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You. Owe. Me. Ch. 05

Category: Incest
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Holding her stepbrother’s throbbing cock in her hand, her thumb running over the powerful vein on its underside, Laura knew they were going to have sex.

It wasn’t a preference or desire – well, it was that, too; it was more an instinct, a primal knowledge of what was going to happen because it had to happen. The energy between the two of them, the intoxication that soaked the air – it all hummed through her body. She was resonating with sexuality and need.

“And I love you, Laura.”

The butterflies still danced in her stomach. He looked up at her with a smile as he stroked her cheek, brushed a strand of hair from her eyes. She rested her forehead against his as she took a deep breath of him.

He kissed her.

“You need a shower,” she kissed back.

“So shower me.” He nibbled lightly at her ear and she closed her eyes, her fingers playing in his hair. She felt his kisses ebbing down her skin, his lips against her collar bone, his tongue probing the hollow of her neck.

They were as they’d been before, naked from the waist down. Laura was still wearing her pink cut-off from earlier that morning. Chris was in the white t-shirt he’d put on after the locker room.

“Two showers in almost as many hours. You just can’t keep clean.”

“No thanks to you.” The smile in his voice brought her eyes open and she pressed herself down on him, kissing him hard. Having let go of his cock, she now felt its heat against her thigh. It burned; she wanted it to melt inside her.

She broke away, pulling him up from the sheets with her. “Come on, stepbrother, before I fuck you right here.”

His ears perked up. “I can wait on that shower then.”

She laughed. “No, you can’t.”

His shoulder blades dug into the door as he used it to brace her. Her arms were cradled tightly between their chests, her hands holding his face. Their mouths hung inches apart. Their breaths came in quick, hungry pants. Shirts still on. Her legs wrapped around his waist. Her moist lips pressing against his cock, sliding up then down its underside. Controlled. Slow. Excruciatingly awesome.

With each downward motion of her body along his, their breaths became ragged and uncontrolled. He could feel her heat at the tip of his cock, her pussy planting its own tiny kisses along his shaft. Each time she moved her hips, her lips just barely engulfed his crown before sliding back down the underside. He grimaced with restraint, eyes closed. Hers were vacant, fluttering, as if in a fugue, lost in some inner recess of her desires.

Their mouths touched and their lips made a half-hearted attempt at a kiss; their energies were preoccupied elsewhere.

But when his eyes opened and he saw her drunken gaze, he pulled her close, kissing her fiercely. His tongue ran across her upper lip. Suddenly her eyes snapped shut and she met his tongue with hers. Both of them moaning, both of them gasping for breath.

“I want you inside me,” she panted.

“I know.”

“No you don’t. Oh god, Chris, no you don’t.” She was almost whimpering.

The water cascaded over her hair, running down over her face as his tongue dueled with hers. Her top was soaked a deeper pink; in his mind, it made her all the more like candy. And he knew her taste.

Her left leg was wrapped around his, curling higher as they kissed, spreading wider. His cock was sandwiched between their abdomens, and she wasn’t sure who’s heartbeat she could feel more – hers or his.

She pushed back from him only for a moment so she could peel the pink top from her body. He saw that her nipples were hard, and when she pressed back against him to attack his mouth – their naked bodies separated now only by whatever water trickled between them – his cock twitched. She felt it and moaned lightly against his lips.

“Are you close?” she asked.

He just nodded.

Between kisses: “Too close?”

He shook his head.

She clamped back onto his mouth, her tongue fluttering over the tip of his, but this time her hand traveled down between them to grasp his shaft. She shifted herself forward slightly, and he felt the tip of his cock press against her sex. She moved it back and forth, the water and their juices and her lips and his cock creating a thousand different points of sensation.

She lowered herself and he felt her warmth surround him. Their groans echoed together through the bathroom.

She felt like she had about half of him inside her, but she couldn’t be sure. She felt the pressure of it up in her lungs as she struggled to control her breathing. She’d never felt this full. It was wonderful and strange and ecstasy and pain all at once.

It was the first time anything other than fingers had been inside her.

She lowered herself a little further. A sudden shudder rippled through his body. “Shit, too close…”

“Wait,” she breathed, her nose rubbing against his. She lifted herself off of him. “Condom.”

He just nodded. “Okay.”

She kissed him again before leaving the shower. Though no one was home she still grabbed her towel off the rack and wrapped it around herself before hurrying through the door and into her bedroom.

She went straight for her private drawer, the one her father didn’t want to know about. She reached into the back.


Laura froze.

“Laura? Chris?”

Laura’s eyes dashed to the open bathroom door as she heard the footsteps coming up the stairs. Her mind raced. Shit, shit, shit. She quickly grabbed what she needed from the drawer and started for the bathroom.

“There you are.”

Laura looked up. “Becky, you scared the shit out of me.” As casually as she could, she closed the door and held onto the knob as if it was propping her up.

Rebecca stood in the doorway wearing the same black turtleneck and blue jeans from before. Her long red hair hung over her shoulders. “I was ringing the doorbell for ten minutes.”

“The door was unlocked?” Laura asked, slightly annoyed.

“No, I broke a window and climbed in.” Rebecca shrugged. “What? I’ve let myself in before.”

Laura’s fingers tapped nervously on the doorknob. “No, it’s fine, I’m just…in a hurry. I was going to take a shower.”

“Okay, I’ll wait downstairs.”

“Make yourself at home,” Laura said with a forced smile.

As Rebecca turned to leave, they suddenly heard singing from the bathroom.

“I could stay awake, just to heeeeare you breeeeathin’!”

Rebecca stopped and turned back. Laura winced, her nose curling up. She had to smile actually. He was such a bad singer.

Rebecca was staring right at her. Shit. Rebecca’s eyes widened.

“Who’s that?”



Laura cleared her throat. “No one.”

“Sweetie, seriously now,” she said, smiling now as her mouth hung agape. “Who’s in there?” She came toward the door.

Laura stepped into the doorway to block her. “No one, seriously, it’s no one.”

“Don’t lie to me. Do I know him?”

Laura cleared her throat again, laughing nervously. “Um, I don’t think so. Maybe. I don’t know.”

Rebecca crossed her arms and tilted her head. Laura knew the look. She sighed, relenting. “Okay! Okay. It’s…it’s this guy from school.”

“What guy from school? You never told me about a guy from school.”

“I know, I know,” Laura said. “Look, it was…it was a crazy semester thing. I thought we were done when school was over. But…you know…”

“Well, what’s his name? What’s he like?”

“He’s good, his name’s Joe.” Joe? Laura glanced at Rebecca like a child would its parent after confessing that the dog was the one drawing on the wall.

But Rebecca just smiled. “Huh,” she said. Then, “Is Chris home?”

Laura forced a laugh. “No! God, no! No, no, no.” She glanced at the floor then laughed again. “That’d be weird.”

Rebecca smiled excitedly and hugged Laura. “Good for you. You’re finally getting laid.” For a second Laura didn’t react. Then Rebecca held Laura’s shoulders, looking her square in the eyes. “You are, right?”


“Getting laid.”

“Oh!” Laura laughed loudly. “Pshaw!”


Rebecca’s face brightened. “Yeah? How is he?”

A chorus erupted from behind the bathroom door. “I don’t wanna close my eyes. I don’t wanna faaaaall asleep ’cause I’d miss you, baby…”

Rebecca laughed and shook her head. “Little tone deaf, isn’t he?”

“Hey.” Laura hit her lightly. “I can make fun of his singing. You can’t.”

Rebecca put her hands up. “Alright. Well, I’ll go watch some TV or something.” She grinned. “Take your time.”

“How about I call you?” Laura knew the answer already.

“Um, no. I need to meet him.”

“I don’t think today’s the best time.”

“Are you kidding? You’re taking a shower a with him. He’s gonna feel like a million bucks. Besides you didn’t tell me about him this whole time. You’re overdue one introduction.”

Laura listened to her head down the stairs, then remembered something. “Hey!” She ran to the banister. Rebecca looked up at her. “How was the ride home with Simon?”

She shrugged. “It was okay.”

Laura’s shoulders sagged. “You didn’t fight, did you?”

“I’ll tell you about it later.” She motioned to the bathroom knowingly. “Go take your shower.”

Rebecca disappeared into the family room. When Laura heard the TV come on, she hurried back into the bathroom. Chris was still singing. “You’re my aaaaaaan-gel!”

“Alright! Steven Tyler! Shut it!”

His head peaked out. “You get lost?”

“No, we have company.” She said as she locked the door, then crossed to the other one and locked it as well.

“You serious? Who?”

“Becky.” Laura leaned against the door to Chris’s room, staring at the ceiling.

Although he was still horny as a bull, his cock had softened considerably. At the mention of Rebecca, he could feel himself getting hard again. “Really? Becky’s here?” Then, “The door was unlocked?”

“Yeah. Way to go, mister. And she still is, so keep your voice down.”

“She didn’t hear me singing?” he said quieter.

“Oh, she did.”

Chris was waiting for more. “Okay…so…?”

“I told her you’re some guy from college.”

Chris just stared at her for a second. “But I was singing.”

Laura shrugged. “She believed me.”

“Wish I had friends that gullible.”

“Hey!” Laura said, stepping over to the shower curtain. She took his hand in hers, playing with his fingers. “You’re a prune.” She kissed them. “You about done?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Um…I thought we were, uh…you know.”

She laughed. “We can’t, silly. Becky’s downstairs.”

“So?” he shrugged. “She already knows you’re in here with someone, and I doubt she thinks you’re just holding hands with him.”

She laced her fingers with his and smiled happily. “But I am.”

Chris smiled. She was adorable. “I’m still dirty.”

She sighed feigning annoyance, but he saw the glimmer in her eyes. “I suppose we do need to take care of that,” she said reluctantly, then pulled his hand to the towel.

Without needing to be told, Chris untucked it. It fell to the floor. And he felt that very familiar feeling returning to his loins.

Keeping her eyes locked with his, she demurely stepped back into the shower, taking hold of his shaft and massaging it. He sucked in air at the feel or her touch and breathed out slowly, controlled. She smiled at him.

“Still ready to pop, huh?”

“Uh-huh.” She leaned in and lightly kissed him, their lips barely grazing. “You’re beautiful,” he said.

She beamed appreciatively. Still holding his cock, she moved around behind him into the water, her free hand sliding over his chest while she began stroking him. She planted soft kisses along the back of his neck and he groaned. She felt one of his hands take hold of hers on his chest. She rubbed her thumb over the slit of his cock, smearing the fresh precum. He breathed steadily, nuzzling back against her.

“God, Laura…”

As she jerked him off, she felt his free hand reach behind and slide down her midriff. A finger slipped between her legs and she let out her own breath as it reached her clit. As much as she wanted him, she didn’t want to get too much more worked up. Knowing Becky was in the house had made Laura slightly insecure. She still wanted Chris. But she wanted to wait for them to be alone more.

His finger was trapped between her legs. She could feel it wiggling, trying to get to her. It was making her hotter.

She let go of his hand on his chest and brought hers down to cup his balls, gently playing with them and rolling them in her fingers. He arched his back against her. She stroked him faster.

“Oh fuck, you are so good at this,” he moaned. She tilted up and nibbled on his earlobe. He laughed, not because anything was funny; just as a simple release of energy. It all felt so good.

She felt him tensing against her. She felt so empowered beating him off from behind, unable to kiss him or look him in the eye. Simply getting him off. That was her mission. His butt clenched in restraint.

His eyes were closed, so he didn’t see her come around in front of him. When she leaned in and kissed his lips lightly, he barely reacted. “Hey,” she said softly. “Open your eyes.”

He did and Laura saw that familiar intoxication.

Staring into his eyes, she lowered herself to her knees. She ran the tip of her tongue over the underside of the crown, tickling the sensitive ridge before kissing her way down the shaft. At the base, she licked the bottom of his sac, then traced her tongue back up the entire underside before engulfing the tip in her mouth.

He moaned loudly, and Laura knew Rebecca could hear him downstairs. The thought flushed her with heat. She hoped Chris came soon. Otherwise…

She took him from her mouth and sat back on her feet, looking up at him. “Wanna cum?” she asked. He offered a slack-jawed smile and she could tell how hard he was holding on. “Go ahead,” she said, then gave him her sweetest, most innocent bat of the eyelashes. “Cum on my face, Chris.”

“Fuck Laura fuck fuck fuck.” The words poured out of him in no particular sense or order. His hips bucked suddenly and his body shuddered as the cum spurt from his cock and sprayed onto her face. She closed her eyes and held her mouth open, letting the cum land where it wanted. As she continued pumping him, she could feel the heat of his cum on her forehead, cheeks, and mouth. It mixed with water and when she swallowed she tasted that familiar taste.

She didn’t especially enjoy the facial, but they were in the shower after all, and she didn’t mind it nearly as much as he enjoyed it. Eventually the ribbons got smaller and less powerful until the last drops dribbled over her fingers and the head of his cock. When he was through and all his cock could do was twitch, she took it back in her mouth, licking the cum from the tip then sucking him to the base, feeling him squeeze into her throat.

He suddenly moaned again, loudly. She felt his hands take her head and he thrust forward. From out of no where, a second series of spurts erupted from his cock. She relaxed and swallowed as he held her there, trembling, his hips frozen against her mouth. “Just hold still for a sec,” he breathed. He was no longer coming, but he refused to move. The sensations were too powerful.

Finally, he released his grip on her head, and she pulled him from her mouth. Spent and dry – at least for the moment – she held his aching cock in her hand, looking up at him, smiling sweetly. He pulled her up to him and kissed her deeply, tasting himself in her mouth and feeling his cum still on her face.

“Best stepsister ever,” he said. She laughed and held herself close to him, his arms wrapped around her securely as they stood in the spray of water from the shower head.


Each movement of the towel was slow and delicate, as if they were drying fine china after dinner. They took their time. She started at the top, fussing with his hair, making it stand straight up, then out to the sides, then fluffing it into a fuzz ball.

She worked down his chest, stepping in close to plant small kisses along the line of his jaw as the towel moved lower to his abdomen. Then, both of them grinning, she dried his crotch, both her hands gently rubbing through the towel, kneading his thighs and gently cupping his balls. Then she threw the towel around his back and pulled him against her, crushing their bodies together as she slowly pulled the towel across his back, side to side. He kissed her forehead. His hands stroked her love handles.

Finally the legs, and he was dry. She smiled at him.

He picked her up into his arms and set her down on the countertop, the mirror behind her. He took the towel from her and draped it over her head like a hood, drying her hair and pecking her cheeks and neck with quick, playful kisses. They tickled and she laughed, trying half-heartedly to keep him at bay.

With the towel around her neck, he pulled her to him for a soft, long kiss. She purred against his lips. “I love you.”

He smiled and nuzzled her nose then moved the towel down to her back, pulling her to him in an embrace while rubbing it over her smooth skin. She rested her head against his shoulder, enjoying the soothing backrub. The towel was huge, and she felt small and safe wrapped in his arms. She felt his hands through the towel as they moved over her shoulder blades down to the small of her back and up again. They came over the sides of her shoulders and down her arms. He took her hands through the towel and squeezed then moved under her arms, massaging the edges of her hips and ascending the curves of her torso to her breasts. She smiled with a sigh as he fondled them, the softness of the towel accentuating his touch. When he rolled her nipples between his fingers, she bit her lip and moaned softly.

She leaned back against the mirror, looking at him as his hands moved over her chest. He was standing between her knees and she could see his cock hanging there. Just seeing it made her blood rush a little faster, and she smiled to herself, her eyes looking up into his with a mischievous grin.

“What?” he asked.

She didn’t answer. Instead, he watched one of her hands slide overtop her thigh and between her legs. As she began fingering herself, he looked back up and saw that her eyes had never left his.

He brought his hand down to hers, but she stopped it, holding it against her thigh. She shook her head, still grinning.

“Come on,” he gently urged.

But she just shook her head again. “You can owe me.” She sat up and kissed him, tipping forward into him, her arms sliding around his neck. She was so forceful he began to lose his balance. He stumbled, breaking the kiss, and caught himself. They were both laughing.

“Thank you,” he said quietly.

She batted her eyelashes against his cheek.

“So.” He resumed toweling her off. “What are we gonna do about Becky?”

She scratched her head in mock thought. “Hmm, what are we going to do?”

He moved the towel between her legs and her eyes fluttered shut briefly. He saw this and hesitated, moving the towel slower and in small circles. Her hand went to stop his again, but this time, without as much conviction. He kept making the circles. Her eyes kept fluttering. He felt his cock stir.

“You can collect right now, you know,” he said.

She let out a slow breath and looked at him ruefully. “You’re bad.”

“And you like it,” he said proudly. She giggled, then let out a sharp gasp as the fur of the towel wrapped around her clit just right.

“Nooooo,” she moaned, “we have to figure out this…Becky thing…”

“There’s a Becky thing? What Becky thing? I don’t know about a Becky thing.” He grinned.

She laughed and it mixed with another tiny gasp. “Stop, you horny fucking little perv boy.”

“Yeah, but I’m a perv boy with a big cock,” he said, pressing deeper with the towel, covering more of her moistening sex. Her hips writhed back against the mirror and he had her pinned. She was powerless against him, surrendering to his persistence. And he was getting harder with each rub of the towel.

Her hand was still on his wrist, but her hold had relaxed and was no longer fighting him. Every so often he felt her squeeze when he hit the right spot. He tried hitting them more.

“But seriously…Becky’s downstairs…we should…”

He moved closer, kissing her nose. “Maybe we should invite her up.”

Her hand moved up his arm to his neck, into his hair, pulling him to her lips. “Why?” she asked between kisses. “So she can…watch us fuck? ‘Cause that’s exactly…what we’re doing…after she…leaves…”

He felt a powerful surge to his loins, and he was again at full staff. “I should probably check my schedule.”

“Fuck you, you’re fucking me. Mmm! Chris…”

“So let’s figure out how to get her to leave.”

“If you’d stop, maybe we could.”

“If you’d cum, maybe I’d stop.”

Her other hand weakly pounded against his shoulder. She was simultaneously pushing him away and pulling him closer. “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.” She pulled herself to him, clinging. He felt her arms tremble against his shoulders, her ragged breaths along his neck. “Don’t stop,” she moaned. “Don’t stop, don’t stop…”

“What’d you say, stop?”

“God no!”

He smiled and whispered in her ear, “You want more?”


“You want me inside you?”

She whimpered. “Yes…”

“You want me to fuck you until you can’t cum anymore?”

She could feel his words through his chest as she clung to him. “Chris, yes.”

“Right now? Right here? Do you want to ride me on this countertop?”

“Yes, yes, yes!”

His other hand stroked her shoulders and the back of her neck, holding her to him as her trembling intensified. “I could just pull your forward, press my cock to your hot pussy, feel you surround me as I slide deep inside.”

“I want that. Yes.” She was husky and moaning.

“You close?”


“Too close?”

“No such thing.” Without warning, one of her hands suddenly grabbed his cock. Feeling it’s hard thickness between her fingers made her bite her lip hard, and she thought she was going to come just from holding it. She slid forward to the edge of the counter, guiding him to her entrance. She could only manage two words.

“Inside me.”

He didn’t need to be told twice. He knew he wasn’t fully recovered and was in no danger of blowing a load any time soon. So he slowly pressed against her, feeling his cock begin to slide into her folds.

She let out a deep, guttural groan of need. Her legs kicked up behind him, ankles locking. She thrust him into her, and suddenly he was buried to the hilt. He knew the feeling, the warmth surrounding him, but it was Laura’s warmth this time. He was completely without words.

When she felt him plunge into her, so deep and so electrifying, she toppled over the edge of her orgasm, her breath catching in her throat, her eyes squinting shut. She felt the explosive release, and her breath escaped without voice, just air as she held herself to him, her hips moving on their own, her muscle spasms milking him from base to tip, the contractions fluttering over every inch of his cock.

He had no idea anything could feel this good. “Holy shit,” he moaned. “Ohhhhhh my god.”

As her climax began to subside, her voice came back in frail, tiny gasps, and her hips slowed and settled until she was again sitting still on the edge of the counter, his cock deep inside. Her head rested against his shoulder. Eventually, she came back down and looked at him with a lazy smile of appreciation. She took his face in her hands and kissed him.

“Best stepbrother ever.”

They were both catching their breaths. A fine layer of sweat had gathered along her forehead. He wiped it off with the towel, then framed her face in his hand, looking her over serenely. “So beautiful.” She glowed. “So. About Becky.”

She giggled softly, cuddling against his hand. “Right. About Becky.”

“We could just come clean, you know.” She looked up at him quickly. “Or not,” he shrugged.

“You could play sick in my bed until I come and revive you.”

“Isn’t that a bit obvious?”

“Joe gets migraines.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Joe? That’s the best you could come up with?”

“I know. How bad is that.”

He had to smile at her. He brushed her hair from her eyes. “Nah, it’s fine. But she’d know it’s me.”

“Not if the windows were pulled and you were asleep under the covers.”

He tilted his head at her. “You think you can pull it off? It’d be your show.”

She smiled and closed her eyes. “I can pull anything off right now.” She gave his semi-hard cock a gentle squeeze.

“God, I can’t wait to fuck you senseless,” he said.

“You won’t have to much longer.”

“Then I guess I should get to bed.”

“I guess you should.”


Chris stared up at the ceiling, watching Laura’s fan spin. Slowly the separate blades became one strobing circle. He felt dizzy.

Holy fuck. The feel of Laura’s pussy was still fresh in his mind like the most agonizing aphrodisiac. It had felt soft, pure. It had felt innocent. He was anxious for Becky’s exit and Laura’s return. He wanted her so bad.

But it was more than just hormones. He’d been the first inside her. That simple penetration had tied him to her in a way that surprised him. He’d never been a girl’s first, and now that he was, he felt like he’d been given a glass figurine, entrusted with its eternal care. He more than wanted her. He needed her.

Or maybe it was just the hormones. He couldn’t tell. His mind spun like the ceiling fan.

He suddenly heard his cell phone ringing in his room. He bolted up in bed, eyes wide. Could they hear it downstairs? Laura had told Becky he wasn’t there.

He quickly climbed out of bed, moving naked and silent from bathroom to bedroom. He felt like Cro-Magnon man in prehistoric times, sneaking up on his kill in only what nature had ordained him. He heard the ringing from the far corner near his computer desk. He tip-toed over, dug it out of his jeans that had been flung across the room from their rave earlier in the day. He looked at the caller ID.

There was no name. Just a number.

He stared at it for a second then blinked. He knew this number. Not right away. But it made his stomach flutter. “Hello?”

“Chris?” It was a girl’s voice. Light and cheerful.

“Holy shit. Shannon.”

“Hey…how have you been?” He could still hear the smile.

“Good, good. What about you?” Holy shit. Shannon.

“I’m good. Really good.” He could still see her face. Her eyes. “I’m back from Virginia.”

“That’s awesome. How’s law school?”

“Really hard.”

“But you like it right?”

“Yeah, it’s good.”


The line fell silent for a second. He looked around the room, at the debris field he and Laura had left in their wake. Laura. Christ. He’d barely been talking to Shannon for ten seconds and already he felt miles away.

“So what are you up to?” She sounded great.

“The same. Back for Christmas.”

“How long are you home?”

“Till the end of January.”

“Wow,” she said. “I only have till the twelfth.”

“Us doctors are lazy.”

“Are you kidding? You work harder than any of us.”

He smiled. “I don’t know about that.”

She laughed and he smiled a little more. “Still Mr. Modest,” she said.

“Only in life.”

A band of light washed across the floor, revealing him in the corner. He looked up and saw Laura standing in the doorway smiling at him. He waved for her to close the door.

“I wanted to see if you could get together sometime,” Shannon said over the phone. “Maybe for lunch or something.”

Laura knelt down behind Chris. He felt her kiss the back of his neck. Her hands settled on his naked hips. “Yeah, that’d be great,” he said. Her hands drifted forward and down the insides of his thighs. He felt the blood start flowing. “Um, how about I give you a call back a little later today.”

“Oh, sure. I’m sorry, I just barged in, didn’t I?”

“No, you called, it’s cool. I’ll call you back, okay?”

“Okay. Talk to you then. Bye.”

He hung up. Laura nibbled his earlobe. “Who was that?” she asked. Her right hand grasp his slowly rising cock and squeezed gently.

He turned to kiss her. “Just Shannon.”

Her lips froze on his neck. Her hand froze around his cock. “Who?” Laura pulled back to look at him. Her hands came back to his hips. “Shannon?”

“Yeah.” He searched her eyes. She didn’t look mad. She looked curious.

“So she’s back for break, I guess.”


“Seeing her for lunch?” She sounded okay.

Chris shrugged. “Probably.” He gave her a gentle squeeze. “Is that okay?”

She nodded with a smile and stroked his face. “Sure.” She kissed him.

He smiled. “So. Becky gone?”

“Yep.” She ruffled his hair and stood up. “I’m gonna start dinner.”

Chris’s smile faltered as he looked at her expectantly. “Okay…?”

“You better get dressed.” She made for the door. “Mom and Dad’ll be home soon.”

And she left Chris sitting naked in the light from the doorway.

Laura clenched her jaw as she chopped the onions on the cutting board. The distinctive wail of Thom Yorke sang from the speakers. Fake Plastic Trees.

As much as she tried to push them out of her head, thoughts of Chris and Shannon kept poking in and laughing at her. She remembered when they’d been together. It had been an intense courtship.

They had met in their second year of college. Chris had been taking a law class for one of his gen ed credits. Shannon was a freshmen and a young one at 17. She’d been home schooled and had been taking college classes since she’d been 16. It was her second semester as a full time student.

Chris had been enamored with her immediately. When they discovered they both hailed from the same home town, they began to socialize. Laura remembered the first time he’d come home from seeing her. It was like he’d been in a daze. She’d never gotten much in the way of details, but when it had ended, he’d taken it hard.

That had been over a year ago.

Laura knew – in theory, at least – that she had no claim over Chris and even if she did, she knew she shouldn’t feel weird about this. It was just lunch. They were just catching up. Perfectly safe and harmless. She should trust him.

But then she remembered the look in his eyes when he would talk about her. She wasn’t hungry anymore.

She heard the door to the garage open and the heavy, long stride of her father. He smiled when he saw her. “Hey, kiddo.”

“Hey.” She scooped up the onions and tossed them in the frying pan. They sizzled and she wiped her eyes. “Where were you?”

“Museum stuff.” He gave her a kiss on the forehead then went to the closet to hang up his coat. “Smell’s good.”

“Thank you,” she smiled.

“What is it?”

“A surprise. Oh hey, before I forget. What time are you and Lucy leaving?”

“8:30. Around there anyway.” He went into the family room and turned on the TV. Laura looked at the clock. It was about 5:30.

“Eat around six?”

“Sounds good.” He leaned back on the couch, stretching and yawning.

The phone rang.

“Can you get that?” Laura asked.

“News is on,” was Jack’s reply.

Laura groaned and rubbed her eyes again. Damn onions. “Dad…” she whined.

She heard someone answer. “Hello?” Laura looked up and saw Chris leaning against the kitchen doorway, phone in hand. He’d changed into a t-shirt and jeans. He wore casual well. She smiled quickly. He smiled back. “Yeah, mom. I don’t know.” He set the phone against his shoulder. “How long till dinner?”

“Six o’clock,” Laura answered.

“Laura’s says six,” he said into the phone, then nodded. “Take your time.” He hung up, then loud enough for Jack to hear: “Mom’s on her way.”


Keeping a cautious eye on Jack, Chris walked over behind Laura and wrapped his arms around her in a big bear hug. She tensed slightly; she hoped he couldn’t feel it. “Hey,” he whispered with a smile. He kissed her cheek.

She shrugged him away, motioning to her father. “Not now, stupid.” He bit at her earlobe playfully. “I’m serious.”

He let go. “Sorry.” He went over to the drawer where the placemats were and began setting the table. “You having a beer, Jack?”

“Please. Thanks.”

Chris headed for the refrigerator in the garage where they kept the Lager. Laura set the knife down and wiped her eyes again. Shit. Fucking onions.

“Excellent job, kiddo.”

Dinner was chicken stir fry, Jack’s favorite, and he nodded approval as he chewed. “Really. Excellent job.”

“It is good,” Chris agreed. He sat across from Laura and smiled warmly when she looked up.

She offered a slight smile back. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Lisa set down the magazine she was reading and rubbed the bridge of her nose. “What’s wrong?” Jack asked.

“Nothing. Headache.”

“Want an aspirin?”

She shook her head. “I’ll be fine.” She pointed to her plate with her fork. “Where’d you get the garlic?”

Laura shrugged. “We stopped on the way back from the game this morning.”

Jack looked up. “You went to the game?”

Laura stopped chewing and swallowed. “Becky and I went.”

Chris looked over at Jack.

“Huh.” Jack scooped up a fresh helping. “Didn’t think you liked soccer.”

Chris looked at Laura.

“I don’t. We were bored.” She glanced at Chris. He raised an eyebrow. She looked back down at her plate and made swirls in the rice with her fork.

“Is there anything special you want for dinner tomorrow?” Lisa asked. “Laura?”

“Nothing I can think of. I don’t even know if I’ll be here.”

Chris tilted his head, but no one noticed. Lisa gave Laura’s forearm a pat. “Well, I appreciate you taking care of us again.”

“You’ve been busy. It’s okay.”

“Thank you,” Lisa said with a smile, then grimaced. “On second thought, I will have an aspirin.” She got up from the table and went to a cupboard.

Jack took another bite and sighed with satisfaction as he ate. “Oh, Chris,” he said as he swallowed, wiping some rice from the corner of his mouth. “I ran into your friend Simon at the museum.”

“Oh yeah?”

“You guys getting together tonight?”

“I don’t know, maybe,” Chris said easily.

“Gonna see a movie?”

“We’ll see.”

“I thought Saturday’s were heroine night,” Laura said.

Chris saw her smiling, but her gaze was hard and direct. “Cocaine actually,” he said. “The H-Train left last night.” Then he added pointedly, “Remember?”

Laura took it in stride. “That’s right. I’m so forgetful.”

Jack looked from Laura to Chris and back again. Lisa returned and sat down, oblivious to the conversation.

“So what’s the play tonight?” Laura asked as she dug back into her plate.

Jack stared at them for another second before returning to his meal. “The Iceman Cometh.”

Suddenly Chris started laughing. They all stopped and looked at him. He rubbed his head nervously and shrugged. “Sounds fun.”


“Anyways, I got the steed tonight.”

Chris was impressed. “How’d you swing that?” he said into the phone.

“Abby’s having a good day,” Simon said. Abby was his twin sister. The steed was her new Maserati. Their family was disgustingly rich. And more often than not, Chris enjoyed the spoils just as much as Simon.

“That’s rare lately.”

“Never question a good thing.”

“So when should I expect you?” Chris checked his watch. It was a little after 7:00. Jack was downstairs watching TV. Lisa was taking a nap in an attempt to quiet her headache. And Laura was around somewhere.

Chris was no idiot. Her signals were none to subtle. By the time it had come to do the dishes, she had made it abundantly clear that he was getting the cold shoulder. And all over a phone call.

Fine. He’d leave her be until she felt like talking. Since dinner had started, she’d only felt like glaring.

“I have to take a shower and put my face on,” Simon said. “Forty-five to an hour.”

“I’ll be here. You feel like a bowl or J’s tonight?”

“We’ve got a Maserati,” came Simon’s reply. “What do you think?”

Chris nodded. “I’ll roll some joints, then.” They hung up. There was a knock on his door. “Yeah.”

Lisa came in. “Okay, we’re leaving.” She sounded tired.

He looked at his watch again. “It’s only seven.”

She kissed his forehead. “Check again. It’s after eight. We’ll be back around midnight.” And she left.

He picked up his cell phone and checked the time. 8:22. How did his watch fall an hour behind? The second hand was still ticking. He set it forward and made a mental note to check it against his phone every so often.

He checked his email and heard the garage door open then close as his parents left. When he heard them make the turn out of the development at the end of the street, he thought again about talking to Laura. He didn’t like her being upset with him, but at the same time, she was being a little childish.

But at the same time, as long as she was mad, he wasn’t going to see any action. And maybe that’s what it all boiled down to.

No. He loved her.

The door bell rang. He went downstairs to answer it. When he opened the door, he saw Becky. She smiled when she saw him.

“Hi Chris.”

“Hi Becky.”

“Laura home?”

“Yeah, come on in.” She wore hip-hugging jeans and a blue sleeveless top. Chris could see her braw straps on her shoulders. They were black. He closed the door behind her. “You’re here a little early aren’t you?”

Becky looked at him for a second. Chris could see she didn’t know what he was talking about. “I don’t think so,” she said. “Laura and I are going to the movies.”

“Oh.” Chris stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked at the floor for a second. “I wasn’t aware of that.” He nodded up the stairs. “Well, she’s up in her room.”

Becky smiled. “Okay, thanks.” And she headed up. Chris walked into the kitchen, rubbing his face and sighing.

As he poured himself a glass of water, he wondered how much he’d misread Laura’s reaction. This wasn’t just the cold shoulder; this was the dog house. And now he was sure it was absolutely unfair. What understanding he had was quickly turning to annoyance. He was tempted to walk up there now and confront her in front of Becky. He saw the scene as if it were on some mid-afternoon soap. The outrage, the betrayal, the cheesy zoom-in. The music.

Chris smiled and shook his head. Fuck it. It wasn’t worth being upset over. He’d deal with it when she felt like being an adult.

He heard footsteps coming down the stairs and felt his fingers dig into the sink. He stared out the window and drank his water. He expected them to use the front door or avoid him completely. Instead he heard Becky’s voice.

“She’s not up there.”

Chris turned around to look at her. “Really?”

“Is her car here?”

Chris looked up at the key plaque on the wall. Each of them had their own peg, and Laura’s was empty. Chris walked down the hallway to the garage door to double check. Laura’s car was gone.

“The fuck…?” he said quietly.

He returned to the kitchen. “I guess she’s not here. Sorry.”

Becky smiled with a shrug. “That’s okay.”

“Try her cell?”

“Oh, good idea.” Becky pulled out her phone, a tiny Nokia, and dialed. After a few seconds, they both heard a muffled ringing from upstairs. They went up to her room and found her cell phone sitting on a pillow still ringing. Chris picked it up and silenced the ringer. “Since when does she leave her cell phone?” Becky asked.

Chris shook his head, staring at the screen. “She doesn’t. She must’ve forgotten it.” The caller ID read “1 missed call.”

How upset was this girl? Chris imagined Laura pacing in her room anxiously, then throwing her hands up and pounding down the stairs, grabbing her keys off the plaque, getting in her car and driving off, tires squealing in the driveway. He hadn’t heard any tires, but that’s how he pictured it anyway.

“She’ll be back then,” Becky said. “I’ll just wait. If that’s okay.”

“That’s fine,” Chris said as he tossed the phone back on the pillow. “I’m actually waiting around for Simon.”

“Oh yeah? You guys going out?”

“For a drive anyway.” Chris remembered he had to roll some J’s before Simon arrived. He might as well do that now. “Feel like watching some TV?”


Chris grabbed the necessary materials from his room and they went down to the family room. Becky turned on the TV.

“I love HBO,” she said as an episode of Six Feet Under came on. “I wish we had it.”

“It’s the only thing worth watching anymore.” Chris grabbed a dictionary from the bookcase and set it on the floor with his headphone case in front of him. Inside were two of his favorite pleasures: a pair of Bose QuietComfort headphones and a bag of pot. There were also some rolling papers and a lighter.

“You’re rolling a joint?” Becky asked.

“Two, actually.”

“I’ve never rolled a joint before,” she said, sitting down beside him on the floor.

“Wanna learn?”


“Here.” He handed her the papers. “You can help me. Take one of those and grab a book.” Becky did and sat back down, laying the paper out on top of the book just as Chris had. “First, we’re gonna make a filter. Follow my lead.”

Becky watched him fold the paper carefully, over once, then twice, then a third time. His hands worked slowly and delicately. She looked at his face and saw the concentration. She followed his example.

“Alright,” he said, once she had the three folds. “Tear off the corner by the strip.”

“The strip?”

“Yeah, the lick-strip.” He pointed it out to her. It was like the seal of an envelope.

She smiled. “The lick-strip?”

“It’s a strip that you lick. A lick-strip. Shut up.” He saw her grin and smiled himself. “So tear that corner.” She did. He set the bag of pot between them. “Grab a nug and sprinkle it down in the center fold, like this.” He took a small clump and pulled it apart, adding the leaves to the paper.

She did the same. “Like this?”

“Smaller, that’s too big.” He took some of her sprinkle and tore it into finer shake. “The smaller, the better. Bigger clumps don’t burn completely. It’s wasteful.”

“Is there a class for this I wasn’t aware of?”

“You’re in it. I am a doctor after all.”

Becky laughed.

“Alright, that’s enough,” he said. He closed the bag and set it aside. “Now we roll it.” He pinched the paper closed between his thumbs and forefingers. “Roll it back and forth to pack the weed down and when the front half of the paper gets low enough, you tuck it in” – he did so – “and then roll back up to the top. Keeping it tight.”

Now Chris had a nicely rolled joint held between his fingers. “And then you lick it -” He licked it where the strip met the paper. “Fellate it.” He put it length-wise in his mouth, and Becky laughed again. “Twist it.” He twisted one end into a point. “And burn it.” He pulled out a lighter and dragged the moist J quickly through the flame, then held it out for her to inspect.

She took it, and it was firm and compact, like a cigarette. “Very impressive,” she said.

“Now you try.”

Trying to do exactly as he did, she rolled the paper down between her fingers, and with a little help from him, tucked it under then rolled back up. She winced at how loose it was, but he told her it was fine.

“Now the lick-strip,” he said. She smiled and licked it, pressing it down gently.

“Fellate it now, right?” she asked, looking at him.

“You got it. Fellate the hell out of it.” She took the joint and slid it between her lips. “Make sure you lick along the strip again.” Becky ran her tongue along the underside of the joint and had to smile. Chris did too, then inspected the results. “Nicely done. Now twist and burn.” She twisted the tip and used the lighter. Some of the paper caught on fire.

“Oh, shit,” she said and blew it out quickly.

“No big deal,” he said, taking it from her. He nodded his approval. “Very nice. That was your first?” She nodded back. “I’m impressed.”

“Thank you,” she said.

Chris tucked it away with the other in the headphone case, then smiled and shook his head. “You know, Laura smoked for the first time this afternoon. And now I’ve taught you how to roll a joint. I feel like I’m corrupting you guys.”

“Please. I’ve been high before. I just didn’t know how to roll a joint.” She patted his knee. “You’re not evil. You’re useful.”

He bowed his head to the compliment. “Thank you.”

“Besides, it’s better than getting drunk. You ever seen potheads get into a fight?”

“There’s this click I go to school with,” Chris said. “We call ’em HPM’s: Holy Pre-Meds. They think practicing medicine makes them a moral superiority. No smoking, no drugs, but every night they drop close to three hundred dollars on booze.”

“I know the kind. It’s the same with psychology. There’s this girl, biggest bitch ever. She drinks, she sleeps around, and she thinks I’m not fit to be a therapist because I catch a little buzz now and then.”

“People forget only seventy years ago there was nothing illegal, immoral or wrong about smoking marijuana.” He shook his head. “You know how it became illegal? Mexican immigration. Law-makers used it as a scare tactic to drive up public concern over the border.” He held up an angry finger. “Smoke one of them Mexican hashish reefers and you’ll go crazy and murder every one you love. You’ll become a compulsive rapist that violates everything that moves – man, woman, child, and dog. They honestly believed that.”

“Some still do probably.”

“I know when I’m stoned I just want to do terrible things. It’s not like I enjoy listening to music or talking with my friends or…No, I’m constantly fighting that damn urge to kill and rape.”

Becky’s laughter filled the quiet house. “This is making me want to smoke,” she said.

He looked at her and she was smiling. Her hair seemed redder in the lights of the family room, softer, and he wanted to touch it. “Well, you’re welcome to ride with us if you want. Simon said you might be getting in on it already.”

She checked her watch. “We’ll see. Depends when Laura gets back.” Then, “Did you know she’s seeing a guy from school?”

“She mentioned it briefly. Joe something, right?”

“Yeah. I walked in on her this afternoon with him.”


“They were in the shower together.”

“Wow. Go Laura.” He swallowed. “You get to meet him?”

Her eyes narrowed and she looked off at the TV. “He got sick.” She said it like an accusation. “I don’t know about that, though. Sounded kind of lame to me.” She shrugged. “She probably just wanted him all to herself. I can’t argue with that.”

“But you haven’t even met him. He might be a total asshole.”

“Have you met him?” she asked.

Chris took a deep breath. “Uh, briefly.”

She leaned in conspiratorially. “Is he an asshole?”

“He can be.”

“I knew it.” Then she rethought. “Then again, who isn’t sometimes.”

With her leaning in, Chris could smell her perfume. “Are you wearing Angel?”

She blinked in surprise. “Oh my god! How’d you know that?”

“I had an ex-girlfriend who wore the exact same fragrance.”

“Oh. An ex.” She leaned a little closer. “So is it a good smell or a bad smell now?”

The scent was stronger. Chris blinked and saw a flash of memory: Shannon laying on his bed, napping in the late afternoon sun. She was holding his hand. He smiled. “Still good.”

Becky smiled. “Good.” She leaned back and turned up the TV volume. They both sat in silence and watched a little.

Then she said, “So the stepsister’s got somebody. What about the stepbrother?” Chris looked at her. “Anyone special for the handsome doctor?”

Chris started laughing. “Kinda.” Then he added, “Not really. I don’t know.”

“Hmm,” she said. “Sounds complicated.”

He laughed nervously. “Like you said. What isn’t.”


To hide his surprise he leaned back into the corner of the couch, putting his arm along the back. “Really? You don’t think sex is complicated?”

“The positions can be, but the ultimate goal isn’t.”

“The goal being…?”

She raised an eyebrow. “To cum.”

Chris felt his member twitch, and his eyes wandered her face for a moment. Her lips looked soft and moist, and he could still smell that familiar aroma. “What about love? That’s a little less user-friendly, don’t you think?”

She shook her head. “I’m not talking about making love. I’m talking about fucking. Come on, you’re a guy and you’re gonna tell me fucking’s complicated?” Each time she said “fucking”, Chris felt a little surge. “Love makes sex complicated. Not the other way around.”

“I see. It’s not cheating if you’re not in love, right?”

“Exactly. Otherwise, it’s just something people do.” She shrugged. “Healthy.”

“You’re definitely in the right major.”

She smiled. “Thank you, Doctor.”

Chris smiled. “And thank you, Doctor.”

They were both smiling.

Again, Chris’s mind drifted back to earlier that morning, looking through the window. The shirt hugged the smooth mounds of her breasts and he thought he could barely see her nipples, but he wasn’t sure. He knew what she looked like naked, at least from behind, and picturing her that way on the couch with him now wasn’t helping the pressure in his pants.

“So by that reasoning,” he said, “you could have sex with someone and still just be friends.”

“In theory.”

“Have you ever stayed friends?”

She hesitated and her smile turned coy. “I’ve never had sex with someone who was just a friend.” She tilted her head. “Have you?”

Whatever the pressure in his pants, Chris just felt it double. “No. Never. Always with a girlfriend.” God, he hoped the bulge wasn’t visible.

“What about anything else?”

“What do you mean?”

Her eyes glimmered in the lamp light. “You know.” She turned to face him now, sitting cross-legged. She played with the bottoms of his pant legs. “Anything else.” She looked up from under her hair. Chris saw green eyes behind red strands.

She glanced down, and when she looked back up, he was sure his bulge was visible.

She leaned forward in slow motion, her eyes falling to his mouth, hers hanging open slightly. When he felt her lips against his, he closed his eyes and inhaled. It was all Angel.

When he opened them, he half-expected to see Shannon. But it was Becky. And Chris thought about Laura.

“Wait,” he pushed her away gently. “I don’t think I can do this.”

She let out a breath and looked at him for a second, then down at his pants again. “You definitely can.” She smiled at him warmly. “But you don’t want to.” She ran her fingers through his hair and down over his cheek affectionately.

“Sex is complicated with me,” he said.

“But this isn’t sex.” Her voice was soft and her eyes bore into his. Despite the butterflies in his stomach, he felt safe in her gaze. “This is anything else,” she said. “And it’s between you and me now.”

While Laura may have been aggressive in bed, Chris knew they wouldn’t be together if he hadn’t seen her masturbating. But Becky was new. She had a confidence and matter-of-factness. She knew what they were doing and that what they were doing was good. And in her eyes, Chris knew it, too.

“But Laura could-”

“Shh,” she said, her finger hushing him, her smile mischevious. “We won’t do anything that can’t be stopped in two seconds.” Her finger at his lips trailed down his chest to the top of his pants.

Chris burst out laughing, surprising her. “No fucking way.” Blow jobs from two different girls in the same day. How could he not laugh?

Becky started laughing, too. “What?”

“Nothing,” as he quieted himself. “You’re amazing.”

She smiled. “Thank you.” She kissed him again and he heard his fly being zipped down. “God, you are bursting, aren’t you?”

“I’ve had an exciting day.”

She laughed again. “I can tell.” He felt her fingers reach in and grasp his cock. “Wow.”


“You’re big.” He started laughing again. Her eyes were wide and her smile growing. “You are! No one’s ever told you that before?”

Chris stroked her shoulders. “I don’t think so. Not like that anyway. Thank you for being the first.”

“Your welcome,” she said and kissed his lips. She looked back and forth between his eyes, studying him. “You know, Laura and I used to fantasize about what you’d be like. We’d have sleepovers and talk about all the crazy things we’d do to you.”

Chris couldn’t conceal his surprise at this. “Seriously?”

“Too bad you’re her stepbrother.”

“Not that it would be illegal anyway,” he said.

She sighed. “You would be easy to fall for.” She said it as if she were confirming suspicions. “But since we can’t let that happen, I guess it’ll have to be about sex.” He tilted his head at her. “Or anything else, I mean.” She smiled sheepishly then popped the button and his pants fell open, exposing him to the air. She got a better grip and began stroking him.

“It’s probably best this stays between us,” he said quietly.

Instead of answering, she kissed the head of his cock several times, small, warm kisses around the ridge. Chris watched her, stroking her deep red hair back from her face. She flicked her tongue out, probing the slit at the tip of his cock and his eyes closed for a moment, savoring the moment as she licked all around the head. Laura could conceivably come home any minute. Chris didn’t plan on wasting a second of his good luck.

When he felt her lips close around his crown, he let out a deep sigh of satisfaction. She lathered his cock with attention and saliva. The sight of her lips wrapped around him, her eyes closed, was almost better than the blow job. It was the hottest porn he’d ever seen. And it was happening to him.

She pulled him out of her mouth and breathed hot breaths over the length of his cock, then pointed his cock straight up. Now that she’d mentioned it, he kinda did have a nicely sized cock. He’d never measured it (honestly), but just gauging it visually, he’d have to guess he was over the national average of 6.3″.

Becky kissed the tip several times before slowly moving her mouth down over him again. He watched her take half of him in then stop. He could feel her tongue swirling his shaft, and he found his hips moving on their own, slowly and gently with her mouth. Her tongue moved to his underside and she lathered it over his vein as her head started bobbing slowly on him.

Chris’s vein was his weakness. He wasn’t sure if it was the same for every guy, but a tongue or perfectly placed grasp on the underside of his shaft was something he was powerless against. Girls had asked him in the past if he had anything he really liked that they could do, but he always kept it to himself. He worried if it got overplayed, he might get used to it. This wasn’t a feeling Chris ever wanted to get used to. He wanted it to be new and mesmerizing each time it happened. And when a girl happens to find it on her own and capitalize, there’s nothing hotter.

Becky had definitely found it.

She relaxed her jaw as he thrust into her. Her hand was at the base of his cock, pumping him in time with his humping which was growing faster. Her tongue was perfectly placed against the underside of his tip, and each time he slid inside, the velvety wetness against him was like magic.

“Oh, shit,” he moaned. Becky started pumping faster. Her tongue started tickling his vein. Chris squirmed in ecstasy on the couch, moaning again. “Oh, shit…”

He was tumbling towards orgasm, down a hill that just kept getting steeper. He had no control anymore. Gravity did.

His hand went to the back of her head, pushing her down, forcing more of his cock. She relaxed her throat and accepted him, her tongue pressing up under his vein. He felt himself snug against the roof of her mouth. Warm and completely enveloped.

The second he tensed for his orgasm, Becky pulled back to just his tip. He gave one last moan of delight before cumming hard. Her tongue licked lightly just under his crown, coaxing every last drop out of him as he shuddered uncontrollably.

Becky had capitalized.

She came off him with a bright smile and pointed to the bathroom. She was going to spit. Chris barely nodded as he took deep breaths. And when she left the room, he sat there on the couch, his pants open and softening cock hanging out, and he took a deep, satisfied breath.

Almost like a reflex, he started comparing Becky with every other girl he’d gotten head from. Tera had had some teeth issues; Steph had been very dependable; Janet had been the best he’d had until Laura; and Laura, well, she was Laura. He loved everything about her blow jobs, the care that she took, the slow and sometimes agonizing build up, the expectation, and then finally the euphoric release.

But Becky had made him cum fast and hard. Faster and harder than maybe he’d ever cum before. He’d have to give the subject some more thought.

Suddenly, he heard the garage door open. His hands shot to his zipper. He had himself tucked away and his pants closed in a second. He put his arm up on the back of the couch, swung his leg up on his knee, and paid attention to Six Feet Under.

He could tell from the footsteps that it was Laura.

“New episode?”

“Uh, no. Rerun, I think.” He turned down the volume. “Where’d you go?” He tried to say it as casually as possible.

“I had to get something from the store.” She set her purse down on the couch beside him and hugged him from behind. “So what’s going on tonight?”

Chris wasn’t expecting her affection. “I didn’t think you were gonna be here.”

“Well, I am. So what’s the plan.” She nuzzled his cheek. But he just stroked her arm.

“Simon’s coming over and we were gonna go for a drive.”

“Cool,” she said. “Can I come?”

“Okay, I don’t get it,” he said, shifting on the couch so he could look at her. “I get the cold shoulder for dinner and now everything’s okay?”

“What are you talking about? Why would I give you the cold shoulder?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “I thought…” He decided better and shook his head. “I don’t know, just felt like it.”

“Nope, everything’s fine,” she said happily.

Chris didn’t believe her. He felt dirty again. He smiled anyway. “Good.” He got up from the couch, motioning down the hall. “Becky came looking for you. She’s in the bathroom.”

“Where are you going?”

“Gotta get ready. Simon’ll be here soon. Now that you’re coming, I should look my best.”

She reached across the couch and pulled him closer, kissing him lightly. “You always look your best.”

They both heard the bathroom door open and quickly separated; Chris was through the doorway by the time Becky appeared in the hall. She smiled when she saw Laura. “Hey, Laura. When’d you get back?” Chris heard her from the top of the steps.

“Just now. How long have you been here?”

“I don’t know. Twenty minutes maybe.”

“Did we have plans.”

“No,” Becky said. “Just thought I’d see what you were up to. Wound up watching TV with Chris.” Chris stopped halfway into his room.

No? Chris thought Becky had said she and Laura were seeing a movie. Maybe he’d heard her wrong.

“I hope he behaved himself,” he heard Laura say.

“Perfect gentleman.”

Chris went into his room and closed the door.

Okay, so. The animal kingdom harbors very few species that are inherently monogamous. As far as biology is concerned, polygamy is perfectly natural. And in concert with the human sex drive, it is – in theory – inevitable, the obvious answer to a very simple equation. As far as its practice, however, Dr. Kinsey has offered better explanations.

But as much as Chris reasoned with himself, there was still a tug in his chest when he thought about Laura. He could smell her when she’d nuzzled him, and the feel of her skin against his was an experience every fucking time.

And then there was the scent of Angel lingering in the air, and though it had just accompanied one of the best blow jobs of his life, it still struck some part deep inside Chris’s head. He saw Shannon, radiant and perfect as only memories can be.

Jesus titty-fucking Christ. How had life gotten so confusing in just under three hours?

“Make this right,” Simon said. Chris had so much on his mind, he was barely enjoying driving the steed. “You might want to slow down a little, too,” Simon added.

Laura and Becky sat in the back of the car, Laura behind Chris, Becky behind Simon. They were talking and Simon jumped into the conversation every so often. Chris pretended to be focused on driving, but he couldn’t concentrate. Though he did manage to see the sideways smiles Becky was sending into the rear view mirror.

“I guess she’s happy,” Chris heard Laura say. He wondered who they were talking about.

“Very,” Simon said. “I don’t know how much more I can take.” Must be Abby.

Becky asked, “When does she leave?”

“August fifteenth or sixteenth or something. Late summer.” Leave for where?

“What does AFI stand for?”

“Abby got in?” Chris said. “That’s awesome.”

Simon looked at him and laughed. “Yeah, baby, welcome to now.”

Chris returned his attention to the road, embarrassed. Actually, no, he was frustrated. He loved the car, how it sounded, how it vibrated, how the smell of the leather mixed with the cold smell of winter to inflame every sense, and he wasn’t enjoying it tonight. His brain was fluttering around like some stupid little school girl who had just gotten her first kiss at recess. He wanted to enjoy the moment. Enjoy it, Chris. Enjoy the moment.

Enjoy the fucking moment, DAMN YOU!

Up ahead was a cobblestone bridge over a frozen creak. They lived in the suburbs but twenty minutes and the desire to get lost easily led to some of the most picturesque landscapes Chris had scene. Laura routinely exploited this fact with her photography, but there were some things Chris had seen that no picture could capture. One time he’d…

Had he really just compared himself to a school girl?

God, the day had been so long. But it felt so short. Thinking back on dinner, he could remember what had been said, laughing at the title of the play, the looks from Laura, but none of it had any context or meaning to him. They were empty actions. Like he’d watched them, not lived them.

But remembering them brought Laura front and center in his thoughts. Was she pretending or was she really okay now? Had she been okay the whole time? Was he the one overreacting? He’d barely been with her a day; was he already becoming the bitch?

Chris had noticed a disturbing and self-conscious trend with his relationships. He tended not to be the alpha. With little exception, he always ended up more attached, or at least feeling that way. He knew on an academic level that it was stupid to think in these terms, but as he’d said to Simon one night while drinking, “I just want to feel like the guy once in a while.”

Of course, there was no way for him to know, but Laura was grooming the exact same thoughts. She was better at socializing though. So while she sat and smiled and nodded and talked with Simon and Becky, she secretly cursed herself and the damn insecurity she felt over the stupid little phone call.

More than that, she was furious at herself for actually being upset with Chris. At least she could be rational and chastise herself for being so lame. Eventually she’d snap out of it. It wasn’t his fault he couldn’t read her mind. Laura was expecting too much. Laura wanted the movie screen relationship.

She knew it didn’t exist except in her mind, and after some of the break-ups she’d endured, she’d been so shaken that she retreated to the fantasy man of her dreams: perfect, strong, clairvoyant, and totally not human. He could complete her sentences in cute little ways that an audience would laugh at, and whenever they looked in each other’s eyes, everyone knew they were meant to be. They were the cutest couple imaginable.

She did love Chris. She knew it was fast and completely crazy, but it was still something she trusted.

Simon handed Chris the joint. Chris looked it over – about half done – and took a hit. He held it in and nodded. “Good joint, Beck.”

Becky smiled.

“Should you be smoking and driving?” Laura asked.

Simon patted Chris’s shoulder. “This guy’s been trusted driver for three years now. 381 smoke-outs.” Simon said it with pride.

“Thanks, buddy,” Chris said. He glanced in the rear view and again saw Becky smiling. Less than a foot to the right, Laura was looking out the window. Neither of them knew about the other. Chris wondered how long that would last.

Originally the plan had been to go back to Chris and Laura’s house. But then Simon’s parents decided at the last minute to fly to Aruba. The mood had hit them.

Simon’s house was hidden back from the road behind some trees. They pulled into the driveway a little after 10:00. It wound through tall evergreens before revealing the palatial abode. It measured four floors including the finished basement, six bedrooms, seven baths, three fireplaces complete with chimneys, a detached garage and a guest house above. It reminded Chris of the Home Alone house.

It had once been a Senator’s. Now it belonged to a surgeon, a decorator and their two spoiled children.

“Simon, I love your life,” Laura said.

The cool blue of the Maserati’s headlights washed over the front of the house, reflecting off the frozen blanket of snow and lighting up the branches above. Simon hit the garage door opener and Chris parked.

“It’s not as cold as I thought,” Laura said as she got out on Chris’s side. She could see her breath but she wasn’t shivering. It was nice and brisk.

Simon helped Becky out of the car. Her foot caught on the seatbelt and he steadied her as she freed herself. She smiled at him. “Thank you.”

“No sweat,” he said.

Chris thought he could feel an awkwardness between them, but he was all over the place tonight. He didn’t know what was real and what he was imagining.

Laura glanced back at him and offered her own quick smile before linking her arm with Becky’s, the two girls skipping off toward the house, laughing and singing something Chris didn’t recognize. Chris watched them as Simon ejected his CD from the stereo. “Wanna hit the back deck and smoke that second J?” Simon asked as he closed the door.


“You okay?”

Chris looked at him as he lit two cigarettes at the same time. He puffed them up then handed one to Chris. The only time they smoked cigarettes was when they smoked pot. Chris took it with a slight laugh. “No. I mean, yeah. Fuck if I know, man.”

“What’s going on?”

Chris shook his head as he took a drag. “Later. Not with the girls around.” The nicotine rushed through his body and he felt a pleasant burning behind his eyes. Sometimes he thought of his highs like a fuse, and the first drag of the first cigarette was the spark that started the night.

He staggered momentarily and Simon laughed. “Pot head.”


They went up the steps to the deck. From here they could see the peanut shaped pool and the hot tup at its deep end with waterfalls flowing over. The hot tub was rated for twenty, but it had barely hosted more than the four of them. The two girls sat in the corner back to back, already splitting the second joint. “Here they are!” Becky cheered.

“You’re smoking without us,” Simon said.

“No, we were just getting it ready, see?” Laura said. She saw their cigarettes. “Ooh, I want one. Gimme!”

“Chris?” Simon asked, pulling out the back. “Is that cool?”

“Don’t ask him. He’s not my master.”

Chris looked at Simon and shrugged. “I’m not her master.” He looked back at Laura and she winked at him.

“Fuck it.” Simon tossed the pack to Laura. “Cigarettes for everybody.”

She pulled one for her then handed the pack to Becky. Becky shook her head. Laura pulled out the lighter then looked at Chris. “You’re such a bad influence on me.”

Chris chuckled and nodded. “Don’t I know it.”

Simon handed his cigarette to Chris and went in through the patio doors, leaving Laura, Chris, and Becky alone on the deck. Laura puffed at her cigarette, grimacing. “If you hate it so much, why are you smoking it?” Chris asked.

“Because it’s cool,” she said. “Duh.”

Becky laughed. “Yeah, cancer’s so fetch these days.”

Laura coughed on the smoke. “Fetch? What are you, one of the Plastics?” They heard music start playing from the deck speakers. Laura asked, “I’ve heard this song. Who is this?”

“Frou Frou,” Simon said, returning from the house. “Most recently heard in the film Garden State.” He took his cigarette back.

“I love that movie,” Becky said, handing the joint to Chris. Her fingers brushed over his as he took it.

Simon rolled his eyes. “What?” Becky asked quickly.

“It’s a lame movie.”

“It is not. It was good.”

“Yeah, if you know nothing about movies,” Simon replied.

Becky narrowed her eyes. “I bet you liked Napoleon Dynamite, didn’t you.”

Chris exhaled and passed the roach on to Simon. “That movie sucked, gosh!” They all laughed.

“Garden State is good. It deals with life and forgiveness and acceptance.”

“Can you hear yourself?” Simon asked.

“You just don’t like it because your numb.”

“I’m not numb, I just don’t advertise every melodrama.”

“Don’t call me melodramatic.”

“I didn’t.”

“You just did!” The roach got back to Becky and she took a few quick puffs before it died. She stubbed it out on the wooden railing. “We should watch it tonight and show you how wrong you are,” she said to Simon.

“You’re wronger.”

“You’re stubborn.”

Simon started laughing. “And you’re not?”

Becky smiled at his laughter. “I don’t care. You’re wrong, you’re stupid, and you look funny.”

“Funny enough for you to date.”

“Yeah, well…I’ve learned my lesson.”

Somewhere in the 111 acres of forest solitude that the house came with, an owl was hooting.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” Becky said.

“Anyone want anything to drink?” Simon asked.

Chris and Laura both shook their heads. “I’m okay right now,” Chris said.

Simon stepped on his cigarette butt then pointed to theirs. “Come on in whenever you finish.” He and Becky went inside.

Laura had tuned out for a minute as the tobacco mixed with the marijuana. She felt the relaxation roll through her again like the tide, rhythmic and comforting. She let her breaths out slowly, captivated by the way the smoke played with the lights from the house.

Chris was watching her. “You alright there?” She nodded serenely and held out her arms to him.

Chris crossed the deck to her. She wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him. He patted her head, glancing at the house. Simon and Becky weren’t in sight. He looked down at Laura.

“You okay?” he asked gently.

She nodded. “Mm-hmm.”

“So you’re not mad at me?”

She said nothing for a second, then sighed. When she spoke, her voice sounded small. “I love you.”

Chris crouched down in front of her and looked at her. Her eyes were glassy and moist. Was she sad or stoned? Chris couldn’t tell. Probably because he was definitely stoned. He stroked her cheek lightly with a smile. “I love you.”

Now he watched her eyes well up and a tear trickled down her cheek. He wiped it away. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked with concern, taking her hands in his.

She started laughing, pulling her hands from his and wiping at her eyes, hiding behind them. “I don’t know.” He took her hands again, uncovering her face. Forced to look at him, more tears flooded her eyes and she let out a small, delicate sob. She sniffled. “I’m happy.”

“You don’t look it.”

She smiled through the tears and Chris felt something well up in his throat. “I am.” Her hand went to his cheek. “So happy.” She kissed him, their foreheads resting together. “I don’t want to pretend why.” The clouds of their breath coalesced between them.

“What do you mean?”

“I want to be with you when I’m with you. Not pretend I’m just your stupid stepsister.”

“My stepsister is not stupid,” he said, insulted. “She’s a fucking genius.” Laura laughed and hid her face again, embarrassed and flattered by the compliment. Chris kissed her forehead. She rubbed her eyes, trying to dry them.

“I love you,” he said again.

“Stop it!” she whined. “I can’t stop crying if you keep saying that.”

He pulled her up and hugged her tight. “Love you, love you, love you,” he said quickly. With anyone else, even Chris would have been rolling his eyes at his mushiness. But Laura rested her head on his shoulder, eyes closed, absorbing the words as fully as she could.

And that was why he said them.

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