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Pre Author’s Note: I don’t know that it makes sense to submit a whole other version when I’m really only adding/extending one major scene, plus a few minor additions here and there, but I think it’s what I’m doing. I chickened out of including some actual butt play in the original version, but it was always my intent to have some, so here it is.
The majority of the story is identical. I’m estimating the major changed scene will end up around page 16 to 18. This is probably terrible to do, but I spent a lot of time on this story and this is the version I actually wanted a little more, so I feel like I should just do it.
Author’s Note: This is a long one. It just is. It’s also a very slow burn. You’ve been warned.
Thanks to LizHaze for making it through the whole thing and giving her usual very solid edits advice.
Also all characters over eighteen at all times no exceptions.
Chapter One: Kasey at Eighteen
It probably started earlier, but I couldn’t think of when. All I know is that it was the first time I recognized that something wasn’t quite right. That I had feelings I probably shouldn’t.
It was Xander’s own fault, really. He was the one who made it obvious.
“So what do you think?” he asked.
Zoey. Xander’s new girlfriend. He’d brought her over to meet the family, so clearly it was at least somewhat serious.
“Don’t like her,” I replied automatically.
Xander sighed. “Dammit, Kase. Why do you hate every girl I see?”
I stopped and considered. Did I? Ok, maybe I did. But that wasn’t my fault that my big brother had poor taste.
“Well date someone better, then.”
“Oh this is not on me. If you hate every girl I’m with, that’s a you kinda problem.”
“There’s been, like, three, dude. You could just be getting unlucky.”
“Zoey’s number four, thank you very much.”
“And I’m sure she’ll be pleased to hear she has a number.”
“What’s wrong with her anyway?”
“Wrong? Nothing in particular. Just don’t like her.”
“Well hey, Xan, you asked, didn’t you? You coulda just not asked.”
“Maybe I care about your damn opinion.”
“Well… good, then. Fine.” I took a deep breath. “She’s fine, I’m sure.”
“No. But I’m trying to placate you.”
“You’re not meant to tell me that’s what you’re doing.”
“Whatever. I’ma go text her. ‘Cause I like her.”
“I’m sure you do. She touches your dick, I take it?”
“It’s not about that. Don’t be shitty.”
“But she does, though, yeah?”
“… yes. Shut up.”
“Yeah. Good luck with that.”
Xander shook his head and left.
I made sure the door was firmly closed, then flopped down on my bed and tried not to cry.
Why did I even want to cry? It didn’t make sense. Things had gotten maybe a little heated, but nothing to get worked up over.
Or maybe I’d been worked up already. Why, though? Was it since meeting Zoey? Since having family dinner with her?
She was long gone, though. Safely back at her own house. Why did I care? I didn’t have to even really talk to her if I didn’t want to.
But she had Xander’s attention. Maybe that was it. He was all stupid and enamoured with her. The way he got with girls sometimes. That was just how boys were anyway. They’d get all infatuated with some girl. Especially if she touched his dick. They loved that.
Not that girls were any better. I got fed up with my friends at times and their swooning over boys. There were other things in the world than relationships. I didn’t know why I had to always be the one to remember that.
I hugged a pillow tight to my chest and once again tried to calm down. It was possible I was the problem. That there was something wrong with me. I hated that feeling. It crept up sometimes, and if I was already primed for a bad mood, it could ruin me.
Possibly, just perhaps, if everyone else in the whole damn world wanted to get all stupid over some person they liked, maybe that was what I was supposed to do too. And if I really thought about it, I couldn’t remember anyone ever making me feel like that. No one ever capturing my soul in that way.
And that was scary. Both the idea that someone could do that to me, and the fact that it hadn’t happened. Maybe I was just broken.
Like, for fuck’s sake, the closest person to that was probably Xander of all people. My brother. That was just wrong. It was probably just because I’d never fallen for anyone. That I didn’t know what it was supposed to feel like. And whatever sibling bond there was there, that was the closest I could get.
I laughed humourlessly at myself. No boy to get properly jealous over, so I did it over my brother instead. How pathetic was that?
It was only in hindsight that I recognized I might have actually been onto something there. Something deeper than I would have guessed.
I had to watch Xander be all goofy over Zoey. Do his usual thing, except more evolved. He grew up and learned a little more with each relationship, it seemed. antalya escort And here I was still relationshipless and inexperienced.
It was the insane jealousy that did it, I think. The way I secretly loathed Zoey, but had no idea why the fuck that was. I thought about it sometimes, really thought hard, and couldn’t come up with anything. She was a sweet enough girl. Never mean toward me in any way. But I hated her.
I hated her because she was with Xander.
“Zoey’s fine,” I told Xander one day.
“Zoey. She’s ok.”
“Oh. Was she not ok?”
“I don’t like her.”
“… I’m confused.”
“I don’t like her, but she’s ok. If you want my opinion. Which you sometimes do.”
“Oh, um, good then. I think?”
I shrugged. “Just saying.”
“Is this from back when I asked-“
“What I thought of her. Yes.”
“And you still don’t like her?”
“Right. But that’s not her fault. You shouldn’t hold that against her.”
“I don’t, but thank you.”
“Sure.” I turned to go.
“Why don’t you like her?”
“No good reason.”
“Oh.” Xander scratched his head. “Uh, so this whole thing where girls are catty and hate each other for no reason, that’s all kinda bullshit and exaggerated, right? Except… that’s exactly what you’re saying you’re doing?”
I thought about explaining it to him, but I still couldn’t explain it to myself, really. I only had hints of what I was feeling. Suspicions. And not very good ones. Not ones I understood properly. It was easier to lie.
“It’s not always bullshit. It’s only unfair as a general stereotype. Some girls are like that, yes. And I guess I’m one.”
“I don’t believe that.”
I shrugged. “Can’t help what you believe.”
“There’s something more, Kase. I know there is.”
“Nope. I’m a simple girl with simple emotions.”
“That’s not even remotely true.”
“Fine. You win. You’re simple.”
“Thank you.” I shrugged awkwardly and turned to leave for the second time. “Have fun with her.”
“I will, thank you.”
The day they broke up was probably the happiest day of my whole year.
That sounds horrible. It is. It was. But what can ya do?
Xander was disconsolate. Mopey. Just a bit of a dick, even. I loved it.
I sat with him a while in his room while he refused to get out of bed. Just sat and talked. Nothing else. But I had him all to myself for a while, and that was enough for me.
“Never liked her anyway,” I said.
Xander snorted. “Yeah. I believe I remember something to that effect.”
“I may have mentioned it.”
“Once or twice or… every time you saw her.”
“I wasn’t that bad.”
“You so were.”
“Maybe three or four times I said something. Tops.”
“Uh huh. She liked you, you know.”
“No she didn’t.”
“Yeah she did. Thought you were an adorable little sister.”
I flushed with brief anger before recalling that Zoey was gone anyway. But she wasn’t wrong, if that’s what she thought. I was only ever Xander’s little sister. That was all I could be.
“Good for her, I guess.”
“You really don’t have anything nice to say?”
“Is that what you want right now? Me to sing her praises?”
“Hm, no, maybe not.”
“Maybe… maybe be a little spiteful?”
I grinned. “That I can do. You ever notice how one of her fingers is kinda weird?”
“Oh my god. I mean, yes, I did. She broke it when she was little.”
“Dude, come on, less petty, please.”
“And when she looked at you sometimes, all I could see was a big stupid dear. It was those eyes.”
Xander laughed softly. “You’re horrible.”
“When you were first together, she wouldn’t stop playing with her hair. It drove me crazy. It’s like, yeah, we get it, you like him. Stop twisting your finger all up in there and trying to give yourself curls. She did, you know. That one side of her head was always a bit curly and the other wasn’t. For like a solid month.”
“That’s not true.” Xander paused. “Is it?”
“Totally is. Like she couldn’t help but make sure everyone knew she liked you.”
“That’s not really a bad thing. Could we do more bad things? Like real ones?”
It felt like a bad one to me, but then I was in a weird place. “Heard she liked kicking puppies.”
“It’s true. You know those kicker guys in football? And they gotta, like, get a ball through those metal post things? She does that on her weekends. But with puppies.”
“Oh my god. Stop.”
I grinned. Xander was cracking up in spite of himself. Ragging on his exes to make him laugh? Now this I could work with.
“Used to trip old ladies trying to cross the street too.”
“And she was never any good at painting her nails. You could tell.”
“… I kinda love that you’re throwing those out back to back.”
I moved to sit close to Xander and patted his head. “You’re gonna be ok.”
“Yeah, I know. Just feels shitty right now.”
I patted him some more, almost stroking serik escort his hair before I had to pull back and restrain myself. I didn’t want to make it weird. Not while we were having such a good time. Or while I was, at least. I was helping, though. It wasn’t all selfish.
“D’you ever think…”
Xander opened one eye. “What?”
“Ok. Fine. You ever think about, like, if we were together?”
“I mean, you know, hypothetically. If I wasn’t your sister. And we just kinda, like, were together for a bit. And like, how long we’d last.”
“Oh Kase. That doesn’t even make sense. I can’t think of you that way.”
“No, no, obviously,” I said hurriedly. “But just… you know. If.”
Xander reached over and squeezed my hand. I hoped to hell he couldn’t feel how my heart was beating and how anxious and awkward I felt. What was I even thinking asking a question like that?
“I think you’d make a great girlfriend,” he said. “For the right guy.”
“Oh. Yeah. Right guy.”
“I’m glad we don’t have to worry about that.”
I swallowed painfully. “Yeah. Good.”
“Wouldn’t want to ever lose you.”
I dug my free hand, the one he wasn’t holding, into my thigh, feeling my nails bite skin. How could he make me feel so miserable and so happy at the same time?
He was right. It was good that we wouldn’t ever have to break up and lose each other. That part was great.
And it was silly anyway. We were sibs. Always would be. Thinking about being different people wasn’t helpful. Even if we were, there was no guarantee he’d ever be interested.
Not that I was. Not really. I couldn’t be. He was my brother. These thoughts made no sense.
I guess I got crying pretty loudly. I didn’t think I was, but Mom heard me from the hall, so I must have been.
I stifled myself pretty well when she came in, but I could hardly hide how I was feeling. Not after she’d heard me, and definitely not after she saw my face.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, face full of motherly concern.
“Nothing,” I lied, as though that would explain things sufficiently for her.
“I thought your brother was having the bad day. I didn’t realize you were too.”
“Honey, I haven’t seen you cry like this for… well, years anyway.”
Mom wiped my face, drying it off some. Her touch and concern helped some, but also in another, deeper way just made me feel shittier.
“I don’t know why,” I said.
“I think you do,” Mom said gently. “I think you don’t want to tell me.”
“It’s stupid. Xan’s going through stuff. His is real.”
“A boy, then?”
My heart jumped in sudden panic, even though the way she said it suggested she didn’t have a clue which boy. “No!”
“Xander’s thing is real, you said. As if, possibly, yours is over a boy who maybe doesn’t like you?”
Fuck. How did she do that?
She still didn’t know. She couldn’t know. But that was too uncomfortably close.
“Maybe,” I said.
Mom started rubbing my shoulder. “Oh sweetie. I wish I could save you some of this heartache, but it’s just something that’s going to happen from time to time.”
“Did that sound bleak? Sorry. There’ll be lots of good. Lots and lots. But there’s going to be bad times. And maybe this will help later on.”
I snorted softly. “I don’t think so.”
“I know it doesn’t feel like there’s anything good right now.”
“But it won’t seem so bad tomorrow. Or the next day. Sometime soon.”
“You want some ice cream?”
I struggled with my inner turmoil. I wanted to keep moping. But holy fuck did ice cream sound amazing.
“Ok.” Mom patted my head. “Ice cream in bed, ok? It’ll be better.”
Mom maybe knew what she was talking about. It hurt for a few days, then it got better. I got back to normal, more or less.
I still looked at Xander sometimes just a little wistfully, but that was all there was. Nothing more than that. Not really.
I got a date to my high school prom. I didn’t really know how it had happened. Jake asked me, and it felt like I probably better just say yes. I didn’t particularly care one way or another, but everyone was going. Everyone was getting dates. That was just what I was supposed to do. So I did.
“Do you think he’ll want to dance?” I asked Xander.
I was already in my dress. It was early, but I wanted to make sure everything was ok. So I was now kind of stuck just… waiting. Waiting and getting nervous.
“Depends on the guy, I guess. I don’t know anything about him.”
“I hope he won’t want to. Except… then what do we do?”
“Beats me. I went for dancing.”
“Of course you did.”
“Tasha was a good dancer.”
“Uh huh. You just wanted to get close to her.”
“They don’t let us do anything fun. But yeah, I guess it got me close. Slow dances are where it’s at.”
I shook my head and plucked at my dress side escort around my cleavage. It wasn’t sitting quite right. It looked weird.
“God I really don’t want to slow dance. I don’t like him near enough for that.”
“So why are you going with him?”
“That’s what I’m supposed to do, isn’t it?”
“You can do what you want, Kase. Don’t do things just ’cause that’s what you think you have to.”
I sighed to myself. I wished I could just do what I want.
Xander’s eyes were on me in the mirror, but not in any meaningful way. Just ’cause we were talking. I looked pretty good. Not great. My dress wouldn’t quite do what I wanted. But it was a good presentation overall. And I got nothing from him. Nothing to indicate that I was even dressed up. I might as well have been in an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt for all it affected him.
God I hated that feeling.
“Maybe it’ll be canceled,” I said with some small hope.
Xander smiled. “It won’t be.”
“Go. Dance. Have fun.”
“Maybe I only want to dance with the right guy.”
“There… isn’t one.”
“Oh. That complicates things.” Xander shrugged. “So maybe Jake’s good enough.”
“Give it a shot. Dance close with him. See if you enjoy it. You don’t have to like him or go out with him or anything. Just dance.”
“I won’t like it. I… I don’t even know how. Not really.”
“I guess I’ve never done it. Never seemed like the right time.”
“Oh well now you have to, then. Last chance before school dances are a thing of the past, right?”
Xander hopped up and snatched my phone from where it was sitting. I watched him in the mirror, all frowny and confused, even though I understood that he was picking some music that would play on the speakers in my room.
Somehow, even though I fully anticipated him playing a song that could be slow danced to, I didn’t expect him to actually try dancing. Let alone with me. This in spite of the two of us being alone in my room.
“Come on,” he said with an easy smile. “No pressure. Nothing to it. It’s not, like, a complicated dance or anything.”
“Teenagers can do it. It can’t be that hard.”
“You kinda just move a bit and use it as an opportunity to get all close and stuff.”
“Jeez, I kn-“
I squeaked as Xander yanked me toward him with all the casual display of force an older brother could muster. I fought a bit just for the show of it. He laughed and pulled me tight to him anyway.
It was a rush. My heart went crazy immediately. My head spun. Xander had me close, right up against him, arms around me.
“Relax,” he whispered. “Feel the music. Don’t think.”
“How’m I gonna not think?”
“Fine. Think if you want. Let Jake guide you if it comes to it. Just follow him. Think about whatever you want. It’ll be fine.”
“It’ll be fine,” I echoed weakly.
It was more than fine. With Xander, at least. He felt so good against me. So warm and solid. Like I could put my whole weight on him. Let him carry me.
I tried not to give in. To not make it obvious how easily he could make me feel things. The pretense got harder and harder to keep up.
I wanted to melt into him. To let him guide me in slow circles all evening. To rest my head on his shoulder. Feel his breathing so close to my ear. Feel his heart beat next to mine. Listen to him murmur instructions and suggestions. Whatever he wanted to tell me, really. It wasn’t about the words. It was his voice. His voice and his warmth and… and everything.
“Am I doing ok?” I asked, just to pretend like I cared about learning. Like I wasn’t already getting everything I wanted out of the moment.
“You could loosen up more.”
“You’re hanging maybe a little tight on me. You know, if I’m Jake and all. You might give him ideas.”
I blushed warmly. “Oh.”
I didn’t let go even fractionally. I clung to Xander. He let me. Every now and then he’d encourage me again to loosen my grip, and every time I ignored him.
We danced through a few songs, and I actually did gain a certain comfort with the process. Like I probably could acquit myself well enough at the actual prom. If it never came, if Xander and I just kept dancing, it’d be such a better night. A perfect night, perhaps.
But reality intruded. Dad came by to inform me that my date had arrived. Dad was far too amused about it. Only probably because he knew I didn’t go out with boys, and that I was somewhat embarrassed about the whole thing. What was it with parents enjoying their kids’ humiliation anyway?
I had to pretend like I wanted to go. Like I didn’t want to stay in my brother’s arms. Like my legs weren’t jelly from our less than twenty minutes of dancing together.
I hated it. I hated it so much.
“So you’re going out with Jake, huh?”
I shrugged uncomfortably. “Whatever. Maybe. Yeah.”
“Cool. Guess he made an impression at that dance.”
I tried not to look right at Xander. How could I tell him that I’d enjoyed myself, but only because his touch was still fresh on me. His scent still lingering on my senses. That if I closed my eyes I could pretend Jake was Xander. That my date was a sufficient stand in for my brother at prom for me to be able to lose myself in the illusion.
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