I was suddenly embarrassed. I had small pointy breasts and I never wore a bra to bed. I could feel them now, poking out the front of my t-shirt; his eyes were drawn right to them.
"Excuse me," I mumbled, feeling heat color my face. "I wasn't expecting anyone up." His blinking eyes were locked on my twin points, his face coloring just like mine. I crossed my arms over my chest, wrapped myself in them really, but that only made it worse.
No, worse was that I was standing there in my underwear, my skimpy panties plainly visible beneath the hem of my t-shirt. Worse was that I had gone to sleep with my hair up in a barrette, and it looked like an explosion around my head. Worse was that I had to pee badly enough to make me squirm like a six year old. Worse was that I dared not look at the obvious bulge that Walter had met me with.
"Excuse me," I mumbled again, slipping by.
My name is Emily and I was 14 years old. The boy I'd just humiliated myself in front of was Walter, my 14-year-old half-brother. Walter is named for my grandfather, and is the product of Dad's 2nd marriage. I'm a product of his first marriage. I have two older sisters, Constance and Chase, who were 19 and 18 at the time. Both were away at school.
Closing the door and locking it, I bear-hugged myself and refused to let my eyes anywhere near the mirror. I moved to the toilet and pulled down my panties at the same time that I dropped the seat down and sat upon it. I purposely angled myself to keep my pee from drilling right down into the water below me, aiming it instead at the porcelain just above the water line. At home, I'd never had to worry about sitting down on the unprotected rim of a toilet bowl, nor had to worry about males listening to my overextended bladder empty. I hated this house.
Walter and Robert are my twin half-brothers and six days older than myself. Dad got Mom and Pam pregnant at the same time. He and Pam followed up with Michelle, now 10, and then Angela, who turned 7 in September. My birthday, and Walters' and Roberts' are six months away in May.
Finished, I rolled out a length of tissue and wrapped it around my fingers into a rough square. I wiped myself and dropped the tissue into the toilet to evacuate along with the pee. It occurred to me that Walter had just evacuated himself into the same bowl a moment before and I scowled, imagining his pee soiling the rim of the bowl right below me. Sure enough, the rim was wet, beaded with droplets of urine. Grumbling, I wiped the rim clean with another handful of tissue and got off the bowl.
Two months. Two months this had been going on.
The hallway was empty and I hurried back to my room, eying the doors either side suspiciously. The house was three levels high, with rooms enough for every member of the family. Mine was up here on the second floor, along with Walters' and Roberts'. Michelle was downstairs with Mom and Dad, and so was Angela; Mom and Dad on one side of the house, and Michelle and Angela on the other. Being adults, Constance and Chase were afforded rooms in the basement. They even had their own entrance and a kitchenette. They could come and go as they pleased, though, being away at school left this theory untested. It would be shortly. Thanksgiving was a week away.
In my room, I locked the door and stood against it with my arms crossed, hunched over. I was so miserable. I couldn't be any more miserable. To grow up fatherless in a household of women, free to do as I pleased (within reason), two big sisters to protect and watch over me (that's not always how it felt, of course), wishing as any 14 year old would that her mom and dad would get back together, miserable now that they had. I just couldn't believe that I had ever wished for such a thing.
Eyes stinging, nose stinging, lips trembling, I crossed to my bed and sat down on the edge. A full-on crying jag was trying to break loose; I had to control it. Not only would my brothers hear, but also they'd smirk at me every time they saw me for the rest of the day. Emily, crying again, they'd think. I hated them. I hated everyone. My cell phone rang.
It was Trisha, my best friend. "It can't be that bad," she said.
"Wanna bet," I countered.
"It's only nine o'clock in the morning, Em. How can you be miserable at nine o'clock in the morning?"
"I'm still miserable from last night," I complained, bitterly.
Last night my dad had threatened to spank me in front of Walter and Robert. Not that he would, of course ... he'd never do something as despicable as that. He'd only made the threat in front of them, totally humiliating me. Every time I saw them they had snickered, knowing Dad had read me the riot act, threatened to wail on my bare behind. Over his knee, no less. I had a right to be miserable.
"I have a right to be miserable," I complained.
"Oh, get over it," Trisha said. "It's not like he did it."
"He didn't have to. He embarrassed me just by saying it. Every time I meet their eyes, it'll be like, You're mine, bitch. You're my slave. I'll spank you myself, you give me any trouble." I didn't tell her what I had dreamed last night. That Robert had grabbed my wrist and twisted me with it, made me put my backside in his reach, bent me over so that he could easily get his hand on the back of my pants and drag them down while I wailed in protest, trying to get away, couldn't. I woke up with a cry, before he did anything to me.
"You're too sensitive," Trisha said.
"I am not."
We talked another fifteen minutes about boys and school and sex, or the general lack of it. Trisha was the prettiest friend I had, brunette with the prettiest green eyes. She had the breasts I craved, a perfect shape, and legs that made mine look like something rejected at the chicken factory. I weigh 98 lbs; Trisha weighs 125 and has it in all the right places. She is extremely popular.
"I have to go," she said.
"I have to go, too. Call me later?"
"You call me."
"Later. Or text me. Text me, anyway. And stop worrying about your damned brothers, Emily."
"Easy for you to say," I griped. "You don't have any."
I folded up the phone, laid it on the bed and got up. I crossed to my dresser, kicking assorted stuff out of my way as I went, grabbed clean underwear out of the top drawer, a clean t-shirt out of the drawer below, and a pair of my tightest jeans from the drawer below that. Stopping to think about it, I grabbed my 2nd tightest pair of jeans instead, put everything over my arm and headed toward the door. No sense inviting looks at my rear end.
In the hallway, I turned right and made for the bathroom at the end of the hall, not the one I had just peed in. That bathroom had a walk-in shower. The enclosure was made of textured plastic, and I hated the way it let anyone look in at you. Too many movies, I guess. Seeing a girl naked in a shower not aware that a camera is watching everything she does. Not that anyone snuck into the bathroom to watch me. I wouldn't put it past them though, especially that fucking little Robert.
In the bathroom, I locked the door and stripped off my t-shirt. Paranoia made me stop with the t-shirt still on my arms, and suddenly anxious, I pulled it against my chest and checked every square inch of the bathroom for a hidden camera. I wouldn't put anything past Robert. I already knew he regularly searched my room and invaded my laptop. I knew he read my email, or suspected it strongly. I also strongly suspected he knew more about me then I knew myself.
Opening the closet doors, I eyed the stacks of towels for any telltale lens. The doors were wooden with slats wide enough to look through—or for a camera to film through. I wondered if Robert had seen me nude yet. He'd caught me topless once, though that was my fault. I wondered if I was more embarrassed or mortified by the thought of him seeing me nude. Or perversely aroused.
Face it, I thought, sourly. You're a freak.
Pam and Dad divorced two years ago. Dad did nothing for a year, and then began dating a woman named Mariska, like Mariska Hargitay from Law & Order SVU. She looked nothing like Mariska Harrgitay, more like Goldie Hawn on a good hair day.
You know who Goldie Hawn is, right?
Mariska had kids of her own, a son and a daughter, and the son was just my flavor of Jell-O: delicious cherry. I really got excited about Dad dating someone new, even someone as skanky as Mariska, even if I wasn't Daniel's favorite flavor of Jell-O. The fact that I wasn't ignored was good enough for me. But just as Daniel began to notice my existence, Dad got tired of Mariska and took up with someone from his office, a woman named Rachel. I never saw Daniel again. Rachel's kids lived with their father.
Mom and Dad getting back together was a total fluke. It happened six months ago. Rather, they met by accident six months ago, Dad out with this Rachel woman on a Friday night, Mom out with her sometimes boyfriend Richard, running into each other in the waiting line at Red Lobster. Mom said it took a minute to realize the man she was peeking at across the room was her ex-husband.
Dad had no idea Mom was there, only discovering this when Rachel's sudden annoyance made him look around for the source of her irritation. Aware she had been caught staring, Mom turned away and Dad was left to wonder why the person with her back to him, her arms folded defensively over her chest, seemingly embarrassed, looked familiar. It took him most of the next hour and a half to realize who she was.
"I was shocked," Mom told me that night. "Your dad looked ... your dad looked nothing like he did a year ago."
For the last two years, Constance and Chase both drove, both had cars of their own. It was only me that Mom had to ferry back and forth to Dad's, and this had ended more than a year ago when Mom agreed to let me take the train as far as Bethesda, letting Dad picked me up at the Grosvenor station. She retrieved me at the Shady Grove station on Sunday afternoon or evening, the time depending on whether there was a game or not, whether Dad had me out for the afternoon or not, whether he was mad at me, etc.
"I told you," I said. "Con and Chase told you, too. Dad's a hunk now. Scrumptious," I added, grinning.
Mom just shook her head. "I never would have thought it possible. All that weight."
Dad had dropped 60 pounds in the last year, maybe more, a bunch of it in the last six months. He'd been a real porker before that. He didn't care, I guess, what he looked like. His first year away from Pam must have changed his mind, though, because once he started dating Mariska, he'd turned anorexic on me. He'd also done something about his hair, and that stupid mustache of his. Now he looked like a clean-shaven Tom Selleck.
I dropped my t-shirt on the floor and wiggled out of my panties. Naked, I eyed myself warily in the mirror, wondering how anyone could be more oddly shaped, more flat-chested, less sexual looking. My breasts were a pair of pink nipples in search of companionship; my torso a display case for my ribs. My hips looked like displaced, protruding ears; my thighs like misplaced biceps. My knees made me wince. I've seen better bodies on concentration camp survivors.
Disgusted, I yanked my hair loose and combed through it with my fingers until I'd worked out the worst of the tangles, then I attacked it with the hairbrush. I did this eying the door behind me in the mirror, and the one to my side from the corner of my eye. I backed up this surveillance with an occasional twist of the knob, and an ear to the door panel, though how I'd hear someone listening from the other side with his ear to the door I don't know. The thought of a concealed video camera still had my nerves on edge and my nipples hard as tiny gold nuggets.
Why was I so paranoid, I wondered? What would I do if Walter or Robert actually made a move on me? It was only a matter of time for Robert, I was sure of it. Walter, not so likely. But Robert scared me. Robert scared me more than all the guys in my 9th grade class combined. More than all the guys at school, combined. Most guys looked past me like I was a puff of air, something that could muss their hair or get dust in their eyes, a nuisance. The rest eyed me with scorn. A few exceptions, guys I'd known all my life, or friends of my girlfriends, treated me like one of the guys. Very few guys paid me any real attention. I'd never been kissed, never fought a hand off my bare breast, never battled to keep my jeans buttoned and zipped. How very depressing that was.
Dispirited, I dropped my arm to my side, where it hung so limply the brush slipped out of my fingers. I stared at it on the floor, not having the energy--or the resolve--to bend down and pick it up. My eyes and my nose burned again.
I started, covering up reflexively. It was Walters' voice, soft, hesitant, urgent. I backed away from the door at the same time I told him to go away.
"I'm not ... look, I have to talk to you. Can you let me in?"
"Are you crazy?" I hissed, backing all the way to the tub and almost tumbling into it. "Go away!"
There was silence, then the creak of a floorboard, then a barely heard sigh as the idiot moved away from the door. I stood there shaking, wrapped in my arms, needing to pee again, even though I just had.
Goose-bumped and shivering, I swept back the shower curtain and twisted the spigot all the way to hot. Then I got in and waited until the water burned my toes before I leaned forward and carefully inched the handle back into blue territory again. I was still clutching myself like a six year old; my arms refused to let go; my back refused to un-hunch. My knees refused to unlock.
What had he wanted, anyway? As if I didn't know, I thought bitterly. Fucking cretin.
Resentful, muttering obscenities, I moved into the water and let it assault my head. I rubbed my face, swept back my hair and ordered myself to relax. Grudgingly, I did. After a minute or two the heat chased the goose-bumps away (both mentally and physically), letting my shoulders relax. I breathed deeply, relishing the sensation of forward-thrusting breasts, no matter how small. I shampooed and lathered myself with soap, enjoying the intimacy of the slick wetness on my skin. I even smiled, imagining myself as a beautiful movie star in a shower scene. As they did nowhere but in the shower, my limbs felt long, supple and inviting.
I showered long after I was clean. I refused to cede claim even after my mother hollered up the stairs that people in Africa were dying of thirst at my expense. Dripping, wringing out my hair, I pushed back the curtain and had a heart attack when I discovered Walter, standing there, waiting for me.
"I hate you!" I hissed. I was shaking like a bamboo stand in a hurricane. My lungs refused to work, my body had doubled over like a fortune cookie, I was goose-bumped everywhere I could see, and I was furious. A glimpse of myself in the mirror showed my face the color of a Red Delicious apple.
"Calm down!" Walter whispered back frantically. His fear, the way his eyes were bugged out farther than mine, the wheezy croak of his voice, his rapid breathing, combined somehow to stop me from screaming like a banshee.
"What are you doing in here?" My robe was around me and I'd cinched the belt tight enough to cut myself in two. I wanted so badly to pound him with my fists, beat the stupid life out of him. But again, his anxiety stopped me.
"You're in trouble," he whispered hoarsely. He kept his eyes averted and his hands jammed in his pockets. To his credit, he had been holding up my robe when I swept back the shower curtain, blocking his view of my body. Mostly blocking his view of my body. I felt only 80% compromised.
"What do you mean?" I demanded. While he answered, I grabbed the towel off the sink top and twisted it around my hair.
"Robert is planning on raping you, Emily."
I stared at him, shocked. "Wh-what?"
"He's gonna rape you. And then he's gonna sell you to some Russian guys as a child prostitute."
My eyes opened wide as dinner plates. My lungs froze and my jaw dropped to my bellybutton. The muscles surrounding my bladder squeezed brutally.
"Are you out of your mind?" I demanded.
Starting, Walter snapped his head around, leaned closer to the door. His hands came out of pockets, bunched into fists. They were clenched so hard they shook. I heard—or thought I heard—the soft creak of a floorboard outside, making me shrink back instinctively, arms steepled across my chest, knuckles under my chin, whimpering helplessly.
"Is it him?" I squeaked.
He shushed me with his right hand, and kept the hand aloft to keep me quiet. Petrified, I backed against the tub and lost my balance, sat down hard on the broad edge. He shot me a look of pure consternation. I shrugged helplessly. I couldn't believe how terrified I was. I couldn't believe I believed him.
"Don't let him in!" I mouthed frantically.
His look of consternation turned to one of annoyance. Of course I'm not gonna let him in, you ninny! I gripped the sides of my robe with shaking hands and held them together tight enough to choke myself to death. I gulped, a loud and painful sound. He shushed me again.
"I can't help it!" I whined breathlessly.
I had never--could never--imagined Walter as my Knight in Shining Armour, my savior. He was almost the asshole stature of his brother. Terrifying how fast your perceptions of someone can change. Finally, he relaxed.
"He's gone. You gotta get dressed now, though. Right now. We gotta get you out of here, Em."
It occurred to me that I could only be this frightened in a dream; nothing this terrifying could happen outside a nightmare. That I was behaving like a moron, that Walter was most certainly lying to me, that I was believing his lies without question, I had no doubt. I was in my own bathroom at home, my folks were downstairs, Walter was in my most private of spaces, lying to me.
I blinked in confusion, then in determination, trying to wake up. It had to be a dream. It just had to be.
Face set in a fierce scowl, he crossed the bathroom in two steps and grabbed my arm, yanking me up. "I want to show you something," growled. Dragging me to the hallway door, he shoved me face-first to within an inch of the doorjamb. Again I blinked in confusion.
"You see that?" he demanded.
"See what?" I protested. He was crushing my biceps in his fist. I had no idea the jerk was so strong. Instead of looking where I was directed, I stared down at his encircling fingers, at his wrist and then at his forearm, then at the muscles bulging in his biceps. My eyes strained in shock. "Walter! When did you get so big?"
"Oh, for Christ's sake," he growled. "Will you look at the door!"
Tearing my eyes away from his biceps, I redirected them at the door, making them focus unwillingly on a nail hole. I made a sound of impatience and consternation. "What am I looking for, Walter?"
"That!" he hissed. With another shake, he made me examine the hole more carefully. Instead of a shiny metal nail head, my uncomprehending eyes took in what appeared to be a smooth piece of glass, something that looked like an impossibly small peephole, like the one in the front door. Horrified, I realized what I was looking at was a pinhole camera.
"Walter! Is that--?" Before I could finish he dragged me to the other doorframe and pointed my nose at a second, hidden pinhole camera. I blinked in confusion and disbelief. It was like an eye, ready to blink at me. I could almost see the grinning face on the other end of the video circuit. "Oh, my God," I moaned. "He's been watching me!"
"Watching and filming," he muttered. "He has you all over his goddamned hard drive."
I gaped at him, horrified.
"He's been filming you since you moved in here. He's got both bathrooms up here rigged, your bedroom, both bathrooms downstairs, and the two in the basement. You can't piss anywhere without him seeing you, Emily."
I turned my eyes back to the doorframe, blinked at it stupidly. My mouth hung open like a Venus Fly-trap. I couldn't breath. Then my eyes opened wider. "You haven't... ?"
"Seen you nude?" His mouth twisted grimly. "Along with every guy he knows, and God knows how many he doesn't. I've seen you on half a dozen websites and I've found shots of you posted in the Newsgroups. Videos too. You've practically gone viral, Emily."
My eyes and mouth opened to their maximum diameters. "No," I keened feverishly. "You're lying to me." Tears flowed down my cheeks and my nose burned with flame. I could feel the sobs waiting to break loose. Hysterical sobs. And then, to my utter astonishment, Walter put his hand behind my neck, pulled me to him, and kissed me right on the mouth.
"Why did you do that?"
"To shut you up," he said, looking at my flustered, flushing face. I was breathless and confused, mentally cross-eyed. My heart pounded like a fist against the inside of my ribcage. I felt like I'd just crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon. My first kiss, planted on me by my own brother. Well, half-brother, anyway.
"You could have just told me to shut up," I mumbled.
"Like that would have worked."
My face should have ignited. My lips tingled. I fought, and only just conquered the impulse to rub them with the side of my finger. My lips weren't the only part of me that tingled, either.
"You could have tried," I protested. And then, to my continuing astonishment, he grabbed me and kissed me again.
"Mmmmm," I moaned. My hands awakened and tried to find something to do with themselves. Tentatively, one of them (I think it was my right hand), found his waist and cupped lightly against the hard muscles there. My left hand didn't seem to know where to alight, just kept making a fool of itself on my other side. "Mmmmm," I moaned again.
Walters' hands showed no such indecision. The one behind my neck kept me firmly planted to his lips, while the other in the small of my back pressed the rest of me against his body. There was no missing the hardness between his legs.
"Walter!" I protested, squirming away. He brought me firmly back into contact with his bulge, which felt huge, even trapped inside his pants. "Walter, please!" I begged.
His breath was ragged, and rapid. "I want you, Emily," he rasped. And then he freed me and stepped back, hands clenched at his sides, face flushed, eyes burning with excitement. My own eyes went to the bulge in his pants. I sucked in air and gasped it out, shaking uncontrollably. And then I threw myself back into his arms, wrapping my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist. Holding me by my bottom, he raised me until our heads were at the same level and we kissed ferociously, hungrily, my inexperience a handicap no longer than it took Walter to show me what to do. I French kissed him like I'd been born to French kiss; he tried to extract my tonsils with his tongue. I knew also, that with my robe waterfalling behind me as it was, and my legs wrapped around his middle, nothing stood between my exposed genitals and his imprisoned cock. He could have taken me at any time. I wanted him to take me. I yearned for him to. I begged silently. He chose not to.
"No!" I protested as he lowered and placed me on my feet. I wobbled, my knees like rubber bands. I tried to kiss him again, but he held me away. I groaned in frustration, begging him "Please?"
He shook his head no. He cut his eyes away, plainly embarrassed. Still, he didn't remove his hands, resting them lightly on my hips, giving me hope.
And then I whispered "I love you, Walter" at the same time that I realized it was true. Walters' eyes snapped back to mine, startled.
"What? What did you say?"
I had been denying this truth since the day I had first met him. I had known the moment we nodded shyly at each another across the wide table at The Olive Tree, both of us 7 years old, brought together for the first time in a meeting between the future halves of the family. Mom married to her work, Dad married to Pam, the three of them trying to hammer out a workable truce.
Since the breakup, Dad had not seen Constance or Chase or myself more than once or twice a year, always in neutral territory, never in the company of Pam or his other family members. I had never met Walter or Robert or Michelle before that night, seen them only in pictures, and then only at my own instance. Mom refused to allow any interaction between us kids. That's all changed now, of course, now that we live together under one roof.
Walters' eyes bore into mine, melting me, turning my insides to mush. I felt a sensation between my thighs; inside the workings of my reproductive system that warned me I was a Molotov cocktail, a rocket engine, a drum of fertilizer and diesel fuel, waiting for a match. To explode like a nuclear bomb.
"I love you," I repeated in a whisper.
"I love you too, Emily," he said. His voice was awed. His expression was awed. "I have for years. Since we were 8 years old."
"7 for me," I confessed, blushing thoroughly. I told him about my instant infatuation across the dinner table. He nodded slowly.
"Robert hates you, you know. I think that's one of the reasons why. It just ate at him that you were so thoroughly not interested in him."
"I shouldn't be interested in you," I reminded him. "This is really stupid."
Until that moment I had successfully dodged responsibility for my feelings with the knowledge that I would never act on them, never approach, much less trample the line between fantasies from condemnable behavior. And now somehow, I had. I still couldn't believe it, that Walter had let me. That he had initiated it.
I reclaimed his neck with my arms. "What are we gonna do?" I asked. "I can't have him stealing my virginity and selling me off to some Russian mobsters, never to be seen again. Never to see you again."
He scowled. "He's serious about that, Emily. The raping you part, anyway. He's obsessed with you, obsessed with keeping you away from me. By any means possible. No matter what the risk to him. I've read the shit he's written about you on his computer." He shook his head, his expression grim. "That boy's mind is gone."
I rested my head against his chest; let my small breasts flattened against the thick muscles of his pectorals. It occurred to me why Walter had chosen to become Arnold Schwarzenegger: to protect me, his helpless little sister from harm. It made my heartstrings throb. It was another reason agony twisted like a knife in my chest, knowing what I had to do.
"I'm sorry," I said, stifling a sob.
I clung to him, head buried against his chest. "If we ever hope to be happy, I have to make Robert not hate me anymore, not want to rape me and sell me off."
I could feel him shaking his head. "I don't understand, Emily. What are you talking about?"
Suppressing another sob, I tore myself away from his chest, placed a hand against the hard muscles to keep me that way, and dared not look in his eyes. "I'll be back. Don't try to stop me. Don't come after me. I'll come back to you when it's over."
"Emily ... what are you talking about?"
"I'm sorry," I repeated tearfully. I left him standing there, looking baffled.
I knocked on Robert's door.
"What?" he demanded harshly. Obviously he thought I was Walter, not Mom or Dad, certainly not me.
"I want to talk to you," I said in a tiny voice. I could hear his silent, startled intake of breath. After a long pause, I heard him get off his bed and pad across to the door in his bare feet. The door swung open. He stood there, eying me through narrowed eyes, mouth a narrow line, jaw muscles clenched. The ferocity of his expression made me want to shrink away, cover my head with my hands, cower against the far wall. Instead, I took a shuddering breath and said to him: "Can I come inside?"
"Please, Robert," I whispered. "We need to talk."
Glowering like a Pit Bull, he stood aside, leaving room enough for me to slip past him into the room, sideways. I had to contort my body in order not to touch him. He closed the door and locked it as I glanced around the unfamiliar landscape of his room. It was my first time inside. I'd only seen glimpses of it before, always from the hallway. Although I told them not to, my eyes searched out and found the laptop sitting on his desk. It was a Macintosh, a MacBook Pro, white and shiny and new. It was also closed, which made me bite my lower lip in anxiety. My stomach fluttered with a thousand butterfly wings. Despite this, I dove right in.
"What can I do to make you not hate me anymore, Robert?"
One eyebrow twitched at the question, otherwise, his expression remained unchanged.
"What are you talking about?" he said.
"You know what I'm talking about," I said angrily. "The cameras in my room, the ones in the bathrooms, the videos of me you've posted online, the ones you've sent to your friends. You didn't do those things because you like me, Robert!"
I had meant to control my temper, in fact, as terrified as I was, I was surprised that I could feel anything but uncontrollable fear. But the unjustness of the situation had my hackles raised, even if involuntarily, an unconscious reaction to the fear. I suddenly wanted to punch him right in the face. To my astonishment, I tried to do exactly that.
"Whoa!" he exclaimed. Rather than block the punch, Robert simply leaned back and let my forward momentum throw me off balance. Before I knew what happened, he had grabbed me, turned me around and wrapped me in a bear hug. He laughed at my flustered gasp, twisted his head to look at me from the side. "What was that about?"
He easily dodged the heel I tried to smash down on his right instep, lifted me clear of the floor when I tried to struggle from his grasp, used his right thigh to deflect the kicks I tried to deliver to his shins. "Will you please stop that?" he said calmly. His amused tone only infuriated me more. "I thought you came in here to apologize, Emily. What's with the insane sister act?"
"Apologize!" I exploded. "Why you stupid fucking—Whoa! Wait! What are you doing?" I found myself over his knee, his right hand on my backside, the other wrapped around my right wrist, clearing his target. "Don't you dare!" I threatened him. I squirmed ineffectually, accomplishing nothing.
"I don't actually intend to spank you," he said with amusement in his voice. "Unless you force me to, Emily."
"Let me up!" I demanded.
"So you can punch me again? No thanks."
"I didn't punch you," I reminded him, squirming. I was surprised how strong his left hand was, how easily I'd been positioned over his lap, how helpless and vulnerable I was. These boys ate their Cheerios sprinkled with steroids instead of sugar.
"If I was a little slower, you would have. I guess I deserved it though," he said, rubbing his hand gently on the back of my bathrobe.
"Stop that," I said, turning bright red. Redder, I guess, as I was already quite red.
Surprising me, he stopped. "I'm sorry," he said. "But you realize, this is the first time we've ever actually talked. I kinda like it."
"It is not," I denied. "We talk all the time."
"Name me one time." His forearm rested on my waiting behind, not as intrusive as his hand to be sure, more like a placeholder. I wondered how long Walter would allow a spanking to go on, how long Dad would. I didn't want to find out.
"Let me up and we'll talk all you want," I tried.
He laughed softly. "I like you right where you are. Vulnerable and helpless."
"Let me get my fingernails into you, you'll see how helpless I am."
He laughed again. And then, doing something I couldn't have predicted in a million years, Robert took a fistful of wet hair, twisted my face upward, and kissed me on the mouth.
Twice in one day. Kissed by my half-brother.
In Robert's case, it was less expected and much less welcome than with Walter. I instantly rebelled, went after him with my fingernails, but somehow I went from being over his lap to sitting on it, legs encircling his waist, arms encircling his neck, my tongue feverishly on the attack in his mouth. My recently acquired ability to french kiss jumped to a different next level. I completely forgot about Walter, shoving him into the nether recesses of my mind. I had to, to stay sane.
"Where did that come from?" I gasped. The question was double-sided, of course. There was my utter astonishment at what had just happened, and the fact that I was sitting on something incredibly hard and terrifying in its immediacy. Not a foot below my wide-open genitals this time but thrust quite ungentlemanly up into them, violating me. I couldn't look down for fear of having a heart attach.
"You can't do that!" I warned him breathlessly, a squeak.
"Do what?" he said.
"Do that to me."
"I'm not doing anything to you. I'm just sitting here, Emily."
I sat staring at him, breath laboring through my lips, jaw quivering, lips trembling, unsure I had the self control to say no if he raised me and set himself free. I longed for it like a shipwrecked woman longs for the sight of land. I longed for it like Juliet for Romeo, like Rose for Jack on Titanic. I would erupt in orgasm just touching its bare skin.
"I knew this would happen," Robert said with certain smugness.
"No you didn't," I denied indignantly. "You couldn't have."
"Bet me," he said, tilting his head and moving his lips forward to touch mine. I didn't fight, didn't move away, let my eyes close and my mouth open for him. Maybe he had known. Maybe he had a crystal ball hidden away.
Maybe I was just an open book.
After a time we separated and I just sat there, panting shakily, eyes still closed. I felt the warmth of his breath on my cheek, and my own breath mingled with his and we touched gently, forehead-to-forehead. It was the most excruciatingly erotic thing I'd ever felt, the most sensual, the most intimate. It was almost painful when his lips worked their way down the line of my jaw to my ear, down my neck into the collar of my robe, pushing it back to expose my bare shoulder.
"I can't do this," I moaned, shuddering.
"I beg to differ," he whispered back. "You're doing just fine." His right hand groped for my belt, freed it and let the ends fall either side of us. Nothing held my robe together now but simple friction.
"Don't do this," I begged.
His hands took the sides of my robe and spread them apart, exposing me. I shivered from head to toe, multiple shivers racing up and down my spine, making me shake like a leaf in a storm. He couldn't see me yet, his mouth currently glued to the side of my neck. Gently, I removed the sides of my robe from his hands and pulled it back together, concealing myself. To his credit, Robert did not fight me on this. Nor did he object when I squeezed him out from between my neck and shoulder and sat back.
"I'm sorry," I muttered. "I just can't." I pulled the robe tight across my front and held it there, shoulders hunched.
"Walter?" he asked.
I nodded. He sighed. "Of course."
"I don't know what to do, Robert."
"Don't do anything."
"I have to do something," I said, emotion choking my voice. I sniffed loudly and wiped my nose with the cuff of my sleeve. What a mess, I thought. What a stupid situation. What a dorky 14-year old I was. And then Robert offered the perfect solution to the problem.
"Love us both. I could live with that."
Blinking, I looked into his eyes and realized what an absolutely perfect solution it was.
It was two weeks before the opportunity presented itself. Two weeks that I tread on egg shells, lived in agony, fought a running mental battle between good and evil, alternately loathing and hating myself between bouts of depression and soaring excitement and anticipation. I began my period and ended it with days to spare, bracketing the 15 days exactly. Thank God for that. Thank God for school. Thank God for not condemning me to Hell for even thinking about it.
The opportunity was as unexpected as it was impossibly longed for. One moment there was no foreseeable end to the agony, the next I wanted to run screaming throughout the house, waving my arms over my head, cavorting like a cheerleader. In a stroke of unimaginable luck, Mom and Dad and Michelle and Angela were going away for the weekend, leaving Robert and I and Walter in charge of the house. I couldn't believe it. I refused to believe it; right up to the moment Dad backed the Explorer out of the driveway and began the long drive to Grandma Martin's house Saturday morning.
"Tell me this isn't true," I said breathlessly. I stood bracketed between Walter and Robert on the front porch, all three of us longing to hold hands, none of us daring to. My insides sang with electricity; my nerve endings jangled with expectancy. I could barely breath, and then only through my bone-dry mouth. I had peed a record number of times that morning and it was only 9 o'clock. I was squirming again, even now. The car disappeared and we went inside.
I still couldn't dodge the absurdness of the situation. My two brothers and I, lovers? No way. Impossible. Two weeks and one day, the difference between loathing and loving, hatred and desire? It was like being in a Hall of Mirrors, running into glass no matter which way you turned; feeling your way with outstretched hands because you couldn't trust your eyes. Every morning I awoke, rattled by the intensity of my dreams, rattled even harder when I realized they were true. Every step was made in a fugue, every word uttered in confusion. The boys, for their parts, seemed equally as shell-shocked.
Poor Walter, I thought. One moment the conquering hero, my White Knight, only to find himself moments later in a 1st place tie for my affections. Jealously seeped into every look, every gesture, and every word spoken. I felt so guilt-ridden, a traitor, a harlequin. I could barely look in his eyes.