me. I gratefully took it, maybe squeezing it a little too hard. She didn't complain, didn't even wince. I apologized for my excess by lifting it to my lips and kissing each finger individually.

We sat in silence until the machine quit bubbling. As she stood to return to the kitchen, I held her hand in an effort to keep her close for as long as I could.

"I love you too, Keith," was all she said. I could feel the truth of her declaration, and its strength seemed to flow into me as it revived my tired soul. I released her hand and she went to pour coffee for us, complete with exactly the right amount of cream in mine.

"I have a bad feeling that this is going to be a shitty day," Tandra expressed her intuition. "We both knew that you'd have to deal with Cassie. I'd just hoped it wouldn't be quite this awkward, or this soon. She's been good for you as a girlfriend, thought, and you know I'm right. But she's also been a good friend to me. I just hope she doesn't hate me too much for stealing her boyfriend. Tell me I'm not out of my freaking head?"

"No, you're about right bang on the money, Sis. But Cassie and I have been drifting apart for months now. Whether you're here or not, we would have ended up going our separate routes eventually. I guess I've known that since before the summer. I just didn't want to admit it to myself."

Despite Tandra's attempts to the contrary, I could feel myself sinking back into that black pit of confusion.

"You still love her, don't you?" It was a tough question to hear, and a tougher one to answer. I still had feelings for Cassie Mansden, and they ran deep. But they weren't deep enough to hold the two of us together any more. That much I'd known for quite a while. I guess I'd held on to the illusion in quiet desperation.

"Yeah, I do, Sis. I guess in a way, I always will. God, I hate to have to hurt her, but anything else is a lie, and I can't lie to her. Never could, any more than I could lie to you. I feel like shit!"

"Probably no worse than I feel right now. You're going through the guilt of dumping a girlfriend that you still love, and I'm fighting the same feelings for betraying one of the best friends I've ever had. We sure are a couple of assholes, aren't we?"

I had no words to answer her with. All I could do was stare into my coffee cup and pray for some kind of revelation. Right about then, I'd have settled for a lightning bolt to the back of my head. I had to agree with Tandra that I was definitely an asshole, but there was no way I'd agree that she was. I was about to tell her that too, except that the intercom buzzed loud enough that I almost spilled my coffee.

"Want me to get that?" Tandra inquired.

"Nah, I think I'd better. After all, it's my name that's on the index. Not sure how that happened, but until we can get it corrected..."

I reluctantly got up to answer the grating interruption, flipping the "Talk" button to ask who it was.

"Hi, Baby. I thought I'd pop over and give you a hand cleaning up. Can I come in?"

Shit. As if the day hadn't been bad enough, now Cassie was right on our doorstep. Inside, I wanted to tell her to go away, to leave me alone, to quit complicating things. Instead, I looked to Tandra for her opinion. She thought for a second, then nodded her head almost as a concession to what we both knew was going to happen eventually anyway.

"Umm, I just got out of the shower, Sweetie. Can I get about five minutes to get decent?"

"You mean you're naked? Quick, let me in! I want to see what I've been missing all summer!"

I swallowed my trepidations, then hit the button that releases the main door's lock. When I heard it open, I let go of the intercom key.

"What's she doing here? Could her timing get any worse? Guess I'd better get dressed, huh?" Tandra asked the obvious question.

"Would you grab me my robe and throw it out here, Sis? I may as well look like I've been in the shower."

"Won't work. Your hair's dry. She'll know you're bullshitting. Tell her you're on your way into it, and that the intercom's buzz rattled you. Maybe that'll keep her from being nosey for a while."

With that, Tandra ran into the bedroom, got dressed after throwing me my robe, then scooted into the other bedroom and mussed up the bedding. Her foresight was a lot better than mine, that was for sure. As she came back out, there was a knock on the door.

"I'll get it," I volunteered. "May as well face the music without you getting caught in the middle."

"Keith? Just remember that I love you, very, very much. We'll get through this. Okay?"

With that little thread of encouragement, I went to the front door and welcomed Cassie.

"I thought you said you were just out of the shower?" she questioned before she was even inside.

"Did I? Actually, I'm just on my way in," I fibbed.

"Oh? Want some company? To wash your back, I mean," Cassie offered, that gleam of hope and lust in her eye unmistakable.

"Kitten, you don't want to be in there, trust me. I smell like a race horse, and probably look even worse. Why not grab a seat, and help yourself to coffee. It's fresh, and the cream's in the fridge and sugar in one of the cupboards. I'll be out in five minutes."

I could see the reluctance in her face, and that twinkle in her eye that I had once loved so much seemed to almost extinguish itself. Cassie made her way into the kitchen and was rummaging around in the cupboards when Tandra came out of the main bathroom. I hadn't seen her duck in there, but like I said, her foresight was a lot better than mine.

"Hey, girlfriend!" my sister greeted our guest. "Long time, no see! How've you been?"

"Tandra! What are you doing here?" Cassie returned with genuine feelings of happiness at the sight of her friend.

"Mom and Dad were driving me crazy, so I volunteered to help Keith get settled in. He's been bugging me to look into some part-time classes for credit towards an English major. Maybe while I'm here, I'll take him up on the idea," my sister made up as an excuse for her presence.

"Awesome! God, but it's good to see you again! I've missed our girl times. But if you stay, where are you going to live?"

"Hey, slow down! I haven't even found out if I can get in yet. I'll worry about the rest of it when I know what's available. If the worst comes to the worst, maybe I can crash on my brother's sofa."

I ducked out of the room, which felt like the air pressure had doubled because of Cassie's presence. Five minutes later, I was dressed and back at the table. I noted that Tandra had relinquished her seat and was now sitting across the table from me. Perfunctorily. I kissed Cassie's cheek, feeling no enthusiasm in the normally affectionate greeting. She gave me a quizzical stare that went on for more minutes than I cared to endure, then turned to my sister to ask a question.

"Tandra, could I have a few moments alone with your brother? Please?"

"Sure, no problem. That bathtub needs a good scrub anyway, and it ain't going to clean itself." Tandra got up and disappeared into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.

Cassie turned and stared at me for what seemed like years, her lips clenched tight as her eyes studied me intently. I waited for the other shoe to drop, my heartbeat almost racing as the dreaded conflict seemed about to rear its ugly head.

"Keith," she finally spoke, "what's happened to us? We haven't seen each other since last May, and I feel like I shouldn't be here, almost like I'm intruding. Even before the summer, we started to drift apart, and maybe that's my fault. All I know is that I've missed you, that I love you, and that I want to be with you. But you seem distant, somehow. So, what's the story?"

"I don't know, Kitten. You've been busy with your studying, and I've been working my ass off with the course load I've got. I guess we got too busy to keep tabs on each other. I get the feeling that we're on different and diverging paths in our lives. I don't have any answers."

Again she stared at me, her mind a hidden whirl of thoughts and confusions. I wondered if I'd survive her inquisition, and whether our friendship would be strong enough to let us still be able to talk to each other afterwards.

"I need an honest answer, Keith," she finally let go in a quiet and sombre tone. "Is there someone else?"

"Cassie, it's too soon for that yet."

Cassie? I never called her Cassie. It had always been my favourite nickname for her, Kitten, since just after I'd first met her, and the different name wasn't lost on her, either. I watched the joy leave her face, along with some of the colour. In that one moment, I would have killed to be anywhere but under Cassie's scrutiny.

"Here it comes!" I told myself. "The one question I just know you're going to ask, and the one I really never want to have to answer. Please, Cassie, for the love of God, don't ask!"

It was almost as if she'd heard my thoughts, and asked anyway, out of spite.

"Anyone I know?" she almost hissed, and I felt my little world fall apart.

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