Copyright© 2009 by Openbook
Drama Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A My Brother's Keeper Story. Jimmy finds himself once again negotiating from a position of strength. At least, that's what he believes.
The leaves were turning once again, and there was a refreshing dash of chilliness in the New England Autumn air. October in Connecticut is really the most beautiful time of the year. It is the month where residents begin to brace themselves for Winter's onslaught. God provides this brief time of tranquil beauty in order to let everyone know what they'll soon be missing.
Tina and I were in the October of our relationship. In the nearly five months that we had started "seeing each other", she had really started to grow on me. At first, there was a period of adjustment for both of us. I needed us to slow down, to not overpower each other with too much sudden closeness. Tina, on the other hand, wanted to be totally enveloped by what she called "the first sweet fruits of a blossoming romance".
We resolved these conflicting needs by keeping ourselves more separate than she wanted, and less apart than I was actually comfortable with being. The shared lure of satisfying sex was the one connection that kept us both from throwing in the towel and giving up on this new relationship entirely. We ended up by constantly negotiating and renegotiating all sorts of compromises and adjustments, thereby retaining meaningful portions of what each of us felt was important, maybe even necessary. By each of us being willing to tolerate much that we would have rather done away with entirely, we managed to remain together. If only we could have been in agreement about what we each wanted to do away with.
Tina wanted us to share our lives, to spend time with each other doing things we both would enjoy. For her, sex was something two people did spontaneously, whenever the mood came upon them. She didn't believe in the concept of too much of anything good. She had no reservations when it came to shared togetherness.
I, on the other hand, needed long periods of solitude. Time to spend contemplating how I fit into the world around me. I didn't want or need anyone encroaching on the decisions I was constantly trying to make as to my future life's direction and purpose. Sex, for me, was best rationed, kept doled out in healthy portions, so as not to completely overtake or overwhelm all my other senses. Tina said I was the one with the New England Yankee mentality while she was one of those free spirited California beach girls.
As time went by, we were wearing down each other's rough edges, compromising in a healthy way, reaching for the middle ground to build a sustainable relationship. Tina would spend the night at my house on Monday and Tuesday nights. In return for that, we wouldn't see each other at all from Friday afternoon until Monday evening, when I'd come by to take her somewhere for dinner, or maybe over to my house, for something I'd cooked and an early night of making love and catching up. Tuesday's, after I dropped her off at her place, were day's when each of us pursued our own interests exclusively. Wednesdays and Thursdays were mostly open days, where either of us was free to suggest a shared activity, but also free to plan something we might wish to do separately.
Wednesday and Thursday, twice a month, had also become my buy/sell days. This was a time when I went off, alone, in search of bargains to buy and later sell, to generate all my trip expenses, and also, now, to earn some additional income. Having a girlfriend like Tina could be an expensive proposition. She had very little in the way of living comforts, being so far out on the poverty side of the financial edge with her sister, that I wanted, no, needed, to make up for that lack on the days when we were together.
All these compromises had left neither of us satisfied, but both thought there was enough left to make our continuing to come together an attractive enough proposition. It wasn't even a close decision for either of us to make. I knew that Tina was already in love with me. I saw it in her eyes, and in her reactions to my touching her whenever we were in each other's presence.
Of course, there was also the further complication of Tina's sister, Sherry, who lived with her, and who took up much of Tina's surplus time, energy, and concern. Whatever love Tina wasn't allowed to lavish on me, went to Sherry. Whatever lack of returned sentiment she felt coming from me, was, in large part, compensated for by the enormous outpouring of love that Sherry would constantly communicate to her twin.
We were a love triangle, but only in the most Platonic use of that term. Tina loved me, and she loved Sherry. Sherry loved Tina. I loved me, had a growing fondness for Tina, and a sick, suppressed, longing for Sherry. All this was further compounded by an even more deeply suppressed ambition, on my part, to someday have a sexual relationship with both of them. Together, at the same time, and in the same bed.
I managed to give noncommittal replies whenever Tina tried to bring up her sister's name to me. This was something she often did, probing, trying to get to the bottom of where all her suspicion's took her in that regard. Many times, as we lay spent in my bed, after a bout of strenuous, and very satisfying, lovemaking, Tina would bring up her sister's name to me, asking me questions, hoping to get me to confess something to her.
"So, are you really planning to leave at six tomorrow morning? Why not leave at eight or eight thirty, so I could spend the night here tonight?"
"I told you, I'm driving up to Maine. If I don't leave real early, I'll catch all the morning commuter traffic near Boston. I'm leaving at five anyway, not six."
"Tell me again why you couldn't take Sherry and me on any of these little trips of yours? We could spend our free time painting while you work. You could drop us off somewhere good, then pick us back up when you're done with what you do. You never seem to want to take us anywhere together."
"Why do you keep insisting on encroaching on the time I need to go off and earn my living? These trips I take are what allow me to pay for any extras that dating you costs. I'd think you'd encourage me to go off on more of them."
"Nice try, but don't you remember me looking over your shoulder at that bank statement you were looking at online? What was it, something like forty thousand dollars in deposits for that month? I know you aren't spending that kind of money every month, not even close to it."
"I have business expenses, you know I do. Somebody has to pay for all those chimes I've been delivering. they don't just give them to me, you know?"
"You don't want us with you. Why won't you just admit that you'd rather be all by yourself?"
"Okay, I admit it. I'd rather be alone. Satisfied now?"
"You don't really mean that. Even if you did, you know you'd miss me if I weren't here for you."
"You aren't here just for my benefit, and it isn't healthy for you to program yourself that way. We both like sex, and we're good together, in bed. We're also friends, so we sometimes like to do other things together. Not everything together, and not all the time though. I already explained to you that I don't do romance. You keep trying to elevate things beyond a level where I'm comfortable. I'm very fond of you, but I'm not ready to move beyond that point. You know you're going to end up disappointed and unhappy if we continue this to where we both know its now headed."
"You love making love to me. Admit that much at least."
"I do. Sometimes, with you, its the very best sex that I've ever had. I feel more for you than I do for anyone else, but that isn't the "L" word that you seem to expect me to say to you."
"Love, not the "L" word. I don't expect you to tell me you love me, because I know you don't. Love isn't something I necessarily need from you, not the emotion at least. I do wish you'd include me in your life more though. Sometimes I feel like you're deliberately shutting me out, away from everything really important to you. It hurts me that you keep everything like that to yourself."
Tina always tried to keep her anger and other emotions out of those types of discussions. She knew I'd use her acting upset as an excuse to end the conversation. She knew that because I'd done it to her many times before, in the beginning. This time though, she had a surprising change of tactics ready for me.
"Look babe, if it hurts you, then maybe we should quit discussing these types of things?"
"Would you be telling Sherry the same thing about the "L" word, if she were in bed with you and not me?"
"Whoa there! Where did that one come from? Why bring your sister into this?"
"Because I can't think of any other good reason you have for just being fond of me. I've never had this problem with any boy before. Usually, they're the ones trying to get me spend more time with them. Do you know I've had four different people propose to me?"
"From me only being very fond of you to telling me how many guys want to marry you, isn't that a very broad leap from one place to another? I also can't see any connection to those two things that points to anything having to do with your sister."
"We talk you know, Sherry and me. She tells me things and then I watch for them myself. I know how you look at her when you think nobody is paying attention."
"This is starting to get crazy. Tell you what, you can go take a shower, then get dressed and I'll run you back home, or else you can just get dressed and I'll drive you home like you are. I'm not going off into this whole pack of wild conjectures with you. You're the one who's in my bed. I haven't spoken ten words to Sherry, ever since she turned those pictures over to me three months ago. Name me one time when I even asked you about her, or when I ever invited her to do anything at all with us?"
"I'm not leaving now. You wouldn't have reacted like this if what I said hadn't struck a nerve."
"You don't want to keep striking this so called nerve that you think you've struck. The problem we're having right now isn't one that we're ever going to get resolved. You want more from me than I'm willing to give. I don't want to keep going over the same ground with you. It has become obvious to me that you won't ever be satisfied with what I'm willing to give you. That being the case, I think we should call a halt to this before it leaves us both with a lot of unnecessary bad feelings towards each other."
"This is it then, is that what you're telling me?"
"It certainly will be if you keep on hammering on me with this ridiculous nonsense of yours. You don't talk straight. I know what you want, and I've already told you how I feel about it. Either accept what I'm telling you at full face value, or else we will be through, completely. We're friends, and that is all I want us to be."
I could see her eyes beginning to tear up. About once a month things would break down during these discussions. I felt bad that Tina and I weren't close to wanting the same things from our relationship. Resuming having sex had been her idea. At the time we'd done it, she'd been full of promises about how she could accept a casual relationship, a friendship, just so long as sex could be a component of it too. I knew at the time that it would never work for long. Those situations never do work out, not long term.
"I'm going to take a shower. When I come out, if you haven't come up with any new ideas to change things so they're fairer, you can take me home and I'll stop trying to worm my way into your tiny little heart."
Saying this, she got out of bed and padded off to my bathroom. As soon as the door closed, I got up, got dressed, then gathered up my wallet and keys before leaving the bedroom for my living room. She'd know what I'd decided when she came out and saw that I'd left my bedroom.
Twenty minutes later she came out to where I was sitting. I noticed she'd packed up all her spare clothing. I also noticed she was taking her box of Tampons, her toothbrush, hairbrush, and the little bit of make up she kept in my bathroom for use on her overnight visits.
The ride back to her place was made in frosty silence. Neither of us had one word to say to the other. A line had been crossed, a line I knew would one day need to be crossed, or else erased. I hadn't reached the point where erasure of that line had felt like a viable option for me.
I watched as Tina exited my car, clutching her things tightly to her as she carefully stepped down from the taller than normal doorway of my large SUV. I could see the shed tears that had dampened both sides of her face. I said nothing to her. No goodbye's were going to be exchanged.
Several months before, Tina's painting of a trash canned lined alley had been sold by a New York gallery. It had sold for more than we'd first been told it would be offered at, and Tina's share, Twenty eight hundred and fifty dollars, had gone a long way towards righting her sinking financial ship. She had used the money to pay off all her debts and to stock up on needed art supplies and other necessities.
In the intervening months, Tina had completed one other painting that she liked far more than the one that had sold for six thousand dollars, and had two others, near completion, that actually stayed focused on one theme, all along the same lines as her previously completed one, but each painted from completely different perspectives.
She had borrowed my digital camera one day when we'd driven through the seamier side of New Haven. We'd stop whenever she asked me to, then she'd get out and start taking pictures of whatever had caught her artist's eye. The three paintings were actually a compilation of several different photos she had taken on that day. I had no idea if her new paintings were any good or not. They did nothing for me, but then, I hadn't been all that impressed with her earlier trash can effort either.
I had promised a woman in New York that she would get the first look at anything else Tina completed in a similar vein to the picture she had gotten placed in that art gallery.
Three months after our most recent break up, Tina phoned me to tell me she was now ready to show her completed art to the lady in New York. When I tried to give her the contact information for the woman, Tina reminded me that I'd promised to drive her there, once she had something she wanted to show.
I hadn't taken much convincing to decide to do her this favor. I'd missed seeing her all during this time. I had missed the sex, but I'd also missed having another person that I could interact with. We had truly been friends, and, whether or not I admitted it, I needed a friend to keep me from retreating too far back into myself. I had a tendency to live too much in my mind, and not enough anywhere else.
We had settled on getting an early start on Thursday, two days after her calling me. I'd made the phone call to the woman, and another to my New York dealer friend. I had purchased and saved some items I knew he'd be interested in acquiring from me. It hadn't really been enough to warrant making a special trip in to see him for, but, since I'd be in New York anyway, I'd arranged to come see him as well. I planned to go see him while Tina was busy meeting with the art broker lady.
When I pulled up in front of Tina's decrepit little hovel, she was already standing outside, alongside her sister, and a crated up box which I knew was where she kept her paintings when she needed to travel with more than she could conveniently hold in her hands. It was early January, and the weather was on the milder side of normal, maybe somewhere in the high twenties or low thirties. You could see your breath when you breathed out, but it didn't hurt your lungs to breathe the cold air in. I got out and wrestled the crate of paintings into the back of my Navigator.
"Sherry wanted to go to New York with us. I told her you wouldn't mind."
"Not a problem for me. How have you two been? Keeping your head's above water okay?"
"Sherry has one of her paintings that she's agreed to have this woman look at, isn't that exciting?"
"I guess. Look, I'm planning on dropping you guys off and then I've got some business with a friend that I need to take care of. My stuff will take about an hour to get finished. How long do you expect to be?"
"How should we know? You aren't planning on just putting us out in the street in front of her house and driving off right away, are you? I thought you'd come in and introduce us to her, and help carry the paintings in as well."
"Well, I already made an appointment to see this guy. What else would you need other than an introduction and my help carting your stuff up to her apartment. Her building has a super. For a tip of ten bucks I'm sure he'd haul everything up on his furniture dolly for you."
"For once, can't you just do what I'm asking? This is a special day for Sherry and me. We're both nervous enough already, without having to worry about getting lost or getting mugged while we're waiting outside for you to come back to get us."
"Fine. I'll phone him when we get closer to the city and set up a later time for us to get together. This means you're going to have to either wait out in the car, or else come into his shop with me and wait for us to get finished with all our business."
"Is this the same man who bought that other picture from you, the bird painting?"
"Yes, Glenn is his name."
"Good, I'd like to meet him."
"I'm just going to be in and out, business. This isn't a social call. You can come in and look around until I'm finished with what I need to do. After, if you want, I'll introduce you both, and you can talk to him for a few minutes. He's busy, trying to run a business and make his living, so don't take up too much of his time, okay?"
The visit with Muriel, the art broker went pretty well. She took all five paintings to sell, even though she didn't think any of them were as commercially valuable as the trash can picture turned out being. Tina didn't seem at all disappointed when Muriel quoted her a range in the asking selling price of between twenty five and thirty eight hundred for those three, similar in conception, but differently rendered, works she'd brought to show.
Muriel also liked Sherry's picture which was of a bunch of row boats tied in the water by ropes, but really held in place by the ice crust that had formed at the waterline. She liked it a lot, but said it would probably only fetch around fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars. Sherry got very excited when the art broker agreed to place her picture in one of the gallery's she said she had a very good relationship with.
The last painting, one of Tina's, was a painting of King Richard III. In it, he was riding a leather armored horse and was in the middle of a great battle between large opposing army's. He had a raised drawn sword and was dressed in elaborate purple courtier's clothing, with an ermine collar around his throat. You could see his disfiguring humped back as well as his cruelly twisted back and ungainly appearing shriveled up left shoulder, as he raised his right sword hand to ward off an attempted stabbing attack made by an enemy pike man.
The face for this King Richard painting was mine. Twisted too into an ugly grimace, but all mine, in any case. I looked at the painting when she first lifted it from the container, right away recognizing exactly what she had done. When I looked into Tina's eyes a moment later, I could see how pleased she was at my near instant recognition of who she was depicting with my face.
"I'd never wear my hair that long, and royal crimson isn't a good color for me."
"I think its my best work, ever."
Muriel and Sherry were laughing at me too. I took some pleasure in hearing her tell Sherry that her sister would need something signed from the subject in the painting, in order to satisfy any gallery owner's need for a model's release. I was happy to see that Tina got a worried look after hearing about that.
"How much would a painting like that sell for?" I asked Muriel, pointing at the Richard picture.
"With the right buyer, perhaps as much as five thousand."
"I'll give you twenty five hundred for it, Tina, but you have to give ten percent to Muriel out of that. You'd still walk away with twenty two fifty that way, and I'd have a painting that I liked that I could put above the headboard in my bedroom."
"I'm not selling this picture to you. If you want to buy it, you can buy it from the gallery that ends up showing it."
"No problem. I won't sign any release for it then, and I'll sue anyone who decides to put that painting on any kind of public display."
"He's right, Tina. You won't be able to sell your painting without his releasing it to you. It doesn't matter whether he was a paid model or not. You used his likeness, and that's what controls in these situations. To sell it, you first need his written consent or a signed model's release form." Muriel was speaking calmly, but we all sensed how serious she was. We all also knew that now wasn't a good time for any of us to get on her bad side, not when she was in a position to do so much for the girl's art careers.
"Would you really be willing to hang it above your bed?"
"Sure, why not? I like it, but that doesn't mean I'd like to have it hanging in a museum somewhere."
"Fine, I'll sell it to you for twenty five then."
"You'll also give Muriel her ten percent?"
"No, I'll happily waive any commission. I haven't lifted a finger yet to do any placing. All I've done is appraise it, and offer to place it in a gallery for her. Five was just the maximum figure I threw out as a possible sales price."
"I'll pay her the two fifty, Jimmy, don't worry. Do we have a deal?"
"Absolutely. You surprise me by being so accommodating."
"I just like the idea of a part of me always being in your bedroom."
"Wrong part if you ask me, but you didn't."
"What do you mean by that crack?"
"Nothing, I was making a little joke, that's all. Relax and enjoy your moment. Today is a big vindication for where you've taken your art, right Muriel?"
"Yes. This new work confirms what her earlier work was just hinting at. Everything you've brought me today is readily salable at professional art gallery's. Grow your portfolio of completed work, and I'm sure I could arrange a one woman show for you at a gallery here in the city. Perhaps fifteen works of around this size, although having different sizes of canvas to show would work out better. You don't want to limit yourself to only the smaller canvas's. The larger the painting, the fewer of them you need to have ready for a one woman show."
We trooped back down to where I'd left my car, with me once again carrying the nearly empty crate she'd used for storing her paintings. I was happy for both girls, and I could easily see how excited they were at knowing both their work had been accepted, and that now, both could claim to be professional artists.
I drove over to where Glenn's shop was. I'd called earlier to let him know I would be there later than I'd originally told him to expect me. Once inside his shop, he and I went into the back, where he did most of his purchasing. It took us less than fifteen minutes to unwrap the eight pieces I'd brought to sell to him and to have them each carefully by Glenn's critical eye.
"Some of these are merely nice, but these three, they are truly exceptional. We can dicker for these three and come back to this other clack after, agreed?"
"Sure. Name me a price for these three."
"Eight hundred for the two lead soldiers, three hundred for the little drummer boy."
"Sounds good to me. What about these other five?"
"Call it twelve fifty for the lot?"
"Sold. Nice doing business with you, Glenn."
"With you as well, James. You have this highly treasured trait of being able to somehow restrain any personal greed you might be feeling. I marvel at your ability to still wind up dealing for what is a very fair deal for both sides. As a collector myself, I'm sometime apt to allow my collector's emotion to override my businessman's good sense. You save me from myself, so, in return, I try to make you a decent offer on whatever you bring to me. Now that our business is concluded, please tell me something about those lovely young women you've brought with you today."
"One is Tina, the girl who painted that bird picture you bought off me awhile back. The other one is her twin sister, Sherry. She paints as well. We just got finished taking some of their new work over to your friend Muriel. By the way, since we're both letting our hair down today, so to speak, I want you to know that I consider you not just a customer of mine, but as my primary mentor in all my dealings with most of the many things I seem to come across out there. The last thing I'd ever want to do is stick it to you on any deal. If you've noticed, I almost always take your first offer. The few times I didn't, it was only because I already knew I could get more for it from another source. I always bring this type of purchase to you first though, and I want you to know you'll always have the first chance to look through any of it and buy whatever you want."
I could see that my words had the effect I'd wanted them to have. I really did appreciate all the help Glenn had given me over the years. My little pastime had been very much enriched after I'd accidentally made his acquaintance, over at a sale we both were attending.
"Did you bring me any of her other paintings to look at today? I'm quite happy with the other purchase I made. Muriel tells me that the girl might have a real future."
"Nothing today. I could let you look at a picture of hers that I bought for myself today, but it isn't for sale."
"No, don't show me. What if you did, and then I ended up wanting to own it? Better to not be tempted."
We went back out to the front then, and I introduced the girls to Glenn. He made a few very complimentary remarks about her bird painting, then made his own personal pitch for her to stop in, anytime, if she happened to have anything else in the way of her paintings that she might consider selling directly to him.
We were driving back home, probably a little less than halfway back, when Tina started talking to me about the possibility of both she and her sister coming over to my house instead of being dropped off at theirs.
For her first reason for why we should do this, she told me she wanted to supervise me while I hung her painting. I told her I was going to get professional help to do that, because my walls were lathe and plaster finished, and I didn't want to just try to pound a nail into it.
She told me that she had hangers for the painting that simply stuck to that type of wall which wouldn't come off unless someone deliberately twisted off the vacuum seal. She told me she already had some in the bag that Sherry was carrying. She got Sherry to take a few out of her bag and handed these to me. I put them in my pocket.
"Maybe later then. I'm going to take some time to decide where I want to move your other two paintings. I don't want them where they are now, not if we're putting this other one in my bedroom too."
"You have my paintings in your bedroom? I thought you said you were putting them over your mantle?"
"Sherry's are up there. Yours are in the bedroom."
"You put hers out where everybody could see them, then put mine in your bedroom where they'll never be seen?"
"I look at your painting's far more than the ones in my living room."
"You do? Why, because you think they're better than hers?"
"No. I like all four of them about the same amount. I look at yours more because I do more thinking in my bedroom, and it relaxes me to have something to look at while I'm trying to figure things out."
"We want to come over even if you aren't going to put my painting up today. Do you have anything you can make us for dinner?"
"No, but there are plenty of restaurants we could stop at along the way. I'm not in the mood for any further company today. All this driving has gotten me too stressed out. I hate driving in heavy traffic."
"I don't know why you can't just force yourself to accept this outstretched olive branch I'm offering you, Jimmy. You're forcing me to work a lot harder at this than I should have to."
"Nothing's changed here on my end, Tina, and nothing is liable to change anytime in the foreseeable future. We want different things. I'm used to having things turn out that way. Hell, if it makes you feel any better, I'll even admit the whole problem is all my fault. That doesn't change the fact that there is this problem, or that it is unlikely to ever change."
"I know that now. Sherry and I have talked about the problem for months now. We both agree that you need everything to be all your own way. We know it, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy some of the things we want from you, things that you always seem willing to give."
"You're losing me here. You go from I to you and now you've moved all the way to we, which I assume refers to you and Sherry. As far as I can remember, the only we I've been involved with has been the we of you and me. Why are you bringing Sherry's name up while we're discussing all this?"
"We've been talking about all three of us maybe going on one of those cruises together. You and me, as a couple, and Sherry too, because it's too cold and scary for her to have to stay at our place all alone. She can't go back to our parent's house, and I don't want to leave her here all by herself."
"Aren't you assuming quite a lot? Aside from everything else, do you even know how Sherry would be on a cruise ship, out there in the middle of the ocean? Suppose she had one of her panic attacks? Plus, we wouldn't exactly be by ourselves on these boats. I think there must be at least three thousand other people who'd be on board with us, counting the passengers and all the crew. That is a lot more people than the number who live in Drayton and Patler combined. You had to have seen how nervous Sherry got when we drove into the city today. Why put her through something like that?"
"You'd be there, and so would I. We could all get one big room together, and she probably wouldn't have any problems anyway. If she did, I'd just go back to the room with her until she settled back down again."
"Well, you two know better about handling that kind of stuff than I do. Now though, getting back to that part about you and me going as a couple, what, exactly, does that mean to you?"
"A couple, like that time we went to Miami before. Don't worry, we can have all the sex you want. Sherry doesn't care if we do that. She knows we did that before anyway."
"Those staterooms are very small. With three people, it would get very cramped in a hurry, if two of them were having sex. I'm sure something like that would be very uncomfortable for Sherry to have to deal with. There isn't any way to hide all the sounds and smells there'd be in a little room like that. With her history of having been attacked and all, Sherry might not enjoy being around something that would remind her like that might."
"She's been in my place when I've brought a guy there. She never complained about us fucking then. Hell, most of those times, I think she was getting off on it. You wouldn't care if Jimmy and I had sex, would you Sherry?"
"Not if it was warm outside, and it meant I'd gotten out of Connecticut. I really think you might have hurt your cause though by even mentioning having other lover's besides him."
"Did you think I was going to stop getting laid after we broke up, Jimmy?"
"Never thought about it one way or the other. Doesn't bother me hearing about it either. Doesn't make me want to take you on this cruise thing of yours though. Why don't the two of you just go by yourselves on this cruise? Leave me completely out of it."
"See, I told you, you never should have told him anything about what you've done since him. Now we're going to be stuck here all Winter."
"It was only two guys, and one of them was a guy I used to go out with, not somebody who was completely new."
"Tina, I already said that wasn't a deciding factor for me. What is a deciding factor is not wanting to get reinvolved in something that will end up badly like the last two times have. I'm ready to admit that I'm one horse you'll never be able to tame."
"I'm not sure about that. I know I've already ridden you plenty. I don't want to tame you anymore anyway. Can't I just want a week's vacation, a chance to go off to where the weather is good, and I can finally get unbundled and maybe relax for a few hours in the sunlight? We both like having sex together too, so that was going to be a little bonus for you, something I could contribute to making our trip more enjoyable for you."
I ended up driving straight through, not bothering to stop anywhere for something to eat. Tina talked about that cruise for the entire time it took to get back to her place. She was still talking when I turned off the engine and went to get her painting holder out of the back. I took out my new painting and left it uncovered in the back. When I got back in my car, Sherry and Tina were having an argument. It sounded to me like Tina was angry with Sherry for not jumping in and promoting the whole cruise idea more than she had.
They finally noticed I was finished unloading the painting carrier and had put it over by their door. I'd gotten back into my car and was waiting, in the cold, for them to get out.
"You really aren't going to let us come over to your house tonight? Our space heater broke, and we practically froze our asses off for the past two nights."
"I told you I'm not in the mood for company. Why don't you get out of the car and go inside to finish your argument?"
"If you let us come over to spend a few nights, until we can get that money you owe me paid off, Sherry and I will both let you see us naked together. You know you always wondered about that."
"No I won't. Besides, Jimmy doesn't want to see me naked anyway."
This was so rehearsed. I could tell. They both sounded like two bad actor's in some amateurish play. They were both involved in trying to set me up. The only question I had was how far they were both willing to go to get whatever it was they really were after?
For more than a year now, counting the times when she and I were broken up, I'd been insisting to Tina that I had no interest in her sister. There was simply no way for me to take it all back, to finally admit to her my fascination with her sister. This was all part of some kind of new test, I was certain of it.
"She's right, I don't want to see that. Now please get out, both of you, because I have things I need to do, alone. I'll bring you the cash for the picture in the morning, Tina. Just make sure you have lots of layers of covers on for tonight. You'll be fine."
"See, I told you he'd tell us that. You ended up fucking it all up, trying to make him jealous. I'm calling mom in the morning, and I'm going to ask her if Dad's gotten over things enough to let me move back into my old room. You always have to try to do everything your way. You and him were made for each other when it comes to being that way."
They bickered with each other for another five minutes before Sherry just opened the door on her side and stepped out of my car. After she did that, Tina wasn't really left with any choices other than opening her side and leaving too. I drove off, even more confused now than I'd been earlier. I knew they both had lied to me, so many of their statements conflicted with each other. I now knew a different side of Sherry too. A side that made her less attractive to me, not more so.
That they had each tried to set me up to take them both on a free cruise was a given. Tina definitely wanted the two of us to resume at least the sex part of our prior relationship. I had zero doubts about that conclusion. I wasn't sure about what all I was being offered as far as Sherry was concerned.
What I did know didn't particularly bother me. Truth was, I would have happily welcomed some resumption of my visits from Tina. Even taking a cruise with one or both of the sisters would have been well within my personal tolerance parameters. Seeing Sherry naked, or having her in the same room while I was pounding away on her sister, both of those were highly acceptable options from my point of view as well.
The only part I couldn't accept was having the two of them colluding together against me. I didn't want that, not even if it meant my losing out on all the rest of it. I still had my own fantasies, but none of them featured those two women controlling my every move like I was just some puppet attached to the strings they'd be pulling.
Tina and I were once again involved in a negotiation. I knew she was more anxious to resume our former friendship than I. She had just upped the ante, by including opening things up to where, now, they'd also have something to do with her sister. For some of this at least, Sherry was actually going along with her. I wasn't yet sure of her motivation for doing so, but I was quite willing to wait and find out what their next move would be.
When I got home, I looked at an open area just above where I'd hung the two paintings that Sherry had done for me. I tried to picture, in my mind, what that area would look like with all three of Tina's paintings hung there. I could easily switch the paintings of my house around, so that Tina's were in my living room, instead of Sherry's. I enjoyed thinking about how Tina would react upon learning that it was Sherry's work that I now looked at whenever I was thinking about things in my bed.